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January/February 2013


RITA ORA’S SO ‘“IHknowOTI’ve hadRIGHT NOW’ three UK number ones and a number one album but there’s still a whole world to conquer” 42>


771750 816036








8 Will You Be My Valentine? 13 Sweet Enough To Eat 15 Love Is In The Hair 16 The Turmoils Of Domestic Violence 19 Health Dates For Your Diary

76 Fun For All The Family 80 A Spot Of Ye Olde Romance 83 Gourmet Love 86 Keeping The Love Alight 90 Wipe Away The Nerves



22 Sheer Genius 25 Best Foot Forward 28 How We’d Style 30 Catch Her Eye 32 Ooh La La

92 The New Shabby Chic 97 Home Is Where The Heart Is 102 Your First Steps In Getting A Mortgage 107 Revival Of The Patterned Carpet 110 2013. Sorted 118 To Espresso Or Not To Espresso

WEDDING SUPPLEMENT 34 As Delicate As A Rose 37 Something Old vs Something New... 39 The Mask 44 Retro Dreams 49 How To Insure Your Wedding Is Covered 51 Say Cheese 54 A Venue For All Seasons 58 Winter Wedding: Do’s And Dont’s

WINING & DINING 60 Secret Ingredients 63 The Only Way To His Heart 67 New Year, New You! 69 4 Ways With Pancakes 70 Year Of The Snake 74 Newsflash...

EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT 120 Making It Big, Getting The Job You Want & Achieving Your Dreams 125 Extra Curricular Activities 134 Must Have School Character Buys




GIVEAWAYS Our Winter Giveaways! 27 WIN! His and Hers Fragrances Worth Over £100 73 WIN! The Chance To Design Your Own Chocolate Bar 74 WIN! A Valentine’s Meal For Two 143 WIN! Tickets To See Rent The Musical At The Regent Theatre


136 Rita Ora Interview 139 Budget Wheels 143 Limelight



63 25 97




to the January/February edition of Staffordshire Living... Is it us or did 2012 just pass us by? Where has time gone? So first things first, Happy New Year you gorgeous lot! 2013 has officially begun and this time we’re hoping it will stay around for a little longer than last year. Living on a constant fast forward we are fully aware it was probably due to all the excitement surrounding the Jubilee, our continuing sporting successes and the surprisingly addictive and victorious Olympics. Phew, what a year to be British! Where does it leave us for 2013 though? On the come down of 2012, we think this prosperous New Year is going to be far more than an adrenaline hangover. Firstly there is Valentine’s Day to get out of the way, this year we are putting in 110% as it seems we’ve been a little distracted of late and paid less attention to our loved ones with all the goings on – suppose it’s no excuse though! Turn to page 60 for a scrumptious home-cooked meal for 2 with an aphrodisiac twist, whisk him away on a romantic break (p80 & 83), spruce up bedroom activites with the sexiest of lingerie (p32) and generally look every inch a goddess with all the tips and tricks within our Health and Beauty pages. Our scheduled Wedding Supplement will be sure not to disappoint with a whole host of info ready for your perusal. The most exciting part? Come on guys, do we really need to answer this – the dress clearly. And the start of a new year can only mean a whole host of new dresses from all the most exclusive designers. We can’t wait for you to feast your eyes on them. If you’re holding a winter wedding, we have a few do’s and don’ts to bear in mind. Whereas if you’ve only just begun planning and unsure of a setting, take a look at our chosen venues for every season on p54. If you haven’t heard of Rita Ora, then where exactly have you been? She’s (excuse the pun) so Hot Right Now! Deemed the British Rihanna, we can only feel this title needs to be scrapped as this fab young lady (and yes at 22 very young) is doing things Rita Ora’s way. Having impressed and now signed to Jay- Z’s label it was clear from the start she was going to be stamping a huge mark on the music industry – but to have 3 consecutive number 1’s under her belt at only the beginning of her career was something no-one ever saw coming. Talk about success. Lucky for us and you, Rita took the time out of her hectic schedule to speak to the Living team, read our interview on p136. Until next time you can catch up with our latest gossip and news by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter (@StaffsLiving) and via our website Let’s make 2013 one hell of a year!

A few snaps of what we have been up to!


Justine Clegg


Martin Beech ART EDITOR


Ben Stanley

where Chippi ng campden in the Cotswolds we visite d for a roma ntic brea k

Living's Jem ma enjoy ing a glassMcNicho las at Fis hm ore Ha of wi ne or two ll, Sh ropsh ire


Tracy Harrison ACCOUNTS



Sarah Evison Julie Watson Amanda Peach Natalie Peach


Cheryl Osborne PUBLISHER

Craig Rushton

We went to the Cloth es Show Live at Birmi ngham NEC.

ted the Living's Justine Cleg g visitne r Cotswolds with her par © Simon Annand



9-5 Living's Kevi n went to watchTheatre. The Mus ical at The Rege nt

The fabulous food we ate at Fishmore Hall, Shropsh ire.

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c Romanti s hair look 15 on page n looking at how to seduce ALSO INSIDE… Nick y Clarke is back again for his exciting colum trust anyone else? We’ve also your man this year with the sexiest of hairstyles – would youthe shelves in 2013, including a tried and tested some of the hottest beauty products to hit range of feminine and angelic fragrances to seduce the senses.

Main ima

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Whether you are single or loved up, Valentine’s Day is the time to make the extra effort for a date or even the extra special man in your life. With your soft skin to luscious lips, resulting in one hot, sultry and sassy lady! Living’s Jemma McNicholas tests the hottest products this Valentine’s.

SKIN: Ensure your man won’t be able to keep his hands off your silky soft skin with these hot products! BES T ONE F O R: KIND OF A PE R PAM







1. Floral Rejuvenating Cream 60ml, £19.99. 2. Nad’s Brazilian and Bikini Wax, £8.99. Boots. 3. Working 9 to 5 Anti-Aging Cream, £7.99. Laidbare at 4. Gadi Body Butter in Tangerine & Melon, £30. House of Fraser. 5. Usculpt Boobs, RRP £39.50 150ml. and selected department stores.

BATHTIME: It is all about the preparation. Relax before your date with luxurious bath soaks and candles.

HANDS & FEET: Super soft hands and pedicured feet guarantee your man won’t be letting go of your hand all night and if you’re lucky he may even give you a foot massage! 2.












1. Boutique Bath Soaks from Grace Cole in Wild Fig and Pink Cedar, £5. 2. Champneys Distant Shores Shower Mousse, £8. and Boots stores nationwide. 3. Yon-ka Rose Massage Oil Candle, £99.


1. ‘Sure Let Me File That Under Never’ Hand Care Set, £14. Bev Ridge and Friends. Debenhams, House of Fraser, Urban Outfitters and Heal’s 2. 2True Glossywear Nail Polish, £1.99 each or 3 for £4.99. Exclusively at Superdrug. 3. Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Grapefruit, £3.99 from 4. LCN Pink Nail Candy, £5.70 from 5. Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique Jessica Red, £3.99. Superdrug. 6.Kiwi Shoe Passion Ball of Foot Gel Cushions, RRP £3.65. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Wilkinsons.


EYES: Flirty lashes and come to bed eyes=one seductive temptress.

HAIR: Shiny and sleek locks; perfect for running his fingers through.










1. The Denman Popper Compact Rococo Swirl, £3. Available online from or Boots, Superdrug. 2. Paul Mitchell Super Strong System Shampoo, £11.50 and Conditioner, £14.25. Call 0845 6590012 for stockists.

LIPS: Kissable soft lips with a touch of pink and red…..he won’t be able to resist!

1. Kiss Lashes, from £4.49 for a single pair, £7.49 for a duo pack and £16.99 for a multi pack. Asda and Boots. 2. Ooh la lift, £16.50. Benefit. 3. The new eye CANDY® Lashes in 018, £4.79. Gordons Chemists, Bodycare and Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.4. Alido’s Special Edition La-Tweez, £15. John Lewis. 5. Lily Lolo Mineral Eye shadow in Pink Champagne, £5.29.




LEGS: Shaven, highlighted and tanned. It is all about the legs. So slip on that lbd and strut onto that date.









1. Dr Bronner’s Magic Organic Shaving Gel Soap in Lavender, RRP £6.99. or 2. Parissa 2 in 1 Roll On - Legs, Face & Bikini, £19.99 Available from Boots and 3. Lauren’s Way Glam Tan £18.95. 4. Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil, £31.50. Available from, selected John Lewis, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols stores. CAST A SPELL OVER HIM WITH THIS PERFUME AND SCENTED MASSAGE OIL DUO.

1. Eos Lip Balm in Strawberry Sorbet, £5.95. 2. Lily Lolo Natural Lipstick in Romantic Rose, £7.99 3. Max White One Toothpaste, RRP £3.99. Available at all major retailers. 4. NEW Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep, RRP £3.49. Available from Boots, Asda and Superdrug.

CHEEKS: A flush of pink on the cheeks never goes amiss.




Love Potion Eau de Parfum, RRP £20.95 and Love Potion Sensual Massage Oil, RRP £8.95.

1. Blusher, £8.50. 2. Laura Geller Blush-n Brighten Pink Grapefruit, £28. QVC.

January/February 2013


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THE CONDITIONS WE CAN HELP YOU WITH INCLUDE Food For Life – charge of £5 per adult per class, kids are free. This is a 4 week course covering food preparation, healthy options, lots of different recipes from all over the world also an insight on which vegetables help which parts of your body. If you’re interested we will also monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and BMI, all completely optional.

Diabetic Awareness Food for Life Healthy Cooking Class Dates to be advised To book your seat as we are restricted by space. Call Sinead on 01782 482900.

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Dive into a fairer gym contract. Does your gym let you leave if you’re not fitter & healthier in 3 months? We do. Enjoy a FREE 2-day pass | 01543 426531 | Nuffield Health Cannock, East Cannock Road, Cannock, WS12 1LU Please visit for full details. Terms and conditions may apply. © Nuffield Health 2012.

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15/11/2012 14:41:27

Everything you need to know about Nuffield Health

What we stand for • The consumer - in supporting competition, fairness and the consumer’s right to choose we champion health as it should be. • Health and wellbeing – we support our customers to achieve success in their health, work and home life. • Expertise - our people are experts in their fields and provide excellent care and service. • Social enterprise - Nuffield Health is the largest not for profit healthcare organisation in the UK.

What we do Nuffield Health: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Run 31 Hospitals (with 1345 beds and 111 operating theatres) Run 65 Fitness & Wellbeing Centres Have 20 Medical Centres Have over 200 on-site workplace fitness and wellbeing contracts Are the UK’s leading employee wellbeing provider Have the largest network of physiotherapists (665) Run the UK’s largest health assessment programme Are the UK’s leading report imaging provider Sterilise over 12 million instruments a year Have over 20 million member visits a year Run 80 swimming pools across Corp (16) and Consumer Wellbeing (64) Are the UK's largest network of not-for-profit independent hospitals with two thirds of the British population within an hour’s drive of a Nuffield Health Hospital We have 1411 hospital beds. We have 300,000 fitness members and support the wellbeing needs of staff in over 1,600 corporate companies.

In 2011, for our customers we delivered: • 46,800 hip and other orthopaedic procedures, 14,500 ophthalmic procedures such as cataract replacements and 30,900 general surgeries • 58,500 MRI or CT scans, using some of the most up-to-date equipment available • 131,300 radiology examinations • Over 21,200 breast scans, many through a visit to our specially designed mobile mammography unit • 72,000 Health Assessments • 82,000 Nuffield Health MOTs • 460,000 physiotherapy sessions (the largest number outside the NHS) • 35,000 visits to our Meet our Experts programme. These provided free access to practitioners and clinicians on themed events. Over 65,000 have so far benefitted from these events since we began them.

There are around 13,000 Employees & Partners of Nuffield Health including: • • • • • •

Over 1,700 nurses 3,700 fitness staff 100 physiologists Over 250 physiotherapists 2,000 physiotherapist partners We also work with around 6,000 Consultants.

We are Europe’s largest health screener and the largest provider of physiotherapy services outside of the NHS in the UK. We are the UK’s largest provider of corporate fitness and have facilities in 200 sites. We work with companies like; Coca Cola, Clifford Chance, Morgan Stanley and Barclays.

Who we are Nuffield Health is the UK’s largest not-for-profit healthcare organisation. We provide clinical, fitness and wellbeing services to the general public, private organisations and the NHS. Since 1957, Nuffield Health has been setting the standard in the health sector. We have a unique approach to improving health in the UK, putting the quality of care and satisfaction of individuals and companies at our heart and, in the process, improving the health of millions of people. Developments in 2008 saw Nuffield Health create a pioneering new approach to health by integrating prevention, cure and general fitness and wellbeing to ensure our customers benefit from a complete healthcare service. Incorporating fitness and wellbeing centres into our portfolio of hospitals enables us to capitalise on 55 years of clinical expertise and improve proactive health provision in the UK. Nuffield Health believes that preventative health is the future of healthcare. The NHS will struggle to deliver these services in a way that is meaningful for the UK consumer so it will become essential for individuals to take control of their own health - ideally with the support of their employer. As a not-for-profit organisation, we can re-invest all surplus into helping our clients and members to achieve this. Those we work with benefit from our pioneering approach which brings together fitness, prevention and cure to create a true end-to-end service and arm our customers with the support, information and facilities to get healthy – and stay healthy.

Call Nuffield Health today on 0845 1546131 and arrange a free trial and a tour of our centre and to find out how you and your family can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.


SWEET ENOUGH TO EAT At the Living offices we love nothing more than a fine fragrance and Living’s Jemma McNicholas got to test a few scents just in time for Valentine’s Day. Win him over with girly, sweet fragrances blended with oriental and floral tones. Kim Kardashian Glam, £22.95 (30ml), £29.95 (50ml) and £39.95 (100ml). Debenhams. Description: Fruity, Floral and Glam “A juicy blend of Pink Watermelon, Blackberries and sparkling Citrus with a heart of Star Jasmine, Egyptian Tuberose and Rose Absolute and lasting notes of Orris Butter, Musk and Sandalwood for lasting bold finish.”

Especially Escada, £32 (30ml), £45 (50ml), £56 (75ml). Available nationwide from all good department stores. Description: Sophisticated, Soft and Joyful “Opens with an intense and sparkling top note of pear that combines with the exotic and musky notes of Ambrette seeds. Together they create a burst of sparkling freshness and the idyllic introduction to the allimportant heart accord.”

Lancome La Vie Est Belle, EDP £38.50 (30ml). The Fragrance Shop. Description: Dreamy, Delicate and Beautiful “An Eau de Parfum with the noblest ingredients [Concrete of Iris Pallida, Jasmin Sambac Absolute, Orange Blossom Absolute, Patchouli Essence...] laid on a bed of fine delicacies.”

CH Carolina Herrera Woman, £49 (50ml), £65.50 (100ml). Available exclusively in Harrods.

Valentino Valentina, RRP £55 (50ml).

Butterflies by Coleen, £24.50 (50ml), £24.99 (100ml). The Fragrance Shop

Description: Elegant, Oriental and Fresh

Description: Feisty, Flirty and Fun

Description: Floral, Sultry and Sumptuous

“Bergamot and grapefruit appear in the top notes gradually mixing with the middle notes of Bulgarian rose, Sambac jasmine, orange blossom and praline. The soft base notes include sandalwood, cashmere and suede.”

“An oriental floral scent with top notes of fresh bergamot and alba truffle. Blends of fruity orange flower and jasmine highlight the heart notes of this scent, whilst the base is signified by cedar wood and warm notes of vanilla”

“A sparkling burst of citrus, sultry rose and hibiscus opens the fragrance, melting the senses with subtle hints of black pepper, nutmeg and vanilla flower, tumbling into a fall of creamy cedar and rose wood with a subtle hint of amber and tonka bean”

Lacoste Touch of Pink, £31 (50ml), £39 (90ml) Available nationwide from all good department stores.

Vera Wang Lovestruck EDP 30ml Gift Set, (contains 30ml EDP, 75ml Body Lotion & 75ml Shower Gel) £29.99.

Ralph Lauren Romance, £30.60 (30ml), £42.90 (50ml), £59.50 (100ml).

Description: Intriguing, Fun and Captivating

Description: Flirty, Feminine and Delicate

“Enlivening top notes of blood orange, cardamom and coriander provide an energetic start to the fragrance. In the heart notes, dark and luxurious violet leaves give a soft, powdery and feminine touch, whilst jasmine offers a sweet, heady edge. Base notes of addictive vanilla and musk then combine to give a hint of sensuality - but blink and you will miss it.”

“An irresistibly romantic blend of sweet and floral tones, promises love at first smell with top notes of luscious pink guava and heavenly angelica flowers, delicate heart notes infusing tuberose and lotus blossom and leaves you pining for more with base notes of precious woods and sheer musk”

Description: Timeless, Romantic and Exhilarating “An armful of flowers with a touch of citrus marks the opening, with Citrus, Waterlily and Rose. A heart of Lotus, Lily and Violet create a sweet sensuality, whilst a dry down of Musk, Oakmoss and Patchouli anchors the scent with a seductive, deeper quality”

January/February 2013


Back Pain – Don’t Put Up With It Stephen Miller Newcastle 01782 610611 Silverdale 01782 624339

Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic Telephone 01782 711191

Hartshill 01782 719949 Wolstanton 01782 626855 Chesterton 01782 561928

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We are offering a consultation, thorough neurological and orthopaedic examination plus digital posture analysis for £10 only (Procedures that would normally cost £82)

Here at the Beauty Lounge we pride ourselves in delivering what a client wants whether a facial or massage we can help you relax and unwind. Treatments available: Threading Facials Waxing Nail Treatments Teeth Whitening Body Treatments Bridal, Party & Prom packages Kids Pamper Parties

Gift vouchers available

Tel: 01782 283233 52-54 Tontine Street, Hanley, Stoke on Trent, ST1 1LY

Richard Ward Cruise Collection: Hair by Richard Ward Artistic Team, Make-up by Richard Ward Artistic Team, Styling by Richard Ward Artistic Team, Colour by Richard Ward Artistic Team, Photographer: Christop he Cohen.


o Group.

thew Roskell at Francesc tography. Hair by Mat

So Christmas has come and gone and now we are all thinking about love. Yes it’s Valentine’s Day. Soft, bouncy waves are the prefect romantic look and here I show you the easiest way to recreate.

One of the best products to use to create waves is Flexi Stylers. You can easily recreate the look following the steps below: STEP 1: Simply take a large horse shoe shaped section of hair from your hairline to your crown. Smooth it through with your fingers and pull the whole section forward. STEP 2: Using a Nicky Clarke Flexi Styler start to wrap your hair round the styler and twist down to the base of your hair. STEP 3: Take the two sections either side of your head (from your hair line above your ear) and smooth forward and repeat with the flexi styler. STEP 4: Now split the back section of your hair into three large horizontal sections starting from the top and using the same method. STEP 5: Allow to cool for at least twenty minutes. Then take out your stylers and use a wide tooth comb to smooth the hair back away from the face and grip each side loosely.


©kristina-vassilieva- pho Make-up: Margaret Aston © Hair: Karine Jackson Photography: Jack Eames

Bonce Tease Collection. Hair: Donna Mitchel l, Creative Director at Bonce Salons Photography: Barry Jeffery. Clothes Styling: Bernard Connelly. Make-up: Janine Bird.

Hair: Karine Jackson using Orga nic Colour Systems Photogra phy: Claire Greenway Make-up: Nadira V Persaud Styling: Danielle Fox

Fancy a hair change? Take inspiration from Valentine’s Day with soft wavy, curly styles or for the more daring; feisty and seductive.


© Nicky Clarke

The young romantics collection. Hair by Kim Rance for Clipso. Art Director: Darren Fowler. Photography: Martin Evening. Styling: Karen Binns. Makeup: Janet Francis.


Nicky Clarke Volume Package including shampoo, conditioner, Nicky Clarke Flexi Stylers, hair raising spray and instant £19.99. calmer, £50.

January/February 2013



THE TURMOILS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Following Christmas when everybody’s high spirits drop back down and divorce is at its highest there is also the painstaking topic of Domestic Violence. On average one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence and alarmingly the majority of victims do their best to hide it from friends and family. Here at Living we felt it only right to bring you the facts, tell-tale signs and a heartbeaking real life story from a victim of Domestic Abuse, in the hope that we raise awareness if not stop at least one person from suffering at the hands of an abuser.



THE VICTIMS The majority of sufferers are women and unbelievably children too, with women being the main victims of severe violence and sexual abuse. On average one incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute, and you can experience domestic abuse regardless of your ethnicity, age, sexuality or lifestyle. Shockingly most victims hide the fact that they are being abused probably in fear of suffering more, not being believed and sometimes scared that they will not receive the correct help and care they need to get away from their abuser.

THE ABUSER Abusers of domestic violence can again come from any background and surprisingly most behave respectively in public but terribly to their partner/victim behind closed doors. Again this is why it can be difficult for the victim to reach out for help and let’s face it would you believe that the friendly chap down the road who you can easily crack a joke with could be so cruel to their partner? Other typical behaviour that the abuser can display is blame; they have the tendancy to place the blame on others or use an excuse like their childhood, ill health or an addiction (drugs, alcohol). In some cases an abuser may also blame the victim, so that they feel unworthy and develop low self-esteem.

THE EFFECTS Long term effects on adult victims are isolation (from friends and family), anxiety and depression, ill/poor health, loss of a baby and physical injuries. Child victims usually experience emotional and behavioural effects at school as a result of witnessing domestic violence.

SPOT THE SIGNS If you feel that you’re suffering at the hands of domestic violence then here are the easy to spot signs. If you are experiencing most or all of the below then you need to get help urgently: Abuse – Mocking, name calling, shouting. Pressure – Taking personal belongings away from you, lying to family and friends, not letting you have a choice in decisions. Disrespect – Interrupting you, not helping out with housework/children, ignoring you. Trust – Jealousy towards you, lying. Isolation – Stopping you from going out, locking you in the house, not letting you speak to family and friends. Harassment – Stalking, checking up on you. Threats – Harming you, angry gestures. Sexual Violence – Forced to perform a sexual act and physically forcing you or pushing you to consent to sex. Physical Violence – Punching, kicking, biting. Denial – Blaming you for their behaviour, crying and refusing to believe they have caused any harm, making broken promises.

GET HELP If you are a victim of Domestic Violence or if you think somebody you know may be suffering at the hands of an abuser then call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit

REAL LIFE STORY…. My Name is Jane* and I have been in a relationship with Andy* for nearly 23 years, we have two children. During the first year we were together Andy was admitted to hospital suffering from a breakdown and after this his behaviour was unpredictable, and I felt he was trying to control me. I used to do what I was told, because I was scared of what would happen if I did not listen. Andy was verbally abusive. He used to call me ‘fat’, ‘ugly’ and ‘useless’ amongst other names. He would ask people what they thought of me, and would then say, ‘she is ugly isn’t she, not my usual type’. This utterly destroyed my confidence and self-esteem. I now suffer from Bulimia. The first incidence of violence occurred at Andy’s mother’s house whilst we were moving his bedroom around. I moved a speaker which caused a fuse to blow. Andy got very angry and punched me in the face, causing bruising. When my father asked me what had happened to my face, I lied and said that I had hit it on a door. I didn’t call the police because I was in love, and when he had not apologised, and said that it was my fault and ‘a result’ that he had hit me, I believed him. The attacks of violence were not solely directed to me, but also our children. The verbal and emotional abuse continued, alongside acts of physical abuse and the children were scared. On one occasion Andy strangled me when holding my youngest son in my arms and on another occasion one of my children was kicked in the kidneys. The volatility and unpredictability continued and years later after cooking our evening meal, an argument began when Andy became angry that the fish was dry. He picked up the plate and threw it across the room. The children were screaming and I begged him to stop shouting, and I tried to say sorry for the meal not being good enough. He pushed me up against the wall, I was terrified. Somehow, I managed to break free, and fled to my mother’s house with the children and stayed for two days. Andy called me begging me to return, and because I loved him and thought he may kill himself, I went back. The bumps and bruises came and went, but I did not call the police because I was too scared. Sixteen years later, and feeling alone and unloved, I decided I could no longer cope with Andy and his paranoia, and decided to end the relationship. Andy’s mood swings and behaviour had destroyed my confidence and I just wanted to get on with my life. One month later, on a Thursday afternoon, my now seventeen year old son phoned me, asking where I was because Andy had come round and had a wooden pole in his hand threatening him. Subsequently the police were contacted and Andy was arrested for breach of the peace. The police gave me the number for the National Centre for Domestic Violence, who I phoned the next day, and they told me they could help. I could get a court order preventing Andy from harassing me, and threatening me. They took a witness statement and solicitors were instructed that afternoon. NCDV text me on my mobile at each stage to tell me what was going on. After the weekend, on Monday morning an application for a Non-Molestation Order with powers of arrest, and an Occupation Order was made in court. Both orders were granted. This means I can now live happily in the safety of my own home, without the children being exposed to Andy’s violence anymore. * Names have been changed for legal purposes. National Centre for Domestic Violence Victims of domestic abuse can be overwhelmed by the thought of ending an abusive relationship and the legal processes needed to obtain protection. NCDV acts as a one–stop shop in which concerns can be addressed and advice can be given, in the victim’s language and on their terms. The majority of cases referred result in prompt action through the civil courts, providing instant legal protection. The law is complicated and if an application for an order is to be made it must be done swiftly and correctly. NCDV has helped over 10,000 victims obtain Orders and take the ‘first step’ to breaking free. Everyone has the right to a peaceful life, a life without anxiety, without fear and without abuse. Sometimes only the law can ensure that happen. For information, advice and to learn about The National Centre for Domestic Violence please call 0844 8044 999 or visit

January/February 2013


NSHC_Layout 1 07/03/2011 12:11 Page 1

North Staffs Heart Committee

North Heart Committee Founded 1979 •Staffs • Reg. Charity 508743 North Staffs Heart Committee Founded 1979 • • Reg. Charity 508743 THE LEADING LOCAL HEART CHARITY


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We are a registered specialist clinical Audiology team. We Treat offer a full range of diagnostic procedures to assess hearing, tinnitus, hyperacusis and balance, and provide comprehensive tailored treatment plans.



Caring for Cardiac Patients

Supports Research, Caring for CardiacDiagnosis, Patients DON’T MISS OUR OPEN DAY ON Treatment and Welfare Caring for Cardiac Patients Veincentre was the UK’s LOCALLY Donations & Bequests welcomed & acknowledged SATURDAY 9TH FEBRUARY 2013. first laser  vein  treatment LOCALLY Supporting Research, Diagnosis, Supports Research, Diagnosis,

clinic. Our experienced HELP Specialist vein clinics Treatment and Welfare Treatment and Welfare US TO FIGHT HEART DISEASE Supports Research, Diagnosis, Visit The Basford Consulting Rooms on Saturday 9th February vascular specialists offer We just do veins andMBE, Welfare Donations & Treatment Bequests & acknowledged Chairman: A. J. G. (Tony)welcomed Berry Sneyd Cottage, 2013 as part of Tinnitus Awareness Week. This will give people non-surgical outpatient 5 Herm Close, Seabridge, Newcastle, Staffs., ST5 3LL the opportunity to meet our team and get answers for your Donations & Bequests welcomed & acknowledged treatments for all types HELP US TO FIGHT HEART DISEASE Tel/Fax (01782) 622463 burning questions. We plan on having informative displays, of varicose vein no Treasurer: F. US W. (Peter) Carder MBE,HEART c/o Sneyd Cottage (as above) HELP TO FIGHT DISEASE Chairman: A. J. G. (Tony) Berry MBE, Sneyd Cottage,SL, demonstrations of new technology and much more! matter how large. The North Staffs Heart Committee is an independent charity serving 5 Herm Close, Seabridge, Newcastle, Staffs., ST5 3LL Contact us on: Telephone – 01270 211 009 Freephone – 0800 756 7740 Email – For information on our clinic locations please contact us.

Clinics across the UK

Chairman: A. J. G. (Tony) Berry MBE, Sneyd Cottage, the interests of cardiac patients residing or receiving treatment Tel/Fax (01782) 622463 5 Herm Close, Seabridge, Newcastle, Staffs., ST5 3LL in North Staffordshire.

NOT ASSOCIATED WITH OTHER Treasurer:ITF.ISW. (Peter) Carder MBE,ANY c/o622463 SneydNATIONAL Cottage (as above) Tel/Fax (01782) OR LOCAL CHARITY OF SIMILAR NAME

Treasurer: W. (Peter) Carder MBE, Sneyd Cottage above) The NorthF.Staffs Heart Committee is anc/o independent charity(as serving

No surgresiding the interests of cardiac patients or receiving treatment e an . independent The North Staffs Heart in Committee isry charity serving North N o gStaffordshire. enresiding e the interests of cardiac patients or receiving treatment ra l IT IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OTHER NATIONAL a naestStaffordshire. hesi in CHARITY North a.SIMILAR NAME OR LOCAL OF No waitiWITH IT IS NOT ASSOCIATED ng lisANY OTHER NATIONAL OR LOCAL CHARITY OFt.SIMILAR NAME Imm

Laser both legs £1995

ediate retu rn to work.

01782 01782 753960 753960

Specialist vein clinics. We just do veins

Clinics across the UK

Laser both legs £1995 Treat unsightly



simply and safely

Veincentre was the UK’s first laser vein treatment clinic. Our experienced vascular specialists offer non-surgical outpatient treatments for all types of varicose vein no matter how large.

No surgery. No general anaesthesia. No waiting list. Immediate return to work.


NATIONAL HEART MONTH FEBRUARY 2013 ROCK UP IN RED FOR NATIONAL HEART MONTH THE FACTS • Did you know that Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer? • It kills almost one in five men and one in eight women. • It kills nearly three times more women than breast cancer. • It is responsible for more than 80,568 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 221 people each day. • Nearly 2.7 million people in the UK are living with Coronary heart disease. *All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from the British Heart Foundation Coronary Heart Disease Statistics Compendium 2012 Heart Attack Symptoms include: • Central chest pain, a dull pain, ache or ‘heavy’ feeling in your chest; or a mild discomfort in your chest that makes you feel generally unwell. The pain or discomfort may be like a bad episode of indigestion. • Pain may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. • As well as chest pain or discomfort you can feel light headed or dizzy and short of breath. • You may feel nauseous or vomit.

PREVENTION There’s a lot you can do to keep your heart healthy whatever your age. Taking exercise, eating a healthy diet, encouraging children to be heart healthy and being aware of dangers such as smoking, drinking, high blood pressure and stress are all important for your long term health. GET INVOLVED On the first Friday of National Heart Month, 1st February, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is asking the great British public to pay £2, Rock Up In Red and join the fight against heart disease. If it’s painting your nails red, donning a red tie or some red socks or going all out and rocking a top to toe red outfit, the BHF is urging people across the UK to organise a Rock Up In Red fundraiser day with friends, families and colleagues to raise funds that will go directly towards vital research and care for those suffering with heart disease. Anything goes, as long as it’s red. A workplace, group or organisation can simply rock up wearing something red and give £2 – or schools can do it for £1 per pupil. Rock Up In Red this February and make a heartfelt statement for your loved ones. To order your free fundraising pack, just go to or call the hotline on 0300 330 0645.

HEALTH DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Christmas is over, too many mince pies have been eaten and we all feel as unhealthy as ever. Well first thing is first we should all be thinking about our health and the effects that leading an unhealthy lifestyle can have on us. This issue we take an in depth look at your heart, your ears, your eating habits and acupuncture plus various other health months and weeks happening this January and February.

TINNITUS AWARENESS WEEK 4th-10th February 2013 The focus for Tinnitus Awareness Week 2013 is the role that tinnitus support groups can play. Organised by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) the week aims to raise awareness of tinnitus; described as a ‘ringing’ or ‘buzzing’ in the ears with no external source. It is not a disease or illness; it is a symptom generated within the auditory system. The noise may be in one or both ears, or in the head, or it may be difficult to pinpoint its exact location. People who are hard of hearing can also experience tinnitus. The causes of tinnitus are still not fully understood, but tinnitus is associated with hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, stress and anxiety and ear infections. THE FACTS • Around 10% of the UK population are affected by Tinnitus. • Tinnitus is common in all age groups. • Tinnitus may interfere with your sleep, either by preventing you from falling asleep, or giving you the impression that it wakes you up.

GET INVOLVED Tinnitus support groups offer a vital lifeline for people around the country, offering a chance to share experiences, find out how others cope and discuss the latest information on treatments. The BTA hope to enable hundreds more people to access peer-to-peer support through groups across the UK. Hundreds of people are already benefiting from belonging to a tinnitus support group, but with an estimated 6 million people affected by the condition, the BTA hope that Tinnitus Awareness Week 2013 will bolster the number of people actively seeking support. Groups around the country will be holding meetings and events during Tinnitus Awareness Week 2013. To find out about events or groups in your area, visit the BTA’s website at or call the BTA on 0114 250 9933. The BTA has a freephone helpline where you can get support and advice about tinnitus. The helpline, 0800 018 0527, is available Monday to Friday from 9.45am to 4.45pm.

January/February 2013



Eating Disorders Awareness Week 11th – 17th February 2013 THE FACTS • Eating disorders are a mental illness. • 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by eating disorders. • Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and compulsive overeating. • Eating disorders affect anyone at any age but women aged 14 -20 are most at risk. • Up to 20% of those affected are men. • 20% of those who become severely affected die prematurely, either from the effects of starvation, or from suicide. Beat is the UK’s only nationwide organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders and campaigning on their behalf. Last year it had direct contact with 250,000 individuals and many, many thousands more through its website and the media. Beat’s activities are designed to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding of eating disorders; to provide support, help and information to people directly affected; and to increase the understanding and skills of professional staff.

