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July 2017

SUMMER SIZZLERS I

FOOD I FASHION I FESTIVALS

BOLD AS BRASS

MAKING MUSIC IN PLASTIC

+

CARRY ON

CAMPING

MR BIRMINGHAM

JOSHUA WILLIAMS

TIM JENKINS MALLORY COURT ROBERT PARKER AUDI Q5 18 HOUR HEELS

GARY DELANEY

The big laugh-in with Brum’s king of the one-liners


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EDITOR’S VIEW Cricket and Bennetts ice cream, along with strawberries and cream, smoky barbies and humid, restless nights mean that Summer UK is well and truly here

discovered a ‘fascinating’ fact as I basked in the sunshine at the weekend at New Road, Worcester watching the cricket and enjoying a Bennetts ice cream cone. (No one makes vanilla ice cream quite like Bennetts of Worcester by the way – except maybe the famous Rossi’s of Southend-on-Sea.) Anyhow, the guy sat next to me was an American visitor sampling “your weird English county cricket” for the first time. He informed me that back across the Pond, July is actually National Ice Cream Month with the 16th being National Ice Cream Day. It was all the idea of former President Ronald Reagan apparently who established the summer celebration in a White House proclamation in 1984. So now you know! Cricket and ice cream, along with strawberries and cream, smoky barbies and humid, restless nights mean that Summer UK is well and truly here. And this month we’ve been busy bringing together in one issue everything you need to have the best fun in the sun possible – from food and fashion to health and homes. Our Style pages reveal our edit of the latest swimwear pieces which will ensure that you’re bang on trend whether on the beach, by the pool or simply posing on the piazza. Our health experts have put together some top tips and advice to ensure you and yours enjoy the sun in safety and comfort. Resident wine expert Rob Price has been busy tasting the latest summer rosés on the market (well, someone has to do it!), and delivers his verdict on the best buys. And with thousands of Brits getting ready for their summer hols, we have a terrific guide to all-things Great Outdoors. Ah yes…. summer time, and the living is easy!

I

David Johns

Editor: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk

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

Contributors: Rob Price, Sue Cooke, Lisa Melvin, Rose Gallagher, Hywel Davies

Account manager: Jane Morris jane@brumliving.co.uk Photography: David Morphew, Andrew Llewellyn Publishing director: Jonathan Carter

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

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

Cover image: Gary Delaney

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

july 2017

/bhamliving

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

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INSIDE

Highlights

12 16 20 22 28 38

Gary Delaney The comedy king of the one-liners on why he loves coming home to perform in Brum Bold as Brass The local entrepreneurs making music with their fantastic plastic trombones and trumpets Tim Jenkins How gap year in New Zealand set the tastebuds tingling for head chef at Brockencote Hall Food & Drink Foodie news, critics’ review at Siamais and our wine expert’s pick of the best summer rosés Beauty and the Beach Silver surfers, golden wonders… This summer’s hottest swimwear for sun, sea and style Health – Take Cover! Expert tips and advice on how to have fun in the sun – but protect delicate skin too

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CONTENTS

38

Best of the Rest

44 56 58 64 70 78 82 july 2017

Happy Campers Everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors this summer… from drones to domes! Motoring Decision time as Sue Cooke tries Audi’s antidote to a long and stressful day at the office Young, Gifted and Brummie How Joshua Williams fought his way out of a homeless hostel to become Mr Birmingham Spotlight on Business Company to Watch: Shoes by Shaherazad, plus news from the business community Social Scene The pages that picture who’s been out and about networking in Birmingham this month Shows, Arts, Gigs and More What’s on, where and when – all you need to know about the entertainment scene In The City Stepping out in style with Elmhurst Ballet School’s artistic director Robert Parker

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NEWS

g n i livTODAY

THE WILD BUNCH It’s the show that’s been 67 million years in the making! Dinosaurs in the Wild, a new live action reality dinosaur experience has roared into the NEC. Combining theatre, theme park fun and the very latest scientific research, it’s the first event of its kind to be hosted in the UK. The show runs until 23 August. Details http://dinosaursinthewild.com/

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

NEW FACE OF SOAP STAR Former EastEnders star John Partridge popped into town in a rather less familiar role than the lovable Christian Clarke. He played Albin as Birmingham Hippodrome hosted the first ever UK tour of La Cage Aux Folles. The musical follows the story of Georges, the manager of a Saint Tropez nightclub, and his partner Albin, a drag artiste and the club’s star attraction.

DOWN AND DIRTY It’s only July… but here’s a great idea for a Christmas present for allaction family and friends. World class AX Indoor Motocross Racing and Freestyle Motocross is returning to the Genting Arena for the ultimate, dirt-filled night of thrills and spills. Heading into its sixth year, the event on 20 January 2018 also includes radical Freestyle Motocross with tricks and backflips 60 feet above the arena floor.

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WICKED IT’S BACK! Witches and wizards are flying back to Brum with the news that the West End hit musical Wicked is to return to Birmingham Hippodrome in 2018. One of the most successful productions in the venue’s history, Wicked was previously seen by more than 110,000 people – equivalent to one in 10 of the population of Birmingham – in 2014. It runs for four weeks from 4 to 29 April. Tickets from 21 March.

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EKKAK CHECK IN A hotel lobby was transformed into a live music venue as Birmingham went ‘disco-pop crazy’. Homegrown duo Ekkah returned to the city to headline the first ibis Lates on Tour of the year – a series of gigs to showcase young, up-andcoming music talent, in partnership with the Roundhouse. Money raised from ticket sales at the New Street Station hotel go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

COMEDY FESTIVAL The Arcadian is supporting Birmingham Comedy Festival for the sixth consecutive year. Recently voted Best Midlands Arts Festival in the What’s On Readers’ awards, the festival runs from 6 to 15 October and will see a host of established and fast-rising names taking to stages across the city. More details www.bhamcomfest.co.uk

CALLING ALL JAZZ FANS If jazz is your thing, don’t miss Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival. The event returns from 14 to 23 July with dozens of mostly free performances and workshops at various venues. The festival, which has been going for more than 30 years, boasts an international line-up of stars as well as the best of local jazz performers.

CONCERTO IN THE MULTI-STOREY Dancing in the Bullring, an orchestra in a multi-storey car park and cabaret on the trams. The city’s biggest arts festival, Birmingham Weekender, is promising to be even more varied this year. From the central hub in Victoria Square, dance, music, visual arts and opera will spill out across the city to Eastside Green at one side and to mac Birmingham at the other from 22 to 24 September.

WOOSIE ON COURSE British golfing legend Ian Woosnam will tee up at the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship at Nailcote Hall. With more than 50 professional titles to his name, including the famous Masters Green Jacket, the Welsh golfer will be joining former Ryder Cup skipper and Par 3 Championship host Tony Jacklin at the Warwickshire course from 8 to 11 August.

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AFRO CHAMPS The guys and girls at Francesco Group’s Birmingham Academy are celebrating after being named Best Afro Salon in Hair Magazine’s 2017 Awards. They beat three other salons in the category shortlist at the UK’s only consumer and industry-tested awards. Group director of hairdressing Anya Dellicompagni said: “This is an incredible achievement for our Birmingham Academy.”

BALLET SCHOOL FIRST Birmingham’s ballet stars of the future have won a special accolade from one of the country’s leading dance figures. In a major coup, David Bintley, director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, has choreographed his first-ever work for Elmhurst Ballet School. Entitled Comic Cuts, it is part of Summer Variations, Elmhurst’s summer show programme from 7 to 14 July. See In The City, page 82 Picture: Andy Ross Photography

JUDY RALLIES THE GIRLS Birmingham is playing a leading role in getting more women and girls involved in tennis at the grassroots. At events held during the Aegon Classic Birmingham, Judy Murray – mum of Wimbledon champion Andy – hosted activities for girls from the area as part of the new She Rallies LTA initiative.

IN BRIEF FLYING OFF Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe is stepping down from this month. Since he joined the airport in 2008 passenger numbers have grown from 9.5 million to 12 million a year.

BIG CHEER

LET IT BE Birmingham's annual summer festival of international performing arts, the BE Festival, is ready for lift-off. Running at the Rep from 4 to 8 July, the week-long celebration showcases new theatre, dance and circus performances from Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany and Greece. Highlights include an outdoor project that stretches a single, two-kilometre line of red tape from Ladywood, across parks and roads, to the Rep itself.

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Picture: Joe Bailey

FRANK’S ROCK ROLE Music legend Frank Ifield made a rare appearance at Coventry Music Museum for the launch of Belgrade Theatre’s new musical, Godiva Rocks. Born in Coundon, Coventry before later moving to Australia, the country singer was on hand to help announce the production in October that will feature some of his most successful songs. Frank had 15 UK top 40 singles including four number ones in the 60’s.

Danielle Cheetham, the ParaCheer athlete and St George’s School, Edgbaston teaching assistant who featured in Young, Gifted and Brummie in our May issue, won a silver medal at the cheerleading world championships in Canada.

EYE CHEQUE A charity that provides eye tests and glasses to Birmingham’s homeless received a grant for £1,000. Vision Care for Homeless People, Digbeth received the grant from Birmingham-based Wisdom Factory CIC.

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ASIAN CELEBRATION The latest creative talent and films to emerge from Birmingham’s Desi Moves Project will be on show at the UK’S biggest Asian Music Festival – ZEE Sandwell & Birmingham Mela, which takes place in Victoria Park, Smethwick this month. Desi Moves will present brand new music from young students from The Lighthouse and Concord Youth Centres alongside short films hand-picked from local youth.

STREWTH, IT’S THE BIG SLEUTH!

MARTIN SADDLES UP

Birmingham’s new family of bears are all set to make their mark with the launch this month of the Big Sleuth in aid of the Children’s Hospital. The free 10-week public art trail will see 100 decorated sculptures taking to streets, parks and open spaces. Once the event has finished the bears will be sold at auction. The Big Sleuth’s predecessor, the Big Hoot, raised more than £500,000 for the hospital.

England rugby legend and keen pedaller Martin Johnson led more than 150 Vélo Birmingham cyclists on a 29-mile ride through the Warwickshire countryside. The Solihullborn World Cup-winning captain and ride ambassador for Vélo Birmingham joined cyclists on a training ride. The event itself is a 100-mile closed road sportive on 24 September. More than £1 million is expected to be raised for Midlands’ charities.

CELLIST JOINS CONSERVATOIRE

SETTING THE FASHION Future stars of the fashion world from Birmingham showcased their talent at the industry’s Graduate Fashion Week in London. Students from Birmingham City University were among 24 UK colleges taking part. The week provides the world’s largest platform from which aspiring designers can launch their careers. Patrons include top designers Victoria Beckham and Vivienne Westwood.

World-renowned cellist Jian Wang is Birmingham Conservatoire’s new International Chair in Cello. “Birmingham Conservatoire is one of the leading institutions in the world for learning music and I am looking forward to working with the cello students there,” he said. Conservatoire principal Julian Lloyd Webber said: “Jian’s appointment is another step as we head towards opening the first purpose-built conservatoire in a generation in September.”

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

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COVER STORY

ONE LINE ONLY Double Sony award winner and regular on TV comedy panel

shows, Gary Delaney loves coming home to perform in Brum. We’re smart and don’t take offence perfect audience is smarter than average and doesn’t take offence according to king of the one-liner, Gary Delaney. Apparently the Midlands has it all along with his wife’s home crowd, the North East. He says: “I like one of two things from an audience. “One, a slightly smarter crowd so I get to do something more subtle and two, an audience that will let me be rude or dark without taking offence. In the Midlands and the North East I get both.” Having had a false start on the comedy circuit, Gary had a brief dalliance with event organising before chucking himself into the lion’s den of stand-up full time. From Solihull Sixth Form, Gary went on to the London School of Economics where he liked the

A

>> ALL THE LOLS Here are our top five Gary Delaney gags. You’re welcome.

