Page 1

Birmingham g n i liv

COVER_1118_nospine:Layout 1

25/10/18

12:30

Page 1

November 2018

WINTER WARMERS D-DAY DARLINGS

PREP

to PARTY

TOWN HALL GOSPEL CHOIR

NIGEL KENNEDY NO STRINGS ATTACHED

PINT SHOP + RAPPER VITAL + BAKED IN BRICK + LISA MART


BHAM_ (Page 02):Layout 1

24/10/18

12:18

Page 2


BHAM_ (Page 03) edsletter:Layout 1

24/10/18

10:37

Page 03

EDITOR’S VIEW

M

y wife’s little niece Elsie, age three years and 10 months, is starting to get excited. So, in truth, are we! The clocks have gone back, the fireworks have been lighting up the sky and before we know it Santa will be dusting off his sleigh. The wonder of Christmas for children, especially for smaller children, is a joy to behold. Not just because they are looking forward to – fingers crossed – receiving what was on their presents list, but because of all the magical moments that begin this month and grow and grow into December. Unforgettable moments from starting to rehearse nursery school plays, to booking a ride with Santa on the magnificent Severn Valley steam railway or visiting Birmingham Botanical Gardens to ‘ooh and aah’ at the truly wonderful Magic Lantern Festival. Even now, all these years later, I remember my parents taking me to see the Christmas lights being switched on at our local municipal park. Magic! Our news and what’s on pages list plenty of great events and attractions for all ages taking place in and around Birmingham over the coming weeks, including the legendary Frankfurt German Market in Victoria Square, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s brilliant The Nutcracker and the tenth anniversary edition of Birmingham Whisky Festival, to name just three! We’re also starting to get into the spirit by looking ahead to the party season with our Prep To Party feature. There’s great tips and advice to make sure that any party you are planning goes off like a dream. And make sure not to miss next month’s special Christmas issue of Birmingham Living which will feature our famous and comprehensive guide to all the best gifts available from what has become the UK’s coolest shopping destination.

s n h o J d i Dav

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

Cover image:

/bhamliving

FINALIST

Nigel Kennedy

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

november 2018

birmingham living 03


BHAM_ (Page 04) contents:Layout 1

g n i liv

24/10/18

10:38

Page 04

INSIDE

D-DAY DARLING

Solihull’s Jessica Hudson and the high-flying girl group who took Britain’s Got Talent by storm

04 birmingham living

12 16 20 22 34 44

Highlights

Nigel Kennedy

Returning to Brum, playing the music he loves and his tribute to Poland’s lost Jews

The D-Day Darlings Midlands girls at the heart of Britain’s Got Talent finalists celebrate war heroes in style

Born To Cook Justin Gabriel Brown, selling Chinese rolls in the playground to Hyatt Regency head chef

Food & Drink News, reviews, recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene, plus who makes the best gin?

Let’s Talk Coats! Stylish, sensational, sensible… we’ve got this season’s best winter-warmers covered

Health Forget ‘the curse of Strictly!’ Get dancing and you’ll quick-step your way to fitness

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 04) contents:Layout 1

24/10/18

10:38

Page 05

CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

46 58 60 64 66 73 november 2018

Prep To Party

Our guide on how to get your home ready for the best Christmas big bash ever!

Motoring Sue Cooke gets an exclusive glimpse into a sportier change of direction for Skoda

Young, Gifted & Brummie Midlands rapper Vital talks about the thrill of having his own BBC radio show

Up Close WithÁ Lisa Mart, theatre director of the newly refurbished and renamed Alexandra Theatre

The Gospel Truth Celebrating 10 years of Birmingham’s glorious, award-winning Town Hall Gospel Choir

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

birmingham living 05


BHAM_ (Page 06) :Layout 1

23/10/18

23:59

Page 6


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

23/10/18

18:46

Page 07

NEWS

PAC IS BACK Who knew Pac-Man was more than a mere video game? A new book by Birmingham City University senior research fellow, Dr Alex Wade, reveals the famous pill-popping character’s influence on capitalism. The work offers a guide through the maze of western society through the lens of Pac-Man. Published by Zero Books, The Pac-Man Principle: A User's Guide to Capitalism includes an afterword by Toru Iwatani, the Japanese creator of the Pac-Man game.

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

NEWS ALEX LEADS YOUTH BID

A young Birmingham entrepreneur has featured in a campaign to champion the UK’s next generation of business leaders. Alexander Rhys Boardman, 30, appeared in a Prince’s Trust and NatWest film spreading the message that young people can carve out their own success. Prince’s Trust young ambassador Alexander was helped by the organisation’s Enterprise programme, which works with 18 to 30-year-olds, to overcome anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder to launch a business selling his art worldwide.

OLYMPIC STAR BACKS BRUM One of Britain’s top gymnasts has praised Birmingham for its love of her sport. Olympic silver medallist Bryony Page won the British title at the Trampoline, Tumbling and Double Mini Trampoline British Championships at Arena Birmingham. She said: “The Birmingham public love gymnastics. It was fantastic to see so many people at the arena and their support was outstanding.” The Gymnastics World Cup will be held in Birmingham on Saturday 23 March.

november 2018

birmingham living 07


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

23/10/18

18:47

Page 08

NEWS

FESTIVE FUN

The creator of the world's smallest handmade sculptures, Birmingham's Willard

Wigan, will officially switch on jewellery-themed street lights to launch the Jewellery Quarter’s Christmas festivities on 16 November. A spectacular fireworks display will also take place on the top of the Big Peg building. Hosted by the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District on the Golden Square, the evening starts at 5pm.

WHO YOU ROOTING FOR, BROADIE?

IN BRIEF PUFFED WITH PRIDE The team at Tyseley Locomotive Works

TRINNY TIME TV makeover celebrity Trinny Woodall has announced a partnership with Selfridges which will see her beauty brand TRINNY London open its first in-store concept in Birmingham. The launch features Trinny Time meet-the-fans sessions.

MEDAL MARVEL Jennifer Holloway of Hall Green received the British Empire Medal from West Midlands Lord-Lieutenant, John Crabtree. Jennifer has given St John Ambulance 44 years’ service and helped set up Care In The Community for the housebound and elderly.

is steamed up with excitement after receiving an Engineering Heritage Award. The working locomotive restoration centre and home of Vintage Trains, was presented with the accolade by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at a ceremony in Birmingham. The depot, built by Great Western Railway in 1908, restores, repairs and maintains heritage locomotives and rolling stock both from the Tyseley Collection and other heritage railway operators.

The Belfry was the stage for a golfing shoot-out between England cricket stars Joe Root and Stuart Broad. The duo took to the famous Brabazon course as they led their respective teams in a Ryder Cup-style match. Stuart, a brand ambassador to the Belfry, emerged victorious claiming a 4½ to 1½ points win. His team, made up of corporate clients as well as one lucky social media competition winner, was presented with miniature replica Ryder Cup trophies.

ANIMAL ATTRACTION

Birmingham’s Wilderness restaurant has launched a new concept, Nocturnal Animals by The Wilderness. The venue at 20 Bennetts Hill is the second conceived be held in the grounds of by Alex Claridge to create a fun and inventive Birmingham Cathedral. experience. The site, inspired by 80’s pop culture, Christmas at Birmingham features a 42-cover fine dining restaurant downstairs, Cathedral (St Philips) on while upstairs there’s room for up to 60 people. Colmore Row will include an Alex said: “Nocturnal Animals takes food and drink dead serious, but that’s outdoor market and grotto in about it. This is fun dining Cathedral Square from above all else.” 15 November to 22 December.

MARKET DAYS

A new Christmas market will

08 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

23/10/18

18:47

Page 09

NEWS

LIGHTS FANTASTIC The spectacular Magical Lantern Festival is returning to Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens later this month. The illuminating family show – which this year includes a display of sculptures featuring both traditional Chinese and festivethemed Christmas designs – will light up ponds, woodland, gardens and pathways from 23 November to 1 January. The festival attracts more than 80,000 visitors. Tickets at www.magicallantern.co.uk

WINNING IN THE RAIN Runners from across the Midlands braved the rain to take on the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run and raise hundreds of thousands for good causes. Setting off from Broad Street, they were taken through the Georgian splendour of Edgbaston, Bournville, Cannon Hill Park and past the iconic Selfridges building, along a route lined by cheering spectators. Prominent were hundreds of runners wearing Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity red-balloon branded vests.

SARAH JOINS TOP BRASS

BEVERLEY’S A BIG DRAW Wolves matchday programme artist Louise Cobbold turned her hand to a very different subject when she painted soul-singing sensation Beverley Knight. The picture raised £1,000 as part of an auction at the One Knight Only charity ball organised by the Steve Bull Foundation and Cure Leukaemia at the ICC. As a Wolves fan Beverley, who performed with band Project 21, is close friends with club vicepresident and former player Steve Bull.

november 2018

French horn star Sarah Willis has been appointed as the first International Chair of Brass at Birmingham City University’s Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. As well as being a member of the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra – the first female to join the brass section – and an international soloist and chamber musician, Sarah is passionately committed to music education and making a love of classical music accessible to all. She will take up her position at the Conservatoire from next year.

DATE WITH DE NIRO Hollywood legend Robert De Niro is popping into town for dinner this month… and you can join him. Regarded by many as the greatest actor of all time, he will share untold stories and anecdotes from his life and film career when he appears onstage at an Experience With Robert De Niro. The black tie gala dinner is at the ICC on 27 November. More details at www.notebookbirmingham.com

birmingham living 09


BHAM_ (Page 07) news:Layout 1

23/10/18

18:47

Page 10

NEWS

DIGBETH, YOU ARE SO COOL! Digbeth has been named the Coolest Neighbourhood in Britain by the Sunday Times. Highlighting the district’s creativity and wide range of independent businesses, the Sunday Times hailed the Custard Factory’s cafes, shops, cinema and arts venues, while celebrating ‘the best bar snacks in the postcode’ from The Old Crown, ‘wraps grilled in the souped-up engine bay of a Mini’ at street food restaurant Baked in Brick, and the district’s weekly food and drink festival, Digbeth Dining Club.

DINING WITH THE STARS Six chefs, six stars… and one great event!

KEITH CUTS IT FINE

Sauce Supper Club is bringing together Glynn Purnell and five other Michelin star chefs at the banqueting suite at Edgbaston cricket ground to showcase the Best of Brum. Club founders

Master mower Keith Smith, take a bow! The Edgbaston Golf Club

Beth and Jon Toovey are organising the

greenkeeper beat thousands of rivals to become the 2018 Allett Mowers

gastronomic evening for 300 guests on

Creative Lawn Stripes champion. Keith had finished in the top five for the

3 December. A six-course dinner will be

previous three years but took the title with this stunning design. Using a

created by Glynn, Adam Stokes, Luke Tipping,

1940’s push mower, he spent nearly three hours a day perfecting his creation.

Brad Carter, Adam Bennett and Rob Palmer.

HEE-HAW, CHOOSE ME!

“Some people think I’m crazy but it’s my hobby and I love it,” he said.

Details: saucesupperclub.co.uk

Looking for that ‘different’ Christmas gift? How about adopting a donkey? Birmingham’s Donkey Sanctuary is looking for adopters who will pay £3-a-month for an official adoption certificate and pack and the chance to visit your donkey for free. The Birmingham centre in Sutton Park is one of the international charity’s six sanctuaries in the UK with more than 20 donkeys to choose from. Details at https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/adopt or call 01395 573133.

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

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 11):Layout 1

24/10/18

11:13

Page 6


BHAM_ (Page 12) nigelkennedy:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:09

Page 12

COVER STORY

KEEPING UP WITH KENNEDY VIRTUOSO LEGEND NIGEL KENNEDY TALKS TO DAVID JOHNS ABOUT COMING HOME TO BRUM, PLAYING THE MUSIC HE LOVES, HIS TRIBUTE TO POLAND’S LOST JEWS AND HOPES FOR HIS BELOVED VILLA – ALL IN THE BACK OF A SPEEDING CAR IN BELGRADE!

