Luxe Issue 81 - May/Jun 23

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ON THE SCREEN. Royal celebrations. WELLBEING FIRST. Fashion musthaves. DINING OUT. Wanderlust awakenings. FRAGRANT RECIPES. Inspiring designs. ADVENTURES AT SEA. Suave style. TIMELESS CREATIONS . Garden buys. FATHER’S DAY INSPO. Big names. LUXE.

ISSN 2042-1931 9 772042 193002 81 ISSUE 81 MAY/JUN23 £5
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While you may have seen my name appear in the front of these pages for quite some time now, it’s an honour to take the opportunity to formally introduce myself and say hello to our lovely luxe readers. For those who don’t know me, I’m Chris March, CEO of Allies Group and publisher of Luxe Magazine. I’ve been overseeing luxe since its inception and ordinarily, I remain behind the scenes directing the pace of things to come. However, as our wonderful editor, Elysia, has recently welcomed her beautiful baby girl, Nora, into the world, I’ll have the pleasure of introducing this special magazine - a project very close to my heart, and one I’m most certainly looking forward to. As Elysia navigates motherhood of two under two and all of the joy it brings, you’ll be in safe hands with myself, Nicole and the rest of the Luxe team. Last issue, it was a privilege to print our 80th edition of this wonderful magazine and I’m delighted to be introducing our 81st with the incredible Lewis Cope sitting proudly as this issue’s cover star.

This time of year is always a treat. We’re embracing the back end of spring and beginning to welcome the warmer climes of summer; we’re spending more time outdoors and everything just seems that little bit brighter. We’ve got plenty to look forward to as we head towards the summer months, not least an extra long weekend to celebrate the King’s Coronation. With that in mind, this issue is brimming with feel-good content. We’ve been out and about trying and testing new menus across the region, we’ve got fashion must-haves, skincare advice, travel inspiration, Father’s Day delights and we’re shining a special light on the world of wellbeing. All of that, plus our insightful watch edit and interviews with creatives and business folk who make our region tick. Find a sunny spot in your garden, sit back, relax and enjoy our latest issue - I know I’m going to.

Remember to check in with us online at

See us on social at:

Twitter: @TheLuxeMagazine

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8>> The agenda

Time to fill those diaries

16>> 10 things luxe loves

Our seasonal must-haves

18>> Father’s Day delights

Ways to treat the man in your life

20>> Big screen news

Lewis Cope chats life on Emmerdale

22>> Mediterranean chic

Sleek styles for warmer climes

Rosie Bath is the creative genius behind Cera Cotton - a brand new homeware brand bringing Wax Cotton products to the North East. When she is not growing her brand and crafting together new creations, she can be found spending time with family and friends or embracing the great outdoors. Her luxe things in life include: dogs, terriers in particular with their feisty personalities, the countryside, and sipping on a gin and tonic.

29>> SPF heroes

Skin-loving products and expert advice

33>> Spa in session

A nature-inspired spa break

34>> Good energy

Discovering energy therapy at The Harmonic Egg

40>> Luxe reviews

New foodie treats to try

46>> A relaxing retreat

Luxe checks in to a coastal hideaway

48>> Finding paradise

Setting sail on a luxury yacht charter around Croatia

56>> Preparing for summer

Give your garden a makeover with our luxe picks

60>> A sustainable future

Beautiful wax cotton creations from Cera Cotton

65>> The watch edit

Exploring the world of luxury watches

76>> It takes two

Top tips for Luxe mamas with two under two

80>> Social diary

Eyes and teeth time


Christopher March publisher -


This issue’s cover star is the wonderful Lewis Cope, one of the newest actors to join the cast of Emmerdale. When not on set, Lewis can be found back in his hometown of Hartlepool visiting loved ones. His luxe things in life include simple pleasures; friends and family, his colourful career and good TV.

Elysia Fryer head of content -

Nicole Wood

Caroline Dask

Contributors: Julie Burniston, Jessica Chipman, Faraday Gamble-Gittings


Debi Coldwell director -

Lucy Andrews


Kevin Gibson

Nicky Rogerson


David Stubbs creative director -

Euan Underwood

Facebook: @luxemag Our

If you wish to advertise with us please contact our sales team: Debi Coldwell: / 07910 918366

Allies Group Ltd, Enterprise House, Kingsway, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, NE11 OSR

All contents copyright ©2023 Allies Group Ltd. All rights reserved. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies, howsoever caused. No liability can be accepted for illustrations, photographs, artwork or advertising materials while in transmission or with the publisher or their agents. All information is correct at time of going to print, April 2023.

Harriett McHugh is the brains behind the Northumberland-based sustainable fashion brand, Just Harry. Her work focuses on the deconstruction and reconstruction of preloved denim jeans, creating a timeless collection of jackets and accessories. Her luxe things in life include: Elvis, her beautiful black labrador, the ocean, and her friends and family.

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luxe is published bi-monthly by Allies Group Ltd



Name: Simon Baxter

Title: Landscape Photographer

Where is home: Guisborough

Three reasons you love where you live?

We can walk from our front door into Guisborough Woods, the moors and beyond. There are many great places to explore and enjoy in the North York Moors national park.


What do you do for a living?

I’m a photographer specialising in trees and woodland. I run workshops, make YouTube videos, and sell books and prints. A day in the life of you?

If the conditions are looking good then I’ll be out at dawn with our labradoodle, Meg, to photograph a local woodland. A typical day might also include photo editing,

fulfilling book orders, writing articles, and physiotherapy to manage my chronic pain. Any upcoming projects we should know about?

Part two of our Woodland Sanctuary exhibition recently finished, so I’ve been having some time out to rest my back and look at new projects. I’m hoping to start work on my third book, which will likely take around three years to make. My local woodland photography is an ongoing project, but I’m hoping to seek new challenges further afield.

What does downtime mean to you?

I’m very fortunate to sometimes have downtime and work to be in tandem. Being in the woods with my camera but with no pressure to make photographs is always calming and restorative. I also enjoy cooking, gardening, listening to film scores, and watching films.


What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I’ve never really known. I was a selfemployed website developer for many years, but a back injury in 2012 was a catalyst for change. It wasn’t until Meg came into our lives in 2014 that I rekindled my interest in photography and I soon discovered the profound therapeutic benefits of time in nature. An injury and a wonderful dog led me to discover a passion for woodland photography, which soon evolved into a career. A fortunate accident of circumstance. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

We are nature. My creative journey through our local countryside has allowed me to connect with nature at a much deeper level and better appreciate its immeasurable value. It’s important to align ourselves with nature’s needs as our future depends on it.

What is your greatest fear?

I’m often fearful of making my back problems worse. The days that I can’t go walking can be challenging. Which living person do you admire most and why?

Sir David Attenborough. His life’s work

has had an incredibly positive impact on people and the planet. I don’t think anyone has been able to communicate the natural wonders of the world in such an engaging and inspiring way as Sir David.


What is top of your bucket list?

I simply want to produce a body of work that matters and has a life of its own. If a photograph or a book can inspire someone to see and connect with nature differently, or also benefit from its ability to heal, then I’m fulfilled.

What is your most treasured possession?

I’ll have to be honest and say my smartphone. I love having music, sources of inspiration, and a creative tool at my fingertips.

What does the weekend mean to you?

Sometimes the weekend is no different to any other day, but I also associate it with seeing friends, lazy mornings with good coffee, walks in the countryside, lunch at a café, and pottering in the garden.

A memorable holiday?

As a nature lover, it might come as a surprise that I loved our holiday in Florida to enjoy the theme parks. It was our last big holiday just a few months before my back injury. These days, we enjoy weeks away in the Scottish Highlands and lochside strolls with Meg.

Best dress?

I much prefer to be in well-worn hiking boots and good quality lightweight outdoor apparel from Patagonia. For smarter occasions, I choose nature inspired with leaf patterned shirts and earthy colours. Who would be your top three dinner guests?

Sir David Attenborough for pure inspiration, Jennifer Lawrence for fun, Emma Watson to chat about Harry Potter. Can I also have Hans Zimmer for music and Yotam Ottolenghi for food?

The last place you ate?

A taster menu at Launceston Place in Kensington as a special treat. I love it when food is creative and a memorable experience.

The last book you read?

The Lost Rainforests of Britain.

The last thing you listened to?

‘Classical for Relaxing’ station on Amazon Music. My tastes are fairly eclectic and I like to play it loud while cooking.

The last thing you watched?

The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix and Interstellar (both for the second time).

Three luxe things in life?

An appreciation for the finer things in lifefresh coffee, good food, home comforts. Long walks in the countryside. Enjoying quality time with my partner and Meg.



Perfect picnics

Pack up a picnic and head for the great outdoors. Whether it’s a day out at the park, a trip to the beach or a countryside stroll, this pretty in pink picnic blanket from Sophie Allport is your outdoor saviour. Featuring Sophie’s strawberries silhouettes on a blush pink ground colour, it is perfect for family days out or taking a snooze in the sun. The faux leather straps make it easy to carry around, whilst the water-resistant backing is perfect for keeping you dry if the ground is wet.



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The agenda: Spring into action >>

THEATRE RSC: Julius Caeser

9 - 13 MAY

Theatre Royal invites you to marvel at one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays: the story of a divisive leader and his power. This epic, moving tale flooded with superstition, chaos and civil war is a classic for a reason. Brought to life on the stage by Director Atri Banerjee, this unique interpretation of one of history’s most dramatic betrayals forces you to consider your own political principles and what you would do for them.

Summer Seasonal Market at Raby Castle

20 - 21 MAY

As another beautiful spring weekend arrives, so does the welcome return of Raby Castle’s seasonal market. Kitted out with an array of fabulous stalls, stock up on all your favourites including, local produce, treats and beautifully handcrafted products from regional artisans. The rest of the castle and grounds are yours to explore, with freshly baked wood-fired pizza served in the Hunter Yard, it sounds like the perfect weekend if you ask us.

Tynemouth Food Festival

13 - 14 MAY

It’s back! Tynemouth Food Festival is back on the agenda for another year of epic street food, kids activities, live music, foodie marketplace and more. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Tynemouth Priory, this two-day event is perfect for foodies and families alike. With a fun-filled lineup of cool happenings, there’s no reason not to attend. Children get free entry and are sure to be entertained by the variety of activities on offer.


COMEDY Murder Mystery Dinner

19 MAY & 23 JUNE

Do you see yourself as quite the detective? Well it’s time to put your skills to the test as Lumley Castle plays host to a thrilling murder mystery evening. This theatrical whodunnit will have you scratching your head while enjoying a delicious three-course meal and well-earned glass of prosecco. Followed by a disco, this magnificent production will have you doubting, laughing and loving every minute. Whilst you’re sure to have a great evening regardless, put yourself to the test and see if you can solve the mystery before anyone else.

My Therapist Ghosted Me with Vogue Williams and Joanne Mcnally

20 MAY & 14 JUNE

From the award-winning, hilarious podcast of the same name comes this riveting show at Tyne Theatre and Opera house. The podcast, which began in 2021, is a laugh-out-loud treat and has since garnered over 2.5 million listeners a month. Williams and Mcnally offer unfiltered, hilarious advice you didn’t know you needed and now you get to see the action live on stage.



21 MAY

Witton Park Village Hall welcomes the world-class magician, Romany Diva, who has performed for King Charles and was the first woman to win the world magic awards. The spectacle combines glamour, humour and illusion to create an intriguing evening. A one-of-a-kind event, that will leave you in awe.

Image credit: Jack Hardy


Do you Believe in Ghosts 31 MAY

In a spooky, experimental fashion, the Fire Station in the heart of Sunderland offers a unique take on ghost stories and everything paranormal. Whether you’re a medium, sceptic or total non-believer, this show will have you on the edge of your seat and certainly leave you with a chill down your spine.


Shattered by Stuart Langley FROM 1 JUNE


Biohack-HERS at Grantley Hall

24 MAY

Take time to focus on you this spring. Biohacking is the latest wellness trend that is making waves in the industry. Not heard of it? This do-it-yourself biology is aimed at improving performance, health, and wellbeing through small strategic changes. This female-led event sees Dr Nicola Conlon lead the panel discussion on all things wellbeing, health span and longevity. This immersive experience will see you sample a variety of cutting-edge wellness technologies to enhance your wellbeing. Sessions on the day will include: cryotherapy, Medi-Stream Spa hydro massage, TANITA Bio-Impedance body composition analysis and the BATAK Pro machine. You will also have access to the ELITE gym facilities (not including the pool and thermal facilities), take part in a wellness panel discussion and end the day with a healthy light lunch in the Three Graces Spa Lounge. Sounds dreamy, right?


Comic Con North East 27 - 28 MAY

For the first time Monopoly Events Comic Con is heading to the North East of England and will be stopping off at Utilita Arena Newcastle this May. James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anger, The Runaways) has already been confirmed as a special guest with more big-name guests set to be announced soon. Comic Con North East will be running 9am-6pm each day celebrating the best comic books and comic book culture. Fans will be able to meet creators, experts, characters and each other in the two day extravaganza that will include a wide variety of activities, panels, cosplay, collectables and so much more.

Art is very personal, both to the creator and the viewer. Stuart Langley’s immersive light, colour and geometric experience is just as personal as it explores the fractured and beautiful state of our climate. This sculptural installation at Bishop Auckland town hall is poignant and beautiful, expanding on work previously done for Killhope lead mining museum. It’s a must-visit for any art enthusiast.


Herrington Country Park Outdoor Cinema

2 – 4 JUNE

Films and fresh air, what’s not to love?

Herrington Country Park’s outdoor cinema returns with a selection of great movies for the whole family to enjoy.

From The Greatest Showman and Encanto, to Dirty Dancing and Top Gun: Maverick, there’s a flick to suit anyone’s taste including little ones, teenagers and grown ups too. Pack a picnic, grab your favourite blanket and head for the perfect evening under the setting sun.


A Room of One’s Own 8 JUNE

Arts Centre Washington offers a modern retelling of Virginia Woolf’s acclaimed work. This 21st century take on the classic will strike a poignant and profound note with all audience members. This Dyad production is a witty, wry and inviting trip through history, feminism and poverty. It’s a must-watch.

From theatre, to festivals, family-fun and everything in between, Faraday Gamble-Gittings picks out a whole host of exciting happenings to fill our diaries

Luxe reads

Caroline Dask picks out five holiday reads to enjoy this summer

The Man Who Risked It All by Laurent Gounelle

As Alan Greenmor stands at the top of the Eiffel Tower, he contemplates the life he has lived so far. Tired of living in the shadow of luck, followed by a series of unfortunate events, he is prepared to end it all, right then and there. Just as he is about to jump, Alan is interrupted by a cough. Yves Dubreuil is a complete stranger who will change Alan’s life forever. Yves makes a suggestion to Alan, instead of ending his life, he should dedicate it to Dubreuil and follow his directions. After all, what does he have to lose? The Man Who Risked It All is a book of hope, self-discovery and acceptance. Written by a psychologist, the book will inspire positivity and light within you.

One Day by David Nicholls

The story starts on 15 of July, Emma and Dexter spend the night together after their graduation and just when you think there might be something between them, destiny has a different plan for them. As they go off to start their lives, they promise to stay in touch every year on the same day; 15 July. As the years go by Emma tries to change the world by writing and performing plays which are ultimately unsuccessful, while Dexter’s career takes off hosting a popular TV show. Their worlds seem to clash each time, never on the same page, never in line - the only constant that remains is their hidden feelings for each other. Follow Emma’s and Dexter’s life and love story over 20 years, and the end of it - set where it all started.

Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

More than just a simple story of time travel, this one will take you on a journey through the eyes of four customers visiting a cafe in the back alley of Tokyo. Embark on a journey through time travel with them, followed by a list of rules, of course. Customers of the café are allowed to travel back or forward to a time of their choosing as long as they return to the cafe before the coffee gets cold. A business woman trying to mend her past relationship, a nurse looking for a letter, a bar owner who desperately needs to talk to her sister and a café owner with a message to her unborn child. A fascinating story that you won’t want to put down.

The Girl Upstairs by Georgina Lees

Calling all fans of Gone Girl, this one will hit just the spot. A slow-burning mystery thriller follows the story of two single women, who happen to be neighbours in never-sleeping London. Suzie, a young widow who has lost her spark in life and Emily, whose life seems to be perfect. Suzie lives downstairs and can hear Emily’s life unfolding in the most banal way. She hears her loud music, her making dinner, her clacking heels across the wooden floor. Fed up with it Suzie complains to the council and not long after, Emily disappears. With no one showing much interest in finding her, Suzie takes matters into her own hands, after all, she knows her best…

The Lost And Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

Natalie Harper has everything she thought she wanted. A career, a fiancé and a life that should be fulfilling but unsurprisingly isn’t. As she reflects on her life so far, Natalie is hit by some devastating news. Now she has to deal with the loss of her loved ones and an inheritance that puts a lot of weight on her shoulders, a bookshop and a grandfather, both of which need taking care of. Little does Natalie know that there are no coincidences in life and she is right where she needs to be. A very light summer read, perfect for enjoying on the beach…


A brand-new collection from award-winning artist Lucy Pittaway. A playful and vibrant collection of 9 new pieces featuring our favourite four-legged friends.



Durham Regatta 10–11 JUNE

Head along to Durham Regatta this June to celebrate the event’s 190th birthday. Not just for boating enthusiasts, the Regatta boasts a city centre celebration filled with live music, classic car shows, stalls, displays, racing, refreshments and more. This fun-filled (and hopefully sunny) weekend is guaranteed to bring smiles to the whole family’s faces.


Corbridge Steam Rally

10 – 11 JUNE

A family event for all steam engine and classic car lovers. As well as a whole host of motor fun, the two-day event also includes trade stalls, live music and a lovely selection of local produce. The rally is held annually, returning for another year to Corbridge Rugby Club to bring families together for a delightful day filled with outdoor fun. Think fun fair activities, a crafts tent and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.


Bee and Botany walk


Get outside amid the beautiful flora of Marsden Quarry and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature on this Bee and Botany walk. Led by botany experts and organised by one of the oldest natural history societies in the world, this day trip will help you learn all about our beautiful natural surroundings. Join the Natural History Society of Northumbria and fellow like-minded troops on the search for limestone flora, bees, and other insects at Marsden Old Quarry Local Nature Reserve in South Tyneside. So, rally up the whole family, pop on your walking books, feel the sea breeze on your face and flex your green thumbs.


West End Musicals by Candlelight 18


Shining a light on the beauty of musicals, for one night, London Concertante takes you into the dazzling world of the most beautiful musical tales. Take in tracks from Hamilton and The Greatest Showman, as well as classics such as Mary Poppins and West Side Story. Presented by candlelight and paired with an exquisite backdrop paired with the talented musicians, this enchanting event promises to be an unbeatable night of opulence.

Book it now >>

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Musical

Escape to a world of pure imagination this August with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory The Musical live on stage at Sunderland Empire. Based on the iconic story, this spectacular stage show follows the hit West End and Broadway productions to combine the memorable songs from the original 1970s motion picture alongside all new numbers from the multi award-winning songwriters of Hairspray. This one is not to be missed.

Plan ahead >>

Diary dates for festival goers…

Durham County show

29 - 30 JULY

With show jumping, dog trials and even a graffiti show, this spectacular weekend of summer activities promises fun for all. Think re-enactments, face painting and even a mobile petting zoo as well as an indoor shopping village and craft market, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. The show is a celebration, a staple in the region’s calendar and is simply not to be missed. Book your tickets now.


Forest Bathing


Switch off in the beauty of nature this spring. Join Faith Douglas of Forest Bathing UK for a woodland session of mindfulness surrounded by the serenity of the lakes and gardens in the Parkland at the Swinton Country Club and Spa. Soak up the benefits of the woodland setting in a mindful way, which can reduce stress levels, balance mood disorders and improve your sense of wellbeing.


Young Creator’s Art Club THROUGHOUT MAY - JUNE


Paint and Sip


Calling all creative minds and budding artists! The Alchemist is hosting a unique evening combining creativity and cocktails for painters of all abilities. Tickets include a complimentary drink on arrival as well as artistic advice and a handful of useful tips and tricks to bring your masterpiece to fruition. If you like what you hear but can’t make this date, Paint and Sip are taking their masterclass to different venues across the region. Check them out and book yourself in for an evening of artistic fun.

On the first Saturday of the month up until December, creative makers ages 11 - 18 can delve into the world of art at Bowes Museum’s new monthly Saturday morning art club. Be inspired by the Museum’s collections, exhibitions and grounds to explore, observe, experiment and express ideas in a creative and innovative way. A great way to boost what you learn in KS3 and develop a portfolio in KS4.

Seaham Food festival

5 - 6 AUGUST

Our beautiful coastline is once again set to host the wonderful Seaham Food Festival this August. Families and foodies alike are invited to head down by the sea to enjoy the hundreds of independent stalls, live music and joyous activities. The vendors, both local and from further afield, will be selling delectable desserts, sensational street food and an array of beverages. With a lineup of celebrity chefs, fun demonstrations and family entertainment, there’s no shortage of things to do at this two-day foodie festival.

Hardwick Festival

18–20 AUGUST

Hardwick Festival returns and this year’s

lineup just keeps on getting better. Music lovers can expect to see the likes of Scouting for Girls, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Kooks, The Vaccines, Freya Ridings, Haçienda Classiçal, and a whole lot more of other talented acts take to the stage. Alongside the musical happenings at this three-day event, festival goers can also enjoy delicious food stalls, laugh-out-loud moments in the comedy tents and an all-in-all great atmosphere.

The North East Dog Festival


Calling all dog lovers, owners and admirers, this festival is for you. Over the last five years The North East Dog Festival has become a firm favourite attracting visitors from all over the country, becoming more and more popular and for good reason. Four-legged friends can enjoy having a go at a range of different activities with everything from Scentventure to agility, gundog scurries to dog parkour and so much more. Humans will be wowed by professional displays, training demonstrations, expert speakers, advice for dog-related dilemmas and more. Plus you will be able to shop till you drop with exhibitors from all over the country. It’s got displays, speakers, stalls and a great selection of food - and most importantly, dogs! What’s not to love?


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Sweet charity

Good people doing great things…


Making a difference >>

Sunderland AFC boss Tony Mowbray and his players have pledged their support to Foundation of Light’s Small Change Big Difference campaign. The initiative is raising funds to support families across the region, who are increasingly feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy costs.

Recent studies have shown that the North East has the highest rate of child poverty anywhere in the UK. In Sunderland in particular, nearly 40% of the city’s population live in relative poverty – one of the highest rates in Europe. Coupled with increasing food costs, further strain is put on families and the Club and Foundation want to continue to help tackle those statistics.

A game, which took place on Good Friday against Hull City at the Stadium of Light, will be dedicated to the Foundation, with a number of activities taking place in the stadium before the match and at half-time. Black Cats manager Mowbray is urging supporters to get behind the cause, saying: “I’m very proud to support Foundation of Light’s Small Change Big Difference campaign and its mission to tackle child poverty.

“In this day and age, it’s awful to think of parents struggling to buy food for their children and pay bills. As a club it’s important we do what we can to support our community.”

Lesley Spuhler, Foundation of Light chief executive, added: “We’re very grateful for the support of Tony, the players and, to everyone for getting behind this campaign and helping us do more to improve the lives of the people we work with.”

