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May | June 2019 £3.50

Including Shropshire

Glorious gardens

Making your outdoor space fit for summer


everyone will love

THE FASHION WARM UP: 10 first buys of summer


to the land of smiles - Thailand is

overflowing with opportunity

Outdoors Special: The season of alfresco living is upon us and we’ve got pages of décor ideas, as well as gardening tips and dining inspiration. Check it out inside.








�he Boat House AT ASTON MARINA






New development launching at The Steadings, Essington

Stunning range of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes launching soon The new range The flow and layout of our new range has a strong focus on future living and the need for multifunctional living space. The kitchen is at the heart of the home and includes flexible space within it for relaxing, dining and entertaining. Larger bedrooms with clever layouts are designed to house all your furniture needs and have given our homes added attraction.


The Steadings Essington

Staffordshire WV11 2RF Register your interest today for an exclusive invite to our open day.

All our developments are built on the foundations of community and our homes provide the stability everyone needs to flourish. They are places to relax, gather together and create futures.

Design The stunning new range of homes at The Steadings has been designed with modern lifestyles in mind. Embracing contemporary design and styling, these homes retain classic architecture and traditional build quality. Photograph depicts a typical Bovis Home exterior/interior. Elevation may differ to that shown. Internal images may include optional upgrades at an additional cost. Price & availability correct at time of going to print/broadcast. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. Ask our sales advisor for details.


BEFORE HEADING HOME TO HISTORIC RADBROOK Marketing Suite open Thursday-Monday, 10-5pm. Shrewsbury, SY3 9BJ.




CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Marshall Sue Cooke


Cheryl Basford

Amy Clarke

There’s more great competitions inside too – from a weekend break in the Welsh countryside to lunch for two in Staffordshire and you can even win tickets to see our fantastic interview star, Jess Glynne, perform at Wolverhampton racecourse this July.


Oh, and you simply must check out the travel pages with our guide to Thailand, Crete and where to head if you’re after a foodie’s paradise. Pass us a holiday form, please!


Sounds like this is a great place to start to get truly in that summer vibe… enjoy.

ACCOUNTS Mandy Peach Chrissie Woodward


love Living x

Cheryl Osborne DIRECTOR

David Mellenchip

Follow us for the latest news, competitions and much more...


  

While every care has been taken during the preparation of this magazine, Purple Sprout Ltd cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein or any consequences arising from it. The contents of this magazine may not be reprinted or reproduced without prior written permission. All rights reserved. Competition terms and conditions: The prizes are as stated and no cash alternative can be given. The winner will be notified by phone, post or e-mail. The editor’s decision is final. The competition is not open to Purple Sprout employees and their families. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Purple Sprout or the competition supplier may contact you with news and information. If you would like to receive further communication please tick the opt in box on the competition entry form.

co ve r

Craig Rushton

th e

This issue is packed with summer inspiration from the clothes we’ll all be wearing to the food and drink we’ll all be consuming. What’s also wonderful about this time of year is the chance to throw open those French windows and get outside into the garden. And now our gardens are so much more than just patios and lawns, it’s a whole other part of the home. Our outdoors special is celebrating this



The first official day of British summertime usually kicks in mid-June, and while the weatherman has been teasing us with little touches of sunshine here and there, it’s about time the sun got his hat on permanently for a few months, don’t you agree? The funny thing is you know that we’ll all soon be moaning “it’s far too hot…” and “why is air conditioning not a thing in this country…” before long. But it wouldn’t be the same without all those little niggles now would it?

fact and you’ll find pages of style advice and décor tips to help you make the ultimate alfresco haven this season – whatever size space you have.


elcome to the May/June edition of Staffordshire Living and the first of our summer issues. And the first time we’ve asked you to decide on the cover. We think you’ve made a wonderful choice, so thank you for voting!

Staffordshire Living is published by Purple Sprout Limited, registered in England. 07913605. All rights reserved. Purple Sprout, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8GB. Tel: 01782 644456 Fax: 01782 657411

Scan the QR code to go direct to our website!

Staffordshire Living’s Media Partners



Luxurious bedframes, hand-made to order by craî‚?smen here in the UK. The M6 Bed Warehouse Ltd. Unit 18a, Radway Green Business Park, Alsager, Cheshire, CW2 5PR Tel: 0800 652 8907

CON T E N T S May | June 2019

Cover stories 28 The Fashion Warm Up 53 Versatile Vegan 63 Take it Outdoors Special 85 The Land of Smiles: Thailand

Win! Lifestyle 21 Dress to Impress 25 Queen of Cool: Emma Willis 27 How to Wear: Long Shorts 28 The Warm Up 31 Beauty Watch: SS19 Trends to Try 34 Timeline to Fabulous 38 Picture Perfect 43 Battle of the Senses 48 The Final Countdown

Taste 53 Versatile Vegan 57 Chef Interview: Tom Biddle 58 All Mixed Up: Summer Drinks 61 In Season: Asparagus

Outdoors 64 Living the Good Life 70 The Alfresco Life 77 Time to Step Outside

17 A two-night break for two at Nanteos Mansion 58 Lunch for two at The Duncombe Arms

Picture Perfect P38

107 Two tickets to Jess Glynne Live After Racing

Culture 85 The Land of Smiles 90 The Personal Touch 93 Review: North Wales’ Best Kept Secret 96 Rediscover: Crete 98 A Foodie’s Paradise 102 The Entertainment Hot List 105 The Book Corner 106 Jess Glynne: The Voice of a Generation 110 Events Calendar 116 Spotlight: Stoke-on-Trent 122 Money Matters 127 Transforming Lives 130 Luxury Hybrids 133 Social Media – The Good, Bad & Ugly

Home 136 Colour Me Happy 143 How to Create a Home Gym 144 Style vs Steal: Singing the Blues 148 Dining in Style 152 A Pot of Style

Regular Features 14 LIVING it! News and Views 15 Getting to Know… Rachel Shenton 16 LIVING Loves… Geeky Gadgets 161 Coming Up

I N T E G R I T Y & PA S S I O N M A K E U S U N I Q U E 2 - 4 C h u r c h Str e e t, As h b o u r n e D E 6 1 A E | P h o n e : 0 1 3 3 5 3 4 8 9 61 i n fo @a v a n ti j e w e l le r s . c o . u k | w w w. a v a n t i j e w e l l e r s . c o . u k

The next generation of joint replacement surgery My recovery was fast – I went home the next day. Spire Little Aston Mako™ knee replacement patient

Spire Little Aston Hospital is the first private hospital in the Midlands to offer Mako™, a revolutionary robotic technology for hip, knee and partial knee replacement*. — Precision accuracy** — Less pain** — Faster recovery**

Meet the experts Book in for a free mini consultation with a Consultant at Spire Little Aston Hospital, Sutton Coldfield. You can discuss treatment options, results and aftercare. Book your place or find out more on our website.

28 Robotic hip & knee replacement surgery, 6pm


08 Cosmetic surgery, 10am Jun 18 Cataract & sight correction surgery, 6pm Jun

Book to see an expert today Search ‘Spire Little Aston Hospital’ Call 0121 514 7084 * Within private hospitals in the Midlands. ** For supporting evidence see Mini consultations are an opportunity to ask any questions you have about Mako™ surgery and are not a formal outpatient consultation. If you wish to proceed to surgery, a full outpatient appointment will be required.


Last issue we asked: ‘What motivates you the most?’ but we came to the conclusion that it all depends on what is It’s our news & views section. Time to catch up on what’s in front of us. If we’re Getting your opinions on life’s thoughthappening in Staffordshire and what you had to say… trying to lose 10 pounds – our motivational provoking questions... tactics might be different to when we’re desperately seeking a new job. Motivation can come in many forms; we might stick a picture displaying our fitter self on the fridge to keep temptation at bay, and the idea of having a few extra pounds in the bank could be the mental persuasion we need to finally get We all need a little push the job we’ve always Eco move at Uttoxeter Buxton’s Celebrates now andMusical again, whether it’s Wedgwood wanted. Whatever to get out of bed on a frosty Triumph 260 Years we want out of A new shop has opened at life, let’s make winter morning or jump on In 2019, Barlaston-based Globe’s eco centre located at The Northern Chamber the start of 2017 the treadmill, when all we the Strawberry Garden Centre Orchestra’s Artist in Association Wedgwood will celebrate our motivation, on the Bramshall Road in really want to do is dive 260 years of innovation and Chloë Hanslip will join the it’s spring, a new Uttoxeter. The eco shop will sell craftsmanship. And for under the covers! orchestra on stage in Buxton for it is launching a new beginning edition to a variety of sustainable home a matinee concert of stunning and the Wild Strawberry Collection and personal care products. string music. Hanslip played for whatever first designed in 1965. The Gold Customers will also be able to the great Yehudi Menuhin at you want, collection features crisp and white bring their own containers and aged five, signed her first record fine bone china with finely youdrawn can top up on items from shampoo contract aged 13 and made her leaves, flowers and succulent have it! and washing up liquid to dry BBC Proms debut in 2002 at the red strawberries. And will be food items such as pasta, flour age of 15. Tickets for the May 12 complemented with the addition and even locally made chocolate. event are available at: of gold foliage and delicate Priced £12. butterflies.


What motivates you the most?


“The main thing that gets “Being inAnyone the fresh air at else daydreaming about white sandy beaches, meWhat up in the morning is... island my allotment... is your desert

luxury item?

the anticipation of a satisfying bowl of cereal, accompanied with a good brew.” - Rachel via Facebook PM

crystal clear water and tropical

...and knowing it makes a difference climates? It feels like we’ve to my health and by beenenvironment waiting for holiday season #growingyourown motivates me” forever. But it got us thinking, - Sue Durraniifvia weTwitter were stranded on a desert island, which luxury item would

we have? (A copy of the latest “What motivates me to get edition of sL excluded of course!) “A pen and people up in the morning is... paper so I“Definitely So, we put it to you, and here’s can said.most.” motivatewhat meyou the thinking about how proud I will be on write a diary

documenting my graduation day for all the extra work “I can sit doing absolutely nothing “Would a bed be too all much…?” my trip.” That’s I put in to my degree!” - Lydia Eccleston Julie fromtoNewcastle night but if a No, friend comes call then I it right up our via Email certainly wouldn’t! am motivatedmost into being a good hostess, street too, Abi via making tea or pouring wine, and getting “Music!” We hear you, John Email. out the snacks. If I know they are coming from Stone. “My kids!” then the whole place gets a makeover” Coming up next time... - Linda via Facebook “All the motivation I need comes from a kiss and a cuddle off them.” Our big summer issue is coming out next. And we can’t wait to get stuck into sandals, swimsuits and - Samantha via Email

S win! TA R win! R E Awin! DER S TA Rus LET TER Make smile “Dearand Staffordshire WIN!Living

Home, as a regular reader of your Each issue we give away a 12-month magazine I was very interested in subscription to the magazine. your Christmas presents feature To be in with a chance of winning, this month. It's a very welcome simply send us an email to change to see some actual genuine, affordable and inspirational gift putting STAR LETTER in the ideas, especially for those 'what subject, sharing your thoughts on the to buy for the person who has latest issue. If you are chosen as our everything' family member. And star reader, you’ll be featured here on as I love flamingos I will definitely our LIVING it! page in the next issue be leaving the magazine open on and will win a 12-month subscription the page with them on, just to give to the magazine; that’s six issues of a clue for my own present! Keep up our fabulous glossy mag delivered the excellent work.” straight to your door for free. - Sue Hawkins, Meir Park, Go on make us smile, Stoke on Trent

and we’ll return the favour!

Thanks for reading x

We love to hear what you think so if you have something sayStaffordshire about any of Read moreto from Living Magazine onlinein 24/7! the features and topics this issue, please get in touch! Tell us your thoughts via email to, putting STAR LETTER in the subject, and be in with a chance of winning a one-year membership to online I yoga do…service Arewww.* worth £90! Plus, the you tying the winning letter will feature right hereknot in our soon? next issue. *Yogaia is an online yoga service perfect for all levels from beginners right through to the advanced yogis. It has more than 100 live and interactive online classes a week so you can fit your exercise in to suit your lifestyle. Plus you can access recorded classes so you never miss one - get fit with experienced teachers from the comfort of your own living room! The one-year membership includes unlimited access to all available classes on the service. Winner will be given a gift code to use when signing up to the service online. For a full set of Staffordshire Media T&Cs please see page 9.

sangria… But what is your summer accessory must have? Whether that’s a pair of Ray Bans, a chilled beer or the latest page turner – share your thoughts with us!

Coming up next time...

14 10

Email, or look out for our weekly posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram andNext leavetime a comment. All our favourites willbest be featured here inyour the next edition. we’re asking…What was the piece of right advice that mother gave you? Mother’s Day is Sunday 27th Want youradvice weddingfor to feature as one of our March and as it’s time to celebrate the one true love of our lives, please share your best piece of motherly a chance Real Life Weddings? Email to be featured in /Staffsliving the March/April 2017 edition! Connect via:  ‘Living It Q&A’, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, It Q&A’, @Staffsliving for‘Living more information.  Staffordshire, ST4 8GB B1 Trentham Business Quarter, /Staffsliving  Bellringer Road, Trentham Staffordshire-Living-Magazine @StaffsLiving Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 8GB

Getting to know...

RACHEL SHENTON Rachel Shenton won an Academy Award for her short film The Silent Child in 2018. Now she’s heading back to her North Staffordshire roots to create local opportunities for aspiring actors. LIVING couldn’t wait to get to know her a little better… WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? ‘Big Little

Things’ by Henry Fraser and I urge everyone to read it. It’s a true story and so inspirational.


people are lovely and polite although I did have many letters from one guy asking if he could buy my used shoes - bit odd.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE EMOJI? The little monkey covering his eyes, I use that a lot.


of beautiful dresses that I love, but my favourite is probably a maxi dress I bought from Free People years ago. It comes out every summer. I wear it with heels in the evening and daytime with my Doc Martins - It doesn’t date!


to narrow it down because I love food and it depends what mood I’m in, but I’ll go with a veggie full English.


husband recently went to New Zealand in a camper van - it was paradise for us because we love hiking and being outside and New Zealand has some of the best scenery in the world.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS? Yes. I have a beautiful white

Alsatian called Cassie. She lives with my mum, she’s gorgeous.


frequency facials. I don’t have them as often as I’d like but my skin feels awesome afterwards and it lasts a while. They do them in lots of places now, but I go to SCI-U in Wilmslow.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON YOUR DAY OFF? Going out for breakfast is one of my favourite things to do when I have time. If we’re in Staffordshire we always go to Red Brick Cafe - the food is great!

WHICH BOXSET ARE YOU CURRENTLY BINGING ON? Killing Eve was the last one I was obsessed with. I loved it.


Although I love winter fashion. I feel much better in summer and love light nights etc - so I’d say a summer girl.

Rachel set up Acting Mechanics in 2014 to provide screen acting masterclasses for up and coming actors in Staffordshire. This year she will hold its first acting showcase on June 29 with casting directors, directors and writers travelling from all over the country to attend. Find out more at: sL

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Ted Baker Leather Midoca Green iPhone XS/X £49.99

Penclic Keyboard Gold £79

Living Loves…

GEEKY GADGETS We all know a little bit of the latest tech can make your day. So, here’s a few of our faves out now.

Hedkayse One Bicycle Helmet £149.99

Nextbase 412 GW Dash Cam £129.99

Retro Arcade £349 16

Beoplay A1 Compact Bluetooth Speaker £230

Polaroid Mint 2-in-1 Instant Digital Camera & Printer £99.99 Argos

Alpinerx AL-283LN05NAQ6L £795

Naptime Eye Mask £129 Amazon Launchpad


Win! A two-night stay for two people at

NANTEOS MANSION, WALES You and a guest can enjoy a historic getaway at Nanteos Mansion, just outside Aberystwyth. Packed full of history, Nanteos is a country house that happens to be a hotel. The building sits on the site of a house that dates back to 11th century and the walls and original flooring can be found in the hotel’s cellars. Nanteos is known for housing the Nanteos Cup – supposedly made from the true cross, with the ability to heal those who drink from it. The cup is now housed in the National Library of Wales and a replica is on display in the hotel reception. It was originally put on display in 1878 by George Powell, owner of the Nanteos estate. The building of Nanteos as it is now known, began in 1739 and in its heyday the estate covered 33,000 acres. Now covering 30 acres, guests tend to visit Nanteos for a relaxing break with great food and to explore the local countryside and coastal scenery. The property is dog-friendly. Many of the original features remain, including the original Buttery complete with the range, copper pans and range kettles, this is now the breakfast room. There are worn stone flagged floors throughout the ground floor, the house is full of original art including the portraits of the original owners, antiques and curios. These days, guests tend to visit Nanteos for exclusive use parties and weddings, walking breaks, or simply to relax and explore the local countryside and coastal scenery. The grounds include the remains of a walled garden, lake and woodlands, ideal for bike rides, spotting wildlife and enjoying the beautiful estate. There is also a self-catering property called The Mews House - set within the grounds at Nanteos Mansion. The prize includes a two night stay in one of the luxurious suites. All of the suites are timeless and elegant, some feature wood panelling whilst others have hand painted wallpaper, making each bespoke to their name. The suites have sumptuous king-sized beds and en-suite bathrooms, plus lounging chairs and coffee tables so you can relax and enjoy the views and sounds of the countryside.

The lucky winner will also enjoy a delicious three course dinner on the first night of their stay and full breakfast on both mornings. The hotel restaurant, yr Eos, serves thoughtfully cooked and beautifully presented cuisine with a hint of Welsh character. Head Chef, Gerwyn Jones, believes in using locally sourced ingredients from producers who take pride in their products. He brings years of experience to the Nanteos kitchen having worked at Ynyshir.

To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, head to the competition section of and find the Nanteos Mansion competition. Complete the form provided including your answer to the following question by the closing date, which is 9.30am on Friday 31st May.

Q: What is the name of the self-catering property set within the grounds at Nanteos Mansion? a. The Mews House b. The Stable c. The Carriage Room Scan the barcode opposite using a QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competitions area on now! Terms & Conditions: 1. The closing date is Friday 31st May 2019. 2. The prize will consist of a two-night stay for two people in a suite at Nanteos Mansion 3. Must be pre-booked and subject to availability. 4. No cash alternative and not transferable. 5. Prize cannot be taken during public holidays such as Easter, May Bank Holidays. Prize must be taken by 30th June 2019. 6. The winner is responsible for expenses and arrangements not specifically included in the prize. 7. The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. 8. Employees and their families of Nanteos Mansion, Perception PR and Purple Sprout are excluded from all prize draws and competitions. 9. Entrants must be 18 years or older. 10. Editor’s decision is final. 11. The winner will be notified by phone, post or e-mail. 12. From time to time Purple Sprout or the competition supplier may contact you with news and information. If you would like to receive further communication, please tick the opt in box on the competition entry form.

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40th Anniversary Clothes for everyday, high days, holidays At Something Different, we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary in style – and we want you to enjoy the party too, with our incredible 10% discount loyalty card. It’s available for all our customers to use across our entire range through spring/summer 2019, and throughout our birthday year. We’ve been proudly dressing the ladies of Staffordshire and beyond in fabulous occasion outfits, stylish casual wear and everything in between for four decades, so we’ve seen more than just fashions change here on Stone High Street. Ever since Wendy Cooke opened the shop’s doors in 1979 and installed the stunning spiral staircase that’s become our centrepiece, we’ve helped to create big days and glamourous evenings for women of all styles, sizes and budgets. Ladies who shopped with us for their knockout party dresses are still visiting years later for their elegant mother of the bride outfits – while their daughters shop for the latest designer looks for their honeymoon.

Collections by Cabotine, Zeila, Veni Infantino by Ronald Joyce, Ann Balon and Lizabella. Sizes 8 – 22 | Prices to suit all budgets | Hats and fascinators by Failsworth and Snoxells One thing that has never changed though, is our personal, friendly service. We want every lady who visits us to leave with an outfit that makes them feel a million dollars, whatever the occasion. Upstairs in our wedding wear boutique showroom, mothers of the bride or groom will find beautiful pieces from Veni Infantino by Ronald Joyce, contemporary fashions from Tia, elegance from Pomodoro and flattering Italian lace dresses designed for the fuller figure, by Ann Balon. Around the shop, you’ll find fashionforward styles from Barbara Lebek, contemporary looks designed in Ireland by Lizabella, or Spanish special occasion wear with delicate lace and subtle embellishments by Zeila. The future’s looking bright for shopping in Stone; now more than ever we’re seeing our bustling market town filling up with likeminded independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants. All of our adjustments and alterations are made locally in Stone (in a shop previously owned by my mum!) And because we believe in keeping shopping local, we’re offering every customer a 10% saving with the Something Different loyalty card, which can be used on every purchase, whenever you visit us. Just pop in to the shop to pick up your card - we’d love to see you soon!

16a High Street, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8AW

Tel: 01785 815507

 18 | Open Mon-Sat 9.30am – 5.00pm (Appointments advisable for a Saturday)






Celeb Style Steal Pg.25

The Warm Up Pg.28

Timeline to Fabulous Pg.34

Picture Perfect Pg.38

The Final Countdown Pg.48

LIFESTYLE Your style bible, plus health, fitness and relationship advice

Top style pick! Dres s impr to ess this Summ er

£26 Next

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AN OASIS OF CALM In The Heart Of Birmingham

Spa goers from across the Midlands will be interested to know that one of Birmingham’s most popular spas has benefitted from a major refurbishment.

“The treatment rooms will provide an intimate space where guests will be able to really relax while the new reception area, that are light and airy, exude a sensation of decadence.

Thespa at The Cube on Wharfside Street has now undergone a half-million pound transformation that has elevated the facilities in keeping with the expectations of those looking for a luxury spa day in the city.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback over the years so it’s great to respond to that feedback and continually improving guests’ experience is what sets us apart from all other spas.

Already a favourite with people from right across the region, the work has resulted in the extension of the relaxation or quiet area plus the addition of more treatment rooms. Oozing luxury it will appeal to those looking for a place to chill out and relax. There has also been an increase in the number of double and single full-length loungers, and a series of hanging canvas cacoons © have also been installed where guests can quite literally hang out! Soft lighting will also make this area the perfect place for people to lie back, relax and get away from the stresses and strains of modern-day life. The new look facilities also include two traditional Arabian Rasul mud-based spa treatment rooms. Combining the health enhancing properties of mud, steam and heat, guests will be able to draw all the benefits of the treatment which includes exfoliating and toning the skin, while detoxifying the body and leaving them feeling totally relaxed.

“There is without doubt strong demand for weekend spa breaks, mother and daughter pamper days and hen weekends. There has also been a rise in the number of men wanting to enjoy a spa day so this refurbishment is great news for us and our customers. “We work closely with our exclusive product houses including ELEMIS, Leighton Denny and Lycon to ensure we offer our spa guests a beautiful spa journey. “We’ve created the perfect environment where people can look forward to and enjoy some ‘me time’ while getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.” For further information please... visit or call 0121 643 2200 (Option 1).

In addition, part of the refurbishment will see Elemis, the UK’s leading provider of skincare products, open a flagship store on site, increasing further to the venue’s appeal to those wanting a luxurious spa day. Jennifer Butters, the spa’s manager is now looking forward to welcoming guests to the new look spa. She said: “We’ve seen a steady rise in the demand for spa days and we have become the venue of choice for those looking for a pamper day or weekend in the city. We’re constantly looking at ways in which we can improve what we provide our guests and the extension of the quiet zone has been something we’ve been wanting to do for some time.

Spa Opening Launch Offer Book a Spa Therapy treatment for £50 or over and receive a two course lunch and a glass of prosecco at Marco Pierre Whites Bardolino Pizzeria and Bellini Bar.




I M P R E S S Work the season’s hottest dresses in the hottest colours.


1 4 2


21 5








Blue is everything this season. Choose your shade and go bold with prints.




10 15 14




1. £25 M&S 2. £45 Very 3. £69 Hush 4. £22 Oliver Bonas 5. £45 Next 6. £480 Laumprel London 7. £48 Glamorous 8. £69 Sosandar 9. £55 Very 10. £42 Roman Originals 11. £87 12. £25 F&F 13. £59 M&Co 14. £65 Laura Ashley 15. £45 Next 16. £255 Rebecca Minkoff 17. £55 Wallis 18. £39 Topshop 19. £49 Monsoon 20. £69 Debenhams 21. £37.99 Bon Prix

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6 19





Stand out in any crowd with the perfect red dress.




9 15


13 14 11


1. £30 Debenhams 2. £45 Bonmarché 3. £65 Dune 4. £69 Debenhams 5. £65 JD Williams 6. £10 Accessorize 7. £420 Laumprel London 8. £125 Lipsy 9. £48 Lipsy 10. £55 Roman Originals 11. £130 Monsoon 12. £38 Very 13. £18 Glamorous 14. £125 Lipsy 15. £62 Elvi 16. £69 Sosandar 17. £29.50 M&S 18. £70 Dune 19. £80 Roman Originals 20. £135 21. £69 Sosandar







1 2

4 5




Sunny GIRL





Bring a little happiness wherever you go.






15 14 13


1. £42 Topshop 2. £69 Debenhams 3. £160 Debenhams 4. £7 M&Co 5. £23 Asos 6. £45 Dorothy Perkins 7. £30 Evans 8. £35 M&S 9. £26 Next 10. £36 Glamorous 11. £42 Glamorous 12. £59.99 TK Maxx 13. £65 Laura Ashley 14. £190 15. £25 M&S 16. £25 Accessorize 17. £50 Joe Browns 18. £69 M&S 19. £89 M&Co 20. £55 Wallis 21. £49 Oasis

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Dressini is a long-established occasion wear supplier specialising in outfits for Mothers of the Bride & Groom based in the beautiful market town of Market Bosworth, Warwickshire. This unique fashion store has been established for nearly 50 years and is one of the largest suppliers in the UK, with over 2500 of the most amazing collections for weddings, race days, graduations, cruises, garden parties and quite simply, any celebration. Not only do Dressini supply outfits but accessories too, boasting a hat room with over 300 hats, hatinators and fascinators. Not forgetting the matching shoes and bags. The team of ladies, who have been advising customers for many years, thoroughly enjoy every minute guiding customers through the many fabulous styles and colours on offer. Their years of expertise is invaluable when helping to choose from the thousands of outfits ranging from sizes 8-28. Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 9am – 6pm Tuesday & Thursday 9am – 8pm

Visit our website: or email: 9-11 Market Place,Market Bosworth, CV13 OLF

01455 290234


eb Cel le Sty al Ste


The 42-year-old host of The Voice UK nails understated glamour every time. She steals the red carpet wherever she goes thanks to her striking looks and impeccably chic tailored style. Here’s how to work it like Emma Willis.

Get the look Pink perfect


With three children, a busy TV presenting schedule and her own Next clothing line, we’re struggling to see where Emma Willis finds the time to look this good. Her blonde locks are always effortlessly styled into a quirky quiff, her barely their makeup accentuates her natural beauty and piercing blue eyes, and she always manages to pull off her trademark suit style on the red carpet with ease. Ok, so we’re only slightly jealous! We’re crushing on this gorgeous shimmery pink suit she wore to the January launch of The Voice UK. And, luckily, you can match her style for SS19; an ideal way to add a bit of cool glamour to a wedding this summer.

3 1


1. £19.50 Oliver Bonas 2. £45 Very 3. £25 Wallis 4. £49 Lipsy

Keep base make-up light like Emma and go heavy on the eyes for a more dramatic evening look. sL

Here’s our top 4 picks from Emma’s brand-new Next line, out now at




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Will & Jo’s in Eccleshall is the idea of Will Edey & his partner Jo – having a thriving business in Sandbach – we thought we would expand and try something “a little more niche” while still retaining our DNA – maintaining our core values of quality, good fitting but quirky shoes & accessories at fair prices. During the past few months we have introduced several new brands that blend with our core supply base to give the customer a fantastic range to choose from. Will has been in the footwear industry for ever… well nearly & Jo has over 24 years in the manufacturing fashion industry so together make a fantastic team to give an enjoyable retail experience.

...and many more

Will & Jo’s 35 High Street Eccleshall ST21 6BW Tel: 01785 851414

& William R Shoes 15 Hightown Sandbach CW11 1AD Tel: 01270 764206

 Find us Facebook - Will & Jo’s 




Prep those pins because long shorts are back and bang on trend this summer. Here’s how to dress them up or down for any occasion.

£19.50 M&S

£75 Folli Follie £35 River Island £39 Debenhams

£50 River Island


£45 Wallis


£25 M&S

£18 Oliver Bonas

£35 River Island

£79 Swarovski

£28 Debenhams


£19.50 M&S

£49.50 M&S


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FASHION PRETTY PRAIRIE Hurrah! Femininity is not dead. One of the hottest catwalk trends to filter down to the high street this season is the pretty prairie dress. Although modest in design with long sleeves and flattering lengths, the floral and baroque anglaise styles make it a cute and versatile summer staple. We’ll be snapping these up in every colourway there is.

£22 Debenhams

£20 River Island H ig St reeh He r o t

THE FESTIVAL POUCH This is the season to embrace the belt bag, whether you’re hitting the festival fields or not. Strap on a statement bag rocking an animal print, transparent or leather design this summer for a super-functional and chic look that works with any outfit! Next £295

TIE-DYE Summer boho just went next level hippy. From the muted pastel tones that Stella McCartney championed at London Fashion Week to the vivid smashing colours of MSGM, you are going to need this look in your wardrobe this summer.

d ay P a y ge r S pl u

£129 £79 Debenhams

£19.99 Zara


Time to get ready for the new season; here’s our top ten first buys of summer.

£160 Selfridges

BRING IT BACK Payday Splurge

Dainty and feminine and a favourite of style queen Carrie Bradshaw, the slingback shoe is going to feature heavily in your summer wardrobe. An ideal way to add glamour to any outfit and with pointy toe designs elongating our pins, we are all for this pretty footwear trend. Bring it back.

£6 Very

HEADING UP Headbands and hair accessories are full-on this season, with extravagant designs and intricate details making our heads really stand out from the crowd. Don’t limit these to the beach or festival field either, headbands are fair game glam for any day of the week.

£475 Harvey Nichols High Street Hero

£45 M&S 28



Fun and flirty, the denim of the season is a relaxed and ankle grazing wide fit. Think boyfriend meets mum jeans. Go for a light or bleached look for ultimate style points and team it with a white shirt or body suit, colourful blazer and pumps for a completed look.


High Street Hero

£38 Asos

We love a heel just as much as the next girl, but flats are in this summer, in a big way. SS19 is all about making statements and footwear is no different. From shocking patterns, neon colours to full on crystal and pearl details, flats are winning.

h H i g et St rero He

£10 River Island

£99 House Of Fraser £115 Harvey Nichols

Payd a S pl u y r ge

£49 Next

SUPERSIZE BLING Jewellery has taken on a much more magnificent form for the summer.

