Page 1

Birmingham g n i liv

APRILcover latest:Layout 1

27/3/17

11:58

Page 1

April 2017

SHOES

Glorious SHOES ULTRA RUNNER

GAVIN SANDFORD

Felicity Jones

EASTER FOOD & DRINK

POET WITH

PUNCH

MATT WINDLE

FROM BOURNVILLE TO HOLLYWOOD


BHAM_ (Page 02):Layout 1

22/3/17

09:52

Page 2


BHAM_ (Page 03) edsletter:Layout 1

22/3/17

10:28

Page 03

EDITOR’S VIEW

This Easter, instead of buying a chocolate egg, why not give the money to the Children’s Hospital instead?

aster is a time when children should be having some special fun, whether it be visiting one of our wonderful local farms and holding new born chicks and bunnies, taking part in Easter egg hunts, or being allowed to have rather more chocolate than normal! But not all children are so lucky, and we should remember that fact. Children who are living under difficult, and worse, abusive conditions. Children who because of situations at home take on responsibilities way beyond their years. And children who are very ill in hospital. This month it was my pleasure to interview Felicity Jones, a huge, mega-movie star who was born and grew up in Bournville and learned her acting craft in Birmingham. Nominated for Oscars and appearing in some of the biggest-grossing films of all time, Felicity is an actress in demand – I know this because it took some considerable time to set up our interview! But as we talked, I quickly discovered that when it comes to supporting children Felicity is prepared to make time. She remembered as a child going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with her friends, and these visits have stayed with her over the years. The sister of one of those friends still works in the hospital’s intensive care unit looking after the most fragile and unwell of small patients. In the same way that Ozzy Osbourne told us in a previous cover interview, Felicity says supporting the Children’s Hospital is something we should all do. It relies on having to raise huge sums of money to provide facilities such as the new £1million Magnolia sanctuary for grieving parents. So, this Easter, instead of buying a chocolate egg, why not give the money to the Children’s Hospital instead?

E

David Johns

Editor: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk

Features editor: Shelley Carter shelley@brumliving.co.uk Designer: Tracy Duffy

Contributors: Rob Price, Sue Cooke, Lisa Melvin, Rose Gallagher, Gabe Cook

Account manager: Jane Morris jane@brumliving.co.uk Photography: David Morphew, Andrew Llewellyn Publishing director: Jonathan Carter

Rock Hopper Media Limited Burleigh House, 23 Tagwell Road, Droitwich WR9 7BN tel 01905 771110 © Rock Hopper Media Ltd. Birmingham Living is published monthly by Rock Hopper Media Ltd and printed by Buxton Press. Views and opinions expressed by authors and services and products offered by advertisers are not specifically endorsed by Rock Hopper Media Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part of the contents of Birmingham Living without written permission is strictly prohibited.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: The subscription rate (post paid) is £24 for one year (12 issues). Subscriptions 01905 771110 ISSN 2051-8560

Cover image: Felicity Jones by Sarah Dunn

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

april 2017

/bhamliving

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

birmingham living 03


g n i liv

BHAM_ (Page 04) contents:Layout 1

22/3/17

10:29

Page 04

INSIDE

Highlights

12 16 20 22 30 38

Felicity Jones Hollywood star on life in Bournville, acting in Birmingham and the Children’s Hospital Poet With Punch How up-and-coming boxer Matt Windle became Birmingham’s very own Poet Laureate Nick Shrimpton Head chef of Brum’s first vegan eatery on a food ‘raw-volution’ and Stoke smugglers Food & Drink Foodie news, taste-testing Bottles restaurant, a new twist on Easter lamb.. and Ciderman! Style – Fantasy Footwear Mules, flatforms, wedges, hi-tops (and more!) in the season’s new shoe collections Health – The Big Stretch Top tips to make your exercise regime more enjoyable, efficient and injury-free

7 04 birmingham living

16 april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 04) contents:Layout 1

22/3/17

10:29

Page 05

CONTENTS

42

Best of the Rest

42 54 58 62 65 69 78 april 2017

Cool kitchens Award-winning designer Lisa Melvin reveals the latest looks and glamorous gadgets Motoring Sue Cooke tunes in to some light entertainment with Audi’s stylish new A5 Coupe Young, Gifted and Brummie Catching up with Birmingham’s Lewis Smallman, star of the new Billy Elliott show The Ultra-Runner Superhuman Gavin Sandford – running back-toback marathons in the Sahara Desert Spotlight on Business All the latest news, views, launches and openings from the business community Social Scene The pages that picture who’s been out and about networking in Birmingham this month Shows, Arts, Gigs and More What’s on, where and when – all you need to know about the entertainment scene

birmingham living 05


BHAM_ (Page 02):Layout 1

17/2/17

09:36

Page 2


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

22/3/17

10:26

Page 07

NEWS

MOVE YOUR MIND, JUNIOR EINSTEIN!

g n i livTODAY

It’s every kid’s dream – to create a daredevil science experiment, and hopefully not blow up mum’s brand new kitchen in the process! Would-be junior atomsplitters will be more than happy when school’s out and fun’s in at Resorts World Birmingham, thanks to plenty of science-related activities for all the family in collaboration with free Thinktank on the Move on 17, 19 and 20 April. Features include a mobile digital planetarium and hands-on fun with science busking.

Bringing you the brightest and most colourful stories from across the city each month

GEORGIE PUTS HER FOOT DOWN

LANDMARK FOR

LIFESAVERS This dramatic new sculpture has been unveiled to mark 25 years of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. More than six metres tall and weighing over a tonne, the artwork was created by acclaimed sculptor Richard Thornton. Entitled Air Pulse, it sits atop the hillside at Norton Canes Services on the M6 toll. Richard said: “I tried to produce a simple yet dynamic sculpture that is easily recognisable and strongly identifies with the service. I hope it brings enjoyment to those who see it.”

april 2017

Don’t know about you, but we think the superfast Aston Martin rather suits Georgie Moseley. The head of Birmingham cancer charity Help Harry Help Others was in the driver’s seat for a car rally to coincide with the group’s annual fund-raising ball. The Harry’s Run event featured supercars and high performance vehicles driving a challenging route from Wales back to Birmingham.

WELCOME DEPARTURE

Commuters enjoyed a welcome distraction from the trials and tribulations of travel when dance stars staged a ‘Dance Takeover’ at Birmingham New Street Station and Grand Central. The tea time treat saw international artists Julia Urruty and Claudio Gonzalez and Yanelis Manzanet and Julio Torres present an exclusive ‘teaser’ from Dance: Sampled at Birmingham Hippodrome, a two-day festival of the best in local and international dancing talent.

birmingham living 07


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

22/3/17

10:26

Page 08

NEWS

HELP FROM THE HEART People affected by homelessness in Birmingham have benefitted from funds raised through a major winter campaign. Heart of England Community Foundation donated £5,000 to SIFA Fireside, which provides support to vulnerable adults across the city. The charity offers a daily drop-in service providing more than 1,000 breakfasts, 2,000 lunches and 400 showers each month, plus clothing, sleeping bags and advice.

LEVI’S MARLEY MENU

CLEAN ENERGY BID A new bid to make the West Midlands the UK’s centre of clean energy technology was launched at a VIP event hosted by Birmingham University. The Energy Capital initiative brings together partners from academia, industry and the public sector to attract investment in smart energy technologies, research and infrastructure to deliver a wide range of economic benefits across the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) region.

Celebrity chef Levi Roots has created some special Ital dishes for Birmingham Rep’s Marmalade restaurant in celebration of its One Love: The Bob Marley Musical. Inspired by the food that Marley would have eaten, Levi’s culinary creations are available until 15 April. Ital, is part of the Rastafari culture and a plant-based diet in keeping with Levi’s dishes which are full of natural ingredients.

THE £15,000 RED SHOES HAIR-RAISING MOMENT

The power of ballet has been revealed on and off-stage at Birmingham Hippodrome. As performances of Sir Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes played to sell-out audiences, the Hippodrome hosted a week of gala celebrations – raising more than £15,000 for the Hippodrome CREATIVE programme which delivers inspiring arts experiences for young people, vulnerable adults and families across the region.

08 birmingham living

A current student and graduate from Birmingham Conservatoire are celebrating after winning a major international music competition. Roche van Tiddens, pictured, and Ryan Probert have been commissioned to compose new work as part of the Young Composers Meeting in Holland. The YCM brings together 16 composers under 30 from around the world. Of the 16 composers selected from more than 100 applicants, five were current students or graduates of the Conservatoire.

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

22/3/17

10:27

Page 09

NEWS

APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE Pioneering scientist, fertility expert, broadcaster and author Prof Lord Robert Winston visited King Edward’s School, Birmingham to talk to an audience of more than 400 pupils, parents and staff about the importance of being scientifically literate. The talk, was the seventh in the school’s Tolkien Lecture series, named after the school’s most famous former pupil J R R Tolkien.

PUB CHAMPS IN UNDER A YEAR What an achievement! After less than a year, The Chequers at Crowle was named Les Routiers Best UK Gastro Pub 2017. The pub, which opened in March 2016 after an extensive refurbishment, is part of CD Pub Co’s award-winning stable – The Forest at Feckenham, The Moorings at Myton and The Stag at Offchurch, Leamington Spa.

IN BRIEF DIGGING IN With spring in full swing, how about putting your best welly forward and volunteering for local charity Thrive in Kings Heath Park, Birmingham? Thrive is a leader in the field of social and therapeutic horticulture. Details: 0121 293 4531.

STEPPING OUT

BUSKING IT A new website is promoting busking in Birmingham. Busk in Brum (www.buskinbrum.com) lets buskers create their own profile which can then be found and viewed by the public. Any performer from musicians, dancers, artists and circus acts can use the site. Founder Yasemin Gumushan said: “We need to start recognising the talents we get to enjoy daily through busking and give buskers as much support as possible.”

april 2017

BRIDE’S BIG WIN Blushing Victoria Vollbracht has received a special wedding gift after being named as Bride of the Year. The 22-year-old nurse who works at Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, Coventry won the £5,000 prize towards her wedding reception at Nailcote Hall. Her name was pulled out of the hat at a Champagne open evening attended by hopeful 60 couples. Victoria marries pharmacy technician Luke Purvis later in the year.

Local MP Steve McCabe joined 200 walkers in Selly Oak to raise awareness of people with disabilities in the community. Organised by charity Sense, the walk started at the new £14million TouchBase Pears centre, opening this summer.

NICE URNER A Chinese vase has been sold for a staggering £810,000 at a Birmingham auction house – 450 times above the estimate price and smashing sale records. Lot 136 at the Fellows auction was a large porcelain wucai fish vase.

birmingham living 09


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

22/3/17

10:27

Page 10

NEWS

FLOWER POWER A display of 1,500 sculpted forget-me-nots will bring a big splash of colour to Birmingham. St Mary’s Hospice Forget Me Not Appeal at Brindleyplace from 24 April to 1 May is a celebration of the lives of departed loved ones. For a donation, individuals and families can have their own keep-sake flower – made by Midlands-based British Ironworks Centre – from the display. Details: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/forgetmenot

BRAVE MUMS OPEN UK FIRST Two mums opened a new £1million support centre at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Gayle Routledge from Stafford and Rachel Ollerenshaw from Warwick, who both lost children to cancer, have worked with the hospital’s bereavement specialists to make Magnolia House a reality. The new sanctuary – the first of its kind in the UK – will help hundreds of parents receive life-changing or difficult news.

LOWDOWN WITH TV THROW DOWN Fans of BBC’s The Great Pottery Throw Down are in for a treat when TV judge and pottery designer Keith Brymer Jones comes to the Midlands next month. He will join the expert line-up of hosts at Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair from 12 to 14 May at Ragley Hall Park, Warwickshire. The fair brings together Britain’s best handmade products, crafts supplies and artisan foods. Joining Keith at the event are skincare supremo Liz Earle and Patrick Grant, judge on TV’s Great British Sewing Bee.

GIANT OF THE DEEP TOP AUTHORS’ TRIBUTE

The world’s largest octopus now lives in Birmingham. The city’s first Giant Pacific Octopus is the newest resident at the National Sea Life Centre. Full name Enteroctopus dofleini, the octopus has been christened Beverley Knight by the centre (yes, we’re equally intrigued by the name choice!) Fully grown, the octopus can weigh more than 70kg. It can be seen in the centre’s Octopus Hideout attraction.

Best-selling author of the Jack Reacher books, Birmingham novellist Lee Child, has led tributes to inspirational teacher Tony Trott who passed away aged 90. Tony spent his working life teaching English at King Edward’s School where he was much admired by pupils, including novelists Child and Jonathan Coe, who remembered that Trott “had a gut conviction that literature was the best possible way of understanding your fellow human beings, and therefore the world itself.”

