Birmingham Living June 2022 (issue 113)

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June 2022

MATCH POINT!

RADUCANU COMES TO TOWN

SURF'S UP! SUPER SWIMWEAR

SUMMER LOVIN’ LET’S GO AL-FRESCO

THE SPECIALS LOCKDOWN LAUNCH GYPSY BREW

XHOSA COLE SAX IN THE CITY & ALL THAT JAZZ


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EDITOR’S VIEW

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tried looking up the other day how many times the Queen has visited Birmingham and the West Midlands. Google is normally a wonderful tool for finding out all kinds of stuff but it wasn’t much help this time around. All I can say with confidence is that Her Majesty has been to the city and region many times since she came to the throne 70 years ago. She will have seen Brum morph from industrial heartbeat of the country through to the multi-cultural, multi-talented city it has become today. Later this summer we will get the chance to show off Birmingham in all its glory when the Commonwealth Games – an event especially close to the monarch’s heart – comes to town and is beamed around the world. First, though, this month sees the nation celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a host of special events from the respectful to the weird, as well as countless street parties and festivals, and a much-appreciated two-day bank holiday – thank you Ma’am! There’s loads going on to mark the occasion in Brum, as my inbox filled with all kinds of press releases about all kinds of celebrations testifies. One of the more unusual ‘news’ items popped up from Subway, who have made a seven-metre long sub – one metre for every decade of the Queen’s reign. Ingredients include 256 slices of cheese, 250 chunks of chicken, 128 slices of ham, 96 slices each of pepperoni and salami, 64 slices of turkey, plus various veg and pickles. Enough to feed 30 people apparently! We’d love to hear about your own special jubilee celebrations – so just drop me a note and we’ll see if we can do a round-up of the best.

s n h o J d Davi

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

Cover image:

/bhamliving

FINALIST

Xhosa Cole

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

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

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

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

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g n i liv

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INSIDE

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Highlights

Xhosa Cole

The leading young jazz saxophonist talks music and what Brum needs

The Specials We caught up with the Two Tone legends ahead of Moseley Park gig

Food & Drink Manish Patel, head chef at Indus, Park Regis, news, reviews and al fresco wine

Health Anyone for tennis? It’s the perfect time to grab a racquet and have fun

Style Holidays are coming and we’re hunting out some super sharp beachwear…

Homes Furniture, lights, action! All you need to make eating outdoors magical

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

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From the Potting Bench

Top tips and tricks from Adam Kirtland to make summer blooming spectacular

Motoring On the road in some seriously Swedish cool with the all-electric Polestar 2 Young, Gifted & Brummie How a trip to the snowdome, aged three, led to Olympic dream for skier Scott Johns

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

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

Up Close Leyla Ogan, head of racquets at Edgbaston Priory Club and She Rallies ambassador

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NEWS

BLOOMING BRILLIANT

Thousands of wooden tulips sprung up in Centenary Square to thank Brummies for supporting charitable causes. For the fourth year running, Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards is giving away more than £1million to charities nominated by the public. To

NEWS

mark the occasion, 1,500 bunches of flowers appeared in a special garden of gratitude. Each of the tulips was individually hand-made in the UK and feature hand-written thank you notes.

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

ON YOUR MARKS!

If you love spectacular dance, you’re in for a real treat this month. Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham 2022 Festival have announced that Interlinked, a new piece of choreographic work by Brazilian choreographer Juliano Nunes, will make its world premiere as part of the On Your Marks! summer triple bill being performed at Birmingham Hippodrome in Birmingham International Dance Festival. The piece for 16 dancers explores themes around gender identity and the perception of self.

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BILLY’S IN TOWN Award-winning R&B singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is joining the line-up at this year’s Solihull Summer Festival. The star whose hits include Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run), When The Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going and Love Really Hurts Without You will feature on Sunday 24 July together with Belinda Carlisle, Kool & The Gang, Bad Manners, The Real Thing and Dr & The Medics. The billing on Saturday 23 July includes Sister Sledge, Shalamar and Lemar. Details at www.solihullsummerfest.co.uk

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NEWS

CHEERS TO THE QUEEN! Shakespeare Distillery has launched a new tipple to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The team at the independent artisan spirit producer in Stratford-upon-Avon have crafted the new dry Jubilee Gin – which is royal blue in colour. The gin combines Butterfly Pea Flowers, Hibiscus, Lemon Verbena, and Thyme with the more traditional gin botanicals of Juniper, Coriander Seed, Orris Root, Lemon Peel and Cubeb. The distillery has also launched another ‘special’ – Limoncello which brings a touch of the Mediterranean to Stratford.

GREAT EFFORT Picture by Simon Hadley

ABBA-SOLUTELY DELICIOUS! There was no need for an SOS when MAMMA MIA! cast members Corey Mitchell, Natasha O’Brien and Kaine Ruddach paid a visit to Southside’s Mythos Greek Taverna. The trio who were performing at Birmingham Hippodrome as part of a UK Tour celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary, visited the restaurant to learn how to make Greek dishes, including dolmades, tzatziki and a traditional Greek salad. The musical is set on the fictional Greek Island of Kalokairi.

Birmingham’s summer of sport kicked off in style as thousands of runners and charity fund-raisers took part in the Great Birmingham Run. Runners were welcomed to the start-line with live music at the Heart FM DJ truck, and an inspirational set-list from DJs Gemma Hill and Ed James to help motivate them for the challenge ahead. Lord mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Muhammad Afzal, and leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, set off each wave with air horns and high-fives.

BEARS HAVE A BLAST Birmingham Bears cricket team made an espresso delivery ahead of the new Vitality Blast T20 season with a free-ofcharge coffee van tour across the Midlands. The tour celebrated Birmingham Bears new kit launch, which has been sustainably produced from recycled coffee beans – the first of its kind in cricket. Leading the tour was Bears captain Carlos Brathwaite, pictured. The Bears matches include one date not to be missed – the local derby with rivals Worcestershire Rapids on Friday 24 June.

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NEWS

FESTIVAL OF DANCE The largest dance festival in the UK is back! Birmingham International Dance Festival runs from 17 June to 3 July and will see dance performances from around the world in the city’s theatres and a take-over of Birmingham’s public spaces with three, free outdoor weekends. Raidene Carter, executive producer of Birmingham Festival 2022, said: “The dance festival will bring every conceivable place and space to life – and with nine world premieres, it rivals any dance festival in the world.” More details at: www.bidf.co.uk

SAM SWEEPS FILM AWARDS Following a crowdfunding campaign to bring to life his latest film, Sam Turner, a Kidderminster-based writer and director has won eight film awards across three amateur UK film festivals. Point Five, a light-hearted short film that tackles real-life social issues won Best Comedy, Best Story, the Diamond Award and the 5 Stars Award at the British International Amateur Film Festival. It also struck gold as the Best Comedy at the Kings Cross Film Awards and Best Comedy, Best Director and Best Short Film at the Falcon International Film Festival.

LIFESAVERS HONOURED

MEDAL WINNERS Take a look at what the best athletes are hoping to win at this summer’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The gold, silver and bronze medals are the work of students Amber Alys, Francesca Wilcox and Catarina Rodrigues Caeiro from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery who won a design competition. Amber said: “We wanted to create a jewel-like quality that athletes can treasure for the rest of their lives.” The medals, featuring embossed areas symbolising the city, have been made in the Jewellery Quarter.

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s prestigious annual Recognition Awards and Charity Ball takes place on Friday 17 June at Edgbaston Stadium. The awards, sponsored by luxury beauty brand, Baylis & Harding, will recognise the lifesaving work of the charity’s aircrew, support of its volunteers, fund-raisers and local business partners and the inspirational stories of former patients. The event will be hosted by ITN’s Nina Hossain, pictured, and BBC Radio 2 presenter and Midlands Air Ambulance ambassador, Richie Anderson.

FUN AND GAMES Colmore BID’s annual Community Games feature new activities that not only test physical abilities but also mental aptitude. Taking place on Friday 17 June in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral, the Games will see participants battle it out across 16 fun-filled games, collecting crystals along the way before moving onto the final challenge – the Crystal Dome. Colmore BID is looking for businesses to sign up to this year’s games, which have been officially endorsed by Birmingham 2022’s United Programme.

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NEWS

PAULA’S BLACK ART A new painting that looks down on the canal over the Black Sabbath bench on Broad Street has been created by local artist Paula Gabb. The artwork captures the view from the Barajee Indian restaurant which is opposite the ‘heavy metal’ bench and features visitors admiring what has become a tourist landmark. The view of Broad Street is among Paula’s new collection of paintings on display at the Gunmakers Arms, Bath Street as part of a Birmingham Art Zone exhibition from Sunday 5 June.

EMMA HOLDS COURT

MONEY WALKS

The beautiful woodlands and lakes of Sutton Park are the setting for this year’s

Teen tennis sensation Emma Raducanu is set to

Parkinson’s Walk for Life on Sunday 10 July. The event offers a three-mile or six-mile

make her first appearance in front of a British

route with walkers raising money to fund vital work and research by the Parkinson’s

crowd since winning the US Open when the

UK charity. To join the event or find out more details visit:

Rothesay Classic Birmingham returns to Edgbaston Priory Club this month. The 19-yearold world number 12, who won the Grand Slam title in New York as a qualifier last September, plans to begin her Wimbledon preparations at the grass tournament which starts on 11 June.

https://events.parkinsons.org.uk/walkbirmingham

STREET MUSIC

China Plate and Birmingham Hippodrome have revealed the locations for their new concert musical To The Streets! The special performances will take place at Handsworth Park, Birmingham, Windmill Hill, Coventry (University of Warwick Campus) and West Park, Wolverhampton, in August as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. To The Streets! is an uplifting new musical by Roy Williams and Tim Sutton, pictured, inspired by the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the UK’s civil rights history.

