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EDITOR’S VIEW

A

s a certain famous football manager once said: “It’s squeaky bum time.” Usually I fight shy of talking about our West Midlands clubs. Let’s face it, in recent times we haven’t had a whole lot to get excited about. But as we enter the sharp end of the season in April and May, there are signs things might be a’changing. Wolves are on their way to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final. Beat Watford and the old golds will be in the final after what has already been a brilliant Premier League campaign. Meanwhile West Brom and Aston Villa have been leading the fight in the Championship to win a place at the top table with Wolves. And in Division One, despite all the financial problems and stadium protests, Coventry have been slugging it out for promotion. Will all, or any, of our teams bring home the glory? It’s anyone’s guess because as we fans know, one minute you’re riding the crest of a wave and then next your drowning your sorrows. Our cover star this month knows all about the highs and lows of football. Lee Hendrie is a hero to the claret and blue half of Birmingham having spent 14 years playing for his boyhood club. But once his career was over, his life took a nosedive in what he calls the ‘darkest days’ of depression and suicide attempts. While football caused his demons, it also brought about his salvation after Sky asked him to join their commentary team. Lee talks about how he came back from the brink and the new goals in his life in this month’s cover interview. As Sir Alex Ferguson also said: “Football, bloody hell…”

s n h o J d i Dav

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living Cover image:

/bhamliving

FINALIST

Lee Hendrie

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, Hywel Davies 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

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INSIDE

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Highlights

Lee Hendrie

Football hero leaves his ‘darkest days’ behind to target new goals in a career on TV

Queen Bee Deborah Mitchell – the beauty therapist to Royalty and Hollywood who built an empire

Food & Drink This month’s best wine buys, plus news, reviews and recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene

Style It’s time to show off those ankles and toes and shop for some serious fantasy footwear

Health The knockout craze that’ll add real punch to your fitness, plus how to fuel-up your body

Homes Planning a new kitchen? We’ve all the trends and tips to create a truly grand design

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

58 60 64 66 78 82 april 2019

Motoring

Land Rover takes the ‘Hy’ road with the new hybrid version of its Range Rover Sport

Young, Gifted & Brummie From school ban to TV sensation – the inspiring story of teen drag queen Lewis Bailey

Up Close WithÁ Paul Street, the former counter terrorism officer keeping city’s business centre safe

Business Company to Watch: Sentry Systems, plus news & views from the commercial community

What’s On Your guide to the shows, gigs and events in and around Birmingham this month

In The City How a stroke at 29 changed my life and priorities – by champion fund-raiser Adam Hayes

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NEWS

SCHOOL’S ROYAL BALLET BOOST Resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, Wayne McGregor, is the new vice-president of Birmingham’s Elmhurst Ballet School. The appointment also marks the start of a partnership between the school and McGregor’s own Studio Wayne McGregor featuring a programme of activities for Elmhurst students. He is the latest to join esteemed dance luminaries Carlos Acosta, Maina Gielgud, Dame Merle Park and Sir Peter Wright as

NEWS vice-presidents of the school.

BRINGING YOU THE BRIGHTEST AND MOST COLOURFUL STORIES FROM ACROSS THE CITY EACH MONTH

IT’S AN EGGS-TRAVAGANZA

Thunderbirds are go – and so are these egg-cited youngsters as they prepare for an Easter egghunt with a twist at the British Motor Museum. The Museum kick starts its Mini 60th anniversary celebrations with a host of themed family activities this Easter from 6 to 28 April. Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend from 19 to 22 April children can enjoy a traditional Easter Egg hunt with a Mini surprise by collecting eggs around the Museum to claim a special reward.

RACHEL’S A DRAW WITH KIDS Illustrator Rachel Suzanne is celebrating after seeing her latest works go on sale in a children’s book authored by TV personality and member of the Saturdays, Rochelle Humes. The Mega Magic Hair Swap! tells the story of best friends Mai and Rose, who make a wish to change their hair but learn that they are perfect just the way they are. Since graduating from Birmingham City University in 2015, Rachel has worked with Hallmark Cards, fashion retailer Next and illustrated two picture books.

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NEWS

KT’S A BIG HIT

Brit Awards winner KT Tunstall shared her songwriting expertise with budding musicians when she visited Birmingham City University. The singersongwriter, known for her hits Suddenly I See and Other Side of the World, talked about her songwriting process as well as demonstrating how she penned some of her biggest hits. The visit marked the opening of the Songwriting Studies Research Network, a two-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

LOVE MATCH Celebrities from the world of

IN BRIEF

music and television – including

HARRY’S HEROES

pictured – are coming together

The Duke of Sussex visited the world’s first specialist military and civilian wound research centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Prince Harry met armed forces’ veterans and scientific and clinical experts spearheading revolutionary new treatments.

WORTH A VISIT A total of 16 West Midlands attractions have been named by VisitEngland as providing outstanding experiences for visitors – more than any other region in the UK. They include Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, British Motor Museum, Cadbury World and Thinktank.

LONELY LOLLY A project in Sandwell which combats loneliness among south Asian women has been awarded a £1,000 grant to help it expand. The Aman Group brings together women aged 40 and over to socialise at four libraries in the area.

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Love Island’s Dom Lever, to play in a football match to raise £50,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance. The charity has joined forces with Walsall

FOOTBALLERS ON TV A local LGBT and non-league football club in the West Midlands has been featured in a new national advertising campaign for Carling beer, called Made Local. Black Country Fusion FC appeared in the ad aired across multiple channels nationwide, including TV, VOD, Social and even cinemas. The Made Local campaign is aimed at championing people who are making a positive impact in their home town. Black Country Fusion FC became the first LGBT+ club in the Midlands when it formed in 2016.

HEAVY METAL BENCH

Football Club and Sellebrity Soccer to host the match on 11 May which will raise funds to provide the equivalent to 20 lifesaving missions. Fans can also attend a celebrity player pre-match dinner the night before. Details: www.midlandsairambulance.com

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world watched Black Sabbath’s ‘heavy metal bench’ presentation organised by Westside Business Improvement District (BID) in Birmingham. Original band member Tony Iommi accepted the bench from Brummie comedian Jasper Carrott in an exclusive ceremony at St Luke’s Gas Street Church, Broad Street. Only 350 fans could fit into the building, but hundreds of thousands of people across the world watched a video on social media.

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NEWS

FLOOZIE BROUGHT TO BOOK Birmingham’s iconic statue The River – better known as the ‘Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ – was transformed into an art installation by the city council to celebrate International Women's Day. It featured a giant version of the book, Once Upon A Time In Birmingham Women Who Dared To Dream, which tells the stories of 30 inspiring women. The Floozie is reading the story of Dame Ellen Pinsent, who became Birmingham’s first female councillor in 1911.

FOODIES FESTIVAL IS SERVED

The UK's biggest celebration of food and drink is heading back to Birmingham in June. The Foodies Festival, which attracts 25,000 visitors to each of its three-day events, has earned the titled of the ‘Gastronomic Glastonbury’. A host of Great British Bake Off stars and top chefs will showcase their skills in the Chef’s Theatre while live music acts will include charttoppers Scouting for Girls, Boyzlife and the Neville Staple Band, pictured.

MARK’S MISSION The Eiffel Tower was the backdrop as biker extraordinaire Mark Nicholas announced a double challenge in the saddle to support Birmingham-based charity, Cure Leukaemia. Mark, an IT consultant from Kenilworth, has previously completed both Velo Birmingham in 2017 and the London 2 Paris ride last year for the charity. But now Mark, who is in remission after successful treatment for leukaemia, is

BRIDE OF THE YEAR Sixty happy couples headed to Nailcote Hall for the annual Bride of the Year competition. This year Nailcote Hall not only announced the winners of its 2,000th wedding but also named an additional five winning couples set to marry there in the up-and-coming year. The £5,000 star prize went to Siobhan and Earl, pictured, who had booked their nuptials for this October.

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preparing to tackle both events in 2019! The Velo is in May while L2P is in September.

MAKING MORE MEALS A regional food charity has completed a warehouse refit which will enable it to provide a staggering 515,000 additional meals to vulnerable people each year. FareShare West Midlands, based in Birmingham, has increased its chilled food capacity by installing a new chiller within its depot, thanks to funding from supermarket chain, Asda. The regional centre has also leased a new van, which will enable volunteers to make more vital food deliveries.

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NEWS

VICKI SAYS ‘ALLO ‘ALLO ‘Allo ‘Allo’ star Vicki Michelle is coming to town as part of a huge UK tour. She joins Josephine Partridge (Top Girls) and standup comedian Julie Coombe in the comedy Hormonal Housewives at Brierly Hill Civic Centre on 5 April. The no-holds-barred show blasts its way through a catalogue of women’s ‘bits’ from weight gain, mood swings and electrolysis to men, sex, working out and celebrity gossip. Details: www.bhillcivic.co.uk

BEN’S SPACE RACE This year’s Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K will be one small step for a man, one giant leap for Ben

SPRING SHOW STARS

Cartwright. The 10K in October is part

Rural Spain, art, health, astronomy and the mind are among the

physical condition as he bids to become

of Ben’s schedule to get him in peak

inspirations behind eight stunning show gardens which will be the

the West Midlands’ first-ever

centrepiece of the RHS Malvern Spring Show which runs from 9 to 12

astronaut. Ben, from Halesowen, needs

May. Designers include a number of show regulars as well as some new

to put in the hard yards as he prepares

faces, with one coming all the way from Ukraine. Head of shows Diana

to sign up to the European Space

Walton said: “We can’t wait to see what they will be creating for us.”

Agency’s astronaut selection process.

NEW HOME FOR FINE ART

The latest and best of fine art will soon have an exciting new home in the Mailbox. Castle Fine Art is expanding into a 6,000 sq ft flagship showroom space which opens this summer. The new gallery includes contemporary artists, such as Bob Dylan, Lorenzo Quinn (pictured sculpture) and Domingo Zapata, as well as exciting new talent. It will give Castle Fine Art the space and volume to host ambitious and inspiring exhibitions and artist appearances.

GOT ANY NEWS? Email your news and pictures to editor@brumliving.co.uk 12 birmingham living

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COVER STORY

NEW GOALS FOOTBALL STAR AND VILLA HERO, LEE HENDRIE, TALKS TO DAVID JOHNS ABOUT THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF LIFE ON THE PITCH, THE DARK DAYS AFTER HE LEFT THE GAME – AND HIS NEW CAREER AS SKY TV COMMENTATOR AND PUNDIT

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COVER STORY

s a top flight professional footballer Lee Hendrie was used to the up and downs on the pitch. The midfielder who played more than 250 times over 14 years for his home club Aston Villa experienced the highs of being capped at youth and senior level for England and the lows of losing the last FA Cup Final to be played at the old Wembley Stadium. The midfielder known for both his tenacity and his creativity became a cult hero at Villa Park – but he wasn’t as well-equipped to deal with the void left in his life once his playing days drew to a close. A succession of injuries, contract disputes, transfers and a divorce left his professional and private life in what he openly admits was a dark place. So dark in fact that he lost millions in property deals, was declared a bankrupt and suffered mental health issues which led to two suicide attempts.

