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June 2018

KING OF POP

FIZZ

FINEST

PETE WATERMAN

SCORCHING SUMMER DRESSES

QUEEN OF WIMBLEDON ANN JONES SOUL STAR

JAKI GRAHAM

LET’S DANCE George Williamson

MICHELIN STAR Adam’s

SMASH IT Taking up Tennis

HENRY WONG’S Marianne Ho


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EDITOR’S VIEW

W

e called him the King of Strings on our front cover back in March and, boy, were we bang-on! Sheku Kanneh-Mason was one of the stars of an unforgettable day when he played for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at their wedding. It was joyous to see the 19-year-old Midlands-born Young Musician of the Year play his cello so wonderfully as he performed Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria, Gabriel Fauré’s Après un Rêve and Maria Theresia von Paradis’ Sicilienne, watched by the Queen, the Royal Family and a congregation of the rich and famous at St George’s Chapel, Windsor – as well as a TV audience of hundreds of millions around the globe. Sheku was asked to play when Meghan called him personally in February. It’s the kind of phone call that makes you have to pinch yourself to believe that it is for real. Equally bowled over with joy was Birmingham-born Clare Waight Keller – the first female artistic director at French fashion house Givenchy – who designed Meghan’s gorgeous wedding dress. I only wish Birmingham could also lay claim to Michael Curry, the Episcopal bishop who stole the show with his evangelical sermon – but alas, he comes from North Carolina by way of Chicago. Oh well, two out of three ain’t bad! Anyone for tennis? I sure am, as the world’s best players head to the grass courts of Edgbaston this month and then onto Wimbledon. I’ve loved tennis since being a kid and getting some lessons from a proper LTA coach. Safe to say, I didn’t turn into an Andy Murray. But summer just isn’t summer until the stars set foot onto the grass – and I’m tucking into English strawberries and cream!

David Johns

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

/bhamliving

Cover image:

Jaki Graham, Queen of Soul

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

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

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

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

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INSIDE

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Highlights

Jaki Graham

Our own Queen of Soul talks Tina Turner, Diana Ross and When a Woman Loves

Pete Waterman The ‘Midlands boy through and through’ spills the beans on life as a music mogul

Oh Dani boy! Head chef Dani Adams on Sunday roasts, beef Wellington and wild boar testicles!

Food & Drink News, reviews and recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene, plus summer’s Finest Fizz

Summer Style Seriously scorching summer dresses that’ll put your fashion rivals in the shade

Health & Fitness It’s June – and that means tennis. So, get out there and have a smashing time!

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

46 58 60 66 72 78 june 2018

Homes

Turn your bathroom into a home spa experience, says top designer Lisa Melvin

Motoring Sue Cook test drives VW’s big, sleek and very opulent new Arteon coupé

Young, Gifted & Brummie Award-winning choreographer George Williamson on falling in love with dance

Company to Watch Business of the Year, Curium, plus news & views from the commercial community

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

Shows, Arts, Gigs and More What’s on, where and when – all you need to know about the city’s entertainment scene

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NEWS

VINTAGE YEAR FOR EASY RIDERS >> Celebrating its 70th year, the Vintage Motor Cycle Club Banbury Run will once again be hosted at the British Motor Museum on Sunday 17 June. Around 500 Veteran and Vintage motorcycles will ride out from the Museum on various circular routes. Regarded as the largest gathering of pre-1931 motorcycles and three-wheelers in the world, the Banbury Run is geared towards those who enjoy the thrill of riding with other Vintage, Veteran and Pioneer bikes.

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

NEWS STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS

FOOTBALL FOCUS

Edgbaston Village on the Calthorpe Estate is bidding to attract local priority species of birds to the region. The Village has installed open-fronted nest boxes and single sparrow terraces in the hope they will help stem the drop in numbers of black redstarts and house sparrows, both of which are local priority species. The birds have already been meeting their new neighbours – with children from nearby Norfolk House Nursery paying the bird boxes a visit.

When artist Louise Cobbold painted an image of her husband Chris’s favourite Wolves footballer as a gift he was so delighted with it that he posted the image on social media. The reaction among other Wolves supporters has led to Louise painting a set of 12 original pieces which have been signed by Premier League-bound Wolves players and staff. The paintings are being auctioned to raise money for Cure Leukaemia after the club’s goalkeeper Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in 2017. https://www.sportspersonalities.org/auction/

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NEWS

VILLA FIRST Aston Villa Football Club has announced a new kit partnership with Fanatics and menswear brand LUKE 1977. The partnership makes Villa the first English team to adopt a threeparty agreement with a sportswear maker and leading UK fashion brand. LUKE 1977 menswear is headed by Birmingham-bred Villa fan Luke Roper.

BRINDLEYPLACE’S BIG DAY OUT

IN BRIEF DALE’S COSTUME DRAMA BIRTHDAY TREAT Birmingham Repertory

Theatre raised £10,000 from its one-off Grand Costume

The first-ever Family Festival is coming to Brindleyplace with free activities for visitors of all ages, including street dance workshops and

Birmingham and Solihull

penalty shootout

Women’s Aid’s refuge, Seerose,

challenges with the

the REP First campaign to

marked its first birthday when

Birmingham City Football

raise £1million towards

Dale Hollinshead of Jewellery

Club mascot, Beau.

Quarter salon, Hazel & Haydn,

Sponsored by Deutsche

offered victims of abuse

Bank, the Festival on

haircuts, treatments and styling.

Saturday 16 June will raise

people, including a line-up of

BSWA supported over 11,000

funds for Cure Leukaemia.

elite athletes, took part in the

victims in the past year.

The annual Dragonboat

Sale. More than 400 people visited the sale which boosted

staging new productions.

RECORD RUN A record-breaking 8,000

Race also features.

Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K, televised live on Channel 5. The event was officially started by Birmingham Lord Mayor, Cllr Anne Underwood.

WRITE ROYAL Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received a special wedding gift from Birmingham precision writing implements company Yard-O-Led – a

DANCING WITH ROMAN CANDLES A student from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is hoping to fill dancefloors this summer. Music producer and DJ Gemma Whitfield – known as Roman Candles – is studying a Masters in Music Technology and her latest track, Body Spirit, features on a new dance EP she is

matching ballpoint pen and

submitting as part of her course. Body Spirit, on

pencil, one engraved with an H

Shanghaied Records, is available to stream via

and the other with an M

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Spotify and Apple Music.

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NEWS

INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL MADE FOR MUSIC

The countdown is on to the West Midlands’ largest and best loved music festival next month. MADE Festival will be held on Saturday 28 July at Birmingham’s Perry Park. The Festival, which is committed to presenting boundary-pushing music, features an impressive line-up of internationally acclaimed acts and performers. Held in the streets of

Ten days of premieres of feature films, documentaries and shorts is being promised at this month’s Birmingham Indian Film Festival. The event is presented by the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival and returns for its fourth consecutive year at Cineworld Broad Street, mac Birmingham and the Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen from Friday 22 June to Sunday 1 July.

Digbeth for the last four years, the Festival’s move to Perry Park – home of Alexander Stadium and the 2022 Commonwealth Games – marks a new era for the event.

GO GET ‘EM LITTLE TIGER

NEW GALLERY OPENS Great Western Arcade has welcomed its latest independent retailer, Paul Horton Fine Art Gallery. Following the success of its first pop-up in December 2017, father and son Paul and Mark Horton, pictured, have returned to the arcade as permanent tenants. The gallery was launched to visitors with a preview of Paul’s new work.

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Two brothers from the West Midlands have set their sights on golfing success. Hayden Sarfo, eight, could well claim to be ‘the new Tiger Woods’ as he heads to San Diego to compete in July’s IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championship – won in the past by Tiger Woods. Brandon, 16, is competing in championships at elite county, regional and national level.

LUKE PLAYS TO WIN More than 50 musicians from across the globe competed in Bromsgrove International Young Musicians’ Competition. Hosted annually, the competition is open to talented instrumentalists and singers of any nationality aged between 18 and 25. Nearly 300 guests watched as 22-year-old pianist Luke Jones performed pieces by Rachmaninov and Medtner to scoop the top prize of £6,000.

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NEWS

CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS Birmingham Hippodrome is launching Creative Conversations, a new series of thought-provoking lunchtime events. The first is on Monday 11 June with BBC broadcaster Mishal Husain, pictured, and Catherine Mallyon, executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Guests will get an exclusive insight into how the RSC global brand helps drive inward investment for the region.

FOGGY HEADS 5,000 BIKERS

THEY’VE GOT IT LICKED!

More than 5,000 bikers took part in the annual Midlands’ Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival. Superbike champion Carl Fogarty, motorcycle and truck racing legend Steve Parrish and former England rugby captain and 2003 World Cup winner

Family fun will be served up when the

Mike Tindall, led the 23-mile ride out which raised nearly £88,000 for Midlands

Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest

Air Ambulance charity. The Festival entertained bikers and visitors with a host of

celebration of food and drink, returns to

activities and attractions through the day.

Cannon Hill Park on the 22, 23 and 24 June. The mouth-watering event includes the launch of a new Musicians Against Homelessness stage featuring muchloved headliner Toploader. An all-star line

WOMEN ON THE BALL Birmingham’s ICC was the venue for

up will be cooking in the Chef’s Theatre,

the LTA’s Women’s Coach

including Michelin starred Glynn Purnell,

Conference. The event saw more

Brad Carter of Carters of Moseley and

GOT ANY NEWS?

Rob Palmer of Peels Restaurants.

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

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than 200 women involved in sport hear from a line-up of female sports leaders including Gabby Logan, fivetime Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger and Judy Murray on how to get more female coaches into tennis.

