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May 2019

Birmingham living

ORIGINAL RUDE BOY

SUMMER LOVIN’ FOOD & DRINK

NEVILLE STAPLE

HOT TO TROT DRESSES FUN & FESTIVALS GREAT OUTDOORS

SQUASH STAR SARAH-JANE PERRY

MALVERN SPRING SHOW FULL SPEED AHEAD

BRITISH MOTOR MUSEUM

JOHN TAYLOR

DURAN DURAN LEGEND ON THE BIRMINGHAM MUSIC AWARDS

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TONY ELVIN + THREE CHURCH ROAD + MIKE BULLARD + YOUNG BRITISH DESIGNERS


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EDITOR’S VIEW

W

hen I was a kid growing up, a trip to the museum was seen as a ‘legal bunking off school’ day out. Anything to get away from the classroom, even if it meant looking at a bunch of musty old artefacts in glass cabinets! It’s all different these days, of course. And so much the better for it. In the Midlands, we have some wonderful museums and galleries – each offering visitors, young and old alike, not just an insight into the past or the future but also interactive involvement to make the experience motivating and thoroughly enjoyable. The British Motor Museum at Gaydon is a great example. Until 2015, it was known as the Heritage Motor Centre. Then it was given a £1.1million refurbishment, rebrand and relaunch with its new title. Along with the overhaul of buildings and exhibits, the team embarked on a huge programme of community engagement and outreach with schools, groups and organisations – all aimed at making the place ‘much more than a museum’. The culmination of that hard work has been a big rise in numbers visiting the museum – especially schools, young people and young families – and the news that it is has been shortlisted for the 2019 European Museum of the Year title. (Last year’s winner was London’s Design Museum.) Hardly a week seems to pass without receiving some positive news or initiatives from the museum. The place is brimming with inspiration and ideas, from its award-winning educational programmes which follow the national curriculum to its food offerings which have won a clutch of healthy-eating accolades. So, good luck to the museum’s team at this month’s award ceremony in Sarajevo. They deserve all the plaudits that come their way.

s n h o J d i v Da

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

Cover image:

John Taylor by Stephanie Pistel

/bhamliving

FINALIST

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

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

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

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

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INSIDE

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Highlights

John Taylor

Duran Duran legend on why this month’s Birmingham Music Awards mean so much to him

British Motor Museum Shortlisted for European Museum of the Year, the rise and rise of priceless Midlands’ gem

Food & Drink Butchers Social’s Mike Bullard casts a culinary spell, plus this month’s best eats and drinks

Style Maximum impact, minimum faff… yes, a dress does it best in your summer wardrobe

Health Get set for the big race! The countdown is on to the Simply Health Birmingham Great Runs

Outdoor Living The power-washing and replacement fencing are done, so now we’re on to the fun stuff

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

58 60 64 66 78 82 may 2019

Motoring

Summer loving reaches a new level as we go topless in the 2019 Audi TT Roadster

Young, Gifted & Brummie Squash player Sarah-Jane Perry looks ahead to the European Team Championships in Brum

Up Close WithÁ Tony Elvin – a year on from leaving Hotel du Vin to take charge of Touchwood Solihull

Business Debra Hepburn of Young British Designers, plus news from the commercial community

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

In The City The Original Rude Boy, Neville Staple, talks music, food and Birmingham’s roadworks!

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NEWS

VÉLO ATTRACTS 20,000 More than 20,000 riders of all abilities are set to take part in one of Europe’s biggest cycling events, Vélo Birmingham & Midlands. The event on 12 May follows a 100-mile closed-road route through the West Midlands, raising money for local and national charities. Starting and finishing in Birmingham city centre, cyclists will also pass through Coventry – the 2019 European City of Sport & 2021 Capital of Culture.

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

NEWS GLOBAL ARTS BID

A three-year project is aiming to establish Birmingham as a leading international centre for contemporary Pakistan and Bangladeshi arts. Transforming Narratives is managed by Culture Central, supported by Arts Council England and delivered in association with the British Council. Featuring 12 diverse Birmingham-based cultural organisations, it links Birmingham with major cities in Pakistan and Bangladesh and will lead to new artistic works, a cultural leadership programme, new audiences and creative exchange and dialogue.

COMEDY FESTIVAL We all like a good giggle – and there’s no better place than the first-ever Coventry Comedy Festival which launches this month. For 10 days from 3 to 12 May, the city will play host to international and local comedians and acts, including Tom Allen, pictured, across multiple city centre venues. The festival will feature stand-up, improv and musical comedy and family shows. Full line up at www.coventrycomedyfestival.com

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NEWS

YOU CAN’T BEAT A BIT OF BULLY Are you handy with the arrows? A new Birmingham darts bar is just the place to show off your skills. The 180 Club, which also serves food and drink, is tucked away beneath the Rectory in the Jewellery Quarter and boasts six darts lanes. Manager Berni Scott-Rushfirth said: “We’re proud to be bringing such an exciting concept to the city.” Electronic dart boards feed back tips and tricks to players in real-time.

UNWIND WITH GENTLE REBEL Looking for the perfect

IN BRIEF

antidote to combat a 24-hour,

E-BUS CONTRACT

wellness studio Zurakaro is a

Birmingham Airport has awarded Volvo Bus UK the contract to supply the airport with six 7900e single deck electric buses. The ultra-low emission buses will operate as the free passenger transport service via all airport car park routes.

MOOR SPACE Plans to transform Birmingham Moor Street as the link with Birmingham New Street and HS2 services at Curzon Street have been revealed. The concourse will double in size with two new platforms to meet growing passenger demand.

hyper-speed lifestyle? New specialist yoga, meditation and martial arts space designed by Birmingham’s Andy Smart, a Shamanic Yogi,

SUPER-SPA OPENS A spa has unveiled a £500,000 new look with the emphasis on luxury. The project at thespa at the Cube includes more treatment rooms, bigger relaxation/quiet area and a series of hanging canvas Cacoons where guests can literally hang out! The spa also features two traditional Arabian Rasul mud-based spa treatment rooms, while leading UK skincare brand Elemis has opened a flagship store on site.

BISHOP’S BIG SEND-OFF

who is also known as the Gentle Rebel. Andy, pictured, has taught yoga, meditation and martial arts in the city for more than a decade and his Gentle Rebel persona has nearly 10,000 Instagram followers. The studio is at High Street, Deritend.

More than 1,000 people attended an Honour Service for Bishop David Carr as he stepped down as senior pastor HAPPY BIRTHDAY of the Renewal Christian Centre, 47 Residents and staff at years after the Solihull church first Heartlands Nursing Home, opened its doors. Guests included the Yardley opened their doors to Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, the local community to and Solihull mayor, Cllr Flo Nash. Rt celebrate their first anniversary. Rev Carr moved from the Professional Birmingham mayor Cllr Yvonne Football Association to lead the Mosquito joined the church that has grown to more than celebrations and staff awards 1,600 people. He is succeeded by ceremony. Rev Jonny Lee.

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NEWS

JQ SERVES UP A TREAT The JQ Festival is back for the fifth year running. The two-day event on 29 and 30 June celebrates the best of the JQ’s energy and heritage. Think music, performances, workshops, street food and more! If you’re interested in volunteering opportunities both before and during the event visit www.jqdt.org

STUDENTS’ RECORD DEAL An exciting new partnership will see six outstanding students from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire link up with Naxos Records to make their all-important debut recordings. The tie-up was announced by Conservatoire principal, Prof Julian Lloyd Webber, who said: “I am delighted we are able to offer our students this extraordinary opportunity to record for one of the world’s leading record labels.” The recordings will take place in the Conservatoire’s Bradshaw Hall for future international release.

G-STRING LESLEY? TV Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph is set to make a revealing visit to Birmingham this month with the cast of Calendar Girls The Musical at Birmingham Hippodrome. The musical, which is at the theatre from 28 May to 8 June, is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies

LEGENDS IN THE PARK A new, all-day Birmingham event is bringing together the sights and sounds of UK clubland through the 90’s, 00’s and beyond, alongside a line-up of legendary artists and DJs who provided the soundtrack to generations of clubbers. Legends In The Park in Perry Park on 28 July runs across five festival arenas. Guests including Jeremy Healy, Sonique and Scot Project, pictured. There’s also street food, cocktail bars and a funfair. www.legendsinthepark.com

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who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds for their local hospital. Ticket details at birminghamhippodrome.com

HOTEL BOSS MAKES HIS MARK A hotel manager has launched an extra career – as a legal graffiti artist. Adam Illes, assistant food and beverage manager at Novotel’s Birmingham Centre hotel, Broad Street, initially decorated the staff canteen and corridor with his pop art-style illustrations. Now the hotel has asked him to work his magic on the customer car park, including this interpretation of Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson. See more of Adam’s work at www.adamilles.com

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NEWS

EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY Hungry visitors can tuck in to locallyproduced burgers, beverages and barbecued meats at intu Merry Hill’s first street food event, taking place at the Waterfront on 10 May. It’s the first time Merry Hill has worked with Stourbridge-based Street Food Affair, who regularly organise foodie fairs at the Bonded Warehouse. Visitors will also be treated to live music and entertainment.

BEN’S NEW GOAL Goalkeeper Ben Foster has become patron of

Birmingham-based blood cancer charity Cure

MUDDY MARVELS

Leukaemia. The ex- Stoke, West Brom and

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity is the official charity partner of Mud Kids’

of the charity over the years, taking part in

now Watford player has been a big supporter

inaugural event in the West Midlands. Taking place at Umberslade Farm Park on 18

cycle rides such as the London 2 Paris event.

and 19 May, Mud Kids is a 3km course of obstacles in the mud. Entrants will tackle

He has also raised funds by selling football

climbing walls, crawling stations, slides and hay bales, all while slushing through

shirts donated by other Premier League stars.

mud. The event is open to children aged four and above, plus parents and

He said: “I am thrilled to be a patron of the

CHARITY KASH

guardians. Details at bch.org.uk/mud-kids or mudkids.co.uk or call 0121 333 8506.

charity which is so close to my heart.”

Former world kickboxing champion Kash ‘the Flash’ Gill is teaming up with Cure Leukaemia’s charity partners South & City College Birmingham to build a team of 100 runners for this year’s Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run in October. The four-times world champion from Handsworth, who runs his own gym in Edgbaston and is a college ambassador, said: “Trying to get 100 runners together is certainly a challenge, but why not aim high?” See Health page 44.

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

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COVER STORY

TAYLOR MADE GUITAR LEGEND JOHN TAYLOR OF ICONIC BAND DURAN DURAN

EXPLAINS WHY THIS MONTH’S BIRMINGHAM MUSIC AWARDS MEAN SO MUCH TO HIM – AND THE CITY THAT SHAPED HIM t’s four decades since John Taylor and the Duran Duran story began. The legendary band formed and played for the first time at Barbarella’s – the seventies’ night club and music venue in Cumberland Street, Birmingham. The club lasted just seven years before closing and a further seven years before the building was completely demolished. Gone, but never forgotten by bass player John. Despite travelling all four corners of the world many times over with the band and spending much of his personal life in the US, John’s musical roots are founded firmly in Brum and he has always been set on giving something back by supporting young talent from the city and ensuring they have the best possible chance to get their ‘big break’. This month the Birmingham Music Awards return, celebrating the best of what the city has to offer. Launched in 2018, the awards are heavily supported by John, who told Birmingham Living: “I like to keep in touch with new and aspiring musicians and musical artists – it’s where the energy is – and I love coming back home and rekindling my passion for the city, so I am proud to support the Birmingham Music Awards. It’s going to be a great night for the local scene!”

