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EDITOR’S VIEW

B

ig brands are often seen as the barometer to the success of our high streets. Right now, barely a day passes without news that some of the best-known names are finding the going incredibly tough due to online shopping, high business rates or even Brexit uncertainty. Birmingham is doing a decent job of weathering the retail storm thanks to its huge regeneration which continues to bring a feel-good factor and freshness to the city centre. Birmingham today has a very different look and vibe to that of even a decade ago. A personal example of the change comes from my in-laws whose family roots in the area go back generations and who first met when working at British Leyland in Longbridge. They recently visited the city centre for the first time in quite some time and were astounded, excited – and even a little disorientated – by the ‘new Birmingham’. They loved that all the big shop names are here, and growing all the time, but also the wealth of great independents which our city is rightfully proud of. Independents that are diverse and run by original thinkers – people like Tom Pell and Jeanette Wong of Clean Kilo in Gibb Street. Tom and Jeanette opened their zero waste, plastic-free supermarket to make an environmental statement and to answer a growing demand from customers against pre-wrapped produce found in regular stores. As well as making shoppers happy, earning a living and generating plenty of positive media coverage, Tom and Jeanette just won a national small business award with a prize which will set them up to open a second shop. Read about Clean Kilo in our business pages and give them – and all our great independents – your support.

ns h o J d i v a D

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

Cover image:

/bhamliving

FINALIST

Josie Lawrence

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

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

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

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

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INSIDE

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Highlights

Josie Lawrence

The Whose Line Is It Anyway? star on loving laughter, serious acting, music… and more!

Sampad Thirty years on, how dancer Piali Ray’s multicultural arts vision became world-class reality

Snakes Alive! Head chef James Waters delivers his verdict on the weirdest dish he’s ever eaten…

Food & Drink News, reviews, recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene, plus perfect Prosecco with Rob Price

Style It’s time to Spring into action and give your wardrobe a vibrant look for the new season

Homes We’re suckers for breaking the rules with the latest designer prints and colours. Gorgeous!

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

58 60 64 66 78 82 march 2019

Motoring

Sue Cooke test drives a new Honda that’ll beat Brum’s planned congestion charge

Young, Gifted & Brummie Commonwealth Games rhythmic gymnast and Team England ambassador, Mimi Cesar

Up Close WithÁ Sandra Hall of Friction Arts and champion of the return of Birmingham Sunday Share

Business Company to Watch, Newman Gauge, plus news from the commercial community

What’s On Your guide to the shows, gigs and events in and around Birmingham this month

In The City With Ros Robins, executive director of Dance Consortium at Birmingham Hippodrome

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NEWS

NIGHT CLUBBERS Who says you can’t play golf in the dark? Hallmark Welcombe Golf Club in Stratfordupon-Avon is hosting a Night Golf event on 8 March. It will feature fairways and flags lit with LED lights and players using different coloured LED balls which are illuminated when hit. The six-hole event is being organised in association with the Night Golf Company who have many years of experience

NEWS in running such events.

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

BROOKE’S UNI BOND

Haematology nurse Brooke Evans is all smiles after hearing that her old university has chosen Birmingham-based Cure Leukaemia as its charity for 2019. The charity was adopted by University of Worcester after staff heard that former graduate Brooke, 23, had started her nursing career on the same floor at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she received life-saving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia five years earlier. The charity will benefit from fund-raising by the university’s 10,000 plus students. Picture: Johan Persson

BALLET STAR’S SUGAR-PLUM JOB One of the world’s greatest dancers is to become the new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. Carlos Acosta, who starred in ballet with the likes of Dame Darcey Bussell, will take up his appointment next January. He takes over from current director, David Bintley, who is standing down at the end of the current season. Carlos said: “This is a tremendous honour and privilege. I am a great admirer of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s heritage.”

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NEWS

POP-UP’S NEW HOME A popular Portuguese lunch pop-up has moved into a new home. Salcooks – which serves freshly-made sandwiches, salads, pies and desserts with Portuguese influences – has swapped its previous location under the arches outside Snow Hill station for a permanent home in the Rifle Maker Building in the Jewellery Quarter.

DAVID’S RSC FIRST

IN BRIEF DRUM ROLL PLEASE… TICKET LAUNCH The Ticket Factory, part of NEC Group, is the first ticketing organisation in the UK to launch a free registration service for the deaf and disabled. The online service allows customers to link their access requirements to their Ticket Factory account.

Get ready to bang the drum as arguably Japan’s most entertaining and dramatic group of performers strikes up in Birmingham. Yamato: the Drummers of Japan are returning to the UK following their successful 2017 tour and you can see them on 3 March at Alexandra Theatre. Yamato formed in 1993 with the aim of preserving the explosive energy of Taiko drumming while exploring new possibilities for traditional Japanese instrument, the wadiako.

ELECTRIC AIRPORT Birmingham airport has been awarded £1.4million from the Department of Transport’s Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme for the electrification of buses operating as a passenger transport service on all of the airport car park routes.

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Walliams is celebrating a significant ‘first’ in his career – thanks to the Royal Shakespeare Company. The RSC’s 2019 winter season will see the world stage premiere of a new musical adaptation of The Boy in the Dress, based on Walliams’s best-selling novel, with songs by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. The musical, directed by

CHARITY BALL A ball in aid of Molly Olly’s Wishes, a Warwick-based charity supporting children with terminal and lifethreatening illnesses, will be held in Birmingham’s Park Regis Hotel on 22 March. For ticket details contact rachel@mollyolly.co.uk

Comedian and author David

Gregory Doran, will play for 18 weeks in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from

TOASTOFTHE CITY

November to March.

Ladies and gentlemen, please raise a glass to Birmingham’s all-conquering movers and shakers! The Edgbaston won the Bar Team of the Year accolade at the UK’s drinks industry’s premier Imbibe Personality Awards held in London. And James Bowker of Nocturnal Animals, Birmingham claimed the Hot Stuff 2019 award.

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NEWS

TOP COAT FOR JAYMI

From the boy who could fly to wearing a coat of dreams – and all in Birmingham! Union J boy band star Jaymi Hensley is returning to the Hippodrome in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat following rave reviews playing the title role in the theatre’s pantomime, Peter Pan. The production comes to Brum from 2 to 13 July and Jaymi said: “I can’t wait to meet all of the Joseph fans in Birmingham and bring them my take of this amazing dream role.”

NEVE TASTES SUCCESS

At just 14, Neve Doy has a bright future ahead of her in the kitchen after being crowned the Best Young Chef in the Midlands. Neve, from Ridgewood School, Stourbridge, won the title in a cook-off competition at University College Birmingham. Her two courses – ravioli with tomato and maple sauce and maple and pecan pie with vanilla parfait – earned her the top prize of work experience with Birmingham Michelin-starred chef, Glynn Purnell, £500 equipment for her school and a new iPhone.

‘MRS SWIMMING’ HONOURED

DANCE MOVE DanceXchange, the Birmingham-based dance house, and leading dance sector organisations The Place London and Northern School of Contemporary Dance Leeds, have formed a partnership to nurture original work from the next generation of outstanding choreographic talent. The new partnership’s first co-commissions are The Ephemeral Life of an Octopus by Léa Tirabasso and Falling Family by Yukiko Masui, which are touring to all three venues.

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Thousands of schoolchildren and adults are in the swim thanks to Val McFarland. And now, Val’s achievement as a swimming/aquatics teacher of more than 40 years have been recognised with a top honour. Sandwell Leisure Trust’s swimming development officer was awarded the Swimming Teachers Association’s lifetime Cross of Merit. Val from Tipton, who is a very youthful 72, says: “It’s just what I do, so I was quite taken aback to receive such an esteemed award.”

HONEY MONEY There’s a bit of a buzz around Brindleyplace following the launch of the estate’s first-ever branded honey. In summer 2017, rooftop hives were set up at 3 Brindleyplace, providing a home to more than 80,000 honeybees. The first batch of Brindleyplace Honey is now on sale at Brunswick Street florists, Ethos. “The honey has a minimum donation of £5 a jar with all proceeds going to Birmingham-based homeless charity, SIFA Fireside,” said Lydia Collins, pictured, who oversees the project.

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NEWS

ART OF SHOPPING Selfridges has joined forces with Birmingham independent Ikon Gallery to bring thought-provoking art to the department store. The launch of State of the Arts extends the store’s commitment to exploring the power of art in unexpected places and features a stunning, specially commissioned piece by Perry Roberts, a Belgian-based British artist, as well as an art trail of works by other critically acclaimed artists, including Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing.

BREAKING NEWS Stratford Literary Festival will mark its twelfth year with a star-studded line-up of speakers and

CARDBOARD HISTORY Birmingham students have marked 100 years since the formation of Germany’s iconic Bauhaus art school by creating a life-size exhibition inspired by the movement, crafted entirely from paper and cardboard. Birmingham City University’s Design for Performance degree course created the new installation which draws on the work of German artist and choreographer, Oskar Schlemmer. The Bauhaus school opened in Weimar, Germany in 1919

authors. The eight-day festival, from 28 April, includes speakers debating science and ideas, mental health and women’s issues, medicine and the news, as well as welcoming some of the most celebrated literary fiction authors writing today. Leading the way will be Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell, Bake Off judge Prue Leith and Newsnight anchor Emily

LET’S SHARE SUNDAYS

but was closed in 1933 by the Nazi regime.

Maitlis, pictured. Details: stratlitfest.co.uk

Following a successful inaugural event last year, Birmingham’s Sunday Share is back on a permanent basis, featuring professional cultural, social and arts activities. Rea Street South, Digbeth is the location for the event which aims to encourage the diverse community in the city to come together. It features a variety of stalls where people meet neighbours make friends and snag a bargain. Sunday Share is independently organised by Friction Arts and the Active Well Being Society, both based in Birmingham.

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

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

JOSIE LAWRENCE IS BEST KNOWN FOR STARRING IN THE HIT TV IMPROV SHOW, WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? THE OLD HILL COMEDIAN TALKS TO DAVID JOHNS ABOUT HER LOVE OF MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH, SERIOUS ACTING, MUSIC AND EVEN BALLET! eing a bit of a ballet buff myself, the offer say we were doing it in March and opening in from Josie Lawrence was a tempting one. Birmingham. It couldn’t be more perfect.” “Come and see me in my new comedy Josie and older twins Janet and John were play at the Rep, and I’ll try and throw in a ballet brought up in Cradley Heath where her father move onstage just for you!” I’m guessing the worked for British Leyland and her mother was a gesture was made in jest, but with the Old Hill dinner lady. Josie says she knew as early as the age comedian and actress it’s difficult to be 100 per of five that she wanted to be an actress when she cent sure. grew up. By the time she was 16 she had joined the During a huge career encompassing comedy, Barlow Players acting group in Oldbury. She left serious acting, music and musical theatre, ballet is the Midlands at 18 to study at Dartington College the one performing art that Josie hasn’t tried her of Arts in Devon, gaining an Honours degree in hand at – well, not officially... yet! But she is a fan, theatre. Josie’s career started out as a serious actress especially of Birmingham Royal Ballet. “I saw but when she joined a music group she came across Matthew Bourne’s production of Swan Lake and improv comedy for the first time, seeing the it was just breath-taking,” she says. audience invited to supply lines and ideas for While Josie is best known to a national improvisers appearing in an after-show cabaret. audience for her TV appearances in the improvised comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? she is a big supporter and regular visitor JOSIE KNEW, AGE FIVE, THAT SHE WANTED to Birmingham’s theatre scene. Her role as Sarah TO BE AN ACTRESS. BY THE TIME SHE WAS 16 SHE HAD Bernhardt in next month’s UK premiere of comedy play Edmond de Bergerac at the Rep will JOINED THE BARLOW PLAYERS IN OLDBURY be her sixth play at the theatre. “Being a Black Country girl, I’ve done a lot of plays in COMEDY STORE Birmingham,” she says. “I’m always coming back “I stayed behind and watched one night and to see family and friends. I stay a lot with my sister then said could I try it because it looked brilliant Janet in Blackheath. I’ll be there while I’m playing and it was one of those things I found I could do. at the Rep.” You suddenly find your little baby.” After that Josie joined the Comedy Store Players and then a new PERFECT PREMIERE TV show which was called Whose Line Is It We caught up with Josie on the eve of the start of Anyway? “That show really took off and that’s rehearsals for her new role which came as a result really when people started noticing me.” of a phone call last year from director Roxana Josie says she “likes to make people laugh” but as Silbert who Josie has worked with before. “Roxana good a feeling as that is, she has always fought asked me to do a read-through for the play and I against being ‘boxed in’ by stereotyping – which can thought the script was very funny and was keen to clearly be seen from a quick glance at her CV which do it. You never know if plays will eventually be put includes appearing on TV in soaps EastEnders and on or not, but then later on my agent called me to Doctors, series such as Miss Marple and Poirot, several films and in theatre with the Royal

B

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COVER STORY

DURING A CAREER FEATURING

COMEDY, SERIOUS ACTING, MUSIC AND MUSICAL THEATRE, BALLET IS THE ONE

PERFORMING ART JOSIE HASN’T TRIED... YET!