A shopping success >>

Teesside-based charity, Daisy Chain, recently opened a new charity Megastore in Team Valley Retail Park, Gateshead. As a new addition to its retail arm, Daisy Chain Megastore will is an impressive 23,000 sq. feet, making it the largest of its kind in the UK. The lifestyle store provides an ethical way to shop within a budget, without compromising on style and quality.

Daisy Chain Megastore stocks the most diverse range of donated products ever seen on the high street. From mainline brands sold at low prices to a premium concession range that will house high-end labels such as Balmain, Ralph Lauren and Versace, there’s something for every shopper. Uniquely, the gold range will extend into collectables, housing antiques, fine art and one-of-a-kind collector pieces.

Going green >>

The Cedarwood Trust collects more than 20 tonnes of surplus food and household items a year, which it brings back to its Meadow Well Estate HQ and sells through its revolutionary Food Membership Scheme.

Almost 1,000 members use the charity’s Nourish Store, where they are able to pay just £4 a week for a £15 shop, and are provided with free fruit and vegetables to help feed their families. With Food Poverty said to be higher in the North East than anywhere else in England, the charity is busier than ever with more people signing up to the scheme every day. Now, thanks to a Vauxhall E Combo electric van funded by the Guy Redmond Fund at the Community Foundation, the charity can collect donations without leaving a carbon footprint. It is also able to deliver freshlymade meals, created using donated ingredients by its team of trainee chefs, to people across the region who are vulnerable and are unable to leave their homes. These ingredients are also used to provide meals for the charity’s Nourish Bistro restaurant. It is all part of the Cedarwood Trust’s bid to become carbon-neutral – last year its green-schemes saved around 38,000 tonnes of CO2.

Tell us a bit about the expedition…

We worked with Oli France, the Expedition Leader and Founder of Wild Edge. Oli specialises in guiding teams through the world's wildest places. Our climb of the highest mountain in Africa began in the jungles of the African Rift Valley, before finishing at 5,895 metres on the frozen summit of the 'Roof of Africa. It's a challenging trek, which involves walking for 4-8 hours each day. Oli hired an exceptional local support crew, including guides, porters and cooks, without whom the journey would have been impossible.

It took us six days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro going up the Machame Route. We camped each night on the mountain and on the summit day, we started at 11pm, reaching the summit at around 5.30am. We then took a day and a half to descend. We decided on the Machame route as it is one of the most beautiful in terms of scenery (also one of the hardest) and it takes in the Lava Tower, Barranco Wall and approaches the summit through Stella Point. It took us a total of six days rather than the other Machame option of five days, as this allowed us to acclimatise better with the altitude. As a result, all 15 people in our group made it to the summit. What made you decide to climb Kilimanjaro?

My wife Julie decided that she was going to get together a group to take on this challenge, and so I felt I wanted to be there to support her, plus we did it for a great cause.

Which charity did you decide to raise money for and why?

The Kilimanjaro Trek has so far raised over £43,000 for Beyond, a charity very close to our heart, that provides mental health support provision for schools. My sister-in-law suffered from Bi-Polar disorder, and seven years ago took her own life at the age of 40. Our family is now committed to helping anybody overcome these thoughts, and Beyond is the perfect organisation - they are small and so need every penny we can raise for them, and they work with children, so can start to educate about mental health from a very early age.

What was the most challenging part of the expedition?

The summit day at high altitude was particularly tough. After an 11PM wake-up, we trekked for around 12 hours in total, reaching the summit in time for sunrise. As Oli said, it requires a strong dose of determination to continue climbing in the dark and through sub-zero temperatures.

The final ascent to the summit was definitely the most challenging part for me. I walked six plus hours with terrible stomach cramps, very heavy breathing, and feeling like I wanted to go to sleep. The temperature at the summit was minus 18 degrees, and our blood oxygen levels were at a percentage that normally you would not be able to survive on. Many of us required help coming down the mountain post-summit. What did you enjoy about it?

I enjoyed the freedom away from my mobile phone. Away from emails, texts and social media. I enjoyed meeting the many Africans helping us - porters, guides, tent erectors, our chef - people who have the least, yet are the happiest people I have ever met. Oli had also arranged the most amazing team of fifteen trekkers and fifty-three local support staff. The energy within the camp was electrifying with constant dancing, singing and laughter.

Any plans for future climbs?

Not climbs as I gave away all my walking attire including my boots, but watch this space.

*Oli and his team are heading back to Kilimanjaro to lead more Wild Edge teams to the summit, with group departures confirmed for September 2023 and January 2024. There are still some places available. For more on Kilimanjaro treks, please visit

MAY/JUN23 12
climb Jeremy Borlant, owner of Seymours
Home, recently took time out of his busy schedule to climb Mount Kilimanjaro raising over £43,000 for charity…

A Royal history

In May the world will witness one of the most significant historical events of the last century in the UK - the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Preparations are well underway, and we’ve all heard about the conservation of the mediaeval mosaic where the throne will sit, the provenance of the vegan oil used to anoint the new King, the suspension of the golden carriage and where the street parties are planned.

This national event is sending ripples through communities, provoking discussion and festive anticipation. For some it’s a holiday from work, for others a landmark event which displays tradition, continuity

and the start of a new era.

The world - and its technology - has evolved since Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 and the potential exposure of this key moment is unprecedented, with a new crown emoji unveiled recently.

One thing that doesn’t seem to change is the public’s appetite for commemorative memorabilia. The museums and galleries of Tyneside house several objects commemorating Royal family members, weddings and coronations as far back as Queen Victoria. Curiously, there’s also memorabilia for a coronation that never was – a consequence of the dramatic abdication of the late Queen’s uncle, the king who would have been Edward VIII.

Another cherished local North East company Ringtons produced this tea caddy to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It depicts the young Queen and her husband Prince Philip. Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning monarch in the history of the UK, marking her Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.

First Cadbury’s commemorative chocolate tin produced for King Edward VII

For the first time, in 1902 to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, chocolate manufacturers Cadburys produced a commemorative chocolate tin – and it’s a tradition they’ve since continued (this year they have partnered with Fry’s chocolate for King Charles III’s coronation.)

The earliest coronation object Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums cares for is an earthenware mug from 1838 commemorating the coronation of Queen Victoria, decorated with mottled pink lustre, portraits of the young Queen Victoria and the crown.

World famous Maling pottery was produced in the North East for just over 200 years, originally founded in Sunderland in 1762 by the Malin family, Protestant Huguenots who had fled religious persecution. The ‘Malings’ transferred to Newcastle upon Tyne in 1817, and in the early 20th century refined their outputs, employing in-house artists to hand paint pottery pieces. This earthenware urn celebrates the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Did you know – for 11 years the country currently defined as the UK had no monarch? Charles I was executed by Republicans led by Oliver Cromwell, who held ‘Lord Protector’ status from 1653 – 1658, until Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. A copy of Oliver Cromwell’s death mask can be seen on display in the Discovery Museum.

For Queen Victoria’s son Edward VII’s coronation in 1902, world famous glassworks Sowerby, in Gateshead, produced this commemorative plate. Commemorative items were big business for many manufacturers. This plate has moulded decorations of patriotic symbols and the names of British Empire territories. You can see this on display in Gateshead’s Shipley Art Gallery.

MAY/JUN23 13
From Queen Victoria to the coronation that never was – a journey through Royal coronations in museums on Tyneside…
South Shields image South Frederick Street, South Shields Edward VII This black and white photograph of a grocer’s shop on South Frederick Street, South Shields shows how the shop was decorated for Edward VII’s coronation in 1902. E2596 - Maling casket - King George VI + Queen Elizabeth Image of mug TWCMS: D694 Queen Victoria mug - in art store TWCMS 1997.3509 Sowerby – glass plate Edward VII. Shipley Art Gallery Ringtons tea caddy image Death mask image


Our wonderful region through your lens. Here are some of your recent shots from days out in local beauty spots

1. Heather Williams, Beadnel - @salty_hairandsandytoes 2. Jenna Thomas, Goathland - @adve_nturesinyorkshire 3. Scott Steel-Morris, Blyth Pier - @bald_explorer_ 4. Emma Giles, Amble - @northumberland_adventures
1 2 4 3

10 things luxe loves

From picturesque Instagram accounts and stylish shades, to must-have beauty gadgets and beach reads, Faraday Gamble-Gittings, picks out 10 things we’ve set our sights on this season

Pampering with >>


These ergonomic tools are providing those at-home spa feels. Harnessing temperature to create a facial experience to revitalise tired skin, reduce the appearance of pores and tighten skin, this dreamy set is about to become a go-to in your skincare routine.

Bonus points for how lovely they’ll look with their 16k gold coating. £123,

Following >>


Fill your feed with vibrant colours and picturesque scenes. The lovely Siân behind the Instagram account, Yorkshire Postcards, is a local photographer from North Yorkshire who captures our region beautifully. From Roseberry Topping, Whitby and Staithes, to Goathland, Robin Hood’s Bay and beyond, there’s an abundance of local sights to pore over.

In our basket >>


These handmade Taylor Morris eyewear sunglasses with gold detailing are at the top of our wishlist. Practical, polished and offering 100% UV protection, these versatile shades are sure to become a staple in your wardrobe this season. £140,

Perfect scent >>


Hand-poured in small batches on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland, Luna candles are known for their natural, eco-friendly ingredients and sophisticated scents. The limited edition Springtime candle is no exception, featuring a fresh scent of green pear and the sweet, airy aroma of Freesia. Inspired by a bright morning filled with sunshine and blossoms, this candle captures the spirit of spring in a beautiful and elegant way. £22,

Dreaming of >>


Looking for UK getaway this summer? This unique hotel located in the heart of Oxford is the perfect choice for a stylish, fun-filled weekend break. As a converted prison, it’s steeped in history and has had new life injected into it offering an abundance of charm. We can’t stop thinking about the beautiful brick walls and breakfast in the courtyard.

Watching >>


This true crime series features the fabulous acting talents of Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones. Exploring the true story of a murder within a Mormon family in 1970s America, this plot twisting tale will have you gripped. The show explores deeper, personal topics such as separating faith and work, as well as traditional values and the building of a family. It’s a must-watch!

Reading >>


The perfect escape has landed in your lap. Whether it’s sun-soaked days on the beach or long weekends in the countryside, this novel is going to whisk you away to a whole new world. Set in 1940s New York, this tale offers true escapism. It’s the perfect mix of glamour, romance and plot. The gorgeous writing of Elizabeth Gilbert is a true gem, we can’t recommend it enough. £10,

Listening to >>


Within this section, you’ll often find us recommending one of our new favourite podcasts or albums to listen to. But this time round, we thought we’d put down our devices and switch out our headphones for the sound of nature. Here in the North East, we’re lucky enough to have a stretch of coastline at every turn. As the weather gets that little bit warmer, we’ve been enjoying early morning beach strolls. The rest of the world hasn’t quite awoken and the only noise you can hear is the waves crashing peacefully onto the shore. Whether it’s a morning, lunchtime or evening wander, we couldn’t recommend it enough.

Kitchen inspo >>


Perfect for hosting al fresco dinner parties! This hand blown bowl is a true spectacle of handcrafted decor. Boasting a gorgeous yellow swirl, this kitchen must-have works perfectly for aesthetic as well as functional purposes. So, whether you’re using it as a centrepiece decoration or filling with the goods, it’s guaranteed to be in use all summer long. £125,

Living By >>
to be the teacup with
“It’s okay
a chip in it. That’s the one with a story.” - Matt Haig

Contemplation of Relocation: relocating with a child postseparation

It is not unusual for one parent to consider relocating to another area within the United Kingdom with a child following the breakdown of a relationship or marriage. In any circumstance, this is not an easy decision to make, and such a decision can often fall down to factors such as the available support network in the proposed location, remarriage, financial reasons, or employment prospects. This article considers how to approach the issue of relocating within the United Kingdom with a child and the next steps if the other parent does not agree.

Ultimately, if parents cannot reach an agreement after discussing the proposed relocation between themselves or having

mediated on the issue then court intervention will be required. The parent hoping to relocate will essentially be asking the court to determine the proposed relocation as a ‘specific issue’. The court will be primarily concerned with what is in the best interests of the child in question and the implications should an order granting the relocation be made or the impact if not. So, how does the court determine whether a relocation would be in the best interests of the child? The reasons for the desired relocation are important i.e., why does one parent wish to relocate? It is established within case law that when undertaking an analysis regarding the merits of the application, the court will need to assess the impact that any decision not to relocate would have on the parent hoping to move

and the consequential impact on the child. Therefore, the parent seeking to move must provide detailed information to the court as to the practicalities of any relocation. This will include consideration as to how contact with the other parent would be facilitated including travel time between the current locality and the proposed locality, the consequential costs of travel, comparisons of schooling in the area against the current schooling arrangement, how the parent will meet the needs of the child, the suitability of the proposed new accommodation, details as to the motivation for the move and how a move otherwise could not be avoided. The court will consider all of the above, alongside the welfare checklist (section 1(3) Children Act 1989), to assist in determining whether the proposed relocation is

ultimately in the best interests of the child or not. The checklist includes the wishes and feelings of the child in light of age and understanding, physical, emotional and educational needs, the effect of any change, the capability of the parent meeting the child’s needs and/or risk of harm. Any proposed relocation must be well thought through as the court will not entertain an application to relocate made on a whim or thought to be made to obstruct contact between the child and the parent remaining behind.

If you or your former partner or spouse are planning to relocate and require any further information, please contact our private family team on 01740 646000 or fill in an online enquiry form via our website: www. and someone will be in touch.

20232024 SEASON HOSPITALITY PACKAGES AVAILABLE NOW Contact the commercial team to purchase by emailing or calling them on 0191 214 2892. WWW.NEWCASTLEFALCONS.CO.UK | 0191 214 5588 OPT 1 ADVERTORIAL
Jessica Inman

Celebrating dad

Whether he’s a sports lover, a foodie, or a ‘just-likes to potter in the garden’ type of chap, it’s always stressful trying to find a decent gift for Father’s Day. So, it’s time to ditch the boring socks and bottles of beer and buy a little something that will make him smile. Julie Burniston has rounded up a selection of fun and frivolous gifts – plus we’ve thrown in a couple of cool things to do and delicious places to eat. Dig in!


Head to Newcastle’s Quayside for the ultimate steak dinner. Tomahawk serves the finest Himalayan salt dry-aged steaks, Wagyu and other great local meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, but for a real treat, opt for a mega Sunday lunch. All mains are served with herb and pork stuffing, beef dripping roasties, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding, savoy cabbage, seasonal vegetables, roasted parsnips and carrots plus bottomless 24hr red wine gravy. Push the boat out with a legendary Sunday Sharing Board with a choice of three meats (dry aged roasted beef rump, roast chicken breast marinated in garlic and herbs, roast pork loin served with crispy crackling or roast minted lamb). Finish off with the iconic Tomahawk Bombe, served with vanilla ice cream, toasted marshmallow and hot salted caramel sauce.


With a tandem skydiving experience at Shotton Airfield near Peterlee, the only skydive school in the North East. Included is a welcome and safety briefing with instruction on how the jump will take place and landing procedures, one jump from the aircraft strapped to the instructor, jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and gloves. Allow up to five hours on site from your booked arrival time.

Tandem Skydiving experience from Into The Blue, £279

Like father, like son…

we have no dreams of taking over the world. We love that we are a boutique store, and I don’t want that to change. What made you decide to go into business together?


With a drive in not one, but FIVE elite supercars! Let him unleash his inner petrolhead by getting behind the wheel of five beautifully crafted supercars on a fantastic driving blast. Pick five from a fleet of top of the range vehicles. Feel the horsepower of a chic Audi R8 and compare it with a luxurious Porsche 911, or why not try a flash Ferrari? Race round the track for three miles in each car, totalling 15 miles altogether and finish the day with a high-speed passenger ride.

Five Supercar Driving Blast with High Speed Passenger Ride, £169

Coast Vintage is a preloved clothing and streetwear store on Nile Street in North Shields run by father and son duo, Peter and Brady Stokes. Luxe discovered why keeping it in the family can make the hard work of running your own business a whole lot of fun…

Tell us a little more about Coast Vintage Brady: Coast Vintage opened in February 2022 and taps into the current trend for buying preloved. It may be about making a living, but it’s my passion as well. Saving clothes from landfill is a huge plus and I love the process of buying and selling great vintage pieces. Our customers are brilliant, and the business is doing really well, but

Peter: It was really to give Brady a guiding hand. Though he’s really bright, Brady is only 22 and after drifting through his A levels, he still didn’t have a clue what he wanted to do. He’s always had a business head on him though. He sold trainers when he was in college and I saw something in that. We had a chat, he told me about this plan to sell preloved vintage clothes, and so I got the money together and helped him put down a deposit on the shop. He was 100 per cent right about vintage clothes – it’s been a roaring success. The idea was that I’d leave him to it and go back to my roofing business, but in actual fact, I’m always there whether that’s working on the shop floor, helping him with the markets we do at Ouseburn and Tynemouth – or just fixing a leaking roof. It’s a real family affair and we have a right crack - I love it!

Brady: Dad says I have the reins, but to be honest he turns more of a profit than I do (and he never lets me forget it!). When he’s in the shop people just love him. It’s the same on the markets, but I have to watch him as we’re usually near a pub. The last market day we did, I had to drive the van back as he’d had a little too much of a good time!


At Panis in High Bridge, Newcastle. Opened in 1995 as the first true Italian/Sardinian café, Panis have served traditional Sardinian foods but have never stopped innovating and making exciting Sardinian themed dishes. Take your dad away from today’s hectic lifestyle and offer him the chance to linger over dishes that use the finest and freshest ingredients, imported directly from Italy or from locally-sourced suppliers. The menu is to die for, with a plethora of amazing pastas, meat and fish dishes, not to mention a sweet trolley to thrill the sweetest tooth.

Why North Shields?

Brady: North Shields is our hometown. It’s not affluent, but it’s up and coming. Since we got the keys to the shop in February 2022, we’ve seen massive changes, but the community vibe has stayed the same and we love that.

Peter: It’s like the Camden Town of the North where we are, really colourful and vibrant. There’s loads of regeneration happening, but you won’t change the people and that’s what makes the area special.

Why is it important to support local?

Peter: Who wants their hometown to be full of faceless supermarkets? They have a place, but if you don’t shop local it’s finished, and all these great small businesses will go under. Our family all shop local – we get our veg from the farm shop, that sort of thing. Brady: Small businesses tend to really help each other out. There’s a really caring community - it’s that personal touch you don’t get with big chains.

Can you tell us about some of the brands you stock?

Brady: We have about 2,000 items in stock.

Vintage Levi jackets are our best seller, but we also stock designer clothes from Gucci, Westwood, Stone Island among othersyou can get some great bargains.

Would you recommend working with family?

Peter: Why not! Brady and I are really close, we go on holiday together, and we always have fun – it’s not like work, it’s just hanging


With a beautiful gift from Coupland Leather. All Coupland products are carefully crafted, only using high-quality, vegetable tanned leather sourced from UK tanneries. Designed and Handcrafted in the North East of England, choose from traditional leather wallets, belts, bags, book covers and much more.

Pictured is the AJ Wallet, £189

out and having a good laugh – making money is a bonus.

Brady: There’s no one like my dad, once that music is blasting and he’s doing his sales pitch I just sit and watch in awe (when I’m not cracking up laughing) – he’s awesome.

Do you have any plans for Father’s Day?

Peter: If I’m not working on the market, probably just chilling in the garden.

Brady: Dad doesn’t know this yet, but we’ve got him a day at a racetrack in Newcastle driving some flash cars – he’s going to love it!


The luxe Father’s Day gift selection

For the drinks’ connoisseur >>

Lagavulin Whisky

Lagavulin is the site of the first legal distillery on the Isle of Islay where with time, this deep and intense 16-year-old whisky can be aged to perfection. Stored in oak casks this single malt has a sweet, peat smoke and seaweed flavour typical of Islay whiskies, which is followed by wood and salt touches. Having won multiple awards, you can be assured this gift will be one that is cherished. A personalised message can be added to the gift box lid to celebrate this special occasion.


San Andres Merlot Red Wine & Chutney

Personalised Gift Set

This premium hamper is the ideal personalised gift for the Merlot-loving Pop. The luxurious set includes a beautifully structured Merlot sitting alongside two chutneys by Cartwright and Butler presented in kilner-style jars. Add your personal message engraved along the lid of the box in a striking finish for a memorable gift and keepsake. £39,

For the dapper dad >>

OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional

Presented on a brushed five-arched-links-per-row bracelet with polished clasp and OMEGA logo on a satin-finished cover, this OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional is the perfect gift for stylish dads - a gift they can cherish forever. £7,400,

Silver and Mother of Pearl Cufflinks

Simple and elegant, these beautifully finished sterling silver and mother of pearl cufflinks will make for the perfect sentimental gift. Ideal for their working wardrobe or a formal evening, these stylish cufflinks will ensure he’s dressed for the occasion. £235,

James Bond Slippers

Tivoli James Bond Spectre Monogrammed Embroidered slippers. These open toe lovelies are made with a cotton waffle and are adjustable so can fit all sizes of feet. Can be embroidered with your dad’s initials. £35,


In the limelight

From Hartlepool’s marina to Emmerdale farm, Lewis Cope chats to Nicole Wood on landing his role on one of the UK’s best-loved soaps…

Dreams, goals, ambitions, we all have them. What mine are, will differ to yours and what yours are, will differ to the person next to you. But the fact of the matter is that we all have them. Whether it’s a yearly financial goal, aspiring to become a best-selling author or landing your dream job, we can all dream big. For Lewis Cope, the28-year-old actor from Hartlepool, his dream of landing a big role on TV is still providing those ‘pinch me’ moments; and at Luxe HQ when we hear of the fantastic people from our region making things happen, well, we couldn’t be happier.

“I feel extremely lucky to be doing what I’m doing,” smiles Lewis.

“I’m just an ordinary lad from a huge family in Hartlepool,” he laughs.

In between juggling meetings and managing a busy filming schedule, myself and Lewis find 30 minutes spare out of our busy schedules to embrace the spring sunshine and enjoy a well-earned break and wholesome chat about our northern roots. For eagle-eyed readers who are religious watchers of the all-time favourite soap Emmerdale, you might know Lewis better as Nicky, Gabby Thomas’ latest love interest and Home Farm nanny.

As we settle in to chat about how the Emmerdale gig came about, with his typical northern modesty and light hearted demeanour, Lewis talks me through the audition process.

“I’m honestly still ecstatic to be playing the role of Nicky in Emmerdale, he’s a great character to play,” says Lewis.

“The auditions for Emmerdale were nerve-wracking, but exciting. The first round was a self tape. When they got in touch to invite me to the next round, I was so happy. Along with a select few others they liked from the self tapes, I was invited to the studio for the screen test. This is where you’ll go on set and act alongside some of the actors who are already in the show. They’ll put you in scenes with the actors your character will be interacting with the most on the show. It’s a great opportunity for the producers and directors etc. to see what the chemistry is like on screen and work out whether or not it's the right fit. The whole team is around to watch and then they’ll make a decision. Luckily for me,

they thought I was the right person to take on the role of Nicky,” he explains.