A

LEE IS A BIG SUPPORTER OF

CURE LEUKAEMIA, TAKING PART IN

FUND-RAISERS AND PLAYING IN THE ANNUAL COPA DEL CURE LEUKAEMIA SIX-A-SIDE TOURNAMENT

FEELING VALUED But as all football fans who tune in to Sky will know, Lee has put his struggles well and truly behind him and is building an exciting media career which he says has made him feel valued again. “I’m still a part of the game I love and that is so important to me,” says Lee who tried his hand at coaching before being asked by Sky to join their Football League team. “Coaching professionally just wasn’t for me,” he adds. “But I love the TV work. It’s exciting and challenging and hard work. It’s a bit like playing, you can’t just turn up and let it happen. You have to spend your time preparing hard and knowing what you are going to do. You have a huge amount of detail and information being fired into your ear by your producer – so you do, literally, have to be on your game. It’s such a buzz and it also means I get to see a lot of Villa which is great as well as the other Midlands teams.” Lee’s own challenges have given him a perspective on life as a 41-year-old which he would never have imagined as the teenager who made his professional debut for the club he supported as boy back in 1995. The issues which he encountered after his playing career was over have made him an avid supporter of mental health awareness. CURE LEUKAEMIA He has been part of a coaching initiative to get football clubs at all levels to make mental and emotional well-being part of their everyday culture. And four years ago he set up the Lee Hendrie Academy, with links to Villa’s academy, to help young footballers who have been rejected by clubs find a way back into the game. His close ties with Villa have also made him a big supporter of Birmingham-based charity, Cure Leukaemia. He has taken part in

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COVER STORY

LEE HAS PUT HIS DARK DAYS

BEHIND HIM AND IS BUILDING AN

EXCITING MEDIA CAREER WHICH HAS MADE HIM FEEL VALUED AGAIN

a number of fund-raisers for the charity including running marathons and being a key member leading and playing in the annual Copa Del Cure Leukaemia six-a-side tournament which is being held in October at St George’s Park, Tatenhill and will once again feature a host of famous Midlands football names. “I got involved with Cure Leukaemia after I bumped into a few Villa guys at a dinner, and it’s just gone from there,” said Lee. Additional motivation to support the blood cancer charity and world-class treatment centre run by Professor Charlie Craddock at Queen Elizabeth Hospital came when Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012. LIFE-SAVING “Supporting Cure Leukaemia is very important to me,” said Lee. “The charity does wonderful work in delivering life-saving treatment to thousands of people and giving them hope.” “I know how having hope and giving help to people, no matter what their illness, is so important. I don’t want to ever see anyone being in the situation I found myself in my dark period. Being a proud man and not actually wanting to tell anyone about my problems was horrendous.” We spoke to Lee as he prepared to give his expert views as part of Sky’s coverage later that evening on Villa’s crucial Championship game at Nottingham Forest – which the claret and blues won 3-1. “Villa are doing ok right now,” he said. “After a lean period they

april 2019

have really picked up. But the Championship is a tough division with some really big clubs fighting it out to get back into the Premier League next season. Big clubs should do well and the bigger club you are, the higher the expectation. It’s not easy.” While a Villa boy from the days when he was a kid in Birmingham, Lee is a big supporter of Midlands football in general. “I want to see all the clubs do well,” he said. “Regardless of who you support, top quality and successful teams here give the whole place a big lift and help showcase our success as a city and region.”

ULTRA-COMPETITIVE And he adds: “I am just delighted to be involved in the game. Sky have been magnificent for me. When you come out of football it’s difficult. You work hard to get to where you want to. And it’s the same with Sky. They have challenged me and tested me. It’s a big profile thing and being on TV means always having to work hard. It’s not a given, there are a lot of people who want to get into it, so it’s very competitive. “I’ve always been a great competitor which is why I love what I am doing and why I want to carry on with the media stuff in future. It’s a thrill to be part of it and its great to be involved in the game that I love.” I For more details of how to see Lee at the Copa Del Cure Leukaemia 2019 tournament on 22 October, go to www.copadelcl.co.uk

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FEATURE

QUEEN BEE

IF THERE ISN’T A MOVIE OF DEBORAH MITCHELL’S LIFE STORY IN THE

PIPELINE, THERE SHOULD BE. A TALE OF CREATIVITY, DETERMINATION, DOUBLE CROSSING, DISAPPOINTMENT, TENACITY AND ULTIMATELY SUCCESS, IT HAS ALL THE INGREDIENTS OF A BOX OFFICE SMASH

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FEATURE

eauty therapist to some serious A-listers including a gaggle of Royals and Hollywood stars, Deborah Mitchell has carved out a niche range of luxury products and beauty treatments, Heaven Skincare that deliver what they promise – a novel idea in the industry. Working out of an idyllic setting in Shifnal as well as a salon in Covent Garden and more recently Harvey Nichols Birmingham, Deborah’s brand has had glowing reviews from high profile names ranging from the Beckhams to the Windsors. We caught up with the lady herself to find out where it all began. As a teenager Deborah developed acne and quickly became frustrated that none of the products on the market worked, so rather than suck it up and accept her skin she made her own formulas. Her college course in Telford provided ingredients and encouraged students to mix their own creations. It was trial and error of course and there were a few bus journeys home from college with a rather pink complexion, but she got there in the end. Once she had the acne under control she added in another ingredient – Roman Chamomile to stop the redness. Success.

B

SUPER LOO In Deborah’s first job in a beauty salon, there were only five products to work with, so again she developed her own and the clients loved them. A disused disabled loo at Deborah’s gym provided her with the ideal opportunity to branch out on her own. She convinced the manager to let her have the space and with a bit of TLC and a couch she had her first beauty room. Once it was established, Deborah moved up in the world, graduating out of the former loo and into the gym’s sunbed room. Thanks to word of mouth her popularity grew. Deborah recalls: “I had five girls working around the clock 8am to 10pm!” Then, bizarrely Duran Duran came knocking and Deborah found herself travelling with them treating the band and their other halves. She met lots of other celebs while touring particularly in LA and ended up treating many of them including Jack Nicholson, which was ‘exciting’. It was a pretty exhausting time too as Deborah was working extraordinarily hard. She’d fly home, fall asleep in her car at 2am and be back in the salon at 7am. BECKHAM CALL Clients started asking if they could buy the products, so Deborah began contemplating packaging designs and contacted companies who could make the products in larger quantities. Having found a company she liked she expectantly handed over her formulas and designs which was a big mistake. Delivery day came and went and when Deborah chased the supplier she was told there wouldn’t be a delivery. She hadn’t signed a contract. Devastated, significantly out of pocket and with her precious formulas in someone else’s hands, TOASTING SUCCESS: Deborah, right, and Heaven Skincare director Ella Cox

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FEATURE

Deborah decided to fight back and vowed to make her products even better. Cue Age Defiance which is still one of the best sellers today. As well as making skin look younger, it also stops spots and Deborah recalls Victoria Beckham calling her personally to thank her for fixing her skin having struggled with blemishes for years. Deborah remembers: “I was surprised it was actually Victoria rather than her agent!” The press got wind of it and positive stories about Heaven began circulating which boosted the brand’s growing reputation. Department stores wanted to stock the range, turnover increased and interest from overseas was taking shape. A large shipment to Dubai sold out in a week, so they began buying more and more. Product development was full steam ahead and further treatments were added. Asia became a big market for Deborah with an initial tussle between a Taiwanese distributor and a large US conglomerate offering big bucks. POP TO PRINCESSES Different salons bought the products and more famous faces were chatting publicly about their skincare regimes such as Kylie and Danni Minogue. At the time Danni was a judge on the X Factor so there was a lot of interest. Simon Cowell pops up to Shifnal in his helicopter for treatments too. When the palace got in touch about a ‘very Royal person’ wanting to have a treatment, Deborah had to pinch herself. The Duchess of Cornwall has been one of her clients ever since and has recommended her to

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other Royals too although we’re not naming names. One of the ingredients Deborah utilises which sets the products apart is bee venom which she says ‘is better than Botox’. Bees are milked of their venom, but Deborah’s quick to point out they’re not harmed. A small electric current is sent through a pane of glass which the bees are set upon causing the bees to ‘sting’ the glass depositing their venom which can then be scraped off and used. Deborah explains: “Although the venom is released, the stinger can’t be released as the glass is too hard, so the bees live.” Patented as Abeetoxin which is a complex mix of bee venom, honey and botulinum, it’s unique to Heaven. Although the products are expensive Deborah says: “They are unusual in that they make the skin look immediately better – you don’t get that with most skincare products.” SAND BLASTING Deborah has avoided being stocked in department stores after a bad experience with House of Fraser years ago, but was convinced by the fit of Harvey Nichols at the Mailbox where she has a full medi-spa offering various treatments including Oxy-hydrate which is like sand blasting for your skin such is its smoothing effect as well as laser therapy and of course the famous Bee Venom facial. Deborah is never still and a real worker, so there’s more development on the cards as well splitting herself between London, Birmingham and Shifnal. This down to earth Midlands girl did good. I

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OAK O

THAT IS THE QUESTION, WINE LOVERS! OUR EXPERT ROB PRICE REVEALS WHY PRODUCERS USE OAK – AND GIVES HIS TOP PICKS FOR YOU TO TRY

TO OAK

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R NOT

? TO

FOOD & DRINK

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ak seems to divide opinion. Some love it, some hate it. But it’s probably true we drink a lot of wine with oak and do not even realise. Many reds use oak but with the extra flavours and body of a red wine oak is not so obvious, so I’m going to focus on white wines where oak is more noticeable. So, why do wine makers use oak? Simply, if used well, it can make many wines taste better. Wines have a wonderful array of aromas and flavours. Starting with primary floral and fruit flavours, these mainly arise as a result of the alcoholic fermentation. But some grapes are fairly neutral (mainly white grapes) and the wine maker employs several techniques to add flavour. One of them is to use oak that adds flavours, such as coconut, vanilla, cedar, spice and toast.

O

MAKER’S DILEMMA There are many factors to consider for a wine maker. Should they ferment in oak? Less common nowadays, most wines are fermented in stainless steel to control oxygen, hygiene and temperature better. But fermenting in oak, still practised in Burgundy, helps integrate the flavours derived from oak with the fruit flavours of the wine. It can help improve the overall balance of the wine. Should they mature in oak, and if so what percentage of wine should be matured in an oak barrel? How old should the oak be? Use brand new oak and it will have a huge impact on wine flavour. However, oak that has been used four times previously will have little impact on flavour. How should the oak barrel be made? And how should it be toasted? All these decisions will impact the flavour of the wine. What size barrel should be used? Bigger barrels mean less oak flavour. Oak comes from different sources (such as America or Europe) and each will add different flavours Or, perhaps, decide not to use a barrel at all, maybe just use oak staves. Large pieces of oak are placed in the vat to extract oak flavour. It can save a lot of money. A 225-litre barrel will cost in excess of £500. Or maybe save even more money and go with oak chips. Or, and now we really are getting down to the cheap and nasty, use oak flavouring.

