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NORTHWEST

ISSUE 1 FEB/MARCH 17

EWAN McGREGOR ON FATHERHOOD “I think every parent, even at times when they might feel tired, needs to spend a lot of time playing with their children, entering their world.”

STYLE Guest Style Editor: Global swimwear designer Melissa Odabash shares her PAGE picks for Spring ‘17

TRAVEL Where to next? Luxury family getaways

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RETREAT Holy Mama - the solution to a relaxing retreat away - with children! PAGE

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Features & Contents Fatherhood: Ewan McGregor talks all things family Men’s Style: Weekend wardrobe inspiration from Mr Porter.Com Dining Out: We step into the wonderful world of Menagerie, Manchester

Kid’s Style: Somewhere over the rainbow? Spring shoot on location Kid’s Style: In the band: For boy’s that know how to rock it City break: Hull has had a makeover. Trust us, its got it all going on in the Capital of Culture

Travel Style Takeover: Global Swimwear Designer, Melissa Odabash, shares her favourite looks for SS17

Happy Campers: Our guide to the best summer family friendly festivals

Beauty: Botox at 32? Laura Garner steps inside the world of facial aesthetics at Tracey Bell

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For Press/ News/Brand Collaboration or Enquiries please email us : info@parentfolk.co.uk

Night away: We discover what Carden Park has to offer families Sleep deprived: Phil Steele challenges all to get some quality sleep Motherhood: The sisters rocking motherhood and Menorcan sandals Women’s Style: Spring trends coming to the high street The Retreat: Is it possible to go on a yoga treat with a toddler in tow

T&C’s. Please note that the views and the opinions that are written within this publication do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the publisher. We make every effort to avoid any errors, we shall not be held responsible for errors. The publishers are not held responsible for any marketing content including advertisements and placements. All rights reserved.


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M OT H E R H O O D I N T E R V I E W

Lisa is mother to Tommy (1) and 3 months pregnant and Tracey is mother to Joe (12) Jack (9) and Crazy Girl Rose (5).

Motherhood: Palmaira Sandals

Starting your business is never easy. Starting it in a completely different country, with a new family and in an industry you’ve never worked in before, well that is more of an army assault course!

For sisters, Lisa and Tracey, they have taken the Spanish bull by the horns and have made their beautiful footwear brand Palmaira Sandals into an international success. And we are huge fans. Started back in April 2013, promotions and events guru-come-model Lisa joined forces with journalism major Tracey out in their new home of Menorca. Today they are now the UK and Australian distributors of hand-made authentic Avarca sandals from the Island of Menorca. They not only sell on their own websites, but they sell thousands of sandals wholesale all over the world.

Tell us what inspired you to start up? We have grown up in Menorcan sandals (avarcas) and spent our summers since we were babies in Menorca. Bringing the Avarca to the UK was something we had always talked about but the actual start-up of the business came about in a very off the cuff and unplanned way!

We were at a wedding in Menorca when we decided to set up a meeting with our local authentic avarca factory. They did not have a distributor in the UK and they liked our ideas and trusted us. We started by placing a very small order and the rest is history! We never expected the business to grow in the way that it has and we never set out to create what we have created today! It has been a very organic growth and every day is a learning curve. What challenges you most about running your own business? The biggest challenge for us is the juggle between work life and mummy life. Part of running your own business is being able to make time for loved ones, especially the little ones, however at times there is so much to be done that we have to force ourselves to take a step back! We certainly wouldn’t be able to run the business without the support of our fantastic family. You also work with members of your family, how does that impact your work/ life balance? Without our FANTASTIC mum it would just be impossible. She is always there to help out in any way she can. Whether that be packaging up shoes or changing a nappy, she is there. We also employ our gorgeous cousin Mini who we literally couldn’t function without. She deals with all the customer service side of the business amongst lots of other things and also helps out with childcare when needed. Our newest Palmaira recruit is Lisa’s Menorcan husband, David who is our Production coordinator and heavy lifter! What has been your greatest business achievement so far? Our biggest achievement (other than our beautiful children!) was our feature in the Vogue Centenary issue. It was an incredible experience to be a part of such a milestone, and to see our creations amongst brands we adore. How do you make being a Mummy and heading up a growing and thriving business work for you? We find it is so important to make time, so we make sure that as soon as our work day is over we switch off completely (however hard that is at times!). We have a great

customer base that understand we are not only a business but that we are family run and its not always about work, work, work. What has running a business taught you about yourself? It has taught us to always trust our instincts. Having such a connection with the Island of Menorca and the sandals, we felt passionately that we would always do what we believed was right in regards to the growth of our business and not create any designs that we would not wear ourselves. How varied is your day to day work? / What were you doing this time last week? It’s crazy! This time last week we were in Menorca celebrating the Three Kings Festival and visiting our factory to make sure our SS17 collection was perfect! We were also out there to design a new bag collection which will be launching in April - very exciting! What’s next for Palmaira Sandals? We have a really exciting year ahead of us, with lots of big events and we are also launching a brand new Espadrille Collection! We are also testing out some gorgeous handmade Menorcan baskets with a sparkly Palmaira twist. We cannot wait to show everyone our new creations. How do you switch off and unwind? We love visiting our Menorcan family. It is our second home and a place we feel super creative and relaxed. Some of our best and most important business decisions have been made on the beautiful beaches of Menorca, in our bikinis! Quick Fires: Your ‘wear anytime’ clothing item? Palmaira Sandals of course during the summer and a chunky knit in winter time. Your favourite go to kids brand? We love Babyccino, it’s our one stop shop for all things cute and cool. What will we find at the bottom of your handbag? Plenty of snacks for the kids and always some Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream. Fireside read? The latest edition of Vogue. Favourite eatery? Our local pub, The Duke. It has the best local/quirky vibe and welcomes everyone! Guilty pleasure? Getting away from our children for a spa break!


EIGHT MENS GROOMING

Flint + Flint heads home with new Manchester clinic

Manchester-based Flint + Flint is reaffirming its place within its home city with the launch of a brand new Concept Clinic this week in Harvey Nichols. Passionate in providing customers with the best skin care health, Flint + Flint has created its uber clinic offering customers state of the art technology and treatments, which will be performed by doctors, nurses and aestheticians – in short, only the best will do! The luxurious clinic had its design dreams come true thanks to Manchester based DEN Living, and boasts super-cool graphics and graffitti from local artists like David Bailey and Ejectos, amongst its leather paneled walls, distinctive lighting and pop art inspired furniture. Everything gives a true nod to the North West from its highly acclaimed product range, to the look touch and feel of each and every room!

Treatments on offer at the Harvey Nichols based salon include cryo fat busting, oxygen skin treatments, fractional lasers, super quick hair removal, vampire facials and doctor-led injectables, to name just a few. There’s a range of men’s skincare treatment including the ‘Mr Flint Facial’ which uses Flint + Flint skincare products that are best suited to male skin to deliver a deep cleansing facial and to remove dead and tired skin. Adam Flint, co owner of Flint + Flint, said: “We feel very fortunate to be opening a clinic in such grand surroundings, and for it to be based where our roots are in Manchester! We pride ourselves in high quality, whether it’s the best products, technology or décor, and this really showcases all three. Now it’s just time to welcome in the customers, and we can’t wait!” For more information visit www.flintplusflint.com


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FAT H E R H O O D I N T E R V I E W

Fatherhood:

The father awakens Ewan McGregor has been many things on screen - drug addict, lovestruck poet and Jedi to name a few but the man behind the myth admits to being a tee-total philanthropist, family man and a ‘lousy’ movie star.


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ith Trainspotting conferring iconic status to Ewan McGregor so early in his career, for many it’s been hard to shake the image of a grubby, feral Mark Renton desperately crawling down ‘the worst toilet in Scotland’ to retrieve opium suppositories in the cult nineties film. But the reality of the handsome Scot’s life couldn’t be more different as, away from the big screen, he gets his biggest thrills from being a devoted husband and father. That’s not to say McGregor didn’t have a brief period as a hard-partying movie star – around the time of his Danny Boyle-directed breakthrough he was a heavy drinker – but once the superficial buzz of the Hollywood party circuit died down and he returned to sobriety in 2000, he began to awaken in new, much more fulfilling ways.

This year, he and French production designer Eve Mavrakis will celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary. The couple share four daughters: Clara, 21, Esther, 15, as well as adopted Jamyan girls, 15, and Anouk, five. Having become a father aged 25, McGregor has had plenty of time to get the hang of parenting, but admits that it’s something he still consistently works at. “Some of it is natural, but you also have to take your responsibility as a father seriously. You have to make time to get to know your children, and just try to build that closeness with them instead of just being a parental figure,” he explains. “I’ve tried to make sure that my daughters felt they were each very special to me and that I would always make time for them.”

You have to make time to get to know your children, and just try to build that closeness with them instead of just being a parental figure,”

“I was 23 when I met my wife and she has been with me through all of that. At the time when you’re riding a wave of success and you’re drinking and partying, you think you’re happy,” says the 45-year-old reflectively. “But then I saw that those things weren’t making me happy - it was my wife and my child at the time, the things that were right in front of my eyes, that were making me happy. It’s not a unique story, but I was lucky in that I understood that about myself early on and didn’t waste more time indulging myself.” He adds with a hearty chuckle, “I had done enough!”

