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December 2017

LITTLE MISS FORTUNES

100

GREAT GIFTS

FOOD, FIZZ FESTIVE FROLICS

&

CROWN JOOLS

PARTY STYLE

CHRISTMAS WHAT’S ON

The

MINCE PIES, MULLED WINE AND THE BOOGIE WOOGIE KING

THE CHRISTMAS ISSUE


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EDITOR’S VIEW

Sorry Peter Kay, you’re a very funny man but the cost of coming to see you at the Genting Arena is beyond a joke. Thank goodness for plenty of alternative present ideas in our great gift guide

is the season to be jolly! And I will be, in just a moment. But first I need to get something off my chest. The conversation went something like this… Request: “Two £60 tickets please to see Peter Kay on tour next April at the Genting Arena.” Answer: “Certainly sir, that’ll be £1,089.” Reply: “No, not two £600 tickets, two £60 tickets!” Answer: “That’s correct sir, two £60 tickets… total £910, plus booking fee of £179. Grand total, £1,089.” In case you think I’ve had too much festive fizz, let me explain I have not. Welcome to the murky world of ticketing for top gigs. You know how it goes. Log on to the nominated official online ticket-selling site at the predetermined day and time, to the minute. Can’t get onto site, or do get on and then get timed out before being able to buy tickets. Get back onto the site, go through it all again… sold out! Immediately go to ticket reselling sites, and guess what? Loads of tickets available, but at rip-off prices. What seemed like a perfect Christmas gift surprise for a loved one turned sour by these ticket sharks. Sorry Peter Kay, you’re a very funny man but the cost of coming to see you live is beyond a joke. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait until the DVD of the show comes out next Christmas instead! Choosing Christmas gifts can be stressful come what may, but we like to think we’ve made it a bit easier with our legendary Big Gift Guide. Lots of great ideas for all the family at prices to suit all pockets. Plus, this Christmas issue has loads of food, drink and fun to make your break a real cracker. Wherever you are and whatever you do this Christmas, stay safe and have a wonderful time.

T

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, Rose Gallagher 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: Jools Holland by Mary McCartney

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

december 2017

/bhamliving

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

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INSIDE

Highlights

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Jools Holland The boogie woogie king is returning to his ‘second home’ with a special Christmas treat The Miss Fortunes Meet Miss Chief, Miss Fire and Miss Fit – the talented group who are becoming a big hit Steve Hearn It could have been football, but it turned out to be food for Hampton Manor’s head chef Christmas Food & Drink Festive news, views and recipes, plus reviews of Blakes and White Swan – and top port picks Festive Style Edit The hottest looks that’ll make you feel a million dollars for every Christmas occasion The Big Gift Guide Looking for inspiration? Our great eight-page special has 100 super pressies for all budgets

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THE BIG CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

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CONTENTS

32

Best of the Rest

40 56 58 62 70 80 82 december 2017

Fit & Festive Move it or Lose it’s Julie Robinson reveals fun 15-minute regime to beat over-indulgence Motoring All I want for Christmas is a £200,000 McLaren supercar, says a very excited Sue Cooke Lewis Anderson The young squash champion on winning first national title and dreams of a US scholarship Business Rhythm Time, plus this month’s brightest news, views and images 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 festive entertainment scene In The City Restaurant reviewer and journalist Sanjeeta Bains from the Birmingham Mail

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NEWS

GRAND RITUALS Grand Central owner Hammerson has added to the shopping centre’s growing roster of highend brands with a new let for Rituals Cosmetics. The deal sees the luxury bath, body and home brand open its first premium boutique outside London. Close to Hobbs, Jo Malone and MAC, the 1,620sqft boutique features the brand’s extensive collection of bath, body and home care products, as well as mineral make-up, pure tea, and yoga and soul wear.

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

g n i liv TODAY

WEDDING DEAL SEALED Birmingham’s award-winning Itihaas Restaurant has announced a partnership with historical wedding venue Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester. The tie-up sees chefs at the fine dining eatery designing menus for the venue in the Malvern Hills. Itihaas already has links with an array of venues, delivering traditional Indian cuisine to events and weddings at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Ricoh Arena and West Midlands Safari Park.

GABRIEL LEADS THE WAY Birmingham’s Gabriel Imevbore has been crowned Young Leader of the Year at the prestigious YMCA Youth Matters Awards. Gabriel, 20, from Sutton Coldfield, lives at the YMCA in Erdington after turning to the organisation for help due to fractured relationships at home. He tries to improve the day-to-day lives of other young people who live there. “My focus for next year is to expand on my career as a motivational speaker and as a YMCA youth ambassador,” he said.

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MAKE DATE WITH SANTA The ever-popular and magical Enchanted Christmas Kingdom returns to Hatton Adventure World this month. The whole family can enjoy the festive fun, plus see Father Christmas in his twinkling Grotto, every weekend until 24 December (as well as on the evening of Friday 8 December and weekdays from 18 to 22 December). Well-behaved children receive a Golden Key to unlock Santa’s workshop and choose a present from the vast range of high quality gifts in the secret toyshop. More details at www.hattonworld.com/adventure-world or call 01926 843411.

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NEWS

KAY’S ACORNS APPEAL Former BBC Midlands Today presenter Kay Alexander aims to inspire others to make a difference this Christmas by launching a special charity appeal. The Acorns Children’s Hospice Christmas appeal is looking to raise £70,000 towards the nearly £10million the charity needs each year to continue providing its services across the West Midlands. The appeal features a film from 10-year-old Tilly Barker from Malvern, whose brother Henry died of a rare genetic condition at Acorns when he was just five-weeks-old.

JOKERS WILD FOR CHARITY

A charity comedy show organised by the Glee Club raised £7,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The performance saw rising Brum comedy hero Joe Lycett and Britain's Got Talent finalist Daliso Chaponda, pictured, appear in front of a capacity crowd. They were joined by Rahul Kohli and Comedy Carousel host Andy Robinson. Part of the money will go to the charity’s Malawi Partnership to provide an educational link between hospital staff in the UK and Malawi.

ASHES ENCOUNTER

30 YEARS OF CHUNG YING

Former England cricketer and coach Ashley Giles was guest speaker at a special event previewing the Ashes series and looking back at the most memorable moments in the historic Test matches. The 2005 Ashes-winner was joined by exEngland international and current Warwickshire first team coach Jim Troughton at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The event, hosted by Sky Sports’ Johnny Phillips, was part of Birmingham City University’s City Talks series.

One of Birmingham’s most popular restaurants, Chung Ying Garden, has celebrated its 30th birthday. As one of the Chung Ying Group’s three venues in the city centre, it has a firmly established reputation as one of the UK’s best Chinese restaurants. The team has also just been recognised nationally – with a nomination in the upcoming British Chinese Food awards. Managing Director James Wong was named Brummie of the Year at the Birmingham Awards.

TRIO TAKE 100K IN THEIR STRIDE Three leading Midlands businessmen who walked 100km for charity have raised nearly £6,000 for Birmingham-based Cure Leukaemia. Clive Read, partner at Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Josh Hartle, a solicitor at Shakespeare Martineau, and Martin Yardley, deputy chief executive at Coventry City Council completed the Dixons Carphone Race To The Stones in under 19 hours. Martin’s teenage son Tom also took part.

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CHRISTMAS GLYNN HUNTS YOUNG STARS CLASSICS There’s nothing quite like a traditional Christmas – especially when it comes to carols. The likes of Ave Maria, Good King Wenceslas, Once In Royal David’s City and many more will feature in Classic Carols at Birmingham Symphony Hall on 18 December. The evening will be presented by actor, author and historian Sir Tony Robinson who will be joined on stage by the City of Birmingham Choir and London Concert Orchestra. Tickets: 0121 345 0603

Birmingham celebrity chef Glynn Purnell and internet cooking star Ben Ebbrell will judge the final of University College Birmingham’s Young Chef of the Year 2018. Michelin-star chef Glynn and Ben, founder of SORTEDfood, are tasked to find the best young chef aged 14 to 16. Young cooks submit a twocourse menu for two dinners on a £10 budget. The pupils with the best menus will take part in cookoffs at UCB in January.

ART OF WAR

IN BRIEF

A collection of paintings commemorating the First World War was displayed at a Birmingham gallery. The Danger Tree by augmented reality artists Scarlett Raven and Marc Marot, were shown at Castle Fine Art in the ICC. The collection tells the story of the soldiers who fought and fell between 1914 and 1918. Scarlett’s collaboration with Marot and use of the app, Blippar, has made her the first oil painter in the UK to delve into the world of augmented reality.

ON SONG The Surviving Voices & Friends choir from Birmingham-based Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer, has recorded Bill Withers’ classic Lean on Me to raise funds for breast cancer support houses in the city. The song can be downloaded at Amazon and iTunes.

STORY TIME

IN THE FIRING LINE Fans of TV’s The Apprentice came face-to-face with James White, the Birmingham-based contestant seeking the £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar in the latest series. Opus restaurant hosted Insight With James White when guests watched an episode of the show live on large-screen TVs. The 26-year-old entrepreneur runs Right Time Recruitment which he launched in September 2016 for IT specialists in Birmingham.

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NICE CAR, CHARLEY! TV presenter, adventurer and travel writer Charley Boorman swapped his normal car keys to take the seat in a 1904 Rover 8hp from the British Motor Museum in this year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The Rover 8hp is the oldest surviving Rover car and was one of six motors from the museum’s collection taking part in the famous event. A 1901 Wolseley was driven by local TV motoring journalist Quentin Willson.

Walsall entrepreneur Mike Bayliss, who owns Bespoke Brewery, has published a collection of bedtime poems for children. He wrote The Bedtimeasnaurus as a positive outlet after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in April.

BOTTLE TOPS Midlands-based ODC has released a new range of bottled fruit ciders called Pomegranate Panache and Mango Fandango. The team behind ODC is from Soul Tree – the multi-award winning business that has put Indian wine on the map.

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NEWS

BUBBLY ON THE BUTTON Do you appreciate the finer things in life? If so, how about Champagne at the touch of a button? Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s Edwardian Tearooms have partnered with award-winning House of PIPER-HEIDSIECK Champagne to launch its ‘Press For Champagne’ service. Each private booth in the tearooms has been fitted with its own Champagne buzzer. One press and your server will be on hand to guide you through the full PIPER-HEIDSIECK menu. The service is ideal for upcoming Christmas celebrations.

WONDERS OF WILLARD

INDIAN INSPIRATION

Renowned Birmingham artist Willard Wigan has unveiled a new collection of his artworks which sit within the eye of a needle or on the head of a pin. The 25 micro-sculptures include figues such as Pinocchio, Cinderella and Christ the Redeemer. The exhibition, at Resorts World until 22 December, also includes other works such as the Guinness World Record sculpture Golden Voyage – a motorbike carved from specs of gold inside a hollowed out human hair.

The wraps are off a £500,000 new look for Lasan bar and restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter. The revamp draws inspiration from the grand bars and restaurants in Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, frequented by India’s upper classes. The design comes from Digbeth-based Faber Design & Architecture, which created the interior of the new Adams restaurant in Waterloo Street and Buffalo & Rye in Bennetts Hill.