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COVER STORY

THE QUEEN OF SOUL A Jaki Graham is a music legend who inspired the likes of Beverley Knight and holds an all-time Top 20 hits record. The homegrown superstar spoke to David Johns on the eve of her exciting new album

s the first British black female solo artist to have six consecutive Top 20 hits, Birmingham’s Jaki Graham is the UK’s most revered queen of soul music. She is the singer all the others look up to. The singer who inspired the likes of fellow Brummie Beverley Knight to want to be like her. Yet with a wonderful sense of modesty and understatement, Jaki says: “Man, I’m still learning my craft, still growing.” This month sees the release of Jaki’s new and long-awaited album When a Woman Loves, which she will launch at a concert in Birmingham – part of her new tour. And despite more than 40 years in the business, with her first hit in the Eighties and having performed live, on TV and around the world ever since, Jaki admits: “I’m feeling really nervous. I think the older you get the more nervous you become. The new album is for my core fans, but also for their children who want to hear ‘Auntie Jaki’…”

POWER PLAY Fans of old definitely won’t be disappointed as Jaki seamlessly picks up where she left off, with outstanding vocals that have matured and become even more powerful over the years. The 14track record’s mix of retro, soul and funk also has the broad appeal to attract a whole new audience to the JG supporters club. We spoke to Jaki on the eve of her flying to Los Angeles to record a video for the album. She admitted to be “so excited” as the video was being produced by the “same guy who did my video at the very start of my career”. She added: “I’m told there’s lots of wild ideas and things planned for the video. I can’t wait to do it.” Jaki’s first hit back in 1985, Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, was followed up with five more UK Top 20 chart-toppers over a

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BEVERLEY KNIGHT, SHE’S MY

GIRL, MAN! BEV ASKED ME FOR MY AUTOGRAPH AND TOLD ME: WHAT YOU DO IS WHAT I WANT TO DO

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COVER STORY

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS ARE RECEIVING AN HONORARY

DOCTORATE FROM WOLVERHAMPTON UNIVERSITY AND A PLAQUE ON

BROAD STREET’S WALK OF STARS.

two-year period, including probably her best known solo single, Round and Around. In 1994, her cover version of Chaka Khan’s hit, Ain’t Nobody, reached number one on the US Billboard dance chart. GREAT SONGS At around the same time, American singer Michael McDonald was looking for a female singer to accompany him on his UK tour. After hearing Jaki’s voice he said she was “one of the best singers Britain has ever produced” and the two became great friends and music collaborators – Michael writing several of the songs on Jaki’s new album. “The songs on the new album just came my way and I just felt the time was right,” says Jaki. “I thought ‘Oh my gosh’, these are such great songs. They are the old me, but upgraded to today.” Unlike so many other leading artists, Jaki – who was a backing vocalist for UB40 in her early days – has always put her family first which has meant at times that her musical career has seemingly been put on the backburner. Originally from Handsworth, Jaki first met her husband Tony when they both attended Ladywood School. They have two children, Ryan and Natalie. As well as having a great voice in her own right, Natalie is also Jaki’s manager. The family now live in Wolverhampton, where Jaki says “the people just embrace me”. Indeed one of Jaki’s personal highlights was receiving an honorary doctorate from Wolverhampton University. The other

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was being honoured with a plaque on Broad Street’s Walk of Stars. “To see the other incredible famous people who have been honoured with Stars made me feel just incredible,” says Jaki. She lists among her special career moments meeting Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, appearing on Top of the Pops and working for Motown. Jaki is more than aware how much the music industry has changed over the years and continues to change today. “Talking to the kids after I was honoured by Wolverhampton University, they were telling me how they make their music in their bedrooms. It was fascinating to hear – I was learning from the kids! But it’s a great thing because they have control and they have the chance to get themselves heard.” We feel sure that many of the students will have been inspired by Jaki’s enthusiasm and passion for her music – just as a young Beverley Knight was some years ago when she met the soul queen in a store in Birmingham. Jaki says: “Beverley Knight, she’s my girl, man! Bev saw me in the shop and asked me for my autograph. She told me: What you do is what I want to do. And look at what she has achieved. To hear and know that people can be inspired by me is amazing!” I

Jaki’s new album When A Woman Loves is out on 15 June on JNT Music, more details and to order at www.jaki-graham.com. Jaki also plays the Jam House Birmingham on 7 June.

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FEATURE

Pete’s For

sake!

Music mogul Pete Waterman could be forgiven for easing up after 40 years in the business, but not a bit of it. The ‘Midlands boy through and through’ is hitting the road to spill the beans on Simon Cowell and Co… fter 40 years at the forefront of the music business Pete Waterman has heard it all, seen it all and done it all… many times over. “Nothing shocks or surprises me anymore,” he says. “There’s pretty much no situation that I haven’t experienced or had to handle.” Which, we guess, is why he’s so relaxed at spending the next five months being put on the spot night-afternight by audiences up and down the country as he takes his new one-man show on the road. And the date he’s especially looking forward to is the 23rd of this month when An Evening With Pete Waterman decamps at Birmingham Town Hall. Pete’s expecting all the regular questions: What was it like working with Kylie Minogue? What was Rick Astley really like? Is Simon Cowell really Mr Nasty? What was it like being a Pop Idol judge? But Pete is expecting something a little more searching from the Birmingham audience – after all, he’s a “proud Midlands boy through and through”. He says: “I’m expecting and hoping that with my local knowledge of the Midlands, I’ll get some really good chat and banter happening with the audience. There’s nowhere like the place and no one like the people.” Music mogul Pete’s new show is proof positive of what has always driven him on – the need to be challenged and always to try something new and ‘out of the box’. The one-man format follows on from his

A

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A Life in Song concert two years ago at London’s Royal Festival Hall which saw Pete discussing his career with a host on stage. “Although I enjoyed that, I felt the interaction with the audience through the host wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I want to talk to people directly so you can get a really good rapport going with them.” Now, he’s promising ‘behind-thescenes and inside’ stories galore. There’s no shortage of material that’s for sure. Pete is recognised as one of the most influential and prolific music moguls of a generation, being the man behind more than 100 Top 40 UK hits and 40 million records. Worldwide, Pete has achieved more than 500 million record sales becoming not only a producer and songwriter but also a talent spotter and developer, radio DJ and TV presenter. He’s also collected an OBE from the Queen for his services to music along the way… He’s is perhaps best known as one third of the huge-selling music production and songwriting

Pete is promising behindthe-scenes and inside stories galore – there’s no shortage of material, that’s for sure…

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

HIT MAKER: Pete enjoyed huge success with Mike Stock and Matt Aitken before discovering singing superstar Kylie Minogue

partnership, Stock Aitken Waterman as well as for his PWL label. As the most successful producersongwriter in UK history, he has won dozens of awards, including multiple Ivor Novellos and the Music Industry’s Man of the Year. His influence spans legendary acts from across the music spectrum, including Bananarama, Steps, Donna Summer, John Travolta, Jason Donovan, Cliff Richard, Sinitta, as well as Kylie and Rick too of course. Not bad for a lad from humble beginnings in Stoke Heath, Coventry, who was educated at Whitely Abbey Comprehensive and left school without being able to read or write – but who was “brilliant at music and could sing like an angel”. (He remembers all too well going to his local bank and asking for the same teller every time so he could write his cheques out for him…) Pete’s first job was as a steam locomotive fireman with British Railways based in the old Stafford Road depot in Wolverhampton. And trains are a passion he still enjoys today – but more of that later! He decided to follow a career in music after being inspired by the Beatles, and to supplement his income as a DJ he became a gravedigger and then an An Evening With Pete Waterman UK Tour 2018 runs from June to October. Pete is at Birmingham Town Hall on 23 June. More details: www.thsh.co.uk

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apprentice and union official at GEC. As his DJ work grew, he travelled widely making serious contacts in the music business before teaming up with Matt Aitken and Mike Stock in the early Eighties. On TV, as well as appearing on Pop Idol in the UK, Pete famously linked up with comedian Peter Kay for the hilarious spoof talent show Britain’s Got The Pop Factor… And Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice. Despite the fame and fortune, Pete has never yearned the rich life. “I have never lived in a multi-million mansion or had my own private jet,” he says. “It’s not who or what I am. Don’t get me wrong, I love London and working in London, but I would never want to live there. My roots are and always have been right here in the Midlands. Yes, I live further north these days, but I’m still a Midlands boy, 100 per cent. I know the place upside down, inside out and backwards. All my closest mates still live in Coventry and I speak with them and especially my best mate from school – who is still my best mate today – regularly.” Alongside Pete’s love of music is his addiction to the railways. His knowledge of the British rail industry is unmatched and he has invested huge amounts of time and money both in setting up two train businesses, creating hundreds of jobs and apprenticeships, salvaging, restoring and preserving steam locomotives and collecting large scale model trains. Pete is a member of the HS2 Growth Taskforce – a project which he describes as “life-changing and something we have to do for our children”. I

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FOOD & DRINK

Dani Oh,

boy!

The head chef of the Stag at Offchurch rates beef Wellington and mom’s Sunday roasts as his food heaven. But Dani Adams will pass on the wild boar testicles… Tell us about your cooking I try to stick to the classics with a few twists and modern interpretations. I’m particularly excited by bold flavour combinations and local seasonality is very important to me.

How did you become a chef? I’ve always wanted to be a cook from an early age but my mother was a hugely influential factor in my choice to embark on cheffing as a career. We moved around a fair bit when I was young and got to see food from different cultures so it made my mum really experimental and an excellent home cook. I was lucky to train under former Dorchester and Savoy chefs at North West Kent College of Technology who really inspired me. What do you eat when at home? On my own, something quick and simple, however when with my family I generally tend to cook a belting curry – thankfully I spent time with an excellent Punjabi chef and learned authentic Indian cuisine Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? From a celebrity point of view, I think Gordon Ramsay’s legacy speaks for itself and I’ve always been a huge admirer. However I believe it’s the unsung heroes of the catering world who are the biggest influence on me, so my friends and mentors Mark Kember and Matthew Reynolds would be my choice. As for in Birmingham, the dining scene has really evolved over the last decade, with huge leaps to becoming one of the most exciting scenes for dining at the moment, producing several great chefs.

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CHEF’S CORNER

DANI’S SLOE GIN CURED SEA TROUT, BURNT APPLE PUREE, WATERCRESS & RADISH SALAD Serves 4 To cure the trout, use equal quantities of table salt, sea salt and sugar, mixed with sloe gin, lemon and juniper berries. The process takes 3 to 4 days, dependent on the size of the trout.

Ingredients:

I 4 portions cured sea trout I 30g caster sugar

I 1 Granny Smith apple

I 1 radish, finely sliced

I ½ bunch watercress

I 25g butter

I 8 apple blossom flowers

I 1 Pink Lady apple (half dried into fine crisps, the other half cut into Julienne)

Method: To make the burnt apple puree, quarter the Granny Smith, remove core, sprinkle over sugar. Place the butter on top and roast in a hot oven (190⁰C) until the caramel just starts to burn. Remove from the oven and blitz everything together until smooth, set aside to cool. To present the dish, arrange four or five pieces of thinly sliced sea trout across the plate. Carefully arrange the watercress and radish around. Place the Julienne apple around, as well as the puree. Finish with the apple crisps & blossom flowers.

Is the customer always right? Most definitely not, but we all have to adapt to try to please... Share a cooking tip Never compromise quality by rushing What was your favourite food as a kid? There was nothing better than looking forward to my mom’s Sunday roasts, especially her roast lamb Food heaven and food hell? I absolutely love beef Wellington but hell would be a creamy risotto What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? A very fresh, wild boar testicle. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? After 23 years, I honestly can’t think of anything else that I would want to be. I guess if I’d chosen a different path then I’d probably be a bit more ‘normal’! What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? To start, our pomegranate molasses cured salmon followed by the duck Wellington and then to finish our amazing double layer chocolate cheesecake I The Stag at Offchurch, Welsh Road, Offchurch, Leamington Spa, CV33 9AQ. Tel: 01926 425801 www.thestagatoffchurch.com

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SEASON’S EATINGS

Jersey Royal ice cream The coolest potato recipe ever – courtesy of Michelin starred Channel Islands’ head chef Steve Smith s there anything more magical than tucking in to a helping of one of the greatest vegetables on the planet – Jersey Royal potatoes? If you’re a lover of super spuds, this is the time of year for you as the short Jersey Royals season is in full swing. But how about trying something radical with the Royals? Like Jersey Royal ice cream? This amazing recipe comes from Steve Smith, head chef of Michelin-starred Bohemia Bar and Restaurant in the Jersey capital of St Helier. So, if anyone knows how to create wonderful Jersey Royal dishes, it’s Steve! Have a go at making his ice cream and you’ll see what we mean… 

I

Bohemia Bar & Restaurant, Green Street, St. Helier, Jersey JE2 4UH, Channel Islands tel: 01534 880 588 www.bohemiajersey.com

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HOW TO MAKE Ingredients:

 1 kg finely sliced Jersey Royals  500g Borbier unsalted butter  500ml skimmed milk  60g Pro crema  500ml whole milk  120ml creme fraiche/fromage blanc  2 tbspn brown butter  2 tspn salt

Method: Caramelise the sliced Jersey Royals in the butter until completely golden brown. Drain from the butter. Add the milk to the pro crema and bring to the boil. Add the drained potatoes and allow to steep for 45 minutes. Keep 500g of the potatoes. Blend the kept potatoes, milk mix, creme fraiche, brown butter and salt. Blend until completely smooth then place into a Paco jet beaker and freeze.

