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EDITOR’S VIEW

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his issue marks a milestone for Birmingham Living. It’s our 100th issue. Just over eight years ago, we emerged bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with our first front cover, which featured Big Brother winner, radio DJ and presenter Kate Lawler. Since then our covers have been like a Who’s Who of the great and the good from Birmingham and the wider West Midlands. They’ve included the likes of… Sir Lenny Henry, Beverley Knight, Frank Skinner, Ellie Simmonds, Adrian Lester, John Taylor, Joe Lycett, Meera Syall, Felicity Jones, Ozzy Osbourne, Alison Hammond, Laura Mvula, David Harewood – and this month Adil Ray – to name just a few! Phew! I’m particularly proud to say that all our celebrity interviews are completely bespoke and exclusive. No bought-in, syndicated, rehashed pieces here! What’s struck me most about our cover stars is how much they still love Brum, no matter how famous they have become or how far away their lives have taken them. Maybe that’s why they are more than happy to give their time to talk to a magazine that believes in celebrating this great city, its people, businesses and culture. In ‘normal’ times, we’d be marking our ‘ton of issues’ in style…champagne reception, flypast by the Red Arrows, ticker tape parade on Broad Street…you know the kind of thing! OK, so I’m making this bit up, but we’d definitely be raising a glass or two. However, with the ongoing challenges and sacrifices being faced by so many, we’re putting any jollities on ice until the good times return. So, for now, let me just say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has worked on, supported and enjoyed reading Birmingham Living through our first 100 issues. Roll on 200…

s n h o J d i Dav

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

Cover image:

/bhamliving

FINALIST

Adil Ray by Ian Wallman

EDITOR: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk FEATURES EDITOR: Shelley Carter shelley@brumliving.co.uk DESIGNER: Tracy Duffy

CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Price, Sue Cooke, Lisa Melvin, Hywel Davies ACCOUNT MANAGER: Jane Morris jane@brumliving.co.uk PHOTOGRAPHY: David Morphew, Andrew Llewellyn PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Jonathan Carter

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

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

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INSIDE

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Highlights

Adil Ray

Talking Lingo, lockdown and launching Citizen Khan’s comeback – in a movie!

Modernist Man Birmingham’s skyline like you’ve never seen – by Alex Edwards of Brumhaus

Food & Drink Young Chef of the Year, Kray Treadwell, plus news, reviews and Spring’s top tipples

Health Is life one big yawn? Don’t ignore your body’s wake-up call to get more sleep

Style Choose these Spring Smarts and you’ll give yourself a welcome mood boost

Homes Grand designs on a new kitchen? Make sure you get it right and call in the big guns

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

52 54 58 61 64 66 march 2021

Motoring

Five doors, agile handling and a wild side to take on any terrain – Fiat’s new hybrid

Young, Gifted & Brummie Matthew Gordon on playing Joe Spud, David Walliams’s Billionaire Boy Wine Freedom We catch up with Sam Olive on how his business has adapted to lockdown

Business Latest news and views as commercial community looks to bounce back

What’s On Our round-up of events, both live and virtual, due to take place this month

Up Close With Haydn Cooper, chief executive of Calthorpe Estates, Edgbaston

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NEWS

WHAT A PERFORMANCE

Picture by Eugene Hilton

Five talented Birmingham-based musicians became the first to rehearse in the new £13.2million state-of-the-art performance facilities at Birmingham Symphony Hall ahead of its opening to the public later this year. The space, redeveloped with funds raised prior to the global pandemic, will offer local artists more opportunities to perform as part of a daily programme of free and affordable events and activities. Nick Reed, the chief executive for the music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall said: “We are thrilled to have transformed the public spaces of our iconic concert hall.”

NEWS

IN THESE MOST CHALLENGING TIMES, WE BRING YOU STORIES TO INSPIRE AND ADMIRE FROM ACROSS THE CITY

FUNNY BRUMMIES

Nearly three-quarters of Brummies rely on humour to help them get through lockdown, according to a new survey commissioned by Comic Relief for Red Nose Day. Hearing a witty joke was top of our favourite pick-meups, followed by children saying inappropriate things. The survey also showed that nine out of 10 Brummies thought they have a good sense of humour – and even revealed that we laugh on average eight times a day! Red Nose Day is on 19 March.

MONKEY BUSINESS Gibraltar’s famous Barbary apes are set to welcome back their Brummie friends. Eastern Airways is returning to Birmingham Airport, restarting a twice weekly direct Gibraltar to Birmingham route from May. The airline will operate to the popular destination on Mondays and Fridays. The deal links Birmingham and the Rock for the first time in four years. Tom Screen, the airport’s aviation director, said: “Gibraltar is a popular destination to our leisure customers, but also an important business route.”

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NEWS

FAMILY FUND A new fund has been set up to help community groups who are providing food banks and other essential supplies to families struggling during the pandemic. West Midlands grant-giving charity, Heart of England Community Foundation, launched the fund with Birmingham City Council, partnered with Gateway Family Services, Age UK and Northfield Community Partnership. Groups can apply for a grant of up to £5,000 which will go directly to supporting the communities in which they operate.

MAKING MORE MUSIC The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is celebrating the news that musical director Mirga Gražinyt-Tyla has agreed to continue in her role for an additional season until summer

FLYING VISIT

2022. Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief executive, said: “We’re thrilled that

The local stunt pilot who hit the headlines during the pandemic for creating smiley

Mirga has agreed to extend her

faces in the skies will be hitting the heights at this summer’s Midlands Air Festival.

commitment to the CBSO, and we look

Worcester-based Rich Goodwin will display his aerobatic skills in his Muscle Pitts

forward to making music together into

biplane. The festival at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire on 4 to 6 June will also feature a

the future.” Award-winning Mirga will

B-17 bomber as part of an exciting programme of air displays. In addition, the

move to the role of principal guest

event will feature more than 120 hot air balloons in flight at dawn and dusk.

conductor from the 2022/23 season.

WINNING NUMBER

Thirty is the magic number for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity as it celebrates three decades of saving lives. The charity is running a series of activities to commemorate the landmark, including the Air30 Airbase Challenge to raise vital funds as the pandemic has seen community fund-raising drop by 50 per cent. Chief executive Hanna Sebright said: “Air30 is an important milestone year for the charity. We solely rely on the public’s support and generosity for our daily missions.” More details at midlandsairambulance.com

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NEWS

HS2 ‘TAKE-2’ ON TRACK The train now leaving… is the HS2 from Birmingham to Crewe! Local business chiefs welcomed the news that Phase 2a of the HS2 project had been granted Royal Assent – giving the green light to begin work on constructing the next phase of the new high-speed railway, creating hundreds of jobs. Construction of the first stage of the project between the West Midlands and London is already underway and is now supporting more than 15,000 jobs and 500 apprenticeships.

HERO AWARDS Individuals and organisations in Birmingham who have gone the extra mile to support people affected by dementia during the pandemic are set to be recognised at a prestigious national awards ceremony. Nominations are open for Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Heroes Awards 2021 which will be hosted by supporter and TV presenter Richard Madeley, pictured. The awards, sponsored by Tunstall Healthcare, will take place on Thursday 20 May during Dementia Action Week.

TREASURES ON DEMAND

HOME MUSICAL Birmingham Hippodrome and Curve have released a first look behind-thescenes of the reimagined musical, The Color Purple – At Home. The awardwinning production of the story set in racially divided Southern America is

Birmingham Museums has launched Birmingham Museums On Demand, a digital service making the fascinating stories behind its

being streamed until Sunday 7 March. Drawing inspiration from jazz, ragtime,

collections available online.

gospel and blues, the show features soulful vocal performances which include

The service, which costs £20

Push Da Button, Too Beautiful for Words and I’m Here. Tickets at £20 per

for a one-month pass,

household are available at curveonline.co.uk

features experts sharing insights on everything from intriguing treasure finds and stories behind the PreRaphaelite collections to captivating close inspections of paintings and the hidden histories of buildings. To find out more visit: https://www.birminghammus eums.org.uk/bringing-ourmuseums-to-you

WONDER WOLVES The medical team at Wolves pitched in to give Birmingham-based national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia a cash boost. The Premier League crew raised £5,500 through memorabilia auctions and raffles. Items up for grabs included a pair of match-worn gloves autographed by goalkeeper Rui Patricio, an Adama Traore signed shirt and signed boots from star Mexican striker Raul Jimenez. Inspiration to support the charity comes from the club’s former goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2017.

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NEWS

SITTING PRETTY

SAVE A SEAT: A fund-raising Save A Seat campaign raised Birmingham Royal Ballet director Carlos Acosta and Rep artistic director Sean Foley. Picture by Joe Bailey more than £15,000 for Birmingham Rep and Birmingham Royal Ballet. The money will help cover the lost income from some of the seats left empty during the run of the Nutcracker ballet at The Rep after performances in front of socially-distanced live audiences were cancelled due to the pandemic. Sean Foley, artistic director at the Rep said: “We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support of audiences and partners – including the generous matchfunding from DLA Piper LLP.”

TOP MARKS

LOCKDOWN LOVERS The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2018 production of Romeo and Juliet was aired to a national audience as part of the BBC’s Lockdown Learning’s Shakespeare Week. The Romeo and Juliet broadcast is part of a range of other free Shakespeare-related resources that the RSC Picture by Topher McGrillis

Birmingham has added a new landmark to its skyline with the topping out of a 21-storey tower in the city’s Gun Quarter. The 598ft Regent is the tallest of five buildings housing a total of 420 homes being constructed by developers St Joseph’s at Snow Hill Wharf. With 60 per cent of the homes already sold, the first phase of completions is scheduled for this spring.