Payday Splurge


Everything has become chunkier, shinier and more extravagant than ever. So if there’s one accessory you need to purchase and quick it’s a whole lot of supersize bling.

£185 Harvey Nichols Marks & Spencer

DESIGNER EYES New for SS19. Everybody’s favourite handbag designer, Mulberry, has launched into the eyewear market. The collection is priced from £190 and features eight styles reflecting both retro glamour and contemporary silhouettes. We expect these will be the must-have accessory of summer 2019 so better get in early before they sell out!

£15.99 Zara

£550 Selfridges £190 Mulberry

£220 Mulberry

CULT T-SHIRTS A classic tee is a summer staple any year, but in SS19 you need to add a graphic or logo into the mix. From full on pop-art style posters of your favourite icon to clever graphics and motifs, this season you’ll literally wear your heart on show.

£190 Mulberry w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


WallStreet • Access • Fransa • French Connection • Inwear • Nu by Staffs-Woman • Onjenu • Religion • Robell • Saint Tropez • Sandwich 23 High Street, Sandbach, CW11 1AH 01270 761594

29 Hospital Street, Nantwich, CW5 5RP 01270 610724

8 Lawton Road, Alsager, ST7 2AF 01270 883465

First Step Health Coaching

Double your Energy and Transform Life • Lose those last stubborn lb's • Transform your Life • Develop a powerful vision for the future you • Discover whats sapping your energy and what to do about it To discuss how I can help you call Sandra on 07850473753 or email at Total Transformation The 90 Day Intensive



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MAKEUP TRENDS TO TRY The latest looks for the summer season.

DISCO EYES - There was a raft of distinctively retro eye looks across the spring-summer 2019 catwalks, which got us feeling all disco. From bright eyeshadows in beautiful shades of fuchsia and cobalt to neon yellow and green, your eyes are going to be nothing short of showstopping this season. And if you’re heading to a festival this summer, you’ll love the trend for graphic glitter shadows really giving your eyes a glam overhaul. Those who are a fan of cat flick liner should also take note – this is the season to go much bolder, from lengthier extensions to full-on motifs.

We love: NYX Bright Eye Shadow Palette

£16 Boots.

BRONZED AND BEAUTIFUL - If you’ve had enough of

contouring, you’ll be pleased to hear that it continues to lose its appeal with designers. This season bronzed is back so dig out that bronzing brush and embrace a sun-kissed and glowing complexion. This looks great with slicked back hair and natural eye makeup, giving you that surfer girl vibe.

We love: Fenty Beauty Sculpting Bronzer Brush £26 Fenty Beauty at Harvey Nichols.

PARIS KISS - Statement red lips keep coming back and it’s

ok with us. There really is no better way to add instant glamour to your look whether you’re at work, on a night out or heading to the beach! Slap on the most vibrant red lipstick you dare this season.

We love: Conor Tingley Audacious Lipstick in Arnera £26

BUSHY BROWS - We’ve spent so long sculpting our brows into perfectly square-edged arches that this latest brow trend is a real turn up for the books. Bushy brows were heavily featured on the catwalks, but don’t think it’s ok to miss those next few brow appointments just yet. You still need to keep them in check, makeup artists were brushing up the hairs on well-maintained brows making them appear fuller and more natural.

We love: Brow Pencil, Powder and Brush £22.50 NO MAKEUP MAKEUP - The trend to look like you just stepped out of the salon after an hour-long facial isn’t going anywhere fast. But if you don’t have the time (or money) for daily expert exfoliation, then prepping the skin is key. An overnight hydrating mask, a good tinted moisturiser and barely-there blush will give you just the right amount of illusion for your look au naturel.

We love: Soft Focus Glow Powder £52 Rodial at Harvey Nichols.

HEY, FRECKLES - For years, freckles have been hidden

underneath foundations and concealers, but now beauty artists are turning to eyeliner pencil to actually create them as part of their looks instead. Honestly, we never saw the problem in the first place, so if you have them wear them all the time, anytime with pride.

We love: Sleek Make Up PWDR Brow Pencil in Taupe £4.99 Boots. sL

w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


Nothing can quite beat the wonderfully British Afternoon Tea. Join us at Hoar Cross Hall and enjoy a quintessentially English tradition in the surroundings of the former private country house. Our very own Afternoon Tea is our take on this nostalgic past-time. Our menu hosts a selection of irresistible finger sandwiches, scones and sweet pastries accompanied by an extensive selection of wonderful loose-leaf tea. Afternoon tea is served daily from 12 noon to 4pm in the magnificent Long Gallery, advanced booking is required. Classic Afternoon Tea £20 per person. Prosecco Afternoon Tea £25 per person Royal Afternoon Tea with Champagne £30 per person

Hoar Cross Hall, Maker Lane, Hoar Cross, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire DE13 8QS


oar Cross Hall has a tradition for entertaining dating back to the days when it was a privately owned country estate. The hall was regularly the backdrop for society balls and employed a large team to keep on top of the kitchen garden and the wider household. Butlers, housekeepers and nannies were in place to keep Hoar Cross’s busy social scene planned, organised and the go to place to be entertained. Fast-forward a century and Hoar Cross Hall is still organised to meticulous precision now under the watchful eye of General Manager Adrian Pickard. While overseeing a team of more than 200 people, quality, attention to detail, entertaining and giving guests a standout visit remain the key values at Hoar Cross Hall. The hotel has become the benchmark for best practice in the UK and is regularly shortlisted for being at the top of its game, from award nominations for the world class spa facilities to recent awards for food at Salon Culinaire. Entertaining at the hall is overseen by Tom Biddle, Executive Head Chef who captains a brigade of a dozen chefs. Tom is responsible for all food outlets across the 50-acre site including all day dining in Henry’s, room service for the busy hotel, alfresco picnics and dinner which is served in the elegant Ballroom. Tom learned his trade at University College Birmingham and has worked at high profile hotels and venues across the UK before helping to assert Hoar Cross Hall as a foodie destination since his arrival two and a half years ago. His love of well prepared, seasonal ingredients is apparent in all of his menus. And much like his personality, the flavours are distinct, menus are straight-talking and carefully presented. Tom champions balancing prime cuts with secondary cuts, duos and trios are his signature dishes on the menu. Recognising the emergence of healthier eating and greater diversity of dietary requirements, menus also offer a substantial choice for vegetarians and plant based diets too.

A new tradition for Hoar Cross Hall is afternoon tea which is proving popular amongst locals and loyal foodies from the region. Afternoon Tea At The Hall has recently taken on its own identity and a series of events has been launched to appeal to families, groups and those looking to simply spend time taking in the view and relishing in ‘me’ time. The events are billed as a new social occasion; an opportunity to meet and mingle, relax and revel. Afternoon Tea At The Hall has been designed by Tom alongside his pastry chef who has recently been acclaimed for her pastry work. Priced from £25 per person, afternoon tea will consist of hand-cut sandwiches, fresh home-baked scones, miniature cakes and pastries. There will also be regular themed events which will reflect the seasonal calendar with Mothering Sunday and Halloween spectaculars already in the planning. A one off Staffordshire Dining Club is also being launched and will showcase Tom’s creativity with a wine list paired by the inhouse sommelier. Taking place on 17th May, The Dining Club will be an exclusive event and will draw on seasonal menu items primarily sourced locally. In keeping with its traditions as a grand house for entertaining, Hoar Cross Hall has garnered a reputation for milestone events including weddings and personal celebrations. Menus have been designed by Tom and have been created to give not only the best tastes but a stunning Instagram moment for guests. Add in the heritage and stunning architecture of The Hall and Hoar Cross is fast becoming the go to destination for organisers with a grand occasion in mind. A new history is in the making at Hoar Cross Hall; a lively social scene where entertaining and great food headline for a new generation of house guests.



TIMELINE TO We all need a little time to get our glam on. Sarah Marshall’s got the key to timing it just right.

Don’t you just love a night out? Getting dressed up and feeling a million dollars as you get ready to sip champers or enjoy a swanky meal.

Let’s be honest, getting ready for it can put your head in a spin, because whether it’s a summer ball, glitzy cocktail party or a night on the town, it’s not only what to wear that needs thought. Creating the perfect hair, make-up and tan is important too, not to mention time-consuming. With the average woman spending a fortune on prep, it’s no wonder you might be feeling in a daze about what to do first and when. Fear not, however, as we’re here to guide you through it, so sit back, relax and get ready for some serious pampering.

Two months before - If you’ve got plenty When the invitation arrives - “First thing’s first, book your style squad,” says Thomas Hope, founder and style director of Touched Hair and Beauty and Artiste in Stoke-on-Trent. Indeed, a stylist can help bring a look together especially if you have the ideas but aren’t sure quite how to execute them.

“When creating looks for our clients, we start with the basics of a location, theme or outfit and then choose the hair and make up to complement.” 34

Thomas says: “Saturdays and evening slots tend to get booked up first so I advise to book as soon as you know your dates and book closest to your event time to avoid hair losing its style and to ensure your lipstick looks fresh without worrying about a last minute snack before departing.” However, if your budget won’t quite stretch to a stylist, start researching some looks and how you’re going to create them. Thomas says: “When creating looks for our clients, we start with the basics of a location, theme or outfit and then choose the hair and make up to complement. For instance, if it’s a look that is for an all-day event we would discuss an up-style or fuller more structured style to ensure lasting results. “It's also important to think about if the event is indoor or outdoor and consider the outfit and neckline. This ensures that the style flatters your outfit and doesn’t hide any details that you are planning to showcase.”

of time before your big event then you could perfect your Hollywood smile. After all, they say smile and the world smiles with you. National Smile Month is from May 13 to June 13 and aims to promote just that. The month also raises awareness of good oral health, reminding people to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cut down on sugary food and drink and visit the dentist regularly. If you want to go further and have your teeth whitened, then speak to your dentist. Home kits are available but if you don’t want to take the risk it’s worth booking an appointment a couple of months in advance as you might need to make several visits. The dentist can take an impression of your teeth to make a mouth guard and tell you how to use it with a bleaching gel at home. Laser whitening, where bleach is applied to your teeth and then a laser is shone to activate it is also an option and the treatment takes about an hour. It’s also the time to get into a good skin care routine. Regular cleansing, toning and moisturising is important as is exfoliating the skin once a week. You could even treat yourself to a salon facial. And begin practicing your make-up look. As Thomas Hope says: “A lot of people find makeup intimidating, but there is actually very little you can do wrong. Plus, there are so many free tutorials available on YouTube now that you simply follow things to the letter.”


Two weeks before - Get your outfit sorted. After all, we’ve

probably all been there at some point. Rushing around trying to find the perfect dress and then panic-buying something we don’t really like, which only causes stress, tears and tantrums! Try the full outfit on in advance too, otherwise you could decide you don’t like it or that it doesn’t work with the jacket and so on. It’s always good to have a back-up outfit too just in case. Spillages and rips can happen at the last minute but if you’re prepared with other options there’s no reason for it to spell disaster. Remember, the more zen-like you are on the day of your big event, the better you’ll feel on the inside – and that will radiate out of you too and make you look fabulous. Now is also a good time to book appointments for hair, make-up, nails and spray tans.

Two days before - Heading to the salon for a spray tan a couple of days before is worth doing and means you’ll have plenty of time for the tan to develop and ensure you’re happy with it. If you’re doing it yourself, however, then definitely apply sooner rather than later. For best results make sure you’ve already had your legs waxed and that you exfoliate beforehand. The experts always recommend exfoliating as it creates a smoother surface and means the tan is more likely to be even rather than streaky. You could also use a mitt to apply it as this helps with getting a more even look. Gradual tanners are good if you have the time. You can apply a little each day in the week running up to your evening out so by the time it arrives you have a nice golden glow. If time is of the essence, however, don’t fret. For a last-minute sun-kissed look you can use an instant fake tan, which washes off later. Just watch out for the rain.

The day before - Doing your nails is best done now. If you’re

So how do you find the perfect match? Thomas recommends using different shades and creating shape. He adds: “A request I get at the salon frequently is how to blend natural hair with the added hair. I recommend asking your stylist to soften your extensions into your hair creating shape. If they are just for the night a curl is a great way to instantly blend as the texture will help to connect the two seamlessly. A great way to keep track of their perfect position is to number them and create a template for when they are removed. This can be as simple as a diagram of a head shape with numbers matching your additions. “For a more permanent effect you could have tape extensions applied for lasting fullness that only requires maintenance every 8-12 weeks. Whereas wefts can be removed and applied when needed which creates a lower maintenance option, they do require some at home TLC with a regular treatment to keep them at their best for the longest.” When beginning your make-up Thomas also has a few tips. “Before applying lipstick exfoliate and moisturise the lips to create a smooth and long lasting even coverage,” he explains. “Primer is also a key step often missed. It helps to create an even base for make-up and also helps to inhibit oils from the skin reacting with the make-up and in some primers - it can even help with counteracting redness.”

And finally… With hair, make-up, tans and teeth looking perfect, it’s time to slip into your outfit, add some accessories, a splash of perfume and you’re good to go. Thomas says: “Perfecting your look for your much-needed night out can seem like a lot of effort – but when you look good and feel good, it is totally worth it.” Beauty box!

painting your own then brushing on varnish at the 11th hour will likely result in scuffs and mistakes, which could ruin your polished look. Prepare your nails first with a cuticle oil, then apply a base coat. Add your first coat of varnish, wait for it to dry and you can always correct any mistakes with a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover. Add a second coat if necessary, then once it’s dry add a top coat to seal it.

2 1 3

If you’re planning to do your own stick-on nails then again give yourself some extra time. Put a base coat on your own nails first to protect them, then apply the adhesive that comes with the nails before sticking the nails on. They should last fairly well, although it can depend on which ones you buy. However, if you really want to avoid any hassle book yourself in for a professional manicure and enjoy relaxing while someone else does the work.


On the day - Hair and make-up are of course the last things to

tick off the beauty prep list. Thomas Hope says: “Hair enhancements and extensions can be an incredible asset for quick styling results.” Extensions can be done professionally at a salon or clip-in ones can also be used for a one-off look and Thomas has plenty of tips.


“When creating fullness on the crown or for wrapping into a pony (think Ariana Grande’s signature look) you can use wefts only at the crown and add instant length and fullness directly into a top knot or pony. “For extra length and volume, a combination of tape extensions or micro rings would be the perfect solution. This choice depends on the thickness of your natural hair, and I always consider the weight of the extensions to ensure that we consider comfort while delivering flawless results.”

1. Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse £7.99 Superdrug 2. Your Good Skin Brightening Exfoliating Face Wash £6 Boots 3. Illamasqua Beyond Powder £34 4. Project Lip Mask £3.95 5. SOS Primer £27 Clarins. sL w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


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MIDLANDS FIRST FOR ROBOTIC HIP & KNEE SURGERY Spire Little Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield is celebrating after its private patients became the first in the Midlands to undergo revolutionary roboticallyassisted hip and knee surgery. Mako, the state of the art robotic arm, is a precision tool now used by selected surgeons at the hospital, and is offered as an alternative to traditional hip and knee replacements. The Hospital in Little Aston has the only Mako robot within private hospitals in the Midlands area.

The very first Mako robotically assisted knee replacement took place at Spire Little Aston last year and since then, the Hospital has seen increased demand for the robotically assisted procedure as word spreads about its benefits. The robot has the capability to achieve never before seen levels of accuracy during surgery. This pioneering technology results in improved precision, quicker recovery times and less pain for patients. Ved Goswami, the surgeon behind the first procedure at Spire Little Aston commented: “The Mako robot has a track record of delivering outstanding results for patients. Over 100,000 procedures have been carried out using the robot across the world and it’s a real pleasure to be able to bring this technology to Midlands’ patients for the very first time. For me, seeing patients return to the lifestyle they know and love faster than ever is a huge satisfaction”. “We’re delighted to be able to offer our patients the very latest in hip and knee surgery” said Richard Foulkes, Hospital Director. “We are seeing record levels of interest from across the Midlands from patients seeking the Mako technology over traditional hip and knee replacement techniques. The Mako robot is very much at home here in the hospital and we’re over the moon with the initial results our patients are experiencing”.

Come to a free mini consultation to talk to a surgeon about Mako on Tuesday 28th May 6.00pm – 7.30pm To reserve your place, call: 0121 514 7084 or visit




Can movie love really exist in real life? Or do we all need to manage our expectations to truly be successful in relationships. Sarah Marshall investigates. We’ve all seen the movies. It’s a classic love story, the hero and heroine meet, there’s romance and music, kisses and drama, then after numerous setbacks they ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Away from the movie screen, the first flush of love can often feel like a film romance, when you’re in that bubble of happiness with the endless conversations, cuddles, kisses and the butterflies in the tummy that feel like they’ll last forever. It feels like you’ve hit that elusive ideal of a happy-ever-after, standing side-by-side with your movie hero or leading lady, ready to take on life together. But what happens when the credits roll and real life kicks in? When the mortgage has to be paid, when children come along, when the banalities of everyday life hit home and romance seems like a distant dream? Is it still possible to keep the blockbuster love story alive? “Life isn’t really like a movie,” says relationship expert Kate Mansfield, who has appeared on such shows as Good Morning Britain offering advice. “If people are looking for that then I’m afraid to say they are setting themselves up for disappointment. I think it’s why we have such a high divorce rate in this country because people have unrealistic expectations. “There’s nothing wrong with emotional intensity at the first stage. Movie love can work for a short time but at some point reality bites, especially when you get a mortgage or have children. “My advice is always to have realistic expectations in a relationship.”


Indeed, according to figures from relationship charity Relate, nearly three million people in the UK are in less-than-happy relationships. The charity also revealed in January this year that research had found one fifth of people in a relationship were staying in it even though they were unhappy. The top reasons were for the sake of the children, financial reasons, not wanting to break a commitment - or they were hoping things would get better. But it’s not all bad news as there are many more people who are in loving and lasting relationships. Relate’s recent survey of more than 2,000 adults found 62 per cent of people in relationships said they fancied their partner more now than at the beginning of their relationship. And there are plenty of people proudly celebrating their golden or even diamond wedding anniversaries. You only have to pick up a newspaper to see them. So, how do you keep it real when you’re in that first flush of early relationship love? Kate Mansfield says: “It’s important to recognise signs and red flags when you’re first dating that tell you something is wrong, despite the fact that you might have good chemistry with another person. In the short term that chemistry will make it work and because you don’t want the disappointment of having to end the relationship, it continues but then you only end up having to deal with disappointment in the long term when there is a lot more at stake. If you can recognise these potential issues early on the better, but it’s a common thread in a lot of relationships.” Kate says many people also fall into patterns of choosing partners who have had previous issues, such as being emotionally unavailable, or they are looking for someone to fulfil a need, which means they will always be disappointed. “There are people who are insecure and want their partner to rescue them,” she says. “They clearly have unresolved issues.


“Movie love can work for a short time but at some point reality bites...”

So do those who feel constantly let down by people. Maybe they need to work on themselves first before they can entertain a relationship, otherwise they will not want to take responsibility for themselves, whether it’s financially or emotionally.” Kate, who has previously written about the TV reality show Love Island, where couples live in a villa and hope to fall in love, says these days there is also a lot of pressure to look and act a certain way. She adds: “The celebrity phenomenon does impact relationships. The pressure to look a certain way and all the trappings of a celebrity lifestyle with material things has had an effect. It is a big thing in our culture and is affecting the younger generations. There seems to have been a shift away from having an emotional connection, which is a priority in a relationship.” So what’s the secret to keeping that first flush of love alive – and building a long lasting relationship? Every partnership is different but successful relationships tend to have a common thread running through them.

Good communication - This is probably one of the most key things. Both people need to be comfortable enough to talk openly and honestly about things they are happy or unhappy about, as well as their hopes and fears and the things they need to be content. A couple who can communicate are more likely to last as it will also help them to recognise issues or concerns from their partner’s point of view too. Lack of communication makes connecting with each other more difficult, especially when it comes to discussing important issues.

Learn to compromise - While we all love to have things our own way, refusing to back down on anything or demanding everyone bends your way, can lead to problems. Similarly, if you find yourself on the other end of this kind of behaviour it will soon get tiresome and breed resentment if you’re constantly having to put yourself second. Being able to compromise

Sharing hobbies is great but it’s also healthy to have your own interests – and it gives you something to talk about.

and enjoy a bit of give and take is key. Listen to each other and don’t be afraid to disagree. As long as you communicate without dragging up old arguments or attacking each other with insults, there’s no reason why a resolution can’t be reached. Many married couples who have celebrated diamond wedding anniversaries tend to cite being able to give and take as one of the reasons for their long-lasting marriages.

Physical intimacy - Being physically intimate is important and we’re not just talking about in the bedroom here. Holding each other’s hands, cuddling on the sofa in front of the TV and an affectionate hug here and there help to promote a feeling of togetherness. It’s easy to forget to simply reach out and touch each other when you’re busy with every-day life. Navigate the tough times - If you can work together to get through those difficult moments in life a relationship is more likely to succeed. Money worries, bereavements and illnesses can all potentially take their tolls on couples. Having children can also be the biggest test, especially if one partner doesn’t pull their weight or you disagree on how to bring them up. Working together as a team and being united is vital.

Take time for you - Remember you’re an individual who doesn’t necessarily need another person to make you happy. Keeping up with interests, hobbies and friendships outside of a couple are things many people in successful relationships do. You don’t have to spend every minute of the day together.

If a relationship has reached breaking point, however, and you still think it’s worth saving then counselling is always an option. Aidan Jones, Relate’s chief executive officer, said: “With the right support a breaking point can become a turning point for many couples and families, whether that means working through problems together or splitting up with as little conflict as possible. “It’s not easy, but the right support helps people to reduce conflict and find their way through the most difficult of situations. Services like Relate’s are vital for individuals, couples, families and society as a whole but we aren’t always able to offer free or subsidised help. “All too often it’s those who can least afford it, either emotionally or financially, who are left out in the cold. That’s why we’re working with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to call for greater government investment in relationship support services.” Relate and BACP’s #InvestInRelationships campaign aims to ensure everyone has access to support. TV comedian Ruby Wax, who is also Relate’s president, said: “I grew up in a home where arguments and conflict were the norm. I just thought that was how relationships worked. Despite our ups and downs, including my own depression, I’m proud to say that my husband and I have been together for more than 30 years. My studies have taught me a lot about counselling and that’s been invaluable in all my personal relationships. Helping people to relate better is the key to happiness and I want everyone to have access to expert support when they need it.” sL w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


LEGS FIT FOR SUMMER Rapid Relief from Varicose Veins Choosing private treatment with a consultant vascular surgeon at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton hospital, means that you can have your varicose veins sorted out in one visit and will be back on your feet in time for the summer weather! The newest minimally invasive treatment option for visible varicose veins enables people to have their veins treated with much greater comfort and less bruising. The VenaSeal Closure system is a new sealing system using medical grade superglue, involving many fewer injections and is relatively pain free. Varicose veins are caused by a malfunction of valves in the veins. When the valves fail, blood flows backwards and pools in the veins causing a bulging appearance. Both men and women with varicose, or spider veins, often experience cramping or aching in the legs. Sadly for patients, the NHS no longer offers treatment for the majority of patients. When the vein valves weaken, pooled blood can cause painful and unsightly bulges at the skin’s surface. Symptoms include aching and itching, swelling and restless legs at night and the sensation of throbbing over the vein. If left untreated, this can lead to bleeding, eczema, phlebitis and potentially leg ulcers, which take a long time to heal.

hour per leg. Over a year ago, the private facility in Tettenhall was the first hospital in the group of 31 Nuffield Health hospitals to offer the advanced VenaSeal treatment, which uses medical adhesive to safely close diseased veins on a walk in/walk out basis. Mr Andy Garnham says: “Many people don’t realise they have varicose veins. If you have large veins just under the surface of your skin; mild swelling or itching of your ankles or feet; achy, heavy or throbbing legs, it is advisable to seek a medical examination. A special scan of your veins will help diagnose the condition. At Nuffield Health we are delighted to be able to add the new minimally invasive technique to our other veins procedures, allowing us to provide a bespoke service for each individual patient. ”

“Many people don’t realise they have varicose veins...”

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The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) advises minimally invasive surgery under local anaesthetic, where patients can walk in and walk out within a couple of hours and quickly return to driving and normal activities. There are a number of surgical treatments to remove problem veins which will put an end to vein pain symptoms. Depending on the type of procedure, it can be performed under a local anaesthetic and usually takes around one

Mr Simon Hobbs at the Wolverhampton private hospital adds: “Minimally invasive techniques are far better than those used a generation ago where damaged veins were stripped out surgically. Nowadays we use radio frequency or endovenous laser ablation, where the damaged vein segment is closed off with radio waves or laser energy. More recently we can now offer the newest treatment option which uses medical adhesive to seal the impaired vein.”

For more information on consultant vascular surgeons Mr Hobbs and Mr Garnham: | 01902 275867


Specialists in you.

If you are feeling a little embarassed about blemishes or unsightly veins around your legs, there is a fast and effective solution available to you at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital. Varicose veins are mostly harmless and pose no serious health risk. If you are seeking treatment for purely cosmetic reasons, this will not be available to you on the NHS. It is only available to you as a private patient paying for yourself. There are a number of surgical, and non-surgical procedures to choose from, and treatment is performed in just a couple of hours as an outpatient. Call us for more information or to make an appointment. 01902 275 675


Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital

Wolverhampton Nuffield Hospital, Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 8LE



01782 719000 81 Clayton Road, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 3NE WWW.81ROSEGARDEN.COM

BATTLE OF THE If you are feeling like you are just going through the motions in life, we’re here to help. Here are some expert wellness tips to keep you on the right track this year. We’ve all had those times in life where we feel like we’re not getting anywhere fast, whether that’s in a relationship, work, finances or a combination of all three. Feeling ‘stuck in a rut’ is not uncommon but thankfully there are a few tools and techniques we can all use to help pull us through and motivate us to make changes for the better. “Everyone gets stuck in a rut at some time,” says life-coach expert, Carole Ann Rice. “Drudgery, sameness, routine and lack of excitement can make us stuck, as can fear. Fear of change, of being alone or deficit thinking – ‘I will never get a job I love’ creates an impasse. Circumstances change and what was once enjoyable can become dull or boring.” One way to get started is to write down a list of things you want out of life as well as those things that are not making you happy, and therefore could be the cause of your situation. “Start to write a list of everything you don’t want,” Carole Ann suggests, “what drains you and makes you unhappy. Then make a list of what you do want. Map out what would a perfect work day look like? What is your ideal relationship? And what needs to happen to start creating this.” Then setting goals can give you a path and a journey to follow. “If you don't know what you want you get what you are given in life,” says Carole Ann. “Studies show that when we write our goals down, and are specific with what we want, we are more likely to take action and create a path to manifest them - thus creating better life satisfaction.” Safiyya Abdulla from Bethink Coaching believes the key to moving forward is to ensure we are using our time in the most productive and valuable way. “The first thing we can do when we start to feel stuck in a rut is consider how we are spending the only thing more valuable to us than money, that is our time,” she says. “This is why it is so important to dedicate one hour for yourself each day. One constant is that there are 24 hours in every day, for every person on the planet. So, investing just one hour for yourself



is less than 1% of that time. What it will give you is a sense of clarity and peace to reflect upon yourself and that day. It will help you to be more mindful and present which will in turn increase not only your overall productivity but also your happiness and wellbeing. “You could use this hour to mindfully eat during your lunch break. Maybe go for a walk in a local park and really ‘see’ everything around you, notice the smells, the flowers, maybe smile at another person. “Time is precious, one thing is for sure, you can always make more money, but you’re never going to make more time, so use it wisely. Try to focus on being more present in the moment and that includes spending one hour on yourself every day.” Award-winning wellness coach Bethany Ainsley has this five-step guide everyone can do to get out of the feeling of being stuck in rut.

1. My top tip is to define your motivation. What is driving you to make a change? This should be something that resonates on a deeper level such as wanting to increase fitness levels to enable you to be more active with your children, or you wanting to feel more positive about yourself to show greater confidence in the workplace. 2. It’s important to think about why you have been feeling stuck

in a rut. By understanding barriers and potential obstacles you can identify solutions in advance. For example, if a lack of time seems problematic, book a slot in your diary at a convenient, set time and mark it a priority that can’t be cancelled.

3. Set a clear goal that is a challenge but achievable. Assigning a date to when this goal will be achieved will give clarity and direction. 4. Make small manageable steps each day to take you closer to your goal. 5. Remember to enjoy the journey. You are on an exciting path to an improved version of yourself. Reward your achievements, have fun in the process and if you do slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself. Have a positive mental attitude and focus on your motivation. sL w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


Celebrate in style... The ultimate exclusive retreat and secluded venue in the Churnet Valley, Staffordshire - a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Available for exclusive use from private parties and intimate wedding receptions to corporate away days, the lodge has everything you could possibly want.

With 16 individually designed bedrooms ranging in size from intimate and cosy to large and spacious. The lodge’s private dining room can host up to 25 guests in one sitting, ideal for those celebrating special occasions. Call 01782 550621 or visit our website for more.

Qlic is the new tablet stand built and designed with the end user in mind. Suitable for most tablets currently on the market, Qlic is incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of settings in the home... Qlic Wireless is our most innovative stand and will charge tablets and mobile telephones equipped with built in wireless charging facilities or fitted with a Qlic patch receiver. Patches are sold separately and are simply plugged into the charging port of your phone or tablet and kept in place with the supplied adhesive tabs or your current gel case. To view our full range check out our website Also available on our website is a list of compatible phones and tablets suitable for wireless charging. Alternatively call us on

01782 817851

The perfect Father’s Day gift!

Are you dreaming about a brighter, whiter smile? We cover all aspects of dental care

Your smile is one of the most important things about you. Smiling is such a simple thing, yet it helps to reduce stress, establish trust,patients promotes your personality and a sense of wellbeing. New welcome Here at The Priors Dental Practice, we have a wide range of the latest techniques available Drand Mark Emms to improve your smile. From implants cosmetic dental work, teeth straightening and (Principal Dentist) LDS RCS (Edin) MSc (UCL) whitening to deep teeth cleaning procedures such as Airflow®. Conservative Dentistry GDC No 59898

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• Teeth whitening Enhancements • Smile • Orthodontics (Teeth straightening) Dentistry and Hygienist Services • General • Smile Enhancements • Dental Implants and Root Canal Treatments • General Dentistry and Hygienist Services • Dental Implants and Root Canal Treatments

Your smile can be enhanced simply by whiteness of your teeth. Teeth can become stained Mrthe John Scholey through smoking or drinking tea, coffee, fizzy red wine.FDS Lightening them by just a (Specialist Orthodontist) BDSdrinks FDS and RCS (Edin) (Orth) RCS (Edin) MOrthcan RCS (Edin) RCS (Eng), MDentSci few shades make a big MOrth difference to your smile. Daniel Young The Priors Dental Practice offers an Dr extensive variety of straight forward, effective and safe (Associate Dentist) BDS (Sheffield) whitening procedures, from in surgery power whitening to procedures for use at home. Dr Lukas Javorskis

MScoccasion Endodontology (Kaunas, Lithuania) Whether you have a special coming up or you just want a healthier, brighter smile, the benefits of teeth whitening can enhance your confidence and boost your smile! Priors Dental Pinfold Lane, our friendly To discuss which type of treatment would be The most suitable forPractice, you, please contact Penkridge, Staffs, ST19 5AP team at The Priors Dental Practice on 01785 712388 to arrange a consultation appointment.