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4

ROB’S

FOOD & DRINK

TO TRY

The Wine Society’s Exhibition Pouilly Fuissé, £22 A chardonnay from the most Southerly Burgundian wine region. Pouilly Fuissé makes some of the most opulent chardonnays from Burgundy and this 2016 example is very good indeed. Fermented in oak, and then a further 12 months in an oak barrel, it harmoniously marries the freshness of fruit with the flavours acquired by top quality oak. Bread & Butter, 2016 Chardonnay, £13.99 This is a delicious creamy, toasty and complex chardonnay, from California. It is lush and rich and fills the mouth in a lovely over the top way! Almost like drinking crème brûlée. Enjoy on its own or with rich creamy pasta dishes. My current favourite chardonnay. Available from Majestic. Navajas, Blanco Crianza Rioja, £8.75 Another superb wine from the Wine Society. Aged for six months plus in an American oak barrel, it provides a rich, mouth-filling wine with flavours of pear and almond, followed by spice and vanilla. The 2016 vintage is available for only £8.75 – excellent value for wine that delivers so much. Bellingham, The Bernard Series, Chenin Blanc, £13 A wonderful oaked Chenin Blanc from the coastal region of South Africa. Old bush vines give intensity to this wine aged 12 months in oak barrels. Tropical fruits, honey and vanilla abound. Available from a few retailers, including Tesco who sell for £13. Current vintage 2017.

But in the end, it’s not what is done that matters, more how does the wine taste. The most important thing is that oak should not dominate wine, it should complement, so careful use of oak is vital. Because generally white wines have less flavour than reds, we tend to notice the impact more in white wines. Wine makers tend to intervene more with white wines to make an impact. So how about four white wines that have been expertly made, all using oak to a greater and less extent to make a fantastic bottle? You’ll find my picks in this month’s Rob’s 4 To Watch… I

Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun, informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, and Warwick. More information from Rob Price on 0121 270 7359 or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

THE BUTCHERS SOCIAL 97 High Street, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5AT. Tel: 01564 792135 thebutchers.social f Birmingham ever feels a bit quiet in the eating out stakes, we know why. It turns out the world and his wife are in Henley-in-Arden, a place that boasts enough cracking foodie options per capita to give the big smoke a run for its money. We popped down to the picturesque village on a Friday night expecting a quiet supper and were confronted with a buzzing food and drink scene that might knock spots off any city. You know all about our love for Cheal’s – some of you questioned our impartiality such was the gushing after a birthday lunch last year – well, just opposite Cheal’s is The Butcher’s Social. You might recognise the name as it started life in Harborne doing amazing things with the humble chicken wing. Now established in its new home it’s all grown up. Lively is an understatement. A small, but beautiful bar area was packed with people quaffing gin – we

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recommend the Cotswold gin served with a slice of grapefruit – and great beer, snacking on chicken wings among other delicious looking morsels. Out back, the forty-ish cover restaurant was all Farrow and Ball-esque dark walls with a great lighting game that’s gone straight into the fantasy mood board in our mind. We ate from the a la carte menu which was a belter. Scallops served in a moreish Roscoff onion broth with charred baby leeks was seriously tasty although the liquid meant that the lovely crust you get from a panfried scallop was lost. It tasted great though. Glazed pig cheek was melt in the mouth tender and packed with flavour served with pickle kohlrabi for a nice bit of zing. Lamb navarin with a lamb wellington and sweetbreads was a mammoth plate of food – more than enough for two. The navarin bit was absolutely superb as was the sweetbread and the deliciously sweet heritage carrots. The lamb in the wellington was cooked perfectly, but the sheer size of the dish defeated us. Pan fried cod was beautifully cooked with a delicious lobster and lemon beurre blanc. It was served with a cod roe potato rosti that we didn’t really get. It wasn’t crisp on the outside which you’d expect from a rosti and I know this sounds bonkers given it’s a fish dish, but it tasted overly fishy for our humble palate. This is without doubt a place we’d like to spend more time. It felt like a proper buzzing local restaurant that we’d be delighted to have on our doorstep. Hugely popular for Sunday lunch, head chef and owner Mike tells us they’re regularly doing 200-plus covers every week which rises to 400 once it’s warm enough to make use of the garden area. We can see why. I

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ADVERTORIAL

WEALTH OF EXPERTISE AND AN UNDERSTANDING APPROACH s our clients experience the life events that create their personal story, they value an expert hand, with a human touch. They come from many different walks of life; they might be in business or globally connected or simply dealing with the challenges of later life. We draw on history and experience to deliver on two key promises: where life gets complex, we simplify; where life gets contentious, we fight for you. Established in 1912, Irwin Mitchell is the largest full service law firm in the UK. We have more than 250 private client lawyers spread across nine offices, covering the main metropolitan cities. Our clients are high-net-worth individuals, families, their companies, family offices and trustees. So whether it’s trying to comply with the complexities of tax law and regulation, looking for a solution to family issues and succession planning, grappling with a personal dispute where it feels as if emotion may be driving decisions rather than common sense, or you simply want to get that important property transaction over the line, our clients all have something in common – they look to Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth.

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FOUR EXPERT TEAMS IN PRIVATE WEALTH: Tax, Trust and Estates In a world of increasing complexity and rules where governments are looking for ever greater transparency – whether nationally or internationally – tax is an area of risk. Getting it right is easier said than done; but not impossible. With that in mind, our clients look to us for the kind of robust advice, honest assessment of options and the comprehensive and accurate compliance service that deals with those changing standards. Our specialist Later Life team help our clients to reduce the risks associated with the decisions that need to be made in, and approaching, retirement. Through legal and practical guidance they offer clarity on the key issues that can arise, what to look out for and how to solve problems. Will Trust and Estates Disputes Disputes over wills, trusts and estates can make a difficult time even more trying – particularly when there is an extensive legacy to distribute. Our team has resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and are particularly experienced with the unique challenges of multi-jurisdictional wealth management structures, rural property and inheritance tax.

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Family Law: Our specialist Family law team is one of the largest, if not the largest in the country, with the broadest geographical reach. Family law can be particularly complicated for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals with residences, domiciles and assets in different countries around the world. We understand that family issues are often tied in with other business and financial concerns and we take a holistic approach and combine expertise from leading business, tax and private wealth specialists to ensure solutions that match each client’s unique situation. Residential Property Dealing with property can be a complex and stressful experience and in a fast-changing market, the right advice has never been more important. Whether you are buying, selling, financing or transferring personal or commercial property, you need our specialist lawyers on your side to help make any transaction a smooth process. We are willing to challenge the boundaries for our clients and as many of our clients will attest, it is our open and honest culture, reluctance to judge and willingness to listen that sets us apart.

“Irwin Mitchell are at the top of their game. Utterly professional throughout their dealings and very user-friendly. A firm you can trust to work for you, and with you” ANDY, CLIENT Focus

I Full service, national firm I Private Wealth

I Business Law

I Complex and international cases

Clare Wiseman, a family lawyer with Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

Gavin Faber, partner in the Birmingham Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team

For legal advice, contact Gavin Faber at gavin.faber@irwinmitchell.com tel 0121 203 5366 or Clare Wiseman clare.wiseman@irwinmitchell.com tel 0370 1500 100 Extension: 5278

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SEASON’S EATINGS

APRIL BERRY FOOL

The joke’s on you if you don’t try this simply smashing chiller thriller pril Fool’s Day always brings forth incredible tricks and pranks – whether it’s kids or grown-ups acting the clown! But we can assure you there is nothing crazy or spoofy about this special April Fool recipe. Just the taste of chilled, smooth, sweet and simply smashing strawberry… 

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STRAWBERRY FOOL Ingredients

 450g strawberries

 300ml double cream

 Juice of ½ lemon

 100g icing sugar

 200ml fromage frais

METHOD: Wash and remove the stalks from the strawberries. Place in a large bowl and add the lemon juice (or some strawberry liqueur if you want to pimp it up!) Next, sieve over the icing sugar then mash up the strawberries so that they are juicy but still with some texture. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it forms firm peaks. Stir in the fromage frais and then fold in the crushed strawberries. Spoon into individual glasses and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

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FOOD & DRINK

NIBBLES and 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

IT’S A RUM DO, WITH GIN TOO STAR OPENING IN HOTEL Calling all gin and rum lovers! The popular Gin & Rum Festival returns to Birmingham on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 April when Edgbaston Stadium hosts the country’s largest festival of its type with more than 60 different gins and 60 rums. There’s also live entertainment, street food and the chance to spend quality time exploring a wide range of products. Ticket details at www.ginandrumfestival.com

BAR NAMED WORLD’S BEST

The restaurateur and co-owner of the Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in Fulham, is opening an exciting eatery in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Woodsman,

PORRIDGE TRIKE WHEELS IN

in the boutique Hotel Indigo,

Following the success of its pop-up at Digbeth Dining Club, Morridge has taken an initial six-week residency in Great Western Arcade. The Jewellery Quarter’s 40 A bespoke Morridge trike pitched in the middle St Paul’s gin bar, has won the title of the arcade serving a variety of organic of Best Bar in the World at the oat-based porridge options, complete with Icons of Gin Awards, hosted by Gin inventive ingredient combinations. Magazine. The bar previously won Morridge serving times are 7.30am Imbibe’s Best Gin List in the UK to 10.30am, Monday 2018 and last year was named Best to Friday. Gin Bar in the UK at the Icons of Gin Awards. Now the team has stepped up to become world champions!

showcases Mike Robinson’s passion for British produce and sustainable wild food. He will be working with head chef Jon Coates to bring his core ‘field to fork’ philosophy to the restaurant. The duo will also oversee The Falcon, the hotel’s original tearoom.

SAY ALOHA TO TASTE OF HAWAII

Birmingham has its first Hawaiian poké bar which has opened in Colmore Row. Poké (pronounced pohkay) is a healthy cuisine originating from the far-flung islands of Hawaii, which typically combines sliced fresh fish such as sushi salmon and ahi tuna with sushi rice, fresh salad and tropical fruits. The fastcasual eatery aims to create an ‘oasis of sunshine’ in the heart of the city’s business district.

ALL CHANGE WITH CHINATOWN MOVE Wing Wah, Birmingham’s long-established Chinese restaurant, has moved to new premises. Based for 21 years at the Wing Yip Centre in Nechells, the restaurant has relocated to Chinatown. Wing Wah has dropped its buffet menu to concentrate on exciting dim sum and full a la carte offerings. Also in the building is the Ming Moon restaurant – under the same ownership – which offers a buffet service.

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

CURRY IN A GLASS The Lassi 5 cocktail celebrates Brum’s multi-culturalism and heritage as the UK’s curry capital he Edgbaston’s award-winning mixologist, Tommy Matthews, has created a bespoke new cocktail recipe inspired by Birmingham. The Lassi 5 cocktail celebrates Brum’s multi-culturalism and heritage as the UK’s curry capital. Fusing iconic Indian ingredients, including mango puree and rose water, with Label 5 Classic Black Scotch Whisky makes for a fragrant cocktail that nods to the classic curry flavours. The recipe is named after Lassi, a popular drink in India, and also combines iconic notes of British Earl Grey tea.

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ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY INGREDIENTS:

I 60ml Label 5 Classic Black Scotch Whisky I 25ml mango puree I 25ml lemon juice I 20ml cream

I 15ml Earl Grey Cordial* I 1/2 egg white

METHOD: Dry shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with two drops of Rose Water *Earl Grey Cordial: Brew 200ml of Earl Grey tea for 5 minutes, then combine with 100g white sugar. Allow to cool and bottle.

The Edgbaston, 18 Highfield Road, Birmingham, B15 3DU. Tel: 0121 454 5212 www.theedgbaston.co.uk

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LUNCHSPOT

@PIZZA

UNIT 33, GRAND CENTRAL, BIRMINGHAM B2 4BF. TEL: 0121 274 2836 ATPIZZA.COM dinburgh’s number one pizza joint has opened its second restaurant right here in Brum and being pizza fans – don’t trust anyone who isn’t – we thought we ought to give it a whirl. We went along with a friend who is evangelical about pizza, owns a top-notch pizza cutter that cost more than his car which he lovingly sharpens before every use and which never ever goes near the dishwasher, so for the purposes of this review (and possibly beyond) we’re calling him Pizza Geek (PG).

