Luxe Issue 74 - Mar/Apr 22

Page 1

£5.00 luxe magazine


772042 193002

7 4

2042-1931 ISSN



T R AVE L H E RO I N E . Fl o r a l f ashi o n. P LOT TO P L ATE D INING . Hot property. KIDS & E D U CAT I O N . Wedd i ng i ns pi r at i o n. INTER IOR S EX PERTS. Recipe id e a s . D E SI G N E R L I V I N G . Beaut i f ul s pri ng. G OL F G URU. Luxury holidays. C OAS TA L STAYC AT I O N S . Bi g names . LUX E.





2-COURSES £14.95 3-COURSES £17.95




contents 6>> Do this Your spring guide to all things cultural

14>> 10 things Luxe loves What we’re loving this season

18>> That’s a wrap And just like that, we’re welcoming the most colourful, vibrant and optimistic season of them all. As we step into spring, we embrace brighter days and lighter nights, we say hello to gardens in full bloom - and we’re hopefully leaving behind the blustering winds of the storms that blew our way. As daffodils become our go-to pick-me-up, the mornings feel easier and sandals start making a comeback, we know that spring has arrived. With it comes an abundance of hope, positivity and a fresh outlook for the season ahead. So, as we edge away from the cosy log fires and swap our favourite roll neck jumpers for lighter layers, I invite you to step into the land of Luxe where our pages are filled with springtime happiness and positivity aplenty. We’re covering everything from home decor, fashion must-haves and travel inspiration, to mouthwatering food reviews and the lowdown on what’s going on in the region. Not to mention a special splash on all things weddings, interviews with some of the region’s most talented people and a sit down with a very special Dame. All of that, plus our brilliant Education Edit - a supplement to enlighten you on the North East’s leading education establishments, packed with top tips, inspiration and must-have products. With that in mind, sit back, relax and enjoy our jam-packed issue.

Newcastle playwright, actor and director, Chris Connel

22>> Travel queen Inspirational businesswoman Dame Irene Hays CBE

26>> In full bloom Dame Irene Hays CBE is owner of the UK’s largest independent travel agent, Hays Travel. Our cover story in this issue of Luxe, this inspirational businesswoman tells us about her passion for supporting young people and the community, her obvious love for travel and the challenges she’s faced in the last two years. Her luxe things in life include: spending time with family and friends, reading and exploring the world.

EDITORIAL Claudia Robinson head of content Nicole Wood Johnathan Ramsay Matthew Thomas

32>> Going retro A North East designer’s future looks just peachy

36>> Beauty update Our favourite products this spring

44>> It’s gin up north A tour around some of the region’s distilleries

48>> Tea treats for Mother’s Day Some of the best afternoon teas to take mum to

52>> Let’s talk Turkey Inspiration for your next luxurious holiday in the sun

54>> Escape to Northumberland Some of Coquet Cottages’ best staycation homes

56>> Living local Spend a day exploring Corbridge

58>> I do A round up of the North East’s ultimate wedding venues

62>> Hot property

Remember to check in with us online at See us on social at: Twitter: @TheLuxeMagazine Instagram: @theluxemagazine Facebook: @luxemag

THE LUXE TEAM Christopher March publisher

Floral fashion by The Vampire’s Wife

A special tour around an idyllic North East home

66>> Pretty in pink Spring time interiors in delicate hues North East native, Chris Connel, has been an actor and presenter for over 30 years. His long and successful career has brought him back to where it all began, Live Theatre. When he’s not busy writing and directing, he can be found enjoying his luxe things in life which are: a good cup of coffee, the sea and spending time with his wife and son.

68>> Perfectly imperfect Designer Hannah Harriet gets creative with concrete

76>> Stitches that last a lifetime A North East business breathing new life into old fashion

Scan our QR code and keep up-to-date with the latest luxe moments.

SALES Debi Coldwell director PHOTOGRAPHY Kevin Gibson Nicky Rogerson DESIGN David Stubbs creative director Euan Underwood Our partners

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

Allies Group Ltd, Enterprise House, Kingsway, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, NE11 OSR All contents copyright ©2022 Allies Group Ltd. All rights reserved. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies, howsoever caused. No liability can be accepted for illustrations, photographs, artwork or advertising materials while in transmission or with the publisher or their agents. All information is correct at time of going to print, February 2022.

Local clothing designer, Jenni Healy, is the owner of up and coming fashion brand Peach Eyes. Her luxe things in life are: going out for dinner with her partner, indulging in savoury goodies - cheese and olives are her go-to - and treating herself to a gorgeous bunch of fresh flowers every week.

luxe is published bi-monthly by Allies Group Ltd




LUXE LOVES Tremendous timepiece Style meets sophistication with the unisex Panerai Luminor Piccolo Due watch. Wrapping around the wrist with a striking red alligator leather strap and a stainless steel fastening, engraved with the famous Panerai logo. £5,500,



What Will You Build? Forget ordinary. Whether you want a unique size, fabric, filling or finish, the choice is yours at Delcor. What will you build?

Made by Delcor in Northumberland to your bespoke requirements | 24 month 0% payment plan available 50 year frame guarantee* | Over 10,000 fabrics and hundreds of designs to choose from. Come and visit our Northumberland showroom at Delcor House, Double Row, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, NE25 0PR Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm Sunday: 11am – 5pm. Call 0191 237 1303 or visit us online at

*Visit our website for full terms and conditions.


Luxe reads

Stay in >> go out >> enjoy Emily Harrison guides us through a jam-packed cultural calendar for the months ahead…

To Celebrate International Women’s Day this March, Emily Harrison rounds up some of our favourite books by female authors POWERFUL >> Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo This thought-provoking novel, set in modernday Britain, explores womanhood through 12 individual perspectives. All the women we meet are of different ages, opposing socio-economic backgrounds and class divisions. Each storyline is intertwined, meaning the characters cross paths in the narrative. The story is gritty and emotional, taking the reader on an eye-opening journey of other people’s self-discovery, making it clear to see why Evaristo’s novel won her the Booker Prize in 2019. HARD-HITTING >> The Mars Room By Rachel Kushner This novel follows Romy Hall through two consecutive life sentences in a women’s correctional facility. Kushner focuses on showing the reality of her protagonist’s life – her struggles in and out of prison, the life she led before and how resilient she is overall. The novel puts bad decision making into context and at times it is very difficult to read; however throughout Kushner’s portrayal of Romy, the novel explores the realness and rawness of an individual’s fight for survival. WITTY >> Ghosts By Dolly Alderton Alderton’s novel is jam-packed with relatable fiction surrounding family, relationships and what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. Nina Dean is in her early 30s, navigating her way through life when she meets Max. Instantly, Nina is convinced her luck is finally changing and that love could be on the horizon for her. Alderton takes us on a whirlwind journey filled with big and small life choices, taking the reader on a light-hearted journey of discovery. THOUGHT-PROVOKING >> Beloved By Toni Morrison Award-winning author Toni Morrison’s much-loved novel follows the story of Sethe, uncovering her journey from slavery to freedom and being held captive by memories. The novel is poetic and heart-felt, full of history and legend, taking the reader on a powerful journey surrounding womanhood and how memories can creep up into the present and haunt you. The story is thought-provoking and intense, displaying heavy themes of dehumanisation and what it means to be a black woman during difficult moments in history, but also in the present day.


UNTIL 24 MARCH 18 MARCH - 1 APRIL Head to Newcastle’s Life Science Centre with your young creators and crafters this March and April and watch them experiment with science, art, meet others with similar hobbies and pick up some brand-new skills - perfect for kids who want to explore the world of invention in their spare time. This event is free to attend and will run on a couple of Friday evenings between 5:30pm and 7:30pm. Head to the centre’s website for more information and to buy tickets in advance.



Do you fancy escaping the norms of day-to-day life and exploring nature this March? This wellbeing workshop at Broompark is perfect for you. The event is designed for participants to have a day full of mindfulness, helping to restore balance in the mind, body and spirit. It will involve a lot of nature-based activities for people to truly switch off from the noise in a supportive and safe atmosphere. Search ‘Spring Awakening: A nature-based wellbeing workshop’ on Eventbrite for more information on this truly uplifting, good-for-the-soul event in County Durham this March. A must-attend!

19 & 20 MARCH With weddings really starting to get back into full swing after a continuous run of cancellations, we know a lot of people will be in the dark about how and where to kickstart planning for their big day. The Northern Wedding Show at the Utilita Arena is returning this spring for another spectacular weekend of exhibitions hosted by Belle Events. There will be more than 100 exhibitors attending, hoping to lure you in with their luxury wedding venue options, stylists, extravagant cakes and much, much more. Visitors will also have the opportunity to win a special honeymoon in the five-star resort of Carrossa in Mallorca. Whether you’re a bride and groom-to-be, a bridesmaid or you’re just looking for a little bit of inspiration for a loved one - this event is a must to help you start ticking off your to-do list this spring.

Wedding fanatics are in for a treat! An exhibition of wedding dress design through the decades is taking place at Newcastle Cathedral until the end of March. There will be guided tours showcasing gorgeous gowns collected through the decades - some handmade, others borrowed and rejuvenated. What’s more? Fans of Downton Abbey will be excited to hear that there is a copy of Crawleys’ Downton Tiara and wedding gown displayed, which was originally worn in Northumberland in 1898. The exhibition is free to attend and will run until 24 March 2022.



If one day seems too short and sweet for you, The Sociable Summit are offering a full weekend designed to let you re-energise and relax in nature during March. Taking place in the heart of Northumberland, the wellness retreat will be full of walks along Hadrian’s Wall, yoga in the great outdoors and nourishing meditations guided by Alison Tuck. The two-day event will offer accommodation and breakfast, giving participants the chance to fully switch off and immerse themselves in nature.





Looking for something super special for mum this Mother’s Day? Beamish Hall have a double-whammy of spectacular celebration opportunities this Mothering Sunday. Either book in for an indulgent three-course meal with your family in one of their beautiful suites, or relax in the well-loved Stables restaurant, where you’ll be able to wine and dine the lady in your life. Head over to the Beamish Hall website for more information on menus and availability this March.

THROUGHOUT MARCH & APRIL Head down to Tynemouth Metro Station at 9am each weekend and you will be met with an abundance of exciting stalls. The station is always bustling with crowds seeking out vintage clothing items, second-hand books and unique art pieces. The station is well-covered to protect people from April showers, and it’s free to attend. All of that, plus the market always has availability for extra stalls to rent out, so if you have always wanted to try your hand at selling handmade necklaces, freshly baked cookies or old vinyl records, check it out. Tynemouth Market is a weekend must!



What’s On 2022: Spanish City’s unmissable events

Music lovers listen up! Stereophonics are set to celebrate their 25th year in music and the band are returning to the Utilita Arena for a special show this March. It’s the perfect opportunity to hear new album ‘Oochya!’, which is set to be released at the beginning of the month. Lead singer and guitarist Kelly Jones wants fans to fully embrace the new album and enjoy the tour with a blast of energy! Secure your tickets on the arena’s website today.

From a Dinner with The North-East King of Swing Jason-Isaacs to Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea with Jazz - and even a Comedy Drag Night - Spanish City has created a calendar that’s bursting full of events. Find out more below. Just a stone’s throw away from the Whitley Bay coastline lies the multi-awardwinning Spanish City. Home to the UK’s No. 1 Fish & Chips Restaurant, Trenchers, 1910 Steak & Seafood Fine-Dining Restaurant, Valerie’s Tearoom and The Champagne Bar, Spanish City also has a stunning Function Room, the St Mary’s Lighthouse Suite. Spanish City’s upcoming events include Dawn Marie’s Elite Wedding Show (Sunday 20th March), Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea with Jazz (Sunday 27th March), Comedy Drag Night with Amandah Hart (Saturday 14th May), The King of Rock: Elvis Presley Tribute Night (Friday 10th June) and Prince of Pop: Michael Jackson Tribute (Friday 12th August). Exceptional food and service are guaranteed when attending Spanish City events. Expect the taste of luxury as its team of expert chefs create dishes that are guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds. All Tribute Nights and Comedy Drag Nights will also include Spanish City’s resident DJ, so be sure to bring your dancing shoes and get ready to dance the night away.

Book now: call 0191 691 7090 or visit for more information



31 MARCH A night at Grantley Hall is a must for your spring agenda. The stunning venue is opening its doors for a night at Valeria’s in association with Tanqueray. Guests will receive a welcome drink, alongside live entertainment and a DJ until the early hours. The Spirit of Spring event will see expert mixologists creating a special cocktail menu for guests - and you can even upgrade your ticket to get an exclusive private booth, which comes with a bottle of champagne. A super luxe event this spring!



Beatles fans, listen up. One of the UK’s leading tribute bands is taking to the Darlington Hippodrome stage this April and you will not want to miss it. This authentic production will bring all the classic hits to life, performing ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Let It Be’, ‘Love Me Do’, amongst so many others. Watch the magic of the 60s and 70s music scene come to life as the group transports audiences to ‘Beatles Mania’! The members have reinvented the most popular songs, making this event the most unforgettable Beatles night of the year. Pop it in your diaries and get ready for the ultimate musical throwback!

9 - 10 APRIL Calling all bookworms! Morpeth Book Festival takes place in April, with a full weekend dedicated to inspiring literature, in partnership with Northumberland Libraries. The event will see award-winning writers and poets perform live on stage. There will be multiple public events taking place across the two days where both leading and emerging writers will contribute to talks and ‘meet the author’ sessions. This is the first time this event has taken place, with authors such as Ann Cleeves and Trevor Wood attending. All of that, plus a whole host of children’s workshops in the programme, meaning there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at Morpeth Book Festival!


Join our friends at Sunderland Empire this April for a special production of the much-loved Disney classic, Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Follow the Rawlins children during wartime as they embark on a magical journey, full of spells and adventure, and watch them create new friendships along the way! You don’t want to miss this sparkling show, with original songs by the Sherman Brothers and lyrics by Neil Bartram, it will be a night to remember for the whole family. Cast members include West End stars Charles Brunton and Dianne Pilkington, who appeared in Les Misérables and Mamma Mia! Tickets are available via ATG tickets now. Get ready to believe in the magic of theatre this April!



For the first time ever this April, an all-vegan market will be setting up within the centre of Newcastle, taking place on Grainger Street with over 40 stalls ready to explore. The event will host a variety of different food vendors, brewers, jewellers and bakers and it is not something that should be missed. The market has been travelling across the UK in different cities for months, attracting thousands of foodies and shoppers each time. The event is free for visitors and all products will be sustainable and ethical. What’s not to love?

Cracking Easter events in the North East We’re rounding up some of the finest family-friendly Easter events in the region - from egg trails to arts and crafts events, there is bound to be something that everyone can join in with this April!



Fancy getting crafty and having a go at wreath making this spring? The South Causey Inn is offering not one, but two Easter workshops to help unleash your creative side! With guidance from expert floral designers, this crafts session will allow you to experiment with a variety of methods and materials. Tickets are available to purchase now, so if you feel like getting a bit creative this Easter, the Farmhouse at the South Causey Inn might just be the place to be.

17 & 18 APRIL

Take a wander through 25 acres of beautiful scenery at Durham’s Botanic Gardens this Easter and there might be some chicks hiding and waiting for you. All you need to do is head to the kiosk and pick up a spotter sheet, before working your way around the garden, looking for as many chicks as possible. The perfect event to get the whole family out and about over the Easter break - you might even like to challenge your chums and create a bit of healthy competition between friends and family!

15 - 18 APRIL

Located in South Shields, Souter Lighthouse is putting on an Easter adventure for the whole family. Everyone involved will be asked to use their senses whilst exploring the coastal park and picking up nature clues along the way. There will be a trail map included, as well as an activity sheet and crafts to use at home. What’s more? Once you and your family have completed the Easter trail, there will be a chocolate egg waiting for you at the end. An outdoor walk and a yummy reward, that is what Easter is all about!



The Lindisfarne Gospels 17 September – 3 December 2022 See the spectacular Anglo-Saxon manuscript and explore what it means in today’s world

Tickets released 10am, 20 March Headline sponsor:

Admission charge applies

In partnership with

Supported by:

Sponsored by:

New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AG Monument Image: (Crop) Carpet page for Gospel of John, Lindisfarne Gospels, c. 700 (Cotton MS Nero D IV) (c) British Library Board

Half Page Luxe Magazine W216mm x H157mm.qxp_Layout 1 17/02/2022 10:51 Page 1

LUXURY treehouses Taking luxury to new heights

New A-Frame Treehouses are now available to book at Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa, complete with private hot tub and sauna – the ultimate in Treehouse luxury.

Each A-Frame Treehouse includes: First floor master bedroom with 7ft Hypnos bed & large flat screen TV Ground Floor luxury pull-down 5ft bed Master en-suite with free-standing copper bath & walk-in rainfall shower Ground floor bathroom with rainfall shower Ground floor decadent lounge with large flat-screen TV Pet friendly, perfect for families Private sauna & hot tub on the decking

Kitchen with American style fridge/freezer, microwave, toaster & kettle Private decked outdoor area Shuttle service to and from the hotel Tulipalo fire in the lounge Swimming pool & gym access (full access upgrades available to purchase) Discounted rates on our two Championship golf courses

We have 8 luxury Treehouses, with our new A-Frame styles available to book now at 0191 386 5282

Ramside Hall Hotel Golf & Spa Carrville Durham DH1 1TD





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






1. Observatory Hill Durham, Matt Walker - @mattjwphoto 2. Nature at Thorp Arch, Mark Stanbow - @mstanbow 3. Angel of the North, Andy Carlisle - @carlisleandy 4. Infinity Bridge, Simon Mccabe - @simonmccabe5 5. Tynemouth Priory and Castle, Zoe Bright - @zoezozeeb 6. Holy Island, Vicky Beaney - @MackemLife_ 7. Nature at Whitburn Windmill, Donna Taylor - @_photography_taylor_



Milan, Italy

Time for somewhere new? You can now access some brand new city breaks and popular holiday destinations from Newcastle International Airport, including Milan, Riga, Zadar, Chania, Krakow and many more. Reignite your passion for travel and explore somewhere new, thanks to Ryanair’s great value fares. Milan, Italy Home to some of the most iconic names in the fashion industry, Milan is suitably bursting with luxury brands, boutiques, and vintage stores. Yet there is so much more to discover in this chic, cultural hub. Take in stunning attractions such as the Duomo with its breathtaking Gothic style architecture, combine shopping and sightseeing with a visit to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and admire the picturesque Arco della Pace, dating back to 1807. What better way to unwind after an action packed day of sightseeing, than with a traditional aperitivo. Sit back and soak up exquisite scenery accompanied by mouth watering Milanese cuisine courtesy of the fabulous range of restaurants on offer in this delectable city. Flights from Newcastle to Milan start from March 2022 with Ryanair. Chania, Crete The beautiful town of Chania is a glorious gem that adorns the coastal crown of Crete. If you are looking for a picture perfect paradise, the beautiful beaches here won’t disappoint. With soft unspoilt sand and crystal waters you can guarantee Instagram envy will ensue once these snaps grace your grid. Discover stunning deserted coves and secluded bays, providing blissful privacy and complete, uninterrupted relaxation.

Chania, Crete

Galešnjak Island, Croatia

Buzzing with charm and bursting with a rich history, there’s so much to see and do, aside from the outstanding coastline. Explore museums, churches and monasteries or enjoy a relaxing stroll along the old Venetian harbour, lined with colourful buildings, shops and eateries. Flights from Newcastle to Chania start from March 2022 with Ryanair. Krakow, Poland It’s easy to fall in love with Krakow. As one of Poland’s oldest cities, you can expect an impressive offering of attractions, including castles, world class monuments and cathedrals, as well as the stunning Old Town, which has earned the prestigious status as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take a leisurely stroll through the Old Town’s magnificent medieval market square, visit the Cloth Hall or wind up the Town Hall Tower for breathtaking views of Krakow. As night falls, a fabulous range of lively bars, clubs and restaurants are guaranteed to deliver a fantastic night out, and it’s all within a convenient 2 and a half hour flight. Flights with Ryanair start from March 2022. Riga, Latvia The largest of the Baltic capitals, Riga is a great choice for an action packed, yet affordable break. With outstanding architecture, a rich

Krakow, Poland history, and a buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Boasting the world’s largest collection of Art Nouveau architecture as well as UNESCO World Heritage Site status, you’ll discover stunning buildings at every turn, such as the distinctive Town Hall and the House of Blackheads in Town Hall Square. Old and new blend beautifully in this cosmopolitan city, due to a youthful, creative undercurrent producing art, trendy bars and experimental restaurants. Riga has it all. Flights from Newcastle to Riga start from March 2022 with Ryanair.

