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July 2018

SUMMER LOVIN’

Keeping injury free

STYLISH SWIMMERS HOW TO AVOID A

COSTUME DRAMA

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE

ITV’s DES COLEMAN

Slice of

BEEF TOAST OF THE TOWN Abigail Connolly

EATING OUT The Ivy

SIR IAN BOTHAM’S RETURN MISSION TO THE MIDLANDS

FUN IN THE SUN

Merc’s E-Class Cabriolet

POSH SHEDS Outdoor heaven


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EDITOR’S VIEW

T

he football World Cup is in full swing in Russia, so forgive me but I’ve decided to talk… cricket! It’s a bit of a Marmite sport. You either love it, or hate it. If it’s the latter, it’s probably because you’ve never bothered to understand the rules. Too complicated and, T20 excepted, too long. Oh, and too dull. Well, I adore cricket. For me it’s the nearest thing to chess played outdoors. Fascinating and engrossing… and sometimes nail-biting! So, this month presented a real treat when I got to interview one of the heroes of the game, Sir Ian Botham. An England legend and arguably (no contest in my view) our greatest-ever player, Sir Ian holds a special place in this part of the world. In his playing days, he led Worcestershire to two championship titles and a clutch of other silverware – a feat not since repeated at New Road! As a member of Worcestershire CCC myself – apologies Warwickshire!! – I suggested (tongue-in-cheek) to the great man that he might like to slip on his whites and turn out for the side today. At 62 years of age, Sir Ian shows no signs of taking life easy – he travels the world commentating for Sky TV and earned his knighthood for the incredible £30million-plus he has raised for various child charities over the years. I interviewed him during an amazing oneday golf charity marathon which included visits by helicopter to Ombersley Golf Club and The Belfry. Just as he played his cricket, he was a man in a hurry – but he did have time to chat with me and to say that he loved being back in the West Midlands. A day, then, to remember for him and most certainly for me.

David Johns

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

/bhamliving

Cover image:

Sir Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham

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

12 16 20 22 32 42 04 birmingham living

Highlights

Sir Ian Botham

Beefy takes to the air for a special reunion with the Midlands – and we hitch a ride

Ocean Colour Scene Brummie band frontman Simon Fowler on Oasis, Chris Evans and loving live gigs

Special K Head chef Khalid Khan talks homeland roots and elevating Indian cuisine to a new level

Food & Drink News, reviews and recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene, plus best buy sweet wines

Beach Style Before you take the plunge, dip in to our pick-ofthe-summer swimwear edit

Summer Health Tips Sprains, broken bones, sun damage… as the temperature soars so do the injuries!

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

44 56 58 64 72 82 july 2018

Homes

What’s the secret to a perfect garden hideaway – or as we call them, posh sheds?

Motoring Sue Cooke lets her hair down and test drives the new Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Young, Gifted & Brummie Please raise your glasses to Abigail Connolly, Birmingham’s only female wine sommelier

Business Company focus on Care Fertility, plus news and views from the commercial community

Social Scene The pages that picture who’s been out and about networking in Birmingham this month

Des Coleman ITV Central’s weather presenter on his link to JFK… and why The Rat Pack is Back

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NEWS

FAIRY TALE DATE >> Four Malaysian graduates from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire are starring in an operatic version of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, which will be staged in Kuala Lumpur this summer. Yi Ling Chaing and Ho Chi Mei appear in the titles roles and are joined by Bui Yik Ling and Chi Hoe Mak. Last year, Malaysian graduates organised a fund-raising concert to support the next generation of talent from their home country to study at the Conservatoire.

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

NEWS LAP OF LUXURY

PRIDE OF BRUM

Photography by Jas Sansi

Watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters has been given the five-star treatment after the opening of the UK’s largest Odeon Luxe. The Birmingham Broadway Plaza cinema boasts 1,264 luxury handmade reclining seats. There’s also new state-of-the-art screens and sound systems. The cinema’s foyer and retail area been refurbished, too.

The annual Birmingham Pride festival for the LGBT community took place over the Spring Bank Holiday. Now the UK’s biggest two-day gay festival, it attracted more than 75,000 people. The event began with a parade from the city centre to the Gay Village in Hurst Street, where a festival site hosted music acts, a dance arena with DJs, funfair, cabaret and stalls.

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NEWS

SUMMER CREATIONS Elmhurst Ballet School, the associate school of Birmingham Royal Ballet, has announced its popular annual summer shows. Between 6 and 13 July, Summer Creations – An Evening of New Work will showcase an ambitious programme of new commissions and world premieres by leading choreographers, the

HERE IS THE LATEST SNOOZE!

school’s artistic staff and prize-winning students. The diverse programme is being presented in Elmhurst’s studio theatre in Edgbaston.

IN BRIEF HOTEL HOMES Birmingham’s first luxury hotel-serviced apartment development has launched. St Martin’s Place, between Broad Street and Tennant Street, has 228 spacious apartments, all with full use of hotel services provided by neighbouring Park Regis Hotel.

STRICTLY FUN From Latin dance and classical music to comedians, live theatre and street parades – this month’s Lichfield Festival (4 to 14 July) has something for everyone. Performers include TV’s Strictly Come Dancing stars Neil and Katya Jones.

MECHANICAL MUSEUM

ON HAND: Crimson Prince © Tim Lewis, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London, New York

Channel 5’s The Gadget Show visited the city to test some of the latest sleep innovations at

Roll up, roll up for Compton Verney’s

Birmingham bed retailer

Marvellous Mechanical Museum! The

Lee Longlands. Presenters

exhibition, devoted to kinetic art and the

Jon Bentley, Ortis Deley

history of automata, runs from 30 June to

and Georgie Barrat tried

30 September. It traces the history of the early

out new pieces of sleep

automata shows and androids alongside

tech with David Whitely

work by contemporary artists – much of

(aka Secret Agent Sideman

which has never been exhibited publicly. The

from Radio 1 and 1Xtra).

57 exhibits date from 1625 to the present

The Gadget Show has

day and – quite literally – come to life before

been on TV for 14 years

TEENAGE CANCER BOOST

your eyes. Visit www.comptonverney.org.uk

and is watched by a

million viewers a week.

The John Bonham Memorial has launched an exclusive T-Shirt in aid of the Teenage Cancer

BRASS HEAD

Trust. Money from sales will help fund vital

One of the UK’s top

services for young people before, during and

trombonists is the new head of brass at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Amos Miller studied at the Royal Academy of Music and his CV includes playing for more than 100 film soundtracks.

after cancer treatment across the West Midlands. The John Bonham Memorial has already pledged £150k to the charity. Deborah Bonham, John’s sister, said: “I am thrilled to be able to support the Trust’s work in the name of my brother.” A bronze statue of John has also been unveiled in Redditch.

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DIPPY DROPS INÁ

Dippy the Diplodocus has arrived in Birmingham and taken up residency in the Gas Hall at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. To make sure Dippy was ready to greet thousands of visitors, the final bone of his 292-piece skeleton was put in place by pupils from Mansfield Green E-ACT Academy in Aston, Birmingham, which works in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust. Dippy is on show until 9 September with 90,000 tickets pre-booked before the opening.

… AND TAKES ROOT! Families visiting Dippy this summer can continue their prehistoric adventure by hunting down 10 eye-catching topiary dinosaurs across the city centre shopping area. The Retail BID ‘Big In The City’ Dino Trail will stay in Birmingham until September to entertain shoppers and tourists. A star prize of £500 of shopping vouchers could be won by sharing selfies with all 10 of the ornamental reptiles using the hashtag #DippyOnTour and tagging @shoppinginbham in a multiple-image Instagram post.

CITY SET FOR FORMULA E

CHARITY WINS UK AWARD A Birmingham and Solihull charity that

Motor racing could return to Birmingham’s streets with Formula E. West Midlands mayor Andy Street is in advanced talks to bring the electric car equivalent to Formula One to the city. It would signal the return of street racing to Birmingham nearly three decades after it hosted the Superprix Formula 3000 race. The city would feature alongside New York, Paris and Rome on the Formula E calendar.

supports survivors of rape and sexual violence has won a prestigious national award. The Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP) was selected from more than 350 UK organisations as one of only eight winners of the 2018 GSK IMPACT Awards, which recognises charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing. The charity will receive £30,000 in funding as part of its prize.

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LES MIS RETURNS It’s never too early to make a ‘must-see’ note in your diary. So jot it down – ‘Les Mis’ is coming to Brum from 2 April to 11 May 2019. Birmingham Hippodrome will be the venue for the return of Cameron Mackintosh’s musical phenomenon Les Misérables as part of a new UK and Ireland tour. West End and Broadway star Killian Donnelly, pictured, will play the lead role of Jean Valjean. Details/tickets: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com

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NEWS

YOURS FOR A COOL 220K Is this the most expensive work of art to be on sale in Birmingham this summer? With an asking price of £220,000 we feel pretty confident that indeed it is! The captivating creation entitled Jui Er is by professional Chinese painter Mingming Li who was born in Beijing and was part of the RBSA’s Prize Exhibition held at its Brooke Street gallery. Mingming Li was one of six Chinese artists selected for the exhibition from more than 400 entries worldwide.

BBC CULTURE PLEDGE The team that will deliver the UK City of Culture in Coventry has welcomed a fresh commitment by the BBC to help put the city on the global stage. Lord Tony Hall, pictured, the BBC’s director general, pledged the broadcaster will spread Coventry’s message to local, national and international audiences during a speech at the Prospect National Conference in Birmingham.

TV CAR SHOW REVS UP TV’s Car S.O.S presenters Fuzz Townshend and Tim Shaw opened a new exhibition at the British Motor Museum featuring models from National Geographic’s popular motoring show. Car S.O.S has brought more than 60 vehicles back from rusty wrecks to their former glory and the new exhibition features seven of the most recent, including a pre-

MINI MOVIE MAGIC

ALL ACTION: Two of the film’s classic Mini Coopers pictured in Birmingham

Iconic Sixties’ film, The Italian Job, is returning to the big screen for a unique performance at Birmingham Symphony Hall with a big band and orchestra playing the score live to the movie. Voted the most popular British film ever made, it’s packed with legendary one-liners – including Michael Caine’s “You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” – as well as an unforgettable score including The Self-Preservation Society. The screening is on Sunday 15 July.

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war Austin ‘Tilly’ truck and a vibrant yellow Lancia Delta Integrale. The exhibition is open until February 2019. www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/carsos

GOT ANY NEWS?

or call 01926 641188

Email your news and pictures to editor@brumliving.co.uk

july 2018


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COVER STORY

TEE WITH BEEFY W

HE’S BACK! SIR IAN BOTHAM TAKES TO THE AIRWAYS AND THE FAIRWAYS FOR A SPECIAL REUNION WITH THE WEST MIDLANDS – AND DAVID JOHNS JOINS HIM FOR THE RIDE

hat a fantastic view, said Sir Ian Botham as he looked down on the beautiful rolling countryside of the West Midlands. With the rotor blades of the helicopter chattering out above his head, Sir Ian was getting re-acquainted with the area where he once brought thrills, spills and trophies to cricket fans. His mission on this particularly glorious, not-a-cloudin-the-sky, summer’s day was driven by his two sporting passions – cricket, of course, and golf. We joined the sporting legend as he flew between Ombersley Golf Club and The Belfry during the Midlands leg of an exhausting one-day charity challenge. Sir Ian played the 18th hole at the Worcestershire course and the famous 10th, the Brabazon, at The Belfry as part of the ‘Beef v Beefy’ golf challenge in aid of the Beefy Charity Foundation.