SPLASH HITS Two rare Gentoo penguins born at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham have taken their first swimming lessons – with the aid of a special pool. The pair are the first to hatch at the centre as part of a global breeding programme after Gentoo penguin numbers declined rapidly. Their parents crossed continents to conceive, coming all the way to Birmingham from as far as Canada, Denmark and New Zealand.

GIFT: CBSO chief executive Stephen Maddock

CONCERT-GOER’S AMAZING GIFT The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has received a legacy of £800,000 from a donor – one of the largest legacy gifts in the organisation’s 97-year history. The money was left by a frequent CBSO concert-goer and supporting member from Lichfield. It will support the CBSO’s activity in the UK over an eight-year period, which includes the orchestra’s centenary in 2020.

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

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COVER STORY

CROWN JOOLS Boogie-woogie king Jools Holland is returning to ‘wonderful Birmingham’ with a very special Christmas present – Latin guitar legend José Feliciano. David Johns caught up with the two music icons ools Holland and Birmingham go together as beautifully as mince pies and mulled wine. The band leader, composer, producer and all-round music legend has an affinity with our city like no other. “I love Birmingham, it’s a wonderful place with wonderful people,” he says. The host of the iconic BBC TV music show, Later… With Jools Holland, has links with Birmingham going back to the late 1990’s when he opened the Jam House club in St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter. “I feel very close to Birmingham,” he adds, “because it was one of the first places where I was picked up as a musician.” A regular performer at the club in its early years, Jools says: “These days I don’t have anything to do with the Jam House, but I still always feel very close to Birmingham which has a wonderful music scene.”

J

BIG BREAKS Jools’s Later… With show recently celebrated 25 years on our screens which is an incredible milestone for an out-and-out serious music programme. Its success owes everything to its unique format and highly original host. Jools has always sought to entertain and education with the show and over the years has brought some of the finest performers and musicians into our homes – he was the first to give Adele a break as well as showcase Ed Sheeran and Amy Winehouse at the start of their careers. Over the years, Jools has always been prepared try different things – and that’s the case this month when he returns to Birmingham to perform with guitar legend José Feliciano. We caught up with Jools and José as they prepared for what will certainly be

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two memorable nights at Symphony Hall on 13 and 14 December. There’s no doubting how excited Jools is at performing on stage with José – and vice-versa. “I remember as a 13 or 14-year-old being at my gran’s and hearing on the radio the man who changed my view of music,” he says. “José, whatever song he did, he made it something special. I always wanted to have him come play on my TV show but whenever he was here in the UK we weren’t broadcasting. Then finally we got to do it, and it became so much more for both of us. We became close friends. We liked listening to the same kind of music, people like Ray Charles.”

PINCH MYSELF The two enjoyed each other’s music and company so much that they spoke about performing and touring together. They made an album, As You See Me Now, and agreed they’d take their music around the country. “How exciting is this?” says Jools, on the eve of coming to Brum. “I’m pinching myself that the legend that is José is playing with me!” José for his part is looking forward to being reacquainted with Birmingham, which he says has great memories for him. “I played Birmingham many years ago after I played the London Palladium,” he says. “I really enjoyed coming here and was made to feel very welcome. Now, it is such a pleasure to come back and get the opportunity to hang out with somebody like Jools. I am very proud of what we are doing together.” Jools says he can hardly believe that his TV show has been going for a

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COVER STORY

I feel very close to

Birmingham because it was one of the first places where I was picked up as a musician

Photography by Mary McCartney

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I remember as a 13 or 14-year-old being

at my gran’s and hearing on the radio the man

who changed my view of music. José, whatever song he did, he made it something special

quarter of a century. His music career began with playing in pubs and clubs and founding the band Squeeze before co-presenting the TV music show, The Tube, with the late Paula Yates. He did some work on TV in the US before returning to the UK to front the BBC’s new show Later With. “I only agreed to do the show if they agreed that we’d always focus on the music. At the time TV wanted something that had to be popular and short. We have always taken the music seriously and put it first.”

FESTIVE FUN

Boogie-woogie maestro Jools performs with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and special guest, Latin music legend José, at Symphony Hall on 13 and 14 December. Jools will also be supported by Birmingham’s own leading blues and gospel singer Ruby Turner. Details at thsh.co.uk

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Over the years the show has been a successful mix of legends, current and new artists across a broad spectrum of music. Giving young performers their big break has always counted to Jools. “Every artist needs a break, so the more shows that can do that the better,” he says. After their Birmingham dates this month and the completion of their tour just before Christmas, Jools and José will go their separate ways – but still be ultra-busy. “Initially, I’ll be with my wife and family at home in New England,” says José, “but I am organising a big charity concert in January in aid of the victims of the devastating hurricane in my native Puerto Rico.” As for Jools? “I might have a bit of a rest,” he says. “but then, maybe I’ll do some shows in Europe…” And, of course, there’s always the traditional New Year’s Eve TV special, Jools’s Annual Hootenanny! I

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FEATURE

GIRL POWER We caught up with talented Midlands group, the Miss Fortunes to talk dream gigs, vintage style and mash ups e first encountered the Miss Fortunes over the summer performing at the bandstand in Birmingham Botanical Gardens on a gloriously sunny Sunday and were utterly blown away. The group belted out an eclectic mix of tracks from Forties’ classics through to Bruno Mars Uptown Funk while people of all ages bopped their way through the set on the lawn. It’s quite a talent to entertain toddlers, teenagers and twilighters in one hit, but the girls pulled it off. We caught up with Jen Lali, aka Miss Chief, who met Miss Fire (Rian Harris) at university in Wolverhampton while studying for a teaching degree which is where the retro magic all began. Jen and Rian both loved music and went to loads of gigs together, but neither had really sung in public. They went to a burlesque show in Wolverhampton and thought the musical interlude was completely out of keeping with the rest of the show. Jen explained:

W

>> MEET THE MISSES MISS CHIEF: The brainy blonde of the group, Jen keeps the others in check and loves to sing and dance. The trio is her brainchild and as such she’s constantly pushing for it to be something spectacular and definitely not run of the mill. MISS FIRE: Fiery redhead Rian has a knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time inducing fits of giggles as she makes a hash of one-liners and stumbles into unintentional innuendos. Coming from a musical family, Miss Fire has always been a lover of song and dance. MISS FIT: The newest addition to the group, Amy is the loudest singer with plenty of banter. Singing before she could talk and influenced by her family, music and singing have always been her bag.

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“That kind of show needed a retro, tongue-in-cheek act not the boring entertainment they’d shoehorned in, so it got us thinking.” Jen and Rian hatched a plan to create a group and do something better. Both loved rockabilly and a retro vibe, so that’s the direction they took. The girls were determined. They knew they could harmonise well after singing along to the many gigs they’d enjoyed together, but putting themselves out there was still a bit of a nerve-wracking prospect. They started going to karaoke to get used to performing and began looking for a third member to complete their dream of a retro trio. BIRTHDAY BASH The third member is a bit of a sore subject and it took three attempts to find the right fit in Amy Groom, aka Miss Fit, but it’s now working well. The group began singing to backing tracks and the girls’ first gig was a birthday bash at a cricket club. They started off performing vintage and Forties’ tracks, but progressed to include Fifties, rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly and Twenties even. Jen said: “We choose songs we like and enjoy doing mash ups where we can.” Their version of Bruno Mars Uptown Funk is a showstopper. Teaching took a backseat once the Miss Fortunes took off and it became a full-time career. “Teaching full-time and gigging at the weekend wasn’t an option. I couldn’t keep up,” said Jen. The group has recently started performing with a three-piece band called the Banned which means they have more flexibility and can come up with arrangements outside the norm – not that you’d ever put them into a normal bracket. The style of the group is almost as important as the vocals and the

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

trio looks immaculate at every gig. I’d assumed they had a stylist and certainly a hairdresser to perfect the retro vibe, but no. The girls do it all themselves. They buy clothing online from Lindy Bop or Collective Clothing to achieve the vintage feel and style their own hair. ALL IN A NAME The Miss Fortunes name has lent itself to creating personas based on their own characters for each member – Miss Fire, Miss Chief and Miss Fit – which is particularly fun. The girls’ chat on stage and their obvious friendship is compelling and completes the picture. The group’s best gig to date was with a three-piece live band at the Dog and Doublet in Wolverhampton. Jen said: “We put all our energy into that and the place was full. It was just electric.” Interestingly the gig of their dreams would be Jools Holland’s Hootenanny who happens to be gracing this month’s cover. We’ve put in a good word… I DON’T MISS OUT! For upcoming gigs checkout www.themissfortunes.co.uk

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FOOD & DRINK

STEVE HEARN A career in football or food? Thankfully for all us lovers of fabulous cuisine, the head chef at Michelin-starred Hampton Manor decided his future was in the kitchen, not on the pitch Tell us about your cooking Being responsible for the dedicated events space for a Michelin star-starred restaurant creates fairly hefty expectations from clients, with the added challenge of cooking for up to 120. The biggest part of my job is to take the dishes we’re serving in the restaurant and to recreate them so they can be served for larger numbers while still impressing the guests. We keep our food focused on a few main ingredients and try to avoid too many distractions on the plate. Everything we do is freshly made in-house, so seasonality and the gardenled approach of the restaurant is evident in my cooking. How did you become a chef? I started out as a kitchen porter and within six months became a chef. It was a choice between pushing on with football or becoming a chef and I think I made the right choice. My football career would probably have been very short-lived! What do you eat at home? When I’m feeding the family I normally cook up a roast to try and get some vegetables down the kids. I also cook a lot of shellfish and enjoy a good ovenroasted camembert. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? Well my brother-in-law is the head chef of Peel’s so I would be in big trouble if I didn’t back him [nervous laugh]. To be fair though, you have to love Glynn Purnell. Rob and I started cooking at the Hilton where Glynn also began his career, so he became a bit of a legend when he won his own Michelin star. The best in the world – I think I need a bigger research budget to make that call!

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Is the customer always right? If you prepare for the unexpected you can normally avoid most challenging customer situations. In our game though you do still meet a fair few wallies and on those occasions you have to protect your team and your business from them. Share a cooking tip. Always rest your steak for as long as you’ve cooked it for… so obvious, but so few people do it for long enough. What was your favourite food as a kid? Mum’s hotpot of lamb, mushrooms and onions. She is a great chef and now cooks for kids in schools.

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CHEF’S CORNER

STEVE’S PORK, CELERIAC AND APPLE For the pork belly: Brine for 2 hours (cover the pork in a solution of 100g of salt, 100g of soft brown sugar to 1 litre of water). Flavour the brine by adding thyme and raw garlic. Remove the pork and place in a roasting tray. Place another roasting tray on top to compress and cook for 2.5hrs at 130 degrees C. Chill in the fridge over-night. Next day just portion, seal in a pan (fat side down) until golden brown and heat through in the oven for 8 minutes at 180.

Celeriac puree:

Food heaven and food hell? Heaven is moules-frites with a pint of Carling. Hell is a Caesar salad full of anchovies. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Tim Anderson’s monkfish liver slider – it wasn’t for me. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? A handy man. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? From our event menu I would go for the pork, celeriac and apple. It is a simple dish but full of flavour and delicious. I

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I 1 celeriac I 100g butter I 50ml chicken stock I 100ml milk Peel and finely slice the celeriac. Cook in the pan with all the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 to 15minutes. Stir regularly. Once the celeriac is soft, blitz, pass through a sieve and season to taste.