Anyone concerned about an eating disorder should contact their GP in the first instance. The sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full recovery. Eating disorders can be beaten. If you think someone close to you has an eating disorder: • Firstly, listen and support in a non-judgemental way so that your friend or family member will learn to trust you and the support you are giving. • Encourage them to visit their GP or, if a minor, make an appointment at the earliest opportunity. • Find out as much as you can about the eating disorder so you will be able to understand mood swings, expressions of anger or times when the person seems isolated and withdrawn. • You will need to understand the particular pressures people affected by eating disorders can feel – especially around food and weight issues. • Try not to give advice or criticism, but give time – and listen. You don’t have to know all the answers but just being there is the key. For support and information call the beat helpline on 0845 634 1414 or visit the website

ACUPUNCTURE AWARENESS WEEK 25th February – 3rd March 2013 Acupuncture Awareness Week supported by the British Acupuncture Council aims to help better inform people about the ancient practice of acupuncture. With 2.3 million acupuncture treatments carried out each year, traditional acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today. Yet many people only discover acupuncture as a last resort despite its widely recognised health benefits. A number of studies exist to support the claim that acupuncture can be beneficial in treating a variety of symptoms, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines go as far as to recommend acupuncture as a first line treatment for persistent, non-specific lower back pain as well as tension type headaches and migraines. THE FACTS • Many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs, so it is helpful to wear clothing that allows easy access to these areas. • Try not to go for treatment on an empty stomach or straight after a heavy meal. • Do let your practitioner know if you are completely new to acupuncture so they can take extra time to explain what happens and ensure you are comfortable with the process. Adrian Birch, a member of the British Acupuncture Council comments: “Acupuncture is a system of healing that has been practiced for over 2,500 years. It is a gentle and effective treatment that focuses on helping the whole person, aiming to improve their entire health and wellbeing. The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from pain or a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing. During an acupuncture treatment, sterile needles no bigger than a human hair are inserted to stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance. Patients often describe the needle sensation as a tingling or dull ache with very little or no pain at all. Acupuncture Awareness Week helps to give members of the public all the information they need about a treatment and encourage them to try it for themselves.” Supporting Acupuncture Awareness Week is actress and singer Toyah Willcox who, like many others, feels that acupuncture has made a huge impact to her life. “Having suffered with chronic insomnia since I was 14, I had to learn to make it work for my lifestyle”, says Toyah. “However, I realised I needed to do something about it when I was made aware of the detriment it has on your health and immune system. I won’t take sleeping pills and it’s actually better not to medicate chronic sufferers of insomnia anyway. I now have regular traditional acupuncture to help let my body heal itself. When I’m having a treatment I fall into a deep sleep straight away, which gives me immediate relief. Since having acupuncture I have definitely slept better and would say my sleeping patterns have improved by at least 75%” If you would like to find out more about traditional acupuncture visit To find a registered practitioner in your area call the British Acupuncture Council on 020 8735 0400 or visit


WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON? JANUARY 2013 1st – 31st Januar y 2013: Love your Liver (From the British Liver trust) 4th Januar y 2013: World Braille Day 14th Januar y 2013: STIQ Day 27th January 2013: Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 27th Januar y 2013: Cancer talk Week FEBRUARY 2013 1st February – 28th February 2013: Prenatal Infection Prevention Month 1st February 2013: Feel Good Friday 4th February 2013: World Cancer Day 28th February 2013: Rare Disease Day

fashion Living love


ntine’s Day with a range of lingerie that ALSO INSIDE..Spice up your bedroom activities this Vale e is no room for girl next door attitudes will leave you look ing and feeling smoking hot! Ther as much about conf idence as it is sheer and shyness as this particular burlesque trend is just seductiveness.

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John Rocha

Miss Selfridge

Julien Macdonald

Paul Smith


SHEER GENIUS When the Christmas season is over, why should you tone down the glam factor? Here in the Living offices we’re all about the WHOLE of winter being party season and keeping our sequins and embellishment well and truly stuck onto our torso’s until the first signs of spring begin to make their appearance. It’s time to round up the girls!


Jewel Embellished Knicker, £48. Miss Selfridge

It was love at first sight when I saw this delectable, yet fashionably fierce blouse from Topshop. Being around for many a season now, you need to keep your choice of blouse fresh and add a bit of ingenuity by playing with colour, fabric and details. For me the metallic collars in this piece steal the show and I’m particularly looking forward to wearing it with a huge bun in my hair (so you can see the collar of course), embellished shorts and a pair of opaques ready to brace the cold. The quirky androgynous look here I come…


Tights, £9.50. Marks and Spencer

Sheer Grey Shirt, £40. Topshop


DRESS TO IMPRESs Sheer fabrics ooze sex appeal naturally, due to the provocative nature and helping to leave little to the imagination. But as a word of warning from the Living team, please don’t be too risky – there are certain areas people needn’t see! There clearly is a fine line between fashion savvy and indecent when it comes to chiffon fabric but by ensuring you have heavy embellishment and a mix of textures such as velvet and lace to detract the eye, then you should be on the road to recovery.

Gold Pearl Embellished T-Shirt, £65. Miss Selfridge

Petites Bead Embellished Maxi Dress, £55. Miss Selfridge

21st CENTURY GOTH. Using a gothic palet te with vampish textures will see you through the trend.

Black Lace Maxi Skirt, £42. Miss Selfridge

Sheer Maxi Dress, £65. Wallis

Burgundy Jacket, £35. BHS

Black Velvet Baroque Knicker Shorts, £40. River Island

Body, £75. Prey of London

The easiest and most versatile way to add chiffon and a touch of sheer to your wardrobe is via the failsafe blouse. They’re elegant, flattering and so simple for dressing up or down, meaning the blouse is easily hailed as the new LBD of the wardrobe. ‘LBD who’, I hear you say! Snap up the blouse for your work attire (with a plain vest top if too revealing), jazz up for an evening out by layering necklaces and snapping up a clutch, or work for the daytime with chunky knits and brogues. Trust us when we say this little beauty will be the hardest working item in your closet.

Bejewelled Cross Necklace, £18.50. Diva at Miss Selfridge

Drape Chocker Necklace, £45. Freedom at Topshop


Spike Section Aliceband, £12.50. Freedom at Topshop

Studded Feather Cape, £48. Miss Selfridge

Antique Look Stone Drops, £12.50. Freedom at Topshop

Shoe, £65. River Island


Blouse, £14.99. H&M

Embroidered Cream Blouse, £38. Topshop

Studded Blouse, £19.99.

Don’t skimp on accessories. Just because this look is all out glamorous doesn’t mean you have to hold back the accessories. If you can vamp it up a little more then why become reserved? Girls this is your opportunity…take it!

January/February 2013


Discover lingerie that is elegant and chic

Luxurious, sensual or practical, which will you choose? Saffron Lingerie offer expert fitting and style advice and stock a vast array of lingerie as well as La Perla fragrance, nightwear and all year round swimwear. Our lingerie is supplied by some of the finest manufacturers, including:

Prima Donna, Marie Jo, Lejaby, Chantelle, Fantasie, Freya and Passionata Do YOU know your bra size? 46 Mill Street, Stafford, ST16 2AJ Tel: 01785 225968

Wrench Fine Jewellery are Rolex accredited watchmakers. Bring in your Rolex for servicing and it will receive a full mechanical overhaul, a case and bracelet refurbishment, it will be re-cased and water pressure tested. Once finished it will be tested for seven days before being returned to you like new. This complete service normally takes under four weeks to complete.

Call us for more information on 01782 213231

17 Percy Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. ST1 1NA


BEST FOOT FORWARD Move over platforms, the stiletto is back in town! The new sheriff of footwear has arrived and just in time for Valentine’s too with their sexy characteristics and charm. Woo your man in the ultimate of footwear and please the eye with their leg shaping qualities. Stripped back glamour is slowly making its way back into our lives, after being overdosed with the Essex look of platforms, fake-tan and hair extensions, so it’s now time to tone it down girls…starting with the sexiest of footwear.

TIP: Don’t forget your Party Feet girls; the cushion of a platform has disappeared.


Starry High Court, £45. Miss Selfridge


Sheriff Heels, £70. Office


Pointed Court, £10. Primark

Gasoline Glitter Flame Heels, £55. Topshop

Apron Front Shiny Tassel Shoe, £40.

Metal Heel Courts, £65. Next

Starry Night Red Point Court, £45. Miss Selfridge

Printed Metal Heels, £50. River Island

Grey All Over Print Boots, £48. Dorothy Perkins

Metal Heel Court, £25. BHS


Snake Skin Ankle Boot, £45. BHS

Beverley Red Pointed Boot, £35. Miss Selfridge

Faith Heyman, £45. Debenhams

Danielle Black Courts, £110. Sam Edelman

January/February 2013





Main stockists of: Condici, Ian Stuart, John Charles, Linea Raffaelli – to name but a few. Sizes 8 to 22 Over 2,000 stunning outfits for mums and guests. Visit our website: or email: 9-11 Market Place, Market Bosworth, CV13 0LF Tel: 01455 290234


Diesel Only The Brave Tattoo for Men. “A demonstration of victory, strength and conviction in a cocktail of woody and aromatic notes, including Granny Smith apple, Bourbon pepper and tobacco. This special edition fragrance includes illustrations from the infamous tattoo artist Mister Cartoon.”

ABOUT ESCENTUAL… is one of the UK's leading premium beauty e-tailers, offering exclusive discounts on over 7,000 beauty, haircare and fragrance products. Founded in 2000, and specialising in a quirky mix of niche and mainstream luxuries for both men and women, a visit to Escentual is to experience beauty shopping at its most spectacular. There’s premium makeup, skincare and fragrance from brands including Dior, Clarins, Acqua di Parma, Yves Saint Laurent, Bvlgari and Guerlain; niche brands including Etat Libre d’Orange, CB I Hate Perfume, Serge Lutens, Annick Goutal and Amouage; contemporary beauty from Too Faced, Stila, Daniel Sander and bareMinerals; designer fragrance from Comme Des Garcons, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Givenchy; expert skincare from Vichy, La Roche-Posay, Lab Series, Avène and L’Occitane; and cult classics from Houbigant, Caron, Mason Pearson, Lalique and Oscar De La Renta. Escentual is a treasure trove for fans of beauty and grooming!


Name: ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. Tel No: ………………………………………………………………………………………………. Email Address: ………………………………………………………………………………….. Home Address: …………………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………


You could be in with a chance of winning Diesel Fuel For Life, 75ml and Diesel Only The Brave, 75ml from by simply filling in the short questionnaire. We would like to take just 5 minutes of your time as we want to hear what you think of our magazine - good or bad! Therefore we thought what a better way to thank you for your valid opinions and efforts than winning this fantastic prize?

Or if you’re by a computer now, you can log onto our website, navigate to the competitions page and fill out the form online.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Age Range (PLEASE CIRCLE): 18-25 25-35 35-50 50+ What attracted you to pick up and buy Staffordshire Living magazine? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… What is your favourite feature within the magazine? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… What would you like to see more of in Staffordshire Living magazine? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… How would you rate Staffordshire Living magazine from 1-10? (10 being positive) …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… How could we improve? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………



All you have to do is fill in the questions below (with complete honesty may we add), fill in your details, cut it out, pop it in an envelope and post it to the Living offices. Simple.

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Diesel Fuel For Life for Women. “Diesel Fuel for Life is a romantic elixir that should be used with caution - it has potent seductive powers! Notes of pink pepper, blackcurrant, jasmine and musk are blended together to create an inimitable juice that inspires passion.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Send your completed form to PERFUME COMPETITION, Staffordshire Living, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. ST4 8GB. Alternatively, email or fill out the form on our website at Terms & Conditions: The prize is as stated and no cash alternative can be given. The winner will be notified by phone, post or email. The editor’s decision is final. Closing date: 22nd February

As well as offering a unique and diverse catalogue of products, Escentual endeavours to provide expert advice for their customers with the Beauty Buzz, ( a blog that provides fresh content every day including hints and tips, new launches, useful reviews and swatches, plus special guest bloggers. They also have a wealth of industry knowledge, with perfume experts and beauty therapists (fully trained by Clarins and Dior) on hand to answer our customers' cosmetics and skincare concerns. It’s a one-stop-shop for all of your shopping queries, and a go-to website for everyday luxuries. With free gift wrap available, a UK-based customer services team, and over 12 years experience in online beauty sales, Escentual truly is a dependable online beauty destination for those in the know.

Esce ntual P R E M I E R



2013.From time to time the company here may contact you with news and information. If you’d prefer not to receive further communication please tick box



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“I love breaking the conventions of clothes, so given this overly casual coat to style meant I would only be going one way – glam! I have a penchant for feeling overdressed sometimes, and my solution always comes down to one item to bring it back down to earth. This time it’s this coat. I can’t tell you how much I love these trousers, and the tops, and those boots…oh I’m in military heaven with its little gold detailing.”

Bag, £15. F&F at Tesco

Listen up! Military styling is HUGE this winter, and if you haven’t already heard then clearly you’ve been living in your own little bubble as it’s everywhere. A winter fail-safe option, this time we’re seeing a mix of polished Governor styling vs. World War I army cadet gear. It’s either one or the other and with this jacket from we’re clearly hailing the latter with its rough almost sheepskin collar and on trend contrast sleeves.

Mesh Top, £29.99. H&M

Military Boots, £150. River Island Bralet, £22.99.

Leatherette Trousers, £20.99.

JEMMA “I will be hitting the shops on a Saturday afternoon in this military/sports luxe combo. On the right side of casual this urban styling appeals to the teenager in me whilst the heeled hi-tops discreetly add a few allimportant inches to my short legs without being OTT for daytime. I love these high-waisted shorts so I will without doubt be tucking in this vest to show them off.” Panelled Stripe Tight, £8. Accessorize.

Khaki Tote Bag, £39.99. Zara. Ombre Multi Row Necklace, £16.50. Freedom at Topshop.

How to style: Contrast Sleeve Coat, £49.99. Silk Vest, £28. Miss Selfridge. Studded Denim Shorts, £22.99.


Wedge Trainers, £45. River Island.


BAROQUE Losing the bright colours of summer means we have to be creative in the winter months with our choices of fabric and print to keep an interest. Nothing hails this more than baroque, thank the lord it has returned for another year! Decadent with connotations of wealth, this print can turn any outfit into pure luxury without spending a fortune. And for that very reason we’re sold.



“On a come down after Christmas, I’m taking party pieces and reworking for a more casual style. Baroque prints are oh so decadent and deserve to be seen all year round in my eyes – which means in the day too! Add opaque’s, chunky cardigans and casual boots for ultimate versatility, who says fashion has to be so rigid?” Mineral Triangle Ring, £8.50. Freedom at Topshop

“I love getting glam at the weekend so this baroque skirt would work perfectly with some glitzy heels and plenty of statement jewellery for my girl’s night out. No girl should be without a touch of gold in her wardrobe and using my trusty white blouse I’m glamming it up with sparkly, yet quirky accessories. My rock goddess routes are clearly being released in this outfit…”

Cardigan, £49.99. H&M

Skull and cross earrings, £7.50. Freedom at Topshop.

Watch, £28. River Island Bow with drape Chain, £12.50. Topshop. Black Beaded Clutch Bag, £35. Miss Selfridge. Gold Studded Ankle Boot, £65. Miss Selfridge

How to style: Jacquered Mini Skirt, £39. Zara

White Silk Blouse, £48. Topshop.

Bag, £20. ASOS

Gold Sparkle Platforms, £70. Topshop.

WINTER FLORALS Floral garments tend to lend themselves to the summer; bright and heavily patterned they mirror the summer vibe beautifully – so everyone was a little taken aback when a rising trend of winter florals made its debut. Dolce & Gabbana hail the trend with gothic like attitude whilst the highstreet lends to a more autumnal tone.



“The colours in this top reminded me of strolling through the park in Autumn kicking fallen leaves. So romanticising on this led me to an outfit perfect for Sunday styling – emphasing the kicking of the leaves in this jersey maxi whilst havening a certain charm thanks to snuggling in this adorable Zara gilet. Plus as you can tell, I’m having a burgundy moment. ”

“Winter is the perfect time for layering so I will be transforming this look with a pinafore dress and adding cute polished touches like this fab bowler hat! The pop of colour in the chosen top will brighten up my dark outfit and yes, I’m throwing the rule book out the window by teaming brown with black.” Brown Wooden Bracelets, £14. Diva at Miss Selfridge.

Red Stud Leather Gloves, £30. River Island

Maxi Skirt, £9.99. Pocket Pinafore Dress, £13. Primark.

Mongolian Goat Fur Vest, £149. Zara

Brown Bag, £42. Miss Selfridge.

Clutch Bag, £34. Topshop

How to style: Floral t-shirt, £45. Topshop

Felt Mini Boater, £19. Very. Lafty Shoe, £75. Bertie

Closed Toe Shoe Boots, £48. Dorothy Perkins.

January/February 2013



CATCH HER EYE If you’re a man with a certain ‘type’ then you need to read on…


THE WOMAN: ROCK CHIC HER JOB: Tattoo artist, DJ, Barmaid, Music Shop Assistant

HER JOB: Primary School Teacher, Librarian, Nurse, Hairdresser

WHERE TO FIND HER: In the local pub or music venue watching a live band, scrawling through an independent music store’s shelves.

WHERE TO FIND HER: Out shopping with her mum or friends, buying fruit and veg from the market, watching the latest chick-flick at the cinema or on a coffee break.

CHARACTERISTICS: She’s slightly wild with a spontaneous attitude. She likes to doss around watching old cinematic films, lives for the weekend and loves a good lie-in.

CHARACTERISTICS: Easy going with a large circle of friends, loves to cook and has strong family routes. Grounded and loyal, she loves girly nights in.

WHAT TO WEAR: Embrace your inner rock star and excel in band tees, skinny jeans and a relaxed nonchalant vibe. A touch of leather never goes amiss but the modern rocker has a certain MOD vibe with a mix of textures and a love of denim shirts.

WHAT TO WEAR: This isn’t about becoming a nobody, but at the same time it’s not particularly about standing out neither. You want to blend in, but stand out in one person’s eyes with an outfit that reflects a personality of humbleness and commitment. Earthy tones pledge this perfectly.

Jeff Banks 24:7 Straight Fit Stretch Jeans, £24.99. Matalan

Leather Gloves, £19.50. Marks and Spencer

Boxfresh Jacket, £80. Jacamo Denim Shirt with cord collar, £32.



Colour Block Bobble Hat, £12. Burton

Red Herring Trousers, £35. Debenhams

Shirt, £10. Primark

NME Keith Richards T-Shirt, £9.99. Patton Officer Cap, £145. G-Star Raw


Red Herring Shoes, £40. Debenhams




HER JOB: Journalist, Designer, PR

HER JOB: Personal Trainer, Lifeguard, Sports Instructor

WHERE TO FIND HER: Drinking cocktails in the latest ‘hot spots’ of the city, and probably on her phone tweeting about it.

WHERE TO FIND HER: In the gym, at the local smoothie bar, generally being out and about cycling, running or strolling through the park.

CHARACTERISTICS: Outgoing, self-motivated, positive and full of life. Obviously very creative, she needs to surround herself with plenty of colour and people.

CHARACTERISTICS: She’s clearly a sporty girl, with a love of the outdoors and travelling around the globe. Probably a morning person and adrenalin junkie.

WHAT TO WEAR: You need to turn up the heat up on the fashion stakes. She needs to notice you out of the corner of her eye, oozing effortless style with the feel of minimum effort. Sharp tailoring never fails, and a quirky print will show you’re ballsy. Slick back the hair, the new word in your vocabulary is ‘groomed’.

WHAT TO WEAR: Mirror her personality with an urban/sporty vibe as it’s time to get back to the gym and pump the iron to really impress. Hoodies and sweaters are the first thing that come into mind, so bring them bang up-to-date with fun colours and comical twists to appeal to her sense of humour.

Wesc Banjar Headphones, £50.


Silk Pocket Square, £25. Austin Reed

Cord Blazer, £125. Crew Clothing

Obey Jumper, £70. Urban Outfitters

Grey Cord Bow Tie, £7. Burton

Grey Suit Trousers, £26. Dunnes

Superdry Alumni Airline Bag, £40. Bank

Shirt, £10. Primark

Tyska Hi Shine Taupe Shoe, £115. Hudson

Nylon Hi-Top, £34.99. Blue Inc Lucchin Trousers, £79. Ted Baker.

January/February 2013


FASHION Emerald Isle Green Corset, £55. Coqu



Maison Close bra, £69. Brief, £54.90.

“Satins in jewelled colours champion the burlesque look”

Rumeur Roccoco Red Half-Cup Bra, £52. Thong, £27. Huit Lingerie.

Entice Bra, £29. Brief, £14.50. Cury Kate.

Pink Bra £19.50. Brief, £7.50. Marks and Spencer.

Stella Crystal Eyemask, £12.

Zara Crystal Nipple Tassels, £12.

Ooh La La

Come on girls. It’s time to whip out those stockings, vamp up your hair and turn up the sex appeal….you know you can do it! Don’t we all just love those pressured situations where a night of passion should come naturally; in our eyes we prefer the unplanned versions but when Valentine’s Day is fast approaching we need to be prepared. And how can this be achieved with minimal effort? By channelling Dita Von Teese of course. Burlesque oozes sex appeal, just see for yourself… Coquet te

Hat, £19.50. Collette Dinnigan Push Bra, £29.50. Collette Dinnigam Shaping Knicker, £19.50. Marks and Spencer

Brooke Basque, £40.

Fleur of England Chemise, £165.

Fleur of England Bra, £90.50. Suspender, £59.50. Brief, £59.90.


Dita Von Teese 20ml, £18. Boots

Arruro Shoe, £85. Dune

weddings Living love


antic English Rose style for your ALSO INSIDE...… It’s time to swoon over a deeply rom ard without appearing OTT. Match wedding dress. Understated glamour is the way forw pletely on your way to ensuring your that up with our bridal make-up tips and you’ ll be com natural beauty shines through.

The most ted of sophistica ses dres wedding 34 & 35 s e g a p n o l ge Brida e: Herita Main Im



Linea Raffaelli

Heritage Bridal

Ian Stuart

Heritage Bridal

AS DELICATE AS A ROSE Since the Essex look may well and truly be over, there seems to be a rise in trend to the more subtle English Rose styling which takes inspiration from natural beauty and an Olde English style. Pale skin is rejoiced and styling looks more towards a gentler sweet and innocent take. Whereas the Essex look has hailed the tantastic look where dresses are quite in your face and there is a general tendency to over-style, us Brits have gone back to basics and stripped back to a classic appearance. And we must admit we’re in. Where else to really embrace the trend and showcase your sheer beauty? On your wedding day ladies. The 2013 collections are up for discussion, and this year they really haven’t failed us when it comes to celebrating sheer femininity.


Heritage Bridal

WEDDINGS Benjamin Roberts

Charlotte Balbier

TOP TIP: You have the dress sorted, the reception is all booked and organised and you even have your suitcase packed for the honeymoon. But what the hell do you do with your hair? Nightmare. Here at Living, we’re drooling over the chignon this season. Understated Hollywood chic personified.

Augusta Jones

English Rose Collection, Amanda Wyatt

Charlotte Balbier

TOP TIP: It’s time to embrace your beautiful skin and feel completely at home with it. And once you do, it’s also time to show the world. Just because wedding dresses are long, tending on the side of bulky and accessorized with a range of veils, jewellery and anything else we can pile on doesn’t mean you are completely covered up. And you shouldn’t be. Leave your skin natural and make-up to a neutral style with a simple rosy cheek to let your true English Rose beauty shine through. Benjamin Roberts

GET THE LOOK When we talk in terms of wedding dresses then we’re surely hailing a touch of vintage styling here? Cut and shape become rather simple, where there is a definite attention to detail, subtle but sweet. In terms of detail, then lace is hailing champion with its vintage appeal and delicate touch. Lace has been on trend now for a handful of years and doesn’t seem to be venturing anywhere fast, especially when it comes to bridalwear. Keep the lace design relatively simple and understated, something guests will appreciate the beauty of upon second glance – in essence giving them another reason to look more closely. For your cut, steer clear of any Disney Princess style dresses with their huge meringue skirts and tight bodices. Everyone’s eyes will already be on you anyhow, so there is no need to go for attentiongrabbing in all the wrong ways. Showing off your figure is key, but there is a definite difference between showing off and flaunting! Choose close fit shapes that accentuate curves and flare at the bottom to really celebrate your womanly figure. Yet, if this is not appealing then empire lines could be your new best friend with their beautiful shaping around the bust area and flowing bottom halves (which will also hide a multitude of sins).

Augusta Jones

LIVING LOVES: Gentle pastel pinks and light greens in any sort of form will provide a calming touch with the connotations of being kind, soothing, and peaceful. By all means we’re not talking of your dress here; we don’t want you looking like a blamange in a pastel pink dress. We’re talking accessories and decorations such as your bouquet and flowers, hair detailing and table decorations. English Rose styling can go that step further.

January/February 2013 •


Golden Couturé Brides of Nantwich Road


& Bridal


We have recently re-located to Crewe and are next to John Pass Jewellers on Nantwich Road. Visit our exclusive and elegant showrooms where a warm welcome and expert advice awaits every bride to be. Our collection of designer gowns guarantees to offer you everything your heart desires and to make your special day, a perfect day. In addition, a full bridal make-up and hairdressing service is available for the Bridal Party, at home,on the day.

Stocking Leading Designers: Diane Harbridge Benjamin Roberts Kathy Ireland

Bridesmaids Twobirds Mark Lesley Diane Harbridge

Mother of the Bride & Groom Linea Raffaelli Pifer & Mayka

Swan Brides Boutique, 12B West Street, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 1JR TEL

Tel: 01260 272250

01270 585609

173-175 Nantwich Road

(Next to John Pass Jewellers)

Amy Louise

BRIDAL GOWNS OF NANTWICH We would love to be part of the wonderful experience of helping you choose your wedding gown. After our opening in the year 2000 and being nominated for awards from the British Bridal Association we have established ourselves as one of the premier bridal wear stores in the North West. Our boutique’s unique appeal has struck a cord with many of its visitors, Bringing in brides from all around the UK!

Pronovias Justin Alexander Sophia Tolli Amanda Wyatt Demetrios Blue by Enzoani Kelsey Rose

Showcasing some of the industry’s most sought-after designers such as:Ian Stuart Jenny Packham Lusan Mandongus Annasul Y Ritva Westenius David Fielden To book your appointment please contact us on 01270 620594 You can now visit us on Facebook! 12 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5RJ

New Stockist of Pronovias 01538 755550 -

7 Cross Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire, ST10 1NP


Something old vs something new… When it comes to bridal accessories, there seems to be two trends that are reigning high for the 2013 bride – these being Art Deco and Floral. At opposite ends on the chart one relies heavily on decoration, whilst the other relies on nature for inspiration.

The Great Gatsby

With flowers in her hair

This year sees the release of The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann, and naturally we see a huge Art Deco trend following in its footsteps. Blockbusters of the big screen are quite the trend setters and this year we’re pleased to see one hell of a glamorous affair. Deck yourselves in silvers and geometric cut crystals to embrace the Art Deco era.

If your wedding is in the height of summer then surely what better way to compliment your surroundings than with a range of floral accessories to only accentuate the beauty? Choose pink hues with gold to compliment your summer glow, whilst garlands will really bring out your hippy side. Be at one with nature as it were!

Rosa Headpiece, £75. Helen Talbott

Greta headband, £95. Debbie Carlisle

Crystal Drop Line Necklace, £19.99. Zara

Butterfly Brooch, £6. Accessorize

Carved Rose and Pearl Studs, £6. Accessorize

Garland of Eden Tiara, £98. Glitzy Secrets Shoes, £45. Dorothy Perkins

Blush Box Clutch, £95. Dune

Ring, £16.95. Amelia Rose Corsage, £7. Accessorize

Deco Extravagance Tiara, £88. Glitzy Secrets

Micro Studded Nude Heels, £69.99. Zara Vintage Sparkle Hair Comb, £34. Glitzy Secrets

Silver Pearl Embellished Clutch, £75. Topshop Alice Band, £7. Accessorize

Antique Look Drop Earrings, £12.50. Freedom at Topshop

Beaded Box Clutch, £49.99. Zara Eva Clutch Ivory Lace, £52.99. Fleur Hair Comb, £47.99.

Darcy Deco Slide, £8. Accessorize

The Small Glastonbury Headband, £155.

January/February 2013 •



THE MASK With so much planning in and around your wedding, your makeup can sometimes see itself as the last thing on the long, OK extremely long list of things to organise. Surely though, it is equally as important as the rest of the items on your list and should be budged up the line we reckon, as get it wrong and you will be so disappointed. Makeup is tricky at the best of times, nevermind on the stress of your ‘big day’ and ensuring it is perfect. We’ve all tried and failed with products for most of our lives, and there isn’t one person reading this that hasn’t had any sort of beauty disaster they’re completely ashamed of. So logic would tell you, that it’s not best to be trialling any new product or style for your wedding day? Wrong! Ever heard of the saying trial and error? Practice makes perfect? Stay true to them. There is absolutely no harm in having a beauty blunder in preparation for your wedding day, just so as long it is not actually on your wedding day! Obviously. All your preparation needs to be done beforehand, whether that is through consultations with your make-up artist/beautician or by testing products yourself and including these in your daily regime. Where there are no rules on the amount you practice, there are rules when it comes to the amount of actual makeup you’re applying to your face. Heavy application can result in unflattering photos, blotchy skin and a bigger area for errors – so minimal make-up surely appeals? A natural look doesn’t mean no makeup at all, there is a difference. It just means carefully chosen products to ensure your beauty is enhanced rather than masked.

Bobbi Brown “Photography can wash the skin out, so you’ll have to apply a little more blush than usual for the camera to pick it up effectively. The Daniel Sandler Waterproof Blush, £14.50, is the ideal wedding day blush waterproof, ultra long-lasting and very pigmented, it’s like it was made to be photographed!” Emma Leslie the Beauty Editor of

Our favourite products at the moment are those focussing on minerals and ease of coverage such as the products from popular brand Bare Minerals. Their powder foundations sweep across the skin to match your skin tone and provide a finish that is blended well, has a matte effect without looking bland (which can be easily built upon with blusher and bronzer), whilst also providing the best coverage with the best long wear from any powder foundation we have used. Using waterproof mascara is pretty much a given, and probably the only product you are certain in using. If you are as emotional as we are on any wedding day, just begin to imagine what you are going to be like on your own – hazard alert! The last thing you’ll need is black smudges all down your expensive wedding dress thanks to dirty hands, nevermind the panda eyes you’ll create. For pure staying power we’re loving Dior’s DiorShow Waterproof Mascara (£21.90,, the luxury label provides the designer appeal whilst creating elongated ‘fluffy’ lashes.

Blush, £18. Bobbi Brown

Daniel Sandler Waterproof Blush, £14.50.

Bobbi Brown has been our go-to brand for quite some time now; their products tend to have lasting results that continue to look like first application throughout the day. Bobbi Brown herself tells us what we should be using on the big day: “Get a flush with two shades of blush; a neutral shade that looks like the colour of cheeks when you pinch them, and a brighter ‘pop’ shade. Apply the naturallooking shade on the apple of the cheeks then blend towards the hairline. Next, dust the pop shade on the apples of cheeks”.

Clarins Skin Illusion Radiance Foundation, £19.20.

Dior’s DiorShow Waterproof Mascara,£21.90.

JASON’s C-Effects C-Lite Super C-Tone Balancer, £17.49.

“Using a dewy highlighter on the cheek and brow bones catches the sunlight beautifully in the outdoor wedding photos; enhancing the glow that every bride has on their wedding day!” Sophie Rance, Make-Up by Soph @MakeupBySoph

January/February 2013 •


YOUR PERFECT WEDDING AT ARLEY Elizabethan style venue located in cheshire with enormous character and charm 18 acres of award-winning gardens available for weddings dedicated team to help achieve your dream wedding any time of the year

Wedding Fayre at Wergs Golf Club Sunday 3 March 2013 11am – 3pm A wide range of exhibitors will be here, from photographers and florists to cake creators. For more information please call 07849 218475 or email

Free Entry Wergs Golf Club, Keepers Lane, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 8UA

01902 742225

12_0325 Olivier Bonneau

i do...

take this magnificent hall to be our perfect venue


01283 711 333 | Dunstall Hall, Dunstall, Nr Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, DE13 8BE

Elegant accommodation within the precincts of a historic country house


Your Wedding Day


Tel: 01283 711500

Barton Under Needwood, Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire DE13 8DZ

01743 290000

The Wroxeter Hotel Historic House Weddings is a brand new concept from The Wroxeter Hotel’s trusted Wedding Team. Two of the county’s least known stately homes have teamed up with The Wroxeter and are now offering unique wedding celebrations with all the professionalism and expertise of a full time venue in the stunning backdrops of these magnificent private homes. “The idea is to borrow these homes for the day. They are stately homes but still lived in by families and not normally open to the public,” said director Hannah Hall, who runs The Wroxeter Hotel, between Shrewsbury and Telford. Hannah said that she found that many exclusive country homes were available for hire but couples would have to then organise the whole event themselves. “With Historic House Weddings everything is covered and, as importantly, included in the price.” Leighton Hall near Ironbridge, Mawley Hall near Cleobury Mortimer and of course The Wroxeter Hotel near Shrewsbury all offer very different but equally special opportunities for the big day! Leighton Hall offers the fine interior and character you would expect from an historic country house as well as breathtaking views, extensive gardens and a delightful parish church within the grounds. At Mawley Hall, a fine grade one-listed Georgian home, wedding couples can enjoy the finest Baroque interior in England as well as extensive views across South Shropshire. The Wroxeter Hotel, within the ramparts of Viriconium, the historic Roman site at Wroxeter, is

a full time wedding venue with a choice of spacious function suites, fabulous gardens and a reputation for first class service. With a range of packages to choose from and discounts for weekdays and Sunday weddings, The Wroxeter offers something for most budgets. “For the Team at Historic House Weddings there really is no such thing as a standard wedding” said Hannah. “Everything is tailored specially for each bride and groom. Tried and tested the Team has vast experience and a proven track record of realising a vision for all wedding couples – whatever that vision may be!”



