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BR I A N B L E S S E D TA L KS . Spri ng s t yl e. G ENER ATION AGELESS. Fish f a b u l o u s . P O O CH E S . R hubarb ri ches. COAS TAL INTER IOR S. Party people. W EL L N E S S WATCH . Cul t ure dat es. TES L A TR IP. Luxe l aps. HIP HOTELS. Big n a me s . LU X E .



Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne


contents 12>> Cultural spring ISSUE 51 MAR/APR18

26>> Floral fix Pastel perfect fashion

44>> Wellness wake-up

It feels like we’re all coming out of hibernation now that the snowdrops are peeping and life is a getting a bit more pastel-coloured. 5pm isn’t as savage as it’s been and a sense of happy prevails as we contemplate spring days ahead. That means stirring ourselves for what? Holidays, wellness, getting some good stuff in our diaries, geting to grips with quinoa or just investing in fancy new trainers and taking a walk. Not a bad idea to take a leaf out of Brian Blessed’s book when it comes to life’s adventures. At 81 he refuses to subscribe to ageing, plans a trip to space before he pops off, but also suggests that the secret to a good life is 15 minutes of meditation a day when that big voice of his stays silent - there’s food for thought. So in our pages we get mindful with a one-day wellness course and aim to offer up all things bright and beautiful in this edition of Luxe, as we settle in to this season of newness. Be inspired by everything from rose-hued rhubarb to the raptures of Robin Hood’s Bay. Take a trip, book a show, try a taste of something new and delicious. And if big days of the bridal kind are on your radar enjoy the inspirationpacked pages within our Wedding Essentials supplement.

New season diary dates

On course for calm

46>> Blessed moments Listening to The Voice

52>> Generation ageless Rona’s spa ‘at home’

56>> Small, friendly & fab Cosy, cool retreats

58>> Hi Patricia Jacqui Miller-Charlton is one of the team behind the first Newcastle International Film Festival this month. The businesswoman is no stranger to luxe, harbouring a definite designer handbag habit! Her luxe things in life include; stocking up on arm candy at Louis Vuitton Maison on Bond Street, dressing up for and enjoying a swanky party - and a bit of sunshine luxury in the Maldives.

Neighbourhood eating

62>> Box clever Recipe kits on test

65>> In the pink New-season rhubarb

70>> Bay swatch Interiors inspo by the sea

84>> Tesla turn-on Electric dreams

86>> Getaway Scene-stealing St Andrews

88>> Atsu’s wish NUFC’s Christian’s dream

Don’t forget to visit us online at or sign up for some luxe every Thursday with Luxe Loves the Weekend

94>> Social Diary

THE LUXE TEAM Christopher March publisher EDITORIAL Kathryn Armstrong editorial director Jessica Laing Elysia Agnew Chloé Laing SALES Lisa Anderson director Debi Coldwell director Claire Graham PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Auld Kevin Gibson Nicky Rogerson

We met up with the folks who run the lovely Berties of Bay emporium in Robin Hood’s Bay. For co-owner Matthew Pugh, one of his luxe things in life is being able to work and live in the beautful coastal village. Other loves are dining out with family and visiting art exhibitions.

DESIGN David Stubbs creative director Sophie Murphy Kimberley Rumble If you wish to advertise with us please contact our sales team: Lisa Anderson: / 07734 560565 or Debi Coldwell: / 07910 918366

Remember Media Ltd, e.volve Business Centre, Cygnet Way, Rainton Bridge South, DH4 5QY All contents copyright ©2018 RememberMedia 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, February 2018.

Catherine Maclaine is a founder of healthy food business Honest and Gutsy in Newcastle. Her luxe things include: NEOM Organics Perfect Night’s Sleep candle and spritz. Proper coffee; Ouseburn Coffee Co, Pilgrims Coffee and Tynemouth Coffee are faves. And cuddles from fur baby Jessie the cocker spaniel.

luxe is published bi-monthly by Remember Media Ltd

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Strong Relationships driving Success Working closely with David Anderson and his team at Joseph Parr, one of the North East’s leading independent timber and builders merchants, Future ID were able to create strong, working relationships throughout the entire building process. Joseph Parr’s laid-back approach to business was a breath of fresh air, regularly meeting the developer to deliver the best possible product. Providing everything from the doors and the paving, to the drainage and the decorative products, Joseph Parr were involved in every stage of development at Marmaduke Place; resulting in the building of bespoke new homes as well as the building of a new, trusting industry relationship.

A strong working relationship with Joseph Parr Making a big statement for luxury living in the heart of Norton, this prestigious development has been brought to life thanks to the successful relationships built along the way. The properties have been finished with handmade windows and doors by Keith Brown of Timbermate, luxurious interiors by award-winning furniture retailer, Barker and Stonehouse and sociable living spaces by Jonathan Brown of Stokesley Kitchens. It’s the trusting relationships between suppliers and the project manager that makes it all happen. A triumphant project comes down to organisation, attention to detail and good communication between all involved. Future ID is proud to deliver bespoke living in Norton Village - thanks to the local knowledge, passion and determination amongst the people who have made it happen.

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KIM LE-NEVEU Kim Le-Neveu is a well-known face in hairdressing in the region. She and Steve Jones opened the doors at Boilerhouse, Jesmond back in 1985 and have kept up with trends ever since. Last year they branched out with a salon on Ouseburn run by son Felix and niece Saskia. LUXE PEOPLE >> My son Felix, niece Saskia and the fabulous team representing the next generation of Boilerhouse at our new Ouseburn salon. LUXE PLACES >> For a weekend > Notting Hill – my place for inspiration and excitement. It’s where I go to recharge my creative batteries! For a long holiday > I rarely get the chance to go on long holidays, but I’ve loved touring Italy in the past and I particularly love Venice. For a treat > The new Ouseburn salon. It’s a real treat to use the site as a dedicated training academy every Monday. Plus, I love tending to my wall of plants and succulents that get so many compliments!


LUXE RELAX >> Best food > Pacific Rim cuisine. Best wine > Always a full-bodied red. Though in summer I’m partial to an Aperol Spritz! Favourite restaurant > When in Newcastle, I like 21. But my favourite, go-to London restaurant is E&O. Perfect weekend > Browsing for trinkets at various markets and catching up with family. Downtime means > Unwinding by creating my Magpie Jewellery. Best telly > I love binge-watching TV series - my favourites are The Sopranos and Power. Best book > Trashy, escapist romance novels. I read hundreds of books, but I couldn’t really tell you what the book was about as soon as I’ve put it down. Best sounds > Nick Cave, always.

one specific shop. Luxe retail treat > A new red lippy. Best buy > I love all my eBay finds, including my wacky taxidermy collection.

LUXE SHOP >> Best shopping city > London! Favourite shop > I’m a follower of vintage, so I like to go far and wide to source the best finds, rather than head to

YOUR LUXE THING IN LIFE >> Our business. We strive to be luxe in every aspect, from the décor to the whole experience of visiting our salons and, of course, with the hair we turn out.

LUXE PARTY >> A memorable night out > An inebriated session at Beach Blanket Babylon, Notting Hill, which ended in cutting a fellow patron’s hair at the bar with a pair of kitchen scissors! Perfect party > Various parties thrown over the years to celebrate the many landmark achievements and anniversaries of Boilerhouse. Best dress > I favour my vintage kimonos over dresses. Dinner date > Steve, my life and business partner of over 40 years. Or Karl Lagerfeld.



Stay in >> go out >> enjoy 2018 is in full swing - and there’s plenty going on. Chloé Laing reveals our cultural highlights as we head into spring

8 9


Get in the know with some of the region’s very best beers at Blackfriars’ ‘whey ale man’ workshop. Discover some of the local beers brewing right on your doorstep and soak up the booze with homemade sourdough. Snack as you sip!


Metro Radio Arena welcomes Paloma Faith, who brings her new album, The Architect, to the North East. Expect to be blown away by her powerful words, sweeping orchestral tracks, smooth soul, sleek disco grooves and stomping electro pop numbers.

10 MARCH Don your dancing shoes for a night of boogie at Sage Gateshead with musical number Best of Broadway. Celebrate the sounds of your favourite Broadway musicals as the Royal Northern Sinfonia takes it away with hits from the likes of Chicago, Wicked, Cabaret and South Pacific.

Local legend Sting’s personal, political and passionate musical comes home to Newcastle. The Last Ship is an epic tale of community that shares the story of a ship-building town and its people. Returning home from half a lifetime at sea, Gideon Fletcher finds his hometown in a state of chaos. The yard is closing and no one knows what will come next.




Get creative at The Word in South Tyneside and learn how to laser cut your way to a brand new wooden box, key-ring, coaster, or get personal and bring to life something else you have in mind. You’ll leave the day with lots of little handmade bits and a brand new skill in the bag.


10 MARCH - 17 JUNE British artist Jonathan Yeo puts the cult of cosmetic surgery under the microscope in his exhibition, Skin Deep, at Bowes Museum. Known for his portraits of public figures, including Nicole Kidman, Cara Delevingne, Malala Yousafzai, Tony Blair and members of the Royal family, in this show he explores conceptual themes in his Surgery Series. Using oils, he depicts the intricacies and issues surrounding the current cult for cosmetic surgery and the quest for physical ‘perfection’. Skin deep will be the first extensive major survey of Yeo’s Surgery Series and will include well-known and acclaimed works, as well as recent oil paintings charting the latest developments in aesthetic enhancement. Working from archival photos and observing cosmetic surgeons first hand, the works show patients in pre and postoperative states. “Rather than shock tactics, I’m looking at the way we feel about subversive images of beauty, as the topic of plastic surgery is so subtle and nuanced, touching our ideals of beauty and body image, as well as the complex psychology behind it,” says Yeo. In Yeo’s works that depict the lines drawn onto the skin of the patient, showing where the flesh will be cut and sculpted, the marks allude to the hand of the surgeon and the necessary preciseness that the procedures demand. The exhibition runs until 17 June. Images © Jonathan Yeo Studio.



Join Stereophonics as they perform their eagerly anticipated tenth studio album, Scream Above The Sounds. Created with the help of regular collaborator, Jim Lowe, it’s an album in which creative sonic touches add to the band’s emphasis on song-writing and melody.



The County Hotel will be Burning Down The House with the hottest sounds of music icon, Tom Jones. The tribute night will pay homage to the much-loved star whose songs still get us on the dance floor today. Sit back and enjoy while you dine on a tasty two-course meal and let Tom’s tribute take it away. The party keeps on going after the live performer stops with a DJ until late.

13 - 14 MARCH Springing on to the stage at Theatre Royal is the stunning Ballet British Columbia, who bring with them a unique blend of cool, classical elegance and contemporary flair. Prepare yourself for an evening of breathtaking dance as the performance unfolds with dances produced by three internationally celebrated female choreographers.

17 MARCH Learn how to weave your very own willow basket at Middleton Lodge. Join willow artist, Jo Bolton from Abundant Earth, to learn the fundamentals of organic willow basketry. Jo will show you how to create your very own oval basket with handle perfect for the foragers among you!

17 MARCH Take a time machine back to the 60s at The Princess Alexandra Auditorium, Yarm, for an evening of reminiscing with The Manfreds. They will be playing R&B tunes with an undercurrent of jazz for North East audiences to revel in. You’ll be thrilled to know the band will be performing many of their hits, including Do Wah Diddy Diddy, alongside a mix of jazz and blues covers from their new album Makin’ Tracks.




18 MARCH Join ex-Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole for a dazzling display of choreography and charm at All Night Long at the Theatre Royal. His sensational show is an extravagant mix of Latin fever and ballroom magic – with a few surprises along the way!


MARCH Sam Smith is on his way to the North East and we can’t wait. He’s bringing with him a set of beautiful new songs to belt your heart out to at the Metro Radio Arena, on his biggest headline tour to date. Expect a night of brilliant new tunes from his album The Thrill Of It All.


Enjoy an evening watching Oscar Wilde’s social comedy, Lady Windermere’s Fan, at Princess Alexandra Auditorium. Directed by award-winning writer, actor and director, Kathy Burke, the performance will be broadcast live to cinemas from the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. A tale of ambiguity of upper class morality and the fragile position of women in society.


20 MARCH They stole our hearts in 2004 and they are here to blow us away again with G4 LIVE in concert at the Playhouse Whitley Bay. An evening of spellbinding sounds and impactful harmonies that will pull on your heartstrings. VIP tickets are on offer with a chance to meet and greet the guys before the show. What a night!


Find out why Van Gogh’s life has long been captured by the imagination of storytellers in the screening of Exhibitions on Screen: a new way of seeing Vincent Van Gogh at Gala Durham. This award-winning documentary delves deep into the fascinating and troubling world of the artist. Directed by David Bickerstaff, it’s one to watch for admirers of the artist that is best enjoyed on the big screen.




Katherine Ryan is on her way to the North East for another hilariously funny comedy show, Glitter Room. The Canadian comedian is the star of BBC’s Live at the Apollo. Catch her show at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House for an evening of feel-good fun.

Join Ed Byrne and get lost in laughter at his devilishly-funny show Spoiler Alert. You’ll recognise the funny man from Dara & Ed’s Road To Mandalay and more. He has a solid following of fans, a fast-paced wit and laugh-out-loud one-liners. Find out what’s so funny at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House!

Rated UK’s best gardening event by Which?

Tea Tang


A new healthy lifestyle

Find a better physical and spiritual you Visit our open day on Monday 26th March 11am-1pm for a tea tasting

• Plant Pavilion with 100 nurseries • Inspirational show gardens • Expert growing advice • Stunning floral art • Cooking demonstrations • Great garden shopping • Unique crafts and gifts

Save £2.50*per ticket Book before Tuesday 17 April 01423 546157 Call 07809768135 to book a trial session


*An administration charge applies per order

North of England Horticultural Society


DO THIS Credit: Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

27 - 31 MARCH Go on an unforgettable journey to the jungle with Mowgli as he battles for survival alongside his trusty friends Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python. The Rudyard Kipling family classic, adapted by Olivier Award-winning Jessica Swale, features live music on stage created by Joe Stilgoe and is directed by Max Webster.



Come up and see Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel for a performance you won’t want to miss. The classic rock icon and original cockney rebel Steve Harley has written and recorded 11 albums in an acclaimed career covering four decades. It’ll make you smile.

24 MARCH Bowes Museum’s Queen Victoria in Paris is a collection of paintings loaned by Her Majesty the Queen from the Royal Collection. The Museum is the only venue in the North of England to stage this exhibition of watercolours commissioned by Queen Victoria as a souvenir of her momentous 10-day state visit to Paris in 1855.



The red carpet is rolling out as we welcome the glitz and the glamour of the Newcastle International Film Festival. Enjoy never-seen-before short films that will take you on a journey all over the globe. Try your hand at movie-making with workshops and awards for participants, to get involved in the most exciting event of the year. LIGHTS >> The festival will shine a glorious spotlight on the North East. The region will show itself off as a place to watch for the movie-making business. There will be a red carpet, premieres, famous faces and lots of glamour. Think Cannes-on-Tyne!



Join Torvill & Dean as they skate into the North East with their Dancing on Ice live UK tour. Following a four-year break, the duo are back to take part in a dazzling new show for you all to enjoy. The couple will be judging the dancers as they take to the ice with their expert feedback and advice.



Pick up a glass at the fabulous Hugel wine dinner at Middleton Lodge’s Coach House. You’ll be taken through a five-course tasting menu by chef Gareth Rayner, with paired wines from the Alsace winery, Hugel.

3-14 APRIL If the music of Take That lights your fire, check in for an evening with The Band at Theatre Royal. It’s the reality talent show brought to life in sparkling style with stupendous singalong potential.

CAMERA >> It’s got royal approval, the backing of Hollywood stars and a stellar team of the North East’s most prominent movers and shakers on board. Behind the camera are the lovely people from The Newcastle Festival Board, made up of leaders in industry, all with a passion for film and a wealth of experience in business and industry. A tribe of talent with the likes of co-founder and president, Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE, pictured above. “We can only go on to make an impact for the community and realise one of our objectives of more jobs in the future if people get behind the festival”, she says. ACTION >>  Get the VIP treatment and enjoy never-seen-before films that will take you on a journey all over globe as they are delivered to audiences across Newcastle and Gateshead throughout the four-day festival. Want to give it a go? Get stuck in with once-in-alifetime masterclasses on all forms of movie making, Q&As and special events where internationally acclaimed producers, directors, actors and actresses will be in attendance. The stars of the show include the festival’s very own, Craig Conway (actor, producer, writer and director), along with internationally acclaimed and award-winning actress and producer, Caroline Goodall. Even more stars will be stopping by to celebrate film, such as Get Carter director Mike Hodges and legends KISS. POPCORN AT THE READY >> The festival will call action on 29 March with a grand opening ceremony. Expect a carnival-style celebration as a military band marches the length of Grey Street to mark the start of the event. In addition to movies, workshops and Q&As, the festival will also host a series of special events for children, pre-nursery to 11 years, where they can participate in their very own film production.  Tickets as well as a detailed programme listing all venues and events throughout the festival will be available to view online.


5-7 APRIL Take to Sunderland Empire to see timeless classic, Coppélia - a story of a doll that comes to life. She causes a stir in the village that sets lovers Franz and Swanilda into a frenzy as they try to understand what’s going on. A classical ballet parcelled up with tuneful, romantic sounds and dazzling movement.



Adrenaline-fuelled show Fast & Furious Live 2018 flies into the Metro Radio Arena for an evening of engine revving excitement. Get in on the excitement as the world’s best stunt performers and drivers get behind the wheel to recreate breathtaking takes from the much loved movies.



Planning your family holiday? With Christmas a distant memory, many of us are now planning our summer holidays and looking to go spend some time abroad with the family. There’s lots to think about: • Passports in date? Check. • Travel insurance in place? Check. • Legal permission for the children to leave the country? Hmm, do I need that? Many parents are surprised to discover that they may need the formal consent of their former partner or spouse to take their children on a perfectly reasonable and normal family holiday abroad. Indeed, taking the children abroad without the consent of the other parent is a criminal offence of abduction. The legal position is little known but quite clear – if both parents of the children hold parental responsibility (for the avoidance of any doubt, parental responsibility is held by all mothers and all married fathers and also by fathers named on the birth certificate of a child) then BOTH parents must consent to the child(ren) being taken abroad. It does not matter how long the trip is proposed to last and “abroad” for these purposes essentially means anywhere outside the legal jurisdiction of England and Wales. A weekend to be spent, for example, in Scotland therefore is deemed to be a holiday abroad requiring the consent of both parents! If you wish to book a holiday for your children, the best possible advice is to obtain the consent from the other parent in advance and ideally before any arrangements are booked. When you ask for consent, the other parent is perfectly entitled to expect you to provide details of

the holiday to include exact dates, flight numbers or other travel plans, accommodation details and possibly also your proposals for telephone contact while you are away, depending upon the length of the break. It is always preferable and advisable to obtain written consent from the other parent and to take this on holiday with you so that, in the event the need arises, the letter can be shown to any relevant authorities. If you request consent of the other parent and this is refused, an application to the Court for permission to take your child on holiday, by way of a Specific Issue Order, can be made. The Court will decide whether or not the potential holiday would be in the best interests of the child. Although there can be no guarantees, it is almost always the case that the Court will grant permission for the holiday or trip provided of course the child will be safe and well looked after whilst there. The Court is well aware of the significant benefits family holidays and trips have for children. Whilst court applications should ideally be avoided where possible, they can be dealt with in a very short period of time if the proposed holiday is to take place in the very near future. The build up to the holiday should be a time of happy anticipation for all and it is therefore preferable to ensure all necessary legalities are addressed in good time. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not consent from the other parent is required for your proposed trip, please contact one of the specialist family lawyers at Major Family Law on (+44) 01661 824582 who will be happy to advise further.

Lucinda Connell is Director at Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists, 12 West Road, Ponteland, Newcastle upon Tyne. T: 01661 82 45 82 Twitter: @majorfamilylaw

Specialist divorce and family lawyers 01661 82 45 82

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6-8 APRIL Gorgeously-funny Geordie gal, Sarah Millican, brings her hilarious show Control Enthusiast to Tyne Theatre and Opera House. Laugh about topics like what can happen at a bra fitting, the benefits of casserole, plus tips on how to talk to shop assistants and the correct way to eat a biscuit. She is funny, frank, unapologetically filthy and we love her for it.

14-15 APRIL Gaze into the gorgeous night sky at the dark sky discovery site at Battlesteads where you will get a sparkling ‘introduction to astrophotography’ and a two-night break. You will stay in the award-winning eco-hotel in Northumberland where you can admire the stars from the on-site observatory in between the two-day course. On the days you will learn all there is to know about capturing pictures of the sky in all its glory with specialist tutors and hands-on tips and advice.

17-28 APRIL A thrilling love story set in London during the Second World War, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is a magical performance that’s set to dazzle at Theatre Royal. A chance meeting where Cinderella and her dashing RAF pilot are together in just enough time for a whirlwind romance, before they are separated by the devastating Blitz. Be mesmerised by Prokofiev’s magnificent score, the sights and sounds of war-torn London and the 60-piece orchestra that will take you on a journey you will never forget.

24-28 APRIL

26-29 APRIL

The Harrogate Spring Flower Show is the first major event in the gardening calendar, welcoming the new season with a spectacular celebration of the very best in horticulture including spectacular show gardens, Britain’s biggest display of floral art and nearly 100 top plant nurseries. A packed programme of live entertainment, crafts, gifts and a cookery theatre all add to a great day out. Rated Britain’s top gardening event by Which? Gardening


A VIP DAY AT HARROGATE SPRING FLOWER SHOW FOR 2, WORTH OVER £200 Turning Garden Inspiration Inside Out!

15 APRIL Grab your best golfing partner and get your game face on at Rockliffe Hall’s open pairs golf competition. You’ll be able to fuel up on an arrival breakfast ready to go after one of the top three spots with great prizes on offer for first, second and third place.

The ultimate high-energy, high-kicking and glamorous production, Crazy For You, is on its way to Sunderland Empire. Strictly winner Tom Chambers and West End and TV star Claire Sweeney appear in this multi-award winning romantic comedy, packed with feel-good musical numbers.

Explore a topsy turvy world as you stroll from room to room in The GREENhouse and immerse yourself in a world where plants and flowers take over the living space to create a house infused with the magic of nature. Can you imagine a bathroom where beautiful water lilies float serenely by as you bathe? Or a bedroom where you sink into a peaceful sleep on a real bed of aromatic herbs? New for 2018 are Secret Sheds, offering Spring Flower Show visitors the opportunity to open the door to new possibilities. Designers, students and community gardening groups join forces to create a surprise in each shed around the showground. Show garden solutions to everyday problems will be on offer in a new feature called Designed to Last and you will also be inspired by show gardens along The Avenue. The Spring Show, from 26-29 April 2018 at the Great Yorkshire Showground, features the UK’s biggest exhibition of floral art. This year, flower clubs will be celebrating all things Quintessentially British in their large-scale displays, while floristry students create a room with Grand Designs.  Young visitors to the show can join fun-loving Pod in his new pop-up play patch, complete with lots of hands-on educational activities. Visit four live theatres, watch demos and shop for high-quality garden products, unique handmade crafts, gifts and specialist foods. Visit our website for a chance of winning a fantastic VIP day out for two at this year’s Spring Show, including full access to the exclusive President’s Pavilion, morning coffee, an introduction to show highlights from a member of the show team and a Bucks Fizz reception, followed by a six-course lunch with wine, plus VIP parking, show programme and admission tickets. To enter our prize draw go to Terms & Conditions 1. The prize must be taken on Sunday 29 April 2018 and no alternative dates are available 2. No cash alternatives are available 3. The prize does not include transport to the show 4. Closing date 6 April 2018

30 APRIL - 1 MAY

20-21 APRIL The sassy, smart and recent Oxford University graduate, Ruby Wax, brings her new one-woman show, Frazzled, to Northern Stage. The proud poster girl for mental illness talks about her transition from difficult times with a tour of the mind and how to use it, not lose it!


