Birmingham Living July August 2022 (issue 114)

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Birmingham vli ing

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July/August 2022

ART HISTORIAN RUTH MILLINGTON

BIKINI BODY BOOST

DENISE LEWIS RUBY MAXINE THE BEE’S KNEES

IT’S IN THE BAG! SUMMER STYLE

FESTIVAL FEVER

CARRY ON CAMPING

EATON GORDON

PROUDLY WELCOMING THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES TO BRUM


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EDITOR’S VIEW

W

elcome world to brilliant, buzzing, beautiful Birmingham! I’m happy to play second fiddle in my letter this month to Perry the Bull, the cheeky, colourful mascot for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Perry, and the rest of us, have been waiting for what seems like an eternity to see the Games finally arrive in our city. And what a spectacle they promise to be! Some of the world’s best athletes are going for gold in a record number of sports watched by a TV audience of more than one billion people – that’s more than 14 times the population of the UK and not far shy of the size of India! Just think about that for a few seconds. What an opportunity to showcase all that is great about Brum. So, let’s show the world what a wonderful place this city of ours is. Enjoy the Games, wherever you’re watching, and if you bump into Perry be sure to say ‘hello’ and give him a ‘well done’ pat on the back!

s n h o J d i v a D

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

Cover image:

Denise Lewis photographed by Andrew Dowling/Shutterstock

/bhamliving

FINALIST

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

Denise Lewis

Birmingham’s golden girl welcomes Commonwealth Games to her home city

Ruth Millington Art historian, author and TV commentator, talks book deals and becoming a muse

Food & Drink Lee Hollington, head chef at Symphony Hall’s B:Eats, plus news, reviews & wine

Health Steve Virtue of Total Fitness reveals top tips (and myths) for a summer slim down

Style Bags of new ideas as our style experts pick their summer arm candy winners

Homes Everything you need to know for a pitch-perfect camping getaway

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

48 52 56 59 64 66 july/august 2022

From the Potting Bench

Gardening expert Adam Kirtland on surviving the hottest month of the year

Young, Gifted & Brummie Author Ruby Maxine tells the story behind her first children’s book, The Bee’s Knees Face of Courage The mercy mission of Ukrainian-born local make-up student Yuliana Jones

Business News News, views, comings and goings in the commercial community, plus Social Scene

What’s On Latest from the city’s top shows and gigs in our round-up of this month’s main events

Up Close Eaton Gordon, Warwickshire County Cricket’s community cricket development manager

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NEWS

WELCOME TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH In case you’ve been living in a cave somewhere or just arrived from outer space, this month sees Birmingham become the centre of the sporting world as athletes go for gold, silver and bronze in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, watched by an estimated one billion people around the globe. Before you attend the events in person or settle down to watch them on your sofa in front of the TV, here’s a few key facts you should know about the Birmingham Games which run from Thursday 28 July to Monday 8 August:

I 72 countries are taking part with 6,500 athletes and team officials.

I 19 sports and eight Para sports make this the biggest Commonwealth Games ever with 280 different medal events. I There are 15 venues in total and Sandwell Aquatics

Centre, the only brand new venue, will be converted into a community leisure facility after the Games.

I Alexander Stadium is the centrepiece of the Games after undergoing a £72 million facelift.

I Three parks are included on the venue list – West Park in Wolverhampton, Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield and Victoria Park in Leamington Spa.

I The official mascot for the Games is Perry the bull who was created from the design of a 10-year-old girl. I More than 14,000 volunteers – known as the

Commonwealth Collective – will help make sure that the Games runs smoothly.

I Three students from the School of Jewellery designed the medals which were also made in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

I The Opening Ceremony will have a live audience of 30,000 people and a TV audience of more than one billion.

I More than one million tickets have been sold for the Games. I These will be the first Commonwealth Games to leave a carbon-neutral legacy with the planting of 2,022 acres of forest, supported by Severn Trent.

I To celebrate the Games, the Birmingham 2022 Festival

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

BIKERS BLITZ IT Thousands of bikers helped raise more than £100,000, funding 61 future lifesaving missions, after taking part in Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s most successful ever Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival. More than 3,500 motorcyclists and hundreds of pillions took part in the annual 23-mile event. Those taking part included Mathew ‘Ollie’ Ollerton from Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, superbikes legend Carl ‘Foggy’ Fogarty and former motorcycle and truck racer and TV commentator Steve Parrish.

started in March and will finish in September. It includes 46 ambitious new artistic commissions, more than 50 alignment projects and over 100 different community events.

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NEWS

BUGSY IN BRUM The first-ever professional production of the musical Bugsy Malone to tour the UK is set to take to the stage of Birmingham Rep from 27 July to 14 August. Based on the hit 1976 movie and featuring much-loved songs such as My Name is Tallulah, You Give A Little Love and Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, the show features a cast of young performers aged between nine and 15. To book tickets visit Birmingham-rep.co.uk or call 0121 236 4455.

YOUTH PROMS

ARTWORK AHOY! Birmingham’s city-centre sculpture of Queen Victoria has been reimagined for the Birmingham 2022 Festival. The temporary public artwork titled Foreign Exchange by acclaimed Guyanese-British artist Hew Locke, was commissioned by Ikon gallery. More than seven metres high, the work wraps around the existing statue and depicts a boat carrying five smaller replica statues of Queen Victoria. It will remain on view during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and throughout the summer.

Symphony Hall is the scene for Birmingham’s biggest ever Youth Proms featuring more than 4,000 young musicians. The five-night Services For Education Youth Proms runs from 17 to 21 July. The programme includes a new School Ensemble – drawing young people from 75 Birmingham schools and established in response to the pandemic – which will perform together for the first time, as well as the recently formed Soundabout Inclusive Choir. Tickets from https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/o ur-offer/services-for-education-youthproms-2022-2/

CREATIVE PARTNERS The Old Rep has launched a partnership with The Creative Universe to become the first resident company to be based at the theatre. The grassroot Black-led company was launched in 2014 and specialises in street-based theatre. It will work alongside staff at the Old Rep to showcase professional productions, theatre workshops and training opportunities for young people within the creative arts. Its summer pantomime ZENDAYA, a children’s superhero adventure, will be performed on 27 and 28 July.

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NEWS

MAKING A SPLASH The brollies were out in force when the cast of musical Singin’ In The Rain visited a special colourful installation at the Mailbox to celebrate the show. The performers took a break from making a splash on stage at Birmingham Hippodrome where the production – featuring choreography by Andrew Wright and set design by Simon Higlett – thrilled audiences and used more than 14,000 litres of water in the process each night!

WALKATHON STEPS OUT The charity which honours the life of Birmingham boy Harry Moseley is bringing the popular Birmingham Walkathon back to the city. The 26-mile Walkathon will be held in memory of Harry Moseley, who raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK after being diagnosed with a brain tumour and passing away aged just 11 in October 2007. The Help Harry Help Others (HHHO) charity, led by Harry’s mum, Georgie, will stage the Walkathon on 11 September with charities from across the region set to benefit from funds raised. More details at www.brumwalkathon.co.uk

NEW STREET MEMORIAL

MADE UP Chart-topping Bad Boy Chiller Crew will be special guests on the main stage at MADE Festival on Saturday 30 July. The eighth edition of the West Midlands’ biggest music and arts festival has a new home at Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton which will welcome more than 20,000 visitors. As well as star names, the festival continues to support rising UK talent from rap and hip hop, drum & bass, house, disco, jungle, reggae and bass music.

A dramatic steel pyramid was unveiled at Birmingham New Street. The memorial, which is touring cities in the UK, aims to raise awareness about prostate cancer, while providing an opportunity for people to see their loved one’s name engraved on the structure. Nicola Tallett, acting chief executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “The Prostate Cancer Memorial stands as a symbol of remembrance, dedicated to all the men we’ve lost to prostate cancer. We are proud to bring it to Birmingham.”

B:THERE, JAZZ FANS! An extravaganza of jazz is promised at this year’s B:JazzFest. The week of music, from Monday 22 to Friday 26 August, will include performances from international touring artists as well as local community bands. Alongside B:JazzFest, the Jazzlines Summer School returns in August for local young musicians. B:JazzFest will feature low-cost performances at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth, on stage at Symphony Hall and in Symphony Hall’s Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space. Tickets at: https://bmusic.co.uk/bjazzfest

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NEWS

BECKY’S BESTIVAL Singer-songwriter and Birmingham Living cover star Becky Hill is set to wow the crowds when she headlines a mega-family festival. Becky will kick off Camp Bestival Shropshire at Weston Park on Friday 19 August alongside The Proclaimers and Sasha. The weekend festival also features the likes of Fatboy Slim, Rag’N’Bone Man and Shed Seven as well as comedy, kids events and a dramatic fireworks finale. For more details at: shropshire.campbestival.net

SONIC LOVE LETTER

EUROVISION CONTEST BID

A new ‘sonic love letter to Birmingham’ has been produced by Birmingham Music Archive

Birmingham is looking to stage next year’s

for the Birmingham 2022 Festival. On Record is a specially commissioned concept album

Eurovision Song Contest at Resorts World

released on limited edition vinyl and across all streaming platforms championing the

Arena. The event is due to be hosted by this

many vibrant cultures and sounds of Birmingham. Among those featured on the 11-track

year’s winning country Ukraine, but due to

recording are UB40, Dapz on the Map, Friendly Fire Band, SANITY ft Black Voices, and

the ongoing war it’s likely the UK – which

Xhosa Cole with Soweto Kinch. To stream go to www.birminghammusicarchive.com

came second represented by Sam Ryder, pictured – will hold the 2023 event instead. Resorts World Arena was the venue for the Concert for Ukraine in March at which some of the world’s biggest artists helped raise £13.4 million for the humanitarian appeal fund.

CLAIRE’S CHAMBER FIRST

The BBC Proms is bringing chamber music to Birmingham for the first time this summer. Claire Barnett-Jones, pictured, will give a song recital as part of the world’s largest classical music festival on Monday 29 August at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Bradshaw Hall. The leading mezzo-soprano, who is an alumna of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, said: “It is very special to be performing at the Conservatoire where I spent my formative years.”