Celeriac remoulade:

I 1 celeriac I Equal amounts of shallot, gherkin and capers (approx. 50g each) I 100g white wine I 200g chicken stock Sweat the shallots and celeriac in the pan, put aside and then add the wine to the pan. Reduce by half. Return all the ingredients to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve with apple puree, salt baked celeriac and spinach.

Hampton Manor, Shadowbrook Lane, Hampton in Arden, Solihull B92 0DQ. Tel: 01675 446080 www.hamptonmanor.com

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SEASON’S EATINGS

IT’S CLEMEN-TIME! Give your Christmas Day extra zest with this refreshingly different pud e all love tucking into fabulous festive fare on Christmas Day but it’s nice to balance out all the rich and heavy offerings with something fresh, light and zingy. This simple recipe using clementines is just the ticket – and incredibly tasty and chilled too. Enjoy!

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DID YOU KNOW? The clementine is a cross between a tangerine and Seville orange and takes it name from Father Clement Rodier, a French missionary who is said to have created the hybrid in 1902. Each clementine contains 35 calories.

CLEMENTINE SORBET Ingredients:

I 50g granulated sugar I 5 clementines I 1 lemon I 500ml fresh pomegranate juice

Method: Add 100ml water with the sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved Add the juices from the clementines and the lemon. Stir, then add the pomegranate juice and pop the whole mixture into the fridge. Once the juice is cold pour into a shallow container and place in the freezer. When ice crystals have started to form, whisk and then return to the freezer. Repeat the process until you have a smooth sorbet. Serve as a refreshing pudding on Christmas Day…

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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 PUSHKAR STRIKES GOLD FOR KIDS Indian restaurant Pushkar Cocktail Bar and Dining raised £7,000 for a children’s charity at its White and Gold Gala. The evening featured a grand three-course meal followed by entertainment including former X Factor singer Jonathan Bremner. Money went to Caudwell Children which helps disabled children and their families.

SMASH-AND-GRAB A GREAT BURGER A restaurant concept founded 10 years ago in Denver in the US has launched its first site in the Midlands. Smashburger opened its 120-cover restaurant at the new Gallagher Retail Park in Wednesbury – the brand’s fifth UK offering. Smashburger combines highend casual dining with speed, efficiency and value.

READY FOR A KRISPY TREAT? Doughnut lovers are making tracks to Birmingham New Street station with the opening of a new Krispy Kreme. The outlet offers 16 varieties of doughy treats, from the classic Original Glazed to the decadent Nutty Chocolatta filled with Nutella. Heaven!

BIRTH OF BEAUTIFUL NEW SWAN The White Swan pub, Harborne Road, Edgbaston has re-opened with a new modern, stylish and contemporary feel. There’s also a new VIP function room for private parties and corporate events. General manager Gareth Downes said: “The pub is a hub for the local community so the team is pleased as it begins its next chapter.”

WHY YOU SHOULD SWING BY MOWGLI… Mowgli, Grand Central is the first UK restaurant to be fitted with swings for diners! Four wooden swings feature in the new 140-cover restaurant. Mowgli's business development co-ordinator Nick Blair said: “We wanted to give something exclusive and fun to Birmingham.”

PORK CHOP AT THE CUSTARD FACTORY Slim’s Pork Chop Express has opened at Ghetto Golf in the Custard Factory. Signature slow-cooked BBQ meats and sauces include succulent snacks, from brisket pots and burgers to chicken and waffles – as well as Slim’s famous Lo Pan Fries.

ASHA’S INSPIRES WAX WORK The singer who was the inspiration for Asha’s restaurant in Newhall Street has been immortalised in wax by Madame Tussauds. Asha’s is named after Asha Bhosle who is in the Guinness Book of Records for singing more than 12,000 songs in 20 languages. Her wax figure is at a new Madame Tussauds which opens in Delhi on 1 December.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

BLAKES

Westmead Hotel, Redditch Road, Hopwood, Alvechurch, Birmingham B48 7AL. Tel: 0121 445 1202 www.blakesbirmingham.com izza is a funny old thing. It seems simple, right? Decent dough, top notch toppings, melted cheese. Easy. Wrong. We’ve sampled enough pizza that misses the mark to know it’s not so simple and when a truly great one comes along and smacks you round the chops it’s like a eureka moment. On the way to Blakes we were promised great pizza. “Ooh the pizza’s great,” the PR people cooed. PR people aren’t always the most neutral bunch when promoting their clients’ wares, but we gave them the benefit of the doubt and duly ordered pizza. Actually, we got the kids to order pizza, so we could try it. Blistering charred crisp bases, just the right amount of tangy tomato sauce, oodles of cheese and smoky pepperoni were a match made in doughy heaven. The kids loved it so much we only managed to snaffle one piece. It was indeed top notch. Perhaps it’s the show-stopping pizza oven covered in pennies stuck on by hand that’s the secret. One between two little people was more than enough. We’d go back for the pizza no doubt, but there’s more to Blakes than that. There’s a cocktail list that screams leave the car (and the kids) at home and come back very soon. There’s live music in the evening that features young local talent and there’s other deliciousness going on as well as dough based greatness. Salmon for example. Perfect salmon with punchy spring onion and dill tabbouleh, sweet pomegranate

P

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and indulgent salmon caviar. Then there was a beast of a burger. Impossible to eat daintily, but seriously good. Oozing melted cheddar with sweet onions, dill pickle and a punchy club sauce in a buttermilk bun. The fries were awesome too. Then more magic from the kitchen in the form of a unicorn freak shake. I had no idea what a freak shake was which apparently makes me ‘uncool’. It’s basically a knickerbocker glory taken to the next level with all kinds of paraphernalia adorning its lurid coloured top. It was sweet, sticky, bubble gum like and went down a storm with the 10-year-old. The only negative is the restaurant was pretty quiet. Having said that, we visited on a random Tuesday lunch in half-term not long after the restaurant’s launch. We expect on a weekend it’s jampacked and once word’s out you might struggle to bag a table. I

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LUNCH SPOT

WHITE SWAN Harborne Road, Edgbaston, B15 3TT. Tel: 0121 454 2359 thewhiteswanpub.com n the Eighties, the White Swan was the other half ’s stomping ground. Twice weekly sessions with pals were the norm and the pub had the sort of appeal that spanned generations. The place has had many revamps over the past two decades (god, we’re old) but what did we make of its most recent reinvention? Well, at first glance we wanted to move in. Velvet sofas, paint fresh from the Farrow & Ball school of period charm, fabulous lighting and show-stopping mirrors (even in the ladies loo) and a roaring fire made us a bit giddy. Before we arrived I’d expected pub grub in nice surroundings. Not so. Yes, there are the old guards like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, but not pub grub by anyone’s standards. The shepherd’s pie from the specials menu was elevated to another level. Shoulder of lamb cooked for hours, shredded then added to the chef ’s rich deep sauce made 24 hours in advance to maximise the flavour was certainly not run of the mill. At £17 it was a bit steep, but lip-smacking nonetheless. Two words, chicken karaaga. Crunchy chicken coated in some kind of deliciousness that defied words was served on ribbons of cucumber with mooli, grains and a mouth-wateringly brilliant katsu sauce. If I had to eat this everyday for the rest of my life I would happily take that. Duck liver parfait with melba toast

I

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and chutney was perfectly nice, but the karaaga was leading lady of diva proportions here. Crab and lobster fishcake served on a pea puree with asparagus was fantastic while a side of green veg screamed: “I’m playing second fiddle to no one.” The kale was indeed superb. A sentence we never thought we’d pen. One of those chocolate bomb affairs which melts under the heat of salted caramel sauce drizzled on top was a bit of a let-down. While we enjoyed the theatre, the chocolate tasted like those sad little nuggets from an advent calendar. You know the ones. Moving on from the bomb, we reckon the old stomping ground might have just become the new stomping ground. The two-course fixed price menu for £12.95 unless you deviate to the specials, is a cracking deal plus there’s also a package that includes unlimited prosecco on a Saturday afternoon. See you there. Check out the website for details and always drink responsibly obvs. Hicc. I

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FOOD & DRINK

HEAD FOR PORT If you’re only going to enjoy a good Port once a year, it has to be at Christmas. Our expert Rob Price sets sail in search of the different types – and which he would choose to serve

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FOOD & DRINK

enjoy drinking Port all year round, but there is something very special about opening a sumptuous bottle on Christmas Day to wash down the cheese plate that has been maturing nicely on the sideboard. But which Port to choose? There are quite a few to pick from, so let’s have a little gander around the distinctive types…

I

ROB’S

4 TO TRY

LBV – A notable example of Late Bottled Vintage Port is Taylors

2010. This sets the benchmark for all LBV Ports. Strong, dried black fruits, but herbal and floral as well. Wonderful depth and complexity.

RUBY PORT

Sold by Nickols and Perks for around £14.

These normally are not too expensive. What else can you buy a litre of at 20 per cent ABV (Alcohol By Volume) for around £6? Some Ruby Port is very good but it can be a lively fiery tipple, and I would suggest trading up to a reserve Ruby, which must be aged for slightly longer, therefore more mellow and better quality. Another ‘ruby’ style port is LBV (Late Bottled Vintage). These are typically aged for around six years and are, in effect, a vintage dated ruby. They are generally very good Ports offering more complexity and good value for money. Both Ruby and LBV ports, and are ready to drink and do not need decanting.

Tawny – Grahams makes wonderful Tawny Ports and depending on your budget either go for the 10-year-old – astonishing value at under £20, and beautifully balanced. (It’s widely available.) Or, for a real indulgent treat, chooses the 20-year-old. This Grahams port is nutty, with dried fruits, mellow, and very complex. Wine Direct sells for £36. Crusted – The Wine Society’s Exhibition Crusted Port is a fine example. Bottled in 2007, this is now ready to drink, although will continue to improve if stored correctly. It has richness and depth that belies its modest price of £14. Vintage – A 20 vintage Port that is amazing value for money, and tastes amazing too, is Tesco finest* Vintage Port. This is from the very good 1997 vintage and has everything you want from a mature Port.

TAWNY PORT

More intensity than Tawny, this delivers richly satisfying dark black

Another very popular Port is Tawny. Make sure it’s a reserve Tawny or even better a 10, 20, 30 or 40-yearold Tawny. These Ports have spent the corresponding years in an oak barrel, maturing quite beautifully. Wine matures more quickly in oak rather than bottle, so even a 10-year-old Port is already wonderfully mature. In my opinion 20-year Tawny Port is the best style of Port, and my favourite. Tawny Ports are also bottled ready to drink and they do not need decanting.

fruit, wonderful complexity and a very long finish.

CRUSTED PORT

from a single year and it should be a good year, one which is ‘generally’ declared. Vintage Port has spent most of its life in bottle, so has aged more slowly that Tawny Port. Ideally your Vintage Port needs to be 20plus years old. The best years are 2000, 1997, 1994, 1991, 1985, 1983, 1980, 1977, 1975, 1970, 1966, 1963, and 1960. Vintage Port also needs decanting as sediment will form in the bottle and these better years will continue to improve for a long time.