12 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 12) nigelkennedy:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:09

Page 13

COVER STORY

hoa! Whoa! Too close, man. Is that 10 feet or what? Just back off a bit, ok? Even in the back seat of a car on a motorway from Belgrade airport to the city centre Nigel Kennedy doesn’t rest for one minute. At the age of 61, after decades in the music business, having lived a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, you might think he’d want to ease up a bit… just a weeny bit. But, no. If anything, the virtuoso who took the violin from classical to cool works and plays harder and faster than ever. So busy is Nigel’s schedule, I’d been trying for the best part of 18 months to set up an interview with the great man. We’d got close several times only for last-minute cancellations as he tried to keep up with playing at gigs across the world, recording in the studio and spending some quality time with his second wife Agnieszka at their home in the Polish mountains, high above Krakow.

W

BACH TO THE FUTURE When I finally caught up with him, he was on his way to open the 50th anniversary of Belgrade’s classical BEMUS music festival with his performance entitled Bach Meets Kennedy Meets Gershwin. “I love playing live gigs man,” he said, rather stating the obvious. “The energy you get from an

audience is something you never feel in a recording studio. When you’re in the studio, you can do it again. But at a live gig, you have to deliver. There’s no second chance. It’s the adrenaline rush you get.” That energy was only to get more intense a few days later when Nigel returned ‘home’ to Birmingham to play at a soldout Symphony Hall. “It’s always very special for me to play in Birmingham,” he said. “It’s my home, my roots and I am among friends – the highlight of my year. I expect there’ll be plenty of old Villa legends there, great ex-players like Tony Morley. Sadly the current squad probably won’t make it because it’s a Thursday night and they will be preparing for the next match, which is against Swansea on the Saturday.” Nigel was hopeful that his son Sark, who lives in Malvern, would make the concert, however. GETTING SHIRTY Nigel is, of course, a massive Villa fan ever since growing up in Birmingham. He began supporting the club in his early teens and famously often wears the Villa shirt while performing onstage. He keeps up with all the Villa news and gossip wherever he is in the world. “I don’t get to go to the matches anywhere near as much as I want to,” he says, “but when I do it brings out all the swear words in my vocabulary. It’s a shame what’s been going on at the club because I think they’re a good group of players.” A few days before we talked, Villa manager Steve Bruce was sacked. Nigel said: “I always thought Bruce was an honest English manager. Sometimes I think the anger of fans is directed at the players and the manager when it should really be aimed at the people who run the club. But to be honest, I am just amazed how the fans have stuck with it and been fantastic despite everything that’s gone on.” With time short before Nigel was due on stage, I steered him away from football – he admits he’ll talk for hours about it given the chance – and onto his music. WHIRLWIND YEAR It has been a whirlwind year, seeing him also perform huge sell-out shows in London and Manchester, as well as headlining the BBC’s Biggest Weekend events in Coventry and Perth. His gig at Symphony Hall saw him perform pieces by Bach and Gershwin, as well as his own self-penned pieces, including his recent work, The Magician of Lublin. Inspired by the book of the same title by Isaac B Singer and set in the shtetls – mainly Jewish populated small towns – of

november 2018

birmingham living 13


BHAM_ (Page 14) :Layout 1

24/10/18

00:01

Page 6


BHAM_ (Page 12) nigelkennedy:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:09

Page 15

COVER STORY

Poland in the 1870s. Nigel’s musical interpretation is equally as vibrant as it reflects on the lost Jewish community in the Polish capital of Warsaw. In addition, Nigel performed Fugue from Sonata No 1 by J S Bach, and a selection of pieces from the Songbook of George Gershwin including Summertime, How Long Has This Been Going On, Rhapsody In Claret and Blue and Lady Be Good. The breadth and originality of Nigel’s precocious technique first came to mainstream prominence with his multi-million-selling interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – which is now one of the best-selling classical recordings of all time – remaining at the top of the UK Classical Albums Chart for over a year in 1989.

Unafraid to experiment and test his talent, he has since embraced several different projects including reinterpreting the works of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Having brought a fresh perspective to classical music by merging traditional with contemporary, Nigel has sold out the most prestigious of venues worldwide several times over. After returning to Birmingham, he was heading to London to perform at a special anniversary at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club. This month he’s playing in Berlin and Munich in Germany and Vienna in Austria. He also revealed he will be on tour in Australia in the New Year – by which time he hopes his beloved Villa will have shot up the Championship table. A title or play-off spot would be nice at some point, he muses. And as if to reinforce his love of not just Villa but Midlands football as a whole, he ended our interview by saying: “You know, man, my dream is for Villa and all the Midlands teams to be in the Premier League – even the Bluenoses! I know that Wolves are already there and doing well, but to get the other clubs there with them would be the shot in the arm the city and the region needs.” I

I DON’T GET TO GO TO VILLA

MATCHES AS MUCH AS I’D LIKE TO, BUT WHEN I DO IT BRINGS OUT ALL THE

SWEAR WORDS IN MY VOCABULARY

november 2018

birmingham living 15


BHAM_ (Page 16) ddaydarlings:Layout 1

23/10/18

14:32

Page 16

FEATURE

16 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 16) ddaydarlings:Layout 1

23/10/18

14:32

Page 17

FEATURE

THE D-DAY DARLINGS AFTER REACHING THE FINAL OF BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT 2018, THE HIGH-FLYING GIRL GROUP LAUNCHES A DEBUT ALBUM THIS MONTH. AT THE HEART OF THE DARLINGS’ MODERN TAKE ON WARTIME CLASSICS ARE FOUR GIRLS FROM THE MIDLANDS, SAYS DAVID JOHNS ne of the most emotional moments in Britain’s Got Talent history came earlier this year when the D-Day Darlings performed in the final. With not a dry eye in the live audience, or we suspect among the millions watching on TV, the girls – resplendent in WRAF uniforms, 1940’s hairdos and scarlet red lipstick – sang Dame Vera Lynn’s famous war anthem, The White Cliffs of Dover, in an atmosphere of patriotism and flag-waving matched only by the Last Night of the Proms. As the nine girls completed the last few bars of the song, they were joined onstage to a huge roar from the audience by a line-up of war veterans from all branches of the services. I’ve watched over and over the performance, and each time I have had to reach for the tissues. So, when I spoke with ‘Darling’ Jessica Hudson from Solihull, my first question was if the girls found the occasion equally moving?

O

Photography by Eddie Macdonald

november 2018

MEMORABLE “Having the veterans there with us was an amazing, memorable moment,” she recalls. “All of us in the group have family going back who served in the wars. My great great grandfather was killed in WW1 in 1916, aged 30, and is buried on the Somme. The veterans asked us if they could come on stage, it wasn’t the other way around. They wanted to be part of it, and we loved having them join us.” Jessica, 28, is one of four Darlings from the Midlands – Emily Jane Brooks and Kylie Bates are both from Coventry, while Yorkshire-born founder Katie Ashby now lives in Tamworth and has been in the Birmingham area for more than 15 years. Katie formed the group, originally a trio, in 2008 with the intention of invoking and celebrating the true spirit of the wartime era and the beautiful, heartfelt music

birmingham living 17


BHAM_ (Page 16) ddaydarlings:Layout 1

23/10/18

14:32

Page 18

FEATURE

official fund-raisers for the Legion having raised more than £40,000 so far. Just a few weeks earlier, they were part of a star-studded royal concert marking the centenary of the RAF at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Also on the bill were the likes of Pixie Lott, Joanna Lumley, the cast of Wicked and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

SOLIHULL’S DARLING: Jessica Hudson

recorded during the period. Over the years, it has grown to the current nine performers. RECORD DEAL After their huge success on BGT, the Darlings signed a recording deal with Sony Music and this month sees the release of their first album, entitled I’ll Remember You. Produced by Tim Woodcock – who worked with huge acts such as Little Mix and The Wanted – it features all the wartime classics, including White Cliffs and We’ll Meet Again as well as two new songs co-written by Katie. “The album is particularly special as this month marks 100 years since the end of WW1,” said Jessica. “All the classic wartime songs are there but with our own modern interpretation.” At the time of writing, Jessica and the Darlings were waiting to hear if they would be performing again at this year’s Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall – the girls, who are endorsed by Dame Vera, are The D-Day Darlings’ new album, I’ll Remember You, featuring 12 great tracks is released on 9 November by Sony Music UK. More details at www.ddaydarlings.co.uk

18 birmingham living

AMAZING WOMEN Jessica, who went to Smith’s Wood School before studying musical theatre at Stratford, joined the DDay Darlings in 2014 after meeting Emily Jane while working as an entertainer/singer/dancer at Coombe Abbey Hotel, Coventry. “Being a D-Day Darling means so much to me,” she said. “I love singing with such amazing women, we are all very close and get to share incredible experiences. “There have been so many highlights, like celebrating 100th birthdays, singing for our forces at Royal British Legion events, singing for veterans in Normandy, and of course being on Britain’s Got Talent. We have met some of the most incredible men and women who served our country. Seeing the memories that we bring back and the atmosphere that we create is very rewarding. The music is so special for young and old alike and we hope to keep this spirit alive in the new generation.” D-DAY JUNIORS As part of the Darlings mission to involve, enthuse and educate new generations in wartime history, Katie is launching two exciting initiatives; D-Day Darlings vocal academy and D-Day Juniors. Based at Riverside Studios, Kingsbury, the academy provides vocal coaching and is open to all ages, while the DDay Juniors aims to create groups of singing and performing youngsters. Katie said: “The new album happened really quickly, it took five or six weeks to turn around, and we are all very proud of it. With Sony’s backing we hope to bring out more albums and in the future we hope to add more people to the troupe. “The possibilities are endless because this music appeals to all ages – older people who look back with nostalgia and young people who are part of the great revival in vintage culture and interest in this time in our history.” I

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 19):Layout 1

november 2018

24/10/18

11:31

Page 19

birmingham living 19


il ving

BHAM_ (Page 20) chefscorner:Layout 1

24/10/18

10:32

Page 20

FOOD & DRINK

BORN TO COOK

An obvious talent in the kitchen was on show from an early age when Justin Gabriel Brown sold his homemade Chinese rolls in the school playground. These days, he’s creating rather grander food as head chef at the Hyatt Regency Tell us about your cooking My style is uncomplicated rustic, classical and bold. I like to fuse delicate flavours with attractive but not over-the-top presentation. I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of travelling over the last 30 years, lived in different parts of the world and had some incredible experiences. This has all helped develop the style I’m very comfortable with today. How did you become a chef? I had a love for food from a very early age as my mom, nan and auntie are all great cooks so there was a positive influence all around me from the get go. As a young lad, every Saturday morning I would wander around Wolverhampton market and just loved the vibe of all the food stalls. I didn’t do very well academically at school but luckily for me, my inspiring home economics teacher Mrs Black noticed I had an ability in the kitchen and encouraged me to follow this path. I was cooking Chinese dishes, mainly pancake rolls and selling them in the playground! I went on to get fully qualified at college then gained my experience as an army chef posted in Germany for four years. It defined me as a man and taught me some of the qualities you need to thrive in the kitchen; discipline, empathy, hard work and humour! I’ve worked in some great places, in some fabulous parts of the world and was lucky enough to join the Hyatt as head chef two years ago.

20 birmingham living

What do you eat when at home? I love a good pasta dish, roast meats, fish and soup. My partner is Polish so there’s always some great Polish food on the go too. With two ravenous small kids, wholesome freshly cooked food is the way forward. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? I would say it was definitely Joel Robuchon, a legend with 32 stars in 13 countries. I spent a month at the Fat Duck and Heston Blumenthal also personifies gastronomy. It was a proper Wonka experience, on a different level. I also really admire the late Keith Floyd. In Birmingham, Glyn Purnell is pretty special. Is the customer always right? No! Regardless of whether they’re right or wrong they’ll always post whatever they want on social media and you always have to respect the customer. Share a cooking tip Just be brave and experiment!

