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October 2018

WAR HORSE’S

LEWIS HOWARD

DOC MARTIN’S JOHN MARQUEZ

WINTER BOOT CAMP

HALLOWEEN

TRICKS & TREATS

BURNING BARN RUM

JAMELIA SUPERSTAR

‘PROUDEST MOMENT EVER’ AS HANDSWORTH LEGEND JOINS THE WALK OF STARS


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EDITOR’S VIEW

S

ome years ago this month I visited friends in New York and enjoyed a couple of experiences of America in October that I’d never forget. First, the autumn colours. We took a four-hour drive to Vermont to see nature at its most inspiring in the brilliant reds, golds and oranges of the forests. Stunning. Second, Halloween. While it’s popular here in the UK, it’s simply massive over there. Shops, schools, streets, whole neighbourhoods decked out in all things spooky and supernatural – filled with trick and treaters galore. A quick bit of research reveals that ‘trick or treat’ dates back to the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food for spirits at the end of the Celtic calendar year. While Ireland is believed to the birthplace of Halloween – or Hallows’ Eve – the word ‘witch’ comes from the Old English ‘wicce’, meaning ‘wise woman’. Witches are synonymous with Halloween because they are said to have held their meetings, or sabbats, on the night of 31 October. By the way, if you are scared of witches you have something called amhainophobia – the fear of Halloween. Black and orange – the colours of Halloween – also have their roots in history. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and also the harvest and autumn. Black is a symbol of death and darkness. And as you create your Jack O’Lanterns from the biggest orange pumpkins you can find at the farm shop or supermarket, you might be surprised to learn that they were actually originally made from turnips. Anyhow, I’m off now to find my costume to celebrate the Day of the Dead – another ghoulish transatlantic tradition – made famous in the James Bond movie Spectre – but this time from Mexico.

s n h o J d i Dav

visit www.brumliving.co.uk @brum_living Cover image:

/bhamliving

FINALIST

Jamelia

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

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

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

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

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INSIDE

HORSE PLAY

Actor Lewis Howard brings War Horse home to Brum

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Highlights

Jamelia

Proud Brummie joins hometown legends immortalised on Broad Street’s Walk of Stars

John Marquez It’s a fair cop as Doc Martin’s bungling PC Penhale premieres new comedy at the Rep

Mom’s the Word Hippodrome’s Melissa Menns on juggling a demanding life as head chef, wife and mother

Food & Drink News, reviews, recipes from Brum’s restaurant scene, plus money-no-object wines

Winter Boot Camp Best foot forward in search of the ultimate toetapping tonic as the leaves start to fall

Health Why that painful feeling after a delicious dinner may need more than a simple Rennie!

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

44 56 58 62 64 71 october 2018

Homes

Alexa… make me a bacon sarnie with ketchup! How kitchens are getting ‘smarter’

Motoring Sue Cooke’s positive verdict on Jaguar’s new congestion charge-busting electric SUV

Young, Gifted & Brummie The National Theatre’s Lewis Howard on bringing War Horse Joey to life on stage

Up Close WithÁ Ben Rafiqi, the man behind Tabor House, Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter

Business Burning Barn Rum, plus news and views from the commercial community

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

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NEWS

LIMITLESS SPORT An inspiring new project showcasing the talents of Black Country sports people with disabilities has been developed by a Birmingham student. The Limitless project, which uses a collection of photographs of athletes from the region with disabilities, is the work of Birmingham City University photography student Liam Pye. To capture the shots, Liam worked with several sports organisations, including West Bromwich Albion Foundation and Sandwell Visually Impaired.

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

NEWS YABBA-DABBA DO! The Flintstones would have loved them… and it seems modern day visitors to the Midlands are equally impressed by a piece of local prehistoric history. The Rock Houses at Kinver Edge, Stourbridge have been voted by the public as one of Britain’s best ‘Hidden Gems’ in a survey by McCarthy & Stone. Owned and restored by the National Trust, the Rock Houses caves were the last troglodyte dwellings occupied in England.

Picture by Niall McDiarmid

TALE OF TWO STREETS The diversity of life in Coventry is being captured on camera. A Tale of Two Streets is a Coventry City of Culture Trust Great Place Project as part of the buildup to Coventry being UK City of Culture 2021. The project focuses on the people and cultures of Foleshill Road and Far Gosford Street and features portrait photography by 11 Coventry students and renowned portrait photography Niall McDiarmid.

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NEWS

COOL GETAWAY

This amazing scene is the entrance to what is officially recognised as one of the

‘coolest underground places in the world’… and now it’s opening up big-time to visitors from Birmingham. Wizz Air is launching a new route from Birmingham Airport to Cluj, Romania’s second city and home to the incredible Turda salt mine and museum which has attracted millions of tourists since opening to the public nearly 30 years ago. Flights start on 16 December.

IN BRIEF TABLE-TOPPER Birmingham is officially the UK’s most entrepreneurial city, topping the annual UK league table for start-up businesses. Instant Offices’ Entrepreneurial Index ranks the UK’s leading cities by analysing Companies House data.

JOBS CIRCLE Circle Birmingham Hospital, which will open in June 2019 on the site of the former BBC Pebble Mill Studios in Edgbaston, will create 250 new jobs. Roles will vary from nurses and pharmacists to administrative, reception and hospitality staff.

BRINDLEYPLACE BONANZA

ORCHESTRA DEAL

Brindleyplace has announced it raised more than £50,000 for charity partner Cure Leukaemia at the first Family Festival held this summer. The festival centrepiece was the 19th annual Dragonboat Race which was fought out by teams of

The world-famous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has a new major sponsor. The deal with Birmingham financial services firm Smith & Williamson includes exclusive sponsorship of November’s UK premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s choral work Faithful Journey – A Mass for Poland, written to mark the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence. Mirga Gražinyt-Tyla, the orchestra’s music director, will conduct the concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall on 21 November.

paddlers from 17 businesses. Since being named as a Brindleyplace charity partner in 2015, nearly £240,000 has been donated to the Birmingham-based blood cancer charity, supporting the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

FLYING VISIT

Model aircraft fans will be flying high when the British Motor Museum hosts the Large Model Aircraft MEDIA AWARDS Show on Sunday 28 October. Visitors will be able to The region’s best journalists see more than 100 large static radio-controlled and publications will be model aircraft at the annual indoor show which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. The show will recognised at this year’s also have a trade area with everything from Midlands Media Awards on miniature propellers to small jet engines and 14 November at Edgbaston pre-assembled models on sale. More details Stadium. The awards, organised at www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk by Birmingham Press Club and

sponsored by HSBC, are in their 17th year.

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NEWS

FRIENDS IN FOCUS

Three friends who met through photography are launching a new festival for the city that celebrates their passion. Beth Astington, Fraser McGee and Martin O’Callaghan have run the photography community IGers Birmingham (short for Instagramers of Birmingham) for five years and have decided to use their expertise to organise a festival. The first Birmingham Photography Festival on Saturday 20 October features top guest speakers and discussions. Details at www.birminghamphotographyfestival.co.uk

THE DANCE NOW ARRIVING… Commuters will need to get in step when dance comes to New Street Station. The station is one of the ‘alternative’ venues featuring in the new season from DanceXchange, the Birmingham dance house. Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, the season runs from 2 October to 1 December and will also include performances at Thinktank and Birmingham School of Art – which world premieres a new work on the British after Brexit!

INSPIRING MUSICIANS Royal Birmingham Conservatoire welcomed some of the world’s most

LIGHTNING STRIKE Some of the nation’s most iconic aircraft landed in Birmingham’s Victoria Square as the RAF brought its 100th birthday celebrations to the city centre. Visitors got up close to active, heritage and replica aircraft on display – all part of the RAF’s past, present and future. Star of the show was the new state-of-the-art Lightning stealth combat jet which aircraft fans were able to sit in and experience the cockpit of the world’s most advanced jet.

gifted performers for a unique concert that proved disability is no limit to musical talent. Comedian Al Murray hosted the OHMI (One Handed Musical Instrument) Trust Gala Concert which featured performances by French horn player Felix Klieser and cellists, the Petry Sisters – who all play with their feet. Also featured was Bader’s Big Band – the first big band formed entirely of disabled musicians.

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YOU’VE GOT TO LAUGH The countdown is on to this year’s Birmingham Improv Festival which TripAdvisor hails as ‘one of the UK’s best’ comedy extravaganzas. The nine-day festival, from Friday 26 October to Saturday 3 November, will see a variety of made-up popular, hilarious, energetic and breaking-theboundary performances featuring Star Wars, Shakespeare, Enid Blyton adventures, Hip Hop, Halloween spookiness, soap opera, musicals and more! Full listings and tickets at www.birminghamimprovfestival.com/

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NEWS

FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD Perfect for Halloween, the Festival of the Dead is coming to Birmingham! The hugely successful carnival-esque spectacle, infused with circus, theatre and clubbing, returns to Birmingham O2 Academy on 27 October with a mind-blowing production featuring giant creatures and a huge mechanical skull full of hidden surprises. There’s also DJs spinning a killer club soundtrack, professional face painters and crowds that dress to be part of the show. Tickets at www.festivalofthedead.co.uk.

CURRY KING CLASH The heat is on to find this year’s Curry King of Birmingham. The annual event aims to raise £30,000 for local good causes charity LoveBrum by bringing together hundreds of the city’s professionals for an evening of baltis, bhunas, biryanis and more! The city’s new curry champion will be crowned at the ICC on 9 November after impressing judges, including top chef Aktar Islam, pictured. Details at ticketlist.co.uk/curryking

RUNNING WITH WOLVES Wolverhampton Wanderers are recruiting a ‘Wolf Pack’ to take part in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run for Cure Leukaemia in support of goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who recently

GOLFER STRIKES GOLD

announced he is in full remission. Following

Steven Tiley struck gold when he met up with sporting legend Tony

Carl’s news and decision to retire from football,

Jacklin to collect his 50,000 Euros prize for winning this year’s Farmfoods

the club, fans and Express & Star newspaper

British Par 3 Championship at Nailcote Hall. Tiley shot a six-under-par

have assembled a huge team of runners to

total on the Cromwell Course to clinch victory and the cash – which was

take part in the event on Sunday 14 October.

delivered in a golden wheelbarrow!

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

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COVER STORY

SHE’S A STAR!

