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Birmingham g n i liv

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May 2018

GET SET FOR

SUMMER! SIZZLING STYLE WICKED WINE GREAT OUTDOORS

GLEE CLUB

ADAM JAREMKO

RISING STAR LUCIE SHORTHOUSE

ED JAMES

PLOGGING ALONG

WAKING UP WITH THE HEART FM DJ

+ MATT CHEAL + JQ’S LUKE CRANE + MISS MACAROON + PICCOLINO


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EDITOR’S VIEW The hand-over ceremony to Birmingham for the next Games in 2022 was a real lump in the throat moment. What we saw in Australia will be our turn before we know it!

he celebration of sport and brotherhood that was the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games proved to be a remarkable spectacle. The hand-over ceremony to Birmingham for the next Games in 2022 was a real lump in the throat moment. What we saw in Australia will be our turn before we know it! The Commonwealths have a unique feel about them unlike anything that the Olympics or World Championships can conjure. The competition is fierce but the spirit that sums up the Commonwealth in its wider context in the world is clear for all to see. The joy in taking part is as obvious as the will and need to win. I was struck on the TV coverage by the number of athletes from all nations who pointed to their predecessors who competed in previous Games as their inspiration. Legacy is a word that is much banded about to justify the large expenditure to stage these sporting extravaganzas. I’m convinced that Birmingham will benefit hugely from the global exposure and income generated by the 2022 Games. I’m also sure that there will be tens of thousands of young people in the city and Midlands as a whole who will watch the action and be inspired in their futures. As the Games were being held Down Under, my daughter gave birth to a baby girl, Olivia Nieve. (That’s granddaughter number three in total for me in the past 18 months!!) Olivia will be four when the Commonwealth comes to Brum – and even though probably a bit too young to appreciate the wonder of the sport, as a granddad I look forward to taking her to watch some of the great athletes who I’m sure will inspire her as she grows up. That’s what legacy means to me. Inspiring young minds to know that anything is possible, everything is achievable. Bring on Birmingham 2022.

T

David Johns

Editor: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

Cover image: Ed James

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

may 2018

/bhamliving

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

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g n i liv

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INSIDE

Highlights

12 16 20 22 32 42

Ed James The chirpy Heart FM Breakfast presenter on how positivity chilled a radio star

Lucie Shorthouse Why everybody’s talking about the Birmingham actress with West End rave reviews Chef’s Corner How Matt Cheal went from pot-washing for pocket money to running his own restaurant Food & Drink News, reviews and recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene, plus Rob Price’s Best 100 wines Style Bold, brilliant, beautiful! This season is a technicolour riot of prints for girls… and guys Health & Fitness Forget jogging – we’re all plogging in the new ‘fitter-litter’ craze from Scandinavia

22

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CONTENTS

16

Best of the Rest

46 58 60 66 72 78 82 may 2018

Homes Want to transform your garden or courtyard into a summer sizzler? Here’s how! Motoring Gone with the wind – Sue Cooke breezes off in Maserati’s sexy but practical Levante S Young, Gifted & Brummie Asmita Chaudhari takes the world of badminton by storm – and still finds time for GCSEs Business Company to watch Miss Macaroon, plus news & views from the business community Social Scene The pages that picture who’s been out and about networking in Birmingham this month Shows, Arts, Gigs and More What’s on, where and when – all you need to know about the city’s entertainment scene In The City With Luke Crane, executive director of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust

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NEWS

g n i liv TODAY PEDAL TO PARIS

Fancy a bike ride with a difference? Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity is looking for pedallers to take part in its second annual London to Paris bike ride in September. Cyclists of all abilities can take part in the 300mile, four-day challenge to raise funds for sick children and their families cared for at the hospital. Details on how to sign up at www.bch.org.uk/Event/london-paris

Bringing you the brightest and most

colourful stories from across the city each month

RSC’S YOUTH BOOST A new partnership is helping young people from a range of backgrounds to raise aspirations through theatre. Positive Youth Foundation and the Royal Shakespeare Company have committed to engaging more young people in Coventry and Warwickshire

through a range of activities at the RSC.The most recent saw 50 young people take part in the Community Literary Carnival Pageant, using the play Romeo and Juliet as inspiration – part of Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations.

BENJAMIN’S LIFE AND RHYMES Internationally renowned poet, musician and Birmingham Living cover star Benjamin Zephaniah has hit the road on his first solo UK tour in eight years. Shows coincide with the publication of his autobiography, The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah, and include Birmingham Town Hall on 15 June. Benjamin reflects on a life that includes a close friendship with Nelson Mandela, a musical career that has included collaborations with Sinead O’Conner and The Wailers, and his political campaigning.

may 2018

ON TRACK TO HELP HOMELESS An encounter with a homeless man on the streets while waiting for a late night taxi in Wolverhampton has led to a singer-song writing duo releasing a track first written 25 years ago – with all record sales going to charity. Cornerstone, headed by musicians Dave Lawrence and Jamie Davey, are hoping that the single, Taxi Rank, will boost funds for charities including St George’s HUB in their home city. Hear Cornerstone at www.cornerstoneband.com or facebook.com/cornerstone201

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NEWS

OLYMPIC WINNER The physio for two of the British bobsledders at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, is among the winners of a motivational competition focusing on fitness and wellbeing in the Midlands. Lou Davis, 34, pictured left, from Solihull will receive advice from local beauty entrepreneur and fitness model Monika Shine and sports nutrition advice from Olympic gold medal sprinter Darren Campbell as well as a six-week training programme with fitness coach Matt Worster.

ON COURSE FOR CHARLOTTE Twelve days to raise £20,000. That’s the target of a crowdfunding page aimed at finding and paying for alternative treatment for University of Birmingham nursing student Charlotte Taylor, aged 19, after she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Friends set up the page and have been joined by Co-Op stores in the area holding fund-raisers including a golf tournament and black tie event. More details on #Cheer4Charl Black Tie Fundraising Dinner & Dance, e-mail sue.bastock@bastockfirth.co.uk

FILM ‘STARS’ AT THE DOUBLE Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice is calling on former staff and visitors to

GET SET FOR FUN RUN

share memories of the hospice for a

Heart Research UK and Subway are on their marks for

new archive. John Taylor has been

the return of their popular fun run at Cannon Hill

supporting families since 1910 and the

Park, Birmingham this summer. This year’s event

new history section of its website

takes a twist by including the Field of Fresh Challenge

features films of two women – Pat Murr,

when runners have the option of tackling a giant

90, of Sutton Coldfield and Pat Seickell,

inflatable course in the final 500 metres. The park

79, of Lichfield – recounting their time as nurses at what was then called Taylor

will also feature the Family Village with free

Memorial Home. See the films at https://www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk/about-

entertainment, including face painting, music, games

us/our-history. Share stories by emailing enquiries@johntaylorhospice.org.uk

and more inflatables. Details at www.5ksubway.com

ARTISTS GO WITH THE FLOW Young artists are taking to the water to get their creative juices flowing. Ikon Gallery’s Ikon Youth Programme Slow Boat launched with designer Keith Dodds inviting visitors aboard to make their own limited edition screen-print. Ikon Slow Boat is in the second year of a three-year programme, Looping the Loop, in Ladywood district. The converted narrow boat is a unique floating space which offers a stimulating and creative environment for artists and local communities.

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NEWS

WORLD CUP DRUMMERS Six percussion students from Royal

SOUTHSIDE IN FOCUS

Birmingham Conservatoire performed in

Life in Southside is the focus of more

front of a crowd of nearly 16,000 at the

than 2,000 images shot over a year by

Gymnastics World Cup at Arena Birmingham.

Birmingham photographer Ross Jukes.

Led by Sophie Hastings, the Millennial

Ross was commissioned by Rockspring

Percussion ensemble performed an excerpt from Apex by Golden Globe-nominated composer Ben Wallfisch, who has worked on more than 60 feature films over the last decade, including Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk and Hidden Figures.

Property Investment Managers, owners of the Forum, a development of 333 apartments on the site of the former ice rink in Pershore Street. Thirty-three images split into four categories – people, places, festivals and street art – were shown in a special public exhibition at Birmingham Hippodrome.

MAKE A DATE WITH MATILDA The multi-award winning Matilda The Musical is coming to Brum. Performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the musical at Birmingham Hippodrome from 3 July to 8 September is inspired by the book by Roald Dahl. It is the story of a little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

IN BRIEF £1M MILESTONE Birmingham is the first Near Neighbours hub to receive £1million in grants to bring people together across different backgrounds. The million barrier was broken by English Through Song – a project by St Chad’s Sanctuary in partnership with Birmingham Opera Company.

ROBOT FIRST

DISASTER DEMO

CHARITY’S RECORD YEAR Birmingham-based blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia had a record year in 2017 with a

Hundreds of people in Birmingham got a

gross income of more than £2.2million – 50 per

taste of what it’s like to respond to a

cent up on previous years. The extra cash

humanitarian crisis. Representatives from

helped complete the £3.4million funding of the

organisations including West Midlands Fire

Centre for Clinical Haematology expansion at

Service, International Search and Rescue,

Queen Elizabeth Hospital and also secured

Save the Children and bomb disposal

national support from Deutsche Bank. Ten per

experts MAG (Mines Advisory Group) were

cent of the additional £1million came from

among those at a special demonstration in

fund-raising by Wolverhampton Wanderers and

Victoria Square to show how UK charities

their fans in support of goalkeeper Carl Ikeme

respond to earthquakes, hurricanes and

who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

tsunamis around the world.

may 2018

World-leading Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham has introduced breakthrough robotic-arm assisted surgery. The Stryker Mako arm is used in hip and knee replacements in the hospital’s newly-launched Woodlands Suite.

TIME TO SHOP Primark’s largest ever store is on track to open in December at Birmingham Pavilions. The store will showcase five floors of fashion over 160,000 sq ft of retail space and will employ a total of 900 people.

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NEWS

CARLEEN BARES HER SOUL The power of protest songs was the theme when four gifted soul, jazz and hip hop artists came to town. A Change Is Gonna Come at Birmingham Town Hall brought together on stage soulster Carleen Anderson, pictured, jazz virtuosos Nikki Yeoh and Nubya Garcia and Mercury prize-winning rapper Speech Debelle. Their music, including classics and new compositions, highlighted the on-going fight for equal human rights. Nikki said: “Art must not be anodyne, culture cannot be decorative, artists should challenge the most powerful in our society.”

WHY YOU LOVE KINGS HEATH Moseley and Kings Heath are the best places to live in Birmingham, according to a poll. More than 1,500 Brummies took part in the survey held by Birmingham-based developer SevenCapital.

AFTER 80 YEARS, JOHN COMES HOME

Twenty per cent of voters named Moseley and Kings Heath as the city’s number one, with Harborne next taking 15 per cent of votes. Solihull

Ninety-one-year-old John Poulter went back

won 14 per cent, followed by Sutton Coldfield (13

to the future at a special ceremony. John cut

per cent) and the Jewellery Quarter (12 per cent).

the ribbon at the opening of a sales and marketing suite launching a 107-home Midlands retirement village at Wood Norton. The suite is located in Wood Norton’s South Lodge – where John was born in 1927 and lived until he was 10. The project is being built by Richmond Villages, part of Bupa, and is scheduled to open in early 2019.

LET’S DANCE BIRMINGHAM! Award-winning Birmingham International Dance Festival has revealed the programme for its sixth extravaganza which runs from 1 to 24 June. The festival will feature gravity defying dance, cool urban freestylers, inflated latex suits, world-class choreography and dazzling light shows. There’s also two new festival partners with West Midlands Railway and Colmore Business District joining core funders Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council along with Dance Hub Birmingham.