Zadar, Croatia Escape the summer crowds and discover the enchanting city of Zadar. This lesser known port has a relaxed vibe, making it the perfect choice for a recharging break. Set on the beautiful Dalmatian coast, you can expect spectacular beaches with the added bonus of Zadar Archipelago, a collection of breathtaking islands and islets, including the mystical, heart shaped Galešnjak island. Flights from Newcastle to Zadar start from March 2022 with Ryanair. Find out more at newcastleairport. com/discover or scan the QR code.


Sweet charity Doing good things in the North East, our charity round-up A RETURNING SUCCESS >>

GENEROUS DONATIONS >> Despite the challenges that many people have faced during the pandemic, it didn’t stop kind-hearted Wearsiders supporting a range of local charities. More than £60,000 worth of cash and kind donations were made via a number of campaigns run at the Bridges over the Christmas period. Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, praised centre visitors for their big-heartedness. “We know the people of Sunderland are always very generous but we were also mindful of what a tough time people have had in the last two years. So to hear from these amazing organisations that not only have they done as well as previous years but in some cases better, is fantastic and a real tribute to the kind-hearted people we have in the city,” she said.

The popular Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race - which starts and finishes at The Blackbird - returned in January 2022 after being cancelled last year due to pandemic restrictions. This year’s event was the most successful in its history, with a record turnout and more than £3,000 raised for St Oswald’s Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home. A fantastic 43 teams showed up to take part in the event, which is a tradition in the village. Stuart Young of the Northumberland Pub Company, which operates The Blackbird, was delighted to see the event return. “St Oswald’s Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home are two very worthy causes and it is brilliant to be able to do our bit towards raising some much needed funds to help them continue with all of their good work,” he said. Philip Peacock, chairman of the Ponteland 41 Club – which organises the race alongside the Ponteland Rugby Club – said: “After the cancellation of last year’s Wheelbarrow Race due to covid, we were extremely pleased to be able to go ahead with this year’s event. It proved to be a very successful event and I would like to thank our partners Ponteland Rugby Club and The Blackbird, together with all the volunteers for their considerable help.”

RAISING AWARENESS >> Every April, we celebrate World Autism Month, beginning with World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April. This year marks the 15th annual World Autism Awareness Day and the brilliant charity, Autism Speaks is dedicated to raising awareness and increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism and their families. Whether you have autism, love someone who does, or are looking for ways to support, you can get involved with Autism Speaks’ jam-packed campaign to help make the world a kinder, more accepting place. Head online and visit Autism Speaks’ website to find out more information on how you can get involved.

AFTERNOON TEA RAISES £15,000 >> A special afternoon tea event at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead has raised a fabulous £15,000 for Business Beats Cancer. The charity, which is part of Cancer Research UK, brings together the North East business community in the fight against cancer with all money raised staying in the region to fund lifesaving research and clinical trials. Sponsored by Pepperells Solicitors, the afternoon tea event was attended by 150 guests who all dug deep to help raise much needed funds for a worthy cause – with special thanks to Lilburn Estates Farming Partnership who made a significant donation of £2,500.


GREAT MINDS >> Leading North East care, leisure and property business, Malhotra Group plc, has chosen Tyneside and Northumberland MIND as its nominated charity for 2022. MIND offers one-to-one support, groups and counselling to those experiencing mental health problems. Malhotra Group plc has a range of fundraising activities planned involving staff and customers throughout the coming year. Atul Malhotra, COO, said: “We will, of course, aim to raise funds and awareness of Tyneside and Northumberland MIND and the excellent work and services they provide to our local community. But we also hope to draw on their expertise to develop our understanding and awareness as a group, of mental health and the sort of issues that affect everyone’s life in some capacity.” Alex Wilson, CEO of Tyneside and Northumberland MIND said “Having such a successful and recognisable business supporting us in our Charity of the Year Programme is an exciting opportunity for us.”


On Sunday 17 April, an Easter fun run will be taking place at South Park in Darlington to raise funds for St Teresa’s Hospice. Whether you’re an avid runner, jogger or walker, the 5k run is open to everyone of all ages and of all abilities. Easter fancy dress is optional, but everyone participating will receive a medal and an Easter Egg for the hard work and effort they have put in to raise money for this worthy cause. If you’d like to get involved, it’s not too late to head online and register your interest.

FANTASTIC FUNDING >> Smart Works Newcastle has secured a £20,000 grant from The Postcode Neighbourhood Trust after the employment rate of North East women declined by 3% since the start of the pandemic. The charity which was set up to give women the confidence they need to secure employment has ambitious growth plans to double the number of unemployed women that the charity supports. The grant will enable Smart Works Newcastle to engage more referral partners, in turn bringing more women to the service to help them back into employment. Smart Works Newcastle Service Delivery Manager Helen Boyd said: “We are absolutely delighted to be supported with a grant of £20,000 from The Postcode Neighbourhood Trust. Contributing to our core costs and growth plans, this funding will enable us to support more women from across the North East into employment and financial independence. This is a real boost for the charity, and will help us to keep taking our organisation from strength to strength.”

PAWS AND PROSECCO The Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter recently welcomed 180 animal lovers to its Annual Paws and Prosecco Black Tie Ball. Guests were dressed to impress and keen to support the cause of the promotion of kindness and prevention of cruelty to animals. In celebration of its 125th birthday, attendees were treated to a shelter fashion show, the witty Miss Rory and a jaw dropping auction which included a trip to The Close House Villa in Mallorca, A Mappin & Webb custom diamond pendant including lunch with the Crown Jeweller, and a Falcon Rugby Club Private BBQ experience. With the help of the event committee, local businesses, and generous guests the shelter raised an incredible £41,148.


leon SNaow

At Tecaz we love to give the opportunity for you to see and touch a range of bathrooms or kitchens before you decide to purchase. Our showrooms feature over 200 bathrooms, 100 showers and 50 kitchen displays, you're sure to find what you are looking for. • Winter sale, up to 60% off! • Well known & trusted brands

Pure Inspiration Norham Road, North Shields, NE29 7TN • Tel : 0191 257 6511 Portrack Lane, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 2HG • Tel: 01642 670 100 Tecaz Echo House, Pennywell Ind Est, SR4 9EN • Tel : 0191 534 7733 Opening hours: • Monday - Friday : 9am - 6pm • Saturday : 9am - 5pm • Sunday 10am - 4pm •

• Biggest showrooms in the North East • FREE computer aided design, planning & Survey • Free Silestone or Granite worktops on Signature rigid built kitchens • Over 250 bathroom & Shower suites and 50 kitchens on display at each store • Over 35 years experience


In Our Basket >> THE CURVARELLA CHERRY PINK VELVET CHAIR Whether it’s a complete makeover or lifting a space with bright accessories, there’s something about spring that calls for a new look. This Curvarella Cherry Pink Velvet Chair from AUDENZA is sitting high on the wish list and for good reason. The rich cherry pink velvet is utterly divine, with a soft, tactile finish and the gold metal legs add an extra hint of style and sophistication. Whether it’s a quiet spot to read your favourite book, a conservatory must-have or a dressing room staple, this gorgeous chair makes for a great statement piece. £785,

Listening to >>

10 things luxe loves

TEACH ME A LESSON WITH GREG JAMES AND BELLA MACKIE Let’s go back to school! This brilliant podcast by husband and wife duo Greg James and Bella Mackie, seeks out the best teachers and celebrity guests to answer all-important life lessons. Questions such as ‘should we believe in love at first sight?’, ‘how can we move to the moon?’ and ‘how much should you wee on a jellyfish sting?’ are all answered in this hilarious podcast. Expect insider knowledge, lots of laughs and plenty of ‘oh my goodness, I never knew that’ moments.

Reading >> LOCK EVERY DOOR BY RILEY SAGER If you’re prepared to be sat on the edge of your seat and sleep with the lights on, then this page-turner by Riley Sager is a must read. Lock Every Door follows the story of recently heartbroken and practically homeless Jules Larson, who accepts a new job as an apartment sitter at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious homes to the rich and famous. But when her new and only friend mysteriously vanishes, our main character realises she’s involved in something much more sinister. It’s everything a thriller fan looks for in a book - a well crafted read packed with suspense and unpredictability.

10 things Luxe is loving this season... Compiled by Nicole Wood Dreaming of >>

GUINOT FACIALS FROM DANU STUDIOS There’s simply nothing dreamier than shaking off your shoes, climbing into the heated bed and being tucked into the duvet at Danu Studios. Treatment aside, this process alone is enough to help you relax and unwind. Recently indulging in my fair share of treatments here, I am yet to find one I am not obsessed with. From lashes, eyebrow treatments and massages, to microneedling, dermaplaning and more, the lovely ladies here have got all your beauty needs covered. As the weather begins to change and we welcome spring, our skin can start crying out for a bit of TLC. Cue the Guinot Facials. This dreamy range is perfect for revitalising your skin and delivering glowing results. The Guinot Hydradermie in particular is one worth mentioning. This treatment is adapted to each person’s unique skin needs, whether that’s concerns with dull complexion, acne, anti-ageing etc., all products are carefully selected during the facial to complement and help you look and feel your best ‘you’, delivering radiant results along the way.


Kitchen Inspo >> CUISINART CORDLESS 4-IN-1 AUTOMATIC WINE OPENER Sitting back with a glass of the good stuff has never been more appealing thanks to this nifty device. This stylish automatic wine opener will open your favourite bottles with ease - sensing, removing and ejecting the cork in a single action - no need to struggle with the corkscrew ever again. Kitted out with all the accessories you need for opening, pouring and storing your wine, this 4-in-1 gadget also comes with an aerator, which can be inserted into your opened bottle to oxidise wine for improved flavour as you pour as well as a vacuum sealer with a date marker to preserve the freshness of any unfinished wine. £80,



Perfect Scent >> TIME TO SMILE PURE ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND Perfect for spring, this uplifting essential oil blend will revitalise the mind and boost happiness. A harmonious blend of nine essential oils, it features mood-boosting lemon, cedarwood and sweet orange. Defined by a light, uplifting aroma to promote happiness and balance, it is perfect for use in the morning to wake up the senses and set you up for a positive day ahead. Suitable for vaporising, inhalation, in a diffuser, the bath or mixed with a carrier oil for massage, this dreamy formula will become a staple within your home and your self-care routine. 10ml, £20,

Pampering with >> ELEMIS PEPTIDE4 PLUMPING PILLOW FACIAL Wake up to a radiant, younger-looking complexion thanks to Elemis’ Peptisde4 Plumping Pillow Facial. When we fall asleep at night, our body temperature tends to rise which results in a loss of hydration as our body goes into repair and recovery mode. This super-cooling gel mask works to combat this, sealing in hydrating actives throughout the night, fighting the visible signs of tired, dull skin. 50ml, £52,

Watching >> BRIDGERTON Don your finest gown, pick out your silk gloves and practice your curtsey... the romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted Bridgerton series is back for season two. If you didn’t binge watch your way through season one, think Pride and Prejudice meets Gossip Girl. The high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown follows The Ton on their look for love - in particular Daphne Bridgerton and the rebellious Duke of Hastings. However, as we get ready for another promenade, this season’s focus will follow Viscount Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma. Ready and waiting for the romance and scandal to unfold…

Following >> Living by >>

“You make a life out of what you have, not what you’re missing.” - Kate Morton


@THEFOLDINGLADY Crank your organisational skills up a notch with this seriously addictive, super satisfying and extremely useful Instagram account. Sophie Liard is the brains behind The Folding Lady account, and she is, to put it simply, the queen of hacks, tips and tricks when it comes to folding and organising. Get lost in this corner of Instagram, scrolling and uncovering need-to-know kitchen hacks, storage ideas and the best ways to fold your underwear, pjs, baby clothes, and more. Oh, and fitted bed sheets - yes, apparently it is possible!


GET TO KNOW and a bubble bath, other times I’m ready to let my hair down and grab a cocktail with a friend. LESSONS IN LIFE >> What did you want to be when you were growing up? Funnily enough I actually did achieve my childhood dream. My father was a doctor and I always aspired to be a nurse so that I could help people. By the age of 25 I had not only achieved this but was a junior sister in the casualty ward. My life took a different direction when I started helping out with some medical brand awareness and discovered my love for PR. What is the most important lesson life has taught you? Life’s too short. Don’t hold grudges, don’t wait to make changes in your life, go on adventures and be in the moment. What is your greatest fear? Getting really sick. Which living person do you most admire and why? My friend and client, Dame Joan Collins. Her energy, zest for life and charitable endeavours are so admirable. Plus, she can run upstairs in high heels quicker than me!


Alex Silver GETTING TO KNOW YOU >> Name Alex Silver Title Founder and MD at Alex Silver PR Where is home? I live between my hometown of Newcastle and Belsize Park in London. Three reasons you love where you live? The name Belsize Park is derived from the French term ‘bel assis’ meaning ‘well situated’. It is surrounded by Hampstead Heath, Camden and Primrose Hill; three very different and exciting areas to explore.


I grew up in Gosforth, Newcastle and I always feel at home spending time here. THE DAY JOB >> What do you do for a living? I have been running my beauty PR agency for 25 years now and I am also Dame Joan Collins’s UK Publicist. A day in the life of you? It’s safe to say that no two days are the same. On any one day I could be hosting a breakfast press briefing, attending a red carpet dress fitting, dealing with urgent press requests, meeting with beauty

editors for lunch, pitching to new clients and attending an industry event in the evening… all whilst directing my team and tackling my very busy inbox! Any upcoming or ongoing projects we should know about? There’s always something exciting in the diary and it’s been a very special time for me because we’ve been celebrating our 25-year anniversary – our very own silver jubilee. What does downtime mean to you? Downtime to me varies – sometimes I like to switch off with a glass of wine, candles

LIVING LUXE >> What is top of your bucket list? I’d love to run a marathon and raise money for the homeless. I’ve always loved running. Growing up I was with Gosforth Harriers and ran for Northumberland County. What is your most treasured possession? I would have to say my mother’s necklace. It’s beautifully simple with a thin gold chain and single diamond pendant. Wearing it makes me feel close to her. What does the weekend mean to you? I love a well-rounded weekend - spending time with my teenage daughter and our new puppy, Bella. We love exploring new hotspots and recently went for a weekend away to Beadnell Towers on the Northumberland coast, which is a lovely dog-friendly place to stay. I loved the cute little touches they have for puppies and Bella even made it onto their ‘dog of the week’ post. It was also so sweet introducing her to the seaside town and watching her running along the beach. A memorable holiday? The South of France has always had my heart. There’s something so magical about the light there. I find it inspiring and energising. The beaches, the food and of course the wine! Many of my most blissful trips have been spent there. Best dress? I love Maje dresses. My current favourite is a classic LBD mini with a sweet diamante brooch. It’s perfect for parties. Who would be your top three dinner guests? Jane Austin, Nelson Mandela, Marlon Brando. The last place you ate? Gino D’Acampo’s restaurant on the Quayside in Newcastle. The last book you read? The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. It’s an old favourite of mine that I return to from time to time. The last thing you listened to? Adele’s, ‘Easy on Me’. The last thing you watched? I absolutely loved Maid, as not only was the acting fantastic, but the powerful themes the series addressed were both thoughtprovoking and incredibly important. Andie MacDowell and her daughter, Margaret Qualley, are enchanting on screen together. Three luxe things in life? Cashmere socks, Sancerre wine and oysters.



Inherently unfair?

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is widely viewed as unfair, and even the experts agree it’s complex: only effective and early planning can minimise its impact on your estate.

Currently, if your net estate is worth more than the standard nil-rate band of £325,000, 40p in tax is charged for every pound that exceeds the threshold; except that, broadly, if you leave your main residence to a lineal descendant, £175,000 is added to that nil-rate band. Unused elements of both allowances are transferrable on death to a surviving spouse or civil partner. The IHT regime has been criticised also for being discriminatory against those who do not own their own home, those who do not have children, and those who are

The fact is that with some careful planning, those with estates currently worth more than the nil-rate band can legitimately reduce their IHT liability, or possibly pay nothing at all.

not married or in a civil partnership. Even if there is potential to simplify IHT exemptions, it’s probably too much to hope that the tax will be scrapped. That said, several developed countries have abolished inheritance taxes to create simpler tax systems and encourage creation of wealth through investment and entrepreneurship. However, IHT in the UK is often referred to as a ‘voluntary tax’, and it does seem that inertia or ignorance is largely to blame for wealth ending up in the hands of the taxman rather than surviving family members. The fact is that with some careful planning, those with estates currently worth more than the nil-rate band can legitimately reduce their IHT liability, or possibly pay nothing at all. In your gift >> Gifts are normally included in the net estate for IHT purposes if they were made less than seven years before death. However, these gifts are ignored if they total less than £3,000 in any one tax year. This means that you can make gifts of up to £3,000 in total in any tax year without attracting IHT. The £3,000 can be given to one person or it can be split between several people. If the exemption is not used in one tax year, it can be carried forward to the next year, potentially enabling a couple to remove

£12,000 from their joint estate in just one tax year. That money could be used to help with the financial challenges faced by younger family members; for example, topping up a child’s pension or Junior ISA could go a long way to providing them with an invaluable head start in life. And for 2021/22, the Junior ISA allowance is £9,000. Those with sufficient surplus income may also want to take account of the ‘normal gifts out of income’ rule – if you make regular gifts out of income and in doing so don’t affect your standard of living, the gifts are exempt from IHT. However, to reduce the possibility of a disagreement with HMRC, it is wise to seek professional help from a financial adviser or accountant. While lifetime gifts can significantly reduce an IHT liability, it’s worth noting that if you don’t take time to write a valid Will, your estate will be handled according to the laws of intestacy. If you die intestate, you will have no control over how your estate is distributed, and rather than everything passing to a spouse or civil partner, a proportion could be transferred to descendants, triggering a potential IHT liability. If your children’s share is worth more than the individual IHT threshold, they could be liable to pay 40% tax on anything they inherit over that amount. This could be avoided by writing a Will that leaves assets worth up to the tax-free threshold of £325,000 to children, with the balance of the estate left to a surviving spouse. But there may be even better options, depending on circumstances, through the use of trusts.

Take advice >> IHT often falls on the ill-prepared and unadvised. That’s why it’s important to seek financial advice, so that all your assets are properly protected.

If you feel you could benefit from a financial review of your specific circumstances, I offer a no obligation review to meet your individual needs. This review could be via a zoom meeting, telephone call or face to face at a Covid-secure venue, at a time and location convenient to you. Please contact North Wealth Management on 0191 5482830 or email

North Wealth Management is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.




Nicole Wood sits down with actor, presenter - and now playwright and director - Chris Connel to discuss his latest venture…

That’s a wrap Chris Connel has been an actor and presenter for 30 years now. The Newcastle native who says he accidentally fell into drama at school, is now writing and directing his first play at Live Theatre in Newcastle, the venue that kick-started his acting career. “I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means. “Every time I walk into the Live Theatre it feels like I’m going home - there are over 30 years of my life in that building. The highs, the lows and everything in between. In fact, Lucy and I even had our wedding reception there. It’s a privilege and an honour and I sometimes wonder what my 20-year-old self would think if I could go back and tell him he was going to write and direct a play at Live Theatre. I don’t think he would have believed me. Or more likely, with the arrogance of youth, he may have just nodded and grinned! It’s fair to say it’s a big deal for me,” says Chris. Thanks to funding from Newcastle’s Live Theatre Bursary Scheme and Arts Council England, The Twenty Seven Club, a novel written by Chris’s wife, Lucy Nichol, is being adapted for the stage and who better to take on this challenge than successful actor and budding playwright, Chris himself. “The Twenty Seven Club was originally a book by my beautiful, prolific and, shall we say, tenacious wife Lucy Nichol. The book, which has been a huge success, explores themes of mental health, stigma, sensationalism, friendship and fandom. “Music plays a huge part in the telling of the story, set in the early 90s. It’s a snapshot of a time when attitudes were different and discourse around mental health was only just starting to break through the surface. Just as importantly, it’s a very human story, it’s full of love, loss and laughter.” Writing and directing is something Chris admits he has always been passionate about and has been working towards over the years. He’s always been interested in the bigger picture when it comes to a


production - not just the part he played in it as an actor. “A show is only great if everybody involved in it treats everybody else with respect and holds them in the same esteem. A good production is a genuine team effort that starts long before the turns get involved. “And I suppose the challenge has always appealed to me to see if I could in fact drive something like that, push it across the line and make it good. After 30 years working with some of the best writers and directors, I hope I’ve picked up a tip or two,” Chris smiles. “The influences I’ve drawn on are from three of my favourite playwrights: Lee Hall, John Godber and Richard Bean,” he adds. “The play is Brechtian in the sense that it never apologises for being a performance, with the three actors taking on many roles throughout the piece. In parts it’s very stylised, but ultimately, the performers are telling the truth; the characters are real.