 Last night I had to get towed home. Ratty and Moley were too pissed to drive.”  My girlfriend’s dog died, so to cheer her up I went out and got her an identical one. She was livid. “What am I going to do with two dead dogs?”  This morning I went to a meeting of my premature ejaculators’ support group. But it turns out it’s tomorrow.  I went to buy a Christmas tree and the guy asked ‘Are you going to put it up yourself?’ I said, ‘No, I was thinking the living room.’  Last time I was here a girl asked me for sex. I had to disappoint her. We had sex.

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idea of stand-up but never had the nerve, so he worked behind the scenes on the sound desk. He recalls: “In the mid-90s my college buddy dabbled in stand-up and I helped him with his jokes.” (The college buddy Gary speaks of was millionaire money man Martin Lewis… not known for his humour). He adds: “I said to him one day ‘I’ve got this joke and it will bring the house down.’ He didn’t think it was as good as I did and told me if I thought it was that good perhaps I should do it myself?” BETTING MAN One night after a gig , Martin bet Gary he wouldn’t have the nerve to do stand-up. Money man Martin lost and Gary performed a fiveminute set at the Comedy Brewhouse in Islington which he loved. He says: “It was such a buzz.” More gigs followed mainly in ‘fleapits’ initially but Gary admits: “I didn’t know what I was doing. I hadn’t worked out you have to work really hard. I had a couple of good gigs followed by a very bad one in a biker bar and I was all over the place.” Gary’s sixth gig was on a TV show called The Warehouse which he got paid for and he thought ‘this is it, my big break’. More bad gigs followed and he packed up completely for four years. When Gary made a comeback in 2000, he was more focused and ready to put in the hard work. He explains: “I realised I was good at one-liners so I binned the rest. I was writing and gigging while

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COVER STORY

“

I like an audience that is slightly smarter and will also let me be rude or dark without taking offence. I get both in the Midlands

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�

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COVER STORY

I hadn’t worked out you have to work really hard. I had a couple of good gigs followed by a very bad one in a biker bar and I was all over the place

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doing the day job. As I got better at stand-up I got worse at the day job and I left two weeks before my 30th birthday.” With no responsibilities Gary was able to ‘scrape a living’ earning £50 here and there until he started playing larger clubs like Glee and Jongleurs – and then came the TV call-up. Now a regular on Mock the Week as well as an intense schedule of live shows Gary says: “TV’s fun, but honestly live shows are exhilarating. You can’t have one without the other and without TV I’d be doing stag and hen dos.” IN THE MOOD I wonder if Gary ever wakes up feeling distinctly unfunny and a bit grumpy. “Yes, but the advantage of my show, i.e. one-liners, is once I’ve written it which is the hard part, I just have to deliver it. I’m not making impromptu observations. I’ve just got to stand there and say it. The show must go on whether I’m in the mood or not.” A tour takes Gary roughly three years to write and he’s constantly thinking of new material. “I record funny thoughts on my phone all the time then every Tuesday I sit down and write. When I trial new material a third of the jokes work well, a third are ok and a third are awful.” Married to Geordie comedian Sarah Millican, they’re like the Posh and Becks of comedy and I imagine it’s a barrel of laughs at home. “We laugh a lot, but at normal stuff like the dog farting in front of the TV. We’re not at home constructing shows together. We just laugh at nonsense like everyone else.” I

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FEATURE

BOLD AS

BRASS

Let’s hear it for the fantastic plastic instruments conceived in

the Midlands that are making a big noise in the music business

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FEATURE

en years ago, a small Midlands music publishing company took the decision to diversify with a vision to revolutionise the brass music instrument sector. The aim was to make affordable, durable, stylish instruments that delivered the same high quality sound with none of the problems of heavy and expensive traditional items. Following the theory that the best ideas are often the most blindingly obvious ones, the plastic trombone – called the pBone – was born. Well, actually it was born three years after the original idea… because, as always, simplicity can be hellishly difficult to make a reality. Today, the Warwick Music Group’s pBone has become the biggest selling trombone in the market with more than 150,000 finding homes since launch. Single-handedly, the pBone has turned the declining trend in trombone sales on its head. Every 20 minutes, someone in the world picks up a pBone – one of the main reasons for a 15 per cent increase in world sales of trombones in the last three years. And there’s no doubting that the pBone has brought a younger profile to the sector, too.

T

ACCESSIBILITY The success has spawned a range of plastic instruments. In 2013 came the pBone mini, for smaller children to handle. And then the following year the world’s first all-plastic trumpet – the pTrumpet. July 2016 saw the launch of an entirely new musical instrument aimed at children aged three and over called the pBuzz – a brightly coloured alternative to first instruments such as the recorder. Over the next few months WMG will unveil a new plastic cornet (the pCornet) and a trumpet made of 50 per cent plastic and 50 per cent metal (the pTrumpet Hytech) to specifically target professional musicians. “The keyword has always been accessibility with our instruments,” said WMG’s chief executive Steven Greenall. “We determined that the trombone would be the easiest first brass instrument to make in plastic. We focused on it being very light, easy to play – especially for kids, durable so that when it was dropped in classrooms it wouldn’t need repairing, and we also wanted to make it fun in lots of different colours.”

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PLAY TIME: Warwick Music Group CEO Steven Greenall

The original idea for the plastic trombone came from Hugh Rashleigh, a product and design engineer who teamed up with Steven who had spent 10 years in the music industry in the US. “It seemed a crazy idea, but it made sense to us,” said Steven. “The trombone is the easiest instrument to make – it’s basically a horn with a slide – but it had been around basically untouched for 500 years. THE PROMS “No one had made one in plastic and it took us three years to do the R&D with Hugh making prototypes in his shed at the beginning. On the outside it looks like a trombone but inside it is very different. The fact that we are both musicians meant we wanted to keep pushing the boundaries, and it proved to be worth it. It has been a big success.” The instrument has been used on TV shows such as Britain’s Got Talent, at major festivals including Glastonbury and even at The Proms. The pBone and pTrumpet have both won leading industry awards, including the Music Teacher and British Plastics Federation awards. WMG now employs 18 people and is also involved in local partnerships and education outreach programmes with the likes of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The business has claimed a number of major awards for innovation, including the Nectar Small Business of the Year for Innovation, Midlands Business Award for Innovation and the Future Champion title at the National Business Awards. Bright to look at and fun to play, the plastic instruments have proved a big hit with kids and

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FEATURE

An entirely new musical

instrument aimed at children aged three and over called the pBuzz is a brightly coloured alternative to the recorder

schools. A pBone will cost a school around £100 to buy, well under half the price of a conventional trombone producing the same sound quality. The pBuzz recorder alternative, which is made in the UK, is just £20. GROWING RANGE “There are 17,000 to 18,000 primary schools in the UK with four-and-a-half million kids,” said Steven. “We see getting the pBuzz into more schools as one of the big growth areas, along with expanding the whole business internationally.” Right now, 85 per cent of trombones that children learn to play on are pBones. Along with the growing range of other instruments – including a design for a pFlute – the future looks a real blast for the plastic instrument makers. The toughest market to crack will be getting the instruments into the hands of professional musicians in the UK and worldleading orchestras and bands. “It’s a notoriously traditional area,” said Steven. “But we’ll get there, I’m confident. We had a musician in one of the very top orchestras use one of our instruments in rehearsals and the conductor didn’t realise it wasn’t a brass instrument. The sound quality is as good, better actually, than brass.” Nothing like blowing your own trumpet is there?.... I

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FOOD & DRINK

TIM JENKINS

How a part-time job on a gap year in New Zealand set the tastebuds for a career in food tingling for the head chef at Brockencote Hall Tell us about your cooking My style is developing all the time. At the moment I am concentrating on local fresh ingredients and treating the focal ingredient with minimal added flavours so you can taste every ingredient. Guests and critics have said my food is hearty yet refined. At this time of the year it is all about when Harvington asparagus farm will ring to say they are ready. Nothing better than knowing your produce was picked and delivered within an hour of ordering it from 200 metres up the road! It is important to know where the produce you use comes from.

How did you become a chef? I always enjoyed helping my parents cook at home. On a gap year in New Zealand I took a part-time pot wash job. The chef owner had such a passion for food that I regularly helped him prep on my days off. After retraining part-time as a chef at college in Lancaster, I

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worked in local pubs before moving closer to home and getting a job at Brockencote Hall. I have been influenced by all my head chefs and sous chefs over the years. Didier Philipot, John Sherry and Adam Brown all taught me different aspects of the job. My partner and I travel to France a lot every year – taking a break gets the mind flowing and thinking and writing down flavour combinations that might work.

What do you eat when at home? We try to be a bit healthy – pan seared bavette with a blue cheese salad always goes down nicely.

Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? The best food I’ve tasted here is Brad Carter’s of Carters of Moseley. Worldwide there are still many places on my list to visit and eat at. I like to dine in authentic local little restaurants when I go on

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CHEF’S CORNER

For Tim’s recipe to make his delicious Peanut Butter Parfait, visit www.brumliving.co.uk

Food heaven and food hell? When we visit friends and family in France the first meal I order is rare bavette of beef. Amazing flavour and always cooked spot on. As for hell, I love offal but a French dish called Andouillette – a sausage made from pig intestines – is just too strong for my liking!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? holiday. A highlight would definitely be the street food in Thailand.

My Thai vocabulary is about two words, so the Thai street food I’ve eaten at times could have been anything!

Is the customer always right?

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

I’d like to say ‘no’ but the customer is the most important person to us, along with our suppliers, So of course they’re always right in terms of their expectations, however all opinions are subjective to personal tastes.

I have always loved food and drink but my other passion as a teenager was sport, so if I wasn’t a chef I would have probably combined the two and worked in nutrition.

Share a cooking tip Follow the recipe and method. Spend a little extra time to do it correctly the first time.

What was your favourite food as a kid? Fish and chips. Luckily we had a good chip shop just up the road. Mum’s minestrone soup was always welcome in the winter and dad’s spaghetti bolognaise on the weekend was amazing!

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What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? Cornish white crab with cucumber, pickled watermelon radish and borage flowers. Followed by rare bavette with ox cheek and bone marrow croquette, heritage potatoes, St George mushroom ketchup and wild garlic. And then banana and peanut butter millefeuille to finish. I Brockencote Hall Hotel, Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire DY10 4PY is part of the Eden Hotel Collection. Tel: 01562 777876 www.brockencotehall.com

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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 STREET-WISE AT WHITE HORSE We can hardly contain our tastebuds! The White Horse, Balsall Common has unveiled a mouthwatering summer menu which coincides with new general manager Luke Hawkins. We especially like the sound of the funky Street Food offerings – Chicken Wings, Sriracha Chilli and Korean Ketchup and Panko Chicken Burger sit alongside the pub’s popular traditional offerings.

FINGERS CROSSED FOR MUKESH The Belfry’s general manager Mukesh Kumar is a finalist in the Manager of the Year at The Caterer’s 2017 Catey Awards. The biggest awards of their kind in the hospitality industry, the internationally renowned Cateys recognise the strongest performers, latest emerging brands and highest fliers in the sector. So, come on Mukesh… we’re rooting for you!