Shakespeare Company and National Theatre. She is also a regular on radio shows such as Just A Minute. As a member of the Comedy Store Players based at London’s famous Comedy Store she features in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running comedy group. And in 2016, Josie created an all-female improv group, intriguingly named the Glenda J Collective (maybe the name is a passing homage to actress Glenda Jackson who Josie says “was my idol”). GOOD OMENS “I like to keep myself busy,” says Josie in an obvious understatement. As well as Edmond de Bergerac which will tour through until the end of April, Josie is appearing in an Amazon/BBC sixpart TV series with David Tennant and Michael Sheen called Good Omens and will then be working through to September on another new project. “I am not allowed to say much about it right now,” she says, “but it is a musical.” Harking back to her young days and knowing that she wanted to become an actress so early in life, Josie is also an outspoken advocate for protecting arts funding in our schools. She is a

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fierce opponent of the ongoing cuts to budgets which she describes as “frightening”. THE YOUNG ONES She says: “What happens to someone like me if the opportunity is no longer there in the schools? And regardless if kids eventually become actors or not, the arts can be very helpful to their development in things like gaining confidence, expression and self esteem.” Josie believes strongly in maintaining her ties with the area where she grew up. She is patron of Sandwell theatre group, The Young Ones. “I see their shows,” she says. “I’m actually going along to see their latest production next week – they’re doing Grease which should be brilliant.” Her commitment to her roots was reflected when she was awarded a Doctor of Arts by Wolverhampton University and the Freedom of Sandwell. “Wherever I go, whatever I do, the Black Country is always home,” she says. I See Josie, Freddie Fox and an all-star cast in Alexis Michalik’s comedy Edmond de Bergerac at Birmingham Rep from 15 to 30 March. Details and tickets, www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

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FEATURE

NO BARRIERS IN 1990, PIALI RAY TOOK STEPS TO MAKE HER DREAM OF PROVIDING

SOUTH ASIAN ARTISTS WITH A COHESIVE CREATIVE VOICE IN THE REGION A REALITY. THREE DECADES ON, SAMPAD IS TRULY WORLD CLASS early 30 years ago, dancer and choreographer Piali Ray had a vision of creating an organisation that celebrated South Asian arts and culture across the region in a more structured, organised way which had up until that point been all very ‘ad-hoc’. The region’s multi-culturalism was to be celebrated in a way it hadn’t been before – certainly not in the arts world – and made launching Sampad successful and ultimately hugely rewarding. The organisation was welcomed by Arts England and Birmingham City Council with support from the Cadbury Trust too and is a member of Culture Central – a collective voice for culture in Birmingham.

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BOUNDLESS ENERGY Accessing public funding was challenging, but the benefits of the work were soon appreciated. Piali’s impressive experience which included touring extensively with Birmingham Rep, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, National Theatre and the British Council among others, as well as her vision and boundless energy got Sampad off the ground, bringing a professionalism to South Asian arts and pushing the recognition of multi-culturalism. Supporting, commissioning and co-producing a huge spectrum of arts inspired by diverse art forms originating in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Sampad has gone beyond a regional organisation and provides arts and heritage training and development opportunities for communities all over the world. The banner is South Asian, but within that all art forms are embraced. WORLD CLASS Arts festivals, parades, workshops and events are often global affairs for Sampad, but the organisation is still firmly rooted in Brum. MAC in Cannon Hill Park has proved an ideal base over

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

the years providing a stunning space for performances too. Built on the belief that arts and heritage impact widely on communities helping to break down barriers and bring people together, Sampad has grown spectacularly playing an instrumental role in promoting and encouraging British Asian Arts so that they progress and enrich mainstream culture. Providing free workshops and events is crucial and helps marginalised groups realise their creative potential promoting confidence, identity and belonging. Some amazingly talented youngsters have been unearthed who have gone on to perform across the globe. The organisation has international connections in countries such as Canada, Australia and South Africa enabling home grown artists from the region to travel and show their work. TEAM EFFORT The track record of high-quality productions, workshops and events is clear and something Piali is particularly proud of. Her contribution to the arts has been recognised numerous times over the years. She was awarded an OBE in 2002, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Central England in 2006 and was named Outstanding Business Person of the Year by Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in 2009. She was also highly commended by the judges at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards

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and was appointed festival director of the city’s largest arts festival, Birmingham Weekender in 2015 and 2017. However, Piali is keen to point out that this hasn’t been a solo journey, but a massive team effort over the years. MOVING EARTH One of the highlights was a commission to produce two large scale shows for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad which resulted in one of Sampad’s biggest dance productions to date titled Moving Earth as well as a spectacular multi-media finale to the London 2012 Festival. For next year’s thirtieth anniversary you can naturally expect big things. Plans for a spectacular celebration are afoot which are to incorporate professional alongside community artists in the spirit of the organisation probably at MAC’s outdoor arena. Other than that, details are under wraps, but one thing’s for sure, it will be one hell of a party. I

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FOOD & DRINK

SNAKES ALIVE!

Head chef James Waters reveals the weirdest dish he’s ever eaten and how he could have ended up in the armed forces instead of Three Church Road Tell us about your cooking I like to take a classic dish and add my own spin. I feel it’s important to work in a seasonal, sustainable style and let the quality of the fresh food shine through. What excites me the most is creating a great plate of food that the customer will enjoy and talk to other people about.

How did you become a chef? I started at the age of 15 in a local kitchen and fell in love with the energy and work ethics of a professional kitchen. I then worked in a number of rosette restaurants around the Cotswolds, including the Lygon Arms. This is where I developed my love of fresh seasonal food – working closely with the head gardener and working to use products at their absolute peak. I spent six months working in a number of hotels and restaurants in Spain which also helped.

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What do you eat when at home? I like to eat a lot of simple fish dishes, especially those with little washing up after! I really enjoy eating food with my family and friends. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? My favourite chef is Claude Bos [at Bebendum, South Kensington, London]. I really like his simple menu style, but with the exceptional ingredients he uses. In Birmingham, I really enjoy the work of Brad Carter. The service and food at his restaurant is exceptional. Is the customer always right? To a point. Food is a very personal thing to everyone. But sometimes the customer should trust the chef with the combination of flavours on the plate and not try to change them.

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CHEF’S CORNER

Share a cooking tip Always dry the skin of a fish before pan-frying it. It will help keep the skin crispy. What was your favourite food as a kid? When I was younger I really enjoyed strong flavours. One of my favourite dishes used to be panfried liver with bubble and squeak. Delicious! Food heaven and hell? My favourite would be mussels, prawns and clams with lots of fresh chili, garlic and herbs. Hell would be anything with rhubarb. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Snake. It’s not the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten – it has quite a muddy flavour. I don’t think I would serve it on my menu. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? I think I would be an electrician or possibly in the armed forces. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? We have a lovely megrim sole dish with a leek mousse and plankton macaroon. The colours and flavour of the dish are amazing. I

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JAMES’S SMOKED RABBIT AND CHICKEN TERRINE I 1 whole rabbit I 4 chicken legs I 2 bay leaves I 1 blub of garlic I 500ml vegetable oil I 100g chopped parsley I 2 shallots, finely diced I 50g cornichons Method: Cover the whole rabbit and chicken legs in oil in a deep tray. Add the bay leaves and garlic and cover with parchment and foil. Place in the oven at 80C for 8 hours. Once cooked allow to cool in the oil until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and shred the meat. Add the shallots, parsley and cornichons. Season the mix with salt and pepper, and place in a lined terrine mould adding a little of the cooking oil to help it set. Chill overnight, slicing before serving. Serve with parsnip crisps, pickled walnuts and toasted rye bread.

Three Church Road, St George’s Place, 3 Church Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3SH. Tel: 0121 238 0803

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SEASON’S EATINGS

MIGHTY MUSSELS

Try this classic dish for a quick lunch or as an impressive starter ussels are bang in season and this classic French dish, Moules Mariniere, is so easy to make and ultra versatile. It works just as well as a quick weekend lunch as it does as an impressive starter for dinner with friends. This method from Gavin Allcock, group head chef of CD Pub Co, will serve two as a starter portion. Double the quantities for a larger meal! 

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MOULES MARINIERE Ingredients

 700g prepped mussels  80g butter beans

 40g banana shallots

 80g smoked bacon lardons  10g garlic puree

 100ml white wine

 20g chopped parsley  160ml double cream

METHOD: Place a pan over a high heat for two minutes prior to cooking. Empty the mussels into the pan along with the shallots, garlic, wine, bacon lardons and butter beans. Cover and cook until the shells have opened. Discard any unopened shells. Add the cream and parsley and season to taste. Serve with crusty French bread or fries. Enjoy!

The Chequers at Crowle, Crowle Green, Crowle, WR7 4AA. Tel: 01905 381772 www.cdpubs.co.uk

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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

CELEBS JOIN THE CLUB A star-studded line-up of celebrities attended the relaunch of the Arcadian nightclub, 101. The guest list included Love Island’s Olivia Attwood and Jack Fowler, the Only Way is Essex’s James Lock and Myles Barnett and MTV’s Ashley Cain and Chet Sket. The newlook club includes an adult ball pit, old school sweet shop, movie set and even an inhouse barber!

MIXED GRILL FOR VEGANS

STAYING IN STYLE

JERK FOR GOURMETS The UK’s first gourmet Jamaican jerk chicken restaurant opens in Touchwood shopping centre this month. Jamaya occupies the old Giraffe unit and offers a ‘casual dining experience against a colourful backdrop’ with space for 80 covers. The menu includes gourmet Jamaican charcoal-grilled jerk chicken, fried chicken, burgers, popular Irie sides and craft beers. Setting Jamaya apart from other chicken restaurants is its traditional Jamaican marination process.

The Edgbaston hotel has opened new boutique bedrooms following a multi million Vegan is all the buzz right now pound investment. Featuring large sash windows and in keeping with the trend and high ceilings, the design retains much of the the Tap & Tandoor in Mell original architecture and features, which blend Square, Solihull, has launched a with the original bedrooms while continuing to first for the Midlands – a vegan follow an art deco theme. A new development mixed grill. The cracking menu kitchen has also opened as part of the includes some tasty-sounding expansion and a fresh cocktail menu new dishes including sizzling concept launched. Soya Tikka, mouth-watering CARVING OUT NEW MENU marinated mushroom bites, The Butchers Social has launched a new tasting menu featuring the finest seasonal appetising Aloo Tikki (potato produce. The nine-course menu is joined by a refreshed a la carte offering crafted by owner and chef director Mike Bullard. Having started life as a pop-up in a disused cakes) and delicious vegetable butcher’s shop in Harborne, the Butchers Social has become one of Warwickshire’s kebabs. What’s not to like! leading restaurants after moving to its Henley-in-Arden home in 2016.