AS ONE OF BIRMINGHAM’S BEST LOVED CELEBRITIES, JAMELIA ACCEPTS AN ACCOLADE FROM HER BELOVED HOME TOWN AND TELLS US IT’S ONE OF HER CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

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COVER STORY

amelia’s accidental role as a teen pop star has developed into a long and varied career that keeps her excited and pays the bills. Thrust into the spotlight aged just 15, the girl from Handsworth found herself touring the globe with the likes of Usher and Destiny’s Child, but she managed to keep her cool, handling the pressure and the significant hype brilliantly and emerged from those crazy years unscathed. With seven top 10 singles, two gold albums and one double platinum in the UK alone, Jamelia is one of the country’s most successful black artists as well as a regular on our TV screens. And now, probably most exciting of all, Jamelia was awarded her very own star on Broad Street’s Walk of Stars which was presented to her last month at a ceremony at Symphony Hall.

J

JAMELIA IS A SHINING

EXAMPLE OF HOW TO COME THROUGH FROM DIFFICULT BEGINNINGS AND SUCCEED IN SUCH

A SPECTACULAR WAY. BIRMINGHAM

IS RIGHTLY PROUD TO CALL HER ONE OF OUR OWN. – JASPER CARROTT

IMMORTALISED Of being immortalised in her home town – the fortieth person to be given the honour – the 37-year-old said: “I am absolutely chuffed to be receiving this. I am and have always been a very proud Brummie, so to be immortalised in this way in the very heart of my hometown has to be one of the highlights of my career so far! Thank you so much. It’s like Birmingham’s answer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.” Launched in 2007, Birmingham’s Walk of Stars was developed to recognise high profile people either born or having lived in the city who have put Birmingham on the map nationally and internationally. The mother-of-three daughters – her ‘Magic Girlz’ as she refers to them – is in good company with other high-profile figures immortalised through the scheme including Lenny Henry, Beverly Knight, Ozzy Osbourne and Julie Walters among scores of other big names. Comedian Jasper Carrott who is also the chair of Walk of Stars tells us why Jamelia deserves the honour: “Jamelia is a shining example of how to come through from difficult beginnings and succeed in such a spectacular way. Her musical honesty and dedication hits the nerve, leads the way and that is why she so deserves her Walk of Stars award. Birmingham is rightly proud to call her one of our own.” HOMEMADE ALBUMS Full name Jamelia Niela Davis, the superstar came from humble beginnings in Handsworth and was always singing. She remembers: “If my family and friends were seated that was my cue for a show. Under duress they listened and applauded.” Jamelia started recording homemade albums and listening back to them on her Walkman.

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COVER STORY

One of the albums was taken to EMI by one of Jamelia’s cousins and they liked what they heard. Fiercely protective, her mother who was in on the initial meeting with the record label, let the music executives know fairly forcefully that her daughter wouldn’t be signing anything until she’d passed her exams. This was the incentive Jamelia needed to get her head down at school. She got the grades and clinched the deal. SHOWING OFF During the Noughties, Jamelia’s catchy R&B tracks stormed the charts. Top 10 spots became the norm and singles like Superstar and Thank You still feel fresh well over a decade on. A clutch of MOBO awards, nine BRIT nominations, a Q Award and a meeting with Nelson Mandela followed. The stuff of dreams and yet the down to earth Brummie took it all in her stride. She says: “Don’t get me wrong. I love the glitzy side of my life, but it’s not the way I live day-to-day.” Many of Jamelia’s ‘inner circle’ is made up of old friends she went to school with and she is immensely proud of her home town. “Showing the city off to friends from the South is one of my favourite past times. They arrive with misconceptions about what Birmingham is like, but leave thinking it’s cool and can’t wait to come back.” MISS VERSATILITY After 10 years in the music industry, Jamelia tried her hand at television and the versatile star has become a regular panellist and TV presenter as well as making documentaries and judging talent shows. She’s also enjoyed acting roles alongside the likes of Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones and Daniel Mays and her successful modelling career has seen her fronting campaigns for brands such as Reebok, Pretty Polly, Toni and Guy and Boux Avenue. She’s also graced the covers of Cosmopolitan, Elle, Harpers & Queen and more illustriously, our very own Birmingham Living magazine! I

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

WHAT’S UP DOC? MIDLANDS ACTOR JOHN MARQUEZ IS BEST KNOWN AS BUNGLING PC PENHALE IN THE HIT TV SERIES DOC MARTIN, BUT THIS MONTH HE’S TURNING HIS SKILLS TO A NEW COMEDY OF ‘BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS’ WHICH PREMIERES IN BIRMINGHAM. DAVID JOHNS CAUGHT UP WITH HIM IN REHEARSALS

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ctor John Marquez wasn’t getting too excited when he got a part playing a bungling policeman in a new TV comedy-drama set in a quiet Cornish fishing village. His expectations weren’t much more than appearing in one or maybe two episodes. More than a decade and eight series later ITV’s hit show Doc Martin is still going strong – as is John’s character, PC Joe Penhale. In fact, the comical copper has become a viewers’ favourite over the years as a central character alongside Dr Martin Ellingham, played by Martin Clunes.

A

THE MESSIAH “The show has been wonderful to be a part of,” said Coventry-born John. “Although I’ve been in it a long time, it’s always fresh and exciting to film. And the great thing is that because we film it in blocks every two years, it leaves me plenty of time to do other things and play other roles whether in TV or theatre.” Doc Martin filming takes place from mid-March until the end of August in Port Issac which becomes the fictional village of Portwenn for TV. With the next block of filming due in 2019, John has had plenty of time to ‘stretch’ his acting skills in other directions – like this month, for instance, when he stars alongside Hugh Dennis and Lesley Garret in a new comedy of biblical proportions, The Messiah, at Birmingham Rep.

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FEATURE

Billed as “the funniest and most magical nativity you’ll ever see”, The Messiah is written by Patrick Barlow, who also wrote the Olivier Award-winning West End hit, The 39 Steps. Fittingly for a Midlands’ lad whose mum originally comes from Birmingham, The Messiah is set in Birmingham and centres on a travelling theatre troupe of two actors and an opera singer who arrive in the city on camels to enact ‘the greatest story ever told’. Audiences should expect the sublime, the ridiculous and the truly angelic, says John. QUIRKY HUMOUR “I was very fortunate to get the part,” adds John. “I got to know Patrick Barlow over the years and got a phone call. I remember going to see the original Messiah with Jim Broadbent in it. I guess you could say my humour is a bit more quirky than you normally see on TV, which is why I am looking forward so much to The Messiah.” John has been in rehearsals for the show – which premieres in Birmingham before going on tour across the UK – since early September. See John in The Messiah at Birmingham Rep from 18 to 27 October, www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

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Returning to the Midlands will be a special moment for John, who went to Bablake School, Coventry before leaving the city as an 18-year-old and following his older brother Martin, also an actor, to London. “I’m very lucky with being in Doc Martin – being in it doesn’t stop me going out an about as normal, going to the shops. I often think if you are in one of the big soaps it’s much more difficult because you are much more recognisable and some people can get a bit funny with you. Anyone who does know me, likes me because they like Doc Martin.” BROTHERLY LOVE While John is best known as PC Penhale, his career has been incredibly varied. On TV he has appeared with Ronnie Barker in Porridge, in Death in Paradise and In The Club. On stage he has performed at the National Theatre and in many West End shows as well as his ‘home’ theatres, Coventry Belgrade, Birmingham Rep and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Of his remaining ambitions he says: “I’ve done lots of good stuff in the theatre, but I would like to do a play with my brother who encouraged me to become an actor like him. That would make me very happy. I also want to do something with Harry Enfield and he has been talking about something he’s planning which would be great.” I

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il ving

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FOOD & DRINK

MOM’S THE WORD

Self-proclaimed perfectionist Melissa Menns tells how she juggles a demanding job as head chef at Birmingham Hippodrome with being a wife and mother

Tell us about your cooking I like to cook fresh delicious food that’s seasonal and colourful. I’m really passionate about flavours and high quality produce.

How did you become a chef? I always enjoyed cooking. I started baking when I was five and was cooking family dinners by age 10. I had a passion for creating amazing flavours, so why not do it every day for a living? I joined the Hippodrome as a sous chef and was quickly promoted to head chef, so I’m now responsible for everything from menu creation right through to health and safety.

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CHEF’S CORNER

What do you eat when at home? I love Caribbean food so when I’m home those are my go-to dishes. My top meals are Caribbean steam fish with vegetables and curried mutton. Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum? There are too many to name. I couldn’t possibly whittle the long list down to just one. So many chefs have contributed to this industry in completely different ways. It’s not about the accolades for me or even how well known they are, it’s about their contribution. But if I definitely had to pick it would be my mom! No one’s food is better. Is the customer always right? You can’t deny someone’s opinion, everyone is entitled to one, but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree. I want my customers to leave happy so if there’s something I can do to make their visit more enjoyable I will. Share a cooking tip Adding an onion to most dishes will change your life!

MELISSA’S TARKA DAL & KERALAN SPICED COD Ingredients: Serves 5 FOR THE TARKA DAL: I 250g yellow split lentils I 250g onion fine dice I 30g ginger julienne I 2g turmeric I 3.5g ground coriander I 150g butter

I 7g cumin seeds I 4 green chillies split I 15g crushed garlic I 2g garam masala I ¼ bunch coriander I 750g water

What was your favourite food as a kid? My mom’s dinners, all of them. She’s an amazing cook.

Method:

Food heaven and hell? I tasted food heaven when I was in Jamaica and went to one of the local restaurants. They served the most amazing curried lobster with roti. Anything that’s bland and has no flavour is my idea of food hell!

all up finely. Fry cumin seeds in a little oil until fragrant, or

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? I had cooked snails, or escargot, once and let’s just say I’m not in a hurry to try them again but it wasn’t particularly unpleasant.

FOR THE COD: I Keralan spice I 2tsp cardamom I 1 star anise I 1 tsp pepper

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? A surgeon, something completely different from what I do now. What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? The Keralan spiced cod. An authentic take on South Asian cuisine, with trademark Hippodrome style. I

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First, wash the lentils until water runs clear. Then pick fresh coriander leaves but make sure you save the stalks. Chop this they start to pop. Add the onions, ginger, green chilli, garlic and spices and sweat it all until the onions are nice and golden. Add lentils to the water and boil uncovered until water is fully absorbed.

I 2 tsp cloves I ½ tsp cinnamon I 2 tsp fennel seeds I 5 cod loins

Method: Crush all the spices together in a pestle and mortar to a fine powder. Then add a little water to form a nice smooth paste. Rub onto the cod loin and marinate for 20 minutes. Once complete, place the cod on a lightly oiled tray and bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 175°C. To serve spread a generous amount of the dal on a plate and place the cod on top. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

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SEASON’S EATINGS

Wild mushroom risotto FABULOUS FUNGI ARE ON THE MENU THIS MONTH WITH OUR WARMING AUTUMN RECIPE elieve it or not, there are more than 14,000 different varieties of wild mushrooms in the UK. If you’re an avid forager, October and November are the best months to seek out the fabulous fungi. But not all mushrooms are good and healthy for eating – some are highly poisonous. So, best play it safe and buy from your local farm shop or supermarket. And then try this delicious wild mushroom risotto recipe. 