TWILIGHT ZONE The challenge saw Sir Ian, nickname Beefy, take on majors golf professional, Britain’s Andrew ‘Beef ’ Johnston, over 18 holes – each hole in one of the 18 cricketing counties in the UK. Starting at 6am in County Durham and finishing in the twilight after 10pm in North Middlesex it was a punishing schedule, completed on the last hole under the glow of car lights. “It felt like we were constantly hopping in and out of the helicopter, which we were, and it was all a bit of a blur if I’m honest,” said Sir Ian. But he had time for some special thoughts and memories of the Midlands, and Worcestershire in particular, where he spent five seasons in the late Eighties and early Nineties,

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WE WERE CONSTANTLY

HOPPING IN AND OUT OF THE HELICOPTER, AND IT WAS ALL

A BIT OF A BLUR IF I’M HONEST

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

HIS MISSION WAS

DRIVEN BY HIS TWO SPORTING PASSIONS – CRICKET, OF COURSE, AND GOLF

leading the county to a clutch of silverware, including two championship titles. ON THE FARM “My sister and brother-in-law are farmers just outside Ombersley,” he explained. “So even though I obviously haven’t played cricket in the area in many a year, I still know it very well. I’m back here quite a bit and I’m very familiar with what a lovely and special part of the world the area and the region are. It was a delight to play the beautiful courses at Ombersley and The Belfry with Andrew.” The pair met when Beefy interviewed Beef at a test match he was covering at The Oval as part of the Sky Sports team. “Andrew is a huge cricket fan,” said Sir Ian. “We just got talking after the interview, hit it off and decided we’d like to do something together to help charity. He’s a great guy and like me, just enjoys life. It took a lot of planning to sort the logistics out for the challenge . I leave all that kind of stuff to my daughter Sarah, she sorts it out… I just turn up and play!”

SELFIES WITH SIR Ombersley Golf Club was the perfect choice given the family connection with the area, and The Belfry is a famous Ryder Cup venue and has been voted England’s best golf course. Both venues witnessed scores of wellwishers to meet Beefy and Beef and get selfies and autographs. “It was good to be back in Worcestershire,” said Sir Ian, who has hosted a number of Evening With… events in the past. He’s also a visitor with the Sky cricket team to Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire CCC and the Birmingham Bears and an England test match venue.

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Saying that the 62-year-old’s workload is heavy would be an understatement. (The voice message on his phone says it all: ‘Hi, it’s Sir Ian here. Sorry I can’t take your call right now but you know what it’s like… work, work, work, busy, busy busy…) As well as covering England’s home tests, Sir Ian travels the globe with Sky giving his expert observations on the key clashes, including the Ashes series in Australia.

LIFE-CHANGING He fits in golf whenever and wherever he can and, of course, his passion to raise money for sick children. Sir Ian completed his 18th and final sponsored marathon charity walk in Australia in December 2017 – having previously trekked in a host of countries over the years, including South Africa, the Sub-Continent and here in the UK. His efforts have raised more than £30million for good causes, mostly for research into leukaemia. His Beefy Charity Foundation also currently supports Brain Tumour Research and Support, Batten Disease Family Association, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Bloodwise and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. “I’ve always believed in trying to help kids ever since I went into a hospital children’s ward by mistake and got chatting to a couple of kids. I said I’d see them when I went back a couple of weeks later and found they had died. I was told they had leukaemia. That changed my life really.” I To find out more about Sir Ian’s charity events and how to help sick kids, visit his Beefy Charity Foundation website www.beefyfoundation.org

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FEATURE

Simon says SHELLEY CARTER CAUGHT UP WITH OCEAN COLOUR SCENE’S FRONTMAN, SIMON FOWLER AHEAD OF THEIR MIDLANDS GIG NEXT MONTH AND FOUND

HE’S REVELLING IN THE QUIET LIFE, BUT NOTHING COMPARES TO PLAYING LIVE

t’s more than 20 years since the release of Ocean Colour Scene’s second album and the one that set the Brummie band up for stardom, Moseley Shoals. The glorious Riverboat Song was snapped up by one of the band’s early champions, Chris Evans, for hit show TFI Friday at a time when it was winning in the ratings stakes. With its unmistakable riff, the track made a massive impact – a perfect storm if you like. The band went on to produce nine albums – three of which went top five – and had a run of nine successive top 20 hit singles. They supported Oasis at Knebworth, played the Royal Albert Hall and completed the biggest arena tour of any band to date. They’ve enjoyed a phenomenal career, toured the world and are still happiest when playing live.

I

THREE BLIND MICE Back in the day, and like millions of kids across the land, Simon started strumming Three Blind Mice aged nine during a childhood in Brum which he describes as ‘extremely happy’. Clearly he progressed from nursery rhymes and some years later was in a band with bass player Damon. Oscar then joined the duo followed by one of his drinking buddies Steve and Ocean Colour Scene was complete. The band could be found in the Barrel Organ or Northern Sweat at Birmingham Institute. In terms of influences they were an eclectic mix. Simon

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remembers: “When I was a kid it was all hard rock – Sabbath and the like – which I never got into. Then punk and new romanticism happened and that wasn’t my thing either. I grew up listening to the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Kinks, Bob Dylan.” He adds: “That teamed with Steve’s sixties Jam and Weller influences came together in our sound I suppose.” It wasn’t exactly an overnight success though. The first album flopped spectacularly in 1992 followed by years of hard graft before the triumphant breakthrough in 1996. Simon recalls: “We were holed up in a studio in King’s Heath writing loads of songs. Chris Craddock – Steve’s father – pretty much bankrolled Shoals. We lived off beans on toast.” WELLER AND OASIS Simon was a journalist for a spell at the Birmingham Mail and Post among other local titles, however it wasn’t the dream. He says: “I didn’t like being told off by balding middle-aged men who were better at their job than me.” Music was always the goal. Meeting Paul Weller and supporting him on his 1993 tour boosted the band and gave them the confidence they needed. Then when Noel Gallagher heard a demo tape that was doing the rounds and invited the band to tour with Oasis things really took off and they signed to MCA records. Supporting Oasis at Knebworth still remains a massive highlight as was

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FEATURE

knocking the Gallagher brothers off the UK album chart number one spot in 1997 with Moseley Shoals’ follow up, Marchin’ Already. Playing the NEC for the first time to a home crowd was special too. HARD GRAFT Over two decades is a lifetime in the music industry and I wonder what the secret of the band’s success is? “I think it’s because we grafted and we didn’t have overnight success. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” Not that he’s knocking programmes such as the X Factor that offer instant success – depending on what your definition of success is. He explains: “I hate knocking other people’s fun. That kind of show is an entertainment programme aimed at children. One of the criticisms they get is that the acts are too groomed. Well what was Motown? They were manufactured, they had stylists and had fantastic songs written for them. It’s not so different.” Catch Ocean Colour Scene at Wolverhampton Racecourse on 31 August. For tickets visit http://www.vmstickets.co.uk/

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Playing live is where the band is happiest and their schedule of gigs is pretty full, however there’s enough downtime for Simon to enjoy the quiet life walking his beloved daschund by the river in Stratford-uponAvon. He says: “I’m 53! I’m glad we did what we did 30 years ago. I wouldn’t want to be doing it now.” So, what’s next? “There’s more touring on the horizon and we need to start recording and make an album.” He adds: “Mind you I’m such a luddite in the studio! Steve’s great at that stuff and has a studio at his house in Devon.” DAY AT THE RACES Next month’s concert at Wolverhampton Racecourse will focus on singles. Simon says: “I’m amazed at how many singles we wrote!” The trend for gigging at racecourses is on the rise and having seen James at Worcester racecourse I can see it makes total sense. From a band’s perspective it’s pretty awesome too. Simon adds: “The facilities are the best! Basically, your dressing room is the hospitality suite, which is nice.” I

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FOOD & DRINK

Special K KHALID KHAN, THE HEAD CHEF AT LASAN, DRAWS ON THE MANY REGIONAL INFLUENCES AND STYLES OF HIS HOMELAND TO ELEVATE INDIAN CUISINE TO A NEW LEVEL Tell us about your cooking My style is true Indian, but India is a vast country with so many regional styles and great variety. At Lasan, we draw on those regional influences, retaining the authentic flavours but adding finesse. We are faithful to India but not bound by tradition and are more interested in the values that underpin those traditions and have made Indian food so captivating.

How did you become a chef? I began cooking in 1996 in my home state of Bihar in East India and have worked in high-end restaurants and hotels in India, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. I enjoyed learning new things and gaining more experience. What do you eat when at home? We’re always trying new things at home. There’s new stuff coming on the market all the time to try. But seasonality and freshness is always important. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? I have a lot of respect for Gordon Ramsay who I met when Lasan was named Restaurant of the Year on his programme The F-Word.

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CHEF’S CORNER

KHALID’S ROASTED QUAIL AND SAFFRON POTATO (KESRI BATAER)

INGREDIENTS:

I 1 whole skinless quail I 5g cumin seeds I 1 whole red chilli I 50ml hung yoghurt

I 10g ginger and garlic paste I 20g boiled onion paste

I 1/2tsp raw mango powder I 1tbsp Channa Masala

I 5ml lemon juice I 10ml mustard oil I Salt to taste

METHOD: Rub salt, ginger and garlic paste, lemon juice onto the quail and rest for 1 hour. Lightly toast the cumin seeds and red chilli, then blend into paste. Together with the remaining ingredients mix the marinade and apply on to the quail, keep aside for another hour. Cook in preheated oven on a tray, under moderate heat for approx 15 to 20 minutes. (PS: You can use the same marinade to bring barbecues

Share a cooking tip Planning is absolutely crucial – whether you’re cooking in a restaurant or at home. Work out your timings and have ingredients ready prepared to use as they are needed. If you don’t plan, you can become rushed and confused and things can go wrong. What was your favourite food as a kid? The dish I always enjoyed as a child in Bihar was biriyani and I’m happy to say that we serve absolutely fantastic biriyanis in the restaurant! Food heaven and food hell? My idea of heaven is Indian food that has been prepared with skill and love and with an understanding of the values that make it unique. To be honest, I’d be hard-pressed to say what was my idea of food hell because I enjoy most types of food.

alive!)