From the very moment Lewis received a call to say the part was his, Nicky instantly became a big part of Lewis’ life. Taking to the role oh-so well, Nicky has become a fan favourite for many.

“It’s very surreal. My Nana loves Emmerdale, she’s watched it religiously for as long as I can remember. To now be part of the show she loves so much is amazing,” he smiles. Fellow soap drama fanatics will be with me when I say never trust the good guy. Much like the rest of the nation, I’m desperately hoping Nicky's intentions are genuine, but the serial binge watcher within me is hoping for a juicy storyline. But what can we expect?

“Nicky was introduced on screen back in December 2022 when the family at Home Farm were on the lookout for a new nanny. When their first choice fell through, Nicky was chosen to help look after the kids. He comes into the show almost too good to be true. He’s the perfect gentleman, does everything right, brilliant with the kids, very polite, not a suspicion in sight. He then gets involved with Gabby and the two of them have a secret relationship, but after a lot of sneaking around and nearly getting caught, the pair eventually have to come clean with Kim. Further down the line, Kim doesn’t like the relationship as her son James has got a child with Gabby and she fires Nicky from working at Home Farm. On the same day he gets fired, he proposes to Gabby which then keeps him living at Home Farm as Gabby’s financé not as their live-in nanny.

“There are lots of twists and turns coming and we’re so excited to watch this storyline unfold. It’s been a really fun role to play. At first he seems like quite a straightforward character but then eventually it comes out why he’s really in the village and his arrival isn’t a coincidence. He came in with his dad Caleb, the plot thickens and it starts to unravel what the pair are up to. It makes viewers start to question if his relationship with Gabby is genuine? Has the whole thing been planned? It’s not all as simple as it seems.”

Drama, drama and more drama. But before I delve too deep into what’s to come for this mysterious newbie, we begin to chat about getting into character.

“When you’re an actor and you’re playing a certain role, even if they’re the complete

opposite of who you are, you can make it personal and draw upon experiences and characteristics from either yourself or people you know.

“Sharing certain traits or thinking about a particular person or situation can help elevate the character you're playing. Nicky is a lot of fun to play and I’m excited to see where we can take him.”

Lewis’ colourful career does not stop at Nicky. While we’re certain this is only the beginning of his vibrant on-screen success, we take a look back at some of the exciting moments that led him to this point. From performing in Billy Elliot on the West End to playing Marcus Hynde in Vera, and right the way back to where it all began.

“My Mam plays a key part in my career,” he says.

“When we were younger, she would always take us to different sports, classes, workshops etc. Whether it was boxing, football, rugby, horse riding or whatever else it might be, she would always make sure we were taking part in something we enjoyed. It was when I started dancing I found something that I was passionate about. Dancing was something I fell in love with and I managed to get an audition for Billy Elliot on the West End when I was 11-years-old. I was lucky enough to be cast in the show and I moved to London for the year while it was running. I was also part of a hip hop dance group called Ruff Diamond. We performed quite a lot and actually came runners up on Got to Dance on Sky One in 2013. Those were the moments that were eye opening for me, where I thought maybe this could be a career,” he explains.

“After attending high school at English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College in Hartlepool, I trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Following on from that, I’ve been lucky enough to work in both theatre and TV,” he says.

Prior to joining the cast of Emmerdale, Lewis played the likes of Marcus Hynde in Vera, Private Wilfred Sturgess in Hetty Feather and Tom Griffiths in Doctors.

“As well as TV roles, I’ve enjoyed working in theatre and in films too. On stage, I’ve had the pleasure of playing the likes of Brom Van Brunt in the national tour of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and starred as Leonard Vole in the Olivier Award nominated production of Witness for the Prosecution. I’ve featured in films including: Earth’s Vain Shadow Flee, The Grass is Greener, Waterbabies, and Six and Two Threes. I also featured alongside David Beckham in a campaign for his fragrance Bold Instinct,” he adds.

Becoming an actor isn’t deemed one of the easiest industries to break into. Due to the competitive nature and opportunities available, it can in fact, be one of the most

difficult. While myself and Lewis chat through the obstacles, the opportunities available in the North East and the importance of never giving up on your dreams, he tells me how crucial it is to have an agent if you’re looking to make it as an actor.

“The main thing is having an agent. It’s super difficult with an agent nevermind without one, so I definitely think if you’re serious about becoming an actor, getting an agent is one of the most important steps you can take. They’re the ones who put you on the radar, who guide you down the right path and line up auditions for you. It’s also important to surround yourself with lots of reading, theatre, TV and film, do your research on up and coming productions and directors. It’s always useful to know as much as you possibly can about the industry. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” he shares.

Proud to be a northern lad, Lewis tells me he’s often back home visiting his family and friends: “I’m in Hartlepool all the time. All my family and friends are there and whenever I’ve got a couple of days off, I always head back to see them. Nothing beats it really. When you live in a town that’s near the coast you don’t appreciate it but when you live in a busy city, like I do now, just being able to walk along the seafront with fish and chips and an ice cream becomes priceless. That’s what I love about being back home.”

Speaking to Lewis is a joy. He’s upbeat, passionate and has nothing but admiration for his team at ITV and the character he plays: “I feel extremely lucky to be acting. To do the thing I’ve dreamed of doing as my job is honestly amazing and as long as that continues, I couldn’t be happier.”

The Luxe lowdown >>

Best thing about Hartlepool?

My family and being beside the coast. Last thing you watched on TV?

Happy Valley. What a show!

Favourite place to eat in the North East?

Fish and Chips from Fish Face on Seaton Carew seafront is always a favourite of mine.

Top of your bucket list?

I don’t really have a bucket list. I take things as they come and live in the moment.

Go-to holiday destination?

I love the Greek islands. Who inspires you?

It would have to be my Mam, she’s incredible!

There are lots of twists and turns coming and we’re so excited to watch this storyline unfold. It’s been a really fun role to play.

Yves Salomon spring/summer 2023 collection is inspired by travels in the Mediterranean and its architecture, using touches of terracotta, bright greens and warm brown tones throughout. Lightweight and classic combinations with technical materials and natural fabrics are designed to be worn from day-to-night

Mediterranean chic

Cotton Poplin Oversized Shirt , £360 Leather Belted Mini Skirt , £990

Short Babydoll Viscose Crepe Dress with Braided Leather Bib,

23 MAY/JUN23
Oversized Crepe Blouse - Yellow £450 Leather Shorts, £590
Cropped Stretch Knit Long Sleeve Jumper, £290 Stretch Knit Pleated Mini Skirt, £320


with Isabella Dryden, founder of sustainable luxury fashion brand, Saint Belle Vibrant colours and stylish new trends for your upcoming summer wardrobe…

Stripe Shirt

With Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie about to break out onto screens we are getting ready for PINK to be the micro-trend ‘it’ colour for the season. A subtle nod to this could be a casual candy stripe shirt from Arket, tucked into denim with a mini bag for a fun take on the trend.

Arket Relaxed Poplin Shirt, £69


Clogs are having a major moment, with designers such as Isabel Marant and Saint Laurent, many brands are hot on the heels to come up with several stylish and affordable pairs. Charles & Keith Gabine Buckled Loafer Mules, £105

A Denim Skirt

Love it or loathe it, they’re back from the 90s. If you’re unsure of how to partake in the trend I’d be looking to try a more classic indigo denim pencil to style with a simple t-shirt or piece of fine knitwear and summer sandal. For a little drama opt for a silhouette like this Alexander McQueen ruffled midi skirt.

Alexander McQueen Ruffle Denim Midi Skirt, £890

Summer Tailoring

In recent seasons tailoring has moved into more relaxed shapes and fabrics. With warmer months on the horizon now is the time to invest in the perfect two piece. Styled right it will become a wardrobe staple to be dressed up as a wedding guest outfit or with a white tee and trainers for a day out with friends.

Stella McCartney Woven Blazer, £990 | Pleated Woven Pants, £590

Clean Lines

I recently discovered a chic Italian leather brand called ‘Savette’. Their beautiful shapes are all handmade and will hold all your essentials on sun-filled days. I have my eye on this limoncello beauty, with glistening gold hardware there’s a lot to love.

Savette ‘Symmetry’ Pochette leather tote


20% OFF SKOPES.CO.UK IN OUR NEW METROCENTRE STORE OPENING SOON To claim, simply present this ad in store or scan the QR code: store situated Lower Platinum Mall, opposite JD Sports Getting Hitched Ready for the races Trustpilot rating and reviews correct as of 25/04/23 Trustscore 4.7 out of 5 #PROMSUITS


‘Flower Petals’ Necklace in White Gold with Aquamarines, Pink and Green Tourmalines and Diamonds



Floral Handloom Cotton Bow Clip £26,


Floral-print One-shoulder Crepe Dress £2,850,


Crosse du Desert 100

Floral Silk-satin Sandals £735,

Coming up roses


Floral-print Straight-leg Jeans £790,

Marine Flower Embroidery £6,950,


Queena Floral-print Stretch-cotton Midi Dress £595,

NEEDLE & THREAD Sunrise Bloom Floral-print Ruffled Cotton Gown £315,


Warner Floral-print Crepe de Chine Top £145,

BUCHERER FINE JEWELLERY ‘Flower Petals’ Earrings in White Gold, Aquamarines and Diamonds £8,000,

floral prints for your summer wardrobe
SAINT BELLE Gwen Floral Block Printed Midi Dress £250,


Hello Sunday: The One That’s a Serum

SPF 45

This bestselling serum provides an alternative approach to skin protection. The light textured, moisturising SPF 45 serum is built to protect against UVA/UVB and infrared rays. Not only is it designed to shield you against sun damage and prevent ageing, but it also protects you from other daily aggressors such as pollution and blue light. Enriched with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, this fragrance-free serum is best used as the last step within your skincare routine. The fast absorbing and non-sticky formula leaves skin feeling fresh and radiant and acts as the perfect base before makeup. £20,

THE HYDRATING SPF>> Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50 Treatment SPF 50

Worried about SPF drying your skin out? Worry no more. Protect your complexion with the superior skincare know-how of Dermalogica with the Pure Light SPF 50 Treatment. This medium-weight daytime formula shields the face from UV-induced hyperpigmentation, while a potent blend of red and brown algae combined with botanical extracts fortifies skin’s natural moisture barrier, reducing the appearance of dehydration lines.

£75 at H Beauty,

THE DAILY MOISTURISER + SPF >> Keys Soulcare Protect Your Light Daily Moisturiser

SPF 30

When it comes to an all rounder, this is just the ticket. This dreamy product offers maximum hydration with broad spectrum SPF30 sun protection for all skin tones that applies completely clear – all in one formulation. The lightweight texture makes applying this innovative formula a seamless experience. £32 at H Beauty,

Beauty: update

Hello summer, hello SPF

THE MAKE-UP PRIMER SPF >> e.l.f. SKIN Suntouchable!

Whoa Glow SPF 30

Prime, protect, and glow. This lightweight face sunscreen and primer hybrid delivers broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection, primes your skin for long-lasting makeup wear, and imparts a glowy, sheer finish. With just a hint of peach-tone shimmer, the non-greasy, soothing, and hydrating formula is also boosted with aloe, hyaluronic acid, and squalane. The perfect pre-makeup base. £14,

Ask the experts

Laura Charlton, owner of Hyba Studios, gives us the lowdown on why SPF is important, not just in summer, but all year round…

Can you tell us why SPF is so important?

The sun's harmful UV rays can damage your skin even on cloudy or overcast days so it’s important to apply SPF every day. UV radiation can cause skin damage, premature ageing, and an increased risk of skin cancer. While UVB rays are most intense during the summer months, UVA rays are present year round and can penetrate clouds and glass, which means they can still damage your skin even on a cloudy day or when you're inside near a window. SPF is a measure of how effectively a sunscreen protects your skin from UVB rays, which are the primary cause of sunburn. However, it's important to note that SPF doesn't provide protection from UVA rays. That's why you should choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. By applying broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen year round, you can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

When should we be using SPF?


This Mineral formulated broad-spectrum SPF helps defend against harmful UVA/ UVB rays and environmental aggressors with ingredients that help to brighten and replenish skin. It is residue-free for immediate, water resistant protection and hydration. Ideal for beach days and lounging poolside.


SPF should be applied every time you go outside, especially if you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. Ideally, it should be applied at least 15-30 minutes before sun exposure to allow time for the sunscreen to absorb into the skin.

What factor SPF should we be using?

I would recommend using at least SPF 30. The higher the better and it’s important to use it all year round - even on cloudy days.

Still not sure which SPF would be best for you? Book a free skin consultation with skin specialist Laura at Hyba Studios.

It’s that time of year when we start to think about incorporating SPF into our skincare routine, but the truth is, we should be using this holy grail product all year round. Here are some of our favourites to get you started…
MINERAL SPF >> Malin+Goetz Sunscreen-high Protection SPF 30

Stitch bystitch

taken out of the equation, yes it is super comfy but the quality and the longevity of stretch denim is no comparison to 100% cotton,” she explains.

As well as being a creative soul and having a passion for fashion, a light bulb moment occurred when Harriett was working for Oxfam Wastesavers during her time at university: “So many clothes that came through those doors were not resaleable due to the poor quality and cheap manufacturing. It made me realise that I wanted to create a collection that wasn’t just sustainable in using preloved clothing but also sustainable in that it will withstand the test of time, and never date; and denim that is 100% cotton is durable. Have you ever gone a season without wearing denim?

Exactly, it never dates and has never gone out of fashion. Denim is a wardrobe staple.”

“It was my housemate at the time who suggested that I should set up a shop on ASOS Marketplace, so I began to investigate. The requirement to be on ASOS Marketplace was a minimum of 15 different designs, which spurred me on to create a small collection of jackets and accessories. Alongside this I was also doing markets to get my designs and brand name out there. I then stumbled upon The Prince’s Trust who help young people between the ages of 11-30 to get into jobs or start their own businesses, they also run a course which helps young entrepreneurs start up their business with the help of mentors. I participated in the Prince’s Trust entrepreneurial programme, which helped me learn instrumental knowledge for my start up business,” she says.

“You’re probably wondering where the name comes from aren’t you?,” Harriett asks. “As a kid I always used to get called Harry, which I hated as I thought it was a boy’s name, and I always used to spell it with ‘ie’ instead. As I’ve grown up, Harry (with a ‘y’) also grew on me. It was a name I became attached to because all my family and closest friends would call me by it. So, when coming up with a brand name it seemed rather fitting. I wanted Just Harry to be a gender fluid brand and spelling it with a ‘y’ rather than an ‘ie’ did exactly this, I felt spelling it with a ‘y’ took the femininity away from the logo and it became more inclusive. You wouldn’t believe how many people assume that I am a male,” laughs Harriett. Starting and running your own business isn’t always easy. But the setbacks and design mishaps are what Harriett believes make her designs.

“I had a creative upbringing,” smiles Harriett.

“With my grandad being a watercolour artist, I spent many hours painting and drawing with him which instilled my passion for the arts and design,” she begins to explain.

“After attending Newcastle College where I did my foundation diploma, I went on to study Fashion Design and Realisation at Leeds College of Art where I graduated with a First Class Honours degree. It was during my years at college and at university that I found a real exploratory spirit in working with pre-existing garments and material products. I loved the process of taking something apart and reconstructing it into something new, while at the same

time being able to use original components from the garments within my own designs, meaning that each piece was totally unique,” she continues.

After graduating, Harriett found herself in search of her dream job. While applying for internships and any form of job within the fashion industry, she never intended on her blossoming business coming to life in the living room of a shared house in Clapham Junction down in London.

“I never intended on starting my own business. I was in London in search of any fashion related job. I ended up interning with a shoe company called Miista (definitely worth checking these guys out by the way) while working in retail in Urban Outfitters.

“The inspiration for Just Harry came from a

couple of different areas and experiences in my life, the first being The Patchwork Denim Jacket that started it all. It was only ever meant to be a jacket that I made for myself. I wore it out to events, to work and just anywhere I went really. I got lots of compliments on the jacket, and had people asking me where I got it from. To be able to answer them with ‘I made it’ was such a great feeling and from this I was asked to do a couple of commissions for friends and colleagues.

“At this point in time, I was just using any old denim and I hadn’t done much research, I just knew I wanted a patchwork denim jacket and I was going to make myself one. This turned out to be a prototype and I learnt so much from it. After analysing my jacket, I realised that stretch denim needed to be

“If only everything was plain sailing. Actually I take that back. I love it when my designs don’t necessarily go to plan, it allows the design process to be opened up and other avenues to be explored. A wise man once told me (our technician at university) ‘there is no such thing as a mistake in design’ and he is right. It may have not been your intention, but it is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes or incorporate them into your designs.

“Due to the nature of the fabrics that I work with, the original components I integrate into my pieces, such as zips, pockets, rivets and belt loops, sometimes pose a problem when pattern cutting and I have to reevaluate where I place pattern pieces so that the components don’t fall into the 1cm seam allowance, which would lead to further problem solving during the construction.

All of this has been trial and error for constructing my collections, alongside learning the ins and outs of operating and growing a business! It’s been a journey, but one I wouldn’t change for the world because of how much learning I have got from it,” she tells me.

Harriett’s designs are inspired by practicality

“I realised I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to take someone’s unloved item and turn it into another person’s treasure,” says Harriett McHugh, the 28-year-old creative from Northumberland as she chats to Nicole Wood about her sustainable fashion brand, Just Harry…

and sustainability which is why she works with simple silhouettes that she brings to life using textural elements that she has created. These can be inspired by nature, pops of colour in artwork, or silhouettes of items of clothing or structures.

“Sustainability is at the forefront of all my designs, not just the preloved fabrics used, but the quality of the end garment, as well as many of my designs being gender fluidcreating wardrobe staples that can be worn by anyone,” she begins to explain.

“All the denim I use and a lot of my accompanying fabrics are preloved. Many of which I get from vintage sellers, kilo sales and charity shops. I do also accept donations of jeans, which my supportive friends and family always keep in mind. Any stretch denim I get in those donations, I use within my packaging, so they don’t go to waste. I use absolutely every component from the jeans. I use the waistbands within the jackets, jeans, skirts and tote bags, belt loops, pockets and all the zips used within my designs have all come from the jeans themselves too - nothing goes to waste!

I even have a fabric bin, full of any off cuts that I use to cut out denim appliqués for the t-shirts and hoodies I do. I don’t claim to be 100% sustainable as there are always aspects that can be improved upon and as Just Harry grows, these are aspects I will continuously address and strive to make better,” she smiles.

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, Harriett tells me the process is a labour of love with some products taking between 25-30 hours to come to life.

“I remember when I first started Just Harry and my mum said ‘wouldn’t it be much easier and quicker if you just used a roll of fabric?’ The answer was yes, but it didn’t fit with the ethos of my brand and I’m glad I stuck to my guns. My passion and drive for sustainable fashion has remained an instrumental part of my brand as I have grown. I realised I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to take someone’s unloved item and turn it into another person's treasure, to show people that clothes can be given a new lease of life, reconstructed into something totally different and that unwanted clothes don’t always need to be thrown out. I’m making a small dent in what seems a never ending pile, but it's a start and I am proud to be a part of the positive movement towards a more sustainable fashion industry,” she says with a smile of pride.

Harriett begins to tell me about the technical aspect of creating a preloved denim garment and I’m in awe of her patience and dedication: “The process starts with hours of unpicking jeans. If you have never seen an unpicker, it is a tiny implement with a silver pointed end, a little bit like a backwards hook and a tiny plastic handle, rather fiddly to say the least. And this is just the beginning. It takes about six to seven pairs of jeans for one jacket, but I like to unpick more so that there is an array of different shades within one garment.

“Once unpicked, all the pattern pieces are ironed out and then either cut into strips or patches, overlocked and then stitched together in either a patchwork or panelled design. I try to create one large piece of fabric before cutting out my pattern pieces, which are then finally constructed into a garment. As I mentioned before - a real labour of love,” she laughs.

When she’s not unpicking denim and coming up with new and exciting designs, you will probably find Harriett in the sea. No matter the weather, Harriett tells me this is one of her favourite ways to relax and reset. Whether it’s swimming or paddle boarding, she explains there’s something so

invigorating about being in the open water which is great for the mind, body and soul.

Who knew denim could be so versatile?

From jeans, jackets, shorts and skirts, to dungarees, hoodies, sweatshirts and even accessories, as well as a fabulous children’s range, there is no stone unturned when it comes to the variety available at Just Harry.

“I will always have the OG’s, my original all denim collection, but over the years I have introduced very limited-edition collections which incorporate contrasting fabrics. My latest was a ‘Denim X Corduroy’ collection which was a great Autumn/Winter edit. My next edit which will be out this summer, ‘Beige Is The New Blue’, a collection inspired by the golden sands that stretch the Northumberland Coastlines,” she tells me. We can’t wait to see it.

You can shop Just Harry directly from their website, as well as ASOS Marketplace, Depop and stocked locally in Northumberland in Jane and Harry’s in Alnmouth.


Blonde beauty

Summer has arrived (yay) and with it, a flurry of people with one thing on their mindBLONDE!

At Hooker & Young we love blondes of all shades and yes - there are many. Blonde hair can make you look youthful, bright and well… they do say more fun! But first things first, a professional consultation is key before you proceed and make any major decisions.

An experienced stylist will examine your hair, allowing you to talk about what you are looking for and how best to achieve it. You may want to start a few shades darker than your target blonde with a less full-on

colour before going completely blonde with bleach. By doing this, you can ensure that your hair will get the amount of lift it needs to go blonde and maintain that colour. A professional service, carried out in a reputable salon will use good quality professional products that will protect your hair from damage and ensure you can get the desired results without burning or damaging your hair. Both a strand test and patch test are essential before any colour service is carried out - please make sure that your salon professional does this. Lifting any hair shade to achieve a blonde

result can come with challenges, especially when there has been a previous colour process applied to the hair. A strand test will let both you and your colourist know what is achievable before you commit to the process and also safeguard your hair against any damage with over bleaching to achieve the desired level of blonde.

Bleaching is almost always followed with a toning process - this is done to achieve the perfect result. The bleaching process only lifts the natural colour, leaving a brassy and in some cases orangey tone. A toner will soften, brighten or warm the lightened base to give you the perfect result which will keep your blonde looking gorgeous. It’s good to know that toners can be reapplied in between colour visits to keep your blonde looking salon fresh - yellow and orange neutralising shampoos and conditioners are also a great way to enhance your colour and keep it looking amazing at home in between salon visits.

So, if you want to make a statement this

summer - take the plunge and do it!

Everyone should be blonde at least once in their life. Let’s make summer 2023 bright and gorgeous.

Michael Young and Gary Hooker run Hooker & Young, with four salons across the North East.

A grounding getaway

Spa breaks are a real treat - often packaged up as birthday treats, anniversary gifts, or pre-celebration pampering sessions. There’s no doubt about it, a wellness getaway is a wonderful experience to share with a loved one, and it’s the indulgent escape we all need every once in a while. But after speaking with a life coach about the health benefits that come with these ‘time out’ moments, it got me thinking… why not just book a day off work, have a digital detox and really listen to your mind and body’s wants and needs? So, that’s exactly what we did. We turned our phones to ‘do not disturb’ and checked in for an afternoon of spa bliss at the Yorkshire Spa Retreat near Helmsley. The name is exactly what it suggests - not just a health club with spa facilities - a real rural retreat. A place where you leave your worries at the door, let your cosy robe embrace you and enjoy the ‘me time’ you deserve.