I

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Typically – best-laid plans and all that – John is unable to attend this year’s awards night on 16 May at Trinity Street’s great new live music venue, The Mill Digbeth (he was a presenter at the 2018 event). He’s away with the rest of the band who are busy recording in readiness of big plans for their 40th anniversary next year. But awards organisers know that he will be keeping a keen eye on who wins what among Brum’s rising stars. CELEBRATION The event is the only city-based awards to exclusively celebrate music achievement and rewards the best of Birmingham’s musicians and contributors to the music business, bringing together high-profile artists, labels, managers, publishers, producers and the industry’s media for an evening of live performance, networking, opportunities and recognition. Winners will be chosen from shortlisted nominees in categories including Best Song, Best Male, Best Female, Best Band, Best Live Venue, Best Rap/Grime Act, Rising Star, Best Radio Station, Best DJ, Brum Bastion and Lifetime Achievement. Each award recipient will be hoping for a career as impressive as that of John and fellow Duran Duran

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COVER STORY

Photography: Kristin Burns

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COVER STORY

members led by Simon Le Bon. “Despite all our global success, not a day passes when I don’t think of home, Birmingham,” said John. “There are so many haunts that I will never forget.” RESPRAY JOB John is an only child of loving parents who grew up on the same street in Birmingham. He remembers when he got his first electric guitar and wasn’t happy with the colour of it. His father found some white paint used on the family’s Ford Cortina and helped John respray the instrument. While never a big family with instruments or lessons, his mother always had music playing on the radio which she would sing along to. After her death, John discovered a notebook containing the handwritten words of 50 popular songs. Unsurprisingly, mum became Duran’s Duran’s biggest fan and both John’s parents took great pride in his music and career. John played with Duran Duran from its founding in 1978 until 1997, when he set off on a solo recording and film career. He re-joined Duran Duran in 2001 for a reunion of the original five members of the group and has remained ever since. The band still regularly tours and John explained: “We enjoy getting out and about seeing the country and the fans. The performance is the part that I love. It’s a buzz for me. We love playing outdoor festivals in the UK in the summer and indoors in the winter.” Duran Duran hit superstar status in the early 1980s, subsequently selling more than 100 million may 2019

records and racking up 14 UK Top 10 singles, including hits Rio, Notorious, A View To A Kill, The Wild Boys, The Reflex and Union of the Snake. They won two Brit awards and two Grammys and with their Paper Gods album reached the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart in 2015, making the band one of the few artists ever to achieve the accolade in three different decades. John was also voted in the top 10 of a poll by Birmingham City University to name the Greatest Brummies of all-time, ranking alongside the likes of Sir Lenny Henry, Dame Julie Walters, Ozzy Osbourne and Jasper Carrott. The poll celebrated the university’s 175th anniversary and included inspirational people across arts, business, education, sports and science who either hail from Birmingham or have made a significant contribution to the city. “We’ve got a special thing with Birmingham and people are proud of Duran Duran for being a Brum band – that’s how it feels to us,” said John. “We’re proud to be Brummies. Broad Street and the old Rum Runner and Barbarella’s is where the band first started and used to rehearse. It’s not just where we met but where we first worked.” I

SUPPORTING CHANGES John Taylor and the Birmingham Music Awards support the work of Changes UK which helps those less fortunate in our city to find recovery and fulfilling lives free from addiction. See its website: https://changesuk.org For more information about the Birmingham Music Awards visit: http://www.birminghammusicawards.com/

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FEATURE

FULL SPEED AHEAD!

FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE RISE AND RISE OF THE MIDLANDS’ EUROPEAN SHORTLISTED BRITISH MOTOR MUSEUM

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FEATURE

fter being rebranded four years ago and with a steady stream of exciting and vibrant ideas ever since, the British Motor Museum has become a real gem of the Midlands. Now it has been recognised as one of the best three museums in the UK in 2019 – and could be about to be named the best in Europe. The museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire is in exulted company, joining Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol and the D-Day Story in Portsmouth as the British trio shortlisted for the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award. If the Motor Museum were to claim the title at a ceremony in Sarajevo later this month it will follow on from last year’s winner, London’s Design Museum. Impressive to say the least.

A

TICKS THE BOXES The award promotes innovative approaches in the museum sector, particularly in the public quality of exhibitions and new developments. This being the criteria, there’s no doubt that the Motor Museum ticks all the boxes – and some. Being a museum about cars in the Midlands and their history and place in modern society presents its own unique challenges. After all, for decades the Midlands was the British car industry with legendary names and badges rolling off production lines manned

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by tens of thousands of workers. For the older generation it’s a case of looking back on what they remember as a golden age – but for youngsters growing up in a hi-tech, social media crammed, rapidly-moving world, the museum has to provide much more than nostalgic badges, bonnets and bootlids. The fact that the museum has adapted so well can be seen in the numbers. Visitors have increased to 300,000 – this includes museum and conference visitors – with museum footfall up 50 per cent since the £1.1million refurbishment and rebrand from the Heritage Motor Centre to the British Motor Museum in 2015. YOUTH APPEAL School visits have also grown steadily largely due to curriculum-led programmes and a travel support grant, with the museum welcoming nearly 16,000 pupils. Its innovative Mini Motorists under 5s activity sessions are free and take place on the third Monday of every month. Designed specifically for children aged under five, the sessions have a different theme each month such as Fire Engines, Racing Cars, Jaguars, and celebrating the Mini’s 60th birthday and includes a mix of activities such as crafts, story-telling and playtime. An outreach programme sees the museum team take objects related to the collection to community

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FEATURE

groups who are unable to visit, mainly nursing homes and dementia units. Museum managing director Julie Tew said: “There’s been a massive shift in what people expect from a museum. They were once seen as rather dusty places intended solely for people who were seriously into a subject. We took a brave decision and changed things and at the core is delivering a family offering which is much more engaging and makes learning and experiencing fun and exciting for all ages.” MINI MADNESS Those experiences are delivered by a relatively small team of 80 permanent members of staff and a further 50 volunteers who undertake roles and projects including guiding in the Collections Centre, vehicle restoration, community outreach and school holiday activities. The museum’s programme of events for 2019 reflects its mission to inform and entertain. Highlights include the 60th anniversary of the legendary Mini with the museum holding three weeks of Mini Madness family activities over the Easter school holidays, followed by events including a Classic Mini Mosaic World Record Attempt in August with more than 600 classic Minis spelling out ‘Mini 60’. The successful Gaydon Land Rover Show and National BMW Festival with Europe’s largest gathering of BMWs also feature, as well as the UK

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Slot Car Festival this month, the Vintage Motor Cycle Club Banbury Run and the Buses Festival, Retro Truck and Large Model Aircraft Shows. In July, an exciting new exhibition, The Car. The Future. Me, will open and explore futuristic car design and how we will interact with the cars of tomorrow. “It’s an opportunity to spark curiosity and see how we may travel in generations to come,” said MD Julie. Such is the breadth of the museum’s offering, it was awarded a VisitEngland Visitor Attraction Welcome Accolade in February, one of only a very small number of venues each year recognised by the tourist organisation’s Quality Scheme. The museum was also awarded Full Accreditation by Arts Council England and has even appeared on Channel 4 TV. FOODIE AWARDS For the second year running, the museum’s food offerings have also been rewarded, its gluten-free kitchens winning a gold in Focus on Gluten and silver in the Cafes and Teashops category at the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards. The museum also boasts impressive refurbished conference and events facilities which are going back to the market from July after a four-year exclusive use deal with next-door neighbours Jaguar Land Rover. Like we said at the beginning of this piece, there’s a lot more to being a successful museum in 2019. Julie summed it up perfectly: “We shout loud and proud.” Hear, hear, we say… I

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FOOD & DRINK

THE MAGIC MAN Owner and head chef Mike Bullard is casting his culinary spell on diners with his off-

the-cuff creations at the Butchers Social. It’s all about pushing the boundaries, he says Tell us about your cooking My style is all about pushing boundaries, creating bold dishes with playful flavours. The majority of dishes I create are totally off-the-cuff (admittedly some dishes are better in my head than in reality!) but when it works, it’s pure magic. Take our chicken balti pie – something that’s a complete British classic but totally transformed to fit perfectly into a restaurant environment. That’s what excites me, creating that friendlier approach to fine dining and celebrating proper food without the pretence. How did you become a chef? Age 14, I was playing hockey at a fairly high level, which meant most of my mates were older. They were downing beers on pub crawls around Moseley and I, of course, wanted in on that – meaning I needed to get myself some sort of income. So, I started off as a pot washer to earn some pennies in exchange for pints and I became intrigued by the processes that went into cooking. I used the opportunity to observe and ask as many questions as I could. Then, I started an apprenticeship at Metro Bar & Grill in Birmingham and moved through the ranks within the Lovely Pubs company before eventually leaving to gain more experience with contract catering, outside catering and working at University College Birmingham. I was appointed consultant executive chef at West Bromwich Albion, which led to multiple awards and gaining recognition within the food industry, including the Craft Guild of Chefs Award for Banqueting Chef of the Year. I also spent some time in New York working for Le Bernadin (three Michelin stars), Per Se (three Michelin stars) and the Breslin (one Michelin star). Being a Brummie born and bred, it was really important to me to return to my roots and bring that Birmingham heritage to my food. I was inspired by Glynn Purnell and my cooking embodies Brummie heritage.

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What do you eat when at home? I never eat at home. When I’ve been working in the kitchen, the last thing I want to do is spend my downtime in there too! I’ve got two young boys and of course I cook for them. Simple, hearty meals like homemade curry and pasta dishes – the type of wholesome, comfort food that reminds you of home. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? It’s difficult to pin it down to one! For me, it has to be Thomas Keller. He’s totally changed the approach to modern cooking, creating a new pattern within the hospitality profession. Something that really resonates with me was a

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CHEF’S CORNER

quote from him: “A great meal is a journey that returns you to sources of pleasure you may have forgotten and takes you to places you haven’t been before.” That’s something that sits at the heart of my cooking and the culture of the Butchers Social. In the West Midlands, it’s also hard to put the spotlight on one. Matt Cheal of Cheals is producing some great food at the minute. Just over the road (literally) from the Butchers Social, Cheals is helping to put Henley on the map as a foodie destination. Is the customer always right? They pay the bills. Share a cooking tip Salt is your best friend. So many people use salt as an afterthought but I can’t stress how important it is to use during cooking to enhance the flavour. I couldn’t cook without it. Or butter. The only other thing I would say is, keep it simple, use natural ingredients and you can’t really go wrong. What was your favourite food as a kid? A fish finger sandwich, complete with both tartar sauce and ketchup. Oh, and that awful burger cheese that can’t even really be classed as cheese… Food heaven and food hell? Heaven has got to be anything meaty – beef, short rib, ribeye. It’s a yes from me. My hell is horseradish. It’s the devil’s work. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Weird stuff in Thailand… I’m still not exactly sure what it was. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? It’s got to be a fireman. There’s something very appealing about four days on and four days off! What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? Masala chicken, Balti pie and spiced lentils or a good old-fashioned ribeye. The Butchers Social, 97 High Street, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5AT. Tel: 01564 792135 thebutchers.social

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SEASON’S EATINGS

DELICIOUS DOUGHNUTS We’re about to go nuts for doughnuts because it’s National Doughnut Week ew things are tastier than a fresh doughnut so why not celebrate National Doughnut Week – from 11 to 18 May – by having a go at this (relatively) easy recipe. 