CHRIS IS THE PERFECT TONIC Specialist hospitality and catering consultancy Tonic run by Conrad Brunton and business partner David Colcombe has expanded its team, appointing experienced chef and recruiter Chris Bratt-Rose as lead chef consultant. Chris’s previous positions include head chef at the Birmingham Hippodrome and six years running his own restaurant.

MPW STEAKHOUSE OPENS UP A new Marco Pierre White Steakhouse has opened near the NEC at Manor Hotel, Meriden. The new eatery seats 120 diners and also has a private dining room. Nick Taplin, chief executive of Black & White Hospitality, which manages the MPW franchises, said: “The new restaurant brings a whole new dining offer to the area for foodies to enjoy.”

FLEET STREET’S NEW FIZZ Hold the front page! A prosecco bar serving fizz and afternoon tea is to open at the former Fleet Street Kitchen restaurant in Mere Green. Owner Alan Rees said: “The bar will be somewhere to really relax, and if you want food you’ll be able to have it. We want to do high quality afternoon teas and be a place where mums and daughters can take each other out.”

WELCOME CHOP AND WOK Birmingham-based pan-Asian noodle bar chain, Chop and Wok, has opened in Bristol Road, Selly Oak. With five stores across Brum, the takeaway and noodle bar is taking the city by storm. The new bar features all the fresh and innovative dishes that Chop and Wok are renowned for – from classic katsu chicken curry to tasty vegan spicy tofu and oriental vegetable noodles.

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

ITALIAN CLASSIC

The Negroni is so iconic, it even has its own week-long festival ne of the world’s most iconic cocktails has just celebrated its own special week of celebrations across the UK’s top bars and restaurants to help raise money for charitable causes. Negroni Week was launched in honour of the marvellous Italian classic created in 1919 at Café Casoni in Milan. Elaborated upon by the bartender from the Milano Torino and named after its most regular drinker, Count Camille Negroni, it’s simple to make, delicious to drink and packs a fair punch. There is a version where you substitute the gin with Prosecco – this version is called the Negroni Sbagliato (literally translated as the ‘wrong Negroni’). So here’s a way to make the right Negroni, which we suggest you try first. (As always, drink responsibly.)

O

THE NEGRONI Ingredients:

I 30ml Oxley Classic English Dry Gin I 30ml Cocchi Vermouth de Torino Italian Vermouth I 30ml Campari Bitters

Method: Combine all the ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

SIAMAIS 6 Brindleyplace, 7 Oozells St, Birmingham B1 2HS. Tel: 0121 643 3993 siamais.co.uk f I told you that Thai Edge has been reinvented and is now… er… a Thai restaurant you wouldn’t be bowled over. However, if I told you that skulls hang from the ceiling in delicate bird cages, steaming cocktails fill the air with exotic aromas and the food is tremendous you might sit up and take notice. (We liked Thai Edge by the way, so this is not a criticism of what was once there, it’s just so ridiculously unrecognisable). Drinks are high on the agenda and have been given as much attention as the food we reckon. In fact there’s no real pressure to dine. If you just fancy a drink, there’s a dedicated bar area to while away the hours. A capsicum and ginger mocktail was nothing short of sensational. Spiced subtly with red chilli and properly hot with ginger, it was literally smokin’ with burning stick of cinnamon in the mix. If you’re definitely not the designated driver and that’s important, you love rum and are in the mood for a bit of drama, go for the popular Bang Pai Falls. Finished at the table for the ultimate theatre and served in a skull receptacle emitting a steaming flock of aromatic locks, it packs a real rum punch with cherry and vanilla notes too. It’s strong people. The kids – welcome until 8pm – were spoken to like big people which is always appreciated and they enjoyed the theatre too. We weren’t wildly adventurous with the menu but what we ordered was seriously good and authentic. If we list the dishes we sampled it sounds like your average Saturday night takeaway, but we promise you it wasn’t – crab cakes, chicken satay, golden bags, spring rolls, beef massaman, chicken with cashew nuts,

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chargrilled lamb, sweet and sour chicken. You see? The highlights were the chicken with cashew nuts peppered with roasted whole dried chilli giving it a serious kick and probably the fresh, zingy spring rolls stuffed with vermicelli and white cabbage. The massaman curry was pretty special too. And the golden bags filled with minced prawn, chicken and garlic served with a sticky plum sauce. That was awesome. Oh to hell with it. It was all worth a look. The only negative were the desserts. While tasty, the sweet stuff didn’t really fit with the rest of the menu or the vibe of the place and in truth we wouldn’t have tried one had it not been for the kids. Speaking of which, I found their scrawl on my notes while writing this up. It read ‘mocktails + thai food = yum!’ We were all in agreement then apart from daddy who would change mocktails to cocktails. I

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FOOD & DRINK

PINK PERFECTION What better at the height of summer than relaxing in style with a glass of chilled RosĂŠ, says wine expert Rob Price?

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do love a glass of dry refreshing Rosé wine, sitting in the garden on a warm summer’s evening watching one of my sons cutting the grass quickly – as he has important ‘work’ back on his computer to attend to! As much as I try, my eldest two express no real interest in wine – what have I done wrong? I thought a lovely glass of my favourite Rosé would do the trick, but it’s too dry – oh, well! So how about a glass of medium Rosé? Yes, that did the trick... as I’ve always thought, there is a wine for everyone. Now when can I get them to appreciate a glass of fine Bordeaux? There are many different Rosé wines to try, and even for folks who express distain at Rosé I suspect there is one out there to like. Rosés can be delicate and refreshing, dry, medium or sweet, fuller bodied and of course make wonderful fizz.

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ROB’S Brilliant value

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TO TRY

Rosé Duo des Plages. An easy drinking dry Rosé from the south of France. Fresh and fruity, this one slips down a little too easily! Buy from the Wine Society for only £6.50.

An English delicate rose Chapel Down. One of our leading English wine producers, from Tenterden in Kent. This is a soft subtle Rosé wine with summery reds fruits, refreshing and dry. Waitrose sells for £10.99.

Sweet delights A sweet, appealing luscious pink from Valencia in Spain. Made mainly from the Moscatel grape, this is so moreish. Not too much alcohol either, which is both good and bad – good if you only keep to the one bottle, bad if…! M&S sells for only £7.

And one of the finest Rosé Champagnes Laurent-Perrier Rosé NV. A brilliant Cuvée first crafted in 1968 made from 100 per cent Pinot Noir from 10 different Crus. Aged for a minimum of five years, it’s aromatic dry and utterly delicious. Widely available but expect to pay around £50 a bottle.

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Here’s a guide to some different Rosé wines: Fruity – Grenache makes wonderful Rosé. Always deliciously fruity, especially from the New World. A little leaner in style will be Rosés from Provence. Delicate – Here Pinot Noir will be more dominant. Try a Sancerre (it’s not just white), or a pink fizz, including Champagne, will fit the bill. Savoury – Try one from the Cotes du Rhone region of Tavel. Normally a blend of different varieties but Grenache will dominant, so also fruity as well, and normally dry. Rich – Go for Rosé from Bandol, a little enclave in the Provence region. Made with the Mourvèdre grape, these have a little more body and are also quite floral. Sweet(ish) – Made mainly with Zinfandel and often called White Zinfandel or Blush, just to be confusing. Normally medium sweet, and my kids favourite! Strawberries and candyfloss. Serve it really cold! Remember, all Rosé wine is really just a light-bodied (and coloured) red wine and one could argue offers the best of both red and white. There’s a bit more flavour than white but without the horrible tannins of reds. So, go out and choose pink – there is bound to be one just for you! I Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun, informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Warwick and Milton Keynes. For more information, contact Rob Price 0121 270 7359, or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com.

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SUPER FLATTERING Frida bikini £42, Figleaves.com

LIFE’S A BEACH The thrilling yet terrifying minefield of swimwear shopping is here and this year we’re nailing it

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STYLE

SILVER SURFER Silver bikini top £8 and brief £5, Primark, The Fort Shopping Park

MIX AND MATCH IT'S A WRAP

ou wouldn’t settle for a dress that doesn’t fit like a glove or shoes that fall off when you walk speedily, yet we seem to have different rules for swimwear. We’ve all been there. Fidgeting incessantly with an ill-fitting one piece or clinging onto a bikini top that threatens to reveal too much at the merest hint of activity. Not this year my friends. Firstly, don’t wing it. Try before you buy is an essential mantra and we don’t mean slip into chosen swimwear, breathe in and check yourself out in the mirror. Sit down, walk around, wriggle, jump up and down even! If you’re planning to be more active than lounging by a pool this is important. Does it stay put and do you feel great? We reckon the most important preparation apart from having glowing skin and bags of confidence is to be organised. Ask yourself how many sets of swimmers do you need and what will you be doing in them? Surfing in Cape Town requires a different beast to sipping sundowners in Santorini.

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Bikini top and brief, LaRedoute.co.uk

Lisa Marie Fernandez wrap swimsuit £555, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

WAISTED Castaway stripe bandeau maillot £119, Figleaves.com

TOP PICK CK Swim bikini top £63 and brief £49, House of Fraser, Mell Square

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STYLE

CUT IT OUT One-piece with cut-out, River Island, Bullring

CLUB TROPICANA Seafolly Island Vibe swimsuit £116, Selfridges Birmingham, Bullring

GEO PRINT Laguna Beach underwired bandeau swimsuit £48, Figleaves.com

RETRO VIBE Nautical striped bikini brief £6 and top £8, Matalan, Dartmouth Circus

GLAMOUR PUSS Melissa Odabash swimsuit £200, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

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STYLE Here are our four basics that’ll see you through. Just add a hat, three or four chic cover-ups, some cool sunnies and you’re set. A stylish one-piece that offers a bit of coverage and will stay put through a barrage of waves, a spot of windsurfing or a vigorous swim in the pool. The leaf print one piece with a sporty vibe from Red Herring at Debenhams is a winner (pictured). A flattering bikini that stays put. 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 before you find the one. Try the asymmetric CK Swim bikini from House of Fraser or the Frida bikini from Figleaves. A super glamorous bikini or one-piece that makes you feel a million dollars. The only activity this needs to stand up to is looking hot while catching a few rays and strolling elegantly from lounger to bar. Checkout Melissa Odabash at Harvey Nichols. A rash vest for protection if you’re feeling a bit sun baked. I

CANDY STRIPES Pier stripe bikini brief £35 and top £35, Ted Baker at House of Fraser, Mell Square

GOLD RUSH Gold high-waisted bikini top £12.99 and brief £12.99, New Look, The Fort Shopping Park

HIGH NECK Bold print swimsuit £35, M&S, High St

IN THE PINK Ruffle one-piece, Matalan, Dartmouth Circus

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STYLE RIGHT STRIPES Stella McCartney striped swimsuit £155, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

JUNGLE PRINT Green and white leaf bikini £12.99, TK Maxx, Bullring

BOLD PRINT Leaf print swimsuit £32, Debenhams, Bullring

MAKE LIKE A MERMAID Green sequin one swimsuit £29.99, New Look, The Fort Shopping Park

