November | December 2018 £3.50
MOMENTS Create an enchanting world at home
l ia ec Sp as tm ris Ch
Happy Twixmas festive escapes
THE LOVE TRAIN
13 stages of a successful relationship
Gift Guide A rainbow of treats for her
win A festive break for two at The Belfry Hotel
Style top 10 Plus festive beauty and party fashion must-haves In association with Mailbox Birmingham
IN OR OUT?
The Christmas debate…
Taste: The Indulgent Christmas
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CON T E N T S November | December 2018
Cover stories Taste
30 In or out? The Christmas Debate… 36 Gift Guide: Gifting the Rainbow
18 Recipes: Lovely Leftovers 24 The Season’s Best 28 The Best ‘Take’ Bottles 30 In or out? The Christmas Debate… 34 Taste Test: Chocolate Yule Logs
71 Festive Beauty 75 How to Wear: Party Fashion 76 2019: Style Top 10 84 The Love Train
Christmas 36 Gift Guide: Gifting the Rainbow 46 Trendy Christmas 53 Pets: The ‘Purrrfect’ Companion 60 The A-Z of Christmas 68 The LIVING Wish List
Lifestyle 71 Festive Beauty 75 How to Wear: Party Fashion 76 2019: Style Top 10 79 Code Black: Black Tie Etiquette 80 Steal her Style: Red Carpet Looks 84 The Love Train 89 How to Beat the Bloat 90 Late Night Cheats 94 Staying Well in Winter
Culture 97 NYE Destinations 102 UK Boutique Stays
106 Happy Twixmas Travel Escapes 135 Magical Moments: Christmas Trends
104 Rediscover: The Lake District 106 Happy Twixmas Travel Escapes 109 Review: The Linthwaite House 110 The Film Club 114 What’s On 117 LIVING’s Book Corner 118 Interview: The Overtones 122 The Year that was 2018 128 Festive Frailty 130 On the Road: Winter Driving 132 Christmas Charity Appeals
Home 135 Magical Moments: Christmas Trends 142 Preparing the Home for Winter 147 Iconic Home Designs 150 Style vs Steal: Ombre Décor 154 Edit: Christmas Wreaths
Win! 15 A festive break for two at The Belfry Hotel 30 A Christmas hamper from Canalside Farm Shop
Regular Features 13 LIVING it! News and Views 14 LIVING Loves… 16 Getting to Know… 162 Coming Up
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19 INC_PL_Mar18_19.indd 1
EDITORIAL Nancy Emery
email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Julie Whittingham
elcome to the November/ December issue of Staffordshire Living!
There really isn’t a better time of the year, is there? I think it’s safe to say that most people are just that little bit happier during the festive season. A wave of Christmas cheer takes over us until around mid-January, because now is the time when it’s perfectly ok to over-indulge, to spend a bit more and to have a few late nights out on the trot. And it’s not just us that feel the effects of the season – our local towns are decorated with beautiful light displays and festive accessories as they prepare for what will ultimately be the busiest time of the year for retail. The streets are filled with eager shoppers, there’s music and laughter flowing from stores, restaurants and bars, and enticing smells of spiced cinnamon, frying onions and mulled wine seep out from packed Christmas markets. But while most of us will be bursting with excitement and joy, we must not forget those that don’t always feel this way. For some, Christmas can be a lonely and sad
Colette Warbrook Sarah Marshall
Natasha Nicholson (Maternity Leave)
time of the year. So, if you can, take the time to remember those who could be feeling lost. Simply knocking on your neighbour’s door or inviting an elderly person for tea could make a world of difference to them.
firstname.lastname@example.org ARTWORK CO-ORDINATOR Amy Clarke
And with Christmas just a few short weeks away, feast your eyes on this jam-packed issue! From our rainbow gift guide to top destinations for a ‘Twixmas’ escape, from our Christmas home décor edit to the fashion buys that will see you through to next year, we hope you enjoy reading them all.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT email@example.com ACCOUNTS firstname.lastname@example.org SALES DIRECTOR
And, don’t miss our fabulous competition to win a fantastic overnight stay at famous The Belfry Hotel & Resort.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2019!
love Living x
email@example.com Chrissie Woodward Anna Haycock
Follow us for the latest news, competitions and much more...
GROUP OPERATIONS MANAGER Cheryl Osborne
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.
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John Pass Limited Edition Anniversary Collection
Crewe 179 Nantwich Road. Crewe. Cheshire CW2 6DT t: 01270 214157 / 250661 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Newcastle-under-Lyme 12 Ironmarket. Newcastle-under-Lyme. Staffordshire ST5 1RF t: 01782 631076 / 616651 e: email@example.com
Celebrating 70 sparkling years of John Pass the Jewellers
From humble origins as a small jewellery and watch repair shop 70 years ago sparked the beginnings of what is today a prestigious jewellery and watch stockist in South Cheshire and North Staffordshire.
Today, John Pass Jewellers is one of the most iconic jewellers in the region. We take a look back at where it all began… When people think of their local jewellers and watch stockists, John Pass Jewellers, they may recall the high-profile brands the company houses, such as Rolex and Pandora, the two stores in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Crewe, and the contribution the business has made to special occasions. But the well-known family business has much more humble roots. A great grandfather clock still sits in the Nantwich Road store, a memory of a time when John Pass senior mused over the inner mechanisms of antique clocks and was a familiar figure in the community, fixing all manner of watches, jewellery and clocks. So well-loved was John Pass and his store, that the transition to a jewellery and watch stockist was inevitable. As the business grew and moved on, John Pass Junior took over his father’s store along with his wife Jean, they were most fondly known by their customers for their charismatic personality, being the trusted jeweller who served generations of families by helping them pick the perfect gift for every special occasion. When the company decided to stock the prestigious Rolex brand this helped to excel John Pass’ reputation and began the tradition of stocking the highest quality Swiss watches and beautiful fine jewellery. With the third-generation owner Andrew Pass the company is adapting to the rise in demand for well-known brands, stocking some of the most famous jewellery and watch brands from Omega and TAG Heuer to Pandora and Thomas Sabo, serving a new generation of customer. Even with Andrew leading the store into a new era with the help of his wife Julie, the company has never forgotten the legacy that John Pass Senior started, by giving a personal and special experience to every customer. The business continues to offer expert jewellery and watch repair services with the help of longserving member of the John Pass team Martin Coombes, who has worked for the company for over 40 years, starting as an apprentice at just 16 years old. It’s not only Martin who has added to the John Pass story, with Angela Whittaker and Dawn Roberts also dedicating over 30 years to the shop, a testament to the family values that the company presents. With the watch side of the business evergrowing, the Rolex agency relocated from the Crewe store to John Pass’ Newcastleunder-Lyme high street showroom which
was opened in 2013, becoming the Rolex flagship store. The shop also stocks a wide range of other popular Swiss and fashion watches from Omega to Henry London and silver jewellery brands, such as Links of London, Clogau, Thomas Sabo and ChloBo, in a beautiful Grade II listed building. So loved are the Pass family by customers and staff, that a surprise 70th anniversary celebration was organised to honour the family’s service. This included a memory book spanning generations, with customers and staff sharing heart-warming stories of the family, the store and years of service to the jewellery industry that has touched so many people’s hearts. The main message overwhelmingly reflects John Pass’ core values; going above and beyond for their customers, creating memorable experiences for every special occasion, making it a great place to shop.
Andrew Pass, Business owner
After the surprise evening, Andrew Pass said: “In business we are always looking forward and so in making us stop last night and look back on 70 years do we realise just how far we have come – it was lovely.” To include the loyal John Pass customers in the 70th anniversary, for the first time in the company’s history John Pass has teamed up with Hans D Krieger, a prestigious fine jewellery brand, to design and create three unique necklaces that make their anniversary a truly sparkling occasion, each piece a mixture of stunning white and champagne diamonds set in 18ct gold. About the bespoke anniversary pieces, Andrew Pass said: “We are very proud to celebrate 70 sparkling years here at John Pass. To mark this special occasion, we have designed and created three exceptional diamond necklaces, each piece is engraved with ‘John Pass 70th Anniversary Ltd Ed’ on the reverse. So, here is your opportunity to own a little piece of our history!”
As the company celebrates this landmark year, so does the jewellery and watch industry recognise John Pass’ contribution, being nominated for three awards this year in the Professional Jeweller Awards, Retail Jeweller Inspiring Independent Awards and County Brides Wedding Awards 2018. Now, John Pass Jewellers look forward to the future, hoping to carry on the family legacy that Andrew’s grandfather began 70 years ago, helping generations of local people celebrate the occasions that matter most to them, making every visit to the store a memorable one.
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LIVING it LIVING it
Last issue we asked: ‘What motivates you the most?’ but we came to the conclusion that it It’s our news & views section. Time to catch up on what’s all depends on what is happening in Staffordshire and what you had to say… in front of us. If we’re Getting your opinions on life’s thoughttrying to lose 10 pounds – our motivational provoking questions... tactics might be different to when we’re desperately seeking a new job. Motivation can come in many forms; we might stick a picture displaying our fitter self on the fridge to keep temptation at bay, and the idea of having a few extra pounds in the bank could be the mental persuasion Made in Staffordshire Shropshire Tennis Ace Dancing Stars we need to finally get We all need a little push Alton Towers haswe’ve announced a starthe job always Staffordshire-based furniture A year nine student at Shropshire’s now and again, of Strictly Come wanted. Whatever manufacturer, Pure CF has Ellesmere College haswhether helped it’s studded weekend 8th toout Sunday get outWelsh of bed on aTeam frosty Dancing on Friday exclusively designed furniture thetonational Tennis we want of with stars Aljaz for Michelin starred chef Tom to success the Four or Nations life, let’s make winter inmorning jump on 10th March 2019, Manrara, Karen Kerridge’s debut London Tournament in Belfast – beating the start of 2017 the treadmill, when all we Skorjanec & Janette Clifton & Gorkaour Marquez, Giovanni restaurant. Kerridge’s Bar and teams from Scotland, England and motivation, really want to do is dive Pernice & Luba Mushtuk, plus Grill, which opened in September Ireland. Aditi Chezhian, 13, moved it’s a new under the covers! British National & World Ballroom at the Corinthia hotel, is hotly from St Gerard’s School, Bangor, beginning Champions Warren & Kristi Boyce. tipped to be one of the best 5* to Ellesmere College in order to and hotels in the capital. Pure CF was focus on her tennis and has become Enjoy intimate dance performances, whatever Q&A sessions, dance lessons, commissioned to provide 200 the first Ellesmere College student you want, dancing in the hotel’s Stateroom pieces of bespoke furniture which to gain a Tennis Europe ranking. Ballroom and a black tieyou ball.can Prices included burgundy leather dining There are currently twenty tennis have it!out start from £459 per person. Find chairs, banquettes, handmade oak players on individual advancement
What motivates you the most?
dining and bar tables and a bespoke upcycled cheese and bread station.
programmes at Ellesmere College.
“The main thing that gets What yourin the morning is... meisup favourite the anticipation of a satisfying bowl of quote and cereal, accompanied with a good brew.” why? - Rachel via Facebook PM
“What motivates me to get up in the morning is...
As we ride out the lull before
we could do with “Being inChristmas, the fresh airallat a little lift so we took to our my allotment... social media channels to find out quotesainspire, encourage, ...and knowingwhat it makes difference motivate and comfort to my health and environment by you. And here’s what you said: #growingyourown motivates me” - Sue Durrani“Confidence via Twitter isn’t believing in yourself, it’s your willingness to try.” Angela McCall via Facebook
“Definitely people “Travel. Make Memories. Have motivateAdventure.” me the Geraldine most.”Sproston
thinking about how proud I will be on via Facebook my graduation day for all the extra work “I can sit doing absolutely nothing all I put in to my degree!” - Lydia Eccleston “Life iscomes too short. I am night but if a friend to call thenalways I “If you can’t saying this.aRemember what is via Email am motivated into being good hostess, be anything then important in life.” Anna Jayne making tea orvia pouring wine, and getting just simply be Facebook out the snacks. If I know they are coming kind.” Zoe Lesley “Don’t worry. Everything will “My kids!” then the whole place gets a makeover” via Facebook turn out how it’s meant to.” - Linda via Facebook “All the motivation I need comes from a Sheila via Facebook kiss and a cuddle off them.” Coming up next time... - Samantha via Email
S win! TA R win! R E Awin! DER S TA R L E T T E R
Make us smile “Dear Staffordshire Living and WIN Home, as a regular reader of your magazine was very interested Each Iissue we give away ain your Christmas presents feature 12-month subscription to the this month. magazine. ToIt's beainvery withwelcome a chance of change to see somesend actual winning, simply usgenuine, an email affordable and inspirational gift to editorial@staffordshireliving. ideas, especially for those 'what co.uk to buyputting for theSTAR personLETTER who has in the subject, sharing your thoughts everything' family member. And on the latest issue, or alternatively as I love flamingos I will definitely send us a picture of youopen enjoying be leaving the magazine on the page with on, justIfto give yourself out them and about. you are a clue for my ownstar present! Keep up chosen as our reader, you’ll the excellent work.” be featured here on our LIVING
it! -page in the nextMeir issue and will Sue Hawkins, Park, Stoke on Trent win a 12-month subscription to the magazine; that’s six issues of our fabulous glossy mag delivered straight to your door for free. Go on make us smile, and we’ll return the favour! Thanks for reading X
We love to hear what you think so if you have something to say about any of the features and topics in this issue, please get in touch! Tell us your thoughts via email to email@example.com, putting STAR LETTER in the subject, and be in with a chance of winning a one-year membership to onlineIyoga service do… Arewww. yogaia.com* worth £90! Plus, the you tying the winning letter will feature right soon? here knot in our next issue. *Yogaia is an online yoga service perfect for all levels from beginners right through to the advanced yogis. It has more than 100 live and interactive online classes a week so you can ﬁt your exercise in to suit your lifestyle. Plus you can access recorded classes so you never miss one - get ﬁt with experienced teachers from the comfort of your own living room! The one-year membership includes unlimited access to all available classes on the service. Winner will be given a gift code to use when signing up to the service online. For a full set of Staffordshire Media T&Cs please see page 9.
Coming up next time...
Our next issue will be our first of 2019 and we want to know - What are your hopes and dreams for the new year? Share your thoughts with us via email, or look out for our weekly Next timeand we’re asking…What wasa the best piece of advice that your mother gave you? Mother’s Day is Sunday 27th posts on Facebook, Twitter Instagram and leave comment. Your wedding can feature as one of our March and as it’s time to celebrate the one true love of our lives, please share your best piece of motherly advice for a chance Real-Life Weddings in the next wedding to be featured in the March/April 2017 edition! Connect via: ‘Living It Q&A’, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, /Staffsliving issue of Staffordshire Living. Email Bellringer Road, Trentham Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, firstname.lastname@example.org ‘Living It Q&A’, @StaffsLiving Staffordshire ST4 8GB for information. B1more Trentham Business Quarter, /Staffsliving email@example.com Bellringer Road, Trentham Staffordshire-Living-Magazine @StaffsLiving firstname.lastname@example.org Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 8GB
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BOLD PLAID Red tartan styling epitomises the festive season – embrace it across your wardrobe and in your home.
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A FESTIVE OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE BELFRY Relax and unwind this Christmas with a wonderful stay at the fabulous 4* Belfry Hotel & Resort.
During your stay you will be treated to a full English breakfast and a two-course dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Winner of OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Award 2018, The Ryder Grill, led by Executive Head Chef Robert Bates, offers a hand-crafted cuisine using only the highest quality ingredients, all locally sourced, freshly selected, and lovingly prepared. You can expect succulent steaks, chargrills and roasts, fish and lobster. And to finish your perfect escape, you can enjoy either a round of golf on The Belfry’s Derby golf course – a gentle parkland course with far-reaching views across the Warwickshire countryside. The Belfry is synonymous with golf and has hosted more Ryder Cup tournaments than any other venue in the world. Or spend the day at The Belfry Spa enjoying its Fire & Ice Experience through 12 bio thermal rooms. The Belfry Spa offers a full range of beauty and spa treatments too if you really wanted to indulge in a pampering session.
To be in with a chance of winning an overnight break for two adults with a delicious full English breakfast to kick-start your day, a two-course dinner at The Ryder Grill, and either one round on The Derby golf course or use of the Fire & Ice Experience at The Belfry Spa, head to the competition section of www.staffordshireliving.co.uk and find The Belfry 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 9.30am on Friday 14th December 2018.
rowned England’s Leading Resort and set in over 500 acres of stunning North Warwickshire countryside, The Belfry Hotel & Resort is perfectly placed for a luxury festive getaway. An ideal setting for that ultimate escape - one lucky reader will have the chance to enjoy all its wonderful facilities this Christmas with a guest of their choice. Staying in one of its Signature Double Rooms, featuring The Belfry’s classic, contemporary design of calming neutral tones and bold accents, you will be able to enjoy some quiet and relaxing moments with a loved one amidst the festive rush. Rooms all feature luxurious little touches including cosy duvets, crisp bed linen, dreamy pillows and fluffy towels, along with HD Freeview wide screen TVs, walk-in showers, complimentary ESPA toiletries, hairdryer and 24-hour room service, making your stay as comfortable as it can be.
Q: What is the name of The Ryder Grill’s Executive Head Chef? Scan the barcode opposite 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 and Conditions: 1. The overnight break is for two adults and must be taken between 17th December 2018 – 7th January 2019, excluding 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st December. 2. The prize is subject to availability. 3. Only one entry is permitted per person. 4. Prize is for 2 adults and includes an overnight stay in a Signature Double Room, full English breakfast, and the choice of either 1 round of golf on The Derby Golf Course or the Fire & Ice Experience. Prize includes a two-course meal for two at The Ryder Grill. This prize excludes drinks and any extras. 5. Employees and their families of The Belfry Hotel & Resort and Purple Sprout are excluded from all prize draws and competitions. 6. The prize is nontransferable in the event of cancellation and cannot be exchanged for monetary value. 7. The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. 8. The winner is responsible for expenses and arrangements not specifically included in the prize. 9. The Belfry general terms and conditions apply. 10. Entrants must be 18 years or older. 11. The winner will be notified by phone, post or e-mail. 12. The editor’s decision is final. 13. From time to time Purple Sprout or the competition supplier may contact you with news and information. If you would like to receive further communication, please tick the opt in box on the competition entry form.
Getting to know...
CHRISTIAN PATTERSON We dared to ask actor and Stoke-on-Trent panto-favourite Christian Patterson these 10 questions as he gets ready to make a return to Staffordshire this Christmas… get ready for the one-liners!
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? I love
reading, especially on the loo! I’ve just finished a book called I told you I was ill which is a collection of famous people’s last words. I only bought it because it had a picture of my comedy god Spike Milligan on the front, but it was an excellent loo read! When I say “loo read” I don’t mean the singer!
WHICH BOXSET ARE YOU CURRENTLY BINGING ON? Nearly all my viewing is made up
of comedy or documentaries but recently I’ve become slightly obsessed with The Crown which is weird because I’m not usually a fan of this type of programme.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY WEIRD FAN MOMENTS?
Yes! I once got sent a piece of fan mail requesting a photo of my bare legs. I pretended that I’d miss-read it and sent a picture of a bear’s legs. I’ve had no reply!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO EAT? FOOD! Apart
from salad. My view is if it’s green it’s gone off…
DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS? I have a Jack Russell called
Dodger. He’s quite often found in my dressing room and is forever trying to escape. I think he wants to get on stage. Who knows - this could be his year!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON YOUR DAY OFF? See answer to question 4! And the cinema. Jonny (Jonathan Wilkes) and I went to Bingo once too. We loved it!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TOP BEAUTY TIPS? Yes, I do! This
one is for the men out there. Get rid of your nose and ear hair. My local barber waxes mine and it is torture, but I’m fuzz-free - most of the time.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ITEM OF CLOTHING IN YOUR PANTO WARDROBE? When it comes to panto, I love everything designed and made by Cheadle-based John Brooking and Dawn Evans - all the best ‘Dame’ costumes I’ve ever worn at the Regent have come from them. They are the best in the business!
ARE YOU MORE FOR SUMMER OR WINTER?
Tricky one… I suppose it would be summer. I tell you what I really like though - a day that takes you by surprise. You know when it’s winter and it’s absolutely freezing and then out of nowhere you get a really hot day. I love that.
DESCRIBE YOUR PARADISE HOLIDAY… I like simple things. There definitely wouldn’t be sand - I hate sand. There would be a breeze, because I get too hot. And there’d be a market every day – I love a bargain. There’d be plenty of entertainment too, so I don’t get bored. We went to Benidorm a few years ago with Kai Owen and his family. What a holiday – fantastic! Loads of entertainment and a full English breakfast for €2€you can’t beat it!
Christian joins Jonathan Wilkes on stage at The Regent Theatre this December playing Friar Tuck in Robin Hood. Get tickets for the show from www.atgtickets.com or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7649.
DRINK AND BE MERRY”
TASTE For those with an appetite for life
w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k
TASTE | RECIPES Gammon & Roast Potato Hash Browns Serves 2 | Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients • 300g cooked roast potatoes • 150g cooked gammon • 2 tbsp flour • 3 medium free-range eggs • 1½ tbsp goose fat (or vegetable oil) Method 1. Cut the potatoes and gammon into small pieces (just under 1cm) and add to a bowl. Season, toss with the flour and mix in 1 beaten egg. Scrunch everything together and press firmly into 4 patties (about 8cm across and 2cm deep). Chill for at least 15 minutes, or for up to 12 hours.
Because everyone knows the best bit about Christmas lunch is the sandwiches after… Feast your eyes on these delicious > leftover recipes for boxing day and beyond!
2. Heat the goose fat (or oil) in a heavy-based, non-stick frying pan. Add the hash brown patties and cook on the lowest heat for 10 minutes, until a crust has formed. Flip over and repeat on the other side, until golden and piping hot in the centre. Remove from the pan and keep warm. 3. Return the pan to a high heat. Add the eggs to the fat in the pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes, spooning the excess fat over the yolks, until cooked to your liking. Season and serve on top of the hash browns. 4. Delicious with wilted spinach and ketchup or brown sauce. Waitrose & Partners
THE DUNCOMBE ARMS CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR Celebrate the holiday season at The Duncombe Arms Christmas is a truly special time at the Duncombe Arms, whether the family are coming together, or old friends are catching up over a mulled wine or pint of our very own beer. This year promises to be even better than the last with lots of new dishes to try and a few specials bottles in our cellar! Head chef Chris Gallagher and the team have been working on beautiful menus for every occasion! There will be our a la carte menu, set menu and special menus for Christmas Eve Supper, Christmas Day lunch and New Yearâ€™s Eve dinner!