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FOOD & DRINK

NIBBLES

and SHORTS

Birmingham has a lively and buzzing bar and restaurant scene. Here, we present our insider guide to what’s going on in your city’s eateries and drinking dens RICHARD RETURNS TO BRINDLEYPLACE Renowned chef Richard Turner has returned to the kitchen at Maribel Restaurant which replaces Edmunds in Brindleyplace. Maribel offers accessible menus inspired by French-influenced modern British cooking in a relaxed environment, showcasing ‘Best of British’ seasonal ingredients. Richard held a Michelin star for many years at his restaurant in Harborne.

YEEHAW! WELCOME TO TASTE OF TEXAS A dash of Americana has arrived in south Brum in the shape of Smokey Barrels Texan BBQ restaurant at Coventry Road. Using a smoker imported from the US, the eatery uses real wood to create an authentic smoke flavour, including hickory, cherry and whisky oak. As for the food… think low and slow ribs, ultimate burgers and rib-eye steaks with dry rub, smokey bourbon, sticky BBQ or Louisiana hot sauce. Yum!

GRAND CENTRAL COOKS UP THAI TREAT Thai Express is opening a new flagship restaurant in Grand Central this month. The eatery showcases Thai Express’s street food-style open kitchen concept, allowing customers to see and choose from an array of fresh ingredients and watch their dish being prepared. The restaurant is the latest addition to the Thai Express chain, which has 200 locations worldwide.

PEBBLE MILL’S ‘GRAB AND GO’ COFFEE SHOP Evolve café has evolved with a second location. Launched last year at the old Adam & Eve pub in Digbeth, Evolve provides young people with training and job opportunities. The idea has caught on so much that Evolve 2 has opened in Pershore Road, near Cannon Hill Park and the new Pebble Mill development site. The ‘grab-and-go’ coffee shop also offers sandwiches, cakes, wraps and soups.

MUM’S THE WORD FOR RAMADAN MENU The team at Lebanese restaurant Comptoir Libanais, Grand Central, has created a special sharing menu for the Ramadan festival. All the dishes are based on traditional recipes cooked by mothers all over the Middle East and North Africa during Ramadan. The menu is available during Ramadan until 14 June.

PIZZA SERVICE AT THE CHURCH Peel & Stone Pizza has opened in the Jewellery Quarter with a purpose built oven at Birmingham indie pub, the Church. The pub has been owned and managed by the Soul Food Project for five years. Peel & Stone was a spin-off business started four years ago and has become Birmingham’s busiest artisan bakery. Peel & Stone Pizza offers a wide range of cocktails, ales, fresh salads, sides and stone baked pizza.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

NEW OXFORD HOUSE, WATERLOO STREET, BIRMINGHAM, B2 5UG. TEL: 0121 643 3745

ADAM’S ADAMSRESTAURANT.CO.UK

hen you eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant there’s an expectation of culinary greatness, so a trip to Adam’s had us salivating and checking out the menu three days in advance. Having been to the launch party and numerous events, we’d never actually dined in the restaurant. I don’t know what we’ve been doing with our lives either! Firstly, Champagne and nibbles in the bar. We’ve sampled many a Michelin-starred nibble and can only assume that when the inspector visited he wasn’t served chewy crisps served with a chef-y drizzle of sticky balsamic glaze. Not the start we’d anticipated and the sort of thing that made us feel we were missing something. Maybe we were. The restaurant was buzzing and we had a great table on the edge of the action. As wine lists go, this one’s a corker. We’ve become enamoured with American chardonnay recently and plumped for a 2014 La Crema from the Sonoma Valley (£52) which hit the spot nicely. Having gone off tasting menus in favour of choosing our own nosh, we ordered from the threecourse menu (£65) of which every single dish sounded like a winner. The ‘nibbles’ at the table – a perfect pink macaron of beetroot with horseradish and a superb unctuous meaty bon bon – reignited our excitement about what was to come and almost obliterated crispgate. Mackerel with crab, avocado and wasabi was a delicate, beautiful plate that packed a flavour punch too. Monkfish with wild mussels, Champagne and

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samphire was incredible with a lemony gel atop of the fish that worked brilliantly. Guinea fowl with shiitake mushrooms, smoked potato and braised leek was a stunner with the smokey potato balancing a tartness in the sauce that would have taken over otherwise. Really clever. Herdwick hogget with pea, mint and courgette was just delicious and our fellow diner’s stand out dish. My stand out dish – and this has never happened – was dessert. Not one of those sweet-toothed types, I tolerate pud when required, but could happily eat Adam’s passe crassane pear with toasted hay, caramelia and praline at every meal forever. I can’t describe what was happening on the plate, but trust me, it was joyous. Simple, light perfection. I didn’t sample the friend’s chocolatey, salted pecan affair as he polished off the lot looking very pleased with himself. There’s no doubt this is one classy establishment that Birmingham should be super proud and supportive of. We left feeling utterly spoilt by both the brilliant staff and the incredible food. I

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FOOD & DRINK

SUMMER’S SHAPING UP NICELY AND YOU’LL NEED SOMETHING TO COOL YOU DOWN AS THE GOING GETS HOT! CUE BEAUTIFULLY CHILLED SPARKLING WINE, SAYS EXPERT ROB PRICE

LET’S GET FIZZICAL e do like bubbles! More than 120 million bottles are consumed each year. And we have a new favourite! Prosecco has taken over from Champagne as our number one tipple. I love sparkling wines, especially this time of year when the lighter evenings and warmer days make me want to break out the fizz. Cava, Prosecco and Champagne are our top three fizzes – and there are so many notable examples with keen pricing making many absolute bargains. But my mantra is keep on exploring. So, if you want to try something different, have look at these…

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ENGLISH SPARKLING WINE We make great sparkling wines. Our climate is best for this type of wine and accounts for two-thirds of all the wine we produce. It’s fresh, complex and made the same way as Champagne.

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GERMAN SEKT If you like Prosecco, then German Sekt may be also your thing. Using fruity aromatic grapes (like that in Prosecco) and made in a big tank (again like Prosecco), Sekt is a fruity and refreshing fizz that is very easy to quaff. CREMANT Crémant is the term used for all other sparking wines from France (other than Champagne). There are many choices. The oldest sparkling wine (allegedly) is from Limoux. In 1531 the local monks were messing around (I’m sure that’s the term they used) with their wine and noticed some bottles had a slight fizz to them. Once they had worked out it wasn’t an act of God, they set about improving the technique of second fermentation in the bottle – and voila! Sparking wine was born. Other Crémants are Saumur, in the Loire Valley, or perhaps a sparkling Vouvray, also from the Loire. You could try Crémant de Bordeaux or Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy) These are all made the same way as Champagne but use local grapes to make very different and diverse sparking wines. Every region in France makes them, so just work your way around each area and you will be very well rewarded with new tastes and probably new favourites SOUTH AFRICAN CAP CLASSIQUE South Africa like all New World countries makes a range of sparkling wines, either in the style of Champagne or in its own style. Cap Classique is the premium style and made traditionally. Tiny quantities, around 2.5 million bottles, but worth seeking out. ASTI You all probably know Asti Spumante… and have not considered drinking this for the past two decades! But you should. Modern Asti is so fresh, yes sweet, but moreish and with low alcohol very easy to enjoy on a summer’s afternoon. One of my favourite sparkling wines.

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FOUR FABULOUS FIZZES TO TRY

Sarmur Rosé

The Wine Society’s Saumur Rosé is a wonderful dry pink Crémant

fizz. Lovely light and refreshing. Think summer fruits. Easy to drink by itself but equally delicious with light canapes. Available from the Wine Society, £10.95

NV Contadi Castaldi

Tannico, a specialist Italian wine importer, has a good range of Franciacorta wines. I suggest you start with NV (Non-Vintage)

Contadi Castaldi. It will show you just how good these wines are, and I’m sure you’ll want to drink more. With 80 per cent

Chardonnay, this is crisp with racy acidity. Try with fish and chips! £21.10 a bottle.

Dr Loosen Sekt

As mentioned, if you like Prosecco you should like Sekt. Dr Loosen (a top Germain wine producer) makes one from Riesling. It’s full of fresh apple and elderflower, you think you’re in the middle of a

meadow in summertime. Available from Simply Wines Direct, £14.99

Moscato Asti This example is very fresh and sweet, with just a little gentle fizz. Aromas of grape, flowers and peaches. A brilliant lunchtime drink at only five per cent alcohol. Available from the Wine Society, £8.25

FRANCIACORTA Another Italian sparking wine and very high quality. Made traditionally, it’s aged for even longer than Champagne. The Riserva versions are matured for at least 60 months before release and only from particularly good vintages. Providing some of the most complex sparkling wines available. Not cheap, but worth every penny. TASMANIAN FIZZ Tasmania lies 150 miles south of Australia, hence is climate is much cooler and more like Bordeaux in terms of weather. Very well suited for the production of sparking wines. Very limited production, but all high quality. I Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham Warwick and Milton Keynes city centres. For more information contact Rob Price, 0121 270 7359, or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

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A TOUCH OF CLASS

SUFFERING ROYAL WEDDING WITHDRAWAL? WE’VE JUST THE THING TO PERK YOU UP…

oyal wedding hysteria may have calmed down and you may be feeling lost after months of pre-nuptial excitement. The clever chaps at Aluna have come up with a Meghan-inspired tipple to help ease those post-wedding blues.

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ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY Ingredients:

 Brugal Anejo (dark rum), 22.5ml  Blood orange syrup, 22.5ml

 Mandarine liqeuer, 22.5ml  Edible Pearl Dust, 2g

To make: Shake all liquid ingredients with ice and pour into bottle. Add Edible Pearl Dust and shake. Serve into a coupe and enjoy.

Aluna Birmingham, 128-130, The Mailbox, Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RQ. Tel: 0121 633 9987 www.aluna.uk.com

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DRAMATIC DINING EXPERIENCES Interactive Theatre International presents FAULTY TOWERS: THE DINING EXPERIENCE

• • •

13-22 September 2018

Tickets £54 per person

Lunch & dinner experiences available Price includes 3-course meal, coffee and a 2 hour show

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‘Fantastic!’