ARTHUR’S REGAL ROLE

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

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Meet Shakespeare’s new Richard III. Arthur Hughes, best known for his roles as Ryan McDaniel in supernatural Netflix series The Innocents and as Ruairi Donovan in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, takes the lead in the RSC’s new production which opens at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on 23 June. The critically-acclaimed actor has radial dysplasia, a disability that affects his right arm, and production director Gregory Doran said: “His lived experience will, I’m sure, bring a new and unexpected perspective to the role of Richard.”

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COVER STORY

SAXOPHONIST AND COMPOSER XHOSA COLE

ALL THAT

TALKS JAZZ, MENTORS, LIFE ON THE ROAD AND THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING BACK

JAZZ

few years ago, tenor jazz saxophonist Xhosa Cole was part of our Young, Gifted and Brummie series showing some serious promise having just won BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year. The tenor has since established himself as one of the leading jazz saxophonists and composers in the UK. He was crowned Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year 2020, has released his first album titled K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us and toured the UK. He’s performed alongside the likes of Monty Alexander and Courtney Pine as well as a soloist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Xhosa’s releasing an album later this year that’s been two years in the making although it’s actually more than an album – it’s a celebration, a study almost of musical identities and expressions of blackness. Growing up in Birmingham, Xhosa started playing tenor sax at Andy Hamilton’s Ladywood Community Music School. He went on to play in the Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra, Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, National Youth Jazz Collective and National Youth Wind Orchestra and benefitted from a number of the city’s community outreach arts programmes including B:Music’s Jazzlines. He attended weekly classes and summer schools – he was at the very first one in 2012 and hasn’t missed a summer school since. Xhosa was inspired by some of the world class tutors and guests at Jazzlines such as multi-instrumentalist Percy Pursglove and singer Sara Colman and he’s keen that students coming

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through the programme today receive the same level of support he did, so once he’d outgrown Jazzlines as a learner he started mentoring. Of his experience growing up he says: “I had a multi-pronged experience with different organisations coming together in Birmingham for which I’m very grateful. I think it’s important to give back to young people – it’s the only way for me. It’s a balance – I benefit too and it’s one of the reasons I’m back in the city.” Xhosa thinks that Birmingham could be doing better for young talent currently though.

FAST TRACK He says: “This city benefits from a diverse community and therefore lots of different types of music, but I do feel there’s room for more support. Music funding, in particular for music tuition and music services has been cut. There needs to be systems in place to expose children to all kinds of music and give them opportunities like the ones I had. I’m a success story, but it’s harder now. There are plenty of people with raw talent trying to make things happen that would benefit from more support.” The idea of giving back generally feels like a notion that older musicians might arrive at after decades in the business, but it’s at the heart of what Xhosa wants to do now. The impact of a young cool musician at the top of his game mentoring you must be huge. Winning BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year meant that Xhosa’s career took off quickly. Sure, he’d

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

BUDDING MUSICIANS For information about the Jazzlines Ensemble and summer schools visit bmusic.co.uk/events/jazzlines-ensemble-online-11-19-year-olds

probably have got to where he is regardless of the accolade, but it certainly put him on a fast-tracked path. It would have been easy to get carried away but Xhosa’s maturity kept him rock solidly grounded and rather than accepting everything that came along, he carefully considered his options. He’s not about fame and fortune, but about growth and continued learning. Unusually, Xhosa took K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us on the road for a 23-date tour with his quartet made up of trumpeter Jay Phelps, drummer Jim Bashford and his fellow BBC Young Jazz Musician finalist, James Owston before recording the album which he says enhanced the record immeasurably. It was Xhosa’s first taste of a major tour and it was a valuable experience through which he, and his fellow musicians grew. “We pushed and supported one another exploring different areas musically which meant that when we got to the recording studio we’d built up such trust and understanding that we were free to accomplish things we probably wouldn’t have without that experience.” The debut also featured guest artists and fellow Brummies,

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saxophonist Soweto Kinch and pianist Reuben James. Luckily, touring before recording also meant that Xhosa completed the gigs before Covid impacted live performance. He says his lockdown experience was mostly positive and he had a ‘half decent time’. He moved in with friends in Derby and they spent their time studying, rehearsing, reading and eating together. WHAT’S NEXT? The next big thing is the album release in November. Titled Ibeji, it’s a work featuring percussionists from the African diaspora and came about after Xhosa’s proposal to collaborate on six duets with world class percussionists won him the Peter Whittingham award. Featuring Jason Brown, Grammy award winner Lekan Babalola, Mark Sanders, Corey Mwamba and Ian Parmel among others, Ibeji explores a huge range of styles drawing from traditional Yoruba roots of West Africa. Xhosa has spent hours with each collaborator playing and listening and says the work is particularly important to him and is looking like an epic collection of pieces. I

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FEATURE

SPECIAL DELIVERY PROTESTAND INJUSTICE ARE ATTHE HEART OF THE MUSIC OF MIDLANDS’ TWO TONE LEGENDS,THE SPECIALS.WE CAUGHT UP WITH BASS PLAYER

HORACE PANTER AHEAD OF THE BAND’S MUCH-ANTICIPATED GIG IN BRUM

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FEATURE

rotest. You can never have too much of it says Horace Panter, bass player with The Specials. “Protest is central to the whole ethos of The Specials,” he says. “As I’ve gotten older, I would have thought that I would have mellowed, but that’s not what’s happened at all!” The Specials have been raising their voice against injustice for decades through a distinctive mix of ska, reggae and punk rock known as Two Tone that has elevated the band to legend status. Formed in Coventry in 1977, the line-up has chopped and changed over the years but currently comprises Horace, guitarist Lynval Golding and vocalist Terry Hall. Long-time fans will be joined by those discovering The Specials music for the first time when the guys headline the main stage at Birmingham’s three-day Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival on Friday 8 July. We caught up with Horace at his home just outside Warwick as the band prepared for the gig at Moseley Park as part of a 12-date series of summer shows. “While we’ve obviously played Birmingham before, we’ve never played Moseley Park and it’s something we’re really looking forward to,” he said. “After all the years, we still get a huge buzz out of performing live. There’s nothing like it.”

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RACISM, WAR & DECAY In the early days, The Specials multicultural makeup challenged far right prejudice and injustice. Critics described their 1979 debut album at the time as ‘tackling racism, war, unemployment and national decay, making them one of the most socially progressive bands of their age’. A succession of top 10 hits followed. Their 2019 reunion album Encore was just as challenging, focusing on Black Lives Matter, Windrush, racial integration and gang violence. Encore went to number one in the UK Album Chart – the band’s first chart-topping album since 1980. In September 2021, the band released an album of cover songs from the likes of Bob Marley and Talking Heads titled Protest Songs 1924-2012 to rave reviews. “It was a big risk doing Protests,” said Horace. “It was not what our hard-core fans would expect, but we were really pleased with it.” Horace calls the album an ‘interim product’. The band had been forced to axe a

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FEATURE

ARTIST AT WORK: Horace indulging his other passion after music

planned tour due to Covid lockdown, so made the album instead. “Because of Covid, the last few years seem to have just disappeared,” said Horace. “Now life is getting back to being a bit more normal, but there are still sections of concert-goers who don’t feel that comfortable with going out and being in a crowd listening to music. Hopefully that’ll change in time.” WARHOL ON THE WALL During lockdown the guys had an opportunity to do a bit more of their ‘own thing’. Horace said: “I know that Terry was writing a lot of music, though he’s always loath to admit to it! For me, it’s my art.” Painting is a serious passion for Horace, who graduated from Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University) with a BA in Fine Art in the 70s and has his own website where his pictures can be bought. His work has been exhibited throughout the UK and in New York, Los Angeles and Singapore. He says he is influenced by the artists he first encountered as a child of the 60s – Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Hopper, Blake, Birmingham’s Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival takes place at Moseley Park on 8, 9 and 10 July. Full details and tickets at: mostlyjazz.co.uk

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Rousseau. With Warhol’s famous picture of Marilyn Monroe selling for a record $195million recently, Horace said: “I’ve got a Warhol – an ‘official’ fake which I bought for £250 in New York!” Horace and Terry were in the US as recently as February doing a charity event and visiting friends in Austin, Texas. The subject of protest was never far away. “It was clear talking to various people just how divided America is,” he said. “US politics is fascinating, especially all that second amendment stuff about the right to bear arms.” PEAKY DRAMA Back home, the Two Tone genre led by The Specials, is the subject of a new BBC drama by Peaky Blinders creator, Birmingham’s own Steven Knight. Filming is underway on the six-part series set in the West Midlands at a time of “real cultural and historical progression” which tells the story of an extended family and four young people drawn into the music scene which grew out of Coventry and Birmingham in the late 70s and early 80s. If you want to see the real thing though, there’s no better way than dropping by on the legends themselves as The Specials let it rip at Moseley Park next month! I

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il ving

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FOOD & DRINK

MANISH PATEL

How a boy from a small village in Gujarat decided to ‘step outside the box’ and ended up becoming the head chef at one of Birmingham’s newest Indian restaurants, Indus at the Park Regis Hotel