B

HOW TO MAKE

 100g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned, washed

 20g unsalted butter  ½ onion, finely chopped

 1 clove of crushed garlic  500ml chicken stock  100g risotto rice  50ml white wine

 2 tbs olive oil  1 tbs mascarpone cheese

 1 tbs freshly grated Parmesan cheese  1 tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

 Juice of ½ lemon  Salt and pepper

METHOD: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic, cover with a lid and cook for five minutes. Meanwhile pour the chicken stock into a separate pan and bring to a simmer. Add the rice to the onions mix then add the white wine, boil and reduce for two minutes. Add just enough hot stock to cover the rice. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and fry the mushrooms for three minutes until golden brown. Season and add to the rice. Cook the rice and mushrooms for about 10 minutes gradually adding the stock little by little as it’s absorbed by the rice. When the rice has softened but still has a slight bite, add the mascarpone, Parmesan, parsley and lemon juice. Season further as required and serve.

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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

GLYNN’S BOOK FOR KIDS Michelin star chef Glynn Purnell has turned his talents to children’s books. The Yummy Brummie has released his first tome which is all about his late Jack Russell called Whoops. The Magical Adventures of Whoops the Wonder Dog is aimed at primary school-age children and tells the story of a dog who eats far too many baked beans and curry powder!

IT’S APERITIVO TIME!

One of Italy’s most delicious traditions, the Aperitivo, is coming to Birmingham! The social way of meeting up with friends and colleagues, having a cocktail and enjoying tasty small handmade bites is being launched at the Pint Shop opens its doors at Bennett’s Hill, Edgbaston Hotel. Guests can Want to satisfy your sweet tooth Birmingham this month, bringing its brand of with a cookie that is good for fresh, seasonal British produce and selection of sample a selection of complimentary small bites served you? Wholey Moley, the local and national ales to the city. The eatery features a ground floor bar and 50-plus cover first with an Aperitivo Classic premium, naturally healthier floor dining room. General manager Lee European-inspired cocktails and vegan cookie, is now available Coliandris was previously at the awarddrinks menu. exclusively in Selfridges winning Plough in Harborne, while head Birmingham. The treats, which chef Mark Walsh arrives from contain no refined sugars or Opus Restaurant. processed ingredients, were launched by Meenesh Mistry and A new grab-and-go pizza concept has opened its first-ever site in intu Merry Hill, Dudley. Italian-inspired PIZZASQR offers artisan squared pizza by the slice, crafted Parul Vadher after they craved a using traditional methods and the freshest ingredients. Squared pizza dates to cookie but did not want to eat 5000BC and was most prominent in the Roman era. The menu, available to eat-in biscuits, doughnuts and cakes. or takeaway, will include classic and authentic recipes.

HEALTHIER COOKIES

DOORS OPEN AT PINT SHOP

EATING LIKE THE ROMANS

SIMPSONS CHEF TOPS AWARDS Ben Cowley, junior sous chef at Simpsons, Edgbaston, added to the restaurant’s accolades when he was named highest achiever at the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate awards. The awards are regarded as one of the hardest skills tests in the industry and Ben received the highest score from the judges in a fivehour cook-off. Entries for this year’s awards were among the highest ever.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

MARCO PIERRE WHITE STEAKHOUSE AND GRILL 200 WHARFSIDE, THE CUBE, BIRMINGHAM, B1 1PR. TEL: 0121 634 3433 WWW.MPWRESTAURANTS.CO.UK/OUR-BRANDS/STEAKHOUSE-BAR-AND-GRILL/BIRMINGHAM/SPECIAL-OFFERS/LEVEL-25-PRESENTS

ove it or hate it, Marco Pierre White at the Cube is one of those Brummie institutions that we’re guilty of taking for granted. We expect a solid sunset, strong steak game and all the lols with a sprinkling of glamour as standard. Live music is probably not the first thing that springs to mind, but that’s about to change. Friday night has had a bit of a makeover in the entertainment stakes with themed live music in the form of a series of Level 25 presents (not every Friday, so check the website for dates and deets). We got wind of Eighties-inspired music in September and promptly booked a babysitter faster than you can say Wham!

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ALL THE FAVES First thing’s first, don’t expect cheesey tunes that will interrupt dinner and we wouldn’t advise rocking up in fancy dress, although what do we know? Do

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what you like. This was a sophisticated affair with great music – all the faves – from the super talented Elegant Entertainment which enhanced dinner rather than dominating the evening. A succinct menu – not themed to fit the music in case you were wondering – did what it said on the tin. Pea and ham soup was superb, bresaola with mozzarella and a punchy dressing was delicious and as you’d expect, the sirloin was top notch and cooked to perfection. Crunchy, fluffy chips were excellent and those of us that hadn’t ordered them were as green as the pea soup. A tasty chicken a la forestiere had a cheeky little Madeira sauce that brought all the elements together served with pomme fondant which was nicely done. We shunned dessert in favour of a night cap. Hicc. The service was a little slow, but that really didn’t matter. We were having a great time. MPW, forgive us, we won’t take you for granted anymore. I

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FOOD & DRINK

MONEY NO OBJECT IMAGINE IT… YOU JUST HIT THE JACKPOT AND

SUDDENLY NO WINE IS OUT OF YOUR PRICE RANGE! LEADING WINE EXPERT ROB PRICE IS THE MAN TO HELP YOU SPEND THAT CASH WISELY…

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FOOD & DRINK

ost of the time I look for wines that offer value – be that a £5 or a £30-plus bottle. I want a wine that punches above its weight. But what about if you had all the money in the world, what wines would you then buy? Of course, one problem is that some wines are so rare almost no amount of money in the world could buy them. But as the saying goes, everyone has his or her price. But even then, there are some exceptions.

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SMASH AND GRAB A 1787 Chateau Margaux was valued at $500,000, (just under £400,000). But when a waiter knocked it over at a Margaux tasting at the Four Seasons hotel in New York, no one had the pleasure. I think I may have grabbed the table cloth and squeezed a drop or two… The insurers paid out $225,000 (£175,000), so maybe the original value was a tad over-estimated. Mind you, 1787 must have been a great year because a bottle of Chateau Lafite of the same vintage was bought in 1985 for just over $150,000 (£120,000) How about the most expensive bottle of Australian wine? The honour goes to Penfold Grange 1951 which was bought at an auction in 2004. There are, apparently, 20 of these bottles in existence, so you may have more luck tracking one of these down. All you need is a mere £30,000. Generally, it’s the top Bordeaux and Burgundies that cost the most. In Bordeaux the top five wines, are all 1st growth, a classification created in 1855. In this year 60-plus Chateaux were awarded Grand Cru Classé status and were divided into five leagues – 5th Growth to 1st growth. DEEP POCKETS The Chateaux that make up 1st growth wines are Margaux, Lafitte, Latour, Haut Brion, and Mouton. These Chateaux do produce a fair drop of wine, so are easily purchased if you have deep pockets. Vintage make a huge difference in price. For example, Chateau Lafite ranges from £300 for the 1957 vintage to £6,000 for the 1982 vintage. Some rare, much older vintages will cost a lot more. In Burgundy, Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC for short) heads the list producing sublime Pinot Noir. Expect to pay from £2,000 to £10,000 per bottle. The top white (Chardonnay) is made by Domaine Leflaive, with his Grand Cru around £350/bottle. There are several wines from California that attract very high prices. Mainly from Napa Valley, wineries such

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ROB’S

Latour 1961 – I was lucky enough to taste this wine, and for me it’s the best I have tried. Smooth, rich, concentrated, incredible aroma of cigar smoke, leather, coffee. The finish went on for ages. I dream about this one wine. Price? Well, if you can find one, around £5,000 a bottle.

Pontet-Canet 2010 – I bought six bottles when it was first released,

and while only classified a 5th growth Chateau, this wine is also the stuff of dreams. It does need some more time in bottle, I would

suggest drink from 2025. It’s quite widely available – expect to pay around £180 a bottle.

Royal Tokaji Essencia 2007 – Tokaji Aszu is my favourite sweet

wine and this one is an example of a particularly unusual style of this wine. You’ll need a spoon, just a small one, take it like

medicine, and then don’t plan to drink or eat anything else for the

rest of the day!! Costs £1,000 for a small bottle. Use Google to track one down.

Krug NV – My favourite Champagne. It’s unlike what you might call, normal Champagne. Krug is rich, but with elegant finesse, and

such complexity it takes your breath away. Sip, savour and enjoy. The Champagne company sells for £130.

as Screaming Eagle make a Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon costing on average £3,500 and £2,500 a bottle, respectively. BETTER THAN ART Top wines like these have performed consistently well as investments. The Knight Frank Luxury assets chart shows wine increased in value by 25 per cent in 2017, outperforming all other assets. Art was next best at just seven per cent. Generally wine offers a return of more than 10 per cent per annum, so it has a pretty good track record. As with most things though, timing is everything and expert advice should be sought if you do want to venture into serious wine investment. Of course, you do have the advantage that you can always drink your asset should it not perform quite so well as you hoped for! 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 details from Rob Price: 0121 270 7359, www.birminghamwineschool.com

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

The nights are drawing in as autumn takes over – but we’re not quite ready to totally let go of summer just yetÁ he mixologists at Chung Ying Central have come up with this lovely little autumn cocktail that’s inspired by the ultimate summer fruit, the lychee. The sweet floral tastes works beautifully with the rose syrup and lemon juice and the hit of vodka makes it strictly for grown-ups, so enjoy responsibly.