BEAUTY BOOST

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

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International luxury brand Rituals Cosmetics has opened its doors in Touchwood Solihull as it expands in the West Midlands. Rituals opened its first store in Amsterdam in 2000, followed by launches in London, Madrid, Antwerp, Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, Stockholm and New York. The brand has more than 840 stores in 33 countries. Penny Grivea, MD for UK & Ireland said: “This opening marks an exciting time for the brand in growing our retail presence across the UK and Ireland.”

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COVER STORY

THE GOLD STANDARD CHAMPION ATHLETE AND TV COMMENTATOR, DENISE LEWIS,

SPEAKS OF HER PRIDE AS A DREAM COMES TRUE AND HER HOME CITY WELCOMES THE 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES enise Lewis has experienced some special moments in her life. Winning her first competition as a young athlete at Birmingham’s famed Birchfield Harriers athletics club. Pulling on a GB vest to represent her country for the first time. Winning gold medals in the heptathlon at the Olympic Games, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. Standing on the top step of the podium as the national anthem rang out. Then, after retiring from competition, moving to the TV commentary box and watching other British athletes follow in her footsteps. And not forgetting receiving an OBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Each treasured, never-to-be forgotten. Now, Denise is preparing for another once-in-a-lifetime occasion right here in her home city. Denise is in no doubt that Thursday 28 July 2022 is going to be up there with the best as Birmingham becomes the focus of the world with the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, watched by a global audience of more than one billion people.

D

“I trained four times a week at Perry Barr throughout my childhood. I remember getting the rickety train in from Wolverhampton and now look! Hosting the Games in Brum makes me feel emotional. It’s fantastic for the region and I’m so excited.” AMAZING ENERGY She added: “It’s so special for any athlete to take part in the Commonwealth Games but even more so to see the Games come to your hometown. I am so proud to be part of the celebrations and see how excited everyone is for the Games to come to Birmingham. The support and energy are amazing and I know all of the Team England athletes cannot wait to look into the crowds and see the supporters in team colours. I, for one, will be proudly cheering them on and can’t wait for the Games to start.” We caught up with Denise as she helped open the huge Games Megastore where merchandise for all the competing nations is on show. (Safe to say, the mountain of England kit pretty much outweighs the rest!) Above the Megastore is a glass box housing the Denise Lewis photographed by Andrew Dowling/Shutterstock

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

BBC studio where Denise and her TV colleagues will be covering the Games. It’s the perfect setting for any proud Brummie with the backdrop of city landmarks such as the Library and Paradise. It’s also the hub for the hundreds of media from around the world camped in Birmingham for 11 glorious days of sporting competition. FEELGOOD FACTOR “It’s all a big deal,” said Denise. “This will really amplify the region and sports. There’ll be 200 hours of TV coverage! It’ll be 11 days of feelgood festivities, both cultural and sporting, so I hope people will really embrace it. Athletes dream for a home Games. I didn’t have the opportunity. I missed the London Olympics and Commonwealth Games in Manchester, so when gems come along like this you need to savour them.” Born in West Bromwich to Jamaican parents, Denise grew up in Pendeford, Wolverhampton and

GET KITTED OUT The official megastore for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is open seven days a week at Centenary Square. Official merchandise can also be bought at https://shop.birmingham2022.com/

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attended Regis School in Tettenhall, which later became King's Church of England School. The school celebrated its famous pupil by building a £1million sports hall named in her honour. She joined Birchfield Harriers, based at Alexander Stadium when she was 12 and after going on to win national titles she won heptathlon gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Denise is also a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, European champion and double World Championship silver medallist. She was the first European to win the Olympic heptathlon. Also winner of multiple sportswoman of the year awards, Denise has become a familiar face on our TV screens, commenting on British athletics and attracting a new following when she took part and got to the final of Strictly Come Dancing. Denise said: “Athletes have demonstrated enormous resilience, and resourcefulness, finding new ways to train as all of our lives have been impacted by the Covid pandemic. They have shown unwavering grit and determination to keep pushing towards their goals. Everyone is looking forward to witnessing once more the power of the Games to change lives as we celebrate the best of the Commonwealth right here in Birmingham.” I

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FEATURE

SPECIAL DELIVERY

ART HISTORIAN,AUTHOR AND TVAND RADIO COMMENTATOR RUTH MILLINGTON TALKS BOOK DEALS, BRUM’S CULTURAL LANDSCAPE AND BECOMING A MUSE HERSELF uth Millington was advised by everyone except her art teacher not to study art as it wasn’t a ‘proper subject’, that she was a bright girl and if she wanted to go to a decent university and have good career prospects she should shun art as an A-Level. Ruth did take art A-Level in her own time alongside her other subjects which must have been a tremendous feat and she then went on to study art history at Oxford. She says: “There was so much negativity and even later when I was working in a gallery, my dad told me it wasn’t a proper career.” Now a published author, working at Sotheby’s Institute of Art with TV and radio appearances under her belt, Ruth is happy with what is most definitely her proper career. The publishing world is still fairly new – Muse launched in May. Since then, TIME magazine has featured excerpts, Ruth has instructed an agent, she’s been on primetime TV and radio multiple times, is writing a proposal for a new book and has a children’s book in the pipeline.

R

ART LEGENDS Ruth initially wanted to write a book about Birmingham’s art story through the ages from PreRaphaelite to today. She explains: “In 2019, I pitched the idea to 40 agents and 50 publishers. A small local history publisher said yes, but when Covid hit, they

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put all their staff on furlough and announced they wouldn’t be publishing it. It was really disappointing, but I’m glad of it now.” The disappointment sent Ruth in a different direction. A friend suggested thinking of an idea for a broader audience and the concept of a book focusing on muses as real people rather than passive beings began to take shape. Ruth says: “Muses have been written about lots before but not in a celebratory way. I wrote a proposal which took nine months and signed a deal with Penguin Randomhouse. They asked me to write the book in six months! That wasn’t possible as I had a job, but I managed it in a year.” Ruth explains that she tends not to use the term muse because of its passivity preferring art legend. ANXIETY-INDUCING Ruth says the last two months of writing were hard, particularly the Frida Kahlo section which was the last one she finished. “I think it was because there was so much written about her. I had to find a new angle.” Ruth examined Frida’s diaries and paintings and the way the artist constructed herself. “She was almost managing her image. The diary was like an outpouring of emotion while her paintings were very controlled.” As the launch of Muse got closer Ruth found it stressful. “It was anxiety-inducing. I’d spend a

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

he captured that. He knows me well.” TV work wasn’t a natural leap for Ruth the introvert and at the first time of asking, she immediately turned down BBC Breakfast. Ruth had written a small book on artist Eric Tucker dubbed Warrington’s Lowry and they wanted to chat to her about him. “I said ‘no way’. I didn’t want to go on TV but I spoke to the artist’s nephew about it. He said he’d do it and encouraged me. I called the BBC back and did the interview.” She says it was terrifying but Naga and Charlie were brilliant and it opened so many doors. ITV got in touch on the back of it and Ruth did a piece on Cold War Steve plus she’s now listed as an official BBC contributor, has been on Radio 4, Woman’s Hour and many more. One of Ruth’s big irritations is the lack of funding for arts. “Arts are just not rated at all. The Government has cut funding for art education at university. With the progress of AI a lot of jobs will be automated but not creative industries, so surely we need more creativity not less.” She adds: “It’s so obvious that the arts are good for people that the NHS is prescribing arts for people with anxiety.” Part of Ruth’s role at Sotheby’s and previously at the University of Birmingham is to organise paid internships for art students. “Unpaid internships are only possible for the privileged and that’s not right. That’s so obvious to me.” The situation is changing only thanks to people like Ruth striving for change. long time researching their worlds and just worried about what people would make of it.” Thankfully the reception has been positive and Muse is selling well. When local artist and friend Danny Howes approached Ruth to be his muse, she jumped at the chance and is absolutely thrilled with the result (pictured). “He came to my flat and took a bunch of photos. It tells my writing journey really. I believed in him and he believed in me. He asked me which books I wanted in the background and Danny added Muse of his own accord. I’m an introvert and I think

RUTH’S MUSINGS Muse is available at all good bookshops. Read more at penguin.co.uk/authors/285206/ruth-millington

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FULL OF PRIDE Brum is thriving culturally in Ruth’s opinion. “When I moved to Birmingham from London people asked me ‘why are you moving to Birmingham?’ They are always amazed when they come here which I like.” Ruth’s arts highlights in the city include BMAG’s redesigned realms room, Ironhouse gallery and events space, Digbeth’s artist spaces, excellent programming at IKON including more local artists and the most impactful arts event recently, the launch of the Commonwealth Games Festival, Wondrous Stories. She says: “The atmosphere was electric. It was so heart-warming. The Commonwealth Games and the Festival might look great outwardly, but I felt that on a local level that event brought people together and filled them with pride. That’s what I saw.” I

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FOOD & DRINK

LEE HOLLINGTON The Wolverhampton-born head chef of B:Eats, the new restaurant at Symphony Hall, tells how he was inspired as a child by reading the recipe books of his grandfather who was a chef in the army

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CHEF’S CORNER

Tell us about your cooking Having grown up in the black country, I used to have a lot of wholesome home cooked meals and that’s what I bring to my menus. Simple, great food with the best quality ingredients. Food that makes you feel warm and happy inside. How did you become a chef? I started training in 2001 and I’ve never looked back. I have worked in all sorts of kitchens from pubs to hotels and even in a teepee! My biggest influence is my grandfather who was a chef in the army – as a child I used to read his recipe books and I was fascinated. He is the reason I wanted to be a chef. What do you eat at home? My partner and I like eating Asian-inspired food, so a stir fry or rice dish is always a winner. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? I like and respect too many chefs for me to say who the best in the world is! The best in Brum though for me is Brad Carter. His passion for British produce and a mixture of new and classical techniques is top notch.

LEE’S RECIPE FOR DELICIOUS IRISH SODA BREAD Ingredients:

I 250g plain white flour

I 250g plain wholemeal flour I 100g porridge oats

I 1tsp bicarbonate of soda I 1tsp salt

I 25g butter (cut up into pieces) I 500ml buttermilk

Method: Preheat oven to 180c, dust a baking sheet with flour, mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter, add your buttermilk, and mix together quickly. Bring the dough together using your hands and shape it into a flat round loaf. Place the loaf on to your baking sheet and score a deep cross on the top of the loaf using a knife. Bake for 35mins or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it. Leave the loaf to cool and cover with a clean tea towel. This helps to keep the crust soft. Once cooled, serve with lots and lots of salted butter!