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CHEF’S CORNER

Tell us about your cooking I enjoy cooking different foods, whether it’s Indian or continental for example. Actually, my preferred style probably is continental. When I moved here in 2018, I started to work as a continental chef and began to get my hands on all kinds of foods, European, American… The important thing is the flavour. If there’s a good combination of flavours from the ingredients, then I’m happy. How did you become a chef? It wasn’t planned! When I finished school my father suggested that I do hotel training and step outside the box. No one in my small village had ever done such a thing! I went to hotel school for four years where I trained with Radisson and Marriot hotels – and then I wasn’t sure what to do. I was a bit shy, my English was not that good, so I just wanted to be behind the scenes and thought the kitchen was a place where I could still prove myself but without having to interact much with people. Then when I started to cook, I felt that the kitchen really was for me and I’ve never looked back. What do you eat at home? I was born in Gujarat, so I prefer Gujarati food. I like a touch of sweetness in my food – even if it’s curry, I always need some tamarind and jaggery in there. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? I have a list of chefs from when I started out who guided me and taught me everything I needed to know – so for me everyone who I worked with was the best. This is my first job in Birmingham, so for me the best in the city is Darren Rowe, my executive head chef here at Park Regis. He has guided me in continental food and he’s

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also the one who told me that I should try and do more Indian food too. Is the customer always right? From a business point of view, yes – to some extent! Share a cooking tip Always use fresh ingredients. Also, less is more when it comes to spices. Don’t try to put too many different spices in there. What was your favourite food as a kid? I love sweet food because I’m a Gujarati. My favourite was probably Shrikhand, which is strained yoghurt with sugar, saffron and cardamom. Food heaven and food hell? If you love eating different foods, then food in general is heaven because you can enjoy everything. Food hell… that’s probably karela, a type of bitter gourd. It’s also probably the most unusual thing I’ve eaten! If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? A teacher, maybe of literature. When you’re in your final year of school in India you need to get a certain percentage to become a teacher, but I didn’t make it. And when I didn’t get good marks, my father said I should go for hotel school. What do you recommend from this evening's menu? The menu is a choosing menu, so it’s designed for everything on it to have a combination of the best flavours and highest quality. To really get the most out of the menu you’ll have to keep coming back to try new dishes the next time! I Indus at Park Regis Birmingham, 160 Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1DT. parkregisbirmingham.co.uk/indus/

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SEASON’S EATINGS

GAME, SET AND STRAWBERRIES This gorgeous summer tart is a match made in heaven

une is the month when the tennis season really kicks off, starting with the Rothesay Classic Birmingham at the Edgbaston Priory Club followed by Wimbledon at the end of the month. And, of course, that means strawberries and cream! For a real treat try this gorgeous summer tart – you can make your own pastry but why not cheat, like us, with some shop bought stuff! I

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INGREDIENTS: SERVES 8

I 375g pack all-butter shortcrust pastry I 600g small strawberries, hulled and halved I 2-3tbsp strawberry jam For the crème pâtissière: I 350ml whole milk I 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways I 4 large free-range egg yolks I 100g golden caster sugar I 25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting I Finely grated zest of a lemon

METHOD: Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Use to line a deep, 23cm fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim the excess and prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the crème pâtissière. Put the milk and vanilla pod in a large pan, bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until voluminous, then beat in the flour and lemon zest. Strain the warm milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Clean the pan, then pour the mixture back in and gently bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with baking paper and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Place on a baking sheet and blind-bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans/rice and paper, then cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. If the edges look too dark, cover with foil. Leave for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. To assemble the tart, place the cooled tart case on a serving plate. Spoon the crème pâtissière into the tart case, spreading it evenly and level off with a spatula. Slice the hulled strawberries into threes or fours. Fan the strawberry slices out over the cream working from the inside out until the the tart is covered. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush over the strawberries with the strawberry jam just enough to give the strawberries a light glaze and sheen. And serve!

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FOOD & DRINK

NIBBLES and SHORTS

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

CHEERSTO PARADISE

A new wine experience is coming to the city centre this summer as Vinoteca becomes the latest addition to Paradise Birmingham. Having established itself as one of London’s most popular independent venues, the opening marks Vinoteca’s seventh site and its first venture outside of the capital. As well as an award-winning wine list featuring more than 200 bins from across the world, the 4,500 sq ft restaurant will serve seasonal British dishes using locally sourced produce.

GUTEN TAG SAUSAGE LOVERS! German bratwurst food brand Extrawurst has opened its second restaurant in Birmingham. The New Street eatery follows its successful Merry Hill Shopping Centre restaurant which launched at the end of 2021 and is supported by a delivery kitchen which offers bratwurst to your door via Deliveroo and Just Eat. Sam Shutt, CEO of Extrawurst UK, said: “We are very excited to introduce Extrawurst to the centre of Birmingham and we hope that we will become a firm city favourite”.

HOT DATE

The first Hot Sauce Society Festival is coming to the Custard Factory. The event on Saturday 9 July will feature independent hot sauce traders, street food, craft beer, cocktails, DJs, and more. Visitors will be able to taste and discover a world of speciality hot sauce as well as fierce food from chef Brad Carter, Tacos el Pap, and Prairie Fire. A bar will feature local brews, one-off collaborative beers and tonguetingling drinks from some of Birmingham’s finest cocktail mixers.

PIANO BAR TIE-UP

OPENING NEW CHAPTER Edgbaston restaurant and bar, Chapter, has opened a newly designed front terrace outdoor extension to its bar in time for summer. And to celebrate the

LUXURY AT THE LODGE

Greenfield Crescent eatery is running happy hours from 5 to 6pm and 10

A new three-bedroom guest lodge has opened at Brockencote Hall Hotel following the completion of a £350,000 refurbishment. The transformation of the original two-storey 19th century Gate House is the first major development at the Chaddesley Corbett hotel for a decade. Brockencote Lodge was previously used as staff accommodation and now includes three en-suite bedrooms, including a king-size master with separate dressing and make-up room, double shower and freestanding bath.

to 11pm until 31 August so customers can make the most of the longer evenings. Bar manager Karina Koleva said: “Our new terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a favourite drink in sunshine, which lasts all day.”

CELEBRATING RUM

Calling all rum lovers! Birmingham Rum Festival returns to the Cuban Embassy in Moseley on Saturday 2 July. Brands joining this year’s line-up include Diablesse, IM Drinkin Rum, Island Slice, Wildjac, Eminente and B Rum as well as the newly-launched Elsha. Cuban Embassy stocks more than 100 rums, including Birmingham-based Burning Barn, Island Slice and Bay Noir – so you’ll learn all about where the rum in your glass came from and the rich history behind each sip!

Duelling piano bar, Jukeboxers, has partnered with local street food company, Hope You’re Hungry to bring a fresh taste of East Asia to Brum. Sited by the city centre canal, Jukeboxers and Hope You’re Hungry host live music, crafted cocktails and East Asian street food, including the launch of a range of tapas, from Wednesday to Sunday each week. Hope Carroll, owner of Hope You’re Hungry, said: “As a start-up street vendor, this is an amazing opportunity for us.”

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

THE HIGHFIELD

Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DP. Tel: 0121 227 7068 highfieldedgbaston.co.uk

he Highfield is slap bang in the heart of our stomping ground – past and present – and we like to see it thrive. It’s part of the Peach Pubs stable which seems to be generally a feel-good organisation that gets the best out of its staff. We met the owners way back in the day at a party hosted by Peach at the Rose and Crown in Warwick and came away feeling it was a bit special. Essentially, we want good food and drink, stylish comfortable buildings and outdoor spaces and reasonable prices. Peach ticks all the boxes. Reasonable prices is a tough one to achieve and getting harder in the current climate, but The Highfield is as close as it gets at gastro pub level. We went to check out the new menu. First up, tempura prawns from the specials board. Crisp batter, juicy substantial prawns and a punchy dip, they were a great start. Jimmy Butler’s honey mustard chipolatas were sticky, sweet and tasty served with crunchy shallots and spring onions. One of us will always go for a breaded chicken after first toying with everything else on the menu before accepting the pull of the chicken schnitzel is too strong. This one was a belter. Succulent, crisp with a generous mound of garlicky butter and, to top it off, a crisp shard of chicken skin. Rocket, parmesan and fries played second fiddle, but were perfectly lovely. A winner.

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Next up, 14-hour braised beef and ale pie. Jam packed with juicy, tender, flavour packed beef encased in thin, crisp pastry this was superb and our stand-out dish. A rich gravy, smooth creamy mash and fresh greens topped it off beautifully. We’d munched our through some hearty dishes and probably didn’t need three courses. While we swerved pud, we shared a superb selection of five cheeses. Our only gripe was that the soft cheeses were a bit cold and not as oozing as we’d have liked, but we’re nit-picking – it was a heck of a lunch. I

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FOOD & DRINK

MY SUMMER WINE LIST

KATIE GARDNER OF BIRMINGHAM WINE SCHOOL BRINGS YOU THE BEST BOTTLES (AND CANS!) TO DRINK AL FRESCO THIS SUMMER is the season to drink pink, with European producers about to release the 2021 vintage of their rosé wines. Ideally you should drink this style of wine as young and fresh as possible, so keep an eye out in shops for old vintages and avoid them! There is nothing better than sitting on a sun-soaked patio drinking a nice cold glass of rosé. Rosé comes in many different guises and colours, from the palest salmon to deep cherry pink. It also varies a lot in sweetness levels. If you prefer a dry style, the perfect pink for patés and charcuterie is a Bardolino Chiaretto from Italy. Made on the shores of Lake Garda, it offers more flavour and intensity than Pinot Grigio Blush, with plenty of fresh acidity to pair with food.