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ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY INGREDIENTS: I 25ml vodka

I 25ml Kwai Fei Lychee Liqueur I 25ml lychee juice

I 12.5ml rose syrup

I 12.5ml lemon juice

METHOD: Shake and strain in a martini glass. Garnish with a dry rose bud

Chung Ying Central, 126 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 3AP. Tel: 0121 400 0888 www.chungying.co.uk

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ARIA RESTAURANT Hyatt Regency Birmingham, 2 Bridge Street, Birmingham, B1 2JZ. Tel: 0121 643 1234 birmingham.regency.hyatt.com e’re guilty. Hands up. We hadn’t been to the Hyatt in an age and we’d forgotten just how blooming gorgeous the atrium is. It creates a greenhouse effect allowing actual trees and plants to flourish and this, teamed with the background bubbling of a water feature, makes for an indoor/outdoor experience unique to the city. It makes sense then, that the Aria restaurant which shares this epic space with the burgeoning foliage should embrace it. Head chef Justin Gabrielle Brown has done just that creating a menu inspired by Frances Hodges Burnett’s The Secret Garden focusing on all things natural. Table settings follow the natural theme with napkins tied with rustic string and fragrant lavender, but the main event is definitely the food. A stunning starter of beetroot cured salmon with crisp slivers of Miller’s sourdough, crème fraiche and edible flowers was delicate, pretty and flavour packed. Then there was chargrilled asparagus with a poached egg, hollandaise and black truffle. While there’s no doubt it tasted fantastic with smokey charred flavours and earthy truffle, the egg could have done with less cooking. We didn’t get any satisfying ooze which would have made it pretty perfect. The main courses all appealed, but I plumped for a Goosnargh chicken dish mainly because I got married near Goosnargh – as good a reason as any. The breast was moist and tasty, carrot – roasted and pureed -– was sweet and delicious and then there were moreish crisp

W

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shards of chicken skin and a rich jus to complete the pleasing piece. Sea bream with mustard and tarragon veloute, asparagus and samphire prompted a response from our friend that surprised us. It knocked spots off a sea bream dish he’d eaten the week before at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant. High praise indeed. I could have lived without dessert, but when in Rome and all that. I basically ate a plate of chocolate – mousse, ganache, crumb, curl – the sweet stuff in all its glory. There was a refreshing mint sorbet to tone down the chocolatey richness. What’s not to love? A deconstructed panna cotta with rhubarb, lemon and lime shortbread, lemon curd and Thai basil was all zingy and fresh. As dining out in the city goes the menu is competitively priced at £27 for two courses which takes it from special occasion to a more regular feature in our dining out calendar. We won’t leave it so long next time. I

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ing livSTYLE

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BUCKLE UP

Boot £75, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

BOOT CAMP

WE’RE ON THE HUNT FOR NEW BOOTS WHICH MAKES US EXTREMELY HAPPY. ARE YOU WITH US? LOOK SHARP.

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STYLE

FLEX THE PERSPEX

Gianvito Rossi Icon 105 leather and perspex ankle boots £720, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

HIGH ROAD

MESH IS BEST

Kitten heel boot £39.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

White boots £16, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

he single biggest thing guaranteed to perk us up when the leaves start to fall is the prospect of donning boots. Tucking the Havaianas away and pulling on a pair of boots makes us ridiculously contented in the way that a roaring log fire might make others coo.

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There are the old favourites – in our case a failsafe classic tan knee length that goes with every outfit and a pair of suede boots so high they induce a strut. This duo provides our base which we’re about to add to. We reckon we ‘need’ one investment piece for which there are two very different front runners – the Alexander McQueen black burnished ankle boot from Selfridges which we’ll get a lot of wear out of or the Gianvito Rossi Icon 105 leather and perspex ankle boot (both pictured). Plus, a frivolous high street pair or two that may only last this season, but will give us a bit of pleasure. We’ve been on the hunt for the best buys, so you don’t have to and here’s what we found. I

LACE UP

Patriote boot £155, Dune, Bullring

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WHITE OUT

Opaque boot £125, Dune, Bullring

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STYLE

NO SLOUCH

Sophie slouch boot £99, Monsoon, New Street

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STYLE PEEPO

Tan lace up heel £39, Miss Selfridge, Bullring

NO FUSS

Carvela snail leather ankle boots £169, Selfridges, Bullring

CLASSIC TAN

Mollie knee boot £299, Hobbs, Grand Central

GREAT VALUE

Boots £16, Primark, Fort Shopping Park

LOGO MOTIVE

Fendi Rockoko logo over-the-knee boots £1,190, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox

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LESS IS MORE Alexander McQueen burnished suede ankle boots £690, Selfridges, Bullring

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STYLE

SCARLET WOMAN

Red boots, Dorothy Perkins, Bullring

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STYLE

STARS AND STRIPES

Faith boots £59, Debenhams, Bullring

SOCK IT

Glitter sock boot £45, Oasis, New Street

TWINKLE TOES

Grey boot with metallic detail £49, Wallis, Bullring

WELL HEELED

Alto boot £96, Office, Bullring

FAB FUCHSIA

Collection boot £29.50, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

PARTY PEOPLE

Faith boots £59, Debenhams, Bullring

TARTAN ARMY

Collection boot £45, M&S, Fort Shopping Park

HELLO YELLOW

Mustard leather block heel £64.99, New Look, Bullring

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OCTOBER STARS BEAUTY

1

OUR ROUND-UP OF THIS MONTH’S BEST BEAUTY BUYS 1. Stila Vivid & Vibrant eye shadow duo £19, Harvey Nichols

If an easy to wear metallic sheen is what you’re after, this velvety soft powder does the trick. It glides on effortlessly, is crease proof and long lasting. What’s not to love? 2. By Terry Game Lighter Palette Fun-tasia £38, Space NK

2

Electric eyes are having a moment. Use a damp small angled brush with this cute palette from By Terry to feel the full technicolour force. 3. Christian Louboutin Tape A L’Oeil eyeshadows £38, Selfridges

3

The stunning packaging conceals a gem of a product. Simple to apply, the fluid pigment dries into a long wearing powder finish that lasts all day. 4. Waitrose Pure Cleansing and Exfoliating Powder £3, Waitrose

4

If you love Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, you’ll like this. The powder is slightly finer, but the effect is the same. Smooth, glowing skin that defies the super affordable price tag. We’re trying the rest of the Pure range and hoping for the same. 5. Aveda Cherry Almond shampoo £15.50 and conditioner £17.50, Aveda

Packed with natural ingredients, Aveda’s new hydrating Cherry Almond range launches this month. As well as smelling amazing it left our thick hair feeling super soft and bouncy, not heavy.

5

6. Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base 50ml

6

£44, Selfridges

Perfectly prepped skin is never out of fashion and Bobbi Brown’s hydrating oil-free base packed with goodies like carrot extract, vitamins A, C and E does the job beautifully. Make-up glides on easily over the hydrating cream and stays put all day. It smells beautiful too. 7. MAC Retromatte lipstick in Dance With Me £18, MAC, Grand Central

Proper old school glamour with a long-lasting matt suede finish, check out Dance With Me which is a universally flattering shade with a wow factor.

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STYLE FOR MEN

WHETHER YOU’RE A DESERT BOOT KIND OF GUY, A FAN OF THE

HI-TOP OR A SUCKER FOR A CHUKKA, WE’VE GOT IT COVERED

WORK, REST AND PLAY OFF DUTY Mansfield boot £100, Dune, Bullring

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STYLE FOR MEN

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4

5

6

7 8

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he easiest of footwear to don, the boot works equally well at the office as it does around town, at a ball or chilling at the weekend. Top of the tree if you like a bit of a heel – think Nick Grimshaw not Simon Cowell – is the Saint Laurent Wyatt, pictured. It’s on the pricey side but offers up instant cool in spades. For classic tan Oxford boots that will last a decade head to Selfridges

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3

and bag yourself a Grenson Leander lace up, pictured. They’re classic for a reason. On the High Street, Next’s tan chukka boot will give you a relaxed off duty vibe, also pictured, while Dune has some great examples too. If you’re looking to stop traffic rather than go about your business under the radar, check out King of the hi-top, Guiseppe Zanotti. I

1 CLASSIC R M Williams Gardener full-welt leather boots £350, Selfridges. 2 GOT SOLE Brown lace up boots £45, Burton 3 IN THE NAVY Covent boot £110, Dune, Bullring. 4 MAN ABOUT TOWN Saint Laurent Wyatt taupe suede Chelsea boots £670, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox. 5 MAROON MIRAGE Desert boot £50, River Island, Fort Shopping Park. 6 NEW NEUTRAL Chukka boots £58, Next, Fort Shopping Park. 7 MINIMUM FUSS Grenson Leander leather Oxford boots £235, Selfridges. 8 TOP HI-TOPS Guiseppe Zanotti hi-top trainers £690, Harvey Nichols, Mailbox. 9 TOUGH AS Christian Louboutin Trapman £895, Selfridges.

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HEALTH

Putting out the fire of acid reflux THE ANNOYING AND SOMETIMES PAINFUL FEELING YOU GET FOLLOWING A DELICIOUS DINNER MAY NEED MORE THAN A SIMPLE INDIGESTION TABLET

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HEALTH

overweight and being a smoker. It is worth improving these areas generally for overall better health but it is not guaranteed to resolve the issue of acid reflux, especially if there are other issues such as a hiatus hernia adding to the problem. This occurs when the opening in the diaphragm, becomes too wide allowing the stomach to slip up into the chest. This means that your stomach is higher than normal and acid easily comes back up the oesophagus. This hernia may make acid reflux more likely, however a hiatus hernia may occur without reflux and reflux may occur without a hiatus hernia. Commonly, these two do co-exist and when surgery is needed, they are usually treated together.

cid reflux, also known as GORD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), is a condition in which food or stomach acid comes back up into the oesophagus (the tube from your mouth to the stomach). This is caused by a lax sphincter muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus where food first enters the stomach, says consultant general surgeon Paul Super of Spire Parkway Private Hospital in Solihull. Symptoms can include a bitter taste in the mouth, burning sensation in the throat or chest (heartburn), feeling gassy and burping or it may leave you finding it hard to swallow. It can contribute to hoarseness, chronic cough, asthma and for many it is the most common reason for chronic indigestion.