GOT ANY NEWS? Email your news and pictures to editor@brumliving.co.uk 10 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 11):Layout 1

21/3/17

21:31

Page 11


BHAM_ (Page 12) felicity:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:32

Page 12

COVER STORY

SUPPORTING ROLE Hollywood actress Felicity Jones talks to David Johns about growing up in Bournville, learning her craft in Birmingham, the success of her blockbuster movies – and why the Children’s Hospital holds a very special place in her heart

12 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 12) felicity:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:32

Page 13

COVER STORY

elicity Jones is an actress in demand. The star of most recent films Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and A Monster Calls, has lived in what can only be described as a whirlwind of fame for the past couple of years – a result initially of her stellar, Oscar-nominated portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking’s wife in the huge hit The Theory of Everything. Today, everyone wants of piece of Ms Jones, from movie industry moguls and fellow film stars to her fans, the national and international press – and of course Birmingham Living. As a product of Bournville who discovered her love of all things acting right here in Birmingham, we’ve been tracking Felicity’s rise to the top. And when I finally got to chat to her during a very rare break just a few days before she appeared on presenting duties at the Baftas at the Royal Albert Hall, it was heartening to hear that Birmingham still figures very large in her life. And in particular, her support for the amazing staff and their pioneering work at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

F

Birmingham still figures

large in Felicity’s life, in particular her

support for the amazing staff and pioneering work at Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Picture: Sarah Dunn

april 2017

DOCTORS AND NURSES “I remember going to the Children’s Hospital with my brother and a friend to get treated for minor things – just the kind of things that all children experience,” says Felicity. “My friend’s mother worked at the hospital as a pediatrician. And his sister still works at the hospital now in intensive care. The staff at the hospital are incredible and it’s one of my links with the area so it always feels natural to support it in whatever small way I can.” Interviews such as this, which highlight and draw attention to the hospital and its life-saving work, are one of the ways that Felicity believes she can help. Felicity was born and brought up in Bournville where she went to infants and junior school before attending Kings Norton Girls School and then sixth form at King Edward, Handsworth. “Bournville was an incredible village,” she says. “It was a wonderful community to grow up in and I still have many friends in the area.” Her interest in acting was sparked by visits with her parents (Felicity’s father was a producer on breakfast TV shows, while her mother worked in advertising) to

birmingham living 13


BHAM_ (Page 12) felicity:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:32

Page 14

COVER STORY

FIVE FELICITY FACTS

1 Instead of Star Wars it could have been Star Laws because Felicity was thinking about studying law at university rather than English.

2 Soul music was Felicity’s thing at her favourite Birmingham nightclub, Snobs. Another haunt was the Jug of Ale in Moseley.

3 Down-to-earth Felicity says that she’d really rather have a hot drink and an early night than stand on the red carpet.

4 She was named the most popular actress of 2016 by movie fans in the IMDb StarMeter Awards.

5 In her rare time off Felicity says she enjoys cooking. Celebrity Masterchef anyone?

Picture: Maro Hagopian

14 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 12) felicity:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:32

Page 15

COVER STORY see productions at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford and also watching her uncle, actor Michael Hadley, in a production of The Lady from the Sea when she was aged just eight.

Sigourney Weaver in A Monster Calls. Felicity played a fugitive hunting for the Death Star in Rogue One, a performance which won her critical acclaim in a film which grossed more than one billion dollars worldwide at the box office. Despite appearing with some of the world’s top actors, Felicity still comes back to her roots for some of her favourite small screen ‘watches’. She’s a big fan of the BBC’s hit Peaky Blinders drama series produced here in Birmingham, and has been quoted as saying she’d love to have a part where “I get to do a full Birmingham accent”.

SPECIAL PASSES “I did bits of acting at school,” says Felicity, “but I owe my actual acting career to Colin Edwards at the Central Junior Television Workshop which was in the old Central TV building in Birmingham. We youngsters were given passes to get in and we felt very special. Then the workshop moved to premises at the Custard Factory.” Felicity trained at the workshop after school from the age of Bournville was a wonderful community to 10 until 18. “We did plays there and learned about acting. I wouldn’t be in grow up in and I still have many friends in the area. acting now without Colin and the ITV I always try to get back and visit as much as I can workshop. I met some incredible people there and I will never forget what a remarkable job Colin did.” Whether she could find any amount of time to Felicity made her professional debut at the age of take on another project is however debatable. With 12 when she appeared in the TV film The Treasure typical understatement she admits during our Seekers alongside an also-young Keira Knightley. A interview that she has had ‘a busy few months’ part in the television series The Worst Witch globe-trotting to promote her new films. Not that followed and then, at 16, Felicity was cast as Emma she is complaining. “I quite like the promoting,” Carter in The Archers, produced from the BBC she says. “There’s something cool about promoting radio studios in Birmingham. She continued in the the films you are in and getting to hang out with series while also studying for her English degree at the people you made the film with.” Wadham College, Oxford – a challenge which could involve studying until around 1am and then getting CUSTARD FACTORY a train at 6am to Birmingham to record The Archers. Felicity now lives in London out of necessity She also found time – of course – to appear in (ducking and diving the inevitable paparazzi student plays at Oxford. photographers who follow her every move). But she always makes it a priority to support arts projects in PEAKY BLINDERS Birmingham when she can – projects like the UK’s Since those student days, Felicity has appeared with largest ever multi-city street art initiative which some of the world’s biggest stars – before becoming kicked off with an 18-metre high spray-painted one herself! Co-star credits include the likes of mural at Birmingham’s Custard Factory. Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Ralph Fiennes, Helen As someone who grew up going to The Rep, Mirren, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Ryan, Kirstin Scott BMAG, the Custard Factory, Ikon Gallery and Thomas, Sally Field and Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Midlands Arts Centre, Felicity says she always feels Spider-Man 2. Felicity’s major breakthrough came lucky to have come from such a culturally-rich city. when she appeared in the film The Theory of And no matter how big her star shines, she still Everything about the life of physicist Stephen finds time to visit friends and family who live in Hawking with Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne. Staffordshire. “And I always try to go back and see In her most recent movies, she starred with Tom Bournville as much as I can,” she says. “It’s a Hanks in Ron Howard’s thriller Inferno and with wonderful place.” I

april 2017

birmingham living 15


BHAM_ (Page 16) matt:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:34

Page 16

FEATURE

THE BIG FIGHT Boxer and poet come face-to-face as Matt Windle talks about life inside the ring and as Birmingham’s Poet Laureate to David Johns ever was the phrase ‘poetry in motion’ more apt than when talking about Matt Windle. The up-and-coming Birmingham boxer is also the city’s official Poet Laureate. If, like me, you didn’t know there was such a thing then you should also know that to win this literary title is almost as demanding as claiming a champion’s belt in the ring. Matt, 26, started off 10 years ago by being Birmingham Junior Poet Laureate after he was pestered by his English teacher at Moseley School, Wake Green to enter for the competition. “The class was given the choice of writing an essay or a poem and, me being lazy, I thought it would be easier to write a few lines of a poem than do a long essay,” explains Matt. “The teacher was so impressed by my poem about homelessness that she said I should enter in for the Young Poet Laureate. I was 15 at the time in Year 10 and she kept asking me day after day if I had entered. I finally gave in and put in my entry, which had to be four poems, on the very last day possible.”

N

JUNIOR LAUREATE Matt was suitably amazed to be called to read his poems in front of a judging panel. “I didn’t really prepare properly because it was my first experience like that, so I didn’t get through,” he said. “But the following

16 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 16) matt:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:34

Page 17

FEATURE

year, after working really hard on my poetry I won the competition and became Junior Poet Laureate.” Fast forward nearly a decade and Matt is now the adult Birmingham Poet Laureate. The Laureate scheme has been going for 21 years and is now a joint venture between Birmingham Library and Writing West Midlands. Matt’s just in the first few months of a twoyear term in the job which sees him record important or momentous events on the Birmingham scene in verse, write commissioned pieces of work and take his inspirational message and story out to local and national schools, universities, clubs, organisations, young offenders centres and charities through workshops, boxercise classes and other events. His number one priority is to use his poetry to show youngsters that no dream is impossible, all goals can be reached. “Most kids have a preconceived idea that poetry and the Poet Laureate is for old people. Say Poet Laureate to them and they’ll think of someone who is dead, from history. They are amazed to see that it is someone of my age who is a professional boxer.” The self-styled ‘Poet With Punch’ was first an amateur boxer who had more than 60 fights for Warley and Jewellery Quarter boxing clubs. In 2012 he became Birmingham Featherweight champion and the following year was Midland Central Area Bantamweight titleholder. In 2014 he won the Birmingham and Midland Flyweight title and was ranked in the UK’s top eight.

WRESTLING

Poetry is seen as soft

and feminine – and then I get up in front of the kids, a boxer who looks nothing like a poet

Picture: David Rann

april 2017

As we talked Matt was training at Henrietta Street Gym for his fifth fight to be held at Villa Park since turning professional. So far unbeaten in the ring, Matt is returning after a nasty back injury. He’s ranked number six in the UK in the eight-stone flyweight division and number 11 in Europe. His aim is to get a title fight within the year and go on to win the British title. Matt’s love of boxing is total but as a youngster he kind of stumbled into the sport. “At primary school age I loved watching the WFF wrestling, but at senior school I grew out of that. I still enjoyed the combat aspect of sport though and in my teens I just wanted to box. I’m only 5ft 4in so I was never going to become a Usain Bolt or a top class footballer. But boxing is different.”

birmingham living 17


BHAM_ (Page 16) matt:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:34

Page 18

FEATURE POET WITH PUNCH An extract from City Me by Matt Windle, Birmingham Poet Laureate Verbal material is stitched And moulded by thoughts As well as vocal chords Caught strumming itself when the wind is still But even when movement is minimal the wind is still... A part of your enzyme Every breath makes me try harder by ten times to not allow the gift of life to be simply sent by We were all sent by someone Or something Not to be everlasting but to be temporary kings Not to back down from challenges but to beat things So that even a Queen couldn’t stop you And if someone tries, let them know that we will, we will rock you We could be the stars etched on to city streets And morph in to the soul that helps the heart, beat I’m not just a part of my city. My city is a part of me I gave birth to this with dodgy dialect, bad behaviour and good luck And I give many things but I will never give... up I will never forget what made me

What participated in the evolution to man, from baby My built up surroundings are a combination of sweet and savoury

Everywhere I go, I always walk around shadow boxing, throwing a few punches

Picture: David Rann

So, when it comes to ‘The Big Fight: The Crunch Match’ what’s it to be ultimately for Matt – boxing or poetry? “I suppose you could say that I’m a poet by day and a boxer by night. I am fiercely committed to both. I’m able to do my training without any impact from by poetry work,” he says

BREAD AND BUTTER “On my boxing, I’m training hard for my latest fight. On my poetry, I am currently writing pieces for Birmingham Ladies FC. A couple of weeks ago I did a workshop for Amnesty International in Sutton

18 birmingham living

Coldfield. I’ve also been involved with Remembrance Sunday and Holocaust Memorial. Today, I’ve been to Kidderminster to help sixth-formers that have just left school get more creative with their CVs to get a better chance of getting jobs.” Matt admits that even if he proved good enough to become a world boxing champion, he will always have poetry in his life. “Poetry is my bread and butter for when I’m older, for the rest of my life. It provides me with a much better income than boxing. But boxing is always with me too. Wherever I am, I’ll walk around doing a bit of shadow boxing, throwing a few punches.”

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 19):Layout 1

22/3/17

16:11

Page 19


il ving

BHAM_ (Page 20) chefscorner:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:33

Page 20

FOOD & DRINK

NICK SHRIMPTON The head chef at new city centre vegan eatery Natural Healthy Foods talks Asian flavours, the growing ‘raw-volution’ and his secret Stoke-on-Trent ‘smuggler’ Tell us about your cooking I found South Indian cuisine was by and large intrinsically vegan so I latched on to it from an early stage and mastered all the standard preparations. I started to meet Malaysians, Indonesians and Thai people who wanted to share their culinary heritage with me and so began to reinterpret their food into vegan form. I consider everything I do to be authentic – it’s not watered down to suit anybody’s palate. If the recipe calls for 20 bird’s eye chillis then that’s what I’m going to use. Understanding why different cultures eat different foods fascinates me and it’s my lifelong ambition to learn as much as I can. I’ve been cooking vegan for more years than I can remember and the growing ‘raw-volution’ has been particularly interesting to explore as it opens up so many possibilities for innovation.

How did you become a chef? After being made redundant in the retail management sector I decided it was time to change career paths and fulfill my passion for cooking. I’m entirely self-taught. I trained in the school of hard knocks. I got my lucky break working for

20 birmingham living

Andy Varma at the now-defunct Tiffin Bites in Selfridges. From there I progressed to head chef at Sri Banana Leaf in Selly Oak. My speciality is firmly rooted in the South Indian vegetarian cuisine but has touched upon a lot of Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine as I try to present a vegan offering that draws on traditional recipes while using new food trends to forge a unique culinary style.

What do you eat when at home? South Indian staples like sambar and rasam on rice are now like beans on toast to me so I always keep a supply in the fridge.

Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? Sanjay Thumma the ‘Vah Chef ’ – he’s such an inspirational character and his philosophy of sharing his skill and passion for cooking to enrich people’s lives is awesome.

Is the customer always right? No, they are not but they always come first. There’s a difference.

