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TEAM GB’s

JAZMIN SAWYERS COMMONWEALTH GAMES JOY

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MAX MURPHY BISTROT PIERRE TINA SWANI CANAL HOUSE

BRICK ART

ARTIST

Alexander Rhys

DREAM KITCHENS WINTER WARMERS Style I Food I Drink

THE TAMING OF ALICE TV PROFESSOR ALICE ROBERTS ON HER WILD NEW SHOW… AND ABSEILING DAD


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EDITOR’S VIEW Let’s hope ‘the good’ of the Commonwealth Games bid and this month’s first Birmingham International Marathon can wipe away ‘the bad’ of the bin strikes

oth the good and bad faces of Birmingham have been on display in the past weeks. The good has been the city’s successful bid to be the UK’s candidate to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, as well as the huge enthusiasm which will greet this month’s inaugural Birmingham International Marathon. The bad has been the shameful situation which has seen the city council and unions unable to talk sensibly in the binmen’s dispute. It really is totally unacceptable in this day and age when two sides who supposedly exist to provide a public service choose to put themselves above the basic needs of the public. And before anyone accuses me of being politically biased, I couldn’t care less who is right and who is wrong – it is indefensible to expect people to live in Birmingham in 2017 while rats roam and breed in the mountains of rubbish piled up on our streets. For me, all feel-good that came from Birmingham being picked ahead of Liverpool to be England’s official candidate for the Commonwealth Games, was wiped out with the terrible TV news pictures of our vermin infested, rubbish-strewn streets. What a great PR image that gives the UK (and the world) of ‘brand Birmingham’. Let’s hope moving forward that Birmingham goes all the way in the 2022 bidding process and beats its likely rival Kuala Lumpur for the Games – what a wonderful reward that would be for the heritage this city has in providing top class athletes. And let’s hope too, that the world sees the city at its finest on 15 October when the first Birmingham International Marathon is screened live on Channel 5 TV. The rest of the country, and beyond, will be watching…

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David Johns

Editor: David Johns david@brumliving.co.uk

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

Contributors: Rob Price, Sue Cooke, Rose Gallagher Lisa Melvin, Hywel Davies Account manager: Jane Morris jane@brumliving.co.uk Photography: David Morphew, Andrew Llewellyn Publishing director: Jonathan Carter

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

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

Cover image: Alice Roberts

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living

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/bhamliving

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

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INSIDE

78 TRICKS & TREATS

Highlights

12 16 20 22 30 58

Alice Roberts The TV presenter and Birmingham professor on her exciting new venture, Tamed Alexander Rhys Talented local artist who is making a name for himself – by painting with bricks! Max Murphy Head chef at the Malt Shovel at Barston reveals his food heaven… and hell Food & Drink Foodie news, critics at Canal House and Bistrot Pierre, plus beginner’s wine guide Style Best boot forward as we step out in the pick of this winter’s must-have footwear Jazmin Sawyers Top British long jumper talks the Olympics, The Voice – and chip free nails

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CONTENTS

56

Best of the Rest

40 44 56 63 65 70 78 october 2017

Health Listen up and cut the racket! Why more than 11 million Brits suffer from hearing loss Homes Award-winning designer Lisa Melvin previews what’s hot in kitchens for 2018 Motoring Sue Cooke catches the polar express in the shape of a 4x4 celebrating a famous explorer Up Close With Tina Swani, the shark-swimming chief executive of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice Business This month’s brightest news, views and images from the business community Social Scene The pages that picture who’s been out and about networking in Birmingham this month Shows, Arts, Gigs and More What’s on, where and when – all you need to know about the entertainment scene

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NEWS

GAMES BID ON TRACK

g n i livTODAY

Birmingham is on its marks to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after beating Liverpool to be named England’s candidate city. Birmingham’s proposal to create the UK’s largest permanent athletics stadium supplemented by four indoor arenas was central to its bid. Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: “The Government will look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation.” Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is likely to be Birmingham’s main rival for the Games.

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

LIFESAVERS HIT THE ROAD Midlands Air Ambulance is on the road with three new rapid response vehicles to support its life-saving operations. Backed by corporate partners, M6toll, the charity took delivery of the BMW X5 models to complement its air operations. Already in action, the new cars are deployed if a helicopter is grounded during the hours of darkness or a period of bad weather. MAA covers the largest air ambulance operating area in England.

BRUM’S BEST BEE & B HEATHER HEADS FOR

WORLD CROWN Hair stylist Heather Shaw is set to take on rivals from around the world in the industry’s top competition this month. Heather, who works at Francesco Group’s Stafford salon, will compete in the grand final of the Wella Professionals TrendVision Award. Heather is in the Color Vision category of the finals after she was the Gold Winner in the UK heats, where she created a spectacular look on a live model.

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Birmingham’s Colmore Business District is hoping to build on its reputation as a hive of activity with the installation of two ‘bee hotels’ in Church Street Square. They’ve been installed by Colmore BID with the help of Urban Buzz wildlife project and the city council’s parks department. Urban Buzz aims to create 100 new wildlife spots across Birmingham with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and other agencies.

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NEWS

HOLY MACKEREL, WE WON! Smoked mackerel produced in the Midlands has been named the region’s best tasting product. Macneil's Smokehouse of Rushock won the Great Taste Golden Fork award for its “moist, juicy and sweet” mackerel smoked over beechwood in a Norwegian smoker, which was also listed in this year’s Top 50 Foods. Owner Tony Macneil, who worked as a chef in Norway, collected the prize at an awards dinner at London’s Park Lane. Nearly 13,000 products entered the awards.

BABY ARLO HEADS £2M APPEAL Birmingham Children’s Hospital has launched a £2million appeal with eightmonth-old patient Arlo Watson as its face. The Critical Journeys Appeal aims to boost the KIDS/NTS service – an advice, stabilisation and transport service dedicated to the management of critically ill infants and children. The appeal will raise money to kit out four critical care ambulances with the latest life-saving equipment. Arlo is one of more than 2,000 babies, children and young people moved by the KIDS/NTS service every year.

HORNS AND HOGWARTS Harry Potter's 20th anniversary is being celebrated by Birmingham’s People’s Orchestra as only it knows how – with rousing music! Pieces from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as well as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, will be performed by the orchestra at its Fantastic Beats and Where to Hear Them concert at West Bromwich Town Hall on Saturday 14 October. An evening of enchantment and magic music is promised…

MAKE THE GHOST OF IT… There’s a whole host of spooky activities going on in and around Birmingham for Halloween but it doesn’t all have to be about children… On Sunday 29 October why not pop down to the Rainbow Venues, Lower Trinity Street from 3pm to midnight for a special adults only Halloween-themed club event of disco, house, tech house and techno organised by Portal, Imaginarium and the Rainbow Venues.

WELCOME TO MINI-BRUM A new £2million interactive children’s gallery at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum has got the green light after receiving a £1.4million award from the Government and the Wellcome foundation. The gallery, with the working title MiniBrum, will deliver Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) through a child-sized mini-city in which children and families can explore and learn in a unique interactive way. Due to open in February 2019, the gallery will quadruple Thinktank’s dedicated area for under-eights.

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SEARCH FOR NEW COMEDY STAR Five of the best new and emerging comedians from the Midlands are in the running for the fourth Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award. The annual competition aims to recognise and support ‘breaking talent’ from the region, offering the winner a vital step-up on the comedy career ladder. A collaboration between Birmingham Comedy Festival and the Glee Club, the award kicks off the 10-day festival on 6 October. Nominated acts are Alex Black, Rob Kemp, Gemma Layton, Eric Rushton and Kai Samra.

CHANGING CITY IN FOCUS The man who helped to drive city centre redevelopment in Birmingham joined forces with Bar Opus city bar to stage an exhibition of his photographs. Philip Singleton’s Pause Project – featuring 12 images of buildings in a state of transition – is the third art exhibition at the One Snow Hill bar to showcase local talent. Philip is former CEO of Millennium Point and assistant director of city centre development at Birmingham City Council. IN THE PICTURE: Philip with Opus director Irene Allen

TV’S MATT HAILS CHARITY CHAMPS Birmingham TV presenter and mental health campaigner Matt Johnson was on hand to take the ‘money shot’ when more than 60 staff from Lloyds Banking Group completed the Fourtitude Challenge – helping to raise nearly £3million for Mental Health UK. They took part in three days of endurance hiking and cycling, culminating in Birmingham with a half marathon. The challenge was named Fourtitude to reflect one in four people experience mental health problems.

IN BRIEF GREAT VALUE Birmingham has been named one of the top two best value university cities, according to research by the UNiDAYS student affinity network. The research centred on a poll of 3,000 student members.

RSC APPEAL

RICHARD STRIKES GOLD Golfer Richard O’Hanlon was all smiles as he received the 50,000 Euros top prize for winning the 2017 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship at Nailcote Hall. On hand to wheel in the cash in a barrow was British golfing legend Tony Jacklin. It was Richard’s second British title victory, while winning celebs of the Pro-Am event were ex-Liverpool and England footballer Robbie Fowler and Scottish rugby star Max Evans. See Social Scene, pages 74 and 75

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ELLIE HITS THE CATWALK A career on the catwalk beckons for Ellie Ryan after the ‘Face of Solihull’ was signed up by a leading modelling agency. Ellie, 18, was selected as Face of Solihull from a shortlist of seven after more than 50 entrants attended open casting sessions during last year’s Solihull Fashion Week. Ellie has now joined the books of Nottingham-based Blake Models, which supplies models to the fashion and commercial industries.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has launched the Stitch In Time campaign to raise £3million to help restore and redevelop its costume workshop – British theatre’s largest in-house costume-making department.

10K RETURNS The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k will return to the city for the fourth time on Sunday 6 May, 2018. A record-breaking 8,000 people took part in this year’s 10k, which was shown live on Channel 5.

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LET’S DANCE, SUN… The science of the sun and magic of the moon are the inspiration behind a new season at Midlands-based dance house, DanceXchange. Performances include Alexander Whitley Dance Company’s unique 8 Minutes, pictured, which combines dance, film and music to take audiences on a journey through the universe. Plus, there’s the world premiere of What The Moon Saw by 2Faced Dance Company, a re-imagination of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale through dance and circus performance for young audiences. More details at www.dancexchange.org.uk

HEDGEHOG CITY

HEAL’S SET FOR MAILBOX

Birmingham’s dwindling hedgehog population is being given a helping paw after a city allotments association received funding to study the endangered species. Newhall Allotments Association, Sutton Coldfield received a grant from Wisdom Factory Community Interest Company to make 10 hedgehog tunnels and provide organic feed and a high-powered torch to track the animals at night. The tunnels include a ‘tactile pad’ to capture paw prints.

One of the biggest names in interiors is coming to Birmingham for the first time in its 200-year history. Heal’s is set to open in the Mailbox’s new 20,000 sq ft Design Quarter homewares section. It will be joined by another leading name, Made.com as well as a collection of other homewares, furnishings and accessories retailers. Heal’s CEO Hamish Mansbridge said: “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity, giving us a new regional flagship store in the Midlands.”