Celebrate at The Belfry... At Hawkstone Park Hotel you can make your special day the material of dreams. Nestling amongst 400 acres of beautiful natural landscape alongside the famous ‘follies’ we work hard to make sure you are guaranteed a day that you will treasure forever.


With 66 bedrooms and the ability to cater for up to 140 guests we are sure we can meet all your needs.

To see the magic for yourself call our Wedding Co-ordinator on 01948 841768 or email

Our event planning experience and expertise allow us to host a variety of events and occasions at this unique party venue.

The Park House Hotel Shifnal

These include engagements, wedding anniversaries, birthday parties, weddings and receptions, baby showers, funeral receptions, children’s parties and more!

Prices to suit all occasions.

3 individual Suites which can cater from 20 to 200 Guests Exclusive Use Available Licensed for Civil Ceremonies and Partnerships 54 Executive Bedrooms


Includes Drinks Package and 3 course meal for 40 guests Evening Buffet for 80 and DJ

Call Special Events on

0300 500 0405 to find out more

Wedding Fayre Sunday 17th February 2013 11am - 4pm - Free Entry Wedding Open Day Every Sunday between 12.00pm and 4.00pm For more information call our dedicated team Telephone 01952 460128 - Park House Hotel, Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 9BA –



If you are an English Rose at heart and a lover of all things vintage then a conventional honeymoon of sunning in the Maldives or cruising your way around the Caribbean may not exactly appeal. Instead you’ll be after something a little more, well let’s say creative and inventive. You clearly like to stand out from the crowd in both personal style and taste – so let us take you on a little journey into the rising trend of the retro honeymoon… for the vintage vixens amongst you.

TRAILER TRASH You don’t have to go as far as America for a little American Retro in the form of Airstreams and Trailer Parks…

£ HAPPY DAYS RETRO VACATIONS, DORSET Set in the beautiful East Dorset countryside on the peaceful Meadow View Campsite in Horton near Wimborne, just a short distance from the New Forest, various sandy beaches and Jurassic coastline - their 4 vintage Airstream caravans; ‘Betsy, Dee Dee, Peggy and new gal - Gloria’ form the ultimate ‘chrome from home’. If relaxation is more your style, why not indulge in one of Bournemouth’s many spas, or simply relax in your Airstream around the tranquil lake. For more adult-centred entertainment there’s Drusilla’s Inn, a traditional thatched Dorset pub on-hand less than a mile away. Or, hop in the car to Salisbury with its historic Cathedral, near-by Corfe Castle, or enjoy a boat trip to Brownsea Island from Poole Quay and take in the harbour with views of the Sandbanks peninsula. After a full day visiting some of Dorset’s delights, why not hire one of the mobile firepits and relax around your airstream - toasting marshmallows with a glass of wine or local cider as the sun goes down. HOW TO BOOK: To hire one of the airstreamers prices start from £460 for 7 nights. E: T: 01202 567606 or 07824 999115 or visit

£££ GRAND DADDY HOTEL AIRSTREAM PENTHOUSE TRAILERS, CAPE TOWN The Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa is the world’s first hotel to boast a penthouse suite of seven authentic vintage Airstream trailers; ‘The Airstream Penthouse Park’, resulting in a luxury accommodation experience with a novel spin. Each of the Grand Daddy’s Airstream Penthouse Trailers is cleverly kitted out, luxurious and comfortable being handed over to an artist or designer in order to reinvent them as a collection of creative and conceptual moving rooms. Our favourites are: Pleasantville - The trailer is a utopian, 1950s-style heaven, incorporating a wide variety of period-piece finishes in mint green and cherry red, decorative wall ducks, and blue melamine. Goldilocks and the Three Bears - A continuation of the fairy-tale (there are three of everything) with a naughty subliminal theme. Dorothy - Designer Sarah Pratt, a fine artist and lecturer at Michaelis School of Fine Art, is responsible for the trendy Dorothy Airstream with a duck egg-blue foundation colour and covered every inch with white polka dots.

££ AIRSTREAM EUROPE, SOUTHERN FRANCE This unusual Airstream Retro Trailer Park is set in the foothills of the Pyrénées near Mirepoix. Available on a self-catering basis, there’s a choice of 10 authentic Airstreams from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, each furnished in period style and nested in landscaped gardens. The park offers a general store for basics and also organic products, where visitors can also hire bicycles. For a nice touch why not ask for fresh bread and croissants to be delivered direct to your door? For those looking to relax, the park has a fantastic relaxtion area ‘Sanita Per Aquam’, where you’ll find an original Canadian red cedar wood hot tub accompanied by an authentic Mongolian Yurt with massage studio. Evenings are perfect for stargazing in the hot tub, whilst in the daytime relax in front of the breath-taking views of the Pyrenees. When it comes to evening entertainment head over to the Apollo Lounge bar and restaurant, complete with a resident retro DJ! HOW TO BOOK: To hire one of the Airstreamers prices start from €540 for 7 nights dependent on the size of the trailer with some of the packages including spa entry and breakfast. Not including transport. E:, t: +33 (0)561 68 11 99 or visit


HOW TO BOOK: 7 nights in an Airstream during May – August 2013 including direct flights with BA and transfers would be from £1,350 per adult sharing (depending on choice of departure date and Airstream type). For further information contact Bushbaby Travel on 0845 124 4455 or email info@


LIVING LOVES Despite everywhere we have mentioned being unique and individual. ThIS destination really standS out as something completely different with bucket loads of retro styling…

THE SCOUT HALL, ISLE OF WIGHT The former 'Chale Scout Hall' is situated on Church Place, just outside the village of Chale on the South coast of the island. Being in an area of outstanding natural beauty the Scout Hall has stunning coastal views and in the loop for some great coastal walking... or just a walk to the pub! Externally the building has been re-clad and repainted using original materials and paint colors. Internally much of the original interior remains untouched. The space has been designed in an upside down fashion to make the most of the views. Upstairs there is a living space, dining area and a small galley 'ships kitchen' set into the eaves. Outside there is a private car park, a large lawned area and places to sit and BBQ. The 'Elvis' bedroom also has a private patio seating area. 4 bedrooms, flatscreen TV with Freeview, CD player with auxiliary for ipod, WiFi internet access, central heating, all linen, towels and fuel provided.


HOW TO BOOK: To hire the Scout Hall for a 7 night stay (Saturday-Saturday), prices range from £780 - £1800 dependant on the time of year. To check availability e:


The Beer Moth is a wonderfully unique truck conversion, kitted out with all the home comforts you could want while still being the most unusual place you will probably ever have stayed. Once a 1956 Conmer Q4, the truck is now a cosy den in the heart of the Cairngorms. The truck is kitted out in 1950s style with a twist. At the back there is a wood fired Rayburn resting on a hearth made from a snooker table slate, it has an enamelled sink and a table for two and at the front an over the top 4ft Victorian double bed. HOW TO BOOK: From £70 per night / minimum 2 night stay. Visit Highlands/The-Beer-Moth.aspx

HEAD TO EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE: CORNWALL Luxurious beach houses, cosy authentic cottages, glamorous yurts, beautiful boutique B&Bs or the freedom of the open roads in your very own retro VM camper… Nobody knows Cornwall better than Cornish Secrets, and they have hand-picked a selection of Cornwall’s best kept secrets to help holidaymakers select their ideal vacation destination. When it comes to retro inspired destinations then take a look at these offerings: VM GLAMPER CAMPERS There is nothing quite like waking up to the sea glistening through your window and a good cooked breakfast on the barbeque before a dip in the ocean. Then it's time to hit the open road, turn a few heads and raise a few smiles along the way. What better way than to travel in one of the beautiful VW camper vans and see a different view of the enchanting Cornish coast from your window every morning. The vans are ideal for a lazy week or two in the Cornish sunshine. Prices from £450 - £600 per week. POSH PITCHES Do you love Cornwall, love camping, but hate the thought of packing up the car and suffering a cramped journey to the South-West? Why not let Cornish Secrets take some of the stress out of your camping holiday and arrive at your destination to find a beautiful bell tent already pitched and waiting for you? Offering a comprehensive camping package, complete with canvas bell tent, erected at a site of your choice, furnished in true glamping style, fully equipped so that all you would need to pack are clothing and towels. Prices range from £220 to £765. BEACH HUT AT ST IVES Being only two minutes from the beach and complete with private parking this beach hut will be sure to please with its light and comfortable open-plan living space. In the lounge area you will find a large sofa for chilling out, lots of books and board games meaning you will never be short of things to do, whatever the weather. Outside the kitchen you will find a small patio area perfect for barbecues and outdoor dining which catches the sun most of the day. Prices from £460 low season to £780 for high season.

To discover the secrets of real Cornwall and become inspired by their superb selection visit

January/February 2013 •


Discover Europe Tour the Cornish coast Explore the Scottish Highlands

Honeymoons and Mini-moons to remember

The Madeley Centre The Madeley Centre is a Wedding venue with a difference, set in the quiet rural village of Madeley near Crewe. Celebrate the most memorable day of your life in a modern, eco-friendly community building. We have a wonderful hall that will seat up to 110 people and a lovely courtyard area where you can relax and enjoy a glass of champagne.

with Chase Camper Van Hire

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The recently landscaped grounds provide a beautiful backdrop for your Wedding photos, with the sensory garden adding a touch of perfumed magic to the day. We have a choice of wedding packages available from our excellent caterers Just Jane, who have over 25 years’ experience and expertise in providing you with the perfect service and quality food that they are renowned for. Tel no 01782 751808 Website - Email - or


T: 01543 577334 M: 07827 959784

Unit 40 Rumer Hill, Cannock, WS11 0ET



The Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion Football Club, is a fantastic purpose built facility, which offers spacious, modern and unique surroundings for your special day. The Stadium and their team pride themselves in being able to provide a complete package for by offering a selection of rooms to suit small or large weddings including your civil ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception.

T: 01283 565938 E:


Fly straight into your wedding Make more than one grand gesture on your wedding day by arriving and departing in a luxury helicopter. Our helicopter fleet can add that extra wow factor to the ceremony or reception. A lavish and stylish alternative to arriving by car.

A Staffordshire based, family run business with the desire to create wow factor venues for weddings, private parties, corporate events…in fact any occasion where the venue has a key part to play. We specialise in providing awesome venues combined with authenticity in the form of luxury marquees with a traditional peg and pole structure..

Visit our website to see what our customers are saying Call 01782 504548/07809 118897 or email for a quote.

If you’re not familiar with hiring marquees, don’t worry we would be delighted to talk through the options with you and we guarantee you will love the idea as much as we do!!




“the beautiful wilderness....”

R U G E L E Y R OA D , H A Z E L S L A D E , C A N N O C K , S T A F F O R D S H I R E , W S 1 2 0 P J

01543 422626

W W W . B D G C . C O. U K



Making your wedding dreams come true On the day…

Over 150 Handpicked Wedding Specialists � Spectacular Catwalk Shows � Entertainment Performances � Restaurant � Champagne Bar Designer Dresses � Beautiful Cakes � Tiaras � Wedding Rings � Country House Hotels � Honeymoons � Photographers � Beauty Experts Caterers � Videographers � Toastmasters � Ice Sculptures � Gift Lists � Chocolate Fountains � Wedding Planners � Entertainers Venue Dressers � Favours � Wedding Cars � String Quartets � Florists � Stationers � Menswear � Jewellery Event suported by




Order your tickets online today at WWW THEWEDDINGSHOW CO Save money when you purchase your tickets in advance For more information please email or call; | 01925 661890

Escape Spas at De Vere Wychwood Park, Weston offers personal bridal packages to make sure you look your absolute best on your special day. With two luxurious treatments rooms (including one double treatment room), a relaxation area, whirlpool, sauna and steam room, our clients can truly relax and ‘escape’ from it all. We like to think of ourselves as a Spa that is dedicated to its client’s needs; Our highly skilled and experienced therapists are dedicated to providing a first class service achieving the best possible results, making your visit truly memorable. • • • •

Full bridal makeup - with free consultation Manicure & pedicures - using geleration polish for a long lasting finish Prescriptive facials - boost your skin and get it glowing Hen parties

And much more! We're also happy to travel to you! For more information please call 01270 829302



HOW TO INSURE YOUR WEDDING IS COVERED Neil McFarlane, Managing Director of Chartered Insurance Brokers, T.H. March offers advice on how to make sure every aspect of your wedding is covered by insurance so you can enjoy your special day.

Clearly your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life so it is essential that you ensure all aspects of it are covered against anything that could go wrong. In many cases, a wedding is also one of the largest and most expensive events you will ever have to organise so it is advisable that you have sound financial protection against the unexpected. Wedding insurance policies can be tailored to suit most needs. Cover can even be provided for cancellation should the bride, groom or a close family member be taken ill and you decide not to go ahead. In addition you can also obtain cover for theft and loss of any aspect of your wedding, including (but not limited to): photography, wedding outfits and rings.

Many home insurers automatically cover jewellery items up to set limits. However, most will require higher value items to be made known to them so that they are specified individually on the policy. In addition, some insurers have limits for the total value of items which are removed from the home, or left in unattended vehicles or hotel rooms. It is very important that you know these limits and any special conditions that may apply in order to make sure that your engagement ring is covered correctly.

Check what your home insurance covers To avoid paying for two types of insurance, it is a good idea to check what cover your home insurance offers. It is vital that you read the small print carefully. You need to know exactly what you are covered for and in particular, that your most precious items of jewellery, such as your engagement and wedding rings are covered.

You also need to establish how claims will be settled. Many home insurers will stipulate where items must be replaced. This means, in the event of losing your engagement ring, you may not be able to replace it through your own jeweller but would have to do so via the insurer’s preferred supplier. This can lead to problems where items are unusual or bespoke as they will not be readily available. Another important point to bear in mind when looking at the insurance of an engagement ring or other wedding jewellery is its current value. The price of precious metals and gem stones has increased greatly in the past few years. We strongly recommend that jewellery items are regularly re-valued to ensure that you are adequately protected in the event of a claim. You should speak to your own jeweller for advice on how often this needs to be done.

It is advisable to choose an insurance policy which covers as many aspects of your wedding as possible. It may sound tedious to include your wedding cake in the insurance policy, but if anything went wrong with the cake and you weren’t protected, it could potentially ruin your special day. Wedding insurance is recommended to avoid any last minute panics on the day. Every bride and groom wants their day to run smoothly, so investing in a sound insurance policy is the best way to avoid any potential setbacks. Depending on the policy you choose, your wedding insurance is not just limited to protecting the big day; it can also include cover for your honeymoon, meaning you can avoid additional travel insurance costs. Your honeymoon should be as stress-free as possible after all the work involved in wedding preparations and this type of insurance will cover you in the event of flight delays and missing luggage, so you can relax and enjoy your trip.

When arranging your wedding insurance you should ask questions about exactly what is covered and where. You should clearly establish whether there are limits within the cover or exclusions, which could catch you out. Make sure you read everything within the policy before you sign.

Be aware of what your policy does not cover

Choosing the right insurance for you As you would expect, in our field of expertise, we strongly recommend that you use a reputable insurance broker to ensure that the individual insurance chosen for you is tailored to suit your lifestyle. It is a good idea to not always choose the cheapest option, but the option that offers you maximum protection for a reasonable price. You may want to shop around to see which insurance broker can offer you the policy that is best suited to you and your lifestyle.

As important as it is to be aware of what is covered in your wedding insurance, you must also check your policy wording to be aware of what your policy does not cover. Generally, most policies will exclude: not being able to afford to go ahead, changing your mind before the big day, and damage to wedding attire due to cleaning. To find out more about the range of wedding and jewellery insurance policies available from T.H. March visit

January/February 2013 •


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SAY CHEESE Picking a wedding photographer is no easy or cheap choice, it shouldn’t be rushed into and should be considered as much as you would pick a holiday…or a bottle of fine wine on a Friday night. We have racked our brains and compiled a list of everything you should be thinking about when considering your photographer as well as getting some tips from an industry professional.

There are loads and loads of wedding photographers out there, all who offer something different depending on what you want. Check out the advertisers on the pages of our magazine or on the internet and properly think about what you want. Wedding fayres are also ideal as these give you the chance to meet different photographers.

Style is everything! Do you want traditional or contemporary? Staged photographs of people or a more natural style of photography where by organic reactions are just captured by the photographer? Regardless of style of photography we recommend picking someone who doesn’t rely on photo shop or any other photo manipulation. A great photographer should only enhance the natural light in your photographs and not much else.

How much experience do they have? If price is no object or you have a large budget for your shots than you can simply go for the very best around, however if you do have a financial constraint for your day (and let’s be honest most of us do) it’s always worth doing some research and seeing how experienced the photographer is, nothing can be worse than your first kiss after taking your vows being blurred due to lack of experience. To get a good idea of what they can do, take a look on their website and ask to see a portfolio.

What do you get for your £££? Make sure you understand what you will be getting for your money, ask if there will be any additional costs, are photos included in your price or are they simply going to be initially provided on a disk. If you are on a budget at the time of your wedding, being provided with a collection of proofs and a disc of images can be great to show everyone, until you can afford to have them professionally printed.

Will you be getting the photographer you think? This one may sound rather odd but if you book ‘Joe Bloggs photography’ will you be getting Joe himself or one of his team? If you aren’t sure double check, and of course make sure you see that persons work before you agree to taking them on.

© Sian Robertson Photography

Research, Research, Research!

TOP TIPS FROM A STAFFORDSHIRE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER Sian Robertson from Sian Robertson Photography shares her photography knowhow and tells Living how you can get the best snaps on your big day. • “Many photographers don't like traditional group photos and it's mainly because it can take a lot of time out of your day. If you are passionate about having lots of group photographs, do tell your photographer from the start!” • “Weddings can be stressful, so it's important to have supportive people around you- including your photographer! Make sure you feel comfortable with them so you feel at ease on the day. Pre-wedding shoots can often help with this as you can get to know each other and often have a giggle trying out some poses!” • “There are a lot of trends in photography at the moment with quirky poses or props for Wedding Photography, but don't forget that although these are very fun to do, remember the classic poses also, as one day you will just want that perfect memory of how you were on your wedding day.” • “Don't cut back your photography budget! If you are on a tight budget, look at just getting a DVD package instead and the right photographer, rather than an average photographer and a DVD and album. That way, when you do have spare funds, you can go back and buy the perfect album or ask your wedding party that instead of gifts, to contribute towards your Wedding Album!”

January/February 2013 •


uni the knot

Staffordshire Registration Service Now you have made the decision to spend your future together, Staffordshire County Council have produced a guide to help you plan your special day and to make the choices that will make your wedding as individual and unique as the union it celebrates. Often when planning their wedding couples start by choosing the location, there are 115 licensed venues where you can marry, ranging from stately homes to country pubs and 8 attractively furnished Registration Offices.

The guide includes the legal requirements of getting married and information about changes to your passport or marrying abroad. When planning your wedding in Staffordshire we appreciate your need to find services that are local to you. The 2013 edition of “Getting Married in Staffordshire” includes features on venues that are licensed for marriages and sections on Bridal Wear, Beauty, Jewellery, Photography, Cars and Catering. If you would like a copy of the 2013 “Getting Married in Staffordshire” brochure or to visit one of our ceremony rooms please contact us on 0300 111 8001.



ExclusiveCountry Country Venue Exclusive Venue

Alrewas Hayes is an elegant Grade 2 listed Queen Anne residence in the heart of rural Staffordshire. The venue has been appointed with a fusion of contemporary and period furnishings to provide a most

Alrewas Hayes is an elegant 2 listed Queen Anne residence in the heart outstanding backdrop Grade for weddings, civil partnerships, parties and corporate events. of rural Staffordshire. The venue is suited to most occasions and groups of between 60 and 650 can be accommodated.

Alrewas Hayes “To be, rather than to seem”

Toby and Bonnie Williams warmly invite prospective guests and event organisers for a preview visit

The venue has been appointed with a fusion of contemporary and period and will work with you to create a truly memorable and unique occasion. furnishings to provide a most outstanding backdrop for weddings, Visit or call (01283) 791625 civil partnerships, parties and corporate events. The venue is suited to most occasions and groups of between 60 and 650 can be accommodated.

Exclusive Country Venue

Toby and Bonnie Williams warmly invite prospective guests and event Alrewas Hayes is an elegant Grade 2 listed Queen Anne residence in the heart of rural Staffordshire. organisers for a preview visit and will work with you to create a truly The venue has been appointed with a fusion of contemporary and period furnishings to provide a most memorable and unique occasion. outstanding backdrop for weddings, civil partnerships, parties and corporate events.

“A touch

The venue is suited to most occasions and groups of between 60 and 650 can be accommodated.

of magic”

Visit or call (01283) 791625 Toby and Bonnie Williams warmly invite prospective guests and event organisers for a preview visit and will work with you to create a truly memorable and unique occasion. Visit or call (01283) 791625

“A touch

of magic”

“A touch

of magic”

Weddings. Civil Partnerships. Vow Renewals This impressive heritage setting provides a truly unique venue for fairytale weddings and romantic memories. • • •

Hawkesyard Hall Grade II listed building 200 acres, beautiful manicured gardens and tree lined bridal pathway Intimate wedding breakfasts

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Large evening celebrations Exquisite fine dining menus 18 hole championship Golf Course Dedicated wedding planner

Visit us for a personal tour Hawkesyard Hall and Golf Club, Armitage Park, Staffordshire WS15 1PU

01543 491911 10.SL.AW

Alrewas Hayes “To be, rather than to seem”

Mo sele yO ld Ha ll


SPRING TIME PERIOD: March – May WEATHER: Fresh, dewy and full of life. WHAT TO LOOK FOR: With a certain spring in your step, we’re all vying to venture outside to the great outdoors after a bitter winter. So, it’s time to make the most of it surely? Therefore when booking a wedding in the spring time your first port of call will be a range of venues that have a heavy focus on their gardens. Lakes and woodland can only be a bonus, setting the perfect backdrop to entertain guests. If the weather permits, you’ll want to make the most of the beautiful surroundings and spend most of the day outside – including part of the entertainment such as fireworks or the new craze of setting off Chinese lanterns. Venues with large windows, patios or sliding glass doors are what you’re looking for, so when the reception commences everyone can still appreciate the gardens.


de r sha l l O a ks

PHOTOGRAPHY: The world is your photographer’s oyster as it were. Nature will provide an array of wonderful and sparkling photographs with a heavy sense of romance thanks to the gorgeous backdrops, naturally. DECORATE: Pastels are full of connotations of spring. They’re airy, pretty and delicate, complimenting the colours of the season and bunting is of course a must.


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t on e P ar k

VENUES: Moddershall Oaks, Consall Hall & Gardens, The Upper House, Abbeywood Estate, Combermere Abbey, Moseley Old Hall, Hawkestone Park MORE INTIMATE: Have you checked out your local golf club? You can always guarantee their grounds will be well kept after all! Some may have restricted access for photographs and areas for guests, so it’s best to have this set up as one of the first questions directed at the wedding planner.

A venue for all seasons Not everyone plans to hold their wedding in the summertime believe it or not. And with deals happening all year round it can be far too tempting to ditch the English summertime and instead opt for another more reliable time of year. But what to choose? Isn’t everywhere just solely focussed on holding the most perfect of summer weddings, dedicated to showcasing their gardens and sipping champagne on the lawn? Oh no, think again my friend.

SUMMERS DAY PERIOD: June - August C h im n i e s

WEATHER: Pretty unpredictable in recent years, but supposedly sunny and hot!

Wh i t e

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: When it comes to the summer time then it could be worth your while to perhaps think outside the box rather than looking at any sort of ‘typical’ venue such as a stately home. By all means we’re not saying don’t book one, they’re a popular choice for a very good reason, it’s entirely your choice at the end of the day but we’re encouraging our readers to consider the use of marquees and tents as a venue choice. This is the only time of year where you can get away with an outdoor venue due to the warmer conditions. PHOTOGRAPHY: Think about the visually exciting and colourful Kodak adverts and recreate this in your photography! Be playful with images to create a sense of fun, highlighting your colour scheme with plenty of laughing, smiling and movement.

El it

e Te n t s

Wh i t e C h i m




DECORATE: Summertime calls for an array of bright and vibrant colours. The brighter, the better. Pick yellows, vibrant greens, hot fuchsias and oranges for a full on array of explosive colour, given the time of year it would be rude not to use all the gorgeous flowers available in full bloom. VENUES: White Chimnies, Betley Mere Events, Elite Tents MORE INTIMATE: If your budget doesn’t quite stretch this far, or you’re looking for a more personal touch with a selected group of close friends and family, you could also consider a more vintage affair. Village halls have an excellent blank canvas ideal for jazzing up and making your own.



PERIOD: September – November

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Come on, is there really a more beautiful time of year? The colours are warming and inviting, whilst the falling leaves provide a rustic feel. Make the most of it. Be at one with nature in a converted barn, the made-to-measure surroundings become excellent blank canvasses to bring a sense of creativity.

ing t on Moor

WEATHER: Colourful, with a certain warmth in the air but a chill in the evenings.

Structure and exposed beams will become a feature in their own right, and make the most of it too with draping garlands. Candelabra’s decorated with flowers is a nice touch. As a word of warning, if you’re going to stroll through the fallen leaves hand in hand ensure the ground is dry. Soggy and muddy bottomed dresses will only leave you with an unhappy bride. PHOTOGRAPHY: There is no room for black and white photographs. If close to a woodland, you and your photographer would be fools not to use it. Let nature and daylight be your inspiration. DECORATE: Think rustic, nature will provide all you need to decorate your venue both indoors and outdoors! Shrubs can be a unique take on table decorations, whilst exposed brick can bring a real country feel.

P a c k in g t on M o


VENUES: Packington Moor Wedding & Events, The Ashes Exclusive Country House Barn Wedding Venue, Sandhole Oak Barn MORE INTIMATE: A barn venue will come in an array of sizes to suit your needs. Quaint little churches in the heart of the countryside.

The Ashes

WINTER CHILL PERIOD: December - February WEATHER: Bloody freezing cold!

Al re

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: There are two routes to go down for the perfect winter wedding; a stately home with their log fires and exquisite architecture, or a contemporary hotel. One thing is for sure, it’s all about the interiors. We can all only romanticise about a sheet of delicate white snow, a backdrop so pure and simple yet affective on any photograph. Yet, come on guys we also have to be a tiny bit realistic in these situations. A muddy mess in the rain is not quite the effect we’re looking for.

wa s Ha ye s

A contemporary hotel will provide the glitz and glamour for any 21st century couple, whilst stately homes ensure every bride feels like a princess if only for one day. PHOTOGRAPHY: Grand stair cases, ornate fire places and dramatic backdrops provide an ideal opportunity for your photographer to show their creativity. Due to light restrictions you need to ensure your photographer is a pro, and if so utilise candlelight for romantic yet dramatic shots.

Sand on Hal l

H e a t h H ou s


DECORATE: Contemporary interiors call for a certain amount of simplicity and ingenuity; with effective and somewhat outlandish centre pieces teamed with minimal floral decorations to help the 21st century design elements shine. Stately homes call for some warmth, red roses should be you first port of call. Candelabra’s are a no-brainer.

Ha wk esy ard Esta te

VENUES: Hoar Cross Hall, Ingestre Hall, Sandon Hall, Alrewas Hayes, Westwood College, Hawkesyard Estate, Patshull Hall, The Heath House MORE INTIMATE: Forget stately homes for the grandeur affair and think more manor house hotels or small family estates. Still complete with log burning stoves, the smaller rooms will provide that more intimate touch perfect for a family affair. See Netherstowe House for more inspiration.

January/February 2013 •


Hare & Hounds Xmas Menu 2011_Layout 1 11/10/2011 18:00 Page 1


Hare & Hounds Xmas Menu 2011_Layout 1 11/10/2011 18:00 Page 1

Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Lunch from 12.00 noon - Relax and Unwind with Friends

Lunch from 12.00 noon - Relax and Unwind with Friends



Choice of Starters Choice of Starters

Hare Hare Hounds &Hounds Bar, Restaurant & Accommodation

Roast Topside of BeefRoast andTopside Yorkshire. of Beef and Yorkshire. FilletButter. of Salmon in Dill Butter. Fillet of Salmon in Dill Braised Lamb in a Blanket.

Braised Lamb in a Blanket.

Walnut and Mushroom Hotpot Tart.

Walnut and Mushroom Tart. Served Hotpot with Roast Potatoes and Vegetables. £9.95 Served with Roast Potatoes and Vegetables. or


Lighter Lunch


Plate size Yorkshire Pudding filled with sliced Beef and Gravy.

Lighter WarmLunch Crusty Baguettes filled with Beef or Chilli.

Plate size Yorkshire Pudding filled with sliced£5.95 Beef and Gravy. Bowl of homemade Soup and Sandwich.

Warm Crusty Baguettes filled with Beef or Chilli. £4.95

£5.95 Followed by a slice of one of our Cakes or homemade Puddings. Bowl of homemade Soup and Sandwich. £3.95 5.00 p.m. Onwards


Club Evening Followed by a slice of one of our Cakes Curry or homemade Puddings.

Selection of tasty Pastries to start plus Curry of your choice, £3.95 Naan and Rice.

5.00 p.m. Onwards


Curry Club Evening

To reserve Tel : 01889 567263

This family owned village inn 1 mile north of Uttoxeter has established an excellent reputation for quality locally sourced food a relaxed and friendly atmosphere serving traditional home made Hare & Hounds, High Street, Stramshall, favouritesThe and an adventurous specials board changed weekly.

Christmas 2011

Selection of tasty Pastries to plus Curry of your choice, in Naan and Rice. is confirmed when we have received your Your reservation £8.95

non-refundable deposit.

Payment is required 21 days prior to your event.

Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5AL.

at the Hare & Hounds are available to provide the perfect Christmas 2011 venue for small wedding parties, civil and second marriages,

Deposit of £10 is required for lunch and evening meals during December, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s eve Meal.

The team To reserve Tel : 01889 567263 No deposit required for Boxing Day and New Year’s Day but booking is advised. Your reservation is confirmed when we have received your non-refundable deposit. Payment is required 21 days prior to your event. Deposit of £10 is required for lunch and evening meals during December, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s eve Meal. No deposit required for Boxing Day and New Year’s Day but booking is advised.

Tel: 01889 567263

christenings,meetings and Receptions.

The Hare & Hounds, High Street, Stramshall, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5AL.

We Tel: have comfortable en suite accommodation for guests and 01889 567263 friends attending weddings in the area. For more information on booking and availability, please give us call on 01889 567263 Stramshall Village, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5AL 01889 567263

GG2G Staffs Living Nov Ad v1.indd 1

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Ice Cream Tricycle for hire Also available are a range of cones and pots available upon request. Make your special occasion standout from the rest 07970 720561 01538 388518

Our fabulous ice maidens are available upon request to pamper all of your guest’s requirements, serving a wide range of homemade ice cream & sorbets of your choice.



Timeless W E D D I N G


Web: Email:

Special Cars for Special Occasions



At The Wheatsheaf we pride ourselves on designing a bespoke experience for your special day.

Timeless Wedding Cars specialise in wedding car hire for your special day, civil partnerships, prom nights and other important celebrations.

We can help you plan your entire day from the civil ceremony, the wedding breakfast through to the evening reception.

Special Cars for Special Occasions

Elegance and style come as standard and will help make your occasion everything you dreamt it would be.


The Wheatsheaf offers some impressive AA 4* rated accommodation situated in both the main building and also in the III adjacent recently converted stable block.

Timeless W E D D I N G

For more information or details..


T 01782 825 598 M (24hr) 07979 827 006 Unit 10a Winghay Close, Longport Stoke on Trent, ST6 4DU

For more information or details...

d e r a e r e Hom XII


Timeless W E D D I N G


E T 01782 825 598 M (24hr) 07979 827 006

| Unit 10a Winghay Close, Longport Stoke on Trent, ST6 4DU

s l occasion l a r o f s t s Hog roa rthdays, such as bi istenings. r h c d n a s Special Cars forgSpecial Occasions din wed


| Unit 10a Winghay Close, Longport, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4DU. W E T 01782 825 598 M (24hr) 07979 827 006


Baps, stuffing, and apple sauce provided. Beef also available upon request. Horseradish and mustard provided. All served to your requirements at your chosen venue.

Please call for more details and competitive prices. Tel/Fax: 01298 84501 Mob: 07831 383119 Email:

Corporate events also catered for.

Peakstones Farm, Sheen, Buxton, Derbyshire. SK17 0ES.

Please contact us on 01782 751 581 or via e-mail: to make an appointment to discuss your personal requirements.

Bar Hill Road, Onneley, Nr Crewe, Cheshire. CW3 9QF.






WINTER WEDDING: DO’S AND DON’TS If you’re planning on hosting the most spectacular of winter weddings then you need to be exceptionally clued up, especially with the whole emphasis and a load of advertising directed to the ultimate summer wedding. We have a few do’s and don’ts to get you started…


DON’T: LEAVE YOUR GUESTS FEELING NIPPY Ensure your guests aren’t left in the cold when taking your photographs. You may have it planned to take many a picture outside, especially if there is a gorgeous sheet of white snow, but no matter how much you are thinking of yourself and your new hubby on your big day, remember those guests who are feeling the chill! If you’re the only two needed in the shot then take your guests inside. It really is that simple. At least then you won’t have photographs full of a bunch of Rudolph’s!