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 20) chefscorner:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:33

Page 21

CHEF’S CORNER

NICK’S SOUTH INDIAN LEMON AND LIME MILLET Share a cooking tip Always follow the recipe; tasting as you go is a nonsensor. For example, you can’t make a curry more ‘cinnamony’ once you’ve finished cooking it as the cinnamon is the first ingredient that hits the oil – if you don’t get it right at the start it can’t be rectified later.

What was your favourite food as a kid? I remember my mum’s curries and lentil bake as being the highlight of the week… and cauliflower cheese had to be the worst punishment I could ever have!

Food heaven and food hell?

Ingredients:

I 1 cup millet I Coconut oil I 1 tsp black mustard seeds

I 1 tsp each urad dhal and chana dhal I 1 sprig curry leaves

I 4 dry chillis, broken in half I Asafoetida

I 1-inch ginger, finely chopped I ½ tsp turmeric powder

I Juice and zest of 1 x lemon and 1 x lime I Salt to taste

Method: Heat the oil in a small pan and crackle the mustard seeds followed by the dhals and fry until they turn red. Add the curry leaves, chillis and asafoetida and fry until the chillis puff up. Add the ginger and turmeric and stir briefly followed by the millet and lemon zest. Add enough water to cook the millet, cover and simmer over a low heat until all the water is absorbed and the millet is fluffy; add the lemon and lime juice and season to taste, fluff through and garnish with slices of lemon or lime.

Heaven is a bowl of sambar and sona masoori rice, hell is an insipid sweet and under-seasoned Thai Green Curry by a chef who has hopelessly misunderstood an iconic dish.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?

What do you recommend from this evening’s menu?

A has-been 90’s skateboard pro

Definitely Oncom! An Indonesian fermented soya Creamed red rice risotto with sage roasted butternut bean waste product similar to Tempeh but with a red squash, five bean chilli with dark chocolate and balsamic mouldy exterior. A lady who has an Indonesian vinegar and South Indian-style lemon and lime millet. grocery store in Stoke-on-Trent ‘smuggled’ some in on Natural Healthy Foods, Orion Building, 24 Suffolk Street Queensway, airfreight for me and I haven’t since recovered from its Birmingham, B1 1LT. www.naturalhealthyfoods.co.uk cheesy, mouldiness!

april 2017

birmingham living 21


BHAM_ (Page 22) nibbles:Layout 1

21/3/17

FOOD & DRINK

21:35

Page 22

NIBBLES nd

a

SHORTS

Birmingham has a lively and buzzing bar and restaurant scene. Here, we present our insider guide to what’s going on in your city’s eateries and drinking dens SIMPLY THE BEST Eighteen months on from its major refurbishment, Simpsons in Edgbaston has been named one of this year’s Sunday Times Top 100 restaurants as judged by food writers, critics and top chefs. Simpsons was joined by Carters of Moseley as rated among the best in the Midlands with Restaurant Sat Bains receiving the regional award.

TUCK IN AT THE RSC It’s all happening off-stage as well as on at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The RSC has launched a new intimate dining venue along with exciting menus at its theatre venues in Stratford. The new Circle Bar and Dining serves simple dishes such as a sirloin of dry aged roast beef, while a range of gourmet hotdogs is on offer at Susie’s Café Bar at The Other Place.

IZZA PERFECT PIZZA Birmingham’s award-winning Lasan Group and its chef director Aktar Islam have opened Izza! – a pizza eat-and-drinkery in Selfridges Food Hall in the Bullring. The new venture brings an Italian flavour to the Lasan family, whose stable includes Indian restaurant Lasan, Argentinian steakhouse Fiesta del Asado, American diner Nosh & Quaff and Indian street cafe Raja Monkey.

CHARITY ON THE MENU Lovely news from Bangladeshi/Indian restaurant Moghul Palace in Norton Road, Pelsall. As part of its relaunch celebrations after an £80,000 refurb, a banquet for loyal customers raised £500 for local St Giles Hospice. The revamped restaurant has a more modern and contemporary feel and proprietor Fareed Miah said: “We now offer a proper fine dining experience with exquisitely plated dishes.”

CITY FIRST FOR VEGANS Birmingham’s first vegan-friendly, sugar-free eatery has opened in the city centre. Following the success of its Digbeth site, launched in 2015, Natural Healthy Foods has created a 54-seat cafe in Suffolk Street, Queensway, offering a selection of gluten-free, hot and raw food and organic vegan options, alongside a range of beverages such as Kombucha, a fermented tea drink.

CHAMPAGNE APPOINTMENT A well-known face in Birmingham’s hospitality trade has been elected to lead the grand-sounding Champagne Academy. He is Kevin Skeet, formerly of Burlington Hotel and for the last 10 years operations director of Henley-in-Arden-based Legacy Hotels and Resorts. The Champagne Academy educates the brightest members of the wine and hospitality trades about Champagne.

22 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 23) seasonseats:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:35

Page 23

SEASON'S EATINGS

THE ALTERNATIVE

EASTER LUNCH You ready for this? You sure? OK then – so let’s get the barbecue out… ive Easter lunch a bit of a twist by breaking out the BBQ. Before you utter the words ‘Bank Holiday weather’ and ‘madness’, read on and be inspired by this Middle-Eastern recipe for butterflied spice lamb leg from food writer and presenter Genevieve Taylor. Beautifully tasty and different, Genevieve suggests serving her lamb with Persian jewelled rice. If you like the sound of that, you’ll find the recipe for the rice on our website www.brumliving.co.uk

G

BUTTERFLIED SPICED LAMB LEG Ingredients I I I I I I

1 leg of lamb (about 1.5kg) I 1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp coriander seeds I 1 tbsp sumac 2 tsp smoked paprika I 3 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tbsp olive oil I 2 tbsp sherry vinegar Small bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt flakes

april 2017

Method Butterfly the lamb leg. Lay it fleshy side down on a chopping board and starting at the thick end, cut through the meat down to the bone with a sharp knife. Continue small slicing incisions through the meat following the line of the bone as closely as possible to ease it away. Discard the bone. Where the meat is thickest, make a few deep slashes to open the leg out further and make it more even. Set aside while you make the marinade. Set a frying pan over a medium heat and add the cumin and coriander, toasting for a minute or so until deliciously fragrant. Tip into a pestle and mortar and roughly grind. Add the sumac and smoked paprika and grind together. Stir through the garlic, olive oil and sherry vinegar, then rub over the lamb, working it into all of the meat. Cover and leave to marinate for a couple of hours at room temperature or ideally overnight in the fridge.

To cook: Fire up the barbecue. Lay the lamb leg over high heat for 8 minutes on each side to caramelise, then reduce heat to a minimum and cook for a further 15 minutes. Genevieve Taylor is an ambassador for Napoleon Grills, a highend barbecue company with products available at the BBQ Store, Solihull and Webbs of Wychbold www.napoleongrills.co.uk

birmingham living 23


BHAM_ (Page 24) lunchspot:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:36

Page 24

LUNCH SPOT

BOTTLES The Mailbox, 180 Wharfside, Birmingham B1 1RN. Tel: 0121 643 2072 www.bottleswine.co.uk aving set ourselves a no-midweek drinking rule, Bottles probably wasn’t the greatest choice for a Tuesday lunchtime. With 250 wines and counting, we ditched the car pronto and embraced the grape. On the site of what was Bar Epernay, the restaurant’s an impressive space with swish decor, a firepit, private room at the rear and as you’d imagine a lot of bottles. The wine list might have overwhelmed had it not been for the lovely Nick who talked us through the concept and introduced us to the perfectly tempered wine dispensing machines. Like most wine drinkers we know what we enjoy and tend to stick with that, but the dispenser meant we sampled wines that we wouldn’t have had the confidence or the desire to shell out for on a bottle without trying. The dispenser’s bottles are rotated every month to keep it interesting. Nick selected a handful of wines – four white, two red – to match the food we’d chosen from the Spanishinspired grazing menu. The selection took us out of our Chardonnay comfort zone with the stand-outs being Dr Loosen Reisling and a Valpolicella Ripasso. We’d assumed wrongly that Bottles would be more glorified off-licence than fully-fledged restaurant and the food would be an afterthought. Perhaps a few nibbles thrown in. Not so. We ordered a handful of tapas dishes that were all very different but equally

H

24 birmingham living

brilliant. To give you a flavour, we sampled beef and pork meatballs, griddled lamb koftas with tzatziki, roasted vegetables with goat’s cheese and a red pepper fondue, Moroccan-style chicken skewers and sobrasada chorizo pintxos with honeyed aubergine. It was wonderfully sociable, really interesting and definitely not playing second fiddle to the wine. The restaurant was pretty quiet, but it’s still early days. We reckon once the word’s out you’ll be lucky to get a table or even standing room around the firepit. It’s already a winner with the post-work drink crowd and popularity is growing. I

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 25):Layout 1

22/3/17

11:41

Page 25

From only ÂŁ25

april 2017

birmingham living 25


BHAM_ (Page 26) wine:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:44

Page 26

FOOD & DRINK

SUPER CIDERMAN Cider expert Gabe Cook (aka The Ciderologist) talks Sheep’s Nose, Harry Master’s Jersey, Slack-ma-girdle – and explains the past, present and future of this greatest of British drinks

n these times of national uncertainty we tend to gravitate towards the familiar and the trusted, seeking out British icons to provide us with comfort and pride. And what exemplifies the heart and soul of the British landscape any better than cider? This is an ancient drink, having been made on these shores for centuries – thousands of years, even. There is evidence to suggest that when the Romans arrived in Blighty they were greeted by cider-drinking Britons, utilising wild crab apples for their libation. What we do know for certain is that cider has the most incredible and illustrious history and has played a significant part in the everyday life of people in Britain. At times of poor water quality, cider was often the safest substitute, with an account from 1320 stating that babies were being baptised in cider.

I

26 birmingham living

Cider has also a strong cause to claim that it was the first drink to undergo the in-bottle fermentation technique, rather than wine (as made famous by Champagne). In 1632 Christopher Merret delivered a paper to the Royal Society detailing his experiments of fermenting cider in strengthened bottles, six years before pioneer Dom Perignon was even born! Today there are several hundred cider makers in Britain. These range from the world’s largest, down to traditional farmhouse producers, with the West of England being cider’s heartland region. In these areas, cider makers play a significant role in their communities, providing jobs, contributing to local

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 26) wine:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:44

Page 27

FOOD & DRINK

projects, supporting regional charities and upholding the apple growing traditions. Significantly, very specific varieties of apple emerged over time as making the best cider and they are still grown to make classic West Country-style cider today. These varieties are rich in tannin (much like red wine) and are thus bold, rich and complex: great for making cider, but not so good for eating! APPLE TURNOVER These varieties sport a wonderful array of names, with their genesis a result of the shape of the fruit, being named after historical characters or owing to their physiological impact. Names such as Sheep’s Nose, Harry Master’s Jersey and Slack-ma-girdle evoke images of a bygone era. Cider, however, isn’t just made in the West Country. Historically, counties of the South East of England, such as Kent, Suffolk, and Sussex, made considerable amounts of cider from dessert apples grown for the London table market. There is a revival of cider-making in these regions and also in many other counties around Britain using dessert apples. These ciders lack the tannins of their West Country cousins, so present a different kind of drink – lighter, crisper, cleaner, fresher. Not worse or better, just different. What we are talking about, of course, is terroir. The culture, heritage, traditions, soils, climate and landscapes of cider-making areas all influence the end product. Factor in the wide range of apple varieties and the cider-maker’s skill and creativity, and you have a wonderful array of different styles of cider. There is a cider for every occasion, whether that be a crisp and refreshing thirst-quencher, a bold and rich drink for the fireside, a dry sparkling variety for a celebration, or a fruity offering to match with cheese. FOOF FOR THOUGHT But cider can do far more than solely being consumed with a big lump of Cheddar. It is a fabulous accompaniment with a great array of dishes; the key is finding the best matches. From an aroma and flavour point of view, cider shares many similarities with wine and so it is best to think along these lines when approaching cider and food-matching. Why not have a go at pairing a light, crisp cider with a piece of white

april 2017

4

GREAT CIDERS TO TRY

To demonstrate the wonderful diversity of British ciders, I’ve chosen four completely different styles for you to seek and taste.

Turner’s Russet SV From Marden in Kent, Phil Turner uses local apples to produce delicate, fruit forward ciders. This single variety Russet cider shows what can be done with dessert apples and quality ripe, fruit. Bone dry, but with a soft fruitiness and a wonderful nutty character. One for the Sauvignon Blanc drinkers.

Oliver’s Stoke Red SV Tom Oliver is a legend of the cider world. He’s a Herefordshire sheep farmer, cider maker – and tour manager for the Proclaimers! This single variety Stoke Red has a medium sweetness but is wonderfully poised and delicate. Superbly perfumed, much like a Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer.

Pilton Keeved Cider Made next door to the Glastonbury festival site in Somerset, Martin Berkeley uses the old-fashioned method of ‘keeving’ to produce a naturally sweeter cider. The result is an in-bottle fermented cider that exudes phenolics – think cloves, leather and a touch of funk!