START-UPS BOOST

Birmingham is still where it’s at for new businesses according to a study which shows the city as the number one place for start-ups outside of London in 2020. The instantprint study showed there were nearly 11,200 new business registrations in Birmingham, well ahead of the likes of Manchester and Glasgow. Unsurprisingly during the pandemic, online accounted for the majority of start-ups with last June recording the highest number of registrations.

is offering to students currently learning at home, and to teachers looking to create lesson plans to deliver online. Erica Whyman, deputy artistic director of the RSC, said: “I hope that this broadcast, which is also on BBC iPlayer, will inspire students and offer them a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s love story.”

HISTORIC WIN

The British Motor Museum is celebrating after winning a prestigious Royal Automobile Club Historic Award. The museum based at Gaydon took the coveted Collection award ahead of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and Vauxhall Heritage and was praised for hosting three exhibitions during 2020 and through two lockdowns. These included celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Range Rover and Metro at

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

40, which is free to view from the museum’s website.

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COVER STORY

GAME FOR A LAUGH COMMITTED QUIZZER, ADIL RAY JUST REALISED A CHILDHOOD AMBITION BY

HOSTING A HIT NEW TV GAMESHOW. LINGO PROVED SO SUCCESSFUL, ANOTHER SERIES IS ON THE WAY. AND DESPITE LOCKDOWN, ADIL TELLS DAVID JOHNS THAT CITIZEN KHAN IS ALSO SET TO RETURN – THIS TIME AS A FILM! resenting Good Morning Britain, hosting a new hit game show, instigating a campaign to encourage Covid vaccination among the BAME community. All in a week’s work for Adil Ray. Oh, and we almost forgot, plans well advanced to bring his famous alter ego, Citizen Khan, to the silver screen. If the pandemic has driven most of us into enforced exile, the comedian, actor, presenter and writer could be said to have stepped up a gear or three – while of course fully observing all the lockdown rules. It feels like Adil’s been on our screens more than ever, in large part due to the ITV gameshow Lingo, which aired in January and February and proved such a success in attracting nearly two million viewers that a new series has now been commissioned. “I grew up watching game shows and quizzes,” said Adil. “So, I’d always wanted to do a gameshow, and I remember saying to my agent a couple of years ago, God, I’d really like to have a go at doing this. So, we met a number of broadcasters and production companies to see what they had in development and we came to this one called Lingo, quite recently actually and it happened really

P

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really quickly. And it’s just a brilliant experience. I always thought in my head that there are two things I would love. One, to do a quiz show that would allow me to have a bit of fun and secondly, didn’t have any quiz questions. And this is it. It’s just so simple to play along.” EVEN LASSIE CAN PLAY IT The premise of Lingo couldn’t be simpler with a grid, a letter and then guess the word. “The kids can play it, the parents can play it, the grandparents can play it – even the dog can play it! Well, maybe not the dog, unless it’s Lassie. Lassie could probably play it,” said Adil. With most of the nation at home because of lockdown, more of us than ever have been watching TV and Adil is more than aware that we could all do with some escapism and fun in our lives. Of his own experience during the pandemic he says: “You know it’s been tricky for everyone hasn’t it. It’s been so difficult for so many people. We all need reminding that there are people much worse off than we are. Those people who have lost close ones, loved ones, who have not been able to attend funerals. People who were struggling already financially with jobs and family

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COVER STORY

Photography by Ian Wallman

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problems. People in other parts of the world that don’t have the NHS like we have. Before the pandemic we were pointing fingers at minorities and we were dividing ourselves as a society and maybe this is one thing that can bring us together.” PUSHING THE JAB Like most of us, Adil found not being able to see family and friends the toughest part. Not real sacrifices, he says, but hard nonetheless. “The big thing is to learn to connect with yourself a little bit more. For instance, I got to spend time in my garden and doing some gardening and that kind of thing. It’s really important to be able to reconnect with yourself. I’ve been doing a bit more cooking at home, so I’ve tried to embrace it a bit.” With Covid vaccines now available, Adil has been leading a big push to get Britain’s ethnic minority communities to have the jab. Research shows a greater reluctance among the BAME community to have vaccinations, so Adil led a new video campaign to encourage take-up of the coronavirus vaccine. Adil was joined by the likes of presenter Konnie Huq, London mayor Sadiq Khan and cricketer Moeen Ali in the five-minute clip which was broadcast across TV channels and on Twitter entitled, If You Could Save Someone’s Life. COOKING UP A STORM Adil says the pandemic has really focussed his mind on his own well-being. “It has definitely made me think to look after myself more physically and mentally. I don’t think I will ever stop trying to chase work, it’s a bit of thing, it keeps me going, keeps me sane to a certain extent. That will never stop, trying to work, trying to

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write something, trying to act, trying to present. Alongside that I’ve got to concentrate more on my health and wellbeing, watch what I eat. I started running last year and I want to keep that going – it’s slight harder in the cold winter months!” One way Adil finds to relax and unwind is to get in the kitchen. “I absolutely love cooking,” he says, “but not in a competitive way! I don’t think I could ever do Celebrity Bakeoff or Masterchef. Never say never, if they pay well and I’m looking for work, who knows in years to come… “I find cooking therapeutic and calming. A few times over lockdown I’ve Zoomed friends and we’ve shared curry recipes. That’s just brilliant.” Born and raised in Yardley and having started his career with the BBC Asian Network, Adil has always been proud of his home city. He says: “I live in the ’burbs of Birmingham now, so I don’t get into the city centre so much but I’m aware of all the plans for the city’s redevelopment and they look fantastic. The big question is what will survive the pandemic? What’s the state of the economy going to be? Are some of the restaurants going to survive? Are some of the big companies that are going to move to Birmingham still going to do that? We are just going to have to wait and see. PROUD OF BRUM “I think Birmingham just needs to continue to be proud of itself and not over-compete with other cities. Just be Birmingham. I know that there’s a financial requirement that cities have to redefine themselves but let’s hope we can hold on to our identity, our culture and all the things that make Birmingham very unique.” He adds: “The city’s arts and culture scene is really important and I think there’s a real worry that as we go through a recession and economic downturn, things like arts and culture can be the services that are worst affected when really they should be the ones that are promoted the most in many ways. They are the ones that allow people to tell their stories, to create narratives and represent communities and groups that need attention. And there are people’s livelihoods at stake. “There are people in Birmingham who do great things. I am taking on an ambassadorial role for Create Central (the West Midlands trade body set up to help the region’s film, TV and games industries) which I was involved in from its inception. It’s really important we support creative

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industries, support story-telling in the region and help everyone achieve their goals.” Adil also continues to be at the forefront of calling out racism having spoken about the abuse he has suffered both as a child growing up and as an adult and the online trolling suffered by BAME presenters on TV. He says he believes there are some promising signs in fighting the abuse. RACISM DEBATE “I think we are definitely becoming more open as a society to discussing things which is absolutely the fundamental but there’s two things here. First, I think that the problem with the racism debate is that unfortunately we are in a situation where certain media personalities or media companies are desperate for an audience, whether that’s in print, online, on radio or even on television. So, they allow certain controversies and certain theories and views and opinions to be aired and allow polarisation which is a real problem. That needs to be addressed. “Also, the issue of racism, can’t be one for black people to deal with. It can’t be one for brown people to deal with. It has to be something for white society to deal with and address because if we want real equality you can’t have black people and people of colour fighting race and talking about race for the rest of their lives because that in itself is discrimination. We need black people to be politicians, to be working in commerce, to be creators, to be finding the next vaccine or to be finding the next ground-breaking invention. We don’t need them holding placards and fighting for black lives matter for the rest of their lives because that surely is not what we’re trying to do. That has to come from non-black people. The change has to come from there. And that is what I think we’re still waiting to see in a wider general way.” CITIZEN KHAN RETURNS Turning back to entertainment, what is coming according to Adil is more Citizen Khan. “Citizen Khan is dear to me and I know to a lot of people in Birmingham, and we are working very hard to try and turn it into a film,” he says. “It’s tricky at the moment because of the film industry and cinemas finances but we are confident we will get there. “Hopefully a Citizen Khan film, partly set in Birmingham with Mr Khan going on a bit of a journey – I don’t want to give too much away at this point – could be really fun!” I

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FEATURE

MODERNIST MAN SHELLEY CARTER CAUGHT UP WITH

ALEX EDWARDS OF BRUMHAUS ABOUT THE CITY’S CHANGING SKYLINE,

MODERNIST INFLUENCES AND RUSSIA…

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f you’re on Instagram and you love Brum, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the modernist cityscapes of Alex Edwards at Brumhaus. What began with a sketch of the brutalist Old Central Library on a post-it note, has morphed into a successful career and a style that’s instantly recognisable. With a degree in Visual Communications and a career in graphic design pre-Brumhaus, Alex describes his geometric depictions of Birmingham’s built-up skyline as ‘pictures that are patterns, but are also recognisable’. When the company Alex worked for relocated, his commute became an opportunity to take in the built-up city centre and he started drawing. He says: “It was a labour of love initially.” The Old Library sketch which was picked up online and given some love on social media, was a catalyst to go it alone. Leaving a stable job as a graphic designer was a bit daunting. Alex gradually went from full to part time and then finally took the plunge in 2017. He says: “There was no masterplan. It was a bit of a leap of faith.” Inspired by Picasso – his Bull picture is an homage to the artist – and Paul Klee of Bauhaus hence the name, as well as sculptor William Mitchell who specialised in concrete relief, Alex’s work reflects his love of a built-up skyline.

I

CHANGING SKYLINE He’s given many of Birmingham’s best views the modernist treatment such as Old Joe, Digbeth, Gas Street Basin and many more. Alex says: “I choose to draw things that people identify with. For example, Digbeth High Street. A lot of people love that place.” The process Alex uses is satisfyingly ordered. At a time when we’re in control of very little, it appeals hugely. An initial pencil sketch on a grid which helps create the composition is then redrawn a few times before being put through graphics software and printed on top quality paper. Alex explains: “I’ve used the software for 20 years. It allows me to make changes toward the end of the process like adjusting colours or adding definition. You know what you’re going to get and I think as an artist it’s important to have a process. It’s part of my success.”