Our December menus will run from Saturday 1st December. As always it is very busy so we urge you to book early to get the table you want. We have a beautiful private dining room for tables of up to 12 so it's perfect for getting the family together over the festive period. Visit our www.duncombearms.co.uk for more details including menus, dates and prices.
Tel: 01335 324275 The Duncombe Arms, Ellastone, Ashbourne, DE6 2GZ Email: email@example.com
TASTE | RECIPES >
Christmas Freekah Bread with Chestnut Butter Serves 4 | Preparation time: 70 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients • 125g Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Freekeh • 90g Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts • 350g strong bread flour plus extra for dusting • 150g spelt or whole wheat flour • 125g dried cranberries, chopped • 12g fast action dried yeast • 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp cinnamon • 1 heaped tbsp chopped rosemary • 1 heaped tbsp grated orange zest • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra for baking sheet • 310ml warm water • 120g brie or camembert • 90g Merchant Gourmet Chestnut Puree • 65g unsalted butter • 2g salt flakes • Freshly ground pepper Method 1. Put the flours into a large mixing bowl with the cranberries, Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Freekeh, Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, yeast, salt, sugar, cinnamon, rosemary and orange zest. Mix together then make a well in the centre. 2. Pour the olive oil and water into the well. Mix until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl but is still slightly tacky. Put the dough on your worktop, resist adding any more flour. Knead vigorously for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and bouncy. 3. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and brush with oil. Divide the dough into 32 even sized pieces. Shape 28 of the pieces into balls. 4. Stretch the final 4 pieces out. Put a 30g chunk of brie in the centre of each and cover the brie completely with the dough. Put this brie filled ball, smooth side up, into the middle of the baking sheet. Push an unfilled ball to its left side so they are just touching. Continue all the way around with six more unfilled balls until you have a star shape. Once you do, pull out the ends of each ball a little to give each one a sharp point. Continue until you have four stars. 5. Put the stars to prove in a warm place until they double in size, this generally takes about an hour. While the bread stars prove, preheat your oven to 200˚C. Dust the stars with flour. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-16 minutes until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer the bread to a rack to cool. 6. For the chestnut butter, blend the Merchant Gourmet chestnut puree and unsalted butter together until very smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper and serve with the bread. Merchant Gourmet (merchant-gourmet.com)
Cheeseboard Mac & Cheese Serves 6 | Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients • 500g macaroni • 50g butter • 50g plain flour • 650ml milk • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard • 350g mixed cheeseboard cheese (Cheddar, Stilton, Brie etc), grated • 3 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Garlic & Rosemary Crust • 2 tbsp olive oil Method 1. Preheat the grill. Bring a large pan of water to boil and cook the macaroni according to pack instructions. Drain and set aside. 2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk a splash at a time, stirring continuously until a smooth sauce has formed. Stir in the mustard and ¾ of the cheese. Then add the cooked macaroni and stir until coated. 3. Tip into a 2-litre ovenproof dish. Scatter with the remaining cheese followed by the garlic & rosemary crust, drizzle with olive oil and grill for 5 minutes until golden. 4. Serve with dressed salad leaves. Waitrose & Partners
The Ultimate Turkey Club Sandwich Serves 1 | Preparation time: 10 minutes Ingredients • 3 slices farmhouse bread • 4 rashes of cooked streaky bacon • Leftover cooked roast turkey • Little gem lettuce • Mayonnaise • Cartwright & Butler Piccalilli Method 1. Spread each slice of bread with a generous dollop of mayonnaise. 2. Put a layer of lettuce first, then follow with bacon and turkey and top with a slice of bread. 3. Then build the top layer with bacon, turkey, piccalilli and lettuce and put the final slice of bread on the top. 4. Serve with extra piccalilli on the side. Cartwright & Butler
TASTE | RECIPES
Turkey, Gammon & Sprout Pot Pie Serves 8 | Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients • 2 tbsp unsalted butter • 300g cooked gammon (preferably smoked), cut into 1.5cm pieces • 500g cooked turkey, shredded into bitesize pieces • 3 small trimmed leeks, cut into 2cm rounds • 3 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting • 500ml fresh chicken stock • 2 tbsp essential Waitrose Wholegrain Mustard • 200ml tub crème fraiche • 10g tarragon, leaves only, roughly chopped • 200g cooked Brussels sprouts, sliced • 500g block Jus-Rol Puff Pastry • 1 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Egg, beaten Method 1. Heat the butter in a large heavy-based casserole or saucepan. Add the gammon and turkey, cooking over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until evenly browned. Add the leeks, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover, stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Pour in the stock and bring to a brisk simmer, stirring and scraping the base of the pan, for about 4-6 minutes, until the mixture thickens. 2. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes before stirring in the mustard and crème fraîche. Mix in the tarragon and sprouts and transfer to a large pie dish (at least 1.5 litres in size). Leave to cool. 3. Preheat the oven to 220˚C, gas mark 7. Roll the pastry so that it’s large enough to cover the pie dish with plenty overhanging. 4. Cut 1.5cm strips from the outside of the pastry. Brush the rim of your dish with egg, place the strips on top and brush these with more egg. Cut a couple of slits in the pastry sheet to let steam escape (or for a pie funnel) and lay on top of the pie. 5. Crimp the edges, brush with more egg and decorate if you wish using the pastry trimmings. 6. Bake for 5 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 200˚C, gas mark 6, and cook for a further 30-35 minutes, until golden and piping hot. Waitrose & Partners sL
See all the recipes with pictures at staffordshireliving.co.uk
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A TASTE OF TEXAS For Forenquiries enquiriesand & bookings call call: Christmas bookings 01782 680536 or 07813 841 07813 971 971 841 fff @jrstexas www.jrstexas.co.uk
Stone Road, Hill Chorlton, Newcastle under Lyme ST5 5ED
Unwind, Wine and Dine Hotel • Restaurant • Afternoon Tea • Weddings • Events
Lunch ~ 12.00pm – 2.00pm Afternoon Tea ~ 3.00pm – 5.00pm a la Carte Dinner ~ 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Weekday lunch offer – 2 courses £17.50 Our bar, garden terraces and lounge are open all day for drinks and bar food. Light bites and brunch available Monday - Saturday 12.00pm - 9.00pm Sunday 12.00pm - 8.00pm The Upper House, The Green, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, ST12 9AE www.theupperhouse.com | Tel: 01782 373790
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TASTE | IN SEASON
THE SEASONâ€™S BEST Make the season extra special with these fabulous foodie treats available at supermarkets and farm shops across Staffordshire and Shropshire.
TASTE | IN SEASON Torn between trend and tradition this Christmas? Rupert Evans, owner of Denstone Hall Farm Shop & Café considers this festive conundrum…
Waitrose, Opies Pickled Walnuts £2.55
Apley Farm Shop, Mince Pies £2.99 (4) £3.99 (6)
People are increasingly either preferring to buy a smaller hen bird to serve alongside a darker meat, like beef or venison, or opting for boneless turkey joints which come stuffed and topped with a lattice of bacon, which are easier to cook and take up less space in the fridge and oven. There lies the dichotomy. Do you want a whole bird that looks good on the dinner table or a ‘ready to cook’ joint that’s easy on the big day?
Canalside Farm, Gingerbread House £12.99
Tesco, St Clements Turkey Trio £15
Tesco, Brussels Sprouts £2.60
Canalside Farm, Strawberry and Raspberry Jams £2.99
Waitrose, Organic Cheddar Star £5
“There is no doubt that Christmas would not be the same without the traditional festive trappings and trimmings, but changes in lifestyle trends are affecting how people celebrate the most important holiday of the year. Take the much-loved Christmas turkey. Although we expect turkey to once again reign supreme as the centrepiece to most people’s Christmas lunch, the tradition of tucking into a super-sized bird and then having to reheat and serve the leftovers is passing out of fashion.
Morrisons, Free From Polar Bear Cake £6
Apley Farm Shop, 3lb Pork Pie in a range of flavours £9.99
If you do go for the whole bird, the secret is to only cook them for 15 minutes per pound – so for example a 12lb turkey would only require three hours in the oven at 180°C – and, for complete confidence in your roast, invest in a meat temperature probe so that you can check when the bird is cooked. Buying habits are also being affected by the increased awareness of the environmental effects of the food industry. Not only are customers looking to use less packaging, they are also asking more questions about where their festive meal comes from – even down to the sausages in the pigs in blankets. There is a definite preference for traceable turkeys - ours come from my family’s farm, where we have been rearing Norfolk bronze turkeys for 50 years. Customer demand for local produce for Christmas hampers, whether it’s jams and chutneys or cheese and beer, is certainly on the up and up and people particularly love the fact that hampers full of products from Derbyshire and Staffordshire make perfect gifts for relatives and friends who live outside the area and find themselves hankering for a taste of home during the festive period. This preference for homegrown produce also extends to drink. The trend for gin, particularly flavoured gins, shows no sign of abating, and we are now well served in this area with local distillers who are cornering the market with their hugely popular artisan gins. Away from the dinner table, there are one or two other Christmas home decorating ideas to look out for, which are reflected in our brand-new gift shop, with richer, deeper shades such as violet and magenta all the rage this year. And finally look out for a festive Alpine theme this year, which promises to bring a ski chalet feel to people’s homes, with fluffy sheepskin rugs and quirky woodland animals finding their way to the top of any self-respecting interior designer’s Christmas present list.” sL
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The Moat House, Acton Trussell is the flagship venue for Staffordshire based hospitality company The Lewis Partnership. Situated in a picturesque village location in the heart of the county, the original 14th Century moated manor house is celebrating 30 years since its transformation in to The Moat House we see today – a four star 41 bedroom hotel, 2 AA rosette restaurant, a stunning wedding and banqueting venue, a relaxing lounge bar with cosy winter fire, outdoor seating areas and a state of the art conference centre. Boasting one of the finest restaurants in Staffordshire the Moat House has held two strong AA rosettes for 18 years and is also listed in the 2018 Michelin Guide with a 2 knives and fork accolade.
Talking of weddings… Weddings at the Moat House are a truly magical affair with each styled to suit the couples very own tastes. If you have always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding with relaxing, tranquil grounds, exceptional food expertly prepared and memories to cherish forever then look no further – you have found your ideal venue.
The perfect setting for any occasion from a relaxed lunch to a celebration dinner The Moat House restaurant offers a variety of choice. The seasonally changing A La Carte menu is offered at lunch and dinner throughout the week Monday to Friday and is heavily focussed on the use of local ingredients from local suppliers wherever possible. Alongside the signature A La Carte menu the Fixed Price Lunch menu is served Monday to Saturday and gives excellent value at £18.95 for two courses or £22.95 for three. Following lunch are the decadent Afternoon Teas. Alongside the classic afternoon tea offering of freshly made sandwiches, handmade cakes and treats, the Gentleman’s afternoon tea option offers a popular alternative. Consisting of more savoury treats, a “not for girls” Yorkie chocolate bar and three, 1/3 pints of real ale of your choice the Gentleman’s afternoon tea is not for the feint-hearted. A Fixed Price menu is again on offer from 6.30pm (Monday to Friday) priced favourably at £22.95 for 2 courses or £27.95 for three, making it great midweek treat!
Saturday evenings at The Moat House are Gourmet dining nights with a three course Gourmet Menu available for £39.95 per person. If you fancy something truly indulgent then the Tasting Menu is a perfect choice. Served every lunchtime and evening (excluding Sunday) with seven exceptional courses, and the choice to complement each with a paired wine, this experience showcases the Moat House restaurant at it’s finest. Sundays are all about the traditional Sunday lunch which The Moat House deliver in style. Make sure you book early though! But the Moat House isn’t just about its restaurant – the reputation for exemplary service and the highest standards of food is also delivered to each and every wedding, function, bar, conference and hotel guest so you can be assured of the most excellent attention to detail.
Every couple’s dreams are different and the team of experienced wedding co-ordinators at the Moat House never forget that the day is all about you. Delivering a personal and professional service they work with you to ensure that all of your requirements are treated with the utmost care and exceptional attention to detail. With the choice of four licensed ceremony rooms enabling you to choose a small and intimate wedding, a grand and lavish affair, or anything in between, you and your guests are able to relax in the stylish and romantic surroundings safe in the knowledge that every detail has been taken care of to ensure you have a simply fabulous day. As day turns into night the celebrations continue and with a covered outdoor space offering the most contemporary of choices, the only limit is your imagination! With packages available from £4500 for remaining 2019 dates there is no better time to speak to the team.
The tranquility of the Moat House truly defies its location. Situated only 1 mile from Junction 13 of the M6 motorway and with a choice of nine highly specified meeting rooms, coupled with the flexibility of various delegate packages, The Moat House is the ideal venue for corporate guests. So, if you are looking for one to one meetings, residential or day conferences or training events, The Moat House is the perfect solution. Whether you are visiting to dine, are a wedding guest, a conference delegate or simply looking for high-class accommodation for your business trip, or as a base to explore the many delights of
Staffordshire, you can relax in comfort at The Moat House Hotel. The 41 highly appointed rooms, including six suites are furnished to the highest level, some with four poster beds. The Lewis Partnership value their customers and strive to reward them with their popular loyalty app – LP Rewards. Available on both the App and Google Play stores LP Rewards offers loyalty points for every £ spent on food and drink across their properties. These points can then be exchanged in the app’s gift store for money off vouchers. Regular surprise “gifts” are also loaded directly into subscriber’s loyalty wallets. We highly recommend you download the app now to start reaping the rewards!
For the perfect gift, whatever the occasion, look no further than Lewis Partnership Gift Vouchers. Purchasable on-line and available in either monetary values or from a huge selection of dining, drink, accommodation and special event options covering all of their properties, Lewis Partnership gift vouchers are available as either e-vouchers, for immediate delivery to your in-box, or posted in a presentation wallet. We guarantee the recipient will be delighted with your choice. The Lewis Partnership also own and operate The Dog & Doublet Inn, Sandon; The Red Lion, Bradley and the newly refurbished Bank House, Hixon.
FIND THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT... From tokens of appreciation to cherished treats, our new Gift Voucher website allows customers plenty of opportunity to show loved ones just how much they care. From classic afternoon tea to dinner, bed and breakfast, you can customise a very personal gift from the comfort of your armchair!
E-VOUCHERS SENT DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX OR VOUCHERS SENT BY POST SIMPLY FOLLOW THE LINK FROM THELEWISPARTNERSHIP.CO.UK OR SCAN THE QR CODE WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE
TASTE | DRINK
Toast 2019 in style with LIVING’s round-up of the best ‘take’ bottles for a New Year’s Eve party.
1. Spanish Sparkle
5. Wine & Dine
We all know how popular Champagne and Prosecco are, but this cava will show you that Spanish sparkling wine is just as worthy to grace your glass this New Year. Gran Campo Viejo’s Brut Reserva is elegant and well-balanced, perfect for toasting the arrival of 2019.
Packed with plums and berries, this super-smooth Australian Shiraz will slide down a treat and grace any occasion – especially a New Year’s Eve celebration! It’s a super sipper with grilled red meat, or try it with sausages, mashed potato and a rich onion gravy. This bottle is a sure-fire way to please your party hosts.
Gran Campo Viejo’s Brut Reserva £11.60
6. ZeroPoint Brut
Move over mulled wine, this festive punch mixer is guaranteed to warm your cockles on a cold and frosty New Year’s Eve. Best enjoyed warm, simply add your favourite gin. Alternatively, put a seasonal twist on your bubbly by adding a dash of the chilled cocktail mixer to your fizz. Or if you’re not drinking, enjoy a non-alcoholic version by simply heating the mixer with a dash of water.
For those choosing not to drink, Supermarket Aldi offers a zero percent alcohol range of sparkling wine alternatives. The ZeroPoint Sparking White Brut and Rosé bottles provide the same great taste of sparkling wine, without the alcohol. And there is only 35 calories per serving - less than half that of a typical sparkling wine - making them the perfect choice for health and wellbeing conscious shoppers.
7. Old Classic
A tasty alternative to a traditional cream liqueur, the Tequila Rose looks pretty in a glass and has a surprisingly smooth, easy taste (the tequila isn’t overpowering; more of a hint). Enjoy this silky rich strawberry cream as a shot, pour over ice, or mix in a cocktail or a grown-up milkshake.
This classic vodka can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways and is a staple of many of our most-loved cocktails. For a twist on the traditional vodka and soda, try the ‘Smirnoff Soda Smash’. To create, simply swap your fruit slice for a fresh smash of fruit, by using your elbow or hand to roll a lime and press over your vodka and soda. Serve over ice and enjoy!
4. Rose Kiss A gorgeous bottle of ballet-pink Provence rosé with a delicate effervescent sparkle. With flavours of red berries and grapefruit, and a little spice, this tipple is delicious and refreshing. Mirabeau La Folie Sparkling Rosé £13.99
Zero Sparking White Brut £2.49 Aldi
3. Berry Nice
Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream £12
McGuigan Reserve Shiraz £7.25
2. Packing A Punch
Tipplesworth’s Festive Punch cocktail mixer £6.99 (500ml bottle/ 5 servings)
Smirnoff No. 21 vodka £19.50 sL 7
Sofa Gallery’s Sale of British manufactured furniture is still going strong, 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. 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 luxury chenille. Customers can even 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. Sofa Gallery are also stockists of leading manufacturers including Sherborne, G Plan, Alstons, Parker Knoll and David Gundry amongst others.
Customers now have an even better selection to choose from with the introduction of the fabulous range of chenille fabrics from Jim Dickens. Each piece of furniture is made individually by one of their experienced craftsmen, with specific attention to detail following rigid quality control processes throughout. This ensures Sofa Gallery’s exacting standards are met. Sofa Gallery understands that buying furniture is an investment, so all their frames are guaranteed for 25 years from the date of purchase. That way you can enjoy your furniture as well as additional peace of mind. 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. Sofa Gallery even ensures the foam used to fill 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.”
All furniture is quality checked at every stage of production to make sure that high quality standards are maintained, so you can be assured that the furniture you buy will provide years of comfort and satisfaction in your home. Attention is paid to after-sales care by the dedicated service professionals. Nobody enjoys waiting at home all day for a delivery so Sofa Gallery gives customers two-hour delivery time slots. 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.
As it can be difficult to visualise the furniture in your own home, samples of fabrics or leathers can be provided or pattern swatches can be borrowed for you to take home.
Autumn Sale Now On
Buy the BEST of British Manufacturing
Cannock Showrooms Units 4, 5 & 6 Exchange Business Estate, A5 Watling Street, Bridgtown, Cannock WS11 0BW. (Access to rear car park via Cross Street). Telephone: 01543 505 696 Website: www.sofagallery.co.uk Open: Mon to Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm.
TASTE | TREND
IN OR OUT?
Take one Christmas lunch and serve it two ways…
A festive Staffordshire hamper from Canalside Farm Shop & Café... hould you stay in or go out to a restaurant on Christmas Day? We’ll help you decide with this Christmas lunch guide. To eat out or stay at home? That is the question for many of us on Christmas Day. And according to recent figures, it seems a good portion of us are heading to restaurants on December 25th, opting to ditch slaving over a hot stove in favour of forking out for chef-prepared dishes. Restaurant booking service Open Table has revealed that each year the number of diners seated in restaurants booked via Open Table on Christmas Day has continued to rise, including by a massive 43 per cent in 2016. And many are opting for nontraditional cuisine, with Italian, Indian and French food all in the top choices for festive bookings. Yet despite this growing trend, the majority of us are still choosing to enjoy a traditional lunch in the comfort of our own dining rooms. So, is turkey and all the trimmings best served at home or is it time to let someone else take over this year? Having experienced both, Sarah Marshall - who is planning to eat out along with 10 members of the family this year - takes a look at the pros and cons of eating out versus staying at home.
Make the Christmas rush as easy as possible by visiting the lovely Canalside Farm Shop and Café in Great Haywood. The Farm Shop has plenty of fresh, local produce, including a bakery, delicatessen and butchery, as well as stocking a range of local wines and beers, providing everything you need for a delicious Christmas lunch. And, if you are struggling to know what to buy someone for Christmas, you can hand-pick all of their favourite foods and the shop staff will create a gorgeous Christmas hamper in no time at all. We’ve got one of these fabulous hampers, full of Staffordshire goodies worth £50, plus a bottle of wine from The Grove Estate Vineyard, to give away this Christmas. To enter, head to the competition section of www.staffordshireliving.co.uk and find the Canalside Farm 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 9.30am on Friday 14th December 2018.
Q: In which Staffordshire village is the farm shop located? 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 and conditions: 1. Closing date is 9.30am, Friday 14th December. 2. One winner will be picked at random after the closing date. The hamper must be collected in person and a date arranged with the Farm Shop in advance. 3. The editor’s decision is final. For a full list of Staffordshire Living terms and conditions see page 9.
TASTE | TREND Eating at home
1. You get to do it your way - The beauty of staying at home is that you
1. No cooking - Let’s face it the biggest argument for eating out on Christmas Day has to be the fact that someone else will do all of the work. The person tasked with cooking often spends much of the day stuck in the kitchen rather than enjoying the festive fun and games with the family. Spending the entire day cooking, preparing and cleaning won’t quite be the perfect one envisioned in your mind and you’ll probably be glad when it’s all over. Also, if you’re not a confident cook, then tackling Christmas dinner could prove disastrous. We’ve all heard the horror stories. Remember that episode of TV sitcom The Royal Family where they were trying to defrost the turkey in the bath? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
get to do Christmas your way. If you like a babycham and prawn cocktail before tucking in to your turkey then you can. If you want to eat at 12pm, 3pm or 6.30pm, it’s up to you. If you want to play a game of charades between the main course and dessert, then play away. There are no limits at home. Also, if you’re the type of person who gets a kick out of cooking and loves to plan perfect get-togethers, consult Pinterest for seasonal inspiration and create decorations and table settings to complement your meal, then staying at home is a must.