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 20) chefscorner:Layout 1

24/10/18

10:32

Page 21

CHEF’S CORNER

JUSTIN’S PAN SEARED SCALLOPS, ROAST CAULIFLOWER PUREE, CHORIZO CRUMB, CRISPY CAVOLO NERO What was your favourite food as a kid? Fantastic stews with fluffy dumplings. Awesome! Food heaven and hell? I can’t stand tinned plums – reminds me of 80’s plum crumble. You can’t beat crispy salmon skin California rolls What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Crispy fried locusts and salty dried maggots – you’ve got to love the bar snacks in Thailand... If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? I’ve spent the best part of a decade snowboarding and sailing and as a kid I loved skateboarding and my BMX, so I would definitely be involved in Extreme Sports. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? The scallops with burnt cauliflower puree, chorizo crumb and crispy cavolo nero. I Hyatt Regency Birmingham, 2 Bridge Street, Birmingham, B1 2JZ. Tel: 0121 643 1234 birmingham.hyatt.com

november 2018

Ingredients: Serves 4 I 12 plump scallops, cleaned, roe removed I 100ml double cream I 1 cauliflower I 1 lemon I 100g salted butter I 150g good Spanish chorizo I 200g cavolo nero I Rock salt and crushed black pepper I Sunflower oil for frying I Pea shoots for garnish Method: Remove leaves from cauliflower, rub with butter, season well and roast until soften and charred on the edges. Cool, chop into small pieces and blitz with a touch of cream, adjust seasoning. Place to one side or pop in the fridge until needed. Remove skin from chorizo, break into small pieces and roast on a low heat, 140c for 35mins. Remove from oven, cool, then break or cut the pieces until a course crumble texture and roast for a further 10mins. Place on kitchen towel to cool. Prep cavolo nero by removing leaves from the stalk and wash thoroughly in cold water. Cut into lengthy rustic pieces, fry until crispy. Place on kitchen towel to cool. Pre-heat a medium-sized or sauté pan. Add a large knob of butter and splash of olive oil until hot. Place scallops into the pan, sear until lightly charred for 2 minutes. Turn scallops over, cook for a further minute. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pan, season well and remove from heat. (Tip: don’t overcook your scallops, medium rare is my recommendation.) Go for a ‘freestyle’ presentation – if you’re happy with it I’m sure your lucky guests will be too.

birmingham living 21


BHAM_ (Page 11):Layout 1

22/8/18

10:27

Page 84


BHAM_ (Page 23) nibbles:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:35

Page 23

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

AKTAR FIRES UP LEGNA Top chef Aktar Islam realises a culinary dream when he opens Italian restaurant Legna in Birmingham city centre this month. Legna – which is Italian for ‘firewood’ – will blaze a trail for Italian cooking, championing the finest ingredients and market-fresh produce, delivered with Islam’s unmistakable panache at the 70-cover restaurant in Summer Row.

FREE ROASTS FOR A YEAR!

GIN-INSPIRED AFTERNOON TEA

TASTY NEW TREATS AT ALUNA Mailbox bar Aluna has boosted its reputation for great cocktails with the launch of a new food menu. The menu has been created by London consultancy Kinkou, which specialises in Asian fusion dishes. Aluna owner Nishil Nathwani says the dishes are “light yet luxurious – something that perfectly complements our expansive and inventive cocktail menu”.

In collaboration with Beefeater Pink Gin, The Warwickshire family company behind award-winning Birmingham’s Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill is serving up a new gin afternoon gastropubs, the Stag at tea, complete with a gin-inspired selection of Offchurch, Moorings at Myton, cakes and scones. General manager Jon Peek Chequers at Crowle and Forest at said: “We are extremely excited to see Feckenham, is celebrating its tenth how our customers receive the new birthday with a bumper event across menu which is available every its social media channels. day from 12 to 5pm.” Throughout November @CDPubs10 Birmingham’s Colmore district has the flavour of Brazil with the opening of will have the chance to win one of Fazenda at the corner of Church Street and Barwick Street. The 200-cover 10 prizes, including a year’s supply restaurant serves high quality meats with the Fazenda passadores offering of roast dinners in celebration of the continuous tableside service, carving guests beef cuts, pork, lamb and chicken. chain’s most popular dish. Fazenda is also in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh.

COLMORE’S BRAZILIAN BLEND

STAR BILLING FOR MALLORY COURT Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa, near Leamington, has been awarded four AA Red Stars – making it one of the finest-rated hotels in the Midlands. The 43-bedroom hotel, set in 10 acres of gardens, is part of the Eden Hotel Collection and received the accolade at a glittering awards dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

november 2018

birmingham living 23


BHAM_ (Page 24):Layout 1

24/10/18

00:01

Page 6


BHAM_ (Page 25) restrev:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:36

Page 25

RESTAURANT REVIEW

THE PINT SHOP

38 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN. Tel: 0121 236 9039 www.pintshop.co.uk ou might be bored of the onion bhaji scotch egg chat surrounding Brum’s newest bar/restaurant/beer haven, Pint Shop – but we’re going there anyway. If you haven’t heard about said scotch egg, get out from under that rock. We’re partial to an old building with a stunning interior and this place, nestled next to The Welly on Bennetts Hill made us giddy. High ceilings, dramatic staircase, great lighting and a colour palette worthy of its own Pinterest account, pleased us lots. Birmingham is the third city to be graced with Pint Shop, following Cambridge and Oxford. The inspiration is the beer houses of the 1830s when people were given the go-ahead to brew and sell their own beer from the comfort of their homes. The ground floor bar area serves all the beer and dreamy snacks – scotch egg included – as well as sausage rolls, meat and cheese, biltong and the like, the idea being that if you pop in for a drink or two and fancy a nibble that’s more than a packet of nuts, but not quite dinner, you’ll be happy. Upstairs is more restaurant-y, but still pretty relaxed with cosy corners, an open kitchen and flattering lighting. The beer list is as long as Mr Tickle’s arm and while we’re not aficionados, we lunched with one who made positive noises as he worked his way through. Gin is a big deal too with a hundred-plus. We slurped a Malfy gin with Sicilian lemon and basil tonic which hit the spot nicely. Four words. Onion. Bhaji. Scotch. Egg. While we don’t want to feed your FOMO, you are actually missing

Y

november 2018

out. Go, get one. A dish that we didn’t expect to see here which blew us away was a delicate octopus carpaccio with confit shallots, lime dressing and crispy seaweed. While it didn’t feel bang on brand, it was seriously good. Coal-baked flatbreads filled with slowly cooked blackened brisket, pickled cabbage, crispy onions and a good handful of mint was utterly delicious on every level. There’s a tandoori masala chicken version too with a cooling yogurt-y sauce and toasted almonds. Really good. Crunchy truffled chips sprinkled with Berkswell cheese were a triumph too and, in a city spoilt for choice in the burger stakes, the dirty burger made the grade. A mixture of beef and pork with the fat chucked in to keep it moist was enhanced by bacon jam, smoked cheese, pickles and a Pint Shop version of big mac burger sauce. Desserts were the least exciting part of the menu, but in fairness we’d eaten our own body weight by that point, so don’t take our word for it. If you’re not a carnivore, a beer drinker or a bread lover, don’t be put off by the ‘Meat Bread Beer’ branding. It’s so much more than that and a brilliant addition to Birmingham’s food scene. I

birmingham living 25


BHAM_ (Page 26) wine:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:37

Page 26

FOOD & DRINK

GIN GLORIOUS GIN

THE SPIRIT OF THE MOMENT SEES HUNDREDS OF SMALL PRODUCERS MAKING THEIR OWN UNIQUE STYLE OF GIN – INCLUDING ONE RIGHT HERE IN THE MIDLANDS, SAYS ROB PRICE in is on a roll. We’ve taken gin to our hearts and embraced this agua vitae into our lives. Of course, we’ve done that once before – between 1720 and 1750 – when the gin craze took over London. It was being consumed at a rate of one bottle per person per week, and when you consider many people wouldn’t be drinking gin at all, that’s a staggering high volume for the rest! The Dutch, though, should be credited for the invention of gin when a succession of poor grape harvests around 1567, combined with the 80-year war with the French, meant something other than wine was needed to satisfy their need for a tipple. Juniper, long hailed the miracle berry, was used to infuse neutral alcohol and add flavour – and Genever was born. Fast forward to today and we have hundreds of small gin producers crafting away, making their own unique style of gin for us to enjoy.

G

KNOW YOUR GIN But what is gin? In effect it is a flavoured vodka. Gin starts its life as a high strength neutral spirit (vodka) and is flavoured with botanicals. For it to be ‘gin’ as opposed to just a flavoured vodka, the main botanical used must be Juniper.

26 birmingham living

In essence there are five main types of gin: Genever – The original gin, more like whisky and normally bottled at a lower strength 35 per cent abv. Old Tom – Sweetened cask aged gin. A forerunner to London dry gin, was made in pot stills, and back in the day pretty poor quality, hence sugar added to hide the hideous taste! London Dry – Can be produced anywhere in the world but the botanicals can only be added by distillation. Distilled Gin – Botanicals may also be added after distillation. Compound Gin – The botanicals are soaked in a large tub. Originally seen as an inferior method of infusing the botanical flavours, but now some very high-quality compounded gins are available. MIX AND MATCH Some folks will have heard about Sloe Gin. Technically a liqueur, large amounts of sloes and sugar added, and bottled normally at a lower strength abv. And then there is just gin! Normally poor quality, flavours may be added using any method. Please don’t drink this type.

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 26) wine:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:37

Page 27

FOOD & DRINK

4

ROB’S GIN PICKS Most of us will not be drinking gin neat, we’ll be adding tonic water and a garnish or two. And along with the explosion of gin there are now many different tonic waters you can add. The default was Schweppes but now there is Fentimans, Fever Tree and many others. Fever Tree alone has 9+ different tonic waters. Indian tonic though is still the best for the majority of gins. And then there’s the garnish. No longer is it just a slice of lemon or lime, although they work just fine. Now there’s cucumber, rose buds, strawberry, grapefruit, mint, thyme, etc. So, go on experiment, conduct that research and find your own perfect combination. I Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company offering fun, informal wine and gin tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Warwick and Sutton Coldfield. More information from Rob Price on 0121 270 7359, www.birminghamwineschool.com

november 2018

Hendricks – Made in Scotland using two unique stills, in small

batches. A fresh and floral gin, delightfully infused with cucumber and

rose petal, along with many other botanicals. Works well with Indian or

elderflower tonic. The must have garnish is cucumber. Widely available around £28 a bottle.

Ableforths – Bathtub Navy strength. A brilliant compounded gin,

bottled at a much higher adv, 57 per cent! The story goes that the British Navy wanted its gin to be this strength so if spilt on

gunpowder it would still ignite! Try with Indian or aromatic tonic water. Garnish with lemon. £44 a bottle.

Martin Miller’s – Made locally in the Black Country but with water

shipped from Iceland! Quite spicy with refreshing citrus, but also

mouth-filling and creamy. Try with Indian or elderflower tonic. Garnish with sliced strawberry and cracked black pepper. £25 a bottle.

Hayman’s Old Tom – An old-fashioned style gin from the 18th

century, slightly sweeter in style. Zesty with a rich palate. Great in cocktails, such as Martinez and Tom Collins. Try with Indian or lemon tonic. Garnish with lime.

birmingham living 27


BHAM_ (Page 28) cotm:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:38

Page 28

WINTER WARMER COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

With an unadulterated mix of alcohol, sugar, water and bitters, the Old Fashioned is perfect for winter nights he Old Fashioned is a true cocktail that’ll warm the cockles in the darkest, coldest winter nights. This cracking little number comes courtesy of Jack Lawless, head barman at the awardwinning Gentleman & Scholar bar at Birmingham’s Hyatt Regency.

T

ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY INGREDIENTS:

I I spoonful of caster sugar

I Club soda

I Orange peel to garnish

I 3 dashes Angostura bitters

I 50ml of bourbon

METHOD: Add the sugar and Angostura bitters to a glass. Add a short splash of club soda and stir. Add ice and then the bourbon and stir again. Strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Cut a small piece of orange peel and bend so the oil from the skin settles on the surface of the drink. Garnish with orange peel and serve.