ORCHESTRA IN TUNE WITH CAMPAIGN The People’s Orchestra is heading a campaign to help young cancer victims. Local musicians are signing up to a stem cell register and held a concert at West Bromwich Town Hall after fellow member and cancer survivor Beatrice Edwards, aged 22, pictured, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two weeks before her 18th birthday. Beatrice is encouraging other UK orchestras to raise awareness of stem cell trusts and to sign up to help save young lives. More details at www.thegreatorchstraadventure.com

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

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COVER STORY

ED

POSITIVELY Can anyone really be as chirpy 24/7 as

Heart FM breakfast presenter Ed James?

David Johns chats to the happy chappie – and

is left feeling everything is right with the world d James is one of life’s positive people. Anyone who has woken up, showered, got dressed and set off to work listening to the Heart FM Breakfast Show presenter will know what we mean. In another life, you could be forgiven for thinking that he is just too chirpy to be true. But as an early morning radio DJ he fits the bill perfectly. After all, no one wants to start the day listening to a moody, grumpy, old fart over the airwaves. But the big question I wanted to know the answer to, once I knew I’d be interviewing Ed for Birmingham Living, was: Can anyone, really be so completely and utterly chipper once the On Air sign has gone out and the earphones have been ditched for the day? The answer is: Yes he can!

E

BOOK PROJECT What you get from six until 10 each morning is how Ed is away from the studio. We’ve all heard of Mr Motivator, well meet Mr Positivity! In fact, Ed is so upbeat and generally ‘everything in the world is rosy’, that he’s planning a book, workshops and online courses to spread his message of positivity and self-improvement to the rest of us. “It’s based on a strategy that has helped me enormously over the past few years,” explains Ed. “The concept is to make people feel happier. I’m a big fan of positive thinking. I’ve been through some hard stuff, we all have, and it’s how you cope with it that matters. I’ve formulated a strategy that works for me and will I’m sure work for other people too.” Ed’s hard times include the split from his wife and failure of a fledgling PR business.

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The popularity of Ed and the Breakfast Show continues to soar. He’s been at the helm for 16 years this January and in that time has shared the airwaves with four co-hosts – Sarah-Jane Mee (now a Sky News TV anchor), Helen Wheels, Rachel New (for nearly nine years) and for the past year Gemma Hill.

LAUGH LINES “It doesn’t feel like 16 years,” says Ed. “My job is the best job in the world and I love it. You wouldn’t be able to do something for this long and still get a huge kick out of it if you didn’t really love what you do.” And he joked: “Yeah, of course, the older you get the more sleep you feel you need, but early starts have never been a problem for me. And I can say that I’ve had a great time with each of my copresenters. We basically have a laugh every morning.” It’s obvious talking to Ed that he loves the interaction with other people. On radio it’s a big part of what gives him such a buzz. “I get up at 4.30am, get to work around 5am or 5.30am, have a coffee and we get started at six. People call in to us, text us, tweet us and we have a great time together. It all feels fresher than ever and right now we seem to be getting a lot of new listeners tuning in which is great of course.” Hitting on the right chemistry between the show’s presenters is key, and Ed and Gemma seem to have the perfect partnership. “I thought after such a long time with Rachel who became such a close friend as

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COVER STORY

No one wants to start the day

listening to a moody, grumpy, old fart over the airwaves. Ed is so

upbeat he’s writing a book about it!

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COVER STORY

I’ve always been a fan of Brum.

It has become an amazing place with so much going on and so much to admire

well as a work colleague, it would take ages to get a relationship going on-air with Gemma, but we just clicked,” said Ed. “She is just a naturally crazy person and strange, weird, crazy stuff seems to happen to her all the time...”

HELP HARRY Away from the studio, Ed gives as much time as he can to charity – in particular Help Harry Help Others, of which he is a proud ambassador. The charity was set up by Georgie Moseley, the mum of young brain cancer victim Harry who died seven years ago, aged 11. Of Georgie and her tireless campaign to raise awareness of brain cancer and to improve facilities, Ed says: “Georgie is a true legend. The fact that she started a drop-in cancer support centre off her own bat is amazing and she has huge plans to open many more centres. I try to help the charity whenever I can and host their annual fund-raising ball.” Ed also gets behind Heart FM’s own annual Make Some Noise charity campaign as well as taking part in events, including running a half marathon, for the Air Ambulance. As a journalist, he’s also a keen advocate of the local media, having been a past

may 2018

president of Birmingham Press Club, the world’s oldest press organisation. BEST OF BRUM Most of all, Ed says he loves Birmingham. “I’ve always been a fan of Brum. When I arrived 16 years ago it felt like we didn’t quite believe we were as good as Manchester, but now we have caught up and gone past them. What we all worked for and hoped for in the city is here. Birmingham has become an amazing place with so much going on and so much to admire.” Over 16 years it is tough to pick out career highlights but Ed says he has been “incredibly fortunate” to have interviewed some of the world’s top stars on the Breakfast Show – including the likes of Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Lionel Richie and Kylie Minogue. “But the best stuff we do is when we chat with the people who call up on the show. We talk about real things and issues. Things that people can relate to. That’s the reason why, after 16 years, I don’t want to change what I do.” I Tune in to Heart Breakfast with Ed & Gemma weekdays from 6am.

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FEATURE

LUCIE

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT

In West End smash Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Lucie Shorthouse

plays Jamie’s plucky best friend. Here, the award-winning actress takes centre stage talking to Shelley Carter about her first musical drama role inning a WhatsOnStage Award voted for by the public for your West End debut would be dreamy for any young actor or actress, but for the Midlands own Lucie Shorthouse it was just the icing on the cake. Critically acclaimed Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was Lucie’s biggest job to date having most notably filmed a cameo in Clean Break, appeared in Doctors and played a victim in In The Line of Duty as well as featuring in The Sound of Music Live. She relished her first musical theatre role playing Jamie’s supportive best friend Pritti Pasha and embraced the West End musical with gusto finding the experience ‘everything she imagined it could be’ with a ‘dream cast’ to boot. With five Olivier Award nominations under its belt, there’s now talk of the production going Stateside and if she was asked to cross the pond with it Lucie would jump at it.

W

DRAG QUEEN AT 16 Directed by Jonathan Butterell, the play was inspired by the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 and was written by Tom MacRae with music by Dan Gillespie Sells. It’s inspired by the true story of Jamie Campbell, played by John McCrea, who grew up on a Sheffield council estate struggling to fit in, feel accepted and ultimately be himself. Lucie explains: “It’s just about people celebrating their own

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truth with all the trials and tribulations that go with that. Diversity, authenticity, sitting in your own truth, that’s liberating and it’s joyful.” Among the wealth of rave reviews, the Independent describes it as ‘a joyous punch in the air about following your dreams and being yourself ’. The workshop for the show was the first professional job Lucie had with no guarantee she’d actually be cast, but she remembers thinking even then it was something special and a story that needed to be told. With Muslim characters vastly under-represented on stage, Lucie was thrilled to be bucking that trend and felt a responsibility to do it right. She explains: “Pritti is not the token Muslim girl in a hijab. She’s a rich, rounded character that’s integral to the story who is not defined by being a Muslim. And I love how open-minded she is.” She adds: “It’s a responsibility to be playing a character you don’t see that often and I know there’ll be young audience members who are seeing themselves represented on stage for perhaps the first time.” VICTORY FOR DIVERSITY When Lucie won the WhatsOnStage Award for best supporting actress she saw it almost as a victory for diversity. “It was a public vote so I didn’t think I had a chance. It suggests the public wants to see more of this sort of character.” Not that Lucie gives much time to

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FEATURE

dreaming of winning awards. “That’s not why I do it,” she says emphatically. She’d also rather not be famous although we suspect it might be too late for that such has been the popularity of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Having said that, Lucie says nobody recognises her without her character’s hijab, so she can fly under the radar a bit. As a shy child who danced a bit, although apparently with ‘bad feet’, Lucie grew up in Tamworth where the ‘only other brown people she saw were her own family’ who moved from Kenya and settled in the Midlands. “I’m really proud to be from the Midlands and I come home as often as I can. There’s so much space and the theatre scene in Birmingham is rich and exciting. I’ve lost my Brummie accent though except when I’m angry or drunk! It comes out then.” Lucie got into drama at school and then university. She studied English and Drama at Cambridge and says modestly: “I was quite academic.” Having thought university would get the drama bug out of her system, Cambridge Footlights only served to fuel the love and after graduation Lucie enrolled at Italia Conti in London where she studied for two years.

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She trained in drama not musical theatre at Italia Conti and didn’t see her career going down that path particularly, not that she’d turn it down in the future, but Lucie would love to do more TV work too. She says: “TV is so exciting at the moment and the quality is so high. It’s a lot more technical. You don’t necessarily film things in order. I’m still learning to master that.” SPICY MARIA VON TRAPP Lucie’s focus is making exciting work like playing a ‘spicy brown Maria von Trapp’ – a reference to her role in Sound of Music Live. Top of the wish list for the future would be working with Charlie Brooker. “He’s a genius – Black Mirror is so clever,” she says. There are ‘down-times’ as an actress and Lucie is philosophical about that. “I got very down about it in the past, but it’s important not to put all your selfworth into your job, there is more than that.” Lucie’s energy, warmth and obvious talent have got us excited about what’s next. For what it’s worth, we predict more great work followed by the very things she doesn’t desire a great deal – awards and fame – sorry Lucie! I

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FOOD & DRINK

MATT CHEAL The chef director at Cheals in Henley tells how he went from a teenager washing pots for pocket money to running his own stunning restaurant – and serving mum’s fruit cake with seared foie gras! Tell us about your cooking It is very natural and all about being inspired by the best produce available and then I let the ingredients speak for themselves. My training was very French and I love the way food is cooked and served in France and for me it’s still the food capital of the world. I like to think I’m developing my style every day in terms of inspiration and flavour combinations and it’s really important that we stay abreast of the new techniques available to help extract the very best flavours. We’re doing a lot more smoking, brining and because of our amazing location, a lot more foraging which is really inspiring. I bought an allotment too, so we’re growing a lot more of our own stuff which is just fantastic. How did you become a chef? I’m a local lad, born and raised in Solihull, and my family has been in the hotel game for nearly 50 years so I was always hanging around the kitchen watching dad cook and would often help out for some extra cash. I really enjoyed it so I decided to go all the way and enrolled at the College of Food (now UCB). It was a phenomenal place to learn about cooking and they arranged for my first placement at Simpsons. I was there for about 15 years working my way up to head chef before I opened my own place in Henley two-and-a half-years ago. Where has the time gone? Along with my dad and Luke Tipping, Andreas Antona has been my biggest influence. What do you eat when at home? With a young family we try to eat as healthy as possible with loads of fresh produce and vegetables but it also tends to be a lot of simple food like beans on

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toast! My wife always cooks an amazing Sunday lunch and we try to eat out at least once a week with the girls as it’s such a great way to catch up without the distraction of phones, iPads and swimming. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? In the world I would say Massimo Bottura who’s the chef patron of Osteria Francescana in Modena and I recently had an incredible meal at Quique Dacosta in Denia. As for home soil, there’s such a glut of top chefs in the Midlands. I think people like

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CHEF’S CORNER

Brad Carter and Luke Tipping are both great guys and great chefs. All the chefs from our region with Michelin stars fully deserve the accolade. Is the customer always right? It’s a tricky one. Feedback, both good and bad, is so important and you have to be sensible about criticism but the simple answer is yes and no! However, happy customers is what it’s all about and we give everything to try and deliver an amazing experience every time. Share a cooking tip It sounds so simple but you’ve got to season food properly. Keep tasting and remember you can always add but you can’t take away. What was your favourite food as a kid? My mum’s fruit cake. It’s unbelievable good and I actually served it in the restaurant recently with some seared foie gras. It went down really well – I guess I should have given her a credit! If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? Well I wouldn’t mind being a Michelin star inspector but my uncle was in the air force so I think I might have followed him and become a jet fighter pilot. Top Gun was definitely one of my favourite films. Food heaven and hell? A guilty pleasure would have to be Five Guys! As for hell, I really don’t like squid but top of the list would be Nandos; deep fried hell. Most unusual thing eaten? Not so much unusual but I had jellied eel recently in a very well-known restaurant that was particularly unpleasant. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? We’ve just revamped the menu and we’ve added a Cornish Brill dish which I’m very excited about. It’s served with braised celery, truffles, pomme pure and an apple vinegar. Very nice. I Cheals of Henley, 64 High Street, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5BX. Tel: 01564 793856 chealsofhenley.co.uk

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SEASON’S EATINGS

SHORT AND SWEET There’s nothing like British asparagus, especially if you try our great tortilla recipe. But the season’s short, so hurry! he relatively short British asparagus season kicked off on St George’s Day (23 April) and continues until the summer solstice on 21 June. This lovely little veggie is dead easy to prepare and you can boil, steam, grill, roast or BBQ – so be as inventive (or as simple) as you like. Some use it as soldiers for a dippy egg and it’s pretty awesome just grilled with a simple vinaigrette and parmesan shavings. We’re rather partial to this Asparagus Tortilla that you can rustle up in around 20 minutes. Tip: to prepare the asparagus, rinse with water to remove any grit then break off the bottom inch or so using your fingers (the stems will naturally break where the tough woody part ends and the tender stem begins). 