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The premise of @Pizza is speedy, tasty food – it takes just 90 seconds in the 600 degree oven to cook to perfection. You can either create your own concoction, which I did, or order from the menu which PG did. Designing my own felt surprisingly exhilarating and a bit nervy. You choose your base (sourdough or gluten free), sauce, toppings and finishes which are added once the pizza is baked and include rocket, chilli flakes, garlic oil, chilli oil, kalamata olives, and BBQ sauce among other lip-smackingly good stuff. I went for sourdough base, classic tomato sauce, baby spinach, mozzarella and an egg. The process felt a bit like a pizza version of Subway just in a nicer environment with more passionate staff, a much better selection of drinks and more love and care about proceedings. My beloved creation went into the oven and came out in less than two minutes looking mighty fine.

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I added finishes of rocket and garlic oil. Firstly, the egg was an oozing dome of perfection although I’d have preferred it in the middle of the pizza rather than on the edge – minor point – secondly, the base was thin, crisp and a perfect vehicle for my toppings which were a triumph. The garlic oil was really punchy and well worth adding. A nod to the soda menu is deserved. @pizza make their own syrups which are free from unrefined sugar in flavours such as Sicilian lemonade and apple and bramble. The ginger, lime and mint was really great. There’s a good selection of booze too. PG’s Peaky Blinders pale ale went down a treat. Speaking of which, he plumped for the Eat Meat Repeat pizza which as you’d expect was pretty…er…meaty; sourdough base, classic tomato sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, pepperoni, Italian sausage, Wiltshire ham, spicy meatballs, Grand Movaria cheese and oregano. PG added a finish of smokey BBQ sauce which worked brilliantly prompting a double thumbs up. High praise indeed. Puds are in the form of sundaes or sweet pizzas and the Trunchbull which was packed with chocolatey, nutty, creamy goodness winked at us vigorously. The guys at the restaurant brought both the pizza and the sundae versions. Gulp. We boxed up the pizza version and took it back to the office where it was devoured enthusiastically. In a city spoilt for choice in the pizza arena this is definitely worth a look. I

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LUNCHSPOT

NAILCOTE HALL

NAILCOTE LANE, BERKSWELL, COVENTRY, CV7 7DE. TEL: 024 7646 6174 NAILCOTEHALL.CO.UK e find Sunday lunch in a restaurant almost always a let-down and we wish we’d stayed at home. There’s something about the iconic meal that sends usually accomplished chefs a bit potty. Perhaps they try to ‘make it their own’ instead of not messing about with what is already a perfect lunch. Whatever the reason, we say ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Somewhere that doesn’t faff about with the best meal of the week is Nailcote Hall in rural Berkswell. A mid-March snow flurry was met with the warmest of welcomes, a roaring log fire and proper Sunday homely vibes. Four courses would have been a stretch for the hungriest of people – the portions are pretty epic – and we settled on three (£27.50). Smoked salmon was everything it ought to be while a starter of melon fanned out prettily with a zingy sorbet pleased the eldest child. Macaroni cheese – yes as a starter – made the youngest’s carb-loving heart sing. The sauce, made with acclaimed local ewe’s milk cheese, Berkswell was great. A trolley with a giant silver dome roamed the cosy restaurant delivering freshly carved blushing beef and juicy pork to salivating diners. The beef was packed with flavour while the tasty pork was served with the

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perfect crackling. Roasties hit the spot nicely as did the gargantuan Yorkshire puds. Mashed potato which was wholly unnecessary was superb. The gravy was proper and plentiful; meaty, rich and moreish. The token veggies on the table were okay if a bit too al dente for our taste and definitely played second fiddle to the main event. While we were all about the big hunks of meat, there were appealing vegetarian and pescatarian options too. A pumpkin ravioli looked delicious as did sea bream. On the sweet front, we’d recommend the chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream – a classic combo that needs no explanation. We left the restaurant with our faith in eating out on a Sunday restored and with no washing up. Good times. I

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FOOTWEAR EDIT THE PRETEND SPRING THAT FOOLED US HAS BEEN AND GONE AND ACTUAL

SPRING IS HERE. ANKLES ARE OUT AND EVEN TOES HAVE MADE AN APPEARANCE – WHICH MEANS IT’S TIME TO SHOP FOR SOME FANTASY FOOTWEAR

LOAFING AROUND

Snake skin effect loafers, Dorothy Perkins, Merry Hill

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STYLE SLING IT BACK

Cheetah print Everley court shoe £25, Dorothy Perkins, Merry Hill

STAND OUT

Neon pink snake print heels £25.99, Office, Bullring

SPREAD THE LOVE

Lovecat point shoes £322, Joseph, Selfridges

RIGHT STRIPES

BUCKLE UP Fabio mule £49, Office, Bullring

Marsave £78, Dune, Bullring

n all honesty, we’re not in bad shape this season. The trusty tan suede sandals with the perfect heel will last another summer and we’ve a few pairs of cute flats and a killer wedge that are looking mighty fine. Every spring we slot a new pair of neutral gold Havaianas into the mix which we thoroughly recommend doing, so now we’re just on the hunt for a frivolous purchase that will add a bit of bling to proceedings. Before you shop, pull out all of your season appropriate shoes so you can assess your current situation. It’s the only way you can see what you have and will help you create a collection that works with your wardrobe. Curate your wardrobe rather than just shoving it all in and purge those unworn shoes. They’ll be someone else’s great find. Shoes sell well on eBay, particularly with the original dust bag, if you fancy making a bit of lolly. The mule is strong this season as is the slider in various forms. Check out the Donniie zebra print from Dune (pictured) and the leopard print Barton slider from Hush (pictured). Remember, animal print is virtually a neutral and goes with anything, so you’ll get masses of wear out of either of these. The flat backless mule has really come into its own too. Very, which we don’t usually use, has a cracking tan version with a twisted fabric detail that will work

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NEUTRAL BAE

Oasis sandal £55, Oasis, New Street

FLAT PACK

Barton sandal £69, Hush, John Lewis, Grand Central

BLOCK PARTY

Sephora snake block heel £45, Monsoon, Grand Central

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STYLE

hard for you, looking equally splendid with a maxi dress as it will dressed down with jeans. A cool navy version with a metal detail at River Island (pictured) is a winner too. Also, in the flat category, Joseph has come up with the comfiest shoe we’ve tried on in a while, the Lovecat (pictured). They don’t look great without a foot in them as they have the elasticated heel that makes them look deformed, but we urge you to head to Selfridges and give them a try. There’ll be no going back. Guess are having a moment in the killer heel stakes with a couple of examples pictured that scream I’ve arrived. The gold gladiator sandal has our name all over it. If you’re looking for something a bit more wearable, Monsoon has a gorgeous snake skin effect block heel with ankle strap and a vivid orange accent (pictured) that is versatile and comfortable as well as super stylish. I

BARELY THERE

Sandals, Office, Bullring

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STYLE

GLADIATOR READY

Gold gladiator sandal £119, Guess

CUTE BOOTS

Madrina ankle boot £85, Office, Bullring

COURT ATTENTION

Olivia court £69, Hobbs, Grand Central

COOL MULE

Woven basket heeled mule £45, Wallis, Bullring

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CITY BREAK

Carla sandal £89, Hobbs, Grand Central

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STYLE

TWIST SISTER

Pointed mule £28, V by Very

GO GREEN

High vamp mule £35, M&S, Longbridge

JUMP TO IT

Trainers and sandals, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

COLOUR POP

Faith sandals £39, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

IN THE NAVY

Navy flats £35, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

SLIDE INTO SUMMER

Principles yellow slider £25, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE

SANDAL ENVY

MELLOW YELLOW

Jumpsuit £50 and sandal £40, V by Very

Shoes and clothing, M&S, Longbridge

HOT TO TROT

Eliz mule £149, Hobbs, Grand Central

SOLEFUL

Indigow £78, Dune, Bullring

WISHFUL THINKING

Espadrille £19.50, M&S, Longbridge

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BEAUTY

BEAUTY DESK

1

THIS MONTH WE’VE SAMPLED GENDER-NEUTRAL OUDS, INHALED PURE OXYGEN FROM A CAN, FOUND THE ULTIMATE LIP THERAPY AND PERKED UP TIRED SKIN WITH A PURE VITAMIN C SYSTEM 1. OUD FOR GREATNESS BY INITIO PERFUMS £250 (90ML), SELFRIDGES We spent our uni days wearing the other half’s Issey Miyake, so we’re partial to a gender-neutral fragrance and this one’s a winner. It’s a heady mix of lavender, saffron, nutmeg, natural oud wood, agarwood oil, patchouli and musk – all of which seems like a bit of a riot for the senses when written down but is more subtle than it sounds. Pricey, but a little goes a long way.

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2. BOOST OXYGEN BEAUTY £14.99 (5 LITRES), BOOSTOXYGEN.LIFE We felt a bit daft using this. Obviously the can is as light as air, so it felt a bit like an April fool and colleagues thought we’d lost the plot, but actually we felt calmer. Whether that was because of the ritual of stopping and breathing deeply or due to the actual product we can’t be sure, but either way, we’re sticking with it.

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3. CLINIQUE FRESH PRESSED 7-DAY SYSTEM £25, LOOKFANTASTIC.COM The popularity of vitamin C as a brightener and anti-ageing tool has rocketed and it’s popping up in many forms. We thought this might be a faff at first glance, but actually it’s a doddle. You cleanse in the morning with the powder packs (one per day) which is no more tricky than any other cleanser then add a couple of drops of the booster to your existing moisturiser. Our skin definitely felt smoother and fresher. 4. VEIL POWDER BRUSH £58, HOURGLASS Officially this super soft brush is the perfect partner to the Veil Translucent Setting Powder and it is, however it’s also a dream with the Hourglass Edit palette. The fat end is perfect for an all over dusting of powder and the small end for contouring and highlighting. It would work brilliantly with other palettes too obviously. It’s just we’re having an Hourglass moment. 5. INTENSIVE LIP TREATMENT £15, AMELIORATE This is hands down the most nourishing lip treatment we’ve found. We’ve slathered it on every night for four weeks through a notorious rough patch for our lips (changing temperatures, central heating, a hideous cold) and it’s been amazing. We haven’t needed to apply it in the day at all, but if you wanted to you could. Not sure what the product’s ‘unique LaH6 Skin Hydration Complex’ is and we don’t care. It works.

