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Inside the Staffordshire

Read our Anton du Beke interview

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“I just wanted people to get that sense of wanting to dance.”

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Easter Eggs from

Hotel Chocolat!

PAT T E R N PA R A D E :

www.staffordshireliving.co.uk

Like Mother, like daughter: do you dress like your mum?

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BATHROOM REFRESH

art scene TR

Home: NEW look magazi ne!

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A two-night break at Hilton London Metropole

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L IV I N G :

SS18 STYLE spotlight T R AV E L :

Rediscover

WALES

and where to go on your

UK STAYCATION

Queen of the greens:

WHAT GOLF CAN DO

FOR YOU

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Staffordshire’s leading lifestyle magazine.

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Staffordshire

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March | April 2018 £3.50


WWW.RIEDEL.CO.UK RIEDEL THE WINE GLASS COMPANY STORE, TRENTHAM SHOPPING VILLAGE TRENTHAM ESTATE, STONE ROAD, STOKE-ON-TRENT ST4 8JG, TEL: 01782 658722


Newcastle-under-Lyme If you’re looking for culture, a fun-packed day with friends and family, fantastic food and drink or you simply want to shop till you drop, Newcastle-under-Lyme has it all.

Located just minutes from Junction 15 of the M6, Newcastle under Lyme is a bustling market town in the heart of Staffordshire. The birthplace of Philip Astley, the founder of the modern circus, it’s no surprise that we know how to give visitors an enjoyable time! Newcastle is home to the award-winning New Vic Theatre, Europe’s first purpose-built theatre-in-the-round. The audience surround the performers on all sides, creating a spellbinding theatrical atmosphere. An eclectic mix of international-class drama, music and performance takes centre stage all year round. Set in beautiful parkland, the family-friendly Brampton Museum and Art Gallery has something for everyone, including a Victorian street scene, toys gallery, 1940s house and temporary exhibitions and galleries. The museum sits in Brampton Park with its stunning gardens, play area, café, mini steam train and animal enclosure. Trent Art Gallery specialises in original paintings and works on paper from modern British artists, including a significant body of work from Staffordshire. There are always over 100 original paintings on show. If you’re looking for family fun, then head for Lymelight Boulevard, where you can see the latest blockbusters at the Vue cinema. If you

fancy something a bit more energetic, head for the 10-pin bowling alley at Lymelight Lanes, or let off some steam at Laser Quest. Escape Room, meanwhile, is an interactive, real-life escape game where you’re locked in a themed room and have 60 minutes to solve challenging puzzles to get out! If you do manage to escape, you can take a break at one of Lymelight Boulevard’s cafes, bars and restaurants. At the nearby Jubilee 2, you can try your hand at the climbing wall, have a swim or simply relax in the sauna before heading back into the town centre again, refreshed and revitalised. Newcastle has an attractive, bustling town centre with everything for shopaholics, from big-name retailers to an impressive line-up of independent shops. Visit the Roebuck Shopping Centre or Astley Walk and, when you need a break, you’ll find lots of top-class bars, cafes and restaurants ready to look after you – or you can take the weight off your feet in Queen’s Gardens, right in the heart of the town centre. Look out for the monthly farmers’ market (third Friday in the month), where you can get your hands on the finest Staffordshire food and drink, and there’s an antiques market every Tuesday. The town centre also has a packed programme of events over the year, including the Lymelight music festival, Newcastle Jazz and Blues Festival and more.

For more information about Newcastle under Lyme, visit www.visitcastle.co.uk


Winter Sale Now On ... Advertisement

Sofa Gallery’s Winter Sale is well and truly underway, offering fantastic deals throughout the store at Watling Street, Bridgtown. Established in 1994, Sofa Gallery’s aim has always been to provide customers with quality British furniture giving you exceptional value for money. To compliment their own prestigious bespoke furniture range, they are also stockists of leading manufacturers including Sherborne, G Plan, Alstons, Parker Knoll and David Gundry amongst others. Their aim has always been to provide customers with quality British furniture giving you exceptional value for money and have established a reputation synonymous with quality.

At Sofa Gallery bespoke quality products are manufactured using the finest materials that are all UK-sourced. Once you have chosen your piece of furniture from a wide selection of models, you can select your fabric from an extensive range of over 2000 luxury examples from renowned fabric houses such as Warwick, Jim Dickens and Romo. You are able to specify the firmness of the seating from soft, medium or firm and can make alterations to the width, depth and height of the furniture guaranteeing your total comfort. As it can be difficult to visualise the furniture in your own home, samples of fabrics can be provided and you can even borrow pattern swatches to take home making sure you have the perfect colour match. Ian MacDonald, Managing Director says “we take great pride in the furniture we manufacture and retail. Every piece is made using hardwood frames which are screwed and dowelled and sprung in the base. We even make sure the foam we use to fill our cushions is of outstanding quality and designed to last. This guarantees that the inside of our products are to the same high standard as the outside which is extremely important.”

You can view all of Sofa Gallery’s products online via their website – www.sofagallery.co.uk Their Cannock showroom is open 7 days a week. Call in and see a wide selection of models or phone and speak to one of their friendly sales team who will be happy to help.

Buy the BEST of British Manufacturing

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MITTON MANOR GARDENS

Mitton, Near Penkridge, Staffordshire ST19 5QW Mitton Manor is a 7-acre country garden that was started in 2001 and has been developed from an overgrown wilderness. The garden surrounds a Victorian manor house and contains a range of different styles; formal box and topiary, prairie planting and natural woodland bordered by a stream. Stunning water features and sculptures just add to the magic.

Refreshments:

Enjoy Tea, Coffee, Cakes or a Champagne Afternoon Tea whilst listening to live music!

NEW EVENTS FOR 2018

April 29th 2018 - Cherry Tree Walk June 24th 2018 - NGS Open Day Check out our website for additional open days and more information.

www.mittonmanor.co.uk Email: info@mittonmanor.co.uk

General Admission:

ÂŁ5. No charge for children under 12 Additional charges apply for special events

Location: ST19 5QW (2 miles west of Penkridge) At the Texaco island on the A449 in Penkridge turn west into Bungham Lane. Turn right at the end of Bungham Lane and then immediately left. Keep right at the fork after the single file bridge. The house is 1½ miles from the bridge on the right. Car park in field before house


p.106

Santorini for spring? Yes, please!

CON T E N T S March | April 2018

p.42

Cover stories 14 Pattern Parade: SS18 style spotlight 20 Like Mother, like daughter: do you dress like your mum?

p.14

37 Queen of the greens: what golf can do for you M&S

55 Our 2018 Gardening special

p.95

Lifestyle 14 Fashion: Pattern parade 18 Men’s fashion update for SS18 20 Like mother, like daughter 22 Express yourself with this season’s nail trends 25 The best beauty tools 26 A treat for mum 29 The Luck of love 31 How to survive hay fever season and still look fabulous 32 The benefits of walking 37 Queen of the greens 38 Spring into action 40 Recipes: Mother knows best 45 Chocolate fever 46 Weighing up the savings 50 A trendy affair 54 The benefits of shopping local

Gardening 56 Reap what you sow! 62 The secret garden 66 A spring guide to gardening 68 First cut day: Garden machinery

Home 70 Bathroom special: What a refreshing change 82 Style vs steal: Design by dynasty 88 Opening up the home with an orangery or conservatory 94 2018 home colour trends

Culture 106 Spring around the world 108 Travel survival guide: Kids and planes 111 REVIEW: The Snug at Moddershall Oaks 112 Buying a holiday home in the UK 114 Stay-cay: UK staycation destinations 118 REDISCOVER: Wales 122 The film club 125 LIVING’s book corner 126 INTERVIEW: Anton du Beke 128 Events Calendar 132 Uncovering the Staffordshire art scene 135 LIVING visits: Stone and Eccleshall 138 Spotlight on finance 142 Genealogy: It’s in my DNA 144 Social media vs reality 148 On the road: Compact SUVs

70 HOME: Bathroom Refresh 114 Where to go on your UK staycation 118 TRAVEL: Rediscover Wales 126 INTERVIEW: Anton du Beke

Win! 11 A two-night break at Hilton London Metropole 45 Hotel Chocolat Easter eggs 129 Two free tickets to Stafford Bingley Hall Antiques Fair

Regular Features 10 LIVING Loves… Happy days 12 LIVING it! News and views 154 Coming Up

p.95


Bring Your Dreams Home in 2018

The Lifestyle You’ll Love Est. 1924

VISIT OUR NEWLY FITTED SHOWROOM

www.shuffs.co.uk 01538 756333 Jones & Shuffs, Leek Road, Kingsley Moor, ST10 2EH

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EDITORIAL

Nancy Emery

editorial@staffordshireliving.co.uk DESIGN & PRINT

Natasha Nicholson

design@purple-sprout.co.uk Cheryl Basford

print@purple-sprout.co.uk ARTWORK CO-ORDINATOR

Sainsbury’s Home

Amy Clarke

artwork@purple-sprout.co.uk

WELCOME

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT

media@purple-sprout.co.uk

p.95

ACCOUNTS

March | April 2018

H

ello and welcome to the latest edition of Staffordshire Living – full of the joys of spring! It’s a season to be happy; there are brighter and longer days coming soon. Hurrah! In fact, we will officially enter ‘British Summer Time’ on Sunday 25th March 2018. How exciting! Remember when there was a mad dash to change every clock in the house and somehow you always missed one? Well, this really isn’t the case anymore, so you can relax on adding a note to your calendar - our phones, laptops and computers seem to do all the hard work for us nowadays. Somewhere in the big wide digital world, a button is pressed and it automatically changes time… awesome. March is full of dates for the diary though, so don’t close that calendar just yet. Mother’s Day is on Sunday 11th March this year, which has fallen much earlier than last year so be sure you get the perfect gift in time (check out our gift guide on page 27 before you do).

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n

th e

co ve r

And Thursday 8th March is International Women’s Day, a celebration of the social,

SALES DIRECTOR

economic, cultural and political achievement of women – and it really couldn’t be any more topical. March is all about women so let’s rejoice in how far we have come and celebrate each other every day.

David Mellenchip

david@staffordshireliving.co.uk ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES

Mandy Peach

And as we move from March into April, gardening season officially begins so you’ll be pleased to browse the pages of our annual gardening supplement with advice on growing your own, a guide to spring gardening and even the machinery you need to be successful in the garden (all starting on page 55).

mandy@staffordshireliving.co.uk Chrissie Woodward

chrissie@staffordshireliving.co.uk GROUP OPERATIONS MANAGER

Cheryl Osborne

accounts@purple-sprout.co.uk

This issue this full of exciting features from staycation ideas, healthy hobbies and relationship advice. Plus, all Strictly fans (and everyone else) will love to read our interview with the dashing Anton du Beke on page 127.

PUBLISHER

Craig Rushton Scan the QR code

Easter falls early this year too, on 1st April, and if you’re lucky you’ll get your hands on our selection of Hotel Chocolat treats in our Easter egg hunt competition. You can also win a mini-break to stay at the Hilton too - see page 11 for more details. What a fabulous start to spring! While every care has been taken during the preparation of this magazine, Purple Sprout Ltd cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein or any consequences arising from it. The contents of this magazine may not be reprinted or reproduced without prior written permission. All rights reserved. Competition terms and conditions: The prizes are as stated and no cash alternative can be given. The winner will be notified by phone, post or e-mail. The editor’s decision is final. The competition is not open to Purple Sprout employees and their families. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Purple Sprout or the competition supplier may contact you with news and information. If you would prefer not to receive further communication please tick the opt out box on the competition entry form.

You may notice a few little changes to the layout of the magazine this issue and we hope you are pleased with what we have done. As always, if you want to talk to us about anything featured in the magazine or just want a chat, then please get in touch with the editorial team on editorial@staffordshireliving.co.uk.

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

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

Dorothy Perkins

love Living x

Voyager Bathroom, Dunelm

accounts@purple-sprout.co.uk


HomeSense

Decorations £6.99 per pack Talking Tables

Backpack £30 Paperchase

Easter Egg Biscuits £35 Biscuiteers Baking Cards £2.50 Paperchase

HAPPY DAYS Our lives get so much lighter, brighter and cuter for spring! Treat Plate £6.99 TK Maxx

Wreath £20 www.tc h. n

et

Talking Tables

Cup

& Sauc

S er £15 Home

China Egg £6.99 TK Maxx

10

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Win!

A two-night break at

HILTON LONDON METROPOLE One lucky Staffordshire Living reader will enjoy a two-night London break for two at the stylish Hilton London Metropole, worth £500! With a central location, close to many of London’s top attractions – including Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Madame Tussauds and ZSL London Zoo – Hilton London Metropole offers spacious, stylish accommodation for the perfect city break. Contemporary dining options and stateof-the-art facilities include the EDG Bar & Lounge, a relaxed, modern setting for afternoon tea or a signature cocktail, and Herb N’ Kitchen, which offers the perfect ‘grab and go’ selection of healthy treats for those on the move. After a day exploring the city, the vibrant Fiamma restaurant is the place to enjoy delicious Italian-inspired cuisine before finishing the evening with a nightcap in the sophisticated Whisky Lounge and brand-new Gin Bar. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s LivingWell Health Club, with its 12.5m pool, fully-equipped exercise area, steam room and sauna. Staying in one of the hotel’s Superior guestrooms, complete with a LCD TV, ondemand movies, Wi-Fi access and tea and coffee making facilities, one lucky winner and a guest will enjoy:

• A complimentary two-night stay • Hilton’s famous buffet breakfast – which offers over 100 hot and cold dishes - on both mornings • One dinner for two at Fiamma Restaurant • Complimentary use of all facilities in the LivingWell Health Club.

To be in with a chance of winning, head to the competition section of www.staffordshireliving.co.uk and find the Hilton London Metropole competition page. Simply enter your answer to the below question, along with your name and address details on the form provided by the closing date, which is 27th April 2018.

Q: What is the name of Hilton London Metropole’s restaurant? Scan the barcode using a QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competitions area on www.staffordshireliving.co.uk now!

Terms & Conditions: 1. The closing date and time for entries is 9.30 am on 27th April 2018. 2. There is one prize consisting of a two-night stay for two at Hilton London Metropole in one shared Superior Room with complimentary buffet breakfast for two adults each morning, complimentary use of the LivingWell Health Club and one dinner for two at Fiamma Restaurant. The dinner at Fiamma Restaurant is to the value of £60 for two. 3. The prize must be booked by 1st October 2018 and the prize stay taken prior to 27th December 2018. Extension to these dates are not possible. 4. All elements of the prize, are subject to availability and exclude the following dates; 18 – 19 May, 22 – 25 May, 14 – 22 June and 25 -27 June. 5. The prize does not include travel costs, travel insurance, meals other than those stated, beverages, spending money or any other incidental costs such as telephone calls, mini bar items, laundry etc. 6. The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion of Hilton Hotels. 7. There is no cash alternative. 8. The prize is non-transferable and non-refundable. 9. The prize stay is subject to the standard terms and conditions of Hilton. 10. The winner must be prepared to take part in any relevant publicity. 11. One winner will be drawn at random from all correct and eligible entries received by the closing date. 12. The winner will be notified by phone, post or e-mail within seven days of the closing date. 13. The editor's decision is final. 14. The competition is not open to Purple Sprout, Hilton and their families. 15. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Only one entry per person. 16. From time to time Purple Sprout or the competition supplier may contact you with news and information. If you would prefer not to receive further communication please tick the opt out box on the competition entry form. 17. By participating in the draw, entrants are deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. 18. No responsibility will be accepted for entries lost, delayed or damaged or for any other problems with entries caused by factors outside the promoter’s control. Entrants must be UK residents.

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LIVING it it LIVING

Last issue we asked: ‘What motivates you the most?’ but we came to the conclusion that it all depends on what is It’s our news & views section. Time to catch up on what’s in front of us. If we’re been happening in on Staffordshire and what you had to trying say… to lose 10 pounds Getting your opinions life’s thought– our motivational provoking questions... tactics might be different to when we’re desperately seeking a new job. Motivation can come in many forms; we might stick a picture displaying our fitter self on the fridge to keep temptation at bay, and the idea of having a few extra pounds in the bank could be the mental persuasion we need to finally get HaveWe you the watch Feeding the Ducks allgot need a little push War onthe job we’ve always music you? acquired by a Beacon Park is relaunching its nowin and again, whether it’s A WWII watch wanted. Whatever German soldier during the warofhas healthy duck food after changing Staffordshire to get out of bed on a frosty singers are being we want out fetched over £52,000 at auction the packaging to paper bags to cut given winter the chance to work with life, let’s makein morning or jump on Birmingham. Thethe sale, which took down on plastic. Lichfield District the iconic Kiki Dee at this year’s start of 2017 the treadmill, when all we th place on 30 January 2018, is one Council’s parks team encourage Choir Camp Ingestre our motivation, reallyat want to Hall do isfrom dive of the most fascinating items in park goers to feed local wildfowl 16th to 18th March. Best known for it’s a new under the covers! the history of Fellows beginning auctioneers. healthy grain-based duck food, as her 1976 international number one Bids came flying in from three bread has no nutritional value for duet with Elton John, ‘Don’t Go and telephone bidders as they went ducks but can fill them up so they Breaking My Heart’, Dee was the whatever don’t get a balanced diet. The first white British artist to be signed head to head to head, with youthe want, rare and historic Second World healthy duck food is on sale from by Motown. Choir Camp 2018 is you can War Panerai military Diverhave watch Beacon Park’s Ranger Station the brainchild of local musician it! finally reaching a hammer price for 50p. To find out more about Matthew Jones and follows the of £41,000 and a price realised visiting Lichfield Historic Parks, success of last year’s pilot with go to lichfieldhistoricparks.co.uk. special guest Peter Straker. For more (fees included) of £52,316. The Pictured: Park Ranger James information, contact Jenny Sloan on Panerai was also with historic paraphernalia and a hand-written Myers with healthy duck food. 0121 401 1380/info@saintececile. account of its story. co.uk. Pictured Kiki Dee. “The main thing that gets “Being in the fresh air at

S win! TA R win! R E Awin! DER S TA R smile L E T T E Rand Make us WINStaffordshire a 12-month “Dear Living Home, subscription as a regular reader of your

magazine I was very interested in Each issue, we’re givingfeature away your Christmas presents month. subscription It's a very welcome a this 12-month to the change to see actual genuine, magazine to some our star reader. To affordable and inspirational gift be in with a chance of winning, ideas, especially those simply send us a for letter by'what post, to buy for the person who has email or via our social media everything' family member. And channels, sharing your thoughts as I love flamingos I will definitely onbe the latest issue. If youropen letter leaving the magazine on is chosen thethem Star on, Letter, you’ll the pageas with just to give be featured our LIVING a clue for myhere own on present! Keep up work.” it! page,the andexcellent will win a 12-month

Q

What motivates you the most?

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me up in the morning is...

my allotment...

subscription to the magazine; - Sue Hawkins, Meir Park, that’s six Stoke issuesonofTrent our fabulous glossy mag delivered straight to your door.

Go on make us smile, and we’ll We love to what return thehear favour! you think so if you have Tell us your thoughts via email to something to say about any of editorial@staffordshireliving.co.uk, putting STAR LETTER in thein subject, the features and topics this byissue, post, orplease throughget ourin social media touch!

On Sunday 11 March 2018, we Q: My is knowing celebrate mums, but also grandmas, the anticipation of a satisfying bowl ofmum...and it makes a difference step-mums and those sisters who cereal, accompanied with a goodbecause... brew.” to my health and environment by great are like mums to us, for - Rachel via Facebook PM #growingyourown motivates me” Mother’s

channels listed at the bottom of the page. Tell usThanks your thoughts via email for reading!

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Day. Make sure you put the date in your diary so you don’t forget to give the special ladies in your life a treat! In honour of Mother’s Day, we’ve been asking you to share why “Definitely people you love your mum by completing motivate me the most.” the sentence: “My mum is great because… and here’s what “I can sit doing absolutely nothing allyou said:

- Sue Durrani via Twitter

“What motivates me to get up in the morning is...

thinking about how proud I will be on my graduation day for all the extra work “She is I put in to my degree!” - Lydia Eccleston night but if a friend comes to call then I “Myinto mum is strong, loyal and I so strong. She via Email am motivated being a good hostess, love to listen to her stories about has been through making tea or pouring wine, and getting her life. 90 years old and still as a lot but still out the snacks. If as I know they are coming sharp a knife.” keeps on going “My kids!” then the whole place gets a makeover” Sheila via Facebook like it’s nothing. - Linda via Facebook “All the motivation I need comes fromShe’s a amazing.” “She always knows what to say!” Deb via email kiss and a cuddle off them.” Kate via email - Samantha via Email

Coming up next time...

Coming up next time...

to features@staffsmedia.com, putting STAR LETTER in the subject, and  be in with a chance of winning  a one-year membership  service www. to online yoga yogaia.com* worth £90! Plus, the winning letter will feature right here in our next issue.

We’ve reached

2000 likes! *Yogaia is an online yoga service perfect for all levels from beginners right through to the advanced yogis. It haswant more than live and interactive onlineyou classesto We to100say a big thank a week so you can fit your exercise in to suit your everyone who continues toso lifestyle. Plus you can access recorded classes you never miss oneFacebook - get fit with experienced teachers support our page. If you from the comfort of your own living room! The one-year haven’t already – join us!toWe bring membership includes unlimited access all available classes on the service. Winner will be given a gift code you news, events, competitions to use when signing up to the service online. For a full setand of Staffordshire Media T&Csevery please see page 9. general fun day!

Scan the QR code to join today

As we can finally see spring on the horizon, we’re asking you to share with us: What is your favourite thing timeyou we’re was the best advice that your motherofgave you? Mother’s Day is Sunday 27th about spring? TellNext us what loveasking…What about the season or send us a piece pictureofwhich captures the beauty spring March and as to celebrate the one true love of our and lives, pleasewith share best piece for you. Let’s enjoy the beauty ofit’s thetime new season together! Share your thoughts pictures usyour via email, or of motherly advice for a chance to be featured and in the March/April 2017your edition! Connect via: look out for our weekly posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram comment there with answer.



 ‘Living It Q&A’, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, 12



Bellringer Road, Trentham Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire-Living-Magazine Staffordshire ST4 8GB 10



‘Living It Q&A’, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, /Staffsliving Bellringer Road, Trentham features@staffsmedia.com  editorial@staffordshireliving.co.uk Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 8GB

 Staffordshire-Living-Magazine

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M&Co

LIFESTYLE

Your style bible, plus health and fitness inspiration and the best of food & drink.

Top style pick!

SS18 Styl Guid e e insid e

£38 Laura Ashley

ST R E SS B UST E R This April is Stress Awareness Month so time to get our minds focused and strain-free. The My Possible Self app is a personalised self-help tool that helps you meet the stresses and strains in your life head on. It is the first self-help app to feature content licensed from the world-renowned Black Dog Institute, who are the leaders in e-mental health research, and is clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and mild-moderate depression in just eight weeks. Download from the App Store, Google Play and online at www.mypossibleself.com. Subscriptions start from £5.99 a month.


LIFESTYLE | FASHION

PATTERN PARADE

Get ready to stand out; SS18 fashion has some powerful prints to contend with. From checks to stripes, prints to floral designs, every item is making a statement and freeing you from your black style prison. Be daring and try something new this season. Dorothy Perkins 14


LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Marks & Spencer

£30 Primark

£19.99 New Look

£46 Oasis

>

£48 River Island

>

New Look

CO U NTRY GAL

£65 Topshop

£24.99 New Look

s & Spen

Style your check from head to toe

c er

£12.50 F&F

Prepare to lose yourself in an illusion as checks become one major fashion trend for the spring/summer season. Designers like Balmain, Christopher Kane and Hermes went cross-eyed for this mesmerising print, so prepare yourself as grid-like patterns are going to explode – from coats and jackets to shirts, trousers and even hats. Harsh lines, abstract patterns and basic gingham all come into play as brands experiment with colour and structure to bring this catwalk craze to our wardrobes. Time to square up and get on board as this is one trend we can’t ignore. Next

George at ASDA

£29. 50 Ma rk

C H E C K M AT E

GRID LOCKED

Gingham has come over all cool again. Team it with denim and add some fringe for the perfect look.

White Stuff

River Island

£30 Next

£28 Miss Selfridge

£2

5.9

9

e N

w

Lo

ok £14 River Island

MICRO TREND

Tassled earrings

£8.50 Next

£15 River Island

£8 Accessorize w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

15 15


LIFESTYLE | FASHION £25 Oasis

Matalan

GR APHIC DESIGN

£ 2 5 Ma rk

s&

Sp en

ce

Accessories that will make your head spin.

r

Debenhams

Primark

£45 Marks & Spencer

£20 M&Co

>

£69 Topshop

GR APHIC £15 Matalan

STRIPES

COLOURING IN

Thank you, fashion world, for you have given us stripes for SS18 – silhouette defining, body lengthening stripes. And that’s not all either: it’s time to swap your skinny jeans for flattering palazzo trousers. Stride on into the new season with plenty of confidence.

SS18 catwalks were like a box of crayons with bright and bold pops of colour.

£14 Matalan

White Stuff £48 Oasis

£42 Debenhams

House of Fraser £25 House of Fraser

>

£13 Primark

White Stuff

£39 Topshop >

16

>

£12 Matalan

£15 Matalan

£45 Miss Selfridge


LIFESTYLE | FASHION £40 Little Mistress

£1 Primark

Dorothy Perkins

>

George at ASDA

£35 Oasis

Hobbs

£69 Monsoon

£159 Hobbs £29 Debenhams

PRETTY

£55 River Island

£30 Accessorize

>

B O TA N I C A L S

£150 Debenhams

£25 Dorothy Perkins D E LI C AT E ENDS

This year’s wedding shoe is full of elegant grace. Botanical print heels, pumps and sandals are blooming perfect.

Fashion is never without a floral trend and £150 Oasis SS18 is officially the season of the flower. From pretty paisley designs to tropical print, there’s a harmonious blend of patterns and styles to experiment with and to suit all. From full blooms, to intricate details, brands have given us plenty to play with – choose from figure-hugging tapered trousers to coats and jumpsuits, the floral trend works well with any style and outfit.

£26 River Island

£59 Monsoon LIVING CRUSH

Floral bags are like doting admirers; you can never have too many!

£29.50 Marks & Spencer

Dorothy Perkins

£38 Laura Ashley New Look

£99 Marks & Spencer

£28 Miss Selfridge

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

17


LIFESTYLE | MEN

OH, BOY! We try so hard to get our men to grow up and then fashion throws us a curve ball; they’ll be dressing like the young lads they long to be for SS18.

A NOD TO MOD

PREPPY GUY

Marks & Spencer

House of Fraser

OUR INDIE KID

River Island

£14 Burton

£75 Burton

£80 River Island

£65 House of Fraser £22 Burton

18

£60 Dune

£38 Topman

Imagine if your guy started to dress like Harry Styles… Well, it’s likely to become a reality this summer; SS18 fashion takes a young, fun and colourful turn with quirky and effortlessly cool outfits showing distinct likeness to the One Direction star’s fashion forward dress sense. This trend is slick but exciting but we’re not promising your partner will exude the same charisma.

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£26 Burton

£30 Next

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£35 House of Fraser

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The smart and sexy mod trend that is a favourite among our men is here to stay. Inspired by the 60s subculture, which saw British youth step out in clean cut suits, experimenting with patterns, colour and texture, there’s a light and fresh twist for SS18 putting the emphasis on nude and pastel colours. I’m afraid we’ll have to make do with too-short trousers and no socks with shoes for a little while longer, girls. But who’s complaining when they look this good!

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£35 River Island

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£14 Matalan

£110 Mens at Dune

£40 House of Fraser

It could be down to Liam and Noel’s latest comeback or maybe our guys just enjoy the idea of dressing down to get dressed up, we’re not sure. But he’s going to become that indie kid you worked so hard to eliminate, as the 90s revival shows no sign of disappearing for SS18. Que shorts, sports socks and parka ensembles. It’s kind of cool though, isn’t it?

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£15 Topman £50 Topman

£45 Burton


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LIFESTYLE | STYLE

LIKE MOTHER LIKE DAUGHTER

Because fashion has no age limit

The relationship between a mother and a daughter is a complicated but significant one, a special kind of bond is formed from birth, unlike any other, and nurtured in the right way it can develop into the best kind of friendship later in life. But it’s not without its difficulties either. Mothers and daughters are sometimes so alike that it can cause friction. But the closeness between a mother and a daughter is not just meaningful on an emotional level, it’s also playing a major part in our fashion choices. Many women go through life desperately trying to eradicate any similarities between their dress sense and the one of their mothers – dreading the day they come to look in the mirror and say: “that’s it, I’ve turned into my mother.” But times are changing and now you’ll probably find more women who would happily share brands and even wardrobes with their mothers, than those that wouldn’t. What used to be a concern for young women that they might be dressing like their mother is now not such a bad thing after-all – just look at the Middletons. Kate, Pippa and Carol are all alike when it comes to fashion, even going so far as to share dresses. So, what’s changed?

Kathy Hutchins - Shutterstock.com

Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn are mother and daughter style goals!

following to promote products and push lines. And why not? That is where their demographic is, after all.

Fashion forward

In style terms, the gap between mother and daughter fashion is closing, massively. Are mothers dressing younger or daughters dressing older? It’s not an easy one to call - but somewhere in the middle, brands are cashing in on lines that appeal to more than one generation.

The high street fashion as we knew it has blurred slightly – there seems to be a much broader focus on age and style. Young-centric brands like Topshop and River Island are finding a middle ground with the usually ‘older-focused’ brands like Marks and Spencer and Next. Sure, you can still find the fundamental fashion to these brands in stores, but a 40-something woman today certainly does not look out of place at Topshop, nor does a 20-something woman browsing the rails of Next. Young student fashion has found its place predominantly online, driven by the likes of Missguided, Boohoo and In The Style, who capitalise on reality TV stars and social media 20

Fashion has taken a huge leap forward, size is no longer an issue and neither is age!

But online shopping in general is making it easier for us to shop where we want, buying what we want, without the worry of a raised eyebrow here and there. Most fashionable mainstream brands now provide us with a ‘curve’ line as well as the regular and petite offering. Fashion has taken a huge leap forward, size is no longer an issue and neither is age! So, with Mother’s Day coming up - are you ready to wear your wardrobe like Kate and Carol Middleton? With Mother’s Day coming up – are you ready to work wardrobes like Kate and Carol Middleton? Here’s LIVING’s easy guide to mother and daughter fashion.

 Celebrate your new found ‘twinne’status! Share your mother and daughter style pics with us on Instagram @staffsliving using the hashtag #staffslivingstyle


£28 J By Jasper Conran, Debenhams

Find common ground in fun and flirty dresses that will complement both of your figures.

LIFESTYLE | STYLE

Hem happy: keep your hem to a moderate length, mums. We want classy not ‘muttony’! £17.50 M&S Collection

£42 Topshop

£14 Simply Be

Play p Dr e s s U £109 Monsoon

V

er

y

£75 Dune

£36 Topshop

£2 8

£85 Office

STYLE IT: DAUGHTER £6 Primark

STYLE IT: MOTHER Take your casual chic style up a notch with statement flares.

£35 Faith, Debenhams

£30 River Island

Fightineg F l ar

Double denim: Throw some shade on your denim apparel

£9.50 M&S Collection

£27.50 M&S Collection

£85 Topshop £60 House of Fraser

£65 Office

£15 V by Very

STYLE IT: DAUGHTER

STYLE IT: MOTHER Smart and sexy at any age.