T

YES, YOU CAN Heavy glass bottles aren’t always a practical option for a picnic, so why not try a canned wine? This recent innovation is perfect for wine on the go. The aluminium can keeps the wine fresh and cool and it’s infinitely recyclable, making it an eco-friendly option too! Sauvignon Blanc is the nation’s favourite white grape, and perfect for summer with it’s crisp and zesty flavours of citrus and tropical fruits. Try with fresh cheese; such as a Greek salad with feta or some goat’s cheese. Don’t dismiss bag-in-box wine either, it can be a good value crowd-pleaser. The makers of Mirabeau are doing a rosé version this summer or try the Torres classic Vina Sol

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Keeping to the theme of British summertime, why not try an English Sparkling Wine instead of your usual glass of fizz? Nestled in the leafy village of Tenterden in Kent, Chapel Down is one of the top producers of English sparkling wine (they also make beer and gin too!), with access to a range of soils in the South Downs, perfect for growing grapes. FISH AND CHIPS It is made using the traditional method, the same way that Champagne is produced, and they also use the classic Champagne blend of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The cool English climate is ideal for making wines with a high level of acidity, making it the perfect match for takeaway fish and chips perched on the seafront on your staycation. It has the same effect as squeezing a lemon on top of your fish! If the rain does fall, there’s no need to despair. You can always live vicariously through your wine choices and imagine you are on a sunny beach holiday by opting for a Greek wine. Assyrtiko is a high quality white grape variety which is indigenous to the island of Santorini but now grown all over Greece. Its superpower is retaining freshness despite the soaring temperatures. It’s an ancient variety that has been grown on the island for more than 3,000 years. It is best-suited to low yields in the vineyard and the vines are trained low to the ground in basketshaped coils to avoid exposure to the strong winds. This special Greek grape will go down a treat with Mediterranean mezze or grilled fish. I

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KATIE’S

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FOOD & DRINK

TO TRY

I Pascua Bardolino Chiaretto, Veneto, Italy, £8.99 from Majestic A fresh and elegant rosé wine, with youthful notes of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Made from the classic grapes of Valpolicella region. I Most Wanted Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa, £2.50 a can from Tesco A perfect picnic-friendly option, and kind to the environment too. Fresh and zesty flavours of lime, grapefruit and elderflower. I Chapel Down Classic Brut, NV, Kent, England, £27 from Waitrose A sparkling wine made from the classic Champagne grapes, this wine is fresh, soft and fruity in style, with aromas of red apples and baking bread and fine bubbles. I Filos Estate Assyrtiko Aspri Petra, Florina, Greece, £6.99 from Aldi Rich in body and texture with flavours of citrus and grapefruit and a fresh minerality. Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company that offers fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses online, in Birmingham and Warwick. For more information contact Katie Gardner on 0121 270 7359 or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com.

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

THE SIDECAR

It’s the Platinum Jubilee, so let’s go classic and recreate this awesome 1920s cocktail

Sidecar is a sour, cognac-based drink, served in a martini or gimlet style glass. The original recipe calls for equal parts brandy, triple sec and lemon juice, but these days mixologists have upped the content of brandy. The original recipe also calls for a sugar rim around the glass, but again this is less common nowadays. I

A

INGREDIENTS: I 50ml cognac

I 25ml triple sec

I 25ml lemon juice I Handful of ice

I Dash of Angostura bitters (optional)

METHOD: Put a coupe glass in the fridge to chill. Tip all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold, then strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. If the lemon juice is too sharp, add the bitters to taste. You can sugar the rim of your glass if you like. Serve.

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HEALTH

MATCH POINT THE WORLD’S TOP WOMEN TENNIS STARS COME TO BRUM THIS MONTH – THE PERFECT EXCUSE TO STEP ON THE COURT YOURSELF THIS SUMMER!

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HEALTH

he Rothesay Classic Birmingham returns to the Edgbaston Priory Club this month – and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the top tournament hosted by one of the world’s oldest tennis clubs. The return of the world’s top women tennis stars to Brum is the perfect motivation for the rest of us to step onto the courts too. It’s fun and an awesome way to stay fit and healthy. Tennis is a great sport to improve all-round health regardless of your ability – experts say it is twice as good for your well-being as cycling, aerobics or swimming. Playing tennis increases aerobic capacities, lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure, boosts metabolic function, increases bone density, lowers body fat, improves muscle tone, strength and flexibility and increases reaction times.

T

So, playing tennis is just brilliant for body and soul. And here’s some more reasons why…

I The movements used in tennis give the body a great workout, toning and shaping muscles you never knew you had. I You use your lower body for all that running, stopping and starting, jumping and crouching. And the action of hitting the tennis ball, whether it’s single or double-handed, means that your trunk does a lot of work as well, in particular your shoulders and upper back. I Singles tennis can burn between 400-600 calories an hour. That’s not bad for a recreational sport that’s both fun and can be played by just about anyone. Playing tennis also has a positive impact on your bones. Exercising regularly can increase your peak bone mass and can slow the rate of bone mass loss over time. I According to research, bone mass peaks around age 30 and begins to decline after that. You can maximize your bone mass prior to that age through exercise and continuing to exercise after 30 can slow the rate of bone loss. Tennis is well suited to building strong bones. I Tennis requires the cooperation of the whole body as you move your feet, arms and hands to get

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SIX TOP TIPS 1

Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand and rehydrate regularly.

2

Don’t overdo it. Mix up your physical activity with other low-impact sports.

3

Play at a level according to your age and physical condition.

4

Avoid playing with a pre-existing illness or injury. If in doubt, talk to a doctor.

5

Warm up your muscles and joints before hitting the court.

6

Be careful if the court conditions are wet and especially if the surface is slippery.

into the right position for the racquet to make contact with the ball. You’re then using the torso and legs to provide the power to hit the ball over the net. All these factors come together every time you hit the ball, and each shot takes flexibility, coordination and balance. Flexibility is great because it can give you a wider range of motion, help prevent injuries and even reduce muscle strain. I And of course, like all exercise, tennis will help boost our mood helping you feel more optimistic, have greater self-esteem and even become less anxious. Learning to play tennis will keep your mind agile and all that fresh air is a great stress reliever! Playing doubles is also a great way to meet new people and most clubs offer regular social tennis sessions for members and lots of other social tournaments. A word of warning though! If you’re a tennis beginner, haven’t played in a while, or are taking up exercise after a long time of being inactive, be sensible. Follow our top tips and you’ll have healthy, invigorating – and safe – fun! I The Rothesay Classic is at Edgbaston Priory Club from 11 to 19 June. For more details and ticketing information visit: edgbastonpriory.com or call 0121 440 2492

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ing livSTYLE

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WE’RE READY

RELAXING ON THE BEACH IS INFINITELY MORE ENJOYABLE IF YOU FEEL COOL AND CONFIDENT RATHER THAN FIDGETY IN ILL-FITTING SWIMWEAR

olidays are on the horizon and chat in the office has turned to getting ‘beach body ready’. We’ve largely come to the conclusion that if you’ve a body and you’re going to a beach, you are, in fact, beach body ready. Having said that, one of us is still Googling recovery time for liposuction, so we can’t claim we’re skipping around Brum Living Towers brimming with body positivity, but as the kids say, ‘we move’. More than any other piece in your wardrobe, fit and confidence is everything with swimwear. The two go hand-in-hand. Feeling comfortable rather than self-conscious and fidgety is always

H

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STYLE

FULL COVERAGE

High-waisted bikini from Joe Browns

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STYLE

BLACK IS BACK

Asymmetric one-piece from F&F

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STYLE

SUPER SPOTS

One-piece from F&F

a confidence boost, so try before you buy is the mantra here and sample lots of different styles. Step outside your usual type and you might be surprised. Also, go for colour and prints that make you smile. Black can look super slick, but in your holiday arsenal pack some pops of colour and playfulness too. You can spend some serious money on swimwear and while you can definitely pick up some bargains or mid-priced pieces that’ll do the job really well – plenty pictured in these pages – there’s a lot to be said for the fit, feel and longevity of a more high-end piece. Heidi Klein, Hunza G and Melissa Odabash are top of our wish list for style as well as quality. On the high street, River Island and Accessorize are particularly good this season. The scalloped edge bikinis and one pieces at Accessorize are cool, well made and defy the price tag. We reckon three or four swimmers is the ideal amount for a week-long holiday and if you’re planning water sports, make sure at least one of them provides decent coverage and is unmovable. We speak from experience. Most of all, if you’re jetting off, have a cracking holiday. It’s been a long time coming! I

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MONO WOW

Crossover swimsuit made using recycled plastic £12, Primark

TAKE THE PLUNGE CUT IT OUT

Buckle plunge stripe swimsuit £20, F&F

GLAMOUR PUSS

Ruched onepiece £40, Lipsy

SMOOTH SILHOUETTE Shape enhancing knot front halter neck £30, V by Very

Cream cut-out swimsuit from Pretty Little Thing

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STYLE

UNDER THE SEA

POST WAVE

Ruffled sealife print bikini top £22.50 and bottoms £19.50, FatFace

Beach trousers £40, Joe Browns

ITSY-BITSY

Lotty B triangle banana tree print bikini £120, Pink House Mustique

SEER SUCKER

Hunza G blue seersucker swimsuit £145, Harvey Nichols

COOL KAFTAN

Geo print kaftan £49, Monsoon

CUTE COVER-UP

Lotty B silk palazzo pants £380, Pink House Mustique

PALM PRINT

Bikini from M&Co

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STYLE PRETTY IN PINK

Scallop underwire bikini top £24, Accessorize

FLATTER YOURSELF

Colour block swimsuit £29.99, TK Maxx

SUNDOWNER READY

Beach dress £19.99, TK Maxx

RIGHT STRIPES

Devotion embroidered stretch cotton mini dress £250, Harvey Nichols

TANGERINE DREAM Giamaguas mini dress £115, Harvey Nichols

SURF’S UP

Pink swimsuit from River Island

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BEAUTY

GOOD TO GLOW

1

One word – radiance. We’ve picked out a

handful of products that’ll have you glowing

through this month. There’s a mask that’ll get your skin squeaky clean – the basis of a

glowing complexion – as well as radiance

boosting drops and a cult classic reinvented 1. LOTTIE LONDON SUPERFAKE MASCARA £6.95, ASOS We’re fussy about mascara and have spent an obscene amount over the years including some seriously high-end stuff. This Lottie London version is cheap as chips and yet does the job brilliantly. The perfect amount of length and thickness without annoying clumps, it’s a keeper… and 100 per cent cruelty free too.