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STYLE FOR MEN

BEST FOOT FORWARD COOL SHOES FOR WARM WEATHER IS WHAT THIS MONTH

IS ABOUT – THINK LOAFERS, MULES, BOX FRESH TRAINERS AND A CHELSEA BOOT OR TWO FOR GOOD MEASURE

CHELSEA BOOT1 Coombs Chelsea boot in brown £89, FatFace, Grand Central

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STYLE FOR MEN

IF IT AIN’T BROKE1

TOP OF THE HI-TOPS1

M&S Collection suede Chelsea boot £79, M&S, Longbridge

Christian Louboutin Louis flat veau velours reglis £595, Selfridges, Bullring

WELL HEELED1

USE YOUR LOAF1

Black backless loafer £50, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

Lemur Webbing loafer £59.99, Office, Bullring

e love teaming a smart loafer with a slim fitting, well cut trouser and River Island has come up trumps this season. The tan tasselled version (pictured) will go with everything. The backless loafer is going nowhere either, so embrace it with an on point pedi of course. Word to the wise, unless you’re auditioning for Love Island avoid wearing with a sprayed-on jean. Trainer shopping is one of our favourite past-times and once we find a pair we rate we might have developed a habit of buying in multiple colourways. Take a look at Alexander McQueen’s metallic trimmed trainer (pictured) which is particularly good or Gucci’s Virtus distressed leather treads (pictured) at Selfridges. A hi-top ticks a lot of boxes at this time of year and we’ve fallen for the navy velour Louboutin (pictured) which is a bit of an investment piece, but a total beaut. While the warm weather is welcome, there are times when a boot is still the go-to and we reckon no one ever looked bad in a classic Chelsea boot. It might feel like the safe option, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it as the saying goes. Classic for a reason. I

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LACE UP1

OLD SCHOOL1

Foster wax collar lace up boot £89, FatFace, Grand Central

Gucci Virtus distressed leather trainers £615, Selfridges, Bullring

BOX FRESH1

RAZZLE TASSEL1

Alexander McQueen Show metallictrimmed leather trainers £395, Selfridges, Bullring

Tan loafers £55, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

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HEALTH

BOX

YOUR WAY TO FITNESS

PUTTING ON THE GLOVES IS A KNOCKOUT WAY TO ENJOY TRAINING

THAT’S HIGH INTENSITY AND HIGH FUN. NO WONDER IT’S SO POPULAR!

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HEALTH

oxing has become one of the fastest growing fitness crazes of recent years. And it’s not about punching like Nicola Adams or scoring knockouts like Anthony Joshua. What boxing does is provide high impact, high intensity training which also boosts your all-round flexibility and well-being. We asked Richard Westwood, personal trainer at Edgbaston Priory Club who specialises in boxing, to spell out the benefits. In a manner befitting of boxing, he came up with 12 rounds of advice and tips. So seconds out…

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Round 1: Improve your heart health To be good at boxing you need to be light on your feet and able to move around quickly so boxing-style workouts incorporate lots of high intensity training – jump rope, circuits and running – to improve your cardiovascular health. Round 2: Improve your bones and joints Boxing is a great weight bearing workout with all the lunging and punching, which makes it a great way to build bone mass. Boxing helps makes bones and joints stronger and less prone to breakages and osteoporosis in later life. Round 3: Improve your muscle tone Perfecting all the boxing moves requires fast movements that combine speed with strength to provide your arms, shoulders, legs and core muscles with a great workout – resulting in toned and taut muscles. Round 4: Improve your coordination Boxing-style training improves your all-round coordination as you master the skill of bouncing around while landing those punches. Round 5: Helps with weight control On average, you’ll burn 400 to 500 calories an hour during a sparring session and the intense physical exercise means that your metabolic rate remains high, even after your workout is over, helping you burn even more calories.

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Round 6: Improves balance and posture Boxing strengthens the core and back muscles leading to better balance and posture, which in turn reduces your susceptibility to back pain. Round 7: Increases endurance The combination of the cardiovascular workout with the muscle strengthening exercises helps build your overall endurance which means you can train for longer without getting tired. Round 8: Improve your self-esteem As your physical health improves with boxing so does your self-esteem. In no time at all you’ll begin to feel stronger, healthier, in better shape and ready to go the distance! Round 9: Improve your self-defence skills Of course, boxing-style workouts are designed to make you fit but there’s no doubt that the skills learned in boxing may well come in handy in real life situations! Round 10: Improve your mental well-being All that punching practice is a good way of getting rid of life’s anxiety and frustrations but the all-round exercise boxing-style workouts provide also releases serotonin in your brain leaving you feeling all round much happier. Round 11: Get the right equipment Before you start training you should invest in a good quality pair of gloves and hand wraps to protect your hands. Round 12: Get yourself an experienced trainer Lots of gyms now offer boxing-style workouts such as Boxercize and Box-Fit but it’s best to start with some one-to-one training with a reputable boxing coach to develop a safe technique before venturing to group fitness classes. I Edgbaston Priory Club is offering 50 per cent off the joining fee and two free personal training session to get you started. Quote EPCBOX or bring along this magazine when booking your tour. Visit www.edgbastonpriory.com for more information.

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FUEL SPEED AHEAD HEALTH

FUELLING YOUR BODY WITH THE CORRECT NUTRIENTS PRIOR TO EXERCISE IS VITAL – IT WILL GIVE YOU THE ENERGY AND STRENGTH YOU NEED TO PERFORM AT YOUR BEST hich foods will really power you up – and which ones will make you struggle? We teamed up with health and well-being experts at Vivotion.com to produce a six-step guide to the food types to include in a pre-exercise meal, as well as tips regarding proper hydration and digestion. To make clear, exercising on an empty stomach is a no-no as you’ll lack the energy you need from carbohydrates to achieve your peak performance. Failing to eat can make you dizzy, light-headed, nauseated or lethargic, and it can also make you more likely to injure yourself.

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which means you want high acetylcholine and dopamine levels. The best foods to achieve this are red meat and nuts.

HERE’S OUR SIX-POINT CHECKLIST TO FOLLOW: 1. Carbs – When we eat them, they break down into glucose, enter our muscle cells and give us fuel to exercise at our maximum capacity. If you're strapped for glucose during your workout you'll feel weak and tired. Carbs = energy.

5. Digestion – Whatever you eat before a workout, you need to give your body enough time to digest it. The ideal time is between 30 minutes to three hours before your workout. That way you’re not still digesting when you hit the gym floor, but you haven’t gone and used up all those helpful calories yet.

2. Protein – Strength training exercises, like weightlifting, create small tears in our muscle fibres. When you rest your body repairs those micro-tears, building up your muscles bigger and stronger than they were before—and it needs protein to do so. That doesn't mean you want to devour a huge burger before a workout. Go for sources of protein that are easily digestible, and don't eat too much, so you don't get an upset stomach halfway through.

6. Hydration – Obviously, your body should be hydrated all of the time, but it’s particularly important to make sure you’re hydrated before and during exercise. A good place to start is drinking about two cups of water two or three hours before exercise and one cup of water 10 to 20 minutes before working out. The goal here is to minimise dehydration – which can cause low energy and muscle cramps – without drinking too much. I

3. Acetylcholine and high dopamine – Every state of mind and emotion is mirrored by a chemical. During most training sessions focus and drive are the name of the game,

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4. Fats – The amount of fat you choose to consume before you exercise is dependent on when you’re eating and your type of workout. Fat takes longer to digest than carbs and protein, so provides a longer stream of energy. If you’re eating a preworkout meal at least two hours before, you’ll likely want to include some source of fat. That’s also the case if you’ll be exercising at a moderate-to-low intensity for an extended period of time (walking, hiking, biking for one to three hours).

Find out more about boosting your fitness and well-being and the latest exercise trends at www.vivotion.com

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GRAND DESIGNS

CREATING YOUR DREAM KITCHEN TAKES MORE THAN A BIT OF

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HOMES

CENTREPIECE Kitchen and living space by Lisa Melvin Design, lisamelvindesign.co.uk

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HOMES

lanning to update your kitchen can be a bamboozling affair. You want to focus on aesthetics but there’s plumbing, wiring, structural work, underfloor heating and a gazillion other practical decisions to contemplate before you get to work on picking out super cool copper pendants, Quooker taps and Le Creuset casseroles. Kitchens don’t come cheap and it’s certainly not a room you overhaul often, so it’s worth getting it right. Crucially, spend time choosing a designer. Find someone you click with and who gets you. Check out their previous projects. Meet them, chat to them, be picky. When we say designer, we don’t mean sitting down with a DIY store professional who might be handy with some planning software. This sort of

P

TRADITIONAL CHARM Burbidge Langton in painted gravel and seal grey, burbidge.co.uk

MINIMAL FUSS Made to measure kitchen by Poggenpohl, birmingham.poggenpohl.com

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HOMES

NATURAL WORLD SieMatic kitchen in lotus white, nutmeg and brushed bronze by Kitchen Gallery, kitchengallery.co.uk

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HOMES

BESPOKE OAK Futura tobacco oak and concrete kitchen by Classic Interiors, classicinteriors.co.uk

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software might take the dimensions of your room and place your desired kitchen units so they fit the space. It’s planning rather than designing. If you’re on a very tight budget and the existing space works, it might be worth a look, but you’re missing a trick. A good designer will work with you, take your brief, listen to what you want, come and see you at home and suggest a scheme that may include doing things with the space that you hadn’t even thought possible. The removal of a wall perhaps that hadn’t crossed your mind, but that would create a space beyond what you thought was achievable. It’s a collaborative process and you’re the client. How many times in your life will you get to go to town creating your dream kitchen? Three, four perhaps, so enjoy it. Yes, there’ll be mess and a bit of upheaval, but it’ll be worth it. Here’s a bit of inspiration to get you started. I

SIMPLE SAGE Henley kitchen painted in sage by Neptune, neptune.com

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HOMES

PROPERTY THIS MONTH’S PICK OF TOP HOMES FOR SALE ON THE MARKET

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HOMES

COTSWOLD STUNNER Latimers, Weston-Subedge Guide price: £1.6million Agent: Peter Clarke & Co, tel: 01386 770044

This beautiful Grade II listed stone Cotswold village home is set in fantastic gardens that stretch over 1¾ acres. Includes six bedrooms, five reception rooms and a studio apartment with adjoining outbuildings – just in case you wanted more space!

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HOMES

GOLF CLUB CRACKER Moor Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield Guide price: £1.2million Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6400

A cracking family home brilliantly situated on the edge of Moor Hall Park and golf club. Includes five bedrooms (three with en suites), a lovely kitchen/breakfast room, games room and double garage.

LOFTY LIVING Jupiter Lofts, Brindleyplace Guide price: £375,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1520 A brand new loft-style apartment offering the very best in city centre living with fabulous attention to detail, exposed brickwork, high ceilings, quality kitchen with integrated appliances and superb bathrooms.

BRICKS&BITS

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

DIVINE INTERVENTION

DIGBETH CALLING

EDGBASTON GO-AHEAD

Housebuilder St Modwen has stayed true to its

London-based property firm Tandem Property Asset

Birmingham City Council has approved

promise to carry out improvement works to supply

Management has chosen the Custard Factory for its

165,000 sq ft of office space in the £330million

gas and water to St Michael and All Angels Church,

first regional office outside the capital. Jo Salmon,

New Garden Square regeneration scheme. The

Cofton Hackett. The Grade II listed, fourteenth

head of asset management at the Digbeth Estate

offices will be built alongside 400 residential

century church has been refurbished a number of

said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the team

apartments as well as retail space in the form of

times over the centuries.

to the inspiring and innovative Digbeth family.”

bars, restaurants and stores on the 10.7-acre site.

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HOMES

STYLE STATEMENT Concorde House, City Centre Guide price: ÂŁ550,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1520

Contemporary-designed loft style apartment measuring approximately 1400 sq ft that includes two bedrooms, both with en suites, large open plan lounge and kitchen with integrated appliances, utility room, separate toilet, and secure parking.