‘Delicious fun’

What’s on stage

GlamAdelaide

Laughlines Comedy Entertainment presents THE SITCOM EXPERIENCE: DEL BOY & RODNEY

• • •

6-15 December 2018

Tickets £54 per person

A hilarious live situation comedy dining experience Price includes 3-course meal, coffee and a 2 hour show

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‘The improvisation and interaction with the audience was excellent’ Maidenhead Advertiser

UNIQUE VENUES BIRMINGHAM, BROAD STREET, BIRMINGHAM, B1 2EP

0121 236 4455 | www.birmingham-rep.co.uk


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ADVERTORIAL

STUNNING STOCKHOLM

ACROSS THE CITY’S 14 ISLANDS YOU WILL DISCOVER LEAFY PARKS, SERENE WALKING TRAILS, DELIGHTFUL SWIMMING SPOTS AND BUSTLING BARS AND RESTAURANTS

hether you’re looking for the stylish modern minimalism this Scandinavian city is known for, or the rows of painted wooden houseboats which line the cobbled waterfront, Stockholm has it all. With a backdrop of futuristic skyscrapers, a busy commercial heart and one of the world’s hottest start-up scenes, Stockholm offers visitors the perfect collision of tradition and technology.

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EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN Sitting at the very centre of Stockholm’s modern metropolis, Gamla Stan – Stockholm’s Old Town – is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centres in Europe. A tangle of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, quaint townhouses and atmospheric squares await; take time exploring centuries of history nestled among charming, pastel architecture. Discover the Swedish royal family’s palace, Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkhan) and the Nobel Museum, all within a few minutes’ walk of each other. The palace has more than 600 rooms and is one of the largest in the world. Try and catch the

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daily changing of the guard if you can! If you’re a bit of a historian, Stortorget, Stockholm’s oldest square, can be found in the middle of Gamla Stan. TASTE OF SWEDEN Visitors will soon discover that Stockholm is a city for foodies. Surrounded by sea and farmlands, fresh produce is plentiful and the food scene is both trendy and traditional. You’ll find all the Swedish dishes you’d expect, like meatballs and fried herring, as well as the latest modern food craze like the acai bowl. You can’t visit Sweden without having Finka, a cup of freshly brewed coffee, usually served mid-afternoon with a slice of homemade cake on the side. However, if you’re looking for something more substantial, Stockholm provides an eclectic mix of Michelin-starred restaurants and excellent affordable eating, so you’re sure to be satisfied whatever your budget. Style and design is an integral part of Stockholm’s charm, and you’ll find this not only represented in the many well-dressed fashionistas frequenting the city but also in the quaintest of coffee shops. If you’re into skandi design, you’ll be in your element.

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VISIT STOCKHOLM’S ARCHIPELAGO Stockholm might be spread across 14 islands but it is surprisingly easy to negotiate. Most of the islands are connected by bridges, with any that aren’t connected by ferries and the metro. That said, walking is often the most convenient way to get around and is the best way to absorb the sights and sounds of Stockholm. Head east of the city and out into the captivating Stockholm Archipelago, a vast sea of around 30,000 islands, islets and rocks, each with its own unique appeal. Take a boat tour round tranquil coves and through the open sea, explore uninhabited islands and walk through dense, ancient forests and fields strewn with wild flowers. Stockholm’s landscape is wonderfully unique and yearns to be explored. I

GETTING THERE Fly direct to Stockholm with SAS from Birmingham Airport. Operating up to six times a week this summer with a flight time from 2 hours 20 minutes.

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FROCKS ROCK

THROW O N ONE OF THIS SEAS DRESSES A ON’S BEST ND LOOK EFFORTLE SSLY COO L

WILD FLOWERi

Floral dress and accessories, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE CUTE SLEEVES

HIGH STREET iHONEY

Salmon Cotton Flared Dress £9.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

Yellow dress and accessories, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

FANCY FLORALS

MELLOW YELLOW

Zimmerman Melody floral print silk Georgette dress £880, Selfridges

Floral ruffle midi dress £29.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

CAT’S A WRAP

Cat print wrap dress £16, Next, Bullring

e love summer but dressing can be a bit tricky. It’s as though we’re confident in our style when rocking a bit of structure in the cooler months, but when the warm weather hits the sense of style disappears with the rain clouds. Cue the dress. A game-changer, the humble frock can save your style skin and is by far the easiest way to slink your way through summer like a pro. It enables you to make a statement without the hassle of separates and whether you’re mooching around the markets of Morocco or heading to the office in a heatwave, there’s a dress out there that’s perfect. Our go-to is Self Portrait for beautifully cut, delicate dresses with attention to detail in spades. But remember it’s not one size fits all and you’ll need to shop around to find your favourite brand. When you hit on a dress that fits like a glove buy it in a few colours – extravagant but totally worth it. We do the same with swimwear in case you’re wondering. I

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GIRLIE CHARM

Needle and Thread lattice embroidered tulle mini dress £355, Selfridges

NIFTYi COLLAR SHIFTi AND CUFFS

Beaded dress, Pink nature print Monsoon, shirt dress Bullring £69.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

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STYLE CITY iBREAK

MAXIMUM IMPACT

Leopard print dress and accessories from Hush, John Lewis, Grand Central

Bird print maxi dress £50, Dorothy Perkins, Bullring

COLD iSHOULDER FLOATY McFLOATFACE Otterlie dress £179, Hobbs, Grand Central

Therapy Clarissa offthe-shoulder dress £38, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

FRUIT SWEET

LACE UP

Red dress, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

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GREEN GODDESS

Mia Papaya maxi dress by Fabienne Chapot £270, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

Sport tube dress £30, Oasis, New Street

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STYLE

DRESS TOi THRILLi

Red dress from Monsoon, Bullring

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STYLE

DREAMY iDENIM

Off-the-shoulder dress, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

EFFORTLESS iSTYLE Blue tunic dress, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

POLE iPOSITION

Grid check shirt dress £59.50, Oliver Bonas, Harborne High Street

WIDEi STRIPESi

Striped dress and accessories, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

POCKET iROCKET

Robyn watercolour dress £55, Fatface, Grand Central

FERN BABY FERN

Maggie fern print dress by Fabiene Chapot £99, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

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SKIN DEEP BEAUTY

We’re bringing you some of the best products around this month that’ll sort your summer skin – even while you sleep! From outrageous metallics at Fenty Beauty to a dreamy night oil from Sunday Riley and the best setting powder we’ve tried, ever.

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1. Veil translucent setting powder £36, and brush £52, Hourglass, Harvey Nichols The lightest, finest powder we’ve used gives a subtle matt finish – absolutely no caking – and is perfect if you’re prone to

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glowing in the heat. The brush is super soft with a smaller end for your under-eye area. A summer staple for sure. Hourglass is slowly product-by-product taking over our make-up bag. 2. Jo Malone London Tropical Cherimoya Cologne £95 100ml, John Lewis This is summer packaged in a very beautiful bottle that we enjoy seeing on the dressing table. It’s heady and fruity with

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apparently notes of tonka bean and Brazilian copahu resin. We can’t pretend to know what copahu resin is, but we can vouch for the complete loveliness of this new addition to the range. 3. Sleeping Night Oil £85, Sunday Riley, SpaceNK A dreamy oil that packs a punch with trans-retinoic acid ester complex that reduces the appearance of pores and the first signs of premature ageing while you sleep. We’ve noticed visibly more youthful skin after just a week.

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4. EVE LOM Radiance Face Mist £38, evelom.com This is right up our street and so simple. For the lazy or timepoor among you it’s an absolute no-brainer. A swift application increases the skin’s moisture by 80 per cent and hydrates for up to 48 hours. It’s packed with with anti-

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oxidants to protect against free radicals with wild indigo providing an anti-pollution kick. 5. Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duos £28, Fenty Beauty, Harvey Nichols Not for the faint-hearted, we’re talking serious metallic edge. For us – we are faint hearted – a little goes a long way. Anywhere you want a bit of a lift, add a smidgen and you’ll have your friends wondering why you look so glowing.

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STYLE FOR MEN

CAUGHT SHORT GET SHORTY Tan shorts and patterned shirt from Jacamo

Shorts are an inevitable yet troublesome part of the summer

wardrobe – but this year we reckon we’ve nailed it

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STYLE FOR MEN

THINK PINK Pink shorts £12, Primark, Fort Shopping Park BACK TO NATURE Printed shorts £24, Next, Bullring

CHECK MATE Hammond & Co. check shorts £50, Debenhams, Bullring

et’s talk shorts. Bit of a minefield this one. It’s so easy to get lost and find yourself in David Cameron on a Cornish beach circa 2012 territory. Or even worse, you try so hard to avoid the Bodenesque vibe you end up looking like the male equivalent of mutton dressed as lamb. Think about your winter style which presumably you don’t have a problem with and buy some shorts that your cooler clime self might admire. If you’re wearing chino shorts – nothing wrong with that – make sure they’re well cut and team them with a great fitting tee or crisp shirt. Avoid a baggy polo shirt or you’ll be back in Salcombe territory before you can say Jack Wills. Likewise, if you go for an outlandish patterned Dries Van Noten satin short, go understated and well cut on your top half. Lengthwise, mid-thigh or just above the knee are both universally flattering. I

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LIGHTWEIGHT Navy lightweight shorts £39.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

CLASSIC TAKE Howick cotton linen short £35, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

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MINT FOR THE WIN Mint green chino shorts £14.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

BABY BLUE Drawstring shorts £7, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

PRINTS CHARMING Dries Van Noten piper floral patterned satin shorts £345, Selfridges

SIDE STRIPE True Religion side-stripe cotton-jersey shorts £90, Selfridges

IF IT AIN’T BROKE Light blue rolled hem denim short £60, River Island, Bullring

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HEALTH

ACID REFLUX IS A COMMON AND GENERALLY TEMPORARY CONDITION – BUT WHEN IT BECOMES CHRONIC, IT’S TIME TO LOOK TO A NEW TREATMENT OPTION

GUT REACTION t some stage in their lives almost everyone will suffer from acid reflux – most commonly heartburn or regurgitation from the stomach back into the mouth. For most people it is an unpleasant sensation that passes in a matter of minutes, but for others it can be a daily problem turning every meal into an unpleasant and painful experience. Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) can affect men and women of any age and often gets progressively worse. Gastrointestinal surgeon Mr Rishi Singhal is treating the condition with a new treatment option that can reduce or eliminate the symptoms with a simple operation with patients usually leaving the hospital on the same day. Here he answers some questions about the illness and treatment with the LINX System…

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HEALTH

Q: At what stage would you advise someone with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease to see their GP? A: If someone is regularly suffering from heartburn or regurgitation. First stage treatment will usually be anti-acid medication of some kind. Q: Is there an age group or sex that is more affected than others. A: Patients will be generally be aged over 40, but this is a condition that can affect anyone – even in their teens and early twenties. Q: When might surgery become an option? A: Anyone who has clinically proven reflux and does not want to take life-long medications should consider anti-reflux surgery. Some patients may not experience complete control of symptoms with medications. Q: How does the LINX System differ from other treatment options? A: It is designed to augment the natural sphincter at the lower end of the oesophagus. It is thus quite physiological and patients can eat and drink normally without any restrictions. Q: What does the operation consist of? A: The procedure is done under general anaesthetic. The surgeon will make four or five small incisions in your stomach before the appropriately-sized device is put into place. The procedure generally takes less than an hour and starts working immediately. You will normally be discharged the following day. Typically, you will be able to resume your normal daily activities in less than a week. Q: What is the process for getting back to eating after surgery? A: You’ll be encouraged to start eating normal food immediately although initially to keep portions and bite sizes small, to eat something every three to five hours and stay hydrated. For the first three weeks it is also advisable to avoid eating thigs like bread crusts and pasta as well as steak and other ‘tough’ meats. I Rishi Singhal is a consultant gastrointestinal surgeon at Spire Parkway Solihull. Tel: 0121 704 5530 www.spireparkway.com

