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August 2017

THE VAMPS Brad Simpson talks bars, skateboards and bears

BEST OF THE SUMMER WINE

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DAMIAN GOOM BROCKENCOTE BAGSAHEAD NATASHA GRICE GAUCHO

STYLE QUEEN

BETH GOODRHAM

FESTIVAL SPECIAL

Food I Fashion I Fun

PURE POETRY

NYANDA FODAY


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EDITOR’S VIEW

Forget the muddy field and the tent! Birmingham is well on its way to achieving its ambition to become the UK’s undisputed Festival City

een to any good festivals this summer? I’ve got some friends who every year without fail get together to make the annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury, some others who swear by trekking down to the Isle of Wight, and yet another group who will be heading to Weston Park, Staffordshire this month for the V Festival. It’s not just the music they all go for, it’s the experience of sharing a common bond with other like-minded people – as well as a tent! (One thing that my Glastonbury mates said they didn’t appreciate this year, by the way, was the politicising of the event by a certain Mr J Corbyn… but that’s a matter of opinion I guess!) My personal preference is to save travel costs, forget the tent and enjoy the amazing array of festivals and events right here in and around Birmingham. Brum is well on the way to achieving its ambition to become the UK’s undisputed Festival City. Read our news pages, features and What’s On guide each month and you’ll know that the area is packed with entertainment ranging across every strand of music and arts, food and drink, the sciences, sport… and more. The festival calendar has a huge and unrivalled breadth and diversity that gives exposure to great local as well as international talent. What’s more you’ll find these events, many of which are free, across a huge range of locations and venues – but all within easy reach. Whether it’s Birmingham Jazz Festival, Solihull Fest, Leamington Food & Drink Festival, JQ Festival, or Colmore Festival – to name but a few – there really is something for everyone right here. PS: Turn to our Style pages this month for some great looks as we focus on festival fashion…

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David Johns

Editor: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk

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

Contributors: Rob Price, Sue Cooke, Lisa Melvin, 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

Cover image: Bradley Simpson of The Vamps photographed by Tomasz Machnik

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

august 2017

/bhamliving

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

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g n i liv

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INSIDE

Highlights

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Bradley Simpson The Vamps star talks gin, skateboarding, dodgy knees… and bringing bears to Brum! Beth Goodrham How former lawyer has become one of the country’s most sought-after fashion stylists Leon Higham The head chef at the award-winning Rose & Crown spills the beans on his cooking Food & Drink Foodie news, critics review Gaucho and Brockencote Hall, plus best white wines Style From cute cut-offs to swirly dresses and playsuits – everything for your festival wardrobe Health Are you being served? Why tennis (especially women’s) is smashing it in Birmingham

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CONTENTS

42

Best of the Rest

42 56 58 64 70 78 82 august 2017

Homes Forget minimalism. It’s fussy galore as we embrace prints in all their glory this season Motoring Sue Cooke raises the roof and test drives Mazda’s award-winning MX-5 RF roadster Young, Gifted and Brummie The literary world is waxing lyrical about Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate, Nyanda Foday Spotlight on Business Company to Watch: BagsAhead, plus news from the business community Social Scene The pages that picture who’s been out and about networking in Birmingham this month Shows, Arts, Gigs and More What’s on, where and when – all you need to know about the entertainment scene In The City Damian Goom, general manager of Malmaison Birmingham, on what makes our city tick

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NEWS

g n i v liTODAY

CHEERS TO THE MOON Does the man in the moon like the odd drop of whisky? The lunar landscape is teaming up with our favourite tipple for a spectacular event at Birmingham’s Thinktank science museum. It will give visitors the chance to taste six Talisker drams valued at more than £800 – while enjoying the Museum of the Moon art installation by artist Luke Jerram using Nasa imagery. The Thinktank/Birmingham Whisky Club experience is on 5 August.

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

THE TONY AWARDS Symphony Hall has honoured music legend Tony Bennett with a presentation to mark the singer’s 90th year and tenth visit to the Birmingham venue. He was presented with a plaque for seat T10 with the engraving ‘Marking Tony Bennett’s 10th Show at Symphony Hall’ – the first visiting artist to be recognised in this way. The star was also given a framed photograph of the hall.

WAR ORPHANS BID Hardly a day goes by without pictures of orphans of the Syrian war appearing on TV news. Now a £2million appeal has been launched to help the children by a Birmingham mosque. The ambitious target for the Saving Syria campaign has been set by Taskforce GLM, the fund-raising arm of Green Lane Masjid & Community Centre. It follows a cheque for £1.2million to humanitarian aid charity Human Appeal.

BLOOMING BRILLIANT! Students attending Birmingham gardening therapy charity Thrive won a Silver Merit Medal for their display at BBC Gardeners’ World Live. The students, from the city’s Chadsgrove School, take part in the charity’s Grow and Learn programme at Kings Heath Park and created a garden entitled the Life and Times of Miss Potter, inspired by the hit film Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger.

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NEWS

BUZZ AT PEBBLE MILL The bees are coming to Pebble Mill. Calthorpe Estates has announced a number of new initiatives to enhance the natural environment of the Pebble Mill scheme based on the 27-acre site that was home to the former BBC broadcasting centre. At the heart of Pebble Mill’s healthcare and medical centre is a Tranquillity Garden. The latest residents to make Pebble Mill their home are more than 40,000 honey bees in two hives.

WELCOME HOME, ALPESH

Top young conductor Alpesh Chauhan is returning to his home city to conduct one of the most important dates in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s calendar – the annual CBSO Benevolent Fund concert. Alpesh, who began his career at the CBSO, is currently principal conductor of the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma, Italy. The Benevolent Fund concert is on 18 October.

FEAST OF MUSIC AT SUMMER FEST Peter Andre, Lulu, Feeder and Toploader will be among stars at Solihull Summer Fest over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The two-day charity music festival at Tudor Grange Park includes a range of fun activities – a kids’ picnic, cheese and wine tasting along with an evening Sundowner session with prosecco and nibbles. Nearly 15,000 visitors are expected at the event, sponsored by Virgin Trains, which is raising money for local cancer charity Help Harry Help Others. See Up Close With, page 63

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SI’S EYES ON COV An eye-catching image of runners at the start of this year’s Coventry Half Marathon has crossed the finishing line of a photography competition in first place. Si Chun Lam’s shot overlooking Millennium Place took top prize in Eyes on Cov which gave amateur photographers the chance to capture a view of the city from up high as part of the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

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NEWS

SADDLE SHOCK More than half of drivers in the Midlands are clueless about cyclists’ rights on the road, and nearly a third admit to having got angry with bikers. The lack of knowledge was revealed in new research which also showed that 65 per cent incorrectly believe a cyclist must use a cycle lane by law if one is available. More than half of drivers in the eBikes Direct survey want cyclists to have compulsory insurance.

Paddle power drove this happy crew from retirement house builder McCarthy and Stone’s West Midlands office to victory in a dragon boat race, raising nearly £24,000 for the Royal Voluntary Service. The team rounded up more than 90 people to attend the event at Worcester Rowing Club, including 31 key sponsors. The event is part of McCarthy and Stone’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

SUPER CREW

SILVER MILESTONE

IN BRIEF

It seems only fitting that Birmingham City University should celebrate its 25th silver anniversary since securing university status with something silver. The uni was presented with a commemorative silver coin designed by Katy Tromans, 23, from Stourbridge, a graduate from Birmingham School of Jewellery which is part of BCU. The coin features BCU’s Curzon Building and a graduate being presented with a scroll.

BEAUTY CALL

MEET HARRY POTTER’S BEASTLY PAL All you Harry Potter fans should recognise this little critter! It’s a whip scorpion which appeared in the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If you fancy a closer look you can see the scorpion at Stratford Butterfly Farm’s Meet the Mini-Beast sessions until 3 September. And before you ask… this chap is harmless with no venomous tail. www.butterflyfarm.co.uk or call 01789 299288.

RICHARD’S SNAPPY RETURN A photographer who spent 36 years taking hundreds of pictures of theatre’s most famous faces has received a special honour. Dr Richard Sadler, who worked as official photographer at the Belgrade Theatre from 1958 to 1994, returned to the Coventry playhouse for the unveiling of a seat named after him in the auditorium. An ornamental clock is also dedicated to the photographer in the theatre’s foyer.

august 2017

On-demand beauty services company, blow LTD, has launched in Birmingham with an app that allows you to book blow dries, manicures and make-up services direct to where you are from 7am until late.

GAMES BID Plans to enhance and refurbish Alexander Stadium have been unveiled as part of Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The plans include improved training facilities and increased permanent seating capacity.

TOP STORE Midlands department store group Leekes has raised more than £175,000 for the NSPCC. The money has come from a variety of fundraising initiatives, including expeditions to Mounts Everest and Kilimanjaro.

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NEWS

PICTURE POWER FOR MARTIN A trip to the local petrol station led to this – a photograph

HATCH OF THE DAY

which has been judged as the best of the summer

A fluffy new arrival is melting hearts at Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre. The rare Gentoo penguin hatched at the centre’s ice adventure as part of a global breeding programme to increase the declining population. The chick is the first ever to be born at the centre and penguin specialist Hayley Roberts said: “Gentoos are notoriously tricky to breed because they are such sensitive birds.”

from Coventry and beat nearly 2,000 other entries in

nationwide. It was taken by amateur snapper Martin Power Jessops’ Share Your Summer competition. Martin said: “I was headed to the garage when I noticed the sun creeping up and beginning to wake the surrounding fields – and I was inspired to take the shot.”

HANGOVER? GIVE IT YOUR BEST ‘B SHOT’ Looking for a cure for the day-after-the-night-before? Well a miracle remedy is coming to Birmingham… and it costs only £50. Set to open later this year, EF MEDISPA Edgbaston will bring a host of unique treatments to the region – including intravenous ‘B Shots’ which create an energy factory that can rival any hangover. The centre will be home to the region’s first and only Drip & Chill Lounge, a haven of vitamins and minerals prescribed to suit your needs.

SPORTS STARS ON TARGET Three of Britain’s best-loved sportsmen took part in a charity challenge, raising £3,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Hosted by Resorts World Birmingham, in association with the Icons of Football 2017 golf tournament, the event saw exsoccer stars Paul Ince and Robbie Fowler and golfer Darren Clarke attempt to hit a floating roulette wheel in the middle of Pendigo Lake.

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JASON WORKS HIS MAGIC Former Neighbours star Jason Donovan worked his charm on 500 guests, resulting in £142,000 being raised at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Recognition Awards and Charity Ball. The entertainer co-hosted the evening at the Vox Centre, Resorts World. Nine awards were presented to fundraisers, former patients and life-saving aircrew with Paralympic gold medallist Sir Lee Pearson, pictured, receiving a Special Recognition accolade.

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NEWS

COUNTRYFILE LIVE TV TEAM: Countryfile presenters Matt Baker, Tom Heap, Ellie Harrison, Adam Henson, Anita Rani, John Craven and Charlotte Smith

Birmingham investment management firm Quilter Cheviot is going all rural and rustic. It is headline sponsor of BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace from 3 to 6 August. Countryfile Live combines a country fair with the BBC’s popular TV programme. A Quilter Cheviot Theatre will feature presentations hosted by experts on subjects from sport and travel, to food, wine, property, art and collectables.