But it isn’t all plain sailing for the devoted dad – there is one stage of childhood he finds baffling. “Teenagers are quite strange. They’re odd people. And they always think that they’re right!” he says with an incredulous smirk. But his best parental advice is just to put the hours in: “I think every parent, even at times when they might feel tired, needs to spend a lot of time playing with their children, entering their world.” In a household where he is outnumbered five to one, the charming star takes refuge in his garage, tinkering and

building motorcycles – a fondness he developed following his fabled cross-continental motorcycle journeys of years gone by. But for the most part he is eager to cherish every moment, having experienced a keen sense of loss when his eldest daughter left their family home in LA to attend college in New York. “That’s something I found very hard to deal with,” he says quietly. “She’s my first to do so, my first baby; and the first is always going to be the hardest. It’s not a great loss – she lives on the other side of the country and we talk all the time – but it’s that tyranny of distance. That’s tough for a dad who misses his daughter.” Meanwhile, alongside his acting work McGregor is a staunch campaigner for children’s rights as a UNICEF ambassador, and also recently made his first foray into directing with last year’s American Pastoral - an adaptation of the popular Philip Roth novel. And now, coming full circle, he returns to Renton 20 years later in T2: Trainspotting. But while his drug-addled alter-ego may be up to his old tricks, McGregor is resolutely a different man. And for such a celebrated actor and personality, he’s keen to play down the idea that he deserves such praise. “I don’t like to think of it as an achievement or accomplishment because there’s an implication that it has required some great effort or something!” he declares. “I’m in love with my wife. We have a beautiful time together and I love being a father.”


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FOCUS ON MENS STYLE

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He Wears www.mrporter.com

Ahhh, it’s the weekend. Two days of unadulterated relaxing bliss… Sorry we were dreaming there!

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If your weekend consists of ferrying your brood around to their various sports fixtures, followed by more Dad-taxi duties taking them to swimming, dance and creative workshops, we have the ultimate style snatches to keep you comfortable, warm and indeed stylish from our friends at Mr Porter.

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Red Wing boots offer the ultimate foundations for this wearable wardrobe - the deep rubber sprung flatform giving you just the right spring in your step, whilst layers of t-shirts, gingham shirts and sweatshirts give you the versatility to wrap up for the sidelines and strip down for your special edition winter pack in your car. And if you get the chance to pop to the pub with your pals post family run around, you have everything you need to look banging on a bar stool too.

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1. Tom Ford Cotton Slim fit shirt £400 2. The elder statesman : Oversized loop back cotton jersey hoodie £255 3. Battenwear: loop back cotton jersey (grey) £110 4. Kent & Curwen: Slim fit appliqued loopback cotton jersey sweatshirt £235 5. JCrew Slimfit button down check cotton shirt (black/red) £75 6. New Season: Saturdays NYC throhand printed cotton tshirt £100 7. Nudie Jeans : Brute Knut Slim-fit organic stretch denim jeans £115 8. Red wing boots : £240 9. Kingsman: Drakes Checked Merino Wool and Cashmere-Bend Scarf £175 10. Adidas Originals: Stan Smith Leather Sneakers (New Season) £75


WWW.CLAREMONTFARM.CO.UK FARM SHOP

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COOKERY SCHOOL

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FISHING

/ClaremontFarm


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FOCUS ON FOOD

DINING OUT

Menagerie Restaurant & Bar, Manchester


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restaurant where they boast a catwalk, theatrical performers and aerial dancers, where they burn £20 notes on the side of a cocktail, and where they blend art with gastronomy? Menagerie, Manchester, is one unique place. The contemporary American bar and restaurant opened its doors last summer and has fast become the city’s most vibrant and decadent dining experience. Whilst during the day this place hosts business suits for lunch meetings, family group gatherings and friends enjoying champagne afternoon tea, at the weekend this place transforms itself into a party place like no other. Menagerie is the perfect weekend date night destination. This places oozes sexy sophistication, with Menagerie Angels playing hostess, guests can enjoy an exclusive club experience with bottle tables available Friday and Saturday nights from 10.30pm. The food is divine too. The menu is an interpretation of international dishes with a U.S twist. Each dish is impeccably presented, whether you’re feasting on a main course such as Spaghetti with crab, Sashimi grade tuna, or a club steak from the wood fired grill, or sharing a small sociable plate like spiced lamb meatball, deep fried mac n cheese, grilled asparagus skewers or chicken kaarage, you won’t be disappointed. Owner Karina Jadhav set out to create a restaurant true to its name; a ‘menagerie’ being a collection of the enticing and exotic, which is exactly what this place delivers. It focuses on every aspect of the guest’s experience, it’s pleasure for the senses, a culinary theatre and a must visit. www.menageriemanchester.co.uk


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F O C U S O N H E A LT H & W E L L B E I N G

Eating Healthy

Whether you’re in training, dieting, or just wanting to look after yourself, there’s no reason to stop eating out. Choose the right place to dine and you can make a meal out as virtuous as a meal at home. Here’s our pick of some of the best North West places to head for healthy eating.

No Excuses Nutrition & Fitness. Liverpool’s emerging cafe bar interest in health can thank wellness influencer Shelley Roe for spreading her love of delicious, natural food & drink across the city. Her kitchen & store offers takeaway & delivery services and has formed an inseparable bond between gym goers looking for prepped meals alongside office workers and the health-conscious who prize the convenience of her menus. Shelley’s clean, sweet treats are in such demand in the city that delis and grocery stores are knocking on her door to sell her vegan caramel slices and lemon, coconut, white chocolate oatie shortbreads with no refined sugar or gluten. No Excuses Nutrition & Fitness 546 Prescot Rd Liverpool L13 3DB 0151 345 4603

Unicorn Grocery. If you asked for a vegetarian never mind vegan dish in a restaurant around the UK a few years back, you would have ended up with a pretty bland plate of food. And if anyone ever says to you that a vegan diet is limited, we suggest that they visit this supermarket in Chorlton Manchester and they will soon change their mind. The deli is overflowing with a sublime array of delicious dishes from Morocco butter beans and garlic and tomato sauce to home-made healthy coleslaw. Breads from Trove and Paul’s are very popular as are their home-made soup’s with our favourite being the Thai coconut & veg. Sweet treats include lots of raw vegan cakes plus the seeded flapjacks are the best we’ve ever tasted. There is a mountain of shelves filled with dry goods with the wild rice bags a really special treat. The chiller next to a fully stocked organic fruit and veg section sells the tastiest hummus this side of Cairo.

Earth café. Earth in Turner Street, Manchester is a hidden gem. Blink and you’ll miss this basement cafe bar that’s been serving high grade vegetarian cooking in Manchester for more than a decade. It’s calming and relaxed ambience is a far cry from the bustle of the main shopping thoroughfare very closeby and serves as a great shopping pitstop or grazing destination. Caribbean-inspired curries and oat, date & banana flapjacks are firm favourites amongst loyal regulars including us! Earth café 0161 834 1996. 16-20 Turner Street, Manchester, M4 1DZ.

Unicorn Grocery 89, Albany Rd, Chorlton, Manchester M21 0BN Tel: 0161 861 0010 www.unicorn-grocery.coop

Eighth Day Cafe. They say that when you’re a student you’ll never had it so good. That’s so true judging by this cafe in the student heartland of Manchester. Some of the finest and innovative vegetarian food we’ve tried, the accent is firmly on wholesome, humble, hearty dishes. Their meat-free take on Shepherd’s pie is as moorish as their desserts if you find room.

Matta’s. Liverpool’s award-winning, independent grocery store has gone all wellness on us in the last few years. Its heritage for more than 30 years is serving the wider, diverse communities in the city who’ve been sourcing their ingredients from Matta’s before cooking up a storm in the kitchen at home. You’re now likely to see your nan in the queue alongside Olympian-ripped athletes.

Eighth Day Cafe 111 Oxford Road, Manchester M1 7DU 0161 273 1850

Matta’s 51 Bold Street Liverpool L1 4EU www.mattas.co.uk

The Garden. Another unassuming and delightful eatery based in upwardly mobile Hale, this organic restaurant has a strong sustainability ethos running through its menus. Super green omelette and separately the Garden Burger pack a punch in protein. Meat dishes sit easily alongside vegetarian & vegan options and the raw chocolate desserts have to be tried! The Garden 154 Ashley Road, Hale WA15 9SA 0161 941 6702 www.thegardenhale.co.uk


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Around the table: Family Food

If you fancy cooking up something easy and tasty that the whole family will enjoy, you won’t go far wrong with this delicious, vegetarian, Butternut Squash Curry with Coriander Rice recipe. Shared with us by the team at The White Horse, Chester Racecourse, this recipe makes the perfect midweek meal and will bring everyone to the table. Whilst The White Horse team are famous for creating their traditional pub classics, Pub Landlord and Chef, Craig Wainwright, and his team, also try and serve some healthier hearty options too, and this delicious recipe is an example of how healthy meals can still mean delicious! If you haven’t yet tried The White Horse at Chester Racecourse, its a great place to visit as a family, with an enticing menu for little ones, including pizza making!

Butternut Squash Curry with Coriander Rice 30 minutes cooking time SERVES 4 Vegan / Vegetarian / Dairy Free / Gluten Free Put the lentils in a pan of water enough to well cover and cook till they start to go soft. Drain and rinse with cold water and put to one side. Finely dice the onion and garlic and fry in a pan to soften While doing this cut your squash in to 4 long ways then cut 1 length in to 4 again, pop on a tray and lightly oil and season then roast for 25 minutes till soft in the oven.