Catch the gorgeous Gary Barlow as he embarks on an exciting solo tour of the UK. Get one of the hottest seats in town at Sunderland Empire as he plays an intimate performance for North East audiences to enjoy. Sit back and enjoy some of his greatest solo hits, up close and personal.

30 APRIL - 5 MAY All the way from the West End gliding into the Theatre Royal is the haunting performance of The Kite Runner. A tale of friendship and one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.


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Getting together with the family and indulging in plenty of delicious treats is what Easter is all about. Learn how to cook up a storm for all your family and friends to enjoy at Bettys Easter Baking workshop. You’ll prepare and make a fabulous feast of hot cross buns, simnel cakes and chocolate swiss rolls. Sounds scrumptious!

It’s going to be a very special day at Middleton Lodge as it opens up the kitchen garden for its first open garden weekend. Dine at the coach house restaurant for exclusive access into the gorgeous kitchen garden, designed by renowned landscape designer, Tom Stuart Smith. Walk off your lunchtime feast with a woodland walk and egg hunt with a treasure map and plenty of clues along the way.


Beamish Hall is getting transformed into a magical wonderland for a two-day fun-filled Fools Day Festival. This one’s for the family; you’ll get lost in a land of fairy tales and enjoy entertainment from jesters, jokers and jungle creatures. An oasis of adventure with games, prizes and plenty to keep the kids occupied while you tuck in to fabulous foodie treats.


30 MARCH - 2 APRIL It’s going to be a cracking day over at Beamish. Take part in a host of fun-filled activities, from Easter egg trails to Easter bakes and makes – from cards to bonnets.

MARCH - APRIL Get active in the midst of Easter indulging, with a walk up Roseberry Topping. Take in the gorgeous North Yorkshire views under the spring sunshine and enjoy plenty of fresh air as you work your way to the top.

Explore Northumberland’s stunning human landform sculpture Northumberlandia in Cramlington with a trip full of treats. Meet in the centre of the sculpture to collect the first clue that will set you on an exciting trail around the site. Expect to see plenty of woodland and its inhabitants on your way.



Head to National Glass Centre for an exciting Easter workshop. You’ll learn how to create your very own Easter egg, bird or flower, using sand to make a mould. Roll up your sleeves and work on making your ornament unique with splashes of colour and decoration. Sit back and watch the magic unfold as molten glass is poured into your mould, fusing your design into the final gorgeous stage.


27 APRIL - 6 MAY

Foodies, get ready for a scrumptious day out at Bishop Auckland’s tasty Food Festival. Join one of Britain’s most recognisable bakers, Candice Brown, as she shows off her show-stopping skills. She will be sharing all her best baking tips in the Cookery Theatre at Bishop Auckland’s Town Hall on the second day of the festival. Candice joins ITV This Morning’s Phil Vickery, too, who will be taking the festival by storm with a fantastic menu of live demonstrations and delights to try out at home. With plenty more celebrity chefs to be announced, we can’t wait to get stuck in.

Hexham Book Festival gets the literary spirit flowing until 6 May with a great showing of talent from the fiction and non-fiction world. Foodies will swoon over the tasty offerings – our own growing guru Karen Phillips from Linnels Farm is raving about two events in particular:



Fly over to Westeros at Rockliffe Hall’s unique dining experience - Taste of Thrones - inspired by hit HBO series, Game of Thrones. You’ll be greeted by fire-eaters, who will lead you to a drinks reception, where you can pick up a ‘poison’ cocktail of ‘Tears of Lys’. You’ll be welcomed into the Rockliffe Suite by awe-insipring performers and decor that will take you on a magical journey through the seven kingdoms. Get settled on tables such as ‘House Lannister’ or ‘Nights Watch’ and tuck into a themed menu featuring five courses of Westeros fare.


TRINE HAHNEMANN COOKERY DEMO AS PART OF HEXHAM BOOK FESTIVAL >> FRIDAY 27 APRIL 1.30PM - 3PM >> Discover the Unwritten Rules of smørrebrød and the History of many a delicious Danish meal as Trine shares her traditions and encourages more people to enjoy a piece of unique Danish gastronomy on super-healthy, tasty rye bread. Learn about different smørrebrøds for every season and each mood, from savoury to sweet. 

MARY CONTINI COOKERY DEMO AS PART OF HEXHAM BOOK FESTIVAL >> SATURDAY 28 APRIL 11AM - 12.30PM >> Mary Contini, best-selling author and director of the famous delicatessen and wine merchant, Valvona & Crolla, grew up in an Italian family on top of a fish & chip and ice cream shop. Join her for a fun-packed demonstration of her favourite dishes with tips on how to feed a family, eat well and make a perfect risotto! Keep updated at

Above, Trine Hahnemann Left, Mary Contini



Join the team! At Sally & Sarah we not only care about the people we look after on a regular basis, we make it our mission to look after our staff too.

We’re currently looking for new people to join our team and work in an environment which reflects our quality-driven, caring attitude to our patients. Staff morale and well-being are important to us. It’s hard but rewarding work - we have high standards of care for our clients and this sets us apart from other care companies. It means that when we employ people we are not only looking for their ‘paper’ qualifications: more importantly we look for people whose approach to caring reflects the Sally & Sarah ethos.

We can offer career development for people who want it – but we would also love to hear from people who have a background in healthcare – perhaps those who have recently retired – and would like to make use of their skills within our team. We offer good working conditions, rates of pay and travel allowances - and a welcoming, friendly team. At a time when the care industry is going though troubled times, we take pride in our work and prove there are good employees in the sector. Caring for people is rewarding and appreciated. We recognise this and as a small business it is what we strive for. People are at the heart of what we do – we would love to hear from you if you think you would fit in to our team.

3 Innovation Court, Yarm, Road, Stockton TS18 3DA Offices open Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 17:00 01642 608070


The region’s largest lighting store with two floors of contemporary and traditional lighting.

01642 704104 Southside Retail Park, Portrack Lane, Stockton, TS18 2TA


JACQUI MILLER-CHARLTON Jacqui has been instrumental in bringing Newcastle International Film Festival to the city this spring as president of the inaugural event. She has more than three decades of experience as a senior executive in her own business, alongside her two brothers. A trail blazer in the construction, quarrying, mining and associated industries, she changed the face of how hydraulic excavators are used around the world. Jacqui stepped down from her operational role in 2014, but remains a shareholder and main board director. More recently, she has assisted in mentoring many business professionals looking to create, grow or change their own businesses. LUXE PEOPLE >> My family and friends - always. They keep me grounded, sane and proud. LUXE PLACES >> For a weekend > Apart from home,


somewhere like Rome, Paris or Venice. For a treat > Definitely an exotic location like the Maldives or the equivalent. LUXE RELAX >> Best food > It depends on my mood, as I’m well-travelled and like variety, but it’s probably a close call between a Sunday roast, Italian or Indian. Best wine > I prefer champagne, but if I had to drink wine then it would be Montrachet. Favourite restaurant > In Newcastle, probably Cafe 21, Silk Room, Vujon and Simla. Perfect weekend > A walk in the countryside with family, a hot bath following spa treatments and a lovely dinner in the evening. I’d stop off somewhere lovely for lunch on the way home. Downtime means > A spicy pasta dish. Best telly > My hubby records programmes, for us to watch together. They’re usually thrillers or mysteries. Best book > I don’t have a favourite as such - I’m a definite believer in ‘variety is the spice of life’. Every day is a school day, so

I’m always open to learning and reading new things. Best sounds > Again, as with books, I don’t have a favourite sound. It depends on my mood. Sometimes I love quiet classical tracks, then pop, talking me on a trip down memory lane. LUXE SHOP >> I’m a fan of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Anne Fontainne and Ralph Lauren. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to indulge in designer labels - there’s nothing better than being able to show off your new ‘arm candy’! Best shopping city > I’ve travelled extensively around the world during my career, but to be perfectly honest, you’d be hard-pressed to beat London for its variety and buyers’ styles. Favourite shop > Louis Vuitton, Bond Street. Luxe retail treat > A shopping trip to Louis Vuitton in their Bond Street Maison. Best Buy > I have many, but probably my limited, one-off pieces - theoretically they

should hold their value over time. LUXE PARTY >> Perfect party > An evening dinner party with friends and family, at home with a chef cooking up some culinary delights, or getting dressed up to go to a swanky party with great entertainment and fabulous people I love spending time with. Best dress > I don’t have a best dress - I like dressing up. I’m a clothes horse - I love them all! Dinner date > Apart from my hubby, Brad Pitt or Idris Elba, I’d love to dine with Bill Clinton or Barrack Obama. I think their life stories would be fascinating.   YOUR LUXE THING IN LIFE >> Clothes, handbags, shoes and jewellery, but leaving aside all things material, the most luxurious and precious things in my world are, actually, my wonderful family and friends - some of whom I’m now working with. I’m loving every moment and I feel very blessed every day.



New appointments at Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm SUPPLIERS OF UNIQUE & STYLISH FITTINGS

2017 was a busy and exciting year for Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm. We celebrated 175 years in business, we enjoyed continued success with further accolades in the 2017 Legal 500, we were a finalist in the 2017 Northern Law Awards and we also saw the appointment of Carolyn Tilly, our new managing partner, to name only a few of many highlights. 2018 will see further development and promises to be another excellent year with a number of projects for clients already underway. Of particular note is the strengthening of our Commercial Property team with the recent appointment of two new partners, Gareth Jones and Joanne Cowie, pictured above. The Commercial Property team services clients across the UK, including large national corporations, banks and other lenders, investors, pension trustees, developers and builders. Gareth has joined to head up the sevenstrong Commercial Property team, based out of the dedicated commercial office at Wynyard Business Park and has approaching 25 years’ specialist experience in the



24 March - 24 June 2018

Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018 01833 690606 The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8NP


Yorkshire and North East Commercial Property sector. He is a well-known and highly respected lawyer who acts for a number of local, regional and national clients on property portfolio management and property finance matters. Joanne has over 20 years’ experience as a property lawyer in the North East and combines her Commercial Property work with that of her busy practice as a Notary Public. There are very few Notaries in England and even fewer in the North East. Notaries are an entirely separate and independent branch of the legal profession and deal with verification of events, documents and facts for individuals and companies who have property, work, court proceedings and business in foreign jurisdictions worldwide. If you would like to find out more about our Commercial Property and Notarial services please contact Gareth Jones (gjones@tbilaw. or Joanne Cowie ( uk) directly or via our Commercial Law office at Wynyard Business Park.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm, 12 Evolution, Wynyard Park, Wynyard TS22 5TB Tel: 0800 052 6824 Find us on Twitter


T: 0800 0158960 W:


Sweet charity Doing good things in the North East, our charity round-up CHEERS! >>


Put your wine knowledge to good use at a Red and White Wine Challenge organised by NSPCC’s Sunderland Business Board on 18 May. The event at the Roker Hotel will start with some expert tips about various wines before the blind tasting. A drinks reception, three-course dinner and entertainment will also be included in the evening plus Poetic License gin sampling. The NSPCC’s Sunderland Business Board raises funds to support projects in the area, including the charity’s schools service. Tickets cost £50 each, or tables of 10 at £500. For further details, ring 0191 265 6111 or email

Football hero, Alan Shearer, is the first celebrity to record his own message in support of the testicular cancer charity, The Oddballs Foundation, encouraging users to follow its simple steps and get checking. Foundation patron and former footballer, Stephen Harper, says: “This is the most common cancer for males aged 18 to 35. We’ve all got our phones in our hands, so guys should download the app now. It’s so simple - you even get a reminder to check yourself once a month, so you can’t forget. This could save your life, your son’s life, your father or grandson’s life. It’s that important.” Go to the Apple or Andriod App Store. Search for ‘Oddballs - Check Yourself’.


BOWLED OVER >> Fancy taking a few wickets at the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground with a team of your own? Butterwick Hospice Care is offering the one-day tournament challenge for £1,000 for a team of eight. The day includes refreshments, lunch and dinner, as well as three matches of eight overs. To enter a team for the Butterwick Cricket tournament 2018, email annecooling@ Call 01642 628930

FEEL GOOD >> North East charity, Forever Living, provides feel-good ‘Positive Packs’ to people going through cancer treatment and those living with secondary cancer. The first 50 Positive Packs were delivered to Hartlepool’s chemotherapy unit before Christmas and the project is being rolled out across the region. The packs contain products to make patients feel comfortable and ease the strain of cancer treatment, from lip balms to woolly socks. Organisers are seeking local businesses to sponsor the packs, which value at £42. The cost to sponsor a pack is £20 – this is a non-profit-making initiative. To find out more, call Tracy Beales on 07809 548439 or

CEO of Daisy Chain, Stuart Dexter, receives a cheque for £7,194 from Eamonn Elliott, Chief Executive of Rockliffe Hall

DAISY CHEER >> Rockliffe Hall’s chief executive, Eamonn Elliott, presented a cheque for £7194 to Stuart Dexter, CEO of Daisy Chain, marking the end of a year’s fundraising for the charity at Rockliffe Hall. Daisy Chain’s specially equipped centre, in Norton, offers a haven for children with autism: with an outdoor sensory play area, soft play area, sensory rooms, an animal barn, agricultural and horticultural opportunities and nature trails. Daisy Chain helps more than 2,000 families in the Tees Valley, supporting 581 children each week, and provides parents, carers and siblings with support and a resource library.

Charity North East Ladies’ Day has handed over a total of £20,000 with £11,300 each for Butterfly Giving and Family Help Darlington, following on from its annual luncheon at Hardwick Hall. The money was raised from ticket sales, as well as raffles on the day. Both charities had previously been presented with a cheque for £1,000, representing money raised by Barclaycard colleagues, who ran the tombola and match funded by Barclaycard. Charities benefitting from the NELD lunch this year were announced at the presentation evening. They are: JPC Community Farm for supported living for 18 young adults with special and complex needs near Stokesley. Neoangels is a charity which supports the neonatal unit and its families at North Tees hospital. It was established in 2015 by parents and staff nurses, primarily to fill a gap which was not funded by the NHS for the financial disadvantage families find themselves in while they have a premature or sick baby/babies on the ward. We Can Dance provides weekly dance lessons for children with special needs across the North. The next Ladies’ Day is on 26 September with this year’s guest speaker, TV presenter and campaigner, Anne Diamond.

DIARY DATES >> 14 MARCH, 2018 NUFC favourite, Christian Atsu, brings the Black Star Gala to Hilton NewcastleGateshead to raise funds for a charity close to his heart. Footballers and celebrities will be supporting the work of charity, Arms Around The Child, by funding the building of a new community school in Senya Beraku for orphaned children in Ghana. The children have faced a number of challenges and have been rescued from slavery, trafficking and abandonment because of disabilities. The new building will help ensure long-term opportunities for the children. See for ticket details.

15 MARCH, 2018 Explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, arrives at Ramside Hall Hotel for a charity dinner in aid of Butterwick Hospice. The fundraising dinner has been organised by the Stockton-based charity. Tickets are £75 per person and include a four-course meal and cheeseboard.

18 MARCH, 2018 Following on from the success of the first Hearts & Handbags event in May 2017, the event returns at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle. Tickets are £35 per person including a welcome drink, afternoon tea and entertainment. Tables of 10 and 12 are also available. Tickets via


CHUF Sunderland Hospital Reps with Red Sky Ball

Sunderland Empire audiences dug deep for their chosen charity of the year for 2017, Red Sky Ball for CHUF. £10,600 was been raised through bucket collections across a number of show-stopping productions in 2017 at the theatre. Red Sky Ball was set up by Sergio Petrucci and his wife Emma after the care their daughter Luna received at the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital - one of only two specialist units in the UK that can carry out complex heart surgery on babies and children. Red Sky Ball continues to look for corporate partners as they look to break £200,000 this year. Get in touch via


27 APRIL, 2018 This year’s Lobster Ball at Hardwick Hall Hotel will feature a fashion show and live entertainment from Sister Sledge, featuring Kathy Sledge. Hodgsons of Hartlepool will be supplying the super-fresh seafood. John Adamson, owner of Hardwick Hall Hotel, says: “The lobsters are what sets this ball apart from every other charity fundraiser and we are proud of the fact they are locally-sourced and that we are supporting businesses like Hodgson Fish and the fishermen who catch them.” All money raised from this year’s event will go to Stockton-based autism charity, Daisy Chain. Tickets are £145 per person and include complimentary wine, beer and lager throughout. Call 01740 620253 or email


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Enjoy a luxury break at award-winning Rockliffe Hall this spring. Whether you choose to spa, dine, golf or just relax, you’ll experience a five star sanctuary at the heart of the North of England.

To book please call 01325 729999 or email and quote ‘Luxe’ to enjoy a complimentary bottle of fizz in your room on arrival*. *Valid when you book our best available rate this March, April and May. Hurworth-on-Tees Darlington County Durham DL2 2DU +44 (0)1325 729999


LIVING IT UP with Varsha Sehgal, reflecting on South American adventures, hip hats and her winter skin saviours steakhouses. Even though I don’t eat beef, it was not hard for me to see why this place is considered perhaps the most popular steakhouse in the city. Everyone around me seemed to be relishing their meal and, I must admit, my dinner of pork sausages, ribs and cheese bread was delicious. Basa - a trendy basement bar and restaurant, the food here comprised of pasta, fresh fish and steak. The music was excellent and the guests all seem to be in a party mood, which I believe was down to their naughty cocktails. Sottovance - undoubtedly the best Italian in town. In fact, it is so fabulous that one could easily be fooled into believing they were at a trattoria in Italy! Casa Cavia - brunch in superb surroundings. This is a little gem hidden away in the swanky Palmero district and comes with its own library and art gallery.

THRILLED BY >> In 2017, I set myself a challenge which involved trekking through the rainforests of Costa Rica and covering six of its volcanoes. The trek was to support Marie Curie and I am thrilled to say that I successfully completed the task and helped towards raising more than £120,000 for the charity. It was an extraordinary adventure and, personally, I found the whole experience to be deeply profound. Treks on Irazu, Arenal, Cerro Chato and Rincon de la Vieja lead us into the very heart of the rainforests, where we discovered all kinds of exotic wildlife and rare flora and fauna, including sloths, toucans and giant tarantulas. We witnessed first-hand the synergies that exist between all living beings that take shelter in these jungles and how well nature coexists and sustains life. The Llanos de Cortez, Cangreja and La Fortuna waterfalls and the Laguna de Hule were breathtakingly beautiful. We delighted in the warm showers that soaked every inch of our skin and relished the sweet taste of the coffee fruit. Costa Rica disbanded its armed forces in 1948 to invest in its people instead. It has a 97% literacy rate, 98% of its energy sources are renewable and with tourism being its main source of income, much consideration goes into preserving its national parks. I believe its ethos reflects true modernism, making it a genuinely progressive country - one I will be only too thrilled to visit again. TRAVELLED TO >> Moving on from Rio de Janeiro, I am not sure what my expectations were of Buenos Aires, but the first thing that struck me was its diversity. Its beautiful neoclassical French buildings, vibrant tango, bustling streetlife, sizzling steak houses and beautiful people meant a riot of sounds, colours and smells. Though staying true to its Latin American roots, its European past was obvious. Below are some of the highlights of my visit. Stay > Four Seasons - living up to its brand, this hotel offered unparalleled service and enjoyed the most perfect location in the exclusive La Recoleta district with great proximity to all the bars, restaurants, boutiques and sights. Park Hyatt - though not quite as luxurious as the Four Seasons, this hotel is worth a visit to spy its palatial interiors and fabulous High Tea! Dine > Paru Inkas Sushi & Grill - specialising in Peruvian food, this place had a chilled-out vibe and conjured up some very imaginative cerviche and sushi. The Mosqueta Maki was my favourite. Cabana Las Lilas - Argentinians are very proud of their


TASTED >> Back home and experiencing brunch: the new power lunch. Elevated to its newly empowered status, it’s become an important part of a restaurant’s menu rather than just an afterthought. Lost and Found ranks very highly in my choice of brunch options. Sat almost opposite the gates of Heaton Park, this restaurant oozes an old-world charm right, from the 1914 signage outside its doors to the bespokely furnished interiors inspired by the Orient. While the wild mushrooms, prosciutto, watercress, poached eggs and truffle oil over sourdough bread (with a side of avocado) was a thoroughly enjoyable start to my day, the hot peanut (essentially hot chocolate muddled with honey and vodka) was a sinfully naughty treat! Though I didn’t get to sample their pancakes, I did see a lot of people ravenously tuck into fluffy mounds of chocolate and berries. Of the many innovative cocktails on the menu, their namesake and the aromatic espresso martini were my favourite tipples. TEMPTED BY >> My most recent splurge has been “The Heist” by Victoria Grant. A felt top hat with a mesh veil and crystal embellishment, it is androgynous dressing to perfection. From the minute the milliner placed it on my head, I was smitten. The hat brought alive the dark and mysterious romance of the Oscar Wilde days and I felt a little bit of the magic of the Victorian era rub off on me. Looking for reasons why I should have it, I found the fact that Madonna owns the same hat (see below!) the perfect excuse to give into temptation. If it’s good enough for Madonna, surely it’s good enough for me, too?

Sights > As a modern metropolis, Buenos Aires has numerous monuments, museums, art galleries and gardens to fill up any tourist’s days, but if I were to single out a few they would be: La Recoleta Cemetary - don’t miss Eva Peron. After several years of being hidden away in Milan, she was finally laid to rest here in her family’s tomb. La Boca - a colourful neighbourhood of market stalls, artists, musicians, bars and restaurants, all adding a splash of their personalities on to the streets. Also famous for the Boca Junior Football Club, where many fans from around the world flock to. Plaza de Mayo - the main square in the city and heart of the financial district. In and around this area are some of the most prominent sites in the city. Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral - within the cathedral is a very impressive mausoleum, erected for General Jose de San Martin - the liberator of Chile, Argentina and Peru. Worth waiting for is the change of guard, which happens every two hours. Days Out > Estancia Villa Maria - horse breeding is a multimillion dollar industry in Argentina and the current number one ranking player, Adolfo Cambiaso, is an Argentinian. Estancia Villa Maria has hosted some of the most high profile polo players, as well as every polo loving royal in the world. The ranch on the estate is a stunning property and I would highly recommend staying for lunch. This was definitely my most enjoyable afternoon in Buenos Aires. Iguazu Falls - a trip to the Iguazu Falls may require more than a single day out, but it is well worth the trouble. They are the largest waterfall systems in the world, made up of 275 individual waterfalls - even larger and wider than the Niagara Falls! The rainforests that surround these falls are home to more than 2,000 species of plant and animal life.

TRIED ON >> Winter is unkind to skin and travelling aggravates the problem of dry and dull skin even more. Though my normal skincare routine is almost always organic and natural, when I really need a quick and effective boost I turn to SkinCeuticals. Their Retinol 0.3 and Phloretin CF are like magic potions. Together they help smooth, moisturise and diminish fine lines and pigmentation. Unlike most products that work on the surface of the skin, the science behind SkinCeuticals enables the products to penetrate the layers of the skin and work from the inside out.