TOPPING IT OFF AT GRAND CENTRAL Top-rated pizza restaurant, @pizza, has opened in Grand Central – bringing its signature rectangular pizzas and 64,000 flavour combinations to the city. Grand Central is the eatery’s second location, following the launch in Edinburgh in 2017 – where it is ranked the top pizza restaurant in the Scottish capital on TripAdvisor. The 60-cover restaurant features @pizza’s ‘counter culture’, where visitors order and choose toppings at the counter.

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

TASTE OF SPRING Toast the new season with this fruity Bramble Boost

f you’re looking for the perfect spring cocktail, look no further. The Bramble Boost is a fruity little number created by Constantin, one of the mixologists led by Daniele Vignali at Sky By The Water, Resorts World. Mix it up for yourself, take a taste and, as always, enjoy responsibly.

I

ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY

METHOD:

INGREDIENTS:

Fill an old-fashioned glass tumbler with ice. Pour in the gin and lemon

I 50ml Tanqueray gin I 30ml lemon juice

juice. Prepare all Bramble Mix ingredients into a plastic syringe. Garnish with a skewer of blackberries, raspberries and a strip of cucumber. Allow

FOR THE BRAMBLE MIX:

I 15ml cucumber syrup I 10ml crème de cassis

guest to insert his/her own Bramble Mix, using the syringe upon serving.

I 5ml blueberry liqueur Sky By The Water,

Resorts World Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PU. Tel: 0121 273 1200 rwb.co.uk

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

SKY BY THE WATER Resorts World, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham, B40 1PU. Tel: 0121 273 1140 resortsworldbirmingham.co.uk/whats-here/bars-and-restaurants/sky-by-the-water/ e’ve never chosen a dessert before we’ve even looked at a menu. In fact, quite often we shun pudding altogether, sated by a puritanical peppermint tea instead. However, after viewing that apple approximately 9,526 times on social media, in magazines and in technicolour billboard form, it was unavoidable. Stylish, lively and a bit classy, we were impressed with the restaurant not least for its great lighting and Instagrammable full-length mirror in the ladies loo. A Friday night G&T was always on the cards and as a lover of Tanqueray I was intrigued by Tanqueray 10 on the drinks list which was a bit more pricey than the usual version – notes of camomile being the main difference. I have to say I preferred the original, but it was perfectly quaffable nonetheless. Everything about the menu appealed resulting in much indecision. Duo of salmon (poached and hot smoked) bound in crème fraiche with pea, mint and shallot salad provided the ideal opener. With classic flavour combos it was fresh, light, delicate and looked every inch a knockout. For the other half who is normally almost entirely carnivorous, goat’s cheese two ways (one creamy and rich and one coated in breadcrumbs and fried like little croquettes) with heritage tomato, beetroot and toasted pine kernels. The cheese was beautiful, the salad was refreshing and the whole plate was extremely pretty. Slow cooked ox cheek, creamy mash, pickled celeriac and a red wine reduction was straight out of the top

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drawer. The meat was melt in the mouth tender, the mash was everything mashed potato should be and the sauce was brilliant, plus there was lots of it with an extra little jug of the silky jus on the side. Confit belly of pork with sweet potato mash, buttered greens and crispy bacon tasted just as delicious as its description. Again super tender, flavour packed meat with top-notch veggies and another cracking sauce. The place was buzzing by this point. It definitely felt like ‘out out’ territory in the best possible way. Pastry chef Darryl treated us to three of the restaurant’s favourite puds, including The Apple. More of that later. Passion fruit cheesecake with Jamaican ginger cake crumb and mango sorbet was no ordinary cheesecake. Vibrant yellow, tart, sweet, spiced with ginger, it was really interesting and moreishly good. Salted caramel millionaire’s shortbread with butterscotch crémeux and malted milk ice cream was rich and indulgent – probably a bit big for us given the richness, but definitely a chocolate lover’s dream. Speaking of dreams, The Apple. So, it tasted like the best apple crumble we’ve ever tasted in a more complex form. The crumble bit provided a stand for the apple and was gorgeous in its own right, but when teamed with apple compote, white chocolate and brown sugar apple puree, it was just downright magic. It did not disappoint and that’s saying something given the hype. I

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FOOD & DRINK

WHAT MAKES

PROSECCO SO COOL? THE BOOM IN SALES OF THE WORLD’S FAVOURITE FIZZ SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING. ROB PRICE EXPLAINS WHY – AND PICKS HIS TOP BUYS

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rosecco is officially the most popular fizz in the world with figures showing nearly 550 million bottles are sold each year (and rising!), generating more than 800 million Euros. This incredible boom is with good reason – it’s a terrific tasting wine. Never too acidic, always fresh and fruity, with flavours of lemon, green apple, white peach, melon and floral. And of course, let’s not forget its great value, selling at around £10 to £15. Produced mainly in Veneto, North Eastern Italy, it has the status of either a DOC or DOCG (the top two wine classifications in Italy). Most Prosecco – 80 per cent – is DOC, with the higher DOCG award reserved for the smaller, hilly DOCG towns of Conegliano, Valdobiaddene and Asolo, where the landscape and rules tend to yield a superior and pricier product.

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INTENSE & COMPLEX There is also excellent DOC Prosecco such as Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze that encompasses the steepest hills in the Prosecco di Valdobiaddene district which deliver the most intense, complex styles of Prosecco sparkling wine. Prosecco is made from the grape called Glera, (it used to be called Prosecco), with other varieties permitted up to 15 per cent of the blend. It can be made in fully sparkling Spumante, or semi-sparkling Frizzante. You’ll see these terms on the label: Brut – the driest Extra dry Dry – the sweetest VALUE FOR MONEY Normally quite low in alcohol, typically 12 (or 12 per cent) abv, Prosecco is a fantastic wine to drink at lunch time and still be able to function in the

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afternoon. Most Prosecco is NV, Non-Vintage, meaning the grapes are from several years, and is made mainly in a big tank and not aged for long – both factors which contribute to the generally lower price of Prosecco. Rarely, it can be made the same way as Champagne. See the last Prosecco which I have recommended in this month’s Four To Try panel. Cheers! I

ROB’S

PERFECT

Romeo & Juliet NV

An interesting label, referencing the tragic love story from Verona. Off dry in style with all the typical flavours and freshness you should expect. Exclusive to Majestic, £11.99. Cheap and Cheerful Not every wine has to be expensive to be good and this example from Aldi is delightful. Castellore Is only £5.99 and slips down so easily. Too easily!! Top DOCG Prosecco From a single estate in Conegliano, on the nearby hills, comes Ca Vittoria Conegliano Valdobiaddene ‘Riva dei Cillegi’ Brut. A wonderful crisp and dry Prosecco from an excellent producer. Available from Frazier’s wine merchants, £14.25. And something completely different – From one of the top producers of Prosecco, Zucchetto.

This is their bottle fermented fizz, it’s dry and acidic with flavours of grapefruit, and lime and orange. Connolly’s sell the 2015 vintage for £15.35. Different and delicious.

Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun, informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses, in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and Warwick. For more information contact Rob Price: 0121 270 7359, or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

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LUNCH SPOT

PINCHOS COFFEE AND TAPAS HOUSE 121 EDMUND STREET, BIRMINGHAM, B3 2HJ. TEL: 0121 233 3469 WWW.PINCHOSCAFE.CO.UK his wasn’t a planned review of Pinchos. We found ourselves in the middle of Brum feeling hangry and parked right next to the bijoux restaurant. We just needed sating before our next meeting and presumably Pinchos was up to the job. We were wrong. It did a lot more than ‘the job’ and a speedy lunch turned into a magical hour that wasn’t at all expected. The restaurant felt like it had been lifted from the cobbled streets of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona and popped back down in the middle of Brum. So authentic was its vibe that one of us switched to speaking Spanish the minute we sat down before realising the other didn’t speak the lingo. It felt exciting and different. Sure, there are a number of decent Spanish restaurants in the city, but Pinchos has the ability to transport you in a way that I’m not sure the others have, although I’m happy to be corrected. The open kitchen is the size of your average understairs cupboard with a lone chef working away. Cured meats hang temptingly from the ceiling and the bar area invites you to perch by its rustic loveliness, catching up with friends over a few plates of tapas and a glass or two of Voignier. The place is small and our window table was a bit of squeeze once a couple of drinks and a board of tapas arrived, but it only added to the charm. I would find this hugely irritating in another setting, but it worked here. The food. We ordered three cold tapas (three for £12) and three hot (three for £14) which Valentina, our lovely

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waitress thought was about right. She may have been confused by the GCSE Spanish from my colleague, but she didn’t show it. Sweet, sticky glazed figs wrapped in salty cured ham was one of the best things we’ve eaten while meatballs in a rich tomato sauce was a knockout. Top notch manchego with a punchy chilli jam worked a treat and we were feeling all the salty, paprika vibes from the chorizo with crumbled feta. We had also ordered prawns in garlic butter, but received Spanish omelette with chorizo instead. It didn’t matter and we didn’t grumble. The omelette was seriously good. Fiery baby peppers stuffed with soft cheese were fresh and lively while a basket of bread which we thought looked a bit OTT turned out to be the perfect amount for mopping up the delicious sauce from the meatballs. If you love Spain or even if you don’t, just go. It’s charming. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we’ll see you there, probably far too often. Our new fave. I

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ADVERTORIAL

BEST HEN AND STAG FLY-AWAYS WHETHER YOU’RE THE MAID OF HONOUR OR THE BEST MAN, WE’VE PICKED OUT THE TOP HEN AND STAG DO DESTINATIONS AROUND THE WORLD TO GIVE YOU A HELPING HAND o, you’re planning a hen or stag weekend abroad? It’s an exciting yet daunting task – but so much easier when you can fly direct from Birmingham Airport. Here’s our top picks…

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world’s highest density of pubs, bars and clubs – and it’s also one of the cheapest cities in Europe. Spending money: £ Approximate flight time: 2hr 25min Fly direct with: Ryanair

THE BEAUTY OF BARCELONA Sun, sand and sangria… what more could you want for your last hurrah! The home of Catalan culture, months of endless sunshine, a lively nightlife and incredible gastronomy – the Spanish city has it all. Whether you want to lounge on the beach, get involved in some pulse racing activities, explore the local culture and attractions or dance the night away, Barcelona is the destination for your stag or hen do. Spending money: ££ Approximate flight time: 2hr 5min Fly direct with: Ryanair and Vueling

WHAT’S THE KRAK WITH KRAKÓW? A less-expected destination on our list is Poland’s second city and former capital Kraków. Here you can explore a harmonious blend of old and new, going from fascinating history and culture to pumping nightlife. Small and compact, Kraków has one of the

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GET BOOZY IN BELFAST Who says you need to leave the UK for a fun stag or hen getaway? Belfast is Northern Ireland’s vibrant and friendly capital, ready to welcome you with open arms. As well as a great nightlife scene, the city is home to many galleries, opera houses, museums and movie theatres, making it a wonderful place to explore. Why not book a group activity like a cocktail masterclass, brewery bike and beer tour, or the Belfast pub experience? Spending Money: ££ Approximate flight time: 1hr Fly direct with: flybe and easyJet

BERLIN’S BEST FOR BARS If the bride or groom is the type who will enjoy clubbing until the early hours, the cool German capital is the best city to visit. With no official closing

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ADVERTORIAL

is a city full of vibrant culture, cutting-edge architecture, fabulous food and tangible history. A captivating combo of glamour and grit. Spending Money: ££ Approximate flight time: 1hr 45min Fly direct with: flybe

DUBAI’S GLITTERING LUXURY

hours throughout Berlin, the nightlife on offer is legendary. From tiny basement clubs to industrial techno temples and picturesque beer gardens to fancy cocktail dens, there’s something for everyone 24/7. If you can pull your group away from the parties, Berlin

You don’t have to stick to Europe for a stag or hen weekend. If you’re out for one big blast, ultramodern, urban and glamorous Dubai is a destination like no other. A city set in the middle of a desert, you won’t see any rain here. Relax beside infinity pools and beautiful golden sandy beaches or head into the desert on an exquisite safari. The city boasts worldclass shopping, dining and entertainment attractions, too. After dark, Dubai really comes alive with everything from flashy dance temples, shiny rooftop terraces and funky beach clubs to fancy cocktail caverns, shisha lounges and concerts under the stars. Spending Money: ££££ Approximate flight time: 7hr Fly direct with: Emirates

Fly direct to these hen and stag do destinations – and many more – from Birmingham Airport. And make your getaway even more special by booking your party into one of our airport lounges before you fly.

