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‘AMP Living’


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EDITOR’S VIEW

O

ne of TV’s greatest and most unexpected success stories aired this month for the first time six years ago. Set in the streets of Birmingham after the Great War, no one knew, or even dreamed in September 2013 that Peaky Blinders would become a UK and global phenomenon. In case you’ve been living in a cave somewhere… Peaky Blinders is the gangster family epic which centres on a gang in 1911 Brum who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps. Their boss is the fearsome Tommy Shelby played with suitably sinister darkness by leading actor Cillian Murphy. I well remember when the show launched, friends asking me: “Did you see that great gangster programme last night on TV?” Then it became: “You really must see Peaky Blinders, it’s awesome.” What started as word-of-mouth recommendation, grew into compulsive TV viewing and then multi-millionpound trans-Atlantic and world domination. And all thanks to its creator and writer, Steven Knight. This month, we spoke with Steven as he prepared to bring the first Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival to Digbeth, transforming the historic streets and alleys into all-things Peaky. Expect lots of tweed, plenty of swagger, cast members and a Q&A with Steven himself, plus loads of top live music. Like so many great screen stories, Peaky is based in fact with Steven inspired to write the drama after hearing about the post-war gangs as a kid in Small Heath. He says his dad’s uncle was a peaky blinder and he was “terrified and in awe at the same time. Kids like to glamorise things and it all sounded like the wild west to me.” Steven tells the full story in this month’s must-read cover interview with our own Shelley Carter.

s n h o J d Davi

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

Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight

/bhamliving

FINALIST

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

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

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

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

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g n i liv

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INSIDE

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Highlights

Steven Knight

Bringing the Peaky Blinders phenomenon home to Digbeth, and his real-life gangster ancestry

Holly Matthews How personal tragedy turned TV soap star into a ‘no-bullshit’ life development coach

Food & Drink Head chef Harvey Perttola, plus recipes, reviews and Rob Price’s best Burgundys guide

Style We’re getting in step and picking our fave new footwear as summer changes to autumn

Health Suntan fading? Skin starting to peel? Expert advice to get your complexion back into shape

Homes Are you ready for the big switch on? Our guide to the latest lighting trends is illuminating…

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CONTENTS

Best of the Rest

60 64 66 69 78 82 september 2019

Young, Gifted and Brummie

Ballet Black’s Ebony Thomas ‘comes home’ to dance with Birmingham Royal Ballet

Up Close WithÁ Henrietta Brealey, Birmingham Chambers of Commerce director of policy and relationships

Business Feature From one shop in Stratford to 40 galleries across the UK – the inspiring rise of Castle Fine Art

Business News Round-up from the commercial community, plus our Social Scene networking pages

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

In The City The 4.30am alarm call with BBC WM’s Sunday Breakfast presenter, Llewela Bailey

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MAKING WAVES NEWS

A festival featuring a new collection of spectacular ocean-themed films is splashing down. The Ocean Film Festival World Tour arrives at Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre on 25 September and Malvern’s Forum Theatre on 5 October. The films tell seafaring stories from both above and below the water’s surface with mind-blowing marine life, wild

NEWS

adventures and stunning cinematography – all on the big screen! Watch the trailer and book tickets at www.oceanfilmfestival.co.uk

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

£3M WORK STARTS AT RSC

Building has started on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s restoration and redevelopment of its Costume Workshop in Stratford-upon-Avon. The work comes after the RSC’s Stitch In Time fund-raising campaign hit its £3million target to support the project on Waterside. More than 30,000 people supported the appeal which was launched in 2017. They included actor Sir Ian McKellen, pictured, who donated profits from his one-man show to the theatre. The site will re-open in summer 2020.

ON THE BALL David Moyes was on the ball when he won the Celeb-Am title at the 2019 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, hosted by British golf legend Tony Jacklin at Warwickshire’s Nailcote Hall. The former Everton and Manchester United manager’s score of two under par took victory ahead of Scottish actor Craig McGinlay and former Aston Villa footballer Lee Hendrie. The professional tournament was won by European Tour winner, Sweden’s Jarmo Sandelin.

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NEWS

DR LAURA’S TRIBUTE

Singer and composer Laura Mvula paid a moving tribute when she received an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University for her outstanding contribution to music. Laura, a music composition graduate, was joined at the Symphony Hall ceremony by fellow honorary doctor and Brummie, Sir Lenny Hendry, watched by an audience of music and art graduates. In her acceptance speech, the Sing to the Moon star referenced her musical journey and paid a tearful tribute to her parents and family.

IN THE PINK Picture: Joe Bailey

Grease was the word when a 1959 pink Cadillac cruised into Birmingham. The

Caddy surprised visitors at Brindleyplace, including newlyweds who enjoyed some

GIANTS OF THE CIRCUS

Summer Lovin’ when they stopped to

The Golden Age of Circus is coming to Brum – complete with giant puppet

have their photo taken just minutes

elephants! Queenie and Peanut take to the stage as one of the dazzling new acts

after tying the knot. The car drove into

from around the globe when Circus 1903 visits Birmingham

town to mark performances of the hit

Hippodrome from Friday 25 October to Saturday 2 November. The elephants are

musical at Birmingham Hippodrome

operated by a team of top UK puppeteers. Circus 1903 also features aerial

which included Peter Andre and Ore

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

performers, jugglers and acrobats. Ticket details: birminghamhippodrome.com

Oduba in a star-studded cast.

Seven women from the West Midlands have been

named in Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling. Ronica Syed, Ann-Marie Bathmaker, Gabrielle Key, Donna McDonald and Lisa Jones all from Birmingham, Julie Batten from Solihull and and Mel Nicholls originally from Worcester were all included for their work encouraging women to cycle. They join Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey and triple Olympic medallist Victoria Pendleton in the list of significant achievements in promoting women’s cycling.

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NEWS

CLASS OF ’19 STEPS UP Ballet stars of the future from Birmingham’s ‘Class of 2019’ are set to take to stages in the UK and around the world. Graduates of Elmhurst Ballet School, the associate school of Birmingham Royal Ballet, will join a long list of Elmhurst alumni who are working in professional dance settings both nationally and internationally. Destinations for graduates include BRB, Northern Ballet and companies in the US, Ireland and across Europe.

DATE WITH THE KING

One of theatre’s greatest musicals is set to bring a festive feast of entertainment to Brum. Fresh from sell-out seasons on Broadway and at the London Palladium, The King and I will visit the Alexandra Theatre as part of its international tour between 10 December and 4 January. The multiTony Ward-winning production, starring Jose Llana as the King and Annalene Beechey as Anna, will also be performing in Tokyo, India, Taiwan, Zurich, Sydney, Manila, Singapore and Hong Kong.

MAILBOX SUCCESS The annual Taste of Mailbox event was a huge success with thousands of visitors enjoying a weekend of special culinary treats with complimentary food sampling and interactive cocktail sessions. Special guests including Birmingham Michelin-star chef Brad Carter who wowed audiences as he took up residency in the premium Kitchen Gallery to offer visitors an exclusive masterclass.

WEEKEND OF CULTURE Birmingham Weekender is returning with free performances in Digbeth from 4 to 6 October. Produced by Culture Central, the collaboration between individual artists and small and large regional arts organisations features dance, music, theatre, exhibitions and participatory activities. The programme takes place in cultural venues, galleries, bars, cafes and outdoor public spaces across Digbeth and in Southside. More details: www.birminghamweekender.com

Picture: Verity Milligan

RISING STARS Two talented teenagers are being given the chance to break into the world of music after being named ‘rising stars’. Amelia Waldron, 14, and Amiyah Goodall, 18, won their age groups at the annual Sutton Has Musical Talent competition. Amiyah also took the overall title. Their prize is a day at Priory Studios where they can record, mix and master a song. The competition is part of Sutton Coldfield’s Month of Music festival.

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HOMELESS HELP

PEAK ACHIEVEMENT Three local causes joined forces to host a brunch and Snowdon climb for residents of Birmingham’s first permanent night shelter. Evolve, the Digbeth social enterprise cafe that provides work for young people facing barriers to employment, hosted the brunch for residents of Tabor House, ahead of them embarking on a team climb of Mount Snowdon. Volunteers from Let’s Feed Brum led the way for the trekkers as well as providing snacks and water to keep them going.

IN BRIEF ON YOUR MARKS, RARE ART SHOW Picasso, Pacheco, Auerbach and Bomberg are among artists whose rare works feature in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s new free exhibition – Thoughts on Portraiture – which runs until 18 November. Details: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/b mag/whats-on/thoughts-onportraiture.

READY TO GULP! Midlands theatre group, the Bone Ensemble has been awarded nearly £45,000 of Arts Council lottery funding to stage Gulp! – a new show which follows a child’s journey as she learns more about the wider world. Gulp! opens at MAC Birmingham on 28 September before going on national tour.

BIRMINGHAM!

Birmingham rock and roll fine dining restaurant, The Wilderness, and ethical clothing brand Punks & Chancers, have teamed up to raise money for local homeless charity SIFA Fireside. Punks and Chancers, known for their iconic YES BAB t-shirts, have

Birmingham 2022 marked the three-year countdown to the Commonwealth Games with a special celebration and a pledge to make it ‘the Games For Everyone’. Dubbed the Commonwealth Social, the free event of sport, culture and food brought together Team England athletes, local businesses and community leaders, Games representatives and residents. Also attending was Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

YOU’VE GOTTA LAUGH

worked with The Wilderness to create a NO BAB t-shirt with the message ‘no to homelessness’. For every t-shirt sold £5 is donated to SIFA Fireside’s Digbeth centre. The tees have already raised more than £500.

Birmingham Comedy is back for 10 days of great

laughs at various venues in the city from Friday 4 to Sunday 13 October. Headline acts include James Acaster whose previous shows have earned him five

TRUST BIRTHDAY

Best Comedy Show nominations at the Edinburgh

The Prince’s Trust celebrated a year in its purpose-built centre in Digbeth with an afternoon of activities, including a rap performance, art installation and robotic workshop. Since opening, Trust staff have worked with more than 3,000 young people across the city.

Fringe. The Last Leg’s Josh Widdicombe, ‘German

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Comedy Ambassador’ Henning Wehn, broadcaster Jonathan Pie and Reginald D Hunter are also appearing. They’re joined by Comedy Central’s Impractical Jokers, while local

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

acts include Samantha Pressdee.

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COVER STORY

PLAYING A BLINDER

STEVEN KNIGHT TALKS TO SHELLEY CARTER ABOUT BRINGING WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON PEAKY BLINDERS HOME TO DIGBETH, HIS REAL-LIFE GANGSTER ANCESTRY AND HIS VISION FOR STUDIO SPACE IN THE CITY

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COVER STORY

teven Knight hasn’t exactly put Birmingham on the map, it was pretty cool already for those in the know, but Peaky Blinders has given it global appeal in spades. This month, Digbeth’s historic streets and alleys will be transformed into all things Peaky in the first Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival. Expect an influx of tweed, significant swagger, cast members, a Q&A with Steven himself and a top music line up across five stages. Primal Scream, Anna Calvi and Mike Skinner are along for the ride among others. There’s also a ‘very special secret guest’ due to appear who Steven refuses to reveal when we chat, but he assures us ‘it’s good’. We believe him. You see where Peaky Blinders is concerned, people just say yes.