THINKING ABOUT >> I am a monarchist at heart. I believe the British monarchy plays a pivotal diplomatic role in ensuring England’s position as a global world leader. I loved watching the first series of The Crown and remain spellbound with the second dose of its latest series. Though unsure about how much of it is actual fact and what is fiction, I believe it gives an insight into the many challenges the Queen faced as society evolved and the gap between royals and the average man shrunk. Which brings me to the impending royal nuptials - Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement is a clear indication of how far the monarchy has come. It is a wonderful thought that someone who has faultlessly carried out her duties (sometimes at the expense of personal relationships) is now able to fully support the choices of her loved ones.




OPEN MORNING Saturday 28th April, 10am – 2pm


In the pink

PSYCHE Ted Baker frill detail tunic, £189 Kendall + Kylie Emilee-b leather ankle strap sandals, £138.99 Kate Spade Greenwood Place chain detail bag, £294.99


PA S T E L S 26



Flower power

FENWICK Mulberry small Darley bag, £550 Sportmax Code pale pink floral jumper, £155 J Brand Maria light blue jeans, £230




Leather up

JULES B Oakwood light pink zip detail leather jacket, £235 Rag & Bone light blue jeans, £180




Eldon Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7SX & branches throughout the UK

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Satin chic

FENWICK Aspinal of London circle bag, £495 J Brand grey trousers, £210 Kenzo floral top/cream t- shirt, £265 LK Bennett Dora nappa leather heels, £175





JULES B Chinti and Parker cashmere sweater, £275 Rag & Bone light blue jeans, £180




Fab frills

FENWICK See By Chloe sheer v-neck blouse, £275 J Brand Maria light blue jeans, £230




Blooming lovely PSYCHE Ted Baker chatsworth bloom woven t-shirt, £58.99 Ted Baker embroidered hem jeans, £98.99 Ted Baker chatsworth travel wallet, £94.99

MAR/APR18 33




MODEL Melissa Steven,

A S S I S TA N T Chloe Laing

STOCKISTS Fenwick Newcastle, JulesB, Jesmond, Yarm, Kendal Psyche, Middlesbrough,

L O C AT I O N Kgphotography at Bank Studio, 7 Station Road, Newburn, Newcastle, NE15 8LS









STYLE SWIPE Spring into action The world of athleisure is dominating fashion and whether your take on it is for a full-on gym session or a more leisurely shopping excursion, designers are going all out to bring you a sharp fashion fix. This season you’ll find that even some of the biggest labels are getting in on the sports-luxe action – a trend meaning there’s more choice than ever for those of you wanting to find some truly stylish activewear. From luxury takes on the trend by Sportmax and Kenzo to famed American fashion houses like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein creating their own diffusion lines, this season fashion has truly embraced sportswear. Equally, sportswear labels like Varley and Under Armour, which have always been known for enhancing technical performance, are now creating collections that have a really fashionable edge.

To get the look I have paired a Sportmax jacket (£170) with a matching Varley Sports Bra (£52) and tights (£85) set: the gorgeous design means that this performance-wwear will always have a life of its own post-workout. Arkk trainers (£99) and a gorgeous Marc Jacobs backpack (£160) complete the look. Finally, don’t forget to pack a Swell water bottle (£30) to ensure you stay hydrated whatever you’re up to! Catherine Newton is Head of Womenswear at Fenwick Newcastle.




Visit our Seaton Delaval showroom at Delcor House, Double Row, NE25 0PR Only 20 minutes from Newcastle city centre 0191 237 1303 WWW.DELCOR.CO.UK


LUXE LOVES Tufty trends We all know by now that any interior will be given a joyful and seasonal lift with a scattering of fresh new cushions. Get playful and plump up these cotton pom pom cusions, £60.



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Chic stylers

With the first day of spring just around the corner, we’re feeling full of energy with lots of positive vibes for the year ahead. 2018 is set to be a great year for us, with lots of exciting things in the pipeline, including an invitation to Moscow to present an avant-garde show at the Russian Hairdressing Awards in April. Another exciting new venture for us is our appointment as Creative Style Directors for the electrical hair brand, WAHL, who have recently launched two amazing new products into the female styling arena. Our role has been very hands-on in the development of the first two products to go to market, which are a state-of-the art dryer and a fantastic styling iron. Both appliances have been designed by us, the hairdresser, to ensure the ease of use and perfect performance. The dryer truly outperforms any professional hairdryer that I’ve ever used, with a speedy drying time and quick air flow, which also has a silencer fitted to make it less noisy than most professional dryers. Other added benefits are a turbo heat switch and a cool shot button to lock in style. The styling iron is equally as impressive, with new technology making it superior to other irons on the market. With three variable heat settings to suit your hair type and ultra-glide plates with contoured edges for smoother styling, it glides through the hair like a dream. Our gorgeous model’s glimmering locks were created using both the new WAHL dryer and styling iron to achieve a loose ‘lifestyle’ look that’s less ‘red carpet’ and more relaxed and confident. Using the dryer on medium heat, we blow-dryed volume and movement into the hair by tipping the head forward and drying from the roots until the mid-lengths and ends were dry. We then heated the iron to the optimum heat setting of 185 degrees before dividing the hair into two sections, from left to right, in a centre parting. The iron was used to wave the hair using a scoring technique to heat and shape. Each section was waved in the opposite direction, which we think looks gorgeous. To finish, loosely shake through and spritz with a little spray to hold. Michael Young and Gary Hooker run Hooker & Young, with five salons regionwide.




CHARLIE RICHMOND North East actor Charlie made his acting debut aged 17 in the film Purely Belter. Since then he has performed many roles on both stage and screen and is best known in the region for roles in pantomime at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House. This year Charlie will be playing the character ‘Adrian Sanderson’ in Sting’s musical The Last Ship. Adrian is a lovable shipyard poet with many layers and depths. Charlie has been involved with the Last Ship since 2012, after taking part in the development workshops at Live Theatre for the original musical before it went to Broadway.

LUXE PLACES >> For a weekend > My wife Claire and I love to go to London for a long weekend to do some shopping and watch a West End show. A long holiday > I have a dream holiday planned - a road trip in America. Starting in San Francisco, then driving to Los Angeles via Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks and finishing in Las Vegas. I reckon it would take about three weeks to do it properly. LUXE RELAX >> Best food > I love loads of different types of cuisine from around the world, but I’d have to say Chinese food or sushi would be my go-to choices. Especially teriyaki noodles or anything satay-based. Best wine > I’m not much of a wine connoisseur, but I prefer drinking red over white. My two favourites would be a nice Malbec or a Rioja. Favourite restaurant > Olive Garden in New York. It does simple Italian food and the breadsticks and salad are to-die-for. We need a chain of Olive Garden restaurants in the UK. Perfect weekend > A perfect weekend for me would start with breakfast at The View in Tynemouth, followed by a nice walk along Longsands beach. Then, after all that fresh


air, a snuggle on the sofa with the wife and a good movie on the TV. I try and catch up with friends and family as much as I can over the weekends, too. Downtime means > No phone or laptop! Just switching off from the world with a good book, or a good boxset. This is very rare. Best telly > My favourite TV programmes have to be Strictly Come Dancing, followed by I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. What can I say, I’m a massive fan of Ant and Dec! Best theatre > My favourite musical is, of course, Sting’s The Last Ship - our new adaptation is going to be amazing. Best book > I’m not a prolific reader, however I do enjoy a James Patterson (Michael Bennet) novel. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Celestine Prophecy are also favourites. Best sounds > Music has always played an important role in my life. I’ve been singing since I was three, often encouraged by my dad. I personally love listening to musicals to relax and I’m not embarrassed to admit that Elaine Paige on Sunday BBC Radio 2 is always on in our house. But my guilty pleasure, after DJ’ing for over 10 years, would have to be 90s dance anthems, Ministry Of Sound-style.

LUXE SHOP >> Best shopping city > We are quite lucky in the North East to have some fantastic shopping spots, as well as places like intu Metrocentre, however, if I was given the opportunity to go shopping in London or New York, I’d jump at the chance. Favourite shop > My favourite shop at home is Fenwick, but it’s not my favourite shop in the world. That would have to be Harrods in London. I could spend a fortnight walking around the different departments, spending my imaginary money. Luxe retail treat > My guilty pleasure is shoes, or trainers. I’m always being told I don’t need another pair, but I buy them anyway. Best buy > I recently took up golf and my amazing wife bought me some tailor-made golf clubs and a bag. These are now my most treasured possessions in the world. LUXE PARTY >> A memorable night out > 23 January 2015 was one of the most amazing nights out ever. I was in New York with my wife, Claire, celebrating my birthday and we had just watched the original Last Ship musical on

Broadway. After the show we had drinks with friends and, to top it all off, it snowed on our way back to the hotel. It was one of those nights I will never forget for the rest of my life. Perfect party > Being in the entertainment industry, I know a thing or two about hosting and creating a good party. Once you’ve chosen the perfect venue and sorted the band/entertainment, the next thing is to make sure you’re surrounded by all of your friends and family - and it must include a cake, or cakes! Favourite item of clothing > It has to be a pair of shoes. My patent leather wedding shoes by Loake are my favourites. I just don’t get to wear them very often unless hosting a black tie event or a really posh party. Dinner date > Other than my beautiful wife, if I had to choose a dinner date it would have to be my all-time favourite comedians, Lee Evans and Peter Kay. YOUR LUXE THING IN LIFE >> As sad as this sounds, my luxe thing in life is my MacBook Pro laptop - I use it every single day for work and couldn’t survive without it.




>> SPRING SENSATION Reflect the season in your household with a scented L’artisan Parfumeur candle. The four magical pots cover all bases with one for all seasons. Each season’s each candle transforms the landscape into a sensation that will have you in touch with the time of year. The spring sensation diffuses an aroma of rosemary, thyme and myrtle that will light up the room with refreshing floral loveliness. £54 per candle,


LOVE YOUR SMILE WHEN YOU WALK DOWN THE AISLE >> Are you in the midst of making plans for a wedding? Perhaps you’re a soon-to-be bride, groom, best man, maid of honour or bridesmaid? So many of our patients say that they would love to feel more confident about their smile on the big day, especially for those all-important photos. If you’re newly engaged, then it’s never too early to start working towards a smile you’ll be proud of by the time you say your vows. Have you always wished for straight teeth, but don’t want ‘traintrack’ braces? There are now several orthodontic options available, which don’t involve traditional fixed metal braces. Invisalign, for example, uses a series of clear, removable trays to align the teeth. They are nearly invisible and you can take them out to eat, drink, brush and floss. It’s important to start treatment as early as possible before the big day, as it can take 12-18 months or more, depending on the complexity of your case. At your consultation, the dentist will examine your teeth and advise you about the timescale to expect. At Honour Health, we also offer complimentary teeth whitening after every Invisalign treatment, to boost the whiteness of your newly transformed smile. Are you concerned about unsightly gaps? You may have heard of dental implants - the gold standard treatment to replace missing or failing teeth. When an implant is in position, it’s both indistinguishable from and as comfortable as your existing teeth, allowing you to eat or drink anything, so this could be the ideal solution for you. Several other aesthetic dental options are available to help you improve your smile, such as composite veneers and crowns, but don’t forget - dental health assessments and mouth hygiene appointments are also incredibly important. Our signature hygiene package, Honour Diamond Airflow, is a state of the art hygiene treatment, featuring an Airflow machine that cleans and polishes the teeth with a mix of water, compressed air and fine powder particles. It’s hugely effective for stain and plaque removal and is ideal for implant patients, orthodontic patients, smokers and those who have veneers, crowns, bridges and sensitive teeth. The Honour Health Club offers up to 20% off private dental treatments, 10% off skin treatments, two Dental Health Assessments each year, at least two Honour Diamond Airflow hygiene treatments each year, the flexibility of Saturday and weekday evening appointments and worldwide dental insurance. Book your appointment online at or call your chosen practice below – and start your journey towards a smile you’ll love, in time for the big day.

Honour Health Jesmond Tel: 0191 281 3913 Email: Honour Health Ponteland Tel: 01661 821 412 Email:

>> ILLUMINATE Think fresh, younger and more illuminated-looking skin with Indeed Laboratories’ super smoothing Retinol serum. Pop this magic number on after cleansing to stimulate the production of collagen plumping out those fine lines and wrinkles for a gorgeous youthful glow. £19.99 (30ml) on counter at Boots.

beauty:update Bright colour pops, sparkling serums and a youthful natural glow, Chloé Laing guides you through the beauty musts to put a spring in your step this season >>

Onkar Dhanoya is clinical lead and principal dentist at Honour Health, providing NHS and private dental care and skin treatments at three practices across the North East - Jesmond, Stanley and Ponteland. Onkar, who has more than 30 years of dentistry experience, sits on the board of the Faculty of General Dental Practice and holds a fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons (London).

>> DITCH THE DULL Say goodbye to dull skin with Institut Esthederm’s Intensive AHA Peel. The sparkling serum gives you a revitalised and refreshed feel. Smooth onto your skin to reduce the appearance of pores and to refine your skin’s surface. You’ll be radiating the light and refreshed shine to see you into the spring. £59 (30ml)

>> CAPTIVATING COMPLEXION NARS welcomes the brand new Natural Radiant Longwear foundation in 33 skin-matching shades that will have you fresh-faced from morning into the night. Their first ever 16-hour fade-resistant blend optimises your complexion hour after hour, smoothing out skin texture. £35 on counter.

Honour Health Stanley Tel: 01207 232 725 Email:






Paul Mitchell’s Lavender Mint duo is the deep conditioning team that your locks need. Smooth on a new lease of life with the deep conditioning mineral hair mask (£19.95 for six sachets) to intensely moisturise and hydrate for immediate silky smooth hair. Spritz on the lavender mint conditioning leave-in spray (£17.95) before you get your hands on your heat styling tools. A protective veil that will fight off your curling iron’s heat or the sun’s rays while adding definition and bounce to your overall do. Selected salons and

>> MOISTURE MASK GOLDFADEN MD launches a brand new Skin Balancing Mask in April and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. A formula filled with alpha hydroxy acids that are known for reducing fine lines, wrinkles and increasing skin hydration. A gorgeous blend of ginseng, honey, flower extracts, jojoba oil and vitamin E infuse moisture, vitality and nourishment back into the skin. £65,

>> OVERNIGHT OILS Get the most out of midnight hours with NEOM’s Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil. Wake up your face with a 100% natural oil that will have your skin looking fresh, glowing and restored. Massage the oil on your skin before bed and let the almond and rosehip oils do their magic while thirteen other essential oils work to help you relax. £42,

makeup bag musts >> POPPING PASTELS


Glide into spring with Chanel’s le vernis longwear nail colour in one of the pop-out pastel’s that are perfect for this season. This long-wear protective nail polish will dazzle with sophisticated shine and vibrant tones. £20, on counter.

Chanel’s Les 9 Ombres exclusive creation eyeshadow collection is surely on everyone’s springtime wishlist. A pallet of nine shadows in soft and lively shades that covers the bases of your day and night time eyes. On their own or mixed together, the light, nude or pearly shades illuminate and add depth, while the darker shades, from brown to petrol blue, define more intense and mysterious eyes. £67, on counter.

>> GORGEOUS GLOW Highlight your cheek bones with one of Chanel’s limited edition Joues Contraste blushes, we recommend Foschia Rosa for a silky smooth blush that blends in seamlessly creating a natural looking springtime glow. £34, on counter.


>> DREAM TEAM Add colour to your lips with a touch of your finger tips with Chanel’s poudre à lèvres exclusive creation lip balm and powder duo. This dream team duo allows you to build up intensity for any occasion. A moisturising balm glides on with your fingertips and the bright powder pats on the top where you can take the colour from a natural pop to a knockout red lip. £31, on counter. 43


Relax and reset Jessica Laing joins some of Newcastle’s upand-coming wellness bods for a dose of Saturday serenity, stretching and sauerkraut…

Put your hands up (perhaps do it in your head if you’re reading this in public) if you’re in search of a more ‘settled’ mind. A mind that’s kinder, better at self-forgiveness, more rational, less cluttered, not so frazzled and free of negative chatter. Who else quite fancies a happier, healthier gut? A one that doesn’t twist, churn and ache at the thought of tomorrow’s burdens and to-do lists. Or bloat like a beachball after a slice or two of bread. Perhaps you’d like to learn how to feed yourself better. Treat your belly to fresher, more colourful grub. Ramp up your veggie intake. Curb those 4pm I-need-chocolatenow pangs. Maybe you’d like to cook more. Oh, and while we’re at it, who also likes the idea of owning limbs that are less achy and more stretchy? A spine less stiff. Better posture. Lungs that know how to gulp up the air around you in a calm, relaxed manner, helping to clear your mind in times of chaos or uncertainty. If you’ve answered yes, or “me! Every day!” to any of the above, you’d be wise to partake in one of Emma Haslam and


Catherine Maclaine’s wellbeing workshops; day-long ‘retreats’, designed to help you on your way to becoming a perkier, better-fuelled version of yourself through mindfulness, yoga and honest, nutritious food. I, along with around a dozen other North East women (plus two very open-minded men, not afraid to chat about feelings, hummus and tight hipbones) stopped by the pair’s first workshop, held at Newcastle’s Summerhill Bowling Club - a secluded and surprisingly serene oasis, away from the hurried buzz of the city centre. Waiting there were our hosts, both of whom have become good chums through their shared love of all things health and wellbeing. Emma, a mindfulness teacher with a post-grad diploma in Studies in Mindfulness from the University of Aberdeen, runs Settled Minds - a self-made business that sees her touring the region, delivering mindfulness training workshops, internationally-recognised courses and private one-to-one sessions, both in the workplace and the comfort of her clients’ homes. Big names, such as Newcastle United

Foundation and even Google, have benefited from her soothing work and she even stops by local schools, helping little ones, their teachers and their parents discover how introducing a little day-to-day mindfulness in the classroom can boost kids’ self-esteem, productivity and overall wellbeing.

It’s essentially about learning how to recognise and respond to our own emotions in the most positive way possible Catherine, pictured above, meanwhile, is the fresh face behind Honest and Gutsy - a local foodie company specialising in wholesome, sometimes raw, sometimes veggie or vegan, grub, free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. The 28-year-old, who hails from Northern Ireland, threw herself into healthy home cooking a few years ago after months of battling crippling stomach pain, digestive woes and mixed diagnoses from her GP. After a drastic switch-up in the diet department and falling in love with ‘free-from’ cooking, her health improved beyond even her doctors’ expectations and,

feeling inspired (and considerably less bloated), she made the brave decision to quit her law career to set up her own, small business. You’ll now find her brewing her own fizzy batches of kombucha (fermented black, or green, tea, supposedly packed with probiotic, good-for-the-gut bacteria) and making her own range of freshly-made goods from scratch, which she currently sells at various pop-ups, markets and events in and around Newcastle. Everything, from nutrient-packed, on-the-go lunch boxes to better-for-you sweet treats, like sugar-free granola, sweet potato brownies, paleo banana bread and ‘raw’ Twix bars, is made in her new, professional kitchen, where she hopes to soon host a series of cookery classes for those with food allergies and intolerances. After a bit of circle-time and an introduction into the women’s backgrounds and the day’s blissful agenda, it was Emma who kicked things off - starting with an insightful workshop about the so-called stress-melting, yet often puzzling, world of ‘mindfulness’. What does it mean, exactly? Is it the same as meditation? How do we do it? Sure, ‘mindfulness’ has become quite the buzzword over the last year or two, but Emma’s non-preachy approach to the concept - and tips on how we can incorporate it into our daily lives - was refreshingly simple.


SETTLE SERENE As we learned, it’s essentially about learning how to recognise and respond to our own emotions in the most positive way possible; which ones to focus on and let be, and which ones to ride out and let go of. We touched on skills to help battle our own self-critical beliefs. Things like reminding ourselves that thoughts are not facts, tips on boosting self-compassion, kindness and care, as well as helpful techniques to put into action when anxiety comes knocking. Gratitude being one of the biggest helpers, whether in the form of a journal, a note on our phone or even just a mental list, as well as honing in on our breathing and senses to help ‘ground’ us. At the end of the session, it felt like a bit of weight had been lifted. Many members of the group had spoken of the uncertainty, lethargy and gloominess they’d been feeling during the first few weeks of the New Year, but after an hour or so in Emma’s hands, it seemed everyone was relishing in a brighter, clearer headspace, armed with a new, mini mental toolbox, ready to tackle whatever life had to throw at them outside of the bowling club walls. Courtesy of Catherine, lunch came next - and what a (balanced) treat it was. Healthy options needn’t be bland or boring and this young woman’s colourful spread proved it right then and there. Pots of homemade hummus, made with beetroot, tumeric, carrot and cumin and tummy-friendly sauerkraut, sat alongside bowls of crunchy crudités and hearty, leafy salads, protein-packed ‘bliss balls’ (dates, raw chocolate and coconut), straight-fromthe-oven seeded crackers, fresh fruit and wedges of veggie-packed frittata - all nutrient-dense and delicious. A few platefuls later, it was time for some


downward-dog action in the form of a beginner’s yoga class. Local teacher, Debbie Hannatt from Newcastle-based yoga, pilates and fitness company, Yogatri, was on hand to administer our zen injection and I’m pleased to report it was nowhere near as painful as anticipated - even with a belly full of kale and chickpeas. The class saw us practice the gentle basics; slow, easy-to-follow moves and some much-needed stretching (on my part), coupled with restorative breathing exercises, to help us get our ‘Om’ on and mentally wind down as the day drew to a close. We were even handed heated eye masks (think warm, toasty bean bags) and encouraged to bag a few moments of shut-eye post-class if we wanted. I left the retreat with a satisfied belly, a brain less foggy and a body that felt relaxed. Others emerged saying they felt like a “new version” of themselves, eager to spend the rest of their evening practicing gratitude and focusing on the goodness in their lives, instead of beating themselves up about shouting at their partner/child/dog that morning, or stressing over what to make for dinner that night. Proof, I think, that retreats such as Emma and Catherine’s really do work and can make a world of difference to a person’s outlook and wellbeing - even in just the space of a few hours. The pair plan on running more day-long escapes over the coming months, so keep an eye on their social media channels for updates.