F

Ingredients

 250g strong white flour  40g caster sugar

 7g sachet fast-action yeast  1 tsp salt

 1 egg, lightly beaten  150ml warm milk

 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly  Vegetable oil  50g vanilla or caster sugar  350g jam (optional)

Method: Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl then add the yeast and salt and fork together. In a separate jug mix the egg, warm milk and melted butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Mix then bring together with your hands until you have a soft dough. Lightly grease a clean work surface with vegetable oil and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth, shiny and elastic. Grease the inside of a large bowl with a little oil, add the dough then cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about an hour until it doubles in size. When it’s doubled, knock back the dough to remove the air. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls then place on a greased baking tray and cover with a piece of oiled cling film for 30 minutes to 1 hour until the dough again doubles in size and springs back when you press with your finger. Fill a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan two-thirds full with the oil. Heat to 190C. Fry the doughnuts in batches, cooking for 3 minutes on each side, moving them around in the oil. Drain briefly on kitchen paper, then toss them in the vanilla sugar. If you are filling with a jam of your choice, make a hole in side of each doughnut and pipe in the jam.

For doughnut fun, competitions and news follow National Doughnut Week on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NationalDoughnutWeek/, Twitter @doughnutweek and Instagram @nationaldoughnutweek

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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

BLUE PIANO’S GRAND NEW MENU The Blue Piano, Edgbaston has launched a mouth-watering, new lunchtime menu where you can enjoy two starters or small plates for £9.95, or one starter or small plate and a main course for only £11.50. South East Asian dishes include Grilled Chicken Banh Mi, Jackfruit and Rambutan Red Curry and Smoked Mackerel Fried Rice.

NOW THAT’S WHAT WE CALL JERK!

JOIN THE STREET FOOD CLUB

If tasty street food is your thing – and why wouldn’t it be – great news! Longbridge Dining Club is back in the town centre from May Jamaican restaurant Jamaya is through to September. Award-winning traders bringing the taste of the include Baked in Brick, English Indian, Caribbean to Touchwood Low ’N’ Slow, Victoria Creperie and Platinum Solihull. With decor as vibrant as Pancakes. There’s craft beers on tap, plus the colours on the Jamaican flag, entertainment with free entry. Details: Jamaya celebrates the authentic taste of proper jerk chicken and Jamaican fried chicken. They use a secret and unique marination process that gives Jamaya’s food its jerk-tastic flavour. Well worth a visit.

www.longbridgelife.co.uk

PEACH OF A PLACE TO WORK Big congrats to all at the Peach Pub Company, which runs the High Field, Edgbaston, after being named in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies list for the third year running. Peach was crowned number 48 in the list, which ranks the best businesses in the country to work for, based on the opinions of the people who work there.

HOTEL OF THE YEAR TITLE

A record-breaking 12 months has been capped by a top award for Birmingham’s Radisson Blu after it was named hotel of the year in the UK, Ireland and Western Europe Region within the Radisson Hotel Group. The hotel has been a big supporter of local charities, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Teenage Cancer Trust, as well as being active with Birmingham School of Catering.

PROSECCO BAR ADDS FIZZ BY THE CANAL Summer’s day, soaking up the atmosphere canalside, glass of prosecco in hand. It doesn’t come much better than the new Bottega Prosecco Bar on the Arena Birmingham boardwalk. The bar offer glasses of prosecco and wine from the Bottega selection and food such as Cicchetti – small sharing dishes inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. Perfect…

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

IT’S THE REAL DEAL!

In? Out? Shake it all aboutÁ and create the Tiramisu Cocktail, a perfect antidote to Brexit blues on’t know about you, but we’re in need a proper pick-me-up right now! We put it down to Brexit – after all, who doesn’t need a stiff drink or three after seeing the chaotic shenanigans of MPs in Parliament? We’ve found the perfect Brexit antidote, courtesy of this exclusive and indulgent tiramisu cocktail created by Daniele Vignali, head mixologist at Sky By The Water, Resorts World. Mix it up yourself and we promise you’ll forget all about Article 50 and backstops. Just enjoy responsibly…

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ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY INGREDIENTS:

I 25ml Bacardi Carta Oro

I 25ml coffee (or a shot of espresso) I 15ml Kahlua

I 15ml cocoa syrup

I 10ml sugar syrup (1:1 caster sugar and boiling water) I 50g mascarpone

METHOD: Put all the ingredients in a shaker and shake until chilled (30 seconds). Double strain carefully into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dust of cocoa powder and a lady finger biscuit Sky By The Water, Resorts World Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PU. Tel: 0121 273 1200 rwb.co.uk

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

CHEQUERS AT CROWLE

Crowle Green, Crowle, Worcs, WR7 4AA. Tel: 01905 381772 thechequersatcrowle.com e love Birmingham, but there are times when we want to escape the city and go for something all together more country. You know the vibe, crackling log fire, rolling views featuring sheep or similar livestock, delicious wholesome grub and a well-stocked bar. The Chequers at Crowle is all of that and a bit more. It would probably be insulting to call it a country pub as it’s pretty swish and the food is definitely above grub level, but it’s got the warm cosy vibe we were after. A well-stocked bar was a given – these guys know what they’re doing. A super wine list, lots of gin and some cracking beer made it a bit of a crowd-pleaser. The menu had seen some changes since the last time we fancied a dose of country air, but the old favourites were still winking away – like smoked haddock fishcakes and top notch bangers and mash. A starter of crab and lime tagliatelle from the specials menu could have done with being halved, however it hit the spot with its zingy freshness and perfect pasta. The friend went classic and ploughed into a really delicious chicken liver parfait served with a brilliant chutney, sharp cornichons and fantastic bread. No complaints. The friend stuck with the classics and tucked into an Aubrey Allen rump steak, cooked perfectly,

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served with a generous helping of moreish garlic and crayfish butter. (There’s a choice of flavoured butter and sauces if crayfish isn’t your thing.) Chips were old school fat fellas with plenty of crunch on the outside and a fluffy middle. A classic’s a classic for a reason. A flavour-packed herby ballotine of guinea fowl came served with a buttery fondant potato, spinach and a sweet piperade which we enjoyed hugely. Then came another classic in the form of an apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream. Crisp pastry, sticky sweet soft apples and perfect vanilla ice cream. Beautiful. The only thing missing was a bed. If they had rooms we’d have stayed all night. I

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FOOD & DRINK

ALSACE

ALL ROADS LEAD TO

A WARM SUMMER’S EVENING, GREAT COMPANY AND A PERFECT GLASS OF LOCAL WINE – WELCOME TO HEAVEN, SAYS ROB PRICE

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lsace. Wow what a region! The people, the place and the wines are all equally fantastic. Nothing better than on a warm summer’s evening in the old town area of Colmar, sipping in one of the many cobblestone street cafes, a glass of Crémant d’Alsace. This refreshing, excellent bubbly is the perfect fizz as you people watch in this wonderful area of northern France. Its perilous location close to Germany, means its culture, cuisine, architecture and language reflect the history of these two great nations. And what a climate, one of the sunniest and driest places in France. The Vosges mountains run down the western side of Alsace, thus snatching most of the rain from the prevailing westerly winds.

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RICHLY TEXTURED Dry warm summers have a huge influence in the style of wines produced. While still mainly white wines, they are richly textured with wonderful aromas of peach and flowers. Always that tingle of tantalising acidity. These wines fill the mouth leaving you wanting more. Four main grapes varieties are used – Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. The first three have ‘noble’ status, which means they can make Grand Cru wines and the top sweet wines in Alsace. Most Alsacian wines are made using a single variety which is (unusually for France) shown on the label. Riesling – a delightful aromatic grape with apple pear, flowers and peach leaping out of the glass to attack your nose. Here (unlike Germany) these wines are mainly dry with crisp acidity and the perfect match with spicy food and Asian cuisine. Gewürztraminer – Pungent aromas of spices, scent, lychees and roses. I’m told a bit like a lady’s boudoir – not that I would know of course! These tend to be more off-dry, rich and full-bodied. I tend to call them the ‘Marmite’ of wines. You’ll either really love or hate them. Again, brilliant with spice-driven food.

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ROB’S

FOOD & DRINK

TO TRY

Rolly Gassmann Riesling, 2013 From one of the best producers in Alsace comes this wine with lovely depth and richness. Aromatic, floral dry and crisp. Waitrose £19.99 Domaine Schlumberger ‘Les Princes Abbes’ Gewurztraminer, 2016 Off dry, with that typical nose of rose petals, oriental spice with pineapple, melon and banana. Majestic £16.99 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve, 2015 This is their house classic with all the trademark richness of Pinot Gris and also so refreshing and complex. Try with savoury food. The Wine Society £16 Old Vine Auxerrois, Domaine Paul Blanck, 2016 And the last one is a bit of a rarity. Recommended by my Association of Wine Educators colleague, Sandy Leckie, in our newly published 100 AWEsome wines, 2019. Just off dry with soft peachy fruit, zesty citrus peel and a hint of spice. Waitrose £14.99

VERSATILE CHOICE Pinot Gris – the same grape as Pinot Grigio, which we consume in huge quantities from northern Italy. But the Alsace version is very different. Here you’ll find a wine that’s rich, full-bodied, with lots of alcohol. Lovely flavours of lime, pear, nectarine, honeysuckle and honey. A very food versatile wine that will pair well with a range of fish, pork, duck and soft cheeses. So, while most Alsacian wine are dry, the sweet wines produced are excellent. Look for Vendanges Tardives, ‘late harvest’ on the label. Or even sweeter and more complex, Selection de Grains Nobles. These grapes usually have some degree of noble rot, with intense aromas of orange peel, apricot and honey. I

Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun, informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses, in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, and Warwick. NEW Café Rouge evenings! More details: Rob Price 0121 270 7359 or www.birminghamwineschool.com

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LUNCHSPOT

THREE CHURCH ROAD St George’s Place, 3 Church Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3SH. T: 0121 2380 803 threechurchroad.co.uk ou know when people say, ‘have you been to such a place yet? You really should,’ well the child in us performs an internal, ‘sod off, don’t tell me what I should do’ while outwardly smiling sweetly. This happened with Three Church Road. We ‘should’ have gone for months, but didn’t. Better late than never. Looking at our camera roll after lunch we found we’d snapped as many photos of the interior of the place as the food. Tastefully decked out with pieces sympathetic to the building’s original period, the designers have achieved a comfortable and highly Instagrammable grown-up grandeur. The bar area is fantastic as, we imagine, the terrace would be on a hot day should we ever be lucky enough to enjoy one. There were two menu options for lunch; the Market Menu which was a reasonable two courses for £17.95 and three for £21.95 and All Day Dining which had a bit more choice and on balance was slightly more expensive. I went All Day while the friend went for Market. Smoked duck breast with a leg bon bon, celeriac puree and duck fat confit radish was a great start. The smoked duck breast was so tender it was firmly in melt in the mouth territory while the crisp, rich bon bon with shredded leg was seriously good. The silky celeriac puree was great while the confit radish didn’t really add much other than one of our five a

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day. Not to be sniffed at. The friend’s spiced fishcakes, while they were perfectly tasty, weren’t really spicy, so not really a grumble about the food as much as trade description. The avocado mayo worked really well. A piece of Skrei cod tasted great and had a good thwack of mustard across the top. We loved it, but if you’re not a fan of the hot stuff, maybe ask the kitchen to tone it down. The chorizo choucroute (bit like a cassoulet) that the fish was nestled on was absolutely delicious; salty, almost creamy gorgeousness with crisp chorizo. We didn’t really understand the dumpling though – the inside was zingy and fresh with lemon and crème fraiche, but the outer was a bit hard. It seemed like a bit of an unnecessary addition to a dish that felt complete without it. Mustard seed confit pork belly with mash and red cabbage was devoured enthusiastically. The pork belly was that perfect blend of crisp skin and soft, almost buttery meat with a jug of rich jus to add to the unctuousness. Mash and red cabbage played second fiddle, but my gosh they played it well. Dessert, as always was utterly unnecessary, but when in Rome. We shared a chocolate delice, rich with cream and cherries as well as dark chocolately good stuff. Dreamy. We sent almost entirely clean plates back to the kitchen which we very rarely do. If you haven’t been already, you really should go. I

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ADVERTORIAL

HOW WILL YOU HOLIDAY THIS SUMMER? DISCOVER PARADISE WITH ONE OF BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT’S GREAT LONG-HAUL DESTINATIONS – OR GET YOUR THRILLS NEARER TO HOME ooking to travel further afield this summer? Get inspired by a collection of long-haul holiday destinations – from North America to Africa – all flying from Birmingham Airport. With so many options providing a wealth of varied itineraries, picking where to go can be tough. From the white sands of Dubai to the souks of Marrakesh, here are three of the best long-haul holiday destinations worth visiting this summer.