COOL KHAKI Tie front bikini £32, Very.co.uk

ZIPPED Green floral cut out swimsuit £19.99, TK Maxx, Bullring

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SPA REVIEW

ELAN SPA AT MALLORY COURT Harbury Lane, Leamington Spa, Warks CV33 9QB. Tel: 01926 330214 www.mallory.co.uk/spa allory Court has been one of our special places for years, but there’s always been one thing missing. A pool. Or if we’re dreaming big, a spa. When plans were announced last year to create just that, we didn’t need telling twice. In fact, we didn’t even wait until the landscapers had been in before we slipped into the outdoor sauna. The newly-built Orchard House constructed to the right of the historic hotel is home to Elan Spa which is apparently the first spa to be built in Warwickshire in a decade. Compared with the charm of the main house the exterior looked a bit hard, although once the garden’s matured and the building has bedded in I’m sure it will soften. Staying overnight in one of the 12 rooms, we arrived early to take full advantage. Bedrooms surrounded a central staircase on the first floor

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with lots of solid wood, plush carpets and show-stopping lighting. Our room was super – large, comfortable, great coffee machine and a fantastic bathroom. COCOONED Seven treatment rooms including one dual version are on the second floor. Nail bar, pools, sauna, steam rooms, gym and cafe are on the ground floor with the bedrooms sandwiched in between on the first. I thought this slightly odd at first, but it made more sense as the day went on resulting in treatment rooms that felt incredibly tranquil and private. While cocooned on the top floor I plumped for a full body Ku Nye massage using luxurious Ila products that are made in the Cotswolds. Tibetan in origin, the Ku Nye promised to ‘balance elements to

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restore a harmonious flow of energy and vitality’. Sounded good although I wasn’t sure I had a harmonious flow of energy to restore. Not one who finds relaxing easy, I’m not the ideal subject, however a gentle scrub of my tootsies as a precursor to the treatment was unbelievably soothing. I surprised myself at how easily I chilled out. Therapist Helen spoke in the customary soothing tones and put me at ease straight away. I don’t know what happened next really. I drifted in and out of slumber as Helen massaged me with a fair amount of pressure at times – in a good way. Heated pouches filled with Himalayan salt were placed on to pressure points which felt great. The products smelled wonderful and probably had a lot to do with the deep relaxation as well as the therapist’s wizardry. The full body massage was fairly intimate although Helen let me know beforehand where she would be massaging and checked I was happy with that. Basically everywhere apart from boobs and bottom which was fine by me. The only bit I found slightly odd was the stomach, but that’s because it was new to me.

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Eighty-five minutes flew by in a bit of a blur. Allowed to come round slowly, I made my way to the reception area where I sipped a mint and liquorice tea. The spa uses ESPA products as well as Ila and there’s an impressive range of treatments from waxing to a soporific 75 minutes called Dreamtime Journey for insomnia and restless minds. I found the other half making the most of the vitality pool on the terrace which was a heady 37 degrees so usable all year round. There’s also a large indoor hydrotherapy pool with cool, iridescent tiling and therapeutic showerheads. The well-equipped gym had everything you’d need for a decent workout although we didn’t test it this time round and the café, which was pleasing on the eye, served great food. It came into its own at breakfast with perfect eggs benedict and a cracking full English served by a joy of a man. No awkward service and hushed tones. Just charming. We chose to have dinner in the main hotel which was a 100-metre stroll and as always we were left feeling utterly spoilt. However, I would recommend chilling out after the Ku Nye massage. I felt very sleepy and relaxed and on balance would have preferred to stay in a bathrobe rather than dressing for dinner. Given the newness of the spa when we visited and assuming it will only improve, we reckon it’s a winner. We were thoroughly impressed particularly with the second floor treatment rooms. The whole complex is well-conceived in terms of the design and facilities and it’s obvious that the same attention to detail you’d expect at Mallory Court has successfully transferred to the spa. All of the staff and therapists were charming. The stuff of dreams. I

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STYLE FOR MEN

SURF’S UP

This summer’s hottest swimmers feature eye-catching high definition prints that’ll dazzle by the pool… so, get on board!

PARADISE Gandys for John Lewis Birds of Paradise swim shorts £40, John Lewis, Grand Central

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STYLE FOR MEN

HOT SPOTS Osaka swim short £35, White Stuff, Cannon St

FUN AND FRUITY Watermelon print swim shorts £5, Primark, The Fort Shopping Park

re you a flamingo, watermelon or umbrella man? All feature on this season’s hottest swimmers with one solid colour just not an option if you want to look bang on trend on the beach. Top of the tree is Paul Smith’s umbrella print with all the coolness of a Rhianna track. More umbrellas – well parasols – feature on Thomas Royal’s red, white and blue smarter-than-smart swim short. As tailored as swimmers get, you won’t find a drawstring in sight on these beauties. With flamingos at Primark (only £5), birds of paradise at John Lewis and camouflage print at River Island, the high street is fully on board too, so you don’t need to break the bank to shine this summer. One more thing… whatever print you go for make it mid-length. It flatters every time. I

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SAIL AWAY Boat print swim shorts £50, House of Fraser, Mell Square IN THE PINK Flamingo print swim shorts £5, Primark, The Fort Shopping Park

UMBRELLA ELLA ELLA Paul Smith umbrella print swim shorts £110, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

BEACH BABE Thomas Royal swim shorts £85, Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox

UNDER THE SEA Seahorse print swim shorts £12.99, New Look, Bullring

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CAMO COOL Camouflage print swim shorts, River Island, Bullring

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HEALTH

TAKE COVER

Have fun in the sun, but between 11 and 3 hide under a tree‌ and be sure to protect delicate skin whatever time of day this summer!

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ong sleeves please! That is the message from top dermatologists this summer as latest research reveals that the number of people with skin cancer continues to rise. “High factor sun creams are all well and good but there are times when you really need to cover up – and that means putting a layer of clothing between you and the sunshine,” said Dr Joanna Gach, consultant dermatologist at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull. “It is advice we always give to parents to protect their children but, at times, adults should also be doing the same thing. Everyone thinks they look ‘healthier’ with a tan but looks can be deceiving.” Even good sun cream loses its protection power after a while, whereas a light, long-sleeved T-shirt and pair of cotton trousers will keep you cool and safe all day long, Dr Gach added.

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BLUE SKY THINKING Government figures show that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and rising. There are more than 200,000 cases a year with malignant melanoma – one of the most dangerous forms – resulting in over 2,500 deaths annually. Dr Gach’s colleague and specialist in skin cancer treatment Dr Irshad Zaki, said: “People tend to reach for the sun cream when there are clear blue skies but there is almost as much danger when there is cloud cover. Clouds reduce the amount of ultraviolet A and B radiation that reaches the earth’s surface and our skin, but it doesn’t stop the damaging rays. In the case of young children, if it is warm enough for them to be playing out in shorts and T-shirts then the sun is usually strong enough to merit covering them in a protective cream or lotion.” At this time of year chemist and supermarket shelves are full of sun creams and lotions – so, which one should you buy? Does cut-price mean it won’t be effective? Are you simply paying for the brand name when you fork out for the expensive stuff?

TOP 10 TIPS TO KEEP KIDS SUN-SAFE 1

Choose long-sleeved clothes made of closely woven material, such as cotton, to keep children cool.

2

Make them wear a hat, preferably with a broad brim.

3

Always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

4

Plaster it on and keep topping it up.

5

Reapply to all sun-exposed areas of skin every two or three hours, more frequently if swimming or playing in water.

6

Choose a sunscreen specifically formulated for a child’s more delicate skin.

7

Long trunks and long-sleeved swimsuits give more protection in the water.

8

Protect eyes with sunglasses with certified UV protection.

9

Avoid the sun when it is at its strongest. As they say in Australia: “Between 11 and three, hide under a tree!”

10 Get kids to play in shaded areas or have a little midday nap – a siesta during the hottest hours.

scale of 6 to 50+ with SPF 6 to 14 providing the least amount of protection against burning and skin cancer, and 50+ having the strongest protection from UVB. The UVA star rating ranges from 0 to 5. “The British Association of Dermatologists recommends using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and a UVA star rating of 4 to 5 as a good level of protection,” said Dr Zaki. “If you are going to swim in the sun, it is also important that the sunscreen you use is labelled as water-resistant. You will still need to reapply it after bathing to ensure you have adequate protection throughout the day”. So, remember, check the label before you buy – and always go for protection value and not the price! I The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health

CHECK THE LABEL “When choosing a sunscreen, make sure you check the UVA start rating as well as the SPF sun protection factor on the label,” said Dr Zaki. The SPF is on a

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care professional. Dr Irshad Zaki and Dr Joanna Gach are consultant dermatologists at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull, tel 0121 704 5530 www.spireparkway.com

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KEEP ON RUNNING Double Ironman record-holder Hywel Davies gives his training tips for runners in the countdown to the first Birmingham International Marathon ust over three months to go – and counting – to the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon. And runners are now getting down to the nitty-gritty with plenty of hard graft running sessions building up the miles. Long runs can be a bit dull if you don’t know how to deal with them. But the boring sessions are the ones that strengthen the mind. This is where you develop the skill and strength to be able to maintain focus in the big race. Here’s the scenario: You are out on a long run and about 10 miles from home you are battling through a strong headwind. You need something to get you home and through these dark times. The more boring the route is, the more engaging your strategies and distractions should become. Here are a few ways to get you through the boredom and self doubt:

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Audiobooks: Rather than music, which is actually a distraction, listening to an audiobook or podcast can be an opportunity to learn something new. There is often an urge to add a bit more distance to get to the next chapter but you also get to associate landmarks, run routes and distances with moments in the book. Focus on pacing: Running around a short loop or track is actually quite enjoyable. Looking at how close you can get every lap time or mile time, counting the number of steps of every 100m, trying to keep heart rate stable, counting how many breaths you take per lap. Even just focusing on trying to notice something new on every lap can almost become meditation. Breathing: Where are you breathing from? Nose or mouth? Which one allows you to relax more? Belly or chest? Expanding your chest causes tension in the shoulders. The more you can relax, the more you can move the breathing to the diaphragm. Trying to breathe every four, six, or even eight steps can help to both distract and relax. Cadence: Are you plodding or grinding big gears? What happens when you speed up the legs for a few minutes? How do you feel?

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Posture: Are you engaging the stomach and glutes? Imagine starring in your own run film and run the way you think you would want to see yourself running. Form: Look at the shadows to see what your arms and legs are doing. Try to feel where the wind is catching you and become more aerodynamic. How much can you relax shoulders and arms? Internal feedback: What can you feel? Where is there tension? Can you detect different movement in each leg? What muscles feel inflexible? Is your foot strike making the same sound on each foot? Dedicate miles: Imagine family members are encouraging you as you hit each mile. Run to a place: It’s easier when you have a goal destination so rather than driving, get dropped off a long way from the destination, take a train somewhere or incorporate as a commute Run with others: Time flies by when you are engaged in conversation. Enter races: Take the pace easy and practice for your main event. Think! Clear the head and work through any problems in life as you train. Follow these tips and boring training runs will be anything but. I The inaugural Birmingham International Marathon is on Sunday 15 October, starting at Alexander Stadium and finishing at Millennium Point. Full details www.greatrun.org

Hywel Davies is a multi-world record holder and multiple European and British age group triathlon champion, UK Double Ironman recordholder and five-time UK Ultrafit champion. For a full training plan contact him at www.tri-becoaching.co.uk twitter @tribe_coaching

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HAPPY

CAMPERS Planning to enjoy the great outdoors this summer? Be kind to yourself and sort your kit out

SUMMER NIGHTS Vitra vegetal chair £375, nest.co.uk

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BON APPETIT Tableware, sainsburys.co.uk

amping is an acquired taste. We get that, but it can also be fun, bonding and good for the soul. So, we’ve been beavering away to bring you just some of the oodles of gadgets and bits of kit on the market that’ll make enjoying the great outdoors more… er… enjoyable. There are a host of effective charging gizmos that mean you don’t need to be cut off from the outside world along with state-of-the-art speakers that’ll bring music to your ears. There’s even a drone that works with most smartphones to document your camping japes. Farewell selfie stick there’s a new kid in town!