Gentleman & Scholar, Hyatt Regency Birmingham, 2 Bridge Street, Birmingham, B1 2JZ. Tel: 0121 643 1234 www.gentlemanandscholarpub.com

28 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 29):Layout 1

november 2018

24/10/18

13:09

Page 29

birmingham living 29


BHAM_ (Page 30):Layout 1

30 birmingham living

24/10/18

13:13

Page 30

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 31) lunchspot:Layout 1

24/10/18

10:29

Page 31

LUNCHSPOT

BAKED IN BRICK Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA. Tel: 0121 740 1256, bakedinbrick.co.uk e all know Digbeth’s as cool as you like – one of the coolest spots in the UK according to the Sunday Times – with foodie credentials like nowhere else in the city. Digbeth Dining Club has changed the face of the area’s food scene knockout event by knockout event and Baked in Brick, which started life on the street, set up shop in the Custard Factory just four months ago and we finally made it. Firstly, you could pick Baked in Brick up, pop it back down in London’s Shoreditch and it would fit right in. With the industrial skeleton of the ceiling on show, a roaring pizza oven, an actual Mini crashing in through a back wall decorated with graffiti style art, it made for a great first impression. Eating out is an expensive business – even at an average chain you’re talking £50plus for a fairly bland experience. At Baked in Brick, not so. There’s nothing vanilla or over-priced about it. The menu is a corker with pizza all blackened and blistered from the oven, laden with inventive toppings like pork and fennel meatballs and yellow pepper ketchup which we couldn’t ignore. The meatballs were superb and could have been a dish in their own right. Teamed with the sweetness from the yellow pepper ketchup it was properly memorable which is rare and a massive compliment. A special spicy lamb kofta was served with a refreshing mint yoghurt that cooled things down, a punchy slaw with sweet pomegranate running through

W

november 2018

it and a mountain of rice that would have served three hungry people – they don’t do small! A side of corn on the cob with wasabi, sesame and comte was revelatory and if you’ve never grated comte on your corn, we urge you to do so. We went off-piste with dessert sampling a cheesecake chef had been working on that wasn’t on the menu. If you like Oreos and you like baked cheesecake, it’s a no-brainer. From a beer list that rocked our world, we thoroughly recommend Dancing Bear or, and we never thought we’d say this, the non-alcoholic German blonde Maisel’s Weisse. We headed back to the office eventually feeling like we’d started the weekend early. Don’t expect pretty, but do expect big, punchy flavour-packed nosh in a lively room full of feel good vibes. I

birmingham living 31


BHAM_ (Page 32) airportadvertorial:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:32

Page 32

ADVERTORIAL

GET YOUR

SKIS

ON

IF YOU’RE DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS OR WINTER BREAK, NOW IS THE TIME TO START PLANNING FOR A PERFECT SKI HOLIDAY – FLYING FROM BIRMINGHAM!

ant to make your ski holiday the best experience of your life? Whether it’s the breath-taking mountains of Switzerland or an attractive chalet in France, flights can be booked from Birmingham Airport. And if you are looking to do a group chalet holiday or a family holiday, you can now book via Inghams, Ski Total and Esprit!

W

Flight Only Whether you are an expert or a beginner, skiing is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have. You can book direct flights from Birmingham Airport with easyJet, Flybe, Swiss… and more. • Fly from Birmingham Airport to Zurich with Swiss Air • Fly to Geneva from Birmingham Airport with easyJet and Flybe • Fly to Chambery, in France from Birmingham Airport with Flybe

32 birmingham living

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS Skiing in Italy: Find the perfect resort Italy’s northern borders are beautifully defined by an arc of enormous mountain peaks, including some of the tallest peaks in the Alps and the unforgettable Dolomites in the East. Italy is blessed with several beautiful ski regions with resorts that are rich and diverse, from traditional scenic alpine villages to giant ski areas. There are ski resorts to suit all abilities from beginners and intermediates to experts who enjoy taking on challenging slopes. The slopes of Passo Tonale are perfect for beginners. Intermediates will enjoy the resorts of South Tyrol. Experts can experience the challenging and enormous slopes across Arabba, Cervinia and Courmayeur. Fly to Milan from Birmingham Airport with Flybe, just a short drive from Italy's ski region.

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 32) airportadvertorial:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:32

Page 33

ADVERTORIAL

Skiing in Geneva, Switzerland Ever since winter tourism was born in St Moritz in 1864, the Swiss have harnessed the magic of the mountains as ski perfectionists. One of the most popular ski destinations is Geneva. Most of the best ski resorts are easily accessible a couple of hours away from Geneva Airport. Create memories with the breath-taking slopes of Jungfrau Region, Bernese Oberland – presided over by the ‘Big Three’ which rise to around 4000 metres, offering a mesmerising view to the gigantic Aletsch Glacier. The slopes of Zermatt, Villars, Verbier and Crans Montana are some of the ski resorts that need to be explored once you are surrounded by the mighty beauty of slopes in Switzerland. Fly to Geneva from Birmingham Airport with easyJet and Flybe.

Skiing in the French Alps: The perfect destination Most British skiers and snowboarders choose to make their way to France. The Three Valleys is one of the most popular ski destinations that merges eight ski resorts, including Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens. In the middle of the mountains, the Paradiski area offers skiing between La Plagne and Les Arcs. The French have a diverse après-ski scene. From the amazing Le Folie Douce, known for its huge afternoon parties, to top bars such as Cocorico, and more… Fly to Chambery from Birmingham Airport with Flybe. I

GETTING THERE

Whatever type of skier you may be, enjoy and book flights from Birmingham Airport to your desired ski destinations.

november 2018

birmingham living 33


ing livSTYLE

BHAM_ 34Style:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:51

Page 34

DRAMA-RAMA

Clothing and accessories, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

34 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ 34Style:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:51

Page 35

STYLE

LET’S TALK COATS

EVERY YEAR THE WINTER COAT IS REINVENTED, BUT ESSENTIALLY WE WANT THE SAME THING – WARMTH AND STYLE. HERE’S OUR PICK OF THIS SEASON’S BEST

WHITE OUT

Henrietta coat £229, Hobbs, Grand Central

winter coat might be the most important purchase of the season, so let’s make it count. You may have bought well in previous years meaning you have a handful of old favourites ready to don. In which case, you’re in the fun position of adding a couple of pieces to keep things fresh. The fashion industry has a tendency to over-complicate things, but in the coat stakes we want the same thing year on year – practicality and high style. We’d always start with a camel wool coat as a basic – check out Maxmara if you’re investing or Hobbs on the high street (pictured). It will go with anything whatever the occasion and is equally at home with a pair of Converse as Jimmy Choos. Quite often, high street versions are perfectly lovely apart from cheap plastic buttons. Avoid or update the buttons which is probably still more reasonable than splashing out if you’re on a budget.

A

FANTASTIC FUCHSIA As far as faux fur goes the choices are plentiful. M&S has a fantastic fuchsia pink coat with wide lapels (pictured) that we suspect will sell out and there’s a great mustard yellow version (pictured) from Debenhams. Or what about a dreamy white number from Hobbs (pictured) and a show-stopping red long line coat from Alice + Olivia (pictured) that’s on our wish list.

november 2018

CHECK MATE

Check longline coat £100, Oasis, New Street

HEAVY METAL

Metallic puffer jacket £65, Wallis, New Street

birmingham living 35


BHAM_ 34Style:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:51

Page 36

STYLE

DREAM LAPELS

Clothing and accessories, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

36 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ 34Style:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:51

Page 37

STYLE

THE NEW BLACK

Brown long Borg jacket £58, Next, Bullring

ANIMAL MAGIC

Faux fur coat, Dorothy Perkins at Debenhams, Bullring

CUTE CUT

Faux fur leopard coat £85, Wallis, New Street

Animal print is everywhere which can be a bit tricky to pull off in the large surface area of a coat, but there are some cracking examples. If you’re bored of the traditional leopard print, try Sosander’s snow leopard colourway (pictured) which is sharply cut for a slick silhouette or go full on Bette Lynch in Wallis’s fluffy traditional number (pictured). Puffer jackets can be tricky to pull off, adding unwelcome bulk. However, Wallis has a sleek funnel neck version that’s not too bulky at all making it GREY DAYS much more wearable (pictured).

TERRIFIC TWEED

Grey leopard print coat £149, Sosander.com

CHECK IT OUT There’s no escaping checks this season and why would you want to? Check out Oasis for its doublebreasted wool checked coat with wide lapels (pictured) and tweed houndstooth at Gestuz (pictured) which has stunning rounded lapels. It’s a winner. Mustard is having a moment too from longline wool coats to cute short faux fur jackets, the hot stuff is inescapable. Embrace it. Shearling offers the ultimate in cosiness and this year we’re spoilt for choice. We love the bright blue example at Stand (pictured) and Next’s neutral three-quarter length (pictured). I

november 2018

Gestuz houndstooth tweed coat £330, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

ROCK CHICK

Mongolian fur jacket £99, Monsoon, Grand Central

birmingham living 37


BHAM_ 34Style:Layout 1

STYLE

23/10/18

23:52

Page 38

HOLEY MOLEY

Moleskin funnel neck coat £110, Laura Ashley, Sutton Coldfield

GREEN DREAM

Charlotte Maxi coat £160, Monsoon, Grand Central

CLASSIC CAMEL

Rosetta coat £399, Hobbs, Grand Central

HOT MUSTARD

Mustard double breasted coat £80, V by Very

38 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ 34Style:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:52

Page 39

STYLE SHARP SHOOTER

TRANSITION DAYS

Autograph coat £119, M&S, Longbridge

Longline slim Crombie £25, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

PURPLE PATCH

Purple wool coat £25, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

FAB FUCHSIA

SHOW STOPPER

Coat £79, M&S, Longbridge

Alice + Olivia red faux fur coat £610, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

SHORT LOVED

Red herring faux fur coat £55, Debenhams, Bullring

november 2018

DUVET DAY

Coat and dress, Debenhams, Bullring

TRUE BLUE

Stand faux shearling coat £260, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

birmingham living 39


BHAM_ (Page 40) beauty:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:38

Page 40

BEAUTY HEROES BEAUTY

ROSA ANGELICA BAUME DE ROSÉE HYRALONIC ACID 48 HOUR REHYDRATING NIGHT BALM £32.50, Sanoflore www.feelunique.com

Like many people, our morning routine is fraught,

THIS MONTH WE’RE FOCUSING ON THE PRODUCTS

which means skincare is a speedy affair. To

THAT GET THE ‘LOVE’ VOTE FROM US

compensate, we try to make night-time count.

ften you get what you pay for in the beauty world and we’re in the lovely position of being able to test lots of products without splurging. Just to be clear, although some of the products are gifted, we don’t feel any pressure to write nice things about them. If we don’t like a product or treatment, it just doesn’t make the cut.

packed with antioxidants from organic damask rose

O

We’ve added this night balm into the mix which is essential oil and antarcticine which has natural hyaluronic acid. The smell is very floral which wasn’t a positive initially, however, the light gel texture is absorbed easily and packs a super hydrating punch.

HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING

LAURA MERCIER TRANSLUCENT

EDIT UNLOCKED £69,

POWDER GLOW £29, Selfridges, Bullring

Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

We were wary of the ‘Photoshop in a pot’ claim,

As someone that likes a natural look,

but even with combination skin and a

strobing and contouring are not top of the

challenging t-zone that usually repels setting

list, however, this palette from Hourglass can

powder, this super fine version stayed all day

be as subtle as you want it to be. Start light

and wondrously, looked barely there and not at

and build for a more obvious finish. Hourglass promises an ‘instant photo filter

all cakey. If you don’t like the feel of a powder,

finish’ which we filed in the box labelled PR guff, but had to quickly retrieve. It made

this is the powder for you.

the sort of glow-y difference you couldn’t put your finger on. We just looked like we’d had a great night’s sleep.

SUQQU EXTRA RICH GLOW CREAM FOUNDATION £65, Selfridges, Bullring

The Japanese brand’s newest addition has just launched in Selfridges, so it’s early days, but first signs are great. It goes on like a dream and stays put, creates a dewy finish and contains SPF30 as well as 12 hydrating plant extracts. The number of shades available could do with expanding though.

HEALING SAP FACE TONIC + VISIBLE SKIN TRANSFORMING SERUM £125, www.orveda.com

Okay, the price is gulp inducing, but hear us out. After an express Unveil and Glow Shot facial at a pop-up in Brum we have become evangelical about this product. We’ve been using it for two weeks between cleansing and moisturising and above anything else we’ve ever tried on our skin, this has had the most impact. It’s made a huge difference to the tone of our skin plus pesky pores which we find increasingly irritating are definitely reduced. It smells amazing, is vegan and comes with a packet of compresses to apply it with.