DON’T: OVER HEAT On the other hand, don’t go too mad with the heating! Just because it is freezing cold outside doesn’t always necessarily mean it’s the same indoors. Once you and your guests start dancing the temperature will start to rise and the last thing you’ll want is to become a sweaty bride with droopy hair!


DON’T: FORGET YOUR BOUQUET DON’T: DRESS FOR SUMMER If you love the Grecian style gowns for their flows of fabric and goddess feel, then it’s time to scrap the idea of a winter wedding as honey, it just won’t go. Do you really want a body full of goose pimples showing up on your wedding photographs? No, we didn’t think so neither.

DO: PICK HOME COMFORTS The reception dinner is your time to shine in winter pickings. Soup is a no-brainer, and as for dessert it has to be something sticky, stodgy and delicious like an apple crumble or a sticky toffee pudding. They may not be the most adventurous of items but home comforts like stews and pies are everyone’s picking when the frost hits the ground. Choose dishes that remind you of your childhood and link to your personal life, bringing a whole new sentimental aspect to your menu.

No, we don’t mean you’ll forget the bouquet altogether, we’re thinking more towards the flowers you choose to continue the winter theme. Red roses will look every inch the part during Valentine’s, winter folliage will add the delicate touch, whilst you could always forget the flowers altogether and make a jewelled beauty full of a treasure trove of brooches.

DO: ENCOURAGE GUESTS TO GLAM UP Yes, everyone makes an exceptional effort when it comes to wedding attire choosing brightly coloured summer dresses and the fascinators to match. But there’s your problem, summer dresses! When it comes to winter, guests are left completely baffled on what to wear; their strappy sandals are nowhere near appropriate, the floral dresses just don’t seem appealing and as for the fascinator, a woolly hat seems more suitable. The solution? Black tie. Turn up the glam as guests can take inspiration from their Christmas partywear outfits for an easy breezy choice. Miss Selfridge

You can’t be afraid to really let loose and inject some colour into your decorations. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to stick to a plain colour palette especially if you are a highly colourful person. There are plenty of different angles to go down; - Jewelled tones and baroque style jewellery are huge trends in the fashion world, and as we know whatever struts down the runway translates into all aspects of life. Pick emerald tones mixed with golds, fuschias, sapphire blues and deep purples… it’s luxurious! - Have you thought about turning to nature for a little inspiration? Placing shrubs as centre pieces is a refreshing change whilst twigs and pinecones provide a rustic feel – channelling the oh so hot Nordic trend of 2013. - Christmas time calls for a Christmas wedding, does it not? Being suckers for all things Christmassy we’d love to embellish the interiors with velvets, lights and gingerbread inspired by the German markets. You could even have Christmas crackers as favours. Either that or go down an icy, frosted look with blue hues. - Red can work exceptionally well during the winter months. It’s dramatic, appealing and versatile, whilst also holding the connotations of love of course! Red wedding dresses are a no no, but incorporate when dressing chairs, tables and choosing favours.

TIP: If you are keen to serve home comforts but like a modern twist, speak to your wedding planner to see if the caterers can plan different ways to present the dishes or even introduce a new flavour like spices.

DO: SERVE UP A WINTER WARMER Forget the pimms or champagne reception. It’s winter! Treat your guests to a hot spiced cider, a warming glass of mulled wine or even an alcohol-laden hot chocolate. It’s quirky, different and very fitting indeed.

Living love


e are occasions where pulling a ALSO INSIDE… When it comes to wooing over a certain guy, ther . How about rustling up a meal few tricks from up your sleeve is needed to ensure he’s swooning packed full with aphrodisiac ingredients? It may certainly help!

un this f e h t n i Join day on pancake 9 page 6 tch g Main ima

yS trawberr e: Viva! S s Pancake




We all know the only way to many a man’s heart is via his stomach, but what if we told you there could be certain ingredients that will help to woo him over? Like a love potion as it were? We knew that would get you listening… aphrodisiacs have been used in cooking since the time of the Greek Gods, so there must be some sort of method in the madness, surely?


SECRET APH RODISIAC INGREDIENT: BE ETROOT “One of the ea rliest known be nefit s of beetro is its use as ot Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes an aphrodisiac during the Ro times. And it m an wasn’t all folk lore as it has found to cont INGREDIENTS been ain high amou nt s of boron, is directly rela which For the soup: ted to the prod uc tion of the ho rm ones that co 250g cooked beetroot (1 packet), cut into chunks • ½ large onion, diced • 1 small garlic ntrol your se x clove, crushed • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar • 375ml vegetable drive.” stock For the croutons: 2 slices of baguette • olive oil for brushing • 1 peeled garlic clove, cut in half • ½ small goats cheese (i.e. Capricorn), cut into rounds • 2 sage leaves, finely sliced

METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. 2. In large saucepan, sweat the onion gently in the olive until it softens. This will take around 10 minutes – be careful not to burn the onions, you are not trying to caramelize them. 3. Whilst the onions are cooking start the croutons. Brush the bread slice on both sides with olive oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are crisp and dry. 4. When the onions are soft, add the crushed garlic to the pan and gently fry for a further minute and then add the beetroot, stock and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. 5. Using a liquidiser or stick blender, blend the soup until really smooth. Keep warm whilst you finish the croutons. 6. Rub the garlic clove over one side of the now dried bread slices and top each slice with a round of goats cheese. Sprinkle over the sliced sage leaves and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Put back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese has begun to melt. 7. Pour the soup in bowls and float a crouton on top of each. Serve immediately.

IAC PHRODIS SEC R E T A LI IL H C T: N on INGREDIE se circulati chilli increa in d ve n u er n fo ls ulate “Chemica g and stim your od pumpin gus helps ra a to get blo sp a in E in m e vita stosterone, endings. Th nes like te o rm o h ce u terone.” body prod and proges oestrogen

MAIN COURSE: SEARED DUCK BREAST WITH CRANBERRY AND CHILLI SALSA Serves: 2 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS 2 duck breast fillets, skin scored • 100g bag baby spinach leaves For the salsa: 25g Craisins® (dried cranberries) • ½ small red onion, finely sliced • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1 red chilli, finely chopped • ½ tsp whole grain mustard • 1 tsp finely chopped parsley • Salt and pepper To serve: Boiled new potatoes and seared asparagus tips

METHOD 1. Heat a ridged griddle pan and sear the duck for 15 minutes, turning once. 2. Meanwhile, finely chop the Craisins® and place them in a bowl with the onions, vinegar, chilli, mustard and parsley. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. 3. Heat the spinach leaves in a saucepan until just wilted. 4. Remove the duck from the pan and cut into small pieces. Divide the spinach between four plates and top with the duck and a good spoonful of the salsa. 5. Serve with the boiled potatoes and seared asparagus.



DESSERT: CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES BRANDIED CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES Makes: 24 Prep time: 45 minutes Chill time: 4½ - 5 hours

INGREDIENTS 150ml double cream • 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces • 2 tablespoons icing sugar • 3 tablespoons brandy, cherry brandy or kirsch • 24 raspberries (about 100g fresh raspberries) • Little sifted cocoa powder for shaping To finish: 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces • Tiny pieces of crystallised rose petals or pink edible glitter flakes • Petite four cases, a pretty box, tissue paper and fine ribbon for wrapping

METHOD 1. To make the truffles, pour the cream into a small saucepan, bring just to the boil then take off the heat and add the chocolate pieces. Set aside for 5 minutes or so until the chocolate has melted. 2. Add the sugar and brandy or kirsch and stir until smooth. Leave to cool then transfer to the fridge for about 3 hours until firm. 3. Scoop teaspoons of the truffle mixture onto a baking sheet and continue until you have 24 mounds, all about the same size. Make a dip in the centre of each, add a raspberry then press the truffle mixture around the raspberry to enclose it completely. Next roll them between two hands dusted with sifted cocoa powder to get an even round shape. Return the truffles to the fridge to chill for 1 hour or so until firm. 4. To decorate, add the dark chocolate pieces to a bowl and set this over a saucepan of very gently simmering water so that the bowl stands above the top of the pan and the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Heat for about 5 minutes until the chocolate has just melted. 5. Take the bowl off the pan then slide the prongs of a fork under one of the truffles, and hold this over the melted chocolate. Using a teaspoon, spoon a little of the melted chocolate over the top to cover completely. Slide off the fork on to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Continue until all the truffles have been coated, and sprinkle with tiny pieces of crystallised rose petals or glitter flakes. 6. Chill for about 30 minutes or until firm, then transfer the truffles to petit four cases and pack into a box lined with tissue paper or non-stick baking paper. Add the lid and tie with ribbon. Keep in the fridge and eat within 3 days.

WHITE CHOCOLATE AND BLUEBERRY TRUFFLES Makes: 30 Prep time: 45 minutes Chill time: 4-5 hours Make as above with 150ml double cream, 200g good quality white chocolate instead of the dark chocolate and 3 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier. There is no need to add sugar as white chocolate is sweeter. Chill the truffle mix until firm – this may take longer than dark chocolate truffles, and if still a little soft after 3 hours just whisk the mixture briefly to thicken. Divide the cooled truffle mixture around 100g large blueberries instead of the raspberries, dusting hands with icing sugar. Chill well then coat in 200g melted white chocolate and decorate with tiny pieces of crystallised violet petals or edible sugar glitter. For a speedier decoration simply roll the shaped truffles in grated white chocolate. Chill once more until firm and arrange in petit four cases in a tissue lined box for your Valentine. ISIAC A PHROD SEC R E T OL ATE! C O IENT: CH u of the INGRED inding yo s ed us rem e n ’t n o sumptuou d “ You lvety and ve f o s e ert, ti ss c quali ndard de aphrodisia sing a sta o o ch f ese o th . Instead chother chocolate to feed ea te a ri p ro s centre to ht it app we thoug ith surprise w d e ll fi , stead mantic truffles in most unro even the help melt ” of heart s.

January/February 2013


Pasta Di Piazza La Favourita “Live to eat, not eat to live”

Welcome to Staffordshire’s premier Italian restaurants, situated in the heart of the Country. We aim to bring you traditional Italian home cooking and a relaxing atmosphere. Choose from our extensive menu and specially selected wine list. We are open during lunch and evening dining.

Party Bookings: Our restaurants are ideal for any occasion:

Weddings, Christenings, Hen Nights etc.

No room hire fee - free of charge. We welcome parties and will be pleased to discuss all the requirements you may have.

Visit our website

to view our menu’s online

Pasta Di Piazza Stone 12 High Street Stone Staffordshire ST15 8AW Tel: (01785) 813214 Open 7 days Monday to Saturday 12.00-15.00 Lunch 18.00-23.00 Evenings Sunday 12.00-21.00

Pasta Di Piazza Newcastle 125 High Street Newcastle-u-Lyme Staffordshire ST5 1PS Tel: (01782) 617610 Open 7 days Monday to Saturday 12.00-15.00 Lunch 17.00-22.00 Evenings Sunday 12.00-21.00


The only way to his heart...


When it comes to Valentine’s Day you don’t want to go spending an absolute fortune (after all most of us are still recovering from Christmas!), instead you need to look to woo your man by offering gifts that go straight past his heart and enter his stomach! You can’t take the day too seriously, so share a joke with comical gifts, let his eyes become bigger than his stomach with foodie delights, or if all else fails crack open the booze and see where things lead…by drinking responsibly of course folks.

We’re all suckers for a new product. We don’t know what it is but when something we know and love is reinvented and given a fresh perspective we just go crazy. Jack Daniels released a honey flavour last year, so it was sure that Southern Comfort were to follow suit soon enough. And their added flavour? Cherry. Ideal for Valentine’s giving it a true authenticity and a bold fruitiness unlike any other. Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry, £20. Available from all good retailers.

Did you know coffee is an aphrodisiac? We’re not saying anymore. 6 month subscription to Kopi Gourmet Coffee, £48.

This heart-shaped delicious artisan cheese dates back over 1,000 years to 1035 when Hugues I of Gournay gave it to the Abbey of Sigy as a tithe. During the Hundred Years War, legend tells that local girls from Neufchâtel-en-Bray offered the cheese to English soldiers, who thought the cheese tasted like heaven and that the bloomy white cheeses, shaped like a heart, were angel wings. This makes it the perfect cheese for romantics to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. And the perfect serving accessory? This carefully hand crafted heart shaped slate cheeseboard. Coeur de Neufchatel PDO* 200g, £5.50. Heart shaped slate board with knife, £31. Paxton & Whitfield

Does Lindor by Lindt need any sort of introduction? No, we didn’t think so. But in a fitting heart-shaped box you’ll be sure to capture true romance with this gift from the Master Chocolatiers themselves. At the very centre of each box is a LINDOR heart truffle, ready to give as a token of your love. Lindor Truffle Heart Box (160g), rrp £4.99. Lindt

We’re all slightly childish at heart, so these mugs appeal to our fun side without taking ourselves too seriously. The perfect gift if you have only recently tied the knot.

Bringing the best of both worlds together in one satisfying drink. Just make sure he shares! Chocolate Shop Wine, £8.99. Sainsburys.

Mr & Mrs Personalised Mug Set, £19.99.

There is nothing like an old classic to perk up the day… According to new research by national campaign, Bake It Yourself by Neff, both sexes view a delicious home cooked meal as the perfect way to celebrate St Valentine’s Day. With this in mind this little kit from Tesco will be the ideal way to spice up your meal in decoration. Simply does it. Dine in for 2 Kit, £6. Tesco

Continental Tasting £19.99. Thorntons



Any excuse for a bit of chocolate hey? Spice up your bedroom activities with this saucy set from the new website by charity, Family Planning Association. Kama Sutra Single Chocolate Body Paint, £12.95.

January/February 2013




Valentine Three course Meal for two with Wine £45 Or make a real night of it with

Three course Meal for two with Wine and The Night’s Accommodation £90 To book call 01889 591 430



Holtom’s is a family run delicatessen, café and wine merchant in south Cheshire. Food, drink and gift hampers for all occasions Valentine’s gifts Homeware and gifts Free postage when you shop online: quote code SLFREESHIP at checkout.

Free cup of coffee

on your next visit on production of this advert. Offers available until 28th February Shop online at Tel: 01270 884200 Email: Holtom’s, 9 Crewe Road, Alsager, Cheshire, ST7 2EW

Nick, Rachel & Carl welcome you to



TEL: 01270 623374 Our sister bar-restaurant-hotel is now openThe Old Mill, Park Avenue, Whitchurch, SY13 1SH - 01948 661800.

Symphony Restaurant Bar & Grill

Symphony Restaurant Bar & Grills in Sandbach and Alsager are renowned throughout South Cheshire & Staffordshire for quality dishes and wine and a high level of service in a casual atmosphere. All of our menus incorporate fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers to create classical symphony dishes with a modern twist and simple grills with an emphasis on quality and flavour. All of our dishes are always cooked to order. We offer a wide selection of menus, including a la carte & grills, two and three course set menus, and an express menu which is popular at lunch times and early evening. We also have market fresh fish each day on our specials black boards. Both restaurants have live music in the bar on a regular basis, as well as themed nights. Our bars offer a wide selection of spirits, wines and a great value cocktail list.

48 Congleton Road, Sandbach Cheshire CW11 1HG Tel: 01270 763 664

70/72 Crewe Road Alsager Stoke on Trent Staffordshire ST7 2HA Tel: 01270 876999


Dyers Arms 3 Macclesfield Road, Leek, ST13 8LD

01538 382321 Recently refurbished with a new outside seating area. A good selection of hot & cold food served. Tues – Sat - 12.00pm – 2.00pm Tues – Fri - 5.00pm – 7.00pm Sunday - 12.00pm – 2.30pm


2 Courses from selected lunch menu Tues - Sat - 12.00pm – 2.00pm for only £5.75 2 main Courses Tues - Fri - 5.00pm – 7.00pm for only £8.50 Wine & Dine Wednesdays – Order 2 main meals (on selected choices) and a bottle of house wine for only £11.99. Available 5pm – 7pm Live Sports Darts Dominoes Quiz Night Rock n Roll Bingo Poker Tournaments Cask Ales

Ask for further details on hiring the Dining Area Free of charge for functions and parties.

A country spa retreat offering spa days, breaks and treatments, with hair and beauty salon, lakeside dining and a luxury events venue.

01782 399000




Food & drink

Festival SATurdAy 22 june SundAy 23 june 10.00am – 6.00pm



Per ad ult kids Go (UNDER Free! 16 W ITH LT )







Food Halls | Cookery demonstrations | real ale tent PiCniC area | Family Fun area | and muCH more! 01889 562561 | *Terms & conditions apply. Tickets can be purchased online in advance and are also available to purchase on the day. Price per person and includes VAT. For full details please visit our website.

J2509 UTX F&D 2013 Ad (210x282).indd 1

30/11/2012 09:26


NEW YEAR. NEW YOU Our post-Christmas bulge is quite frankly doing our head in! Time to sort it out…


Twenty specially-made saris were a great holiday bargain for Pardip Phull – but she’s dead chuffed she’s had to spend hours altering them! While hauling her bargains home from India Pardip, 38, realized she was so uncomfortable with the seatbelt squeezing her stomach that she had to do something about her 17st 6lbs weight.

“People have asked how I managed it and some have been skeptical when I told them it was LighterLife but I explain that the difference is the counselling and the Route To Management programme because you get so much help. “I’m more active, more confident and the best thing is being able to buy clothes as I’ve gone from a size 20 to a 12. I do wonder sometimes if I’ve really changed that much but I never used to look in the mirror. Now I look in the mirror and think ‘Yes, I do look all right!” LighterLife is a pioneering weight-loss and weightmanagement programme providing a unique behaviour change approach. The company provide life-changing weight loss by combining a personal programme that focuses on weight-loss through a combination of nutritious food options, the introduction of healthy food and eating plans and then long term weightmanagement support all of which are supported by small group support with a LighterLife Counsellor.

Pardip before and after

For general information visit or call 0800 2 988 988.

THE QUEEN OF DIETS AND FITNESS, ROSEMARY CONLEY HAS A NEW PLAN “A little while later I got a magazine and saw Pauline Quirke’s story about losing weight – I love her to bits because I adore Emmerdale, and at the end it said she’d done it through LighterLife. Within a couple of days I’d gone to my first meeting. Then I got my doctor’s agreement and a week later I started on the Total Abstinence programme.” Pardip admitted she found eating only the LighterLife food packs very tough at first but her husband, son and 11-year-old daughter encouraged her to stick with it at least for the first week. She adds, “Then I went to my first weigh-in and I’d lost eight pounds, and that just kept me going. I’m now at my goal weight and I’m on the Route To Maintenance programme. I’ve started to introduce food and I’m staying the same weight.

You can lose pounds easier than ever before – safely and healthily – with the brand new Fat Attack Booster (F.A.B) Diet from Rosemary Conley at 2,000 Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs around the UK from January 2012. Rosemary’s new diet is easy to follow and highly effective. It starts with the two-week Kick-Start Booster Diet to enable followers to see a significant weight loss early on. The next stage includes extra treats – including high fat treats and an alcoholic drink. Studies have proven that if you lose a significant amount of weight early on in a weight-loss programme you are more likely to continue and succeed.


Fiona Kirk, nutritionist and author of two muchacclaimed fat loss books, So What the F*** Should I Eat? and 2 Weeks in the Fast Lane is on a mission to prove that soup CAN and WILL make you thin and help you rediscover your waistline in just 10 days with her exciting new eBook: Soup Can Make You Thin available in eBook format via priced £4.99.


Some of us simply don’t have the time to become a member of our local weight loss programme or even pop to the gym as often as we like. But there is a solution; instead you can create fabulous food in just 30 minutes or less with Midweek Meals. Packed full of recipes from the best of Weight Watchers cookbooks, you won't believe you can cook such delicious food so quickly. Feed the family with a Quick Turkey Cottage Pie or Vegetable Biryani or enjoy Chicken Cordon Bleu or Mussels with Tarragon for a special supper. You may even want to whip up a delicious dessert such as Chocolate Roulade or French Apple Tarts to finish your meal. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of easy but stunning recipes to get you cooking even on the busiest day. Released: 3rd January 2013 Published by: Simon & Schuster Price: £4.99

For details of Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs classes around the UK call 01509 620222 or visit

January/February 2013



Come and celebrate Valentine’s and Mothering Sunday with us this year. Valentine’s Day

14th February 2013 A romantic 8 course meal for two £39.95 per couple £10 deposit required per couple

If you want to impress this ye ar then we hig recommend you hly reserve your ta b le rest to us. and leave the

Mother’s Day

10th March 2013

Please ring for further in Book early to avoid dis formation. appointme nt. T Open 7 Da el: 01782 5959 7 ys a week 5 .00pm unti 8 l la te

1003 UTTOXETER ROAD, MEIR. ST3 6HE. Easy access from the A50. Formally Little Chef, A50.

SL_0113_210x138_Layout 1 25/11/2012 19:28 Page 1

when it needs to be special... and has to impress... JANUARY DINNER MENU


The January menu begins on Wednesday 2nd January and ends on Saturday 26th January 2013

The February menu begins on Tuesday 29th January and ends on Saturday 23rd February 2013

Appetisers ___

Appetisers ___

Classic Scotch Broth Carrot and Coriander___ Soup with Spiced Apple

Aromatic Grilled Pork Belly Salad with Cider Dressing Pecks Famous Fish Pie, Creamy Crevette Sauce Roast Beetroot Risotto___ Topped with Carrot Crisps


Sherried Game Soup with Foie Toast White Onion Velouté ___and Fried Scallions

Seared Scallops on Fennel Purée, Umbrian Ham Gratin Pecks Shepherds Pie with Pickled Vegetables Melting Cheese Croquette ___and Red Pepper Rouille

Seared Gressingham Duck Breast Sliced on Red Cabbage and Port Glaze Tatton Hall Venison Ragout with Haggis Fritters and Pommes Mousseline Baked Organic Sea Trout on Smoked Bacon Rosti, Caper Sauce Balsamic and Caramelised Onion, Creamed Leek and Spinach Tarte Tatin All main course dishes are served with Fresh Market Vegetables ___ and Potato Garni

Beef Bourguignon, Roast Carrots and Rice Timbale Pork Fillet, Paprika Dust Baked, Armagnac Sauce with Marinated Prunes Salmon en Croûte, Sautéed Spinach and Tarragon Butter Wild Mushroom and Watercress Roulade All main course dishes are served with Fresh Market Vegetables ___ and Potato Garni

A Selection of our Famous ___ Pecks Puddings

A Selection of our Famous ___ Pecks Puddings

A House Selection of Cheese served ___ with Relish, Biscuits and Garni

A House Selection of Cheese served ___ with Relish, Biscuits and Garni

Fresh Coffee and Petit Fours

Fresh Coffee and Petit Fours

After 28 years, we famously still invite you to bring wine from your collection, or simply relax and enjoy some of ours, with the finest theatre of food experience. Bring your own wine Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. We do not charge corkage. PECKS RESTAURANT NEWCASTLE ROAD, MORETON, NR CONGLETON, CHESHIRE CW12 4SB

Tuesday & Wednesday (5 courses) £36.95 Thursday & Friday (7 courses) £41.95 Saturday (7 courses) £46.95

TEL: 01260 275161 | FAX: 01260 299640

For more information, to view our menus in full or to book online - visit



BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES WITH CREAMY MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH To make the filling: Melt 50g of butter in a small saucepan. Add 50g plain flour and stir to create a paste-like consistency. Continue cooking for a further 30 seconds. Gradually add in 275ml Alpro almond milk, stirring vigorously until you have a smooth white sauce. Drizzle olive oil in a small frying pan on a high heat and fry 100g sliced chestnut mushrooms until brown. Throw in 3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves and allow to wilt. Stir the mushrooms and spinach into the white sauce, then add in 50g grated parmesan, ¼ tsp nutmeg and season to taste. To make the pancakes: Place 55g wholewheat flour and 55g buckwheat flour into a large bowl and make a small well in the middle of the bowl. Lightly whisk 1 egg into 275ml Alpro almond milk. Pour some of the egg mixture into the middle of the well and begin to whisk. Continue adding the liquid and whisking until you have a smooth batter. Melt 30g butter in a non-stick frying pan and add in a ladle of the pancake batter. Swirl the pan to evenly coat the base. Flip the pancake to cook both sides until golden. Repeat until all the batter is used. Spoon some of the mushroom and spinach filling into the middle of the pancakes and fold the sides in to create a parcel.


VIVA! STRAWBERRY SCOTCH PANCAKES For the topping: Beat together 60g unsalted (room temperature) butter, ½ tsp cinnamon and 4tsp sugar. Dollop it into a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. When the butter starts to froth add 16 Viva! Sliced Strawberries, toss well in the butter and turn off the heat. For the pancakes: Whisk together 200g flour, 1½ tsp baking powder, 1 egg, and 300ml milk until smooth. Heat a heavy based, non-stick frying pan or bake stone and grease with a little oil. Pour small amounts of batter into the frying pan (about 2 tbsp per pancake), once the top has bubbled and dried flip the pancake and cook the other side till golden. Keep warm whilst you make the rest of the batter. Reheat the strawberries gently while you arrange the pancakes. Place a pancake on each serving plate and spread with mascapone then arrange some sliced strawberries on top. Repeat this layering until all the pancakes are used up. Top the stack with any remaining strawberry slices and drizzle over the melted cinnamon butter.



To make the pancakes: Sift 100g plain flour and 15g cocoa into a bowl, add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil then gradually whisk in 250ml semi-skimmed milk until smooth. Leave to stand for 15 minutes. To make the filling: Mix 170g carton fat free Greek yogurt, 142g small carton readymade longlife custard and 4 teaspoons fresh chopped mint together. Mix 175g raspberries and 225g sliced strawberries together in a separate bowl. Melt 50g dark chocolate in a bowl set over a small saucepan of gently simmering water. To cook the pancakes: Heat a little vegetable oil in the base of a frying pan, add 2-3 tablespoons of the pancake batter to the pan, tilt to swirl the batter over the base in a thin layer then cook until browned on the underside. Turn the pancake over and cook the second side then slide out of pan and keep hot on a plate while you cook the remaining mixture until you have 8 pancakes. Fold the pancakes into quarters, spoon in the yogurt mix and berries, arrange in pairs on serving plates and drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve immediately.


To make the batter: Mix together 130g chickpea gram flour, 140g plain flour, ½ tsp bicarbonate soda and 3 tsp mustard seeds in a bowl and gradually whisk in enough water to make a loose batter (approx. 400 – 450ml cold water). Cook the batter using a frying pan and a little olive oil to make the pancakes.


For the filling: Prick 2 baking potatoes and 2 sweet potatoes, wrap in foil and bake in a pre-heated oven, 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 for approximately 1 hour, until soft. Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes, roughly mash and set to one side. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add 1 finely sliced dried red chilli and 1 finely sliced fresh red chilli, 1cm peeled and finely sliced piece of fresh ginger, 2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp turmeric and sea salt and fry until the seeds start to pop. Then, pour the spices over the potatoes and mix together. Add the juice of 1 lime, 170g Total Greek Yoghurt, 4 sliced spring onions and 3 tbsp chopped coriander and mix well.

For the dip: Mix together 250g TOTAL 0% Greek Yoghurt and 3 tbsp chopped coriander to make the dip. Fill the pancakes with the hot potato mixture and serve with the dip, a few sprigs of coriander and lime wedges.

January/February 2013



YEAR OF THE SNAKE Not only is February known for being a particularly short month, acting solely responsible for Valentine’s Day and the only time of the year when we allow ourselves to indulge in pancakes, but this February is also playing host to the exciting and cultural event that is the Chinese New Year on 10th February. 2013 marks the Year of the Snake, with ancient mythologies saying those born in this year have a certain taste for the finer things in life! Oh, we do say.

HOT AN D SOU R SOU P 70g Tom Yam Paste 1 litre chicken stock s, sliced 100 g shitake mushroom ed slic ly 1 chicken breast, thin s dle noo 125g rice vermicelli lengthways ed edd shr 100 g mange touts, ed slic ly 2 spring onions, fine METHOD heat, cken stock in a pan and 1. Put the paste and chi to a ng bri dissolves, then stirring until the paste simmer. n add cook for 3 minutes. The 2. Add the chicken and s or ute min k for a fur ther 2 the mushrooms and coo ked. until the chicken is coo ter noodles in boiling wa the k 3. Meanwhile, soa ide Div in. t tender, then dra for 3-4 minutes until jus ls. bet ween 4 soup bow ute, ts to the soup for a min 4. Add the mange tou ing spr h wit r noodles. Scatte and then pour over the onions before ser ving.

ROAST SPICED BELLY PORK WITH PLUM SAUCE 2 tbsp soy sauce oil 2½kg pork belly 1 tbsp Bart Fennel Seeds 1 tbsp Bart Coriander Seeds 2 Bart Star Anise salt & pepper For the sauce: 3 tsp Bart Ginger in Sunflower Oil 3 ripe plums, quartered & stoned 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 4 tbsp Caster Sugar pinch of Bart Ground Cinnamon METHOD o 1. Preheat the oven to 240 C/Gas 9. Score a criss-cross pattern onto the skin of the meat, with a sharp knife. Rub the soy sauce and a little oil all over the meat. half the mixture into the skin of the 2. Lightly crush the fennel, coriander seeds and 1 star anise. Rub pork. Season with salt and pepper. o Turn down the heat to 160 C/Gas 3. 3. Place the meat on a rack in a roasting tin and roast for 30 minutes. more water as necessar y. Pour a cup of water into the tin and roast for 2 more hours, adding in a pan. Add the remaining spice sugar n cinnamo vinegar, wine plums, 4. Meanwhile, place the ginger, syrupy. mix and star anise. Cook for 15 minutes until the mixture is thick and sauce. plum the with serve and 5. Cut the pork into thick slices


SLICED ORIENTAL DUCK 1 pack Waitrose 2 Skinless British Free Range Duck Fillets (about 225g) 1 tsp Bart Chinese Five Spice Powder 1 tsp Bart Sichuan Pepper, crushed 1 tsp caster sugar 2 tsp olive oil 2 fresh pomegranates 2 tbsp Waitrose Redcurrant Sauce with Port 2 salad onions, chopped METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Mix together the Chinese Five Spice, Sichuan pepper and sugar, and rub onto both sides of the duck fillets. 2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the duck fillets over a high heat for 2 minutes each side. Place in a small roasting tin and roast for 15-20 minutes for medium, or 20-25 minutes for well done. 3. Meanwhile, cut the pomegranates in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, discarding the white pith. Place the seeds in a food processor (reserving a handful to garnish). To extract the juice: blend, then press through a sieve into a medium pan using the back of a spoon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 6-8 minutes to form a syrup. Finally, stir in the redcurrant sauce and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. 4. Remove the duck from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then slice thinly. Serve on a bed of noodles, drizzled with the sauce and garnished with the chopped salad onions and the reserved pomegranate seeds.


THE TOOLS YOU NEED You can’t simply cook a Chinese feast without the right ingredients and accessories. Take these inspired beauties for example… Glass teapot, £24.98. Stylish Life

8inch Bamboo Round Steamer, £8.99.

Patterned Bamboo Rice Pot, £7.99. Ching He Huang Collection Teapot with Infuser, £9.99. Dunelm Mill

EIGHT VEGETA BLE HOT POT (CHUP CHYE) Adding this dish to your menu is in keeping with the Buddhist tradition of purifying your spirit by eating vegetables. Eight is also considered to

be a lucky number in China, so will bring good fortune to you and your guests in the coming year. 1 jar Wing Yip Yellow Bean Sauce 2 tsp fresh garlic 1 small onion 1 tsp minced ginger 185-225ml vegetable stock 3 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil 14g cellophane(vermicelli) noodles 28g tree fungu 42g dried Chinese mushrooms 1 small tin sliced bamboo shoots (rinse well and drain) 1/4 small cabbage (sliced) 3 spring onions (3cm lengths) 57g button mushrooms (halve larger mushrooms) 2-3 dried beancurd stick

METHOD 1. Soak separately, the cellophane noodles, tree fungus, dried mushrooms and bean curd sticks. Cut all into bite size pieces. 2. Place onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blitz. 3. Heat oil in a large pot and the onion, garlic and ginger until it starts to caramalise, then add Wing Yip Yellow Bean Sauce. 4. Fill sauce jar up with vegetable stock (185ml) and add bamboo shoots and all dried

ingredients with the exception of the noodles, cover and simmer for 15- 20 minutes. 5. Then add cabbage and button mushrooms. Cover and cook for 10 minutes adding a little more stock if necessar y. 6. Last of all add spring onions and cellophane noodles and season to taste.

Blue Daisy Japanese Blossom Bowl, £4.95.

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY There are many traditions, rituals and symbols especially for children to enjoy at Chinese New Year. Here is Wing Yip’s guide to some of the most popular traditions to pack Chinese New Year full of fun! Red Letter Day It is traditional at Chinese New Year feasts for children to receive gifts of small red envelopes called "hong bao" that are filled with money or sweets. The red envelopes symbolise good luck and wealth for the New Year. Rub Honey on the Kitchen Gods Children often rub honey on paper images of the ‘God of The Kitchen’ Zao Jun 灶君, who apparently has a sweet tooth! This activity ensures he gives a good report of the family’s behaviour when he returns to heaven. Make Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi) on New Year’s Eve. An important tradition on New Year's Eve is for families to gather together and spend the evening preparing Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi). The dumplings are made by wrapping home baked dough around pork and cabbage, then boiling the dumplings before serving them with vinegar and soy sauce. It is common to hide a coin in one of the dumplings and whoever finds the coin during the New Year feast will supposedly have good luck in the coming year. Embrace your sweet tooth! On New Year’s Day it is traditional for children to wake up with sweets under their pillows, parents and grandparents give these to the children in the hope they will have a sweet life in the coming year. Leading up to the celebrations families often make New Year Cake, or Nian Gao. These steamed sweets are made of glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, and oil. In Cantonese ‘Gao’ sound similar to the word for ‘high’, serving the cakes symbolises achieving new heights in the coming year. The DOs and DON’Ts of using chop sticks • Don’t eat with an uneven pair of chopsticks, unless you want to miss a boat, plane or train in the near future! • Keep a tight grip on your chopsticks! Dropping chopsticks is said to bring bad luck. • The host should serve you some dishes with his or her own chopsticks to show hospitality. • Never place your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl, since this is how food is offered to ancestral spirits during ancient Chinese rituals, and is considered extremely disrespectful. • Don’t tap on your bowl with your chopsticks, since that will be deemed an insult to the host or chef.