MYSTERY DONOR HELPS HISTORIC HOUSE

Historic Compton Verney has received a secret £30,000 donation to stage a year of music concerts. An anonymous benefactor made the donation after the Grade 1-listed ‘Capability Brown’ Chapel was recently restored and a new Welcome Centre built. The Chapel has almost perfect acoustics and provides an ideal venue for the development of music-based programming and outreach. The donation will also help with several other improvements at the 120-acre Warwickshire estate.

JQ’S HIDDEN GEMS The distinctive letterboxes of the Jewellery Quarter were forged in the Georgian era as secure portals for precious metals and stones. Two hundred years later they remain an iconic detail of the district – and local photographer Kevin Thomas has celebrated their heritage by picturing them in an exhibition. While some letterboxes are still in use, says Kevin, others have fallen into disrepair or been boarded over.

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

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COVER STORY

THE TAMING OF

ALICE

TV presenter and Birmingham University

professor Alice Roberts is famous for bringing natural history and archaeology to life on our screens. Now she tells David Johns about her exciting and ground-breaking new venture, Tamed – a 23-date British tour!

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irmingham professor and TV star Alice from Ur-orchards in Kazakhstan. When I started to Roberts is used to being watched by millions research that a bit more, I uncovered a wonderful story of viewers as she explores and explains some – of the origin of apples with large fruit on the flanks of natural history’s greatest wonders and mysteries. of the Tien Shan mountains, of the spread of apples So, it’s a little surprising that she admits to being a bit along the early Silk Roads, of the invention of grafting nervous about a date with an audience in Brum later and the arrival of apples in Britain with the Romans. this month. “I started to cast the net wider and research lots of Prof Roberts, best known for appearing in BBC other species that seem really familiar to us today, TV’s Coast, The Incredible Human Journey and which we’ve domesticated, to find out where they Horizon, is coming to her home city as part of her came from – and how we tamed them.” first-ever major tour. Tamed is a 23-date tour which Alice is an anthropologist and professor of Public has been nearly two years in the making and which Engagement in Science at the University of Alice says “started to crystalise first as an exciting Birmingham – which means encouraging and idea for a book and then to go with on tour and bring promoting dialogue between the university’s the story to life”. researchers and the public, making their work She describes the book and accessible through the likes of outreach and festivals. tour as a “labour of love” which explores archaeology, Writing the book and the talk has certainly history and genetics to reveal the amazing stories of the changed the way I think about nature and anyone who’s species that became our allies. seen me talk before won’t be expecting a dry lecture “From dogs, cattle and horses to wheat, potatoes and apples, finding out how taming these species has left its She has written seven popular science and mark on them – and us,” she adds. archaeology books – her volume about embryology and evolution, The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being, APPLE APPEAL was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize in As well as appearing at Birmingham Town Hall 2015. As a broadcaster, she has presented several this month, Alice is visiting most of the UK’s major landmark BBC series including The Incredible cities and towns – including London, Manchester, Human Journey, Origins of Us, Ice Age Giants and Bristol and Newcastle – as she brings her unique The Celts. She also presents the long-running take on making history exciting, interesting and archaeology series Digging for Britain. relevant to as wide an audience as possible. “I’ve been interested in human origins for ages, FULL OF SURPRISES and I love how you can bring lots of separate strands “I love writing but I also love giving talks – and of evidence in and weave them together,” Alice Tamed felt like it could translate into a great lecture. explained. “There are clues from fossils, from I often give talks at science and literature festivals, archaeology – the material culture of the past, from but this time I decided to take the book and the talk written history, and now from genetics as well. In to go with it on tour. The lecture I’m taking on tour fact, genetics is transforming our understanding of is, of course, different from the book. I won’t just be how humans evolved. reading out excerpts. I can bring the stories to life, “I started to get interested in tracing the origin of really delve into the mysteries, the excitement, the other species, too, and I’d read that apples originated surprises. All with stunning images, of course.

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COVER STORY

Tamed has been a labour of love – first as an exciting idea for a book and then to go on tour and bring the story to life

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COVER STORY

“There are questions about how we balance wilderness and wildness with our need for farming and food, about the future of farming and our place on this amazing planet. Writing the book and the talk has certainly changed the way I think about nature, so I think it might have that effect on other people too. People will also have the opportunity to ask me questions. And I want to ask them a few too – especially in my home city of Birmingham! I love doing live shows – and I think the key to all good communication is to harness education and entertainment. Anyone who’s seen me talk before won’t be expecting a dry lecture.” Alice says that when she’s not working on the tour, she is busier than ever in her ‘regular’ job at Birmingham University. “I’m still working hard to support other academics at the university engage with wider audiences,” she says. “We want to find new and interesting ways of communicating with people and we’ve linked up with a wide range of exciting cultural organisations across the city and region to help do just that – including the wonderful Birmingham Open Media, as well as the Library of Birmingham, Birmingham Museums Trust and Ironbridge.” MORE TV Alice is currently looking at inventive ways of showcasing university research – both on campus, in the newly refurbished Lapworth Museum and in the large green space that is soon to be created in the centre of the campus, and in the heart of the city too. “We are also thinking of ways in which people can become more involved with university research, even helping our researchers to come up with the right sorts of questions for 21st century society. And our Arts and Science Festival is going from strength to strength. In 2018, it will run from 12 to 18 March.” With Digging for Britain due back on our screens in December and a “secret” big new archaeology series for Channel 4 in the pipeline, you might think Alice is feeling pretty proud of her efforts. But no. “Three things have made me very proud this year,” she says. “The graduation of my PhD student Emily Saunders, who did a great piece of research comparing how humans and gorillas move in their natural environments; my little boy starting school and settling in really well; and my wonderful 75-year-old dad abseiled off the top of Southmead Hospital in Bristol, to raise money for prostate cancer research. “I’d like to still be abseiling and walking up mountains, like him when I’m 75!” I See Alice in Tamed at Birmingham Town Hall on 25 October. Details and tickets www.thsh.co.uk

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FEATURE

MAKING THE ORDINARY,

EXTRAORDINARY Talented artist Alexander Rhys is making a

name for himself with his bold unconventional style – which includes painting with bricks! lexander Rhys is testament to what can be achieved if you have talent, ambition and the will to follow your dream. At the age of 14 Alexander says he ‘realised something wasn’t quite right’ as he suffered from excessive levels of anxiety. Unlike most teenagers, he was weighed down with unremitting levels of worry and he was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Now 29, Alexander looks back and says: “OCD has always been a problem, but when I discovered painting I found it very helpful and therapeutic. It gives me a feeling of zen.” The artist, who is based between his home studio at Stryx, Minerva Works, Fazeley Street and London, has had his work sold and published in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Amsterdam, as well as London.

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HANDBAGS And as we spoke, Alexander had just been approached by a textile designer in Hong Kong who had seen some of his work and wants to commission him for a new range of handbags exclusive to Liberty store in London. “Things couldn’t be going better,” said Alexander, “but I am very conscious not to take anything for granted.” Born in Barnt Green, Alexander went to his local C of E school, St Andrew’s, before transferring to St John’s Bromsgrove and then sixth form at Bromsgrove School. He did a foundation in art and design at Bournville College before getting his degree in Fine Art and Design at Bath University. He recalls: “When you leave uni, there are a lot of you graduating at the same time with degrees, so getting the job you want is really difficult. I was fortunate that I sold a piece of my work from my end of year show to a luxury hotel in Bath and that gave me the impetus to think I could make a career out of my art and move forward with my work.”

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FEATURE

OCD has always been

a problem but painting gives me a feeling of zen

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FEATURE

Alexander did lots of research to find out his best route to progress as an artist and found the Prince’s Trust, which he says “changed my life”. He put forward a detailed business plan to the Trust, impressed at the subsequent interviews and won the funding and support he needed. DISTINCTIVE “The Trust has given me the belief and the opportunity to have my own business,” he says. “They helped me to get clients in New York, Miami and Istanbul and many other places around the world, as well as here at home.” Alexander’s modern and highly distinctive style developed from his Fine Art studies where he explored the role of art in therapy. His unique works manipulate acrylics with the aim to take the viewer on a journey of finding the ordinary, extraordinary. His global and diverse clients include outdoor advertising giants Clear Channel and leading Kenyan hip-hop artist Octopizzio. He launched his online gallery and store to provide the opportunity for people to enjoy and purchase his work. Recently he has also been working on a collaboration project with talented musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire. “They created a piece of To see more of Alexander’s work visit www.alexanderrhys.com

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music taking inspiration from my paintings. I then created a series of paintings from a piece of music that they created – it’s an on-going conversation,” explained Alexander. Alexander’s works are created using lots of different materials from in and around the studio. No object is too unlikely to be used. “I’ve just started to paint with bricks,” he says. “I walk the streets and am always on the look-out for discarded objects, bits of glass, bricks whatever. I like using different objects and different surfaces. I don’t even use a brush. EARLY START “I use oils and acrylics and spray paint too. I usually go to the studio and start working at 2am in the morning. I find I can get creative when I’m there at that time.” As well as his work for the Liberty designs and a busy ongoing schedule of exhibitions, Alexander is also working on commissions for some new apartments. He continues to have strong ties with the Prince’s Trust. “I still go to the Trust’s offices in Digbeth and I help by giving talks to people about how the Trust can help them.” Alexander also has work in the Trust’s store in London. “I have sold more than 30 pieces through the store,” he says. Despite being kept busy, he is wary of thinking he’s ‘made it’. “I believe in keeping my feet firmly on the ground, come what may,” he says. I

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FOOD & DRINK

MAX MURPHY

Flavour combinations have always fascinated the head chef at the Malt Shovel at Barston – whether it’s halibut with forest smoked ham or strawberry jam and cheese sarnies!

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CHEF’S CORNER

Tell us about your cooking I call it ‘organised rustic charm’. The emphasis is on flavour and the presentation is rustic but in an ordered way. While we have classics on the menu such as a gorgeous steak and chips, I like to put some unusual flavours together, too. How did you become a chef? Mum had been in the pub trade, so I was influenced by that. I went to Halesowen College and loved it. It was just me and mum so I had to work part-time to earn money to get me through college. I was at Jonathan’s restaurant, Oldbury from the age of 15, where I must have peeled hundreds of carrots putting those little grooves down the sides which was a bit trendy back then. I used to go home with orange hands. Dad died around this time and one of the bosses at Jonathan’s took me under his wing and nurtured me. Mr Gregory at Halesowen College was also really supportive and helped me a lot. What do you eat when at home? Basic stuff but really good quality, so if I have steak or sausages they’ll be top notch. I also like a really good curry. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? The best in the world is Raymond Blanc. He’s so passionate and to grow your own produce, pick and cook it the same day is perfection. In Birmingham, I’d have to say Glynn Purnell. The way he extracts flavour from his food is incredible. Is the customer always right? Usually, but there was a customer a couple of weeks ago who sent back a dish because the poached egg was cold. I told the waiter to take it back and explain it’s cold because it’s buffalo mozzarella not an egg!