How is your restaurant adapting to the current crisis? Opening a new restaurant/cafe during this difficult time does have its hurdles to overcome but it’s all worth it to be able to provide great food in an iconic venue such as Symphony Hall.

Food heaven and food hell? Heaven would be a beautifully cooked ribeye steak. Hell would be anything with banana!

Share a cooking tip My tip is simple. BUTTER! Butter makes everything better!

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? I’d love to have been a farmer. I do love a flat cap! I

What was your favourite food as a kid? Sausage and mash with onion gravy. It doesn’t get better than that on a cold winter evening.

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What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? That would be deep-fried crickets!

B:Eats, Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA. bmusic.co.uk/your-visit/beats

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FOOD & DRINK

NIBBLES and SHORTS

BIRMINGHAM’S BARS, RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS ARE LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK. HERE’S OUR INSIDER GUIDE TO THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE CITY’S EATERIES AND DRINKING DENS

THREE CHEERS FOR BELFRY The Belfry Hotel & Resort received three nominations in the

CRAZY FOR PIZZA If you’re mad about pizza, drop in and see Crazy Pedro’s! The new late-night pizza bar is conjuring up

West Midland Food & Drinks Awards for the Best Afternoon Tea, Hotel Bar of the Year and Bar Manager of the Year. Jennifer Burton, the shortlisted manager at the Brabazon Bar, said:

tasty treats at the Courtyard at the Custard Factory. Crazy Pedro’s specialises in all-things tequila and mezcal and is renowned for pizza creations such as Crème Eggs and

“After a turbulent couple of years for the industry, we’re

Steak on pizza and Chippy Tea with Curry Sauce. If that’s too

absolutely delighted to receive these nominations. The team

adventurous there’s more conventional offerings on

works so incredibly hard to give our guests a first class and

the menu, including New York-style pizzas served all

personal service that makes a trip to The Belfry memorable.”

day until 3am, plus the venue’s infamous 24-inch pizzas!

PERMANENT PAUSE Pop-up coffee shop Pause has a permanent new home in Kings Heath. The shop in Kings Court (High Street) is ‘a dream come true’ say owners Farah Chaudry and Rory McGhie. “We offer a relaxed venue to meet friends and family, but also an inclusive community-focused space where care is at the forefront,” they added. Pause started life during the pandemic as a home delivery service providing quality coffee and sweet treats to Brummies before Farah and Rory enjoyed pop-up success in venues in

FRESHENING UP A boutique hotel and restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon has re-opened with a new look after undergoing the first phase of a refurbishment project. The reception and Brook Suite at the Arden Hotel, opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Waterside, has been revamped, while the Club Bar – featuring a private riverside terrace – has also seen a refresh. The project, overseen by owners the Eden Hotel Collection, will be followed up by a second phase to refurbish bedrooms later this year.

Stirchley and Bournville.

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FOOD & DRINK

FLAMENCO FLAVOUR

NEW OWNERS CHECK IN

The culture of Spanish flamenco dancers

and the gypsy community is at the heart

of newly-opened tapas restaurant Alioli. The Regency Hotel in Solihull has new The lively eatery at Touchwood, owners. Midlands-based Westbourne Leisure Ltd, Solihull celebrates the region of which owns a number of hotel and hospitality Andalusia with a kitchen team led venues in the region, acquired the 111-bedroom by a chef from the region and property for an undisclosed sum. The hotel on the a menu that boasts authentic A34 Stratford Road is only 10 minutes from Spanish flavours with fresh fish and Birmingham Airport and the NEC and features seafood options, Spanish sausage a restaurant, meeting rooms and a leisure meats and vegetarian dishes. The new club with fitness centre and restaurant taps into a part of Spanish indoor swimming pool. cuisine that guests have not yet experienced in Birmingham and Solihull.

TASTE THE DIFFERENCE Head Chef Rob Mason and his team at 1919 Restaurant at The Cottage in the Wood Malvern have launched a seven-course tasting menu using the seasonal ingredients of Worcestershire. The restaurant, which won the Taste of Worcestershire Award at the Worcestershire Tourism Awards, offers the new tasting menu as part of the dinner service. Rob said: “Every dish is meticulously prepared with the local area in mind – served overlooking sweeping views of the Severn Valley.”

WINGING THE CHANGES A fast food chain born in the pandemic’s first lockdown has realised a dream by opening its first permanent venue at Touchwood, Solihull. Chicken wing eatery Dirty Wild Wings boasts six distinct flavours, each named after a creative brand character from the Wild Bunch, including Korean Chaos, Caribbean-inspired Jerkin’ Mess and indulgent Wild Buffalo. There’s also loaded fries, deep-fried chicken tenders and a range of burgers, each packed into hand-made brioche buns.

Al FRESCO IS GO Italian restaurant Tropea has reopened after a refurb which includes a new al fresco terrace. The eatery launched in Harborne in 2021 as a ‘cafe by day, restaurant by night’. The revamp has seen the cafe close to focus on the restaurant menu. Tropea is

FOOD MUSIC THAT’S HARD TO B:EAT

the brainchild of Ben Robinson-

A new eatery is serving up food to go with top-notch music at Symphony Hall.

both graduated in Culinary Arts

B:Eats is the latest venture of B:Music, the music charity responsible for Symphony Hall and Town Hall. A wide range of food offerings includes the likes of the Big Beats Brekkie, brunch with traditional Brummie Bacon Cake, tasty

Young and Kasia Piatkowska, who from the University College Birmingham. Ben said: “We didn’t want the refurbishment to make

lunches and a special Sarnies menu of tasty sandwiches with intriguing names

the restaurant feel overly designed

such as the Blackstone and Vegan Gatsby! B:Eats launch is being marked with

or new. We’re just making better

free music performances on weekdays.

use of our space and streamlining the design.”

MEX TO THE MAX AT NEW STREET Tortilla, the UK’s largest fast-casual Mexican restaurant brand, has opened the doors of its new Birmingham New Street eatery. The venue is Tortilla’s second restaurant in the city after its Grand Central site and its 51st restaurant across the country. Seating up to 42 people, both inside and outside, the opening has created up to 30 new jobs in front-of-house, kitchen, and management roles.

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

INDUS GOLD

This special little tipple from the mixologists at Indus at Park Regis is a spin on the traditional Margarita, featuring a subtle citrusy-twist. The cocktail is shaken with only fresh ingredients and premium spirits – and is absolutely delicious! So, enjoyÁ responsibly, of course. INGREDIENTS:

I 50ml Olmeca Tequila Reposado I 15ml Cointreau

I 15ml Grand Marnier I 30ml Agave Syrup

I Squeeze of fresh lime

METHOD: Begin by traditionally salting the rim of the glass. Pop all the ingredients apart from the Grand Marnier into a cocktail shaker, shake and then strain over ice. Pour and float the Grand Marnier over the drink to finish. Add a slice of lime and orange to garnish and enhance the citrus aroma. Indus at Park Regis Birmingham, 160 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT. parkregisbirmingham.co.uk/indus/

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

ADAM’S

New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5UG. Tel: 0121 643 3745 adamsrestaurant.co.uk joint birthday celebration called for the Adam’s treatment – our first trip since head chef James Goodyear joined the band. If you don’t like fancy, it’s probably not for you. If you do like fancy, stick around. From start to finish – and we finished so late we probably outstayed our welcome – we were charmed. Credit to the staff who were still happy (on the outside at least) as we quaffed another Calvados. On the inside they were no doubt planning dinner service and hoping this was the last. We hate the term fine dining – it sounds pompous, and Adam’s is not pompous. It’s classy, inventive, warm, special. Once inside and beyond the bar area, it doesn’t feel like Brum. You could be anywhere. To be clear, we obviously love Birmingham but there’s something a bit magical about Adam’s décor that’s transformative. That sounds knobby, but we’re not sorry. We’ve sampled enough tasting menus to know that we prefer ordering our own food, so one of us ate from the set lunch menu and one from a la carte. We criticised one of the nibbles last time we visited, but not this time. The preamble to lunch was a hit. The signature beetroot and goat’s cheese macarons are a regular for a reason. They hit you with flavour then dissolve on your tongue like magic. There was a wondrous ox tongue nibble that was too good to start

A

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analysing plus a mussel with a punchy pickled cucumber sauce that was truly delicious. From here on in with a slug of Burgundy in our brains, we probably should have been making notes, but we were having too much fun, so we’re picking our stand-out dishes among a collection of gorgeousness. Number one and it doesn’t sound stand out, but trust us, was lightly salted cod with mushroom, artichoke ad dashi broth. This was packed with flavour and we could have slurped the dashi broth on its own – sharp, salty, sweet all at the same time, I guess that’s balance, something you can’t put your finger on. Just sheer enjoyment. Next was Goosnargh duck breast and liver with granola, beetroot and blackberry. Again, this was about balance, rich tender meat, sweet granola, sharp blackberries. Really clever. There was an incredible chicken dish plus a leek parcel with black truffle, hazelnut and custard that blew our socks off. The cheese board was immense and pudd was a triumph. Our only gripe and we’ve said it before, we urge restaurants to pick a new name for whipped pork fat. Can’t touch the stuff. It’s like calling butter churned bovine breast milk or similar. The wine list is quite punchy price-wise, but we found a very good Rully premier cru at the more sensible end of the list and we can wholeheartedly recommend the Calvados. Go. I

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FOOD & DRINK

SUMMER WINE SPRITZES

THIS MONTH KATIE GARDNER OF BIRMINGHAM WINE SCHOOL TURNS HER ATTENTION TO CREATING SOME BRILLIANTLY REFRESHING THIRST-QUENCHERS

aven’t you heard? Sherry is on trend. Not your nana’s Bristol Cream, we’re talking about dry sherry, like a fino. The Spanish know the secret to a good glass of sherry served in tapas bars with olives and some salted almonds. The perfect aperitif. A great way to enjoy sherry in the summer is in a cocktail, as a lower alcohol alternative to spirits. Here are some of my favourites summer spritzes and how to make them…

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MAKE A RAVISHING REBUJITO A Rebujito is a refreshing, spritzer-style tipple that could not be easier to make. It originated in the 19th century among the distinguished classes of Victorian England as the Sherry Cobbler. Over time it grew in popularity and became the drink of celebration at the traditional ‘ferias’ or festivals of Sevilla and Jerez (the hometown of sherry!). The blend of fino sherry and refreshing lemonade is just perfect for a hot summer’s day. Another top sherry tip – the naturally super sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry drizzled over good-quality vanilla ice cream. Trust me, it works! Ingredients: I 60ml fino sherry (Tio Pepe works perfectly!) I 120ml of lemonade (Sprite or 7Up or similar) I Mint leaves I Slice of lemon to garnish I Ice cubes Method: Combine all the above ingredients in a jug following the above measures, pour and enjoy!