>> Emma Haslam

Find Emma on Facebook and Instagram at @settledmindsu, search @honestandgutsy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit 45


Brian Blessed the

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Stars in his eyes

Pleasingly the Brian Blessed who answers the phone offers up the boom of a greeting that you’d hoped for as you dialled. A rich, gratifyingly warm and rich tone which you know comes with a twinkling eye. Never mind Saturday night reality television – this is what you call The Voice. Within moments you’re in familiar territory as his luscious language, lively vocabulary and nuanced tone welcomes you into conversation. Be glad, people. Blessed is bringing the voice to theatres in the region this year – and what stories he has to tell. An hour in his company leaves you enlivened, and your preconceptions about what an 81-year-old is – well, they shoot to outer space. Which is where he’s planning to go himself. Space might well be his final frontier. He is confident that he will get the chance to orbit. But that’s just another feat to add to an awesome list of life achievements. His life is “fifty per cent acting, fifty per cent going on adventures.” He is the oldest man to have reached the North Pole. He has climbed Everest three times, missing the summit on one occasion because he stopped to rescue someone. He’s camped and climbed with wolves in Mongolia (he fed them Mars Bars), gone hunting for Yeti and escaped a plane crash in Venezuela. Death doesn’t scare this man. “I don’t get scared of anything because for me, death doesn’t exist. “The most dangerous thing is NOT to have an adventure. We all have our Everests, even if they’re in our garden shed.” Blessed is speaking from his own ‘shed’ , an office in his garden which is also home to all the animals he’s rescued. Conservation is a passion he shares with his wife, Hildegarde, and together they have helped as many as 3,000 animals in the grounds of their Surrey home – mostly domestic animals: cats and dogs and goats and donkeys. They, and myriad other creatures, form the subject matter of his latest book The Panther in my Kitchen. It begs the question – really? And yes, “it was a rescue panther” in the kitchen – my dad was staying with me. “It was magical because when I was seven Dad had taken me to see The Jungle Book at the cinema. It’s the best Jungle Book film and has never been equaled. The star was Bagheera. Then here she was – well, Karli – in my kitchen with Dad rubbing her belly.” Blessed is a prolific writer – in fact, it seems, a prolific everything. He appears to approach everything with gusto and much joy. But maintains he is also a quiet, solitary person too. That boom of a voice has been with him forever: “I’ve never known my voice break”, he says. “I had an adult voice when I was a kid, always a big voice.” It was a voice born in Yorkshire, the mining town of of Mexborough. His dad was a miner with a love of Shakespeare, ‘Dad could quote the whole of Hamlet’ – and the community was one with a love of the world of opera. As a 14-year-old, Blessed was forced to leave school to learn the trade of a plasterer after his father was injured and unable to work. But his teachers, who had spotted the young boy’s aptitude for drama stayed with him, teaching him at night and encouraging him in the local theatre guild. >>

I’ve never known my voice break. I had an adult voice when I was a kid, always a big voice

MAR/APR18 47


“Four or five of my teachers would have made stars in the theatre”, he says. “They would take us to Sheffield to see stars like Olivier, Gielgud. They made a huge difference to my life. They inspired me to think the unthinkable.” Blessed’s father knew he could ‘bloody act’ but even when he got a scholarship for Bristol Old Vic drama school he was dubious about whether his son would make drama his profession. But he had the drive to do it and he wasn’t alone. Around this time, Blessed would meet Patrick Stewart on a drama course. They became friends and have shared glittering theatrical lives ever since. “I see Patrick now and he will say ‘when are you going to relax”’, says Blessed with a guffaw. “I don’t subscribe to ageing. I’ve made a pact with old age and no, I don’t subscribe to it. It is about how you are not how old you are. I train like f...k and have always kept very fit. I do bench press ups every day.” He hopes, having done 800 hours space training, that he will one day realise his dream of going into space. “Training included the experience of being in a centrifuge

Blessed moments In Flash Gordon in 1980, Blessed plays Prince Vultan with the line, “Gordon’s alive.” On stage, he starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Cats, as both Old Deuteronomy and Bustopher Jones, for the original 1981 West End theatre production. Blessed has played a number of Shakespearean characters on both stage and screen, including four of the five Shakespeare films directed 48

bigger than Wembley.” This love of space, “we are all children of stardust”, comes from a childhood excitement of the dawn of space travel. “Since I was a child the biggest love of my life has been space and I completed space training in 2006 with NASA on Reunion Island. My dream is to go to Mars.” Ever an optimist, Blessed offers us the sage words of someone who continues to live a life to the full. On Brexit; “I am an optimist of the highest order. I am hope. I feel we will make it.” On women; “I like people but the biggest heroes are women. I’ve learned a lot from men but have mostly learned from women; I like women, their company. I rejoice that they are appearing everywhere – 90 per cent of men bore the crap out of me.” On being Grampy Rabbit (in Peppa Pig); “Peppa Pig has made £7billion (hasn’t made me a fortune). It’s a huge success in China. Grampy lives in a lighthouse and I take the children on adventures and shout ‘Fooooogggggggg’…” On being quiet; “I am great friends with Kenneth Branagh. We have a father-son relationship in which I am the son. He will say that I am a very quiet person. I value all my

by Kenneth Branagh. In 1999, Blessed provided both the voice and live-action reference for the blustery CGI character Boss Nass in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and also provided the voice of the villainous hunter Clayton in Disney’s animated feature film Tarzan. Since October 2008, Blessed has presented the English-language dub of the Japanese TV game show Unbeatable Banzuke on Challenge, under the pseudonym “Banzuke Brian”. In animation, he has provided the voices of Bob in Kika & Bob (2008) and

I look in the mirror in the morning and I look like a Yeti, a gorilla – and I love myself!

time for creating. “I value peace and meditate twice a day, it gives me my energy and helps me re-charge in silence. On himself – and being called by The Sun a ‘bearded thespian god’, “I look in the mirror in the morning and I look like a Yeti, a gorilla – and I love myself!” Brian Blessed will be in conversation at Yarm’s Princess Alexandra Auditorium on 12 April and Tyne Theatre, Newcastle on 6 September.

Grampy Rabbit in Peppa Pig (2004– present). Off screen, he has attempted to climb Mount Everest three times without supplemental oxygen, reaching heights of 28,200 feet (8,600m) in 1993 and 25,200 feet (7,700m) in 1996, but without reaching the summit. He holds a 3rd dan in Judo. He has reached the tops of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He is the oldest man to go to the North Magnetic Pole on foot. MAR/APR18


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Nina loves:

From bunnies to little people, we’re all about the ears - listen up!

with Nina Robinson

What to do when the weather is still gruesome and you’ve exhausted indoor ideas? Already binged on Harry Potter, explored the app store and made every possible type of slime in every available container in your entire house? What does a nine-year-old do next? Spend the last of your Christmas money having your ears pierced of course! What started out as a trip to Build-A-Bear the other day ended in me breaking through the latest boundary – the piercing boundary! The moment was a long time coming. I actually set out on my seventh birthday to have my ears done and was so excited about the idea of wearing lots of different earrings. But when the beautician took out the piercing gun I was too scared to go through with it! This time was different. Maybe because I’m more grown up or maybe because it was a spur of the moment thing. Either way, I did it and I didn’t cry! Now I have a whole new earring craze to indulge in and by the time it’s warm enough to play outside I’ll be able to hang feathers and flowers from my ear! Nina x

Arts and Crafts >> These Posca Pens are a fab way to give dull objects a spring makeover! I love a bit of crafting and can’t wait to try these out. They’re said to be perfect for upcycle, art and craft projects and work brilliantly on a range of surfaces including paper, card, glass, ceramic, fabric, wood and plastic. >> A pack of 16 is £29.99 from

Floral super fan! >> The shops are awash with floral prints in readiness for spring. It’s so nice to think one day soon we can shed these layers of woollies and cover ourselves in petals and blooms. I’m loving the new floral range at Debenhams – even wellies are pretty in pastels!

Egging on Easter >> Easter is just a hop and a skip away and with it the promise of spring. Here are some cute accessories to get you leaping for joy!

>> Rose gold foiled bunny paper plates, £4.99, Ginger Ray,

<< Rose gold pom pom tail bunny bunting, £4.99, Ginger Ray,

>> Floral bunny ears headband, £10, Paperchase,

>> Little bunny light, £12, Bobby Rabbit,

>> Carrot bunny pen, £4, Paperchase,


White bunny on carrot swing decoration, £12.00 The Contemporary Home,

>> Bunny backpack, £30, Paperchase,

<< Egg collecting tin, £9.95, Annabel James,



POSH POOCHES with Alfie, helped by Elysia Agnew

New blooms Hop, skip and jump. Spring has sprung and Alfie is leaping into the new season with new friends and new buys for pooches and pooch-lovers alike. The nights are getting lighter and the walks are getting longer; and with summer on the horizon, pooch-friendly staycations are the hot topic. Our luxe pooch is catching up with Rosie the elegant Hungarian vizsla, who likes to walk along the beach in Tynemouth and tuck into a seafood snack at Riley’s Fish Shack. We’re diving in on the dachshund trend this season, picking out some pooch-inspired fashion must-haves for spring. Alfie’s village friends, Henry and Pippa have been doing their bit for charity this year, joining the Wag & Co. team. A special petting service for dog-lovers who can no longer keep or look after their own animals due to age or illness. This pair of cute cocker spaniels have been putting smiles on the faces of elderly people across the region. Spring is a time for new beginnings; whether that’s a fresh new wardrobe, setting yourself goals or meeting new people. Enjoy the late night walks and garden blooms. Alfie, your luxe pooch x

Alfie loves: SERVE >> Orla Kiely, Dachshund wooden serving platter, £43;

COSY >> Wear it with woof. Cath Kidston’s dachshund sweater is a sweet way to keep the chills away. £70

Dachshunds are everywhere! They might be small but they’re spectacularly on-trend! Just look...

STOP IT >> Laura Ashley, Dog doorstop, £25;

DINKY >> Emma Bridgewater, Dachshund 1/2pt mug, £19.95;

SIT! >> Dachshund dog garden bench, £179.99;

Luxe Pooch Q&A Rosie is a one-year-old Hungarian vizsla. She is loving, loyal, regal, sociable and attention-seeking. Rosie arrived at her North East home at just three-months-old and became a regular at her owner Leah’s hair salon, Hair @ No.4 in Seaham. Rosie is the famous salon dog and people come from all over just to visit her, she greets everyone on arrival and often sits in reception watching the world go by… LUXE WALKS >> I love the beach. Seaburn is my favourite place to explore. I get to meet all different breeds and I especially love to pose for mum’s sunrise photos. POOCH’S PERFECT DAY OUT >> I love Sundays - a family day. We like to catch the ferry from South Shields to North


Shields where we walk into Tynemouth and visit the market where I can pinch sausages off the tasting stalls. I love to walk along the beach, finishing at Riley’s Fish Shack for some seafood treats. DOGGY DOWNTIME >> Dad works very hard as a fireman, so when he comes home after night shift, my brother Eric and I climb into bed for a cuddle - this can last all day!   HOUND HABITS >>  I’m very greedy. My human works next door to Humbles Cafe - they like to shower me with lovely treats.   PUPPY PAMPER >>  I often go to Tails in Seaham where I get a

A dog’s best friend >> Studies show that four-legged friends are good for your physical and emotional health. Pooches have proven to boost our oxytocin levels (also known as the ‘cuddle chemical’ or the ‘bonding hormone’). Wag & Company is a personable poochy charity with the main aim of creating meaningful new friendships with older dog lovers in the North East. Dog owners can do their bit for charity by bringing joy to those who can no longer maintain that relationship with a pet or a companion. To date, the charity has arranged over 12,000 visits across the region, with over 100 poochy volunteers on the books. Dashing duo, Henry and Pippa from Hutton Rudby are our unsung heroes this month, spreading cuteness and cuddles to hospitals and care homes across Teesside. Just look at those big, brown eyes! For more information and to register your doting dog, visit:

lovely hot steam bath, a pedicure, a spray of perfume and a lovely bow. DOG’S BEST FRIEND >> My walkers Hannah and Penny, and Boo, my English pointer bestie. We go on adventures. Penny teaches me Bear Grylls style how to catch crabs and seagulls.     FONDEST DOGGY MEMORY >>  I remember travelling over from Romania by car and ferry - it took 48hours! We arrived at my new home and I met my older brother Eric - also a vizsla who took me under his wing from the off.   PUPPY A-LISTER >>  If I was a celebrity I would have to be Beyoncè - she’s such a diva, just like me!

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

@TheLuxeMagazine or @LuxeyPooch



Breathe easy… Breath is the very essence of life. When we are connected with our breath we feel alive. When we breathe well, our bodies get stronger and feel more rested, our minds are clearer and calmer, and we feel closer to our heart’s desires. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ~ Sylvia Plath Yet so many of us (almost all of us) don’t breathe as well as we could. We are designed to breathe ‘diaphragmatically’ using the diaphragm to pull air deep in to our lungs. As we inhale through our noses, our belly expands. As we exhale the belly contracts. Sadly, we have become conditioned to breathe in a less healthy way. Most of us now breathe through our mouths, taking only small amounts of air in to our chests as we inhale. We hold our breath and suck in our stomachs, causing tension in our bodies in the process. This ‘thoracic breathing’ as it’s called isn’t just damaging to our bodies - it also adversely impacts our nervous systems, leading us to feel more anxious and more stressed over time. So how can you breathe better?

Practice ‘diaphragmatic breathing’: Sit comfortably or lie on your back. Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Breath in through your nose. As you inhale, push out your belly as far as you can (further than feels ‘comfortable) – you will feel your belly rise. The hand on your chest should stay almost still. As you breathe out, your belly pulls in. Try starting or ending your day with five-minutes of practice. You’ll notice the difference within weeks.

Learn and practice some alternative breath techniques Diaphragmatic breathing is the base. Once you have a clearer sense of how to do this, you can build on it by learning some enhanced techniques. Try: • Heart-Centred breathing – simply breathing in and out deeply, whilst directing your attention to the area of the heart. Imagine the breath in is entering the heart and the breath out is leaving the heart. This technique is proven to balance the heart’s rhythm and reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. • Box Breathing – a great technique for managing stress or panic in the moment – breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe our for four, hold for four. • Alternate nostril breathing – a yoga technique which brings balance to the body and mind. Press your right nostril closed with your thumb and breathe in through the left nostril. Close your left nostril and breathe out through the right. Now keep your left nostril closed and breathe in through the right. Close your right nostril and breathe out through the left. Repeat.

Experience a ‘Transformational Breath’ workshop You can find out more about this powerful and increasingly popular healing modality at I’d love to hear how you get on so do get in touch, and until then – breathe easy.

Follow Laura on social media or get in touch for one-to-one coaching sessions and group retreats. @space_with_in




Generation ageless We’re talking to people who have made interesting life/work changes and have a positive attitude to midlife, doing things differently, changing their pace of life, their priorities, reflecting on what’s gone before and the new opportunities and challenges to come Rona Docx, 57, is a registered general nurse and leading practitioner in non-surgical and surgical solutions with The Harley Medical Group. Rona runs her own clinic from her home in County Durham.

I used to do this…

I have been a qualified nurse since 1982 and qualified midwife since 1985 and worked in surgical and oncology nursing.

Now life is about… For me life is about getting the right balance between personal and work life. I really enjoy what I do, it has taken me eight years to

build up my business and I am proud of my accomplishments. Now I can organise my diary to include time for me, family and friends and not just work.

Why/how I made a change… I did a return to nursing course at Teesside University as I had been out of nursing for several years so my registration was no longer live. I needed to do 360 hours to make my registration live again. When I was studying I met a girl who was re-training in order to do aesthetics. A few weeks later I saw an advertisement for a wrinkle-reducing treatment and so decided to have some done myself. The other student said to me why don’t you train to do it? So that’s what I did. I have


TAKING IT EASY never looked back since, and there haven’t been any night duties!

Family is all about…

I love family time; we have two children who both live with their partners. My son lives in Newcastle and my daughter, who is getting married in October, works and lives in Dubai. So when the six of us can be together it is just fantastic. When we all get together a lot of good food is involved, either my husband cooks or we head to Newcastle for food and good fun.

I’m lucky to have… My own business which means I can make time for my hobby which is dressmaking. A friend and I attend a sewing group each week and it’s wonderful just sewing and chatting with like-minded people; it is a great way to relax.

He does all of the cooking, I am very lucky that this is his hobby, or so I keep telling him.

Work/life balance? When I become interested in something I want to learn everything I can about that subject and become passionate about it so my work and life mix together quite nicely.


Ease into the brighter days of spring with soft separates

The people who are important… My family are most important to me, we are very close-knit and that includes my brother, his wife and their families as well as my husband’s brother and his family who live in Belgium. Although our children did not live geographically close, we lived in Belgium and Australia before moving back to the North East and my

Woman Get the blues in Betty&Co’s soft petal-print top, £60. Delicious with denim. Stockists include Fenwick, Newcastle.

I’ve got time for…

I always make time to meet up with friends for a coffee and a catch-up each week. Retail therapy is something I also have time for, often it can be just browsing and window shopping, collecting ideas about clothes to sew.

Things are different because… Life has changed over the years, like everyone your family grows and children begin their own lives. It’s difficult in the beginning because I’ve gone from being mum to friend, I’ll always be their mum but it’s become time to acknowledging that they are adults now. Although sometimes it’s like they are the parents, especially keeping me up-to-date with new technology!

Day in the life of me…

My day depends on what is in my diary. I normally get up at 8am, I don’t eat breakfast, I find if I do I’m ravenous most of the day! My first client is usually booked from 10am and I give them hourly appointment slots since I want to have enough time for consultation and discussing the right treatment strategy. Some days are busier than others but I usually see my last client at around 7pm. I try and fit in 10,000 steps per day and that often involves two 30 minute walks with Max, our 10-year-old Bichon Frise. I also work four days a month doing injectable treatments for a private non-surgical clinic in Jesmond and one in Liverpool. Relaxation is important and involves spending time on an evening with my husband, catching up on each others day and eating delicious meals he has prepared.


brother and his family always lived in Somerset, since being together the children are more like siblings than cousins they have such a wonderful bond.

I thrive on… I love working as a treating aesthetic nurse and continually learning, attending conferences and masterclasses. It is always a continuous learning experience when your work is a rapidly expanding and evolving business. Likewise with my interest in sewing I read so many books and enjoy learning from videos on Youtube. The ladies who run the sewing bee also run sewing/tailor classes and are a fountain of knowledge at the Centre Front Studio in Gateshead. Balancing my life means keeping my diary updated, it makes my life easier. I am a planner, always have been. I have to be, to schedule in my clients and leisure activities. My life is full of things I want it to be full of, I am very lucky I know I can say that.

Mid life means to me…

Mid life means just that, being at a place I want to be with the people I love and want to be around. There is no reason to say ‘I can’t do that because I am this age, I can’t go here because I am this age’, because the new 40 is the new 20. It is a mind-set and if your mind is young and kept active then your body will follow. I think it is important getting out and meeting people, you don’t need a lot of friends you just need some good friends. Be as nice to people as you would like them to be to you.


Joules’ Robson jacket offers up stay-warm casual style from the favourite brand. Jacket, £129, shirt, £49.95, jeans, £59, boots, £110.

Rona can be reached at for any non surgical aesthetics enquiries. 53


Safe bet for a city stay From poolside rooftop views to a jawdropping basement bar, The Ned is a cool city stop-off in the capital. Kathryn Armstrong checked in


In towns across the nation local banks are being closed down and reincarnated as coffee shops or ubiquitous charity shops. In the heart of the City of London when Midland Bank closed, it emerged as the coolest club in town. Having said that, its starting point is a staggeringly grand design by Sir Edwin Lutyens, rather than a 70s-era branch office in a shopping precinct. Lutyens is The Ned in question who gives his name to the City hotel that is the latest noteworthy addition to the Soho House & Co collection. The breathtaking building is in the heart of the City’s financial district, where until the early 2000s it served as the Midland Bank’s flagship. In 2012 Nick Jones, founder of Soho House, saw it, loved it and took it on as one heck of a project. And here we are. Big project indeed. The scale of the place is vast. It spans a good chunk of its address – namely, Poultry, with the Bank tube station opposite its entrance. Jones’s talks of the notion of The Ned reviving this hotel-sparse business district of the City in much the same way his collaborator Andrew Zobler of Sydell Group did with The NoMad in New York’s once neglected, now vibrant Madison Square North district. So is it reason to take a visit? Well if you like a place that makes a statement and leaves an impression, yes. The building is vast, grand and dazzling. The main entrance takes you not to a reception desk but into an atrium with eating places in every direction – an almighty food court behind swathes of walnut panels, (once the bank’s counters), plush velvets, verdite

columns and vaulted ceilings. If you’re a fan of architecture and fine detail, the place will offer you a treasure hunt under one roof with quirky details and fascinating insight. Those columns for example – 92 African verdite-covered columns – span the main banking hall of The Ned. Each pillar is encased in hundreds of carefully assembled fragments – like a jigsaw puzzle – as the dark green rock was hard to come by in such huge quantities. Then there’s the vault bar. Once the formidable entrance to a multi-room bank vault, with deposits of more than £335 million, it is now a cosy club space for Ned’s Club members and hotel guests. The Ned’s vault door is a must-see for movie buffs. The 25-tonne door was made by Chatwood Safe Company – one of only two ever made – and was used as inspiration for the vault in the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger. To be honest you don’t really need to leave the building to enjoy different sights and sounds. We stayed there to go to a concert at London Jazz Festival – the Barbican is a five-minute walk – so the hotel offers up a different base from the more londoncentral hotels with new places to explore – Tate Modern is an easy walk over the Millennium Bridge. However, if you’re staying at the hotel it makes sense to make the most of the members’ bars which include the rooftop bar and restaurant. This is just the perfect spot for watching a City sunset. The Shard is to your left, St Paul’s Cathedral and the capital’s vista straight ahead. We were blessed by a ravishing late summer sunset which had to be savored lounging on poolside chairs with fizz in hand.



Make a big city booking RHS Chelsea Flower Show Be dazzled by colourful flowers, innovative garden designs and amazing horticultural exhibits at this prestigious flower show. And find out how else to soak up the atmosphere around Chelsea. 22-26 May. Art Night Discover contemporary art and performances for free in iconic and hidden south London spaces for one night only. 7 July. Frozen (not that one!) Catch Suranne Jones in this awardwinning psychological thriller. She plays a mother attempting to understand how and why her daughter disappeared on the way to her grandmother’s house. Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Until 5 May. Boys & Beards Celebrate Gilbert and George’s 50 years of collaboration in White Cube Bermondsey’s bold exhibition. Famous for their uncompromising artistic and social statements, Gilbert and George draw inspiration from half a century of living in London’s East End. The Beard Pictures is a series of images depicting the pair with surreal and symbolic beards or explore walls of almost 4,000 slogans printed in the artists’ trademark black and red typeface. Frida Kahlo at the V&A This exhibition is dedicated to the incredible collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to iconic Mexican, Frida Kahlo. Expect some exceptional dresses and envy-inducing possessions.

If you’re a fan of architecture and fine detail, the place will offer you a treasure hunt under one roof


Ned’s Club Spa has a decent-sized pool and clubby-style lounge area. Chill out in sauna, steam room, traditional Moroccan hammam or head for one of eight Cowshed treatment rooms. You’ll find a barbershop and nail bar down there too, as well as a Cowshed Shop. If you’re a fan of Cowshed products you’ll be in heaven in your hotel room – a line up of a dozen full-size products from shampoo to exfoliators and shower gels. Perfect. Architect Lutyens was a man of the Arts & Crafts movement and this is evident in the style of the bedrooms with a nod to early 1920s glamour in soft velvets in muted colours, vintage touches like Lloyd Loom bedside tables, mirrored cabinets and dark wood furniture. Bathrooms are tiled and tasteful; all black and white and shiny chrome with a real sense of the Art Deco era (meets Cowshed). A stay means dining at one of the eight

restaurants within the banking hall. You can take a pick from Italian, British, New York deli, English grill, super-healthy Californian or American bar. We tried Kaia, Asian-pacific serving fresh, healthy (and very pleasing on the eye) fusion poke bowls, tuna or Waygu beef tataki. It’s a sociable experience sitting at the grill counter as food is prepped and served. From the Robata grill we were impressed by black cod with a perky tarragon miso and Waygu sirloin laced with yuzu mirin. Saturday lunchtime we dined at the rooftop terrace, heaters and blankets making it cosy. and views to satisfy any appetite. Yes, this place is definitely a safe bet for a memorable stay. Rooms from £168 per night. Travel to London Kings Cross from the North East was provided by Grand Central Rail.