40 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 41):Layout 1

24/10/18

00:03

Page 6


BHAM_ (Page 42) menstyle:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:39

Page 42

STYLE FOR MEN

DON BURGUNDY Burgundy wool coat, Jacamo.co.uk

GUYS, YOU’RE REALLY SPOILT FOR CHOICE THIS WINTER WITH RACKS OF COATS THAT ELEVATE STYLISH TO SHOWSTOPPING

HELLO, MR COOL 42 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 42) menstyle:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:39

Page 43

STYLE FOR MEN

PARKA IT Charcoal parka with fur trim £30, Primark, Fort Shopping Park SERIOUS KIT Canada Goose PBI Expedition fur-trimmed parka £1,025, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

NOW YOU SEE ME Stone Island coated shell jacket £950, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

well-cut wool coat is always our first stop. Versatile and classic, you get what you pay for in terms of cut, fabric and longevity, but there are great pieces at either end of the price spectrum, so explore. Checkout the J Lindberg camel version (pictured) if you’re looking for a long-term investment piece or the slick burgundy HOT STUFF coat from Jacamo (main picture) Mustard puffer jacket £65, Next, which is easier on the pocket. Bullring For a more off-duty look checkout Next’s mustard – colour of the moment – puffer jacket (pictured) or River Island’s shiny funnel neck puffer (pictured). A Canada Goose parka is the ultimate winter coat and will last a lifetime unless you’re trekking through the Arctic twice a year. The bright blue version pictured screams: “I’ve got this!” I

A

THREE QUARTER COOL Thorn overcoat £170, White Stuff, Cannon Street

SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE Black shiny funnel neck puffer £85, River Island, Bullring

PICK UP THE CHECK Grey checked coat £45, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

IF IT AIN'T BROKE J Lindeberg camel wool-blend coat £500, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

november 2018

birmingham living 43


BHAM_ (Page 44) health:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:40

Page 44

HEALTH

STRICTLY GET FIT

DON’T BE PUT OFF BY THE SO-CALLED STRICTLY CURSE AND ANTICS OF SEAN AND KATYA. IF YOU WANT TO GET FITTER BUT THE GYM JUST ISN’T UP YOUR STREET, WHY NOT CHECK OUT A LOCAL DANCE CLASS AND GIVE IT A WHIRL?

44 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 44) health:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:40

Page 45

HEALTH

trictly is back on the screen, enthusing us with sequins, gowns and extreme loveliness! Lost in among all the glitz, glamour and hot gossip is the fact that dancing gets you fit… very fit! Just ask the celebrities who shed pounds in training and discovered muscles they never knew they had. If you’re looking to lose a dollop of pre-Christmas weight and have a blast on the way while making a whole host of new friends, get dancing!

S

HERE ARE SOME OF BENEFITS:

• Calorie and fat burning: Dancing is a great way to raise your heart rate. You can burn more than 400 calories an hour, helping with weight management. • Improved coordination, agility and flexibility: Often your upper body and arms are moving in one direction, while your lower body and legs are doing something completely different. Keeping agile and flexible is especially important to maintain as you grow older. • Improve concentration: Dancing is a mind workout too as you learn and remember new steps. • Full body workout: Aside from heart-health benefits, dance provides a workout for the whole body. From head and shoulder rolls that loosen up the neck and warm up the upper body, to footwork that strengthens and stretches calves and ankles. • Improved muscle tone and strength: Dancing really makes your muscles work hard, which helps to maintain and improve strength. • Strengthen bones: Stronger bones helps reduce risk of osteoporosis. • Increased aerobic fitness: Moving to the music is fantastic for aerobic fitness, building endurance and increasing the condition of your heart and lungs. • Stress buster: Dance movement releases endorphins, improving your mood and helping reduce depression and anxiety. • Increased confidence: Feel good in your body and mind and you will feel more confident too.

november 2018

KNOW YOUR DANCE TANGO One of the most popular Latin dances that requires precision and control, a strong frame and core.

SALSA It’s all about moving those hips and sweeping your partner across the dance floor. A spicy, energetic dance where you often change partner so it’s mighty social too.

WALTZ One of the most popular and romantic ballroom dances. The soft, continuous movement and weight-transfers make for a really positive aerobic activity.

STREET DANCE Involves a combination of moves such as popping, locking, hip hop and breaking. This is a proper cardio workout that’s good for helping improve bone density.

BALLET Classic dance that involves balance, control and flexibility and we know at least one octogenarian who loves it, so there’s no excuses.

ZUMBA Dance-inspired fitness class that’s great for beginners with easy-to-follow steps that guarantee a moderate to high intensity aerobic workout.

• Makes exercise fun: You might find it hard to get excited about hopping on a treadmill but dancing is so much fun you’ll actually want to keep coming back for more. • It’s for everyone: There are classes for all levels and types, kids to grandparents. • It’s social: Dancing provides a great way to meet fun and like-minded people. So, if you’re feeling inspired and want to learn a new skill, get fit and meet new people, dancing could be a great form of exercise for you. I

birmingham living 45


ng il viHOMES

BHAM_ (Page 46) homes:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:42

Page 46

PREP TO PARTY IT’S NOVEMBER. PARTY SEASON’S COMING. IF YOU’RE

PLAYING HOST, BE SMART AND GET AHEAD – WHICH IN REAL TERMS MEANS PLANNING LIKE A BOSS

46 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 46) homes:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:42

Page 47

HOMES

GOLD RUSH Sparkle candle £7, Glow candle £7, Shine diffuser £8, Dunelm

hink of the best party you’ve been to recently? What was it about that bash that made it special? We’d wager the hosts did their homework well in advance which meant they were relaxed and your every whim was catered for. It’s not rocket science is it? Putting in the hard yards now means you’ll avoid last minute stress – let’s face it Christmas can induce panic in the calmest of characters – and you might just enjoy your own party. For us, planning means lists and even the occasional – don’t judge – spreadsheet.

T

ALL THE GEAR Copper cocktail shaker £35, Warren marble shot glasses £35, Raye faceted crystal glasses £28 and coupe £12, Debenhams, Bullring

november 2018

birmingham living 47


BHAM_ (Page 46) homes:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:42

Page 48

HOMES

COCKTAIL O’CLOCK Bar tool set £50, Deco coupe £24 (set of two), John Lewis, Grand Central

Here, we’ve compiled our top tips sans spreadsheets. 1. Move big furniture out of the way, creating more space for guests to move around. Ensure there’s enough seating including a couple of cosy corners for people who might want to retreat from the action for a while. 2. Dim the lights to a flattering level. Everyone will be more relaxed. If you don’t have dimmer switches, dot a few lamps around the place. 3. Get your playlist at the ready to avoid awkward silences as the first guests arrive and ensure it’s a list that will appeal to the spread of people you’ve invited. 4. Serve nibbles in proportion to drinks. Important. 5. Stock the fridge with drinks well in advance, so everything is chilled before people arrive. A sink full of ice will act as an effective overflow and don’t overlook non-alcoholic drinks. 6. Lots of small occasional tables dotted around are more likely to get guests mingling than a large central table. 7. If you have friends who smoke, cater for them too. Create an outdoor space with candles and somewhere to put the butts. No one wants to spend the morning after picking up discarded fag ends. 8. Most importantly enjoy yourself! The hard work’s done.

TROLLEY OF DREAMS Riya drinks trolley £299, West Elm Sphere + Stem lamp £299.99, John Lewis, Grand Central

INTIMATE AFFAIR Calligaris Juliet dining chair (POA), Cookes Furniture, Erdington

48 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 46) homes:Layout 1

23/10/18

RUSTIC VIBE

23:42

Page 49

HOMES

Furniture and accessories available from Amara

november 2018

birmingham living 49


BHAM_ (Page 46) homes:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:42

Page 50

HOMES COSY CORNER Peter chair £499, Lee Longlands

PARTY TIME Gin glass (set of four) £19.50, Maxim Champagne flute (set of four) £15, Soho hi ball glass (set of two) £25, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

GORGEOUS GLASSWARE All available from Amara

50 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 49):Layout 1

19/9/18

12:37

Page 84


BHAM_ (Page 52) finishingtouches:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:43

Page 52

HOMES

SLAY TRAY Marble and gold metal tray £45, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

BLUE VELVET Henry armchair £999, Houseology SUPER STORAGE Wood cabinet £199.99, HomeSense MOVABLE FEAST Hammonds drinks trolley £369, Lee Longlands

FINISHING TOUCHES ADD SOME FINAL FLOURISHES TO YOUR

STAY COOL Hammered metal wine cooler £29.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

HOME TO GET THE PARTY STARTED

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE Yoko sideboard £699, John Lewis, Grand Central

BRASS HACKS Ferm Living cocktail measure £19, Kin Home, Harborne

HEAVY METAL Metallic decanter £20, Next, Bullring

ART DECO Fantail mirror £279, Lee Longlands MINIMUM FUSS Set of two white and gold tables £85, River Island, Fort Shopping Park

LIGHT FANTASTIC Myers Touch Banker lamp £90, John Lewis, Grand Central

52 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 53):Layout 1

november 2018

24/10/18

16:15

Page 53

birmingham living 53


BHAM_ (Page 54) hot property :Layout 1

23/10/18

23:45

Page 54

HOMES

PROPERTY

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

FINE CONVERSION Mansion House, Edgbaston Guide price: From £499,950 Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6495 Cracking two-bedroom apartments are available in this stunning conversion of an imposing detached house, set in landscaped grounds in one of the finest parts of Edgbaston. The individuallydesigned luxury apartments benefit from generous-sized reception rooms and kitchens with top quality finishes.

54 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 54) hot property :Layout 1

23/10/18

23:45

Page 55

HOMES

SOUGHT-AFTER ROAD Westfield Road, Edgbaston Guide price: £1.95million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 746 6400 This five-bedroom detached home is in one of Edgbaston’s most sought-after roads and features state-of-the-art modern family living finished to the highest standards. There’s loads of cool features, like a built-in vacuum system, electric blinds and remote control fireplaces and also a rather superb separate annex.

november 2018

birmingham living 55


BHAM_ (Page 54) hot property :Layout 1

23/10/18

23:45

Page 56

HOMES

HIT FOR SIX

The beautiful village of Lapworth is the location for this sixbedroom home which boasts more than five acres of land. There’s loads of reception space in this extended and refurbished home that also benefits from a separate bungalow. There’s also a couple of private lakes and some woodland to throw into the mix!

Church Lane, Lapworth Guide price: £1.75million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 746 6400

CITY SLICKER Sherborne Street, Birmingham city centre Guide price: £299,950 Agent: Loveyourpostcode.com, tel: 0121 544 9595 An immaculate two-bedroom penthouse apartment in the heart of Birmingham for proper city centre living. Finished to a high standard, this swanky pad boasts a private balcony overlooking a quiet courtyard, dual aspect master bedroom with en-suite and underground parking.

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

CHARITY BOULES

DOUBLE TEAM

OFFICE PURCHASE

Property For Kids raised £8,250 for disadvantaged children in the region at a boules event held at Silhillians Sports Club, Solihull. More than 100 property professionals battled it out in a series of play-offs with KWB beating 31 other teams to win the coveted trophy.

Housebuilder Galliard Homes is working with regional developer Apsley House Capital on five projects in a £500million push into Brum’s residential market. The Timber Yard on Pershore Street will be the first site with plans including 379 apartments, concierge, gym, club lounge and cinema room.

Birmingham Properties Group has paid £2.9million for Warwick House, Solihull. The building near Touchwood Shopping Centre consists of 15,000 sq ft over four floors. BPG director John Southall said: “It is a fantastic acquisition with 60 parking spaces in one of the region's prime locations.”

56 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 54) hot property :Layout 1

23/10/18

23:46

Page 57

HOMES

URBAN VILLAGE Moseley Central, Alcester Road Guide price £499,950 Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 0121 233 6495

Perfect for young professionals is this stylish two-bedroom apartment that offers cool, urban village lifestyle in Moseley. Well-designed and spacious, it comes complete with all the lovely touches you might want – including a quality, fullyfitted kitchen and underfloor heating in the bathroom.