£12 River Island

£49 Miss Selfridge £25 East

Suits Yhou Bot £40 Therapy London at House of Fraser

£85 Dune

Neck it: Add a pop of colour with a statement necklace £29 Debenhams £19.50 M&S Collection £69 Topshop

STYLE IT: DAUGHTER

w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k STYLE IT: MOTHER

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LIFESTYLE | BEAUTY

EXPRESS YOURSELF Here’s the lowdown on SS18 nail trends

22


LIFESTYLE | BEAUTY

A LL THE COLOURS TH AT M AT TER THIS SE A SON

The big one

Spring fling

Purple reign

Pretty pastels

Purple shades are going to be massive in fashion this season and nails are no exception. Whether you go for a light, flirty shade or a deeper, vibrant shade, purple is one colour that’s going to dominate this summer.

French Fancie:

Oh, la la… Candyfloss colours are so delicious and they make nails replicate one of our favourite sweet treats. Result!

Celebrity beauty expert, Shavata Singh says: “As the colour of the year is ultraviolet, expect a large amount of purple across beauty and fashion. Hues that range from soft mauves all the way to deep violets will be prominent.” 1

“The colour purple represents meanings of creativity, ambition and peace - all wonderful focuses for 2018.” - Shavata Work

glitte the rt and g rend lam it up

2

1. Deborah Lippmann in ‘Chantilly Lace’ £19 Harvey Nichols 2. OPI in ‘Bubble Bath’ £19.50 Debenhams.com

3 1

Minty fresh:

2

Mint shades are bringing a fresh new look to our SS18 beauty, matching perfectly with spring’s floral fashion trend.

4

1. OPI in ‘Infinite Shine - In Pursuit of Purple’ £14.50 Debenhams.com 2. iZ Beauty of London Nail Lacquer in ‘Glastonberry’ £6 iZbeauty. co.uk 3. Autograph All in One in ‘Glacier’ £6 Marks and Spencer 4. Maybelline Colorshow Street Art Glitter Top Coat £3.99 Boots

Autograph Nail Polish in ‘Spearmint’ £6 Marks and Spencer

Electric fantastic

SS18 catwalks were awash with nails showing two-tone colour in striped designs, like Paul Costelloe, as well as single statement black lines. “The simplicity of a fresh pastel manicure should not be underestimated for lifting your spirits,” says Nicola Hammon of iZ Beauty. “Plus, white suits all skin tones and makes nails appear longer.”

Bold statement:

Bright blues and burnt oranges all took the catwalks during SS18 previews. Make your look come alive with these powerful 80s inspired shades.

Stripes and Single Lines:

1

Tren alertd

1. Chanel Le Vernis £18 Harvey Nichols 2. Yves Saint Laurent in Electric Blue £19.99 Harvey Nichols 2

3

Get this catwalk 1

look for yourself 2

1. Paul Costelloe SS18 @sophiastylianou 2. iZ Beauty of London Nail Lacquer in Competition White £6 iZbeauty.co.uk 3. iZ Beauty of London Nail Lacquer in White Sage £6 iZbeauty.co.uk w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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LIFESTYLE | BEAUTY

3 LOOKS TO ROCK THIS SEASON

1

3

2

Work of art

Mannequin nails

Nail art is set to be one of the biggest trends in beauty in 2018 and we don’t just mean colourful designs and prints. The SS18 catwalks were full of unique and individual nail designs from dazzling crystals and gems to fun emojis, motifs and even statement text.

Metallic beauty

Alison Dowse, Educator for iZ Beauty of London and CALGEL: “Mannequin nails are also going to be a big trend this season due to their super flattering and polished finish. For an elongating effect, choose a shade as close to your natural skin tone as possible.”

Nail expert, Kerry Thornhill: “Metallic shades are also going to be popular for the season. Think gold, rose gold or, for something a bit brighter, metallic purple is going to be a huge hit!”

Get flesh your -to shad ned es 1

3

2

1. DIOR Manucure Transat Nail polish in Yacht £22 Boots 2. iZ Beauty of London Nail Lacquer in Madison Avenue £6 iZbeauty.co.uk 3. Vinylux in Unmasked £12.95 cultbeauty.com

1

2

1. iZ Beauty of London Nail Lacquer in ‘Model Behaviour’ £6 iZbeauty.co.uk 2. OPI Nail Polish in ‘Glitzerland’ £13.50 Debenhams.com

Nail clinic

Not got time to get to the salon? We asked the experts how to master a DIY manicure and take care of your nails in between treatments. 1. What can we do in between salon

trips to care for our nails?

“Make cuticle oils and nourishing hand oils your best friend,” says Shavata Singh, founder of Shavata Nail Bars at Harvey Nichols. “Often the molecular structure of most moisturising agents can be too big, meaning that they just sit on the skin. The finer and lighter the oil, the more absorption takes place, helping to make the hands feel hydrated and plump. Invest in an organic oil that is free of harmful chemicals.” 2. What are the most important

things to remember when carrying out a manicure at home?

“Avoid nipping cuticles,” says Shavata. “It’s better to push them back rather than run the risk of cutting yourself. Leave that to the professionals! File nails in one direction to help prevent any breakage and buff nails lightly. When applying your polish, look for a long-lasting lacquer and ensure you let each coat dry fully to avoid any streaks!” Nail Expert, Kerry Thornhill, adds: “If applying polish, do not skip the base coat. The base coat is important, as it smooths any ridges, creating an even surface for your chosen nail colour. After applying your base coat and colour, finish with a topcoat that will enhance the appearance of your nails and give them a lustre and shine.” “Finally, make sure when you are filing your nails that they are completely dry, explains senior beauty therapist,” Vivienne Curran. 24

“This is important as filing wet nails can cause splitting. Always apply a base coat before your two applications of polish you have chosen, as this will stop the nail from being discolored when you take your nail varnish off.” 3. What are your top tips or advice for

nail care?

“Gel Polish is fantastic for protecting and helping to strengthen your nails,” says Shavata. “Just make sure that you only have gel polish removed and replaced once every 14 days (minimum), and make sure that you give your nails a break from gel every once in a while.” Always be gentle with your nails,” adds Vivienne, “and if you’re washing the dishes, try to wear gloves to avoid damaging them. Having a healthy diet is also important when it comes to your nails - try to eat foods rich in protein in order to maintain nail strength. I’d also say it’s important to give your nails a break from time to time and simply just apply a clear gloss over them to stop them from becoming weak or drying out.”

£18 Oliver Bonas

Cuticle Serum £6.50 Marks and Spencer


Staffordshire

LIFESTYLE | BEAUTY LIVING

Staffordshire

Created by apprentice winner and inventor Tom Pellerau, the device works on any size, or brand of brush in 30 seconds without any damage. We are in LOVE! StylePro Brush Cleaner and Dryer £49.99 www.stylepro.com and Boots

We’re heading for spring and open-toe shoes and we all need a little help getting smooth and soft feet! Give your soles some much-needed TLC with the Tweezerman Smooth Sole Antibacterial Callous Stone £18 Boots and John Lewis

LIVING

Can it get any better than a brush which helps to evenly apply our foundation? Thanks to a unique fluid reservoir, this Bare Minerals Perfecting Face Brush £24 Bareminerals.com gives you a no-mess and seamless application.

Staffordshire

The “go-to” tool for straightening wavy or frizzprone hair without flattening, and giving beautifully smooth hair with natural volume to the roots. Phil Smith Be Gorgeous Smooth and Straighten Brush £20 Sainsbury’s

DAFNI go™ £99.95 John Lewis is the perfect portable hair-styling brush for women with a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle. Take it anywhere in its compact little case for touch ups whatever you are doing.

BE BEAUTITOL 7 beauty accessories we love!

LIVING

The iontopherisis technology repels the serum like a magnet so it goes deeper into the skin. Together it helps to smooth the neck and décolletage (can also be used on the face) like you were being pampered in a spa. PRAI Beauty’s AGELESS Throat Ionic Device & Serum duo £99.99 Boots

Award-winning irons that allow you to control heat thanks to its five different temperature settings (great for all hair types), as well as minimising damage to your hair through mineral-coated ceramic plates. The Original Iron £139 www.cloudninehair.com

Straighteners crush!

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

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LIFESTYLE | YOU

A T R E AT FO R

MUM

Spending Mother’s Day just how you want to

M

other’s Day should be about relaxing; having a day off from the normal routine and switching off, so you can be forgiven for wanting to disappear for the day. Maybe a long leisurely session at the gym, followed by a dip in the pool, jacuzzi and sauna, or a day out with the girls shopping and a nice lunch, or perhaps you’re more likely to book yourself in to a spa day, where you can enjoy treatments and pampering all by yourself. There’s plenty of activities and events out there grabbing at our attention to celebrate Mother’s Day, and a mother is usually happy to partake in whatever the family has planned, but is it really what you want to do? Of course, Mother’s Day is about celebrating family and love and getting together to show an appreciation for mums, and a nice meal with the family is great, but would you rather use this ‘free’ time to finally finish that book or cross stitch pattern you’ve been desperately trying to do for months but never had the time? If this sounds like you, then we’ve got some tips to get the most out of Mother’s Day this year.

Make the suggestion No one ever gets what they want by keeping quiet! If you’ve seen a good deal at your local spa that you know you should really take

advantage of, then bring it up in conversation with your partner or children quickly! Suggest it would be a good way to spend Mother’s Day this year and that they could come along if they like. You can always have a family meal on the Saturday or another day in the week. Just think, you could be getting a full body massage, an indulgent chocolate facial and wiling away the hours in a heated outdoor pool with breathtaking views! Bliss! Similarly, if you are fed up of always getting the same chocolates and bunch of flowers and what you’d really like is to try out the latest virtual reality device or a rally driving session, tell them. They may think you have gone slightly mad but they should get the point! We’re not even joking either, there is now a ‘Supermum’ package being promoted by The Supercar Event, taking place on 7th and 8th July in Northamptonshire, which comprises of a family entrance ticket and a supercar ride for mums who want to get the adrenaline pumping. Find out more at thesupercarevent.com.

Make it special at home If you can’t get to a spa you can always make it special at home instead. Take a long hot bath, and spend time to pampering yourself there are loads of beauty treatments you can do yourself at home and Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to give them a whirl!

Here’s LIVING’s top five to try: 1. Mani-pedi. Give your nails some TLC. With the right tools and a little time you can achieve salon perfect nails at home. And seeing as it’s Mother’s Day, you’ll be able to sit back and let them dry for hours, so you won’t need to worry about scuffs and scratches to your new colour! 2. Face time. Make your own face mask out of the ingredients in your cupboards and fridge! Our favourite is Marie Claire’s Cocoa Dream Hydration Mask, which uses one quarter of mashed avocado (for hydration) with one tablespoon of cocoa powder (antioxidant) and one tablespoon of honey (soothing and anti-bacterial). Just leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water and follow with a good moisturiser. 3. Body beautiful. Scrub away the stresses of your week with a body scrub using ingredients you have at home. We love beauty blogger, Amelia Liana’s version (liana-beauty.com), using dark brown Muscavado sugar, oats, almond oil and vanilla essence for the fragrance. 4. Eye sore. We’ve all seen it in the

movies, but how many of you have actually given the cucumber trick a go? Refreshing cucumber can improve the look of tired eyes – helping to get rid of dark circles and puffiness.

5. Hair matters. Use this time to

shave, pluck and wax away all of your unsightly hair. Sure, we can think of more relaxing ways to spend an hour on Mother’s Day but you’ll feel so much better afterwards! Soothe the skin with a good quality moisturiser afterwards. Pampering complete, all that’s left to do is slip on your bath robe and slippers and read a book, watch Friends on Netflix or carry on with that jumper you’ve been knitting since last summer.

26


Lindor Chocolate Tree £50 The Great Gift Company

New!

LIFESTYLE | YOU

Tielle Love Luxury Towels from £45 tielleloveluxury.co.uk

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream £110 Elemis

Topaz Blue Gin £13.99 Aldi

Mrs Bennet

18ct Rose Gold Vermeil Mother’s Day Rose Charm £55 Links of London

Blooming Lovely Cake Stand £3 Tesco

Despite all her flaws, you couldn’t help but love Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. She just wanted her daughters to marry well…sound familiar?

Mrs Crawley WHAT SHE

WANTS

Violet Crawley has strong opinions and high standards, but her favourites never fail to impress her.

Gifts for the women that nurtured and protected us, whatever their character

£13.95 TheGiftedNotebook.co.uk

Ted Baker Blush Bouquet Mother’s Day Gift Set £24 Boots

Ava

Je w

el ler s o

fA

shop loca l

b ou r ne

£29 Avanti Jewellers

ti

sh

> Pearl Drop Earrings

n

Cremant Du Jura Sparkling Wine £7.99 Aldi

Happiness Candle £23.50 The Great Gift Company

Mrs Cunnigham Happy Days wouldn’t have been the same without Mrs C. She was the domestic queen who always knew what to say.

Mrs Mitchell With sons like hers, there’s no wonder Peggy takes charge. And there’s no denying who’s the boss in your house either!

One4All Gift Card. Top it up with anything from £10-£400.

Mrs Bucket Hyacinth maybe a little highly strung but she’ll do anything for her Sheridan. Is your mum waiting for a call? £6 www.gracecole.co.uk

Lambswool Blanket £64.95 www.black-by-design.co.uk

Blooming Lovely Cup & Saucer £4 Tesco

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

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The Beauty Loft COME ALONG TO OUR SPRING LAMBING DAY

Here is a taste of what’s on offer...

New-born Lambs - you may even see a lamb being born if you are lucky! Come and see our animals, we have over 90 species from Snakes and Chinchillas to Meerkats and Alpacas! We also have Pony Club Display, Treasure Hunt, Climbing Wall, Face Painting, Vintage Machinery, Porthywaen Silver Band, Milking Display and much, much more!

Sunday 25th March 10.30am - 4.00pm 11.30am - New Milk Vending Machine Grand Opening Walford Campus, Baschurch FREE parking at Walford Campus or park and ride Just £10 per car / family on foot #WalfordLambing

01939 262100

WWW.NSC.AC.UK

Why wait to see clearly? Our state of the art clinic offers fast treatment times for a wide range of eye conditions including: • Cataracts • Laser eye surgery or clear lens exchange for long or short sightedness • Glaucoma • Squints • Cosmetic eyelid complaints • Floaters All procedures are carried out at Spire Little Aston in Sutton Coldfield, just 25 minutes’ drive from Birmingham City Centre.

Step into The Beauty Loft to experience truly indulgent, yet effective beauty treatments delivered with a passionate, sincere approach. We can say with confidence that our treatments make a visible difference as we use the latest innovative therapies with the finest brands. Conveniently situated in the market town of Stone, with ample pay & display parking directly opposite and no time restraints, our aim is to reduce your stress levels! A warm ambiance with welcoming skilled professionals awaits. Allow us to reveal your inner beauty in an environment where we encourage you to refresh, relax and be beautifully pampered. You are our priority.

Why not spoil mum this Mother’s Day with the gift of beauty. Gift vouchers available starting from £10.

2D Radford Street, Stone T: 01785 748488 www.thebeauty-loft.com   

FREE information event Questions about laser eye surgery or clear lens exchange to correct long or short sightedness? Join us at our FREE informal information evening hosted by Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Daniel Calladine Wednesday 7 March from 6pm

To book your complimentary place call

0121 580 7171 seclittleaston@spirehealthcare.com www.spireeyecentre.com


LIFESTYLE | RELATIONSHIPS

1. A photo speaks volumes Whether you are updating your online dating profile or starting from scratch, it’s a good idea to always include a photo. If you don’t, it’s unlikely you’ll get many responses. It doesn’t have to be your latest passport photo – in fact, make sure it isn’t - but try to find a few photos that represent you and your life, and include one that shows your face (not someone else). A dating survey by Carphone Warehouse found physical attractiveness as a major factor when choosing a partner, behind personality and sense of humour. Pictures are much more telling than words, and are far more likely to get people’s attention.

2. Don’t big yourself up or put yourself down Two big turn offs. People don’t want to hear how amazing you think you are, just as much as they don’t want to meet up with someone who appears a little weak and self-conscious (even if that is

luck

THE OF LOVE Whether you’re newly single or have been single for a while, the start of spring could signal the start of your dating journey. After all, it’s the season of new life and new beginnings; the days are getting longer and it’s warming up. Plus, fresh blooms are popping up everywhere making us smile just that little bit more, so it’s the perfect opportunity to step out into the daunting old world of dating. But is there a code to being lucky in love? Relationship expert, India Kang says:

“Most of the ‘luck’ in finding love is a little like, ‘luck in finding your dream job or dream home.’ Which means finding love requires some work, effort and an open mind. This spring, start by creating a dating action plan - which outlines all the actions you’re going to take to find love. Research singles events and join as many dating sites and apps as possible. Set aside three nights a week to check your online messages. Depending on your schedule, stack all your dates over one or two evenings, this way you’re dating smart and efficiently.” The dating game changes all the time, but if it’s been a while since your last first date, here’s some tips to help you get through it smoothly.

Not feeling lucky in love as we head into spring? Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to finding a match online.

how you feel inside!). When you are writing your profile, stick to the facts about what you love and don’t love and focus on your hobbies and interests. At the same time, don’t be too pernickety about what you are and are not looking for in a partner, especially when it comes to looks. This will send red flags to any potential partners who come across your profile.

3. It’s ok to be nervous First dates are notoriously nerve-wracking! In fact, even pressing the submit button to publish your profile is daunting and that’s ok. Being nervous is a good thing, but don’t let it control your actions or put you off actually going on any dates. It’s likely that the person you are meeting is also going to be feeling nervous too. Tell yourself that it’s just first date jitters and once the conversation starts flowing you’ll feel much better.

4. Wear your lucky pants You may think this is silly, but 1 in 4 Brits have admitted to owning a pair of lucky pants, followed by 17% who own a piece of lucky jewellery - and 72% of people wear these lucky items on a first date. We can’t give you any scientific data to say that these will actually work but if it helps you feel a little more confident then we say go for it!

5. Don’t be afraid to be yourself You may be tempted to dress and act differently to try and improve your chances of a successful date but not only does that sound like hard work but it’s also not sustainable in a relationship. Work with your best assets and you’ll look your best. Carphone Warehouse also asked people living in the West Midlands what they found to be the most attractive features on a partner: it revealed that for men it was a smart dress sense and sexy stubble, compared to a curvy body and natural looking makeup for women. Don’t overdo your outfit and you’ll feel comfortable but dress up and make an effort and you are going to do just fine.

6. Splitting the bill is a good thing Back in the old days, it was customary and expected for the man to pick up the bill but we are not living in those days anymore and actually women can feel offended if a man simply assumes he’ll be paying. In contrast, men can feel intimidated and emasculated if women insist on paying. This isn’t a topic that you really want to bring up pre-date or before you’ve had your first sip of wine either, so what exactly do you do? Well, instead of worrying about it for the whole meal, just assume you will be splitting the bill, and when the time comes to pay, do just that.

7. Expect to kiss a few frogs We’ve all heard the saying and there has never been a truer word spoken. If you do meet your match on the first date, then that is wonderful, but we cannot all be that lucky! At the same time, give them a second chance, even if sparks weren’t flying first time round; you may feel differently the more time you spend with someone. w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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WOLVERHAMPTON HOSPITAL

Specialists inyou.

Want toknow more about cosmetic surgery? If you are thinking of reducing, enlarging, or enhancing a little part of you, it is vital that you choose to have your treatment with a reputable, professional healthcare provider you can trust. Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital has a team of highly qualified expert consultants and surgeons available to you as a patient paying for yourself, offering a full range of popular cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures. A dedicated professional team at our hospital will guide you through every step of the patient journey, and ensure you will receive the highest standards of individual clinical treatment and aftercare possible. You will find the cost of our cosmetic surgery very competitive. We also accept all major private health insurance schemes, and there is personal finance available to help spread the cost. Call us for more information or to make an appointment.

01902 793 269

nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/wolverhampton

@nuffwolvhosp

Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital


LIFESTYLE | HEALTH

H OW TO SU RVIVE

HAY FEVER SEASON

Dr

Sa

b

h, the joys of spring: flowers, lush greenery, the birth of lambs and hay fever. Yes, for a substantial proportion of the British public, the warmer days and beautiful blooms signal the beginning of months of stuffy noses, itchy eyes and relentless sneezing. Between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of adults and almost half (40%) of children are affected by Allergic Rhinitis, or hay fever as we more commonly refer to it. That’s around 16 million people in Britain alone and that figure is set to rise to 30 million in the next 20 years. r in

Symptoms of this nuisance condition normally start towards the end of March and can last until late September. That’s pretty much half of the year reserved for uncomfortable, snotty and irritable dispositions. Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, an ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgeon, insists it’s crucial to start taking antihistamines early, before your symptoms start playing havoc with your health – and complexion. She has plenty of advice when it comes to the best course of action to tackle your pollen problems.

If your hay fever symptoms are wreaking havoc, rest assured that make-up misery can be avoided with a few simple steps.

Eyes “Avoid stick on eye lashes as the glue could trigger an allergy. Too much mascara and eyeshadows can also worsen hay fever symptoms. Avoid shimmery eyeshadows, which will only draw attention to irritated skin around the eyes.”

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for hay fever sufferers who want to look their best. You can still wear make-up and avoid irritating your symptoms if you follow these tips.

Beat it Mange your symptoms with help of these little saviours

Youth Eye Complex £82 victoriahealth.com

HayMax Pure Organic Drug-Free Allergen Barrier Balm £6.99 Holland and Barrett >

Soothe your skin “Look for hypoallergenic make-up and read the labels closely. With soothing skin products, eye drops, natural home remedies and a bit of make-up as needed, your skin will feel soothed and less irritated.”

Allergy Eye Mist £12.49 Boots

O a

-D S h a h e s ai

“In hay fever, histamine causes eye symptoms such as inflammation, redness and itching by acting on H1 histamine receptors in the eyes. Eye drops block the H1 receptors, however, this treatment only works if taken before contact with the allergen, and it can take a number of weeks for the effects of the treatment to be seen. Cromoglicate is available as non-prescription eye drops, and is most beneficial in the treatment of red, watery, itchy eyes since oral anti-histamines do not always offer much relief. Steroids can be given as nasal sprays and eye drops and are particularly useful if they are started before the allergens appear. This may be a few weeks before the pollen season.”

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Experts say we are set for one of the worst hay fever seasons in years, but there’s plenty you can do overcome those pesky pollen problems and still look fresh and fabulous.

Drops, sprays and tablets

“Using a white eyeliner pencil, apply a bit to the inner corner of each eye and smudge, this will give your eyes a more alert appearance. A brown/black or navy mascara can give the illusion of brighter eyes. Black mascaras are more likely to cast a shadow under the eye so they won’t do you any favours when your eyes are irritated from hay fever symptoms. Dot a concealer lightly under the eye area and over the lid, up to the brow bone. Pat it in gently, so as not to further irritate the delicate skin around the eyes. You can set the concealer with a loose powder. It’s worth remembering that skin tends to get drier from taking antihistamines so makeup will look more pronounced.”

Puressentiel Respiratory Balm £9.99 Boots >

and still look fabulous

From streaming eyes to a sparkling complexion

H AY F E V E R F A C T F I L E Allergy UK Nurse Advisor, Holly Shaw: “Hay fever is a common cause of respiratory allergy. It is also linked to other allergic conditions, including asthma, with a large proportion of people that have asthma also having hay fever. It can affect young children and adults and can have a significant impact on quality of life. “In peak pollen seasons people with hay fever may experience lack of sleep because of their symptoms, as well as problems with concentration at school or at work. Symptoms vary in individuals but can include sneezing, a runny, itchy nose and red and watering eyes. For those needing antihistamines a

daily non-sedating antihistamine is advisable. These come in a variety of preparations including tablets, solutions and nasal sprays. A pharmacist will be able to offer advice on over the counter treatment options.” The severity of your reaction to the pollen in the air can vary day to day but Allergy UK has these three tips to help you: 1. Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high (generally on warmer, dry days). Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days.

2. On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing. 3. Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high.

Allergy Awareness week will take place during 25th April and 1st May. Find out more at www.allergyuk.com w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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LIFESTYLE | FITNESS



FIT FACT

Walk 10,000 steps a day for a fitter you

Invest in a good pair of walking shoes and have no excuses!

POWER WALKING Stride out to a happier, healthier you

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S

ick of the gym? Tired of the treadmill? You are not alone. Using your free time confined to a workout room can be a little dissatisfying – sometimes there’s a need to escape and free the mind, as well as working on that calorie deficit. But not everyone likes to run outdoors, and for those that don’t, and for those that do too, you might be missing a trick with one of the simplest and most effective workouts there is: walking.

Try one of these easy Staffordshire walks to get you going!

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alk away the pain

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Finally, walking encourages you to get out into the great outdoors. Something we should all consider now that the days are getting longer and not so frosty! But we should enjoy it not only to appreciate the natural world around us but also to be more social with our community.

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ediscover the countryside

The car park near the Admiral Jervis Inn, ST10 3AG

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A flat path through the banks of trees by the River Churnet – great for families!

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Walking is a powerful remedy if you are feeling nervous, anxious or a little low. It has great power to improve mental health, helping to boost your mood, aid sleep and relieve stress. In a 2004 study, the Department of Health found that active people, such as walkers, have a reduced risk of suffering with clinical depression. Furthermore, the Mental Health Foundation found that regular physical activity is at least as effective as antidepressant drugs in treating mild and moderate depression. There’s nothing better than the great outdoors to open your mind and help you feel

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pen your mind

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Fancy being more eco-friendly in 2018? According to Ramblers, if we all swapped one car journey a week to walk instead, car traffic levels would reduce by at least 10 percent, and as walking doesn’t produce excess carbon dioxide or noxious fumes, we’ll also be doing that little bit extra for the environment. Plus, if you want to save money, then walking to work is the best mode of transport for you as it doesn’t cost a penny, and you don’t need any equipment or training to do it. Just you.

Walking is a powerful exercise with numerous benefits. The British Heart Foundation encourages us to walk briskly to reap the most benefits to the heart, lungs and blood pressure. As a guide to getting the right level: check that you are breathing a little faster, starting to feel warm and can feel that your heart is beating faster - but you should still feel comfortable and be able to walk! And if you think walking won’t burn off the biscuits you had at lunch, you’ll be pleased to hear that walking one mile in 20 minutes can burn at least 100 calories (about the same as a 10-minute swim). In fact, a study by McArdle, Katch and Katch in 1986 actually found that walking a mile burns around the same calories as running a mile, but it’ll just take you longer. Either way, a regular walking routine is going to help you to lose weight and keep it off, and be healthier overall.

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ut your best foot forward

On the roadside verge opposite Weeford Church, WS14 0PW

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Weeford A beautiful walk taking in the Canwell Estate.

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Arthritis UK says that walking is “good medicine” for people of any age suffering with arthritis in any joint, helping to minimise pain and reduce the symptoms. Walking helps to strengthen muscles and can shift the pressure from the affected joints and in turn reduces pain. It can also help with balance and overall stamina when it comes to walking and other exercises. It may be tough to do, especially if you suffer with arthritis in your knees or ankles, but challenging yourself to walk daily can actually improve your condition overall. It’s also great for maintaining a healthy weight which all contributes to managing arthritis better.

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refreshed, and this can have a really positive impact on mental health. So head on out!

xercise at its best

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Walking is an enjoyable, moderate form of physical activity that is accessible to most people, and it’s also great for the mind, body and soul. Here’s why.

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Sarah Marfleet, Director of Membership & Fundraising for The Ramblers, says: “Not only is walking a fantastic, free way of keeping fit, it’s also a great mood enhancer that causes the release of anxiety-reducing endorphins. Add to that the joy of exploring the landscape and - when you walk with a group like the Ramblers - the chance to form lasting friendships, and it’s hard to find a reason not to go for a walk!”

LIFESTYLE | FITNESS

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The NHS says that a brisk 10-minute daily walk counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise, so it makes sense that we do more of it. And for a good 38 million of us, that’s exactly what we have been doing. A recent Ramblers (www.ramblers. org.uk) survey revealed 77 percent of UK adults enjoy walking at least once a month, with 62 percent covering more than two miles a time.

Tittesworth Reservoir Great surface to walk on and interesting scenery to take in. S TA RT:

The Visitor Centre, ST13 8SW

Find these walks and more in 100 Walks in Staffordshire £10.99 The Crowood Press www.crowood.com >

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Pure Harmony Therapy Training School Want to change your working week, be your own boss, plan you own time and how many days a week you work? A career as an Holistic Therapist is what you’ve been waiting for, all courses Accredited by GTi Beauty and Holistic Therapy Training. Book and pay for both Body Massage and Reflexology in either May or June 2018 and get the Ear Candling Course free!

Wow - 3 Courses for the price of 2 (saving you a massive £120)

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BARLASTON GOLF CLUB

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Barlaston Golf Club, Meaford Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8UX Telephone: Office: 01782 372867 Professional: 01782 372795 Course Information: 01782 373001 info@barlastongolfclub.co.uk www.barlastongolfclub.co.uk

• Bar discount card and full use of the club house facilities. • Advice and guidance on the rules and golf etiquette.

12 Month Package £275.00

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As part of the pampering process you can enjoy our Mini Day Spa with its Jacuzzi, Steam Room and Sauna accompanied by delicious food from our Bistro.To finish off, why not get your hair done at our Hair Salon.

As a welcome treat, we’d like to offer you a complimentary coffee and slice of cake.

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3. Improve sleep

We’re rounding up some of the best benefits of golf and we’re pretty sure you’ll be yelling “fore!” on the course before long!

Spend the day at golf and you can guarantee you’ll fall to sleep much quicker and enjoy a much more undisturbed night’s sleep. All that fresh air and walking will be sure to knock you out when night time falls.

1. Stress buster

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rdshire by storm taffo S and en k wi a t st

Thinking of taking up golf? Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Consultant Spinal Surgeon, Mr Panteleimon Papanikolaou, says: “Golf is generally a good gentle exercise for both women and men. Don’t overdo it though, and remember that it is often normal to feel stiff or have mild muscular aches the day after any unaccustomed exercise.”

QUEEN OF THE GREENS

£12 Accessorize

£79.95 White Stuff

£65 House of Fraser

Fairway fashion I know, I know, it’s not about the cute outfits. But what’s wrong with looking good while we workout?

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£25 Bonmarché

£19.50 Marks & Spencer

£45 Laura Ashley

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£32 Evans

Women are thriving at this fitness focused, challenging, fun and skilled sport and it’s got nothing to do with the cute little outfits. Golf has a number of benefits, both on a health and fitness level, which are keeping women on the green. It not only helps to increase endurance, strengthen muscles, like those in the legs and back, and improve overall fitness, it can reduce stress, help you sleep better and help with bladder control too.

Golf tends to focus on the back and leg muscles thanks to the unique movements you do when swinging the club, helping to tone the legs, thighs and buttocks, as well as keeping the spine healthy and improve core strength.

£20 Dorothy Perkins

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Staffordshire has slowly risen to be a hub of golfing activity – there are golf courses popping up everywhere from Trentham to Burton, and when it comes to a battle of the sexes, women are playing just as much as men.

5. Tone up

Golf is not all about fitness, it also requires a certain level of skill and expertise pushing us to use our brain more. This, together with steady movement of playing, helps to boost circulation.

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But the sport is popular among men, women and even children. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that a vast majority of those people lived in Staffordshire – because it seems like they do.

2. Circulation booster

Fresh air and walking make golf the perfect sport to keep your heart healthy. You can burn up to 900 calories during an 18-hole session without working up much of a sweat. That’s a fantastic way to keep fit if you ask us!

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In the UK, around 8% of the adult population play golf regularly, whether that’s a full 18-holes or a shorter version of the course; that’s around four million people, according to The British Golf Industry Association.