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HAVE A SHOT AT

HEALTH

TENNIS

With the world’s top women stars taking part in this month’s Birmingham Classic

tournament, now’s a great time to pick up a racquet to boost your body and mind he world’s top women’s tennis players are heading this month for the beautiful grass courts of Edgbaston Priory Club for the Nature Valley Classic. As the city prepares to welcome the stars, we’re tempted to pick up a racquet and have a go ourselves at this great sport. OK, so we know our ability is some considerable way short of the Jo Kontas of this world, pictured, but playing tennis is just so good for body and mind. And here’s why…

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THE HEART Have a shot at Cardio Tennis – a great fitness class based around tennis skills. It’s a great calorie burner and aerobic workout and you don’t have to be any good at tennis to enjoy it! (It’s actually free as part of membership of Edgbaston Priory Club.) THE BODY The movements used in tennis give the body a great workout, toning and shaping muscles you never knew you had. THE MIND Learning to play tennis will keep your mind agile and all that fresh air is a great stress reliever! Edgbaston Priory Club offers Tennis Express courses throughout the year – a six-week introduction to all the basic skills. THE SOCIAL LIFE Playing doubles is a great way to meet new people. Edgbaston Priory Club offers three Social Tennis sessions for members a week and lots of social tournaments throughout the year. I

The Birmingham Classic is 16 to 24 June. Tickets are available to purchase online via the LTA’s Birmingham Classic website at https://www.lta.org.uk/major-events/birmingham-classic/tickets/ Join Edgbaston Priory Club and enjoy 50 per cent off the entrance fee plus a Free Tennis Express Course.

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ng il viHOMES

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HOME SPA IN THE WORLD OF BATHROOM

DESIGN, WELLNESS IS WHERE IT’S AT, SAYS TOP DESIGNER LISA MELVIN

CENTREPIECE Ripples Elmstead bath, Cookes Furniture cookesfurniture.co.uk

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HOMES

NIFTY NEUTRAL Arysto Eight Infold Door with side panel, Merlyn Showering merlynshowering.com

spa-like experience at home is not beyond the realms of possibility and is increasingly on a client’s wish list. A place to disconnect from the rest of the world – minus the ever-present phone – and truly unwind. With clever design and the right technology and products, it’s possible to achieve a relaxing space that promotes wellness whatever the space.

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ZONED OUT Zonal living in the kitchen or ‘living space’ is commonplace now, but we’re starting to create this sort of design in the bathroom too with different zones for different activities. Lighting is

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key to getting this right. Putting on make-up requires different lighting to relaxing in the bath, so versatile lighting is a must (mood, task and ambient) and can have transformational results. STYLE AND SUBSTANCE On a recent trip to Frankfurt we were wowed by the artisanal made glass basins by Italian firm, Glass Designs. In some examples an electric current is sent through the glass to create a crackled effect. They are an example of how you don’t have to sacrifice design for functionality – the two can work together with stunning results.

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HOMES

AND RELAX Bathroom by Lisa Melvin Design lisamelvindesign.co.uk

SUPER LOOS There’s a trend for moving the toilet away from areas of relaxation which makes total sense with sound-proofing big on the agenda too. It may seem a bit over-the-top but on a recent factory trip on the Continent, we visited a dedicated £2.5million apartment block which housed three people purely working on toilet acoustics. It makes sense, particularly for apartment living, but also for en-suites.

DRAMA RAMA Ripples freestanding basin, Cookes Furniture cookesfurniture.co.uk

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ODOUR CONTROL Speaking of loos, technology has moved on apace with shower toilets becoming increasingly popular.

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HOMES

CLEAN LINES Arysto Eight Infold Door shower with side panel, Merlyn Showering merlynshowering.com

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HOMES

Geberit, Toto and Duravit all have excellent examples. Increased popularity means the cost is coming down too making them really affordable. Some come with a charcoal filter that removes odours before they are airborne – much better for the environment and your health than air fresheners. The filters last for two to three years. Heated seats are a nice touch too for a spa-like vibe. ATTENTION TO DETAIL Paying attention to the smallest details is essential in creating a decadent bathroom, and recent innovations have led to a seemingly endless range of choice. When it comes to taps and ironmongery, you’re no longer limited to chrome or brass finishes. Hansgrohe's Axor FinishPlus range of taps and bath fillers come in 15 different polished or brushed finishes including black, bronze, stainless steel and two shades of gold. The beauty of being able to choose from so many colours means you can really fine-tune the overall look you’re trying to create. I

GROWN UP GLAMOUR Bathroom by Lisa Melvin Design lisamelvindesign.co.uk

SUITE SUCCESS Bathroom by Classic Interiors classicinteriors.co.uk

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HOMES

SUPER STORAGE Corner shelf unit £54.99, HomeSense, Solihull

MINIMUM FUSS Hay strap mirror £189, Nest nest.co.uk

FINISHING TOUCHES

BRANCH OUT Towel rail in natural oak or dark stained oak by Wireworks £65, Heal’s, Mailbox LIGHT UP Sienna cross hatch candle holder £25, Kelly Hoppen kellyhoppen.com

TURN YOUR BATHROOM INTO A SANCTUARY WITH SOME GORGEOUS PIECES TO COMPLETE THE LOOK MONO MADNESS John Lewis + Patternity toothbrush holder £12 and soap dispenser £16, John Lewis, Grand Central MARVELLOUS MARBLE Set of three marble succulent £18, Next, Bullring

MAT ADORE Floral tufted bath mat £14, Next, Bullring MIRROR MIRROR Unity Can mirror £145, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

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UP CLOSE Magnify mirror in natural oak by Wireworks £75, Heal’s, Mailbox

ROSY GLOW Rose gold hexagon mirror £35, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

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HOMES

Hot Properties Living in the Abbey, residing in New England-style luxury, or picking the perfect city penthouse… welcome to this month’s hottest homes for sale

NEW ENGLAND STYLE St Elizabeth’s Cottage, Clent Guide price: £1.695million Agent: Andrew Grant, tel: 01905 734735

An amazing five-bedroomed, New England-style home sitting in approximately five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. It includes a cracking open plan conservatory/family room, stunning bespoke kitchen with a winter and summer Aga and swimming pool complex. Go on… you know you’re worth it!

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HOMES

BRICKS&BITS COMPLETING THE CIRCLE Circle Property has completed a 36,000 sq ft letting at its Somerset House scheme in the city centre resulting in 100 per cent occupancy. The developer has agreed a new 15-year lease flexible office space with provider BE Offices at the newly completed project in Temple Street.

ALL CHANGE AT OFFICES Birmingham-based home builder, Elevate Property Group has acquired a major Solihull office development which will be converted into residential apartments. Elevate, and its venture partner Investin plc, bought Princes Gate in Homer Road for an undisclosed sum from New York-based investment management company Westbrook Partners. Work has begun to convert the three office buildings into 100 apartments.

WONDER WHARF

King Edwards Wharf, Brindleyplace Guide price: £895,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1523 A three-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment that sits just behind Brindeyplace in the centre of the city. Completely refurbished to a high standard, the open plan lounge has patio doors which lead onto a balcony overlooking the canal. The apartments also comes with a couple of those all-important secure parking spaces and 24-hour concierge service.

COLLEGE SITE GREEN LIGHT A 22-acre development site on the outskirts of the city centre has been sold to Barratt Homes by Birmingham City Council and Homes England. The developer has planning approval to build 778 new homes on the site of the former Matthew Boulton College. A planning committee approved plans for to include a mix of flats, houses, affordable housing, car parking and green spaces. Work begins this summer.

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

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ABBEY HABIT Stoneleigh Abbey, Kenilworth Guide price: £800,000 Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 01926 455950 A magnificent Grade 1 listed property which forms part of Stoneleigh Abbey and sits in 690 acres of wonderful parkland with river views. Includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms, shared use of the walled garden, orchard and the Long Gallery and quite stunning views.

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HOMES

GUN QUARTER Honduras Wharf, Jewellery Quarter Guide price: ÂŁ435,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1523

This stunning three-bedroom penthouse oozes contemporary, sophisticated style. Located in the Gun Quarter and just a short walking from Snow Hill Station, it boasts a fantastic open plan kitchen with superb fixtures and fittings.

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

www.facebook.com/bhamliving june 2018

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MOTORING

LIFE OF LUXURY

Opulence is the keyword when stepping into VW’s big, sleek Arteon coupé, says Sue Cooke ith increasing negative public perception towards diesels, combined with government regulation and scrutiny of the fuel type, the volume of diesel cars registered in Europe fell by 7.9 per cent in 2017 according to analysis carried out by Jato Dynamics. As the demand for diesel cars continues to decline, Jato predicts that uncertain consumers will increasingly turn to petrol vehicles. Volkswagen believes that its new diesel cars which can produce less noxious gases than some petrol vehicles are still attractive to consumers and says that 60 per cent of sales of the luxurious Arteon will be powered by diesel. This new Gran Turismo is larger than its sibling, the Passat, and there the similarity ends because the

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sleek coupe-styled Arteon is pure opulence. From the time I slid behind the steering wheel in the spacious cabin I felt cossetted. ADVANCED SYSTEMS The five-seater has greater levels of autonomy than ever before, moving toward the driverless car. I wasn’t sure that I would appreciate this as I prefer to be in control of my own destiny behind the wheel! But there are numerous advanced systems making their debut in the Arteon, which are amazingly useful. In semi-autonomous mode I found the Park Assist system helps with parking the long chassis. A new generation of Adaptive Cruise Control which uses GPS-based road data ‘sees’ speed limits and will adjust the car’s speed as appropriate.

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MOTORING

I don’t like the start-stop function as once stopped the engine is slow to engage, so I switched the system off. But I found Predictive Cruise Control to be useful. The system uses Road Recognition route data from the navigation system to recognise its position and, within system limits, adjusts the car’s speed on approaching bends, roundabouts and junctions. With Dynamic Light Assist, GPS technology enables the Arteon’s LED headlights to turn into a bend before I had even steered into the approaching corner, so I found greater visibility when driving at night. When approaching and unlocking the car, a handy pool of light falls alongside the doors and helps with access visibility. MASSAGE OPTION It was reassuring to know that there are numerous safety systems such as the Emergency Lane Change Assist. If the driver becomes incapacitated for health reasons, the system not only slows the car down and flashes the hazard lights but also steers it into the slow lane when traffic behind permits. The cabin has generous head and leg room and ambient lighting provides three colour options. Very comfortable supportive seats can be specified with massage functions if you choose! Remembering the last time I tried out a massaging seat and fell asleep, I thought it best not to road test that option! The Arteon instrument display holds a wealth of information. At the end of a journey around the Midlands, the system summed up and displayed my mileage and average fuel consumption. Having a competitive nature, the information encouraged me to press a little lighter on the accelerator and do better next time!