CATHERINE’S JUST STRINGCREDIBLE! One of Birmingham’s leading musicians has been appointed to a top role at the National Children’s Orchestra. Violinist Catherine Aldridge, of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, is the NCO’s new artistic and educational director. A presenter of family concerts across the UK, Catherine is also a founder member of the Stringcredibles – a string quartet of CBSO musicians dedicated to greater connection with audiences, especially young people.

HELLO DOLLY! Jolene, Ruby, 9 to 5, I Will Always Love You and Islands in the Stream… the hits keep coming from country ‘royalty’ Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. The awesome twosome are being celebrated in Birmingham with a special tribute next month. The Music of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers is at Alexandra Theatre on 17 September. A rootin’ tootin’, thigh-slapping evening is assured! Details: www.atgtickets.com/Birmingham

PROUD PETRA Tennis star Petra Kvitova may have fallen short at Wimbledon this year but the Czech player is the undisputed Queen of Birmingham. Petra kissed the trophy after winning the Aegon Classic Birmingham title at Edgbaston Priory Club. Victory was especially sweet as it was her first title since returning to the world tour after being stabbed in the hand last Christmas.

GOT ANY NEWS? Email your news and pictures to editor@brumliving.co.uk august 2017

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COVER STORY

HOME-COMING

KING

Shelley Carter interrupted a song-writing session to chat to The Vamps’ Bradley Simpson about gin, skateboarding and five-foot bears!

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COVER STORY

Showing more commitment to Brum, Brad is involved in this year’s Big Sleuth art trail in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital

”O

ne quarter of the Vamps, Bradley Simpson is a proud Brummie for whom there’s no place like home. He might have legions of adoring fans across the globe and millions of followers on social media, but he likes nothing more than coming home to mum and dad in Sutton Coldfield and chilling out. He says: “Life’s non-stop, so it’s just great to come home.” He loves his home town so much that Brad’s invested in a bar in the area and it’s a proper family affair. Naturally the bar’s called Simpsons and it’s no ordinary bar. Its focus is gin – there are almost 80 to choose from – and the place has a glamorous Great Gatsby vibe about it. Not particularly into gin initially, Brad’s been doing his research. He says: “My parents are big gin fans so I thought I should spend a bit more time drinking gin! Mum always wanted to open a café, but this came along and we went for it. We’re not usually a family that makes rash decisions, but everything just lined up with this.” FAMILY AFFAIR All the family are involved. Brad explains: “I built the website while on tour and mum and dad have been really hands-on. Mum was responsible for the interiors and my sister’s a barrister so she did all the legal stuff like staff contracts as well as marketing, so it’s been good.” Every weekend the place is ‘rammed’ and Brad’s bandmates are impressed. “All the band members are from different parts of the country and we all came together for a party at the bar. Everyone said ‘you know this could work in my home town’ wherever that happened to be.” No doubt news to the Simpsons’ ears as the dream is to open more bars eventually. Showing more commitment to Brum, Brad is involved in this year’s Wild in Art project, the Big Sleuth, in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Sleuth is the collective name for a group of bears – and colourful bears are being displayed around the city over the summer. Remember the Big Hoot? That, but with bears! In

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COVER STORY

Brad loves his home town so much that he’s invested in a bar in the area and it’s a proper family affair

Check out Simpsons at simpsonsbar.com

October, the bears will be auctioned off to raise funds for the hospital. Brad has designed a bear imaginatively named Bradley’s Bear which is in the Mailbox. Go take a peek. BAD KNEES Brad grew up skate-boarding around Eastside from the age of 11 to 18 before band life took over. Of his old stomping ground he says: “It’s nice to see how the city’s changing. That area is so different now. I always bought my boards at Ideal in the Custard Factory. I don’t skate anymore thanks to my bad knees.” The 21-year-old adds: “I have the body of someone aged 56 apparently! I always try to get together with my old skating pals when I’m back, but rather than skate we end up chatting in the pub instead.” The Vamps might look like a boyband but they are not manufactured and groomed. They found one another naturally and formed a band hungry to make music – they are genuine musicians – rather than be famous, so it works and they’re in it for the long haul. When they’re not releasing music, they’re touring or writing the next album. For instance All Night! is out now, but the lads are already busy writing while touring. It’s never a chore though. “It’s just massively enjoyable and doesn’t feel like work,” says Brad. In five years’ time Brad fully expects to be doing exactly what he’s doing now with the band just with more bars to his name. AMERICAN DREAM? The lads were jetting off again the day after we spoke having just performed at the Isle of Wight Festival where they played the main stage. This time they’re heading to America for a couple of weeks, although they won’t be wasting too much time trying to crack it. Brad explains: “We’re never going to be slaves to it. We’ve seen other people spend 18 months of their lives going for it. We don’t want to neglect the fans we already have.” Of which there are plenty. Favourite places to tour? “Australia is amazing and South America is great. The fans are mental there – in a good way!” I

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Support the Big Sleuth by texting SLEUTH to 70007 to make a one-off £3 donation. Download a free trail map at www.thebigsleuth.co.uk

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FEATURE

PINK

BEHIND THE

DOOR

Former lawyer turned stylist Beth Goodrham tells Shelley Carter how she made the leap from seeking justice to finding fashion

eth Goodrham’s Instagram profile featuring her trademark pink front door and daily outfit shots showcases the sort of breezy, effortless style we’re all after. She has the school run well and truly nailed, likes a bit of sparkle as much as the next girl and sports active wear with a flourish. A body to die for honed through years of running obviously helps; in fact she’s running the inaugural Birmingham Marathon later this year. It could all be a bit intimidating except she’s just so utterly lovely and self-deprecating that you end up wishing she was your mate.

B

BITING THE BULLET Life hasn’t always been so fluffy though. Beth trained as a lawyer in London and worked for a private law firm for three years before moving to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) based in Birmingham. With wide ranging powers, the CCRC is an independent body tasked with investigating miscarriages of justice. Beth stayed for nine years and loved her work but started to think she’d either stay forever or do something completely different. While on maternity leave with her third child, Beth decided to make a very dramatic change. A styling course run by Nicky Hamilton Jones of TV’s 10 Years Younger fame appealed to Beth who

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had always been interested in fashion. While she was toying with the idea of booking the course a friend asked her to sort out her wardrobe for her as she loved Beth’s style. This gave her the impetus to bite the bullet and go for it – and she hasn’t looked back! Beth recalled: “The course was brilliant and I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to do. Everything just fell into place.” Slightly daunted by the prospect of such a radical change, Beth began hosting small events like coffee mornings at her children’s school, armed with a rail of clothes and roped in her friends to model. Then Beth made the bold move of hiring a room at Edgbaston Priory for a much larger affair. She said: “I was completely out of my comfort zone in effect selling myself and when I look back I can’t believe I did it. Everything I’d done previously had been academic and behind a desk. This was a bit scary.” Around 100 people turned up and it was a big success. Beth launched a blog called Style Guile and got to grips with social media with great success. The blog was shortlisted by Marie Claire for the fashion blog of the year award. “The blog has been particularly good,” said Beth. “People can get to know me from a distance. It’s an extra layer.” Styling individuals is at the core of Beth’s work which is very rewarding. “There’s a trigger point that makes people come to me. They may have had

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FEATURE

Beth’s blog was

shortlisted by Marie Claire for the fashion blog of the year award

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FEATURE

I was completely out of my

comfort zone and when I look back I can’t believe I did it

a baby and are going back to work. There are a variety of reasons. I find out where they are, where they want to be, so I can help teach them and hone in on the things that will work,” Beth explained. Beth’s reputation spread and as well as styling individual ladies she’s worked on campaigns for The Fort and the WI, was an ambassador for Pavilions and has worked with big brands like Boden, LK Bennett and Hobbs among others. A presenting gig on QVC followed where she’s a brand ambassador for Orla Kiely as well as presenting for other fashion and beauty brands too. Now the children are bigger Beth has more time and would love to work with more brands. “I’ve worked with some smaller businesses recently like

BETH’S BLOG Check out Beth’s blog at styleguile.blogspot.co.uk

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Air and Grace which I’d like to do more of. Also, connecting with people and being involved in blogger and Instagram events is something I enjoy, so I’d like to do more of that.”

BIG UP BIRMINGHAM What of Birmingham’s shopping scene? “In the Nineties it was either Rackhams or nothing, so the change in the city has been phenomenal. The Bullring’s great for high street, Grand Central for top end high street and the Mailbox for high end. What the city is seriously lacking though is independents. “You’ve got Loved & Found at John Lewis and that’s about it.” Beth recognises the city’s offering has moved on at a rapid pace though and clients that come to Birmingham from outside the city to shop with Beth are always thoroughly impressed even the ones that travel from the capital. I

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FREE ENTRY JOIN US FOR

A DAY OF FUN!

1717-2017

TRICENTENARY

CALTHORPE ESTATES CELEBRATES 300 YEARS

Sunday 17 September from 12-5pm Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Vintage Rides Games Treasure Hunt Trail Face Painting Craft Activities Competitions Live Music Gastro Food & Beverage Stalls Taste of Edgbaston from local restaurants Suitable for all age groups. Tickets are limited, so don’t delay!

To get your FREE tickets, please visit:

www.calthorpe.co.uk/festival


il ving

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FOOD & DRINK

LEON HIGHAM The head chef at the award-winning Rose & Crown, Warwick talks food, passion, Sunday roasts and his grandma’s amazing crumbles Tell us about your cooking It has always had a bit of a gastro feel to it – predominantly of a British style with variance of overseas cuisine. I love a bit of Thai or Indian food. You can’t beat those clean, fresh but punchy Asian flavours. But also a good classic is something to be desired when cooked correctly – lamb shank or a good old classic steak suet pie.

How did you become a chef? I started out as a kitchen porter while at school and soon loved the feel of a busy kitchen alongside the characters of the trade – we’re a special bunch! I started my NVQ but didn’t take it any further, so I am a self-taught chef soaking up as much knowledge as possible from chefs along the way. My biggest influence was my third head chef Mark Pretty. I knew he had clear passion but was also so laid back in how he worked. He was old school style, just pans, flames and a section to cook every sauce to order. Along with Mark I started to read about other chefs. A huge influence was Anthony Bourdain. I’ve never been so fixated with a book ever since I read Kitchen Confidential. Of course we have influences but when your family are proud of what you achieve along the way it only wants to make you work better and achieve more. They have always been a great support and an ear to talk to – my wife knows this only too much! My grandma was and still is a great cook. Her crumbles and macaroni cheese were to die for!

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What do you eat when at home? It’s family food at home. I have a two-year-old and a six-year-old to please, so nothing too complicated. Lasagne or a good roast is a favourite.

Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? Best chef in the world for me is Massimo Bottura. I love his passion and charisma. The stuff he has done for charity during the Olympics was incredible and his food is something I wish I could have the pleasure of trying. I’ll pass on picking out just one person in Brum…

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CHEF’S CORNER

The recipe to make Leon’s delicious Pan Fried Hake & Palourde Clams, Sweet Potato, Coconut & Red Pepper Broth is at our website, www.brumliving.co.uk

fish would go into a hot pan but with mackerel, it’s best not to.

What was your favourite food as a kid? I loved a good Sunday roast, always have. Best meal of the week.

Food heaven and food hell? Heaven would be anything with truffle oil or blue cheese. Hell is livers – can’t stand them!

Is the customer always right?

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Pig’s testicles in Thailand.

Yes, most of the time. But you know what, there are occasions when we all know they are not. But it’s our job to accommodate at all times no matter the situation.

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

Share a cooking tip

What do you recommend from this evening’s menu?

Just keep tasting your food. It’s something so simple that so many people and chefs do not do. Taste, season, check and check again. But for a real tip… if you want to get a good crisp skin on mackerel, place it in a cold pan with a little oil. Season the skin and then put onto the heat. Most

august 2017

I wanted to get into the fire service when I left school so that would have been my direction.

Stonebass, samphire, clams, lemon butter sauce and seaweed dressing. I Rose & Crown, 30 Market Place, Warwick CV34 4SH. Tel: 01926 411117 www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk

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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 TOP STEAK HOUSE A CUT ABOVE Independent steak restaurant Anderson’s Bar & Grill is celebrating a treble – after winning Restaurant of the Year for the third year running in the West Midlands Awards. The victory comes hot on the heels of also being named Best Steak House in the Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards. “It’s been a fantastic year so far,” said chef director Dan Anderson.

NEW WORLD AT THE CANAL The team behind the Botanist restaurant and bar is launching its second Birmingham venue. New World Trading Company says Canal House, Bridge Street – formerly the James Brindley pub – which opens on 14 August, is inspired by the 18th century engineer of the same name. It boasts more than 60 world ales as well as serving “a fresh, vibrant take on pub food that will centre around the rotisserie”.

SABAI SABAI GOES FOURTH! There’s no stopping the guys at Sabai Sabai. They’ve launched a new menu – and announced a fourth venue opening this autumn. Sabai Sabai first opened in Moseley in 2011 and has since launched in Harborne and Stratford-upon-Avon. The fourth eatery is in the city centre at Waterloo Street. Sabai Sabai was also named Best Oriental restaurant at the Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards.

THE IVY COMES TO BRUM One of London’s most famous celebrity haunts is coming to Brum. The group behind the Ivy has confirmed plans to open in Temple Row – bringing “the familiar luxury of the Ivy” to Birmingham. The restaurant has agreed a 25-year lease on the former Austin Reed unit and adjacent store, currently occupied by Louis Vuitton. The brasserie and bar will open in early 2018.

CHOP AND WOK SET THE PACE Let’s hear it for the brilliant staff at Birmingham based pan-Asian noodle bar chain Chop and Wok who put their money where their mouth is by running the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon, raising £390 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Aman Bhandal at Chop and Wok said: “It’s a privilege to support the hospital.”

LEON’S BRIGADE TAKES TITLE It’s celebrations at the double at the Rose & Crown, Warwick after winning two top awards. Head chef Leon Higham and his team were named Britain's Best Brigade in Essential Cuisine's nationwide competition to celebrate the best, hardest-working kitchens in the industry. The pub was also awarded Hospitality Business of the Year at the Touch FM Pride of Warwick District awards.

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SEASON'S EATINGS

PLUM CRAZY Join the celebrations of our local plum festival with this cool treat

ugust is the month when everyone goes a bit crazy for the humble plum. There’s even a festival devoted to this wonderful little fruit – just a stone’s throw from Birmingham in a rather lovely little town called Pershore (well worth a visit…) Here’s an easy-peasy recipe to add some real plumness to your life! I

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PLUM SORBET Ingredients

I 8-10 plums I 200g sugar I ½ a lemon

Method Stone and quarter the plums, then combine with 100g of sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Cover tightly with clingfilm and set over a pan of simmering water for about 30 minutes. Dissolve the remaining sugar in 100ml of boiling water then combine with the plum mixture in a blender and process until very smooth. Add the lemon juice, if desired. Refrigerate until very cold then pour the chilled mixture into a freezer-safe container with a lid, and place in freezer. Remove from freezer and stir every 30 minutes until sorbet is fully frozen (about two to three hours)

Pershore Plum Festival, 26 to 28 August www.pershoreplumfestival.org.uk

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

BROCKENCOTE HALL Chaddesley Corbett, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY10 4PY. Tel: 01562 777876 www.brockencotehall.com e love this great city, but there are times when the countryside calls and when it does we head for Brockencote Hall in Worcestershire for a bit of luxury. Since the last time we visited, there’s been a change of guard. Former sous chef Tim Jenkins has stepped up to the plate and taken on the head chef role. Tim’s sticking to the same ethos of using brilliant produce, local where possible, treating it carefully and respectfully. Lots of produce is grown in the hotel’s grounds – there’s even a beehive, so honey is made on site. Former head chef Adam Brown was obsessive about this ethos and the food was incredible, so we were hoping for more of the same. Brockencote sings when the sun shines and we visited in 30-degree heat. The terrace was dreamy with the countryside views we’d been craving – even the odd sheep. A glass of Champagne in the sun set the tone nicely served with some delicious little morsels. Pork balls with apple sauce were super and much more refined than my description! The dining room was sunny and classic with crisp white tablecloths and staff standing to attention. We shunned the tasting menu – it was Monday lunchtime after all – and opted for the simpler Market Menu. While it sounded no nonsense we suspect it required immense effort and high skill in the kitchen because every dish not only looked beautiful, but tasted incredible. Standards were as

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high as we’d experienced at Brockencote. Too many great dishes to mention, but the highlights were a starter of charred mackerel with red pepper, pickled cucumber and garden radish, another starter of watercress veloute with bacon and almonds and a main course of braised blade of beef with truffle mash and port jus which was rich and deep. The desserts were all a feast for the eyes as well as the belly and everything we ate was pretty much faultless. As we enjoyed coffee and petit fours on the terrace we contemplated any negatives and the only thing we could come up with was that we felt a bit of déjà vu about the menu. While elements of the dishes have changed, they remain very similar in essence to a year or so ago. There may be an element of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ going on and it sure ain’t broke, so we’re being finickity. It’s a joy. I

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LUNCH SPOT

GAUCHO

55 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B32AA. Tel: 0121 233 0257 www.gauchorestaurants.co.uk he hoo-ha surrounding Gaucho opening in the city earlier in the year was extraordinary. Social media went nuts. As former London dwellers we’ve always liked Gaucho and were pleased it spread its wings to Brum, so we went. Simples. Firstly let’s talk carpet. The squishy luxurious underfoot experience as we strolled down the walkway was reassuring. We were in for a good time. The Dyson was out twice while we were there keeping the entrance area plumped to the max. The interior of the restaurant didn’t disappoint oozing as much glamour as the bouncy carpet suggested. The fuss clearly hadn’t subsided and the restaurant was busy. Media types floated about with the odd HSBC banker thrown in for good measure. A meat board with four different cuts was presented to us – sirloin, rump, ribeye and open ribeye. Aberdeen Angus all properly aged, we were pretty excited. Warm bread with a punchy chimichurri was delicious. Then my starter happened. It sounded good on paper (damn you Love Island) – salmon carpaccio with egg dressing, capers, tomato and coriander. In reality egg dressing was big chunks of boiled egg on top of average salmon. It didn’t work for me. I’d

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remove it from the menu and move on. I moved on pronto with a top drawer glass of Malbec. The other half ’s starter appeared to come from an entirely different kitchen. A plate of mini tacos filled with sticky, spicy, deep flavoured beef ribs with chilli orange glaze was seriously good. Then perfectly cooked sirloin with perfect chips and perfect béarnaise sauce was pretty perfect. No other words required. Pork matambre was just superb. Succulent, packed with flavour and served with a tasty cauliflower couscous – much nicer than it sounds honestly – it was really moreish. While there wasn’t much of our five a day going on – although Malbec counts right? – we didn’t care. It was truly delicious. There’s an array of sides that’ll boost your vitamin intake if you fancy though. A chocolate brownie with two spoons sealed the deal and sent us happily on our way up the freshly vacuumed walkway. Much hoo-ha was well deserved. I

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

READY TO RUM-BLE

What makes the classic Mojito such a knock-out summer cocktail? he sun is shining and what could be more refreshing than this classic stunner? A mojito is a marvellous combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus and mint that perfectly complements the rum for a perfect summer cocktail. For an indulgent alternative, try replacing the soda with a healthy splash of your favourite Champagne – although you may want to use a little less sugar. But remember… it’s hot out there and always enjoy responsibly.

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THE MOJITO Ingredients:

I 1½ limes I 20 fresh mint leaves I 2½ tsp granulated sugar I Handful of ice I 65ml of white rum I Soda water to taste I Fresh mint sprig to garnish

Method: Cut the limes into wedges and place into a tall glass then muddle with the mint leaves and sugar. Make sure you just bruise the mint leaves for the distinctive flavour. Add the ice cubes and pour over white rum. Finish by topping up with the soda water (or Champagne!) and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

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FOOD & DRINK

JUST CHILLIN’ Rob Price picks this summer’s best white wines from a huge range on the shelves

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FOOD & DRINK

s I write this we’ve had the hottest June on record – it’s been a scorcher – so my mind turned to white wines. Of course, this now means August will be a wash out. Let’s hope not. The more refreshing nature of white wines makes them an excellent choice for summer months, and we have a huge range pick from. In fact, there are more diverse styles of white wine than red. Do you like your white wine, dry, medium or sweet, steely and minerally, voluptuous and full, with oak, or without, creamy, buttery, fresh and vibrant. The list goes on… Our favourite white wine in the UK is Pinot Grigio, mainly from Northern Italy. This refreshing light in body wine is perfect for chilling out and relaxing on a sweltering summer evening. It may be worth trying a Pinot Gris (same grape) from Alsace in France. More body and flavour, and still equally refreshing.

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CHART-TOPPER Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand continues racing up the charts, offering vibrant, aromatic whites at very affordable prices. Mud House at around £7 a bottle is very good and widely available. We obviously must mention Chardonnay, whose fall from grace (unfairly in my view) was quite dramatic, but our love for this noble grape is returning. Such versatility means there really is a Chardonnay for everyone. Chablis offers a crisp lean style, and not oaked normally. Further south in Burgundy hails the great wines from Cote de Beaune. Here we have many Grand Cru wines – very expensive and very delicious, but also smokey and hugely concentrated. And then if you head out of France, Chardonnay is produced around the world in a vast range of styles depending on climate, winemaking technique, soil… and so on. Another grape that we also fell out of love with is Riesling, but this was a while ago and it has remained largely forgotten. Very sad as this grape is surely worthy of a place at our dinner table. It is also produced in a breadth of styles, normally unoaked, but in a wide range of different sweetness levels from bone dry to lusciously sweet. While it is produced around the globe, the pinnacle of Riesling must still be Germany which crafts world class wines.