2. DOLCE AND GABBANA SOLAR GLOW UNIVERSAL RADIANCE DROPS £38, LOOK FANTASTIC We’ve been a slave to Drunk Elephant Sunshine Drops for years, but this D&G version is different. While Drunk Elephant adds a hint of a tan the D&G Radiance Drops offer a subtle pearly finish, so more luminosity than actual colour. They’re also packed with goodies that leave the skin feeling soft and hydrated.

2

3 4

3.DOLCE AND GABBANA SOLAR GLOW ILLUMINATING POWDER DUO £55, LOOK FANTASTIC We don’t normally include two products from the same range but we had to this month – they are both so good. Apart from the packaging being gorgeous this duo palette includes a pearly apricot shade to brighten and a more orangey powder for a delicate flush of colour. It’s really easy to apply and build up gradually.

4. WANDERFUL WORLD BLUSH £27.50, BENEFIT In our youth we used Dandelion every day and here we are, a few years later, with slightly tweaked packaging but still recognisable in an impressive 12 shades that have a light reflecting, slightly airbrushed finish.

5

5. UNPLUG PORE DETOX CLAY MASK STICK £12.95, BOOTS Like a spring clean for your skin, this mask unclogs pores and detoxes skin leaving you with a super clean face. We did it in the evening, slathered on a facial oil afterwards and woke up feeling fresh as a daisy.

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STYLE FOR MEN

PRINTS CHARMING

WE’RE TRYING TO DISTRACT OURSELVES FROM THE FACT WE LEFT A MERE 11 WEEKS BETWEEN RENEWING OUR PASSPORT AND TAKE-OFF, SO HERE ARE SOME ACE SWIMMERS…

HAPPY DAYS Swim shorts from Primark

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STYLE FOR MEN

DIAMOND GEEZER Bandana print £7, Primark

TWO TONE Star print swim shorts £14.99, TK Maxx

BE BOLD Paisley print swim shorts £14.99, TK Maxx

n our defence, the Government website stated an average turn around time of 28 days, but since then the horror stories have seeped into our anxious souls and we’re consumed by dread. Quite what that has to do with swim shorts we’ve no idea, but a problem shared and all that. A print, subtle or otherwise is always a good idea. Whether you like subtle, in the form of a classic seersucker like the Ralph Lauren version pictured or a big bold paisley print at TK Maxx, choose your vibe. Three pairs of swimmers for a week’s beachy break is probably about right and we’d go for a trio of very different prints to mix it up a bit and suit your mood. In terms of shape, keep it simple. Mid-thigh, not too billowy and not too tight is the sweet sartorial spot that is most flattering. Whatever you do, leave the budgie smugglers at home! I

THE DOGS Palm Angel Hawaiian dogs print £265, Selfridges

I

ECO-FRIENDLY Frescobol Carioca classic graphic print recycled woven swim short £165, Selfridges

PALM PRINT Vilebrequin Moorise print mid-rise swim short £215, Selfridges

SUBTLE SEERSUCKER Polo Ralph Lauren Traveller blue striped seersucker shorts £80, Harvey Nichols

BOATY MCBOATFACE Boat print swim shorts made from recycled bottles £126, Pink House Mustique

YES OMBRE Dip dye swim shorts £5, Primark

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ng il viHOMES

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LET’S GO AL FRESCO DINING OUTDOORS IS ONE OF THE GREAT JOYS OF THE SUMMER AND WITH A LITTLE FLAIR AND FORWARD PLANNING IT CAN BE MAGICAL

MODERN MASTERPIECE Furniture from Bo Concept

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HOMES

irst thing’s first, keep the menu simple – if it’s warm enough to eat outside, you’re probably not comfortable rustling up a roast. Go for big platters, salads, a charcuterie board, a side of salmon – you get the gist, bags of flavour with minimal effort is the key to enjoying yourself. If you’re firing up the BBQ, invest in a good one and if you’re really going to town check out the Big Green Egg for endless opportunities. Lunch might require some thought about shade while dinner will need a light source, a handful of throws, a fire pit or chiminea and lots of candles to create a bit of ambience. Dress your table and make it an occasion – a tablecloth, flowers, stylish tableware– you might not want your best glasses and crockery in the garden, but you also don’t want it to feel second rate. Check out some of the examples here.

F

AFTER DARK Lights from Lights4Fun

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HOMES

CLUB TROPICANA Furniture and accessories from TK Maxx

GEO PLATES Accessories from Nest

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Keep bugs at bay with some citronella candles and think about a wasp trap far enough away from the table to be unseen and close enough to do the job. Keep the drinks cool and flowing. If you’ve an outdoor kitchen with a fridge, happy days. If not, think about big tubs with ice to keep refreshments cold. A drinks trolley on the patio is a great idea too. Trays help ferry things easily from kitchen to garden minimising trips so get yourself a couple of sturdy ones along with a caddy for cutlery. Create a summer playlist for relaxed Café Del Mar sundowner vibes, pray the Great British weather doesn’t scupper your plans and relax. I

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HOMES

RELAXED VIBE Furniture and accessories from John Lewis

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HOMES

GREEN SPACE Furniture and accessories from John Lewis

THROW SOME SHADEE Furniture and accessories from Dobbies Garden Centre

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ATTENTION TO DETAIL Runner and accessories from Matalan

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HOMES

WOW FACTOR Festoon lights from Lights4Fun

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HOMES

CROWD PLEASER Orlando outdoor corner sofa dining set £499, George Home GOOD EGG Classic Joe 1 £899, Kamado Joe

CUTE CANDLE Poplar wood lantern £6.99, Dobbies Garden Centre

FINISHING TOUCHES

SERIOUS KIT Fontana BBQ and pizza oven £2,999, Cuckooland

ENHANCE YOUR AL FRESCO EXPERIENCE WITH

SOME FUNCTIONAL AND STYLISH ACCESSORIES TEA FOR TWO Outdoor dining set £79.99, HomeSense COOL NIGHTS Diamond pink throw £42, National Trust

DRINK UP Collier glass pitcher £40 and set of four tumblers £60, Soho House Retail

STAR BAR Maze rattan six-seater bar set with ice bucket £1,149, Cuckooland

FANTASY ISLAND FIRE STARTER Quan wood fired Verona fire basket £179, BBQ island £2,399, Cuckooland Dobbies Garden Centre

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GARDENING

From the Potting Bench with Adam Summer is here, so how can you get the most out of your green space this month? Adam Kirtland tells you all you need to know for a blooming lovely display

ou may already have some pots with shrubs or other perennial plants in them that are looking fab right now but how about creating something brand new for this summer? You could either put together a pot or container or how about a sizzling summer hanging basket? Pots and baskets were once thought of as oldfashioned in the gardening world but no more! Pots are perfect for those of us with tighter green spaces and hanging baskets are ideal for creating some interest at heights where plants wouldn’t normally be.

Y

fuchsia, pansies, geraniums and petunias (which I absolutely love!) – but how about trying something different with herb hanging baskets? A herb basket hanging by your backdoor is a smashing way to grow a few plants that you can use in your everyday cooking. Why not try mint (for those mojitos), creeping thyme to trickle down the edge of the basket and lavender always adds a pop of purple in the middle. Experiment with a few things and let me know how you get on with yours! To mow or not to mow….that is the question!

Putting together a summer container or basket

It really couldn’t be easier! Garden centres and nurseries are awash with summer bedding plants at this time of year and there is always something for everyone. Grab yourself a container or basket and then select the plants that take your eye. Good staples are

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Mowing the lawn is one of those jobs that no one really enjoys but if you do mow yours then you’ll want to keep on top of it fairly regularly (once a week or so) to keep it looking trim and ship-shape. But…. why not go WILD this year and leave some, or all, of your lawn to do its own thing?

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GARDENING

‘No Mow May’ has become quite well known now but how about extending that into June and leaving your lawn alone for the whole month? You’ll be surprised what might happen to your lawn if you turn off the mower for a while. Over these summer months your lawn will grow at its fastest rate and eventually it’ll put out attractive seed heads and you may even see the odd daisy or dandelion. All of this might sound like the stuff of nightmares if you’re after a highly manicured lawn, but it helps native wildlife and insects to thrive, and those dandelions and daisies are a wonderful source for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Fancy trying your hand at some veg growing?

Most seed sowing tends to happen during spring, but it might surprise you to know that it’s not too late to sow some superb salad and vegetables to keep you going through the season! And it might also surprise you to know that you don’t need huge, raised beds like you see on Gardeners’ World to grow your own. So which veg can you grow from seed now? Spring onions – these can be sown right up until August and if you sow some now and again in a few weeks you’ll have a longer supply. These can be done in pots and containers easily in any space. Fancy a pumpkin? – you’re cutting it fine, but pumpkins can still be grown from seed as long as you get them going now at the start of the month! Just imagine having your own home-grown pumpkin to carve later in the year And easiest of all? Salad! – mixed Salad leaves can be sown now and most lettuce can also be sown over this month and next to give you plants for longer. It won’t be long before you’re out there picking a whole bowl of salad from your very own mini veg plot. Have a wander around your garden and… This might sound simple but don’t ever forget to try and actually look at your garden, give yourself time to have a proper wander around and see what might be going on. Quite often I’ll get down on my hands and knees and have a rifle through the plants in the pots and borders to see what’s happening at ground level. While you’re on your stroll about have a think about these little things:

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Herbs

I This is a good time to dead head any plants with dead or dying flowers (it’s as easy as pinching them off with your fingers, or you can use snips/secateurs) as it’ll often encourage even more flowers to bloom. Our Senetti will bloom and bloom all summer if we do this. I If you’re growing sweet peas, then keep on picking! Picking more and more flowers will force the plant to grow more and so on. The more you pick, the more will grow! Don’t forget to bring those picked flowers inside for scent that’ll waft right through the house I Inspect your pots! If they’re feeling dry, then give them a good drink until water runs out the bottom of the pot. For those pots with summer flowers, it’s a good time to consider giving them a ‘feed’ too. Plant feed is readily available in all garden centres and it’ll ensure you’ve got the brightest and best blooms all summer long!