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

november 2018

birmingham living 57


BHAM_ (Page 58) motors:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:34

Page 58

MOTORING

CRYSTAL CLEAR

KNOWN FOR ITS ULTRA-DEPENDABILITY, SKODA UNVEILED A SPORTIER VISION FOR THE BRAND AT THE RECENT PARIS MOTOR SHOW. SUE COOKE LOOKS INTO THE FUTURE, WHILE DRIVING THE PRESENT IN THE SHAPE OF A NEW, HOT SUPERB

FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Skoda Superb SportLine Plus Price: £30,335otr Engine: 2.0-litre TDi, 150PS Performance: 0-60mph in 9.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 137mph CO2 emissions: 113g/km Fuel consumption: 66.7mpg

58 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 58) motors:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:34

Page 59

MOTORING

he Paris Motor Show in October was a bit of an eye-opener for visitors to the Skoda exhibition stand. The Czech brand invited guests to experience a fictional day as an avatar and to take a look at its new sporty vRS family. The VISION RS concept shows a sporty exterior design which will use vegan materials and a recycled carbon fibre, a well-known hitech material from the world of motorsport. The interior of the future will be dominated by cut crystal glass that is illuminated and animated. The first Skoda to feature the red vRS logo will be the large Kodiaq. Presenting itself as a sporty but sustainable car manufacturer, the company already has the SportLine Plus trim and is introducing this to more of its current models. The Superb is the latest model to take on the sporty mantel, which Skoda says has been added to the range to meet significant customer demand.

T

DYNAMIC DRIVE I last drove this mid-segment hatch when it was launched as a flagship in 2015. At that time I would have crowed about its dependability, along with numerous JD Power customers who named Skoda as the UK’s most dependable brand. Responsible and trustworthy aside, Skoda is launching the Superb with gorgeous sporty looks and a dynamic drive.

The Superb SportLine Plus, which commands a £1,500 premium over the cost of the standard model, has a sports chassis which lowers the car’s ride height by 15mm. If you price up the additional equipment and if you paid individually for the blind spot detection and progressive dynamic steering, then you would be saving 40 per cent over the individual option costs. Sporty features include 19-inch Anthracite Vega alloy wheels, sports design bumpers, sunset glass and black gloss trim treatment on the grille, wing mirrors and window surrounds. There is a really easy to use Columbus satellite navigation with 9.2-inch touchscreen display and integrated Wi-Fi. NEAT TOUCHES Standard kit adds Bi-Xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, Drive Mode Select, dual-zone climate control, KESSY keyless entry and cruise control. And there are other wonderful additions which certainly no manufacturer I know has thought of, like an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap or umbrellas which sit in both passenger and driver doors and a removable LED lamp in the boot. The boot which is electronically operated, is so roomy that an eight-year-old I borrowed, quite happily lay down full length in it, from front to back! I promise I didn’t shut her in it! So much for the sporty design, but the important feature is its driving dynamics and this Superb definitely meets the need. Behind the wheel, the 2.0-litre ,150PS diesel engine which I road tested is powerful and reacts instantly to right foot pressure on the aluminium pedal. Skoda expects this engine will be the best-seller and emitting just 113g/km it is practical too. SHARP HANDLING There is a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines with the option of four-wheel drive and six-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The XDS electronic differential lock ensured I could experience sharper handling when driving country lanes around Hampton in Arden and Barston. The Skoda Superb SportLine Plus gives a glimpse at the sporty future that Skoda predicts for its new model line-up. And that is impressive! I

SHOWROOM Johnsons Skoda, 585 Tyburn Road, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9RX. Tel: 0121 222 1375 www.johnsonscars.co.uk

november 2018

birmingham living 59


BHAM_ (Page 60) young, gifted:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:46

Page 60

YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

VITAL

Rapper Vital, real name Vernon Caisley, talks about the thrill of having his own radio show on BBC WM celebrating the glorious people of the Midlands

he Wolverhampton-born (yes we know not strictly a Brummie, but we’ve let it slide…) musician is thrilled to have been given a Tuesday night slot on BBC WM. The show, which is called the Midlands Source, features music, arts and culture with Vital chatting to a mixed bag of guests from jewellers and tree surgeons to rappers and musicians with the common theme of celebrating the region. He explains: “I chill with three or four guests. There’s great conversation and I delve into their lives touching on topics such as life, culture, family and always music.” Vital loves the idea of radio. He says: “It’s so different to TV. When you’re listening to radio, you’re locked in and you’re part of the conversation. I hope people feel that about the show.”

T

HUSTLER Vital first picked up a mic aged 14 and started burning CDs to sell for £1. He recalls: “That was my little hustle!” He became the ‘king of myspace’ trying different techniques and watched his following grow. By 18 he was taking his music more seriously and on graduating from university he was interviewed on Midlands Today and has performed on BBC 1Xtra. Many musicians we’ve interviewed in these pages grapple with the dilemma of moving to London which remains undoubtedly the centre of the UK music scene or staying in the Midlands. A fair number of artists we’ve chatted to stay here and do perfectly well – Lady Sanity being a prime example. Vital explains: “I fight with that every day but I couldn’t make that move. It’s too far from my family and would feel a bit empty. So empty that I don’t think I’d be able to make music.”

60 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 60) young, gifted:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:47

Page 61

YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

Vital’s close to his mum who he speaks to ‘all the time’. In fact, along with Kevin Hart and Will Smith she’s one of his heroes. While financial support hasn’t been an option, Vital’s mum has always had his back. Not that the family was on the breadline, he’s keen to point out, but like many families across the country there were choices to be made when he was growing up. He explains: “Mum would say to me, ‘I have £100. I can either throw you a party or you can have a toy’ and she would let me decide.” PRAISED Funding a career in music is difficult without backing, which Vital recognises and one of his ambitions is to live comfortably enough to be able to help youngsters through that period of getting started. He says: “Young people need help. I’d love to be in a position to say to someone, ‘here’s some space to do your thing’ or ‘here’s some money to invest’.” Since launching in September, Vital’s new BBC show has received a lot of praise, so much so that Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden sent a hand-written letter congratulating him. Vital says: “Having my own show is one of the greatest feelings, especially that it is on the BBC. I want everyone from Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the Black Country to see the show as a place to showcase and celebrate who they and we are.” I

Tune in to the Midlands Source on Tuesday evenings at 7pm on BBC WM.

november 2018

birmingham living 61


BHAM_ (Page 62) school report:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:47

Page 62

GROWING PLACES

BACK TO THE FUTURE Hallfield School, Edgbaston launched a year of special anniversary celebrations by planting a time capsule in the school grounds. The capsule, which will be opened by future pupils on the school’s 150th anniversary in 2029, contains artefacts that give a snapshot of life in 2018. They include photographs and articles of school events, a school newsletter, items of school uniform, a school teddy, artwork, chess trophy and letters from

POET LAUREATE

pupils and the headmaster.

Award-winning poet and writer Aliyah Begum from Acocks Green has been crowned Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate at the city’s Literature Festival. Aliyah, a pupil at King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edgbaston was among hundreds of youngsters who applied for the honour. As Young Laureate, she will write and perform at important

SCHOOL REPORT

occasions and workshops across the region to inspire more young people to become creative writers. Ann Clark, principal of KEHS, said: “Aliyah is a remarkably talented young woman who richly deserves this prestigious award.”

SPEAKING UP Moreton Hall student Simran Sajan has been named as one of 12 Young Speakers of the Year. Thousands of candidates take part in the English Speaking Board assessments and for four years Moreton Hall students have been selected for this prestigious achievement. This year Simran competed against nearly 30,000 applicants. The school’s head of spoken English, Merriel Halsall-Williams, said: “Simran continues the legacy of young women from Moreton Hall who have succeeded in these competitive and challenging competitions.”

CHARITY DESIGN

A Birmingham City University graduate has won a competition for her poppy jewellery design to be created into a brooch to mark Remembrance Day. Jewellery graduate Wai Yiu Chung was inspired to enter the competition after reading about beneficiaries that the Royal British Legion has helped over the years. “I tried to keep my design simple, yet classic and representative,” said Wai Yiu, who used a swirl of small crystals running through the centre of a poppy.

62 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 62) school report:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:48

Page 63

GROWING PLACES

WORLD CHANGING Internationally-renowned mathematician, pianist and author Dr Eugenia Cheng challenged students at Solihull School to change the world for the better. Dr Cheng was guest of honour at the school’s annual Speeches and Prizegiving and told pupils: “You don’t have to know where your career is going to end when you start. It is important to find out what you are best at in life and then use those abilities for the better. So go out into the world and be intelligent!” CHALLENGE: Marisa Veloso, Noah Heward, headmaster David EJJ Lloyd, Dr Eugenia Cheng, chairman of governors Mark Hopton, Phoebe Harland, Oliver Rooney and Katie Phillips

BUDDING PILOT

SUCCESS ON THE SLOPES Bromsgrove Preparatory School pupil Amber Fennell has been crowned U12 Lowland Skiing Champion. At the competition in Peer, Belgium, Amber raced against more than 70 skiers from across Europe and was the fastest U12 ‘mini’. During the summer she also won the U12 category at the All England Championship and the GBR British Indoor Series.

A young flying enthusiast from Solihull has taken his first steps to becoming a pilot with the help of a Royal Air Forces Association Flying Scholarship. Air cadet James Gordon had the honour of flying an aircraft when he completed a course of civilian flying lessons at South Warwickshire Flying School, courtesy of the charity. The RAF Association, which this year celebrated its 100th Flying Scholar, rewards candidates for their community funraising and welfare work.

november 2018

birmingham living 63


BHAM_ (Page 64) upclose:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:48

Page 64

PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITHÁ

LISA MART THE THEATRE DIRECTOR OF THE NEWLY REFURBISHED AND RENAMED ALEXANDRA REVEALS HOW IT AIMS TO PLAY AN EVEN BIGGER ROLE AS THE CITY’S ‘VENUE FOR THE PEOPLE’

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I studied at the University of Edinburgh and did a wide variety of jobs to help finance my way through, including some casual jobs at the Edinburgh Festival and as a visitor services assistant for a history and ghost tour company. It helped me realise what a difference it makes to work in a place that your customers want to visit for enjoyment – the atmosphere is so positive. After graduation, I worked at the Royal Collection in Buckingham Palace, where I even got to meet the Queen before moving into theatre management with the Ambassador Theatre Group, initially at the New Wimbledon Theatre before moving to Birmingham and the Alex. IT’S WHAT I DO As theatre director everything within the venue falls under my responsibility. It’s an incredibly varied job as I get to work with all departments to ensure we have a quality schedule that fits with our audiences. Over the last year, I have been working most closely with the ATG property team on the massive amount of refurbishment that has taken place here. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE? To continue to work on the Alex in order to restore the venue to its former glory. We have taken big steps forward this year by refurbishing our Grand Circle and massively improving the external facade of the building – but we still have more to do. We’ve been part of the Birmingham community since 1901 and so I want us to play a bigger part in the city today and really be a venue for the people.

64 birmingham living

Even more personal? I am currently in the process of buying my first house! I have everything crossed that I will be in a lovely new home by Christmas. BIGGEST SUCCESS Definitely making the move to Birmingham from London. It was a massive ask at the time as I hadn’t spent any time in the city before and I didn’t know anyone. Luckily my boyfriend agreed to make the move with me and now we both love it! BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED I had a great time at university and met some fantastic friends for life – but I might think twice about attending if given the chance again. Gaining experience in the service industry and learning first-hand how to problem solve has had a much greater impact on my career. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM There is a real feeling of community here and everyone is willing to work together and create opportunities as opposed to a constant feeling of competition that exists elsewhere. We all have the same goal of getting the rest of the country to recognise what a great city Birmingham is! DOWNTIME To be honest, I spend most of my downtime under a blanket with a nice glass of wine watching Netflix! I try and get my exercise by cycling to and from work. It’s also incredibly relaxing spending time with my dachshund, Elsie. Her enthusiasm is infectious and it always cheers me up! I

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 65):Layout 1

november 2018

24/10/18

16:05

Page 65

birmingham living 65


BHAM_ (Page 66) gospel feature:Layout 1

24/10/18

10:47

Page 66

FEATURE

IT’S GOSPEL WE CAUGHT UP WITH DIRECTOR OF THE AWARD-WINNING TOWN HALL GOSPEL CHOIR, COLIN ANDERSON AS THE TALENTED SINGERS CELEBRATE 10 YEARS here’s nothing like being engulfed by the joyful wall of sound from a top gospel choir to lift the spirits. This year, Birmingham’s own Town Hall Gospel Choir celebrates its tenth birthday, and inspiring director Colin Anderson has been at the helm since its inception in 2008. He’s steered the group of talented voices through the BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year competition triumphantly. It all started with the reopening of Town Hall in 2007 after its £35million renovation which culminated in a week of celebrations including a big concert featuring the likes of Ruby Turner, Soweto Kinch and Town Hall Associate Artists Black Voices. A choir of 90 singers was recruited from the city’s gospel communities to participate in the celebrations to perform a reimagined soulful gospel version of Handel’s Messiah.