S

ALWAYS DIGBETH Steven was approached about the event by festival director John Empson and thought it sounded like a winner. There was never any conversation about where in Birmingham it should be held. It was always Digbeth. He says: “I love Digbeth and nowhere on the planet would fit the bill more.” After all, it was one of the Peakys old stomping grounds. The best people in each area of the festival are involved such as immersive theatre specialists Dank Parish as well as Rambert who’ve created a bespoke Peaky Blinders ballet for the event, so fans are in for a massive treat. But did Steven ever in a gazillion years expect this level of global fandom and critical acclaim – let’s not forget the 2018 BAFTA win for Best Drama against some top-notch competition among a plethora of other awards? He says: “No one could have predicted this success. I met a Peaky Blinders fan in Panama who told me he was working to save up to go to Birmingham!” Netflix has catapulted the drama across the globe. UNCLE PEAKY A family connection to the real-life Peaky Blinders set the wheels in motion for the worldwide phenomenon. Steven explains: “When I was a kid in Small Heath I’d hear stories about these gangs. Dad’s uncle was a peaky blinder and he was terrified and in awe at the same time. Kids like to glamorise things and it sounded like the wild west to me.”

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COVER STORY

We’re up to series five and I wonder how the writing stays fresh? “I always had a destination in mind which helps. We start at the end of the first world war and take it to the beginning of the second world war,” explains Steven. So, series seven will be the last. He adds: “With TV there’s so much time to tell a story. There’s 30 hours of screen time with Peaky, so it’s almost like writing a novel.” The cinematic quality of Peaky is incredible and its dark, brooding styling is integral. “There is a house style for Peaky. It’s like heightened reality and the cinematic feel is partly down to the fact that TVs have changed. Fifteen years ago screens were crap. Now most people have big, flat screens that look great, so you can create more cinematic shows.” BOOKIE MUM Steven’s a proper Brummie with a strong connection to the city. As well as his Peaky ancestry, his mum was a bookies runner in Small Heath and remembers carrying a basket of washing down the street as a child into which hopeful punters would hide their bets which she’d then drop off at the book maker. He champions his home town not only through Peaky. “Part of the intention of Peaky was to push Birmingham. Historically it was the workshop of the world outperforming Chicago and Detroit in terms of output. Times have changed and I wanted to change the media perception. There’s no reason we can’t excel in terms of technology and media.”

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Steven’s aiming to launch affordable studio space in Digbeth which he compares to Lower Manhattan’s Tribeca before its rise thanks to its creative vibe. “People are doing their thing in Digbeth and exciting things will follow.” He adds: “Studio space is like gold dust. What people in the industry need is good space, great infrastructure and a willingness to close the odd road for filming.” Birmingham’s got the lot. Steven reckons HS2 will be massive for the city. He says: “Forty-nine minutes from London puts Birmingham in the equivalent of zone 5 in the capital.” AND ANOTHER THING… Of course Steven is more than Peaky Blinders. After graduating in English Literature he did a bit of copywriting followed by comedy which he says teaches you to be disciplined. He created Who Wants to be a Millionaire now a worldwide franchise. Other work includes thriller Dirty Pretty Things, Locke starring Tom Hardy, Serenity with Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey and TV smash, Taboo among many other projects. For now, Steven’s focused on his home town and is hugely excited about the festival. What makes Brum so beloved? He says: “The city is the people and the people here are great.” Amen. I

BY ORDER OF THE PEAKY BLINDERS The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival is on Saturday and Sunday, 14 and 15 September. For festival tickets and information visit www.aegpresents.co.uk/home/peakyblinders

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FEATURE

POSITIVELY HOLLY TRAGEDY TURNED ACTRESS HOLLY MATTHEWS’ WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. SHE TELLS DAVID JOHNS HOW SHE REFASHIONED AND

RECHARGED HER LIFE TO BECOME AN INSPIRATIONAL VLOGGER, SPEAKER AND ‘NO-BULLSHIT’ DEVELOPMENT COACH

ife could hardly have been better for TV star Holly Matthews. After starting her acting career at the age of 11 and being part of award-winning kids TV show Byker Grove for seven years, Holly went on to appear in Waterloo Road, The Bill, Doctors and Casualty, among others. She was also a regular of stage, films and radio. Then Holly’s life was turned upside down and her world changed forever when husband Ross was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Despite two-and-a-half years of gruelling surgery and treatment, Ross – son of ex-Aston Villa footballer Andy Blair – passed away just two weeks after his birthday in 2017. He was 32.

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HAPPY ME PROJECT With two young daughters, Brooke and Texas, Holly had a decision to make. Them or acting. It was no contest. “I pulled back from acting to be the mum that my girls needed,” she said. “There was no headspace for acting in my life.” Yet… in the way that these things are supposed to work out, from tragedy came hope – and a whole new career and life for Holly as an inspirational self-development coach. After Ross’s death, Holly launched the Happy Me Project online and has toured the UK with motivational workshops and seminars. Her Bossing It academy has run coaching courses of six, eight and 12 weeks. She is also a paid vlogger creating content for Channel Mum. She has been asked to blog for founder Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post. And her YouTube channel has more than 2.5million views. She has also been a regular spreading her motivational messages on daytime TV with the likes of Lorraine Kelly. YOUTUBE SMASH “Sometimes I don’t realise quite how I fit everything in to my time,” said Holly. “I am the mum on the school run, I run workshops in places like Manchester and

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

Nottingham, I do interviews with local radio, press interviews, film and create content for my YouTube channel and I’ve just started writing a new book.” (She has already co-authored two books which are Amazon best-sellers.) Holly adds: “I’ve never worked in a structured job – with acting it is always feast or famine. I think I have a naturally entrepreneurial mind and as an actor I always worked in self-development and got used to always bouncing back. I was what I guess you could call a closet meditator. I was doing it all intuitively. These days people are more aware of the mind, its health and development.” Holly will be part of an inspirational line-up of speakers at the inaugural Being Well Festival at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena next month. The free-to-attend event aims to promote happier and healthier lives by educating people about their health and general wellness. UNBREAKABLE MOTTO In typically direct fashion, Holly calls herself ‘actress, vlogger, speaker and no-bullshit development coach’. She says: “I adore helping people see their own potential and live a life where they can be free to choose. I want to show you that life can be tough and yet it can be amazing at the

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same time. It just depends on how you look at it.” When we spoke to Holly she was just launching a range of necklaces with Mantra Jewellery in Leamington Spa, in gold, rose gold or silver each bearing on a bar of metal the word ‘Unbreakable’. A visible and constant reminder of positivity to the wearer and all those around her. Holly is well aware that what she does could be seen by some as almost evangelical, but she says: “I’m not into that American guru stuff, it’s not about me. The Being Well Festival allows me to be very straight-talking and because it is a free event, allows me to reach people who haven’t experienced this kind of thing.” Holly says creating a good life for herself and her daughters is “what I live and breathe every day”. And she adds: “That doesn’t mean tough stuff isn’t happening. It means looking the tiger in the eye, facing life head-on and choosing happiness regardless.” I See Holly and other speakers, including BBC Midlands Satnam Rana who has battled breast cancer, at Being Well Festival, Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 24 October. Free to attend, more details at www.beingwellfestival.co.uk More details about Holly’s courses and UK dates at www.iamhollymatthews.com

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FOOD & DRINK

HARVEY PERTTOLA The head chef at Maribel talks about the British and Punjabi influences in his minimalist style of cuisine and his passion for bringing approachable fine dining to a younger audience – trainers and all!

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CHEF’S CORNER Tell us about your cooking I’d describe it as a combination of modern British cuisine with Punjabi influences. My style is inspired by my heritage and my experience, using garden-led British produce, from my time at Hampton Manor. I use only the best quality produce, letting perfectly paired ingredients speak for themselves. There will be only two or three elements on the plate – sleek and simple. Something I’m really passionate about is making fine dining more accessible to a younger audience. Since taking on the role as head chef at Maribel, I’ve worked with the team to craft a menu that is not only more approachable, but also has a price point to reflect that. A top dining experience isn’t about wearing a suit and tie. You can rock up in your trainers and be welcomed here with open arms. How did you become a chef? Alongside my school studies, I worked for David Colcombe at Opus during the weekends, before being offered a full-time position. David’s influence has shaped the chef I am today – he bought me my first pair of chef shoes! He taught me the importance of trust and discipline – not only in the kitchen but also in life. Now 10 years later and a head chef myself, I owe David so much for putting me on the right path. What do you eat when at home? The women in my family have had a huge influence on my love for cooking. As a child, I would watch my grandma cook, creating home-style traditional food that fed our whole family. My favourite meal has to be her chicken curry. The recipe is secret – the amount of times I’ve tried to recreate it and failed is ridiculous! Something I shouldn’t admit, but am going to anyway, is that I am also partial to a McDonald’s every now and then...

Cook with Harvey: visit www.brumliving.co.uk for Harvey’s recipe for his tasty monkfish, broccoli and brown shrimp dish.

you will achieve success. The Midlands culinary scene is thriving, there are tons of chefs I look up to that I could mention. To pick one, Rob Palmer at Hampton Manor is someone who has been instrumental in my career. I really admire the culture he’s created and how he really made the team feel like a family. Is the customer always right? Within reason… Share a cooking tip Big pot blanching. Food heaven and food hell? Again, I hate to admit it but my food heaven has got to be a Big Mac. Hell is tinned fish… it’s just so wrong! What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? It’s got to be a fish eye, which wasn’t by choice!

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? At school I loved anything to do with history, so Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s probably something that involves that. the best in Brum? Best in the world for me has to be Gordon Ramsay. His core values and dedication are something that I like What do you recommend from this evening’s menu? It’s got to be the monkfish dish from the a la carte to align myself with. For years I’ve watched and menu. I admired him. I watched Boiling Point, where he opened his first restaurant on Royal Hospital Road, Maribel, 6 Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2JB. Tel: 0121 633 4944 London and that programme was a real eye-opener and maribelrestaurant.co.uk showed me that it’s not always going to be a smooth ride but if you put in the hours and dedicate yourself,

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SEASON’S EATINGS

APPLE TARTE TATIN It’s a classic dessert favourite, and British apple season makes it the perfect time to try this great recipe

A

pple season is here! With such a massive variety of taste and texture on offer – there are more than 7,000 varieties – there’s something to suit everyone. So, as the nights draw in why not indulge in this glorious, sticky sweet toffee-topped classic… Add the sugar to either a flameproof 20cm ceramic dish or a heavy-based, oven-

Ingredients

 300g all-butter puff pastry

 2lb of dessert apples (Cox or Braeburn are usually considered best), peeled, cored and quartered

 100g golden caster sugar

 60g of diced, chilled unsalted butter  25g melted unsalted butter  Plain flour

proof frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Cook for five minutes or so, until the sugar turns a dark amber caramel syrup that’s starting to smoke. Turn off the heat and stir in the diced chilled butter. Arrange the apple quarters very tightly in a circle around the edge of the dish, rounded-side down, then fill in the middle in a similar fashion. Gently press so there are no gaps then brush with the melted butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/160C fan for 30 minutes, then remove and top with the disc of frozen puff pastry. As it thaws, tuck the edges down the inside of the dish and, with a knife, prick a few holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Method

Bake for a further 40 to 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick round and cut a 24cm circle, using

Allow to cool to room temperature before running a knife around the edge of the

a plate as a guide. Lightly prick with a fork, wrap in cling film on

dish and turning over on to a serving plate that is deep enough to contain the juices.

a baking sheet and then freeze while preparing the apples.