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MAKE A PERFECT PORTONICA If you’re not keen on the distinctively yeasty taste of sherry, why not try a white port and tonic instead? The classic aperitif of the city of Porto is easy-drinking and a great switch up to your usual G&T. The Douro Valley in Portugal is mainly known for its red fortified wines, but they also produce white and even rosé versions of port. White port is made from local grapes like Viosinho, Malvasia Fina, Codega and Rabigato. While many consider red port as a winter drink, white port is a fantastic summer alternative. Unlike red port, white port isn’t necessarily sweet, in fact most are made quite dry. The overall sweetness of the wine depends on at which point the brandy spirit is added during the fermentation process. The sooner it is added, the sweeter the finished wine will be! Ingredients: I 100ml white port I 140ml tonic I Ice I Lemon and mint to garnish Method: Add ice to a low ball glass, pour in your white port and top up with tonic. Gently stir and garnish with lemon and mint sprigs.

MAKE A LUSCIOUS LILLET SPRITZ Everyone has tried the ubiquitous Aperol Spritz with its bright orange colour and distinctive bitter flavours. For something a little different this summer, try a Lillet Spritz instead. Lillet blanc is a white wine-based vermouth style aperitif which has been made in Bordeaux since 1872. Made using the classic Semillon grapes of the Bordeaux region, it is a lot more subtle in flavour than Aperol with characteristic notes of orange, honey and exotic fruits. To supercharge your spritz, add some Champagne! Ingredients: I 60ml Lillet Blanc I 90ml Champagne I 30ml soda I Cucumber slices and grapes to garnish Method: Just mix the Lillet Blanc, Champagne and soda together – and then garnish. Delicious!

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FOOD & DRINK

MAKE A CLASSIC – WITH A CAVA TWIST! When discussing summer wine serves, it would be remiss of me not to mention Sangria. The Spanish holiday favourite features red wine mixed with water, herbs, spices and fruit. For a lighter, fresher take on the classic serve, try it with Cava instead. There’s nothing more refreshing than a glass filled with lots of ice and fresh fruit slices and it’s perfect to make up in larger batches for BBQs and summer parties. It’s best to choose a dry Brut Cava then sweeten to taste. Ingredients (makes 8 glasses): I 2 bottles of Cava brut I 120ml of Gran Marnier or Triple Sec I 2 tablespoons of sugar I 2 oranges, sliced into rounds I Sprigs of mint

I 120ml of brandy I 180ml of pineapple juice I 1 apple, thinly sliced I Some diced pineapple or peaches I Ice cubes

Method: In a large bowl combine the fruit and cover with the two tablespoons of sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Add the brandy, orange liqueur, pineapple juice and mint and muddle with a wooden spoon. Chill the mixture for an hour or so. When ready to serve, open and add in the Cava and stir gently.

WHERE TO FIND KATIE’S KEY INGREDIENTS I Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, Jerez, Spain – £10, Tesco Dry and refreshing with a distinctive flavour. Best served well chilled with some tapas or savoury nibbles. I Graham’s Blend No 5 White Port, Douro, Portugal – £24.99, Waitrose This special blend from Graham’s has been created specifically for the white port and tonic serve. It is medium-dry with fresh citrus notes and a touch of orange blossom. I Lillet Blanc – £20, Harvey Nichols A blend of wine, liqueurs, fruit and herbs, aged for 12 months in oak vats before release. I Cava Brut – £5.75, Sainsburys This bargain fizz is perfect for cava sangria! Fresh and dry with zesty citrus aromas.

Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company that offers fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses online, in Birmingham and Warwick. For more information contact Katie Gardner on 0121 270 7359, or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com.

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SEASON’S EATINGS

SUPER SUMMER SUPPER This light dish is perfect to enjoy for a lazy evening with friends ummer is made for relaxing with good food and good friends. This dish for Pan Seared Scallops, Roast Cauliflower Puree, Chorizo Crumb and Crispy Cavolo Nero makes for the perfect light summer supper. I

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INGREDIENTS: SERVES 4

I 12 plump scallops, cleaned, roe removed I 100ml double cream I 1 cauliflower I 1 lemon I 100g salted butter I 150g good Spanish chorizo I 200g cavolo nero I Rock salt and crushed black pepper I Sunflower oil for frying I Pea shoots for garnish

METHOD: Remove leaves from cauliflower, rub with butter, season well and roast until soften and charred on the edges. Cool, chop into small pieces and blitz with a touch of cream, adjust seasoning. Place to one side or pop in the fridge until needed. Remove skin from chorizo, break into small pieces and roast on a low heat, 140c for 35mins. Remove from oven, cool, then break or cut the pieces until a course crumble texture and roast for a further 10mins. Place on kitchen towel to cool. Prep cavolo nero by removing leaves from the stalk and wash thoroughly in cold water. Cut into lengthy rustic pieces, fry until crispy. Place on kitchen towel to cool. Pre-heat a medium-sized or sauté pan. Add a large knob of butter and splash of olive oil until hot. Place scallops into the pan, sear until lightly charred for 2 minutes. Turn scallops over, cook for a further minute. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pan, season well and remove from heat.

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HEALTH

FAT-BURNING TIPS AND MYTHS

With summer holidays on the way, many will be looking to slim down before hitting the beach. Steven Virtue, fitness development manager at Total Fitness, shares his tips on the best ways to shift stubborn fat – as well as debunking some weight-loss myths

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HEALTH

hether you’re a complete beginner to exercise or an avid gym-goer, shifting stubborn body fat is challenging. While losing fat and toning up is a fitness goal for lots of people, many don’t know how to alter their workout routine and overall lifestyle to maximise fat loss in a healthy way. Before establishing what will help you to burn stubborn fat, it is important to debunk several common myths surrounding fat loss. First and foremost, you cannot spot reduce fat. Although some parts of your body may take longer than others to slim down, depending on factors such as body shape and composition, if you workout to lose fat then you will lose fat across your entire body. You can focus your weight training on building certain muscles so that they appear particularly defined once fat is lost, however it is not possible to lose fat in one body part by exercising that specific area alone. Furthermore, while exercise is undeniably important and offers many fantastic benefits to our overall health, research shows us that losing fat cannot be achieved by exercise alone. You cannot ‘out-train’ a bad diet and increasing your level of exercise while still eating junk food will not facilitate fat loss. Therefore, it is essential to create a diet plan and exercise routine that complement one another.

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Top Tip 1: Pick Up the Weights You may be tempted to focus solely on cardio-based workouts when trying to shift stubborn fat, but combining aerobic exercises with strength training has been shown to be particularly effective for losing body fat. Adding resistance to your workout with weight training can help the body preserve fat-free mass, which increases the number of calories your body burns while resting. Consistent weight training, that is safe yet challenging for your body will also help you to build lean muscle – this, combined with the fat loss, helps to create a more toned and sculpted physique. Top Tip 2: Incorporate HIIT into Workout Routine High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, is a fantastic form of exercise to incorporate into your fitness routine. Not only is HIIT a great way to boost your mood, but research shows that the increased metabolic rate caused by strenuous and high intensity exercise can last up to 38 hours, meaning your body will burn significantly more calories in a resting state. There are simple and short HIIT exercises that you can start with – squats, sit-ups, burpees and mountain climbers are all fantastic exercises to try for 30second intervals with a 20-second rest.

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Top Tip 3: Adjust Your Diet Your diet is fundamental to fat loss. Latest research suggests that 80 per cent of your fat loss is dependent on a good diet, which shows why many people struggle to lose fat despite frequent exercise. If your goal is to lose fat, then you need to be in a calorie deficit – this is when you consume slightly fewer calories than you are burning which in turn makes your body tap into the stored body fat for extra energy. To ensure you are still consuming the nutrients your body needs while in a calorie deficit, it’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer to create a healthy and balanced diet plan. Top Tip 4: Increase Activity Outside of the Gym While a sweaty gym session is great for burning calories, having a more active lifestyle outside of the gym will also promote fat loss and improve your overall health. Increase your daily activity levels with simple lifestyle changes – avoid driving short distances and try walking instead, use stairs instead of lifts, or take up hobbies that involve movement, such as climbing or swimming. If you are struggling to stay motivated to be more active in dayto-day life, then combine this with socialising and seeing loved ones. For example, you could suggest swapping your next afternoon in the pub for a trip to a beautiful nature spot where you can enjoy a long walk and picnic. Top Tip 5: Allow Time for Rest When trying to meet fitness goals, it can be tempting to try to push your body to its limits with a rigorous and relentless training schedule. This is not the most effective way to lose body fat or maintain a healthy exercise routine. Too much vigorous exercise without enough recovery days can lead to overtraining which actually causes your body to store more fat, due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. Listen to how your body feels and what it needs – if you feel particularly lethargic or achy then vigorous exercise is probably not the best idea. Instead, consider an activity that will allow you to rest while also benefiting your mood, such as reading or meditation. Sleep is also crucial to the fat burning process – aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep per night and ensure that you have an optimum environment for falling into a deep state of sleep. So, there you have it, five top tips to help you shed stubborn fat in a healthy and effective way. I

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ing livSTYLE

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ARM CANDY

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE ARE THE TWO KEY ATTRIBUTES FOR A HANDBAG. THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF EXCEPTIONS WHERE A BAG IS SO BRILLIANTLY GORGEOUS YET FAILS ON PRACTICALITY THAT YOU’RE WOOED, BUT THAT’S RARE

CUTE QUILT

Finsbury Park zip top cross body bag £89, Radley

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STYLE BABY BLUE

CRISS CROSS

Blue quilted cross body bag £10, George

Woven padded bags, Primark

DAY TO DAY

Venice bag £59, FatFace

igging out the summer bags is joyous. A riot of colour, frivolity, lightness. While less structure is obvious, we still need organisation, in fact, in the summer heat we need to carry more not less. A girl needs pockets and organisation and stuff. A handful of basics will get you through the summer – a big tote/beach bag, a more structured everyday bag for summer days in the city, a cute clutch and a fun macrame type bag.