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WATCH YOUR DIET Improving your diet may help improve the symptoms of reflux – coffee, alcohol, chocolate, fatty or spicy foods and large meals can aggravate acid reflux, as well as being

DAY SURGERY When surgery is required for acid reflux, one of the most common procedures is called fundoplication. This is a day case procedure performed under general anaesthetic. If a hiatal hernia is present, it is repaired by stitching the hiatus (opening in the diaphragm) to make the hole for the food pipe smaller. This takes just five minutes. The surgery takes around 40 minutes to repair a hiatus hernia and perform the fundoplication, depending whether a large hiatus hernia is present. Most hiatal hernias are small. The benefits of surgery include things like no more pills, no breakthrough indigestion and heartburn. In addition, for many patients their respiratory and ENT type symptoms of cough, asthma, sore throat and hoarseness may be better. The benefits are long lasting with recurrence rates of reflux around one or two per cent at five years. WEIGHT LOSS The usual side effects are weight loss for about a month (usually about 3kg to 5kg) due to having stomach surgery. Following surgery burping may be difficult meaning more wind goes through your bowel if you swallow lots of air at mealtimes (eating quick, not chewing, talking a lot etc). Patients can return home the same day with a follow-up appointment arranged to see your consultant for a post-op check-up at about four weeks. You will need between one and two weeks off work though you can go back sooner if necessary. I

For more information contact Spire Parkway Private Hospital, 0121 704 5530 www.spirepakway.com

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KITCHEN CONNECT

JUST TO BE CLEAR, THIS ISN’T AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR ALEXA, BUT WHEN CONTEMPLATING KITCHEN DESIGN TODAY, THE REVOLUTIONARY LITTLE GADGET IS DIFFICULT TO IGNORE. TOP DESIGNER LISA MELVIN GIVES US THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT’S HOT

L.A. VIBES Glamorous kitchen and living space by Lisa Melvin www.lisamelvindesign.co.uk

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HOMES

he amount Alexa can do in the kitchen is insane, probably more so than any other space in the home. For instance, if you have a fridge with a built-in camera or you own a smarter fridge cam that is compatible with your existing appliance, it’s possible to connect to Alexa. When you’re running low on something, let’s say cheese, your fridge will notify Alexa who will then connect with your online shopping provider and pop your usual brand of cheese into your shopping basket. It can also let you know when something in the fridge needs utilising which avoids food languishing at the back, thus minimising waste. Then there’s Siemens Home Connect which is an app that connects to the appropriate range of appliances. For instance, the compatible fridge with built-in camera takes a photo every time you close the door and will prompt you with shopping reminders when running low. In terms of dishwashers the Home Connect App with Amazon Dash Replenishment will take care of your dishwasher tablet supply automatically counting the cycles and reordering for you at optimal convenience.

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HOMES

IN THE HOOD Liverton kitchen, Hammonds Kitchens concession at Cookes Furniture www.cookesfurniture.co.uk

RINSE AID State-of-the-art washing machines we’ve mentioned before enable you to pour a whole bottle of detergent into them and will measure exactly the right amount based on the load. Clever. Now Alexa will let you know when you’re running out and will add your usual detergent to your online shopping basket. Linked to your oven, Alexa can simplify meal time. It’s possible to ask Alexa to put the oven on in 20 minutes at 180 degrees or whatever it is you require. In case you lose track of time, Alexa will then change colour and flash warning lights to prompt you to check the oven. Clever interactive glass work surfaces that double up as kitchen scales

CLEAN LINES Kitchen by Lisa Melvin Design www.lisamelvindesign.co.uk

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HOMES

NATURAL WORLD Futura tobacco oak and concrete kitchen by Classic Interiors www.classicinteriors.co.uk

MINIMAL FUSS Made to measure P’7350 kitchen, Poggenpohl Birmingham www.birmingham.poggenpohl.com

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HOMES

LUXURY LIVING Kitchen by Poggenpohl Birmingham www.birmingham.poggenpohl.com

are on the market and have a real wow factor. A sleek 8mm thick stainless steel work surface with a fingerprint proof finish by Franke is also a showstopper. Available in the UK, but as yet its price is prohibitive, more so than any other surface. It looks brilliant, so watch this space when the cost comes down.

BIJOU PANTRY Classic shaker style kitchen with pantry cupboard, Harvey Jones www.harveyjones.com.jpg

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TIME TRAVEL If that all sounds a bit sci-fi, at the other end of the spectrum there’s an element of kitchen design that’s taken a step back in time with traditional pantries becoming all the rage again. Generally positioned on an external wall with air bricks or air vents to draw the cold air in, the rooms are perfect for storage and food prep equipped with cold marble slabs for butters, etc. The rooms can be quite large providing a lot of storage for things you don’t necessarily want on show in the kitchen/living space achieving a sleeker, neater look. I

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HOMES

HEAVY METAL Measuring spoons £8, Debenhams

LIGHTS FANTASTIC Ambit rail suspension light £625, Nest.co.uk

KITCHEN HERO Amazon Echo Show £199.99, Argos

FINISHING TOUCHES

COCKTAIL O’CLOCK Kitchen Craft threepiece cocktail making kit £24.99, Very

MAJOR CRUSH Pestle and mortar £9, Wilko

POLISH YOUR DREAM KITCHEN WITH SOME PRACTICAL AND GORGEOUS GADGETS FESTIVE FUN Gracula garlic crusher £10.95, Cuckooland.com

INTELLIGENT TOASTER Smart Breakfast Master toaster £46.95, Cuckooland.com

ROLL WITH IT Umbra Limbo kitchen roll holder and tray £30, Amara

VINTAGE VIBE Magnetic green timer £14.95, Rex London

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GOLD RUSH Honeycomb carafe with tumbler £28, Oliver Bonas

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From only ÂŁ25

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HOMES

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

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

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HOMES

MAKING THE GRADE Bentleys Lane, Coleshill Guide price: £925,000 Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 746 6400 Situated in a superb location, surrounded by lovely Warwickshire countryside, this is an awesome 4/5 bedroom Grade II listed family home. Oozing character and charm, it’s been fully refurbished while retaining loads of original features, exposed wood and beautiful old beams.

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HOMES

HIGH FIVE

This immaculate five-bedroom village house was designed and built to a very high specification only 12 years ago. There’s a state-of-the-art remote control system that operates an impressive array of features throughout. Plus, you’ll love the glorious views of open countryside.

Alveston Lane, Alveston Guide price: £1.8million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 01789 332600

PARK VIEWS Marnham Road, West Bromwich Guide price: £599,950 Agent: Loveyourpostcode.com tel: 0121 544 9595 A luxurious modern, four-bedroom, detached home in a great location with views over a country park. As well as the cracking open plan kitchen/diner, great sized bedrooms with a master en-suite, there’s a lovely conservatory and family garden.

BRICKS&BITS

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

LOOP MASTERPLAN

MAKING A MOVE

SHORTLIST SUCCESS

Developers of the city’s Port Loop scheme have unveiled CGIs showing the new waterside neighbourhood. The project is a joint venture partnership by regeneration specialists Urban Splash and Places for People in tandem with Canal & River Trust and Birmingham City Council.

Godwin Developments has moved from Colmore Row to the top floor of the newly refurbished One Newhall Street. The bigger premises reflect a 60 per cent rise in staff over the past year due to the firm’s growing number of regional projects.

SDL Auctions has been shortlisted at the property industry’s Negotiator Awards. The firm features in the Residential Auction Service of the Year category for the sixth consecutive year and also the Supplier of the Year – Products and Services (Marketing) shortlist for its new Auction Partners division.

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HOMES

SPA BREAK Lyttelton Road, Droitwich Guide price ÂŁ1.1million Agent: Knight Frank, tel: 01905 723438

Dating back to the 1930s, this sixbedroom family home has recently been remodelled and renovated to create an incredible pad in a rather lovely spa town. The awesome kitchen/breakfast room has bi-folding doors that open onto a raised terrace overlooking lovely mature gardens.

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

october 2018

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MOTORING

JAGUAR IN CHARGE

BIRMINGHAM IS SET TO FOLLOW LONDON AND INTRODUCE CONGESTION

CHARGING. SUE COOKE TEST DRIVES JAGUAR’S NEW ELECTRIC I-PACE, AN SUV WITH ZERO EMISSIONS AND PERFORMANCE COMPROMISES

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MOTORING

irmingham City Council is tackling the city’s pollution hotspots as it is urged by the Government to clean up its act by 2020. Key traffic polluted areas which have been identified are the A38 Queensway tunnels, Chester Road at Castle Vale and the area around Spaghetti Junction. The council is considering introducing a congestion charge for drivers travelling inside the Middle Ring Road area. The charge has not yet been disclosed but in London the congestion charge for cars is £11.50 per day. So, now is the right time to buy a ‘no congestion charge’ and non-polluting electric car – and Jaguar has launched its first ever all-electric car. There is nothing else on the road that looks and drives like the Jaguar I-PACE and I find it hard to know how to describe it, except to say it is fantastic.

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FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Jaguar I-PACE

Price: From £63,495 in the UK (excluding Government incentives) Power: 90kWh lithium-ion battery with eight-year battery warranty Range: Up to 292 miles

RANGE-BUSTER The I-PACE has SUV all-wheel drive capability. Press a button and the suspension rises to cross a deep ford with up to a 500mm wading depth. The system will self-level when back on the road. The interior has the practicality and comfort of a tourer but put your foot down on the accelerator and sports car performance kicks in reaching 60mph in 4.5 seconds with combined 400PS. Range anxiety has made it difficult to increase the sales of electric cars, but the I-PACE will achieve just under 300 miles on one charge. At its launch, I drove 170 miles around the Cotswolds and didn’t think once about refuelling. New owners who invest in an AC wall box at home will be able to fully charge overnight in just over 10 hours. But the I-PACE will also charge from zero to 80 per cent in 45 minutes, using a DC 100kW charger. The I-PACE is beautifully designed and engineered by the Jaguar Land Rover team in the Midlands, but is manufactured under contract by specialists Magna Steyr in Austria. The sleek coupe-like silhouette takes inspiration from the striking C-X75 supercar. EXTRA SPACE A sweeping front end, dramatic curves, muscular haunches and imposing 22-inch wheels create a headturning design. Flush door handles contribute to the aerodynamics and emerge from the body at the push of a button on the key fob. The chassis is a similar size to the XE saloon and the interior is spacious with 890mm of rear legroom. The 656litre boot, which is larger than most SUVs, increases to 1,453

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Performance: 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 124mph CO2 emissions: Zero tailpipe emissions

litres when the seats are folded flat. With no transmission tunnel in the centre of the car, there is room for a 10.5-litre compartment in the centre console for phones, keys and other small items. And with no engine, there is storage under the bonnet too. A full-size panoramic roof with infrared absorption creates a light and cool cabin. FLIGHT DECK Customers can choose seats upholstered in either finegrain Windsor leather or a new sustainable premium textile alternative developed with Danish textile experts Kvadrat, but I prefer the former. The I-PACE is a technological tour de force and is the first Jaguar to incorporate the intuitive Touch Pro Duo Flight Deck infotainment system. I like the full-colour head-up display which projects key information, such as vehicle speed and navigation, onto the windscreen so the driver can instantly see information without losing sight of the road ahead. The I-PACE is a great leap forward in Jaguar’s incredible story and there is nothing else on the road which offers grand tourer comfort and practicality, off-road capability and sports car performance all in one. And it is congestion charge free! I

SHOWROOM Listers Jaguar, 639 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 4BA. Tel: 0121 745 0777 www.listers.solihull.jaguar.co.uk

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

Lewis Howard The former graduate of Birmingham School of Acting was spellbound by War Horse as a member of the audience 10 years ago. Now he is bringing the latest National Theatre production to life hen Lewis Howard went to the theatre to see War Horse as a teenager 10 years ago he says he was “blown away” by the sheer majesty, drama and emotion of it all. Little could he have imagined that one day he would become part of the award-winning story of horses living and dying on the front line with the British cavalry in the First World War. The former student of the University of Birmingham plays the role of the Heart of Joey, a horse from Devon who was sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Along with Tom Quinn, originally from Redditch, and a third actor, Lewis brings Joey – one of the awesome ground-breaking puppets that snort, gallop and charge – to life on stage in the National Theatre’s hit production which is touring the UK.