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ing livSTYLE

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TONAL DRESSING

All available from Next, Fort Shopping Park

SHOP YOUR WARDROBE WE LOVE SPRING. THAT FEELING OF NEWNESS IS

HEART-WARMINGLY UPBEAT AND SUNNY. IT’S ALSO A CHANCE FOR A BIT OF WARDROBE REORGANISATION

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STYLE ANIMAL MAGIC

Zebra print skirt £32, Wallis, Bullring

CHANGE YOUR SPOTS

Sophia Webster Andie 100 leopard print pumps £350, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

IN THE BAG

J by Jasper Conran £75, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

SERIOUS SWAGGER

STAND OUT

Snake effect heels £75, Office, Bullring

e’re not talking Marie Kondo ruthlessness – we could never trust anyone who suggests only having 30 books in your home – but a bit of a wardrobe detox can uncover pieces you haven’t seen for a while and offer up new outfit combinations you haven’t even considered. Pull everything out and assess what’s there and perhaps think about storing things in different ways, so that items are visible and more accessible. The process will also allow you to establish what sort of new life you want to breathe into your existing wardrobe. Charity bag anything you haven’t worn or thought about for over a year unless it’s particularly sentimental. Never chuck unwanted clothes in the bin where they’ll just end up clogging landfill instead of becoming someone else’s inspired find.

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BRIGHT IDEAS Once you’ve a renewed enthusiasm for your wardrobe, make a list of new pieces that would fill any gaps and slot right in. Being organised means you’ll probably end up buying less this season which is no bad thing for your purse strings or the environment. While we’re at it, why not actually go out and shop in person? The retail offering in Birmingham has never been so strong whatever your budget, so let’s support it. Use it or lose it as they say.

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GREAT CREPE

Stand zebra print faux fur coat £340, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Whistles Carlotta animal-print crepe dress £169, Selfridges, Bullring

MONO WOW

STEP OUT

Zebra print dress £12.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

Yellow suede mule heels £36, Evans, Merry Hill

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STYLE

We’d recommend slotting some brights into your wardrobe – a rainbow striped jumper or some colourful heels perhaps. Oliver Bonas has a lovely, totally unsubtle wrap skirt that is a joy and Missoni’s dramatic striped knitted maxi dress is everything you’d expect from this distinctive brand. Wear with a denim jacket now and on its own in the summer. Joyful. Get some canary yellow in your life for an instant pick me up. Check out the flattering yellow and white vertical striped dress at Oasis or the bright yellow Schulaps sweater from the White Stuff for a sunny vibe.

CLASSIC TRENCH

All available from FatFace, Grand Central

JUST PRINT IT Animal prints are everywhere. If you’re in the market for new heels, Sophia Webster’s leopard print pumps are a dream as is Whistles crepe animal print dress at Selfridges. New Look and Wallis both have cracking animal print pieces that are worth a look too. The trench is the ultimate transition piece. Light enough to keep you cool, but just sturdy enough to protect you from the odd spring shower or cold snap. At the high end, check out Alexander McQueen’s detailed cape version or the classic Burberry and on the high street look at FatFace. Chunky heels will see you swaggering into spring in relative comfort. Check out the bright pink sling backs at Next or rounded wooden heels at Office for instant cool.

DOUBLE DENIM

Eco denim available from Miss Selfridge, Merry Hill

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STYLE

TRANSITION VAMP

Alexander McQueen cape-back gabardine trench coat £1,245, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

MUST HAVE

FUTURE PROOF

Accept boot £50 Office, Bullring

IN THE NAVY

Dungaree jumpsuit £75, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

Available from Primark, Fort Shopping Park

WHO NEEDS RULES? Jumpsuit, playsuit, boilersuit…. whatever you like to call them, the all-in-one can be your best spring friend. For everyday, take a look at Oliver Bonas or Next and if you’re looking to invest a bit more, head to Isabel Marant or Self Portrait. Most of all, and I’m aware I may be talking myself out of a job here, just wear what makes you feel great. Chuck out the rules and swagger into spring. I

Isabel Marant Étoile Lindsie jumpsuit £385, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

FLOWER POWER

Floral jumpsuit £78, Fort Shopping Park

JACKET IN Burberry Amberford cotton trench coat £590, Selfridges, Bullring

OUT OUT

Self Portrait diamantéembellished crepe, lace and velvet jumpsuit £360, Selfridges, Bullring

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PATTERN EMERGING

RAISE THE BAR

Collection flatform shoe £55, M&S, Longbridge

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STYLE

MAXIMUM IMPACT

Missoni metallic knit maxi dress £895, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

OK CORAL

HELLO SUNSHINE

SUITS YOU

Keepsake coral striped wide-leg jumpsuit £200, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Yellow suit jacket £60, Next, Fort Shopping Park

Stripe yellow dress £49, Oasis, New Street

HAPPY DAY

Rainbow sweater £24, Dorothy Perkins, Kings Heath

BLOCK PARTY SPOT ON

Wide leg jumpsuit £49, M&Co

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Pink pointed block heel £42, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

MELLOW YELLOW

Schulaps cotton crew knit £55, White Stuff, Cannon Street

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STYLE

CAPED CRUSADER

Madeleine Thompson cashmere rainbow cape £450, Selfridges, Bullring

RIGHT STRIPES

Stripe midi skirt £59.50, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

SUBTLE STRIPES

Available from Next, Fort Shopping Park

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BEAUTY

BEAUTY UPDATE WE’VE BEEN TREATED TO A LOT OF NEW LAUNCHES THIS MONTH, SOME OF WHICH DESERVE A SHARE, SO FROM HIGH-END HAND SERUM TO HERBY-LADEN VEGAN SHAMPOO, WE’RE BRINGING YOU THE BEST FROM THE BEAUTY DESK’S TOP DRAWER.

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1. REJUVENATING HAND SERUM £95, LA MER, SELFRIDGES This is obviously pricey, but as we all know your hands reveal your age even if your face doesn’t, so it’s worth considering giving them as much love and attention. It’s super soft and has definitely left our hands feeling silky – and a little goes a long way. Over time it promises to tackle discolouration. It’s not something we struggle with, so can’t confirm or poo-poo this claim, but it feels great. 2. FRAGRANCE COMBINING SOLID PALETTE £24, JO MALONE, SELFRIDGES This is Jo Malone to go at its best. You can add two of your favourite Jo Malone fragrances in solid perfume form to this sleek, easy to carry around palette. It’s no more tricky than carrying a lip balm in your handbag. Swirl it onto your wrists, neck wherever you fancy – even on to the ends of your hair – for instant, long-lasting deliciousness.

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3. GUCCI’S THE ALCHEMIST GARDEN COLLECTION, EAU DE PARFUMS £240 (100ML), HARVEY NICHOLS, MAILBOX Even if the fragrances were not our cup of tea – there are seven to choose from so it’s unlikely there isn’t at least one which is right up your strasse – we’d want one on our dressing table. The lacquered glass bottles are utterly gorgeous and, thankfully, what’s inside is heavenly too. Master perfumer Alberto Morillas has had a hand in creating the collection and it shows. Go check them out.

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4. SHAMPURE SHAMPOO £15.50 AND CONDITIONER £17.50, AVEDA As well as Shampure’s natural credentials – silicone free, vegan, 95 per cent naturally derived – it smells like a luxury spa and has managed to transform our dry locks into nourished, shiny hair that doesn’t need much styling. The smell is down to 25 flower and plant essences, including lavender, ylang ylang, petitgrain and orange.

5. MORPHE X JEFFREE STAR BRUSH COLLECTION £48 (£85 VALUE), MORPHE, BULLRING Morphe opened its doors in the city last month to the deafening sound of thousands of giddy fans of You Tube sensation James Charles who made an appearance. Old enough to have been involved in some suspect Take That mania/stalking, it made us feel ancient. Anyway, it turns out the brushes are winning with their super soft bristles, a bevelled handle design and more than a touch of pink. The collection features seven of the best in a cute make-up bag.

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STYLE FOR MEN

CUE SPRING

IT’S A PERFECT TIME TO BREATHE SOME NEW LIFE INTO YOUR WARDROBE AND WE’VE GOT JUST THE INSPO TO GET YOU STARTED

SPRING VIBES Sage desert boots, Office, Bullring

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STYLE FOR MEN

BOLD STATEMENT Givenchy shirt £535, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

SWALLOW TEE Alexander McQueen swallow print cotton jersey T-shirt £145, Selfridges, Bullring LOAFING AROUND Shelburne £90, Dune, Bullring GET BUSY Eton shirt £160, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

e’ve picked out two key trends to slot into your existing wardrobe that will see you into the new season feeling fresh. Firstly, bold prints. From outlandish short-sleeved shirts – a la the moustachioed Tom Selleck as Magnum PI – to slick fitted tees with bold graphics, this is a trend that is impossible to ignore. Givenchy and McQueen are all over it. On the high street, head to Debenhams which has a particularly good selection. Next, sage green is the colour of the moment. Universally flattering, the earthy tone will have you swaggering into spring and whether you’re sporting sagehued loafers or the perfect transition piece, a bomber jacket, you’ll be bang on trend. We wouldn’t go head-to- BRIGHT STUFF Stripe short sleeve shirt £28, toe sage, that might look a bit Craig David. If you’re River Island, Fort Shopping Park thinking ‘what’s wrong with that? Craig David’s the bomb,’ go for your life, but we’d recommend a more subtle approach – like the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Ballster (pictured) or River Island’s borg collar jacket (pictured) which is as cool as you like and a steal. I

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INVESTMENT PIECE Tom Ford quilted shell gilet £2,255, Selfridges, Bullring

THE NEW BLACK Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Ballstar army green suede trainers £280, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

GO GREEN Faux suede borg collar jacket £70, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

SMOOTH TRANSITION Acne Studios nylon bomber jacket £510, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox FLOWER POWER Hammond & Co Border floral print shirt £40, Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

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HEALTH

FITNESS LIFT-OFF MIDLANDS AIR AMBULANCE CRITICAL CARE PARAMEDIC, KEEN RUGBY PLAYER AND FITNESS ENTHUSIAST STEVE MASON SHARES HIS TOP TIPS FOR KEEPING FIT OUTSIDE OF THE GYM

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HEALTH

s part of the Midlands Air Ambulance recruitment process and induction plan, paramedics and doctors must meet certain fitness criteria. It is not always possible for the pilots to safely land the air ambulance helicopters at the side of an incident scene, which means the clinicians may need to run with heavy, yet vitally important, kit bags and equipment to the patient, and carry them back to the aircraft. A healthy lifestyle and physical fitness has been engrained in me from a very early age and I have always tried to keep myself active, but due to a busy work life and young family commitments finding time is extremely difficult. An important starting point is planning what physical activities you can do. I plan what I am going to do a month at a time, which helps me achieve my goals. I also alternate my workouts every eight weeks to ensure self-motivation is maintained and to stop my body getting used to a particular workout routine.