2. No crowds, just you and your loved ones - If the thought of sharing Christmas lunch surrounded by a room full of strangers makes you breathless then staying at home has to be the option. Eating out means you’re surrounded by other people - and on Christmas Day there are often a lot of them as many restaurants are packed out. This could make the day seem less special, especially if you want your whole focus to be on you and your guests. Eating at home is much more intimate. 3. Easier to cater to all tastes - There’s always that one guest who doesn’t like turkey or a family member who only eats mashed potatoes, while another won’t touch roasted ones, not to mention varied diets, such as vegan, vegetarian and glutenfree. If you need to create a varied menu with a sugar-free pudding or vegetarian gravy, it’s easily done at home without too much fuss. Also, if you head to a restaurant for the first time on Christmas Day, there’s the possibility it won’t quite live up to your expectations. Perhaps the veggies won’t be cooked just the way you like them or the vegetarian option will go down like a lead balloon? If you like things done a certain way then you’re probably best off saving your pennies and staying at home.
4. You can drink what you like If you want to eat, drink and be merry on Christmas Day then staying at home means you can crack open the prosecco without any concerns. Drink driving is a major issue at Christmas and police are vigilant. During the festive period in 2017 Staffordshire Police pulled over 908 people, who were breath-tested, and 145 were arrested as they were suspected to be over the legal limit. Going out means you avoiding the booze if you’re the driver. Staying at home, on the other hand, means you can indulge in that second glass of red wine if you so wish. Talk about Christmas spirit.
5. Expensive - There’s no doubt that eating out as a family on December 25th can sometimes feel as though you’re paying as much as a small mortgage. Well, it’s not quite that expensive, but it can be pricey as restaurants are having to pay their staff extra to work. If you’re on a budget it might just be a step too far with all the other seasonal excesses, unless you put money away each month to cover costs. Cooking lunch at home is certainly the more inexpensive option. It might not be cheap to buy a turkey and a Christmas pudding but it will still probably cost less than eating out.
2. No stress - There’s no doubt that Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, as well as the most wonderful. If you’re the one cooking, then the furious planning in the weeks leading up to it will have your head in a spin. What with ordering the turkey on time, making sure there are enough mince pies, planning your table decorations and the endless todo lists, which seem to keep getting longer and longer, you could end up feeling somewhat jaded by the big day. Is it really worth the stress? If the thought of tackling turkey and all the trimmings for 12 fills you with dread then perhaps it’s time to book a table elsewhere. The opportunity to relax and avoid the worry will be worth the investment – and you get to go home afterwards and watch the Queen with a Baileys and a mince pie safe in the knowledge your kitchen is still as sparkling as it was in the morning.
3. Atmosphere - There’s something about eating out on Christmas Day that is extra festive. Restaurants are usually buzzing and not only because they’re busy. Everyone, even the staff who are working, are usually in a good mood and there’s a jolly holiday happy feeling about it all. There’s music, hub-bub, smiling faces, goodwill and at the heart of it all delicious food and drink, which is exactly what it’s all about.
4. No fuss - You know what it’s like. You spend days and weeks planning the perfect menu, trying to get organised, buying the turkey at just the right time, battling the crowds at the supermarket tills, making sure you’ve got enough food to feed an army for five weeks - and then at the last minute you realise you’ve forgotten something (usually stuffing mix). So you have to head back to the shops on Christmas Eve and join the chaos as the crowds all rush to get their last-minute panic-buys before the shops close. Eating out eliminates that completely because Christmas lunch is one less thing to have to think about in the run-up. Therefore, you can smugly pour yourself another sherry while you wrap a few presents and enjoy the calm. How very festive. 5. No washing up - One of the major advantages to eating out is not having to sort out the mountain of dirty plates, dishes and saucepans that pile up. Unless of course you forget your wallet or purse! sL w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k
Christmas 2018 in Stoke-on-Trent King’s Christmas Market
Sunday 2 December, 10am to 4pm. King’s Hall and Stoke Town Hall, Stoke, ST4 1HH 100 artisan stalls. £1 entry (under 14’s free). The real Santa and Mrs Claus will be in their Grotto (FREE) FREE face painting and balloon modelling Brass Band and live Christmas singer. Hot food available. Go online for details about entertainment, Santa’s visits, free prize draws and other market activities around Stoke-on-Trent’s Markets. It is going to be a bumper Christmas!!
sotmarkets 01782 232716
Always a warm welcome at
THE GREYHOUND INN AT BURSTON A traditional, family run Country Inn.
the christmas social group packages at
Celebrate the Christmas period with us! Now taking bookings for Christmas Parties for up to 75 people. Festive menu served from 1st December until 24th December 2 course £17.95 | 3 courses £21.95 For the full menu pleases visit our website Food served 7 days a week. Lunch: 12.00pm - 2.30pm | Dinner: 6.00pm - 9.00pm Open all day Sundays serving till 8.30pm. Traditional roast and full menu available.
Greyhound at Burston, Burston Lane, Burston, Stafford, ST18 0DR Located on the A51 between Rugeley and Stone www.greyhoundburston.com | 01889 508263
FEAST WITH US
THE RAILWAY INN
We are a traditional pub and B&B that serves varied pub food 7 days a week with a roast dinner also available on Sundays. We have Sky Sports, free Wi-Fi, a pool table, dart board, quiz machine, small function room and a large beer garden.
Bookings now being taken for Christmas parties! Opening Hours
Monday to Friday 12.00pm - 11.30pm Saturday 12.00pm – 12.00am, Sunday 12.00pm - 10.30pm
Food is served
Monday to Thursday 12.00pm – 8.00pm, Friday to Saturday 12.00pm to 9.00pm and Sunday 12.00pm – 6.00pm
Christmas Fayre available from
26th November to 24th December 2018 2 courses £21.95 or 3 courses £26.95
3 courses £39.95 Booking essential
Monday to Friday OAP Special Lunch 2 courses £7.95 3 courses £10.45 Friday Curry Night Curry, rice, naan bread, chutney and a drink (selected drinks apply) £10.95
Thursday Pie and Pudding 2 courses £11.95
Entertainment is on every other Saturday night
01583 750025 | The Railway Inn, Froghall Road, Froghall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 2HA (Next to the Churnet Valley Railway) | Large carpark available TheRailwayInnPubAndHotel
TASTE | IN REVIEW
ALL THE YULE TIDE BRINGS
Chocolate lovers listen up! We called in a selection of chocolate yule logs – a swirling roll of deliciously sweet chocolate icing, sponge, ganache and buttercream - for our Christmas taste test this year and the results are in…
TOP T RU M P S
TOP T RU M P S
RU N N E R UP
RU N N E R UP
Co-op Irresistible Chocolate Yule Log
Sainsbury’s Belgian Chocolate Yule Log
Waitrose & Partners Christmas Yule Log
Marks and Spencer Chocolate Yule Log
£4. Available in stores from 1st November
£4. Available in stores from the 1st November
£5. Available in stores from the 1st December
£5. Available in stores from the 7th November
A very pleasantly presented yule log with an indulgent and festive appearance that would make a great centrepiece for the dessert table at Christmas. Co-op has given their Irresistible yule log a decent length meaning it will feed about 10 people comfortably, and it’s elegantly decorated with a sprinkle of gold shimmer and chocolate curls resting on top. We loved the firm texture with that delightful snap as the chocolate layer breaks under the knife, so it surprised us when the slice was a little messy to eat, falling apart easily. Inside, the ganache filling was quite stiff and the sponge soft, if a touch dry, but with ample sweet icing on the outside and the tasty dark chocolate ganache on the inside the palate copes extremely well.
As presentation goes, the Sainsbury’s Belgian Chocolate Fudge Log is a little basic, just a dust of sugar as decoration. However, it has a firm structure and a soft bite which goes some way to make up for it. This slice holds extremely well and could easily be eaten with your hands or a fork - if you don’t mind licking a little icing of your fingertips! There were nice equal layers of soft and moist sponge, delicate fudge filling and icing inside that even Paul Hollywood would be proud of, and while by default a chocolate yule log is going to be sweet, this one doesn’t verge on sickly - making it a lovely after-dinner treat. You’d get about eight decent slices, 10 if you go for smaller portions. If it wasn’t for the aesthetics, we would have scored a firm 5 stars.
A little disappointing from Waitrose – we were expecting bigger things. It’s plain in appearance without any decoration and the log falls apart when cutting. However, we loved the mousse texture to the cream fondant inside and the soft and light sponge. There was also a good ratio of sponge to filling. This would serve about eight people, 10 at a push.
Plain in design but with a good ratio of sponge and cream inside and a decent wrapping of icing on the outside. Cutting a slice is a little difficult as it tends to collapse when you put a knife to it. There is a firmer layer of chocolate icing on top and the sponge is light but a little dry with a sweet chocolate ganache filling. 8 servings in total.
THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR”
CHRISTMAS Let the festivities commence
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CHRISTMAS | GIFT GUIDE 4
1 15 5
T F I O G FA E H T o loves a little colour in life. lady wh e h t r Fo
IN B OW
1. Puffa Jacket £89.99 Superdry 2. Gucci Bloom Acqua Di Fiori £62 www.perfumeshop.com 3. Suede Point £140 Whistles 4. Water Bottle £26 Ted Baker 5. Glass Candle £8 River Island 6. Gucci Mini Leather Wallet £315 Harvey Nichols 7. Mug £9 Wild & Wolf 8. Unicorn Tears Pink Gin Liqueur £10 Harvey Nichols 9. Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones £195 www.amazon.co.uk 10. Personalised Phone Case From £30 36
CHRISTMAS | GIFT GUIDE
www.casetify.com 11. Lingerie Set £27.50 Marks & Spencer 12. ‘Love’ Pinto Grigio Rose £15 il Gusto 13. Claudie Pierlot Coquillette Red Leather Jacket £420 Selfridges 14. Spiked Audacious Lipstick £26 www.narscosmetics.co.uk 15. Earrings £10 Accessorize 16. Autograph Nail Polish £6 Marks & Spencer 17. Love Gloves £35 quintonchadwick.com 18. Candlestick £10 River Island 19. Tumbler Multi Dot Glass £8.50 Oliver Bonas 20. Boots £16 Primark 21. Small Amberley Satchel £795 Mulberry 22. Mules £32 Faith at Debenhams 23. Abigail Ahern Giraffe Lamp £100 Debenhams 24. Scarf £65 Whistles 25. Crocodile Fold Over Purse £25 Laura Ashley 26. Kate Spade Leather Tote £270 Harvey Nichols 27. Earrings £12 Accessorize 28. LSA Pleat Storm Lantern £60 Black by Design Ltd 29. A Little Lovely Company Lightning Bolt £57 Selfridges 30. Suede Brogues £23 Dorothy Perkins 31. Coat £140 Monsoon 32. Journal £14 Sophie > Allport 33. Pornstar Martini Curd £5.99 Selfridges
18 25 17
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MITTON MANOR GARDENS
CHARLES DICKENS COMES TO MITTON MANOR! SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER An evening performance of Charles Dickensâ€™ A Christmas Carol by The Chapterhouse Theatre Company. See our website for further details and tickets Mitton Manor is a 7-acre country garden that was started in 2000 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.
www.mittonmanor.co.uk Telephone: 01785 291391 email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 1Â˝ miles from the bridge on the right. Car park in field before house
Mitton, Near Penkridge, Staffordshire ST19 5QW
CHRISTMAS | GIFT GUIDE >
34. Pip Studio Royal Mug £9 Daisy Park 35. Cartwright & Butler Salted Caramel Fudge £11.98 www.amazon.co.uk 36. Boots £96 Office 37. Coloured Gin Fizz Glass £10 The Glass Box Co. 38. Effervescence Extension Sterling Silver Blue Topaz Necklace £250 Links of London 39. Thomas Kent Arabic Wall Clock £89 www.black-by-design.co.uk 40. Bag £30 Accessorize 41. Body Suit £40 Figleaves 42. Manolo Blahnik Pumps £775 Harvey Nichols 43. Coat £39.99 TK Maxx 44. Oil Iridescent Candle £5.99 HomeSense Glitter 45. Amberley Satchel £895 Mulberry 46. La Mer Hydrating Mask £120 Harvey Nichols 47. Karen Millen Jumper £125 Selfridges 48. 12-month Subscription £14.95 www.staffordshireliving.co.uk 49. Vase £29 Furniture Village 50. Velvet Cushion £34 The French Bedroom Company 51. Fitbit Charge £148 www.Amazon.co.uk 52. Bag £280 Rebecca > Minkoff 53. Nail Polish £1 Poundland
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DOUBLE AWARD WINNING COMPLETE MARBLE GAS FIREPLACE BEST GAS SUITE 2018
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2018
To find your local retailer contact: Search for Cassius Fireplace Visit: www.elginandhall.co.uk 0191 430 9434 | email@example.com
Search for Seville 950L Visit: www.wildfiregas.co.uk 01785 225 401 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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CHRISTMAS | GIFT GUIDE
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The gifts we’d love to find at the end of a rainbow.
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A LL H N 018 O D 2 SAN2 DEC 1Image courtesy of Instagram Ft @barneys_adventure
FOOD & DRINK • CHRISTMAS GIFTS LICENCED BAR • LIVE MUSIC & CAROLS ARTS & CRAFTS STALLS • SANTA’S GROTTO
Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre Discover a stately setting for your perfect day…
24th & 25th Nov 2018
20 Photo Credit Jade Osborne
Sandon Hall Wedding Open Day Sunday 28th October Free entry – no registration required E: email@example.com T: 01889 508004
Celebrating our 20th anniversary, come, eat, drink and be merry with everything from hog roasts to hot chocolate as you shop ‘til you drop with 100+ stalls of gorgeous goodies.
Buy tickets online at ludlowmedievalchristmas.co.uk
Light Up A Life Dedicate a light on our tree & support your Dougie Mac For more information contact 01782 344304 or visit www.dmhospice.org.uk Barlaston Road, Stoke on Trent, ST3 3NZ
Bradbury’s Farm Shop
Supporting the best of British
CHRISTMAS ORDERS NOW BEING TAKEN A selection of fresh, local Christmas meats & poultry available from our butchery. Festive food gifts and hampers also available
Our small family run farm shop and butchery is proud to serve home reared beef and lamb from our own farm. We also source quality produce from other local trusted farmers and suppliers. Meat pies • Bacon • Sausages • Fresh Fruit and Vegetables • Local Eggs and Honey • Store Cupboard Essentials • Tea • Flour • Cooking Sauces • Ice Cream • Chocolate Bradbury's Farm Shop & Butchery Curborough Hall Farm Countryside Centre Watery Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8ES 01543 255939 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.bradburysfarmshop.co.uk
Feel festive Shugborough Add some at colour to Estate this Christmas your weekend this Visit Shugborough Estate and marvel at this magical time of year. Be delighted by decorations that adorn autumn at Gibside the Mansion, indulge in the treats from the tea-
rooms and enjoy some well-earned retail therapy in the Christmas shop. Come along to lantern making Go crunching through fallen leaves discover a forest workshops and parades, andand join a rousing chorus at teeming with wildlife and autumn colours, with walking the carol evening. When you come for some routes for all ages and abilities. Christmas sparkle, it helps us to work our magic.
Call 01889 880160 for details nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside nationaltrust.org.uk/shugborough When donate, or join theyour National When youyou visit,visit, donate, volunteervolunteer or join the National Trust, support to look after specialus places <in the region> <like places for Trust,helps yourussupport helps to look after special property X, property Y and Proeprty Z> in for ever, for everyone. ever, for everyone.
© National Trust 2018. The National Trust is an
© National Trust 2016. The National Trust is an independent independent registered charity, number 205846. registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust Photography © National Trust Images\National Images.
Opening Hours - Closed Monday (except for bank holidays) Tuesday & Wednesday: 10.00am - 4.00pm Thursday & Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm Saturday: 9.00am- 4.30pm | Sunday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
HADDON HALL Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1LA.
Christmas at Haddon Hall
1st to 23rd December, 10.30am to 4.00pm
SLEEPING BEAUTY AND OTHER TALES Musical recitals • Evening Candlelight Tours Gift Shop • Chapel • Museum • Exhibitions Delicious festive lunches Visit www.haddonhall.co.uk for more details email@example.com | 01629812855
Real Christmas Trees available from the 30th November! Treeway Fencing Ltd Unit 9 Cannock Wood Industrial Estate, Cannock Wood Street, Cannock, WS12 0PL Tel: 01543 425893 Christmas Trees on Sale from Saturday 1st December until Friday 21st December. Opening Times: Monday – Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm Saturday: 8:00am - 5:00pm Sunday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
William Wheat & Son Florist & Garden Centre 520 Chester Road, Little Aston, Aldridge, West Midlands, WS9 0PU Tel: 0121 353 7123 / 07525 172438 Christmas Trees on Sale from Friday 30th November until Thursday 20th December. Opening Times: Monday – Saturday: 9.30am to 4.30pm Sunday: 10.00am to 4.00pm
Ample floodlit parking on all sites www.treeway.co.uk
CHRISTMAS | TREND
Make it hand-made The trend: Christmas doesn’t have to cost the Earth and what with the huge trend now for recycling, upcycling and crafting, there are good viable alternatives for those looking to create a one-of-kind celebration. TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp regularly features on TV in the run-up to Christmas with her Handmade Christmas programme, showing us how to create unique gifts, tree decorations and table settings. “No-one can keep affording to change their decorations every year, but you can change your theme,” says the mum-of-two.
How to do it: Kirstie recommends buying a few tins of gold spray as this can be used to decorate pine cones or give worn-out decorations a new lease of life. She also recommends keeping a stock of garden wire, twine, a pom pom maker, glue gun, luggage labels and ribbon as all of these items can be used to make or decorate items and help make Christmas cheaper. Why not decorate plain brown wrapping paper by stamping Christmas messages or pictures on it or adding ribbon, twine, sprigs of holly or candy canes? Crafting your own cards provides a personal touch and stores such as The Works and Hobby Craft have a wealth of materials to help you do this. The latter often holds in-store workshops on Christmas crafts in the run-up to the festive season. If you’ve never tried before, why not leave the shop-bought mince pies and Christmas pudding on the shelves and try making your own? Practice makes perfect so experiment first. Gift ideas could include mason jars decorated with ribbon and holding mini bottled spirits inside and a recipe card on how to make the perfect cocktail, slippers filled with spa products and placed into a hessian bag with a decorated luggage label, or a basket filled with crafty items for fellow hand-made fans.
Top tips: • Keep it simple. Sometimes the easiest of ideas can be the most effective and if you’re new to crafting then this could be the best piece of advice. • Get the kids involved. They will love putting their own stamp on things and relatives will love the personal touch. It will also keep the youngsters busy and offer a relief from the chaos and excitement. • Have fun and enjoy it.
THE CHRISTMAS MAKEOVER Time to take your festivities to new heights by following one of these latest trends.
CHRISTMAS | TREND Go Green
Try it vegan
The trend: Worried about waste and what it’s
The Trend: Veganism is pretty huge these
doing to the environment? You’ve good reason to as more than 200,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year, millions of Christmas trees are discarded and more than 70 million mince pies end up in the bin. Perhaps, then, it’s time to go green?
days, which is good news for the hundreds of thousands of people in Britain who follow the plant-based diet.
How to do it: If you’re the one cooking the Christmas lunch shop local to help reduce food miles. Buying produce that is in season also helps. Winter greens such as cabbages and sprouts are virtually grown on the doorstep and are in season during the winter months. Buy organic too as no pesticides will have been used. Organic turkeys will also have led a freerange life, unlike non-organic turkeys so it’s worth looking into where it has come from and how it has been reared. If you really want to be eco-friendly this year you could actually go meat-free with a nut roast. Meat production is said to contribute to high levels of methane and nitrous oxide so a nut roast could quite literally be an environment life-saver. Don’t overbuy food either. If you’re realistic about what you need there will be less waste. It’s only one day after all – and the shops will be open again on Boxing Day. Make the most of left-overs, such as the turkey carcass, which can be used as a stock for soups, and make sure wine or champagne has real cork stoppers, which can also be used as firelighters. If you want to be green get a real tree, keep it in a large pot and plant it in the garden or a nature reserve afterwards, as recommended by the Woodland Trust. Why not make your own decorations by collecting pine cones, tying ribbon to sprigs of holly and bake gingerbread cookies to hang on the tree? Bunting can also be used for some festive cheer. Just buy fabric and cut triangles before threading onto garden twine. Wrap presents in plain brown paper with a festive ribbon or reusable textiles and try to send recycled cards. Don’t forget to shop local for your gifts, which will not only help to cut down on pollution but also support a small business, as well as ensuring your gift is more unique. Win, win all round!
Quit the sugar The trend: There’s a major trend for going sugar-free now. What with sugar taxes, food intolerances and the fact that too much refined sugar could be bad for our bodies, not to mention our waistlines and teeth, it’s no wonder a sea-change is happening. And with celebrities such as Davina McCall sharing her journey to a sugar-free life the trend is certainly catching on. “I was a totally refined sugar addict before I gave it up,” the TV presenter says. But since adapting her diet she claims to have never felt better. Her books, including Davina’s 5 Weeks to Sugar Free and Davin’s Sugar-free in a Hurry offer advice and recipes.
How to do it: Undoubtedly, being sugarfree will be tough to maintain over the festivities, with all the temptations of chocolate, cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding and custard. So what to do? You could load up on vegetables so there’s no room for dessert and drinking lots of water will help to stave off food cravings. However, there’s no need to go without. Peggy Anne’s Sweet Emporium in Trentham stocks sugar-free sweets, which could be served as a treat to sugar-free guests instead of chocolates. Tamworth-based Sugarless Treats is also an online supplier of sugar-free biscuits and goodies. Founded by Anne Shirley, the company was born after Anne discovered she was diabetic and would no longer be able to indulge in her favourite sweet treats, including chocolate. She created her own instead and the rest is history. Scan the barcode to go direct to Anne’s recipes online at www. staffordshireliving.co.uk
• Do the washing up with fennel or ginger rather than washing up liquid.
• Drink plenty of water. Offer to bring dessert. You get to have a healthy treat and the guests will never know.