Lasan, 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, St Paul's Square, Birmingham, B3 1SD. Tel: 0121 212 3664 www.lasangroup.com

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Is the customer always right? There are times when the customer isn’t right, but it’s important for restaurants to always listen to what they have to say because customers are paying and their feedback is important to us.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? I’d be a lecturer teaching people to cook. I’m so passionate about this industry that I’d want to pass on that passion together with my knowledge and skills to the next generation. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? I have to smile at that question because I’d recommend any of the dishes on the menu. But, because of my love of biriyani, that would be high up the list. I

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SEASON’S EATINGS

Strawberry ice lollies Chill out and give the king of British summer fruits an ice twist with this recipe which can be tweaked for grown-ups, too omemade ice lollies and popsicles are easy to make and the flavour combinations are endless. All you need are some moulds, a bit of imagination and you’re away. And they don’t just have to be for the kids. Try this rather refreshing strawberry and watermelon combo – which is oh-so-easy to pimp up for the adults if you fancy it. 

H

HOW TO MAKE Ingredients:

 250g of hulled strawberries  250g of cubed watermelon  Zest and juice of 1 lime

Method:

 Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth.  Pour into moulds and freeze for 3 to 4 hours, or until very solid.  For a grown up version why not add 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila or rum.

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FOOD & DRINK

NIBBLES and SHORTS

BIRMINGHAM HAS A LIVELY AND BUZZING BAR AND RESTAURANT SCENE. HERE, WE PRESENT OUR INSIDER GUIDE TO WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR CITY’S EATERIES AND DRINKING DENS

SPICING UP THE HOT DOG Indian Sausage Company has arrived in Birmingham to sizzle-up the street food scene with its Desi Hot Dogs. The ‘spiced dogs’ come in a choice of pork, chicken or veggie and are cooked right before your eyes on a flame grilled BBQ, served up in a white roll and a choice of three toppings – Indian chilli, chicken tikka masala, mellow makhani or have it plain to simply enjoy the tasty sausage itself!

HONG KONG BRUNCH

Chung Ying Cantonese has launched Birmingham’s first Hong Kong brunch complete with dinky dumplings, savoury steamed buns and traditional egg-topped clay pot rices. The restaurant, in the heart of Chinatown, is now open from 10am offering a menu packed with

GREAT TASTE OF SATURDAY Pure Craft Bar & Kitchen on Waterloo Street has launched a Saturday brunch menu. The line-up features Eggs Florentine made with organic duck eggs, home-made granola and an English breakfast with maple cured pork ribeye and black pudding infused with Purity Ubu ale. It’s available 9.30am to 12noon every Saturday.

authentic Chinese breakfast dishes and snacks. Classic honey BBQ pork buns and pork and prawn dumplings feature on the brunch menu along with fresh noodle soups.

FEAST FOR JAILBIRDS Award-winning Lasan Group has opened another dining experience – Jailbird New York Seafood and Steak. The new venture is a classy, sophisticated lounge and restaurant situated in Victoria Square opposite the Council House in the heart of the city. Lasan Group’s Jabbar Khan said: “Expect a cosmopolitan vibe where you can escape from the humdrum and get the New York state of mind.”

REBEL CHICKEN WINGS IN

A new chicken restaurant, cocktail bar and beer garden has opened in Pitsford Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Rebel Chicken claims to serve “the best chicken in town” – and twice-marinated, spit-roasted, free range, locally sourced sure gets out mouths watering! Other offerings include a Caesar salad sharer, buffalo hot wings, veggie bean burger and more gourmet fast food. There’s also cocktails, craft beers and wide range of spirits.

CELEBRATION OF WINE, CHEESE & CHOC Wine, cheese and chocolate, are coming together in a one-day festival in Birmingham. The Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival will celebrate the very best in British artisan suppliers. Alongside wine quaffing, cheese gorging and chocolate worshipping, there’ll also be talks and demos. The festival on 20 October will also feature cinema-style documentaries, screened by video projection.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

THE BELFRY HOTEL AND RESORT, LICHFIELD ROAD, WISHAW, SUTTON COLDFIELD, B76 9PR.

THE BELFRY TEL: 01675 238600 THEBELFRY.CO.UK

nce a month overlooking the famous Brabazon golf course, head chef at the Belfry, Ryan Swift – formerly of Hampton Manor and Dormy House – creates a six-course tasting menu in the hotel’s restaurant, the Ryder Grill. Having sampled Ryan’s food before, we made sure we were all over June’s culinary adventure. Firstly, tasting menus tend to be expensive. Not so here. The £45 for six courses seemed like a steal. Chuck in a wine flight and obviously the cost rockets, however it’s still competitive. Secondly, with a tasting menu there’s a lot of interaction with waiting staff which doesn’t always lend itself to a relaxed dinner. It can feel a bit disjointed. In this instance the waiting staff, i.e. Carlos, enhanced the experience. We could have been served cold porridge and we’d have loved it.

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STAND OUT Rather than go through all six courses and matching wine, which would be slightly dull for you, the reader, here are the stand out dishes. A pretty dish of scallops with a subtle curry flavour and cauliflower cooked various ways – pureed, deep fried and pickled – was gorgeous. For the record, pickled cauliflower is utterly delicious and worked with the creamy puree, sweet scallops and rich flavours adding a freshness and vibrancy. If anything, we’d have liked more of the pickled veg. A New Zealand sauvignon worked beautifully.

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Perfectly cooked pigeon breast was sensational served with a rich sticky jus and the classic combo of peas and bacon. The plate was taken up a notch with the addition of a foie gras ‘sausage’ wrapped in lettuce which although sounds like a heart attack on a plate was just superb. A light rioja worked brilliantly with the pigeon. Not one for a pud, but a fan of a macaron, a giant pistachio and white chocolate version served with cherries was pretty special. Chewy, sweet and nutty with a bit of tartness from the cherries and served with a glass of 30year-old port, it was moreish – even after five courses. There were no poor dishes on the card at all – these three just stood out – and we reckon once word is out about the tasting menu which tends to be on a Wednesday or a Thursday, you’ll be lucky to bag a table. Checkout the website for future dates and get one locked in else you’ll miss out. What is it the youngsters say? FOMO. Go. I

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FOOD & DRINK

Keep it

SWEET RESIDENT WINE EXPERT ROB PRICE LOOKS AT WHAT MAKES A SWEET WINE SPECIAL, AND PICKS HIS PERSONAL FAVOURITES hat makes a wine sweet? Talk to it nicely! Or a proper answer is residual sugar. But what’s the one thing you can’t add to make a wine sweet. You’ve guessed it – sugar. Most wines are fermented to dryness – that is, all the sugar in the grape is fully fermented. So, one fairly straightforward way is to stop the ferment early by removing the yeast (which is eating the sugar and creating alcohol) thus leaving sugar, sweetness, in the wine. Another easy way is to add a sweet component to wine, and as grape juice is sweet this is often added to make a medium sweet white wine. This way is not normally used to create a high quality sweet

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wine. If the fermentation stops before all the sugar is converted to alcohol, we need grapes with more sugar, and there are two main ways to do this. Late harvest, or by concentrating the grape juice. VINE LINE Late harvest means leaving the grapes on the vine longer so they accumulate more sugar. Examples of this are the late harvest wines – in Germany these may be wines like Spatlese or Auslese, made with the Riesling grape, or wines from the Loire Valley such as Chenin Blanc from Vouvray. These wines can be excellent, but an even better way of creating a high quality sweet white wine is by concentrating the grape sugars, and there are several ways of doing this… Noble rot. These are grapes that have been left on the vine so long that that have started to shrivel and are affected by Botrytis, a fungus that grows on the skins. To look at these grapes you would be put off forever – but a bit like the mould in Stilton cheese, it adds to the complexity and flavours of the wine. HAND PICKED Noble rot only occurs in certain regions and then only when the weather conditions are right. The main regions are Sauternes from Bordeaux in France, Beerenauslese from Germany and my favourite Tokaji Aszu from Hungary. Each grape contains significantly less juice, so less wine is made. Also each grape has to be individually hand picked at just the right time, which means several trips (tries) through the vineyard. However they are worth the expense. The finish is very long with flavours of marmalade rind, honey, toast, apricot, vanilla and much more. These wines are also categorised by high levels of acidity that keeps them refreshing and counteracts the sweetness that otherwise may become sticky and cloying.

ROB’S

Concha y Toro Late Harvest

As the name suggest the grapes, in this case Sauvignon blanc, are picked late to create a wonderful inexpensive sweet wine. Full of

ripe fruits with honey, and very moreish. Connolly’s sells the 2013 vintage for £6.95, 37.5cl.

Denbies Noble Harvest

Want to try a rare sweet wine from England? This one is a real gem.

Expressive aromas and concentrated flavours of honey, marmalade, apricot and melon, combining for a luxuriously complex and long finish. Waitrose sells the 2016 vintage for £19.99, 37.5cl.

The Wine Society’s Exhibition Sauternes

Also made with noble, (rotting) grapes, this is a text book example of what a good Sauternes should taste like – full of orange peel, dried fruits, stone and tropical fruits, and fantastic acidity to balance the sweet nature of the wine. Buy the 2015 vintage for £10.95, 37.5cl.

Tokaji Aszu

A sweet wine from Hungary. Now this is my favourite wine, and not just in the sweet category. It’s the wine I would choose to take to my desert island. Try the Royal Tokaji, 2013. Made by one the region’s top producers, it is the perfect wine. So well balanced with a finish that goes on and onÁ Majestic sells for £24, 50cl.

have to have been frozen for a minimum of eight hours at a temperature of minus 8º C. Normally harvested in December, sometimes as late as January, in the early hours of the morning, not the normal harvest weather you might expect! The ice is removed when the grapes are crushed leaving a very concentrated grape must behind, producing intensely flavoured with pure fruit flavours and a high level of acidity. Germany makes Eiswein and while excellent it is very, very expensive. More affordable versions come from Canada, just called Icewine. I Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education

BIG FREEZE Another really high quality sweet wine is from grapes that have been frozen on the vine. They

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Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Warwick and Milton Keynes city centres. More information from Rob Price on 0121 270 7359 or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

THE SUNSET COCKTAIL

ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY Ingredients: I

LET’S SHAKE IT TO THE CARIBBEAN BEAT WITH A TIPPLE INSPIRED BY THE SUNSHINE ISLANDS s anyone who has visited the Caribbean will tell you, the people of these glorious islands know and love their cocktails. Amdi Browne, Amplify’s hospitality bar supervisor and unofficial mixologist at the Genting Arena’s Lakeside Lounge, was inspired by his Caribbean roots to develop a new cocktail menu. Amdi’s Sunset Cocktail is one of his favourite concoctions from the menu, entitled the Little Book of Cocktails. Its super tasty and super easy to make, too… I

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75ml Orange juice 30ml Grapefruit juice 25ml Passion fruit juice 50ml Amdi’s special spiced brandy (but any brand will work) 10ml Almond syrup 25ml Dash of grenadine (to finish)

To make: Pour the ingredients – excluding the grenadine – over a glass of ice and gently stir to combine the flavours. Add a grapefruit piece to garnish. Finish with a 25ml dash of grenadine.

Amplify is the premium hospitality provider for the NEC Group’s two arenas – Arena Birmingham and Genting Arena. Contact 0844 338 0333 amplify.co.uk.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

TEMPLE ROW, BIRMINGHAM, B2 5LS.