01785 712388

01785 712388



The Priors Dental Practice, Pinfold Lane, Penkridge, Staffs, ST19 5AP

SAVANA • Savana is looking towards working in partnership with companies. By becoming a partner you will be addressing your commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and demonstrate your support to your local community.

• Savana is a registered charity based in North Staffordshire, operating since 1986. The service provides counselling and Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) support to anyone from the age of 4 who has been affected directly or indirectly by any form of sexual violence. Savana also offers CPD accredited training to staff in any organisation. • Awareness of sexual violence is very much in the public arena, mainly due to the high-profile cases that have been seen in the media. Savana endeavours to enhance people’s knowledge and understanding about the effects of sexual violence. Moreover, the organisation aspires to dispel the myths surrounding rape and sexual abuse.

Please contact Savana to find out how to become a Corporate Partner today! 01782 433205 | 01782 433204 | |

We are one of the region’s leading independent financial advisory practices and part of Perspective Financial Group Ltd, one of the UK’s leading national financial advisory practices. We have an enviable reputation for providing our clients with impartial financial advice and delivering exceptional client service. Our origins go back to 1985 since when we have grown substantially by providing financial planning and investment advice to our clients. Our firm is one of the few that are Corporate Chartered Financial Planners in the UK and moreover, all of our client facing advisers individually hold the Chartered Financial Planner status. For more information visit

Contact us: Derek Baptist, MCSI APFS Chartered Financial Planner Managing Director, Perspective (Midlands & Cheshire) Ltd 01782 711 091 All calls to and from our landlines and mobiles are recorded to meet regulatory requirements









from £5525! Talk to us about your dream Moddershall Oaks wedding. Register interest online for our Wedding Open Day SUNDAY 7 TH APRIL 2019


the place to say ‘I Do’


01782 399000

WANTS TO BE HEALTHY Everyone Health offers FREE services to the over 50s across Staffordshire*

WHAT SERVICES DO WE OFFER? • Over 50s Weight Management and Physical Activity • Stop Smoking Support • NHS Health Checks • Local Reducing Social Isolation Groups • Falls Prevention • Malnutrition Support

HOW TO GET INVOLVED To find out how to get involved with these FREE sessions, you can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Tel: 03330 050095 Email: *Restrictions may apply


With around six weeks until the start of summer, it’s time to whip that body into shape. Let’s get this done, ladies!



With around six weeks until the start of summer, it’s time to whip that body into shape. Let’s get this done, ladies!

ummer holiday season is almost here and we can’t wait to hit the beach. But, like us, you’re probably not feeling quite beach body ready yet. And with only six weeks to go, is there enough time to achieve it? Yes! And we’re here to tell you it can be done - and it can be achieved at home too if the gym just isn’t your thing. As fitness coach Harry Aitken says: “For most people, with six weeks of hard work they can increase their strength significantly, improve their fitness, lose fat and feel and look better.” Still need convincing? We’ve spoken to some top fitness and nutrition experts to find out more. When it comes to fitness most of the experts will recommend thinking about it first rather than rushing into a new exercise regime. It’s too easy for people to decide one day they’re going to go for a run - despite not having done so for years - getting half-way up the road and feeling ready to collapse. It’s also a sure-fire way to pick up an injury, which means you could be out of the game before even starting. Instead think about your goal and what your starting point is, then look at how you can achieve goals in the timeframe.


“If you are physically inactive and eat and drink excessively, you must realise that you will not be able to jump straight into running 10km every day without negative effects,” says Harry Aitken, who is a master trainer for Worcestershire-based Auster Fitness, as well as a qualified sports scientist and training coach.

you are very inactive and starting from nothing, you must be realistic with what you can and can’t do. Exercise is a big strain on the body, and if you’ve not done much before you need to build up to it, and have sufficient time to recover. “Most people underestimate the time it takes, or difficulty required to actually reach their goal.”

“While the coffee is brewing, try some lunges or press-ups on the kitchen floor” “Identify reasons for starting, write them down and pin them up in your room, the kitchen or on your fridge. “By identifying your goal you can focus your training towards that goal. If it’s to get fitter then you need to exercise. If your goal is to lose fat, you don’t necessarily have to exercise, but it’s important to track how many calories you are eating. “Self-realisation is very empowering, and by identifying, realistically, your starting point you can optimise your training. If you’re already in decent shape and fairly active, you may be able to accelerate your new fitness regime. Likewise if

Harry says the best exercises for quick results include high-intensity weight training sessions as they put the body in a superior hormonal state, ultimately leading to more fat burned. Lifting weights also increases lean muscle mass. Bigger muscles require more energy to function, which means you burn more calories at resting. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn. Brisk walking for a few minutes every day is also a great way to get some exercise, especially if you haven’t done much before. The NHS says adults should do around 20 minutes of aerobic exercise each day to be healthy, and that includes brisk walking. With the warmer weather it’s also a great time to get on your bike, or if you’re working out at home, some hand weights or resistance bands come highly recommended.

Health coach Olly Leicester, who specialises in dealing with stressed professionals who are having trouble with excess weight and food choices, anxiety/depression, and general lifestyle imbalances, says incorporating exercise into daily routines is a good idea. “While the coffee is brewing, try some lunges or press-ups on the kitchen floor,” he explains. “Working out doesn’t mean you need to be in your gym gear. Do 10 press-ups before you sit down for your breakfast or your evening meal. “Morning exercise is a great way to start the day. Tabata press-ups is a method I’ve used for about a year now. They’re very strenuous but only take four minutes. And if you don’t have four minutes then you’re lying! Twenty seconds of exercise, 10 seconds of rest. Eight cycles of that and you’re tired but you’re well worked.” When looking at your diet you can either go all out with a strict diet or make a few simple changes. Kim Pearson, a Harley Street nutritionist and weight loss specialist, recommends keeping a food diary for a week before changing eating habits so you can identify areas for improvement. She says: “Do your research and be clear on exactly what nutritional plan you’re going to follow. Following a little bit of advice from one diet and a little from another could cause more problems than it solves. There is lots of advice online, in the media and in books so make sure you do your research and find one sensible plan that feels right for you.” She advises meal prepping and spending a couple of hours on a Sunday planning exactly what meals to eat that week, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Order all the right ingredients and if you have time, even prepare meals to save you time in the week. This way you’re much more likely to stick to your healthy diet rather than run out of time or energy and grab a takeaway or fast food option. Kim adds: “Sometimes it can be useful to give your new, healthy regime a kick start. Consider trying ProLon, a five-day fast mimicking diet developed by Professor Valter Longo, the leading expert in fasting and ageing. It’s a five day diet designed to naturally promote regeneration and repair, as well as giving your weight loss a kick start. It is essentially fasting, but with food. Meals include plant-based bars, soups, a variety of snacks, drinks, and supplements, made with ingredients that have been studied and designed to nourish your body and promote regenerative changes.” Celebrity nutritionist Barbara Cox, author of Rainbow Recipes Eat to Be Fit, recommends researching recipes to help with your goals, whether it’s weight loss or building muscle. “Shop for the recipes with a detailed shopping list,” she explains. “This will help you stay on budget and also visit destination aisles that may contain unusual ingredients like certain spices, pulses, grains, seeds, oils, non-dairy milks, teas and supplements. The first couple of shops may take a bit longer until you know where everything is either down the aisle or online.” As Harry Aitken adds, ultimately losing weight is about calories in versus calories out. “It really is that simple,” he says. “No matter what ‘diet’ you decide to do, to lose weight you must burn more calories than you are putting in your mouth. “However, what is becoming more important is not just what you eat, but when you eat it. For example, you metabolism slows down overnight when you sleep. If you have a carbohydrate dense meal right before bed, your body digests this slowly and can store a lot of the excess carbs as Triglycerides, in your fat cells. Your body


doesn’t need many carbs while it is resting, so a quick trick is to minimise evening carbohydrates and this can help hugely.” Harry says on a six-week plan it’s a good idea to minimise sugar and evening carbs, cut out crisps and sweets and minimise sauces as many are packed with sugar. A smaller dinner also helps maintain lower evening calories and encourage stomach shrinking overnight, he says. Ollie Leicester agrees, he adds: “If the bad stuff isn’t in the house, you won’t eat it. “Being intentional when you shop, and having a plan before you go to the shop will help.” The results you can expect to see in six weeks depends on your starting point. And it’s a good idea to ditch the scales in favour of taking regular photographs or measurements. Harry Aitken says if you’re weight training, it is not unheard of to end up heavier than when you started because of muscle weight gain. He says: “Pictures/body measurements show the real story, as while a person might be heavier their stomach is thinner, chest/ shoulders/arms are bigger and more muscular and they look more ripped, healthier and happier. However in six weeks you will definitely be able to smash the stairs you were struggling up and comfortably lift the weights you struggled starting with.” There are other methods to help you shed pounds, especially if you’re more overweight and need support to make long-term changes. The Bodyline Clinic at Stoke’s Festival Park, offers a range of prescription-only medications to help people with a body mass index of more than 27. Treatments include a SlimPen injection to reduce hunger and control cravings to aid weight loss. Regulated by the Care Quality Commission, the clinic has a team of doctors, nurses and clinicians who work with clients to set out a plan to make simple fitness and nutritional changes alongside the medication. Managing director Sally Turner said: “If our clients follow our plans, they can lose up to a stone in the first month alone. “We have been working with a family in Stoke who between them lost over 12 stone.”

TOP TIPS TO WEIGHT LOSS 1. Burn more calories than you are eating 2. Try and limit sugar and carbohydrates in the evening 3. Don’t have naughty foods like crisps, sweets and chocolate in the house – if it’s not there you can’t eat it!

4. Ditch the scales and rely on measurements and pictures to track changes and keep motivated 5. Don’t eat a carbohydrate-dense meal before bed 6. Plan your weekly meals and prep what you can in advance 7. Work small bursts of fitness into your day if you don’t have time for a longer workout or to go to the gym 8. Try and get 20 minutes of exercise in each day even if it is just a brisk walk at lunchtime

9. Identify your goals and pin them to the fridge. 10. Stay focused – 6 weeks will fly by! sL


Nelson’s Distillery & School - Staffordshire

Nelson’s Gin has been created by one man; Neil Harrison. In a world in which craft gins proliferate, Neil was certain that he had both the vision and the palate to create a gin that was exceptional. Having worked extensively as a chef, Neil knew that a pleasing and memorable tasting experience depends on the combination of many factors; from an inspired balance of flavours through to presentation, context and the all-too-elusive creation of ambience; the vital ingredient which owes more to alchemy than any kind of practicality. Nelson’s Gin is made in small batches, to be enjoyed by those who appreciate it’s lifeaffirming qualities. It is the only gin made on the Derbyshire and Staffordshire borders, its manufacture being a sophisticated 21st century version of a ‘cottage industry’. WE START WITH WATER. AND A REED BED. In the words of Neil: “The reed bed is a natural filtration system. Water flows into the reeded pond and the reeds filter out any unwanted elements. The water is then put through our state-of-theart resin filtering system where it is scanned and tested before we use it in our gin.” AND THEN. OUR WORK CAN BEGIN. Infusing fine and pleasingly original botanicals from across the globe, such as lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves from Thailand, vanilla from Madagascar and cinnamon from Sri Lanka, Nelson’s Gin has a clean, fresh taste and aroma which is at the same time deeply and surprisingly complex.

A hero flavour for the 21st century. Complex. Original. Quintessentially British.

TAKE PART IN THE ART OF CREATION. Nelson’s Gin School is a learning, teaching and tasting academy for connoisseurs of gin, or those who simply wish to know more. Each one-day Gin School Experience plays host to a maximum of fourteen stills with up to two students per still. Their day is spent in a unique environment, learning about the creative of superlative gin. At the same time, they can bring personal taste and preferences to the creation of their own unique, signature spirit. At the end of the day, guests leave with their own 70cl bottle of gin, made with botanicals of their choice. These can be taken from our large and inspiring selection or if preferred, brought from home. Some students collect botanicals on their travels far and wide, distilling the memory of adventure into a gin that reflects their own free spirit.

Nelson’s Distillery & School Unit 5A, Grindley Business Village, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST18 0LR For General Enquiries please call Ruth Sampson on 07854 821180 or email

Versatile Vegan Pg.53

The Interview: Tom Biddle Pg.57

All Mixed Up Pg.58

In Season: Asparagus Pg.61

TASTE For those with an appetite for life

Top taste pick! Delic aspar ious a dishe gus s to try

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Enjoy a refined and memorable dining experience here at our lakeside restaurant. Along with a lunch & dinner service, we also offer Tasting Dinner events for the ultimate foodie experience...


Arrive at 7pm Sparkling drinks reception 6 course tasting menu Glass of wine with each course Reserve your place for £85 each CALL TO BOOK 01782 399000 Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8TG


A TASTE OF TEXAS For enquiries and bookings call 01782 680536 or 07813 971 841 fff @jrstexas

Stone Road, Hill Chorlton, Newcastle under Lyme ST5 5ED

Exclusive Offer: 3 Course Meal for 2 For £39*

The 2 AA Rosette Oak Room Restaurant at Moor Hall offers the perfect combination of modern British food and friendly attentive service. Quote STAFFS LIVING OFFER when you book to claim this offer. Please note there are additional supplement for some dishes. This offer is valid Monday to Friday until 29th June for reservations between 6.30pm and 7.15pm and 8.30pm and 9pm. A supplement of £5 per person applies on Saturday.

Afternoon Tea at The Musicals

Sunday 12th May Listen to our live choir and sing along to the most iconic songs from your favourite musicals Adults £23 Children: £12

Ascot Ladies Day Lunch

Thursday 20th June A superb three course lunch followed by an afternoon at the races courtesy of big screens plus a bookmaker to take your bets. £72.50 per person

Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN

0121 308 3751

TASTE Dips & Seeded Oat Crackers The ideal snacking dish if you have guests or just fancy a quick savoury bite. Prep these dips and crackers in advance so you can just reach for them when you need to. Serves 4 -6 | Preparation time: 60 minutes Cooking time: (Combined) 80 minutes Ingredients For the hummus • 240g cooked chickpeas • 1 crushed garlic clove • 3 tbsp lemon juice • 2 generous pinches of sea salt • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika • 75ml olive oil • 120ml water • 30g sesame sprinkles • 1 tsp tahini For the beetroot dip • 4 beetroots (approx. 450g) • 5 cloves of garlic • 1 tsp rapeseed oil • Juice of a lemon • 2 tbsp water • 50g sesame sprinkles • Freshly ground black pepper & sea salt For the butter bean and coriander dip • 250g cooked butter beans • 20g fresh coriander (stalks and leaves) • 60ml olive oil • 150ml water • 70g omega sprinkles • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt • Freshly ground black pepper to taste For the oat crackers • 120g oats • 50g omega sprinkles • 1 teaspoon sea salt • 200ml water • 30ml (2 tbsp) • Rapeseed oil Method


VERSATILE Whether you’re a strict vegan or just dabbling in the trend for flexitarians – we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favourite meatfree, dairy-free recipe delights.

1. Blend the hummus ingredients until smooth and set aside. Do the same with the butter bean and coriander dip (season with black pepper and stir). 2. For the beetroot dip, roast the unpeeled garlic at 180°C for 40 minutes, allow to cool. Peel the garlic and blend with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Season to taste. 3. To make the crackers: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blend the oats in a food processor until fine; mix the blended oats with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper; spread the mixture onto the baking sheet as thinly as possible; bake for 20 minutes, then cut into squares using a pizza cutter. Finally, bake for a further 20 minutes until completely dry & crispy. > By Munchy Seeds.

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Green Thai Curry

Go green or go home with this plantpacked Thai curry. Spinach? Check. Spring onions? Check. Peas? Check. It’s a whirlwind of deliciously spicy and healthy ingredients. Serves 2 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients • Small bunch coriander • Small bunch spring onions, white and green parts separated • 100g spinach leaves • 300ml Alpro Coconut Unsweetened drink • 1-2 tbsp green curry paste • 50g peas • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved • 100g baby sweetcorn, in half • Juice of 1 lime • Vegetable/olive oil • 1 tbsp soya sauce or tamari • Salt and pepper Method

Green Thai Curry

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Toss the potato in a little oil, season and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. 2. Add the spinach, spring onion tops, coriander (leaves and stems), green curry paste, soya sauce or tamari and Alpro Coconut Unsweetened drink to a blender until smooth. 3. In a large frying pan, sauté the baby corn for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until starting to colour, add in the tomatoes and sauté for 30 seconds. 4. Lower the heat and add in the green sauce, peas and potato heating through until the sauce is hot. 5. Finely chop the white parts of the spring onion. Add the lime juice to the curry and season to taste. Sprinkle over the spring onions and serve. By Alpro.

Red Onion Tart with Watercress Pesto & Roasted Tomatoes Fan of pesto? Here’s a vegan version that is simply delicious and works wonders with this light, herby and tasty tart. An ideal meal for summer alfresco evenings served with a green salad. For a different variation why Red Onion Tart 54

not try swapping the broccoli for asparagus, kale or green beans. Serves 4 | Preparation time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients • 1 sheet of vegan puff pastry • 4 red onions, finely sliced • 1 tbsp sugar • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar • 2 sprigs fresh thyme • 1 head broccoli, into small florets • Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon • 75g watercress • 1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped • 35g toasted hazelnuts • 250g cherry tomatoes on the vine • 100ml extra virgin olive oil plus a bit extra • Salt and pepper Method 1. Place a saucepan onto a medium heat and add oil. Add in the onions and fry for 5 minutes or until beginning to caramelize. Add in the red wine vinegar and sugar then reduce heat to low and continue to cook until onions are completely softened, and the liquid has reduced to a sticky consistency. Remove from the heat and cool. 2. Add the watercress, hazelnuts and garlic to a blender with the olive oil. Blend for a couple of minutes ensuring no big chunks are missed. Season to taste then set the pesto aside. 3. Place the broccoli into a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then toss to coat evenly. 4. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Take your pastry sheet and cut it into 4 equal rectangles. Place the rectangles on a baking tray. Spread the pesto thickly onto the pastries, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Take a spoon and scatter the red onion mixture over the top evenly. Dot with the broccoli then put the baking tray into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry around the edges is risen and golden. 5. While the tarts cook, prepare the tomatoes. Use a pair of scissors to snip them into four equal sized portions, keeping as many tomatoes attached to the vine as possible. Place onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Place into the oven with the tarts for the last 8 minutes of cooking. 6. Remove your tarts and tomatoes from the oven and serve hot. By


Coconut Marinated Tempeh Skewers with Chili Sauce Tempeh is the perfect alternative if you’re not a fan of Tofu. These skewers work great as a starter or for barbecue lunches. The sticky marinade provides a kick while the mild flavoured Tempeh gives a good bite to the dish. Serve on skewer sticks with white rice and lime wedges. Serves 2 | Preparation time: 35 minutes (Plus Marinade) Cooking time: 35 minutes Ingredients • 5oz Tempeh, cubed For the marinade • 1 tsp salt • 1 tsp pepper • 1 tsp garlic powder • 1 tsp paprika • 1 tsp chilli flakes • 1 tsp sriracha • 1/2 tsp miso paste • 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari • 1 tsp chilli paste • 1/2 cup coconut milk For the chilli sauce • 2 tsp soy sauce • 2 tsp sesame oil • 1 tsp white vinegar • 6-7 sliced Thai chillies, sliced • Juice of 1 lime Method 1. Cube your tempeh into small cubes and place in a bowl. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, chilli flakes, sriracha, miso paste (optional), sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari, black and white toasted sesame seeds, chilli paste and coconut milk and mix well. Set aside for around 30 – 60 minutes (or overnight) to marinade. 2. Meanwhile, make your chilli sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil, white vinegar, sliced Thai chillies and lime juice. 3. Place your skewers in a bowl of water so they don’t burn during cooking. Then, when the Tempeh is marinated, place 3-4 pieces on each skewer. 4. Heat a grill pan with a little olive oil and grill each skewer for 6-8 minutes on each side until grilled and crisped throughout. By Go Coconuts Coconut Milk. sL

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Betley Tea Room opened last year and is part of our interior showroom on our working farm, in the centre of Betley Village. We specialise in home cooked food using local suppliers for our meat, cheese, butter, eggs, oatcakes and clotted cream. We have a delicious afternoon tea which includes freshly made sandwiches, homemade cheese scones, éclairs, meringues and mini desserts and starts at £14.50 per head. For those who don’t have a sweet tooth we have a savoury afternoon tea including scotch eggs and pork pie for £16.50. We have a range of loose-leaf tea served in vintage China cups and a delicious range of coffees which are roasted in Staffordshire and ground in house. We are open daily for breakfast and lunches which include homemade soup, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, salads, toasties and an array of homemade cakes. Opening times are 10.00am until 4.00pm but closed on Mondays. We can also cater for small private functions - baby showers, birthday parties and small gatherings. Ample Car Parking

Betley Court Farm, Betley, CW3 9BH 01270 820229 / 01270 820479 Find us on  @betleytearoom

Meat, Poultry, Game, Fish, Dairy, Pig Roast, Veggie Treats, Wines, Beers, Ciders, Prepared Foods, Artisan Breads, Cheeses Preserves and much more!

Saturday 18th May 2019 9am to 5pm

Saturday 19th October 2019

Alcester High Street, Church Street and Henley Street The perfect foodie day out, forage through an array of festival stalls, visit local pubs, cafes, restaurants, shops and enjoy the day. Free park and ride from A435 just outside Alcester, please follow signs.

07707 469649



ince he took hold of the culinary ropes at Hoar Cross Hall in 2017, Chef Tom Biddle has made some serious impact. Last year, it received its first AA Rosette award after the inspector dined in the Ballroom restaurant. And more recently it achieved major success at Salon Culinaire, the UK’s most prestigious chef competition.

Both he and his pastry chef, Charlotte Wakelyn won their categories. Tom winning best in class in his two categories and Charlotte scooping bronze and silver awards for her afternoon tea pastries and miniatures. But these recent wins for Hoar Cross are nothing surprising and all part of Tom’s grand masterplan for the hotel. “We want to put Hoar Cross on the food map,” says the 32-year-old Brummie. “We don’t want to necessarily go, this is for our hotel, it’s a hotel. We want to be that destination restaurant as well.” Sitting down with Tom, he’s relaxed and happy to open up about his hopes for the hotel, which he describes as “a beast of a place operationally when everything’s going”. And he’s not far wrong – the hotel has a multitude of strings to its bow, from the fine dining Ballroom Restaurant, to award-winning afternoon teas, weddings, conferences and events, a day spa and the more casual Henry’s Café. Chef’s often get a bad reputation for being hot-headed and stressed-out, but he seems very chilled. Although we are nowhere near his kitchen and it’s 11am on a Wednesday. “Chefing is one of those industries that strives on pressure,” he says smiling. “It really does. And you often find that when the pressure is more on, the level of food increases as well; we get that buzz and adrenaline when it comes to chefing.”

The Interview:


Executive Chef Tom Biddle is making waves at Hoar Cross Hall in Burton-Upon-Trent, so we went along to meet the man behind the food.

“When I was going through the younger stages of my career…” he reflects, “you look up to a couple of the chefs that you are working with. I’ve had a very good core team above me and I kind of learnt from them. So, I was kind of moulded to how they were, which is great and has done me really good. But you do get inspired by everything…”

“You see your team members more than you do your own family, so you’ve got to look after each other’s back…”

And he recognises the thriving gastronomy scene in the Midlands as an opportunity. “Over this past few years… it’s really expanded especially in the Midlands area and even over into Nottingham way…” he says. “It really has and there’s places coming on that you kind of look up to.

But he seems extremely clear on his objectives for the Grade II listed stately home, which is set in sprawling countryside on the outskirts of Burton-upon-Trent. And he’s had no trouble putting them into action.

“But, we are a hotel, we’re not a Michelin star tasting restaurant, but if you take little glimpses and see what’s practical and what you can work with. It’s really good.”

Born and bred in Birmingham, most of Tom’s training was done on the job. But he says that’s the secret to his success.

How does one cope with the challenge of controlling the kitchens to a 96-bedroom hotel and spa? “It’s all about having

“When I was at school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I got to that stage where you get forced into a job because you need to start earning your own keep a little bit. “I got myself a job in a local pub and got straight into the kitchen just helping out really. Before I knew it, I was doing a little bit more than I was expecting and I kind of fell in love with it. “The people I was working with pushed me to go to college and learn food, so I did. I went to UCB (University College Birmingham) and did my NVQ 1 and 2 and really it just kicked off from there.” “I got into a hotel; the majority of my career has all been hotels. And I just worked up the ladder.” He started off as a Commi-Chef in an old renaissance hotel in Solihull learning his trade while at college. But soon made the choice to go into work full time. “Some people go down the educational route and some people do apprenticeships; some people go full time – and I had that choice put in front of me. Do I stay and do my second year, or do I go into full time work? I went into full time work and to be fair it hasn’t done me too badly now!” Tom says his cooking is inspired by everything from social media to chefs he’s worked with along the way. “You get little quirky bits from everything,” he says.

the right people in the right places in your team. “The first thing I did when I came here was about building the right team and the right people because then you start putting your trust in them – because I can’t be in six different places at once! You see your team members more than you do your own family, so you’ve got to look after each other’s back and learn together and grow together. Tom’s vision is clear – growth. And he’s certainly heading in the right direction. “We are moving in the right direction. The food quality is coming along which is good, we’re getting a lot more outside diners coming in, and we want more of that. “We got recognised by the AA and we achieved our first rosette last year, which was great news for this place. It’s really good. You learn in the industry you don’t go chasing for those things, if they come along, they come along, which is great stuff. “We’re probably due a visit potentially any time soon, which is good news. And if anything more comes from it, it’s good. A one rosette restaurant is more than we thought of in the past, so it speaks volumes about what we’re doing. And it’s that invisible pat on the back of knowing that you’re doing a good job.”

Dish of the season? “Wild Garlic and Lamb – winner.” sL w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k



ALL MIXED UP With a new season upon us, it’s time to mix, chill and blend your beverages to make them summer cool. There’s nothing better than a cool, fruity drink on a scorching summer’s day. Whether it’s a mojito or a mocktail, a fruit smoothie or a craft beer, there’s something wonderful about heading outside and sipping something cold in the sunshine. Coffee shops, too, start whipping up iced drinks blended with coffee, while refreshing fruity smoothies, slushies and crushed ice with everything suddenly seem essential. If you’re planning a summer party or inviting people round for a barbecue, then it could be time to mix up some delicious drinks recipes to get your guests in the holiday mood. So what exactly is it that makes a great summer cocktail? “We don’t always see a lot of the summer in England so the best summer cocktails are the ones that allow you to imagine sitting on a beach, enjoying the sun and sipping something fruity and refreshing,” says Juliette Key, of Lichfield cocktail bar La Reve. “We always use the freshest fruit and premium spirits in order to create the best summer cocktails.”


Lunch for two at The Duncombe Arms and a walk around Wootton Hall Gardens...


The Duncombe Arms is a rustic-chic pub in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside that combines the relaxed atmosphere of a loved local pub with high quality British food. The gastro-pub has been awarded two rosettes from the AA and has been nominated Best Dining Pub in Staffordshire for 2017 and 2018.

Their approach to food is all about bringing together the best ingredients, simply and deliciously. The pub has also recently launched ten stylish bedrooms called ‘Walnut House’ that have the relaxed, homefrom-home comfort you’d expect from a country pub, with the added flair and contemporary design of a boutique hotel. Staffordshire Living has teamed up with The Duncombe Arms to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a three-course lunch for two including a glass of wine. The winner will also have the chance to walk around the renovated gardens at Wootton Hall provided with a garden map. To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, head to the competitions area on and find The Duncombe Arms competition page. Complete the form provided including your answer to the following question by the closing date, which is 9.30am on Friday 28th June.

Q: What is the name given to the new accommodation at The Duncombe Arms? Scan the barcode using a QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competitions area on now! 1. The closing date is 9.30am, Friday 28th June 2019. 2. The prize will consist of a three-course lunch for two people to dine from the A La Carte Menu including a glass of wine for each guest. And a private tour of the gardens at Wootton Hall. 3. Must be pre-booked and subject to availability. 4. No cash alternative and not transferrable. 5. The winner is responsible for expenses and arrangements not specifically included in the prize. 6. The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. 7. Employees and their families of The Duncombe Arms, Amelia Bird PR, and Purple Sprout are excluded from entering the competition. 8. Entrants must be 18 years or older. 9. Editor’s decision is final. 10. One winner will be picked at random after the closing date. 11. The winner will be notified by phone or e-mail. 12. From time to time Purple Sprout or the competition supplier may contact you with news and information. If you would like to receive further communication, please tick the opt in box on the competition entry form. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.


Feeling fruity - Indeed, it’s the fruit that seems to help bring

the taste of the sun to life in a drink. Sangria, for example has to be one of the most well-known holiday beverages and it’s packed full of fruit. The Spanish favourite is a must for many holiday-makers and just a sip of the punch is enough to transport your mind to memories of warmer climes, eating paella and the smell of the sea. There seems to be a lot of debate on what the definitive recipe is however, with lots of different ones on offer. Even in Spain you’ll find the recipe varies from venue to venue, so how can you make it at home? One of the easiest involves adding three parts red wine, one-part orange juice and two parts lemonade. Mix it all up in a jug with plenty of ice and sliced fruit, such as lemons and oranges, and you should be good to go. Failing that there are ready mixed varieties on offer in most supermarkets these days, so you could cheat. Whichever route you take guests will be sure to love sangria as it will really put them in the holiday spirit.