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Exercises during the interval session  SQUAT JUMPS

 POWER LUNGES

 SKI JUMPS

PLAN IT RIGHT

Before starting my shift at an air base, I try and go in early to conduct a pre-planned workout.

 SKATER JUMPS

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE WORKOUT: Dynamic warm up Before any workout is performed it is essential that the body and mind are suitably prepared. This starts with a 10-minute dynamic warm-up which will increase your heart rate, improving blood flow and suppleness to skeletal muscles.

 PRESS UPS

Run with alternating interval sessions After the warm-up, undertake an interval run. For example, increase your running speed for 30 seconds then jog for two minutes. Alternatively, pick a point in the distance, such as a lamppost, then increase your speed to that point. Alternating between time and distance helps you gains maximum fitness benefit.  To find out more about the Midlands Air Ambulance visit www.midlandsairambulance.com

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Cool down stretches  Shoulders  Triceps  Hamstrings  Calves

 Chest  Lower back  Quads

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HEALTH

CALL IT QUITS THIS MONTH SEES NATIONAL NO SMOKING DAY – WHAT BETTER TIME TO DITCH THE CIGGIES AND ADD 10 YEARS TO YOUR LIFE e all want to live longer – which is why the fitness and health foods sectors are booming like never before. There’s no doubt regular sensible exercise and a proper balanced diet improve your general health. But there are ways to add to your life expectancy which won’t cost you a penny – in fact you’ll save a fortune. Yes, we’re talking to you, smokers! Give up and according to the medical experts you’ll live on average 10 years longer. We know it’s not easy to quit, but this month there’s a little extra help on the way with the arrival on 13 March of national No Smoking Day #nosmokingday. What better time to stop smoking for good – or help a member of the family or a friend to quit? According to the NHS, there are some simple steps you can take to change your lifestyle and help you resist the temptation to light up.

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Think positive: You might have tried to quit smoking before and not managed it, but don't let that put you off. Look back at the things your experience has taught you and think about how you're really going to do it this time. Make a plan and stick to it: Prepare for the day you quit and avoid temptation – choose a quit date that's unlikely to be stressful and make sure you don't have any cigarettes, lighters or matches on you. Avoid the pub or other places where people around you might be smoking.

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Make a list of reasons to quit: Keep reminding yourself why you made the decision to give up – cleaner lungs, stronger heart, extra money in your pocket. Identify when you crave cigarettes: A craving can last five minutes. Before you give up, make a list of when you are most likely to crave a cigarette and plan five-minute strategies. This could be as simple as planning a change of scene and getting some fresh air. Think about your diet: Is your after-dinner cigarette your favourite? You may want to change your routine at or after mealtimes. Watch what you drink: Fizzy drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you're out, drink more water and juice. Get some support: Call a friend or relative to get some support. There's also support available from your local stop smoking service. Fresh air: Going for a five-minute walk not only helps clear your head and lungs but helps your brain produce anticraving chemicals. Keep your hands and mouth busy: Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can double your chances of success. As well as patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. Call the NHS Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1044, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.

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From only ÂŁ25

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ng il viHOMES

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PUT YOUR STAMP ON IT PRINTS AND COLOUR ARE WHAT WE’RE AFTER THIS SEASON. HERE’S A BIT OF INSPIRATION TO GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING

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HOMES

e are suckers for a gorgeous print and this season is no different. While we can appreciate a pared back minimalist vibe, all that order and white space makes us feel a bit panicky. Colour and pattern is where our head is at. Once there were ‘rules’ about clashing prints and colours. Not anymore. That old saying, ‘blue and green should never be seen,’ is officially clap trap. Orange and pink? Yes please. Red and pink? Absolutely. Florals and stripes? Why the heck not. What we would urge you to do is a bit of planning though. The ultimate aim might be a casually thrown together look, but ironically you’re more likely to achieve that outcome with a bit of research, particularly if you’re planning to revamp a whole room rather than adding interest in the form of scatter cushions or a rug.

W

WIZARD WALLPAPER Wallpaper is one of our weaknesses. It’s more difficult to change than a lick of paint if you get bored, but it can be COLOUR POP Cushions available from Debenhams, Bullring

FLORAL DISPLAY Available from Laura Ashley

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used to stunning effect. Check out Osborne and Little, Sanderson and Graham & Brown. Also, Farrow and Ball is not only wizarding in the paint arena, but excelling in wallcovering too. Their Lotus print is a winner. We’d recommend getting a professional in to avoid costly mistakes unless you’re a very confident DIYer. There are a plethora of beautiful fabrics on the market to help you achieve your look too. John Lewis has a brilliant selection as does Guthrie and Ghani in Moseley and if you’re on the hunt for cushions to enhance your interior, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We’ve found at least 40 we’d happily have in our home. Decisions, decisions. BLUE AND CREAM Available from Laura Ashley

MIX AND MATCH Available from M&S, Longbridge

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DARK DRAMA Furniture and accessories available from Debenhams, Fort Shopping Park

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RUSTIC CHARM Parker Knoll Isabelle two-seater sofa, Cookes Furniture, Erdington

GEO GET-GO If you enjoy order and clean lines in your home but would like to inject colour and pattern, there are some fantastic geometric prints on the market. John Lewis and Heal’s both have some cracking examples that would liven things up without going overboard.

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Also, consider using what you have in your home already. Just switching up the position of pieces can create a fresh new vibe. The rug that looks a bit busy in the bedroom might be peachy in the dining room. Play around with it and have some fun. I

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BLACK AND WHITE Available from Debenhams,

CUTE CUSHIONS Sloth Snuggles cushion by Nicola Cowdery, Art Wow

Fort Shopping Park

PRETTY PALETTE Available from M&S, Longbridge

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BOLT FROM THE BLUE Jonathan Adler technicolour bolt tray £78, Amara

RAIN OR SHINE Sunshine bath mat £25, Cath Kidston, Grand Central

LIMITED EDITION Wall print by Laurie Mann £99, Heal’s, Mailbox

TOO COOL Bauhaus cushions £49, Heal’s, Mailbox

FINISHING TOUCHES

TRUE BLUE Sora table lamp £110, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

IN TERMS OF ACCESSORIES RATHER THAN A COMPLETE OVERHAUL, THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE. HERE’S A SNIPPET OF WHAT’S ON THE MARKET TO GET YOU GOING WOOF WOOF Polaroid n13 clock by Francesca Miele £30, Art Wow

LIGHT UP Large print lantern £19.50, M&S, Longbridge

GEO WOW Geo Dori cushion £28, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

CHIN CHIN Climbing blossom set of two wine glasses £20, Cath Kidston, Grand Central CLEAN LINES Tia rug £549, John Lewis, Grand Central

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PROPERTY NINE BEDROOMS

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

Middleton Road, Sutton Coldfield Guide price: £1.8million Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6400 This handsome, late Victorian ninebedroom family home boasts a great kitchen/breakfast room, five further reception rooms – although the huge grand reception hall is a room in its own right – and a gymnasium, all set in extensive private grounds of around half an acre.

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ORIGINAL FEATURES Mill Lane, Aldridge Guide price: £1.65million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 272 6900 This Grade II-listed, five-bedroom home has been sympathetically extended and renovated and is packed with original features. There’s more living space than you can shake a stick at, and it’s all set in a gorgeous location, surrounded by open countryside with cracking views over the lake.

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YOU’LL BE HOOKED! Snails Place, Yoxall Guide price: £925,000 Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6400

Beautifully remodelled and refurbished, this Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home is set in magnificent gardens in a stunning village location with an annexe, fishing rights and a fabulous wildlife pond.

STYLE STATEMENT Concord House, City Centre Guide price: £485,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1520 A contemporary-designed, loft-style apartment that boasts two bedrooms (the master has both an en-suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe) large open plan lounge, utility room, family shower room and secure parking.

BRICKS&BITS BACKING BRUM

London Development Group has acquired the historic Borough Buildings in John Bright Street and has permission for 31 high quality apartments. Group CEO Daniel Obertelli said: “We are making key acquisitions in the city which represents our confidence in Birmingham’s economy and potential for growth.”

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

WELCOME PARTNER

The commercial property team at law firm Emms

TOWER AUCTION

A listed water tower in Selly Oak built in

Gilmore Liberson, Newhall Street has been

1902 which has planning permission to

boosted with the appointment of Jonathan

be converted into three apartments will go

Wright. Previously a partner at international legal

under the hammer this month at an auction

experts Fieldfisher for a decade, he will work

at Villa Park by Bond Wolfe Auctions.

closely with EGL partner Mark Dakeyne in

The tower is on the former site of Selly

developing the firm’s portfolio of clients.

Oak Hospital.

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SEVEN UP

Harborne Place, Harborne Guide price: POA Agent: St Philips, tel: 0121 728 9830

A fantastic development of seven, five-bedroom homes in a cracking part of central Birmingham. Features include generous bedrooms, open-plan living and dining and bi-folding doors leading on to a spacious garden. Proper luxurious city living!

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

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MOTORING

CLEARING THE AIR HONDA HAS LAUNCHED ITS FIRST-EVER HYBRID SUV IN EUROPE.

WITH CONGESTION CHARGING IN BIRMINGHAM ON THE HORIZON, SUE COOKE TRIES THE NEW CR-V FOR SIZE

ir pollution is a major public health crisis responsible for the early deaths of up to 900 people each year in Birmingham alone says the city council. The local authority is introducing a Clean Air Zone, which I have written about before in Birmingham Living, but to bring you up to date, from January 2020, you could be charged for bringing your car into the city centre. To avoid paying a charge, your car must be powered by a diesel engine which is Euro 6 compliant, petrol engine which is Euro 4 or better, or an all-electric vehicle or hybrid. And for drivers who are thinking about buying a hybrid and taking advantage of March registrations, Honda has launched its first ever hybrid SUV in Europe. The CR-V is

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powered by two electric motors, a 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and a lithium ion battery. As a driver, you don’t need to worry about any of this because the technology moves seamlessly between the power sources, providing CO2 emissions of 120g/km and fuel economy of 53.3mpg. SPACE RACE CR-V stands for Comfortable Runabout Vehicle, which Honda first introduced in 1995. I drove the SUV in 2011 and commented on the comfortable armchair type seats and ample cabin space – and this new fifth generation is longer and wider, with more space and storage and a large loading bay. Advanced features include a hands-free tailgate which can be opened using the motion sensor.

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MOTORING

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of hybrid engine technology in Honda vehicles. The Insight was the first Honda to receive a hybrid engine in 1999. When I first drove the Insight, I wrote about a little green stamen of petals which dropped off if you drove the car harshly. The new CR-V has moved on, with a display in front of the steering wheel. A green line increased (fuel efficient) when I took my foot off the accelerator and a blue line increased when I accelerated.

battery supplies power and is available for up to 1.2 miles. This is a pure silent model which at its launch caused me a few challenges. I slowly drove through the centre of a village where school children poured onto the streets. Using their ears not their eyes, they were oblivious to the Honda as they walked on the narrow roads. However, there is an acoustic alert warning system when driving in EV mode which tells pedestrians when the CR-V approaches.