THE IVY TEL: 0121 725 2110

THEIVYBIRMINGHAM.COM

olmore Row is increasingly becoming a foodie hangout that seems to get better and better every month. The area’s most high profile relative newbie, The Ivy, has had its fair share of column inches and social media hullaballoo – mostly good, some not so much – and while there’s no doubt the launch party was a belter, what of it now things have settled down? We popped along to check it out.

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From an interiors point of view don’t expect a watered-down version of the London restaurant. Renowned designer and Caprice Holdings regular Martin Brudnizki, who was responsible for the London and LA restaurants, has given Brum its own identity which suits the building and its location perfectly. With serious investment throughout, expect bespoke wallpaper and artwork, a stunning onyx bar, brass handrails and amazing loos with an attractive mosaic floor. The private dining room ensconced on the second floor is a great space, too. The menu is strong on seafood and there are also some British favourites, such as the shepherd’s pie, you might recognise from the original restaurant. We sampled a classic dish of scallops with pea puree, broad beans and crispy shallots which was fresh and zingy with a nice hit of citrus. Soft goat’s cheese came recommended and worked a treat with a fresh inventive salad. We detoured off-piste for a dish from the specials menu which delivered perfectly pink lamb, a creamy

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flavour-packed mushroom sauce and great mashed potato. A side of tenderstem broccoli which restaurants seem to treat as an afterthought a lot of the time, had been given the attention it deserved and was cooked perfectly with a drizzle of lemon oil and a good pinch of sea salt. Sides of sweet potato and creamed spinach didn’t feel like the poor cousin either. We’d have liked the apple tart fine for pud, however it would have taken 25 minutes which was pushing it a bit, so tried the sorbet – perfectly nice – and the cute mini chocolate truffles. As an experience The Ivy ticks all the boxes – stunning interior, a warm welcome, attentive staff, great food – and is a fantastic addition to the city’s food scene. We’ve been back twice since we reviewed and have a table booked next month. Says it all really. I

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LUNCHSPOT

1 DROITWICH ROAD, FECKENHAM, REDDITCH, B96 6JE. TEL: 01527 894422 WWW.THEFORESTATFECKENHAM.COM

FOREST AT FECKENHAM ith the current never-ending heatwave – long may it last – comes the need for more al fresco opportunities. In the city there aren’t that many beer gardens we’d like to while away a few hours in, but a stone’s throw from Brum we found a hidden sun trap at the rear of this pretty village gastro pub. With a fireplace throwing out heat on cool evenings and chilly days, the garden works all year round. Result. There’s a succinct lunch menu encompassing light bites which looked appealing, however, living by the mantra breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper we pushed it to one side in favour of the main card. A dedicated steak menu with produce from top local butcher Aubrey Allen features, as well as a thoughtful selection of dishes. A black pudding scotch egg with piccalilli had our companion’s name all over it. It was no ordinary scotch egg. This had a perfectly oozing yolk encased in flavourpacked Clonakilty black pudding atop of a punchy, zingy piccalilli with a background cumin flavour that knocked our socks off. By contrast an accomplished twice baked souffle with pea veloute and watercress was subtle and delicate, but equally enjoyable. Chicken pie with a proper old school crisp pastry case seriously hit the spot. Teamed with creamy mash made in a way that only a chef knows how and a rich sweet jus with wholegrain mustard and honey, we loved it. Sea bass cooked to perfection with a pleasing

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crisp skin was served with moreish crab gnocchi and sweet mussels in a delicate creamy cider sauce. Going all in on the ‘lunching like a prince’ vibe, we made room for an apricot tarte tatin with stem ginger ice cream which was well worth moving the belt down a notch for. Super sweet and sticky with the spice from the ginger cutting through, it was perfect. Clearly, we were impressed with the food and the situation and the staff seemed to genuinely enjoy being there too. The place has got everything you could possibly want from a gastro pub with the sun trap out back to boot. I

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DON’T DIVE IN THE THRILLING YET TERRIFYING TASK OF SWIMWEAR

SHOPPING HAS ARRIVED AND THIS YEAR WE’RE WINNING ou wouldn’t settle for an ill-fitting dress or a pair of jeans that fall off at the merest hint of a brisk walk and yet, this summer, beaches all over the land will be awash with women fidgeting with swimwear that fails to fit properly or hold everything in place. We’ve all been there, but not this time. Firstly, don’t wing it. Try before you buy is your mantra when swimwear shopping above all other shopping trips – with the exception of your wedding dress possibly. When we say try before you buy, we don’t mean slip into potential swimwear and breathe in insanely for 30 seconds. Sit down, walk around, wriggle, jump up and down even! If you’re planning to be more active than lying by the pool this is crucial. Is your modesty protected throughout the wiggle test and do you feel great? Secondly, be organised. How many sets of swimmers do you need and what will you be doing in them? Kite surfing in Cape Town requires a different suit to sipping sun downers in St Tropez.

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STYLE

GIRL’S BEST FRIEND

Figleaves Hawaii Diamond swimsuit £52, Figleaves.com

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STYLE

We reckon you need four basic styles to build on for your average beach break. A stylish one-piece that offers coverage and will stay put through a spot of wind surfing or at the very least a strenuous swim in the ocean. A flattering bikini that fits like a glove. A bit of a minefield this one as it depends so much on your shape. Be prepared to shop around and try on four or five different styles. If you find ‘the one’, it might be worth buying in a few colourways. A bikini or one piece that doesn’t need to perform any other function other than making you feel a million dollars ensuring you look hot while catching a few rays and strolling elegantly from lounger to bar. Check out Melissa Odabash at Selfridges. A rash vest for protection if you’re feeling a bit sun baked. Add a handful of chic cover ups, a hat and some sunnies and you’re good to go. I

COLOUR BLOCK

CUT IT OUT

Multi-coloured cut out one piece, River Island, Bullring

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RIGHT STRIPES

Multi-coloured halter neck £42, J by Jasper Conran, Debenhams, Bullring

Multi-coloured striped one piece with scoop back £69, Hush, John Lewis, Grand Central

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STYLE

CRISS CROSS

Criss cross swimsuit, Long Tall Sally, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

ACE ASSYMETRIC

Very Exclusive Love Stories one shoulder swimsuit £120, Very.co.uk

FULL COVERAGE

Bordeaux Icon swimsuit £55, House of Fraser, Mell Square

MONO WOW

Black and white ruffle one piece £36, River Island, Bullring

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

GREEN GODDESS

Green halterneck £28, J by Jasper Conran, Debenhams, Bullring

Navy cross swimsuit £49, Maison de Nimes, House of Fraser, Mell Square

CLEAN LINES

Bikini with gold accents £36, River Island, Bullring

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HOT TO TROT

Black metallic sequin one piece £24.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE

MELLOW YELLOW

Ruffle bikini top £22.50, M&S, Longbridge

FLOWER POWER

Floral bikini, Next, Bullring

HAPPY DAYS

Brightskies tankini top £28, White Stuff, Cannon Street

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STYLE

WELL CUT

Figleaves Juno swimsuit £38, Figleaves.com

IN THE NAVY

Embellished bikini, M&S, Longbridge

TRUE BLUE

Blue frill bikini top £14.99, bottoms £9.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

SUPER STAR

Multi-coloured Eloi Cher bikini £19.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

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FACE UP BEAUTY

Having had a scare with a dodgy mole recently, we’re more aware than ever of staying safe while getting a healthy dose of vitamin D

ooking after the body at this time of year is a doddle – we slather Ultrasun SPF30 on regularly without a care. However, we find many sunscreens are too thick and rich for the face and we’re left with an oily finish which doesn’t look great and makes applying even the most basic of make-up tricky. We put a handful of sun screens designed specifically for the face through their paces to see which came out on top. Our conclusion is you get what you pay for and we prefer the lighter weight feel of the SPF30 rather than the SPF50 products we tried. Here are our top four. I

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1. Natura Bisse C+C Oil Free Macro Antioxidant sun protection broad spectrum SPF 30, £50 for 30ml, Harvey Nichols

We love the performance of the entire C+C vitamin line from the Spanish brand, so this was a no-brainer. As well as a gorgeous orange aroma, the

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cream sinks into the skin beautifully leaving no residue or stickiness at all. We waited 20 minutes before applying make-up which went on like a dream. The cream contains macro antioxidants extracted from the skin of fruit, in this case,

TOP PICK

oranges, which the brand claims are more powerful than other antioxidants. It also contains provitamin D, vitamin E, F and collagen to help preserve the skin. 2. Glossier Invisible Shield daily sunscreen SPF35, £20, glossier.com

This bills itself as the sunscreen for people who hate wearing sunscreen and we understand why. It’s a clear watergel that absorbs easily with none of the downsides of sunscreen, i.e. white residue, greasiness. It’s easily

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wearable every day – bear in mind it’s not waterproof – and helps protect against pollutants as well as preventing skin damage. A great everyday option that works well under make-up and the cheapest on our list. 3. Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50, £42 for 50ml, Space NK

This is the mother of all skin protection. The high SPF combined with hormone melatonin, three forms of vitamin C and vitamin E protects the skin from free radicals as well as minimising the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. This definitely made our skin feel plumper and brighter despite being a bit heavier than some of the others.

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4. Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum SPF50, £55 for 50ml, Debenhams

Developed specifically for city dwellers, City Skin promises to protect from blue light, pollutants, infrared, UVA and UVB. It feels lightweight and has a subtle golden sheen to it, but it felt more sticky than the others. If you can compromise on the slight tacky feel in favour of the higher protection this is a winner.

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STYLE FOR MEN

IN THE DRINK LET’S TALK SWIMMERS, GUYS. A SURPRISINGLY

EASY STYLE DECISION ONCE YOU’VE ACCEPTED YOU’RE NOT ADAM FROM LOVE ISLAND…

PRINTS CHARMING Fish print shorts, Jacamo

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STYLE FOR MEN

CANDY COLOURS Multi-stripe print swim shorts Howick £30, House of Fraser

GRADUATION DAY Pink ombre swim shorts £12.99, New Look

e speak from experience. A ‘friend’ once donned some super tight white Daniel Craig-esque swimmers on a glamorous Sicilian beach and felt the absolute bomb until he strode from the waves and they proved entirely transparent. Children fled the shoreline pointing at his appendage, parents hurriedly covered their offspring’s delicate eyes and the ‘friend’ has never lived it down. Conversely, long baggy board shorts are never a good look either. A classic mid-length, lined, well-fitting short is by far the most flattering option whatever shape you’re in. Here are some of our favourites. I

EARN YOUR STRIPES Swim shorts £19.99, TK Maxx

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JUNGLE FEVER Bold print swim shorts £18, River Island

TOP OF THE TREE Palm tree swim shorts £16, Next

BIRD MAN Yellow waterbird pattern swimming trunks £14.99, TK Maxx

WAVE RAVE Photographic wave print shorts £30, House of Fraser

RED HOT Chilli print swim short £18, River Island

NO SHRINKING VIOLET Paul Smith yellow swim shorts £59, House of Fraser

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THINK PINK Pink stripe swim shorts £12.99, New Look

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HEALTH

NEW RESEARCH REVEALS A DIRECT LINK BETWEEN RISING TEMPERATURES AND AN INCREASE IN INJURIES

INJURIES ‘SORE’ IN WARMER WEATHER prains, broken bones, dislocations, sun damage – welcome to the toll of playing games with family or friends in the summer garden and great outdoors. Don’t believe us? Well, new research from Bupa health clinics shows as many as two-thirds of people sustain a seasonal injury as a result of spending more time outdoors during the summer months. The trend is set to go even further this summer as Britons work up to two big televised sporting events – Wimbledon and the football World Cup. More people will be inspired to get outside and take up tennis and football to try and emulate their sporting heroes. Dr Husam Suliman, lead GP at Solihull Bupa Health and Dental Centre, says: “The UK on a warm summer’s day is one of the best places to be and it’s great that so many of us

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enjoy the great outdoors. However, it’s important that we take the necessary precautions during the summer months. A friendly game of sport could become much more serious if someone hasn’t been active for a while and jumps straight in.“ SUN AND SKIN When it comes to being safe in the sun, there are also potential health risks to be aware of. Consultant dermatologist Dr Camilo Diaz, says: “There is a belief that the sun in the UK can‘t damage our skin, but this isn‘t true. Sunburn can cause our skin to age prematurely and is also a key cause for skin cancer. “We should all protect ourselves against the sun’s rays regardless of whether we’re pottering around in the garden or sunning ourselves on a beach break.”