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With Birmingham’s skyline changing significantly, there’s much to do. “I’ll have to update Colmore Row when 103 Colmore Row is finished and St Paul’s needs updating too. I’ve been planning to draw the Floozie for a while, but there’s talk of reinstating the water, so I’ll wait a while.” He adds: “There are big changes in Eastside obviously and I’ve a pencil sketch of Grand Central that I keep coming back to. I’ve also done Sutton Park which was a bit different as it’s all organic shapes. Generally, I prefer drawing buildings.” FROM RUSSIA VIA BRUM There’s a limited edition print on sale now that emerged from a project designing merchandise for Russian band Blues Bastards for their single, Lights Out. The Russian connection seems quite random, but apparently not. EKBrum Music Session 2020 was an online event that took place last year bringing together musicians from Birmingham with those of similarly industrialised and populated

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Russian city, Ekaterinburg – a sort of modern day town twinning through music. Alex got involved creating graphics to promote the event fusing the skylines of both cities. The Blues Bastards work came on the back of it. Alex has worked from his home studio since Brumhaus began, it’s just now he’s doing it with more people around and more frequent requests for snacks! Aside from one local gallery in Sutton, Brumhaus sales are predominantly online, so Covid

BAG YOURSELF A BRUMHAUS Check out more of Alex’s work at Brumhaus.uk and on Etsy

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restrictions haven’t affected the business as much as some. Alex largely credits that with having a sizeable and engaged social media following as well as the trend for home improvements during lockdown. One thing that has changed is that Alex isn’t taking commissions and working to other people’s briefs anymore which means output has increased. Local arts markets have been missing from the Brumhaus schedule, but as we write, there’s hope of restrictions lifting, so Birmingham’s creative community can get back to meeting customers and one another again. Alex says: “2020 was strange and I think we’re just all working out what 2021 will mean. It’ll be great to see actual people.” Amen. I

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CELEBRATING OUR 100 TH ISSUE!


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A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE SUPPORTED US SO FAR AND HERE’S TO THE NEXT 100!


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FOOD & DRINK

SUCCESS ON A PLATE

Newly-crowned Michelin Young Chef of the Year, Kray Treadwell, opened his 670 Grams restaurant between lockdowns 1 and 2. While winning accolades wasn’t high on the agenda, he’s understandably cock-a-hoop at the recognition he’s received

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CHEF’S CORNER

Tell us about your cooking The restaurant scene in Birmingham is great and outside London, better than any city, but if you want to eat fantastic food without paying £120 for a tasting menu, well, there’s a bit of a gap. It’s the middle ground that’s lacking. We’re offering an affordable experience that’s a bit different and customers are happy. I want people my age to be able to come here and eat great food affordably. My style is quite unique. Flavour obviously comes first, but presentation is really important. I like to build the colours up on the plate. There are no swipes across white crockery. It’s a bit different. It’s food that people like to eat and there are no unusual ingredients for the hell of it. How did you become a chef? I started washing pots at the Asquith in Edgbaston under Glynn Purnell when I was 15. I did that for a year then Jason Eaves took on the Asquith and I started doing more and more. Initially I just worked weekends then started going after school too and got more into it. My family didn’t really get cheffing. They couldn’t understand why I was working 70 hours a week for £600. They work traditional nine-to-five jobs. It was only when I was on TV they understood! What do you eat at home? Takeaways! Peri chicken with wraps and loads of sauces from Peri Lick on Coventry Road. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? Best in the world is Albert Adria from El Bulli. Everyone credits Heston Blumenthal with transforming cooking and pushing it to another level, but it was Adria. In Brum, it’s got to be Glynn Purnell for all that he’s achieved. It’s harder to be consistent once you’re well known, but he’s managed it. How is your restaurant adapting to the pandemic? We’re in a better position than a lot of restaurants. The pandemic delayed our opening last year from June to August which meant we had time to ensure every detail was absolutely perfect. Also, the restaurant is small, so rent and staffing bills are minimal. If you’re a 40-seat restaurant this is crippling. We aren’t entitled to grants or

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loans because we don’t have 12 months trading behind us, but we have benefited from the furlough scheme which has been great. We’ve also started doing At-Home boxes. We’ve done six so far and they’ve all sold out. We’re using it as opportunity to play around with menus. Each box has been different. To win the Young Chef of the Year award was a nice thing to happen in lockdown too. I had no expectations this year. Michelin gave me the nod four days before the announcement. Awards aren’t everything, but it’s just a nice thing to have. Share a cooking tip Don’t worry if your vegetables aren’t chopped the same. What was your favourite food as a kid? Mini chocolate Weetabix. I think it’s because I was only allowed it at certain times, so it made me love it more. Food heaven and food hell? Food heaven is grade 5 wagyu beef and food hell is white asparagus – it tastes even more like piss than the green stuff. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? A footballer. You’ve got to dream. I Check out https://670grams.com/ and keep an eye on Instagram for At-Home boxes @670grams 670 Grams, The Custard Factory, 4 Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AU.

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FOOD & DRINK

NIBBLES and SHORTS

BARS AND RESTAURANTS HAVE BEEN AMONG THE HARDEST HIT BY THE PANDEMIC. DESPERATE TO MOVE OUT OF THE CITY’S STRICT LOCKDOWN, OUR FOOD AND DRINK BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION WITH AMAZING STORIES AND CREATIVE RESPONSES TO THE MOST CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT IN LIVING MEMORY

SPORTING TRIUMPH A Birmingham City University graduate has won a research

LANDMARK VICTORY A Birmingham music bar and nightclub won a landmark legal battle to receive an insurance pay-out

competition run by the professional body for sport and exercise

for losses caused by the first Covid-19 lockdown. The Velvet

in the UK. Wee Lun Foo, who graduated from the university last

Music Rooms & Sugar Suite club in Broad Street benefitted from

year with a BSc in sports and exercise nutrition, won the British

the Supreme Court ruling which found in favour of small firms receiving payments from business interruption insurance

Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)

policies. Owner Dani Hadley, who runs the

Undergraduate Dissertation of the Year Award 2020 for his research, which looked at the effect of carbohydrate-caffeine mouth rinsing on the performance of amateur footballers.

family-owned club with her sister Eilis Collins, said the ruling meant the business “should receive a six-figure sum”.

VIDEO PREVIEWS GRAND OPENING

UNI LAUNCHES FOOD AID HUB

The Grand Hotel Birmingham released a teaser video ahead of its

A training hub packed with vital support for food and hospitality

spring re-opening following its £45million refurbishment. The

professionals struggling due to the pandemic has been unveiled

video, which gives viewers a taste of what to expect from the

by University College Birmingham in partnership with the NEC

revamped hotel, was aired to coincide with the Grand’s original

Group. The Food and Hospitality Hub @UCB gives those

opening in 1897. General manager Peter Kienast said: “As soon

working in one of the hardest-hit industries the chance to gain

as Government guidelines allow, we are ready and waiting to

new practical and business skills, tapping into the expertise of

open our doors.” The Grade II listed hotel has 185 bedrooms and

the university’s teaching staff, plus free access to a range of

suites, cocktail bar, brasserie and 10 meeting and event spaces,

resources already used by students.

including the stunning Grand Ballroom.

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FOOD & DRINK

CHINESE TREATS Contemporary Chinese restaurant

HOME DINING ON THE MENU Oakman Inns – owners of the Four Alls Welford on Avon, Globe Warwick and Beech House, Solihull – has launched Oakman At Home kits, featuring their most popular dishes. The service kicked off in February with a brace of options, including a Romantic Valentine’s Feast for Two created by award-winning chef director Ross Pike, with plans to expand the menu over the coming weeks.

group, Tattu is offering a new selection of at-home experiences for nationwide delivery. The Tattu

HAIL THE MICHELIN MARVELS…

By You cook-at-home meal boxes

Four restaurants in Birmingham city

recreate some of Tattu’s signature

centre have won entries in the UK’s

dishes, including crispy aromatic

Michelin Guide 2021. Inspectors

duck spring rolls, fillet steak and

recognised the quality cooking at Craft

caramel soy and ginger brunoise.

Dining and its separate 8 restaurant at

Also launched is an at-home wine

the International Convention Centre,

tasting experience, developed in

Pulperia, Brindleyplace and 670 Grams

partnership with wine distributors,

restaurant in Deritend. Inclusion in the

Berkmann Wines and a selection of

guide is seen as one step away from a

mixed and ready-to-pour cocktails from the Tattu Favourites collection

JUST EAT IN THAT VIEW!

restaurant receiving a Michelin star. Five Michelin-starred restaurants in Birmingham – Simpsons, Opheem, Purnell’s, Adam’s and Carters of Moseley – retained their stars in this year’s guide.

Luxury restaurant and bar group D&D is to launch a rooftop restaurant in Birmingham’s tallest new office tower, 103 Colmore Row, this autumn. The eatery on the 24th floor will give diners panoramic views across the city and beyond. D&D, which owns and operates a collection of 43 diverse restaurants, bars and one hotel, will also run a ground floor cocktail bar and cafe with an outdoor terrace that will form an integral part of the building’s feature winter garden.

… AS KRAY SCOOPS TOP CHEF TITLE In another coup for Birmingham’s restaurant scene,

THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL ‘FAST’ FOOD! Computing and electronic engineering graduate Aaron Bedward has launched a

Solihull-born Kray Treadwell, who owns 670 Grams at Digbeth’s Custard Factory, was

new app to deliver food essentials at retail prices to residents in the city in just 20

also awarded the Michelin

minutes. Aaron said: “We brought BSKET to central Birmingham first, because I’m

Young Chef Award Great Britain

from here and I love this city – but also because it’s the perfect testing ground for a

and Ireland. Kray used to wash

brand-new service. Our aim is to have fully staffed and distributed fulfilment centres

dishes for Glynn Purnell. He’s

in key areas across Birmingham in 2021, plus teams of delivery drivers.” The BSKET

also the subject of this month’s

app is available through Google Play on Android and the App Store on iOS.