• Dispose of unwanted presents ethically by joining a local recycling group.
• Practice mindfulness and meditation to help clear stress and stay focused.
• Switch to rechargeable batteries as they are better for the environment.
• Use left-overs to make bubble an squeak or turkey curry on Boxing Day.
Gone are the days when eating vegan left limited choice and drove a surge of panic through any dinner party host at the mere mention of the word. The number of vegans doubled from up to 150,000 in 2014 to 276,000 in 2016 and rose to a massive 600,000 this year. More and more people want to avoid animal products, including meat, dairy and clothing, not only for ethical reasons but health reasons too. So what does this mean during the festive season?
How to do it: Food and drink is probably one of the biggest hurdles for Vegans, but thankfully there are plenty of options available. Chef Jamie Oliver has an extensive amount of Vegan Christmas recipes on his website, including meals such as whole roasted cauliflower, Christmas curry, vegan mincemeat, gravy and roasted potatoes, parsnips and carrots. There are also delicioussounding desserts too, such as chocolate pots and poached pears with saffron. The Vegan Society (www.vegansociety. com) has “special occasion” recipes, which include Christmas pudding and brandy butter, nut roast, vegan yorkshire puddings, soups and egg nog. Many brands of beer are vegan but why not search for special craft beers online as gifts for vegan guests? If you have a vegan gal in your life, check out Lime Crime, the cult beauty and make-up brand, that has opened its first concession at Birmingham’s Selfridges store. The products are 100 per cent vegan and cruelty-free.
Top tips: • Plan ahead. If you’re at home you can prepare your menu. If spending Christmas as a guest at someone else’s house, ensure you have explained that you are vegan or offer to bring your own food items to help out. • Whip up a vegan eggnog or dish that everyone can try. It offers a bit of fun and everyone will have sampled something new. • Avoid temptation to go outside of your diet by bringing your own treats if necessary. sL
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Make it yours for Christmas
For more information and opening hours call us on 01782 213231 or visit www.wrenchjewellery.co.uk
Christmas at Calke Abbey Experience a Christmas like no other at Calke Abbey - the country house in decline. Find a moment of magic on a lantern-lit walk through the Pleasure Grounds, feel inspired at festive food and gift markets, and discover the Twelve Days of Calke's Christmas in a new family trail. #nationaltrust
Call 01332 863822 for details nationaltrust.org.uk/calke
© National Trust 2018. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust Images\Gillian Day.
Best National Wine Shops SHREWSBURY x BRIDGNORTH x HEREFORD CHESTER x WELSHPOOL x LLANDUDNO JUNCTION FREE MAINLAND UK DELIVERY ON ORDERS OVER £95 www.tanners-wines.co.uk 01743 234455
LICHFIELD at Christmas H
S C I H H RISTM T S U N A I S O AT J CODSALL GARDEN CENTRE OPEN MONDAY – SATURDAY 9AM – 6PM & SUNDAY 10AM – 4.30PM Real Christmas trees on sale from 24th November – 24th December. Christmas shop open every day. Come and see our singing reindeer!
Visit Santa on 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December from 10am – 4pm on all days. £8.99 per child including a present. Online bookings only via our website.
www.codsallandwergs.co.uk t: 01902 842461 f: 01902 846666 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Codsall & Wergs Garden Centre Ltd., Wergs Hall Road, Codsall, Wolverhampton, WV8 2HJ Codsall & Wergs Garden Centre Ltd
Petstore Reptile Centre Guns & Tackle
One of Cheshire & Staffordshire’s Leading Retailers of Shotguns | Firearms | Air Rifles | Air Pistols Small Pets | Reptiles | Aquatics Seeds & Feeds | Hutches, Kennels & Runs Free Local Delivery On Pet Supplies 162-166 Congleton Road, Butt Lane Stoke On Trent, ST7 1LT www.pastimesgunsandtackle.com
Spoil your dog this Christmas View DOGUE’s exclusive cable knit collection and stylish range of collars, leads & harnesses online at www.barknlead.co.uk where you can take advantage of our Christmas 10% discount by using the code Living10 at checkout. DOGUE – at the forefront of canine fashion
CHRISTMAS | AT HOME
THE PURRFECT COMPANION
Sticking to routine
Pay special attention to your furry pals this festive season – it’s the dos and don’ts of pets at Christmas.
Christmas is the season of giving and goodwill, although for the pets we choose to share our lives with this is not always the case. For some who arrive as presents it is a precarious time; the statistics for pets given up for rehoming in January remain stubbornly high as the reality of the commitment sinks in and the festive spirit wanes. For others it will be a stressful time as routines disappear, and maybe even owners too who leave for social visits with no arrangements in place for their care. Despite this though, many pets are loved and well cared for family members and are very much a part of the Christmas celebrations. The Dogs Trust is famous for its slogan, “A dog is for life… not just for Christmas”, and each year it launches a campaign to discourage people from giving dogs as gifts yet year after year record numbers are taken into their centres for rehoming in January. The RSPCA promotes the same message, yet it says that every year people still rush into purchasing a pet for a Christmas gift without doing enough research to understand the long-term responsibilities and impact on their lives that pet ownership entails. If you do want a pet which can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience it is important, both charities stress, to do the research to find one that suits your lifestyle and understand the expense and time involved. Not something that is easy to consider over Christmas… The RSPCA is also concerned that these animals bought as Christmas gifts are often purchased online and so may be funding an illegal trade that has seen puppies bred at alarming rates in appalling conditions across Europe before being transported to the UK. The charity says that 87% of the calls that it receives on the puppy trade are about animals bought over the internet which often have life threatening and costly health problems. Their advice is re-home an unwanted pet if you can but failing that ensure you see the parents of the puppy, ask for proof of Kennel Club documentation, google the advert to ensure that it has not been used multiple times with the same image and be aware that if the puppy is vaccinated it must be at least six weeks old.
Trick or treat We all know that Christmas, while enjoyable, can also be very stressful; it is no different for our pets and especially when it comes to food. While we over indulge, pets can also eat too much of often rich and out of the ordinary meals or snacks resulting in sickness, lethargy or even breathing difficulties. More worrying is the number of dogs that become seriously ill after eating human food at Christmas including chocolate, raisins, mince pies and whole brazil nuts. It isn’t all our fault; pets are greedy and can grab things while we are not looking, so keep those festive human and nonhuman treats safely locked up out of reach.
If you want to celebrate with your pet, why not pay a visit to the grooming parlour so they can look their festive best and give them safe treats or toys for presents – you can even choose to buy these from animal charity Christmas catalogues to help support pets that are less fortunate than yours. sL
If you do want a pet... find one that suits your lifestyle and understand the expense and time involved.
SU PER FU R RY A N I M A LS Presents they’ll love and adore just as much as you this Christmas.
£10 Tiger Stores
A dog is for life… not just for Christmas
Our pets also find security in contact with us and routine so at Christmas ensure you stick to what they know or support them when the days become a bit disruptive. When family and friends descend make sure your pet has a secure bolt hole to escape from the chaos, move smaller animals away from loud noise that can damage their ears and try to keep to regular feeding and walk times. If you’re off visiting take your pet if you can with their bed or toy to avoid excessive periods on their own or if not arrange in advance for them to be looked after properly. Finally, your local vet will have a Christmas break too so stock up on your pet’s medication for the holiday period if needed.
£6 Marks & Spencer
£35 Fetch & Follow
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COUER DE LION LUCINDA KING
FOR A TOUCH OF THE UNEXPECTED
SHEILA FLEET RACHEL GALLEY
UNO DE 50 JERSEY PEARL
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Get the look:
NOMAD WORDS: Juliette Wills
Winter will soon be upon us, so hang on to the rust-tinted leaves of autumn with a living space filled with comforting, statement pieces in rich, warm shades. Surround yourself with tactile, textured accessories like sumptuous, deep-pile rugs, animal hide cushions and natural wood furniture. Leather is a strong feature this season, but not just in the usual black – warm shades of rust add a luxurious twist. Try adding accents of copper, gold and mustard to bring everything together.
Shop all featured products and exclusive interior brands on level 1 at Mailbox
Credit: Tom Bird 1
Now open at Mailbox, discover luxury brands including MADE.COM, Heal’s and Boconcept at their only flagship showrooms in the Midlands. Shop the latest trends, investment pieces and statement lighting. PLUS find out about exclusive Level 1 offers at mailboxlife.com. 1. Heal’s Matera bed, £3,099 2. BoConcept Hey woven basket, £49 3. MADE.COM Pavel vase, £29 4. Calligaris Arena leather detail coffee table, £565 5. Heal’s Northern Heat pendant brass, £860 6. MADE.COM Bodhi wool handtuft large rug £349 7. BoConcept Imola Chair in Camel Sienna leather, £4,732
SHOP, DINE, PAMPER, STAY
Forget the crowds and queues, for stress-free shopping head to Mailbox Birmingham this season.
n the heart of the city, just a five-minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station, you’ll find premier shopping destination Mailbox tucked away from the chaos. Alongside easy and reliable transport links nearby, it also offers secure and disabled car parking, allowing you to browse all day stress-free.
Shop the latest trends at a host of luxury stores including Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani and Paul Smith, before dining in style at the likes of Tom’s Kitchen, Gas Street Social and Miller & Carter. Enjoy drinks with friends in stylish surroundings at Aluna and Churchill’s and for the film fans, a visit to the boutique Everyman cinema, where you can recline on plush sofas and order nibbles right to your seat, is a must. Whether you’re getting pampered with a fresh blowdry, express manicure or refreshing facial, treat yourself to some much-needed R&R at Flint+Flint, James Bushell Hair and Nicky Clarke. And, for ultimate relaxation, why not spend the night at Malmaison or AC Hotels. Mailbox is the place to discover the latest fashion, furniture, food and film.
Best of Beauty
The best products, treatments and tricks - as told by the experts themselves
1. PIXI BEAUTY ROSE TONIC 100ML, £10, HARVEY NICHOLS Helen Gough, Beauty Manager at Harvey Nichols - NEW RELEASE I use this morning and evening as part of my routine to gently remove any extra impurities after cleansing, leaving my face feeling soft, fresh and hydrated.
2. KÉRATASE MOUSSE BOUFFANTE 150ML, £21, JAMES BUSHELL James Bushell, Director at James Bushell Hair - To book an appointment with James or one of the team, call 0121 711 1100 This is my go-to product, all of my clients love it and it’s one of our bestsellers because of its versatility. For luxurious volume and hold, this is the product you need.
3. NICKY CLARKE ARGAN OIL 75ML, £20 Helen Carson-Brown, Senior Technical Director at Nicky Clarke This oil is nourishing without being too heavy. Unlike some serums that coat the hair, this soaks in to condition from within. Just add a couple of dots to damp hair and blow-dry to banish frizz.
4. FULL COMCIT™ FACIAL, ON OFFER FOR £79 FROM £120 Harvey Nichols
What’s on this season
From express beauty to authentic italian, winter is all about treating yourself
BEAUTY FOR THE BUSY From 15 minute manicures to a relaxing aromatherapy massage, the beauty team at Harvey Nichols Birmingham offer a range of express pamper packages to get you glam in less than 30 minutes! All packages include a complimentary glass of bubbly or soft drink. For more information and prices speak to a member of Harvey Nichols beauty team in store or call 0121 616 6019.
Melissa, Manager at Flint + Flint - Call 020 740 1207 to book now. Often referred to as the ‘Instagram Effect’ facial due to the picture-perfect filter finish it leaves on the skin, the Full COMCIT™ facial will give you fresher, healthier and more taut skin in just one hour. For more beauty tips and treatments visit Mailbox, Royal Mail Street, Birmingham, B1 1RD
BOTTOMS UP If you love cocktails as much as us you have to visit Tom’s Kitchen at Mailbox. Every Monday to Friday from 6pm – 7pm you can enjoy 2 for 1 cocktails. We’ve got our eyes on the Air Mail, with Havana 3 year, lime and a dash of Gomme Champagne Irroy. Cheers!
FEAST YOUR EYES Looking for authentic Italian cuisine in the city? Look no further… Pinocchio, the family-run restaurant has just opened on Level 3. We’d recommend Gamberi all’arancia with delicious Butterflied king prawns pan-fried with white wine, garlic, chilli and parsley. Try it before the secret’s out.
STEAK AND COCKTAILS FOR £20 Gas Street Social is offering mouthwatering meat dishes accompanied by a fun cocktail for just £20. All steaks are aged for 35 days and served with roasted tomatoes, onion strings, a side & a sauce. Find out what’s on and discover exclusive offers and promotions at mailboxlife.com 1
EVERYTHING YOU NEED THIS CHRISTMAS IN WOLVERHAMPTON... AWARD WINNING INDEPENDENT STORES, BIG HIGH STREET BRANDS & DEPARTMENT STORES. FESTIVE MARKETS, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON’S & EVENTS, AND FREE CHRISTMAS PARKING!
LATE NIGH T SHOPPING WEDNESD AYS FROM 28T H NOVEMBE R
UR FROM SAT ER B 1ST DECEM NDER IN THE MA CENTRE
Discover everything this Christmas www.enjoywolverhampton.com
Leave A Little Sparkle Wherever You Go
12-16 Hope Street, Hanley, ST1 5BS Telephone: 01782 215438 www.goodwinsjewellers.co.uk December Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5.00pm (until 8.00pm on Thursdays). Sunday 11.00am - 4.00pm
CHRISTMAS | FAMILY
is for FAMILY TIME Christmas is the one time of the year when family time is prioritised. There’s dinners and drinks and games and plenty of fun. Enjoy every single second.
OF CHRISTMAS Not feeling the Christmas cheer yet? You soon will be. From games and traditions to food, drink and decorations – it’s the A-Z of Christmas.
is for GIFTS The giving and receiving of gifts is one of the highlights of Christmas for sure. If you are still searching for that perfect gift, LIVING’s Christmas gift guide on page 36 will help.
is for HOT CHOCOLATE
is for ADVENT CALENDARS
With marshmallows and cream and sprinkles on top! A cosy winter evening is made with a mug of warm hot chocolate! And this gift set will make the perfect Secret Santa present too.
And they are not just for kids to count down the days either. We’ll take this one over a Cadbury’s chocolate calendar any day…
Baileys Hot Chocolate Set £12 Debenhams
YSL Beauty Advent Calendar £195 Selfridges
is for BING CROSBY We all know that when Bing Crosby’s iconic voice comes on the radio it officially signals the start of the Christmas season and we had better start writing those cards. Trouble is, we’re still dreaming of that white Christmas. Let’s hope this year our dreams come true.
is for COCKTAILS There’s no celebrating Christmas without a few festive drinks and no better tipple than a cocktail or two. From a classic Mulled Wine or Eggnog to those spiced with cinnamon or ginger and the Espresso Martinis with a real kick - the Christmas concoctions served up at home or in your favourite bar are always a delicious treat.
is for DECORATING THE TREE Whether you do this on Christmas Eve or at the start of November – decorating the tree is a family tradition and one we take very seriously. From the elaborate designs to chic or traditional styles, the tree is the feature of any home over Christmas. Sapphire Blue Indented Circle Bauble £8 John Lewis
is for ELVES What would Christmas be without elves? Well for starters, Santa Claus wouldn’t be ready for Christmas and the gifts would never be made… Santa’s little helpers are everything at Christmas.
is for ICE SKATING You’ve got to admit, Christmas is probably the only time when you’ll think about heading to an ice rink, donning those skates and awkwardly slicing your way around the ice. But it’s Christmas and we all have a little more spirit at this time of year.
is for JINGLE BELLS The Christmas carol that we all know the words to. Jingle Bells is as old as time and singing it never gets tiresome, unless you are trying to sleep and the neighbours are belting it out at 3am. But why not just join in? It’s Christmas after all.
CHRISTMAS | FAMILY
is for KINGS The three wise men and their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were pivotal in the biblical story of Jesus’ birth.
is for PYJAMAS A brand-new set of Christmas pyjamas is an essential part of everyone’s Christmas Eve/ Christmas morning rituals. We absolutely adore this red tartan set from Next. Red Tartan Pyjama Set £38 Next
is for LIQUEURS The festive season wouldn’t be the same without those rich alcoholic drinks laced with the sweet flavours of chocolate, marzipan, butterscotch and orange would it? The cabinet is always stocked ready for Christmas. Gingerbread Gin Liqueur £9.99 Aldi
is for MINCE PIES The great divide happens at Christmas and it comes down to who is a fan of deep filled mince pies and who is not? There’s always one who doesn’t enjoy a bite of this pastry treat.
is for NUTCRACKER From cute wooden soldiers to the ballet, The Nutcracker is the festive season all wrapped up. You can watch the ballet at the Birmingham Hippodrome from 23rd November, £20 per ticket. Check out www. birminghamhippodrome.com for more details.
is for O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL Probably one of the most famous and recognised carols worldwide. You know you are humming it to yourself right now.
is for QUIZZES
is for VIEWING PLEASURE
The Christmas quiz – whether in the office, at home or at the local pub, is a very serious business. We wouldn’t have a Christmas without one!
What’s a family Christmas without Christmas movies, and no matter how many times we’ve seen them, they are as brilliant as always.
is for RUDOLPH
is for WREATH
We couldn’t get through this A-Z without mentioning Santa’s reindeers’ and that of course includes Rudolph with his cute red nose.
An age-old tradition where flowers, twigs and other festive foliage is put together to resemble a ring. Usually these are placed on your front door but they can decorate the home too.
Check out where you can meet real life reindeers this Christmas season in and around Staffordshire at www.staffordshireliving.co.uk!
is for STOCKINGS Hands up if your mum was still making you a stocking well into your twenties? Well, it’s one of the reasons why we love heading home for Christmas isn’t it!? Waking up to a packed stocking at the end of the bed is legendary and one tradition you are guaranteed to pass on.
is for THE POGUES Love it or hate it, Fairytale of New York by The Pogues always creates a healthy debate around Christmas time, doesn’t it? We think it’s one of the best Christmas songs going so keep it coming!
is for XMAS While many of us think of ‘Xmas’ as a quirky way to refer to Christmas, it actually has Greek origins – because X is the Greek word ‘Chi’.
is for YULE LOGS Chocolate covered fudge, cream and cake – the yule log often gets overlooked, but get your fill this year with LIVING’s taste test on page 34. Yule Log £4 Sainsbury’s (available in stores from the 1st November)
is for UNWRAPPING How quick can you create a sea of colourful paper in your living room? Or perhaps you are one of those people who likes to spread it out across the day. Either way, unwrapping is one of the biggest activities happening on Christmas Day.
is for ZZZZZZZZZS Cosy on up in your bed, get the blankets out and have a well-deserved rest. sL
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in Telford European Christmas Market Panto time Cinderella Skate with Santa
Join in the magical festive activities this December Food, Drink & Shopping at Telford European Christmas Market | Enjoy a laugh a minute at this yearâ€™s panto Cinderella at Oakengates Theatre @ The Place | Skate with Santa at Telford Ice Rink.
www.christmasintelford.co.uk Christmas in Telford
LIGHTING UP NEWCASTLE
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS EVENT Street Food Mulled Wine Christmas Market Fun Fair Fantastic Live Performances Festive Activities PLUS...
A CELEBRITY MYSTERY GUEST
SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER
10AM â€“ 6PM
George Critchley for PMA Productions Presents
A Magical Family Pantomime WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY GEORGE
MUSICAL SUPERVISION BY ANDREW SUPPORTED BY STUDIO 5 (RUGELEY)
22nd - 30th December 2018 The Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock
Box Office: 01543 578 762 panto.princeofwales.live
Premier Baby YOUR ONE STOP BABY SHOP
Established Family business for over 20 years Quality service, brands & advice at the best prices!!
We are proud to announce we are now Mamas & Papas Platinum Retailers Great deals on Nursery Saving Plans, Free Storage & Pram Assembly Service - try us first! Egg, iCandy, Bugaboo, Maxi Cosi, Mamas & Papas, Mutsy, Silver Cross and many many more. Opening Hours Monday to Saturday: 10-5pm Sunday: 11-4pm. 161-163 Victoria Street, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 6HA
HANDCRAFTED IN ENGLAND www.thecountrycandlecompany.com We are a small family run business hand pouring candles, reed diﬀusers and wax melts in the Wiltshire countryside. We use ethically made and british ingredients wherever possible to create premium quality home agrance.
Handmade • Vegan • GMO ee • Palm Oil ee
and NEW YEAR CHRISTMAS PARTY NIGHTS*
Join us for your Christmas Party Nights including a 3 Course Meal followed by evening entertainment! Dates are available throughout December.
Enjoy a delicious 3 Course Christmas Lunch for just £25.00 per person! Served Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 4pm, throughout December.
MONDAY 24th to THURSDAY 27th DECEMBER*
Celebrate Christmas with us at the Izaak Walton! 1-3 night Christmas Package Stays available.
NEW YEARS EVE*
Join us for our New Years Eve Gala Dinner Dance! 2 Night Breaks are available starting either 30th or 31st December
*ADVANCE BOOKINGS ONLY!
For more information or to view our delicious menus download our 2018 Christmas brochure from our website.
01335 220070 www.izaakwaltonhotel.com Dovedale, Ilam, nr Ashbourne, DE6 2AY
Staffordshire Living NOVDEC 2018.indd 1
Bradshaw Brothers Farm Shop & Café Ironstone Road, Burntwood WS7 1YL
Christmas Food & Treats Bakery Butchers Fishmongers Christmas Lunches Christmas Afternoon Teas Pre-arranged Christmas Evenings
www.bradshawbros.co.uk Established in 1916 we can offer you a wide range of food specialising in locally produced meats, produce, wine & spirits, in addition to:
Enjoy a festive Christmas breakfast with Santa!
Experience our magical Enchanted Woodland under the stars.