The classics - A classic Pina

Colada is also a great summer option, probably thanks to the coconut, as is a tangy mojito, which only requires white rum, soda and a bit of sugar, lime and mint. It can also work just as well without the booze. “A Virgin Mojito has got to be one of the best non-alcoholic options for summer,” says Juliette Key. “By using apple juice instead of rum, you get the sharp and refreshing taste of the lime and the soda which is then rounded off with the sweetness of the apple juice and the splash of sugar syrup. We recommend using tonic water instead of soda if you wanted your mojito to be extra tangy.” She adds that the most popular cocktail on Le Reve’s menu is by far the Pornstar Martini. “We sell more of these than anything else on the menu and we think it’s our secret ingredient that sets ours apart from the rest,” she says, although of course she refuses to divulge the secret to LIVING. Instead, however she has suggested a great recipe for another fruity summer cocktail, pictured, for people to try out at home. “We suggest muddling a handful of raspberries and a slice of grapefruit with 12.5ml of vanilla syrup,” she says. “Add this into a cocktail shaker with 25ml Old J Spiced rum, 25ml Chambord, 12.5ml fresh lime juice, 12.5ml raspberry puree and 50ml of pineapple juice. Strain the drink into a wine glass filled with crushed ice and top with lemonade. We finish ours off with a wedge of pineapple and some edible flowers.”

Ice cold - If you want to go all out, however, and keeping cool is your theme, you could try incorporating ice-cream into the mix. A simple icecream soda is easy to make and the kids will love getting involved with this one. Just put a couple of scoops into a glass of lemonade and mix it up with a spoon and you’re good to go. However, you could get a lot more creative. Revolution, which has bars all over the country, including in Stafford, has created an impressive ice-cream cocktail, which bosses say is their response to the fact that Britain is a nation of ice-cream lovers. The Ice Dream, as the drink is known, even includes a whole ice cream on top so it doubles up as a cooling drink and a frozen snack too. The recipe includes mango and pineapple juice, a scoop or two of melted vanilla ice cream, and some passion fruit puree all mixed up and finished with an exotic ice lolly on top as garnish. Sounds very tempting, we must admit!

Tea time - Iced tea is another popular summer recipe to try and can offer an alternative drink for party guests. You can make it up in a jug and perhaps do one with alcohol and one without for the drivers and non-drinkers. A simple lemon iced tea will only need tea bags, ice cubes, lemon slices and water. All you need to do is boil the water, add teabags and allow it to stand for a while, then remove the bags, pour it all into a jug and add some cold water. Then add ice and lemon and also a little sugar if you fancy some extra sweetness. A Pimms iced tea would be a great option for an afternoon gathering. Put tea bags and mint into a jug and pour in boiling water. Leave it to infuse, then remove the bags and add in sugar. Remove the mint when it’s cooled, then add orange juice, lemon juice and Pimms and chill it in the fridge. The only thing left to do is chop up some slices of orange, lemon and strawberry to place in the glasses, along with some mint and plenty of ice. sL

 If you’d rather leave the mixing to the experts, however, then why not head out for a catch-up with friends instead. Check out our six favourite places to enjoy a summer cocktail in Staffordshire:

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Mid Week

OFFERS Not available Bank Holidays

A 19th century country pub with beamed ceilings, wooden floors, log fire in the winter and relaxing garden for warmer days, in addition to a very friendly welcome from our outstanding staff.


We are Cask Marque accredited to ensure the perfect pint.


A full main menu is available every lunch and evening. Fixed price menu available Monday-Thursday, Three courses £14.95 | Two course £11.95. Roast dinner served on Sundays 12.00pm-5.00pm alongside our main menu.

Selection of homemade pies served with hand cut chips, mash and vegetables £24.95 for Two includes a pint or glass of wine SHARING DESSERT BOARD - £9.95

Opening Times


Monday – Saturday: 12.00pm - 11.00pm | Sunday: 10.00am - 11.00pm

GRILL NIGHT Bread & oils to start followed by a selection of steaks served with hand cut chips grilled tomato and mushrooms. £29.95 for Two Includes a bottle of house wine

Food Served Monday - Friday: 12.00pm - 2.30pm and 5.30pm - 9.30pm Saturday 12.00pm - 9.30pm | Sunday 10.00am - 8.30pm Breakfast menu available every Sunday from 10.00am – 11.30am

Afternoon Tea available for pre-booked parties of 10 or more


CURRY NIGHT Indian platter to start followed by a selection of curries with beef, chicken or lamb served with mini popadoms, rice and naan bread.

The Cock Inn, Newport Road, Woodseaves, ST20 0NP | 01785 284343

£29.95 for Two Includes a bottle of house wine

Supporting the best of British

Bradbury’s Farm Shop & Butchery

A selection of fresh, local meats & poultry available from our butchery. Food gifts and hampers also available.

OPENING MAY Historic country pub ~ Casual dining restaurant ~ Pizzeria ~ Large courtyard & gardens with funky outside summer bar

Our small family run farm shop and butchery is proud to serve home reared beef and lamb from our own farm. We also source quality produce from other local trusted farmers and suppliers. Pies • Bacon • Sausages • Fresh Fruit & Vegetables • Local Eggs & Honey Store Cupboard Essentials • Tea • Flour • Cooking Sauces • Ice Cream • Chocolate Curborough Hall Farm Countryside Centre Watery Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8ES 01543 255939

Opening Hours - Closed Monday (except for bank holidays) Tues & Wed: 10.00am - 4.00pm Thurs & Fri: 8.30am - 4.30pm Saturday: 9.00am- 4.30pm Sunday: 10.00am – 4.00pm

01283 575988

Abbots Bromley Road, Hoar Cross, Staffordshire, DE13 8RB |   @themeynellingram




If vegetables were a royal family, asparagus would be in line for the throne. Here’s four seasonal dishes to enjoy this prestigious vegetable to the fullest!





Asparagus, Smoked Paprika & Thyme Butter

Asparagus, Lemon & Pecorino Pasta

Asparagus & Ricotta Pizzas

Asparagus Tortilla

Serves 4 Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 7-8 minutes

(Pictured) Serves 2 Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves 4 Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes




• 100g butter, softened • 1 tbsp thyme leaves • 1 tsp smoked paprika • Salt and black pepper • 2 bunches British asparagus

• 150g linguine • 230g Waitrose British asparagus, cut into 3cm pieces • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • A garlic clove, • 30g grated pecorino romano • Handful chopped parsley

• 500g Waitrose sun-dried tomato & chilli bread mix • 250g tub essential Waitrose Italian ricotta • 230g bunch Waitrose British asparagus, halved lengthways • 1 tbsp olive oil • 4 tbsp Waitrose green pesto



1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the linguine, cook for 7 minutes, then add the asparagus and simmer for 2 more minutes. Scoop out a large cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and asparagus. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon zest, juice and oil with the bashed garlic clove in a small bowl.

1. Place the bread mix in a large bowl, setting aside a handful for dusting the surface. Make a well in the centre, add 250ml lukewarm water then bring together to a slightly sticky dough.

Method 1. Add the butter to a bowl and use a fork to mash until smooth. Stir through the thyme leaves and paprika and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. 2. Trim the asparagus and spread out in a roasting tin. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven (180°C fan) for about 7-8 minutes until just tender. 3. When cooked, immediately remove from the oven and place onto a serving dish. Top with the spiced butter which will melt over the cooked asparagus. By

2. Tip the drained pasta and asparagus back into the pan with the pecorino, parsley, lemon-oil mixture and a good glug of the cooking water. Toss together, discard the garlic, and season. 3. Adding a splash of the warm cooking water helps to emulsify the cheese, lemon and oil, creating a silky sauce for the pasta. By

2. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Divide into 4 even-sized balls then roll out to make 26 x 12cm ovals. Transfer to 2 large, non-stick baking sheets. 3. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Spoon the ricotta onto the pizza bases then place the asparagus on top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and leave to rise for 10 minutes. 4. Bake for 15 minutes until the base is cooked through and the asparagus is tender. Dot over the pesto and finish with a good grinding of black pepper. By

Serves 4 Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients • 1 bundle asparagus • 1 courgette thinly sliced • 15g unsalted butter • 2 cloves garlic crushed • 200g Maris Piper potatoes • 1 red onion sliced • 6 medium eggs, beaten • Salt and pepper Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, bring a pan of salted water to boil. Fill a dish too with iced water. 2. Drop the asparagus into the boiling water then cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the asparagus, then plunge into the iced water. 3. In a non-stick pan fry the sliced courgettes in butter then add the garlic and cook over a medium heat for around 6-7 minutes until almost sticky. 4. Parboil the potatoes in the hot asparagus water and cut into cubes. Add to the pan with the onion and cook until softened. 5. Add the asparagus, season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper and add. When the eggs have just set around the edges, transfer to the preheated oven for around 6-8 minutes or until the tortilla is set. By sL w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


Entertain, Relax, Enjoy. The possibilities are endless.


New collection for 2019 In what is a new and exciting venture for Bridgman, we are extremely proud to have been selected by the National Trust to partner with them in delivering a new garden furniture collection suitable for the most discerning customer. See our luxurious collection of quality home & garden furniture and accessories over 2 floors in our beautiful Wilmslow showroom.


Luxury Furniture Since 1977

1 - 3 Bank Square Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 1AN 01625 529585

The Alfresco Life Pg.70

Living the Good Life Pg.64


It’s your home but outside – the best gardening tips and alfresco living inspiration

Top outdoor pick! Stylin g yo garde ur n summ this er!

£229 John Lewis

Time to Step Outside Pg.77


good life


How to create a stylish space outdoors that you’ll want to spend the whole summer in.




Wyevale Garden Centres

GARDEN GLORY If you’re a keen gardener, you’ll have kept your space fairly neat during the winter and may have already started primping and preening to get it ready for the summer. However, if you’ve been a bit lax of late, you’ll need to get out there and prep your space. First things first, clean up. Remove unwanted rubbish and debris, pull up any weeds from your flowerbeds and throw away any broken or spoiled planters or accessories. Then think about maintenance. It might be as simple as getting back into the habit of regularly mowing the lawn, but for a more complex garden you’ll have to put a little more effort in. Trim back overgrown hedges, discard broken branches and keep bushes neat. Give your soil a turn over by digging it up and replacing it both in planters and flowerbeds as cultivated soil is in better condition for planting. You can also treat your grass with a summer fertiliser to help keep moss and weeds at bay. Now is the time to check for any signs of a pest problem too. If you want to have a more natural and eco-friendly effect in your garden, you can set up water butts to collect rainwater to use throughout the summer. Lastly, give your accessories and tools a wash down to clean them up ahead of the season. BRING OUT THE BLOOMS Ideally you need to be planting summer blooms in early spring so that when summer finally arrives, your space is bursting with colour and definition. But, if you haven’t there’s nothing to worry about. A trip to your local garden centre will soon have that in hand. As an increasingly time-poor nation, not many of us have the time to grow anymore anyway. In fact, Wyevale Garden Centre reported sales of mature-specimen plants were up 35% this year in its 2019 gardening report. Choose a wide variety of plants and flowers, either in a particular colour scheme or just from personal preference, and plant them in your cultivated soil. When it comes to the design and position of your blooms, there’s no right or wrong way to go. Some flowers need plenty of sunshine and others not so much, so keep this in mind. Steer clear from separating your plants and flowers too, more and more gardeners are mixing bedding with perennials, shrubs, bulbs, grasses and vegetables for a more dynamic look to their garden. PET FRIENDLY LIVING From common plants like tomatoes and lilies, to potentially deadly fruit, fertilisers and weed killers, the garden can pose a number of threats to our four-legged friends. If you intend on letting your pooch enjoy the beauty of the garden with you this summer, then now would be a good time to carry out a safety check. Avoid toxic plants, read the labels on your fertilisers and garden products, keep your vegetable patch secure and out-of-reach and look out for fallen fruit that contain stones as these can be a choking hazard.

EXPERT INSIGHT: BIRD LOVERS The number of wild birds in the UK has been steadily decreasing for years, but there are things we can do in the garden to help. According to the RSPB, food availability in May and June can be crucial in deciding how many chicks survive to fledge. Helping to feed local wildlife in your garden aids nature conservation and you can easily do this by using leftover kitchen scraps. But be careful you provide suitable foods for wild birds - outdoor experts at have put together this simple guide. Baked Goods: Stale bread, cakes and cookies are all attractive to wild birds. Remember to crumble into small pieces and soak in water before placing outside. Cheese: Avoid soft or mouldy cheeses, stick to stale, hard cheeses like mild cheddar. High fat foods are great especially in the winter months. Use a cheese grater for small and easy to digest bites. Pasta and Rice: Cooked plain pasta or rice is a great source of carbohydrates for birds. Wash thoroughly to remove any oil or salt and cut into small pieces. Vegetables: Scrap veggies such as baked potato and vegetables left over from canned soups are a great offering for birds. Mix with sunflower seeds for a perfect combination. Meat: As with cheese no mouldy or rotten meat should be given to birds. Meat is a valuable source of protein, try beef fat trimmings and meat bones for a tasty offering. However, be aware of other pests that may be after these treats, think about placing the meat in a bird feeder out of reach from wildlife. Pet Food: Wet pet food for cats and dogs is designed to be healthy for pets offering all necessary nutrients and so can equally be a great offering for birds. Dry pet food is also an option but be sure to add water beforehand. A small amount can go a long way. Cereal: Stick to cereal with a little or no sugar content and avoid artificial dyes, add water and leave to soak for a wholesome bird treat. Eggs: Cooked eggs are a source of necessary nutrients for birds, whilst the egg shell itself can be a great source of calcium, especially for nesting birds, and help aid digestion. Egg shells are great throughout the changing weather and do not attract vermin > like other produce may do.

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John Lewis



Gardens are increasingly becoming an extension of our homes. And 2019 is going to take the inside out phenomenon to new heights. Living spaces are flowing outdoors as somewhere else to dine, entertain, relax and be active. So, if you haven’t already made a space where you can enjoy alfresco living this summer, this is the perfect time to start. Patios tend to get left to their own devices during the winter. So, when you can get out and give them some TLC. Tidy up the space by removing any debris such as leaves that have settled there. A good once over with a pressure washer to remove any dirt or moss will really give your paving a new lease of life too. If you have the space to do so, create an area to relax and unwind and a separate area to dine. This way your garden becomes even more versatile and functional. Garden furniture, accessories, potted plants and shrubs and additional lighting can help to create your perfect ambience and make it feel like you’re relaxing in the Mediteranean right in your back yard! Adding in a heating element like a fire pit, patio heater or stylish chiminea can help make your space more comfortable in the evening. And if you want to make your garden an all-year-round experience, you can go for more permanent heating options like a lamp and the addition of a sheltered area with a canopy, awning or wooden structure.

Gardens are increasingly becoming an extension of our homes. And 2019 is going to take the inside out phenomenon to new heights. DESIGN AND BUILD Generally, our exterior space is becoming smaller but in contrast we want to do more with it. The garden often serves as a multifunctional space - a place to retreat and relax, as well as to entertain, grow fresh produce and for children to play. Introducing subtle ways to differentiate between these uses provides the perfect solution. “Surprisingly, dividing up your garden helps to make it look and feel bigger,” says Julian Palphramand from Wyevale Garden Centres, “because you can’t see the whole garden at once. It also helps you to focus on small project areas with their own style and purpose, and not feel overwhelmed to do too much with a single space.” But not many of us can afford to completely redesign our gardens to meet the growing needs of our families. There is an easier way to divide your garden, while still maintaining a stylish and natural space. Plants provide the perfect solution to help screen and shade certain areas without the need to make significant and expensive changes. Wyevale Garden Centres has seen a surge in sales of towering, upright grasses and fast-growing evergreen bamboos, which help to provide privacy, and it also predicts ornamental trees for patio pots, bamboo and fast-growing shrubs, all great for shade, are set to be increasingly popular as summers get hotter and sunnier.

Sainsburys Home



Bridgman Wilmslow

THE PLACE TO DINE Creating a comfortable and inviting outdoor dining area has become more of a necessity than a luxury in Britain of late. Summers have been getting warmer, sunnier and lasting much longer, and we’re drawn to the alfresco lifestyle we love about being on holiday. Outdoor dining in the UK has moved on massively over the last few years too. Forget about paper plates and deck chairs, because it’s easier than you think to create an appealing dining space and master that relaxing holiday vibe at home. Separate your dining area using cleverly placed potted plants, shrubs or single hedges. Make it an appealing space by adding stylish flooring, accessories, lights and add a sheltered cover if you want to give it that extra room feel. Outdoor cooking has become much more sophisticated in recent years too, with burnt barbecue food becoming a firm thing of the past. Outdoor kitchens, fridges, pizza ovens, grills and high-tech barbecues mean you don’t even need to use your kitchen in the house, helping to make your garden a fully functional entertaining space. MAKING MORE OF IT From having a shed to house gardening tools and equipment to fully-fledged log cabins, garden buildings are show pieces in any garden. Providing additional living spaces,


storage and outdoor entertaining options. Not only that, they create a year-round, often fullyinsulated space and add value to your property. Popular uses include a garden office or workshop, summerhouse, gym, or living area. GROWING YOUR OWN Growing your own produce is now quite a common place in the garden, and it’s not just a traditional patch anymore. Urban gardeners with smaller areas to work with outside are taking growing your own in new directions. Now, hanging baskets, containers and large pots are all adequate places to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. Interestingly, Wyevale Garden Centres found that sales of large fruit and vegetable varieties like the giant strawberry, giant tomato and giant chilli pepper were up 59% in the last two years, meaning we’re all becoming a little more adventurous when it comes to producing our own. SMALL SPACE GARDENS Those with smaller gardens don’t need to lose out on enjoying the outdoors in summer. If you have a small yard rather than a garden, or maybe just a little balcony or windowsill to play with, there are plenty of ways to create a feeling of the outdoors. Garden centres have much more variety when it comes to smaller potted plants and flowers to help with decoration. And wall

planters are the perfect way to add some depth to a garden without taking up too much of your ground space. Space saving solutions like fixing a planter under your window sill or erecting a micro-conservatory can add some real style to your garden without limiting space. MULTI-SENSORY SPACES Another trend that Wyevale Garden Centre’s report uncovered, which combined the sales, insights and expertise of the senior buying team with survey data from more than 27,000 British gardeners, is a desire for multi-sensory spaces. The company said that “today’s planting schemes are focused on innovative displays of colour, fragrance, light and texture to create a wholly immersive space.” Patrick Wall, Plant Buyer at Wyevale Garden Centre added: “We know that customers turn to bright colours and cheery plant pots as a pick-me-up for their gardens and with the looming uncertainty of Brexit in 2019, we expect sales of brightly coloured plants to soar.” There’s no denying that the garden is not just an extension of your home these days, it’s a showcase of your personality and a presentation of your style and flair. And, with so many benefits at being outside, whether gardening, eating or relaxing, we say don’t waste any time indoors this summer! sL

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Come and visit us at our new showroom in Old Hall Street, Hanley, ST1 3AU. We have added new designs to our already extensive range giving you even more choice. Whether it’s on your bucket list to build your own outdoor wood burning oven or you have a builder/landscaper to help you with your project, we are here to help you all the way. We have teamed up with Harthill Cookery School near Chester and are offering a free wood burning cookery class with every full kit purchased. Here’s what owner Brian Mellor says about our oven there

“We have a beautiful oven at Harthill Cookery School thanks to Nick & Sam. Not only does it look great... it cooks beautifully too which is pretty important. Our tutors and guests love it as it comes up to temperature easily and holds the retained heat, it’s great to be outside with friends working with the oven.” Email Sam for more details at

Free delivery within 40 miles of Stoke-on-Trent when you quote ‘Staffordshire Living’ Staffordshire Living May-JUne 2019_Layout 1 19/03/2019 13:30 Page 1


Tel: 01922 418050

Huge range of quality plants in stock at great prices!

Wide range of BBQs, chimeneas, firepits and lighting

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Huge selection of garden furniture to suit all styles and budgets

NEW SEASON GARDEN FURNITURE AND BARBEQUES NOW IN STOCK AT HOLLYBUSH GARDEN CENTRE & AQUARIA! 500 yards from Junction 11 M6 Warstone Road, Shareshill, Wolverhampton WV10 7LX

NEW Show gardens to inspire your summer garden projects!

Drive-thru Landscape materials area

Find us on Facebook for special offers & what’s new in store!





Your first choice for lawn care 2018 was a difficult year for your garden. Extreme weather conditions resulted in lawns that didn’t look their best. As we move towards the growing season, now is the time to start preparing your lawn to get the most from it. Our seasonal treatments start from just £15*. Due to high demand, and to avoid disappointment, we advise that you book your treatments early.

If you think your lawn is beyond repair due to last year’s sweltering summer, ask us about our Lawn Makeover - the best way to get ‘The GreenThumb lawn.’

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Simply go to or email *Based on a lawn size up to 40m2

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21/03/2019 12:12


THE ALFRESCO LIFE Why being outdoors this summer is just what you need.

John Lewis




ith the temperatures warming up and summer well and truly on its way there’s only one thing to do and that’s get outside. After months of dark, cold winter days and nights snuggled up by the fire creating a Hygge-style cosiness, it’s time to throw open the doors to alfresco living and take the inside out. And why not? We’re a nation of sun-worshippers after all. You only have to spy the nearest park on a sunny day to see families enjoying picnics and a paddle in the nearest pool or splash park. Beer gardens too are always heaving when the weather warms up as people rush to enjoy an ice-cold beer as they bask in the sunshine, while thanks to our growing café culture, coffee shops and restaurants now regularly set up chairs and tables outside their front doors for customers. And the one thing you notice is that everyone seems to have a smile on their face and there’s a good reason for that.

Healthy - Being outdoors really is good for you both mentally and physically. Studies suggest it can help reduce heart rate, blood pressure and ease muscle tension, as well as improving attention, memory and concentration. It’s no wonder schools are always trying to get the youngsters outside as much as possible for activities like Forest School. Being outside is also great for beating stress as it lowers the hormones that cause the anxiety. And it also allows you to get a good dose of Vitamin D, which is vital in building and maintaining strong bones, a key factor in preventing such conditions as osteoporosis. Just a few minutes exposure to the sun each week can boost your levels and as only a small amount of foods contain it, being outdoors is the best way to get your fix.

Get grilling - Eating outdoors is easy at home and one of the most obvious things to do is fire up the barbecue. In 2017 the UK was Europe’s leading barbecue nation, hosting a whopping 135 million of them. Even housebuilders are getting in on the trend these days by starting to incorporate patio areas and built-in barbecues into new-build properties. People renovating their homes are increasingly asking for ways to bring the outside and inside together in a more seamless way. More and more are installing bi-fold doors, which can open up a whole room completely to make it feel at one with the garden. According to organisers of National BBQ Week, which runs from May 27 to June 2, hosting a barbecue at home and eating and entertaining in the garden is now the UK’s number one summer home leisure activity. National BBQ Week encourages people, as well as restaurants and pubs, to fire up the grill and get busy trying out a range of recipes, new and old. Even the Great British Food Festival, which runs at various venues throughout the summer including Chillington Hall in Brewood on May 11-12, has a stage dedicated to the barbecue this year. Benjamin Bartlett, who will appear at the event, penned a Haynes guide on barbecues, called Owner’s Grilling Manual, which includes lots of techniques, advice on equipment and recipe ideas. It offers tips on a range of outdoor cooking options, including grills, chimineas, brick ovens, earth ovens and barbecue pits, with recipes, such as strawberry glaze and marinades to the more adventurous pig’s trotters, kangaroo kebabs and grilled shark. There are also plenty of ideas for non-meat eaters, including shellfish, vegetarian dishes, breads and pizza, as well as dessert options. Indeed Benjamin also has a website which boasts a further range of recipes if you’re looking for inspiration, including Tunisian style prawns and tomatoes, Caribbean fruit and vegetable kebabs and barbecue beans. As Benjamin says: “I am on a mission to bring the joy of outdoor cooking to the nation.”

Never attempted a barbecue before? Well, why not try a disposable barbecue to begin with? They’re available at most supermarkets and you can throw them away afterwards, which means no cleaning up. If you do invest in a barbecue or chimnea, however, you could try using a Firemizer, a unique solid fuel saving device that can reduce the burn rate of fuel, meaning you can stay cosy for longer and use less wood. It can be used with fire pits, chimineas and coal barbecues. A Firemiser spokesman said: “The good news is you can still be the king of the grill and be an eco-champion. By choosing to cook your food outdoors you have already made an eco-friendly decision as the barbeque is more energy efficient than your indoor oven.“Using a one-of-a-kind Firemizer ensures your barbeque will burn for longer and use less charcoal. The barbecue experts advise picking up essentials, such as a grill thermometer, spatulas, grill forks, tongs, knives and carving forks. But remember a few simple rules to ensure there are no mishaps or poorly tummies the next day, such as washing your hands after touching raw meat and ensuring any frozen food is thoroughly defrosted before putting on the barbecue. Check meat is cooked and always position the barbecue well away from fences, hedges, trees, foliage or anything that could potentially catch fire. You don’t have to invite hordes of people around to enjoy a barbecue either, as you could just cook a weekday meal on it too. Just think about simple chicken with salad, hotdogs or burgers. It’s also a great way to get the kids to help as they’ll be excited for a midweek barbecue.

A cut above - The most important thing for eating outside is to make sure your space is inviting. After all, no one wants to sit and eat in an area that’s messy, overgrown and miserable. Keeping your garden tidy is the first thing so it might be time to find your inner Alan Titchmarsh or Monty Don. The grass grows constantly in the summer so mow the lawn regularly to avoid the jungle look and cut back those messy or overhanging tree branches which keep getting in the way. Get rid of old leaves and dead flowers too. A spokesman from lawnmower giant Flymo says: “You may need to mow your lawn once or twice a week to maintain the length you desire. This is due to the warm weather encouraging your garden to grow. “Don’t forget about the edges when cutting your lawn for the first time. Overgrown edges can look unsightly and can mean time and effort spent working in the garden has been in vain.” If the kids have been busy with the swingball or tennis, then try to find a place to store the outdoor toys when they’re not being used, such as in the shed or garage or perhaps invest in an outside storage box. Clean up grubby patio areas by having a good sweep and perhaps hiring a jet-washer to get paving slabs sparkling. If your garden shed is looking a bit worse for wear, stain or paint it to give it a new lease of life. Fences, too, can be stained. It might take all morning to do but the difference will be huge – and once it’s done you won’t have to touch it again until the following year. Now comes the fun part. Dress your garden with pot plants or hanging baskets, all of which will help to make it feel more inviting and cover up any messy areas. If you want to go further, then adding a garden statue or water feature and even a log border between your lawn and flower borders will neaten everything up. If you have a balcony, terrace or small yard then, again, giving the space a good clean and sprucing it up with pot plants can make a world of difference. A mirror on one wall or fence will also help to give it a sense of space. Throwing a table cloth over your patio table will make it feel special and don’t forget to put up the parasol, which is great for keeping the sun off, as are pop-up gazebos, which protect from both the sun and the rain if the weather does take a turn. And think about lighting. Solar lights and lanterns can all help to make your garden sparkle as the sun starts to go down. Lighting candles will also create atmosphere as you enjoy your alfresco meal. You could go further and create a small decking area if you’re lacking a good place to set up a simple table and chairs set. Many DIY stores offer home decking kits, which you can put together yourself. However, you don’t have to go all out to enjoy eating out in your garden. Setting up a picnic area is easy, takes seconds to arrange and people of all ages will love it. Just lay out picnic blankets and scatter cushions and gather everyone outside for some alfresco food on the lawn. Bon appetit! sL w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


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Sunday 5th May, 2019

Saturday 29th June, 2019

See our Cherry Tree Walk in full bloom. Enjoy the beauty that Spring brings to Mitton Manor Gardens. Treat yourself to Afternoon Tea and a glass of beer or champagne to celebrate the Bank Holiday weekend.

We are thrilled to be hosting the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra at Mitton Manor Gardens. This spectacular classical concert promises to be a night to remember for the whole family.

OTHER DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2019 SPRING – CHERRY BLOSSOM PAINTING IN ACRYLIC Saturday 11th May, 2019 Following our Cherry Tree Walk, come along to a Painting Workshop in association with local artist, Debbie Chatfield. PRIDE & PREJUDICE Thursday 4th July, 2019 Garden Theatre production of Pride & Prejudice, in association with Chapterhouse Theatre Company. NATIONAL GARDEN SCHEME OPEN DAY Sunday 7th July, 2019 AUTUMN – FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE PAINTING IN ACRYLIC Saturday 14th September, 2019

our Festive Foodie Licensed is provided you are bringsChatfield. rugs. AsEnjoy the Autumn foliage starts to Treats turn into&fiery colours,Bar. join Seating us for another Painting but Workshop withwelcome local artistto Debbie For more information, visit our website, or phone to speak to our friendly team. AUTUMN TOUR & TALK Sunday 29th September, 2019 Our annual Autumn Tour & Talk with Elizabeth Gooch MBE and guests, with an optional three-course Autumn lunch.


Telephone: 01785 291391 Email: Mitton, Near Penkridge, Staffordshire ST19 5QW

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STEP OUTSIDE The trends to turn your outside space into an alfresco haven this summer. >

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City chic

Hacienda life

Inspired by Parisian charm, bring a stylish and classic monochrome vibe to outside living this season. Update the traditional black and white with shades of gold and cream and add touches of greenery to lighten the mood. Geometric patterns provide a touch of excitement to monochrome style too. The perfect finishing touch to a slick and sophisticated alfresco life this summer.

This pretty take on Spanish-inspired country décor combines rustic elements with muted ochre, pastel pinks and terrazzo accessories. It’s peaceful and remote and the perfect style to transport you to the Mexican desert for the summer. Think natural accessories and furniture with rattan and hessian materials and succulent plants adding to the vibe.


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Coastal views Calm and serene, the coastal trend is back, and it’s never looked better. Create a muted but elegant outside space for the summer with pale blues, greys and creams inspired by the relaxing atmosphere of a coastal break. Tassels, jewels and seaside-inspired paintings and accessories all add to tranquillity of your idyllic hideaway. You’ll feel like you’re on holiday without even having to leave your home.

Tropical paradise Live your best life in full colour this summer. Make your outside world bright and bold with the essence of a tropical paradise. Think quirky marine-themed accessories clashing with fiesta pinks, aqua-marine greens, ocean blues, pillar box reds and burnt orange tones. Fun and flirty, your space will be transformed into a little pocket of happiness, all wrapped up with the party spirit of your favourite Caribbean island. sL

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Glass Balustrades are Perfect for Interior and Exterior Use All of our glass products are toughened making them suitable for both outdoor and indoor use, as they won’t be affected by the elements so will stand the test of time. We have undertaken many exterior projects including the installation of glass balustrades as an alternative to walls or wooden fixtures. Phone: 01782 525567 Website: | Email: Address: Glass and Rails Limited, Unit 1, Rafferty Industrial Estate, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 2EB

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Donnington Grove Hotel Donnington Grove offers simply an amazing setting to relax with fine food, wine and real Ales. Set in over 500 acres the stunning estate encourages members and non members alike to enjoy the facilities on offer. • Driving range and 18 hole championship golf course. • Accommodation in the main house or lodges on the estate. • Free WiFi throughout. • Temple available for event hire and wedding venue.

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From its luxurious hideaways, to the food, interesting history and non-stop party atmosphere – it’s easy to see how Thailand continues to top travel polls across the globe. Here’s our guide to Thailand, whatever > kind of holiday you’re looking for.