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ASPARAGUS TORTILLA Ingredients:

 A large bunch of asparagus  1 courgette  15g unsalted butter  2 cloves garlic  200g potatoes  1 red onion  6 medium eggs

Method: Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, drop in the asparagus and cook for a few minutes. Remove and plunge the cooked asparagus into iced water. Using the same water used to cook the asparagus, parboil the potatoes and cut into cubes. Thinly slice the courgette and lightly fry in the butter before adding crushed garlic. Continue to cook for a further 6 to 7 minutes until almost sticky. Then add the diced potato and sliced red onion and cook until softened. Beat and season the eggs and then add to the pan, together with the asparagus. When the eggs have just set around the edges, transfer to an oven that’s been preheated to 200°C and cook for a further 6 to 8 minutes or until the tortilla is set. Enjoy with a nice dressed salad.

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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 HOTEL’S NEW BOSS CHECKS IN There’s a new man at the helm of one of Brum’s top hotels. Barry Sherwin, who has 25 years of management experience in the hospitality industry, has taken over as general manager of Hotel du Vin. He succeeds Tony Elvin who left to become general manager of Touchwood Solihull. Barry most recently ran operations for restaurant brand Gusto.

BUILDING A HEAD OF STEAM A vacant unit in Temple Street has been acquired by Camerons Brewery for a new Head of Steam pub – its first venue in Birmingham. The ground floor unit is one of two large leisure spaces in the art deco Somerset House building. Camerons Brewery has been growing its Head of Steam managed pub portfolio throughout the North and the Midlands.

PIZZA THE ACTION AT FIZZ FESTIVAL The Pizza & Prosecco Festival returns to Birmingham on 23 June at Boxxed, offering fun and entertainment for those who love the finest Prosecco and a hot slice of freshly-made pizza, including gluten-free and vegan options. Twenty different types of Prosecco and a variety of cocktails will be served from the Tiny Tipple Van. Entertainment includes dancers and prize games.

CHEF BEN STRIKES SILVER Belfry Hotel & Resort apprentice chef Ben Webster won a silver medal at the International Salon Culinaire – the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition. Ben, who works at the Belfry’s Ryder Grill restaurant, wowed judges with his curry macaroon, goat’s cheese mousse and mango chutney gel inspired by Birmingham’s street food scene and Balti curry heritage.

DASH OF GLAMOUR FROM HAVANA Latin fever is hitting Birmingham with the arrival of the Revolución de Cuba rum bar and cantina in Temple Street. Based in the former Birmingham Law Library, Revolución de Cuba is on two floors with ceiling fans, velvet curtains, chandeliers and antique-style furniture. A flavour of old school Cuban glamour fills the downstairs space with colourful tiled tables, foliage and vintage posters.

HISTORIC HOTEL OPENS DOORS Hotel operator Mercure has a new addition to its UK offering following the refurbishment of the Mercure Warwick Honiley Court Hotel. Located in the village of Honiley, the hotel is a stone’s throw from Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle. Originally a 16th century farmhouse, it has 62 en-suite bedrooms and dining in the Boots Restaurant.

COCKTAIL REVOLUTION Revolution bars in Birmingham and Solihull have unveiled a new cocktail menu featuring creative premium serves alongside non-alcoholic options, a new G&T menu and an extended range of spirits. The new drinks list – with more than 70 cocktails and 30 handcrafted flavour shots – is a tribute to Revolution’s party atmosphere and playlist – Classic Hits, House Beats, Retro Remixes, Tropical Vibes and Sour & Soda Pop.

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LUNCHSPOT

HORSESHOE BAR & GRILL 1214 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 9BH. Tel: 0121 777 2340 thehorseshoebar.co.uk unchtime in the school holidays with children in tow. What to do. We’d been in a car for two hours running errands and in the words of the 11-year-old, everyone was ‘staarrrviiing’. No one wanted the usual childfriendly fodder that comes served with a side of colouring. They’re a bit old for that and we’re a bit bored of that, so we headed to the Horseshoe in Hall Green to try, among other things, the mixed grill which came highly recommended. We were a bit early – the kitchen opens at 1pm – which was verging on a miracle frankly, so had a drink while we waited. We had bigged-up the milkshake menu to the kids, but it turned out the lady who maketh the milkshake wasn’t working which was a bit of let-down. We chose to eat in the bar area which was pretty casual, in a good way, and ate from the mixed grill menu which was unbelievably good value. Most curry dishes were around the £5.50 mark. We nosed around the more formal a la carte restaurant which was smart and stylish with an alternative Great Indian Menu. Slightly more pricey, it was still a steal. Great lighting too.

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We shared a range of dishes; butter chicken, dal makhani and a mixed grill with the usual naan bread and pilau rice. A word to the wise – unless you’re Michael Phelps at the height of Olympic preparations, order a small mixed grill. The large version in isolation was genuinely enough for four or five very hungry adults. Chicken wings, chicken tikka, lamb chops and sheekh kebab were presented piled high on a sizzling skillet. All nicely spiced and still moist and tender, we were impressed. Dal makhani (slow cooked black lentils with herbs in a creamy sauce) was gently spiced and contrasted well with the punchy spicing of the mixed grill. Butter chicken was nothing short of delicious. We mopped up every last drop of the rich sauce with naan like we hadn’t eaten in weeks. The service was slightly haphazard, but it didn’t matter. It just added to the relaxed lunchtime vibe. Had we been on a romantic date it would have irked, but I’m guessing it’s a bit more slick come nightfall and the a la carte would be a more polished affair. I

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FOOD & DRINK

100 WINES

CHART-TOPPING

With thousands of bottles to choose from, how do you find a tipple that’s top of the pops with your tastebuds? Rob Price has the answer…

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FOOD & DRINK

hoosing wine is one of my main pleasures. I love buying and opening a bottle that I’ve not tasted before. But I also appreciate for many people knowing which wines to buy can seem daunting. There is so much choice, which one to buy, does it offer value for money? So, the good folk of the Association of Wine Educators (AWE) have produced a fine little booklet containing 100 wines that each of us (I am a member) have recommended. They are all easily purchased and 77 of them cost less than £15. What’s more, all the wines selected are under £25 and what they all have in common – as well as being great wines – is excellent value for money.

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DECISIONS, DECISIONS As Laura Clay, the person who compiled this awesome set of wines commented: “Sometimes when you are faced with row upon row of enticing wines from faraway places and with meaningless names, a little bit of guidance can be helpful. You’ll find this a useful guide for your wine shopping as well as leading you towards new and exciting vinous experiences.” The Association of Wine Educators is group of highly experienced wine educators, all qualified to at least Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma level, and we get to taste many wines during the course of our arduous (cough!!) jobs. We all selected three wines and together they make the 100 AWEsome wines in this booklet. For the record… my selections were Ruppertsberger Hoheburg 2016, a lovely refreshing white Riesling from Germany. Off-dry with lovely fresh apple and lime, it’s fantastic with spicy food and is available from the Wine Society at £7.25.

ROB’S AWESOME 4SOME Montepulciano d ’Abruzzo 2016, Italy – Lidl, £3.99 Here is a wine that costs under £4 which not only makes pleasurable drinking but also has some authentic Montepulciano character. It’s the sort of wine that would be drunk thirstily by the carafe in Italian restaurants. (Selected by Richard Bampfield, Master of Wine) Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer 2014, Elgin Valley, South Africa – Wine Trust 100, £11.95 A glorious example of this aromatically floral and lychee-laden grape, here with lime zest, lemongrass and spicy flavours, too. Slightly off-dry, it works brilliantly with spicy dishes, fish and anything with coconut milk. (Selected by Laura Clay, compiler of 100 AWEsome wines) Château de la Grave ‘Grains Fins’, Côtes de Bourg 2015, France – Wine Society, £9.95 A recent find, this wine has big, broad flavours of dusky yellow peach. Dry and long, it is full of character and is all the better decanted. An unusual blend of 70 per cent Semillon and 30 per cent Colombard. (Selected by Geoff Bolton, Birmingham Wine School presenter) Château la Dauphine, Fronsac 2014, Bordeaux, France – Lea & Sandeman, £23.95 The stride forward in quality here is startling - fabulously perfumed with spicy black fruits and a perfect balance between juicy acidity and silky tannins. (Selected by Helen Savage)

have our own preferences so attending wine tasting events does give you an opportunity to taste several wines together, and then of course you can go and buy your favourites. With thousands of wines available narrowing the field down to a top 100 is not so easy, so I’ve picked out four more choices made by leading AWE members and friends which I would also thoroughly recommend trying... I If you want to see all 100 AWEsome wines, you can view

EASY TO DRINK Majestic’s new Definition range is pretty good across the board, but I especially like their take on Beaujolais Villages. From the 2016 vintage, this is a fresh, easy to drink red wine, costing £11.99. And Tesco’s Vina del Cura, Rioja Gran Reserva, is just one of the best Riojas I have tasted. It’s mellow, smooth, with lovely spice and a long finish and costs £11. Remember though wine tasting is personal, we all

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and download by visiting www.wineeducators.com/100awesome-wines Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Warwick and Milton Keynes city centres. More information from Rob Price, 0121 270 7359 or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

LET’S DRINK TO SUMMER English strawberries, white rum and plenty of ice… it just doesn’t get any better! t may be raining, but let’s kid ourselves that summer is nearly here and tuck into one of the simplest cocktails to make using white rum. With the strawberry season kicking off in earnest, this lovely frozen version certainly hits the spot. So, chill out, relax… and as always, drink responsibly. I

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STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI Ingredients:

I Two measures of rum

I One measure of strawberry liqueur I One measure of lime juice I Six strawberries I Ice cubes

Method: Prepare a Martini glass by rubbing the rim with a lime wedge and then with granulated sugar. Add all ingredients in a blender. Add one or two tablespoons of sugar if you like your drinks extra sweet. Blend until smooth. Pour in the prepared glass.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