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Share a cooking tip Slightly undercook your fish and rest it on a warm plate to cook to perfection. What was your favourite food as a kid? I loved strawberry jam and cheese sandwiches but I also liked squirting tomato sauce into salted crisps and giving it a shake. Well… I was only 10 afterall :-) Food heaven and food hell? Heaven would be a perfectly BBQ’d shoulder of lamb and hell will have to be offal – I just never got a taste for it.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Sea urchin straight from the sea in New Zealand which I dived for with a chef colleague. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? It’s really impossible for me to imagine doing anything else but at a push, probably an antiques dealer. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? Halibut with a duo of artichokes, forest smoked ham, white truffle oil and edible flowers from our organic supplier. I The Malt Shovel at Barston, Barston Lane, Barston, Solihull B92 0JP. Tel: 01675 443 223 www.themaltshovelatbarston.com

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SEASON’S EATINGS

GET SOME MUSSELS Enjoy new-season fresh mussels – and give your own muscles a protein boost at the same time s any fitness fan knows, there’s nothing quite like protein to feed the body and give your muscles some extra oomph! By a strange coincidence, your body’s muscles love mussels. The shellfish is one of the best sources of protein – a cup full provides more than a third of the recommended daily intake. The peak season for fresh mussels is just about to get underway, so dive in and get cooking with our tasty recipe.

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MOULES FRITES Ingredients:

I 1kg fresh mussels (make sure they are fresh, black and shiny) I 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped I 1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped I 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed I 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme I 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley I 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil I 50ml olive oil I 150ml dry white wine I 2 tablespoons crème fraiche

Method: Tip the mussels into a large bowl of cold water, rinse, drain well and pull away the stringy bits called ‘beards’. Place the chopped onion, shallot and garlic in a saucepan with the olive oil, gently sweat them over a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until slightly soft. Add the chopped herbs. Add the washed mussels to the pan and cover with dry white wine, bring slowly to the boil, then simmer gently while stirring. Continue until the mussels have opened – discard any that don’t open – this can take between 2 to 5 minutes. Add the crème fraiche mixing through the cooked and opened mussels. Serve in a deep bowl with the frites on the side.

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FOOD & DRINK

NIBBLES

and SHORTS

Birmingham has a lively and buzzing bar and restaurant scene. Here, we present our insider guide to what’s going on in your city’s eateries and drinking dens CHEESE AND CUSTARD If cheese is your thing, here’s the perfect day out… Cheese Fest UK is coming to Birmingham on Saturday 18 November. The festival promises ‘a day of the most incredible melted cheese delights and delicious cheese-based cuisine’. And in an amusing kind of way the venue for all this cheesy action is… the Custard Factory!

HANGOVER CURE TO YOUR DOOR What a great idea! Kats Cabin Cafe and Tearoom, Walsall has devised the perfect hangover cure – delivered to your door. The ‘ultimate breakfast box’ has sausages, bacon, fried eggs, black pudding, hash browns, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast and fried bread. All for £15 with free delivery within a one-mile radius.

BEER FEST’S EXTRA ‘OOMPAH’ Birmingham’s popular Bavarian festival of beer, complete with oompah bands and bratwurst, promises to be better than ever this year – with two events being held. The biggest is at Eastside City Park from 18 to 22 October, while a smaller, more intimate version takes place at the Old Crown on the 6th and 7th, complete with a heated Bavarian beer hall.

UP POPS A WAFFLE CRAZE Bubble Pop Waffles, the latest dessert craze for egg waffles, are coming to Creams Cafe in Bishopsgate Street. They are part of a redesigned menu featuring 30 new tasty treats. There’s also a new kid’s menu for ‘little inventors under 10’ at the eatery, which is part of the UK’s largest dessert-only restaurant group.

WINNING WAR ON WASTE Food and restaurant businesses in the Midlands are recycling more food waste than ever, according to new data from national waste management provider, Biffa. Firms in the region recycled 19.2 per cent more food waste than in the same period last year, it says. Biffa collected 28,000 tonnes of food waste from businesses

WINTER WINE FESTIVAL The Wine Gang is bringing its great Winter Wine Festival to the Mailbox this month. A selection of more than 200 wines will be available to sample on Saturday 7 October, along with masterclasses and wine walks. More at www.thewinegang.com

NEW CITY CENTRE INDIAN Indian restaurant tamatanga, known for its hearty, home-style food, is all set to open this month in Navigation Street, between the Mailbox and Grand Central. Operations director Rahul Khurana said: “This is the perfect place for us. It’s buzzing with life and aspiration.”

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

CANAL HOUSE 12 Bridge Street, Birmingham B1 2JR. Tel: 0121 643 8829 thecanalhouse.uk.com rom the clever sticks behind The Botanist comes Canal House and boy is it in a beautiful spot. Tucked alongside its neighbour the Hyatt and opposite Bistrot Pierre, the building has been lovingly restored and packs a visual punch. Showcasing the city’s canal-side views, the space both inside and out defies its city centre location and on a sunny day it would be an idyllic spot. Clearly the interior designers at New World Trading company enjoy a kooki colourful chandelier and why not? The space is characterful and rustic. We like. Beer and cocktails are a thing. The other half plumped for a Spaten Munchen Munich beer which went down a treat while a Langley’s G&T with basil, pepper and grapefruit was delicious. Gin and basil was a new combo to us that we’ll be repeating. The grapefruit was missing, but our waitress put that right sharpish. There’s a house gin distilled on the premises plus you can take away beer packs and try a few of the specialist brews at home. The food menu is similar to The Botanist with the hanging kebab and rotisserie featuring heavily. A dreamy chicken, bacon and sweetcorn soup to start was autumnal and warming served with a cute mini loaf. The roasted Romero peppers with goat’s cheese and quinoa was just bland. Nuff said. A hanging chicken kebab with mushrooms, onion and peppers had garlic butter poured over it at the table which oozed on to the fries beneath. It felt pretty

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indulgent, but tasted great. The flavour of a chicken burger in brioche bun with peppers and avocado was super, but – and it’s a big but – the chicken breast was dry which was a real shame because it could have been fantastic. A side of kale with mange tout, roasted tomatoes and French beans was unexpectedly moreish and probably the star of the show. Well, it’s a toss up between that and a dreamboat of a dessert. Warm gooey cookie dough with chocolate and salted caramel ice cream was just a stunner. It was served in a skillet with more than enough for two people. Coffee was served in beautiful vintage style espresso cups with cute butterfly handles which we’re currently trying to source on the world wide web. Any tips are most welcome. Check out a pic @brum_living on Instagram and you’ll understand. In short Canal House is worth a visit. The ambience is lively, location is stunning, drinks are great, food is okay and the service is impeccable. I

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LUNCH SPOT

BISTROT PIERRE Waterside, 46 Gas Street, Birmingham B1 2JT. Tel: 0121 616 0730 lebistrotpierre.co.uk e’re not canal obsessives, but you may have noticed that both foodie reviews this month are on the same stretch of canal. In fact, they are opposite one another. We ate at Canal House first and lusted after the views from the glass box tacked onto the end of Bistrot Pierre, so we went. Not on the same day you understand. That would be piggy. And we’re not. Despite being dotted around the UK, Bistrot Pierre had passed us by completely other than reading a press release about the Brum branch opening. In fairness it wasn’t that long ago. It’s a huge restaurant over numerous floors, but it’s packed with character and full of cosy corners and banquettes to hunker down in, so it fills the space beautifully. The views, as suspected, are worth the trip. Menu-wise we went a la carte, though we noted a fantastic series of soiree gastronomique evenings that offer a six-course dinner with wine for £22.95 which sounds like a steal. There’s a kids menu available which I hadn’t clocked until we were about to leave, but the girls were happy with a la carte. Totally out of character the 10-yearold piped up and enquired if the bread was gluten-free. The waitress was sweet. I was mortified. The bread was gluten-free. The other half ordered fantastically well with two brilliant dishes. Whipped goat’s cheese with

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marinated peppers on toasted artisan bread was fresh, sweet and zingy and a perfect start while the boeuf bourguignon was deliciously rich and comforting. We were quite heavy on the red meat with one of the kids opting for a pan-seared bavette steak, the other a classic burger served with Le Saint Mont des Alpes cheese, gherkins and relish. Both dishes were devoured enthusiastically. The steak was cooked beautifully and the burger was all kinds of deliciousness encased in the ever-trendy brioche bun. I didn’t choose quite so well. Chicken breast with lentils and a subtle creamy sauce needed to be less subtle. It was cooked perfectly and there was plenty of rosemary evident, but it needed a bit of punch. I pelted it with pepper which helped a bit. Daughter number two’s raspberry lemonade was dreamy and I’d have happily slurped a glass had a carafe of rosé not been winking. The carafe was perfect for two and left us wondering why more restaurants don’t serve wine like this. Great when a bottle is too much, but a glass not quite enough. We realised when we left we’d been at the restaurant for hours – the sign of a good lunch. It’s the kind of place where you’re unaware of anyone else and we’ll be back minus les enfants for the next soiree gastronomique. By the way, in the accidental battle of the canal-side restaurant there’s no winner and therefore no loser either. We’d have cocktails on the terrace at Canal House and food at Bistrot Pierre. I

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

LATIN LOVELY Please raise your glasses to Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha

n celebration of the opening of South American-inspired restaurant Las Iguanas in Temple Street, our COTM is Brazil’s national cocktail, Caipirinha, made with cachaça, sugar and lime. The Caipirinha originated around 1918 in the state of São Paulo, deriving from a popular recipe made with lemon, garlic and honey designed to cure Spanish flu. Today the drink is enjoyed in restaurants, bars and households throughout the country. I

I

Ingredients:

I 35ml cachaça I 1 lime I 3 teaspoons of crystal or refined sugar

Method: Cut the lime into eight chunks. Add the sugar and muddle, pushing and twisting. Half fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the cachaça. Mix all the ingredients together gently with a spoon and top with crushed ice. Delicioso!

Las Iguanas, Somerset House, Temple Street, Birmingham B2 5DP. Tel: 0121 392 2923 www.iguanas.co.uk

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FOOD & DRINK

RED ALERT Rob Price breaks through the

jargon to present his simple guide to understanding wine styles

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FOOD & DRINK

hat do you think when a wine is described as “aromatics of forest floor and wild raspberry with hints of herbs, rounded, with an array of damson, vanilla, blueberry, cedar, and liquorice”? Most wine notes still refer to the intricate array of aromas and flavours that wines may exhibit. But for many people this isn’t something they identify with, and just seems to be a strange world where only wine experts inhabit. To be fair, we do go on about aroma mainly because the more you try to identify different aromas/flavours in wines the better at it you become. It does help your appreciation of wine, and as long as you do not take it too seriously, it is also a lot of fun. Remember it’s all very subjective and you actually can’t be wrong!