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here’s something about south east Asia’s most popular holiday destination that manages to capture the heart of every visitor. Perhaps it’s > the friendly Thai people, the affordable luxury or its breathtaking tropical landscape? Or maybe it’s because spending lazy days on white sandy beaches surrounded by palm trees and crystal-clear waters never seems to lose its magic there. So much so that it has become known as the ‘Land of Smiles’. But beneath the surface, Thailand has so much more to offer than those paradise islands portrayed to the world in Danny Boyle’s 2000 film, The Beach, starring Leonardo Dicaprio. Of course, there’s no denying it has some of the best beaches in the world – you only have to look at Phi Phi Leh Island near Phuket (and the subject of Boyle’s film) to realise that. But with a fascinating history and diverse culture, from Muay Thai (Thai boxing) to Buddhism, a bustling nightlife, delicious food and captivating wildlife, there are many sides to explore. And it makes every trip as different as you’d like it to be. And with attractive year-round temperatures, (you can expect it to be hot and humid throughout much of the year) making it easy to find sundrenched beaches at any time, it’s hard to find a more enticing place for a holiday – whether you’re a couple, family or group of friends. And we’re not just speaking from experience, the statistics are proving just how popular this country has become in the last decade or so. Recently, Mastercard released its 2018 index of the most visited cities in the world, Thailand’s capital Bangkok topped the poll with a massive 20 million visitors ahead of London, Paris and Dubai. And, the hugely popular tourist spot of Phuket, which lies just off the west coast of mainland Thailand, came in at number 12, with a whopping 9.2 million visitors. Whether you’re heading over for business or pleasure, Bangkok is a hive of opportunity and experience, with a growing economy and a 24-hour party culture and some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. But it’s not all business deals and late-night parties. In fact, in the last couple of years especially, Bangkok (and Thailand as a whole) has become recognised as a hub for fine dining establishments, thanks to a nod from Vogue and having received its first Michelin guide in late 2017. And, despite being the city that never sleeps, Bangkok also has a number of enticing wellness retreats that are attracting yoga and meditation enthusiasts looking to practice this ancient tradition in a truly spiritual place. If there is one thing for certain Bangkok is unique and while a stop here is highly recommended for holidaymakers heading to Thailand, drinking snake blood (just like Dicaprio’s character, Richard, did in The Beach) is highly optional… If you are after a beach holiday, then the southern islands both on the east and west of the country


For an idyllic paradise that is bound to meet and exceed expectations every time, it’s got to be Thailand. are where you need to be venturing. You can avoid heavier rain fall interrupting your lazy beach days by choosing to visit the western islands of Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi between November and February and then enjoying the driest months on the eastern islands of Ko Samui, Ko Tao and Ko Pha Ngan between March and April. All have their own unique vibe, but there’s a relaxed, friendly and idyllic heart at every one. For nightlife, Bangkok probably offers the most eclectic mix of entertainment, but there’s still plenty on the southern islands to keep you enthralled too. The famous Full Moon Parties of Ko Pha Ngan have been running since the 80s, which is basically an all-night party on the beach around the time of the full moon and are massively popular with tourists. Don’t be resided to the main islands though, even though they are undoubtedly impressive on their own. For many who come back exclaiming Thailand as a paradise, it has been founded on an unexpected boat trip to a remote cove nestled far away from the hordes of the resorts. While the beaches and nightlife in Thailand offer a pretty good itinerary, experiencing the Thai culture should be another reason on your list. And we’re not just talking about the relaxed lifestyle and scrummy food either. Buddhism, the main religion in Thailand, provides so many characteristics to explore from temples to practicing monks and Buddhist statues. Heading north, the provinces of Chiang Mai, Nan and Phayao are less attractive to sun worshippers but it’s here where Thailand’s rich and diverse culture and landscape truly comes alive. Largely a mountainous area split up by rainforests and valleys and with an abundance of national parks to explore, many would argue that it’s here where you can see the true magic of Thailand come to life. One of the greatest things about visiting Thailand is that it is geared up for tourists to travel between places easily. The Thai people are very

used to tourists and are pretty helpful, and most places will sell sightseeing tours. But what it does is open up the beauty of the country to visitors. Plus, accommodation in Thailand is among some of the cheapest in the world. Sure, you can stay in one place, there’s no harm in that, but the opportunity to see its many sides during your trip is well worth considering. For an idyllic paradise that is bound to meet and exceed expectations every time, it’s got to be Thailand. Here’s a few places to plan in on your itinerary.

Bangkok Why go: Thailand’s capital has some of the most fascinating and enthralling sights of the entire country, if not the world. So it’s difficult to try and fit them all in, but, if you’re only there for a day or two, here’s what we’d recommend doing. What to do: Visit the temples, and there are many to choose from. But the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Dawn and Emerald Buddha are all impressive religious sites. Then there’s the Jim Thompson House Museum, the former home of the American who started the Thai Silk Industry after World War II, for a collection of Asian art and displays; The Grand Palace; and the ancient city, Muangboran. Head down the Khao San Road at the heart of Bangkok’s backpacking district just for the experience too. And, if you’re interested in Muay Thai, visit the Rajadamnern Thai Boxing Stadium. Find a vantage point to view the city skyline - you can enjoy panoramic views of the city from Wat Pak Nam. A trip on the city’s canals is also worth doing visit the floating markets in nearby Damnoen Saduak. Find the time to enjoy a cocktail in one of the high-end rooftop bars and explore Chinatown, if only to sample the street food there. Where to stay: Located on the exclusive Rajadamri Road, St. Regis Bangkok offers unrivalled access to the city’s finest restaurants and elite shopping areas. Combining timeless elegance


own fitness programme in its state-of-the-art facilities, while receiving nutritional advice to help you hit your goals.

Where to stay: The Thanyapura is a spacious and inspiring resort. The Retreat Hotel itself is a 23-hectare compound, surrounded by mountains, lush vegetation and expansive forest, allowing you to reconnect with nature. It’s dining options feature a mixture of Asian and Western styles and flavours. and luxury with the cosmopolitan energy of Bangkok, the 176 rooms and 55 suites offer lavish accommodation overlooking the city skyline. The Elemis Spa and panoramic outdoor pool offer total relaxation, and, with three restaurants and four bars, you'll be entirely catered for within the hotel, or look for a local experience with the help of St. Regis’ 24-hour butlers. Prices start from £224 per night excluding breakfast.

Chiang Mai Why go: The largest city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai’s historic centre is more like a sleepy country town than a bustling capital, surrounded by lush green countryside, rainforests, waterfalls, and elephant sanctuaries. It’s also the home of the famous lantern festival of Chiang Mai, which sees thousands of lanterns released into the air to get rid of bad spirits promoting a fresh start. It’s held around mid-November and is reason enough to plan a trip to Thailand.

What to do: But, once you are there, there are so many exciting things to explore. True Luxury Travel offers a 12-night ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour moving from Bangkok through to Kanchanaburi and on to Chiang Mai. You’ll explore Thailand’s temples, learn about the history of the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ and sleep in floating villas before visiting Chiang Mai, a land of misty mountains and colourful hill tribes.

Where to stay: You’ll stay at the Anantara Chiang Mai, overlooking the majestic Mae Ping River. Every room or suite features contemporary decor with teak furnishings, open plan bathrooms and balconies offering incredible views of the river and mountains, and it’s the best spot to explore the city’s night markets. The central location makes the surrounding area easy to explore and there are endless activities such as visiting elephant sanctuaries, local villages or cooking schools. Price from £3000 per person including 10 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation plus flights.

Phuket Why go: The island of Phuket is a culturally rich and beautiful area of Southern Thailand. It’s a picturesque and relaxed island paradise that’s great for families as well as couples. From the bustling Patong beach to the quieter Kata beach and Rawai beach there’s a side to suit all tastes. And with the chance to explore islands like Rach Island, Coral Island and Phi Phi Islands, the location where The Beach film was shot, you will never get bored.

What to do: If you fancy a change from island hoping during your stay in Phuket, Health and Fitness Travel offers a seven-night wellness break at the Thanyapura Health and Sports Resort. If you feel like you need a recharge, there really is no better place to do it. Boasting the world’s top sports and fitness coaches, you can work on your Muay Thai training, tennis or create your

Prices start from £840 per person based on two sharing or £1,060 for singles including breakfast, Fusion Fitness programme and return private transfers.

Ko Samui Why go: Ko Samui is one of the most famous islands and probably one of the most visited in Thailand, but don’t let that put you off. Its beauty is unparalleled and with its own airport, it’s one of the easiest islands to get to and explore. What to do: From the magnificent Namuang Waterfalls, featuring dramatic eater cascades and natural pools to swim in; to the Ang Thong Marine Park, an archipelago consisting of 42 little islands and great for kayaking, climbing and exploring caves; and the beaches of Chaweng, Lipa Noi and Silver beach, there’s ample of activity to keep you going.

Where to stay: Set high on a cliff, with inspirational views of the resort’s private white sandy beaches, the Gulf of Thailand and the Ang Thong National Marine Park, InterContinental Samui is the perfect setting for a stop in Ko Samui. The resort also offers three to four-night wellness retreats including fitness, spa journeys, mindful meditation sessions and spiritual enlightenment for those needing to rejuvenate their mind and body as well as their soul. Room rates start from £216 per night. Prices start from £288 for a three-day wellness retreat. sL

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Open fields at Packwood School Packwood School, near Shrewsbury, has a long tradition of excellence at sport. This year they are opening their 66 acres of fields and sports complex to Primary Schools across the Midlands. The school has announced that they are to hold a ‘Festival of Cricket’ for year 3 and 4 in conjunction with the Chance to Shine charity. values of cricket, we teach children about respect and fair play. Cricket is also an effective way to develop skills like communication, leadership and perseverance that will benefit them throughout their life. We believe that cricket should be an all-inclusive sport, where girls and boys can play and learn together.” Packwood is ranked in the top 50 schools Packwood is a growing and vibrant in the UK by Cricketer Magazine. This boarding school, which is rightly renowned outstanding accolade for a small rural for its outstanding sports programme. school is recognition of years of progress Celebrating its 126th year, the school has programmes and very impressive results always had a very strong sporting tradition, on the field including three boasting international caps time finalists at Lords in (and Gold Olympic Medals), Through the across a range of sports, values of cricket,we youth competitions. The school works closely with amongst its alumni. Part of teach children local cricket clubs offering the school ethos is to offer about respect and its outdoor and indoor sports every afternoon and at fair play nets for adult teams and a level accessible to everyone. developing players who Packwood children are play for local clubs and County. actively encouraged to take pride in their appearance and to respect themselves and others. Sport and Cricket forms a central part of this as Paul Philips, Head of Cricket at Packwood School explains, “Through the

Packwood’s Sports Complex gets plenty of use with almost a hundred children staying every night either as full time or occasional boarders. A night’s stay might be the start of

the career of the next Jimmy Anderson. Oh and yes, it is true that the legendary England Bowler was himself bowled out by a Packwood pupil at a recent training camp! Part of the Packwood Way, says Headmaster Robert Fox, who joined the school from Harrow, is to “do our best, to be our best”. Emphasis is placed both on good sportsmanship and on being good hosts. The renowned ‘Match Teas’ served up by former Drapers’ Hall owner Nigel Huxley certainly help. If you want a taste of school’s hospitality Mr Fox welcomes you to visit Packwood’s Open Day on Saturday 18th May.

Please come for a tasteof Packwood... Summer Open Day Saturday 18th May U8/U9 Mixed Cricket Festival Thursday 6th June Junior School Production ‘Ali Baba and The Bongo Bandits’ Saturday 8th June



Packwood Haugh School Ruyton XI Towns, Shrewsbury SY4 1HX Telephone 01939 260217


THE PERSONAL TOUCH Creating a unique and personal experience on your travels is more appealing than ever before. Sarah Marshall explores the growing trend for bespoke holidays.


oliday makers these days are becoming far more discerning than ever before. While traditional summer package holidays and all-inclusive getaways still reign supreme, it seems there’s a growing number who no longer want to settle for the bog-standard deals on offer.

Instead people are now striving to create their own unique travel experiences. The trend for personalised, bespoke trips to destinations both at home and abroad, is growing every year.

The rise in demand for activity and adventure holidays is also contributing to the desire for tailor-made options. Those who do extreme sports, diving, surfing, camping and hiking trips to places such as the jungle or desert, will be on the look-out for a way to do it that is entirely unique to them, as will those who want to explore architecture or do painting or cooking.

As John Morrey, of travel giant Expedia, says: “In this day and age, it's possible to have the exact type of experience and trip you want, from visiting a breathtaking island off Portugal, to staying on a family farm where you can gather your own fresh eggs in the morning.”

More and more holidaymakers are also choosing to go back to nature, with yurt accommodation becoming one of the top choices. Experience getaways are on the rise too, with people wanting to live a certain way such as surviving on a desert island for a week!

Whether it’s different types of holidays, tours of famous and historical sights, or even little added details during their stay, more and more people want that personal touch.

Another option that has grown in popularity in recent years is Airbnb. The system sees people renting out their homes to holidaymakers at locations around the world, whether by a beach, in a city or in the middle of the countryside, meaning travellers get to experience living in a proper home at their chosen destination.

So what is it about bespoke holidays that make them so desirable?

The pull The most important thing for travellers these days is to consider what they want from a holiday, how they want to experience it – and cost. Creating your own experience could potentially be cheaper if it means you can scout around for lower-cost deals on transport and accommodation and book ahead for excursions. Group tours with generic itineraries can be perfect for those wanting to do some sight-seeing, but they can also mean compromises for others. A tour of Paris, for example, is likely to include well-known sights such as the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe, which is great if you’ve never been before and want to see them. But for the many travellers who have already seen the tourist sights and now want to do something different, it means some parts of the planned itineraries are not worth the cash - and could even be a waste of time.


In other cases, some travellers may simply want a summer holiday, but also want the privacy of a villa with its own pool and the independence to explore, eat and relax in their own time.

And local produce, too, has become top of the list for many, who want to stay in hotels where the menu features traditional dishes and food sourced from the area.

Making it work The bespoke option is also good for seasoned travellers, who have probably been to most parts of the world and are therefore more difficult to please. These types of holidaymakers are after something that either allows them to see some undiscovered part of the world that is away from the norm, or to experience somewhere they’ve been before but in an entirely new way that still has the wow factor. And as bespoke trips become more popular, many are turning to independent travel agents to help them create a tailor-made experience. Regent Travel in Stone, for example, specialises in tailor-made travel and over the years has seen an influx of people using its services and opting

for escorted tours, which include everything from UK mini-breaks to worldwide yacht cruises. There have been a rising number of independent travel companies entering the market place, offering a wide variety of choice to travellers. Online offerings are also huge, with people able to tailor it themselves. Expedia, for example, allows people to book flights, trains, cars, different types of accommodation and even things to do all in one place. And they can do it all from their mobile phone.

"In this day and age, it's possible to have the exact type of experience and trip you want…"

It means if you want to go to several destinations and see specific things you can create your own itinerary.

The largest number of trip legs booked for one itinerary through was from a customer who booked a 14-segment trip, departing from Budapest and landing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, completed in around 80 days. Many of the big traditional holiday companies have been forced to adapt their services. Travel company Thomas Cook’s Holiday report for 2018 found that holidaymakers’ desires to pick and choose what they did had prompted them to go beyond just offering a wide choice of destinations and flight times. The report found 68 per cent of people said they were interested or very interested in personalising their hotel stay and 64 per cent wanted to personalise their flight experience. “Adapting to meet travellers’ increasingly sophisticated needs is essential to staying relevant,” said a spokesman. Among Thomas Cook customers, holidays outside the traditional seven and 10-night pattern were on the up, with nine to 12-night bookings rising in summer 2018. A Choose Your Room service, where people pay 30 Euros to pick their room ahead of their arrival, had also proved popular. People get to choose exactly what part of a hotel or complex they stay in and perhaps, unsurprisingly, it was families who made up half of the bookings last year, with parents happy to spend the extra cash to get a room as close to the pool or beach as possible. Thomas Cook even launched a service at a small selection of hotels for people to pre-book sunbeds for an extra 30 Euros, before they left the UK. They would then have that sunbed location for the duration of their stay. And more guests can now book early check-in and late check-out to suit their arrival and departure times.

The price is right According to ABTA, the travel association which represents travel agents and tour operators, says


50 per cent of holidaymakers have been booking travel and accommodation from different companies in the last couple of years as they strive to tailor their holidays. City breaks were the nation’s favourite type of holiday in 2018, with almost half of people taking one, while 15 per cent of people chose a sightseeing holiday, such as a road trip or tour of a country. The trend for solo holidays has also been growing in recent years, which is another reason for people wanting to tailor-make their own trips away. According to ABTA, more than one in six people chose to go on holiday by themselves in 2018, which is a rise from 2017. And the top reason to travel alone was to have the opportunity to do what they wanted on their holiday without having to worry about pleasing others, which means bespoke booking is perfect for solo travellers who want to choose and personalise their own adventure. It seems these days the flight too needs to be just as personalised as the holiday. This has meant added extras being made available to customers, such as priority check-in and boarding, drinks, a meal and extra hand and hold baggage. The Thomas Cook report said: “With the journey so important, travellers are making the most of every moment and elevating it to new heights by adding some je ne sais quoi. It is no longer just the hotel where travellers can splash out of personalising their experience, the flight also sets the tone for the rest of the holiday.” Meanwhile, changing hotels half-way through a trip could save pounds. plans to offer the service to customers. The website takes the best value nights from one hotel and combines them with the best value nights of a second hotel to help travellers save up to 70 per cent on their city stays. It has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £250,000 and is inviting customers and outside investors to become shareholders through the crowdfunding platform Seedrs. The company will use the investment to increase its hotel supply from 75,000 hotels today to over 290,000 hotels, agree new commercial partnerships to drive traffic, and trial hotel-tohotel transportation transfers for customers as part of a hotel switching package. David Ferreira, co-founder of, says: "Hotels are expensive so travellers are finding better value alternatives for their stays, which is one reason for the growth in companies such as Airbnb. "By finding a way to significantly cut the price of hotel stays, we think hotel switching can keep travellers coming back to hotels instead of seeking alternative accommodations and allow them to experience the full service and amenities we all love from a hotel stay." sL

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Personal travel consultant for all of your travel requirements

Book with confidence • Fully Financially Protected • Independent expert advice • ABTA & ATOL bonded

Family Holidays, City Breaks, Tailor-made, Cruise, Ski, Luxury, UK Breaks, Weddings & Honeymoons, plus much much more. Geraldine Sproston, Personal Travel Consultant Tel: 01785 533051 |

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Palé Hall Hotel and Restaurant Palé Hall is an AA Five Red Star, Relais & Chateaux destination luxury country house hotel. Our acclaimed three rosette fine dining restaurant features signature dishes from our own head chef, Gareth Stevenson. Palé Hall is a destination for quiet retreat, comfort and culinary indulgence. Situated in the tranquil Dee valley this grand, historic, high Victorian mansion has an idyllic woodland garden rolling down to the banks of the river. The spectacular Snowdonia National Park is on our doorstep. Expect to enjoy exceptional standards of service in a friendly, informal and relaxing atmosphere.

Palé Estate, Llandderfel, Bala, Gwynedd, LL23 7PS Tel: 01678 530285 Email: Web:


North Wales’

BEST KEPT SECRET If you’re looking to retreat to the Welsh hills for a night of culinary excellence, make sure the exquisitely presented Palé Hall is firmly on your radar. Destination dining is quite the weekend escapade these days, and with so many wonderful places to explore on Staffordshire’s doorstep it’s not hard to see why. So, when we were invited to the star of North Wales’ hotel dining roster, Palé Hall, the historic Grade II* listed country house at Llandderfel, on the edge of Snowdonia National Park near Bala, we were extremely eager to check it out. The 19th century mansion was originally built by engineer and industrialist Henry Robertson. It’s clear no expense was spared on its construction and it has a distinct Jacobean style. So much was its grandeur, the house was host to a number of historic figures over the years, including Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria. It’s an impressive building, but not overbearing - it’s inviting - and set within a 50-acre estate, surrounded by the Welsh hills it’s private, hidden and definitely a gem.

Luxury redefined - Palé Hall opened in 2016 as an 18-bedroom hotel with a fine dining restaurant following an extensive refurbishment by new owners Alan and Angela Harper. Rich in antique furniture, fine wood panelling, painted ceilings and Chinoserie details, there is high-style furnishing and décor throughout, and the couple have made every effort to keep the interior as a reflection of its era. There’s everything luxury about an exclusive hotel without the stuffy and arrogant atmosphere. Sure, you’ve got valet parking on arrival, but once you set foot inside the grand entrance, you feel calm and comfortable. It’s relaxed without being complacent. There’s no main reception and minimal staff buzzing around. You are immediately shown to a sitting room, and it’s not long before you have a glass of fizz in your hand and you’ve completely forgotten the drive up. It’s clear that the Harpers want you to feel at home from the moment you arrive, and you do. But being sat in a room decked out with an enormous crystal chandelier and magnificent fireplace complete with an extravagant gold-framed wall mirror, you begin to appreciate the beauty and charm of it all too. After a short while adapting to the Palé Hall mood, we’re shown to the Churchill suite on the 1st floor. I’m told that Churchill used this room to play Billiards in when he visited the house. It’s a huge room with an impressive ceiling made of wood panels and intricately detailed stained-glass windows.

There’s a focal marble fireplace at each end of the room, a large four-poster king-sized bed in the middle and a dressing area and table to the left of the door. Two bay windows at the front flood the room with light and there is a perfectly placed table, where you have a fantastic view of the gardens and hills in the distance. A seating area in front of the fire and a hidden en suite, which opens out into a beautifully modern bathroom with freestanding cast iron tub, and various pieces of antique furniture complete the room. It’s lovely. There are no mod cons – no fridge or mini-bar – instead there is a crystal decanter of Madeira wine sitting on the table with matching glasses and bottled water from the estate to drink. There are tea and coffee making facilities, but these are neatly out of sight in an antique storage box and the TV doubles as a mirror on the wall. It matches the style and character of the hotel perfectly.

Idyllic dining - At the heart of the Palé Hall experience is the food, with its three-rosette fine dining restaurant run by head chef Gareth Stevenson. In addition to the a la carte menu is a six or ten dish tasting menu with wine flight to match. We chose the six dish menu which was a seasonal array of exciting and inventive dishes. We were served everything from oysters to wood pigeon, pork, beef brisket and a particularly tasty Hake with a Thai green curry foam. It finished with a sweet mojito pudding and lemon mousse dessert. There are three dining rooms at the hotel which enables private dining options also. The main restaurant seats about 40 people comfortably and is an extension of the relaxed vibe throughout the hotel, but service is still attentive and knowledgeable. The next morning, we chose to have breakfast brought to the room, so we could enjoy the view from the window out over the hills, and you could just make out a snow-capped Snowdon. Both cooked and continental options are served. The delicious full Welsh breakfast included black pudding and Laverbread. While Palé Hall is close (about four miles away) to the activity-centric Bala Lake, you’ll probably be happy enough in the grounds of the hotel. A walk around the gardens provided enough fresh air for me during our stay, and if you’re there for just one night you’ll want to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible before having to head back to normality. Prices start from £160 per night for a classic room. A one-night stay in the Churchill Suite with dinner, bed and breakfast is priced from £960 per night. sL w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


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rete, the largest of the Greek islands, has such a wealth of delights around every corner that it could take years to seek them all out. Perhaps that’s why so many people return year after year and still manage to find something new to discover.

REDISCOVER: CRETE A sunshine holiday with history, mythology and so much to explore awaits in Crete.


With historical ruins, vast beaches, quaint villages, snow-capped mountains and resorts attracting people of all ages, it’s easy to see why it’s one of TripAdvisor’s top 25 destinations in the world. Steeped in mythology, readers of Homer are in for a real treat if they visit. According to the mythology, the first queen of Crete was Europa and her son Minos, also the son of Zeus, then became king. It was also in Crete that the craftsman Daedalus designed and built the famous Labyrinth where the Minotaur was imprisoned. Daedalus later escaped Crete by flying away with his son Icarus.


resistance members during the German occupation in the Second World War. Visitors can also take a boat trip to see the former leper colony at Spinalonga, off Crete’s north coast.

The island has a chequered history and was actually home to one of the oldest civilisations in Europe - The Minoans. Huge palaces were built, such as Knossos Palace, Phaestos and Zakros, which can still be seen and explored today. In later years, the Roman occupation came, followed by the Byzantine era, some of which is still visible in the form of the mosaic floors of the basilicas built during the period. The island later became under Ottoman rule until 1897 when it achieved independence. However, it was united with the independent Greek state in 1913. Travelling around Crete offers an opportunity to seek out different periods of history. The old towns of Rethymno and Chania have remained intact since the Renaissance with their squares, fountains and churches. The famous painter El Greco started his carrier in this period too. Today Crete gets most of its income from agriculture, cattle breeding and tourism. Heraklion is the island’s capital and visitors here can discover much of the island’s history at its museum, which houses findings of the Minoan Civilisation. History is on offer in spades, with sites such as Kommos said to be the place where King Menelaus was shipwrecked on his way home from Troy, as well as a number of Minoan settlements. There are unusual places, such as the Gorge of Havgas, which boasts rare geological features and entrances to caves used by Cretan

There are holiday resorts galore, including Malia, the island’s party destination, not to mention plenty of beaches, such as Preveli Lagoon, where the River Lourtaliotis meets the sea, Matala, which used to be the gathering place for rebels and hippies in the 1960s and ‘70s, and Imeri Gramvousa, famous for its historical Venetian fortress which towers over the beach. It might be worth taking a bucket and spade as legend has it, there is treasure buried here. Elsewhere, there are mountains to discover, along with canyons, caves and forests, gorges, wetlands and the largest natural lake in Crete at Louran, where visitors watch birds from the watch tower. Divers will love the clear waters, where below the surface there are caves, shipwrecks, airplane carcases and sunken cities to discover, not to mention a wealth of marine life. In the mountains you can go skiing and snowboarding, with ski mountaineering, combining trekking with skiing, also growing in popularity. Walking, swimming and watersports are all on offer and youngsters can enjoy the thrills at the many water parks around the island, while the Cretaquarium is one of Europe’s largest aquariums. Food and drink lovers will adore seeking out local produce, such as olive oil, raki, honey, wine and cheese. Open markets are great for this and run regularly. There are also many restaurants, from traditional tavernas to a la carte, serving everything from seafood to snails. In many of the towns, such as Heraklion, Rethymnon, Chania, Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra and Sitia, there are shops selling designer brands, while chain stores and independent stores are also on offer.

Where to stay Accommodation of all sizes and shapes is available in Crete, from hotels to apartments to villas. One of the most luxurious has to be the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel, which is introducing new seafront pools this season, including the largest on the island. Owners, the Kokotos family, collaborated with London-based designers WATG on the project. Perched on the water's edge, the hotel is known for having the finest beach area in Crete. The new main pool next to it, features a hydro-massage area, loungers and wide steps for easy access. A new children's pool will be separated from the main one and include shallow and safe waters. The hotel offers a selection of premium accommodation including suites, villas and residences, which come with a private waterfront pool and direct access to the hotel’s private beach. Rooms cost from around £310 for two people per night. The Elounda Peninsula All Suit Hotel in Crete. sL

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F r a nce France is probably the first place that springs to mind when you think of gastronomic getaways. And while Paris is the ultimate foodie heaven with some of the finest restaurants in the world, a tour of the country’s famous vineyards and the many eating experiences surrounding them, will turn up many culinary delights. While there, you could learn about the delicious food and wine combinations for which French cuisine is so famous and sample some of the local specialties, while taking part in a wine tasting session. There are many tours available if you prefer to be guided. How about a two-day trip to Anjou, staying in a chateau overlooking the Layon Valley and surrounding vineyards? Meet Roger-François Béguinot, owner of the Château Soucherie, who will guide you through the winery, providing a tasting session, and then in the evening, dine at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Une Ile à Angers.

It a ly Many foodies cite Italian food as their favourite so why not spend a few days learning to cook in the country?

The following morning enjoy breakfast in the Château Soucherie, explore the River Layon and village of Varrains before touring another vineyard and eating at the Route du Sel restaurant, accompanied by a wine tasting session overlooking the Loire.

Cooking lessons have to be the ultimate treat for food lovers who want to try out the recipes when they return home. You could learn about local cuisine and picking your own ingredients during a three-night stay at Relais Alberti in Malamocco, a small town close to the city of Venice. During your stay you’ll enjoy meals, cooking lessons using ancient Venetian recipes, as well excursions and some time to relax on the beach. Prices start from around £770 per person with


If you love food and drink then these are the places to try out on the world’s gastronomy circuit. What could be better than a holiday centred entirely around food and drink? Just imagine a glorious getaway with plenty of sights and some relaxation, combined with lots of tempting treats on the menu. It has to be the dream. From cooking lessons in Italy to seafood delicacies in Vietnam, there’s something to discover in all corners of the globe. So, if you like to choose your destination based on the gastronomic delights it serves up then we’ve got just the line-up for you. LIVING has put together the must-see places around the world for foodies - but be warned because not only will you want to book them all – your stomach will be rumbling too. 98

This two-day trip costs from around £440 per person with

M a r r a kech A top reason to visit Morocco has to be for the food. As well as the tagines, there are pastries and vegetable salads to try out, not to mention some top restaurants. Why not take a Moroccan Gastronomy Tour, sampling Moroccan pastry, taking part in bread making in the Atlas Mountains, souk tours and seeing how Argan oil is made. Visitors also get to eat at one of Medina’s best eateries and can even enjoy a picnic on the beach and be transported there - by camel. An eight-day tour costs from around £750 per person with A four-night stay at Zurich’s Guests’ House Hotel costs from around £462 per person, including flights, with


Spa i n Spain offers amazing culinary temptations. Southern Spain, in particularly boasts a dazzling array of local produce and there is much for foodies to sample, from tapas to olive oil.

