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March 2018

LIFE OF GRIME

ZEO ZEONARDO

PERFORMING PILATES

DAY OUT WITH THE KIDS

SPRING LOADED

KING of STRINGS

+

TARA TOMES SABAI SABAI

JAG’S PACESETTER

STYLE I HOMES I HEALTH

RICHARD MASON

CHART-TOPPING YOUNG MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR SHEKU KANNEH-MASON


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EDITOR’S VIEW We’re young, ethnically and culturally diverse, highly investable and with universities ranked top for film production, creative writing, dance and drama. So, come to Brum, Channel 4. It’s a no-brainer!

h those were the days. When everyone in the land had heard of BBC Pebble Mill, home of some of the UK’s greatest and best-loved TV programmes – from All Creatures Great and Small to Poldark. And Central and ATV, birthplace of such telly gems as Spitting Image, Tiswas and, er… Crossroads. (Well, you can’t win them all.) Pebble Mill and ATV, bulldozed into history. RIP. Wouldn’t it be great if Birmingham became a major TV player again? Yes, I know that the BBC is still here, making the incredibly successful Peaky Blinders and continuing the legend that is radio’s The Archers – as well as basing its training facilities here too. But truly, the Beeb is more about being in London and Salford these days. Which is why the growing clamour for Channel 4 to relocate from London to Birmingham is important for our city. West Midlands mayor Andy Street is putting his weight behind the bid, together with 17 MPs from across the region. Business too, including Birmingham Publicity Association representing creative agencies, is calling for Channel 4 to make the move here with its ‘BPA is all 4’ campaign. The case for Birmingham is compelling. We have Europe’s youngest population and we’re the most ethnically and culturally diverse city in the UK. We’ve been named the nation’s most investable city with new businesses created running at double the UK growth rate. We have more than a dozen universities, including those ranked top for film production, creative writing, dance and drama. Birmingham is vibrant, optimistic, growing and going places. So, come on Channel 4. Come to Brum. It’s a no-brainer!

A

David Johns

Editor: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk

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

Contributors: Rob Price, Sue Cooke, Rose Gallagher 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

Cover image: Sheku Kanneh-Mason

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

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/bhamliving

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

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INSIDE

Highlights

12 16 20 22 32 40

Sheku Kanneh-Mason Critically-acclaimed teen cellist talks number one albums, heroes and giving back Richard Mason The actor was flogging hot dogs and making ‘awful lattes’ when he got the movie call Ryan Swift The Belfry’s new head chef on what inspires his love of cooking and his food heaven and hell Food & Drink News, views, reviews and recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene, plus Rob Price’s wine picks Spring Style Edit It’s pastel power for the new season, from Victoria Beckham to Anya Hindmarch and more! Health & Fitness Pilates masterclass with Andy Adamson, plus tips on how to beat allergies misery

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CONTENTS

32

Best of the Rest

44 56 58 64 70 78 82 march 2018

Homes Looking to make the most of your home and garden whatever the weather? Cue glass… Motoring Sue Cooke finds the perfect answer to a rainy day with a new Big Cat born in the Midlands Young, Gifted & Brummie Zeo Zeonardo on why Wolverhampton felt like the centre of the grime universe growing up Business Company to watch Day Out With The Kids, plus news & views from the business community Social Scene The pages that picture who’s been out and about networking in Birmingham this month Shows, Arts, Gigs and More What’s on, where and when – all you need to know about the city’s entertainment scene In The City With Tara Tomes, founder of East Village PR, marketing and events agency

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NEWS

g n i livTODAY

SCIENCE FOR KIDS? IT’S A BLAST! Take a bunch of kids, add some strange potions and let them loose in a lab… and this could be the explosive result! Things won’t get quite so hairraising – while nonetheless exciting – at this month’s New Science Curriculum Week for Schools at the British Motor Museum. Science Week is suitable for KS1 and KS2 and runs from 12 to 16 March. Workshops cover topics such as forces, robotics, materials and states of matter, with the chance to make ‘magnetic slime’. Yuk! Details: www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/learning/schools

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

BEAUTY AND THE BULL

One of the most dramatic and challenging dance performances to be seen in Birmingham is set to wow audiences this month at DanceXchange. TORO: Beauty and the Bull is DeNada Dance Theatre’s new narrative work, presenting a gender questioning, Hispanic take on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. The production comes to the city on 22 and 23 March as part of its national tour. DeNada Dance Theatre was recently nominated for three UK Critics’ Circle

PITCH PERFECT It was just about the perfect day for Black Sabbath bass player Geezer Butler when he was inducted into the Birmingham Walk of Stars. The coveted award was presented to Geezer on the pitch at his beloved Aston Villa by Lord Mayor of Birmingham Anne Underwood and fellow Walk of Stars member and Black Sabbath band mate Tony Iommi. To cap the special occasion, Geezer watched Villa beat Burton Albion 3-2.

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National Dance Awards. Tickets: 0844 338 5000 www.dancexchange.org.uk See Up Close With, page 62

PENNY FOR YOUR HELP Meet amazing four-year-old Penny Powell. Sutton-born Penny underwent a renal transplant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital last year after she was born weighing only 1lb 7oz. Now six months on, she is progressing well and giving her support to the hospital charity’s Big Bandage Day on Friday 9 March. The charity is asking people to raise money by taking on a brave challenge. The charity is also holding a sponsored abseil on Saturday 10 March. Sign up at www.bch.org.uk/Event/abseil or to donate text BIGB18 to 70070, or via www.bch.org.uk/givetobb

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NEWS

MEET CINDERELLA PAPER TRIBUTE A student from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has landed the title role in a new production of Rossini’s Cinderella. Mezzo soprano Hélène Ducos, 26, will star in the opera, which will be staged at the Concordia Theatre, Hinckley by Stanley Opera in April. Hélène said: “I am very excited to rise to the challenge, particularly at this stage of my life, and at the beginning of my career.”

Trailblazing women who won the right to vote

have been honoured in a life-size paper tribute handcrafted to mark 100 years of the suffragettes. Students on Birmingham City University’s design for performance course worked round the clock for three weeks to craft the exhibition, using 1,600 metres of brown paper and 500 metres of corrugated cardboard. Scenes include key figures from the suffragette

CYCLE HIT RETURNS

movement and a full-scale horse

Vélo Birmingham, the 100-mile

Georgian London.

and carriage on the streets of

closed-road cycling event, is to return with a new route in spring 2019. The inaugural event in September 2017 was the second biggest closed road cycling event in the UK. It proved to be a huge success, selling out more than 15,000 entries in one weekend with riders raising £2million for different charities, including Cure Leukaemia, NSPCC, Alzheimer’s Society and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The event is moving to spring to give riders more daylight hours.

MUSIC’S BIG NIGHT

MILESTONE: From left to right, High Commissioner Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, Prof Sir David Eastwood, and University of Birmingham chancellor Lord Bilimoria. Picture by Nicola Gotts

UNI’S INDIA INSTITUTE Birmingham University’s close links with India, which

The first-ever annual Birmingham Music Awards are

span more than 100 years, reached a new milestone with

gearing up for their big night in May with the latest

the launch of its India Institute. University vice-chancellor

support coming from Town Hall and Symphony Hall.

Prof Sir David Eastwood and Indian High Commissioner

THSH is sponsoring the event’s Rising Star Award,

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha addressed representatives of

identifying outstanding emerging artists from the

the UK Indian and education communities, before

Midlands. BMA ambassador Martin ‘Ace’ Kent,

unveiling a commemorative plaque. The Edgbaston

pictured, from rock band Skunk Anansie said: “This is

campus’ clock tower ‘Old Joe’ turned orange for the

an exciting new initiative for the city. As a boy,

evening as a cultural night at the university’s Barber

Birmingham played a crucial part in my music journey.”

Institute of Fine Arts presented a range of Indian arts.

JAMES SWINGS BY Ex-England cricketer James Taylor will swap bat for clubs at this year’s Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship at Nailcote Hall. Taylor, capped by England at Test and one-day level, was forced to retire in 2016 due to a serious heart condition. Since then he has worked on BBC’s Test Match Special and coached at Northamptonshire CCC. He is the first of many celebrities due to be revealed for this year’s tournament from 7 to 10 August. Details: http://britishpar3.com/booking/event-ticket/2018.

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NEWS

TASTE OF LEBANON The taste and feel of real Lebanese home cooking is coming to Birmingham’s New Street Station this month with the opening of Comptoir Libanais restaurant. The man behind the eatery is Comptoir Libanais founder Tony Kitous, pictured, whose upbringing and love of food has driven his ambition to share the unique tastes and culture from Lebanon and the Middle East with the rest of the world.

NEC’S CHARITY BOOST IN BRIEF The NEC Group will give a huge cash boost to Britain’s largest dementia research charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK, through 2018. The Group – which operates the NEC, ICC, Genting Arena, Arena Birmingham and Vox venues, plus the Ticket Factory, Amadeus and Amplify – will be running a range of fund-raising activities. Group CEO Paul Thandi, pictured, said: “With 1,000 staff and seven million visitors to our venues each year, we have fantastic opportunities to raise awareness and money for this worthwhile cause.”

CARE LAUNCH A care home in Yardley is relaunching this month after a renovation and rebuilding project. Heartlands Care Home, part of Country Court Care group, has 66 ensuite bedrooms, café/bistro, pub and cinema room.

BOOK DATE Costa award-winning author Jon McGregor, best-seller Tim Marshall, Gavin & Stacey creator Ruth Jones and broadcasters Jeremy Vine and Peter Snow are among the line-up at Stratford Literary Festival from 22 to 29 April at Stratford ArtsHouse.

RACHIT’S BIG DAY Students, staff and alumni at Birmingham City University International College celebrated the enrolling of its 1,000th student. Rachit Patel, 19, from Mumbai, India began his studies on the art and design foundation programme. He was presented with a £1,000 bursary to mark the occasion and help towards his studies. The college provides undergraduate and postgraduate pathways to Birmingham City University for international students who do not meet its direct

FLYING THE FLAG They fly through the air with the greatest of ease – and dancers at Elmhurst Ballet School are flying the flag for Birmingham in dramatic style as part of a new campaign. The vocational school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, celebrates its home city in a drive to attract the best local, national and international dance talent to the region. As part of The Your Place for Dance campaign, upper school students were photographed in iconic city locations.

ON THE BALL Basketball stars from Worcester Wolves visited young patients at Birmingham Children’s Hospital renal unit to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and the Transplant Games which will take place in Birmingham in August. More details: www.transplantsport.org.uk

entry requirements.

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NEWS

SEEING RED

The Selfridges building was turned red to mark the Chinese New Year of the Dog as the store hosted two special family events. Members of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire staged three themed performances while Birmingham Hippodrome and the Chinese New Year festival committee organised a traditional lion dance, snaking through the store – much to shoppers delight! General manager Sam Watts said: “We have a vibrant Chinese community in Birmingham so we embraced the New Year celebrations.”

ALL FOR 4 IN BRUM A striking graffiti mural appeared in Digbeth’s Custard Factory to show support for Channel 4’s #WMgeneration campaign. The work by artist Panda was designed by Birmingham Publicity Association to highlight the backing of West

TV STAR HOSTS AWARDS

Midlands creative agencies in encouraging the

broadcaster to move to the area. The campaign to Actor and TV star Stephen Mangan will host attract Channel 4 already has the backing of West the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Midlands mayor Andy Street and Peaky Blinders Commerce annual dinner and awards. The founder Steven Knight who has roots in Birmingham. event, which attracted more than 1,200 guests in 2017, will take place at the ICC on 19 April. Mangan has appeared in sitcoms Episodes, Green Wing and I’m Alan Partridge, as well as panel shows such as Have I Got News For You and Just A Minute. Nine sector awards will be presented on the night, including three new categories – excellence in hospitality, technology and innovation and training and education.