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Dubai A cosmopolitan cityscape with pristine beaches, world-class restaurants and an exciting nightlife, Dubai is a holiday destination like no other. This ambitious city is more than brunching and shopping malls. Old Dubai is charming, especially the preserved narrow streets of Al Bastakiya, now known as the Al Fahidi Historical District. Near here is Dubai Creek, a vibrant area where the city began, full of street art, local cafes and colourful bazaars. Jamaica A jewel of the Caribbean, Jamaica offers a kaleidoscope of scenery with beautiful beaches, lush

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vegetation and friendly locals. The island offers allinclusive resorts that won’t disappoint. Morocco The gateway to Africa and a country of spell bounding diversity, Morocco provides epic mountain ranges, ancient cities, sweeping deserts and the warmest of hospitality. Whether you’re looking for adventure, culture or relaxation, Morocco has something for you.

MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT’S ON YOUR DOORSTEP Whether you’re saving your pennies, don’t have time for a long getaway or just want to make the most of what’s on your doorstep, a UK escape could be just what you’re looking for. You can fly to plenty of places in the UK direct from Birmingham Airport. Here are the best UK holiday destinations for you to enjoy this summer. Edinburgh Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Edinburgh is a popular holiday destination

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popular holiday choice. One of Europe’s largest and oldest cities, it’s lively, chaotic and like nowhere you’ve ever visited before!

within the UK. A compact city, Scotland’s hilly capital boasts many attractions, most of which are within walking distance of each other Jersey Just off the coast of France, Jersey boasts exquisite coastlines, shaded lanes and old-world charm. Although it’s the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is still only nine miles by five miles, meaning it’s extremely easy to travel around and you’re never more than 10 minutes from the sea!

TAKE A SHORT HOP TO A GREAT EUROPEAN DESTINATION

Split, Dubrovnik and Pula, Croatia Sapphire-clear waters lap onto stunning white pebbled beaches and ancient walled towns offer shade from the baking sun… Croatia is a dreamy European holiday destination. Croatia’s astounding islandspeckled coastlines is its main attraction – the perfect backdrop for all your Mediterranean fantasies. Budapest, Hungary From dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters and an unbeatable nightlife, Budapest has something for everyone. Split by the River Danube, Budapest has two districts – hilly Buda and flat Pest – connected by the 19th century Széchenyi Chain Bridge. I

Being right on our doorstep, Europe makes for a perfect summer holiday destination. With flights from Birmingham to hundreds of airports all over the Continent, picking where to go can be hard. From Croatian cities to Hungary’s capital, here’s our pick of the best holiday destinations. Naples, Italy Famous for its beautiful architectural buildings and UNESCO-protected historic centre, Naples is a Fly to all of these destinations direct from Birmingham Airport this summer. Visit the Airport’s website for a full list of destinations and further travel inspiration.

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ing livSTYLE

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GET DRESSED WEDDING, BEACH DAY, LUNCH WITH YOUR BEAU, OUT-OUT WITH FRIENDS… A DRESS DOES IT BEST PINK FOR THE WIN

Dress from Next, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE

ALOHA

Carmen Hawaiian print midi dress £60, Monsoon, Grand Central

CUT ABOVE

Diane von Furstenberg Azalea striped silk maxi dress £635, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

PRINTS CHARMING

Free People Rare Feeling printed gauze maxi dress £130, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

resses are such an easy wardrobe staple offering maximum impact with minimum faffing enabling you to make a statement without the hassle of separates. On Instagram there are three accounts we would be bereft of frock inspiration without – Lucy Williams, whose collection of delicate floral minis knows no bounds, Laura Fantacci for classic style with a nod to designer and Laura Jackson who regularly swishes about town in a show-stopping frock. Yes, it’s Instagram, so remember they’re just as likely to be doing the school run, scooping up dog poo and striving for the holy grail of work/life balance as much as the next person, but let’s not spoil the illusion. Three women with different body shapes looking equally effortlessly chic. A handful of brands that have got us hot under the collar this season are Needle and Thread, Rejina Pyo, Self Portrait and Zimmerman. Ok, they are on the pricey side but their creations will stand the test of time. The puffy sleeves and cinched-in waist of Rejina Pyo, bold floral summer dresses at Zimmerman, the ultra-feminine ruffles of Needle and Thread and the attention to detail at Self Portrait really get us going. On the high street, can we take a moment to appreciate Oliver Bonas. Quiet, understated, yet cool and confident, the brand is a joy to shop – our new

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EFFORTLESS CHIC

Floral dress from Hobbs, Grand Central

FLOWER POWER

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Bec & Bridge floral-print silk mini dress £350, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

Self Portrait teardrop lace maxi dress £420, Selfridges, Bullring

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STYLE

GREEN GODDESS

Emerald green tie £59, Sosandar

DON’T CHANGE

PRINT CLASH

Leopard print swing dress £18, F&F, Tesco

Dress from Oasis, New Street

favourite past time while waiting for a train at New Street. Check out the boxy spotted shirt dress (pictured) for instant cool. Oasis is winning in the dress stakes too. From structured utility to cute gingham, it’s definitely worth a look. M&S has nailed a denim dress with a cut that creates a knock-out silhouette (pictured) while Savannah Miller for Debenhams is riding high with a beautiful gown with a vintage vibe (pictured) – think Keeley Hawes in The Durrells – that’ll see you through many an occasion. Animal print is the new black and F&F has a cute swishy version (pictured) which is very easy on the bank balance as well as the eye. Zebra print at Next is winning too. As always, suss out what you have before you hit the shops so you’re making the most of your wardrobe and don’t be afraid to try something new. Chuck out the rule book and wear what makes you feel fabulous. The only rule you need. I

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STYLE

HIGH NECK

Striped dress £35, M&S, Longbridge

HANDKERCHIEF HEM

Dress from Dorothy Perkins

WINNING STRIPES

Zebra print dress £45, Next, Fort Shopping Park

SHIRT DRESS

Spot print shirt dress £69.50, Oliver Bonas, New Street Station

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STYLE

COOL CREASES

Johanna Ortiz Longsleeved woven shirt dress £955, Selfridges, Bullring

ALL WHITE

Principles belted dress £49, Debenhams, Bullring

CITY BREAK

ALL GROWN UP

Dress from M&S, Longbridge

Nine by Savannah Miller dress £69, Debenhams, Bullring

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STYLE

CHECK MATE

Gingham midi dress £49, Oasis, New Street

DENIM DAYS

Collection dress £49.50, M&S, Longbridge

LBD

Sarita tie-front midi dress £60, Monsoon, Grand Central

BELT UP

Utility shirt dress £60, Oasis, New Street

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BEAUTY

PROPERLY PAMPERED THIS MONTH WE SAMPLED SOME IN-SPA INDULGENCE

THAT HAD US FLOATING AROUND TOWN IN A ZEN-LIKE STATE. HERE’S WHAT WE RECOMMEND 1. BRAIDING FROM £13, DUCK & DRY XPRESS X PRIMARK In case you haven’t noticed, Brum is home to the world’s largest Primark store. There are five floors to get lost in which incorporates four restaurants, a personalisation station and our favourite area of all, the Duck & Dry Xpress salon on the ground floor. It’s the first Duck & Dry outside London and a new partnership between the brand and Primark. It’s not fancy – bright, airy, efficient in design – but neither are the prices. A wash and style is £20 while threading starts at just £4! We had a nifty bit of braiding that looked fab all day long and into the next day as we slept in it. Gross we know.

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2. LA MER FACIAL £50, HARVEY NICHOLS, MAILBOX We popped in to try the La Mer facial having sampled the brand’s new hand serum which is brilliant. The secret of La Mer is their ‘miracle broth’ made from fermented Californian sea kelp which runs through the entire range of products. The regenerating properties of the plant is what makes the products so potent. You can choose your type of facial depending on what you want to achieve. I went for hydrating. There were a lot of stages – micellar water, cleansing lotion, tonic, mist, treatment lotion, concentrate, moisturising soft cream, eye concentrate and lip balm. Super-relaxing incorporating a neck, shoulder, arm and hand massage, I drifted off almost immediately and felt that fuzzy woosiness afterwards that only a really good spa treat gives you. I left my skin make-up free for the rest of the day and used the samples therapist Nicole had given me in the evening and beyond – they looked tiny, but I’m still using the miniature Eye Concentrate two weeks on. A little goes a really long way. The cost of the facial is redeemable against La Mer purchases and if we could recommend one ‘wonder’ product it would be the Eye Concentrate with the cooling metal applicator (pictured). It’s reduced puffiness during our worst hayfever spell for years and that’s a real test. 3. THE SPA, THECLUBANDSPA, THE CUBE Freshly refurbished to the tune of £500,000, the Spa is all shiny and new. Thankfully they’ve kept the hanging pods which are super comfortable to snuggle up in and read a good book or just doze off after a good treatment. All the products in the spa are Elemis and we hopped on to the table for a cheeky mini shoulder and neck massage during the relaunch. The treatment rooms are calm, quiet and decked out in classic navy blue. The massage was just the right amount of pressure for us. Not namby-pamby, but not a full-on sports massage either – and the fragrance of the products was delicious. There was a bit of cracking and clicking in a good way that left us feeling chilled. The only downside was the entrance felt a bit like a building site due to some work happening on the Cube itself, but once we were in the spa we were unaware of any disruption.

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STYLE FOR MEN

chieving a laidback weekend vibe means sporting a cool tee in our book. In order to keep it cool there are a few things to remember. Firstly, go for quality over quantity. Spending a bit more means you’ll get a superior fabric and cut which makes a huge difference. Secondly, avoid a big blousy fit. The end result is looking like you’re about to do some DIY. Go for a classic fit – not skin tight unless that’s your jam and you’ve muscles you want to flaunt – just comfortably fitted. Thirdly, try loads from different brands before you buy and once you’ve found the one that works for you and your shape, splash out in a few colourways. Check out local lovelies Punks and Chancers for super soft fabric that fits like a dream and is a steal. If you’re on a tight budget, Primark is worth a look. We’ve picked out a handful of our favourites for a bit of inspo. I

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WORK IT1 T-shirt £6, Primark

TEE OFF GET IT RIGHT AND A COOL TEE CAN LOOK THE BOMB. GET IT WRONG – ILL-FITTING OR PLASTERED IN A NAFF SLOGAN – AND YOU’LL LOOK MORE CAMERON THAN BECKHAM

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STYLE FOR MEN

FEEL GOOD Unisex organic tee £25, Punks and Chancers

ON REPEAT Dsquared2 T-shirt £195, Harvey Nichols

BACK TO THE FUTURE

COLOUR POP True Religion T-shirt £60, Harvey Nichols

Blue tie-dye T-shirt £9.99, New Look

SKULL'S OUT Alexander McQueen T-shirt £260, Harvey Nichols

UNDERSTATED COOL Gucci logo print cotton jersey T-shirt £340, Selfridges

CLASSIC FIT Ralph Lauren Polo Sportsmen cotton jersey T-shirt £59 Selfridges

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BETTER THE DEVIL

THE EYES HAVE IT

Fendi T-shirt £350, Harvey Nichols

Kenzo eye print cotton jersey T-shirt £17, Selfridges

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HEALTH

GET SET FOR THE

BIG RACE

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON TO THE SIMPLY HEALTH BIRMINGHAM GREAT RUNS – AND HERE’S OUR TOP TIPS TO MAKE SURE YOU COMPLETE THE COURSE…

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HEALTH

t’s only a matter of weeks until the Simply Health 10k (26 May) and then a few months later the Simply Health Birmingham Half Marathon (13 October). So, now is the time for runners to really focus on the nitty-gritty of training with plenty of hard graft running sessions to build up stamina. Here’s some top tips to keep your training on track in the lead up to the big races.