The boot holds an impressive 563 litres. I found the automatic opening so useful when I had been advance shopping in Birmingham for my summer holiday. I arrived heavily laden at the Arteon, checked discreetly to see if anyone just might be watching, then I flicked the foot and open sesame! SUMMER TRIP The Arteon has a choice of driving modes for comfortable long-distance touring, normal, sport or individual mode. Yet the very quiet 2.0-litre diesel I road tested will accelerate smartly onto a roundabout or for speedy overtaking. Whatever engine is your preference the VW Arteon guarantees a luxurious summer road trip. I

FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Volkswagen Arteon Elegance Price: £34,655 otr Engine: 2 litre TDi 150PS Performance: 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 137mph CO2 emissions: 116g/km Combined fuel consumption: 62.8mpg

SHOWROOM Johnsons Volkswagen Birmingham, Bullring, B5 4BU. Tel: 08451 245 140 www.johnsoncars.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

George Williamson

The award-winning choreographer tells Shelley Carter how he pushed his parents to take him to dance classes as a youngster and fell in love on day one oung choreographer George Williamson will see his ballet Embrace world premiered in London this month followed by Birmingham on 20 June. Embrace has been created almost entirely in Birmingham with George becoming a regular at the Birmingham Royal Ballet studios working collaboratively with dancers since January, as well as spending time in New York with commissioned composer,Sarah Kirkland-Snider. A very personal piece, Embrace explores the idea of sexuality and identity and how they can conflict with societal expectations. George explains: “I knew the sort of story I wanted to tell and researched several angles before developing the narrative as it is today, a story arc that I hope makes the movement itself more immediate and impactful. This is a very personal ballet for me, one I feel deeply connected to, and I hope that comes across.”

Y

MAGICAL LANGUAGE Dance has been part of George’s life for as long as he can remember and having pushed his parents to take him to classes he immediately fell in love with it spending many evenings, weekends and holidays in the studio and at competitions. As a child George was always active and sporty, but it was dance that made him feel most himself. He says: “It let me be creative and impulsive. I love the freedom it can bring, as well as the impact it can have on all sorts of audiences. It’s like a magical language.”

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

Aged just 13, George applied to ballet school without telling his parents and won a place at Elmhurst Ballet School in Edgbaston. “It was a bit of a shock when I won a place but my parents let me make the move to Birmingham where I began my training, before moving down to London to attend English National Ballet School.” While at ballet school George realised that he didn’t actually want to be a professional ballet dancer and, instead, found his true passion in choreography. He recalls: “I was always keen on creating dances, making things up and trying things out. That said, it wasn’t until English National Ballet School that I had the opportunity to begin choreographing.” PIVOTAL MOMENT There were several competitions open to students and George jumped at every chance. He won the Choreographic Competition for three consecutive years along with the CTRL-ALT-SHIFT Award. George’s ballets included Round the Corner in 2009 which was presented at the Peacock Theatre and the City of London Festival as well as Ana-Chro-Po for the English National Ballet School’s summer performance. After just a year out of school as a professional dancer with the Polish National Ballet and having choreographed Animus for the company, George was

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given an incredible opportunity by Wayne Ealing, then artistic director at English National Ballet, to create his first professional commission, to rework Firebird at the Colosseum in London which was well received and proved a pivotal moment. While awards and accolades are not the be all and end all for George, they are encouraging. He says: “It’s always encouraging to have pieces recognised in a positive way. Especially when you are relatively new, it can feel daunting to try and forge a career as a choreographer. The opportunities can be scarce and it can be a bit of a lonely journey in comparison to working as a dancer for a company.” For now, all the focus is on Embrace, but George is excited and ambitious about the future. “I would love to have a big enough body of work behind me to be able to choose the opportunities I take, and the types of work I can devote myself to developing. I want to work with companies and other artist who are uncompromising in their passion for committing to their own unique style, breaking boundaries and attracting new audiences to their work.” I Embrace is part of the BRB’s summer mixed programme, Polarity and Proximity at Birmingham Hippodrome from Wednesday to Saturday, 20 to 23 June. For tickets visit www.brb.org.uk/polarity

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GROWING PLACES

FRASER’S ON THE BALL Eight-year-old Winterfold School pupil and Baggies fan Fraser Billings is thrilled to have signed to West Bromwich Albion’s Academy. Fraser started playing football at Kidderminster Lions Soccer School aged just three years and has progressed through West Brom’s pre-academy which he joined halfway through his U7 season. Fraser enjoyed a signing evening with first team players Jonathan Leko, Sam Field and Rekeem Harper. SIGNING ON: Fraser Billings and Baggies’ stars

S C HO O L R E PO R T

Birmingham Living is committed to highlighting the best of our schools and college s. Here’s our round-up of the latest stand-out new s and events

MUSIC MAESTROS SUPER DUO: Gemma Winfield and Katharine Baker won the woodwind duet category

Solihull School pupils achieved outstanding results at this year’s Bromsgrove Festival and Dudley Festival of Music, Drama and Dance. Anna Higgins, 18, gained two distinctions and an outstanding performance award having won three categories. Gemma Winfield, 11, won first place in the recorder solo age 10 to 12 category and second place for the clarinet solo age 11 to 12 section. Together with Katharine Baker, 12, she also claimed the woodwind duet title. Pianist Ziying He, aged 13, won the EPTA National Competition semi-finals with Clare Delaney and Kaia Berry coming second in their category in the semi-finals.

BY GEORGE, WHAT FUN! Sutton Coldfield Scouts celebrated the Patron Saint of England and Scouting at a family fun day in Sutton Park. Sutton Coldfield Scouts honoured St George who died in 303AD when he was executed by Roman emperor Diocletian for refusing to give up his beliefs.

GAME POWER A graduate from Birmingham City University has been named among the top 100 future greats within the UK games industry. Hsiao Wei (Michelle) Chen features in the GamesIndustry.biz 100: Future Talent which honours the next generation of gaming programmers, artists, sound engineers, producers and publishers. Michelle studied on the post-graduate Video Games Enterprise and Production course at BCU which sits within the university’s internationally recognised Gamer Camp finishing school.

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GROWING PLACES

BEST OF BRITISH RED LETTER DAY: Zinnia and Cecily with letters from Sir David and Theresa May

DEAR SIR

Sir David Attenborough replied to a request to attend an assembly from Year 5 students at Moreton Hall with a hand-written letter. Zinnia Evans and Cecily Tyne were preparing an assembly about recycling and saving our oceans when they took the initiative to invite Sir David and Prime Minister Theresa May. Neither could attend, but the girls received letters from both with Sir David’s hand written response

CHESS BRILLIANT

saying he was “so glad you are telling people about the dangers of plastic waste”.

Bromsgrove School pupil Natalie Hatfield has qualified to represent Great Britain in Biathle. The young athlete took part in race 2 of the 2018 GB Biathle Series which doubled as the European Championships qualifier for Biathle (a continuous run/swim/run event), with the top six qualifying to represent GB this summer. Natalie came second in the event at Sandford Park Lido, Cheltenham.

Hallfield School’s chess success has received

another boost after sending five strong teams to the IAPS Chess Championships at Twickenham Prep School and returning victorious. As well as winning the U11 and U13 School Champion titles, eight-year-old Kanav Monga secured equal first place in the championship’s individual competition beating older leading county and national players. CHECKMATES: Chess champs Kanav, Manvith, Elliot White, Rohan and Ozair.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITH…

ANN JONES Tennis is set to serve up a star-studded treat in Birmingham and then Wimbledon. So, what better time to ‘get personal’ with Kings Heath’s own former Wimbledon champion and proud Brummie, Ann Jones…

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT As a former tennis champion, I won eight Grand Slams including Wimbledon in 1969: three in singles, three in women's doubles and two in mixed doubles. I’m vicepresident of the All England Club and until two years ago was on the committee fulfilling various logistical roles from sorting out the order of play to making sure the ball boys knew what they were doing. IT’S WHAT I DO After I retired from tennis in 1970, I launched a career working with the Women’s Tennis Association and was chairwoman for the International Women’s Tennis Council for many years. I also worked with the BBC as a guest analyst which I loved. But I’m fully retired now so enjoy doing nothing other than snipping the dead heads off plants, running around after my grandchildren and walking my English setter. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE At my time of life I haven’t got many ambitions. I’ve sort of done it all. Perhaps I should be going for an Open University degree or something, but I really haven’t got the urge. BIGGEST SUCCESS Winning Wimbledon. I’ve also managed to put a few things right one way or another. I helped get women’s tennis going properly with decent prize money. I’ve affected change through committee roles and have lobbied various national bodies since I stopped playing,

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so that women’s tennis is now really something. I was instrumental in bringing tournament tennis to Birmingham in the form of the Birmingham Classic and ran it for years. Now I just trot along to the tournament, drink Champagne and watch like everyone else! It’s quite nice. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED I wouldn’t mind doing it all over again with today’s money! Also, I’ve learned it’s very difficult to move a national body to make change, but we got there in the end. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I was born in Birmingham and I’ve stayed here. It probably would have been sensible to move to London when I was on the committee at Wimbledon, but this is home. It’s changed hugely for the better over the years. It’s multi-cultural and multi-faceted. Yes, it’s a big city with the problems that come with that and there are areas that could be improved, but on the whole it’s a nice place to live with much to enjoy. The restaurant and theatre scene is thriving and you can do anything. DOWNTIME I try to keep fit. I walk the dog whatever the weather and I swim at the Priory a lot. I Ann was speaking ahead of the Nature Valley Birmingham Classic which will feature the 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza and current British No 1 Johanna Konta at the Edgbaston Priory Club from June 16 to 24. Tickets from www.lta.org.uk/major-events

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ing livBUSINESS

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CURIUM TOASTING SUCCESS: Award-winning Curium founders Adam Farrow, Andy Dawson and James Farrow

The Birmingham change consultancy and Business of the Year has worked with some of the biggest brands – including the Nasa space agency – and is now expanding further into North America e’ve focused on many brilliant businesses over the years in our Company To Watch feature and each and every one has illustrated what an exciting, thriving and diverse commercial hub Birmingham and the Midlands as a whole has become. Curium Solutions is the perfect example of how our young companies are changing the way business thinks and operates and how they are

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putting the city at the top of the UK and global maps. The change consultancy, based in Innovation Court, Edmund Street, Birmingham, was set up 10 years ago by Andy Dawson and James and Adam Farrow. Each previously worked for corporate businesses. Their mission was to form a solutions company that would empower people and organisations to realise their personal and business potential.