And I’m hoping you’re going to fall in love with them. I’m sure you will,” he adds. Chris’s long and successful acting career has seen him land a variety of roles some of which were more challenging than others. From taking to the stage in his dream role as Alan Shearer at Live Theatre in Michael Chaplin’s ‘You Really Couldn’t Make it Up’, to taking on his most challenging role as Oliver Kilbourn on Broadway, Chris has never been phased by what challenges stood before him and is always looking for new and exciting opportunities, including his latest move into the world of writing and directing.

“I don’t want to say it’s been easy, because that would sound arrogant. What I mean is I’ve enjoyed it so much more than I expected. It’s been a pleasure to do and hasn’t felt too much like work at all. And of course we’ve received fantastic support from Live Theatre as part of the Bursary Scheme, which has included the invaluable input of my good friend, Steve Byron, as mentor for my first writing project.” The play will be performed as part of Live’s Elevator Festival between 23 - 26 March. Tickets are available via:

Every time I walk into the Live Theatre it feels like I’m going home - there are over 30 years of my life in that building MAR/APR22

Financial advice you can count on

Make the most of your tax free allowances before 5th April 2022. Whether you are just starting out planning for your future or you already have financial products in place, we can help your money work harder. Newcastle Financial Advisers are in branch ready to share all their experience, care and guidance to help you make the most of your tax free allowances.

To find out more visit your local branch and book your appointment. HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen. Newcastle Building Society introduces to Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited for advice on investments, pensions, life and protection insurance, and inheritance tax planning. Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited are an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Newcastle Building Society Principal Office: 1 Cobalt Park Way, Wallsend, NE28 9EJ. Newcastle Building Society is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Newcastle Building Society is entered in the Financial Services Register under number 156058. You can check this on the Financial Services Register or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768. Call 0345 734 4345 or visit us online


A new vision for Newcastle's Quayside Newcastle NE1 Business Improvement District has appointed Gehl Architects, the world’s leading architectural experts in ‘placemaking’, to help create a visionary future for Newcastle’s Quayside as plans for this iconic North East asset begin to take shape. Matthew Thomas recently spoke with Gehl Architects’ project manager, to find out more about this generational transformation heading to the North East…

Gehl has started working with NE1, businesses, residents, and key stakeholders to develop key themes and principles for the area, identifying opportunities that could transform how people interact and engage with the Quayside over the years to come. Gehl’s work has helped deliver similar visionary transformations in Copenhagen, Melbourne and in other global cities like New York, where their work with NYC’s Department of Transport paved the way for the pedestrianisation of Times Square. Now, working with NE1 and the people of Newcastle, Gehl is looking to deliver an ambitious set of principles for how the Quayside can be improved for future generations. Project manager at Gehl Architects, Amanda Gregor, said: “The


team at Gehl are super excited to be working with NE1 and the people of Newcastle on the programme to reimagine the Quayside. The team at NE1 are so enthusiastic and have an ambitious vision and commitment to the city, the Quayside and to making change happen.” The starting point for this exciting project is a major fact-finding exercise and public consultation programme that was launched earlier this year. Residents and business owners were invited to express their thoughts via an online questionnaire that gathers a wide range of views, ideas and wish-lists from the public and major stakeholders on the future development of the Quayside. Amanda explains: “We will incorporate the survey findings using our experience from working on projects around the world. By thinking about big

picture ideas based on themes from the survey, we will co-create pragmatic recommendations with local architects, residents, business owners and decisionmakers to create a shared vision for the Quayside that responds to the aspirations of the people of Newcastle. A new survey showing the findings from the workshop will be available soon, so that the people of Newcastle can have their say on this shared vision.” Maximising the potential of Newcastle’s Quayside and its beautiful waterfront has always been a key priority of NE1’s since the company was established in 2009. NE1 has channelled a significant amount

of effort and focused activations in this area over the years, from the creation of the Newcastle City Marina, to much-loved summer activity programmes including the Quayside Seaside and last summer’s more extensive Linear Park with light installations, artwork, and furniture, spanning a one kilometre stretch of the Quayside. The stunning Laser Light City display from award-winning light artist, Seb Lee-Delisle, over the New Year period was another NE1 initiative designed to showcase the area and demonstrate the Quayside’s potential, as well as giving a flavour of how the area could look permanently.



LUXE LOVES Indulgent eggs Nothing says Easter treats like 21 Hospitality Group’s exquisite chocolate egg creations. Wow dinner guests this spring with a delicious, handmade treat. A luxe sweet if ever there was one!







Travel Queen Dame Irene Hays DBE DL is owner of Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, ‘godmother’ to P&O’s biggest cruise ship and passionate about enabling young people to be the best they can be. That passion saw her being appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in November last year for services to training, education and young people. There are many fascinating parts to Dame Irene’s life, which she recently shared with Claudia Robinson…

Dame Irene is one of the travel industry’s most respected figures as Chair of Hays Travel, which has 455 high street shops across the UK. Born in Ashington, to a mining family, she has also held many senior posts in local and national government, including chief executive of Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council. In October 2019, Dame Irene and her late husband, John, were hailed as ‘heroes of the high street’ when they acquired Thomas Cook's entire retail arm, saving more than 2,000 jobs in travel agencies across the UK. Last year she became ‘godmother’ to P&O’s newest and largest cruise liner, Iona, and attended a naming ceremony where Gary Barlow performed. I can honestly say that Dame Irene is the most interesting, warm and enthusiastic person I’ve ever had the privilege of interviewing. Throughout our conversation, time and time again, we came back to her passion for helping young people. It’s been a common theme in everything that Dame Irene has done and is so important to her, and her late husband, John, that they set up the Hays Travel Foundation. So far the foundation has donated just under £1 million to help young people achieve and be the best they can be in their health, sports, the arts, and education. “We do everything from training ballerinas to working with people in deprived areas,” Dame Irene tells me. “It’s joyous. The Hays Travel Foundation meetings are the best meetings! Everyone gets so emotional. When you think of a young person, who’s come from a relatively humble area, who has the opportunity to go to ballet school - she sent us a video to say thank you. It’s very special. The foundation was so important to John so a big drive for me now is to carry forward his legacy. Young people have been


a huge part of my career,” Dame Irene continues. “Even in the old days of YTS, I was a huge fan and now with apprenticeships. When I was at school, it was obvious to me then that some people were academic and would go on to be successful and for some, school just didn’t suit them. “The reason John and I got on so well was because of a shared passion for enabling young people, through apprenticeships in particular. And really, that’s been a thread throughout all of my career. So whichever role I was in, I would always try to make sure that young people were a key part of that.” Dame Irene believes much of Hays Travel’s success is down to their approach of picking up talented, young people at the start of their careers, giving them a clear pathway and nurturing them to succeed. This is evident from some impressive statistics. “Before we acquired Thomas Cook on 8 October 2019, 43% of our senior managers had started their careers with us as apprentices. When John died, I asked Jonathan Woodall-Johnston, our now COO, if he would step up to help me run the business he started his career here as an apprentice, 18 years ago.” Dame Irene is still very much hands-on in the business and customer care is at the heart of everything they do. When the pandemic first hit and holidays across the world were cancelled, she and John joined the rest of the staff to ensure confused and disappointed customers got all the support they needed. “We’d only had the additional shops and staff for a few months. At the end of February, following the outbreak of Covid at the Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife and some of the cruise liners, the travel industry just fell off the edge of a cliff. So, in March we were cancelling and amending holidays but not booking any new ones. We were working seven days a week to help our customers. “When furlough was introduced, we tried to use it but it meant our staff couldn’t look after our customers so we were the first agent to bring staff off furlough. Booking holidays is an emotional transaction and we needed to be there for our customers.” It’s clear how important it is to Dame Irene to look after her customers, but equally important is the welfare and morale of her staff. “We’re not a hierarchical company. Whoever is in front of the client is the most important person in the organisation. That’s our culture so it’s crucial that we look after them. We take our managers away on conferences - after the first lockdown, we took all the new Thomas Cook managers away with the existing >> 23


managers so they could get to know each other. We chartered four aircraft and flew them to Turkey. John and I served the drinks on the planes!” The manager trips are also a great opportunity for Hays to celebrate their community partnerships, community being another key part of Dame Irene’s life and career. “We encourage all our shop teams to get involved in their local communities, from raising money for local hospices by sitting in a bath tub of baked beans to jumping out of planes, or working with the local football team. Businesses on the high street should be more than the sign above the front door. They have the power to contribute to that place, and to give it a sense of place. It’s about being part of the community and there is almost a duty for businesses to do that.” Our conversation moves to the tragic loss of Dame Irene’s husband, John, who died on 13 November 2020 after collapsing at their head office in Sunderland. “Work has been very good for me,” she reflects. “The fact


that we had no choice but to roll up our sleeves and make sure our customers were looked after, I had to get on with it. I’ve also got lots of wonderful family and friends who have been very good to me too. And I do a lot of things. I read a lot, I like live music and try to keep busy and positive. But there is just a huge gap.” Dame Irene explains that when John died she was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support. “I think it’s partly because it was so soon after we’d acquired Thomas Cook and the feedback from that acquisition was unbelievable. We did it for commercial reasons, obviously, as we are business people at the end of the day but we had no idea we’d receive a public response like that! It was bizarre, all the publicity. Going on Good Morning Britain and talking to the lovely Ben Shepherd. “So when the news broke about John, there was an outpouring of a different sort. He was much loved in the industry. ‘Loss of a legend’ was the headline on the cover of Travel Weekly. We received donations from

The reason John and I got on so well was because of a shared passion for enabling young people... and really, that's been a thread throughout all of my career many of our suppliers for the foundation and asked people to donate or send in just five pounds rather than sending flowers. We got loads of fivers in the post - you can only enjoy one bouquet at a time, it made so much more sense for people to donate

to a cause John was so passionate about. We received a quarter of a million messages, via email, cards and flowers!” It will come as no surprise that something else Dame Irene loves to do is travel and this spring she’s heading off on the adventure of a lifetime, and on a solo holiday for the first time. “I’m spending a week in the Caribbean islands first and then going on a cruise around the Amazon. I have mixed emotions about the trip, I’m excited after reading all the guide books, I know what I want to see. But there’s also a sense of trepidation as I’ve never been on holiday without other people before. “I’ve been to some amazing places in the world, I’m very lucky. It’s a privilege to be a part of the travel industry and I must pay tribute to all of the staff at Hays who are nothing short of exceptional. They’ve worked so hard through all of this. And now we’re seeing the most amazing bounceback in the industry and a huge spike in bookings as people are keen to travel abroad once more. There are exciting times ahead.”


WE ARE HIRING We are always looking out for talented people to join our award winning agency. With a growing range of exciting clients, we like to work with the best of the best and in order to do that, we ensure our team contains the best of the best.

OUR CURRENT VACANCIES • DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER • MID WEIGHT GRAPHIC DESIGNER • UX DESIGNER • FRONT END WEB DEVELOPER • SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER If you would like to learn more about this role then please email, visit or call 0191 500 7900 for a chat and to learn more about our exciting opportunities.



In full bloom

A-listers including Salma Hayek and Andie MacDowell are big fans of this unique and beautiful fashion brand. If you're looking for pretty florals for spring parties or early summer weddings, The Vampire's Wife will make you stand out from the crowd...

The Clairvoyant Dress, £1,840

Selection available at and full collection at




The Love Bug Dress, £1,315 The Mini Crusader Cape, £580




The Helper Dress, £850 The Fortune Teller Kaftan, £1,650




The Devastator Dress, £850

MAR/APR22 29


The Fortune Teller Kaftan, £1,650 The Devastator Dress, £850




The Devastator Dress, £850




Vibrant colours and retro prints make up Jenni Healy’s beautifully bold designs. Nicole Wood chats to the designer on her up and coming fashion brand, Peach Eyes

Going retro Jenni Healy’s love of fashion began as a child. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Jenni would always respond with ‘fashion designer’. Infatuated with all things retro, when she wasn’t dressing up in her grandmother’s jewels, she’d be saving pocket money to buy herself items from the charity shop or fabric from Boyes. And now at 26-year-old, she continues to collect thrifted furniture and prints for her retro dreamhouse. What started as a love for dressing up as a child, quickly turned to falling head over heels for art and design in school, then to textiles and fine art in college, and finally studying Fashion Design at Manchester School of Art; this was always the route Jenni dreamed of going down. “In my third year of uni, my collection was chosen to be shown on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week in London. My collection was, of course, retro inspired, featuring bold graphic prints with a real kitsch feel. I also won an award with Tu at Sainsbury’s which led me to a year-long internship where I designed a range based on my final collection that would be sold nationwide both in-store and online. I moved to Coventry and worked two days a week on the collection and the remaining three days as a design assistant, which taught me a lot about the commercial

side of fashion. “The collection launched in June 2019 and I stayed on at Sainsbury’s for another year and a half after being offered a permanent design assistant position. During the pandemic I found it difficult being away from my family back home in Barnard Castle. I also found that, over time, I wasn’t


being as creative as I’d have liked to be and constantly thought about my childhood dream of starting a fashion brand. Whilst it was a great experience, I was ready for something new. Sainsbury’s went through a restructure in March 2021 just as I decided to move back north and I felt it was a sign to leave and start a new adventure.”

The timing seemed perfect for Jenni to take a leap of faith, and soon after moving back home, Peach Eyes was born. “My Granny has played a huge part in bringing my dream to life. I was so lucky to be very close with her whilst growing up. She was such an inspiration. She loved painting and gardening. She taught me to paint and to sew and was always there to cheer me on and encourage me. I knew I wanted my brand to pay homage to her in some way. Unfortunately she passed away shortly after I won my award. She kept a gardening journal and I decided to go through that looking for inspiration. In the journal she mentioned ‘peach eyes’ - a flower she loved - it is a breed of Dwarf Iris and I just really liked the name and the subtle nod to a very special person in my life,” Jenni smiles. Noticing a gap in the market for her ‘more is more’ approach, Jenni began work on her designs. “I have always loved print! I love graphic, bold geometric designs and love to take inspiration from artists such as Bridget Riley. I have always gravitated towards anything retro. I love 60s/70s films and music. I really like the whole movement of the time



I really like the whole movement of the time [60s/70s] and what it meant for people to express themselves in a new and exciting way and what it meant for people to express themselves in a new and exciting way,” she explains. “I usually start with a mood board. I’ll collect odd bits of imagery I like, sometimes cutting out a neckline from a magazine or


random little print sketches I’ve done. I work on quite a lot of trend forecasting, which usually inspires me in terms of colour. For shape, I often find visiting libraries or archive websites and looking at photos of the 60s/70s very inspiring as well as collecting vintage and retro dress patterns and fabrics. “I’ll then reference my mood boards as I start to build on my own prints to sit into the collection. In addition to this, I like to try and add in personal touches; for example, for my spring collection, I have been sketching up auricula flowers (one of my Granny’s favourite flowers) which will sit with geometrics and fabric textures. “I take inspiration from all sorts of other things. Sometimes I’ll be out on a walk and see colour combinations in nature and flowers - I think my Granny probably has a lot to do with that! I often find if I’m feeling a bit uninspired I like to get my paints

out and start painting flowers or whatever comes naturally, then that will usually lead to a ‘lightbulb moment’,” she adds. In terms of ethos, Jenni wanted to ensure her brand was sustainable and British-made after learning about the negative impacts the fashion industry has on the planet as well as the negative treatment some workers face and the ‘throw-away’ culture we live in. “When starting my own brand, I wanted to do everything right. I wanted it to be sustainable, high quality, British-made clothing. It always made me sad that the UK has such a rich history of clothing manufacture, yet now most things are made on the other side of the world adding to carbon emissions. With that in mind, I have worked very hard at being as responsible as possible. We are not a fast-fashion brand, each item is cut out, sewn and pressed by hand by local skilled pattern cutters, working with

small and limited batches,” Jenni passionately explains. “Our prints are all created using environmentally friendly methods, using Azo dye-free inks on OEKO-TEX certified fabrics. All of our fabrics are responsibly sourced using recycled, organic bases or dead stock designer remnants with exception of a few fabrics from established high quality British manufacturers such as Linton Tweeds. “In addition to this, all of our packaging is recycled and/or recyclable. We also encourage our customers to re-use any tissue paper or packing products where possible,” she adds. Already an award-winning designer and now making waves in the world of sustainable fashion, we can’t wait to see what big plans Jenni has sitting on the horizon. Shop Peach Eyes’ latest collection online at: 33



with Isabella Dryden, founder of sustainable luxury fashion brand, Saint Belle Step into spring with versatile basket bags and knitted dresses, gorgeous hoop earrings and fluffy brows…

Beauty and the basket - SaintBelle

Knitted dress & Other Stories

You’d be forgiven for assuming that basket bags are synonymous with summer holidays - be it a beach getaway or a jaunt through sunsoaked countryside. But, in recent seasons, they’ve made the transition from summer essential to bona fide wardrobe staple. The Saint Belle French Market Bag carries the right amount of elegant nonchalance and equally suits your look once you’re back in the city. It looks great paired with everything from a crisp white shirt to your favourite jeans and slip skirts. Ethically handmade by women in Bangladesh using natural seagrass. £48

This versatile, everyday staple has become an on-repeat ally in recent seasons and, for SS22, it shows no signs of slowing. Reinventing it as a transitional piece with lightweight knits that offer a warm-weather tactility, these pull-on-and-go dresses are perfect for packing in your beach tote to ward off the early evening chills. & Other Stories have a great selection that are certified according to responsible wool standard (RWS) From £65.95

Statement quilt – HE. Official So, what’s the trend about? Firstly, these are literal quilt coats - as in, coats lovingly and sustainably stitched together from repurposed old quilts and blankets. They’re part cottagecore, part Americana. Designers like Ulla Johnson and Doen, as well as smaller independent brands, have been making these treasures for years. The price can vary depending on craftsmanship and materials used. I’m celebrating independent sustainable brand He Official and their Floral Quilted Corduroy piece. So sweet and 100% cotton. £79

Everyday embellishment – JUNI Jewellery Fluffy brows to stay – WEST BARN CO Full, feathery brows have fast become a beauty mainstay for their instant youthful effect - but, so far, we’ve needed an arsenal of tools to fluff them up and keep them firmly in place. Soap Brows simplify this ritual with their incredible range of brow products. Another female-owned company based in the North East, I proudly hold every piece in my make-up bag!