But please put your feet up at some point! With all of your hard work putting this into practice you’ll certainly have earned a rest to enjoy the fruits of your labour. There is nothing better than sitting back on a summer’s evening and looking out across what you’ve been doing – and what better time than to enjoy that Mojito with your home-grown mint. Bliss! I You can follow Adam on Instagram @viewfromthepottingbench or listen to Adam’s podcast Tales From The Potting Bench for more gardening inspiration. You can also read Adam’s blog at viewfromthepottingbench.com

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MOTORING

POLE POSITION

SUE COOKE GETS HER HANDS ON SOME SERIOUS SWEDISH COOL IN THE SHAPE OF THE ALL-ELECTRIC POLESTAR 2

FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Polestar 2 battery electric performance fastback Price: From £47,900 Electrics: Long range dual motor. Two electric motors, rear and front axle Performance: 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and 402bhp CO2 emissions: Zero Preliminary range is 282-299 miles (WLTP) DC up to 155 kW fast charging can restore 80 miles of range in only 35 minutes

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MOTORING

f you wanted to buy a mass-produced battery electric vehicle in 2011 there was a choice of nine models. Eleven years on, there are more than 140 plug-in models available, accounting for around one in five new cars sold this year, with a further 50 models expected to be launched by the end of 2022. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, on average, battery range has increased by more than three times than that of a decade ago. There is a massive investment by car makers, including newcomers like Polestar, the independent Swedish premium electric performance car brand founded by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding in 2017. Polestar has produced two electric performance cars. This month I road tested the Polestar 2, a stylish performance fastback and the company’s first fully electric high-volume car.

I

AGGRESSIVE Spot one of these cars in your rear view mirror and you’ll immediately be taken by the aggressive front end styling. Like all electric vehicles there’s no need for a conventional grille, though the designers have given the Polestar a more ‘traditional-looking’ nose treatment. The addition of four piston Bremo brakes, forged alloy wheels and Polestar signature gold detail inside and out adds to the desirability, but also the cost as part of the extra Performance Pack. Slide behind the wheel in the cabin and the luxury brand lives up to expectations. Seating is comfortable and supportive. On entry there is no ‘stop/start’ button and the audio is playing. Information is bright and clear on the screen behind the steering wheel which has multi controls. In the centre of the dash is a very large iPadstyle screen and between the seats is an arty looking short gear lever. Engage Drive, a green light appears on the screen saying ‘ready’ press the accelerator and go. ONE FOOT PEDAL During my week of road testing, I really only used one foot pedal. Lift the foot gently from the accelerator and the car will slow down and gently come to a full stop. Remove the foot suddenly and the car lurches to a full stop. It is such an easy way to drive. At the end of the journey, press the ‘P’ button and get out of the car. That’s it!

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Rear seat room is good, though taller passengers may find head space a little snug due to the Polestar’s swooping fastback lines. I loved the boot with automatic tailgate opening. A panel comes out of the floor with hooks for securing carrier bag handles which prevents spillage around the boot. Brilliant! Under the bonnet is another smaller storage space which holds the charging leads. There are three optional packages – Pilot, Plus and Performance. The Plus Pack includes a fulllength panoramic glass roof which a young passenger loved as he spotted birds flying overhead. Polestar 2 was the first car in the world to feature an infotainment system powered by Google’s Android Automotive OS, with Google built in. Developed in collaboration with Google, the Android system includes Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. Improvements and new features can be updated over-the-air without the need to visit a workshop. FAST STARTER Polestar 2 has three variants with a combination of long and standard range batteries. I road tested the long range dual motor. The instant acceleration did initially take me by surprise but I absolutely loved it. Steering is firm. Polestar has just announced new revisions for exterior colours, wheel designs, a removable sunshade for the panoramic glass roof and other efficiency and climate changes. There is an optional heat pump which reduces the need to use valuable battery capacity to heat the cabin. Polestar plans to launch one new electric vehicle per year. Polestar 3 – the company’s first electric performance SUV will be followed by Polestar 4, a smaller electric performance SUV coupe. But for now, if the Polestar 2 takes your fancy, it is available to buy online. It’s a high quality, premium car with styling that sets it apart and is beautiful to drive. Definitely worth a look! I

SHOWROOM

The Polestar 2 is available online from www.polestar.com You can view the car and get advice and further information at Polestar’s recently-opened studio space in the heart of the Touchwood centre, Solihull.

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

SCOTT JOHNS The skier from Dorridge tells us about making the switch from alpine to ski cross that saw him selected for Team GB and how he stayed in tip-top shape during lockdown

cott Johns took up skiing at the age of just three at the Snow Dome in Tamworth and 13 years on was selected for Team GB at the Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland. Having switched from alpine skiing to ski cross only recently, it was a heck of an achievement and testament to his hard work last season to have bagged him a spot on the team. Family skiing holidays as a child whet Scott’s appetite and when his older brother Owen, who is also a brilliant skier, got into racing Scott followed in his footsteps. Racing from six-years-old at indoor

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competitions initially in Milton Keynes and Castleford, Scott progressed to competing in the Alps. Although he knew he always wanted to be a sportsman, Scott says he didn’t initially look to skiing, but having won the English National Championships in the under-16 category believed it was possible. Supported by Solihull-based Prime Accountants Group throughout his skiing career, last year Scott was also crowned England alpine Super G champion. Having stepped up to the adult category, the global competition is tough. Scott explains: “It’s a bit of a

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jumps of varying size. Scott particularly thrives in the conditions. He says: “You’re going at speeds of up to 30mph and you’re on the edge sometimes pushing to take a corner or jostling for position. It’s never violent – you’re just letting your competitors know you’re there. Occasionally there’s the odd bit of contact, but everyone races fairly.”

leap. In the under-16 category I was racing only British racers my age. In the adult category I’m competing against anyone in the world at any age. It’s really great to see where I am in comparison to the best in the world and how much I need to improve to be up there.” Scott moved from alpine to ski cross after trying out the discipline at a camp followed by a couple of successful races. Ski Cross is action packed and very physical. Four skiers start at the same time and race over a one-kilometre course which tests their skills, including turns of different types and sizes and

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JUGGLING SKILLS Training involves spending roughly 10 weeks in the Alps or Norway or Sweden and over the summer, three to four weeks at fitness camps. Juggling school with skiing can be tough. Scott is given schoolwork while he’s away plus he has to catch up in his own time once he’s back. There’s normally a lot of travelling but obviously Covid affected that. During the various restrictions, Scott maintained fitness by running and cycling a couple of times a week plus sprinting around cones, jumping over household objects and lifting weights. It wasn’t ideal, but he’s quite philosophical about it. He says: “I just made the best of a bad situation and tried to limit losses. Everyone in Britain was in the same boat.” Scott’s ultimate ambition is to compete at the senior Olympics. He says: “Normally skiers peak in their late 20s, early 30s, so I’m about six to 10 years out. For now, I just want to improve every season.” I

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GROWING PLACES

ROYAL RELAY HONOUR

LEARNING FROM THE MASTER Students from University College Birmingham had a lesson like no other when they got to work with MasterChef: The Professionals winner Dan Lee to prepare a five-course feast for VIP guests from across Birmingham. Dan, who studied at Birmingham College of Food 12 years ago, spent two days helping the next generation of chefs hone their skills for the special dinner at the University’s award-winning restaurant. After the plates were cleared, Dan led the students out to rapturous applause.

Shymika Brown, a student at Lyndon School, Solihull (part of the Summit Learning Trust) has been selected to be one of the baton bearers for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay. Shymika who is a head prefect, will be running her section of the baton relay on 27 June. She is a holder of a sports tie at the school, awarded for commitment to sport and the ideas of teamwork, communication, and leadership.

SCHOOL REPORT

BIG BANG BUS

Walton Priory Middle School in Stone showcased an engineering project called Scooterbus to MPs and some of the UK’s leading STEM companies at the Big Bang at Parliament. The project combines themes of future cities and societies, sustainability and transportation. The team of Year 7 girls used their engineering skills to create two prototypes and a working eight-person scooterbus, which earned them the Cheeky Potato award. The idea was inspired by videos of bicycle buses in the Netherlands.

CONSERVATOIRE DATE Four students from Cockshut Hill School performed at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The Cockshut Hill Area band was formed in October thanks to the support of Services for Education. The group, open to all young musicians in the area, rehearse weekly providing an opportunity for students to learn the joy of playing music with others. They performed three pieces at the Conservatoire – Half Minute Waltz, Killing Me Softly and Valarie.

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GIRL TECH SHOWCASE More than 160 girls from schools across the West Midlands took part in #GirlTechWM, an event showcasing digital opportunities on offer for young women in the technology sector. Organised by Millennium Point and Ahead Partnership, #GirlTechWM aims to inspire young minds and address gender imbalances within the workforce. The event saw 12 to 14-year-olds from 11 secondary schools meet with prospective employers and hear about the types of career they could look forward to.

CHALLENGE CHAMPS A group of students from King Edward’s School, Birmingham successfully put their general knowledge to the test to win the Schools’ Challenge National Plate 2022. The team was made up of Year 10 students Aaryan Singh and Surya Prasanna and Year 12 pupils Andreas Ktori and Harry Rachman. Schools’ Challenge is a national general knowledge tournament which tests pupils quick-thinking and determination in a similar format to University Challenge.