See a movie under the stars London’s outdoor cinema season usually runs from late spring until the autumn, with more screens popping up every summer. Among your choices are Movies on the River, the Rooftop Film Club in urban locations across town, Pop-Up Screens and Luna Cinema, present evening screenings in pretty parks and squares. All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life Showcasing around 100 works by some of the most celebrated modern British artists, including Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon alongside rarely seen work from their contemporaries including Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego. Tate Britain, Millbank. Until 27 August 2018. Visit More at 55

IN THE DETAIL << NOBU RYOKAN, MALIBU What was once a 1950s beach motel is now a modern boutique hideaway, perched above Malibu’s famed Carbon Beach, alongside the Pacific Coast Highway. Staying here means you’re not only spoiled with luxury, Californian fun and Japanese theatre, but the highest level of customer service. Rock up, check-in and live like VIPs. The chic, two-storey property is home to 16 individually-designed rooms and suites, all offering breathtaking views of its ocean-facing courtyard, lush gardens and the Californian coastline. The world-famous Nobu Malibu restaurant is just steps away, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

DON TUTU DIMORA STORICA, ITALY >> This six-bedroom B&B is a mini mansion with five-star facilities.
The new Loggia-style pool house, decked out with 1950s-style furniture and art deco chandeliers, is a laid-back retreat for poolside gelato and evening aperitifs. And on the roof, you’ll find the property’s brand spanking new outdoor cinema for classic Italian films – and panoramic views of the twinkly village of San Cassiano. Try a day-long Pugliese cookery course, yoga sessions or tailored fitness classes or hop on a complimentary Vespa scooter – perfect for whizzing about and exploring the area.

SMALL, FRIENDLY, FABULOUS Our pick of some of the world’s most luxurious B&Bs, villas and boutique hotels. Who said big was better?



Nestled within the Aman resort, surrounded by lush olive groves and perched on a hilltop overlooking the Porto Heli (two and a half hour drive from Athens), the four-to-nine-bedroom retreats offer the VIP service that the Aman brand is renowned for (a chef and host serve each one) and each feature a large, shaded terrace, ensuite bathrooms, real marble floors throughout, a 20-metre private pool and oodles of indoor and outdoor space for dining and relaxing. The views here are to-die-for; 360-degree gorgeousness that take in the Peloponnese countryside, rocky coves and the Aegean Sea.

This luxury boutique hotel opened this year and has been blowing guests away with its best-of-both-worlds location and breathtaking design. Found in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, in 37 acres of Moroccan countryside, it’s a rural, unspoilt hideaway families, couples and friends can escape to for long, lazy, undisturbed days and hushed evenings under the stars. But what makes it extra special is the fact that only half an hour separates you from the huddle of Marrakesh’s vibrant, historic centre. The design of the place is inspired by traditional Berber clay houses.




LUXE LOVES Frolics in a field Jo Malone does it differently with a collection of fragrances inspired by wildflower meadows and hazy summer days with a very different look. The English Fields collection, ÂŁ47 per 30ml cologne. On counter in Fenwick and House of Fraser, intu Metrocentre.Â

MAR/APR18 57


Going strong... As Jesmond bistro The Patricia celebrates a year of success and national attention, Jessica Laing chats to chef-owner, Nick Grieves, about food memories, simple pleasures and putting business into his own hands… It’s the affectionately-named neighbourhood bistro that’s won the hearts of the region’s foodie fanatics (and the compliments of one of the country’s big-name critics) for its remarkably simple – and yet sublime – plates of food. The kind of gratifying, seductive grub that stays with you for days on end. After only a year in business, it appears one thing’s for sure; the future’s looking rather tasty for The Patricia and the man behind its teeny-tiny kitchen, Nick Grieves. Well settled on the leafy outskirts of Jesmond, the restaurant is fully-booked most evenings and weekends, comfortably crammed with hungry diners and winelovers, all looking to sample the delights from Nick’s ever-evolving, evermouthwatering menus. Getting to this point, I discover, has been quite the journey for the self-taught chef. Though a food-fan since day dot, it turns out, the 33-year-old never intended on confiting mutton and steaming mussels for a living. “I actually wanted to work in construction, can you believe that?” he laughs. “I did a construction project management course at Northumbria University, among many others, and, a few years later, even started my own business. But it just wasn’t meant to be. “Nevertheless, I knew that I wanted to work for myself and so, one day, I bought a pub with my dad, one of my mates and his old man.” The foursome took over the reigns at Durham’s Garden House Inn – which still remains one of the city’s most-loved pubs – with the view that they would run it as joint managers from behind-the-scenes.


“I saw it purely as a business venture – I never dreamt I’d end up in the kitchen,” he tells me. But we soon found ourselves short on chefs, so I stepped in to help one afternoon – and completely fell in love with it.

I think when you find something you’re naturally good at, and enjoy, it’s pretty easy to pick things up

“The more popular the pub became, the less freedom I had to make the kind of food I wanted to put out,” he explains. “We were juggling a few different menus and I grew tired of it. So, I sold my half of the business to my dad and made my way down south.” Setting his sights on the more refined kitchens of the Big Smoke, Nick, along with his long-term girlfriend, Sophie, made the bold move to London in 2015, where the chef soon found himself plating up the Michelin way at two of the capital’s most reputable restaurants: Fera at Claridge’s, formerly led by revered UK chef, Simon Rogan, and iconic Italian restaurant, The River Café. “Leaving the security of the North East for a chance at making a living in London was a

massive leap of faith,” Nick says. “But it was a one that, thankfully, paid off for me.” “It was pretty intense; I went from working in a small kitchen of about five, to a multi million-pound workspace of about 30 chefs, all on one rota. It was like another world.” “But I learned so much at both restaurants – things that I’ve carried with me throughout my career. The food at Fera was so intricate and stylised – real ‘fine dining’ stuff. You don’t leave a place like that without knowing a thing or two about technique and presentation. “And the food at The River Café… it just blew me away. The importance of buying only the best quality ingredients and how they can transform a dish into something amazing was paramount. There we’d use

“The creativity, the satisfaction you feel after a great service, the pressure and the periods of mania…I remember thinking to myself ‘yeah, I quite like this!’ “I think when you find something you’re naturally good at, and enjoy, it’s pretty easy to pick things up. I’m a fast learner and soon found my feet under the watch of our head chef, who’s now a good friend of mine. It became my passion.” It was a job-swap that’d change his life forever. An intense love affair with cooking quickly blossomed – (“if I wasn’t making food, I was either eating it, reading about it or watching it being made on YouTube.”) – and he and his father, would spend the next four years putting The Garden House on the map as one of the North East’s most sought-after pubs, until Nick decided it was time to cut the apron strings.


STIRRING IT UP two to three ingredients max; really relaxed, simple, honest cooking, which was super liberating.” So why move on? “I just couldn’t shake the desire to work for myself,” he tells me. “In the end, it didn’t matter how great the food was, or how happy the working environment was at The River Café, I wanted to do things on my terms, my way.” And so he did, but not before what would be a life-changing telephone call from his treasured grandmother, Patricia. “She lives in Wiltshire so we didn’t see her a lot growing up, but when we did, she was always cooking. I remember her making scones in her kitchen. A lot of my earliest, fondest food memories are tied to her. “Anyway, I called her while having a pint after work one night, telling her how much I wanted to come back home, but that I didn’t have a lot of money. Living in London was, and is, so expensive and I only had so much left from selling The Garden House. “Low and behold, she ended up giving me the money to make the move back to Durham – my home town – to open up my own place. I couldn’t believe it – her support was amazing. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.” It was the kick-start Nick needed. After moving back to Durham, where he grew up, and a few months spent searching for the perfect plot, he discovered the site where The Patricia – named after, and in tribute to, the woman who granted him his golden ticket home and a new start as a chefproprietor, now lies – and set up shop in the spring of last year. It’s an unassuming spot – blink and you might miss it – but it’s exactly what Nick had envisioned for his first solo foodie venture. “I could never have opened a big restaurant in the city centre – it had to be in a neighbourhood,” he says. “My vision was to open a small, no-frills bistro. In my mind, somewhere locals could walk to, all wrapped up, from the comfort of their own homes if and when they didn’t fancy cooking. “I imagined them opening the door to somewhere relaxed and warm, where they could enjoy a good glass of wine, eat simple, honest food, and unwind, before walking back home feeling full and, in a way, comforted. It appears Nick has very much brought that vision to life. Residents love the place; for many, the bistro has become their go-to for Saturday night, carb-fuelled feasts, Sunday roasts of towering Yorkshire puds and sensational slabs of meat and fish, and celebratory suppers. “I’d like to think I’ve created a place in which families, couples and friends can get together and enjoy themselves,” says Nick. “After all, isn’t that what eating out is all about? An excuse to eat great food – hopefully anyway – and make memories with the people closest to you?” Regardless of when or why, eating here, as I discover, is nothing but a joy. Not least because of the spreads on offer – all of which show off Nick’s talents when it comes to menu-writing, championing only the best seasonal ingredients and changing regularly to keep diners on their toes. “Our menus change with the weather,” he enthuses. “A lot of places will say they cook seasonally – but to them, that means four times a year. That isn’t how we work here. “We like to switch things up week to week – sometimes every other day, depending on what comes through the door. We look at what kind of ingredients are best at that given moment and build our menus around them.”


“For me, the food doesn’t necessarily have to be locally-sourced, but it does have to be of the best quality. Our fish, for example, is sent up from Cornwall because we believe it’s the best place to get your hands on the most spectacular cod, anchovies, mussels and so on.” Alongside Cornish cod are dishes that inspire, please the palette and warm the heart – each one an example of some of Nick’s most-loved ingredients.

I’d like to think I’ve created a place in which families, couples and friends can get together and enjoy themselves Things like brussels sprouts, smothered in velvety parmesan sauce with sticky onion jam, and sweet-and-stinky Époisses de Bourgogne cheese and preserved cherry sandwiches, along with heartier plates influenced by his travels. The “Frankie Spuntinos” meatballs, the size of golfballs, served in a rich bath of slow-cooked tomato sauce, are a total triumph – inspired by the kind he once stumbled across at a tiny Italian-American bistro in New York. Desserts are an even more relaxed affair; think fudgey homemade chocolate mousse, as thick and indulgent as ganache, and

crumbly slices of pear and almond tart. “We’re not in it to try and test people,” says Nick. “The food I bring to the table is genuinely the kind of food I love to eat – and the wine we serve is the kind of wine I love to drink.” The Patricia is one of the few venues in the area to specialise in ‘natural’ wines – vino that’s been farmed organically, usually, and made without adding or removing anything during the wine-making process. “We have around 100 bottles on our wine list at the moment – and most are ‘natural’ or biodynamic,” says Nick. “I first came across the concept in London – a few of my favourite restaurants were serving the same kind of stuff. “I think natural wine tastes far nicer and I love the idea of some old guy, on a tiny patch of land in some hot, far-off country, making it the traditional way. It really represents a time and a place for me – I find it really special.” Another person who shares this opinion is critic Marina O’Loughlin who anonymously visited The Patricia during a trip to the North East, from London for The Guardian. The “little belter” of a bistro (as O’Loughlin puts it), which had only been open two weeks, was granted a glowing review, in which Nick receives top marks for his menus. “The review was a real turning point for us,” Nick recalls. “It just felt like we’d won the lottery. We were completely floored – we had no idea she’d been in. “It’s been one hell of a ride so far” 139 Jesmond Road, Newcastle, NE2 1JY. 59


CHEF’S TABLE with James Close, of the two-Michelin-star restaurant, Raby Hunt A three-star culinary odyssey in German

At the turn of the year we decided to go on a road trip to Germany to eat at a trio of three-star Michelin restaurants. On the way we stopped in at The Royal Oak near Bray where I met up with Craig Johnston, the chef who won Masterchef Professionals last year. He cooked us a great meal which really got us in the mood for our food tour. Our mission was to re-visit some favourite restaurants – namely Sven Elverfeld’s Aqua, Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau and Joachim Wissler’s Vendome. First stop was Christian Bau. The restaurant is right on the border of France, Germany and Luxembourg, a great spot – you can walk across a bridge where the halfway point is the border between Luxembourg and France. His style of cooking really appeals to me because of the eastern influences. The interior of ‘Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau’ reflects the culinary philosophy of Christian Bau with elements of Japanese dining culture. There’s an amazing raw bar and we had Hamachi (Japanese yellowtail oily fish), salmon and crab. It’s a classy place – amazing produce with eastern elements to taste but with loads of German refinement. A really impressive and imaginative style of food – we had a stunning sirloin of waygu beef, a real standout dish. Then it was off to Sven’s Aqua restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in the car capital of Germany, Wolfsburg. Sven’s a good friend and it was great to be there again and eat food of such a standard. His style of food is simple and cleverly refined, with a focus on a harmony of textures in combination with the taste of premium ingredients.


Germany has its own food style which impresses me a lot

I ate a memorable dish of veal tongue and also a pigeon dish full of eastern flavours. Next up it was Vendome in Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg near Cologne. The cathedral definitely one to put on the ‘must-see’ list if you make a journey. Chef Joachim Wissler heads up this restaurant which is 47 in the world’s top 50 restaurants for 2017. His food is all about regional favourites as well as Asian and French influences - such as Coquilles Saint Jacques accompanied by pickled cucumber, wasabi-avocado purée and shiso dashi. These were all memorable places to dine – Germany has its own food style which impresses me a lot. If you’re a foodie, I’d definitely recommend you take a trip to Frankfurt. We stayed at the Villa Kennedy in the city – a Rocco Forte hotel on the outskirts – great quality and service. Head in to Frankfurt to find the indoor food market – really good! Plenty of the eponymous sausages – we spied two old ladies on a stall selling Frankfurters – the queue was out of the door! But the market also has a fish bar, pasta bars, loads of great eating places and independent producers. Definitely worth a visit.


Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt and right

On the radar at Raby >> Here at Raby Hunt we’ve got Maria Guseva creating some amazing Easter eggs – they will be available from March. One will have a ‘golden ticket’ inside with a dining voucher for Raby Hunt. Check the website for availability. Maria is also heading to the famous El Cellar de Can Roca for a month in the summer, which is pretty exciting – the best restaurant in the world no less. We’re teaming up with our friends from Barrio Comida for a Mexican Night here on 18 March. It will be Mexican with our twist – 12 courses – we’re going to try squab pigeon with a mole sauce for example!

Food market in Frankfurt

Then in May I’m taking the team to Istanbul to cook at a restaurant called Neoloki. Looking forward to that. Watch this space.



LUXE LOVES Rosy rhubarb Spring means rhubarb so expect to see the perky pink stuff sneaking on to a menu near you – and Yorkshire’s is the best. In celebration of this vegetable (yep, it’s not a fruit at all), The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield, in the heart of the famous Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle has produced a range of gourmet gifts in homage to this unique plant.

Did you know: • Rhubarb is a vegetable and not a fruit! • In Yorkshire, rhubarb is moved in winter months to a heated shed in complete darkness. • Rhubarb is picked by candlelight to ensure that the delicate stems do not turn green and hard by photosynthesis. • Forced rhubarb is noisy – it can be heard creaking and popping as it grows in the sheds.

Napkins £15, Print £20




BOXING CLEVER Recipe boxes are having a moment. Kathryn Armstrong gets to grips with a box of produce from a North Yorkshire company bringing the farm shop to your kitchen table

Most people have their weekday recipe stalwarts for family-feeding or post-work supper simplicity. Recipe boxes buy into the idea of bringing something easy but a teeny bit more exotic to the table – less of the ‘if it’s Monday, it’s fishcakes’ mentality and more of the ‘let’s knock up some Thai salmon parcels’ approach. The idea is a simple one: straight to the door come your ingredients and recipes. Everything for the dish is ready and waiting – none of the caper of trying to find the essential ‘key ingredient’ – be they capers or cornichons. And none of the supermarket muddle of trying to think of recipes, ingredients and quantities alongside loo rolls and packed lunches in the chaos of the weekly shop. The recipe box revolution has obvious appeal and a new local offering, Born &


Bred in North Yorkshire, promises to bring easy meals with a farm-shop approach that means your ingredients are locally sourced and suitably seasonal. The company has also teamed up with award-winning chef Stephanie Moon to create inspiring recipes that make the ingredients shine. Brothers Charles and Geoff Allen from Thirsk set up Born & Bred to tap into the wealth of home-grown produce on their doorstep that obviously doesn’t require importing from overseas. All the recipes list the origin of their ingredients – which are delivered in the recipe boxes. These might include pork from pigs outdoor-reared in the Yorkshire Dales and the Wolds, producing mouth-watering chorizo on a par with its Spanish counterparts, to the Yorkshire Fettle cheese hand-crafted in the Vale of York, giving

Greek Feta a run for its money! Many of the producers are local, regional, national and international award-winners. Born & Bred itself was named ‘Best Specialist Retailer of the Year’ at the Flavours of Herriot Awards. “For us, discovering local independent suppliers who are specialists in their field and passionate about their work is a real treat,” says Charles. “We’re proud to source our ingredients from Yorkshire suppliers who grow, rear, catch and handcraft amazing food and drink.” Geoff agrees; “Yorkshire has a wonderfully rich history and culture; food is naturally a

very big part of that, and we’re excited to be able to share the best produce of our region with the rest of the country.” All meat, poultry, charcuterie, fish, cheese, eggs, dairy, bread and condiments in Born & Bred boxes are 100% Yorkshire sourced, from over 60 independent Yorkshire businesses who care about the quality of their produce. The availability of fresh fruit and veg grown in Yorkshire depends on the season, so the team works with their supplier partners to make sure the recipes include as much Yorkshire grown fruit and veg as possible, whatever the time of year.




THE RECIPES >> Born & Bred’s recipes are created by Yorkshire food and drink champion Stephanie Moon. She started her career at Craven College in Skipton before travelling the world experiencing a wide range of cultures and foods. Stephanie was also recently crowned ‘Yorkshire Food Hero’ at this year’s Deliciously Yorkshire Taste Awards. Born & Bred boxes are delivered monthly and customers can choose three meals (out of a choice of nine). Three meals cost £39 for two people, £65 for four people and £92 for six. The recipes are designed to be easy to cook, using the wholesome local ingredients. Dishes might include; Venison Burger & Baby Chips, Grilled Walnut Polenta and Melted Barncliffe Brie, and One Pot Salmon & Orzo Pasta. Nutritional information is displayed on the website at the point of selecting which of the recipes the customer would like to order. Visit the website at:

THE CREEL FISH CLUB based in Amble works like a veg-box service. Get a selection of the seasonal catch from the local fishing fleet. Choose the fish you’d like then pick up your box weekly, monthly or fortnightly at a number of collection points in Northumberland and Newcastle along with a range of recipes to try. From £7 per week. creel-fish-club

What we thought... PACKAGING >> The sturdy box arrives with its chilled meat and fish in an ice-cooled wool pouch which can be recycled afterwards (hanging baskets, pipe-lagging or a pet bed!). Teeny pots contain recipe-perfect quantities of pastes, spices etc with instructions on where they should be stored. All packaging is recyclable and reusable. Veg is in brown paper bags and meat and fish all vac-packed.

COOKING >> So easy and good fun. This is the way to make your reluctant kids get to grips with cooking as everything is prepped (bar a bit of chopping and peeling). You can pretend you’re Jamie Oliver ‘chucking’ stuff in the pan. The recipes are labelled in terms of ease so if you want to spend a bit of time in the kitchen plump for a

‘worth the effort’ recipe. The recipe cards are easy to follow and alongside every ingredient there’s a note about where it’s from; be it butcher, grower, producer or farm. It’s a very mindful approach to good food.

TASTE >> Marvellous! West Indian pork curry included a sweet-medium-hot paste, ginger, garlic and chilli. Coconut milk and mango were added to the mix with lean pork meat (from Johnson’s of Thirsk Butchers). Rice and kidney beans were the perfect accompaniment to a satisfying, rich and moreish meal. Southern fried buttermilk pheasant required a bit of time and effort. Slithers of pheasant breast (also from Johnson’s) were added to a marinade of buttermilk, garlic and spice blends. These were pan-fried fried until

RIVERFORD’S crispy and crunchy then served on a brioche bun (from Dumouchel Patisserie, Garforth), smothered with tasty beetroot relish and lettuce. Sweet potato wedges alongside made a really wholesome meal of it. It looked almost as good as the picture on the recipe card (see below) – gold stars! Thai steamed salmon parcels were dinner-party worthy. Good-sized nicely fresh fillets of fish (from Ramus Seafood Emporium in Harrogate) were parcelled up in greaseproof paper (two sheets in the box, naturally) with a ladle of fresh fish stock and a scattering of veg. They oven-cooked while the remainder of the fish stock was used to make an Asian-style broth with loads of health-giving vegetables and lashings of flavour. This really felt like a special supper, made easier with easy-to-follow steps and generous ingredients.

organic veg and recipe boxes are particularly good for veggies with inspiring recipes for meat-free meals. Based near Northallerton, they do a selection of meat recipe dishes too but excel in hearty vegan and veggie dishes such as honey & sesame halloumi and super healthy kale gnocchi. Veg box from £11.45 per week.

YOURSTUDENTBOX should get students eating their broccoli! A weekly delivery of healthy essentials and basics which may or may not be funded by the ‘rents. You can add meat or steak packs. Includes recipes such as red lentil and vegetable curry. Might inspire young chefs, might just go unloved and mouldy in a cupboard. From £15 per week.

NORTON’S NEWEST EATERIE IS NOW OPEN Comforting, familiar, fulfilling, authentic and hand crafted Italian food Prepared with the freshest, highest quality ingredients Sophisticated casual atmosphere and gracious service Click and collect service and private hire also available Not hungry? Enjoy a few cocktails or cold beers relaxing with friends Bookings now being taken for Mother’s Day 12pm-9pm with a unique menu Mon to Thur: 12pm-9.30pm / Fri to Sat: 12pm-10pm / Sunday: closed 449 Norton Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 2QQ T: 01642 641589 W: MAR/APR18 63


A hint of Spring...

in association with


Food and wine team, chef Steve Lawford and wine expert Lee Tolley from Chadwicks Inn, Maltby, keep with the comfort for a combination of everyone’s favourite, belly pork, matched with a cheeky pink wine surprise!

Confit Belly Pork, Creamed Celeriac, Caramelised Granny Smith Apple & Doreen’s Black Pudding >> Serves 6

Mix & Match Pinot Noir ‘Willamette’ (Adelsheim), Oregon, USA 2013 100% Pinot Noir ABV 13.5%

This, the 33rd vintage of this wine, has a classically pale colour but is wonderfully bright. Lots of red fruits on the nose. It has a delicate smoothness, is perfectly balanced, light yet full of fruit.

Method Belly Pork

Ingredients Belly Pork 1 piece belly of pork (bone out) 1 ltr duck Fat Creamed Celeriac 1 celeriac 2 shallots 2 cloves garlic 200g unsalted butter 1 pint water

Cover belly pork in duck fat and cook for 6 hours at 110°C. Remove from fat and press between two trays in the fridge until completely cool. A fantastic example of a quality Pinot Noir.

Creamed Celeriac Peel and dice celeriac, shallots and garlic. Add to a pan with water and butter. Cook until water has evaporated then blitz in a food processor and pass through a sieve.

Circle of Life (Waterkloof), Stellenbosch, South Africa 2012

Caramelised Apple

A vineyard that works with nature and the natural yearly cycle has created this organic wine and named it accordingly. Citrus fruits such as limes, lemons and grapefruit on the nose. On the palate, this wine has a butteriness with the citrus fruits still making an appearance, but with a mineral element coming through. Wine making in its perfect natural order.

Peel and core apples then cut into rings. Cook sugar in a pan until a light caramel. Add apple rings and butter and cook on both sides until caramelised and slightly soft.

60% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Chenin Blanc, 4% Chardonnay ABV 13%

Caramelised Apple

Black Pudding

3 Granny Smith apples 200g sugar 50g butter

Mould black pudding into 12 balls. Toss in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs.