Wilce’s Vintage Brian Wilce has made cider from decades at the family farm in Ledbury, Herefordshire. This Vintage cider was made in 2012 and has been maturing and improving ever since. Made with the finest West Country cider fruit, this is an off-dry, big, bold cider. Fans of big Riojas would enjoy this.

fish; a medium, fruity cider with a curry; or something rich and bold with a classic beef burger. The trick is to keep trying! To demonstrate the passion that cider can invoke and its cultural significance, I’ll leave you with a quote from Laurie Lee’s classic book, Cider with Rosie: “Never to be forgotten, that first, long secret drink of golden fire, juice of those valleys and of that time; wine of wild orchards, of russet summer, of plump red apples and Rosie’s burning cheeks. Never to be forgotten or ever tasted again.” I Gabe Cook, aka The Ciderologist, will be hosting with our regular wine expert Rob Price a new cider evening on Saturday 6 May in Birmingham. Visit birminghamwineschool.com for more details. Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company that offers fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses, in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Warwick and Milton Keynes. Contact Rob Price on 0121 270 7359 or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

birmingham living 27


BHAM_ (Page 28) cotm:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:45

Page 28

COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

DARK TEMPTATION It’s chocolate over-kill at this time of year, so how about making your indulgence a bit more grown-up? aster’s nearly here and along with that lovely bunny comes the chance to rip up the Lent contract of abstinence and embrace choccy again. Along with your favourite brand of chocolate egg why not treat yourself to this stunning little number which is a rather uplifting mix of booze, caffeine and chocolate… pure temptation in a glass!

E

CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO MARTINI Ingredients:

I 100g quality dark chocolate I 1 tbsp double cream I 35ml espresso coffee I 50ml vodka (vanilla flavour works especially well)

Method: Melt the chocolate and then stir in the cream. Mix with the coffee and vodka then pour into a cocktail shaker over cubed ice. Shake, strain into a martini glass, and congratulate yourself for surviving Lent. Please enjoy responsibly.

28 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 06):Layout 1

18/1/17

14:07

Page 6


ing livSTYLE

BHAM_ (Page 30) style:Layout 1

22/3/17

13:49

Page 30

LOAFING AROUND Philipa loafer £149, Hobbs, Grand Central

THINK PINK Pink Velvet Loafers £27.99, New Look, The Fort Shopping Park

CUT IT OUT Available from Very.co.uk

30 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 30) style:Layout 1

22/3/17

13:49

Page 31

STYLE

he change in season means new shoes are an absolute must, right? Yes indeedy. Dig out your existing spring/summer treasures and take stock. What do you need/want to add to the mix? We’re taking on mules for the first time this decade and have fallen for the Hobbs Ophelia mule which looks just as fabulous with pair of jeans as a ball gown. As for Gucci’s fringed blushing mule it’s a winner on every level work or play. The flatform still reigns supreme and this season Gucci has adopted a ‘go big or go home’ attitude to wondrous effect with a bold striped trainer version. They’re pricey, but oh so worth it. Chunky heels are staying too. Check out Finery London’s burgundy snake court for kooky cool and Fendi’s gold heeled loafer for a touch of bling.

T

FEELING FLAT Mabel wedge £169, Hobbs, Grand Central

ANIMAL MAGIC Leopard print open toe £48, River Island, Bullring

FANTASY FOOTWEAR No question shoes have the ability to set the

heart racing like no other fashion find and this season love is most definitely in the air STUFF OF DREAMS

BACKLESS BRILLIANCE

Gianvito Rossi Vamp 105 suede ankle boots £575, Selfridges, Bullring

Biba Gisela flats £65, House of Fraser, Corporation St

TWINKLE TOES Fendi loafer £760, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

april 2017

birmingham living 31


BHAM_ (Page 30) style:Layout 1

22/3/17

13:49

Page 32

STYLE

Sophia Webster has, as always, created sandals that’ll make you giddy from now until your tootsies go into hibernation again. The striped wedge is just one example from a collection packed with pleasing and highly wearable pieces. We can’t write a style feature without mentioning Guiseppe Zanotti. The white, croc-embossed hi-top is a lust worthy piece of footwear that’ll add instant edge. Floral embroidery pops up frequently too. We like Primark’s powder blue mule with floral detailing. It’s a bargain. While at the other end of the style spectrum, Manolo Blahnik’s embroidered pumps tick all the boxes. If not quite ready to relinquish your ankle boots just yet, Finery London has a fine electric blue suede lace up version and Gianvito Rossi’s suede taupe peep toe is just perfection. Here’s our pick of the best. Enjoy! I BLUE SUEDE BOOT Suede boot £135, Finery London, John Lewis, Grand Central

GOLD RUSH Ophelia mule £139, Hobbs, Grand Central

WHITE WEDGE Available from Hobbs, Grand Central

YOU'RE A LADY Flashback £58, Office, Bullring

RICH RED IN THE NAVY Mayflower sandal £90, Dune, Bullring

32 birmingham living

Snake court £119, Finery London, John Lewis, Grand Central

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 30) style:Layout 1

22/3/17

13:49

Page 33

STYLE

DENIM HEAVEN Embroidered heel £16, Primark, The Fort Shopping Park

STRONG FLORAL GAME Manolo Blahnik embroidered pumps £595, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

POWDER BLUE Embroidered mule £12, Primark, The Fort Shopping Park

SUMMER VIBES Sophia Webster wedge esdaprille sandals £250, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

PLATFORM PICKS Available from House of Fraser, Corporation Street

FRINGE BENEFITS Gucci fringed suede mules, £450, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

april 2017

birmingham living 33


BHAM_ (Page 30) style:Layout 1

22/3/17

13:49

Page 34

STYLE GO BIG OR GO HOME Gucci flatform trainer £640, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

TAUPE IT EASY Laurestine, Daniel Footwear, The Mailbox

HI TOP HONEY Giuseppe Zanotti Dan croc-embossed leather trainers £585, Selfridges, Bullring

TRUE BLUE Emelia trainer £80, Dune, Bullring

LACE UP White Contrast trainer £25.99, New Look, The Fort Shopping Park

URBAN CHIC Available from River Island, Bullring

HEAVY METAL Silver brogue £18, Matalan, Dartmouth Circus

34 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 35):Layout 1

22/3/17

10:06

Page 11


BHAM_ (Page 36) menstyle:Layout 1

22/3/17

12:12

Page 36

STYLE FOR MEN

FEEL GOOD Blue Ruling loafers £90, Dune, Bullring

HOT TO TROT Shoes can make or break a look and as we slip into spring it’s a good time to invest

36 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 36) menstyle:Layout 1

22/3/17

12:13

Page 37

STYLE FOR MEN

GOOD FOR THE SOLE North wedge £79.99, Office, Bullring

SLIP ON Brown suede slip on loafers £29.99, New Look, The Fort Shopping Park CAMO COOL Valentino full leather camo trainers £500, Selfridges, Bullring

rainers and hi-tops are big news this season with Valentino, Fendi and Guiseppe Zanotti leading the charge. If sports luxe is not your jam, try a trusty Tod’s Gommino driving shoe for an equally relaxed look just a bit more grown up. Dune’s bright blue loafers scream warm weather and will put a spring in your step and raise a smile from all who encounter you while Jimmy Choo’s black loafers with silver star detailing are super cool without trying too hard. The holy grail. I IF IT AIN’T BROKE

T

Tod’S Gommino heaven driving shoes in suede £260, Selfridges, Bullring

MINIMUM FUSS High Top trainers £35, Next, The Fort Shopping Park

HI-TOP OF THE TREE Giuseppe Zanotti suede hi-top trainers £650, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

LIGHTNING STRIKE Fendi trainers £670, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox FAN OF TAN Entice sneaker £39.99, Office, Bullring

april 2017

STAR OF THE SHOW Jimmy Choo loafers £505, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

birmingham living 37


BHAM_ (Page 38) health:Layout 1

22/3/17

12:11

Page 38

HEALTH

HAVE A GOOD STRETCH As the weather perks up we all tend to emerge from hibernation and start getting a bit more active. All good news, but one of the most overlooked aspects of fitness is stretching. Here’s some important tips

38 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 38) health:Layout 1

22/3/17

12:11

Page 39

HEALTH

hile we are all aware that we should stretch, fitness enthusiasts are too often unaware of what the major benefits are. Stretching in all forms should be a large aspect of all training programmes. In its most basic form, it is a natural activity. People often stretch instinctively after waking from sleep or after long periods of inactivity. As a form of exercise, stretching involves elongating a specific muscle or muscle group to its fullest length. Individuals who fail to stretch effectively will cause long term damage to their joints or muscles. Poor flexibility can lead to biomechanical issues, which left alone can take months to fix.

W

FIVE DAILY EXERCISES Here are five top stretches to do daily. These stretches can be after a workout but remember, recent studies suggest that performing static stretches pre-exercise is not beneficial.

5: QUADRICEPS/ ILIOTIBIAL BAND STRETCH Standing upright, pull one heel to the backside with the opposite arm. Keeping both knees together pull the foot to the outside of the opposite buttock. Slightly turn out the stretching thigh but keep the knees together.

STRETCHING TIPS Aim to try and complete between two to three stretches on each side. To improve flexibility, try and hold each stretch for 30 seconds. You should feel some mild discomfort as you stretch but nothing too intense to cause you pain. Never bounce a stretch. Relax and keep the tension constant in the muscle. Remember; don’t overlook the benefits of stretching. Improving your flexibility cannot only reduce the chance of potential injury, but can improve your performance and improve your health. Ensure that stretching is a regular part of your fitness programme, but also aim to try and stretch every day.

THE BENEFITS OF STRETCHING

1: THE HIP/GLUT STRETCH Lie on your back and cross your left foot over your right knee. Put your hands behind your right thigh and gently pull your leg towards you, while keeping your upper body relaxed. Then switch over.

2: HAMSTRING STRETCH Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Straighten one leg and pull it towards you slowly, while the opposite leg remains slightly bent.

3: HIP FLEXOR STRETCH Starting in the lunge position (stride forward), rest your back knee on the floor, while the front knee is at a 90 degree angle. It’s important that your abs are in and tight. Slowly move forward until you feel a stretch in your front leg/hip. To increase the stretch, just raise your arm up to the sky (the same side as your front leg).

4: CALF STRETCH On your hands and knees, straighten your legs, but keep them slightly bent. Slowly press one foot into the floor, keep your abs in and hold. Then switch over.

april 2017

Increased flexibility: Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen. Lack of flexibility causes your movement to become slower and less fluid and makes you more susceptible to muscle strains, ligament sprains and other soft tissue injuries. The most effective way to increase your flexibility is by stretching. Improved circulation: Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. The increased blood flow brings more nourishment to the muscles and removes waste by products from the muscles. Increased blood flow can also help speed up recovery from muscle and joint injuries. Improved balance and coordination: The increased flexibility that comes from stretching improves balance and coordination, which lowers your risk of falling. Helps alleviate lower back pain: Stiff and tight muscles in the lower back, hamstrings, buttocks and hips are some of the more common causes of lower back pain. Stretching these muscles can alleviate some mild forms of lower back pain. It is important to remember that poor flexibility is not the cause of all back pain but it can be a contributing factor. Helps improve cardiovascular health: Recent studies have found that stretching can improve artery function and lower blood pressure. I

birmingham living 39


BHAM_ (Page 40) airportadvertorial:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:47

Page 40

ADVERTORIAL

HOTSPOTS

ON YOUR DOORSTEP Tapas in Spain or art in Italy? The choice is yours as BA makes a welcome return to Birmingham Airport this summer ritish Airways is returning to Birmingham Airport with some exciting summer routes to European hotspots. From May, the airline will begin direct flights from Birmingham to the popular Spanish destinations of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma and to the Italian city of Florence. Will you be dining on tapas in Spain or musing at art in Italy this summer?

B

rhythms under the stars at the open-air nightclub in Central Park or wander around Santa Spirito organic market and pick up some hand-painted crockery or aromatic spices.