Chef’s Corner on page 20.

SIMLA BOXES CLEVER Indian restaurant Simla has launched a new nationwide Dine At Home box service to heat up whenever you fancy treating yourself. The service features two types of boxes – the Curry Box with favourites such as butter chicken, lamb bhuna masala and dal-fry rogani, and the Surf & Turf box, which includes the much-loved Kashmiri rib-eye steak and Chutney Mary prawns. Owner Mo Nanu said: “Our regular customers have been crying out for this so I am so happy we can finally launch it.”

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SEASON’S EATINGS

RHUBARB WITH A TWIST Try this simple recipe to make a lip-smackingly great ketchup

hubarb is bang in season right now – and utterly delicious! For something a little different why not try this simple recipe for rhubarb ketchup which works amazingly with pork belly. It’s a cross between a jelly and a puree that can brighten a main course, making for a cracking weekend dish or maybe something a little different for Easter.

R

Ingredients

I 250g trimmed rhubarb I 8g agar agar

I 100g apple juice I sugar

Method For the ketchup: Poach the rhubarb until soft then add the apple juice, agar agar and sprinkle sugar to taste. Boil for 20 seconds then pop in fridge to set. For the roast pork belly: Score 1.5 kg of pork belly using a very sharp knife, salt and roast skin side down on a non-stick tray at 180c for an hour. Turn and then roast till crisp (around another hour). The pork will be ready when the juices run clear and the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Once cooked, drain the fat, add a ladle of chicken stock and a teaspoon of flour to make a nice meaty sauce. To serve: Blitz the rhubarb ketchup in a blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Garnish the pork belly with watercress and a little shaved fennel. Serve with the rhubarb ketchup alongside. Yummy!

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

LIBERTINE BURGER n the last issue we said we hoped it would be the last time we reviewed an At Home box. We tempted fate and came off worse, so here we are again, Groundhog Day, although to be honest, we’d happily do this one again and again. We’d happily do this one again and again. Sorry – we blame lockdown fatigue. With restaurants in Leamington Spa and Rugby, Libertine is the brainchild of Charles Harris, the man behind some of the region’s best gastropubs like the Stag at Offchurch and Moorings at Myton among others. We’ve never eaten a burger in any of them, but the Libertine website had us salivating, so we went all in. We ordered #004 for four people which is signature beef patty made with a combo of Aubrey Allen flank, chuck and brisket, sesame seed brioche buns, crispy bacon, cheese, ketchup, mustard and pickles. It all came cool packed with detailed instructions and very cute branded squeezy bottles American diner style for the ketchup and mustard. We ordered sides of Tater Tots – little new potatoes roasted until golden and topped with an incredible

I

march 2021

Visit: libertineburger.com

cheesy sauce and bacon bits. We also tried a punchy chilli version which came with a top-notch chimichurri. While they were seriously delicious, the burger was the main event. Little details like lightly toasting the bun, the precise cooking instructions (four minutes either side) which left the patty pink in the middle, the way you put the lid of the bun on top of the patty, cheese and bacon in the pan, so it becomes part of the burger rather than perching on top makes all the difference. There was a lot of slurping and ‘ooh that’s really good’ on repeat from all corners of the table. While it’s not dignified or probably that good for you snaffled too often, crumbs it’s a bloomin’ delight. We over ordered as is our wont and probably one portion of sides would have been enough for four, but that’s it, the only criticism we have. We spent less than we would have at Five Guys and it was in another league, no galaxy, neigh universe. (Oh, and if there’s an At Home review in the next issue we’ll run naked down Digbeth High Street…) I

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

MIXED BERRY MOJITO Join us as we raise a glass to brighter days ahead with this fruity little number

pring is coming and it feels like we could be returning to some normality which is rather wonderful and definitely worth celebrating. But celebrating doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to forget to be healthy, so why not raise a glass to the easing of restrictions with this fruity little number that has all the taste but none of the alcohol.I

S

ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY INGREDIENTS: I 3 blackberries I 3 raspberries

I 3 blueberries

I 8 to 10 mint leaves I 30ml lime juice

I 30ml strawberry syrup I Apple juice

METHOD: Place the berries into a sling glass. Add the mint leaves. Muddle berries and mint together – you can use a spoon to do this. Add lime juice and strawberry syrup. Add crushed ice and churn – again, you can use a spoon to do this. Top with apple juice. Garnish with a raspberry, blueberry, blackberry and mint sprig.

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FOOD & DRINK

HARE COMES SPRING

THE MONTH WHEN MOTHER NATURE BURSTS BACK INTO LIFE IS ALSO A TIME TO CELEBRATE WITH A GLASS OR TWO OF OUR FAVOURITE WINES

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arch is the month when we start to look forward to brighter spring days. But it’s also a month when the last throes of winter can still make themselves felt. With that in mind, we’re still into snuggling down with a glass of good red wine – with our favourite box of chocs – until the warmer days arrive! For some people it will be surprising to read that red wine can go well with chocolate. But it’s important to know which wines go with which chocolates. Taste is a personal thing so if you like to munch on a Crunchie while swigging a white zinfandel, then go ahead and enjoy yourself. But if you want to bring out the best in the wine there are a couple of rules to follow. Most quality chocolate will indicate a cocoa solids percentage on the packaging. This number tells you how much of the chocolate comes from the cocoa bean. Red wines need chocolates with higher cocoa content – so dark chocolates with 70 to 100 per cent. The intensity of flavour of the chocolate complements the more intense flavours of a red wine. As you decrease the cocoa content and increase sweetness you need to find sweeter wines.

M

FLAVOUR-PACKED Red wine’s generally higher alcohol content makes it a perfect late winter/early spring warmer. Wines from hotter countries tend to have more flavour, power and alcohol. So, if you’re looking for something to take you away somewhere warm, think about wines from southern Italy, the South of France or Australia. Shiraz, or Syrah as it’s known in France, is used to make full-bodied wines. Often blended in Europe, where winemakers tend to keep the grape variety off the label, it can produce some wonderful wines. The Rhone Valley is the European heartland of the grape, where further south it is blended with grapes such as Grenache and Mourvèdre to make spicy, warming wines. In Australia, Shiraz thrives in places like the Barossa Valley where it generally produces fruitier and jammier wines with a higher alcohol content.

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4

FOOD & DRINK

TOP REDS TO TRY

Tesco Finest Valle De Colchagua Merlot 2019 – juicy fresh plum fruit and vanilla with subtle smokiness. At Tesco, £8.

Parcel Series Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot 2017 – a Bordeaux style blend full of warming fruit. From Majestic, £9.99 (mix six price). Morrisons The Best Toscana 2018 – a spicy and savoury red wine from central Italy with red fruit flavours lingering beneath. At Morrisons, £10. Peter Lehman H&V Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017 – a great example of a full-bodied warming Aussie Shiraz full of dark fruit flavours. From the Wine Society, £11.95.

Red wines with high tannins, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, work better with darker chocolate. Fruiter wines, like an Australian Shiraz will start to work better with slightly less bitter chocolate. Chocolate with a bit of fruit in it will bring out the fruity flavours in the wine too. And when you have flavoured chocolate, think about the flavours of the wine. Chocolate with chilli in it will feel hotter if you have a wine with high tannins, so look for something softer like a Merlot or a Primitivo. It can be tricky to match chocolate and wine, but it’s a lot of fun trying. And what’s more – both are considered aphrodisiacs – so it might be worth persevering anyway. I

This article was written by Birmingham Wine School’s Rupert Upshon. Check out his blog at www.ginger-wine.com

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

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HEALTH

IS YOUR LIFE ONE BIG YAWN?

IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP AND REALISE YOU NEED MORE SLEEP arch is National Bed Month, a time for a lie-in before learning about the importance of a good night’s sleep! Organised by the Sleep Council, the month aims to remind us all of why a sound sleep is good for our health. It also sees World Sleep Day (19 March), an annual event intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving. Just in case you’re wondering why anyone needs to be encouraged to have a sleep, official UK data reveals:

M I I I I

25 per cent of people suffer with sleep issues 20 per cent of schoolchildren are not getting enough sleep 40 per cent of road deaths are related to fatigue £42billion is the cost to the UK economy caused by sleep deprivation

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WHY SLEEP IS IMPORTANT Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. When it comes to their health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. 1. Better productivity and concentration There were several studies that scientists did in the early 2000s which concluded that sleep has links to several brain functions, including concentration, productivity and cognition and children’s sleep patterns can have a direct impact on their behaviour and academic performance. 2. Lower weight gain risk The link between weight gain and obesity and short sleep patterns is not completely clear but a lack of sleep may affect a person’s desire or ability to maintain a healthful lifestyle and as such may be a direct contributor to weight gain.

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HEALTH

3. Better calorie regulation Similarly to gaining weight, there is evidence to suggest that getting a good night’s sleep can help a person consume fewer calories during the day. When a person does not sleep long enough, it can interfere with their body’s ability to regulate food intake correctly. 4. Greater athletic performance Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can boost a person’s athletic performance. Other benefits include better performance intensity, more energy, better coordination and faster speed. 5. Lower risk of heart disease One risk factor for heart disease is high blood pressure and research suggests getting adequate rest each night allows the body’s blood pressure to regulate itself. Doing so can reduce the chances of sleep-related conditions such as apnea (irregular breathing) and promote better overall heart health. 6. Preventing depression The association between sleep and mental health has been the subject of research for a long time. One conclusion is that there is a link between lack of sleep and depression. A recent study examines patterns of death by suicide over 10 years. It concludes that lack of sleep is a contributing factor to many of these deaths. 7. Stronger immune system Sleep helps the body repair, regenerate, and recover. The immune system is no exception to this relationship. Some research shows how better sleep quality can help the body fight off infection.