Ingredients 1 Large White Onion 1 Large butternut Squash 1 Clove of garlic 1 Tblsp of curry powder

300g Chick Peas 200g Washed spinach 100g of lentils

Frame founders Pip Black and Joan Murphy opened their first studio in 2009 to encourage Londoners to keep fit without it ever feeling like a chore. Eight years on with five studios across London, their positive approach to health & fitness based on dynamic classes and workshops, fitness apparel and healthy food have made Frame a dominant force in the fitness and wellbeing domain. With three children between them, Mumhood was born from Pip and Joan’s own struggle in finding accessible information and work-out programmes for the pre and post-natal stages of pregnancy. Crucially, the pair understand better than anyone the benefits of continued exercise during pregnancy; both physically and mentally, and are keen to break down the barriers with easy-to-access classes and workshops and non-sugar-coated information from a range of experts. This month see’s the Mumhood platform launch, allowing mums-to-be and new mums here in the North West to engage with Frame and their fitness knowledge. This will be a community for both mums-to-be and new mums, where they can find and share tips and advice on fitness during pregnancy. This new platform will also include videos for fitness, yoga, pilates and barre for each stage of pregnancy. Launches Monday 29th February 2017. www.moveyourframe.com/pages/welcome-to-mumhood

200g long grain rice 1tblsp fresh chopped coriander

Remove the skin of the rest of the squash, dice into chunky pieces and add to the pan along with the diced onions and garlic. Now you have the 3 in the pan give the squash a couple of minutes add the curry powder and enough water to cover bring to the boil turn down and cook for 10 minutes

always stirring (you may need to add water from time to time make sure it doesn’t become to dry) In a separate pan cover the rice with water and bring to the boil, cook till soft drain and mix the coriander through. The curry will now be ready for the spinach, chick peas and lentils so pop them in the pan bring back to the boil for a couple of minutes stirring all the time (you may need to add water to make sure its not to dry. Porridge consistency is ideal for serving) Serve in a bowl with a wedge of butternut squash. (Also great with some diced chicken in. If you want to try with Chicken just add it in at the same time as the onion and garlic)

Mumhood platform launches to help move your frame


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EIGHTEEN

F O C U S O N H E A LT H & W E L L B E I N G

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ome parents can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and stay that way until it’s time to wake the little monsters up ready for their breakfast; I can use that phrase because I have 2 beautiful (but mischievous) sons under the age of 2 and another on the way! Yet many clients who see me for hypnotherapy, Reiki and coaching have issues with sleep. The internet is awash with nutritional and meditation advice to aid sleep, yet I always refer people to do actions; making the bedroom a bastion of sleep and resetting your mind. Make your bedroom a sleep zone and take a technology detox at least an hour before bed. See the bedroom as a place just for sleep, remove that television that you spend so much time staring at as you search for a new Netflix series to binge on. Remove the rower or exercise bike that your husband ordered once with every intention of getting the body of Idris Elba but you use to hang folded clothes on. Rearrange your bedroom furniture and get some new bedding to take away the feeling that this is a place you struggle to sleep in. By turning electronic devices off, you are signalling to your non-conscious mind that you are readying yourself for sleep. In addition to turning off mobile phones, tablets, Kindles and personal devices one must ensure that the bedroom is free from anything that can give off energy. This may mean you ditch using your IPhone alarm clock for the old fashioned style your grandparents once had. If you are a ‘twilight hour’ surfer who wakes in the middle of the night and feel drawn to browse Facebook, knowing your phone is turned off and in another room & the effort require to go and get it is a wonderful deterrent. Reset your mind, make sure you deal with any emotional pain before heading asleep. As the conscious part of your mind enters a state of suspended animation, your nonconscious mind continues to function, otherwise your nervous system which regulates all your organs would stop. In addition to this, functions in your non conscious mind digest the experiences of the day and file them away in your mind storing the salient points in your memory and

BY PHIL STEELE

The strategy for a good nights sleep Words by Phil Steele

discarding the nonessential things. What makes a thought salient? The things you focus on right before slumber will be the thoughts that your mind puts the most emphasis on in retaining to your memory which can leave you feeling imbalanced in your soul. This is why you awake at night worrying about work or relationship issues that took place that day which make getting back to sleep seem an impossible feat. One method I advise all my clients to use, regardless on why they are seeing me for therapy is the rollercoster technique. Yes like the Ronan Keating points out in his song life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Each evening in bed recap what the downs where that day, forgive them for hurting you and forgive yourself for being affected by them and then

focus on the ups as you drift off to sleep. If you feel you had a particularly bad day and cant seem to recall any ups, focus on some from the past like when your first held your children or that wonderful family holiday destination. You’ll find that the more you do this, the easier it gets; the less downs you get and the more ups you experience. Phil Steele is founder of Relief Hypnosis and 11:11 Reiki which focus on helping people with anxiety. Phil also runs trains hypnotherapy amongst other things and is finishing an MSc in Psychology at university. He is married with two young sons. www.reliefhypnosis.co.uk

Sue’s Sleep Secrets Our 24 hour connectivity to mobiles, tablets and computers makes it impossible to unwind and get a good night’s rest and blue light is scientifically proven to disrupt the quality of sleep even when you get there. Sleep is so critical to overall good physical and emotional health that it is never far from the ESPA philosophy of natural beauty, inner calm. ESPA founder Sue Harmsworth offers resolutions for the New Year to restore balance to body and mind so that stress and sleepless nights are less frequently feared. We cannot escape modern life but Sue’s solutions can make you look forward to a peaceful and positive night’s sleep. HOW LACK OF SLEEP AFFECTS THE SKIN “Findings show clear evidence and recognition that lack of sleep leads to signs of ageing and that the biology of the skin is affected by the time of day/night. Some observations and findings of recent skin research show cell regeneration is highest between 12 pm and 1am whilst skin exfoliation and blood flow is increased between 12pm and 4am which delivers nutrients and removes toxins. This shows why night-time products are so beneficial working with the skin’s repair systems”

SPECIFIC INGREDIENTS ARE ESPECIALLY BENEFICIAL FOR NIGHT-TIME “Certain essential oils are great sleep inducers and work through the olfactory system where your sense of smell is hard wired to your brain in a unique way – allowing you to perceive and associate scents that affect your feelings and/or mood. Lavender has well-renowned soothing and sleep inducing properties which can be encapsulated for sustained release. In ESPA Overnight Hydration Therapy (£35) this activates firstly when rubbed onto the skin and then again when your head hits the pillow, ensuring a restful sleep. I find that running a warm bath and using both our ESPA Restorative Bath Oil (£29), and our Bergamot & Jasmine Foam Bath (£20) are also great blends for aiding sleep”.

HOW SPAS HELP WITH SLEEP DEPRIVATION “Spas should keep in mind the need for us to slow our brains down in order to get the fully desired result out of treatments. In Summer 2016, ESPA launched the Mindfulness Menu at ESPA Life at Corinthia, London, which includes Mindful Sleep – a tailor-made experience to distinctively address physical and emotional stresses and strains. The experience starts with an indulgent and totally relaxing personalised massage, followed by a soothing scalp massage, guided mindful breathing techniques and a session of Yoga Nidra or Yogic Sleep – this blissful treatment induces complete physical and emotional relaxation for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.”

Available at espaskincare.com, selected spas and salons worldwide


TWENT Y

F O C U S O N B E AU T Y

Beauty:Botox at 32?

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ParentFolk’s Laura Garner steps into the sleek world of facial aesthetics.

tepping into the sleek world of Tracey Bell Aesthetics is like sliding secretly into a very cool, very exclusive club. It’s the club where undetectable enhancements happen and where the feel-good factor is always the number one priority. The mood lighting, the stunning staff and the chic waiting area are just the tip of the highly polished iceberg. Tracey herself is astonishing. Five children; a leader of a highly coveted and seriously well renowned business; a dentist; an aesthetics injectable master; and the picture of her own amazing work. She really is one of those mothers you need to question ‘How do you do it?’ But with all of this aside when our consultation begins, it quite literally feels like there is no one else in the room. My face is her canvas and she’s analysing and mapping out her latest art work. And I for one cannot wait. Tracey tells me, that at the ripe age of 32, I am a perfect candidate for her Juvederm botox injections. She points out that lines are starting to appear around my eyes (‘I lol a lot’ I tell her), my frown line is getting deeper (‘it’s the last year of no sleep with a new baby’ I divulge) and my forehead is ever so slightly starting to droop (for this I have no explanation - wine maybe?!).