Provence Rosé (Domaine de la Vieille Tour), Côtes de Provence, France 2016

Plate Up

45% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 20% Syrah ABV 13%

Black Pudding 300g Doreen’s Black Pudding 100g plain flour 2 eggs 200g breadcrumbs

Divide pork into six portions. Slowly pan fry, skin side down, until crisp. Warm the creamed celeriac and apples. Deep fry the black pudding balls until golden brown. Present as pictured and serve with some red wine sauce or gravy. Enjoy!

This unmistakable Provence Rosé has everything you would expect from it. Pale pink in colour, delicate summer fruits, such as strawberries, on the nose. Crisp and dry on the palate with the same summer fruit flavour. Although it’s a superb wine for a summer’s day, it does lend itself well to food such as oily fish and, yes, belly pork – trust me!

Country pub with award winning dining The highest awarded restaurant in the Tees Valley area


Chadwicks Inn Maltby, High Lane, Maltby, Middlesbrough, TS8 0BG | 01642 590300



Savouring the seasons WITH KAREN PHILLIPS

JOBS TO SORT: • Chit seed potatoes in a cool, light, airy place for six weeks before planting; chitting results in an earlier and larger crop of potatoes so is really only essential for First and Second Earlies, not Maincrop, potatoes. Once ‘chitted’, the potatoes have stumpy little eyes and are traditionally planted out at Easter. I take this as the first two weeks of April. Dig a trench and plant them deep to protect them from cold weather. When shoots appear earth them up to protect further from any late frosts. Be ready to throw over some fleece if a cold night is predicted. • Sow in modules ready to transplant once large enough – spring onions, baby beetroot, leeks, turnips – all will provide a quicker crop than sowing direct. • Search out scented narcissi varieties; spicy ‘Winston Churchill’, ‘Sweetness’ lives up to its name whilst double-flowered ‘Bridal Crown’ is fit for a princess.


The pleasures of perky pink rhubarb are one of the nicest ways to spring into a new food season Now I’m not known to be girlie (indeed I once attended a stag weekend because, as they said on the invitation: you’re one of the boys!) but when it comes to forced rhubarb I can’t get enough of the Barbie-pink colour. Let’s face it we all need a splash of colour. Forced rhubarb is an entirely different beast to the green rhubarb you get throughout summer. When simmered gently, it retains its shape and has a delicate, sharp taste that is nothing like the ‘mush’ of rhubarb crumble you were served at school. My terracotta rhubarb forcing pot (an upturned dustbin to exclude light will do just as well) has been in place since New Year. After your rhubarb has been forced for a couple of months, take a peek beneath the pot and hopefully you should have many long, pink light-starved stems. Don’t force the same rhubarb plant each year since the plant needs 2-3 years to recover. Now is the perfect time to order rhubarb crowns for forcing next year. Two excellent cultivars for forcing are ‘Champagne’: with long, pale pink, thin stalks; and ‘Victoria’: very thick red stalks tinged with green. Avoid ‘Timperley Early’: it is too susceptible to frost this far North.

RHUBARB SHARBAT >> Sharbats are Middle Eastern cordials. Makes 75cl bottle

Ingredients: 500g forced (bright pink) rhubarb stems 500g granulated sugar 500ml water

Method: Chop rhubarb stems into short lengths and place in a large saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently until tender, about 10 minutes or less. Strain the rhubarb in a coffee filter set over a jug (the discarded cooked rhubarb can be used to make rhubarb sorbet or rhubarb compote, mixed with sugar to taste.) Pour the strained, bright pink liquid back into the cleaned large saucepan along with the sugar. The liquid and the sugar need to be lower than half way up the pot otherwise the liquid will boil over. Bring to the boil, stirring to make sure the sugar has dissolved, and then boil rapidly until a syrup consistency is reached. Pour into a warmed, sterilised bottle and


seal. Serve in a glass with plenty of ice. A non-alcoholic cocktail can be made half and half with chilled apple juice and then topped up with sparkling water, but personally, all that is missing is a stiff shot of gin!

This hands-on course discovers the pleasures of breadmaking from the simplest sourdough through to focaccia, via quick breads and the perfect baps for bacon and egg butties! Depart with recipes and your own hand-made breads. 8.30am – 3.30pm; includes breakfast and light lunch, £95


Ingredients: 20cm pre-baked pastry case 500g rhubarb 185ml crème fraiche 3 large egg yolks 4tbsp caster sugar orange zest

Method: Beat the egg yolks with a fork in a bowl; add the crème fraiche and sugar and mix well. Pour into the pastry case and arrange the rhubarb in a single layer on top, along with the orange zest. Bake for 20 minutes at 190°C until just set.


Never sown a seed in your life? Starting with how to set out a vegetable plot, this course will cover all aspects of basic vegetable growing and get you producing all manner of expensive to purchase veggies from rocket to sugar snap peas. Depart with the confidence to produce a successful first harvest. 10am – 3.30pm Includes morning coffee and cakes and two course lunch, £85

Relish a riot of colour @Linnels Farm and discover the wide range of bulbs we import direct from Holland each year, with the chance to take advantage of our ‘early order’ discount. Bring wellies/walking boots and wander down across the meadows to ‘Devil’s Water’ and back, spotting wildlife and wildflowers along the way. 11am – 3pm. Tickets: £7.50 includes coffee and cake and entry to a talk on ‘Tulips’ by Karen at 11.30am 0r 1.30pm



On this course you will learn all the techniques required to produce your own willow plant support to take home with you. Tools and materials provided. 9.30am – 3.30pm. Includes morning coffee and cakes and two course lunch, £100

Daunted by your garden? Don’t know your daffodils from your dahlias? Then this day workshop is for you. Discover the delights of propagation and pruning, ‘shake hands with your soil’ and identify plants that will flourish in your garden. You’ll leave with the confidence to start a garden from scratch or adapt an established one to suit your style. 10am – 3pm. Coffee and cakes and two course lunch included, £85

RHUBARB TART >> Rhubarb Tart is no misnomer… this mouth-puckering tart will suit those who don’t possess such a sweet tooth.

buckets full of blooms - this course provides all the info needed to start growing your own cut flowers at home or on an allotment. The course culminates in a demonstration by florist, Hannah Price of ‘Wildflower’. 10am – 3.30pm, including morning coffee/cakes and a two course lunch, £95

EGG-CELLENT! COOKING WITH EGGS >> THURS 29 MARCH The humble egg is the true chameleon of the kitchen - transforming desserts, fluffing up souffles or simply providing the speediest suppers. Meet the feathered flock at Linnels Farm, cook with a whole variety of eggs from quail’s to gargantuan goose eggs, and depart with the confidence to create egg-cellent meals! 10am – 3pm. Coffee and cakes and two course lunch included, £95

GROW YOUR OWN CUT FLOWERS >> WED 18 APRIL Tubs of tulips, goblets of gladioli and

PERFECT POTS >> THURS 26 APRIL Learn how to ring the changes with suitable plants for all the seasons: bowls of bulbs for spring; colourful containers overflowing with flowers for summer; and showy evergreens to cheer us through the winter. Bring along a favourite container and learn how to plant it up for a stunning summer display. This practical workshop includes a demonstration of how to plant up a hanging basket. 10am – 3pm. Coffee and cakes and two course lunch included, £95

>> For further details visit 65




Smoked Haddock, Leek & Fennel Soup SERVES 4

WITH TERRY LAYBOURNE It’s still pretty cold these few months, so this is a good comforting soup to rustle up for the family. The smoked, flaky haddock works wonders in this recipe due to its hearty and distinctive flavour. It’s stuffed full of warming wintry ingredients with the smoked fish, starchy potatoes and enriched with milk and crème fraiche. It’s creamy, chunky and incredibly flavoursome. Serve as proper, warm-you-up-grub on a cold day with crusty bread.




450g smoked haddock - skinned & de-boned 1 bay leaf 2 tablespoons olive oil 50g butter 2 onions - finely chopped 2 leeks - finely sliced 1 small fennel bulb - finely sliced 650g maris piper potatoes - peeled & diced 3 garlic cloves - peeled & crushed 600mls milk 500mls boiling water 100mls crème fraiche Chopped parsley to finish

Place the fish into a deep pot and cover with the milk, bay leaf and 500mls boiling water. Bring quickly to a simmer, then remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Leave for 10 minutes then lift the fish from the cooking liquid with a perforated spoon. Pull the fish into large flakes and strain the liquid. Heat the olive oil and butter in another saucepan. Add the vegetables and garlic, add a pinch of salt and cook slowly over a gentle heat until they begin to soften. Pour in the reserved smoked haddock poaching liquid, bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Ladle out half of the soup and liquidise with the crème fraiche then return to the pan with the remainder. Add the flakes of smoked haddock and warm through to a gentle simmer. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Divide between four warm bowls, finish with chopped parsley and serve with lots of crusty bread.



Easter indulgence at its most eye-catching with a spine-tingling fiery egg from luxury chocolate-makers, Artisan du Chocolate

A fiery t a s t e t re a t

Made from the finest milk chocolate, the brand’s new Dragon Egg is guaranteed to turn heads and make mouths water. Break its iridescent shell and scales to discover a rich, Colombian dark chocolate centre, filled with chilli-infused mini-eggs. Definitely hot stuff for Easter. Get your hands on one at Fenwick Food Hall.

>> Artisan du Chocolat Dragon Egg, £23.95

SERIOUS ABOUT STEAK Affordable glamour & understated elegance at Steakhouse Bar & Grill Newcastle





ON THE HOOF with Deborah Smith Deb takes some time out with National Hunt jockey Andrew Thornton I had the real privilege recently of talking horses with one of the very small elite group of National Hunt jockeys to have marked up over 1,000 winners, Andrew Thornton. Born and bred in the North East, Andrew is known for being one of the most courteous and polite figures in racing. He’s still raring to be out doing what he loves, despite a lay off last year with a serious knee injury. GETTING INTO HORSE RACING? >> I grew up in a rural area and being in the Pony Club was what we all did. I was in the Hurworth Pony Club. Nicola Wilson and Karen Dixon, the Olympic eventers. Scott Cunningham, Paul and Chris Dennis were also in the Hurworth. My mum’s family was into show jumping, my dad was a farmer and my grandad, on my dad’s side, was a racehorse owner. I was really only interested in going fast on my pony so being a jockey was a natural progression! When I was 13, I decided I wanted to be a jockey and as luck would have it, my father knew the late, great WA Stephenson (better known to me as The Boss) who was far and away the best racehorse trainer in the North East. The Boss gave me a week’s trial and I spent the week before Christmas riding out four times a day with the other lads; sixteen of us in the lads’ hostel. I was hooked. I left school at 16 ready and determined to be a jockey. I had to choose between my riding and rugby. I was already 5’11 and couldn’t do both - not least as I needed to bulk up for one and stay light for the other. EARLY INFLUENCES? >> I was mesmerised by Bob Champion and Aldaniti winning the 1981 Grand National. He was (and still is) an icon of our sport. And by John Thorne at 54 years of age, riding second to Aldaniti on Spartan Missile and by Dick Saunders the following year on Grittar the oldest winning rider at 48. EARLY SUCCESSES? >> My first winner was in November 1991 at Sedgefield (my local course) with Wrekin Hill trained by The Boss, and then at the Aintree Grand National meeting in 1992 with Castle King in the Chivas Regal Amateur Riders Novices’ Chase Handicap. In 1996 I had my first winner at Cheltenham on Maamur in the Ritz Club Handicap Chase. TRICKY MOMENTS? >> I was riding Kingscliff at Ascot in 2003 and my left rein snapped at the third fence. I managed to hang on and Kingscliff won by 18 lengths. I was known as Lensio to fellow jockeys because I wear contact lenses. On one occasion I forgot to put my lenses in and rode a winner for Henry Daly on Lancastrian Jet in the Coral Handicap Chase at Sandown!


SPONSORSHIP >> I’ve been sponsored for years by MS Amlin in fact I believe it’s the longest partnership of its kind in racing. There’s a strong business case for sponsoring a jockey; they understand the horse and the jockey. INJURIES; HOW HAVE YOU FARED IN 28 SEASONS? >> I’ve had 23 broken bones and 13 operations. Pain is part of the job. I was at Wincanton on Boxing Day 2016. I was aiming to ride my 1,000th winner and I completed a 77-1 double on Somchine and Kentford Myth. I was walking in to the winners’ enclosure on the horse and as I dismounted and turned to speak to the owner behind me, for whatever reason my feet didn’t move. It was a bit like a footballer getting his studs caught in the turf; my right knee gave way with the cartilage split in two and a fully ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. I would never have got back to riding without the support and expertise at Jack Berry Housein Malton. I had no intention of retiring. I went to see Neil Hunt who is a consultant knee specialist based in York. He said to get the operation done but beforehand I needed intensive pre-hab; strengthening the areas around the knee in readiness to support my leg after operation. Before and after the operation, I was there three or four days a week. It’s an amazing place and we’re lucky to have this facility here in the North of England. The only similar places being Oaksey House in Lambourn and the imminent Peter O’Sullevan House in Newmarket. These are all run by The Injured Jockeys Fund. Riders from all background who need intensive care and support can use the facilities. I’ve met some fantastic people there and these include other professional riders but also people who have been injured just hacking their horses round the lanes. I was asked to

become a trustee of the Fund, and it’s a real privilege to be able to put something back. TIPS FOR YOUNG RIDERS? >> You need to be totally dedicated and single-minded. Very few jockeys don’t have a problem keeping weight off and it becomes a way of life. You can of course allow yourself the odd treat but you need to be on top of your form. And if you want sponsorship you need to remember that the eyes of the world are always on you – you are the brand so everything you do is seen. THE RETIREMENT QUESTION? >> When I retire I want it to be on my terms – all being well. I still have the appetite to do what I love but I plan to retire this year. My son Harry is three and I’m much more aware of my responsibilities. Racing is great but it’s a very selfish way of life. The commitment necessary is enormous. IF IT WASN’T FOR >> My wife, Yvonne. We have known each other since we were seven and in the Pony Club together. Dave Roberts, my agent. Without him I’d have never had all those top class rides. Robert and Sally Alner. Robert trained ‘my’ 1998 Gold Cup winner, Cool Dawn. Robert has been paralysed following a car accident in 2003. He and his wife Sally have been instrumental in my career. My dad for introducing me to The Boss, and The Boss, who died in December 1992. YOUR LUXE ITEM >> My BMW 520 (and it’s only £20 to tax). Andrew Thornton is sponsored by MS Amlin, a leading global insurer with specialists in bloodstock and sport horse insurance.

WELLBEING >> Jack Berry House in Malton, North Yorkshire, was opened in 2015 by The Injured Jockeys Fund Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. It is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation and fitness centre for northern-based jockeys. Facilities include: • A fully equipped gym for fitness and rehabilitation, and a hydrotherapy pool • Four respite rooms with ensuite accommodation and shared communal areas and wheelchair access throughout • Education on nutrition, fitness and general lifestyle for young jockeys

CAREERS >> Most people will have a feel for whether they want to work directly with horses or in an office-based role. Even the jobs that don't involve working with horses are likely to see you out and about from time to time - that is one of the benefits of working in racing! There are many different types of jobs in the racing industry. If you know someone who might be interested in a career in racing, it’s worth checking out



TREND WATCH with Kate Rose Step into spring in style... Wearing... I love a jumpsuit. As a working mum I find it my instant go-to outfit, for an effortlessly stylish look. Dress down with trainers for a casual business meeting, or pair with killer heels for an evening out. I have several styles and colours, for every occasion possible, but my luxe pick for spring/ summer, has to be the Limited Edition Leather Jumpsuit from Massimo Dutti. Made from Soft Nappa natural leather with burnished edges and mother of pearl buttons, the ultimate Jumpsuit for that special occasion.

Scents in the home…

Loving... I have used Charlotte Tilbury makeup for a year or so now, and have started to use the skincare too, I absolutely love the Multi-Miracle Glow cleanser, mask & balm. It moisturises, cleanses and delays signs of ageing, my skin looks and feels smoother and its perfect for a summer hydrated glow. You can use it daily as a deep cleanser, overnight as a regenerating facial mask (this is how I use it) and wake looking refreshed with glowing skin, or as a SOS beauty balm to target cuticles, elbows, heels and shins. Great to have a pot in a travel bag, it really is all you need for a glowing summer look.

I love to spend time in my home and have a passion for interiors, not only do I like my home to look good but it has to smell good too. It’s one of the first things I notice when I visit somewhere new. I’ve tried so many different brands of candles over the years and nothing quite hits the spot. So, I decided to work with a local fragrance house and candle pourer, to create three different scents, which sit perfectly into the tutti lifestyle collection. Each scent has been designed to be used in different areas of the home, or at different times of the day, to set the mood for the occasion. COASTAL >> Inspired by our humble surroundings, the coastal fragrance has been carefully created to encapsulate the feelings of a coastal walk: imagine a sea breeze married with coastal roughness, weathered woods and salty air, offset by crisp citrus touches. The perfect spring/

summer fragrance for the kitchen and family room and is sure to put a spring in your step. HARBOUR >> The second fragrance is inspired by the scent of an early morning dusk at a stirring busy harbour. Distressed wood and smoky embers teamed with sharp peppery hints. This is a rich, warm, intoxicating fragrance with notes of tobacco, soft bergamot, sun sweetened mandarin and hints of rock rose. Perfect to sit in your bedroom or bathroom, leaving a distinctive scent, long after the candle is put out. INDUSTRIAL >> An indulgent fragrance, sophisticated, opulent and desirable. Inspired by my love of travel, a rich Oudh fragrance of roses, saffron and cardamom on a base of rich amber and worn leather. The perfect fragrance for evening entertaining. Aptly named my Friday night fragrance, candle lit, glass of wine poured and a good album playing in the background – perfect…

Eating… Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients is the perfect cookbook for a working parent. 5 ingredients, simple recipe’s and delicious meals. My favourite is the Italian Seared Beef, fresh, tasty and prepared in just ten minutes – perfect for a weekday tea.


Listening to… John Mayer – The search for everything. An easy listening, soulful album that has a light summer vibe and is the perfect background music.


I love to use flowers for styling my home, and find the most cost-effective way to always have a house full of flowers is to plant my own, I can then pop outside and grab a bunch whenever I feel like it. My top picks are viburnum – floppy green and white mop heads which look stunning in the garden planted in rows. Gaura – a free flowering plant that dances in the breeze, flowers for months in the garden (I still had

flowers until the beginning of November) Cut fresh from the garden and style in big bunches, for a wild country look. Last but not least olive, I have two large olive trees which grow rapidly in the back garden through the summer months. I just love the green and silvery appearance of the leaves against simple white flowers, they look stunning potted in oversized containers and elegant cut in clear vases inside the house. 69

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Heritage hunters Laura Hepburn and Matthew Pugh mix heritage, hygge and a sprinkle of Hollywood at their carefully curated lifestyle store by the sea in North Yorkshire, as Kathryn Armstrong discovers As commutes go, Laura Hepburn and Matthew Pugh’s is as enviable as they get. A bracing walk that starts cliff-top then ambles down weathered cobbles to an ‘office’ with the sea breeze for airconditioning. Their workplace is the sweet-sounding Berties of Bay in the heart of rugged, historic Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Yorkshire coast. It’s a lifestyle store housing a carefully collected, curated and hand-made range of items all intended to make life a bit nicer. Things that give the home some heart, such as gorgeous jumbo merino wool throws and scarves knitted by Laura and Matthew’s mum Barbara, using their arms as giant knitting needles. Things that are made to make you smile, such as vintage telephones and typewriters (which still work) or flickering filament bulb lights. And things to make you warm and cosy whilst at the same time paying homage to the heritage of the village’s fishing community. We’re talking ganseys. Laura, Matthew and Berties have launched a collection of fishermen’s jumpers using the traditional knitting patterns of Robin Hood’s Bay. Each piece in the knit collection is named after a fishing family from Robin Hood’s Bay, where Laura was herself brought up – a relative of hers once ran the shop which is


now Berties - so life has come full circle for her. Laura went to art college and then gained an MA in photography and graphic design which was the springboard to launch her into some huge projects specialising in marketing and branding.

The Bay’s starring role as a location in this year’s Oscarnominated film Phantom Thread, is likely to lure more visitors Matthew’s career after art college took him to the fashion world with Crombie as a menswear buyer, then into retail management with Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover, including a short spell as a bank manager. Then all of a sudden they had a lightbulb moment, recalls Matthew. “Laura was doing a lot of consultancy for other people but there came a point where we thought we could make our own brand and create something we enjoy. I was able to make the numbers fit while we


built up stock. “We had been to Holland and come across so-called concept stores selling a little bit of everything – I suppose in this country we are keen to pigeonhole, but we thought we would sell the things we love, things we make and that make people happy”, he adds. The coastal location and lure of Robin Hood’s Bay to visitors meant that weaving the heritage of the place into the store’s collection was of paramount importance. The Bay’s starring role as a location in this year’s Oscar-nominated film Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day Lewis, is likely to lure still more visitors to the much-loved coastal village. Laura had some involvement in the film working with the locations team to help direct and ensure everything was in place and ready to roll. This has led to other exciting opportunities working on films due

to hit the big screen soon. Visitors lured by the stylish film will no doubt love Berties, “we find that we get people coming to buy when the school holidays are over and the place is quieter – the ‘silver pound’”, laughs Matthew. The knitwear collection is set to grow this spring with a gansey dress for women and continuation of the so-popular fishermen’s sweaters. The history of the gansey is a fascination for Matthew and Laura. The hard-wearing woollen jumpers, usually navy blue, are each given their own design which is unique to their fishing fleet or family. If there was a shipwreck or accident the bodies washed up on the shore could be identified by their gansey as being from a particular village and family. This meant the fisherman could be returned to their family for burial. >>

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It usually takes around six weeks to knit a gansey and patterns on them might include symbols of fishing life – cables, anchors or even ladders. They were usually made by mothers, wives and sweethearts with patterns passed down the generations. Matthew and Laura headed to the history books and museums to get the precise patterns for their gansey range. “We’ve done our homework”, says Matthew. “We also discovered that the fishermen would have a different gansey for Sundays – in a grey colour to wear for church – so our grey gansey represents this. “They represent the village’s heritage. People buying them are so keen to know the history of the item they are spending their money on so that it means more. The ganseys are designed to be timeless and they work for every occasion – lounging about on a Sunday or I’ve worn mine with a crisp white shirt, jeans and brown brogues to go to a nice restaurant”, he adds. The spring range will also feature cotton fishermen’s smocks and, alluding to the village’s past as the site of an allum mine, a workman’s jacket inspired by old photographs of workers on the mine’s railway. Their own brand chunky throws and knits are made with merino wool from Huddersfield and their own-brand candles are made by Laura based on scents with a story relating to the locality. It seems people are buying into the Berties ethos: “We had 136 orders for ganseys in a couple of weeks leading up to Christmas”, says Matthew. “We want to offer hints of happiness to fill people’s homes.”