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EXCITED AND HUMBLED Lewis, who graduated from Birmingham’s School of Acting, part of UCB in 2012 with a BA honours degree, said: “It’s my first job for the National Theatre so I am very excited and humbled to be part of this production which coincides with the centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War.” Since leaving university, Birmingham-born Lewis has performed as Callum in Swivelhead at Pleasance Courtyard during last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has featured as Jesse alongside Adeel Akhtar in the 2016 film The Big Return of Ray Lamere, as well as playing roles in various Shakespeare productions. Anyone who has seen War Horse will know just how amazing the full-size horse puppets look on stage. Their actions are so life-like that it is easy to forget that they aren’t real flesh and blood. The movements which bring so much drama and emotion to audiences are down to the incredible skills of Lewis and his fellow puppeteers. Indeed, describing Lewis as a puppeteer considerably underplays his role because while largely masked by the horse’s frame, he is still acting in the truest sense of the word.

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Lewis recalls the arduous audition process which he had to go through to land the part. “My manager put me forward to the National and initially I, along with many other actors, were assessed on our physicality to do the job with a threehour crash course on puppetry. I then had to go through two more workshop auditions, each last three or four hours. These were to judge our acting ability.” A final call-back assessed Lewis’s ability to work with and get on with others as part of a team. “It’s vital to be able to work as a unit when there are three of you in the horse,” Lewis explained. For any theatre virgins out there, don’t think for one minute that acting is reduced to a minor role in playing Joey. It is the actors who make Joey live and breathe and feel. “When you first start rehearsing, you have to think about and practice just making the horse walk,” explained Lewis. “It’s 90 per cent trying to make the puppet work and 10 per cent acting. Eventually it becomes the other way round and it is all about the acting and conveying the character and feelings of Joey. The mechanical part of moving the puppet becomes natural, just second nature.” CREATIVE FAMILY Lewis comes from a creative family – his father is an artist and printmaker, while his mother works at incorporating art for wellbeing organisations. Speaking of his time at Birmingham University, Lewis said: “I had a brilliant three years at Birmingham School of Acting, honing skills on how to better my performances but also, and more crucially, how to work with many different people and enjoy teamwork – something vital on a show like War Horse.” And for Lewis there is nothing greater than the feedback he gets as an actor from his audiences. “War Horse is an amazing play and the moment when the last act is over and the curtain goes down and when you hear and feel the adulation of the audience… it’s just so moving and so amazing. There is nothing to compare to it.” I

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

War Horse, based on author Michael Morpurgo’s awardwinning novel, has been seen by more than seven million people in 97 cities and 10 countries around the world. It has won 25 awards, including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway, and is the most successful play in the National Theatre’s history. See Lewis in War Horse at Birmingham Hippodrome, 10 October to 3 November. Details and tickets at www.birminghamhippodrome.com WAR HORSE: Joey visits Birmingham Roundhouse, a former canalside stables and store home to more than 45 horses, many of which were commissioned to serve on the front during WW1

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GROWING PLACES

BUCKING THE TREND

GOLD STANDARD Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre have been awarded the School Games Gold Mark Award for the second year running. The government-led scheme rewards schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and in the community. Holy Trinity’s head of prep PE, Sarah Williams, said: “We are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all

Across the UK the percentage of girls studying STEM at A-Level is depressingly low – but Moreton Hall is bucking the trend! This year 69 per cent of Moreton Hall’s pupils took at least one STEM A-Level, 39 per cent took two or more, 20 per cent sat three or more and five per cent took four STEM A-Levels. Principal Jonathan Forster said: “Our investment in science and our medical science faculty is paying dividends.”

SCHOOL REPORT

aspects of school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible.”

DANCING TO SUCCESS Elmhurst Ballet School, the associate school of Birmingham Royal Ballet, achieved one of its best A-Level results this year. Sixth form students and staff celebrated a 100 per cent pass rate with 85 per cent of students achieving grades A* to C and 45 per cent with top A* to A grades. School principal Jessica Wheeler said: “The school’s philosophy is that thinking dancers make better dancers, so this incredible accomplishment bodes well for the students’ futures.”

ZOMBIE DRAMA A group of Birmingham residents are helping to tackle social stigmas and urban exclusion by producing and starring in a series of short zombie films. Funded by the National Lottery, residents from the Firs and Bromford have been working with Birmingham City University staff and students to tackle some of the negative connotations associated with where they live. They hope the Bromford Film Unit will help to re-engage marginalised groups in neighbourhood communities.

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GROWING PLACES

IN THE SPOTLIGHT The University of Birmingham has won a Spotlight Award in the Global Teaching Excellence Awards – recognising its ‘exemplary vision for achieving teaching excellence across the whole institution’. The judges’ citation said the university “shows outstanding vision for achieving excellence in teaching with clear KPIs, targets, process, and evidence. The institution provides impressive evidence regarding challenges that stretch students’ learning experiences and embed research within the curricula.”

HIGH FLIERS

STRONG RESULTS On the back of a summer of strong results spanning A-Level, IB and BTEC qualifications, Bromsgrove School’s GCSE results were among the highest ever achieved, with 41 per cent gaining an A*/9 and five pupils getting a full set of 9s (A* equivalent). Headmaster Peter Clague said: “This year’s results are especially pleasing given that they are set against a backdrop of uncertainty around the qualification reforms.”

A unique programme at Birmingham City University to support and develop the skills of high-achieving students has won a national teaching award. BCU’s High Achievers Recognition Scheme (HARS) earned the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence after improving the success of hundreds of students – particularly those from economically deprived and low higher education areas. The programme has also helped close the attainment gaps between BAME students and their white peers.

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CLOSE WITHÁ

BEN RAFIQI TABOR HOUSE OPENED 12 MONTHS AGO AS BIRMINGHAM’S ONLY PERMANENT NIGHT SHELTER, OFFERING SAFETY, SUPPORT AND WARMTH TO THOSE WITHOUT LIFE’S BASIC NECESSITIES BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I’ve done a range of jobs including an assistant harbour master, croupier, spice merchant, Encyclopaedia Britannica salesman and owned my own wholefood/organic shop in North London for 10 years. I’ve been an Evangelical Christian street preacher 22 years – and counting – during which time I’ve cofounded Let’s Feed Brum, a local soup kitchen/homeless charity which established a voluntary street outreach team for the rough sleepers in Birmingham city centre. Most importantly I’ve fathered three of the most beautiful children on earth and am grandfather to the cutest creature in the universe. IT’S WHAT I DO As one of the original members of the executive board that envisioned Tabor House, I am also directly involved in the day-to-day operational management team that runs the project. With the support of the most amazing group of volunteers Tabor House is a stepping stone for those sleeping rough in our city. It’s a place where someone can escape the relentless battle for survival on the streets, come back to themselves and begin the journey to getting back on the right track. I work directly with volunteers, operational staff, the board, and with each individual that stays in the night shelter. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE? Eight years ago, I felt a calling to engage with the homeless community in Birmingham. From small beginnings of befriending one or two rough sleepers and trying to meet their needs, my vision and ambition has developed to this goal… ‘That every single person that finds themselves sleeping rough in our city is afforded the opportunity to get love, support and care to come off the street and find a way to fulfil their

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potential and participate productively with our growing 21st century city.’ A day does not go by that I don’t feel a sense of shame as I walk by our rough sleepers. We need to do more. BIGGEST SUCCESS Not losing my temper every few minutes! Channelling that emotion into constructive action. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Don’t have big expectations of yourself or other people. Never treat people as problems. Realise that communicating with each other and working together with honesty is the only effective way of overcoming challenges. Believe that God is real and active in every situation. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM I have lived in London, Oxford, on the Spanish Costas and the Netherlands and travelled extensively in Europe, visited the USA and Far East – but I’ve always liked the character of the Brummie people. They are warm, friendly and, most refreshingly, what you see is what you get! DOWNTIME I love every single moment I get to spend with my children and grandson. Photography, singing songs that break my heart… and looking into cold hard eyes that have given up and finding a flicker of warmth. FINALLY… Quote for the day: “Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

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


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BURNING BARN RUM A TERRIBLE FIRE WHICH DESTROYED HER FATHER-IN-LAW’S TOFFEE APPLE BUSINESS INSPIRED KATHERINE JENNER TO LAUNCH A BRAND OF RUM THAT BOASTS NOT ONLY A DISTINCTIVE NAME BUT ALSO A HIGHLY INDIVIDUAL, WINNING TASTE craft rum brand that rose from the ashes of a barn fire on a family farm is taking the British spirits market by storm. Katherine Jenner launched Burning Barn Rum after the blaze wiped out her father-inlaw’s toffee apple business in Solihull three years ago. “Watching my father-in-law overcome the devastation of the business he had taken 35 years to build up and rebuild it again was inspirational,” said Katherine, pictured. “It inspired me and my husband Harry to start a business of our own.” Katherine had some knowledge of the drinks industry having previously worked for wine discounters and then for the Lidl supermarket chain.

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CREATIVE KITCHEN She looked into rum after noticing a growing trend for dark spirits and dark craft beers in the US. “The gin boom was – and still is –in full swing in the UK but we could see an opportunity to bring something completely different to the market,” she explained. “We thought the choice of rums was very limited and that they tasted all pretty much the same.” Katherine and Harry started off by experimenting with creating different flavours in their kitchen. They realised that they had found “something pretty amazing” after using apples to produce a smoked rum. But Katherine had some hurdles to jump before she could begin full production.