FLORENCE Whilst Florence is famous for its art and cathedrals, there’s so much more to explore. With so much to see and do it’s easy to see why tourists regularly flock to this riverside city, making it high on the world’s mustsee destinations. Gaze at the amber-gilded ripples of the Arno River at sunset, admire the Renaissance architecture and finish by tucking into traditional rustic cuisine. While Florence is famous for its art and cathedrals, there’s so much more to explore. Sway to Latin

MALAGA One of the world’s oldest cities, Malaga is overflowing with stunning architecture, traditional bars and whitewashed villages. Immerse yourself in history and culture at the local cathedrals or find an Abyssinia where you can listen to live music and while the night away. Similar to the other Spanish destinations that British Airways flies to, Malaga has spectacular views. A bike tour around the city is an ideal way to take them in. Prepare to be wowed by panoramic sights of the picture perfect beaches, oceans and hillside. If you’re a foodie, Mercado Merced in the

40 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 40) airportadvertorial:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:47

Page 41

ADVERTORIAL

heart of the city showcases traditional and innovative culinary producers. It’s the perfect venue to taste the local gastronomy and experience the authentic atmosphere. IBIZA There are many different sides to Ibiza so you’re sure to find something to whet your appetite, from rugged beaches and secluded coves to high-end clubs and upmarket restaurants, you can create the ideal trip. If you’re looking for a relaxing get-away why not retreat to the hills and stay in a vineyard, or take a horse trek in the north of the island and admire the forests and unspoilt beaches. For something more lively, board the biggest boat party in Ibiza where you’ll enjoy a Champagne breakfast, music and entertainment. PALMA There are so many reasons to book a flight to Palma, whether it’s for an intimate city break or a family holiday, you’re guaranteed a great trip. The Spanish city is home to golden beaches, a vast array of restaurants and bars and plenty of historic buildings and monuments.

april 2017

Book an open-top bus tour where you can even create your own itinerary ensuring you don’t miss a thing. For a foodie adventure, indulge in a local tapas night where you can sample the traditional cuisine and enjoy some Spanish wine. I Book yourself an unforgettable summer break from Birmingham Airport and be in one of these incredible European destinations in as little as 2 hours.

birmingham living 41


ng il viHOMES

BHAM_ (Page 42) homes:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:49

Page 42

THE ‘K’ WORD We’re doing much more than rustling up dinner in our kitchens – in fact the term is practically defunct. Award-winning designer Lisa Melvin explains how to create a hub of the home zoned for living not just cooking

42 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 42) homes:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:49

Page 43

HOMES

VERSATILE LIVING Award-winning SieMatic 29 sideboard www.siematic.co.uk

nce upon a time the kitchen was a space solely for preparing food. Nowadays, you’re hardpushed to use the term kitchen at all. The phrase living space feels like a more accurate description. The shift is particularly noticeable when it comes to new build and extension plans. Architects are now including substantial areas for a multi-purpose space in their plans. A good kitchen designer – not to be confused with a planner – will help create a great a space that works for the way you actually live. When creating your dream living space here are the key things to think about…

O

CLEVER ZONING Designers are creating ‘zones’ for cooking, entertaining, relaxing and working – often now enhanced by large bi-fold doors and roof lanterns to allow for plenty of natural light.

CLEVER EXTRACTION Combined hob and extractor by Elica elica.com

april 2017

birmingham living 43


BHAM_ (Page 42) homes:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:49

Page 44

HOMES

WHITE OUT Poggenpohl + Segmento kitchen www.poggenpohl.com

EXTRACTION EXCELLENCE If you want a space to be more than just a food preparation zone it is essential to put effective extraction in place. Airborne odour and grease needs to be effectively removed. Siemens, Neff and Elica now have wifi capability on a selection of their induction hobs and chimney hoods allowing both appliances to communicate with each other to achieve the perfect air extraction. An induction hob and extractor in-one eliminates the need for a second appliance.

FINISH FIRST Glamorous and opulent, metallic finishes are having a moment. Siemens top of the range studioLine collection has been relaunched with a stunning

STATE-OF-THE-ART Dekton’s Zenith Keranium www.dekton.co.uk

GROWN UP GLAMOUR Urban Interiors SieMatic Pure collection www.urbaninterior.co.uk

44 birmingham living

april 2017


EDKITCHENS:Layout 1

27/3/17

18:30

Page 45

HOMES

DON’T OVERLOOK THE LAUNDRY

IN THE ZONE Urban Interiors SieMatic Pure collection www.urbaninterior.co.uk

gunmetal grey finish to complement the metallic trend. Sleek flush handles create a super-stylish finish. You’ll find these on Neff ovens for a smoother look and Fisher and Paykell have launched flush handles on their refrigeration range too. Technological advances mean an increasing amount of choice in practical and beautiful work surfaces such as Dekton, which is highly impervious, robust and available in a number of finishes. Painted doors are still going strong with increasing demand for deep indigo and blue grey. Mirror gold doors and bronze mirrored effect cabinets on islands can be stunning.

A laundry room is often used just as much as the kitchen but is sometimes an afterthought when completing your house design. As an extension to the kitchen they can be beautiful spaces and not only that, we’re seeing an increasing demand for laundry rooms on the first floor as well as the ground floor. Neff integrated washing machines are now so quiet they have an interactive time light that projects onto the floor so you can see at a glance the progress of your wash without having to open your furniture door.

LIGHT UP Never underestimate the importance of effective zonal lighting to enhance your living space. Don’t leave it until the last minute in the design process. It’s crucial to the success of the project. Consider it at the beginning of the design. Again the metallic look is very much in demand. I The main picture on the opening spread of our feature shows a kitchen designed by Lisa Melvin who runs Lisa Melvin Design www.lisamelvindesign.co.uk

OUTSIDE IN Designed and made by Classic Interiors www.classicinteriors.co.uk

april 2017

birmingham living 45


BHAM_ (Page 46) finishing touches:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:50

Page 46

HOMES

MARBLE EFFECT Mose salad servers £28, Oliver Bonas

BOWLED OVER Trio of serving dishes £65, Oliver Bonas

DELICATE FLORAL Ceramic jug £12, Next

FINISHING

TOUCHES Give your newly-created living space a final

fabulous flourish with these lovely accessories

TOP COPPER Copper effect kettle £35, Next

SALT AND PEPPER Bottle salt and pepper grinders £60, Amara

SIMPLE STYLE Leon two tier pendant, House of Fraser

PEARLY PLATES Star by Julien Macdonald mother of pearl place mat £19, Debenhams

CHEERS! Capri martini glasses £26 for two, Kelly Hoppen

46 birmingham living

AND RELAX Grand sofa £1,899, House of Fraser

GREY DAYS Zen salad bowl £35, Kelly Hoppen

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 47):Layout 1

april 2017

22/3/17

10:32

Page 47

birmingham living 47


BHAM_ (Page 48) hot property:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:54

Page 48

HOMES

Hot Properties This month’s top homes for sale include a pair of village lovelies, a great townhouse and a luxury pad for you city high-fliers

VILLAGE LOCATION The Redlands, Nether Whitacre Guide price: ÂŁ825,000 Agent: Knight Frank, tel 01789 297735 This five-bedroom detached house set in a lovely village features three reception rooms, a beautifully appointed kitchen/breakfast room with dual aspect, a double garage and attractive garden extending to just under an acre.

48 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 48) hot property:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:54

Page 49

HOMES

CENTRAL TOWNHOUSE

No. 3 Townhouse, St Paul’s Square Guide price: £575,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel 0121 634 1520 A spacious mid-terrace, three-storey townhouse in an excellent central location. Includes three double bedrooms, spacious living room, modern fitted kitchen, great dining room, south facing town garden and off-street parking.

april 2017

birmingham living 49


BHAM_ (Page 48) hot property:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:54

Page 50

HOMES

BRICKS&BITS NEW BUILDS THATCH UP A development in Gaydon is boosting its kerb appeal with a three-bedroom show home with thatched roof. Spitfire Bespoke Homes has created the property as part of its Pathways development. Thatch is synonymous with period cottages, low ceilings and dark rooms, but this home has all the benefits of modern building techniques and is light and spacious.

DESIGNER APARTMENTS Elevate Property Group – the company behind Concord House and St Paul’s House – is launching its first project in Coventry in a joint venture with Investin plc. Queens House, Queens Road will offer 62 one and two-bedroom apartments and studios in the heart of the city. Prices start at £120,000 with the first properties ready in late autumn.

BREWING UP NICELY The Gooch Estate, owners of 10 acres of land in Digbeth, has appointed local firm Stoford Developments to deliver regeneration plans for Typhoo Wharf and the adjoining canal basin in a deal worth £200million. It is hoped the project will boost growth as part of the council’s Big City Plan.

From the industry’s movers and shakers to the latest groundbreaking developments… email your property news and pictures to shelley@brumliving.co.uk

50 birmingham living

BARN WINNER Ivy Barn, Broadwas on Teme, Worcestershire Guide price: £475,000 Agent: Fisher German, tel 01905 726220 A charming and characterful semi-detached barn conversion that sits in the heart of a much sought after village. Includes four bedrooms, a stunning gallery landing/lounge seating area and mature gardens.

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 48) hot property:Layout 1

22/3/17

13:51

Page 51

HOMES

INFINITY AND BEYOND Orion Penthouse, Navigation Street Guide price: £2million Agent: Knight Frank, tel 0121 233 6438 State-of-the-art architecture with innovative design and contemporary styling in the heart of the city. This luxury three-bedroom penthouse offers a stunning living space with North American walnut flooring throughout and a wonderful infinity bath. Also Includes two allocated parking spaces.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN St Mary’s Road, Harborne Guide price: £1.2million Agent: Fine and Country, tel 0121 746 6400 A stunning seven-bedroom detached home that’s been beautifully refurbished and also boasts a top floor annex with newly fitted kitchen and living room. Includes a fabulous open plan kitchen that overlooks a private rear garden.

Don’t miss Property of the Week on our Facebook page every Thursday www.facebook.com/bhamliving

april 2017

birmingham living 51


BHAM_ (Page 52) antiques:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:56

Page 52

ANTIQUES

TOTALLY POTTY The prime-time success of BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down

demonstrates our burgeoning national love affair with ceramics t’s an exciting time for pottery lovers as the British passion for ceramics is experiencing a revival, reflected in the increasing following of the hit BBC show. While much of the talk is about Keith Brymer Jones’s love of a good throw down there is much to admire about the astonishing skill and success of own native potters. Much of this talent will be celebrated as a special exhibition arrives in Birmingham this month providing a fascinating insight into the rich, colourful and varied story of British ceramics from 1760 to 1930. Before 1754, when the Chelsea factory opened for business, porcelain in England was imported blue and white Chinese. When the English factories started up at that time, they copied the Chinese wares in shapes and patterns until they developed their own character.

I

WORCESTER’S FINEST To chart the period from 1760 to 1930 in ceramics is like holding up a mirror to the senses and sensibilities prevalent at the time of their manufacture. The porcelain plates, candlesticks and busts all afford an insight into the lives and world of the people who created, owned and used them.

52 birmingham living

The finest English porcelain ever made was produced at the Worcester Flight & Barr factory which was operated from 1783 to 1840 by two families, the Flights and the Barrs. Some pieces display astonishing feats of portraiture on porcelain. While the Victorians were famous for being puritanical and straight-laced, they displayed a surprising appetite for nudes as demonstrated by the ‘Parian phenomenon’. Called Parian because they resembled the pristine white marble from the island of Paros, the figures were characterised by a smooth, silky finish, almost sensual to the touch. Examples of all this work will be on display at the special exhibition presented by the English Ceramics Circle. Founded in 1927, the ECC specialises in the study of British ceramics. Between them, its members display an astonishing array of knowledge along with a relentless thirst to learn even more about their specialist subject. I Made in Britain is a special exhibition celebrating British ceramic highlights from the past 300 years at the Antiques for Everyone Spring Fair from 6 to 9 April at the NEC, Birmingham. More information: www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 53):Layout 1

april 2017

22/3/17

11:33

Page 53

birmingham living 53


BHAM_ (Page 54) motors:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:57

Page 54

MOTORING

LIGHT

ENTERTAINMENT Audi’s dramatic sequential indicators make for quite a show on the new A5 Coupe, says Sue Cooke hat annoys you most about the way others drive? Research by the RAC reveals that failing to indicate clearly is thought of as the most inconsiderate driving behaviour (cited by 58 per cent of respondents). Drive the latest Audi and you will find it difficult to refrain from indicating, particularly if you are a show-off! Audi has always been a leader in pioneering new and innovative lighting features which others have then copied. The latest innovation from the German brand is sequential indicators – a line of LEDs that come one after another in what is a fascinating light show. No surprise then that when I was driving the new A5 Coupe this week, I found a constant compulsion to indicate. Nine years after it first cut a dash the all-new car showcases a host of Audi’s latest driver assistance features from the full catalogue of Vorsprung durch Technik. On a drive from Whittington, along the A513 in Tamworth and then through some interesting sharp bends on the B4102 in Meriden,

W

FACTS AT A GLANCE: Model: Audi A5 Coupe S Line Price: £43,125 with options Engine: 2.0-litre TDi S Tronic 190PS Performance: 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 146mph CO2 emissions: 111 g/km Combined fuel consumption: 65.7mpg

54 birmingham living

Audi steering and handling technology made the mixture of urban and country roads much more pleasant. BALANCED The A5 Coupe is gorgeous looking with graceful lines and beautifully balanced proportions and is built on a completely new platform. I did find the front doors very wide and heavy but that tends to be typical of any coupe. Fire the ignition starter button at night and there is a fantastic light show as headlights dip and rise, which entertained the folks who live on the other side of my road. Then typically and Mercedes style, a metal arm protrudes forward and hands over the seatbelt. When I wanted to read a note while parked during a night drive, the interior light came on as my fingers gracefully passed over the switch. Marvellous. These small innovations are why you expect to pay a little

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 54) motors:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:57