PICCOLINO Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS. Tel: 0121 634 3055 individualrestaurants.com/piccolino/birmingham/ sometimes think we’re a bit snooty about chains, like somehow ambition is a dirty word. And when does a chain become a chain anyway? Two restaurants, three, four? By those standards the brilliant and local Sabai Sabai would be a chain. We enjoy supporting independents as much as the next man – they’re exciting, unique, local and feel-good, but what’s wrong with the odd chain? Cue Piccolino which we hadn’t frequented in a long time. Oozells Square in springtime has to be one of the most photographed spots in Brum after the Selfridges building. We’ve all done it and watched the ‘likes’ flood in. Delicate pink blossom and wonderful architecture – provided you’re facing the playfulness of the Ikon Gallery – it’s super pretty. Piccolino flanks one side of the blossom and with its heated terrace takes full advantage. Chuck a cosy blanket over your shoulders and you’re good to go. The menu is a biggie and one that has mass appeal. With a focus on provenance it also lists the restaurant’s suppliers which is a nice touch although some of the ingredients seem to be doing a heck of a lot of food miles. A glass of champagne slipped down nicely while we made some decisions. Predictably, the other half couldn’t see beyond prawn cocktail and steak while I went for calamari followed by mushroom risotto. Prawn cocktail was pleasing. Juicy prawns, tangy marie rose sauce and fresh crunchy lettuce. Nothing to write

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home about, but perfectly good. Calamari was tender with a punchy crust and a delicious roast garlic mayonnaise. So far, so good. The menu talked up the steak big time. From the Usda Creekstone Farm it was, ‘finished for 150 days on a corn diet, raised in Kansas, hand selected, prime 100 per cent black Aberdeen Angus beef sirloin’. Phew. At £30.50 for 300g we reckoned on it being mighty fine. Served medium as requested it was utterly brilliant, beautifully cooked with bags of flavour. I did wonder why the air miles from Kansas rather than home grown in Hereford, but it was superb. Crunchy hand cut chips were a joyous accompaniment as was garlic and parsley butter. The risotto funghi was a bit ‘meh’ by comparison. Yes it was earthy and creamy, but not a knock-out. A big handful of parmesan perked it up a bit and a side of buttery spinach provided one of our five a day. A panna cotta with rhubarb sated the other half ’s sweet tooth and he devoured the lot. I find panna cotta’s blancmange-like texture off-putting so refrained, but if you like that sort of thing this one was a winner apparently. As well as enjoying a lovely meal we had a great time. The place was bustling and lively and the service was charming and efficient. Although the steak was pricey, it was totally worth it and the bill in its entirety was pretty reasonable. We might not leave it so long next time. I

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ADVERTORIAL

JET OFF THIS SPRING Whether you’re looking for mouth-tingling cuisine, charming architecture or buzzing nightlife, Birmingham Airport is your gateway to some of Europe’s most exciting cities e’re sure you don’t need an excuse to book your next getaway but if you are looking for some justification, surely escaping the unpredictable British weather and heading to the sunnier climes of a European city is enough to tempt you? Some of Europe’s most exciting cities are on your doorstep when you fly from Birmingham.

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Spain’s capital is brimming with unbridled energy and charisma. Chocolate and churros, paintings and plazas, tapas to share, jugs of sangria… it all adds up to a wonderfully dreamy destination. The wide boulevards and grand public squares express a deeper part of the city’s personality. Soak up the spirit of Madrid by skipping the touristy spots in the centre and venturing out to the neighbourhoods of Malasaña, La Latina or Chueca to dine like a local. Madrileños are famously open and welcoming but typically locals eat at 10pm after the afternoon siesta, so if you can wait until then, you’ll experience Madrid’s true spirit. Cosy up in Bodega de los Secretos, a maze of underground 17th century wine cellars, and catch an intimate flamenco show where the atmosphere is truly magical. Have a sherry or a glass of cava for a nightcap, and if you’ve fully embraced the Madrid spirit, go out dancing until dawn.

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LISBON On top of being home to some of the world’s best seafood, the Portuguese captial boasts a warm Mediterranean climate and a mix of traditional architecture and contemporary culture – an ideal spring city break location. For a real taste of Lisbon get lost in the Alfama district, a network of charming cobbled streets. Take a leisurely stroll to the promenade and relax in one of the many intimate cafés. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, hop on the cable car for magnificent views of the city and its coast.

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ADVERTORIAL

By night, Lisbon’s wine bars are a hazy, alluring delight where you can nestle up with some of the country’s best wines and sample speciality dishes. You mustn’t leave without trying a pastéis de belém – heavenly crispy pastry filled with custard cream and sprinkled with cinnamon. Enjoy the city like a local and you will soon fall for its warm character and beguiling charm.

BUDAPEST Two distinct cities, Buda and Pest, separated by a river, were joined together in 1873. Both sides of Budapest exude old-school elegance: the hills and cobbled streets of Buda as well as the nightlife and world-class shopping of Pest. Sailing down the Danube river is a great way to see the city. During the day, stop off at the pedestrianonly Margaret Island, or enjoy dinner and dancing under the night stars. If you’d like to sample some more of the local treats like lángos (fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese), visit the beautiful Central Market Hall. While you’re there, check out the roof – it’s covered in colourful Zsolnay tiles dating back to the mid-19th century. Budapest was one of the first European cities to catch the escape room game fever. There are dozens of versions, but all follow a similar format of finding clues and solving puzzles to escape a locked room. Visit Parapark, Claustrophilia or Mind Quest to test your skills.

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PRAGUE Prague’s architecture is a visual timeline of the city’s history. It is known for its many Gothic towers but a recent addition, the Žižkov Tower, is proving particularly popular thanks to its commanding views of the city. With its space-age architecture and unusual art installations, it might be an acquired taste for some, but its eight-floor viewing platform is a must-see. However, not all of Prague’s wellpreserved architecture is visible above ground. The underground tour of the medieval city lets you explore the catacombs and former streets hidden from everyday view. Relax on the waterfront with a myriad cafés and bars to choose from along the Vltava river. Sit and drink in the atmosphere (and maybe some excellent Czech beer) while you look out over the famous Charles Bridge. If you’re a beer drinker, there’s more to Prague than the two brewing giants Budweiser and Pilsner Urquell. The country has nearly 300 craft breweries, each producing distinctive beers. Zlý časy is one of the best places in Prague to sample these, with more than 45 Czech beers on draft. I

GETTING THERE Fly to these destinations direct from Birmingham Airport. Visit www.birminghamairport.co.uk to choose from a selection of airlines flying to each of these destinations.

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ing livSTYLE

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STEPPING OUT Top £60, trousers £80, Issa London, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

Prints charming

Prints are your best friend this season – the bolder the better – so go get yourself a piece of the feel-good fash-action and enjoy

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STYLE

TERRIFIC TASSEL Tassel printed clutch bag Issa London £45, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

MAXIMUM IMPACT Graphic Printed Maxi Skirt Maison Scotch £125, House of Fraser, Corporation Street NEVER TOO EARLY Sophia Webster floral espadrille wedge sandals £295, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

LIGHT SHOW Aurrora £85, Dune, Bullring

COOL MULE Fruit salad mules £55, Office, Bullring

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rom bold lobster trews to candystriped skirts, this season is a technicolour riot of heady feel good vibes that we cannot wait to sashay head-first into. Here, we’ve picked out some of our favourite pieces that will see you through the summer with a humungous leap in your step. No small springs, think giant leaps, not for mankind you understand, it’s only fashion after all. If you can’t quite embrace the full-on force of the print, there are oodles of accessories that’ll ease you in gently. I

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LOGO YOLO Printed shirt DKNY £115, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

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STYLE

In Check

MONO WOW Check skirt £35, Oasis, New Street

BE SQUARE Tallulah trouser £149, Hobbs, Grand Central

SUITS YOU Jacket £38, trousers £22 and heels £25, Dorothy Perkins, Bullring

COLD SHOULDER Check bardot dress £46, Oasis, New Street

TARTAN TREADS Red checked heels £25.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

PRINCELY PINAFORE Black Prince of Wales pinafore dress £19.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park BOX CLEVER Pastel pink kimono coat £83.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

GIRLIE CHARM Pink checked jacket, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

GET YOUR CHIFFON Yellow chiffon dress £59.99, TK Maxx, Bullring Link

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s e t o N e r u t Na

TRUE BLUE LOBSTER OF LOVE Blue floral tea midi dress Fabienne & Chapot lobster printed trousers £58, Oasis, New Street £125, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

EVERYTHING’S ROSY Top and jeans, Hush, John Lewis, Grand Central

MIDNIGHT MADNESS Printed shirt dress £45, Next, Bullring

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STYLE

JUNGLE JAPES Skirt £35, M&S, Bullring

GOING GREEN Anna dress £299, Hobbs, Grand Central GREAT SHAPE Mia Papaya Mazi Dress Fabienne Chapot £270, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

BACK TO BED Floral pyjama style short sleeve shirt and trouser £24.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE

s e p i r t S t h Rig IN THE BAG Stripe cross body bag £25, Oasis, New Street

TRAIL BLAZER Striped blazer, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

IT’S A WRAP Sandro striped woven wrap dress £260, Selfridges, Bullring

HEAD TO TOE Trousers and shirt, M&S, Bullring TECHNICOLOUR Rainbow stripe dress £48, Oasis, New Street

BUTTON DOWN Red and white striped button front skirt £19.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

SLEEVES PLEASE Ralph Lauren striped top £110, House of Fraser, Corporation Street GOT SOLE Mambo £42, Office, Bullring

IN THE NAVY Michael Kors stripe maxi dress £215, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

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STYLE

Spot on

BOHO CHIC Top £29.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

TEA DRESS Spotty tea dress £16, Matalan, Dartmouth Circus

ALL IN ONE Spot jumpsuit £89.50, Oliver Bonas, Harborne High Street

JACKET IN Sydney spot jacket £69, Monsoon, Bullring

BUTTON UP Rust spot print button front dress £22.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

JUMP TO IT Oversized spot trouser £140 and matching camisole £60, Jigsaw, Cannon Street

DOTTY TRAIN Polka dot trainers £26, Oasis, New Street

TOP OF THE CROPS Black frill spotted cropped trousers, River Island, Bullring WEEKEND AWAY Spotty holdall £75, Cath Kidston, Grand Central

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STYLE FOR MEN

WAVE THE WAY Clothing available at Debenhams, Bullring

GO FOR BOLD We’re injecting a dash of joie de vivre into our wardrobe with the hottest prints around

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STYLE FOR MEN

LET’S TALK ABOUT CHECKS Hammond & Co check shorts £50, Debenhams, Bullring

BRETON THIS Long sleeve Breton jumper £39.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

CAMO COOL Libertine printed bomber jacket £290, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

hether it’s a bold checked trouser or a Libertine camouflage covered bomber jacket, we are all about the print this season. There’s delicate paisley for understated chic and riotous prints for a ‘let the party begin. I’ve arrived’ sort of vibe. You don’t have to break the bank either. Printed tees are a great way to dabble, but remember fit is everything and can make the difference between looking bonkers in Benidorm rather than stylish in St Tropez. Look for a bit of linen in the make up of a tee which will ensure it hangs well. Palm tree prints are everywhere and our top pick is the very versatile blue chino short from M&S (pictured) which, weddings aside, would work for almost any summer occasion. I

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PAISLEY PRINCE Paisley print shirt £22, Next, Bullring

NOT SO BLUE Palm tree chino shorts £25, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

LEAF IT OUT Pink and green leaf print shirt £17.99, New Look, Bullring ON THE TILES Turner and Sanderson tile print shirt £75, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

SQUARE DON’T CARE Checked trouser £40, Next, Bullring

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ Printed tee £8, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

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HEALTH

PLOGGING – IT’S THE NEW JOGGING! The latest happy innovation from Scandinavia, by way of France and Thailand, is ‘plogging’ – jogging while picking up litter. So what’s it all about and is it good for you?