Reflective of the sweeping landscape that surrounds the retreat, the spa is centred around the simplicity that nature brings. The Wild Swimming Pool is the first thing you see when you enter the glorious outdoor spa garden. It sits at the very heart of the experience and offers a soothing blanket of calm. It’s totally natural, kept clean

and healthy by the plants within it. It’s rather on the chilly side, but presents a unique opportunity to experience the goodness that comes with cold water swimming, right here in an incredibly serene environment. You can immerse yourself in the cold water, stimulate the body, and then reward yourself with a gentle steam in the herbal steam room. We start our day snuggled up in blankets by the hydro-pool. The sun is beating down and the fresh Yorkshire air is working its magic. It’s time to switch off and let the spa do the talking.


What is so incredibly unique about this retreat is that it is all centred around the great outdoors. You’re not hit with heat and chlorine when you walk through the changing room doors, you are surrounded by wood and glass, so you never really feel like you’re escaping the outdoors. The main facilities and treatment rooms are scattered smartly around the Wild Swimming Pool, in wooden domes and huts, in-keeping with the natural environment. We start with a splash in the hydro-pool, with rotating jets all doing their bit to relax and recharge the body. After that, we work our way around the little huts of wellness - from the herbal steam room, to the sauna and the salt chamber. All while watching as the trees sway in the breeze, the birds

tweet as they fly past, and the water ripples calmly. It has all of the benefits of a blissful spa, without compromising on the benefits of the natural world that surrounds us. The relaxation lounge and communal areas are incredibly inviting and well-equipped. You’ll find everything you need, from refreshments to lotions and potions, hair straighteners and little jars of goodies filled with hair ties and cotton wool pads.


My treatment of choice is the Honey Butter Repose facial. It’s 60-minutes of pure relaxation, pumping goodness into my now glowing complexion. Just what the doctor ordered.

If the fresh Yorkshire air isn’t enough to give me a boost, this treatment certainly is. My friendly therapist guides me to a luxury suite and talks me through the treatment. Cocooned in blankets and the blissful aroma that fills the air, it’s not long before I’m drifting off to dreamtime as my face gets the TLC it has been looking for.

Every treatment at the Yorkshire Spa Retreat has been carefully crafted to promote relaxation with nature at its heart - which is why Tribe 517 products used - are rich, nourishing balms and oils made from 100% natural ingredients. Each product used smells delicious enough to eat - captivating fragrances that you can feel working their magic as they sink into the skin, soothing, transforming and creating balance.

This comforting facial is one of the best I’ve had. It’s a superfood facial that lifts spirits while allowing the body to sink in and drift away. Before I know it, my mind is in a restful state, yet my spirit is alive and I float out of the treatment hut feeling like a new person.


The site is home to a number of luxury lodges, finished to the highest spec, featuring bbq terraces and hot tubs. For those looking for the ultimate,

nature-inspired experience to echo the spa, check out the Star VIP shepherd’s hut - our home for the night.

A beautifully quaint bolthole kitted out with everything you need to make your stay as comfortable as possible. We’re greeted with twinkling lights and a bubbling hot tub, the perfect spot to pop open our bottle of fizz left in the fridge and stargaze as day turns to night.

The shepherd’s hut has a fully equipped kitchen, cosy bed with huge mounted tv, and a modern en-suite bathroom. A Yorkshire hamper is waiting for us, packed with local treats and fresh produce for our breakfast.

Gifted: Yorkshire Spa Retreat canvas bag with flip flops and a water bottle. Yorkshire hamper: raspberry lemonade, prosecco, crisps, Yorkshire Parkin, Yorkshire tea, fudge, biscuits, preserves and more.


The Dome is the perfect place to fuel up on snacks, refreshments and delicious Yorkshire-inspired dishes. Whether it’s a mid-spa break sandwich, casual drinks with friends or a candle-lit evening dinner with someone special, this vibrant spot sitting at the very heart of the resort is a real box-ticker. We’re in to try the a la carte menu, bursting with local, seasonal flavours with dishes including beetroot and goat’s cheese tart, Yorkshire rarebit, supreme of chicken, braised beef cheeks, pan fried salmon and more.


The Yorkshire Spa Retreat is set over 8-acres of rolling parkland just a short drive from the heart of Helmsley and less than an hour from York city centre and the Yorkshire coast. A stay here is perfect for those looking for ‘time out’ and tranquillity, but also those looking to explore the local area, be it for walking, dining or shopping.

Make your way over the North York Moors and check in for the ultimate nature-inspired spa break at the stunning new Yorkshire Spa Retreat. Elysia Fryer takes the plunge…

In perfect harmony

on what’s been going on recently and equally she shares her story in return, telling me how and why she decided to bring The Harmonic Egg to Newcastle. She then goes on to explain how in today’s society we find ourselves living in fight or flight mode. Our bodies are tense, surrounded by stress and we never really allow ourselves the time to fully relax and unwind. Because we’ve become so accustomed to this way of living, for many of us, our minds have been programmed to go straight into thinking the worst case scenario. Claire’s example of this is pointed out when I state ‘the pain I was feeling over the weekend, I just know I’m going to end up back in hospital’. She explains this is my body holding on to past trauma, automatically tying a specific feeling to a past experience and instantly, as the words leave her mouth, I know she’s correct. The time comes to slip off my shoes, remove my jewellery and head through to the spacious area in the room next door, home of The Harmonic Egg. Before climbing in, Claire provides me with a basket of blankets, asking me to pick one based on touch. A soft, fluffy and oh-so cosy blanket is my selection of choice. I sit back into the chair and Claire tilts me back to a comfortable position. The zero gravity chair carries the illusion that you’re upside down, while actually, your feet are just aligned with your heart or ever so slightly higher. Once comfy and checking I’m okay, Claire begins to explain what will happen next, shows me the location of a button to press if I need her and asks me what I want from the egg. Feeling a little silly at first, I ask if the egg can help to make me feel calm, to switch off the negativity and allow my brain to feel rested. Following an energy healing prayer, Claire speaks my request into the universe before closing the door and leaving me to embrace my experience.

On a journey to find her inner peace, Nicole Wood tries out The Harmonic Egg…

If you’ve been a Luxe reader for some time now, you might have noticed me throwing myself into the world of wellness. When I was diagnosed with an unpredictable chronic illness in 2020, my life was turned upside down. Both physically and mentally, everything changed. Being on aggressive medication can be scary, but I’m fully aware of the important role it plays. However, one thing I’ve promised myself, is that I’m going to do whatever it takes to make myself feel better - whether that’s physically or mentally - if an opportunity presents itself, I’m diving headfirst in. I’ve tried and tested many forms of wellbeing programmes, most of which come with science-backed evidence, including the likes of forest bathing, cold water swimming, yoga and now energy therapy. While I know, none of these will cure me, I’ve loved how every single one of

them made me feel and I’m willing to give them a go; to help relax, calm and look after my mind.

When I first came across The Harmonic Egg, I truthfully hadn’t heard of it before. To find out it was the only one of its kind in the region - and only one of three in the country, I jumped at the opportunity. So what is it? The Harmonic Egg is a new and innovative, next generation sound and light chamber. During a session, you’ll climb inside and rest within the large interior in a comfortable, reclining zero gravity chair, eliminating the need to lie flat. When you are reclined, light frequency, vibration, and sound work together to create a blend of energy to stimulate your autonomic system to reorganise and promote balance back into the body. The egg’s sound technology has been refined to allow for the purest sound quality. The music played is a curated collection with great consideration given

to the right tones, instruments and frequencies.

Located within the Grade II Listed Bruce Building on Percy Street in Newcastle, you will stumble upon this new, innovative, energy healing practice. I arrive at my appointment, a little sceptical about what to expect and am greeted with a warm welcome from owner Claire Grabham. Already in awe at the beautiful building, myself and Claire head into her quiet waiting room where we slouch back into the comfy sofas and begin putting the world to rights. Instantly made to feel at ease, we begin chatting as though we’ve been friends for years. I fill Claire in

Once the door closes, the music begins to play and the vibrations and lights start to come into action, I find myself too intrigued to shut my eyes. But after a couple of minutes of scoping out my surroundings, I find myself drifting into a slumber of peace. Now I don’t want to make any claims or appear as though I belong in cuckoo land, but I can honestly say, I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. At some point during the 55 minutes, I find my hands coming up to my cheeks, feeling the warm tears streaming down my face. Not quite feeling sad, I’m unaware as to why this is happening, but remain relaxed and embrace the experience. The bell from outside rings before the doors open and what was almost an hour long, feels as though it’s been around 20 minutes. I realise I must have zoned out completely, so much so that I didn’t even realise when the music stopped playing for the last 10 minutes of relaxation.

Feeling the most relaxed I’ve ever been, my body feels weightless as I move back to my comfy spot on the sofa in the next room. With a switched off mind too relaxed to talk, Claire provides me with an electrolyte drink to enjoy before indulging in our next inspiring conversation. When the time comes, I explain to Claire what happened inside of the egg, to which she responded: “That’s completely normal. It’s likely

In today’s society, we find ourselves living in fight or flight mode. Our bodies are tense, surrounded by stress and we never really allow ourselves to fully relax and unwind

emotions have been released from a time you held them back. Each and every person has a different experience in the egg. Some fall straight asleep, some have weird and wonderful experiences and for others, nothing bizarre happens, they just simply enjoy 55 minutes of bliss.”

Amazed and simply in awe of how the whole experience has made me feel, I book my next appointment, before heading home ready to curl up on the sofa. Each and every part of my body, including my very busy, overthinking brain, feels completely zen. Following several hours of this state of

A state of calm

bliss, I notice my brain come to life. Not in a negative, overactive manner, but in a creative, ideas flowing kind of way. Our health is a wonderful thing and how we take care of that is going to differ hugely from one person to the next. If you’re looking for pain relief or medical resolutions, while the science is there, I can’t comfortably recommend. However, if you’re looking to press pause, completely unwind and slip into a state of relaxation like no other, then I can’t recommend enough.


7 lessons after 1000 days sober

Luxe executive coach and Team coach Teresa Peters shares her seven personal learnings after quitting the booze for over 1,000 days

In June I will be celebrating my three years sober and that summer hankering for prosecco is slowly but surely diminishing. If you’re curious about my learnings after 1000 days booze-free then I hope you find my seven pointers useful.

1.You don’t have to be an alcoholic to decide to stop drinking

I was once the girl who could down a pint beating every man in the pub. My student life was a blur and in my 20s my media career in London was filled with expense accounts, boozing and hilarious stories. In my forties as a mum of teenagers and running a business the drinking increased and following nine bereavements and the hormonal changes following a hysterectomy, I continued drinking wine, regularly. I could take or leave any other drink so I couldn’t possibly be an alcoholic! Or was I?

I know I did.

In 1,000 days of sobriety, I’ve tripled turnover in my business, become a better mum and achieved more than in any other time equivalent in my life. With a clearer head, improved sleep, more energy, improved self-esteem, and a way more positive outlook I see my life differently and have clarity.

4. Trying to heal yourself while still drinking is like trying to heal a sore knee whilst going for a run every day It doesn’t work. We can’t do the deeper work of healing, self-growth, and personal development if we are tiddly or hungover all the time. We don’t have to be drinking two bottles of wine a night for alcohol to affect our mood, anxiety, and propensity for depression.

A glass or two of wine a few times a week will do that. What’s surprising is that the first thing that could be done to help so many people (advise they take a break from alcohol) is rarely offered. Yet taking that break is often the catalyst to such improvements in mental health.

During my visit to The Harmonic Egg, I have the opportunity to meet the lovely Anne Fenwick from the Urban Angel, a holistic energy healing business located in the same building. Anne provides me with a Bio-Well scan before and after my experience within the egg to help me gain a better understanding on how the energy in our body works.

What is the Bio-Well scan?

Bio-Well is a revolutionary, non-intrusive way to measure the human energy field using a specialised camera and software system. Each scan returns a wealth of meaningful information to provide you with a truly holistic view of the current state of your wellbeing. Energy plays a significant role when attempting to understand the health and functioning of a human being. The scan is measuring the energy flow through the human body and is not a scan of physical organs.

The technology is based on Electro-Photonic Imaging or Gas Discharge Visualisation technique (Kirlian effect) and was developed by a team of scientists under the guidance of Dr. Konstantin Korotkov who has won the recognition of many specialists.

How does it work?

The Bio-Well scan captures bio-photonic energy emissions given off by each finger and then maps this information to various organs and systems of the body via the traditional Chinese energy meridian system. It gives you immediate insights into what is acutely happening in your body, physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and energetically. Providing insights into the body mind connection and aiding in assessing your overall health and wellbeing. The human energy field, is a multi-layer electro-magnetic field that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. The energy of the bio-field is subtle and measurable and its strength is a reflection of a person’s health.

Not entirely sure what to expect, I was slightly taken aback by the results. Not mentioning anything about my illness prior to the scan, I was shocked to see positive energy flowed through my body apart from my immune system and the organ which is severely damaged due to my chronic condition. My chakras in particular pique my interest as they significantly highlight that fight or flight response Claire said I appear to be living in. Interestingly enough, following my experience in the egg, my chakras improved slightly and I was sent away with personalised music and a plan in place to keep my chakras aligned.

Once again, very sceptical at first, but amazed by the results.

I don’t know if I am an alcoholic! What I do know is that drinking took more from me than it gave me, and I was numbing the pain from a very traumatic childhood. If you drink consistently, then you’ll know booze affects your sleep, relationships, work, energy, and your mental health. It’s about asking yourself ‘Is alcohol serving me or taking away from me?’ And when we ask ourselves these questions, we can be honest with ourselves about the answers.

2. I learnt the truth

Globally, if everyone drank the recommended 14 units a week, the alcohol industry would lose billions a year. It’s no surprise that we aren’t told all the true facts about what alcohol is doing to our health, our hormones, our brain, our mental health and our sleep?

We are led to believe alcohol is our remedy for anxiety when in so many cases that I’ve seen, it’s the cause. Do you remember the first time you tried spirits as a teenager? Without the sugary mixers it was horrible, wasn’t it? The headaches we experience result from dehydration and it’s no surprise since our brain is 65% water. So why on earth did I drink for almost 30 years!

It’s time to start learning the truth about what alcohol is really doing to us when it comes to our anxiety, hormones, and sleep.

3. Booze keeps us small

We stay stuck in old patterns and behaviours when we drink. Nothing changes. We stay doing what we’ve always done because we don’t have the mental clarity, motivation, energy, or self-confidence to change. Alcohol robs us of all that.

Taking a break from booze gives us space to raise the question: ‘What do I want my life to look like?’ So many of us reach our mid-life and start questioning so much –

5. Our friendships may change and evolve When we decide to make changes in our life, the closest people in our lives usually have an opinion on it. Some will support and some won’t get it! Going alcohol free brings up issues for other people. It’s surprising the defensiveness that comes with drinking buddies. We hear them say: ‘I’m not a big drinker! I’ve only had three drinks!’ and of course the peer pressure to ‘not be so boring’ or ‘just have one’. Alcohol is the only drug we must justify not taking. There is a period of adjustment as with any change, but it does settle. My friendships now are deeper and more authentic than they ever were before 29 June 2020.

6. Intimacy and meaningful connection is better than ever

One of the things I was most anxious of in the early days of sobriety was sober intimacy. Which is crazy given I’ve been with my husband almost 20 years. But it didn’t take long for it to become more natural, more meaningful, and yes, more fulfilling!

7. I love my life and the way I show up in my business

I am me! I have found out who I am and do life on purpose.

I meet coaching clients knowing I’m bringing the best of me. I have faults, yes. I laugh lots and my positivity can be overbearing. I sometimes question why people would choose me to work with them. Then I check in on myself and know that I’m authentic and I do what I love. I have nothing to hide and everything to give. My family is proud of me and the feedback we receive about our coaching is phenomenal.

I hope my personal sharing supports just one Luxe reader to gain the gift of time and a sunshine state of mind.

As part of my experience, Anne Fenwick from the Urban Angel, analyses my human energy field before and after The Harmonic Egg experience…

Time to focus on you

World Wellbeing Week returns in June 2023 to provide the opportunity for participants worldwide to celebrate the many aspects of wellbeing. Caroline Dask rounds-up a selection of ways to help you relax, unwind and focus on you…

As the days grow longer and warmer our thoughts turn to the many benefits of being outdoors enjoying nature’s bounty. Our native North East offers rich-pickings when it comes to places and spaces to be in nature, but now the choice of activities

Close to home >>

stretches well beyond a simple walk in the woods or by the sea – with the maximum immersion being a refreshing paddle. Wellbeing retreats now are more immersive – connecting participants with their environment at a profound level and helping them find inner balance in tranquil surroundings.

Rewilding in Northumberland

‘Rewilding’ is a bit of a buzzword now, but the team at Little Hideaways are experts in what it means and the health benefits of being in nature. They encourage visitors to their retreats to experience all that Northumberland has to offer during their stay.

Rewilding, in simple terms means reconnecting with life forms that are in sync with our human biology. Think abandoning your phone and reconnecting with nature in the form of cold water swimming, foraging, barefoot woodland walks, forest bathing, earthing, meditation and watching the stars. All of which have a multitude of health benefits.

Further afield >>

Kayaking over River Tyne

2 June

There is no better way to relax and enjoy nature than from the water. Float your worries away with a quiet morning paddling session guided by a professional and qualified adventure guide. Water has soothing and healing properties so an hour or two spent on it is guaranteed to bring inner peace and calm to your day. The first hour of your experience will focus on appreciating the beauty of Millennium, Tyne and other bridges, while the second hour will be spent ‘going with the flow’. Set the right tone for the day ahead with a truly memorable experience.

Sunderland Wellness Festival

Sunderland City Hall, 17 June

Leave your worries at home and immerse yourself in a day full of relaxation. This 9-5 will leave you feeling recharged and ready for whatever life throws your way. Starting at 9:30am the day will be packed with great activities, all to benefit your inner peace. Starting with morning beach yoga, pilates, movement and breath work, meditation and ending with comedy, talks and prizes, the festival will finish at 5pm, hopefully, with a reformed you.

This is a great opportunity to try new things and a push for those that have been wanting to try lots of different wellbeing activities but never got around to it. Discover something new, meet new people, have fun and most importantly, relax.

Soma and Sacred Sound Workshop

13 May

Sound healing is known for its power to improve self-confidence, independence, concentration and attention skills, and these are so easy to lose in the never ending daily routine. Once we lose that, we become somewhat crystalised versions of ourselves, still and tied to our responsibilities.

This Soma and Sacred Sound workshop will guide you through understanding the stress-addictive patterns and toxicity in our lives. It will use sound vibrations and somatic movements to take you to a zen place, where you can be free of any rigidity holding you back mentally and physically. Sound vibrations will allow you to move and be moved through the power of rhythm.

Breath Mind and Ice Workshop

Seaham Hall Spa, 10.30am - 5pm, Sunday,

21 May

This empowering workshop will take you on a journey with the breath into deep states of consciousness and altered states of awareness. Cold water expert, Hayley Dorian, who was trained by Wim Hoff himself, will lead the workshop and answer questions on the science behind breath and cold-water therapy.

The day’s itinerary includes Kundalini yoga, Ceremonial Cacao, sound therapy, and an optional dip in the ice cold plunge pools. Finish the day relaxing in the award-winning spa. £155 per person, including a two-course plant-based lunch in Ozone, cacao and refreshments.

Flower retreat at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Don’t underestimate the benefits of flower power for our wellbeing. It’s fascinating how something so simple can yet be so powerful in improving our mood, increasing energy levels and emotional connections, boosting a sense of comfort and even improving our memory.

A day spent at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, located in Richmond will allow for aesthetically pleasing visuals worth capturing. The grand design of the 300-acre botanic garden is so impressive, it will take your breath away. Stroll along the new Board Walk Borders, the Victorian Palm House and the Princess of Wales Conservatory for a beautiful escape.

The Big Retreat Festival

1 – 4 June 2023, Lawrenny Castle Estate, Wales

Billed as ‘an adventure for all five senses’ The Big Retreat Festival takes place in Lawrenny Castle Estate in the UK’s only coastal national park. Offering classes from Pilates to circuit training, dance to assault courses, there are also mindset talks, nutrition workshops, and storytelling. Music features too, headlined by Toploader and Scouting For Girls. After an active day of wellness activity, replenish body and mind in the Soul Space - a sanctuary complete with wood-fired hot tubs, wild swimming and gong baths.

Beach Yoga Retreat in Cornwall

Named as one of the most popular spa and wellness retreats in England, this four day experience at St. Michael's Resort in Cornwall will provide the ultimate luxurious relaxation experience. This yoga retreat includes daily beach yoga and meditation sessions as well as spa and wellness rituals. There’s a common saying - you are what you eat - to highlight the importance of diet and how it affects us; this four day wellness retreat will also focus on nutrition with masterclasses on plant-based feel-good eating to improve your health both, physically and spiritually.

Spa and Ride at Exeter Equestrian Escapes

Escape the city for a bit with a few calm days close to Exeter and the coast where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while horse trekking.

Horse riding has a lot of great benefits, apart from just strengthening our physical form, it also stimulates positive psychological feelings and reduces depression.

A perfect getaway for those living in never-sleeping cities as Exeter offers some of the UK’s most beautiful woodlands that feel like heaven on Earth. To experience them at your own pace is a luxury for both your mind and body.

WINNER - BRITISH ARTISTIC TEAM OF THE YEAR 2022 Gosforth 0191 217 0217 Jesmond 0191 281 6714 Ponteland 01661 821 004 Wynyard 01740 644 690 Facebook: hooker&young Twitter: @hookerandyoung Instagram: hookerandyoung HELLO SUMMER!

Life on the farm

World Wellbeing Week is coming up in June and it got me thinking. They say if you want to change your life, change your environment. Well as we read the papers and listen to the news, it’s pretty clear that we have done that. Evolution is, I guess, the change in humankind as influenced by our surroundings over time, how we adapt and develop within that environment. Evolution surely has to be a positive journey, we just need to stop littering the path we tread. Society changes at a pace which far exceeds evolution, and we can then sometimes find our wellbeing suffering, we are the same humans caught in a tornado of change. The way we have lived our lives over the last few hundred years (a relatively short period of time for life on earth), has changed dramatically, and that change whilst bringing exponential advances has also brought stress to our lives.

Two hundred years ago 2% of the world’s population lived in cities, now it’s said that figure is approximately 50%. That change has arisen as our society and prosperity has developed. We see more people, yet I was surprised to read that our relationships can be weaker because we evolved to have deeper, more intimate relationships with fewer people. A city dweller will see more strangers in a day than the average hunter gather did in a lifetime. Perhaps we shouldn’t compare ourselves to our ancestors, but the fact is that human beings have not changed much - genetically - over the last 10,000 years, but our culture has changed significantly over the last 200 years. And here lies some of our stress needles, cultural changes are way ahead of evolutionary changes.