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ROB’S SUPER SUMMER WHITES Ruppertsberger Hoheburg, 2016 This is an excellent value German Riesling from the Pfalz region. Off dry, refreshing, wonderfully easy to quaff, scores very highly in my tasting events. Try with spicy food. Only £7.25 from the Wine Society.

Stopham Estate 2013 An English version of Pinot Gris. Slightly off dry, that balances the crisp acidity. Unoaked so quite fresh, but with some depth and flavour. Perfect with pork and spicy food. Waitrose sells, £14.99.

Bellingham ‘The Bernard Series’ Viognier 2016 This full-bodied South African wine is rich, spicy with all the hallmark traits of a good Viognier – peach, rose petal, and lychee. From Majestic, £13.49

The Society’s Exhibition Pouilly Fuissé 2015 Another one from the Wine Society, but a truly excellent Chardonnay. This is oaked, but not overdone. It is ripe full-bodied and buttery. Intense powerful, and concentrated long finish. £20.

Two of my favourite white grapes are Viognier and Gewurztraminer. I love Viognier with its perfume, floral and exotic spices. Try and select one that doesn’t have alcohol above 13.5 per cent. Viognier needs to be picked reasonably late for the flavours to develop in the skin, but can be unbalanced with too much alcohol. Gewurztraminer is not for the faint-hearted. A Marmite white – you either love it or hate it. It’s one of the most distinctively perfumed grapes in the world, which smells of fragrant rose petals and Turkish delight and tastes of lychees. And with plenty of other white wines to taste there is plenty to choose from. Add to your ‘to taste’ list these wines during the next couple of months – Vino Verde, Albariño, Gavi, Vouvray, Rueda, Chenin Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, Torrontés Verdicchio, plus any others you find! I Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company that offers fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Warwick and Milton Keynes city centres. For more information contact Rob Price: 0121 270 7359 or www.birminghamwineschool.com

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RIGHT STRIPES Stripe pattern fringed vest £22, www.apricotonline.co.uk

FESTIVAL INSPO

Effortless, comfortable, practical, cool. That’s what we want from our festival wardrobe. Simple? Not so much.. 30 birmingham living

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STYLE

here are those girls who sail through festival season with chic oozing from every pore. You know the ones – Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and the Grand Dame of festival cool, Jo Whiley. Never over done. Never try hard. Always looking relaxed and in the moment. Sure, a lot of that is confidence – seasoned festivalgoers who are prepared for anything and most importantly comfortable. FLOAT AWAY They know that above all else you need a Floral maxi dress warm jacket, great pair of sunnies, slouchy £120, jumper and pair of trusty shorts. They know Miss Selfridge, Bullring that they’ll be walking for miles and dancing ‘til dawn, possibly in a muddy puddle. It’s almost a test of survival as well as style. We‘ve scoured the rails for pieces that’ll see you through whatever the weather – from cute cut-offs to swirly dresses and playsuits. I

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SUNSET DRESS

WHAT RAIN

Wide strap Ombre dress £25, Accessorize, Grand Central

Yellow Matte Anorak £34.99, New Look, The Fort Shopping

ROCK A RUFFLE Red layered sleeve dress £22.99, New Look, Bullring

CHOOSE LOVE Floozie by Frost French £25, Debenhams, The Fort Shopping Park

HOT SHORTS Falmer festival jacquard £16, Matalan, Dartmouth Circus

FAB FLORAL High-waisted red floral shorts £20, Miss Selfridge, Bullring

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STYLE

CUTE BOW DETAIL Backless bow dress £75, Oliver Bonas, New St Station

PRETTY POM POM Tan multi coloured tassel sandal £25.99, New Look, Bullring

CATS EYES Gill pink cateye sunglasses £12, Accessorize, Grand Central

THINK PINK Lola Rose beaded bracelet £70, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

KHAKI COOL Dress and jacket, Next, Bullring

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STYLE

DENIM DAYS Bethany dungaree dress £54.99, Superdry, Bullring

SUMMER DAYS Cream and black festival print crochet edge shorts £18, www.apricotonline.co.uk

PRETTY PUMPS Evalina pumps £120, Dune, Bullring

STATEMENT CUFF Sunrise cuff £100, www.bimbaylola.com

PLAY TIME Falmer festival denim playsuit £25, Matalan, Dartmouth Circus

SHORT SHORTS Light denim shorts £19.99, New Look, Bullring

COOL NIGHTS Lab Label silver sleeved sweater £69, House of Fraser, Mell Square

TAKE HAT Feather hat £59, www.bimbaylola.com

COOL AS YOU LIKE Free People embroidered dress £110, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

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STYLE TEE TOTALLY COOL Doodle floral T-shirt £25 and Reflex metallic skirt £65, Oliver Bonas, New St Station

GLAM SQUAD Free People printed jacket £150, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

WHATEVER THE WEATHER Navy poly jacket £12, Primark, The Fort Shopping Park

WHITE OUT Daya Beach cotton playsuit £38, www.figleaves.com

STUD YOU LIKE Silver Sandals £49, Debenhams, The Fort Shopping Park

GET WAISTED Clothing from River Island, Bullring

HEAVY METAL Gold tie waist cardigan £49, House of Fraser, Mell Square

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STYLE

SIMPLE STYLE Dress, House of Fraser, Mell Square

BELT UP Built-in phone charger bag £64.95, www.cuckooland.com

MADE FOR WALKING

PURPLE PATCH

Ban perforated ankle boot £24.99, Deichmann, High Street

Purple matte anorak £34.99, New Look, Bullring

BOLD PRINT

WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DROPS

Floral playsuit £6, Primark, The Fort Shopping Park

Whispering jacket £55, White Stuff, Cannon Street

GOOD LIFE Red Herring dungarees, Debenhams, Bullring

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STYLE FOR MEN

JACKET IN Asian print jacket, River Island, Bullring

BURNING MAN

There’s a lot that could go wrong in the style stakes at a festival, so step away from the wooden beads and have a butchers at this little lot

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STYLE FOR MEN

GEO PRINT Line geo print cotton shirt £7, Primark, Fort Shopping Park THE NEW BLACK Grey denim shorts £20, Burton, www.burton.co.uk

acking should be fairly straightforward when going to a festival. Essentially it’s camping, but with great music and all the LOLs. Despite this, instead of going for chic and practical modern man tends to go for a hint of fancy dress or even worse occasional nudity. Stop it. Get some great shades, a couple of pairs of classic shorts/denim cut-offs, sturdy shoes, a handful of well-cut tees and/or short sleeved shirts, a warm hoodie and waterproof jacket. A hat is a good idea. Go for a classic trilby style or an understated baseball cap and consider a bumbag. They’ve come a long way and there’s no denying their practicality. Lastly, burn any low cut vests, wooden beads and mankinis you might be considering. I

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DIG THE DOWNPOUR Navy shower jacket, Jacamo, Merry Hill

ETERNAL SUNSHINE Hooded jacket £50, Next, Bullring

HATS OFF Straw trilby £28, Debenhams, Bullring

BIG TEES White ground control T-shirt £18, River Island, Bullring

BAG A BUMBAG Large camo bumbag £7, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

MIRROR MIRROR Ray-Ban flash lenses £99, Vision Express

DISTRESSED LOOK Denim shorts, Topman, Bullring

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GREEN CREDENTIALS Chino shorts £35, House of Fraser, Mell Square

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HEALTH

ARE YOU BEING

SERVED?

More of us than ever are turning to

tennis to get fit and have fun – especially women looking to ‘smash it like Konta’

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HEALTH

nderstandably, all the fuss around tennis for us Brits has centred on the amazing success of Andy Murray. But this year, the balance had shifted so it’s not just all about Murray Mania. We’ve also gone Konta Krazy too! One thing that Johanna Konta’s on-court exploits have revealed is the ongoing gender divide that exists in tennis in the UK. All the attention has been on the men’s game, but moves are well underway to bring through a generation of women players inspired to pick up a racket and hit the courts. And we’re delighted to say that Birmingham is leading the way with its proud track record of helping to raise the profile of the women’s game.

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LEADING ROLE The city is playing a leading role in getting more women and girls – of all abilities – involved in tennis at the grassroots level, thanks to the Lawn Tennis Association initiative She Rallies launched in Birmingham by Andy Murray’s mum, Judy. The programme aims to coach the next generation of female coaches and attract and retain women and girls as active participants in tennis.

>> TENNIS TIPS  Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand and rehydrate regularly.

 Don’t overdo it. Mix up your physical activity with other low-impact sports.  Play at a level according to your age and physical condition.

 Avoid playing with a pre-existing illness or injury. If in doubt, talk to a doctor.  Warm up your muscles and joints before hitting the court.

 Be careful if the court conditions are wet and especially if the surface is slippery.

As Judy told us: “There is still a significant gap in terms of players and coaches at all levels of the women’s game. This has to change. She Rallies will create opportunities in tennis for women and girls from the grassroots through to international level.” Currently, only 23 per cent of qualified tennis coaches in the UK are women – an imbalance that Judy and the LTA are hoping to address by training regional ‘ambassadors’ who will provide free instruction and equipment to women from both tennis and non-tennis backgrounds, giving more girls the opportunity to play the sport locally. HEALTH BOOST Male or female, tennis is a great sport to improve your all-round health regardless of your level of ability. Latest research shows that playing tennis (or any racket sport) reduces the overall risk of death by nearly half. That’s nearly twice as effective as other sports such as cycling, aerobics or swimming. Playing tennis has been found to increase aerobic capacities, lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, improve metabolic function, increase bone density, lower body fat, improve muscle tone, strength and flexibility and increase reaction times. A word of warning though! If you’re a tennis beginner, haven’t played in a while, or are taking up exercise after a long time of being inactive, please be sensible. Follow our top tips and you’ll have healthy, invigorating – and safe – fun!  Edgbaston Priory runs a range of courses for all ages and all levels from beginners to those who used to play but have lapsed. Details: 0121 440 2492 www.edgbastonpriory.com Find out more about the She Rallies programme www.sherallies.com

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FUSSY GALORE Forget minimalism. We’re embracing

prints in all their joyous fun-filled glory this season. Don’t hold back!