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MULTI-TASKER The Tegstove cooks, charges and stores energy efficiently £199, www.tegology.com

COLOURFUL PICNIC Striped roll-up M&Co picnic blanket £12, mandco.com

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BEAR GRYLLS Products that work hard and perform multiple tasks are winners. Self-charging torches, stoves that double up as chargers, accessories for your camp fire that keep it burning for hours, a survival kit inspired by everyone’s favourite scout Bear Grylls and the Garmin Camper to help you find your way, will all help make your trip pleasurable. Also, don’t scrimp on a tent. We camped with a friend last year who picked up a tent from Aldi for £20-ish which turned out to have no pegs with it. Save money on something else. North Face’s Homestead Dome 3 does the job nicely and is even equipped with a bottle opener as well as a mesh skylight so you can take full advantage of the starry nights. Happy camping! I

NO SMOKE Lotus grill smokeless BBQ £145, cuckooland.com

OVER THE RAINBOW Amazonas Barbados hammock £93, amara.com

POWER BANK Juice Junkie Power Bank £19.99, juice.co.uk

USE YOUR HEAD Rechargeable LED headlamp £83.63, peli.com FIND YOUR WAY Garmin Camper 770 £359.99, buy.garmin.com

BLUETOOTH CLIP ON Clip-to-go Bluetooth speaker £14.95, red5.co.uk ON THE WAGON Micro wagon £84.95 micro-scooters.co.uk

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POWER UP Leather wallet power bank £29.95, houseofbath.co.uk

PLAY AWAY Bang & Olufsen A1 wireless portable speaker £199.99, very.co.uk PRIVACY PLEASE Changing and toilet tent £26.99, argos.co.uk

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CAMP FIRE THAT LASTS Firemizer typically lasts up to 500 burning hours and requires minimum fuel £19.99, firemizer.com

BASE CAMP North Face Homestead Dome 3 tent £250, thenorthface.co.uk

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HARD WORKER Firecracker portable, waterproof, Bluetooth speaker with built-in super-bright light beam £129.95, Monster Headphones monsterproducts.eu FESTIVAL FEVER Regatta four-man festival teepee tent, argos.co.uk

SPEAKER EASY Induction speaker £19.95, red5.co.uk

MORE GLAMPING THAN CAMPING Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo camper van. Prices start from £53,180, mercedes-benz.co.uk

WRAP UP Pink Aztec blanket £16.99, homesense.com

GLOW WITH THE FLOW Glow outdoor speaker and LED light £99, cuckooland.com

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SURVIVAL INSTINCT Bear Grylls survival kit £59.99, gerbergear.co.uk

COOK OFF Outback U-BBQ portable camping stove, homebase.co.uk

PACK LIGHT Luminaid Spectra £24.95, red5.co.uk LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED Two-person heart hamper £45, marksandspencer.com

MUGGED ON Cup holder £9.95, muggi.co.uk

RIP SELFIE STICK Airselfie camera flies up to 66ft, works with most popular smartphones and has self-generated wifi £220, airselfiecamera.com

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TOP TENT TIPS You’re ready to bond with the great outdoors – but there are some basics to remember before setting off. Here’s our quick guide to making your camping break pitch perfect very summer, thousands of Brits ditch their home comforts to ‘get back to Nature’ and embrace the great outdoors by sleeping under the stars – usually in a tent. There really isn’t anything quite as relaxing and invigorating as ‘living rough’ for a few days, especially when the sun shines. Experienced campers know the form – what to take, what to leave at home and which of those clever gadgets really are worth their place in the backpack. For beginners though, there are some basic do’s and don’ts which will make your time under canvas much more enjoyable and rewarding…

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SHOP SMART If you’re looking to buy a new tent, look out for last year’s models – you’ll make some big savings without paying a premium for what are normally fairly minor design upgrades. USE YOUR HEAD Go for a head-height tent that you can stand up in. It’ll make for a happier camp. HAVE A TRIAL PITCH You might need to pitch in the dark, so you literally need to be able to do it with your eyes closed.

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CHOOSE YOUR CAMPSITES WISELY Your choice of site can make or break your trip, so do your research before leaving home and find one that fits the bill for you and yours. BE PICKY BEFORE YOU PITCH Where are the toilets? Is your chosen spot sheltered? Once you’ve settled on an area, find a flat patch of ground to pitch on, avoiding low-lying areas that are likely to get saturated if it rains. PLAN YOUR MEALS Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just rock up, light up a fire and survive on bread and beans like you’re some kind of cowboy in the old Wild West. Choose tasty meals that are quick and easy to prepare with minimal equipment. COOL NIGHTS Pack extra blankets and use layers to help keep you warm at night. Insulation underneath you is just as important as your sleeping bag. EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK… Pack a box of essentials like duct tape, cable ties, extra batteries, a pen-knife, first-aid kit and so on. It pays to be prepared. I

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HOMES

Hot Properties A Georgian home that’ll suit golfers to a tee and a cottage that’s hot to trot for horse lovers star in this month’s best for-sale picks

PERIOD PIECE Welcome Bank Farm, Stratford-upon-Avon Guide price: £1.65million Agent: Knight Frank, tel 01789 297735

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

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HOMES

BRICKS&BITS GUN QUARTER PLOT UNCOVERED Berkeley is planning to build 400 homes in the city after acquiring a site in the Gun Quarter. The project is the developer’s first outside the South East in more than a decade – and its first under its new West Midlands arm, St Joseph. Planning consent is yet to be secured for the site close to Snow Hill station.

DAY CENTRE ON THE MARKET

PITCH PERFECT Park Mount, Edgbaston Guide price: £2.2million Agent: Robert Powell, tel 0121 454 6930 Tucked away among the fairways and greens of Edgbaston Golf Course is this Grade II listed Georgian residence. The property features seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and a coach house, all set within stunning private gardens of 1.6 acres.

A former NHS day care centre in Sparkhill has come to the market through specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co. The vacant unit has planning permission in place that means a day nursery, crèche, play centre, religious centre or a training centre could be developed. Tim Bloomer of Christie’s Birmingham office said: “The property has been kept in very good condition.”

PLANS FOR NEW MONACO Regency Residential is on the brink of submitting a planning application for a mixed-use development in Bristol Street in the former Monaco House site which will be worth in excess of £275 million. Nicknamed ‘New Monaco’, the development by the Manchester company includes more than 1,000 apartments and townhouses.

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

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TICKET TO RIDE Coton Road, Coleshill Guide price: £825,000 Agent: Fine and Country, tel 0121 746 6400 Calling all horse lovers! This lovely four-bedroomed Victorian cottage is set within five acres of its own excellent equestrian facilities and grounds, including an orchard. Beautifully renovated and sympathetically extended, we rather like the charming contemporary cottage kitchen!

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HOMES

HIGH FLIER Liberty Place, Birmingham City Centre Guide price: ÂŁ725,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel 0121 634 1520

A stylish and beautifully presented two-bedroom penthouse apartment with high vaulted ceilings, stylish fitted kitchen with integrated appliances and conservatory that leads on to a fantastic roof terrace overlooking the canal.

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

www.facebook.com/bhamliving july 2017

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MOTORING

DECISIONS, DECISIONS Sue Cooke finds the perfect antidote to a long and stressful day in the shape of Audi’s new self-sufficient Q5 eturning to the car park hot and tired from a long and stressful day, I thought if I have to make one more decision my head will burst. And I was definitely not looking forward to tackling rush-hour traffic… until I remembered I was driving the Audi Q5. This state-of-the-art SUV blissfully thinks for you and makes most of the driving decisions. A step towards autonomous driving I guess. Admittedly at first I found the numerous switches and buttons and array of information a

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FACTS AT A GLANCE: Model: Audi Q5 S line S tronic Price: £45,210 otr Engine: 2.0-litre TDi Quattro 190PS Performance: 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 135mph CO2 emissions: 133g/km Combined fuel consumption: 55.4mpg

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little overwhelming but I soon realised that everything is very logically laid out. Engage reverse and the system will turn down the radio while you negotiate a parking space. On a motorway, Audi side assist warns of hazards when changing lanes flashing a light on the wing mirror and adaptive cruise control will maintain a constant distance from the vehicle in front. SPEAK TO ME Keyless access is so useful when your arms are fully loaded as is the automatic opening and closing tailgate. At night, adaptive headlights automatically switch between high and low beam as other cars approach. I found it reassuring as I sloshed through flooded roads this week that the SUV helped by quattro permanent all-wheel-drive, will ford through 50cms of water. And on long lonely journeys the Q5 will raise its voice to speak to you using the intelligent speech

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MOTORING

control system. In fact while driving this Audi I felt totally cosseted and cared for. The seats are comfortable and wonderfully heated and the dials on the dash emanate a warm red glow. The perceptively large Q5 is easy to park and in fact I got a thumbs-up from a taxi driver who watched me reverse into a very tight parking space at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Well, I was very ably supported by rear sensors and a large full colour screen showing the rear view! The variable fiveseater is smaller than the Q7 SUV but larger than the Audi estate car. It’s an ideal size for those wanting the space and off-roading capabilities but with sports saloon performance. The 2.0-litre diesel engine has instant power for safe overtaking, reaching 62mph in 7.9 seconds. Yet it’s just as happy to trundle along very quietly in a traffic queue. My road test car used the seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox but there is also a six speed manual gearbox.

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With the impact of the diesel crisis, Audi says it is rejuvenating its model portfolio enormously and will expand its successful Q family by 2019 with two new concepts – the Q8 and the Q4. It will also gradually ‘electrify’ models in each of its core series and by 2025 intends to achieve a proportion of one-third fully or partially electric models in its unit sales. So there is the promise of exciting new cars for Audi customers, almost as exciting as an Audi road test! I have returned from every journey I have taken in the Q5 this week as refreshed as when I set out. And on my return home I’ve even been able to decide for myself what to eat for my evening meal!! I

SHOWROOM: Birmingham Audi, 780 Stratford Road, Shirley, B90 4BQ. Tel: 0121 7465500 www.listers.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

JOSHUA WILLIAMS The Castle Bromwich teenager tells us how he fought his way out of a homeless hostel, became Mr Birmingham, launched a fashion show and won a Bank of England scholarship – and he’s still only 19! his is issue number 58, so we’ve interviewed our fair share of impressive youngsters for this feature and yet we were bowled over by Joshua Williams more than any other. And it’s not that he has a skill that you can put your finger on like a concert pianist or international sportsperson. He is thoroughly charming, self-deprecating, determined and a grafter which has resulted in a life that defies his homeless status just three years ago. For instance, the Bank of England has awarded Joshua one of only three scholarships in the country after a rigorous selection process throughout which he knew he was on the back foot

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academically and needed to be genuine and memorable. He’s now studying politics and international relations at the University of Birmingham and will go straight into a £30,000-ayear internship at the Bank on graduation. His is a fascinating story and aged 19 it’s only the start. Not blessed with the best beginnings in life Joshua was placed in a homeless hostel aged 16 when his mother’s relationship fell apart. He could have joined the rest of the cohort in the hostel drinking and smoking but he was determined to change his situation and make something of himself. Joshua recalled: “I kept myself to myself. Seeing people getting drunk and smoking weed just made me feel