JAZZLINES RETURNS

B:Music, the charity responsible for Birmingham’s Town Hall and Symphony Hall, has announced the return of its Jazzlines Summer School for young musicians from Birmingham and the surrounding areas. This year’s free, nonresidential course will be held at Symphony Hall from Monday 22 to Friday 26 August for young people aged between 11 and 19. Now in its tenth year, the Summer School has seen musicians such as Reuben James, Xhosa Cole and Alicia GardenerTrejo come through its doors.

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GYPSY BREW Local micro-brewery Gypsy Brew has gone from chatting about brewing craft beer to launching three varieties and opening a bar in only two years espite the destruction caused by lockdown and the obvious trauma of the pandemic there are positive stories that have emerged. Not least people rethinking their careers and going it alone on projects and businesses they might have only dreamed about before. Gypsy Brew was one of them, born out of a chance conversation during lockdown that is now thriving. Craft beer is what Gypsy Brew is about and as well as brewing, they’ve now launched a nononsense bar serving a brilliant collection of drinks and snacks called The Garrity in Barnt Green. We caught up with one of Gypsy Brew’s founders, Gary Meads who it seems was always destined for hospitality. He was born in the Coach and Horses, an 18th century coaching inn near Withall, grew up there which he says was ‘brilliant with unlimited Vimto and crisps’, tried to leave to forge an

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alternative career then bought the pub from his father and still runs it today. During lockdown when the Coach and Horses was shut, Gary started brewing real ale and doing take-out delivery. Gary’s regular barber, Al Smith was also shut. (Stick with us this is going somewhere). While chatting to Gary during lockdown, Al revealed he was thinking about brewing a craft beer using a brewery in Gloucester. Gary said to Al: “Why are you doing that you prat? I’ve got a brewery.” Voila. A serendipitous moment that spawned a cracking business that’s now thriving. CRAFT BEER NUT Gary wasn’t brewing craft beer before the chat with Al, so they brought in head brewer Rob Walker who’s a ‘craft beer nut’. Gary says: “Although I hadn’t brewed craft beer, it’s the same principles and

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COMPANY TO WATCH

The Garrity to serving only cold food, so they don’t compete. Discussions are ongoing so that might change, but the bar is flying nonetheless. DREAM TEAM While there’s Al and Jules (Gary says they’re Mr and Mrs Trendy) smashing the branding – the Garrity logo is particularly brilliant – Gary brings his hospitality expertise. Jules has never worked in hospitality but has thrown herself into it too. They’ve recruited a top-quality management team as well as a crew of bright enthusiastic youngsters to bolster the team. In hospitality Gary says ‘you live or die’ by the people ,so getting that right was an absolute priority. They’re already making noises about expanding and potentially opening more bars, but they’re keen to concentrate on The Garrity before opening a second site. Having said that, Gary has one eye on venues, so we reckon it might not be too long before The Garrity mark II pops up. I

I had the kit.” They played around with a few recipes and came up with three ‘excellent’ beers they were happy with. The term craft beer is bandied about a lot and it’s very trendy, but what makes a beer a craft beer? It’s essentially a fruity IPA, handmade and natural, so it’s not clear like a mass-produced lager. Gary says: “We don’t add actual fruit, but the hops used have mango and grapefruit tones.” The biggest hurdle was not being able to sell to pubs as they were shut, so they sold through the website – still do actually. Looking back, what seemed like a negative just gave them time to get it right. They’ve now launched their own bar called The Garrity in Barnt Green. They wanted something small and niche that felt very independent and that’s what they’ve achieved. They’ve teamed up with Midland’s 200 Degrees and Brighton based Bird & Blend to bring snacks and light bites alongside a fantastic drinks menu. The top tipple in the bar so far is Gypsy Brew’s Garrity Mash. There’s been a slight issue with the food as the bar has the same landlord as the café next door and they’ve put a clause in the lease that restricts

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MASH UP To find out more about Gypsy Brew visit thegarrity.co.uk

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BUSINESS

TECH TITLE

Independent audio-visual rental and virtual events company Presentation Service Providers of Kings Norton won the Event Tech of the Year award at the Exhibition News Awards. The award recognises the crucial role that technology plays in delivering events today. PSP delivers live and virtual events through a host of equipment including LED and display, wide screen projection, media servers, cameras, vision control, sound, lighting, staging, streaming and webcasting.

BUSINESS

BIKE STORE GEARS UP Evans Cycles has opened a new outlet in Birmingham New Street. Located in Sports Direct’s flagship store, the 3,500 sq ft shop

NEWS

stocks 130 bikes from a range of top brands across multiple disciplines, including road, MTB hybrid, electric and kids’ bikes. It also boasts a fully equipped workshop for repairs by expert mechanics. The opening complements Birmingham council's 10-year strategy to make cycling the everyday choice for local journey and leisure activities.

NICOLA JOINS CBI

BLACK BUSINESS EXPO The biggest Black Business Expo outside

Midlands CBI has boosted its regional team with a

of London – showcasing the skills of more

new associate director to help businesses navigate

than 100 entrepreneurs – is on its way to

the current economic challenges. Nicola Adams

Birmingham. The 18 June event at the

has worked across a number of different industries

NEC will highlight expertise from a variety

and has spent the past eight years in trade

of different sectors. Michael Adeniya,

associations primarily supporting the UK’s DIY,

pictured, chief operating officer of UK

housewares, electrical and footwear sectors. She brings extensive experience in account management, recruitment, business support and event management. In her new role, Nicola will work closely with CBI Midlands director Richard Blackmore and member businesses.

june 2022

Black Business Show, said: “The West Midlands entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t diminished despite the pandemic. It’s an honour to be able to give the Black Business community in the region a show that celebrates this.”

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BUSINESS

RUGBY ROLES Mike Turner and Pete Geddes of Open Clubhouse have been appointed chief executives of Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club. Open Clubhouse was hired by the club in September 2021 to boost its sales and marketing strategy and to deliver on the board’s objectives and vision. Club chairman David Warren said: “We are confident that with their support we will continue on our journey to becoming one of the leading rugby clubs in the country again.”

ROUNDHOUSE EATERY

Two brothers with a 40-year history of hospitality in Birmingham are opening their latest venture in a historic, newly renovated canal-side building. Paul and John Havelin – currently owners of Jonathans in the Park eatery based in the 18th century grade II listed Lightwoods House in Bearwood – will bring their signature traditional British food, drink and afternoon teas to the new Jonathans in the Roundhouse restaurant.

NEW CEO Legal firm Shoosmiths has a new CEO. Longstanding Birmingham partner David Jackson has taken over the top job from Simon Boss. Formerly

RSC CHIEF STEPS DOWN The search is on for a new artistic director at the Royal Shakespeare Company to replace Gregory Doran who has stepped down after a decade in the role and a total of 35 years with the RSC. Gregory, pictured, will remain as artistic director emeritus until the end of 2023, leading projects which include

head of the firm’s national commercial group, David played a key role in the integration of LegalTech as part of the business and launching the firm’s non-legal service arm, Shoosmiths8 Connected Services, last year. Partner Robin Webb replaces David as head of the firm’s

directing his 50th production in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as part of the

commercial group.

GRAND DESIGNS

celebration of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Midlands planning consultancy Marrons Planning has bolstered its urban design service with the appointment of Jared McQueen-Pullen. Having launched the new service less than a year ago, the consultancy is strengthening the team in response to growing demand for architecture and urban design advice. Jared joins from Dudley Council where he was responsible for setting the vision and standard for design within in the borough.

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BUSINESS

POWER PLAY

BUSINESS BITES

Hippodrome’s new director of people and culture.

Services For Education – the Birminghambased provider of expert training and development to teaching and support staff – has appointed Kirsty Jones as its new head of school support services. The appointment follows the retirement of Andrew Cooper after 22-years’ service.

SUPPORT HEAD

Avid theatre-goer Ruth Power is Birmingham The human resources specialist has more than a decade of experience working across charities and education. “I’ve loved theatre from a very young age and I am really excited to be part of such an iconic venue in Birmingham,” she said. Hippodrome

SALES BOSS

artistic director and chief executive Jon Gilchrist added: “The wealth of knowledge Ruth brings will add real value in ensuring the Hippodrome

Birmingham-based Independent insurance broker, the Bletchley Group has appointed Angela Irvine, who is deputy chair of West Midlands Region for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, as a sales director. She will develop the portfolio of regional and national clients.

continues to flourish post-Covid.” Picture by Thom Bartley

PEACH OF A PUB

Warwickshire pub company Peach Pubs has taken over the White Lion in Radford Semele near Leamington

REP RECIPE

Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell, and

Spa, which is undergoing a complete refurbishment.

Amadeus’ executive chef at the ICC

“The White Lion is a beautiful old thatched pub in a

Birmingham, Simon Hellier, teamed up to

beautiful village and we are lucky to call it one of ours,”

help raise £23,000 for Birmingham Rep at

said Peach partner Sarah Robinson, pictured. “We have

the theatre’s 50th anniversary gala. The duo

got to work to give it the attention it deserves to make it a great pub for everyone to enjoy.”

created the event’s menu which paid homage to some of the Rep’s most famous

MAKING A MARC productions.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Birmingham law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP has announced seven senior promotions. Shelley Collingbourne, Emma-Louise Hewitt, Shilpa Unarkat and Claire Cooper have been promoted to partners, Emma Gray and Marta Konieczna become associates and Charlotte Jones is senior solicitor. Karen Moores, senior partner at Sydney Mitchell said: “We are so proud of their achievements and commitment to both the firm and its clients, always going above and beyond.”