4. General fitness

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Throw away those old-fashioned and simply ludicrous notions because they are untrue – shock. Sure, if you were to consider that there is approximately 60 million people picking up clubs to hit the holes regularly in the world, and that equates to just over half a per cent of the worldwide population – then yes, it’s fairly specialist. But when it comes to who plays, there is a much wider spread clientele than those locker room aristocrats you were picturing earlier.

Golf is a great way to relieve stress, not just from the exercise but also because of the social aspect of it – from golfing tournaments to a community style atmosphere within clubs, there are many ways to get together with friends and enjoy some leisure time.

£40 Laura Ashley

I

f you don’t play golf (or know anybody that does), then the mere mention of it conjures up associations of something a bit exclusive - a specialist sport where you need plenty of time on your hands, a big bank balance and one, naturally, dominated by men. But hang on a minute, what century do we live in?

LIFESTYLE | YOU

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LIFESTYLE | YOU

SPRING INTO ACTION

Start the new season with a spring in your step.

Follow these wellbeing tips for a healthy mind, body and soul.

Self-therapy Be mindful and be present. You can only do what you can today. Don’t let the past define you or the unknown future stifle you. Be aware of where you are and what you are doing, even if that’s a second to appreciate the apple you had for breakfast or the shoes on your feet. Try and take a moment each day to reconnect the mind; to find your equilibrium. Our emotions can get the better of us and make us feel anxious, moody or even sad. When you begin to spot the warning signs, take a moment. Sit on the office loo, step outside or find a quiet corner, and get the balance back.

Start a new hobby

Have a go at facial yoga Heard of ‘The Owl’, ‘Swan Neck’ or ‘Giraffe’? Probably not, but these are some of the movements which make up the practice of facial yoga, one of the latest wellbeing trends to catch the eye of health gurus and celebrities like the soon-to-be-princess, Meghan Markle. Facial yoga is a great way to improve the appearance of skin – strengthening and toning the muscles in the face and neck - smoothing the skin, boosting collagen and elastin and firming up the face, all while relaxing any tension in the mind. Plus, improving circulation so you can achieve that healthy glow.

“The Owl”

 Want to give it a go? Head online to find Face Yoga exercises from the World Leading Face Yoga Expert, Danielle Collins. www.staffordshireliving.co.uk

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What better time to throw yourself into a new hobby than at the start of spring. Whether you take up crochet, trampolining or upcycling, it’s going to give you a good dose of inspiration and motivation for the year ahead. Having a hobby that you enjoy can be a great stress reliever and gives you a muchneeded creative output. Not only this, but it’ll give you some ‘me time’ away from work, from the housework and commitments. You may even meet a few positive new people along the way and you will become more interesting! Don’t put it off because you think you won’t have the time. If you feel like you need a soul revival this spring, find a hobby you love, and make time for it every day.


Laugh a lot There’s a saying: laughter is the best medicine, and it’s actually been proven. An American study into the effects of humour and laughing on adults in their 60s and 70s found that humour “can have clinical benefits and rehabilitative implications.” But we can all benefit from laughing because it releases endorphins; chemicals in the brain that make us feel happy, as well providing natural pain and stress relief. Laughing can lift your mood and make you feel refreshed, especially if you are feeling run down or lethargic, it’s a tonic everyone possesses. You’ve just got to find a way to let it all out!

LIFESTYLE | YOU

Start every day with a smile And if laughing is the medicine, smiling is the cure. Start your day with a smile and you’ll feel more positive and motivated throughout the day. Spend time with your friends and family and think about the things you love. Do whatever you can to make you feel happy and your smile will form naturally. Don’t forget, a smile can go a long way. If you smile, you appear more confident, pleasant and friendly. You will not only feel better but you are likely to improve the opportunities available to you – people like happiness, it’s infectious after all.

sL Check out our ‘grow your own’ feature on page 56.

Grow something (and keep it alive)

Whether it’s in your garden or on your windowsill, nurture that plant like your life depends on it! There’s so much satisfaction to be had when you finally see it thrive and even more pleasure when it really starts to bloom!

Go on a microadventure Pack your bags and head off on an adventure that is totally out of the ordinary for you. There’s no better way to invigorate your mind. You may not think it at the time but a spot of wilderness camping or climbing that distant peak may be just what the doctor ordered! But it doesn’t even need to be this extravagant, maybe it’s just picking a random place on a map and setting off to explore. You just don’t know what will happen or who you’ll meet along the way.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.

Try a new shade As the saying goes: “Lipstick can’t solve all your problems but it’s a pretty good start.” Try a different shade and see what happens…

£16 Rituals

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LIFESTYLE | TASTE

Mother KNOWS BEST The recipes you love to come home to

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LIFESTYLE | TASTE >

Cottage pie with Cauliflower Cheese Topping The one we still love to eat, even as adults! Serves 4 – 6 | Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients • 1 onion, roughly chopped • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped • 2 tsp. rosemary leaves • 2 tbsp. olive oil • 400g Waitrose Hereford Mince Beef • 150g red split lentils • 2 tbsp. tomato purée • 1 Oxo Rich Beef With Onion & Rosemary Stock Pot • 600ml boiling water • 500g floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and cut into large chunks • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets • 100ml crème fraîche

• 100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 6. Place the onion, carrot and rosemary in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the mixture and gently cook for 6 minutes, until softened but not coloured. 2. Add the mince beef and mix with the vegetables, cooking for 2 minutes until browned and breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the red lentils and tomato purée and cook for 1 minute. Mix together the stockpot and water and stir into the pan. Cook gently for 20 minutes without a lid,

until the lentils are tender. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes then add the cauliflower and cook for a further 7 minutes until the potatoes and cauliflower are very soft when pierced with a knife. Drain well and return to the pan with the crème fraîche, cheese and a pinch of salt and mash together until you have a creamy yet coarse mash. 4. Spoon the beef and lentil mix into a 35x25cm ovenproof dish then spoon the mash on top leaving it quite rough for a crispy crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden, crusty and bubbling. 3.

By Waitrose.com/recipes

Veggie Chilli

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A warming bowl we love to share (pictured opposite) Serves 4 | Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients • 800g canned chopped tomatoes • 2 onions • 2 garlic cloves • 2 bell peppers, red and yellow • 400g canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed • 2 tsp. garam masala • Couple of sprigs coriander • 1 cube vegetable stock • Lime, to taste • 2 tbsp. olive oil • 100ml water • 175g Alpro Go On Plain • Pepper and salt, to taste Method 1.

Chop the onion and garlic and slice the bell pepper, remove the seeds and chop into thin slices. Drain and rinse the red kidney beans. 2. Heat up the olive oil in a heavy frying pan with a lid and add the onions and garlic. Let them soften while stirring occasionally. Add the garam masala and some of the coriander. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, bell peppers and water. 3. Add a crumbled vegetable stock cube and stir. Cover the pan and let simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. 4. Add the red kidney beans to the pan and season with lime juice, pepper and salt. Add extra water if it’s looking dry. 5. Serve the veggie chili with the remaining coriander, lime, Alpro Go On and bread or rice. By Alpro

Slow Cooked Brisket of Beef with Beer, Celery, Shallots and Herbs > Slow cooked to mouthwatering perfection Serves 4 – 6 | Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus overnight marinating) Cooking time: 3.5 hours

Ingredients • 1.5kg beef brisket (flat not rolled) • 400ml beer, IPA is perfect • 4 bay leaves • 4 sprigs thyme • 4 cloves garlic • 1 tbsp. oil • 4 sticks of celery, trimmed and cut into 7cm pieces, split lengthways if too thick • 8 shallots, peeled • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped • 1 tbsp. brown sugar • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard • 2 tbsp. tomato puree • ½ - 1 tsp chilli flakes (to taste) Method 1.

Marinade the beef in the beer, bay leaves, thyme and garlic overnight, turning once or twice. The next day remove the beef and reserve the marinade for later. 2. Heat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and brown

the beef well on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside, Add the vegetables to the pan. 3. Stir to coat with the beef fat, turn the heat down and cook for 5-8 minutes with the lid on. 4. Stir the veg well, then stir in the sugar, Dijon mustard, tomato puree and chilli flakes. 5. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan, including the garlic and herbs, stir well and season. 6. Return the beef to the pan, if it’s not completely submerged, baste meat with the liquid and turn it halfway through the cooking. 7. Cook in the oven for 4 hours with the lid on or until tender and the meat pulls apart. 8. Once cooked, the meat should be very tender and falling apart. Shred and pull the meat apart and stir into the sauce. Serve with root veg mash. NOTE: Ask for the nug end of the Brisket, it’s thicker and usually has better marbling so will be more tender when slow cooked. By lovethecrunch.com

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LIFESTYLE | TASTE Sticky Blueberry and Banana Flapjack

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Nothing says homemade like sticky flapjack Makes 12 | Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 35-40 minutes Ingredients • 60g butter • 60g peanut butter • 75g honey plus 1 tbsp. • 150g Chilean blueberries, roughly crushed • 250g porridge oats • 50g pumpkin seeds • 50g almonds, roughly chopped • 50g walnut pieces • 1 ripe Banana, peeled and mashed >

Red Fruit and Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding

Method 1.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/ Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cmx20cm baking

tin with parchment. Melt the butter, peanut butter and 75g of the honey in a large pan. Once melted and beginning to bubble, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients (except the extra honey). Mix well, spoon into the tin and level the surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes until firm and beginning to brown. 3. Warm the extra honey in a small pan and brush over the surface of the flapjack. Cool slightly and cut into 12. Store in an airtight container once cooled completely, for up to 4 days. 2.

By fruitsfromchile.com

A little twist on a Sunday lunch favourite Serves 8 | Preparation time: 25 minutes (plus soaking time) Cooking time: 35-40 minutes Ingredients • 100g dried summer berries • 100ml Belvoir Blueberry and Blackcurrant Cordial • 300ml whole milk • 300ml double cream • 3 large eggs • 50g caster sugar • 1 tsp. vanilla essence • 7 slices brioche loaf • 50g soft butter • A little Demerara sugar to sprinkle Method

By Belvoir Fruit Farms

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Image courtesy of Seven Communications

Lasagne with a chorizo twist

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1. Place the dried fruits in a small bowl, pour over the cordial and stir well. Cover and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes, longer if time allows. 2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/ Gas Mark 4. Fill and boil the kettle. Butter a 1.2ltrl/21/2pt ovenproof dish. 3. Pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring to the boil. In a large jug, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture and mix well. Set aside. 4. Spread the brioche slices with butter then cut them in half diagonally. Place 4 triangles on the base of the dish and scatter over half the fruit. Arrange the remaining brioche slices on top, making a neat pattern. Scatter over the remaining soaked fruits and any juices. 5. Pour the egg mixture over the brioche and press down the bread so that it soaks up some of the liquid. Transfer the dish to a roasting tin and pour boiling water from the kettle to come half way up the outside of the dish. Sprinkle over the Demerara over the top of the pudding. 6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm or cold with pouring cream.

Deliciously meaty and filling with a little unique addition Serves 6 | Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Ingredients • 1 tbsp. olive oil • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped • 1.5 tsp. dried mixed herbs • 500g 5% fat beef mince • 1 tbsp. double concentrate tomato purée by Sainsbury’s • 500g passata by Sainsbury’s • 70g pack Spanish Chorizo slices, roughly chopped • 9 lasagne sheets by Sainsbury’s • 480g white lasagne sauce by Sainsbury’s • 20g mature cheddar, grated Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/ Gas Mark 6. Heat the oil in a large frying

pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and herbs and cook for a further minute. 2. Add the mince and cook for a further 6-7 minutes, or until browned. Stir in the tomato purée, passata and chorizo (reserving a handful for the topping) and simmer for 5 minutes. 3. Spoon 1/3 of the beef mixture into a 20cm square ovenproof dish. Cover with 3 sheets of pasta and then 1/3 of the white sauce. Repeat, finishing with the white sauce and then sprinkle over the grated cheese and reserved chorizo. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Serve with a fresh salad. recipes.sainsburys.co.uk


LIFESTYLE | TASTE Salmon and Kale Filo Pie Recipe

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Moussaka

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Comfort food at its finest

A healthy take on the traditional fish pie

Serves 4-6 | Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1.5 hours

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

Ingredients

Ingredients

• 4 tbsp. olive oil • 2 large onions, chopped • 500g lamb mince • 2 tsp. dried oregano • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon • 4 large vine tomatoes, cored and diced • 225ml warm water • 75g unsalted butter • 60g buckwheat flour • 700ml coconut milk • 100g unsweetened plain yoghurt • 2 large egg yolks • 3 medium aubergines, sliced • Sea salt • Freshly ground black pepper

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• 2 skinless salmon fillets • 200g pack shredded curly kale • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg • 25g pack chives, chopped • 3 sheets filo pastry • 2½ tbsp. cold-pressed rapeseed oil • 1½ tsp. sesame seeds • Quick Recipe Search

A year-round winner with a seasonal touch

Method

Serves 16 | Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 35-40 minutes (plus cooling time)

1.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish set over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and sweat for 5 minutes. 2. Add the lamb mince and brown all over before stirring in the dried herbs and spices. Puree the tomatoes in a food processor with the water. Stir into the dish. 3. Bring to a rapid simmer before cooking over a slightly reduced heat for 30 minutes; stir from time to time. 4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 5. Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over a moderate heat. Once it stops foaming, whisk in the buckwheat flour to make a roux, cooking until golden, about 2 minutes. 6. Whisk in the coconut milk in a slow, steady stream until thickened. Simmer for 5 minutes and then whisk in the yoghurt, egg yolks and plenty of salt and pepper to taste. 7. Layer the lamb sauce, aubergine slices, and white sauce in a large rectangular baking dish, building layers. Finish with a layer of the white sauce on top. 8. Bake for about 1 hour until golden and bubbling on top. Remove from the oven and leave to stand briefly before serving. By Candida Diet Foods

Swirled Easter Brownies

Ingredients • 150g butter, plus extra for greasing • 150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped • 50g dark muscovado sugar • ½ tsp. vanilla extract • 1 tsp. cornflour • 4 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs • 200g essential Waitrose Creamy Soft Cheese • 225g light muscovado sugar • 75g plain flour • 90g bag Cadbury Mini Eggs

Method 1.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 6. Poach the salmon for 10-15 minutes until cooked through, then flake. 3. Add the kale to boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes, drain well and mix in the nutmeg. 4. Mix the salmon with the chives and season with black pepper. 5. Brush the sheets of filo pastry with the oil and cut 1 sheet in half, place 1 half into the base of a greased ovenproof dish. 6. Spread over ½ the salmon mixture and top with half the kale, season with pepper. 7. Repeat with the other half sheet of filo and spread over the remaining salmon mixture and kale. 8. Finally, top with the last 2 filo sheets, scrunching them up. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 9. Bake for 15 minutes until golden 2.

By www.rapeseedoilbenefits.com

Method 1.

Preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. 2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted. 3. Meanwhile, for the cheesecake mixture, beat together the dark muscovado sugar, vanilla extract, cornflour and 1 egg in a bowl. Gently stir in the soft cheese until mixed. Set aside. 4. In a bowl, beat the remaining 3 eggs. Stir in the chocolate mixture with the light muscovado sugar and flour. Spoon half of this into the tin, then drop in small spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture. 5. Spoon the remaining chocolate mixture over the top. Using a chopstick or skewer, lightly ripple the top, then bake for 15 minutes. Scatter over the Mini Eggs and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until set. 6. Set aside to cool in the tin before cutting into 16 squares to serve. By waitrose.com/recipes

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SPRING OFFERS

AT THE IZAAK

Springtime is the perfect time to get out and visit the beautiful Dovedale Valley. With this in mind, why not take advantage of our fantastic offer for stays over the Mothering Sunday & Easter Holiday weekends? Enjoy a 2 night stay for 2 people in a Classic Double Room including Dinner, Bed & Breakfast from just £199 per room, per night! The offer is valid for any stay (minimum 2 nights) over the weekend of March 9th to 11th and the Bank Holiday weekend 30th March to 2nd April. to qualify, simply quote SLMAR18 when booking. Please note that the above offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and to qualify your booking must be made directly with the hotel.

reception@izaakwaltonhotel.com

01335 220070 www.izaakwaltonhotel.com Dovedale, Ilam, nr Ashbourne, DE6 2AY

Staffordshire Living MARAPR 2018.indd 1

Sweet Little

Cafe & Fine Foods at Sudbury Courtyard Celebrate Mother’s Day or Easter with a Traditional Afternoon Tea in a warm & welcoming atmosphere! Served from 3 p.m. each afternoon Tuesday to Saturday, the Sweet Little Afternoon Tea menu includes beautifully prepared sandwiches with a variety of special fillings, homemade scones with jam & Chantilly cream, plus speciality cakes all accompanied by our freshly ground coffee, or tea infusions & a lightly sparkling glass of Damascene Rose - at the special price of £20 for 2 people. For a lighter bite we also offer a Traditional Cream Tea priced at £4.50 per person. We serve the freshest ingredients, so booking is essential.

For gift vouchers and bookings please contact Sweet Little Cafe 01283 585607 or email info@sweetlittle.co.uk Sweet Little Cafe, Fine Foods & Homeware Store, Sudbury Courtyard, Main Street, Sudbury, Derbyshire, DE65HS.

26/01/2018 11:01:04


LIFESTYLE | EASTER

Win!

A gingerinfused egg of dreams

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Terms and conditions: 1. Closing date is 9.30am, Friday 23rd March 2018. 2. Winners will be contacted within one week of closing by a Hotel Chocolat representative to arrange prize giving. 3. Actual eggs given as prize is subject to stock availability, but will comprise of two extra-thick eggs from the current Hotel Chocolat Easter range, worth £27 each. Full terms and conditions can be found on the competition page online. For a full set of Purple Sprout competitions Terms and Conditions please see page 9.

Easter Chocolates (Medium) £35 Biscuiteers Baking This Fairtrade certified egg is filled with Joe & Seph’s popcorn!

Dairy free, organic, gluten and soya free – tastes divine!

Fine de Champagne Large Egg with Twelve Truffles £24.99 Booja Booja

Bunny Milk 500g £15.49 Lindt

Divine Milk Chocolate Gourmet Popcorn Egg £10 divinechocolate.com

CHOCOLATE FEVER al

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Pure pleasure!

Lindor Assorted Easter Eggs £12 Lindt

W e

Totally indulgent and unequivocally delicious treats you want in your Easter basket this year

Tesco finest Gin and Elderflower Egg £10 Tesco Tastes like cookies and cream!

Stracciatella Egg £8.99 Lindor

Dark Chocolate Ostrich Egg £75 Hotel Chocolat

ho’ll love to sm ew a eon om

For your chance to win this indulgent Easter prize, all you have to do is find the five hidden eggs carefully placed throughout the magazine. Each egg will have a letter on it; find them all and spell out an Easter word using the letters in the order they appear in the magazine. Then head to the competition section of www. staffordshireliving.co.uk and enter your answer along with your name and address on the Hotel Chocolat competition page, before the closing date of Friday 23rd March. Scan the barcode using a QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competitions area on www. staffordshireliving. co.uk now!

£15 Hotel Choclat

his Avoca d

This Easter, we’ve teamed up with luxury chocolatiers, Hotel Chocolat, to give away a little bit of chocolate heaven, and make this April 1st just that little more special. That’s right, one lucky reader will win two extra-thick eggs from its delectable Easter range of eggs, worth £27 each! A perfect treat for him and for her, you can choose from the classic dark, milk and white varieties or the irresistibly tempting Rocky Road to Caramel or the perfectly pink Champagne egg, with Mercier Champagne truffles! The choice is endless! For the full range of eggs, visit: www.hotelchocolat.com.

Extra Thick Champagne Egg £27 Hotel Chocolat

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On The Hunt with Hotel Chocolat

£8 Waitrose

The best kind of dippy egg.

Heston Blumenthal’s Eggstraordinary Dippy Easter Egg £20 Waitrose

Taste the Difference White Chocolate Mini Eggs £2 Sainsbury’s

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LIFESTYLE | TASTE

Weighing up

THE SAVINGS The average Brit spends approximately £53.20 on their weekly shop but it doesn’t have to be such a drain on your finances – and cutting back on food bills doesn’t need to lead to a poor diet, either. In fact, identifying where you are going wrong can significantly help to reduce your food bills and better your diet. It’s time to get practical about your food shopping: you can eat well for less.

If meat is finding its way to the bin regularly, then why not consider a flexitarian diet. Meat is expensive and you really don’t need to eat it for every meal. A flexitarian diet, where you mostly eat a meat free diet, can make a difference to your bank balance, give your more energy and is great for the planet too.

Serial food waster

Scan the QR code to visit staffordshireliving. co.uk and try this delicious vegetable soup at home this week.

Fix it. If you do find yourself throwing food

Consider what it is that is most likely to get thrown away. If it is fruit and vegetables, ask yourself why? We all need to get our five a day so you might just need to adjust how you include these items in your diet. If you prefer to add fruit to cereal or yoghurt rather than eating a whole apple, then perhaps a bag of frozen berries would be more beneficial for you. If it’s in the freezer, it won’t spoil and you can add it whenever you want. 46

Don’t be too hasty to throw food away just because it has reached its ‘best before’ date, as this is normally more to do with taste, and can actually safely be eaten after this date. But do take notice of the use by date, as you should throw food away by this date.

Try this. Got veggies to eat up but you are not a fan? Throw them all in a blender with some stock and make a delicious soup that you can heat up for lunch with a chunk of crusty bread. Getting your five a day never tasted so good!

The problem. Left-overs in the bin a regular thing? Find yourself clearing your fridge of unused fruit, vegetables and meat on a weekly basis? You are a serial food waster and this is not good for the environment or your purse strings. away, either because the product has reached its use by date, or because you haven’t had the chance to use them up in another meal, then you need to reconsider the items you are buying and the way you approach your weekly food shop.

your trolley and reach to the back of the shelf to get the freshest item, rather than blindly throwing in what you need.

Finally, are you buying the produce because you like it, need it or because it is on offer or part of a value deal? Often these additional items will be the ones seeing the bin before they see your dinner plate. Just because an item is in a 3-for-2 deal or BOGOF offer, it doesn’t mean they are the right ones to buy. At times, these items will be expiring soon, meaning you will have less time to use them up in meals. Check the dates on all the produce you put in

Tech it. Log on to: Myfridgefood.com: this website helps you to use up the contents of your fridge! It enables you to select the ingredients you wish to cook with and then comes up with recipes based on those items. Tesco’s Real Food website (realfood.tesco. com) also allows you to input three different ingredients that you want to use up in your fridge, and suggests recipes based on this list.


LIFESTYLE | TASTE

Brand fan The problem. You shop by brand rather than price. You like to have what you consider ‘the best’ in your cupboards, and this is fine, but this isn’t necessarily the best option for your finances. You are a sucker for the big-name labels and find it hard to go for anything less. Yes, you are a brand fan.

Menu deja vu The problem. You are stuck in menu ‘Groundhog Day’. Every week you are churning out the same set of easy and convenient meals and it’s become so boring and mundane that you often find yourself splashing out on a takeaway just to add a little variety to your week. This is only going to lead to you feeling unhealthy and your purse feeling lighter. Fix it. Set aside a couple of hours to read your recipe books and look online to find new menu ideas that you’d like to incorporate into your week. Make sure you get some input from the rest of your family about what they would like to eat more of and base your research on this. There’s no point cooking up a storm in the kitchen if when you get it to the table, you are met with looks of horror. Plan your weekly menu in advance, print it out and stick it on the fridge, and base your shopping list around the recipes and meals you intend to cook. This way, everything you buy has a purpose in your fridge so there won’t be any wastage, and you can start to change up your recipes each week. This works for when you are making lunches for work too. It can be disappointing to tuck into the same cheese and pickle sandwiches day after day, and tempting to run to the nearest supermarket for something better. Have a search on Pinterest for inspiration. It is full of exciting salad boxes and rainbow wraps that will have your colleagues drooling with envy. Think about how you can use left-overs too, so if you plan to cook roast beef one Sunday. Make a tasty beef and horseradish wrap for lunch the next day or whip up a simple beef and potato pie and freeze it until you are ready to have it for dinner one night.

Try this. If you crave takeaway cuisine, try and factor this in to your weekly menu, but cook it yourself instead of ordering it in. This way you can control what goes in and how it’s cooked making it a healthier option.

 Head online for LIVING’s left-over Sunday roast recipes. www.staffordshireliving.co.uk

Tech it. Download: Supercook. This app allows you to select all the ingredients you want to cook with, under categories such as dairy, vegetables, fruits, spices and meats, and brings up a range of recipes you can try using these ingredients. Great if you want to try something new but stick to your usual shopping list.

Fix it. A lot of own label products are just as

Supermarket sweep The problem. A trip to the supermarket is not quick and simple. You end up coming out of the place stressed, broke and with a trolley stacked to the rafters with things you can barely remember putting in. You are an impulse buyer. Fix it. It’s all well and good suggesting that you take a shopping list with you, so you only get what you need, and that setting yourself a budget is a good idea, so that you can manage your food bills better, but this is normally not the problem when it comes to impulse buyers. You can go to the supermarket with good intentions but cheeky marketing tricks can be just too tempting to ignore.

good as their branded counterparts and they could save you a small fortune each year. Just because something costs more, doesn’t mean it tastes better - remember, it’s what’s inside that counts. Shops like Aldi and Lidl have built empires on providing cheaper alternatives to all our favourite brands. In fact, The Sun newspaper revealed last year that it had uncovered a number of household brands that also produce unbranded items for supermarkets, although the manufacturers insisted they use different recipes. So, you could essentially end up paying more for a very similar product indeed. Despite this, you may find it hard to say no to your usual brands, but it is worth seeing just how much money you can save on your usual shopping list by making a few swaps here and there.

So, it’s time for a few supermarket home truths. Personal finance experts at moneyguru. com have these tips to enlighten us about the tricks of the food trade: • Things that are at eye-level are the most profitable and not necessarily the best value for you • Sale items are on sale for a reason and there to get you excited – you might find cheaper products elsewhere in store • Everyday products are spread out to force you to walk past things you don’t need – keep your eyes on the prize So, if you spot a promotion or fancy something that isn’t on your list, come back to it at the end of your shop and if you still want it, you can decide then. You can also try shopping locally as well – not only will you have fresher and more ecofriendly produce but you are more likely to stick to your list, with less temptations down every aisle.

Try this. Shopping in bulk. Buying larger

Try this. If you are a family of brand fans and you are worried about rustling a few feathers when it comes to swapping your trusty mayonnaise or baked beans brands, then why not stage your very own version of a taste test. Create your favourite weekly dishes as normal, but use your usual branded items for some and swap to non-branded alternatives in others – could they tell the difference?

quantities of the items you eat or use regularly at home can help to reduce your bills, rather Tech it. Log on to: Martin Lewis’ than jumping on supermarket promotions and Money Saving Expert website (www. offers. Work out the costs per 100g and choose moneysavingexpert.com). It has a Downshift the better value deal or quantity. Challenge tool, which allows you to tell it where you shop, how much you spend and Tech it. Download: My Supermarket (www. the proportion of each brand you buy and it mysupermarket.co.uk) is an app which lets you works out just how much money you can save, compare the prices of products at all the major claiming many can save £1,000s. supermarkets so you know you are getting the best value for the items you want.

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Standing proudly amid acres of rolling parkland, Davenport House has been part of the Shropshire countryside for centuries. In more recent times, this country house in picturesque Worfield has been a romantic and elegant setting for weddings and the latest custodians, Elizabeth and Joseph, have made it their mission to take Davenport House to the next level. Dating back to 1726, this Georgian mansion was once the home of William Davenport and comes with a history of love. Following a forbidden romance, William married Jane Bromley and their grandson, Henry, commissioned Francis Smith to design Davenport House as we know it today. Full of traditional grandeur and character, this remarkable house has recently undergone an incredible transformation to make it one of the standout wedding venue in the area. Since taking charge of this stunning setting, Elizabeth and Joseph have worked tirelessly to renovate each aspect of Davenport House. The Great Hall, a spectacular setting for wedding ceremonies at the front of the house, features cool grey walls that to highlight the house's past while

providing a contemporary accompaniment to the impressive painting and intricate plasterwork. The Drawing Room has had its elegance fully restored, combining an authentic feel with exquisite views of the venue's tranquil grounds and hidden garden. The old stables are just a few steps from the front door and now provide the perfect space to prepare before tying the knot. The cast iron hay racks remain, but sit alongside comfy sofas, a well-equipped kitchen, plenty of mirrors and everything that a couple could need in the build-up to their ceremony. The grounds also hold a handful of private and peaceful cottages that will offer guests a wonderful night's stay after the celebrations have drawn to a close. A wander up the ornate staircase reveals a collection of beautifully furnished bedrooms, each with their own style and unique features. Huge beds, inviting sofas and chic dĂŠcor make each one a joy to spend the night in. With views over the idyllic pond and secluded grounds, they sum up everything that makes Davenport House a truly special wedding venue.

YOUR EXQUISITE GEORGIAN COUNTRY ESTATE

To find out more about Davenport House, visit davenporthouse.co.uk/ or call the team on 01746 866333. An imposing country estate, Davenport House is exclusively yours on your special day. Set amidst picturesque Shropshire countryside, this idyllic Georgian house was extensively refurbished in 2017. Make yourself at home, celebrating your wedding day surrounded by its history, warmth and elegance.

davenporthouse.co.uk | 01746 866333 |

davenporthouseweddings

Davenport House, Worfield, Shropshire, WV15 5LE


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YOUR EXQUISITE GEORGIAN COUNTRY ESTATE An imposing country estate, Davenport House is exclusively yours on your special day. Set amidst picturesque Shropshire countryside, this idyllic Georgian house was extensively refurbished in 2017. Make yourself at home, celebrating your wedding day surrounded by its history, warmth and elegance.

davenporthouse.co.uk | 01746 866333 |

davenporthouseweddings

Davenport House, Worfield, Shropshire, WV15 5LE


LIFESTYLE | TASTE It feels like the world has been talking about the revival of afternoon tea for years, and that’s probably because we have been, but all with good reason. Since the mid noughties, it’s gone from being a stuffy and somewhat pompous affair for London’s elite to being the go-to Mother’s Day celebration and hen party shindig. Yes, we’ve loved it and loathed it and then loved it again; we’ve enjoyed going to the finest hotels for it, indulged in a spot of Devonshire culture with it, and experimented with unusual twists as top chefs use it as an output for their creative flair. Heck, we’ve even dabbled in a DIY version of it for informal get-togethers with family and friends. In 2016, supermarkets reported a rise in afternoon tea related treats and accessories, crediting shows like The Great British Bake Off as the reason for the surge. Tesco, in particular, saw sales of Battenberg cakes rise 45 per cent, and speciality teas sales go up four per cent. But now we’re seeing a new development take place in the afternoon tea phenomenon, and it’s certain to open up the market to even more people than before. In 2017, the rise of themed teas, call it afternoon tea with a cultural or trendy twist, seemed to take over and it’s set to continue in popularity this year too.

Please don’t start to panic. I know that some of us will hear the word ‘themed’ and instantly feel the hairs on the back of the neck twitch! It’s not going so far as fancy dress, unless you want to that is! You can still experience afternoon tea as tradition would have it, with scones and dainty sandwiches and China’s finest leaves, but with a little nod to some of our favourite things – like Disney or gin. So, what exactly does an afternoon of caffeine, sugar and gossip look like in 2018? Here’s what we found.

Ok, so this one is definitely leftfield. Considered the best fried chicken in London, it’s only right that this restaurant thinks up a version of afternoon tea that sits well with its diners…

A TRENDY AFFAIR Would you spend Mother’s Day this year being a little more unconventional than usual?