11 MILLION REASONS TO DANCE Belgrade Theatre has launched a new artist residency for disabled dance practitioners. Community dance foundation People Dancing is teaming up with the theatre to offer the exciting opportunity as part of its 11 Million Reasons to Dance project. 11 Million Reasons to Dance is a special commission for Coventry as part of People Dancing’s national programme to positively profile deaf and disabled people who dance. The title references that there are more than 11 million disabled people living in the UK today.

VINTAGE GIFT: Museum chairman Lowell Williams and Patrick Foundation trustee Alexander Patrick

APPEAL FORGES AHEAD Black Country Living Museum has launched a campaign to raise the final £1.9million towards its £21.7million Forging Ahead development project. The Patrick Foundation of Kings Norton has already pledged £500,000 towards the project that will expand the museum by a third. A donation of five vintage vehicles from the Patrick Collection has also been made. The gift will additionally see an annual donation of £30,000 for 10 years to support the museum and the maintenance of its heritage vehicle collection.

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

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COVER STORY

“

The CBSO is one of the

best orchestras in the world and

�

Symphony Hall is one of my

favourite places to play too. The acoustics are amazing

SWEET SYMPHONY Critically-acclaimed teen cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason talks to Shelley Carter about number one albums, heroes and giving back

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COVER STORY

ast year, teenager Sheku Kanneh-Mason became the first black BBC Young Musician of the Year in the competition’s 38-year history. He won the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Instrumentalist Prize and the Southbank Breakthrough Award. He also performed Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at the Baftas and has been invited to play again this year – the first time a musician has been asked back ever. Sheku played at Downing Street as part of Black History Month and made his BBC Proms debut with Chineke, Europe’s first black and minority ethnic orchestra. Now he’s teamed up with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and its celebrated musical director Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla on his debut ˙ album, Inspiration which is number one in the classical album charts, number 18 in the pop charts and is the best-selling release by any British newcomer across all genres this year. Recorded in Birmingham and Nottingham during two CBSO concerts conducted by Mirga, Inspiration is a collection of pieces that have inspired Sheku’s career so far. It includes Shostakovich’s cello concerto No.1 – which is the piece that propelled the young cellist to fame in the BBC Young Musician competition – as well as his version of Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry and Pablo Casals’s Sardana, with fellow BBC Young Musician winner Guy Johnston. Working with Mirga was a joy and Sheku describes her as ‘really incredible’. He’s flattering about the CBSO generally saying: “It’s one of the best orchestras in the world.” Symphony Hall is one of his favourite places to play too. “The acoustics are amazing,” he explains.

L

RUBBING SHOULDERS Days after completing the album, Sheku flew to New York to debut at Carnegie Hall in a charity gala, The Children’s Monologues directed by Danny Boyle appearing alongside Alisters such as James McAvoy, Anne Hathaway, Ewan McGregor and Susan Sarandon. Speaking of A-listers, Sheku has attracted many famous fans over the past year including Stephen Fry, Eddie Redmayne and Prince Harry to name just a few. So, life’s been a bit of whirlwind of late which he describes as ‘thrilling’. A student at the Royal Academy of Music, Sheku has never thought about doing anything else. His siblings, of which there are six, are all exceptional musicians – you might have seen them en masse performing on Britain’s Got Talent or in BBC4 documentary, Young, Gifted and Classical: The Making of a Maestro – so playing an instrument just felt natural. Sheku initially picked up the violin aged six, but after a month decided he’d go bigger to out-do his violinist older brother and plumped for the cello.

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COVER STORY

I would love to inspire

more diversity in young people taking

up classical music – it would be a

really wonderful thing if I could be a role model in that way

By age nine, he’d reached Grade 8 with the highest mark in the country. He recalls: “I had an amazing teacher and I always enjoyed performing. Even then I thought I’d be doing it for the rest of my life. It just felt normal.” Weekly trips on the 5am train to London on a Saturday so the children could go to the Royal Academy of Music were the norm and while his parents made sacrifices to ensure there were lessons, instruments and books, Sheku never felt pressured. “I always wanted to be a musician.” GIVING BACK Sheku is absolutely passionate about creating better opportunities for young people of any background to learn music. He had a state education and values the opportunities he had, but with budgets squeezed and increased pressure on schools, the arts seem to be the first stage of the curriculum under threat. Sheku has become a Junior Ambassador for music education charity London Music Matters. Of his role he says: “I would love to inspire more diversity in young people taking up classical music – it would be a really wonderful thing if I could be a role model in that way.” He has also donated some of the proceeds from his concerts to his old school in the Midlands after learning that cello teaching could end there. Sheku admits that as a

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black child going to a classical concert you don’t see anyone who looks like you in the orchestra which he’d love to see change too. Being part of Chineke! which Sheku’s family have been on board with from the beginning is a start. Sheku comments: “Having lots of role models to look up to is inspiring.” VIBRANT ABANDONMENT Heroes include Bob Marley who Sheku grew up with and listens to a lot when he’s not listening to classical. In fact, Sheku’s haunting version of No Woman, No Cry reached number two on Spotify’s UK viral chart and top 10 globally. Another hero that Sheku sadly never got to meet was Jacqueline du Pré whose family said recently that she’d have loved to meet him, ‘He’s the first cellist since Jackie who has that natural and vibrant abandonment when playing. A sheer delight. Jackie would have loved to meet him.’ Sheku was thrilled. He tweeted: “A lovely quote from Jacqueline du Pré's family! Jacqueline is one of my major influences – she is an inspiration to many cellists and musicians and has been my hero for many many years.” I BE INSPIRED Checkout Inspiration at https://decca.lnk.to/InspirationTW

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FEATURE

ACTING UP Actor Richard Mason was flogging hot dogs and making ‘awful

lattes’ when he got the call about independent film Scott and Sid. We caught up with him ahead of its release this month ack in the day, a teacher told Richard Mason he should be a plumber, so he could earn some money and support a family which at 15 felt a bit premature! When he told his family he wanted to be an actor they laughed and pondered how long it would last. Now, with Oscar-winning short film Stuttered under his belt, a stint on daytime TV’s Doctors and a feature film due out this month, the working-class lad from Halesowen is doing alright. Although, if Steven McKnight is reading this, an audition for Peaky Blinders would be grand!

B

Other than performing for his nan and her friends, Richard wasn’t into acting as a boy. In fact, the thought of the dreaded school play was toecurling to him. School generally was something to be endured and Richard’s loathing of the place could well have pushed him down an acting path. He recalls: “My educational background was pretty much sitting at the back of the classroom, not talking and staring out the window. I hated school, I had no friends and I knew I had to break into an entirely new place.”

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FEATURE

SCOTT AND SID: Actors Richard Mason, left, and Tom Blyth

Having trained with Birmingham City FC’s youth squad until injury took its toll, Richard moved to London to pursue an acting career and won a scholarship to the Giles Foreman Centre where he studied for three years. “I just packed up and moved to London. It was thrilling. I felt alive for the first time,” he says. BILLY BIG BOLLOCKS Richard thought he’d sit in Piccadilly Circus and wait for the world to take him in. “Looking back, I simply turned up in London and had no idea of this city. Then, it was a case of just being available and open to opportunity. There are so many key moments that led onto something else, I believe everything I saw and did, good and bad, had a knock-on effect and helped me find my base here

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and grow up a little bit. I was a bit of a livewire when I first arrived!” Richard doesn’t have great memories from before he left the region and says his favourite part of Birmingham is the train out of it! He recalls nights out in Brum when he was 18 where he’d be on Broad Street playing at being ‘Billy Big Bollocks’, so the move to London felt fresh and new. When feature film Scott and Sid came along, Richard jumped at the chance. Due out this month, Scott and Sid is an independent film based on a true story of triumph against adversity, about friendship and coming-of-age as two mates navigate the distance from dream to reality and never succumbing to an ordinary life – whatever that is. Richard plays Scott, an unloved foster child who has been expelled from multiple schools, is rootless

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FEATURE

and uncontainable alongside fellow Midlander, Tom Blyth who plays Sid. Richard and Tom lived with the real-life Scott (Elliott) and Sid (Sadowskyj) – who also wrote, produced and directed the film – in York for weeks prior to filming to get to know them and their lives. The film, and in particular Scott’s character, appealed to Richard. He says: “I was attracted at how loose Scott was and how Scott and Sid went into something with an attitude of both love and don’t give a shit. Risk taking is something that has always attracted me.” GENUINE AND REAL Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj had never written, produced or directed a film before and the audition process was less than conventional, so Richard took quite a punt, but just felt it was right. After sending an audition tape Richard got a call from the pair who wanted to meet him. Richard naturally expected a standard audition. “I met Scott in Covent Garden and I was looking around for a man in his late forties I presumed. How wrong I was! Scott said, ‘tell me a restaurant you CHECK IT OUT Catch Richard in the trailer for Scott and Sid at https://vimeo.com/251779128

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want to eat in.’ I could barely afford to ever eat out, so I had no idea where to go.” The meeting went well and shortly afterwards he travelled to York to meet Sid and spent the weekend there. “It was the most unusual casting session I think I’ve ever had, yet by far the most real and genuine.” This is something that Richard swears by. Whether it’s film, TV or stage, he must feel he’s working with great people who believe in what they’re doing otherwise, ‘what’s the point?’ ACTING HEROES Of filming Scott and Sid, Richard recalls: “We were filming in a beautiful part of the country. I’d never been to York before and spending three months with such artistic people was great.” Producer Sid says: “Richard is definitely a name to look out for. He has a great head on his shoulders, this is just the start for him.” Richard’s heroes include namesakes Richard Burton and Richard Harris along with Oliver Reed. He enthuses: “They were the greats, I tend to want to associate myself with hell-raisers. They were so much more than just actors as you always got such a humanity from them. And that's what I aspire to, being able to be intimate and tell stories.” And not plumbing! I

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FOOD & DRINK

RYAN SWIFT

The new head chef at the Belfry has come a long way since standing on a stool as a young boy at the sink, armed with mixing bowl and wooden spoon, making inedible ‘special’ mixes Tell us about your cooking My style is very much my own. I think it is important to be true to yourself and cook what you are passionate about. Generally, I like to keep it simple, preferring clean, clear and precise flavours, nothing too fussy or heavy. If you use the freshest seasonal produce and only the finest quality ingredients, the flavours should just come through. How did you become a chef? My love of food began in my nan’s kitchen. I was in awe of how she created flavoursome home-cooked dishes from the constant supply of fresh fruit and vegetables my grandad produced from the garden each day. As a very young boy, I would stand on a footstool at the kitchen sink armed with a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon and experiment with my often inedible ‘special mixes.’ Hopefully, I have upped my game a bit over the ensuing years. My formal training began at Birmingham College of Food & Technology. I moved to London a few days after leaving college to a Michelin-starred restaurant where I did a placement while in my final year of college and was offered a position. From that point on, I was totally smitten – not to mention exhausted and broke trying to work and play on a commis chef ’s wages in west London.