RICH PICKINGS Matthew Williamson’s Kemp compact sofa, Cookes, Erdington

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HOMES

RUSTIC CHARM Bohemian Circle collection, National Trust

e love a pared back Scandi vibe as much as the next person, but this season’s penchant for prints has us all excited. There are no rules. In years gone by we might have been cautious about clashing prints and colours but to hell with it this season. Mix and match to your hearts content. Our new guilty Instagram pleasure is Jackson and Levine. Table settings with big blooms and vintage mismatched crockery and glassware is what we’re after. Plenty of inspiration here. And Laura Jackson’s William Morris wallpaper? Enough said. In our former life at wall covering supremo Graham & Brown, the wallpaper bug gripped us and has never

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HOMES

let go. Look at the Designers Guild for some brilliant examples as well as Cole & Son for something a little different. And don’t overlook local designer Abigail Borg who’s doing great things in her studio in the Custard Factory. The Corelline paper pictured is her latest creation. For full-on glamour take a look at Matthew Williamson. As you’d expect he goes in heavy with rich fabrics and ornate prints. If it’s just too much for you, check out scatter cushions rather than investing in a large piece. Geometrics are never out of favour and this season rugs are a highlight. Check out Heal’s, Houseology and Oliver Bonas for some show stopping examples. Bold beautiful florals and delicate ditsy prints appeal in equal measure not to mention more than a touch of wildlife. From hares to flamingos and even the odd elephant… animals rule! I

OUTSIDE IN Bed linen and accessories, Amara

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HOMES

COUNTRY VIBE Keepers Lodge collection, Dunhelm

STILL SUMMER Furniture and accessories, Next

LOCAL TALENT Corelline wallpaper in midnight/gold, Abigail Borg, Custard Factory abigailborg.com

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HOMES

BRILLIANT BLOOMS Autumn blooms, HomeSense

ALL GROWN UP J by Jasper Conran bed linen, Debenhams

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CANDY STRIPES The Enterprising Britain Collection, Wilko

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HOMES

LEAF PRINT Leaf platter £42, Laura Ashley HIP HERON Herons cushion £22, Dunelm

THROW SOME SHAPES Isla patterned chair £199, Very

SHAPE SHIFTER Kamina pattern column vase £42, House of Fraser

FINISHING

TOUCHES Here are some of our favourite printed pieces to complete your look

BLOCK PARTY Modena frame £18 (due September), Oliver Bonas COLOUR POP Ben Di Lisi cushion £18, Debenhams

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ANIMAL MAGIC Dickins & Jones Beatrix folk print cushion £18, House of Fraser

BLOOMING MARVELLOUS Flora chest of drawers £229.99, HomeSense

FAB FLOOR Geometric rug £79.99, HomeSense

GEO PLENTY Geo panel double duvet set £12, George Home

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HOMES

Hot Properties This month’s star homes include a cool church conversion, country cracker, Georgian beauty and loft apartment with a splash of history

COUNTRY FILE Welcome Bank Farm, Stratford-upon-Avon Guide price: ÂŁ1.65million Agent: Knight Frank, tel 01789 297735

This cracking five-bedroom period family home is nestled in a great location with outstanding views over rolling countryside. It also includes a lovely one-bedroom cottage with kitchen/breakfast room, dining room and sitting room.

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HOMES

BRICKS&BITS DEVELOPER ON THE MOVE Property developer Henry Davidson Developments is relocating its head office from the East Midlands to Birmingham after securing a £2million investment from Finance Birmingham. HDD is working on a number of large-scale projects across the region. Chief executive Scott Davidson said: “We look forward to pursuing the next stage of growth from a Birmingham base.”

FLATS PLAN FOR JQ SITE Complex Development Projects is planning to regenerate a derelict site in the Jewellery Quarter. The £7.8million project to create new flats will begin in early 2018 and take 12 months. Director Ian Harrabin said: “This part of the quarter is undergoing substantial regeneration but there are not many schemes offering the size of accommodation we are creating.”

BRENDAS HIT THE JACKPOT Birmingham’s property professionals dug deep at their annual spoof awards, the Brendas. More than £32,000 was raised at Burlington Hotel in aid of Property for Kids. The main charity this year is Teenage Cancer Trust. A donation is also being made to support the Manchester terror attack families. See Social Scene page 70

CHURCH CONVERT St James Church, Edgbaston Guide price: £349,950 Agent: James Laurence, tel 0121 456 5454 A quirky two-bedroom apartment in an award-winning church conversion. Set over two floors and designed to a high specification, this cool pad boasts high ceilings, a dual aspect living room which allows a flood of natural light and gallery-style bedrooms.

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

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LOFTY AMBITIONS Princip Street, City Centre Guide price: £675,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel 0121 634 1520 A lovely first floor, triple aspect loft apartment sat within the fabric of a range of historical buildings dating back from the 1830s. Boasts two double bedrooms, two bathrooms and an unbelievably cool, large open plan kitchen living area.

TRUSTED NEIGHBOURS Earlswood Common, Solihull Guide price: £1.1million Agent: Fine and Country, tel 0121 746 6400 A lovely, seven-bedroom detached home that’s been renovated to a high standard and includes loads of living space, five bathrooms and a fully self-contained annexe. Mature gardens extend to nearly half-an-acre and adjoin National Trust land to two sides and Woodland Trust to the other.

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GEORGIAN GEM Park Mount, Edgbaston Guide price: ÂŁ2.2million Agent: Robert Powell, tel 0121 454 6930 A uniquely positioned Grade II listed Georgian residence tucked away among the fairways and greens of Edgbaston Golf Course. Boasting seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and a coach house, all set within stunning private gardens of about 1.6 acres.

Don’t miss Property of the Week on our Facebook page every Thursday

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MOTORING

RAISING THE ROOF Mazda’s MX-5 RF has just been named Roadster of the Year.

Sue Cooke hits the road to find out what all the fuss is about y little car has just won Roadster of the Year, I excitedly told my daughter. She hurtfully reminded me that it wasn’t my car at all and that it was going back to Mazda the following day. This sense of belonging arrived at the same time as I slid behind the wheel of the two-seater MX-5 RF. The Japanese call it Jinba Ittai, or the symbiosis between rider and horse. Mazda says the essence of the convertible, is based on this concept. And I have to agree. The driving position, the comfortable seats and the agile, nimble handling provide a feeling of unity with the car. There aren’t many vehicles where I have felt this togetherness, but when it happens, the drive is memorable and the parting rather sad.

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Launched in March this year the MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) has a power hardtop and has gorgeous fastback styling. The clever roof system does not compromise the boot space of 127 litres. When the driver presses the button on the dash, a diagram appears to show how the threepiece roof folds out of sight in an amazingly quick 13 seconds. It is certainly within a traffic light change because I tried it and it will open or close at speeds up to 6mph. If it hadn’t rained most of the week I would have gladly kept the roof down more often, but took the chance for open top driving in the fast lane of the A38 – with a small windshield in place there was no wind buffeting. What I enjoyed the most though was

FACTS AT A GLANCE: Model: Mazda MX-5 RF Sport Nav Price: £25,695otr Engine: 2.0-litre petrol 160PS manual Performance: 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 134mph CO2 emissions: 161g/km Combined fuel consumption: 40.9mpg

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the winding country lanes which I discovered on the way to Packington Moor Farm in Lichfield. The 2.0-litre, 160PS engine has a nice rumble on start-up which gradually peters out and engages again on hard acceleration. Mated to a crisp-shifting sixspeed manual gearbox, slowing due to M6 motorway traffic and then picking up again is simply done without having to keep changing gear. There is also a 1.5-litre 131PS engine. While Mazda says the 2.0-litre manual will achieve combined fuel consumption of 40.9mpg, the read out on the car tells me I was achieving 41.2mpg. A gear change recommendation appears which also helps with fuel consumption. INSIDE STORY When I first got into the car the slightly offset pedals to the right felt different, but I soon got used to them. The driver sits low to the road but I found getting in and out of the car quite easy and with lightweight but high strength materials, the wide doors are light and easy to open. As you would expect with a two-seater there isn’t a lot of interior space but

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Mazda has cleverly inserted two cupholders at the rear of the seats. The centre storage is not very deep and there is no glovebox but there is handy storage in the doors. All models feature DAB radio, Bluetooth and cruise control, with seven-inch colour touch-screen display and Multimedia Commander. The sat-nav system is simple to use with a choice of touch control or a large circular button. A three-layer headliner on the front and middle roof panels cuts road and wind noise but with the roof down it was difficult to hear the radio. The Mazda MX-5 convertible has won the annual Auto Express roadster of the year title for the previous two years and the MX-5 RF which won this year broadens the iconic roadster’s appeal, with a hard top providing more security but still offering open top driving fun. I

SHOWROOM: Mazda Solihull, Highlands Road, Solihull, B90 4NU. Tel: 0844 7880562 www.johnsonscars.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

NYANDA FODAY Brave, determined, talented. Meet Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate – and discover why everyone is waxing lyrical about her hen she was just nine-years-old Nyanda Foday went with her parents on what was supposed to be a one-year stay in their home country of Sierra Leone. “They wanted me to experience where they had originally come from,” says Nyanda. But eight months in and Nyanda caught malaria and typhoid and was rushed back to Britain. Born and raised in London, the family moved to Birmingham to be near where her grandparents lived. Nyanda, now 18, plays down the drama but acknowledges it changed the direction of her life. She has remained in Birmingham ever since, attending King Edward VI School, Handsworth and then sixth form at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School – she is nervously awaiting her A-Level results as we write... Nyanda also came into contact with Birmingham-

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based youth and social media collective Beatfreaks. “I attended a monthly open mic night called Poetry Jam and for me that was the pivotal factor that put me onto poetry,” said Nyanda. All of which eventually led to her being named as the current Birmingham Young Poet Laureate. POETRY OVER PROSE “I’ve been writing poetry for a very long time but before I started engaging in the poetry scene I was primarily a fan of prose,” she explains. “I think a key factor in making the switch initially was that I could sit down and write a poem in a way that you just can’t with a novel – and it became an easier way for me to express myself and work through whatever was on my mind.” As Young Poet Laureate, Nyanda sees her role as

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CYCLICAL An extract from a poem by Birmingham Young Poet Laureate, Nyanda Foday Our world is cyclical And with each cycle Of sleep Of seasons Of life Everything that has ever been is still there. We go on because we are part of a bigger cycle and we continue We cannot forget the forms that have been deconstructed Instead we must take their very essence to reconstruct new forms of beauty We must make love of their love We must take meaning from their meaning Form our memories using their memories We must make new memories We must grow in their wake using all that they have given us We must trust in the flow of the cycle to carry us We must pay homage to the previous forms of the atoms that hold us We are bound to know new forms in a distant future but the forms we hold today, we shape We will be stronger for the trials and tribulations that our bodies have faced in past generations

“representing young people in Birmingham in poetry, and also to represent poetry in young people”. And she adds: “I get to perform in lots of different places, which is always incredibly exciting for me. I actually got asked to perform for International Women’s Day to a group of women my age and older, and that was so humbling and honestly, strange to me. “However, the most amazing opportunity I’ve had was easily performing at the National Holocaust Memorial Day in January. The event was respectful and incredibly humbling. The opportunity to meet the speakers was one of the greatest I’ve ever had, and I think I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life. It’s easy for things like that to slip into history as something that happened in the past and is finished, so meeting people who were there completely shatters that illusion, which is heart-breaking but really important I think.”