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

BANK JOB: Joshua, left, receives his Bank of England scholarship

sad and I knew I wanted to strive for a better life. I didn’t want to accept the minimum.” He left the hostel, moved into supported living and started modelling after being scouted in London. When he was approached by someone at a fashion show who suggested he entered the Mr Birmingham competition, he wasn’t keen. “I just thought that’s not for me. It’s just not happening, but then I considered the opportunities it might throw up and I agreed.” Joshua insists the competition wasn’t just about looks and if it was he wouldn’t have won thanks to his ‘jiggly belly’. The competition is less pageant-like and ‘in your face’ than the female equivalent but nonetheless pretty daunting. Joshua said: “After I won, I got through to Mr England at the Ricoh Arena and I thought holy crap what have I done!” Although he wasn’t crowned Mr England – he came third – the regional title has opened doors and enabled Joshua

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to do a lot of campaigning for local charities. It’s also boosted his self-esteem beyond recognition. Having suffered with mental health issues throughout his early teens, Joshua said: “It’s really helped. I couldn’t speak to people properly before or make eye contact.” More than a pretty face, Joshua launched the Elite Fashion Show aimed at boosting Birmingham’s fashion scene. “Birmingham is often unfairly overlooked, so I wanted to celebrate the city and what it has to offer,” he explained. The focus is on local talent but there’s an international flavour too with designers from around the globe getting involved. The event is not for profit and supports local charities – this year it’s LoveBrum. It was important for Joshua to keep ticket prices down too. “It’s so unfair that events aimed at teenagers like the Clothes Show are so expensive to attend. I wanted Elite to be accessible.” Higher education was next n Joshua’s wish list and without the funds or support it takes just to get to university, he began researching scholarship schemes. He applied for a few and was knocked back, but progressed the Bank of England scheme’s application process successfully. “ I went through the interview process just being myself. I knew I wasn’t the brightest of the applicants and I don’t have the greatest set of exam results, so I had to impress in other ways and thankfully they liked me and saw potential.” The other two students awarded scholarships were straight A* pupils. After a whirlwind few years we wonder what’s next for Mr Birmingham? “I’ve only ever wanted stability. I’m not into riches and fame. I just want to be safe and happy,” he said. I

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GROWING PLACES

ICONIC CHAIR GIVEN MAKEOVER A textile student has had his design brought to life thanks to a partnership between Birmingham City University and IKEA. The university approached the Swedish furniture giant earlier this year as part of its annual Trends Project. IKEA donated a classic Poäng chair for textile design students to create an original cover. Final year student Nader Nazari’s design has been used to decorate the iconic chair and is proudly on display in IKEA’s Birmingham Central store. IKEA manager Dawn Lloyd said: “We are incredibly humbled by the level of workmanship he has displayed in this project.”

SCHOOL REPOR T

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

STRINGS OF SUCCESS Violinist and Moreton sixth form student Elizabeth Walsh took to the stage with talented musicians and professional performers from across the country in the acclaimed Hallé Youth Orchestra. After 12 weeks of intensive rehearsals, the orchestra played to packed audiences at two performances at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. Elizabeth said: “I’m learning a great deal and relishing the opportunity to play with some fantastic musicians and looking forward to the tour in the summer.”

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DRAWING WITH DINOSAURS Pupils from King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edgbaston, took part in a sketching project at Lapworth Museum of Geology at Birmingham University during judging for the Art Fund Museum of the Year award. Lapworth is one of five venues shortlisted for the £100,000 prize. During the judging Turner Prize-winning sculptor Richard Deacon praised a sketch of an Allosaurus drawn by KEHS student Priya Gurtha, pictured. The winner of the Museum of the Year award will be announced this month.

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GROW YOUR OWN FIVE A DAY Green-fingered pupils from across the city enjoyed growing their own ‘meal in a barrow’ to coincide with the BBC Gardeners’ World Live show. Fifty primary schools, including pupils from Bournville Junior School pictured, cultivated their own produce for the event as part of the Health for Life scheme – a community partnership programme funded by Mondeléz International. The school recently had a raised bed garden installed on site by volunteers from Mondeléz. More horticultural activities are planned in the near future.

CHAMP GRACE EN GARDE

SPECIAL SELFIE: Jonny with the Grace students

JONNY’S MASTERCLASS Lucky Grace Academy Solihull students enjoyed a day of training with England World Cup rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson after winning a prize draw organised by Sky Sports Living for Sport. The 22 excited pupils also met South African international Thinius Delport and England Ladies full-back Danielle Waterman. Grace Academy PE teacher Jake Upton said: “Jonny, Thinius and Danielle were excellent with the students who were blown away by the whole experience.”

Fencer Grace Warren triumphed in the Hereford & Worcester County Championships in Redditch, winning the U12 girls’ Epee event. The Bromsgrove School pupil was crowned regional champion at the West Midlands Epee qualifiers held at Packwood Haugh and will now compete at the British Youth Championships in Sheffield. Grace has been fencing since Year 5 when she joined the after-school club. She only fences once a week, much less than her rivals in the championships.

ENTERPRISING EFFORT Budding entrepreneurs from three sixth forms across Birmingham have raised more than £3,000 for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice in a Dragons’ Den style initiative. Over the past six months pupils from Kings Norton Girls’ School & Sixth Form, the Priory School and Kings Norton Boys’ School competed against each other in the hospice’s charity Business Enterprise Challenge. They pitched their ideas to representatives from Carillion, J W Hinks and DAC Beachcroft – with Team Ambition from Kings Norton Girls’ crowned winners.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITH… ROGER OUTWIN-FLINDERS The headmaster of Hallfield School, Edgbaston recalls challenges of the past – including snapping his Achilles twice – five happy years in Brum and his exciting, forthcoming ‘escape to the country’ BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I was born in Suffolk – I’m a lifelong Norwich City (Canaries) fan! I studied Physical Education, Maths and Geography at St. Paul’s College, Cheltenham and I have taught in a range of independent day and boarding schools in London, the south coast, and the Midlands. I wanted to teach to ‘make a difference’ to children’s lives and I have particularly enjoyed developing the ‘hidden curriculum’, organising out of school activities, holiday clubs and trips. These all provide valuable experiences for children, increasing their confidence and helping them to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally. IT’S WHAT I DO I have just completed my fifth year as headmaster of Hallfield School – and my twenty-fourth year in total as a headmaster. In September, I will be starting my fourth headship, at Brooke Priory School in Oakham, Rutland, where my family and I are very excited to be ‘escaping to the country!’ WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE I still enjoy my role as a headmaster and at Brooke Priory I will be focusing on driving teaching and learning forward and increasing pupil numbers – which I have successfully achieved in my previous three headships. The move to Oakham will also mean that we will be closer to family. BIGGEST SUCCESSES At 33, I was one of the youngest headmasters in the country when I was appointed to Wycliffe College Junior School in 1993. After eight years it had been transformed from a failing school with 219 pupils to a highly successful school with 406 pupils. In 2006, while I was headmaster of Fairfield Preparatory School in Loughborough, during an

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NEW CHALLENGE: Roger and his wife Tania

ISI Inspection, the school achieved ‘outstanding in all aspects’ with no areas for improvement – an extremely rare achievement. At Hallfield, Year 6 children have achieved an astonishing total of 164 scholarships in the last five years and, this year, 83 per cent of children have gained entry to select entry local authority grammar schools. On a personal note, I cycled Land’s End to John o’ Groats followed by Coast to Coast in 2002 – two years after rupturing my Achilles tendon (twice!). BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED I firmly believe that honesty, hard work and integrity are the most valuable qualities in a person. However, I have discovered that not all people in authority share the same high moral compass and values. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM As a family, we have enjoyed the rich culture and diversity of this vibrant city and the warmth and friendliness of the Birmingham people. Tania and I look forward to returning to visit for our favourite Birmingham Balti! DOWNTIME As a workaholic, I am looking forward to reducing my current 18-hour working days to normal hours! It will be fantastic to have time to enjoy the stunning Rutland countryside and way of life, with my wife and family. FINALLY It has been a pleasure working in partnership with my wife at Hallfield School; she has transformed marketing and communications at the school beyond recognition and she has fully supported my role and the accompanying long hours! She deserves a huge thank you. I

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KICKING THE KILLER HEELS Shaherazad Umbreen has the answer to every woman’s prayers – fashion heels that can be worn for up to 18 hours in total comfort. And it’s all thanks to flamingos!

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BUSINESS

he answer to some of life’s trickiest problems can be found by simply looking at nature. Take footwear for instance. Drop-dead gorgeous six-inch Christian Louboutins are all well and good until you’ve been hobbling around in them for hours on end. But as all fashionconscious women know, it’s impossible to find a pair of killer heels that don’t, well, kill – especially if you have to wear them for 10 or 12 hours at a stretch at work. So what’s the answer? Welcome Shaherazad Umbreen and the flamingo! The Birmingham shoe designer has created the only pair of heels which can guarantee 18 hours of pain-free wear, while looking good enough to keep even the most finicky fashionistas happy. And her creation which has taken the shoe world by storm, and won celebrity endorsements too boot, is all down to spending months researching and analysing how flamingos stand and balance comfortably on one incredibly long and very fragile-looking leg.

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Naomi Campbell. Shoe sales are not just going well here in the UK, but also rocketing in the US and in Far East markets. Shaherazad admits that it took courage to follow her dream. “I’d had the idea for some time that it was possible to design and make shoes that women didn’t have to wobble about in. I just didn’t have the nerve at first to take the risk and go for it. Then when I reached 40, I thought, it’s now or never.” Shaherazad went to London College of Fashion each weekend for months to “learn the basics”. Then she spent the next two years looking at and breaking down and taking apart hundreds of different shoes designs, working through the mathematics and mechanics of how flamingos stand and finally developing her own product. “Quality as well as design were key and I found that the best quality is made right here in the UK,” said Shaherazad. And the best ‘shoellery’ is made here in Birmingham by specialist metal worker Barry Abbotts in the Jewellery Quarter. It’s Barry who brings Shaherazad’s added ‘bling’ creations to life!

MATHS IN ACTION “It’s all about mathematics really,” says Shaherazad. “I had a dream of empowering women by providing heels that not BLOCK BOOKING only looked good but were also good for their feet and When we interviewed Shaherazad she was in the midst of comfortable to wear. Many businesswomen are now working expanding her range to feature a new, equally comfortable, longer and longer hours and want to block heel. Typically, she says her 18 look good without suffering for it.” Hour Heels start at just under £200 a Shaherazad, who lives in Kings pair rising to around £250 with I had a dream of empowering Norton, originally came up with the ‘shoellery’. That’s very competitive for women by providing heels that not idea 10 years ago and after two years what are handcrafted shoes, and as of product design, the 18 Hour Heels only look good but are also good for Shaherazad explained: “So many – inspired by the flamingo – were their feet and comfortable to wear women have shoes they’ve bought for born. Shaherazad’s company, Shoes £400 or more and which never come by Shaherazad, now has an array of out of their boxes because they prove to styles of the unique designer heels which can take a woman be too uncomfortable to wear. Our shoes are not only made to from the boardroom to the bar, pain-free. “18 Hour Heels use be worn but they also look great too.” the science behind how a flamingo stands on one leg to There’s an extra, and very very important, part to provide the improved weight distribution, and so the perfect Shaherazad’s business philosophy. Every pair of heels bought balance,” says Shaherazad. As well as developing the direct from Shoes by Shaherazad’s website contributes to the revolutionary heels and shoe designs, Shaherazad also came Solidarity by Shaherazad programme helping to empower up with the idea for interchangeable ‘shoellery’ clips – which under-privileged girls and women around the world. are made exclusively in the Jewellery Quarter – which can “Someone who buys a pair of shoes can help provide three add extra ‘bling’ if that’s your thing. months’ education to these girls,” explained Shaherazad. In partnership with the Global Giving charity, Shaherazad and CELEBRITY FANS her business have already helped many women from Kenya Her shoes have already won celebrity fans including to Peru and Pakistan to Palestine. “We aim to provide women British model Alexa Chung and Coronation Street actress and girls living in poverty with the opportunities for Jane Danson as well as award-winning make-up artist educational and financial independence, making the world a Charlotte Tilbury who has worked with Kate Moss and happier place,” said Shaherazad. I

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From only ÂŁ25

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PURE SWITCH

BUSINESS

Birmingham-based branding agency Switch and business growth consultancy Pure have joined forces, to offer an integrated range of results-focused business and marketing services. Established in 1985, Switch provides high-end branding, design and digital communication services to UK and international clients. Pure offers business insight, strategic growth planning, product and service development and marketing communications strategy.