The scrumdiddlyumptious one A fancy array of sweet treats lends itself perfectly to a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme! And one hotel in London has firmly capitalised on Roald Dahl’s classic tale. The ‘Scrumdiddlyumptious Afternoon Tea’ at One Aldwych has golden chocolate eggs, chocolate caramel milk and bubble-gum panna cotta on the menu, as well as a selection of traditional sandwich options and chocolate tea! Price: £44 per person WWW.ONEALDWYCH.COM

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The one with chicken and doughnuts

The elementary one Afternoon tea takes a mysterious turn when savoury delights and sweet treats marry with Britain’s most famous detective at this London restaurant. The ‘Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea’ served by Kona at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate includes a ‘Hound of Baskerville’ roast beef and mustard sandwich, ‘Baker Street Pie’, ‘Watson’s Moustache’ cupcake and ‘Mrs Hudson’s Pudding’, all topped off with a ‘Sherlock Holmes Elementary Cocktail’. Price: £40 per person WWW.TAJ51BUCKINGHAMGATE.CO.UK

But Ma’ Plucker’s popular deep south inspired ‘Dirty Birds and Doughnuts’ afternoon tea takes the tradition to a whole new level, including three types of fried chicken doughnut, mini-fries, popcorn flavoured ice cream and brownies, with butterscotch schnapps and cherry flavoured beer to quench your thirst. Price: £18.50 per person WWW.MAPLUCKER.COM


LIFESTYLE | TASTE "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." - Henry James

The one with the beauty and the beast Kensington Hotel in London makes us so happy with their Beauty and the Beast inspired version. Is there a better way to enjoy the tradition than wrapped up in the fantasy of Disney’s most romantic story? And it seems most people agree as this ‘Tale As Old As Time Afternoon Tea’ is completely sold out. A traditional style of tea with a French influence and things like a Cogsworth-inspired chocolate clock tart and ‘Marie’s Iced brioche baguette’ on the menu, but it’s the little touches on the table (like a Mrs Potts teapot and Luminaire decorations) that make it extra special.

The one with gin Yes, restaurants, hotels and bars are fuelling our love of gin by combining it with our other favourite thing – afternoon tea. Just replace tea with gin and you get the picture!

Price: £38.50 per person WWW.DOYLECOLLECTION.COM

A Royal-tea affair Afternoon tea may have seen a sharp rise in popularity during the last decade but this great British tradition has been keeping our hunger satisfied for over 200 years, and, while it’s now a favourite event for all to enjoy, it used to be a quite the regal affair in its infancy.

The one at Westeros Could afternoon tea escape the seven kingdoms? Of course not! There’s a castle in County Antrim in Ireland close to where many scenes were shot in the hit TV series which allows us to indulge even further with the Stark, Lannister and Targaryen families.

It first originated in the 1800s as a way to fill the gap between lunch and dinner, which was often served after eight o’clock. By the late 1800s, Afternoon Tea had become a fashionable social date between high society women, who would change into elegant long ‘tea gowns’ especially for the occasion, which tended to take place around four or five o’clock.

Its ‘Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea’ has items like ‘Rustic Ironborn Foccacia’, ‘Little Finger Chicken Wrap’, ‘Jon Snow Cakes’ and ‘Arya’s Madeleines’ on the menu. Price: £24 per person WWW.HASTINGSHOTELS.COM/ BALLYGALLY-CASTLE

The Jekyll and Hyde one

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Head over to Birmingham and you can sample the afternoon tea being served at The Jekyll and Hyde bar. There’s no pretence or fancy word trickery here, just a simple offering that’s proving popular with visitors. Keeping it real, and aptly called ‘Mr Hyde’s’, this afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches, home-baked sweet treats and a selection of teas, which even has a ‘Builders’ option. Price: £13.95 per person WWW.THEJEKYLLANDHYDE.CO.UK

TE A- O M ETER T O TA L LY TEA TIME

Beauty and the Beast: As fancy as Queen Victoria would have liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: We’ll take chocolate tea over our usual PG Tips any day Sherlock Holmes: Quintessentially British through and through!

Queen Victoria was a particular fan of afternoon tea and is said to have hosted fancy dress parties at this time to enjoy it. Now that’s one way to take a trend and make it your own! In fact, it was her love of the tradition that made it become so popular – and we are not surprised! We just love to follow the trends of our hip young royals – I mean, just look at the effect Kate Middleton has on our wardrobes! Well, despite there being a couple of eventful centuries between us and Queen Victoria, it seems she is still managing to influence the way we do things, certainly in terms of afternoon tea! While many may have thought her as wild and eccentric to host fancy dress tea parties, the society of today would say: “bravo!” New royal crush = Queen Victoria!

How do these theme teas measure up to tradition?

Game of Thrones: Theme points for this one but we can’t imagine Arya Stark would have been one for a dainty cucumber sandwich. Gin: Our love of a boozy lunch aside, afternoon tea is called just that for a reason. Jekyll and Hyde: This may be keeping it real but it’s far from the afternoon tea of a queen. NOT EVEN C LOS E

Ma’ Pluckers: How low can you go, there isn’t even tea served with this one! w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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WHAT’S ON AT THE HALL Join us in stately surroundings for a host of events…

8th March – Cuttlestones’ Antiques Valuation 11th March - Pop-up Mother’s Day Restaurant 24th March – First Showing ‘War Above the Trenches’ WWI documentary* 8th April – Wedding Open Day 5th & 6th May – Sandon Spring Fair 12th May – Summer Wine Tasting with Wolseley Wine Loft* 4th August – Beyond the Barricade musical theatre concert tour* 11th & 12th August – 1940s Weekend *Ticket only events

E: info@sandonhall.co.uk T: 01889 508004

Full details & tickets at www.sandonhall.co.uk


Award winning food served in our friendly & relaxed waterside restaurant

Lichfield Road (A51) Stone, Staffordshire ST15 8QU 01785 819 702 www.astonmarina.co.uk

Unwind, Wine and Dine Hotel • Restaurant • Afternoon Tea • Weddings • Events

Bookings now being taken for Mother’s Day, Sunday 11th March from 12.00pm - 3.00pm Lunch ~ 12.00pm – 2.00pm Afternoon Tea ~ 3.00pm – 5.00pm a la Carte Dinner ~ 6.00pm – 9.00pm The Upper House, The Green, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, ST12 9AE www.theupperhouse.com | Tel: 01782 373790


LIFESTYLE | TASTE

THE BENEFITS OF

SHOPPING LOCAL From finding the best local produce to boosting the economy in your area, here’s seven reasons why it’s good to shop local.

1. Help to boost your

purchase is dramatically improved, from the distance it has travelled to the way it has been transported.

local economy

Spending with small firms can double the money going back into the local economy, and you’d have to wait till autumn for the best tasting apples and pears. According to a major research study from the Federation of Small Businesses. The study found that for every £1 spent with a small or mediumsized business (SME) 63p was re-spent in the local area compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business. Shopping locally is going to help grow local wealth and prosperity, and as a result make an area more sought after, which is good news from a property value point of view too. 2. Meet your community Getting out and about in your local area will guarantee that you will meet more people from your community and have a bigger role in the area that you live in. You are likely to find out about activities, social events and gatherings which is all great for a general sense of wellbeing, but you can keep up-to-date with local news, views and, dare we say it, gossip that is surrounding the local area, which is important to understand too. 3. More likely to get

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5. Quirky and unusual When it comes to other products, a local independent shop or boutique is more likely to have unique and individual accessories than in larger chains – what better way to impress your family and friends than with a one-off feature in your home. 6. Healthier way to shop

advise you better on whether it is right for you. Similarly, many local retailers will be specialist in one particular product or service and that means they will have expert knowledge to share.

Many local retailers will be specialist in one particular product or service and that means they will have expert knowledge to share...

relevant advice

4. Better produce

Whether you are shopping for fresh food, furniture or a gift, shop local and you will come face-to-face with the people who have worked direct with the suppliers (or grown it themselves) so they are likely to have more information about the product and be able to

When it comes to food, there’s so many benefits to shopping locally. Farm shops and local markets have more nutritious, wholesome and fresh produce and, in most cases, it will be predominantly organic. The quality of the food you

The very nature of shopping locally means that you are more likely to walk further or drive a shorter distance to get there, making it a healthier way to shop – for you and the environment! In addition, you are more likely to stick to your list. You’ll be shopping in specialist shops so there is less temptation to throw in things you don’t need more of, like tea lights and bags of chocolate! 7. It’s more ethical There were days when you wouldn’t dream of getting strawberries in December and you’d have to wait for autumn for the best apples and pears. In fact, buying outof-season produce is not so great for the environment because of the way they have to be imported from other countries which have better weather in winter. Secondly, much larger chains tend to over-use packaging; when you shop at your local grocer or farm shop, you’ll find a much eco-friendlier approach to packaging, as well as predominantly in-season produce.


GARDENING Green-fingered tips and advice for any type of gardener

Top gardening pick!

How to grow n your ow insid n e!

Orla Kiely 3 Herb Pots with tray - Climbing Rose £50 printerandtailor.com

WA L L A R T You can now buy planters that decorate entire walls in your home and in your garden. These ‘Living Wall Planters’, available to buy from March 2018, will bring your greenery status right up-to-date; from lush leafy ferns to practical indoor kitchen herb gardens, you can create a beautiful botanical backdrop and achieve that Pinterest-worthy look wherever you please. Buy from Dobbies for £9.99 each www.dobbies.com.

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GARDENING | FEATURE

Reap WHAT YOU SOW! Always dreamed of having your own veg patch? What’s stopping you? Growing your own produce is exciting and rewarding and we’ve got the tips and advice to help you get started.

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GARDENING | FEATURE

D

uring the fall-out of the credit crunch, families began to look for a better way of living, and a more affordable one too. The concern about the economy and the media frenzy surrounding it made us all sit up and take notice of how and where our money was being spent. Suddenly, running a household more efficiently became the order of the day – even if you weren’t hit hard by the country’s financial crisis – and an economising culture was born. We began looking at ways we could save money on our daily essentials, from heating bills to the food shop, and the green-fingered among us even took to growing their own produce at home to help reduce costs. Ten years on and this is one trend that hasn’t subsided – growing your own

produce has seen a resurgence like no other. Families have thrived on the health and financial benefits that come with planting, nurturing and harvesting their own mini-crops. Not only is growing your own food more nutritious and organic, as long as you avoid the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives, but it is also great for the environment and entirely satisfying. Growing your own food means you can have complete control over how it’s done and because you pick and eat it almost straight away, it has a much more nutritional value. Not sure it is for you? We asked the gardening experts at The Greenhouse People (www.greenhousepeople.co.uk) to shed some light on common concerns relating to growing your own produce, so there is no excuse to not get involved!

salad leaves in a variety of shapes and colours to wow your dinner guests. “The internet is a great resource for gardening newbies, but being faced with millions of pages can be overwhelming. To narrow it down, prioritise UK-based sites as they will have the most relevant information about seasonal weather, native pests and locally available products.” 3. “I’m too time-poor” “Contrary to popular belief, growing your own can actually save you time, as when you need spring onions to top off a salad or thyme for your Sunday roast, you won’t need to pop out to the shops. “If you have a suitable outside area, consider growing squashes, courgettes and cucumbers. These super-performers will keep yours and even your friends’ kitchens stocked with minimal time investment.” 4. “I can’t because I rent”

Can’t grow, won’t grow 1. “I don’t have space” “It’s a common misconception you need acres of land to grow your own fruit and veg. However, it’s remarkable how many delicious plants you can grow in small spaces - you just need to choose wisely and get creative. Decide what to grow based on what you like eating, what’s expensive to buy in supermarkets and what doesn’t need a large amount of space. “Legumes (runner beans, broad beans, French beans and peas), squashes and pumpkins are perfect for smaller areas, as they make use of vertical space. Salad

leaves, herbs and tomatoes grow well on balconies, and windowsills, and cost a fraction of the supermarket price. But don’t get too carried away - plants don’t like being over-crowded!” 2. “I’m horticulturally hopeless” “If you’re not lucky enough to have inherited any gardening wisdom, don’t fret. Try starting with fool-proof fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Just make sure to water them during any dry spells and cut them back to ground level before winter. Most seed companies also sell packets of mixed

“Whilst a landlord might be opposed to you taking a shovel and digging up the garden, don’t rule out growing your own. Nonpermanent container gardens - tubs, pots and barrels - offer the perfect compromise, as well as window boxes or hanging baskets. Why not mix in edible flowers to brighten up your outside space which can also be used as pretty garnishes. “If you’re keen to make the most of your rental property’s garden by creating a vegetable patch or installing a greenhouse, speak to your landlord and explain your plans. Often a well looked after and functional garden can add value to a property and appeal to future tenants.” 5. “My garden doesn’t get

enough sun”

“Most plants need a high input of sun which can be a struggle for urban dwellers.

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GARDENING | FEATURE

However, varieties of fruit that are naturally tart do not need great exposure to sunlight to develop their sweetness. Try currants, gooseberries, blackberries and sour cherries. “There are some simple things you can do to encourage more light into your outside space. Cut back any overgrown bushes, use reflective mulch to bounce light onto plant leaves, or move your containers morning and early evening to chase the sun.”

Ready to get started? Here are our top tips for growing your own.

“Faith plants the seed, love makes it grow.” Think about the space that you have as this will ultimately dictate your decision. As will the length of time it takes to grow and the amount you wish to produce. The simplest things to grow as a beginner would be: salad leaves, courgettes, potatoes, tomatoes and beans. Make garden centres your best friend; you’ll find inspiration, expert advice and all the products you need to get going and maintain your new patch. Beating the nasties

You ideally want to position vegetables in an area that has a lot of sunshine. But be prepared to create some shade for other types of produce like salad and strawberries for example. If you would prefer to find space on a local allotment, make sure it is easily accessible for you and that it is family-friendly if you decide to bring along children. Check to see if the plot you are choosing has a water supply nearby and that it is not overly shaded as this will all effect the success of your growing adventure.

Growing your own: The basics Where to grow The easiest way to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables is in a garden, greenhouse or in an allotment, it really depends on what and how much you want to grow. You just need soil – whether in the ground or in a bed – in which to plant the seeds. But don’t be put off if you don’t have this space, you can grow vegetables in window boxes, pots and grow bags too.

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The health of your soil is going to make a huge difference to the outcome of your crops. You can add compost to help to make your soil fertile enough for good growth. But be careful what compost you choose – there are organic composts, which are made without nasty fertilisers, available at most garden centres. What to grow While you may have wild ideas about the different types of vegetables you want to grow in your new plot, there are things to consider before jumping right in with the seeds for a Balsam Pair or Chinese Artichoke crop!

Weeds and bugs will hinder your growing process, but there are a few things you can do to combat this. Make sure the soil you are working with is completely clear of weeds before you start, and keep on top of maintenance in the area to ensure new weeds do not encroach on your patch. You can actually cultivate your soil now and cover it over so that you can sow a little earlier, but make sure you get rid of any weeds that have germinated during this time before you go! Clearing plots and beds of weeds also helps in beating bugs like slugs and snails, where they tend to cling. Be aware of what is in close proximity to your growing area – if the surrounding flower beds or grass attract slugs


GARDENING | FEATURE and snails, it is likely they will make it to your produce at some point too. If you can, covering young plants is a good way to ward off bugs and pests. Consider using a cold frame; some plants like tomatoes will benefit from being grown in a greenhouse. You don’t need a huge glass building in your garden, though – there are also smaller, minigreenhouses that are suitable and don’t take up much floor space at all. When to grow Easy growing veggies like salad leaves, spring onions and radishes all do best when planted in summer, as more challenging crops like butternut squash and cabbages, but there are plenty of seeds to sow in spring too!

O N I O N S A N D GA R LI C : A staple in

March and April is the perfect time to begin growing the following:

with. Sow them into the ground between March and June and you should be able to enjoy this tasty addition to fresh salads all summer long!

P E A S: Peas are great to start in cooler

P OTATO E S: Start planting potatoes in

weather and are fairly fuss-free to grow, making them the ideal vegetable to begin

early March – these are great fun to grow but even better to harvest with all the family. It’s fun to root around for the potatoes in the soil when the time comes!

the kitchen and luckily really easy to grow. Plant the bulbs into the soil in March, and by late summer you should be able to pull them and dry them out ready to use in autumn’s warming soups and comfort food dishes.

B E E T RO OT: Put beetroot into moistened soil beginning from March until July, and the first of your colourful veg will be ready to harvest in May.

M I N T: One very hardy little herb, it’ll grow

under most conditions. Plant now and it’ll be ready in time to serve up with your classic summer cocktails! Any one for a mojito?

B E A N S: Runner beans and broad beans

are great to start growing in spring in little pots, and will be ready to transfer out to the garden after a few weeks, ready to be eaten in summer. Runner beans will require a bit more space as they tend to climb as they grow so try and train them onto a support frame to let them flourish.

Download now! These mobile apps will help you on your growing journey, from tips and advice to reminders on when to water and prune Garden Tags: download for apple and android devices/ www.gardentags.com

TO M ATO E S: Great to grow with the kids! Tomatoes are an easy and fun fruit to start growing, and the best bit is that are so quick, which is great if you are planting with children.

Garden Manager: Get it on Google Play/ play.google.com

GROW KIT Not quite ready for the big leagues yet? Try one these cute home grow kits and see how you do! Orla Kiely Grow Your Own Striped Tulip Jade Mint £20 Wild & Wolf

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Orla Kiely Grow Your Own Basil Set £49.95 Cuckooland

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Grow Your Own Funky Veg Kit £14.99 gettingpersonal.co.uk

Strawberry Pot £1 Wilko

Personalised Windowsill Herb Planter Kit £29.99 gettingpersonal.co.uk

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Grow your own lemon tree £7.99 PlantsFromSeed.etsy.com

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GARDENING | TREND

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hey say home is where the heart is and that has never been truer. Brits are home improvement mad and this extends right out into our gardens. There’s a need to have more space, more appeal and more dimensions to the home. And, when this has been exhausted indoors, we look outdoors to satisfy our cravings. Gardening has always been an important aspect of British culture, but in the last twenty years we’ve seen a considerable uplift. From cultivating the perfect rose or growing a prize pumpkin, to installing a summer house, the demand for more is not subsiding, and it is apparent in every generation, from children to professionals, young horticulturalists to retired gardeners.

THE SECRET GARDEN If you want to make your garden grow in appeal; it’s high-time you invested in some form of garden building or structure. You’d be surprised just what some people have hiding in their gardens these days.

Garden buildings, in particular, have revolutionised the way we use our gardens. In days of old, if you had a shed in the garden, it was considered something of an accomplishment. One, because you had an outside area big enough to house a shed, and two, because you were more likely to have a neat and tidy garden – using the shed as handy storage for equipment, tools and the odd extra chair you only bring out at Christmas. Today, a shed is still a shed, but it’s what you do with it that counts. Research in 2015 claimed that over 21 million Britons owned one with purposes ranging from storage to more upmarket offices and dens. But for all its benefits, the simple shed is modest in its appeal, and nowadays it’s not unusual to be left drooling with home improvement envy at neighbours who suddenly show us around their new al fresco kitchen or bar, annex or exercise pod. Yes, the world of garden buildings has become so vast and plentiful that you might get lost simply deciding what to go for. From summer houses to log cabins, posh sheds to offices, there really is no limit to the addition of a garden structure. The main drive, of course, for the abundance of new and innovative designs and builds is simple: creating more appeal and ultimately adding value to a home. If you have a garden, you are already winning, but making the most of this space is where the real money can come in. It’s thought that a pleasing and wellmaintained garden can add a whopping 20 per cent on to the value of your property. And simplicity is key. We are more inclined to buy a property if the garden looks easy to manage than if it’s a horticulturalist’s dream. What we do with this afterwards is fair game. A perfect blank canvas has us biting at the bit. And while there are no real figures to quantify the additional value that a garden building can add to a home, you can ensure that a good-sized outhouse with insulation and electricity will certainly grab the attention of most buyers. But, where do you start when considering this kind of project?

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Cost it up Purpose Built In most cases, a garden building is a nice to have rather than a necessity, but there are some instances when it can be a solution to challenging living arrangements. It can be a tough decision to move when you live in your dream home, but what can you do if you need extra space and there is no way of extending the home? Well, the answer could be staring at you through the window! Yes, many decide to build separate but extra living space in the garden. Imagine having a fully-functional log cabin style annex in the garden complete with kitchenette, wet room and living space. The extra space can be great as a guest room or as a couples’ escape when you need a break! In other cases, home owners choose to build a separate living annex for older relatives to live in, and even build self-sufficient eco houses ready and waiting for when they retire. Plus, it can double up as den for the kids when you don’t use it as accommodation. And for the selfemployed who need office space, creating one in the garden can be hugely cost-effective. But, it’s not always the answer to the need for additional and sometimes crucial living space. More often than not it is to do with the aesthetics and desirability of a home and garden. Whether that’s to finally achieve the alfresco haven you’ve always dreamed of, an area to watch the football in peace, or a place of sanctuary to practice your downward dog.

Cost will of course be a determining factor. What you decide you can invest in a garden building will almost make the decision for you. ‘Posh’ sheds, which are constructed with premium quality timber and are solid and more practical in design, can cost anything from £1600 upwards depending on size and design. You may wonder if this is a little too big an outlay for a storage facility in the garden, but some of these sheds now come with double-glazed windows and decking and can be quite an attractive addition to your garden – with a multitude of uses. But if you are wanting something with a little more allure or purpose, then you could be looking in the region of £5000 plus for an office style building, and anywhere from £2000-£6000 for a gazebo style structure. One building that has risen in popularity is the desire for a wooden lodge in the garden – a decent sized lodge could cost you upwards of £4000.

GARDENING | TREND

The top garden buildings Summer houses: Think of it as a separated conservatory – a similar versatile design that is predominantly glass. Consider adding insulation to make it a year-round garden abode. Log cabin: Customised designs make these structures a firm favourite for families with many purposes, including: play houses, gyms, art studio or den. Timber Garage: A garage or car port can be a great addition to a family home and can add serious value onto a home. Also a brilliant option for any car projects or to be used as an outdoor workshop. Tree house: The children will go wild for their very own tree house structure in the garden, complete with climbing frame, clubhouse and slide.

Still wondering which building is the right one for you? Here’s our breakdown of the types of building you can get and some tips on choosing the right one.

With so many of us now choosing to entertain at home, the ability to recreate the experience of ‘being out’ without actually having to leave the house has given the garden an even better purpose than before. One of the most popular additions to a garden space is a bar – and these can come in all shapes and sizes. From small wooden structures with seating to larger full-scale units, complete with bar stools, optics, music and alfresco seating. You’ll never need to leave home again.

The ability to recreate the experience of ‘being out’ without actually having to leave the house has given the garden an even better purpose than before.

Questions to ask yourself Can I afford it? It’s a great addition to any home but make sure you choose a building that gives you a good return on investment, in terms of usage. If you can’t use it for 10 months of the year, is it really worth it? Do I have the space? Consider the space in your garden against the structure you want and ask yourself if you are going to lose too much of your outside space and if that bothers you. For smaller areas, you may be better off investing in a multipurpose shed which are much smaller by design. Do I need planning permission? The general answer here is no, but there are some exceptions. Always check the size and usage with the professional services to make sure you are doing it all above aboard. What do I want? It really is this open. The beauty of these structures is that they are predominantly customised to a specific need or use. You can literally create your own space and do what you want with it. What will yours be? w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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GARDENING | SPRING

FULL OF THE JOYS OF Spring It’s time to say goodbye to the bleakness of winter and make way for the vibrant blooms, colourful shrubs and luscious greenery of spring. It’s LIVING’s spring guide to gardening.

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GARDENING | SPRING

T

here is so much that can be done in the garden for spring - you could say it’s the start of the gardening season. The days are longer, the temperature perks up a bit and it’s the time of year when we start to see the birth of new blooms, regrowth on trees and shrubs and grass begins to shine again. But with so much to do, where do we start? Here’s some tips to get you back on track in the garden.

How about inside? While it’s all going on outside, you can still enjoy a little colour inside your home too, says Anita. “Bring in sprays of Forsythia and Japanese Cherry (Prunus Serrulata) these wonderful, sweet-smelling, early flowering shrubs have swollen buds that will burst into flower quickly in a warm room. One of my favourites is the Witch Hazel. I have three different varieties in my home, all with heavenly scents, like a Spring morning. If you are not lucky enough to own any of these shrubs or small trees, some can be purchased from a good florist and well worth the little extra as they last for weeks.”

Prepping First things first, you need to work from the ground up. If you have protected your garden with mulch over the winter, now’s the time to start raking it up to clear your garden ready for new growth. If there are any signs of weeds, seek them out and clear your soil. You can begin to design the look of your garden too, while breathing new life into your older perennials, by splitting overgrowth and moving bits to barer areas of your garden. These types of plants tend to have a better bloom when they are not compacted in one space together. Don’t be tempted to do too much at once though, says our gardening guru, Anita Wright: “On a warm sunny afternoon it's tempting to get out into the garden,” she says, “but don't start too early. As the soil warms, all those self-set seeds start to germinate, and it's easy to lose lots of free plants. In the latter part of March, carefully walk around the garden and dig up what looks like a seedling, even if you are not quite sure, then plant into moist compost in a pot - you may have a wonderful new treasure in the end, but if it turns out to be a weed then nothing is lost.”

Pruning Now is the time to set to work on pruning your trees and shrubs to encourage strong and healthy regrowth. Don’t forget to give a little attention to your summer blooming shrubs either. Cutting back plants like roses, as well as fruit trees, will help you to keep your garden under control, help you to grow spectacular buds, and also bring you juicy fresh produce for salads in summer. If you don’t have fruit trees in your garden, you can choose to purchase one from your local garden centre now. Nurture it and it should bring you joy in the next few months.

Start to grow your own! There’s plenty you can be growing – see our guide on page 56

sL

Planting Planting trees and shrubs can create pleasant shaded areas in your garden, as well as adding appeal and value to your home. Be careful not to plant too deeply though, it’s fine to bed them in just below the surface of your soil. It’s also the time to plant cool-season annuals, like pansies and violas, as they can withstand the cold and should give you a lovely early show in the garden. “If you are buying forced, ready-planted bulbs, it’s best to water them well by standing in a dish or bowl of water,” says Anita. “These bulbs are often extremely dry and appreciate a good drink. Don’t plant them out if the ground is frozen or snow is forecast, which can still happen in early spring, these bulbs are usually forced but enjoy being inside and grouped together in a large bowl, with a little moss over the top, if that's not possible, then short pieces of evergreen foliage can look very attractive too!”

How to make your own birdhouse Spring is the perfect time for a mini DIY project and we have just the one to try! This crafty birdhouse can attach to the wall so you don’t need to worry what size garden you have, and is perfect for giving all your feathered friends a home. We asked DIY expert, Dremel (dremeleurope.com), to provide some simple step-by-step instructions to create your very own bird house.

 Follow the QR Code to go direct to our pictorial at www.staffordshireliving.co.uk

One of Anita’s DIY creations. Get in touch with her on anitawright1@yahoo.co.uk w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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GARDENING | MACHINERY

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The Easter bank holiday weekend provides the perfect opportunity to get out into the garden and give your lawn and hedges some TLC. Get yourself prepared for the start of gardening season with these handy garden tools and machinery.

Finally get to those hard to reach places a little easier thanks to Bosch’s Universal Hedge Pole. Measuring 2.0 to 2.6 metre, and with a 43-centimetre blade, from the tip protector to the handle, it’s perfect for quickly and accurately trimming young shoots and small to medium branches on tall hedges such as conifer, privet, beech or yew without the need for grabbing a ladder.

Bring on the new gardening season

Trimming the ends

>

For those places that your mower just won’t reach you need a flexible, light weight and easy to use gadget. The single-handed Flymo grass trimmer is a quick and easy way to tidy up the ends around walls, trees, paths and fences. With a 21cm cutting width, a 6m cable length and 230 watts of power behind it, your garden will be ready in no time.

UniversalHedgePole £189.99 Bosch

Flymo Mini Trim ST Grass Trimmer £22.99 wyevalegardencentres.co.uk

Bosch

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Cart £325 audenza.com

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B R I G HT WO R L D Now even the littlest members of the family can get in on the ‘industrial-chic’ action with the first ever children’s collection from the British lighting company, Urban Cottage Industries. The new Rosa Kids range offers a modern twist on their popular Balloon Cage Pendant lights, with four new stunning colour combinations to choose from: Petrol Blue with Fuschia Pink Fabric Lighting Cable, Mustard with Black and White Fabric Lighting Cable, Pink with Sage Green Fabric Lighting Cable or Grey with Cream Fabric Lighting Cable. Available from £96 from www.urbancottageindustries.com. w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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HOME | INTERIORS

WHAT A REFRESHING CHANGE

Time for a bathroom overhaul? Experts claim it could increase the value of your home, as well as giving you a much-needed place of sanctuary and comfort. It’s time to jump in and make a big splash on your wash room interiors. Bathroom Takeaway

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Dunelm 

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You may think there is not enough space to create the area you’ve always dreamed of but find clever statement pieces to instantly bring it all together. "Mirrors are a great way of pulling the overall theme of the bathroom together and also to cleverly make the room feel bigger,” says Sophie.

e may have been forgetting about the bathroom in recent years, lost in the dust of our kitchen renovations and loft conversions, but it’s actually got more power than you think when it comes to adding value and style to our homes. HSBC published a report which found that an extra bathroom could increase the value of your home by 4-6%, and this is largely down to the demand for en suite bathrooms, creating more chic and private upstairs interiors, and adding real value and appeal to a home. “The proliferation of en suite bathroom spaces has brought a much higher demand in design creativity as the space needs to work with the adjoining bedroom environment. They continue to be a popular addition to the home, even when space is at a premium, as homeowners enjoy the privacy, convenience and sheer luxury of having an additional bathroom that utilises all available space,” says Jon Stanley, VP Marketing at Caesarstone UK. But, while the addition of an extra bathroom, like an en suite, is hugely appealing, experts are warning not to lose too much space in the bedroom – a good-sized double room is likely to impress potential buyers more. So, many are turning to renovation as a way to satisfy their need for a place of peace – primarily looking to convert loft or attic space, when space is limited elsewhere – and these renovations can usually be done fairly quick with minimal disruption around the home. The benefit of this – space depending – is that you add an entirely new living area or bedroom with the added value of an en suite shower area or bathroom. But hang on, not all of us have the ability or funds to lose a spare room or spend thousands on a total revamp. And, in some cases, the addition of an en suite just isn’t applicable. So, what is the solution? In an article for The Telegraph, property guru, Phil Spencer agreed that bathroom design has really taken off lately but, he said, there is no need to go overboard. “The secret is to keep things simple. You don’t need to do a lot with the room, it’s all about the features that you put in, such as a set of new taps (£20), a heated chrome towel rail (£50), a big new shower head (£20), a power shower (£250-£750), a glass screen (£100) or glass door (£125) instead of a shower curtain.” You can change the look and feel of your space with a few simple and cost-effective modifications – and still add value to your home. Potential buyers are looking more at bathrooms than ever before, they want to know that this is a home of tranquillity and the bathroom can certainly reflect this. But it’s not just about selling your home, it’s about creating that area of the house that you find peace, too. A place which has the power to relax you as much as it can recharge your batteries. So, what is there to consider before embarking on a bathroom project?

HOME | INTERIORS

Bathroom Basics Purpose: Before you start, think about what you need and want from a bathroom. If you desire an en suite, your plan is going to be different to that of creating a bigger space or an additional bathroom entirely. Perhaps, you are just craving an update or a style to your existing clean and white space. Layout: Think about the layout of your room, which will ultimately depend on the size of your space. Do you want to include a bath? Do you want a separate shower area? In most cases, there will only be space for a wash basin, toilet and bath so an overhead shower is the most likely option. But, if you are wanting something more – like a dressing/make up area attached or as part of the room – then you will need to consider the option of creating a new bathroom or extending your existing area to fit in with your plans. Design: Similarly, when considering your design. There is no point in deciding you want a vintage wash room with free-standing bath and dressing table when you just don’t have the space. Instead you can use clever accessories and make changes to the flooring and walls to give your room this vibe without changing much of the main features. "Don't be afraid about mixing the old with the new when it comes to bathrooms,” says Sophie Ogden, Interior Stylist at Bathroom Takeaway. “Modern bathrooms look fantastic with Victorian styled floor tiles."