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HEALTH

HERE ARE JUST A FEW SENSIBLE TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY FIT, HEALTHY AND BURN FREE:

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PLAY NICELY: Know your limits when playing games with friends and family – it is ok to take a breather now and again and always make sure you are wearing the correct gear for the sport you’re playing.

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BE INSPIRED, BUT BE CAREFUL: Go at a pace that suits you and your body. Have a quick jog around and stretch your calves, hamstrings, back and arms. This can take no less than three minutes to do a full body stretch – so why not! Prior to starting a new fitness regime or sport, see a physiotherapist or have a full body health assessment to ensure your body is at the right level before progressing.

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UNWANTED BITES: To avoid being nature’s feast, make sure you cover up after a workout. If you are bitten, act straight away and avoid itching by buying a cream from the pharmacy. Anti-biotics are sometimes necessary if the bite gets infected. It’s important to monitor any changes surrounding the bite and visit a pharmacist if you’re unsure.

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COMBAT ALLERGIES: One tip is to put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, it may feel odd but it can help reduce the symptoms. Avoid grassy areas during the early morning and evening as this is when the pollen count is highest. STAY PROTECTED: Whether you’re abroad or in the UK, everyone should protect themselves from the sun to avoid damage to the skin. It is important to know your skin type as this will determine the level of sun exposure your skin a capable of handling before burning. CHECK FOR CHANGES: Taking pictures with a ruler or tape measurer beside a mole can help. A useful guide to checking differences is to use the ABCDE rule – Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Evolution.

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Dr Husam Suliman, is lead GP at Solihull Bupa Health and Dental Centre 47 Station Road, Solihull, B91 3RX. Tel: 0121 711 6400 www.bupa.co.uk

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GARDEN HIDEAWAY MAN-CAVE, SHE-SHED, HOME OFFICE, ART STUDIO, YOGA HAVEN…

WHATEVER THE PURPOSE OF YOUR POSH SHED, IT’S A GREAT WAY TO ADD EXTRA SPACE TO YOUR HOME HASSLE FREE

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HOMES

MINIMUM FUSS The Hub left-hand corner studio £12,499, exclusive to John Lewis, johnlewis.com

pparently, our ex-Prime Minister is ensconced in a cosy shepherd’s hut in the garden of his Cotswold pile penning his memoirs and it’s a trend that looks set to run and run. With more people working from home and property prices rising, homeowners lucky enough to have outdoor space to play with can effectively add an extra room fairly easily and painlessly. Cost varies widely depending on what you’re after. It’s possible to upcycle an existing structure such as a caravan or shed made trendy by TV programmes like George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and Shed of the Year. With a bit of imagination and knowledge, the right trades people and a smallish budget, anything’s possible. A bespoke luxury pod or shepherd’s hut like David Cameron’s might set you back in the region of £20,000 which is still cheaper than moving and is a gorgeous addition to your home. Checkout local firm Garden Hideouts for some excellent examples. Planning permission isn’t usually required with a garden structure provided it’s one storey, not ridiculously large and is a certain distance from your garden boundary. It’s wise to check it out before you start though. I

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POD SQUAD Garden pods from £19,750, Garden Hideouts, gardenhideouts.co.uk

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HOMES

MORE IS MORE Furniture and accessories from HomeSense, homesense.com

SPACE AGE Luxury summer house garden pod £16,995, Cuckooland.com

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HOMES

GREEN HOUSE Structure by Vale Garden Houses, valegardenhouses.co.uk

HOME OFFICE 5m x 4m home office executive log cabin £2,599.95, Walton Web, waltons.co.uk

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HOMES

OUTSIDE IN Furniture from Houseology.com

GOOD WOOD Rowlinson Connor wooden summer house £1,799, Cuckooland.com

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HOMES

LAZY DAYS Lazy Accent chair £669, Cuckooland.com

TIDY MIND Vitra desk £2,630, Nest.co.uk

GIRLIE CHARM Sunnylife flamingo lights £22, Amara

FINISHING TOUCHES

INDUSTRIAL VIBE Hennessy Killburn coffee table £999, Lee Longlands

FURNISH YOUR GARDEN HIDEAWAY WITH SOME GORGEOUS PIECES TO CREATE THE ULTIMATE SANCTUARY

HOPE AND GLORY Union Jack cushion £25, Cath Kidston

COLOUR SPLASH Brush stroke floral rug £129.99, HomeSense

HOME COMFORTS Amazonas Tiipii hammock bed £299, Amara

LIGHT UP Large seeded glass lantern £29.50, M&S

MAN’S WORLD Premier Decorations man cave LED metal wall art £23.99, Argos

SUPER STORAGE Zuiver Travis sideboard from £1,279, Houseology

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HOMES

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

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HOMES

CLASS APART Mansion House, Farquhar Road Guide price: From ÂŁ499,950 Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6438

A couple of awesome two-bedroom apartments in a stunning conversion of an imposing detached house set in landscaped grounds. The properties have generous-sized reception rooms and kitchens, with high ceilings throughout. All finished to an exceptionally high standard too.

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HOMES

SHOWING TONIGHTÁ

Alderbrook Road, Solihull Guide price: £2.45million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 746 6400 An outstanding six-bedroomed, detached family home offering more than 8,500 sq ft of accommodation. Loads of reception space, including a great open plan kitchen, dining and family area and a pretty cool cinema that has it’s own kitchen, of course…

LUXURY LIVING The Bank, Sheepcote Street Guide price: £199,950 Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6438 This is proper luxury city centre living. With contemporary finishes throughout, spacious layouts and breath-taking views in the heart of one of Europe’s finest cities – what’s not to love?

BRICKS&BITS

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

GOLDEN TOPPING

SNOWHILL OPENING

SHAKE-UP MISSION

A golden bolt was fixed at the tallest point of

Construction group Willmott Dixon has opened a

Law firm, Realty Law, has launched in Birmingham

Three Snowhill at a topping out ceremony. Due

new 4,000 sq ft office for its pre-construction

with a mission to ‘shake up the property law

for completion early next year, the mammoth

and operations teams at One Snowhill in the

sector’. The firm specialises in the recovery of

project being developed by M&G Real Estate

heart of the city’s business district. Deputy MD

service charges and ground rent for managing

and Ballymore and built by BAM Construction

Nick Gibb said: “It is hugely beneficial to be

agents and landlords, and operates mainly in

will have 420,000 sq ft over 17 storeys.

located close to our partners and customers.”

the residential leasehold sector.

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HOMES

FAMILY CHOICE Vernon Road, Edgbaston Guide price: £599,950 Agent: Loveyourpostcode.com, tel: 0121 544 9595

A fantastic, traditional four-bedroomed detached home in the heart of Edgbaston. There’s loads of original features on show and generous-sized rooms that are ideal for family living. There’s also a great rear garden with walled patio area that’s perfect for entertaining.

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

july 2018

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MOTORING

TOP OF THE CLASS Mercedes gorgeous E-Class Cabriolet makes opentop motoring a joy, rain of shine, says Sue Cooke

y kids got fed up of me constantly asking them if they would like a lift anywhere this week. I realised I was bordering on desperation when my son suggested it was the fifth time that day that I had asked him. The over-eagerness was the result of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class open top which I was road testing – and rain or shine I wanted to be driving it! I am at my happiest when driving a sporty cabriolet. There is a wonderful sense of freedom, apart from butterflies in the tummy and a ridiculously huge smile on my face. And it is so good to be seen in. On arrival there is a light show from the rear tail lights as you press the lock button! The additional beauty of the road test car is the AMG styling with sporty performance alloy wheels, front and rear apron and side skirts. The twin-pipe exhaust system has unusual squared, integrated tailpipes in stainless steel. It is a real head turner.

M

WARM FRONT The fully automatic soft top will open or close at speeds of up to 31mph and was stored in the boot during most of the week. In colder weather there is an Airscarf which provides a pleasant level of heating at neck height, so I always felt quite comfortable, even in the fast lane of a motorway. When closed, me and my passengers were able to hear each other talk quite easily even when driving at higher speeds as the multi layered structure has great insulation which reduces wind and driving noise. The cabriolet is the fifth and youngest member of the E-Class family and has grown in length, width and wheelbase, which particularly benefitted my rear passengers. The cabin has an aura of opulent indulgence. Put the key in the ignition and as in all Mercedes, the seatbelt holder will automatically move forward to present the seatbelt almost in your hand for you to buckle up. The ‘belt butler’ saves having to dislocate whatever limb as you try to reach behind your seat. Wonderful!

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MOTORING

ALL CHANGE If you haven’t driven a Mercedes before then the quirky gear change behind the steering wheel can take some getting used to. Particularly if it rains and you forget and think the stalk operating the 9G TRONIC PLUS nine-speed automatic transmission operates the windscreen wipers as in traditional cars! Another quirky change are the buttons on the inside of the door in the shape of a seat, which operate the movement of the very comfortable seats. For storage, there is a large glovebox which can be refrigerated to keep drinks cool and which contains useful slots for coins and for bank cards. The boot will hold 385 litres and surprisingly goes back a long way, but with the roof stored, there isn’t much room for carrying tall loads. There is a long list of safety equipment and a roll-over protection system has been developed specifically for the cabriolet.