January/February 2013


Traditional Thai Cuisine freshly prepared by Professional Thai Chefs and served in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Thai Lanna – Stone 11 High Street Stone Staffordshire ST15 8AJ Tel: 01785 819000 Thai Lanna – Chasewater 79 Hednesford Road Brownhills West Walsall WS8 7LT Tel: 01543 371193

As recommended on


“Book early for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day to avoid disappointment.”

恭 喜 发 财

Looking for authentic oriental ingredients? Go To Wing Lee your Local Oriental Store in Staffordshire. We do a wide range of Sauces, Curry pastes, Rice, Noodles, Spices, Herbs, Fresh Vegetables, Dim Sum, Ready Meals, Snacks and Drinks from different parts of south east asia. Cook Your home made Oriental Meal Today!

Wing Lee Chinese Grocery Dennis Viollet Avenue, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4TN Near Britannia Stadium, Next To Toyota Pinkstone

Tel: 01782 593388



uch checko er code ‘SL1 u t to c 3’ laim 2 y 5% of f w w w.h our order. V isit anley to rece sconfec tion er ive this specia Design your own chocolate bar competition l of fer ! with Hanley’s Premium Confectionery plus at th e


How we hear you ask? By entering our exciting competition to design your own chocolate bar with Hanley’s Premium Confectionery, that’s how! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to become a master chocolatier? Mixing a range of flavours to create one silky smooth chocolate bar? Do you perhaps have some exciting flavour combinations that you would love to see and taste in a chocolate bar that you haven’t seen anywhere else? Such as peanut butter & jam, toffee popcorn, Mojito or for the more adventurous, Marmite? Well, now is your chance to get creative with your flavours and use a spot of your imagination with the chance to design your own chocolate bar and actually have it produced!

win a chocolate hamper worth £100! Staffordshire Living has teamed up with local artisan confectioner 'Hanley’s Premium Confectionery' to offer 1 lucky reader & partner the chance to make there own flavour of chocolate bar at their production kitchens in Staffordshire. And if that is not enough the lucky winner will also receive £100 worth of confectionery from the store. To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize you need to submit in fewer than 25 words what your dream chocolate bar flavour would include…

Hanley’s Premium Confectionery was setup in March 2012 in the heart of North Staffordshire & South Cheshire where husband & wife, Mark & Emily, decided that they wanted to create great tasting chocolate using premium ingredients but ensuring it was affordable luxury for everyone to enjoy! They set about this from their kitchen in Nantwich in late 2011, sourcing the finest ingredients possible such as the cocoa mass from the sunny climate of the Ivory Coast which is then conched into chocolate. Just over 12 months on and Hanleys Premium Confectionery have production facilities where the majority of the range is produced in its namesake, Hanley, North Staffordshire.

TIP: For a romantic Valentine’s link, why don’t you put yours and your partners favourite flavours together to make a match made in heaven?


To enter simply complete the competition form here and send your details to DESIGN A CHOCOLATE BAR COMPETITION, Staffordshire Living, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. ST4 8GB. Alternatively, email or fill out the form on our website at Name..........................................................................................................................................

The Hanley’s range now boasts a speciality collection of 500g 'Ultimate' bars which include the 3 individual chocolate genres through to the sophisticated Eton Mess, Triple Choc crunch and Caramel & Honeycomb, all priced at just £9.

Your chocolate bar flavour/design (under 25 words)............................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................

Hanley’s Premium Confectionery also developed a sophisticated & 'off the wall' range of truffles aimed at reflecting modern tastes & trends which melt in your mouth. Some of the tempting flavours include The Champagne Collection including Strawberries & Champagne, Bucks Fizz & Kir Royale! Not to be missed and available in giftpacks from £5 or assorted gift boxes from £9, they make perfect gifts for your loved ones and ideal for a little self-indulgence!

Address...................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................


See the full range at what are you waiting for? Go on treat yourself!


Daytime Tel No.......................................................................................................................... E-mail......................................................................................................................................... From time to time the company here may contact you with news and information. If you’d prefer not to receive further communication please tick box Terms & Conditions: The prize is as stated and no cash alternative can be given. The winner will be notified by phone, post or email. The editor’s decision is final. No travel provided. Closing date: 22nd February 2013.

January/February 2013




Staffordshire Living has teamed up with Pascal at the Old Vicarage restaurant, to offer readers the chance to win a romantic meal for two at this picturesque Branston restaurant. Family run by husband and wife team Pascal and Karen Arnoux since 1999, The Old Vicarage restaurant serves fine English cuisine with a French twist in a relaxed and comfortable setting. The award-winning kitchen team creates dishes using the freshest ingredients and best local produce wherever possible. A previous Taste of Staffordshire ‘restaurant of the year’ winner, The Old Vicarage was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor for consistently receiving outstanding reviews from its diners.

For more information about Pascal at the Old Vicarage call 01283 533222 or visit

CARTE D’OR LAUNCHES ITS SIGNATURE RANGE If you’re alone this Valentine’s Day and have planned a night in with a tub of ice-cream whilst crying to Bridget Jones, then do yourself a favour and buy in what our opinion is the most luxurious of ice-cream…Carte D’Or. But not just any Carte D’Or flavour, take a spoonful from their new range instead. The nation’s number one premium ice cream brand has taken inspiration from traditional French cuisine and the culinary expertise of great French chefs to create a range of indulgent new ice creams, Carte D’Or Signature.

The competition

One lucky reader will win a 3-course meal for two plus bottle of house wine to be taken on the evening of Friday 15th February at Pascal at the Old Vicarage restaurant. For your chance to win this prize, simply answe r the following question:

Where is Pascal at the Old Vicarage restau rant located? To enter all you have to do is send us your detail s in an email to and put your subjec t as VALENTINES MEAL COMPETITIO N or visit our website www.staffordshireliving navigate to the competitions page to fill out your details. It is that simple!

Terms and Conditions: The prize is for Friday 15th only. No cash alternative can be given. Winner will be notified by phone and the editor’s decision is final. One winner to receive a 3 course meal for two. Closing date: 1st February 2013.

Above from left to right: Crème Brûlee, a Crème Brûlee flavour dairy ice cream swirled with luxurious caramel sauce and finished with caramelised sugar pieces. Tarte aux Pommes, a delicious mix of vanilla dairy ice cream swirled with apple sauce and real apple pieces, topped with delicately crumbled pastry. Fondant au Chocolate, an intense chocolate dairy ice cream with a velvety vanilla sauce, brownie pieces and sprinkled with chocolate curls.


Who isn’t? It’s time to stock up your baskets girls as February 15th needs to be clearly marked in your diaries. You know all the speciality ch oc ola te boxes and gif ts tha t come out for Va len tine’s Day? Well, what a dif ference 24 ho ur s can make when most will be discounted to ha lf When it comes to winter we love to indulge ourselves with gourmet delights, chucking salads to the side and instead price. Call us chea pska tes, but since we’re opting for something a little more hearty whether calorific or warming. Or are we just speaking for ourselves? still recovering fro m Christmas every little helps!



The restaurant at the Lewis Partnership’s flagship hotel, The Moat House, has been successful in retaining its prestigious two AA Rosettes. The accolade sees the Moat House’s place in the top 10% of the country’s restaurants confirmed with the AA rosette awarded solely by AA Hotel and Restaurant inspectors.


l Oaks is Gourmet Burger Night Every Tuesday at the Restaurant at Moddershal just £10.95! All their burgers are where you can enjoy a burger and a drink for e seed bun with Chef’s special 100% homemade served in a freshly baked sesam a ranch salad. burger sauce, hand cut triple cooked chips & cheddar melt & onion marmalade, The choices include: Classic peppered steak with pickle, Spicy lamb kofta with Cannock venison with Dovedale blue & sweet onion tomato or Portobello mushroom homemade hummus, halloumi cheese & fresh panied with either a bottle of with onion marmalade & Swiss cheese (v). All accom lager or a glass of red or white wine. Decisions!


An evaluation of the restaurant is based on the quality of the entire meal, including ancillary items and are in no way influenced by hotels, restaurants or other guides. The scheme has been established for many years and successfully recognises cooking at different levels across the country. An establishment’s success or failure in gaining rosettes is based on at least one visit to the hotel or restaurant. The AA describes a two AA Rosette winning restaurant as being an excellent establishment that aims for and achieves higher standards and better consistency. A greater precision is apparent in the cooking, and obvious attention has been paid to the selection of quality ingredients. Chris Lewis, Managing Partner of the Lewis Partnership said: “We are thrilled to have retained this prestigious rating. The AA Rosette was the first nationwide scheme for grading the quality of food in hotels and restaurants and for us to be part of that once again is certainly something to be proud of.”

people & places Living love


hmore s i F t i s i v We mantic o r a r o f l Hal break ge 83 a p n in ts o spo hot ic ant rom all ir partners to some of the most hmore H

ALSO INSIDE… Our Living Girls took the y for Valentine’s Day. Both turning to a read m bloo full in e anc rom p kee to e hop the in the UK by turning to pages 80 & 83. spot of old charm you can see how they get on

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The Best for: Affordable Luxury Lovers Where: Ansty Hall, Coventry Attraction: Cadbury World

Cadbur y Wor ld

Ans ty Hall, Covent ry

If you are looking for the ultimate family break that allows for absolute luxury without empting the bank, than the gorgeous 4 star Ansty Hall, Coventry is the hotel for you. The hotel boasts stunning views of landscape gardens from the luxurious and peaceful hotel rooms. All the rooms come with satellite television to keep the kids happy, have en-suite bathrooms and internet access. Furthermore to add that little spark for your children the hotel has a kid’s check-in where they will receive a fun pack of crayons, puzzles and stickers, giving you your own time to unwind. Cadbury world may seem an obvious choice perhaps, but a must visit if you haven’t been and are in the area. There really is no better way to spend a cold winter’s day than warmly wrapped up in a world of chocolate. At this fascinating chocolaty attraction the whole family can enjoy a whole world of creamy and rich chocolate on a fun and educational visit to the heart of Cadbury in Bourneville. Prices start from £14.75 per adult and £10.75 per child (aged 4-15 years). For more information, visit or call the reservations team on 0844 880 7667.


Rooms at Ansty Hall, Coventry start from £85 per night. For more information or to book visit or alternatively call 0844 879 9031.

Family time is great but with the hectic lives we all lead today it can be difficult to properly spend time with our kids and loved ones. Which is where we come in, we have tirelessly searched for the very best locations to spend time with your family, ensuring everyone has a great time and has a good night’s sleep too. But we have even gone one further, alongside the locations, we have hand-picked nearby tourist attractions as well. Don’t say we aren’t good to you…

Lit tle Whi te Alice, Redrut h,

Stit hians Lake and Waterspor

ts Cen tre

The Best For: Water-loving Eco Nuts Where: Lit tle White Alice, Redruth, Cornwall Attraction: Stithians Lake and Watersports Centre The rather bizarrely named Little White Alice located in a remote area of Cornwall is perfect for a break that allows you to spend some time with your family in an eco-conscious way. This beautiful collection of self-catering cottages all furnished to 5 star ‘green’ standard, is ideal for the family that wants to live like true kings and queens during their time away. Ideal for families the complex also offers a natural swimming pool, a wood burning hot tub and a sunken fire pit communal area, great for meeting other families. The cottages are surrounded by their own gardens and offer sleeping options of up to 12 people, meaning you could also bring nan and grandad, your great uncle and the cat and dog along as well. The site is surrounded by 25 acres of their own land which is over looked by the ancient Carnmenellis hill. Just a mile away from Little White Alice is Stithians Lake and Watersports Centre, this fantastic centre of outdoor water based activities is perfect for the adventurous families and those who want to try something new. The centre offers a variety of water sports including Kayaking, sailing and windsurfing and dingy sailing. Check before travelling to this attraction though as from January normally they are only open on Fridays and Saturdays. Prices at Little White Alice start at £302 per week based on a double room. For more information, visit For more information on the activities available at Stithians Lake and Watersports Centre please contact, 01209 860301.


Lit tle Whi te Alice, Redrut h,

Cor nwall

Cor nwall

PEOPLE & PLACES The Best For: Living the High Life Where: The Anthenaeum, London Attractions: Madame Tussauds If you want to take your family on the ultimate treat in the capital, look no further than the Anthenaeum in London’s glitzy Mayfair. The hotel prides itself on its family friendly services, and The Anthenaeum boasts the fact it was the first London hotel to offer a kids concierge service. The hotel’s kitchen team have also devised a menu that is both delicious and nutritious and they even offer a special kid’s breakfast. You will receive a call once you have booked enquiring about your child’s favourite snacks and treats, all of which will be available on arrival at the hotel.

Madam e Tuss


A true British landmark and visited by millions of people every year, after your luxury stay why not experience the ultimate family day out, at Madame Tussauds Wax Works where the whole family gets a special celeb moment. Mum can hug David Beckham, Dad can kiss Kylie and the kids can have their photos taken with the brand new E.T waxwork. Family apartments at The Antenaeum start from £479 per night based on 2 adults and 2 children. For more information, visit or call 020 7499 3464. Prices for Madame Tussauds are from £16 for adults and £14 for children (5-15 inclusive). For more information, visit or call 0870 400 3000.

She rwo od Cast le Holiday Par

The Ant henaeum, Lon don

k, Not tin ghamshire

The Best For: The Adrenaline Junkie Family Where: Sherwood Castle Holiday Park, Not tinghamshire Attraction: Not tingham Castle The ultimate family retreat set in 40 acres of private woodland, The Hoseason’s owned Sherwood Castle Holiday Park resort; Nottinghamshire, is perfect for the family who are looking to have a action-packed week. This park forms part of their ‘Go Active’ collection, one of just 14 parks the company has that excels in the area of adventure facilities. Activities available include thrilling Robin Hood style archery and Body Zorbs, a ‘must try’, if you’ve never experienced it before.

Not tin gham Cast le

A stay in Nottingham wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Nottingham Castle. The castle is situated on a high rock and as such as well as being a spectacle in its own right, allows for fantastic views over the city. After visiting the castle, stop by the museum which includes a collection of fine and decorative arts. A four-night stay at Sherwood Castle Holiday Park, in a lodge sleeping four costs from £109. For more information, visit or call 0844 847 1100. Nottingham Castle is open all year round and prices start from £4.00 for concessions and £5.50 for adults, combined tickets for Nottingham Castle and the museum are available. For more information, visit or contact 0115 915 3700.

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She rwo od Cast le Holiday Par

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The Best For: A Hidden Retreat Where: The Well House, Isle of Wight Attraction: Seaview Wildlife Encounter The Well House, Isle of Wight is the ultimate family destination, a unique fort hidden by a moat that rises to its outer walls. The property is characterised by impressive brick barrel ceilings, a one off, illuminated, glass covered well, large airy rooms and beautifully landscaped rooftop gardens. The property is let on a self-catering basis and has a kitchen complete with 4 bedrooms, as well as an additional bathroom. The Well House also offers a gorgeous first floor open plan living/dining area.

Sherwood_02.jpg Sherwood_03.jpg Sherwood_04.jpg Castle3.jpg Castle4.jpg

Sherwood Castle Holiday Park Sherwood Castle Holiday Park Sherwood Castle Holiday Park Nottingham Castle Nottingham Castle

The Well House, Isle of Wig


After a spot of relaxation we suggest a visit to the Isle of Wight’s very own Seaview Wildlife Encounter. This multi-award winning wildlife attraction is set in beautiful, open, natural parklands with magnificent views across the Solent waters, filled to the brim with unbelievably cute and tame furry friends. The Well House can be booked from £659 for a week and from £472 for three nights. For bookings call 0844 7044987 or visit Seaview Wildlife Ecounter is open all year round and costs £9.50 for adults, £8.50 for senior citizens, £7.50 for children and £31.50 for a family ticket. For more information visit,

January/February 2013


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Dinner Bed & Breakfast from £49.50pppn based on a minimum 2 night stay

Upgrade to a deluxe room for £10.00 pppn, or £20.00 pppn for a superior room with a stunning sea view 3. From 1st January to 31st March 2012. Subject to availability CENTRAL PROMENADE, LLANDUDNO LL30 1BA (Next to Venue Cymru, Private Car Park) t: 01492 878101 e:

s g • Laser Tag Game

Shootin ng • Clay Pigeon

d Biki ing • Extreme Qua • Rage Buggy Rac

New Year, New You! Caudwell Children transforms the lives of disabled children across the UK. We act as a safety net for families who are unable to gain the help they need. Giving your time can make a huge difference to the lives of others. • FUNDRAISING VOLUNTEERS Inspire your local communities to get involved • FAMILY SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS caudwellchildren Providing a safety net when families are facing a crisis


• ACTIVITIES VOLUNTEERS Support disabled children to access fun leisure activities

Looking for Ultimate Action? Fast & furious adrenalin packed activities? • Stag & Hen Parties • Corporate Events • Team Days • Birthdays or that special Valentine treat

Call today and book 07870271625 Gift vouchers available. Minimum age 16 years.



If you are interested, or want to find out more about volunteering for Caudwell Children, call 01782 600 443 or visit caudwellchildren


RCN 1079770


Runners up for Britain’s Best Auction House 2012


• Free home visits by appointment • Full house clearances • Valuations for insurance • Valuations for probate • Free valuation days held every Monday • Antiques Weekends available Upcoming sales:

Jan 31st 2013 - Antiques & Fine Art Mar 7th 2013 - Antiques & Fine Art Apr 18th 2013 - Antiques & Fine Art with Militaria & Sporting Memorabilia May 30th 2013 - Antiques & Fine Art Sale with Oriental & Asian Art The Cheshire Saleroom Withyfold Drive Macclesfield SK10 2BD 0845 835 0520 / 01625 431 788

The largest auctioneers in the region with salerooms in Macclesfield and Liverpool


Available from


50 High Street Stone ST15 8AU Tel. 01785 818300

Want to take the first step towards completing your family? If you are wondering about adoption and want to find out more, why not talk to us? To find out more about adoption with Sandwell Council, call us on 0800 352 0899 or visit us at We welcome all enquiries regardless of age, race, religion or sexualilty – and we’d love to hear from you.


A Spot Of Ye Olde Romance Our very own Features Writer Justine Clegg and her partner were invited to stay in two sister hotels in the Cotswolds. Not one to turn down such an opportunity to revive a bit of romance, let’s see if they wooed her over…

Above: Chipping Campden

CHIPPING CAMPDEN Found in the North of the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden is full of charm and personal delights. Could it be one of the most romantic destinations in the UK? It sure is putting up a good fight for the position.

The Noel Arms has a relaxed feel, with a pleasing mix of business and pleasure. Downstairs you’ll find a small pub-like bar with its dark wood, cosy chairs and dogfriendly presence. Daily newspapers and glossy mags are aplenty, as you would expect from the ‘chilled’ surroundings, whilst the conservatory looking over the courtyard provides a sunny spot for a quiet drink, business meeting or casual dining. Furthermore the restaurant has the feeling of any modern brasserie.

Despite the rubbish weather (what else do you expect?), the rows of sandstone buildings have a subtle sparkle of wealth, where you find yourself sitting up straight and answering in your best telephone voice. This place is a slice of Olde England, somewhere that hasn’t been touched for centuries and could almost be mistaken for a readymade film set for the next Jane Austin remake. Amongst the cute-as-a-button homes hide the shops and stores. The highstreet isn’t decked with a whole host of promotional material vying for your attention, but instead the shops are discreet with oldy-worldy signs and window displays to draw you in. The stylish designer and silversmith Robert Welch’s store is well worth a look; you may come out a few hundred pounds lighter though.

Above: Conservatory at Noel Arms STAYING OVER Led upstairs to our room for the night it felt like I was in the set of Alice in Wonderland. The different floor and ceiling heights, despite all being on one floor, was forever changing where floorboards let out loud creaks when receiving any sort of change in weight. Exposed brick was a repeated feature. A huge dormant-like door swung open to reveal a light, airy room thanks to the near floor-to-ceiling bay window, and standing in pride of place was one hell of a bed! This particular wood-carved four-poster had a surprising amount of height. Pointing out the steps to get into bed I sure felt like I was in the fairytale The Princess and The Pea. Had they placed one under the mattress?



EVENING MEAL I’d been given a little heads-up on the restaurant in the Noel Arms before our visit, something that unless you heard by ear or have done your research you would never actually know until you pick up a menu. For the past two years, the Noel Arms has won ‘Pub Curry of the Year’ awarded by the Good Food Guide, now that’s some title that needs a little song and dance surely? But then does it only add to their easy-going lifestyle they’re offering?

Above: Noel Arms

Chipping Campden had wooed me over at first glimpse and I was finding myself swooning over the buildings hoping the interiors were just as delightful. So, stepping foot through the door and being greeted by a selection of carefully placed cakes and sweets from the cafe, I knew I was in for a memorable few days away.

The bathroom you’ll find on another level up a set of stairs to be greeted by one large bathtub. There are no standing shower facilities, although a shower head attached to the taps could be classed as suffice. Instead you are obliged to take a hot, steamy bath reinforcing the relaxing/minibreak ideal, so I’m far from complaining.

Above: Four-Poster Bedroom at Noel Arms

The menu offers an array of brasserie favourites including various grills, duck and a pleasing selection of fish dishes, whilst on the page are a selection of four curries – the 2010 Award Winning Sri Lankan Black Lamb (£15.50), 2011 Award Winning Ceylon Style Seafood Yellow Curry with a mix of Monkfish, King Prawns & Baby Squid (14.75), Green Pea & Cashew Nut Curry for the vegetarians (£12.50) and a Daily Curry (£13.50), all served with rice, poppadum and pickle & chutney.

Above: Ceylon Style Seafood Yellow Curry No matter how many different choices are available on the brasserie side of the menu, when you are faced with possibly tasting a dish that has been named Curry of the Year, all you can do is challenge it! My not-so better half chose the 2010 winner, the Black Lamb, whilst my taste buds were in the mood for a touch of seafood…the soft and delicate textures were smooth on the palate. Being a curry I expected some spice but instead I was pleasantly surprised with the creamy texture complete with a gentle warmth at the back of my throat. As for the Black Lamb, I begrudgingly have to say it was my favourite out of the two. The decent kick was backed up with a large punch of rich flavours.

PEOPLE & PLACES The non-invasive luxury only continued into the bathroom with crisp suite, separate (humungous) shower cubicle and large bath equipped with built-in TV. Yes I have just casually slipped ‘built-in TV in the bathtub’ into a sentence as one does. SPA TREATS The spa at Cotswold House is fairly young at only 3 years old, therefore you can imagine it is still immaculate and has a fresh décor. They don’t tend to advertise the presence of this little gem tucked away at the rear of the grounds simply for the fact they are keen to keep custom local and within the hotel.

Above: Cotswold House and Spa

COTSWOLD HOUSE & SPA Directly across the road from the Noel Arms sits the sister hotel Cotswold House & Spa offering a completely different kind of stay. Where the Noel Arms relies heavily on old charm and with an upmarket country pub feel, this hotel oozes class with a clean, pillared and strong entrance. Cotswold House and Spa offer a number of options for guests staying over – all in the utmost luxury. Time for a little indulgence I say. When it comes to dining in an evening there are two options; fine dining at its very best or an upmarket grill for the steak lovers amongst us. Those dropping in for a drink can reside in the bar/ cocktail lounge and with a dedicated spa at the other end of the gardens you’re sure to find something that appeals to your luxury tastes.

Above: Hidcote Cottage at Cotswold House STAYING OVER Escorted outside and to the rear of the property, walking up a romantic path with exquisite gardens we came to a cute cottage named Hidcote. We were staying on the lower level where through the door we were met by a hallway with chic bathroom to the left and our bedroom and sitting area ahead. The room tastefully decorated with a traditional, yet not outdated design with cream, light green and pink hues was in-keeping with the cottage style. The room full of light, the fire a blazing and at the far end we had a patio door leading to our very own private garden with pretty patio set and wait for it…a fully functioning barrel hot tub! What a fabulous surprise. Taking full advantage my not-so better half and I even went for a dip around midnight. When else are you going to get opportunities like that?

The pool area is as you would imagine; with large hydrotherapy pool, steam room and sauna. Whilst if you step upstairs you’ll find the treatment rooms with a menu full of exciting and unusual spa treats. One of which was quick to take my eye – a 23 carat-gold facial. Surely this was a chance for my Cleopatra moment (or C-3P0 whichever is more appropriate). Visiting on the launch of their new Spa Menu I was soon told to be the first person to receive this particular treatment. Quite an honour.

Presented with a menu of savoury dishes, cheeses and desserts it’s playful, choosing either 3, 4 or 5 courses in a combination. There are no defined starters or mains as each dish is considered an in-between size, so if you want a dessert first…you can. Obviously there are recommendations and the staff are on hand to help with their extensive knowledge, yet friendly presence. For the first course I had chosen an artichoke dish cooked 4 different ways with a honey & milk curd. Whilst my other half tucked into a beetroot dish. As you can see we hadn’t broken any rule books here. You could tell at first instance the dishes have a heavy focus on a particular ingredient, whilst presenting dishes beautifully having a strong rustic undertone. Clearly championing the artichoke, the more I delved into the dish, the more the flavours developed. It started subtly and by the time I had placed knife and fork together, my palate had experienced a wonderful mix on combinations – despite all coming from the same ingredient. This echoed through all of his dishes. Especially with by far the best dish on the menu, roasted Yorkshire grouse, celeriac and blackberry - powerful and intense with a genius focus on textures and flavours. We both opted for four courses, five just felt slightly too greedy. My not-so better half looked at me with part disbelief/part mad-woman as I ordered the venison to finish. The fact was I could! It had a chocolate sauce anyhow, so surely it partly passes? Justine Clegg. Follow me on Twitter @Justine1987

Above: The Spa at Cotswold House and Spa Is it too cliché to say I came out with a golden complexion? Probably, but then again I’m really not lying thanks to being dusted off in actual gold. You can’t get much more high life than that surely? Quite literally decked in gold I swanned in looking quite the smug character. But in terms of actual therapy, gold is high in antioxidants with immense anti-ageing qualities to improve fine lines, combat wrinkles and accelerate skin cell renewal. They used La Sultane de Saba products which smelled amazing, whilst the treatment included a range of different stages; a deep cleanse, steam facial, exfoliation, massage, a honey & ginger mask, gold mask and hand and foot massage. To sum it up in a word? (That doesn’t mention gold?) Soothing. EVENING MEAL Named the 2013 Chef To Watch in the Good Food Guide Awards, Dave Watts is tipped for huge success after training under Raymond Blanc and being one of the most talked about chefs in South Wales, Oxford and now the Cotswolds. He is sure making a name for himself and that’s possibly down to his unique take on the traditional menu setup. In May 2012, Dave changed the Dining Room menu to his new concept which discreetly breaks the conventions of fine dining.

Cotswold Indulgence Break – save up to £120 per night Great Little Breaks (w w ea tli t tlebr eak; 08448 488 488) offers an exclusively-priced, wonderfully indulgent break at the four-star Cotswold House & Spa in Chipping Campden. Sleep between Frette linen sheets and pick your pillow from a menu. There’s a Turkish hammam, a hydrotherapy pool and rejuvenating treatments on offer to restore and revive you. An overnight stay with afternoon tea or a glass of champagne on arrival, plus dinner and full English breakfast, is just £98 pp (based on two sharing – standard B&B rate usually from £158 pp). Offer valid until 28th February 2013, excluding 13th, 14th and 15th February. Cotswold Cream Tea Break – save up to £100 per night Great Little Breaks (; 08448 488 488) also offers an exclusively-priced stay at the Noel Arms in Chipping Campden. With its honeystone facade and just 27 rooms, it epitomises traditional Cotswolds country inn charm. Curl up in front of the log fire and enjoy culinary delights prepared by the awardwinning chef. An overnight stay is just £45 pp (based on two sharing) including a cream tea with a glass of Bucks Fizz on arrival, full English Bucks Fizz breakfast, 10% off dinner and 10% off any pre-booked spa treatments at the award-winning spa at their sister hotel, Cotswolds House & Spa. Offer valid until 28th February 2013, with a minimum two-night stay if including a Saturday night.

January/February 2013


The yorkshire Antiques and Stafford Bingley Art Fair Hall Saturday & Sunday QUALITY 3 DAY 22nd & 23rd May ANTIQUES FAIRS 10am to 5pm each day At the County Showground, Stafford ST18 0BD on A518, 5 mins J14, M6

Yorkshire event centre Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays The great Yorkshire 3rd/4th/5th February Showground

1st/2nd/3rd February 9th/10th/11th March2013 Harrogate 22nd/23rd/24th June 8th/9th/10th March 2013 HG2 8QZ 10th/11th/12th August 10am-5pm each day 28th/29th/30th Up to 350 September Stands 7th/8th/9th December Admission: £4

Jewellery & Watches Valuations

10am-5pm each day Ample Free Parking


the widest selectionGLASS, of antiques, art, ART,Probably FURNITURE, CERAMICS, CLOCKS, collectables, curios, vintage and retro in the FASHION, SILVER & JEWELLERY. north of England. Admission £5 adults, £3 concessions, children under 16 Antiques free of charge. Bowman Fairs Ample free parking.

Tel: 01274Antiques 588505 Fairs Bowman


Wednesday 16 January Wednesday 13 February 10am to 4pm

To arrange an appointment please contact:

Bonhams team of jewellery specialists are pleased to offer free and confidential advice on any items you may be considering selling at auction. Visits to your home or bank can also be arranged.

Bonhams The Old House Station Road Knowle, Solihull West Midlands, B93 0HT

01564 776 151

Quality fairs organisers since 1973

BOOKINGS/ENQUIRIES:Next Fair at this venue 6th & 7th November t:(01274) 588505

International Auctioneers and Valuers -

Supporting adopters and changing Childrens’ lives Adoption Focus is accepting enquiries from people who want to adopt. Contact our specialist adoption social workers

on 0845 519 0539

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Greeted by the waiter we were offered some bread and happily sipped a pumpkin and honeycomb amuse bouche. The selection of starters were exquisite with Fois Gras Bonbon, Braised Pig Cheek, Crab, Chilli & Lime Salad and Rainbow Trout. Obviously after the cooking masterclass (see below) I had to try the crab and Ian chose the pig cheek. My crab salad was infused with chilli and the touch of lime puree on the side finished it off perfectly. Ian’s pig cheek was succulently soft, accompanied with scallops and celeriac on the side.

GOURMET LOVE With Valentine’s day upon us Living’s Jemma McNicholas headed off to the glorious Shropshire countryside to visit Fishmore Hall with her husband Ian for a romantic gourmet weekend away.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS With Ludlow being a foodie hotspot I couldn’t wait to see what this boutique hotel had to offer. Driving up a quiet country road in the Shropshire countryside we suddenly saw the sign for Fishmore Hall. Pulling onto the car park a beautiful large white Georgian style building stood in front of us. Seemingly striking for a small boutique hotel.

THE BEDROOMS There are 15 individually designed contemporary rooms in the hotel. We stayed in room No 7, coloured in greens and creams and a huge bath placed in the middle of the actual bedroom. Luxury at its best! The mini bar was stocked full of local delights including local cider and crisps for those wanting a savoury treat whilst Molton Brown toiletries finished of the luxurious theme.

THE BAR AND LOUNGE Offering a huge range of international and local drinks, whether you prefer to sip on a glass of prosecco or you want to try out a local cider/beer there is something for all. Sit in the lounge with music as the backdrop and plenty of leather seats so you can socialise with your other half over a glass of vino.

AFTERNOON TEA Being quite the connoisseur of Afternoon Tea, once again we were excited to be indulging in cakes and sandwiches aplenty. The afternoon tea was simply splendid with an array of cakes including chocolate brownie, carrot cake and of course not forgetting the scones with clotted cream and jam…phew! We happily munched our way through the selection, oohing and ahhing throughout the whole process of how utterly delicious every bite was. Rich, pleasant and a culinary delight!

FORELLES RESTAURANT The restaurant Forelles is set in an orangery retaining a romantic charm, elegant setting and stunning views of the Shropshire countryside. The food features the best locally sourced ingredients from producers all over Shropshire. For the fine dining experience you can choose from a 3 course a la carte menu, a 6 course Shropshire tasting menu or even a 9 course gourmand menu. We opted for the 3 course menu as we were still stuffed from our afternoon tea. Being shown to the lounge we ordered our drinks, ate canapés and chose our food for the evening. Once settled our host showed us to our table nestled perfectly in the corner for our romantic evening ahead.

Following our cooking demo earlier in the day I was waiting in anticipation to try out the main dishes. I didn’t know how I would choose from Seared Turbot, Confit Salmon, Pheasant and Loin of Venison. Eventually I opted for the pheasant and Ian the venison. Alongside the rich pheasant were game chips and a pumpkin puree; one of the most divine English dishes I have ever tasted. The Venison was finished off nicely with parsnip and an elderberry jus, the perfect dish for the man of the house! Bellies relatively full a pre dessert of lemon parfait tempted us to try their dessert offerings, we chose a rhubarb with ginger ice cream dessert and a unique apple crumble soufflé. Finally we finished with coffee and petit fours, the perfect ending to the perfect romantic evening.