For rules go to www.amertonfarm.co.uk
f WRITE A LETTER TO SANTA f TO BE LAUNCHED IN THE ELF ROCKET EXPRESS
f A PRESENT FOR EVERY CHILD f f CHILDRENS CHRISTMAS f DECORATION COMPETITION
f TRACTOR & TRAILER RIDE f f MEET SANTA & HIS REINDEER f
f A CERTIFICATE FROM SANTA f f PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH SANTA f
UPGRADE OPTION INCLUDES ALL OF ABOVE PLUS:
Mastery Butchers, high quality catering & wholesale Bakery producing fresh bread, cakes, pies celebration cakes daily Café providing freshly prepared home-cooked food
Win a Family Annual Pass
Christmas Gifts Christmas Hampers Personalised Gifts Christmas Trees Christmas Decorations Christmas Vouchers Hair & Beauty
f TRACTOR & TRAILER RIDE TO SEE THE REINDEER f
Visit Santa’s Grotto in the Enchanted Village, hidden away in the woods. f TRACTOR & TRAILER RIDE f f MEET SANTA & HIS REINDEER f IN THE ENCHANTED VILLAGE
f ALL DAY ACCESS TO BILLY'S FARM BARN f BOOKING ONLINE IN ADVANCE ONLY
EVERY WEEKEND FROM 1 TO 23RD DECEMBER & ALSO 21ST & 24TH DECEMBER AT 9:00am ST
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA
Children: £10.99 | Adults: £8.25 BREAKFAST WITH SANTA UPGRADE Children: £18.99 | Adults: £11.00
f A PRESENT FROM THE GROTTO f f A CERTIFICATE FROM SANTA f f CHILDRENS CHRISTMAS f DECORATION COMPETITION IN THE ELF’S WORKSHOP f STORY TIME WITH MRS CLAUS f
f A PRESENT FROM THE GROTTO f
f SINGING ELVES f
f PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH SANTA f
f PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH SANTA f
f CHILDRENS CHRISTMAS f DECORATION COMPETITION
f PLAY IN BILLY’S FARM BARN BEFORE & AFTER THE VISIT TO SANTA
f ALL DAY ACCESS TO BILLY’S FARM BARN f
BOOKING ONLINE IN ADVANCE ONLY
BOOKING ONLINE IN ADVANCE ONLY
EVERY WEEKEND FROM 1ST TO 23RD DECEMBER & ALSO 21ST DECEMBER 11:00am TO 3:00pm SANTAS ENCHANTED VILLAGE Children: £12.99 | Adults: £3.99
EVERY FRIDAY & SATURDAY EVENING DURING DECEMBER FROM 7TH TO 22ND & ALSO SUNDAY 23RD DECEMBER FROM 4pm TO 6.30pm TWILIGHT CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Children: £15.99 | Adults: £4.99
Babies in arms: £5.00 - Present from Santa only. These offers cannot be used with your Amerton Farm Annual Pass.
For further details and booking go to www.amertonfarm.co.uk
T: 01543 279437 | E: email@example.com
Amerton Farm Ltd. Stowe by Chartley, Nr. Stafford, Staffordshire ST18 0LA
Tel: 01889 270294
| Fax: 01889 271242 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.amertonfarm.co.uk | facebook Amerton Farm A great day out for everyone!
With up to 60% off you wonâ€™t have to rein in your generosity this Christmas. Thatâ€™s handy. Knock their socks off this Christmas with up to 60% off your favourite brands at Affinity Staffordshire. Join in our festive fun and seasonal surprises, with visits from Santa each weekend; we know what makes Christmas special. Conveniently located just off the A500, we have free parking and late night shopping too. Now that really is handy! Check out our website for our seasonal news and offers. affinityoutlets.com/staffordshire
CHRISTMAS | EDIT
Spend the countdown to Christmas enjoying nine full size products and 15 luxury samples from the likes of Chantecaille, Margaret Dabbs, Iconic London, Sand & Sky, Lilou et Loic and Christian Breton.
Make it the best it can be… don’t forget the marshmallows and whipped cream.
Karl Lagerfield’s AW18 jewellery collection should be on everyone’s wish list.
Beauty Advent Calendar £195 www.fortnumandmason.com
The perfect colour for autumn and a practical bucket shape. We are in love.
CHRISTMAS WISH LIST Our can’t-live-without edit of festive must-haves this Christmas.
Abbey Oxblood Small Classic Grain £650 www.mulberry.com
A mixture of 12 botanicals including Gunpowder Green Tea makes for a banging Christmas tipple.
The sweet smell of Christmas and it’s only available for a limited time so get your fill quick.
£126 Jo Malone
We love these funky, warming winter accessories.
Make your festive table stand out with this stunning statuesque candelabra.
Yayoi Toesama Socks £8.50 shop.tate.org.uk
Spiral Candelabra £78 John Lewis & Partners
“ THE SEASON TO SPARKLE”
LIFESTYLE Your style bible, plus health, fitness and relationships advice
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Visit Eland Lodge for the complete rural retail experience Country Clothing • Accessories and Gifts • Equestrian Clothing Home & Pet • Equestrian Equipment
Shop online next day delivery and click & collect available
01283 575 856
www.elandlodge.com Newborough Rd, Draycott-in-the-Clay, DE6 5HD
g in le! p ap ilab r w a ft e av i G vic ser
BEAUTY | TREND
OF THE NIGHT Your festive beauty checklist.
Makeup artist and founder of Wow Beauty, Denise Rabor, says: “As the festive season approaches, it’s good to give your skin the best chance of looking its best by preparing it. For example, take the time to boost your complexion by treating it to some facials (DIY or salon) and maintain good hydration levels to avoid any signs of dehydration.”
BYE BYE, CONTOUR Contouring may have been the look du jour among the celeb set for the last few years, but now you can achieve the same wow factor with a little less work as contouring is officially out. Denise says: “Your skin is really going to be the star of the show this season so before reaching for your foundation, prep your skin first with a good serum and moisturiser to help increase moisture and plump that skin up; next reach for a primer that will help to unify the overall look of your skin, while also adding radiance and helping your base to last longer. Lastly reach for your foundation or concealer. The trick here is that less is more, so just apply it where you need it to keep that festive glow.” >
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BEAUTY | TREND
Rose Lash £10 dollbeauty.com
Whatever you do, you want to draw attention to your lashes. A bold, beautiful retro look is the key. Denise says: “Eyelashes are getting a lot of love, so mascara will be an essential element in your festive makeup bag - unless of course you’re wearing falsies. Go for a mascara that volumizes and lengthens.”
£20 maccosmetics.co.uk Belle Lash £10 dollbeauty.com
GET THE GLOW
Make eyes the focal point of your look with some simple but effective colour to lift and add that touch of glamour that every festive gal out on the town needs. Denise says: “A little glitter goes a long way and there is a glitter that’s perfect for you, whether you go bold with glitter eyeliner or subtle with a smattering of gold or silver glitter on your eyelids; either way you’ll be glowing.”
Well, it is mistletoe season isn’t it? Get ready to leave your mark. Don’t be afraid to go dramatic with the lips. Red can work beautifully but if you’re not sure a pillar-box shade is for you then go for a more toned-down colour or use a lip brush to apply as this will give a lighter and more subtle finish.
£26 Harvey Nichols
l ips For a finishing touch on your lips, you want to make it shimmer and shine. Denise says: “The choice is yours: you can go bold with flawless red or berry toned lips which always looks stunning, or you can go neutral but add some zing by using a shimmer lip gloss over the top or a touch of metallic pigment in the centre of your lips to accentuate your pout. If you have embraced glitter, you could add a touch to your lips for extra sparkle. Don’t forget to prep your lips by keeping them moisturised and exfoliate if needed.”
£16 Harvey Nichols
BEAUTY | TREND
hair BIG HAIR, DON’T CARE
Amy Winehouse’s signature beehive style is one we will never forget, along with her soulful, unique voice and party lifestyle. This Christmas you will be channelling your inner 60s chick and rocking out to all the classics with big hair – the bigger, the better. You can go for a full beehive style or add a contemporary twist and leave half your hair down. The best bit? This style works well with hair that is a little dirty, so when you’re too hungover to face washing your hair this is your go-to style. £9.50 Olivia Bonas
Hair is taking all the limelight this festive season so go bold, sparkly and over the top in any way you can. Extravagant hair accessories made big impressions on the catwalks as designers emphasised long and short tresses with signature sparkles, diamonds, colourful stones, flowers and headbands. Make your Christmas extra special and add some glitz.
nails TOTAL VAMP
Halloween may be over but the look that never fails for cold, blustery festive nights out has to be deep shades of purple and black to out vamp all your friends and work colleagues.
Treat yourself to some well-deserved salon time and opt for festive-themed nail art – snowflakes, ribbons and quirky festive characters like snowmen or elves are all 100% approved for December. sL
£29 Harvey Nichols
From the beauty cupboard…
£19.95 Mii Cosmetics
£29 Charlotte Tilbury
£100 Estee Lauder
Festive treats we can’t ignore.
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Access | Fransa | French Connection
Inwear | Nu by Staffs-Woman | Onjenu Religion | Robell | Saint Tropez | Sandwich 23 High Street, Sandbach, CW11 1AH 01270 761594
8 Lawton Road, Alsager, ST7 2AF 01270 883465
29 Hospital Street, Nantwich, CW5 5RP 01270 610724
Stockist of Sonia Pena, Carla Ruiz, Lizabella, Ella Boo, Arggido and more
Evening Cocktail Prom Ball Gowns Occasion Wear Accessories Professional Fitting and Alteration Service Available www.dressydresses.co.uk email@example.com 01785 501151 07506 107934 3-4 Lichfield Road, Stafford, ST17 4JX
ď‚‚ Join us on Facebook
SILENT NIGHT SPA EVENING Relax & prepare for the busy season in style Enjoy Silent Night Spa Evenings during December. Arrive at 5.30pm, welcomed with a Moddershall Oaks signature drink. Enjoy our indoor & outdoor spa facilities, a delicious festive deli board accompanied with a drink & a limited edition 25-minute peppermint massage treatment.
ÂŁ59 each Christmas at Moddershall Oaks Go online to view our latest Christmas events, parties, lunches & NYE information! Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat, Moddershall, Near Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8TG firstname.lastname@example.org | www.moddershalloaks.com | Call to book 01782 399000 Available any day in December. Subject to availability & exclusions.
FASHION | TREND
1 60S GLITZ Plenty of breathing room to do the twist…
HOW TO WEAR
£25 Elizabeth Arden £60 River Island £12 Oliver Bonas
One look, three ways Relive your favourite party era and dress to impress this festive season!
£35 Dorothy Perkins
2 70 S S PA R K L E Party like you’re a 70s chick but don’t be surprised if you can’t remember in the morning…
£35 Dorothy Perkins
£425 Annie Haak
£45 Debenhams £35 Debenhams
£35 Miss Selfridge
£55 JD Williams Lipsy
3 80S GLAM All black and gold and fabulous, get ready for a good night…
£60 Dorothy Perkins
£18 Elizabeth Arden
£20 Dorothy Perkins
£16 George at Asda £40 F&F £10 JD Williams £19 www.narscosmetics.co.uk
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FASHION | TREND
FASHION FAVOURITES TOP 10
The stylish buys that will see you through to 2019.
When function and fashion meet in perfect harmony. A quilted jacket is a style staple this winter.
THE RIDING BOOT
Take 2019 on in a sturdy pair of riding boots. Giddy up…
Puffa £99 Monsoon.
Boots £79 Lipsy.
THE ANIMAL PRINT ACCESSORY
Animal print is a big trend this season across your entire wardrobe. But, there’s an abstract twist on the standard patterns we’re used to. Try adding this black and red print to bring a bit of colour to your standard black wardrobe. Bag £70 Dune.
Dress to impress at work with a Victorian-esq tie neck blouse. Simple and elegant work chic nailed. Blouse £225 L K Bennett
THE BRIGHT SCARF
Make your outfit burst with colour with cute and timeless accessories. Scarf £130 Diane Von Furstenberg at Harvey Nichols.
FASHION | TREND £13 Primark
Match an oversized jumper with an on-trend asymmetric hem and a pair of black leggings and boots. Perfection. Jumper £910 Stela McCartney at Selfridges.
9 THE PARKA
Hide from the elements in a hooded parka. The only protection you’ll need. Parka £54.99 New Look
Coloured leather is making us all happy this season, especially when they are this cute. Gloves £49 Hobbs.
• n g Ide a s
i eld • A s ch f h
e • D er
Team a shirt dress with boots, heels or flats for the perfect office style this season. Great if you’ve got a party to go to after work too! Dress £52 Lipsy.
Hallelujah! This is one trend that looks good on everybody so embrace the shirt dress and experiment with ways to wear it.
THE SHIRT DRESS
THE DROP EARRING
Pastel colours are bringing a light tone to jewellery for the autumnwinter season. Team it with a drop effect for a perfect bit of sparkle. Auren Axiom Triple Drop Earrings £135 Young Ideas. sL w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k
FASHION | FEATURE
Relish in the opportunity to indulge and enjoy the experience.
If you’ve got a formal black tie event coming up this festive season, fear not! You can dress up with confidence and sparkle all night long thanks to our handy etiquette guide – now you just have to work on the dance moves… The festive party season will soon be upon us with plenty of opportunities to sparkle in your Christmas outfit, but what about those more formal occasions when the invite includes the words, “Dress Code: Black Tie “and you realise with a sinking feeling that the Rudolph jumper simply will not do? The answer is don’t panic as this dress code is much easier and far more achievable than you imagine, after all it has survived since 1865 when the Prince of Wales and future Edward VII first placed an order for a dinner jacket or what his American friends would have called a tuxedo. Here’s our guide to black tie etiquette for him and for her.
FOR HIM Founded in 1769, Debrett’s is the authority on etiquette and it describes black tie as formal evening dress consisting of a black dinner suit with a white dress shirt and black bow tie. What distinguishes the dinner jacket from an evening suit is the black satin added to the lapels and what you wear with it.
Debrett’s suggest a black wool jacket with braid trimmed trousers cut for braces, twinned with a double cuffed turn down collar shirt pleated or plain but never ruffled and a hand tied bow tie with feet wrapped in black silk socks and highly polished lace up shoes. Imogen Curry is from online formal wear store Dobells Menswear: "Black tie is a dress code that requires a tuxedo or dinner jacket,” she says, “typically with matching trousers, a bow tie and a dress shirt. You are usually expected to wear a black bow tie, to match your lapels, and the trouser stripe. The trousers shouldn’t be standard black. Tuxedo trousers don’t include belt hoops, exposed buttons, turn ups and have a satin stripe continuing down the leg”.
But, how flexible is this code? A midnight blue dinner jacket with matching trousers is growing in popularity and acceptability as is the long dark tie rather than the bow tie option and waistcoats. Imogen has plenty of tips: “If you would rather choose a contrasting colour, the jacket can be a “pop” colour, although most men choose a subtler approach of dark navy blue or a silver tuxedo jacket. The dress shirt is double cuffed, so you can add some eye-catching cufflinks to go with the stud buttons exposed on the front of your shirt.” One last tip from Imogen. “To finish off the outfit there is no better choice than a black silk scarf to add some class to the look.” If you are still feeling slightly hot under the turn down collar about it all it might be wise to ask a few questions first. While the inclusion of a black tie dress code on an invitation indicates a level of formality over and above a lounge suit or smart casual attire, the invitation may state dinner jackets, DJs, tuxedos (white or black) or maybe just dressing for dinner so find out what is meant and check out the venue which will also tell you a lot about the dress code for the event.
FOR HER Although black tie formal evening wear is more relevant to men than women, ever since 1932 when Hollywood’s Marlene Dietrich showed us how to wear a tuxedo with style women have embraced and stretched the rules for formal evening dress. If a woman chooses to wear a dress both a full-length ball gown and a cocktail dress fitted and ending just below the knee are acceptable options. Trousers can also be worn either tapered or palazzo style with a fitted dinner jacket, or even cleverly matched stylish separates such as a silk blouse worn with a full-length satin skirt. There is no requirement to wear black although it never fails to flatter, but richer jewelled colours in silk, chiffon, crepe and satin are better options because they are less casual and clearly shout evening rather than day wear. If the invitation does not specify when making your choice be guided by the practicalities of the evening’s programme, the time of year and the other guests. A voluminous dress maybe more impractical at a lengthy formal dinner while a delicate cashmere wrap might be an essential if the temperature drops. You need to choose a dress outfit that will work in a room full of men in dinner jackets and women that have chosen to wear full length gowns. Don’t forget to also consider how you and your partner coordinate and complement each other. With the world leaning towards ever more casual attire, you should relish in the opportunity to indulge and enjoy the experience. A bit of careful planning and cheeky borrowing can off-set the expense of the evening and still ensure you meet the dress code. Be warned you could find this dressing up addictive… sL
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FASHION | STYLE STEAL £52 Office
£80 Evans £54.95 Joe Browns
IN YOUR 30S & 40S Copycat celeb: Blake Lively The unequivocally cool Blake Lively is renowned for her high-fashion yet individual style and her Instagram page @blakelively is packed with images documenting her red carpet looks.
Her glam? From elegant tailoring to full-glitz dresses, Blake loves to mix it up and she always makes a statement every time. Why not try a take on this bold check dress and to-die-for embroidery camel coat this festive season? Fashion editor’s tip: Blake is never afraid to be bold with colour so go for it – the festive season is the perfect opportunity to experiment! Contrast your colours and patterns together and stand out from the crowd.
£19.99 New Look
Time to copycat our favourite celebrities’ red-carpet style.
Copycat celeb: Madonna
The festive party season is almost here and it’s the perfect excuse to get dressed up and show off your sparkle.
The Queen of Pop may have turned 60 this year but her eye for a red carpet look never fails. And who says you have to tone down your party look when you get older?
And who best to take inspiration from but some of our best-known celebrities on the red carpet? They might have a wardrobe of designer clothes and a team of make-up artists and hairdressers on stand-by but with a wealth of choice on the high street, there’s no reason why anyone can’t get the look, even without the designer budget. So, why not sit back, grab a mince pie and mulled wine, and let us provide you with some seasonal inspiration to help you get ready for your close-up.
IN YOUR 50S & 60S
Her glam? Old school glamour with a contemporary edge, Madge knows how to make the cameras flash. Red is a perfect colour for Christmas and will certainly help you make an entrance to any party. Fashion editor’s tip: If you’re not comfortable showing off your arms, team this red dress with a cute wrap or cardigan.
FASHION | STYLE STEAL
£12.99 New Look
IN YOUR 70S
Copycat celeb: Meryl Streep
FESTIVE HAIR A stylish up-do is a staple of the celebs. The good news is there are plenty of tutorials on internet video site YouTube to show you how to create a glamorous sleek ponytail, elegant chignon or a loosely braided do among others. If you want to wear your hair down use a curling wand to add soft waves or full-on curls, or use straighteners and smoothing spray to achieve a super sleek and shiny style, which is also great for shorter styles. Large rollers will help add some volume to flat hair, along with a spray of a volumising product such as hair moose, and you could even try some clip-in extensions to add extra layers and bounce. Hair accessories, such as jewel-encrusted elastics, decorative clips and head bands can add the finishing touch to a style. There are lots to choose from on the high street so you’re sure to find something you love.
When you’ve walked as many red carpets as Hollywood star Meryl Streep, you know exactly how to work it well. And, while she has tended for a more relaxed but sophisticated style in recent years, she still manages to always look flawless in front of the cameras. Her glam? The 69-year-old’s style is perfect for those who prefer a more understated style or are seeking an alternative to a dress. Why not take a leaf out of her book and try a trousers and blouse combo? Fashion editor’s tip: Don’t think you can’t throw on a dress in your 70s. Many A-list celebs in their 60s and 70s, like Helen Mirren, Glenn Close and Jane Seymour, still know how to work an LBD to the max!
Copycat celeb: Mary Berry
£19.99 New Look
For those who don’t want to attempt a new hair look alone or who want a professional finish why not book a salon blow-dry or styling session as a festive treat? It is Christmas after all.
She’s the duchess of cakes but Great British Bake-Off’s Mary Berry also knows how to pull a showstopper on the red carpet too! And at 83-years old, she’s got buckets of experience that we can all learn from. Her glam? Blue seems to be her colour of choice so why not take inspiration and go full-on dress to impress with this Lipsy one-shoulder dress.
IN YOUR 80S
Fashion editor’s tip: Colour match your accessories with your dress and you’ll be working the one-colouroutfit trend to its best this season. sL
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YOU | RELATIONSHIPS
The 13 stages of a successful relationship. Jump on board, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! 84
YOU | RELATIONSHIPS
elationships are rarely, if ever, straightforward. There are various twists and turns along the way, and while many relationships survive and even thrive when faced with adversity, others falter and break down. And while no two relationships are ever the same, they also share similarities. Think about it carefully and you’ll notice each couple follows a relationship timeline. Of course, not every pairing reaches the end of that timeline (and may only get a short way along it), but there are certain phases that each relationship goes through. Think of it like a railway line with different stations en route. One of the first stations could be that first date and another could be the first kiss. Of course, there may be diversions along the way because not all couples follow the same route. And, like any railway service, there may be delays – or even cancellations! If you’re part of a couple, our timeline will help you work out if your relationship is on track. Or, if you’re single, it will give you a taste of the significant stages of a healthy relationship and when you should expect them to happen. But remember: always be prepared for timetable upheaval.
1. Making contact Perhaps you’re already friends. If so, you’ll know what the other person is like and will have an idea about whether you could be compatible as a couple. It’s now time to let that person know you’d like to move the relationship beyond friendship. Or maybe you only know each other vaguely, perhaps through mutual friends or conversations online. But the only way to get to know each other properly is by meeting up face-to-face. Relate counsellor Peter Saddington said many people today meet online or via text, whereas before they would have met in person. Peter, who is based at the relationship support charity’s Derby and Nottingham centres, said: “We’re not so inhibited when we’re not actually there with the person in the same room. Relationships are starting in a very deep, intimate way but this can be deceptive. We may know a lot about what the other person is thinking but not necessarily about that person themselves.”
3. First kiss The first time you lock lips is likely to be a memorable moment (but don’t build it up too much or you’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t live up to your Hollywood romcom standards, with fireworks going off in the background). The first kiss could have already happened before your first date, or perhaps at the end of it (so you may want to avoid overdoing the garlic if you meet for a meal), or it could even happen at a later stage. It will show how strong your chemistry is, and if you want to kiss that person again, you’ll know the relationship has potential.
4. Becoming an ‘item’ This is the point where you ‘officially’ become a couple. It’s the natural progression after you’ve been on a series of dates and have decided you want a relationship together.