Bathroom Rules Bathroom therapy: Remember the purpose of a bathroom, they need to be light, airy and fresh-looking but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with colour. There’s also a need for this room to be your sanctuary. Be wary of choosing too deep a colour for your walls if you have a small space though, as it can make the area look a little closed in. You can add more layers to your room in other ways with plants and flowers. “Bring a bit of greenery into your bathroom to create that sense of peace and nature as well as creating a gorgeous focal point,” says Sophie.

Bath or shower: This is really all about personal preference, some of us like to take baths and others do not, but most main bathrooms will have more appeal if there is a bath – as well as style points. There are some beautifully designed baths that can bring a little extra flair to your space, but you should make sure that at least one bathroom has a shower too, as they are a convenient necessity for most buyers. You don’t need to have a separate shower; this can be great for bigger areas but you can still add impact and value with a decent overhead power shower. Remember, when you are purchasing a shower, check out what kind of plumbing system you have as this will affect the type of shower you can buy, especially if you have a low flow rate for which you might need to invest in an electric shower. Lighting: If you are sticking to a theme for your bathroom then it’s important to make sure your lighting matches. Spotlights are great to give a lift to a small room but they won’t match a period style. You still need to find a happy medium between natural light and the addition of a lighting feature. If you don’t have much natural light coming through, steer clear of a darkening chandelier type fixture. You can create mood lighting in other ways, such as with candles. Try to find an option that compliments your design without compromising on space and budget – and light. Flooring: Bathroom flooring needs to be clean and hygienic so it’s not usually a good idea to use carpet. Decent quality vinyl, tiles or wooden flooring can all look fantastic depending on your overall theme, and if you have a larger space, you can always add a colourful rug. You may want to consider under floor heating too, especially within an en suite environment, which is another popular design feature that will add appeal to your home. Ventilation: All bathrooms need some form of ventilation, and not all bathrooms will have a window, so it’s a good idea to invest in an extractor fan. Additional features: Once you have the basics of your bathroom, you can add other features that will complement style and add value. Heated towel rails get big plus points from potential buyers, as does storage to minimise clutter, especially in smaller bathrooms, and mirrors to add style and open up the area.

En suite: When you are merging a bedroom with a bathroom or turning part of your existing space into an en suite, remember to be aware of space restrictions. Don’t lose too much of your bedroom, and keep the styling of your bathroom in keeping with your sleeping area. Theme: Work with your space to identify a theme.

The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten

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HOME | INTERIORS

£108 www.darlighting.co.uk

Find your style Bathroom trends for 2018 include monochrome tiles, shapely freestanding baths and feature sink units. The trend to recreate that luxury hotel look at home is seeping through to bathrooms too, as the desire to create a sanctuary that one can escape into remains strong.

Hotel Luxe Clean lines with quirky features create the sophisticated hotel look at home. Think about adding a feature wall in a monochrome design, a statement lighting fixture and marble accessories to complete the look. Keep everything minimalist, lose clutter in cleverly placed storage and go for a slate or concrete looking floor.

“Hotel bathrooms are the new showrooms for many consumers. Bathroom surfaces with bold designs are proving popular for homeowners who wish to create a unique and personal environment in which to unwind and spend more time in,” says Jon Stanley. “Bathrooms are going to become more classical looking, rather than the harsh straight modern lines that has been trending for many years. Bathrooms are going to have a softer and relaxing feel so you can switch off from the hectic 24/7 connected lives we have,” adds interior designer, Elaine Wilkinson. But, the best part about styling a bathroom is that it’s somewhere you can really enjoy sprucing up with your own unique and individual style; so, let’s get your creative juices flowing – here’s LIVING’s 2018 bathroom style guide.

£52 Audenza

£250 The Pure Bathroom Collection

>

Round Wall Mounted Champagne Shower £251.57 Meir Australia Pty Ltd

Wall Mirror £230 www.alexanderandpearl.co.uk

Original Style

H

Round 2-in-1 Shower Rail Set in Chrome by Meir £307.13 www.meir.com.au/locations > www.christy-home.com

Shelving Unit £284 www.thefarthing.co.uk

Glass Bottle Vase £38.95 Audenza

Industrial Chic The industrial look is a firm favourite in bathroom styling. An understated and city living vibe which clashes bare and brick look walls with wooden flooring and metal fixtures. In larger areas, add more detail to your space with big city-scape art, and for smaller spaces, create more dimension to the look with brass fittings and an iron look mirror. Original Style

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HOME | INTERIORS

£19.95/Sqm Walls and Floors Ltd >

£142.04 Meir Australia Pty Ltd

£2525 The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten

Period Revival Victorian styling continues to be a popular trend in bathroom design. Delicate features and soft colours merge with modern twists to bring this elegant style to life. “If you’re looking to create the vintage cottage feel in your bathroom why not match your freestanding Victorian bath with reclaimed wooden flooring or perhaps patterned tiles to really give it that finishing touch,” adds Sophie Ogden. £23.99 Tile Mountain

£170 Sweetpea & Willow >

Original Style

Rustic Charm Bring the rustic charm we love in other areas of the home into the bathroom. A bathroom full of vigour and life, with luscious greenery as decoration and chic wooden furniture and accessories. Add little touches of rattan and plants and go all out with larger spaces with reclaimed flooring and furniture to bring that real country vibe through.

£12.95 Live Laugh Love Ltd £428 The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten

>

£48 Black By Design Ltd

Create a fresh and invigorating haven with simplistic designs and clean lines.

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Classic Cuts Create a fresh and invigorating haven with simplistic designs and clean lines. Add little splashes of colour and a few unique twists to your classic bathroom design for more dimension and style. Accessorise with simple and traditional features to bring your bathroom to life. Keep it understated but add little touches to make it your own. £2645 Frontline Bathrooms

> £195 The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten

The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten

>

£89 The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten

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HOME | TREND

Modern-day interiors merge with Chineseinspired ancestral designs to bring us the timeless Chinoiserie look. LIVING shows you how to incorporate this extravagant and opulent East-meetsWest trend into your home whatever your budget.

DESIGN BY DYNASTY

audenza.com

Debbie McKeegan

his year will be full of buzz words but one you should really keep an eye on, especially in interior trends, is Chinoiserie, which basically means all things Chinese. It’s nothing new to interiors, this East-meets-West clash of pretty and alluring designs have been apparent in the world of décor for centuries – you could call it the comeback king of interiors. But, it’s this traditional and regal sense that is getting interior connoisseurs all hyped up again, and you can expect to see this popping up across the board this year – from designer to high street. Brands and retailers are indulging in Asian flair and we promise you’ll be totally smitten too.

The style Magnificent designs and intricate details merge with western shapes and style. Prints and patterns incorporate traditional Chinese motifs, like dragons and pagodas, as well as Chinese figures, exotic flowers and birds, bringing beautiful and striking designs to furniture, art, accessories and soft furnishings.

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Why you’ll love it To reject the norm: The eye-catching nature of this style certainly bucks the trend for clean and minimalist interiors. It’s comfy but creative and excitingly lavish.

How to get it Contemporary twist:

Unique Luxe:

Mix your key Chinoiserie pieces with more modern feature furniture to create a perfect interior clash.

Extravagantly designed with a luxurious finish, statement pieces should be the focus of your room without a doubt. Combine large furniture with smaller decorative accessories to make maximum impact.

Luxurious finishes: Combine texture and material to make your interiors appear vibrant and classy. Gold painted accessories and rich fabrics work well to add a subtle dose of Chinoiserie to any room. Opulence: Find one or two classic statement pieces to create a focal point in your room. Go for a side unit, coffee table or lamp, or bring walls to life with wallpaper in classic chinoiserie blooms or birds.

Colour creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour despite the tendency for black, red and gold to dominate this style. Be creative with your colour choices to bring modernity to this ancient design. Touches of green, pink and blue are perfect replacements for a fresh and vibrant update. Steeped in mystery: Bring the mystical charm of this trend to your room with classic tapestry, wall art and accessories in signature Chinoiserie design.


STYLE vs STEAL

Find your Chinoiserie style at any price

STYLE

HOME | TREND

STEAL

Art Deco French Drinks Trolley c.1930 £475 theoldcinema.co.uk

Halo Bar Trolley £269 atkinandthyme.co.uk

empora nt

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Luxurious finishes

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Mix with more modern feature furniture to create a perfect interior clash.

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Vintage Cotton Chenille Rug Dark Blue £299 noxuhome.com Oriental Rug £79.99 HomeSense

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Opulence

Chinese Solid Wood Sideboard £1795 orchidfurniture.co.uk

The Nine Schools Oriental Decorated Black Sideboard £389 wooden-furniture-store.co.uk

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*T&C’s apply. Select Products Only. Sold as an agent for Euronics Limited. All rights reserved. All offers are subject to availability while stocks last. Delivery & Installation charges may apply Exclusions and Radius Apply. Prices correct at time of print but can be subject to change. See in store for full details. Images for illustration purposes only. Copyright Euronics 2016. October E&OE 2016. Saving compared to a higher price charged for 28 days in the last six months unless otherwise stated.

Farmhouse Stoves “...your burning ambition...”

Farmhouse Stoves can supply a wide variety of Multi-Fuel & Wood-Burning Stoves for the home including DEFRA Approved Stoves, for use in smoke controlled zones. Whether it’s an ultra-stylish modern stove, a more traditional wood burner or something in between – we have got your stove! DROP INTO OUR SHOWROOM AT TALKE RETAIL PARK or log on to our website to see the latest models and deals on offer

T: 01782 565079 ● M: 07714 754742 info@farmhousestoves.com www.farmhousestoves.com

FREEPORT TALKE, TALKE RETAIL PARK, STOKE-ON-TRENT, STAFFORDSHIRE, ST7 1XD


HOME | IMPROVEMENTS

OPENING UP Create a bigger and better world at home with the addition of an orangery and conservatory. LIVING explains all with these FAQs.

What’s the difference? You may be wondering what the difference between an orangery and a conservatory is, and which is the best option for you and your home. This all depends on what you want to achieve from creating more space at home. The truth is there isn’t much difference, they are both made with glass and were originally intended to help grow and develop citrus fruit trees and plants during the winter. And both options offer a stylish and cost-effective way to extend on your home. But the experts do highlight some differences which may affect your decision. A spokesperson from Anglian Home Improvements says: “An orangery tends to have a parapet, brick built pillars and less glass in comparison to a conservatory, and be a more extravagant extension to a house. A conservatory tends to be mainly made of glass in structure, often have dwarf walls or one solid wall, depending on building regulations, have a glass roof, and be a room that brings the outside in, bringing you closer to your garden.”

Do you need planning permission? The Planning Portal (www. planningportal.co.uk) says: “Adding a conservatory (or orangery) to your house is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission.” So, you won’t need to apply for planning permission or comply to building regulations if it is just a small domestic extension you are considering.

It is best to check with the relevant authorities before work begins. Planning permission is concerned with the visual impact and size of the structure, whereas building regulations cover the construction. You will need to make sure that your contractor or designer is aware of the latest building regulations associated with your particular project too.

Style you space r match to you home r

However, there are some exceptions, mainly to do with the size and structure of your project, and where your property is based. If your home is positioned in a noted area – such as a listed building or conservation area – or if the conservatory/ orangery is not a single-storey or not at ground level, and if you have an already extended 88

property or live in a terraced house, or are planning a particularly large project, you may need to get planning permission.

Choosing a design

When deciding which one to go for, you must first think about what you intend to use it for. A conservatory is generally considered separate to the home and accessed through an inside door. They make for beautiful garden rooms or additional seating areas but are generally closed off from the home. An orangery could easily be an extension to your home – matching the style and theme of your décor and providing ideal living space like a dining room or snug. You should keep the design of your conservatory or orangery in-keeping with the rest of your home. Be careful not to mix different architectural styles as it could look out of place. You also need to pay attention to the size of your extension as you don’t want it to be too big when your home is of a modest size. Similarly, a small conservatory added on to a large house may also look a little odd. Secondly, consider how many people will be using the space, as this will help you decide on the actual floor space you’ll need. Finally,

think about what space you have outside, and where you want it to be positioned. An extension like this can be a great way to add a dining room element on to your kitchen or open up your living room, but you could end up losing some of your garden so be sure you are happy to do this.

How much will it cost? This varies considerably depending on the style, size and difficulty of your project. You can buy DIY conservatories which may set you back around £3,000. There are also many companies which provide a full-scale service from design to build and including any legalities needed. This will obviously cost more but it is worth doing a project like this well to ensure you add value on to your home rather than it going the other way!

Enjoying the benefits Investing in an orangery or conservatory can add value to your home but it can also provide extra living space without the extreme cost and upheaval of an extension. Depending on the scale of your project, it can be done quickly and you could be enjoying the benefits as soon as this summer.


THE DOOR STORE

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ESTABLISHED

1981


Staffordshire’s Finest Award winning homes across the county Help to Buy

We’re building a superb range of delightfully designed new homes in a choice of excellent locations across Staffordshire. We have received the maximum 5 Star Quality rating in the annual Home Builders Federation customer satisfaction survey for the third consecutive year and 98.5% of our customers said they would recommend Lioncourt Homes! Visit our selection of sparkling showhomes and find out why!

Barley Fields, Bramshall Road, Uttoxeter, ST14 7PG

Creswell Manor, Eccleshall Road, Stafford, ST16 1PF

St. Peter’s Walk, King Street, Yoxall, DE13 8NA

Coming Soon: Spire View, Hixon, ST18 0PT

2, 3 & 5 bedroom homes from £175,000

4 & 5 bedroom homes from £330,000

4 & 5 bedroom homes from £400,000

Call now to register your interest

T: 0845 873 2884†

T: 0845 873 2885†

T: 0845 873 2883†

T: 01905 755167

Ask about our superb range of incentives to help get you moving in 2018

Showhomes & Marketing Suites open daily 10am to 5.30pm

www.lioncourthomes.com †Calls will be charged at seven pence per minute from a BT landline and may cost considerably more from mobile and other phones. Contact your service provider for more details. *All offers are subject to terms and conditions, please ask our Sales Executive for full details. Photographs show a typical Lioncourt home. Help to Buy is a government-led scheme and availability is subject to qualification. For full terms and conditions visit www.helptobuy.org.uk. Prices and offers correct at time of print.


QUALITY KITCHEN FACELIFTS

Transform your kitchen this Spring Est. 1999

Before

why replace when you can reface? • Door swaps to full kitchens – tailored to your needs • Huge choice of doors, worktops, appliances, sinks and taps • Installed in 1-2 days by professionals

Call for a Free Estimate:

01782 662 133

www.dreamdoors.co.uk Visit our Showroom: Dream Doors Stoke, 481 Hartshill Road, Hartshill, Stoke, ST4 6AA


Seek out the exceptional

Last chance for luxury living in Sandbach & Chester Elworth Hall Farm

Westminster Place

4 bedroom detached homes from £284,900

4 bedroom homes from £269,995 Discount to market 3 bedroom homes from £166,820^

Wrenmere Close, Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 1XS

Call 0844 875 1319*

Sandy Lane, Saighton, Chester CH3 6BB

Call 0844 875 1334*

rowland.co.uk *Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. ^Discount to market homes are offered with a discount of 30%, terms and conditions apply, ask the Sales Executive for details. Eligible Help to Buy 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. Applicants must obtain their conventional mortgage from a Qualified Lending Institution. 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 uplifted by RPI + 1% p.a. The loan must be repaid after 25 years or earlier if you sell your home whereby the repayment sum will reflect up to 20% of the market value of the property at the time the property is sold or remortgaged. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.


e om H s

£7 Sainsbury’s Home

y’

Bow l £1 6S a in sb ur

HOME | TREND

Blue

ROYAL

Marks & Spencer

2018 is going to put a spotlight on the royals thanks to Prince Harry and Megan Markle, but you’ll be casting royal blue shades across the home when it comes to SS18 interiors.

£18 Sainsbury’s Home

Mood-inducing, rich shades of this primary colour are going to bring a subtle darkness to homes, despite it being the season of light!

£5 Marks & Spencer £80 Debenhams

Set of 2 Chairs £285 Next

But you won’t feel blue, these shades are calm and soothing, which, when mixed with simplistic white, make for the ultimate in classic interior styling. Blue and white will lead the way as the new monochrome this season. Bring an essence of contemporary romance to your room, and a refined seaside style, you can create a tranquillity that fits perfectly with the easy-going spring and summer months. Add a luxe-feel with metallic accessories or a dramatic chandelier or keep it simple with clean, white lines.

It’s one colour you won’t get tired of.

Rug from £55 JD Williams Home

£25 Marks & Spencer

94

Tealight Holder £3 Sainsbury’s Home George Home at Asda

Whether you add a single piece of furniture in this royal shade or integrate it fully in your design, it’s certain to breathe new life into any room – from the kitchen to the bedroom.

Cushion £32 Debenhams


HOME | TREND

Acrylic Wine Glass £6 Laura Ashley

Dunelm

Headboard from £279 Very

pink Ornament £10 M&Co

£25 Debenhams

5D eb en h

Light £59.99 HomeSense It’s almost like we’ll be brightening up the home with a sprinkling of fairy dust as little pockets of rose, peach and salmon merge with more daring shades of coral. But these delicate and fragile shades will be taking a leading role in SS18 interiors too.

s

Set of 4 Chairs £199 Very

am

Vase £4

Curtains from £69 Very

Pair your peachy tones with neutral accessories, but add in the odd touch of black to make it pop. These shades work well with texture too, so a velvet sofa in a rich rose shade will not look out dated, instead it’ll scream modern and edgy. If you want to dabble in millennial pink, then start small with an accessory or two, but little touches will just be the beginning as we all fall in love with this romantic and breezy tone.

£8 Sainsbury’s Home

Footstool £49.99 Very

Sainsbury’s Home

Lamp £40 Debenhams

Cushion £15 Very

Pink is making waves on the catwalks this year but it’s also going to feature heavily in our homes too, as the trend for light princess shades trickle through to interiors.

Don’t get lost in the candy shop though, this look is being teamed with the rolling trend of greenery in the home, making for a more subtle and chic interior. Mix up your design with planters and pots contrasting against soft blush pink furnishings. 16PC Set £39.99 Very

Candle Holder £14 Debenhams

BLUSH

>

Bowl £5 Laura Ashley

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

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HOME | TREND

green

Breville Kettle £54.99 Very

£39.99 Very

SAGE

Marks & Spencer

Green is still massive in interiors, it really isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. It has truly taken over the way we style our homes – from colour to décor.

y-design.co lack-b .uk w.b w w 0

One of the most natural colours there is, we enjoy it everywhere we go and now this familiar colour is a firm favourite in the comforts of our homes. Even if it took you a while to get used to it, you can’t ignore it now, and most of us will have jumped on board the greenery trend last year.

Candle £5.99 HomeSense

£30 Debenhams

4

We’ve painted our walls with deep and seductive bottle and emerald shades but now it’s time for a herby, fresh and light take on the green trend to tempt our designer mind, and they are going to be making it big in SS18.

£

£135 Oliver Bonas

Soothing tones of sage, apple and grass are bringing a more relaxed atmosphere to your home. Developing the trend to bring the outside in, these colours will help you to create your very own meadow indoors.

£12.50 Marks & Spencer

>

Breville Toaster £65.99 Very

Roll on to pastures new with this fresh and fun shade on furniture, cushions and mix with metallic accessories for a vintage touch. Green interiors are more playful, vibrant and invigorating than ever before!

£1399 Marks & Spencer Watercolour Stripe Bed Set from £39.50 Marks & Spencer 96

£29.50 Marks & Spencer

Oliver Bonas


LICHFIELD Europa Way, WS14 9TZ 01543 440020 showrooms.tippers.com

UTTOXETER DoveďŹ elds, Derby Road, ST14 8HR 01889 565151

NEW Finion Range from Villeroy & Boch now on display in Uttoxeter


HOAR CROSS, Staffordshire

Guide Price: £2,100,000 Call John German Lichfield to view: 01543 419121

Hoar Cross, Staffordshire A large 6 bedroom family home of splendid proportions, linking comfort and space alongside character and position in a delightful location in the hamlet of Hoar Cross. Set within 4.9 acres of paddocks, formal gardens and woodland, the property comprises a ‘U’ shaped building that faces due south overlooking courtyard, gardens and grounds. EPC Rating: E

More amazing photos: www.JohnGerman.co.uk

Ashbourne 01335 340730 East Leake 01509 856006 Uttoxeter 01889 567444

Ashby de la Zouch 01530 412824 Lichfield 01543 419121 London 020 7839 0888

Barton Un. Needwood 01283 716806 Loughborough 01509 239121

Burton Upon Trent 01283 512244 Stafford 01785 236600


INGESTRE, Staffordshire

Guide Price: £700,000 Call John German Stafford to view: 01785 236600

Ingestre, Staffordshire A beautiful linked period residence occupying a delightful plot which extends to approx. 0.6 of an acre, situated in this charming village. Hall, Cloakroom, Drawing Room, Sitting Room, Study, Living Dining Kitchen, Utility, 5 Bedrooms (Principal En Suite), ‘Jack n Jill’ Bathroom, Family Bathroom. There is a garage situated to the side of the property and a delightful extensive lawned garden to the rear. EPC Rating: E

More amazing photos: www.JohnGerman.co.uk Ashbourne 01335 340730 East Leake 01509 856006 Uttoxeter 01889 567444

Ashby de la Zouch 01530 412824 Lichfield 01543 419121 London 020 7839 0888

Barton Un. Needwood 01283 716806 Loughborough 01509 239121

Burton Upon Trent 01283 512244 Stafford 01785 236600


fishergerman.co.uk

Cheadle, Staffordshire

Longdon, Staffordshire

An impressive Grade II listed hall • • • •

Grand reception hall 5 reception rooms 10 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms 2 kitchens

Beautifully presented Grade ll listed former mill

• In all about 19.1 acres • Commercial buildings and outbuildings

Guide price £1,750,000

Longdon Green, Staffordshire

sold

A charming country cottage with mature gardens • • • •

A picturesque thatched cottage 2 substantial reception rooms An oak framed orangery Delightful kitchen/dining room

• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms • Mature gardens • Garaging

Guide price £995,000

16 offices selling across the UK Stafford 01785 220044

• • • •

5 delightful reception rooms Spacious kitchen/breakfast room 5 double bedrooms 3 bathrooms

• Mature gardens • Garaging • Village location

Guide price £1,400,000

Cheswardine, Shropshire

Grade ll listed stables and clock tower with planning • • • •

A range of Grade ll listed stables Grade ll listed clock tower PP to convert to 6 residential units Existing 2 bed stable conversion

• 9,788 sq ft in total • Mature gardens • Splendid rural position

Guide price £825,000


fishergerman.co.uk

Brocton, Stafford

sold

A deceptively spacious 5-bedroom family home • 3 acres of gardens and grounds • Sought after location • EPC rating D

Guide price £775,000

Guide price £685,000

• 4 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms • Triple garage, workshop & gardens • EPC rating D

Guide price £750,000

A charming, deceptively spacious family home with views • • • •

5 bedrooms 3 reception rooms Study Large mature garden

• Countryside views • Double garage • EPC rating E

Guide price £645,000 Stuart Flint

Splendid dining hall Large sitting room & family room 2 guest cloakrooms & utility room Large kitchen/breakfast room

• Gardens with paddock and stabling • Countryside views, no chain • EPC rating C

Quarry Heath, Penkridge, Staffordshire

A delightful four bedroom family home • • • •

Double aspect sitting room Open plan kitchen/dining room 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Garaging

Alasdair Dunne

Stubwood, Staffordshire

new

A lovely presented country cottage • • • •

Loren Harvey

Views across Cannock Chase 5 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms Garaging, 3 bathrooms Library

Victoria Oldham

• • • •

Haughton, Staffordshire


Caverswall Castle Guide Price ÂŁ5,000,000

A striking historic Grade I moated castle set in 20 acres. Combining historic features, modern luxury & easy access to major road links & public transport. This is an outstanding country home but has tremendous potential for commercial use with planning permission already granted for full C1 Hotel use. There are over 70 rooms including 18 bedrooms, including 8 suites, 9 reception rooms, 13 bathrooms, drawing room, library, billiard room, white drawing room, chapel room, kitchen, dining room, cellar, games room, gym & reception hall. Plus three converted turrets, an old dungeon, gatehouse, orangery, workshop, moat & extensive grounds. Viewings are strictly by appointment via Paul Carr Estate Agents Exclusive and Rural Homes department at our Four Oaks office on 0121 308 5511 or sales@exclusiveandruralhomes.co.uk or via Pennycuick Collins on 0121 456 1700 or info@pennycuick.co.uk

Meet The Team


Due to our recent successful sales in the Staffordshire region we are looking to take on more premium properties in this area. If you wish to capture spring home movers, then you should be looking to have your property valued now in readiness to list towards the end of February, early March. The advantage of spring marketing means more natural light, in bloom gardens and longer days for viewings. Guide Price £3,500,000

Guide Price £2,495,000

SOLD IN 4 WEEKS

Haselour Hall, Tamworth

Leomansley Manor, Lichfield

An extraordinary Elizabethan residence with private chapel, set in grounds of 10 acres.

A luxurious country mansion house, with delightful grounds of 4 acres.

Guide Price £975,000

Guide Price £850,000

NEW

Peolsford House, Lichfield

Blakeman Way, Lichfield

An excellent opportunity to acquire a small holding with a spacious 5 bedroom home extending in total to 3.15 acres.

An executive five bedroom detached family house, idyllically located within a gated private development.

Please contact Aston Knowles and allow us to provide you with a NO OBLIGATION, FREE MARKET APPRAISAL OF YOUR HOME.

@astonknowles

8 High Street, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1XA 0121 362 7878 | enquiries@astonknowles.com | astonknowles.com


01785 811 558 | sales@targetwindows .co .uk | targetwindows .co .uk



Start thinking about summer this spring... Now is the perfect time to make plans for something special this year. Whether it’s a garden room, orangery, conservatory or veranda, our experienced design team will work with you to create an individual structure to meet your exact requirements and expectations. Using a wide range of quality materials, we will design your project to integrate seamlessly with your family home, providing a stunning extension to your existing living space. Home appointments are available and we can undertake full planning applications on your behalf. For more information, call 01785 811 558.

springdesigns2.indd 4

30/01/2018 16:13:30


Warner Bros Pictures

CULTURE Keeping you entertained, inspired and in-the-know

Top travel pick! Top s prin trave g l desti natio ns

'The World Is Your Oyster' Print £14.50 oflifeandlemons.co.uk

FACE THE MUSIC This could finally help you to fall in love with Star Wars and make your man’s dreams come true. Star Wars fans will be now able to experience this epic franchise in a live symphonic concert experience. Experience legendary Oscar®-winning composer John Williams’ iconic musical scores in the perfect setting on 2nd December 2018 at Arena Birmingham. Find out more and book tickets via www.theticketfactory.com. w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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CULTURE | TRAVEL

SPRING AROUND THE WORLD

Santorini To feel sunshine In April, Santorini starts to come alive again – warmer temperatures, less rainfall and more daylight add to its stunning appeal. Throw yourself into the beauty of this Greek island – from white washed stone buildings to perfect blue water.

Just where should our travels take us at this time of year? Valencia

Situated on the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, Santorini’s historic cliffs, volcanic ruins and black, red and white lava pebbles provide an interesting backdrop for a short break in Greece.

To re-energise Move over Madrid and Barcelona because Valencia is pipped to be the Spanish city of dreams in 2018 and there couldn’t be a better time to visit than in spring. In fact, with a series of new openings, key anniversaries, fascinating events and more flight options than ever before, Valencia is now one of the most exciting short break destinations in the Mediterranean.

Cafes and restaurants flood the shore line, with a laidback and sedate vibe perfect for wiling away the hours and recharging the batteries. And with an average temperature of around 16 degrees Celsius, it’s much more manageable than the summer heat waves.

Expect the same pretty Spanish scenery you love about Madrid and Barcelona, from the beautiful blooms and quirky culture to the white sandy beaches of the coast and the regal architecture inland, but enjoy it being considerably kinder on your purse strings. On the south-east coast of the Mediterranean, Valencia is a stunning region of mountains ranges and beaches, but it also has plenty of

fascinating culture. With luxurious hotels, museums, galleries and Michelin-starred restaurants keeping it firmly on the map. You can experience the explosive Fallas Festival– now protected by UNESCO – where huge papiermâché sculptures take over the city every March before getting burned in a dramatic way. But if you can’t get there now, you can get a taste of the festival any time of the year on a new Fallas tour that meets local artists and visits the nowrenovated Fallas Museum. And visit the city before 17th June and you can even catch a new exhibition marking 125 years since the birth of 20th century Spanish painter Joan Miró, which brings together more than 100 works by the artist from 15 museums and institutions.

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A welcome jump back to basics where it teeters on being less luxurious but uber-chic nonetheless – you may even spot a few celebrities along the way. In spring, Santorini is much quieter than in summer when you'll meet the crowds. Accommodation prices are still moderate as well. Santorini is a great place to indulge in wine-tasting, cultivating its own indigenous grape and famous for its crisp dry white wine. Local vineyards combine the elegant wine with breathtaking views and stunning scenery making for the perfect leisurely afternoon. Walk, hike or enjoy the warm sea, there are plenty of activities to re-energise your body, but you must visit the museums and experience the ancient landmarks before you leave.


CULTURE | TRAVEL

Paris For beautiful blooms Paris in April is one of the most sought-after travel destinations of the world. It’s the spring you see in your dreams, infused with a romantic charm. Blooms decorate the streets and the moonlight sparkles of the River Seine. It’s so special that Frank Sinatra famously sang about ‘April in Paris’, so what’s the secret? As the trees turn green and pink flowers outline the streets, it creates picture-perfect scenery as you explore the cultural hotspots of the city. There’s no better time to enjoy the famous Eiffel Tower, as the clear skies open up and showcase its magnitude, or to stroll through the iconic streets stopping for coffee.

Rome

Relax in one of the cities luscious parks or cycle along the Canal-St Martin – it’ll be more romantic than ever – still cold enough to cosy up to one another but warm enough to take in the beauty of Paris in its entirety – day and night.

To visit the Italian capital at any time of year is invigorating but spring brings a new life to Rome’s beauty.

To overdose on culture

Rome is at the heart of the region of Lazio, which offers everything from coastal attractions to good food, history and art. But Rome, itself, is surrounded by hills, lakes, rivers and vineyards making it more than just a city of undeniable culture. Luscious greenery and pockets of colour liven up the streets and squares, as you experience the monumental influence of history on the Eternal City. A place with worldwide cultural significance – being home to the Vatican and the Colosseum, among many others – so it is always bustling with tourists and visitors, which is a sight to behold in itself.

And venture across the channel in late spring and you will enjoy the Les Grandes Eaux Musicales – the fountain show at Chateau de Versailles – where water fountains dance to classical music. Spend your days taking in the museums and exploring galleries, plus indulge in some of the finest food you can taste in Europe. But it’s not all traditional and aristocratic, there’s a young and vibrant culture to Paris from the bars and clubs to the street art and entertainers. Quaint markets will satisfy your need to collect keepsakes and souvenirs, while Paris’ famous shopping streets will fill your closets!