COOK YOUR WAY TO YOUR MANS HEART With cooking programmes such as Masterchef and the Great British Bake Off becoming more popular than ever, Fishmore Hall have jumped at a chance to showcase what they can offer with a range of foodie packages including a gourmet package, a cooking demo and a shop and cook. We experienced a 2 hour cooking demo with head chef David Jarman.…. Before our stint in the kitchen, Head Chef David came to introduce himself to us and discussed our cooking options. Arriving in the kitchen our aprons were donned, hands washed and we were ready to go. What better dish to prep whilst on a cooking demo than a fish? With Turbot being the fish for the evening we got stuck in and being shown the ropes by David we soon found ourselves being the centre of attention. Not wanting to disappoint I carefully gutted and skinned my fish to (what I would say) an almost perfect portion. My partner in crime however took a little more ‘practice to get it right’ approach (you can obviously see who the cook is in our house). Sticking with the fish theme David asked if we would like to cook and prep a crab… excitedly taking him up on his offer I was all ready to drop the crab into the boiling hot pan….that was until I realised it was still alive! David explained that everything they use is fresh (hence the live crab) and almost all the ingredients are locally sourced. We even had a tipple of one of the finest Cognac’s money can buy. Fish phase being over we had to know the secret to the heavenly chocolate brownies we had already tasted in the afternoon tea. What better way to spend a romantic weekend away than to be baking chocolate brownies? Needless to say, despite finding some new talents we were quite happy to leave the cooking in his capable hands!

FINAL WORDS If you are looking for a romantic getaway that’s not too far from home with a fine dining experience then look no closer than Fishmore Hall. Whether it is a quiet hotel experience with plenty of relaxation time or sightseeing in Ludlow there is something for all. Make it unique for you with afternoon tea, a spa treatment or a cooking demonstration ensuring that romance will almost definitely be in the air.

Jemma McNicholas Follow me on Twitter: @jem0685 Bed and Breakfast rates from £150 per night (standard room) Cooking demonstration rates from £75-£700 Minimoon Package from £899-£1299 Address: Fishmore Hall, Fishmore Road, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 3DP Telephone: 01584 875 148 Website:

January/February 2013


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Family breakdown? Has your relationship been torn apart? Having problems deciding who cares for your children? Need help sorting out who lives in the matrimonial home? Need advice on how to split your savings?

Call us today for friendly professional advice Appointments can be made at either Hanley or Tunstall offices



Proof that we like to make you look good.

Bowcock and to Pursaill is a well-established firm ofyour solicitors in Leek and Stoke-on-Trent. Based in the heart of the Midlands, we are able to advise clients If you require any amendments your advertisement proof please contact Sentinel situated representitive. advertising / brand identityof /different digital / distribution throughout Staffordshire and Cheshire. We please pridecontact ourselves ouratpersonal customer service and the expertise which we are able to offer in a number If you would like to further discuss creative advertising opportunities Dave on or Paul events / leaflets / marketing / outdoor / print The Sentinel mediagency on 01782 fields of the law.602525 or email The Family Department at Bowcock & Pursaill specialises in all areas of Family Law including but not limited to: • • • • •

Divorce and Financial Settlements upon divorce Separation for unmarried couples All issues in relation to children including matters of contact, residence and relocation Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial Agreements Family Law Injunctions

Whilst understanding the sensitive nature of family problems, we will provide a straight forward approach to your matter to ensure reduced cost, time and stress for you. We are currently offering free initial meetings for new clients so if you would like to book a ‘no strings attached’ meeting to discuss resolving your issue then please contact us on the numbers provided below. To ensure excellent client satisfaction, we are extremely pleased to be introducing a new Fixed Fee Scheme for Divorce. In addition to this, we have also implemented a ‘Pay As You Go’ service for those of you who require a little help with the case you are conducting in person. Bowcock and Pursaill also offer a full range of legal services in addition to Family including: Property, Business Leases, Disputes and Wills and Probate. For further information please visit our website at: or contact us using the details below: Leek Office: 54 St. Edward Street Leek Staffordshire ST13 5DJ Tel: 01538 399199

Stoke Office: 2 Ridge House, Ridgehouse Drive Festival Park Stoke on Trent ST1 5SJ Tel: 01782 200000

Alternatively you can E-mail either office on:


KEEPING THE LOVE ALIGHT Relationships require work and dedication, times can be hard, you will go through happy and sad times, and no doubt many trying situations, it’s important throughout all this though that you appreciate your partner and make sure your relationship doesn’t fall by the wayside. If it has, this doesn’t need to be the end; some simple reminders of why you fell in love or some little pointers on how to reignite the flame are sometimes all that’s needed. If you feel the relationship has reached the end though, it’s important (especially if you have children involved) that you part respectfully and with your dignity intact, a break up doesn’t need a vicious affair but should ideally be calm and considered. Our guide to relationship troubles should put you in the right direction, and help lead you to a revived relationship or a clear head and a new start.

NO SEX PLEASE, WE’RE BRITISH It may seem clichéd and it may seem obvious but one of the top reasons that relationships fail or hit the rocks is the result of a sexless marriage, Many polls have been carried out, and lack of sex repeatedly comes up as the main issue over family, children or money, meaning it’s important for you, your relationship and your health that you keep busy between the bed sheets.

Sexual confidence and self-confidence are also likely to increase with age for both men and women, meaning that you’re more likely to want to be

If it’s gone quiet in the bedroom and you are worried for the future of your relationship you can get help, organisations such as Relate - The Relationship people offer sex therapy courses for those in need of general advice, a place to talk and tips on leading a healthy sex life. If this is something that interests you visit for more information on your local centre.

Being willing to try something new is a big turn on as well and will help you both to become more comfortable and open, strengthening your bond. In fact, many couples report that failed sexual experimentation has had just as much of a positive effect on their relationship as successful experimentation has, even if the outcome was a night filled with laughter instead of pleasure.”

For some solid advice we got in touch with Hella Walkington, sex and relationship expert from the UK’s leading online sex toy retailer “Spouses who share a good emotional connection and enjoy a satisfying sex life are less likely to drift apart or to go looking for a fling, and that’s one in the eye for the dreaded D-word. But if your sex life is flagging and you’re finding it difficult to get that spark back, you could do more harm than good by trying to force passion as your priority. Most great sexual relationships have a foundation of deep love and closeness behind them, so if you feel those things are lacking too, it might be an idea to work on them first. Start off small by increasing the amount of physical contact between you. Hold hands, cuddle up on the sofa and reintroduce the idea of physical intimacy between you, without it being construed as a sexual approach. The more comfortable you feel with being physically close and tactile with one another, the more likely it is that you’ll feel a deeper connection that will inspire a desire for sex. If you’re already enjoying a sexual relationship, but you’re not feeling satisfied, then it’s time to take some pragmatic action to make it better. In contrast to popular belief, middle-aged women actually have higher libidos than girls in their 20s, according to a major new survey by Boots. It found that women with the highest sex drives are aged between 35 and 44 – with 17% rating their libido as 10/10. While that’s great news for married couples, it does raise the bar for sexual expectations.


adventurous in the bedroom. The Fifty Shades phenomenon has opened a lot of people up to the idea of experimenting with adult toys, and has even sparked the launch of an Official Fifty Shades of Grey sex toy collection.

START TALKING Talking about your problems in a relationship is the best way of stress relief and one of the things us Brits seem to fail miserably at as we archaically seek to pertain the idea of a stiff upper lip, but if you do think there are problems in your marriage confess this to your partner. Ask yourself why your marriage has deteriorated to this point and then openly and frankly discuss what you can do to solve your problems. Research shows that early intervention is one of the most effective strategies to preserve a marriage. Psychologists say it is imperative for couples to deal with their problems before negative attitudes become heavily rooted in the relationship and resentment builds. Talk to your loved one about the things that you are willing to change in order to make things work. Rather than allowing things to get blown out of all proportion when emotions run high (which they will), try to keep any issues in perspective as you try and sort your problems. It’s not going to be fun and you probably won’t enjoy it, and arguments may occur, but the end result could just save the best thing that ever happened to you or even make you realise that unfortunately it’s time to move on.


THE PATH TO A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP Dr Massimo Stocchi is a psychologist at London’s Harley Street Psychology centre; here he gives Living three tips to avoid any pitfalls in a relationship. Curiosity: “The One Factor that drew you to your partner in essence was curiosity. You were curious about him/her and wanted to learn everything about them. When we are together for a long time we fail to remain curious about what the other is thinking and feeling, so things die down in the relationship. Always keep in mind that we are always changing and by remaining curious you will always be pleasantly surprised by how your partner is changing which will draw you closer and make you more attracted to them.” Be Careful of being too friendly: “You will find that many couples that go wrong in their marriages reach a point of feeling that they have become too close like friends do. From the point of view that the couple actually begins to relate as best friends, by no means am I saying that a couple cannot be friendly with one another, but there needs to be a healthy balance of knowing who your friends are and who your partner is. Self-Reflection and Personal Development: “The final piece of advice is always be mindful of your own self and personal development. There is always a distinct need for self-development because if you are not working on yourself there is an eventual point of becoming stagnant within yourself. When this point is reached we become unhappy within our relationships and use common sabotages to destroy the things we love most. So be mindful of your own growth, and the bonus is that you can always share this with your partner in the attempt of sparking further curiosity in them.“ For more information visit

IF YOU CAN’T STAY TOGETHER - COLLABORATIVE LAW: THE AMICABLE SEPERATION If you simply can’t stay together you don’t have to go to court to resolve issues when you separate or divorce, alternative remedies are available. Instead you can choose to address the legal consequences of your separation using mediation or the newly emerging collaborative law approach. You may not have heard of it before, but it involves each couple instructing their own collaboratively trained lawyer. All lawyers in this division are a member of Resolution, an organisation who believes that most problems facing separating couples are best solved without confrontation. The sessions take place with your former partner and both lawyers. You are given the choice of which topics to focus on and whether to involve other experts. During each session, you and your lawyer will meet your former partner and their lawyer to work out the details of your separation. You will of course have support and legal advice as you go through the process. All parties sign an agreement to commit them to the collaborative Law process and to resolve all issues without going to court. It’s believed this way all parties are committed to finding the best solutions by agreement. In the unfortunate case that the collaborative law process breaks down, both parties have a cooling off period to see if discussions/negotiations can get back on track. If they can’t, then the parties cannot instruct their collaborative lawyers any further. Statistics provided Resolution show that less than 1% of the couples who decide to use the collaborative Family Law process cannot reach an agreement. With thanks to Katherine Haden at Keelys LLP Solicitors, Lichfield for assistance in the article. If you would like to find out more information about your options in relation to mediation or collaborative law, she offers a free 20 minute telephone consultation. You can contact her on 01543 420000 or 01543 420406 or e-mail

January/February 2013


wills & probate family & matrimonial

SALMONS Sol ici tors

residential property

...a strong family law team, providing a quality service for over 22 years

Consult our experienced specialist family law team for expert and caring advice

SALMONS Sol ici tors •Fixed family law pricing (see website for details)

•DIY Divorce Packs

Even if you have property and assets, you may still be entitled to legal aid – whilst it is still available; come 1st April 2013 you may not get legal aid no matter how little you have.

Call us on 01543 420 000 Keelys LLP Solicitors 28 Dam Street, Lichfield Staffordshire, WS13 6AA

•Family Mediation settlements •Child care law

Newcastle office: 20-22 High Street, May Bank, Newcastle-U-Lyme ST5 0JB Tel: 01782 621266 Stoke office: 336 Hartshill Road, Hartshill, Stoke-On-Trent ST4 7NX Tel: 01782 639827

You Can Divorce With Dignity. Collaborative law:• • • • •

Avoids going to court and unnecessary conflict Helps you to maintain mutual respect and allows you to communicate effectively Emphasises the needs of your children Allows you to focus on what is important for you, your family and your future Prepares each of you for your new lives apart

If you are thinking about separation or divorce and would like the opportunity to try this alternative process, make sure each of you consult your own collaborative lawyer. (please note that not all family lawyers are collaborative lawyers) For a list of local collaborative lawyers, please visit our website:

1stMediation 1stMediation 14 Park Street, 1stMediation Stafford, ST17 4AL 1 stMediation 01785 213234 1 s t Mediation 1stMediation

helen jackson L.L.B. (Hons)

14 Park Street, Stafford ST17 4AL Tel: 01785 213234 Fax: 01785 218351 Email: Web:

7 & 8 St Mary’s Grove, Stafford, ST16 2AT

01785 273133

336 Hartshill Road, Hartshill, Stoke on Trent, ST4 7NX 01782 639827

(Derby, Burton upon Trent, Stoke on Trent, Swadlingcote and Leicester) 01332 225233

3 George House, Prince’s Court, Beam Heath Way, Nantwich, CW5 6GD

01270 504850

Catherine Longshaw at Knights

The Smith Partnership

nigel rostance L.L.B. (Hons)

on n

- H e l p i n g s e p a r a t i n g c o u p l e s a n d f a m i l i e s t o r e a c h a g r e e m e n t o u t o f C o u r t-

1 Dysart Buildings, Nantwich, CW5 5DP

01270 610300

172 Nantwich Road, Crewe, CW2 6BW

01270 212000

The Brampton, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 0QW 01782 349538


n n

Local Mediation Services

To us “Family” means putting your arms around each other, just being there! 1st-Mediation is a trading name of 1st Solicitors Ltd Registered office: 14 Park Street, Stafford ST17 4AL Registered in England and Wales Company Registration No. 6779250

Relate can help families that somehow have lost their way. Putting families first.

It’s never too late to contact Relate for more information about our services Please contact us

The Roy Fletcher Centre, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JE 01743 344010


Here at Living we’re all about aiming high and constantly pushing yourself to the next stage in your career, nobody needs to lay dormant in the sake of going stale. Opportunities naturally bring with them experiences, starting new beginnings in our lives to stay fresh and proactive. So, if that door of opportunity has been left open for you it’s time to read these handy hints and tricks to offer you that gentle yet encouraging nudge through. Job interviews can be one scary place, and when it comes to shows like The Apprentice, it leaves us all crash burning with nerves due to over imagination. But perhaps these products and tips can offer you a new leash of confidence as they say most employees make up their mind within 30 seconds of meeting the candidate.


IT’S ALL IN THE EYES Your eyes can be one instant tell-tale to any employee. If you’ve seen the show America’s Next Top Model then you’ll know it’s all about the, as Tara Banks has coined, smizing. Which in nonmodel terms means smiling with your eyes. If your eyes are tired and emotionless then girl you need to turn it all around, this new employer is looking for a certain sparkle in your eye something of which is only achieved with a bit of effort! Ensure eyes are sparkling with the use of drops, take away your dark circles with treatments and cover-ups and open up your eyes with a decent sweep of mascara. Everything Mascara, £18. Bobbi Brown

Nerves and anxiety can leave us with sweaty palms and feeling lost for words. While many natural alternatives are believed to work through the ‘placebo’ effect, studies have shown that L-Theanine can actually help reduce heart rate and inhibit release of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Nature’s Best L-Theanine is the purest form available, is not known to be addictive and does not cause drowsiness. Try taking a tablet of Nature’s Best L-Theanine 200mg (£9.95 for 60 tablets) one hour before required. To buy visit or call 01892 552 094.

MAT TE FINISH When it comes to your make-up steer away from dark, dramatic make-up – you’re not there to seduce the boss! At the same time you want to show you’ve made an effort to present yourself with a spot of clever make-up that leaves you looking natural without being drowned out. Define eyes with brown shades, choose faint pinky tones for both your nails and lips to provide a soft finish and most importantly when it comes to your skin think matte. In high pressure surroundings you are bound to sweat, where skin will become shiny and flustered therefore steer well clear of oil-based foundations and instead look for blot patches! If you have oily skin you will already know the benefits of matte make-up, disguising blemishes and offering a neutral outcome. Invest.

MURINE Bright & Moist Eyes, £4.07. Boots

2true French manicure set, 1.99 each or 3 for £5. Superdrug

Stila Cover Up Stick 2.8g, £13.


you portray Despite those first impressions, your attitude and how w Stibbe, CEO, yourself is obviously just as important. Matthe to take note has created a whole list of certain points of before an interview. Here are our 3 top favourites: your spare time.’ Get a hobby. I asked one woman ‘what do you do in a joke and she as meant wasn’t It The answer was “I smoke a lot.” so if you don’t life have you like look didn’t get the job. You need to have any hobbies, get some.

Blotting Papers, £17. Bobbi Brown

Primed and Ready Smoothing Make-up Primer, £5.99. Collection 2000

a no-no. This is Be respec tful. Slagging off previous employers is also they would do entertaining gossip but it is very easy to imagine that the same about you. sweaty palms, Always shake hands. If you suffer from nerves and handshake is the before clothes discreetly wipe you hand on your ake. handsh fish wet a than required. There’s nothing worse To read more tips from Matthew, please visit really-want


‘Hello Flawless’ powder with SPF 15, £24.50.

Kohl Pencil, £14. MAC

Living love


ds for the season ahead. Therefore we’re ALSO INSIDE...A New Year brings with it new tren this edition. Our favourite? Cow print. No, championing three huge trends for your living room s all about uplifting monochrome with a we’re not turning our front room into a farmyard, it’ stylish and somewhat masculine edge.

me fun Inject so ome h into your erned tt with a pa age 107 p carpet on Stripes Carpet, a Design ge:Moden ollec tion ination C Main ima . /m Fasc sq er p 9 ts £54.9 k Carpe by Vorwer


House of Fraser


Fluffy Throws, from £50. BHS

Long gone are the days where shabby chic = a girly dusky pink vintage styling, complete with Cath Kidson prints. 2013 is all about the Nordic vibe which has been creeping around for some time now, but finally has had its voice heard. Ideal for winter, the styling seeks inspiration from the North Atlantic countries i.e. Finland, Sweden and Iceland – hence the name! Meaning you can quite easily escape to your own winter lodge without having to step foot anywhere near an airport. To add a touch of warmth we’re adding splashes of colour in our fabric choice. Limit yourself to natural colours such as blues and greens (reminding us of the Alps!) to not over complicate. Choose your furniture wisely. Wood is essential, no steel or plastic please in this instance. You want to be looking to achieve a winter lodge style effect, without being completely over the top so subtle and simple pieces in white wash are our hot choices. Picking odd items, which are not from the same range, will bring the look together.

Any bed would not be complete without a stack full of cushions; they’re ever so inviting and appeal to our softer side! The more the merrier as they say. With minimal colour in the furniture and dée cor, we suggest adding splashes of colour in your cushions such as blue and green hues.



Rocha.John Rocha Cushion, £28. Debenhams

LIVING’S TOP TIP It’s time to use a little initiative as the Nordic themed Xmas decorations that we reported on in the last edition will be perfect for your new bedroom. Subtle objects that steer away from the ‘typical’ Christmas theme and can be related to any time of year will fit perfectly such as stars and hearts. Hang tree decorations on bed knobs and curtain hooks to add quirky detailing.

Knitted Lambswool Cushion, £69. From the Wilde

Gold Stem Tea Light Holder, £6. BHS

Stag Cushion, £45. DesResDesign


Robin Cushion, £20. Magpie

Branch Candle Holder, £22.50. Marks and Spencer

Bell Heart Decoration, £4. M&Co

String Star Ornament, £3.99.


Sherlock Chair in Pimlico, £425. Next

Hoxton Bookcase, £499. Next

GET THE LOOK Attaining the look is all in the accessories...


Storage Crates, £45. Next Cream Rose Bouquet, £7. Matalan

Dulux Paint Mixing, Raven Plume, matt emulsion, 2.5 litres, RRP £24.29

Rex International Bull Dog Bottle Top Wall Clock, £25. Debenhams

Porcelain Deer Head, £15. Matalan

This ‘n’ That Boxes, £12. Matalan Dulux Paint Mixing, Sea Urchin, matt emulsion, 2.5 litres, RRP £24.29

Parlane Log Tealight Holder, £20. Debenhams Wooden Calendar, £10. Next Dulux Paint Mixing, Lime Squeeze, matt emulsion, 2.5 litres, RRP £24.29

Dulux Paint Mixing, Citrus Grove 2, matt emulsion, 2.5 litres, RRP £24.29

Parlane Frame, £12. Debenhams

Rex International Lanterns (pack of 10), £10. Debenhams

Islington Pendant, £65. Next

January/February 2013
















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MattressBed Double Hazel Upholstered Frame (mattress extra)


Double Millbrook Ortho Care 4 Drawer Divan Bed 1400 Pocket Spring Bed with

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Rob Ryan ‘His n Her’ Mugs, £16.95.

Retro Mechanical Scale, £24.99.

Folly Home Forget Me Not Board, £49.95.

Inject some passion into your cooking with red hot kitchen accessories.

OXO Red Silicone Whisk, £10.

KitchenAid Artisan 6.9L Bowl-Lift Mixer, £165.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS… The timeless classic of a red hot kitchen accessory just never seems to fall out of fashion, and non-more so than during Valentines! Team with your plain black and white kitchen to bring it to life, providing that all important pop of colour. Stainless Steel Whistling Kettle, £74.99. AGA Cookshop

Classic Espresso Maker, £19.95.

Mini Retro Pedal Bin, £24.99.

Wine Pairing Tea Towel, £9.95.

KMix Hand Whisk in Raspberry, RRP £59.99. Kenwood.

KitchenAid Artisan Blender, £159.

Red Wine Glass, £2.50. Wilkinsons

Sampler Heart Tin, £10. Emma Bridgewater

Architect 2-slot Toaster, £69.95.

Claret Coalbrookdale Pot 2.5l, £99.99. AGA Cookshop

Sweetheart Love Bowl, £9.98.

Drosselmeyer Nut Cracker, £29.99.

Red Heart Mugs and Stand, £7. Wilkinsons

January/February 2013


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New Year Introducing Sheryl your local Dulux designer When spending money on creating a new look for your home, getting some expert advice can be a really good idea. With the Dulux Design Service you can get the help and expertise from your very own professional interior designer, directly to you at home. Contact your local Dulux designer Sheryl on 0845 880 6888 or visit

Sheryl Hayes ‘Dulux’, ‘Dulux Design Service’ and the Dulux Design Service logo are trademarks of AkzoNobel. Photography courtesy of Harlequin.

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Platforms Adaptations Service Aids Independent Living Platform’s Adaptations Team specialise in fitting adaptations around the home to make daily living easier and safer. Based in Cheshire, Platform is a subsidiary of Wulvern Housing Ltd and has a wealth of experience in helping people to remain independent in their homes. The team are fully trained to carry out home assessments and are supported by a fully qualified occupational therapist to ensure that the most appropriate adaptations are installed, allowing for the greatest level of independence and safety.

“The simplest adaptations can make the world of difference to the resident or carer.”

Many residents who could benefit from adaptations do not qualify for a Disabled Living Grant from the Local Authority and research suggests that many feel unsure where to go for help. This is where the Adaptations Team can help by providing affordable, tailored solutions to help with every day living.

The team are affordable specialists who you can trust, for more information contact them today and see how you could benefit.

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Our business is building your perfect new home. For over 75 years our family business has been building family homes. When it comes to real quality we know a thing or two. And what is more, we’ve taken great care to make financing your home as easy as possible. Our carefully designed homes in carefully chosen locations are perfect for people who are careful with money, especially with Home Exchange* and NewBuy† now available. The Government’s 95% mortgage initiative NewBuy† is now available at The Willows, Stone. The stunning 3 & 5 bedroom homes at The Willows are available from only £165,000. So please visit us and see for yourself the care we put into everything we do. If you really care about your home, you should be with a home builder who really cares. It couldn’t be more simple. Visit us Tuesday to Sunday, 10am until 5pm or Monday 1pm until 5pm.

0800 840 8695 | *Home Exchange is subject to availability, status and eligibility. All offers are plot and development specific and subject to Miller Homes’ standard terms and conditions. These are limited offers and may be withdrawn without notice. These offers cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative. Home Exchange does not guarantee a like for like exchange. †NewBuy is available in England on properties up to a maximum value of £500,000 subject to satisfying lender criteria. Photography represents a typical Miller Homes exterior and interior. Prices and availability correct at time of going to print. All incentives are plot specific and may be withdrawn at any time.


Your first steps in getting a mortgage Getting a mortgage can admittedly be a tricky business these days, although you may be spoilt for choice and offered a wealth of advice it is important to make sure you have a clear idea of the type of mortgages which are available. In short, there are no rights or wrong when choosing a mortgage, the more facts you have to work with though, the more likely you are to make a more intelligent and more informed decision.



The Basics Amid all the number crunching, confusing interest rates and competitive market that surrounds it, it’s important to know that really there are only three main types of mortgage. 1) Interest only 2) Repayment 3) Endowment Repayment Mortgage The easiest to understand of all mortgage offers involves a monthly payment where you pay off your borrowed amount and the accrued interest at the same time. At the end of the payment term length the mortgage is completely cleared. Thought by many to be the easiest and least risky of all mortgage types, it’s worth remembering that if you do miss a payment your house could be considered for repossession. Interest Only Mortgages With this type of mortgage, each mortgage payment is used solely to pay off the interest, how you pay off the capital is of little concern to the lender. Most people when choosing this method take an ISA, pension plan or endowment policy. Interest only mortgages have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly with buy-to-let investors and first-time buyers because they are cheaper than a repayment mortgage. Endowment Mortgages An endowment mortgage is a mortgage loan arranged on an interest-only basis where the capital is intended to be repaid by one or more endowment policies. They are combined investment and life insurance policies. You pay a regular amount of money into them, your money is invested and, at the end of the policy, it pays you back any growth resulting from the investment.

Factors affecting a mortgage Reference check Before you can be approved for a mortgage (although it perhaps sounds obvious) the lender will need to know that you can afford your mortgage. They may ask for payslips or account details if you are self-employed, a reference from your employer, copies of your existing mortgage statement (if you have one) and a copy of previous bank statements. More often than not lenders will ask if you have any outstanding credit you may have and a list of all your other outgoings. The vital thing to remember is make sure you are prepared for anything you would be asked to show, this lessens your chance of being rejected. Valuation These are carried out so that if you do fail to make a payment and consequently default the mortgagers will know they can get their money back. When getting a valuation you need to make sure you get an assessment that covers everything your potential lender wishes to know. Some may accept what’s called a ‘desk top’ or ‘drive by’ valuation where some will require a fully qualified surveyor. It’s worth spending some time making sure you get the best assessment possible, this also allows for you to spot any problems the property may have. Credit risk assessment If you are a possible financial risk and have a bad financial history (such as CCJ’s, defaults etc) it’s important you declare it. If you do not it could be claimed you obtained a mortgage by deception, which is a criminal offence and you could face prosecution from. Furthermore some lenders will reject your application regardless if they did find out something you forgot to tell them. In this scenario you could lose any fees you have already paid.

Top tips for securing a mortgage

There is a risk with endowment mortgages as the final sum you get back may be more, or less, than the money you actually owed. If it does turn out to be less you will have to find the remaining money from other means of funding.

1) Keep your payslips and P60s 2) Check your credit rating 3) If you have less debt you will be able to borrow more 4) Ensure you keep up payments on credit cards and other loans 5) Make sure you are on the electoral roll

Fixed-rate Mortgages Fixed rate mortgages are usually offered for a specified number of years, and during that period your rate of interest does not change, therefore your monthly payment amount stays the same, regardless of general interest rate movements. It’s also worth checking out how much you may be charged if you pay off your mortgage early.

The National Mortgage Bureau is one of the UK’s leading independent mortgage brokers; we have quizzed their experts and got you the very best advice to remember when taking out a mortgage.

However, the fixed-rate usually only applies for a specific time period and then mortgages often revert back to being variable rate. This type of mortgage usually has an application, administration or booking fee, which could soon add up. For example, fees of £1,000 are not uncommon which means that if you pay your mortgage off over 25 years and arrange a new fixed rate every 2 years, you could end up paying a 5 figure sum in fees, which only adds to your already large sum. Tracker rate mortgages Tracker rate mortgages are similar to variable rate mortgages but the interest rates are not set against the lender’s standard variable rate. Instead the interest rate you pay will be set at a certain percentage above an outside source’s such as the bank of England base rate. Trackers guard against your lender suddenly raising your interest rate by a disproportionate amount. These can be useful as in a period of rising rates your payments will rise gradually and not suddenly as may be the case with fixed rates. Variable rate mortgages Variable rate mortgages are one of the least popular as the lender can raise or reduce your interest rate at their discretion. Changes are likely to be in line with operational needs. The advantage of this time of mortgage is that they can be very flexible.

• Contrary to what you might have read in some of the newspapers it is still possible to get a mortgage! There are fewer products available, certainly, but it’s still possible to find deals that cater for everyone. The self-employed and those with minor elements of adverse credit for instance will find their options more limited but their ability to get a mortgage depends entirely on the individual and their personal circumstances. • The Government has recently launched a series of initiatives in an attempt to support the market and these are now having a positive impact. In fact, over the last 18 months interest rates on most products have been moving downwards, and this appears to be continuing. This has sparked an increase in the number of fixed rate deals being chosen, especially longer term fixed rate deals (3-5 years as opposed to 2 years). • With a fixed rate mortgage you have a set interest rate for the duration of the benefit period, typically 2, 3 or 5 years, whereas with a variable rate mortgage the interest rate paid on the outstanding balance is often linked to the Bank of England Base Rate (BBR) or may be linked to the lenders Standard Variable Rate (SVR) and can shift up as well as down. Fixed rates are being preferred at the moment because the economic situation is still volatile and some pundits believe SVRs could soon begin to increase.

January/February 2013


The Pinnacle Blithfield Way, Norton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 8GS 3 & 4 bedroom homes from £123,199†

Stunning new homes in a well connected Stoke location

New Year, New Home! Plan ahead and select your perfect home for next year now. With January and February busy with buyers keen to select their new home, by visiting now you'll have the choice of the best plots ahead of the crowds. + A range of 3 & 4 bedroom homes from just £123,199† + Fantastic schemes available to help you move. Find out how we'll buy your existing home using Part Exchange‡ or if you're looking to get onto the property ladder find out how FirstBuy can help + Live in a perfectly located development, close to central Stoke and a range of amenities, yet never too far from great days out in the Peak District, Alton Towers and more Visit this weekend to reserve your 2013 home at a 2012 price. Plan your visit today

Call 0845 026 5322

or visit Sales centre open: Thursday - Monday 11.00am - 5.00pm * Normal Taylor Wimpey terms and conditions apply. Images for illustrative purposes only. Prices correct at time of going to press. Offer on selected homes and developments only. † Price of £123,199 based on 80% of full purchase price of £153,995. Eligible applicants will be offered an equity loan of up to a maximum of 20% of the purchase price (based on the open market value). Applicants are required to fund at least 80% of the purchase price by means of a conventional mortgage, savings and any deposit where required. For the first five years there is no fee charged on the equity loan component. At the start of year six a fee is collected of 1.75% of the market value of the property at the time the loan is entered into multiplied by the outstanding percentage under the equity loan, the annual fee of 1.75% will be multiplied by RPI+1% p.a. The equity loan is provided by the HCA and Taylor Wimpey and held as a joint second charge. Terms and conditions apply and full details will be provided on request. This offer is only available on selected developments and properties in England. It is not offered with any other promotion. For full details please contact the appropriate sales information centre. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE ‡ This offer is subject to status and only available on selected developments and properties. It is not offered with any other promotion unless by special arrangement by us. Not all properties can be considered for Part Exchange due to their method of construction or unusual characteristics

Great rates available? We offer services to assist with • Purchases • First time buyers • Home improvements • Buy to let • Transfer of Equity • Re-mortgaging • Let to buy • Further Advance M. 07769 663549 E. 10 Queen Street, The Brampton, Newcastle, Staffordshire ST5 1ED

Property to sell? We can be your cash buyer at Harvest Fields! Part Exchange to a superb new home and benefit from:* n A guaranteed cash buyer for your existing property n Free valuation and no chain n Estate agent’s fees paid n Remain in your existing property until your new home is ready to move into Enjoy a great location in Sutton Coldfield, close to good schools, shopping, and Sutton Park which is within easy reach, as well as good commuter links by rail to Birmingham New Street in 20 minutes and reach the A38, M42, M6 and M5 by road.

Want to know more? Call 0845 894 3304 today!

3 bedroom homes from £194,950 | 4 bedroom homes from £279,950 | 5 bedroom homes from £479,950

Harvest Fields Way | Sutton Coldfield | B75 5TH


Marketing Suite & Show Home open Thursday to Monday 10am to 5pm Email:

0845 894 3304

*Part Exchange is subject to Crest Nicholson’s terms and conditions, available on selected plots only. Travel times are approximate. Show Home interior. Prices correct at time of going to press.