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HEALTH

vidently the term ‘plogging’ is of Swedish derivation from either plocka upp (pick up) or plocka skräp (pick up litter) and jogga (jog). The idea is that you pick up litter while out running and the activity has been growing in popularity in Sweden and it’s rapidly spreading over here. There are now even apps and dedicated health platforms that allow users to log and track plogging, while also promoting the initiative and encouraging users to #plogging on social media as they exercise and to get the full benefits. Effectively it’s jogging with squats and it nicely marries two worlds: Tapping into an environmentally conscious public spirit to keep our streets clean and a desire to try and keep active, shed a few pounds and feel slightly less guilty as we binge drink at the weekend. Local councils are no doubt keen to encourage us all to take part and save a few quid as we dispense with official street sweepers. Health experts agree that it’s very good for the body to combine running with squatting to lift rubbish.

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BENEFITS

HERE’S JUST A FEW:  Stretching – for bags snagged in trees is another of plogging’s physical benefits – interval training of sorts as it combines a quick running step for short periods with focused lunges and squats. Interval training boosts endurance and burns more calories during and after a workout than normal running, improving fitness and fat burning for best results. Having to carry around a bag full of trash will help burn cals way quicker.  It’s quick – a 10 to 20-minute plogg is great for getting the circulation going, so no time pressures – and no need to drive to an expensive gym.  Anyone can do it – mothers and children are doing it together and as it’s more gentle than some fitness regimes, it’s suited to people who have been inactive for some time, regardless of weight, size or gender.

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 It’s less boring than a treadmill – you can set mini challenges for yourself en route. For example, rather than dump the rubbish you collected in the nearest bin, sprint off to the nearest recycling point and back.  Stress relief – plogging is a high-intensity activity, making it a great stress reliever. When you go for a run your heart rate accelerates and, as a result, your body releases chemical endorphins that elevate your mood. As well as releasing these feel-good endorphins, running is a form of exercise that requires less active thinking, allowing your mind to switch off. A big part of anxiety is being overwhelmed by too many thoughts, and if these thoughts are negative, the anxiety can switch over to a state of depression. Let go of the troublesome thoughts that may be weighing it down.  Getting outdoors – exercising outside instead of in a gym is great for getting both fresh air and some vitamin D (provided it’s not pouring rain!).  Plogging grows confidence and self-esteem – part of the reason behind self-consciousness is a lack of control, so combining rubbish picking with running can offer a sense of control over your commute, neighbourhood and life, which in turn builds your confidence. Running and helping others, the community, and environment also produces endorphins, which is the body’s natural anti-depressant. These endorphins are hormones that block pain and encourage feelings of euphoria. In other words, these hormones can make you feel more energetic, alert and happier.  Community engagement – meet your neighbours and improve your local community.  Easy to get involved – all you need is a solid pair of running shoes and a sturdy recycling bag. It’s also a good idea to get some gloves or a little picker to help minimise contact with gems. 

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HEALTH

LIVING WITH IBS IBS is an increasingly common condition. What is it, what causes it – and what can you do, if anything, to beat it? ne in five people in the UK suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome which leaves them struggling with stomach cramps, bloating and a variety of digestive issues. An increasing common condition, it is still often misdiagnosed due to symptoms that are similar to a number of other health complaints, including more serious issues such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. In a follow-up to International IBS Awareness Month, we asked Dr Paul Wilson, a consultant gastroenterologist at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull, to answer some often-asked questions about IBS.

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What is IBS and what are the symptoms? IBS is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system and can affect some people more severely than others. Flare-ups can last a few days to months at a time and often occur during periods of stress or after eating certain foods. The main symptoms are alternating constipation and diarrhoea (although some individuals may have a predominance of either), abdominal pain or discomfort and bloating. IBS usually first develops when a person is in their twenties. Are there any foods I can eat to prevent IBS? Sticking to a healthy diet should help. Include fresh fruit and vegetables and cut down on processed food. Stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake are two immediate steps which usually improves the situation.

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Should I take medication? First visit your GP who will document your symptoms and examine you to make sure you are suffering from IBS and not something more ‘sinister’. They can then decide on medication or a change of diet and lifestyle – or a combination of both. Will exercise ease my IBS or make it worse? Those with IBS are often less active than those without and increasing activity has been shown to help symptoms in some cases. Exercise also helps manage stress – a significant factor in worsening IBS symptoms – plus, it will also help keep your weight under control which, in turn, should ease symptoms. Is it a curable? IBS is a disturbance in the function of the bowel rather than a structural defect and symptoms often come and go over many years. Generally symptoms improve as individuals get older, but there is no cure as such. The key to management is symptom control, using diet, exercise and health advice already covered. I This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice from your doctor or health care professional. Dr Paul Wilson is a consultant gastroenterologist at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull. Tel: 0121 704 5530 www.spireparkway.com

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GREAT OUTDOORS We’re preparing ourselves for the mother of all British summers by transforming the garden into a space to relish when the sun comes. And it will come, trust us!

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HOMES

LAZY DAYS Furniture and accessories, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

fter enduring what has been the longest winter on record (unofficial), we’re busy prepping the garden so we can revel in the longest, warmest summer in history (also unofficial, but would seem only fair). We’ve put in the hard yards already and nailed the laborious weeding and power washing of moss-ridden patios, so we are ready to contemplate the fun bits like shopping for gorgeous pieces that will transform the garden into a relaxing space we want to spend time in. Before you hit the shops though, consider a few areas that will make or break your plans. Treat your garden like a room in your home thinking about different zones for different activities. A cosy corner in which to snuggle up with a good book for instance. If your garden is small, check out a hammock for the ultimate in relaxation or a space-saving hanging seat. An entertaining area with comfortable seating for a crowd is a must if you like to play host and while

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LA LA LAND Skargaarden Skanor collection, Houseology

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HOMES

UNDER THE DOME

SUNDOWNERS

Garden Igloo 360 dome with weatherproof cover £849, Cuckooland.com

Furniture and accessories, White Company, Grand Central

an outdoor kitchen might seem like an extravagance, their popularity is on the rise. If you have the space, inclination and budget it’s worth considering. Call us lazy, but an outdoor fridge is so convenient. Failing that, check out Houseology for their low outdoor table that includes a built-in ice bucket running down the centre. Really clever and so simple. Lighting is key for successful evenings al fresco. John Lewis has some great outdoor fairy lights and take a look at Neptune in Edgbaston for some serious hurricane lamps that’ll see you through many a long summer’s evening. A handful of cosy blankets would be useful too. Don’t overlook creating some shade in the garden. There’s so much choice when it comes to parasols these days. Choose a sturdy version and ideally one you can leave out in the winter. The same goes for furniture. Garden pods and arctic cabins can extend the use of your garden making the most of it all year round. The Igloo 360 (pictured) works a treat rain or shine. I

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ULTIMATE BBQ BergHOFF large ceramic oven charcoal barbecue £999 and Alta 4 dining table and chairs set £749, John Lewis, Grand Central

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HOMES

PATIO PERFECTION Festoon outdoor line lights clear £60, Brighton bistro outdoor table and chair set palm £79, pineapple cocktail shaker £25, John Lewis, Grand Central

TEA FOR TWO Table and chairs, Next, Bullring

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HOMES

IN THE SHADE Leia outdoor alcove seat £699, Fusion seagrass basket £30, Leia coffee table £189, John Lewis, Grand Central

CLUB TROPICANA Furniture and accessories, House of Fraser, Corporation Street

SIMPLE LINES Skagerak Virkelyst coffee table teak £849, Houseology

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HOMES

MAKES SCENTS Vine Tomato large candle £60, White Company, Grand Central

SEATING ARRANGEMENT Dining set, Debenhams, Bullring

FINISHING

CUE THE BBQ Rogue 365 £439.99, Napolean Grills napoleangrills.co.uk

TOUCHES Enhance your outdoor space with these gorgeous additions

PLANT IT Carefree planter £199, Cuckooland.com

CUTE STORAGE Brighton garden shed £239.95, Cuckooland.com

NAUTICAL BUT NICE Seagrass candle holder £25, White Company, Grand Central

AND RELAX Amazonas Barbados rainbow hammock £93, Amara.com

FIRE STARTER Mangiafuoco firepit £1,955, Houseology.com

WINE AND DINE Wooden dining set £175, Wilko, Fort Shopping Park

GOOD EGG Kerala Chair £225, Next, Fort Shopping Park

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HOMES

Hot Properties If you’ve got the money, you’ll love this month’s millionaire homes for sale. Or you could go for a more modest, yet super-cool apartment in town

SUPER GRADE Kenwood House, Four Oaks Guide price: £2.85million Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 200 2220 An extraordinary Grade II listed, six-bedroom family house with a separate two-bedroom cottage and beautiful landscaped gardens, all set in a plot that extends over more than two acres of land. There’s loads of original features, including exposed ceiling beams, wood panelling in the reception rooms, detailed cornicing and fireplaces.

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HOMES

BRICKS&BITS ELEVATED PROFITS Birmingham-based home builder Elevate Property Group has succeeded in more than doubling its profit in the last two years. Accounts for the financial year ending 30 November 2017 show sales of £24.7 million with pre-tax profits of £7.5 million, against the 2015 figure of £2.9 million. MD Steve Dodd put the increase down to the completion of a number of lucrative projects which sold well.

NEW HOMES UNDER WAY

HEART OF OAKS Bracebridge Road, Four Oaks Estate Guide price: £2.5million Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 200 2220 This elegantly proportioned, seven-bedroom family home is in the heart of a much sought-after estate. Spacious accommodation includes a farmhouse-style kitchen complete with Aga, awesome family room, extensive games room, cinema room and home gym. The sumptuous master bedroom suite overlooks approximately 1.5 acres of gardens.

Developer St Modwen has completed the sale of its 9.8-acre Lickey Road site to housebuilder Persimmon Homes for £10.8million. Work has started on the site which has permission for 215 homes. Sofi Liperis, Persimmon’s land manager, said: “Longbridge is a desirable area and its regeneration has created a sense of community that our new future residents will be proud to be part of.”

CONSULTANCY LAUNCHES Two high-profile city agents have left CBRE and JLL to set up a consultancy firm focused on development. Adrian Willet who was a senior director at CBRE and Richard Roberts from JLL have set up Highgate Land and Development to advise customers on residential, build-to-rent, student, senior living and healthcare markets.

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

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

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HOMES

WE’RE CONVERTED! Iron Works, Digbeth Guide price: From £195,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1523

A series of one and two-bedroom apartments in a converted handsome red brick building in the centre of town. High ceilings, top notch bespoke kitchens, polished concrete floors and cracking bathrooms make for cool city living. Some apartments even boasting sun terraces. Pass the cocktails!

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

www.facebook.com/bhamliving may 2018

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MOTORING

WIND OF CHANGE The new Maserati Levante SUV is powerful, luxurious and practical – and a breeze to drive, says Sue Cooke have been invited to drive several Maserati cars over the years, all named after the world’s most famous winds. In 1963 there was the legendary Mistral, then came the Ghibli, the Bora and the Khamsin. Now the Levante SUV joins the hall of fame. All offering captivating Italian design, luxury, comfort and race bred performance. Er, hang on a minute, the Levante is an SUV, a 4x4, an off-roader? But this off-roader has the soul of a GT powering from 0 to 62mph in 5.2 seconds with a spine-tingling roar that sparks an adrenalin rush. Switch one of the five drive modes to sport and immediately the exhaust note changes, burbling and resonating ready for the off.