Crusted Ports are worth seeking out, and like Ruby and Tawny a blend across years but bottled in a specified Remember that once open Port will not keep year (the year on the label). They differ as they are not indefinitely. I would recommend drinking within filtered so will continue to improve in the bottle and will three months – and please don’t keep opened bottles need decanting to remove the ‘crust’ sediment. They from one Christmas to the next! I also spend only a couple of years in barrel and a minimum of three years in bottle. Crusted Port is similar Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company to Vintage Port but ready to drink sooner. that offers fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Warwick and Milton

VINTAGE PORT

Keynes city centres. Contact Rob Price on 0121 270 7359, or visit

So, onto Vintage Port, perhaps the pinnacle of Port (not withstanding 20-year-old Tawny). Vintage Port is

www.birminghamwineschool.com

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

CHRISTMAS CHEERS Please raise your glasses to the perfect festive cocktail, with a twist! here are few flavours as warmingly yummy as salted

SALTED CARAMEL MARTINI

caramel, especially at this time of year – whether it’s

Ingredients:

T

crispy salted caramel Christmas cookies, beautifully baked

I 35ml vodka

I 15ml Baileys

I 20ml salted caramel

brownies or fantastically fabulous fondants. Salted caramel is also a winner for the perfect festive cocktail. And the mixologists

Method:

from High Line High Line New York Bar & Lounge have come up

Shake over ice and strain from mixing glass into a martini glass. Top with cream and dust with chocolate.

with this brilliant recipe. As always, enjoy responsibly…

High Line New York Bar & Lounge, Resorts World Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PU. Tel: 0121 273 1047 www.resortsworldbirmingham.co.uk

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SEQUIN SASS Clothing and shoes, Dorothy Perkins, Bullring

DRESS CODE

We’ve a plethora of exciting events and parties lined up this festive season, but what to wear? Here’s our guide to what’s hot

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STYLE FEATHERED FRIEND No 1 Jenny Packham cover up £55, Debenhams, Bullring

TECHNICOLOUR Striped sequinned dress £85, Miss Selfridge, Bullring

FANTASY FOOTWEAR Sophia Webster winged sandals £525, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

COLD SHOULDER Dress, Wallis, New Street

e’re 40 and still haven’t mastered the art of saying no. When the invites drop onto the mat/ping into the inbox our first reaction is ‘sure that sounds fun’ and before you know it December looks dauntingly jam-packed and we find ourselves lurching from one ‘do’ to the next. So, firstly and probably most importantly, pick and choose your positive RSVPs wisely giving yourself enough time to sort out your own Christmas shizzle and get some proper eight-hour bouts of shut eye in between! Lest we’ll be burned out by the 20th and Christmas will be more foggy and tight (financially) than merry and bright. In theory we’ll be mature and do just that. Black tie is our least favourite dress code by a country mile with little creative wiggle room. Having said that things have relaxed slightly in recent times and a sharp tuxedo (see Stella McCartney) or playsuit (checkout the Galvan version) is just as acceptable as a floor sweeping gown. If you’re up for a frock take your pick. Pinko’s sequin dress with cut out shoulders (pictured) is a

W

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STRAPPED Blue Star by Julien Macdonald £55, Debenhams, Bullring

JUMP TO IT Galvan satin and velvet jumpsuit £1,050, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

TWINKLE TOES No 1 Jenny Packham embellished shoes £125, Debenhams, Bullring

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STYLE

winner as is Balmain’s body-hugging turtle neck dress (pictured) and for a longer line, the high street has some great examples. Checkout Hush for relaxed cool and Monsoon and Hobbs for more formal dresses. Velvet is never really out of fashion. It just comes round in different guises and this season is no exception. Its richness suits the festive season and we love it. If you’d like a touch of velvet rather than a head-to-toe look go for accessories like the Saint Laurent platform sandal (pictured). Speaking of shoes, go big or go home is our mantra for party season. Sophia Webster’s winged sandal is still top of the tree while Rachel Simpson’s Bonita court is cute as a button (pictured) and would go with anything. Jenny Packham has created a fuchsia bejewelled court of princess proportions (pictured) for Debenhams that would do very nicely indeed while Cath Kidston’s pink star flats fit the bill if you’re on the hunt for comfort plus style. I

STARLIGHT Dress and boots, Hush, John Lewis, Grand Central

JACKET IN J by Jasper Conran jacket £69, Debenhams, Bullring

VELVET SUPERSTAR Stasia star velvet jacket £99 Monsoon, Bullring

WELL HEELED Havoc shoe £62, Office, Bullring

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STYLE

HIGH NECK Balmain’s turtleneck dress £1,330, Selfridges, Bullring

COCKTAIL O' CLOCK Aidan Mattox cocktail dress £315, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

BAND OF GOLD Sequinned dress £89, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

TERRIFIC TRIO Naos trio star earrings £22, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

PEEPO Vita sandal £149, Hobbs, Grand Central

BACK TO BLACK

MAXIMUM IMPACT BOW DOWN Jacquard bow jump suit £65, Very

Top Biba £49, trousers Linea £59, bag Lulu Guinness £155, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

Estella sequin maxi £249, Monsoon, Bullring

CUTE BOOTS HEAVY METAL Gold metallic shirt dress £89, Biba, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

Julietta boot £249, Hobbs, Grand Central

STARRY NIGHT Bag £29.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE

DUSK ‘TIL DAWN Dress £59, top £15, earring set £7.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

RARA RUFFLE GROWN UP GLAMOUR Eliana dress £249, Hobbs, Grand Central

Tiered ruffle dress £55, Very

DISCO QUEEN Saint Laurent velvet sandals £685, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

SLEEVES PLEASE Lola dress £259, Hobbs, Grand Central

CRIMSON CRACKER Velvet pleated dress £75, Oasis, New Street

SHINE ON Shine Like a Star embroidered pumps £32, Cath Kidston, Grand Central

SEQUIN DREAM Pinko sequinned dress £620, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

SUITS YOU Daquard blazer £25, jaquard trousers £15, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

ARM CANDY Elloie £55, Dune, Bullring

RED AND GOLD Meredith shoe £149, Daniel, Mailbox

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STYLE FOR MEN

SUITS YOU Autograph shirt £35, tie £12, Autograph suit £199, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

GOODBYE OLD FRIEND Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but it might be time to part with the trusty old tux…

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STYLE FOR MEN

CREAM OF THE CROP Oscar Jacobson wool tuxedo jacket £420, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

BLAZER OF GLORY Burgundy velvet blazer £220, Turner & Sanderson, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

here’s a common misconception that formal wear is easy for blokes. Just stick on a black suit and you’re away. Well, kind of, but if you want to stand out from the crowd this party season ditch the suit and braces PRINTS CHARMING you’ve wheeled out for every black tie event this Navy blazer with millennium and update your look. It’s not that printed Vivienne there’s anything offensive about your trusty old Westwood, House of Fraser, clobber but it might not be oozing style like it was Corporation Street back in the day and nothing ruins a look like a faded, jaded jacket. Check out Oscar Jacobson for a classic tuxedo (pictured) or House of Fraser for a rich burgundy velvet number (pictured). If you’re looking to really stand out from the crowd and the dress code allows it how about Topman’s floral embroidered suit or Vivienne Westwood’s printed waistcoat (pictured)? And don’t overlook the power of a cracking shoe. A classic dress shoe, a tassled loafer – we love Gucci’s bee embroidered version (pictured) - or velvet slipper will have you slinking Bond-like into any soiree. I

T

BEE GOOD Gucci bee-embroidered loafers £540, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

RAZZLE TASSEL Burgundy velvet loafers £39, Burton London

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SILKY SKILLS Corneliani silk bow tie £80, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

FLOWER POWER Trouser £50, jacket £110, Topman, Bullring

HIGH SHINE Shoes £55, Next, Bullring

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HEALTH

GET FESTIVE AND FIT IN 15 Christmas means pressies, seasonal goodwill‌ and calories! Beat the over-indulgence with these quick and simple 15-minute exercise tips

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HEALTH

ith all the preparation and partying it’s so easy to make the excuse that we can’t find time to stay in shape at Christmas. But surely we all can find 15 minutes in our schedule for a bit of exercise? That’s all it takes, says Julie Robinson. We chatted to Julie, the founder of Move it or Lose it – a fitness business that devises exercise programmes to encourage older people to keep active in later life – for her tips on preparing for a healthier Christmas. Julie told us: “Ask someone how they are and I bet nine times out of 10 they say: ‘I’m crazy busy.’ Everyone seems to be time poor and even more so as we approach the run-up to Christmas. For most of us the thing that drops to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list is exercise, yet it should stay right at the top – not just to stop us piling on the pounds but also for our health, mental wellbeing and energy levels.” Here’s Julie’s top five easy exercises which you can do at home in only five minutes. Do each exercise for up to one minute then as you improve turn this into a circuit by repeating the sequence twice, then three times so it takes 15 minutes.

3 Ropeless skipping Imagine holding a skipping rope then rotate the ‘rope’ forward as if you’re skipping. Add in the footwork, you can hop from one foot to the other or jump lifting both feet simultaneously. Remember to keep the arms turning (you can alternate circling forward and backward) and keep going for up to one minute.

1 Stair climbing Run up and down stairs at a fast pace non-stop for one minute, it will boost your heart rate and as it’s weight-bearing it will load your bones too. If you find it easy then try carrying something heavy (evenly loaded carrier bags full of books or tins of beans will do fine).

5 Lateral raises Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides holding weights in each hand. You could start with bottles of water or tins of soup then build up to using hand weights. Raise your arms up and out to the side to shoulder level then slowly lower them back down and repeat. Don’t be tempted to let your arms drop suddenly, try to resist gravity. Keep going for up to one minute.

W

2 Squats Unless we do some strengthening exercises we lose muscle and that means we have less calorie-burning dense tissue which leads to a reduction in your metabolic rate. Stronger, denser muscles burn more calories even when you’re at rest. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider) and push your hips back as if you're sitting into an imaginary chair. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles (don’t let them go past your toes). Press your weight into your heels then push up to bring yourself back to the starting position. Work up gradually to squat for 30 seconds then build it up to one minute.

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4 The plank The plank works 100 per cent of your abdominal muscles compared to 64 per cent for sit-ups. You’re also less likely to strain your neck, which is common when doing sit-ups; even the US army have banned them from their exercise regimes! On the floor, get into a push-up position then bend your elbows at 90° and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can up to one minute (and remember not to hold your breath).