Tracey tells me that botox won’t be the ultimate fix, there are no ‘one vial and that is it’ type claims. Instead she tells me that this is exactly the right time to start.‘Prevention is better than repair’, so I’m very relieved. The injectables, last up to three months and after time, the muscles, which become asphyxiated with the botox will learn new tricks - frowns and smiles will continue to be line free and I will still be able to see at 50 thanks to an uplift in my brow area. Music to my happy ears. Tracey isn’t the type of aesthetic practioner who just tells you what you want to hear. Her goal is to enhance my face and to work with me to help me achieve a natural look and to keep those unnecessary signs of ageing at bay. ‘This isn’t going to happen overnight Laura, but as a life long process’ she tells me. Keeping the years at a distance will be achieved through adding volume (I have fat loss in my upper cheekbones), my smile lines around my mouth are getting deeper too. But this, she said, would be for another day and with another product, fillers. There’s no doubting the professionalism of this clinical environment, as Tracey hands me my ‘botox passport’ (a treatment card that will be updated and signed off post treatments, and will detail which injectable has been used and where). ‘This should be standard practice’ says Tracey. I think of how many of my girlfriends have had botox in

various salons and by ‘mobile’ practitioner’s in their own homes, I’m wondering how many of them have been issued a ‘botox passport’? My guess is few, if any. For the first phase of my beautification, Tracey completes six injections in my forehead, my middlebrow area and around my eyes. Never with botox are the results instantaneous, but show after two weeks. And what a result it is a fortnight later. My face feels fresh, smooth, and altogether less tired. At 32, many would question my reasoning for having it in the first place, but as my new aesthetic guru reminds me, ‘Laura as I said, prevention is better than repair, believe in the process.’ Botox injections remain one of the most popular anti-ageing treatments available at Tracey Bell’s Liverpool clinic. The Tracey Bell team are well known for specialising in subtle, natural looking anti-ageing effects and work with only the best quality products and techniques available. Prices for anti-ageing injectables start from just £200. www.traceybell.co.uk


Beauty: Anti-Ageing Skincare There’s a lot to consider when you’re trying to slow down the ageing clock. The general consensus amongst the ParentFolk team is we’re quite happy with ageing as long as we look great and feel well! Yes we long for glowing skin, for that radiance that makes us look in the mirror on a Wednesday morning and still think ‘not bad, not bad at all’, but knowing which anti-ageing products to pick can be beyond confusing! From food supplements to face scrubs, serums to skin spas, it can be a little intimidating. We’ve been trying out some of the latest anti-ageing products, so here’s our pick of products that have worked for us: THE NIGHT CREAM 111SKIN Space Anti Age Night Renewal Cream We loved the 111SKIN Space Anti Age Night Renewal Cream. Inspired by space research and the well-being of astronauts, 111SKIN have created a powerful night cream to combat signs of ageing and recover skin from environmental stresses whilst you sleep. It’s specially formulated with centella asiatica to stimulate collagen production and a high concentration of hyaluronic acid to retain moisture levels and revitalise overnight so you can wake up to smooth and radiant skin. Its unique patented NAC Y2 formula rejuvenates skin to leave it with long-lasting protection against free radical damage. Lactic acid works effectively to exfoliate skin, improving texture and tone. www.111skin.com £170

EYE SERUM Malvina - Eye Lifting Serum For use day and night, this revolutionary eye lifting serum has been developed to provide a long lasting lifting effect. Alongside the lead ingredient for PhotCellTec, the serum boasts 3 other active ingredients that when combined together offers younger looking skin and an immediate reduction in wrinkles in the most noticeable area, the eye bags. We loved the visible results from this serum! www.malvinaskincare.com £75.00

DAY CREAM Image Skincare- Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturiser SPF 50+ This ultra-sheer, lightweight moisturiser with a built in broad-spectrum high UVA/UVB sunscreen provides skin with ultimate protection and prevention. Next generation technology combines a physical sunscreen ingredient transparent zinc oxide with effective antioxidants to prevent free-radical damage and to protect against environmental exposures. It contains plant-derived stem cells to delay the aging effects of the sun on skin cells too! We’ve been using this for months now and it’s staying as a staple in our dailybeauty routine. www.tinarichards.com £42.00

FOOD SUPPLEMENTS Beauty Beneath - Food Supplement capsules Beauty starts beneath the surface they say, so these nutrient-rich beauty supplements are formulated with an expert blend of phyto-nutrients including Lycopene and Vitamins C and E. In our youth, our bodies are constantly producing collagen, which gives the skin its strength and structure. As we age, collagen starts to be destroyed faster than our bodies can produce it, meaning our skin loses that structure - fine lines and wrinkles start appearing and the texture can start to feel rough. Beauty Beneath food supplements also include Biotin, Marine Collagen and Omegas 3 & 6. You take two capsules daily with water. We noticed improvements towards the end of month two. 60 capsules, 1 month supply £39.99 www.boots.com

MAKEUP BASE Lisa Franklin - Pro-Effect Luminescent Base A ‘no makeup makeup’ primer which creates a flawless complexion? Yes we were first in the queue when this nutrient-rich formula launched just before Christmas. This magic in a bottle (as our head of creative referred to it), harnesses the potent powers of precious metals and minerals. Using second skin technology to create optical blurring and provide a barrier function that brushes away the footprints of time. The photo luminescent diamond powders within the primer convert UV to blue light which dramatically reduces redness, pigmentations, pore size and shadows. We found that skin appeared tighter and plumper and we loved the radiant glow brought about by the minerals and botanical infusions. This ladies, is a keeper! www.harveynichols.com £70

TRIED & TESTED

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T W E N T Y t wo

F O C U S O N B E AU T Y

Liverpool Lipo: The post-baby body treatments working wonders Liverpool Lipo Clinic was launched by Glenn Pringle 4 years ago. Today, with clinics in Liverpool, Chester, Manchester and Leeds, they have built a strong client base helping clients to feel take full advantage of leading technology and the advancements in non -invasive treatments. Liverpool Lipo credit their growth to two things; to the dedicated attention they give to their clients and to the investment they make as a business in adopting the new technology first.

For enquiries www.liverpoollipo.co.uk

“We’ve also grown because we’ve kept ahead of the game when it comes to adopting new technologies and treatments, often meaning we are the first on the scene to offer new treatments.”

“We understand that we get many nervous and body conscious customers” says Glenn. “We have always aimed to ensure that we make their visit a relaxing and enjoyable experience. We’ve also grown because we’ve kept ahead of the game when it comes to adopting new technologies and treatments, often meaning we are the first on the scene to offer new treatments.” Liverpool Lipo were one of the first UK clinics to introduce fat freezing and HIFU to the mass market, and as such they have become a favourite hotspot with celebrity clients who now frequent the clinic on a regular basis. However, it’s all well and good knowing they can keep celebrity mums, such as Real Housewives of Cheshire star, Tanya Bardsley, looking slim and trim post-baby, but what about the rest of us?

The face cream that’s got everyone talking Beauty conscious new mums are indulging in the ultimate post-birth treatment … face cream made from their own placenta. The organic cream contains stem cells and collagen from placenta, extracted and blended ready for use within three days of the baby’s delivery. Liverpool born, Mum-of-three Danielle Kinney has created the anti-ageing super-moisturiser as an alternative to luxury brands, many of which have sheep or cow placenta in them. “More women now want to know exactly what they’re

putting into their bodies and onto their bodies and where it’s come from, especially when they’ve just given birth,” she says. “The big advantage of placenta cream is it’s a woman’s own stem cells and her own collagen and so her body is going to react a lot better to something that it knows.” “It gives them control back and the new mums I know who’ve used it say the results are amazing. The stem cells will repair any existing damage, that’s what stem cells do, and the skin’s natural collagen which dwindles as we get older is replenished so you get an added plumping.”

“The results gained from our skin tightening treatments are usually fantastic. Not only does it tighten the skin it also reduces stretch marks and also produces significant inch loss results. We have seen clients go from being horrified at the thought of wearing a bikini (some for almost two decades) to then seeing them transformed into feel confident with their new appearance and to be able to comfortably wear a bikini after their course of treatment.” Says Glenn. Bikini? Now you’re talking. But how realistic is this post baby-body blitzing treatment and what should we expect in terms of results? “Of course every client is different” says Glenn. “We manage client expectations from the start, so clients know what they can expect to achieve. Most people want to know when they will see results and we usually say within a couple of weeks, full results are seen within a couple of months after the treatment course has finished.” So do these results last? “Results last between six and twelve months 12 months for skin tightening. This can be lengthened with a maintenance treatment every few months.” Says Glenn. “The fat loss results are permanent as long as customers maintain a healthy lifestyle, so it really can be a life changing treatment.”

The 32-year-old, who lives in St Helens, makes the face cream alongside placenta capsules in a sterile lab in her back garden. She became her own first customer just over a year ago after having her third baby Harry. Shortly after her business launched, Placenta Plus, created pills for Coleen Rooney in January last year and more recently Tanya Bardsley and Rebekah Vardy. Women contact Danielle during their pregnancy and then once labour starts, she dashes to the maternity unit to be ready for a pick-up, the midwives put the placenta in a bag and put it on ice. Danielle collects the placenta promptly and take its back to her lab. Once there, Danielle cleans it, checks for abnormalities and then cuts it into fine slices with a sharp knife. Most goes into a dehydration machine for 15 hours before being ground into a powder to make the capsules, but a couple of slices can be set aside to make the face cream. “They get soaked for 72 hours in a high volume alcohol which extracts all the stem cells and collagen,” she explains. “That is blended with an organic base cream - along with vitamin C and other natural nutrients - it’s heated for three hours to combine everything, left to set for three days and then it’s ready to use.” “In order to make a 60ml pot of the cream you only need a tiny bit of placenta, it’s not like there’s a big chunk of it mixed in there,” she laughs. “And the cream is white – not pink, like some women think it will be. More importantly the cream works, and we receive extremely positive feedback from our new Mums.”