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

april 2019

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MOTORING

LAND ROVER TAKES THE ‘HY’ ROAD CLEVER DESIGN AND NEAT TECH TRICKS ARE ON DISPLAY IN THE NEW HYBRID VERSION OF THE RANGE ROVER SPORT, SAYS SUE COOKE his is one of my favourite times of the year. I get a spring in my step when I see the first crocuses pop their heads out of the cold damp soil. Easter, the birth of lambs and new chicks, is a time to embrace new things, so it was the most apt time for me to try Land Rover’s new form of motoring – the hybrid or PHEV. From the outside the new Range Rover Sport PHEV has little to show that it is different to any other Range Rover Sport. The designers are superb in hiding the electric charging point and I loved showing it off to anyone who displayed the slightest interest. Push gently on the front grille and it partly comes away, displaying

T

the cable input. The other end of the cable is plugged into a domestic supply and in 7.5 hours overnight the SUV is fully charged. With a multi-function charging cable and a home wall box, a full charge can be achieved in 2.75 hours. STRANGE BEDFELLOWS The subtle P400e on the rear of the Range Rover Sport is the only indication that the 4x4 is driven by an 85kw electric motor, a 300hp four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine and powered by a lithium ion battery giving a total power output of 404hp. A rewarding sporty soundtrack with the cornering

FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Range Rover Sport Si4 PHEV Price: £73,800otr Engine: Si4 PHEV P400e

Performance: 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 137mph CO2 emissions: 64g/km Combined fuel consumption: 101mpg

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MOTORING

and agility of a sports car and environmentally friendly power are all strange bedfellows with an offroading genius that has an industry first and is able to detect water levels and warn the driver. But Land Rover has always been able to surprise. At the launch of the Range Rover Sport in 2013, I drove the innovative off-roader up a ramp, and partly at an angle, drove through a huge aeroplane and down another ramp to demonstrate its prowess. This hybrid sporty SUV has class leading allterrain capability and is packed with technology. Torque vectoring constantly balances the distribution of engine torque between the four wheels during cornering, resulting in improved grip and steering and a reduced level of understeer. A Low Traction Launch button worried me for a while but when activated it will enhance capability in slippery conditions like wet grass. Drivers can choose to use a combination of the petrol and electric power, or on longer journeys can use the SAVE function which is electric mode only, maximising fuel efficiency when entering congested urban areas. In EV mode, the P400e can be driven up to 31 miles with zero emissions when fully charged. In this mode the PHEV has a top speed of 85mph and

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will allow drivers to complete some journeys without even engaging the petrol engine. When you are away from the vehicle, you can use the InControl app to monitor the charge status, as well as receive an alert if there is an error, or the cable has been removed forcibly. NO COMPROMISE This luxury SUV is built for ultimate comfort and long journeys are enhanced with 14-way adjustable front seats and adjustable and reclining rear seats. The boot is not compromised even though the battery is mounted beneath the floor. The electric motor is housed on the transmission, at the centre of the vehicle. There is a remotely operated or gesture controlled tailgate. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV is full of the most remarkable technology, all easily understood. And you are never alone on your journey of innovation as a very nice lady will come to your rescue using voice control. Spring is the time to embrace change. I

SHOWROOM Lancaster Land Rover, 823 Tyburn Road, Birmingham, B24 9NY. Tel: 0121 418 2159 www.lancaster.birminghamnorth.landrover.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

LEWIS BAILEY

The young drag queen was devastated after being banned from performing in a school talent contest that he’d helped set up, but it’s given him a voice and a platform from which to send a positive message to other youngsters

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

ifteen-year-old Lewis Bailey who performs as Athena Heart could never have dreamed that something so crushing could have turned out to be such a positive. Being banned from his school talent show at the last minute after working on his act for weeks in the lead up has actually given him a voice. The support he’s experienced, not just from friends at school – eight people dropped out of the talent show in protest at Lewis’s ban – but from the biggest names in the drag world and some of his heroes has been life affirming. It’s not clear why the school banned Lewis other than they felt it was ‘inappropriate for the intended audience’ although Lewis is quick to point out that it wasn’t a raunchy act, there was no bad language or sexual innuendo, just him, dressed as a woman dancing to tracks by Ariana Grande among others. Dance is Lewis’s passion which he’s been doing since he was three years old.

F

THIS MORNING Since the story broke, Lewis has performed at various gay pride events as well as at venues across the country. He met the cast of Kinky Boots at the Hippodrome last month who showered him with love and support as well as the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, a tale that strikes a chord. He’s appeared on This Morning telling his story to Ruth Langsford and an emotional Rylan Clark, not for fame and fortune but because he wants other people to see that it’s okay not to conform. Lewis remembers first encountering drag while watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race with his sister. He loved it and wanted to create the same art. His supportive mum suggested he could probably do it better. Lewis began experimenting with make-up although it took a while to perfect. He recalls: “I just had these massive black eyebrows at first!” He began posting pictures online every day of different looks.

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The talent show was a chance to showcase his act and he spent weeks perfecting his performance to be told just the day before he couldn’t be part of it. As it was a non-uniform day, Lewis turned up in drag instead. The name Athena Heart came from a combination of Lewis’s love of Greek Mythology (Greek goddess Athena) and Chicago (murderous siren Roxie Hart, which Lewis adapted to Heart). Juggling performing with school work is about to get harder as Lewis is in Year 10 studying for his GCSEs which will intensify from September. He’s prepared to put in the hard yards though. He explains: “I’m focused on school and if I’m tired from performing on a school night, I don’t show it.” Opening Brighton’s Gay Pride with one of Lewis’s faves, Martha D’Arthur has been a highlight so far. He says: “It’s just a spectacular art form. I want to show kids that it’s okay to be who you are.” LAGGING BEHIND Although Lewis’s immediate family are hugely supportive, he’s experienced negativity from some members of his extended family as well as random people in the street. Lewis occasionally goes to the local shop as Athena just to see what the reaction is and while most people are nice, the odd one will shout insults. Lewis ignores it. The Midlands drag scene seems to be lagging behind other regions. Lewis says: “There’s Sequin Show Stoppers, but drag is not that big in Birmingham. Hopefully that will change.” Lewis is focused on a career in drag and wants to travel the world performing. Having made a sizeable impression already and with more events lined up for the summer, we’ll be seeing much more of Athena Heart. I

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GROWING PLACES

CAREER BUILDING NETBALL CHAMPS

Bromsgrove Preparatory School’s U13A netball team has been crowned unbeaten county champions in the Worcestershire tournament. The winning team beat King’s Worcester 18–4, The Downs 9–4 and Holy Trinity 12–6. They went on to beat Winterfold 11–4 in the semi-final and met King’s again in the final, where they won 17–3.

Birmingham teenagers turned urban designers while picking up some essential work experience during a career taster day with Longbridge-based housebuilder St Modwen Homes. The 14 and 15 year-olds from Edge Academy in Northfield attended the session with Dallaglio RugbyWorks (DRW), the programme set up by English rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio to help young people who have been excluded from mainstream education. The teenagers visited a live construction at Cofton Grange, Cofton Hackett.

SCHOOL REPORT

CHARITY DANCE A celebration of dance by pupils at Solihull School raised £450 for the Future Leaders Underprivileged Children’s Centre (UCC) in Ghana. More than 50 pupils, aged between seven and 18, took part in the school’s annual dance show which included a variety of dances, including ballroom, ballet, Bollywood, contemporary and Irish. The Future Leaders UCC charity supports children who can’t afford the cost of attending government school.

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GROWING PLACES

NATIONAL SUCCESS Moreton Hall’s Under 14 lacrosse team is celebrating after winning the 2019 National Schools Lacrosse Tournament in Aldershot. Proud coach Louise Lewin said: “This win encapsulates everything about Moreton – the teamwork, dedication to each other, camaraderie and the sheer guts and fitness. The girls have achieved the best possible accolade. They are the number one team in the country.”

NEW HEAD Edgbaston High School for Girls has appointed Clare Macro as headmistress from September, succeeding Dr Ruth Weeks. With over eight years as deputy head at Tudor Hall, an all-girls independent school near Banbury, Mrs Macro joins EHS with a wealth of experience. She said: “It is a great privilege to be appointed headmistress of Edgbaston and I look forward to becoming a part of this very special community.”

BLING MAKERS BLING Staff, students and graduates from Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery are celebrating after picking up 16 accolades at the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards. The awards are designed to promote the pursuit of excellence in craftsmanship and design in silversmithing, goldsmithing, jewellery and allied crafts. The School of Jewellery received the College Trophy for the third year running for the most awarded entrants.

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CLOSE WITHÁ

PAUL STREET THE FORMER COMMENDED COUNTER TERRORISM POLICE OFFICER NOW HOLDS A STRATEGIC ROLE AS SPECIAL PROJECTS OFFICER FOR COLMORE BID, THE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT FOR THE COLMORE ROW AREA

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I retired from West Midlands Police in 2017 after 31 years of service, initially as a uniformed detective constable, then with the West Midlands Regional Counter Terrorism Unit before ending my career as deputy to the West Midlands Police Business Crime Lead, developing a force-wide business crime strategy. I have spent the last year working as the business crime and community liaison lead for Soho Road BID before joining Colmore BID in January. IT’S WHAT I DO I’ve taken up a new strategic role as their part-time special projects officer for the Safe and Sound work stream. Safe and Sound is one of seven key themes for the BID and it focuses on delivering a safe and secure Colmore Business District for everyone who works, visits or passes through. We also work with a host of partners to support some of the most vulnerable members of our communities who are homeless, street sleeping and begging. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE? I’d like to see my BID projects really thrive and make a positive impact. It’s really rewarding to know you are making a real difference to people and localities that need your support. I’m overwhelmed by the energy and interest of community volunteers who are looking to do some outreach work within the district. They really are the unsung heroes. BIGGEST SUCCESS Professionally, it’s being recognised and commended by the UK’s highest ranking police officer (then Commissioner of the Metropolis, Sir Ian Blair) for my part in the

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investigation of the 7/7 London bombings – I was one of many regional police officers seconded to the Metropolitan Police Service to support this enquiry at a time of national crisis. Personally, it’s being married to my wife Wendy for nearly 27 years and being blessed with two great sons. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Being tolerant of people who have different personal styles to mine. When I was younger, I had little time for others who didn’t think or act like me. Over the years I’ve matured to realise and celebrate how these different styles often complement each other and deliver better outcomes. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I’m a born-and-bred Brummie so I’m biased and very proud of our city. Brummies are the salt of the earth with a great sense of humour but not necessarily a great local accent. Wherever I’ve travelled around the UK people have always told me they think Brummies are some of the friendliest people in the world, and they’re not wrong! DOWNTIME What downtime? Some of my spare time is spent as a trustee for a locally-based children’s road safety charity called The Conies, a family of traffic cone-shaped characters offering a fun and interactive way for primary school aged children to learn about road and personal safety. Unfortunately too many children up to the age of 15 years are seriously injured or killed on Birmingham roads. Our charity aims to increase road safety awareness in both children and adults and reduce child casualty rates. For further details please visit http://theconies.org/ I

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ing livBUSINESS

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SENTRY SYSTEMS

DEVELOPED AND BUILT IN BIRMINGHAM, THE UNIQUE, AWARD-WINNING ‘ORANGE BOX’ MONITORING TOOL IS MAKING THE WORKPLACE MORE EFFICIENT – AND SAFER ny competitive and forward-thinking business is constantly looking for ways to improve its work patterns, becoming more productive and efficient while enhancing the safety and well-being of the people ‘on the job’. A young Birmingham company has developed a unique, intelligent work study tool that helps achieve all this, and more! Sentry is a partnership between Brummie, Ewen Rankin, a photographer and videographer of 35 years and Andy Vaughan, a developer and friend from Bristol. Together with support from the Government’s R&D development funding scheme they developed and built a camera-based product that can truly be described as an ‘orange magic box’.