NEWS

TAKING OFF: Azzura’s Becky Nicholls, Julian van Gelder and Sandra Turner

RUGBY STARS ON THE BALL Business professionals from across the region raised £5,000 to support young people at a sports-themed dinner. Investment management firm Charles Stanley & Co welcomed 100 guests to the rugby dinner at Edgbaston Golf Club. Special guests included former England World Cup winner Neil Back and fellow exEngland and Leicester Tigers player George Chuter. The event raised funds for the Heart of England Community Foundation’s new Youth Social Action Programme.

GROUND FORCE A new ground handling company has started operations at Birmingham Airport. Azzurra Premiere Handling is already servicing two airlines at Birmingham – bmi regional and Brussels Airlines – and expects to see major growth along with its client airlines and the airport. The business was formed by a link-up between Premiere Handling of Manchester and Azzurra Handling at London Heathrow and provides a full range of services including check-in, baggage handling and aircraft cleaning.

ANITA’S DELICIOUS DECADE A leading Birmingham PR company is celebrating 10 years in business. Delicious PR, which specialises in the city’s food, drink and hospitality sector, is hosting a series of fun foodie events to mark its ‘Delicious Decade’. MD Anita Champaneri, pictured, said: “Having founded the company after a career in London, I am proud that it is really plugged into the dynamics of my adopted city.” The agency has been nominated for a Best In Media Award at the British Indian Awards.

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BUSINESS

PR APPOINTMENT Creative agency Rees Bradley Hepburn has appointed Rebecca Williams as PR director. Rebecca joins the Meriden-based agency after leaving her position as deputy managing director at Rewired PR, where she oversaw the delivery of national and regional campaigns in sectors including retail, leisure, education and community. Her new appointment sees her Employers and jobseekers are set to benefit after tasked with building on the full-service agency’s a leading jobs provider unveiled new offices. growing PR, social and content offering. Workforce Recruitment is creating 12 new jobs WELCOME: RBH’s Angel Gibbons, left, and Rebecca Williams with the opening of its centre at Highlands Road, Solihull – the company’s eighth location in the region. The 1,260 sq ft branch in Highlands House will help hundreds of local jobseekers Birmingham City University who are looking to fill a growing number of full has won a national award for and part-time vacancies in and around the area. its commitment to eliminate

JUST THE JOB!

GENDER AWARD FOR BCU gender bias and develop an inclusive culture that values all staff. The university received the Athena SWAN Bronze Award from the Equality Challenge Unit. To qualify for the award the university had to submit an evaluation of staff data, policies, practices and organisational structures. It also presented a four-year plan building on the challenges and opportunities these present.

VILLAGE PEOPLE A leading British interiors and lifestyle brand is to open a new store at Edgbaston Village this autumn. Neptune, which offers solid timber kitchen designs, furniture collections, lighting and interior decorations, will be located in a newly refurbished property next door to OKA at 16-18 Harborne Road. Tim Buxton, head of property at Neptune, said: “Calthorpe Estates’s sympathetic refurbishment of the Edwardian building makes it the perfect addition to our current portfolio.”

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ACTION MEN: Colmore BID’s Gary Cardin, Alan Bain and Tony Elvin

BUSINESS DISTRICT BOOST Birmingham’s Colmore BID has two new board members to help shape the future of the city’s Business District. Tony Elvin, general manager of Hotel du Vin & Bistro, and Alan Bain, business director for SYSTRA transportation consultancy, have joined the BID board to lead the Outstanding Places group and Safe and Sound Working group respectively. Tony said: “We aim to work with local businesses and have a serious impact on the fabric of our surroundings.”

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BUSINESS

ICING ON THE CAKE Two new routes from Birmingham Airport to Gothenburg and Nuremberg have been launched by bmi regional. The routes which operate six times a week were welcomed to their new hub at the airport by a water arch, while the first passengers enjoyed a slice of celebratory cake. Jochen Schnadt, the airline’s CEO, said: “We’re excited to be bringing the bmi regional level of quality, convenience, service and professionalism to these new routes.” SWEET TREAT: Airport CEO Paul Kehoe, right, and Jochen Schnadt

DIGITAL GRAFFITI Digital marketing postgraduate students from Birmingham City University have launched a new online campaign to showcase themselves as leaders of the next generation of advertisers and marketers. Collectively known as Digital Graffiti, the 14 students from BCU’s Future Media Masters programme are using the campaign to highlight the talents of the group as well as the skillsets and aptitudes of each individual. The students represent a broad range of nationalities, including China, Germany, India, Thailand and the UK.

LAW FIRM STRENGTHENS TEAM Midlands award-winning law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP has appointed Suzanna Patalong and Robert Haggis to its Corporate and Commercial Team. Suzanna specialises in commercial law and Robert is a barrister with experience in corporate and commercial law including supply and distribution agreements, business acquisitions and software licensing. Suzanna joined Sydney Mitchell LLP from Else Solicitors LLP, while Robert previously worked for LGP Solicitors.

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HERE COME THE BRIDES A top bridal retailer has said ‘I do’ to the Mailbox. The Wedding Club, which is home to some of the most exclusive British and international designers for fashion conscious and stylish brides, will join other leading brands at the Mailbox later this year. The business was established in 2011 by Birmingham-born directors Clare Thompson and Emma Clarke, who now run stores in Birmingham, London Knightsbridge and South Kensington.

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PR agency celebrates 10 years in style with friends old and new lients old and new, press and friends came out in force to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Delicious PR. The Birmingham agency, which specialises in the food, drink and hospitality sector, hosted a party at Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Bar. Guests enjoyed fizz, canapÊs and cake on the brand new Moet & Chandon terrace, as well as Edgbaston Boutique’s special bespoke cocktail for the occasion, called Deliciously Golden. I

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1 Anita Champaneri. 2 Alok Mathur, Jason McKenzie. 3 Ann Doyle, Bharat Champaneri, Stacey Church. 4 Tony and Lucy Elvin. 5 Jayne O'Malley, Robert Hallmark. 6 Alev Dervish, Anita Champaneri, Simon Carlo. 7 Dave Roberts, Siran Bansal, Jonathan Wilcox. 8 Conrad Brunton, Emma Yufera Ruiz, Rai Singh. 9 Ann Doyle, Stacey Church, Anita Champaneri, Satnam Rana. Photography by Jas Sansi

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WINE TASTERS ENJOY FIRST GLASS TRAVEL Business professionals toast world’s finest at EDGE event specially invited group of business professionals enjoyed networking and fine wines at a tasting event hosted by EDGE Creative at Hotel du Vin, Church Street. Guests were invited to ‘travel the globe in a glass’ by trying an array of different wines from around the world at the event which was sponsored by Investec Wealth & Investment. I

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1 Chrils Iles, Lesley Wilde, Andy Garner, Jayne O'Malley. 2 Raimund Berens, Mark Panayides, Iain Hall, Bret Jackson. 3 Steve Evans, Bill Goode, Morgan Rees, Liam Owen, David Graham. 4 Lloyd Ansermoz, Zuzana Kunertova. 5 Terry Michael, Nick Jones. 6 Louise Panayides, Tony Elvin, Andrew Kay. 7 Tony Elvin, Terry Michael, Emma Watt Rogers, Miriam Gunn. 8 Matthew Beck, Simon Kallu. Photography by DT Studios

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irmingham’s new Gaucho restaurant announced its arrival in the city with a reception for nearly 100 business and media guests. They were given insight into the history of the Argentine steak specialist and the preparation and cooking of steak and recommended wine pairings. Gaucho then showcased what it does best as guests enjoyed a specially curated Divine Bovine menu, complete with wines. The Colmore Row eatery is Gaucho’s first UK opening in seven years. I

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1 Phil Innes, Lucy Elvin, Omar Budeiri, Matt Roden, Michele Wilby, PJ Ellis. 2 Paul Reece, Abby Corfan, Neil Harris. 3 Jonathan Trott, Abi Dollery, Donna Alos, James McLaughlin. 4 Chef Jamie Robertson. 5 Gemma Hill, Ed James. 6 Elliot Daly, Matt Ford, Peter Ebbutt, Michelle Cussell. 7 Ruth Pipkin, David Pardoe, Natalie Merrix. 8 Richard McComb, Marc Reeves, Paul Fulford. 9 Katie and Paul Kershaw, Nicola Fleetmilne. Photography by Jas Sansi

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HENRY WONG GIVES QE CHARITY BOOST Thousands raised for centre for injured military and their families arborne Cantonese restaurant Henry Wong welcomed more than 80 guests for an evening of wine and cocktail tasting in support of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charity’s Fisher House for injured military personnel and their famlies. The event raised more than £6,000, bringing the total raised to over £20,000 since Henry Wong started supporting the charity last year. Diners enjoyed a selection of the restaurant’s finest cuisine with each course being partnered with a wine selected by Waistcoat Wines or a cocktail designed by Crown Cellars. I

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1 Martell Jordan, Julie Wilkes, Lynn Warren, Jon Kille. 2 Adam Andrew Hayes, Rosie and Peter Mayer. 3 Mike Hammond, Gregg Sadler, Dave Watson, Rebecca Williams, James Wormleighton, Parm Rai. 4 Clare and Mark Cuff. 5 Louise Berktay, Sian Averill. 6 Ania Kukulska, Simon Dulku. 7 Charlotte and Katie Yorke. 8 Germaine Bretel, Jemma Cliffe and Caroline Davis. 8 Caroline Chell, Natalie Pejovic.

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Experts reveal summer’s hottest new looks at Seasonal Style Event ashion and beauty experts offered a great line-up of summer must-haves when the annual Seasonal Style Event returned to Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This year’s event was sponsored by Dallas Burston Polo Club with support from John Lewis and raised nearly £4,000 for the Botanical Gardens charity. I

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1 Libby Hubbard, Marie Purcell, Beth Goodrham, Natalie Singh, Emma Wilkinson. 2 Rhoda Fraser, Natasha Walkden. 3 Anna Albini, Alison Willis, Karyl Iles. 4 Lesley Cooper, Kim Hill. 5 Jessica Scott-Hake, Sally Walder. 6 Philippa Pickavance, Shelley Carter, Karyl Iles. 7 Joanne Williams, Sophia Spark, Olivia Cunningham, Maisie Robinson, Lucy Cox. 8 Karina Connolly, Deborah Colder, Hellen Reilly, Jo Jones. 9 Suzie Matthews, Jilly Cosgrove, Emma Larkin, Jessica Carlyle.