To find out more visit www.placentaplus.co.uk


TWENT Y four FOCUS ON ST YLE

M&S COLLECTION DRESS £39.50

Spring Trends


yellow

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JIGSAW MAKA STRIPED CLUTCH £32

striped MAKA STRIPE TRAINER - JIGSAW £129

KHAKI EMBROIDERED SOFT LONG BOMBER - NEXT £68

RED HERRING JACKET - DEBENHAMS £55

Spring

NINE BY SAVANNAH - DEBENHAMS £65

collections 2017 RJR JOHN ROCHA TROUSERS - DEBENHAMS £35

J BY JASPER CONRAN SKIRT £70

YELLOW RUFFLE MIDI DRESS - DOROTHY PERKINS £50

TWISTLOCK BOXY BAG - M&S £25

RIVER ISLAND ONE SHOULDER STRIPED BLOUSE £32 BRODERIE COLD SHOULDER TOP - NEXT £36

khaki EMILY SHIRT - HOBBS £79

RED HERRING JACKET - DEBENHAMS £55

RED HERRING JACKET - DEBENHAMS £55

shoulder flash

GLAMOROUS COLD SHOULDER RUFFLE SWEAT - LITTLEWOODS.COM £45

STRIPED COLOUR BLOCK SWEATER - NEXT £28


TWENT Y six OUT & ABOUT

Out & About: Liverpool’s Spring Festival returns over Easter weekend It was a big hit with ParentFolk and our LittleFolk last year, and although we can’t quite believe its been a year since the last one, the date has now been confirmed for this years Liverpool Food, Drink and Lifestyle Spring Festival. The Festival will take place in the city, this coming Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, April 15th and 16th. Devised by the organisers of the popular Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, which celebrates its ten year anniversary this September, the Spring festival attracted over 38,000 visitors last year, and includes a wider lifestyle offer, with a variety of zones dedicated to food and drink and the home. The Spring festival site in Sefton Park will follow the format that was introduced in 2016, being divided into five areas, each with its own look and feel, including The Wood Lands which takes its inspiration from rural crafts and pastimes, The Pasture, a collection of the region’s best independent food operators – and The Kids Village which has a focus on younger festival visitors, with plenty of activities planned, including a vintage funfair, bush crafts, a farm, yoga and birds of prey. Talking about this year’s event, a festival spokesperson said: “We’re very excited about the return of our Spring festival. After launching the new format last year, which was purposefully different to the established September festival, we received so much great feedback from visitors and exhibitors that we’ve built on what we achieved. Visitors will see new exhibitors as well as activities, workshops, markets to shop in and of course a fantastic food and drink offer. It’ll be the perfect way to spend the Easter family weekend!” Get the date in your diary and book your day or weekend tickets at www.liverpoolfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk


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Out & About: Family Friendly Festivals for 2017 Do you remember when heading to a festival used to be about leaving all responsibility at home? Well fast forward a few years and we’ve grown up a little and now we take our responsibilities with us, (a.k.a the kids). Here we give you our pick of the best family friendly festival tickets to book this year:

The Good Life Experience, Flintshire, 15-17th September 17 Now in its fourth year, The Good Life Experience on the Hawarden Estate, Flintshire is absolutely unique. Founded by four friends –Cerys Matthews MBE, Steve Abbott and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone- if it fits in with their idea of The Good Life, it features at the festival. Expect to pitch your tent in the shadow of two castles, great locally produced food, axe throwing, foraging, campfire cooking, mass sing-a-longs, over 40 expert craftspeople, comedy, beer served by experts, talks by explorers, a canine circus, raucous music, abseiling, a free 1930s fairground, tree climbing, butchery displays, poetry, literature – including a talk from former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen- and endless How To… talks. And everything is aimed at adults and children alike; there aren’t many festivals that truly do that. Early bird adult tickets from £77.50. Under 12s go free. Dogs welcome. 15 minutes from Chester www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk

The Deer Shed Festival, North Yorkshire, 21-23 July 17 The Deer Shed Festival is widely regarded as the pinnacle of UK family friendly music festivals. They see themselves as the Toy Story of festivals: enough fun and games to give kids the time of their lives, and enough nuanced entertainment – like a quality contemporary music line-up – to satisfy the more mature tastes of mums, dads and teens. Headliners for the festival’s eighth incarnation are Teenage Fanclub, Kate Tempest, The Divine Comedy, among so many others.

The music is just the beginning, though. #DeerShed8 is set to feature workshops, comedy, theatre, films, literary talks and a sports area, all topped off with a carefully selected array of delicious street food and drink. Many of these delights will be found in ‘The Wilderwild’, a place shrouded in mystery and magic on the fringes of Baldersby Park; a place where nature has been left to its own devices to create a wilderness filled with adventure, craft and creativity for Deer Shedders to explore. https://deershedfestival.com/tickets/

Wildnerness Festival, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, 3-6 August 17 Great food, live music, always a brilliant line-up plus plenty of culture. The kids will love this combination of nature and arts. Set in the stunning Cornbury Park, Wilderness is a magical haven, true escapism from everyday life. With everything from travelling theatres, to poetry, sing-a-longs, crafts, workshops and magic shows there’s a host of activities and entertainment that will appeal to all ages. Tickets: www.wildernessfestival.com

Festival No.6 , Portmeirion, 7-10th September 17 A fabulous premium festival set in the eccentric surroundings of stunning Portmeirion. Bands, DJ’s, musicians and even Welsh male voice choirs perform against an amazing backdrop of neo-classical architecture, sandy beaches, and palm trees. There’s a diverse line-up and plenty on offer for kids and families across the entire site. Tickets: www.festivalnumber6.com

Y Not Festival, Derbyshire, 27-30 July 17 The beautiful Peak District becomes home to the Y Not festival for one weekend every year. This small crowd, seasoned festival goer festival gives this festival a very friendly feel and makes it perfect for those live music loving families. There’s separate family camping to ensure some family shut-eye, and there’s plenty of activities across the site to keep younger ones happy too! There’s performers, mask and costume making, child-friendly cabaret and circus skills to name just a few of the family orientated activities on offer. Tickets: www.ynotfestivals.co.uk


TWENT Y eight

EAT IT

RESERVE IT

A guilt free healthy alternative to fast food, this new restaurant concept offers food to support a healthy mind, body and positive lifestyle. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as providing protein boxes, juices and smoothies this is a healthy eating revolution that’s anything but boring.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner it’s high time you locked down a table reservation. Make this the year you really treat yourself and your other half. Romantic settings don’t get more splendidly over the top than on the rooftop terrace at Chester Racecourse’s on site award winning restaurant, 1539. If you can peel your eyes away from the stunning skyline, take a peek at their inspired menu, where you’ll find a selection of dishes designed to complement the all-encompassing atmosphere.

Vigour Kitchen, St Helens

www.vigourkitchen.co.uk

REVISIT IT

Bar Lounge, Chester It’s an oldie but a goodie, and this time served Chester establishment has just unveiled its new look. With luxurious velvet booths, a new dining menu, an extensive cocktail list and attentive table service, all you’ll need to do is book a babysitter. www.barlounge.co.uk

www.restaurant1539.co.uk

SUBSCRIBE TO IT Black Circle

Black Circle Coffee is a brand devoted to providing a real coffee experience by offering a product that has been sent directly from the roasting process to the customer’s door. A unique and innovative brand capturing the attention of true coffee lovers everywhere. From £6.25 www.blackcirclecoffee.com

LACE IT

Leather low top platform sneaker, Gucci These leather sneakers with a black and white platform were a big hit on the fashion runway. A striking take on the classic lace up pays homage to Gucci’s roots with the green/red web. £640 www.gucci.com

Restaurant 1539

THE ZEITGEIST

SAVOUR IT

Afternoon Tea, Panoramic34, Liverpool As if you needed an excuse to lose yourself for a few hours indulging in the most decadent of afternoon teas, those culinary creatives at award winning restaurant Panoramic34 have done it again and have just announced a new afternoon tea menu! From delicious handmade finger sandwiches, to delicate cakes and pastries, this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with the girls or a loved one. Choose afternoon tea in the bar or book their luxury afternoon tea served in the restaurant.

CLICK IT Mumdays

Mumdays, a new gifting site for mothers, has launched. The brand is founded by former Sofeminine Editor, mum vlogger and mother of twins Ursula Brunetti, and launches with partners including Bloom & Wild and Le Salon. Providing a wide range of options from cleaning services to pampering packages, Mumdays’ offering is split between Combination Gifts, Subscription Gifts and Moments. Prices start at £30. www.mumdays.co.uk

Prices from £22.00pp (the new afternoon tea menu will replace the existing menu from 28th Feb) www.panoramic34.com

BOOK IT

Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, London The long-awaited Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square has just opened its doors after a six-year refurbishment. The hotel housed inside the monolithic Grade II-listed former headquarters of the Port of London authority, is just a short walk from the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral. Ten Trinity Sqaure boasts 100 rooms, 11 suites and 41 private residences, all featuring ornate original plasterwork and soaring ceilings, but the Beaux Arts landmark will be a destination in its own right, with a jaw-dropping ballroom and a restaurant from three-Michelin starred French chef Anne-Sophie Pic. www.tentrinitysquare.com


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WIN IT

This year the polo returns to Chester Racecourse with the LDF International Tournament on the 2nd and 3rd June and the Roodee Challenge Cup on the 8th and 9th September. Both events offer the perfect opportunity to gather family and friends to enjoy one of the most thrilling team sports live in action. On the second day of each event there will be fun for all the family with a host of free activities to enjoy. Under 18’s go free to both days all polo events, so it’s a great day out for all of the family. For tickets and more info visit www.chester-races.com/polo

WIN IT...WIN IT... WIN IT...WIN IT...WIN IT... The generous chaps at Chester Races are offering you the chance to win one of four pairs of general admission tickets to their Polo event on Saturday 3rd June, giving you the great opportunity to enjoy one of the most thrilling team sports live in action. To be in with a chance of winning these tickets simply visit and like our ParentFolk facebook page then like and share our Polo competition post. Winner will be announced on 31st March 2017.

VISIT IT

Bear Hunt, Liverpool One (28th Jan- 23rd April) Michael Rosen’s Bear Hunt has come to Liverpool One. In partnership with Discover Children’s Story Centre and The Reader’s Storybarn at Calderstones. The exhibition is a fully-immersive experience for ages 0 – 11 and will be open for families to explore seven days a week. Step inside a huge Chocolate Cake, swishy swashy through the Bear Hunt trail and bravely explore the Bad Things and Uncle Gobb’s Dread Shed.