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What do you eat when at home? There’s nothing better than getting home to some hearty comfort food. I love how quick and easy it is to rustle up a pasta dish or a delicious sausage casserole. The best thing about comfort food is that I can make extra portions to warm up the next day, which helps me with my busy schedule. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? Every chef and critic would be hard-pressed to answer this one as everyone prefers different styles and flavours. For me personally, the best chef in the world is Thomas Keller. His experience, exceptional standards and culinary skills are second to none. In Birmingham, Luke Tipping at Simpsons is someone I admire. His creative simplicity and true passion are clear to see. My other inspiration is one of my old mentors, Simon Haigh at Mallory Court, who I look up to a great amount. I spent many happy years at

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CHEF’S CORNER

Mallory Court working with Simon and learned a lot of techniques from him. Finally, working with Robert Bates, the Belfry’s executive chef, has been a fantastic experience. Is the customer always right? The short answer is yes, if they are reading this! The most important thing for me is ‘is the customer always happy’? By providing the best possible culinary delights and fantastic customer service, the customer will always be happy. Share a cooking tip Use the best seasonal produce you can afford and treat it with respect when cooking. Food heaven and food hell? Heaven is a relaxing Sunday lunch of a traditional roast, eaten at home with my wife and family. Although the health benefits are amazing, I am not a

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huge fan of spinach. However the good thing is that it can be cooked in many forms, so I don’t mind it in a puree to accompany a meal. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? The street food in Thailand trying the deep fried ‘delicacies’. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? I’m used to the heat of the kitchen so if I wasn’t a chef I would love to become a firefighter. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? Here at the Belfry we have just launched our new spring menu. The monkfish is definitely a dish I would pick if I was dining here. I The Belfry, Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, B76 9PR. Tel: 01675 238600 www.thebelfry.com

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SEASON’S EATINGS

COOL KALE Try our brilliant, tasty recipe and you’ll be full of beans t’s not so long ago that most of us had never really heard of kale – let alone eaten it! It’s one of those vegetables that’s become incredibly popular on restaurant menus and in home cooking as a result of featuring in TV foodie programmes, celebrity chef books, blogs and social media. These days it’s cool to eat kale – and it’s very healthy for you, too.

I

KALE WITH CANNELLINI BEANS AND PANCETTA Ingredients:     

1.5 tablespoons olive oil 1 small red onion 3 cloves garlic 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped 1 bunch beetroot greens, stems removed and roughly chopped  2 rashers pancetta or streaky bacon  400g drained cannellini beans

Method: Chop the onion and gently cook in the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat until soft. Add the garlic (crushed) and cook for another minute or two. Next add the chopped kale and beetroot greens before partially covering the pan, continuing to cook over a medium heat for a few more minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pancetta (or streaky bacon) until it is nice and crispy. Roughly chop then add to the kale mixture and stir. Add the beans then cook partially covered again until the greens are tender (approximately five minutes).

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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 WHISKY BAR OPENS IN JQ Birmingham is toasting its first dedicated whisky bar. The Birmingham Whisky Bar – set inside the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Vyse Street – boasts more than 300 whiskies. The bar is the brainchild of Amy Seton, who founded the successful Birmingham Whisky Club and Festival six years ago. “Opening a bar was the logical next step,” she explained.

IT’S A TASTE SENSATION The Belfry Hotel & Resort is set to tantalise the tastebuds of visitors to its Ryder Grill restaurant with a mouth-watering Tasting Menu Series. Recently-appointed head chef, Ryan Swift is bringing fresh culinary flair to the popular Thursday evening highlight with a selection of sixcourse menus featuring the finest seasonal produce. “I’m really excited to see our diners’ reactions to them,” he said.

DINING CLUB COMES TO LONGBRIDGE Digbeth Dining Club is set to cook up a storm in Longbridge. The double winner of the UK’s Best Street Food Event, DDC will be visiting the town centre once a month from March through to September, bringing some of the region’s finest street food vendors to Longbridge. The first event is on Saturday 10 March from 11am-6pm.

DOUBLE TOP FOR MOORINGS The Moorings at Myton gastro pub, Leamington Spa has been elected Les Routiers Gastro Pub of the Year and has also won the Eagle Star Best Food Pub award from Charles Wells brewery. The Moorings is part of the CD Pub Co chain which includes the Stag at Offchurch, Chequers at Crowle and Forest at Feckenham.

ESABELLA’S MEET & EAT TREAT Mell Square shopping centre is now home to Esabella’s social eating house. Esabella’s, which is at 680 Warwick Road, brings high-end food into a new and exciting dining experience, where guests can meet, celebrate or simply pass the time, while enjoying luxury Champagne, wine, cocktails and beers. Sounds perfect!

FRENCH CONNECTION St Paul’s Dining Club, Birmingham has a new chef. Jonathan Chatfield previously worked in the Dordogne in south west France and says: “France provides my inspiration, but I love cooking good quality traditional English food as well as fusion and Asian cuisine.” Sous chef Claire Belloir also has a French connection – she is married to a Frenchman.

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LUNCHSPOT

SABAI SABAI Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PG. Tel: 0121 448 3850 sabaisabai.com he fourth restaurant from the gorgeous Sabai Sabai pairing Torquil and Juree opened just before Christmas. Until then, their Harborne eatery had been our go-to for a frequent fix of Thai food. The city centre restaurant is even more convenient which is both brilliant and bad. We’re thinking waistline people. While Harborne is sprawling and open, Waterloo Street is more intimate with cosy corners to get settled in. There’s a cracking bar area too, which despite it being early days is already buzzing on a weekend. The lunch menu which has been cleverly created is a tapas or Thai-pas (sorry!) inspired affair with five menu options each priced at £13.95 – the idea being you can try multiple dishes all served at the same time fitting neatly into your lunch hour. It works too. We were easily in and out in under 60 minutes feeling like we’d enjoyed a proper break from the office. The Chiang Mai menu consisted of punchy, peppery chicken wings, a refreshing crispy duck salad and a lipsmackingly fiery green chicken curry. A Fever Tree elderflower tonic was an ideal match. A dedicated gin menu appealed, but midday was too early even for us. The Krabi menu included our beloved favourite beef massaman which didn’t disappoint along with sweet sticky spare ribs and crisp, flavour-packed vegetable spring rolls. An Eastern Breeze mocktail with basil looked a treat and tasted great.

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It sounds like a lot of food, but we found the portions just right and for two people who are always banging on about a loathing of oversized platefuls that’s saying something. The vegetarian menu, Lopburi looked great too although we didn’t sample it. By 12.30pm the restaurant was pretty busy with corporate types shunning a soggy sandwich in favour of delicious, quick, warming food. The manager from Harborne has moved to Waterloo Street so he’s on board with the Sabai Sabai ethos and the whole team was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We wanted to love it and we did. I

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FOOD & DRINK

BRILLIANT BORDEAUX Our resident wine expert Rob Price has no doubt about his all-time favourite wine region – which produces a staggering 850 million bottles a year nyone who has attended one of my Birmingham Wine School events will have heard me go on about Bordeaux wines. They are my favourite, and if I had to choose just one region to which my wine drinking was confined, Bordeaux would be it. It is the largest Appellation Contrôlée, AC, region in France – AC being the term used for the potentially better French wines. And I would have plenty to choose from, with Bordeaux producing around 850 million bottles of wine per year. To put that in context, we only produce around five million bottles of English wine. Bordeaux produces pretty much every style of wine going, so whatever you’re in the mood for there will be a bottle waiting for you. To be fair, most of it is red – around 90 per cent – but 85 million bottles of white/fizz still gives plenty of options! Want a light, easy drinking red? Then standard Bordeaux AC is fine. Or perhaps, a well-made soft, round red with a touch of oak? Then go for a Saint-

A

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Émilion. What about a substantial, full-bodied red with complexity and long finish? Head for the communes, such as Pauillac, St Estèphe, St Julien and Margaux. For something a bit special, Grand Cru Classé wines will reward you amply. If you’re after a drop of fizz, Cremant de Bordeaux is wonderful and not that expensive, and for a crisp, dry white wine, head to Entre-Deux-Mers, or even better Graves or Pessac-Léognan. Sweet dessert wines are also produced with Sauternes and Barsac leading the way. So, plenty to choose from! BEST OF THE BEST As mentioned, Bordeaux is mainly red wine and the main grapes in descending importance are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Malbec, Petit Verdot. No other red grapes are allowed. For whites, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are the main grapes used. The weather has a significant impact on quality

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and therefore the vintage (year) is important. 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 were all excellent, 1997, 2007 and 2012 not so good, with the other years producing some pretty decent wines. If you have money to burn, the five First Growth (the very best) châteaux will happily treat you to an experience you’re unlikely to forget – one, because of the dent in your bank balance, but also because of the sublime taste they offer. The five Grand Cru classified First Growth wines, are Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothchild, Chateau Lafite Rothchild and Chateau Margaux and Haut Brion. These wines are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, so if Merlot is more your thing then head over to Saint-Émilion or Pomerol where some of these are wines are even more expensive! How about Le Pin, 2004, only £1,400... 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 www.birminghamwineschool.com

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ROB’S

4 TO TRY

Inexpensive easy drinking red – M&S has a wonderful Bordeaux Merlot, with red fruits, cherry and plum. It slips down so well. £9 a bottle

Good value complex red – Chateau Lalande-Borie is always reliable and the 2010 vintage (a great year) is available from Waitrose for £42. Lovely dark black fruits, with cedar and tobacco notes to follow. Smooth and elegant. One of the best – Chateau Pontet-Canet, 2005. My current favourite Chateau; 5th Growth, (think of divisions – 1st growth top, 5th growth bottom). But these five divisions represent some of the best top 60 Chateaux, so they are all very good. Plus, Pontet-Canet over performs more like 2nd Growth standard. Expect one of the best drinking experiences you can have. Not cheap though! Uncorked sells for £129. Sweet white – Château La Rame 2015 Ste-Croix-du-Mont, 50cl from Majestic at £14.99 is an example of a lovely sweet white wine. Noble rot is evident, which is good, delivering honey, marmalade, and orange rind. Whichever you choose, give Bordeaux a go – you will need a little food to help wash them down…

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

CHAMPION COBBLER

Calling all gin lovers! Mix it up a bit with this award-winning concoction k, hands up we love gin! So this month we thought we’d seek out something special in honour of our little juniper berry-inspired friend. Who better to ask than the mixologists at 40 St Pauls where they offer no fewer than 140 gins in their award-winning menu.

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CHAMPION COBBLER Ingredients:

I 35ml Slingsby Spirit of Harrogate Gin

I 20ml fino Sherry I 15ml Rhubarb & Rosehip cordial

I 20ml cold press Yorkshire Tea I 10ml lemon juice I 10ml apple juice

Method: Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake short and sharp. Serve in a short stem cocktail glass, or in a trophy as 40 St Paul’s does.

40 St Paul's, 40 Cox Street, off St Pauls Square, Birmingham, B3 1RD. www.40stpauls.co.uk

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

TOPOKKI Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TD. Tel: 0121 666 7200 topokki.info orean food is not something we know much about. For instance, we know we like kimchi but embarrassingly that is it. Thanks to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, we’ve become experts on the four-man bob and can find our way round a half pipe, no problem. Yet we don’t know our bulgogi from our bibimbap. Cue Topokki on Hurst Street which came recommended by a friend. Not ones to ignore a good tip we duly trotted off to the Southside Korean eatery to check it out for ourselves. Smart looking from the outside – all slate grey and fuss-free front – the restaurant made a great first impression. From the inside things were less sleek and more cosy. The tiny, cluttered kitchen was on show, staff were warm and friendly and the place was buzzing. Tables with built-in hot plates were close together, but with the lively hubbub it didn’t matter. The menu could have done with some explaining, but our waiter spoke little English and we spoke zero Korean, so we were winging it slightly. Dishes like salad bibmbap – a bowl of white rice topped with vegetables, fried mushroom and sesame oil with a choice of topping (most people seemed to plump for a fried egg) – were flying out of the kitchen and being devoured hungrily all around us. The friend went with what he knew, ramen with

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chicken, and it was good. Nothing earth-shattering or different but really tasty and soothing in a mum’s chicken soup sort of way. I stuck with the majority and tried salad bibimbap with added kimchi and a fried egg. I expected punchy heat, sour notes and an oozy egg, but got an average bowl of rice with bits and bobs chucked in of which the highlight was fermented cabbage. Nothing was awful, nor was it stand-out. Having said that, we loved the bustling vibe of the place plus it’s an absolute steal – we reckon it’s the least expensive meal we’ve eaten in Brum since 1999 at under £25 for two main courses with drinks. I’d recommend doing a bit of research before you go so you understand the dishes and don’t need to rely on the staff to explain the menu which wasn’t a good option when we visited. It’s not special occasion territory but we’d definitely go back armed with more knowledge. I

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ADVERTORIAL

CRACKING

EASTER GETAWAYS Jet off on some of Europe’s most exciting spring city breaks – all from Birmingham Airport an’t hold on until the summer for your next getaway? There are some great European city breaks available this spring to get you out of the UK for a change of scenery. With flights to Porto, Valencia, Naples and Stockholm ranging between two and three hours, you’ll be enjoying your next holiday in no time from Birmingham Airport…

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EXPLORE PORTO One of the oldest European centres, Porto has a thriving historical core. Its hilly, cobbled streets and bohemian character give it its alluring charm and there is no better time to visit than in spring when the temperature is mild. Enjoy the fun atmosphere and fresh produce at the Mercado do Bolhão. A visit to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Port wine cellars where you can sample the city’s namesake. The southern neighbourhood of Ribeira, on the banks of the river Duoro, is the life and soul of Porto. Explore the maze of alleyways, plazas and tiled townhouses to discover some of the best restaurants in town, serving traditional cuisine with spectacular views over the river.