Remember… Build up on the intensity and time gradually and check with your doctor if you have any health problems before starting an exercise programme. I Julie Robinson is founder and managing director of Move it or Lose it, a health and wellbeing business which specialises in exercise programmes to help people keep active. For more information, visit https://www.moveitorloseit.co.uk/

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Gift GUIDE Orient Hand Duo by Tom Dixon £58, Heals, Mailbox

Chloe Girls crimson dress £193, Chocolate Clothing, Mell Square

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VBxEL black Lit box £1,200, VB, Selfridges, Bullring

THE BIG

Sparring hares cufflinks £29.95, Annabel James annabeljames.co.uk

Charlotte Simone Popsicle fur scarf £300, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Jo Loves Christmas Tree candle £55, www.joloves.com

This year’s festive hotlist combines ideas ranging in price from only £5 to £10k, all condensed into eight pages of Christmas inspiration that’ll successfully see you through. We’ve included experiential gifts as well as straight presents, so whether your loved one is partial to chucking axes at a wall (yes really), is a fanatical foodie, mixologist in the making, theatre lover or budding polo supremo we’ve something that will light up their little chops on Christmas morning. Guard rag doll £18, Cath Kidston, Grand Central

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Pickering’s Christmas gin baubles gift pack £35, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Soho black turntable £49.99, HMV, Mell Square

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GIFT GUIDE

Kids Boss charcoal grey sweater from £70, Chocolate Clothing, Mell Square

Unlimited gift box including unlimited cinema for one year £214.80, Cineworld, Broad Street

Hankie Rose fairy rag doll £18, Cath Kidston, Grand Central

IIl Grandioso hamper £255, Carluccios, Mell Square

Prints by Barbara Gibson, price depends on size, GibsonGraphics, Jewellery Quarter www.barbaragibson.pl

Michael Kors Lexington men’s watch £259, House of Fraser, Mell Square

Soap dispenser available in rose gold, gold, silver, platinum £358, Colori Lux Glass by Glass Design, Gallery Showroom, galleryshowroom.co.uk

Medium personalised swing £290, John Lewis, Grand Central Plum cocktail shaker by Tom Dixon £95, Santa’s Wish by Samuel Langley-Swain Heal’s, Mailbox £5.99 (50 per cent of proceeds go to local charity, Help Harry Help Others) www.santaswish.co.uk/help-harry

Belfry Experience gift voucher – golf, spa, dining, overnight stay or monetary voucher. Buy online thebelfry.co.uk

Fir Tree pot pourri gift set £50, White Company, Grand Central

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GIFT GUIDE

Mini arcade machine £25, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

Acne Studios clothing, Autograph menswear, Ethel Street

Gold pineapple teapot £54, T2, Bullring

Flamingo slippers £20, Next, Bullring

Eaton Place small flapover bag £119 Radley, Bullring

Lockett Petite leather cross-body bag £1,095, Selfridges, Bullring On The Prowl gift set £99, Marc Jacobs Beauty, John Lewis, Grand Central Birmingham Gin £44.99, Selfridges, Bullring

Personalised Verve Clicquot £54.99, Selfridges, Bullring

Christmas pamper package from £40, Blow Ltd, blowltd.com

Fifa 18 £49.99, GAME, Fort Shopping Park

100 per cent hand-made soy wax melts and candles, Firefly Hand Made Creations, Custard Factory, www.fireflyhandmadecreations.co.uk

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GIFT GUIDE

Fenty Beauty Galaxy eyeshadow palette £39, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Chip mug £12, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

Holodeck marbled notebooks handmade in Brum, A5 £9.50, A6 £5.25, IKON Gallery shop, Brindleyplace Dinosaur Christmas jumper £28, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

Reindeer hat and gloves set £8.99, H&M, Fort Shopping Park

Pana GX800 £429, John Lewis, Grand Central

Cocktail masterclass from £35 per person (minimum 10 guests). Combine with afternoon tea £60 pp, The Edgbaston, Highfield Road Custom made map of your chosen location £16.99, ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/ custom-made-maps

Smokey oak candle, £30, Honest Skincare, Kings Heath

Iconic London contour and conceal brush set £43, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

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Kids cat and mouse bag £18, Jenni Robson, Custard Factory etsy.com/uk/shop/JenniRobsonShop

The Sweet Life hamper £125, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

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GIFT GUIDE

Crochet tea cosy £30, Cath Kidston, Grand Central

Copper cocktail set £10, Wilko’s, Fort Shopping Park

Garmin Verb 360 £649.99, Amazon

Polar bear dome £3, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

Sonos One £199, Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, Mell Square

Gift vouchers for urban axe throwing hotspot, Whistle Punks, Holloway Head, whistlepunks.com

Chase Miniature Book gift set £18.99, Loki Wine, Great Western Arcade Birmingham Food Calendar 2018 featuring creations by some of the city’s best-loved chefs, mixologists, artisans and independent restaurants £9.99 plus p&p, Dine Birmingham, dinebirmingham.co.uk

Pineapple photo frame £10, Liv’s, Mell Square

‘Beautiful Birmingham: a collaboration between A Bee A Bell and Deborah Panesar’ (A6 £5, A5 £10) IKON Gallery shop, Brindleyplace Luxury leather Labrador weekender £280, Annabel James annabeljames.co.uk

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I Like Big Books print, unframed A4 £6, Fay Dixon Design faydixondesign.co.uk

Glen Scotia Double Cask with carton £36.99, Whiskey Shop, Great Western Arcade

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GIFT GUIDE Polo Ralph Lauren set of three cotton boxers £55, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Christmas jumper £40, River Island, Fort Shopping Park Little Sprout onesie £9, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

3D facial £35, Sky Clinic, Edgbaston, skyclinic.co.uk

Society shave kit £10, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

Petite cafetiere 350ml £35, Le Creuset, Mell Square

Celebration spa package – including tea and pastries, Heaven Halo massage, Indian head massage and shoulder massage, facial or manicure, glass of fizz or a smoothie and use of spa facilities – £115 per person, Santai Spa, Resorts World, gentinghotel.co.uk/ santai-spa

Simpsons Eureka Kitchen experience £150 per person, includes coffee on arrival, threecourse lunch prepared by you, refreshments throughout the day, glass of champagne and a tutored wine tasting, www.simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk/eureka-kitchen

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Personalised paint brush from £8, Harris Brushes, B&Q and online at harrisneverbuyanother.co.uk Sophia Webster box clutch £550, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Prosecco pong £12.99, Aspire Style, Mell Square Tickets to the adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man (26 December to 12 January) from £8.50, Town Hall, thsh.co.uk/event/stick-man-1

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GIFT GUIDE

Superfan gift membership for Genting Arena and Arena Birmingham. Includes early access to the hottest tickets and exclusive discounts £40 for 12 months, superfansclub.co.uk Dinosaur backpack £17, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

Prints featuring Brum’s landmark architecture and cityscape from £45, Brumhaus, brumhaus.uk

Small boho macrame wall hanging,£8 + p&p, House of Macrame, Custard Factory, houseofmacrameco.etsy.com

Velvet pyjamas £38, Next, Bullring

Global Soul Healing heart rose quartz, Jacqui Land, Jewellery Quarter, globalsouljewellery.co.uk Nintendo Switch with Red Joy-Con Controllers and Super Mario Odyssey £329, store.nintendo.co.uk Katie Loxton bobble hat £16.99, Aspire Style, Mell Square Bathing Ape Shark Union Jack cotton-jersey hoody £430, Selfridges, Bullring

Holiday Lash + Liner Set £20, Smashbox, Bullring Porcelain vase £50, BPiancaDesign, Custard Factory, www.etsy.com/shop/saintloupe

Embellished bag £32, River Island, Fort Shopping Park Polo Experiences from £145 for half day (closest venue Dallas Burston Club, Warks), poloexperiences.com

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GIFT GUIDE

Game of Thrones monopoly set £30, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park Kids jumper £14, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

Christmas Morning hamper £85, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Ultimate Skin Perfectors set £65 (worth £140), Murad, Debenhams, Bullring

Memo Irish Leather eau de parfum £195 (75ml), Harvey Nichols, Mailbox Pom Pom Hat £6, Next, Fort Shopping Park

Daffy’s Gin gift pack £57.50, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Clemente in Camicia £4.95/£12.95/£17.95, Carluccios, Mell Square Sterling silver sycamore seed pendant handcrafted using lost wax casting £32, HannahKyriakouDesign, Harborne, hannahkyriakou.com

Vintage patterned hoops from £8 Alex Miller Designs, Jewellery Quarter, etsy.co.uk/uk/shop/alexmillerdesigns Radley Dog Trust backpack £99, Radley, Bullring

Blue Feber Dareaway £219.99, Toys R Us

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Wooden light up star £15, Wilko’s, Fort Shopping Park

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HOMES

Hot Properties A Georgian stunner in a sought-after square, luxury city apartments, a vast village home and a great cottage – meet this month’s star buys

VILLAGE SETTING Washbrook Lane, Allesley Guide price: Offers over £1.3million Agent: Fine & Country, tel: 02476 500015

A six-bedroomed detached property totalling more than 3,500sq ft set in a charming village on the outskirts of Coventry. As well as brilliant family accommodation, there’s also approximately three acres of beautifully manicured and landscaped gardens.

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LUXURY LIVING Bristol Court, Edgbaston Guide price: From ÂŁ450,000 Agent: Janes Laurence, tel: 0121 456 5454 This development features a number of top-spec two and three bedroom apartments that are specifically designed for luxury city living. Stunning architecture, complemented by spacious accommodation and the luxuries of outside space.

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BRICKS&BITS

STUDENTS GET BOOST Plans are moving ahead to transform vacant land close to Lancaster Circus into a major student accommodation scheme. Lench Trust and ES Lancaster will create a 1,000-bed complex on the site at Vesey Street, Lench Street, Lancaster Street and Lancaster Circus. The scheme has passed the preliminary planning process.

EURO JOY FOR BRUM

NOW SHOWING St George’s Square, Worcester Guide price: £725,000 Agent: Andrew Grant, tel: 01905 726213 An elegant Grade II listed Georgian house in a quite lovely square just outside Worcester City centre. The vast amount of living space includes a study, cinema room and five bedrooms, plus front and rear gardens.

Birmingham has maintained its position as one of the highest-ranking cities in Europe for investment prospects according to a leading report into real estate trends. The report, published by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, is based on the views of more than 800 real estate professionals and puts Birmingham in 21st place – ahead of London.

NEW HOMES AT LONGBRIDGE Property firm St Modwen has sold a seven-acre site in Longbridge to housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, making way for more new family homes. Sold for £7.6million, the site, which has planning consent for 95 homes is at the junction between Groveley Lane and Lowhill Lane overlooking Cofton Park.

TERRACE TREAT

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

A lovely three-bedroomed property (all en-suite) that also boasts a private courtyard, south-facing roof terrace and superb open plan living/dining and equally impressive breakfast kitchen. The terrace is quite something as it enjoys treetop views and provides an idyllic oasis in the city.

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Smelters Place, Jewellery Quarter Guide price: £645,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1520

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HOMES

SUPER COTTAGE Crackley Lane, Kenilworth Guide price: £1.05million Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 01789 867298 This beautiful Grade II listed cottage offers wealth of the original character features that stretches over three floors. As well as four bedrooms, double garage and stores, there’s a huge mature garden with further paddocks and a stable block.

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

www.facebook.com/bhamliving december 2017

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MOTORING

STAR BILLING So, come on it’s Christmas – a time for an extra bit of glitz and glamour. Sue Cooke razzle-dazzles behind the wheel of one of the world’s greatest supercars, the new McLaren 720S… Wow! eeping your cool when trying to make a ladylike exit from a true supercar is imperative, particularly when closely watched by a lot of people! However getting out of the McLaren 720S is quite easy as the secondgeneration supercar has lower sills and wider opening doors. In gull-wing guise, doors are easy to push up but require a little more strength to pull down to close. I had pulled over for coffee in convoy with another 720S which had the increased pull of a glorious bronze exterior paintwork. Our first hurdle was the speed bump entrance. A ‘must-have’ option is the vehicle nose lift (that’s an extra £2,070 to you madam!) Press a

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button and the ride height safely increases and takes you over the raised tarmac and automatically readjusts as you continue your journey. PULLING POWER The crowds were the second hurdle and while I have driven some of the competition in the form of the Audi R8, it never drew this sort of interest. Perhaps because McLarens are a rare, very beautiful breed and customers are prepared to wait until June 2018 (if you order now) for their exclusive supercar. But then there can’t be huge numbers who can afford the starting price of £208,020 despite it probably being on the Christmas list this year for many more.