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COUPE LINES Other drive modes are eco, normal and ICE, the latter for those who desire low grip and reduction of torque. “Best not to press that button,” said the man

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showing me around the car and pointing to the one that removes traction control. It’s a little bizarre to climb into a very long, spacious and practical 4x4 and know it is a competent racing machine. The exterior styling has coupe-like lines, a twin exhaust and rear spoiler. Maserati says the Levante, while competent off-road, is very much designed for on-road. The interior is luxurious with a heady smell of leather and chrome and wood trim. Seats are supportive and comfortable, ideal for a Grand Turismo run, and there are plenty of handy spaces for storing just about everything. There is an automatic handbrake and paddleshift gear change which I really liked. Maserati only produces automatic gearboxes and the ZF unit in the Levante is an eightspeeder. It has its own software coding so gear changes happen when Maserati intends them to happen. If you select manual mode the system will

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MOTORING

FACTS AT A GLANCE: Model: Maserati Levante S Price: £70,755 otr Engine: 3.0-litre V6, 430bhp Performance: 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 164mph CO2 emissions: 253g/km combined cycle Combined fuel consumption: 25.9mpg combined use

let you know the best gear for the speed. Maserati launched the diesel Levante at the end of 2016 and James Cowan, marketing manager for Maserati GB, says he expects that 85 per cent of buyers will choose the diesel because of its affordability. “It is £14,000 cheaper than the petrol and the running costs are lower,” he said. However, with diesel in crisis times are changing and at the end of last year Maserati launched the Levante S with the most powerful V6 430bhp petrol engine. WATER WINGS Let’s face it, not many Levante buyers will choose to go off-road but it’s still good to know that in our current climate it will happily cope with flooded roads up to 30cms deep. An off-road button raises the chassis height to keep your feet nice and dry. What I found surprising is that Maserati says more women

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will buy the Levante. Ryan Liquorish, product marketing specialist for Maserati GB, said this is because the SUV is designed for families who want practicality and space. The Levante is built in Mirafiori, Italy on the same platform as the company’s most affordable car, the Quattroporte Ghibli executive saloon. The Levante has become Maserati’s best-selling product, but the company’s USP is its exclusivity which means a ceiling on sales in the UK of 1,000 units a year. Maserati is researching a smaller SUV which will be announced as part of the company’s fiveyear plan in June. I

SHOWROOM: Graypaul Birmingham, 120 Highlands Road, Solihull, B90 4NU. Tel: 0121 701 2458 www.graypaul-birmingham.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

ASMITA CHAUDHARI The talented badminton champion tells us how she juggles school with competing on a global stage in the senior arena of the game

ear 11 pupil Asmita Chaudhari is the badminton U19 English mixed doubles champion and a bronze medallist in the women’s doubles at the English National Championships. Competing well above her age group, Asmita relishes the challenge. Exam pressure – she’ll be taking her GCSEs in the summer – doesn’t faze her either. With the support of her teachers at Edgbaston High School for Girls, studying and badminton manage to rub along together very successfully. There’s another kind of pressure too. Asmita’s parents relocated the family to Birmingham from Newcastle in 2014 purely so that she could progress in the game. Being in the Midlands makes training and competing much easier because as well as being put through her paces

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

SUPER SHUTTLER HERE ARE JUST SOME OF ASMITA’S ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR: 2017 U19 Wimbledon Badminton Tournament women’s doubles semi-finalist, mixed doubles winner. 2017 U17 European Championships in Prague team event bronze medal with England, individual quarter finalist, women’s doubles 2nd round. 2016 U15 Eight Nations competition in Switzerland U15 women’s doubles winner, mixed doubles semi-finalist 2016 Danish Junior Cup U17 girls’ singles quarter-finalist, women’s doubles semi-finalist (bronze) 2016 Badminton England, Milton Keynes U17 women’s doubles winner, singles and mixed doubles silver

instinctively knew what to do which set her apart from many other excellent players. She played her first tournament aged nine and won a few matches, then triumphed in a county match and started playing with Badminton England U11. At this stage Asmita says she was still playing for fun really, but once she got to U13 level and started to win easily it got a became more serious. She progressed to a higher age group, won the county championships in Northumberland and now plays regularly at U19 and senior level as part of the senior England programme, competing and winning in categories well above her age group.

SENIOR SUCCESS locally, Asmita trains three times a week in Milton Keynes which would be a mammoth trek from the North East. It’s an extraordinary display of commitment and there can be no doubt she has the unquestionable support of her parents.

IN THE FAMILY Asmita’s brother played badminton from the age of six and five years later was competing nationally, so she had that experience to draw on. Asmita says: “I used to travel with him and watch, then I started playing aged eight.” Asmita’s mother says she could see that there was something special about her daughter from a very early age in terms of being able to think under pressure and the fact that she

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Doubles is Asmita’s speciality playing with Annie Lado in the women’s game and William Jones in the mixed event. Asmita explains that domestically you choose your own partner and internationally you’re paired up. She’s settled with her partners and is riding high often beating much older and experienced players triumphing over some of the world’s top pairings on the senior stage. Asmita’s hero is Thailand’s Intanon Ratchanok who is known for her relaxed hitting motion and balletic movement. She was the first Thai woman to become number one in the world. Asmita would like to emulate her hero’s success which she’s well on the way to doing – all while studying for those all-important exams. Good luck Asmita! I

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GROWING PLACES

WINNING STREAK A strong Year 6 netball team from Holy Trinity School, Kidderminster put in a great performance over four weeks of competition to win the Wyre Forest Sports Partnership Netball League. The team triumphed over 15 schools by winning every match they played, conceding only four goals in the tournament. We hear on the grapevine the girls celebrated with a McFlurry provided by proud PE teacher Sarah Williams.

S C HO O L R E PO R T

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

SUCCESS ON A PLATE Talented young chef Drew Morris from University College Birmingham (UCB) was runner-up in the Wing Yip Oriental Cookery Young Chef of the Year competition which attracts entries from across the country. The cook-off final, held at UCB, was judged by president of the British Culinary Federation Peter Griffiths, Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell and Woky Ko founder Larkin Cen. Peter said: “Drew presented his dishes in a very impressive manner.”

SINGING THE DREAM

Members of Caludon Castle School choir were among 2,000 youngsters who formed a mass choir for the AC Academy Does the Royal Albert Hall event. They were

accompanied by professional musicians and joined on stage by Strictly Come Dancing stars Gorka Marquez and Dianne Buswell and actor Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter films). Caludon Castle pupil, Ella Aldridge, 15, pictured, was chosen to perform a solo of Gary Barlow’s Sing. Caludon music teacher Sharon Vincent said: “The day was magical for our students and the stuff of dreams for Ella.”

ECO AIRLINE LANDS TOP PRIZE An eco-friendly airline concept developed by students from Grace Academy Solihull won Birmingham Airport’s Launch an Airline Challenge. The Year 10 pupils pitched their green idea to an airport judging panel in a cross-school business challenge. Customers on the winning eco-friendly flights would enjoy interiors made with 100 per cent recyclable materials, reduced noise pollution during take-off and landing, the opportunity to buy Fair Trade goods and eco-friendly fuel.

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GROWING PLACES

BEAUTY BUFF BATTLE OF THE BRAINS Students from Barcroft Primary School won Walsall’s annual Battle of the Brains challenge beating tough competition from other local schools. The event saw 35 gifted and talented students from five Walsall primary schools pit their wits and academic expertise against their community peers in English, Science, Performing Arts, History, Sport, Design and Technology and Maths. Rebecca Nash, deputy head of Barcroft, said: “We have taken part in this challenge in the last few years and it is great to be the winners this year.”

A beauty therapy student from Dudley College was named Ragdale Hall Spa Student of Excellence 2018. Sophie Roberts, 20, from Kingswingford scooped the prize against 10 other finalists at the spa. The finalists were interviewed one-to-one as well as completing a theory knowledge test paper and two treatments, including a manicure and full body massage. The prize includes a full-time beauty therapist position at Ragdale Hall.

NATIONAL CHAMPS Bromsgrove School’s U13A hockey team put in a dominant performance in the ISHC National Finals Day at the University of Birmingham to be crowned national champions in a competition that’s open to every school in the England. The final against Calday Grange Grammar School from the Wirral showed the boys’ class and determination as they scored 11 goals to win the title.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITH…

ADAM JAREMKO The Glee Clubs’ comedy booker has a message for anyone who likes a good laugh: You can’t beat being at a live stand-up show, so knock off your Netflix and see what’s coming up in Brum… BEEN THERE, DONE THAT After graduating from DeMontfort University, Leicester with a degree in media production I moved back to Birmingham and joined the Glee Club, where I’ve worked in several roles over the years leading to my current position as comedy promoter and booker. IT’S WHAT I DO As comedy promoter, I arrange and oversee the comedians and tour shows that pass through our venues every week. The aim is to programme a diverse range of shows that will appeal to different audiences who are after a night of laughs. It always feels good to be part of that process and see different people come together and forget whatever troubles they may have. I’ve found that comedy can be a powerful release for all walks of life. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE I’ve always had a passion for comedy so I’ve had the growing need to perform for a while now. I’m part of the weekly Comedy Carousel show at the Glee (every Thursday night) with Andy Robinson, which currently scratches that comedy itch for me, but there are always some new crazy ideas on the horizon… BIGGEST SUCCESS I started a Lapel Pin company with some friends a few years ago called Pingame and have been producing pins for independent businesses, clubs, comedians and charities in Birmingham – from Joe Lycett, to Whiskey Club and Independent Birmingham – as well as spreading the word about championing said

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independents. Also, winning a Chortle Award for Comedy Carousel justifies all the hard work myself and Andy Robinson put in, week in and week out. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Not everything that’s popular online translates to a successful live show, so I’ve learned to trust my instincts when it comes to booking comedy shows, putting talent over ‘likes’. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I really love Birmingham’s innate humour and dismissal of criticism. We’re a proud city but one that’s not afraid to have a laugh at ourselves. It has a thriving community of comedians, artists, musicians and independent businesses, and to see people try and spread the word and celebrate these quieter voices makes me proud to be a Brummie. DOWNTIME In my spare time I play guitar in a band and have recently got into painting, which is something I thought I’d never be good at, and I was right – but it’s early days yet! I’ve also been watching loads of comedy on TV and I’d recommend US documentary the Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, and UK sitcom This Country. FINALLY… You can’t beat being at a live stand-up show, so knock off your Netflix and see what’s coming up! I Glee Club Birmingham, The Arcadian, 70 Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TD Tel: 0871 472 0400 www.glee.co.uk

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From only £25

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MISS MACAROON When Instagram asked for a full-size wall of macaroons to form their logo, Rosie Ginday and her patisserie masterchefs rose to the challenge. So, what’s the secret to this Birmingham business success story?

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COMPANY TO WATCH

t is possible to have your cake and eat it – as the success of social enterprise business and macaroon maker extraordinaire, Miss Macaroon, proves. Based in three locations in Birmingham, Miss Macaroon supplies anything between 5,000 and 7,000 of the sweet delights a day in an explosion of flavourings and colourings to top hotels, restaurants and corporate clients, big and small. This spring, founder and managing director Rosie Ginday and her team are embarking on refitting and enlarging the Miss Macaroon store in Great Western Arcade to allow for a range of exciting new products as well as to create an afternoon tearoom. Rosie – who trained as a high-end pastry chef at University College Birmingham before working in Michelin-starred Purnell’s restaurant – launched Miss Macaroon in 2011 with the aim of creating wonderful patisserie while also giving long-termed unemployed young people the chance to work and learn in the industry.