Serve with a high quality ice cream of your choice (can’t beat vanilla!).

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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

FULL OF BEANS AT NEW STREET Speciality coffee roaster 200 Degrees has opened its second coffee shop in central

FUSION AND FLAMINGOS

Birmingham, offering handcrafted coffee and tasty food to the busy area surrounding New

A new pan-Asian/Western fusion

Street station. Following the success of its Colmore Row shop in the heart of the business

restaurant is opening at the Arcadian this

district which opened in 2016, the new 65-seater

month. Rozu Restaurant is situated in a

Lower Temple Street coffee shop is located in the Victorian setting of the former Midland Hotel. It is the company’s tenth coffee shop to

AWARD-WINNER FOR THE JQ

open since 2014.

Syrian coffee shop group

Damascena is opening a new branch in the Jewellery Quarter. Located at Warstone Lane, it will be the group’s fourth shop after starting off with a branch in Moseley Village five years ago. Damascena was voted Best Independent Coffee Shop at the Midlands Food Drink Hospitality Awards this year.

‘VANAKKAM’ TO SELFRIDGES

2,746 sq ft first-floor unit, next to Teppanyaki. The 80-cover restaurant will

Selfridges Birmingham is saying Vanakkam, or

serve high-quality food and have an

welcome in Tamil, to a new South Indian restaurant.

upmarket cocktail lounge. The décor

Ooty Station, on Level 1 in the shopping complex, serves

features a lavish pink and green interior, flowered ceilings and flamingos. The

diners authentic cuisine from South India, created by Manmeet Singh Bali, a former head chef at two Michelin-

opening means the Arcadian is now fully

star restaurants Rasoi and Vineet Bhatia London – VBL.

let for the first time in a number of years.

Specialties at Ooty Station, named after a small

VEGAN MENU AT WING WAH

town in the Nilgiri mountains, include

Birmingham’s award-winning Wing Wah restaurant has launched a new vegan and vegetarian menu. Masala Dosa. Tasty starters include mixed vegetable yuk sun, crispy spring rolls, deep-fried vegetarian wontons and crispy golden cucumber crepes. There are fantastic soups such as eggless sweetcorn soup and tofu and mushroom soup. There’s even a mock duck pancake wrap with hoi sin sauce – replicating an all-time favourite Chinese dish. There are also mock beef, lamb, poultry and seafood main courses using a bean-based ingredient. Chettinad Chicken and Traditional

LEO THE LUGGAGE ON THE CASE Jurys Inn Birmingham has had a busy summer – raising money for local charity, Birmingham Mind. The hotel team took to the road with mascot, Leo The Luggage, for a sponsored cycle and run. They also hosted a Great Jurys Bake Off and charity games. The hotel will continue to fund-raise to raise more cash for Birmingham Mind. Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK & Ireland aims to raise a total of £70,000 through the charity challenge.

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COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

SMOKY MARY A brilliant, locally produced smoked rum gives an old favourite a great twist

ack in October 2018 we featured the story of Katherine Jenner and her husband Harry who plucked success from disaster after their family’s toffee apple business was destroyed by a terrible fire. Together they launched Burning Barn Rum in Eastcote and the brand’s success continues to grow apace. This month they’ve come up with this great cocktail which delivers a perfect twist on an old time favourite by using their brilliant smoked rum. Try it and you’ll love it. As always, enjoy responsibly. I

B

ALL YOU NEED TO MIX IT UP BEAUTIFULLY INGREDIENTS:

I 2 parts BBR Smoked Rum I 4 parts tomato juice

I ½ part fresh lime juice

I 4 dashes of Worcester Sauce, 4 dashes Tabasco (or to taste) I Twist of black pepper

I Garnish? Go big or go home!

METHOD: Mix all the ingredients together, serve over ice and wait for the lip-smacking to commence.

To find out more about Burning Barn Rum and its range of craft rums, visit www.burningbarnrum.com

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LUNCHSPOT

COMPTOIR LIBANAIS Grand Central, Birmingham, B2 4BF. Tel: 0121 667 3160 comptoirlibanais.com chool holidays. Lunch. What to do? My kids are creatures of habit and if we’re in Brum around lunchtime they hanker after Yo Soshi, or more recently Tonkotsu. But in the interest of introducing them to new stuff we headed to Comptoir Libanais for a bit of Middle Eastern tucker. Firstly, the decor is one of the most Instagrammable in the city, up there with the Ivy and Tattu, and the staff are just perfect. Warm, helpful, happy and just the right amount of attentive. We slurped iced fresh rose mint tea which was very sweet but delicious while we got to grips with the menu. Speaking of which, it’s extensive and there’s definitely something for everyone even for meat-free moi. A mixed mezze platter seemed a good starting point although we realised we’d over-ordered pretty quickly as this was a meal in itself. A plate heaving with houmous, baba ghanuj, quinoa tabbouleh, falafel, lebna, cheese samboussek (think mini cheesy pasties), flatbread and pickles (cucumbers, fuchsia pink turnips marinated in beetroot juice and mild green chillies) appeared. It was brilliant. Granted I was more of a fan of the tabbouleh than the small people, but what do they know? It was packed with flavour, fresh herbs and a ton of your five a day. Loved it. Houmous and flatbread, falafel, baba ghanuj and lebna went down a treat with big and small people. The only weak link was the samboussek which had little or no filling. The kids

S

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improvised and used them as a vehicle to scoop up lebna into their hungry mouths. If you’re a carnivore, I suspect the mixed grill and lamb dishes are tremendous and looking round the buzzing restaurant on a Monday lunchtime – yes buzzing on a Monday – it all looked cracking. I went for a spinach fatayer which was an enormous round pie essentially filled with spinach, feta, molasses, pine nuts and middle eastern spicing. I loved it although after the mezze feast it was a bit much. The accompanying fattoush salad was zingy, fresh and everything you want from a side dish. One of the rugrats ordered a harissa spiced chicken taouk burger which she enjoyed hugely. It was probably more spiced than she’s used to, but she devoured it. The Lebanese potatoes it came with were properly good – think roasties, but gently spiced. Number two ordered something pretty similar, chicken taouk wrap with marinated grilled chicken breast, garlic sauce, pickled cucumber and tomato which was really tasty. The flavours in every dish were big and the over-riding impression of the place, including the décor, was bold in the best possible way. Dessert really wasn’t an option as we’d eaten our own body weight in tahini, however we took a box of baklava home for later which we thoroughly recommend. The fact the place was packed on a Monday lunchtime speaks volumes. We’ll be back. I

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FOOD & DRINK

UNDERSTANDING BURGUNDY ROB PRICE DEMYSTIFIES ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST

COMPLEX WINES AND SELECTS HIS PICKS OF THE MONTH

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FOOD & DRINK

hat did the Romans ever do for us? Or Napoleon for France? Well, I’m not really sure, but what I do know is that Napoleon didn’t help much when it comes to understanding wines from Burgundy. His laws of inheritance, dating back to the late 18th century, meant that most vineyards have been divided several times over, with multiple owners, leading to lots of different producers making wine from the same vineyard. Coupled with a very complex categorisation of vineyards, this makes Burgundy wines the most difficult to understand in France, and maybe in the world, although the Italians run it pretty close!

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4

SIMPLE START So, let’s start with the simple stuff. Burgundy white wine is made with Chardonnay and red wine is made with Pinot Noir. So, all regions that are part of Burgundy, such as Chablis (chardonnay only) Cotes Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and key villages like Beaune,

ROB’S

TO TRY

Chablis Uvc. Chardonnay 2016 – From the most northerly part of Burgundy, so the coolest, resulting in a wine, crisp, dry and fresh, great minerality, and length. £15 from Tesco. Jacques Saumaize, Chardonnay 2015, St Veran – Comes from a village very close to Pouilly Fuisse, so different to the Chablis. This Veran is full and rich, a little toasty, and with lashings of butter, very delicious. £17.50 from the Wine Society. Saint-Romain, Vieilles Vignes, 2015 Girardin Pere et Fils, Pinot Noir – An excellent village close to Cote de Beaune. This is smooth and silky, lovely red fruits, with some

Pouilly Fuisse, only use these two grape varieties. The heart land of Burgundy is the Cote D’or – split into two main areas, the northern part is Cote de Nuits where most of the Grand cru red is located, and at its best unequalled by any wine in the world, but at a price. The southern part is Cote de Beaune where most of the Grand cru white hails from, equally brilliant and expensive! NOT SO EASY Now it becomes more complicated. It is the soil and the vineyard location (terroir – the French call it) that confers the status to each vineyard. Grand cru is at the top, accounting for only about two per cent of all wine produced but with legendary names such as Montrachet and Chambertin, these are the wines of kings – they’re the only ones that can afford them. So well known are these wines you’ll only see the name of the Grand cru vineyard on the label. You are supposed to know it’s a Grand cru! Next is Premier cru, with about 15 per cent, these wines are essentially village wines but from the better vineyards – called climats. They will almost certainly have Premier cru or 1er cru on their label. LOWEST LEVEL Then come village or commune wines from vineyards that are not designated Premier Cru. They make up around 30 per cent of all wines made. The lowest level of these wines are regional/district wines and the way of identifying them is that they always have Bourgogne on their label. All higher categories do not. So Burgundy wines can be frustrating to understand, challenging and expensive to drink, but they are worth pursuing. Try my four recommendations for starters… I

black cherry and hints of spice. Try with soft cheese, like Camembert. Waitrose sells for £23.49.

Birmingham Wine School is an independent wine education company

Pommard 1er Cru, Les Epenots 2009 Joseph Voillot – This

offering fun, informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit

Premier cru Pinot Noir from the excellent 2009 vintage is everything

Education Trust (WSET) courses in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, and

you want in a top-quality Burgundy. Fresh, balanced, wild berries

Warwick. NEW Café Rouge evenings! Contact Rob Price: 0121 270

and wonderful complexity. £74 from Davy’s wine merchant.

7359, or visit www.birminghamwineschool.com

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

SIMPSONS

20 Highfield Road, Birmingham, B15 3DU. Tel: 0121 454 3434 simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk kay so we’ve been to Simpsons a lot and the mother-in-law who is most definitely in the ladies who lunch camp is there at least once a fortnight it seems. However, we’ve never taken the children – until now. They’re used to nice restaurants so it’s not that we don’t trust them to behave, it’s just never come up. So, when Grandma’s birthday coincided with the seven-week school hols we thought we’d give it a whirl en famille. Let’s be clear, I wouldn’t advise taking your toddlers. It’s not a colouring and crayons sort of gaff. It’s a Michelinstarred, classy – not stuffy – wonderful place to eat. A jewel in Brum’s culinary crown, no question. We thought the kids were big enough (11 and 12) and appreciative enough (fingers crossed) to enjoy it. Even in classy restaurants the children’s menu can lack invention and attention, but here the kids were treated like customers not an afterthought. When the amuse-bouche arrived the kids were included which was a nice touch I hadn’t expected. Leek oil with lamb stock slurped from little cups and a crisp salty ham hock bon-bon with a sweet pea puree were both stunning and a great start. All of the grown-up food was superb as always, so we’re focusing on the kids and this was the best children’s menu of any we’ve tried. A starter of crispy squid was crunchy, flavour-packed and beautifully served in a scallop shell. Number one absolutely loved it. Number two plumped for a little pot of unctuous, moreish macaroni cheese which was apparently even better than dad’s. High praise.