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Nyanda almost exclusively writes for the spoken word “because I’m big on performance, and I care a lot about the way my words sound when they’re put together”. She adds: “I write in quite a personal style that comes from a very introspective approach. I think almost all of my poems are me figuring something out about the way I interpret a certain situation, or understand a concept. Sometimes I just write something that sounds good and poetic, but I never really like those poems after the fact. My poems tend to be long, quite dark (true to typical teenage angst) and thoughtful.” As well as writing poetry and studying for exams, Nyanda has retained close links with Beatfreaks – she attends their events and is also on their Youth Steering Committee. “There’s something incredible about being surrounded by spoken word artists of different skills and talents and being able to take it all in in such a supportive atmosphere. Combine that with the performer in me, and nothing could have motivated me more than Poetry Jam to become one of those people on the stage, motivating other people to try something new.” BIOLOGY? REALLY? So, it’s a given then that poetry will be her future? Not as a career because Nyanda is hoping – exam grades willing – that she will get to go to Manchester University to study biology. “I want to have a career looking at biology in animal behaviour,” she explains. “I will always want to do poetry, and when I’m old and grey I want to have notebooks full of my poetry that people can look at and consider, which is really egotistical, but also honestly what I would like. Because my poetry is so personal, it’s something that I’m happy for people to know me by and remember me by. I think if someone read all of my poems they could probably have a better understanding of me as a person than some people that I’ve been friends with for years. “I have a lot of respect for the people that do pursue poetry because it isn’t easy – like any job in the arts it requires persistence, innovation and luck, so I’m quite fortunate to have another area that I genuinely want to make a name for myself in.” So… fingers crossed everyone for those A-Level grades! I

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GROWING PLACES

WORLD CLASS RESULT The sixth year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma at King Edward’s School has produced another set of outstanding results. The maximum score of 45 points was achieved by two students, Akash Kumar and Bill Xuan, a score attained by only 218 students out of nearly 160,000 IB students worldwide. A further four boys scored 44 points and 49 per cent achieved scores of 40 points or above – the equivalent of more than four A-stars at A-Level. TOP MARKS: Akash Kumar and Bill Xuan

SCHOOL REPOR T

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

DANCING WITH STARS Young Erdington ballet stars and brothers Malaki and Elijah Florey-Meah are involved in the Royal Academy of Dance’s (RAD) latest campaign which aims to challenge gender stereotypes and encourage more boys to take up ballet. Called Project B, the nationwide campaign includes pop-up performances such as one recently staged at New Street station. Malaki and Elijah are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s principal dancer Iain Mackay and his older brother Rory, who also danced with BRB.

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SAFETY FIRST The Birmingham office of law firm Clarke Willmott LLP has donated a life-saving set of teaching resources to two local schools to help staff keep pupils safe on the roads. Philip Edwards, a serious injury expert and the firm’s corporate social responsibility partner, visited Moat Farm Junior School in Oldbury and Christ Church CE Primary School, Sparkbrook to present the resources produced by Roadwise. The packs, called 5 Alive, include lesson plans, interactive DVDs and teaching booklets.

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ENGINEERING FOR GIRLS Eighty schoolgirls gained hands-on experience of what a career in engineering could be like at Birmingham City University to mark International Women in Engineering Day. The students heard talks from women in the profession and then engineered a hand-washing kit which could be used in Kenya to help cut the spread of infectious diseases. Laura Leyland, senior lecturer in engineering at BCU, said: “It was inspiring to watch the girls enjoying working to solve a real life problem.” INSPIRING: Charu Gupta of engineering consultants BWB spoke at the event

PROUD AS PUNCH

TRACK AND FIELD ACES Prep and senior athletes from Bromsgrove School competed in the ESAA Midlands final at Tipton Sports Academy and came away with a win. The junior boys track and field team racked up a number of personal bests – 12 in total – with the prep boys achieving a score of 433 points which ranks them eleventh in the country out of 500 entries. The national ESAA final beckons. Good luck!

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Year 9 student Aimee Leigh Philips of Grace Academy Darlaston has been crowned England under-16 girls schools boxing champion. Aimee who started boxing only seven months ago, has already notched up four wins as well as competing in the Schools National Championships. “My first instructor said I had something special,” she said. “Hopefully I will try for the Olympics but for now I am going to be training with the England team in Sheffield.”

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITH… NATASHA GRICE From flight attendant with Virgin Atlantic to general manager of Virgin Trains, it’s been some journey for the Brummie who likes nothing better than putting on her earphones and just being ‘Tash’ ON TRACK: Virgin Trains boss Natasha Grice

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I started my career as a flight attendant with Virgin Atlantic before joining Virgin Trains as a customer services assistant at New Street station. I’ve enjoyed a number of other roles, such as duty manager in customer relations, station manager New Street and a role leading the delivery of Virgin’s Olympic 2012 customer experience offer. I was also head of Virgin Trains’ Talent Academy.

maintaining that family life and being a mum. I have a very supportive husband!

IT’S WHAT I DO I am general manager for Virgin Trains’ London to Birmingham route. This year Virgin Trains is celebrating 20 years as a franchise, but there’s still lots to achieve and I feel like we’re just getting started, particularly here in Birmingham where the franchise has its UK headquarters.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM The city is always changing. It never stands still. I was born here and when I think of what it was like as a kid, the city has totally transformed. If this continues what a fantastic place it will be for my children and their grandchildren. I love the diversity, the culture and all the things we can do as a family these days.

WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE There are so many opportunities for us to look at how people live their lives these days. For example, are rail timetables fit for 21st century life and how people like to travel to spend time with their families? I also want us to look at how we maximise apprenticeships and take that to the next level. How do we develop people professionally, to nurture them and make them feel like they have an enriched sense of purpose at work? BIGGEST SUCCESSES Personally, I feel really proud of getting to the level I have at work while being a mother-of-two. I haven’t had to sacrifice sports days or parents’ evenings or moments that matter in my children’s lives. I’m really proud of

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BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Not to try to do everything yourself! Just because you lead a team you don’t have to be the one with the answers. It’s like being a football manager… get the right team in place and the goals will come.

DOWNTIME I love running. It’s the one time I can put my earphones on and it’s just ‘Tash’, not mum or manager. And I know it’s a bit cliched but I do love going out walking with the family and the dog. It’s great to take some time out. Oh, and I do love eating! I love nice food and wine, particularly Nosh & Quaff, the Cosy Club, the new gin bar 40 St Paul’s… a couple of gin cocktails and I’m happy! It’s great to be able to hop on the train from Sandwell and Dudley and be in the city centre in 10 minutes to enjoy all these. FINALLY Quite simply Birmingham is a great place. It’s on the up and I love being a part of that. I

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ing livBUSINESS

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BAGSAHEAD Never lose your luggage on a flight again! A business set up by

two old schoolfriends is taking the pain out of catching the plane t’s a mind-blowing statistic. According to official international travel figures more than 28 million people a year fly off on their holidays and business trips to find that their luggage didn’t make it with them. It either never got on the plane, went to Malta or Melbourne instead of Malaga or was piled up somewhere for days or weeks in ‘lost luggage’ limbo. That’s a lot of ruined escapes to the sun (or snow) and compromised corporate conferences and meetings. But it doesn’t have to be that way – just ask Chris Boddington and Vince Essex, the duo behind Birmingham Airport-based BagsAhead, a successful and fast-growing national and international business providing door-to-door collection and delivery of luggage and personal items. Chris and Vince first met each other at secondary school in Birmingham and never had a second thought that they would one day work together in a ground-breaking travel business. Over the

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intervening years they met occasionally socially and more recently were in touch over social media. By an amazing coincidence both were pursuing parallel careers at Birmingham Airport – Chris with his own freight forwarding business and Vince involved with baggage tracing and delivery. In May 2016, more than 20 years after their first meeting at Lyndon School in Sheldon, the two men wiser (and with less hair than back in 1992), came together again to set up a business to help take the strain out of moving luggage and personal possessions. INVESTMENT A six-figure investment in BagsAhead has already created jobs in Birmingham with more to follow. Their door-to-door service means an end to the inconvenience of having to take luggage and other items through an airport – not to mention problems such as excess baggage charges! The business only launched earlier this year but

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COMPANY TO WATCH

has already enabled a patient with motor neurone disease to transport a special hoist and so take a European holiday. Valuable and highly personal items including wedding photographs have also been delivered to New Zealand on the other side of the world. They have delivered a fleet of bikes to Sweden via private jet and a stack of snowboards to Grenoble in France While most of the baggage and other items are taken to France, Spain and European locations, more exotic destinations have included Nigeria. “We both travel and have young families and so know the hassle involved in taking luggage and other possessions through airports,” said Vince. “Being able to have it all collected from home and not seen again until arrival at the hotel or holiday home removes a huge inconvenience.” The service is also aimed at parties such as golfing groups, skiers and bikers as well as people moving to live or study abroad. “When we met at school all those years ago we had no idea that we would both end up as entrepreneurs working in travel and aviation,” added

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Chris, who like Vince is 40. “It just shows what a small world this is and BagsAhead is helping make travel to anywhere in the globe that much easier.” In his baggage tracing business Vince knew only too well what a huge waste of time and resources locating and returning ‘lost’ baggage can be – not to mention the human cost with angry travellers and damage to airlines’ reputations. “Chris and I got chatting about wanting to start a business together,” said Vince. “We came up with the idea that it would be good if we could stop the problem of trying to trace bags by collecting them from people’s home or work and sending them on ahead so they are already in their hotel or holiday home when they walk in.” This removes the need for travellers to check-in their bags – it’s all done for them by BagsAhead. It also means that luggage is automatically tracked (just as with many other regular goods you order online) and is more secure. Take your bags to an airport yourself they will get scanned once, but with BagsAhead the same item can be scanned at various points in its journey anywhere from eight or even 10 times. Ah, but what about the cost of all of this, we hear you ask? Well, like any bespoke service, it’s going to cost you more than if you check it in and lug around your own baggage but the charges are very competitive like-for-like. (For example, you can pay anything from £50 upwards if you entrust your golf clubs, skis or snowboards to the airline – and their reputation for looking after such awkward and often fragile gear isn’t great to say the least!) CORPORATE MARKET While BagsAhead is based at Birmingham Airport, the service is nationwide and international, operating through all the leading airports. “We are based in Birmingham because both of us grew up here and both live in Solihull,” said Vince. The personal customer is very important to Chris and Vince, but the potential in the corporate market is particularly exciting. “We are getting more into corporate, whether it be with motor manufacturers’ car launches or other business events,” said Vince. BagsAhead is also working currently on teaming up with holiday companies in the likes of the golfing and skiing markets. “We are now actively working on projects a season ahead,” said Vince. “We are continually investing in our computer platforms with the goal to become the biggest mover of baggage in the world.” I

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BUSINESS

HIPP NEW BOSS

BUSINESS NEWS

The UK’s most popular theatre has a new man in the wings. Staffline Group CEO Andy Hogarth, pictured, has taken over from John Crabtree as chair of Birmingham Hippodrome. The former Birmingham Chambers of Commerce president, who has been a trustee for 16 years, will continue in an ambassadorial role for the theatre alongside his new ‘job’ as Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. The Hippodrome welcomes annual audiences of more than 500,000.