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ROB’S

4 TO TRY

THIS MONTH, I’VE PICKED OUT FOUR REDS BASED ON A STYLE YOU MAY LIKE TO TRY. HAPPY DRINKING! Dry, sharp and light A classic Pinot Noir from Burgundy, best tasted with food. I would recommend Tollot-Beaut, a wonderful ‘entry level’ Bourgogne Rouge. Think red fruits with fresh, mouth-watering acidity. Nickolls and Perks has the 2011 vintage, £16.99.

Dry, fruity and light(ish) Let’s move to northern Italy and Valpolicella. The region provides three different wine styles, but basic Valpol is usually dry and fruity. One of the best producers is Allegrini and his Valpolicella is a delight. Sappy,

KEY INDICATORS But if you’re trying to fathom how a wine may taste then understanding wine styles is more useful. It would be better to have some key indicators for each wine, such as: dry or sweet, sharp – fruity, light – full (strong – powerful). A scale for each might be useful on each wine label. When you taste a wine you like, try and remember it in these terms and for each wine you taste consider what they may have in common – such as region or grape variety. It may help you choose wines with greater success. For red wines, climate is the main determining factor in style of wine, influenced of course by grape variety. These also have their own characteristics but in practice the climate in which the grape is grown will be the major factor. Some grapes have a distinct preference for a particular climate. For example, Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned grape that prefers cooler climates and it’s the climate that affects the style of the wine most. HOT AND COLD So cooler climates (think mainly Europe, further north) will give you wines that are drier, sharper, and lighter in style. Therefore, warmer climates, (very south of Europe and most of the New World), eg Australia, Californian South America, will offer wines that are riper (taste sweeter), fruiter and full-bodied and powerful.

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herbal, and juicy. The Wine Society’s 2016 vintage is £10.95.

Riper, fruity and fuller Merlot makes for easy to drink, fruiter wines with a little more body. One of my favourite weekday wines is Cono Sur’s Merlot. Uncomplicated, goes down easily with or with food. Widely available at around £7 a bottle.

Ripe, fruity and full-bodied Malbec is fast becoming the grape of the decade. Argentina has been very successful in producing full-bodied, powerful and ripe wines from this grape, and one of the best is Ben Marco. Complex, with a whole array of flavours. Majestic sells the 2016 vintage, £14.99.

The Europeans have over the years perfected techniques that allow them to make fuller bodied wines that the climate alone may not deliver. Leaving grapes on the vine longer, or allowing the grapes to dry and shrivel are ways to make riper and more powerful wines. Every tried an Amarone? It’s made in the same region as a light-bodied Valpolicella, with the same grape, but Amarone is one of the fullest-bodied, powerful wines you can drink. I Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company that offers fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Warwick and Milton Keynes city centres. More information, contact Rob Price 0121 270 7359 or at www.birminghamwineschool.com

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ANIMAL MAGIC Dune leopard boots £151, littlewoods.com

BEST BOOT FORWARD

We’re in our element donning boots and reckon every woman should have at least three pairs in her autumn arsenal. We’ve made our picks of the most joyous to inspire you

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STYLE

he lynchpin in any girl’s ‘boot room’ has to be an expensive, knee-high tan number that will last beyond one season and will suit absolutely everything in your wardrobe. From school run to dinner date, they will work hard for you oozing class at every outing. Get the best you can afford. We have a pair from Hobbs last year that didn’t break the bank and they’ll happily see us through this season. Then get frivolous. Check out this season’s sock boots. We were all over the sock boot in 2001 and haven’t revisited the trend until now. Available in a rainbow of colours and lengths we’re spoilt for choice. The white Balenciaga knee high version is seriously tempting if highly impractical. Office has a fanciful floral pair (pictured) that will raise a smile. Thigh highs are back and as always we approach them with caution. Carine Roitfeld had the right idea

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VERSATILE TAN Tan ankle boots, Laura Ashley, Merry Hill

BUCKLE UP Oberon boot £160, Jones Bootmaker, Bullring

STUFF OF DREAMS Sloanne thigh high boot £170, Dune, Bullring

THE NEW BLACK Rosalind boot £99, Dune, Bullring

HOWDY PARTNER Macie boot £160, Jones Bootmaker, Bullring

SCHOOL RUN HERO Lilie boot £269, Hobbs, Grand Central

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WELL HEELED Orine boot £130, Dune, Bullring

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STYLE

HI-TOP HONEY Virgin hi-tops £135, Hush at John Lewis, Grand Central

RIDING HIGH Teigen boot £145, Dune, Bullring

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE Lizzie boot £199, Hobbs, Grand Central

TRUE BLUE Navy boots, White Stuff, Cannon Street

with pvc thigh highs teamed with a well-cut classic pencil skirt. If you don’t have Carine Roitfeld’s budget go for Dune’s creamy suede version (pictured) that will take you firmly away from Band of Gold territory. If you’re a moon boot sort of girl you need a furry pair a la Miu Miu in your life. Big hairy candy coloured Chewbacca ankles are de rigeur, so knock yourself out. Red is everywhere and boots haven’t escaped the crimson tide. Valentino has some stunning examples. On the high street, we like River Island’s snake effect with studded detail and cut out ankle (pictured). They’re just the right amount of rock ‘n’ roll. Cowboy boots are better than ever this season and come in a variety of guises. Metal tipped are the ultimate must-have thanks to Calvin Klein and probably in part Breaking Bad. Nothing upsets us more – in fashion terms anyway – than otherwise-attractive people shuffling around the city in imitation Uggs with a lopsided sole. Steer clear people. We’d love to see your best boot buys! Share your pics on Instagram @brum_living #bootsofbrum TWINKLE TOES Star glitter boot £14, Primark, the Fort Shopping Park

STARLIGHT Khaki star embossed boot £34.99, Deichmann, High St

IN THE NAVY Polly suede boot £160, Jones Bootmaker, Bullring

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STYLE NO SLOUCH Thea slouch boot £269, Hobbs, Grand Central

BACK TO BLACK Ri Studio boots £75, River Island, Bullring

HEAVY METAL Metallic Chelsea boot £42, Wallis

CUTE CONE Grey boots £29.99, New Look, Bullring

LESS IS MORE Lace up heeled boot £25, F&F

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From only ÂŁ25

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STYLE

HELLO COWGIRL Thigh high boots, Topshop, Bullring

THINK PINK Pink thigh high boots £22, Primark, the Fort Shopping Park

ALL HAIL THE SOCK BOOT Atomic sock boot £70, Office, Bullring

WILD WEST Red cowboy boots £25, George at Asda

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STUD YOU LIKE

MAKES ‘EM WINK

Red snake effect boots, River Island, Bullring

Suede ankle boot £45, Oasis, New Street

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BEAUTY

BEAUTY UPDATE

Rose Gallagher reveals her star new season finds that will transform hair, make-up and scent

La Mer The Sheer Pressed Powder £65, Harvey Nichols New from La Mer is a setting

Hershesons Knot My Problem £8, Selfridges My favourite new hair innovation, this little brush from

powder that won’t dull or flatten

Hersheson’s is designed to fit perfectly into the palm of your

the skin. This Sheer Pressed Powder

hand for in-shower styling. Soft bristles are gentle enough to

is infused with La Mer’s signature

use on wet or dry hair but work especially well to detangle

skincare ingredient, the Miracle Broth

dampened hair. Secretly, the person who loves this the most is

from the heart of the ocean, to

my ragdoll cat. He will sit for hours and let me brush him with

hydrate and treat as it conceals. Use

this because it’s so gentle.

this to blur over any imperfections and set your make-up in place.

Jo Malone London Green Almond and Redcurrant £94, www.jomalone.co.uk A total wildcard, this year Jo Malone London has abandoned its traditional

MAC Cosmetics Taraji P Henson Viva Glam Lipstick £16.50, MAC Cosmetics, Grand Central As their motto states, every day is World Aids Day at MAC. The Viva Glam collection of lipsticks is a charity initiative with proceeds going towards

monochrome packaging to celebrate an

the MAC Aids fund. Each new lipstick

explosion of colours and textures in its

is a collaboration with a celebrity –

Crazy Colourful collection. Designed by

and the latest sparkling golden

Jonathan Saunders, this Christmas scheme

formula was designed with

sees everything from boxes to ribbons and

Taraji P Henson.

even bottles having a bright makeover. Star of the show is the limited Christmas scent, Green Almond and Redcurrant.

Victoria Beckham and Estee Lauder Collection Make-up Bag £550, Selfridges After returning with another

Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colour £24, John Lewis Merging the look of a lipstick and the comfort of a balm, this is the ultimate lipstick to see you through the

luxury capsule make-up

winter. Changing between a central

collection in September, Victoria

heated living room and the bitterly

has announced the launch of a limited collection this October with

cold outdoors can cause chapped lips,

leather make-up bag filled with the heroes from her collection and

and this new formula from Bobbi

available exclusively within this set. Available in black or white.

Brown will condition the lips as well as imparting your chosen colour.

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STYLE FOR MEN

SMART MOVE As the cooler weather sweeps in, boots for guys have upped their pace

LACE UP Available from House of Fraser, Corporation Street

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STYLE FOR MEN

SOLEFUL OF STYLE Eton boot £84.99, Office, Bullring

BROGUE BOOT Suede lace-up boot £34.99, New Look, the Fort Shopping Park

INTO THE BLUE Firth suede boot £195, Jones Bootmakers, Bullring

OLD SCHOOL Apron boot £60, Next, the Fort Shopping Park

et’s talk boots for guys. Once solely (sorry!) the domain of casual weekenders, boots have moved into smart territory for men, making it easier to stamp your style on workwear rather than wearing a uniform. See the Giles boot from Office (pictured) which would straddle smart and casual with aplomb. We predict the Chelsea boot will never go out of style – pretty safe bet we know. Take a look at some great suede examples in cool grey or navy for a slight twist on the classic. Edgy lace-ups are everywhere in the casual camp with a cool urban vibe going on. Checkout Office and New Look for some tip top examples that will add a bit of swagger to your look. I

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GREY DAYS Suede Chelsea boot £89.95, White Stuff, Cannon Street

CLASSIC BLACK Magnus boot £115, Dune, Bullring

MADE IN CHELSEA Brown suede Chelsea boot £34.99, New Look, the Fort Shopping Park

STRONG BUCKLE GAME Giles boot £89.99, Office, Bullring

KHAKI DREAM Khaki leather boot £60, River Island, the Fort Shopping Park

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HEALTH

NOW

HEAR THIS!