Page 55

MOTORING

extra for an Audi. That and the long list of safety features, like predictive efficiency assistant and traffic jam assist, along with cross traffic assist, rear collision avoidance and an exit warning system. In fact my road test car had ÂŁ6,000 worth of options including a flat-bottomed three-spoke leather, multi-function steering wheel. The hi-tech interior has more space and a larger luggage capacity than its predecessor and optional ambient lighting enhances the cabin with a choice of 30 adjustable shades. The A5 CoupĂŠ is significantly more fuel-efficient than its predecessor, due in large part to a reduction in weight. The 2.0litre diesel I road tested and the two petrol and two other diesel units, offer up to 17 per cent more performance while consuming as much as 22 per cent less fuel. The 190PS diesel combines high efficiency with impressive power and wonderful smooth running.

april 2017

I get used to driving the many different makes of car as a motoring journalist, but getting behind the wheel of an Audi is always a real pleasure. Steering is firm and solid and a slight touch provokes an immediate response. Whatever long motorway journey is planned, the driving is not tiring, seats are comfortable and gliding from lane to lane is a natural and easy step. All of us aim to get from A to B as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible and it’s more important than ever to be more tolerant and show consideration for other users on our congested roads. This becomes so much easier when you are driving a car like the A5 Coupe because it is infinitely more enjoyable. I

SHOWROOM: Birmingham Audi, 780 Stratford Road, Shirley, B90 4BQ. Tel: 0121 7465500 www.listers.co.uk

birmingham living 55


BHAM_ (Page 56) upclose:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:57

Page 56

PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITH…

FRED BROMWICH After a lifetime in Midlands journalism, the vice-chairman of the world’s oldest press club still has hopes and dreams for the region’s media – as well as his beloved Coventry City FC BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I’ve spent my lifetime in Midlands journalism and public relations, starting on the old Leamington Morning News before moving to the Coventry Evening Telegraph and Birmingham Post & Mail. I later moved into PR as an assistant director with financial consultancy Citigate Dewe Rogerson (now part of Huntsworth plc), during which time I served as chairman of the Midlands region of what is now the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. I came back into journalism as editor of a business and finance magazine which, ironically, became a victim of the recession. IT’S WHAT I DO As vice-chairman of Birmingham Press Club I work alongside a dedicated board of directors and events committee members – a great bunch of working journalists and mediaminded business contacts who are committed to safeguarding the future of what is the world’s oldest Press Club, which was established in 1865. Monthly networking evenings and various events ensure we maintain a healthy membership. I’m currently involved in planning this year’s Midlands Media Awards. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE Coventry City back in the top flight of English football – I’ve still got the souvenirs after watching their 1987 FA Cup win – although I would settle for them not being relegated to the fourth tier. And for Worcester Warriors to finish other than in the bottom two of the Aviva Premiership. Probably stand more chance of winning the Lottery before that happens! BIGGEST SUCCESSES Surviving 60 years in the media and celebrating a ruby wedding anniversary are pretty successful milestones!

56 birmingham living

I’m also proud that a business awards scheme which PR guru Bob Keys and myself introduced to the Post while I was business editor stood the test of time for a magnificent 24 years. No other similar scheme can boast to have secured as guest speakers a Prime Minister, four Cabinet ministers, five members of the Royal Family and a Speaker of the European Parliament. Meeting George and Vera Bryan, co-founders of Drayton Manor Theme Park, and writing a book about how they created the park turning it into a Top Five inland leisure destination, also gave me great pleasure. Now I’m writing a book with their son Colin who has taken over the mantle from his late parents. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Don’t take anything for granted. Double check everything. And always tell the truth – if you can’t do that be either tactful or diplomatic! WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM The on-going regeneration of the city centre, the ‘village’ feel of its business quarter, the friendliness of the Brummie – and the fact that over the years I have been able to make so many good contacts. DOWNTIME Love photography, ever since being given a Brownie 126 camera. Digital though means no more developing and printing! Genealogy can be fun too – only this month I discovered a ‘new’ cousin. It’s good to relax at New Road watching Worcestershire play cricket. Enjoying a pint of Old Speckled Hen takes the stress out of worrying about the results. I

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 57):Layout 1

april 2017

22/3/17

10:31

Page 57

birmingham living 57


BHAM_ (Page 58) young, gifted:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:49

Page 58

YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

LEWIS SMALLMAN We caught up with Birmingham’s Lewis Smallman, aka Billy Elliot, ahead of the show’s run at the Hippodrome f you’ve seen Billy Elliot the Musical you’ll understand how intense the role of the young Billy is. If you haven’t where have you been? On stage almost throughout the entire production, the role of Billy requires incredible stamina and energy. It’s no mean feat. There are four talented ‘Billys’ touring currently who rotate in the role and one of them is Brum’s very own Lewis Smallman who’s thrilled to be ‘coming home for a bit’. Dancing since the age of six at Arabesque Dance School in Perry Barr, Lewis had his first stint on the Hippodrome stage in Swan Lake and is excited to be back. Now aged 13, it took a while to get the part of Billy with a lengthy audition process – roughly two years – and over 100 boys competing for the part.

I

HOME AND AWAY Once whittled down to just 11, the young actors attended a summer school which put them through their paces further before the company made a final decision. Lewis took it all in his stride, mind you. He said he was ‘a little bit nervous’. His mum on the other hand, he says, cried when he got a place on the summer school. Having been chosen as one of the four Billys, things got more intense living away from home.

58 birmingham living

He explains why it’s all worth it: “I found it a bit hard settling in. I’d never been away from home before, but being on stage is fun and cool. It’s what I want to do.” Combining rehearsing and performing with schoolwork is important to the company. It’s a well-thought out and wellpractised regime at the company with two tutors on hand for schooling in the morning and rehearsals in the afternoon. There are seven full-time chaperones touring to look after the cast and to manage logistics of getting people in the right place at the right time. Head chaperone Simon Potter, who we suspect is the lynchpin in the whole operation, explained:

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 58) young, gifted:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:49

Page 59

YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

“Billy carries the whole show. It’s mentally tough and requires immense stamina. All of the boys are at the top of their game.” He adds: “It can be hard for parents and siblings. Life carries on as normal.” I wondered how hard it is for the Billys to step back in to normal life if indeed they do. Simon added: “If you stop it’s hard to pick it back up at the same level. It’s better to stay at the top of your game. Lewis has lots of options, professional theatre school perhaps.” CHOCOLATE FACTORY Many of the Billys have gone on to do great things. Starring in Matthew Bourne productions

april 2017

for example and not forgetting Tom Holland who played Spiderman on the big screen. Lewis isn’t sure what he’ll do next, but he says: “I’d like to do some TV although Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would be good too.” With such a long lead time from auditioning to performing some of the Billys have naturally outgrown the part and look too old, but Lewis has been lucky enough to perform the whole tour of more than 100 shows which will end in July. We’ll be watching Lewis’s career with interest. I For details and tickets visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com

birmingham living 59


BHAM_ (Page 60) school report:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:48

Page 60

GROWING PLACES

LAUREN’S LEGACY LIVES ON Students at Grace Academy Darlaston raised £657 for Walsall Manor Hospital on World Book Day in memory of former student Lauren Wilkinson, a long-time asthma sufferer who died in January. The students raised money by making a donation to dress up as their favourite book character. Lauren’s sister Nicola Waite said: “Lolly had been in and out of hospital many times since she was born and we are very thankful to the staff at Manor Hospital.”

SCHOOL REPOR T

Birmingham Livin g is committed to highlighting the best of our sc hools and college s. Here’s our round-up of the la test stand-out ne ws and events

IN THE RED: Lara Batchelor, head of Year 7, headmistress Dr Ruth Weeks and Claire Holliday show their support

HEART CHARITY BOOST Pupils at Edgbaston High School for Girls joined together to support children born with only half a heart. Nearly 900 girls came to school dressed in red in exchange for a donation to local charity Little Hearts Matter which supports children, young adults and their families affected by the diagnosis of single ventricle heart conditions. Teaching assistant Claire Holliday has experienced the charity’s support first-hand after surgeons at Birmingham Children’s Hospital were able to successfully ‘rewire’ her son Vinny’s heart.

60 birmingham living

HEALTHY AWARDS Pupils and teachers were joined by Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Carl Rice and Dr Dennis Wilkes, assistant director of public health at Birmingham Council, at an awards ceremony to celebrate local schools’ successes as part of the Health for Life programme. Sladefield Infant School used their Health for Life funding to create a rooftop kitchen garden, while at Cardinal Wiseman Technology College the money was used to create a dance studio.

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 60) school report:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:48

Page 61

GROWING PLACES

FUND-RAISING HEROES St George’s School Edgbaston Charity Committee presented a £900 cheque to Help for Heroes. The money was raised at events such as cake sales, non-uniform days and cinema days. The charity committee has raised a total of more than £2,600 since it was launched three years ago.

SERVICE! Sue and Mark Stinchcombe with UCB students

DINNER TIME FOR STAR CHEFS The Chefs’ Forum launched its Birmingham and Midlands Chapter at University College Birmingham in the Brasserie Restaurant. Roux scholar Harry Guy, Michelin-starred Simpsons head chef Nathan Eades and Masterchef Professionals finalist Mark Stinchcombe with his wife Sue, joint head chefs at Eckington Manor, worked with the UCB students to produce an impressive banquet for the top chefs who attended the dinner.

GIRLS SKI TO THE TOP

DISTRICT CHAMPS

ON THE BALL Winterfold House School’s Under 13 netball team has been crowned Wyre Forest District Netball champions in a tournament at Stourport Netball Dome. The team of Year 7 and 8 pupils won three matches against Holy Trinity, Heathfield Knoll and Stourport High. Winterfold netball coach Corrina Sztybel said: “The girls were amazing and worked really hard. We are so proud of them.” Four Moreton Hall girls were crowned winners of the British Schoolgirls Races 2017 in Flaine, France. The event attracted competitive skiers from all over the UK and more than 150 pupils took part. The Moreton team – Alysha Brown, Charlotte Brown, Freya Reeves and Georgie Reeves – returned with eight medals and the title of Best Overall Team.

april 2017

birmingham living 61


BHAM_ (Page 62) gavin sandford:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:47

Page 62

FEATURE

EXTREMELY

GOOD SPORT Charity ambassador, athlete and all-round super human Gavin Sandford tells us why he’s ‘binned’ his home in Dickens Heath in favour of a draughty caravan and how he sets his alarm for 3am to fit in his training he term ultra-runner is bandied about a lot nowadays and tends to refer to completing multiple marathons or running particularly tough terrain/conditions. But for the extraordinary challenges that Gavin Sandford puts himself through, it doesn’t quite cut the mustard. For instance he’s the first person in history to have completed back-to-back Marathons des Sables in the harsh climate of the Sahara desert - once is far too much for most – and he took on 1,200 miles in 45 days pushing a 50kg barrel and succeeded. The barrel got steadily heavier as generous passers-by donated money! He’s moved out of his house in Dickens Heath and is living in a caravan on an airfield to lower his outgoings,

T

allowing him to work less and challenge himself more. It’s all in the name of charity, but what drives him to such extreme lengths? Gavin’s upbringing was slightly unconventional. He was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and learned to swim when his ex-special forces father chucked him into a river that may or may not have had the odd crocodile lurking in it. He told the young Gavin to just swim! He also spent lots of time running around the bush waving a gun around. It all sounds very macho.

I CAN I WILL A move to Manchester must have been a shock to the system and when Gavin turned 16, he followed in his

Find out more about I Can I Will at www.icanandiwill.co.uk

62 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 62) gavin sandford:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:47

Page 63

FEATURE

father’s footsteps and joined the army. He’d always been pretty fit but here he got into athletics and boxing among other things and became supremely fit. When Gavin left the army and started working as a physician’s assistant in various hospitals he began fund-raising through increasingly tough challenges. It was while working at Birmingham Children’s Hospital that he met a young girl suffering from cancer that inspired him to do more and also spawned his mantra I Can I Will. Gavin had seen Molly at the hospital repeatedly for various treatments and procedures. On one occasion when Gavin explained what the next course of treatment would be, which they both knew would be painful, Molly said: “Sure, I can, I will.” Sadly Molly died which moved Gavin tremendously and in 2014 he launched I Can I Will (ICIW) and rather than spreading his fund-raising across numerous causes he began focusing specifically on those that encourage life-saving peripheral stem cell donation and bone marrow donation. As well as raising money, a large part of ICIW is getting supporters to register as donors with organisations like Anthony Nolan and the British Bone Marrow registry.

NEAR DEATH Gavin pushes himself to the extreme and completing the Marathons des Sables nearly killed him. He found himself 16miles off course in 45-degree heat, horribly dehydrated with a failed satellite phone and foaming at the mouth. Thankfully he had a great team that he credits with rescuing him. Getting through such challenges is tough mentally as well as physically, but Gavin copes by breaking them down into chunks and focusing on his fund-raising goals. Training while working is intense and often means a 3am alarm call five-times-a-week to fit it all in. A 10-mile trot to work is a regular occurrence. Gavin’s showing no sign of putting the brakes on with some of his toughest challenges yet on the cards for 2017. One of which will see him climbing the equivalent distance from sea to space. Think about that! In another he’ll be running 66 miles over 42 summits in just 24 hours in the Lake District and that’s the tip of the iceberg. I tentatively asked Gavin how he relaxes. Well, it turns out he doesn’t and thankfully doesn’t need much sleep either. I

april 2017

birmingham living 63


BHAM_ (Page 68):Layout 1

64 birmingham living

21/3/17

21:46

Page 64

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 65) business news:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:45

Page 65

BUSINESS

BRUM’S BIG BOOM Birmingham entrepreneurs generated more than £20 million turnover in the past year according to new figures. The world’s largest free business accelerator, Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest, revealed the impact of its Birmingham hub in its annual report. Since opening the hub at St Philip’s Place in 2015, entrepreneurs have created 385 jobs. The £20 million in turnover equates to an average of £102,000 per business.