This season, jewellery is designed to be worn with downtime outfits as an everyday dusting. We know that no jewellery box would be complete without a pair of wear-with-anything hoops, and JUNI Jewellery’s ‘Olive’ 9ct Gold hoops are a classic - a female-owned brand based in the North East too. £215




A striking co-ord

Go ‘double luxe’ this season with our pick of must-have co-ords for spring wardrobes

Reiss Tammi Neutral Crop Top with Bow Detail, £98 & Gigi Neutral Cotton Blend Maxi Skirt, £198,

Self Portrait Lattice Embroidered Top, £295 & Lattice Embroidered Cotton Skirt, £310,

Yves Salomon Cotton Jacket, £621 & Cotton Shorts, £261,

Les Héroïnes by Vanessa Cocchiaro Gladys Double-breasted Satin Blazer, £244 & Julia Twill-paneled Satin Wide-leg Pants, £187,


Brunello Cucinelli Cotton Authentic Denim Jacket with Shiny Tab in Light Grey, £1,830 & Authentic Denim Baggy Trousers with Shiny Tab in Light Grey, £830, shop. 35


Sisley Phyto Rouge Shine >> We’ve fallen head over heels for Sisley’s new Phyto Rouge Shine lipstick. Their first-ever refillable lipstick hit the market back in February and we have been obsessed ever since. This dreamy product offers a sheer and glossy flush of colour whilst providing nourishing and moisturising benefits to care for your lips just like a balm. The wash of colour intensifies with additional coats for buildable coverage that can be adapted as desired, making it perfect for both natural and glam looks. £40,

Armani My Way, Refillable Eau De Parfum >> This contemporary floral fragrance infused with notes of vanilla, tuberose and orange blossom, is the perfect spring scent. As it’s spritzed on to your skin, a fresh scent will linger before transforming into a sultry, warm and ultra-feminine fragrance. The sleek design encasing the vibrant pink spray, which is sealed with a deep blue rounded cap, mirrors the scent of this gorgeous Eau De Parfum perfectly. 90ml, £95,

Beauty:update Step into spring with our pick of the best beauty buys… Subtle Energies Mogra Rejuvenating Gold Moisturiser >> Sweep this age-defying miracle worker across your cheeks and feel the hydration flood your skin. This must-have product is packed with rare and potent ingredients that work together to deliver a more radiant and youthful complexion. Mogra stimulates cell renewal and promotes collagen production, together with sandalwood which is known to assist with pigmentation. Himalayan rose deeply hydrates the skin, softening and restoring balance, while the 24K gold leaf delivers strong collagen support, oxygenates the cells that brighten the skin and increases cell renewal activity. It’s the ultimate luxe beauty buy. £262,

Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation >> Tom Ford’s Traceless Soft Matte Foundation is a must if you’re looking for a hydrating, medium to full coverage, long-lasting foundation. This silky formula combines soft-focus microsphere powders that blur imperfections with wear-extending pigments that provide medium to full buildable coverage without the appearance of caking. Perfect for achieving that flawless look, whatever the season or occasion. £66,

BIO EFFECT EGF Serum >> This award-winning serum is taking the beauty world by storm and for good reason. The plant-based product made up of only seven pure ingredients works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, boost hydration, and restore younger-looking skin. The barley EGF used is a moisture-binding and skin-rejuvenating protein that helps support the skin’s natural collagen production. Just 2-4 drops per day and you’re on your way to smoother, plumper, and firmer skin. £129,



IN THE BAG St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist >> Get that sunkissed glow as spring rolls around. Infused with hyaluronic acid, hibiscus extract and green mandarin water, this must-have product combines skincare and self-tanning to achieve a natural bronzed glow while giving your skin an extra boost of hydration. Spritz this tropically scented, refreshing mist for a natural post-holiday glow without streaks. 80ml, £22,

Nordic Roots Cranberry Micellar Foam >> Nordic Roots Cranberry Micellar Foam blends organic plant extracts with make-up dissolving micelles to effectively cleanse the skin. Working in perfect harmony with your skin’s natural pH-balance, it leaves the face refreshingly clean, happy and dewy - and is suitable for all skin types, especially acne prone and even very sensitive skin. 150ml, £19,

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Diamond Eye Cream >> Treat your eyes to the new and luxurious Rose Diamond Eye Cream from The Organic Pharmacy. This dreamy formula, infused with diamond powder, rose extract and persian silk tree, works to lift and contour upper eyelids, reduce puffiness and smooth fine lines and wrinkles, as well as increasing skin moisture and reducing dark circles. Smooth under and around the delicate eye area every morning and night and watch your eyes immediately brighten. £90,

NARS Euphoria Face Palette >> Glow to another dimension with this ‘one look, one palette’ wonder. This make-up bag essential houses three gorgeous highlighters and six beautiful eyeshadows to create the ultimate day or night look. Packing warm neutral shades with a few pops of pink, this must-have palette is the perfect spring/summer addition. Whether it’s a day in the office, bottomless brunch with your girls or a date night with that special someone, this tool will help you on your way. £47.60,

Sisley L’Orchidée >> We’re swooning over this drop-dead-gorgeous highlighter blush compact by Sisley. With three highly pigmented shades that blend effortlessly, this dreamy product tints and enhances your complexion with a sheer and luminous covering - perfect for completing any look. Sweep across the apples of your cheeks for a pop of colour or apply as a highlighter to the high points of your face, for that sunshine glow. £63,

Dior Rouge Dior Matte Lipstick >> Whatever the season, you can’t go wrong with a nude lip. Whether it’s day or night, matte or glossy, a nude lip is always a winner. The warm tones of the Dior Rouge Matte Lipstick in the shade ‘Nude Look’ effortlessly matches both toned-down and glammed-up styles. The best part? This creamy formula is long-lasting for up to 16 hours - no need to keep topping up! £32,




FRINGE BENEFITS Get a style to suit your personality…

The last two years have seen the reemergence of the ’shagcut’ with the likes of Miley Cyrus leading the way with her signature cut. A little extreme for some, I know! Not wanting to part with your long lengths or ready to embrace your inner rock goddess? Well fear not, the trend in 2022 sees the style take on a longer, shoulder-length look with strong ‘bangs’ being the focal point. Still very much on trend, but much more adapted for a softer glam vibe. Bangs (or fringes for us mere mortals!) have definitely made a big comeback across the board - from bobs, to long blown out layers


or shorter textured cuts, they are everywhere. I, for one, am loving this - it’s so good to finally see more variation in street style rather than the super long tresses that have dominated for the past decade. There definitely seems to be a shift back to people choosing a look/ style that suits their personality - and let’s face it, we are all individuals, so why not embrace that and have a look that is uniquely ‘you’! Beautiful Alisha wears this style so well - showing us that you can combine a soft, gorgeous look with strong bangs, transforming a classic style into a super hot trend. Alisha’s colour has been enhanced using varying shades of light, reflecting chocolate and mocha to create a stunning result that will definitely get heads turning. Michael x

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



LUXE LOVES Uplifting decor Springtime calls for refreshing decor, bright colours and floral patterns. The Edwardian Sofa from Delcor combines style and comfort effortlessly. With its scooped back and petal-like arms, the Edwardian is a truly elegant and inviting sofa. Available in a variety of colours and fabrics, this stunning sofa can be customised to suit your home. From £2,526,

MAR/APR22 39


HOW TO ACCELERATE POSITIVE VIRTUAL RELATIONSHIPS Teresa, our Luxe Performance and Leadership Coach, facilitates workshops for organisations and right now a hot topic is ‘how to build positive virtual relationships’... Since March 2020, we have seen disruption on many levels. Digital tools, that got little traction for years, are now business requirements - not only for productivity and connection with our clients, but also for business development and celebration. Almost 80% of communication in organisations is done virtually and yet we still don’t have a rule book! How many times have you sent a message on WhatsApp or email only to be ghosted and left feeling insecure? It isn’t surprising that we are left feeling anxious, bewildered, and confused when we communicate virtually, since we don’t have visual cues, and figures indicate that 50% of digital communication is misinterpreted. There is no rule book - school taught us to read and write, but not how to communicate digitally. So, when and how do we use the correct communication channels to create connection and trust no matter the distance? When you read an email, that is the new form of active listening and we must read it carefully, and with intention. Writing clearly is the new form of empathy in our virtual world. If we are to continue adapting and conforming to these new digital methods, I believe that the question we must ask ourselves now is no longer simply, ‘how will we adapt to our new normal?’, but more importantly, ‘how will we create a better normal?’. What rules will you choose to create around communicating digitally at work and in your personal life?

WORKPLACE HINTS AND TIPS Here, I’d like to share some tips although they must be considered in the right context: - Assume that the sender has the best intentions when you read digital communications. Remember: you are missing body language and tone cues from others, which can cause us to misinterpret directness or speed with rudeness - Do we have a clear understanding of which channels to use and when? - Do we use clear language and word choice to foster understanding? - Establish expectations for the appropriate timing involved in each tool, including response time, and whether certain tools are off-limits during non-working hours - Email response time is usually less than 24 hours depending on priority - There is a 60 second rule. If you can answer an email within 60 seconds, then just do it quickly


Online video meetings >> Some tips about how to connect with introverts and extraverts...

HOW TO CONNECT WITH INTROVERTS • Schedule downtime between long meetings • Practice waiting five seconds before jumping in to speak • Send questions a few days before a meeting so they have time to process and prepare • Encourage them to message or email you with their thoughts after a meeting • Create a time limit so that louder voices don’t monopolise the conversation • Stop interrupting - use the raise hand tool or send a message

HOW TO CONNECT WITH EXTRAVERTS • Set up regular face-to-face or video meetings so they can talk things through with you • Use breakout rooms so they get a chance to talk about their ideas • Maintain water cooler spaces in office or online so that they recharge with social interaction between blocks of work I could write a whole book about this subject, or rather talk and coach about it - which is my preferred style of communication! When I coach teams in the workplace around this topic, they set their intentions around creating a ‘better normal’ as we adapt to this digital revolution. Virtual communication is about building trust and connection using careful communications, confident collaboration and valuing visibly. Feeling valued means turning up to personal and professional meetings on time, responding appropriately even if it’s to say you’ve read a message and you’ll respond shortly. It’s about stepping into the recipient’s world. How do they feel and what are their needs? When we can’t see people in person, reading messages with intention is the new form of active listening and writing clearly is the new form of empathy. What intentions are you going to set around your digital communication? How will you choose to ‘accelerate’ a better normal?





Gosforth 0191 217 0217 Jesmond 0191 281 6714 Ponteland 01661 821 004 Wynyard 01740 644 690 Facebook: hooker&young Twitter: @hookerandyoung Instagram: hookerandyoung


Refresh your smile Thinking about getting veneers but not sure if they’re right for you? Luxe checks in with specialist bridal makeup artist, Meg Murray, to discuss her journey with Queensway Dental, as well as asking Dr Jane Gosney all your need-to-know questions on the process. Here’s what we found out… Meg Murray, patient at Queensway Dental Luxe: Tell us a little bit about your smile journey and why you decided on veneers? Meg: When I first turned to Queensway I opted for composite bonding on my teeth as they were naturally quite small, when I smiled you couldn’t see a lot of my teeth and my overall aim was to have them made bigger. The dentist built them up with composite material to make a veneer - I was aware the lifespan was around four years, but at the time I just wanted a quick fix and for them to look bigger and whiter. When they reached the end of their lifespan, they had started to look a little stained and very much in need of a refresh. After speaking to Queensway Dental and finding out my options, I chose to replace them with ceramic veneers - I always thought that having veneers meant that the teeth needed to be filed down, but that’s not the case at all. This was a big deciding factor for me. Luxe: How involved were you in the overall look and design of your new smile? Did you get to have your input? Meg: Yes, loads - more than I thought was possible! I had an appointment with the team at Queensway Laboratory, which is onsite at their Billingham practice. They were so informative about what they could do to the teeth to make them look natural, such as putting ridges in and how, for example, they could make the teeth more transparent on the bottom edges to give them a more realistic finish. It was after this consultation that they created the ‘trial smile’ which was fitted by my dentist. I was completely amazed at this. It was only temporary but allowed me to check I was happy with the look, feel and colour of my new smile. I was even given the opportunity to make any changes if needed - but they were actually spot on, I couldn’t have been happier and couldn’t wait for the final fit. Luxe: Are you a nervous patient? Meg: Very much so. I never used to enjoy visiting the dentist and I was nervous, but everything was so relaxing, my dentist was very empathetic and kept me at ease. In fact, every appointment was an absolute breeze, and I don’t know why I even worried. Luxe: Has your smile makeover had an impact on your confidence? Meg: Absolutely! Before composite bonding I didn’t want to smile and show my teeth. I loved them, but when they started to age,


I felt like I couldn’t smile again. Now I’m obsessed with my teeth and I want to show them off at every opportunity - you will always catch me in front of the camera! I get so many compliments and people asking what I’ve had done because they look so natural. Before with composite veneers

Dr Jane Gosney, Associate Dentist at Queensway Dental Luxe: What is a veneer? Dr Jane Gosney: A veneer is a layer of material placed over the front of a tooth to change its shape and colour. Veneers can be made from different dental materials - usually composite or ceramic. Luxe: How do I know what veneers would look like on me? Dr Jane Gosney: You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, so why invest in your smile without one? Our talented dental technicians at our on-site laboratory will digitally design your smile to suit your face using 3D scans, photos and videos. You can have input into the design process by letting us know what shape teeth you would like digital dental technology is amazing. After your smile has been designed, we will 3D print it and ‘test drive’ this in your mouth with a temporary material - you will quite literally try before you buy. The temporary material simply flicks off at the end of this trial smile appointment. If you want to make changes to your trial smile, it’s no problem, we make sure you’re happy before we press go. Luxe: What about the colour of the veneers? Dr Jane Gosney: When it comes to the colour of your veneers you will have a bespoke consultation with the lab team who will show you all your options. Subtly fresh or bright white, block colour or natural, whatever you want - our lab can make it. You are the creator of your smile. We’re here to make it happen. Luxe: What’s the difference between a composite veneer and a ceramic veneer? Dr Jane Gosney: Composite is the name of white filling material. This is applied to the front of your tooth and hand sculpted and shaped by your dentist directly in your mouth before setting it. Ceramic is a harder wearing dental material that is less prone to chipping and staining. Ceramic veneers are made outside of your mouth in the

After with ceramic veneers

Our talented dental technicians at our on-site laboratory will digitally design your smile to suit your face laboratory, they are then cemented to your tooth at a separate appointment. Luxe: Do teeth need to be filed down for ceramic veneers? Dr Jane Gosney: No, that is not always the case. It’s best to keep as much natural tooth as possible - and veneers can now be designed to be applied with no damage to your natural tooth. If your teeth are very crooked, it may be necessary to remove some tooth, but this should be very minimal (no pointy stumps!). Luxe: Do you need to have straight teeth to have veneers? Dr Jane Gosney: No. However, the straighter your teeth are, the less of the tooth we need to remove (if any), so it’s always best to see our orthodontists at Queensway Orthodontics if we think it’s necessary. Braces can also correct any bite issues which can lead to a longer veneer lifespan

and a more comfortable chewing pattern. There are lots of modern brace options including the almost invisible system ‘Invisalign’. Luxe: How long do ceramic veneers take? Dr Jane Gosney: Once your mouth is fully healthy, we can start on your veneer journey - you can be showing off your new smile within a couple of months. Luxe: Is there a lot of aftercare needed for ceramic veneers? Dr Jane Gosney: Regular check-ups and hygiene appointments are essential to keep your new pearly whites in tip top condition, usually every six months. We also advise that you brush and floss twice daily and wear a night guard to protect your investment from any clenching and grinding. Luxe: How about the lifespan - do they need to be replaced? Dr Jane Gosney: Ceramic veneers are expected to last 10 to 15+ years. As with everything in life - the better you take care of them, the longer they will last. Nothing in dentistry lasts forever, so you will need these replacing which is why it is so important to preserve as much natural tooth as possible at the start of the process - at Queensway we want our patients to keep their teeth for life. Luxe: How much are ceramic veneers? Dr Jane Gosney: A trial smile starts at £465. Ceramic veneers are from £695 per tooth. Luxe: How can our Luxe readers make a start on their Queensway journey? Dr Jane Gosney: We offer all new patients a free, no obligation video consultation. To book, visit


Refresh your smile with Queensway Dental Model and business owner Amy from Sunderland recently refreshed her smile with upper ceramic veneers and best of all, no preparation was needed to her natural teeth. She said: “I absolutely love my new teeth. I was involved in the planning of my new smile with the on-site dental laboratory, and I was able to choose my desired colour and tooth shape. I even got to try them for size before the final fit. How amazing is that? They’re perfect and I couldn’t be happier.” Are you ready to refresh your smile? Book a free video consultation today at

Billingham | Jesmond

Find us on Facebook and Instagram @QueenswaySmiles


It’s gin up


Who doesn’t like a good gin? The variety you can get your hands on these days is incredible, and our region is home to a number of fabulous distilleries. Johnathan Ramsay takes us on a taste tour, speaking to some experts along the way…

From the understated but delicious notes of grapefruit and rhubarb to the over-the-top spectacle of ‘unicorn’ gin, there’s a botanical bottle of joy on the market for everyone. However, the classics are the classics for a reason and London Dry is still the go-to for many a tasty cocktail. Despite the virtually unrestricted access to a world of gin we have now, London still stands strong as the gin capital of the world.

But, there’s a new challenger to the crown. A spritely new face of the gin world that’s slowly but surely making a name for itself. I’m of course talking about the mighty North East of England. In recent years a handful of extremely ambitious distilleries have popped up across our region and turned the heads of gin-lovers across the nation - and beyond! We’re tracking down some of the best and brightest to see what they’re offering. The perfect excuse to enjoy a tipple or two - all in the name of research! the fresh ingredients that grow abundantly in the pristine wilds around the distillery in what has been described as ‘the crown of the Northumberland National Park’. Part of this involves harvesting green juniper berries the fresh, bright green version of the berry that then matures later into a purple berry found in every other gin - and propagating seed for the seedling programme that we operate as part of our custodianship of this special place. At Hepple we are deep believers in ‘interconnectedness’ - an idea that seems ethereal and folksy from an air conditioned office block in a city, but takes on a rather more immediate meaning as we find ourselves working in and alongside what can be a fierce and unforgiving mother nature.

Hepple Spirits Co. Location: Northumberland Luxe recommends: ‘Sloe and Hawthorn Gin’ Beautifully dark red in colour, Hepple’s Sloe and Hawthorn gin was inspired by the berries that grow wild on the moorlands surrounding the Hepple distillery. This one is for those that enjoy a rich, spicy, complex tipple. The story... Located high in the remote Northumbrian Hills with one of the purest natural environments in Britain, Hepple Spirits are inspired by the wildness that surrounds them. Using hand-picked ingredients and natural flavours, their gins really give you a refreshing taste of the great north outdoors.

Behind the botanicals… With Hepple Spirits Co’s Brand Executive, Anna Davison In your eyes, what makes the perfect gin? For us gin is a bright, fresh-tasting, uplifting


drink, with juniper at the core. Hepple follows this notion by using two novel techniques - vacuum distilling and supercritical extraction to bring flavours that are brighter and richer than can be found when you just copper pot still alone. These techniques sit alongside our copper pot still, that provides a tremendously smooth core to all our spirits. The paradox for most gins is that you either want one that is punchy, distinctive and can still stand out when mixed with a tonic, or delicate and complex enough to stand alone in a martini - but not both. Hepple’s pioneering use of these different systems (that is unique in the industry) creates a gin that is capable of both - a tremendously unusual quality. How much time and effort goes into making a bottle of your gin? Simply put, making Hepple Gin in our distillery takes five times longer than it would take if it were a simple ‘single shot’ London Dry Gin. But that is just the inside work. Hepple’s system is built to draw on

What makes your gin stand out from the rest? First and foremost, it’s flavour. Hepple is not a shouty, hyper-distinctive gin. We are here for those who love a classic gin, but want to find flavours that are more subtle, have more persistence, and are closer to their living likenesses on the bush, tree or grass. Secondly, we were set up to provide a sustainable source of ingredients for the company that also benefits the wider ecology of Hepple. We have much more to do to meet our ambitions around being sustainable, but this ethic is, we think,

unusual in its depth of application as well as its ambition. How important is it that people support independent distilleries? We love the energy and innovation that independent makers bring - across all industries, from clothes manufacturers to games makers. Some of us can remember how plain the food and drink landscape was in the North East two or three decades ago when big manufacturers dominated and choice was limited. We also love something more complex than independence, and that is interdependence. It is quite different to independence, but is something that we do find in little producers; and that is that they work in a mesh of other small producers, closer to customers, tighter with their staff, more responsible in their dealings with suppliers and the natural world. That is the sort of company we wake up every morning wanting to ensure we are, and that we stay. None of us can really do things by ourselves - in fact, we can’t even make a gin and tonic without a friendly (and high quality) tonic supplier, and a good greengrocer who cares about their suppliers and their association with the natural world. In the end, we are all linked.

Curlew Calling Contents 35ml Hepple Gin 15ml lillet rose 25ml lemon juice 3 tsp blackcurrant jam Directions Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or sprig of lemon thyme and enjoy!



North East Distillery Location: Newcastle Luxe recommends: ‘Ponteland London Dry’ Clear, classic and smooth. This Geordie take on the timeless London Dry leads with bold juniper flavours and goes down silky smooth, bursting with citrus notes and a touch of sweet spice on the finish. Hand crafted and small batch, this one is a must have in the drinks cabinet. The story... North East Distillery was founded by Jordan Morris, a local lad with a passion for good spirits. He always had a thirst for premium craft tipples and decided he’d like to try his hand making his own small batch gin. After many trials, Jordan eventually made his Ponteland Gin - one raspberry and blackberry, the other London Dry. The raspberry and blackberry sold out not long after it went on sale, proving that Jordan had made something special with his start-up distillery.

WL Distillery Location: Durham Luxe recommends: ‘1st Edition’ The first ever bottle of gin brought to the market by WL, this elegant and award-winning bottle was inspired by the garden of the distiller’s granddad. Boasting an aroma reminiscent of fresh fruit and the summer sunshine, this delightfully balanced tipple tantalises the tastebuds with notes of apple, pear, raspberries and blackberries. The story... Inspired by spending summers in his grandad’s garden eating fresh fruit, founder Scott Wilson-Laing created WL Gin to give people a taste of the natural beauty that can be found here in the North East. It’s all about the great British garden and the nostalgic flavours that we all know and love. All of their gin is small batch and handmade.