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Set goals – Setting milestones for each month or week keeps you motivated. This may be something to complete, like running four times in a week, or performance goals such as a time for a park or training run. Be realistic though and don’t set goals that are too high. Pace yourself – Running around a short loop or track is actually quite enjoyable. Keep the mind active with tricks like counting the number of steps of every 100 metres or how many breaths you take per lap. Even just focusing on trying to notice something new on every lap can almost become meditation. On race day itself, resist the temptation to go flat out – if you have been used to completing a nine-minute mile, stick to this speed and don’t follow the crowd. Breathing – Where are you breathing from? Nose or mouth? Which one allows you to relax more? Belly or chest? Expanding your chest causes tension in the shoulders. The more you can relax, the more you can move the breathing to the diaphragm. Trying to breathe every four, six, or even eight steps can help to both distract and relax. Posture – Are you engaging the stomach and glutes? Imagine starring in your own run film and run the way you think you would want to see yourself running. Form – Look at the shadows to see what your arms and legs are doing. Try to feel where the wind is catching you and become more aerodynamic. How much can you relax shoulders and arms? Internal feedback – What can you feel? Where is there tension? Can you detect different movement in each leg? What muscles feel inflexible? Is your foot strike making the same sound on each foot?

Mix it up – There are lots of things that you can change in your training to make it more enjoyable – the venue (offroad, parks, footpaths, track), type of training session (intervals, run/walk, progressive pace) or when you run. Audiobooks – Rather than music, which is actually a distraction, listening to an audiobook or podcast can be an opportunity to learn something new. There is often an urge to add a bit more distance to get to the next chapter but you also get to associate landmarks, run routes and distances with moments in the book. Run to a place – It’s easier when you have a goal destination so rather than driving, get dropped off a long way from the destination, take a train somewhere or incorporate as a commute. Run with others – Time flies by when you are engaged in conversation. Energy storing – Rest is as important as training. Make sure you eat properly, drink lots of water and even think about getting sports massages. As the race approaches a few weeks away, start tapering your training in order to let your body recover properly and get rejuvenated in time for the big day. Three days before is the time to fill your body with carbs and ensure you are able to store enough energy to complete the race. Stick to foods you know work for you. Get comfortable kit – Clothing has to feel comfortable. Socks, vests, thermals, gloves, hats and even rucksacks and headphones have to sit comfortably so they are not an excuse to stop. Try before you buy and borrow from others to test. Your trainers should be relatively new, but properly broken in to prevent blisters and other injuries. Recovery – Stretching properly is a vital, particularly after the race, to prevent injury. AND FINALLY… There’s no energy boost like moral support, so invite friends and family to cheer you on and arrange a welldeserved treat for crossing the finish line. And… good luck! For more information on the Simply Health Birmingham Great Runs

Dedicate miles – Imagine family members are encouraging you as you hit each mile.

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visit www.greatrun.org

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OUTDOOR LIVING

WE’RE GLASS HALF FULL PEOPLE AT BRUM LIVING TOWERS AND AS SUCH HAVE SPRUCED UP THE GARDEN IN PREPARATION FOR ANOTHER GREAT BRITISH SUMMER… ROOM WITH A VIEW Carl Hansen BK10 outdoor dining chair £784, Nest.co.uk

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AND RELAX Furniture and accessories, Next, Fort Shopping Park

eeding, power-washing and replacement fencing are done, so now we’re on to the fun stuff – like transforming the garden into the stylish sanctuary that currently only resides in our heads. In good weather the garden becomes an additional room in your home and offers up extra entertaining and relaxation space, so treat it like the room it is and decide what you want from it before

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you launch into shopping. Split the space into zones for different activities, like entertaining, dining, relaxing, cooking, playing, and so on. And then decide what you need in order to achieve this. If you enjoy hosting, an entertaining area with comfortable seating is a must and if you’re serious about al fresco shindigs consider an outdoor kitchen or at least an outdoor fridge which will make the whole affair much more relaxing.

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ROUND TABLE Furniture and accessories, Next, Fort Shopping Park

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE Petite Friture Weekend outdoor chair (set of two) £510, Nest.co.uk

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GRAND DESIGNS Adelaide table from £499 and chairs (indoor and outdoor) from £269, Bo Concept, Mailbox

SUPERMARKET SWEET1 Furniture and accessories, George at Asda

may 2019

Lighting is key for successful evenings al fresco. Hurricane lamps and outdoor lights dotted around set the mood. Cosy blankets for lengthening the evenings after the sun has gone down are useful too, as is a chimenea. There’s nothing like a fire for a cosy vibe. Remember to create some shade in the garden either through parasols or your planting scheme. Choose a sturdy parasol and ideally one you can leave out in the winter. We’d recommend furniture you can leave in the garden through the winter too unless you have masses of garage space and the inclination to faff about. We have the space but not the inclination. Look at garden pods and arctic cabins that can extend the use of your garden, making it usable all year round. Local firm Garden Hideouts makes some stunning examples. I

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COLOUR POP1 Bright furniture and accessories, HomeSense

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HOMES

SIMPLE LINES1 Torino table from £749 and Elba chairs from £449, Bo Concept, Mailbox

TOUCH OF THE MED1 Furniture and accessories, Wilko

COSY CORNER Furniture and accessories, John Lewis, Grand Central

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HOMES

AFTER DARK Browning lantern (small) £30, Neptune

BRING ME SUNSHINE John Lewis & Partners Sunshine round showerproof outdoor cushion £10, John Lewis

FINISHING TOUCHES

CHAIR LIFT Zuiver Albert Kuip pair of garden chairs £518, Cuckooland

VANTAGE POINT Hampstead bench £285, National Trust

NOW YOUR GARDEN’S LOOKING FINE, CHECK OUT SOME PIECES THAT’LL HAVE YOU SUMMER READY PRONTO

ALL THE ESSENTIALS Llama Rama garden décor £16.99, Very

TAKE A SEAT Harrington garden sofa £1,100, Neptune

GO GREEN Tea light holder with leather handle £11.99, HomeSense

ROCK ON House by John Lewis Salsa garden rocking chair in orange sunrise £100, John Lewis

THE PITS John Lewis & Partners Morsø outdoor firepit £259, John Lewis BE PREPARED Fishbone green throw £35, National Trust

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From only £25

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HOMES

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

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HOMES

BIG APPLE STYLE The Rifle Maker, Jewellery Quarter Guide price: ÂŁ825,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1520

This unique development takes its inspiration from New Yorkstyle loft living – and this stunning first-floor loft apartment offers more than 2,000 sq ft of internal accommodation with an awesome terrace to boot.

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HOMES

KITCHEN CRACKER Plymouth Road, Barnt Green Guide price: £950,000 Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6400

A gorgeous four-bedroom, three-bathroom home that features an impressive kitchen and loads of extra reception space, including a large drawing room with French doors that open onto a lovely patio area. There’s also a garage that has been converted into a studio space.

LOCATION TO THE FORE Moor Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield Guide price: £1.2million Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6400

Situated on the edge of Moor Hall Park and Golf Club, this fabulous family home boasts five bedrooms – three en suite – a lovely kitchen/breakfast room, games room and double garage. Very nice…

BRICKS&BITS

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

ROYAL APPOINTMENT

AMBITIOUS MOVES

TALL ORDER

Show apartments for Royal House – Phase II of

International property investment firm Prosperity

Work is underway on what will become

Elevate Property Group’s £30million Princes Gate

Wealth has signalled its ambitions for growth with

Birmingham’s tallest residential building –

development in Solihull – are open for viewing.

three new appointments to its Birmingham

a 42-storey, 481-apartment tower on the derelict

Prices range from £162,500 to £400,000.

office. Marc Pearce joins as head of sales and

site of the former Click Club, Broad Street –

More than 60 per cent of apartments in Phase I,

marketing from the British Heart Foundation,

following the appointment of Irish construction

Consort House, have been sold with buyers due

Sunita Kumari is sales consultant and Sham

firm John Sisk & Son by developer Moda Living.

to move in this month.

Atwal-Kalia is investment consultant.

The project is costing £184million.

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HOMES

GRADE TWO LISTED Mill Lane, Aldridge Guide price: £1.65 million Agent: ine and Country, tel: 0121 272 6900

A stunning Grade Two-listed, five-bedroom home that’s been sympathetically extended and renovated. Packed with original features with more living space than you can shake a stick at, all set in a gorgeous location, surrounded by open countryside with cracking views over the lake.

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

may 2019

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MOTORING

BRING ME SUNSHINE THE 2019 AUDI TT ROADSTER TAKES SPORTY OPEN TOP MOTORING TO A NEW LEVEL, DELIVERING THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF SUMMER SAYS SUE COOKE s last Saturday morning was full of sunshine, which shows up the dust in every room anyway, I ditched the housework and made for the endless miles of rural roads surrounding Birmingham in the Audi TT Roadster. Thrill seekers will know exactly what I mean when I say that sunshine, open top and a 245 horsepower engine is an intoxicating mix. And what better excuse to leave the cobwebs behind than to listen to the aural accompaniment of twin tailpipes which for me is spine tingling sound. With a curvy rear

A

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end and lots of pulling power, this low-slung sports car has breath-taking good looks. TWIT ALERT I have to admit to feeling a bit of a twit in an open top and with my sunglasses on as I plunged into thick fog for about two miles. However, I didn’t feel the cold at all as the roadtest car was fitted with the optional head level, front seat heating and a wind deflector which rises by operating a switch. I’m glad I probably brought a smile to someone’s face!