I

With so much to see and do in the city that never ends, a few days doesn’t seem enough – from the Piazza Venezia and the Vittoriano, to the Piazza del Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo, Buonarroti and the Capitoline Museums, and the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli or the Arch of Constantine. And, of course, the Vatican City, with its renaissance style, Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. It’s much more than cultural indulgence in this city.

Berlin To party Berlin is a vibrant, lively and innovative city underpinned by some of the most significant moments in history. To think this city was once separated by East and West is completely incredible, but some of the most fascinating areas to visit are heavily associated with this time, and the landmarks of the Nazi rule during World War II. Today, Germany’s capital city is home to some of the most famous museums in the world, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an international art scene offering the most unique and sought-after collaborations and galleries, and trendy shopping districts. While there is plenty of places to explore during the day, Berlin truly comes alive at night – when its assortment of legendary clubs and bars take over the city, bringing in renowned DJs and musician to keep the young up all night. And not forgetting the food – from street markets to restaurants, Berlin is awash with tempting delights: from the famous Currywurst to the upmarket restaurants near Potsdamer Platz, you will love it all. Don’t leave without visiting Berlin’s most famous landmarks: the Brandenburg Gate, which became a symbol of unity after the fall of the wall; German Parliament, P Reichstag; the remains of the Berlin Wall; and P Museumsinsel: a collection of five museums displaying over 6,000 years of art and history. Berlin’s Mitte district is also a fascinating place to uncover, and, this spring, the temporary exhibition “Pergamon Museum: the Panorama” will open across from the Bode Museum, featuring highlights from the city’s antiquities collection and a new panorama by artist Yadegar Asisi. w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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CULTURE | TRAVEL

T R AV E L

SURVIVAL GUIDE:

kids and planes Travelling with children is never easy but there are ways to minimise the stress and make it a smoother journey for all.

T

consider how you will make your older children comfortable – they won’t be used to falling asleep in this position and this can make them irritable. There are blankets and pillows to use but it’s well worth investing in a good quality neck rest too.

here’s nothing more exciting than the thought of a nice family holiday abroad, but the worry of getting there and surviving the journey can be a daunting prospect. It’s that age-old conundrum, people with children will sympathise with you and those without will usually judge (quietly or not), but one thing you both want is a scream-free ride to your chosen destination, with minimal seat kicking and next to no exploding nappies. LIVING’s got some tips on how to make flying a much more enjoyable ride…

Silent night You may consider a night flight is best for a long-haul journey and in most cases, it is. But judge this decision on your own children - are they good sleepers? Do

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Prep yourself

they drop off easily, or do they tend to take more settling than most? These factors can be heightened on a plane with lots of distractions and stimulus happening around them. Will they have their own seat or be on your knee? Are you going to use the bassinets provided by your airline? Does your flight include a transfer? It’s easy enough for a baby or small toddler to drop off while you hold them, but consider that if you use bassinet and the plane goes through turbulence, your flight attendant will insist that you remove them and buckle them up on your knee, which can disturb their sleep. Secondly, are you going to have to wake them up to change planes – it can be easier to fly direct or go for an early morning transfer. Also,

There really is no better way to survive a plane journey than to prepare well in advance and we mean physically, practically and emotionally too. Your children will get bored and fidgety and it’s likely that they’ll cry too. But remember they are not doing it maliciously. They are not out to get you or make your life hard, they are just in an unusual situation, out of their normal routine and without their home comforts and toys. Get plenty of rest before you go because you probably won’t while you are on the plane, and even if your child is asleep, you won’t be – parental instinct to watch over them is just too strong. Also, a few sweets may work as a bribe while you are at the park but on a plane, you are adding sugar to an already excited child! Food is not the answer parents make the mistake of packing a bag full of snacks and treats because they don’t think their children will get enough to eat. But when was the last time your child had a meal at 3am in the morning? And the last thing you want is exploding nappies all over the place. Stick to their normal eating routine – and if they do get peckish, most airlines will have snacks on board.


Delays

CULTURE | TRAVEL

Things to pack for kids

If you are unlucky enough to experience delays during your travels, long waits in airports can equal tired and irritable troupes. Research the airports that you are travelling from or through before you set off as you can uncover some great activities and things to do if you do get stuck. A lot of airports will have soft play areas, cinemas and even swimming pools so it’s well worth having a look. Watching the planes, taking walks and plenty of battery on your devices will also help to keep them entertained while you wait.

USB Portable Charger £9.95 dotcomgiftshop.com

What your child really wants on a flight is your attention.

Notebook £2.95 dotcomgiftshop.com

Travel Pillow £6 Primark Blanket £59 Amara

Around the World in Numbers Book £10.99 Bobby Rabbit

Yes, while you are completely oblivious to the fact that you are sharing your transport with 200 to 300 other people, they are not. And while most people are sympathetic to your situation, there will be some who are not. They will tut, and moan and offer parental advice but don’t worry about them too much. Your main objective is keeping your children happy and content in a totally awkward and unpleasant environment. Just don’t ignore your kids if they are acting up or crying and if you get a pat on the back from a fellow traveller at the end of a long flight, you know that you’ve done your job as a parent.

Food is not the answer parents make the mistake of packing a bag full of snacks and treats because they don’t think their children will get enough to eat.

Picture Atlas Book £14.99 Bobby Rabbit >

Entertainment is key, naturally, but don’t go overboard. The more you pack, the more you carry and when you have children with you the last thing you need is more baggage. You may think you won’t need anything because of the inflight entertainment but a plane is probably the one place where an hour of cartoons doesn’t go down well. It’s great that airlines have entertainment systems but no matter how current or high-tech they are, you can guarantee your child won’t like wearing the headphones or anything they are showing. The answer? Pack things you can do together – sticker books are a winner (who cares if the flight attendant ends up with one on her skirt and the man six rows back happens to find one on his shoe), activity books and games on the ipad are also great. What your child really wants on a flight is your attention, and while you may just want to rest your eyes or watch that blockbuster, it just isn’t going to happen with young children in tow. Consider this is just a few hours of your life and you are in control of how well it goes!

Tablet Case £6.95 dotcomgiftshop.com

One Hundred Things to Spot Book £12.99 Bobby Rabbit >

The others

>

Keeping them busy

Sketch Book £3 Tiger Stores

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Wedding Dreams are made of this

This former 16th century Coaching Inn situated only 12 miles from Oxford is a superb one-stop wedding location. Sympathetically updated, the George retains it’s character and charm, giving it an unrivalled atmosphere for every occasion. The castle gardens, behind the hotel, make a great backdrop for your photographs. Plus our experienced wedding organisers will work with you to ensure everything goes to plan. You can rely on the George to make your wedding dream come true. OUR FACILITIES INCLUDE: • Events for up to 150 guests • Licensed for Civil Ceremonies • Choice of Wedding Packages • Extensive Menu Selection • 39 Exquisite bedrooms • Ample Free car parking

High Street, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 0BS Tel: 01491 836665 || Fax: 01491 825359 E-mail: info@george-hotel-wallingford.com

GERALDINE SPROSTON...

Personal travel consultant for all of your travel requirements

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

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

geraldine.sproston@haystravel.co.uk | haystravel.co.uk/geraldine-sproston

Geraldine 115x186 HP.indd 1

09/12/2016 14:48


CULTURE | REVIEW

It's like having your BFFs over to get ready in the ultimate bedroom setting.

HERE COME THE GIRLS! Moddershall Oaks invited LIVING along to try out one of its pamper parties. What girl is going to say no to that!

E

very girl needs a pamper now and again – it helps us to relax, unwind and generally feel better, and when you can do it with your friends, then that’s just perfect. Moddershall Oaks, located just outside Stone, has come up with a unique way for us girls to pamper together in style – and it’s called The Snug. Ideal for a celebration, such as a baby shower or hen party, or as a pre-wedding venue for a bride and her bridesmaids, The Snug is a dedicated beauty suite, which can be hired for up to 12 people for a pamper party, but can also be used for larger gatherings such as business meetings or a drinks reception. Pamper parties include a sparkling drinks reception, platters of homemade nibbles or an afternoon tea selection, an Elemis ‘playtime’ session and goodie bag and two individual treatments totalling 45 minutes each. Included on the menu are a capsule range of quick fixes including treatments for hands and feet, eyes, hair and makeup and tanning.

have this set up in our lives every day, just as we imagine the likes of Khloe, Kourtney and Kim do. The great thing about The Snug is that once you are in, you are pretty much cut off from the rest of the guests at the spa, save from a few wondering eyes as they walk past. It’s situated towards the back of Moddershall Oaks, away from the reception and close to the suites. However, while it’s a good-sized space and comfortable, the nearest toilets are situated back at reception, which is a little bit of a trek when you are enjoying the party – especially if you’ve had the sparkling drinks reception promised on arrival! Before long, we were served our afternoon tea, which consisted of sandwiches, scones and a selection of homemade mini-bites. There was a good blend of traditional and creative from the chef which was enough to get us discussing the delights. Afternoon tea never looks like it’s going to fill you up, but we couldn’t finish the selection so there was plenty of food to go around.

The Snug has its own free Wi-Fi, plasma TV – perfect to watch some girlie films - comfy seating areas and a drinks counter offering juices, water and hot drinks.

The staff were a little pre-occupied but pleasant, and kept enough distance to let us enjoy our afternoon. We were generally left to our own devices, which was fine, but it did feel like at times we were waiting for something to happen – so perhaps a little bit more explanation of the timings of treatments would have been helpful.

The atmosphere

The treatments

As soon as you walk in the door of The Snug, you are happy. It’s a glam girl's dream; there’s mirrors and makeup, bucket seating, arm chairs, foot rests, comfy sofas, dim lighting, and girlie tunes blaring from the plasma TV mounted on the wall in the centre of the room. It’s like you’re having your BFFs over to get ready in the ultimate bedroom setting except you won’t have to clean up afterwards.

After we had eaten and relaxed a little, a flurry of therapists seemed to descend on the room, picking us off individually and taking us to a specific area of the room to begin the treatments we had chosen in advance.

We felt right at home as soon as we walked in, as we likened ourselves to the Kardashian sisters and wondered how much money it would cost to

We weren’t sure if the treatments would take place within The Snug or elsewhere, but we quickly learned that we would all be having them in the same place, together, which was nice, as we got to have a cheeky look at how each one was performed, and it added to the party atmosphere.

There were five therapists in total looking after five girls – one each - now we really did feel special. The therapists were professional and thorough and they kept to the allocated time limit for each treatment we had booked in. We had various treatments from express lashes, to manicures and massages, but we were especially impressed with the Hi Brow treatment, which uses a fusion of tinting, waxing and plucking to create definition and shape in the brow. Overall, Moddershall has a really great idea in The Snug that girlie girls will love. Unfortunately, you only have use of the room for three hours though, which didn’t seem long enough to fit in all the elements of the package. But it’s going to get plus points straight away from the fact you come out feeling (and looking) better than when you went in. There are some lovely little touches, like the refresh station so you can keep hydrated with tea, coffee and water, a dressing table that has an array of make-up and hair styling supplies – perfect if you’ve got a night out planned afterwards – and the TV that you can watch films or listen to music on, making it a real homefrom-home vibe. Add to that the very relaxing aura at Moddershall Oaks and we certainly could have stayed and been pampered all night long! Pamper parties include: Sparkling drinks reception, platters of homemade nibbles, Elemis tester playtime, 1 x 30 minute beauty treatment per person, 1 x 15 minute mini treatment per person (4-8 persons only) and 1 x Goodie bag of Elemis samples per person. Cost: £75 per person for 4-8 people and £65 per person for 9-12 people. w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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CULTURE | TRAVEL

GO YOUR OWN WAY

Buying a holiday home in the UK is a major investment but it comes with a heap of benefits. Time to take the plunge? Read our guide first!

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e all look forward to summer, it’s the part of the year when we all get to take a holiday, and whether that’s to a destination abroad or somewhere in the UK, we are a little bit happier knowing we’ll be getting a well-deserved break from the norm. But what if you could take these little joyful escapes at any time of the year? What if you had a unique haven waiting for you whenever you wanted it – a quick weekend here and there, an extended stay over Christmas and New Year or a six-week summer trip? Sound like the holiday schedule for you? You probably want to consider buying a holiday home, giving you the freedom to go to your favourite place whenever you want to, whether it’s to party, celebrate, or recharge the batteries. But if you are going to take the plunge, what, where and how do you make this kind of investment?

Your holiday style Deciding on the type of accommodation and where you want to invest is probably the best place to start. But there are a number of factors that are going to influence your decision. Firstly, do you want to buy a bricks and mortar house, apartment or cottage or do you want to opt for a caravan or lodge style holiday home? And you should also consider whether you want the freedom to go anywhere or you prefer the security of a familiar place time after time. If you favour the fun and unpredictable nature of a caravan holiday then you are not alone. Caravan holidays are the ultimate British tradition, with around two million of us taking this style of holiday every year - and this number is only set to rise as the popularity for ‘staycations’ continues. Everyone loves a caravan holiday but do you love it enough to invest in one of your own? A lot of people already do! The National Caravan Council reports that there are over a million caravans in the UK – half of which are touring caravans, and the rest made up of caravan holiday homes and motor homes. 112

The other benefit of choosing a caravan – specifically a touring caravan, is that you don’t have to decide on a destination! You can pick and choose where you go, whenever you want to go. But if the idea of spending your family holidays in a compact environment doesn’t excite you then you might be better off considering a second home in your favourite holiday destination. In the most recent UK census (taken in 2011), approximately 1.6 million people living in England and Wales had a second home in the UK that they used for a month or more each year – and 11% of these were holiday homes. That’s approximately 175,000 people who were safe in the knowledge that they could pack up and escape to their little piece of heaven whenever they needed too - without the chore of booking flights, searching for accommodation and researching things to do. Data like this is only collected every ten years, but it’s likely that, since this last report, even more Brits have cottoned on to the idea of owning a holiday home in the UK, making staycations a permanent fixture for year-round travels.

When it comes to choosing a spot to invest in, the same census in 2011 found that the most likely places for Brits to buy second home properties were Cornwall and Gwynedd with Norwich and Pembrokeshire also popular hotspots, but there really are no rules when it comes to choosing. You may have a favourite holiday destination from when you were a child, or have always dreamed about owning a home with a sea view; whatever your criteria, you can make your dreams come true with the purchase of a holiday home. So, is the decision made? If so, you need to think about how you will afford to buy the holiday home of your dreams. Having the available funds to invest in a property or caravan specifically for holiday use is a wonderful situation to be in but how exactly do you get there?


There is the option of re-mortgaging your existing property to finance your second home, and if you have enough capital in this, you could potentially be a cash buyer, meaning you have no big outlays on your second home, or, at the very least, benefit from lending less money against the property and so have lower interest rates overall.

The money Buying a caravan: There are a number of things to think about if you decide a caravan is the one for you. Firstly, you need to decide which type of caravan to go for – a static, a motorhome that you drive or a touring caravan that you hook up to your car. Choosing the right option is dependent on how you want to use your caravan. If you intend on using your caravan for holidays for some of the time and then sub-letting at other times, then a static is the best option. You can buy a caravan on an existing holiday site, but you will need to make allowances for additional charges, such as ground rent, water rates and electric or gas bottles. There will also be annual charges for insurance and gas which are usually compulsory. A static caravan could cost anything from £15,000 for a second-hand unit, up to £30,000 plus for a brand-new model. Rental yield can vary but most holiday parks will tell you it can be anything from £6,000 to £13,000 a year, depending on the market where your caravan is and the availability at the time. There will usually be a high and low season for letting out your caravan so it’s important to understand the full yearly costs so that you can cover expenses at all times.

CULTURE | TRAVEL

You do need to consider the maintenance and upkeep of your property as well, especially if you want to let it out for some months of the year.

If the thought of setting off on the open road is more appealing and you don’t want to earn money from your caravan – then you are probably better off choosing a touring caravan or motorhome, which can cost anything from £15,000 to £20,000. You can also find used models for around £10,000. If you don’t have the savings to spend, you can opt to take out a loan which allows you to spread the costs over so many months. But be careful that you are choosing an affordable option. You’ll need somewhere to store your caravan too, when you are not touring and you might not have the space to do this at home. There are caravan storage facilities available but you’ll have to factor in the extra costs for this.

Buying a second home: When it comes to buying a second home, there are a lot more things to consider. This is a much bigger investment than a caravan or motorhome. There are a range of funding choices, however, so finding the right one for you is important. A second holiday home is a popular investment for people who are of retirement age as it’s a time when more disposable income becomes available, but it’s not just a retirement proposition. However, if you are going to take out a mortgage to fund the purchase, banks will usually require a minimum of a 20% deposit, which could be £20,000 or more.

Is it a good investment? Weighing up the pros and cons of an investment like this is hugely important before taking the plunge. You should always seek the advice of an independent financial advisor before purchasing. They will be able to advise you on affordability, and also help you to cover all the legalities and tax conditions associated with a purchase like this. For example, if you own a second property and are using it to rent out then you may be liable for capital gains tax. Consider the financial impact it will have on your day-to-day living costs and whether it is a viable option. It may be the dream to be able to head off whenever you want but you’ll still need spending money to holiday and if you are falling short on a monthly basis, you’ll never be able to experience it! Work out how many months of the year you intend on using the property or caravan yourself and how many months you can realistically let it out to bring in some return on your investment. Make sure it is profitable based on the amount of time you want to spend there. Many people choose to go into this kind of investment with family members or friends. Be careful that you work out the amount of time that both parties want to spend at the property, whether that’s together or separately, and what time that leaves for external rental. If you are using your holiday home for personal use only, and you want to allow friends and family to spend time there as well, you might want to consider asking for some contribution towards utility bills to make it more affordable for you, as well as them! While finances may cause some barriers when buying a holiday home, there are plenty of reasons to make it work. And, if you have the flexibility to do this, you won’t look back. Are you ready to holiday by your own rules? w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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S TAY- C AY The great British staycation is set to be another popular choice for travels this year, and why not? No airports to deal with, money to exchange and languages to learn. Yes, the stay-cay has more than its fair share of benefits, and we simply couldn’t be situated in a better place to explore this great isle. Here’s our pick of places to go in 2018.

Scottish Adventure The popular cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are enticing, no question. But we’re challenging you to go a little further. Take your Scottish adventure far north to the wonderfully enchanting Scottish Highlands. Mystical mountains, meandering lochs and total relaxation are on the cards. Sure, it will take you a good six to eight hours to get there but some things are worth the effort. Here is where you’ll find Loch Ness, John o’ Groats and the Isle of Skye – places we’ve all heard about but not too sure how to get too – but it’s the remote hamlets, secluded villages and iconic wildlife, from deer to birds and dolphins, of this region that will give it the edge on your usual holiday. We’re not promising you’ll catch sight of Nessie on your travels but you will enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery there is and you are guaranteed one (or several) of those “Oh my, look at that!” moments. It’s certainly worth having a Sat Nav on board, or a very good map reader! One thing’s for sure: this isn’t a cute dress and heels kind of place. Pack your wellies and a waterproof jacket and go off into the wilderness and explore!

THINGS TO DO Whiskey tour You can’t really go to Scotland without sampling some of the whiskey. It’s a bit like going to Ireland and not trying the Guinness. Yes, you might not like it (and if you don’t you will probably still not like it afterwards) but it’s a big part of Scottish heritage and a truly fascinating topic to delve into. There are many distilleries to choose from in the Highlands, including the Clynelish, Glenmorangie, Dalmore and Glen Ord distilleries. Check out The Speyside Malt Whiskey trail which highlights seven world-famous working distilleries, as well as a historic distillery in Dallas Dhu and the Speyside Cooperage. Find out more at maltwhiskytrail.com.

Ben Nevis Once an active volcano, Ben Nevis is Scotland’s tallest peak and attracts hundreds of thousands of walkers each year. Reaching high into the clouds, it’s no easy feat to complete but those who have reached its summit will tell you it’s well worth the challenge. Ben Nevis is part of the Grampian Mountain range close to the town of Fort William, and even if you take a drive there just to marvel at its magnitude from the ground, you’ll be glad that you did.

North Coast 500 If you’ve always dreamed of travelling the Route 66 in America, you could have the same experience a little closer to home, up in the Scottish Highlands. Its famous North Coast 500, or NC500, is a circular route around the Highlands coast. Aside from the stunning scenery, which includes breathtaking views across the water, unique rock formations and idyllic beaches and coves, you will drive through unspoiled countryside, on winding roads, passing by statuesque mountains, and with plenty of must-see highlights dotted along the way, it’s one adventure the whole family can enjoy. 114


S TAY- C AY

CULTURE | TRAVEL

Chill Out in the South Nothing screams British summer holiday better than a seaside stay on the south coast. It was the holiday our parents did as children, and our grandparents before them. Ice cream, wind breakers and deck chairs, you can picture the scene on some of Britain’s ‘best’ beaches. But things have got way out of hand down there, especially once summer draws closer. Popular resorts, such as Brighton, Bournemouth, Newhaven and Bognor Regis, all have their own enjoyable attributes, but a trip to the seaside is supposed to be relaxing! More often than not we find ourselves wading through crowds, donkeys and souvenir stalls to find a spot, and even then we end up wedged between rocks and umbrellas. So, if you are looking for something a little less stressful, there are plenty of places to set up camp for a holiday or short break that offer a more peaceful and chilled out stay. Think a little differently about your southern pilgrimage and you could be enjoying lazy days on secluded beaches, with hidden coves and no amenities within easy reach. Perfect.

BE ACHES TO TRY West Wittering, Sussex Enjoy the beautiful weather and stunning scenery of the south coast far from the madding crowd. Situated between Portsmouth and Bognor Regis, West Wittering is a much more sedated affair when it comes to enjoying the beach. There are no packed promenades, amusement arcades and raucous young groups, just acres of wetlands and dunes, filled with wildlife. There’s views of Chichester harbour and the South Downs and a beautiful natural white sandy blue flag beach, benefiting from high water quality. There are grass areas close to the beach which are perfect for picnics too. And plenty of interesting areas to explore along the way.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall Cornwall is probably hiding many a secluded beach but none as stunning as Kynance Cove, situated to the west of National Trust hotspot: Lizard Point. Looking as picture-perfect as a Thailand paradise, you’ll find turquoise water, unique rock faces and unbelievable views. With miles of pathways and bridalways around the cove, unusual places to stay, and some of Cornwall’s must-see destinations in close proximity, a trip here can be as adventurous as you’d like. Add a backdrop of 200ft cliffs and views across the Atlantic, Kynance Cove is truly a hidden gem of the British coast.

Jurassic Coast, Dorset The Jurassic Coast runs 95 miles from East Devon to Dorset and is a timeline of land’s evolution, showcasing rocks and fossils that map out the Earth’s past, but it’s not all science and data. It’s a fascinating place to visit with a more relaxing day in mind. Man o’ War Beach, in particular, is a beautiful setting that seems to attract less sun worshippers to its shores than other more popular sites nearby. This could be down to its accessibility – accessed by a long footpath or steep steps, meaning many will opt for an easier option. But with shallow water, making it a lovely and safe spot to swim, and the mix of sand and soft pebbles on the beach, you can happily rest and relax here for the day.

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Established for 35 years, we have over 60 privately owned properties ranging from a compact bolt hole for two to large family friendly houses sleeping 8.

White Water Rafting Canoeing & Canyoning

in Snowdonia National Park on the River Tryweryn, near Bala, North Wales, LL23 7NU

call visit

01678 521083 www.ukrafting.co.uk

01726 870582 | polruancottages.co.uk


S TAY- C AY

CULTURE | TRAVEL

Boating in Middle England You don’t even need to venture too far to enjoy the delights of a British staycation. In fact, you may not even leave home. Middle England, from the Peak District to the Cotswolds, including parts of Lincolnshire and Rutland, is where you’ll find pockets of picturesque landscape, which can be a real winner on a family holiday. Greenery, open spaces, culture and an abundance of outdoor activities make this part of England the perfect place to escape to. But rather than booking in to a holiday cottage or B&B, why not add a little excitement to your trip – and make your accommodation the reason for your trip! Barge holidays may not be luxurious but they are certainly fun and eventful, and one that all the family will get on board with! Slow it all down as you leisurely cruise from one lock to the next. And with an extensive network of waterways in central England, exploring by canal boat is the only way to do it! There are many routes to choose from, and you can set the pace of your holiday seeing as little or as much as you wish. Freedom, fresh air and simplicity. We say get on that barge for the ultimate adventure.

ROUTES TO CONSIDER The Four Counties Ring If you are craving rural scenery, quaint little towns and interesting cultural spots, the Four Counties Ring, starting at Stoke-on-Trent and venturing into Shropshire, the Peak District, and parts of Cheshire, has particular appeal. It may be close to home, but it’ll give you a chance to view your world from a different dimension. This 110-mile stretch of inland waterway - that’s about 55 hours of cruise time, and with 94 locks, it can be strenuous in parts - can offer a good one week holiday, as well as the option to do shorter mini-breaks too.

Leicester Ring Step it up a notch and sail away for a fortnight. The Leicester Ring is 157 miles of rivers and canals stretching through four counties in the East Midlands, and plenty of exciting challenges along the way. Over 75 hours cruising time awaits, and with 102 locks, including flights of ‘staircase’ locks, five tunnels and several aqueducts to navigate, it has all the potential of a thrilling activity holiday!

Oxford Canal Pretty and idyllic, the Oxford canal is a romantic’s dream. A cruise through the quintessential British countryside, through charming Cotswold villages. There are plenty of spots to stop and explore from the little stone villages of Oxford and the surrounds to the churches, pubs and food in Banbury, and of course the historic University. This stretch of canal is 100 miles long, which equates to about 45 hours of cruise time and has around 78 locks to navigate, stretching down to Reading and Rugby but you can choose to go as far along as you wish.

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CULTURE | REDISCOVER

ď ˛

R EDI S C OV ER:

WALES More travellers are seeking out healthy holiday options than ever before, and where better to embrace nature and the outdoors than in Wales, where walking, hiking and coastal views are at their best. We’ve highlighted some of the best places and activities to visit in 2018.

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CULTURE | REDISCOVER

Garden Glory at Bodnant Gardens, Snowdonia This National Trust site is a haven for all ages with over 80 acres of grounds comprising gardens, lawns and champion trees. If you are craving a walk that is just as relaxing as it is beautiful then this is the place to visit. Unique and special botanical collections created over 150 years make Bodnant Gardens stand out from the rest, and all with a backdrop of the Carneddau mountains at Snowdonia.

Walk through history Wales is a historical masterpiece, and with over 600 castles to choose from it is easy to lose yourself in the beauty of its culture. From Raglan Castle in the South, Kidwelly in the West, and Conwy in the North, the impressive castles across Wales are well worth exploring whatever the weather. Ideal for getting plenty of exercise whilst admiring all of the history Wales has to offer.

Surfs up in Swansea Why not try something different and embrace the great outdoors with surfing lessons at one of the most beautiful beaches in Swansea - Rhossili Beach. This spectacular beach is Located on the Gower Peninsula, which became the UK’s very first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – learn to surf, enjoy a walk or simply take in the beautiful landscape that this beach has to offer. Swansea Surf School holds lessons at Caswell Beach and Llangennith. Price start from £25. For more Information, visit: www.swanseasurfing.com.

Sleep under the stars The Brecon Beacons is the perfect location for a romantic getaway under the stars. Set up camp with a cosy picnic, bottle of wine and watch the world go by. The Brecon Beacons is one of the first five locations in the world to be granted International ‘Dark Sky’ reserve status. Protected from light pollution with an outstanding view of the night sky – the best star gazing spots within the reserve are: Usk Reservoir, Crai Reservoir, National Park Visitor Centre, Pontsticill Reservoir, Llangorse Lakes.

Snowdonian Friluftsliv

Dolphin Watching

Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Sports Centre, offers a wide range of activities for those seeking something ‘friluftsliv’ this year, the latest Scandinavian trend encouraging us to embrace the great outdoors. From guided hill walking and rock climbing to canoeing and kayaking there is something for everyone to try. There are also a number of activity courses available including skiing, orienteering and mountain biking for those wanting to make the most of the Welsh countryside.

Cardigan Bay is home to the UK’s biggest pod of dolphins. You should be able to spot bottlenose dolphins all year round but there are some locations that are better than others. For example, New Quay in the summer is the ideal site for spotting them, and if you are very lucky, you might be able to spot seals, porpoises, basking sharks and even orcas. Tours are available from March through to October weather and tide depending.

The Wales Way – Coastal drive The Wales Way is a family of three national routes that lead along the Welsh coast, across castle country and through the mountains. The Coastal Way is a fantastic way to discover the Welsh coastline, running the entire length of Cardigan Bay – from Aberdaron and St Davids - a 180-mile (290km), four-and-a-half-hour odyssey that threads between beautiful blue seas on one side and epic mountains on the other. There is plenty to do and see on The Coastal Way from sandy beaches and towering cliffs to fishing villages and harbour towns filled with quaint shops and restaurants, serving freshly caught fish daily. Find out more about The Wales Way at: thewalesway.com.

A world under the sea Did you know Anglesey is one of the best drift diving spots in the UK? From beginners to the most experienced divers, the Welsh coast will certainly impress. There’s plenty to delve into in Anglesey, including shipwrecks and spectacular marine life. Start in the introduction pool and continue into the open water with Anglesey Divers ‘Try Scuba Diving’ one-day course. Find out more at: www.diveanglesey.co.uk For more information on Wales, log on to: visitwales.com

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Holiday Home Ownership in North Wales

Site Fees included until *

2020 on selected models

The freedom to escape to your very own holiday home whenever you choose Lyons offer a safe and secure environment in which to enjoy the luxuries of holiday home ownership. Our parks are a peaceful haven in which to unwind and relax, with a season of up to 50 weeks, including Christmas and New Year.

1

2 Owners only

Lyons Woodlands Hall Caravan Park • Ruthin

Lyons Eryl Hall Caravan Park • St Asaph

The perfect retreat overlooking the Welsh countryside

Excellent leisure facilities in a luxurious surrounding

• Gym & sauna • Adventure play area • Bar and restaurant • Guest accommodation • Tennis court • Children’s play room

• Heated indoor pool • Modern gymnasium • Country Club • Bar and restaurant

3

4 Owners only

• Adventure play area • Live entertainment

Owners only

Lyons Mounds Holiday Home Park • Talacre

Lyons Pendyffryn Hall Caravan Park • Conwy

An idyllic escape, where coast meets countryside

Hidden within the stunning Snowdonia National Park

• Library • Award winning beach

• Country Club • Bar & lounge

• Picnic area • Free shuttle bus to nearby pool • Adventure play area

• Family room • Adventure play area • Snooker lounge • Kids zone


Considering holiday home ownership? Try before you buy with Lyons Entering the world of holiday home ownership is a big decision and it’s important to us that you choose the correct park for you. So what better way to decide whether or not to buy yourself a holiday home than to test it with our no-obligation ‘Try Before You Buy’ scheme? We have a range of modern holiday homes at all of our parks set up with all the creature comforts of home, designed to give you a preview of the experience of being a holiday home owner at Lyons. Spend the night at our park and enjoy a V.I.P. tour of the park along with complimentary use of all our facilities during your stay. If you decide to buy, we will give you double the cost of your stay back towards your holiday home.

Holiday Homes From

Luxury Lodges From

Site Fees From

£14,995

£49,995

£1,995

*

We’re here to help... Our experienced team of advisors are here to assist you in realising your dream. We are proud to be continually investing in our parks and stock a wide range of holiday homes, each varying in size, specification and budget. Contact our friendly team to book your no-obligation V.I.P. tour around any of our parks.

03333 700 700 www.lyonsholidayparks.co.uk facebook.com/lyonsparks twitter.com/lyonsparks

Liverpool

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3 Anglesey

4 2 1 North Wales * Selected plots, parks and models only. Terms and conditions apply.