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Norton Norton Village is a seriously sought-after area, now home to an eclectic mix of boutique businesses, fabulous foodie spots, stunning homes and prestigious schools. Dating back to the Anglo-Saxon period, the village combines the old with the new. In terms of property, historical buildings retain original features, while beautiful new boltholes boast all the mod-cons of today. In terms of properties, you’ll find tidy terraces, gracious Georgian houses with grand rooms and gorgeous details. Nearby Junction Road is filled with big Edwardian terraces and loads of character and big gardens. With glorious green open spaces, the award-winning Red House School, good road links and imposing properties popping up on the market, Norton is an inspiring, up-and-coming place for a contemporary, village lifestyle. CONNECTED >> Good road, rail and air transport services link Norton up with the rest of the North East and beyond. It’s proximity to both the A19 and the A1 make it easily accessible from pretty much any direction. Trains from Stockton, Thornaby and Billingham, all within five miles of the centre, will take you to Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Newcastle and Hexham. Durham Tees Valley Airport is a twenty minute car ride away and Newcastle Airport just over 50 minutes by car. SHOP >> If you’re still on that new year health kick, make a beeline for Neanderthals Health Deli - the go-to foodie shop and stop-off spot for natural foods that will fuel and nourish the soul. Think loose leaf teas, sumptuous smoothies, wholesome juices and organic coffee. This clean-eating deli also offers healthy, homemade meals for shoppers to eat in or take away to indulge at home. Foodie shoppers should also pop to Blackwells of Norton for quality meat and award-winning pies and pastries. Serving the


With quaint character properties and a lush, leafy high street, this vibrant village is a great place to live, learn and luxe it up

finest meats to the people of Norton for over half a century, this little gem is at the heart of village life. Go here for locally sourced meats, family meal boxes, celebration hampers and delicious deli favourites from artisan cheeses to wine, gin and Yorkshire puddings. Norton is home to the loveliness that is Christian Alexander - perfect if you’re looking to spring clean your wardrobe this season. A bit of retail therapy and a real luxe retreat for ladies hunting down anything from loungewear to evening gowns. Complete with a bridesmaid boutique, designer accessories and fashion-forward footwear, you can dress from head to toe, whatever the occasion. Call Me Pretty is another independent ladies fashion boutique boasting brands such as Vero Moda and Fransa. Go here for c osy knits, beautiful blouses and pretty patterned trousers. Spring has sprung and we’re seeing new blooms. The place to be for a bit of flower power in Norton is The Green Florist, a family-run business offering a tailored service for bridal bouquets, centrepieces, Mother’s Day gifts, home styling and more.

nights, live music lunches, foodie events and pop-up workshops. Combine carbs and cocktails with a feast at Norton’s nourishing newbie, Scrann. Standing boldly in all its neon, yellow-canopied glory just off Norton high street, it serves seriously good sourdough pizzas, cocktails and charcuterie. Complete with DIY decorations, sweeping palm trees and industrial-style lighting, this bold, busy and bustling environment oozes city-chic charm in a cosy, village environment. Norton’s chic cocktail offering doesn’t stop there. Swing by Canteen & Cocktails for stylish sipping and authentic American barbecue food. Expect classic concoctions, martini mixes and signature sips, served alongside ribs, burgers, fajitas and chargrilled dishes. Norton’s pavement appeal and coffee culture thrives thanks to the likes of Cafe Maison - a cute coffee shop on the quieter side of

Norton high street. It’s the perfect place to end a shopping trip or a stroll through town. Rest your legs, pick up a hot drink and tuck in to something sweet. STROLL >> Norton is more of a high street stroll kind of place than a somewhere you’d go for a hilly hike, but that doesn’t mean to say there’s no exploring to do by foot. It’s a picture-perfect village with all the benefits of a bustling town centre. Park up, stroll, shop and end your day with a sip at one of the many contemporary cocktail bars on the high street and surrounding streets. It’s a great day out for the whole family with green open spaces to let off some steam, a busy high street to tick off your to-do list and peaceful places like the famous duck pond where you can relax, unwind and take in the tranquility of the village green.

FOOD >> Norton’s eating out scene is at the top of its game, going from strength to strength with new openings and of-the-moment concept bars and restaurants taking centre stage. Within that thriving foodie scene are some old favourites such as Cafe Lilli - a lovely bistro-cafe that buzzes from 11am until 11pm and has firmly established itself as one of the region’s top eateries. Go here for light lunches, delightful evening dinners and scrumptious Sunday roasts every week - with live music scheduled for the first Sunday of every month. For something fun and casual, check out 12 Harland Place - a creative space with no single description or name tag. It’s a delicatessen, a patisserie, restaurant, bakery, coffee shop, brunch spot… whatever you make of it. Not only does it serve top-notch brunches, afternoon tea, quality coffee and cool cocktails, it’s an event space hosting DJ




my local Barry Faulkner is the company director at Norton’s new pizza place, Scrann. With the aim of bringing something new to the table when it comes to Stockton’s foodie scene, this authentic sourdough spot is ticking all the boxes amongst locals and pizza-lovers.


Three good things about living here >> • It’s just nice to walk along the high street; there’s a lovely vibe here and a real sense of community. We’ve got some great venues for eating and drinking in the village. • Norton is in a great location as it has everything you might need in close proximity and is only a short drive to some of the region’s best beaches and National Trust sites such as Roseberry Topping in Great Ayton. • Everything you need in the village is within walking distance - so it’s great for a stroll and ticking off your do-to list. Three places to take visitors >> • For the hungry visitor - pop to Scrann for an authentic sourdough pizza! • Canteen & Cocktails is a must-visit bar serving American smokehouse food and great cocktails. • A wander down to the duck pond and a chill out on the village green if the weather allows. An ‘in-the-know’ secret >> Go to Canteen & Cocktails for a Sunday roast sharing board! They’re amazing. I’d recommend booking in advance as it is very popular amongst the locals.

property: three to choose Gorgeous green The Green is an exquisite, Grade II Listed residence enjoying iconic views over Norton’s duck pond and village green. Conveniently located within the hub of Norton Village and just moments from the bustling, tree-lined high street, this property perfectly combines village life with town-like facilities. Lots of space and country charm, what’s not to love? £350,000

Luxe living This bright and spacious four-bedroom detached house on Junction Road makes for a wonderful family home with added elegance. Pleasantly set back along a private driveway, the property boasts a secluded southfacing garden and large living spaces. The open-plan living, dining and kitchen area is the perfect place to host and entertain guests. £480,000

Pastel perfect This charming character property on Norton high street boasts three bedrooms, three comfortable reception rooms and a delightful walled garden. Retaining many of its original features, it makes for a grand and graceful home, to be enjoyed by a growing family who wish to live in an up-and-coming area in the North East. £325,000


CHANGING THE WAY WE USE OUR HOMES There’s no doubt that since the 2007 financial crisis the idea of buying and selling homes to make a fast buck has gone out of the window! House prices are only now returning to values that they enjoyed in 2006 and 12 years of static or volatile house price levels have, undoubtedly, led to concern throughout the housing market. The beginning of 2018 has been hugely optimistic and very encouraging however. Rightmove recorded their highest ever levels of newly registered applicants in January and February of this year. We are certainly experiencing high levels of enquiries, viewings and offers being agreed. The way we use our houses is undoubtedly changing and one of the main reasons for this is an ageing population living much longer. People want to live in their homes as long as possible and it is not unusual now for people to be living in their own homes until their late 80s and early 90s. Multi-generation living has always been the norm for the Asian population and the appeal of this idea gaining wider appeal. But one of the greatest changes to take place in the last 10-12 years is the increasing number of homes being adapted, not for use as a granny flat but instead for a 20-something occupant. This is the first generation to have been to college and university but who still find themselves unable to afford their first step on the housing ladder. Staying at home is a good option and often they will take on the conversion of the attic, or create independent space from an old garage or studio within the gardens. This flexibility of homes to create multi-generation living is encouraging people to stay in their homes for longer. The use of formal dining rooms also appears to be a dwindling tradition; now they become games rooms or particularly a study for the growing number of people who can work from home. Another change has been the rise of the large family kitchen/breakfast room. Now, the kitchen takes priority amongst all living space and is often the focal point of the home, combining what may have historically been two large entertaining reception rooms. A large family kitchen/breakfast room with seamless glass and an open aspect overlooking the garden has been very desirable for some time; the epitome of contemporary living. Intelligent wiring is also becoming an essential in the home, not just the ability to use Wi-Fi but also the download speed and whether it links to the latest technology, to enable people to work smartly from home. A home’s running costs and energy perfomance is also now a key factor. Ten years ago, the Energy Performance Certificate for a property was never particularly important to prospective buyers. Now people are very keen to see houses being efficient, warm and economical. Running costs for a home can be a significant addition to a monthly mortgage. For those houses that have been well designed, planned or renovated, running costs can be greatly lowered and this is a tremendous attraction to prospective buyers. As we move into the ‘traditional’ best selling period within the housing market, we look forward to the spring weather and beautiful gardens emerging. Gardens continue to be a very major factor within the sale of a property. We are seeing increasing numbers of gardens being professionally lit, particularly mature trees and around the patio terraces, whilst outdoor barbecues are being extended into outdoor fireplaces with log stores and warmer places to congregate in the early evening. We look forward to being able to act in your move, with the sale or rental of your property. Please let me know if myself or my team can assist you in any way.

Duncan G Young Managing Director Sanderson Young



Rocklyn Lodge Runnymede Road, Darras Hall, Ponteland Rocklyn Lodge is one of the larger style luxury homes set back on Runnymede Road with beautiful gardens and grounds extending to the River Pont. It was purchased by the current owners in 1993 and has been significantly extended and improved, with beautiful interior design throughout.

Price Guide: ÂŁ1.995 Million Ashleigh Sundin rare! Office: 0191 223 3500 From Sanderson Young




Westoe Grange Westoe Village


A substantial, Grade II listed, four storey mid-terraced property which is well positioned within the heart of this conservation area and retains many traditional features. With accommodation extending to approx. 4500 sq ft, this family home has been renovated and extended by the current owners throughout.

Price Guide: ÂŁ749,000 Ashleigh Sundin rare! Office: 0191 223 3500 From Sanderson Young





Located within walking distance of Durham City centre, Chevallier Court is a spacious modern five bedroom mansion designed with family life at its heart.



A luxury home overlooking Wynyard golf course, complete with a 24ft games room with bar and a golf simulator within a cinema room.

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EXTRA TIME with George Friend, Middlesbrough FC defender Time to perk up the wardrobe and take a trip

This spring I’m focusing on the old classics and also what’s new to the market. Whether they’re things we can’t live without or something exciting to look forward to, these five picks will either spark a fond memory or potentially inspire a change FASHION FORWARD >>


Old classic - Ralph Lauren tracksuits. Joggers: £85 - £95, hoodie: £119; >>

Old classic - Nike Air Vortex, £74.95; >> New to the market - Valentino Rockrunner suede and leather trainer (pictured). These stylish trainers can be worn casually with jeans/trousers but also don’t look out of place if you’re after something comfy with a suit, £380; >>

New to the market - SPKD clothing and accessories (pictured). The collection follows a fitted style and a really current look for men and women. The label is inspired and designed by entrepreneur (and my team-mate) Britt Assombalonga. SPKD distressed black trucker hat, £34.99; >>

SWEET SOUNDS >> Old classic - Mumford and Sons album - ‘Sigh no more’ (2009). New to the market - Chris Stapleton albums - ‘From a room Vol 1’ and ‘Vol 2’ (2017), ‘Traveller’ (2015). Whether you’re a country music fan or not, Stapleton’s voice is simply sublime!

LUXE LIFE >> Old classic - Bath - The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa. New to the market - Four Seasons Hotel Florence (pictured) - Set in the heart of the city, this hotel is simply beautiful. It boasts incredible service, facilities, decor and architecture. A must in my opinion.

DINNER DATE >> Old classic - Claridges restaurant, London Mayfair (pictured). New to the market - Five Houses Farm Shop in Crathorne, this newly opened, family-run business is completely different to any high-end, city restaurant. A charming converted farm that serves fantastic breakfast and lunch, with a superb deli. Their ‘farm to fork’ policy ensures they only sell quality, local produce.



COLOUR YOUR LIFE B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen, Beoplay H4 wireless bluetooth over-ear headphones, £249;

Links of London, Sterling silver & turquoise enamel guilloche cufflinks, £150;

Le v ww i’s, 5 w.h 11 ou slim se off fit j ras ea er. ns, co .uk £95 ;

Polo Ralph Lauren, Traveller turquoise swim shorts, £55;

GPO Brooklyn, Portable boom box, £249; Raymond Weil, Watch, £2,395;

Fujifilm, Instax mini 9 instant camera, ice blue, £69.99;

House 99, Greater Look face moisturiser 75ml, £22;

Man kit

Pastels, polaroids and pampering tools to add to your colourful kit list this spring

Paul Smith, Yellow swim shorts, £59;

Citizens of Humanity, Dusky pink stretch denim jacket, £430;

Drumohr, Stripe-intarsia knitted jumper, £200;

John Smedley, Adrian knitted cotton polo shirt, £135;

MAR/APR18 83


Quiet revolution Tesla creator Elon Musk sent a car into space. Back on terra firma, Allan Boughey steered a safer course in the latest Model S

I’ve always been a fan of science fiction. Not the stories in themselves necessarily, but rather the mind-bending, flabbergasting ideas and technologies they depict, along with the heady realisation of what we, humans, are capable of. Sci-fi shapes this world, our world, the real world. The concepts it promotes often provide tangible application for new knowledge. It’s known as the Star Trek Effect. Right now, scientists across the world, including in the UK, are working on a machine called a nano-fabricator that will convert a few basic, readily available materials, like dirt, into anything we desire – from a glass of milk to a sofa to a new car. It’s an upgraded 3D printer. And this machine may be in every home by the end of this century. Trekkies will no doubt recognise the replicator. Technology has become the instigator of human evolution. Back in the now, the Star Trek Effect is becoming more and more apparent, from the “Beam me up Scotty”-inspired

smartphone to the Starship Enterprise’s “Web of Everything”-style control system. Perhaps even the car has been reinvented with a nod to Captain Kirk and his intrepid crew. The Tesla is reshaping the very notion of what a car is. In fact, to even call it a car seems slightly inadequate. It may look like a regular vehicle, especially on the outside with its sleek saloon looks. But in truth, it is something else entirely, and not just because it is fully electric with a range over 300 miles. In sci-fi speak, it’s a personal transportation system. No wonder then that the US billionaire behind the Tesla, Elon Musk, also heads the SpaceX company that is at the forefront of space travel. As you sit in the driver’s seat and ease down on the accelerator, it’s difficult not to imagine that you have been suddenly transported (mentally and physically) to the bridge of the Enterprise. As the Tesla glides smoothly, soundlessly forward, it’s as though Mr Sulu has just engaged Warp drive. You are boldly going forward – where no man has been before. And like light speed, the acceleration is

The Tesla is reshaping the very notion of what a car is. It may look like a regular vehicle, but in truth, it is something else entirely



SPACE RACE thrilling. Yet it is nothing like the raw, gut-wrenching, ear-splitting force of a supercar, where all your senses engage with the visceral exertion of the engine. You absorb the horsepower; become part of the beast. That’s true to some extent of every conventional car out there, and there is still very much a place for the petrol or diesel engine in our world. But the world is changing, physically through climate change, and politically as we bid to combat the worst ravages. The Tesla embodies a new hope. Yet, it is also very much about the driving experience. It’s smoothness and silence only seek to emphasise the exhilaration of the experience. You are not so much driver; you are Captain Picard, coolly commanding: “Make it so.” The first time you push down on that accelerator, the sudden rush of movement is utterly shocking. You are almost forced back in the seat, imagining your face ridged with G Force like a true space traveller. It’s confusing too, a storming of your emotions – “Woah, what’s happening?”, “Is this legal?”, “Am I still in control?”, are the likely thoughts to glance across your consciousness. In terms of that last question, you certainly will be. That’s because the pedals are remarkably sensitive, and as soon as you ease off the power, the vehicle will instinctively and quickly slow. You really don’t need to use the break that much. And it is remarkable how quickly you get used to the new rules of driving that the Tesla establishes. And yes, all of this can be experienced very easily without ever exceeding the speed limit. You don’t need to be on a race track to appreciate what the Tesla is capable of, such is the control you have. Of course, the Tesla would happily cruise the Autobahn at 120, but the real delight is in the buzz of the acceleration, and that works just as well as you make the brisk shift from, say, 20mph to 60mph in a couple of seconds. Just as you become part of the animal

nature of a conventional supercar, you connect with the Tesla as though you have just plugged in your very own, personal USB cable; it’s a melding of man and machine: like joining the Borg, though in a fun way. Perhaps this wholly intuitive correlation is another reason why all that seemingly bottomless power is always within your control. The Tesla is also a joy to sit in. Comfortable? Obviously. Good visibility? Of course. Functional? Absolutely. Does it turn the headlights and wipers on automatically? Naturally. Does it drive itself? Yes (the Enhanced Autopilot option is required), but it’s not allowed on UK roads – yet (though it’s surely only a matter of time). The most striking aspect inside the Tesla cockpit is the huge 17-inch screen that takes up most of the dashboard. The conventional dials are there behind the steering wheel too, but the tablet-style touchscreen can

As the Tesla glides smoothly, soundlessly forward, it’s as though Mr Sulu has just engaged Warp drive

pretty much control everything, from the air-con or satnav settings to monitoring tyre pressure. And it’s your entertainment system too, behaving like a Wi-Fi speaker that will talk to your phone and play Spotify, You Tube, or an Internet radio station, all incredibly intuitively once it’s been easily setup via an app. The system is also being constantly updated (via downloads), meaning your car will keep pace with Tesla’s technology. Range has been a problem for all electric cars to date. But the Tesla reaches new ground. The Model S 100D, for instance, will keep going for over 400 miles in dry, warmish conditions. The lesser powered 75D will go well over 300 miles. Even in a wet, cool climate, these figures do not drop that much. Charging will be a once weekly task for the average driver. And with more and more charging points popping up, the electric car proposition has never been more

practical. There is no denying that the Tesla range – alongside the Model S is the SUV-style Model X, while the compact Model 3 is due in the UK next year and is expected to be around half the price of the cheapest Model S – is undeniably luxurious. In consequence, build quality, safety (the highest possible ratings), and comfort are absolutely top notch. The Tesla also handles beautifully and boasts all-wheel drive thanks to its two separate motors (one in the front, one in the back). In short, the Tesla ticks every imaginable box, and then some. Late last year, the UK Government, which has set aside £1bn to encourage more British motorists to go electric, has pledged to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. That seems a long way off when the future of motoring is already here. Continued...

Tesla Model S 100D Range: 393 miles (NEDC)  0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds  Model S prices start from £64,700 for a 75D battery. The Model S 100D starts at £86,200

MAR/APR18 85


TA K I N G C H A R G E OF THE CHILLOUT St Andrews was ‘Destination Tesla’ where we parked up and plugged-in at the Fairmont St Andrews hotel which has its own bespoke Tesla charging point

Though the Tesla charging takes no time at all, it was time to settle in for some five-star style every bit as impressive as the car we arrived in. The hotel is on the outskirts of the coastal town of St Andrews on Scotland’s east coast – about an hour from Edinburgh over the new Queensferry Crossing which is a journey treat in itself. St Andrews is of course known as the ‘home of golf’. Don’t be putt (sorry) off if you’re not a golfer (me). Be very excited if you are – but be prepared to discover a sweet, studentdrenched historic town, dazzling coast and some jaw-dropping sunsets from the beautiful coastal pathways. Fairmont’s cliff-top location offers up beautiful views of St Andrews itself and its ancient towers. The two golf courses lead to the Fife Coastal Path which is trail worth taking – bracing, yes, but strong on views, heritage, natural history and enough beaches to keep everyone happy. A good walk – with or without the golf clubs – should leave you reeling for sustenance, spas and spirits. Fairmont’s grand offering manages it well. Very much a ‘resort’, it feels quite American in its scale, welcome and facilities. Very child-friendly and chilled, the building is created around a huge and very impressive atrium. From this spills an intricate talking point of a sculpture which is meant to represent a


A good walk - with or without the golf clubs – should leave you reeling for sustenance, spas and spirits school of fish, little scale-like discs shimmering from the ceiling. It dominates but doesn’t overwhelm the space which you arrive to down a grand stairway. This area serves as library, lounge and a very genteel space for a spot of afternoon tea. Not just any afternoon tea – but Savoy Afternoon Tea no less (how the visitors from the US must love it)! Perfect pretty china – all duck egg blue and roses – waits for the arrival of delicious and dainty teatime treats, feather light

scones and exquisite pastries, not to mention choices from a dazzlingly impressive tea menu (the very delicate white peony and rose for me). The Savoy is part of the Fairmont group and so in terms of the whole afternoon tea experience, this is as gorgeous as it gets. The atrium leads also to The Squire restaurant where you can feast on the full Scottish experience at an extravagant buffet which includes black pudding, local haggis, crisp bacon, fluffy pancakes and eggs

served every way. Above all though in terms of food, our favourite experience was heading out to the golf clubhouse which is home to the St Andrews Bar & Grill. Walls of glass overlook the coastline and down to St Andrews town. The building is set on a spectacular clifftop and feels magical – what you hope for at this point is a feast of the freshest Scottish seafood – and, hurrah! There are market priced ‘from the boat’ dishes to choose from – be they langoustine or St Andrew’s bay crab or lobster. Just go for it with the seafood platter to share. A simple but perfect dish of buttery lobster, luscious crab claws, juicy langos and oysters, all scattered with zesty


XXXXXXXX samphire. Great food, perfect location. We’d honestly go back just to eat this again. Back in the main hotel there’s time for a nightcap of the whisky sort – there are a couple of neat and cosy bars to partake of an enviable array of single malts from the traditional to the new young artisans. Then you can wake up to a swim in the pool or a visit to the spa for a range of treatments which include locally-themed massages, facial and relaxation therapies. Lovely to see treatment offerings from Aromatherapy Associates and Ishga, which is based on organic Hebridean seaweed. Though a large resort hotel, Fairmont St Andrews has a nice knack for making its surroundings a real part of your stay. Only the lure of a great car makes you want to drive away.

The golf bit You head to Scotland for courses that are among the best in the world, with St Andrews recognised as the ‘Home of Golf’. Fairmont St Andrews courses have won a raft of awards - voted 18th in ‘The World's Top Golf Resorts’ by Conde Nast Traveller readers’ poll and ranked number 22 in ‘The Worlds Best Golf Hotels’ by Golf Digest.



THE TORRANCE COURSE • Par 72 and 7,230 yards • Designed by Sam Torrance, this course has classic Scottish revetted bunkers and large greens • Scottish links-style design • Rated number 26th in Golf Weekly ratings 2013 • Open Championship qualifying course for the 2010 Open Championship • Home to The Scottish Seniors Open between 2009 and 2014 on The European Seniors Tour   THE KITTOCKS COURSE • Par 72 and 7,192 yards • Original designer Bruce Devlin with assistance from Gene Sarazen • Some of the most beautiful holes in Scottish golf with unparalleled vistas as the course hugs the dramatic Fife coastline • Rated number 37th in Golf Weekly ratings 2013 • Awarded Golf Club and Course Experience of the Year 2013 – Golf Tourism Scotland


A two-night stay at Fairmont St Andrews

Ready for a spring fling? The lure of a spa, golf greens, stunning cliff-top walks and gourmet food are what a spring getaway is all about. We’ve teamed up with the luxurious Fairmont St Andrews resort on the east coast of Scotland to offer you the chance to win a spectacular five-star break. The luxurious 520-acre Fairmont St Andrews resort is in a lavish setting with stunning cliff top views of St Andrews and the North Sea, enjoy a fabulous stay.

Sink in to St Andrews: TO THE GLORY OF GOLF! The British Golf Museum is home to over 17,000 objects which tell the story of golf’s development from the Middle Ages to the present day. Highlights include Seve’s shoes, clothing archives and more clubs than you can swing an iron at. Utilising Trackman and Skytrak golf simulator technology, you can play some of the world’s top championship courses (including the world famous Old Course, St Andrews), with the guarantee of not getting wet! KINGSBARNS DISTILLERY Douglas Clements was inspired to create a distillery by the dunes at Kingsbarns. An unfettered passion for single malt whisky has been instrumental in bringing the dream to life. Three types of tour suitable for all levels of whisky enthusiast.