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MOTORING

But the grin was wider on my face when I emerged from the fog into brilliant sunshine again. The beauty of an open top is being able to enjoy the roar of the 2.0-litre engine as it bursts into life and burbles beautifully when decelerating or idling. The high performance roadster can touch 62mph from rest in 5.5 seconds. RADIO STAR Open the very wide door of the third generation TT Roadster and enter the luxurious cabin and you slide into an almost reclining position, cushioned by the extremely comfortable upholstered seats which are manually adjustable as well as heated. I found to get out I had to be a bit of a contortionist when parking in narrow bays. The doors are very wide and don’t stay open where you place them. A raft of additional driver aids and entertainment extras make driving a little more special. The list

FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Audi TT Roadster Quattro S Line S Tronic Price: £47,460 with options Engine: 2.0-litre TFSI 245PS Performance: 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph CO2 emissions: 164g/km Combined fuel consumption: 33.6 to 34.4mpg

includes high beam assist which provides great visibility when driving at night. I liked showing off to passengers the abilities of the Smartphone Interface. To choose a radio station, you just draw the letters of the station name on top of the large button and a polite lady repeats it to make sure she has understood you properly before finding the station. For safety, the dynamic road sign display is a very visible reminder of the speed of the road – and I did find the need to be reminded. I only had to touch the accelerator and the speed gain was instant. Luckily deceleration was also very quick. Audi has just launched the 2019 TT RS with the multi award winning five-cylinder 2.5 TFSI engine. BEATING HEART This powerplant delivers 400 metric horsepower with a sprint time of 3.7 seconds to 62mph and a top speed of 174mph. The new roadster has an even more dynamic body design and extra equipment as standard. And at the end of the journey there is always the charismatic sound of the Audi beating heart. For sunworshippers, or those seeking solitary satisfaction, driving along an empty country road in bright sunshine in a roadster is a rare and wonderful thing – so unfortunately is getting away from housework! I

SHOWROOM Birmingham Audi, 780 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 4BQ. Tel: 0121 746 5500 https://listers.co.uk/audi/birmingham

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

SARAH-JANE PERRY We caught up with the top squash player ahead of the European Team Championships in Brum and found someone committed to putting in serious hard yards to reach her goals arah-Jane Perry is ranked number six in the world. She’s won numerous Tour titles – too many to mention here – is a former British national champion, rocked the triumphant England team that won the European Team Championships in 2017, took a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and is on the charge for more wins this month at the ETCs held on home turf at Edgbaston Priory Club.

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Throwing down between 10 and 13 training sessions per week, Sarah-Jane’s daily schedule sounds gruelling, incorporating morning sessions on court with her coach or a training group followed by a bike session, circuits or weights plus a match, followed by pilates or yoga in the evening. Meticulous about taking good care of her body, Sarah-Jane packs in plenty of physio, too.

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

EURO BATTLE Two hundred players from 22 nations battle it out in the European Team Championships, 1 to 4 May at Edgbaston Priory Club. Details: www.edgbastonpriory.com/etc2019

beating Tania Bailey in the final of the Manor Open to take her first Tour title. A further three titles in the following 12 months took her into the world’s top 30 where she’s performed at the highest level consistently making quarter finals, semis and ultimately winning titles. SQUASH BUG The sport bug took hold pretty early on in life and as a child, Sarah-Jane would take part in any activity, but it was squash that really got her going. She says: “I love the diversity of squash. Every player has their own strengths and style which makes for some titanic battles both physically and tactically.” Sarah’s had to deal with the mindset – other people’s not her own – that she didn’t fit the typical squash mould at a statuesque six foot. “When I was younger my main challenge was overcoming other people’s prejudices of what a player should be and look like, which was almost the opposite of who I am,” she said. Sarah-Jane’s performances have done the talking, not least beating one of her heroes Nicol David in the final of the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco.

She explains: “It’s vital for me to fit in recovery work such as massage, physio and chiropractic treatment as well. I use the English Institute of Sport hub at Alexander Stadium in Perry Bar for physio at least once a week.” Surgery on a serious elbow injury in December has been one of SarahJane’s biggest career challenges to date and not one she’d like to repeat. Sarah-Jane started playing the game at the tender age of five at Four Oaks Squash Club and began competing in local tournaments aged 11, turning professional in her third year at university in 2011

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TRUE HERO Of her fellow competitor, Sarah-Jane is full of praise: “Nicol David is a true hero. Not only has she won eight world titles but has been an inspirational role model throughout her career. Like me, she’s passionate about empowering women through sport and is using her platform to continue this past her retirement.” Nicol David is due to retire this month. Sarah-Jane’s goals are single-minded: “Short term it’s to move up the rankings but ultimately I dream of becoming number one and winning the world championships. Winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2022 is also a huge aspiration of mine.” The prospect of competing at home in Birmingham is very exciting. Sarah-Jane says: “We don’t have many major events in the UK so we really look forward to them when they do happen. It will be amazing to have so many familiar faces in the crowd and some noisy home supporters! Birmingham has so much to offer visitors and is also the hub of squash in the UK.” I

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TOP MARKS

Hallfield School has received glowing results from a full ISI Inspection. The report included both a Regulatory Compliance Inspection and an Educational Quality Inspection with the highest possible outcome achieved. The quality of the pupils’ academic achievements and their personal development were both graded excellent. The report found that a high proportion of pupils are successful in obtaining scholarships, make rapid progress and use their excellent academic skills effectively.

SCHOOL REPORT

ACTIVE KIDS British athlete Amy Hillyard talked to pupils about her sporting journey when she visited Norfolk House School, Edgbaston. The 400metre runner discussed mindfulness and the impact it can have on success, as well as inspiring the children to run four miles along Harborne Walkway. The visit was organised by the Inspired Through Sport charity. The school has also launched a Walking Bus aimed at cutting congestion and promoting exercise.

RYAN’S TASTY TREAT Talented chef Ryan Hyslop, from Kings Norton, took third place in the national Wing Yip Young Chef of the Year competition. Ryan, who studies at South and City College Longbridge, competed in a cook-off at University College Birmingham to create a traditional street food dish and a main course.He produced Thai corn cakes and fillet of pork with sea urchin, black rice, aromatic tea broth and edible flowers.

CHARITY OF THE YEAR A school for blind and partially sighted young people has been chosen as Thursfields Solicitors charity of the year. New College Worcester is a non-maintained residential and day school for 80 students, aged 11 to 19 years. College head of fund-raising, Kevin Hateley, said: “We’re grateful to everyone at Thursfields for offering to help the school to provide even better opportunities for students.”

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GROWING PLACES

DELIGHTED: Hallfield head Keith Morrow

WINNING GENES A team of Year 6 pupils from Edgbaston High’s Prep School is celebrating after winning this year’s Aspire to Engineer Challenge. The theme was Genetic Engineering and the judges of the national competition were full of praise for the EHS entry. Sally Hartley, head of Prep School, said: “We are very proud of the girls and congratulate them on their hard work and dedication.”

UP FOR DEBATE Fifteen-year-old Shivanii Arun from King Edward VI High School for Girls won the prestigious Historical Association Great Debate against stiff competition from across the country. Shivanii impressed judges with a fiveminute speech on Britain’s Industrial Revolution and its continuing effects on the West Midlands. She was praised for choosing a local subject that she had thoroughly researched and for delivering the speech without notes.

TOP SWIM TEAM Holy Trinity School, Kidderminster triumphed in the English Schools’ Swimming Association Primary Relay Gala at Warwick School. Entering freestyle and mixed stroke teams, Holy Trinity A swimmers achieved first place in both events and were the fastest in the Midlands region in every category of school, qualifying in some style for the national finals in Sheffield next month.

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CLOSE WITHÁ

TONY ELVIN TWELVE MONTHS AGO THE FORMER BOSS OF HOTEL DU VIN LEFT THE ‘MADNESS’ OF HOSPITALITY TO TAKE CHARGE OF SOLIHULL’S TOUCHWOOD SHOPPING CENTRE – AND WASTED NO TIME IN MAKING AN IMPACT

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT Over the past 25 years I’ve managed health clubs, family entertainment centres and hotels, including three years at the Village Hotel in Solihull which brought me to the region and, most recently, a six-year stint at Hotel du Vin, where most people will know me from. Twelve months ago, I joined Touchwood and it’s been a fantastic first year. IT’S WHAT I DO People regularly ask how I’m finding the adjustment from hotel manager to shopping centre manager. As a general manager of any business the common thread and most important element is the interaction with people – employees, guests, clients, tenants, suppliers, members, peers, etc. I identify the key performance indicators to that business as quickly as possible and then work with the people in and around it to drive success by taking an interest in them, driving engagement in what we’re trying to achieve and helping them be the best they can be. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE? My ambition is to consolidate Touchwood and Solihull as the premier shopping destination for the region by increasing the leisure provision within the centre, making sure everyone feels welcome and by collaborating with all of the local key stakeholders in Solihull – the BID, council, chamber of commerce, community groups and residents. It is crucial that the whole of Solihull prospers, not just Touchwood. We have a symbiotic relationship with the rest of the town and one cannot enjoy success

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without the other, so this is critical. With the investment and opportunity that HS2 will bring to the borough we are on the brink of something huge and we need to be ready for it. BIGGEST SUCCESS Highlights have been representing Great Britain at under 21 level at American Football, beating leukaemia at the age of 21 (that helps you appreciate every moment), getting my wine qualifications (more to come there) and getting to spend more time with my family over the past year since leaving the madness of hospitality. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Pay it forward. Do the right thing in the right way. Give and never expect anything in return. That’s my basic code and it’s served me pretty well. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I love Birmingham and the West Midlands. I’ve lived in Shirley, Solihull for the past nine years and my family and I are completely settled. I haven’t missed working in the city centre because I still get the chance to visit so often through work, the chamber, the civic society, and to socialise. Shirley and Solihull are improving exponentially as leisure destinations and that is great too. DOWNTIME I love my work, always have done, but for downtime it’s family and friends, wine, West Ham, in that order. (My wife says don’t forget Star Wars… haha!) I

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ing livBUSINESS

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YOUNG BRITISH DESIGNERS WE TALK TO DEBRA HEPBURN, FOUNDER OF YOUNG

BRITISH DESIGNERS, WHOSE LOVE OF FASHION HAS LED HER TO BECOME ONE OF THE INDUSTRY’S FIERCEST CHAMPIONS

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BUSINESS

edicated to discovering and nurturing emerging UK talent, Young British Designers (YBD) was spawned in 2010 by Debra Hepburn and Julian Whitehead out of a love of fashion and a desire to create an online retail space allowing fresh designers to bring their collections to market – a massive struggle for young creatives. It takes roughly five years to make any money as a fashion designer, so inclusion on YBD is a big deal. Such is its track record at providing a launch pad for the brightest British talent, once a designer is part of YBD, large brands like Liberty and Matches take notice. High profile designers such as Rejino Pyo, Eudon Choi and JW Anderson have flourished having launched collections on the platform.

D

PASSIONATE As well as the exposure it brings, the numbers stack up too as YBD buys a designer’s entire collection which is unusual in the fashion world and it also rejects the notion that designers should be asked to rent space on retail fashion platforms. Debra is fiercely passionate about mentoring young talent in addition to stocking their creations. She explains: “These young creatives have to be business people as well as designers working out branding, pricing structures, managing cashflow, chasing payment. It’s a lot to take on.” Around 15 hopeful designers send in look books every day. Debra considers every one and gives feedback to each. Even if it’s a no for now, Debra offers her advice. The designers are chosen because collectively they represent the broad range of talent from within the UK fashion industry. Debra says: “We can’t buy everybody. The budget’s not infinite but it’s important to give some guidance.” FASHION BUG In truth, as a youngster Debra would have loved to have been the one designing, but a stint at Moseley Art College studying fashion design made her realise she wasn’t cut out for it. She recalls: “I couldn’t sew a garment to save my life!” The episode did little to quell the fashion bug and as a founding partner of PR agency RBH, Debra worked with a lot of retail and fashion brands which fuelled the fire.

may 2019

The inception of online fashion brought consumers things they couldn’t find on their doorstep with Net-a-porter and Matches Fashion leading the way. The decision to champion British designers in this arena was a simple one for Debra. She explains: “I think British designers are the best in the world capable of ripping up the rule book. They take risks and push boundaries with an energy that’s unique to them. A sort of ‘sod it and do your own thing’ attitude.” With customers across the globe and now a dedicated fulfilment team, Debra’s still keen on the personal touch. For instance, each order goes out with a handwritten note. Debra’s a proud Brummie and I wonder if being based outside the capital in rural Warwickshire has been a hindrance. She thinks the opposite. “When you’re in London there’s a lot of noise and it’s hard to step outside of that and see anything else. Being away from London means we’re not blinded by brands.” In the early days getting products where they needed to be for photoshoots quickly was an issue, but they have the system nailed which means that’s no longer a problem. BIGGEST CHALLENGE The biggest challenge to British designers right now is Brexit. Speaking days before we were due to leave, Debra explained that for young designers, the uncertainty of leaving the EU is having an awful effect. “Designers set their pricing strategy a season in advance which is impossible right now. The cost of materials and customs duties are complete unknowns.” Worse than that designers have lost valuable people and partners like pattern cutters who have given up on the UK and gone home because they feel under threat or just don’t like the atmosphere. Currently YBD is purely womenswear and accessories, but discussions are underway to expand to include menswear possibly childrenswear and even ceramics and art. Debra’s energy for finding and nurturing talent and providing a global shopping experience that’s unique, independent and inspiring is hugely impressive and one of the reasons she is increasingly asked to comment on the homegrown fashion industry in the media and to judge emerging talent. I

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Themed photo area A variety of dates during December available & table centres 0121 245 2066 Festive novelties & arrival drink enquiries@uniquevenuesbirmingham.com Three course menu uniquevenuesbirmingham.com Half a bottle of wine per person DJ, host & private bar till 1.00am Further theming & entertainment options available Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP


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SUPPORTING INNOVATION Solihull-based sports fitness clothing brand Gymshark is launching the next phase of its business support for digital tech SMEs in the West Midlands. Building on its partnership with Innovation Birmingham, the company reopened the doors to its business support centre to connect with the region’s brightest innovators. Hosted at Innovation Birmingham’s iCentrum building, the #LiftYourBusiness incubator gives tech SMEs a structured programme of mentoring with the opportunity to access Gymshark’s global network.