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So far, 200 have already been ordered. The 720S was one of the first models built by McLaren in its Woking, Surrey factory. You won’t find switchgear belonging to another brand in the interior cabin either. In fact to ensure that everything is McLaren, the brand – which only started life seven years ago – is building a second factory in Rotherham which by 2019 will be making the carbon fibre tub. The first McLaren was the ground-breaking 12C revealed in 2011 and the 720S is the first replacement model. The company invested nearly £130million in research and development in 2016 and even the chassis software of the 720S has its basis in advanced mathematical research initiated by McLaren at the University of Cambridge. WORK OF ART The 720S is part of McLaren’s Super series and in terms of comfort sits between the very sporty Ultimate series and the introductory 570GT with lots of creature comforts. Despite wondering if I would be able to, I really didn’t want to get out of the very comfortable seats and there are three modes to choose from, Comfort, Sport and Track. The quiet cabin which has little room for more than two people has an impressive central infotainment screen with too much information which I found a little distracting. As standard there is a four-

FACTS AT A GLANCE: Model: McLaren 720S Luxury Price: £218,020 otr without options Engine: M840T 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, 3,994cc Performance: 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 212mph CO2 emissions: 249g/km Combined fuel consumption: 26.4mpg

speaker audio system, DAB radio and iPod/iPhone integration. Steering is incredibly precise. The boot, at the front of the car, holds 150 litres. A list of options includes parking sensors, rear view camera and 360-degree park assist but with new glazed C pillars and very thin A pillars, I found all round visibility was very good. With fond memories, I can honestly say that new owners will benefit from the most involving driver experience ever. I was disappointed that from inside the cabin I couldn’t hear the powerful mind-blowing art of the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, but I did hear my accomplice as he caught up with me and accelerated past. Under full acceleration, power delivery builds up relentlessly and encourages the driver to hold each gear (I involuntarily tried to hold my breath) to a thrilling 8,100 rpm in first gear! McLaren is an amazing success story and has a plan to introduce a new model each year. By 2022 the company plans a hybrid and has already started work on a fully electric vehicle. I

SHOWROOM: McLaren Birmingham, 2635 Stratford Road, Hockley Heath, Birmingham B94 5NH. Tel: 01564 787180 www.birmingham.mclaren.com

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

LEWIS ANDERSON The young squash champion talks beating his dad on the court aged 10, winning his first national title and dreams of a US scholarship alented teenager Lewis Anderson is taking the squash world by storm after becoming the first Warwickshire man in 32 years to claim a national title in the sport. He was crowned Under 17 British junior champion after first beating the number one seed and then winning a five-set thriller in the final. Lewis has trained at Edgbaston Priory Club since he was eight-years-old and showed promise from the

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get-go. Having tried a bit of tennis, Lewis was walking round the club with his grandad when he spotted a group of kids playing squash at club night and thought it looked cool. He jumped at the chance to join in and it wasn’t long before he began one-to-one sessions with coach Mike Edmunds who he still has a close relationship with today. Mike chatted to Lewis’s parents to say he had a good eye for the ball and asked if he’d like to

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aged 13 when Lewis had to choose between that and squash. “It was a tough one but I chose squash because I thought I had far more potential,” he recalls. Lewis had a run of good results following that decision including runner-up in the England finals, as well as being picked for the national team. He won a county tournament and a silver level event which is just one step below the gold events such as junior British championships. Now with the national squad in Manchester as well as in Edgbaston with coach Mike Harris at the Priory, Lewis is training five or six times a week except in the run-up to a competition when he has a ‘light week’. Teaming that tremendous level of commitment with his studies is a juggling act, but Lewis seems to handle the pressure well. He said: “I had a tournament in Prague two days before my first GCSE exam which wasn’t ideal, but it was a great experience.” Lewis is unusual in the sport because he doesn’t stick to a set way of playing. He likes to mix his game up a bit which is risky, but it’s working so far. He explained: “I love how creative I can be. Most players have a set way to play, but I like to change my game and be creative in matches which is different to most of my opponents.”

play more. Competitions followed, none more fierce than with his triathlete dad! Lewis said: “Whoever won got 50p. Dad always won initially but once I got to 10, I started winning every match!” TOUGH CHOICE Lewis took part in his first proper tournament in Manchester in 2011 where he took third place. At club championships at the Priory in the same year he came second. Regional and county success followed and at just 11, Lewis was on course for the national team. As happy with a football at his feet as with a racquet in his hand, there came a point

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NAIL-BITING The junior British championships title was a joy for Lewis if not hard work! He admitted he had to “muster every ounce of concentration” to power through the nail-biting five-setter and come out on top to beat Scotland’s Alisdair Prott. Clearly Lewis is on track for a glittering squash career and is looking forward to moving up to the Under 19 category, but he knows the value of a good education too. He said: “I’d like to keep as many avenues open as possible. University in America on a squash scholarship would be the dream. That way I can study for a degree while playing. In the US it’s encouraged in a way that it’s not at home.” Lewis also has a bit of sound advice for youngsters taking up sport too. “Enjoy it and don’t commit too soon.” I

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GROWING PLACES

LIAM’S SINGLE APPEAL An 11-year-old singer from Solihull has released his first single to raise funds in support of his cousin who is battling blood cancer. Liam Price – who won Open Mic UK at the NEC earlier in the year – recorded the track, entitled You & I, to raise at least £1,000 for Cure Leukaemia through record sales. Liam said: “I’m really proud of the song and I hope people will download it and donate to Cure Leukaemia as they are committed to helping beat blood cancer.”

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

DRIVE: Dr Fenton, right, at the Birmingham launch event with West Midlands mayor Andy Street

ACCESSIBILITY

AMBITION King Edward’s School, Birmingham has launched a renewed drive for accessibility in a bid to secure permanent need-blind admission to the school. At events in London and Birmingham, the school shared its plan to maintain current levels of assistance, plus a £30million endowment fund to secure assisted places provision for future generations. Chief master Dr Mark Fenton said: “If we achieve our aim all boys of academic talent will be able to take up a place at the school, regardless of their parents’ financial circumstances.”

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HOT CHOCOLATE TOPIC Cadbury World is offering Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils the chance to bring business studies to life with an insight into the Cadbury brand and its marketing campaigns. The curriculum-linked topic talk gives pupils a detailed look at the marketing mix with a real-life insight into how Cadbury uses the ‘4Ps’ – Product, Place, Price and Promotion – and is designed to meet KS4 and KS5 Business Studies Marketing learning objectives.

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HEADY HEIGHTS The headmaster at Hallfield School, Edgbaston was invited to Buckingham Palace by Prince Andrew to take part in an education forum organised by the Outward Bound Trust. Long-time mountaineer Richard Batchelor was one of 200 people selected to attend the forum to discuss the role of outdoor education in preparing youngsters’ vital skills for life. Richard said: “I have been involved with the Outward Bound Trust for years and would urge more people to take part in its courses to build confidence and mental stamina.”

KATHERINE THE GREAT The picture says it all… this is the proud moment that Katherine Boulton overcame all the odds to graduate from Newman University, Birmingham. Diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at 15, she has also endured a bone marrow transplant, renal failure, double hip replacement, a heart attack that left her in a coma and aspergilloma in her spine and stomach among other conditions. Katherine who gained a 2:1 and is now working at Calthorpe School, said: “It’s been a whirlwind of emotions with many challenges, but I’ve done it!”

MAGIC SUCCESS Budding author and Edgbaston High School pupil, Cora Batchelor, has been crowned winner in the Henley Literature Festivals’ Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition in the four-to-seven age group. The Year 1 pupil’s story, the Magic Fidget Spinner, was praised by judges Helen Lederer, Floella Benjamin and David Melling for being full of original ideas. Cora won a personal book token and £100 to be spent on books for Edgbaston High’s Preparatory School library.

SOCKS AND CHOCS

Two Bromsgrove School students have been recognised for their work with the Socks and Chocs charity which helps the homeless. Alexandra Shakes and Millie Goulden-Page – who worked for the charity during the summer holidays – were invited to attend a ceremony at Guild Hall, Worcester where Socks and Chocs was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The charity, founded in Birmingham but now UK-wide, funds emergency housing and inspires collections of socks, chocolate, sleeping bags and gloves to be delivered to homeless centres.

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MUSICAL MISSION Kathy Doolan took her passion for music and turned it

into a business which has helped 200,000 children, aged from two months and up, develop, grow – and have fun

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BUSINESS

usic has always been a huge part of Kathy Doolan’s life – first as a music teacher and then as an entrepreneur and businesswoman. After starting her own family and realising the virtually non-existent opportunities for very young children to develop and grow through music, Kathy decided to take things into her own hands and set up a business to do just that. In the mid-Nineties she founded the first Rhythm Time class in Solihull and has just celebrated the 21st anniversary of the remarkable business which now boasts 40 franchises that between them capture the hearts of more than 11,000 babies, toddlers and preschoolers across the UK and Ireland every week.

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AMAZED The numbers are even more staggering when looked at across the 21 years with Rhythm Time introducing more than 200,000 little ones to music since it first opened its doors! “After becoming a mum myself, I naturally used singing and music as a way of communicating with my young daughter, and I was constantly amazed to see how it helped her speech and general development,” said Kathy. “I decided that I wanted to give as many children as I could just as good a start through music.” As well as building a national network of franchise owners, Kathy has a small team at Rhythm Time HQ. The business also has a prestigious collaboration with the London College of Music (Junior Department) and the support of celebrity mums, including Coleen Rooney, wife of footballer Wayne. Kathy’s success continues to be recognised with a number of accolades including being shortlisted in the Best Business Women Awards 2017 for her work introducing children to music. The saying that you’re never too young to learn is especially true of children – Rhythm Time holds classes for babies as young as two months and up. “To nurture young children’s musical development is an honour,” said Kathy. “I am absolutely delighted with the success of Rhythm Time. “What started as a dream has now become the passion of franchisees all over the country. I am so proud of our franchise family and have been overwhelmed by their support, enthusiasm and ongoing success.” That success has meant that Kathy’s husband Brendan gave up his previous career job

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some time ago to also work for Rhythm Time. Kathy says with understanding pride that her first franchise “is still with me after 17 years”. DETAILED To become a member of the Rhythm Time family involves a detailed interview process with Kathy, and once on board she ensures regular visits to see how they are progressing. “We’ve done all the hard work for them by devising the structure and the classes,” she says. “But we are always here for them.” Each franchisee pays £7,500 to start up with Kathy. Rhythm Time classes consist of a wide range of music styles from traditional nursery rhymes to modern and classical music. And Kathy adds: “You can really tell the children who have been to Rhythm Time. They have so much more confidence and development.” Kathy’s goal is to achieve 50 franchises across the country – Rhythm Time is already in Aberdeen to the north and the Isle of Wight to the south – but a greater presence in London is a target. “As we are a Midlandsbased business we are very strong around this part of the country but I would like to grow, particularly into London,” she explains. “And I hope that families in the UK continue to enjoy attending our classes for another 21 years to come!” I

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DELICIOUS JOB Hospitality PR firm Delicious PR has hired a new recruit. Dhechen Lama, who previously worked at Catalyst Finance has joined as PR and events executive. Dhechen’s accounts include the city’s new Sabai Sabai restaurant, Westmead Hotel and ODC Cider.