This E-Class Cabriolet isn’t just about specification and good looks though and the new petrol and diesel engines which offer 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive for the first time, have fantastic power. From September this year, Mercedes will expand the E-Class range with a host of new petrol and diesel engines. I found the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet a very easy car to handle, to manoeuvre and to drive. And if you want to be noticed, then this is definitely the car you will be noticed in! I

FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Mercedes E-Class AMG Cabriolet Price: £44,675 on the road Engine: 220d (2.0-litre diesel)

Performance: 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 147mph CO2 emissions: 126g/km Combined fuel consumption: 57.7mpg

SHOWROOM Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham Central, Lawley Middleway, Birmingham, B4 7HX. Tel: 0121 766 1600 www.mercedes-benzofbirminghamcentral.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

Abigail Connolly

It turns out certified female sommeliers are hard to come by in these parts. We caught up with one talented trailblazer

singlehandedly flying the flag for Brum in a male-dominated world

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

t the time of writing, Abigail Connolly is the only certified female sommelier in Birmingham which is shocking given the city’s vibrant food and wine scene and its clutch of Michelin stars. Having vowed never to go into the family firm – the 100-year-old Birmingham institution Connolly’s Wine – that number was nearly nought. In an industry filled with men in moleskin trousers and bright socks, Abigail’s star is shining bright, but how did she get there? Abigail tells us: “It’s a weird one! I always said I would never go into the family business and went to UCB to study for a Culinary Arts degree. Six months in, I realised it wasn’t for me.” Abigail loved the service side of the industry, so she started working in restaurants, generally high end such as a particularly successful stint at Carter’s of Moseley where tasting menus with wine pairings are the thing. It whet her appetite for the drinks side of the business and Abigail trained hard to become a sommelier.

A

EARLY DAYS She qualified as a certified sommelier last year which ordinarily takes three years to accomplish, but with her background in wine she did it in 18 months, culminating in an intense three-part exam. Now firmly in the family fold, she’s happy she ‘gave in’. She says: “It’s great actually! I love it.” The opening of bar Arch13 attached to Connolly’s Wine shop is keeping Abigail on her toes. She says: “Arch13 is my baby. It’s what I do. It’s early days but it’s been really busy so far. It’s a far cry from my grandad’s business with just a barrel of white and a barrel of red!” Serving charcuterie from the top drawer along with an impressive selection of cheeses and naturally a huge variety of wine, we reckon her grandad would be gobsmacked. It’s a tough industry with unsociable hours, but one that Abigail thrives on. “I’m used to hospitality. The weekends can be crazy, but I just love talking to people and recommending something that makes their eyes light up,” she explained.

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MAN’S WORLD Of the lack of females at the top of the wine game in the Midlands, Abigail’s a bit confused too although admits that at industry events there is a distinct lack of women, perhaps a good thwack of snobbery and plenty of the afore-mentioned moleskin trousers. She explains: “It’s still a man’s world. You get a lot of old fellas wearing red trousers and I can understand why it seems a bit stuffy. “When I did my exam there were only three women in a room of 30 people.” Women’s palates are just as good as men’s – some would say superior — so it seems crackers. Abigail also says there are times when people have looked through her in search of the male sommelier to recommend a bottle of wine or asked if her dad’s around to give them some advice! She says: “Thankfully it’s happening less and less and things are getting better.” WHAT’S NEXT In terms of ambition, Abigail is focusing on making Arch13 the best it can be and collaborating with her family visiting vineyards to source new wines to bring to the city. They’re looking to update the shop too which Abigail will be heavily involved in. “I’d also like to see Birmingham and the West Midlands having an increasingly strong wine representation. It’s definitely improving and events like Birmingham Wine Weekend help, but we’ve some way to go yet.” I

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FASHION PACK >>

Students from Birmingham City University impressed the fashion industry at Graduate Fashion Week, taking a clutch of accolades. Following displays at the Truman Brewery in London, Hanah Lewin, pictured, who studies fashion design, won the Mothercare Childrenswear Award and £1,000. Fashion business and promotion student Rebecca Howland took the Best of Graduate Fashion Week award, while Isabella Davies, Ioanna Economou and Jasmine Buck were recognised by fashion retailer ASOS as future talents.

CHARITY TREK Two pupils from Hallfield School are trekking Mount Snowdon to raise funds to feed less fortunate children in Malawi. Siblings, Sian and Mohini Doal will be the youngest people participating in the walk organised by the Zero Hunger with Langar charity later this month. Hallfield headmaster Richard Batchelor said: “I cannot put into words how proud I am of Sian and Mohini. They have already raised £2,000.” To sponsor Sian and Mohini visit https://www.serve.world/sian-andmohini-snowdon-climb

SCHOOL REPORT

FUN RUN FUND-RAISER

Moreton Hall hosted a special event for Cancer Research UK raising £2,500.

Lower sixth student Emily King organised the school’s inaugural Race for Life for Cancer Research UK. Emily explained: “Sport is a big deal at Moreton Hall, so it seemed an obvious choice to combine raising money for Cancer Research with a nice big run!” Alison McDonald, director of sport at Moreton Hall, said: “Everyone pulled together for a fantastic cause.”

INSPIRED ADVICE Lawyers from Thursfields Solicitors have signed up to help a Governmentbacked careers advice initiative for pupils at a special school. Jessica Wheway of the residential property team and Hollie Styles of the company's family team, have become enterprise advisers at Chadsgrove School, Catshill as part of the nationwide Careers Strategy organised by the Careers & Enterprise Company. The strategy aims to prepare young people for career opportunities and connections in the modern-day workplace.

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GROWING PLACES

TENNIS CHAMPS Bromsgrove School pupils dominated at the Hereford and Worcestershire LTA U14 and U16 boys’ and girls’ county doubles tournament in Malvern. Bobby Mekushina and Claudia Bullock won the U16 girls’ doubles title, while in the U14 girls’ doubles, Bromsgrove’s Isabelle O’Connor and Lucy McLoughlin were crowned champions. Stuart Shannon and Cameron Owen took the boys’ U14 honours with Stuart also winning the Scott Cup U18 boys’ singles. Georgie Jeynes-Cupper claimed the Smyth Cup U18 girls’ singles title.

BUDDING ARTIST

MATHS WHIZZ Solihull School pupil Conor Collins achieved full marks in two top national maths competitions. The 13-year-old scored a perfect 60 out of 60 in the intermediate maths Olympiad organised by UK Mathematics Trust. Conor also scored full marks in the UKMT junior maths challenge. Mark Bishop, head of mathematics at Solihull, said: “Only six pupils in the UK earned full marks in the Olympiad exam, while only 44 pupils achieved top marks in the UKMT challenge.”

A local pupil has been chosen to have her artwork hung in a gallery alongside paintings by Bob Dylan and Ronnie Wood. Alice Collins, 10, of Woodhouse Primary Academy, Quinton was named winner of Castle Fine Art’s young fine artist competition. Alice’s work, inspired by Bob Dylan, will be displayed in the gallery for a month. Alice was also presented with £100 worth of vouchers to spend at leading art supply store, Cass Art.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITHÁ

STUART HASELEY-NEJRUP AN EXCITING NEW JOB AND THE THRILLING ARRIVAL OF BABY BOYS HAS MADE IT SOME YEAR FOR THE SELF-CONFESSED ‘AVIATION GEEK’ HEAD OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AT BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT My aviation career started at a UK airline as cabin crew on a six-month contract, which I thought would be fun for a summer. I realised how much I loved the industry and made my way through the ranks before becoming head of crew training and engagement for an international organisation looking after 26 airlines throughout the world. Last year my life changed forever when my husband and I adopted our beautiful sons and the role at Birmingham Airport came along. This gave me an opportunity to remain in the industry I love, while being able to be home each night to put my kids to bed.

IT’S WHAT I DO As head of customer experience, I interact with almost every part of the airport’s operation. Over the coming months I will ensure we understand where we currently are in terms of customer experience and build a clear strategy to take us to the next level. This will include the introduction of a customer charter – our promise to our customer – a new look and feel to our uniforms, ensuring our people are easily identifiable for our customers, and ensure we develop and equip our people with the tools needed to deliver great customer experiences.

can’t wait to bring them to the airport and turn them into fellow aviation geeks. Career-wise, I am passionate about the customer and proud to be from the Midlands and want to make a difference to our airport. I can’t tell you how proud my family are that I work at Birmingham Airport! It’s a special place.

BIGGEST SUCCESS Nothing compares with the thrill of adopting our sons!

BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Have the confidence to ask questions and truly understand what is expected before agreeing to deliver something. When I was first in a management role this was hard as I didn’t want people to think I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s always best to be open and honest to save later embarrassment.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I am from the Midlands and went to university in Birmingham and so have loved this city, its people and culture for many years. I remember walking through the Bullring when it was market stalls and watched it grow into an incredible, modern diverse city. It’s one of the best cities in Europe. There is no better welcome than a Brummie one!

WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE? On a personal level, last year I achieved my biggest ambition in life to become a dad when we adopted our amazing sons! They are now fast approaching two and I

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DOWNTIME Now we have our boys, anytime at home is spent having fun, going on adventures and creating happy memories. I

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ing livBUSINESS

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CARE FERTILITY FORGET HARLEY STREET… WE CAUGHT UP WITH CONSULTANT GYNAECOLOGIST DR MADHURIMA RAJKHOVA FROM CARE FERTILITY BIRMINGHAM AND FOUND A WORLD CLASS FACILITY RIGHT HERE IN LEAFY EDGBASTON

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INSIGHT

ertility treatment is a sensitive topic. Emotionally charged, psychologically tough and financially testing, it can be a traumatic time for many couples for whom having a child doesn’t happen naturally. Dr Madhurima Rajkhova, medical director at CARE Fertility’s newest addition in Edgbaston tells us why she feels there’s no need to travel to the capital for top notch treatment – the best is here in Brum. With eight clinics across the UK, CARE Fertility has grown slowly and thoughtfully since its creation 20 years ago and has helped ‘make’ an impressive 28,000 babies boasting the best pregnancy rates in the country. With 20 year’s experience – most recently, clinical lead for fertility and assisted conception services at Birmingham Women’s Hospital – and with a subspecialty in reproductive medicine, Dr Rajkhova is at the top of her game, so joining CARE seemed a natural fit. She explains: “We used to offer a private service on the NHS, but this still meant roughly a five month wait from initial consultation to treatment. Here it’s one stop. Assessment, diagnosis, treatment and a management plan are put in place. There’s continuity of care and you get to know patients.”