NEWS BRINDLEY IS THE PLACE!

BUSINESS

A MILLION TO BURN? Midlands firefighter Stephen Walker is aiming to be a millionaire by the end of the year after entering a competition organised by a property wealth education and training company. He’s taking part in the Millionaire Maker challenge run by Touchstone Education to help generate a turnover of £1million or more. Stephen’s goal is to top the mark with a project to convert old pubs, offices, banks, post offices and police or fire stations into residential units, leased as serviced accommodation.

It’s all change for one of Birmingham’s best-known areas after the launch of a new look – and name. Out goes Brindleyplace… and in comes Brindley The Place. The new title is part of an ongoing investment by real estate firm Hines into the estate, home to 10,000 employees working at a range of firms, including Deutsche Bank, Deloitte and RBS. The rebrand includes a new logo, the overhaul of 300 signs and enhancement to the estate’s events programme.

NAME GAME: James Campbell Adamson and Raj Rajput from Hines

LEGAL LINE-UP Thursfields Solicitors has appointed three legal experts to help strengthen its wills and estates department across its Birmingham, Solihull and Kidderminster offices. Laura Banks joins as senior associate solicitor from Anthony Collins Solicitors in Birmingham and Sharon Rowley as associate chartered legal executive from Stephensons Solicitors in Brierley Hill. Katie Morris has been appointed as a trainee solicitor. Laura is also a visiting lecturer at the Birmingham University of Law.

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SUPER-CLINIC OPENS CLEAN AND GREEN

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, officially opened the new Europcar van rental supersite in Birmingham Newtown. With the scheduled introduction of a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Birmingham in 2020, the site provides access to a wide range of compliant vehicles. The site’s opening event for businesses featured electric van trials to demonstrate how new sustainable technology can help reduce emissions and improve air quality in Birmingham.

A team of women is ‘redefining’ beauty in Birmingham with the launch of a super-clinic. Headed by renowned consultant plastic surgeon Mrs Chien C Kat, the new Kat & Co Aesthetics clinic in Edgbaston is led by a team of highly qualified and talented women – all leading experts in their fields. Kat & Co Aesthetics has been listed in Tatler’s Beauty and Cosmetic Surgery Guide for its body contouring surgery in 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

TOP TWO LEAD BID The bosses of Selfridges and John Lewis, Birmingham have been appointed chair and deputy chair of Retail BID Birmingham to help drive city centre improvement projects. Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges, takes the role of chair while Lisa Williams, head of branch at John Lewis, becomes deputy chair. Stephanie Lacey, the new manager of Bullring & Grand Central, has joined the BID Board alongside Cllr John Cotton of Birmingham City Council.

YUMMY BRUMMIE JOINS MONASTERY

PADDLE POWER

A Midlands law firm has made an oarsome move by supporting one of Stratford’s longest-running annual events. Lodders Solicitors is headline sponsor of

Birmingham Michelin star chef Glynn Purnell has agreed terms to open a new fine-dining restaurant in one of Coventry’s most historic buildings. The Yummy Brummie is planning to open his third eatery at the Charterhouse in Coventry – a

the town’s historic Boat Club Regatta

Grade I listed fourteenth century

which has been held in Stratford since

Carthusian monastery. Owners, Historic

1879 and this year will involve 130 races

Coventry Trust, will start an £8million

and more than 300 rowers. Racing is on

restoration project in June. The

the town stretch of the river from Holy

Charterhouse will be the centrepiece for a

Trinity Church to the Club grounds by the Tramway Bridge on Saturday 15 June.

major new heritage attraction. The adjoining coach house will be converted

AWARD-WINNER HEADS REP

into the as-yet unnamed eatery.

Actor, writer and director Sean Foley has been appointed the new artistic director of Birmingham Rep. The double Olivier Award-winner for co-writing and starring in The Play What I Wrote and Do You Come Here Often? also directed the Olivier Award-winning Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. He is joined by Amit Sharma as deputy artistic director and Rachael Thomas as executive director. Sean said:“Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s history as one of the most important theatres in the country is inspiring.”

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BUSINESS BITES RAIL RUNNER

Birmingham Network Rail signaller and avid Wolves football fan, Manjinder Kang – better known as Manny – is running a half marathon and cycling from Wolverhampton to Liverpool to raise thousands of pounds for Dementia UK.

AGENCY MAKES MOVE Digital agency Lightbox has moved to new offices in St Paul’s Square after a rise in staff numbers from six to 18 in two years. The fast-growing firm has taken 3,000 sq ft of office space at the Counting House, Mary Ann Street. Relationship director Anthony Bisseker has become MD, while Natalie Pejovic has joined from SuperDream as head of client services. Other appointments are social media executive Hannah Gallop, SEO manager Luke Sinclair and web developer Ashley Armstrong.

GOLFING EXCELLENCE

NEW PRESIDENT

The Belfry Hotel and Resort has underlined its position as one of the world’s best golfing destinations by being crowned Ultimate Golf Resort at the global 59club Service Excellence Awards. The Midlands’ Ryder Cup venue also received the Gold Flag Award for the Brabazon and PGA national course. The Belfry’s Jack Bowen won Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance, while Chris Reeve was Golf Manager of the Year and Angus Macleod Greenkeeper of the Year.

FAMILIAR FACE

Solihull Business Improvement District (BID) has elected one of the most familiar faces in regional business and hospitality as its new vice-chair. Tony Elvin, general manager of the Touchwood centre plans to ‘ bring greater footfall, inclusion and energy to the area’. See Up Close

Robert Elliot, director of sales at Hogarths Hotels, has been appointed as Solihull Chamber of Commerce’s next president. He takes over from previous president Kevin Johns, managing director of Prime Accountants.

AIRLINE ANNIVERSARY Qatar Airways celebrated its third anniversary of operating from Birmingham Airport. The airline has carried nearly 400,000 passengers from the airport to Doha during that time. To mark the occasion, it showcased its new A350 on the lunchtime service from Birmingham to Doha which features the new business class, Qsuite. Airport CEO Nick Barton said: “Qatar Airways is a key partner airline and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”

Ani Evans Photography

BOOST FOR TRIATHLETE Talented local triathlete George Goodwin has been given a boost by a Midlands luxury kitchens and bathrooms firm as he strives for top international honours in his second season in the sport. Kuche & Bagno are sponsoring the athlete who won a top international triathlon in Spain in 2018, as well as recording top three finishes in other competitions, including Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire runner-up. The tie-up coincides with Kuche & Bagno’s 20th anniversary.

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AIR AMBULANCE HOSTS NETWORKING LUNCH

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idlands Air Ambulance Charity hosted its corporate networking luncheon for more than 80 guests at Edgbaston Stadium, sponsored by Wall James Chappell. Guests enjoyed a two-course lunch while hearing from Kate Dempsey, cyber protection officer for Staffordshire Police, discussing ways for businesses to protect themselves against cybercrime. I

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1 Kim Satchwell, Gareth Wood, Julie Smith, Adam Williams. 2 Lynne Stone, Jeremy Cartwright, Tessa Rollings. 3 Richard Goodall, Jon Cottrell, Adam Barnfield. 4 Chloe Brookes, Lisa Nicholson. 5 Jonathan Carter, Martyn Lomax. 6 Deepa Patel, Jeremy Cartwright, Rebecca Clark. 7 Adam Flynn, Sofia Voutianitis, Zoe Ryan. 8 Siobhan Doherty, Rachel Wade, Lynne Stone, Marion Doherty. 9 Jessica Bird, Lynda Bragg-Walker, Victoria Hicks, Ros Wilson. Photography by i.One Photography

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Rep hosts 300 guests at launch of Blind Dave Heeley film, 7 Days ore than 300 guests attended the premiere of a new film about blind West Bromwich marathon runner Dave Heeley at Birmingham Rep. The film titled 7 Days, charts how the runner nicknamed Blind Dave completed seven marathons across seven continents in seven days. Made by Pixel Revolution Films, it was produced by Nigel Davey and directed by Ian and Dominic Higgins. Blind Dave has raised millions of pounds for charity since he started his epic runs. The film is released this month. I

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1 Chris Jones, Rik Jones, Jayne Jones. 2 Kate Manners, David Manners, Sarah Manners. 3 Ian Higgins, Nigel Davey, Jack Lane, Dominic Higgins, Oliver Phelps. 4 Suzi and Joe Meads. 5 Eleanor Griffiths. 6 Andrew Fox, Suzanne Virdee. 7 Sam and Charlie Boswell. 8 Ian Higgins, Dominic Higgins, Steve and Tracy Dourass. 9 Dave Heeley, Kash Gill

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HOSPICE CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF CARE

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Birmingham St Mary’s anniversary black tie evening raises £20,000 amous faces, businesses and community groups from across the West Midlands came together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. Football legend Brendon Batson, media broadcaster Llewela Bailey, Antique Roadshow’s Will Farmer and comedic character Barbara Nice, who is played by Janice Connolly, all showed their support for the much-loved charity. They were joined by city professionals from a number of businesses, including Irwin Mitchell, EY and Digital Glue, who together raised a remarkable £20,000 at the black tie evening attended by more than 230 guests. I

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1 The team from the Birmingham branch of Irwin Mitchell. 2 Lucy Watkins, Richard Stone. 3 Llewela Bailey, Brendon Batson. 4 Rachel Shuttleworth, Debbie Talbot, Trish Squire, Ruth Roberts, Wendy Cox, Helen Smith, Cath Markham, Helen O’Halloranl. 5 Andy and Tracy Williams. 6 Ian Bowland, Karen Dowman. 7 Imran and Samra Pasha, Shakila and Sultan Choudhury, Dr Sabena Jameel, Maryam and Mohammed Saqub.