Your prize A two-night luxury stay in a Fairmont View guestroom, inclusive of full Scottish breakfast per person, access to the Fairmont Spa & Fitness facilities, and Savoy Afternoon Tea for two on a chosen day.


EDEN MILL BREWERY & DISTILLERY Tour the craft distillery and brewery and see them doing what they enjoy: crafting prized beer, gins and whisky. A tour at Eden Mill wouldn’t be complete without a tasting session. SCOTLAND'S SECRET BUNKER Utilised extensively during World War II, this military installation was a well-kept secret for more than 40 years. ST ANDREWS AQUARIUM See 30 exhibition tanks that house hundreds of species from sharks to seahorses, lobsters to lionfish, poison dart frogs to piranhas and the perennial favourite seals. ST ANDREWS BOTANIC GARDEN Described as a hidden gem of Scotland, the Botanic Garden features numerous exotic plants and flowers across seven hectares, dating back to 1889.


Entry via the Luxe website at T&Cs apply, available upon request. Closing date noon, 1 May, 2018. 87


CHRISTIAN ATSU The NUFC midfielder is hosting the Black Star Gala in March to raise funds for the charity Arms Around the Child to build a school for children orphaned in Ghana

LUXE PLACES >> for a weekend > Porto a long holiday > Ghana LUXE RELAX >> Best food > Fufu, it’s traditional Ghanaian food Favourite restaurant > in Newcastle, it’s Tony’s Kitchen Perfect weekend > Playing a match, winning and then spending time with my loved ones Downtime means > Spending time with my young family, I have two sons Best telly > Match of the Day Best book > The Bible Best sounds > Gospel music and Reggae music LUXE SHOP >> Best shopping city > Paris Favourite shop > Made Man Clothing in London Luxe retail treat > Zanotti shoes Best buy > The house in Ghana that I brought for my Mum LUXE PARTY >> A memorable night out > I recently visited Disneyland Paris with my family, the show they had in the evening was great, it was a memorable night. Perfect party > A birthday party for one of my sons Best dress/ favourite item of clothing > Made Man jacket Dinner date > With my partner Claire YOUR LUXE THING IN LIFE >> My House Details of Black Star Gala on March 14





Graeme Blenkinsopp, is the a 40-something owner of Wisemove, a firm of development land agents and surveyors. He’s married to Louise with two grown up children, Jack and Abigail CHILDHOOD CAR CRUSH >> As a child and into my early teenage years, I yearned for a Saab 99 Turbo and I was lucky to have a Fiesta XR2i for a short period, before the company I worked for realised I had to be over 21 to drive it and was therefore uninsured. Short-lived. That was a dream car at the time for a 17-yearold, but then a Suzuki Vitara was on the wish list. Neither Saab nor Suzuki were ever driven or acquired. WHAT’S IN THE GARAGE NOW? Tesla Model X. A modern all-electric American vehicle with daft flapping doors and the ability to propel you at sportscar speed, whilst also retaining a look of serenity and sensibleness. IF YOU COULD OWN ANY CAR >> To bring forward the Porsche Mission E, their first all-electric vehicle, or perhaps an SUV equivalent, similar to what I am driving now. I’ve been lucky to have a couple of Porsche in recent years and it’s still my vehicle of choice. Perhaps when they bring out the electric versions I’ll revert to German. CAPTAIN SLOW OR JEREMY? >> A mix! I prefer to say I drive to the road conditions. The speed is very much there in the car that I drive at the moment, but I


prefer comfort these days. WHO SHOULD PRESENT TOP GEAR? >> An unknown. Well, he’s known to me. Chris Clement, my wife’s cousin. He gets enthusiastic over the slightest detail relating to cars and I think he could relate well to the watching public, who I’d imagine to be similar to him, sitting in their sheds rubbing their knees and watching Top Gear on a portable TV! Chris gets enthusiastic over a dipstick. I’d also wager that he owns more cars than Chris Evans! TRACKS OF YOUR TYRES >> Varied. From Ed Sheeran, Pink, Sam Smith, old U2, Bruno Mars to Andrea Bocelli, someone who could quite happily play in the background in my office. But I was brainwashed as a kid and seem to know every Elvis song back to front! DREAM ROAD TRIP >> A trip around Europe, visiting every major city on a pre-planned loop. One day it will happen, enjoying the food associated with each city; so pasta in Rome, tapas in Madrid, moules and frites in Bruges. You get the picture. WHO WITH >> My wife, Louise, of course. Although I know

she doesn’t share my enthusiasm for adventurous city-hopping breaks. I’m not sure they do driving tours of beach resorts and palm-strewn promenades… MEMORABLE CAR MOMENTS >> I have a few; I learnt to drive in a Mini Clubman, and I had only recently passed my test and was driving on the A1 motorway with friends when the gearstick came out in my hand. I’d only just learnt to drive, let alone comprehend what to do with a car having no gearstick. Washington Services

came in handy that day. No mobile phones though, to call for assistance. More recently, believing that I could never run out of electric charge in the Tesla, I did just that on the same stretch of road as the gearstick incident. Friends and I stood by the side of the motorway for almost three hours on the coldest day of the year, with snow coming down heavily, awaiting a flatbed recovery truck. November 2017. Never again. WHAT’S IN THE GLOVE BOX? >> Nothing exciting; a private stash of Star Bars or Dairy Milk, but definitely the car service book and a glove. I can’t find the other one.

HOW CLEAN IS YOUR CAR >> Reasonably clean; I spend five minutes a week trying my best to keep it tidy, most Saturday mornings, although cleaning the car externally is left to the lads at the hand car wash. SCARY MOMENTS? >> I get anxious if I’m running low on charge and miles away from a charging point, but this is easing with each charging station that is built. I’ll never run out of charge again, that’s for sure. 89


Bob Arora

AT THE WHEEL I haven’t driven a BMW for a while and I relished the chance to drive the new X2. I was surprised to learn Mercedes has beaten BMW to be the Global Premium Brand. This has been BMW’s title for quite a while now, but they are fighting back with an onslaught of new cars. The X-range of cars now accounts for one in three worldwide sales so it’s a very important new launch.

The X2 sits between the X1 and the X3, it’s firmly aimed at the Evoque, which has been a massive sales success for Land Rover, and I’m amazed it’s taken BMW so long to launch a worthy competitor. The X2 is longer, sleeker and sportier than the X1 but it is slightly less roomy in comparison. The car will appeal to people who don’t mind compromising on space and that are looking for something sporty. Despite the current backlash against diesel engines there are two diesels and one petrol engine to choose from. I drove the 2lt diesel which is expected to be the best seller in the range. It gets to 62mph in under eight seconds but its trump card is potentially 60mpg in the right hands. The petrol engine’s figures are nigh on the same but fuel economy isn’t quite as good as the diesels. Once you start the car most of the noise from the engine doesn’t make its way into the cabin, at motorway speeds there is very little noise at all. The MINI Countryman and the X2 share the same platform, rest assured they drive totally differently though, partly thanks to the cars having different springs, dampers, roll bars, bushes and different steering racks. With its M Sport makeover and fitted with the beautiful 20” alloys I have to say the car felt quite harsh and choppy on most surfaces. I personally think that’s down to our terrible roads and the low profile tyres didn’t help at all. The car is very beautiful with creases and styling cues all over the place, the designer’s new name for this is precision with poetry. The badges at the rear quarters just remind me of the CSL which looked a bit like the bat-mobile. They have given the front a new updated look with wider kidney grills which give the car quite a menacing look, especially when you see the car in your rear view mirror. There are four trims to choose from:


X marks the spot Bob takes a turn at the wheel of BMW’s latest sporty SUV, the agile and athletic X2

SE, Sport, M Sport and M Sport X, The M Sport gets a makeover from the M division, the car is lowered by 10mm and given a sporty body kit so it’s got loads of kerb appeal, I have to admit to not liking the plastic on the sides of the car or underneath the bumpers. I know the car is aimed at young funky people so I suppose I’m showing my age but it looked a bit cheap if I’m being honest.

As with all BMWs, the interior is a very nice place to spend time, from the chunky three spoke steering wheel to the really nice mood lighting in the car it really oozes quality. The car I drove had a leather interior but one of the cars in the showroom had a rather funky interior trim, it was a mix of suede and fabric which may not sound very appealing but I personally think it really suited the car. It had very cool yellow

stitching and it really reminded me of a 911 GTS with the optional Alcantara interior. I really loved the dash with its normal dials rather than the electric dashes most companies are going for at the moment. All the switches and buttons have a real quality feel as does the dash. There was plenty of storage space for all the clutter I need on a daily basis. The reverse camera is handy as the rear window is quite



The X2 sits between the X1 and the X3, firmly aimed at the Evoque, which has been a massive sales success, I’m amazed it’s taken BMW so long to launch a worthy competitor

small so reversing isn’t that easy. Another thing I noticed while driving in the dark, when I reversed the car into the restaurant car park the passenger side mirror dips and the mood lighting on the dash makes it really hard to see the mirror due to the reflection from the (otherwise) very nice mood lighting. I hope that makes sense but if you do buy one you’ll know what I mean! The X2 is priced from £33,000 to £38,000 for the X Sport. Beware, as with all German cars the option list is not only extensive but it also has some very expensive bits like head up display, wireless phone charging, Wi-Fi and hands-free parking. After driving this car for a few days I can honestly say it’s a very stylish, practical and economical car indeed. I can’t wait to drive the new Z4, 8 series and M5 and at some point they’ll be launching the new X7 so I’m sure they’ll be regaining the Global Premium Brand crown again very soon. Car supplied by Lloyd BMW

THE FIRST EVER BMW X2. BE THE ONE WHO DARES. For more information or to book a test drive* in the incredible BMW X2, please contact our team on 0191 9081658 or visit

Lloyd Newcastle

Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear NE2 4LE

Official fuel economy figures for the new BMW X2: Urban 54.3mpg (5.2 l/100km). Extra Urban 65.7mpg (4.3 l/100km). Combined 61.4mpg (4.6 l/100km). CO2 emissions 121g/km. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for comparisons between vehicles

and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. *Test drive subject to status and availability.




Korea high Kia’s new top-of-the-range drive, the Stinger, brings a surprise with a ‘fast, fun and beautifully-composed’ drive says Bob Arora

The Korean invasion from Kia has been very much under the radar. They came to the UK selling quite boring looking, cheap cars with a great warranty. A breakthrough was in 2006 when they launched the Cee’d; this car was a real wake-up call for European manufacturers. It matched its competitors for quality and it beat them all on price and it also has a class-leading seven-year warranty; it’s no wonder the car sold like hot cakes. I think the other thing the PR department at Kia did well with was getting the car on Top Gear. The car was the reasonably priced car and while the car was thrashed round the track, if my memory serves me correct, it never broke down even when it was driven terribly by its famous drivers. The next breakthrough model was the new Sportage, this car has a very striking design and thankfully it drives as well as its rivals. The previous model was a very uninspiring looking car, when both cars are parked next to each other I’m amazed they managed to sell any of the old ones. The man behind the stunning new Sportage was Peter Schreyer, an ex-Audi designer who designed the original TT; he worked his magic on the Sportage. This car has helped Kia become a big player


and they’ve had record sales year on year. The latest car to compete with the Germans is the new Stinger; this 4-door coupé is firmly aimed at the A5 sport back and the 4 series grand coupé. Kia has been out poaching another German specialist but this time they’ve poached BMW’s M division chassis expert, Albert Biermann. Thanks to his knowledge the car is very dynamic and it’s certainly a match for its rivals. You can choose from three trims, the base is the GT line, GT Line S or the range topping GT S. The engine choices are either a 2lt petrol engine or the 2.2lt Diesel which is an extra £2,000. I was lucky enough to drive the GT S which is fitted with a 3.3lt twin turbo V6 which is a lovely engine. Priced at £40,495 it’s certainly not a cheap and cheerful car now.

One area where the Kia trumps its rivals is with standard equipment

The engine is linked to an 8-speed auto gearbox and the cars are rear-wheel drive like some of their rivals. 60mph is reached in 4.7 seconds and its top speed is 168mph. The claimed economy figure of 30mpg is easily achievable especially if you don’t have a heavy right foot; the Stinger has the accolade of being the fastest Kia ever. Peter Schreyer has excelled himself again with the design of the Stinger; it’s such a beautiful looking car indeed. From any angle the car just looks stunning; the GT S with its bigger alloys and body kit looks sporty even standing still. The Stinger is actually wider, longer, taller and heavier than the 4 series. Its boot is also smaller than its rivals; it has folding rear seats which help if you need to load large or bulky items. The Koreans have the styling sorted and the chassis is now class leading, but they really need to poach a car interior designer; the Stinger’s interior is no match for its German competitors. I think they could learn a thing or two from the latest Golf’s interior, despite being half the price its interior is very classy and the electric dash just adds to the car’s premium feel. One area where the Kia trumps its rivals is with standard equipment, heads-up display, heated and cooling seats, heated steering wheel, smart phone connectivity, blind spot mirrors, fully electric seats, autonomous

braking, Harmon Kardon speakers and Apple car play are all standard on the GT S. Even the base models have excellent levels of equipment. The Stinger’s rivals all cost nearly £8,000 more and that’s without factoring in all of the expensive extras that are standard on the Stinger, but expensive options in its competitors. The car has four drive modes ranging from Eco to Sport Plus, each mode ramps up the throttle response and gearbox response along with the firmness of the dampers and the weight of the steering. The car is quite happy to cruise along at motorway speeds all day long and the Bembo brakes are amazing along twisty country roads. Despite the car’s weight penalty it was great fun to drive. It’s fast, fun and beautifully composed. As a first attempt at making a big coupé type car Kia have succeeded in making not only a beautiful looking car but also a really nice car to drive. The car is well built and has stacks of toys and gadgets, I’m sure it’ll have the desired effect of showing its rivals that Kia really does mean business and they are no longer just a company who build cheap and cheerful cars with a class leading warranty. Car supplied by Lookers Kia Newcastle



Shining stars The Infiniti Centre, Newcastle is celebrating a record year of trading and a series of dazzling accolades for 2017

Newcastle’s Infiniti dealership, owned by Vertu Motors plc, was recently recognised as the top performing Infiniti site in the country, with the highest number of sales, and was the ‘European Dealer of the Year for Customer Experience’. General manager, Jeff Aynsley, was also recognised for his achievements at the CEO awards, hosted by Vertu’s CEO,

Robert Forrester. The awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of managers across all of the companies that Vertu Motors operates in the UK, saw Jeff presented with the ‘Company Person of the Year’. Jeff also has an award-winning team working with him at the Silverlink-based dealership. Last year Russell Hilderbrand, a sales executive at the branch, achieved ‘Top Selling Sales Executive’ status for the


our customer offering and experience to the next level. “In addition to these successes, I have recently been appointed to Infiniti’s Dealership Associated Board. It includes top performers across Europe and means that we have an active voice in the growth and innovation opportunities that are being suggested for the brand. “I am confident that my colleagues and I can continue to present Infiniti as a premium, luxury brand without the associated price tag, and look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the coming year.” month of September. Jeff said: “I am so proud of the achievements that the Infiniti Centre Newcastle has seen over the past year. The team has worked extremely hard to go above and beyond what is required, and we are always looking at new ways to take








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RATE OF INTEREST P.A. (FIXED) APR Offer based on 8,000 miles6.6% per annum, 6.6% £31,969.68 excess mileage REPRESENTATIVE charges apply.


We are a credit broker, and we are not a lender. Finance provided by Infiniti Financial Services, Eagle House, 78 St Albans Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD17 1AF. Subject to status. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. You must be at least 18 and a UK resident

(excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands). Model shown for illustration purposes. Metallic paint available at extra cost. Terms and conditions apply, please visit your local dealer for full details. Offers correct at time of going to press and are subject to change. Offers not available in conjunction with any schemes or other offers. Vehicle price includes first registration fee and 12 months’ road fund licence and delivery costs. Infiniti Europe Division of Nissan International SA, Zone d’Activités La Pièce 12, 1180 Rolle, Switzerland. Terms and conditions apply. Finance subject to status. CO2/MPG figures based on EU regulated laboratory testing, and may not represent real-life driving results (which vary depending on driving behaviour, conditions and other factors).


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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!

CHUF Valentine’s Ball, Assembly Rooms, Newcastle Entrepreneurs’ Forum Chairman’s Dinner, Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle

Below > Sam Moralee, Chris Gray, Michelle Fortune, Suzanne Smith

Below > Fiona Whitehurst, John Lawler

Above > Ian Roper, Paula Roper, Lynn Shearing, David Shearing Above > Gillain Marshall, Ian Kinnery, Sir Peter Vardy

Below > Scott Rutherford, Lisa Armour

Below > Pamela Petty, Michelle Harrison

Above > Lee Davison, Amanda Davison

Above > Laura Weddle, Alan Common

Above > Chris Mulligan, Claire Mulligan, Michelle Saunders, Chris Saunders, Clare Lee, Johny Lee Below > Dean Lloyd, Sam Lloyd

Above > Keian Sanchez, Paul Wilson, John Macwhirter Below > James Robson, Michaela Reaney

Above > Jane Skilbeck, John Burns Below > Mark Lazenby, David Blair

Below > Julie Dickinson, Dean Dickinson Above > John Lawler, Chrstine Taylor, Mark Bryce, Gary Fawcett

Above > Deborah Garland, David Garland

Above > Gill Rice, Melanie Brown, Karen Berry




Vantage Launch, Aston Martin, Newcastle Below > David Lawson, Lisa Halliday, Josh Lawson

Below > Karin Dover, Mel Dover

Above > Dawn Smith, James Greaves, Carolyn Laing

Below > Bob Pattison, Peter Johnson

Above > Katie Protheroe, Dudley Protheroe, Matthew Protheroe

Above > Kevin Hutchinson, Pat Hutchinson , Kaye Kilsby

Below > George Heydon, James Heydon

Below > Steve Gill, Amanda Gill

Above > Alice Hope, Lewis Mowbray

Above > Steve Colledge, Honor Colledge

Gatsby Evening, The Rockliffe Suite, Rockliffe Hall, Hurworth Below > Eddie Jones, Sasha Gibbs, Hayley Walters, Nicholas Fletcher-Holmes

Below > Christina Nicols, Ann Greer, Anne Thorogood Above > Anne Wagner, Peter Wagner

Above > Debbie Greer, Val Ramshaw, Lynn Ryan

Above > Megan Wilburn, Evie Jenkinson

Below > Gina Hobson, Charlotte Blyth

Below > Debbie Gibbs, Pauline Packer

Below > Penny Johnson, Maxine Martin

Above > Peter Martin, Ray Johnson, Henry Johnson Above > Neil Bendelow, Susan Thomas



Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ball/Grocer Aid, Marriot Gosforth Park, Newcastle Below > Neil Grimshaw, Tracey Thomason, Sarah Summers, Howard Pincock

Below > Robert Mussett, Liam Lonsdale, Matthew Scotney, Paul Kemp, Stephen Brown

Butterwick Hospice Boro Legends Sportsmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dinner, Middlesbrough Football Club, Riverside Stadium Below > Patricia Boynton, Jeff Winter

Above > Debbie Coulson, Andy Campbell, Courtney Jones

Above > Luke Wilson, Terry Brett, Steve Bulmer, Dexter Gardner

Above > Andy Morrison, Susan Urwin, Paul Urwin

Below > David Warren, Irene Rickman, Bob Cheeseman

Below > Katy Connelly, Elaine Sambrook

Above > Alan Peacock, Maureen Thompson Above > Teresa Carling, Sharon Starkey

Below > Steve Vickers, Peter Kenyon, Mark Proctor

Below > Geoff Hill, Sue Hill

Above > Mary Gallagher, Michelle Pankhurst

Above > Sean Nolan, Sian Nolan Below > Ann Callaghan, Elsie Cornish

Above > Sian Pomfret, Chris Pomfret

Above > Roger Thompson, Julie Thompson, Angela Carter, Steve Carter

Burns Night Supper, Wynyard Hall Below > Martin Wright, Allison Abbott, Christine Robertson, Norbert Tinjod

Below > Pauline Nealy, Paul Nealy

Below > Gaynor Crawford, Chantel Brown

Above > Steve Welch, Helen Welch Above > Marjorie Insley, Mervyn Insley

Above > Linda Sammons, Nigel Sammons



SUBSCRIBE North East Ladies’ Day Afternoon Tea, Acklam Hall, Middlesbrough Below > Katherine Craven, Sue Kendall, Denise Kirkbride, Susan Andrews

give the gift of luxe

Above > Adrienne Stark, Hilary Maddren-Robson Below > Adele Lock, Susan Bramley, Catherine Devereux

Above > Jacqui Corney, Alison Bonavia

Above > Coleen Mercer-Quinn, Pauline Chapman

ARE YOUR FRIENDS MISSING OUT ON LUXE? Below > Jane Davary, Judith Glover


Above > Kathryn McClaren, Carolanne Campbell


Above > Helen Staples, Natalie Lowes, Claire Glass


luxe magazine


Yasmin Gibson Masquerade Ball, Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Hurworth




Below > Mark Farnworth, Maxine Farnworth, Louise Farnworth

Above > Chloe Race, Emma Horner Harker, Olivia Glen Below > Maxine Farnworth, Candice Gibson, Yasmin Gibson

Above > Yasmin Gibson

Below > Donna Morgan, Jack Morgan, Delia Allaway, David Allaway ISSUE 51 MAR/APR18

B R IA N B L E SSE D TA L K S. Sp r i n g s t y l e . G E N E R AT I O N AG E L E SS. Fi s h f a b u l o u s . PO O C H E S. R h u b a r b r i c h e s . C OA STA L I N T E R I O R S. Pa r t y p e o p l e . W E L L N E S S WATC H . Cu l t u re d a t e s . T E SL A T R I P. Lu xe l a p s . H I P H OT E L S. Bi g n a m e s . LU XE .

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Above > Andrew Gibson, Camilla Gibson

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Promising a stylish snapshot of life in the North East. All year. Subscribe at: or call 0191 500 7860 97


Breathe>> Blissful blooms are getting us in the mood for springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s burst of nature. Delicate orchids shot by Nicky Gibson @




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*All quotes based on £1,500 +deposit followed by 47 further monthly payments of £349.99 commencing in month 2. All by Direct Debit. Based on personal contract hire, non-maintained. All rentals and excess mileage rates are inclusive of VAT and are subject to vehicle availability, credit approval, manufacturer’s price changes, volume related bonus and purchase through Volvo Car Leasing. Supplier Network, with a mileage of 8,000 miles per annum. Vehicle returned must be in good condition and within agreed mileage, otherwise further charges will be incurred. Excess Mileage 7.56p per mile, 10.08p per mile > 5,000 miles. In the event of cancellation of an order, you will be liable for such costs to be confirmed to you in writing. All other terms and conditions are as per the Master Hire Agreement or Customer Agreement between yourselves and Volvo Car Leasing. Prices correct at the time of going to print, are subject to change without notice and do not take into account any variation to government taxes or charges arising after date of publication. Subject to availability at participating dealers for vehicles ordered on or before 31st March 2018 or while stocks last. Not available with other promotions. Volvo Car Leasing Contract Hire is Provided by Lex Autolease Ltd, trading as Volvo Car Leasing, incorporated and registered in England with company number 1090741 & registered office at 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Car shown for illustration purposes only.

Luxe Issue 51 Mar/Apr 18  
Luxe Issue 51 Mar/Apr 18