Wilson’s Watermelon Fizz Equipment Muddler Glass Jigger Cocktail Shaker Fine Strainer Contents 50ml watermelon and liquorice gin 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice Mint leaves (for cocktail and garnish) Watermelon (some for cocktail and some for garnish) Ginger ale Ice


Directions Muddle the watermelon and mint in the cocktail shaker. Add the gin and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake. Strain the mixture into a chilled glass. Top up with ginger ale. Garnish with a watermelon fan and mint leaf.

Newcastle Gin Location: Newcastle Luxe recommends: ‘Rhubarb and Ginger’ A classic full strength gin with extraordinarily bold flavours of rhubarb and ginger, this sweet gin goes down a treat on each and every occasion. The story... Inspired by a passion for craft spirits, Harry Vaulkhard took the opportunity to create Newcastle Gin whilst refitting the Bealim House pub in the heart of Newcastle. Since then, the gins have won awards and have featured in bars and homes across the nation.

Behind the botanicals… With Newcastle Gin Master Distiller, Harry Vaulkhard What inspired the creation of your distillery? I have always loved craft drinks, and in particular spirits and gin. When I had the opportunity to build a distillery into a pub we were refitting called Bealim House in Newcastle, it was really a no brainer. I wanted to bring a unique product and experience to the enthusiastic and knowledgeable customers of this great city - something which, at that point, was uncatered for. In your eyes, what makes the perfect gin? It’s like riding a unicycle... 'it’s all about balance’. I’m a big believer that taste is hugely subjective and what one person loves, someone else may hate - but for me, a strong punch of juniper (or it's not really gin!) should be followed up with some lean minerality and finished off with an elegant structure of florals and spices. How much time and effort goes into making a bottle of your gin? Each batch of our London Dry style gin takes 48 hours to produce. This is really the straight forward part, but there were many months, even years, that went into developing our World Gin Awards Gold Medal winning recipe. I was distilling awful gins for my own consumption for years before I went to Herriot Watt to learn how to do the job properly, so our current recipes are a combination of all that I've learned from then to now. What makes your gin stand out from the rest? I guess we have a cool but genuine story. We are the first and only commercial distillery in Newcastle in over 200 years, we use highly purified Newcastle city water to take our final product down to bottling strength and it's all made by me just 200 yards from the original Newcastle Brewery site. But honestly, it’s the quality of the liquid. How important is it that people support independent distilleries? Really important, as per my previous comment. The cost and effort for us to distil and craft our liquids is huge. I'm a massive fan of people trying all locally produced products, but it’s also important to try and avoid the 're-branders' that are trying to surf on the back of the wave of effort that the rest of us are putting in, you may as well support mass produced, internationally available products. 45


HOME COMFORTS with chef Chris Baber

A book launch, an old Spanish favourite and exciting foodie events!

context. I’m also fortunate to eat out a lot, so, what I miss most is home-cooked food. You can’t beat it. There’s something about sitting around the dining table enjoying a meal with good company, with no work mentality behind it, so I did plenty of that while I was back home.

MY WORLD >> It’s been a great start to the year with lots of lovely foodie events taking place, and some exciting ones to look forward to. In the last issue I mentioned a special night I was hoping to host with Francesco Mazzei at his gorgeous Italian restaurant, Fiume, in London. I’m delighted to say it went ahead and we loved sharing our dishes which combined the English garden with the Italian kitchen. It was lovely to see lots of people together, as well as a few famous faces including Denise van Outen and Naughty

Boy, enjoying themselves and raising money for a worthy cause, the Felix Project - which saves surplus food from suppliers and redistributes it to charities. I did one of my favourite things recently - visited my parents in Hexham. I did a couple of photoshoots while I was back, one for Luxe, so watch this space! It was great to go out and about exploring the local market in Hexham, and so nice to be home and eat with my family. The thing with me and food is that I love it, but it’s almost always linked to work - when I’m cooking at home, it’s usually part of researching a recipe for a project or has some sort of work

FOODIE HAPPENINGS >> I’m currently gearing up for another intensive period of travelling around the country to do some more filming for M&S. I can’t wait to get out and meet some of the fantastic producers across the UK. I’m really enjoying the monthly films we’re making for their social media too. I recently got together with Fred Sirieix from First Dates to make a Valentine’s Day film where we paired up five bottles of wine with five dishes - it was great to work with him, he’s such a ball of energy. I’m not a massive drinker but I was pretty tipsy by the end of that! I’m also looking forward to doing some more events to promote my new cook book, with some live cook-a-longs planned too. On a personal note, amongst all of that I’m currently in the process of buying a new flat in London and can’t wait to get in there. First job is to design my ultimate kitchen - of course!



Ulties Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’ve got a question to ask Chris, whether it’s a recipe you’d like to see, information about his cook-a-longs or restaurant recommendations, please get in touch via his Instagram page. #AskChris

Makes 10–12 / 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time What better present for you mum on Mother’s Day than some home-baked gifts - made with love? These delicious chocolate chip cookies are crispy on the outside with a melting chocolate centre and the smell you get during baking is insane. They’re best served slightly warm but in the unlikely event of them not being eaten straight away, they’ll keep for a few days. 100g unsalted butter 150g caster sugar 75g light muscovado sugar 1 egg 2 tsp vanilla extract 175g plain flour Pinch of salt 100g 70% dark chocolate, broken into small chunks Method Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.


Melt the butter in a saucepan or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Put both sugars into a mixing bowl, pour in the melted butter and beat with a wooden spoon for 5 - 8 minutes until lighter in colour with a slightly fluffy texture. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt and mix until a dough just forms, then stir in the chocolate. Transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 - 12 balls, depending on how big you want your cookies, and place them on the prepared baking trays, leaving a few inches of space between each one as they will spread during cooking. Press each ball down with your fingers to flatten slightly. Bake for 10 - 11 minutes until slightly

INSPIRED BY THE SEASONS >> Spring is my favourite season of the year. The days get longer, everything starts going green and comes to life. It’s the best time for British asparagus and I’m such a big advocate for eating seasonal, home-grown produce. With asparagus, I always eat as much of it as I can when it’s in season, and then just wait and look forward to eating it again the following year. That’s the beautiful thing about seasons in our country. I’ve met many farmers who have the same opinion. One of them said the best way to eat asparagus is to get the king of asparagus (the thick one), cut it down the middle, drizzle it with olive oil and lay it, cut side down, on a baking try so that the flat side caramelises and you get all the natural sweetness of the vegetable. You really should try it! Another farmer said he just heats a big non-stick frying pan with oil and butter, pan fries it and his kids just eat them like sweets. They have it every night when it’s in season and at its best.

golden – they will still be soft when they come out of the oven. Leave to cool on the trays for 30 minutes before serving. Recipe extracted from Easy by Chris Baber (Ebury, £16.99), published 7 April 2022.

Q. With Mother’s Day coming up, I’d love to make a special dinner to treat my mum. Can you recommend one please? A. Spring lamb is absolutely delicious and your mum will love you even more for this. Pierce the meat all over and insert sliced garlic and rosemary, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a hot oven. Serve it pink with new potatoes - or Jersey Royals if they’re in season - asparagus and any other vegetables your mum likes. And gravy of course! That’s perfection for Mother’s Day, or of course Easter, which is also just around the corner. A simple roast. What could be a better way to show your appreciation?



A botanical treasure trove of northern horticulture It might still be a little bit chilly out there, but The Glass House at Wynyard Hall provides a warm horticultural dining experience as Matthew Thomas discovers… As Brexit food shortages still occasionally interrupt our supermarket shopping, suspect food packaging trundles freely off the back of lorries, and the population becomes increasingly aware of food miles, The Glass House has found the answer to an increasingly volatile ood market. Ten feet away from the front door of Wynyard Hall’s new dining experience, The Glass House, lies a botanical treasure trove of northern horticulture. A vivid, flourishing garden and arboretum that is teeming with indigenous plants, vegetable rows and wild herbs, this garden is the nucleus behind The Glass House’s authentic menu. And, as the candlelight flickers in this ambient setting, this nucleus is straight on show as our evening’s dining experience flies out of the traps with three small, sharing plates. The mixed bean, cherry tomato and thyme bruschetta provides a refreshing start, yet it’s the garden beetroot hummus with warm chunks of pita and the cauliflower and spinach fritters, bound with cumin and minted yoghurt, that really stand out. Rooted in authenticity and blooming with vivid flavours, the dish’s earthy notes hark back to the venue’s main aim; to create a true plot to plate dining experience. It’s a taste that embodies a sense of patience,


love and dedication - the main qualities needed for any horticulturist. For the main event, thick layers of fettuccine arrive with a smattering of garlic wilted tender stem broccoli, roasted artichoke and a sprinkling of toasted almonds. Alongside this, a bowl of sweet roasted hispi cabbage and chickpea curry topped with a dash of coriander steams away. Both plates provide a visual feast for the eyes with abounding colours. The smoothness of the handmade pasta complements the grittiness of the almonds, and the sweetness of the hispi cabbage enables the curry to remain light and refreshing. A deep, dark-roasted flat white signals the arrival of rosemary panna cotta and infused rhubarb. The fragrant rosemary and blanched rhubarb elements are outstanding and, after an eclectic selection of dishes that has gone before, is duly hoovered up. In terms of ambience and decor, as you’d expect, The Glass House is a grand design that exudes class and grandeur. Offering a contemporary feel with subtle nods to Wynard’s architectural splendour, The Glass House is a modern space furnished with warm oak furnishings, a statement stone floor and ambient lighting. Paired with earthy tones, the funky pastel-blue cutlery reminds us that, although this is a venue steeped in heritage, the food on offer is modern, playful and exciting.

The Glass House at Wynyard Hall is a serene spot. A space that transcends the traditional, buzzy restaurant atmosphere into a calming oasis of tranquillity and glorious garden food. It’s a place rooted in locality, evergreen during winter and set to flourish in the spring and summer months. Make sure you add it to your foodie to-do list this season - you won’t regret it. A real luxe treat.

Rooted in authenticity and blooming with vivid flavours, the dish’s earthy notes hark back to the venue’s main aim: to create a true plot to plate dining experience 47


Spanish City If you’re looking for something a bit different, the team at Spanish City are hosting an Afternoon Tea with Jazz event on Mothering Sunday. Taking place in the stunning St. Mary’s Lighthouse Suite, you and mum can indulge in one of their opulent treat towers and toe-tap along to a live jazz band as they play hits from the golden age. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tea treats for Mother’s Day Mothering Sunday falls on 27 March this year and if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to show your mum how much you love her, what better way than to take her out for a special afternoon tea? With myriad venues across the region offering delicious treats, and some upping the anti and putting on special Mother’s Day events, we’ve picked out some of the best places to take mum

First things first - we thought it might be interesting to find out where the concept of afternoon tea came from. Tea consumption increased during the early nineteenth century and around this time, Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is believed to have complained of ‘having a sinking feeling’ during the late afternoon. At the time it was ‘the norm’ for people to only have two meals a day - breakfast and then dinner (or supper) at around 8pm. The solution for the Duchess was a pot of tea and a light snack, taken privately


in her boudoir during the afternoon. This soon evolved into her inviting friends to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey, and this summer practice became so popular that she continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to invite her friends to join her for ‘tea and walking the fields’. Other social hostesses quickly adopted the idea and the practice became respectable enough to be moved into the drawing room. Before long, all of fashionable society were sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon to stem the hunger and anticipation of an evening meal.

Café 21, Fenwick There’s no place like Café 21 in Fenwick, Newcastle when it comes to indulging in the ultimate afternoon tea. After a spot of shopping, head to this popular eatery and tuck in to an assortment of delicious finger sandwiches, fruit scones, handmade pastries and indulgent cakes, all washed down with a satisfying cup of tea, coffee or perhaps a glass of champagne to make the day extra special for mum. From £40 for two.



Langley Castle Where better to treat someone special to a traditional afternoon tea than this stunning mediaeval castle in Hexham? Langley Castle’s afternoon tea includes assorted finger sandwiches such as Northumberland egg and cress and oak smoked salmon, a wide selection of scrumptious cakes and sweet treats, as well as fruit and cheese scones, served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Prices from £20.50 per person - or why not indulge in a glass of Drappier Champagne for an additional £10 each?

TEA WITH A VIEW If you want to enjoy panoramic views of the city of Newcastle whilst you treat mum to a delicious afternoon tea then a visit to Six Rooftop or Above should be top of your list

South Causey Inn An afternoon tea at the South Causey Inn in Stanley, County Durham, boasts a mouth-watering range of homemade Causey goodies including freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of delicate sandwiches and scrummy cakes (we love their Malteser cheesecake!). All food is served on cute miniature picnic tables alongside free-flowing tea, coffee or hot chocolate - or of course add that touch of sparkle with a glass of fizz or a colourful cocktail. From £25pp

Six Rooftop This elegant restaurant space on BALTIC’s top floor offers a delicious afternoon tea, served in Six’s Viewing Box, located at the front of the international art gallery where the views of the cityscape are breathtaking. Tuck in to seasonal finger sandwiches, sweet treats such as orange and passionfruit cheesecake, and fruit scones with clotted cream and delicious local jam whilst you take in the vistas through Six Rooftop’s floor-to-ceiling windows. The classic afternoon tea is served with organic tea or coffee for £25pp - or why not upgrade and indulge in a glass of champagne for £32pp.

Grantley Hall For an incredibly decadent afternoon tea, make a special trip to Grantley Hall near Ripon, North Yorkshire, and delight in a quintessentially British treat. Created using the finest Yorkshire produce, Grantley’s afternoon tea includes exceptional sandwiches such as truffled cucumber and cream cheese and Wensleydale egg and shallot mayonnaise, alongside stunning pastries such as Yorkshire rhubarb ‘candle’ and mango and jasmine teacakes. All of these incredible edibles are complemented perfectly by the rich surroundings of Grantley Hall’s stunning Main Hall. Prices from £45pp.


ABOVE Located on the roof of Newcastle’s famous Vermont Hotel, ABOVE offers a dining experience with 360 degree views of Newcastle, set in beautifully designed surroundings. On 27 March, enjoy a selection of freshly prepared sandwiches, cakes and an all-important cup of tea all whilst marvelling at the stunning views of Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside. From £24.95pp. 49


Savouring the seasons AT LINNELS FARM UPCOMING COURSES @LINNELS FARM NATURAL PERFUMERY >> 24 MARCH You’ll work with an international perfumer for the day to create your own signature fragrance using natural perfumery ingredients.

INTRODUCTION TO MODERN CALLIGRAPHY >> 25 MARCH Continue your calligraphy journey with Abbi from Lavelle Lettering as she guides you through the basic strokes and letter forms using nib and ink.

plant pots, or are the proud owner of a new garden and unsure what’s a plant or a weed, we’ll get you gardening with confidence.

PLOT TO PLATE – GETTING STARTED >> 28 APRIL Join us on a relaxed day of learning where we’ll look at the basics behind successful veg growing - including ground preparation, creating your own compost, sowing and planting a variety of vegetables, general maintenance and crop rotation.


For many issues of Luxe we’ve been enjoying expert gardening advice from Karen Phillips at Linnels. But there is so much happening at their fabulous farm near Hexham that we wanted to bring you a real insight into the goings on there. This issue, Karen’s husband, Simon, takes the reins to tell us more about life on Linnels Farm… Karen and I moved to Linnels Farm five years ago, we simply fell in love with it; to date our renovation programme includes a dedicated cookery workshop, meeting room and shop for courses, plus holiday accommodation with stunning views over the meadow and Devil’s Water. If you’ve followed this route, it may surprise you to hear that we are still married and work together as two fabulous teams. Anyone who tells you that they can work and live alongside their partner is destined for counselling; for the work we have undertaken here, we adopted the two metre rule years ago! We have tried to apply responsible land management, creating habitats, and adding a few animals. The mix of the two has resulted in a few mishaps as juvenile fruit trees became unplanned food sources for goats. Our definition of responsible is the standards and practises that we can and want to adopt to provide a positive contribution to us as a family, as well as to the broader landscape. We certainly aren’t seeking evangelism. We drive cars and fly… talking of flying brings me nicely to bees; a cornerstone of our ecosystem. When we think of bees our initial thoughts can be of honey or ‘am I going to get stung?’, but as we all know the primary thought about these guys is that they are hugely important to our life. We all ‘know’ that 75% of all plants need pollinators and that those pollinated plants support 90% of the world’s food source - wow! And bees account for one third of that pollination wow-wee! We need bees for our food stock and we also need bees to enjoy the visual splendour of habitats as they flower and fruit, with bees being the transporter that helps plants reproduce. With this in mind, we have four beehives here, some 160,000 bees - awfully difficult to count so I’m taking Luke and Suzie’s word for this; they run and


own Northumbrian Honey Co., who we work with. We run courses on beekeeping at Linnels Farm with Luke and Suzie. The hives we have here are just under 40 metres from our house, that’s a definite measure I can do. Hives don’t have to be miles away from our homes, as we now know bees’ primary purpose isn’t to sting us but to pollinate for us. We may get a couple of bees in the house but no more. They are a pleasure to share our land with. If you want to keep bees you will find the space, the hive needs just 3ft x 4 ft, the rest is how the hive sits relative to your surroundings. The hive should have an east or south-east aspect and some shelter from winds such as a hedge offers, but don’t put the hive on your patio. Keeping bees is beyond this article, but wanting bees is definitely not, as is thinking about the garden you have and how you manage this. Bees travel approximately four to five miles but I do think we should each consider the start of their journey and make some of our garden a bee sanctuary by thinking about the plants we have and how we manage them and making some space a bee restaurant with longer grasses, weeds are also good - we can all grow these and flowering plants. I personally love a wild area but my eye needs to have an edge to the wilderness to show some order, such as cutting grass next to a wild area, it’s a bit like wearing a smart shirt with jeans, it works. As a final note to support the importance of bees, did you know that honey bees are zero rated for VAT as the honey and pollination yields food for us? Unfortunately, the hive isn’t. I guess we need to just think of the hive as the home, and the VAT on its purchase is like the stamp duty for your new bee home. Maybe we should write to our MP on this matter!

If you don’t know your daffs from your dahlias then this course is for you. Whether you’re starting out with a few

For further details and to book visit:

Note: all events are subject to lockdowns/government restrictions. Stay tuned on the Linnels Farm website for further updates and announcements.


​​ These light puffs of honey, lemon and cinnamon are perfect with a strong coffee before heading out to feed the animals. Ingredients 5g dried yeast 100g plain flour 1/2tsp sugar Pinch of sea salt

200g potatoes 90g honey Juice of half a small lemon A sprinkle of cinnamon

Method Mix the dried yeast, a handful of the flour, the sugar and 175g of warm (hand hot) water in a bowl and cover. Leave for 1/2 hour in a warm place whilst you peel, boil and mash the potatoes. Add the rest of the flour plus the potatoes (cool them slightly) and whisk until you have a thick, smooth batter. Either leave this for 1 1/2 -2 hours to froth up, or even better cover and leave overnight in the fridge. Make a honey and lemon syrup: boil the honey and lemon juice with 20ml water until thickened then pour into a jug. Once the batter is very puffy, either use a deep fat fryer set at 190 degrees C, or a shallow pan of hot oil and fry teaspoons of the batter for 1 minute until golden and crisp- turning half way through. Drain well on kitchen paper then transfer to a bowl. To enjoy - dip your loukamades in syrup then dust with ground cinnamon.



POSH POOCHES with Alfie, helped by Nicole Wood

Alfie loves:

Paw-fect days ahead The sun is starting to shine, our gardens are beginning to bloom and walks after 5pm are a thing again. For Alfie and many other posh pooches, spring welcomes plenty of time outdoors - not just for need, but for want. There’s something about this time of year that feels like a fresh start, a time to embrace the season ahead with open arms and welcome new opportunities. With that in mind, Alfie has picked out stylish accessories for happy hounds to rock in style this season, he’s sniffed out some top tips from his paw-pals at PetsPyjamas so lockdown pups know how to behave on their upcoming holidays, and he’s catching up with Jasper the loveable Sprocker on all things walks and human love. We wish you paw-fect days ahead! Alfie, your luxe pooch x

From pastel shades to bold patterns and bright colours, Alfie picks out some cool collars for your trendy pooch…

Pet Pooch Boutique Watermelon Blue Dog Collar £10,

Charley Chau Harris Tweed Classic Slim Dog Collar by Holly&Lil From £59,

Luxe Pooch Q&A I’m Jasper, the hyper and loving, seven-year-old Sprocker. I’m often described as crazy, bonkers and mad, but I just get too excited when I see my favourite people, it makes me jump all over them. When I’m not too busy running through fields or chasing after my ball, you can probably find me cosying up in between my paw-rents getting lots of cuddles. LUXE WALKS >> Anywhere near a river. Swimming is one of my favourite things to do and as soon as I sense water nearby, my paw-rents know I’ll be diving straight in. POOCH’S PERFECT DAY OUT >> Me and my humans take our caravan to various parts of the country throughout the year and I love meeting up with my other four-legged family members to run around and play together. My favourite cousin is Rosie, we have tons of fun together, but she finds it hard to keep up with me - I’m super fast. DOGGY DOWNTIME >> When I’m not busy jumping all over my humans, chasing my ball or running around, you can find me curled up on the sofa with my favourite toy.