ACOUSTIC ALERT Driving a hybrid is not so different, apart from the display I mentioned. There is a choice of three driving modes, which are self-explanatory. Hybrid drive, engine drive and EV where the lithium ion

WIDE RANGE Honda has introduced a wide range of hybrid cars with 2.4 million sold globally. There is a petrol alternative in the new CR-V powered by a 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo petrol engine. Both the hybrid and petrol come with a choice of grades, S, SE, SR and EX. The entry level, two-wheel drive is priced from £29,105 and rises to £37,255 for the top spec, allwheel drive. What you can be assured of when buying the Honda CR-V, whichever your choice of engine, is style, ample space in a quality interior and industry-leading safety performance. In Birmingham, only residents within the Clean Air Zone will be exempt from the charge and only for the first two years, so driving cleaner will not only benefit the atmosphere – but also your pocket! I

FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Honda CR-V hybrid SR 2wd Price: £31,015 OTR Engine: 2.0i-MMD Hybrid eCVT Performance: 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds CO2 emissions (NEDC): 120g/km Combined fuel consumption: 53.3mpg

SHOWROOM Birmingham Honda, 821 Tyburn Road, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9NY. Tel: 0121 382 4000 www.jardinemotors.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

MIMI CESAR

The top rhythmic gymnast and Team England ambassador has her sights set on competing at a home Commonwealth Games in 2022

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

fter competing at the Commonwealth Games last year on Australia’s Gold Coast, Mimi thought it might be time to hang up her ribbons aged just 24 which is ‘old’ in gymnastics terms. However, getting involved in the successful Birmingham 2022 bid has whet her appetite for making the team and competing on home turf. Despite training in Brum at GMAC alongside fellow Young, Gifted and Brummie subjects, Dom Cunningham and Joe Fraser, Mimi has never competed in Birmingham. Mimi explains: “Rhythmic gymnastics is always held at the Echo Arena in Liverpool for some reason, so it would be amazing to make it to Birmingham 2022.” Despite success in multiple disciplines beginning with gold in the Junior British Championships in 2010, it wasn’t obvious when Mimi was small that she would be shining on the rhythmic gymnastics stage – even her parents were surprised. She says she was so uncoordinated as an infant that she only crawled backwards, never forwards! Having started going to Tumble Tots classes aged two years and loving it, Mimi began recreational gymnastics. When Beth Tweddle’s breakthrough onto the world stage began in earnest, Mimi dreamed of being like her. She recalls: “I said to my coach, ‘I want to be an Olympic gymnast,’ and she told me I’d never be good enough!” Charming.

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BLOWN AWAY Then when Mimi saw a girl performing rhythmic gymnastics at a competition she was absolutely blown away. She says: “I just thought ‘wow’ and I switched to rhythmic gymnastics straight away. I was terrible at first and my coordination was awful, but I worked really hard.” Rhythmic gymnastics combines the sport element requiring incredible strength and flexibility with artistic flair. Competitors perform on the floor to music with

skilful use of equipment such as ribbons, a ball, hoop or club. Mimi says her strength has always been her expression and she was talent-spotted aged just 13 and took part in a successful squad trial. She has been competing at a high level ever since. I wonder what is it about the sport that she loves so much? Mimi explains: “I just find it mesmerising. It’s so visual and every routine is different and I love performing. I always listen to the audience in the few seconds between finishing a routine and the applause starting. If there’s absolute silence I know it went well and it’s the best feeling in the world.” WORK ETHIC Rhythmic gymnastics is self-funded, so before the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Mimi was training 35 hours a week while working part time as a PE teacher. But she says: “It was completely worth it.” Even at school Mimi had a strong work ethic. When teachers offered her homework extensions because they knew she was training intensively, she refused, choosing to stay up late and get the work in on time. Now at the ripe old age of 24 faced with potential retirement from the sport after 2022, Mimi’s pleased to have had to work. She explains: “Gymnastics is a young person’s sport, so it’s good to get some work behind me.” Mimi’s also planning to launch her own business – sport related naturally – so watch this space. There are youngsters who have moved up from the junior squad to seniors and Mimi feels like the mummy of the group. She says: “It’s nice to be able to share my experience and guide them through.” Mimi’s doing everything she can on the health and well-being front in order to be in tip-top shape for selection for Birmingham 2022. That’s the aim. “Provided I get there, the home games in 2022 will be my last competition. I always go into a competition to make the podium, so that would be my aim.” Good luck Mimi! I

HOME TARGET: Mimi on the site of what will be the athletes’ village in 2022

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WALK FOR WATER

Hodge Hill Primary School raised an impressive £3,959 at its first WE Walk for Water – the largest amount of money from any UK school organising one of the charity’s events. Mobilising as a school to heighten awareness of the clean water shortage around the world, the money from the sponsored walk will enable the WE Charity to make a real difference to the issue in developing communities around the world. Every £15 raised by Hodge Hill provides one person with clean water for life.

MATTY REMEMBERED Winterfold School in Chaddesley Corbett hosted its annual U11 Matty Thacker Shield football tournament. Three of the six semi-finals in the Shield, Cup and Plate competitions went to golden goal and penalty shootouts. The Plate competition was won by Hereford

SCHOOL REPORT

Cathedral School, while the Cup was claimed by Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School. The main Shield title went to King’s Hawford, Worcester. The tournament is named in memory of Winterfold’s sport-loving Year 6 pupil Matty Thacker.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES Birmingham’s newest 14 to 16-year-old education provider, Bournville College Academy, was officially opened by Lord Mayor, Cllr Yvonne Mosquito. The academy, based at Bournville College in Longbridge, seeks to provide increased educational and vocational opportunities for young people across the city, especially those for whom traditional schools do not provide the best route. The academy has just achieved an Ofsted Grade 2 (good) rating.

DANCE DOWN UNDER

Picture: Howl Creative

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Birmingham’s Rutherford Dance Company (RDC Youth) has been selected to perform at the Australian Youth Dance Festival in Melbourne this July. The biennial festival brings together young dancers from across the world and RDC Youth is also taking part in an international exchange with Australian-based Flipside Youth Dance. The company is raising funds for its trip down under via a GoFundMe campaign. To donate visit https://tinyurl.com/GoFundMeRDCYouthAus

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GROWING PLACES

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS Face2Face Performance Academy, which opened its doors in 2017, is celebrating its second birthday with a number of performance-related events, including High School Musical at Theatre Severn. More than 40 students attend weekly classes at the academy at Moreton Hall School which incorporate workshops with leading TV and theatre actors, opportunities to perform in professional theatres and Q&A sessions with industry figures.

ON TARGET

ENGLAND CALL UP Local lacrosse teacher Hollie Harrington has been named as one of the coaches who will lead England in the U19 World Cup Tournament in Canada this summer. Hollie from Moreton Hall said: “I am so excited about taking the girls on this journey. We have a fantastically talented squad who have made outstanding progress over the last four years. I am looking forward to watching them perform on the world stage.�

Sutton Coldfield scouts have scored impressive results in a prestigious air rifle competition at West Midlands Regional Shooting Centre at Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton. The 17th Sutton Coldfield Scouts came top in the group contest of the Sutton Coldfield East District Air Rifle Shooting Competition with 5th and 7th Sutton Coldfield Scouts finishing in second and third places respectively.

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CLOSE WITHÁ

SANDRA HALL THE CO-FOUNDER OF FRICTION ARTS ON THE POWER OF CULTURAL, SOCIAL AND ARTS ACTIVITIES FOR POSITIVE CHANGE, WHAT MAKES BRUMMIES SO SPECIAL… AND THE PERMANENT RETURN OF BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY SHARE

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I started as a performer/actress in London doing film, TV and theatre. I moved to Brum in 1990 to join Geese Theatre Company, using drama to confront offending behaviour in 120-plus prisons. This work changed my understanding of how arts can impact society. Once I’d met Lee, my partner, we started making work together in non-traditional spaces, raves, the street, allotments.. making projects with and for people. We’ve worked across the world in places often perceived as dangerous, making useful and beautiful projects with people living and working in very difficult circumstances. IT’S WHAT I DO As founder members of Friction Arts, Lee and I are very ‘google earth’ about our roles. We’re directors but also get our hands dirty –working the bar, delivering workshops, fundraising, project design, producing and more. Following a successful inaugural event last year, Birmingham’s Sunday Share bootsale, organised by Friction Arts and the Active Well Being Society, is back on a permanent basis in Digbeth, featuring professional cultural, social and arts activities. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE? I want to continue to make relevant work, be part of making the city for everyone and to welcome recently arrived economic migrants, particularly from London, and through sub-cultural safaris show them we have a vibrant, surprising culture that they are welcome to join. BIGGEST SUCCESS Professionally – we’ve spent the last three years marking the closure of the Wholesale Market, birthplace of the city 64 birmingham living

1,000 years ago through a range of projects. This culminated in a large-scale show, Everything Must Go, last summer, which was attended by many of the traders who were visibly moved. We’re proud of our international work, too – we left lasting legacies of activism and art in the likes of South Africa and Brazil. We’ve also managed to buy our venue/workshop, The Edge in Digbeth. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Listen carefully to all advice and disregard that which your gut tells you to. Never believe something is impossible – give it a go, you never know. We wouldn’t be re-starting the bootsale if it wasn’t for militant optimism and great support. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I came here in 1990 and reckon I was a Brummie within six months. You’re welcomed in other cities in the UK though often reminded you’re not from there – that doesn’t happen here. I love Birmingham, particularly the people; straight-talking, authentic and understated humour – which is also why the re-booting of the bootsale is really important – a historic working class market built by and for people across the city… a regular meeting place. DOWNTIME When we’re not working we tend to be researching! Going to markets, of course, wherever we may be in the world. I’m in a jazz combo with Bethan (four-years-old) and Adam (seven), my neighbours. We meet once a week for ‘jazz club’ (specialising in improv). I grow 60 sunflowers every year as annual gifts for friends and to create a corner of joy in my garden where I can fall asleep and wake to nodding flowers. And I like a pint… I march 2019


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ing livBUSINESS

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NEWMAN GAUGE THE AWARD-WINNING INTERIOR DESIGN COMPANY LISTS SOME OF THE BIGGEST LEISURE BRAND NAMES AMONG ITS CLIENT LIST – AND IT’S EASY TO SEE WHY irmingham-based Newman Gauge has been delivering award-winning creative interior design for more than two decades. And if you want proof of the cutting edge ethos behind the Jewellery Quarter team, look no further than Grand Central’s dramatic Holy Moly Macaroni mac and cheese eatery. The restaurant, which opened last summer, boasts dramatic New York Harlem street style and American soul and funk with exposed reclaimed brickwork, graffiti and makeshift materials, alongside American basketball fences and disco neon. Holy Moly is just one of a diverse portfolio of top clients who Newman Gauge have worked with. The

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firm, headed by directors Brian Gauge, Sam Stokoe and Scott Parker, has used an adaptability in fusing the needs of the client with the desires of the end user to forge long-standing relationships with prestigious brands across a variety of sectors. These include hotel and spa operators, retailers, publicans, national restaurant chains, hospitality, leisure and healthcare. Newman Gauge has worked for the likes of Warner Leisure Hotels, Marston’s, Butlin’s, Holiday Inn, Aldi, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Center Parcs, Fuller’s and Las Iguanas to name but a few... Design director Sam said: “We understand how design can influence people’s emotions and how you can maximise the commercial opportunities by

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COMPANY TO WATCH

directing the customer experience. We are proud to have a reputation as true partners who support the client and professional team throughout every step of a development. Our collective experience spans over 100 years in commercial interior design and project management, where we have forged a reputation for turning big ideas into real results.” The team at Newman Gauge currently numbers 12 – small enough, says Sam, to retain a really close working bond across the business but big enough to handle major briefs and develop original ideas for leading clients. “I know I am biased,” said Sam, “but we get amazing feedback from the people we work with. We are in a competitive business but we are extremely creative and have great talent in using the latest technology.”