CRICKET DEAL TAKES OFF

VILLAGE’S BIG DAY GETTING SHIRTY: Warwickshire fast bowler Oliver Hannon Dalby with the airport’s Tom Screen and Gareth Roberts, commercial director of Warwickshire CCC

Warwickshire County Cricket Club has clinched a new partnership with Birmingham Airport for the next two years. Following on from Edgbaston’s successful hosting of the ICC Champions Trophy, the airport will take perimeter branding at the stadium, which will be on display at this month’s inaugural day/night Investec Test Match between England and the West Indies. Further branding features on shirts worn by the Birmingham Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast.

A VIP Champagne lunch for 100 guests launched a new luxury retirement village. Audley St George’s Place was officially opened by Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley, and Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Anne Underwood. The development was previously the home of the Royal School for the Deaf. Once complete, the village will provide a mix of 95 apartments and cottages as well as the Audley Club, offering luxury leisure facilities to both owners and neighbouring communities.

GOLDEN GIRL NAILS IT One of Team GB’s Rio Olympic winning hockey stars is giving a Solihull nail polish brand a golden boost. Giselle Ansley has become brand ambassador for Semilac, based in Warwick Road. Giselle is reinforcing the message that active women need beautifully strong nails they can rely on – and she showed off her Semilac manicure when she collected her MBE from Buckingham Palace. Semilac UK director Monika Shine said: “Giselle is our first ambassador from the sporting world.”

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BUSINESS

JUST THE JOB

LEGAL TIE-UP Law firm Lodders has merged with one of Birmingham’s leading family and divorce legal practices, adding to its Midlands office network and taking a foothold in the city. Lodders’ merger with Divorce and Family Law Practice in St Paul’s Square sees all of DFLP’s 11-strong team, headed by partners and co-founders Beverley Morris and Joan Price, move to the firm. DFLP was launched in 2002 and has consistently received top rankings from both Chambers and Legal 500 for its expertise.

Birmingham’s flagship shopping centres aren’t just a hit with customers searching for a bargain or the latest designer goods. New research shows that the Bullring and Grand Central are also delivering on the jobs front. Half of all jobs in the centres go to under-25s, while local people take 85 per cent of the jobs, says the report by Envoy Partnership in conjunction with Real Estate firm JLL and the centres’ joint owner and manager Hammerson plc

MORE INVESTORS COME TO BRUM Foreign business can’t get enough of us! More overseas firms invested in the West Midlands in 2016-17 than anywhere outside London and the South East, according to Department for International Trade figures. A total of 151 new foreign direct investment projects were recorded, creating 6,570 new jobs. Neil Rami, pictured, chief executive of West Midlands Growth Company, said: “The pace and scale of foreign investment has rapidly gained momentum in recent years, creating a more diversified, robust economy.”

READY TO CONNECT Millennium Point has opened its new events and meeting space CONNECT, part of a £1million investment plan to boost the site’s offering. The purposebuilt venue features options to suit a variety of event requirements, says CEO Judith Armstrong, pictured. From training to networking, launches to banqueting and workshops to board meetings, the new space can accommodate groups of up to 120 across its main event space and three inter-connecting meeting rooms.

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CAN DO ATTITUDE A Midlands company with a 130-year history is embarking on a major IT investment programme as it gears up for the future. Eclipse Sprayers and Haws are known worldwide to gardeners for premium quality watering cans. The Beakes Road, Smethwick company has invested in a new £40,000 IT stock and warehouse management system and has been supported by the Birmingham office of chartered accountants and business advisers Haines Watts.

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BUSINESS

LAW FIRM WINS ‘OSCAR’ Wright Hassall has been named the nation’s leading regional law firm at the legal industry’s ‘Oscars’. The Leamingtonbased firm beat off rivals from across the UK to take the crown at the prestigious Lawyer Awards which celebrate the excellence of the legal sector across private practice, commerce and industry. More than 1,300 legal professionals attended the awards dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. TOP NOTCH: Wright Hassall chairman, Nick Abell, managing partner, Sarah Perry and senior partner, Richard Lane

WORLD-CLASS CENTRE OPENS A new world-class IVF centre has opened in Edgbaston. CARE Fertility Group is the UK’s leading independent provider of fertility treatment and has set up its centre in Highfield Road following the refurbishment of the 10,000 sq ft premises at the heart of the Edgbaston Medical Quarter. The unit employs up to 50 people, including clinicians, nurses, scientists and patient support services.

STRICTLY LOVING IT! Happy Siona Spillitt was dancing for joy as she scooped Brum’s own version of the Strictly glitterball with quickstep partner Joshua Adams. Commercial litigator Siona teamed up with teenage pro Joshua at No5 Barristers’ Chambers’ Strictly 9 to 5 competition. The couple wowed more than 400 guests including head judges World Champion professional dance duo and BBC Strictly husband and wife pair James and Ola Jordan. The event at the ICC raised £30,000 for child charities the Child Brain Injury Trust and Whizz-Kidz.

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AIRPORT HIGH-FLIER Birmingham Airport has a new chairman. Tim Clarke has succeeded John Hudson who retired last month after 20 years. Tim has previous extensive experience of the leisure and retail sectors with top jobs at Associated British Foods, Mitchells & Butlers, Six Continents and Debenhams. “I am looking forward to helping to develop further the airport’s ambitions for the future,” he said. “There is great potential for further growth and expansion.”

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The Brendas cash in as property professionals spoof top TV show irmingham property professionals raised more than £32,000 for disadvantaged children at their annual spoof awards lunch. The Brenda awards were held at Burlington Hotel and attended by more than 370 guests. The main charity this year is Teenage Cancer Trust, but a donation is also being made to support victims and families of the Manchester terrorist attack. This year’s spoof event was a take-off of TV’s Gogglebox. The show was hosted by Jilly Cosgrove of Barques Design, Lucy Hansell of Estilo Interiors, Rupert Young of Nurton Developments and Simon Marks of Arcadis. I

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1 Back: Simon Marks, Terry Corns, Andrew Franck-Steier, Lorna Devane-Porter, Justin Quibell, Rob Watts, Lucy Hansell. Front: Julia Court, Rupert Young, Jilly Cosgrove, Julian Shellard 2 Matthew Bolt, Stuart Buckley, John Handscomb. 3 Gary Owen, Andy Bishop, Guy Smith. 4 Pollie Jelfs, Clare Regan. 5 Andy Preston, Richard Durkin, Matthew Pegg. 6 Phil Carlin, Simon Dickin, Steve Wedge, Stephen Handley. 7 Steve Wedge, Dave Kelly, Julian Lebray, Belinda Morgan. 8 Michele Clifton, Amanda Franks, Nic Jones, Nicola James. 9 Kathryn Small, Stuart Franks, Tim Mills, Andrew Reynolds, Stephen Smith.

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FIZZ, FOOD AND FUN AT CANAL SQUARE Restaurant celebrates first birthday in style with a party to remember irmingham’s newest Punjabi fine dining restaurant, Canal Square, celebrated its first birthday in style. Basking in the sunshine, press, bloggers and finance professionals were out in force to enjoy an evening by the canal with fizz, food and Punjabi entertainment. Owner Harvey Bains said: “It’s a great pleasure to host such an event celebrating a year in business. The team are ecstatic with how much everyone loved and enjoyed our food.” I

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CHAMPAGNE EVENING BOOSTS CANCER UNIT Henry Wong supports Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer at Laurent-Perrier taster

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arborne Cantonese restaurant Henry Wong welcomed more than 70 guests for a LaurentPerrier Champagne taster event in support of Midlands charity, Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer. Diners were treated to a selection of the restaurant’s finest cuisine with each course partnered by an accompaniment from the Champagne house. The event made more than £7,000 for the charity which raises funds for Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s cancer unit. Charity founder Veronica Kumeta said: “We are so grateful to Parm and Henry Wong for making this event possible.” I

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1 Sackie Somal, Rish Rai, Sharan Gill, Rajinder Hayre. 2 Shelley Duncan, Parm Rai, David Green, Veronica Kumeta. 3 Byron Head, Ron Atkinson, John Wiley. 4 Lesley Myers, Vivienne Moulder. 5 Paul and Sarah Platnauer, Rachel Hanke. 6 Susan and David Davies, Jan Head, Di Blackstone. 7 Jess Wilkes-Reading, Alan Ball, Pal and Jay Tawana. 8 Karen Neuberg, Caroline Lyle, Sandra Fender, Andrea Delaney Hall, Karen Blower. Photography by Jas Sansi

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YOUNG HIGH-FLIERS TUCK IN ON TERRACE Mazars hosts barbecue for city’s aspiring leaders of the future nternational accountancy firm Mazars hosted the Birmingham Professional Services Aspire summer barbecue on the terrace of its Church Street offices. Guests were welcomed by Mazars partner Stephen Lewis. BPS Aspire is the membership network for young professionals as part of BPS Birmingham, the organisation which brings together the city’s business and professional community. Its aim is to support and inspire the future leaders of the professional sector – young professionals with drive, momentum and passion. I

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1 Steve Cordon, Katie Rogers, Rohan Cordiero. 2 Ian Holder, Ella Cunningham, Hattie D' Zouza, Alex Foyle. 3 Sarah Fraser, Leah Bracha, Ashleigh Lloyd, Emily Rose, Josh Henwood. 4 James Allen, Alex Rigg, Jake Turner, Jon Clare. 5 Becca Hanlon, Laurel Windson, Pavlina Demetriou. 6 Mike Ward, Charlotte Ward, Stephen Lewis. 7 Glenn Karisson, Emily Rose, Mark Lever.

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Photography by Dale Martin

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HOT NEWS FOR FIRMS IN BUSINESS DISTRICT 4

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Office company iHub launches new hot-desk facilities in Colmore Gate erviced office company iHub held an event to mark its expansion to provide new office space and hot-desking facilities in Colmore Gate in Birmingham’s business district. Birmingham manager Emma Johnston said: “The new iHub location is perfectly placed for commuters and business owners alike and we’re very excited to have launched our first operation in Birmingham.” I

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1 Jayden Levitt, David Cockram, Tim Pritty, Laura Cooper, Ben Miner. 2 Dan Prince, Sam Sipple, Nick Hill. 3 Gary Perry, Tina Batham, Liz Bailey. 4 Michael Shepherd, Sophie Field. 5 Lewis Jenkins, Amy Marsh, Jo Shaw. 6 Nicole Evans, Emma Johnston, Zeshan Hussain. 7 Mark Norman, Peter Westwood, Stuart Atkin. 8 David Newton, Marilyn Knott, Stewart Knott. 9 Adam Harris, Dean Ridsdill, Marcus Hayes, Adam Joyce. Photography by Jas Sansi

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VIPS ATTEND LAUNCH OF BIG SLEUTH TRAIL Bring on the bears! Free public art event lifts off at Edgbaston stadium reception he region’s largest-ever free public art trail, the Big Sleuth, was officially launched by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and Wild in Art at Edgbaston stadium. The trail sees more than 100 colourful, decorated bear sculptures inhabit the city and surrounding areas, including Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Sandwell and Resorts World. To find out more and download a free Big Sleuth trail map visit www.thebigsleuth.co.uk I

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1 Louise McCathie, Bill Brawn, Michelle McLoughlin. 2 Paul Faulkner, Christina Michalos, Stuart Reynolds. 3 Jess Hyland, Sharon Bradbury, Charlotte Ruff, Richard Brooks, David Cornell, Nick Brown, Kate Goodman, Patrick Verwer. 4 Heena Shaikh, Caroline Bailey. 5 Moira Grandon, Marcella Stenson. 6 Nicola Aspell, Tani Kaur. 7 Noran Flynn, Cameron Archer, Zenia Deaves. 8 Claire Slater, Jim McMaster, Lady Jayne Ackers, Nick Ackers. 9 Charlie Langhorne (Wild in Art), Sarah-Jane Marsh (Birmingham Children’s Hospital), West Midlands mayor Andy Street, Christina Michalos.