WASHABLE MATS (ALL SIZES) NEW STOCK NOW AVAILABLE Rugs in various sizes and colours available Sheepskin, traditional, Modern & Contemporary


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Carpets good enough for James Bond

We have tenants biting... At Martin & Co we offer you the landlord a service to suit you, ranging from tenant find to fully managed. • • • • •

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REVIVAL OF THE PATTERNED CARPET During the 1990’s and 2000’s there seemed to be a large emphasis on keeping your home ‘neutral’ (/boring) to gear it up for sale whether this was your intention or not. But now with houses on the rise and the market only just starting to creep back up we’re all thinking about keeping put rather than upping and leaving. You know what that means? It’s time to inject some blimmin’ fun and personality into your property. Yes, your property! It’s nobody else’s, so surely it’s about time to make your mark and be as creative as you like within the boundaries of your home. Everyone is different, but who exactly are you pleasing? Stop looking at your house as an investment opportunity and instead begin to call it home. There is no greater feeling than stepping through the door and knowing you are at home per se. Many people do this with feature walls now-a-days, but have you actually considered a feature floor? Wooden flooring is all well and good, it has done us for a number of years now so let’s now look towards the future, and that is surprisingly in the form of carpet. And we’re talking patterned carpets here at that, people. The patterned carpet has had very little appreciation in the last say 20 years or more, dubbed outdated, garish and a grandparent’s staple. But fast forward to 2013 and we’re now telling you to ditch those preconceptions to the back of your head and instead open your mind to the idea that your home could be transformed thanks to the efforts and overthinking of your floor. Bare boards and polished floors are great, but for those looking to add personality to their home, a patterned carpet is a great way to introduce some fun and colour. The idea of choosing a patterned carpet can be a daunting one. It’s often thought that patterned flooring will make a room look busy and smaller but that’s not true.

Pure Living 16 Carpet by Brintons, £58 per sq/m. Leekes

“Contrary to popular belief pattern can actually make a room look bigger, as the eye perceives more content. Patterned carpet can still provide flexibility when co-ordinating with furniture and soft furnishings; it’s all about choosing the right tones, colours and design. There seems to be an increased interest in not just pattern but stripes and bold colour in flooring, particularly to make a statement in hallways and stairs. We as consumers want to express our own style and personality in our homes and this is demonstrated through the increasing sales in pattern carpet we have seen recently”. Kelly Butler, Creative Design Manager for Brintons. It may seem a little obvious but if you are injecting a bold carpet into your room then you need to be wise when choosing furniture and wall coverings. A wacky, heavily patterned or stripe fest carpet is the only statement you need in your room, so it’s time to tone things down when it comes to your wallpaper, choices of colour and furniture. Simply does it, as they say. For your furniture choose items that have a heavy focus on shape (rather than pattern, colour or detail) to keep the focus solely on the carpet and refrain from bringing various focusses to the room to confuse the eye. When it comes to your walls try to resist from using bright colours or heavily patterned wallpaper for the sake of being garish. If you are adamant on using the chic finish of wallpaper think about texture rather than pattern, and as for paint pick out a subtle colour from your chosen carpet.

Sisal Lazy Day Runners, £60 per sq/m. Kersaint Cobb

Casablanca Cocoa £5.99 per sq/m. Carpetright

If the space you are planning on using carpet is rather small then you can get away with the floral and motif styles with a heavy repetition of pattern. If used in a large open space it can become a little overwhelming. So think outside the box with large geometric prints and stripes in these instances. Most of all a carpet is exceptionally warming, it appeals to our senses and has a comforting feeling. Contrary to popular belief, carpet doesn’t have to be a huge expense with a range of different fabric, fibres and cushioning to suit all budgets now-a-days. You will also reap the benefits from your heating bills as carpet acts as a layer of insulation, and plenty now come complete with stain resistant technology for easy maintenance. If we haven’t convinced you yet, then I’m not sure we ever will.

Modena Design Stripes carpet, £54.99 per sq/m. Fascination Collection by Vorwerk Carpets

January/February 2013


SAVE UP TO £300 EVERY YEAR Reduce Your Heating Bills by Investing in Home Insulation Cavity wall and loft insulation are excellent ways to save money. Let’s look at a quick example. If you invest £295 in loft insulation you could get up to £800 back in savings 5 years later, depending on your house. With a bank you’ll be lucky to get £360 over the same period. Plus there are more benefits: • Increases the value of your house • Have a warmer house • Have less drafts

• Helps prevent condensation • Independently guaranteed • Natural fire resistance

02476 345554 Call us on 0800 1326.uk89foror more information Visit

Figures based on estimates provided by The Energy Saving Trust, who provide impartial, accurate and independent advice.








George Dyke & Daughters Logs & sticks in bags or bulk Wooden garden features i.e Mushrooms, planters and seats Delivery available


01543 277366

1st Floor, Unit 6, Norton Canes Business Park, Norton Green Lane, Norton Canes, Staffs, WS11 9SS


If you have any queries or would like to place an order please contact us on: Tel: 01782 796395 Mobile: 07933 713547 / 07816 232154 Hatton Wood Fuel, The Hattons Farm, Cotes Heath, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST21 6SH

1474-C&J-StaffsLivingAd-SL5061_Layout 1 29/08/2012 12:09 Page 1

Inspired design, exceptional craftsmanship Bathrooms • Kitchens • Bedrooms

At Ultimate Interiors we are dedicated to designing and making inspiring bespoke kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and home offices in Staffordshire and Cheshire. We will come to your home and work with you to produce a bespoke design to an individual specification using a modern computer aided design system. We offer the complete package including: • • • •

Tiles & Flooring Fitted Furniture Suites Plumbing & Electrics

Creativity that knows no bounds.

An insurance backed guarantee is standard on every complete installation we carry out.

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2013. SORTED. There is a large rising trend with many choosing to improve rather than move, therefore Living brings to you our favourite trends for the year ahead. It really is that simple. Whether extending or not, you need to get the ground rules straight first by making the most of your interiors with a range of exciting trends, of which could include the following...

coloured tapes, from £48.94. Wooden Venetian blind in ‘Tawny’ with ‘Jet’ Sunwood

COW HIDE Mooove over the bird prints of 2012, 2013 is all about the cow, bringing a sense of Texas to your living room which surely can’t be a bad thing. Can it? Slightly masculine with the industrial feel the feminine touch comes in the fabric choice and minimal design. Introduce the print to monochrome surroundings to add interest to plain backdrops which only helps to make the print really stand its ground, the last thing you need is to hide this amazing and versatile print away. It is undeniable there is a certain industrial feel to the room, so play on it and begin to emphasize with rich wood surfaces and metal structures.

Riley Hide & Leather Croc Side Table, £575. Alexander & Pearl Smoked Drayton Pendant, £80. BHS

Stora Coffee Table, £475. Nordic House Ltd

Ladbrook Lamp Table, £199. Marks and Spencer

Soft Tweed, £8. Matalan

Riley Black & White Cowhide Mirror, £325. Alexander & Pearl

Gramercy Desk, £999. OKA

Riley Cowhide Storage Ottoman, £695. Alexander & Pearl


Industrial Cross-back Bookcase, £1375. Sweetpea & Willow

Trigger Chair, £845. Sweetpea & Willow


Parlane Letter Rack, £20. Debenhams Karrs

Orlando Table Lamp, £60. BHS

Wise Owl Stool, £145. The French Bedroom Company

YE OLDE ENGLISH So long Cath Kidston, it was fun while it lasted but times are a changing, the floral interior is looking to a different angle and approach. Instead, be transported to the time of Jane Austin with this gorgeously timeless décor rich in history and heritage. As for colour palette, think green. No bright, garish greens or pastel mint colours though, we talking more of a matt lime green fitting perfectly between dusky pinks, clean ivory and the odd pastel blue touches. Understated romance echoes through the trend, with the delicate touches of dried flowers and a subtle colour scheme. It’s also worth not ruling out the whole feel of being on the set of Sense and Sensibility too – we can’t really rule that fact out! Choose light wood to brighten up the dusky palette.

Louise Chair, £999. OKA

Ornate Triple Fern Photo Frame, £18.95. Floral Velvet Cushion, £32. BHS

Greenwich Coffee Table, £499. Marks and Spencer

Betty Jackson.Black Glass Vase, £35. Dorothy Perkins The Barbara Barry Collection Quarry Accent Table, £1405.04. Baker Furniture

Dali Chair, £399. Moon Table Lamp, £175. Z Table, £195. Alexander & Pearl Rume


Facet Pedestal Table, £325. Next

Thornby Cluster Pendant, £150. BHS

Be bold this year with shape, and plenty of it too. Your bold prints and bold use of colour last year will really work well within this trend, but be careful not to go overboard. The shape is the most important component, the rest comes second. Curved outlines and rounded characteristics tend to offer a step in the right direction all thanks to their unusual features, whilst contrasting next to angular lines will only provide a happy medium.

Mustard Silhouette Vase, £25. BHS

January/February 2013


now even bigger

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TO ESPRESSO OR NOT TO ESPRESSO We’ve all seemed to have become something of a bunch of snobby coffee connoisseurs of late all thanks to the rise in popularity of the leisurely coffee break, especially in a certain American coffee shop brand that seems to be placed around every corner. Not that it’s a bad thing though, everyone deserves a decent cup of coffee every now and again, and why have instant when you can have freshly ground? So, it comes as no surprise there has been a new market for the compact coffee machine in the home, providing all sorts of wonderful and somewhat exotic varieties of lattes, cappuccinos and a decent shot of espresso. Living take a look at the latest offerings to drop on the market…



Model: 47587 Meno Plum Espresso Machine Price: £129.99 Stockist: Dunelm Mill Dimensions (cm): (H)28 x (W)22 x (D)32 Features: 2 years guarantee

Model: The Coffee System Price: £179.50 Stockist: Dimensions (cm): (H)33 x (W)20.7 x (D)28.4 Features: Quick warm-up

Product description: Sleek and stylish, perfect for any modern kitchen. This Morphy Richards 47587 Meno Plum Espresso Machine features an attractive, modern, domed design that will fit in any modern kitchen decor. This espresso machine can accommodate two cups at one time for added convenience making the morning rush a little easier. This machine features a cup warming plate and a steam wand for frothing milk, allowing you to create a variety of coffee drinks, including cappuccinos and lattes.

AEG Model: A Modo Mio Favola Cappuccino Price: £229.99 Stockist: Dimensions (mm):(H) 226 x (W)325 x (D)301 Features: Innovative two button milk frothing system Product description: This brand new model combines Lavazza’s renowned, quality espresso extraction technology with AEG’s new and innovative two button milk frothing system. This is Lavazza’s most advanced capsule coffee machine yet and thanks to the new milk frothing system developed by AEG it guarantees café-quality coffees direct from your kitchen. The A Modo Mio Favola Cappuccino’s fuss-free functionality uses a combination of both steam and whisks for the best frothing and heating results perfect for both hot and cold drinks. So easy to use, you can indulge your inner barista and deliver perfect results every time.

STARBUCKS® Model: Verismo 580 Brewer, Ref 17451 Price: £149 Stockist: Lakelands Dimensions (cm): (H)35 x (W)19 x (D)40 Features: Switches off automatically after 5 minutes Product Description: From a single store in Seattle to over 15,000 in 50 countries, Starbucks Coffee Houses have come a long way since they first opened in 1971. And now, thanks to their new Verismo brewers, you can bring the Starbucks café experience into your own home, without having to venture out to the high street. From their famous Caffe Latte or caramelly rich espresso to their distinctive brewed coffee, perfected through 40 years of blending and roasting expertise. All your favourite beverages can be yours at the touch of a button – no fuss, no mess, just unmistakable Starbucks coffee time after time.



Model: SENSEO ® Twist coffee machine Price: £150 Stockist: Argos Dimensions (cm): (H)32 x (W)25 x (D)31 Features: Adjustable strength setting

Model: illy Francis Francis X7.1 Price: £199.99 Stockist: Dimensions (cm): (H)31 x (W)28 x (D)33.5 Feature: Automatic descaling program

Product description: The Master Blenders at Douwe Egberts have poured their coffee expertise and passion for great tasting coffee into their latest machine, SENSEO ® Twist, providing coffee lovers with the opportunity to add a different twist to their coffee moment. The launch comes as Douwe Egberts introduce two new ranges of delicious SENSEO ® pods, offering a richer, more aromatic tasting coffee to drinkers in the comfort of their own home. Appealing to the contemporary coffee aficionados seeking a bold, designforward and intuitive coffee appliance, the SENSEO® Twist simplifies coffee preparation, while enhancing users overall coffee experience.


Product description: Ready to use in 40 seconds, the Coffee System makes light work of the morning caffeine kick without sacrificing the quality or flavour of the bean. Offering three serving options, the Coffee System caters for ground beans in both single and dual serves as well as mess free ESE Pods. Now available in a selection of four flavours with an added Decaf option, the ESE Pods from Dualit will give you a quick and simple option for your morning coffee whilst ground beans make for a relaxed evening with friends.

Product description: The Francis Francis X7 works exclusively with illy iperEspresso capsules to make extraordinary espresso with one-touch convenience. Unlike conventional one-stage systems, the iperEspresso method uses an innovative, patented two-stage process to create intensely aromatic, full-bodied espresso with rich, velvety crema that lasts and lasts. Because extraction takes place entirely inside the capsule, the coffee and machine never come in contact making for easy clean up. Designed by renowned Italian architect Luca Trazzi, this striking machine adds a strong visual statement to any kitchen.

education Living love


school accessories with a gentle ALSO INSIDE...Take your kids back to being kids with ourctive and social with a range of extraand harmless character theme, whilst keep them proa and skills. curricular activities to expand their minds, imagination

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MAKING IT BIG, GETTING THE JOB YOU WANT & ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS With unemployment figures at an all-time high, the cost of University rising and the competition for the most prized job in industries being more cut-throat than ever, keeping faith on obtaining that top job you want with that top finance company or clinching that position in that IT company can often seem just a fleeting dream. However, it’s important to remember that perseverance does pay off and with our advice on securing those premiere roles and prized University places; you will soon be on your way to being the next Steve Jobs.



CHOOSING THE RIGHT UNIVERSITY FOR YOUR CAREER As well as deciding where you move or if you want to stay at home, it’s also vitally important you pick a University that either specializes or excels in your chosen industry. Furthermore, it’s worth taking a look at the annually updated University League tables; these give a good indication to what each individual University is renowned for in terms of the best subject areas, student satisfaction and the level of research the centre carries out. It’s really worth taking your education seriously, choosing the right university and networking with the right people can really influence the contacts you gain and the path your career takes. You need to decide whether you are the right candidate for, a red-brick institution such as Oxford or Warwick or a centre that excels in the creative arts such as the University of the West of England, Bristol or Nottingham Trent University. It’s also worth considering ringing around some places of work for the industry you are interested in and seeing what courses and qualifications the staff in the position you wish to be in have undertaken to get where they are today. This may help influence your decision or deter you from pursuing a path that would have been detrimental to you in the long run. Another factor to consider is the teaching style of the course, you may find one consists more modular assignments and group work rather than examinations or vice versa. Carefully considering these factors will help you ensure that the course you have chosen is right for you, both in terms of content but also teaching styles used.

STUDYING THE UK’S TOP PROFESSIONAL INDUSTRIES Employers are being pickier about the staff they take on as the recession continues to bite and employment levels slump across the UK. However, some sectors are still expanding despite the current economic downturn; research has shown that some sectors are still booming and offer great career prospects. Here we take a look at the five of the very best professional industries in the UK and how you go about pursuing them as life-long careers. 1) Mechanical Engineering- Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest of the engineering disciplines and offers a wide choice of options in the industry, as well as offering one of the most agreeable wages, as experienced professionals in this field can command salaries of up to £55,000 a year. If a career in engineering sounds like something for you, Loughborough University offers one of the biggest departments in the UK, so why not consider their BEng qualification in Mechanical Engineering course to get your career rolling.

2) Computer Science- If IT is your thing and you want a career to really get your teeth into then a career in computer science could well be up your street. IT is still one of the best paid and most booming industries in the UK. You will learn everything there is to know about computers and could command a tasty salary in the end. If this sounds like something for you, the University of York offer BEng/BSC undergraduate courses in Computer Science which is well worth looking into. 3) Marketing and Public Relations- One of the most well-paid of the creative industries, PR is highly competitive but very rewarding. Sports PR has recently emerged as a popular career choice and many universities now offer courses in the discipline, such as Staffordshire University who run a 3 year (BA) Hons course. 4) Law- A profession for those who aren’t daunted by years of hard work and have a decent memory, Law is still one of the most respected disciplines and has a whole set of transferrable skills if you decide postdegree it’s not for you. The UK has a range of fantastic law schools including Birmingham University who offer both single and joint honours LLB qualifications. 5) Medicine- A rewarding career path for those who want to embark on one of the longest University courses going, covering a very broad range of medical topics. Needless to say for a career of this calibre, the remuneration packages on offer tend to be large. Keele University offer some of the best medical courses in the country and have a stunning campus to match.

FINDING AND TAKING WORK EXPERIENCE It’s a fact of career life now that work experience is a pre-requisite in many industries today (particularly the creative industries and nursing) and although you may be expected to do the most mundane tasks, it gets you through the door and gets your face known. If you are unsure about what you will be doing e-mail the company and ask, this way you can check you won’t be wasting your time on something irrelevant. The most effective way to apply for work experience is by sending an initial e-mail to the company with your CV, explaining why you want the work experience and telling them what you can offer them. Remember to be realistic with the days you ask for, many places that offer experience are booked up months in advance, so avoid getting your e-mail deleted straight away by suggesting a sensible time-scale. It’s usually worth putting a phone call in a couple of days after chasing your query up, that way even if they haven’t started looking yet and they see your name on a list of e-mails you may stand a better chance of getting your foot through the door.

TOP TIPS FOR EMPLOYMENT Whilst some of these tips may seem obvious, it always helps to have a refresher of those little basics you should keep in the back of your mind when it comes to obtaining that job you so desperately want. Recent figures published by the government revealed that it is now standard for there to be at least sixty applicants for every vacancy advertised, so go all out and sell your talents when given any opportunities to impress. Persevere If you really want to be in a certain industry you need to be prepared to do whatever it takes, even if this includes making short-term sacrifices personally or starting off as the tea girl. You may need to take on part-time work or accept a job you rather wouldn’t take on your path to the top. It’s important to remember all these hindrances will give you skills and experience that are transferrable when you get your dream job. Education, Education, Education Education is a key ingredient to success, whether it’s at University, evening school or on the job training, knowledge is power so anything you are taught make sure you absorb and concentrate on fully. You should think of any education as a core foundation to your career, so make sure you form deep roots and don’t create a shaky ground. Search out vacancies regularly If you go to university or if you are just coming out of college you should be looking for your first route onto the career ladder months before you are due to leave. Reputable positions within companies are often formed of two or maybe even three interviews and the process from initial contact to employment can take months. To avoid being stuck left unemployed when you finish education with no real prospects and nothing on the cards be sensible and keep your eyes on the job pages. Brush up on your interview technique It’s vital you prepare sufficiently for any interview you go for, make sure you are a master of your chosen subject so you can speak confidently about the company and answer all questions thrown at you sufficiently. Always remember that one extra piece of knowledge or understanding of a concept could take you from teetering on the maybe list to a definite yes. Do pursue employers If you want to work for a particular company and they aren’t advertising for vacancies, don’t be put off, it’s always worth sending out your CV regardless. They could have an upcoming position or may put your resume on file; persistent job-seekers are always the ones that get the jobs they want.

For more information on attending University, the grades required and full course details visit

January/February 2013


StDoms;Staffs Living Ad.indd 1

14/11/2012 10:54

Stars of Wonder, Stars So Bright... St. Dominic's Priory School Pupils St. Dominic’s Priory School is an outstanding independent school welcoming children of all faiths and backgrounds. Educating girls from 18 months to 18 years and boys to 11 years, the school is extending its remit to include boarding provision from January 2013, for girls, aged from 13 years. Our boarding expansion is being matched by the growth of our 51 week Nursery. Our mixed Prep Department and girls only Senior School have seen the recent opening of new Maths and Science facilities and a new school mini-bus. We are proud of our academic reputation. Our pupils have achieved outstanding academic results again this year. The Independent’s list of Top 100 Independent Schools saw us placed 36th overall and 18th for all-girls’ education. Our Sixth Form girls have, for the 11th year in a row, successfully gained entry to their chosen Universities. We excel in the Creative and Performing Arts, having been awarded Gold Artsmark status. St. Dominic’s is a centre of outstanding creativity and achievement. A busy programme of sport, cultural events, speakers, visits, clubs and activities enhance school life. There is something for everyone at St. Dominic’s. A range of scholarships and bursaries are offered. Transport by school coach is available and we are located only 5 minutes from Stone railway station on the main Stoke to Stafford line. We know how important it is for you to be happy with your choice of school. For us traditional values really do matter. Please come and experience the warmth and enthusiasm of our teaching staff and pupils. Only when you and your child walk through our door can you truly appreciate what it is that makes us so special. We would love to hear from you – our contact details are: Tel: 01784 814181 Website:

Ellowes Hall Sports College Ofsted Outstanding

We are proud to announce that following our OFSTED Inspection in mid-November that we were judged to be an Outstanding School overall as well as in all areas: Achievement, Teaching, Behaviour & Safety and Leadership & Management

Phantom of the Opera On the 16th November I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the Gala performance of Phantom of the Opera at Ellowes Hall Sports College. This was their tenth large scale production in a row and I have been privileged to see most of them. This was truly the best show yet, despite feeling that the bar could not be raised any higher from last year’s production of Jekyll and Hyde. It was amazing to witness this well-known production in the setting of a secondary school in Dudley. Even more so given the fact that the set, which had been created for the performance by the school Design Department and a professional local scaffolding company; allowed the Director John Bailey to make excellent use of the high stage area, as well as two huge front of stage extensions. Much of the action extended well beyond the confines of the traditional proscenium arch and in many places either mirrored, or dare I say even added to, the original west end production. This was only the start of an evening of superlatives however. In addition there was some clever theatrical sleight of hand, involving such devices as the throne of the phantom; from which he disappears into thin air (literally to gasps of astonishment from the audience!), as well as the highly effective use of pyrotechnics. The cast were magnificent, many of whom would have given a professional cast a run for their money. There are some very exciting young singers and actors being nurtured by this school – watch out for them in the future… The music and sound were both astonishing. The musical director Pete Wingate conducted an orchestra of spell-binding quality. The orchestra itself was comprised roughly half of students from the school past and present and half professional musicians from Birmingham conservatoire and other Birmingham orchestras. This was further enhanced by the flawless sound production of the sound manager, Stuart Eaves and the atmospheric lighting and chandelier of Phil Thomas. The shows at this school are spectacularly well done and continue to gather accolades from audiences who range from being wholly immersed with the show (parents of cast, etc.) to being totally impartial. Personally, I cannot wait until next year….




CATION FOR 5-18 YEAR OLDS , extensive transport network


01785 249752

Stafford Grammar School and Stafford Preparatory School offer an exceptional education with an outstanding level of pastoral care providing the encouragement and support necessary to enable every individual to fulfil his or her potential. It is our belief that everyone can be successful. Our ethos of traditional values aims to teach our pupils the value of hard work and discipline whilst providing a happy environment for all. The Grammar School has built a formidable academic reputation and is now an established centre of excellence at all levels including admission to top universities. In summer 2012, 62% of GCSE results were A*/A; 74% of A2 results were A*/B grades. Academic excellence is not our sole aim: our students excel in sport, music, drama and all other extra-curricular activities. A wide variety of sports is taught at Stafford Grammar School. Pupils play matches against both local maintained schools and schools in the independent sector. Our students excel at the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, each year achieving more Silver and Gold Awards than all the other schools in the area.

We have a flourishing concert band, choirs, instrumental groups and orchestra. Music concerts are held regularly at school and at various local venues. This summer our concert band performed at several locations in Rome and Florence. The Preparatory School currently educates children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the grounds of Stafford Grammar School. Lessons are taught principally by specialist primary teachers, with Stafford Grammar School staff teaching subjects such as science, design technology, music, ICT and P.E. to the key stage 2 pupils. Activity beyond the classroom is plentiful – competitive sport, a wide variety of music and outdoor education, all complemented by clubs and educational visits which enrich the curriculum. During Stafford Preparatory School's first five years, the children have achieved some spectacular successes on the sporting front winning forty trophies locally and nationally. Our aim is to give our pupils and exciting and challenging primary education which will give them an enthusiasm for learning and prepare them for life at senior school in the best possible way. Parents may visit Stafford Grammar School or Stafford Preparatory School by prior appointment on any school day.


EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: THE PATH TO A HEALTHIER AND MORE SUCCESSFUL FUTURE. Recent studies by Schoolastic magazine show that children who participate in extracurricular activities achieve better academically, have better self-confidence and feel more accomplished in their lives. Furthermore they are less likely to suffer from substance abuse, depression or behavioural issues as a result of their active lifestyles. However, in the UK children’s involvements in extracurricular activities, whatever they may be are still surprisingly low despite experts warning we are set to become an ill nation as obesity figures rise in children, and we continue to pursue our largely poor diets and sedentary lifestyles.

The benefits of extracurricular activities The value of long term commitments Participation in extracurricular events teaches children about the idea of committing to something, and developing through continued progress. They commit themselves for a period of time and begin to learn that not committing to something could potentially cause problems or disappoint others. Learning about time management and the important of prioritizing A brilliant lesson your child will learn from committing to an extra activity is about time management and prioritizing things in their lives. This is a valuable life-long skill they will keep forever and developing this at a young age will certainly hold them in good stead. Raises self-esteem Although not guaranteed, extracurricular activities often do wonders for raising a child’s self-esteem. In-part thanks to the media many young people feel worthless or think there is nothing they are good at, especially during their younger years when many people seek validation to help raise their self-belief. Extracurricular activities give them the chance to find something and really excel at it. Building relationships Having to interact with people who might be out of their normal social circles and meeting people from new backgrounds is a great way to help build strong friendships in young people. It’s important for them to get involved in different social situations and learn how to deal with different scenarios, problems and issues and extra activities allow them to deal with these and learn, all whilst under the supervision of an adult.

Extending creativity When we refer to extracurricular activities people often think about sports or perhaps an organized group like the Scouts. However, perhaps your child might prefer something like a drama or music group, if they are the less sporty type. By taking part in a creative activity, your child will learn to express themselves and may think differently and become more creative.

Extracurricular activities effects on student performance According to research by pediatrician and school health expert Howard Taras in his 2005 study of the relationship between physical activity and student performance that “physical activity is likely to help children perform better in school” because physical activity “improves general circulation, increases blood flow to the brain” and releases chemicals in the brain which “may reduce stress and improve a child’s mood”.

Don’t just take our word on the benefits of these activities, we spoke to Jodie Wilkes, wellbeing manager at the Cannock Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre on the benefits and how it could aid your child’s learning; “Establishing routines when you’re young can stay with you for life; therefore it is important to make these as healthy and beneficial as possible. Children are learning, growing and developing every day and this constant change can take its toll. Although our kids may not have the stress we have day-today they are not immune to the feelings of pressure. To help children cope we recommend a variety of extra-curricular physical activities in their weekly timetables. Being active not only increases energy levels, but it also aids memory and promotes selfesteem and confidence and helps greatly in learning.”

Similarly research writing in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine revealed they found strong evidence of a link between exercise and academic performance. The study revealed that children who take part in sports or other extracurricular activities obey rules better than those who don’t. Similarly they are usually more disciplined and able to concentrate better during lessons.

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January/February 2013


Are you looking for a Grammar School? Outstanding academic results, traditional values, high expectations, friendly, family atmosphere Chase Academy – Grammar Stream – Preparatory Department – Day Nursery – Boarding Cannock, WS11 0UR – – telephone 01543 501 800 Open Day Saturday 2nd February 2013, 11am to 3pm

Are you looking for a Grammar School? A school with traditional values, high achieving students, high expectations and with a family friendly atmosphere? Is Chase Academy the school that you are looking for. It is all this and more. This independent school offers students of all abilities the opportunity to thrive and succeed at the highest levels. Our Grammar stream means that all children are challenged and stretched. All our children take GCSE foundation maths in year 8, three years early. They progress to higher maths and statistics and the high flying grammar stream progress to take A Level by the end of year 11. We also have early GCSEs in Science and English which leaves the way clear for a wide range of optional subjects in the traditional GCSE years. So how are we able to stretch our children in this way? It is quite simple, we focus on basic skills and get the foundations right for each child. Once this is done we can begin to adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of the individual. But the overriding key to our success is the belief that it can be done. We expect children to achieve and we make sure that they know what to do in order to achieve more. Our Grammar stream is competitive but the students support each other with their studies, often making the best teachers themselves. They develop their own knowledge and skills while helping others. There are many examples of the achievements of our students. Far too many to try and mention their stories here but one of my personal favourites is Felicia who was told that she would never pass GCSE maths. Felicia is now in the sixth form having already done GCSE and A level Maths. She is aiming high for her career and believes she can because she has been encouraged and her talents have been nurtured. I came to Chase Academy as a part time teacher over ten years ago and I came under its spell very quickly. Not only is this a school where we get the best out of our children, it is a place where there is a feeling that anything is possible. Visitors often comment on the lovely atmosphere. I cannot explain it but I know that it is helped by the fact that the Principal and I know every child and every child knows us. There are many reasons to send your child to Chase Academy. Why not visit to find your reasons? Mrs Jackie Williams, Deputy Headmistress Open Day Saturday 2 February 2013, 11 am to 3 pm or contact the School Secretary to make an appointment during the school day - 01543 501 800.

Exceptional grants available for Year 1 & Year 3 Students Call Vernon Lodge School today to find out how we can help

         ●   For Boys and Girls aged 3 to 11            ●   Transport from Congleton, Nantwich, Leek, Stone,                                   Eccleshall, Market Drayton, Uttoxeter, Stafford   

To arrange a personal guided tour please   contact Headteacher Nick Vernon 


                  ST5 1BQ      01782 664625 



every moment matters an education for life

Set in beautiful, rural surroundings, Abbotsholme is an independent co-educational boarding and day school for ages 4-18, with additional nursery provision. It is a school unlike any other. • • • • • • • • •

Individual academic excellence and achievement Small class sizes (around 15), enabling individual attention and support Separate Prep School facilities, with access to all senior school facilities Outstanding outdoor education programme with indoor climbing wall and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme to Gold level Sporting excellence with key focus on hockey, rugby and cricket 70 acre working farm and BHS approved Equestrian Centre New dedicated Sixth Form Centre for independent learning First class facilities for music, art and drama Scholarships and forces bursaries available Next Open Day: Saturday 9th March, 2013 from 9.30am

Information event for Year 7 entry in September: NEXT OPEN DAY: SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER Friday 11th January 2013, 5.30pm

Contact Jessica Ash on 01889 594 265 or visit Abbotsholme School, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5BS

Open events

SHIPLEY STUDENTS’ NEW DONKEYS Getting up close and personal - Amanda Ball who runs Donkey Rescue UK, with Bamboo.

You do not need to book an appointment: come along any time during these events to see the courses we offer, tour the facilities, meet staff and current students and ask questions.

Saturday 2nd February 2013 Shipley Campus 10.30am - 2.30pm

Saturday 9th February 2013 Walford Campus 10.00am - 2.00pm

Apply online at or call us on 01691 688 080


Th sAvE


Thursday14th March

It was a win-win situation. Walford and North Shropshire College’s animal-care training facility at the Shipley Campus near Bridgnorth needed to expand its range of over thirty animal species, so that students could increase their experience. Donkey Rescue UK, the Bridgnorthbased donkey sanctuary, which looks after abused or unwanted donkeys, was seeking good homes for two of its charges. The outcome: the College has fostered two rare breed donkeys to live at Shipley, initially for a six month period.

Lynn Hunter, lead animal care tutor at Shipley was delighted: “These donkeys are very special rare breeds and are perfect for the students. They have lovely temperaments and will keep the students very busy, particularly the Baudet de Poitou which has a long coat which takes a lot of grooming. Both donkeys are actually very healthy as they have been well looked after by someone who has fallen ill and simply can’t look after them anymore. It’s been a fabulous outcome for everyone.”

Smallwood’s Lessons Based On How Children Learn Smallwood Manor has developed new teaching methods designed to inspire and engage pupils and encourage learning. The programme has been created in response to findings about how children learn and encourages accelerated learning and long-term retention of information. Lessons begin with a ‘grab and go’ starter to capture pupils’ interest and imagination, followed by a teaching phase, incorporating interactive technology where appropriate. A learning phase encourages children to ‘learn by doing’, before concluding with a review summarising and assessing pupils’ understanding.

• Beautiful landscaped grounds • Small class sizes and broad curriculum • Ages 2-11 • Bursaries may be available

Headteacher Mike Harrison said: “We’ve looked at how children learn, specifically at how connections are made within the brain and have developed lessons that use this information to encourage quick pupil progression.”

Uttoxeter ST14 8NS










01889 562083


Educational excellence is a philosophy that runs throughout the school and Smallwood Manor is already known for its academic success. It was described as ‘often excellent’ by the Independent Schools Inspectorate’s interim inspection report and a high number of pupils gain scholarships or exhibitions each year.

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Nursery age children learn about sounds and music at Lichfield Cathedral School

Small class sizes benefit Lichfield Cathedral School children throughout their education and beyond

Early education gives long-term advantages In a difficult economic climate, it is tempting for parents to put off early years education and wait until their children reach 5 years of age before enrolling them in school. But research has demonstrated the long-term benefits of a stimulating educational environment for 3 and 4 year olds. Children who receive a rich variety of learning during their preschool years achieve measurably better academic results at age 10, and go on to attain more education and higher salaries, according to research carried out at the University of London and a 25 year study completed in Chicago. One of the most important findings shows that the brain has critical periods for learning. If you deprive a brain of information during this crucial time, it may never develop properly; the opportunity is lost. On the other hand, some early experiences can forever enhance the development of a young brain, and potentially change behaviour across an individual's lifespan. In preschool your child will listen to poetry and songs - building blocks needed to grasp phonics and reading skills when it is developmentally appropriate. The play that takes place with water, sand and containers forms the foundation for understanding some basic Mathematics concepts. Matching, sequencing, one-to-one correspondence are all activities that are done over and over in preschool settings and help children prepare to learn more complex subjects. Interacting with other children means learning how to wait, how to take turns, and how to listen. Watching other children pursue a challenging task is also helpful. Young children learn social skills when they interact with other children and these social skills are not only critical to a developing personality, they are necessary to getting, and keeping, a job later in life. Most important, children educated from age 3 learn how to socialise with peers, manage stress and solve problems. In the Chicago study, at age 28, the adults who received preschool educations years before had significantly higher job prestige, earnings and socioeconomic status. For more information about how your child can benefit from an excellent education from the age of 3 at Lichfield Cathedral School, contact Lesley Bannister on 015434 306168 or

Memories waiting to be made Open Morning Our Open Morning on Saturday 12th January 2013 will start at 9.30am with a presentation by the Headmistress of the Senior School and the Head of the Prep School. Our programme of events for the morning will include a showcase of our academic and extra-curricular activities and the chance to meet staff and current pupils.