BUSINESS NEWS START-UP AWARD HOTELS RECORD SUMMER

Birmingham hotels were busier than ever this summer posting average occupancy rates of 75 per cent – the best since records began in 2003. Hoteliers enjoyed year-on-year occupancy rises in June, July and August according to latest data from West Midlands Growth Company’s Regional Observatory and STR Global. The increase was driven by major events including the ICC Champions Trophy cricket matches at Edgbaston and the tennis Aegon Classic in Birmingham. WELCOME NEWS: Birmingham city council leader, Cllr Ian Ward

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UK cloud-based property management and letting platform brightLET has been named Midlands regional winner in Barclays Entrepreneurs Awards for best innovative start-up. brightLET allows landlords to manage their rental properties and tenancies online, directly with their tenants and tradespeople without the need of a third party. Founder and CEO Camran Khan created brightLET in 2016 after a family illness suddenly left him in charge of a number of rental properties.

TAKING THE PLUNGE Two solicitors from Birmingham law firm Clarke Willmott LLP took a leap of faith and jumped out of a plane to raise money for local charity Sport 4 Life. Robin Canning and Tina Bhakri from the firm’s commercial property team completed a sponsored Skydive for the charity, which raised £1,180. Sport 4 Life is the leading sport-for-employment charity in Birmingham and offers programmes to disadvantaged young people in the city.

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TIM TAKES THE CHAIR

BIG BUILD TOPS £2M Investment has reached £2million for a centre to transform an area just two miles from Colmore Business District. The team at Nechells charity free@last is continuing with their Big Build project having just secured £400,000 of funding to fill the shortfall left when their previous contractor went into administration. At the heart of the Big Build project is an 8,000sqft facility to help young people in Nechells improve their aspirations, standards of living and wellbeing.

THANKS: GBCC chief executive Paul Faulkner

CHAMBERS ON THE BALL Organisers of a charity ball in aid of Ronald McDonald House have thanked Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and Asian Business Chamber of Commerce for their support – after the event raised a record-breaking £140,000. The total beat the previous best by £50,000. Ronald McDonald House provides free accommodation to 66 families with children under treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Doug Wright, chairman of the board of governors at Ronald McDonald House, said: “We reached out to Birmingham to help us and they surpassed our expectations.”

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Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has appointed regional business leader Tim Pile as its new chair. Tim is well-known across Greater Birmingham and Solihull as the former chair and chief executive of Meriden-based creative communications agency Cogent Elliott. He is also a non-executive director at building firm Marshalls, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. His previous roles include CEO of Sainsbury’s.

HAIRDRESSER TO STARS OPENS SALON Celebrity hairdresser Jay Birmingham is opening a new luxury salon this month at Highfield Beauty spa in Edgbaston. Jay (also known as Jamie Birmingham) has also worked with various celebrities, actors and TV reality stars and is now one of the most sought after hair stylists in the city. Jay from Sutton Coldfield was trained at Nicky Clarke in Mayfair and has worked on photoshoots for Vogue and other high-end fashion magazines as well as at London Fashion Week.

SOARING DEMAND FOR FLIGHTS Airline Emirates has given Birmingham a vote of confidence with the launch of its second daily Airbus A380 service from the city’s airport. The expanded service has been driven by demand from passengers since the first A380 service from Dubai to Birmingham was launched in March 2016 – carrying nearly half-a-million passengers between the two cities. The growth in popularity of the route saw more than 40,000 passengers carried during a record July alone. SUPPORTING BRUM: Laurie Berryman, Emirates vice president

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STEPPING UP International accountancy and advisory firm Mazars has announced four promotions to director in its Birmingham office. Adele Raiment, Geraint Regan, Daniel Guy and Martin Chapman have all stepped up from senior manager level. Lee Cartwright, office managing partner at Mazars Birmingham, said: “The Birmingham office continues to forge ahead and the high levels of skills and experience among our staff deliver high quality work into the market place.”

STEPPING UP: KPMG’s Karl Edge with some of the new promotions

TON OF PROMOTIONS NEW NHS BOSS Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) has announced the appointment of a new chief executive. Richard Kirby, currently chief executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, will take up the new role early in 2018. The appointment follows the departure of Tracy Taylor to become chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. BCHC is one of the country’s largest providers of community and specialist health services.

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KPMG has announced 112 promotions across its Midlands offices, which includes two new partners and five directors. Mark Flanagan and Steve Hickman are the new partners. Mark becomes a partner in the firm’s audit practice alongside Steve, who has been a key driver in building KPMG’s Enterprise function in the Midlands. George Strickland, Kerry Oakes, Mark Couch, Paul Casey and Richard Norbury are the five new directors.

CHARITY CASH AID Midwest Rural Enterprise (MRE), specialists in providing management support and training for charities and community organisations, has launched a new service to boost income streams from retailing. MRE’s director Sue Fry said: “Local charities are seeing an increase in demand for their services at a time when the overall economic climate is becoming harder. We are helping these organisations develop by thinking about the wider opportunities for fund-raising, which can include charging for some services, traditional fund-raising and income generated from charity shops.”

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ARMED FORCES ACCOLADE Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce has received an award recognising its support for the armed forces. The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire other organisations to do the same. The Chambers gained the Scheme’s Silver Award. Chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “We are honoured to have received this award in recognition of our work with the armed forces and Chamber patron, the West Midlands Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association.”

BRUM LEADS GROWTH INDEX

ASIAN BUSINESS AWARDS TV presenter and journalist Krishnan GuruMurthy will host Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s 30th anniversary dinner and awards at the ICC this month. Guru-Murthy has presented many top political programmes, as well as chaired UN development and UK climate change conferences and interviewed Prime Ministers from around the world. The evening will feature the presentation of a number of awards, including Business of the Year.

Birmingham has been named the most improved city in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities index 2017. The Midlands as a whole is seeing strong jobs growth according to the index, and is catching up on historic top performers in the South. Led by Birmingham, the leading 10 improvers also include Wolverhampton and Walsall. Matthew Hammond, PwC’s Midlands chairman, said: “Delivering growth is not achieved by any one person, but goes hand-in-hand with local government, central government and the private sector acting together collaboratively.”

MEDICAL QUARTER BOOST Representatives from Edgbaston’s Medical Quarter came together for the launch of two new services – Smart rTMS, and Edgbaston Eye Clinic – at the Consulting Rooms, Harborne Road. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive treatment for conditions including depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue system. The event also introduced Don Williams, consultant optometrist, who opened Edgbaston Eye Clinic. Edgbaston Medical Quarter boasts 64 per cent of the city’s health care economy – the highest concentration of assets of any region in the country.

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From only ÂŁ25

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SOCIAL SCENE

DIWALI CELEBRATION LIGHTS UP THE CITY Businesses come together at Asian Chamber’s Festival of Lights event sian Business Chamber of Commerce held its annual event for Diwali, the Festival of Lights. The celebration sees Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate the victory of good over evil and light over darkness and is a time of year when families, friends and communities come together in a spirit of joy. This year’s event at Manor Grove attracted more than 250 delegates from businesses across the region. Speakers included Dr Steve Walker, CEO of ART Business Loans I

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CELEBRITIES JOIN WEDDING CLUB TV stars among city’s best-known faces as store opens at the Mailbox V’s Citizen Khan star Adil Ray and superchef Glynn Purnell were among 150 of the city’s best-known faces who attended the launch of the new Wedding Club store in the Mailbox. Guests also included X Factor contestant Simon Gross. The Wedding Club, born in Birmingham, has been established for 16 years with stores in London’s Knightsbridge and South Kensington. The Mailbox store brings top designers such as Berta, Jenny Packham and Charlie Brear to the city centre. Guests were treated to live model displays and exhibitions throughout the evening. I

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1 Emma Clarke, Jaz Dalrymple, Kelly Jade. 2 Joanne Logue, Jayne Ricketts, Hayley Shore. 3 Taymina Cabrita, Mandi Visser, Arabella Dupont. 4 Sandip and Louise Sidhu. 5 Katie Harper, Christopher Derby. 6 Diane McGinnity, Gerard McGoldrick. 7 George Elsmere, Yana Kyuchukova. 8 Catherine Bradley, Mia Beauclair. 9 Becky Weaver, Andrew Riley.

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UNIQUE VENUES GETS OFF TO FLYING START Birmingham Rep and Library unveil conferencing and events venture nique Venues Birmingham (UVB) – a new joint venture between Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Library of Birmingham – was launched at an event attended by more than 250 guests from the conferencing and events industry and corporate community. The venture brings together the conferencing and hospitality opportunities offered within the shared building at Centenary Square. Escorted tours were followed by live music, food and some surprise performances in the Library’s spectacular Book Rotunda. Guests also met the event management team led by commercial director, Suzanna Reid. I

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1 Kanayo Eruchalu, Shelia Kelly-Trow, Julian Taitt, Leonie Martin, Uvarlyn Hayles. 2 Stuart Rogers, Suzanna Reid, Jacqui Kennedy. 3 Trina Jones, Angela Maxwell, Neil Harrison. 4 Ken Lyon, Ian Harris, Alicia Black with a Shakespearean actor. 5 Christine McDonald, Penny Bassnett with Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. 6 James Barwell, Simon Greenfield, Steve Moszynski. 7 Jordan Whittington, Hannah Newton with the Queen of Hearts. Photography by John James

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FUMO SELFRIDGES OPENS IN STYLE Launch party sees VIPs sample delights of stunning new restaurant and bar VIP party launched the new Fumo restaurant in Selfridges. Guests enjoyed cocktails and Italian canapes at the restaurant and bar on the fourth floor overlooking the Bullring. The evening showcased the skills of the all-Italian team, including a fresh Porcini and White Truffle Risotto presented in a whole wheel of Parmesan, served by San Carlo Group’s executive chef. Live music came from saxophonist Dax. Fumo serves an all-day menu of ‘cicchetti’, regional Italian small plate dishes, while a specials menu features options exclusive to Selfridges. I

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1 Marcello Distefano, Carlo Distefano, Carmine Sacco, Alessandro Distefano. 2 Suzanne Virdee, Andy Fox, Genelle Aldred. 3 Guests enjoying the fabulous launch party. 4 Richard Bradshaw, Melanie Cresswell. 5 Carmine Sacco, Richard Pope. 6 Royston and Nick Blythe. 7 Danielle Lloyd, Michael O'Neill and guests. 8 Dax on the sax.

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ROFUTO CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY New menu unveiled as 200 guests say ‘happy birthday’ on the 16th floor

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ore than 200 guests celebrated the first birthday of Rofuto, enjoying the city skyline from the 16th floor of the Park Regis hotel. Party-goers had a taste of Rofuto’s new menu which has been adapted to fit the popular Japanese Izakaya concept – offering a more casual dining experience focused around sharer plates and tapas-style servings, complemented by the addition of Robata grill favourites such as Tomahawk steak and Wagyu beef. The evening was also attended by Park Regis’ new general manager, Mark Payne. I

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1 Matt Walker, Bradley Meersand and guest, Ollie Dickinson, Miles Tilley. 2 Dhechen Lama, Anita Champaneri, Sanjeeta Bains. 3 Mark Jones, Mr and Mrs David Smeeton. 4 Judi Gilbert, Rob Howard. 5 Ben Cohen. 6 Paul Broster, Rebecca Delmore, Robin Ford. 7 Stephen Chand, Sharon Martin, Dolly Chakraborty. 8 Emma Jones, Ella Cunningham, Tara Tomes, Hattie D'Souza.