V iet n a m A culinary journey through Vietnam is a real feast for the senses. Fresh natural ingredients, seafood and street snacks have all helped to put Vietnam on the culinary map. A 12-day gastronomic adventure will put foodies firmly in heaven as they get to join locals for Tai Chi and a Pho breakfast, as well as tasting some of the country’s firm favourites, such as egg coffee. There are guided market visits, cooking classes, a candlelit seafood dinner while cruising Halong Bay and an opportunity to visit one of Hanoi’s tea houses for a traditional tea ceremony. The 12-day holiday costs from around £1,959 with Exodus Travels,

Expression Holidays offers a five-night break at the Hacienda de San Rafael, near Seville, a former olive estate, where guests can enjoy candle-lit dinners in the courtyard and explore eateries in Seville, hams produced in the Aracena Mountains and explore Andalucian restaurants. Prices start from around £1,450 per person, including flights and a hire car, from

Zu r ich Switzerland is of course famous for its chocolate, but Zurich is also a good choice for foodies. Said to be one of the emerging food destinations, there has recently been an influx of talented chefs looking to make their mark, as well as the city's efforts to revitalize ZurichWest, a formal industrial district that is now one of Zurich's culinary hotspots. You can still discover chocolate though. From intricate cocoa confectionary to bars and slabs, the brown stuff is big business. Don’t forget to try some out. A four-night stay at Zurich’s Guests’ House Hotel costs from around £462 per person, including flights, with

New O rle a n s It’s impossible to talk about foodie heaven without mentioning New Orleans. There are few other towns housing so many award-winning restaurants, from Cajun to Creole and lots more besides. But it’s not just the restaurants because the many street stalls and cafes also serve up some of the most delicious treats, such as seafood Gumbo. A stay in the French Quarter is a must, especially as it houses many of the top restaurants. Often called the Crown Jewel of New Orleans, it boasts a huge mix of old and new, including a French Market, modern boutiques and antique stores. While there you could join a guided culinary tour of the French Quarter, sampling turtle soup and shrimp remoulade at five restaurants. The tour costs £45.68 per person with A seven-night stay at the four-star Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter costs from around £1,294 per person, including flights, from sL

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HAND IN THIS ADVERT ON ENTRY to admit one free with a full paying day ticket. Not valid

with any other offer. Valid 6-7 June only. Applies to tickets purchased on day at gardens entrance. Not valid on advanced, online tickets or Trentham Monkey Forest. See website for T&C’s

6 – 9 June

Trentham Gardens ST4 8JG

Purchase direct from the very best makers in the UK

Putting the WOW back into Craft Fairs 01622 747325

Craft Fair: 10am – 5pm Daily

Admission to garden also gives admission to the craft fair. Free entry for Annual Ticket Holders.

CIF_Trentham_138x210_V2.indd 1

Order Tickets In Advance To Save 20% (Quote Code CIF19)

04/04/2019 15:30

w o l d Lu



16 days of FREE and affordable events... comedy, theatre, music, street parties, walks, talks, workshops, children and family events, puppetry, street theatre, film and lots, lots more!!

15-30 June 2019


TUE 21 MAY – SAT 1 JUNE 2019


| ATGTICKETS.COM/Stoke*| 0844 871 7649* * Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. Motown™ is a trademark of UMG Recordings, Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries, and is used under license.

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04/04/2019 14:44


the hot LIST Keeping you entertained in May and June.




E • SC A N




Breakthrough | Twentieth Century Fox




• L IV ’S



© Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

When They See Us Based on a true story, When They See Us is a new four-part mini-series which chronicles the notorious case of the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The story focuses on five Harlem teenagers, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise who were first questioned about the incident in 1989. The series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement with the city of New York in 2014. Starring Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash and Blair Underwood. Created, co-wrote and directed by Ava DuVernay. When They See Us will premiere only on Netflix on May 31.


The Hustle

Based on true events, Breakthrough is the unbelievable story of Joyce Smith and her 14-year-old son, John, who fell through an icy Missouri lake. He lay clinically dead for an hour but miraculously his heart started beating again. Then continuing to defy all odds, he walked out of hospital on his own just sixteen days later. Adapted from her book, The Impossible, this is an enthralling reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle. Starring Chrissy Metz as Joyce, with Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Mike Colter, Marcel Ruiz, Sam Trammell and Dennis Haysbert. Directed by Roxann Dawson.

We’re hugely excited about this duo! The amazingly talented Rebel Wilson and Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway have joined forces to star in the hilarious new comedy, The Hustle. As female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class (you can guess who’s who), they begin to get their own back on the dirty rotten men who have scorned them in the past. We can tell this one is going to be laugh-out-loud good! Also starring Tim Blake Nelson and directed by Chris Addison.

Breakthrough is due for cinema release on May 17. 102

Mus tsee

© Universal Pictures

The Hustle is due for cinema release on May 10.


Pokémon Detective Pikachu | © Warner Bros. Pictures


The Sun Is Also A Star © Warner Bros. Pictures

Pokémon Detective Pikachu Gamers across the world are rejoicing at the arrival of the first-ever live action Pokémon adventure due out this summer. Fans everywhere can now experience Pikachu, as well as a wide array of beloved Pokémon characters, on the big screen. Starring Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu, a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself, the story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman (Paul Kitson) goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim (Justice Smith) and Detective Pikachu to find out what happened. Also starring Suki Waterhouse and Rob Delaney and directed by Rob Letterman.

Chick flick alert! Starring TV’s Yara Shahidi (grown-ish) as the Jamaican-born Natasha Kingsley and Charles Melton (Riverdale) as the romantic Daniel Bae. This is a modern-day story about finding love against all the odds, based on the New York Times bestseller by Nicola Yoon. The pair meet and fall in love with each other over one day in New York City. But as Natasha is fighting against her family’s scheduled deportation the very next day, can they be together? This looks set to be the perfect film to see with your girls – tissues at the ready! Also starring John Leguizamo and directed by Ry Russo-Young.

Credit: Andy Barron

Joy Williams Four-time Grammy Award-winning artist Joy Williams’ highly anticipated new solo album, Front Porch, will be released May 3 via Sensibility/Thirty Tigers. Her soulful, country melodies are perfect for a chillout vibe this summer. Get your copy from sL

The Sun Is Also A Star is due for cinema release on May 16.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is due for cinema release on May 10. *Release dates are subject to change w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


AT Spring into a Season CREWE t n CEUM of Great Entertainme LY THEATRE TUE 14 – SAT 18 MAY


TUE 21 – WED 22 MAY










TICKET OFFICE 01322 220000


Half a World Away By Mike Gayle J U N E 2 0 1 9 | £ 1 2 .9 9 | HODDER & STOUGHTON

Kerry Hayes knows exactly who she is: a single mum, a cleaner and Mariah Carey’s biggest fan. Noah Martineau thinks he knows who he is: a successful barrister, with a wife, daughter and big house in Primrose Hill. Strangers with nothing in common. Strangers living worlds apart. But it wasn’t always this way… and Noah and Kerry are about to discover just who they really are. Mike Gayle became a full-time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend. His most recent novel, The Man I Think I Know was a Zoe Ball Book Club pick and an ebook bestseller.

The Nanny By Gilly MacMillan J U N E 2 0 1 9 | £ 1 2 .9 9 | C E N T U R Y

The Brighton Mermaid By Dorothy Koomson

A P R I L 2 0 1 9 | £7.9 9 | A R R O W

Brighton Beach, 1993. Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears. Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer. But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…

Why is she back? And what does she want? Jocelyn was seven years old when her beloved nanny disappeared overnight. Her parents never told her why. Devastated by the loss and the disruption of her safe family enclave, Jocelyn never quite got over it. Thirty years later, Jocelyn returns to her crumbling, shadowy family home. Widowed and vulnerable, she has a young daughter of her own. Then her long-gone nanny appears on the doorstep. The page turners we’ll And Jocelyn soon realises that be reading by the pool she doesn’t know who this woman really is – or, now that she’s back, this summer. what she wants. Or what really happened on that fateful night all those years ago…



The Passengers By John Marrs M AY 2 0 1 9 | £ 7.9 9 | E B U R Y

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide. When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course. The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife - and parents of two - who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

Evvie Drake Starts Over By Linda Holmes

J U N E 2 0 1 9 | £ 1 6 .9 9 | HODDER & STOUGHTON

When you get a second chance, will you be brave enough to take it? Evvie and Dean are both thirty-three, and both washed up. Evvie’s a widow, rattling around her big house without a clue what happens next. And after the humiliating end to his glittering baseball career, Dean’s looking for a place to hide out. When fate brings them together, it seems as though they have a second shot at happiness – but will they be brave enough to take it? This is the first novel for former attorney Linda Holmes, who also worked as a television writer and editor. sL

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This fiery red head has a voice that every young woman should be listening to.



“...It wasn’t that I was lost, at all. It was about learning to love myself.” These are the facts. Underneath is Jess’s peerless ability to commune with an audience through song; to tell the truths young women want to hear about their concerns, the loves that build them up and let them down; and the aspirations and dreams that might turn sour, but you’ll smile through them anyway. “I always used to think that you’re nobody until somebody loves you,” says Jess. “Now I know that you have to be that person for yourself.” Jess Glynne is a girl from North London who is noticeably free of airs and graces. She sings because she loves to and writes songs because she wants answers to her own emotional quandaries. Her powerhouse vocal and fearless delivery has captured so many under its spell. But for Jess, this was all just about learning who she is as a person. “I don’t write songs because I want a hit,” she says. “I never have and I never will. I want to make a great album, that’s it. “There’s loads of different emotions in me but I always know what I’m doing with the music. That’s the one thing I do know. It’s my safe space. In life, I am very in touch with my emotions. Music is the one place I know I can let it out. It’s a way of processing my uncertainty. “What I learned in the space between the two records is that I need to make myself happy and stop thinking somebody else will do it for me. If somebody is going to come into my life and stand by my side, I feel like I’ve got the strength in me now to let that happen. Because I don’t need it to happen. I’ve got to that place through this whole experience. Finally. “I’m in a great place now,” she says. “I felt like I was in between a normal life and a famous life, this or that relationship, and it felt at times like I was lost. It wasn’t that I was lost, at all. It was about learning to love myself.”


e’ve all come to recognise and love the distinctive tone of Londoner Jess Glynne over the past couple of years; one of the most successful British female solo artists of her generation and it’s not hard to understand why.

In her first few years in the music industry, Jess has carved out a unique slot all on her own. Her career has sky rocketed since the launch of her blockbuster debut album, I Cry When I Laugh, in 2015; one of the defining British pop records of its era. At the time of writing it has been a chart staple for 178 weeks. But, it debuted at number one, spawning 12million worldwide singles sales, 39 weeks on the UK top 10, 2.5billion Spotify streams, a sold-out UK arena tour, Brit, MTV: EMA, Ivor Novello, MOBO, Q and Glamour award nominations.

And her highly anticipated second album, Always in Between, has just as much punch, featuring hit songs like ‘I’ll Be There’ and ‘Thursday’, and a perfect mix of pop, soul, R&B and house music on it.

Jess’s latest album Always In Between is out now on Atlantic. Jess is also set to play three ‘Live After Racing’ outdoor shows this summer, including Wolverhampton Racecourse on Saturday 31st August. Tickets are available from And she promises to play all the hits and fan favourites including ‘Hold My Hand’, ‘Thursday’, ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’, ‘I’ll Be There’ and ‘Take Me Home’, plus some brand new tracks too.


We’ve got a pair of tickets to the Jess Glynne Live After Racing Wolverhampton Racecourse show up for grabs on Saturday 31st August. The tickets will include a day at the races and tickets to the gig in the evening. Enter at now! sL

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Final preparations being made for bumper Staffordshire County Show Excitement is building ahead of the Staffordshire County Show, which has been a year in the planning. Final arrangements are being made and the finishing touches being put to plans before the half term event on May 29 and 30, at the Weston Road Showground. As well as the usual, much-loved country pursuits area where visitors can enjoy the sheep show, the quack pack, watch farriers in action, see the giant tortoises and learn more about smaller animals, there will be a host of high-speed, adrenalinefuelled entertainment. The Bolddog Lings motorcycle stunt team will take up their place in the main arena again with some breath-stopping aerial stunts. Scurry Drivers will also lead their equestrian charges around the ring in high-speed races, and an array of other attractions will ensure there is something for everyone. And for the first time ever, an interactive education roadshow which only appears at a handful of events each year will be part of this year’s Staffordshire County Show. The National Farmers Union (NFU) Let’s Talk Farming Discovery Barn, designed to enthuse children to learn about agriculture and where

their food comes from, will have games and fascinating facts for children to learn. Last year’s event saw more than 70,000 visitors through the gate and organisers are confident those numbers will climb this year. Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said everyone involved is working around the clock to guarantee visitors a fabulous day out. “Shows like these take a lot of planning and we are so lucky to have a great team of staff and so many willing volunteers getting involved,” he said. “This year’s event will see some top quality action, as well as hundreds of trade stands, excellent food stalls, and top quality agricultural livestock. “We are so proud that the Staffordshire County Show always delivers a fantastic, enjoyable day out for everyone - young and old. The final preparations are being put in place now to ensure everyone gets as much out of their visit as they can.” Tickets can be bought online until May 23, from the Showground office until May 24 or at outlets throughout Staffordshire between May 1 and May 25. To find out where sells them near you visit the website here:

Check out the Staffordshire County Show Facebook page for competitions and giveaways in the lead up to the show too.



The two day festival will take place at the Etruria Industrial Museum which is at the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon Canals and the home of Shirley’s 1857 Bone and Flint Mill. The festival will feature a historic boat gathering, stalls, games, live music and dance. It will celebrate the great benefits the canals bring to Stoke on Trent. Join us to see the City from a different perspective, discover many hidden pockets of paradise and increase your wellbeing.

Fun and entertainment for all the family at an interesting and attractive location in the heart of Stoke on Trent. Open 10.30am to 17.00pm. Visitor centre with tea room, gift shop and toilets. Free entry to the Festival. Entry to the mill: Adults £4.00 or £6.00 for a guided tour. Under 16s free when with a paying adult

Car park and entrance - Etruria Vale Road, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4RB T: 07557 797695 or 07900 267711 W:


Sat 22nd & Sun 23rd June, 10am to 5pm Spectacular Floral Marquee Tom Stuart-Smith Lecture

(RHS award-winning designer and landscape architect)

Gardeners’ Question Time Specialist nurseries Garden accessories Classic cars

Garden tours with Lord Ashbrook & Head Gardener Gordon Baillie Schools’ Garden Challenge Countryside Marquee Food and crafts Jazz and Concert bands Children’s entertainment

BOOK ONLINE Tickets cannot be replaced or exchanged if lost. No refunds available.

Arley Hall & Gardens, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6NA



(Free parking for the festival)


g n i m o C Soon

Book yooudray! tickets t

Hound of the baskervilles dino world live fri 24 may

thur 30 - fri 31 may

To view the full season brochure, book tickets and select your own seats, head over to our website!


EVENTS CALENDAR There’s something for everyone to enjoy this May and June.

On the Stage MAY






The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Motown the Musical


Price: From £10.50 Emmerdale’s Jonathan Wrather stars in this production of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” In a society obsessed with youth and beauty, Dorian Gray is given the chance to keep his looks forever. But at what cost? Info: Book tickets and find out more at:

Price: From £13 Motown founder Berry Gordy goes from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul, discovering and launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. Info: Contact the Box Office on 0844 871 7649 or visit:

Price: £19-£23 The streets of Victorian England come to life as hit musical Oliver! comes to the Buxton Opera House. Talented young local performers will be taking to the stage to star in one of the most popular British musicals of all time. Also running from June 5-9. Info: Contact the Box Office on 01298 72190 or visit:

Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1AP

Buxton Opera House, Water St, Buxton, SK17 6XN

Crewe Lyceum Theatre, Heath St, Crewe, CW1 2DA

Food & Drink MAY






Stock Image

A Taste of Staffordshire

Staffordshire County Show

Father’s Day Sunday Lunch

Price: £45 per person. Executive Chef, Tom Biddle, brings a Supper Club vibe to this four-course tasting event. With local seasonal provenance headlining his menus, Tom recently made his mark at Salon Culinaire, the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition which showcases chefs’ best practices. Info: To book your place call 01283 575671 or email To see the menu visit:

Price: £4-£37 The Demonstration Kitchen at the popular show will be organised in association with the team behind The Stone Food & Drink Festival for the first time. Expect cookery theatre every hour from 11am to 3pm, giveaways and talks and tastings. Info: Pictured Nick Griffin of Griffins of Stone at last year’s show.

Show your dad just how much he means to you by treating him to a delicious three-course meal. No 26. at Aston Marina has a special Sunday Lunch or Dinner menu on offer just for Father’s Day. Info: Pre-booking essential to avoid disappointment. Call 01785 819 702 or visit:

Hoar Cross Hall, Maker Lane, Burton-uponTrent, DE13 8QS 110

Staffordshire County Showground, Weston Road, Stafford, ST18 0BD

No. 26, Aston Marina, Lichfield Road, Stone, ST15 8QU

For the Family








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Giant Miniature Weekend

The Baby Show

Theatre Discovery Day

Price: Free. Voted No.1 attraction for Tamworth on Trip Advisor, the Statfold Barn Railway is holding its Giant Miniature Weekend in May with around 110 miniature traction engines in steam on display, as well as a host of other attractions. Info:

Price: £14.70. The UK’s largest event for parents-to-be, new parents, grandparents and babies. The Baby Show is a unique family-friendly shopping and advice experience where you’ll find everything for pregnancy, bump, baby and of course you. Info:

Price: Free. Free activities, workshops, tours and exclusive competitions at Birmingham Rep’s 2019 Discovery Day. Go behind the scenes on a backstage tour and have fun digging into the theatre's dressing up box. Arts and crafts also on offer. Info:

Statfold Barn Railway, Ashby Road, Tamworth, B79 0BU

NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham, B40 1NT

The Rep, Broad St, Birmingham, B1 2EP

Don’t Miss! MAY/AUG






Made in Staffordshire – Exhibition of Contemporary Art Enjoy a visit to the Guildhall Gallery for an exhibition of contemporary art and crafts, created by independent Staffordshire artists and makers. Take part in an artist led creative workshop and relax in the gallery coffee shop with a cup of locally roasted coffee and a slice of delicious cake. Info:

Newcastle Jazz and Blues Festival

Last Night of the Proms

Enjoy loads of live bands over the spring bank holiday in Newcastle-under-Lyme for the 13th annual Jazz and Blues Festival. Acts include Matrix Club Matrix, Nigel Clark, Roy Forbes, Mike Giliker and many more. Info:

Price: £20-£35 The Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at Mitton Manor Gardens from 6pm – 10.30pm. This is a picnic style concert. Individual ticket holders should bring their own chairs. Tables and candelabras welcome. Info:

The Shed Café Bar, The Rigger, Revolution & more

Mitton Manor, Mitton, Near Penkridge, Staffordshire, ST19 5QW

Guildhall Gallery, 45 Mill St, Stafford, ST16 2AJ

And in Shropshire… Shropshire Festivals

Proms and Prosecco

Newport Show

Price: Various. There will be lots of festival fun in Shropshire during May and June, including Shropshire Kids Fest on May 11 and 12, Pub in the Park on June 7 and 8 and Shrewsbury Food Festival on the June 29 and 30. Info:

Price: From £26 Enjoy a two-day music festival at Weston Park over the May bank holiday. Popular opera duet Belle Voci – finalists in 2018 TV show The Voice - will headline on Sunday and the Fireflies Festival will headline on Monday. They will be joined by String Infusion and more international and local artists. Info:

Price: £5-£35 This year will be the 110th Newport Show. The event at Chetwynd Deer Park will feature new activities and exhibitors as well as the usual family favourites. There will be Bolddog Lings motocross display team, celebratory chefs doing cookery demos, trade stands, agricultural classes and festival style live music. Info:

Weston Park, Shifnal, Telford, Shropshire, TF11 8LE

Chetwynd Deer Park, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8EU

11-12 MAY

26–27 MAY


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> 111

11th-12th May ‘19

SHREWSBURY QUARRY PARK Epic Family Fun for 1-14 year olds


7th-8th June ‘19

TELFORD TOWN PARK 100+ Real Ales, Lager Bar, Gin Den, Cocktails, Live Music & Street Food


29th-30th June ‘19


200+ Food, Drink & Craft Exhibitors, Chef Demo’s & Live Music


Premium Craft Events in Staffordshire Highest quality carefully chosen local artisan makers

2019 Events

23rd June – Chase Golf, Health Club & Spa, Penkridge, ST19 5RN 10am-4pm 15th September – Rodbaston Hall, Penkridge, ST19 5PH 10am-4pm 10th November – Roman Way Hotel, Cannock, WS11 1SH 10am-4pm






S AT U R d Ay 1 3 T H J U Ly 2 0 1 9 8am - 7pm

Chetwynd Deer Park

Newport, Shropshire Tf10 8Eu

B O O K YO U R T I c K e T S T O dAY


Festivals MAY






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Great British Food Festival

Staffs Fest

The Festival in a Factory

Price: From £12 for a weekend ticket. From £8 for one day. Chillington Hall on the Staffordshire/Shropshire boarder is the base for this foodie festival. Featuring talks and cooking demonstrations, food challenges, live music and stalls. As well as a free circus skills workshop, treasure hunt, food Olympics and much more for kids. Info:

Price: From £50 for a weekend ticket. From £15 for one day. With its mix of rock, blues and soul, food and drink, displays, workshops and stalls, not to mention kids’ disco, inflatables and free access to Lower Drayton Farm, Staffs Fest is great for families. Dogs are also welcome and there’s space for camping, caravan and camper vans. Info:

Price: £8 per event Featuring award-winning authors, artists and entertainers, the Festival in a Factory is a celebration of culture and creativity. Run over three days at the Emma Bridgewater factory, there will be author talks, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and live performances. Info:

Chillington Hall, Brewood

Lower Drayton Farm, Penkridge, ST19 5RE

Emma Bridgewater Factory, Lichfield Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. ST1 3EJ







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Stafford Festival Shakespeare

Orbit Fitness Festival

Shrewsbury Food Festival

Price: From £14. Set at the historic Stafford Castle in an open-air production by Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, the Stafford Festival Shakespeare will perform The Merchant of Venice. The first time this play has been performed in the festival’s 29-year history. Info:

Price: From £75 for a weekend ticket. From £25 for a day ticket. Do as much or as little as you want to at this event, which includes bootcamp, hiit work-outs, yoga and meditation, as well as music, artisan food and children’s activities. Info:

Price: £12.50 on the gate The Shrewsbury Food Festival will take place in the Quarry Park and around Shrewsbury town and will host demonstrations, a chef school, music, competitions and a kids zone. Info:

Stafford Castle, Stafford, ST16 1DW

Hopton Court, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, DY14 0EF

Cornbury Music Festival

Warwick Folk Festival

Rewind North

Price: From £180 for a weekend ticket. From £75 for one day. Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, organisers promise this to be a music festival combined with a quintessentially English village fete. The line-up includes The Beach Boys, Keane and The Specials. There are four stages, a comedy stage, food, funfair and creative kids zone. Info:

Price: From £110.25 for a weekend ticket. From £44 for one day. From £33 for an evening ticket. In its milestone 40th year, this family festival provides a four-day music and dance extravaganza. Billy Bragg will headline, and visitors can also enjoy ceilidhs, concerts, acoustic performances, shop at the craft stalls and try out street food. Info:

Price: From £99 for a weekend ticket. From £59 for one day. Rewind North returns for its 11th year and boasts a line-up of 80s icons, including Thin Lizzy, Gloria Gaynor, Bananarama, Tiffany and UB40. In the kids area, Ziggy’s will be hosting circus skills workshops, family sports days and giant bubble parties. Info:

The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire

Warwick School, Myton Road, Warwick, CV34 6XW

Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield sL

5-7 JULY

25–28 JULY

The Quarry Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JA


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SPRING & SUMMER GOLF B R E A KS FROM £99 PER PERSON Overnight Stay | Full English Breakfast | 2 Rounds of Golf 01675 238 600 | ULTIMATE GOLF RESORT 2018, 59 CLUB WORLD’S BEST GOLF HOTEL, WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS 2018

As the spiritual home of the legendary Ryder Cup and crowned as the World’s Best Golf Hotel & England’s Best Golf As the spiritual home of the legendary Course, The Belfry provides three worldRyder Cup and crowned as the World’s class golf courses and all the facilities Best Golf Hotel & England’s Best Golf to meet the needs of every golfer, both Course, The Belfry provides three worldbeginner and professional. class golf courses and all the facilities Belfry & Resort has long beenboth regarded toThe meet theHotel needs of every golfer, as one of the world’s most iconic golf resorts and beginner and for professional. sets the scene many of the game’s memorable moments over the years, meaning guests can follow The Belfry Hotel & Resort has long been regarded in the footsteps of legends and create their own as one of the world’s most iconic golf resorts and memorable Belfry moments. sets the scene for many of the game’s memorable moments over the years, meaning guests can follow The Belfry boasts all the facilities a golfer could ever in the footsteps of legends and create their own want for the perfect golfing break, located within 550 memorable Belfry moments. The Belfry boasts all the facilities a golfer could ever want theaperfect golfing break, located To for book tee time or golf break visit within 550 or call 01675 238 600

To book a tee time or golf break visit or call 01675 238 600

acres of rolling countryside; from the three stunning golf courses to suit all golfing abilities, through to the PGA National Academy and comprehensive Golf Shop, with popular brands such as Hugo Boss, acres of rolling countryside; from the three stunning Adidas, Oscar Jacobson, Galvin Green and more. golf courses to suit all golfing abilities, through to the PGA National Academy and comprehensive Golfers can choose to play on the world-famous Golf Shop, with popular brands such as Hugo Boss, Brabazon, opt for the inland links style of the PGA Adidas, Oscar Jacobson, Galvin Green and more. National, or hone their skills on the Derby course. Away from the course, guests can receive expert tuition, be Golfers can choose to play on the world-famous custom fitted with the latest equipment, practise on Brabazon, opt for the inland links style of the PGA one of the 34 driving range bays or improve their skills National, or hone their skills on the Derby course. Away on the putting green and short game area. from the course, guests can receive expert tuition, be custom fitted with the latest equipment, practise on After the round, guests can experience the vibrant one of the 34 driving range bays or improve their skills surroundings of the award-winning Sam’s Club on the putting green and short game area. House, by catching up on the latest sporting action whilst enjoying a selection of food and drink before After the round, guests can experience the vibrant heading back to their spacious & comfortable room! surroundings of the award-winning Sam’s Club House, by catching up on the latest sporting action whilst enjoying a selection of food and drink before heading back to their spacious & comfortable room!



STOKE-ON-TRENT Here’s our top 10 reasons to visit the Potteries.

Mention Stoke-on-Trent and there are probably a few things that will spring to mind. Pottery, of course - Stoke is known as the Potteries after all – singer Robbie Williams, football, oatcakes, restaurants, bars, universities and business opportunities to name a few. Or it might just be the old-fashioned Stokie welcome and the preferred term of endearment, “duck”! Whatever your first thought is, it’s clear the city has plenty to offer residents and visitors alike. Here’s LIVING’s top ten reasons to visit.

2. SHOPPING A shopaholic will be in heaven in Stoke-on-Trent because, not only are there high street options, there are also more independent and unique shopping experiences to be had. Ceramic factory shops can be found all over, selling fine china dinner services, figurines, table and cookware, tiles, jugs and even jewellery.

1. HISTORY Stoke is of course famous for its pottery industry. From famous founders such as Josiah Wedgwood and artists such as Clarice Cliff, the industry grew thanks to the wealth of clay and the creation of the Trent and Mersey Canal.

The Shopping Village at Trentham is well worth a visit for its setting alone. Sitting at the entrance to the Trentham Estate it boasts timber lodges housing lots of independent shops selling everything from clothes to cosmetics, cafes and restaurants set in a lovely friendly village atmosphere. High Street favourites are on offer at intu Potteries and bargain-hunters could pay a visit to nearby Freeport Talke, where high street outlets offer huge discounts.

Visitors can learn all about its history at the many museums and companies, including the Wedgwood factory, which remains a working factory in nearby Barlaston, and also has a free museum and opportunities for taking part in art and craft workshops and tours.

It’s not just pottery however, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery houses part of the Staffordshire Hoard collection, the largest haul of Anglo-Saxon gold unearthed in Lichfield, as well as other displays of fine and decorative arts, costume, local history, archaeology and natural history – and, of course, Staffordshire ceramics.


Stoke might not have won its bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, but that hasn’t dulled its enthusiasm. In fact, just being involved in the bidding process created a lot of opportunities for the city. As Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and partnerships at Stoke-onTrent City Council, said: “We won in so many ways by bidding for the title – from the creation of new jobs in Stoke-on-Trent to contributing millions of pounds of spend to the local economy. It also directly led to improvements in our cultural infrastructure with our six town cultural champions, the local culture education partnership, which puts culture front and centre in learning for every child in the city, and the development and investment in a festival and event programme for Stoke-on-Trent. The legacy benefits have been immense. “Our bid centred on the views and aspirations of our communities and this engendered a sense of pride and belief in our city. Most significantly partnerships and collaborations across the city have been created for the long term. The cultural sector, the public sector, major employers, key cultural destinations, universities, community groups and a host of others now work together in a co-ordinated and collaborative way for the future growth and success of the city, and the value of this cannot and should not be undervalued.”

There are lots of other places to discover too. The Gladstone Pottery Museum and the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre also help to tell the story. The Emma Bridgewater factory, which sits alongside the Caldon Canal in the heart of The Potteries, and Middleport Pottery in Burslem, also offer opportunities to learn more and buy genuine Staffordshire pottery. And the Loveclay Ceramics Centre in Fenton is a new visitor experience that promotes the importance of clay to the ceramics industry and Stoke-on-Trent.


3. EVENTS The city always has something going on, from artisan markets to collectors fairs, exhibitions and festivals of all types. In June the Etruria Canals Festival kicks off, while the Potters 'A rf Marathon also runs during the same month. The Just So arts, music and comedy festival for families is held in August, while the Stoke Beer and Cider Festival is in November.

Stoke-on-Trent’s successful Cultural Destinations bid, however, showed its determination to succeed. Cultural Destinations, developed by the Arts Council and Visit England, is designed to enable arts and culture organisations to work with organisations such as Visit Stoke. A successful bid which secured £270,000 with match funding of £30,000 from the city council has led to the creation of a new consortium of tourism and cultural organisations who are helping to grow the visitor economy and strengthen the city’s year-round cultural offer.


9. ENTERTAINMENT The Regent Theatre is the city’s top theatre venue and plays host to many of the touring shows, direct from the West End. Musicals, plays, opera and dance are all on offer, as well as children’s favourites.

5. ATTRACTIVE ATTRACTIONS With lots of places to go there’s no real opportunity for boredom in Stoke. There’s Waterworld, the country’s number one tropical indoor water park, and the unique Trentham Monkey Forest, where visitors walk around as monkeys roam free around them. The Trentham Estate, too, offers an opportunity to soak up some history in the Italian gardens, take a barefoot walk through mud and pine cones and let the kids run free on the play area. Rode Hall is an 18th century house, which has guided tours and glorious gardens to explore, while Stoke Ski Centre at Festival Park, offers some dry-slope skiing experiences, with skiing, snowboarding and tubing available. And there are also the sculpture and ceramics trails to follow around the city.


7. SPORT Stoke-on-Trent is home to Championship team Stoke City, attracting huge crowds to its matches at the bet365 Stadium. League two football is also on offer at Port Vale. The city has lots of leisure centres and sports fields for people wanting to take part in sport, such as Fenton Manor Sports Complex, which regularly hosts national boxing, gymnastics and table tennis events. The Northwood Stadium is the home of Stoke Athletics Club and has a national standard running track and 750-seat stadium, as well as a sports hall and squash courts.