TRENDSETTING

HARLEM EDGE: Dramatic interior of Holy Moly created by the Newman Gauge team led by design director Sam Stokoe

march 2019

Sam cites one client Newman Gauge worked with in the pub/drinks market. The client wanted something ‘cool’ and suggested a large digital wall in their outlet. “We thought, oh noooo,” said Sam. “It wasn’t an original idea and it wasn’t the right environment either. We got thinking about creating something different and interesting around using current and conductivity.” The team came up with ‘gadget info’ panels in each booth – backlit stylish wood panels, each with a sheet of ultra thin metal behind, which customers could touch to display a variety of messages and requests to pub staff. The walls also allowed customised colouration and lighting. Original, dramatic, practical – and a great conversation piece! As much as 80 per cent of work comes via repeat business with some clients remaining with Newman Gauge for 20 years. “They trust us and know that we will also push the boundaries while knowing what they want,” said Sam. Developing relationships, both existing and new ones, is key and can be seen in the likes of work carried out for big names such as Center Parcs. Newman Gauge was responsible for completing two projects for the leisure giant at its popular Woburn and Longford Forest sites. “At any one time we have 20 or 30 projects, a mix of smaller and larger briefs,” said Sam. At the time of writing, the larger projects included the 229-bedroom Curio Hotel for Hilton in London’s Kensington and work at Studley Castle Hotel, Warwickshire for Warner Leisure Hotels. Sam said: “Moving forward, we intend to keep doing what we are doing with a great mix of hotels and restaurants, leisure and spas and retail. We have a fantastic team who always look to push the boundaries beyond current trends. Our awards and national acclaim are a testament to the team’s commitment and experience.” I

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ADVERTORIAL

LOST WILLS:

GAVIN FABER, PARTNER IN THE BIRMINGHAM WILL, TRUST AND ESTATE DISPUTES TEAM AT IRWIN MITCHELL, EXPLORES THE ISSUES.

ENSURING YOUR LEGACY IS SECURE

ven with today’s technology, lost wills can occur. There is no central will registry and with an ever-changing legal landscape, tracking down an original will can be very difficult – especially if the will was created some time ago. At an already emotional time, you may also be facing a situation where the will designed to safeguard the family home, business or other assets has gone missing.

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All reasonable efforts should be made to try and find the original will. “Reaching out to friends, family and advisors is a good starting point and trying to establish a paper trail may also help,” Gavin Faber explained. “Finding the original document will save a potentially time-consuming and costly process in the future.” But what if the original will is nowhere to be found? Being part of the Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team, Gavin frequently sees cases involving disputes over missing wills. He advises that finding evidence that the original will was made can be a great help. “If it’s possible to obtain a solicitors’ file, a copy of the will or even a handwritten note made by the deceased concerning the will, an application can be made to the Probate Registry without the original will.” Where an original will was in the custody of the deceased and cannot be found after their death, there is a legal presumption that the will was destroyed by the deceased with an intention to revoke it. However, this presumption can be overturned in circumstances where

evidence exists to suggest that there is a more probable reason for the will being missing. The court will assess the available evidence and ask itself: is the most likely explanation for the will being missing that the deceased destroyed it with the intention of revoking it? In the absence of any evidence, the presumption will apply. What counts as evidence in this situation? Any sort of records by the deceased or copy wills or oral evidence of conversations with the deceased could be vital pieces of evidence in these situations. “If there’s any sort of letter or record by the deceased about the existence of the will and their intentions for it, then this acts as primary evidence that the original wasn’t destroyed,” said Gavin. This means it may be possible to use a copy of the will for securing probate, but only if the evidence is strong enough. The best way to prevent this scenario would be to store the original will at the solicitors’ office which drew up the document. “It’s the safest place to keep a legal document,” Gavin explained, “Plus the solicitor will be very used to the process.” Telling family, friends or any advisors where your will is stored is helpful for those dealing with your estate. “It’s not a nice thing to think about, but easy access to your will is so important for your family or friends.” Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth’s Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team has a national capability and can assist you with your concerns over missing wills, as well as a range of other probate, trust and estate disputes.

For legal advice, contact Gavin Faber at gavin.faber@irwinmitchell.com Tel - 0121 203 5366 www.irwinmitchellprivatewealth.com

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BUSINESS

GOING FOR GOLD

Olympic boxing medallist Anthony Ogogo launched the £1million scheme

Groups working with under-18s in Birmingham could scoop a share of £1million thanks to a funding scheme launched by house builder Persimmon Homes Central in association with Team GB and the British Olympic Association. The Building Futures programme aims to support community groups across three categories – sports, education and arts and health. Neil Williams, MD of Persimmon Homes Central, said: “We are looking for groups, charities and individuals to come forward.” Monthly grants of £1,000 will be awarded to improve facilities and help community projects.

NEWS STANDING TALL

BUSINESS

MEDICAL FIRST Calthorpe Estates has launched a door-todoor service for national and international private patients undergoing complex healthcare treatments in Edgbaston’s cutting-edge Medical Quarter. The new patient pathway provides patients and referrers with a choice of medical concierge options to access the best of UK treatments in oncology, orthopaedics, trauma, diabetes, rehabilitation, fertility and mental health. Edgbaston Medical Quarter is now home to two-thirds of Birmingham’s healthcare economy, said Calthorpe Estate’s chief executive Mark Lee, pictured.

march 2019

Deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Brigid Jones, led a topping out ceremony at the city’s newest residential skyscraper, The Bank. As part of the event, a time capsule of news clippings and photographs was set into the structure located between Broad Street and Brindleyplace. The development of 406 apartments will be one of only two residential skyscrapers to measure more than 100 metres tall in the city and is expected to complete by the end of 2019.

TRADE MISSION Put out the flags… Birmingham is spearheading a fresh drive to promote trade with the US and Canada – through the creation of the Greater Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce. The Transatlantic Chamber replaces the British American Business Council Midlands Chapter in an ambitious move to become the region’s go-to network for transatlantic trade. The revamped organisation is part of the global BritishAmerican Business network which has 23 chapters across the UK and North America.

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BUSINESS

ZERO HEROES

A zero-waste supermarket in Birmingham has won a top UK award. The Clean Kilo, Gibb Street claimed the £20,000 FedEx Express Small Business Grant. The store was opened by Tom Pell and Jeanette Wong and customers bring their own containers to buy products – as long as they are clean and fit on the shop’s scales! Tom said: “The grant will enable us to reduce plastic pollution further and open the door for a second plastic-free supermarket.”

GRAND FOR DOGS No wonder this little chap looks so perky… he’s just heard the news that solicitors Kang & Co have given £1,000 to Birmingham Dogs Home. The company chose the dogs home as its annual nominated charity and have taken part in a number of fund-raising and volunteering activities, including lawyers cleaning kennels and other duties. Rachel Frost, from the dogs home, said: “We can’t thank the team enough for all its support throughout the year.”

KNOCKOUT ROLE

A Birmingham barristers’ chambers is helping a group of local boxers pack a punch by announcing its new role as club sponsor. No5 Barristers’ Chambers has forged a link with Wellington Boxing Academy in support of the club’s work in the community. The academy was launched eight years ago by Len Woodhall, his son and former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall and head coach Mo Fiaz. Richie said: “The sponsorship will go towards new equipment and our running costs.” IN THE RING: Richie Woodhall, Tony McDaid of No5 Barristers’ Chambers and boxing academy head coach Mo Fiaz

CHEQUE IT OUT

Midlands law firm Higgs & Sons raised

ROYAL TITLE

£22,600 for charity, beating its previous

Music boss Ninder Johal has been appointed Deputy

year’s record-breaking total. Half of the

Lieutenant of the West Midlands. The former

funds went to Higgs’ Charity of the Year,

president of the Black Country Chamber of

Dudley Mind, with the remainder equally

Commerce and current board member of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This is a

split between 10 good causes supported by the Higgs Charitable Foundation. Dudley

great honour for myself, my family and all those who

Mind, based in Stourbridge, is a mental

have supported me.” He has spent 20 years in the

health charity that aims to improve and

music industry and diversified into event production

promote recovery and wellbeing for

with brands such as the Nachural Business Awards

PUTTING BRUM FIRST

people in the area.

and Nachural Entrepreneurship Awards.

A top lawyer has chosen Birmingham to further his career. Paul Pinder has joined Emms Gilmore Liberson, Newhall Street as the new director to its property litigation team. He has relocated from Pinsent Masons in Manchester where he was head of the housing law property disputes team. He said: “EGL has a track record of providing a first class client service in dealing with complex cases. I am very excited to have moved to Birmingham to further my career.” CITY CHOICE: Paul Pinder, left, with associate solicitor Thomas Walsh, right, joins Martyn Liberson’s top team.

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BUSINESS

BUSINESS BITES LONGER LOX

The boss of family-run Barnt Green hair salon Griffins has launched her own hair extensions brand. Loxbox follows on from Michelle Griffin’s award-winning photographic work and educational seminars within the sector and provides hair extensions to suit every need.

TRIAL RUN

SENIOR MOVE

Thursfields Solicitors is launching an undergraduate work placement programme for 10 budding lawyers at its Solihull office this summer. The Midlands law firm, which has eight offices across the region and employs 155 staff, has organised a programme that includes mock trials, marketing activities and the chance to run your own law firm for a day. Thursfields was named Family Law Firm of the Year for the Midlands at the Family Law Awards.

HEADING FOR OZ

TOP 100 LIST

Lighting Reality, the Birmingham-based experts in design software applications for outdoor and street lighting, has appointed an Australian agency to drive the next phase of its growth in the southern hemisphere. Dragon Lighting in Perth will spearhead the firm’s expansion into Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and

CHILD’S PLAY

Singapore. CEO Tony Cook, pictured, said: “Lighting Reality is already established as the UK’s first choice among lighting manufacturers and local authorities.”

Law firm Browne Jacobson has elected its first female senior partner. Caroline Green, one of the firm’s longest serving partners, jointly heads up the firm’s retail sector group. Her clients include some of the world’s leading premium fashion retail brands.

Amanda Hanmore, partner at top 40 law firm Trowers & Hamlins, has been listed in The Lawyer's Top 100 list 2019. Amanda is head of the firm’s Birmingham real estate team and is one of only two lawyers who made it on to the list from the West Midlands.

Edgbaston Priory Club has teamed up with Bright Minds Daycare to launch its new creche. The club’s existing facilities have undergone a complete refurbishment, incorporating sporting themes to create a bespoke creche to stimulate development while inspiring health and wellbeing. Club chief executive Robert Bray said: “This partnership enhances the offer for our young families, allowing parents to enjoy tennis, squash and fitness confident in the knowledge that their children are in a safe and nurturing environment.”

ON THE BALL

Award-winning local house builder Hayfield is putting its shirt on Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club. The Solihull firm has become the club’s newest corporate sponsor as part of the builder’s Commitment to the Community programme. The deal sees players wearing Hayfield branded kits as well as additional advertising around the pitch. Hayfield MD, Mark Booth, said: “We recently relocated our head office within Birmingham to Solihull and we wanted to pledge our support to this local team. “

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ANNIVERSARY EVENT LAUNCHES BIG YEAR

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ereavement charity Edward’s Trust launched a year of celebrations to mark its 30th anniversary with a special event at the Binding Site group, Edgbaston. Guests were welcomed by patron and Binding Site CEO, Charles de Rohan, before hearing about the Trust’s three decades of work from founder Peter Dent. CEO Yvonne Gilligan talked through plans for the future and introduced the event programme for 2019. An exciting year began with patron Judy Dyke receiving an MBE from the Queen for her amazing support for the Trust. I

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1 The Binding Site staff. 2 Deak Lake, Lucy Goodway. 3 Judy Dyke, Peter Dent. 4 Lucy Goodway, Richard Page Mariam Al-ani. 6 Judy Dyke, David Christie. 7 Peter Barrett, Peter Dent. 8 Cynthia Lawson, Aine Gallagher.