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BIG SLEUTH BEARS BRING IN THE CASH Auction of sculptures raises more than quarter-of-a-million pounds for hospital ore than £257,000 was raised when 91 bear sculptures were auctioned in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The Big Sleuth auction attracted an audience of over 200 at ThinkTank, Birmingham Science Museum with a further 7,000 watching the event live online. Special surprise guest appearances came from the Peaky Blinders TV drama and characters from Cadbury World. There was also a video message from local boy band star Bradley Simpson of The Vamps. I

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1 Lynsey Brecknall, Kieron Reilly. 2 Artist Lauren Buffery and her mum. 3 Rachel Clarke, Briar Hickenbottom-Mariott, Alison Button, Leo. 4 Will Farmer, Nick Davies. 5 Marian and Anne Marie Byrne. 6 Edward Thrush, Jennifer ShuffleBotham, Gayani Ariyaratne. 7 David Gornall, Richard Brooks, Jess Hyland. 8 Tilly, Joe George, Busby, Poppy. 9 Lawrence Chiu, Dorian Chan, Kin Bong Lam.

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MAILBOX LAUNCHES HOMEWARES STORE Champagne welcome as 200 VIP guests toast arrival of new luxury showroom

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he Mailbox welcomed more than 200 guests from Birmingham’s business, media and interiors communities to launch its new Homewares showroom. Headline brands in the 2,000sqm store are Heal’s and MADE.COM. Guests enjoyed champagne, canapés and live music while food guru Lap-Fai Lee demonstrated how to make two delicious dishes in the Kitchen Gallery. The new Homewares showroom is on level 1 of the Mailbox. I

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1 Alan Sharman, Natalie Bellamy, Daniel Delgado, Richard Sternberg. 2 Gora Uppal, Krishna Thakrar. 3 Natalie King, David Pardoe, Ruth Pipkin. 4 Simon Robertson, Hamish Mansbridge. 5 Benjamin Gray, Julian Hook. 6 Fatima Mann, Gemma Palfrey, Anna Burn. 7 Kate Evans, Charlie Pette, Faith Whenham. 8 Henrik Court, Harj Millington, Phil Innes, Alisa Nemova. Photography by Jas Sansi

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LEGAL COMMUNITY ATTENDS OPENING New 3PB Barristers offices in Colmore Building marks exciting expansion he local legal community turned out in force when 250 guests attended the launch of 3PB Barristers’s new office in the Colmore Building. The opening marks an exciting phase in the chamber’s expansion with Birmingham becoming the sixth 3PB location in the UK. Members are able to offer legal advice and advocacy across a wide range of legal services. I

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1 Simon Astill, Liz McGrath, Nigel Lickley QC. 2 Matthew Wildish, David Richards, Carl Csukas. 3 Robert Weatherley, Gavin Hamilton, Frances Luke, Ricardo Johnson. 4 Chris Mitchell, Helen Ford, James Thornton. 5 Luke Ashby, Millie Walker, Craig Cooksley. 6 Rupa Parekh, Russell Porter, Tara Wright. 7 Julie Cinnamond, Max Schofield, Gurjit Khera. 8 Ken McDougall, Nigel Ribbands.

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Photography by Dale Martin

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WHAT: The Nutcracker WHEN: Until 13 December WHERE: Birmingham Royal Ballet at Birmingham Hippodrome, www.brb.org.uk There’s no better way to embrace the festive season than with this stunning ballet that delights young and old alike.

WHAT: The Last Christmas Tree

WHAT: Quentin Blake: Inside Stories

WHEN: 10 December

WHEN: Now until 17 December

WHERE: Recital Hall, Royal Birmingham

WHERE: Compton Verney, www.comptonverney.org.uk

Conservatoire www.bcu.ac.uk/conservatoire

It is rare for an illustrator’s name to be as instantly recognisable as their work, but then Quentin Blake is no ordinary artist. This offers a unique insight into the origins of the work of the world’s most important and best-loved illustrators.

When two young foxes, Rusty and Amber, venture into a tumbledown old barn the last thing they’re expecting is to meet a new best friend – Chris, a Christmas tree who longs for fun and excitement. But their new-found friendship is viewed with disapproval.

WHAT: Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market WHEN: Now until 24 December WHAT: Christmas with Katherine Jenkins WHEN: 17 December WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Join the Welsh singing sensation for her Christmas concert of music and songs and start your celebrations in style. Her amazing voice never fails to capture the hearts of audiences whenever she performs.

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WHERE: Victoria Square and New Street With more than 120 stalls, there is something for everyone at the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Winter Craft Night Market WHEN: 14 December WHERE: Ikon Gallery, www.ikon-gallery.org A free drop-in at this special late-night opening of the gallery with a chance to shop a range of independent crafters, eat and drink festive delights and take in the cultural highlights of the exhibitions.

WHAT: Jason Manford: Work In Progress WHEN: 8 December WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk This promises to feature a wealth of comedy anecdotes, misunderstandings and audience banter as the lovable star of Big Heads pops into Birmingham ahead of next year’s national tour.

WHAT: ABBA-RIGINAL tribute to the 70’s WHEN: 1 December WHERE: The Lake at Barston, tel: 01675 444890 www.thelakeatbarston.co.uk Great for all ages, dig out the 70’s gear and groove your way into the festive season as this cracking tribute band performs all the classics, including Waterloo, Voulez Vous, and Mamma Mia.

WHAT: André Rieu WHEN: 21 December WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com Quite simply a musical phenomenon like no other, having sold a massive 40 million CDs and DVDs and notched up 30 number one chart positions worldwide. Along with his 60piece Johann Strauss Orchestra, André’s passionate live shows are an incredible spectacle.

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WHAT: Kasabian WHEN: 8 and 9 December WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com They may not like the description, but this is one of the finest Indie rock bands around having previously scooped multiple ‘best act’ honours at both the Q and NME awards.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Jaykae WHEN: 15 December WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham A key player in keeping the Birmingham grime scene alive, Jaykae is back and focusing on his flourishing solo career. Having worked with Skepta and Mike Sinner recently, he’s establishing a name for himself with his strong flow, authentic style and dynamic delivery. Over-14s only.

WHAT: A Christmas Wassail WHEN: 17 to 19 December WHERE: Crescent Theatre, tel: 0121 643 5858 www.crescent-theatre.co.uk Mulled wine, mince pies and a festive feast of music, comedy and spoken word. This ever-popular wassail is a magical way to indulge the Christmas spirit.

WHAT: CBSO A Choral Christmas WHEN: 19 to 21 December WHERE: Symphony Hall, tel: 0121 780 3333 www.cbso.co.uk/whats-on WHAT: Cinderella WHEN: 19 December to 28 January WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com Cinderella is possibly the most magical pantomime of them all and this star-studded, glittering production will be no exception. The cast includes Beverley Knight, Danny Mac and Suzanne Shaw so make sure this is one ball you get to go to!

These annual concerts are like a luxury hamper – overflowing with good cheer, magical sounds and seasonal music old and new – all beautifully wrapped and delivered with a smile. Presented by Ore Oduba.

WHAT: Rod Stewart Tribute with Garry Pease WHEN: 21 December WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk The UK’s number one show dedicated to the iconic song book of Rod Stewart. Featuring all the classics, including Maggie May, You Wear it Well, Hot Legs and Sailing.

WHAT: 101 Dalmatians WHEN: 30 November to 13 January WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk Dodie Smith’s delightful tale is the perfect festive treat and has been brilliantly transformed for the stage by Debbie Isitt, the writer and director of the hugely popular Nativity! films. You know the book and film, now experience the magical story live on stage.

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WHAT: Jersey Boys WHEN: 16 December to 6 January WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham The internationally-acclaimed smash hit has won 57 major awards worldwide, including the Olivier award for best new musical. Telling the truelife story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own unique sound, and sold 100 million records.

WHAT: Barbara Nice’s Christmas

WHAT: Christmas at the

Cracker

British Motor Museum

WHEN: 15 and 16 December

WHEN: 8 to 23 December

WHERE: Mac Birmingham,

WHERE: British Motor Museum,

tel: 0121 446 3232

tel: 01926 641188

www.macarts.co.uk

www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk

Kings Heath’s most famous housewife is back at mac by popular demand for her annual Christmas shindig complete with raffle, tombola and mince pies. Join her in a bumper bundle selection box of seasonal fun.

Get into the festive spirit with a range of special activities including a Christmas trail, festive tour with the museums elves and Christmas crafts weekend.

WHAT: Christmas at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens WHEN: 29 November to 30 December WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 212 3383 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when the trees and glasshouses of these stunning gardens are playfully lit and all aglow. Sparkling festive fun for the whole family.

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IN THE CITY

I walk everywhere. It’s the easiest way to fit in daily exercise.

It benefits my work too – I often come across a bar or restaurant that’s about to open or one that’s suddenly shut down

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’m Sanjeeta Bains, a journalist for the Birmingham Mail. I write a lot of food and drink content and I also review new restaurants. It’s hard work – honestly! There are so many new places opening up all the time and it’s my job to keep up! HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? The Midland Metro tram. It’s super convenient, quick and overall very reliable. IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK? It’s a very exciting place to be. This year we were named the most rapidly improving city in the UK to work and live. The opening of Grand Central in 2015 has encouraged a more positive perception and helped attract more investment over the last couple of years. We still have a way to go but the good news is we’re finally getting there. COFFEE BREAK? Home cafe, Church Street serves great coffee… and excellent cake! I also love Second Cup in New Street. Very cosy – and there are lots of sockets, so the perfect place when I’m working remotely. LUNCHTIME? The lunchtime possibilities in the city centre are endless, and too much for me to handle! That’s why I stick to good old Pret. I know I should be giving love to our independents but at lunchtimes it’s all about grab-and-go.

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POWERWALKING? I walk everywhere. It’s the easiest way for me to fit in daily exercise. It benefits my work too – I often come across a bar and restaurant that is just about to open or a place that’s suddenly shut down.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? St Paul’s Square is beautiful. The last remaining Georgian square in the city, it’s a little oasis of calm from the hustle and bustle. I like to have work meetings at Saint Kitchen cafe overlooking the church. It’s always quiet and a good place to do some serious work.

AFTERWORK PINT? I love going to Fumo – when I’m feeling glamorous. They are famous for their cocktails (they do a mean Cosmopolitan) but they also have a mocktail menu – their Virgin Mojito is very refreshing. For a more laidback atmosphere, I like 1000 Trades, Frederick Street – a great pub and they operate a kitchen residency. Each month, they have new chefs with a new menu. HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? By making the extension of the city centre Midland Metro route a priority. It is due to be extended to Centenary Square by 2019. But it took FOUR YEARS just to connect Snow Hill and New Street. A further line from Bull Street through Digbeth is also planned for 2023. It can’t come soon enough as currently Digbeth is out on a limb on its own. I

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December issue 2017 (issue 63)  
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