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PREMIUM PASSION Rosie said: “I wanted to create a social enterprise business that combined my passion for premium quality food. I wanted to provide the opportunities for young people seeking a career to build confidence in themselves and give them the opportunity to break into what is a highly competitive industry.” Miss Macaroon’s MacsMAD (Macaroons that Make A Difference) courses are held over a number of weeks at the business’s training kitchens in Hockley. Macaroon production is based in Aston, where Rosie continues to have a very hands-on role. Miss Macaroon macaroons are no ordinary macaroons. We’re talking state-of-the-art premium treats here. As Rosie explained: “We’ve harnessed art and science to create some of the most modern premium macaroons on the market. Our secret recipe and methodology is scientific in its approach.” Nowhere is this use of technology better illustrated than in Miss Macaroon’s unique Pantone-matching service, normally used in the art and design industry. “We have created a process that, by utilising a complex algorithm, perfectly matches colour swatches via the RGB and CMYK values,” said Rosie. In other words, you can have your macaroons delivered in pretty much any style and finish you wish. As well as being

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highly attractive for themed weddings and parties, the service has proved a really huge hit with corporate customers looking for a creative and different way to show-off their branding. CORPORATE GIANTS Miss Macaroon has supplied designer and fashion brands such as Karl Largerfeld, Juicy Couture, Adidas, Pandora and Ted Baker and huge corporations like Ernst & Young, Orange, EE, ITV, Santander, Experian and Goldman Sachs – where instantly recognisable logos have been expertly recreating onto hand-crafted macaroons or corporate colours matched via the Pantone system. Social media giants Facebook, Google and Instagram are also Rosie’s clients – in the case of Instagram Miss Macaroon supplied a full-size wall of macaroons which created a giant Istagram logo for the company’s European marketing meeting. Notable local customers include Aston University who ordered 3,000 celebration macaroons for its students graduation day. As well as growing the business commercially with more corporate and retail customers, Miss Macaroon is equally committed to pushing on with its help for Birmingham’s disadvantaged youngsters by reinvesting profits to give them a fresh start in life. Last month saw Miss Macaroon hold a major event attended by social entrepreneurs and large corporates and funders to help promote social enterprises more widely. Keynote speakers were led by West Midlands mayor Andy Street and Professor Mark Hart from Aston Centre for Growth. CHANGE THE WORLD “I am passionate about creating the perfect macaroon,” said Rosie, “but I am equally as passionate in my desire to help disadvantaged young adults in the local area. The social enterprise ethos of the business is absolutely the key to everything we are and everything we do now and in the future. I want to move as soon as we can to running 10 courses a month at our training kitchen.” Miss Macaroon says it aims to ‘change the world, one macaroon at a time’. Rosie summed it up: “Through the sale of our premium products, our customers can enjoy self-indulgence while at the same time helping to support those who desperately need a chance in life.” Sweet indeed… I

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BUSINESS

ALLIE’S 10-YEAR STRETCH

BUSINESS

NEWS

Birmingham yoga hotspot, yogahaven, is celebrating 10 years in the city centre. The business was founded in 2008 by Allie Hill and has featured in the pages of Grazia, OK! and the Sunday Times. Allie set up yogahaven when she spotted a need for alternative exercise and promotion of wellbeing in the city, welcoming people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and body shapes. The business has expanded across the UK, including several London branches, Brighton and even closer to home in Solihull.

ROYAL WEDDING IN WRITING Birmingham company Yard-O-Led is celebrating this month’s Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with a limited commemorative pen and pencil set. The top of the fluted finial is engraved with an H on the ballpoint pen and an M on the pencil, which also features hand-chased flowers and leaves native to California and Britain. Both are entwined with the Bird of Paradise flower which grows in Meghan’s Canadian place of birth.

HIPPODROME BOOST: Anita Bhalla, board director for Creative Industries at GBSLEP

HOLIDAY FLIGHTS HIPPODROME MORE Holiday operator TUI UK is launching an GETS £1.4M BOOST

Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has allocated £1.48 million of Local Growth Fund investment to Birmingham Hippodrome to construct and oversee the Dance Hub Birmingham physical space development – enhancing the city’s ambition to create a national home for dance. The expansion project will create 17 new jobs, five new apprenticeships and enable 100 more dance performances a year at the Birmingham venue, increasing audience numbers to 15,000.

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ambitious summer programme of flights from Birmingham Airport. An extra aircraft will be based at the airport as part of an increase of nearly 120,000 seats, offering holidaymakers more choice and flexibility. Additional flights will be made to Turkey, Greece, Cape Verde, Morocco, Croatia and Italy. Tom Screen, acting aviation director at Birmingham Airport, said: “It’s great to see TUI expanding here, offering our passengers more choice to popular summer beach and weekend break destinations.” SITTING PRETTY: TUI UK’s commercial director Richard Sofer

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BUSINESS

£5M CARE OPENING MAYOR UNVEILS LANDMARK PROJECTS West Midlands mayor Andy Street unveiled a landmark Investment Prospectus showcasing up to £10billion of ‘transformational’ schemes to accelerate the region’s economic and cultural renaissance. The Prospectus, which was launched at the MIPIM 2018 global property conference, highlights 20 schemes, including the UK Central Hub and HS2 Interchange, Birmingham Paradise, Friargate Coventry, Wolverhampton’s Interchange Commerical District and Canalside Living Quarter scheme and the i54 Western 100-acre business park extension.

Local VIPs, healthcare professionals and business people attended the opening of Country Court Care’s new £5million Heartlands Care Home in Yardley. Lord mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anne Underwood, joined Alykhan Kachra, managing director of Country Court Care, to cut the ribbon. Heartlands showcases how style and elegance can be incorporated into the development of a state-of-the-art care home. It has 66 en-suite bedrooms, hair and nail salon, tea room, spa – and even a pub!

BETTER BY DESIGN

NEW CLINIC: Fertility pioneer John Webster and Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby, opened the Edgbaston centre

WORLD CLASS CLINIC CARE Fertility, the UK’s leading provider of IVF has extended its network of specialist clinics with the opening of a purpose-built, world class centre in Edgbaston. The new clinic is offering the latest treatments, technology and fertility expertise. More than 28,000 babies have been born since CARE opened 20 years ago. Guests at the opening included patients and members of the local medical community and representatives of Edgbaston’s thriving Medical Quarter.

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Martin Rogers has joined architects Maber as an associate to further drive the growth of the practice’s expanding Birmingham office. The firm now has six of its 70-strong team based in Colmore Row, its Grade II-listed city centre office. With more than 20 years experience in architecture, Birmingham man Martin has previously overseen the set up and growth of several offices for other practices. Maber set up the Birmingham office after being named West Midlands Architectural Practice of the Year at the Insider Property Awards.

BALLET BOARD BOSS Birmingham Royal Ballet has appointed Sir David Normington as its new chair, succeeding Prof Michael Clarke. Sir David is a governor of the Royal Ballet and Friend of Birmingham Royal Ballet. He is currently chair of the Governing Council at Warwick University and vice-chair of the trustees of the NSPCC. He said: “I have been a ballet lover for over 40 years and it is a great thrill and privilege to lead the board of one of the country’s leading ballet companies.”

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BUSINESS

EXTRA HELPING HANDS

Home care providers Helping Hands has launched a new Midlands office. The Alcester-based firm, which has branches across the country, has taken 690 sq ft at Stourbridge Road, Bromsgrove on a five-year lease. The Redditch and Bromsgrove branch was formerly run out of Alcester but it was decided to move it into the community. Branch manager Sarah Underhill said: “We wanted to be closer to our carers and their customers.” Four staff are based at the branch, managing domiciliary care services.

LIQUID ASSETS BALTI BOWL IS BACK! An engineering firm in the Jewellery Quarter has brought production of the world-famous Birmingham Balti bowl back to its original home. A E Harris & Co worked with Andy Munro, a local Balti historian and author of Going For A Balti, to manufacture the bowl that houses Birmingham’s most famous dish. The bowl was originally made in Smethwick in the 1970s before manufacturing moved overseas.

may 2018

Communications consultancy Liquid has boosted its Birmingham team with four new appointments and two promotions following a period of growth in 2017. The agency has appointed Lois Wilson as account manager with Chloe Baker and Shaunni Howard as senior account executives. Ross Copping joins as account executive. Madeline Arnold is promoted to senior account manager with Elise Hewett as office manager. Liquid was named PR outstanding consultancy of the year by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

LAW FIRM’S 20-GRAND EFFORT A Birmingham law firm raised more than £20,500 for Alzheimer’s Society with a year-long charity partnership. Squire Patton Boggs’s fund-raising activities included sponsored abseiling, silent auction and taking part in the Memory Walk in Sutton Park. Partner Neil Taylor said: “It was a very inspiring moment when the final figure was revealed and it is double the sum we raised last year.” Associate solicitors Rose Chaudry and Christina Georgiou co-chaired the charity committee that oversaw the calendar of events.

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FAREWELL DINNER AT ‘TONY’S LAST STAND’ Hotel GM leaves on a high before taking over at Touchwood Solihull

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hat a send-off! Tony Elvin’s five-year ‘stint’ as general manager of Hotel du Vin, Birmingham came to end with a wonderful farewell dinner attended by more than 70 of his favourite guests. Billed as ‘Tony’s Last Stand’, the gathering enjoyed a four-course dinner with great wine – a fitting way to say goodbye to Tony before he started his new job as general manager of Touchwood shopping centre, Solihull. I

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1 Nicola Fleet Milne, Michele Wilby, Mike Mounfield, Joe Horton. 2 Molly Aston, Arron Wincott, Jevengi Kadilin, Stefan Liperowski. 3 Anita and Bharat Champaneri. 4 Mark Rose, Barry Sherwin.

5 Tony Elvin. 6 Gary and Katie Newbon. 7 Claire Pilkington, Isabel and

Lucy Elvin. 8 Susie and Keith Elvin, Claire Pilkington, Nigel Cole.

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FRIENDS OF ST CROSS STAGE BLACK TIE HIT Party-goers give hospital appeal fund a welcome cash injection he Friends of the Hospital of St Cross hosted another successful Black Tie event in Rugby with more than 100 guests partying hard and digging deep to raise more than £5,500 for the hospital’s new unit. A fabulous meal was provided by Chefs Kitchen and entertainment came from the Record Covers with special guest Julie Thompson. Chair, Tracey Lennard, said “On behalf of everyone on the fund-raising committee, I just can’t thank people enough for all their support and huge generosity.” I

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1 Barry Grout, Samantha Lennard. 2 Jan and Doug Jones. 3 Dave Proctor, Tracey Lennard, Alan Wiggins. 4 Lisa Ash, Clare Nuss. 5 Margret and John Sharman. 6 Janet and Bob Mawby, Mary and Nick Goodwin. 7 Tracey Lennard, Jean Thompson. 8 Richard and Elaine Taylor 9 Tracey and Nigel Lennard.

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Photography by Navin Mistry

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STARS HIT RED CARPET AT CHARITY PREMIERE David Tennant heads celebrity turn-out in Brum for new movie You, Me and Him

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he stars were out in force at the red carpet premiere of the new film You, Me and Him at Cineworld. The event was held in aid of Baby Lifeline, a charity supporting the care of pregnant women and their new-born and unborn babies. A Q&A was hosted by Anabella Weir with stars Faye Marsay and David Tennant along with writer/director Daisy Aitkens and producer Georgia Tennant. TV presenter Nick Owen and radio’s Ed James and Gemma Hill from Heart Breakfast also attended along with other Baby Lifeline patrons, including Coronation Street’s Jimmi Harkishin. I

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1 Sarah Moyle, Ashley Rice, Bharti Patel, Laura Rollins. 2 Daisy Aitkens, Neil Andrews.

3 Jack and Freya Cork. 4 Archie and Arabella Weir.

5 Vicki and Nick Owen. 6 Jackie Allan, Liz Usher. 7 Ainsley Harriot, Ed James. 8 Jimmi Harkishin, Sue Cressman. 9 Peter Davidson, Georgia and David Tennant.