Leading consultant Matthew Trotter looks

at how modern life could be affecting your

ears – and what you can do to protect them

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HEALTH

ccording to Action on Hearing Loss, more than 11 million people in the UK live with some form of hearing loss, and by 2035 that’s estimated to rise to a staggering 15.6 million – a fifth of the population. What’s more, research suggests those suffering hearing impairment are also more susceptible to anxiety and depression. And don’t assume hearing loss only affects older people. There are many causes, from childhood through to old age, from conditions such as congenital loss, infection, glue ear and otosclerosis. The latter is caused by new bone growth around one of the little bones in the middle ear and can limit its movement and so the transmission of sound. It often runs in families and can be treated with either hearing aids or surgery. Remember, taking care of your hearing is a small price to pay for healthy ears – even if you’re young and your hearing is fine. Here are a few basic tips to help keep your ears at optimum health:

A

LOUD NOISES Exposure to loud noises for long periods could put you at risk of permanent hearing loss. Tinnitus – or ringing in the ears – can be an early warning sign of hearing damage. “The most worrying thing is that you won’t know if you’ve done permanent damage until it’s already happened,” said Matthew. “It is a good idea to take a break from loud noises to allow your fragile inner ears to recover.” Try to limit exposure to loud noise – as a simple rule if you’re listening to music with headphones and others can hear, it’s too loud. If you’re in a noisy environment you can always use earplugs. If you use plugs when sleeping, clean them regularly and ensure they’re snug but not tight, or you risk infection. WATER Most people don’t have a problem when water enters their ears. However some are susceptible to itchy ears when they are regularly exposed to water and can be more vulnerable to Otitis externa, or ‘swimmer’s ear’. Symptoms include ear pain, itching, discharge, tenderness and even a degree of hearing loss. If you’re a keen swimmer or spend a lot of time in

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the pool, then there are some things you can do to protect yourself from swimmer’s ear. Wear earplugs to keep water out of your ear canal. Use special eardrops that help dry out your ear canal after swimming. FOREIGN OBJECTS Ears are normally self-cleaning so trying to stop earwax is as futile as trying to prevent the production of urine. Sticking cotton buds or pen tops into the ear simply pushes the wax in too far and stops it coming out of the ear – so don’t do it! “Ear candles supposedly help remove wax,” said Matthew, “ but there’s no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of the method. A popular saying in ENT is: ‘Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!’ It is much better for ear care if you just clean the outside of your ears with a damp flannel.” PRESSURE CHANGES Eustachian tubes, between the middle ear and back of the nose let air in and out of the middle ear when we experience pressure changes. Most people who have been on a plane notice their ears often ‘pop’ when descending and this is the tube opening to release pressure. If the tube blocks, which can occur with colds or allergies, then the ears can become very painful with pressure changes. It may be advisable to try to avoid flying when you have a cold but a nasal decongestant can be very useful if taken just before flying in those who have a history of problems with their ears when flying. People who scuba dive often have the same problem and the same treatment may be useful. EXERCISE Did you know that exercise is good for your ears? Cardio exercises like walking, running or cycling get the blood pumping to all parts of your body, including the ears. This helps the ears’ internal parts stay healthy and working to their maximum potential. I Matthew Trotter is a specialist Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) consultant at Spire Parkway private hospital, tel: 0121 704 5530 www.spireparkway.com

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ng il viHOMES

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KITCHEN DREAMS

Telepathic washing machines, ovens disguised as TVs and the rise of the hi-tech pantry. Award-winning designer Lisa Melvin previews what will be making the headlines in kitchen kit for 2018

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HOMES

METAL MAGIC Lisa Melvin www.lisamelvin.co.uk

hanks mainly to the nation’s obsession with TV chefs, domestic kitchens are becoming much more like their commercial counterparts. We’re frequently asked to incorporate kit that would be more at home in a restaurant than a family kitchen.

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OVEN LOVE Souvide cooking is a prime example. Siemens has stepped up to the plate with an oven that allows you to experiment at home. You simply vacuum pack your meat or fish with herbs and flavourings in a special bag and pop in the compatible oven or refrigerate until you’re ready to cook. The benefits of souvide are plenty. As the bag is sealed no nutritional value, flavour or moisture is lost. It’s also consistent, less messy than conventional cooking and allows you to prep ahead. It’s not cheap, but neither does it break the bank at roughly £3,500. Italian brand Candy has launched an oven with a glass face that doubles as a giant screen. You can pull up recipes, watch your favourite shows or check what’s happening in the oven without opening the door – a huge plus for keen bakers.

EARTHY TONES Classic Interiors www.classicinteriors.co.uk

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FINE DINING Houseology www.houseology.com

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HOMES

Hoover has launched a single cavity oven that comes with a sealed shelf that transforms it into a double oven in seconds which is particularly good if you’re short of space. WASHING CLEVER We’ve all become accustomed to being able to look inside the fridge on our smartphone while we’re doing the weekly shop, but now washing machines are having their moment in the spotlight. The new generation of machines are able to determine how dirty your load is and wash accordingly. A whole bottle of detergent is poured into the machine and it adds exactly the right amount to the drum depending on the load. Apparently we waste a whopping 50 per cent of detergent by being too heavy-handed with it, so it should save a few pennies. HANDY PANTRY The desire for the pantry has been high for a while, but today’s versions are much more than just a cupboard. They are highly organised, have power points and a stone cold slab. They can also be beautiful and enhance your design. The trend for painted doors even in contemporary kitchens has increased and shows no sign of slowing down. It enables you to give the kitchen a facelift without changing the entire space as long as you have a high quality well-made structure in the first place. I

MINIMUM FUSS Poggenpohl www.poggenpohl.com

GREAT SPACE John Lewis www.johnlewis.com

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HOMES

IN THE ZONE SieMatic www.urbaninterior.co.uk

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HOMES

TOP CURVES Lisa Melvin www.lisamelvin.co.uk

TRADITIONAL CHARM John Lewis www.johnlewis.com

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HOMES

OLD SCHOOL Copper effect scales £12, Wilko

MIDAS TOUCH Bloomingville aluminium bowl in green/gold £41, amara.com

FRESH AS A DAISY Pip Studio small Bloomingtails jug £10, daisypark.co.uk

FINISHING

TOUCHES

RAISE THE BAR Dutchbone Flor chair in ochre yellow £319, cuckooland.com

You’ve got the kitchen of your dreams now it’s time to add some detail COOL STOOL RV Astley gala high bar stool £324, houseology.com

WHITE OUT Alzira white pendant £65, Cookes Furniture, Erdington

EFFORTLESS COOL Zayna chair £125, cuckooland.com SCANDI VIBE Ligne Roset Odea Mauro Lipparni, Cookes Furniture, Erdington

NOT SO CHEESEY Set of cheese knives £22, Oliver Bonas, New Street PUT YOUR STAMP ON IT Personalised Mary Berry set of two mugs £24.99, gettingpersonal.co.uk

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HOMES

Hot Properties A Victorian masterpiece, a family home that’s cool for terrible teens and a period house with stunning views… take a look at this month’s top of the props

VIEW TO A THRILL Hornyold Road, Malvern Guide price: £695,000 Agent: Fisher German, tel 01905 726220

Beautifully presented and refurbished, this period detached family home has six bedrooms, three reception rooms, home office, cellars and lovely private gardens. And as for those stunning views..!

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HOMES

WHAT A CHARMER Alderbrook Road, Solihull Guide price: £1.5million Agent: Knight Frank, tel 0121 200 2220 A cracking seven-bedroom family home with bags of charm and period features. As well as a lovely kitchen breakfast family room there’s several other sizeable reception rooms and a top floor that any teenager would kill for. There’s also planning permission to extend to the rear if you desire even more space…

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HOMES

BRICKS&BITS ULTIMATE FUND RUN A 15-strong team of runners from Redrow Homes tackled an extreme obstacle course in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The Wild Warrior eXtreme 10km was the company’s latest fundraising effort which has seen the house builder raise £50,000 for the hospital over three years.

INVESTORS IN PROFIT

ANYONE FOR A DIP? Linthurst Road, Barnt Green Guide price: £1.5million Agent: Fine and Country, tel 0121 746 6400 A magnificent eight-bedroom Victorian home that sits in approximately four acres of beautifully manicured grounds. Includes all the living space you could need and a rather swish indoor leisure complex with swimming pool

Birmingham-based property group Real Estate Investors has declared a £6.4million profit for the first half of 2017. The pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June compares to a loss of £560,000 in the same period in 2016. Chief executive Paul Bassi said: “Despite market and political uncertainty we continue to benefit from our focused investment strategy and a robust investment market.”

SPITFIRE HOMES FLY If you’re interest, better get a wriggle on! Only two properties remain to be sold at Spitfire Bespoke Homes’ Ashwood development in Hockley Heath. Flooded with natural light and equipped with ecofriendly appliances, the last homes available as we went to press were a dormer bungalow (Plot 11) for £850,000 and a five-bedroom detached house (Plot 6) at £900,000.

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

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LOFTY AMBITIONS Princip Street, City Centre Guide price: £675,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel 0121 634 1520 Situated within the fabric of a range of historical buildings dating back from the 1830s, this first floor triple aspect loft apartment boasts two double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a very distinctive, large open plan kitchen living area.

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HOMES

TOP MARKS Markover, Lower Moor Guide price: ÂŁ485,000 Agent: Fisher German, tel 01905 726220

A lovely extended and refurbished contemporary family home with polished tiled floors, under-floor heating, four bedrooms (two ensuite) and an awesome open plan kitchen diner that leads onto a lovely private, enclosed rear garden.

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

www.facebook.com/bhamliving october 2017

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MOTORING

POLAR EXPRESS Sue Cooke gets to grips with a new 4x4 named after a legendary Antarctic expedition ’m not recommending an Antarctic expedition for this October half-term week but if you fancy getting away from it all with the family then Hyundai’s new flagship SUV will accommodate all. The seven-seater Santa Fe was the vehicle of choice on a 30-day Antarctic expedition by the great grandson of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. To celebrate, the Korean company has launched a new Endurance edition – named after Shackleton’s epic three-year expedition from 1914 to 1917 to cross the Antarctic. The road-going Santa Fe is a handsome beast which doesn’t feel as large to drive as it looks. There is an ‘Around View Monitor’ which presents the driver with a 360-degree view of the car – very useful when negotiating tight gaps or a narrow parking space. And surprisingly, the Santa Fe can be very agile when needed with a speedy response when I pressed hard on the accelerator.

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jingle which repeats the entertainment when the ignition is turned off. On my road test car, in Premium SE trim, which the Endurance model is based on, the standard equipment would fill two pages of A4 and options are just two features – metallic paint and a ‘Convenience Pack’. Some of the more useful attributes within the standard list, particularly when packing the boot, is the automatic tailgate opening and for long motorway journeys there is cruise control with speed limiter. TOUCH OF HISTORY I liked the panoramic glass sunroof which goes all the way back to the rear seats and has electric tilt and slide and makes the cabin really light and spacious feeling. Seating is comfortable with good leg room and the third row of folding seats are easily accessed if you are young and fit, so perhaps more suited to younger children.