O

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Both girls went for the same main course – not a fish finger in sight. Chicken breast with pomme puree, broccoli and chicken jus. Not just plonked on a plate, the pomme puree was piped and the perfect chicken breast was served with a little jug of delicious gravy which they both enjoyed enormously. Dessert was a gorgeous Eton mess for one and a topnotch chocolate brownie for number two. Seriously what’s not to love? It was a massive success all round and the kids keep asking when we’ll be going to Simpsons again. And in case you’re wondering… the restaurant didn’t know we were coming and we paid for our meal, so there was no special treatment – except special at Simpsons seems pretty much standard whatever your age judging by this experience. I

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From only ÂŁ25

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ing livSTYLE

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HELLO AUTUMN

Fifth Avenue brown ankle boot £54.99, Deichmann

ALL THE LEAVES WHILE YOU’VE BEEN BOBBING ABOUT ON AN INFLATABLE IN THE AEGEAN, WE’VE BEEN TRAWLING THE SHOPS PICKING OUT OUR FAVE FOOTWEAR FOR THE IMPENDING AUTUMN 34 birmingham living

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STYLE

RUST RED

Cross over strap heels £30, Dorothy Perkins

KNEE HIGH

Boots and clothing by Joe Brown

BERRY GOOD

Principles berry croc court £29, Debenhams, Bullring

TOP PICK

Mock croc studded boot £99.50, Oliver Bonas, Harborne High Street

e love feeling sand between our toes as much as the next person, but we also relish the coolness of autumn. Chic, cosy, rich, classic, structured – this season makes us coo in the same way Strictly Come Dancing, Malbec and a roaring log fire does. All the autumn feels. Pull out your cooler weather clobber and really look at what you have. Waste not want not is our mantra every month, both for the environment and the bank balance. Do you really need five pairs of knee-high tan leather

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INVESTMENT PIECE

Christian Louboutin Marchacroche £845, Selfridges

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STYLE

boots even if they do have differing heel types and detailing? Asking for a friend. Assess what you have and what might slot into your existing wardrobe adding a bit of excitement. If it’s an investment piece you’re after, you cannot beat Selfridges level four. On the high street, Hobbs does boots wonderfully and we’ve never failed to be impressed by at least a handful of pieces in Dune plus a brand we’ve never shopped before, Diechmann is well worth checking out. Happy to admit we might be late to that particular shoe themed party. Oliver Bonas has come up trumps too with a brilliant mock croc studded cowboy boot (pictured) that launches this month. It’s gone straight to the top of the wish list. Mock croc is pretty much everywhere in various autumnal hues as well as black. In addition to the soon-to-be-ours Oliver Bonas mock croc boot, Dr Martens’ eight-eye lace-up version is a timeless stunner. Here’s what we found. I

WELL HEELED

Point court shoe £38, V by Very

SEVENTIES STYLE

Heeled sandal £40, Dorothy Perkins

LOAFING AROUND

Lucinda loafers £55, White Stuff, Cannon Street

FANCY FOOTWEAR

Shoes and clothing by Dorothy Perkins

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STYLE FEEL THE FLARE

Faith flared heel boot £62, Debenhams, Bullring

TAKE A HIKE

Jamie hiker boot £229, Hobbs, Grand Central

BOOT CAMP

Dr Martens Elsham eight-eye croc-effect boots £135, Selfridges

MOCK CROC

Graceland crocodile lace-up boot £29.99, Diechmann

MINIMUM FUSS

Black leather boot £80, Oasis, New Street

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STYLE

OVER IT

Imogen over the knee boot £329, Hobbs, Grand Central

MADE FOR WALKING

Suzie mid-high boot £120, White Stuff, Cannon Street

WALKIES

Boots and clothing by Hobbs

CAMEL TOES

Anthena £78, Dune, Bullring

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BUCKLE UP

Burgundy faux patent buckle biker boot £35.99, New Look, Fort Shopping Park

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STYLE

AUTUMN COLOURS

Boots and clothing by Dorothy Perkins

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BEAUTY UPDATE STYLE

1

After trips abroad and a stint surfing in Cornwall – thanks be to the beauty Gods for Bumble and Bumble – we’re back to reality and ready to boost our regime for the autumn. Here’s what we discovered this month 1. LANCER YOUNGER REVEAL MASK INTENSE – £210, SPACE NK (AT THE TIME OF WRITING REDUCED TO £84) This feels more science project than skincare – not that it’s difficult – more it’s wondrous. Anti-ageing, after just two masks over a two-week period our skin is feeling juicier and fresher. The science bit is the removal of the mask which is done with the magnet provided.

2

2. AMELIORATE TRANSFORMING BODY LOTION, ROSE LIMITED EDITION – £24, AMELIORATE.COM Since teenagedom we’ve had those tiny bumps on the upper arms which no amount of scrubbing – the worst thing, apparently – or treatments has shifted. We’ve been using this for one week and they’ve almost gone. The brand recommends twice daily for four weeks then daily beyond that. It’s gorgeous, natural, soaks in like a dream, smells delicious and more importantly it works. It busts dryness, roughness, itchiness and the dreaded bumps. Brilliant. 3. FENTY BEAUTY PRO FILT’R HYDRATING LONGWEAR FOUNDATION – £27, FENTY BEAUTY, HARVEY NICHOLS For those of you who prefer full coverage this is well worth a try, particularly with the brand’s Instant Retouch Primer which we’ve written about before. A little goes a long way. One or two pumps applied with a brush results in full coverage. For less coverage apply one pump with a damp sponge which gave the subtle, glowy finish we like. Fifty shades means there’s bound to be one that suits. 4. SKIN REPUBLIC PRIME + REFINE FACE MASK SHEET – £5.49, BOOTS Usually we do a sheet mask in the evening before bed, but this is designed to prep and prime your skin to ensure a smooth base for make-up. It takes three minutes, so we popped one on while making a morning coffee by which time it had worked its magic. The thing we most liked was the pore reducing effect – a winner in our book and a bargain. 5. EVERLASTING YOUTH FLUID FOUNDATION SPF15 – £35, CLARINS We’ve a love-hate relationship with Clarins and new products always get a bit of a Marmite reaction. While ‘Everlasting Youth’ is pushing it a bit – beauty industry, stop telling porkies! – the lightweight texture of this foundation and its luminous finish are exactly what we want from a base. If you like full coverage it’s probably not your bag, but we want nothing more than a barely-there, is-she-isn’t-she finish.

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STYLE FOR MEN

COOL SNAP OFF DUTY Trainers and clothing, Matalan

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STYLE FOR MEN

STEP AWAY FROM THE VALENTINO SLIDES. EASE OFF ON THE PEDIS.

CRACK OPEN THE GUINNESS. SOCKS, SHOES AND POSSIBLY STOUT ARE BACK all us old-fashioned, but we love a proper shoe. Yes, the freedom of the summer is nice for a bit, but give us a Guiseppe Zanotti Kriss trainer over a flimsy sandal any day of the week. What dreamy sunset in Santorini?

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Pah! We’re sashaying around Digbeth in a brogue – and don’t get us started on the Church Wootton lace-up boots that are a bit of us. We’ve done our homework and here’s our wish-list. Take a look... we’re off to organise our sock drawer! I

1 2

4

1 ELVIS LIVES Callum £69, Office. 2 SUPER STAR Superga trainer £55, White Stuff 3 WELL TRAINED Giuseppe Zanotti Kriss velvet

3

5

and patent leather trainers £530, Selfridges. 4 SUGAR DADDY Sugar mule £95, Dune. 5 TWINKLE TOES Bold silver boot £69, Office. 6 WINTER TAN Harrison tan brogue £70, Joe Browns 7 FOREVER BOOT Church Wootton leather lace-up boots £495, Selfridges. 8 GOT SOLE Boone £85, Office.

6 7

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ADVERTORIAL

SNAP HAPPY

CROATIA

CROATIA IS ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD, WITH PICTURE-PERFECT SPOTS GALORE TO TAKE THOSE INSTA-WORTHY UPLOADS – AND ALL WITHIN EASY REACH FROM BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT rom natural beauty, to scenic coastlines and historic cobbled towns, there’s plenty in Croatia to inspire your next photo album. Check out our three top locations where you can capture those all-important holiday shots. What’s more, getting there couldn’t be easier with direct flights from Birmingham Airport.

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Plitvice Lakes Protected in one of the oldest national parks in the region, the Plitvice Lakes has become famous around the world as one of the most beautiful natural spots. It’s no wonder really, with boardwalks suspended over turquoise waters, spectacular viewpoints and photogenic waterfalls – the perfect place for visitors of all ages. With plenty of ground to cover (73,000 acres to be exact), there are several ways to get around the lakes.

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There are four hiking trails split into seven different routes to tour the park. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can also get around by boat or shuttle. You can visit in all seasons. In summer the park boasts lush greenery, while winter is likely to see snow and spectacular frozen waterfalls. The orange and browns of autumn are also a hit as are the fresh spring days with rushing waterfalls from the melting snow. May, June, September and October are considered the best months. July and August are the busiest times, so avoid if you dislike the crowds. Getting there: Fly direct to Split from Birmingham with Jet2.com. Flights depart twice weekly during the summer season on a Wednesday and Sunday. Once you land, travelling from Split to Plitvice is easy. A one-way trip from Split to Plitvice by car is a two-and-a-half-hour drive.

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ADVERTORIAL

Arena in Pula Rome doesn't have the only coliseum. Around a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Spilt you’ll find the Arena of Pula. Constructed between 27BC and 68AD, it’s the sixth largest coliseum in the world and only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have a four-sided tower. You can get a decent view of the Arena from just walking around the outside, but the entrance fee allows you to clamber among the stones and visit the underground chambers with passages which were once used by gladiators. The Arena was built to hold 20,000 spectators and is still used today as an outdoor cinema and to host events as diverse as ice hockey, foodie markets and much more. Getting there: Fly direct to Pula from Birmingham with Jet2.com and TUI. Flights depart three times a week during the summer season on a Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. Once you land, there are shuttle buses that take you directly to Pula bus station and from there, taxis and city buses take you to the various parts of town.

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The Old City Walls Dubrovnik’s old city walls are one of the city’s best-known features. Built in the 10th century and modified in the 13th and 14th centuries, they stand up to six metres high and six metres thick – providing a solid defence against invaders back in the day. Game of Thrones fans will be excited to learn that a number of scenes were around and on top of the walls. The east entrance, Ploče Gate was used as the Red Keep Gate in the famous walk of shame scenes. Totalling nearly two kilometres in length, Dubrovnik’s city walls make a great spot for a casual stroll and offer numerous excellent views and perfectpicture opportunities. Getting there: Fly direct to Dubrovnik from Birmingham with Jet2.com and TUI. Flights depart four times a week during the summer season. Once you land, you can jump on one of the regular buses that take you direct to the city or use a taxi or private transfer. I

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HEALTH

SKIN A REBOOT GIVE YOUR

SUNTAN FADING? SKIN STARTING TO PEEL? WELCOME TO POST-HOLIDAY

SYNDROME! WE ASKED SPA AND BEAUTY EXPERT LAURA HARGREAVES HOW TO GET YOUR COMPLEXION BACK INTO SHAPE

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HEALTH

ummer holidays are at an end and no doubt you’re feeling relaxed and recharged. Or at least you were until shortly after the plane landed, your skin started to peel and that gorgeous tan you committed yourself too begins to fade. The truth is that every suntan is actually sun damage. There really is no such thing as a safe tan and the very act of tanning is your body's response to sun exposure and damage. Add to that the dehydrating effects of those daily dips, the salty sea air and the shock of returning to the colder British climate and it all adds up to a bit of skin disaster. So while your summer break is the perfect time to slow down, your body still needs some rejuvenation when you return. To make sure you feel your best when you’re back home, Laura Hargreaves of Touch Beauty Therapy spa, based in one of Audley’s luxury retirement villages, has shared her top tips.