T

DATE WITH BBC The choir was initially auditioned and trained by Town Hall Associates Black Voices director, Ken

66 birmingham living

Burton. Colin was one of those 90 voices and he remembers: “It was a great extravaganza. We redid it in 2008 which was recorded for BBC Radio 3.” The choir was such a success that it was felt it absolutely deserved to be continued. A recruitment drive for a permanent gospel choir at the Town Hall attracted an amazing level of interest. Colin was installed as choir director and it’s been going strong ever since originally rehearsing at the old Conservatoire. He says: “I was blessed. I sang as part of the original choir, applied for the position and got it.” The choir is essentially a non-professional community choir who describe themselves as a ‘family of individuals from all walks of life who have come together in one accord, and with one unifying passion. Singing.’ The community element is lovely but make no mistake, the audition process and subsequent rehearsals aren’t easy. Colin likes each auditionee to sit in on a couple of sessions, so they can see just what’s required. With over two hours of

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 66) gospel feature:Layout 1

24/10/18

10:47

Page 67

FEATURE

rehearsing on a Tuesday and three hours on a Sunday, it’s quite a commitment. Colin lives in London, but spends two or three days in Birmingham every week. He says: “The breadth of musicianship and standard is really high. We don’t actually sing a lot of standard gospel. What I love doing is taking what gospel groups do and turning into choir.” CHOIR OF THE YEAR Entering the first ever BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year in 2013 was exhilarating and the group really had no idea how they would fair. Hosted by David Grant, the competition was broadcast from Town Hall which made being involved and ultimately winning, even sweeter. In the final the 30strong choir beat five church and community choirs from across the UK to take the title. Colin’s background is classical choral but for the last 20 years he has focused on gospel style and technique. He says: “I love the energy and the gospel message. It’s uplifting.” He’s keen to point out that despite gospel’s roots, singers of any faith are welcome to audition. The choir takes traditional hymns and gives them a gospel

november 2018

twist. Versatility is one of the group’s strengths and they’re as happy performing acapella as with a big band or full orchestra. The choir has performed overseas as far afield as France and Portugal. Closer to home some of their stand-out projects include Equinox: Cultures in Harmony, a celebration of the Olympic spirit of achievement, endeavour and friendship which was performed alongside 400 choral and percussion performers reflecting the cultural diversity of Birmingham. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jamaican Independence, the singers joined Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Urban Soul Orchestra and lead vocalist of Aswad, Brinsley Forde, to perform an orchestral interpretation of Bob Marley and The Wailers’ iconic album Catch a Fire. And when Grand Central opened, the choir was asked to join Ruby Turner for a performance in the vast space to celebrate its launch. Christmas is a busy time and Colin and the choir are working towards many performances over the festive period – too many to mention here – but if you get a chance to listen to them live, you’ll be all the more uplifted for it. I

birmingham living 67


hallfield1018new:Layout 1

19/9/18

11:15

Page 06

OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC RESULTS 82% Pass rate to Select Entry LA Grammar Schools 19 Scholarships to Independent Schools


BHAM_ (Page 67) business news:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:50

Page 69

ARENA RENAME

BUSINESS

The NEC Group is rebranding the Genting Arena as the Resorts World Arena from December. Genting UK has held the title sponsorship of the 15,700capacity venue since January 2015 and will continue to do so using the new brand name to align with the popular Resorts World Birmingham leisure and entertainment complex opposite the Arena – which opened three years ago. Annual figures show visitor numbers at the Group’s two arenas have grown by 17 per cent to more than 1.6 million visitors.

NEWS

BUSINESS

SPACE AWARD

Luxury kitchen and bathroom designers Kuche & Bagno won the Show Space Design of the Year award for its Midlands showroom at the prestigious national Designer KB Awards. The Rugby-based designers pipped a number of outstanding entries to the top spot, including Smeg, Regent Street London and Life Kitchens Waterloo London. Kughe & Bagno director Lisa Melvin said: “It was a total surprise to win and we’re absolutely thrilled.”

ON BOARD: Head of property Cherry Elliott welcomes Jennifer Hicks-Jones to the team

LAW APPOINTMENT Commercial property solicitor Jennifer Hicks-Jones has joined West Midlands law firm Higgs & Sons as an associate with a portfolio of major corporate landlord and tenant, property finance and development expertise for a wide range of clients. Jennifer’s expertise includes acquisitions and disposals, investment and development finance, commercial and residential development and general estate management.

BARMY ARMY

A group of local cyclists are hosting a ‘barmy’ evening to raise money for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. The Barmy Ball will be held on Saturday 24 November at Copthorne Hotel, Brierley Hill, hosted by snooker legend Willie Thorne. Last year’s inaugural event raised more than £14,000 for the charity. Organiser Martin Whelan said: “It was such a success that it made sense to come back this year with a bigger and better event.” Tickets from Martin on 07837 755686 or Facebook ‘The Barmy Team’.

november 2018

birmingham living 69


BHAM_ (Page 67) business news:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:50

Page 70

BUSINESS

YOUTH IN FOCUS

Brum Youth Trends Summit brought together the region’s policy-makers and influential young people for a day of debate and pledges. The Town Hall summit, attended by more than 400 guests, asked speakers and audience alike to carry out a detailed examination of what young Brum wants and how they can get it. Pledges included West Midlands mayor Andy Street promising to do more to make transport affordable and accessible.

MAKING BRIGHT MINDS

CLINIC TAKES OFF A Team GB physiotherapist specialising in the treatment of elite athletes and performing artists has expanded her Warwickshire clinic. Louise Curley has seen her client base grow since launching Rejuven8 Physiotherapy Clinic at Stoneleigh Park two years ago – and hopes the move into a bigger space on the estate will aid continued expansion. She has taken Rejuven8 from a traditional treatment room to a state-of-the-art clinic featuring hi-tech equipment, including a fully sprung dancefloor used by professional dancers.

SUPER SIXTY

Belgrade Theatre marked its 60th anniversary with a double celebration – a glittering gala event and an annual report revealing the most successful and diverse year in its history. Friends and supporters from Coventry and beyond gathered at the theatre for a huge celebration of the last six decades, as well as reflecting on successes from the last 12 months and looking forward to the exciting lead-up to Coventry’s year as City of Culture in 2021.

AIRPORT HOTEL OPENS

An innovative nursery group has opened in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Bright Minds Daycare is a short walk from Colmore Business District, Brindleyplace, the new Paradise Circus and Arena Central developments and Mailbox area. Founders, Birmingham-based entrepreneurs Talon Golding and Taj Heer, plus fellow director Kerry Maddock, pictured, offer a specialist range of activities and inclusive group tuition such as foundation level French, Spanish and

SITTING PRETTY

piano to enhance children’s development.

The new Hilton Garden Inn hotel has opened at Birmingham Airport. Guests, including West Midlands deputy mayor Cllr Bob Sleigh and Castlebridge Group Hotels MD Alastair Cattrell, attended the launch. The airport now has five onsite hotels. Jo Lloyd, the airport’s business development director, said: “Nearly 13 million people travel through our airport doors. It’s important we have hotel facilities for customers who need to stop over.”

Birmingham furniture-makers Declan and Tully Gallagher are helping to boost the development of youngsters at a West Midlands nursery. The Gallagher brothers, otherwise known as Twin Design, have been working with Reginald Road Day Nursery, Bearwood to produce furniture to encourage toddlers’ motor skills, such as crawling, climbing and jumping. The Jewellery Quarter designers set up their large colourful Brunel bench at the nursery. “It has been a great success with multiples uses,” said nursery manager Yvonne Kerr.

70 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 67) business news:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:50

Page 71

BUSINESS

BUSINESS BITES

MUSICAL CHEERS

DINNER DATE

A new vice principal has been appointed to Royal

This month’s Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) annual dinner and awards will be raising funds for the Anzal Begum Foundation charity which supports women who have experienced domestic abuse. The dinner is at the ICC on 17 November.

Birmingham Conservatoire. Dr Shirley Thompson has achieved an international reputation as a musicologist, specialising in French Baroque music. She joined the Conservatoire in 2001 and was appointed to the role of director of postgraduate studies in 2009. Conservatoire principal Prof Julian Lloyd Webber said: “Shirley’s

SPECIAL PRIZE

expertise will prove vital as we continue to expand our offering to students

A Birmingham-based charity has won an accolade at this year’s British Medical Association Patient Information Awards. The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation was chosen as the winner of the children’s special prize for their resource, Joe’s Liver Transplant Story.

worldwide.”

RECORD-BREAKER SAQIB Saqib Bhatti has become the youngest and first

TOP VOLUNTEERS

Muslim president in the 205-year history of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. The 33-year-old director at accountancy firm Younis Bhatti & Company was president of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce for four years. He is a director of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Westside Business Improvement District. As the new GBCC president he plans to focus on championing SME exports.

MR PRESIDENT: Saqib Bhatti with Chambers chief executive Paul Faulkner

The expertise of Compton Verney’s team of devoted volunteers has seen the cultural attraction triumph in this year’s West Midlands Museum Development Volunteer Awards. Compton Verney won the Museum Champion Team Award and the prestigious overall Judges’ Award.

ART FOR INDIA

An award-winning piece of art by a student at Birmingham City University was hand-delivered to the Indian Government as part of the first-ever Midlands trade delegation to the country. Birmingham School of Art’s Anna Kryzhanovska presented the painting of her proposed MagBird sculpture at Birmingham Airport to Government minister James Brokenshire and West Midlands mayor Andy Street as they boarded their flight to New Delhi.

NEW SALES CHIEF Birmingham-based Elevate Property Group has appointed David Hofton as sales and marketing director. He was previously a director for 25 years at estate agents Hunters in Knowle. As one of the region’s leading independent housebuilders, Elevate currently has more than 1,000 new homes under construction or in the pipeline at sites across the UK, including locations in West and East Midlands, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Kent.

november 2018

birmingham living 71


BHAM_ (Page 72):Layout 1

72 birmingham living

24/10/18

13:04

Page 72

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 73) social:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:45

Page 73

SOCIAL SCENE

1

PLATFORM LAUNCHES AT MILLENNIUM POINT 2

3

Exclusive preview showcases state-of-the-art events space illennium Point celebrated the launch of its newly refurbed event space, Platform, by inviting the best of Birmingham’s business world to an exclusive preview. Guests enjoyed drinks, entertainment from Elegant Entertainment and even an interactive mirror photo booth – as well as the chance to explore the state-of-the-art space in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside. I

M

4

5

6

7

1 Paul Mitchell and friend. 2 Katie Fulcher, Henrik Court. 3 Jonathan Gray, Jonathan Bryce, Vicky Osgood, Kim Loynes, Alev Dervish. 4 Hannah James, Lisa Mart. 5 Olly Attfield, Tara Tomes. 6 Jonathan Bryce, Michele Wilby, Aaron Foster. 7 Gill Allen, Faye Smith and colleague.

november 2018

birmingham living 73


BHAM_ (Page 74) social:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:44

Page 74

SOCIAL SCENE

2

BEAUTY COMMUNITY WELCOMES SKIN HQ

1

3

Bloggers and influencers join celebrities at launch party ore than 100 guests attended the launch of Skin HQ at Caroline Point, Caroline Street, Birmingham. The city’s business community was joined by top bloggers, beauty influencers including Nabiilabee, local Britain’s Got Talent star Rosie O’Sullivan and celebrity Danielle Lloyd. They enjoyed canapes from Itihaas Restaurant, a bar by Be At One and live music by Elegant Entertainment, while also meeting the team and seeing live demos of top treatments like the Hydrafacial. I

M 4

5

6

7

8

1 The Skin HQ team. 2 Chrissie Wolfe, Rosie Ginday, Charlotte Ruff. 4 Luke Crane, Franziska Flechtner.

3 Natasha Tura, Rai Singh, Luisa Hackney, Angel Akinpelu.

5 Aaliyah JM. 6 Kirsty Lo, Si Fan. 7 Ting Newall, Leah Diveney. 8 Alexandra Dymova,

Jodie Tipper, Tara Tomes, Laura Nelson, Hattie D'Souza.