SUPPORT IT Our Kid

Single ticket £7 / Family of Four £25 Tickets: www.thestorybarn.org.uk/bearhunt/booktickets/

PLAN IT

Our Kid is an award-winning kids clothing, gift and interior retail concept with cafe based in Chorlton, Manchester. Blending a very cool retail offering of kid’s clothes, toys and gifts, this family-friendly independent also boasts a ‘kindercafe’ Berlin style family place to eat, drink and play. There’s nothing ParentFolk love more than a bunch of super parents doing things differently.

Hello Time Planner

Go visit and show these creative business savvy mums your support. www.our-kid.co.uk

SAMPLE IT

Liverpool Spirit’s Festival 10/11 March It’s true, some of the world’s finest spirits will be going up for the taste test at an exclusive weekend event devoted to the art of distilling. Taking place at Constellations on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March, Liverpool’s first-ever Spirits Festival will showcase more than 100 brands including complex gins, rums, whiskies and vodka. www.spiritsfestival.co.uk

STACK IT

Charlotte Bird Jewellery Modern Classics with timeless appeal is how designer Jewellery brand Charlotte Bird has been described. Elegant pieces which sit between costume and fine Jewellery, strike the perfect balance of understated elegance and quality. We can’t wait to get these gorgeous bracelets stacked. (Available from 24th Feb) 18ct gold plate on a sterling silver base rrp £250 Contrast bracelet has lapis, turquoise and mother of pearl ball drops rrp £220 www.charlottebirdjewellery.com

With a strong, sharp philosophy of THINK, PLAN, DO, PLAY, the Planner incorporates a ‘Goal Setter’; ‘My Year’ – the dates to remember; ‘My Month’ at a glance; ‘My Week’ in detail; Notes pages; Sketch, colour and doodle pages; We particularly love the ‘Thinking Space’ for when you need to clear your mind, brainstorm, wipe away worries or get ideas down; Planner pages with seven simple steps to take you from here to where you want to be and a big hooray to Illustries for including plenty of ‘To Do’ list pages. We love the inspirational and encouraging quotes dotted throughout to keep you on track including ‘Actually, I Can; ‘Don’t look back, you’re not going that way…’; ‘Strive for progress, not perfection’ and many more. We’re a month into using ours and wondered how we ever managed without it.

Available from www.illustries.com Price: £39.00

SOOTHE IT

Parent & Child Candle by Blue Almonds A highly favoured destination for chic nursery interiors, childrenswear and accessories Blue Almonds has launched an own-brand magical fragrance to provide the Blue Almonds luxury experience in your own home. Crafted by founder Izabela Minkiewicz, the scent is a perfect blend designed to create a relaxing home environment for parent and child. The candle combines aromas of Magnolias, Mimosas and Linden Flowers to create a refreshing, floral smell that is perfect to uplift, wind down, or simply add an air of luxury. £32.00 www.bluealmonds.co.uk


T H I R T Y F O C U S O N D E CO R

WOODEN COT AIR BALLOON LAMP

RAINBOW MOBILE

NOFRED 3 BUNNY CUSHION

Scandibørn was born from a passion for Scandinavian-inspired design. Established in 2016 by Grace and James Tindall after they struggled to find the style of products that they were passionate about for their own child.

AGNES BABY QUILT

Scandibørn is an online lifestyle boutique that brings the best of Scandinavianinspired children’s design to the UK. From contemporary furniture to nursery accessories, clothing, homewares and Mama gifts, Scandibørn has it all and many of the brands it offers are exclusive. This family run business focuses on sourcing the best products from across the world, all of which share the same ethos of beautiful Scandinavian style.

MOUNTAIN CUSHION

At Scandibørn expect to find the very best in contemporary and minimal Nordic design including brands such as Cam Cam Copenhagen, which creates quality, timeless and tactile design for children and Oliver Furniture, a Danish company that creates wooden furniture for the modern family. Each of its products is time-tested and designed to last for generations.

JUNIOR QUILT - BLUSH

Based on a simple aesthetic, high quality craftsmanship and function-specific designs, Nordic tradition is Scandibørn’s attitude. www.scandiborn.co.uk

CLOUD CUSHION - 45 X 32CM

FLAGS - BLUE CARMEN BEDING. BABY PILLOW - PANDA

BABY COT BUMPER - BLUE WAVE


THIRT Y one KIDS STYLE

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Somewhere over the rainbow As we make the transition from Winter to Spring, a pop of colour is the perfect way to brighten up their wardrobe. With rainbow shades, wearable denim, cosy coats and cool jackets, NEXT have got girls style all wrapped up this season.

www.next.co.uk

Photography By Adam Kenrick

Location: Claremont Farm, Wirral.


T H I R T Y t wo F O C U S O N K I D S S T Y L E

(ABOVE) NEXT - Long Padded Coat (719-494) from £32, NEXT - Skinny Jeans (703-759-074 ) from £12, NEXT - Wellies (Rainbow Print) (713-348) from £16 and NEXT - Rolling Stones T-Shirt (421-216) from £12


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(ABOVE) NEXT - Light Blue Dinosaur Embellished Denim Jacket (964-434) from £30


THIRT Y four FOCUS ON KIDS ST YLE

(ABOVE) NEXT - Denim Pinafore And T-Shirt Set (744-718) from £13


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(ABOVE) NEXT - Rainbow sweater (945-730) from £16, NEXT - Mid Blue Denim Dungarees (752-327) from NEXT - Embroidered trainers (714-438) from £22


THIRT Y six FOCUS ON KIDS STYLE

(ABOVE) NEXT - Ruffle Shirt Dress (713-224) from £10 and NEXT - Wellies (Rainbow Print) (713-348) from £16


T H I R T Y e i g h t F O C U S O N K I D S FA S H I O N

BOYS STYLE: IN THE BAND Let them rock out in style this spring with band logos, prints and some very cool slogans. Team fun tee’s and sweatshirts with a statement bomber jacket or leather artwork jacket and don’t forget to accessorise with a caps, hat or print scarf to have your dude looking like the rock star he is.

Little Eleven Paris - www.elevenparis.com

SOMEDAY SOON - www.someday-soon.com

MAINIO - www.mainioclothing.com


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DMC HOODIE £50 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS

DOORS TSHIRT £28 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS

HAWAII TSHIRT £30 - SOMEDAY SOON

ORANGE BUCKET HAT £25 - SOMEDAY SOON

STARS TSHIRT £28 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS

SANA SCARF £28 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS

EMPIRE JACKET £65 - SOMEDAY SOON

MONK SCARF £28 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS MEAN BOMBER £88 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS

FRAMES LS TEE £23 - MAINIO

MUSIC BOMBER £53 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS

MONES JACKET £88 - LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS


F O R T Y F O C U S O N K I D S FA S H I O N

Spring into action Check out the whole collection available in-stores and online now at www.marksandspencer.com

Let your little sports stars sprint into 2017 with the brand new Activewear collection from Marks & Spencer The epitome of cool they’ll be springing into action with a pair of knitted sports trainers. The breathable fabric helps to keep feet cool, and the grip-sole will give them extra control whilst they’re on the move. For added post-workout warmth, throw on a zip-up hooded top to keep the heat in during the cool-down. Perfect for layering up after post school sports sessions too. Budding athletes who still want to look bang on trend will also love the selection of printed leggings – they’ll beat the rest of the field with ease, as the sleek shape and comfortable design will let skin breathe whilst they run around.


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SPORT PANEL DETAIL VEST FROM £9

TEXTURED SHORT SLEEVED TSHIRT (5-14 YEARS) FROM £8

SIDE PANEL SHORTS (5-14 YEARS) FROM £9

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F O R T Y t wo K I D S S T Y L E B E H I N D T H E B R A N D

ParentFolk meet the brains behind Outside The Lines O

utside the Lines is a new girlswear label established in 2016 by Philippa Cloete and Kate Please offering a carefully considered clothing collection for ages 3-10. The collection has a unique and contemporary feel infused with extra touches and includes all the pieces required for a capsule wardrobe for girls. ParentFolk discovered Outside The Lines when they launched in AW16 and they’re now a firm favourite with our LittleFolk too. With a soft colour palette and a wise investment in rich and interesting fabrics (with little added details) this creates collections with relaxed and interchangeable looks that appeals to free spirited girls who wish to explore their own style (and we all know a few of those don’t we!) Here we speak with owners, Phillipa and Kate and take a look behind the brand. How and why did you launch Outside the Lines? We initially had the idea for Outside the Lines over 18 months ago sitting in a restaurant in Paris brainstorming ideas for a girlswear label which was good quality yet still a considered purchase. Both of us have worked in womenswear and the fashion industry for a number of years for some of the biggest names on the high street including Next, Topshop and Marks & Spencer and shared the same vision that there were plenty of girlswear brands at the designer and high street end of the market but very little in between. We really felt that there was a gap for a girlswear label that doesn’t compromise on quality but also doesn’t ‘break the bank’, thus Outside the Lines was born. We developed the name Outside the Lines which comes from the ethos that it’s ok for girls to colour ‘outside the lines’, essentially to be creative and create their own style that is unique to them.