A

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COMPANY TO WATCH

personnel safer. And all this is achieved in a unit that is the size of the average lunchbox.

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Ewen explained how Sentry came about. “As a photographer, I was thinking around ways of how I could make a time lapse camera last longer. Andy and I got to working on it and we went through a process to develop the idea with our own software and building our own box. There’s always been CCTV or time lapse cameras around commercially but they are big and cumbersome, often the size of a dining room table. Ours is small and more advanced and accurate.” The Sentry unit takes the metrics from a site with the camera capturing an image every minute. It then takes the metrics and puts them onto the images. Sentry accurately measures noise, temperature, pressure, humidity and dust levels. It can provide a safety cam mode to provide greater quality, all with a verifiable chain of custody. And Sentry can track vehicles within a mile radius and monitor work personnel, counting them in an out of an active site, providing a project with a versatile and creative safety tool. It can also overlay all its highly accurate measurements of a site onto the footage.

JAW-DROPPING

In less than two years Sentry has gone from a simple test at a London Underground site to covering three major sites over last Christmas for Colas Rail and Network Rail with 12 Sentry units on site. All the cameras were designed and built in Birmingham and so impressive has Sentry proved that the company won a top award for innovation at the 2018 National Rail Awards. Sentry has three main functions – process efficiency, environment monitoring and as a safety camera. It helps businesses in manufacturing, construction and the office environments to improve their processes, accurately measure performance and make the workplace and

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“This is why we call it the most sophisticated work study tool in the world,” said Ewen. “It is unique, there is nothing else like it on the market. When we demonstrate the system to people their jaws drop and the reaction is ‘wow’.” The system’s versatility and flexibility can be seen through its adoption by the rail industry where it is vital to maximise the time on a project due to lines or stations having to close for work. In the past monitoring systems would have been unwieldy and time consuming to set up, but Sentry can have four cameras ready to go in less than 30 minutes. Sentry saved four hours on a 52-hour programme for London Underground at Paddington and produced a cost saving of a fifth, or £40,000, on HS2 enabling works at Euston station. Away from the rail industry Sentry has led to a reduction in production time at three major manufacturing lines. Ewen added: “Sentry is not about time lapse – it is about efficiency and monitoring processes that deliver real benefits to business.” Moving forward, Sentry is looking to be employed by a growing number of businesses while the development process looks at complementary devices for work studies and remote monitoring. I

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From only ÂŁ25

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BUSINESS

E-GAMING CENTRE TO OPEN

An entrepreneur is investing £1.3million to create a major entertainment complex – and regenerate a city landmark. Jeffy Li, the businessman behind APPS LIVING – which runs more than 1,000 student apartments in Coventry – is turning the former Pink Parrot club in Tower Street into a karaoke and e-gaming entertainment centre. Players Entertainment will be the biggest venue of its type in the UK and create more than 20 full-time and 30 part-time jobs when it opens this summer.

NEWS START-UP CELEBRATION

BUSINESS

INVESTING: Jeffy Li, left, and Jonathan Moore, director of Holt Commercial

Independent businesses came together to mark the first birthday of Jewellery Quarter hair salon Sarto – one of the city’s newest and youngest start-ups. Owner and founder Aaron Williams, 22, was joined by some of the city’s most acclaimed independents, including Salcooks, Indian Brewery, Lucky Duck and Otto Pizza. The event was not only a celebration of Sarto’s first year in business but also an opportunity to showcase the wealth of creative talent in Birmingham.

CUT ABOVE A barber shop which has welcomed the likes of Sir Lenny Henry, boy band The Vamps and actor Cillian Murphy is now putting even more customers in the hot seat with an expansion that sees the business double in size. The Barber House, which first opened in Bennetts Hill in 2014, is now located at Neville House, Waterloo Street. The all-new salon and shaving parlour has gone from four to nine chairs as part of a £120,000 revamp.

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SMART FUND-RAISERS Nearly 200 businesswomen and men raised £7,100 for Smart Works Birmingham, a charity that provides high-quality work clothes and interview training to help women in need back into work. The money was raised at a lunch at Opus Restaurant. Former Whistles CEO and Top Shop brand director Jane Shepherdson, a patron of the charity, was guest speaker. Philippa Pickavance, chairwoman of Smart Works Birmingham, said: “We are also very grateful to Lambert Smith Hampton and Overbury, who were main sponsors.”

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BUSINESS

LANGUAGES TIE-UP CAMPAIGN ON TAP

Birmingham charity, ecobirmingham, has launched a campaign in partnership with Severn Trent Water to slash the use of plastic water bottles. The Refill Birmingham campaign aims to make it easier for people to re-use and refill their plastic water bottles with free tap water while out and about. There are currently only 145 refill stations across the city and Refill Birmingham aims to double that this year.

Unique Venues Birmingham (UVB) has joined forces with Brasshouse Translation and Interpreting Services (BTIS) to offer translation and interpreting services across more than 100 languages, including British Sign Language and Braille. Organisers placing events at UVB will now benefit from an in-house team of dedicated specialists who will deliver a multitude of language support services throughout their events. Located in the Library of Birmingham, the BTIS team will cater for all requirements.

PROPERTY POSITION Property consultants Bruton Knowles Birmingham has appointed senior surveyor Tim Bloomer to its growing team at 60 Church Street. With eight years’ experience, Tim’s focus will be developing valuation work within the West Midlands commercial sector. His arrival coincides with a period of growth for the firm, with the nationwide team expected to expand by more than 30 per cent before the end of the second quarter.

NATASHA’S KEY ROLE

CLEAN AND GREEN

A leading, privately-owned commercial

cleaning company has taken delivery of its

A leading HR specialist has joined investment and development firm Key Land Capital plc,

first electric cars as part of a green

which is delivering luxury residential projects

commitment to go all-electric. We Clean,

worth more than £40 million across the West

whose clients include Brindleyplace,

Midlands. The company, which marked its

Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham

first anniversary by launching its new HQ in

Assay Office and MG Motors, is using its

Cornwall Street, Birmingham, has appointed

first three Nissan Leaf electric vehicles for use throughout Birmingham by its contract

Natasha Beard as head of HR and development. Natasha, from Alvechurch, was previously HR director of Worcester-based cordless vacuum manufacturer Gtech.

CHOOSING BRUM

managers. We Clean is a £7million turnover company based in Rubery.

One of the largest independent engineering consultancies in the world has chosen Birmingham for the expansion of its operations in the UK. Meinhardt has invested in new offices at Two Snowhill as it looks to capitalise on a growing workload in the West Midlands. The consultancy has appointed Jason Fox as its regional director. Jason, chair of the Birmingham branch of construction and property business club, Interact, has three decades of experience in the built environment. EXPANSION: Left to right, Meinhardt (UK) MD David Sharp, regional director Jason Fox and civil and structural director Patrick Hayes

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BUSINESS

BUSINESS BITES RUNWAY JOG

Birmingham Airport employees, friends and family came together in a midnight run down the runway in aid of the airport’s charity partner, Acorns Children’s Hospice. More than £15,000 was raised.

ON THE RUN A team of lawyers is taking on the demanding 10k Wolf Run this month to raise money for a cancer charity. Eleven solicitors from Midlands law firm mfg Solicitors will tackle the country course in Warwickshire on 14 April – aiming to raise £500 for Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven. The Wolf Run is recognised as one of the hardest obstacle races in the country, featuring woodland tracks, lakes, thick mud and open ground.

JUDGEMENT CALL Two counsel from a Birmingham barristers’ chambers have been appointed as Fee-paid Judges of the First-Tier Tribunal. The positions have been confirmed for Nassera Butt and Miran Uddin of No5 Barristers’ Chambers. Miran has been allocated to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, while Nassera has been appointed to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber allocated to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

MAILBOX DEBUT

Independent furniture retailer Authentic Furniture has opened at the Mailbox. The 3,000 sq ft store on Level 1 is the retailer’s second showroom and marks the brand’s debut in Birmingham.

RETAIL LAUNCH

Thursfields Solicitors has launched a new Retail & Leisure Team made up of industry specialists who can provide a one-stop service for retailers and leisure operators across the Midlands region and beyond.

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE One of the world’s largest Mercedes-Benz retail groups is opening a new six-acre Centre of Excellence for used cars in Erdington this month. The LSH Auto UK centre (part of LSH International) will feature more than 200 approved used cars for sale and impressive service and preparation facilities at Bromford Road. It will create 32 new jobs. General manager Aiden Perris, pictured, said: “The centre provides a state-of-the-art hub for after-sales care and world-class service.”

COACH FIRM CHIPS IN The UK's largest coach operator has supported the fund-raising efforts of senior manager, Mark Hollis, who ran the Cheltenham Half Marathon for Solihullbased Breast Cancer Haven. Mark, head of operations at National Express’s Birmingham head office, received a £250 donation from the company's employee charity panel. “After raising £500 in sponsorship myself, I was really pleased the business chose to support my efforts,” said Mark.

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ore than 150 VIP guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, music and beauty as Heaven Skincare launched its new salon at Harvey Nichols Birmingham. The luxury beauty brand, founded by Deborah Mitchell, is a favourite of royals and celebrities and offers a complete range of products and treatments at its new Mailbox home. Guests were entertained by live music, DJ and drinks provided by Tiger Gin while also getting the chance to see the new treatment rooms and watch facial demonstrations. I

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1 Ella Jane Cox, Deborah Mitchell. 2 Nicholla Boddy, Kerry Pace, Jane Gilmore, Helen Hollier. 3 Tessi Rehman, Fozia Tawfiq, Sophina Khan. 4 Raymond Kwok, Huihui Zheng. 5 Sally Faye, Alannah Evitts, Sophie Shakespeare. 6 Isabel Hill, Louise Hill. 7 Sophie Dodd, June Dodd. 8 Hanna Gamble, Constantine Tziambazis, Sinead O'Herlihy. 9 Lisa Piddington, Luisa Hackney. 10 Royston Blythe, Nick Malenko. Photography by Andy Espin

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Gatekeepers Guild and PA Way hold collaboration launch event he official launch of a collaboration between two of the city’s leading PA networks, the Gatekeepers Guild and PA Way, was held at Hyatt Regency. With fizz, canapés, speeches – and even a chance to be made-up by the likes of Harvey Nichols’s Fenty Beauty experts, Marc Jacobs and Hourglass beauty – the event was attended by more than 100 of Birmingham’s assistants. The collaboration creates one of the largest PA and EA networks in the region. I

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1 Becky Simkiss, Skevi Constantinou. 2 Angela Croads, Lisa Perks. 3 Freya Lane, Louise Haynes, Rose Horsfall. 4 Jan Walker, Jenny Allen. 5 Kay Dashti, Wade Taylor. 6 Louise Simkiss-Gallet, Dee Finch. 7 Benitta Dosanjh, Becky Jukes, Kerry Hill. 8 Yvette Pearson, Sarah Leonard, Vicki Morris.