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COMPANY TO WATCH

BIG BRANDS Curium has grown to work with some of the biggest and most recognisable brands, including power giant Eon, leading supermarket Tesco, financial leaders Zurich and Home Retail Group, former owners of Homebase, Argos and Habitat. Curium has also worked with a raft of local government, reducing costs and growing revenue. Last month the company announced plans to expand into Canada after secured a three-year government contract. Curium will partner with Toronto-based human resources tech firm WorkTango to deliver a cultural change programme with a strong emphasis on employee engagement. Director and co-founder James Farrow said: “Having worked previously with WorkTango on projects in the US, we’re very excited to team up in Canada. We have been extremely pleased with the growth achieved during our first year in the US and look forward to building on our success throughout North America.” BUSINESS OF THE YEAR The move comes after Curium was named Business of the Year at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce dinner and awards. Curium won the Excellence in People Development category for its commitment to helping people achieve their potential, before being selected from all category winners to take the top prize. Andy Dawson said: “In the UK and North America customers are responding to our simple and practical approach to helping them with their change and performance challenges. We have started the year strongly with some excellent recruits, winning two awards, and now this move into Canada.” Curium has also been shortlisted in two categories at the Business Masters awards (Innovation and Small Business) and is the current holder of the Business Desk’s Professional Services Business Masters award and features in Innovation 50 – an index of the 50 most forward-thinking companies in the Midlands. THE BIG CRASH When Andy, James and Adam founded Curium in 2008 they could have been forgiven for thinking luck

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would be against them. Andy remembers: “A week after we set up the business, Lehman Brothers went ‘boom’ and the whole financial global meltdown hit. An interesting time! But we looked at it as providing us with a fantastic opportunity. Because of all the uncertainty people were prepared to give us a chance where previously they would probably have gone with the established tried and tested route.” Andy explained what makes Curium a different proposition from other management solution companies. “We had each worked for large businesses in Birmingham and we knew that companies would spend millions on instigating change. We also know that 70 per cent of projects don’t deliver what they set out to achieve because the goals aren’t properly explained to the people who work for those businesses. Millions can be spent on putting in new systems but often there is no involvement or explanation with the teams. We thought there was a gap for us in the market by instigating successful change by taking people along with you.” Every member of the Curium team is certified in TetraMap, a behavioural framework that enables them to coach and develop clients. Curium has also developed the “1% Club”, a concept that challenges staff to find one per cent extra for clients and colleagues to unlock their potential. WATCH THIS SPACE “We always want to get to know the company, the people and the culture first when we work with a new client,” said Andy. “Every business has different drivers for change. We look for businesses who we can form a real partnership with.” One such ‘business’ was America’s Nasa space agency. Curium was hired to help the agency think about improving team dynamics. “To help them send more men to the moon,” said Andy, tongue-in-cheek. Shooting for the stars is a philosophy that Curium can certainly identify with. “We have ambitious plans for the future, plans which we are going through as we speak,” said Andy. “We want to reinforce being as real name in the Midlands with so many exciting developments and projects going on. We also want to grow in the US and into Europe over the coming 10 to 15 years.” I

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BUSINESS

APPETISING APP

BUSINESS NEWS

Birmingham software company, WaqarTech, has launched a new takeaway app that earns cashback on every food order. The Supermeal web and mobile app helps customers to find and order from a variety of restaurants while they’re on the go. The first of its kind, every Supermeal order triggers cashback values towards future purchases. WaqarTech, which designs new web and mobile technologies, was founded by Waqar Shah. The company has already run Supermeal successfully in Pakistan since 2013 and Birmingham is the first UK city to launch the service.

HEALTH ACCOLADE

BARCLAYS BEEFS UP Barclays Bank has moved 300 extra staff to its Midlands corporate banking headquarters in Birmingham. They include a range of specialist legal roles, support managers advising companies on issues such as cyber security, and a dedicated Trade Direct team of bankers. The influx takes the total number of Barclays’ staff at the Snow Hill offices to 1,300, making it the bank’s largest centre outside of London. Ray O’Donoghue, pictured, MD of Barclays corporate banking in the Midlands, said: “The extra staff will cope with the strong banking demands as the Midlands continues to play an important part in the national picture.”

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Birmingham-based BHSF Occupational Health has achieved reaccreditation under the national Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Service scheme for a second year. While continuing to grow its offering across the UK and Ireland, the business has demonstrated its commitment to achieving high standards and service delivery in all areas of occupational health and wellbeing. The professionally-led scheme is recognised as the gold standard assessment in the occupational health sector.

PROPERTY LAUNCH

The former head of residential property management at CPBigwood, Birmingham has launched his own business. Brett Williams has opened Principle Estate Management to offer a national property management service, predominately for modern residential apartment buildings and traditional blocks of flats. The firm is based at Cornwall House in Lionel Street, Birmingham. Brett said the new business is “strong on tech” to take away mundane chores and to automate routine process, freeing up staff to communicate with clients on a daily basis.

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BUSINESS

WINE BAR ON TAP ASIAN CHAMBER’S NEW LEADER The Asian Business Chamber of Commerce has appointed Qasim Majid as its new president. Qasim has been an active member of the ABCC since moving to Birmingham in 2002 when he founded his digital marketing agency Wow Zone. He has previously served as the ABCC’s vice-president and is currently vice-chairman of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Birmingham. He takes over from Saqib Bhatti, who served as president for four years.

Birmingham’s oldest wine merchant has opened the city’s newest wine bar. Arch 13 at Connolly’s Wine Merchants, Livery Street, is inspired by the traditional wine cellar with a contemporary twist. Fret cut metal work, based on traditional stencils found on cellar barrels, is offset against a backdrop of distressed and aged timbers with accents of copper, honed stone and zinc. The new bar boasts more than 500 wines, 120 gins and countless whiskies, brandies and liqueurs – as well as offering wine on tap by the bottle to takeaway.

ENTERPRISING: Chief executive Roger Allen, centre, with management team Mark Nicholls, Lianne Bishop, Rosie Pritchard and Paul Maurice

RECOGNISED BY THE QUEEN Midlands-based organic baby products firm Green Sheep Group is celebrating winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. The award was presented to Green Sheep for its innovative products and impressive growth. Chief executive Roger Allen said: “The award is testimony to the hard work and upbeat culture in every department of the company.” The Royal honour follows a number of other business accolades, including the Sunday Times Fast Track Top 10 Ones to Watch in December 2017.

CHARITY TREKKERS Two navy reservists and a triathlete took on a gruelling five-day walk for charity. Brothers Matt and Rob Powell and Adam Watson, who all work together at Design Built Exhibitions, Redditch, completed the 192mile, coast-to-coast Wainwrights Walk from St Bees Bay, Cumbria to Robin Hood Bay, Scarborough. Their trek took them through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors. The trio set a target to raise £3,000 for Dementia UK, Bliss and Charlotte & Craig Saving Hearts Foundation.

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FAMILY TEAM DIGS IN Staff from Thursfields Solicitors’ family team took part in a corporate volunteer day to support a Midlands hospice. Shane Miller, director and head of the firm’s family department, led her team to support Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge by helping with maintenance in the grounds. She said: “We feel it’s important to serve our community and the family team thought the Mary Stevens Hospice was a very worthy choice in the local area, which sits between a number of our offices.”

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BUSINESS

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

The magic number is 212 for these six staff at Midlands law firm Kerwoods Solicitors. They have just racked up 212 years service between them at the historic Redditch-based company, which was launched in 1880. The most experienced are secretary Alison Styler and partner Stephen Priest, who both started work at Davis Pipe & Co in 1977. The firm’s name subsequently changed to Davis Priest & Co and then merged with Kerwoods in 2011, meaning Alison and Stephen have worked at the same company for 41 years.

UNI FORGES OHIO LINK DESTINATION AMRITSAR Air India has increased its non-stop service from Birmingham to Amritsar to three times a week – just a few months after starting the route. The additional service is scheduled for Saturday evenings and means flights now operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Amritsar allows direct access to the major commercial and cultural centre in the heart of the Punjab and it is home to the Golden Temple. The additional Amritsar flight will be operated by the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.

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Birmingham City University has strengthened its links with the US after forming a partnership with Kent State University. Representatives from the Ohio-based institution’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering visited Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus to discuss collaboration opportunities. The alliance is a statement of the growing global ambition of both the universities and will initially focus on engineering, architecture and fashion.

ROYAL CHEF JOINS CLUB Edgbaston Golf Club’s reputation for not only being one of the most attractive and popular golf courses in the Midlands but also providing a great food offering, has been boosted by the arrival of a former royal household chef. Alix Davies, originally from Birmingham, has joined as executive chef. As well as preparing food for the Royal Family, (protocol means he cannot expand on the royal’s favourite foods or eating habits), Alix has also worked with caterers to the corporate boxes at Cheltenham racecourse. TEE-TIME: Alix, centre, with Edgbaston Golf Club’s house manager MarieClaire Chaney and general manager Peter Fawkus

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SOCIAL SCENE

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RECRUITMENT FIRM CONTINUES TO GROW

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SimkissGuy celebrates five years in business and new stand-alone office

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ore than 100 business professionals joined SimkissGuy Recruitment to celebrate its fifth anniversary and new stand-alone premises. Guests enjoyed a cosmopolitan evening of celebrations and networking at the event at Hotel du Vin. Also showcased were several city centre organisations who have played a key part in the development of the office support and graduate recruitment specialists founded by Rebecca Simkiss and Richard Guy in 2013. The new stand-alone office in Edmund Gardens allows for planned growth of up to 15 permanent team members over the next three years. I

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1 Kirsten Allan, Becky Boast, Kirsty Organ, Gemma Louise Knight, Judith Armstrong, Ricky Friend. 2 Caroline Ludden, Sophia Ireland, Adam Dobsoni.

3 Nicola FleetMilne, Rebecca Simkiss. 4 Beth Sadler, Anita Chumber, Parv Gandhi.

5 Cosmo Gilbert, Bernadette Scott-Rushfirth,

Conrad Brunton. 6 Richard Guy, Tim Andrews, Rebecca Simkiss. 7 Helena King, Emily Rose, Alex Brent, Alex Foyle.

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THE IVY ARRIVES TO A CHAMPAGNE WELCOME Business and media turn out in force as The Ivy Temple Row opens doors he Ivy Temple Row welcomed more than 200 guests from across the city’s business and media communities to officially announce its arrival in Birmingham. Guests enjoyed an evening of Champagne and canapés as the three-floor restaurant showcased what it will bring to the city. As well as exploring the bar, mezzanine and private dining room, the visitors sampled signature Ivy cocktails, the brand’s own craft lager and a selection of food ranging from truffle arancini to crème brûlée doughnuts. I

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1 Wendy Yip, Dave Massey, David Gregory-Kumar. 2 Katy Paddock, Michele Wilby, Alan Sharman, Daniel Delgado. 3 Richard Loftus, Harj Millington, Amy Williams, Grace Coniry, Winnie Nip. 4 Andrew Fox, Suzanne Virdee. 5 Ruth Pipkin, David Pardoe. 6 Aktar Islam, Judi Gilbert, Brad Pattni, Chrissi Wolfe. 7 Barry Sherwin, Charley Springall, Saptal Sherwin, Mark Caswell. 8 Hayley Pearce, Fionnuala Bourke, Paul Fulford.

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A WICKED TIME FOR THE LEADING LADIES Behind-the-scenes exclusives add to the magic of a date with hit musical

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he Hippodrome Leading Ladies hosted a Wicked networking event. As well as top seats to the hit-show Wicked, guests were treated to an acoustic performance from Nikki Bentley, the alternate Elphaba, and had the chance to listen to a special Q&A with Wicked tour resident director, Leigh Constantine. I

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1 Vicky Beach, Gemma Jones, Seonaid Brown, Elizabeth Gibson, Vicki Burnett, Romy Silvers. 2 Hannah Speed, Stacey Walford. Fradley, Tara Ellsmore, Emmy Iacono. 4 Ann-Marie Pugh, Alison Fendley.

3 Eleanor

5 Emma Mason, Beth Sadler. 6 Caroline Chell, Natalie Pejovic.

7 Ali Blake, Mina Chauhan, Harj Dhanda, Adelaide Heagney. 8 Nikki Bentley, Charles Pette, Dave Rose, Leigh Constantine, Judith Greenburgh.