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HUNT IS ON TO FIND MEDIA SUPERSTARS Breaking news! Top national writer to lead judges at Midlands awards

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lunch was held at Simpsons restaurant Edgbaston to launch this year’s Midlands Media Awards. Guests included senior representatives of newspapers, magazines and broadcasters from across the region. Bob Warman, president of Birmingham Press Club, which organises the awards, announced that Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce will head the final judging panel. The winners will be announced on 2 November at Canalside, the waters-edge venue in the Cube. I

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1 John Lamb, Anita Sharma-James, Ankit Patel, Bob Warman. 2 Adrian Kibbler, Hannah Griffiths. 3 Eileen Murphy, Alex Turner, Steve Hall. 4 Peter Brookes, Ankit Patel. 5 Keith Perry, Lotty Harper. 6 Melissa Hancock, Stuart Thomas, Alex Turner, Peter John. 7 Steve Gracey, Louise Easton, Fred Bromwich. 8 Marc Reeves, Chris James, Llewela Bailey. Photography by Adrian Kibbler

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SMASHING DAY IN THE SUN FOR TENNIS FANS World’s top stars serve up a treat at record-breaking tournament adies Day was served up in style as guests enjoyed the sunshine and Champagne at this year’s Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club. Fine weather combined with one of the strongest player field in the tournament’s history made the tournament a hit with a record 20,000-plus tennis fans visiting the club to see the world’s best players in action with two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova lifting the famous Maud Watson trophy. I

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WHAT: Leamington Food Festival WHEN: 9 and 10 September WHERE: Royal Pump Gardens, tel 01926 470634 www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk More than 150 stalls showcase the very best in local food and drink with an actionpacked programme across two days. Includes demonstrations, masterclasses and loads of free entertainment.

WHAT: British Showjumping National Championships WHEN: 8 to 13 August WHERE: NAEC Stoneleigh Park, tel 02476 858 205 www.bsnationalchampionships.co.uk Free entry for what promises to be a great family event with competitive top-class showjumping, impressive showing classes and super shopping.

WHAT: Miranda Lambert WHEN: 18 August WHERE: Barclaycard Arena, tel 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com The Grammy winning singer-songwriter is one of country music’s brightest stars. This is a great opportunity to hear the star perform Billboard chart-topping hits such as Mama’s Broken Heart, Little Red Wagon and Somethin’ Bad.

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WHAT: Robert Webb WHEN: 6 September WHERE: Glee Club, box office 0871 472 0400 www.glee.co.uk Following nine series of Peep Show and alongside Back, the new Mitchell and Webb sitcom, comes part-memoir, part call-toarms from the award-winning and hilariously funny Robert Webb.

WHAT: Birmingham Weekender WHEN: 22 to 24 September WHERE: Various, visit www.birminghamweekender.com for more information A three-day festival featuring performances and events from the city’s major arts organisations, independent artists and especially invited international artists, as well as from communities across the city.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Miss Saigon WHEN: Now until 23 September WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical is an epic love story that tells the tragic tale of a young bar girl orphaned by war who falls in love with an American GI… but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.

WHAT: Heather Small

WHAT: CBSO and Beethoven’s Fifth

WHEN: 8 September

WHEN: 20 August

WHERE: Town Hall, box office 0121 345 0600

WHERE: Symphony Hall,

www.thsh.co.uk

box office 0121 345 0600

Expect to hear all the classics from the former M People lead singer and star as she pops into Brum with Moving On Up, Search For The Hero, One Night In Heaven and all the rest. Should be a top evening.

www.thsh.co.uk The CBSO’s talented musical director Mirga Gražinyt-Tyla conducts the Beethoven classic. If you haven’t been before this is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy one Beethoven’s best-known compositions.

WHAT: Joe Longthorne WHEN: 9 September WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham WHAT: Taste of the Mailbox WHEN: 12 and 13 August WHERE: The Mailbox, www.mailboxlife.com From live cooking demonstrations to cocktail masterclasses… this is set to be a weekend of delicious food and drink. Includes an exciting pop-up restaurant at Harvey Nichols Bar & Restaurant, a walking food tour and live demonstrations with well-known foodie faces in Kitchen Gallery.

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Joe began his career over three decades ago with appearances on Junior Showtime, followed by a grounding on the tough Northern club circuit. His repertoire of voices is endless and includes hundreds of the world’s top singers.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship WHEN: 8 to 11 August WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk The prestigious championship at Nailcote Hall features a host of stars from all walks of life – including golfing legends Ian Woosnam, Dame Laura Wilson and host Tony Jacklin and Birmingham Living cover boy Nigel Mansell.

WHAT: An Evening with Jimmy Tarbuck WHAT: RSC Live:

WHEN: 13 September

Titus Andronicus

WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre,

WHEN: 9 August

tel 01527 65203

WHERE: Mac Birmingham,

www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk

tel 0121 446 3232

Tarby is at his very best in front of a live audience. His quick-fire wit and hilarious anecdotes have entertained for decades. This is high quality comedy for grown-ups rather than adult comedy.

www.macarts.co.uk The decay of Rome reaches violent depths in Shakespeare’s most bloody play. His gory revenge tragedy presents us with murder as entertainment and – as the body count piles up – poses questions about the nature of sexuality, family, class and society.

WHAT: The Whip Hand

WHAT: Summer Holidays at the British Motor Museum

WHEN: 5 to 16 September

WHEN: Now until 3 September

WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel 0121 245 2024

WHERE: British Motor Museum, tel 01926 641188

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk

It’s Dougie's birthday. He just turned 50 and his family are throwing him a party. But it’s Dougie who has a surprise for them. A bombshell proposal. An explosive new play about power, privilege and our inescapable past.

Discover the new British Motoring Treasures Exhibition and enjoy a treasure trove of summer family activities. Includes family tours, trails and a chance to get creative with loads of themed craft activities. There’s also a cracking play area and plenty of outdoor space for picnics.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Life’s a Beach

WHAT: DESIblitz

WHEN: Now until 3 September

Documentary Screening

WHERE: Touchwood,

WHEN: 8 to 20 August

tel 0121 709 6900

WHERE: Ikon Gallery,

www.touchwoodsolihull.co.uk

tel: 0121 248 0708

The Costa del Solihull urban beach returns this summer! Transport yourself to sunnier shores in Theatre Square complete with spades, buckets and deckchairs. There’s a whole host of exciting pop-up activities throughout the summer, including Meet the Dinosaur and All Shook Up for all Elvis fans!

www.ikon-gallery.org Celebrating the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, this documentary reveals the influence the event has had on Birmingham and Black Country residents.

WHAT: Octo-Glow Explorers event WHEN: Now until 13 August WHAT: Fearsome Craftsmen: Discover the Artistry of the Viking World

WHERE: National Sea Life Centre,

WHEN: Now until 24 September

www.visitsealife.com/birmingham

WHERE: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, tel 02476 237521

Join the Octonauts on a special mission to uncover the secret world of glow in the dark sea creatures. Includes a whole range of interactive activities to discover how creatures of the deep use light to hide from predators, attract their prey and even talk to each other.

www.theherbert.org Step back in time and discover the 1,000-year-old human innovations that built a vast empire and a flood of intercontinental migration spanning northern Europe, the Mediterranean, coasts of Africa and even America at this awesome free touring exhibition from Jorvik Viking Centre.

WHAT: Pride and Prejudice WHEN: 16 August WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel 0121 454 7835 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Take a step back in time with Chapterhouse Theatre Company to meet Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen’s most lovable heroine. Brought to life by award-winning writer Laura Tuner, join friends and family as you picnic under a beautiful summer sky and lose yourself in this unforgettable love story.

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IN THE CITY This is a great city – we all know that – but since Brummies have started talking about how great it is, the public at large has really taken notice. Birmingham really is on the up!

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’m Damian Goom, senior GM for Malmaison Hotels. I look after the Birmingham, Brighton, Cheltenham, Oxford and Reading hotels. I came to the city as the GM three-anda half years ago, but I’ve been working in and around Birmingham for about 13 years. I’m an adopted Brummie and love it here. This is the third time I’ve actually lived in Birmingham during my career, and me and my family – including my two gorgeous Brummie daughters – are so settled here now. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? I live in Solihull so my journey into the Mailbox where I am based for most of the week is pretty simple – down the A45 into the city centre via Belgrave Middleway. I work quite unsociable hours because of events and travelling across the UK to other hotels, so it’s easier for me to drive.

independent coffee shops like Faculty Coffee in Piccadilly Arcade or Yorks Espresso Bar, Great Western Arcade.

LUNCHTIME? Sometimes I pop over and see my old friend Tony Elvin, GM at Hotel du Vin (our sister brand). He does a mean lunch and he’s generally on the wine come midday on a Friday! I also love Amantia on Bennetts Hill. It’s authentically Spanish and reminds me of holidays. I love the passion of the owners – it’s people like this who give Birmingham something to shout about.

POWERWALKING? I have this weird habit of only using my work mobile outside – not just because of the very dodgy signal in my office – so you’ll often find me having important conversations strolling through the Mailbox and out onto the canal.

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF Damian Goom, GM of IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO THE CITY? Malmaison Birmingham WORK IN? This is like being asked which is my Birmingham is a great city – we all know that – but favourite daughter (I don’t have a favourite, before you ask!) since Brummies have started talking about how great it is, If pressed, I love the green spaces in the city; Cannon Hill I think the public has really taken notice. The population Park, nearer to me Elmdon Park and a bit further Sutton is young and diverse and you get a sense that young people Park. I also like to go and see live music and comedy – the in particular have really made the place their own! From a Hare & Hounds and Glee Club rarely disappoint. professional point of view, I admire the work done by the likes of the Chambers of Commerce and Marketing AFTERWORK PINT? Birmingham, and people like Andy Street, Paul Faulkner I am an ale drinker, so my two favourites are Pure Bar and Paul Kehoe who are tirelessly promoting the city. and the Wellington on Bennetts Hill. The city also has some amazing hotels, restaurants and unique bars. HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? If I was being picky I would say the car parks at the rail COFFEE BREAK? stations need to be bigger to encourage more people to take Having an abundance of facilities in the hotel and the train to work. Otherwise, the city is getting it right on wanting to showcase them to potential customers means it is so many levels – from large scale events that bring tourism usually in Chez Mal Bar and Brasserie or our on-site and media interest, through to enhancing our every day Starbucks. If I go off-site, it would be to one of the experience as residents. Birmingham really is on the up! I

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