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IN THE CITY Make one of your everyday bags neutral and it will go with everything in your wardrobe making getting ready a doddle. Neutral doesn’t have to mean tan although naturally we are fans, but if you’d rather something with a bit more impact, go for gold. Check out Radley’s gold Soho bag – big enough to hold everything you need and chic enough to take you from day to night. If you’re looking for something smarter, Saint Laurent’s Cassandra bag is a stunner. Yes, it’s an investment, but it will last a lifetime.

WHITE OUT

CHIC CHEVRON

Camera cross body bag £46, Oliver Bonas

Duchess bag £150, Dune

BEACH DAYS A day at the beach requires a lot – beach towels, sunscreen, eco-friendly wipes, water and a good book at the very least. If you’ve toddlers, treble that and forget the good book. A Rae

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STYLE

COOL CLUTCH

Bag £55, Morph

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STYLE

IN THE NAVY

Cross body vegan bag £149, The Morph Bag

RIGHT STRIPES

Gabor striped bucket bag £65, Freemans

HELLO YELLOW!

Jacquemus Le Chiquito long yellow bag £470, Harvey Nichols

HIGH STREET HONEY Cross body bag £14, George

NEUTRAL

Feather personalised raffia bag is ideal. If you’ve a BAE Bag £69, gargantuan bag with one expanse that looks super cool, put things into smaller cosmetic bags inside to John Lewis keep your wet towels and potentially messy stuff like sunscreen away from your dry things.

BUCKLE UP

Yellow croc buckle cross body £49, Kaleidoscope

HANDS FREE Cross body bags have the advantage of giving you both hands free. Oliver Bonas has some great examples including the chevron patterned one pictured. And don’t discount a bum bag from a handsfree point of view either. They are completely practical and when worn cross body look pretty cool too. WORK OF ART Macrame and crochet come into their own in the summer when you’re, hopefully, not worrying about downpours. We’re not pretending they’re wildly practical, but they are super cute for summer. Check out FatFace and Oliver Bonas for some brilliant versions. I

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WATER COLOUR

Belvedere bag £70, Dune

NEON NIGHTS

Balenciaga Hourglass XS crocodile effect bag £1,690, Harvey Nichols

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STYLE

WINNING EVERYDAY Shopper £209, Radley

FIRST STRAW

Round straw bag £45, FatFace

PEAK SUMMER

Bag £29, M&S

MINI TOTE

Marc Jacobs The Tote mini olive canvas bag £200, Harvey Nichols

MACRAME MAGIC Macrame tote £39.50, Oliver Bonas

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STYLE

CROSS BODY

Daintry in white £65, Dune

SUPER SMART

Saint Laurent Cassandra mini sand canvas bag £1,795, Harvey Nichols

SMART CASUAL

Dreamland bag £85, Dune

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BEAUTY

THE EYES HAVE IT

This month we sampled a new collaborative treatment between brow and lash guru, Shavata Singh and 111Skin that has launched at Harvey Nichols he result of the collaboration is a hybrid treatment that incorporates Shavata’s signature lash tint as well as lymphatic drainage massage around the eye, nourishing 111Skin’s eye masks, an arm, shoulder and head massage plus a super charged serum around the eyes to finish.

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ZONED OUT I expected a lash tint with a restorative eye mask. What I didn’t expect was the massage element. If you’ve ever had a lash tint, you know the drill, but this is different. Instead of sitting and waiting for the tint to dry – if that’s the right term, masks are applied above and below the eye while the therapist, in my case

>> TREAT YOURSELF Head to the Harvey Nichols website to book with any of the participating stores including Birmingham www.harveynichols.com/news/2022/05/25/shavata-singh-londonx-111skin

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actual Shavata, performs lymphatic drainage massage over the top of the masks with a special eye prong tool. There are three masks to choose from – I chose SubZero which is de-puffing, but there’s also Celestial for tackling fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles and Rose Gold which focuses on illuminating and brightening. Then there’s the arm, shoulder and head massage – at this point I completely zoned out. HYDRATED AND SMOOTH The difference in the look of the lashes was subtle as I’ve dark lashes naturally – I’d say it looked like I was wearing mascara top and bottom and as someone who doesn’t go out without mascara that’s worth its weight. There was a big difference to the skin around the eyes which looked hydrated and smooth. The rates vary depending on your therapist, so head to the website for details, but we would thoroughly recommend. It’s quick enough to sneak into your lunch hour even if you’ve a tight schedule and compared with other treatments at a similar price point, it makes a more immediate and long-lasting impact. I

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STYLE FOR MEN

SLIDE INTO SUMMER

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD IN THE HEAT WITH SOME CLASSIC SANDALS THAT WON’T HAVE YOU RUNNING FOR THE SOCK DRAWER

COOL DUDE Teva original Universal sandal £50, Teva

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STYLE FOR MEN

OLD FRIEND Arizona £65, Birkenstock

FLIP OUT Khaki flip flops £12.99, TK Maxx SLIDE AWAY Incense tan £60, Dune

MUST HAVE Flip flops £25, Havaianas

our best summer foot situation without question is a buffed, polished, smooth trotter. Without that, your sandal game is over before it’s begun, so invest in a professional pedi or at least a good at home scrub, moisturising foot sock and a slick of base coat for a subtle sheen that will give you a groomed look. Then consider your options. A pair of Havaianas for casual beach days is a given. Beyond that we’d go for an old school timeless Birkenstock Arizona – they’re unfathomably cool, seriously comfortable and at £65, a bargain – we’ve had our current pair for three summers or head to Teva for rambling club chic – sounds like an oxymoron, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Then join the smart slide brigade that will elevate you from casual to chic in seconds. You can spend big here – see Bottega Veneta and Dolce and Gabbana which are both beautifully made. On the high street, head to trusty Dune for some seriously good options. I

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INVESTMENT PIECE Band slip on £560, Bottega Veneta

SUPERMARKET CHIC Black footbed sandal £13, F&F

TIMELESS Calfskin slip on £385, Dolce and Gabbana

SOLEFUL Teva Midform Universal metallic blue £55, Teva GOOD LIGHT Induct beige £65, Dune

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ng il viHOMES

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HOMES

CARRY ON CAMPING GETTING BACK TO NATURE CAN DO WONDERS FOR THE SOUL AND WHILE WE’RE NOT PRETENDING CAMPING IS A WONDROUSLY RELAXING EXPERIENCE, WITH A BIT OF PLANNING, THE RIGHT KIT AND A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, IT CAN BE A BIG SEROTONIN BOOST AND A LOT OF FUN

amping is a winner for a lot of reasons, not least it keeps your carbon footprint down, it allows you to explore the great outdoors connecting with nature and the domestic landscape, it’s a holiday that requires closeness with your fellow campmates that cements (or not!) relationships and friendships and it’s probably the most reasonably priced holiday you can take this summer – even after

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taking into account the gear you might need if you’re a first-time camper. We think a crowd is best – many hands make light work and all that. If you’re camping with kids, the more the merrier is a good motto. The kids are much more entertained by one another which takes the pressure off parents to be entertainers 24/7.

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HOMES

Also, plan your trip. Pick a great spot that doesn’t require getting into a car when you fancy going out for dinner. A site within walking or cycling distance of a good pub and a great beach is a bonus. If you’re staying put for a prolonged period, make your pitch sing. Wind some solar festoon lights around the tent ropes for a cute ambience after dark. If you like the idea of getting back to nature, but want to limit the hassle, look at glamping which is essentially a readymade camping trip. The cost is significantly higher than standard camping and perhaps you don’t get the same feeling of mucking in and surviving, but you do get a more chilled holiday in an idyllic spot. We’ve made a basic checklist of things that’ll make your trip go swimmingly. Since the great British weather is not reliably dry, it means packing for all weathers unfortunately. I

MOVIE NIGHT Lights from Lights4Fun

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HOMES

SET UP Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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HOMES

CHECKLIST NOT IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE – (SEE FINAL ITEM!) I A decent tent that can withstand torrential rain and has enough ventilation to keep it cool. Separate ‘bedrooms’ or zones are a very good idea. I The most comfortable beds you can afford, preferably raised off the ground to avoid getting cold and/or wet. I Sleeping bags, pillows and spare blankets and we’d go as far as a sleep mask I A really good torch or two with spare batteries and a headlamp so you’ve free hands when making a midnight toilet trip. I Waterproof clothes and wellies for rainy days I Clothes pegs to hang wet clothing I A sturdy foldable picnic table I Good foldable chairs I Gas stove, cooking equipment and plates/cutlery, etc. I Food, drink and cool boxes I Universal portable charger I Bluetooth speaker I Insect repellent I Sunscreen I Antihistamines I Decent first-aid kit I Corkscrew!!

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PLAYFUL POP UP Bubble from Cuckooland

BBQ AND BEER Barbecue from Cuckooland

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IDEAL SPOT Lights from Lights4Fun

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HOMES

FANCY FOOTWEAR Floral wellies £49.99, TK Maxx

HAPPY FAMILIES Tambu four person family tent £299.99, The Range

LIGHT UP Menu Carrie LED table lamp £160, Nest

FINISHING TOUCHES

TECH TIDY Bookaroo gold travel tech pack £20, Daisy Park

COOK OFF Bucket BBQ £15, Wilko

GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW WITH SOME KIT

THAT’LL MAKE CAMPING THAT LITTLE BIT EASIER SHOWER IN A BAG Active sport solar shower 20 litre £5.99, The Range

USE YOUR HEAD Head lamp £10, Regatta TROLLEY DOLLY Active sport folding camping trolley £84.99, The Range

THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC Kreafunk aMove Bluetooth speaker £79, Cuckooland

HOME FROM HOME Made by Zen Liv travel aroma diffuser £35, Very

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EASY DOES IT Instant pop-up tent £34.99, Homesense

RAIN RAIN Tartan showerproof poncho £34.95, Barbour

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From the Potting Bench with Adam Gardening expert Adam Kirtland gives his top tips for the hottest month of the year ccording to MET office records, July is historically one of the hottest months of the year which, for gardeners, sounds like an absolute dream. But that heat can bring its challenges for the green-fingered among us, too! This month I’m bringing you my top tips for getting the best out of your garden during what could be a hot one. (Please don’t write in to me if it ends up being the wettest July on record!)