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YOUTH MESSAGE AT FIRST FASHION SHOW 2

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Choose life over death is focus in fight to change knife gang culture lphaatire’s first event and fashion show was held at TC’s Centre, Moseley Road, Balsall Heath in conjunction with new clothing brand Life Over Death (L-OR.D) which focuses on making a positive change within youth in relation to gang culture and knife crime. The show was hosted by Shovon Wiggan and as well as clothes from Alphaatire and Life Over Death, there were performances from artists Jay L’ Booth, Slickz and RsKrr. I

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1 Samantha-Jayne, Heckly Man. 2 Sharna Johnson, Jasmine Barnard. 3 Tanya Fuller, Ben Ffrench, Abe Gabriel. 4 Isa Khan, Mya Henry. 5 Zeryab Nadeem, Amy Saunders. 6 Levar Darrell, Handreth McGowan. 7 Tanya Fuller, Abe Gabriel. 8 Juddah James, Tueson Stuart, Shovon Wiggan. 9 Tammy Rose Bringloe, Lloyd McDonald. Photography by Andrew Llewellyn

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GUESTS GIVEN TASTE OF NEW RESTAURANT

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Contemporary Chinese eatery lays on food, drink and entertainment ore than 200 guests were welcomed to Tattu for an evening of food, drink and entertainment on the eve of the opening of the new restaurant and bar in Barwick Street. They were treated to Champagne, cocktails and spirits alongside a selection of contemporary Chinese canapÊs from the new menu, including lobster prawn toast, sticky beef short rib and wild mushroom spring rolls. A DJ provided live entertainment while guests took the chance to explore the venue’s yin and yang-inspired interior. I

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1 Victoria Ball, Raj Sanghera, Marcus Hawley, Pieter Claussen. 2 Abz and Poonam Walid. 3 David Pardoe, Andrew Riley. 4 Katy Paddock, Anita Champaneri, Tru and Tara Powell. 5 Mandeep Rajput, Qasim Majid, Bilal Hussein, Pawan Kenth. 6 Sophie Canning, Anna Hawkins. 7 Sunny Sanga, Angie Wallsworth, Kate Murray, Liesel Aldridge.

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BIG NIGHT HONOURS BUSINESS EXCELLENCE 2

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Signature Awards hail region’s finest and welcome TV Dragons’ Den star he fifth annual Signature Awards, celebrating excellence in the region’s business, manufacturing and service industries, were held in front of a sell-out, 560-strong audience at the ICC. Keynote speaker Piers Linney of BBC’s Dragons’ Den outlined the changing economic landscape as a result of technological advances and the impact of AI (Artificial Intelligence). The premier Business of the Year award was won by Walsall-based, The Staffing Group, which has grown to become one of the UK’s top 30 recruitment agencies. The evening raised £6,500 for Acorns children’s charity. I

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1 Entrepreneur of the Year: James Tark. 2 Small Business of the Year: KMB Shipping Group. 3 Excellence in Promoting Apprenticeships: Total Training Company. 4 Excellence in Real Estate: Bahram Parinchy (Pro Build 360). 5 Business of the Year: The Staffing Group. 6 Excellence in Finance: Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank plc. 7 International Innovation Enterprise: Byron Dixon (Microfresh). 8 Business Person of the Year: Manjeet Rai.

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SCHOOL HAS A BALL TO MARK 140 YEARS Black-tie event celebrates highlights of Hallfield School, past and present allfield School celebrated its 140th anniversary with a Founders Ball at Birmingham Conference and Events Centre. The black-tie event was attended by Old Hallfieldians, parents and staff – past and present – as friends of school celebrated Hallfield’s huge successes. The evening kicked off with a Champagne reception, followed by a three-course meal and wine and ended with a bang as guests were treated to live music and a disco. I

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Stunning setting and great food for guests at Resorts World restaurant esorts World launched its multi-million pound bar and restaurant transformation, Sky By The Water, with a special party serving classic comfort cooking, cocktails and afternoon tea in its stunning fifth-floor rooftop setting. Guests enjoyed drinks and cocktails, canapĂŠs from head chef Aaron Darnley and chocolate bon bons from head pastry chef and Bake Off: The Professionals finalist, Darryl Collins. I

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1 Paul Mitchell, Anita Champaneri, Matthew Dodwell. 2 Ed James, Adam Woodyatt, Gary Newbon. 3 Rob Palmer, Glynn Purnell, Darryl Collins, Aaron Darnley. 4 Ashlie Nevin, Rebecca Bohemia, Kerstyn Zeslawski. 5 John Hornby, Mayor of Solihull Cllr Flo Nash, Ian Bennett. 6 Kate Manion, Sarah Morris. 7 GBBO The Professionals reunited: Darryl Collins, Hideko Kawa, Bharat Chandegra. 8 Linda Leggett, Janine Peel, Tracy Whitehouse, Hannah Smith. 9 Kelly Cridland, Kim Keyes, Karen Basnett.

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ing ON il vWHAT’S

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WHAT: Birmingham Wine Weekend WHEN: 22 to 24 March WHERE: Various venues, www.birminghamwineweekend.co.uk From charming wine bars to stylish hotels, there are some cracking venues taking part in this great event aimed at novices, connoisseurs and everyone in between.

WHAT: Edmond de Bergerac WHEN: 15 to 30 March WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel:0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk Inspired by the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond de Bergerac took France by storm and now makes its Englishlanguage premiere at the Rep. The story of how a desperate playwright draws on his problems to write a new comedy.

WHAT: Busted WHEN: 29 March WHERE: Resorts World Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com The boys have grown-up without growing old and their fourth album finds the trio returning to their hyperactive pop-punk sound. The tour celebrates Half Way There which was released last month to critical acclaim.

WHAT: UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro WHEN: 29 March WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com With 2019 marking 40 years since UB40 first performed live, the legendary reggae band will be celebrating with a greatest hits set that promises to blow your socks off.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: James Morrison WHEN: 30 March WHAT: Mother’s Day

WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute,

WHEN: 31 March

www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham

WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 212 3383 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Bring along mum for a beautiful day at these incredible gardens – and as a special treat mothers go free all day, with a paying adult.

James Morrison is one of the biggest success stories of his era and now he’s starting an exciting new chapter in his career with his new album, You’re Stronger Than You Know and his first full UK tour in three years.

WHAT: Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70 WHEN: 19 and 20 March WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk

WHAT: Wise Children WHEN: 2 to 6 April WHERE: Belgrade Theatre, tel: 02476 553055

He’s 54 and the NHS is 70. If Mark makes it to the UK national average life expectancy of 84, the NHS will be 100. What will they both look like then? What’s going right, what’s going wrong and how does it get better?

www.belgrade.co.uk Emma Rice takes on a starring role as showgirl Nora Chance in this critically-acclaimed production, based on the classic novel by Angela Carter. This is a wonderful show that celebrates family, forgiveness and hope.

WHAT: Taming of the Shrew WHEN: From 8 March WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk

WHAT: Crufts 2019 WHEN: 7 to 10 March WHERE: Birmingham NEC, tel: 0844 338 0338 www.crufts.org.uk The biggest and best dog show in the world is back with more than 20,000 pooches competing for the prestigious title of Best in Show!

march 2019

In a reimagined 1590, England is a matriarchy. Baptista Minola is seeking to sell off her son Katherine to the highest bidder. Cue an explosive battle of the sexes in this electrically charged love story. A very fresh perspective on Shakespeare’s fierce, energetic comedy of gender and materialism.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Ruth Theodore WHEN: 19 March WHERE: Kitchen Garden Cafe, tel: 0121 443 4725 www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk Ruth Theodore’s songs fascinate audiences with their gripping honesty, distinctive lyricism and unconventional guitar tunings.

WHAT: Nish Kumar WHEN: 15 March WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk There will be jokes about politics, mankind’s capacity for self-destruction and whether it will lead to the end of days. What’s not to like.

WHAT: Dan Snow – An Evening with the History Guy WHEN: 30 March WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel: 01527 65203 www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk The well-known historian and TV presenter recounts anecdotes of memorable experiences from his very successful career. Includes a Q&A.

WHAT: Sheridan Smith – A Northern Soul WHEN: 21 March WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Her latest album included collaborations with some of the world’s leading songwriters and this show delves into a deeply personal collection of contemporary songs.

WHAT: WNO – The Magic Flute WHEN: 7 and 9 March WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com Welsh National Opera’s irresistible production of this classic transports you to a dream world, full of colourful characters. A witty story combined with Mozart’s sublime music adds up to an unforgettable opera experience for all ages.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Mirga conducts Shostakovich WHEN: 16 March WHERE: Symphony Hall,

WHAT: Back to the 70s Party

tel: 0121 780 3333

with Chris Nott WHEN: 30 March WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk Enjoy this top tribute to the super stars of the 70s, including the magical David Essex from the TV’s Stars in Your Eyes winner. A proper glam night out.

www.cbso.co.uk/whats-on Shostakovich called his Fifth Symphony ‘a Soviet artist’s response to just criticism’ – but then, in Stalin’s Russia, he didn’t have much choic and the music tells a far darker story. In this special concert, Mirga Gražinyt-Tyla explores every facet of a 20th-century icon.

WHAT: Antiques for Everyone WHEN: 4 to 7 April WHERE: NEC, 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.

WHAT: Shappi Khorsandi WHEN: 6 April WHERE: The Old Rep, www.oldreptheatre.co.uk Comedian, author, cultural icon and – most recently – the idiot who agreed to be tortured on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! A brand new hour of sharptongued gags and cultural observation.

WHAT: Yamato: The Drummers of Japan WHEN: 3 March WHERE: Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Now in their 25th year, the world-renowned Taiko drummers return to the UK with the premiere of Jhonetsu (Passion). This is a thrilling show packed with the exhilarating and explosive energy of these incredible musicians.

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IN THE CITY WITH ROS ROBINS OF DANCE CONSORTIUM

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I am executive director of Dance Consortium based at Birmingham Hippodrome. The Consortium of 20 large-scale theatres was set up in 2000 to tour the best international contemporary dance across the UK and Ireland. Birmingham Hippodrome takes a lead role in the Consortium. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? I have lived in Bournville for 25 years and take the train into the city. I also travel internationally and on a good day I can leave home, travel by train via New Street to Birmingham International and get through security at the airport within the hour. HOW’S THE COMMUTE? Occasionally I drive into work if I am going to see a show and will be coming home late but always regret it. I welcome the creation of the cycle lanes and proposed congestion charge. I would never risk cycling down Bristol Road – but with the lanes in place maybe I will try it!

ROS ROBINS:

Let’s hear it for our

ambitious European city and

the likes of Grand Central,

Brindleyplace and Digbeth

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? I was a student at Birmingham University in the late 70s but left the city after graduating. I returned 13 years later for an interview and couldn’t believe my eyes. It had become a modern, ambitious European city – I loved it! I’ve been fortunate to have lived and worked here when there has been great support for cultural organisations. COFFEE BREAK? The Hippodrome is opening up its front of house areas during the day and the new cafe on the second floor serves a great cup of coffee. LUNCHTIME? I am a big fan of Grand Central and New Street Station and the restaurants and cafes housed under the glass roof. I particularly like Pho and Leon. POWERWALKING? If I have a day working at home then I have various walking (and very occasionally jogging) routes. There are so many great parks and canals in the city. WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? Brindleyplace, particularly the pools and fountains and the beautiful Ikon building. The planners did a great job combining offices, restaurants and cafes with beautiful recreational areas. Digbeth still has lots of potential and it’s been great to see art galleries and performance spaces created in the factories and warehouses around the Custard Factory. Rico Libre Tapas is one of my favourite restaurants. AFTERWORK PINT? It’s usually the foyer of an arts building before the show so the Hippodrome, the Rep or Midlands Arts Centre for a vodka and tonic please... HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? I am particularly excited by what has been happening outside of the city centre. The developments in Stirchley have been great to see with new bars, cafes and restaurants opening along Pershore Road – I love Alicia’s Bakehouse, Wildcat, the P Cafe, JoJo Wood and now we have our own fudge shop… all very exciting!

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Profile for Birmingham Living Magazine

March issue 2019 (issue 78)  

March issue 2019 (issue 78)  

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