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UNWIND IN NAPLES With one of the biggest historical centres in the world, housing more than 400 churches as well as the iconic gulf and Mount Vesuvius, it’s a wonder Naples hasn’t received more attention. It enjoys a mild southern climate and temperatures reach 18°C in spring, allowing you to stroll the city’s streets without layering up. Kick back and soak up the warm weather and sunshine in one of Naples’ green spaces. Stroll along the urban oasis of Villa Comunale, a leafy seaside strip dotted with gorgeous fountains and home to the Anton Dohrn aquarium. Also worth a visit is the neoclassical residence of Villa Floridiana, housing the magnificent National Museum of Ceramics. The beautifully landscaped land and botanical gardens surrounding the villa provide a haven away from the busy city streets. GET A TASTE OF SWEDEN Whether 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

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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. Across Stockholm’s 14 islands you will discover leafy parks, serene walking trails, delightful swimming spots and bustling bars and restaurants. 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 around tranquil coves and through the open sea, explore uninhabited islands and walk through dense, ancient forests and fields strewn with wildflowers. Stockholm’s landscape is wonderfully unique and yearns to be explored. EMBRACE QUIRKY GOTHENBURG The cosmopolitan Swedish port of Gothenburg is often referred to as the capital’s bohemian cousin, but a recent revival has seen the city become one of Europe’s top weekend destinations. Far from its shipbuilding days, Gothenburg today boasts quirky boroughs, tram-clattering streets, cool cafés and gorgeous green spaces. There is no bad time to visit this vibrant city and with the weather warming up, the streets come to life once again.

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Experience the real hustle and bustle of the city on Avenyn Boulevard. At one end of the boulevard stands the Gothenburg Museum of Art and at the other, the oldest part of the city, surrounded by a moat. Lined with glitzy boutiques, restaurants and bars, you won’t be short of options. Make sure to check out the side streets and street art jazzing up the walk. I

GETTING THERE All cities are easily accessible by a direct flight from Birmingham Airport. Flights start this month with airlines including SAS, Jet2.com, BMI Regional and Ryanair.

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ing livSTYLE

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RELAXED VIBE House of Fraser, Corporation Street

PASTEL POWER Swagger through spring in this season’s hottest pastels for instant sugar-coated cool

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STYLE DREAMY DRESS Debut dress £99, Debenhams, Bullring

MIX IT UP M&S, Fort Shopping Park

TWISTED SISTER Top £27.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

BLUE SUEDE My Girl shoe £69, Office, Bullring

SHIMMER WINNER LILAC TREWS

t might be snowing as we write this, but we’re so over it and nothing screams the end of winter like a sunny palette to brighten up proceedings. Hello spring, you beauty! SS18 catwalks were awash with lilac, powder pink, lemon yellow, baby blue and mint green and we approve big time. Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors, Versace and Anya Hindmarch all embraced the power of the pastel to stunning feel good effect. Whether you go head-to-toe with a lilac trouser suit like VB or accessorise with a cute piece of arm candy and a pastel suede heel, you’ll be bang on trend. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite pieces from the high street to set you on your merry way. I

I

Circle earrings £10, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

Principles lilac trouser £39, Debenhams, Bullring

BOW DOWN

Essey bag £55, Dune, Bullring

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SUBTLE STAR

FLOATY SKIRT

Edris £60, Dune, Bullring

Jenny Packham skirt £89, Debenhams, Bullring

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STYLE

TOP OF THE CROPS

SPRING RE-LEAF!

Pink tie waist crop trousers £19.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

SUITS YOU Hobbs, Grand Central

Palm print £34, Debenhams, Bullring

CUTE CLUTCH Millie wrap pouch £22, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

TRANSITION HERO Hush at John Lewis, Grand Central

HIGH NECKLINE Alana blouse £89, Hobbs, Grand Central

TERRIFIC TRENCH New Look £44.99, Fort Shopping Park

LEADING LIGHT Aurora £75, Dune, Bullring

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STYLE

COLD SHOULDER Debenhams, Bullring

THINK PINK River Island, Fort Shopping Park

CONTRAST SHIRT Lydia shirt £99, Hobbs, Grand Central

BOOT CAMP Lilac boot £85, Topshop, Bullring

FLOWER POWER Floral maxi skirt £35, Oasis, New Street

PRINTS CHARMING Antidote short £49.50, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

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STYLE

MELLOW YELLOW Yellow blazer £50, Oasis, New Street

HEAD TO TOE River Island, Fort Shopping Park

BACK TO NATURE Dress £69.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

ALL THE PASTELS

JACKET IN

Pastel print embellished bag £35, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

Lime and lilac Ombre jacket £79.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

KITTEN HEEL Yellow sock boot £38, Next, Fort Shopping Park

GO BIG OR GO HOME Earrings £9.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE FOR MEN

LESS IS MORE Available from New Look, Fort Shopping Park

PALE AND INTERESTING Update your wardrobe with some of this season’s coolest pastels for men – and get an instant hit of spring style

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STYLE FOR MEN BLUE SUEDE SHOES Penry shoe £95, Dune, Bullring

CREW LIFE Peach crew neck top £25, Criminal at House of Fraser, Corporation Street MINT CONDITION Polo shirt £15, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

Pastels are where it’s at for the guys too this season with a plethora of fine examples to get stuck into. If you fancy going the whole hog and donning head-to-toe baby pink, go for it! But for the faint hearted among you – this includes us – add a few key pieces, like a powder blue slipper from Dune (pictured) or a peachy crew neck like the one pictured from House of Fraser, for a nod to the supercool trend rather than a slavish follow. A little goes a long way. I

TRUE BLUE Campus Oxford slim shirt £42,50, White Stuff, Cannon Street

CHECK MATE Grey checked trousers £40, River Island, Bullring COOL CACTUS Cactus logo tee £35, Diesel at House of Fraser, Corporation Street

PURPLE PATCH Lilac shirt £17.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

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TURN UP Racing Green light grey chino £30, Debenhams, Bullring

TIGHT FIT Light blue rib knit muscle fit polo shirt £20, River Island, Bullring

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HEALTH

PILATES MASTER-CLASS

Like all health and fitness regimes, there’s a right and a wrong way to perform Pilates. Andy Adamson of Birmingham’s Coolpilates Studios reveals all…

ilates is a system of exercise for mind and body devised by Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1883-1967). Pilates registered the first patents for his innovative exercise apparatus as long ago as the 1920’s and by the 1940’s his studio in New York was the go-to place for dancers, actors, athletes and just about anyone who wanted to improve the way their body worked and looked. Since the 1990’s it has evolved to become a popular form of exercise to change the way we look, feel and function. However, in its popularisation many of the underlying principles have become diluted with exercises becoming simplified and sanitised in order to be safe enough to deliver in large groups, often in the form known simply as Mat-work. The true home of Pilates is in a studio equipped with both large and small apparatus, the inventions of Joseph Pilates. These include the Reformer, Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector, Tower, Electric Chair, Armchair, Wunda Chair, Pedipul and

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numerous smaller devices such as the Neck Stretcher, the Breath-a-ciser, and Foot Corrector. Much of this apparatus uses springs of varying size and tension attached to poles, handles and bars at varying heights and angles. Ideally Pilates should be studied one-to-one. There is often close interaction between student and teacher with assisted stretches and additional resistance. The teacher’s guidance will include touch and precise verbal cues to help each student get the best out of themselves. In group classes numbers should be small (no more than six), or be supervised by more than one teacher. A typical one-to-one session or group apparatus class falls into three parts. Students will expect to get a workout on (a) the Reformer and (b) on the Mat. In part (c) particular attention is paid to the body’s needs and imbalances. Here the teacher can select specialised exercises and the most appropriate pieces of apparatus to help rehabilitate or re-educate the body.

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HEALTH

Andy Adamson is creator of Coolpilates Studios with studios in central Birmingham and Barnt Green. Coolpilates, Newhall Place, 16-18 Newhall Hill, Birmingham, B1 3JH. Tel: 0800 2061911 www.coolpilates.co.uk

In a 1-1 or small group class you will practise an individually tailored programme which may also involve strengthening the paraspinal muscles, gluteal muscles and inner thighs, together with a series of stretches appropriate to your particular needs. Body Conditioning and Injury Prevention If you are a sports or dance enthusiast, then a Pilates programme will boost your current regime ensuring the whole of your body is trained in a balanced and efficient manner. It is often the case that whilst exercising we over recruit muscles to undertake even simple tasks, resulting in injuries; in Pilates we try to find the appropriate effort for the task at hand. Rehabilitation Pilates is the perfect, gentle way to keep your body in shape during rehabilitation following an injury. It is also a safe way to strengthen and prevent re-injury until your doctor or therapist gives you the all clear. Pilates can also help those with MS or Parkinson’s Disease as the retraining of neuro-muscular pathways is at the centre of Pilates work.

THE BENEFITS OF PILATES Mind-Body Connection Through regular Pilates practice you gain a heightened awareness of what is happening to your body as you move. You learn to improve your breathing and to integrate breath patterns with everything you do. You learn about improved postural alignment and how to incorporate these improvements in your everyday life.

Strength and Flexibility Getting the balance right between stretching and strengthening is where many exercise programmes fail. With Pilates you will be stretching almost as much as you are strengthening. A Pilates workout is intelligently thorough, working right through all the muscle systems. The result, a body which is lengthened as well as strengthened. Back Problems People with low back problems can benefit from a Pilates regime that helps build strong deep abdominals.

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Stress Management Deep relaxing breathing as well as flow and concentration are at the heart of Pilates philosophy. You learn to be mindful of the moment and immerse yourself in the movement you are making. Pilates in Pregnancy For someone experienced in Pilates continuing to attend a Pilates studio is perfectly safe. The apparatus provides support for your body and the baby while you continue to get a workout. Someone new to Pilates should wait until the 16th week of pregnancy before joining a studio. How to get started Be bold – check out your teacher’s credentials. They should have trained full-time for a year or more and, through CPD, be maintaining high standards of professional practice. Having chosen your studio book a 1 to 1 before signing up for a block of classes – this will enable you to determine if you like the studio environment and are satisfied with the teacher. I

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HEALTH

REVENGE OF THE

SNIFF

Many of us are preparing to meet the ‘phantom menace’ of spring – itchy eyes, sneezes, wheezes and more. Here’s how to fight back against hayfever and all the other nasties invading our air space

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HEALTH

ore than one in three of the population will be affected by some form of allergy during their lives. The figure soars to more than 50 per cent among children. And as each and every sufferer can testify, having an allergy more often than not equals misery. Many of the causes are airborne. Hayfever is one of the most common allergies, affecting around a quarter of the population. According to the NHS, 95 per cent of hayfever sufferers in the UK are allergic to grass pollen and about a quarter are also allergic to tree pollen. The Met Office official pollen count monitoring service runs from late March when tree pollen starts, through the grass pollen season in mid-May and finishing at the end of September when the weed pollen ends. In reality, the pollen season can start as early as January!