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HYDRATION IS KEY Everything from the flight home to the increased outdoor temperatures means that your skin is crying out for water. When you return always try to drink up to three litres a day to hydrate yourself, and even add fresh lemon or lime to alkalise the body and help eliminate toxins. To really help hydrate your skin and lock in the moisture look for a serum rich in vitamin A, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid for day and a pigment-correcting serum for night to tackle uneven brown spots and patches NOURISH FROM WITHIN You can also nourish your skin from within with targeted nutritional supplements. As well as vitamin A our skin needs omegas 3 and 6. Try eating oily fish three times a week but if you’re struggling to incorporate this into your diet you can always top up with a supplement. GET SOME EARLY NIGHTS Travel takes it out on the mind, body and skin and this is made worse when you’re jetlagged. When you get back

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from holiday it’s always a good idea to relax your schedule so you can catch up on some much needed rest. KICK THE BOOZE Those fabulous summer cocktails and healthy European measures may have been fun at the time but having a break from alcohol always comes as a bonus for your skin as well! EXFOLIATE & MOISTURISE The hours spent in the sun while you’re on holiday means when you return your skin can become very dry. Daily dry body brushing will help to combat this by stimulating the lymphatic system to boost circulation and remove toxins. This should be followed by an exfoliating scrub in the bath or shower twice a week. You’ll also benefit from a good facial scrub as it will remove the build-up of SPF on the skin. After exfoliating the body and face, it’s always best to moisturise well so you hydrate and nourish your skin, the best options are organic shea butter and organic cocoa butter. GIVE YOUR NAILS A BREAK Most of us like a bit of colour on our nails when we go away, but on our return it’s a good time to let your nails breathe allowing for healthy new growth. This can be supported further by massaging the cuticles every night with a small amount of cuticle oil as it feeds the nail bed for that much needed growth. GET BACK INTO YOUR ROUTINE Holidays provide a welcome break from our usual routine and it is the time to over-indulge. Upon your return, regular exercise classes like Pilates will help increase the circulation around the body and give you the feel good factor from all the endorphins. All the heavy luggage can create aching shoulders so you’ll benefit from some good stretches. I

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MOOD BOOSTER GREAT LIGHTING CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SUCCESSFUL SPACE AND AN INTERIORS FLOP, SO DON’T MAKE IT AN AFTERTHOUGHT

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HOMES

onsider lighting at the beginning of your design process and you’ll reap the benefits once completed. Work out what you’ll be doing in each zone of the room/house you’re designing. A cosy corner for curling up in needs a different lighting solution to a work space for instance. Dimmer switches are your friend if you’re designing a multi-use zone and come in a variety of finishes to suit your home. While we’ve pulled together some gorgeous looks to get your creative juices flowing, also think about the eco-credentials of your scheme.

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MAXIMUM IMPACT Smoked Hereford cluster chandelier £2,234.96, Fritz Fryer

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HOMES

VINTAGE VIBE French Rococo, Fritz Fryer

GO GREEN Features such as motion sensor lighting and automated systems will help you reduce energy consumption. It’s possible to programme lights to turn on and off depending on your habits to limit waste. Energy saving bulbs are a given with LEDs leading the way. Yes, they are more expensive than your average light bulb, however, they are free from mercury vapour, use 90 per cent less energy and last around 100,000 hours. Obviously natural light is the greenest of lighting schemes, so explore sun pipes and avoid partially obscuring windows with curtains. Blinds allow more light to get in as do open shutters. A light colour scheme, glossy finishes and mirrors reflect light around a room too, so consider adopting into your design. I

LANDING TRIP Lighting and furniture, Laura Ashley

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HOMES

LIGHT UP1 Lamp £109.99, Very

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HOMES

BLUE HUE Lighting and furniture, Houseology

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HOMES

CLEAN LINES House Harry floor lamp £55, ceiling shade £70, John Lewis

FRINGE BENEFITS MW by Matthew Williamson navy vintage light shade £80, Debenhams

HELLO YELLOW Light shade and furniture, Argos

COME DINE1 Matinee 10-light ceiling hoop £295, John Lewis

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HOMES

PROPERTY GREAT ESTATE

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

Haffield House, Ledbury Guide price: £5.5million Agent: Andrew Grant, tel: 01432 355292 Situated in a peaceful and private setting, this immaculately restored detached Grade II listed period property boasts 120 acres of land that includes pasture and woodland with shooting rights. There’s also a separate twobedroomed cottage, just in case you want even more space…

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HOMES

ENTERTAINING CHOICE Creynolds Lane, Solihull Guide price: ÂŁ1million Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 746 6400 A luxury, modern, five-bedroom, five-bathroom detached family home finished to a high standard. Packed with all the mod-cons you could wish for, including automatic lighting, underfloor heating and sound-proof media room. An open plan kitchen diner is connected to the garden by tri-folding doors which creates a great entertaining space.

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HOMES

POLE POSITION Marshall Street, Birmingham Guide price: £995,000 Agent: Fine and Country, tel: 0121 272 6800

Occupying a prime position adjacent to the Mailbox and Cube, this unique New York loft-style, three-bedroomed apartment offers the finest city centre living. High ceilings, stunning open plan layout and cracking views across Brum. Nice…

SIXTH SENSE

King Edwards Wharf, Brindleyplace Guide price: £750,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1520 A great sixth-floor, duplex penthouse apartment with spectacular city centre and canal views. Includes two good-sized bedrooms, both ensuite, a lovely open plan living area with bi-fold windows opening up to a balcony overlooking the canal. There’s also high-spec integrated sound and lighting systems and two allocated parking spaces.

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

SKY’S THE LIMIT

BEST BUILDER

PARK LIFE

A small local developer has launched a new style

New home warranty provider, NHBC has

A one-acre park has been created at Port Loop,

of residential property aimed at giving older

awarded Ian Green of Barratt Homes with a

the new neighbourhood development on the

buyers and down-sizers luxury, affordable

Quality Award in the first round of its Pride in

edge of the city described as Britain’s most

accommodation. Sky Bungalows, created by

Job Awards for his Birmingham site. The

ambitious canalside project. The new park was

Lockley Homes, debuts in Kingsbrooke, Colwall

competition recognises site managers who

delivered by Port Loop developers Urban

with 10 homes in two acres. They will have a

achieve the highest standards in house building

Splash and Places for People, alongside the

private cabana within communal gardens as well

and Ian will go through to a Seal of Excellence

charity Canal & River Trust and Birmingham

as bespoke kitchens and high-end finishes.

and Regional Awards scheme.

City Council.

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HOMES

SQUARE DEAL St Paul’s Square, Jewellery Quarter Guide price: £525,000 Agent: Maguire Jackson, tel: 0121 634 1520

Birmingham’s lovely Georgian square is the setting for this beautifully designed two-bedroom, first-floor apartment. Features include oak flooring, wall panelling, high ceilings and a high-spec kitchen. There’s also two bathrooms and a defined secure parking space.

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

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MOTORING

THOR’S HAMMER

VOLVO HAS CHRISTENED ITS NEW S60 AFTER THE WEAPON CARRIED BY THE NORSE GOD OF THUNDER. BUT DOES THE SWEDISH PREMIUM SALOON HAVE THE POWER TO BACK UP THE HYPE,ASKS SUE COOKE? olvo’s new sports saloon will be a real challenger to the German premium saloon market. The third generation S60 is arguably the finest looking Volvo yet produced, with striking 19-inch alloy wheels and a contrast diamond cut and black finish. There are huge twin exhausts and LED headlights which Volvo refers to as “Thor’s Hammer”. Much as you would expect from a Swedish company. The feature that I didn’t expect to find on a Volvo is the lowered sports suspension. In 2005, when I road tested the S60, I described the driving sensation as similar to the Latin meaning of the word Volvo which is ‘I roll’. The new saloon’s sports suspension is firm with an unforgiving ride on urban roads, but with silky smooth motorway cruising aided and abetted by very comfortable sports seats.

V

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The driver’s area of the luxurious interior is like being behind the wheel of a racing car where the cockpit belongs to the driver. Nappa leather upholstered seats in the rear sit lower than the front, so there is lots of head room for tall people but less leg length. There are a number of innovative storage spaces, even a small place for hiding change. I like the switch which swivels to one side to fire up the engine and does the same again to stop. TOUCHSCREEN Other standard features include a Sensus Connect system which provides simple and seamless control of car functions. Multimedia features, navigation and on-board connectivity is via a central nine-inch touchscreen or voice commands. Advanced technology features include Pilot

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MOTORING

FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Volvo S60 R Design Edition Price: £37,920 otr, or £299 pm on PCP contract Engine: T5 Automatic Performance: 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds CO2 emissions: 152g/km Combined fuel consumption: 35.3 to 39.8mpg (WLTP)

Assist, which controls the car’s acceleration and braking, and assists with the steering to keep the S60 at the right speed, at a safe distance from any vehicles ahead and correctly positioned in its lane. I actually find this feature annoying as I prefer to be in control, but it’s a step towards autonomous cars. REDDY FOR ACTION In front of the driver is a head-up display which provides the speed of the road ahead so, despite fantastic acceleration, there is always a warning staring you in the face. Thank goodness. This is a saloon with the performance of a racing car. Change to performance mode and the outer rings of the dials behind the steering wheel turn to red. In dynamic mode the system holds on to the gears for longer and steering becomes more precise. The 250hp T5 turbocharged petrol engine is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and there are steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for quick manual gear selection, in true racing style. The S60 is the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine. Initially there is a range of four-cylinder Drive-E petrol engines, two petrol plug-in hybrids and mild-hybrid versions which will follow next year.

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Residual value experts CAP hpi has estimated the S60 T5 R-Design Edition will be worth a hefty 46 per cent of its original new price after three years and 30,000 miles. Make the most of the tingling sensation generated by driving this true performance car because Volvo says there will be a different tingling in the air by 2025, as fully electric cars will make up 50 per cent of its global sales. This is part of Volvo’s innovative progress, but as someone who enjoys driving, I find a future of non-combustion powered cars very sad. I

SHOWROOM

Paul Rigby Volvo Birmingham, Chester Road, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 0QY. Tel: 0121 382 1222 www.volvocars.com

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

EBONY THOMAS

The Ballet Black junior artist reflects on his time boarding in Brum and his return to his ‘second home’ as he prepares for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s autumn bill

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YOUNG, GIFTED & BRUMMIE

he multi-award-winning Ballet Black, launched in 2001 by Ballet Now Consortium member Casso Pancho, aims to provide role models for young black and Asian dancers naturally bringing a more culturally diverse audience to ballet. Fresh from Birmingham’s world class Elmhurst Ballet School, Ebony Thomas is one of the company’s shining lights and is coming back to the city to perform in a collaboration with Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Hippodrome this month. As a boy, and a black boy at that, ballet wasn’t Ebony’s first choice of extra-curricular activity. Always sporty and into football, cricket and rugby, Ebony hadn’t considered dancing as a hobby. His mum had a bit of a ‘ballet is for girls’ attitude too, so it really wasn’t on the radar. By chance, Ebony was at a friend’s house on the day he had a ballet lesson and was roped in. He explains: “I didn’t even know my friend did ballet! He took me to one of his classes and it was okay.”