I don’t think the answer to this imbalance is to throw away technology, that would just result in an explosion in demand for spinning wheels and poor sheep running for cover. The argument to help the imbalance is to replenish the larder of wellbeing by stocking up on green space and enjoying the great outdoors. Sounds

like a weekend of Ben Fogle, I actually think he’s great, and to some extent a weekend of Ben is what we all need. But what I mean is to use the countryside, our gardens, the park as our recharger.

When you think about how we have urbanised, how we’re always in a rush, burning ourselves out and relying on technology, there comes a time when we realise we need to recharge our batteries and one of the best ways to do that is spend time in the great outdoors, using the countryside as our battery charger. Now with spring here and summer around the corner we perhaps should make some commitments to go outside more and let our green natural environment relax us and help promote positive wellbeing. Whilst we have just planted 200 trees here on the farm, whips you may recall, we still need to manage our trees and habitats here. It’s also that time of year where maintenance is a big task. The blackthorn and rhododendrons can be quite invasive. They do need managing, but please don’t rush out now, as you are reading this article in the bird nesting season! When I cut them back, I add their cuttings to our ‘dead hedges’ which I think look great and most importantly provide fabulous habitats, thanks again to Rachel Penn and her gardening for wildlife course here for teaching me this. Birds and animals in general are really important to our wellbeing, it’s a proven fact that interacting with animals has shown to lower blood pressure, boost our moods and decrease levels of cortisol, that stress related hormone. For me, I find taking the dogs out or doing work outside is the very best mind medicine. A gym is great, but exercising in the green open spaces, and yep, those trees again, with the dogs is better. Animals and the countryside do help to improve our wellbeing. Personally, I’m not in the camp of those that feel the countryside should be protected from people who respectfully and responsibly enjoy areas that are now deemed open to the public. Now, I appreciate this one might be debatable,

but I think as long as we’re taking any belongings with us and respecting the wildlife, we can peacefully enjoy the countryside. I do understand that the very presence of humans walking in the countryside can cause damage, but we need to be part of the countryside, it’s ours too, it doesn’t uniquely belong to deer or nightjars, it belongs to all. And we are intended by our genetic pool to be out there. Now if you are one of those 4x4 owners who feel they can drive across moorland tracks for pleasure,

instead of using byways, then I am saying please park it up and embrace the great outdoors on foot. The best way to do this? Get a dog. Not sure if it comes across or not, I do like our dogs, they’re great companions and they ‘make you’ get out in the countryside. Karen used to say she came fourth after the dogs, I don’t think that is really true. Sadly, we only have two dogs now, maybe we should get another?


For further details and to book visit


Spend a relaxing morning picking and arranging flowers to your heart’s content. We import a stunning range of unique tulips each year and plant them en masse so you will have a stunning range of tulips to play with. Coffee and homemade cake is included, and you’ll depart with your own hand-tied bouquet along with the tips and tricks to keep it looking good for over a week in a vase.


Learn how to make these divine French classics in this half day workshop.


Learn how to use paintbrush & watercolours to create beautiful, colourful lettering. Covering the basic strokes and letter forms, Abbi will share all her tips and tricks, enabling you to carry on your lettering journey beyond this workshop with a personalised take-home kit.



Caroline has been a garden writer for over 20 years, and is regularly published in magazines such as Gardens Illustrated and House & Garden. In this workshop Caroline will show you how to break free of conventional ways of writing about green space, whether that’s a garden, a yard-en, an allotment or the weedy cracks in the pavement outside your back door.


Join us on this one-day workshop and learn how to make fancy Fougasse, crusty traditional Baguettes, Pain d’epis, Tarte Flambee, and Salted Caramel Brioche.


On this course you’ll learn how to create a cutting patch. Starting in mid-February with seed sowing we’ll take you through the processes of germination and pricking out, to planting out your cut flower seedlings. We’ll leave you brimming with excitement and the confidence to start your very own cutting patch.

Simon and Karen Phillips update us on the latest happenings from the fabulous Linnels Farm and what’s at the forefront of their minds this spring…
Simon and Karen

Colourful cuisine

Northumberland chef Jane Lovett’s fast, fuss-free recipes for any occasion, featured in her new cookbook, Deliciously Simple

Deliciously Simple by Jane Lovett, (Headline Home), £22 Instagram: @janelovettcookery

Apricot & Marsala Syllabub


Possibly the quickest recipe in the book! A lovely, elegant pudding for entertaining, especially when served in pretty glasses. Bear in mind that it’s quite alcoholic when it comes to children. This is best made the day before.

Hints & tips



5 tbsp (75ml) Marsala

2 heaped tbsp, plus 2 tsp best-quality apricot conserve 300ml double cream, straight from the fridge


Hints & tips

This recipe is nothing if it’s not well seasoned, so do keep checking!

Pearl Barley Ratatouille ‘Risotto’


A pearl barley ‘risotto’ studded with Mediterranean vegetables, this makes an unfussy, healthy and speedy vegetarian supper. It is deeply flavourful with a lovely, nutty, chewy bite from the pearl barley. If you omit the butter, it’s also vegan (a dollop of coconut yoghurt would be a perfect vegan alternative).


A good glug of olive oil, plus extra to serve

1 onion, finely chopped (or use about 150g frozen chopped onions)

1 medium aubergine, sliced lengthways and cut into roughly 1cm dice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ tsp dried oregano

1 red pepper, halved, de-seeded and cut into roughly 1cm dice

150g pearl barley


Heat the olive oil in a lidded sauté pan (around 24 x 6cm), add the onion, aubergine and some seasoning and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add a little more olive oil if necessary as they cook, but the aubergine will soak up as much as you give it, so don’t be tempted to add too much. Add the garlic, oregano, red pepper and pearl barley and stir over the heat for a minute or two.

Add the tomatoes and stock, or, if using a cube, fill the empty tomato tin with water, add it to the pan and crumble over the stock cube. Bring to the boil, while stirring, then add generous seasoning. Cover and simmer very gently for 30 minutes, giving it the odd stir and adding a little more water if all the liquid has been absorbed.

1 x 400g tin chopped or plum tomatoes

400ml vegetable stock (or use chicken, if not vegetarian), or use 1 stock cube

1 medium courgette, cut into roughly 1cm dice

12 pitted black olives, halved 4 knobs of butter

To serve…

Basil leaves

Small bowl of grated vegetarian (or vegan) Italian-style hard cheese

Stir in the courgette and black olives, bring back to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes, until the barley is plumped and tender but still chewy and the courgette retains a little bite. You may need to loosen the mixture with a little water - it should be just on the sloppy side, rather than dry or runny. Check the seasoning. Serve in bowls with a knob of butter nestled into the middle of each serving, a scattering of basil leaves (if using) and an extra swirl of olive oil. Hand around the cheese separately (if using).

Get ahead

Step 1 can be completed up to a day in advance. Cool, cover and chill. Reheat gently in the pan until hot throughout, then continue as above.

Put the Marsala, the 2 heaped tablespoons of apricot conserve and the double cream into a blender (not a food processor) and blend briefly together, just until the cream has thickened. Be careful not to over-blend. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl using an electric hand-held whisk.

Spoon into pretty glasses, dishes or small coffee cups, cover and chill for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Put the 2 teaspoons of apricot conserve into a ramekin and stir vigorously with a teaspoon to loosen it. If necessary, add a few drops of hot water to loosen it further. Spoon over the syllabubs to decorate just before serving.

Get ahead

The recipe can be completed up to three days in advance, covered and chilled. Decorate as above just before serving.

Make the most of the North East’s most loved destination.

Stay in one of Wynyard Hall’s luxury cottages. Relax in your private hot tub, dine at The Glass House restaurant, and explore the magnificent 120-acre estate. Wynyard Hall’s four exclusive cottages offer a unique self-catering experience that ensures the magic lasts long after the holiday ends.

To book contact Reception on 01740 644811 or scan the QR code below.

the Marsala for a dry sherry or white wine

Luxe dines out

With an abundance of new restaurant openings and delicious spring menu launches, Luxe indulges in copious amounts of high quality bites. The reviews are in...

Plot to great Luxe visits The Glass House Restaurant at Wynyard Hall to sample their vibrant spring menu…

are rumbling and we’re taken to our table where the well-informed team guides us through the carefully curated menu on offer.

A selection of Smoked Almonds (£4) and Marinated Olives (£3.50) arrive at our table to tease our appetite, both going down a pre-dinner treat. To kick things off, I go for the Torched Mackerel Fillet (£9) served with apple, radish, garden nasturtium and lovage emulsion. My dinner date goes for the Citrus Cured Salmon (£10) served with beetroot remoulade, pickled fennel, Greek yoghurt and a beetroot cracker. Both dishes are deliciously light and packed full of flavour.

The perfect bite

Set in a timeless Grade II listed building on Market Street, Gaucho brings its first restaurant to the North East of England. Serving carbon-neutral steak, fine wines and classic cocktails, the Argentinian steak restaurant is perfect for date nights, after-work drinks, Sunday roasts, and private dining in a vibrant city centre location. After a busy day at Luxe HQ and a

dinner date, it’s the sautéed prawns (£15.50) served in a spicy tomato sauce with pepper, onion, chilli and a slice of toasted sourdough bread. Based on the look on his face, I’m going to go ahead and say it tasted as good as it looked.

We had the pleasure of being invited along to try out The Glass House’s new spring menu and it’s safe to say, we were not disappointed. Following some heavy traffic and a slight detour, we finally arrive at our destination - and by this point, we’re more than ready to indulge in some fine dining. The staff on arrival couldn’t be friendlier and we are greeted with a delicious spring cocktail. With our drinks going down nicely, we’re shown around the spectacular Kitchen Garden. Just moments away from the front door of Wynyard Hall’s new dining experience, lies a botanical treasure trove of northern horticulture. A vivid, flourishing garden filled with seasonal ingredients. The highly knowledgeable and experienced sales and marketing manager, Ivor Hobbs, is the guide on our tour. After our educational journey, our tummies

Our mains arrive and both plates provide a visual feast for the eyes with abounding colours. For myself, it’s the Roasted Lamb Rump (£26) served with cumin, harissa, sweet potato, estate wild garlic and peperonata. The lamb is sensational. Every mouthful offers a succulent bite bursting with flavour. For my other half, it’s the Seared Cod Loin (£22) served with purple sprouting broccoli, radish, Jersey Royal’s and a smoked butter sauce. The cod is cooked to perfection and provides that desirable fall off the fork texture.

Our starters and mains satisfy our appetite, but when the dessert menu is presented, it’s impossible to resist. I sweeten the deal with the Dark Chocolate Mousse (£7) served with caramelised peanuts, dulce de leche and banana ice cream. The banana ice cream? Wow. It’s the star of the show. My partner finishes with the Passionfruit Tart (£7), served with Italian meringue and coconut ice cream. Infused with zesty flavours and fresh ingredients, it’s the perfect finish to refresh the palate.

The ambience here exceeds expectations. A truly serene spot. The whole experience is a real luxe treat.

strategically planned small lunch, our appetite was ready and raring to go. The stylish interior and cosy ambience was welcomed with open arms following a quick rain shower en route. Drawing inspiration from the deep heritage of Newcastle, the restaurant’s interior reflects industrial tones and materials while maintaining a sophisticated elegance. Think deep hues, muted lighting and candlelit surroundings. It’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind over an indulgent meal.

As we take our seats, the lovely Kamila is by our side recommending the perfect wine to go with our steak. The selection of wines on offer is quite impressive, including biodynamic and organic wines produced in the heart of Argentina. With white wine being our personal preference, we opt for the Domaine Bousquet Unoaked, Chardonnay 2021 (£42). It’s the perfect refreshing crisp sip. Exchanging pleasantries about our days and enjoying our well-earned glass of vino, the wonderful Kamila is back with the beef selection board, presenting us with the variety of meats available. She carefully goes into detail about each cut and recommends the perfect cooking time. All of Gaucho’s steaks are wet aged which guarantees the most flavoursome and tender mouthfuls.

After much perusing of the menu, we finally come to our decisions. For me, it’s the empanadas (£6.25) up first. One beef, one chicken and chorizo. Infused with fragrant flavours, every bite is a delight. For my

For the main event, I choose the 300g sirloin (£31) cooked medium rare. The steak is perfectly cooked, with a strip of juicy cracking down the side, and offers a succulent mouthful with every bite. My partner goes for the 400g ribeye (£42.50) cooked medium rare, which is delicately marbled throughout providing a delicious, full-bodied flavour. The two of us are quite the steak connoisseurs and mutually agree this is one of the best we’ve tasted. We decide to share a selection of accompanying sides which arrive in the form of thymesalted chips (£6), truffle mac and cheese (£7.50), buttered lettuce (£6) and we both choose the peppercorn sauce (£4). Our empty plates are taken away and we’re left to chat and sip allowing some time to pass before we consider casting our eyes over the dessert menu. When the time comes, the salted dulce de leche cheesecake with toasted marshmallow comes highly recommended by several team members. With quite the reputation, we had to try it for ourselves. The brownie (£8.50) served with vegan white chocolate ice cream also piqued our interest. Creamy, indulgent and packed full of flavour, the cheesecake truly lives up to its expectations. The

brownie is delicious, a lot richer than the cheesecake, but is the perfect finish to a spectacular three course meal. As well as sensational food in stunning surroundings, another highlight is the staff. Kamila, in particular, has been a delight to speak with and is a credit to the Gaucho team. / gauchonewcastle

Nicole Wood dines at Newcastle’s newest Argentinian steak restaurant, Gaucho…

Tantalising transformation

Aveika is a contemporary Japaneseinspired restaurant, sushi bar, grill and late bar nestled in the heart of Newcastle’s iconic quayside. Following a recent facelift, the team have transformed what used to be the nightclub space into a sophisticated lounge and bar area; we head down to sample their new Sip and Snack offering. The decor, like any Gainford venue, is extravagantly stylish. The area is now made up of plush sofas, statement chairs, low tables and dimmed lighting. Upon our arrival, we’re taken to a cosy table with views looking out toward the historic Tyne Bridge. I take a seat on the comfortable sofa, while my dinner date sinks into the swivel chair beside me. With a diverse drinks menu, packed with meticulously-designed cocktails and a unique range of Japanese whiskys, it’s no wonder Aveika is one of the city’s most popular bars. Signature cocktails are expertly crafted with a twist of creativity, fusing premium products with fresh ingredients. For myself, a cocktail named Satisfy (£10.95) is what piqued my interest. In a tall glass filled with crushed ice combines Absolut Citron Vodka, grenadine and bubblegum syrup. While it might sound too sweet for some, it’s a refreshing and palate-pleasing sip. My partner goes for a frozen Strawberry

I always expect great things from Aveika, but their small plate options… wow! With a recommendation of three small plates per person, we decide to order six to share. First up, it’s the Tebasaki Chicken Wings (£8), slow-cooked and tossed in sesame and spring onion. Each bite offers a sweet taste, leaving you craving more. Another on our list, is the Harumaki Spring Rolls (£8), which combine the traditional flavours of a spring roll with chicken, wrapped in perfectly crunchy pastry and served with a delicious sweet chilli sauce. Generous in size and impactful in flavour, this is definitely a dish that we will order time and time again. A real highlight for the both of us is the Tempura Rock Prawns (£9), a perfectly crisp coating surrounds succulent prawns and is served with

Coarse is the neighbourhood restaurant we’ve all been waiting for. It takes the tasting menu concept and turns it on its head - offering exquisite seasonal dishes in a laid-back environment. It’s easy to get lost in the complex nature of a tasting menu, particularly when you’re presented with tiny masterpieces packing in ingredients you may not have heard of. We have Durham’s newest restaurant to thank for bringing the tasting menu back to life in an easy-going and affordable way. Ruari MacKay is the head chef at the helm. He’s also the co-owner and is delighted to bring his concept to the North East after working his way around some of the region’s top restaurants including Terry Laybourne’s 21, Jesmond Dene House, The Traveller’s Rest and more. After 20 years in the industry, Ruari was ready to open his own place here in the North East. He decided to make Durham home for his foodie venture and shortly after, Coarse was born. We’re dining on a sunny lunchtime as spring is springing, and we’re incredibly excited to see what seasonal flavours are on offer. The restaurant changes its menu seasonally, making the most of the ingredients growing and flourishing at that time.

unassuming little plot with a duck egg blue frontage and hanging baskets. Inside, it’s small and inviting. The decor is modern, neat and minimalist - it’s the food that does the talking here.

Greeted and seated, our friendly waitress talks us through the food and drink offering and we are left to choose between the lunch menu and the full tasting menu (£40pp). We opt for the full works, but with newborn in tow, we pass on the wine flight (which, for only an extra £30pp, is great value). The spring menu we are about to indulge in takes us on a journey of land and sea, bursting with wonderfully colourful flavours. Think slow cooked lamb, purple asparagus, wild garlic and more.

First impressions are always key, and in this instance, our first foodie encounter at Coarse is a box ticker to say the least. The ‘snack course’ comes in the form of Guinness bread and homemade sourdough with spring onion and chive butter and a smoked cheddar custard.

Kimchi May. Absolutely delicious!

Coarse sits in a sweet spot just off North Road in Durham city centre. It’s an

The next appetiser is slow cooked lamb neck glazed in curry spices, mint gel and topped with a poppadom crumb. The meat is melt-in-the-mouth delicious and the spices give us the perfect kick to get the palate going.

Daiquiri (£8.95). Bacardi rum, lime and sugar mixed with the fresh strawberries makes for the perfect sweet, yet refreshing tipple. Too good to resist, I have a sip and have the pleasure of tasting the most divine Strawberry Daiquiri. As unforgettable to the eye as on the lips, both drinks are a triumph that leave us wanting more. The Sip and Snack menu is packed with some of Aveika’s beloved favourites. Reworking classics with a modern, innovative twist is what the food here is all about. From past experiences,

Sticking with the seafood theme, the Wok-fried King Prawns (£9) served in a chilli, garlic and dashi sauce are packed with fragrant flavours making for the perfect summer dish. Ideal for sharing, the Chicken Yakitori (£9) glazed in teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with spring onions taste as good as they look. Our final selection - and possibly one of the best - is the Robata Grilled Chilli Beef Skewers (£11). Marinated in chilli, soy, ginger, garlic and kimchi, these succulent skewers are tender, juicy and cooked to medium-rare perfection. Coming highly recommended, we’re also tempted by the Chilli Garlic Fries (£5). Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside with a little kick of spice, they’re the perfect foodie pairing against our selection of sharing plates. With our bellies full, we eventually muster up the energy to say goodbye and leave with smiles on our faces, already planning our next visit in our minds.

The ‘spring forward’ course is a highlight for me. A real celebration of the seasonwild garlic, heritage potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli and egg.

The pastrami salmon is next - cured and smoked with a black pepper and coriander crust and served with mustard dressing, rye crackers and pickled cucumber.

The main courses are a halibut fish pie with pickled mussels and prawns, and the pork-shire - Yorkshire pork collar, black pudding, rhubarb ketchup and cider braised cabbage.

Time for the sweet stuff. Now I’m usually the starter over dessert type, but this place has totally won me over in the pudding department. The rhubarb cake and pistachio custard takes us back to childhood and the malteaster is a chocolate-lover’s dream. Delicious.

Whether you’re big on tasting menus or completely new to them, we can’t recommend a lunch or dinner at Coarse enough. We left feeling full, inspired and eager to discover more. We’ll certainly be back to experience those sensational summer flavours.

Nicole Wood heads down to Aveika to try out their new bar and lounge menu…
Good taste
Coarse serves up an easy-going take on the tasting menu concept. Elysia Fryer dines at the new Durham spot…


with chef Chris Baber

BBQ inspiration, fragrant recipes and foodie festivals - some of my highlights for the summer months ahead…


It’s been a busy time for me recently, but I love it. That’s one of the best parts of my job. It’s that time of year where there are lots of great foodie festivals coming up and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in. I’m going to be heading back home to the North East for the Hexham Book Festival on 23 April which I’m thrilled to be a part of. I always said if I was to publish a book, the Hexham Book Festival would be the place I’d like to attend, so I’m honoured to be there. I’ve also been doing some TV work and made an appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch which was great fun. I really enjoy TV work, showing people how to make simple, delicious dishes. There’s no better feeling than when someone tags me in something or reaches out and lets me know they’ve used one of my recipes. I’m also going to be heading out for The Body Camp Retreat in Mallorca which I’m super excited for. There’s going to be a great bunch of us, it’s going to be lots of fun, lots of fitness, activities and good seasonal food.

into fashion, it’s really comfortable stuff. We’re great mates and have always wanted to work on something together so this a great collaboration and we’re really looking forward to what’s to come. Keep your eyes peeled for that one.

Crispy chilli beef


The start of May can be incredibly different from the end of June. We’ve said goodbye to our root veggies and are now starting to welcome those brighter green ingredients to our plates. I love spring and when the clocks go forward and asparagus is in season, I know it’s arrived. Asparagus is only in for a short length of time, but when it is, wow. Either cook it on a hot pan with a little bit of butter, fry it off for a couple of minutes, sprinkle it with a little bit of salt and it’s delicious. Alternatively, try drizzling with a little oil and pop it in the oven and roast it for 15 to 20 minutes to enhance the flavour. Wild garlic is always incredible at this time of year. If you can get hold of it, it makes the most wonderful homemade pesto. There are so many fresh, fragrant ingredients to experiment with at this time of year.


I spent some time in Miami recently, I was over there with the HexClad team, we sponsored the Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival. It was a great vibe over there, I loved getting involved in demos and finding out more about the colourful food scene. There is a thriving food scene in Miami, the quality of seafood is incredible - although nothing beats the fish off of the Northumberland coast. I’ve got Pub in the Park coming up in May, which I’m so excited about. It’s a great family-friendly event running throughout the summer. I’m really looking forward to being on the kitchen stage, there’ll be some great chefs, restaurant pop ups and artists there too. Another thing in the pipeline at the moment is a little social media series I’m planning on filming with my good friend David Gandy. David’s a model and recently launched a new clothing brand, David Gandy Wellwear, It’s a fantastic brand and is all about bringing wellbeing


If you’ve got any questions you want to ask Chris, please get in touch via his Instagram page. Chris will select a question and answer it in the next column. #AskChris

Q: Best dish to cook on the BBQ for al fresco dinner parties?

A: A butterflied leg of lamb on the BBQ is always a winner. Make sure you get a boneless leg of lamb, butterfly it and then marinate with some garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Pop it on a hot BBQ to cook making sure it’s nice and pink on the inside but beautifully seared on the outside to give it that delicious smoky flavour. Serve with a big salad, breads and some mint yoghurt dips. Dining outside is all about food that’s easy for everyone to share and dig into and this is perfect for that.


Cook your favourite takeaway dish from the comfort of your kitchen. A fragrant bowl of goodness packed with tons of flavour…


For the beef

2 x 200g rump steaks

50g corn flour

8 tbsp vegetable oil

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped Cooked rice, to serve


For the sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 inch ginger, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

4 tbsp hoisin sauce

4 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 large oranges, zest and juice

3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp dark soy

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

Cut the beef into thin strips, pat dry with kitchen paper then toss in the corn flour and set aside.

For the sauce

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a 25cm (10 inch) frying pan over a medium high heat. Fry the garlic, ginger and half the chilli for one or two minutes not letting the garlic burn.