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Guests get exclusive first look as wraps come off Asha’s Solihull head of the official opening, Asha’s Solihull welcomed more than 150 guests to an exclusive preview evening for a first look at the new restaurant. Following the success of the Birmingham city centre venue, the team celebrated its arrival at Touchwood by treating guests to a selection of wines, Champagne, cocktails and an array of award-winning dishes. I

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1 Jane Morcom, Ruth Pipkin, Elaine Birkley. 2 Bobby Bassi, Catherine Gee, John Handscomb. 3 Paul Bassi, Domnic Norunha, Pawan Kenth. 4 Vinay, Pawan and Sabrina Kenth. 5 Ella and Amelia Gardner, Jordan Broadhurst. 6 James Ackrill, Harj Millington, Jill and Andrew Lawton Smith. 7 Chris Rosier, Paul Graham, Andy Butts, David Cook. 8 Tony Elvin, Jas Rohel, Suzanne Virdee, Andrew Fox. 9 Steph Collins, Barry and Dee Woodley, Linda Daly.

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NEW AWARDS HONOUR SERVICE EXCELLENCE

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he first annual Midlands Service Excellence Awards were held at Hogarths Hotel, Solihull. Organised by Henrik Court Events Management in conjunction with First Impressions Training, awards were presented to 12 category winners recognised by the judging panel as being ‘best in the region’ for providing service excellence. More than 150 guests heard guest speaker Nick Saunders, known as The Family Man. I

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1 Phoebe Alexander-Nead, Graham Foster, Angie Foster, Jeff Foster. 2 Pauline Edden, Tracey McAtamney, Natasha Blacklock. 3 Henrik Court, Elinor Perry-Hall, Lyn Bromley. 4 Elinor Perry-Hall, Anne Tasker. 5 Sam Watts, James Burton, Rachael Bates. 6 Hardip Ghattaura, Reena Ghattaura, Tara Bhambra, Bally Bhambra. 7 Hannah Nicholson, Charlotte Kelly, Cheryl Rawbone. 8 Kat Lowers, Simon Foley, Lindsey Tyler, Lisa Roberts. 9 Stuart Walton, Rachael Cornwell, Tim Venner, Candace Venner.

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It’s ‘street food and sass’ as hit musical puts on a show-stopping occasion n informal night of ‘street food and sass’ was enjoyed by 130 guests who attended the multiaward-winning musical Kinky Boots at Birmingham Hippodrome. Resident drag queen DJ Miss Penny took charge of the playlist while guests enjoyed being transformed at the MakeUp Central glitter station and helped raise more than £2,500 for Hippodrome Projects. Following the show the talented cast joined the after-party. The evening was sponsored by The Forum. I

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1 Amelia Ladbrook, Nicola Fleet-Milne, Jennie Green. 2 Jo Smith, Miss Penny. 3 Toyan Thomas-Browne, Scarlet Gabriel, Fred Smiley, Kayi Ushe, Portia Harry, Daniel Conway. 4 Emma Herritty, Jayne Herritty. 5 Jackie Kelly. 6 Sian Moxon, Kayi Ushe, Jayne Higgins. 7 Lawrence Barton, Miss Penny, David Nash, Peter James-Nash. 8 Laura Smith, Ben Wooldridge, Amy Stutz.

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Photography by Vivienne Bailey

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WHAT: Calendar Girls The Musical WHEN: 28 May to 8 June WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, www.birminghamhippodrome.com Inspired by the true story of a group of ladies who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar, this fabulous musical comedy is a collaboration between Take That’s Gary Barlow and Olivier Awards winner, Tim Frith.

WHAT: The Baby Show WHEN: 17 to 19 May WHERE: NEC, www.thebabyshow.co.uk/nec The UK’s biggest pregnancy and parenting event is a fantastic shopping experience for new and expectant mums and dads. With more than 200 baby brands exhibiting, this is the perfect place to pick up all the essentials – from buggies to bouncers, cribs to car seats and slings to sleep aids!

WHAT: Andrea McLean: Confessions of a Menopausal Woman WHEN: 11 May WHERE: The Old Rep, www.oldreptheatre.co.uk Andrea is breaking loose of the ITV Loose Women studio to take her ‘confessional’ on tour, telling tales guaranteed to get you hot under the collar. This one-woman show brings incredible stories of menopausal meltdowns, salacious secrets and take-away tit-bits that every woman needs to hear.

WHAT: The Rocky Horror Show WHEN: 13 to 25 May WHERE: The Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ’n’ roll musical returns to the UK as part of a sell-out worldwide tour, having now been seen by more than 30 million theatregoers. This classic extravaganza will star Birmingham’s very own Alison Hammond as The Narrator.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: RHS Malvern Spring Festival WHEN: 9 to 12 May WHERE: Three Counties Showground, tel: 0844 811 0050 www.rhsmalvern.co.uk An awesome collection of top medalwinning show gardens with six of the main designers presenting for the first time. New for this year is a designated houseplants section as well as a whole host of special guests who will be sharing their expertise.

WHAT: CBSO: Yuja Wang plays Prokofiev WHEN: 9 May WHERE: Symphony Hall, tel: 0121 780 3333 www.cbso.co.uk/whats-on One of the most talked-about pianists in the world today is in Birmingham and hold onto your hats as the sensational Yuja Wang goes for broke in Prokofiev’s massive Fifth Concerto.

WHAT: The Provoked Wife WHEN: 2 May to 7 September WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk Director Phillip Breen brings his comedy Midas touch to this outspoken Restoration romp that shocked 17th century society. Lady Brute is tired of her tedious, loveless marriage and her drunk husband. When she decides to spice up her love life with a younger man, scandal threatens to ruin her.

Redknapp WHEN: 13 May WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here winner and famous football manager pops into town telling stories from his footie days and his time in the jungle. Expect a hilarious evening from this fabulous raconteur.

WHAT: Mark Knopfler WHEN: 30 May WHERE: Resorts World Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com One of the most critically and commercially successful artists of all-time plays Birmingham live as part of his Down The Road Wherever tour. His back catalogue of hits, both as a solo artist and part of Dire Straits, is phenomenal. An amazing evening is guaranteed.

may 2019

WHAT: An Audience with Harry

WHAT: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin WHEN: 29 May to 15 June WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk A cast of 15 actors and singers bring Louis de Bernières’s epic novel dramatically to life. Experience all of the passion and poetry that made this love story a multi-million bestselling novel and a smash-hit Hollywood movie.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Sam Avery’s The Learner Parent WHEN: 16 May WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel: 01527 65203 www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk The award-winning stand-up comedian and best-selling author started his hysterical blog when his twin boys were born. His honest, messy account of wrestling with sleep deprivation and breast pumps will have you testing your pelvic floor with laughter.

WHAT: Croft & Pearce WHEN: 11 May WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk The stars of the eponymous BBC Radio 4 show and winners of the Mervyn Stutter Spirit of the Fringe Award bring their huge sketch talents back to the theatre touring circuit. Featuring some of their star characters, such as June and Jean. Please note… this show is a bit rude!

WHAT: Sam Fender WHEN: 10 May WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham Following a hectic year of touring and becoming one of the hottest new names in the industry, the BRITs Critics’ Choice winner launched into 2019 with new single, Play God. He’ll be performing the hit and many other favourites, as well as a taste of what’s to come, on this headline tour.

WHAT: Swingtime in the Gardens Festival WHEN: 15 June WHERE: Ragley Hall, www.swingtimeinthegardens.co.uk

WHAT: The Nolan Band Party Night WHEN: 18 May WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk

The sounds of swing and jive will be heard across the grounds of this beautiful stately home as the popular festival returns to Warwickshire after a six-year hiatus. As well as the fabulous music from bands like BGT’s The Jive Aces, there’s also market stalls, dance workshops and fairground rides.

There’s a real treat in store as Shane Nolan returns to the Marquee with his amazing band. What a showman – and what a party!

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WHAT: Sheku Kanneh-Mason WHEN: 16 May WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The 19-year-old cellist and Birmingham Living cover boy has been taking the music world by storm as he became the year’s best-selling British debut artist – across all genres – making the Top 20 in the Official UK Albums Chart with his classical album, Inspiration. This is your opportunity to see him perform live.

WHAT: Rita Ora WHEN: 25 May WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com It would be an understatement to say that it’s been a momentous few years for Rita Ora. She recently entered the Official Chart history books, breaking a record held for 30 years and has sold a staggering seven million singles. Don’t miss your chance to see her live.

WHAT: BMAG Wedding WHEN: 19 May WHERE: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Waterhall, www.birminghammuseums.org.uk Whether you’re looking to say yes to the dress, capture your day in perfect detail, or find the blooms for you, this is your chance to see some of the Midlands’ finest wedding experts under one roof.

WHAT: Club Tropicana WHEN: 7 to 11 May WHERE: Belgrade Theatre, tel: 02476 553055 www.belgrade.co.uk Take a trip back to the electric 80s and embark on a summer of love and smash-hit classics. Hair was big, shoulders were padded and mobiles weighed a ton! Stars Joe McElderry, Neil McDermott and Kate Robbins.

WHAT: Simply Health Birmingham Great Run WHEN: 26 May WHERE: Starts at Colmore Row, www.greatrun.org This is the first time the 10K will take runners and walkers through the historic heart of Birmingham city centre and along New Street. Come and cheer on all our local heroes as many raise vital funds for an array of charities.

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IN THE CITY WITH ‘ORIGINAL RUDE BOY’, NEVILLE STAPLE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I am a singer, songwriter and producer. I perform across the UK, Europe and internationally with my super-talented wife Sugary Staple and the Neville Staple Band. We perform hit punky 2Tone, Ska, and Reggae songs from my 40-year music career, plus classic party favourites and new tunes from Rude Rebels and Return of Judge Roughneck Albums. We also promote our new single #PutAwayYourKnives. We regularly perform in Birmingham. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? We mostly use the A45 and sometimes the M6 to get into Birmingham from Coventry, where I live. It depends on if we are on the tour bus with our driver heading in to perform at a show, or if I am visiting family and friends when Sugary Staple usually drives. HOW’S THE COMMUTE? Can we be honest here? It’s become quite a chore in the last few years, with roadworks everywhere, traffic chaos and lots of general lack of road manners, too.

FOODIES GIG:

Neville Staple – formerly of

the Specials, Fun Boy Three and Special Beat – whose

autobiography was titled Original Rude Boy

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? Our last few shows have been brilliant. The crowd love to let their hair down and dance and sing along. However, I keep hearing that many places are closing down, so there are less places for bands to perform. I hope that’s not true, as music, dancing and singing along are a great way for a hardworking city to let off steam in a positive way. LUNCHTIME? Sugary and I love sushi, so we would most likely eat at the Shogun Teppan-Yaki sushi restaurant in the Cube, though we also love most of the other restaurants in the Cube too. POWERWALKING? I wish I had more time for that. I’d walk in Cannon Hill Park, as the wife loves it there and says it reminds her of Victoria Park in Hackney East London, where she was born. WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? Handsworth, because my brother Franklyn lives there, and Bournville because my buddy, the late Ranking Roger, who recently passed away, lived by there.

The Neville Staple Band will be performing at this year’s Foodies Festival,

Birmingham’s Cannon Hill

Park, 21 to 23 June,

www.foodiesfestival.com

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AFTERWORK PINT? I don’t drink so tend to go to carvery pubs on a Sunday afternoon with people who do. They can drink and I can eat! Sugary is a foodie like me and friends have recommended we try the Bistro du Vin or Piccolino as they’re both pretty good. HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? More live music venues (of course!) and get the big roadwork contracts finished, or not so many at once. I would also like someone to have a good look at the city skyline of old-meets-new buildings and just see what we all see. It’s a great city, so let’s look after its finest heritage features without swamping them with cheap modernisation! I

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Profile for Birmingham Living Magazine

May issue 2019 (issue 80)  

May issue 2019 (issue 80)  

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