Stoke Repertory Theatre, meanwhile, acts as a venue for local dance, drama and music companies, and the Mitchell Arts Centre offers a programme of community arts events. For music, the Victoria Hall, built in 1888 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, is the place to go to see big names in both music and comedy in particular, as well as other events. There are casinos and bingo halls if you fancy a flutter and cinemas, such as the mainstream Cineworld and the Stoke Film Theatre, the city’s independent cinema. All sorts of nightclubs can be found in the city, including the Sugarmill, offering live music.

Stoke-on-Trent Gymnastics Centre is producing top gymnasts, while there are plenty of golf courses for people to practice their swings.

Hanley’s cultural quarter is the place to go. The area is home to a host of businesses, including trendy bars, unique fashion outlets and art galleries, and has fast become a hive of activity and creativity. The area’s major draw is the choice of eateries, offering foodies a wide range of options, such as Rawr Café Bar and Kitchen which aims to offer the best in vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, and Gelarto di Gabor for dessert-lovers who can’t wait to tuck into tiramisu, sundaes and waffles.


There’s plenty of choice at intu Potteries too, including well-known eateries, such as Chiquito, Coast-to-Coast, Frankie & Benny’s, Nando’s and Pizza Express. Options outside the city centre include The Orange Tree on Newcastle Road offering contemporary dining. There are endless choices of pubs to choose from and bars serving up everything from a pint of real ale to a fancy cocktail. The Exchange in Hanley, housed in the city’s former telephone exchange, serves an impressive range, from a peanut butter martini, to a spiced apple strudel.

Stoke-on-Trent might be an urban city but you only have to go a short distance to get off the beaten track.

8. OATCAKES If there’s one top reason for visiting Stoke-on-Trent it has to be the traditional Staffordshire oatcake. It’s a speciality in the city and something residents are rightly proud of. However you prefer them, whether it’s with bacon and cheese or something entirely different, there are plenty of shops selling these delicious delicacies. Enjoy!

Longton Park with its lake, play area and fishing is an oasis of calm, while Tunstall Park is grade II listed. Central Forest Park is right next to the city centre and houses the Stoke Skate Place, Europe’s largest skate park, and Hanley Park is a stones’ throw from the city centre too. Apedale Community Country Park is a haven for spotting wildlife, while Biddulph Grange Country Park offers woodland, a lake, ponds and flower meadows. sL w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


FOR THE FINEST QUALITY GLASS SPLASHBACKS CRAFTED IN THE UK, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN PROFILE GLASS From stunning splashbacks to bring style to your bathroom or kitchen, to bespoke shower enclosures, office partitioning, and mirrors, we can take any idea and bring it to life. Using only the finest materials, our highly skilled team produce workmanship of the highest standards; providing you with a product which you’ll love.

Phone: 01782 575551 Website: Email: Address: Profile Glass Limited, Unit 1 Rafferty Industrial Estate, Sneyd Hill, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 2EB

ANITA HARRIS ART POTTERY has relocated from intu Potteries Shopping Centre, Hanley to Longton! The shop is now based at the Pottery Studio in Normacot Road and is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9am-2pm. Anita Harris Pottery is entirely handmade, and hand painted in Stoke-on-Trent. Our pottery is unique and highly collectable and often featured on TV where the ceramic experts state "Anita Harris Pottery are the antiques of the future". We specialise in bespoke one-off commissions, any style or subject possible – please ask for details. If you would like to book a tour of Anita Harris Pottery, please call 01782 599194. Booking essential.

07484 052605

Minkstone Works, Normacot Road, Longton, ST3 1PR

Cressbrook Hall is a fine William IV residence, perched high on the south face of the Wye Valley close to Monsal Dale and magnificently situated in 30 acres of parkland. Our experienced team look forward to helping you organise your perfect day. Free Wedding Venue Hire! We are offering our venue free of charge on selected dates in 2019 (minimum spend of £3,600.00 including food, drink and accommodation).

01298 871289 Cressbrook Hall Cressbrook, Nr. Buxton Derbyshire, SK17 8SY


Also trading as 1st Solicitors


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6-10 Broad Street

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01782 580604 • 01785 318334 • 01270 388119

Cash in your attic? For a FREE, no obligation online valuation simply email

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OR – pop in Wolverhampton: Mon & Tue 10am - 4pm Penkridge: Thu 10am – 3pm

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Cuttlestones Ltd, Pinfold Lane, Penkridge, Staffordshire ST19 5AP. Tel: 01785 714905 Email: Wolverhampton Auction Rooms, No 1 Clarence Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4JL. Tel: 01902 421985 Email:

A Proud Family Firm

The Wintertons have been Staffordshire’s trusted auctioneers since 1864 We have a team of experienced valuers and deal with clients internationally • Specialist sales • Free no obligation home visits • Probate services • Insurance valuations • House clearances • Free valuations every Tuesday The Lichfield Auction Centre Wood End Lane, Fradley Park Staffordshire, WS13 8NF Tel: 01543 251081 Email: Web:

A FAMILY firm of auctioneers in Lichfield whose lineage in the trade dates back seven generations to 1864 has embarked on two landmark partnerships on its Staffordshire home turf. Richard Winterton Auctioneers has teamed up with the Lichfield Garrick theatre and St Mary’s in the Market Square – both registered charities. “My family has been auctioneering here since 1864; we are now on our seventh generation of Winterton auctioneers and Lichfield is such an important place to us,” said Richard, a regular on TV programmes such as BBC Bargain Hunt and Dickinson’s Real Deal on ITV. “These are important partnerships with two charities which are major assets to the city.” The “perfect” collaboration with The Guild of St Mary’s blends heritage, culture, education and entertainment, reflecting the ethos of both organisations slap bang in the beating heart of Lichfield city centre. St Mary’s reopened at the end of last year following a visionary £1.4m transformation which saw the Grade II* listed building incorporate Lichfield Library in addition to the cathedral city’s Tourist Information. “The new-look St Mary’s is just stunning – the moment I saw the redevelopment I was utterly captivated. It is a quintessential example of moving with the times to improve things for all while still retaining an absolute commitment to Lichfield. It perfectly echoes our ethos – it’s a perfect fit.”

Object of desire… These are just some of the fabulous, fascinating and fantastic items to pass through Richard Winterton Auctioneers in recent months. • A rare 18ct gold Omega De Ville wristwatch from the Grima Jeux d’Or ‘Time In Style’ collection (est. £6,000) • A triple-row necklet of matched graduated natural seawater pearls, strung to an old cushion cut diamond and pearl clasp (est. £7,500)

A variety of fine art and other objets de curiosité from Richard Winterton Auctioneers are being displayed in St Mary’s upper floor exhibition space and specialist jewellery and watch valuations take place there from 10am-4pm most Mondays excluding bank holidays. Auctions of luxury items at the venue are also planned – check for details. At the Lichfield Garrick, Richard Winterton Auctioneers will be headline sponsor for the theatre’s Green Room bar, providing valuable support for the catering arm of the charity’s work. In the coming months, there will be new branding at the Lichfield Garrick Green Room to reflect the auction house’s partnership with the theatre. The business will benefit from promotion to the 120,000-plus visitors who use the bar during performances and throughout the day. Richard added: “The Lichfield Garrick has become an institution in the city since opening in 2003 and that status has been further cemented by the theatre becoming a charitable trust in 2013. “Thousands of people locally and from across the country visit Lichfield because of the Garrick and as such it is a facility which is a vital part of the fabric of the city.”

This necklet is made of graduated natural seawater pearls strung.

• A bottle of The Macallan 25th Anniversary Malt, distilled in 1966 and bottled in 1992, presented in a commemorative wooden box (£2,600+) • The Fantastic Four comic book collection – a comprehensive set of the original Stan Lee Marvel comics starting with Volume 1 #1 from November 1961 • A newly discovered piece of music by Sir Edward Elgar – an ‘andante’ melody dating to 1924 notated on musical manuscript and then signed by the great composer.

From left: Auctioneer Richard Winterton; Louise Fleming, vice-chair of the board of trustees of St Mary’s; and Nick Sedgwick, chairman of St Mary’s trustees.

In the Garrick Green Room, from left: Lichfield Garrick sales and development manager Matt Clay, executive director Karen Foster, auctioneer Richard Winterton and Garrick Green Room supervisor Lynn Spinks.

Richard Winterton Auctioneers holds weekly free valuations every Tuesday at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, for jewellery, watches, antiques, silver, vintage toys, coins, medals, pictures and collectables.

UPCOMING AUCTIONS AT THE LICHFIELD AUCTION CENTRE, FRADLEY PARK – except * May 14 – Jewellery, Silver, Watches – from 9.30am | Technology, Cameras, Records, Hi-Fi – from 12noon June 4 – Jewellery, Silver, Watches – from 9.30am | Toys, Teddies, Dolls, Railwayana – from 12noon June 19 – Fine & Decorative Arts Sale with fine jewellery, silver, watches, ceramics, glass, pictures, paintings, works of art, whisky and wines etc – from 10am June 25 – Jewellery, Silver, Watches – from 9.30am | The Library Sale with books, maps, manuscripts, stamps – from 12noon July 15 – *Special Luxury Sale at St Mary’s in the Market Square, Lichfield – from 6pm July 16 – Jewellery, Silver, Watches – from 9.30am | Coins, Medals, Militaria – from 12noon

For all viewing dates/times, please visit



It’s our mid-year financial focus to keep you on the right track for the next 6 months.


s we’re almost half-way through the year it’s a good time to take stock of finances. On the surface, the thought of reviewing money matters might seem like a headache. But in fact, getting on top of your cash can bring real peace of mind and help your mental health.

Not only is this time of year a good point to start saving for Christmas, it’s also good to think about making changes to your regular outgoings, such as gas and electricity bills, ready for winter. And if you want to make serious long-term changes now is a good time to think them through, especially in light of Brexit. For Catherine Morgan, a qualified independent financial planner, coach and money expert, it's about planning ahead for expected and unexpected costs. “Recently I was unexpectedly in hospital for a week, which of course left me unable to work,” she explains. “Financially, I was fine. I have an emergency fund in place. “One of the things we can do to be more financially resilient to these unexpected financial situations is to be more financially proactive than reactive.”

Having a budget will allow you to factor in saving some cash too. However, if you have debt, then it’s important to get it paid off. Deborah Vickers adds: “Before booking a trip to the Maldives, buying a new car or spending on expensive gifts, make sure you pay off any money you owe to avoid racking up serious debt. The more money you owe, the more difficult it is to pay off. Tackle the issue head on, and set out a plan of action. Fix the ‘easy wins’ first – think cutting down on cigarettes, chocolate, alcohol, magazines and any other impulse buys. Look at your disposable income and think about budgeting so you can pay off debt in an affordable way.” She also recommends checking your credit report as knowing your rating alerts you to any issues. You can either buy a one-off report or subscribe to a full service.

So how can you get yourself prepared?

“If you have a low credit score, with a little love and determination, steps can be taken to improve it which will help when it comes to taking out a loan such as a mortgage,” she says.

Make a plan

Learn to save

“Getting a financial plan in place is a crucial part of being financially secure,” says George Charles, of “There are plenty of good newer banking options, like Monzo, that allow you to keep a keen eye on what is going on with your banking and spending habits – there are even some that will make savings every time you spend.”

If you feel disheartened about having little or no savings don’t despair. Starting small is the first step. Being on top of what’s in your bank account and knowing how much you’re spending, makes it much easier to make cut-backs.

Indeed, understanding what money you have and how much you can spend and save is key. Going through bank statements is an easy way to identify any potential savings. Deborah Vickers, a financial expert and Director at personal finance and credit comparison site, says: “At the start of the month, write a list of all your outgoings, starting with beefy bills 122

like rent, energy bills, food and transport. Deduct these outgoings from your monthly income and from there you can budget for smaller things and less necessary treats.”

“Instead of buying a coffee on your daily commute, make your own and you could save around £30 per month, that’s a whopping £360 a year,” says Deborah Vickers. “Think about minimising weekly takeaways, and walking rather than driving if you’re travelling short distances. Bigger cut backs may include reducing frequent long-haul holidays and downsizing your car.” You might only save a few pounds each month but it will build up and knowing you have a little pot of savings will provide reassurance.

LIVING The same can be said for mortgage deals. Shopping around with different lenders and looking for alternative deals, such as fixed rate, can offer huge savings. If you’re unsure where to start it’s worth consulting a financial adviser or mortgage expert and they’ll do the hard work for you.

Discount Searching online for offers and discounts could reap plenty of rewards. George Charles says and are just two sites with a variety of offers from most of the largest retailers, providing discounts for food and drink, days out, travel, holidays and fashion. And another money-saver is moving to a sim-only mobile phone.

Catherine Morgan says: “Having an emergency fund will help you to feel financially secure because you have the worst case scenario covered. “The debt charity Step Change published a report which showed that last year almost 14 million Britons faced an income shock or a change to their circumstances. We need more safety nets to weather these shocks.”

Jack Webster from, says: “If you took the ‘free’ handset option the cost of the handsets is included in the monthly price over the term. If you stay on it after the handset is paid off, then you are literally paying money for nothing. Work out when your contract ends and be ready to move. If you’re still happy with your current handset then look at sim only options – they offer greater flexibility, can run for as little as 30 days and start from around £10.”

“Getting a financial plan in place is a crucial part of being financially secure...”

Opening a savings account, such as a tax-free ISA, is worth doing, especially for bigger amounts as you’ll earn interest on top. Saving also means putting away cash for Christmas or any other big events, such as weddings or birthdays. Jamie Smith-Thompson, Managing Director of pensions advice specialist Portafina, said: “Our own research revealed that 69 per cent of Brits take up a side hustle to make their money go that bit further, with over a third doing so to save for Christmas. From renting out a room to making and selling home baked goods, tutoring to cleaning, using your spare time and skills to make a little bit extra could take away worry and help you plan your spending for any big events.”

Make the switch Whether it’s energy providers, bank accounts or phone service providers, switching could save more than a few pennies. Adam Bullock, UK Director for, said: “Using a cashback website throughout the year, for day-to-day spending and for switching providers can really help build a pot for the end of the year. Winter – with higher energy costs – and Christmas can be the most expensive time of the year for a lot of people, but small changes can help ease that strain. “On average, TopCashback members earn £325 per year, but with switching all household bills, doing general shopping and booking holidays and events through the site, it could be a lot more. That’s next year’s Christmas presents and maybe even dinner paid for.”

He says there are even data tariffs designs for under 25s that include perks like unlimited free social media browsing. Deals can be found on sites such as And he adds that with services like Netflix and Spotify, teaming up with a friend to share the accounts means you can split the cost.

“You can have multiple accounts on both Netflix and Spotify, depending on the package you subscribe to, allowing you both to use services at a reduced cost to what you would pay separately.”

Sell, sell, sell Being savvy and selling any old household items is a great way to make extra cash. Car boot sales are ideal in the summer and it’s amazing what people will buy. Books, toys, DVDs and ornaments are particularly popular with buyers. There are lots of online sites to sell on, including Facebook, not to mention the many apps that can be downloaded to sell to people further afield. Raiding the drawer of old phones can also be lucrative. Sites such as allow you to search for your handset, choose your offer and send off your phone. Some recyclers even offer for broken phones.

And finally… Check for PPI. The August deadline for claims is fast approaching so if you’ve had a loan or mortgage in the past 20 years it’s possible you may have been mis-sold payment protection insurance and could be owed money. There are plenty of sites who will do this on your behalf but you could also check with your bank or building society. sL

Digital TV packages are worth looking at too. You could save £120 a year by saying goodbye to movies, and more if you go without sports channels. Alternatively, you can save £154 a year by watching TV channels on-demand. Jamie Smith-Thompson says: “The easiest way to trim the fat on direct debits is to shop around every time an insurance is due for renewal. It can feel like a lot of hassle moving providers, especially with all the forms to fill in and information to find. However, if you have your renewal letter it should include details of your current policy and levels of protection for you to copy over.” w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k



13th June 2019 - Year 5 Entrance Assessment Day for Year 7 entry in 2020

01785 249752

Open Day

Saturday 11th May, 10am Independent Boarding and Day School - Girls 3-18, Boys 3-11

“It’s everything a school should be” Tatler Schools Guide | 01691 773671 Moreton Hall, Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 3EW

A Denstone Education Just a short drive from Derby and surrounding villages, Denstone College is set in one hundred acres of magnificent countryside with an extensive bus network for day pupils. The College offers a rounded education where a wide range of opportunities ensures that all pupils find and develop their individual talents, whilst at the same time providing an excellent academic foundation for the world beyond school. Come and see for yourself what a Denstone education can offer. Future Open Mornings: Saturday 18 May 2019 Saturday 28 September 2019

For more information please call Admissions on 01889 591415





4675 FS Midlands Advert.indd 1

22/03/2019 10:14


"...with children coming from different backgrounds, circumstances, genders and ethnicities, the one thing they have in common is the need for stability, consistency and a loving family environment."

TRANSFORMING LIVES With Foster Care Fortnight coming up this May 13-26, we’re taking a closer look into the network in Staffordshire and finding out what it takes to be a foster carer. Foster carers can transform the lives of vulnerable youngsters. More than 65,000 children live with around 55,000 foster families across Britain today. Yet according to the Fostering Network, a further 8,000 families will be needed nationwide in the next 12 months, which means the search is on to find more people willing to welcome young people into their homes. This is why Foster Care Fortnight is so important. The Fostering Network’s annual campaign, which runs from May 13-26, aims to raise the profile of fostering and encourage would-be carers to come forward. This year’s theme is about how fostering can transform lives. “This Foster Care Fortnight we want you to know that fostering is about changing futures,” says a Fostering Network spokesman. “And, if you think you have the relevant skills and experience, we're calling on you to consider becoming foster carers so that you can also change a future.” Throughout Foster Care Fortnight a range of awareness events will be held across Staffordshire and Shropshire. Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council, said a further 60 families were needed in the county this year alone.

come along to one of our information events and hear first-hand from real foster carers what a rewarding thing it is to do.”

Now she is urging Staffordshire families to put their spare room to good use to help give children in care a loving home.

There are different types of fostering opportunities available, with children coming from different backgrounds, circumstances, genders and ethnicities, the one thing they have in common is the need for stability, consistency and a loving family environment.

“Many children in care will have had a tough start to their lives but getting them into a foster family like what happened to me will make sure they are loved and able to flourish. I would definitely encourage people to consider putting their spare room to good use and being a foster carer. It really can change a young person’s life for the best.”

Some will need short-term care if a parent has gone into hospital and there is no-one to care for them, while others might come from more difficult backgrounds and need longerterm support. Long-term foster carers take in children who can’t return to their own families but need security while still often maintaining contact with their families. Emergency foster carers take a child into their care at any time of the day or night at short notice, while short break carers may have a child to stay for a few hours each week or a couple of weekends each month to give the child’s family or full-time foster carers a break. Foster carers also provide support to help families stay together. Similarly, there is no such thing as a typical foster carer. People from all sorts of backgrounds are welcome and they will be caring for children aged from birth to 18. There is often a particular need for carers for older children and larger sibling groups as they are often more difficult to place. Mum-of-two Isobelle, 23, from Stafford, spent four of her teenage years living with foster carers David and Kelly Hyden.

He said: “We do have an urgent need for more foster carers in Staffordshire and Foster Care Fortnight gives us the perfect opportunity to encourage more people to come forward.

“My foster carers were great and supported me throughout my teenage years. They encouraged me with my school work, friendships and helped build up my confidence,” she said.

“Our foster carers do a wonderful job helping to transform children’s lives every day. If it’s something you’re considering then please do

“Even though I’ve got my own young family now, I still visit them, and they are always there for me if I need anything.”

Kelly Hyden said fostering was the best thing she had done. “I often hear people say that they would like to foster one day, but I know that most probably don’t get around to actually doing it. To those people I would say, make that one day today, and take your first step by going along to one of the fostering information events.” Meanwhile, Shropshire County Council launched a new website earlier this year to encourage more carers to get in touch. A key priority is to find carers living locally so children can remain close to their social and family networks and continue to go to the same school. Pam and Dave Andrews, from Whitchurch, said: “Your age, gender, ethnic background, what sort of house you live in, whether or not you are married, single or in a relationship, and how much you earn - none of these are barriers.” Ahead of Foster Care fortnight, there will be an information event at Burton Town Hall, Burton, on May 8, from 7pm. Would-be foster carers can register on 0800 169 2061. For more info on fostering in Staffordshire visit Potential carers in Shropshire can call 0800 783 8798 or visit sL

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HADDON HALL Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1LA

SUMMER AT HADDON HALL Free guided tours of the Hall and Gardens Estate Walks • Archery • Sir John Savile’s Household Buxton International Festival Events Music • Artisan Market • Plant Fair | 01629 812855

T H E F E S T I V A L I N A F A C T O RY 6th / 7th / 8th June 2019 at the Emma Bridgewater Factory

F E AT U R I N G . . . • Mary Portas • Lauren Child • Deborah Moggach • Matthew Rice • Clover Stroud • V&A events on Christian Dior & Frida Kahlo • Viv Groskop • Tom Holland on Aethelflaed • A.N. Wilson on Queen Victoria • Kamal Ahmed • Rachel Reeves MP • Andrew Roberts on Churchill • Tom Baldwin • Ben Macintyre • Jenny Uglow • Elizabeth Day • Nadine Dorries MP • The Bloomsbury Set • Plus poetry, family activities, storytelling, factory tours, clay crafts and lots more!

A U T H O R TA L K S • B O O K S I G N I N G S • WO R K S H O P S • F R E E P O E T RY E V E N T S • FA M I LY AC T I V I T I E S

The Perfect ‘Home from Home’ at Rosemary Lodge Care Home Rosemary Lodge Care Home for elderly ladies and gentlemen offers a level of care, community and comfort that is second to none. Situated a short way from the bustling City Centre of Lichfield and set in landscaped gardens, Rosemary Lodge is light, spacious and beautifully decorated; offering residents just the right combination of interest, activity and relaxation. It is a place that encourages residents to retain their independence and individuality whilst being fully supported to live a fulfilled and enjoyable life. We also offer respite care, holiday stay and limited day care.

Rosemary Lodge Care Home is a family run concern and has been a highly-regarded part of the community for 28 years. Offering 24-hour care, our fully trained staff work together to communicate with residents and ensure personal care needs are met in a fully person-centred approach, thus building an important relationship of trust and friendship. All rooms are en-suite and are designed to comfortably accommodate individuals and couples. There is full Wi-Fi connectivity throughout to allow residents the opportunity of keeping in touch with family and friends through Skype of Facetime. Our commitment to offering just the right amount of care and support has led to an excellent reputation in the community and with the care professionals who work with us. We value our staff highly and recognise that their care and commitment are a great part of our success. To arrange a visit or to learn a little bit more about us, call Jane Evans, Registered Care Manager or Shirley Kent PA, on 01543 415223 or email 191 Walsall Road, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 8AQ | Tel: 01543 415223 Email: | CQC Rating GOOD

Ever thought about Fostering? We need people in your area to help us look after vulnerable children and young people. If you consider yourself to be a warm and caring individual with the dedication that it takes to be a Foster Carer, we would love to hear from you.

Contact us today for more information

0300 111 1945

or text FOSTERING + YOUR TOWN to 80818 Registered Charity no. 208607



LUXURY HYBRIDS Spring is a time to embrace change so take a look at some of these exciting hybrid models launching into the luxury market.

contrast, the combustion engine is only brought into play when accelerating hard and is switched off again more frequently with a measured driving style. Underpinning its improved emission-free range is an updated version of the i8’s lithium-ion battery. The high-voltage unit is located centrally under the car, and its cell capacity is increased from 20 to 34Ah. All of which means the motor has more energy at its disposal. Plus, the cell configuration allows a 12hp increase in peak output to 143hp. The improved technology means the i8 Roadster can cover up to 33 miles with zero emissions, broadening the reach of all-electric mobility well beyond the city limits.

BMW i8 Roadster The 2+2-seater BMW i8 Roadster launched in mid-2018 combining emissions-free and highperformance motoring with roof-down driving. The roof comprises a high-quality, all-season fabric soft-top with high-level soundproofing. And an all-electric operation ensures the roof opens or closes almost silently within 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 31mph. It’s powered by a hybrid synchronous electric motor and a three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The engine’s power is fed to the rear wheels through a six-speed Steptronic transmission, while the electric motor propels the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox. The end result is a hybrid-specific allwheel-drive system that glues the car to the road. However, to enhance low emissions running and overall performance the number of driving situations where the electric motor is solely responsible for powering the car has been significantly increased. By 130

The battery cells’ higher capacity means that the proportion of all-electric driving can be increased substantially, even in hybrid mode. With the default driving mode engaged, the BMW i8 Roadster is capable of pulling away and reaching speeds of up to 65mph purely on the electric motor’s power, making it possible to drive with zero emissions not just in town, but on country roads as well. Combined fuel consumption, as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, stands at 141.2mpg– which equates to petrol CO2 emissions of 46g/km– plus 14.5kWh of electricity. The new i8 Roadster is supplied with a mode 2 charging cable as standard, enabling the high-voltage battery to be recharged from a standard domestic socket in under four-and-a-half hours. The new mode 3 cable can also be used to hook up the car to a public charging point for high-power charging. E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic have been added to the choice of exterior paint finishes available, individualising the BMW i8 Roadster. It is also equipped with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in a W-spoke design. Customers can also choose from another three light-alloy wheel variants with the same dimensions. The BMW i8 Roadster is on sale now with prices starting from £124,735 OTR.

Lexus UX 250h Lexus launched its new compact SUV, the UX, in March, designed for the modern “urban explorer”. The hybrid-only range is equipped with a new fourth generation Lexus selfcharging hybrid powertrain, as well as the Lexus Safety System+ as standard on all UK versions. The UX is the first Lexus to be constructed using the new Global Architecture – Compact (GA-C) platform. A lightweight yet superrigid structure, extremely low centre of gravity and refined suspension tuning giving exemplary handling agility and ride comfort, and a distinctive driving character. The self-charging hybrid powertrain features multiple new components, including the 2.0-litre petrol engine, hybrid transaxle, compact battery and power control unit. The UX has a very responsive drive and, like all Lexus hybrids, it offers better fuel efficiency and lower emissions than other petrol or diesel vehicles in its class. It also requires no plugging in for recharging and has no issues where driving range is concerned. In real world city driving it can use electric power for a significant proportion of every journey – up to 55 per cent, depending on the driving conditions. The UX’s hybrid system couples a new 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder engine with two electric motor/generators in a new generation hybrid transaxle that is more compact, lighter and has less internal friction than previous Lexus hybrid systems. The Power Control Unit (PCU) is more powerful yet is 20 per cent smaller and 10 per cent lighter. The new, compact and lightweight nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery and compact cooling system are located below the rear seat, which helps give the vehicle its low centre of gravity. The UX 250h is available with either frontwheel drive or E-Four electric all-wheel drive. The E-Four all-wheel drive system uses a separate, dedicated high-torque electric motor integrated into the rear differential. Power distribution between the front and rear axles is


automatically optimised by the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system when accelerating, cornering, or driving on slippery surfaces. The exterior design combines strength with refinement and is stylish yet functional. Highlight features include a spindle grille – a signature feature of all Lexus models – featuring a new mesh pattern; five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels on the entry-level UX model have an aero-ventilating design; and there are 12 exterior colours available in the UK, including three developed specifically for the model: Terrane Khaki, Celestial Blue and, exclusive to the F Sport, Blazing Carnelian.

The exterior design combines strength with refinement and is stylish yet functional. Inside, Lexus designed the UX’s cabin to evoke the feel of a dynamic, luxury saloon, but with the higher seating position and versatility that are required of an SUV. The materials and finish are pure Lexus, combining Japanese traditions in craftsmanship and hospitality with innovative production techniques. Designers have created a refined cabin atmosphere, with subtle, integrated LED lighting. And the Lexus Remote Touch Interface (standard with the 10.3-inch Lexus Navigation) is designed to feel as familiar to use as a smartphone and provides haptic feedback to the user. The new Lexus UX is available now in three equipment grades: UX, F Sport and Takumi. Prices start from £29,900 OTR. Visit Lexus Stoke, Gordon Banks Dr, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 4FD to find out more.


Range Rover Sport PHEV Motoring journalist Sue Cooke took Land Rover’s new form of motoring – the Hybrid or PHEV - for a spin… From the outside the new Range Rover Sport PHEV has little to show that it is different to any other Range Rover Sport. The designers are superb in hiding the electric charging point and I loved showing it off to anyone that displayed the slightest interest. Push gently on the front grille and it partly comes away, displaying the cable input. The other end of the cable is plugged into a domestic supply and in 7.5 hours overnight the SUV is fully charged. With a multi-function charging cable and a home wall box, a full charge can be achieved in 2.75 hours. The subtle P400e on the rear of the Range Rover Sport is the only indication that the four by four is driven by an 85kw electric motor, a 300hp four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine and powered by a lithium ion battery, giving a total power output of 404hp. A rewarding sporty soundtrack with the cornering and agility of a sports car and environmentally friendly power are all strange bedfellows with an off-roading genius that has an industry first and is able to detect water levels and warn the driver. But Land Rover has always been able to surprise. At the launch of the Range Rover Sport in 2013 I drove the innovative off roader up a ramp, and partly at an angle, drove through a huge aeroplane and down another ramp to demonstrate its prowess off road.

Drivers can choose to use a combination of the petrol and electric power, or, on longer journeys can use the SAVE function which is electric mode only, maximising fuel efficiency when entering congested urban areas. In EV mode the P400e can be driven up to 31 miles with zero emissions when fully charged. In this mode the PHEV has a top speed of 85mph and will allow drivers to complete some journeys without even engaging the petrol engine. When customers are away from their vehicle, they can use the InControl app to monitor the charge status, as well as receive an alert if there is an error, or the cable has been removed forcibly. This ultimate luxury SUV is built for ultimate comfort and long journeys are enhanced with 14-way adjustable front seats and adjustable and reclining rear seats. The boot is not compromised even though the battery is mounted beneath the boot floor. The electric motor is housed on the transmission, at the centre of the vehicle. There is a remotely operated or gesture-controlled tailgate. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV is full of the most remarkable technology, all easily understood. And you are never alone on your journey of innovation as a very nice lady will come to your rescue, using voice control.