CULTURE | WATCH

the film CLUB Our pick of the blockbusters released this spring

Tomb Raider RELEASE DATE

DIRECTED BY

16th March

Roar Uthaug

CAST

Alicia Vikander

Warner Bros. Pictures

Game Night RELEASE DATE

DIRECTED BY

23rd February

John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

CAST

Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams New Line Cinema’s action comedy “Game Night” stars Bateman and McAdams as Max and Annie, whose weekly couples game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks, arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. So, when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all part of the game…right? But as the six uber-competitive gamers set out to solve the case and win, they begin to discover that neither this “game”—nor Brooks—are what they seem to be. 122

C Warner Bros. Pictures


CULTURE | WATCH

Peter Rabbit RELEASE DATE

DIRECTED BY

16th March

Will Gluck

Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude...

Mus tsee

CAST

CAST: Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki with Margot Robbie and James Corden as Peter Rabbit Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. In the film, Peter’s feud with Mr. McGregor escalates to greater heights than ever before as they rival for the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door.

DIRECTED BY

2nd March

Francis Lawrence T E • SCAN

LE R

IN

VI O

• L IV

M

Dominika Egorova is a devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs; a prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit; and a master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a careerending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons.

TC H TH E WA T AI

Jennifer Lawrence

O

R

CAST

MUS T S E E

RELEASE DATE

’S

Red Sparrow

G

© 2017 Twentieth Century Fox

Sony Pictures

Tully RELEASE DATE

DIRECTED BY

20th April

Jason Reitman

CAST

Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis

Marlo (Theron), a mother of three, including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully (Davis).

Warner Bros. Pictures

Rampage RELEASE DATE

DIRECTED BY BY DIRECTED

20th April

Brad Peyton Niels Arden Oplev Universal Pictures

CAST

Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

Mary Magdalene RELEASE DATE

DIRECTED BY

16th March

Garth Davis

CAST

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor Mary Magdalene is an authentic and humanistic portrait of one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history. The biblical biopic tells the story of Mary, a young woman in search of a new way of living. Constricted by the hierarchies of the day, Mary defies her traditional family to join a new social movement led by the charismatic Jesus of Nazareth. She soon finds a place for herself within the movement and at the heart of a journey that will lead to Jerusalem.

Universal Pictures w w w. s t a ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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BOOK YOUR S TICKET! NOW

TUESDAY 27 SATURDAY 31 MARCH


LIVING’S BOOK CORNER

CULTURE | READ

Heart-warming

STORIES FOR SPRING

Leap In

Two from the Heart

Gone Viking

By Alexandra Heminsley

By James Patterson

By Helen Russell

RELE A SED: M A RCH 2018

RELE A SED: M A RCH 2018

RELEASED: APRIL 2018

£ 8 .9 9 | P A P E R B A C K | W I N D M I L L

£ 7.9 9 | P A P E R B A C K | A R R O W

£ 7.9 9 | P A P E R B A C K | E B U R Y P R E S S

Alexandra Heminsley thought she could swim. She really did. It may have been because she could run. It may have been because she wanted to swim; or perhaps because she only ever did ten minutes of breaststroke at a time. But, as she learned one day while flailing around in the sea, she really couldn’t. Believing that a life lived fully isn’t one with the most money earned, the most stuff bought or the most races won, but one with the most experiences, experienced the most fully, she decided to conquer her fear of the water.

Two inspiring stories...

Every woman needs some viking in her... Frazzled mum Alice Ray likes to think she’s on top of everything – she has FOUR bags-for-life in the boot of her car for heaven’s sake. But after spectacularly embarrassing herself at work, she finally gives in to her sister’s pleas to take a much-needed break. But this is not the luxury spa holiday Alice hoped for – instead, she finds herself in Denmark, in the middle of nowhere, on a ‘How to be a Viking’ getaway. Can the two sisters finally learn to get along or will learning to embrace their inner warrior just make them better at fighting?

The Pets at Primrose Cottage

After her marriage falls apart and a hurricane destroys her home, Anne McWilliams realises that her life has fallen out of focus. So she takes to the road to ask long lost friends and strangers a simple question: ‘What’s your best story?’ Can the tales she hears on her journey help Anne see what she’s been missing? Tyler Bron seemingly has it all – a successful company and more money than he knows how to spend. But he has no life. So he hires a struggling novelist to write one for him. But will Tyler Bron be able to write the happy ending himself?

Life Lessons from Remarkable Women

By Sheila Norton

By Stylist Magazine

R E L E A S E D : M A R C H 2 0 1 8 £ 6 .9 9 |

RELE A SED: M A RCH 2018

PA P E R B A C K | E B U RY P R E S S

£ 9.9 9 | H A R D B A C K | P E N G U I N L I F E

Emma Nightingale needs a place to hide away. Fresh from the heartbreak of a failed relationship, she takes refuge in quiet Crickleford. And not before long – and quite accidentally too – Emma finds herself the town’s favourite pet-sitter, a role she isn’t certain of at first, but soon her heart is warmed by the animals; they expect nothing more of her than she is able to give. The last thing Emma wants is for people to discover the real reason she is lying low, but then the handsome reporter from the local paper takes an interest in her story. Can Emma keep her secret and follow her heart’s desire…?

A collection of stories from inspiring women from different places and backgrounds, on the advice they’d share with other women. We asked remarkable women from all walks of life to reveal the one life lesson they want all women to know. Lessons covering issues that all women face, including finding confidence within ourselves, dealing with failure, building longlasting and meaningful relationships, pursuing a fulfilling and successful career and through it all, discovering a sense of contentment. From makeup artist and entrepreneur Bobbi Brown, to double Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams, politician Jess Philips to anti-FGM campaigner Nimko Ali, each woman has just one pearl of wisdom from their own life to share with you.

Angels By Marian Keyes RELE A SED: M A RCH 2018 £ 8 .9 9 | P A P E R B A C K | MICHAEL JOSEPH

Unlike the rest of her family, Maggie Walsh has always done everything right. At thirty-three she has a proper job, is happily married to Garv and never puts a foot wrong. So why does she make a bolt for Hollywood and her best friend, Emily? In the City of Angels, Maggie gets to do things she’s never done before: mixing with film stars, pitching scripts, partying nonstop. But is this really a once-in-a-lifetime journey of self-discovery, or is she simply running away from married life?

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CULTURE | INTERVIEW

ď€

DANCE OFF He has won the hearts of the British nation as one of the best loved stars of Strictly Come Dancing. But now Anton du Beke is making his mark in the music world with his debut album, From The Top. LIVING caught up with him to talk Strictly, Fred Astaire and which he loves better – singing or dancing.

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Q: Is this something you have always dreamed of doing – why now?

Q: How did you choose the songs on the album?

“I’ve been singing for almost as long as I’ve been dancing. It (the album) is something I’ve always wanted to do and something I’ve been talking about for three or four years now. Then, a couple of years ago, I sang on Strictly for musicals week - I did a big number to open up the show - and from there we got into more serious conversations and got the thing going and put this together.

“All these songs are hugely emotional to me. Music and dance has been my world since the age of fourteen. I was dancing ballroom before Strictly was even a ghost of an idea. I had to be in work at 3am in a bakery and I would finish work and go straight to dance practice. I had holes in my shoes and absolutely no money but I’d stand in my one suit and a band would play one of these great classic songs and all my troubles would melt away and I would be in heaven.

“It was such a brilliant experience, I can’t tell you, it was so wonderful. All of my great heroes, my ultimate hero, of course, is Fred Astaire, but all my great heroes that I love watching, like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. - all those wonderful performances with the orchestra on the stage and that connection you get with the audience when you are chatting with them – I’ve tried to incorporate all those ingredients into our show and that side of performing is what I enjoy the most and the album hopefully reflects that.”

“I just wanted people to get that sense of wanting to dance to the album and these songs that we’ve got on the album are songs that I’ve danced to over the years, hundreds and hundreds of times, and songs I love. I love that swing style and the big band stuff. So, when they said: ‘Which songs shall we do?’ It was so difficult to only choose 17 songs; I had about 400 to choose from - what to leave out was the hard bit!

Q: You’ve just completed your 10th dancing tour with your long-time dancing partner, Erin Boag? How have the last ten years been?

“I just wanted people to get that sense of wanting to dance.”

“We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to go on tour and we’ve played some incredible venues and we’ve done our own show at the Royal Albert Hall. We’ve been touring all over the UK, and Strictly Come Dancing has been a great highlight, but before that we were competing together - we’ve been dancing together for about 21 years, Erin and I, so It’s been a long time."

Q: What does the album mean for you? “I spent my twenties and thirties penniless with just a lot of dreams. I never stopped working as hard as I could to be the best dancer I could be. It has now created an opportunity for me with my singing and with the belief and encouragement of my family, friends and colleagues at Strictly making this album has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. “This album is for everyone who loves swing, who loves romance and who believes dreams come true.”

Q: Bruce Forsyth was a big inspiration for you on this album, wasn’t he? “Bruce was always a huge hero of mine and I was lucky enough to call him a friend. We’d play golf, we’d have a laugh and we both loved all the old stars like Fred Astaire and Sammy Davis Jr. He was so supportive. When I did a tiny show at the Hippodrome in London, he did me the greatest honour by coming down and singing with me.”

CULTURE | INTERVIEW

“What I wanted to do with this album was to perform the songs I love in the absolute best way I possibly could. I was able to work with the best musicians, the best backing singers and wonderful performers, like Connie Fisher who sings City of Stars.”

Q: Does this mean there’s a lot more to come from you musically? “I’ve got so much more to give, it’s only the tip of the iceberg and it’s a massive one as well! The thing is, I love it. I love doing it, I love performing, I love being out in front of an audience; so, I’d just like to be able to do more, please, if that’s alright! Till my legs give out, and then I’ll do it all sitting down.”

Q: Singing or dancing – which is better? “Still the dancing, really. I consider myself a dancer who sings, like a Fred Astaire type, I don’t want to compare myself to Fred Astaire, but rather than just a Frank Sinatra, who just stands there and belts out a song, I always feel like the song is part of the performance.”

“Amazing, I can’t believe it. I don’t know where the time has gone. It’s been wonderful. I literally can’t believe it’s been 10 years, it’s hilarious, really. I mean, Erin has had a baby who’s three and a half years old in the time we’ve been going on tour, I mean, it’s incredible, really.

Q: Are you back on the Strictly dance floor next year? “I shall do the show whether they ask me back or not, I shall just come on randomly. I’m just going to turn up, don’t worry about that!”

 Head online to hear more on Strictly from Anton; he talks life after Bruce, his partners over the years and the possibility of becoming a judge. www.staffordshireliving.co.uk

Anton’s album: From The Top is out now through Polydor, tracks include: City Of Stars ft. Connie Fisher; Me And My Shadow ft. Lance Ellington; Putting On The Ritz; Don’t Rain On My Parade; Fly Me To The Moon and Moondance ft. The Overtones.

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CULTURE | WHAT’S ON

EVENTS CALENDAR Fun stuff to do and see!

On the stage Votes For Women at New Vic Theatre 6th – 24th March New Vic Artistic Director, Theresa Heskins, will adapt and direct Elizabeth Robins’ suffragist Votes For Women coinciding with International Women’s Day. A gripping drama about the suffragist campaign for the vote, Robins’ play first opened on stage in 1907, 11 years before women first gained the right to vote, and is a deft exploration of how the political world intersects with the personal. Tickets are priced from £14.50 to £24.00 (concessions available) and can be booked online at www.newvictheatre.org.uk and by telephoning Box Office on 01782 717962. A transaction fee of £1.00 per ticket applies when booking online.

The Importance of Being Earnest at Lichfield Garrick 27th - 31st March By the master of comedy Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest makes a welcome visit to Lichfield society in this wonderfully witty, deliciously decadent and classic revival from The Original Theatre Company. Starring national treasure Gwen Taylor (Coronation Street, Duty Free and Barbara) as the formidable Lady Bracknell, Downton Abbey favourite Thomas Howes as Algernon, West End star Peter Sandys-Clarke as Jack and the delightful Susan Penhaligon (Bouquet of Barbed Wire and A Fine Romance) as the hapless Miss Prism. Town and country clash in this brilliant and wildly funny story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags. Tickets start from £23.50 and are available on 01543 412121 or www. lichfieldgarrick.com.

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Legally Blonde the Musical at Regent Theatre 12th – 17th March Starring Rita Simons as Paulette Bonafonte, Lucie Jones as Elle Woods and Bill Ward as Professor Callahan. The smash hit Broadway and West End Musical based on the best loved movie follows beautiful and popular sorority sister Elle Woods who loves to be pampered and is passionate about pink. When she is dumped by her boyfriend for a more serious girlfriend she puts down the credit cards and picks up the books, and bags herself a place at the prestigious Harvard Law School to try and win him back. Tickets for Legally Blonde the Musical are now available from the Regent Theatre Box Office counter, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www. atgtickets.com/stoke. 01782 774113 or visit freeport-talke.com for more information.

The Elvis Years at Stafford Gatehouse 9th March, 7.30pm The Elvis Years is a concert production telling the story of Elvis through the years. The show features Mario Kombou, the original lead of Jailhouse Rock in the West End, and his incredible band. The show is also led by legendary producer, musical director and Ivor Novello awardwinner David Mackay. With a world class cast, authentic costumes and rare film footage, The Elvis Years features more than 50 of the King’s greatest hits including ‘Hound Dog’, ‘It’s Now or Never’, ‘Just Can’t Help Believing’, ‘That’s Alright Mama’, ‘The Wonder Of You,’ ‘Suspicious Minds’ ‘American Trilogy’ and many more, as well as lesser known tracks such as ‘Rock A Hula Baby’ and ‘Bossa Nova Baby’. Tickets are priced at £21 and are available from the Box Office on 01785 619080 or via ww.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk.

For you Information Evening at Spire Little Aston Hospital 7th March A Spire Healthcare free information event. If you have questions about laser eye surgery or clear lens exchange to correct long or short sightedness, join Spire Eye Centre in Little Aston for its FREE information evening on Wednesday 7th March from 6pm. To book your complimentary place call: 0121 580 7171 or email seclittleaston@ spirehealthcare.com.

Spinal Presentation at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton 1st March There are regular free events at the hospital in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. On the evening of Thursday 1st March 2018, there will be a presentation on Spinal Problems with specialist consultant Mr Papanikolaou. To book early for this, or to find out about other patient focused events, please ring: 01902 793269.

For the family St George’s Hotel Llandudno 11th March, 12pm onwards St George’s Hotel overlooking the beautiful Bay of Llandudno is the perfect place to treat your Mum and spend Mothering Sunday. A three-course menu is being served in the Terrace Restaurant. Priced at £27 per person. Traditional Afternoon Tea is priced from £14.90 per person. To make a reservation or to find out more, please call: 01492 877 544 or visit: stgeorgeswales.co.uk.


The Photography Show at Birmingham NEC 17th – 20th March

40 Years of Disco at Genting Arena

Whether just starting out or a seasoned pro, The Photography Show offers something for everybody interested in the world of imagery, from analogue, to digital, to video, to drones and everything in between! Learn the latest techniques, spark inspiration, hear from an array of industry experts, find fantastic deals and get hands-on with the latest kit from over 200 exhibitors, including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and Fujifilm. For more information, visit The Photography Show www.photographyshow.com.

17th March Seven of the biggest and legendary disco acts will appear on one stage for ‘40 Years Of Disco’ at the Genting Arena in March 2018 - these are: Sister Sledge, Tavares, Rose Royce, Boney M, The Real Thing, Odyssey and George McCrae. Tickets for the Genting Arena date are on general sale now from www.theticketfactory.com or by calling 0844 33 88 222. *Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Tickets priced at £51.75 (includes admin fees and 90p facility fee) + £2.55 fulfilment fee per order.

Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children

Easter Eggstravaganza

23rd – 29th April

31st March

Last year saw 160,000 children across the UK take part in Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk, raising £243,000 for Save the Children. Sign up now at MuddyPuddleWalk.org for your free Muddy Puddle Walk Fundraising Pack full of fun Peppa Pig inspired activities to help you get started – with tips for great walks indoors and out, fundraising ideas, fun activities to get your walkers ready for the big day and at the end of the walk, there’s a free Peppa Pig sticker reward for every child.

Head to Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre on Saturday 31st March for its fun packed day of Easter activities. Meet the lovable characters: Lego Batman and My Little Pony, take part in a big egg hunt, face painting, fancy dress and enjoy Easter story telling

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CULTURE | WHAT’S ON

whilst tucking into some candy floss and popcorn. Plus, take part in the Easter Dog Parade at 4pm – dress your pooch in their Easter themed outfit and they could win one of three prizes thanks to local businesses Hounds, Paws and Co. This event is FREE and family friendly and brought to you by the Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District. For more information, visit: www.visitcastle.co.uk.

Wedding Open day at Sandon Hall 8th April, 10am – 4pm Discover a hidden gem as this country house wedding venue located between Stafford and Stone opens its doors to showcase elegant interiors and glorious gardens. With options to wed in the hall, gardens or the estate’s own historic church, this exclusive use venue is simply breathtaking. Free entry – register at www. sandonhall.co.uk.

WIN! Two free tickets to Stafford Bingley Hall Antiques Fair for first 100 readers 23rd - 25th March

Bowman Antiques Fairs have been staging large-scale events at Stafford’s Bingley Hall for 40 years, with up to 300 exhibitors taking part. Over the years, the three-day antiques fairs, which are run six times a year, have become a must visit event for aficionados of the precious and the unusual: from beautiful jewellery to 200-year-old furniture and everything in between. The Spring 2018 Antiques Fair will take place on Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March, from 10am to 5pm. Admission: £5 adults, £4 concessions. Staffordshire Living is giving away a pair of FREE tickets to the first 100 readers. Save the Children UK

Don’t miss! Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust Experience

To claim your free tickets (one pair only per reader), please contact info@ antiquesfairs.com or call 01274 580505 and quote the promotional code: SL2018ANTIQUES. The reader offer consists of: 100 tickets each admitting two people, worth either £10 for adults or £8 for concessions to Bingley Hall Antiques Fair on March 23/24/25th. The first 100 readers to get in touch directly with Bowman Antiques quoting the promotional code SL2018ANTIQUES will be given a pair of tickets. Readers will have until Friday 16th March to contact Bowman Antiques regarding the tickets. Any readers who make contact after this date may not be able to redeem the prize. For a full set of Purple Sprout terms and conditions, please see page 9.

Daily, 10am Do something different by taking an amazing underground experience at the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust. Travel by boat and enjoy our sound and light shows, hear the stories of the characters and learn how the natural materials helped shape the Industrial Revolution. Trips run every day from 10am. For more information, please visit: www. dudleycanaltrust. org.uk.

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UK Corporate Games Corporate Games

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Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire 21 - 24 June 2018

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Become part of the

CG Staffordshire Living 210x282.indd 1

Worldwide Corporate Sport Community

05/02/2018 11:43


FESTIVAL

25th – 28th May 2018

Tea Room Now Open


CULTURE | ARTS

Staffordshire Uncovering the

ART SCENE

If you are after a little more culture, then you need look no further than the local art scene for inspiration!

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hether you consider yourself a seasoned art fan or you’re starting out for the first time, there is so much to see and do in Staffordshire. A county steeped in history and heritage, there’s no surprise that a vibrant and exciting art scene has emerged over the years and continues to develop all of the time. A county famous for its pottery, there is an abundance of museums and tours to learn more about this fascinating part of local culture. But, it doesn’t stop there; art, photography, sculpture and more contemporary forms of new media, digital and installation can be found in Staffordshire, making it a hive of artistic opportunity and activity. And while many of us will look to traditional organisations, like museums and art galleries, as an avenue to enjoy art. In Staffordshire you can also find it in parks, on the street, in schools, on social media, and even in shopping centres. And while Stoke-on-Trent may not have claimed the Capital of Culture title for 2021, art remains a significant and integral part of many people’s lives in Staffordshire, like Anna Everett and Gilly Davies from Stafford. They are working tirelessly to keep art alive in their local community after Stafford lost its council funded art gallery - The Shire Hall – in July 2017. Both practising artists themselves, Gilly and Anna had nowhere to exhibit in the town and identified a demand for an artistic and cultural outlet. They set about launching their gallery project last year and have had great success bringing

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The Trout Sculpture on Nelson Place Traffic Island in Newcastle-under-Lyme was created by Blurton-born sculptor Andy Edwards.

it to the local art-loving public, opening a number of ‘pop up’ art galleries and shops in the Guildhall Shopping Centre in the town. They exhibit only Staffordshire based artists, and hope that it will become a permanent feature in the town. “We believe that local art and culture is integral to every town, city or village and that it is a great means of positive promotion to the wider world,” says Gilly. “A local art gallery helps to inject funds into the local economy, attract visitors from further afield and provides free cultural entertainment. “The Guildhall Gallery currently represents 60 Staffordshire based artists and our regular exhibition opportunities inspire others to create.” The Guildhall Gallery has recently reopened at the centre in February for its fourth instalment since they set up the business in 2017, and remains faithful to Staffordshire based artists,

with a keen focus on promoting paintings, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, gifts and greeting cards alongside six weekly themed exhibitions. In addition, the gallery will continue to stock original works, contemporary home-wares and greeting cards by Jo Hill Textiles. The first themed exhibition of 2018 kicks off with artworks depicting ‘Ocean’. Gilly said: “The response from Staffordshire based artists to our call for submissions has been huge and we are delighted with the variety and high standard of work sent in”. The theme was chosen to reflect the important work of ‘There Is No Planet B’ who campaign for climate change, and this year, for the world to take action against plastic. In conjunction with Stafford’s Green Arts Festival, ‘There Is No Planet B’ art competition winners will be given space at the Guildhall Gallery to display their winning entry.


CULTURE | ARTS

The latest Guildhall Gallery boasts a ‘drop in’ area allowing people to experiment with new artistic methods. For a small fee to cover material costs the gallery will provide untutored activities. “Over 500 visitors attended the opening of our fourth pop up gallery on Saturday 3rd February,” Anna adds, “and since August 2017 over 10,000 people have come through our doors. We are in the process of securing permanent premises and, once we have moved in, will continue to promote the artworks of Staffordshire based artists, through a changing programme of exhibitions. Regular art workshops run by artists will also be introduced for the general public.” The Guildhall Gallery hopes to be permanently located in a beautiful position overlooking St Mary’s Church. If you’d like to find out more about having your own art stocked in the gallery, visit guildhallgallery.uk for more information.

Looking for more? Meet the Staffordshire people keeping the arts alive with these local organisations. The Staffordshire Artists Co-operative. This group of artists who live or work in the West Staffordshire and the surrounding areas collectively showcase their work at the Gallery at 12 in Eccleshall, near Stone. You can see a regularly changing display featuring art in the form of paintings, ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, sculpture and woodwork. www.galleryat12.co.uk.

Exploring the scene But wherever you live in Staffordshire, you can be sure to find an abundance of fascinating and exciting museums and art galleries to inspire your thirst for the arts. Here is where to visit this spring: Foxlowe Arts Centre Market Place, Leek, ST13 6AD Art is displayed both in the café and in the dedicated gallery at Foxlowe arts centre in Leek. The Foxlowe Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday: 10am-4pm and the first Sunday of the month: 11am-4pm. MazArt Studio Bleeding Wolf Lane, Scholar Green, Kidsgrove ST7 3BH Marion Dutton is a professional artist and owner of MazArt Studio in Kidsgrove. She runs a variety of workshops and courses, as well as showcasing her own work in the gallery to view and buy. Email marion@ mazartstudio.co.uk for more information. The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery Bethesda St, Hanley Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 3DW With everything from fine art to design, sculpture, ceramics and archaeology, this famous museum is packed with stimulating

Bare Wall Barewall Ltd, 2-4 Market Place, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4AT This well-established art gallery based in Burslem sells modern British 20th Century and contemporary art by artists from Staffordshire and the North. Many of their exhibitors have connections to The Burslem School of Art. Find out more by visiting: barewall.co.uk. Trent Art 19 Brunswick Street, Newcastle under Lyme Trent Art specialises in original paintings and works on paper by a wide range of Modern British Artists from Staffordshire and the UK. The gallery is open Monday – Saturday. Visit: trent-art.co.uk The Brampton Museum Brampton Park, ST5 0QP The Brampton Museum showcases exhibits focusing on local history and art. It is based on the Green Flag, Brampton Park which has a growing number of sculptures and memorials in the park, but there are collections of art and artefacts inside the museum and gallery.

Rachel Evans, Wheatcroft Willow

Creative Staffordshire

The Society of Staffordshire Arts. The SSA, founded in 1933, holds exhibitions at public and private venues across the region, including establishments like Keele Hall, and aims to showcase the very best in Staffordshire based artists. Exhibitions are held with members from both the professional and amateur fields of art display to sell their work. The SSA still welcomes applications for new members. ssa1933.org.uk. North Staffordshire Decorative and Fine Arts Society. This group meets monthly from April to March (excluding August and December) and hold organised outings and volunteer activities for members. The normal meeting venue is the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and holds a one hour lecture from various spokespeople. The spring programme of lectures includes: Jane Tapley “Searching for Shakespeare (1616 – 2016)” on Tuesday 13th March and Adrian Summer “Edvard Munch and the Art of Scandinavia” on Tuesday 10th April. northstaffsdfas.org.uk.

and thought-provoking collections both from a historical and contemporary vision. Visit: stokemuseums.org.uk for more information.

Anthony Hammond

In 2016, local photographer Derek Tamea set out on a mission to prove just how a creative a county Staffordshire had become after spotting a road sign which dubbed it “The Creative County”. On his journey, he has travelled the length and breadth of Staffordshire capturing images of the outstanding artisan crafts people who call Staffordshire their home. From thatchers to basket weavers, a wood artist to steel sculptors, a company that makes modern stained-glass windows and many more, Staffordshire is home to a plethora of creatives making beautiful and unique art every day. A small showcase of his work will be on display at the Ancient High House in Stafford from 6th – 31st March 2018, with a bigger launch planned for the summer. The exhibition entitled “Staffordshire crafts” hopes to also make its way around Staffordshire visiting libraries, art galleries and other venues. You can keep up-to-date with all the news from Creative Staffordshire and Derek at his Facebook page www. facebook.com/derektameaphotography.

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CULTURE | LIVING 6. Hidden treasures

Where: Eccleshall

LIVING VISITS:

STONE AND ECCLESHALL This pretty part of Staffordshire is bursting with character and charm. Here’s LIVING’s top ten things to do when you are there.

For the adventurous among us, you can find an abundance of hidden treasures in the quaint little town of Eccleshall. With plenty of shops and businesses offering antiques and collectables to peruse and ponder and an actual treasure hunt trail through the town and surrounding area, approximately 1.5 miles long. Find out more at www.treasuretrails.co.uk/things-to-do/ staffordshire/eccleshall.

7. Family-friendly

Where: Stone and Eccleshall Thanks to the small village vibe of these towns, they are perfectly family-friendly. You can find all the amenities you need and children are more than welcome into coffee shops and cafes in the town centres. Plus, with plenty of play areas and parks, you can always find something for the children to do.

8. Historical surroundings

Where: Stone and Eccleshall Distinctive 18th and 19th century buildings across both of these towns make them architecturally pleasing to explore too. At Shallowford, near Eccleshall, you can also find the cottage of author, Izaak Walton, best known for his book: The Complete Angler. There is also quite a rich brewing industry associated with Stone, and you can become fascinated with this world, as well as sampling its best delights.

1. Play all day

Where: Stone If you are stuck for something to do on a bleak and rainy day, you need look no further than Stone. It’s home to some of the most exciting in door play centres and parks that Staffordshire has to offer. From jumping on trampolines at Flip Out (www.flipout.co.uk) to getting lost in mazes and ball pits at Come Into Play (www. comeintoplay.co.uk), the fun is endless and we don’t think you have to be a kid to enjoy it either!

2. Traditional fayre

Where: Stone and Eccleshall When it comes to eating and drinking, there are so many options to explore in this part of Staffordshire, and always with a firm finger on tradition and value. From country pubs, to cafes and relaxed restaurants, whichever atmosphere you are seeking, you can find it here; and it will be just as you like it - comfortable but classic.

3. Modern twist

Where: Stone You can still find contemporary places too. With fashionable eateries and boutique cake shops offering up delightful and tempting indulgent dishes. And there are plenty of trendy bars to visit too, all serving up enough gin and craft beers, as well as various music and entertainment, to make it a good place for a fun night out.

9. Vibrant communities 4. Inspiring countryside

Where: Stone and Eccleshall With its own ramblers association, Stone is at the heart of some wonderful and inspiring countryside walks, and Eccleshall is no different. You can enjoy canalside strolls or hike out into vast green fields and plains, there’s a route to satisfy any level. Try the National Trust’s Downs Banks (www.nationaltrust. org.uk/downs-banks), on the outskirts of Stone, but there are also lesser known routes around Pirehill, Peasley Bank and Aston. In Eccleshall, try the following route beginning at the town centre and recommended by the Eccleshall Parish Council: Blurtons Lane – Ellenhall Close By – Johnson Hall.

5. Wonderful wildlife

Where: Eccleshall If you don’t get enough of nature from the great outdoors then you can always take in the many different species on show at the Gentleshaw Wildlife Sanctuary (www.gentleshawwildlife. co.uk), which houses a small amount of rescued exotic animals and birds of prey, as well as a small hospital unit for the treatment of wild raptors, although you won’t get to see these ones.

Where: Stone and Eccleshall Both of these market towns are still very much alive today with a true community spirit throughout and holding regular farmers markets, events and festivals in the town centres. One of the most notable is the Stone Food and Drink Festival (www.stonefooddrink.org. uk) held in October, which sees an array of local and international exhibitors showing off gastronomical delights.

10.

Wedding haven Where: Stone and Eccleshall Finally, just like many other places in Staffordshire, Stone and Eccleshall provide a wonderful backdrop for a wedding. With some of the best local suppliers and picturesque venues, it makes getting married an exciting and magical adventure! w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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CULTURE | LIVING

SPOTLIGHT

ON FINANCES Whether you need to save for a deposit to buy your first home, buy a car or simply get in better financial order, we’ve got some tips to get you there quicker!

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CULTURE | LIVING

Perform a money health check You need to have a clear understanding of your financial situation and the best way to do this is by undergoing a money health check. The Money Advice Service (www. moneyadviceservice.org.uk) has an online tool which can help you to get a clear picture of where you stand with your finances and offer you free and unbiased advice while helping to change the way you think about money.

Create a budget planner It is a good idea to write down all the money that comes in against all the money that goes out so that you know exactly what money you need for bills and what money you have spare for savings and investment. Make sure you include all your outlays and expenditure – from rent or mortgage payments to hobbies and interests, and even money you spend on clothes.

Make savings a monthly habit Set up a monthly standing order from your current account to a savings account and do it on pay day – even if it is just a small amount at first. You need to make saving a habit and before you know it, the money will start to accumulate. If you find you have no spare cash to save, try working out where you could cut a little spending every month, whether that’s swapping supermarkets or buying one less item of clothing each month until you get back on track.

Consider government help The government has initiatives to help people to save money. If you’re a first time buyer saving for a deposit, you can put away up to £200 a month in the Help to Buy: ISA and the government will top it up by 25%, up to a maximum of £3,000. So that means if you pay in £200 a month between now and the end of the year, you can have £2,500 saved towards your deposit! Visit www.helptobuy.gov.uk for more information.

Look at your bank account

Consider investments

Are you getting the most out of your current account. There are lots of competitive ‘deals’ that provide cash back incentives and better interest and service too. In fact, a lot of us put this off because we think it will be too much of an inconvenience but it’s quick and easy to switch and all direct debits and standing orders transfer automatically. The Money Saving Expert (www.moneysavingexpert.com) has a bank account comparison page so you can get the best account for your needs.