T

THANKS TEACHER! Not immediately in love with it, Ebony stuck with ballet largely thanks to his teacher at Kingston Ballet School who was ‘encouraging without being pushy’ and he slowly got more into it. Six years later, Ebony was chosen to play one of the page boys in Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden which was a bit of a turning point. He took classes with the Royal Ballet Junior Associates for three years and performed several times with the Royal Ballet Company. “Up until this point I was still playing football and rugby, but I had to make a decision.” Aged just 11, Ebony was offered a place boarding at Elmhurst Ballet School in Edgbaston which was a bit of a dream. He says: “As an only child it was great suddenly being around so many people. When you’re growing up aged 14, 15, 16 it’s good to be surrounded by friends. It was probably nice for parents too!” THE NUTCRACKER Ebony benefitted from the school’s strong links with Birmingham Royal Ballet, dancing in The Nutcracker as well collaborations with the Rep and performing at Symphony Hall which was a

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highlight. He’s danced overseas at the Virginia Arts Festival in the US as well as David Bintley’s Argonauts, Sir Peter Wright’s Coppélia and the Don Quixote pas de deux choreographed by Marius Petipa. Of Brum, Ebony says: “It’s world class. I spent nine years in Birmingham. It’s my second home and it’s so nice to be back with Ballet Black.” Since joining the company in 2017, Ebony has danced in ballets by Martin Lawrance, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa and Arthur Pita, and created roles in The Suit by Cathy Marston. He says he’s just trying to learn as much as possible and perform lots. Ultimately, Ebony wants to work hard and save to be able to afford a property in London. We say, forget that and move to Brum. It’s way cooler. Just saying… I

TRIPLE BILL Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 September Catch Ebony in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s collaboration with Ballet Black that sees dancers from both appearing in a triple bill this month which opens with the fourth Ballet Now commission from young choreographer Jack Lister and composer Tom Harrold. Second up is Cathy Marston’s critically acclaimed ballet The Suit and the bill will close with Twyla Tharp’s tribute to Old Blue Eyes, Nine Sinatra Songs. Visit www.brb.org.uk/whats-on for tickets and timing

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GROWING PLACES

AFRICAN ADVENTURERS Twenty-two eager challengers from Bromsgrove School embarked on a three-week adventure to Zambia this summer. The trip consisted of three phases, the first being the project phase to a village where the students helped build a hut for a local grandmother, her eight offspring and grandchildren. Then came the trek phase – four days hiking through the Bakota Gorge. Finally, the R and R phase included viewing Victoria Falls from a 110m-high zipwire followed by a sunset safari.

TREADING THE BOARDS Talented performing arts student, Kate Prince from Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College (JCC) has secured her place at the prestigious American Music and Drama Academy to study BA Musical Theatre. Kate is following in the

SCHOOL REPORT

footsteps of famous JCC alumni such as actors Adrian Lester, Donnaleigh Bailey, Matt Rawle and Matt Henry and singer Zoe Tyler.

TACKLING KNIFE CRIME A local rugby club using sport to help combat the growing problem of knife crime has been given police funding to support its work. Erdington RFC launched a pilot scheme in January to run coaching sessions for under 15s from four West Midlands schools, focusing on youngsters with behavioural issues. The pilot proved so successful that it was backed by West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson, whose department provided funding for the club to run a six-week summer camp for children from 14 schools.

EURO GAMES FIRST Tipton Sports Academy hosted an international festival for youth sporting activity. The Sandwell Leisure Trust facility welcomed 1,500 people for the Nirankari Youth Forum Games run by the Indian-based Sant Nirankari Mission. Followers from all over the region and beyond took part in volleyball, athletics, rounders, football, fitness classes, netball and wrestling events. Previous youth forum games have been held in India and Australia, but this was a first for Europe.

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GROWING PLACES

EARLY YEARS AWARD Highfield day nursery, Edgbaston has been named West Midlands Early Years School of the Year at the West Midlands Education Awards. The nursery team was praised for its tireless pursuit of excellence in every area of provision, including ethically sourced home-cooked meals, sector-recognised training programmes, innovative eco-friendly initiatives and fund-raising for good causes. Highfield has been rated outstanding three times by Ofsted.

SQUASH SUCCESS

Edgbaston Priory Club’s Lewis Anderson won a bronze medal at the World Squash Federation (WSF) World Junior Squash Championships in Kuala Lumpur. Making his world championship debut, the Solihull boy caused three successive upsets which saw him become the first unseeded player in 15 years to reach the semi-finals. A thrilled Lewis said: “It’s been an amazing experience getting to the semi-finals. I just didn’t have enough in the tank after the three big wins to get to the final.”

PARTNERS PITCH IN Youth football club, Bournville FC, kicked off its official partnership with Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, raising £1,000 for the charity. The club raised the funds through a number of activities, including a raffle. The two organisations have come together to help educate the local community about the vital care and support a hospice can provide to people who are living with lifelimiting illness, as well as raise muchneeded funds for its work.

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CLOSE WITHÁ

HENRIETTA BREALEY THE ‘DESPERATELY SHY’ INTERN WHO BECAME DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS AT GREATER BIRMINGHAM CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE – AND ONE OF BRUM’S TOP 30 UNDER 30 BEEN THERE, DONE THAT I moved to Birmingham from Rugby almost 10 years ago for university. It wasn’t until I took part in the UpRising Leadership programme that I fell in love with the place. The programme teaches potential young leaders how to develop the skills to transform communities for the better. I was introduced to the Chamber of Commerce and in three years I went from being a part-time intern to director of policy & strategic relationships. In September 2018, I was appointed to the GBCC Board as an executive director. This year I was listed as one of Birmingham Live’s Brum 30 Under 30. IT’S WHAT I DO I try and make Greater Birmingham the best possible place to do business. With my team, I find out challenges facing businesses and help them overcome them – through briefing on how to get their business ready for policy changes (from IR35 to Brexit) or lobbying stakeholders on their behalf. We also help connect businesses to opportunities through major projects such as HS2 or Commonwealth Games and help spread best practice on everything from leadership and people management to business resilience. We also do a lot of research on what the business community think about the local economy or changes on the horizon. It’s spectacularly diverse and I love it – it’s like having a finger on the pulse of the city. WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE? I can really see the value in better connecting businesses and stakeholders and in helping businesses inspire and inform each other through sharing best practice. As a not-forprofit, at the Chamber we look for innovative ways to fund a lot of our campaign work. We’ve recently developed Insight &

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Intelligence services (commercial research and communications packages for businesses and the public sector). I’m aiming to keep growing this commercial activity so that we can keep growing our support for businesses. BIGGEST SUCCESS I was desperately shy growing up. Going to a networking event and talking to strangers would have literally been torture for me right up to my early 20s. I am genuinely proud of how my confidence has grown over the years. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED Getting over-excited about the potential of a project and forgetting that I’ve got to put the same care into looking after myself too. Something I’m pleased to say I’ve got (am getting) a whole lot better at! WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM Where else can you take in a Black Sabbath exhibition down the hall from the Staffordshire Hoard, eat far too much at Colmore Food festival and learn salsa at the Latin American festival all in one weekend? It’s a complicated, occasionally confusing to navigate, fun, colourful, sprawling beauty of a place packed full of delicious food, hidden gems and lovely welcoming people. DOWNTIME? I love to travel – so far I’ve visited more than 30 countries (so only 160-odd to go…). Columbia and Cuba have been the standouts. I enjoy hiking with my partner in the Peak District, Clent Hills and Malvern Hills and cooking. I’ve also got very into podcasts lately. I

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ing livBUSINESS

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CASTLE FINE ART

WITH A NEW FLAGSHIP GALLERY IN THE MAILBOX AND 40 OTHERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THE BIRMINGHAM-BASED COMPANY IS DELIVERING ON ITS PROMISE OF BRINGING CONTEMPORARY FINE ART TO ALL

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COMPANY TO WATCH

he art world can be a challenging and daunting place for us mere mortals. Our experience is likely limited to visiting some of the best-known galleries and looking at works by great masters, while trying to give the impression that we actually know something about the subject! Apologies if we have insulted your knowledge here, no slight intended. But even experts who ‘know their stuff ’ – such as Ian Weatherby-Blythe – admit art people can act in a way that is “pretentious and superior”. Ian is committed to changing all that. And he’s been very successful at it through Castle Fine Art, the Birminghambased business he set up more than 24 years ago. Since its launch in 1995, the company has experienced rapid growth, developing from one outlet in Stratford-uponAvon to a nationwide network of 40 galleries with avid collectors all over the world. What makes Castle Fine Art unique is Ian’s ethos to open up great art to everyone, whether with a small spending budget or a larger one.

T

AFFORDABLE Founder and managing director Ian said: “Before Castle opened, I felt there was nowhere that ordinary people could get access to great art – so often confined to the homes of private collectors, never to be enjoyed by the public. So I decided to open an art gallery that delivered quality art works at affordable prices. Our aim is to give everyone the opportunity to own beautiful art – and over the last 24 years we have succeeded in bringing the art world’s contemporary talents to the high street.” These include works by some famous names who you might not readily associate at first with art – such as Bob Dylan, Billy Connolly and Ronnie Wood. “Contemporary art means to me, living artists,” said Ian. “All of our editions are hand signed by the artists. Branded art is massive. People like Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood and Marvel attract people to a gallery who probably wouldn’t otherwise go in. We have also worked incredibly hard to ensure that we make all our galleries warm, welcoming, friendly places that you want to be in. We spend a lot of time so that our staff are trained to be expert. “Our presence in shopping centres and malls is very important so people get the chance to come in an browse, even if they then choose to buy from us online. Because the high street has been struggling in general over the past

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couple of years, we have had an opportunity to take advantage of that.” The business has seen growth of more than 10 per cent in the last 12 months, with more than 300 people now working for it at the 40 galleries spread across the UK – from Glasgow to Brighton and Norwich to Cardiff – and boasting the very smart, chic new flagship gallery opened recently in the Mailbox by Birmingham’s Lord Mayor. Castle is also at the forefront of the online art market with on-going, significant growth in traffic to its website. Ian is keen to keep the business expanding moving forward but says: “Depending on Brexit and how that works out. We buy in US dollars and every time the pound takes a pummelling that effects what we do.” Intrinsic to the business is Washington Green fine art publishers who Ian teamed up with 15 years ago to source

FLAGSHIP: Inside the new Mailbox gallery and, far left, Ian Weatherby-Blythe toasts success with beer pump sculpture by artist Lorenzo Quinn

the art needed for his galleries. The successful relationship led to Castle and Washington Green merging with Ian heading both. Ian said: “First and foremost, I am a retailer and I want to make art accessible to all. Art can be so pretentious, but actually good art is just what you like as an individual. Opening up art to people has meant bringing our galleries to places where they shop. No one did art on the high street, other than the John Lewis-type of thing, before we did it. “Our art starts from a couple of hundred pounds and can go up to a couple of hundred thousand if that’s what you want. Most importantly, you get the same level of service and care whatever you spend.” I

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BUSINESS

CHINA TOWN HUB

BUSINESS

A Chinese community hub has opened in Birmingham’s Southside district. The centre at Thorp Street aims to unite the Chinese community and supply outreach services to international residents of all ages. The hub relies on volunteer support and offers a space for elderly people to meet, as well as lounge areas for staff working in the area to relax. It also aims to educate the younger generation in Chinese culture, history and language. The project is the brainchild of Southside BID chairman James Wong.