At a glance Model: Range Rover Sport Si4 PHEV; Price: £73,800 OTR; Engine: Si4 PHEV P400e; Performance: 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 137mph; CO2 emissions: 64g/km; Combined fuel consumption: 101mpg. sL

This hybrid sporty SUV has class leading allterrain capability and is packed with technology. Torque vectoring constantly balances the distribution of engine torque between the four wheel during cornering, resulting in improved grip and steering and a reduced level of understeer. A Low Traction Launch button worried me for a while but when activated it will enhance capability in slippery conditions like wet grass. w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k




AVAILABLE TO TEST DRIVE NOW AT LEXUS STOKE Gordon Banks Drive, Trentham Lakes North Stoke On Trent, ST4 4FD 01782 599200


Model shown is UX F SPORT (£33,905) with Tech and Safety Pack at £1,800, including optional metallic paint at £570. (£36,275). Exact fuel consumption figures for model shown in mpg (l/100km) combined: 50.4 (5.6) and CO2: 97 g/km. UX model range in mpg (l/100km) official fuel consumption figures: combined 49.5 (5.7) – 53.3 (5.3). Figures are provided for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results. Fuel consumption and CO2 produced varies significantly depending on a number of factors, including the accessories fitted (post-registration), driving style, conditions, speed and vehicle load. All models and grades are certified according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which replaces the New European Driving Cycle test procedure (NEDC). All CO2 figures quoted are NEDC equivalent. This means the CO2 figures are based on the new WLTP test procedure but calculated (using a standard European calculation method) to allow comparison with the NEDC test procedure and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration. All mpg figures quoted are full WLTP figures. More information can be found by visiting:




& the t he ugly

ould you imagine a life without social media? Sarah Marshall puts the spotlight on the latest trends in the ‘socialsphere’

Good for business - Social media is a great way for businesses to showcase themselves and instantly talk to customers. Closed groups on Facebook are becoming more popular as it allows businesses to create communities of customers or service users.

Social media continues to make the headlines. From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to Pinterest, there’s a wealth of choice out there for broadcasting your life to the world. Millions of people are happy to do just that, posting pictures of holidays, children, fashion, sport and what they had for tea the night before.

A branded hashtag on Instagram or Twitter is also a great way to get a brand out and create a community where customers get involved and interact with the hashtag. They can also be used for discussions on Twitter to create a conversation around that specific subject at a specific time of day.

It’s also a great way to connect with old friends and family living further afield and for businesses to reach out to customers.

There has been a major trend in recent years for so-called “influencers”. These are people with huge social media followings who can help a brand sell their wares just by featuring or talking about it on a social media post. However, Micro influencers are set to make more waves this year. They tend to have a smaller following than the big celebrity influencers, but have a niche, with followers who are much more engaged.

And while the majority use it in these ways, it’s horrifying to realise there are much more sinister and highly dangerous uses of social media. In March, a gunman live-streamed himself on Facebook as he went on a rampage in a mosque in New Zealand, which left 50 people dead and many injured. And while Facebook quickly removed the footage, it continued to be shared on several social media outlets, prompting major concerns about content. It only added fuel to the fire that in recent years there had been an increasing alarm about sinister social media content from terrorist groups or far right fundamentalists, and content showing violence and abuse. With Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg recently having to answer concerns over the use of personal data, too, and fears that social media makes people feel bad about themselves, it does raise the question of just how good it actually is for our health? Fresh scandals often break online. A misguided tweet, deemed offensive to the public, can make or break a TV career these days, because people post what they like, unfiltered and therefore unchecked. It’s the same, too with libellous or slanderous comments. Years ago we only had to worry about what was published in a newspaper, magazine, on radio or television. As such programmes or articles were put together by skilled journalists and editors with training in law and a working knowledge of libel and slander. It’s not all doom and gloom however. Used correctly social media can actually be one of the most useful and enjoyable tools for whatever you plan to do on it.

...there’s a wealth of choice out there for broadcasting your life to the world.

Latest trends - If you’re a Facebook user, you’ll have probably noticed the stories feature. Already a big feature on Instagram, stories allow you to upload a short video message or picture which stays up for around 24 hours and then disappears so it’s more instant. With video becoming more popular, Instagram launched its own IGTV section last year, allowing users to make longer videos. Live streaming also continues to be huge, with Facebook and Instagram users capitalising on this for live question and answer sessions or events.

Keeping your kids safe - There’s been much made in the media recently about posting pictures of children and whether we should do so without their permission. Why not talk to your child about it to gauge their reaction? It’s certainly something to think about. If your child is a YouTube fan - let’s face it this generation love watching videos of toys being unboxed or mixing slime – then you’re probably already keeping an eye on what they’re watching. There are apps, such as YouTube Kids, which mean they can’t access or be exposed to any content they shouldn’t be. However, it’s always worth being vigilant. If you have teenagers, they will want to connect to their friends on social media. Remember to ensure they have privacy settings on and instil some rules, such as giving you their passwords so you can periodically check they’re safe. They will hate it, but if it’s a condition of having it they’ll have to accept it! sL

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ATTENTION TO DETAIL LOOKS LIKE THIS INDIVIDUAL & UNIQUELY DESIGNED KITCHENS & BEDROOMS Aesthetics meet functionality: our designers will create your dream kitchen or bedroom with timeless beauty Areas are designed perfectly to match the requirements of each home, for a kitchen that provides space for the whole family and not only when it comes to cooking together

Call into our showroom for your free interior design advice

Bridgemere Garden Centre, Bridgemere, Nr Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 7QB

Tel 01270 520 146

Colour Me Happy Pg.136

How to Create a Home Gym Pg.143

Singing The Blues Pg.144

Dining in Style Pg.148

HOME Because home is where the heart is

Top home pick! Colou trend rful s summ for er

£1,199 John Lewis

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The co l that br ours ing joy to you rh this su ome mmer.

Very 136


Set of 4, £26 Next 40 £1

If you’re after a feminine vibe for the new season, then lashings of pink from dusky shades to coral tones is just what you need, especially seeing as the Pantone colour of the year is Living Coral. There’s no denying that pink can brighten up any room from your bathroom to your bedroom, so this season is the perfect excuse to have some fun.


Throwing shade


d olan cko u C

£1,199 John Lewis

If you’re planning on making your entire space a pink palace, then you’ll want to use contrasting shades, especially on your walls to keep it light and not too heavy for the eyes. This can look great in a bathroom or for a boudoir-inspired bedroom or dressing room. If you’re opting for a subtler style then pinks look great with whites, greys and even some natural tones too.

Textured layers You can experiment with texture too, to help bring added dimensions to you space. Go for a velvet-pouf or cushion in a dusty pink or coral-coloured fringes/tassels hanging from you’re lamp or armchair.

£235 Venoor

£110 Kelly Hoppen £18 Debenhams

£16.99 Very

£75 Oliver Bonas

Make it pop The vibrancy of the latest pink shades makes them a perfect choice for a statement piece of furniture, feature wall or pops of colour through soft furnishings and accessories. A chair or sofa in a hot pink can add wow factor to any room and is neutralised by softer coloured walls and furnishings around it.

M&S w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k




£587 Nest

For a sunshine state of mind this summer, choose a mood inducing yellow for your home interiors. From mustard tones to lemon and pastel shades, mellow yellow is a firm favourite of interior designers this season.

Mustard effect £1049 M&S

Mustard is a really hot colour in interiors right now and it can really add style points to any space. But it doesn’t have to be an explosion of colour. A set of dining chairs around a neutral table, a frame on your mirror or curtains can be just enough to update your space. £68 Oliver Bonas

£12 Next

From the walls to the floor Don’t be afraid of adding yellow throughout your space - including the walls and the floor. Use patterned wallpaper in a floral or geometric style or opt for a feature wall in a softer pastel shade to bring an instant lift to your space. Similarly, a textured mustard yellow rug to wooded flooring can add a really stylish feature or go for a lemon shade carpet for a subtler vibe.

Layer your yellow by piling up soft furnishings in a contrast of shades or introduce a myriad of yellow accessories from your lamp shades to your vases. If you’re building up your yellow from a base layer, start with neutral shade of white or grey.

£14 Dunelm


£32 Debenhams

Set of 4, £10 Next

£152 Cuckooland 138




Wallpaper £65 Cloudberry Living

If you are looking for a fresh yet warm new look for your interior space, have you considered going nude? Introducing nude to your interiors is a great way to create a clean yet warmer look. Remember to use a variety of shades to make your room inviting and interesting. Nude colours are earthy, barely-there shades that create a warmer, friendlier look than the greys of recent years. Think of sandy shades, fleshy pink tones, oatmeal, linen and earthy colours.

£299 £60

Start with the walls

Nude walls create a chic, clean and inviting backdrop to any room in the house but work particularly well in living rooms and bedrooms. You don’t have to stick with one tone - use various tones and shades on your walls for a soft, warm feel to a room. All nudes and neutrals work well together so you can combine nude pinks with more earthy tones or even very light blue, beige, caramel and brown. £45


£20 Debenhams £579 £175 Cuckooland

Use layers Add layers of nude colour to your room. Pile cushions and throws in various shades of nude to a neutral coloured sofa. Add some pattern in muted tones with a rug or floor tiles. Contrasting textures like glass, metal and wood work well to add variety and interest to a room. £89.99 Very


B&Q £16

£35 Amara

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If you’ve managed to save a 5%

Let us take the hassle out of selling your old home.

deposit, we could match it by funding

With Part Exchange, we could buy your existing home, so

an additional 5% of the sale price -

you can move into your dream David Wilson home faster.

which gives you a 10% deposit in total. This means you need to borrow less from a lender, which could get you a more competitive mortgage rate.***

UNRIVALLED IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION We’ve been accredited with a five star rating from the Home Builders Federation every year since 2009.

You’ll also benefit from: • • • •

No chain, and no Estate Agents fees to pay Stay in your current home until your new home is ready Fair market value, plus an extra 5% for your current home A less stressful move into a brand-new home

See the Difference at or call 0333 355 8479 *Offer available on selected plots only, terms and conditions apply. Speak to one of our sales advisers now or visit our website. following withdrawal or termination of any offer, we reserve the right to extend, reintroduce or amend any such offer as we see fit at any time. Limited availability, selected plots only. Subject to status, terms and conditions apply. See for full details. BDW Trading Limited (number 03018173) whose registered office is at Barratt House, Cartwright Way, Forest Business Park, Bardon Hill, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 1UF (“BDW”) is a subsidiary of Barratt Developments PLC. *The Homes and Communities Agency (“HCA”) provides an equity loan for 20% of the purchase price of the property. The equity loan provided by the HCA is secured as second charge on your property. The amount you have to repay to the HCA may be more than the amount of the equity loan provided. Help to Buy England Scheme is available in England only and on properties up to £600k. Prices correct at time of going to press. **Offer available on selected plots only, terms and conditions apply. Speak to one of our sales advisers now or visit our website. Following withdrawal or termination of any offer, we reserve the right to extend, reintroduce or amend any such offer as we see fit at any time. Any offer made to purchase your existing home will be based on a presumed sale within 8 to 10 weeks. ***Offer available on selected plots only, subject to contract and status. Offer is to contribute up to a maximum of 5% deposit payable at the time of completion and is subject to lender’s criteria. Terms & conditions apply - see website for details.



Netherland Green, Uttoxeter

Longdon, Staffordshire

A delightful country house with spacious accommodation

A superb country residence with lovely views

• • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

Four bedrooms Two reception rooms Kitchen/breakfast/dining room Utility & cloakroom 10.17 acres or thereabouts Oak & brick 2 bay car port & work EPC rating E


Guide price – £1,350,000


A wealth of period features 3 reception rooms, conservatory Beautiful kitchen/breakfast room 5 bedrooms, 4 bath/shower rooms Attractive range of stables Circa 4,267 sq ft EPC rating D

Guide price – £950,000



Sharpley Heath, Hilderstone

Offley Brook, Eccleshall

A superb and spacious 4 bedroom property

A delightful 6-bedroom Georgian property with mature gardens

• • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

Reception Hall Spacious sitting room Oak framed garden room Open plan kitchen/family room 2 ground floor bedrooms Ground floor bathroom EPC rating D


Guide price – £845,000

Stafford 01785 220044 Office ????? ??????

Victoria Oldham Name

Reception Hall Dining room Sitting room Kitchen/breakfast 4 first floor bedrooms 2 second floor bedrooms EPC rating F

Guide price – £800,000

Loren Harvey Name

Alasdair Dunne Name

Stuart Flint Name

In today’s fast paced world, we know that our time has never been more valuable to us. Finding even a little bit of extra time in the average day to implement an effective exercise routine when you have other daily commitments such as work and family, can therefore prove extremely challenging. All too often a decision must be made between exercising during busy hours with lots of travel time and waiting around for equipment or exercising when its quiet and giving up your mornings or evenings. So, what’s the alternative? With a bespoke home gym solution from Staffs Fitness, we want to be able to give your day back to you and help you fall in love with exercise once again. A home gym is a space which is completely your own, where you can be completely yourself, located quite literally on your doorstep, available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, and at a fraction of the long-term cost of gym membership.

Your home gym, at your own pace,

in your own time

With over 25 years in the fitness industry, finance options to suit all and a real passion for the personal touch, Staffs Fitness is the perfect partner to help make your dream home gym a reality.   @staffsfitness

01538 387960



2 Queens Square, Cannock | 01543 577604




ant to work out but can’t get to the gym? Here’s how to create one at home!

Most of us want to get active and keep fit but it isn’t always easy. Finding the time in a busy schedule can be tough, especially when general life gets in the way. And gym memberships are a waste of money if they rarely get used or there’s no one to watch the kids while you exercise. There is a simple solution however - a home gym. It’s easier than you think and all it takes is a little creativity.

Find a space - The first thing to do is find room to exercise. This is obviously easier said than done and there are a lot of factors that will dictate it, such as how big your property is, how many people live there and what each space in your home is already used for. Finding space will also help you decide on what type of workouts you plan to do. It might be a simple case of pushing the furniture back in the sitting room, so you can do a cardio work out, or having an area in the bedroom where you can lay a yoga mat on the floor. A handy cupboard holding equipment such as hand weights or exercise mats, as well as water bottles and towels, will help when space is at a premium. Not only will it mean your equipment is stored neatly, it will also give you a focus as when you want to work out you’ll have everything you need in one place. It’s more motivating than having an exercise bike in the corner of the room, which only ends up becoming a clothes horse. Don’t forget to use the garden, which is a fantastic place to exercise. Keep some kettlebells, hand weights and a mini trampoline in the shed or in a storage box so you can pull them out and do a work out on your patio or lawn. It’s also worth investing in a pop-up gazebo for when it’s raining. If you want to create a more permanent solution have a think about your home. A garage sitting idle with only bikes, boxes and storage inside would be the perfect place for a home gym. Sort through the boxes and get de-cluttering to make as much space as you need. A spare bedroom will also do the same job. If you need a bed for when guests stay over, why not install a futon or sofa bed? It’s space-saving and will help the room feel more like a workout area rather than a bedroom with exercise equipment in.

A HOME GYM If you want to go all out, however, you could install a permanent gazebo or even a log cabin in your garden as a workout space. They’re not cheap but what a great motivator to get on your exercise bike.

What type of exercise - Think about the workouts you want to do at home. If space is limited choose something that doesn’t require lots of equipment, like a workout on the TV, either via a fitness DVD or app. In terms of equipment, multipurpose things are great to start with, so think along the lines of hand weights, kettlebells, an exercise ball, step platform and yoga mat. A pull-up bar that can be mounted on a door frame is good for strength training. Don’t rush out and buy expensive exercise bikes and rowing machines straight away. Instead be realistic about what you want to do. Perhaps start with a treadmill, which can be used for gentle walking exercises, hill climbing workouts and jogging, so it grows with you as your fitness improves. If your home gym becomes well-used, then you can always add in extra equipment as time goes on. A punch bag would be a great addition to any home gym as just a few minutes each day can get your heart rate going and offer a top workout. It’s also a fantastic stress reliever, which is good for the body and mind. Many fitness experts also recommend a TRX suspension system as it can build muscle and improve flexibility. It can be hooked onto anything, inside or outside.

Mirror, Mirror - Those endless mirrors at the gym might seem unnecessary but they actually serve a purpose. Watching yourself means you can see you’re working out correctly, which in turn means you’re less likely to be injured. If you’re creating a home gym, a huge mirror is a must. Get it right - The most important thing is to ensure your workout space is right for you. If you like to watch a screen, listen to music, have photos or pictures on the wall, then make room for them in your home gym. It needs to be a place you want to be. Before you start, however, it’s worth getting some advice on developing an exercise programme for yourself. You could consult a personal trainer who can make recommendations and offer advice. Overdoing it at the start could lead to injuries so it’s vital to get it right. sL w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k




Moody blue is casting a shadow on the usual bright and bold summer hues. But there’s nothing keeping you down with this trend. It’s sensual and seductive and with an air of sophistication that we’re all craving. Feeling blue is okay with us this season.



orget everything you think you know about summer home interiors. The bright colours we’re used to are being matched by a much darker and moodier alternative in 2019. Yes, this summer it’s perfectly okay to deck your interiors in the bolder, make-a-statement look of moody blue, ranging from the deeper indigo or navy shades right up to lighter royal blue and sapphire tones. Don’t worry if you’ve been yearning for all things pretty and botanical since January though; those cheerful, light and breezy colours are still holding on strong for the season (see our joyful summer colour guide starting on page 136). But, this season it’s perfectly okay to be unapologetically blue and we’re all in – every step of the way.


The style Rich and seductive tones that work across all your home style from furniture to trinkets and soft furnishings, moody blue is a versatile trend for your living space.


Why you’ll love it

For a more industrial take on your moody blue interiors, add some classic metallic accessories like a side table or floor lamp for the perfect contrast.

It’s a powerful tone for your summer interior but it brings with it a serene and comfortable vibe too.

How to get it The Colours Blue works with blue, so combine deeper shades like indigo with a lighter sapphire tone. White helps to combine the colours if you’re going for a more ocean-inspired look. But if you want to add in a brighter shade, opt for burnt orange.

Metal Head

Blue velvet If you want to go for a more boudoir feel to your interiors, darker shades work well with added texture, like velvet. All in the detail For a little panache, add some fringing or tassels to your blue. Not only does this give your room some definition but you’ll be upping the style stakes too.



Find your moody blue style at any price


Metal edges look great



£340 Venoor

£99 Cuckooland

£49 Cult Furniture £30 Debenhams

£349 Add an industrial touch

£3310 Natuzzi Italia

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So much more than a place to eat, the dining room is back and it's trendier than ever. Nest

It’s also the room where you can really let your imagination run free and create something spectacular.

Playful Geometrics

“The hub of the home where meals are consumed, homework is completed and busy families spend time together..." Havana Nights


First thing is to decide how you are going to use the space. Is it just simply going to be for dining or will it have a dual purpose? Perhaps it might be a work/study area, a music room or library, as well as an eating area. If so, how can you incorporate both uses? Nest f there’s one room in the house that causes debate, it’s the dining room. In recent years there were suggestions that this one-time essential space was becoming obsolete.

And what with home trends moving towards more open-plan living and with the kitchen/diner taking precedence, it did indeed start to feel like the dining room was no longer a necessity. But trends change and it seems dining rooms are back in vogue. If you’re thinking of tackling yours there’s no reason why it shouldn’t serve itself up as a focal point in your home again. It’s just about rethinking how you do it. “A room that often gets left behind when undergoing redecoration is undoubtedly the dining room,” says Calum Henderson, boss of I Love Wallpaper. “The hub of the home where meals are consumed, homework is completed and busy families spend time together, the dining room has the power to act as a magnet in our everyday lives. We spend a lot of time in the dining room for a number of reasons, whether it’s a separate room completely or an open plan space with the kitchen.”



Greenhouse Trend

Trends Calum Henderson says a light caramel shade is a great neutral colour to wash the walls of your dining room for an instant refresh. Oak dining table sets and wooden framed artwork would complement the colour palette too, alongside burnt orange table accessories such as tablecloths and seat covers. A sandy, peachy hue, can change the feel of the room to a warm, inviting space. “The natural materials interior design trend started gaining popularity in 2018,” says Henderson, “and this year we’ll see its influence in the dining room. If you’re looking to spruce up an open plan kitchen and dining area, wallpaper can be an effective way to marry two uses of the room for one consistently designed space. Taking inspiration from the industrial trend of seasons gone by, with open brickwork being a popular feature in many homes, opt for stone or brick effect wallpaper.” If neutral shades and muted tones aren’t your thing, another key 2019 interior design trend is the inclusion of bold prints and colours. The dining room is ideal for a dramatic transformation and being daring with colour. “Think Moroccan inspired patterns for wallpaper with rich gold, red and purple colours for a mesmerizing feature wall,” Henderson adds. “Coordinate the vibrant colours with matching table accessories, or adopt the trend with framed artwork that speaks to your artistic side.” Velvet, too, is still a firm favourite, according to Nextatlas, which analyses data from social media to identify latest trends. Mario Colletti, managing director of Nextatlas, said: “Velvet has no intention of going anywhere. It has taken over our homes, with interior designers using the fabric to create a multi-sensory look. “A finish typically associated with autumn, velvet adds drama and depth to any room, and is easily adaptable to add some sophistication to spring and summer looks, becoming a year-round favourite.” Scandinavian fashion is also a big trend at the moment and is largely about keeping things simple. Matthew Currington, technical director of The Lighting Superstore, says you can take a minimalistic approach into your home, with earthy colours such as whites, greys and other subdued tones on the walls, with modern lamps and lighting. He says: “One of the key standouts of Scandinavian style is the emphasis on ‘lived-in’ décor, which looks to nature for inspiration. “If you want to recreate this look in your home, investing in wooden furniture and experimenting with different natural textures, such as sheepskin and linen, is a great place to start. “These little touches can give your home a sense of character and make it feel more homely and inviting. If your surrounding décor is white or grey, you can add personal touches like your favourite photographs in bold frames to add a splash of colour.” The playful Geometrics trend, on the other hand, is good for those who prefer a less matchymatchy feel. It draws influence from the 1980s Memphis design and Geometrics trend by adding vibrant pops of colour and clashing patterns to add interest to an otherwise neutral backdrop.

Accessories Sooren Ravn Christensen, who also founded Umage, says: “When entering a home, it is vital that the guests feel welcome and at ease with the surrounding interior, and lighting is key to this, with pendant fixtures being an important trend.” When styling, however, it’s important not to forget the little things, such as cutlery. After all, it’s the one thing present throughout the meal.

On the table The focal point of your dining room, however, has to be the table. A round table is great for a smaller space or if you’re trying to give the room a dual use. They also allow for more social interaction as it’s easier to chat to everyone in a circle than trying to conduct a conversation with someone at the opposite end of a rectangular table. Calum Henderson says: “The buzzword on everyone’s lips at the moment is sustainability and the 2019 dining room trends certainly have potential if you’re keen to adopt a sustainable living with your interior design choices. Merging two trends together, the natural materials look will come in handy when it comes to creating a sustainable environment for your dining room. In the market for a brand new dining table? Check out repurposed driftwood tables or concrete benches that will not only mean you’re doing your bit for the environment, but you’ll also be ticking off the natural materials trend. Latest trends are also to incorporate an indoor/ outdoor feel. “The Greenhouse trend is perfect for the summer months,” says a spokesman from Oak Furniture Land. “You can bring exterior touches to your interior spaces with details such as upcycled gutter pipes used as plant holders or poles wrapped in ivy; perfect for adding a decorative flourish to your dining table when you’re entertaining.” The Havana Nights trend is quirkier. “If you’re in the market for a brand new table and chairs but you like the eclectic mismatched look, recreate the style by buying a few pairs of chairs in different designs,” says the Oak Furniture Land spokesman. “Pressed leaves can work wonderfully as a quirky table runner. Snip a few oversized leaves off a tropical-look plant and squash them under a stack of heavy books, placing newspaper in between to help remove moisture.”

A spokesman from Studio William Cutlery, which supplies some of the top hotels and restaurants, says: “When people spend good money and hours, if not days, of their time planning a meal, why do they then suddenly cut corners when it comes to the tools they rely on to place every tasty morsel into their mouths?” “If you are serious about creating the perfect dining experience, don’t stop at picking out pricey drapes. There is one more thing you place in your mouth during a meal and it should be as gorgeous as the food. The devil, after all, is in the details.” And according to research by ScS, one of the UK’s largest retailers of upholstered furniture and flooring, 97 per cent of British people claim that they don’t know how to lay the perfect dining table. William Hanson, the UK’s leading etiquette expert and coach, says: “A well-presented dining table sets up the ambience for the rest of the meal. If you don’t have a beautiful spring table cloth, ensure you have matching place mats, placed half an inch from the edge of the table, to help make the table look neat, tidy and uniformed.” He says chairs should be evenly spaced around the table and cutlery should be smear-free with all knives and spoons to the right of the plate and forks to the left. He adds: “Glasses should be placed in the upper right-hand section of the setting, out of the way of any flailing arms after one too many glasses of red wine. The wine glass should sit directly above the knife and water glass just to the left of these. To complete place the table napkin on top of the bread plate to the left-hand side of each place setting.” sL

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Buy the BEST of British Manufacturing Cannock Showrooms Units 4, 5 & 6 Exchange Business Estate, A5 Watling Street, Bridgtown, Cannock WS11 0BW. (Access to rear car park via Cross Street). Telephone: 01543 505 696 Website: Open: Mon to Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm.

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A POT OF STYLE Time to add a little more panache to your outside abode just in time for summer. Take one of these planters and let the blooms and greenery begin.










1. £15 Debenhams 2. £11 Albert & Moo 3. £54 Amara 4. £7.50 5. £75 6. £16 Sainsbury’s Home 7. From £3.99 8. £22.50 Argos 9. £17.50 M&S


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Austin & Roe have pleasure in offering for sale this traditional, five-bedroom farm house, set in a beautiful rural location on the outskirts of Stafford, with views of Stafford Castle and surrounding countryside. This is a character property with exposed beams, wooden flooring and latched doors. There is a galleried oak staircase leading from the ground floor to the first floor and second staircase to the floor above. The porchway and lobby leads to the impressive entrance hallway with doors into a large lounge with brick-built fireplace, spacious dining room, large L-shaped kitchen/breakfast room including separate utility and cloaks, and a huge sun room to the rear stretching the full width of the house. On the first floor is the masterbedroom comprising fitted wardrobes, bathing facilities and vaulted ceilings, there are a further three double bedrooms and a family bathroom. On the second floor there is another double bedroom with a second bathroom. Externally there is a large detached double garage with a room above (offering the potential of development). The gardens surround the entire house.



Splashymill, Mill Lane, lower Moddershall, Staffordshire, ST15 8TF PRICE - ÂŁ950,000 (Pictured below)

Austin & Roe are excited to offer For Sale this amazing property, a rare opportunity to purchase a property with a grade II listed Water Mill in the garden. Set in beautiful landscaped mature gardens, truly a hidden gem. Currently, the property is split into a ground floor one bedroom self-contained apartment with views onto the water mill and the main household is on the floor above. Briefly, on the ground floor is the one bedroom apartment consisting of Lounge/Dining area, Kitchen, Bedroom and En-suite Bathroom. A large Study, Storage Facility, Boiler Room and Double Garage. There is an Entrance Hallway with spiral staircase leading up to the First Floor. The First Floor contains the main living area and features an upper hallway, a huge open-plan Lounge/Dining area with balcony and panoramic views of the gardens and watermill, a stunning modern kitchen with a huge conservatory cut into the bank. There is a Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room and two further Double Bedrooms and a Family Bathroom. There is great potential as a large family home with additional family accommodation on the ground floor, for a parent or teenager, a business or a holiday let. The extensive grounds and water mill may offer further development opportunities, subject to planning permission in a conservation area. | | 01785 338570 |

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S A L E S @ B U T T E R L E Y B A R N . C O .U K

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G Plan, Parker Knoll, Celebrity, Old Charm, Lazyboy, Vale, Alstons, Sherborne. Make a VIP booking through us to visit manufacturers showrooms to view extensive ranges of these products. * Terms and conditions apply

Furniture Mine The largest furniture charity shop in the area

Visit our website to find out more & to receive 20% discount on all reuse items purchased We’re open to everyone

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm | Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm and Saturday 10.00am –4.00pm Website: | Email:

Cannon Place, Hanley, ST1 4QA | 01782 846111 Also find us on

Est. 1990, Join us as we head towards our 30th year in the Staffordshire property market. We pride ourselves on our professional, friendly service and years of local knowledge in all aspects of residential property. We understand that property is personal to everyone in slightly different ways. Our independent advice and bespoke service is tailored to every vendor, every investor, every landlord – every time. Please call 01782 595050 for Sales or 01782 598777 for Lettings.


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Inviting entries for our next Decades of Design and Northern Art Auction at Marshall House on 22nd June 2019 Deadline for entries 31st May 2019

Harold Riley (b.1934-) ‘Hall’s Herbal Cures, Langworthy Road Salford’

A Rene Lalique opalescent and frosted glass vase ‘Ceylan’ signed R Lalique and numbered 905 to base

William Turner F.R.S.A., R.Cam.A. (1920-2013) ‘Two Dockers’

John Maltby (b. 1936-) A large Studio Pottery slab built jug of triangular form

Sold for £14,520

Sold for £4960

Sold for £6050

Sold for £1130

FREE VALUATIONS Every Friday, Knutsford: 9am-12pm & 1-4pm | Every Monday, Beeston: 9am-12pm & 1-4pm

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: 21st May 2019 Knutsford Antique, Collectors & Fine Art 29th June 2019 Beeston Fine Antique & Interiors 20th July 2019 Knutsford Boutique Auction 30th July 2019 Knutsford Antique, Collectors & Fine Art

Marshall House, Church Hill, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6DH

01565 653 284 Email: Get in touch now to see what your items could be worth.

COMING UP Here is a sneak peek at what’s to come in the July | August edition of Staffordshire Living

H I T T I NG S H E LV E S: 28th June

A Great British Staycation

The traditional British family holiday is thriving. Here’s our guide to the best UK staycation spots

The Accessories Edit

All the trimmings to make your look complete – our bumper 4-page special

Character Building

10 simple but effective ways to add a little character to your home

And our family supplement will contain everything you need for a fun-filled and exciting summer break, including our ultimate summer holiday guide with 50 things you can do in and around Staffordshire – from activities and events to days out and more!


ONLINE Check us out online for even more news, features, events and competitions 24/7.  w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k



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The Ultimate Driving Machine

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The new BMW Z4 First Edition is a totally unique vehicle. It opens up a new dimension of open-air driving pleasure from every perspective. An edition model with the aesthetics of a roadster and the dynamics of a BMW M vehicle. With the roof open or closed – this exceptional BMW Roadster strives to achieve boundless freedom using its 340 hp to the full. We have secured 3 first edition models of only 45 which have been allocated to the UK.

CONTACT US TODAY TO FIND OUT MORE. Knights North Staffordshire Radial Park, Bede Road, Stoke-On-Trent, ST4 4GU Tel. 01782 572100

Profile for PSMedia Limited

Staffordshire Living Magazine  

Issue 89 - May/June

Staffordshire Living Magazine  

Issue 89 - May/June