What made you want to design for children? As parents ourselves to two girls (Philippa) and two boys (Kate), we dreamt of working together to create our own childrenswear label. As soon as we had children, we became obsessed with kids’ fashion but struggled to find good quality, stylish clothing for our own children which was still accessible. We are big fans of soft muted colours and the little finishing details that really make clothes stand out. What is your brand’s mission statement or goal? To offer a carefully considered yet affordable girlswear collection with plenty of style that doesn’t compromise on quality or design. What are the motivations or inspirations behind the SS17 designs? For Spring / Summer ‘17 we have created a collection that is inspired by global travel combining elements of bohemian ‘70s style with a more contemporary look for free-spirited girls who wish to explore their own style. With a nod to the folk trend, the 30-piece collection is presented in a colour palette of soft greys and neutral shades with ethnic handicraft touches in pops of neon and is complemented by denim chambray workwear pieces with an Eastern influence. Folk inspired tassels and pom-poms reminiscent of the ‘70s, make an appearance, keeping the bohemian spirit of this collection alive. Highlight pieces in the collection include the all in one playsuit punctuated with white embroidery, the pom-pom tapestry jacket in accents of neon and the white lace petticoat dress with pretty tie closure for the back, perfect for a Summertime look. Is there a style decade you are inspired by? There is no particular decade we are particularly inspired by but we like to design classic pieces for girls that can be dressed up or down and won’t date.

What makes your label stand out in the industry? We have spent a long time ensuring we offer great quality yarns and fabrics that are soft and luxurious in beautiful textures and cool patterns. Perfect for layering or making a statement on their own. The investment in rich and interesting fabrics and the unique designs really sets us apart from other brands. What do you have coming up that you are really excited about? We have just finished showing our AW17 collection at Playtime Paris, the childrenswear trade show and we were delighted to receive such a positive response from stockists all over the world so we look forward to Outside the Lines going global. What are your favourite items from the current collection? Philippa: My favourite pieces from the SS17 collection are the pom pom tapestry jacket, the frilled sleeve trimmed stripe tee and chambray dress. Kate: The navy embroidered all-in-one playsuit, the frill sleeve waistcoat and the sequin swing vest are some of my favourite pieces from this collection. Discover Outside The Lines online now: www.outside-the-lines.co.uk


TRAVEL LIFE /

Guest Style Editor: Global swimwear designer Melissa Odabash shares her picks for Spring’17

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STYLE

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NORTHWEST

Why Hull is the perfect place to head for a family weekend

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Hotel night away close to home? In review: Carden Park

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Luxury family holiday inspiration for 2017 WWW.PARENTFOLK.CO.UK


F O R T Y f o u r F O C U S O N T R AV E L

VISIT: Algarve, Potugal Brand new to ITC Luxury Travel’s portfolio in 2017 is the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, which will open in Portugal in April 2017 and will be the newest family-friendly resort in the Algarve, this will feature a kids’ club run by the Worldwide Kids Company. This will be the first Anantara property in Europe. Prices for a family of four (two adults, two children) travelling during the school holidays start from £9,999 per family, staying in a Junior Suite on a bed and breakfast basis, including return flights from Gatwick with Easyjet and private transfers. Book with ITC Luxury Travel (01244 355527, www.itcluxurytravel.co.uk) Villa Select also has a fantastic range of villas in Portugal, such as Casa Majeur, which sleeps 14 and is great for a multi-generational family or a few families travelling together. http://www.villaselect.com/Portugal/Algarve/Vilamoura/ Casa-Majeur.html, or for a smaller group: http://www.villaselect. com/Portugal/Algarve/Vilamoura/Casa-Phoenix.html

VISIT: Greece Spend quality time with teens at Sani Dunes, a brand new resort, set to open in Halkidiki at the end of June 2017. It will take families with kids over the age of 12, making this a great new option for families with teenagers who don’t want to spend their holiday lumped with younger kids in the kiddy pool. At Sani Dunes, they can enjoy some more ‘grown-up’ pursuits in the company of their peers, such as dance classes in a range of styles (Latin, hip-hop, break-dancing) or mountain biking and birding tours. Holidays should be a time for families to enjoy their time away together though, so teens can also opt for activities alongside their parents – for instance paddle board yoga and tennis. This is a classic resort-based ummer holiday for a family, but with plenty to keep everyone occupied. Also, tap into Halkidiki’s 2,500-year-old beekeeping tradition on a free excursion offered by the resort to see bees in their natural habitat, learn about their life and try local honey products. Seven nights at Sani Dunes costs from £5,715 per family based on two adults and two teens sharing an inter-connecting Family Room with Private Garden for seven nights on a half-board basis. This price includes return flights with Easyjet from London Gatwick and return airport transfers and is based on a departure date in August 2017. Book with Western & Oriental (020 3588 6130, www.westernoriental.com) For fuller details, see http://www.westernoriental.com/holiday/ sani-dunes-greece/

VISIT: Maldives A trip with a difference, select your Maldives luxury villa from across the PER AQUUM Niyama’s twin islands of Chill and Play. Explore the indulgences from private infinity pools to Jacuzzis to high-tech toys, daybed cocoons, open-air bathrooms and in-villa spa treatment rooms. Dining experiences include the only treehouse restaurant in the Maldives, Nest, a unique African experience at Tribal, and the underwater restaurant and night club, Subsix. Other incredible activities include sports coaching, snorkelling safaris and performances on the Children’s Club’s own amphitheatre stage!


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VISIT: Dubai Dubai is the perfect respite to get away from Blighty for a few days with the family! Besides the virtual year-round guarantee of sun - Dubai’s tropical desert climate offers a hot climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25C during the winter months! There are also two major theme parks opening, the indoor IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks, which is great for any thrill seeking kids! Stay at Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa which is uniquely inspired by traditional Thai architecture and enviably located on the Palm Jumeirah’s eastern crescent. The stunning shoreline hideaway boasts impressive leisure and business facilities and a luxury collection of 293 rooms and villas that include the UAE’s first and only Over Water Villas!

VISIT: Canada New for 2017, Western & Oriental is offering tailor made packages to Canada, embracing the country’s magnificent landscapes and array of attractions and experiences, perfect for adventurous families who want to see and do everything. Canada will be celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and the country will be full of excitement and festivity. Adventures cover every possible sightseeing desire, from multicentre city breaks, flexible self-drives, rail journeys, including the infamous Rocky Mountaineer, luxury escorted tours, wildlife encounters and independent touring. Western & Oriental also offer luxury family-style Canada Ranch Holidays which offer the ultimate fun cowboy experience for riders of all abilities, as well as swimming, fishing, canoeing and mountain biking. For families interested in the wildlife element, Western & Oriental has recently added trips to spot polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. Western & Oriental is also adding Alaskan cruises to go whale watching and excursions to spot grizzly bears. For full details contact Western & Oriental on 02035886130 or see www.westernoriental.com

VISIT: Canary Islands, Spain Kids with stars in their eyes will find hotels around the world where they can show off their talents. The Princesca Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort in Lanzarote gives them a chance to perform on the Amphitheatre’s stage and during peak seasons, they can also be inspired by watching clowns, acrobats and magicians. At the Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort in Crete, teenage activities within the Grecoteens programme include Greek dancing and hip hop dancing.


F O R T Y s i x F O C U S O N T R AV E L

Weekender: Hull ‘Darling I’ve booked us an exciting family weekend in Hull’. Yes, okay we hear you, and until recently we may have been inclined to agree. But something has changed about this city, once called ‘Britain’s worst place to live’. Perhaps it’s that in 2013 Hull was announced as the winner of the UK City of Culture 2017, an accolade awarded every four years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture. The arts and cultural programme for the year will celebrate the unique character of this creative and vibrant city, its people, history and geography. There’s an energy around the city (Hull has also attracted BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend this year (27-28 May). Running from 1st

Close to home: A family weekend at Carden Park An idyllic weekend away with the family? Forget travelling miles and discover beautiful Carden Park in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.

With its sweeping driveway and impressive grounds, you’ll fall in love with this place before you even see the rooms (which by the way are stunning in equal measure). When you travel with young kids there are several things that make staying in a hotel ‘work’; a warm welcome, flexible family swim times, a bathroom with a full size bath tub and room to manoeuvre, a decent kids menu in the restaurant and of course CBeebies for when you just need a minute of peace. Carden park ticked all the boxes for us. It offers more than we could cram into one weekend. Boasting activities* including crazy golf, outdoor adventure play area,

aerial tree ropes, archery, driving range, falconry, laser clay shooting, nature walks, tennis courts, and a stunning swimming pool. This is one of those ‘suits any age’ venues, a perfect solution for families with mixed age kids. If you want to take time out for an hour or two during your family weekend, we recommend that you indulge in a treatment or two at the luxurious Carden Spa, but we warn you there’s a substantial list of pampering on offer (we struggled to choose!). The Spa is very popular so it pays to book ahead. We got a lot of weekend out of our family stay at Carden Park. You will too. Half Term rates from £84 per room (based on a 4 night staycation). *Some activities have age restrictions.

For reservations and half term multi-night offers visit: www.cardenpark.co.uk

January to 31st December their Capital of Culture programme is split into four seasons, each with something distinctive and intriguing to say and each created to challenge and thrill. We love the sound of ‘Humber Street Sesh’, taking place on the 5th August. A festival promoting and celebrating the diversity of Hull’s creative community. The 2016 festival saw 180 original bands performing across 12 stages on Hull Marina, and local artists performed on every corner and in every warehouse. This year promises much of the same plus art installations, photography exhibits, skate-park, silent disco, a market, street food, family areas and a whole lot more.


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F I F T Y F O C U S O N T R AV E L

The retreat holiday

(with a toddler in tow?)