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BUSINESS

“The drinks industry isn’t an easy one to get into and we found quite a few barriers to entry along with compliance challenges to satisfy HMRC legislation for alcohol production,” she said. Burning Barn’s hero product is its Smoked rum, which is made using apple wood harvested from the farm’s old orchards. The brand’s Spiced rum is made by infusing hand roasted vanilla, coconut, all spice, ginger and chilli. Flavouring, filtering and bottling is all done by Katherine and Harry on the farm in Eastcote. GETTING NOTICED UK sales have grown steadily month-on-month since Burning Barn launched 10 months ago earning a valuable listing with trade marketplace the Great British Exchange as part of its speciality alcohol range for retailers. “The drinks market is a very crowded market, so when we launched we were creative in getting our brand noticed,” said Katherine. “We sent out samples of our rum and used social media.” Now, as well as being available to retailers through the Great British Exchange, stockists include Harvey Nichols, Not on the High Street, the Whisky Exchange and the Westmorland Family farm shop service stations in Tebay and Gloucester. “Our Smoked rum works well in place of whisky in an Old Fashioned cocktail and the Spiced rum has been used a lot this summer as a fruit cup with ginger ale, lemonade and fresh fruit,” said Katherine. “We are proud to be bringing true craft flavours and innovation to flavoured rums and making sure rum drinkers don’t have to compromise on craft options.” Such has been the immediate impact and success of Burning Barn that there will soon be a need to widen the brand’s appeal further. EXPANSION PLANS “We’d love to do our own distilling, creating flavours using a wide range of rums,” said Katherine. “And we are talking about expanding in general, with a bigger site for production. Also, as we have done quite a lot of retail already, we’d love to get Burning Barn into bars as a rum of choice for drinkers.” According to official figures, sales of rum are expected to exceed £1billion in the UK in 2018 – that’s just one year after gin sales hit the figure for the first time. With a brilliant brand name, excellent and unique tasting product and a history of achieving success from adversity, Burning Barn looks assured of becoming the toast of a booming industry in the months and years ahead. I

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ELECTRIC E-TYPE

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The historic Jaguar E-Type is roaring back into production – as ‘the most beautiful electric car in the world’. Jaguar Classic has confirmed it will offer all-electric E-Types for sale following the iconic EV sports car’s successful debut in concept form at Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest in September 2017. As well as the new zero emissions car, an EV conversion service will be available for existing E-Type owners. Deliveries of the first electric E-Types will start from summer 2020.

NEWS

BUSINESS

PEAK PERFORMERS Staff at recruitment agency Encore Personnel raised £9,000 for three charities by

climbing the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. The 17-strong Encore team reached the summit after seven gruelling hours. The money will go to the Sick Children’s Trust, Cardiac Risk in the Young and CLIC Sargent (Cancer Charity for Children and Young People). Encore, based at Lower Temple Street, Birmingham, has held a number of charity events this year, including cycling from Leicester to Skegness.

HATS OFF TO SABINE Midlands entrepreneur Sabine Brannan is celebrating after her company Hipheadwear won a contract to supply merchandise to Cancer Research UK. Hipheadwear specialises in headwear for men, women and children who have been affected by medical hair loss through chemotherapy, alopecia or stress. “I always wanted to run my own business and with my parents both in the fabric trade, it’s no surprise that I’ve combined the two,” said Sabine. “That said, I am still surprised by how successful Hipheadwear has become.”

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DIGITAL TIE-UP Academics at Birmingham City University have formed a two-year collaborative initiative with Dudley-based Excelsior Panelling Systems after securing a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) bid from Innovate UK. Digital design and construction experts Prof David Edwards and Erika Pärn of the university’s School of the Built Environment have teamed up with Excelsior to streamline the digitalisation of the construction sector’s supply chain.

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LEGAL DEAL Law firm mfg Solicitors has expanded into Birmingham after a merger deal with a historic city legal practice. mfg, which has five offices across Worcestershire and Shropshire, has merged with Pearson Rowe, a two-partner firm which employs 13 staff at its offices in St Paul’s Square. Pearson Rowe was founded in Colmore Row in 1918 by Geoffrey Pearson, with the firm marking its 100th anniversary this year.

SMART MOVES

THE SUGAR PLUM BABIES A baby ballet business which is giving toddlers in the Midlands the chance to experience dance is stepping out in style after being shortlisted for five top industry awards. With franchises across Birmingham and Stourbridge, babyballet has been nominated in the What’s On 4 Little Ones 2018 awards. Founder Claire O’Connor said: “I am so happy for babyballet to be recognised in so many categories. It is a testament to the hard work from our staff.” babyballet was founded in 2005.

LONGBRIDGE LAUNCH A major investment by South & City College Birmingham will put Longbridge firmly back on the map as the home of engineering, with the opening of a new study centre. The £545,000 state-of-the-art engineering centre at Bournville College – which is based in Longbridge Town Centre and is part of South & City College Birmingham – will train students in mechanical and electronical engineering. Half the funding came from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

WINNING FACES

Smart Works Birmingham, a charity that supports women back into work in the region through dressing and interview coaching services, has had a busy summer with new trustees joining the board and a relocation to Birmingham city centre. The UK-wide organisation is

Marketing manager Rebecca Halbert was named a double winner at the

now based in the Birmingham Voluntary

Future Faces Chamber of Commerce awards. Rebecca, who works at

Service Council building that is also

commercial property agency GVA, scooped the Future Face of Greater

home to a number of other charities on

Birmingham and Future Face of Sales, Marketing and Communications

Digbeth High Street.

awards at the event held at Symphony Hall. Nearly 450 people attended the

TOAST OF TOWN

evening, sponsored by Douglas Wright T/A McDonalds and Aston University.

A Knowle pub is the toast of Solihull after becoming the first in the borough to win the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) prestigious West Midlands County Pub of the Year award. The Ale Rooms in Knowle High Street beat hundreds of pubs across the region to collect the coveted award. Launched by Mark Caldicott in December 2016, the Ale Rooms was also named CAMRA’s Pub of the Year for Solihull earlier this year.

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BUSINESS BITES

GAMECHANGER

HOLDING COURT

A Birmingham-based business outsourcing provider has appointed a director to lead its new consultancy division targeted at the utilities sector. Sigma Financial Group, which has contact centres in the city’s Priory Queensway and in Redditch, has appointed Ian Parry, 43, pictured, as its new director of energy and water services. “Sigma isn’t an obvious choice for

RECORD FOR JC

consultancy advice but our new division will change that. It’s a game-changer,” said Ian.

Birmingham-based JC Social Media is celebrating its best year in business so far, recording a 23 per cent growth in revenue. The company picked up new national and international clients as the digital marketing landscape continues to offer challenges and opportunities.

PLASTIC FANTASTIC A Midlands music instrument innovator has

ASTON BOOST

been named a regional finalist in The Spectator 2018 Economic Disruptor of the Year Awards for its innovative instrument designs that have resulted in a 15 per cent increase in instrument sales. Warwick Music Group has created a family of high quality plastic brass instruments including pBone, pTrumpet and pBuzz that are sold worldwide. The company is one of only three finalists selected in the Midlands.

Well-known Birmingham business event organiser, Henrik Court, has set up his own events management business. Henrik, who was born in Moseley, worked for a number of blue-chip companies and Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce before launching TheBusinessDesk.com.

WINNING BLOW: Steven Greenall, CEO of Warwick Music Group, plays the pBone

Financial services firm, Wesleyan has pledged £250,000 to Aston University over the next five years as part of a new partnership. The partnership will encourage and develop local young people from deprived backgrounds into medicine through scholarships and funded projects.

OPEN DOOR VISIT

Edgbaston MP Preet Kaur Gill visited a top counselling service in Birmingham to discuss how the city’s mental health offering could be improved. Open Door leaders discussed with the MP plans for a campaign to encourage policy makers to invest sufficiently in mental health services in Birmingham, and to ensure patients receive the right services at the right time. Open Door has received nearly 1,500 referrals in the past 12 months, with three-quarters going on to attend counselling with the charity. It currently has 500 people on its waiting list to be helped.

LIGHTBOX MERGER Fast-growing Birmingham agency Lightbox has merged with city digital company Blake7. Lightbox was founded by entrepreneur Rob Pollard in 2005 and was crowned small business of the year at the Birmingham Awards in 2017. Social media specialist Blake7 was founded in 2017 by Birmingham businessman PJ Ellis, who also co-founded the LoveBrum charity, helping to raise money for local good causes. The company will be called Lightbox Digital and work from John Bright Street

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New events management business serves up tasty treat at Priory Club summer networking barbecue was organised by the recently launched Henrik Court Events Management at the Priory Club Birmingham. Guests, who were all introduced to each other at the start of the event, enjoyed drinks and a barbecue lunch. They also competed to win prizes donated by local venues in a free-to-enter prize draw and by taking part in three ‘activity challenges’. I

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1 Alison Tucker, Laura Goodwin. 2 Julie Maskrey, Shakeela Cumberbatch, Henrik Court, Silvia Parnaby. 3 Marie-Louise Blunn, Matt Long, Silvia Parnaby, Julie Walters. 4 Charlotte Anson, Dan Walton, Julie Maskrey, Chantall Herbert-Thomas. 5 Erica Matthews, Gayle Kelly, Holly McMullen, Kerstyn Zeslawski, Alison Tucker. 6 Kerry Volante, Claire Knapton, Clare John, Ann Terry. 7 Holly McMullen, Emma Whittaker, Ann Terry, Henrik Court.

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GOLFERS BATTLE IT OUT FOR TOP TITLE

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Second City Pro Am on course to smash charity cash record hirty-nine teams battled it out to become champions of the 52nd Second City Charity Pro Am held at Little Aston Golf Club. Spire Healthcare Heroes topped the leader board, while Danny Taylor from Robert Rock Academy took the professional prize, receiving the Dick Greenhalgh trophy. The event, sponsored for the sixth year running by Turkish Airlines, raised funds for Prostate Cancer UK and Norman Laud Association. Tournament director Jilly Cosgrove said: “Last year we raised more than £20,000 and we hope to do even better this year.” I

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1 Spire’s winning team – Jilly Cosgrove, Danny Taylor, Mark Stokes, Ashrin Pimpalnerkar, Mark Cox, Paul Bradshaw. 2 Robin Mason, Mike Cotterhill, Brian O'Reilly, Lee Barratt.

3 Wayne, Will and Rob Murcott, Kenny Connor. 4 Mark Rogers, Jasper Carrott.

5 David

Hyde. 6 Jon Ratledge, Ben Maughan, Andy Youngman, John Ratledge. 7 Andrew Willey, Ivan and Jayne Hutchings, Banaras Azam 8 Roz Deacon, Ian Wood-Smith, Mark Stokes, Adam Lewis. 9 Mike Raj, Tim and Sue Spencer, Judith Waterhouse.