BUSINESS NEWS PITCHING TO A PRINCE Pitch@Palace on was held for the first time in Birmingham, hosted at KPMG’s One Snowhill offices. The Dragons’ Den-style initiative brought together some of the region’s creative entrepreneurs from fields such as healthcare, robotics, connected devices, wearable technology and virtual reality. Set up by Prince Andrew, Pitch@Palace is an initiative which guides, helps and connects entrepreneurs with potential investors and supporters. Sixteen entrepreneurs showcased their ideas to Prince Andrew before the main Pitch@Palace event at St James’s Palace this month.

LAUNCH: Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail

SKILLS GAP INITIATIVE

A campaign to beat the skills gap in UK engineering and the rail sector has been launched with an aim to boost sign-ups to a new employer-led college under development in Birmingham. With the UK needing at least 182,000 people with engineering skills each year until 2022, the National College for High Speed Rail will play a central role in addressing the nationwide shortage when it opens on Dartmouth Middleway in September.

april 2017

DESIGNER OPENING The UK’s fastest-growing designer store, Flannels.com, opened a new store in Solihull. Specialising in contemporary men’s and women’s designer clothing, footwear and accessories, the store in Stratford Road, Shirley, showcases a selection of top designer brands, including Vivienne Westwood, Giuseppe Zanotti, Kenzo, Polo Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors. Flannels has stores across the UK, including in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. HAPPY SHOPPER: Solihull mayor Cllr Mike Robinson opened new Flannels store

birmingham living 65


BHAM_ (Page 65) business news:Layout 1

22/3/17

11:38

Page 66

BUSINESS

BOSS ON RIGHT TRACK NEW LOOK: From left, Elaine Berry, David Baldwin and Catherine Finnieston

JQ ACQUISITION Finnieston Berry Partnership, of Northwood Street in the Jewellery Quarter, has been acquired by Baldwins Accountants, which is based in Walsall and has offices in Tamworth and Coventry. The move is part of Baldwins’ national strategic expansion plans. The last 12 months has seen the Baldwins Accountancy Group grow from 16 to 34 offices across the country, employing more than 800 staff with an annual turnover of £50million.

A former customer services assistant at New Street Station has risen through the ranks to become general manager of one of the busiest routes on the Virgin Trains’s network. Birmingham-born Natasha Grice is in change of the EBW route (Euston-BirminghamWolverhampton), with more than 11 million journeys a year. Natasha, 41, started her career with Virgin Atlantic working as a flight attendant before moving to Virgin Trains in March 2002.

LAW FIRM’S £42,000 GIFT Staff of Midlands law firm Pinsent Masons raised more than £42,000 for its charity of the year, Cure Leukaemia. The total will fund one of CL’s specialist research nurses for a year. Money was raised by a range of activities including the Great Birmingham 10km, London to Paris bike ride and skydives. Head of office and Cure Leukaemia trustee Greg Lowson said: “I am very proud of every member of staff.“

TOP SUPPLIERS NAMED MATT JOINS CALTHORPE TEAM Local suppliers G M Treble and Direct Control Systems were among those honoured by Birmingham building services provider J S Wright at its annual awards lunch held at Cucina Rustica in the Jewellery Quarter. The 127-year-old mechanical and electrical services specialist presented a trophy to Wolverhampton specialist pump distributor GM Treble as its supplier of the year, pictured. Birmingham company Direct Control Systems was named sub-contractor of the year.

66 birmingham living

Leading property investor, developer and landowner Calthorpe Estates has appointed highly regarded commercial property agent Matt Long as a director to take responsibility for developing relationships with new and existing customers. He joins the business from Colliers International where as a director he was involved in the office agency activity in Birmingham. WELCOME: Matt, left, with Calthorpe’s CEO Mark Lee

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 65) business news:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:45

Page 67

BUSINESS

NEW HOTEL’S EASY-HOP

Super-budget brand easyHotel opened its first property in Birmingham with a bounce. Located in the grade II listed Rosebury Building, John Bright Street, the hotel launch was celebrated with a wacky space hopper race to highlight just how close it is to New Street Station. The 86-room hotel is the first of four new easyHotels opening this year.

ENERGY BOOST Innovation Birmingham’s Cleantech for Acceleration programme is back, offering grants of up to 20,000 euros to start-up businesses focused on energy technologies and sustainability. Following previous successful years of supporting start-ups, the 2017 Accelerator programme is looking for a new batch of talent and is open to all start-ups that are less than two years old and have a product, service or innovation which is energy focused.

SANTA WOULD BE PROUD House of Fraser handed over a cheque for £8,100 to support the pioneering work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The money was raised by £1.20 going from every entry ticket purchased at the store’s Christmas grotto. The cheque will help the hospital’s £3.65million Star Appeal to build the UK’s first paediatric Rare Diseases Centre. Fund-raising currently stands at more than £2.5 million.

april 2017

HYATT’S ‘WOW WOW’ FACTOR Hyatt Regency Birmingham is celebrating after winning two awards at the Wonders of Westside Awards (WOWs). The hotel was named best hotel/best serviced apartments, while its pub, the Gentleman & Scholar Pub and Terrace was crowned best bar. General manager Mario Flanagan said: “We are honoured to have received not just one, but two awards, and thank our team for their role in achieving this.”

birmingham living 67


BHAM_ (Page 64):Layout 1

68 birmingham living

21/3/17

21:16

Page 68

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 69) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:13

Page 69

SOCIAL SCENE

1

2

EL BORRACHO UNVEILS NEW CHEF, NEW MENU Best of Spanish cooking on show as restaurant serves up a treat oyal supporters of El Borracho De Oro were in for a special treat when they were invited to sample the food of new chef, Pedro Francisco Reinoso Bustillos. The new menu was the focus of a night which was all about supporting independents and championing the best in Spanish cooking. Owner Emma Yufera Ruiz has poured her heart and soul into making El Borracho De Oro a truly authentic Spanish experience in every aspect The night also raised ÂŁ550 for local charity LoveBrum I

L

3

4

5

6

7

1 Derek and Daisy Inman, David and Sue Baldwin. 2 Conrad Brunton, Anne-Marie McShane, Tim Andrews, Emma-Louise Yufera. 3 Eric Disla, Carmen Mills. 4 Kate Morely, Matt Roden. 5 Harriet Kitchenham, Liz Brewer. 6 Vicky Chell, Kate Chilinski. 7 Ami Chatha, Avtar.

april 2017

birmingham living 69


BHAM_ (Page 70) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:12

Page 70

SOCIAL SCENE

1

2

DINNER DATE WITH PUNKS & PIONEERS Vintage evening sees Hotel du Vin toast the best of Australian wine

3

s part of its on-going series of wine dinners, Hotel du Vin hosted an evening that celebrated the ‘Punks and Pioneers’ of the wine world and invited guests to challenge their perceptions (and misconceptions) about Australian wine. A four-course menu was paired with some excellent vintages selected by Katie Smith and Nadia Rae of Bibendum, which included those from maverick producer Col McBride. I

A

4

For details of future events visit https://www.hotelduvin.com/locations/birmingham/events/

5

6

7

8

1 Tony Elvin, Katie Smith, Nadia Rae, Nico Ante. 2 Phil Birchall, Clare Everett. 3 Amanda and Tim Larnder. 4 Matt Roden, Kate Morley. 5 Sheila Kelly-Trow, Sandra Gash. 6 Lee and Paula Noble. 7 Ruth Bridges, Andy Watkinson, Kirsty Nicholls. 8 Arron Wincott, Molly Aston, Nico Ante.

70 birmingham living

Photography by Jas Sansi

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 71) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:12

Page 71

SOCIAL SCENE

1

2

3

NEW TIPPLE TRUCK IS TOAST OF THE TOWN UK’s only fire engine bar on call for lovers of craft beers party at the Genting Arena welcomed the Tipple Truck, the only fire engine bar in the country which is fitted with the technology to let customers pour their own drinks. The engine uses an Oyster card-style system, so people buy credit, take their card to the pumps and choose which drink to sample. The truck gives the opportunity to try new craft beers brewed by small micro-breweries that drinkers may not have come across before. The beers change on a regular basis. I

A

4

5

6

7

8

1 James Bodicoat, Nigel Simkin, Nick Gregory. 2 Alice Chamberlain, Victoria Valentine, Nat Griffiths, Tim Rees. 3 Simon and Becky Hanns, James Hilton, Daphne Johnson, Andrea Keats. 4 Sammi and Simon Tong. 5 Neil Haynes, Paula Butterly, Tom Butterly. 6 David Leech, Anetta Ivanova, Mark Kennedy. 7 Sat Singh, Katie Hale, Scott Barnet, Charlie Sangha. 8 Jason McGreene, Mel Evans, Richard Brown. Photography by Dale Martin

april 2017

birmingham living 71


BHAM_ (Page 72) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:11

Page 72

SOCIAL SCENE

2

1

3

LOVE IS IN THE AIR AT SCHOOLS’ BALL PTAs come together for a great evening at Edgbaston stadium

4

M

5

6

7

8

ore than 250 guests enjoyed a Valentine-themed ball held at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium. The event was organised by Hallfield School Parent Teacher Association, Edgbaston High School Parent Association and the Old Hallfieldian Society. A drinks reception provided by Accent Catering was followed by a performance from British National Dance champions Amy Dowden and Ben Jones. The pair are the first all-British couple to hold the title for more than 30 years. Party band Treasure International got everyone on their feet and Jackstar Events provided the disco, lighting display and photography. I

9

1 Amit and Archna Chudasama, Gurvinder and Raj Bassi, Roopa and Manish Patel. 2 Jack Quenby, Tania and Roger Outwin-Flinders, Louise Quenby. 3 Nigel and Lindsey Sherwood, Clare Oliver, Zach Aulakh. 4 Paul and Paula Wood. 5 Raman and Sandhya Sirpal. 6 Zara Iqbal, Pat Green. 7 Minal and Puru Praveen. 8 Rajib and Diya Pal, Sareena and Inderpal Gurjwal. 9 Loveena Verma, Kam Sangha, Monica Verma, Anjla Kumar, Apinder Ahuja.

72 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 73) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:11

Page 73

SOCIAL SCENE

1

2

3

LEADING LADIES STEP TO IT IN RED SHOES Reception inspired by Sir Matthew Bourne’s new staging of ballet he stage was set for red carpet glamour at Birmingham Hippodrome at a SimkissGuy Recruitment Leading Ladies’ reception inspired by Sir Matthew Bourne’s new staging of his ballet, The Red Shoes. Sponsored by Marketing Birmingham, the event included networking, celebration cake and brand new cocktail called To Dance? To Live! from Edgbaston Boutique hotel and cocktail lounge. The Red Shoes will be returning to the Hippodrome from 19 to 22 July. I

T

4

5

6

7

8

1 Nicola Hewitt, Emma Gray, Victoria Pargetter. 2 Jenny Hinks, Stella Layton, Frances Anderson. 3 Dominic North, Marverine Cole, Sir Matthew Bourne, Fiona Allen, Chris Trenfield. 4 Ashley Shaw. 5 Mirella Harker, Kirsty Concannon. 6 Sarah Wood, Alex and Angela Graham. 7 Tony Heap, Jayne O’Malley, Luke Pearson. 8 Claire Mac, Chris Trenfield, Louisa Evans.

april 2017

birmingham living 73


BHAM_ (Page 74) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:10

Page 74

SOCIAL SCENE

2

1

3

MODELS KEEP IT REAL ON CHARITY CATWALK 4

Fashion show turns on style to Help Harry Help Others

5

fashion show was the focus of the second Keeping It Real event at Searcy’s The Balcony in Selfridges in aid of Help Harry Help Others charity. Libby Walton, owner of Styling You, styled the models and presented the show with Heart FM’s Ed James. Clothes were provided by Selfridges and modelled by women whose lives have been touched by cancer. GHD styled models’ hair and make-up came from Bobbi Brown. Gastro Card partnered the event. A raffle supported by Staying Cool apartments, Searcys, Selfridges and Royston Blythe raised nearly £600 for HHHO. I

A 6

7

8

9

10

1 Mandy Latif, Georgie Moseley, Julie Revitt, Ann Moore. 2 Bev Davenport, Nikki Singh, Emma Dowling. 3 Sandra Murray, Jo Waddell, Sally Bowen. 4 Ellie and Janine Hayter. 5 Ed James, Danielle Lloyd. 6 Melanie Rowley, Karen Walker. 7 Dave Fellows, Libby Walton. 8 Gill Moore, Sue Fennell, Michelle Davies. 9 Barbara Perry, Bev Davenport, Valta Rainbow. 10 Tafadzwa Mushipe, Georgie Moseley. Photography by Designer Photography