Add all of the remaining sauce ingredients, bring to the boil then simmer for five minutes or until you have a thick glossy sauce.

Meanwhile, heat 8 tbsp of vegetable oil in a 30cm (12 inch) frying pan or wok over a high heat, add the beef and fry for two minutes or until golden and crisp. Use a spider strainer to remove the fried beef to a plate with some kitchen paper to take off the excess oil .

Bring the sauce back to the boil, add the cooked beef and toss together for a minute until coated in the glossy sauce.

Scatter with the spring onions (green onions) and remaining chilli. Serve and enjoy!

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Raise a glass

Get the party started with this delicious array of tempting summer sips…

Compiled by: Julie Burniston

Refreshingly fruity >>

Squeezy’s Disco Baby Vodka Soda

Edinburgh’s Whitebox is known for crafting some of the cutest (and most delicious) canned cocktails in the game, and Disco Baby is their homage to the trad vodka soda, though this being Whitebox, there’s a twist!

The cool classic has been elevated with natural watermelon and subtle herbaceous notes to create a ready mix described as balanced, refreshing fruity deliciousness!

Created in collaboration with acclaimed cocktail bar Three Sheets Light, it’s light, bright - and great for discos (obvs!).

*Tasting notes: Drink chilled from the can or serve in a highball glass with good quality ice.

Sunshine in a bottle


The Aperitivo Co Sofia Rose Vermouth

Delicate and perfumed, this soft pink Sofia Rose Vermouth from Bristol-based The Aperitivo Co is an aromatised wine with a delicate and perfumed character. An exquisite blend of soft unctuous botanicals, orris root and chamomile for florality, a fragrant heart of roman wormwood and mint, and elegant top notes of rose petals and fresh raspberry, it truly is summer in a bottle.

*Tasting notes: To impress your guests, try a Highball. Take 50ml Sofia, top with cream soda in a highball glass and garnish with fresh strawberries and mint. Feeling classy? Try a Rose Martini using 35ml Sofia, 35ml vodka, stir until ice cold and serve in a coupette and garnish with a raspberry and rose water mist.

That’s summer sorted >>

Pinkster’s Pinkster Spitz

Drum roll please for the latest launch from Cambridge-based Pinkster gin. The Pinkster Spritz, available in Elderflower and Raspberry or Hibiscus and Raspberry features reduced alcohol and lower calories, making this refreshing drink the perfect choice for those laid-back summer get-togethers. Made with tipsy, locally grown raspberries left over from producing Pinkster gin, this is a tipple that’s both naturally delicious and sustainably sound.

*Tasting notes: Serve this scrummy spritz with soda water, a squeeze of fresh lime and heaps of ice. If you can lay your hands on Fever-Tree’s Mexican Lime Soda, all the better. For an extra special ‘do’ try 25ml Pinkster gin, 25ml Pinkster Raspberry & Hibiscus spritz, top with prosecco, garnish with flowers and citrus ribbon and...relax!

Espress yourself >>

MOTH Cocktails Espresso Martini

If you need a bit of an energy boost, you can count on this beauty to open your eyes.

Smooth, bitter and balanced, the Espresso Martini from London-based MOTH Cocktails (MOTH by the way, stands for Mix Of Total Happiness) goes with sweet things, and is perfect with your favourite party playlist. Starring Wood Brothers’ single estate vodka, cold brew coffee and coffee liqueur.

*Tasting notes: Shake: (like a polaroid picture) but harder than you think about five times. Squeeze: softly and slowly into a glass icy enough to write your name on. Watch: as it cascades into a serious layer of creamy foam. Sip - and enjoy!

Tequila, it makes us happy >>

Pimentae Tommy’s Spicy Margarita

Ready for a summer tipple to knock your socks off? If you like picantes and love tequila, this is the drink to get you hot under the collar! Tommy’s Spicy Margarita from Alice and Wynter at Pimentae Drinks in London is a multi-awardwinning spicy margarita which blends tequila, lime, chilli and agave for the perfect balance of sweet ‘n’ spicy. The 100 per cent plastic free bottles are wrapped in eye-catching art by Kit Lintin and are perfect for upcycling once empty – which believe us, won’t be long!

*Tasting notes: With such a fiery blend, Tommy’s Spicy Margarita needs no addition - simply serve over ice, garnish - and wait for the kick!


50ml Northern Lights Gin

15ml simple syrup

15 mint leaves

Half a lime Club soda


Place the mint leaves and lime into a cocktail shaker and muddle till all those juices have been released.

Pour in the gin and simple syrup then fill with ice. Give it a good shake. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Top up with club soda. Garnish with a slice of lime and a mint leaf or two. Make sure to give it a good old stir before sipping. Try not to guzzle it down too quickly (I know that’s impossible, but I can pretend!).

TRY THIS >> Northern mojito Inspired by A lost weekend in Grenada
by Jay Byers, Steel River Drinks, Teesside

Be our guest

Friday afternoon >>

It's Friday. You're ready for the weekend and you arrive on a hot summer's afternoon into beautiful, bustling Warkworth. The road loops around the castle walls and arrives at the top of the main street, giving you an impressive view of the village in all its glory. With plenty of parking in the centre of the village and down by the pretty riverbank, you could switch off your engine for the entire weekend if you wanted to. We can reassure you that there's plenty to see and

do that can all be explored on foot. Coquet Cottages' pretty, inviting office rests gently on the edge of the village square, and is aptly named after the beautiful river that loops around the village. Established 25 years ago with just one little cottage in quaint Warkworth, their hand-picked portfolio now comprises 150 luxury cottages. As soon as you book, you’ll be sent handy updates about your stay, leading up to your arrival and during your trip. Checking in after a long day of travelling is super easy

with their comprehensive Digital Guidebook which contains a wealth of useful information about your chosen cottage and the town/village you’re staying in.

Arriving to your weekend retreat >>

Arrive by keyless entry, dump your bags and your holiday has now begun. You’ll find care and attention has been paid to every aspect of your home for the weekend. From the generous welcome hamper containing lots of local treats, to the complimentary branded toiletries in the bathroom (by brands such as Temple Spa, Noble Isle and the White Company), you’ll be spoiled this weekend in your cosy cottage. Get connected to the Wi-Fi (or not, you might want to escape it all for a few days!), put the kettle on and have a nosy through the games and books that have been provided. Netflix will be waiting for you later on, but for now, pour yourself a glass of wine, run a hot bath with your luxury toiletries, and relax.

Saturday morning >>

Blackout blinds or curtains mean an undisturbed night's sleep, waking feeling refreshed and eager to see what the day will bring. Soak in the views of the river and enjoy the slower pace of life in the village. All of Coquet Cottages’ four and five-star properties have everything you need to switch off, so there will be no judgement

from us if you just need a lazy morning! However, we’re keen to take you through the ideal Saturday, so after a quick breakfast with the local, homemade bread and a locally-roasted coffee, it’s time to get out and about.

Our first stop is the arty village of Alnmouth. With its colourful cottages and bobbing boats, at its best enjoyed on a sunny day when the tide is out, revealing a vast expanse of golden sand. Alnmouth is 3.5 miles north of Warkworth, linked by a coastal path very popular with cyclists and walkers alike, so we’d recommend walking to appreciate it to the fullest. The sea views are stunning and knowing that refreshments are waiting for you on the other side, makes the route a little easier.

After a quick detour to The Old School Gallery, where you will find a seasonal art exhibition, you’ll need to refuel. Retreat into the comfort of Scott’s Deli, an artisan, upmarket local delicatessen specialising in good coffee, great gin and even better baked goods. We hope you’ve brought a backpack because you’ll probably take home some goodies for later on!

After a quick deli-sandwich pit stop (they welcome dogs, too), we’d recommend heading up to The Alnwick Garden in the afternoon. A quick caveat on this one though; you’ll find Alnwick easier to reach by car (or bus) and sadly dogs are not permitted at The Alnwick Garden. Step through those magnificent gates and you’ll be met with the Grand Cascade. After a tranquil stroll through the Cherry Orchard, a mysterious wander through the Poison Garden, and a little fun in the spell-binding water sculptures, you’ll be ready to retreat to your handpicked holiday home - hopefully with the gin you purchased earlier!

Kick off your walking boots and sink into the bath, making the most of the complimentary toiletries. A glass of wine will go down

Let us take you through our idea of the perfect weekend in Northumberland, all hosted by Coquet Cottages…

nicely, especially when paired with alfresco-style dining in the enclosed garden.

Sunday >>

Your final day is a lazy Sunday - with emphasis on the lazy! The beds are so comfortable that breakfast turns into brunch, and you only need to make it as far as the garden before lunchtime. Taking a short walk into the village, you will stumble across Cabosse, a small French patisserie with delectable goodies for gift shopping (and a treat for you, too).

Have a wander down to the riverbank and follow the loop around the village. You’ll pass The Hermitage, an English Heritage site that can be reached only by rowing boat from across the river, and was once the home of a monk who retreated into solitude after losing the love of his life,

carving designs into the rockface.

If you’ve built up an appetite, a Sunday roast is the perfect end to a wholesome weekend. The Masons Arms is regarded as the best pub in the village for atmosphere and food and they’re dog-friendly too.

Their huge beer garden has been recently refurbished with a pizza hut, and is a hidden sun-trap in the warmer months.

After sharing some heavenly food, we expect you will feel defeated! Perhaps substitute the planned dessert for a cold beverage; never a bad idea.

In a last effort to see more of the sights, we’d recommend a drive through Amble, past the Sunday Market selling the day’s local catch, and park up by the seafront.

The local Sunday market is held every week on the old quayside which is a delight to wander around, leading into the ‘Harbour Village’, a collection of mini boutique-style independent shops operating out of pods resembling old fishermen’s huts. The views from the quayside are spectacular – not just of Coquet Island and out to sea, but snaking down the Coquet estuary, framed by impressive Warkworth Castle.

Upon your return to the cottage for one last relaxing evening – we’re sure you will want to stay a while longer. The guest book offers even more inspiration for your next trip. Perhaps you’ll want to stay for a week or two, discover a different season, or bring the whole family next time. Whatever your ideas are, the friendly team at Coquet Cottages are travel experts and will happily chat you through their recommendations for the perfect next trip.

01665 710700

Arriving by keyless entry, dump your bags and your holiday has now begun. You’ll find care and attention has been paid to every aspect of your home for the weekend

A coastal escape

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves getting wrapped up in everything around us. Whether it’s work, making time for loved ones, juggling a busy schedule or whatever else it may be, and before you know it, it’s Monday again. This in particular is something I’m guilty of at the moment. Without delving too deeply into the gory details, I’m finding myself burnt out and not looking after number one. When I stumbled upon The Basement Retreat and found out the property was beginning to welcome guests, I thought great, a chance to turn off my phone, switch off and unwind. When the time comes to get booked in, I go for a mid-week evening. Odd? Perhaps. But for me, not just living for the weekend and switching off completely after a busy day is so important. I take the opportunity to go completely radio silent (after a few snaps of the gorgeous property, of course). It’s a Wednesday afternoon and myself and my partner jump in the car after a busy day at work and head for the coast. The Basement Retreat, which once functioned as the butler’s quarters of a listed Georgian home, is located in the heart of Tynemouth just a few minutes walk from the beautiful cove of King Edwards Bay, a twenty minute drive to the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and the countryside of Northumberland. Upon arrival, we meet the lovely Dianne, the owner of this truly unique boutique hideaway for two. As we head down the stairs, the cosy outdoor area is the first thing we see. Kitted out with reclaimed wood, two stylish chairs and a side table, this cosy outdoor setting offers a first glimpse of what’s to come. Instantly, I envision sitting out here in the morning, enjoying a slow start to the day with a cup of coffee in hand. We head through the doors and are instantly greeted by beautiful essential oil aromas. From the cosy decor, relaxing scents and luxury furnishings, the whole place oozes peace and tranquillity. Pre-arrival, we were

offered the option of a relaxing foot soak which we eagerly accepted. Following a quick tour of the open plan ground floor basement, we slip off our shoes, take a seat in the slouched back leather chairs and place our feet in comfortably hot bowls of water. Once we’re sitting comfortably, Epsom and dead sea salts blended with essential oil aromas of organic lavender, lemon and fir balsam are poured into the water; creating the most relaxing sensation. After just a few moments of bliss I realise this is exactly what I needed. After a pat dry and complementary slippers are popped on, we say goodbye to Dianne and the basement is ours to enjoy at our own leisure. The decor here echoes cosiness. The use of raw natural materials, the exposed original church stone wall, layers of textures with dark moody tones and considered details combined with plush furnishings add a touch of luxury to the look.

The open plan nature of the space combines the living area and bedroom while still having the ability to feel like separate areas. You can find the two leather chairs and a side table in the living area with the super king size bed placed behind. A Samsung picture TV with integrated Netflix and Amazon can be enjoyed from the comfort of both. Along with this, you’ll also have access to a Roberts bluetooth radio, and a selection of games and books; it’s safe to say you won’t be short of entertainment.

On a vintage workbench you will find a Nespresso coffee pod machine and milk frother, a Japanese-style teapot with herbal teas for you to sit back, relax and enjoy. On our arrival, we sip on a cup of peppermint, nettle and licorice herbal tea. A little apprehensive about the licorice at first, I enjoyed every mouthful which left a lovely sweet aftertaste.

The uniquely designed raw steel kitchen doors play backdrop to the original stone wall with a display of carefully selected earthenware plates, bowls and cups made by a local potter, and beautiful glassware; all of which works to create a rustic feel with a luxurious twist.

The kitchen is fitted with modern-day essentials including a two-ring hob, microwave oven, slow cooker, integrated dishwasher, and fridge, and including a stylish kettle and toaster.

As much as we’d love to take advantage of this divine space, we decide to go for the ultimate relaxation experience and wander out for a bite to eat. A short stroll down the road, we come upon Lola Jeans, a fanfavourite here in the North East. After filling up on gourmet burgers and perfectly-cooked steak, we take a stroll along King Edwards Bay before returning to our home for the night.

Without a doubt, the gorgeous bathroom is a real highlight for me.

Behind the reclaimed wood sliding doors, this stylish space composes a rainfall

shower, with a free-standing nickel and copper bath, underfloor heating and Aesop amenities. I help myself to more of the divine-smelling bath salts, light a candle and cocoon into the steamy hot waters. It’s the perfect place to close your eyes and truly switch off. An hour - or two - pass by and I step out of the spa-like tub and wrap myself up in one of the complementary grey fluffy robes.

Perfectly adorned with superior goose feather and down bedding, ultra soft linens, and perfectly plump cushions, the super king bed is as inviting as it gets. The blackout window shutters and dark curtains offer an extra layer of cosiness and ensure an undisturbed night of rest. I climb in the oh-so comfy bed, make myself at home and enjoy a healthy dose of binge watching on Netflix. After one of the most relaxing evenings followed by a dreamy night's sleep, we wake to a beautiful morning at the coast

and take advantage of the slow start to the day. Before saying goodbye to a new-found sanctuary, we head across the road to Woods Coffee for a refreshing vanilla ice latte to kickstart our Thursday. Whether you’re looking for a luxury base to explore the beautiful beaches and stunning coastlines of Northumberland, visit the city of Newcastle, get some work done with no distractions or just somewhere simply to hunker down for some R&R and time out from the world, The Basement Retreat is a choice I would highly recommend. But for me, this is much more than a staycation spot or a place to lay your head. It’s a sanctuary. A safe space to enjoy a spa-like experience with the comfort of your own privacy. A place to switch off from the rest of the world, to truly unwind, clear your mind and let your stresses slip away.

Looking for a moment of calm, Nicole Wood checks into The Basement Retreat, Tynemouth’s newest staycation spot
It’s a sanctuary. A safe space to enjoy a spa-like experience with the comfort of your own privacy. A place to switch off from the rest of the world


Suite life

Check in to paradise at ACRO Suites - a boutique wellness sanctuary on the beautiful Greek island of Crete. A place where you can truly switch off, feel worlds away from the every day and reconnect with your true self. We’re dreaming about days spent sipping wine on the terrace, cooling down in the plunge pools or practicing yoga on a clifftop at sunset. Bliss.


Island hopping

The freedom and flexibility a private luxury yacht charter provides is second to none. Never has the term ‘Island Hopping’ been more appropriate, with complete control over which islands you cruise to, and how long you stay at each one. Soaring summer temperatures will have you yearning for the cooling waters of the Adriatic, but rest assured that gentle waves and crystal-clear ocean are never more than a step away from the beach club of your luxury vessel.

As glamorous or as low-key as you want it to be, Croatia provides the perfect combination of nature, history, and the spoils of the Mediterranean. Whether by sail or motor yacht, there is no doubt that these formidable islands are best experienced from the water.

The itinerary >>

Day 1 – Split

Embark in the vibrant port city of Split.

Discover the ancient imperial Roman palace which belonged to the Roman Emperor Diocletian and stroll through the narrow winding streets, where Roman, mediaeval, and renaissance buildings coexist alongside traditional cafés and galleries. In the evening dine in one of Split’s traditional harbourside restaurants or,

if you prefer, enjoy dinner and drinks on board prepared by your wonderful chef and crew.

Day 2 – Split to Solta

The island of Solta is blessed with many beautiful beaches and bays on the south side of the island. Sunbathe, snorkel and swim in these sparkling waters before heading ashore to discover historical landmarks. Bicycles can be rented if you wish to take in the sights in a more active manner.

Enjoy lunch in the tiny harbour of Maslinica, it was developed around the castle built by the noble family Marchi in 1708, purpose built with a tower to defend against frequent pirate attacks.

Day 3 – Solta to Brac

Today you will discover the island of Brac. The island retains a feeling of remoteness despite being one of the larger islands in Croatia and closest to the mainland.

Home to the glorious ‘Golden Cape’ beach, today is all about sunbathing, snorkelling, and enjoying the yacht’s water toys. Golden Cape beach is also renowned for its windsurfing opportunities due to the prevailing winds.

In the late afternoon sail west to Milna, a traditional Croatian port town renowned for its small but spectacular bays. Explore

the narrow, cobbled streets, where history is found on every corner. You will anchor here for the evening.

Day 4 – Brac to Hvar

Known as the Croatian St. Tropez, Hvar is covered in pine forests, with beautiful vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields in the agricultural areas.

Take a hike to the old fort in the morning and then spend the afternoon relaxing in the port’s restaurants and bars. If you would prefer a more adventurous afternoon, Hvar is close to the nearby island of Scedro, which boasts 20 tiny bays to explore. For spectacular views head to the Spanjola, the fortress that sits on the top of Hvar port and offers panoramic views,

Island hopping in the Adriatic on a luxury superyacht offers ultimate wanderlust freedom for avid globetrotters…

before heading back down to dine in one of the traditional waterfront restaurants.

Day 5 – Hvar to Vis

The most remote and least inhabited of the Dalmatian islands, Vis has a chilled-out vibe, making it the ultimate destination for relaxing.

Sunbathe on the secluded shoreline, snorkel in the wonderfully clear waters or explore the coast on stand-up paddleboards. There is also the option to cruise to the small nearby island of Bisevo to discover the Blue Grotto, known for its glowing, iridescent blue light.

In the evening take a stroll through the cobbled streets of one of the island’s sleepy villages before heading back for sundowners on board.

Day 6 – Vis to Korcula

They say no island has more legends or monuments than Korcula, and it is also one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic. Built on the foundations of an ancient Greek colony, it is famous for its streets that are shaped in the form of a fish bone and lined with Gothic and Renaissance buildings. There are many spectacular dive sites in the surrounding waters. Dive, snorkel and enjoy the yacht’s jet skis and inflatable water toys. After an afternoon filled with awe and discovery beneath the waves head back to Korcula for dinner under the stars at anchor, prepared with the finest locally sourced ingredients.

Day 7 – Korcula to Pucisca

In the morning you will sail to another secluded bay where you can relax and make the most of the yacht’s amenities. Back on board, you will then sail on to Pucisca on the northern side of Brac.

The island was recently named as one of the top 10 most beautiful in Europe due to its calm turquoise waters and greenery. Renowned for its white limestone houses,

every home in the village is made from the stone, aptly earning itself the nickname ‘The Stone Town’.

The material is so plentiful here that it has been used across the world in many significant buildings, from the White House in Washington to the buildings of Parliament in Budapest.

Day 8 – Disembark in Split

Disembark in Split. Charming cafes are to be found every step of the way, while in the modern part of town you will find plenty of high-end establishments serving modern and experimental cuisine, all with typical Croatian hospitality – the perfect way to say goodbye to these magical islands.

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What would it cost?

Depending on the size of your party, private yacht holidays can be much more affordable than you might previously have thought. Take a look at the examples below.

A catamaran in Croatia (for up to 8 guests)

Base charter fee: £20,000

Plus the VAT (13%) and expenses (30%) is a total of £29,200

This would work out at £3,650 per person for one week.

A motor yacht in Croatia for big groups (up to 32 guests)

Base charter fee: £61,140

Plus the VAT (13%) and expenses (35%) is £111,886 GBP

This would work out at £3,496 per person for one week.


with Rupert, helped by Nicole Wood POSH PETS

Hello sunshine

There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut grass, the warmth of the sun on your face and lazy afternoons spent lounging in the garden. Spring is in full bloom and summer is on its way which means endless exploration, outdoor adventures, and new sensory experiences.

For our red-haired pup, the longer days herald splashing through the waves on day trips to the beach, playing fetch in the park, sunny strolls through the countryside and

Luxe pet Q&A

snoozing in the sunshine-filled patches of grass in the garden. With that in mind, Rupert has picked out some of his favourite pieces for the garden, as well as digging out some top tips on how to make it pet-friendly. He’s also been catching up with quite the duo, Patch and Milo, the six-year-old Jack Russell brothers. Sit back, relax and prepare for summer.

Rupert, your luxe pooch x

Rupert loves:

Time to get your garden ‘pooch ready’ for summer…

‘Beach’ Dog Drying Coat £58.95,

Hey guys, we’re Patch and Milo, the six-year-old Jack Russell brothers. Sometimes we’re the best of friends and love nothing more than snuggling up together, but if one of us sneaks off with the other’s treat or takes up a little too much room on the blanket, then it’s war. When we’re not too busy snoozing away the day, you’ll find us basking in any spot of sunshine we can find.


We’re lucky enough to live nearby lots of big open fields and woodland areas. We’re not the biggest fans of our harnesses, so prefer to run wild and free through the trees.


One of our favourite spots is Beamish Woods. A short car ride followed by an adventure through the trees is always lots of fun.


Sleeping is what we’re best at. After a hard day’s work doing nothing, we like to unwind with a nap on the sofa beside our humans.


For me (Milo), I’m a lot more playful than my brother Patch, I like to have fun with

my humans, get into mischief chewing things I shouldn’t and get overly excited when our friends and family pop by to see us. For me (Patch), I like spending time with me, myself and I. I like to curl up in a ball, get cosy under a blanket and sleep, sleep and more sleep. Sometimes, when there is no one else around, I like to cuddle up with my dad. We both have a special skill of singing too. Forget Alvin and the Chipmunks, we’re Patch and Milo, the Russell Brothers.