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Trust and Estate Practitioners celebrate at Edgbaston ground irmingham branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) held its annual dinner at Edgbaston cricket ground. Record numbers attended the dinner, with more than 180 private client practitioners from the area celebrating the work of local private client professionals in supporting generations of families. Profits were donated to Birmingham-based charity SIFA Fireside which works with the region’s homeless and vulnerably-housed. Certificates were presented to two STEP Excellence award winners, Nerys Mai Thomas and Rita Ilias Ayed Ella. The evening was sponsored by Kin Probate and Julius Baer. I

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1 Mark Embley. 2 Excellence award winner, Nerys Mai Thomas. 3 Members of Birmingham STEP committee. 4 Patricia Wass, Sarah Wood. 5 James Gartland. 6 Terry Michael. 7 Excellence award winner, Rita Ilias Ayed Ella. 8 Peter Gosling, Sarah Wood.

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STARS TEE UP IN STYLE AT NAILCOTE THRILLER Celebrities join golf pros as huge crowds enjoy a festival of golf

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ailcote Hall was the glorious setting for another thrilling Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship. Big crowds enjoyed four days of excellent golf as the stars turned out in force, including former England rugby captain Mike Tindall, athletics star Kriss Akabusi, Harry Potter stars James and Oliver Phelps, Love Island’s Chris Hughes, former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, BBC Sport presenter Dan Walker and ex-England rugby player Austin Healey. Golfing pros on show included

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1 Brian McFadden. 2 Ian Woosnam. 3 Charley Hull. 4 Gordon Strachan 5 Jenni Falconer. 6 Dan Walker 7 Johnny Herbert. 8 William Roache. 9 Carly Booth. 10 Chris Hughes.

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13 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam and rising star of the Ladies’ European Tour and LPGA Tour, Charley Hull. Notable victories included Irish football legend Steve Staunton and former Wolves legend Don Goodman winning the Celeb-Am titles, while Steven Tiley won his first title following a dramatic final day. Evening entertainment included a gala ball and players’ banquet with the proceeds of an auction going to charity. I

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11 Tony and Astrid Jacklin. 12 Ollie and James Phelps. 13 Len Goodman. 14 Ola and James Jordan. 15 Derek and Maria Redmond. 16 Costantino Rocca. 17 Max Evans. 18 Mike Tindall.

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SOCIAL SCENE

WHISKY GALORE AT TASTING EVENING

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EDGE Creative hosts business professionals at the Jam House usiness professionals enjoyed an evening of whisky tasting organised by EDGE Creative at the Jam House, St Paul’s Square. The evening was sponsored by KLO Corporate Services and Touchpoint Employee Benefits, with Haig Club whisky courtesy of drinks sponsor Diageo. I

B

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4 6

5

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1 Alan Webb, Harry Yates, Louise Panayides, Jon Glover, Craig Mcvoy, Lydia Campbell. 2 Isabelle Copeland, Nigel Coghill. 3 Jason Simpson, Pete Hall. 4 Jacob Lloyd, Leonie Martin. Harry Vlahakis, Mark Panayides.

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5 Amir Chopra, Isabelle Copeland. 6 Iain Hall, Darren Davis,

7 Louise Panayides, Jacob Lloyd.

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ing ON il vWHAT’S

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WHAT: An Evening with Stacey Dooley WHEN: 9 October WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk Dooley has rapidly become one of BBC’s most celebrated presenters following her series of investigations covering a wide-range of topics, from sex trafficking in Cambodia to domestic violence in Honduras. She is launching her first book, On the Front Line, and may even chat about Strictly!

WHAT: Tartuffe WHEN: Starts 7 September WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk

WHAT: Art & Antiques for Everyone Winter Fair

Iqbal Khan directs a new version of Moliere’s provocative French classic, relocated to present-day Birmingham. Award-winning writers Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto create a sparkling satire set in the city’s Pakistani Muslim community.

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

WHAT: October Half Term Fun WHEN: 29 October to 2 November WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 454 1860 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Bring the whole family for some fantastic fun with loads of activities to keep the kids happy, including arts and crafts, story walks and autumn activity sheets.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Disney On Ice

WHAT: Birmingham Comedy Festival

presents Dream Big

WHEN: 5 to 14 October

WHEN: 19 to 28 October

WHERE: Various,

WHERE: Arena Birmingham,

www.bhamcomfest.co.uk

www.disneyonice.co.uk Dream Big captures all the magic and adventure of Disney’s immortal tales through cutting-edge figure skating, eye-catching costumes and stunning set designs. High-flying jumps, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make for thrilling family fun.

The annual 10-day, city-wide extravaganza returns featuring a mix of big comedy names and emerging talent. More than 50 performances include appearances by actress Joanna Lumley and Birmingham’s own Guz Khan.

WHAT: Grayson Perry

WHAT: Barbara Nice’s Raffle

WHEN: 28 October WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk The award-winning artist, Bafta-winning TV presenter, Reith Lecturer and best-selling author with traditional masculine traits including having the desire to “always be right and to overtake all other cyclists when going up big hills”.

WHEN: 13 October WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, tel: 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com Join the Kings Heath housewife superstar in a special evening of chance and luck. Uplifting award-winning comedy from the Queen of Fun.

WHAT: Horse of the Year Show WHEN: 3 to 7 October WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.hoys.co.uk One of the longest standing horse shows in the UK celebrates its 70th anniversary. More than 60,000 visitors are expected to see 1,500 competitors compete over five days in a celebration of equestrian entertainment, which includes National Showing and Showjumping championships.

WHAT: Enrique Iglesias WHEN: 27 October WHERE: Genting Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com With more than 150 million albums sales worldwide, Enrique Iglesias is one of the biggest Latin recording artist in music history. He’ll be performing all his hits live for the first time in four years.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Art with Heart: Declaration WHEN: 16 October WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk Comic and candid look at Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder that has been developed in consultation with medical professionals to challenge the stereotypes of mental health and gender; an upbeat autobiographical piece about the challenges Sarah Emmott faced.

WHAT: I INFINITE WHEN: 11 and 12 October WHERE: Warwick Arts Centre, tel: 024 7652 4524 WHAT: Private Parts Live

warwickartscentre.co.uk

WHEN: 6 October

Award-winning British choreographer Tom Dale produces a fascinating fusion of dance, music, art and design that explores the interplay between dancer, audience and the digital space.

WHERE: Old Rep Theatre, tel: 0121 359 9444 www.oldreptheatre.co.uk For the first time, TV stars Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle are performing with their live, laugh-a-minute extravaganza developed from their hit podcast. A chance to hear all the intimate and sordid details of their private lives.

WHAT: The Messiah WHEN: 18 to 27 October WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024 www.birmingham-rep.co.uk A travelling theatre troupe of two actors and an opera singer arrive by camel in the ancient town of Birmingham to masterfully enact the greatest story ever told. A hilarious Christmas comedy that conjures up the sublime, the ridiculous and the truly angelic. Stars Hugh Dennis, John Marquez and Lesley Garrett.

WHAT: Lee Mead 10 Years The Anniversary Tour WHEN: 28 October WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel: 01527 65203 www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk It’s been 10 years since the talented performer first entertained the world in the West End production of Joseph. This celebration includes songs from all the classic shows in which he has appeared in the past decade.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Becky Hill

WHAT: Shelter Winter Charity Ball

WHEN: 12 October

WHEN: 2 November

WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute,

WHERE: Nailcote Hall,

www.academymusicgroup.com/o2

tel: 02476 466174

institutebirmingham

www.nailcotehall.co.uk

After a handful of hugely successful collaborations with the likes of Wilkinson and Rudimental, the Birmingham Living cover girl is stepping in to her own spotlight and is doing so with a headline show.

A fabulous night that will help raise funds for an incredible charity that supports millions of people every year who are struggling with bad housing or homelessness.

WHAT: Jeff Lynne’s ELO WHEN: 10 to 13 October WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com More popular than ever, Jeff Lynne’s ELO has always been known for epic live shows with a distinct style that seamlessly and innovatively blends rock, pop and classical.

WHAT: Festival of the Dead WHEN: 27 October WHERE: O2 Academy, www.festivalofthedead.co.uk The hugely successful carnival-esque spectacle infused with circus, theatre and clubbing, returns to Birmingham with a spectacular show featuring a new cast of characters and otherworldly performers.

WHAT: Motown the Musical WHEN: 11 October to 3 November WHERE: New Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Thrilling tale of the man who broke barriers and fought against the odds to create something more than a record label. Discover the story of the music that made history, defined the sound of a generation and got the whole world moving to the same beat.

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IN THE CITY WITH BETH ASTINGTON, PHOTO FESTIVAL FOUNDER TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF My day job is part of the communications team at Glenn Howells Architects. I’m also the co-founder of Birmingham Photography Festival and co-director of IGers Birmingham (a photography community in the city) alongside Fraser McGee and Martin O’Callaghan, who are both freelance photographers. HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? GHA are in Digbeth and I commute via bus from Stirchley. HOW’S THE COMMUTE? Frustratingly slow at times but I try to make the most of it. I’m one of those people that’s glued to their phone for the duration of the journey – catching up on what’s going on in the world, scrolling through Instagram and Twitter, getting started on the day’s work, editing photos or doing bits for IGers/BPF. IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? I moved to Birmingham in 2014 to work at the University of Birmingham. In my experience I’ve found that it’s a great place to work with plenty of opportunities.

SNAP HAPPY:

Beth is co-founder of the inaugural Birmingham

Photography Festival which

will be held later this month

COFFEE BREAK? I’m a massive tea drinker and I’m rarely without a cup of builder’s strength tea at work. If I’m out and about then York’s always hits the spot. It’s a great vantage point for people watching too. LUNCHTIME? We have a fantastic staff canteen so I tend to eat there most days. If I venture out I try to visit new places – Asia Asia Foodhall isn’t far and is looking like a contender as a new favourite spot. POWERWALKING? Once I have my camera in my hand I’ll go literally anywhere. The only problem is that when you start considering things from a photographic angle you seem to notice so much more which does tend to get in the way of getting places! WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? Within Winterbourne House and Gardens there’s an unassuming gate that leads to Edgbaston Pool. Sitting next to the lake is beautifully quiet. It’s hard to believe how close it is to the city centre. AFTERWORK PINT? I really like the Vanguard in the JQ as they have such a talented and friendly team. The menu changes all the time so there’s always an interesting new drink to try.

The first Birmingham

Photography Festival is on

20 October, for details visit

www.birminghamphotography

festival.co.uk

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HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER? I think better collaboration would go a long way – there’s a lot of people trying to achieve the same thing but often they are competing instead of working together. Reconnecting the different parts of the city by improving pedestrian and cycle routes and wayfinding would go a long way towards making it less disjointed and more welcoming to visitors. october 2018


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October issue 2018 (issue 73)  
October issue 2018 (issue 73)  
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