F

WORLD CLASS State-of-the-art laboratories and consultation rooms teamed with the calibre of staff such as Dr Rajkhova and her highly experienced colleagues mean a trip to Harley Street is completely unnecessary. “It’s a common misconception that you must travel to London to get the best fertility treatment. The facility and staff here are world class,” she enthuses. The most successful attempt at IVF is the first attempt and that’s what CARE aims for. Advanced technology allows the clinic to choose the ‘best

july 2018

embryo’ for transfer – a contentious issue – but when you look at what that means scientifically in terms of a successful pregnancy it makes sense. It’s not about producing designer babies, but about ensuring successful pregnancies. If IVF doesn’t work, the chances are it’s because of a chromosomal defect in the embryo. With the ability to screen an embryo to ensure it’s healthy, the chances of success increase and the multiple pregnancy rate is kept low – CARE has the lowest twin pregnancy rate in the UK. Recognising that IVF works and getting help sooner aids success too. It’s well documented that fertility treatment costs a small fortune, putting increased pressure on already anxious couples. A successful first attempt is clearly the dream, so maximising the chance of that outcome is the priority. CHANGING WORLD The business has changed over the decades with more single women freezing their eggs for future use whether a pre-emptive measure before a bout of chemotherapy or as a lifestyle choice and naturally the number of same sex couples turning to treatment is on the increase. CARE’s founder, Professor Simon Fishel, was part of the team involved in the birth of the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown in 1978. Clearly, times have changed significantly and progress is being made constantly in terms of new techniques and treatments. As an organisation, CARE is invested heavily in research collaborating with multiple universities in the UK and in the US. In addition, CARE is an active member in Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HEFA) licensed research as the industry strives to discover new solutions and treatments. I

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From only ÂŁ25

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BUSINESS

RECORD-BREAKING BRUM

BUSINESS

NEWS US TAX TIE-UP A leading accountancy firm is set to use its expertise to help businesses across the pond by becoming one of the few UK companies to offer US tax services. Moore Stephens LLP, which has offices in Birmingham, is teaming up with Linus Östberg, previously based at Deloitte in Los Angeles, to oversee the project advising US taxpayers based in the UK on their tax affairs. Suk Aulak, pictured, head of Moore Stephens LLP’s Birmingham office said: “Linus’s expertise in advising US expatriates will be valuable for the whole team in the UK.”

july 2018

Birmingham’s tourism sector broke all records last year with hotel revenue and visitors numbers and spend reaching new highs. Figures from West Midlands Growth Company and Global Tourism Solutions, show Birmingham welcomed 41.8million visitors, with subsequent visitor spend reaching £7.1billion – an increase of more than nine per cent. Average hotel occupancy was 75 per cent. Busiest month was September which included major events such as the NatWest T20 Finals at Edgbaston Stadium and Birmingham Weekender festival.

BREWERS BOOST Two West Midlands breweries are raising a glass to the news that their products are now being stocked by a major food retailer in 26 local stores. Central England Co-op has linked up with Dhillon’s Brewery and Birmingham Brewing Company to sell a range of their locally brewed real ales in selected stores across the county. Dhillon’s Brewery was founded in 2015, while Birmingham Brewing Company was established in November 2016.

DOUBLE TAKE Aardvark Marketing Consultants is celebrating winning two UK accolades at this year’s Technology Innovators CV Magazine awards. Aardvark received the Excellence in Marketing Management Services and Social Media & Content Marketing Specialists awards. The Birmingham-based marketing firm specialises in providing outsourced marketing at a level and budget to suit, from their Marketing Manager package to part-time Marketing Director service. PRIZED: Aardvark’s Lizzie Hopkinson and Gill Hutchinson with the two awards

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BUSINESS

POPPY WALK

A new 10k fund-raising event took place in Birmingham last month. The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Walk started from Birmingham Cathedral and explored the history, heritage and vibrancy of Birmingham – from its Peaky Blinders past to its hidden canal paths and vibrant independent food and drink scene. The Legion’s West Midlands Area team, based at the Pop In Centre on New Street Birmingham, were on hand to provide information on their welfare services.

SYMPHONY SPONSOR

Accountancy, investment management and tax group Smith & Williamson in Colmore Row has announced a 12-month sponsorship deal with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The tie-up includes sponsorship of November’s UK premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s choral work Faithful Journey – A Mass for Poland, written to mark the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence. Mirga Gražinyt-Tyla, pictured, the orchestra’s music director, will conduct at Birmingham Symphony Hall on Wednesday 21 November.

ARCHITECTS ANNIVERSARY

HIGH DRAMA: Associated Architects’ University of Birmingham Library

LAWYER RETIRES One of Thursfields Solicitors’ most experienced lawyers has retired after more than 40 years of working in the profession. Richard Price, pictured centre, began training in the late 1970s and was admitted as a solicitor in 1982 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives. He joined Thursfields in 2013 when the company opened its office in Halesowen, where he then also specialised in residential and commercial conveyancing.

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Birmingham-based Associated Architects, one of the UK’s leading design practices, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1968 in the Jewellery Quarter by three tutors from the Birmingham School of Architecture, Associated Architects is one of the region’s best-known practices with a team of more than 70 working on projects across the UK. The firm commissioned a giant piece of artwork featuring the practice’s major projects to mark its anniversary which is on display at its Mailbox office.

BUSINESS TO THE 4 Business leaders in Birmingham have welcomed news that the city is among the leading contenders to become Channel 4’s new home. Seven cities and regions have been shortlisted to bid for the broadcasting giant’s second national HQ and/or creative hub. They also include Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds. The winning bid will be announced on 1 October. Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “The whole business community hopes to see C4 HQ here in the region.”

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BUSINESS

LIGHTBOX SWITCH Award-winning Lightbox Digital has taken on a new head of strategy to help support the agency’s growth and new client commissions. Ricardo Williams joins the Birmingham-based company having worked for global brands including Harley-Davidson, Barclaycard, Jaguar and Walkers. Over the last 12 months Lightbox has seen significant growth and greater complexity of digital projects as it works with larger SMEs and UK brands.

BUSINESS BITES SARAH HONOUR

A Sandwell Council worker who campaigned to protect the jobs of terminally ill people has won a prestigious award. Sarah Louise James, 37, picked up the Eleanor Marx Award at the GMB Union’s 2018 Congress in Brighton after persuading Sandwell Council to sign up to the Dying to Work campaign.

MORE NEW FLIGHTS New flights and holidays from Birmingham Airport have been launched by TUI (formerly Thomson) with the UK’s largest holiday brand operating its first services to Podgorica, Montenegro. Tom Screen, acting aviation director at Birmingham Airport, was on hand to welcome customers on board alongside the TUI cabin crew. Flights will operate every Wednesday until mid-October.

BOOTCAMP

Former soldier Rhys Jenkins-Hayhow has launched a bootcamp fitness centre. Bulleys commercial property specialists helped seal the deal with Empire Fitness on the GK Davies Trading Estate at Hayes Lane, Stourbridge.

CHARITY RUN

Deutsche Bank Birmingham associate Sharon Baker will run her first half marathon at the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run on 14 October to raise funds for Birmingham-based Cure Leukaemia. Sponsor Sharon at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising /sharon-baker24

july 2018

HOSPITAL OPENING A new, larger cancer centre has opened at BMI The Priory Hospital in Edgbaston. The department has been relocated to a different part of the hospital, which not only offers outpatient treatment but also in-patient care to create an all-encompassing private healthcare facility. The unit includes, six in-patient bedrooms, 10 patient pods and four consultation rooms, as well as a tranquil garden area for patients and visitors. The centre was opened by the outgoing Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anne Underwood.

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BUSINESS

MAYOR PUSHES BIKES West Midlands mayor Andy Street is urging the Government to boost cycling and walking journeys by investing in safe infrastructure. The mayor and Transport for the West Midlands have committed to increasing levels of walking and cycling to five per cent of all journeys by 2023. In a letter to Transport Minister Jesse Norman, the Mayor has asked the Department of Transport to support the West Midlands in increasing investment on cycling to £10 per head by 2023.

THE DREAM TEAM

Coventry has unveiled a ‘dream team’ to lead the preparations and delivery of UK City of Culture 2021. Martin Sutherland has been appointed executive director and chief executive and will work with creative director Chenine Bhathena – as well as the existing team at the Coventry City of Culture Trust – to create a year to remember in 2021. The appointment has been welcomed by key figures involved in the bidding process to bring the title to Coventry.

PURE GOLD Midlands nail polish brand Semilac UK has landed on the international stage after one of its innovative products won a Pure Beauty Global Award. The company – based in West Bromwich and with its HQ salon in Solihull – saw its Flash Sunlight product named the Gold winner in the Best New Hands and Nail Product category at a lavish ceremony in Dubai. CEO Monika Shine, pictured, said: “There are 300 salons in the UK which stock our ranges and we hope this award will spread the word even further.”

LAURA TAKES TOP TITLE Laura Thursfield was named Birmingham Young Professional of the Year as guests from the city's business and professional services sector attended BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship awards ceremony at the ICC. The financial planner at Mazars LLP won the finance category before being crowned as this year’s overall champion. Now in its 18th year, this year’s awards headline sponsor was BNP Paribas Personal Finance.

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SOCIAL SCENE

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AKTAR ISLAM OPENS RESTAURANT ‘FIRST’

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Top chef’s new solo venture offers progressive Indian food to diners

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uests attended a soft launch evening at Aktar Islam’s new restaurant, Opheem, which opened to the public last month. Situated on Summer Row, the 70-cover restaurant is Islam’s first solo venture and showcases his passion for progressive Indian gastronomy while delving into the country’s ancient culinary traditions, flavours, spices, textures and taste balances. I

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8 1 Stephen Wood, Richard Pope. 2 Mark Moroney, Louise Brierley.

9 3 Richard O'Hare, Marie Bevan. 4 Amanda and Neil Rippington.

5 David Colcombe, Ed James. 6 Mike Mountfield, Michele Wilby. 7 Angela Probert, Jacqui Kennedy. 8 Jack Brabant, Krupa Sheth. 9 Chef Aktar Islam

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Photography by Dale Martin

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SOCIAL SCENE

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Take That evening proves to be just the ticket at Hippodrome eading Ladies were ‘Back For Good’ at a Birmingham Hippodrome networking event. Guests were treated to a premium ticket for the new Take That hit musical, The Band, a delicious bowl food supper and a welcome drink. The event was sponsored by Primera Air, who also donated a round trip to New York. Leading Ladies welcomes guests from all business sectors to one of the most popular (and glamorous) networks of its kind in the city while helping to raise funds for the work of Hippodrome Projects. I

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1 Emma Scamber, Kerry Sheehan. 2 Liz Jeffries, Karen Dodd. 3 Rebecca Simkiss, Amelia Ladbrook, Helena King. 4 Jackie Kelly. 5 Debbie Matthews. 6 Cast member Harry Fabulous Brown. 7 Dawn Roberts, Julie Clifton. 8 Sally Williams, Rebecca Thomas, Michelle Stammers.

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NETWORKERS GET A TASTE FOR GIN

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Edge Creative holds spirited event for leading business professionals

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eading business professionals enjoyed a ‘gin-tastic’ tasting event hosted by Edge Creative at Hotel du Vin. Sponsored by Flint Bishop solicitors and KLO financial services, the event allowed guests to learn the history of gin and enjoy a vast array of different styles – while providing the perfect backdrop for enjoyable networking opportunities. I

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1 Dominic Sears, Nicole Markham, Verity Dean, Kelly Kent. 2 David Pardoe, Nicki Demagalski, Jackie Cummings. Newport, Chris Hutchinson. 4 Ellie Lewis, Peter Mooney, Roxanne Barker.

3 John Glavey, Joseph

5 Paul Leahy, Carmen Capuano, Jonathan Jackaman.

6 Pete Hall, Kate Lowe, Tom Warner. 7 Tom Biggar, Andrew Green, Mark Jordan, Ellie Jordan. 8 Stuart Faulkner, Mark Panayides, Julia Suzuki, Chris Windley.