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Keep on top of watering It goes without saying that during these warmer months, keeping on top of watering is right at the top of the to-do list. And it’s far more than giving everything a little sprinkle every now and again! If you’ve got big deep flower beds and borders, you’ll want to make sure the water is getting down deep into the soil and not just on top of the foliage. I do this with a long handled ‘hose gun’ that reaches right

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down to the ground and through the leaves – this eliminates the need to bend down all the time. If your space is small (like ours is) and you’re growing mainly in containers and pots, then you’ll want to make sure the water is getting down to the roots too. My best advice here is to give every single pot a good soak…no, I mean it, a really good soak. Water your pots until the excess runs out the bottom and then you’ll know it’s got to the heart of the pot and your plants will absolutely love you for it. How about setting up an irrigation system? If watering isn’t your thing (and let’s face it – it’s not everyone’s favourite gardening job is it?) then a cracking idea is to set up an irrigation system to do the work for you. This works for traditional beds and equally as well for pots too and it cuts out most of the hard work and time that watering can take.

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In essence, an irrigation system is a series of hoses laid around the base of plants with either small holes or tiny sprinkler-type fixtures attached to them that you hook up to your garden tap, then you just turn it on and the water seeps out while you sit down with a cuppa. Couldn’t be easier than that! We’ve got a small system here for the main pots and it saves so much time in these summer months.

s Lavender cutting

Feed your plants After watering this has to be the next most important thing for keeping your growing space looking lush and vibrant all summer long. Now, its not absolutely essential to feed your plants (and they’ll look fine if you don’t) but once they’ve been given that extra boost then you’ll be incredibly glad you did. Picture your breakfast, perhaps toast and cereal to start the day? So, imagine that toast and cereal are a plant’s sunlight and water. It’s enough to get your day started for sure, but then how about that cup of coffee too? Plant food is the cup of coffee that your plants are looking for to really do something special. With those extra nutrients, your plants will be stronger, your flowers will be brighter AND there will potentially be more of those flowers too! Its dead easy to feed your plants and most good plant food is simply added to your watering can before you water them. Plants that will benefit most from a good feed include sweet peas, dahlias and all those bedding plants that you’ve no doubt got that are already putting on a good show. Cut, cut and cut again! There are a few jobs for this month that involve cutting and they’re all quite different from each other. First of all, if you’re growing lavender then by now yours should be in full bloom and this is prime time to cut off some of those flowers to dry off and add amazing fragrance to your home. Cut off the flowers and pop them somewhere relatively dark and dry, and soon enough your flowers will be dry and ready to use. I’ve already mentioned sweet peas and the importance of feeding them, but as you get more flowers, you’ll want to keep cutting them off. This will

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mean you’ve got gorgeous flowers with wonderful scent to bring indoors to enjoy and cutting them off will promote more flower growth too, so it’s a real win-win. And finally, this is a good time to take cuttings from some plants with new growth, otherwise known as softwood cuttings. Plants such as Hydrangea, Buddleia, Fuchsia and Salvia are full of new growth at this time of year and taking cuttings couldn’t be easier. Cut the top of a stem away from the plant (about 1015cm long), just above a leaf node (where the leaves join the stem), take off all the leaves except the top pair and dip the bottom end in rooting hormone powder if you have it….or you can even try cinnamon! Pop the cutting into a pot of compost and you’ll have roots before you know it! And there you have it! July is a month of really beautiful flowers (and you’ll have even more than normal if you’ve been following my tips!) and, if the MET office is to be believed – it’s a great time to be dusting off that barbecue too! I

NEXT MONTH… Join me for a special houseplant edition of From The Potting Bench including all the very best hints, tips and tricks to make the most of your indoor jungle – including a visit to one of Birmingham’s best houseplant shops…

You can follow Adam on Instagram @viewfromthepottingbench or listen to Adam’s podcast Tales From The Potting Bench for more gardening inspiration. You can also read Adam’s blog at viewfromthepottingbench.com

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MOTORING

RED ALERT

SUE COOKE JOINS THE SUMMER FESTIVAL TRAFFIC QUEUES IN THE LATEST CAR FROM SKODA, THE SPORTY FABIA MONTE CARLO n a summer heatwave when steam is rising from the tarmac and everyone has a car window open, it doesn’t matter if you are driving a fast sports car if most of your journey is spent sitting in a motorway traffic queue. However, if you are behind the wheel of the latest addition to the Skoda Fabia family – the range-topping Monte Carlo – then the slower you go, the better… because you get more time to show-off what is a real head-turning hatchback. The latest version of the Fabia builds on the strength of its predecessor with a unique sports design package and fully loaded specification. The Monte Carlo was originally created to celebrate 100 years of the legendary Monte Carlo Rally and 110 years of Skoda’s participation in motorsport. This sporting flagship has the largest wheels of any Fabia in the current range with Procyon black painted diamond cut alloys filling the arches. In addition to

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the striking gloss black grille, there is a black finish spoiler lip on the front apron, wing mirror caps, decorative side skirt trim and a diffuser on the sportsstyled rear apron. Unique Monte Carlo badging, black Skoda lettering on the tailgate and tinted rear and side windows add to the sporty features. RED AND BLACK If you are queuing to get into a summer festival as I was this month, then waiting time is well spent admiring the virtual cockpit display of logos of radio stations, covers of music albums and stored pictures of callers, among other things. The predominantly black cabin which is bigger than its predecessor has red trims and a height adjustable sports front seat trimmed with black fabric and artificial leather. The three-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, ambient lighting package and aluminium

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pedals are standard. There are storage pockets on the inside of the front seat backrests, rear door space for half-litre bottles, a waste basket in the door for snack wrappers and a large glovebox. When getting out of the Fabia in a narrow parking space on the field at the festival site, what I particularly appreciated was the ability of the doors to stay open where they are put. A minor point maybe, but how many cars have annoying doors that insist on swinging back onto your outstretched leg! EASING THE LOAD Unfortunately, when I visit festivals, I usually end up buying a lot of stuff of varying shapes and sizes without thinking about how I am going to get them all home in the car I am driving. No such problem with the Fabia. The luggage compartment shelf in the boot can be fixed in two positions and the floor can be raised level with the sill, providing extra hidden storage underneath. There are folding hooks for the handles of carrier bags, an optional set of nets in varying sizes, or a flexible storage holder for carrying smaller objects.

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FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo Price: £20,925 otr Engine: 1.0 TSi 110 PS DSG Performance 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 126mph CO2 emissions: 113-124g/km (WLTP) Combined fuel consumption: 50.3-47mpg (WLTP)

Technology from motorsport helps make the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo even more economical to run. There are three petrol engine and gearbox combinations. The line-up starts with the 1.0 TSI model which I road tested, generating 110PS with a gorgeous growl on acceleration and a six-speed manual gearbox. Alternatively, you can specify the same engine with a seven-speed DSG or opt for a higher output 1.5 TSI unit with 150PS and seven-speed DSG. I

SHOWROOM Johnsons Škoda Birmingham, 585 Tyburn Road, Birmingham, B24 9RX. Tel: 0121 382 0077 www.johnsonscars.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

RUBY MAXINE The self-published author talks about the magic of Birmingham’s hidden green spaces and how they inspired her new book, The Bee’s Knees

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uby Maxine’s first children’s book, The Bee’s Knees launched in April and it’s selling well – the first batch sold out quickly and the feedback from parents and teachers has been strong. Ruby has been writing for as long as she can remember, but like lots of people it took a redundancy to give her the push to go for her dreams. Self-publishing is no mean feat. The publishing process is complex, but Ruby was adamant she wanted to take it on in its entirety and she’s pleased she did. Written and illustrated by Ruby, on the surface The Bee’s Knees is a fun book for children aged six to eight years but it goes deeper than that. The book gently explores themes such as the power of perspective, fostering a kind inner voice, self-esteem and empowerment. The main character, Lulu Bee turns negative feelings into a journey of self-love, inner peace and confidence thanks to a little help from a friend.

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NATURAL BEAUTY Set in Moseley Bog, it’s a very Brummie affair celebrating the beauty of the bog through gorgeous illustrations of its features including the tree tunnels, green bog pond and buttercup meadow. A Brummie through and through, Ruby was keen to showcase the city’s natural beauty and green spaces. She’s eco-conscious, so the books and packaging are made from recycled materials in the UK with one per cent of the profits donated to the World Wildlife Fund. Ruby found her ethical approach didn’t sit pretty with Amazon who print on demand to their own specifications. When we spoke, Ruby had withdrawn the book from the platform because she wasn’t pleased with the quality or the eco-credentials saying, ‘it was nowhere near recycled’. Another one per cent from the book is donated to mental health charity Mind which is close to Ruby’s heart. She says: “I wrote this story, drawing from personal experience and mental health advice I’ve been given over the years, to help children and

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parents who encounter stress or anxiety.” She adds: “When we as adults discover issues that are beyond our control it can be so unsettling. It’s a feeling that children will be discovering for the first time.” Techniques for self-care that Ruby has learnt feature throughout the story. BOOK WORM Growing up in Brum, Ruby was picked up by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track programme enabling her to train with professional dancers through her youth. She even appeared on an episode of Brum. Ruby’s always been a book worm. She says: “As a child I relied on books a lot for peace and escapism and just to feel safer in my own skin. I want to create that too, make more of those safe spaces and help kids figure out how to be happy people in a difficult world.” Making writing and illustrating books her career is Ruby’s goal. She says: “Inspiring youngsters and making art that people enjoy. I’ve worked harder on this book than I’ve ever worked on anything and I just dream of it resonating and being embraced. I hope that my creations can be another cool thing to have come out of this very special part of the world.” I

BUY NOW Pick up your copy of The Bee’s Knees at kindsoulbooks.com

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GROWING PLACES

SCIENCE SKILLS BOOST

South and City College is offering valuable experience to students studying the new Science T-Level. Following feedback from employers that jobs are hard to fill with suitably experienced and qualified candidates, the college team has taken on the challenge of providing the industry with these highly-valued skills through the provision of T-Levels, a qualification similar to BTECs with the key element of providing a significant amount of work experience.