74 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 75) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:09

Page 75

SOCIAL SCENE

1

2

3

BRUM SET TO BEAR ALL THIS SUMMER Big Sleuth art trail project gets underway at business preview ore than 150 professionals got their first glimpse of the Big Sleuth bears that will be appearing in Birmingham this summer. At an exclusive event, the business community was invited to choose 100 designs for the bears from more than 200 submitted by local and national artists. Creative producers Wild in Art will bring the 165cm-tall sculptures to Birmingham for a 10-week free public art trail which is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the city. The bears will then be auctioned in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. I

4

5

M

6

For more information about the Big Sleuth project visit www.thebigsleuth.co.uk

7

8

9

1 Dame Christine Braddock, Katrina Cooke, Ravinder Masih. 2 Steve Hewlett, Sarah Dickson, Louisa Grocott, Caroline Rudge, David Pardoe. 3 Kate Marsden, Roanne Peace, David Gornall, Dame Christine Braddock, Richard Brooks, Kate Brown. 4 Hannah James, Lisa Mart. 5 Neil Snowball, Sarah-Jane Mars. 6 Lucy Burnett, Amy Hubbard, Melanie Palmer. 7 Mat Lovell, Kim Loynes, Louise McCathie, Luke Crane. 8 Lucy Bridge, Michele Metcalfe, Dame Christine Braddock, Lawrie Kendall. 9 Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Sophie Reed, Sue Giles.

april 2017

birmingham living 75


BHAM_ (Page 76) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:09

Page 76

SOCIAL SCENE

2

1

3

HUNT LAUNCHED TO FIND BUSINESS STAR VIP event marks start of search for Young Professional of the Year

4

irmingham Young Professional of the Year 2017 was launched with a VIP event at Malmaison hotel. Past winners, including 2016 overall champion Abby Corfan, shared how the title has boosted their professional and personal development. Now in its 17th year, BYPY celebrates talent aged 35 and under from the city’s professional services sector with one candidate being named Birmingham Young Professional of the Year. This year’s event is being supported by headline sponsor BMet and the awards take place on 18 May at the ICC. I

B

5

6

7

8

9

1 Meena Saroy, Nicole Bakalis, Dean Chauhan, Mike Jones, Paul Batchelor. 2 Tim Rudman, Hannah Green, Richard Guy. Eileen Schofield, Maxine Salmon. 4 Mike Colledge, Abby Corfan.

3 Sam Amin,

5 Ravinder Assi, Ben Hess. 6 Yoje Kikanka, Mitchell Hunt.

7 Sophie Taylor, Mariyam Harunah. 8 Sharon Benton, Rebecca Hayes, Suzie Branch. 9 Chris Rowlands, Lauren Howard, James Weaver.

76 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 77) social:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:08

Page 77

SOCIAL SCENE

1

2

3

SIGNATURE AWARDS FOR BUSINESS STARS Glittering event at Edgbaston Stadium celebrates excellence across region ore than 500 guests attended the Signature Awards at Edgbaston Stadium to celebrate excellence in the regional business community across nine different award categories, including law, banking, finance and property. Hosted by BBC Asian Network’s Tommy Sandhu, key note speakers included Paul Thandi, CEO of NEC Group, and awards founder Ninder Johal, who said: “During turbulent times, businesses have proven to be resilient and the latest trade figure confirms that. This awards ceremony is a symbol of that confidence.” I

M

4

5

6

7

8

1 Felicity Proctor, Navneet Mangat, Maria Clune, Ros Wilson. 2 Narinder Johal, Paul Thandi, Ninder Johal. 3 Young Professional of the Year winner Kasim Choudhry, Tommy Sandhu, Jason and Monty Wouhra. 4 Alice Hall, Jayne Murphy, Sarita Sharma. 5 Excellence in the Professions for Owner Practice winner Ian Henery. 6 Tommy Sandhu, Ninder Johal, Richard Paterson, Raaj Shamji. 7 Jatinder Paul, Satvir Bungar, Ragi Singh. 8 Excellence in Promoting Apprenticeships winner Khalid Mahmood, Tommy Sandhu, Alan Hill. Photography by Jas Sansi

april 2017

birmingham living 77


ing ON il vWHAT’S

BHAM_ (Page 78) whatson:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:04

Page 78

WHAT: Chris De Burgh & Band: A Better World Live 2017 WHEN: 24 April WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Join one of popular music’s most evocative and accomplished songwriters as he provides much food for thought in the lyrical content of his new album A Better World.

WHAT: Antiques for Everyone

WHAT: Tez Ilyas

WHEN: 6 to 9 April

WHEN: 27 April

WHERE: NEC, tel 0844 581 0827

WHERE: Mac Birmingham,

www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk

tel 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk

Looking for something distinctive and different for the home? The largest antiques, interiors and collectables fair outside of London is back with hundreds of specialist dealers offering a huge variety of desirable, rare and quirky items from £10 to £100,000.

A great chance to see one of the UK’s most exciting, rising stand-up stars in action following his huge success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a sold-out run in London – which was adapted for BBC Radio 4.

WHAT: Easter Fun at the Gardens WHEN: 10 to 17 April WHAT: Who Do You Think You Are? Live

WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel 0121 212 3383

WHEN: 6 to 8 April

www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk

WHERE: NEC, tel 0844 338 0338 The world’s largest family history show returns with more than 120 genealogy experts on hand to help with your research and provide free access to their billions of records. This year’s celebrity guest is Casualty star Sunetra Sarker.

78 birmingham living

Plenty of arts and crafts, bug hunting and spring activities to keep everyone amused. There’s also face painting, an Easter bonnet parade and an opportunity to make your own fluffy bunny. Plus, you won’t want to miss the stunning gardens to enjoy too.

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 78) whatson:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:04

Page 79

WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Winnie and Wilbur WHEN: Now until 22 April WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk A magical, musical adaptation of the best-selling picture books by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul in a brand new family show full of songs, laughs and slapstick fun for children aged three and above.

WHAT: Jon Richardson: Old Man WHEN: 4 May WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com Since his last show, the 8 out of 10 Cats star he has become a father, seen Brexit turn into a reality and watched the rise of Donald Trump. His new hilarious show complains about the state of the world and offers no solutions.

WHAT: Kym Mazelle WHEN: 6 April WHERE: The Jam House, tel 0121 200 3030 www.thejamhouse.com A legendary star of the House Music wave of the late Eighties and perhaps best known for her cover of Young Hearts Run Free, Mazelle has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. This is sure to be a stunning evening.

WHAT: Henning Wehn: Westphalia is Not an Option WHAT: The Spring Pink Ball for Breast Cancer WHEN: 29 April WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk Help raise funds for breast cancer medical equipment at this stunning annual black and pink tie-themed ball. As well as supporting a brilliant cause, it’s also a cracking night out with entertainment, including the Brothers of Soul.

april 2017

WHEN: 27 April WHERE: Town Hall, box office 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk His last show tackled the British obsession with home ownership and this year the German comedy ambassador takes an unbiased look at immigration. He also wonders if, generally speaking, people are competent.

birmingham living 79


BHAM_ (Page 78) whatson:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:05

Page 80

WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Bruno Mars

WHAT: Antony & Cleopatra

WHEN: 24 and 25 April

WHEN: Now until 7 September

WHERE: Barclaycard Arena,

WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre,

tel 0844 338 8000

tel 01789 403493

www.theticketfactory.com

www.rsc.org.uk

The Grammy award-winner touches down in Birmingham as part of his massive world tour celebrating his new album 24K Magic in what promises to be a night like no other.

Following his critically-acclaimed productions of Othello and Much Ado About Nothing, Iqbal Khan returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare’s classic tragedy of love and duty. Starring Josette Simon and Anthony Byrne, with music composed by Birmingham’s very own Laura Mvula.

WHAT: Sara Pascoe WHEN: 29 April WHERE: The Old Rep Theatre, 359 9444 www.oldreptheatre.co.uk The star of BBC’s Twenty Twelve, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Live at the Apollo is honest, unflinching and very funny as she expounds on sexuality, empathy, art, God and pubic hair.

WHAT: Ken Dodd – Happiness Show WHEN: 22 April WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Newly-knighted Sir Ken is a comedy icon and national treasure who has been making audiences of all ages laugh for a lifetime. Come and enjoy the Diddy man’s famous Happiness Show and witness a true genius in action.

WHAT: Robin Hood

WHAT: Rag ’n’ Bone Man

WHEN: 21 and 22 April

WHEN: 24 April

WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel 01527 65203

WHERE: O2 Academy Birmingham,

www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk

tel 0121 622 8250 www.o2academybirmingham.co.uk

All the fun and frolics of panto arrive in Sherwood Forest as Robin Hood and his Merry Men battle to outwit the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham. Starring Gareth Gates as Robin, with Graham Cole as the Sheriff.

The Sussex hip-hop blues man has been a prolific underground artist for several years but has been catapulted to mainstream fame since his first hit single, Human, came out last year. He was named the BRITS Critics’ Choice winner for 2017. Strictly over-14s.

80 birmingham living

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 78) whatson:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:05

Page 81

WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Kirstie Allsop’s Vintage Handmade Fair WHEN: 12 to 14 May WHERE: Ragley Hall, tel 01789 762 090 www.ragley.co.uk A great creative day out for all, full of making, shopping and delicious food and drink. Take part in hands-on workshops, learn from the experts and buy tools, materials and beautiful products from the hand-picked sellers.

WHAT: Stand Up 4 Refugees WHEN: 31 May WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel 0121 245 2024 WHAT: Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic WHEN: 12 to 16 April WHERE: Genting Arena, tel 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com Grab your Mickey ears and get ready to celebrate 100 Years of Disney magic. Features a cast of more than 50 unforgettable characters in a show that will leave the whole family captivated with memories that will last a lifetime.

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk Part of a series of national gigs by some of the country’s top comedians to raise money for the charity Help Refugees. Help those affected by the global migrant crisis at the Brum show which features Joe Lycett, Nish Kumar and other top acts.

WHAT: New Art West Midlands 2017 WHEN: Now until 14 May WHERE: Waterhall at BMAG, www.birminghammuseums.org.uk Featuring 31 of the most exciting emerging artists in the region, this exhibition gives an insight into the latest trends and concerns in contemporary art. The artists have all graduated from the region’s five university art schools. © Jessica Maxfield

april 2017

birmingham living 81


BHAM_ (Page 82) inthecity:Layout 1

21/3/17

21:04

Page 82

IN THE CITY I tend to base myself from Digbeth and it is my favourite

place in many ways because of all the creatives that work there – but it’s still a bit rough round the edges

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’m Mazzy Snape, events and PR specialist and lecturer. I specialise in event management, PR and social media across arts, music, entertainment and SMEs. Clients past and present range from music venues such as the Night Owl, festivals like Swingamajig, city-wise initiatives for-Wards and Birmingham Big Art Project, but also big brands such as Diesel, Vitamin Water and Popchips. I lecture part-time at Birmingham University in event management and related subjects and present the Soul Hole and Chicks Dig Jerks on Brum Radio.

handy. If I venture into town I like 6/8 Kafe and Urban Coffee Company. Good coffee taste overrules prices and convenience for me every time. It’s worth the walk.

LUNCHTIME?

For a casual lunch I go to the Pop Up in the Custard Factory. With a client I’d probably venture into town to Chung Ying Central on Colmore Row for some yummy Dim Sum or to Hotel du Vin just round the corner for something more formal.

POWERWALKING? HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?

There is a nice green space alongside Millennium Point which is good as an end-destination for a lunch break when the sun is shining.

I base myself at the shared, collaborative workspace, the Impact Hub in Digbeth and get there by hopping on the number 50 bus.

HOW’S THE COMMUTE?

PR specialist, lecturer and radio presenter, Mazzy Snape

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?

Luckily I work flexible hours because traffic before 9am is atrocious. I wait until about 9.15 to avoid the crush.

I tend to base myself from Digbeth and it is my favourite place in many ways because of all the creatives that work there, but it’s still a bit rough round the edges.

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?

AFTERWORK PINT?

A fantastic place to work in! So much is happening right now. New businesses are popping up left, right and centre and there is a very collaborative ethic these days which is great. For me personally, I’ve built up extensive networks and knowledge in and around Birmingham so I’d be crazy to work anywhere else.

I like the Old Crown and Mockingbird for a pint or on a Friday I head to Digbeth Dining Club at Spotlight to grab dinner and a drink.

COFFEE BREAK? The Impact Hub has a fantastic coffee shop in-house with high quality free teas and coffees for members which is

82 birmingham living

HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? The walk from the city centre to Digbeth is a bit dilapidated and it needs some encouragement I think! Some greenery, better lighting at night, new shops and businesses encouraged with lower rates and so on… I

april 2017


BHAM_ (Page 83):Layout 1

22/3/17

16:12

Page 83


BHAM_ (Page 06):Layout 1

23/11/16

10:22

Page 6

April issue 2017 (issue 55)  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you