74 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 75) social:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:44

Page 75

SOCIAL SCENE

GRAND SETTING FOR COLMORE BID AGM 1

2

West Midlands mayor Andy Street is guest speaker at Industrial Hall olmore BID (Business Improvement District) held its annual meeting in the grand setting of the Industrial Hall at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Guest speaker was West Midlands mayor, Andy Street. BID board directors spoke about progress on various BID-led projects, such as public realm schemes, the annual Colmore Food Festival and safety and security plans. I

C

3

4

5

6

1 Andy Street. 2 Stacey Barnfield, Mike Best, Zo Hoida, Mike Mounfield. 3 Tim Hall, Claire J Smith, David Colcombe. 4 Gurbinder Kaur, Sergeant Sean Stanley, Michele Wilby, Superintendent Ian Green. 5 Katy Paddock, Michele Wilby, Claire J Smith. 6 Philip Singleton, Melanie Williams, Dan Smyth.

november 2018

birmingham living 75


BHAM_ (Page 76) social:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:43

Page 76

SOCIAL SCENE

2

TOP ENTREPRENEUR BUSINESSES NAMED

1

3

Nachural awards recognise excellence across the board

4

5

6

n audience of more than 450 attended the second Nachural Entrepreneurship Awards. The awards were launched by Ninder Johal of Nachural to encourage networking between the East and West Midlands and recognise excellence from early stage businesses to those that had matured, as well as companies whose modus operandi is to disrupt the marketplace. Winners included Talash Hotels, First Enterprise and Matt Jones of Oxbridge Home Learning. Event sponsors were Kuflink, Cobra Beer and East End Foods. The charity was newly-formed BEC UK. Host was Tommy Sandhu. I

A

7

8

9

1 Promoting apprenticeships in the workplace, ECYCS. 2 Hospitality business of the year, Talash Hotels. Matt Jones. 4 Start up of the year, Meetings Suite.

3 Entrepreneur of the year,

5 Service of the year, Chutney Ivy Customer. 6 Business person of the year,

Tikku Durrani. 7 Social and business entrepreneur of the year, Adeem Younis. 8 Small business of the year, Mo Bros Grooming Co. 9 Community excellence of the year, First Enterprise.

76 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 77) social:Layout 1

24/10/18

11:42

Page 77

SOCIAL SCENE

1

SPORTS CELEBRITIES JOIN FITNESS PARTY 2

3

Anarchy45 boutique studio opens in star-studded style at Temple Street ports personalities and celebrities partied in style at the launch of new boutique fitness studio, Anarchy45, at Temple Street, Birmingham. Founder and director Trey Lawrence was joined by Anarchy45 brand ambassador and former Real Housewife of Cheshire, Leanne Brown, and her footballer husband Wes Brown to showcase the new venue – which promotes a ‘fitness without rules’ approach. I

S

4 5

6

8

7

9

1 Louise and Trey Lawrence. 2 Leanne and Wes Brown. 3 Anarchy45 models with Natasha Pelekanou, Emma Watson, Maria Eracleous, Emma Howden. 4 Tony Daley, Steph Chadwick. 5 Chantal and Ian Bell. 6 Jon Wilcox, Marlene James. 7 Alex Nutting, James Alfie Parr. 8 Claire Goddard, Mandy Luckman, Antonia Mariconda. 9 Marlon Harewood, Lisa Smith and Barrington Atkins.

november 2018

birmingham living 77


ing ON il vWHAT’S

BHAM_ whatson:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:34

Page 78

WHAT: Bricklive WHEN: 1 to 4 November WHERE: NEC Birmingham, www.bricklive.co.uk The UK’s largest Lego fan convention returns with a host of new and improved features, including the fabulous Mythical Beasts with 50 models and interactive experiences that bring the world of creatures from mythology to life. There are 11 zones to explore as well as live stage shows.

WHAT: Birmingham Whisky Festival WHEN: 24 November WHERE: BCEC Birmingham, www.thewhiskylounge.com The Whisky Lounge wagon rolls into town again and this year it’s even more special as they celebrate their 10th anniversary! A must for any whisky fan, no matter how old or young. Includes a huge selection of home-grown favourites and international blends.

WHAT: The Human League WHEN: 1 December WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com Fronted by Phil Oakey and featuring dancers Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall, the Human League is one of the seminal 80’s electro pop bands and recorded some of the most influential songs of the decade. Featuring special guests, Midge Ure’s Band Electronica.

WHAT: All Saints WHEN: 3 December WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute, www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham To celebrate the release of critically acclaimed fifth album, Testament, All Saints have embarked on a winter headline tour where they’ll perform all their hits, as well as brand new tracks.

WHAT: WNO – La Traviata WHEN: 14 to 16 November WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com The conflict of duty and thwarted love has made La Traviata a favourite with opera audiences across the world. This classic production features sumptuous costumes and some of Verdi’s most evocative music, including the Brindisi (the drinking song) – one of the best known melodies in opera.

78 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ whatson:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:34

Page 79

WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Rick Astley WHEN: 15 November WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com Two years ago Rick Astley returned with an album that surprised everyone selling more than 300,000 copies and becoming one of the biggest selling albums of 2016. Well, he’s only gone and done it again and he’s touring his brand new album, Beautiful Life. Featuring special guest Gabrielle.

WHAT: The Nutcracker WHEN: 24 November to 13 December WHERE: Birmingham Royal Ballet at Birmingham Hippodrome, www.brb.org.uk There’s no better way to embrace the festive season than with this stunning ballet that delights young and old alike.

WHAT: Martin James Bartlett WHEN: 6 November WHERE: Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, www.bcu.ac.uk/conservatoire Since winning the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition, this supremely talented young man has performed with major orchestras at home and abroad, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His programme of lyrical and virtuosic music includes several Gershwin highlights.

WHAT: Boyzlife WHEN: 21 December WHERE: Bel Air Nightclub, Belfry Hotel & Resort, www.thebelfry.com Calling all Boyzone and Westlife fans... Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden are coming to town performing a mixture of all their chart toppings hits. A fun-filled night and a chance to meet and greet the boys too!

WHAT: Art & Antiques for Everyone Winter Fair WHEN: 15 to 18 November WHERE: NEC, www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk The largest and most established vetted art, interiors and antiques fair outside of London bringing together more than 200 specialist art and antique dealers. There’s a huge array of beautiful, unusual and rare objects for every budget.

november 2018

birmingham living 79


BHAM_ whatson:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:34

Page 80

WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Dr John Cooper Clarke – Luckiest Man Alive Tour WHEN: 16 November WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk A sensational showcase of spoken word and a chance to experience Cooper Clarke’s wicked humour and originality from a career spanning five decades.

WHAT: Dashboard Confessional WHEN: 11 November WHERE: Digbeth Mill, WHAT: Open Day

Birmingham,

WHEN: 30 November

www.themilldigbeth.com

WHERE: Heartlands Nursing & Care Home,

The American rock band returns to the UK on the back of its new album Crooked Shadows that was released to critical acclaim. This will be the first time UK fans will hear the new tracks live at one of Birmingham’s newest venues.

www.countrycourtcare.co A great chance to meet staff and residents at this lovely care home. This free to attend event includes a buffet lunch with games and entertainment. Pre-registering is essential and attendees are invited to make a donation to the resident’s Comfort Fund.

WHAT: Harry Hill’s KIDZ SHOW: How To Be Funny – For KIDS! WHEN: 18 November WHERE: Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham A family, fun-filled show featuring the star of ITV’s Alien Fun Capsule and TV Burp. Jam packed with laughs, this will offer hints, tips and anecdotes for children who fancy themselves as a bit of a comic, with the self-styled, floppycollared loon on hand to run through his dos and don’ts.

80 birmingham living

WHAT: A Christmas Carol WHEN: 4 December to 20 January WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk David Edgar’s critically-acclaimed adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic tale returns by popular demand. Aden Gillett makes his RSC debut as Ebenezer Scrooge in this festive tale of redemption and compassion.

november 2018


BHAM_ whatson:Layout 1

23/10/18

23:34

Page 81

WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Motown Divas Show with The Dreamettes WHEN: 30 November WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 WHAT: Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market WHEN: 15 November to 23 December WHERE: Victoria Square and New Street With more than 120 stalls, there is something for everyone at the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria.

www.nailcotehall.co.uk A stunning trio of ladies in full Motown glamour with awesome singing and dancingto original choreographed routines. Guaranteed to fill the dance floor with all your favourite Motown hits including The Supremes, Martha and The Vandellas, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin.

WHAT: Magical Lantern Festival WHEN: 23 November to 1 January WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 454 1860 www.magicallantern.co.uk The illuminating family show is back and once again lights up the glorious ponds, woodland and pathways of the stunning Botanical Gardens. The spectacular event displays artistic sculptures that feature traditional Chinese and festive-themed Christmas designs.

WHAT: An Evening With Nigella Lawson WHEN: 8 November WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk It’s 20 years since Nigella Lawson established herself as a household name with the publication of her ground-breaking debut cookbook, How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food. To celebrate the anniversary she’s on tour, talking about her life in food and what she’s cooking right now.

WHAT: The Wizard Of Oz WHEN: From 24 November WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk A fantastic festive treat for all the family with one of the most popular tales of all time. This spectacular production features your favourite songs and characters from the classic film with an added sprinkle of magic. Recommended for ages 7+.

november 2018

birmingham living 81


BHAM_ (Page 82) inthecity :Layout 1

23/10/18

23:35

Page 82

IN THE CITY WITH LUKE PEARSON FROM SEEDLIP

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’m brand ambassador for the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip, solving the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’. Despite a brief hiatus in London, I have spent the last 10 years wrapped up in the Birmingham food and drink scene. Whilst being disappointed with non-alcoholic drinks being so childish and sickly sweet, I met Ben Branson the founder of Seedlip three years ago on the brink of this incredible journey and the rest they say is history. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? I live in Lichfield, so straight down the A38 could not be easier. HOW’S THE COMMUTE? I used to ride a bright orange scooter into Brum from Lichfield and loved it but with time being a little more precious these days, I often come in on the train. This way I can work as I travel – and Grand Central is awesome. IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? I find it so refreshing to work with the best of the best in the food and drink scene in Birmingham and despite being one of the best UK cities, us Brummies still keep our feet firmly on the ground! CHEERS:

Luke is brand ambassador

for Seedlip, the world’s first

distilled non-alcoholic spirit

COFFEE BREAK? Coffee is my downfall! I love them all but it has to be Waylands Yard Coffee. Having hosted a fab new female creative gathering called Flock & Form there, owner Sam and his dog could not have been more generous and helpful. LUNCHTIME? It’s like picking a favourite kid! Bloom in Kings Heath blows me away every time. Oh... but afternoon tea has to be the Edgbaston. Or... for an extra special short trip out of the centre, Hampton Manor complete with a walled garden is stellar! POWERWALKING? We are so lucky to have one of the finest botanical gardens just five minutes from the busy city centre. Created by J C Loudon in 1832 it houses 7,000 different plants and even the likes of a 250-year-old bonsai tree. WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? It has to be Edgbaston, having worked here for several years it’s been a real pleasure to see the area flourish with bars and restaurants. AFTERWORK PINT? Easy. Nip into 18/81 on Thorpe Street for some insanely delicious cocktails whether your drinking booze or not. For beer though... Tilt’s a guarantee for a tasty beer you haven’t had before. HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? We have really made a shift towards favouring independents in Brum the last few years after an almost wash out of big chains. That said, more needs to be done to support new and small, upcoming businesses.

82 birmingham living

november 2018


BHAM_ (Page 83):Layout 1

19/9/18

10:01

Page 84


BHAM_ (Page 84):Layout 1

24/10/18

00:04

Page 6

November issue 2018 (issue 74)  
November issue 2018 (issue 74)  
Advertisement