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The MD of a Birmingham-based flex office provider has been shortlisted for two awards at the UK’s most prestigious property awards. Marc Brough, who founded Cubo with wife Rebecca in 2020, is in the final line-up for the Young Property Personality of the Year and the Newcomer Award in Commercial Property at the 2022 Property Awards. He is the only individual to be shortlisted in two categories. Cubo operates from Two Chamberlain Square in Paradise Birmingham.

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SOCIAL SCENE

2

HOTEL LAUNCHES NEW FLAGSHIP RESTAURANT

1

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VIP guestlist attends opening of Indian-inspired Indus at Park Regis

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ark Regis hotel opened its new flagship Indian restaurant, Indus, with a party for the business community and media. Guests were greeted with signature cocktails and treated to ‘upmarket dining’. The restaurant is inspired by a love of India with chefs taking inspiration from their native homeland. Levi Bailey, hotel manager said: “Our restaurant celebrates the traditions, life and culture of India and its beautiful flavours, aromas and spices through our specially curated menus of dishes.” I

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1 Scott Brierley, Rosie Major, Jessica Brabant, Amelia Ladbrook. 2 Jas Rohel, Gary Newbon. 3 John Angus, Nick Biring. 4 Alex Tross, Nirmal Vora. 5 Brad Pattni, Chloe Jean Grey. 6 Roz Wilson, Jing Zhang, Denise Morris. 7 Tru Powell, Abby Goldie. 8 Phil Oldershaw, Llewella Bailey, Bob Warman. 9 Alev Dervish, Parv Gandham, Anita Champaneri. 10 Anna Cosgrove, Ryan Doyle, Rosie Major.

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SOCIAL SCENE

1

KIBOU CELEBRATES SOLIHULL OPENING 2

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Traditional kagami-biraki ceremony features at Japanese kitchen and bar IBOU Japanese Kitchen & Bar in Solihull celebrated its opening with a VIP party of invited local guests, influencers and celebrities. The party featured a traditional kagamibiraki ceremony performed by Scott Paine of artisan sake producer, Akashi Tai. The special ceremony sees the lid of a sake barrel broken open by wooden mallets and the sake then enjoyed by everyone present. Based at the former Café Rouge site on Solihull high street, the new restaurant has undergone a major redesign by Cheltenham-based architects, Q&A Interior Design. I

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1 James and Khaleda Meredith. 2 Royston Blythe, Andrew Riley, Nick Malenko. 3 Justin Davies, Suzanne Virdee, Scott Paine, Kin Ho Fung. 4 Wasps Rugby players, Tim Cardall, Tim Simonds and Cameron Anderson with partners. 5 Graham Jones, Marianne Kelly. 6 Richard O’Gorman and friend. 7 Sophie Howell. 8 Ryan Sidebottom, Ian Bell. 9 Suzanne Virdee, Andrew Fox.

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WHAT: Jane McDonald

WHAT: Edgbaston Artisan Market

WHEN: 17 July

WHEN: 11 June

WHERE: The Alexandra,

WHERE: Greenfield Crescent,

atgtickets.com

Edgbaston, calthorpe.co.uk

With stunning production and songs

Birmingham’s largest artisan market

played from her new hit album, the BAFTA

returns, featuring independent

award-winning star and her fantastic live

businesses from across the Midlands

band and backing singers always deliver a

showcasing the finest range of artisan

phenomenal show and this concert

food and drink, alongside handmade arts

promises to be the best one yet.

and crafts and farmers’ market produce.

WHAT: BBC Good Food Show Summer WHEN: 16 to 19 June WHERE: NEC Birmingham, bbcgoodfoodshow.com The BBC Good Food Show Summer returns alongside BBC Gardeners’ World Live with a star-studded line-up of the nation’s favourite chefs, including James Martin, Dame Mary Berry and Nadiya Hussain as well as green-fingered royalty including Monty Don, Adam Frost and Alan Titchmarsh.

WHAT: We Will Rock You WHEN: 4 to 30 July WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, birminghamhippodrome.com The worldwide smash-hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton returns to the UK. The multi-million-pound show dazzles all the senses in breathtaking style. Guaranteed to blow

WHAT: Birmingham International

your mind, this musical

Dance Festival 2022

phenomenon is not to be missed!

WHEN: 17 June to 3 July

WHAT: Bugsy Malone

WHERE: Various, for full information

WHEN: 27 July to 14 August

visit bidf.co.uk

WHERE: Birmingham Rep,

The largest dance festival in the UK is

birmingham-rep.co.uk

back and you can expect amazing

Alan Parker’s world-famous musical based on his

performances in the city’s theatres and a

hit movie is packed with instantly recognisable

take-over of Birmingham’s public spaces

songs from Oscar-winner Paul Williams. A

with three, free outdoor weekends,

masterclass of musical comedy with possibly the

featuring dance from around the globe

most joyously uplifting finale in musical theatre.

and across the Commonwealth.

*All information accurate at time of going to press, but please check in case of changes or cancellation

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: The Sky in a Room WHEN: 25 June to 3 July WHERE: St Mary Magdalene, Tanworth-in-Arden, details at ikon-gallery.org Ikon Gallery collaborates with Icelandic artist Ragnar on a major off-site project also in partnership with Artes Mundi, National Museum Wales, Cardiff. The seven-day lullaby engages multiple mediums, creating video installations, performances, drawings and paintings.

WHAT: Jeff Beck WHEN: 6 June WHERE: Symphony Hall, bmusic.co.uk

WHAT: Tomas Cusine Wine Dinner

The two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

WHEN: 29 June

inductee is universally acknowledged as

WHERE: Chapter Restaurant, Edgbaston

one of the most talented and significant

chapteredgbaston.co.uk

guitarists in the world. He’s joined on this

This is sure to be an amazing night of fine dining as the Chapter

tour by special guest, the Grammy award

team presents a five-course dinner with specially paired wines in

nominee and BRIT award-winning singer-

partnership with the hugely respected Xavier Cepero, general

songwriter Sharon Corr.

manager of the Tomas Cusine El Vilosell winery in northeast Spain.

WHAT: Electric Ladies: Toyah, Lene Lovich & WHAT: Talking Birds’ Come Bowl with Me WHEN: 23 to 27 July WHERE: Leamington Spa and Coventry, full details at talkingbirds.co.uk

Saffron of Republica WHEN: 24 June WHERE: Town Hall, bmusic.co.uk Toyah is one of the most recognisable faces in UK pop

The Coventry based theatre company celebrates the

culture and she will be joined on this special tour, in

wonderful world of Lawn Bowls with this hilarious,

support of the legendary Hazel O’Connor, by New-Wave

free and un-ticketed outdoor event. Join Lorna Bowles,

pioneer Lene Lovich and 90s indie rock chick Saffron from Republica.

Dwaine Hardball and Roger Rinkwell as they coach you through the gentle joys and fierce competition of

WHAT: David Ford & Annie Dressner – The Summer Holiday Tour

this much-loved game.

WHEN: 13 July WHERE: Old Joint Stock Theatre, dressnerford.com Ford is an award-winning songwriter who has been hailed as one of Britain’s finest live performers. His new collaboration with Dressner has led to a stunning debut release, 48 hours, and now their first tour together.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITHÁ

LEYLA OGAN

The head of racquets at Edgbaston Priory Club is on a mission to get more girls and women into tennis – and find the ultimate ‘adrenaline junkie’ sporting challenge BEEN THERE, DONE THAT My mum threw me into all sports but my passion for tennis came from my grandparents who played at Moseley Tennis Club. I eventually played on the professional circuit from age 16 to 20 and got to travel the world. I was diagnosed with skin cancer at 20 which made me appreciate tennis even more once I was fully recovered. I got into coaching while continuing to represent Team GB. I’m now head of racquets at Edgbaston Priory Club, home to the Rothesay Classic which brings the world’s best female tennis players to the city every summer. IT’S WHAT I DO I am responsible for everything tennis at Edgbaston Priory Club, from grassroots community programmes in parks and schools to club tennis and our high-performance programme, nurturing future professionals. I am also an ambassador for She Rallies, a campaign spearheaded by Judy Murray to get more women into tennis. Tennis is a game for everyone – our members join the club, learn to play, fine-tune their skills, get fit and make friendships for life. We’re also developing new racquets sports such as Pickleball and Padel Tennis. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE More people across our city playing tennis all year round – not just during Wimbledon! I’d like to see more competitive sport return to schools – it plays such a big role in making young people understand the importance of teamwork and building up resilience when things don’t always go as planned. I’d like to see the Birmingham Classic, featuring the world’s best female players, given the same primetime coverage as the men’s tournament at Queen’s Club in London. We need more

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girls in sport, more women in decision-making roles in sport, more women as role models. It’s so important for young girls – if you can see them you can be them! BIGGEST SUCCESS When I was ranked World No 1 in Collegiate Tennis after recovery from skin cancer… oh, and getting up on a surfboard in Australia, too! BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Everyone has their own journey through life, learn to love yours – the highs and lows, the winning and losing moments. The biggest piece of advice I would pass on to young players is to listen to your body conditioning coaches, nutritionists and physiotherapists. Look after the body and mind off the court – it’s as important as what happens on court. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM Great restaurants, night life and a good city vibe, plus excellent transport links – and great sport on offer, of course! It’s going to be an exciting summer as we host the Commonwealth Games which will really put our city on the global sporting map. My favourite night out has to be a beer and burger in the Plough, Harborne or a good show at the Hippodrome! DOWNTIME I still enjoy playing, competing and seeing friends I made through sport. You just can’t beat enjoying a beer with mates after a match. I also love being outdoors and am a BIG adrenaline junkie. There aren’t many adrenaline sports I haven’t tried, so if anyone has a new one for me to have a go at, send it my way! I

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