GAME CHANGERS Aysheq Hussain, pictured, and Niamh MacNamee, both from Birmingham, have been shortlisted for the prestigious BAFTA YGD Game Making Award for their games Imagibot – Saves Eden Green and Colour Coded respectively. Aysheq said: “It’s great to be a finalist. I came up with the idea when I was 12 and it would be incredible to be picked up by a publisher as I really believe that the Imagibot protagonist could be the next big name in the platform adventure game genre.”

Students studying T-Levels need to complete a minimum of 45

SCHOOL REPORT

days’ work experience to be able to pass their course.

WELL-BEING REWARD Students at Ninestiles academy in Acocks Green have won £1,000 to implement their ideas on how to further improve mental health around the school. Ten student well-being ambassadors represented the school at the East Birmingham Network of Schools conference. They suggested having a space in school where students could practice mindfulness activities, having diffusers around the school to promote calm and relaxation and requested lunchtime drop-in with the school counsellors. Those ideas helped the students to win the £1,000 prize.

PUSHING BOUNDARIES

The Afro-Caribbean Engagement [ACE] Programme, was officially relaunched at a special event at Handsworth Cricket Club attended by more than 60 children aged between 8 and 18-years-old from local schools across Birmingham. Hosted by Warwickshire County Cricket Board – and led by Eaton Gordon, ACE Birmingham lead and community cricket development manager for WCCB – the programme focusses on increasing awareness and access to cricket through Black communities and grass-root cricket clubs. “To see children engage with the sport is amazing to see and be a part of,” said Eaton.

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STORYBOOK JOY Pegasus Primary School in Castle Vale has received a selection of free books for its school library, donated by Bookmark, a charity which was started in 2018 with the vision of wanting every child to read. In its latest Ofsted report, inspectors noted that there is a big focus on developing a love of reading at the school. Some Year 6 pupils also recently attended a writing workshop with CLL Wolves with children from other Summit Learning Trust schools.

CONSERVATION CHAMPION A young nature enthusiast from Birmingham has been named Twycross Zoo Discoverer by the conservation charity in a UK-wide search to find children aged eight and under with a passion for nature and animals, a love of spending time outdoors and a big imagination. Six-year-old Zakariya Mohammed was awarded an exclusive Keeper for the Day experience and a 12-month membership pass as part of the zoo’s Gruffalo Discovery Land – a four-acre project which aims to educate and inspire the next generation about conservation.

BATON HONOUR

Four BMet champions have been officially chosen as Batonbearers for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay. The BMet Batonbearers are carrying the Baton on a section of the route this month. Graphic design lecturer Mohammed Islam and students Behzad, Christabel and Grateful were chosen for being inspirational role models. Mohammed, who teaches at BMet’s Matthew Boulton College, said: “I am proud to be recognised for the work I do at my college and to be representing the city I am from!”

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FEATURE

FACE OF COURAGE

Birmingham Central School of Make-up student Yuliana Jones chose the colours of her Ukraine homeland to deliver this powerful image – while keeping secret her own personal family drama

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very picture tells a story, none more so than this image which is testament to the dedication and courage of Ukrainian-born Yuliana Jones. The model with the striking make-up is not Yuliana – it is her 15-year-old daughter. The picture is part of a photoshoot for an exam which Yuliana, a student at Digbeth’s industryleading Central School of Make-up, needed to take and pass to pursue her dream career. The Ukrainian colours are significant not just because of the war which is ravaging Yuliana’s homeland, but because as the photoshoot was being taken she was secretly negotiating to get her parents away from the frontline and out of the country to safety in the UK. Unbeknown to the team at the school, in the week leading up to the exam Yuliana, who lives in Cannock, found a volunteer to bring her parents from her hometown to the border of Moldova. She told the school on the morning of the exam that she would be leaving as soon as possible to catch a flight. Despite advice to take her exam at a later stage, Yuliana continued to deliver her stunning make-up work on not one but two shoots.

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EMOTIONAL REUNION Yuliana’s parents made it to the border, where she met them in Moldova for an emotional reunion, and having been granted visas they are now safe in the UK with their daughter. However, her sister and nephew still remain in the danger zone in Ukraine. “She did an unbelievable job pushing through, it was moving to see her strength,” said Laura Quirk, the school’s owner and creative director. “Yuliana had desperately tried to get her parents into the UK before the war broke out, only for them to be turned down. Due to their location in Ukraine, they felt the safest option was to stay in the basement of their home rather than flee. “It then became more and more of a risk for them to move, their supplies depleting and unable to get to safe passage to a border. Despite all of this worry Yuliana has still attended her course every day, focused and committed. A true professional.” Yuliana is one of the most inspiring stories of students who have passed through Central School of Make-up since it was established in 2013. The school offers an alternative education route to the make-up industry and provides intensive courses in Foundation Level: Bridal, Fashion/Photographic, Runway and Media Make-

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ON A MISSION: The School of Make-up team with creative director Laura, third left

Up. The school has trained more than 1,000 students at its studios in the Custard Factory. “Our school’s mission is to provide an educational environment that encourages the most diverse and inclusive of students to access the industry without limitation and be judged on the sum of their creativity, commitment and accomplishments,” said Laura, whose background includes working internationally with big brands. “I worked professionally for a number of years,” Laura explained. “I went off and spent time with schools in Paris, working with the likes of LVMH. I’ve done a lot of runway stuff and then moved to Shanghai with my husband which is where I started working with students. We came back and to the school in 2019.” The school is open seven days a week and offers full-time and part-time intensive courses. The average age of students is 31 and many have decided to make a career change. “We have all kinds of people from doctors and lawyers come through the school,” said Laura. “We provide all the training that students would get at university but more rigorous and intense.” As Birmingham increasingly becomes a centre of excellence for new media, Laura sees a growing demand for the skills which students at the school learn and develop across make-up, fashion and photography. “There are lots of opportunities as more film studios and associated media are moving to our city,” she said. “All lecturers and guest artists who teach at the school are at the top of their career working for celebrities, fashion brands, magazines, catwalk, TV and film. The school is the only accredited school to offer the prestigious IMA (International Make-up Association) qualification outside of London” As well as leading the school, Laura is also the founder of Backstage Artists UK, a team of local pro artists working in fashion and media. I

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BUSINESS

ANIMAL ATTRACTION West Midland Safari Park has appointed Birmingham-based PR and social media agency WPR to support its communications activity promoting the Park and its newlylaunched Safari Lodges. The award-winning park, which includes a 150-acre safari and is home to some of the world’s most endangered animal species, has briefed WPR to handle influencer engagement and management. The work will focus on promoting WMSP’s Safari Lodges, a collection of luxury lodges and premium cottages launched in 2021, offering guests an immersive overnight wildlife experience.

BUSINESS

ROCK AND ROLL It’s time to get your skates on and enjoy

Birmingham’s first roller disco and ‘nightclub on wheels’. Roller Jam in Glover Street, Digbeth,

NEWS

features a skating rink with private booths, live DJs, stage shows, cinema screens, street food and bars. George Kafetzis, one of four business partners, said: “This is the first purpose-built roller disco in Birmingham and has everything from a food quarter, to cocktail bars and live music. In future we want to introduce virtual reality and a retro arcade too.”

WISHING SWELL

CBI BOOST

The CBI has bolstered its Midlands team with the appointment of new associate

The Hare and Hounds, Minworth raised

director Matthew Lowe. Matthew joined

more than £600 for charity partner Make-A-

the CBI in 2020 and during his time as a

Wish by hosting a family fun day. The pub,

senior policy advisor was the

part of the Sizzling Pub & Grill chain, has

organisation’s lead on freeports and

joined the group’s collective Sizzling

levelling up, as well as co-lead of its

Community Change campaign to raise one million pennies for the charity and other local community good causes through a series of fund-raising activities. The fun day included face painting, cake sale and raffle. Make-AWish grants life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses.

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LGBT+ Allies Network. Prior to joining the CBI, he worked in lobbying and policy development with the British Chambers of Commerce network, operating across the Midlands and winning a Chambers Fellowship for his HS2 policy work.

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BUSINESS

EXTRA EDGE

AUTO UNVEIL

Solihull auto servicing and sales business, MotorServ UK, has opened a new car

Integrated digital marketing agency EDGE Creative

sales and media centre at Monkspath Business Park. A £235,000, three-month

has continued to grow its team with four new recruits

renovation allowed the MotorServ team to grow its premises to include a unit

– Chloe Williams (digital apprentice), Carolina Pereira

next to its existing workshop. The new centre’s official opening saw MD Kamran

and Jamie Burtenshaw (content creators) and Paul

Saleem and his 32-strong team welcome 170 guests, including Solihull mayor, Cllr

Jones (web developer). The hires are in line with the

Ken Meeson and local MP for Meriden, Saqib Bhatti, who together cut the new

Sutton Coldfield-based agency’s brief in bringing in

premises’ ceremonial ribbon.

and nurturing young talent to the business.

GARDENS CHIEF Birmingham Botanical Gardens has a new chief executive as the charity looks to take the next steps

HOSPITAL HONOUR A former nurse at Selly Oak Hospital was the guest of honour at the official opening of the redevelopment of the 125-year-old building. Valerie Arthur, who worked in the rheumatology department and is the author of a book on the hospital’s history, cut the ribbon to open the last eight apartments at Ellis Court. The development by award-winning housebuilder Charles Church brings to a close the construction of 595 properties over seven years

STAR QUALITY

by the housebuilder and sister brand Persimmon Homes.

in preserving and enhancing the city heritage site. Sara Blair-Manning joins the grade II* listed Gardens in Edgbaston with 27 years’ experience in the cultural and charitable sectors, including leading the development of gardens, heritage sites and environmental projects at two National Trust properties. She has also worked with Gardeners’ World TV presenter Adam Frost to create a gold medal-winning garden at Chelsea Flower Show.

Jacques Hobson, food and beverage outlets manager at the Belfry Hotel & Resort, has been named one of the brightest young prospects in the hospitality industry in the Acorn Award’s 30 under 30 for 2022. Jacques, 29, joined the Belfry more than 10 years ago, starting in the meeting and events team before being promoted from food and beverage assistant to team leader, supervisor, deputy manager, floor manager and then outlets manager in 2019. He is responsible for leading multiple food and beverage outlets at the Belfry.