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4. When you come home change out of your outdoor clothes to prevent spreading pollen around the house. 5. Spring clean the house before spring so you are not sneezing and suffering while disturbing dust. 6. Clean mould in the bathroom regularly to avoid the spread of mould spores. 7. Ensure you have good ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen to remove excess moisture to avoid damp. Lower damp levels mean less mould spores and dust mites. If necessary buy a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels. 8. Make your bedroom an allergy-free haven where you can rest and get a good night’s sleep. Air purifiers provide a solution that can provide relief from these allergens. I

>> CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON WISELY PESKY MITES Other common allergies come from dust mites, mould spores and pet dander which can trigger various responses from respiratory reactions like asthma and eczema skin reactions. The severity of the reaction varies from person to person. For many people spring means the start of many months of suffering. But there are actions that can be taken to mitigate the symptoms of allergies. We asked allergy prevention expert Chris Michael, director of award-winning UK air purifier specialist Meaco, for his top tips. Before doing anything, be sure to see your GP before the season starts so that you have the correct medication to hand, said Chris. Then, follow this checklist: 1. Get used to checking the pollen count on a daily basis so that you can plan your day. 2. Avoid drying clothes outside when the count is high as the pollen will stick to the fibres. 3. Plan outdoor activities after any rain as the pollen count will be lower.

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If you need an air purifier to help you fight the allergy war, it is vital that you know what you are looking for and select the right model. Decide what you want to remove from the air and then match that to the air purifiers filters. A HEPA filter is excellent at removing particles from the air like dust, pet dander and smoke particles. To remove smells though you need a charcoal filter and to destroy bacteria an ultra violet system (UVC). Make sure the model is the right capacity for your room. Measure the length, width and height of your room to get the cubic volume, divide by the air flow of the air purifier to give you the number of times the air will be cleaned in an hour. You should be able to divide your room size by the air purifiers air flow at least three times meaning that the air in the room is being cleaned three times an hour. If the allergy is bad you will need a product that can do this five times an hour and if the condition is severe then use a factor of seven. Let the air purifier run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Put it on high fan speed when you are not in the room and turn it down to one of the quieter fan speeds when you are in the room. The more often the air passes over the filter the cleaner the air will become.

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OUTSIDE IN Not blessed with year-round sunshine, we need other ways to make the most of the garden. Cue glass‌ and a gorgeous selection of orangeries and conservatories to choose from

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HOMES

BRILLIANT BLINDS Duette shades from Luraflex luraflex.co.uk

V property experts and interior magazines extoll the virtues of bringing the outside in at every opportunity and a conservatory or orangery can be a simple and effective way to do just that as well as adding extra space to your home. Conservatories have moved on significantly and are no longer the white plastic boxes stuck onto the back of a house that had a tendency to overheat. Today’s examples are temperature controlled, practical and stylish.

T TRADITIONAL CHARM By Vale Garden Houses www.valegardenhouses.co.uk

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NATURAL LIGHT By Apropos Conservatories www.aproposconservatories.co.uk

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WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? Traditional conservatories are fully glazed and can be too cold in winter and too hot in summer, but modern design techniques and under-floor heating can overcome these issues. An orangery is different. Featuring a flat roof with a glass lantern, often with masonry walls, the structure is insulated and feels like part of the house rather than an add on. Garden rooms have a tiled roof which matches the building and tend to have vaulted ceilings and glazed roof elements for increased natural light.

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HOMES

CLASS GLASS By Anglian Home Improvements www.anglianhome.co.uk

RAISED STRUCTURE By Vale Garden Houses www.valegardenhouses.co.uk

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From only ÂŁ25

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HOMES

SUPER SHUTTERS Shutters by Just Shutters www.justshutters.co.uk

CONSIDER THIS When you’re considering which structure to go for, think about how the addition will look alongside the rest of the house. The most important design element is to ensure the new structure suits the property and is proportional. Also, consider what you’ll be using the room for. A lounge will require different treatment to a pool for instance. Think about blinds and shutters too. They’ll make your room usable whatever the weather. If your garden is small and doesn’t allow for an additional structure take a look at bi-folding doors SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED By Anglian Home Improvements www.anglianhome.co.uk which will flood the space with natural light. I

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HOMES TWO TIER TABLE Broste Copenhagen Tristan table £260, Amara TROPICAL VIBES Linea abstract floral cushion £15, House of Fraser COPPER TOP Metal Bow floor lamp £219, Cuckooland.com

FINISHING

TOUCHES

Complete your new-found space with some gorgeous pieces

CUTE CANE Linea cane lanterns, small £30, large £40, House of Fraser

ENGLISH GARDEN Garden of Beauty velvet cushion £125, Liberty London LOVE THE WOOD Baker Soho table, Cookes, Erdington

NEST REFLECTION Dutchbone Kubu rattan mirror £99, Cuckooland.com

BARELY THERE Pols Potten Singapore open chair £268, Amara NEUTRAL GREY Open Home Mudra low back chair £999, Doshi Levien for John Lewis

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Hot Properties A beautiful barn conversion set in 17 acres and a seven-bedroomed luxury home with its own leisure complex head-up this month’s star buys

BARN WINNER Oaks Hollow, Kenilworth Guide price: £2million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 01926 455950 A detached contemporary open plan barn conversion with a total of 17 acres and a simply breath-taking private position. The main house has five bedrooms and there’s also a detached coach house with garaging and specialist equestrian facilities, including mange and premium stabling.

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BRICKS&BITS COMMONWEALTH GAMES LEGACY Perry Barr, which will host the athletes village during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, will be left with a housing legacy of 1,000 new homes post-event. The Games Village, built on a 24hectare site not far from Alexander Stadium, will provide accommodation, dining, medical, transport and essential services for athletes and team officials. After the Games, the accommodation will be converted into homes for sale and market rent, as well as social and affordable rent.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Streetly Wood, Sutton Coldfield Guide price: Offers over £2million Agent: Fine and Country, tel 0121 272 6900 An amazing seven-bedroom home that’s set in 1.5 acres of landscaped grounds on a private gated road. There’s loads of period features but with a contemporary twist offering a wonderful family home. And there’s also a rather splendid detached leisure complex with heated pool.

BIG CONTRACT’S A TALL ORDER Birmingham-based building services provider JS Wright has secured a contract worth more than £2million to fit out one of the city’s tallest residential buildings. The company has been appointed by Wates Construction to equip the new 31-storey second building at The Bank development, Broad, Street.

APARTMENTS LAUNCHED CALA Homes is inviting buyers to register their interest in a new collection of two-bed apartments launched at its Foxhills development in Barnt Green. The Framlingham House apartments start at £299,950 and to help buyers make the move, CALA is offering incentives packages, including removals and estate agent fees paid for a limited period.

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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PERFECT PAD Moseley Central Guide price: £470,000 Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 200 2220 This cracking threebedroom, three-bathroom apartment is in a stunning development in a very cool part of Birmingham. Finished to the highest standards and complete with private terrace with stunning views, this pad provides the perfect urban village lifestyle.

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LUXURY LIVING Brueton Avenue, Solihull Guide price: £1.25million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 746 6400 A superb five-bedroom family home that has been extended to more than 3,000 square feet of modernised luxury. There’s a great open plan living dining area, four further reception rooms and a delightful rear garden of just under half-an-acre.

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

www.facebook.com/bhamliving march 2018

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MOTORING

JAGUAR’S PACESETTER Sue Cooke finds the perfect answer to a rainy day in the shape of a Big Cat born and bred in the Midlands ith all the rain our climate seems to be chucking at us, it’s as well to know the rules of the road. Interestingly an Institute of Advanced Motorists press release provides a rule about splashing pedestrians which I had never heard of before. Even if you splash accidentally you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your licence. And if deliberate, it could lead to a public order offence, a court appearance and a fine! So, on flooded roads this week, I was particularly careful when driving Jaguar’s medium sized crossover, the F-Pace. It’s no fun driving in the rain but there is a wonderful sense of being safe in this SUV, particularly as it has the security of all-wheel drive.

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DESIGN AWARD The F-Pace was declared the 2017 World Car Design of the Year at the New York International Auto Show and it is one of the more stylish SUVs. I was disappointed though that it didn’t seem to gain the Jaguar respect from other drivers, which usually accompanies other Cats I have driven, such as letting me out of side roads. To access the interior, I needed a tiny jump up to hoist myself into the cabin but once there, the seats which for 2018 have the availability of winged headrests, are very comfortable. The new designs also feature powered height adjustment. For 2018, the F-Pace has an extended options list. Dual View technology is introduced which allows the driver and front passenger to see different infotainment displays using the central 10-inch Touchscreen display. The clever InControl

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technology uses Touch Pro which allowed me to follow satellite navigation instructions while my son was able to see the track list on his iPod. CAMERA CALL Forward Traffic Detection, part of the surround camera system, is designed to assist when forward visibility is restricted, such as when I came out of a car parking space with a large van parked alongside me. Using a discreet forward-facing camera in the grille, the system detected other cars or pedestrians crossing the path of the F-Pace and provided a visual warning on the central screen when a potential hazard was detected. The F-Pace supports the Midlands economy and is built at Lode Lane in Solihull. The new Ingenium

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MOTORING

FACTS AT A GLANCE: Model: Jaguar F-Pace auto AWD Price: £47,115 otr Engine: 2.0-litre diesel, 240PS Performance: 0-60mph in 7.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 217mph CO2 emissions: 153g/km Combined fuel consumption: 48.7mpg

engines are 18 per cent more efficient and are built in Wolverhampton. I found the 240PS 2.0-litre, fourcylinder powerplant provides traditional Jaguar performance but doesn’t compromise running costs. It is the first four-cylinder JLR engine to use twin turbos which give a wonderful boost of power. BOOT ROOM Boot space is the largest in the medium crossover sector at 650 litres and by pressing a remote release the second row of seats easily fell into the floor. Ask most owners about their off-roader’s capabilities and they have no idea – perhaps a result of being worried about which buttons to push when! In the F-Pace when off-roading it’s just one button, the all-surface

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control. I drove over very wet grass and up a slippery hill with ease and with a wading depth of 525mm I easily managed to navigate in and out of a deep stream. But don’t plan to do the same in your saloon. The IAM says that often modern saloon cars have the air intake in the wheel arch, which may be below the water level. If your engine should take in water, it will immediately hydro lock and stop. Another good reason to buy an SUV. I

SHOWROOM: Listers Jaguar, 639 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 4BA. Tel: 0121 745 0777 www.listers.solihull.jaguar.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

ZEO ZEONARDO Grime artist Zeo Zeonardo tells us why Wolverhampton felt like the centre of the grime universe growing up and why he left his ‘crew’ for a shot at something more wholesome e know the glorious people of Wolverhampton loathe being referred to as Brummie, but forgive us this once. Young, Gifted and from Wolverhampton doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Possibly the coolest tutor on the planet, grime artist Zeo Zeonardo teaches hip hop to youngsters by day introducing them to beats, lyrics, producing and marketing. Lucky pupils. The rising talent recently supported US hip hop star and one of his heroes, Hopsin, on his Savageville UK tour. He has worked with established artists such as JME, DJ Q at BBC 1Xtra, Trilla and Bassboy and has been featured by UK tastemakers including SBTV, GRM Daily and RWD Magazine. Previous tracks My Face and Liars gained significant attention and now monumental single Wolverine 2 which has a stunning video shot in Cape Verde is about to be released. His early attempts at performing weren’t an instant hit mind you.