Tummy rubs and ear scratches are the way to our hearts. And when it comes to comfort, we’re spoilt for choice. We have our own comfy beds, but sometimes prefer to snuggle right on top of our pawrents pillows. We especially love being in our human brother’s bedroom, but our human sister doesn’t like it when we sneak into hers. We still do it anyway.


It would have to be our four-legged cousin, Rosie the ginger Jug (Jack Russell cross Pug). We love nothing more than when our pawrents tell us she’s coming around to play. Although she can be a little bit bossy with us, we love her anyway.


We love going on countryside holidays with the whole family, getting into mischief, running through the fields, eating lots of treats and getting cosy by the fire. We do it every year and it’s always our favourite.


Now this is a tough one. Miserable, moody and oh-so pitiful, Patch has to be Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Sticking with the theme, hyper, loveable and the ability to jump the height of humans, Milo would be Tigger.

Don’t forget to get in touch and send in pics of your pet for our next issue via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram… @theluxemagazine @theluxemagazine

How to create a pet-friendly garden…

Much like most of us humans, when the sun begins to shine, our four-legged friends like spending time outdoors too. Here, we round up five ways to ensure your garden is pet-friendly this summer…

Choose pet-friendly plants

When selecting plants for your garden, make sure they are safe for your pets to be around. Some common plants like lilies, azaleas, and daffodils can be toxic to animals if

Sophie Conran Pet Treat Jar £32.86,

‘Woof!’ Dog Bowl £23,

Bees Dog Toy £13,

Palermo Outdoor Dog Bed £250,

ingested. Opt for pet-friendly options like sunflowers, petunias, and marigolds.

Create designated areas

Create designated areas for your pets to play, rest, and do their business. Use fencing or hedges to define these areas and keep them separate from your garden beds. This is a win, win for keeping pets safe and your plants safer.

Provide shade and water

Make sure there are plenty of shaded areas for your pets to relax in, especially during hot summer days. Provide a water source like a pet fountain or a shallow water dish so they can stay hydrated.

Avoid using harmful chemicals

Avoid using pesticides, fertilisers, and other chemicals that can be harmful to your pets. Opt for natural alternatives like compost and organic pest control methods.

Keep your garden clean

Regularly pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly to prevent the spread of bacteria and diseases. Also, keep your garden free of any potential hazards and sharp objects.

50 MAY/JUN23

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Marina West is a new Hindhaugh Homes development. Located in Amble, Northumberland, these new chalet-style coastal retreats with sumptuous styling in a vibrant coastal location offer ultimate luxe living. Paul Hindhaugh of Hindhaugh Homes unveils the details…


“We’re passionate about producing bespoke residential builds to the highest of standards. The building arm of the

business undertook the construction phase whilst my wife Susan and I collaborated on the interiors and specification. The work commenced in May 2021 with a targeted completion date of August 2022.

“We experienced some delays with issues relating to supply chains and specialised contractors so the overall project took 21 months to complete. Kitchens, bathrooms and bedroom furniture was all designed specifically for this project, working alongside Grays Interiors (Cramlington),” Paul says.

The properties have been designed and constructed to the highest specification and are available fully furnished if desired. Exterior finishes are in powder coated aluminium with terraces and outside spaces requiring minimal maintenance.

The remote-access heating system utilises air source and heat recovery, maximising insulation levels that exceed the current regulations and making each property an extremely energy efficient home. Those looking for a lock-up-and-leave holiday home need look no further than Marina West.

About the designer >> Hindhaugh Homes are renowned for converting Listed buildings and delivering high-end barn conversions. “Marina West allowed us to take a ‘blank canvas’ approach to a project, working closely with the Architect (POD Newcastle) from the outset. On a personal level, this was a project that I wanted to be involved with from the initial design stages right through to the interior

The lowdown >> Marina West is a Hindhaugh Homes

styling. With a head full of ideas, this new build opportunity allowed me to incorporate my own ideas into the development,” Paul explains.

Unique selling point >>

Marina West is the very definition of luxurious coastal living. Combining high specification design and sustainable development techniques with a spectacular setting along the beautiful Northumberland coast, the properties represent a unique opportunity to purchase a coastal residence or ready-to-go holiday business.

Inspiration behind the interiors >>

Welcoming accommodation is laid out over three floors, with living areas that have been developed to fulfil every modern need; relaxation, entertainment

and dining space flows beneath vaulted ceilings and spectacular full-height glazing brings in swathes of natural light. The interior décor is simply stunning. Every detail has been considered and every element combines to perfection, highlighted by a range of both subtle and eye-catching lighting.

“The property design takes inspiration from luxurious ski chalets with spacious accommodation, stylish décor and a showpiece living area that opens out onto a terrace with views towards Warkworth Castle. Traditional design blends with contemporary styling to create a sumptuous, modern feel,” says paul.

The results >>

“I’m delighted with the end result. Both the interior and exterior of the development

are identical to the CGI images we produced two years ago, which is a fantastic outcome and incredibly satisfying too. I’m exceptionally proud of the work and feel that we have produced a genuinely unique development on the Northumberland Coast,” Paul explains.

Three luxe things >>

“The top floor infinity spa baths with bi-fold doors onto the terrace allowing the outside inside, I can just picture watching sunsets here. The bathrooms with concealed lighting on the shower wall and the living wall and the hidden en-suite in the principle bedroom.”

For more information, visit marina-west

I’m delighted with the end result. Both the interior and exterior of the development are identical to the CGI images we produced two years ago, which is a fantastic outcome and incredibly satisfying too


A substantial 6 bedroom detached family home. Very stylish throughout, boosting many expensive and quality extras. Open plan living to the rear with bi-fold doors giving access to the extremely large south facing garden overlooking the nature reserve. 4 Bedrooms to the first floor, Master with fitted dressing area and en-suite. 2 Further bedrooms with built-in wardrobes and en-suites to the second floor. Drive for 4 vehicles and double garage

Contact: 01740 645444


The elegant design features a beautiful garden room with Cathedral ceiling and French doors spilling out onto the private south west rear garden. This area in turn opens onto the large dining, living and breakfast kitchen in addition to the lounge to the front. Two bedrooms with en-suite. Externally to the front a drive for 3 vehicles giving access to a double integral garage.

Contact: 01740 645444



A stunning and most deceptive 6 bedroom detached family home set over 3 floors and amounting to over 4000 square foot. This modern mansion which is located within a highly desirable area and set back from the road behind a private electric gated entrance provides quality both inside and out. Very flexible accommodation with excellent room sizes. Extremely private landscaped gardens to the rear and side.

Contact: 01740 645444


This 5 bedroom executive home is situated within a cul-de-sac upon this popular estate. The bright and spacious accommodation offers a versatile layout ideal for a growing family. Two bedrooms with en-suite facilities and built in wardrobes. Enclosed and established front and rear garden, Double drive. Double garage.

Contact: 01740 645444

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Marketing with Fine & Country We value presentation, exposure and service Moving home is one of the most important decisions you will make; your home is both a financial and emotional investment. Our local knowledge and experience make us a valuable partner. CALL US TODAY IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BUYING OR SELLING YOU HOME Tel: 01740 645444 Presentation Exposure Service Strategy We know the art of successfully selling exquisite, premium properties, and in our wealth of experience, there are three guiding principles to maximising the sale price of your property and ensuring a successful sale. Our Proven Premium

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Rosie Bath is the creative brains behind Cera Cotton - a blossoming business bringing wax cotton homeware products to the North East.

“'Cera' is the Latin word for 'Wax', which is what Cera Cotton is all about hence the name. Every single product I create is made from wax cotton,” she explains. After feeling frustrated by the amount of plastic taken on a camping trip, Rosie took her skills as a costume maker in the film

Crafted to last

industry and began experimenting with plastic-free fabric alternatives. Creating a range of beautiful, plastic-free, wax cotton products to fill your home wasn’t always the career path Rosie envisioned, but her exciting journey led her here and she tells me she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“When I graduated from my fashion design and marketing course in 2018, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do. I would have preferred to have stayed in the North East, but a job on a short film took me down south. At first, it was just a bit of free work

looking to get experience but I fell in love with making costumes. It was very practical, very hands on and very creative, I loved it,” she begins.

After falling in love with making costumes, Rosie’s colourful career has landed her on the sets of some hugely successful films designing costumes for actors in the likes of: No Time To Die, Jurassic World, House of Gucci, Little Mermaid, and Aquaman, just to name a few.

“I absolutely loved working as a costume maker in the film industry, but there is

always that doubt when you’re selfemployed, which is what I was classed as at the time. The idea of wax cotton creations came to me when I was on set making a jacket out of wax cotton, which was a material I hadn’t worked with before, and I fell in love with it. I was going camping the following weekend and wanted to create some bunting to take with us when the idea to use wax cotton came to me. It’s waterproof which is ideal for British weather, but it’s also completely plastic free,” Rosie explains.

“Wax cotton was actually invented around 500 years ago by sailors who used it to keep their sails dry and they eventually started waxing their coats, but as a fabric it hasn’t actually progressed much from there which I found strange due to its benefits,” she says. Due to its water resistant qualities and luxurious feel, this tried and tested 500-yearold fabric aligned perfectly with Rosie’s aspirations for helping to make the world a more sustainable place.

“It was really exciting seeing my name in the credits, but I wanted to move back to the North East and my passion for design and sustainability led me to this. You hear such horrific statistics on the amount of plastic polluting our planet and I just wanted to help by making small everyday changes people could incorporate into their lives,” says Rosie.

After coming up with the idea in September and registering the company name in October 2021, Rosie’s business plan slowly started to take shape while she was still working full time in the film industry. Her evenings were spent sitting on her bedroom floor in her house share in London coming up with new ideas and concepts. In June 2021, Rosie went on to win the High Growth award at the Start Up North East awards and that’s when she realised, this could be something huge.

“After winning the award, I decided to move back to the North East. I figured my parents’ garage was a better workspace than my bedroom floor in London,” Rosie laughs. “Moving back home was the best decision I made, this is when I really got my teeth stuck into it,” she explains.

Designer, creator, manufacturer, admin and marketing, Rosie has had to - and continues to - wear many hats to ensure her business is a success.

“I don’t come from a family of business owners, I’m really jumping in head first in the dark with this, but there is loads of great support from fellow business owners in the

Nicole Wood sits down with Rosie Bath, founder of Cera Cotton, to discuss beautiful wax cotton creations and the importance of eco-friendly options to assist in modern living
It’s great that people use recycled materials and recycled plastic, but we’re still producing so much. I think the best thing to do is to just turn off the tap

North East. The Graduate Enterprise Scheme at Northumbria offers mentoring and support to graduates with entrepreneurial ideas; they have also been a really great support system to lean on,” she adds.

“I’m always working on new ideas and writing down notes whenever an idea comes to me. I create all of the patterns myself. I’m very outdoorsy, I love nature and unapologetically I am very girly. I love flowers, especially dried flowers because I have terrible hayfever and that’s what inspires a lot of my designs.

“I love being outdoors and in the North East we’re spoilt for choice on where we can be surrounded by the beauty of nature. For example, for one of my designs, I took pressed flowers, created a design and then created a repeat pattern on Photoshop. I send the designs I create to my fabric manufacturers, where they print and wax it. When it arrives back with me, I use my industrial sewing machine and start creating the products. From working in the costume making industry, I have a lot of sewing knowledge, especially when it comes to different seams etc. and I’ve made it so my products are constructed to be very watertight. Once it’s made and I’m happy with it, it’s packaged up and ready to be shipped off or taken to a market with me,” Rosie explains as we discuss the process of how a single item is created and shipped out to a customer. Sustainability is one of Rosie’s biggest motivators. All of her fabrics and threads are sourced in Britain and are plastic free. Unfortunately nowhere in the UK stocks plastic-free zips and due to this being a hugely important factor for Rosie, her brass and cotton zips are supplied from Spain. Once again, sustainability is kept in mind when it comes to the packaging. All products are packed in brown paper using paper tape and cardboard boxes. Not an inch of plastic in sight.

“Plastic is hidden in everything. I use tencel thread which is wood pulp and is extremely

difficult to source, but a lot of products use plastic threads. Most of our clothing will be created using plastic thread which is sad because all of those tiny micro plastics add up and end up decomposing. I work with a sustainability advisor to ensure everything I’m using from every supplier is as sustainable and environmentallyfriendly as possible.

“It's great that people use recycled materials and recycled plastic, but we're still producing so much. I think the best thing to do is just to turn off the tap and not produce it, you know? Plastic was only invented in 1907 and we survived without it and wax cotton is one of the reasons, we used it for umbrellas, coats, etc.

“There are so many ways around it and we have the ability to create such versatile alternatives. For example, one of my best sellers is definitely my plant pouches. They’re very lightweight and completely waterproof so you can water your plants. They're also very versatile and people sometimes use them for bathroom storage because it doesn't matter if they get wet.

There is tons we can be doing to reduce our use of plastic,” Rosie tells me with such passion and determination.

“The trouble is,” she continues.

“No one is searching for wax cotton products because they don’t know they exist.

“I’m trying my best to change that. It’s about trying to get my name out there and spread brand awareness. This year is packed with events where I can do that. I’ll be at Tynemouth Market every weekend. I’m going to be at Sustainable Discovery in Chelsea, Living North in York and Newcastle and I’m doing the Fearne Cotton Festival ‘Happy Place’. I’m stocked in a shop called Art and Soul Club in Hull and Eco Boutique in Devon. I’ve also had the privilege of doing pop ups in Boots Newcastle and Harvey Nichols in Manchester. I’m also approaching stores locally to see if they’ll be interested in stocking me. I’ve also got my website as well as my Not on the High Street and Etsy

stores too,” she adds. The only business of its kind, Cera Cotton is slowly but surely making waves in the industry. Continuing to grow and providing further innovative products, stunning designs, and varied ranges is sitting high on the top of Rosie’s priority list with a ton of new ideas already in the pipeline. “I've noticed people really like the prints and they kind of want to show them off a bit, so I'm making some more accessories. But in the pipeline, I've got bucket hats, tote bags and festival gear all about to launch. The impact from festivals is huge so this range

of new products is one I’m really looking forward to. I’ve even got cycling accessories coming in due course as well,” smiles Rosie. With summer months approaching and festivals, camping trips, hikes and outdoor adventures happening in abundance, now is the perfect time to think about making small changes that will not only benefit you, but our planet too. This may be one of the world's oldest performance fabrics, but be assured that each Cera Cotton piece is thoughtfully designed for busy, modern lifestyles.



We are proud to launch our exclusive new brand, Coastal by Sanderson Young, which is designed to offer our clients buying and selling across the Northumberland, Tyneside and Wearside coastlines a bespoke marketing offering and promotional advantage.

Our national and international profile of buyers is served by our own website, visited by over 40,000 people each month, as well as across our tailored email marketing campaigns.

Our database of over 23,000 email addresses are specifically registered with us to receive property specific updates, as well as over 5000 buyers signed up for VIP updates which arrive in their inbox daily.

We have over 10,000 followers on Instagram, ensuring your home attracts interest from those specifically interested in property, where we run bespoke video reels of property as soon as it is launched to the market. We have also recently achieved over 500,000 views on property video tours on TikTok, further highlighting the potential reach of our marketing.

The Northumberland Heritage Coastline, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the jewel in the region’s crown and attracts millions

of visitors each year, with many looking to rent holiday homes for short or extended stays. Some holidaymakers then go on to purchase long term homes in the area, with a desire to enjoy exclusive use or eventually retire to the region.

Our Northumberland branch, based in the charming market town of Alnwick, is renowned for being specialists in the sale of property along the Northumberland coast, from Druridge Bay in the south up to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in the north. The well connected and enthusiastic team is led by Valuation Manager Penny Wright and Branch Manager Gillian Greaves, who have worked together for over 20 years and are both local advocates for the beauty of this special stretch of coastline.

The North and South Tyneside coastline is suited principally to the main residential home market, where period family residences and modern apartments are in particularly high demand. Our Regional Valuer Greg McCarthy is supported by a strong team in both the Gosforth regional sales office and our rare! office, which specialises in sales over £850,000.

We have a proven track record in maximising price for our clients in highly sought after locations

including Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, Cullercoats and North Shields, in some cases achieving over 20% premium sale values over initial pricing advice provided by local agencies.

We also cover the South Tyneside coastline, where Sandhaven beach has recently scooped the coveted Sunday Times Beach of the Year title. Wearside’s coastline is also a hotspot, with the pretty villages of Whitburn and Cleadon, as well as the impressive promenade from Seaburn to Roker beaches attracting buyers recently.

We understand the demand for coastal homes from an extremely wide pool of buyer profiles, and tailor our marketing accordingly. An unrivalled social media presence, email marketing campaigns, press editorial features and premium photography and video footage are all offered to maximise the exposure of your home.

If you have a Coastal home that requires considered marketing and a personal approach, we would be delighted to assist you in finding the right buyer at the best possible price.

Should you wish to discuss our Coastal service in more depth please call 0191 213 0033 or visit our website

the region’s finest Coastal homes...


Classic creations

This Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph Men’s Automatic Watch is the perfect timepiece offering style and sophistication in equal measures. Stainless steel 42mm rounded case and bi-directional ceramic bezel, all featured on a brown leather strap with white stitching and folding clasp. This men’s watch has a sunray black dial, hands coated with Super-LumiNova, two chronograph counters and flyback chronograph function. A true elegant beauty.



Partnering your wrist with a stylish timepiece is a luxury we all look forward to investing in. With an array of different styles, functionalities and purposes, we’re delighted to bring you our very special Luxe Watch Edit to shine a light on the wonderful world of watches. Whether you’re in search of the perfect accessory, looking to learn about the history of time keeping or seeking out tips for keeping your watch in tip top shape, this is where you’ll find the answers to your questions...

In association with

A watchesgazillion to keep you ticking


65 MAY/JUN23


Caroline Dask shares tips and tricks for building an elaborate watch collection - one to be proud of…

What is the first thing you notice in somebody when you sit down to have a chat with them? Is it their eyes? Their hair? Their outfit? Or maybe, their watch? Accessories such as rings, earrings and watches carry a lot of weight in themselves. Not only do they add personality and versatility to your outfit, they tell a story. A quick three second glance at your watch can tell somebody whether you like elegance, flashiness, tradition or modernity, so the power of watches should not be underestimated.

A watch collection should tell a continuous story of you, your values, your style and your essence. It’s a delicate and intimate affair, so building a collection should include consideration, attention to detail and, most importantly, passion, because without it, just as everything in life, this eloquent accessory loses its spark.

Reflect on your philosophy

The first step in your journey of watch collecting is to take some time to reflect on a story that it should tell. Consider what kind of buyer you are, not just in terms of watches, but everything. If you shop based on style and are always on the lookout for something stable and reliable - start a collection of trademark pieces from haute horlogerie brands such as: Vacheron Constantin, JaegerLeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux and Patek Philippe. That way you will have a collection of timeless classic pieces that made the brand who it is today.

Some watch collectors might buy pieces that represent important milestones in their life, so if that sounds like you, consider each watch as a representation of your life. This way, watch the collection grow and evolve with you, representing your taste and style throughout the years.


Know your niche

There are quite a few different types of watches and they all differ from each other in their own unique ways. Knowing what is out there and understanding their identifiable features will help massively in building your collection.

The main types of watches are digital, analog, mechanical, quartz, smartwatches, dress watches, casual watches, tool watches, fashion watches and luxury watches. Naturally, the most identifiable feature of a watch is its display and these come in either analog, digital, hybrid and touch screen. Analog displays are the oldest type, whereas digital and touch are more modern. Hybrid displays combine the best of both worlds and that is just the start of it on types of watches. Doing detailed research to understand which watch fits your lifestyle is key in building a harmonious collection.

Don’t save it

Valuable pieces come with great responsibility. Often when we make a valuable purchase we tend to save it for a special occasion, wear it once a year and put it back on the shelf. It’s important to remind ourselves that watches are made to be worn and shown off, they should be a part of your wardrobe, a staple piece worn daily. If you can’t incorporate your watch collection into your routine, you can’t truly enjoy it. The process of finding a watch to add to your collection should bring you joy too, everything - from the extensive research you do before purchasing to engaging in a conversation with fellow collectors and ultimately trying it on, it should ignite a spark in you.

That is the only way to build a perfect watch collection, enriched with carefully selected magnificent classics, because after all, this small but powerful accessory tells a story of you.

Find consistency for every occasion

There is a fine line between consistency and having a variation of pieces for every occasion. A well thought through collection will include a watch for every occasion, but within that variation will be consistency. That is where the importance of choosing your distinctiveness lies. A collection may have different styles of watches but they will all have something that brings it together, for example they all might have a thin strap, bold colour, be vintage, have a modern style, the list goes on. That ultimate uniqueness will be individual to each collector and it is completely up to you what it will be.

Quality over quantity

Once you have done your research and form a plan in your mind of what your collection should look like, it is important to stay level-headed and not go overboard with your purchasing decisions. It is quite easy to get swept up in it once you are out and about shopping, however each watch purchased should be a well thought through and researched decision. It is always better to own three watches that you wear regularly than to own 30 and keep them at home collecting dust. One of the disadvantages of going overboard is the fact that somewhere down the line you might end up with a collection that does not stir any emotions or feelings in you, so when in doubt always choose quality over quantity.


THE EVOLUTION of timekeeping

by German watchmaker, Peter Henlein in 1510. In the early days, the pocket watch was in fact worn on a chain around the neck.

The pocket watch was redesigned in the 17th century, to more suitably fit into a pocket by reducing its bulkiness, and was redesigned again in the 18th century, when intricate designs such as jewels and diamonds were added. It then soon became an accessory worn only by the elite due to its price tag. King Charles II sported a pocket watch inside the pocket of his waistcoat and was a key contributor to its popularity during his reign.


The exact date of the creation of the first wristwatch is up for debate. However, in 1810, a wristwatch was created by Abraham-Louis Breguet, designed for Queen Caroline Murat of Naples. This development has led to Breguet’s modern collection, the Reine De Naples.

You may think that telling the time is a basic feature of everyday life, and most people will therefore take it for granted, however, it wasn’t always as simple as glancing up at the wall or down at your phone. Jessica Chipman shares a brief history of how notions of timekeeping have evolved greatly throughout the ages – from using the weather to tell the hour, to paying for things with our wrist.

Sundials and Water Clocks

Sundials and water clocks are some of the earliest inventions of timekeeping, though they quickly became two of the core principles of timekeeping and an integral part of human culture.

The oldest known sundial was created in Egypt in 1500 BC. It was an L-shaped device that had a horizontal and vertical leg. A numerical value was assigned to the horizontal leg, and when the sun cast its shadow upon the vertical leg, it was clear to read the time based on which number the shadow was covering. The basic concept of the water clock is the regular emptying and filling of a marked vessel by continuous dripping water. The first physical evidence of the water clock dates to 1417–1379 BC, during the reign of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, Amenhotep III. Water clocks made a distinctive dripping sound, which is where the ticking of the clock that we know today is thought to have originated.

The invention of these two devices

had substantial social consequences. They established times for religious practices, work, and public activities, and aided in bureaucratic affairs, debates, and court proceedings.