Sophie Allport Sophie Allport Teal Rope Collar From £11.50,

HOUND HABITS >> I’m not too sure if my humans are aware of this, but I often pretend I have a sore paw and feel all sorry for myself so they give me extra attention. PUPPY PAMPER >> I love having a bath. That fresh fur feeling is the best.

Pet Pooch Boutique Mustard Yellow Floral Collar £11,

DOG’S BEST FRIEND >> I have lots of four-legged friends in my family, but it has to be my mam she is my favourite human in the whole world. FONDEST DOGGY MEMORY >> I’m one lucky pup because I get to go to lots of nice places and explore new things, but the best part of each day is when my mam walks through the door from work. There’s nothing I love more than diving all over her as soon as she steps foot in the house. PUPPY A-LISTER? >> Running wild and free is my favourite thing to do. My family always say that if I could, I would just run and run and run, so I suppose I would be like Dory from Finding Nemo - she just keeps swimming and I just keep on running.

Charley Chau Bow Tie Collar by Holly&Lil £92,

The ultimate petiquette guide Alfie checks in with PetsPyjamas to dig out their top tips on how to be a good fourlegged guest at their hotels… Look (and smell) the part… Whether it’s professional cut and blowdry at the groomer or a DIY treatment at home, treat your pooch to a pre-holiday pamper.

While some venues may allow your four-legged companion to enjoy the furniture in the main areas, unless stated, make sure all four paws are on the floor in a comfy spot beside you.

Pack the essentials… First things first, make sure to pack their food, favourite toy, bed or dog blanket (if not supplied by the hotel). It’s also worth taking a towel, wipes, waste bags and even a spare lead in case of emergencies. If it’s likely to be wet, windy or cold when you travel, a dog coat is worth packing to keep them nice and snug.

Staying Best in Show… Dogs will be dogs and after long muddy walks will need their paws wiped. Luckily many of PetsPyjamas’ hotels provide wash stations in the grounds but it’s advisable to bring along dog wipes and a towel with you to make sure your dog is clean before returning to the room.

First impressions… After being cooped up on the journey, your pooch is bound to be excited when they reach their final destination so before you check-in, give your furry friend a quick show round the exterior grounds for a comfort break and to get familiar with their new surroundings. But don’t be surprised if your dog receives an even better welcome than you do from the front desk!

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




Practice good manners… Whether passing through reception or enjoying drinks in the bar, your dog should always be kept on a lead and in view.

Dining with your dog… More and more hotels are happy to let dogs dine with their owners provided they are kept close and don’t get in the way of the serving staff. They may even get a treat from the kitchen. Socialising with the other guests… Dogs can be terrific ice breakers, so expect lots of interaction with other guests. However, if a canine companion is nervous and would rather not be touched, don't be afraid to let other guests know, particularly when it comes to young children.




Let’s talk Turkey Turkey is home to white sand beaches, ancient history and stunning marinas, all of which make this beautiful country a go-to destination for globetrotters. If it’s a cocktail-sipping, culture-exploring getaway you’re looking for, a spot by the turquoise coastlines of Turkey is a must. Let Luxe guide you through the country’s many show-stopping resorts…

Antalya >>

Known as the pearl of the Mediterranean, Antalya offers one of the most popular holiday hotspots in Turkey. Boasting an abundance of natural beauty, bustling beaches, and historic roman sites, Antalya is the ultimate box-ticker for family getaways. You can expect glorious stretches of fine white sands with plenty of bars and restaurants nearby. If you fancy skipping the beach for the day, there is plenty to keep all the family entertained. The adventurous among the group can explore the sunken sarcophagus near Kekova Island, while those who prefer to stay on-land can step back in time with a visit to the ancient city of Phaselis.

Bodrum >> The St Tropez of Turkey, Bodrum, is surrounded by beautiful hillsides, ancient


architecture, olive groves and enchanting beaches. This vibrant resort centres around a breathtaking harbour and is renowned for being one of the best in the Mediterranean. Bodrum as a resort is packed with water and outdoor activities, as well as trendy restaurants, bars and shops. Adventureseekers will be welcomed with ample opportunities for trying something new, whether it’s scuba diving or snorkelling at Turkuaz Dive Centre. Or perhaps you would prefer a more laid-back approach to discovery and opt for a private boat tour to take in the stunning coastline? After a day full of action and adventure, you can take your pick from the range of exquisite restaurants offering mouth-watering delicacies such as ayran, a filling yoghurt drink, the staple of Turkish cuisine. Or, why not try a trusty Turkish kebab, beloved by locals and travellers alike?



The beyond beautiful coastline is filled with coves, bays and white sand beaches. You’ll also find a plethora of dazzling bars, restaurants and shops to explore

Dalaman >> Whether you're looking for adults-only or family-friendly, Dalaman's all-inclusive resorts cater to everyone. The beyond beautiful coastline is filled with coves, bays and white sand beaches. You'll also find a plethora of dazzling bars, restaurants and shops to explore, as well as amazing watersports. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush and the best coastline views on offer, head to Olu Deniz to paraglide the 1,960 metre high Babadag Mountain. If you fancy something a little more relaxed, take a day trip to Iztuzu Beach for an afternoon of sunbathing on the golden sands and a spot of swimming with turtles.


Izmir >> The huge city of Izmir is as vibrant as it gets. Izmir has over 8,000 years of rich history to absorb. You will discover ancient ruins, monuments and many more fascinating cultural heritage sights. Plus, Ephesus is only an hour's drive away. This amazing site is home to the Roman Library of Celsus and was the original place of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Visit the Izmir Agora Open Air Museum, with ruins that date back to the 2nd century, and the elegant Clock Tower in Konak Square. A convenient location by the stunning Aegean Sea serves as a spectacular gateway to the resorts at the western end of the Turkish Riviera, such as Çeşme or Kusadasi, giving you more to discover and explore, with a huge choice of beaches and lively nightlife. Izmir


Getting there >>


You can fly to Antalya from Newcastle International Airport with Corendon Airlines, and TUI, with a flight time of approximately 4 hours 30 minutes. You can fly to Bodrum from Newcastle International Airport with, with a flight time of approximately 4 hours. You can fly to Dalaman from Newcastle International Airport with Corendon Airlines, and TUI, with a flight time of approximately 4 hours 20 minutes. You can fly to Izmir from Newcastle International Airport with, with a flight time of approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.

MAR/APR22 53


Honeybee Cottage

Escape to Northumberland Luxe checks in with Coquet Cottages to round up four of the best staycation homes for families and couples to visit in Northumberland Coquet Cottages was born 24 years ago with just one little cottage in Warkworth, owned by Julie and Mark Ringland. Since then, they’ve grown their award-winning portfolio of over 150 luxury holiday homes across Northumberland. From coast to countryside, all of their cottages are ideally located for exploring Northumberland, from the Cheviot Hills and Coquet Valley to the Heritage Coast, as well as the Borders and the National Park. Here, we round up four of our favourites…

For families >>

Above, in order from left to right >> Mark, Julie, Ross and Stephanie.


Hassock House Hassock House, located between Alnwick and Newton-by-the-Sea, is a welcoming family cottage full of charm and character that has been beautifully refurbished throughout. Boasting stunning interiors, generous living space, immaculate gardens and idyllic countryside views, it’s the perfect place to call home for the weekend. Comfortably sleeping eight guests and two four-legged companions, it’s ideal for families looking to escape and explore the best of Northumberland. The enclosed

garden is equipped with a children’s climbing frame as well as a summerhouse and outdoor dining table for eight guests, with a BBQ. DVD’s, books and board games are provided in the family room and children can enjoy some chill-out time in the snug. Peace and quiet, fresh country air, a pub within walking distance and beaches and restaurants just a couple of miles away… what more could you want?

For couples >> Honeybee Cottage This gorgeous, adults-only village retreat is perfect for romantic getaways or for couples holidaying together. Refurbished and extended to create a characterful holiday home, this delightful cottage has everything you need to help you switch off, relax and enjoy the little luxuries in life. Throughout, the decor aims to impress. Think a cosy countryside cottage combined with a modern city apartment and you’ve got Honeybee Cottage. The whole place combines traditional rustic charm with contemporary style. The beautiful open-plan kitchen/living area is made up of gorgeous grey cabinets with modern marble top counters, elegant dining chairs, a corner sofa for lounging and a stunning skylight



Farne View

Grange House letting in oodles of natural light. It’s a sociable space to while away the hours after returning home from a day of exploring. Stunning interiors aside, there’s plenty of opportunity to explore the local area, with pubs, shops, restaurants and Warkworth Castle all within walking distance.

For pets >> Grange House For a luxurious, pooch-friendly break in a tranquil setting, Grange House is the perfect retreat for up to six guests. Nestled amongst a small collection of cottages surrounded by picturesque farmlands and just a five minute drive from Warkworth village, the beach and amenities, it’s the perfect base for both exploring and relaxing. On arrival, you will be met with a doggy welcome pack providing complimentary dog treats, waste bags, a dog towel, food and water bowls for three furry friends, with the possibility of an additional pup if approved by the owner. Your pooch will love this home away from home with its enclosed front and back

gardens with ample space for running wild and free.

For retired couples >> Farne View Peacefully located within walking distance of Bamburgh and boasting gorgeous views of the coastline in one direction and out to the Cheviot Hills in the other, Farne View is a stunning paradise for those looking to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Northumberland coast and countryside. The neutral and calming feel of this idyllic home makes for a relaxing stay from start to finish. This cosy abode offers enough space for up to four guests, plus the addition of two dogs, meaning you don’t have to leave ‘man’s best friend’ at home for the weekend. Step outside and you can enjoy the beautifully enclosed, lawned gardens with outside seating and plenty of space for four-legged friends to roam. For a quiet getaway offering comfort, space and picturesque views, a stay at Farne View is a must.

Farne View is a stunning paradise for those looking to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Northumberland coast and countryside Hassock House MAR/APR22 55



Corbridge, Northumberland The quaint Northumbrian village of Corbridge is bursting with natural beauty, Roman history and fantastic independent businesses. There’s so much to discover in this vibrant village

Flanked by rolling countryside and filled with stunning stone-built architecture, with the River Tyne flowing right through, Corbridge is everything you’d want from a picturesque Northumbrian village. Bringing modernity and traditional charm together in one quaint package, there’s so much to explore in this ex-Roman stronghold. Stroll by the river bank with your camera, wind your way through the streets for a bit of retail therapy, or simply cosy up in one of the welcoming pubs and watch the world go by with a pint. It’s luxe, It’s laid-back and it’s everything you could want from a trip to the Northumbrian countryside...

Things to do >> Walking the banks Positioned on a lovely spot by the River Tyne, Corbridge is the perfect place for a refreshing stroll with your pooch. Discover glistening waterfalls and weirs as you stride along in your wellies. Dig out your walking boots if you’re up for a long walk and follow the river east, all the way to Hexham.


Roman rambling Whilst taking in the beautiful views of the Tyne, you’re also bound to come across some of Corbidge’s Roman history. Known as Coria to the Romans, Corbridge was the most northerly town in the Roman Empire and you can still visit forts that have survived from those days. History buffs can take the short walk to Dilston Castle or even head to the nearby Hadrian’s Wall.

Places to shop >>

Nicky Jones Located at 10-12 Middle Street, Nicky Jones is the go-to shop for unique pieces of furniture. Boasting a showroom of bold and beautiful items - painted or unpainted, large or small, resurfaced, reupholstered, repaired and ready to grace any home. You may just pick up a rare vintage find! RE The jewel in the crown of the Corbridge shopping scene, RE is a world of all things wonderful, nestled away in Bishop’s Yard. RE doesn’t just specialise in one thing, it’s home to a multitude of amazing trinkets. Delightful home decor, funky fabrics, one-of-a-kind pieces and a bunch of dreamy desirables you didn’t know you needed. It’s like the most stylish and bold flea market you could ever imagine - a must visit!

Corbridge Cookshop Right on the high street, Corbridge Cookshop is home to lots of crafty gifts, home accessories and top notch cookware. So, grab some cool Corbridge memorabilia and maybe a new set of top-of-the-range pots and pans whilst you’re at it. J.A Stobo & Son An absolute staple of the Corbridge



The jewel in the crown of the Corbridge shopping scene, RE is a world of all things wonderful, nestled away in Bishop’s Yard shopping experience, J.A Stobo & Son known affectionately as Stobo’s by the locals - is a family run greengrocer that’s been standing strong on Market Square since 1956. Head there before your Roman adventures and stock up on some organic treats.

Purple Hound If you love to pamper your pooches as much as we do then you’ll adore the Purple Hound. This quirky pet accessory emporium is full to the brim with doggie delights and pawfect treats. Get your dog geared up with a stylish new coat, cute toy or cosy bed to crash in after those long Corbridge walks.

Places to eat & drink >> The Angel of Corbridge When it comes to cosy pubs you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere as inviting as The Angel. With the fire roaring, local ales on tap and a huge menu of the highest tier pub-grub, once you’ve settled down in The

Angel it’ll be tough to convince you to come back out! If you’ve been out fishing or hunting, they’re happy to exchange your catch for some drinks - and they’ll cook it for you!

Hot property >>

The Golden Lion Another inviting place for a tipple or two, The Golden Lion is a beautiful Grade II listed building filled with character and local hospitality. Only five miles north of Corstopitum - the ancient Roman supply depot for Roman soldiers who defended Hadrian's Wall - The Golden Lion is the perfect stop off for Corbridge history hunters. Il Piccolo You can’t beat a bit of indulgent Italian food and great wine, and that’s exactly what’s on offer at Il Piccolo. Boasting authentic dishes and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, it’s the go-to spot for an easy-going evening out in Corbridge. The Valley The Valley has been welcoming diners since 1991, using fresh local ingredients to create authentic dishes that have kept people coming back over and over again. If you’re after award-winning Indian cuisine in elegant surroundings, The Valley is certainly worth a visit.

Apperley Dene Don’t want to leave Corbridge? Then buy one of these absolutely breathtaking properties that are on the market in the area. Apperley Dene is a stunning, substantial Victorian country house nestled in extensive private grounds and woodland. Surrounded by Northumbrian countryside and amazing views, this dream home is everything you could ever wish for when it comes to an escape to the country. Guide price: £1,975,000

The Old Stables The Old Stables is a stunning, stone-built house originally developed around a period courtyard. With attractive gardens and in a picturesque rural location, this property offers tranquillity and practicality in equal measure. Guide price: £1,600,000.

MAR/APR22 57


I do

When it comes to marrying the person you love, there are many things to consider - one of the most important being where to tie the knot. To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite ‘I do’ venues across the region...

Ramside Treehouses The beautiful Ramside Treehouses provide a stunning backdrop for intimate weddings. The luxury, modern-meets-rustic space is the perfect blend for just the two of you - or just a few of you - with capacity for up to 30 guests. The expert wedding team are on hand every step of the way and will even act as witnesses if you are planning an elopement for the happy couple only. For a celebration with your nearest and dearest, the Treehouse wedding packages are simply perfect and each one can be tailored to suit the exact requirements of each couple, to ensure a totally unique and personal experience. The treehouses can also act as accommodation for your guests with three luxury bedrooms included in the wedding package, or you can take advantage of the 127 bedrooms within the 4* hotel, and its award-winning spa facilities.


The Vermont The Vermont Hotel has three spectacular function suites, each offering contrasting features and the most stunning backdrops for your ceremony and reception. The 360 viewpoint from the Vermont Hotel Sky Lounge & Garden affords you the most stunning views of Newcastle's Quayside, providing a spectacular and memorable wedding venue. Only one wedding celebration takes place each day, so you are guaranteed to have undivided attention to make your special day everything you desire. The Vermont’s weddings are run by a dedicated, award-winning team who will offer you a truly personal service from start to finish. Experts will be on hand at every stage of the process to inspire, guide and help couples create unique, magical moments that will last a lifetime.



Bowburn Hall Hotel Bowburn Hall’s one wedding per day policy means that couples will receive the venue’s undivided attention. This dedication to each wedding party gives couples peace of mind to enjoy their day, uninterrupted. The creative wedding team at Bowburn Hall know that when it comes to weddings, everybody’s tastes vary, therefore they offer personalised wedding packages which take care of every aspect of the day. The Ballroom is decorated in a French classic theme - with an emphasis on quirky modern luxe. Thanks to the loving restoration, up to 160 guests can join the happy couple in this elegant space which opens out via bi-fold glass doors onto the stunning grounds encompassing the hall and the terrace beyond. During the summer months, couples can take their first steps into matrimony in the gorgeous garden, followed by a prosecco and canapé reception. There are five beautiful woodland lodges nestled within the hotel grounds, available to guests. Each lodge boasts a six-foot double bed, whirlpool bath, walk-in shower, sofa, decking area and complimentary toiletries, adding another level of opulence to this already luxurious venue.

Hardwick Hall Hotel Overlooking the idyllic setting of the Hardwick Country Park, Hardwick Hall Hotel, situated on its own grounds, boasts four stunning wedding venues each combining romance with elegance. The Floral Chapel, with fabulous traditional features including vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and a beautiful stone fireplace, seats up 110 guests. This venue is perfect for enchanted wedding ceremonies and receptions. The magnificent Coleman Suite, accommodating between 40 to 380 guests, is an ideal space for lavish wedding receptions. If an outdoor ceremony appeals, couples can choose to say ‘I do’ at the beautiful Tuscan Alcove, set in a secluded area of the grounds with stunning lakeside views. During the warmer months the Marquee and Private Garden create a traditional summer wedding feel, accommodating up to 150 guests. With 51 individually designed bedrooms available, guests can enjoy luxury with a first class service. The Celebration Suite is a magnificent addition to the venue; with three stunningly styled rooms, large lounge area and private terrace with a hot tub, this is the perfect suite for a bridal party to get ready for the big day.

Grantley Hall Combining a rich heritage, exquisite decor and stunning formal gardens, Grantley Hall offers an unrivalled setting for the most elegant of wedding celebrations. Whether you are imagining an intimate ceremony or an elaborate affair, Grantley Hall will create a celebration that reflects your personality and style. As well as the most beautiful spaces for each part of your celebration, your wedding breakfast will be created by Grantley’s expert chefs, reflecting the tastes of the seasons and accompanied by a selection of fine wines recommended by the sommelier. The highly experienced wedding team will work closely with you, so that you can relax and enjoy the journey, from the moment you enquire.