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BUSINESS

TOP RANKING

BUSINESS BITES CASH FOR GOALS

Law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys has gained a prestigious top ranking for its merger and acquisition activity. The Experian M&A ranking comes after the firm’s corporate team recorded a £1billion year in 2021-22. Experian’s Q1 M&A activity report for 2022 shows the firm in first place across the UK in the Midlands, London, South East, South West and East of England. Corporate team head Rich Wilkey, pictured, said: “Our clients know we will go the extra mile for them.”

Partners West Bromwich Albion FC and Trade Nation raised £1,500 for good causes in an initiative which saw the trading services provider donate £50 to two charities for each goal scored by the Baggies at home games. The money was split equally between youth organisation Albion Foundation and Birmingham food bank.

APPEAL SUCCESS

Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity has reached the £3million target for its Woodland House Appeal which will provide families experiencing the heartbreak of pregnancy and baby loss with a safe haven in which to grieve, away from the busy maternity ward.

SALON’S GREEN WIN

HUSH MONEY

Jewellery Quarter salon BLACC + BLOND is

celebrating winning the Green Salon category in the

A silent auction held at Greater Birmingham

Salon Business Awards 2022 and being a finalist for the Sustainability Hero category in the Most Wanted

Chambers of Commerce’s annual dinner and

Awards. BLACC + BLOND beat eight other finalists

awards raised £3,000 for PANS PANDAS UK,

to claim the Salon Business Awards title and will

the business organisation’s charity of the year. The charity aims to support children who are

compete as one of only five shortlisted in the grand final of the Most Wanted Awards in September. Owner of BLACC + BLOND, Anil Salhan, said: “We aim to

GIANT STEP

become the most sustainable hair salon on the planet.”

Award-winning creative agency Giants and Titans has relocated its Birmingham headquarters to prestigious new city centre offices after agreeing a five-year lease on a 1,250 sq ft office suite at 21 Bennetts Hill through property specialists Centrick. The property recently underwent a comprehensive refurbishment programme with landlords Hortons Estate, creating a range of suites and amenities to support the increasingly popular hybrid way of working. Other occupiers to sign leases this year include Unsigned Software and Diverse World.

affected by two specific conditions – PANS and PANDAS – a set of conditions which result in an inflammation of the brain.

HAROLD’S £20K WALK A 98-year-old World War Two veteran who was inspired by champion NHS fund-raiser Capt Sir Tom Moore has raised £20,000 for Motor Neurone Disease by taking daily walks in his garden – despite breaking his back in three places in 2016. Harold Jones from Sutton Coldfield started taking daily walks to get exercise during the first Covid lockdown. He increased from two laps a day of the minute-long trek around his garden to 40 laps, completing more than 400 miles in total.

NEW HQ: Dave Reed, left, of Giants and Titans and Alex Tross of Centrick

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PUB BEGINS A NEW EXCITING CHAPTER

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Party guests raise a glass to opening of historic Queens Head after refurb

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series of launch parties marked the opening of the Queens Head in Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham. The pub is the latest opening by Davenports Brewery which was established in the city in 1829. Guests raised a glass with a variety of drinks, including Continental Lager which the brewery is reviving. The pub, dating back to before 1850, has undergone a £350,000 refurbishment by Davenports’s own build team. I

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1 Andrew Harris, Paul Marmall, Alex Tracy, Carmel Bate. 2 Carly Payne, Louisa Holland. 3 Judi Gilbert, Ellie Greenwood. 4 Denny Knowles, William Simpson, Vicky Warner. 5 Earl Pinnock, Pat Hawkins, Tom Kelly. 6 Katie McPhilimey, Marcus Clay, Titine LaVoix. 7 Helen Churchill, Vanessa Raggatt, Mia Raggatt. 8 Linzie Phillips, Rachel Ackers, Kathryn Simkiss, Abby Goldie. 9 Matt Reeves, Georgia Corleyshaw, Neil Thompson.

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SOCIAL SCENE

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Revamp reveal as launch event shows off new look at Four Oaks ollowing months of renovation, the Four Oaks pub in Sutton Coldfield opened with a special launch event attended by more than 100 guests who enjoyed fizz on arrival, complimentary drinks and Aperol spritz throughout the evening, as well as live music and grazing ‘Stix’ from its menu. The Four Oaks boasts a remodelled and striking interior, outdoor spaces and a food offering that celebrates the best of British produce. I

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1 Kat Schofield, Nuala Gallagher, Sarah-Louise Lydon. 2 Anthony Weston, Amanda Royston. 3 Lauren Rae, Liam Smith, Alex Dobly, Ash McGrady. 4 Sarah-Louise Lydon, Adam Dilks, Ed Dugdill. 5 Natalie Hopkins, Jake Tyers. 6 Kevin Harper, Ben Silvester. 7 Dean Piggott, Alex Dawson. 8 Dave Caddick, Harj Millington. 9 Cora Woodhouse, Wendy Hull.

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ing ON il vWHAT’S

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WHAT: We Will Rock You

WHAT: Birmingham International

WHEN: Now to 30 July

Tattoo 2022

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome,

WHEN: 10 and 11 September

birminghamhippodrome.com

WHERE: Resorts World Arena,

The world-wide smash hit musical by

resortsworldarena.co.uk

Queen and Ben Elton returns to the UK.

For more than 30 years, the Birmingham International Tattoo has been bringing military and other marching bands from across the world to Brum – and it’s set to be even more special in this Platinum Jubilee year!

The multi-million-pound show dazzles all the senses in breath-taking style. Guaranteed to blow your mind, this musical phenomenon is not to be missed!

WHAT: Edgbaston Artisan Market WHEN: 29 to 31 July WHERE: Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, calthorpe.co.uk Birmingham's largest artisan market returns featuring independent businesses from across the Midlands showcasing the finest range of artisan food and drink, alongside handmade arts and crafts and farmers' market produce.

WHAT: The Festival of Quilts WHEN: 18 to 21 August WHERE: NEC Birmingham, thefestivalofquilts.co.uk A four-day celebration of patchwork and quilting with special workshops, inspiring textile galleries, hundreds of competition quilts on display, plus a fabulous shopping experience.

WHAT: Adam Kay – WHAT: An Evening with

This Is Going to Hurt… More

David Sedaris

WHEN: 10 September

WHEN: 25 July

WHERE: Utilita Arena,

WHERE: Symphony Hall, bmusic.co.uk

utilitaarenabham.co.uk

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Sedaris is one of America’s preeminent humourists. He is the master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers addressing the human condition.

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The award-winning comedian shares entries from his diaries as a junior doctor in this cracking evening of standup and music, featuring new stories from his forthcoming book.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: John Williams Evening WHEN: 2 August WHERE: Symphony Hall, cbso.co.uk/event The genius of John Williams has touched countless lives through his music for films such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws, ET and Schindler’s List. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra celebrates this magic with a special evening in honour of his 90th birthday.

WHAT: Fame – Stage Experience WHEN: 24 to 27 August WHERE: The Alexandra, atgtickets.com

WHAT: Peppa Pig: My First Concert

See stars of the future take

WHEN: 28 and 29 July

to the stage with a full-scale

WHERE: Town Hall, bmusic.co.uk

production of this smash-hit

A fun, interactive introduction to a live orchestra for ages 18

musical with its bittersweet and

months and older. Peppa and George learn all about different

uplifting story and a score of

sounds that instruments make together and enjoy some of their

unforgettable songs.

favourite music played live.

WHAT: Freddo’s Festival of Fun WHAT: Bugsy Malone WHEN: 27 July to 14 August WHERE: Birmingham Rep, birmingham-rep.co.uk

WHEN: 23 July to 4 September WHERE: Cadbury World A choc-full summer festival featuring the launch of a brand-new stage show. Running every day

Alan Parker’s world-famous musical based on his hit

throughout the school holidays, enjoy a song and

movie is packed with instantly recognisable songs from

a dance as Freddo takes you on a musical journey

Oscar-winner Paul Williams in this masterclass of

with toe-tapping pop, rock and country tunes.

musical comedy – with possibly the most joyously uplifting finale in musical theatre.

WHAT: Rose Tattoo WHEN: 26 July WHERE: O2 Institute2 Birmingham, academymusicgroup.com Australia’s hard rock icons return to demand everything from their fans who like it raw and loud with all their immortal songs and energy that they bring to the stage.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITHÁ

EATON GORDON

The ACE (Afro-Caribbean Engagement) Birmingham lead and community cricket development manager for Warwickshire County Cricket Board BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I’ve always been into sport and played semiprofessional football as a youngster, but in 1989 I had an injury that ended my playing career which is when I got into coaching. I was one of the very first black people to go through the premier coaching scheme. I started coaching local football teams and became a community steward which involves overseeing community venues among other things. I then progressed to managing West Brom ladies – the first manager of the team – and then became sports development officer in the Perry Barr district before moving to Warwickshire Cricket.

to the sport as much, so changing that and getting cricket at the forefront is the goal.

IT’S WHAT I DO It’s a big role! I’m tasked with promoting recreational cricket to groups that might not ordinarily get to play. I manage the community participation through schemes like street cricket, glow in the dark cricket, indoor winter leagues and South Asian core cities programme. The initiatives are funded largely by the ECB along with some other organisations. It’s very rewarding.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM My favourite thing about Birmingham is the multicultural and integrational nature of the city. You have loads of people just mixing together yet managing to keep their own cultural identities – almost like communities within communities in the best possible sense.

WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE I’d like to see the continuation of integration of communities coming together as one. There’s been a decline in cricket in black communities. I want to get cricket back at the forefront. I was brought up on cricket, the West Indies were the best and there were plenty of role models. Not so much for youngsters today. Football - yes. Cricket – less so, but we’ll get there. They’re not exposed

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BIGGEST SUCCESS Getting to the position I’m in where I’m able to make a real difference. There are development officers all over the country and I’m one of the only black ones. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED I’ll use a coaching phrase, you only get out what you put in. Work hard, put in the effort and it may take a while, but just keep going and you’ll get the rewards. Whatever area of life you’re in it applies.

DOWNTIME A couple of glasses of wine and some Jamaican rum. I also love live music – any club, any concert. Work hard and play hard! FINALLY… The Commonwealth Games is going to be massive. Women and girls’ cricket across the world has taken off and the Games will only add to that. The Hundred last summer pushed the women’s game into the spotlight and it continues to get better and better. I

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