TOP TIPS FOR BETTER KIP The average adult should be aiming for a minimum of seven hours sleep. Here are some tips for a better night’s kip: I Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule: Keeping regular hours helps the body’s sleep system stay in harmony and promotes feelings of sleepiness and drowsiness when your body is ready for sleep. Therefore,

march 2021

where possible, wake up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time every night. I Get out into natural light as soon as is practical in the morning, preferably around the same time every day: Natural light helps reset our internal body clock and makes us more alert. I Engage in daytime exercise: Exercise promotes the quantity and quality of your sleep, making it deeper and more refreshing. Be sure to leave two hours between any exercise and bedtime though. I Avoid stimulants that contain caffeine eight hours before bedtime: Although there are significant individual differences in how caffeine affects each of us, give yourself enough time between your last caffeine intake and your sleep time to make sure that it does not interfere with your ability to doze off. I Don’t go to bed full, hungry or thirsty: Eating at regular times helps strengthen our internal body clock. However, eating a heavy meal before bedtime can make it challenging to sleep at night. Drinking lots of liquid before bed will also increase the chances that we have to go to the bathroom during the night. Conversely, being hungry or thirsty at night can increase the chances of waking up. I Reduce electronic use before bedtime and avoid electronic use in the bedroom: Using electronics just before bed and in the bedroom can keep us awake for longer. I Don’t use alcohol to sleep: Although alcohol is a sedative, it can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep. I Avoid nicotine before bed: Nicotine is a short-acting stimulant that can keep you awake. I Ensure the bedroom is cool, dark and quiet before bed: Heat, light and noise can impact on our ability to get off to sleep.

More advice available from the Sleep Council at sleepcouncil.org.uk

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HEALTH

SHAPING UP WITH ROB’S GREATEST

HIITS

AIR AMBULANCE DOCTOR ROB MORRIS REVEALS HIS FAVOURITE HIITS – HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING – EXERCISES AT HOME

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HEALTH

busy lifestyle can make it tough to find enough time to keep yourself in shape. We asked Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s flight doctor, Dr Rob Morris for his advice and he put together a selection of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises – a mix of upper body, lower body, core and cardio moves. HIIT is great to fit into a busy schedule and doesn’t take up much room at home.

A

ROB’S WORKOUT Start with 30 seconds of exercise and then 30 seconds rest following each exercise. The exercises listed will make up one round. See if you can build up to two or three rounds as your fitness level increases. Burpees – Starting in a squat position, lean forward down onto your hands kicking your feet out behind you into the push up position. Do one push up, and as you come up bring your legs up and drive up into the air with a small jump before landing back down into the squat position and repeating. Up down plank – Start in a high plank and drop down onto your elbows. Alternate the arm that you drop down onto and push up with. High plank with arm and leg raises – In a high plank reach forward and lift opposite arm and leg before alternating to the other side. Reverse lunges with knee drive – Standing with your feet together, step back with the right leg into a reverse lunge keeping your back straight. Drive forward bringing your right leg up in front of you. Add a little jump as you do so for extra effort. Repeat using your left leg to lunge. Side shuffle – Keeping the knees bent, shuffle four or five paces from side to side reaching down to touch the ground at either end. Bicycle crunches – Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and lift your feet just off the floor. Curl up and rotate bringing your elbow to meet your opposite knee and repeat alternating sides as you go. Spider lunge – From a high plank position bring your right foot up and place it next to your right hand. Step back into a high plank and then do the same with your left foot. Keep alternating legs for each move. Crab toe touches – Sit on the floor and lift yourself up on your hands and feet into a crab position. At the same time straighten one leg up in front of you. Reach forward with the opposite hand to touch your toes. Side plank – Hold your body straight in a side plank with your arm straight up, concentrating on holding your core tense. Hold for 15 seconds and then swap to the other side.

For more details about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity visit: midlandsairambulance.com

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ing livSTYLE

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MOOD BOOSTER

RIP LOUNGEWEAR. WE’RE WEARING ACTUAL CLOTHES AGAIN AND THEY’RE ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY JOYFUL PASTELS. YOU?

PASTEL POWER

Novi mule £75, Dune

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STYLE

BEST DRESSED

True Decadence pastel floral lace mini dress £64.80 (was £135), Harvey Nichols

BUTTON UP

FLOWER POWER

Tea House cardigan £49, White Stuff

Ruffle midi belted dress £18, F&F

plifting as a freshly opened cluster of daffs, this season’s pastel hues provide maximum joy and general all-round smiley vibes. Parma violet lilac, baby blue, subtle yellow, the palest of pinks and a mere hint of green are rocking our sartorial world and we thoroughly recommend. M&S has stepped up with super cute accessories and uncharacteristically, footwear. Enamel hair clips, scalloped edge flats and baby blue heels are where it’s at. Oliver Bonas, as always, is on the money across womenswear and bargain brand, F&F has surpassed itself. The pink trucker coat pictured is a steal. If you’re feeling more extravagant, check out Simone Rocha’s poplin shirt dress with oversized bow detail or Moncler Genius x Pantalone’s high rise linen trousers at Selfridges. Maje’s lilac croc embossed bag, pictured, is a winner too. A True Decadence

GO GREEN

Further flat £59, Office

U

HIGH RISE

Moncler Genius x 1952 Pantalone high rise cotton and linen blend trousers £470, Selfridges

IN THE DETAIL

Pin tuck blouse, M&S

MELLOW YELLOW

Quilted flats £35, M&S

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STYLE

DOUBLE DENIM

Clothing from New Look

LIT KNIT

PUFF SLEEVE

Cowl neck raglan stitch knit jumper £49, Monsoon

Blue top £16, F&F

SCALLOPED EDGE

IT’S A WRAP

Pastel flats £35, M&S

Chunky longline wrap cardigan £28, Dorothy Perkins

SKY BLUE

SAFETY FIRST

Wrap cardigan £46, FatFace

Green face covering £7, Accessorize

WELL HEELED

Blue court, M&S

pastel floral mini dress at Harvey Nichols, pictured, ticks all of our spring boxes and is currently reduced. Assuming we’re allowed out, dress it up with killer heels or down with a pair of sneakers for day. At the time of writing, non-essential shops are still closed, but all items are available online. There’s chatter of retail opening safely soon, so we’ll be back to trawling the rails IRL for you as soon as is allowed. For now, happy shopping online.

PUMP IT UP

Julia Mays 754 suede almond toe pump £339, Harvey Nichols

CROSS BACK

Light blue dungaree £65, White Stuff

CUTE CLIPS

Hair accessories, M&S

IN THE BAG

Bevette bag £65, Dune

SLING IT BACK

Corallina shoe £80, Dune

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TAKE A BOW

Simone Rocha bow embellished cotton poplin shirt dress £695, Selfridges

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STYLE

TRUE BLUE

Clothing from River Island

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STYLE

PURPLE PATCH

Gallena sunglasses £35, Dune

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STYLE GET SHIRTY

Pink trucker coat £25, F&F

BERET GOOD

Cost fleece lined beret £23, Joe Browns

SHEER BLISS

COOL MULE

Manarola mule £49, Office

JACKET IT IN

RIGHT STRIPES

Reiss Marlena semi sheer crepe blouse £115, Selfridges

Rib chunky stripe jumper £59.50, Oliver Bonas

Pink denim jacket, M&S

GREAT HEIGHT

Hayward platform £55, Office

DREAMY LILAC

USE YOUR HEAD

Wide knot headband £9, Accessorize

Maje Croc embossed bag £219, Selfridges

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BEAUTY UPDATE BEAUTY

1

We’ve been all about nourishing skincare during

lockdown, but now with signs of restrictions easing,

we’re tentatively cracking open the make-up bag again and it feels great. We’ve highlighted some cute new

products here including an exciting collab with MAC x

2

Harris Reed plus a winning eye pencil, a hero body

butter that will smooth the most parched skin and a wondrous hair masque that works after one outing.

1. MAC X HARRIS REED FIGHTING FOR THE BEAUTY OF FLUIDITY EYESHADOW PALETTE £28, SELFRIDGES SELFRIDGES.COM Gender fluid fashion designer, Harris Reed has teamed up with MAC to bring you this popping palette featuring rich golds, heated hues and earth tones in beautiful renaissance-inspired packaging.

3

4

2. MARC JACOBS EXTRA SHOT CAFFEINE CONCEALER & FOUNDATION £30, HARVEY NICHOLS Containing caffeine and coconut, this really packs a brightening, hydrating punch. Coverage is great too and it comes in 30 shades which we love.

3. PAT MCGRATH LABS PERMAGEL ULTRA GLIDE EYE PENCIL 1.2G £23 SELFRIDGES SELFRIDGES.COM Pat McGrath has done it again. Waterproof, six bold colourways and easy-peasy to apply, this is a winner whether you’re after a subtle line or a dramatic sweep of colour. It also absolutely stays put while others might slip. 4. BOTANICAL REPAIR INTENSIVE STRENGTHENING MASQUE RICH £45, AVEDA.CO.UK We’re always wary of products that claim significant difference after just one use, but this intense masque is the holy grail of healthy looking hair. It genuinely leaves hair much shinier and feeling nourished immediately – for reference we have thick medium length hair. 5. WELEDA SKIN FOOD BODY BUTTER £19.75, WELEDA.CO.UK An absolute hero product that results in smooth, hydrated, healthy skin. Even our elbows and knees are crinkle free which is the ultimate test! A little goes a long way as it’s rich and indulgent making it brilliant value for money too.