MAR/APR22 59



Tying the knot

Close to home >> Christie and Craig McGarrell tied the knot at The Vermont Hotel in August 2019. Here they tell us about their special day and how they intend to keep returning to the stunning venue that will always have a special place in their hearts... NAMES OF COUPLE Christie and Craig McGarrell WE TIED THE KNOT AT… The Vermont Hotel WE DECIDED TO SAY ‘I DO’ AT THIS VENUE BECAUSE… As soon as we stepped into The Vermont Hotel, we knew this was where we wanted to get married. It radiates elegance and sophistication and has a timeless feel. The atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for and we loved the art deco style. The Ballroom had everything we wanted: beautiful large windows, an adjoining room with a bar for guests to relax, and the most breathtaking chandelier. The staff were all so helpful and put us at ease straight away. When we met our wedding co-ordinator, we knew that everything would be taken care of and completed to a high standard. OUR HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BIG DAY… Everything about the day was amazing. Walking down the aisle surrounded by friends and family and the beautiful setting was memorable. Dancing together under the


Over the past couple of years, couples across the globe have either had to put their wedding plans on hold or come up with creative solutions to marry their soulmate. But now, as we prepare to welcome back restriction-free weddings, we celebrate the notion of ‘love conquers all’ by checking in with two luxe couples from the North East one who experienced a pre-covid wedding, the other who married during the height of a pandemic…

incredible chandelier was one of the highlights; it was truly magical. Throughout the day, the food was delicious and nothing was left on the guests’ plates. SPECIAL DETAILS… The Vermont’s staff were all brilliant. Nothing was too small of a detail; everything was taken care of. Fyzal, our photographer, was incredible and captured all of the key moments from our day, which we will always look back on with a smile. One special moment was taking some time, just myself and Craig, to really appreciate the day. OUR GUESTS SAID… That it was one of the best weddings they had ever been to. The day was planned so guests were constantly provided for and informed of timings. From start to finish, everyone enjoyed themselves. WE RETURNED AS A HAPPY COUPLE TO… Enjoy our first anniversary meal which was just as delicious as the food on our big day. Since then, we have attended special events for family celebrations and always love to visit for afternoon tea. It will always hold a special place in our hearts. Whenever we go, we reminisce about our wedding and relive that incredibly special feeling. WE’LL BE BACK FOR… Our next anniversary! We will always return to The Vermont Hotel for that date - it’s a new tradition. We frequently book evening meals at The Maven restaurant, afternoon tea in the lounge and can not wait to visit ABOVE soon. PHOTOGRAPHY Fyzal Kirk,

Further afield >> Helen and Lee Westwood said ‘I do’ in 2021 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Here they tell us about their special day, their ‘wow’ backdrop, and how they hope to return to this breathtaking venue in the near future… NAMES OF COUPLE Helen and Lee Westwood WE TIED THE KNOT AT... The Bellagio, Las Vegas WE DECIDED TO SAY ‘I DO’ AT THIS VENUE BECAUSE… The Bellagio is such a stunning hotel, it has everything you could ever want to make your special day magical. One of the stand out features for us was the iconic backdrop of the fountains. OUR HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BIG DAY… Everything about this place is truly exceptional, but the staff went above and

beyond at every opportunity to make each and every detail unique to us. SPECIAL DETAILS… It was everything we dreamed of and more. A stand out had to be the flowers - they were perfect. Another thing was how much care and attention to detail was put into my hair and makeup. I loved it - I was made to feel like I belonged in a fairytale. The professionalism and the friendliness of the staff was also incredible, we were even gifted crystal champagne glasses which made it home in one piece! OUR GUESTS SAID… Our wedding was during the midst of the global pandemic. 2021 came with a lot of uncertainty - there were a lot of restrictions in place - especially when it came to travelling, so we actually didn’t have any guests at our wedding. It was just the two of us, but we were blown away! WE’LL BE BACK FOR… We don’t have any set plans in place at the moment. As you can imagine, the golf calendar takes priority, so it may be an impromptu visit before a tournament, but we will definitely be back to visit.


LUXE LOWDOWN quite tough when you’re looking at a full day of Teams calls! I love to cook so that’s how I chill out at night and once the kids are in bed my husband and I look forward to sitting and watching something for an hour before accepting that we’re shattered and that’s it. Pretty boring reading that back! Any recent, ongoing or upcoming projects or achievements we should know about? Finally learning to live with Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) after seven years of fighting with doctors, nurses and health professionals to be heard, understood and diagnosed. I’m still in the process of living with this horrible disorder but I’ve found a solution that is working to keep some of the nastier side effects away. LESSONS IN LIFE >> What did you want to be when you were growing up? I still haven’t been able to figure that out and I’m 34. I knew school wasn’t for me so cut my losses after my first year at sixth form and went into banking. Since having the boys it’s really focussed me on enjoying what I do as life is too short not to. What is the most important lesson life has taught you? To shamelessly quote Maya Angelou, ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will ever forget how you make them feel’. I think about this so much. What is your greatest fear? That my PMDD will get the better of me. Which living person do you most admire and why? Steven Bartlett – not only his story on how he made a life for himself but his podcasts have genuinely been so thought provoking and inspiring. They are pushing me to change how I live.


Vickie Walsh GETTING TO KNOW YOU >> Name Vickie Walsh Title Scrum Master, Greggs PLC Where is home? Whitley Bay Three reasons you love where you live? I love the coast and we’re lucky enough


to be able to get to the beach within five minutes. We have both sets of our twin boys’ grandparents within a mile which is amazing and it’s where I grew up, so I feel at home and happy here. THE DAY JOB >> What do you do for a living? I’m what’s called a Scrum Master for Greggs

plc. I work with two brilliant software teams who create apps and websites for our customers. A day in the life of you? I train three times a week with Cut the Bull fitness before getting home to make sure the lunches are made; school bags are primed and my twin boys have removed the evidence of their chocolate spread toast before they’re off to their grandparents before school. At the moment I’m still working from home (well the top floor landing with enough room for my desk and bits and bobs) so lots of meetings whilst trying to walk around the estate in my spare time as I’m under strict instructions that I should do at least 12,000 steps which is

LIVING LUXE >> What is top of your bucket list? Having been married for five years this July, I’d love to finally go on our honeymoon to the Maldives and stay in a water villa and do nothing for at least a week… with no kids. What is your most treasured possession? Pictures of me with my grandparents who are no longer with us. What does the weekend mean to you? Time for me, time with my boys and time to have good food and wine. A memorable holiday? Australia for a family wedding which coincided with my 30th. We flew business class, I walked up the Sydney Harbour Bridge, dined at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the bridge and the Opera House, travelled to five cities within three weeks, travelling to Singapore to finish. All with 18 month old twins who smashed every flight out of the park! Best dress? Easy… my wedding dress. Who would be your top-three dinner guests? Steve Bartlett Josh Widdicombe Brené Brown The last place you ate? Peace and Loaf The last book you read? Dare to Lead – Brené Brown The last thing you listened to? Parenting Hell – Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe The last thing you watched? Gomorrah Your three luxe things in life? Travelling with my husband and boys, eating divine food and spending time with my friends and family. Read more about PMDD and Vickie’s experience at




Finest Properties has recently introduced a beautiful, recently constructed country house and cottage to the market. Boasting extensive equestrian facilities, it’s the perfect home for horse enthusiasts… The lowdown Mole Hill Farm in Beamish is an immaculately presented home which seamlessly blends luxury with nature and offers endless scope for entertaining. If you’re looking for a rural retreat with convenient access to both Newcastle and Durham, this stunning property ticks all the boxes.

This substantial detached house, along with the neighbouring holiday cottage, was constructed seven years ago and finished to a high specification. Boasting stunning views and exceptional equestrian facilities, the two properties combined offer four bedrooms, three bathrooms and four reception rooms, set in 16 acres of land.

Key features The main property offers flexible living accommodation over three floors, with high quality finishes, a surround sound system throughout, underfloor heating in many of the rooms, a CCTV camera system, spacious, contemporary bathrooms and a high quality kitchen perfect for entertaining. The front door opens into a spacious reception hall, which is divided from the dining room by a stunning feature fireplace with dual aspect multi-fuel stove. The statement limestone floor has underfloor heating to ensure feet remain toasty all year round, which runs throughout the ground floor to the main reception rooms. The windows are a mixture of stone mullions and oak framed leaded panes, and a Cliffy Chapman limestone staircase with attractive wrought iron balustrading leads to the first floor. Double oak doors welcome you into the drawing room/media room which is fitted

with a range of Macassar ebony wood cabinets and display shelving, and a wall mounted wood burning stove. There are uninterrupted views over the gardens and countryside beyond. The spacious, dual aspect breakfast kitchen is fitted with a range of Herrington Gate furniture, in Pippy oak and walnut, and a dresser with painted finish, with complementary granite work surfaces incorporating a Siemens ceramic hob, conventional oven and dishwasher. The Sub Zero American-style fridge freezer includes a built-in wine cooler and there’s a four oven electric Aga. It’s a kitchen that’s crying out for entertaining and plenty of cooking! Steps lead down to the garden room, which has fabulous views over the open countryside, and a sandstone fireplace housing a gas stove. There’s also a cloakroom and boot room/utility. Stairs from the reception hall take you to the first floor landing, where there is a

If you’re looking for a rural retreat with convenient access to both Newcastle and Durham, this stunning property ticks all the boxes 62



study with a feature window and deep window seat. The master bedroom leads off the main landing into a dressing room which is fitted with bespoke shelving. The en-suite offers a stone bath, twin vanity basins and a large walk-in cubicle with rain shower and a TV set into the wall. Two further bedrooms, both with dressing rooms, parquet flooring and built in walnut and sycamore dressing tables, share a Jack and Jill bathroom. A further staircase leads to the second floor leisure suite currently used as a TV room with a fitted bar, featuring a fridge, built-in wine cooler and sink.

Added extras The substantial equestrian facilities include a stable block with 16 boxes, a barn with an additional six stables, tack room, groom’s kitchen and office. There is also an outdoor area for exercising horses and extensive grazing land. The holiday cottage offers a spacious dining kitchen, two


bedrooms, both with en-suite bathrooms, and a living room. The ground floor bedroom has French doors leading out into the rear courtyard, and an en-suite bathroom with a free-standing bath and separate shower. Stairs lead to the open plan living room with vaulted ceiling, maple flooring, windows to both aspects and skylights to allow natural light to flood in. A door leads to the master bedroom with built-in wardrobes, maple floor and en-suite, again with free-standing bath and shower. Mole Hill Farm is approached through double gates along a gravel driveway leading to a generous parking and turning area. Directly in front of the main house is an attractive cobbled turning circle. There are sweeping lawns to the rear of the property with breathtaking views, a large pond, the equestrian arena and a brick outhouse. 63

Specialists in the marketing of distinctive property

North East T 01434 622234 E

Cumbria & the Lakes T 015394 68400 E

Yorkshire T 01423 368993 E

Cheshire T: 01625 783600 E:

LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE At Finest Properties we make it our business to command attention


s specialists in the marketing of distinctive properties we have been successful in creating a brand that attracts attention and high quality enquiries from across the UK and internationally.

If you are thinking of selling we can offer you unrivalled exposure at a time when it matters most.

WE HAVE SOUTHERN AND INTERNATIONAL BUYERS WAITING Contact us today to arrange your complimentary market appraisal

01434 622234

PASTEL POWER Go Modern Furniture Bonaldo Circus dining table £3,890,

Ella James Mojave Glaze Pink Mug £14,

Cuckooland Woood Flo Side Table with Drawers £155,

Darlings of Chelsea The Lomond Chair in Wool Tearose £1,724,


Pretty in pink

Add a touch of pink to your spring home palette Loaf Large Bubble Lamp with Rosewater Clever Vintage Linen Shade £135,

The French Bedroom Co Es Cubells Pink Fringed Cushion £50,

Cuckooland Small Velvet Pouffe £199,

LuxDeco Dita Sofa From £9,625,

FY Lila Shell Candle Pink Soy Wax £20,

Audenza Luxurious Hand Carved Nova Star Pink Rug From £352,

Red Candy Neko Cat Vase in Apricot £45,

KitchenAid KitchenAid Artisan 6.9L Bowl Lift Stand Mixer in Dried Rose £699,



Durham 0191 384 2277

Darlington 01325 488 619

Wynyard 01740 645 444



This fabulous property is one of just eight unique homes in a small cul-de-sac in exclusive Wynyard Woods. Almost 5,000sq ft of internal space including an integral three-car garage contains all the rooms a family requires including five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a multitude of reception accommodation. There are three principal reception rooms and a huge open plan dining kitchen that leads into a sunroom with the garden beyond. The superb kitchen has an extensive range of units, an L-shaped island with breakfast bar and is packed with appliances including Küpperbusch double ovens, a warming drawer, coffee machine, a larder fridge-freezer and boiling water tap.



The Paddocks is a stately home of palatial proportions with 42 acres of land and leisure facilities. Amid the grounds lie fenced paddocks, a tennis court, a pergola with hot tub, landscaped gardens, an outdoor assault course, mature woodland, a lake and extensive lawns suitable for helicopter landings. The indoor features including a 26ft swimming pool, gym and games rooms with full size bar. The original Georgian property has undergone significant extensions and modernisation yet retains the look and feel of a traditional home. With views across extensive parkland and woodland, it has all the attributes of a rural idyll and the opportunity to live the country life yet is close to village amenities and major transport links.

Contact: 01740 645444

Contact: 01740 645444

local, regional, national and international specialists in property marketing creative and intelligent marketing of individual and country property


Perfectly imperfect Celebrating individuality and imperfections through her handcrafted homeware, Hannah Harriet is the urban concrete studio based within the pretty market town of Richmond. Nicole Wood sits down for a chat with the creative genius behind this flourishing business…


In today’s society, it’s hard not to simply follow a trend. Whether we like it or not, each and every one of us is influenced by the tech-savvy world we’re living in. With targeted ads, social media trends and influencers, we’re all so quick to jump on the latest fashion fads. Now don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love checking in with my favourite YouTuber to see which new beauty products they’re using or endlessly scrolling through home accounts on Instagram for decor inspiration. But due to the super-fast pace of the digital world, trends change just as quickly as they come around and it’s hard to keep up. As I’m scrolling through my feed, I stumble upon a small local business, Hannah Harriet. This lovely little independent makes me realise that, actually, the world of social media is filled with so much more than meets the eye, and trends should just be there to inspire us. When I reach out to the lovely Hannah, it’s a joy to speak to her about her flourishing business and her wonderfully unique products. “Homewares have always been a passion of mine, but I get bored seeing the same things in the big high street shops. Robots are smart, but everything looks the same. I love hand crafting concrete because each item has its own quirks and individuality. Each of my Hannah Harriet products have their own story to tell. No two pieces are alike. From the size of the pot and the way the marbling shapes, to the colour of each layer of pigment and the air bubbles that naturally occur in the making process replication is impossible. Handcrafted concrete products are as unique as you and I,” explains Hannah. The 31-year-old designer has always had a passion for homewares and interior design. Hannah tells me that ever since she was a child she always wanted to be an interior designer. Her favourite hobbies were different to other children her age.



Instead of playing with dolls or riding her bike, Hannah would choose to rearrange her bedroom furniture, create mood boards with cut-outs from magazines and watch Changing Rooms with her mum. She truly believed she was destined to work within the industry. However, like most of us, when we grow, our careers can head down a different path. After a brief stint running an online clothing store, Hannah quickly realised her passion remained elsewhere and has since been making concrete products for full time for three years. If you aren’t familiar with Hannah’s gorgeous products and you haven’t stumbled upon her Instagram account filled with stunning shots of her items or adorable pooches, you can expect to find all things homeware including handcrafted concrete pots, coasters, bowls, trays and more. “One of my favourite products in particular has to be my Thin Round Tray. I love making them because the marbling patterns show up so lovely on that large flat surface. They’re something everybody needs in their home because they make your clutter like keys, candles and tv remotes look organised. My customers must agree as the round trays are my best selling item,” says Hannah. To handcraft bespoke products, each as beautiful as the next, is a time consuming process, one which is handled with care and precision. Passionate about her work, Hannah guides me through her process: “I’ll handmake a product out of clay. Once it’s solid, strong and dry I can make a silicone cast from that product. This allows me to pour concrete into a silicone cast which is flexible. The concrete takes around 40 hours to air dry. I’ll carefully peel it out (sometimes much easier than other times depending on size and shape) then I sand it down so it's smooth. I wash the pots then when they’re dry, I’ll seal the concrete three times to stop it dusting. Everything I make is mixed, cast, sanded, washed and


sealed by hand.” As I sit back and think about the process Hannah goes through for each of her products, my thought trail takes me back to the trend-changing topic that led me to Hannah in the first place. It makes me wonder how the creatives behind the products we buy, keep up with trends and how they find inspiration for the work they create. “Inspiration can come from literally anywhere. I’m a huge animal lover so I often see cool markings on their fur which I can copy into my marbling patterns. I’m a keen cook too. Vegetables and food packaging often have quirky shapes and textures which can give me ideas for things I could make. Some of my moulds have actually been made with the actual plastic tub that most people would see as junk. Sometimes I even buy food at the supermarket because I want the tub to recreate a shape in my pottery. Is that the first time someone told you Tesco was their inspo?,” she laughs. “It goes without saying, my dogs are a big help too. They inspire me every day, they’re my life. They spend all day following me around and sitting by my side. Brady the Dalmatian is actually resting his head on my knee while we’re talking now. We spend a lot of time together and are the inspiration behind my dog bowls,” she adds. As we start to discuss what the future holds for Hannah Harriet in a post-covid world, Hannah tells me about her hopes of expanding her offering and potentially opening a store: “I’m always keen to strengthen my skills so this year I hope to do more pottery courses. You can never know too much. I’d like to do a floristry course too. “I’ve been trying to get a brick store for a while now, but it’s so hard to find the right space with character and good natural light. One came up over Christmas that I liked, and I hoped it would be my

I love hand crafting concrete because each item has its own quirks and individuality. Each of my products have their own story to tell project for the new year but unfortunately it didn’t work out. It’s difficult to get a place here in Richmond, but hopefully the perfect shop will come up this year as I’d love to see more of my customers face to face and I’d love to host workshops and events like ‘pots and prosecco’. Living in a rural area there tend to be a lot of clubs for older people or for young teens but

very few for people around my age to make friends in the area.” Three years into business and with an online store blooming day on day, we can’t wait to see how huge this brand is going to be as Hannah Harriet continues to flourish. Watch this space. 69


LIFESTYLE CONFIDENTIAL with Kate Rose, founder of lifestyle brand Tutti & Co The nights are lighter, the days longer and my thoughts turn to spring and a brighter season ahead… Reading ….. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? - I picked this book up in the supermarket whilst doing my weekly shop. Drawing on years of experience as a clinical psychologist, online sensation Dr Julie Smith shares all the skills you need to get through life’s ups and downs. Filled with secrets from a therapist’s toolkit, this is a must-have handbook for optimising your mental health. Dr Julie’s simple but expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient no matter what life throws your way. A must light-hearted read for all busy working parents, and one to keep handy when life’s challenges appear.

Visiting….. My favourite restaurant at the coast, High Tide, Cullercoats. Whether you choose the delicious home cooked Sunday lunch or nip in for a tasty tea through the week, you will not be disappointed. The service is amazing and the food choice is diverse. If you manage to grab a table in the early evening, you can watch the sun go down across Brown’s Bay - it’s a simply stunning location. My favourite dish has to be the speciality Korean sticky chicken, very moreish and certainly one of their signatures.

Wearing …. Cape coat from Massimo Dutti. Cotton and wool mix, this coat is the perfect wardrobe staple for spring. Throw over a pair of jeans and fasten with your favourite leather belt, or style with a pair of sneakers for an effortless look. Perfect for layering when the weather is changeable and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. I will be wearing mine over a dress for a late March wedding. £269.

Loving… The new range of Tutti & Co sunglasses. With holidays back on the cards and a new wardrobe to plan for travel, you will find it hard to choose your favourite pair. If you are looking for an oversized frame or a dressier metal frame you are sure to find a pair to suit every occasion and face shape. From a classic aviator, to an oversized oak coloured frame, lots of styles to choose, for lots of different looks.


Cooking… Prawn & sun-dried tomato tagliatelle (Serves 2) Ingredients 250g fresh tagliatelle 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped Large handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped 1 lemon, cut into wedges 250g raw peeled king prawns 2 heaped tbsp sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped Small handful of pine nuts 1 tbsp parmesan, plus a sprinkle for garnish Pinch of black pepper Method Heat 2 tbsp of oil from your sundried tomatoes in a wide based pan. Add the prawns and the garlic over a medium heat and fry for 4-5 minutes or until prawns are cooked through. Boil a large pan of water, add your tagliatelle, and cook for 3-4 mins. Drain, and stir together with prawns and garlic. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon (save the rest for garnish), a generous pinch of black pepper and your sun-dried tomatoes. Stir in 1 tbsp of grated parmesan and warm through on a low heat. When nearly ready, add your fresh basil and stir through. Meanwhile, heat a small pan and add your pine nuts on a medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve your sundried tomato and prawn pasta garnished with your toasted pine nuts, remaining lemon wedges and a sprinkle of parmesan.



LUXE LOVES Far-flung destinations Our wanderlust awakens as we dream of tropical climes, soulful experiences and tailormade retreats by Health Travel. The newly opened Habitas AlUla in Saudi Arabia is an immersive experience where nature inspires creative expression, human connection and the pursuit of adventure. A place that oozes pure luxury for the soul.




LUXE MAMA with Elysia Fryer

My journey into motherhood...

Spring awakening Oh how we’re ready to wrap our arms around the bountiful season that is spring! The new season brings with it an abundance of new opportunities and adventures. George and I are incredibly excited to get out and about, exploring all that the season has to offer in the great outdoors (we’ll be rounding those up for you later!), but first,

as we wave goodbye to the winter wardrobe and transform our home into a toddlerfriendly oasis to love and learn in, we’re hunting down some of the best planetfriendly baby products - from clothing to bedding - and we’ve also been chatting to the lovely folk at Little LD (Lilian Daph), who have been sharing some of their sweet stock for small people, from their home by the sea in Saltburn. You’ll find us quite literally ‘springing forward’ this season as we prepare to take those first steps - eeek!