Mechanical Clocks

Although it isn’t exactly clear when the first mechanical clock was invented, it’s thought to be around the start of the 14th century. Mechanical clocks work by marking the time by counting the swings of a weight which twists back and forth, powered by weights. The earliest mechanical clocks were thought to be considerably inaccurate, as they didn’t include minute hands to begin with, though they were still a great progression from the flaws of sundials, which were inactive unless it was sunny, and water clocks, which often froze up in the winter. It was during the prominence of mechanical clocks that the ‘tick-tock’ sound was properly introduced, as the sound was produced by the

twisting gear teeth colliding with each other.

Pendulum Clocks

Developing from the mechanical clocks was the pendulum clock. Leonardo da Vinci had produced some of the earliest known drawings of a pendulum in 1493, though the first pendulum clock was not invented until 1656 by Dutch polymath Christiaan Huygens. Within the next decade, pendulum clocks nailed accuracy down to the second, and soon became an essential instrument for astronomers and citizens alike.

Prior to the development of the quartz clock in 1927, pendulum clocks remained the norm for accurate timekeeping in most homes and other buildings for over 270 years, and were still in use as recently as the 1940s.

Pocket Watches

The first pocket watch was invented

It’s also thought that Louis Cartier, may have created one of the first wristwatches, the Santos-Dumont. After pilot Alberto Dumont complained to his friend, Cartier about the difficulty of managing the controls of his plane whilst checking his pocket watch. Wristwatches became an integral part of military uniform towards the end of the 19th century, as soldiers would wear watches during the Second Boer War to synchronise manoeuvres during battle. The functionality of the wristwatch was then ever apparent, and it wasn’t long before everyone wanted one.

Nowadays, wristwatches are more commonly worn as a fashion accessory as opposed to a functional tool. With a countless number of designs, colours, makes and models, we’ve certainly come a long way from the days of the pocket watch.


Since the early 2010s, smartphones and smartwatches have become the most common timekeeping devices. The average person is generally never a few metres away from their mobile phone, and thus, knowing the time is a basic commodity.

Leading tech companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Google have led the world into a new era of timekeeping, by producing devices that combine the traditional elements of timekeeping with the functionality and practicality of a smartphone.

Not only are smartwatches a great timekeeping tool, but they also operate like a smartphone in the sense that they notify the user of incoming calls, messages, emails, and more, as well as tracking health, and doubling up as a bank card using platforms like Apple Pay.


WHERE TO SHOP for watches


Goldsmiths’ is home to a number of big name watch brands, with collections from Rolex, OMEGA, Tudor, TAG Heuer and Hublot. Goldsmiths’ has over 90 showrooms in every major town and city from Scotland down to the south coast and with more than 230 years of experience in the industry, you can rest assured you’re in good hands.

Green Mall, Metrocentre

Ernest Jones

Ernest Jones has grown a lot since their humble beginnings in 1949, going from a single store in London to a national chain stocking the most prestigious accessories including world-known watch brands such as Cartier, Breitling, Rado, Omega, Longines and more. Their stores have a very experienced and knowledgeable team of watchmakers who will be happy to make sure your watch is in the best shape possible.

Green Mall, Metrocentre

Fraser Hart

With a rich history in the jewellery industry, Fraser Hart is perfect for indulging in some luxury watch shopping. Greeting you with a warm and elegant atmosphere on arrival, Fraser Harts’ team of experts will make sure you are taken care of every step of the way. Presenting a selection

of watches from brands like Gucci, Oris, Tag Heuer, Garmin, Rado and many others.

Platinum Mall, Metrocentre Market

Cross Jewellers

Market Cross Jewellers is one of the largest independent jewellers in the North East, with branches now in Middlesbrough, Durham, Hartlepool, Yarm, Metrocentre, Thirsk, Peterlee, Skipton, Redcar, and Barnard Castle. Stocking a number of premium watch brands including Tudor, Grand Seiko, Breitling, Tissot and others, Market Cross know a thing or two about the luxury watch market and how it continues to move with the times.

Green Mall, Metrocentre

OMEGA Boutique

In search of the perfect watch?

Omega Boutique has the answers you’re looking for. A luxury shopping experience for those looking to invest in a trusty timepiece is guaranteed with a visit here. You will be greeted by friendly faces at the door and guided through a bespoke, personalised experience to help you find the perfect wrist accessory.

Platinum Mall, Metrocentre

TAG Heuer

Experts in luxury chronograph watches, TAG Heuer has delivered high-precision timing innovations since 1860. Shortly


after that they introduced the Mikrograph - a mechanical chronograph five times more accurate than any other and became the first watchmaking brand to sponsor the Formula 1 World Championship. TAG Heuer are experts at Swiss made watches with highprecision and they have a huge range of magnificent pieces to suit everyone’s needs.

Red Mall, Metrocentre


Established in 1919 Beaverbrooks is a family-owned business that has grown massively over the years and to this day, they’re specialists at providing accessories for those special occasions. With 69 stores nationwide and one of them at Metrocentre, Beaverbrooks has a selection of all the best luxury watch brands, from Raymond Weil to Baume et Mercier.

Red Mall, Metrocentre


You can’t leave Metrocentre without paying a visit to Brietling. A specialist of technical watches, Breitling has played a crucial role in the development of the wrist chronograph and is a leader in this field holding a global reputation for high-precision timepieces. Expect sturdy, reliable and high-performance instruments from this luxury watch provider.

Red Mall, Metrocentre

TAG Heuer Carrera Date 36mm Ladies Watch Pink £2,750.00
search of the perfect watch? Look no further than Metrocentre, a home to the luxury watch market… ROLEX Oyster, 28 mm, Oystersteel and white gold £8,600.00


Top tips for keeping your timepiece in the best shape possible

Just like most things in life, prevention is better than cure.

Owning a watch requires more care and consideration than you might think. It’s easy to forget to look after it, but how well you take care of your watch will be reflected in its longevity of it, so it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of watch maintenance. Hold on tight while we walk you through a quick guide, but bear in mind that each watch will have specific recommendations in the manual.

Service it

This might be common sense for some but we can’t stress enough the importance of servicing your watch. This should be done every three to five years to clean up any dust collecting inside and to make sure the mechanisms are working properly. This might come at a price but it ensures your watch is getting a thorough inspection, including checking for reliability and accuracy, water-resistance, sealing and watertightness.

Take care when setting the date

This one is a very old rule of thumb. Never change the date on your watch between the hours 9pm and 3am. The reason for that is because the gear mechanism that controls the date begins well ahead of midnight and goes on for several hours. In other words, the mechanism is vulnerable during this time, so best to leave it alone to prevent causing serious damage.

Wind weekly

Winding regularly will ensure the mechanisms don’t stiffen up. The best way to ensure this is to wear it regularly. Or, if you have a collection of watches, make sure to give them all some TLC. When winding it, and this might sound counterproductive, don’t overwind it. Once you feel any resistance, stop immediately, as this can damage the movements.

Keep out of sunlight

This does not mean you can’t wear your watch during warm summer months, just be careful not to leave it out in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Sun is deceiving and while it gives us serotonin, it also does a lot of damage. It can fade the colour of your watch, damaging the strap and dry out the mechanisms inside, preventing them from running smoothly.

Most importantly, know how to clean it

A watch is an accessory that can, and should, be worn daily. However, that means it will pick up dirt and grease from your skin and surroundings, so it’s important to give it a proper clean from time to time. You can’t go wrong with some help from a damp cloth, sponge or even a toothbrush and a toothpick to get into the tiniest hidden places. When cleaning your watch, avoid using soap and don’t forget to take care of your strap with a damp cloth if it’s a rubber or a fabric strap and a special cleaning solution if it’s a leather strap.

boutique is part of Beaverbrooks


Powerful scent

Beautifully housed in an elegant glass bottle, this desirable Eau de Parfum by Mizensir has been created with the romantic type in mind. The raspberry note is reminiscent of powdery lipstick, while benzoin and patchouli combine to recreate the sensual caress of skin touching skin with their depth and sweetness. With a long-lasting scent, spritz on in the morning and you’re still good to go by night. Your summer fragrance sorted.

For Your Love, Eau de Parfum, £185, 100ml,

74 MAY/JUN23

School noticeboard

Luxe checks in with some local schools on their latest news, achievements and highlights…

Working towards a sustainable future

Children at Yarm Preparatory School enjoyed a week dedicated to celebrating science, technology, engineering, art and maths. The action-packed STEAM week saw pupils aged 3 to 11 explore the theme of sustainability across these subject areas. Workshops included constructing oysters out of clay to highlight the introduction of oysters back into the River Tees, building wind turbines to learn about renewable energy, constructing turtle nest egg protectors, coding micro:bits to record temperature changes, and much more.

Mr Bill Sawyer, Head of Yarm Prep School, said: “Our annual STEAM week is an immersive whole school experience that both pupils and teachers relish. It was a brilliant chance to build connections with local industries and tap into the rich heritage of science, technology, engineering and art in our area. It also gave us a chance to share the expertise of speakers with local schools and we were delighted to welcome six schools to the Royal Institute of Science demonstration.

“Our pupils developed their knowledge, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving abilities a great deal. These skills are so valuable and are aligned with our mission of Educating for Life.”

Book a tour to explore Yarm Prep on Saturday 13 May by visiting

A great success

At Newcastle High School for Girls, pupils learn without limits from the very beginning of their academic life, enjoying a stimulating education from nursery, age three, right through to Sixth Form.

While it’s easy to assume that the truly important work for great GCSE and A Level results begins in high school, Amanda Hardie, who was appointed as Head of Junior School at NHSG in 2021, believes that junior school is where the building blocks for success are laid.

Walk into the grounds of NHSG’s Junior School in Sandyford and you will immediately see what she means. Nestled amongst beautiful leafy surroundings, the stunning traditional buildings and dynamic indoor and outdoor classroom facilities provide an inspirational backdrop to NHSG’s carefully designed curriculum and what Amanda calls ‘the NHSG difference’. And it’s the all-girl environment that sits at the heart of everything the school has to offer.

“It changes the goal posts for girls”, says Amanda. “From the earliest age at NHSG, girls understand that every opportunity is open to them and this impacts on learning too. Our academic excellence comes from empowerment not pressure.”

75 MAY/JUN23 GREAT NEWS An all-girl education will help your daughter be the girl she wants to be. Register now at Including Information Mornings for: Key Stage 1 - 6th June Key Stage 2 - 9th June School Open Week Monday 5th to Friday 9th June


with Elysia Fryer

Double the trouble, double the love

I may have signed off for a little while in the last issue of Luxe, but it feels good to be back at my desk for a brief moment of reflection as I begin to navigate the wonderful world of two under two. The Luxe Mama column will continue as a space to share and explore through the eyes of our little people - both those bright eyed toddlers like George and those precious babies like our new addition, Nora. Juggling the quieter moments nursing a newborn with arts and crafts sessions

Push present >>

and adventures in the garden is a challenge of its own, but I hope this column will bring to light those joyful moments with a few handy tips, tricks and products to help us on our way.

With that in mind, we’ve been rounding up the best of the best zip-up sleepsuits (once you go from poppers to zips, you’ll never go back!), getting to grips with the latest double pushchair by Cybex and tracking down a couple of family-friendly days out for the diary.

Elysia, George and Nora x

Strolling into life with two under two thanks to the Cybex Gazelle S…

When we say ‘push present’ we’re not talking about the kind you might’ve heard or seen on social media. No diamonds, handbags or spa days. We’re talking about the perfect pushchair. In this instance, a pushchair that makes family days out possible.

Our saviour this time has been the Cybex Gazelle S - a pushchair with endless opportunities. Supporting over 20 configurations when it comes to seating, it will grow with your family, comfortably supporting babies and toddlers.

When the sudden realisation hit that we might need to look into a ‘double pushchair situation’ I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of navigating life with, not only a newborn and a toddler, but indeed a small bus.

As you’d imagine, many of the double pushchairs and strollers out there are pretty bulky, or are more suited to twins than children with a bit of an age gap.

What I loved most about the Cybex Gazelle S when it came to the market was its flexibility. Yes, it boasts 20 different seat configurations, but it can also be used as a solo pushchair, meaning when your tot finds their feet, you’re not stuck with a bulky ‘bus’ with space for a small army of little people.

The Gazelle S masters ‘sibling mode’ with ease, offering combinations for the pushchair seat, carry-cot and baby car seat. It’s also very easy to assemble. I sat down with a (cold - of course!) cup

Zip zip hooray! >>


Peter Rabbit

Zip-up Sleepsuit £34.50,

of tea, pulled out the instruction manual and accepted the fact that I’d need to spend some time sussing this thing out. But no, once you’re up and running with the wheels, it’s just a case of adjusting a couple of connectors, adding your seats of choice and you’re on your way.

The Gazelle S bundle is as mix-andmatch as you’d like it to be. Our package, to suit a baby and toddler, comes with the carry-cot, pushchair seat, shopping basket and baby car seat. Other handy features include the UPF50+ sun canopy, an adjustable handlebar, and a pushchair basket with a 13kg carrying capacity.

The Cybex Gazelle S is a pushchair ‘without limits’. It’s the pushchair we didn’t know we needed but we couldn’t be without. It’s a flexible foundation for your growing family. We are sold.

AdoraCub Favourite Dogs Zip-up Sleepsuit £19.99,

Polarn O. Pyret Strawberry Print Baby All-in-one £28,

Jojo Maman Bébé Whale Print Zip Sleepsuit £20,

The White Company

Organic-cotton Heart-print Zip Sleepsuit £24,

Big dates for little people >> Family fun for the months ahead…

The Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival

Calling all foodie families - don’t miss out on The Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival, setting up camp at Funkirk Farm, Skipton from 21 - 23 July 2023. Expect celebrity chefs, live music, delicious street food and a whole host of fun for the whole family. Entertainment for smaller festival-goers includes crafts and workshops, sporting events, a ‘Princess Party’, kids disco and a petting farm.

Wind in the Willows Outdoor Theatre

Alnwick Garden’s brand new outdoor theatre space is a must this summer, and throughout July and August, there’s a show you won’t want to miss. Round up the troops and head to the iconic Northumberland venue for the retelling of an old favourite, The Wind in the Willows. Join Mole, Badger, Ratty and Toad as they explore the ‘Wide World’ and the ‘Wild Wood’ in a mission to keep Toad out of trouble.

76 MAY/JUN23
Must-have zip-up baby grows and sleepsuits for little wriggly people

Little mome nts

I thought it was time for a personal story for this edition. I pride myself on being generally calm and composed on a day-to-day basis. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Mother Teresa but I have lots of strategies to help me regain my composure if I feel my heart rate rising and my blood starting to boil. That being said, I have one major trigger point and it’s being disrespected. Sometimes my child, well, behaves like a child. On occasions, he can be rude, cheeky and defiant, just like any other nine-year-old. He is strong-willed, full of energy and definitely a character. I call him my ‘warrior child’ and I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, recently he has been cheeky to me on several occasions and I have lost my cool. Now I know it is natural to get angry in the heat of the moment but it’s not particularly helpful and over time, it can erode the bond we have with our children. Where did I go wrong? What would I have done differently? I’ll break it down for you so you can use my parental failings as an example of what not to do. I know, I’m a martyr. The things I do for you, dear reader. There are a number of factors involved in scenarios like this and one is my own personality. I have been a solicitor, a teacher in a senior leadership position and now an educator. I am used to being in a position of authority and working with people who are mutually respectful and professional. So, when the small human I carried around for nine months like a sack of potatoes tells me to “shut up,” I find it a tad jarring to say the least. When I was younger, I was definitely more ‘Perfect Peter’ rather than ‘Horrid Henry.’ I was a people-pleaser and I hated getting into trouble, so I avoided it at all costs. I went out of my way to do the right thing and follow the rules, without question. Recently, I have forgotten the most obvious, glaring fact; my child is not me. He questions things. He pushes the boundaries and he doesn’t feel the need to people-please. I applaud him for this but sometimes it’s a fine line between being determined and being insolent. When I slow down and remember that I am nurturing a unique individual and not a mini-me, my window of compassion opens wider. Following on from this, I have had to re-evaluate my expectations of him now he’s older and I’ve realised that they are

unworkable. It is unrealistic of me to think that he would never break the rules or get into trouble. He is nine and his brain is still developing. In fact, it won’t be fully developed until he is approximately 25-years-old. The rational part of his brain is still under construction, so he is going to make mistakes and his behaviour will reflect this. It is up to me to help build the neural scaffolding up to his thinking brain and act as a surrogate prefrontal cortex in the meantime. I have to model responsible behaviour and good decision-making, in order for him to do the same. When I work with clients, I often explain that how we react to our child’s behaviour in the moment, has more to do with how we are feeling than what our child is doing. Recently I’ve been more overwhelmed than usual, drained and I suffer from chronic insomnia which plays a big part in my general emotional state. I haven’t kept myself emotionally healthy over the past few months and this is reflected in my interactions with my son. I have been short-tempered and lacked tolerance. I have been reacting from the emotional part of my brain rather than responding from the logical area. When I reacted harshly, I perpetuated his behaviour. Now that I have recognised this, I am working hard to get back into balance. When I feel myself being triggered, I intentionally close my eyes, take a slow breath and repeat this mantra internally:

I remain respectful even when I am being disrespected. Ok, so now you know what I’m doing, let’s focus on my son. Should I ignore his misdemeanours and shoulder all of the blame? Absolutely not. This would not help either of us. What I need to do (and what I have done) is to repair and rebuild the connection between us. I sat him down and we had a long chat about how I was not proud of my behaviour and I apologised. I then explained that usually when people say harsh words and behave disrespectfully, they are trying to communicate something. I suggested that he must be incredibly upset or annoyed about something to speak to me in that way. We discussed this and talked about how constructive and considerate communication is much more effective. I made it known that I didn’t appreciate the

words he had used and that the tone of his voice was aggressive. This was not okay. I re-established our family rules of treating each other with respect and suggested that he needed to work hard to be mindful of his behaviour. I can’t control what he does but I can try my best to stay regulated when he is dysregulated. I also reminded him of some self-regulation tools so he knows how he can find his calm again. What have I learned over the past few months? Well, I have learned that we’re always learning. This parenting journey that we’re on is for the long haul. We’re bound to make mistakes, but we need to get back up and brush ourselves off. As long as we can repair any ruptures with our children and focus on the connection, then we can ride out any storm together.

Nadia McSheffrey is founder of The Tranquil Treehouse. Nadia works with parents to help them be the parent they want to be and find tranquility in their family lives.

She also works with children and teachers to support their own emotional wellbeing. For more information and daily parenting support, follow her at: and on Facebook and Instagram @tranquiltreehouse

Nadia McSheffrey, our luxe parenting expert, shares with us a personal moment in her own parenting journey, teaching us how our emotions can initially impact on our reactions...
77 MAY/JUN23

Stripes for summer

Stripes are back! Inject bold patterns into your wardrobe this season with our pick of stylish stripe-inspired pieces

78 MAY/JUN23
Dior Product: Dior Homme Cologne 200ml £136, Gucci Chunky B Leather Sneakers £645, Gucci Striped Cotton Shirt £550, Raymond Weil Tango Men’s 41mm, Quartz Blue Dial £1,195, Thom Browne Four Bar Stripe Wool Trousers £1,130, Alexander McQueen D-frame Sunglasses £340, Maison Margiela Embossed Striped Satin-twill Jacket £1,058,
Ted Baker Esentle Striped Pu Backpack £90, Raymond Weil Freelancer Men’s 42mm £2,195, Homme Plisse Issey Miyake Pleated jersey T-shirt £200, Pleated Straight-leg Trousers £320, | £389,995 Extended Carbon Fibre, Racing Livery, Suspension Lift, AFS, Scuderia Wing Shields


COCO charity party, Hadrians Tower

Gaucho launch party
Break out the fizz. Time to get down to some people-spotting as we bring you our social snapshot of happenings across the North East. Eyes and teeth time!
Lucy Philipson, Phil Lancaster Carsten Staehr, Clare Summer Hayes, Dave Lovenbury Debbie Dixon, Gail Rochester, Craig Hamilton, Douglas Dinwiddie Eligh Elsagher, Rebecca Brett, Helena Walsater Lucy Liddle, Nham Lee, Anthony McDermott Gunay Gulmez, Lucy Philipson, Kyrie Geach-Cunningham Rosie Smith, Ellen Hedley, Rebecca Brett Clare Summer Hayes, Michelle Wilcox, Lucy Philipson Alan Shearer, Dan Burn Lee Westwood, Helen Westwood, Martin Williams Alan Shearer, Lainya Shearer, Chloe Shearer Sir Graham Wylie, Angie Jenkinson, Sharuna Sagar, Charlie Hardwick Martin Williams, Alan Shearer, Dan Burn, Lee Westwood Mateo Carreras, Matias Moroni, James Blackett Jessica Holmes, Jonnie Irwin
In association with NEWCASTLE GATESHEAD
Faye Tozer, Lucy Couldwell

St. Vincent, relaunch party

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead 20th anniversary

Who would believe that the new kid on the block, that iconic hotel on the Quayside is entering its 20th year of hosting glorious guests and show-stopping celebrity events?

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead boasts exceptional views of the Gateshead Quayside and the distinctive Newcastle skyline. Its prime spot ‘on the hill’ means its location is second to none. The Quayside area is a stone’s throw away, hosting Sunday markets, art exhibitions, numerous eateries and the odd pop-up festival! Head a little further and you’re in the buzzy city centre of Newcastle where an abundance of foodie establishments, cultural hot spots, shopping facilities and more awaits.

Guests are enticed back to the hotel, time and again, to enjoy a warm Geordie welcome, soak in the views… and perhaps a cocktail or two. Taking in a sunrise is an option for some, followed by a swim or gym session in the hotel’s LivingWell Health Club.

Since opening, the hotel has strived to remain focused on its impact on the planet and now works with robust ESG principals at heart. The introduction of EVC points at the end of 2022 was another great project success for the hotel.

Whether it’s a quick coffee during a busy working day or a spontaneous getaway, the team at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead look forward to welcoming you in the very near future.

Metrocentre Spring Summer fashion show

Let’s see you! If you would like your event featured on our Luxe:Looks pages please supply images with full captions (WeTransfer or Dropbox is best) to:

81 MAY/JUN23
Sharon Hall, Michelle Dobson, Catriona Lingwood Beverley Ilderton, Olivia Macgill Caroline Reed, Allison Curry Chris Bray, Chris Gray Bernice Saltzer, Lynn Proud, Stephanie Roscamp-Forshaw Alex Kilbey, Sarina Kaur Blake Connor, Rachael Connor Judith Snowdon, Virgit Canaz, Jolie Marandura, Jene Barnes Faith Hodgson, Quetta Lawson, Belinda Chatterton Katie Thornton, Claire Knight, Rosie Adams, Louise Milbourne Laura Rodia, Krzysztof Szewczyk, Paul Reed Kevin Gratton, Martin Malinowski Lucianna Savino Matthew Clarkson, Francesca Merico Chris March, Stephen Patterson, Bill Ward Dawn Dunn, Elle Reid Ally Thompson, Alex Nietosvuori Martin Varley, Scott Kinnaird, Debbie Kinnaird, Meg Varley Giacomo Benedett, Riccardo Burns Jamie Simm, Sue Jobe, Chris Jobe, Colin Simm
Jim Hannan
Sweet taste of summer >> A beautiful blossoming apple tree preparing to be picked. By Kevin Gibson at
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