5. Saying ‘I love you’ Another significant stage. Saying those three little words shows your true feelings for the other person and that you want to continue moving forward as a couple. This phase may happen further down the line, but at some stage, not too far along, you would hope your relationship develops into love, for both of you.
6. Getting intimate between the sheets
2. First date
The first time you have sex is another major milestone and one you wouldn’t expect to happen too early in a relationship, ideally. But the most important thing is that you’re both ready. However, for religious or other reasons, you may prefer to wait until marriage to take things to a sexual level.
It’s natural to feel nervous as this stage approaches, and we’re all familiar with that distinctive butterflies-in-thestomach feeling. But this phase is also an exciting time. It’s your chance to find out how you click, what you have in common – and whether there’s mutual attraction.
Peter said: “It used to be several dates before a couple thought about kissing or being sexual. But nowadays the implication is they will have sex fairly quick. It can work being sexual very early on. However, I’d suggest building up some confidence in the relationship before you decide to take that next step, and to be sure that neither of you feel obliged to do it.”
Give some thought to the venue. The cinema may sound like a safe option because you won’t have to talk to each other much and therefore won’t have to worry about awkward silences – but it could be a wasted opportunity to have a proper chat. Alternatively, you may want to meet up for a meal or a drink (but remember to go easy on the G&Ts!).
7. The end of the honeymoon phase
Peter said: “When you meet for the first time, as with anything, it might not go as you want, so be prepared for that. Maybe you need several meetings before you realise it can work.”
Every long-term relationship goes through this phase because at some point, usually after a few months, the intense heat and lust will cool down. But while that may sound like a negative thing, it’s actually quite natural. It means you’re now comfortable together and feel secure about your future. Peter said: “After a few years, like any relationship, the intensity fades. At the start you really want to see that person and this is fuelled by the chemicals in the brain. But over time that starts to fade, and some may interpret that as meaning that maybe you don’t love that person. As the brain stops releasing chemicals the same way, you have to more consciously work at the relationship.”
8. Meeting mum and dad This is a stage that many approach with trepidation, but it doesn’t have to resemble the Ben Stiller film, Meet the Parents, where the main character endures a calamitous first visit to his girlfriend’s parents’ home. Now is your chance to find out more about your partner’s family. After all, they are likely > to play a big part in your life as a couple moving forward.
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YOU | RELATIONSHIPS >
9. Living together
It could be that you choose to rent a home together, buy a property or even share a home with relatives while you save up. Aside from the practicalities of sharing bills, and paying for rent or a mortgage, there’s the excitement of living together for the first time. It’s the point where you really get to know each other – including the other person’s (possibly annoying) habits. Peter said: “When you start living with someone you realise they’re not perfect. Sometimes they’re grumpy or they leave the toilet seat up. It’s a test of a relationship. Are you both prepared to be tolerant? Part of the work for a couple is coming to terms with your differences. You don’t do things or think in the same way as the other person but remember that relationships need work.”
10. Becoming engaged Getting to the stage where one of you is ready to ‘pop the question’ depends on various things, including your age and how fast your relationship is progressing. At this point you should know each other well, love each other and be past the honeymoon stage. However, not all couples choose to go down the engagement and marriage route, which is perfectly fine, especially if that’s what you both want. Peter said: “Not so many people get married or engaged nowadays. But living together or buying a house together is quite often the stage when you think about getting engaged.”
Not all couples feel they need to put a ring on each other’s finger to prove the strength of their bond.
11. Walking down the aisle This is where you make a lifelong commitment to one another and is the next step after getting engaged. But again, not all couples feel they need to put a ring on each other’s finger to prove the strength of their bond. If you do choose to get married, you could opt for a traditional church wedding, a civil ceremony, registry office do – or even tie the knot on a beach in the Caribbean. The most important thing is that you love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives together. Peter said: “Some people want to get married and some don’t, so it’s important to communicate with each other. If you can understand why your partner doesn’t want to get married, you might be able to find a way around the issue.”
12. Parenthood As any parent can testify, this stage brings with it a rollercoaster of emotions, alongside a backdrop of sleep deprivation. This phase would ideally happen after you’ve moved in together and have reached a secure point in your relationship. Together you can share the ups and downs of parenthood as a strong, committed unit. Peter said: “Whether or not you want to have children is one of those things you need to talk about early on. Having children is a big test on a relationship but most couples, at some point, want children.”
13. Life as a couple As you move through life together, your relationship may be a world away from the heady days when you first met. But there are still ways to keep your life together fresh, no matter how long you’ve been a couple. Sex can still be enjoyed, even if that feeling of wanting to rip each other’s clothes off the moment you see each other has long disappeared. And if your children have long flown the nest, you may have more time to spend as a couple, perhaps at your favourite restaurants, the cinema or by jetting off on exotic holidays. Peter said: “It’s possible to resolve anything if you understand each other because in a good relationship you negotiate. And if one, or both of you has an affair, it’s always possible to get over it, although 86
not everyone can. It’s a painful, difficult thing to do, but it’s about talking and understanding. There’s normally a reason why the affair took place. If you can deal with that and resolve it, the relationship won’t be the same as it used to be but it can be repaired. You can develop a new relationship in which you’re more honest.
“To have a happy relationship, you need to talk to each other; to explain what you want and what you’re not happy with. Sharing what you’re thinking and feeling will always lead to a better relationship.” Relate provides a range of relationship support services for couples, individuals, families, children and young people across Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and Derbyshire. Visit www.relate.org.uk to find out more.
What you say Q: Can you put a timeline on a relationship? Ed, 45, a graphic designer has a partner and two children. He said: “The first kiss should happen on the first date, if it has gone well. You kind of know if there’s a connection straight away. And you know things are serious when you meet your partner’s parents and move in together. I’ve always been nervous when I’ve met a girlfriend’s parents. But these days couples don’t need to get engaged or married. For a happy relationship, communication and compromise are important.” Claire, 31, an admin manager is single, having just come out of a 2-year relationship. She says: “Nowadays, the foundations for a relationship are built over smartphones and not face to face like the old days! You will probably know a lot about a person’s personality and history before you have even shaken their hand, which has both positive and negative implications for your future together. So, kissing, or even going further, on a first date is not always a bad thing.” Ged, 27, is in a long-term relationship, he says: “You don’t have to follow the ‘normal’ route to have a successful relationship. My partner and I went out with each other at university, but it ended after a year. We met up again several years later and the rest is history. If two people are meant to be together, they will get there in their own way.” Jess, 36, works in marketing, has been single for 18 months. She says: “You can get caught up in the whirlwind of a new relationship and speed through the early stages quicker than you’d like. Men, especially, will go all out to impress you at the beginning and then take you for granted after the honeymoon stage is over, leaving you with nothing but regrets!” sL
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YOU | WELLNESS
A S K T H E E X P E R T:
HOW TO BEAT THE BLOAT over the festive season
The temptation is to indulge during the festive period but excessive overeating, especially rich foods, can play havoc with our digestion, and leave many of us feeling bloated and sluggish. Nutritionist and chair of BANT (British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine) Miguel Toribio-Mateas shares his top tips on how to beat the bloat this festive season.
Avoid processed meat - Often in cheaper quality
processed meat you have things like maltodextrin which makes texture more appetising but can cause a spike in blood sugar. Also added as “padding” there’s soy, corn, wheat flour, amongst many other which can contribute to bloating. All processed meat can contain nitrites in the form of salts mixed with sodium, the main component in table salt. These are frequently added to processed meats like bacon, ham, sausages and hot dogs as preservatives, helping to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria so that the shelf life is longer. So give the salt a pass and choose your Christmas meat carefully.
Go easy on the bubbles -
Alcohol is a bloating offender on its own but when you introduce extra bubbles into the mix it takes bloating to the next level, so stick with drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that don’t contain fizz.
Eat the rainbow - Avoiding bloat isn't only about avoiding culprit foods; it's also key to eat more foods that are effective at battling bloat. Ensure your diet includes a mixed variety of fruit and vegetables, as these are strong sources of soluble fibre and important for ‘feeding’ the good bacteria in your gut. Prep your body for festive feasting with probiotics - Taking probiotics throughout
the festive season can help to ensure the digestive system is ready to handle one too many overindulgences. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts which are good for your digestive system, often described as “friendly” bacteria. Probiotics (mostly Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species) can be included in a variety of products including yoghurts, drinks and supplements such as tablets, capsules or sachets. So, what do you need to look out for when buying a probiotic supplement? It is important to select one backed by published studies that show a benefit, then trial for at least 4 weeks. I’d recommend looking for a multi-strain, poly-biotic with a high concentration of bacteria.
"Herbal Teas are also a great way to stay hydrated, the best options to calm and support the digestion are: fennel, ginger, peppermint, liquorice and cardamom."
Stay hydrated - When you are not partying, drink plenty of water. Water helps to speed up digestion and can counteract the effects of salt and carb-induced bloating, I would recommend that you aim for at least six to eight glasses a day. Herbal Teas are also a great way to stay hydrated, the best options to calm and support the digestion are: fennel, ginger, peppermint, liquorice and cardamom. Focus on fibre - As a general rule, fibre helps to
keep your digestive system moving on schedule. The benefits of including various different types of fibre, such as wholemeal bread, fruit, vegetables and pulses, is that you’ll be feeding the different types of bugs in your gut. This will likely increase the diversity of your gut flora, which has been seen to correspond with better chances of the rest of your body staying healthy too. But be careful, if you aren't used to eating fibre, a larger than normal dose can be hard for your body to digest and can actually lead to bloating, so start off with gradual changes.
Walk it off - Being active helps your digestive
system to function properly, one way of speeding the rate at which food moves through the system is to take a post-meal stroll.
Relax and unwind - The Christmas holidays are
typically a busy and often stressful period and stress, tiredness and feeling anxious can contribute to stomach problems. So be sure to breathe deeply, get plenty of rest, take time out when you need to and most importantly enjoy yourself. sL
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YOU | LIVING
“Every sitter has been like finding a precious jewel hiding its light under a bushel."
LATE NIGHT CHEATS The festive season is fast approaching and we all know what that means: over indulgence. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back thanks to our guide to post-party survival. You’re welcome! It may seem like only yesterday you were taking down the tree and packing away the baubles. But the Christmas countdown has started once again – so brace yourself! Alongside the gift buying, food shopping and wrapping, there’s another side to this time of year that you either love or dread: party season. It may be a lot of fun to get dressed up and meet up with friends and relatives, some of whom you perhaps only see once a year. But all those late nights combined with copious amounts of alcohol and rich food play havoc with your body, health and energy levels. Our guide to after-party survival will see you through the season, from that annual work get-together to New Year’s Eve – and all the gatherings in between. We’ll show you how to face the morning after the night before with a brave face, and what to eat and drink to ease your tender tummy and sore head. We’ll also share our favourite beauty hacks, so no-one else will know you’ve had one too many G&Ts the night before (except you!).
Leave a pint of water next to your bed before you go out, so it’s ready for you to drink if you arrive home worse for wear.
We’ll show you how to face the morning after the night before with a brave face...
The morning after We’ve probably all been there at some time in our working lives: skulking into the office the morning after over-indulging at the company Christmas party. Here’s our tips to help you get through the next day at work… 1. Are you safe to drive? - This first one is a serious one, but it’s crucial. If you suspect you could be over the limit the next day, don’t chance it. Leave your car at home and walk, take a taxi, get a lift or use public transport. 2. Avoid pulling a sickie - You probably weren’t the only one who had a little too much Prosecco with the all-you-can-eat buffet, so it won’t look good if the others show up the next day and you don’t. But, whatever you do, you may want to consider whether you’re fit – or safe – to give it your usual 100%. 3. Sorry, but there’s no miracle cure - There may be plenty of tricks – and old wives’ tales – that may ease the symptoms of a hangover, but sadly no-one has yet invented a miracle cure. So you’ll have to accept you’ll probably feel rubbish for most, possibly even all of the day. 4. You’re probably not alone - No doubt there will be at least one other colleague who shares your pain at working through the hangover from hell. When you get a break, sympathise with each other and maybe even have a laugh about last night’s shenanigans. 5. Hydration - This may be obvious, but it’s important to drink plenty of water to rehydrate. And because all that booze may have messed up your body’s electrolyte balance, a glass of water with a sachet of rehydration salts will be a big help.
YOU | LIVING
Quick recovery kit! So you woke up with last night’s mascara smudged across your face and you look like you haven’t slept for a year. What do you do? Simple. Be well stocked up on a few skin-saving and ‘lifesaving’ products to help hide the evidence of a heavy night…
Hangover hacks While there’s no miracle cure for over-indulgence, here’s a few useful tips to help take the edge off… 1. Drink water - This one may have been mentioned earlier, but its benefits can’t be overstated. A handy tip: leave a pint of water next to your bed before you go out, so it’s ready for you to drink if you arrive home worse for wear. 2. Have sex - This may be the last thing on your mind, especially if your stomach and head are doing somersaults, and your mouth is bone dry. But research has shown the release of endorphins during sex acts as a natural painkiller and lessens a headache. What’s more, the hormone boost will also be beneficial. 3. Eat - If you can stomach food in the morning, try eggs with avocado and tomatoes. But carbs also help, such as sourdough toast, which is gentle on a sensitive tum. Bananas and kiwi fruit are also good because they help to replace the potassium lost through alcohol, while porridge will slowly lift your blood sugar if it’s low following a heavy drinking session. 4. Avoid coffee - A cup of coffee may wake you up but it will also further dehydrate you. Also, the caffeine may worsen the nausea and tremors you’re probably already experiencing. 5. Recover - This may be easier said than done over the festive period, but if you’ve had a skinful, the NHS advises waiting at least 48 hours before drinking any more alcohol, to give your body time to recuperate.
1. Glaceau Smartwater Distilled Water 12 x 600ml £4.21 www.ocado.com 2. CYO Turn On The Light Illuminating Mixing Cream £6 www.boots.com 3. Pure Marine Active Day Cream £16 Marks & Spencer 4. Berocca Orange Energy Vitamin Tablets £9 www.ocado.com 5. nspa Brightening Eye Cream £4.50 George at Asda 6. KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge 65p Sainsbury’s. sL
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Sparkle from the Inside Out and Help Your Body Eliminate Unwanted Toxins Are your bowels working efficiently? Did you know that your bowels were designed to move each time you digest a meal? Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms:• Feeling Bloated • Tired/Lack of Energy • Bowel Cramps • Diarrhoea or Loose Stools • Constipation • Excessive Gas 80% of your immune system resides in your gut. Looking after your digestive system is key to good health and preventing and restoring disease. Changing your eating habits, managing your internal stresses and changing a few lifestyle habits can make all the difference to your overall health and wellbeing. Colonic Hydrotherapy can help to restore healthy bowel function and reshape and strengthen your colon. It helps to improve absorption of nutrients and digestion overall and thereby improves immune function.
We use a sophisticated FDA Approved colonic hydrotherapy system to ensure your treatment is gentle, safe and most effective. We also offer ozone therapy that may be added into your treatment – visit our website for details and benefits. Qualified Nutritionist and Naturopathic Health Practitioner Sharon Mountford will talk to you in complete confidence and help you to take those first steps to a better and more rewarding health & wellbeing. Here are a couple of recent testimonials “Excellent treatment and consultation. I would highly recommend. Sharon made me feel relaxed and very comfortable as quite a delicate area”. Jackie L “Excellent service. Sharon instantly made me feel at ease and very knowledgeable and great to get some advice and tips. The process was very relaxing and professional with a very relaxed environment. I would certainly recommend and did my research locally before booking. Great to get the follow up advice too. It's important that the conduct and knowledge of the staff is key and Sharon is absolutely spot on, don't hesitate to book, i will certainly be returning”. James T
For more information or to book online, please contact us T 01782 938538 | M 07732 487520 W www.essentialbodyworks.co.uk E email@example.com 107-109 Hassell Street, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire ST5 1AX
Struggling to schedule a visit to your GP? At Nuffield Health Hospitals, there is no waiting for appointments, prescriptions, or referrals. If you have a busy schedule, a private GP is the perfect way to make sure your health doesn’t get side-lined. We offer convenient appointments, with minimal waiting time for referrals and investigations through our private GP service. Appointments are available to anybody over the age of 18, and there is no need to be registered with an NHS GP.
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YOU | HEALTH
be slightly warmer) and wear several layers of light clothes rather than one chunky layer. On cold nights, keep your bedroom window closed because breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections. And use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but don’t use both at the same time.
his year’s heatwave is well and truly behind us and soon the clocks will be going back. Meanwhile, our summer dresses and flip-flops have been consigned to the back of the wardrobe, in favour of cosy knits and winter boots. And while hot weather can bring about an increase in health problems such as respiratory diseases, the colder seasons can also wreak havoc with our wellbeing. In cold weather, some people are at increased risk of stroke, heart attack, pneumonia, flu, falls and hypothermia. It can also affect people with mental health conditions, such as depression.
Talk to your pharmacist - If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or a cold, don't wait until it gets more serious, seek advice from your pharmacist.
Private healthcare options - With the NHS under increasing pressure, especially during the winter, you may want to consider private medical insurance. There are a number of companies offering private cover, including Bupa, VitalityHealth and Saga. One of the main reasons why people choose this type of healthcare is to give them access to reduced hospital waiting times. However, medical insurance may put a dent in your finances, so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons. Another option is pay-as-you-go healthcare, which doesn’t require insurance or a contract.
Protect yourself from flu - For most
healthy people, flu is an unpleasant disease that they generally recover from within a week or two. However, older people, the very young, pregnant women, people with underlying disease and those who are immunosuppressed are at particular risk of serious illness. To reduce the likelihood of spreading flu, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, and bin used tissues as quickly as possible. Contact your local GP practice for details of their seasonal flu vaccination programme. And if you don’t qualify for a free NHS flu jab, many local pharmacies and some supermarkets and other stores also offer the vaccine privately for about £10.
Eat and drink well - It may be tempting during the colder months to reach for unhealthy snacks such as biscuits, crisps and chocolate, especially over Christmas when we find ourselves surrounded by tins of Quality Street. But being overweight (or underweight) can affect your energy levels and your health, so it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Porridge and soup are great winter warmers; and remember to have plenty of fruit and vegetables and to avoid eating too much processed food that is high in fat and sugar. Give yourself a winter boost - The lack of sunlight may leave you feeling tired and sluggish. To counteract this, get outdoors in natural daylight as much as you can and make time for regular exercise such as a brisk winter walk. Physical activity will lift your mood, leave you feeling energised, and help to keep you fit and healthy. And if you’re feeling adventurous, now is the perfect time to enjoy winter sports such as ice skating, skiing and snowboarding.
Keep warm - Heat your home to at least
18°C (you may prefer your main living room to
STAY WELL THIS WINTER As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, here’s our guide to winter-proofing your health and wellbeing over the coming months…
“It’s important to look after your health during winter when we are much more susceptible to infections and diseases, especially if we are a more vulnerable person..."
Tricia Stevenson from North Staffordshire Nuffield Hospital says: “It’s important to look after your health during winter when we are much more susceptible to infections and diseases, especially if we are a more vulnerable person. Gong private can bring a number of benefits both during winter and long term, including more specialist care, shorter waiting lists and a dedicated customer service team. Patients can opt to pay for a treatment or go for a longer-term insurance term.”
Further information & advice • Staffordshire County Council provides tips on staying warm and well: www.staffordshire.gov.uk. • The Energy Saving Trust has advice on how to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient. It can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK. Call 0300 123 1234 or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk. • Cheshire East Council provides guidance on staying healthy during the winter: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk. • To find out more about the Government’s annual flu programme, visit www.gov.uk. • The NHS Stay Well website is a useful resource: www.nhs.uk/staywell. sL
“ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE”
CULTURE Keeping you entertained, inspired and in the know
Discover luxurious hotels, superb holiday cottages and exquisite dining.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
TRAVEL | TRENDS
Not sure how you want to spend New Year’s Eve? Say hello to 2019 in style at one of these exciting destinations.
Edinburgh FULL ON FUN When it comes to New Year’s Eve destinations, Edinburgh is probably one of the more popular cities across the globe – up there with the likes of New York, London and Hong Kong. Its Hogmanay (the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve) celebrations are legendary and attract around a hundred thousand visitors every year making it one of the largest NYE ‘parties’ in the world. Spanning across three days, Hogmanay 2019, which runs from 7pm on Sunday 30th December 2018 to Tuesday 1st January 2019 this year, is a city-wide festival packed with events to bring the new year in with style. Kicking off with a torchlight procession down the Royal Mile, there will be a plethora of live music concerts, street parties and even a dip in the Firth of Forth river at the annual ‘Loony Dook’ to raise money for charity on New Year’s Day. There are events for all the family including a baby disco and a family Ceilidh and a monumental firework display over Edinburgh Castle with Franz Ferdinand headlining the Concert in the Gardens countdown. If you’ve not been to Edinburgh before, it has its own unique charm far beyond the thrilling Hogmanay celebrations. Stunning architecture and plenty of gardens and parks are split between a medieval old town and a more Georgian new town. The prominently placed castle is visible from most areas in the city and is home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, as well as the magnificent ‘Arthur’s Seat’ peak providing a backdrop to the city, you will be mesmerised by all there is to do here.
Where to stay: Type: The luxe apartment If it’s one thing Edinburgh has in abundance, it is elegantly renovated town houses hiding stunning luxe apartments with views across the city. For the ultimate experience, you’ll want to find one of these to rest your head after a long day and night of celebrating. And in Edinburgh you’ll have no problem finding one big enough for you and your companions – however big your party will be! The Edinburgh Address (www.theedinburghaddress.com) has a number of apartments to rent. Prices start from £1700 upwards for a party of six staying from 29th December to 2nd January.