Scholarship Days Scholarship entrance days will take place on 22nd and 23rd January 2013. Please contact Admissions on 01283 840232 or visit our website for more details. Tel: 01283 840 232 Abbots Bromley School, High Street, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire WS15 3BW


Saturday 26th January, 2013

Staffordshire Living Magazine 51, January/February 20110am - 12.30pm 01902 422939 138mm in height x 210mm in width


Open days



Saturday 19th January 2013

9.45 – 12 noon

Thursday 27th June 2013

5.00 – 8.00 p.m


Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham B15 2UB Telephone 0121 472 1834

PackwoodHaugh– thevery best of boarding Packwood Haugh is a thriving co-educational independent prep school set in 66 acres of glorious Shropshire countryside. It is a traditional boarding and day school with unrivalled facilities and a national reputation for the excellence of its educational provision and for the exceptional boarding experience it offers. Packwood provides a huge breadth of opportunity to pupils enabling them to fulfil their potential in all areas of school life – academic, sporting and in the arts.

Shrewsbury and Malvern, a Distinction in the Eton academic scholarship and music, art, sports and all-rounder scholarships to Uppingham, Rugby and Cheltenham Ladies’ among others. Our leavers this year are This is to say an enormous thank you to you and the entire moving on to 16 different Packwood team for all you have schools across the country, done to nurture and educate reinforcing Packwood’s our three children over the last reputation as a leading sixteen years.We are more than prep school with a satisfied with the end product as national reach. indeed we hope you all are.

Every year many pupils win scholarships to leading independent senior schools across the country and 2012 was no exception. An outstanding academic scholarship to Winchester, a school renowned for its academic reputation and the rigour of its scholarship exams, was just one of 21 awards this year. There were further academic scholarships to



Visitors to Packwood invariably comment on how happy the children are and how enthusiastically they throw themselves into school life. Outside the classroom they enjoy a wide range of extra-curricular activities and are encouraged to make use of the outstanding facilities and extensive grounds including the sports hall, theatre, art and cookery rooms, swimming pool and golf course. There are frequent trips and outings as well as events in school – and there is time, too, to sit quietly with friends or with a good book. Our ethos is to provide the children with a positive and supportive environment in which they can have fun and flourish educationally and socially. We encourage them to be co-operative, helpful members of the school community and are always delighted by comments from others who come into contact with them such as

Recent news from Packwood Haugh Wheelchair rugby triumph

A Packwood pupil made a fantastic debut in his first ever competitive wheelchair rugby match playing for North Wales Dragons in a triangular tournament in Middlesbrough recently. His skilful play and impressive contribution of 17 goals earned him the trophy for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament and helped the Dragons to victory in the competition.

Packwoodians ride to victory

Packwood’s riding team competed superbly at the regional qualifying competition for the National Schools Riding Championships with team wins in four different events topped off by individual victories for two girls in Show Jumping and Arena Eventing. They hope to repeat last year’s success when Packwood won the North West of England Award for the top school in the region.

Packwood Haugh


Many, many thanks for all that you have done to give our son such a happy and productive time at Packwood. He has enjoyed it from the start (asking to board when aged 8)...How very fortunate we are as parents to be involved in such a special place as Packwood


Packwood Haugh’s national reputation continues to draw pupils from across the UK and overseas. We presently have some pupils from Japan, Spain and Thailand.Our students regularly attain places at leading senior schools including Eton, Malvern, Cheltenham Ladies, Radley, Shrewsbury, Stowe, Uppingham, Rugby, Winchester and Moreton Hall. “the door was opened for me by the politest boy in the world” and “your pupils have been so polite and well-behaved – they are a credit to you.”

Nowhere is this ethos more important than in the busy boarding houses – boys are accommodated in the main school building and girls in a purpose built house in the school’s magnificent grounds. All enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere benefiting from first-class pastoral care, support and stability provided by a committed team of house parents, matrons and landing tutors. A recent Ofsted report commented on how the children benefit immeasurably from living in a school where all members of staff are ‘focused on their success, needs and aspirations’. To quote a final year pupil, “Packwood is perfect, just perfect.” Boarding is a uniquely rewarding and enriching experience that equips children with great self-confidence, resourcefulness, independence and the invaluable ability to get along with others. Our boarders leave us having made friends for life.

Please contact us if you’d like to visit – we’d be delighted to welcome you to Packwood. For further information please visit our website at

House music competition raises the roof

A fixture of Packwood’s autumn term calendar is the inter-house music competition – always a rousing occasion. This year’s songs were chosen from those performed at the Olympic Games closing ceremony and every child in the main school was involved in the event. The worthy winners were Mannings Sodens with three outstanding soloists followed by terrific, energetic performances of Price Tag and Spice Up Your Life. or contact the school

Packwood Haugh

Ruyton XI Towns, Shrewsbury SY4 1HX Telephone 01939 260217

Scholarships, means-tested and services bursaries are available.


MUST HAVE SCHOOL CHARACTER BUYS It’s the start of a new year and we all know those pencil cases and lunchboxes you bought back in August ready for the new school year will need replenishing already and to save you all the effort of trawling the shops, we have collated the ultimate character-based school accessories, so all you have to do is pick them up!

Boys This wicked range of highly colourful must have accessories are sure to brighten up your little lad’s school time. With everything from JCB lunch boxes to the coolest pencil cases these accessories are sure to brighten your boy’s day. Marvel Stationary Set,

My 1st JCB Lunchbox, £6.99.

£3.99. Ryman

Mibo Fox Backpack, £

Angry Birds Pencil Case, £8. River Island TUMTUM Lunch Set, £

Not o nly a pe n cil s ha r p ene r but do u b l es as an erase r too !

Owl Pencil Sharpener, £2.49.

Frankenweenie Pen and Pouch Set, £5.

Moshi Monsters Pencil Case, £8.Debenhams

Girls It wouldn’t be fair to look at the boys accessories and not the girls, so here we have the very best of the bunch for your little princess. Think fairies, pinks and ballerinas and you will get an idea of what we are loving for your little one this year. Tinker Bell Pen, £3.

Mickey Mouse Slim Pencil Case, £3. Asda. Embroidered Ballerina Rucksack, £32.99. L’Oiseau Bateau

Gruffalo Lunch Box, £9.95.

This fairy is guar a n te ed to make your littl princ e ess s mile .

Hello Kitty 4 Colour Pen, £2.99.


Woodland Rucksack, £7.50.

School Stationary Set, £4.99. Paul Frank at

Rapunzel Gel Pen Set, £

leisure Living love


‘hot right now’ it’s unreal, but what would ALSO INSIDE… One star who is so ridiculouslyrd label? Do we really need to mention her you expect when you’re signed to Jay-Z’s reco you not up to speed, it’s the super talented name or have you already guessed? For those ofher on page 136. Rita Ora. Our very own Kevin Angel interviews

ew the i v r e t n i We w’ star o n t h g i r ‘hot on Rita Ora 6 & 137 3 1 s e g a p image: Main Rita Ora


FEEL HER ORA She’s had 3 consecutive UK number 1 singles, a UK number 1 album, has nearly 2 million followers on Twitter, counts Willow Smith and Calvin Harris as her label mates, and calls Jay-Z her boss. Add to that, collaborations with the likes of Tinie Tempah and Drake and the fact that her debut single ‘R.I.P’ came out less than a year ago, and you’d understand why Rita Ora is in a very chirpy mood when we speak to her across a dodgy phone line from a studio in Brooklyn, New York. In this exclusive interview with the R&B starlet synonymous with her Rita Hayworth-esque golden locks and luscious red lips, Kevin Angel (@mrkangel1) talks frankly with Rita Ora about her success, the pressures of being in the media spotlight, her debut album and having Jay-Z as a boss. SL: You have gone from being virtually unknown to a starlet in less than a year, what’s it like to be Rita Ora right now? RO: “It’s strange, all of that stuff feels amazing but really I have just felt how I always have, I’m just me. It’s just weird because you do all of that stuff and put the hard work in and you don’t even know if anyone’s going to care. The fact that people have actually bought my songs and my records in a world where if you want something you can just have everything for free, it’s just really nice that they made the effort.” SL: Did you ever expect any of the success you have had? RO: “ To be honest, I’ve always known what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be, but the way things unfold is just crazy, my teachers said I should go to Sylvia Young theatre school but my parents would have never known to do that. At first they were like ‘what the hell is that, but hey let’s give it a go’, and from there I met the guy who signed me to a production company, and then another guy saw me who knew Jay-Z, and from there it just all unfolded so rapidly.”


LEISURE SL: You mentioned you went to Sylvia Young theatre school, how did you make the transition from stage school student to R&B star? RO: “I think ‘Syliva’s’ has always been about more than just musical theatre, a lot of people there also wanted to do acting or singing. Vanessa from The Saturdays was in the year above me and she used to have sleepovers at mine, and Amy Winehouse went there, but it’s a funny place because the school is like in its own little world.”

SL: Your album, ‘Ora’ has been incredibly successful in the UK, how did you find the album recording process? RO: “I think because I took so much time, it was a bit easier for me, but it’s like taking something that meant so much to you when you made it, and just putting it out to the whole world. I did enjoy it though, I think singing is very therapeutic and it’s even better when people say they enjoy what you do.”

SL: You signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2009, but it was 3 years before you released any music, was it important to you that you were given the opportunity to develop and grow as an artist before you put anything out? RO: “Yeah, that’s definitely what it was; when I got signed everyone knew, because Jay-Z is such a massive name, which is unusual because nobody knows who gets signed to a normal label from one day to the next. But it was a lot of fun to do all that stuff and I love being signed to the label and everyone is really supportive and I feel really lucky to have had all that time.”

SL: The album is incredibly eclectic, did you set out to make such a varied album or did it just happen organically? RO: “It just naturally happened as a result of working with so many different people on the album, but similarly I have lots of different influences. I’m from West London so we have Portobello market, but then down the road you have Notting Hill, which is a completely different lifestyle, I think the album just reflects all of this.”

SL: Do you think being signed to the label has affected your overall sound or influenced how you have developed as an artist? RO: “I think one of the main things was just the opportunity to be introduced to loads of amazing people. You get to know what people want to hear from you, and what you want to hear from yourself and just the opportunity to meet all these people is just, ‘wow’. But at the same time it was all up to me to deliver because the label has signed quite a few people and not all of them worked. It doesn’t work like you get signed to Jay-Z and it all just happens for you.” SL: You are constantly in the papers and being ‘papped’, does that sort of thing bother you or do you just take it in your stride? RO: “It does bother me a bit to be honest, but then again that might be because it’s still quite new to me. It’s a bit annoying when you are leaving a club at the end of a night out and you are getting photographed, but then again it’s a wicked excuse for me to constantly dress up and just make myself look good.” SL: You have a very distinct look that seems to be constantly developing. Is that a conscious part of your image or are you just fashion mad? RO: “I think I’ve always been like that from a young age; I’ve always been really into clothes and fashion, it’s just part of who I am. I do like people saying that they like my shoes or they like my jacket or whatever, it’s nice.” SL: You are known for being incredibly grounded despite your success, what’s the key to keeping your feet on the ground? RO: “I think half of it is because I feel like I haven’t done anything yet, I feel like I’m working really hard, but I feel like there’s loads of stuff I haven’t done yet. I know I’ve had 3 UK number ones and a number 1 album but there’s a whole world to conquer yet. I also think it’s because I have the same people around me, like my sister is part of my management team and I have a lot of roots, so no one is like really majorly impressed or anything with me, it’s just the same as it was when I was starting out just on a bigger scale.”

SL: Finally, what does 2013 hold for Rita Ora? RO: “I just want to get more music out to more people, get out to more countries and get my album out internationally. I’m also looking forward to coming over to the UK to do a few dates since I’ve had so much support there.” You can read an extended interview with Rita on our website at

RITA ORA. ORA RITA ORA UK TOUR ANNOUNCED It’s been a phenomenal year for Rita Ora who is now setting her sights on 2013 with the announcement of her own set of live UK dates on the Radioactive Tour. 28th January 29th January 30th January 1st February 2nd February 5th February 8th February 9th February

Manchester Academy Newcastle Academy Glasgow Academy Sheffield Academy Cardiff Great Hall Shepherds Bush Bournemouth Academy Birmingham Academy

Tickets are on sale NOW from Rita’s new single ‘Radioactive’ taken from her No.1 hit album ‘ORA’ will be out on 10th February. Keep up-to-date with the latest Rita Ora news by connecting with her on: Twitter: @ritaora

“I feel like there’s loads of stuff I haven’t done yet, I know I’ve had three UK number ones and a number one album but there’s still the whole world to conquer.”

January/February 2013


Introducing the New Dacia Range

The New Dacia Sandero Clever design Solidly built From only £5,995 * You do the maths

Car shown is a Dacia Sandero Lauréate 1.2 16V from £7,995, with optional metallic paint for £470

The New Dacia Duster Clever design Solidly built From only £8,995 * You do the maths

You can order your new Dacia now. Find out more at our Renault dealerships. Dacia Wolverhampton 01902 216 392

Dacia Cannock 01543 602 592

2 - 24 Bilston Road, Wolverhampton WV22PT Visit us online at

Eastern Way, Cannock WS118XR

The official consumption figures in mpg (1/100km) for the cars Dacia Sandero and Duster range are: Urban 27.2 (10.4) – 65.7 (4.3), Extra Urban 40.3 (7.0) 80.7 (3.5), Combined 35.3 (8.0) – 74.3 (3.8). The official C02 emission figures are 185 – 99g /km. *Prices shown include delivery to dealer, number plates, 20% VAT, 12 month’s Government road fund license and £55

first registration fee. Sandero price shown based on Sandero Access 1.2 16V 75. Duster price shown based on Duster Access 1.6 16V 105 4 x 2. Figures are Manufacturer’s recommended Retail Prices and applies to new Dacia when ordered by 4th February 2013. Standard manufacturer warranty is 3 years/60,000 miles (whichever comes first). Option to extend this to 5 years/60,000 miles (whichever comes first) is available for a £395 charge for cash customers or £300 charge (equivalent to just £5 a month over the 5 year term) for finance customers. Standard HP offer for Dacia Sandero Access 1.2 16V 75: Cash price £5,995, customer deposit £615.60 monthly payments of £109, Representative APR 9.9%. 5 year warranty for £5 offer: Cash price for £6,390, customer deposit £615,60 monthly payments of £114, Representative APR 9% Standard HP offer for Dacia Duster Access dCi 110 4 x 2: Cash price 8,995, customer deposit £744,60 monthly payments of £169, Representative APR 9.9%. 5 year warranty for £5 offer: Cash price £9,390, customer deposit £744,60 monthly payments of £174, Representative APR 9%. On all agreements a £99 arrangement fee is payable with the first monthly payment, plus £149 Option to Purchase fee with final payment. Subject to status, guarantees and indemnities may be required. You must be at least 18 years old and a UK resident (excluding Isle of Man and Channel Islands) to apply for. Finance provided by RCI Financial Services Ltd P.O Box 149, Watford WD17 1FJ. Available at participating dealers only.

LEISURE FOR UNDER £6,000: DACIA SANDERO PRICE: £5,995 WHY BUY? • It’s the cheapest car on the UK market currently • Five doors and a range of upgrade options • ABS with Emergency Brake Assist Before you sit up and question it, that price is correct the Dacio Sandero really is under £6,000 and promises to deliver on comfort and style whilst retaining an enviable price mark for the equivalent cost of getting racing stripes on a Ferrari. In just over seven years, the Dacia brand has become a genuine global success story. In 2010, 350,000 people bought a new Dacia in 35 countries worldwide, making them the fifth-bestselling passenger car brand in France (in 2011), as well as market leader in Romania and Morocco. The car boasts a 1.2 litre engine 16v 75horse-power petrol engine and goes from 0-62mph in 14.5 seconds and has a top speed of 97mph. The key to the company’s success has been there simple formula: space and quality, at an unbelievable price. So how does Dacia deliver so much for so little? The key is ingenious design. Since we’re all different, Dacia specifies its vehicles with the basic essentials as standard, without unwanted extras built into the cost, so that you’re able to choose the car to suit you. These include options of different colour boots, stereo features, and added security and alarm systems to name just a few features. Dacia Sandero


Kia Soul FOR THE CITY URBANITE: KIA SOUL PRICE: From £12,495 WHY BUY? • Six-speed transmissions standard on all versions • New 1.6-litre petrol engine with direct-injection • Two trim grades plus two new ‘Soul Originals’ Kia’s innovative and hugely successful urban crossover, the Soul, has been refreshed from top to bottom for the 2012 model year, now offering two stunning new ‘originals’ models- ‘The Quantam’ and ‘Infeno’. Largely improving on its previous incarnations this five-seat, front-wheel drive model offers increased performance with lower fuel consumption and improved emissions, as well as topping itself on the style front with significant upgrades in general design, interior quality and specification. The Tardis-like interior is positively cavernous, while the effortless allround visibility gives greater visibility than your ‘standard’ car. With models also offering six airbags, Electronically Stability Control (ESC) and Brake-Assist System (BAS) and Hill-Start Assist Control as standard, you’ll be driving one of the safest cars on the road. The revised model is now on sale offering a choice of two regular trim grades, badged Soul 1 and Soul 2, and two ‘Soul Originals’, the Hunter and Quantum. ‘Soul Originals’ is a rolling programme of special versions with unique styling and trim, changed at regular intervals.

January/February 2013



Deposits now being taken. An entirely fresh take on the distinctive Range Rover silhouette with a floating roof, clamshell bonnet and split rear tailgate, the all new fourth generation model represents a bold evolution on an iconic design. Built for the first time with an advanced all-aluminium body structure, the new vehicle is lighter and more efficient; comes with all the state-of-the-art driving technologies you’d expect and is finished with the finest craftsmanship, making the all-new Range Rover the most complete SUV in the world. To find out more or to experience the all-new Range Rover call us today.

Stafford Land Rover Astonfields Road, Stafford ST16 3UF

01785 214140 Official fuel consumption figures for the 2013 all-new Range Rover in mpg (l/100km): Urban 13.7 (20.6) – 33.2 (8.5) , Extra Urban 28.5 (9.9) – 40.4 (7.0) , Combined 20.5 (13.8) – 37.7 (7.5) .CO2 emissions: 195-322g/km.

LEISURE FOR THE MODERN FAMILY: HYUANDI i20 PRICE: £9,995.00 WHY BUY? • Class leading economy and emissions • Estate car-rivalling luggage capacity • Exceptional safety, quality and style The ix20 combines unique looks and drivability with key MPV attributes to form an unprecedented package, promising to be the benchmark for future B-segment offerings. The all-new compact MPV is also the latest Hyundai model to come with the company’s ground-breaking Five Year Triple Care package, which includes a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty; five years of roadside assistance; and five years of free vehicle health checks. The ix20’s spacious and practical interior, commanding driving position and driving dynamics are certain to capture buyers wanting to downsize from a larger car, as well as those who need more practicality as their families grow. Safety features fitted as standard to all models include ESP (Electronic Stability Program), side and curtain airbags, active head restraints and Hillstart Assist Control (to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline).

Hyuandi i20

FOR LOVERS OF PINK: SEAT MIINX PRICE: £11,500 WHY BUY? • Pink vinyl wrap for bodywork and distinctive smoked headlamps • Based on Mii Sport 75 PS and it is pink. • £100 Donation to breast cancer charity for each car sold Not strictly on general sale through SEAT retailers but available on request, this pink wonder was created initially as a one-off show car for the SEAT Dales store, after Sales Manager Tom Rawlings decided he fancied doing something different. Work began immediately, with the dealership choosing a Mii Sport in Deep Black metallic as the basis for the as-yet-unnamed car. The Mii’s bodywork was covered in a pink gloss vinyl wrap, while the lights were tinted with a translucent film, resulting in a more pronounced, contrasting look.

Seat Miinx FOR THRIFTY ECO-WARRIORS: HONDA JAZZ PRICE: £11,605 WHY BUY? • The first to use petrol-electric hybrid technology • Suspension improvements, a refined ride and improved handling • Free road tax for the first year and £10 a year thereafter

Aside from the wrap, the Miinx is a standard three-door Mii Sport. That means power comes from a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine with 75 PS and it gets a generous standard equipment list including 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather steering wheel and gear knob, dark tinted rear windows, front fog lights, and sports suspension.

Honda has introduced its proven and reliable hybrid technology to its best-selling car. This new variant will sit alongside the established 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol engines and will bring Honda hybrid motoring to a whole new audience as the Jazz becomes the world’s first B-segment hybrid car. The Jazz Hybrid has been given the same powertrain as found in the Insight – the 1.3-litre i-VTEC petrol engine with Honda’s IMA technology and automatic CVT gearbox. This brings CO2 emissions down to 104g/km and delivers 62.8 miles per gallon on the combined cycle. These figures mean free road tax for the first year and only £10 per year thereafter. More importantly perhaps, Honda has managed to include the technology without compromising the incredible versatility of the Jazz. It features all the practicality of the petrol variant, most notably, the famed Magic Seats and an impressive load-lugging space of up to 883 litres. The Jazz Hybrid demonstrates Honda’s continuing commitment to petrol-electric hybrid technology as it becomes the third car currently on sale in the UK to use the IMA system, sitting in showrooms alongside the Insight and CR-Z.

Honda Jazz

January/February 2013





What’s on in 2013?



Christmas has passed and whilst we probably feel like we there is nothing to look forward to in 2013 the entertainment industry has plenty for us to get excited about including live gigs from some amazing artists, great theatre shows and the release of some much anticipated films.

One for the kids:

Films: Step back in time with this newly revitalised film ….we predict it will be huge!

MADAGASCAR LIVE! 18th – 20th January 2013 LG Arena, Birmingham Tickets priced from £20 plus transaction fees (no booking fees). Available from The Ticket Factory: or 0844 338 8000

THE GREAT GATSBY Release Date: 10th May 2013 Director: Baz Luhrmann Cast: Leonardo Dicaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke The Great Gatsby follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway Audiences of all ages will love the wild and action(Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Mid-West for New York City in the Spring packed adventure as Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz & sky-rocketing stocks. Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and the plotting penguins escape from their home at Chasing his own American dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap party-giving millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo Dicaprio), and across the bay world of King Julien’s Madagascar. from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without of the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of ALICIA KEYS impossible love, incorruptible dreams, and high-octane tradegy, and holds Saturday 25th May 2013 a mirror to our own times and struggles. NIA, Birmingham Tickets priced at £39.50 & £45. (plus booking and transaction fees) Available from The Ticket Factory: or 0844 338 8000


Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures 2013 ©Bazmark Film III PTY Limited

Since the 2001 release of her monumental debut album, songs in A minor, Keys has built an unparalleled repertoire of hits and accomplishments with more than 30 million albums and 30 million singles sold worldwide. Her recently released album ‘Girl on fire’ was written and produced by Alicia alongside collaborators Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Bruno Mars), Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Nas), Frank Ocean, Emile Sande, and Jamie XX among others.

DON’T MISS! RENT THE MUSICAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT Regent Theatre, Stoke on Trent Thursday 2nd May 2013 Celebrating 20 years since its first staged performance, West End and Broadway leading lady Kerry Ellis stars in this iconic concert of the smashhit Tony Award winning musical ‘Rent’. The production will also star runner up of ITV’s ‘Superstar’, Rory Taylor. Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this musical has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, the show follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. To book tickets call the box office on 0844 871 7649 or visit


The producers of Rent The Musical have kindly given Staffordshire Living 2 pairs of ticket s for the show at the Regent Theatre on Thursday 2nd May so you can join in the fun for this special 20th Anniversary Concert. For your chance to win answer this simpl e question: In which US city is Rent the Music al set in? To enter visit k and navigate to the competitions page. Terms & Conditions: Tickets are non-ref undable and nonexchangable and for the performance on 2/5/201 3 at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent only. For more T& C’s see page 5. Closing date: 22/2/2013

January/February 2013


An evening of love


Romance doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive meal for two with champagne aplenty. It can simply mean a night snuggled on the sofa with a dvd, a visit to the cinema for some old fashioned romance, a night schmoozing with the stars at a concert or even a dreamy read on your lunch break. Plus if you wish to treat your loved one this Valentine’s don’t forget our local theatres who have some cracking shows lined up.

Valentines Reads Surfing in Stilettos By Carol E Wyer FeedAReed Publishing: £7.99 direct, £8.99 Amazon (Ebook Thornbury Publishing: £1.99) An hilarious novel about Amanda Wilson, a woman determined to grow old as disgracefully as possible.

Home Entertainment

Cinema Releases HITCHCOCK Release Date: 8th February 2013 By Twentieth Century Fox Director: Sacha Gervasi Cast: Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, James D’Arcy, Jessica Biel

RUBY SPARKS Cast: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, Chris Messina and Deborah Ann Woll Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris Certificate: 15

Hitchcock is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho.

Calvin (Dano) is a struggling novelist who can’t quite find anything he wants to write. Encouraged by his shrink (Gould) to start creating his dream girl, Calvin’s reality is upended when Ruby (Kazan) suddenly manifests in his apartment, in love with him and precisely as he’s written her.


Uplifting and joyfully absurd, Ruby Sparks is a heartwarming comedy about writer’s block, fantasy and the unexpected difficulties of getting exactly what you want.

A Working Theory Of Love by Scott Hutchins Published by Penguin Books Released 7th February 2013 Price: £12.99 A recklessly witty, foridably funny novel capturing the exquisite agony of the most important relationshipsacross the generations and between the sexes. RATING:H H H H A French Affair by Katie Fforde Published by Cornerstone Released 28th February 2013 Price: £16.99 A romantic novel about the twist and turns of love. RATING:H H H H H

Learn LOVE in a Week by Andrew Clover Published by Century Released 31st January 2013 Price: £9.99

Hitchcock © Twentieth Century Fox

I GIVE IT A YEAR Release Date: 8th February 2013 By Studio Canal Director: Dan Mazer Cast: Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, Simon Baker Release date: February 8th 2013 Since they met at a party, ambitious high-flyer Nat (Byrne) and struggling novelist Josh (Spall) have been deliriously happy despite their differences. Josh is a thinker, Nat’s a doer..but the spark between them is undeniable.

Sparkle is a timeless story of the bonds of family, the trials of success and the power of music. In her feature film debut, Jordin Sparks stars as Sparkle, a young woman whose big dreams seem almost impossible. She’s been warned against the pitfalls of the music industry by her protective mother (Houston), yet encouraged by the handsome and ambitious Stix (Luke), Sparkle forms a trio with her sisters (Sumpter and Ejogo). Together, they perform the soul-stirring songs that Sparkle pens. But as their fame grows, so do the risks of jealousy, self-doubt and insidious temptation.

Their wedding is a dream come true, but family, friend and even the minister who marries them aren’t convinced that they can last. Josh’s ex-girlfriend, Chloe (Faris), and Nat’s handsome American client Guy (Baker), could offer attractive alternatives. With their first anniversary approaching, neither wants to be the first to give up, but will they make it?


Funny, moving and brilliantly observed, Learn LOVE in a week is a page-turning comic novel that resonates with men and women and actually does offer advice on how to improve your love life.

Kimberley Walsh releases her debut solo album ‘Centre Stage’ with Decca Records on February 4th 2013.



SPARKLE Release Date: February 11th 2013 courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Cast: Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, CeeLo Green, Derek Luke and Mike Epps Certificate: 12

Rose Bryne & Rafe Spall in ‘I Give It A Year’ © Studio Canal

“I’ve always loved musical theatre and doing Shrek! The Musical definitely re-ignited the passion in me,” says Kimberley. “I really wanted to share the love I have for musical theatre by taking some classic songs and completely reinventing them.”


LEISURE WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat Tuesday 12th February – Sat 16th February Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door To Me. Tickets £11.50 - £27.50. Tickets are subject to booking fee. For further information and bookings call the venue box office on 01902 429212 or visit www. CLONTER OPERA THEATRE Folk@Clonter – The Demon Barbers ‘Lock In’ Sunday 17th February

BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL Anton & Erin go to Hollywood Saturday 2nd February at 7.30pm Anton and Erin Go to Hollywood, will see the UK’s favourite dance duo pay tribute to the Golden Years of the film musicals. Sassy tunes, sensational choreography and sparkling costumes conjure up all the fizz and razzmatazz of glamorous Hollywood. They will be joined by singer Lance Ellington, superb guest dancers and a 25-piece orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe.

Fitness dvds: Not loved up? Feeling low after

Christmas? Then the first thing to do to get your heart racing and in the mood for love is to exercise. Here are the latest fitness DVD’s to arrive on our doorstep and whether it’s a celeb body you’re after or just some relaxation exercise after the stresses of Christmas then you will find something to give your pulse a boost. STEP UP MIAMI HEAT Released 26th December 2012 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment Available at all good retailers RRP: £15.99 BEST FOR: ASPIRING DANCERS

Some of the UK’s oldest forms of dance collide with some of the youngest in an exciting new folk and hiphop dance fusion show. The Lock In promises to do for folk dance what Riverdance did for Irish dance and Diversity for street dance, bringing some lesser known forms of dance into the mainstream.


The Lock In will be supported by Maz O Connor, who was a Radio 2 Young Folk Award finalist and released her debut album ‘Upon A Stranger Shore’ last year.

15 MINUTE FAST FITNESS – FAT BURNING Released 31st December 2012

Tickets £29.50 - £39.50 & are subject to booking fee. For bookings call the venue box office on 0121 780 3333 or visit

Available from Amazon RRP: £16.99 BEST FOR: BUSY MUMS

VICTORIA HALL, STOKE ON TRENT Boogie Nights Wednesday 6th February at 7.30pm Boogie Nights is the hilarious story of Roddy O’Neil, set in a provincial British town in the height of the disco seventies and is now, a remixed concert version and sees the original characters in a packed hit-fest that promises 70 songs from the 70’s. With an all-star cast including special guest stars The Osmonds, Gareth Gates as heart throb Dean, Louisa Lytton as the leading lady character of Debs, Andy Abraham (The X Factor) will play soul singer Spencer and livewire Chico will be the daft and engaging character of Terry. The star line up is completed by Shane Richie Junior who will take over the role created by his father as Roddy, the original seventies bad boy. Boogie Nights promises a party atmosphere.

Tickets priced at £16 and are available from or by calling 01260 224514

MMA (mixed martial arts)

WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE Swan Lake Tuesday 19th February at 2.30pm & 7.30pm Performed by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia Accompanied by the Russian State Ballet Orchestra of Siberia

The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all; exquisite ensemble pieces, memorable pas de deux and breath-taking solos. The contrast of Odile, the temptress in black tulle who seduces the Prince by spinning with captivating precision, to the spellbinding purity of the swan queen, Odette, as she flutters with emotional intensity.

FITNESS HOME TRAINING Release Date: January 2013 mma-fitness-dvd/ RRP: £24.95 plus £2.95 p & p BEST FOR: MEN & WOMEN



Tickets priced at £22.00 - £32.50. Tickets are subject to a booking fee. To book tickets call the box office on 0844 871 7649 or visit Image above: L-R Andy Abraham, Gareth Gates, Louisa Lytton, Chico, Shane Richie Junior © Linda Lusardi

Tickets: £16- £34 Tickets are subject to booking fee. For tickets call the venue box office on 01902 429212 or visit

January/February 2013


Trentham Park Golf Club Membership Available Societies/Visitors welcome Professional Coaching available

Membership enquiries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Societies/Coaching â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Tel: 01782 642125 Come and enjoy a great golfing experience here at Trentham Park.


Every once in a while, a new car comes along that redefines the rules. Powered by ground-breaking SKYACTIV Technology and with striking KODO design, the all-new Mazda6 is set to change your thinking. Find out more at

THE ALL-NEW M{ZD{ 6. DEFY CONVENTION. Holdcroft Mazda Leek Road, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 6AT 01782 202330 The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Mazda6 range: Urban 36.2 (7.8) - 55.4 (5.1). Extra Urban 57.6 (4.9) - 78.5 (3.6). Combined 47.9 (5.9) - 67.3 (4.2). CO2 emissions (g/km) 136 - 108.


Get Cosy

with a luxurious new interior from Leather By Design Immerse yourself in the luxury of our home movie theatre created by Cinema by Design

From lounge to Dining room to bedroom We have 2 floors of stunning furniture: • sofas • armchairs • recliners • table lamps • rugs • coffee tables • dining suites • beds & bedroom furniture •wall units • mirrors • accessories • giftware department

Leather by Design Tel: 01543 467403 • 6 Progress Drive, Bridgtown, Cannock WS11 0JE Over 23 years of excellence – 1989 – 2012 Incorporating the largest Natuzzi Showroom in the Country Suppliers of MaxDivani, Reflex, Starbay, Incanto, Aleal, Nicoletti, Habufa, Bontempi, Hartmann, Koiner, Calia, Italsofa, Schillig, Gwinner, Dewolf, Leather Editions, Tom Schneider, Alfrank, ALF, Varier, Fjords, Casabella, Kesterport, Rauch, Polo Divani, Rom, Willis & Gambier

Issue 51 jan feb 2013  
Issue 51 jan feb 2013