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READY TO GET DIRTY? WE’LL DRINK TO THAT Dirty Martini opens at Bennetts Hill and everyone wants to be there! huge turn-out attended the official launch of the new Dirty Martini bar in Bennetts Hill. The launch showcased the bar’s extensive drinks offering – including Dirty Martini’s range of cocktails and bespoke martinis – as well as its stylish interior. General manager Sean Ashman said: “We’re glad we’ve finally been able to share our new location with the people of Birmingham. There was a brilliant buzz at the launch evening and it was great to see so many people.” I

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1 Judi Gilbert, Aktar Islam. 2 Nancy Evans, Aaron Foster. 3 Charlene McCalla, Natasha Kafumukache, Kimberley Gittens. 4 Sanjeeta Bains, Scarlett Burgon, Anita Champaneri. 5 Jo Wiggin, Sian Averill. 6 Tom Cullen, Kate Manion, Sarah Morris. 7 Andrew Riley and friend.

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BUSINESS BACKS BID TO BOOST DANCERS Ballet school launches initiative to train students for world stage

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lmhurst Ballet School held a special event to launch the 500 CLUB, a new fund-raising initiative for businesses to support its commitment to train the very best dancers for the world stage. The 500 CLUB will provide invaluable bursary support to students who have an obvious talent and passion for dance but are faced with financial constraints during their professional training. I

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More details on how to support the dance stars of the future at development@elmhurstdance.co.uk

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1 Adrian Corry, Sarah Robison, Laura Richards, Jon Sapey. 2 Richard Thomson, Jessica Wheeler, Andy Segar. Anthony Smith. 4 Joan Cagney, Jennifer Campbell.

3 Nathan Graham, Richard Johnson,

5 Janie and Aden Murcutt, Angus Sladen. 6 Tim Abbots, Alex Roberts, Richard Price.

7 Micheal Worley, Sian Scholes, Roy Shields. 8 Ian Postgate, Robert Parker, Bob and Carol Barrie, Lucy Caddick.

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Photography by Phil Hitchman

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COMING SOON: PEAKY BLINDERS THE BALLET TV show’s creator reveals exciting project at honorary award lunch eaky Blinders creator Steven Knight revealed plans for a ballet version of the hit Birmingham gangster TV show at Birmingham Press Club’s celebrity lunch. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter said Rambert dance company had approached him about the project based on the Shelby crime family. He also told guests he was planning three more series of the drama and lobbying the BBC to film more of the show in his home city. Steven was installed as a Press Club honorary life member at the lunch held at Opus restaurant and sponsored by Digbeth Dining Club. I

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1 Claire Fry, Chris Mair, Jo Harrington. 2 Natalie Whiten, Lee Souther, Bethany Haller, Conor Rees, Helen Hibbert. 3 Fred Bromwich, Anita Sharma-James, Claudia Warman, Bob Warman, Eileen Murphy. 4 Shelley Duncan, Veronica Kumeta, Steven Knight, Donna Stroud. 5 Neil Pounrney, Claudia Warman, Mike Gubbins, Gart Topp. 6 Diane Hall, Steven Knight, Dorothy Hobson. 7 Simon Pitt, Jo Jeffries, Steve Price, Dean Williams. 8 Steven Knight, Bob Warman. Photography by Ian Tennant

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WHAT: Royal Ascot Ladies Day in the Marquee WHEN: 21 June WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk This annual Ascot celebration is always fantastic fun. Enjoy a Champagne reception on the terrace, buffet lunch and live big screen TV coverage of all the action, followed by an indulgent afternoon tea.

WHAT: Adventure, Animation and Land Rovers WHEN: 26 May to 3 June WHERE: British Motor Museum, tel: 01926 641188 www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk This year marks the 70th Anniversary of Land Rover and the award winning museum is celebrating with some fantastic themed activities for families to enjoy. Includes trails, adventure tours and even an opportunity to make your own short animated film.

WHAT: An Evening with Tony Iommi WHEN: 23 June WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The legendary Black Sabbath guitarist and Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer returns to the Town Hall for an amazing evening talking about his life and career, hosted by Gary Newbon.

WHAT: Nature Valley Classic WHEN: 16 to 24 June WHERE: Edgbaston Priory Club, tel: 0844 581 4995 www.edgbastonpriory.com Firmly established as one of the top tournaments on the WTA tour, the Nature Valley Classic returns with a host of top names, including two-time Grand Slam champion and world No 3 Garbiñe Muguruza.

WHAT: Discovery Day WHEN: 23 June WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk Are you curious about what goes on behind the scenes or how shows are created? This is a cracking way to discover more about one of Birmingham’s finest theatres with back stage pass to explore behind the scenes and take part in fun workshops.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Birmingham Bears T20 Blast WHEN: 8 July WHERE: Edgbaston Stadium, www.birminghambears.com The Bears first home game of the domestic Twenty20 season is against the Yorkshire Vikings. Come and cheer the boys on and let’s see if we can go one step further this year.

WHAT: Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang WHEN: 26 to 30 June WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Everyone’s favourite automobile rolls into Birmingham as the iconic Chitty celebrates her 50th anniversary year with a brand new stage production proudly presented by the awesome musical theatre company, BMOS.

WHAT: Brindleyplace Family Festival 2018 WHEN: 16 June WHERE: Brindleyplace, www.brindleyplace.com The inaugural Brindleyplace Family Festival makes its debut this month. Incorporating the renowned Dragonboat Race, one of Birmingham’s longest-running and most entertaining events, this new extravaganza features a jam-packed schedule full of family fun.

WHAT: Sarah Kendall – One-Seventeen WHEN: 10 June WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk WHAT: Concert in the Park WHEN: 30 June to 1 July WHERE: Sutton Park, tel: 0121 296 9543 or visit www.townhallsuttoncoldfield.co.uk Fantastic outdoor summer fun returns to Sutton this summer with some world-class music, including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra performing a brilliant fiesta programme celebrating classic to contemporary.

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Nominated twice for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show and Total Fringe Sell Out, Sarah Kendall embarks on a UK tour with her latest show, One-Seventeen. A blistering storytelling experience from the creator and star of the hit BBC Radio 4 series Australian Trilogy.

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WHAT: The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich WHEN: Until 14 June WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk Wealthy widow Mrs Rich aspires to rub shoulders with the great and good and perhaps even gain a title. Unfortunately she’s not the only one after Sir John Roverhead! Will Mrs Rich ever squeeze her way into high society?

WHAT: Sheryl Crow WHEN: 19 June WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Sheryl celebrates a rich back catalogue which has seen her land four UK Top 10 hits, including her breakthrough single All I Wanna Do, the ludicrously catchy A Change Would Do You Good and more recent tracks from last year’s album Be Myself.

WHAT: Matilda the Musical WHEN: 3 July to 8 September WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com WHAT: BBC Good Food Show WHEN: 14 to 17 June WHERE: NEC, tel: 0844 581 1363 www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/birmingham-summer Packed with seasonal produce and ideas for al-fresco entertaining, some of the UK’s top chefs will be cooking up a storm at this unmissable show for food lovers. There’s also a chance to see everyone’s favourite, Mary Berry in action.

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

WHAT: The Kenilworth Show WHEN: 9 June WHERE: Stoneleigh Park, www.kenilworthshow.co.uk Country Life at its best. A fun-filled, action-packed, exciting and educational day with many of the old favourites returning for another year. Includes more than 100 trade stands from arts and crafts to clothing stalls, garden furniture and plants.

WHAT: Hollywood Vampires WHEN: 16 June WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com Birmingham hosts the opening night of just four UK tour dates for the super-group comprised of rock and Hollywood royalty Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp. There’s also support from The Darkness and The Damned with hints of more surprises to follow.

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WHAT: Katy Perry: Witness the Tour WHEN: 18 June WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com This will be the fourth concert tour by the singer-songwriter in support of her latest studio album, Witness. Expect an amazing night as she performs huge hits like Firework, Teenage Dream, I Kissed a Girl and Roar.

WHAT: Birmingham International Dance Festival WHEN: 1 to 24 June WHERE: Various throughout the city, visit www.bidf.co.uk Expect a world of dance across the city as the award-winning festival returns. Incredibly talented dancers will take over Birmingham’s streets and squares with show-stopping performances from dawn until dusk. Produced by Birmingham-based DanceXchange.

WHAT: Foodies Festival WHEN: 22 to 24 June WHERE: Cannon Hill Park, www.foodiesfestival.com One of the finest celebrations of food and drink returns with another mouth-watering event which this year includes the launch of a new Musicians Against Homelessness music stage with acts including Toploader, Dodgy and The Hoosiers.

WHAT: Jaguar Super Saturday WHEN: 23 June WHERE: Coventry Transport Museum, tel: 024 7623 4270 www.transport-museum.com A record 90 vehicles were on show at last year’s event, spanning 93 years of iconic models – from the long and historic developments of Swallow, SS and Daimler right up to the very latest Jaguar offerings. This year includes a new themed section called Racing Jaguars.

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IN THE CITY I always enjoy visiting cafes when travelling, especially in Europe,

as I like to sit, relax and take my time. I’d love to see that in Birmingham – where cafes stayed open late and we could sit while watching the world go by

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I have worked in this industry for 40 years and this year I will be celebrating my 30th anniversary at Henry Wong. As the general manager, I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the restaurant. Over the past 40 years I have made great contacts within the city, built good working relationships and have made some lasting friendships. I love meeting and interacting with people. During my time away from work I enjoy socialising with my friends over dinner and drinks. It’s important for me to wind down when not at work, so I completely understand how important it is for our customers to relax and enjoy their experience when dining with us. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? The restaurant is based on Harborne’s High Street. I don’t live far from Harborne so make the short drive to work.

POWERWALKING? I like to take scenic drives in the country and I also love garden centres for the peace and tranquillity. I love flowers – their bright colours make me happy!

WHERE'S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? There’s so much to love, and so much development happening, so that’s a difficult question! I love the district around Colmore Row, the buildings and architecture. I also like Canalside. AFTERWORK DRINK? I don’t really get the opportunity as I’m usually tired after a long busy evening at the restaurant. So, I would have to say Henry Wong – an opportunity to wind down and have a chat with the team.

Marianne Ho, general manager at Henry Wong Harborne

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? Birmingham is a fantastic place to work and in my 30 years it has changed dramatically. The dining scene in particular has changed a great deal, with such a variety of restaurants and dining experiences on offer. Henry Wong has been operating for 34 years, which means we’ve established a really loyal customer base. COFFEE BREAK? I tend to stay local to Harborne High Street. There are a lot of nice pubs and coffee shops here, such as the Plough and Arco Lounge.

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LUNCHTIME? Apart from enjoying the traditional soup noodles at Henry Wong, I really like trying new and different places to eat. One of my favourites for lunch is Fumo as I really love the atmosphere and the choice and variety of dishes.

HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? I always enjoy visiting cafes when travelling, especially in Europe, as I like to sit, relax and take my time. I’d love to see that in Birmingham, where cafes stayed open late and we could sit while watching the world go by. Birmingham is continually evolving and developing which makes it such an exciting city to live and work in. I Henry Wong, 283 High Street, Birmingham, B17 9QH. Tel: 0121 427 9799 www.henrywongharborne.co.uk

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June issue 2018 (issue 69)  
June issue 2018 (issue 69)  
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