Investing your money means you are committing money to something in the hope it will bring you a financial gain. This is different to saving because there is risk attached to the process and you may not get the money you invested back. The Money Advice Service says that you can make regular payments from as little as £25 a month into investment products, such as Stocks and Shares ISA or Unit Trust Investment Funds.

Check out your benefits Are you sure you are getting all of the benefits you are entitled to? If you have children, you may be entitled to child benefits, tax credits and tax free childcare, as well as the latest government scheme to give you 30 hours free childcare. But, there are also benefits if you are a married couple. The Marriage Allowance lets you transfer part of your personal allowance to your partner, meaning you can pay less tax. Check the HMRC website to see if you are eligible for any of these.

Consider your savings options There are many savings accounts available to us which can make it a confusing prospect. But, there is plenty of advice which will help you decide which one to go for. If you are concerned about paying tax on any interest you earn from savings, you should consider a cash ISA. Anyone over 16 can put up to £20,000 in a year and not pay any tax on the interest. Check out the savings guide on Money Saving Expert for more savvier ways to save.

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CULTURE | LIVING

IT’S IN MY DNA Finding out more about our ancestry has always been a popular pastime but now it has become more real than ever before. LIVING investigates.

M

any of you will be aware of your roots but how sure can you be? Fairly, you might say. You can probably trace your heritage back to your great-great-grandfather without even needing to open a book but what if you wanted to go back further? Over the last 20 years or so, the trend for genealogy – or the study of family history – has become quite a popular pastime. Many have taken up the hobby to trace their family tree, in the hope that somewhere down the line they are related to a King, Queen or maybe even a great conqueror in history. But, this takes work, and lots of it. It is not as easy as asking a few people who they remember. For it to have any kind of authenticity, you need to consider public records - marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates – any kind of official document that gives you proof to put the name in the box. It’s big business too, this curiosity has opened up a realm of opportunities for organisations to help people achieve their ancestry goals – and all at price – and you may find it hard to build a family tree without paying out for some information or services these days. In 2012, the website www.ancestry.com was valued at $1.6 billion (£1 billion), and there are many more companies offering similar services for various prices, some reaching up £300 a go. But there could be a quicker and more efficient way to delve into our ancestry, thanks to the innovative world of DNA. Yes, there are now tests which can pinpoint several specific details relating to your family history – from your

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ethnicity to which illnesses you are more prone to suffer from. And these tests also claim to be able to tell you if you are directly related to historical figures, like William the Conqueror or Napoleon. According to Wikipedia: “a genealogical DNA test is a DNA-based test which looks at specific locations of a person's genome in order to determine ancestral ethnicity and genealogical relationships. Results give information about ethnic groups the test subject may be descended from and about other individuals that they may be related to.” But before you run off to purchase a test like this (because you know you must descend from Vikings), there are some things that you should consider first.

Should we invest? Genealogists would tell you that a report like this is great as stand-alone insight into your ancestry but it’s also a great way to add confirmation to a bigger family tree that you might be building. And if you are stuck and finding it difficult to finish your research, a report like this could give you a vital clue and direction to continue your research. But there are some scientists who are not convinced that this process is the missing link you have been searching for. In fact, they are concerned with the overall accuracy of the tests because they believe it is too hard to pinpoint such information accurately, especially when it comes to reaching the

conclusion that you have links to famous historical figures. Some claim that this type of information is simply speculation and should be taken lightly and so any notion that you are a descendant of Vikings, for example, would actually be meaningless to the individual. While other experts argue that the further you go back the more blurred it all comes so you could find that you ‘share’ ancestors with everyone else!

Is it ethical? As with all types of research, digging in to your family tree can mean you find out things you weren’t expecting and a DNA test can do just that. You may find that you have family history in parts of the world you would never even have thought about before – so be prepared for a shock or two! Ancestry.co.uk claims that the average British person’s DNA is only 36% British! In fact, taking a test like this may be insightful and exciting but on the other hand it could also lead to confusion. If you were already happy with what you knew about your family tree, and after taking a test like this you realise you are not exactly who you thought you were – is that a good thing? And with questions over the authenticity of these tests, you could argue that’s a lot of worry without any real evidence to back it up. But in contrast, you may have spent many years of your life wondering and this might be all you need to satisfy those questions.


CULTURE | LIVING the answers from a DNA test, it might be a better option to use this as part of wider research.

Which test should you take? If you decide that this is the way to go, then you might find yourself at a loss of which test to actually go for. There are so many options available and when you are parting with cash, it is imperative you get the right one. According to Family Tree (family-tree.co.uk), DNA tests can be separate into three main categories: 1.

Relationship tests

This is a type of test which can establish genetic connections between two or more people. You will have heard about basic paternity and maternity testing but tests can also be help to highlight relations like uncle/aunt, twin, and grandparents and lineage. 2.

Ancestry tests

These types of tests help you to see regions around the world with biggest concentration of your DNA throughout history. They can also help you to identify unknown relatives. 3.

Genomic tests

These types of tests can help you to determine potential risks within your genome – more specifically genes that cause certain disorders and diseases.

How does it work? In some instances, there is an argument that these tests have the power to solve tough questions. For example, for those individuals who do not know who their biological parents, siblings or other close relatives are, these tests may find a match in the database which enables this link to be made. But, this may also work the other way in telling someone that who they thought were their biological parents, are not.

You may be thinking how can you trace all this information from your DNA! Well, here’s how it works.

For the most part, these tests are a fun and interesting way to find out a bit more about us and our family tree but when there are specific questions to be answered about the more immediate family tree, then proceed with some caution, you cannot expect to find all

Ancestry.co.uk’s DNA test says it can estimate your origins to more than 150 ancestral regions around the world – and all in a few simple steps. It will also search its 6-million strong global database to identify people who share your DNA. By sending a small sample of saliva back to its laboratory for analysis, it will send you back a detailed report within 6-8 weeks for £79.

“The average British person’s DNA is only 36% British”

The specific tests that are performed involve looking deep into a person’s genetic makeup to find out specific inheritance patterns from both parents and recent ancestors. There are certain chromosomes that follow specific patterns and scientists can document this to come up with a personalised profile.

Finding your roots Are you intrigued by your ancestry? Here are some simple tips to building your family tree.

Start with your immediate family. Write down your date, place and name at birth (in case it differs from today) and start branching out from there with your parents, siblings and grandparents. Be sure to include any notable dates.

Start your research. Look at old photo albums and identify unknown faces, look at old papers and documents and ask your family. Not only will you find out names but you will also hear more stories and snippets of information which can help along the way. Remember to take along a note book!

Put it on paper. Once you have a good amount of information, you can start to plot out a family tree. It is best to start with the youngest generation at the bottom and work backwards. This way you won’t miss a link which may affect the rest of your tree later on.

Look through documents and public records to find the information you need at first. You will be surprised at how much information your relatives will have and this will be free to you.

Decide how far back you want to go. When you have exhausted your accessible resources, you can start to look for help online, but it doesn’t always have to cost. The National Archives (discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk) has millions of records that you can search through for free.

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CULTURE | LIVING

SOCIAL MEDIA vs. reality Has the social world lost touch with reality or are we just giving people what they want to see? LIVING investigates the blurred lines when it comes to social media and reality.

hen it comes to social media, we all have our opinions and preferences. And, there aren’t many who don’t use it – from teenagers to the elderly - most digital savvy individuals (and those that are not) will have at least one account they are connected up to, even if they are not sure exactly how to use it. The fact is that social media is just as much a part of modern society as newspapers and magazines, and for the large proportion of British society, certainly among those under 50, it is the primary source of news, information and connectivity. Millions of us are logged on to Facebook, several more using Instagram and Twitter, to name just three, and we use it to stay connected with friends, family and even celebrities. But it’s not just an integral part of our personal lives, it’s also how millions of us find work, network with likeminded professionals and share business success through sites such as LinkedIn. It has permeated its way into every aspect of our lives and there’s no denying its power – social media is the first place we look to check in on old boyfriends, the first place we go to when we want to suss out a new colleague or friend and the first place we log on to in order to find love. But it’s because of this power that you can start to question the integrity of the profiles and news feeds that we scroll through. It’s this nature of a behind144

closed-doors interaction that makes us wonder whether what we see is really what we get. And when it comes to relationships, individuals have become classified into two separate types: Facebook friends and real friends. Where one is someone you interact with behind a screen only and the other is the friend like we’ve always known it – a friend of face-to-face, physical interaction. Can we really trust in a world where we haven’t ever physically met half of our so-called ‘friends’? And it’s this ambiguity that makes many of us feel sceptical and uneasy about news feeds, mainly because we ourselves can be guilty of bending and shaping our activity to fit with how we’d like people to perceive us.

The highlight reel Portraying our lives on social media, just like any other form of media, can be edited, stripped back and magnified to however the editor of the content wants it to be presented. In the case of social media, the editor is all of us. We are all in control of our own profiles and content. We publish the best bits – the highlights – the parts of our day that we want to share with our communities and networks. Sure, we may well have spent the day at the park with a friend and her child but the cute picture we post showing big smiles and fun on the slide carefully eliminates the hour that child spent crying because she couldn’t get on the swing.

If you asked your Facebook friend which picture they’d prefer to see as an update on their newsfeed you can be certain they would opt for the cute smiling picture. But that’s not to say we don’t enjoy posting negative comments! In fact, it’s the opposite. Social media gives people the perfect platform to say anything they want to anybody – and this is causing more harm than good. The security of ‘blind’ posting means that users have less inhibitions about what they are saying – somehow the protection of a screen enables people to say what they want without feeling guilty. And this concern about the way people perceive each other could be one of the driving forces to how we are posting today. Many users will post what we hope will get the most positive attention and interaction through likes, shares, retweets and comments. And some will even go so far as to indulge in a little ‘vaguebooking’ every now and again – giving out just enough information


CULTURE | LIVING Social media: The influence Enter the world of social media influence; individuals who can use their social media ‘score’- in terms of number of followers, fans or subscribers - to a profitable gain. These trusted social media influencers have built communities of followers and brands are using this as another way to engage consumers. It takes the significance of ‘word-of-mouth’ to a whole new level.

to warrant a few probes for more information from ‘concerned’ friends or followers. But, we are also posting as we want people to see us. We filter out the boring because there is a belief that the amount of likes we get ultimately shows just how popular and exciting we are. In the anthology series, Black Mirror, currently available on Netflix, one episode showed the extremist future of a world dominated by social media, where each individual is given a virtual score that ultimately affects how you are treated, both socially and professionally. The episode, called ‘Nosedive’, showed us a future where each interaction – digitally and actual – is rated through social media and that life without the perfect score is meaningless. But while it is unlikely that the real world would spiral into this level of ingenuity, you can’t help but wonder what your score could be? In a recent survey by Custard Communications, it asked 2000 people just how much an ‘accurate reflection of me and who I am’ their social media feed was – just 18% said it was, completely.

But it’s not just products and services that we are buying into, there is concern that we are becoming too attached to the seemingly perfect lives that these people portray on social media. You may argue that it is what it is and that most people can look on to this without too much harm, in fact, we enjoy indulging in it all. After all, we do spend up to 2 hours and 15 minutes a day on social media. But for some, it is much more serious than that. Experts have warned about the effects that social media can have on our physical and emotional wellbeing. And argue that this constant stream of images and posts that they perceive as ‘better’ and ‘aspirational’ can lead to mental health issues – from anxiety to depression. Furthermore, if a person is already a sufferer of a mental health issue, which one in four of us are, then the internet and, in particular, social media, can be catalysts for a more serious condition. Even more alarming is the effect it is having on young people, who reportedly spend a staggering nine hours a day using media for everything from playing videos to checking social media. The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) (www. rsph.org.uk) reports that 91% of 16-24 year olds

use the internet for social networking and that rates of anxiety and depression in young people have risen 70% in the past 25 years – and social media use has been linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep. Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH, says: “Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape selfidentity, express ourselves, and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health.” But it doesn’t believe it is all a negative influence, it says social media can improve young people’s access to other people’s experiences of health and expert health information and that those who use it are being more emotionally supported through their contacts. The RSPH and the Young Health Movement (www.yhm.org.uk) are calling for authorities to be more transparent about the effects of social media, as well as helping to promote the benefits at the same time, hoping to introduce heavy usage warnings on social media with support recommendations and for there to be more awareness of the signs of mental health issues from the way young people are posting. It’s also calling for images that have been enhanced or manipulated to say so, to make sure users have a clear indication of what they are looking at.

6 SIGNS

Portraying our lives on social media, just like any other form of media, can be edited, stripped back and magnified to however the editor of the content wants it to be presented.

you could be addicted to social media 1. Picking up your phone to scroll through your feeds is the last thing you do at night and the first thing you do in the morning. 2.

You make everyone wait at the dinner table until you achieve the perfect shot of your plate and you post it up on social media before you eat. In fact, you haven’t eaten a hot meal for years… 3. You take photos of everything and spend hours trying to add the perfect caption. 4.

You use hashtags in everyday life… #awkward

5.

You take your phone with you to the toilet at the office because you simply cannot wait until lunchtime to check your feeds for FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

6. If you haven’t heard the ping of a notification for an hour, you start to wonder what has happened and if you have some how been logged out of your channels…

Answer yes to most of these? You are bordering on obsession! w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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The Ultimate Driving Machine

THE FIRST EVER BMW X2. The BMW X2 is the most urban of the BMW X family, combining muscular and athletic styling with dynamic driving performance. It brings the legendary idea of the ultimate driving machine into a BMW X concept with nothing lost in translation. Available in four trim levels, the BMW X2 introduces the all new M Sport X model, based on the well-established M Sport model yet inspired by rallying. Highlighting the stunning design, there is a range of new and vibrant colours to choose from and with a selection of petrol and diesel engines, available in either front-wheel drive or BMW xDrive all-wheel drive, there is something for everyone. Despite its coupé styling there is no sacrificing practicality, with 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats and a generous 470 litre boot with automated tailgate as standard. Adding to the impressive standard specification, the latest BMW Navigation with Real Time Traffic Information, makes every journey a joy. For more information or to arrange a test drive, please contact a member of the Sales Team on 03300 171633 or visit www.knightsnorthstaffsbmw.co.uk

The first ever BMW X2 includes the following standard equipment: • 17" light alloy wheels V-spoke style • BMW Navigation • BMW ConnectedDrive • BMW Emergency Call • • 40:20:40 manually split folding rear seat • Cruise control with braking function • Park distance control (PDC), rear

Knights North Staffordshire Bede Road, Radial Park Stoke on Trent ST4 4GU www.knightsnorthstaffsbmw.co.uk Official fuel economy figures for the new BMW X2: Urban 54.3mpg (5.2 l/100km). Extra Urban 65.7mpg (4.3 l/100km). Combined 61.4mpg (4.6 l/100km). CO2 emmisions 121g/km.


AN EXCLUSIVE MOTABILITY OFFER for Staffordshire Living readers As your largest local Ford Motability dealer, T.C.Harrison is now making it even easier to buy your own Motability vehicle. If you qualify for the scheme, you can enjoy all the existing Motability benefits. PLUS: an exclusive ÂŁ50 cashback or discount on any Motability vehicle! To take advantage of this limited offer, simply book an informal appointment with one of our Motability specialists and bring the attached voucher with you.

ÂŁ50

cashback or discount for our Staffordshire Living readers to be used against any Motability vehicle

TO CLAIM YOUR CASHBACK/DISCOUNT, PLEASE HAND THIS VOUCHER QUOTING TCHB18 TO ONE OF OUR FORD MOTABILITY SPECIALISTS

Discount only available on production of this voucher and prior to negotiation. Motability customers only. Strictly one voucher per person. This offer supersedes any other offer and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer applies to orders placed before 31st December 2018 for vehicles delivered in 2018. Exclusions apply. Please contact T.C.Harrison Derby or Burton for further details.

To apply for the Motability scheme, speak to a member of the team or visit www.tch.co.uk/motability

01332 417 056

Stadium View, Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8JH

01283 240 573

Horninglow Street, Burton on Trent DE14 1NR

Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the All-New Ford Fiesta range: urban 40.9-80.7 (6.9-3.5), extra urban 67.3-94.2 (4.2-3.0), combined 54.3-88.3 (5.2-3.2). Official CO2 emissions 118-82g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 92/2008), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. Under the scheme the vehicles are leased from Motability Operations Limited (Registered Company No. 1373876), City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB. Some Ford models are not available on the Motability scheme, please ask the dealership for details. Exclusions apply. Discount only available on production of this voucher and prior to negotiation. Offer applies to orders placed before 31st December 2018 for vehicles delivered in 2018. Further details on the cashback/discount can be found on the voucher. Contact T.C.Harrison Derby or Burton for full details.

M3k16377_TCH_StaffordshireLivingMag_282x210_New_Jan_Wk3.indd 1

24/01/2018 14:25


CULTURE | DRIVE

ON THE ROAD:

COMPACT SUVS

The perfect fit for any growing family; here’s LIVING’s pick of the best.

BMW X2 The new BMW X2 enters the market in March 2018, appealing primarily to a young and youngat-heart, urban and active target group who are keen to see their personal character reflected on the road through an emotionally-engaging car. The Sports Activity Coupe is a BMW with a standalone character. Its head-turning design combines the discreet robustness of a BMW X model with the athletic potency of a coupe. As well as the standard BMW X2, customers can also choose from the BMW X2 M Sport and M Sport X models. The latter brings together design elements from BMW M and the BMW X family. Separate lines are not available for the BMW X2. A host of design details underscore the distinctive character of the BMW X2. These include the BMW roundel on the C-pillars and the styling of the kidney grille, whose outline is wider at its base than at its top (for the first time on a modern BMW). Available for the first time on a BMW are the exterior colour shades Galvanic Gold metallic and Misano Blue metallic, plus perforated Dakota leather in Magma Red and the Micro Hexagon fabric/Alcantara Anthracite combination with M piping and yellow contrast stitching. Three engine/transmission variants are offered from launch: the BMW X2 sDrive20i petrol model with 141 kW / 192 hp, plus the X2 xDrive20d diesel variant with 140 kW / 190 hp, and X2 xDrive25d diesel with 170 kW / 231 hp. Both diesel cars come as standard with xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive and the efficient eightspeed Steptronic transmission. The petrol model

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is fitted with the sporty seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission. Further attractive model variants will be added to the Sports Activity Coupe line-up in early 2018 – in the shape of the three-cylinder X2 sDrive18i and the four-cylinder X2 xDrive20i, X2 sDrive18d and X2 xDrive18d. The options list for the BMW X2 includes the latest generation of BMW ConnectedDrive and the The perfect fit for any growing family; most recent update of the BMW Connected App.

here’s LIVING’s pick of the best.

Optional functions such as Apple CarPlay and an array of driver assistance systems serve up a connected driving experience. Among the optional equipment items offered for the BMW X2 is the full-colour BMW Head-Up Display, whose range of display readouts is unique in this segment.

A host of design details underscore the distinctive character of the BMW X2.

Audi Q3 The Audi Q3 is sporty, efficient and versatile – an urban vehicle that is equally at home on or off the road. The sporty character of the Audi Q3 is apparent at first glance. The coupe-like body line with the wrap-around tailgate and the flat D-pillars emphasize its dynamics. Horizontal lines at the front and rear underscore the width of the car and the sculpted ‘Singleframe’ grille is the salient feature of the front end. In the design trim line, the Q3 features grey and silver tones for a particularly upscale look. The Audi exclusive design package and the S line sport package offer customers additional options for customizing the interior and exterior. Xenon plus headlights are standard. Audi also offers particularly bright and energy-efficient LED headlights in combination with dynamic turn signals in the LED rear lights. The base version of the SUV has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,385 kg (3,053.4 lb). The engine


CULTURE | DRIVE hood and tailgate are both made of aluminum. As is typical on Q models from Audi, the tailgate, which wraps around the pillars, integrates the undivided tail lights. Inside, the Audi Q3 offers plenty of room, with high-quality workmanship and good ergonomics that reinforce its premium status. The luggage compartment has a basic volume of 460 liters (16.2 cu ft), which increases to 1,365 liters (48.2 cu ft) when the rear seat backrests are folded down. Standard equipment includes an extending luggage compartment cover. Audi also offers an optional power tailgate. The engine lineup includes four TFSI and four TDI units producing between 88 kW (120 hp) and 162 kW (220 hp) of power. All of the engines are as powerful as they are efficient. As a 2.0 TDI ultra, the Q3 has a combined fuel consumption of merely 4.2 liters per 100 kilometers (56.0 US mpg) with emissions of 109 grams of CO2 per kilometer (175.4 g/mi).

Kia Stonic The sporty Kia Stonic is the South Korean company's first entry into the rapidly expanding small (B-segment) SUV market, at a time when the market is experiencing rapid growth. The Stonic and Rio share the same 2,580mm wheelbase, but Stonic is 70mm taller to give it a clear SUV stance, and it is wider with a longer rear overhang to maximise passenger and luggage space. In the UK, the Stonic is available in five versions based on three engines and two trim grades – badged ‘2’ and ‘First Edition’. Grade ‘2’ offers all three engines, while the ‘First Edition’ is available with the 1.0-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi units. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-round electric windows with an automatic function on the driver's side, roof rails, rear parking sensors, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.5-inch supervision cluster, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. There are body-coloured bumpers, door mirror casings and door handles, steering wheelmounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats. A six-speaker audio system is standard.

The Audi Q3 is sporty, efficient and versatile - an urban vehicle that

is equally at home on or off the road. Other options for the Q3 include a panoramic glass sunroof and an LED interior lighting package. The range of driver assistance systems is diverse: park assist autonomously steers the car into a parking space; Audi side assist uses radar to make changing lanes easier, and Audi active lane assist helps keep the car in the driving lane. The top infotainment system is MMI navigation plus – which is a navigation system with a hard drive. The Audi connect module including car phone connects the Q3 to the internet.

The ‘First Edition’ adds two-tone paint with contrasting roof colour, a smart key entry system and engine start/stop button, stainless steel pedals, black cloth and grey faux leather upholstery with colour accents, automatic air conditioning. There is a 7.0-inch display with a DAB radio and MP3 compatibility, and in the ‘First Edition’ this is upgraded to a 7.0-inch touchscreen navigation system with Kia Connected Services via TomTom. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is fitted to every model. Three modern and efficient engines are available in Stonic, headed by Kia's little jewel, the 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct-injection) unit delivering 118bhp. It lines up alongside a 1.4-litre multi-point injection (MPi) naturally aspirated 98bhp petrol engine and the 108bhp 1.6-litre CRDi turbodiesel from the cee'd range. All versions have a six-speed manual transmission and drive the front wheels. Autonomous Emergency Braking – a rarity in B-SUVs – and Lane Departure Warning are standard with ‘First Edition’ and optional with grade ‘2’.

DS 7 Crossback The DS 7 Crossback is the first of a newgeneration of models being introduced by DS Automobiles. Heralding a new era for DS, the SUV combines the latest technological innovations with the brand’s Parisian savoirfaire, introducing new levels of driving comfort and performance. Aimed at customers who are in tune with the latest trends, appreciate the world of luxury and prefer to express their unique personality.

personalisation options.

The DS 7 Crossback is a completely new model, and an SUV with a strong personality, and ideally proportioned to embody the perfect balance between comfort and style, and leads with many desirable features.

With its LED light signatures, unique interior stitching techniques, and the motorised watch by B.R.M placed on the dashboard, as featured on DS E-TENSE concept, DS 7 CROSSBACK represents the brand’s vision for the future.

Taking the first step towards autonomous driving, innovative technologies such as DS Active Led Vision, DS Connected Pilot and DS Driver Attention Assist increase safety, comfort and peace of mind for both the driver and the passengers.

The SUV will be available with a plug-in hybrid petrol drivetrain with 300hp and 4X4, a new latest generation Efficient Automatic Transmission with 8-speeds, a THP S&S 225hp engine and two electric motors.

For the exterior, a new diamond-effect grille, horizontal chrome DS Wings and LED rotating headlamps create dynamic lines on the body front, while the interior is available with a choice of four DS inspiration ambiences reflecting the DS concept of even more

Courtesy of its power and high torque, the DS 7 CROSSBACK E-Tense 4X4 produces outstanding acceleration – with the forthcoming version set to be the fastest in its range from standstill to 60mph, going on to reach a top speed in excess of 136mph – and its impressive performance is even more noteworthy considering its other key credentials. w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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Discover Wrekin College

OPEN DAY

Saturday 24th March 2018 10.30am - 1pm

Register online at www.wrekincollege.com

“A wonderfully nurturing and inclusive school which is on the up academically but also offers something rare: the chance for pupils, in this tough old world, to hone their employability factor.” The Good Schools Guide Registered Charity No. 528417

Wrekin College (day and boarding school 11-18), Wellington, Shropshire TF1 3BH

More than just a school

a community where individuals matter A co-educational country prep school taking children from 3 months - 13 years in a beautiful setting, combining outstanding academic and extra-curricular success, with a culture of kindness founded on Catholic principles.

EYFS Outstanding in All Areas ISI (May 2016)

Free Full Boarding Taster Weeks Funding for Military Families Scholarship Preparation to the full range of Senior Schools

“The children’s personal and emotional development is excellent. “

Moor Park, Richards Castle, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 4DZ 01584 876 061 www.moorpark.org.uk


Welsh National Opera

COMING SOON TO STOKE-ON-TRENT

La forza del destino Verdi Don Giovanni Mozart

Tosca Puccini

MON 2 – TUE 3 APR

6 – 8 March Book now at birminghamhippodrome.com wno.org.uk/spring18

0844 871 7649* ATGTICKETS.COM/Stoke* *Booking fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

Registered Charity No 221538


A big fat zero

Want a mortgage that extends into retirement? No arrangement fees when you complete a residential mortgage with us, giving you extra cash to spend on the things you want.

YOUR MORTGAGE IS SECURED ON YOUR HOME, WHICH MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP THE MORTGAGE REPAYMENTS. THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. Please enquire in branch or online for suitability. Subject to underwriting and lending criteria. Other fees may apply.

01785 223212* srbs.co.uk/mortgages *Calls will cost as per standard “01” BT landline number, plus your phone company’s access charge. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more. The actual cost you are charged will depend on your phone provider. The Stafford Railway Building Society is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Registered no 206063).

SRBS Zero 282x210mm.indd 1

01/02/2018 14:55


DS 7 CROSSBACK

Audacity drives to excellence

DS 7 CROSSBACK WITH £1,150 DEPOSIT CONTRIBUTION ON 4.9% APR REPRESENTATIVE DS SALON STAFFORD CALL US NOW ON 01785 275 000 115 LICHFIELD ROAD, STAFFORD ST17 4LF www.wrdavies.co.uk

DSautomobiles.co.uk

Official Government fuel consumption figures (Range): Urban cycle, Extra urban, Combined (litres per 100km/mpg) & CO2 emissions (g/km). Highest: New DS 5 THP 210 S&S 6-speed manual 8.0/35.3, 5.2/54.3, 6.2/45.6, 144. Lowest: New DS 3 BlueHDi 100 S&S manual 3.8/74.3, 3.2/88.3, 3.4/83.1, 87. MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road driving conditions. W R Davies is a credit broker and not a lender. Finance subject to status, terms and conditions apply. Over 18’s only. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. You will not own the vehicle until payments are made. Finance provided by Citroën U.K. Limited (trading as DS Automobiles) is acting as a credit broker not a lender. We will only introduce you to PSA Finance UK Ltd, RH1 1QA, the finance provider. Offers end 31st March 2018.


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

H I T T I NG S H E LV E S: 27th April

Body beautiful: Let the summer prep begin!

Fakeaway recipes, so you’ll never have to order in again

Upcycling: the one trend you should be into but don’t know where to start

And, it’s our Alfresco supplement, so we’re taking everything outdoors to make way for summer!

JOIN US

ONLINE You can keep up with news, events and exclusive competitions at

staffordshireliving.co.uk




The Ultimate The Ultimate Driving Machine

Driving Machine

THE FIRST EVER BMW X2. The BMW X2 is the most urban of the BMW X family, combining muscular and athletic styling with dynamic driving performance. It brings the legendary idea of the ultimate driving machine into a BMW X concept with nothing lost in translation. Available in four trim levels, the BMW X2 introduces the all new M Sport X model, based on the well-established M Sport model yet inspired by rallying. Highlighting the stunning design, there is a range of new and vibrant colours to choose from and with a selection of petrol and diesel engines, available in either front-wheel drive or BMW xDrive all-wheel drive, there is something for everyone. Despite its coupé styling there is no sacrificing practicality, with 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats and a generous 470 litre boot with automated tailgate as standard. Adding to the impressive standard specification, the latest BMW Navigation with Real Time Traffic Information, makes every journey a joy. For more information or to arrange a test drive, please contact a member of the Sales Team on 03300 171633 or visit www.knightsnorthstaffsbmw.co.uk

The first ever BMW X2 includes the following standard equipment: • 17" light alloy wheels V-spoke style

FROM £249 PER MONTH • BMW Navigation • BMW ConnectedDrive AND £2,999 DEPOSIT.

BMW 118d SPORT 5-DOOR HATCH

• BMW Emergency Call •

Makes an impression, is fun and instantly noticeable. The BMW 1 Series 5-door impresses right away with its sporty design, dynamic • 40:20:40 manually split folding rear seat driving characteristics and perfect connectivity. • Cruise control with braking function • Park distance control (PDC), rear

Term of agreement

47 monthly payments

On the road cash price*

Customer deposit

Deposit contribution

Total deposit

Total amount of credit

Option to purchase fee^

Optional final payment^

Total amount payable

Rate of interest

48 months

£249.00

£25,497.95

£2,999.00

£4,372.17

£7,371.17

£18,126.78

£1.00

£9,049.28

£28,123.45

4.9% fixed

Knights

Knights North Staffordshire Bede Road, Radial Park Stoke on Trent ST4 4GU North Staffordshire www.knightsnorthstaffsbmw.co.uk

Representative 4.9% APR

Bede Road, Radial Park, Stoke on Trent, ST4 4GU 03300 171633 www.knightsnorthstaffsbmw.co.uk

Official fuel economy figures for the new BMW X2: Urban 54.3mpg (5.2 l/100km). Extra Urban 65.7mpg (4.3 l/100km). Combined 61.4mpg (4.6 l/100km). CO2 emmisions 121g/km.

Knights North Staffordshire is a credit broker and not a lender.

*BMW Select Agreement. Order between 01/01/18 and 30/03/18 and registered by 30/03/18 (subject to availability). Contract mileage of 32,000 miles. Retail customers only. *On the road cash price is based on manufacturer’s recommended retail price and includes 3 year BMW Retailer Warranty, BMW Emergency Service, 12 months’ road fund licence, vehicle first registration fee, delivery, number plates and VAT. ^Optional final payment and option to purchase fee not payable if you opt to return the vehicle at the end of the agreement (vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable). Finance available subject to credit acceptance to UK residents aged 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be varied, withdrawn or extended at any time. ‘BMW Select’ is a form of hire-purchase agreement provided by BMW Financial Services (GB) Limited, Summit ONE, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. You will have a 14 day statutory right to withdraw from the agreement. Knights North West Ltd, trading as Knights North Staffordshire commonly introduce customers to a selected panel of lenders including BMW Financial Services. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to such lenders. This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice.


Perfect for birthdays and special celebrations with friends and family

Slow down, relax and take time out

The Villanova is just one of our unmistakeable unique holiday properties offering a haven of luxury for you to experience. Enjoy modern spacious design with views of the surrounding Lancashire countryside, private hot tub and all within walking distance of our award-winning Spa. To learn more about Ribby Hall Village and to book, call 0800 107 0522 or visit ribbyhall.co.uk today!

Issue 82 March | April 2018  
Issue 82 March | April 2018