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FALSE START Zeo recalls: “My friends would write raps and get me to sing them. I couldn’t sing! Every time I tried to rap I stuttered. While I never wanted to be a rapper, I was so determined to get through a rap without stammering.” He managed it thankfully. A teacher at Zeo’s school introduced him to a studio setting aged 17 which put him on a path to performing and producing that he’s grateful for. At local youth clubs Zeo went to in Wolverhampton, kids were all about grime and people would just grab a microphone and start performing. A youth club CD was put out which featured Zeo. He says: “I was rubbish, but people heard it and said it was good. Then I went into the barbershop and they told me people were taking the mick. I was so angry. I thought ‘I’m not gonna stop ‘til I’m the best in Wolves!’” He squirrelled himself away in his bedroom

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and fuelled by his anger the lyrics flowed. It still makes him angry now! As part of a crew Zeo would perform in different studios and youth clubs growing up. “One week there’d be 15 people at the youth club, then we’d perform and there’d be 300 the following week. The people who ran the club were so confused!” When you’re part of crew, Zeo explains there’s always an undercurrent of violence because even if the crew you’re part of is not particularly violent – which his wasn’t – it only takes one member to upset someone they shouldn’t for the whole group to become embroiled in it. Zeo left the crew to concentrate on solo projects. “It was easy to leave as there was no intimidation among us. Some kids are scared to leave a crew because of the threat of violence. We weren’t like that.” Of Wolverhampton Zeo says: “I don’t live there now, but I wouldn’t change a thing about growing up. It felt like the centre of the grime universe! It was exciting.” GOING SOLO Zeo’s first solo project included making CDs and giving them out at carnivals. He enjoyed airtime on 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network. He says: “I thought ‘this is quite good I could make a bit of money’.” Then bassline music happened. Zeo’s friend became a DJ and it all kicked off. Zeo says: “I thought ‘actually I could make quite a lot of money!’ Then bassline died down.” For the past year or two Zeo’s been make his own music and putting on his own shows. He explains: “GRM Daily can love one of your tracks one day and put it on their channel, but not rate the next single, so it can be hard.” Zeo’s taken control and decided not to release anything through other channels and he’s concentrating on building up his You Tube following and making sure each thing is bigger than the last. Committed to his kids in the classroom too from which he’s uncovered some talent, Mr Zeonardo says: “It’s an amazing job!” I

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ZEO’S SOUNDS Check out the stunning Wolverine 2 on You Tube www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jPuhqTdid8&feature=youtu.be

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GROWING PLACES

THE BIG BREAKFAST Pupils from Ferncumbe Church of England School in Hatton were taken by tractor and trailer to Hatton Adventure World, where they learned about the benefits of eating a hearty breakfast. The breakfast of locally sourced bacon,

SCHOOL REPOR T

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

sausage, scrambled eggs and wholemeal toast was served by farmers and members of Warwickshire National Farmers Union. Teacher Hayley Mackintosh said: “It’s important children appreciate the link between the animals they feed and the healthy food they eat.”

ATTENSHUN! NEIL’S IN CHARGE Former army chef Neil Salvage has been appointed Hallfield School’s new chef manager. With a team of 15, Neil is responsible for running three kitchens at the independent school and nursery, as well as advising on nutrition, menus, purchasing of ingredients and food presentation. “Everything is made from scratch with the finest ingredients,” said Neil. “I have young children so I know what it is like to worry about what they’ll be eating at school.”

LAUREN MAKES BBC FINAL

BUDDING NETBALL STARS Year 7 netballers from Winterfold School, Chaddesley Corbett spent a day at Malvern College with former England netball captain Pamela Cookey. The Winterfold girls, along with prep school pupils from other schools in the area, were treated to a motivational talk about Pamela’s glittering career, which included 114 caps for England, before a Q&A session, shooting workshop and friendly tournament.

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Pianist Lauren Zhang has been named a finalist in the BBC Young Musician competition. The Junior Royal Birmingham Conservatoire student impressed judges during regional auditions and is one of five musicians to progress to the keyboard category final. The final will take place at Symphony Hall later this month, led by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. The competition will be broadcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 3.

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GROWING PLACES

TOP GYMNASTS TAKE OVER PE Gymnasts Ellie Downie and James Hall wowed students at Bishop Challoner Catholic College as they were announced as part of the British team that will take on the best in the world in the city later this month. Current European champion Ellie and European bronze medallist James gave Year 7 and 8 students a flavour of what they can expect to see at the Gymnastics World Cup at Arena Birmingham with a special display in their PE lesson. GREAT BRIT: Ellie Downie with pupils at Bishop Challoner Catholic College

NATIONAL SELECTION

REGIONAL CHAMPIONS Bromsgrove School’s 1st netball team have been crowned West Midlands champions. Having topped their group, the girls went on to beat Bishop Vesey Grammar School in the semi-final before triumphing over Wrekin College in the final. The team will represent the region in the national finals this month.

Katharine Baker from Solihull School is celebrating her full selection into the National Children’s Orchestra. She has been part of the orchestra for five years and was recently selected for the under-12s group. Katharine, who began learning cello aged five and has achieved grade eight, also plays the clarinet, practising 20 hours a week on each instrument. Solihull School’s head of music, Tim Kermode said: “Katharine has achieved so much at such a young age. We are immensely proud.”

FUND-RAISING WINNERS King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edgbaston won the Times Educational Supplement’s national award for Independent Schools’ Fund-Raising Initiative of the Year. The award, presented by TES editor Ann Mroz at a ceremony hosted by broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, recognised the school’s pupil-led campaign to widen access to girls from all backgrounds by raising funds for Assisted Places. The scheme raised £35,000 in just six days to help fund a place for a girl to attend the school. WE WON: King Edward’s development director Lindsey Mepham and alumnae relations manager Adelaide Bailey, with Gyles Brandreth and TES editor Ann Mroz

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITH… CARLOS PONS GUERRA The choreographer and founder of DeNada Dance Theatre on why audiences must be challenged as well as entertained, and why he couldn’t live without a dachshund called Fred BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I’m from Gran Canaria, Spain but have been living in the UK for 13 years, the last four in Birmingham. After training at the Royal Conservatoire for Dance of Madrid and Northern School of Contemporary Dance, I have choreographed for companies such as Rambert and Northern Ballet in the UK, Attakkalari in India, ENDanza in the Dominican Republic, as well as touring internationally. I set up DeNada Dance Theatre in 2012. I’ve been nominated for the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards twice. I recently choreographed a new children’s production for Birmingham Repertory Theatre and my new production for DeNada, TORO: Beauty and the Bull, premieres at DanceXchange on 22-23 March. I am also in New York creating a new work for Ballet Hispanico.

work in many places around the world, but ironically it seems difficult to get invited to perform in my own land.

IT’S WHAT I DO As a choreographer I make dance productions – normally very theatrical – with clear narratives and quite a bit of spice, with which I hope I entertain people as well as make them think.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM My first impression of Birmingham was that all the buildings were so different – you had Victorian next to Brutalist, next to something very avant-garde. I soon saw that this translated into its people as well. It’s a diverse and multicultural city, which makes it so fantastic. It also has an enviable performing arts scene and many theatres and festivals. It’s very inspiring.

WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE There are many dance companies around the world I would love to work with. I always aim for my work to grow in scale: more dancers, bigger sets, a full orchestra! I would love to collaborate with composer Alberto Iglesias and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca del Rio. One of my biggest ambitions is proving the hardest to achieve – to perform my work in Gran Canaria. I’ve been invited to

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BIGGEST SUCCESS The dance world is a pretty tough place! I feel extremely fortunate just to be able to work in it. Every new work and project for me is a huge success because they offer a way to grow, learn, meet incredible people and see great places. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED A friend and mentor told me: “Carlos, whatever you do, you will always be a Catholic gay boy from Gran Canaria. So go with it.” I learned to always be yourself, find what it is inside you that makes you unique, explore and share that. When you’re yourself, beautiful and honest things happen.

DOWNTIME My dachshund Fred is amazing at making me forget any stress. I’m also slightly obsessed with playing Mexican love songs on the guitar. They’re all about being heartbroken and having drunk too much tequila! I

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ing livBUSINESS

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DAY OUT WITH

THE KIDS

In just a year, the Birmingham-based travel business has become the biggest website for family days out in the UK, helping 17 million mums and dads find great adventures and attractions for their kids he last 12 months have been nothing short of digital marketing, brand, sales and content teams. In mind-blowing for Birmingham-based family the next quarter, the team is expected to grow further travel business Day Out With The Kids. with four roles currently being recruited, including Following the launch of a new website and rebranding developers and a marketing partnerships co-ordinator. in January 2017, dayoutwiththekids.co.uk has become An internship programme launched last year is also the biggest website for family days out in the UK, going from strength to strength. attracting 26 million visitors and helping 17 million families find CREATING SUPER BRAND adventures last year. It’s all a far cry from how Day Out Listing more than 6,000 attractions, With The Kids started when it was set up from farm parks and museums to the as a listings site by a dad who was UK’s most famous day out frustrated at how difficult and timedestinations, Day Out With The Kids consuming it was to find places to take is the home of hidden gems, ideas the children. Two years ago, the site was and inspiration, as well as its own acquired by Kings Norton-based lifestyle blog. It also boasts the most Attraction World Group, one of the Head of brand, Catherine Warrilow engaged social community in its world’s leading theme park and attraction sector, having grown its social media audience by more ticket specialists which deals with many top travel than 63 per cent in the last 12 months. brands. Attraction World saw the potential to make Day During the same period, the business has also Out With The Kids a ‘super brand’. A year of intensive formed partnerships with leading attractions and work followed, hiring a new team and perfecting the family brands, including Go Ape, West Midlands website and social media offerings. Safari Park and Smyths Toy Superstores. While Attraction World and Day Out With The And since the relaunch, the brand has tripled its Kids are run as two completely separate businesses, team of staff, with 13 people now working across its they share the same CEO, Paul Stobbs, and 2018 will

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COMPANY TO WATCH

also see the company move to new offices in Kings Norton alongside its sister company, plus a new product launch designed to give members access to exciting benefits with selected partners. “The past 12 months have given us a really solid foundation for growth and we’re really excited that over 17 million families have put their trust in us to find great days out this year,” said Paul. “We’re looking forward to building on everything we’ve achieved, and with the ambitious strategy we have in place for the next 12 months, 2018 is set to be another year of growth for Day Out With The Kids.” PARENTS AND PRESSURE According to head of brand Catherine Warrilow the key driver behind Day Out With The Kids is growing the business’s social community by highly engaging with its audience. “There’s lots of pressure on parents today,” she said. “Trends change really quickly, so what’s important to mums or dads at the school gates can be very different from month to month. Last year trampolining was all the craze with kids, this year it’s crazy golf. “We have lots of parents in the business, as well as non-parents, and we are able to pick up really quickly what people are talking about across our social

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channels. We also attend lots of events which feed information into this too.” Catherine is adamant that Birmingham is the perfect place to run the business. “We are very fortunate to be based here,” she said. “Birmingham is really up and coming as a technology hub for business. There are lots of good people looking to start their careers and we have built an impressive team here very quickly.” GOAL TO DIVERSIFY Moving forward, Day Out With The Kids is looking to continue developing close relationships with attractions and family brands across the UK and eventually aims to expand from a listings site to a wider-ranging platform for parents and brands, diversifying to cover other areas of leisure destinations such as restaurants, cinemas and more. So, exactly what does a family day out look like in 2018? Day Out With The Kids predicts that multi-use sites, which feature activities like bowling, laser tag and more will rise in popularity this year, alongside inflatable parks and role play centres. Trampoline parks, which sprung up across the country in 2017, will also continue to be popular, as parents seek active days out for the whole family. I

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BUSINESS

CLINIC ON COURSE

BUSINESS

Kerala Ayurveda Spa Clinic (KASC), based in Stratford Road, Birmingham is launching new courses. The natural holistic healthcare centre, established nearly seven years ago, has served more than 11,000 clients and is one of the first in the UK to obtain the licence to conduct Approved Ayurveda Courses. The courses are designed for supporters of Natural Wellbeing and Healing and highly recommended for anyone in the medical field and therapists.