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CELEBRATION OF SIKH FESTIVAL OF VAISAKHI 2

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Asian Business Chamber holds special event for 200 guests at St John’s Hotel ore than 200 guests attended a celebration of the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi at an event organised by Asian Business Chamber of Commerce at St John’s Hotel, Solihull. Speakers included vice-president Lakhbir Singh, Stephen Edmonds from the children and young people directorate at Birmingham City Council, Manjeet Ghataora from West Midlands Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association and Raaj Shamji from Mahirs Experience. ABCC president Qasim Majid highlighted that outside of India, Birmingham has the largest Vaisakhi gathering in the world with more than 100,000 attending the celebration in Handsworth Park in April. I

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1 Sandeep and Gurjote Nandra. 2 Manjinder Sangha, Saqib Bhatti, Pyara Singh Bhogal, Steve Brittan. 3 Harvir Sahota, Tarandip Purewal, Qasim Majid, Manjeet Ghataora, Stephen Edmonds. 4 Neha Jolly. 5 Mike Hopkins, Russel Jeans. 6 Muktar Signh, Bhovinder Nagra. 7 Mandeep Hayre, Ravinder Masih, Pyara Singh Bhogal, Jamila Davis. 8 Amandeep Hyare, Jess Brookes, Anjum Khan, Tarandip Purewal. Photography by Jas Sansi

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BID TO BEAT BULLIES TAKES TO CATWALK

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Schools, musicians and Lord Mayor come together to back fashion show message

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fashion show hosted by clothing brand Stand Out With Me in support of anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label was held at Birmingham’s Electric Cinema. The event, attended by the city’s new Lord Mayor Cllr Yvonne Mosquito, involved local schools and featured different types of bullying and the outcomes, bullying videos and children and teenagers walking the catwalk to gain confidence. Musicians included Birmingham rap artist Smiiffy performing a mental health talk in the form of a rap, while there were also a number of other inspirational talks. I

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1 Tammy Rose Bringloe, Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Yvonne Mosquito, Melanie Holmes. 2 Laura Dempster, Jordan Keto. Olivia Joyce. 4 Sarah and Mark Pitts.

Concord, Amelia Watts. 9 Natalie Moragh, Effie Asmah.

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3 Jacob Dolman,

5 Alyssa Watts, Joanne Slimm. 6 Chloe Collier, Smiiffy. 7 Joe Robbins, Penni Stewart. 8 Georgia May Photography by Designer Photography

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CALTHORPE ESTATES COMMUNITY LUNCH 2

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More than 120 business guests hear latest update on Edgbaston Village Calthorpe Business Community lunch event took place at new offices developed by Calthorpe Estates at 10-11 Greenfield Crescent, in the heart of Edgbaston Village. More than 120 guests from businesses across the estate were given the latest news on Edgbaston Village, with talks from newlyopened retailers Neptune and Loki. I

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1 Caroline Hutton, James Wheeler, Gill Milburn. 2 Ash Gupta, Brett Moss, Tony Hall. 3 Mark Lee, Lydia Airey, Phil Innes, Billie Frain. 4 Dal and Harchie Basra. 5 Belinda Morgan, Ralph Minott. 6 Julie Wilkins, Amy Watson, Nicki Gibberson. 7 Sabina Storrod, Jessica Wheeler, Adrian Corry. 8 Judi Gilbert, Ellie Cowen, Jayne O'Malley. 9 Jorj Jarvie, Paul Farrow, James Reyner

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Photography by Vivienne Bailey

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ing ON il vWHAT’S

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WHAT: JQ Festival WHEN: 20 to 22 July WHERE: Various locations in the Jewellery Quarter, www.jewelleryquarter.net This awesome event returns for the third year as one of the biggest in Birmingham’s festival calendar. This year’s event promises a host of entertainment, live music and performers, heritage tours and street food vendors.

WHAT: Car S.O.S Exhibition WHEN: Now until February 2019 WHERE: British Motor Museum, tel: 01926 641188 www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/carsos A brand new exhibition featuring cars from National Geographic’s popular motoring TV show Car S.O.S. Featuring seven cars – and their stories – that have been rebuilt by the Car S.O.S team, including three still shining from restoration in the most recent series.

WHAT: Matilda the Musical WHEN: 3 July to 8 September WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com

WHAT: Kevin and Karen Dance – The Live Tour 2018

The multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. Written by Dennis Kelly with original songs by Tim Minchin.

WHEN: 14 July WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Following a sensational sell-out debut tour last year, Strictly Come Dancing’s Kevin and Karen Clifton are back with a brand new show. Expect a sultry, hip-swinging journey through the waltz, cha-cha, foxtrot, tango and salsa.

WHAT: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: Encore WHEN: 19 July WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk Inspired by a true story, this new award-winning five-star hit musical will be broadcast live from the Apollo Theatre in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. The 16-year-old misfit from a Yorkshire council estate overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness into the spotlight.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Gin in the City WHEN: 27 to 29 July WHERE: Various, www.gininthecity.co.uk A proud city of gin lovers we are! And this new event has been launched to celebrate and discover the world of this season’s favourite tipple. More than 50 of the most exciting bars and restaurants in Birmingham have signed up and the special wristband will give you access to some great artisan brands.

WHAT: Mamma Mia Party with Sensation WHEN: 14 July WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk Enjoy a great party with a fantastic tribute to ABBA as Sensation perform the legends’ greatest hits, including Waterloo, Dancing Queen and, of course, Mamma Mia.

WHAT: Jason Manford WHEN: 20 July WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com He’s back! It’s been a busy few years for Jason since his last stand-up tour, but fans of his radio show will know this nationally-acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit. This is a show not to be missed.

WHAT: Paul Weller WHEN: 24 August WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com

WHAT: Lichfield Festival 2018 WHEN: 4 to 14 July WHERE: Various locations, tel: 01543 412 121,

Is it really more than 40 years since he released his first album with The Jam? Continuing his never-ending creative peak, Weller is touring after the release of his thirteenth studio album, A Kind Revolution. With support from Stone Foundation

www.lichfieldfestival.org From big names in comedy, folk and classical music to fringe theatre, free events and family fun… this festival has been smashing it for 35 years – and 2017 will be no exception!

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: GaGa WHEN: 19 July WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel: 01527 65203 www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk Performed by a multi-award winning band who have headlined the International Guitar Festival on several occasions, this is a Queen show like no other. Highly rated by critics and audiences alike, enjoy a host of massive Queen songs played like they were meant to be.

WHAT: Birmingham Cocktail Weekend WHEN: 13 to 15 July WHERE: Various venues, www.birminghamcocktailweekend.co.uk WHAT: Be Festival WHEN: 3 to 7 July WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk An explosion of theatre, dance, circus, comedy, music, visual and performing arts giving audiences the opportunity to explore and enjoy the backstage areas of the Rep.

A jam-packed celebration to excite cocktail lovers throughout the region. Featuring some of the finest bars in the city, a pre-purchased wristband allows you to enjoy exclusive signature cocktails in each venue for only £4. There’s also free tastings, master-classes and events throughout the weekend.

WHAT: King of Pop – The Legend Continues WHEN: 8 August WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham The world’s leading Michael Jackson tribute artist, Navi, is joined by MJ’s iconic guitarist Jennifer Batten to create an unforgettable experience, transporting fans to the sounds of an original concert by the Prince of Pop.

WHAT: Sir Ranulph Fiennes – Living Dangerously WHEN: 31 July WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Perhaps the world’s greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph has spent his life in pursuit of extreme adventure, risking life and limb in some of the most ambitious private expeditions ever undertaken. This light-hearted, yet strikingly poignant evening offers a personal journey through his life.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair WHAT: Loves Labours Lost

WHEN: 19 to 22 July

WHEN: 25 August

WHERE: NEC, www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk

WHERE: Martineau Gardens, Edgbaston, www.folksytheatre.co.uk Bring along your picnics, blankets, folding chairs and friends and family to enjoy this wonderful open-air production of one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies from the talented Folksy Theatre team.

The largest vetted art, antiques and interiors fair outside of London returns, bringing together more than 200 specialist dealers offering a huge variety of desirable and unusual items from antiquities to the modern day.

WHAT: The Greatest Show: Live in Concert WHEN: 10 and 11 August WHERE: The Old Rep Theatre, tel: 0121 359 9444 www.oldreptheatre.co.uk The songs, the passion, the experience. Inspired by the hits from The Greatest Showman, now one of the most successful box office films of all time! All the greatest hits, performed up-close and personal by an all-star cast alongside a live band and spectacular special effects.

WHAT: Romeo and Juliet WHEN: Now until 21 September WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk Shakespeare’s famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion in this contemporary production with heart-breaking consequences.

WHAT: Faith Evans WHEN: 21 July WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute, www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham Rescheduled from earlier in the year, this is a rare opportunity to see one of RnB’s leading ladies live as part of her UK tour in support of her recent The King & I album. Fans can expect to be treated to an incredible performance of hits from the album as well as Faith’s extensive back catalogue.

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IN THE CITY WITH DES COLEMAN, ITV CENTRAL WEATHER PRESENTER TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I present the weather for ITV Central which is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Anything to do with entertainment we do. I know that’s a broad-brush statement but we paint with the artistry of Picasso – can’t believe I just said that! My middle name is Fitzgerald and I was named after JFK. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? I drive in from Derby using the nightmare that’s known as the M42. For me though being in the car is one of the few times when I’m alone and whether the journey is a smooth 40 minutes or a couple of hours it gives me time to chillax into the new day. HOW’S THE COMMUTE? Less of a commute more of an easing into the day ahead. I tend to think about what theatre shows we are about to do for the coming week. IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? Fabulous!! ITV is about the community, telling people’s stories, giving factual information on what’s happening and hopefully putting a giant emoji smile across the region so there’s nowhere better to be than in the heart of the West Midlands.

For tickets to see Des in

The Rat Pack is Back at the Crescent Theatre,

Sheepcote Street,

Brindleyplace later this month,

call 0121 643 5858 or visit

www.crescent-theatre.co.uk

COFFEE BREAK? Usually Brindleyplace with some work colleagues. They saw one of our Rat Pack theatre posters for Crescent and took the mickey out of my cheesy grin. Cheers guys! LUNCHTIME? A coffee and a cake rather than a sandwich. Either that or pop to the gym for 20 minutes. I’m not a sedentary person. If I’m not active I feel as though I’ll implode. I used to get told off in school for fidgeting, swinging on my chair or tapping my feet. Good job I went to drama school, we could all fling ourselves off the walls. Fab times and I learned a lot. POWERWALKING? If I’ve got my headphones on you’ll catch me swishing to the tunes as I walk down the street. People look at me as though I’m mad but I’m in the zone and probably imagining saving the world as well. WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? Literally anywhere, sometimes it’s the hubbub of Broad Street, at others it’s the still of the canal walk. AFTERWORK PINT? I tend to head home. My 13-year-old plays golf – he’s off 11 at the moment – and my daughter is in the England set-up for netball, so we’re busy dropping them all over the country for matches. It’s non-stop but great too. WHAT’S THE RAT PACK SHOW ALL ABOUT? The Rat Pack show is at the Crescent Theatre, Brindleyplace on 27 July. We’ve been voted No 1 tribute band for the past three years. You’ll come out the theatre flying. Loads of laughter and fun and we’ve been doing it for 15 years. I

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July issue 2018 (issue 70)  
July issue 2018 (issue 70)  
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