Baby buys >> Five of the best green products for your eco baby

A little luxe lifestyle >> Lillian Daph’s ‘little sister’ store in sunny Saltburn is the place to shop for small people living the luxe life. We caught up with the team of mamas at the helm… WILD ONE Any new mum will appreciate the gift of a zip-up onesie! Cute, cosy and easy to fasten, Kit & Kin’s animal prints are perfect for unleashing a small person’s wild side. Made from sustainable 100% organic cotton, it’s as green as they come too! Kit & Kin, Fox All-in-one, £17.99,

SOFT STRIPES Gentle on the skin and kind to the planet, this unisex all-in-one is made from super soft organic cotton with foldable cuffs for growing room, meaning you won’t need to constantly update your little one’s wardrobe. Polarn O. Pyret, Striped Baby All-in-one, £26,

What is Little LD and how did it come about? Little LD is the ‘little sister’ store of Lillian Daph in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. It came about because the owners (Craig and Christina) had just had a baby and couldn't find anything to fit their style, despite travelling for miles in their search. Everything we stock is beautiful to the eye, but also super practical. We’re a team of mums, so we work together to find the perfect balance between cool products and practicality. Where does it fit - or stand out - in the current market? We are super selective with our brand and product offering! We don't buy anything that we don't love or wouldn't put our own little people in. Everything is very carefully curated and both our shops are in unique historic buildings. People come to us because they know and trust us. Lillian Daph for interiors and styling knowledge, and at Little LD we have 10 years’ experience in the childrenswear market. What kind of products can we find in-store and online? A range of artisan homewares such as handcrafted crochet and raffia lions from Spain, beautiful bed linen, everything you need for weaning and teething in sustainable materials, handmade Go Soaky outerwear up to age 10, organic cotton clothing up to age 4, teepees and canopies, toys, bikes, scooters, gifts and much, much more. Plus, we are the only UK stockist for Woodluck children's furniture. Some of your favourite brands? Ila Y Ela, a Spanish brand and the brains behind the crochet lions they're a real talking point in the store and make such an impact. We also love Moulin Roty toys and Garbo and Friends bedding.

HOME SWEET HOME Little imaginations will run wild as they explore this classic doll’s house filled with Maileg friends. Made using only FSC certified wood and recycled materials, this piece is super sweet and sustainable in equal measure. SCANDIBØRN, Maileg House of Miniature Doll’s House, £239.95,


LUXE LINEN This chic linen romper makes for cool, comfortable wearing - perfect for sunny spring days home or away. Handmade in England using 100% linen, it’s a sustainable wardrobe staple available in a range of colours for both little ladies and little gents. Freya Lillie, Alex Unisex Romper, £49.99 £54.99,

Four luxe spring buys? Bluebell Muslin Single Bed Duvet Cover Set, £128 Special Edition Large Apples Backpack in Berry Swirl, £51 Crochet Lion, £85 Dante Silicone Bucket Beach Set in Nature Mist, £40 All available in-store and online at Little LD



Little moments Why lavishing your child with praise isn’t always the right thing to do… I was sitting in the park last week with my son and I overheard a mother talking to her young daughter. They were both in high spirits and I could hear the mum saying things like ‘good job’, ‘well done’, ‘you’re so clever!’. The little girl was navigating a small obstacle course and she frequently looked over to see if her mum was watching her. Every time she took a step, she waited for the positive, encouraging comments. Pretty normal occurrence, yes? We hear these things all the time and as parents, I’m sure you’ve lavished words of praise on your children when they’ve built a block tower or come home with full marks on their spelling tests. Brain research indicates that we respond to social approval in much the same way that we respond to rewards such as money or food. We get a boost of the neurotransmitter ‘dopamine’ and it feels great! But praise is a controversial topic in the conscious parenting community. You see there are a few difficult issues when it comes to saying things like ‘good job’ to our children. Don’t get me wrong, I bestow my fair share of encouraging comments to the children I work with and indeed my eight year old son, but I try to use the phrases mindfully. So, what’s the big deal about praise? Surely, it’s a good thing? Well no, not necessarily. There are a number of studies reporting that some types of praise can actually undermine a child’s motivation, damage their self-esteem, foster the tendency to ‘people-please’ or even in some cases, fuel the development of narcissism by inflating the ego. Now before you think I’m being overly-dramatic, please hear me out. When our children are young, they are learning about the different feelings they have and the emotions they experience. They are also learning how to generate positive feelings about themselves. We want


our children to develop a sense of pride, confidence and worthiness from within. However, if we are constantly praising our children, then they will learn that they only feel proud, confident or worthy, when other people ‘deliver’ these feelings to them. Children will learn that they have to wait for external validation to feel good about themselves or their accomplishments. We all know that it is rewarding to get the approval of others. We are pack animals by nature and we are wired to seek the approval of others to develop a sense of belonging. When we get a compliment from our partner about the meal we have prepared or a client or our boss recognises the effort we have put in at work, it feels good. Children are no different. To get a positive comment from a teacher or a sports’ coach is fantastic but it shouldn’t be the main focus. We want children to look inwardly and notice when they feel proud of themselves. We want them to feel positive both in the presence of external validation but more importantly, in absence of that praise. What if you have a praise junkie? Do you remember the dopamine I mentioned at the beginning? Well dopamine is addictive. And in the same way, your child can become addicted to praise. If your child is completely dependent upon feelings of self-worth from external sources, then you’re going to have to withdraw a little. I’m not saying go cold-turkey, but you will need to rein in such gushing comments as ‘you’re the best in the world’. When your child asks for your opinion on something they have just done, turn the tables. Ask them how they feel about it. Try to draw out their internal sense of pride by asking questions about the process. ‘How did you feel when you fell a few times practising your cartwheel?’, ‘how did you feel once you did

it?’. Match their energy. If they are excited, then show your excitement too, but you don’t need to heap on the verbal approval as well. When we mirror their energy, it is our child’s expression of their internal feelings that dictates our reaction; not our own opinion. In my home, I often shift the focus from praise to gratitude. Rather than saying ‘good boy’ to my son for getting his kit ready for swimming lessons, I’ll say ‘thank you for being prepared, it really saved me some time - I appreciate that’. Using gratitude helps children to realise that there is a constructive purpose to some of their actions. When you think about it, some of our go-to praise phrases are meaningless anyway; ‘great job, well done, good girl’. None of these actually tell our children what they have done well. I prefer to get specific and comment on resilience, ingenuity, or bravery for example. I don’t reward my son if he scores a goal in his football match, but I will comment on the way he supports his team-mates or helps the opposite player after falling over. I am modelling to him the importance of developing his character strengths and focusing on values rather than the final result. But what about those children who are highly critical of themselves and have low self-esteem or for those children who are just having a dip in confidence? I know it is tempting to go over the top to make them feel better but we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to rush our child through uncomfortable feelings. When we try to replace their negativity with false positivity, we deny our children the experience of actually feeling these challenging emotions. This is what builds the foundation of long-lasting self-esteem. Furthermore, if we forcefully try to cheer them up, then this tells them that they are only valuable when they are excelling. And that’s simply not true. I’m sure we all want our children to feel good about themselves whatever the circumstances, but especially when things aren’t going well. They need to know that

they are still valuable when they’re behind in their reading or they fail a driving test. They need to know that our love for them doesn’t change based on their accolades or achievements. We can’t be good at everything all of the time. We will make mistakes and we will fail. This is ok. Being resilient is more important than being perfect. So, I’m not telling you to never compliment your child or clap enthusiastically at the end of their school play, but what I am saying is be aware of your words and actions. Praise should always be the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

Nadia McSheffrey is founder of The Tranquil Treehouse. Nadia works with parents to help them be the parent they want to be and find tranquility in their family lives. She also works with children and teachers to support their own emotional wellbeing. For more information and daily parenting support, follow her at: and on Facebook and Instagram @tranquiltreehouse



A beautiful ride Luxe delves into the pages of this new coffee table book, celebrating 100 years of Jaguar history

Sheer elegance and pure luxury, The Jaguar Book is a new and exciting coffee table book showcasing the automotive achievements of this iconic, luxury car brand over the past century. Renowned photographer René Staud, who has published several previous bestsellers with teNeues, including The Porsche 911 Book, and his most recent book, Neo Classics, takes us on a captivating tour of the models produced by the British company with his breathtaking, meticulously staged photos. The legendary photographer has done it once again and has compiled 272 pages of stunning imagery alongside the brilliant copy produced by Jürgen Lewandowski who has initiated, written, and edited approximately 100 books on automotive history. Inside of these pages, you will be taken on a trip down memory lane through the pulse-pounding history and iconic models manufactured by Jaguar. Elegance and luxury – that is the essence of this brand. Founded


in 1922 as Swallow Sidecars by William Lyons and William Walmsley, then re-named Jaguar Cars Ltd. after 1945, the brand still thrills thousands of car enthusiasts a century later. In addition to the models created over a century of Jaguar excellence, there are captivating stories about racing history and iconic film appearances in James Bond films, Harold and Maude, and more, as well as exclusive looks inside celebrity owners’ garages and of course a dedication to company founder William Lyons, who helped make Jaguar what it is today - one of the world’s most respected car brands. This hardback beauty of a ride is a must-have for anyone who enjoys beautiful cars and scintillating automotive photography. £75,



LUXE LOVES Timeless fashion Whatever the season, you simply can’t go wrong with wardrobe staples from Barbour. Come rain or shine, you’re good to go with their selection of high-quality, made to stand the test of time, fashion items. The Barbour wardrobe includes statement styles you can wear all year round, from coats and jackets, to shirts, knitwear, footwear, accessories and more. North Begral Showerproof, £179 Bedum Casual Jacket, £169 Carew Overshirt, £79.95

MAR/APR22 75


Stitches that last a lifetime

Born out of a love for all things vintage and heritage, David Uddgren-Young left behind a 20-year career working in menswear fashion to follow a dream of opening his own store offering rare clothing that dates back generations. Matthew Thomas takes a look at what makes Common Ilke such a prized asset to the North East What is vintage clothing? Is your oversized, faded 90s Ralph Lauren jumper with a modicum of moth holes across the neckline now a rare collector's item ready to be snapped up? Like so many precious cultures that have gone before us, the conglomerates have identified ‘vintage’ as a niche market and tapped into the thinking of the younger generation to create a ‘culture’ so far away from the original idealogy of sustainability, expressionism and uniqueness. A ‘culture’ that is different to the one on offer at Common Ilke. Located in Unit 6 at Tynemouth Station, Common Ilke first opened back in October 2019 and has since collaborated with cult British designer Nigel Cabourn and consolidated itself into one of the north’s finest clothing parlours. The name of the game at Common Ilke is simple; the clothes you see on the rails are all hand-picked by David before a restoration process is undertaken to get these bespoke items looking their best, ready for their next chapter. If you’re after pristine, fresh out of the air-tight bag clothing, then think again. The bobbles, discolouration and frayed stitches


are celebrated at Common Ilke. These features are history, they all contain someone's life, memories and experiences. They are stitches that last a lifetime. Perhaps your Tynemouth Market visit will bless you with a Woolrich Mackinaw hunting jacket from the 1960s, or your quest for a rare 70s Barbour jacket may come to an end. Or maybe you’ll discover a 50s Californian varsity wool cardigan. That’s not to say that modern brands aren’t of interest at Common Ilke. David and the team work tirelessly to complement their vintage offering, and have since added high-end brands such as Red Wing, Filson, Sunspel and Le Mont St Michel to their in-store offering. Yet, the emphasis still remains; Common Ilke is home to high-quality garments that can stand the test of time - twice over. Now firmly rooted within the North East community, David has begun collaborating with local designers to offer a platform for their designs, passion and products to be seen, loved and enjoyed. This is evident with Newcastle-born designer, Connor Reilly. After perfecting his craft for a number of years, Connor teamed up with Common Ilke to produce a limited collection of watch caps that are produced

from a small, family-run factory in the UK working with nothing else other than wool grown in the country. Trading with Common Ilke for just over three years now, Connor’s wool watch caps sell out in a flash, such is the quality, design and look of his product. Not only has the Tynemouth store captured

the attention of vintage enthusiasts, this indie parlour is attracting serious love from global fashion designer, Nigel Cabourn. When the industry leader isn’t busy producing new lines for his eponymous label, you can often find him in-store, chatting with Dave and the team about CI's latest arrivals, trying on new items and indulging in their shared passion. It’s that shared passion for unique clothing that attracts the biggest names to their doors, and the tangible friendliness of the staff and unpretentious feeling in the store that brings customers from as far as Australia and Japan to Common Ilke. A welcoming, friendly hub with its door ajar for those wanting to chat about a product, the history of a 60s Finnish military coat or the zip format on a US issued M-65 combat jacket. Similar to how the North Sea presents precious trinkets from the deep blue from time to time, Common Ilke has a fabulous habit of unearthing precious items from across the globe - offering rare gems that are duly given a new lease of life. Have a look for yourself, I’m sure you’ll have plenty in common with the people there.




Your guide to some of the best kit and an update from the North East golf scene... KIT LIST >> NIKE Nike Unisex Aerobill Classic99 Lightweight Golf Baseball Cap, £28.99

TAYLORMADE Taylormade Mens 2021 P790-21 4P RH Speed Foam Air Golf Irons (7 Clubs), £1,099


We catch up with PGA professional John Harrison, Director of Golf at Matfen Hall… HOW’S THE WINTER SEASON BEEN? This winter has been very kind to golfers, it has generally been dry so here at Matfen we have been on the summer course throughout. The course is looking in great shape, especially the greens which are immaculate for the time of year. This is a real bonus heading into the spring and the growing season. I have been playing a winter Pro Am series at Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club once a month, winning the December competition with my Pro Am partner Alan Shearer, which was fun!

TED BAKER Ted Baker Mens Shalom Microfibre Cotton Pockets Fashion Golf Shorts, £53.99

KJUS GOLF Green Keano Jersey Half-Zip Golf Top, £90

JACQUEMUS Le Double Polo grey stretch-knit polo shirt, £245

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR JOURNEY TO MATFEN HALL? I am one of three brothers, all of whom became golf professionals. I started playing when I was seven years old at Brampton Golf Club in Cumbria. I played junior golf for Cumbria and England before turning professional in 1977, firstly as the assistant professional at Brampton then moving to Barnard Castle Golf Club as head professional where I spent 16 very happy years before making the move to Matfen Hall in 1994. I represented England in the European Team Championships, represented Europe v USA in the PGA Cup at West Palm Beach in Florida, won the European Senior Tour School, and represented Matfen Hall on the European Senior Tour for seven years. WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT THE CLUB AT MATFEN? It’s a great place to work as it is always evolving. The business also has a family feel and as a staff member you always feel comfortable in expressing your opinions to help with the running of the operation.

WHAT’S YOUR BEST GOLFING TIP? There is so much information out there on social media platforms, everyone with a theory or move that will transform your game! Unfortunately, we all have our own DNA so much of the advice won’t suit you, in fact it could destroy your game. Take a few lessons and learn to understand your swing - as well helping to improve your game you could actually learn to diagnose your own faults if things go wrong. Other than that, for consistency have a good set-up routine, tick boxing the grip, aim, stance and posture. WHAT’S NEXT AT MATFEN HALL? There has already been significant investment at Matfen over the last year. Phase one in the hotel has finished and we’re starting on phase two - the golf course, Keepers Lodge and the driving range have all been upgraded and are looking great. I’m sure there will be more projects starting very soon which makes it a very exciting time for everyone associated with Matfen Hall.

G/FORE Gallivanter Pebble-Grain Leather Golf Shoes, £160

POLO RALPH LAUREN Navy slim-leg stretch cotton chinos, £129




FATFACE Cove Flat Front Shorts in Sand £44,

CANALI Unstructured Linen and Wool-Blend Suit Jacket £1,125,

THE ROW Robin Cashmere-gauze Shirt £735,


Perfect pastels

BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB Embroidered Serif Logo Crewneck £165,

Statement styles, pastel shades and floral fragrances for the season ahead…

TOM FORD Rose Prick Eau de Parfum 50ml, £228,

MCQ ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Tie-dyed cotton-jersey Long Sleeve T-shirt £180,

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Beige Paqueboat Suede Penny Loafers £635, J.LINDEBERG Fredrik Sage Lyocell Shirt £110,




DUNE LONDON Cash Lace Up Desert Boots £80,

CHANEL Boy Les Exclusifs de CHANEL Eau de Parfum 75ml, £169,

AMI PARIS Lilac Lego-Embroidered Cotton T-Shirt £120,

BRUNELLO CUCINELLI Pink Cotton and Linen-Blend Piqué Polo Shirt £410, POLO RALPH LAUREN Pima Cotton Polo Top £99,

DIOR Gold Tone Architectural Sunglasses £370,

BOSS Slice Slim Fit Chino Shorts £119,

REISS Cairns Colour Block Polo Shirt, Natural £88,

BRUNELLO CUCINELLI Patterned Cashmere Turtleneck Knit £2,530,

MOSS BROS Floral Swirl Silk Tie £29.95,

MAR/APR22 79



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!

Paws & Prosecco in aid of Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park

>> Fran Joynson, Maisie Kell-Stone and Heidi Joynson

>> Andrea Wylie and Helen Westwood

>> Michael Muat and partner

>> Suzanne Doggett, Nicola Beaton and Katherine Wilkins

>> Elaine Lumsden and Glynis Ramsay

>> Mike Browne and Dee Howe >> Lottie the jack-a-doodle

>> Sue Lynsey and Bella the Bulldog

>> Dee Fuller, Caron Ginsberg, Dr Stephanie Manson Brown, Bunny Besley and Mandy Matthews

>> Damon Barnaby and Claire Barnaby

>> Heather Morton and Graham Chambers

Teesside Hospice Ruby Ball at Hardwick Hall Hotel

>> Olivia & Debbie Coulson

>> Guests of FRP Advisory LLP

>> Steve Colman

>> Shaun & Kendra Lowdon >> David Smith




LUXE LOVES Springtime outdoors As the warmer weather creeps in, enjoy some time outdoors with this simple, sleek and stylish dining set - perfect for alfresco affairs. Featuring a 180cm Henley glass and teak table alongside six Richmond armchairs, this set has everything you need for hosting outside soirées. £4,399,




Beach days >> A surfer heading for the waves on Longsands beach, Tynemouth. By Kevin Gibson at




BMW Select Representative example: BMW I4 250KW EDRIVE40 SPORT 83.9KWH 5DR AUTO. Term of agreement

47 Monthly Payments

48 months


On the road cash price £51,905

Customer deposit £4,887

Total amount of credit £47,018

Based on 8,000 miles per annum*. Excess mileage charge applies.

Option to purchase fee NIL

Optional final payment £22,231

Total amount payable £58,608

Rate of interest 4.9% fixed

Representative 4.9% APR

For more information or to arrange a test drive visit us at BMW Sunderland Boldon Business Park, West Boldon, NE36 0BQ Tel. 0330 178 4709

BMW Durham Broomside Park, Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham, DH1 1HP Tel. 0330 178 4782

^The i4 eDrive40 Sport electric range: 347-365 miles. These figures were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. The BMW i4 is a battery vehicle requiring mains electricity for charging. These figures are for comparability purposes. Only compare electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. They may not reflect real-life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. We act as credit brokers and we are not a lender. Finance is subject to status and finance company acceptance. We can introduce you to a limited number of lenders and their finance products. We will typically receive a commission from the lender, as either a fixed fee or a fixed percentage on the amount you borrow. The commission we earn does not change by the type of finance, or the lender we introduce you to. A guarantee may be required. The finance rate will vary dependent of customer personal circumstances for in dealership purchases. *Excess mileage charge of 14p per mile. If you exceed this annual mileage then excess mileage charges will be applied by the finance provider at the end of the agreement should you choose to return the vehicle. Unless otherwise stated, metallic paint at extra cost. Library image for illustration purposes only. Vertu BMW is a trading name of Vertu Motors (Continental) Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Company registration number 02156457. VAT Registration number 902737238. Registered office: Vertu House, Fifth Avenue Business Park, Team Valley, Gateshead, NE11 0X

The north east’s first in bespoke affordable interiors 10TH AVENUE WEST | TEAM VALLEY | NE11 0HL | 0191 491 3836 OPPOSITE RETAIL WORLD G R E ATLOOK . C O. UK