BIG AND THRIFTY The 2.2-litre diesel is quiet and thrifty for a big 4x4, achieving 42.8mpg combined consumption. My road test car had the six-speed automatic transmission which is optional, but there is a standard six-gear manual transmission. In the interior, keyless entry is convenient and the classy looking key fob remained in my handbag all week. Once behind the wheel press the start-stop key and you are welcomed with an entertaining little

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MOTORING

FACTS AT A GLANCE: Model: Hyundai Santa Fe Premium SE seven-seater Price: ÂŁ40,085 including options Engine: 2.2-litre CRDi diesel 200PS Performance: 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 126mph (optionally 174mph) CO2 emissions: 174g/km Combined fuel consumption: 42.9mpg

In keeping with the polar theme, you can choose a metallic mineral blue exterior paintwork which is the same colour as that of the Antarctic expedition car. And the final touch is a special Endurance logo which can be found on the B-pillar and interior floor mats. The eye-catching logo features the Shackleton family motto and a 28-point compass representing the 28 crew that survived the failed original Endurance expedition. Half-term usually brings with it a spate of car boot sales, big shows and general activities which all seem to require traversing wide acres of mud and greenery. You may not be attempting an Antarctic expedition, but the Santa Fe is a very competent and comfortable off-road vehicle with the capacity to carry with ease you, your family and any large purchases you might be tempted to make! I

SHOWROOM: Hyundai Birmingham West, 68 Hagley Road West, Birmingham. Tel: 0121 434 6400 www.hyundai.co.uk/dealer/birmingham-west

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

JAZMIN SAWYERS We caught up with the talented British long jumper to talk Olympic dreams, The Voice and chip free nails!

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

azmin Sawyers is a woman of many talents. Not content with being one of Team GB’s rising stars – she is Commonwealth and European long jump silver medallist and came an impressive eighth in Rio – she also has a World Junior bobsleigh gold medal in the trophy cabinet and unexpectedly popped up on The Voice, storming the blind auditions to bag a place on team Will.i.am. Versatility seems an understatement. Make no mistake though, athletics is Jazmin’s first love while music is a hobby. She made it clear to Will.i.am that athletics came first and I wonder if that affected his decision to send Jazmin home in the battle round. She doesn’t think so and just thoroughly enjoyed the ‘amazing’ experience. Rather than being a distraction, Jazmin says that music has enhanced her training. “I need something outside of training to engage my brain and music provides that. It’s nice to have on the side but the focus is sport.”

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BOBSLEIGH Like most children, Jazmin tried athletics at school aged nine and took to it immediately. At 11 she started training at a club and by 14 she’d competed in her first competition abroad. “I loved it and thought I want more of this.” Incredibly driven, Jazmin persuaded her parents to let her apply for a scholarship to Millfield School in Somerset where the sporting facilities are top notch. They relented. Jazmin boarded from the age of 16 and relished every minute. “I know it doesn’t suit everyone but I loved boarding.” Millfield gave Jazmin opportunities she wouldn’t have ordinarily had like bobsleigh of all things. It requires the same explosive power and speed as long jump, so she was in her element. Training at a special facility at Bath University as well as Austria, Germany and Latvia to get the necessary experience on ice, it was quite intense for a while, but worth it when she came away from the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics with a gold medal. Post-2012 Jazmin has focused on long jump but would like to revisit bobsleigh at some point in the future. Training while studying for a law degree at the University of Bristol meant a few sacrifices that she was

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happy to make. “I didn’t lead a normal uni life. With studying and training there wasn’t a lot of time left for socialising.” Dreaming of Olympic glory since she was a child they were small sacrifices to make. Jazmin was ‘gutted’ with eighth place in Rio which was her Olympic debut aged 22 and disappointed with her performance at the World Championships in London earlier this year. She competes to win, so anything less than gold isn’t where she wants to be. Her ambitions for Tokyo 2020 are clear. “Gold all the way.” Along the route to Tokyo there are smaller goals and competitions that will reveal any weaknesses that can be ironed out and help her to get faster. NAILING IT Based in Birmingham with her coach, 2004 Olympic heptathlete Kelly Sotherton, the regime is full-on with Jazmin training six days a week with double sessions twice a week. Jazmin receives Lottery funding, so is able to focus full time, but not everyone is so fortunate. “To fit training around a normal job wouldn’t be possible. Without funding this wouldn’t be an option.” Jazmin’s jam at competitions is her nails. They are always immaculate which makes her feel ‘sorted and ready.’ She has Olympic rings, Union Jacks, whatever takes her fancy. Today they’re bright red. She’s recently become an ambassador for nail brand Semilac based in Solihull and swears by them. “I reckon they last until the nails grow out. I’ve had these on for five weeks.” There isn’t a chip in sight despite spending a lot of her life in sand as well as weight-lifting and training extensively. Of Birmingham’s sporting events Jazmin is full of praise. She said: “There’s so much going on. The British Championships are always brilliant plus the best indoor event in the calendar is in Birmingham. Athletes look forward to coming here.” We’ll be following Jazmin’s journey to Tokyo keenly and willing her to fulfil her gold ambitions. I Jazmin is a brand ambassador for Solihull-based nail specialist Semilac UK, semilac.co.uk

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GROWING PLACES

LEADING BY

EXAMPLE

Edgbaston High School for Girls is celebrating another year of excellent A-Level and GCSE results. Among the many successes being celebrated, the student leadership should be congratulated on their achievements – Bethany Lucas (head girl) has secured a place at Oxford University to study theology, Beatrice Kessedjian (deputy head girl) will read French studies at the University of London Institute, Paris, and Malala Yousafzai (deputy head girl) will go to Oxford University to study PPE.

SCHOOL REPOR T

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

MINDSHOP

EXCELLENCE Six industrious Walsall Academy students have successfully completed the latest Mindshop Excellence Programmes run by Crowe Clark Whitehill. The week-long programme provides valuable mentoring for students as they tackle real life business issues. The young team was challenged to advise commercial property specialists Goold Estates on how to maximise a newly-introduced cloud-based document management system.

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MOVING ON UP Following another vintage year of A-Level results for Moreton Hall, the school has now been named as one of this year’s ‘Top Movers’ in the Daily Telegraph exam success tables. As one of the country’s leading independent schools, Moreton Hall has risen more than 100 places to be positioned in the top 100 schools for 2017 A-Level results. Fifty-three per cent of grades were awarded A* or A with a third of candidates achieving straight A* or A grades in all their subjects.

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GROWING PLACES

MARVELLOUS MITCHELL Congratulations to Mitchell Wise of Bromsgrove School after a string of successes in the exhilarating sport of wake boarding. After coming first in the junior men’s category of the national championships, he won a bronze medal at the European junior championships in Latvia before flying to Canada, courtesy of new sponsors Malibu Boats, to compete in the category world finals – where he came a brilliant third.

ENGINEERING

SUCCESS Students at South & City College Birmingham are set to benefit from some exciting new engineering equipment following major investment in new machinery. Six new machines, including a cool sounding turret vertical milling machine, will allow students to attain the highest skill levels for future employers. Principal Mike Hopkins said “There’s a major engineering skills shortage in and around Birmingham and this investment will help our students to gain employment to fill these positions.”

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DOWNHILL DAREDEVIL A second year undergraduate at Birmingham City University has been crowned as one of England’s fastest downhill mountain bike racers. Will Weston from Wolverhampton finished fourth in the English championships. The 20-year-old architecture student said: “To prove myself capable of competing at this level while studying full time is something I am very proud of.” Will is a seven-time Midlands champion.

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PERSON TO PERSON

CLOSE WITH…

TINA SWANI Swimming with sharks and climbing Scottish peaks number among the personal achievements of the talented chief executive of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I’ve been chief executive of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice since 2001, following a varied career in the charity sector. Before I joined the hospice, I achieved successive promotions within a range of different organisations before becoming regional director of British Red Cross. As I’ve now been CEO for more than 16 years, I keep my job fresh by taking on voluntary, non-executive roles. I’m currently a trustee at Hospice UK, a national organisation which champions hospice care, as well as a board member of Stafford and Rural Homes, an amazing charity that is the largest social landlord in Stafford. IT’S WHAT I DO It is my responsibility to make sure the very best support and care is available to local families living with terminal illness – wherever and whenever they need it. I truly believe that care at the end of life is just as critical as it is at the beginning and so I’m aiming to create a future where the best experience of living is available to everyone leading up to and at the end of life. In the words of someone who has experienced our hospice care: “I now feel like I am living with my illness rather than dying from it – you have given me my life back.” WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE At work, I want to create a future where high-quality hospice care is available to everyone who needs it – whatever their ethnicity, culture, sexuality or age. At home, it’s important that I spend as much quality time as possible with my family.

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CARING: Tina Swani

BIGGEST SUCCESSES Apart from having my two wonderful sons, learning to scubadive was a huge accomplishment. I spent three weeks in training and although it was challenging, having the opportunity to swim with sharks and manta rays 20 feet below sea level was a fantastic experience. I love taking on the seemingly impossible and scuba diving taught me how to thrive and survive in a compromising situation. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Spend quality time with the elders in your family. I wish I had spent more time with my grandmother – I loved her dearly but always found myself busy juggling a family and a career. Now, I make sure I cherish the time with my own parents. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I was born here and grew up in Northfield and so to me, Birmingham means family. The city is also at the heart of the country and economy, and it has a major influence both nationally and internationally. It is a centre of excellence for education, culture, arts and health. DOWNTIME I never seem to have much downtime as I love my work so much. When I do have enough discipline to get into a routine of yoga though, I have found that I am sharper and much more able to take big challenges in my stride. I also love to travel and experience different ways of life, both locally and abroad. One of the most inspirational places that I have ever visited is the top of a munro, which is a 3,000ft peak in Scotland – the mountains and the lochs are just beautiful. I

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BUSINESS

TRADE SUMMIT

Birmingham will host a top international business trade event this month. British Chambers of Commerce’s International Trade Summit at the Vox Conference Centre, Resorts World on 12 October aims to help UK firms boost their share of the export market. Speakers include Karen Betts, CEO of Scotch Whisky Association, Australian High Commissioner to the UK Alexander Downer and Paul Lindley, founder of organic children’s food enterprise Ella’s Kitchen.

BUSINESS NEWS SMART START-UPS COLLEGE

Birmingham’s Serendip Smart City Incubator has welcomed two new social enterprises as the latest start-ups to join the Incubator’s Digital Health Quarter. Altruist Enterprises is a provider of resilience, stress management and mental health first-aid training to organisations and schools. Inside Outcomes supports organisations in health and social care to demonstrate social value and impact. Based at Innovation Birmingham Campus’ iCentrum building, the Serendip Smart City Incubator programme provides market access and expertise for digital businesses through partnerships with major organisations. WELCOME: Darren Wright of Inside Outcomes and Altruist Enterprises’ Katie Buckingham

BUSINESS PLEDGE Businesses and employers are being promised greater support in the changing needs of the labour market with the merger of South and City College Birmingham and Bournville College. The new college, which will keep the current South and City and Bournville College brands and identities, will provide education and training to more than 22,000 students. South and City College principal Mike Hopkins, pictured, said: “We’re taking two very good and successful colleges and creating an excellent one.”