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Photography by Jas Sansi

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DIVERSITY IN FOCUS AT BUSINESS EVENT Speakers explore social and economic impact of BAME businesses on city otel du Vin Birmingham hosted a fascinating event themed as ‘Serving the Diverse Community of Birmingham’. Organised by the Royal Bank of Scotland group, it explored the social and economic impact BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) businesses have on the city and region. Key speakers included the bank’s CEO Ross McEwan and West Midlands mayor Andy Street. I

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1 Gareth Howells, Helen Bates, Steve Brown. 2 Bhai Sahib Ji, Rashpal Martin, Miles Plumb. 3 Alex Yip, Manjit Kang, Jenny Loynton. 4 Joel Blake, Ross McEwan. 5 Nick Venning, Beverley Nielsen. 6 Andy Gray, Ajit Singh. 7 Andy Street. 8 Steve Walker, Lord Digby Jones. 9 Paul Faulkner, Ninder Johal, Alex Yip.

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Photography by Jas Sansi

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BIG TURN-OUT FOR SIGNATURE AWARDS Audience of 550 watches ‘best in the business’ crowned at the ICC Our time has arrived’ was the cry from West Midlands mayor Andy Street at the fourth Signature Awards held at the ICC, attended by 550 business leaders. Organised by Ninder Johal and headline sponsored by Birmingham City University, the evening saw the crowning of businesses and professions in various categories, acknowledging the importance of both manufacturing and the service industries. A lifetime achievement award was also made to Paul Sabapathy. I

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1 Mark Dyer, Jon Goddard, Ben Robinson, Simon Priest, Christie Wedge, Ami Athwal. 2 Wayne Langford, Richard Butler, Philip Plowden. 3 Narinder Johal, Rin Ryan, Andy Street. 4 Danny James, Luke Withers, Praveen Gupta, David Baldwin, Amarjit Dhadwal, Shaun Knight. 5 Jatinder Paul, Deborah Cadman. 6 Dr Beverly Lindsay, Paul Sabapathy, Narinder and Ninder Johal. 7 Michelle Cotterill, Rebecca Simkiss, Sharonjit Clare, Jane Kemp, Sarah Middleton, Nicola Fleet Milne, Fiona Thomson

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MUMS AND DADS HAVE A BALL AT PTA EVENING Masquerade party goes with a swing as parent groups let their hair down ore than 150 guests enjoyed the PTA Masquerade Ball at Birmingham Conference & Events Centre. Hallfield School’s PTA joined forces with Edgbaston High School’s PA to put on the lavish evening for the parent bodies of Birmingham’s leading independent schools. A drinks reception was followed by a threecourse meal, raffle and dancing to music from DJ Reece Dowd and live band Motown Gold. Urvi Kara, chairwoman of Hallfield School PTA, said: “It was nice to see mums and dads getting into the party spirit and letting their hair down.” I

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1 Raj Suthi, Urvi Kara. 2 Sarah and Richard Balfour. 3 Melanie Viney, Bhawna Singh, Pratima Pillay. 4 Luigi Belli, Sue Knight. 5 Sareena Gujral, Raj Dhanda. 6 Ania and Paul Machacek. 7 Stacey and Richard Martin. 8 Vince White, Nadia Belli.

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WHAT: Scott Matthews WHEN: 20 May WHERE: St Paul’s Church, www.stpaulsjq.church/music A man. A guitar. And a song. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it is. The Ivor Novello awardwinning singer-songwriter tours on the back of his sixth studio album, proclaimed as a careerdefining masterpiece.

WHAT: Half Term Fun WHEN: 28 May to 1 June WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 454 1860 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk A week of activities to keep the kids happy during the half term, including arts and crafts, story walks and summer activity sheets! Under 16s have free admission from Monday to Friday.

WHAT: The Wedding Reception WHEN: 10 and 11 May WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk Gaining five-star reviews from Edinburgh Fringe and on tour, this mad immersive comedy from the makers of Faulty Towers The Dining Experience promises love, honour and disarray with improvised comedy, a sit-down meal – and maybe some dancing!

WHAT: Annie WHEN: 24 to 27 May WHERE: Belgrade Theatre, tel: 02476 553055 www.belgrade.co.uk One of the best-loved musicals of all time, with its Tony awardwinning book and score – including the unforgettable songs It’s a Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street and Tomorrow.

WHAT: Bryan Adams WHEN: 25 May WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com The multi-million selling recording artist is one of the most exciting live musicians in the world and his energetic performance, effortless stage presence and incredible vocals are guaranteed to thrill and entertain. You probably know a couple of his hits…

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: The Duchess of Malfi WHEN: Now until 3 August WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk In an attempt to prevent the fiercely independent duchess from marrying the man she loves, her corrupt brothers go on a disturbing quest to destroy her. A violent revenge tragedy that’s remarkable for its inventive and grotesque violence, yet full of dark humour.

WHAT: Disco Diva Party WHEN: 26 May WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk The ultimate tribute to Diana Ross from her early years with The Supremes to her solo career. Tameka Jackson captivates and amazes with her uncanny likeness and voice.

WHAT: Swingamajig WHEN: 6 May WHERE: The Digbeth Arena Birmingham, www.swingamajig.co.uk Immerse yourself in a vintage wonderland as this awesome festival returns to Digbeth. With a diverse line up this isn’t just about music with cabaret, dance, magic and incredible art installations all on show.

WHAT: Bill Bailey – Larks In Transit WHEN: 2 May WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 WHAT: The Baby Show

www.theticketfactory.com

WHEN: 18 to 20 May

Larks in Transit is a compendium of travellers’ tales and the general shenanigans of 20 years as a travelling comedian. With musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, Bill Bailey tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness.

WHERE: Birmingham NEC, www.thebabyshow.co.uk It’s the UK’s biggest pregnancy and parenting event of the year! An incredible one-stop-shop for those shopping for their new arrivals – including the UK’s biggest range of prams, buggies and car seats. You’ll find more than 200 exhibitors and expert advice on hand.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Yoruba Women’s Choir WHEN: 24 May WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk This Nigerian choir is one of the world’s finest. The soulful harmonies and infectious rhythms of their six-piece band are combined to create an uplifting musical experience. The mix of secular and non-secular songs will lift your spirit and soothe your soul.

WHAT: Joseph Calleja and the CBSO WHEN: 25 May WHERE: Symphony Hall, tel: 0121 780 3333 WHAT: Grumpy Old Women

www.cbso.co.uk/whats-on

WHEN: 9 May

The celebrated Maltese tenor, accompanied by the magnificent CBSO, returns for an evening of glorious singing and favourite operatic melodies, including arias and songs by Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, Mascagni, Cilea and Tosti.

WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Fed up with flogging their guts out and always having to be in charge, the Grumpy Old Women have put their knobbly, worn feet up in glorious retirement, free at last to practise their extreme colouring-in, ukelele orchestra and novelty fudge-making. Starring Jenny Eclair, Dillie Keane and Lizzie Roper

WHAT: An Evening with Alexander Armstrong WHEN: 21 May WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Perhaps better known for his comedy, the presenter of TV’s Pointless can now also boast two Top 10 albums. Having spent years performing in choirs, Armstrong’s beloved musical heritage is on full, glorious display with these shows, demonstrating what a gifted baritone he really is.

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WHAT: B-Side Hip-Hop festival WHEN: 9 to 13 May WHERE: Various, www.birminghamhippodrome.com/bside A free annual festival celebrating all things Hip-Hop. The weekend’s activities include a range of exhilarating outdoor performances, pop-up dance events, interactive talks and live graffiti art alongside an explosive programme of high-energy workshops.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Nadine Coyle WHEN: 11 May WHAT: Foodies Festival

WHERE: Birmingham

WHEN: 22 to 24 June

O2 Institute,

WHERE: Cannon Hill Park,

www.academymusicgroup.com

www.foodiesfestival.com

/o2institutebirmingham

One of the finest celebrations of food and drink returns with another mouthwatering event, which this year includes the launch of a brand new Musicians Against Homelessness music stage with acts including Toploader, Dodgy and The Hoosiers.

Performing the greatest hits of Girls Aloud alongside songs from her forthcoming new album, Nadine Coyle is hitting the road.

WHAT: RHS Malvern Spring Festival WHEN: 10 to 13 May WHERE: Three Counties Showground, tel: 0844 811 0050 www.threecounties.co.uk/rhsmalvern/ A superb collection of top medal-winning show gardens, charming school gardens, spectacular floral displays and celebrity talks. Love your garden. Love your food. Love this show.

WHAT: Daliso Chaponda What The African Said... WHEN: 18 May WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The Britain’s Got Talent and Amanda Holden’s golden buzzer act comedian captured the nation’s hearts and has since notched up more than nine million views on YouTube. This is a show about gossip, tall stories and declarations of love.

WHAT: Matilda the Musical WHEN: 3 July to 8 September WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com The multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by Roald Dahl. Written by Dennis Kelly with original songs by Tim Minchin, this is just a wonderful, not-to-be-missed show.

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IN THE CITY

On my doorstep I have a ready-made film set (Spielberg filmed parts of

Ready Player One on Livery Street), independent businesses, historic buildings and pubs galore! The JQ can become one of the UK’s most successful locations

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I am Luke Crane, executive director of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT). I started my career in events management but have spent the past seven years developing and delivering BIDs across the UK. I now run the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement (BID), the biggest BID by area in Birmingham, and oversee the delivery of projects including the HLF-funded Townscape Heritage.

HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? I live in the Jewellery Quarter, which means that when I have meetings in town I either walk or take the Metro from St Paul’s or the Jewellery Quarter. It’s great because it only costs a £1… or 90p for me because of the Swift card!

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?

POWERWALKING?

St Paul’s Square and Key Hill Cemetery are great spots. Despite the common perception, the cemetery is an interesting place and important Birmingham historical figures are buried there, including Joseph Chamberlain and Alfred Bird.

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? It has to be the JQ! It has a real buzz about it and as you walk through the streets you get a real feel for its history as well as its current success. It is a place which attracts creativity, a unique area in the heart of a great city. On my doorstep I have a ready-made film set (Spielberg filmed parts of Ready Player One on Livery Street), a plethora of independent business, fascinating historic buildings and pubs galore! But what I love the most is its potential to build on this to become one of the most successful locations in the UK.

It’s fantastic! I’ve had the good fortune AFTERWORK PINT? to work in many towns and cities in the I’m still ticking off the places on the JQ UK, but Birmingham is by far my Ale Trail. We have more than 20 places in favourite place. I’m proud of the hardthe JQ serving real ale and a couple of working and energetic community in the Jewellery Quarter and the diversity of the Luke Crane, executive director of the breweries producing and serving great businesses here. These range from micro Jewellery Quarter Development Trust craft beer! The BID team enjoys a good pub quiz so it’s not unusual to find us businesses to established independent either at the Rose Villa Tavern or Lord Clifden. retailers and major brands such as Mitchells and Butlers.

COFFEE BREAK?

HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?

I have my pick of independent coffee houses in the Jewellery Quarter, so I’m always fully caffeinated up!

I regularly talk to business owners and organisations to discuss how Birmingham can get better. Improving the city’s air quality is becoming a priority and I hope that we can work with partners to reduce carbon emissions and ensure future generations benefit from the decisions made by us now. I

LUNCHTIME? I don’t often have a chance for lunch on a weekday but when it comes to the weekend I’ll tend to find somewhere for a roast. 1000 Trades and the Red Lion are pretty good. If I have friends over, the (bottomless) brunch at the Button Factory normally goes down well!

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The annual JQ Festival, celebrating all things Jewellery Quarter, returns from 20 to 22 July. Details at www. jewelleryquarter.net

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May issue 2018 (issue 68)  
May issue 2018 (issue 68)  
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