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STYLE FOR MEN

COLOUR BLOCK S PASTELS ARE WHERE IT’S AT FOR GUYS TOO THIS SEASON, SO BE BRAVE AND EMBRACE THE ICE CREAM TONES

HERO SHIRT Clothing from M&S

tep away from navy and grey and reach for this season’s sunny sorbet hues. It might push the envelope a bit, but mint green, lilac and the palest of pinks will inject a significant spring into your gait and who doesn’t want that right now? We accept that head-to-toe sorbet could be a bit much for any of you pastel virgins out there – so if you’re not quite ready for the full experience, add a pastel hoodie in to the mix, like the aqua version from River Island or a pair of rosy trews from Primark… but perhaps not together! I

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STYLE FOR MEN

PASTEL PLAY Sweatshirts from Topman

AQUA MAN Hoodie £35, River Island TERRIFIC TREWS Powder pink trousers £15, Primark BABY BLUE Three pack crew neck tees £35, FatFace

BILLIONAIRE BOY Billionaire Boys Club pink logo tee £65, Harvey Nichols

HELLO SUNSHINE Ely Pique polo in marigold £29.50, FatFace

TIE DYE FOR Lilac Hollywood over dye tee £14.99, Topman

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LILAC’S BACK Lilac cotton sweater £14, Primark

THINK PINK Fisherman crew neck £30, Burton

MINT GOALS Adidas Originals Adicolour mint cotton sweatshirt £60, Harvey Nichols

ZIP IT Jacket, River Island

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ng il viHOMES

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DESIGNER KITCHEN

WE’RE DONE WITH DIY, IT’S TIME TO CALL IN THE BIG GUNS!

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HOMES

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

eople polishing their homes during the pandemic is showing no sign of waning with before and after shots still filling social media feeds. Much of the flurry of activity is DIY for obvious reasons, but with the lockdown easing and infection rates falling, it might be time to welcome back trades people into our lives for the big projects that we don’t feel equipped to tackle – like the allimportant kitchen. A kitchen is more than a room where we cook. These days it’s probably the hardest working room in the home - living space, work space, cooking, dining and relaxing. There’s a knack to nailing a space that fulfils all of those functions that a decent designer will have the vision to see. Check out some of the region’s talented designers like Classic Interiors in

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HEART OF THE HOME Open kitchen by Scavolini, scavolini.design

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Edgbaston, Lisa Melvin at Kuche and Bagno, Kitchen Gallery at the Mailbox, Poggenpohl Birmingham and Neptune in Edgbaston among others who’ve a strong track record of successful projects under their belt. INSPIRATION Yes, it’ll be more expensive than winging it, but kitchen renovation isn’t easily reversed if you make a blunder and with numerous skilled trades required such as plumbing and electrics, it’s not something to play at and could end up costing you more in the long run. It’s a good move to have some rough ideas before you sit down with a designer, so we’ve included some inspiration in these pages. We reckon you’ll get the best results from a designer you like, trust and who gets you, so meet them, chat, look at previous work and make an informed decision. It’s a biggie. Obviously check current restrictions before embarking on a project. I

CLEAN LINES Designer Awards 2020 Gold Winner, Q-Line from Classic Interiors, classicinteriors.co.uk

MORE THAN COOKING Kitchen designed by Lisa Melvin Design, lisamelvindesign.co.uk

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

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HOMES

TRADITIONAL CHARM Neptune Henley kitchen hand-painted in sage from £14,000, neptune.co.uk

RIGHT LIGHTS Pendants from Nest.co.uk

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CHARACTER PACKED Bar stools by Cult Furniture, cultfurniture.com

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SHELVE IT Wireworks Cook House utensils rail shelf £78, Nest

COOL STOOL Lucia velvet bar stool £119, Cult Furniture

BOTTLE IT Green bottle stopper £10, Honey Bee Home

COLOUR POP Passaro butter dish £19.50, Oliver Bonas

WELL LIT Solaris candle £10, Honey Bee Home

FINISHING TOUCHES YOUR DREAM KITCHEN DESERVES SOME BEAUTIFUL ACCESSORIES TO COMPLETE THE LOOK CHOP CHOP Striped patterned marble cutting board £43, Cult Furniture

CIN CIN Serax Anita Le Grelle glass carafe £30, Amara

THE EYES HAVE IT Jonathan Adler Le Wink coaster set £78, Amara THE KNIVES ARE OUT Bird cheese knives £24, Oliver Bonas

CLOCKS AWAY Internoitaliano Turi wall clock £119, Nest

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PENDANT POWER Warm Nordic Opal Lamella pendant light £275, Nest

CHIC STORAGE Soho Home Everyday storage jar £20, Soho Home

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MOTORING

GROWLING PANDA FIVE DOORS, ULTRA-AGILE

HANDLING AND A WILD SIDE TO TAKE ON ANY TERRAIN. SUE

COOKE TEST DRIVES FIAT’S PANDA CITY CROSS HYBRID

n the middle of a jungle of trees, I attempted to scale a very steep muddy hill, made more slippery by previous journalist escapades. I ended up sideways near the top and gently slid towards the bottom. With several quick gear changes, and once the little Fiat had found footage and with a huge boost of acceleration, I reached the top.

I

The Fiat Panda Cross proved its off-road prowess when launched to motoring journalists and is the car needed for wet weather. There have been 120 versions and special editions of the Panda which is in its 40th year. And now there is a hybrid version with an affordable price from £11,895 OTR, and savings on road tax and fuel consumption. New features include updated bumpers, colour options, 16-inch alloy wheels and interior – with seats and dashboard created from recycled materials. GROWING DEMAND I had the opportunity to road test the Panda City Cross hybrid. With sales of new diesel and petrol engine powered cars stopping in 2030, the growing demand is for models using electric motors or those with a combustion engine and an electric motor (hybrid). Fiat’s 1.0-litre mild hybrid unit with 70 horsepower debuted in 2020. The new Euro 6D three-cylinder engine from the FireFly family is combined with a Beltintegrated Starter Generator (BSG) electric motor. I watched on the dash as the system showed recovered energy when I braked or decelerated or coasted down a steep hill. The electric motor stores the energy and uses it to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and helps with acceleration. While I would describe the exterior Panda expression as being cute, with huge soulful headlamps, much like its wilder

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FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Fiat Panda City Cross Launch Edition Price: £14,730 without options otr Engine: 1.0-litre Hybrid with electric motor Performance: 0-62mph in 14.7seconds and on to a top speed of 96mph CO2 emissions: 126 g/km Combined fuel consumption: 50.4 mpg (WLTP)

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namesake – the engine emits a sound which is far removed from cute. A better description might be a growling Cross little Panda! This practical city car with its off-road look has a robust exterior, LED DRL headlights, black door mirrors, handles, roof rack and side sills. A new ceramic blue pastel paint is available for the first time. LIST OF FIRSTS Inside the cabin, I like the styling. The handle on the inside is placed very near to the hinges which gives the correct leverage to open the door easily. There are steering wheel controls for the Bluetooth radio and mobile phone and a Smartphone cradle sits on top of the dashboard. The Panda has achieved a lot of ‘firsts’. The first car to

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introduce city brake control for city driving and it was the first car in its segment to be powered by a diesel engine. Standard features also include an electronic stability programme and tyre pressure monitoring system. The beauty of this car is its manoeuvrability. Its compact size makes the five-door very much at home on the streets of Birmingham as it squeezes its little rear end between more formidable SUVs. But on wet slippery spring roads and in off-road conditions the Panda emits a throaty growl and just goes for it! I

SHOWROOM

Arnold Clark, Oldbury Ring Way, B69 4JW. Tel: 0121 695600 www.arnoldclark-auto.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

MATTHEW GORDON

WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE YOUNG ACTOR AHEAD OF HIS SOCIALLY-DISTANCED RUN AS JOE SPUD IN DAVID WALLIAMS FAVOURITE, BILLIONAIRE BOY e all know live theatre has been crippled by lockdown rules and there’s no straightforward route to normality, at the time of writing at any rate. Inventive outdoor performances are the only way currently and Birmingham Stage Company – the clever sticks behind Horrible Histories – have put together a super drive-in show that ticks all of the social distancing rules. Matthew Gordon, who plays Joe Spud is delighted to get back on stage after being part of the initial run that began in September 2019 and was halted abruptly when the first lockdown hit. Having graduated from ARLA North in Wigan, Matthew stayed in Manchester for a time, but is now back on home turf in the Midlands. He says despite Billionaire Boy being

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cut short, he’s been lucky during lockdown picking up parts in productions like BBC’s Doctors among other TV work, but he can’t wait to get back on stage. IN THE BUBBLE Adhering to the strict rules of performing sounds a bit intense, mind you. Matthew says: “We all isolate beforehand and then form a working bubble, so essentially we’ll be living together on a tour bus. It is intense, but it’s essential so we can rehearse and perform as needed. We have to be in one another’s space to get the energy.” In case you’ve been living under a rock, Billionaire Boy tells the story of Matthew’s character, Joe Spud who is 12 years old and the richest boy in the country.

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

He has his own sports car, £100,000-a-week pocket money and two crocodiles as pets, but what Joe really wants is a friend. When he decides to leave his posh school and start at the local comprehensive, things don't go as planned and life becomes a bit of a rollercoaster as Joe tries find the one thing money can't buy. Matthew was playing Derek in Tom Gates, also produced by Birmingham Stage Company, when he was asked to audition for Joe. Matthew says: “We can all imagine what we’d do if we had loads of money but all Joe wants is companionship and friendship.” Having originally been offered the part in May 2019, Matthew says it’s great to be back playing Joe.

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Car Park Party launched in summer 2020 with Horrible Histories Barmy Britain followed by Car Park Panto performing Horrible Christmas to 40,000 family members in their cars across the UK. The concept is simple, the audience drive their cars into a designated spot, two metres apart of course. There’s a big screen on the stage as well as the live action to ensure maximum visibility for everyone and audio is listened to via car radios on an FM frequency – simple, but clever. Neal Foster of Birmingham Stage Company and director of Billionaire Boy said: “It was wonderful to be part of a magical enterprise in 2020 bringing live theatre to families desperate for the joy and connection theatre provides, so we are delighted to be presenting our production of one of David Walliams’ most popular stories which began its national tour in 2019 and was abruptly halted by Covid. The show’s actors are thrilled with the opportunity to return to a new stage with a story that demonstrates the importance of friends and family at this critical time for the world”. I

DATES FOR THE DIARY Billionaire Boy will be showing in 15 locations across the UK. Local dates and venues are: Friday 9 April at Stoneleigh Park and Sunday 25 April at the NEC. Performance times, 2pm and 5pm. For tickets and a full list of dates visit carparkparty.com

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GROWING PLACES

VIRTUAL SUPPORT

PLATINUM AWARD Both Edgbaston settings of Norfolk House Nursery have undergone a 12-month process to achieve Platinum accreditation working with Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy. The #JustQuality award focuses on a childcare setting adding impact across six key areas: reflection, protection, interaction, inspiration, progression and collaboration. The process required both nurseries to evaluate their practices and building a continuous record of the year. These workbooks are now on display and allow the nurseries to showcase the varied, creative way they approach caring for every child.