Where to eat: Aizle:107-109 St. Leonard's St, Edinburgh EH8 9QY Taking dining to another level, this modest ‘neo-bistro’ has earned acclaimed from local and national foodies alike. It offers a six-course dinner experience which is all made from a selection of seasonal produce and changes constantly. Priced at £55 per person with the option to add on a £40 per person drinks pairing. If you can get in while you are in Edinburgh, it's well worth a visit but > the restaurant is closed on New Year's Eve every year.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
COSY C ATC H U P
If you fancy a quieter atmosphere for your New Year celebrations, then a short drive into the Cotswolds is the perfect place to start. Whether you keep it intimate with just the two of you or make it a bigger livelier affair with friends and family, the Cotswolds has plenty to offer for a festive break to welcome 2019. There really isn’t anything better than getting all your friends together in one place, where you make the rules and you make plans as you go along. Weave long lunches into pleasant walks and garden games (weather permitting) and welcome 2019 in the comfort of your chosen accommodation. But there won’t be any cabin fever – the Cotswolds is England’s quaint countryside and it’s full of cultural hotspots and walks as challenging as you like to keep you entertained during your break. Take some time out to explore the famous and exquisite setting of Blenheim Palace with its gardens and parks, now a world heritage site, and the place where Winston Churchill was born. Or, take a tour around the Hook Norton Brewery which is 150 years old and still transports beer to pubs around the village by traditional horsedrawn dray. And when you’ve had your fill of culture, take to The Cotswold Way to walk off the booze or over-indulgence of rich foods. There are over 100 miles of trails giving panoramic views of the area - of course, there are a variety of smaller routes to choose from, so you can pick you level of intensity!
Where to stay Type: The cottage break A cottage is the perfect place to stay for your Cotswolds retreat and while they may be by default cosy and rustic it doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the luxury. And for those dreaming of a little snow to complete the celebrations, a stay in the Cotswolds can provide just that too. Luxury Cotswold Rentals has teamed up with Cotswolds-based SnowBusiness which specialises in snow and winter effects, which means that you can throw snowballs and make snow angels to your hearts content this New Year. The results will be as unique as each snowflake, while the snow itself is chemical free and biodegradable, allowing the snow to melt away without a trace. Cottages are available with Luxury Cotswold Rentals (luxurycotswoldrentals.co.uk) from £1,224 - £25,000 for New Year from 28th December 2018 to 4th January 2019. Lower Brook House in Blockley sleeps 16
Where to eat There are plenty of exciting restaurants, country pubs and local inns to head out for a meal but why not make the food part of the stay. If you’ve taken the time to choose the perfect cottage, you might as well enjoy it to the full. And if you plan on being snowed in, it might be difficult to get out to anywhere. Take inspiration from the Channel 4 show ‘Come Dine With Me’ and take it in turns for two of you to cook dinner for each other. Or, if you plan on eating in just one night, you can draw straws and make a course each. 98
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
TRAVEL | TRENDS
London 2 4 H O U R PA R T Y P E O P L E If you’re looking to take your celebrations one step further, set your sights on our glorious capital. London comes alive with parties, and fireworks light the sky as Big Ben strikes twelve - a New Year’s Eve in London is guaranteed to be a night to remember. Expect a 24-hour party in the city that never sleeps. The underground usually operates for free between midnight and 4.30am on New Year’s Eve so it’s easy to move around the city. Start off with a sight-seeing tour to some of the city’s most famous landmarks – Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament – before taking a dinner cruise down the River Thames. The party starts – not ends – with the world-renowned fireworks display at the London Eye. You need tickets to attend this event, but the spectacular show is easily visible from a restaurant nearby or from a boat on the Thames. And then the fun can really start as you dance till dawn in one of London’s many clubs and bars. Try something different with The NYE Silent Disco at The Banking Hall playing house and commercial pop music until 1am; head to one of the city’s popular party areas like Shoreditch, Covent Garden, Brixton or Soho; or, if you’ve got more life in your legs, get yourself down to one of London’s most iconic super clubs. The likes of Ministry of Sound (www.ministryofsound.com), Fabric (www.fabriclondon.com) and Egg (www.egglondon.co.uk) attract top name DJs playing cutting edge electronic music and are open until the sun rises and it’s time for breakfast.
Where to stay Type: Boutique hotel London has world class hotels, but it also has unique and unusual boutique-style hotels that will add a little something special to your stay. Whether you prefer a place with period features or a more contemporary design, a hip little café or bar attached or a central location, you can guarantee London has some of the finest and coolest places to stay in areas from Soho to Knightsbridge. Trivago (www.tivago.co.uk) lets you easily search for boutique hotels across London.
Where to eat There are so many great places to eat in London, it would be a crime to pick just one. Time Out (www.timeout.com) has handpicked 100 of the best restaurants to try and this is well worth a read before you go. However, 24-hour party people need to refuel somewhere and Sushisamba (sushisamba.com), with outlets in Covent Garden and Liverpool Street, might just be the place, combining good food with a cocktail bar atmosphere. Obviously, there is a lot of sushi on the menu but if you are not a fan, don’t let that put you off. The menu is a fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine so there is also going to be plenty of meat to devour too! sL
“Situated in Mallorca’s delightful resor t of Illetas, Hotel Bonsol offers a huge range of leisure facilities and several beaches within walking distance. The charming Xamena family and their staff create a warm, intimate atmosphere where guests are welcomed like old friends.”
Luxury savings in Mallorca Book before 31 December 2018 for discounts on stays between 10 February 2019 - 31 August 2019 and 01 October 2019 - 03 November 2019
Natasha Were, Daily Telegraph
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TRAVEL | EXPLORE
BOUTIQUE CHRISTMAS Make your festive shopping less of a chore this year by combining it with a stay in a stylish boutique hotel.
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Shop - The World Heritage City is known for its Christmas Market, where visitors find a host of different stalls offering up tasty delights and Christmas gifts. Festive shopping in Bath is known for its magical atmosphere with the city’s Christmas lights and street entertainers dotted in between the small boutiques, gift shops, art galleries and antique shops. Bath Christmas Market runs from November 22nd to December 9th.
Shop - One of the most established German Christmas Markets, Christkindelmarkt, Leeds, is a little piece of Germany in the city centre. Featuring traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, a Christmas carousel ride and twinkling, colourful lights, the event runs from November 9th to December 22nd. You’ll be spoiled for choice among the seasonal gifts, from handcrafted toys to jewellery, and the speciality foods and traditional German delicacies are sure to tempt you. Meanwhile, children and families can enjoy the Santa’s Breakfast experience.
Shop - Scotland’s capital is of course renowned throughout the world for its Hogmanay celebrations. But the city is also well worth a visit as a festive shopping destination. Head to East Princes Street Gardens, between November 16th and January 5th, to explore a variety of bespoke and traditional Christmas stalls. The gardens also play host to the Big Wheel and Star Flyer rides, as well as a carousel. Entry is free.
Stay - ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile, in Hunter Square, enjoys a central location. Just an eight-minute walk from the Christmas market, the hotel offers modern rooms and the perfect base for your festive Scottish mini-break. Rooms from £53 a night.
Stay - The Z Hotel Bath is located in the heart of the city, opposite the Theatre Royal, one of the oldest working theatres in the UK. Perfect for short stays and with convenient access to the Christmas Market, the recently-opened hotel offers affordable compact luxury. Rooms start from £50. thezhotels.com/bath
Stay - Decorated to deliver a taste of Northern Soul and comfort, ibis Styles Leeds City Centre Arena Hotel offers visitors a Yorkshire escape. Just a five-minute walk from Millennium Square, the hotel is an ideal location to rest after a festive fun-filled day. Rooms from £45 a night. accorhotels.com
TRAVEL | EXPLORE
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Shop - Llandudno Christmas Fayre is now in its 14th year and has become one of the largest Christmas markets in Wales, attracting more than 35,000 visitors over the four-day event. Open from November 15th to 18th, visitors can browse among 130 stalls and enjoy live entertainment. The market offers the opportunity to experience a range of products not usually found on the high street and is the perfect place to discover unusual gifts. As well as food and drink tastings and samples, there will be craft demonstrations and a Santa’s grotto. Tickets can be bought on the day at any of the three entry points for £4.50 (entry is free to under-16s). There is also an early bird offer of £3.75 if you buy your ticket before October 31st from the Venue Cymru booking office.
Shop - Travel back more than 100 years to
Shop - From big-name high street stores to stylish and individual boutiques, London offers a wealth of retail choice in the run-up to Christmas. For an added festive flavour, make your way to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which runs from November 22nd to January 6th. The Christmas extravaganza features market stalls, Santa land, funfair rides and an ice kingdom. Elsewhere in the city, Covent Garden is always a treat at this time of year. Here you’ll find the main square adorned with one of London’s biggest Christmas trees and sparkling decorations. Or get off the beaten track by wandering down St Christopher's Place or Berwick Street, where you'll find a fabulous choice of boutiques. Entry to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is free. Individual attraction prices start from £7 for adults, £5 for children, £20 for families and £6 for concessions, plus booking fee.
Stay - Caer Rhun Hall is a three-storey, late-Victorian mansion with a private house atmosphere. Nestled in the heart of the Conwy Valley, the hotel is just six miles from the historic town of Conwy. Caer Rhun Hall opened in August this year and is surrounded by magnificent countryside. It boasts uninterrupted views of the mountains of North Wales and borders Snowdonia National Park. Each room has unique features, with vaulted ceilings and a luxurious bathtub by the window, providing the ultimate getaway. Prices start from £140 per night, which includes breakfast. caerrhunhall.co.uk
experience the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional Victorian Christmas at Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge, Shropshire. Taking place over the weekends of December 8th and 9th and 15th and 16th, visitors can soak up the yuletide atmosphere with entertainment and activities. Watch and chat to the Victorian townsfolk as they busily make preparations for Christmas, 1800s-style, explore the traditionally decorated streets, sing along with the brass bands and carol singers, and take a horse and cart ride. Call into the shops around the town, where you’ll find unusual Victorian Christmas gifts such as traditionally-made cast-iron paperweights and doorstops, handmade plaster decorations, perfumed soaps and old-fashioned sweets. Entry is £19.75 for adults, £14 for 60-plus, and £12 for children (aged five to 16). For an extra charge you can visit Father Christmas and receive a gift to take home. ironbridge.org.uk
Stay - The Raven Hotel, in Much Wenlock, incorporates the town’s original Victorian forge, 15th-century almshouses, medieval barns and 17th-century coaching inn. Full of character, each bedroom is individually designed. Prices start from £120 B&B for two sharing. ravenhotel.com
Stay - Mercure London Hyde Park is an exclusively-designed boutique hotel, in a peaceful and lush garden square, just a two-minute walk from Paddington Station and 10-minute walk from the city’s iconic Hyde Park. This quintessentially Victorian mansion has been reimagined and reinvented as a luxury hotel with English charm. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it allows guests to soak up some serenity after a day at Winter Wonderland or indulging in serious retail therapy in the capital’s many and varied stores. Rooms from £142 a night. mercurehydepark.com sL w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k
TRAVEL | REDISCOVER
R EDI S C OV ER:
THE LAKE DISTRICT
Covering 912 square miles, the Lake District National Park is England’s largest. Go forth and explore this wonderful land at one of these lesser-known spots.
TRAVEL | REDISCOVER
Borrowdale and Bassenthwaite Bassenthwaite and Borrowdale make up the largest of the 13 Lakeland valleys, known for rare, wildlife-rich upland hay meadows, steep fellsides carrying the largest oak woodland in England and a number of early-dated and historically relevant sites. With origins in the Neolithic period, there is a large stone circle at Elva Plain, hillforts that date back to prehistoric times and a Roman fort at Caer Mote to name a few. Scafell Pike is to the south west of Borrowdale and Skiddaw to the south east of Bassenthwaite village. Bassenthwaite Lake – one of the largest in the Lake District – stands at four miles long and three quarters of a mile wide, and Derwent Water is close by. You can also access the busy town of Keswick easily.
Eskdale In the western part of the Lakes, you have the glacial valley of Eskdale. A popular spot for those attempting Scafell Pike, the highest mountain England, standing at 978 meters above sea level, which is located at the northern tip of the Eskdale valley. There are plenty of other reasons to visit though including Eskdale Mill, a Grade II listed water-powered corn mill and drying kiln with many original features and working parts making for an interesting spot. It’s an area also famed for art with plenty of galleries and shows to explore. There is also the Stanley Ghyll Force Waterfall to visit and the River Esk winds through the valley.
Head further east in the Lake District National Park and you arrive at the very interesting spot of Haweswater Reservoir, located in the valley of Mardale. It was steeped in controversary during its construction in the late twenties to feed the north-west of England. However, this meant that all the farming villages of Mardale and Measand and neighbouring buildings had to be pulled down leading to public outcry. Coffins are said to have been removed from the graveyard there and buried elsewhere too! When the water level is low, many people visit to see if there are any remains of the villages. It is one of the largest lakes at four miles long and half a mile wide and is an extremely picturesque part of the lakes.
Buttermere Buttermere is a lake situated by the eastern town of Cockermouth, which in itself is well worth a visit thanks to its quaint and colourful buildings and pretty winding streets. If picturesque is what you are looking for then the steep mountains which intersect the waters of Buttermere are sure to meet you with glee. At just one and half miles long and three quarters of a mile wide, it is a modest expanse of water on the surface but its 75-foot depth more than makes up for it. This is walking country and it offers some of the best in the entire Lake District. There is a footpath which runs the perimeter of the lake and also good walks to explore at the summits of Haystacks and Red Pike.
Ullswater Set in the mountains, Ullswater Lake is a massive seven and a half miles long and up to three quarters of a mile wide. There is a 20-mile trek around the lake and a series of pretty little villages from Patterdale and Glenridding at its southern end to Pooley Bridge at the north. The River Eamont also feeds into the lake here. There are plenty of activities to do from boat cruises to kayaking and canoeing. The town of Penrith is approximately six miles north east of the lake too.
The Duddon Valley If you are looking for a bit of variety then The Duddon Valley has walking routes that will take you on the fells, through woodlands and along the river bank, depending on which one you choose. Teamed with spectacular views and the chance to paddle or take to the water in a canoe or go for a more challenging climb and you have a perfect activity-focused destination for the entire family. A complete nature haven too, expect to spot buzzards in the sky, red squirrels on the ground and, native to the Lake District, Herdwicks which graze the fells. There is also the market town of Broughton-in-Furness nearby. sL
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TRAVEL | ESCAPE
Wa les advent u re Keeping the children entertained is always tough on those between days but an adventure holiday in the Kingdom of the Elves might do the trick. Bluestone National Park in Pembrokeshire offers adventurous fun, such as zip wires, indoor adventure play, a water park and water activities, as well as a relaxing spa for the adults. And over the festive period there’s Elftopia within the Kingdom of the Elves, a magical place where the elves live. The fun includes a surprise-filled ride on the Elf Express, singing and dancing and costumes for youngsters to wear and mouse whiskers for the adults. Visitors will help the elves with an important mission, enjoy making and decorating cookies and take part in games. The fun ends with a Nutcracker ball. If that wasn’t enough there is also Christmasland at the resort until January 6th, which includes the Snow White pantomime and craft workshops.
Cent repa rc s Centreparcs appeals to couples, families and groups of friends alike as there’s always plenty to do, but at the same time it’s up to you how much or how little you take part in so you can adapt it to your own desires. From family-friendly breaks, forest getaways and hot tub holidays, to activity days, dog-friendly and romantic breaks, there are many to choose from. Accommodation includes lodges and treehouses and there are lots of different restaurants to try out. You could take part in outdoor activities, including high ropes, go cycling through the forest or enjoy the indoor pool and water slides. Adults can indulge themselves at the Aqua Sana Spa, which after a hectic Christmas, just might be the tonic you need. The seasonal sparkle is still there too. “After the Christmas festivities our woodland is still alive with twinkling lights and decorations,” a Centreparcs spokesman said. A break at the Sherwood Forest location, from December 27th-30th, for a family of four in a woodland lodge costs from around £899. Visit www.centerparcs.co.uk.
HAPPY TWIXMAS Whether it’s a city break for two or a family trip, escape the Christmas come down and head off for a welldeserved break at one of these exciting destinations.
A three-night stay, from December 27th, in a two-bedroom cottage for a family of four, costs from around £799, including Kingdom of the Elves tickets. Visit www.blulestonewales.com.
I sle of W i g ht If it’s entertainment with a picturesque view you’re after, a three night break on the Isle of Wight with music from the ‘60s included could be for you. Warner Leisure Hotels is offering a three-night break, from December 27th, at the Norton Grange Hotel, with three-course evening meals and nightly live music or shows, including a performance by The Barron Nights. A Warner Leisure spokesman said: “This is the chance to make the most of the lull and turn the festive in-between time of nothingness into a few days of fantastic somethingness.” It costs from around £194.99 per person, from warnerleisurehotels.co.uk.
TRAVEL | ESCAPE
Sk i i n g i n Bu l g a r i a If you yearn for a bit of activity and adventure this Twixmas then a skiing holiday could be a great way to blow the cobwebs away and relieve some of that seasonal stress. And while you might think the obvious places to go are Austria, Switzerland or the French Alps, it seems more and more people are tapping into what Bulgaria has to offer. It’s actually less expensive than the Alps, which is always a bonus especially at Christmas. If you’ve never been skiing before Bulgaria could actually be a great place to start. There are English-speaking ski schools working across beginner and intermediate slopes so you can have fun learning to ski during the day, before enjoying an extensive Apres Ski scene, which is said to rival that of Austria. There are lots of modern bars and clubs so Bulgaria is a popular choice among younger people, as well as families. Bulgarians are also said to take Christmas pretty seriously so anyone visiting between Christmas and New Year will be sure to see decorations, folk dances and feasts aplenty. A seven-night stay, from December 29th, at the Hotels Bor & Edelweiss in Borovets, Bulgaria, costs from around £663.33 per person with www.balkanholidays.co.uk.
Cap e Verde Sunshine could be the perfect antidote after Christmas, especially if you’re feeling worn out and ready to relax. Cape Verde, the archipelago of islands off the west coast of Africa, offers year-round sun so is a great place to go in winter to top up your tan. Why not book a week and spend New Year there too? Tui has plenty of offers on, including self-catering and all-inclusive options. There are also the Tui Sensimar hotels, which are for adults only if you’re going as a couple.
R h i ne C r u i se Some travellers may prefer to go further afield and with that in mind a cruise along the Rhine in Germany could be the perfect getaway. www.door2tour.com is offering a four-day Christmastide river cruise, which promises relaxation and gentle exploration of places, such as the city of Cologne. There’s a chance to take in the history and if you’re on the look-out for bargains of course, you could pop round the city’s shops to take a peek at the post-Christmas sales. There’s also an opportunity to enjoy wine tasting at a traditional weinkeller so you can stock up for New Year’s Eve. On this trip guests fly out to Germany on December 27th. The holiday costs from around £519 per person.
D i sneyl a nd P a r i s If the children have been really good this year then you might want to treat them to a trip to Disney, which will undoubtedly provide all the magic you need between Christmas and New Year. Disneyland truly is the most magical place on Earth and during the festive season it is heightened to the power of 10 to ensure a wonderful time for families and especially youngsters. There are two parks to visit in Paris, including Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, and what with the parades, the fireworks, the shows, the rides and the sights and sounds, this holiday will certainly keep the boredom at bay and get you in the mood for a full-on New Year’s Eve celebration when you return home. A two-night stay, from December 27th-29th, for a family of four at Disney’s Santa Fe Hotel will set you back around £1,371 at www.disneyholidays.co.uk. The price includes flights and tickets to both of the theme parks.
There are lots of activities available in Cape Verde. A Tui representative says: “You could enjoy endless strips of sand, culture-packed excursions and high-octane adventures like cruising over sand dunes in a 4x4.” A seven-night stay at the Tui Sensimar Cabo Verde costs from around £1,499 per person.
R ome How about a three-night visit to Rome to look forward to after you’ve cooked Christmas dinner and enjoyed a Boxing Day buffet? The Italian capital boasts an array of things to do and places to visit, including Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City. You can take your mind of everything as you immerse yourself in culture, art and architecture for a few days, as well as sampling delicious Italian food and drink. www.lastminute.com has regular offers, including a three-night stay at the four-star Bellambriana Hotel with flights, from around £409 per person. sL
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01785 811 558 | sales@targetwindows .co .uk | targetwindows .co .uk
Dates for pre-Christmas installations are running out. Book yours now on 01785 811 558 Stay cosy this festive season by upgrading your doors and windows with A+ rated glass technology. Ensuring all your windows and doors are sealed tight and updated where necessary will help to decrease the heat you lose, keep you much warmer through the winter months, and most importantly save you money on your energy bills.
TRAVEL | REVIEW
THE EPICUREAN’S ESCAPE
We were invited to the newly-renovated Linthwaite House in Windermere for a wonderfully relaxing weekend.
The Lake District is known for its picturesque lakes, mountain backdrops and quaint little towns, but also for its laid-back atmosphere and rising epicurean appeal. Most of those who venture up the M6 do so with a simple itinerary – walking or hiking by day and resting weary legs at night with the help of some good food, fine wine and riveting conversation. Windermere, in the south of the Lake District, has its own unique appeal for visitors with its vast lake, thriving town and activity-centric vibe. So, when we were introduced to the hidden gem that is Linthwaite House, it was comforting to know that even in the bustling town of Windermere an oasis of serenity can still be found. Take about a five-minute drive south from the centre and you arrive at The Linthwaite House, sitting atop a hill overlooking the lake and nestled in its own 14-acres of private gardens and woodland grounds. It’s part of the Leeu Collection, owned by Analjit Singh, with sister hotels in South Africa and one to come in Florence, Italy, but this is his first in the UK. Originally built as a five-bedroom family residence in 1901, Linthwaite was converted into a B&B in 1969 before it re-opened as a 36-bedroom boutique hotel in June following a year-long refurbishment costing in excess of £10 million. Arriving just as the sun was setting on a Friday evening, the fire was already roaring in the reception area and the well-presented staff were on hand to help immediately – there is valet parking and a concierge service – just what you need after a hectic and tiresome drive up the motorway. A short walk through to the lounge area from the reception and you arrive at doors which lead you out to the patio and It’s worth doing this as soon as you There are nods to gardens. arrive to simply appreciate its position and Italian country surroundings – quiet, tranquil and a stunning view across to the lake. I even saw a deer with rustic jumping into the woodlands. All this within features and a sea five minutes of arriving and suddenly I had of seducing navy forgotten the long tail backs we’d had to endure for three hours before.
blue and burnt orange furniture.