NEWS NEW APPOINTMENT FUNDING: Cure Leukaemia chief executive James McLaughlin

CENTRES OF HOPE Birmingham-based Cure Leukaemia

Professional services firm KPMG has hired Tom Swain to strengthen its Business Structuring and Transactions team in the Midlands. He joins the firm’s Birmingham office as a senior manager from DLA Piper, bringing more than 10 years of transactional business structuring experience, after working in the law firm’s Finance, Projects and Restructuring group. He will be responsible for advising clients on a full range of transactional matters.

has announced the 12 centres across the UK that will receive funding from the charity for a three-year period from January to form its new Trials Acceleration Programme network. The centres were selected from 21 applications and will receive £50,000 a year to support a research nurse who will work closely with the TAP Hub at the University of Birmingham to deliver practice informing trials in blood cancer. The centres receiving funding include Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

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DOCTORATE FOR SAQIB The youngest-ever president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), Saqib Bhatti, and Chamber patron, Douglas Wright, have received honorary doctorates from Aston University. Saqib, 34 – who was recognised for his work to promote the West Midlands as a national and international leader in trade and business – is a director at Younis Bhatti & Co Chartered Accountants, director and company secretary of the Westside Business Improvement District (BID) in Birmingham and a director of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.

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BUSINESS

GM WITH BRUM IN HIS HEART

ARENAS ASK FOR CLIVE Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena have become the first arenas in the UK, and the first venues in Birmingham, to launch anti-homophobia campaign Ask For

Hyatt Regency Birmingham has appointed Mohammad Labban as its new general manager. Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, he studied hospitality management in Cyprus before becoming a young Hyatt graduate. His career with the company has spanned 22 years in some of the top luxury hotels in Asia. Mohammad said: “Birmingham has always been a very special place to me – it is where my wife went to university and where I proposed to her.”

Clive. The campaign encourages entertainment

MUSIC INSTITUTE IN TUNE

establishments to show solidarity in the fight against homophobia and transphobia. Posters on display let customers know that if they see any discrimination or

An institute for popular music in the Black Country offering

abuse of LGBTQ people they can discreetly report it to staff

degrees for students seeking a career in a range of music

who will investigate and take appropriate action.

industries will open next year. The £9.5million Resonance centre – based in the Cable Plaza building on the Waterfront at Brierley Hill – will boast some of the best minds in music, teaching students everything from popular music performance, production, composition and business. It will offer courses under a franchise arrangement from Solent University in Southampton and also create a community music hub.

RUTH JOINS LAW FIRM

The co-founder of multi-billion dollar tech

Midlands law firm Thursfields Solicitors

company Slack has received an Honorary

has recruited lawyer Ruth Baker to become associate director of its expanding wills and estates team in

SLACK FOUNDER HONOURED Doctorate from Birmingham City University in recognition of his contribution to technology. Carl Henderson, graduated

Worcester. She joins after spending seven

from the university in 2002 with a degree

years at Willans Solicitors in Cheltenham

in software engineering and set up the

where she was made a partner in June

Slack collaboration hub for teams at work

2016. She was trained at Harrison Clark –

with three colleagues in 2013. Boasting

now Harrison Clark Rickerbys – in

more than 10 million users, the company

Worcester. She has been featured in the

recently debuted on the New York Stock

Legal 500 and Chambers directories of

Exchange earning a valuation of more

BELFRY BACKS CHARITY

lawyers for several years.

than $17 billion.

A charity which supports young people seriously injured through sport has been chosen by the Belfry Hotel & Resort as its national charity for 2019/20. Matt Hampson Foundation is named after the England Under 21 rugby player who was paralysed from the neck down in a training accident. Staff from the Belfry staged the first-ever Matt Hampson Foundation Golf Day in October last year, which raised £20,000 for the charity, and are hosting a return visit this month.

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BUSINESS

BUSINESS BITES CASH BOOST

EDGBASTON ON TRACK England and Warwickshire cricketer Ian Bell let the train take the strain when he unveiled West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway as Edgbaston Stadium’s official 2019/20 rail partner. As part of the agreement, cricket fans travelling to Edgbaston to watch a match will receive discounted fares. Stadium commercial boss Alex Perkins, said: “With our return New Street station shuttle bus service, this is a great travel opportunity for cricket supporters.”

DOUBLE TOPS Birmingham legal firm mfg Solicitors held a networking event with a difference for more than 70 business professionals at the 180 Club, near the firm’s St Paul’s Square offices. Guests were treated to drinks on arrival with teams taking on the Jewellery Quarter venue’s digital darts boards. Partner Clare Lang, pictured, said: “It is 12 months since we opened our Birmingham office and the event showed how our client base and network of

SITTING PRETTY

contacts in the city has expanded.”

A Midlands furniture designer and manufacturer has more than quadrupled its workforce in the last two years. JDD Furniture, founded by Walsall school friends Joe Duffell and James Mercy in 2009, specialises in bespoke, high-quality furniture for modern, open plan offices. Rapid growth resulted in the company opening a London showroom in Clerkenwell last year and it has now invested in an extra warehouse in Brierley Hill.

A £100,000 donation has given a huge boost to a vital fund-raising appeal launched by Acorns Children’s Hospice. Erica Brown, who previously worked at the charity, gave the money towards a £2million appeal to save Acorns hospice in Walsall, following an inheritance from her mother.

EXTRA WEALTH

Since relocating its head office to Birmingham, HSBC UK has generated £540 million of wealth for the West Midlands, according to a report by West Midlands Growth Company. Ian Stuart, chief executive of HSBC UK, said: “It is fantastic to see the positive contribution our head office has made to the local economy.”

DIGITAL GROWTH

Leading digital services and platform provider, Kainos, has announced it is expanding its presence at Birmingham’s Alpha Tower. The company plans to hire a further 100 employees in Birmingham within the next financial year.

JULIA’S SMART MOVE A leading Midlands businesswoman, who has a long and successful track record in empowering women to help them reach their potential, has been appointed trustee of the charity Smart Works Birmingham. Award-winning consultant Julia Regis, who has more than 25 years experience in delivering training for both individuals and companies, joins the five existing trustees who run the Birmingham charity that provides high-quality work clothes and interview training to help women in need back into work.

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SIMPSONS SERVES BOOTCAMP LUNCH

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3

Phoenix Business Club networkers give hospice welcome cash boost

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5

irmingham-based digital marketing company, Bootcamp Media, hosted the popular Phoenix Business Club networking lunch at Simpsons restaurant to help raise funds for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. The afternoon raised more than £2,000 for the hospice which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Generous networkers enjoyed a three-course lunch at the Michelin-starred restaurant while they met like-minded business professionals from across the city. I

B

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7

8

1 Pinder Dhaliwal, Jamil Shabir, Ninder Johal. 2 Charlene Wall, Pamela Hodgetts. 3 Charlotte Wallace, Stuart Moseley, Chantelle Herbert. 4 Raj Chadha, Sandie Lehal. 5 Steve Brittan, Abid Khan. 6 Naomi Aly, Anita Champaneri. 7 Jaimon George, Jamil Shabir, Ryan Doyle. 8 Paul Brown, Eleni Constantinou, Mark Linton.

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SOCIAL SCENE

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ROYAL FANFARE FOR PLASTIC TROMBONE 2

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Warwick Music Group celebrates Queen’s Award for world-beater est Midlands-based Warwick Music Group celebrated its Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation at a party held at Hotel du Vin, Birmingham. The award-winning pBone – the world’s first plastic trombone that has since become a global best-seller – took pride of place at the event. Warwick Music Group has sold more than 250,000 pBones, conceived by a team of West Midlands musicians who set out to create a quality instrument that made the joy of music accessible and fun for all. Chief executive Steven Greenall thanked guests for their support. I

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1 Derrick Parker, Adrian Taylor, Simon Hogg. 2 Andy Palmer, Neil Taylor, Surjit Kooner. 3 Queen’s Award for Enterprise winning team, Warwick Music Group. 4 Rob Langley-Swain, Penny Edwards. 5 Paul Faulkner. 6 Dr Liz Stafford, Kay Charlton. 7 David Hirst, Carole Crompton, Steven Greenall 8 Katie Ruigrok, Natalie Hines, Kate Greenall, Matthew Ruigrok. 9 David Clarke, Claire MacDonald, Anna Hutton, Calum Nisbet. Photography by Jas Sansi

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AWARDS RECOGNISE AIR CHARITY HEROES

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Crew and supporters honoured at Midlands Air Ambulance ball idlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Recognition Awards and Charity Ball celebrated aircrew, volunteers, fundraisers and supporters who went above and beyond in aid of the charity over the last 12 months. The evening at the Vox Conference Centre, Resorts World, was hosted by actor and TV personality Will Mellor and radio presenter Ed James. A host of famous faces including Paul Chuckle and Sally Bee presented the awards before an auction raised further funds for the charity. I

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1 Helen Grice, Amy Reece, Joe Smallman, Davinia Sherlock, Steve and Michelle Morris, Paul Dupre-Smith, Samantha Grice. 2 Sally Bee with husband Dogan. 3 Becky Hayes, Ian Graves, Lesley Chester, Andrea Graves. 4 Adam Williams, Andrew Higgs. 5 Angela Watkins from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, Steve Wheaton from West Midlands Ambulance Service. 6 Eleri and Pete Edwards, Richard Apps, Becky Chappell, Sarah Elder, Karen Baker, Andrew Goode, Katie White.

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Hit show exclusive tops a great year for Hippodrome fundraisers irmingham Hippodrome Leading Ladies enjoyed an exclusive pre-show discussion with cast members of The Color Purple to celebrate the venue’s first co-production with Curve and raise funds for Hippodrome Projects. The event was sponsored by West Midlands Growth Company, with head of business growth Sian Robert giving an overview of its objectives. Judith Greenburgh, head of partnerships and events at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “We’ve welcomed over 500 guests from all sectors to nine events in 2018-19 and raised nearly £10,000 for Hippodrome Projects.” I

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1 Cathy Scott, Chantall Herbert, Sally Walder. 2 Karen Chamberlain, Christie Gaskin, Emma Speed. 3 Dr Mano Hashmi, Judith Greenburgh, Kathryn Stanczyszyn, Danielle Fiamanya, Charlie Pette, Joanna Francis, Sian Roberts. 4 Liz Acton, Helen Wright. 5 Rachel Thompson, Lisa Moore. 6 Helen Underwood, Sian Roberts, Helen Martin, Cathy Johnson. 7 Ruby Prosser, Amy Watson, Benita Roberts, Sadie Williams.