Local charitable organisation Titan Partnership, which aims to transform the life chances of young people across Birmingham, has been engaging with local schools online during the pandemic. The organisation works with schools by linking them with employers to support their careers education programmes. The charity has adapted to ensure that it can still engage with schools virtually by developing work-based projects that students can access as well as online mock interviews and careers presentations.

SCHOOL REPORT

MENTAL CARE BOOST An innovative model of care supporting young people with mental illnesses is set to come to Birmingham thanks to a £252,000 grant from NHS Charities Together and donations to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity worth £139,000. The project will fund peer support workers aged between 16 and 24-yearsold and from the same communities and backgrounds as the people they will support. The initiative is the brainchild of Forward Thinking Birmingham, the city’s youth mental health partnership.

WHO ‘YA GONNA CALL? Sixth formers at King Edward VI High School for Girls launched an investigation into reports of supernatural activity at the school, including a moving statue and an alleged ghost sighting. Several areas of the school have been rumoured to be haunted, so the pupils set about researching the mysterious reports. KEHS director of drama Hannah Proops said: “The girls are looking at whether objects and spaces can hold memories of traumatic or emotional events, maybe imprinted like a ‘ripple on the ether’, which can then resurface years later.”

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PARKING THE CASH Dorridge Scout Group has received a £2,000 donation towards resurfacing its car park from money raised by Knowle and Dorridge Round Table at the Dorridge Day fete. The Scouts hope to make the car park more usable for outdoor activities as well as improving it for parents picking up their children. The scout hut is on the edge of Dorridge Park where the annual Round Table-organised fete is held each September.

THE BAKING OF A STAR IT’S POLITICAL A group of Year 12 pupils from King Edward’s School organised a Political Awareness Week which included activities, events and presentations open to any school. Speakers included West Midlands mayor Andy Street, Labour MP for Edgbaston and shadow secretary of state for international development Preet Kaur Gill and former Home Office director of counter-terrorism, Sir Robert Whalley. Among topics covered were race, identity, gender and sexuality in politics and a virtual Question Time-style debate.

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A University College Birmingham graduate has earned a top accolade at the Baking Industry Awards. Katie Garrett, who graduated with a first-class Bakery and Patisserie Technology BSc (Hons) degree, won the British Baker Rising Star Award. Judges praised the 22-year-old for her “enthusiasm and drive”. Awards host Alexander Armstrong described how Katie could often be found perfecting recipes long into the night at the craft bakery where she worked as head of confectionery while studying.

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WINE FREEDOM

Fresher, cleaner, greener is the mantra of the natural organic wine

business founded five years ago by Sam Olive. Wine Freedom has become a major supplier to the likes of Michelin-star eateries, opened a wine bar in the past year and just launched a very different home delivery service am Olive launched Wine Freedom five years ago inspired by the idea of building a disruptive, inclusive and authentic wine business. The company supplies natural, organic wine to bars and restaurants across the UK, including local Michelin-starred eateries such as Carters and Simpsons. Late last year, in what turned out to be an all-too-brief break between national lockdowns, Wine Freedom opened its first wine bar at Floodgate Street, Digbeth in what Sam describes as the ‘perfect location’ – a disused warehouse which also became home to a wine shop and tastings sessions. The restrictions have put the bar into semimothballs for now, though the off-licence section is still operating in line with the guidelines. Despite the challenges of the pandemic to the food and drink industry, Sam is optimistic as we see light finally emerging at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. “I’ve always believed in being flexible to respond to changes in business,” he says. “And that has helped to stand us in good stead during this period.

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“We took the decision to go-ahead with the opening of the bar despite the problems we would encounter and in the period before lockdown we were very encouraged and pleased with how it was going. It’s important to realise that we are not just a bar. Wine education and tastings are also key to what we aim to do.” HOUSE WINE Last month, Wine Freedom launched a subscription service, House Wine. Available across the UK, the service delivers freshly bottled natural wine on a weekly or monthly basis and is designed to bring wine-lovers ‘closer to the vineyard’. Subscribers can drink and enjoy handmade, organic and sustainable wine at home. Bottled from kegs, House Wine launched with four wines – Secateurs Chenin Blanc, Triennes Rose, Beaujolais ‘Kanon Keg’ and an orange wine, Frisach Lo Pateret. New wines will be introduced on a monthly basis. Sam said: “Key kegs are a more stable vessel for transporting wine, minimising contact with oxygen for

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BUSINESS

SITTING PRETTY: Sam, right, and fellow Wine Freedom director Taylor Meanwell have opened their cool new bar in a converted warehouse (Picture by Tom Bird)

maximum freshness with little or no need for preservatives.” Being 100 per cent recyclable, Wine Freedom uses a state of the art greenline dispensing system with compressed air, removing the need for gas canisters. The wines are vegan and represent better value with a saving of roughly 20 pent for each bottle. SUPER FRESH Sam said: “House Wine is all about super fresh wine that brings people as close to the vineyard experience as possible. All our keg wines are made by small independent wineries and are handmade, organic and natural. In simple terms House Wine is fresher, cleaner and greener – while also being convenient.” When Sam founded Wine Freedom, he says the plan was always to make it a multi-channel business. His background in the wine trade had been extensive before making the decision to start out on his own. Originally a graduate in interior architecture, Sam got into the drinks business after serving in a wine bar in Bristol. After joining a management training scheme and working in a number of Majestic wine stores, he then spent time working in vineyards in Australia and New Zealand before returning to the UK as an adviser for fine wines in part of the Laithwaites group. A job at Bibendum Wine saw him selling to restaurants and after identifying a gap in the market for natural organic wines he set up Wine Freedom. The move coincided with a general shift in consumer buying habits to better quality wines. As well as the new House Wine initiative, Sam is also introducing Orange Wednesday, a monthly subscription service for those who enjoy orange wine – a type of wine made from white wine grapes where the

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grape skins are not removed – which is part of the overall plan to expand a suite of tailored customers offerings. More video footage on the company’s website and social media including interviews with producers and food and wine match-ups is also in the pipeline. On the website, customers can order mixed cases, each wine bottled by Wine Freedom from the keg, and delivered within a 10-mile radius. They’ll even collect and recycle the used bottles. “We’re like your milkman, but with wine!” said Sam. On that point, and as an aside, Wine Freedom tried to introduce a scheme to help the NHS. “My wife works in A&E and other family members are also in the NHS,” said Sam. “We decided that for every bottle a customer put out for collection, to encourage recycling, we would donate £1 to the NHS. But they told us they couldn’t take donations from us as we are in the booze business!” FUTURE PLANS With family so involved in the pandemic fight, Sam says he is erring on the side of caution with regards to a return to ‘normality’ in business. “I believe it will be June or July before we really start to see things changing and from a business perspective, we’ll be focussing hard on just getting things back to where they were pre-Covid although, of course, we have plenty of plans moving forward.” The wine bar is ready and waiting to welcome back customers after a highly successful launch. “I guess you could say we got to test the bar for seven weeks between the lockdowns. We were able to give our customers a little taste of what is to come. We did lots of tastings and it all worked a treat.” I

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FERRY DEAL AHOY Midlands recruitment company Consilium Recruit has won a deal to work on a £33million project which aims to decarbonise maritime transport. The Stratford-upon-Avon specialist jobs firm was chosen by Belfast-based Artemis Technologies, which is leading development of new zero emissions hydrofoil ferries. Artemis, led by Olympic gold medallist yachtsman Iain Percy, brings together maritime, aerospace and motorsport experts in one of the world’s leading high-performance maritime design and technology firms.

AWARD WINNERS

Businesses from three divisions of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce were recognised in an online awards ceremony. The virtual awards were held to celebrate business success in Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield and Tamworth and Cannock Chase. The ceremony, beamed from Chamber House in Edgbaston, was hosted by Future Faces vicepresident Sabah Hussain. Headline sponsor for the event was Amazon. Winners included Hannah Montgomery, pictured, of Golddust Marketing who was named Young Professional of the Year.

COVID FIGHTBACK Strategic real estate advisor Avison Young has made three senior hires in its Birmingham-based management team to support post-Covid market demand. Gary Imrie is director and head of property accounts, Jonathan Aspinall is director in the management team and Becki Leonard is marketing manager in the marketing and engagement team. Carl Potter, pictured, principal and MD, said: “Our recent recruits will be vital to adapting our offer in response to the market in 2021.”

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NEWS

BUSINESS

PAUL JOINS TOP 100 Birmingham businessman Paul Bassi has been named in the Sikh 100, a global recognition of the most influential individuals among 26 million Sikhs worldwide. He is recognised in the prestigious list for his work as a leading businessman and Midlands-based philanthropist. He was the first Asian Sikh president of a chamber of commerce in the UK and the first High Sheriff Sikh for the West Midlands. “I am deeply honoured to have been named in such a roll call among so many illustrious peers,” he said.

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BACK WITH A BANG CULTURE CASH Culture Coventry Trust, which manages Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, has won a £500,000 grant from Arts Council England and £100,000 from Coventry City Council to capitalise on the opportunity of the UK City of Culture and create a legacy of significant visual arts programming. The funding will allow the gallery and museum to work with national, regional and local partners to enhance the quality of exhibitions – including the delivery of several worldclass, blockbuster shows over the next two years.