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BARGAINS GALORE AT FIRST FASHION SHOW Big brands with big savings attract shoppers to John Taylor fund-raiser ore than 100 shoppers attended John Taylor Hospice’s first-ever fashion show held at St Barnabas Church Centre, Erdington. The Colours show featured huge savings on high street brands such as Next, Marks and Spencer, New Look and River Island. As well as a catwalk show, the fundraising event included stalls, a raffle, refreshments and lots of shopping opportunities to bag stylish bargains. I

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1 Alan Gilchrist, Sue Parker, Lottie Barnes, Helena Venables. 2 Rita Guiness, Jennifer Distin, Mandy Guiness. 3 Sarah James, Stacy Hagans, Rebecca Franklin, Katie Roberts, Helen Kraska. 4 Danielle and Hillary Williams-Minto. 5 Gwen Stead, Gwen Schneider. 6 Kate and Becky Ellis. 7 Lou Tipson, Wendy Clewley. 8 Emma Hagan, Christina Ghobrial, Debbie Loo. 8 Linda Philpotts, Christine Grew, Jean Hulston.

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VIPs enjoy launch party at exclusive bar and gallery in Jewellery Quarter uests including Birmingham City Football Club owner Panos Pavlakis and Midlands’ soccer legend Cyrille Regis attended the launch party of Liana Luxury Travel at Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery in the Jewellery Quarter. Liana MD, Harinder Rai, said: “It was a special evening that reflected our philosophy of a bespoke and exciting new concept in luxury travel.” A prize draw to win a spa pool suite break on Ko Racha Yai, Thailand’s premier deluxe island hideaway, was won by Dmitri Dewar and Amber Scott. I

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1 Harinder Rai, Julia and Cyrille Regis, Panos Pavlakis. 2 Paul Molyneux, Dominic Carrick, Graham Brooks. 3 Ben Williams, Charlotte Rolinson. 4 Amber Scott, Dmitri Dewar. 5 Richard Bradshaw, Eda Iannone. 6 Aman Jheimga, Krishan Patel, James Forrester. 7 Bart Dalton, Paul Somers, Richard Fallon. 8 Krishna Thakra, Gora Uppal, Mandana Rhodes. Photography by Jonathan Hipkiss

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MANY HAPPY RETURNS FOR BEST-LOVED BAR Primitivo celebrates re-opening with friends – and a new-look interior! ne of Birmingham’s best-loved bars reopened its doors with a celebration after a 21-month hiatus. Primitivo Bar & Eatery – forced to close as part of the Grand Hotel redevelopment works – unveiled a new interior, while still offering continental-style dining and a relaxed atmosphere. Owner Prit Sagoo said: “While we’ve had a full renovation, I was determined to return as the Primitivo that Birmingham knows and loves. I have been overwhelmed by the support shown by our regular customers, suppliers and staff.” I

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1 Alexandra Fitzpatrick, Richard Lawrence, Rachael Clarke. 2 Alex Tross, Charlotte Fullard, Richard Durkin. 3 Dr Joshi, Michelle Stuteley, Prit Sagoo, Anita Joshi, Marion Joshi. 4 Andy Skinner, Graeme Brown, Stacey Barnfield. 5 John Bird, Adam Ramshaw, Louise Lokucewicz. 6 Ian Graves, Liz Whitfield, Andy Lawton-Smith. 7 Kerry Jones, Natalie Brand, Oona MacDonald. 8 Stuart Franks, Elaine Shoesmith, John Lowe.

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ing ON il vWHAT’S

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WHAT: Derren Brown – Underground WHEN: 24 to 26 July WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham See everyone’s favourite illusionist perform some of his favourite work on stage. This is a proper spellbinding experience of showmanship and magical genius. Not suitable for under 12 years.

WHAT: JQ Festival WHEN: 28 to 30 July WHERE: Various locations in Jewellery Quarter, www.jewelleryquarter.net Last year’s event attracted 18,000 visits, making it one of the biggest in Birmingham’s festival calendar. This year’s JQ Festival promises a host of entertainment, live music and performers, heritage tours and street food vendors. This awesome event has it all.

WHAT: Keith Emerson A Musical Celebration of Life WHEN: 28 July WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk This tribute concert will feature music by the keyboard virtuoso, played by the people who featured in his life, including Rick Wakeman and Thierry Eliez. A musical night to savour.

WHAT: Summer holidays at the British Motor Museum WHEN: 22 July to 3 September WHERE: British Motor Museum, tel 01926 641188 www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk

WHAT: Sheela Gowda WHEN: Now until 3 September WHERE: Ikon Gallery, tel 0121 248 0708 www.ikon-gallery.org An exhibition celebrating the new works of the celebrated Indian artist. After studying at the Royal College of Art under the eminent British figurative artist Peter de Francia, Sheela’s practice has subsequently developed to include installations in more abstracted configurations.

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

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Birmingham Cocktail Weekend WHEN: 14 to 16 July WHERE: Various venues, www.birminghamcocktailweekend.co.uk 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 just £4. There’s also free tastings, master-classes and events throughout the weekend.

WHAT: Justin Moorhouse

WHAT: Seth Lakeman and Wildwood Kin

WHEN: 8 July

WHEN: 23 July

WHERE: The Old Rep Theatre, tel 0121 359 9444

WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel 01789 403493

www.oldreptheatre.co.uk

www.rsc.org.uk

The cheeky Northern chappy has been described as a ‘comedic tour de force that will charm your pants off’. Fresh from Live at the Apollo, TV credits also include Phoenix Nights, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Shameless.

One the UK’s most renowned folk singer-song writers performs a oneoff gig as part of the Company’s Live at the RSC strand. Seth’s dynamic writing and playing will blend beautifully with the seamless harmony vocals of the emerging young female trio.

WHAT: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time WHEN: 4 to 8 July WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, WHAT: Circus Day: Taking Flight WHEN: 30 July WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk A family-friendly piece of aerial theatre created particularly for visually impaired audiences by RoguePlay. Accompanied by fully accessible aerial and ground based circus workshops for all ages, again aimed at visually impaired and disabled audiences.

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tel 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com The winner of seven Olivier and five Tony awards brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to thrilling life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony award-winning director Marianne Elliott.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: 1940s Weekend WHEN: 15 and 16 July WHERE: Black Country Living Museum, www.bclm.co.uk For an entire weekend, the museum will be transformed, recreating an electric wartime atmosphere of vintage entertainment, food and fashion!

WHAT: Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair WHAT: Lichfield Festival 2017 WHEN: 7 to 15 July WHERE: Various locations, tel 01543 412 121 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.

WHEN: 20 to 23 July WHERE: NEC, www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk 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: Mamma Mia Party with Sensation

WHAT: Be Festival

WHEN: 8 July

WHEN: 4 to 8 July

WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174

WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel 0121 245 2024

www.nailcotehall.co.uk

www.birmingham-rep.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.

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.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Céline Dion WHEN: 27 July

WHAT: The Wiggles

WHERE: Barclaycard Arena,

WHEN: 2 and 3 August

tel 0844 338 8000

WHERE: Town Hall,

www.theticketfactory.com

box office 0121 345 0600

The legendary music icon returns to the UK for the first time in more than eight years. Featuring an array of smash hits from her incredible 30-year career in music which has produced over 250 million album sales plus countless accolades, including five Grammy awards.

www.thsh.co.uk Don’t miss the opportunity to catch The Wiggles as they come to Town Hall for the first time. Hot Potato, Rock-a-Bye your Bear, Do the Propeller… the list of catchy tunes is endless! A must for all family fans.

WHAT: Octo-Glow Explorers event WHEN: 25 July to 13 August WHERE: National Sea Life Centre, WHAT: An Audience with Frank Bruno

www.visitsealife.com/birmingham

WHEN: 7 July WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel 01527 65203 www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk The former heavyweight world champion boxer talks openly about his career, his mental health battles, and his life as the ‘People’s Champion’. A fascinating journey that should make for a compelling evening. Compered by comedian Jed Fry.

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

WHAT: Fearsome Craftsmen: Discover the Artistry of the Viking World WHEN: 1 July until 24 September WHERE: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, tel 02476 237521 www.theherbert.org Step back in time and discover the 1,000-year-old human innovations that built a vast empire and a flood of intercontinental migration spanning northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the coasts of Africa and even America at this brilliant free touring exhibition from Jorvik Viking Centre.

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IN THE CITY Birmingham has so much to offer in terms of culture and it’s a fabulous hub for dance. I’m also a bit of a foodie, so with six Michelin-star restaurants this is the place to be!

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I am Robert Parker, former principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet and since 2012 the artistic director of Elmhurst Ballet School. Elmhurst is a world-class centre of excellence for the training and education of classical ballet dancers where graduating students are prepared to secure contracts with national and international professional ballet companies. The high standard of dance training is combined with a strong academic education and a caring environment. I oversee the school’s artistic output, including implementing the dance curriculum and organising performance opportunities. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? The school, in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, is in Edgbaston next door to the Priory Hospital and a stone’s throw away from the famous cricket ground. It’s an easy commute by car along the Bristol Road as I live the other side of the city centre in the vibrant Jewellery Quarter.

POWERWALKING? Despite what my knees might say now, I am a keen runner and recently completed the London Marathon for the first time. I spent many hours training along the picturesque network of canals around Birmingham, taking in the air and occasional sunshine. Pure escapism!

Elmhurst Ballet School’s Robert Parker

HOW’S THE COMMUTE? I go against the rush-hour traffic which is a bonus! I start work very early and leave Elmhurst after the evening rush, so traffic is never a problem.

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? Birmingham has so much to offer in terms of culture and it’s a fabulous hub for dance. It is also ideal in terms of its location, which is appreciated by the parents of our students who travel from all corners of the UK and beyond. COFFEE BREAK? There are so many convenient places for an offsite meeting or an ‘away day’. The perfectly located mac birmingham, the White Swan in Edgbaston and most recently the fabulous Beckett’s Farm Shop on the Alcester Road – all are among my personal favourites. I highly recommend the pork bap with gravy and apple sauce at Beckett’s!

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LUNCHTIME? Elmhurst’s bistro has such good food I don’t really need to go anywhere. If I do leave the building it depends on who I am entertaining. For a trendy vibe it has to be Urban Coffee on Warstone Lane in the Jewellery Quarter. However, my heart belongs to Home is Where on Church Street, again in the JQ, where I regularly take my nineyear-old daughter for breakfast on a weekend. Try the porridge with honey and banana!

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? It has to be the Jewellery Quarter with its bars, restaurants and historical atmosphere. A very cool and relaxing place to live.

AFTERWORK PINT? The Pig and Tail on Albion Street in the JQ. Mediterranean tapas washed down with a nice cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Or if I’m with the lads, a beer with a mystical name such as Hobgoblin Abbey! HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? Birmingham has so much to offer I wouldn’t change anything except the weather! From when I moved to the city in 1994 as a dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet, the city is now almost unrecognisable. As you may have guessed I’m a bit of a foodie, so with six Michelin star restaurants to boast about I think Birmingham is the place to be. I Founded in 1923, Elmhurst Ballet School is the oldest vocational dance school in the UK and the only purpose-built vocational dance school in Europe. www.elmhurstdance.co.uk

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July issue (issue 58)  
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