NEWS NEW PARTNERS IN LAW CITY OF CULTURE

THANKS BUSINESS Businesses who helped Coventry win its bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021 were thanked at a special event hosted by Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Skipper. Coventry City of Culture Trust chairman, David Burbidge, hailed sponsors and partners, including Coventry City Council, Coventry University, the University of Warwick and the Ricoh Arena/Wasps. Laura McMillan, the trust’s director of operations and legacy, said: “This is a new world. Our city has finally been given the recognition it deserves and we will do Coventry proud.”

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One of the region’s fastest growing law firms has appointed six new equity partners. The appointments at Thursfields Solicitors follow 20 per cent year-on-year growth in each of the last four years. The appointments are: Gareth Burge, head of the firm’s corporate team; Tony Gibb, head of commercial property; Michelle Hetheridge, head of wills and estates; Shane Miller, head of the family team; Michelle O’Hara, head of commercial and litigation and Julia Warrilow, head of finance and internal operations.

TOP OF THE LOTS SDL Auctions Bigwood has again been named the top auctioneer in the Midlands – a position it has held for more than 10 years. The firm was ranked No.1 in Birmingham and the Midlands by Essential Information Group based on the total value raised, lots offered and sold and average success rate in 2017. Six auctions held in Birmingham during the year raised nearly £87.4million with 701 lots sold from a total of 790 lots offered – a success rate of 88 per cent. STELLAR YEAR: Gurpreet Bassi, head of residential auctions at SDL Auctions Bigwood

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BUSINESS

AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT TAKES OFF Birmingham Airport has started a multi-million-pound development programme to improve the passenger journey through its terminal. The work includes redeveloping the security processing area to provide more boarding card gates, a dedicated security preparation area and a refreshed waiting area with new flooring and lighting. David Winstanley, chief operating officer, said: “This investment follows record passenger growth and to ensure that we’re prepared for the coming summer period.” Additional staff are also being recruited in key customer facing areas.

FINANCE CHIEF CENTRE STAGE Birmingham Hippodrome has appointed Tim Maycock as its new director of finance. He will oversee the commercial interests of the organisation and support the theatre’s growth. He previously worked for leading professional services firm PWC and has spent time at Tarmac and Vax. He brings a wealth of experience in financial management and strategic planning.

WORLD CLASS REOPENING Birmingham’s world class centre for treating leukaemia patients has reopened after a £3.4million revamp which has added additional clinic rooms and facilities. The expansion at the Centre for Clinical Haematology was funded by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, Cure Leukaemia and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. The project also creates 75 new jobs. Centre director Prof Charlie Craddock said: “The expansion will increase the number of lives saved and speed the process towards establishing effective treatments for all blood cancers within 25 years.”

BRINDLEYPLACE BOOST AWESOME FOURSOME Edgbaston PR and social media firm WPR has made new appointments to meet continued growth. Kirstie Jones has become social media manager, Sasha Danzey-Smith is account executive and Dean Taylor and Lorna Ricketts are graduate account executives. WPR was named Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy at the 2017 CIPR PRide Awards, having added £1million to its fee income within three years.

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Following a record-breaking £150,000 raised for charity last year, Brindleyplace has announced its continued support for Cure Leukaemia and Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice for 2018, alongside two new charity partners – Buddy Bag Foundation and the Royal Society for Blind Children. Nathan Sanghera, marketing and events executive at Brindleyplace, said: “We’ll be partnering each charity with one of our events so expect even more fancy dress, family activities and fund-raising over the next 12 months!”

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BUSINESS

BLOCC BOOKING A leading interior design company has opened a new showroom in Kings Norton. Blocc interiors was launched in 2009 by interior designer Dawn Kitchener and specialises in luxury residential projects. Dawn said the showroom in Camps Lane offers “inspirational, unusual and stylish items to enhance homes ranging from furniture, objet d’art, table lamps, artwork and lots more”. A design library features ranges of fabrics and wallpapers.

GIVING BACK: Ben Francis, founder of Gymshark

FITNESS FIRM LOVES BRUM Gymshark, the UK’s fastest growing fitness clothing brand, is to become a patron of Birmingham charity LoveBrum. The move coincides with the news that Gymshark is relocating its global headquarters to new 42,000 sq ft offices in Solihull. The company – launched in 2012 as a screen printing operation in a garage by former Aston University student Ben Francis – has grown into a booming business with sales of £42million in 2017. LoveBrum funds ‘hidden gem’ projects across the city.

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ARTIST’S TICKET TO RIDE West Midlands Trains has become an official partner of Birmingham Big Art Project. As part of the tie-up the train firm will provide rail travel for artist Susan Phillipsz, as well as a number of other Birmingham Big Art Project representatives and volunteers. Susan’s artwork, called Station Clock, is destined to become a symbol of civic pride and an impressive new city landmark in Eastside City Park near Millennium Point.

MORE ROOM FOR HOMELESS As the number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Birmingham continues to rise, YMCA Birmingham has announced the refurbishment of its Northfield site. Phase one has already seen the remodelling of the existing ground floor to create 17 en-suite bedrooms. The next phase this year will increase the number to 64. In 2011 just seven people were sleeping rough in Birmingham, in 2017 the number had grown to 57.

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WOWS CELEBRATE BEST OF WESTSIDE Awards recognise those working in hotels, pubs, clubs, restaurants and leisure venues

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he annual WOWs (Wonders of Westside) awards – which recognise the achievements of those working in Birmingham’s premier mixed-use business area, covering more than 15,000 people and 300 businesses – proved to be a glittering occasion. Winners included Outstanding Achievement awards to Debbie Gooding for her work with the Royal British Legion, Robert Lee of Lee Longlands and Salman Rashid for his hard work and dedication to the Hyatt. I

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1 Outstanding Achievement, Robert Lee and the Lee Longlands team. 2 Cafe Rouge Brindleyplace, winners of Best Bistro and Best Bistro Manager, Thamir Abdul, right.

3 Pride in Work winners, PCSO Zoe Bishop and Sgt Dave Gregory. 4 Sunny Sharma, Gov Singh.

5 Mike Olley, Debbie Gooding, Phillip White. 6 The City Pastors. 7 Best Bar Manager, Jas Binning. 8 Best Hotel/Serviced Apartment winners SACO Apartments.

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WHISKY GALORE TO MARK BURNS NIGHT Feast of food and drink brings Scotland’s finest to Hotel du Vin lengoyne Whisky teamed up with Hotel du Vin to bring a dash of Scottish heritage to Birmingham as part of Burns Night celebrations. Guests tucked into a four-course feast, led by Glengoyne ambassador Alan Wardrop. The traditional Burns Night supper boasted all the trimmings alongside a generous tour of delights from Glengoyne’s collection of bold, complex drams, expertly interpreted by Alan. I

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1 Claire Sumner-Hughes, Gordon Dundas, Craig Mills. 2 Gordon Dallas, Joy Day, Russell Reynolds. 3 Gordon Dallas, Wee Arron Wincott, Tony Elvin. 4 Joanne and Warwick Lea. 5 Dal Singh, Bhavneah Chamdal. 6 Mr and Mrs Howard Price with Jevgeni Kadilin. 7 Mark Modra, Craig Mills, Robert Ball. 8 Barry, Tara and Carol Tomes. 9 Tony Hewitt, Jeremy Richens. Photography by Jas Sansi

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NEW-LOOK HORSESHOE GETS INTO ITS STRIDE Bar and grill launches under new management with party for 200

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ore than 200 guests, including BBC Apprentice winner James White, attended the relaunch under new management of the Horseshoe Bar, now known as the Horseshoe Bar & Grill, at Stratford Road. Featuring a refurbed pub section, the restaurant now offers a sizzling mixed grill menu. Guests enjoyed a variety of canapés, including Murgh Tikka Masala – chicken with rich, creamy onion and tomato sauce – chicken wings, sheekh kebabs and succulent lamb chops. Not to mention the veggie-friendly Kadai Paneer main, packed with herbs and spices. I

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1 Gov Singh, Shevy Sandhu, Dave Bansal. 2 Shaheen Shah, Kasim Chowdry, Jamil Shabir. 4 James White, Anita Champaneri.

Dan Pearse. 8 Chrissi Wolfe, Brad Pattni, Navneet Mangat.

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3 Sharon Bahia, Sonia Sandu, Ruby Bansal.

5 Simran Bansal, Harpreet Sokhey. 6 Rekha Parmar, Devi Kaur. 7 Majid Asif, Charlene Sargent, Photography by Dale Martin

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WRAPS OFF FOURTH SABAI SABAI VENUE Independent restaurant group expands with exciting new two-storey eatery ans of Sabai Sabai are celebrating the news that the independent restaurant group has opened a fourth venue in Birmingham. The two-story eatery – which seats 60 people on the ground floor and basement – is just seconds away from Fumo in Waterloo Street and a stone’s throw from St Philips Catherdral. Husband and wife team Torquil and Juree Chidwick marked the launch with a special event attended by local businesses, media and friends. I

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1 Kate Evans, Adam Maguire, Louise Bennett. 2 Sacha Brooks, Torquil Chidwick, Anita Champaneri. 3 Kavita Parmar, Jon Wilcox, Juree Chidwick, Anita Chumber. 4 Tanita Mistry, Anna Pendlebury. 5 Denny Maguire, Philip Jackson. 6 Conrad Brunton, Cosmo Gilbert, Matt Roden. 7 Ricky Friend, Gary Newbon, Tim Andrews. 8 Ron Howard, Gemma Hill, Andrew Riley. 9 Louise Brierley, Mark Moroney.

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QUIZZERS ANSWER CHARITY CASH CALL Teams go head-to-head in the Mighty Quiz to defeat dementia

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rivia knowledge was put to the test as teams of quizzers tackled some wacky challenges at an event to raise money for dementia research. The quiz night at Chung Ying Central restaurant, Colmore Row, was organised by the ARUK Birmingham fund-raising group, chaired by Kate Evans. It is part of the UK’s leading dementia research charity’s the Mighty Quiz campaign. I

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1 Ketan Dhaliwal, Ollie Griffin, George Kattapuram, Oliver Smith. 2 Thomas Fadian, Aled Hopkins, Charlie Greenwood, Ian Jones. 3 Chris Dodd, Hayley Porter, Kelly Mullings, Beth Farminer. 4 James Wong.

5 Tom Rattigan, Chris Higgins, Saïd Khan. 6 Steve Brand,

Ben Adams, Rob Wildey, Josh Charles. 7 Mobeen Amin, Jess Woodley, Henrietta Brealey, Josh Waited. 8 Adam Maguire, Fiona Toolan, Stuart Turner, Billy Chiverton. 9 Nikoleta Lubiszewska, Grainne Cunningham, Joely Millingen, Lucy Winter.