One of motorcycling’s most famous names is coming to Solihull. Norton Motorcycle Company is moving from Castle Donington to a new state-of-theart headquarters. The production site at Solar Park will open following a multi-million-pound investment by Indian owners, TVS Motor Company, which bought Norton out of administration in April 2020. The premises will be the hub for all of the 122-year-old company’s operations, including design, engineering and manufacture.

HOMES FROM HOME A former residential care home site in Edgbaston is to be transformed into 43 high-quality homes. Solihull-based Spitfire Bespoke Homes is developing the three-acre site of the former Weston House care home after acquiring the land from Calthorpe Estates. Ben Leather, pictured, MD at Spitfire, said: “This acquisition forms part of our wider land strategy as we are actively seeking more land opportunities across the Midlands in an effort to increase our reach and offer our unique homes to a wider market.”

NEW DIRECTOR Midlands law firm Enoch Evans LLP has

appointed Graham Beesley as its new practice director. He joins with 20 years of senior finance and operational experience at law firms in the North West. The move follows continued investment in the firm’s services and expertise including the appointment in 2020 of Kelly Pledger as a solicitor in the commercial litigation team and Laura Phillips as a solicitor in the

CHAMBER CHANGE

residential conveyancing department.

JOBS PROGRAMME A training and employment programme is giving more than 200 people in and around Birmingham the chance to retrain and secure full-time work. The initiative is part of a partnership between Birmingham-based call centre outsourcing specialist Sigma Financial Group, BMet, Birmingham City Council and JobCentre Plus. Jo Regan-Iles, pictured, group people officer at Sigma said: “The pandemic has seen about 200,000 people unemployed across the West Midlands and so this programme aims to help push that number down.”

Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce has appointed two new vice-presidents. Mark Smith, executive director of business engagement at Aston University, and Janie Frampton, executive chair and head of international relations at the International Socca Federation, will serve alongside the chamber’s president Joel Blake, pictured, who said: “We all look forward to helping businesses move from a stage of recovery towards growth, alongside preparing for regional opportunities such as the Commonwealth Games.”

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BUSINESS

TOP EAT TREATS BUSINESS BITES

KISAANS IN NEED

BIG DEAL

Harvey Nichols has teamed up with Michelin-starred Andreas Antona to bring fine dining into customers home kitchens. The store and chef patron of Simpsons and The Cross at Kenilworth launched the Antona at Home collaboration with the Mailbox store featuring weekly home meal kits. Bespoke wine selections have been chosen to go with the menus by Harvey Nichols wine specialist Michael Tully. Antona at Home was created in the wake of Covid-19 and its impact on the hospitality industry.

Midlands law firm mfg Solicitors has appointed solicitors Matt Allen and Dan Southall in response to the growing number of businesses seeking advice on corporate and commercial deals. Clare Lang, partner and head of mfg’s corporate team said: “Matt and Dan are tremendous additions to our growing corporate team.”

SKILLS BID

Business, professional and financial services firms, including PwC, HSBC, Arcadis and Pinsent Masons, have joined forces with social enterprise Ahead Partnership to launch a new careers and skills initiative. The programme aims to build young people’s aspirations and support recovery across Birmingham and Solihull.

GROWING UP

Recognise One, a platform set up by a group of Birmingham-based entrepreneurs, has raised nearly £380,000 to help support families caught up in farmers’ protests in India. More than 3,200 people made donations after watching a Kisaans in Need event livestreamed on YouTube. Investor and entrepreneur, Tani Dulay, pictured, whose day-job is chief executive of property developers Woodbourne Group, helped to co-ordinate the charity effort. “This will help support current and future generations of Indian farmers,” he said.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is looking for four new trustees. The charity, based in Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, is seeking two trustees with expertise and experience in fundraising and strategic marketing, and it is also looking to appoint a treasurer and a company secretary.

BELFRY BOOST Award-winning Belfry Hotel & Resort has promoted Chris Eigelaar to resort general manager. Chris, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector cross the UK after growing up in the industry in South Africa, said: “It has been a difficult time for the hospitality industry and there’s still a long road ahead of us given hotels and venues aren’t yet permitted to operate at full capacity. However, the vaccinations mean there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

AGENCY STEPS UP A Birmingham content marketing agency has raised £3,000 for three local charities by lacing up their walking boots and getting active. HDY Agency’s team of 25 put their best foot forward in a two-month walking challenge to raise money for Let’s Feed Brum, Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid and Mind Birmingham. The agency was cofounded in 2018 by Heart FM broadcaster Ed James and marketeer Angel Gaskell, pictured with the fund-raising cheque.

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WHAT: Billionaire Boys, Car Park Party WHEN: 25 April

IT’S STILL A DIFFICULT SITUATION FOR BIRMINGHAM’S ENTERTAINMENT

WHERE: Birmingham NEC,

WORLD BUT THERE ARE SOME SIGNS OF LIFE AND A FEW CRACKING

carparkparty.com

SHOWS TO LOOK FORWARD TO, BOTH LIVE AND VIRTUAL, OVER THE

Best-selling children’s author David

COMING MONTHS. PLEASE NOTE ALL MAY BE SUBJECT TO LAST-MINUTE

Walliams, award-winning Birmingham

CHANGES OR CANCELLATION, SO BE SURE TO CHECK FIRST.

Stage Company and Coalition Agency have teamed up for a brand-new Covidsafe production of the hilarious story of Joe Spud, who is 12-years-old and the richest boy in the country.

WHAT: Six WHEN: 19 to 24 April WHERE: Belgrade Theatre, belgrade.co.uk Get ready for a rebellious remix of 500 years of historical heartbreak as the queens of musical theatre prepare to conquer Coventry with this multiaward-winning musical.

WHAT: CBSO Cuppa Concerts: At Home WHEN: Throughout March and April WHERE: Online, visit cbso.co.uk/cuppa-concerts/at-home

WHAT: Aliki Braine, A Thousand Fallen Blossoms

Specially designed for older people living in care settings,

WHEN: 16 March to 14 May

these pre-recorded concerts will be available throughout the

WHERE: Argenta Gallery, argenteagallery.com

year to enjoy at home, catering for most musical tastes and include a resource pack with information about the music and players, lyric sheets and some further listening to help

Inspired by a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto during the Sakura cherry blossom season, this exhibition brings elements of Japan to Birmingham through a series of uniquely crafted photographs.

enrich the experience.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: An Evening with Test Match Special WHEN: 26 April WHERE: Symphony Hall, thsh.co.uk English cricket legends Phil Tufnell and Michael Vaughan take you inside the famous TMS commentary box and share memories from their remarkable playing careers. The boys will also be joined on stage by the legendary ‘Aggers’ himself, commentator Jonathan Agnew.

WHAT: Alan Carr – Not Again, Alan! WHEN: 6 to 7 May WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, birminghamhippodrome.com Fingers crossed this rescheduled show may get the green light. It’s been four years since Alan last went on tour and in that time he’s managed to find himself in all sorts of dramas. Join him for a cracking night of fun as he muses upon the things that make his life weird and wonderful.

WHAT: Ben Goldscheider WHEN: 28 May WHERE: Online, barber.org.uk/concerts/ Virtual Barber Concerts return this spring with a number of special and free lunchtime performances as part of their 75th anniversary concert season, funded by the Henry Barber Trust. The series includes a performance from the hornplaying European Concert Halls Organisation Rising Star and previous BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist.

WHAT: Dream WHEN: 12 to 20 March WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Company, online events, rsc.org.uk A live, online performance set in a virtual midsummer forest. Theatre, music and ground-breaking technology combine in an extraordinary exploration into the future of live performance. Follow a sprite on a moonlit journey through the night until dawn.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITHÁ

HAYDN COOPER The chief executive of Calthorpe Estates on his passion for making cities more enjoyable places to live and work in… plus his love of fly fishing

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I have always worked in the management and development of urban property for long-term landowners. I studied land management at university and intended to be countryside-focused but switched my attention to cities. I have worked primarily in London, but was also in Shanghai for a year, in sectors including offices, retail, residential, hotels and medical. In London, I was fortunate enough to be the Mayfair director for Grosvenor and was then responsible for the management of Sloane Street, Kings Road and Sloane Square for Cadogan Estates. I also had the privilege to advise the property companies for the Queen and Prince Charles. IT’S WHAT I DO I moved to the Midlands in the summer 2020 and am responsible for managing Calthorpe Estates in Edgbaston. We are long-term stewards and custodians of the 1,600-acre mixed-use Calthorpe Estate, a mile from the city centre, and seek to deliver a positive impact through our management and creating thriving communities. It is a hugely exciting opportunity to continue the transformation of this historic family-owned estate and work on its 50-year vision to create thriving communities and a prime destination within Birmingham and the UK. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE My passion is placemaking – the process of making places enjoyable to live or work in, and where you want to visit time and again. It is a constant evolution. My ambition is to accelerate the attractiveness of Edgbaston through enhanced

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public realm, greater accessibility to new green open spaces and excellent places to live and work in. BIGGEST SUCCESS Making a visible difference to the parts-of-cities I have been managing, so they can be enjoyed by people. This includes small things (like the appearance of buildings) and large (reinvigorating a high street or building a new café on a public piazza). In addition, there have been a few specific property transactions over the years. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED I have two. First, follow your gut instinct. Progression through a business depends upon decision-making, and making the right decision is often not black and white. For the many that are grey, follow your gut. Second, know that you don’t know it all. Rely upon others who are cleverer and more experienced. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I moved to Birmingham during lockdown, so I haven’t yet had a chance to see the city in all its bustling glory. However, I love the sense of progress that you get when walking around and seeing the investment in the new Metro, major developments and public areas. DOWNTIME The countryside. Walking with my wife, sons and working cocker spaniel in the lovely Warwickshire countryside on our doorstep, and fly fishing when time permits. I

march 2021


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Profile for Birmingham Living Magazine

Birmingham Living issue 100 (February/March 2021)  

Birmingham Living issue 100 (February/March 2021)  

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