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KEITH GIVES YOUTH BOOST A Birmingham business leader has donated £20,000 to create positive changes in the lives of young people across the area. Keith Bradshaw OBE gave the money to the Heart of England Community Foundation’s youth social action fund which supports projects that encourage young people to take action that will bring benefits to the community as well as themselves. Keith, who was High Sheriff for the West Midlands 2016/17, is calling on businesses, philanthropists and trusts to join him in backing the fund. HELPING HAND: Keith and community foundation CEO Tina Costello

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BUSINESS

LEADER QUITS The man who arrived in office pledging to boost investment and jobs in Birmingham has quit over the city’s dispute with the binmen. Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy resigned as a result of his handling of the industrial action which caused mountains of uncollected bin bags to pile up in streets across the area. He had been council leader since December 2015, replacing Sir Albert Bore.

HOMES APPOINTMENT Newly-formed Hayfield Homes, based in Solihull, has appointed Jon Jones as its new commercial director. He has more than 20 years of experience, having worked for Barratt Homes, Miller Homes, Banner Homes and most recently CALA Homes. He said: “This is an exciting opportunity to grow within a blossoming housebuilding company.”

LIFT-OFF FOR FINANCE FIRM A new financial advisory business providing independent advice to private clients and businesses in the area and across the UK has been launched at Eastcote, Solihull. Eastcote Wealth Management is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and has been awarded Chartered status by the Chartered Insurance Institute. Led by MD Trevor Law and board colleagues Jonathan Hearn, David Fleet, Rob Kenyon and John Ruddick, it will have more than 30 staff and approaching £500 million of funds under management.

RISING STARS Professional services firm PwC has made a raft of changes in its senior Midlands team with the promotion of one partner and five directors. New legal partner is Mark Skedgel who originally joined the Birmingham office as an audit graduate and has worked on providing external audit to plcs and large corporates. The five promoted directors are: Sarah O’Donnell, Jayne Harrold, Simon Higgins, David Mayland and Christopher Ward.

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BUSINESS

THE JOLLY JUMPERS

ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY

The sky was the limit when Charith Fernando and Angela Carpenter teamed up to raise money for charity. The duo A leading Midlands commercial property took part in a skydive organised by company has acquired a former country house Coventry Building Society in aid of in Warwickshire for its new headquarters. The ExtraCare, which works with older Wigley Group bought Kings House in Stockton, people in the area. Charith, 66, a Southam after gaining planning permission resident of ExtraCare Charitable Trust’s from Stratford-on-Avon District Council for Pannel Croft retirement village in change of use to offices. The firm’s move from Birmingham, and Angela, head of its Coventry HQ marks a return to its roots with assurance at ExtraCare, were joined on the company having been established just 10 the dive by seven volunteers from miles away in Barby in 1964. Coventry Building Society. They raised NEW HOME: Left to right at Kings House are Robert Russell of agents Fisher German, Wigley Group more than £4,000. MD Robert Wigley and director James Davies

NEW RECRUITS IN TOWN The Birmingham office of international accountancy and advisory firm Mazars has welcomed 16 trainees as part of its 2017 UK intake. They are among 195 trainees recruited nationally, drawn from 25 countries. Birmingham office managing partner Lee Cartwright said: “I am sure that our new trainees will be valuable assets to the teams they join and make their time with Mazars count.” Mazars was recently named in the 100 best employers for school leavers in the UK.

LEGAL HUB LAUNCHES A law firm is to offer free legal advice as part of a new community initiative. Wright Hassall, based in Leamington Spa, is launching its Legal Hub – a series of monthly open-door sessions for local people. Matthew Goodwin, pictured, who is overseeing the project, said the initiative is part of the company’s longestablished community focus. “We will offer a 20-minute, free, no-obligation meeting with a solicitor where queries can be raised and, hopefully, answers provided,” he said.

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SWEET SUCCESS The businesswoman behind the world’s first 3D printer for candy has been shortlisted in the UK’s top awards for entrepreneurs. Melissa Snover, founder and MD of Birmingham-based tech startup Katjes Magic Candy Factory has been named in the Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year category of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Melissa runs her expanding business from the Custard Factory. The 3D printer can print anything from logos, 3D shapes, messages and sweet selfies in nine vegan, allergen-free flavours in under five minutes.

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BUSINESS

TOP HR TEAM

The Belfry Hotel & Resort has been nominated for three prestigious HR accolades. The Caterer.com People Awards recognised the Belfry in the HR Team category for excellence in staff recruitment, retention and development. Meanwhile, in the HR in Hospitality Awards for Excellence, the resort was nominated for Excellence in Talent Attraction and HR Team of the Year. Belfry HR director Hazel O’Brien said: “The team works extremely hard to ensure the resort is an inspirational place to work.”

JEWELLERY SCHOOL HEAD HONOURED The head of Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery has been recognised for his services to education with an award to become a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company. Prof Stephen Bottomley will officially receive the honour at a special event at London Guildhall later this year. His academic career spans more than 25 years and includes delivering workshops in South Korea and America.

BIG PLANS BREWING

DIVISION WINNERS

Midlands-based MyPubGroup Ltd – one of the country’s leading companies specialising in helping the pub and hospitality trade to solve recruitment problems – has appointed a non-executive chairman to lead ambitious expansion plans. Paul Clarke, pictured, will be responsible for delivering the growth plans over the next three years through subsidiary brands FindMyPub.com, RecruitForMyPub.com, RunningMyPub.com and FindMyPubJobs.com.

A fast-growing Birmingham-based construction company is to develop two new divisions to the business. Housebuilding and Office Fit Out and Interiors will become part of the Colmore Tang Construction Group of companies, which is responsible for many of the newest apartment developments in the Midlands and North West. Launched in 2014 for a one-off build of the 253-bed Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham, Colmore Tang has gone on to complete more GROWING: Colmore Tang’s Neil Walters, Andy Robinson and Neil Martin than 1,000 residential units.

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PRIVATE CHRISTMAS PARTIES FROM UNIQUE VENUES BIRMINGHAM Here at Unique Venues Birmingham we believe passionately in the magic of Christmas. That’s why we pull out all the theatrical stops to create a truly breath-taking Christmas party to make your eyes sparkle!

Bespoke party packages available “Faulty Towers The Dining Experience” • • • •

A fully immersive experience where the audience become diners in the infamous ‘Faulty’ restaurant. Expect lashings of laughter and with 70% of the show improvised no two performances are the same. Price includes a 2 hour show, 3-course meal and coffee

Tickets £52

TO BOOK CONTACT THE BOX

OFFICE ON 0121 236 4455 OR FOLLOWING THE WWW.BIRMINGHAM-REP.CO.UK/WHATS-ON

“Rene and Edith’s Le Comedy Dinner show” • • •

Pop along to this ‘umble café for a night to remember Rene juggles, the Gestapo, the Resistance and his affairs in a hilarious comedy dinner Price includes a 2 hour show, 3 course meal, glass of fizz and ½ bottle of wine pp

• Tickets £62 TO BOOK CONTACT THE BOX OFFICE ON 0121 236 4455 OR FOLLOWING THE

WWW.BIRMINGHAM-REP.CO.UK/WHATS-ON

UNIQUE VENUES BIRMINGHAM, BROAD STREET, BIRMINGHAM, B1 2EP 0121 245 2066 | ENQUIRIES@UNIQUEVENUESBIRMINGHAM.COM


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LATIN BEAT COMES TO TEMPLE STREET From Buenos Aires to Brum, Las Iguanas brings flavour of South America to city

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VIP launch event brought a taste of Latin America to Birmingham when Las Iguanas opened its doors at Temple Street. Guests were treated to the new food and drinks menus, as well as given the chance to shake things up with a cocktail masterclass. Already known for its culinary adventure, Las Iguanas is a welcome addition to the city centre foodie scene, providing an invigorating space that sees comfy booths teamed with a backdrop of sunshine shades of yellow, sky blue and turquoise. I

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1 The general manager and MD Mos Shamel with the ABS Latin promotions girls. 2 Will Leslie, Katy Poulsom, Sam Oliver. Katy Paddock, Mike Mounfield, Jonathan Bryce. 4 Katy Drohan, Tom Cullen.

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5 Guests soak up the atmosphere. 6 Garry Peal celebrates

with the girls. 7 Adam Hayes, Olly Attfield, Henrik Court, James Neale. 8 Ryan and Viv Parish, Raj Dhokia, Elizabeth Sellers, Laura Creaven, Ting Newalls.

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GOLFERS TEE UP FOR CHARITY AT PRO-AM Annual tournament sees business professionals hit £19,000 target usiness professionals from across the Midlands and beyond took to Little Aston Golf Course to raise £18,950 for charity in the Second City annual Pro Am Golf Tournament. Now in its 51st year, the tournament has raised more than £550,000 for local and national causes. This year’s tournament was sponsored by Turkish Airlines and wealth planning specialists Succession Group following the recent acquisition of Clay Rogers, which has supported the tournament for 14 years. I

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1 Richard Gregory, Ross Bolton, Michael Gourley, Mick Staniforth. 2 Katie Eyorta, Jilly Cosgrove, Sam Viera, David Hadley-Smith 3 The Poxon family. 4 Paul McHale, Mike Bernard, Gareth Petley, Joe Parke. 5 Paul Streeter, Mark Stokes, Jilly Cosgrove. 6 Phil Thompson, Tim Clay, Chris Evans, Julie Harris, Mark Warner. 7 Oliver Deacon, Alan Craig, James Bishop, Paul Bradshaw. 8 Gill Holroyde, Sarah Cooke, Karen Sanio, Sharon McCullogh. 9 Matt Harrison, Mark Jeffries, Jilly Cosgrove, Keith Robinson, Nigel Walmsley, Mark Stokes.