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WE ARE FOURÁ HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVEBRUM! Supporters celebrate ‘hidden gems’ charity – and launch new campaign oveBrum celebrated its fourth birthday with a party for more than 150 guests at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and launched the charity’s new membership campaign. Since its inception, LoveBrum has showcased more than 120 ‘hidden gem’ causes and funded 72 projects to the tune of over £100,000. It has also secured a partnership with the National Lottery and set up its Causes Conference where projects and charities from across Birmingham get vital business support and advice. I

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Photography by Jas Sansi

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wo gala evenings alongside performances of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake attracted 150 guests and raised more than £5,000 for Birmingham Hippodrome’s Curtain Raiser and expanding youth dance programme. Guests enjoyed a Laurent-Perrier Champagne reception and an AA Rosette standard dinner in the theatre’s dance studio, transformed by resident stylists AVA Events Styling. Post-show, guests enjoyed a specially designed cocktail, Flowers from Russia, served by the team from Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Lounge. This year’s Curtain Raiser at Swan Lake was sponsored by Tilney Group. I

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1 Jane Bauiley, Jayne O'Malley, Jilly Cosgrove. 2 Elaine Huttley, Deborah Kent, Sarah Gull, Sarah Riding. 3 Andrew Segal and friends. 4 Katie Trout, Fiona Allan, Glenn Howells. 5 Susan Barnes, Lucy Strong. 6 Rachel Thompson, Leanne McClean, Claire Comley, Carol Graham. 7 The Hon Mrs Justice Geraldine Andrews, Jayne Higgins, Glenn Howells, Chris Loughran. 8 Karen Horsfield, Carmen Watson, Anne Brookes, Eileen Schofield, Jenny Loynton, Louise O'Reilly. Photography by Vivienne Bailey

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irmingham business community and Cancer Research UK hosted an event at the ICC. The inspirational evening highlighted the lifechanging research carried out by the likes of the University of Birmingham and helped raise more than ÂŁ24,000. The event included a moving talk from BBC Midlands presenter Satnam Rana about her own journey with cancer. #brumbeatscancer. I

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1 Henrik Court, Rosie Major, Rachel Smeeton, Paul Titley. 2 Neil Antcliffe, Chris Nicholls, Paul Nicholls. 3 Emily Henderson, Ben Wilcox, Claire Packer. 4 Gemma Mallett, Rachel Fell. 5 Abbie Owen-Thomas, Matthew Beckett. 6 David Smeeton, Satnam Rana, Judy Dyke. 7 Jonathan Bray, Stephen Harris, Paul Wilson. 8 Sarah Harrison, Katie Powell, Emily Henderson, Rachel Fell, Claire Doggett. Photography by Jas Sansi

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New barbers, concept bar and coffee shop is cut above rest

selection of media, press and tenants of the Custard Factory and Zellig were welcomed to the official launch of Stag Digbeth’s new concept bar, barbers and coffee shop. Guests were treated to complimentary drinks, music and street food by connoisseurs Canoodle. Just feet away from the original barbershop, Stag now offers clients and customers a unique, independent destination to hang out, drink, have a coffee and receive the full barbering service. I

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1 Friends of Stag Digbeth. 2 Guests enjoying opening party. 3 Aaron Foster, Adam, Judith Armstrong, Lee Kemp. 4 Laura Whitehouse, Jodie Perry. 5 Staff from Eastside Co. 6 Jenny Blake, Zoe Aitken, Matt Yates. 7 Baldwin, Ant Douglas.

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WHAT: Les Misérables WHEN: 2 April to 11 May WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, www.birminghamhippodrome.com After nearly a decade, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed Broadway production returns to Birmingham. This brilliant new staging has taken the world by storm with scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals.

WHAT: Mini Madness WHEN: 6 to 28 April WHERE: British Motor Museum, tel: 01926 927823 www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk The Museum kick starts its Mini 60th celebrations with a host of themed family activities this Easter when visitors can enjoy family tours with a Mini mad mechanic character, follow a Mini Trail and make a Mini using air dry clay.

WHAT: Wet Wet Wet WHEN: 5 May WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk One of the most successful bands in British pop history with an amazing back catalogue of songs, led by the blockbuster hit Love Is All Around. The boys have a new front man with Kevin Simm of Liberty X fame replacing Marti Pellow last year.

WHAT: The Soul and Motown Party with Dayton Grey WHEN: 27 April WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk Back by popular demand, enjoy the smooth sounds of the stylish Dayton Grey with his classic Motown and soul show. A great party night for sure.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: RHS Malvern Spring Festival WHEN: 9 to 12 May WHERE: Three Counties Showground, tel: 0844 811 0050 www.rhsmalvern.co.uk An awesome collection of top medalwinning show gardens with six of the main show garden designers presenting for the first time. New for this year is a designated houseplants section as well as a whole host of special guests who will be sharing their expertise.

WHAT: Judge Jules LIVE WHEN: 26 April WHERE: The Mill Digbeth, www.themilldigbeth.com The iconic Judge Jules will be performing the tracks that have defined his career with a 10-piece band. He will be taking the helm orchestrating everything in his own unique style.

WHAT: Watoto Children’s Choir

WHAT: LOL (Ladies of Laughter)

WHEN: 13 April

with Noreen Khan

WHERE: The Octagon, Edgbaston High School for Girls,

WHEN: 8 April

tel: 0121 667 3071 www.cedar.church

WHERE: Belgrade Theatre,

This awesome choir represent the story of abandoned African children who’ve been empowered to rise above their circumstances. A vibrant, colourful and inspiring production. A free event that just requires pre-registration.

tel: 02476 553055 www.belgrade.co.uk Join BBC Asian Network’s Noreen Khan as she hosts a night of comedy with some of the UK’s favourite female acts.

WHAT: Art Garfunkel: An Evening of Song and Stories

WHAT: The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice

WHEN: 17 April

WHEN: 3 to 7 April

WHERE: Symphony Hall,

WHERE: Resorts World Arena,

box office: 0121 345 0600

tel: 0844 338 8000

www.thsh.co.uk

www.theticketfactory.com

Performing a career perspective, this special night features the Simon and Garfunkel classics plus his solo hits and pieces from his new autobiography.

A magical medley of classic and modern tales, including favourites like Disney’s The Lion King and Frozen. An unforgettable extravaganza for kids of all ages.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Stefflon Don WHEN: April 17 WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute, www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham Following the release of her new mixtape, UK rapper Stefflon Don has added an extra date to her Secure Tour, which sees her return to the city of her birth.

WHAT: Shappi Khorsandi WHEN: 6 April WHERE: The Old Rep, www.oldreptheatre.co.uk Comedian, author, cultural icon and – most recently – the idiot who agreed to be tortured on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! A brand new hour of sharp-tongued gags and cultural observation.

WHAT: David Gower: On the Front Foot WHEN: 5 April WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk The legendary former England cricket captain and Sky front man is often described as one of the most stylish left-handed batsmen of all time. A date not to miss as he promises to share his thoughts on 2019’s Cricket World Cup and The Ashes.

WHAT: Hair the Musical WHEN: 29 April to 4 May WHERE: The Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 WHAT: CBSO Best of Bond WHEN: 26 April WHERE: Symphony Hall, tel: 0121 780 3333 www.cbso.co.uk/whats-on The CBSO puts on its tux and pours itself a Vesper Martini with some of the sassiest signature tunes in cinematic history. Six decades of girls, gadgets, supervillains and knockout songs.

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www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Winner of the 2018 WhatsOnStage Award, this exuberant 50th anniversary production of the legendary rock musical Hair bursts in full psychedelic glory, direct from a sell-out London run. Starring last year’s Dancing on Ice winner, Jake Quickenden.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Easter Egg Hunt – Easter Sunday WHEN: 21 April WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 212 3383 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Loads of fun and games at this cracking annual Easter Egg Hunt. Meet the Easter bunny and awardwinning clown Bibbledy Bob, as well as sweet treats and a chance to win a year’s free membership for the family!

WHAT: The Vamps WHEN: 3 May WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com The boys are back with their Four Corners tour following their most recent album hitting top spot on the Official Albums Chart. They’re being supported by pop-rock trio New Hope Club and rising star HRVY.

WHAT: Antiques for Everyone WHEN: 4 to 7 April WHERE: NEC, www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk The largest antiques, interiors and collectables fair outside of London returns with hundreds of specialist dealers offering a huge variety of desirable, rare and quirky items at prices from £10 to £100,000.

WHAT: Kunene and the King WHEN: Until 23 April WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk This is a moving and funny new play by the South African actor, activist and playwright John Kani. Set in South Africa, 25 years since the first post-apartheid democratic elections, two men from contrasting walks of life are thrust together to reflect on a quarter century of change.

WHAT: Jekyll and Hyde WHEN: 18 to 27 April WHERE: Birmingham Rep, Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk A timely new take on the chilling tale. Harriet Jekyll’s investigation into her husband’s mysterious death has taken her into a dark and dangerous world. Directed by Tessa Walker and performed by the Young Rep.

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IN THE CITY WITH ADAM HAYES, STROKE FUND-RAISER

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’ve worked in the hospitality industry in the Midlands since leaving school, initially launching the Living Room in Birmingham followed by stints at various other places including Hotel Du Vin and Bank. In 2016, I had a stroke aged just 29 which paralysed my right side, so I had to learn to walk and talk again. I still have weakness on my right side and do a lot of fund-raising for the Stroke Association including an 88-mile charity walk this month as well as lending support to charities such as LoveBrum and Let’s Feed Brum. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? I had to surrender my driving licence after my stroke and live in Bournville, so I tend to get the train. HOW’S THE COMMUTE? The walk to the station through the village green is just lovely and the train’s pretty regular, so no complaints.

GRAPHIC REALITY:

Adam’s Stroke Awareness

photo using Stroke

Association purple to

highlight paralysis and

hidden disability

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? Birmingham is an amazing place to network. I was living in Nottingham when I had my stroke but I moved back to Brum to be near family and since doing that I’ve met so many people who I now work with. I’m on the judging panel for the Midlands Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards and Curry King in aid of LoveBrum among others. COFFEE BREAK? I spend a lot of time around Colmore Row and for coffee it would have to be 200 Degrees. I also love the independents around the Jewellery Quarter. LUNCHTIME? I’m a huge fan of dim sum and went to school with William Wong of Chung Ying, so I like to support them. I also love Laghi’s Deli, Simpsons and Hotel Du Vin. POWERWALKING? I exercise a lot and am a member of the Priory in Edgbaston. I love to swim and it’s great for my recovery. The canal walks are great too and in Bournville I’m spoilt for choice. I’m training for a charity walk from Nottingham to Skegness to help raise funds for the Stroke Association. WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? It has to be Brindleyplace. The vibe of the place coming off the canal where old meets new is really interesting.

To support Adam and the

Team 88 Nottingham to East

Coast charity walk visit

www.justgiving.com/fundrai

sing/team88-nottingham-

eastcoast-walk

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AFTERWORK PINT? That’s a tough one, but probably the Edgbaston or El Borracho for a relaxing glass of wine. HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? It’s a continuing battle isn’t it? What I’ve learned from being involved with LoveBrum is that there’s a lot of networking that could be opened up to all. It’s all a bit specific; female networking, media networking, etc. It’s great to get people from different backgrounds and different pay scales together. april 2019


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Profile for Birmingham Living Magazine

April issue 2019 (issue 79)  

April issue 2019 (issue 79)  

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