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PARTNERSHIP SAYS IT WITH CHAMPAGNE

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Special dinner celebrates Henry Wong tie-up and boosts charity for military

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arborne-based Cantonese restaurant, Henry Wong celebrated its new partnership with Moet Hennessey and Ruinart Champagne with a special dinner in support of local charity, Fisher House. As well as being treated to some of the restaurant’s finest cuisine, guests enjoyed carefully selected accompaniments from the luxury Champagne house. The event raised funds for the charity based at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital which supports injured military personnel and their families. I

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1 Mike Hammond, Susan and Sara Price, Karen and Clare Johnson. 2 Steve and Sally Price, Adrian Lilly. 3 Shelia Chana, Kanchana Perera, Sian Averill. 4 Dr Qamar Ghafoor, Stephen Rooney, Ehab Bishay. 5 Hannah and Geoff Heyes. 6 Sanjay Singh, Simran Kaur. 7 Shelly Duncan, Veronica Kumeta. 8 Mike Hammond, Parm Rai, Adrian Lilly. 9 Jo and Paul Williams, Grant and Jane Moss

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Photography by Jas Sansi

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Cricket legend showcases his own range at special taster egendary cricketer and commentator Sir Ian Botham showcased his own range of wine at Birmingham’s Hotel du Vin. Having travelled to some of the best wine-making countries in the world, visited their wineries and listened to producers talk about their wine, Beefy certainly knows his vino. Guests enjoyed a wonderful evening of both great wine and food. I

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1 Oliver and Debbie Rowe. 2 Richard and Monique Worth, Nick Weate. 3 Tom Gallimore, Sir Ian Botham, Stephanie Taylor. 4 John and Diane Weedon. 5 Simon and Eileen Shaw. 6 Trevor Walker, Rebecca Simkiss, Tara Tomes, Olly Attfield. 7 Paul and Tina Heseltine, Jenny Grey, Roger Eade.

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WHAT: The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival WHEN: 14 and 15 September WHERE: Digbeth, Central Birmingham, http://aegpresents.co.uk/peakyblinders An incredible, official celebration of the global TV phenomenon that brings together immersive theatre, live music and fashion inspired by the series. Co-curated by show creator Steven Knight and featuring appearances from Peaky Blinders cast members and special guests.

WHAT: The Storm by James Wilton Dance WHEN: 25 September WHERE: Mac Birmingham, tel: 0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk Seven dancers of extraordinary skill present a whirlwind of lightning fast, super-athletic movement, where acrobatics, breakdancing and martial arts fuse to form dance that will blow you away.

WHAT: Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet WHEN: 10 to 14 September WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, www.birminghamhippodrome.com A passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic love story that’s bursting with youth, vitality and Bourne’s trademark storytelling showcasing some of the West Midlands’ brightest young dance talent.

WHAT: Last Night of the Rotary Proms 2019 WHEN: 14 September WHERE: Symphony Hall, tel: 0121 780 3333 www.cbso.co.uk/whats-on WHAT: Luke Kempner: House of Faces WHEN: 28 September WHERE: Old Rep, www.oldreptheatre.co.uk With a remarkable talent for impressions, comedian Luke Kempner hosts a great night out where no one is off limits… celebrities, politicians and royalty all feature in this hit show.

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Two-and-a-half hours of orchestral and choral entertainment to match the best anywhere. Featuring the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Inglis and one of the great Welsh choirs, the Treorchy Male Choir. A great night out that also supports a host of local charities.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Outdoor Cinema – Rocket Man WHEN: 13 September WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, tel: 0121 454 1860 www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Enjoy this cracking movie under the stars at these stunning gardens. Book a beanbag, deckchair or just bring a blanket! Then grab some popcorn and sit back and enjoy a proper luxurious outdoor cinema experience.

WHAT: Horse of the Year Show 2019 WHEN: 2 to 6 October WHERE: Resorts World Arena, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com The biggest week of the year for equestrian entertainment returns. Spread across five days, this awesome celebration has something for everyone to enjoy with breath-taking displays and a chance to get up close and meet some of the horses themselves.

WHAT: Eddie Izzard – Wunderbar WHEN: 17 to 21 September WHERE: The Alexandra Theatre, tel: 0844 8713011 www.atgtickets.com/birmingham Five years after his last tour that made comedy history, Izzard is back with an all-new show which expands on his own unique, totally surreal view of life, love, history and his ‘theory of the universe’.

WHAT: Keane

WHAT: The Lovely Bones

WHEN: 24 September

WHEN: 6 to 21 September

WHERE: Symphony Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600

WHERE: Birmingham Rep, tel: 0121 245 2024

www.thsh.co.uk

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

One of Britain’s most beloved bands is back with a fifth studio album. The four previous albums all entered the UK charts at number one and accumulated sales of more than 13million worldwide and 2.6billion streams.

This wonderfully creative production brings Alice Sebold’s provoking novel to life in an exciting, emotional and uplifting theatrical experience. With a talented cast, incredible set design and a soundtrack combining 70’s favourites with original music.

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WHAT’S ON

WHAT: Rob Beckett: Work in Progress WHEN: 24 September WHERE: Redditch Palace Theatre, tel: 01527 65203 www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk The star of 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Celebrity Juice burst onto the comedy circuit only five years ago and quickly established himself as a firm favourite with an infectious, cheeky chappy persona and quick wit. Book yourself in for a great night.

WHAT: Retire Abroad Roadshow

WHAT: Leamington Food Festival WHEN: 7 and 8 September WHERE: Royal Pump Gardens, tel: 01926 470634 www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk There are hundreds of stalls showcasing the very best in local food and drink with an action-packed programme across two days. Includes demonstrations, masterclasses and loads of free entertainment.

WHEN: 5 October WHERE: Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel, www.expatnetwork.com/retire-abroad-roadshow/ An event purely dedicated to retiring overseas giving visitors a chance to discuss realistic options one-to-one with experts. Find advice on financial planning, legal matters, property purchase, relocation, health care… and more.

WHAT: The George Michael Tribute Show WHEN: 20 September WHERE: Nailcote Hall, tel: 02476 466174 www.nailcotehall.co.uk Singing all of the great man’s favourite hits, this flawless tribute to the late George Michael is a show not to be missed.

WHAT: The British Science Festival WHEN: 10 to 13 September WHERE: University of Warwick, www.britishsciencefestival.org One of Europe’s largest science festivals arrives in the Midlands. The show regularly attracts hundreds of the UK’s top speakers to discuss the latest developments in science with the public. Inspiring stuff with talks, workshops, performances and activities. This year’s speakers include ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, pictured

WHAT: The Merchant of Venice: First Encounters WHEN: 30 September to 5 October WHERE: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tel: 01789 403493 www.rsc.org.uk When one of three boxes holds all you’ve ever wanted, should you really decide on looks alone? Shakespeare’s story of justice and mercy is brought to life in this 90-minute production created especially for seven to 13-year-olds.

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WHAT: Happy Mum, Happy Baby: Live WHEN: 29 September WHERE: Town Hall, box office: 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk This tour from author, podcaster and YouTuber, Giovanna Fletcher is a delightful addition to her best-selling book and phenomenally successful podcast that discusses all aspects of motherhood.

WHAT: Trampoline, Tumbling & DMT British Championships WHEN: 28 and 29 September WHERE: Arena Birmingham, tel: 0844 338 8000 www.theticketfactory.com Bring your own future Olympians to be amazed as these talented gymnasts wow the crowds as they soar through the air in a bid to fulfil their dreams of becoming British champion.

WHAT: The Snuts WHEN: 16 September WHERE: Birmingham O2 Institute, www.academymusicgroup.com/ o2institutebirmingham One of Britain’s finest rising bands is powering up for a live assault on Birmingham. After a big summer of festivals and a support slot with fellow Scot, Lewis Capaldi this headline show will deliver further undeniable evidence of the Snuts’ impressive ascent.

WHAT: A Place in the Sun Live WHEN: 20 to 22 September WHERE: NEC Birmingham, www.aplaceinthesun.com The official exhibition of the Channel 4 TV show is the perfect place to help guide you through the buying process and find your ideal property abroad. More than 120 exhibitors from all over the world on tap with loads of free informative seminar sessions and a chance to meet the stars of the TV show, too, including Jonnie Irwin, above

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IN THE CITY WITH LLEWELA BAILEY OF BBC WM’S SUNDAY BREAKFAST TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I present the Sunday Breakfast show at BBC WM. I’m also a part-time lecturer at Staffordshire University and chairman of Birmingham Press Club. I’ve worked in journalism for nearly 40 years, most of it in TV, and feel very lucky to have had so much fun. I live in Kings Heath with my daughter Jess, and my grandson George. My other three children are nearby, so my home life is far from secluded! HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN? On a Sunday, my day begins with a 4.30am alarm call. I am at the Mailbox by 6am for a pre-programme chat with my producer. I drive in along blissfully empty Bristol Road and the centre is like a ghost town. On the days I’m teaching I get the train from Yardley Wood and then on to Stoke-on-Trent via Grand Central.

EARLY MORNING CALL: Sundays start at 4.30am for BBC breakfast presenter

Llewela, who is also a part-

time lecturer and chairman of Birmingham Press Club

HOW’S THE COMMUTE? In the summer, the drive to the BBC is problem-free. In winter, what should be a 15-minute journey needs planning with military precision. On one occasion, I got hit by another car in a blizzard, dug the wheels out and still made it live for the 7 o’clock pips. IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN? The difference in Birmingham since I first arrived to work at ITV Central in 1989 is remarkable. There was very little to do outside the office, and a lunchtime trip to the shops meant just popping to Rackhams. Now it’s buzzing. COFFEE BREAK? At work it’s chat over a Costa with producer Alex. When I get together with the Press Club team, we’re partial to Hotel du Vin. I like the Java Lounge in Moseley and often use the Mac Centre in Cannon Hill for meetings. LUNCHTIME? If I meet people for lunch to discuss Press Club matters, first it’s Bank in Brindleyplace or Bistro Pierre in Gas Street. I’ll often meet my boys at their Digbeth office where Baked in Brick is a favourite lunchtime venue. My son Jack founded Digbeth Dining Club and now my other son Harry works with him, so they know all the hidden culinary gems! POWERWALKING? A brisk hike with the dogs or, depending on my mood, a saunter through one of the nearby parks. The thought of a gym fills me with dread, which can be attributed to my one and only go at running. I completed the London Marathon in 2011 and vowed I’d never wear lycra again!

Birmingham Press Club is

the oldest press club in the

world and its flagship event, the Midlands Media Awards

is on 15 November at the

Holte Suite, Aston Villa FC.

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WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY? The centre of Birmingham is always worth a walkabout. From the Council House, along Colmore Row and into St Philip’s Square. If you have time, take a moment inside the cathedral and just gaze at the decor. AND HOW CAN IT BE MADE BETTER? Birmingham, my adopted city, is wonderful and the regeneration has made it a place I’m fiercely proud of. My only moan is the need for all-night transport. At the moment getting out of the town centre means a costly taxi ride…

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Profile for Birmingham Living Magazine

Birmingham Living September issue 2019 (issue 84)  

Birmingham Living September issue 2019 (issue 84)  

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