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THE REP CELEBRATES 101 APPEAL SUCCESS Theatre’s call to businesses is spot on, raising £34,000 for kids he REP hosted a special event to mark the culmination of its successful 101 Businesses Appeal. The appeal, which coincided with the theatre’s festive production of The Hundred And One Dalmatians, recruited 108 local businesses and raised more than £34,000 – providing over 1,300 tickets for local disadvantaged children and families to see the production. Representatives from the businesses came together to celebrate their achievement and hear some of the wonderful feedback from beneficiaries of the appeal. Groups that benefited included children with learning disabilities, and families living in sheltered accommodation. I

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1 Rachel Naylor, Mark Taylor, Jeremy Ellis. 2 Katrina Cooke, Mark Taylor, Paul Faulkner, Rachel Cranny, Paul Anderson, Greg Lowson. 3 Gary Price, Simon O’Carroll, Paul Cliff. 4 Jim Valenti, Jaya Khazaei, Nick Hinchcliffe. 5 Clive Read, Stuart Rogers, Ian Holder. 6 Amy Walker, Evelyn Armstrong, Simon Greenfield, Sheila Kelly-Trow, Dips Basi.

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FUTURE FACES MEET MUSIC’S RISING STAR Top percussionist performs for young professionals at Town Hall

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eading percussionist Christoph Sietzen and his WAVE Quartet performed a colourful evening of music at Town Hall and met young professionals from Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s Future Faces. Christoph, 25, is acclaimed as one of the outstanding percussionists of his generation. Later this year, Town Hall will welcome more ‘rising stars’ to perform, including Swedish viola player Ellen Nisbeth and Hungarian trumpeter Tamás Pálfalvi. I

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1 James Guest, Tom Dockerill, Hayyin Fan, Michelle Chapman. 2 Sally Pennington, Richard Loftus, Laura Tellwright. Chapman, Hayyin Fan. 4 Martina Farska, Charlotte Mashhoudy.

3 Amrit Singh, Michelle

5 Tom Matthewman, James Hickman. 6 Christoph Sietzen, Anna Assinder.

7 Anna Tabor, Nicole Evans. 8 Charlotte Davies, Mark Hipwell, Rohit Jepegnanam. 9 Richard Loftus, Emre Suner, Anna Assinder, Alsmith Puli. Photography by Jas Sansi

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VIPS LAUNCH BID TO RAISE CASH FOR HALL Campaign targets ÂŁ8million to restore historic Highbury Hall special event launched an ÂŁ8million fundraising campaign to breathe new life into historic Highbury Hall and bring the building and grounds back to their former glory. The bold plans will see the Grade II listed Victorian Gothic mansion and 30 acres of grounds in Moseley, once home of the Chamberlain family, not only restored but revamped with a coffee shop and museum. The event was attended by Birmingham council leader Cllr Ian Ward and Chamberlain Highbury Trust patron Tristram Hunt. I

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1 Alison Davies, Malcolm Dick, Rachel Wassall. 2 Jonnie Turpie, Norman Gascoigne, Prof Ian Grosvenor, John Smith. 3 Oliver and Gina Chamberlain, Cllr Ian Ward, Stella Manzie. 4 Kevin Nagle, Cllr Brigid Jones. 5 Tristram Hunt, Dr Phillada Ballard, Les Sparkes. 6 Fiona Adams, Henrietta Lockhart, Jo Smith. 7 Cllr Philip Davis, Ellen McAdam, Mike Williams. 8 Lady Lyons, Cllr Lisa Trickett, Sir Michael Lyons. 9 Prof Ian Grosvenor, Rita McLean, Penny Plowden.

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WHAT: Indie Kids Disco WHEN: 25 March WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk An event for Indie kids and their kids to rock together to tunes that’ll make you want to live forever! This daytime disco will feature a live DJ and plenty of additional, fun activities.

WHAT: Welsh National Opera – La Forza del Destino

WHAT: The Duchess of Malfi

WHEN: 6 March

WHEN: 1 March to 3 August

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338

WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493

5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com

www.rsc.org.uk

Verdi’s epic opera is told through a rousing score that includes the instantly familiar Overture popularised through its use in classic film scores and advertisements. This new production is conducted by Laureate Carlo Rizzi.

In an attempt to prevent the fiercely independent duchess from marrying the man she loves, her corrupt brothers go on a disturbing quest to destroy her. A revenge tragedy that’s remarkable for its inventive and grotesque violence, yet also full of dark humour.

WHAT: Crufts 2017

WHAT: The Kite Runner

WHEN: 8 to 11 March

WHEN: 13 to 24 March

WHERE: Birmingham NEC, tel: 0844 338 0338

WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024

www.crufts.org.uk

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

Simply the biggest and best dog show in the world! More than 22,000 canines will take part – with the ultimate prize being the title of Best in Show!

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel, this haunting tale of friendship which spans cultures and continents, follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

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WHAT: Sigrid WHEN: 25 March WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute www.academymusicgroup.com/ o2institutebirmingham The Norwegian starlet has been making waves ever since the release of her single Don’t Kill My Vibe and has since won the coveted BBC Sound of 2018.

WHAT: Icons of the 80s – Go West, Nik Kershaw & Cutting Crew WHEN: 23 March WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The 80’s are back and these legendary stars have joined forces for a truly incredible, once in a lifetime, concert experience. With millions of albums sales between them, this awesome night celebrates some of the biggest names in the business.

WHAT: Roxy Musique WHEN: 25 March WHERE: Glee Club Birmingham, tel: 0871 472 0400 www.glee.co.uk One of the best tribute acts on the circuit pays homage to one of the most influential bands of all time. If you love Bryan Ferry et al you will certainly love this.

WHAT: ‘The Beatles Party’ with the Lennon and McCartney Experience WHEN: 23 March WHAT: Antiques for Everyone WHEN: 5 to 8 April WHERE: NEC, tel: 0844 581 0827 www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk The largest antiques, interiors and collectables fair outside of London returns with hundreds of specialist dealers offering a huge variety of desirable, rare and quirky items at prices from £10 to £100,000.

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WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk The Lennon and McCartney Experience has rocked the Hall before with its stunning tribute to the Fab Four. Wth all the hits and the unmistakable sounds this is set to be another fabulous evening.

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WHAT: Supper Club with Dan Doherty WHEN: 23 March WHERE: Harvey Nichols Birmingham, www.harveynichols.com The celebrated chef and author is back by popular demand and hosting a series of special dining experiences around the UK. These exclusive evenings celebrate the finest seasonal ingredients with a menu inspired by some of Doherty’s favourite flavours and European cuisine.

WHAT: Brett Anderson – Coal Black Morning WHEN: 12 March WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk A special evening with the founder and lead singer of alternative rock band Suede and one of the most iconic musicians of the 90’s as he discusses his evocative memoir of his childhood and early life, Coal Black Morning.

WHAT: Arts & Science Festival WHEN: 12 to 18 March WHERE: University of Birmingham, www.artsandsciencefestival.co.uk WHAT: Money for Nothing – Europe’s #1 Dire Straits Show WHEN: 7 March WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham A tribute to Dire Straits like no other before. Prepare to be captivated by the authentic sounds of one of the most successful rock bands of all time. Performing classic hits such as Money for Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Sultans of Swing and So Far Away drawn from six platinum albums.

This seven-day festival will treat audiences to more than 60 inspiring events exploring art, science and the spaces between. This year’s theme of Stop Start! prompts a diverse programme exploring time, movement, migration, behaviours, life, death and much more.

WHAT: IAAF World Indoor Championships WHEN: 1 to 4 March WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com The world’s best athletes are back in Birmingham! With just limited tickets still up for grabs you can come and see more than 400 athletes from 150 countries competing to become champions.

WHAT: Tiff Stevenson – Bombshell WHEN: 29 March WHERE: Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, tel: 0870 320 7000 The critically acclaimed stand-up star returns with her most political show yet. Some say she oscillates wildly between Sylvia Plath and Beyonce but most agree she’s just very, very funny.

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WHAT: Mahler’s First with Mirga WHEN: 29 March WHERE: Symphony Hall, tel: 0121 780 3333 www.cbso.co.uk/whats-on Expect a truly uplifting finish to a concert that features Johannes Moser as soloist in Elgar’s nostalgic Cello Concerto, and begins with a stunning discovery by one of Lithuania’s finest living composers. Conducted by Mirga Gražinyt-Tyla.

WHAT: Created in Conflict:

WHAT: John Bishop

British Soldier Art

WHEN: 23 March

WHEN: 17 March to 10 June

WHERE: Genting Arena,

WHERE: Compton Verney,

tel: 0844 338 8000

www.comptonverney.org.uk

www.theticketfactory.com

To mark the centenary of Armistice Day this special exhibition profiles artworks made by soldiers from the 19th century to the present day and reveals intimate glimpses of their lives – from the heroic to the mundane.

The scouse genius is loading up the trucks for more fun on the road with his biggest, best and funniest show yet! And due to popular demand, the Bish has added an extra date to his Birmingham show… so try and snap one up.

WHAT: Birmingham Wine Weekend WHEN: 23 to 25 March WHERE: Various venues, www.birminghamwineweekend.co.uk The sister event to Birmingham Cocktail Weekend is set to be a real corker when it debuts this month. Aimed at novices, connoisseurs and everyone in between, the three-day festival will showcase some of the best wine lists in Birmingham in 18 venues across the city.

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IN THE CITY I owe every inch of success to the people here and the

opportunities they create. There are so many passionate Brummies, and adopted Brummies, helping each other to achieve great things

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’m Tara Tomes and I run East Village, a PR, marketing and events agency specialising in retail, leisure and lifestyle brands. I set up East Village four years ago but I’m actually celebrating 10 years in PR this year! I’m a proud Brummie so am involved in lots of great projects across the city too, including sitting on the board of Colmore BID, being immediate past chair of BPS Birmingham Future and an ambassador for LoveBrum. I also own a small digital publishing company with my fiancé, Olly. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? We made what I like to call the ‘grown up’ move to the suburbs about eight months ago so I commute in from Dickens Heath every day. Most of the time I drive because I have so many meetings dotted around so it makes life easier.

LUNCHTIME? East Village is in the heart of Colmore BID so we’re spoilt for choice, although we do have a bit of a Deliveroo addiction! I would never say no to an Anderson & Hill salad or amazing sushi at Sushi Passion in Great Western Arcade. I’m a fan of the Mailbox too so, as well as Malmaison, I’m often in Tom’s Kitchen or Harvey Nichols. I’m also a regular at Fumo in Selfridges. POWERWALKING? We’ve got Earlswood Lakes by us which is a great place to dust off the cobwebs. We also love Clent Hills!

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? Colmore BID has everything – the heritage and history behind the buildings mixed with new developments and a thriving food and drink scene. I also love shopping, so Selfridges and the Mailbox always lure me in.

HOW’S THE COMMUTE? Having lived next to the Mailbox and behind Brindleyplace, I did wonder how I’d find the daily commute but it’s Tara Tomes, boss of East actually great, taking about 30 minutes. Village PR, marketing and events There are lots of roadworks in the city AFTERWORK PINT? centre but I’m always willing to suffer short-term pain for As long as they do a great G&T, I’m there! Usually long-term gain, and it’s improving daily. Fumo, Waterloo Street or Bank, Brindleyplace, as well as any of my fave coffee and lunch spots too. I also love the IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? JQ, so enjoy Ana Rocha and Saint Paul’s House. I owe every inch of success in the past 10 years to the people here and the opportunities they create. There are so HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? many passionate people – Brummies and adopted It’s constantly changing for the better but Brummies helping each other to achieve great things. collaboration is the key to ongoing success – which is what organisations like BPS Birmingham and the COFFEE BREAK? Chamber are trying to encourage. There’s also lots of You can usually find me in 200 Degrees Coffee or Java work being done by the mayor, Andy Street, and council Lounge on Colmore Row or in the bar at Malmaison to tackle homelessness, which is something I’m (depending on the time of day having a coffee or a gin). passionate about being involved with. I

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March issue 2018 (issue 66)  
March issue 2018 (issue 66)  
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