H

olidays are meant to be time off: Time off work, time off responsibilities, time to disconnect from daily life and the rest of the world. As a parent you can go on holiday but you don’t get ‘time-off’, nor are you relieved of your parental duties. And just think about wanting to go on a yoga retreat with a child. That’s simply an oxymoron. Enter HolyMama – the brainchild of Claudia Spahr who has a decade of experience running successful retreats around the world. As a mother of three young children herself she became frustrated at the lack of yoga retreat options available once you have a child in tow. Always loving a challenge, she decided to create a start-up offering retreats for mothers who don’t want to leave their children at home. “You have to be slightly mad to take this on. The logistics are a nightmare and the financial risks huge. There’s a good reason why mama retreats haven’t been done on this scale before. However, I started small and I was ready. Working in India for three years really helped cut my teeth. They say one year of running a business in India is like ten years anywhere else; the learning curve is that steep. HolyMama grew organically to what it is today and I think that has been key,” says Claudia. The first HolyMama retreat in 2013 was quickly filled up by a group of friends. Claudia hired a beautiful Ibicencan villa, yoga teacher and private chef. She did everything else herself, even the dishes. They were long 12 hour days, despite being five months pregnant with her third child at the time. The passion and commitment to create a sacred space for women and children saw Claudia over the bumps of growing a business. Her purpose was always clear in that she wanted to give mums an opportunity to recharge, get inspired and tap into their essence as powerful, creative beings. The glittering Mediterranean island of Ibiza is the main location for HolyMama retreats where nine retreat weeks are currently booking out. The retreats are held in May, June, September and October which are - according to those in the

know - the best months on the island. The weather is warm and sunny and there is still ample space on the roads and beaches. As demand grew, Claudia decided to open the doors to fathers and HolyMama now also offers family weeks called ‘papa welcome weeks’. There are added activities for the men such as kayaking and cliff-walking. The concept remains the same: Yoga every morning taught by world-class yoga teachers followed by a healthy, delicious vegetarian feast prepared lovingly by two private chefs. In the meantime the children have their own activities with a large team of international childcarers, why speak a combination of English, Spanish, Dutch, German and French, as demand requires. The extremely high ratio of carer-to-child ensures that even younger children are supported and cradled to sleep and toddlers with separation issues are distracted until mum gets back. The kids over 3 can choose to join the children’s yoga with a specialised kid’s yoga teacher. While the children are doing their thing, mum has quality time for some relaxation such as a swim in the salt-water pool, massage performed by one of the hand-picked therapists or a facial/pedicure, also available on-site. In all honesty for many mums simply having a shower on their own after doing yoga is enough to recharge the mummy batteries and face the exuberance of their little one. To have offerings with different price categories (and also because there are so many exciting destinations for yoga) HolyMama now has retreats in Morocco and Andalucia alongside Ibiza. Some of these overlap with the school holidays, allowing parents with older children to attend. Claudia is looking at overseas locations such as Bali and Sri Lanka for the coming winter season. She’s also launching a licensing programme to train women all over the world how to host these retreats. The idea is that they then create their own business out of it and spread some of the love to other mums who need a break and a dose of inspiration.

www.holy-mama.com


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F I F T Y t wo F O C U S O N I N T E R I O R S

Interiors Behind Closed Doors: Barrow Mill, Cheshire

“It’s like coming home on holiday.”

That is how Barrow Mill’s owner Kate Cox describes her 18th century conversion, which is situated in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. It’s a home she shares with her three children - Jude, eight; Lola, seven; and Evan 10. And their two-year-old working cocker spaniel Otto. From the long winding drive to the glimmers of Lola’s pink bedroom through the downstairs window, it has the ‘wow’ and the ‘ah’ in equal measures. It’s clear this is a beautiful home, but filled with a lot of love. “We never ever want to leave,” said Kate, who bought the house in 2014. “When we moved in, I knew it was our perfect haven and the kids agree.” The ‘upside down layout’ means the entry to the four large bedrooms are on the ground floor. It’s a rabbit’s warren of nooks and bathrooms and a utility room, spotted with an eclectic mix of colourful hats,

pictures and unique pieces, adding to the scandi-come-vintage look Kate has lovingly created. Unknowingly as the hallway winds around the ground floor, an opening takes your breath away. Original double doors leads out onto a balcony under which a stream (which once powered the corn mill), still remains. The gushing waters now run right underneath the Cox abode. Etchings from where the old mill wheel once turned can be seen on the thick sandstone walls and it makes the perfect backdrop for the children’s piano, as well as providing the most unique of acoustics. Ascending up the spiral staircase, which is dotted with family memories and mementos from their travels and achievements, natural light from the unique architectural windows floods the space. Kate admits she’s addicted to Achica and it’s evident from the luxe yet useable furniture and pieces she has decorated each zone with.


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Her living room, with its vast length is centred with her favourite piece in the house: a coffee table made from an old cart from the original Blackpool Big Dipper, and topped with Lego families, a fine china tea set and ornate versions of Aesop’s Illustrated Fables. The kitchen space, with its dining table at one side and a children’s lounge area at the other is the family meeting place. It’s a working room complete with the children’s drawings, a well stocked wine fridge, the dog’s bed and various kitchen gadgets and equipment, essential for every mealtime, coffee breaks, Wii contests as well as hosting guests. The most spectacular space in the house has to be the vista spanning the top floor which looks out on to the fields where the children play and make memories. Chic arm chairs, atop of a cowhide rug and fluffy sheep skin coverings help provide the perfect place to sit and reflect when life gets busy, which it inevitably does for this business minded mum, who has recently taken full acquisition of North West PR and marketing agency, de Winter. “There is such a sense of tranquillity and calm here,” says Kate, “Which is exactly what I need as guilt is by far my biggest challenge. Being there for my children is my number one priority, so making time for homework, school performances, fancy dress and playdates, whilst pulling together pitches, campaigns and office away days is two full-time jobs rolled into one! “Balancing family-life and work commitments is like a circus act, but I’ve worked out that you can’t keep everyone happy all of the time. “As long as I finish the week content with the fact my kids are all okay and work is going well, I pour myself a glass!” And what a wonderful place to do it.

“Balancing family-life and work commitments is like a circus act, but I’ve worked out that you can’t keep everyone happy all of the time. QUICK FIRE Q’S: WHAT’S YOUR TOP TIP FOR ANY MOTHER WANTING TO START HER OWN BUSINESS? There is nothing to lose and everything to win, and make a plan! Sounds obvious but if you don’t know what, why, how and when, you are aimless. SPRING/SUMMER OR AUTUMN/ WINTER? Spring, Summer definitely. DINNER AT HOME OR EATING OUT? Home PLAN EVERYTHING OR ACT ON IMPULSE? Impulse CURRENT READ? Traction TIPPLE OF CHOICE? Gin FAVOURITE PLACE TO RELAX? In the fields outside my home


F I F T Y f o u r F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N

Take a closer look at Bridgewater School It’s more accessible than you think

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The former teacher taking kids from the street to the stage Former actress and trained teacher Jo Fisher wants to make rising stars out of young people in the north west. Winner of Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2016 Salford Business Awards, Jo is the founder and managing director of Footlights Theatre, a stage school for children offering affordable acting, singing and dancing tuition for three to 18-year-olds. Alongside training in performing arts, Footlights builds confidence in young people, allowing them to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment, and to develop transferable life skills such as communication, teamwork and building social networks. Jo’s passion runs through the veins of her schools and she firmly believes that every child matters. Footlights’ ethos is about teachers finding a way that works for each individual child and tapping into that to unleash their full potential. Her enthusiasm and vision for her business has seen it grow from a single idea and hobby to a company creating an impact throughout the Greater Manchester community and the surrounding area. Jo grew up in Openshaw in the 1970s and, despite a love of literature, left school at 14 with no qualifications. Her background was varied. She became the first milkwoman in Manchester in 1988, aged 18 but, in 1992, decided to fulfil her dream and train as an actor. Jo then ‘fell’ into teaching and discovered she had as much passion for this as she did for books and acting. In 2005, after years of freelance teaching work and acting, she launched Footlights with just £300, using her training and life experience to create an innovative business that today is at the forefront of its field. Jo says: “One of the reasons I started Footlights is because I wanted to engage with young people, take them off the streets and onto the stage. We work closely with the local community, schools, businesses and agencies to maximise the impact of what we do.” Under Jo’s guidance, Footlights now focuses on four main strands. Footlights Theatre Schools offer affordable quality

performing arts training in 15 different schools; Theatre in Education provides young people with opportunities to explore curricular and social issues through workshops and interactive performances; Footlights Personal Management is a casting agency primarily for young people, supporting them on their career progression; and, with the development of performances focusing on key concerns such as loan sharks, gang culture and domestic violence, Footlights’ professional community theatre goes from strength to strength. “We need to tackle the issues affecting our young people” said Jo. “To get the best out of our students we have to relate to them, we have to understand what the world looks like to them.” She runs seven schools herself – in Cheadle, MediaCityUK, Prestwich, Urmston and Wigan – and owns eight franchises, all based in Greater Manchester, with a satellite school in Grimsby. She now wants to expand the business to other parts of the country through franchising.

“Footlight transforms people. From the students we teach to the franchisees who have helped us expand. The business model that I have works.” Says Jo. “Within four years of launching Footlights, I was expanding to other areas because of the demand. The franchises all started in the recession and they have been successful. I now want to give other people the opportunity to start their business. Footlights offers so much for those who have been in long-term unemployment or for mums and dads who want to run a business around their children so childcare is not an issue. As someone who has started a successful business I am keen to help other people by giving them the same opportunities. Sometimes, just as in the same way that we help open doors for our young students, we can help adults open the door to a new beginning with a new business opportunity.”

www.footlightstheatre.co.uk



ParentFolk Issue 1