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RED CARPET RIDE AT MISS SAIGON PARTY It’s rickshaws and noodles all round as hit musical makes its mark on city

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1 Laura Smith, Amy Stutz, Kate Evans, Hayleah Thresher, Erica O'Brien. 2 Bharti Patel, Lorna Laidlaw and guests. 3 Bob Warman, Nick Owen, Mike Prince. 4 Natalie Culter, Danny Bath. 5 Ed and Jamie James, Gemma Hill. 6 Des Coleman. 7 Miss Birmingham, Niamh Conway. 8 The cast of BBC’s Doctors. 9 Free Radio’s John Dalziel arrives in style. Photography by Joe Bailey

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WINTERFOLD FRIENDS GET THE BALL ROLLING Parents in the groove as marquee evening proves to be big success onths of planning by Winterfold’s Parents’ Association paid off as the Friends of Winterfold Ball proved a big success. Winterfold’s Groove Diggers house jazz band played as guests arrived at the marquee for an evening of great food, wine and dancing. Special thanks went to the Friends of Winterfold, Holroyd Howe, parents, staff, gap students, Groove Diggers and all the guests who supported the event. I

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1 John and Hilary Horton. 2 Andy Lucas and Claire Docker. 3 Harjeet Bhogal, Rupinder Sanghara, Rosie Guru, Sharon Atwal. 4 Steve and Louise James. 5 Zoe and Richard Monahan. 6 James and Kate Green. 7 Loretta and Bill Fraser. 8 Tarv and Pam Virk, Phil and Karen Newton. 9 Kirsty and Steve Banham. Photography by Seven Star Photography

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PAR 3 CHAMPIONSHIP THRILLER IS ‘BEST EVER’ Star-studded on-course action matched by glittering gala evenings at Nailcote Hall

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he 84th Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship saw four days of thrilling golf at Nailcote Hall followed by three equally exciting evenings of entertainment. With packed crowds, this year’s tournament was the biggest and best yet, reflected by the stars who teed up on the Cromwell Course. Notable victories included Scottish rugby star Max Evans and former Liverpool and England footballer Robbie Fowler winning the Celeb-Am titles, while Richard

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1 Kriss Akabusi. 2 John Hartson. 3 Dame Laura Davies. 4 Robbie Fowler. 5 Gail Emms. 6 Mike Tindall. 7 Lee Handrie. 8 Nigel Mansell. 9 Naga Munchetty. 10 Len Goodman.

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14 O’Hanlon claimed his second Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship by two shots. Evening entertainment included a charity gala ball and players banquet, both hosted by comedian Dominic Holland with the proceeds of an auction going towards Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. At the opening ball, the audience enjoyed a live performance from BoyzLife, featuring boyband stars Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy. I

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11 Brett Hards, James Jordan. 12 Keith Duffy, Brian McFadden. 13 Rick Cressman, Andy Cummings, Tracy Meredith-Cummings, Oliver and James Phelps. 14 Donna Hayes, John Hayes, William Roache. 15 Steph and Peter Shilton. 16 Tony and Astrid Jacklin. 17 Sinitta, Rick and Sue Cressman, Miquel Brown. 18 Max Evans, Amy Boulden, Carly Booth, Keith Duffy. 19 Keith Deller, Mike Tindall, Ian Halliwell, Becky Gadd. 20 Maria and Derek Redmond.

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KINGS HEATH GREETS EXCITING NEW EATERY Tradition given a modern twist as Mezbaan opens for business special event welcomed Kings Heath’s newest eatery, Mezbaan. Housed in the former Pangea restaurant, the venue has been transformed with a cream and teal blue interior and chic cocktail bar. The owners promise “fine traditional dishes with a modern twist and excellent hospitality, true to the Mezbaan name which means host in Bengali”.I

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Mezbaan, 27-29 Poplar Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7AA. Tel: 0121 441 3333 www.mezbaan-kingsheath.com

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GATEWAY TO INDIA LAUNCHES IN STYLE Broad Street’s new food destination arrives on scene in a yellow tuk tuk bright yellow tuk tuk announced the arrival in Broad Street of the new Gateway to India restaurant. Launch guests, including local TV and radio stars and city corporates, got a flavour of the new eatery which focuses on authentic tastes and culinary styles. The restaurant also pays homage to the mesmerising array of Indian street food with an emphasis of vegetarian dishes full of flavour and non-halal curries. I

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1 Gemma Moore, Suraj and David Gregory Kumar. 2 Denise Morris, Abdul Shakur, Anita Chumber. 3 Neelam Jutla, Denise Morris, Ria Jutla, Suman Pitcher. 4 Gemma Moore, Jonny Emsden. 5 Dionne Buckingham Brown. 6 Gov Singh, Anita Champaneri, Shevy Sandhu. 7 GTI Shelly, Ranj Barn, Sacha Brooks. 8 Rene Williams, Rai Singh, Richard Vickery. 9 Rebecca Malone, Jimi Shabir, Kasim Chowdhry.

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WHAT: Birmingham International Marathon WHEN: 15 October WHERE: Central Birmingham, www.greatrun.org/birminghaminternational-marathon General entries for this amazing inaugural event are now closed but why not pop along, soak up the atmosphere and support all the runners on an epic journey?

WHAT: Little Mix

WHAT: Hairspray

WHEN: 13 October and 17, 18 November

WHEN: 9 to 14 October

WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000

www.theticketfactory.com

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

The world’s biggest girl group returns to Birmingham with their brand new Glory Days Tour. It’s been an amazing journey for the only group to ever win the X Factor back in 2011… and this is one show you won’t want to miss!

The international smash hit musical comedy returns for one week featuring the hit songs Welcome to the 60s, You Can’t Stop the Beat and The Nicest Kids in Town.

WHAT: Coriolanus

WHAT: Birmingham Royal Ballet, Aladdin

WHEN: Now until 14 October

WHEN: 3 to 7 October

WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre,

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000

tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

A full-throttle war play that revels in the sweat of the battlefield. A cracking story that transports you back to the emergence of the republic of Rome where Coriolanus is a fearless soldier but a reluctant leader.

Step onto a magic carpet and soar into the fantastical world of David Bintley’s Aladdin, with live music by BAFTA award-winning Carl Davis and vibrant designs from Dick Bird.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever Party with Stayin’ Alive WHEN: 21 October WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk Enjoy an incredible evening with the No 1 tribute to the brothers Gibb, covering all the hits from all the decades of the fabulous Bee Gees. Awesome!

WHAT: Birmingham Comedy Festival WHEN: 6 to 15 October WHERE: Various, more details www.bhamcomfest.co.uk One of the largest independent arts festival in the region featuring A-list heavy-hitters and a vast range of new local acts. This year’s festival sees more than 60 performances, including local boy Joe Lycett

WHAT: Big Fish Little Fish WHEN: 22 October WHERE: The Rainbow Warehouse, Digbeth, www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk The award-winning ‘family rave’ parties for families with children aged up to eight years returns with a Halloween-themed event bringing old skool anthems and a multi-sensory dancefloor with glitter cannons, bubbles and giant bouncy balloons.

WHAT: Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami – Live with Friends WHAT: An Evening with Kristina Rihanoff and Tristan MacManus WHEN: 17 October WHERE: Crescent Theatre, tel: 0121 643 5858 www.crescent-theatre.co.uk The Strictly Come Dancing stars present an evening of breathtaking dance routines, including the paso doble, samba and Argentine tango.

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WHEN: 18 and 19 October WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk This promises to be a thrilling and enlightening evening with the inimitable icon as she discusses her life and work following an exclusive preview of Sophie Fiennes’ highly-anticipated new film Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Matt Lucas Little Me – My life from A-Z WHEN: 14 October WHERE: Town Hall, box office 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The hilarious, heart-warming and tear-jerking memoir from one of Britain’s best-loved comedians and actors.

WHAT: Spooktober half-term special WHEN: 23 to 27 October WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 212 3383 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Come along, if you dare, for a Spooky Spectacle as the night draws in. Dress in your best costume and be prepared for some spine-tingling fun!

WHAT: Greg Davies – You Magnificent Beast WHEN: 9 and 10 October WHAT: Ed Byrne – Spoiler Alert WHEN: 12 October WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel: 01527 65203 www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? In short, are we spoiled? Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out.

WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The BAFTA-nominated star of Cuckoo, Man Down, The Inbetweeners and Taskmaster, is back with his first stand up show in four years. Come witness the magnificent beast that is Greg Davies.

WHAT: Nativity! The Musical

WHAT: Rocky Horror Film Screening

WHEN: 20 October to 12 November

WHEN: 20 and 21 October

WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024

WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

www.atgtickets.com/birmingham

This awesome festive film is now a major new musical adapted for the stage by Debbie Isitt. It’s never too early for a feelgood slice of yuletide joy, full of some fabulous sing-a-long hits.

Calling all Rocky Horror fans for a very special film screening of the cult classic followed by a late night party. With prizes for the best costumes don’t dream it… be it!

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WHAT: Birmingham Improv Festival 2017 WHEN: 23 to 29 October WHERE: Blue Orange Theatre, www.birminghamimprovfestival.com Following the success of last year’s inaugural event this cracking festival returns for a side-splitting week of completely improvised plays, musicals, songs, drama and cabaret.

WHAT: Phill Jupitus WHEN: 7 October WHERE: The Old Rep Theatre, tel: 0121 359 9444 www.oldreptheatre.co.uk Join the stand-up comedian, poet, improviser and TV stalwart for more than an hour of tales, laughs and diversions.

WHAT: Disney on Ice presents Passport to Adventure WHEN: 18 to 29 October WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com Celebrate the most memorable Disney tales with all your favourite characters on ice. Join Mickey Mouse, the Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Disney’s Frozen and more in a show full of upbeat music and unforgettable moments.

WHAT: Horse of the Year Show WHEN: 4 to 8 October WHERE: Genting Arena, www.hoys.co.uk Equestrian utopia as the world’s most famous horse show returns with top-class entertainment, breath-taking displays and spectacular horsemanship all on display over five magical days.

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IN THE CITY Extra green space created in the city centre and more

outdoor seating for bars and coffee shops would be great, together with a European vibe developed on New Street

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’m James Roberts, centre manager at the Grade II listed Great Western Arcade – home to independent and award-winning retailers – located in the heart of the city. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? I live in a small village near Croome Estate in Worcestershire, so I travel by car daily. HOW’S THE COMMUTE? Unfortunately, my commute on the M5 is very long and slow, but it does mean I have the opportunity to listen to a few albums… or 10! I particularly enjoy listening to podcasts during my drive, but perhaps I should trade them for TED talks for some added inspiration.

for meetings, I like visiting the intimate Damascena due to its traditional middle eastern offering, which really makes it stand out from the crowd.

LUNCHTIME? When it comes to lunchtime, my favourite sandwiches are freshly made from award-winning Anderson & Hill, or for a treat I opt for a big bowl of soup noodles at Min Min in China Town. POWERWALKING? I tend to walk to the Jewellery Quarter or around the many development sites in the city – just to be nosey!

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? It has to be the Jewellery Quarter. After living there a few years ago it’s still a special place to me; great pubs and quiet, yet still close to the city centre.

IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO James Roberts, centre manager WORK IN? of Great Western Arcade Birmingham is a great city AFTERWORK PINT? because of its ability to embrace change and diversity. I’m very fond of real ale, so you would most likely The development over the last 15 years has been find me in Pure Bar or the Wellington. tremendous and has helped us craft a true hub of independent and specialist shops, which will only HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? improve over the coming 12 months. I would like to see extra green space created in the city centre and additional outdoor seating for bars and COFFEE BREAK? coffee shops. It would be great to have more of a This is a tough one as I use so many coffee shops. European vibe developed on New Street! I My morning coffee is from one of my great tenants and

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October issue 2017 (issue 61)