The style is distinctly contemporary and has plenty of flair. There are nods to Italian country with rustic features and a sea of seducing navy blue and burnt orange furniture. There are also subtle references to Leeu Collection’s African connections in the shape of reinterpreted Soane signature shellback chairs that have been upholstered in green velvet with a leopard print backing. It’s a fascinating place to explore, actually, and you can tell art is a particular passion for Singh - something he regards as highly as the food and wine in his hotels, as he says: “it enhances the aesthetic component that guests expect when booking into a five-star destination property.” Unusual pieces of art don the walls and idiosyncratic ornaments are pleasantly placed around the bar, conservatory and sweeping staircase. There is also a collection of interesting sculptures to be spotted in the grounds, which have been re-worked considerably by landscape artist Franchesca Watson. Walking upstairs to the rooms you spot more of these captivating sculptures, making the journey through rabbit warren style corridors pass in an instant. Internationally renowned designer Beverly Boswell worked with the best British furniture makers and fabric designers such
as Soane Britain, William Yeoward, Porta Romana and Johnstons of Elgin to create modern, but comfortable country house interiors in the bedrooms. We were staying in the loft suite, which features a king-size bed, separate living area with a double sofa bed, plenty of floor space, ample storage for luggage and an impressive bathroom with double sinks, double designer free-standing feature bath, separate walk-in shower and its own flat-screen TV. Stella, the hotel’s restaurant, is slowly building a reputation in the area. A light and airy room with plenty of colour giving it a real contemporary spin and cute zebra print cushions thrown in for good measure. Celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia’s menu highlights the best of the Cumbrian region with a firm Italian influence. The dishes were wellpresented, tasty and filling. There is also a menu served until 7pm in the bar and conservatory. Breakfast was hearty with plenty of options combining a table service with a continental buffet. The emphasis here is definitely on design and no expense has been spared on this elegant hotel but it manages to remain cosy and inviting for those looking to simply relax at the end of a challenging day on the hills. Little touches make the stay–from the leather-embossed keyrings to the Molton Brown toiletries and the colourful range of Hunters wellington boots that can be borrowed for a trek around the grounds – this is a fabulous find in the area. You can stay at Linthwaite House from £200 per night and they have dedicated child friendly and dog friendly rooms. If you get a weekend away by yourself, go for the hot tub suite where you can step out onto your own enclosed veranda looking over to the lake. The hotel will also welcome six new Woodland Suites this autumn with floor to ceiling windows. The Loft Suite starts from £595 per night and children are welcome. Book a stay by phone on 01539 488 600, via email on email@example.com and online at www.leeucollection.com. sL
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CULTURE | WATCH
the film CLUB The festive blockbusters have been announced – here’s what to watch this November and December.
The Grinch RELEASE DATE
Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier
Rashida Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch, Angela Lansbury
Aquaman RELEASE DATE
Illumination and Universal Pictures have teamed up for the eighth time to present this 2018 release of The Grinch, based on Dr Seuss’ beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit.
Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, William Dafoe An action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas. Aquaman reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime – one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king. Warner Bros. Pictures
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelward RELEASE DATE
CULTURE | WATCH
ON THE BOX...
Fancy staying in? The TV this Christmas is shaping up to be just as exciting!
Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law
True Christmas is a TV channel dedicated to festive films and it is already available on Freeview 62, Sky 319, Virgin 424 and Freesat 302. It is literally showing Christmas films – old and new-all day every day until the beginning of January, so sit back and enjoy!
The powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has escaped custody and set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his fewer student Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to help.
TC H TH E WA T AI
• L IV
Warner Bros. Pictures
E • SCAN
For something a little darker, Netflix launches Narcos: Mexico on 16th November starring Michael Pena (Crash, American Hustle, End of Watch) and Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). It follows the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel as an American DEA agent learns the danger of targeting these terrifying drug lords. This is going to be tense but a thrilling watch! For kids (and adults who are we kidding!) BBC1 will be showing Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Zog this Christmas, narrated by the legend Sir Lenny Henry, about a loveable young dragon finding his way in a magical, yet challenging world. The half hour animation will premiere on Christmas Day.
MUS T S E E
And of course, don’t forget to book in viewing time for The Queen’s Speech on BBC1, The Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4, the final of X Factor (ITV) and Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1). Not forgetting all the soap Christmas specials and festive films that we love to watch at this time of year! There is so much good stuff coming, we’re wondering when we’ll fit in a cocktail or two?
Mortal Engines RELEASE DATE
Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo
Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar).
Widows is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar® winner Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. sL Twentieth Century Fox
*Release dates are subject to change
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THURSDAY 6 TO MONDAY 24 DECEMBER
T FOR PERFEC NES O LITTLE
Welsh National Opera
La traviata Verdi
War and Peace Prokofiev
Wednesday 14 Saturday 17 November
QUALITY BUTCHERS SITUATED IN STAFFORD
A HINDLE & SON firstname.lastname@example.org | 01785 661818 www.hindlesbutchers.co.uk @Hindlesbutchers
Your No.1 Local Butcher Go On... Taste the Difference! Due to popular demand. A Hindle & Son are pleased to announce their Christmas eveningwhich will be held on Wednesday, 14th November 2018 at 7.00 pm. During the evening you will be able to sample their home made pork pies, quiches and meats in preparation for the festive season. Also butchery demonstrations along with informative talks and advice on ordering and preparing for your Christmas table.
Book now at birminghamhippodrome.com
A. Hindle & Son
Bridle Road, Stafford, ST17 0QD Mon – Fri: 08:00 – 17:30, Sat: 07:30 – 16:00, Sun: Closed
Registered Charity No 221538
CULTURE | WHAT’S ON
Fun stuff to see and do this Christmas.
On the Stage A Christmas Carol at Buxton Opera House 21st and 22nd November One tale which is always bound to fill you full of Christmas spirit is A Christmas Carol and the Chapterhouse Theatre Company once again brings this traditional production of Charles Dickens classic ghost story to Buxton. To buy tickets contact Buxton Opera House Box Office on 01298 72190 or visit: www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk. Water St, Buxton SK17 6XN.
Dick Whittington at Buxton Opera House 8th December to 30th December
1st December to 23rd December (Saturdays and Sundays only) 11am – 6pm
The Buxton pantomime this year will be Dick Whittington. Starring Buxton's favourite Dame, the one and only James Holmes (from BBC Miranda) and Gabrielle Green from CBBC's award-winning series Wolfblood. To buy tickets contact Buxton Opera House Box Office on 01298 72190 or visit: www.buxtonoperahouse. org.uk. Water St, Buxton SK17 6XN.
Calke Abbey is running a magical lanternlit walk through the Pleasure Grounds every Saturday and Sunday from 1st to 23rd December where you can discover the 12 days of Calke’s Christmas on a new family trail. Visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke. from 10am to 5.30pm. www.visitcastle.co.uk. Ticknall, Derby, DE73 7JF.
Christmas Countdown Telford European Christmas Market 29th November to 22nd December Telford's European Christmas Market has all the traditional elements of a Christmas market with wooden chalets decked with garlands and lights and festive gifts from around Europe and is open from Thursday 29th November. Find out more on Facebook @ChristmasinTelford.
Elf & Reindeer’s Christmas Cracker
Calke Abbey 12 days of Christmas
Carol Evening at Shugborough Estate Friday 7th December 7.30pm Immerse yourself in the festive spirit at Shugborough Estate. The National Trust property in Staffordshire will be hosting a carol evening on Friday 7th December. It will also host magical lantern parades at 4pm on 21st and 22nd December. Visit the mansion to marvel at the wonderful decorations from the 1st – 23rd December. Visit: www. nationaltrust.org.uk/shugborough-estate. Milford near Stafford, ST17 0XB.
Grangewood Garden Centre
6th December to 24th December
Festive Markets at Lichfield
Saturday 15th December
A charming show for little ones, ‘Elf & Reindeer's Christmas Cracker’ is a story of friendship and determination as Elf and Reindeer try to become Santa’s best little helpers. There will also be two other festive shows including comedy thriller ‘Crimes of the Christmas Pudding’ from Wednesday 5th December to Saturday 5th January and the pantomime Dick Whittingham from Thursday 29th November to Saturday 5th January. Ticket prices vary. Book online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call 01543 412121. Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR.
1st and 2nd December
Get into the festive spirit at the annual Grangewood Garden Centre Christmas fayre on Saturday 15th December with log cabins offering an array of retail experiences and services with the addition of a Craft Market and live music between 10am - 4pm. For more information on upcoming events visit: www.grangewoodgardencentre.co.uk. Bonehill Rd, Mile Oak, Tamworth B78 3HP
There is so much to see and do in Lichfield this Christmas 2018 including festive markets on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December and a Christmas Food Festival on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December. For more information about what’s on this year visit: www.visitlichfield.co.uk/Christmas.
Food & Drink Festive Afternoon Tea at Aston Marina Saturday 15th December Get into the seasonal spirit and at No.26 for a Festive Afternoon Tea. Sittings are from 3pm. Arrive to a welcome drink of either Mulled Wine or Bucks Fizz before sitting down to a festive inspired afternoon tea. Enjoy the afternoon with a selection of sweet and savoury treats listening to fabulous vocalist, Joni Talks. Tickets: £25 per person. Visit: www.astonmarina.co.uk. Lichfield Road, Stone, ST15 8QO.
Wind in the Willows at New Vic Theatre 17th November to 26th January This Christmas, the New Vic brings heart-warming classic The Wind In The Willows to the stage from 17th November to 26th January. Performed by a large cast and featuring live music this is a story for the whole family. Tickets are priced from £15.50 to £24.50 (concessions available) and can be booked at newvictheatre.org.uk or by calling Box Office on 01782 717962. Etruria Rd, Newcastle ST5 0JG.
Don't Miss Sandon Hall Wedding Open Day Sunday 28th October
World of Wedgwood Artisan Market 11th November and 9th December 10am – 4pm A monthly market is held every second Sunday of the month at World of Wedgewood. It has over 50 stalls, inside and out, full of fine foods from local producers and hand-crafted products. World of Wedgwood, Wedgwood Drive, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST12 9ER. Visit: www.worldofwedgwood.com.
Sandon Hall is a Neo-Jacobean country mansion set amid rolling Staffordshire countryside, and it’s hosting a wedding open day in October. Enjoy a glass of fizz on arrival while you meet the events team and some of their specially selected partners – including award-winning caterers, bar service, a DJ and flower designer. You’ll also get the chance to explore the hall and its 50-acre formal garden. No need to register, just arrive on the day. Visit: www.sandonhall.co.uk. Sandon, ST18 0BZ.
For the Family
And In Shropshire... Cinderella at Oakengates Theatre at The Place 11th December to 6th January A former EastEnders actor, pop singer Lolly and a young actor who played the lead role in Cbeebies show The Rhyme Rocket are among the cast for this year’s Telford pantomime at Oakengates Theatre @ The Place. Tickets available from £10 for more info visit: www. theplacetelford.com or Facebook @ TelfordTheatre. Running from 9am to 4.30pm. www.amuletfairs.com. 19 Limes Road, Telford, TF2 6ED.
Shrewsbury Bookfest at Theatre Seven Sunday 4th November Shrewsbury Bookfest in collaboration with St Chad’s Music Festival will present a very special concert at Theatre Severn in celebration of the life and work of Wilfred Owen. Featuring the Bookfest Remembers Choir, made up of schools and choirs across Shropshire, and The Band & Bugles of the Shropshire Army Cadet Force. Also featuring the Consortium of Shropshire Choirs. Tickets priced form £20. Visit: www. shrewsburybookfest.co.uk. Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshre, SY3 8FT.
Shropshire Winter Festival
Awful Auntie at Buxton Opera House
8th and 9th December
1st to 4th November From the acclaimed producers of Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of David Walliams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very old car, a very large owl and a very small ghost! Tickets priced from £19-£21 Adults £15-£17 Children (discounts available). To book, call the Box Office on 01298 72190 or visit: www.buxtonoperahouse. org.uk. Water Street, Buxton, ST17 6XN.
CULTURE | WHAT’S ON
Jools Holland at Stoke Victoria Hall Saturday 17th November Musical master of ceremonies Jools Holland and his acclaimed Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will play at Stoke Victoria Hall as part of a massive UK tour. Tickets for the UK concerts can be bought on Ticketmaster, See Tickets and Ticketline. Tickets are priced from £41 (+ booking fee) for all performances. www. joolsholland.com/tourdates. Bagnall Street, Stoke on Trent ST1 3AD.
A festival of food, drink and local crafts with a Christmas theme will take place at the Guildhall, next to Frankwell car park in Shrewsbury this December. Expect plenty of festive shopping, treats and entertainment – wrap up warm and enjoy! Prices for Shropshire Winter Festival range from £2 to £10 pounds. Book tickets online at: www.shropshirefestivals.co.uk or www.shrewsburychristmas.co.uk. sL
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Stafford Gatehouse Theatre presents
By Pete r Rowe
Fri 7th Dec 2018 - Sun 6th Jan 2019 BOX OFFICE 01785 619080 www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk
With the CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Tuesday 18 & Wednesday 19 December 2018, 7.30pm
Friday 14 December 2018, 7.30pm
Sunday 16 December 2018, 3pm
A CHORAL CHRISTMAS
with guest presenter Matt Baker
with guest presenter Alan Titchmarsh
CHRISTMAS A CHORAL
Call 0121 780 3333 or book online at cbso.co.uk/christmas
Sunday 6 January 2019, 3pm
VIENNESE NEW YEAR
CULTURE | READ
Queen of the World By Robert Hardman
NOVE M BER | £25 | COR NERSTONE
An enthralling personal portrait of Her Majesty the Queen and how she has helped redefine the role of Britain, the monarch and the world stage itself. Written by renowned royal biographer, Robert Hardman, and with privileged access to the Royal Family and the Royal Household, this is a brilliant new portrait of the most famous woman in the world and her place in it.
Brief Answers to the Big Questions By Stephen Hawkins
O U T N O W | £ 1 4 .9 9 | H O D D E R & S T O U G H T O N
The final book from Professor Stephen Hawking, the bestselling author of A Brief History in Time and arguably the most famous scientist of our age, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a profound, accessible and timely reflection on the biggest questions in science.
Becoming By Michelle Obama
N O V E M B E R | £ 2 5 | P E N G U I N B O O K S LT D
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
BOOK CORNER The perfect gift for every person in your life.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay By J K Rowling N O V E M B E R | £ 1 6 .9 9 | L I T T L E , B R O W N B O O K G R O U P
J.K. Rowling's five-film Fantastic Beasts adventure series continues with the original screenplay for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shaped the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.
Heroes By Stephen Fry NOVEM BER | £20 | MICHAEL JOSEPH
How to be a Footballer
By Peter Crouch OUT N OW | £20 | E B U RY P R E S S
Towering at 6ft 7inches, Peter is prized for his down to earth and self-deprecating humour, having famously answered the question, “What would you be if you weren’t a footballer?” with the one liner: “A virgin”. From what Cristiano Ronaldo says when he looks at himself in the mirror in the dressing room, to tattoos, the team bus, postmatch interviews and £250 haircuts that should have cost a tenner, Crouch is telling all. sL
Few mere mortals have ever embarked on such bold and heart-stirring adventures, overcome myriad monstrous perils, or outwitted scheming vengeful gods, quite as stylishly and triumphantly as Greek heroes. In this companion to his bestselling Mythos, Stephen Fry brilliantly retells these dramatic, funny, tragic and timeless tales.
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CULTURE | INTERVIEW
THE NEXT CHAPTER Mike Crawshaw of The Overtones, reflects on how the death of friend and bandmate Timmy Matley has affected the creative process behind their new album and tour.
â€˜The Overtonesâ€™ is out October 19th via Gambling Man Records. The Overtones tour starts on 22nd of November, stopping at Birmingham Symphony Hall om Saturday 8th December, Manchester Bridgewater Hall on Monday 10th December and Liverpool Philharmonic on Monday 17th December. For full ticket info go to www.gigsandtours.com/tour/the-overtones.
CULTURE | INTERVIEW
here’s a much-loved thread that runs through from the earliest days of popular music; the idea of male voices blending in delicious harmony. It goes right back - The Ink Spots in the ‘30s and ‘40s, the 1950s doo-wop boom, and bedded deep in this tradition for the last decade have been The Overtones. With their innate charm and adherence to vintage-modernist style, The Overtones are a bridge between pre-rock’n’roll classicism and lively 21st Century entertainment. A stratospheric course of TV appearances (they performed 9 songs on Dancing On Ice) led to hundreds of thousands of record sales for their debut album ‘Good Ole’ Fashioned Love,’ and they’ve performed for the Queen, shared stages with Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, and have celebrity fans in Will.i.am and Tom Hanks. More than a million record sales and countless sold out headline tours later, the group are releasing their sixth album, simply titled ‘The Overtones’, on which they come to terms with becoming a four piece after the untimely passing of their bandmate and friend Timmy Matley earlier this year. “The reason we called it ‘The Overtones’ is because we felt like this was a celebration of what we as a five have achieved over the years. As a result of losing our friend and brother Timmy, all those sentiments needed in some way to reflect what we were going through and our thoughts and our feelings.” Mike Crawshaw, resident tenor of The Overtones is charming, funny but also still deeply affected by the loss of his friend. It’s a sensitive topic, but I ask if there are any specific tracks on the new record dedicated to Timmy: “there’s a song called ‘You To Me Are Everything’, it’s a great song and an upbeat number and it would get people tapping their feet and dancing and singing along. That song we specifically put in because when Timmy was a young child he always thought it was called ‘You Timmy, Are Everything’.” He chuckles to himself and after a beat continues. “It’s those nice little things, we wanted to make sure there are those elements of reflection and elements of sadness because in this situation it’s ok to be sad. If popping on certain songs on this album brings a tear to your eye, that’s actually ok.”
proud of what we’ve achieved on this album and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it! We’ve got a great version of My Girl, which turns it on its head, it’s not the same My Girl that you’ve heard before. At the moment I have a love affair with every song on this album.” With a 22-date winter tour to support the record, it’s clear that seeing the effects of their music on their fans is one of the most important parts of the job. “Touring is the frontline of what we do. You can tuck yourself away in a studio or you can stand in a TV studio singing into a camera, but you can never get a sense of the reaction of the fans and the audience until you’re singing in front of them. And you see then what those performances do to them and the amazing reaction. The amount of feedback we get that we’ve helped people through tough times. It really is beautiful for us.” Mike promises that the live shows will be fantastic experience for all that come, and cites Love Is in the Air as the song he’s looking most forward to performing. “I can just imagine us on stage, stood there singing our hearts out, taking full lungs of air before we start singing with big smiles on our faces, looking at everyone else smiling. In my mind’s eye I can see that, and it brings me a little bit of joy.”
"...If popping on certain songs on this album brings a tear to your eye, that’s actually ok.”
There’s been a great movement recently regarding the mental wellbeing, especially in men, and Mike doesn’t shy away from the positive effect this album has had on the band. “The whole process was very therapeutic. This album served not only as a celebration of what The Overtones was with our friend Timmy, it’s also an introduction to The Overtones ‘The Next Chapter’ if you like. It’s been a very useful few months recording this album.” Mike is very clear that this isn’t an album full of reflective numbers though, “at the same time we are The Overtones and are famed for making people happy and putting a smile on people’s faces, so of course there are elements of this on the record too. We really are very
I jokingly ask what would be on an Overtones rider, not seeing them as a band that would be destroying a tour van and drinking a venue dry! “We’re not very rock n’ roll on tour because the voice is quite a sensitive thing. Our rider is really simple, it’s not at all what you’d imagine Divas to have. No blue M&Ms,” he laughs. “It’s just fruit honey, ginger, lemon, a kettle and water and a few beers afterward. Maybe a few nuts if we’re feeling rebellious!” Before he goes, I ask Mike what he hopes for this record, as it’s clear in the way he talks about the music how important this is to all four members. “I just hope that the album has the same effect on the listener as it did, and does, for us when we recorded it. It means the world to us and we just hope that our close fans and people that have been emotionally effected by the loss of Timmy can take something and use it.” sL Words - Republica Media
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LIVING | ARTS & CULTURE A royal affair Another year is coming to a close - and what a year it’s been. The question is what will 2018 be most remembered for? Perhaps the whacky weather, which saw the country blanketed in heavy winter snow in February and March - but by May we were all scorching in a heatwave that left us all basking in sunshine into August. Maybe World Cup fever scores as the biggest highlight. The competition captured the imagination of even non-football fans as England made it to the semi-final in Russia against all the odds and had us all believing for a while that football was coming home. Or perhaps the fairytale wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle was the most memorable moment. Who could forget the ceremony, the sermon and of course the dress? As we prepare to wave goodbye to 2018, LIVING takes you back through a year that was bursting with news and events from the world of fashion, to the royals, music and film.
THE YEAR THAT WAS….
Awards galore The year began with the announcement of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. Former prima ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell was made a dame, while Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and The BeeGees’ Barry Gibb were both knighted. The Queen’s Birthday Honours in June included recognition for actor Emma Thompson, who was made a dame, as well as Professor Mary Beard, shutterstock.com while historian Professor Simon Schama was given a knighthood alongside former footballer and manager Kenny Dalglish and Nobel prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguru. In the world of entertainment, awards season began in February and the most prestigious movie awards – The Oscars – saw British actor Gary Oldman scoop the Best Actor gong for his performance as Winston Churchill in the Darkest Hour. It was the first Oscar for the star, who also scooped a Bafta award and Golden Globe for his performance as the Second World War Prime Minister. The Oscars also proved a winner for Stoke-born actor Rachel Shenton. The former Hollyoaks star won an Oscar with her partner Chris Overton for their best live action short film The Silent Child. Rachel wrote and starred in the film, about a profoundly deaf youngster, while Chris directed. Shenton used sign language during her acceptance speech in tribute to Maisie Sly, who stars as the deaf child. Meanwhile, in music Dua Lipa won two Brit awards for best female solo act and best breakthrough, while rapper Stormzy won best male solo artist and best album.
A new Royal baby was born in the spring as Prince William and Duchess Kate welcomed the arrival of baby Louis in April. As the couple’s third child and a brother for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Louis Arthur Charles is sixth in line to the throne. He was christened in July. Zara Tindall, the daughter of the Princess Royal, also gave birth to a baby girl called Lena in June. She and husband Mike Tindall, who also have daughter Mia, four, spoke out about their experiences of baby loss as Zara had previously suffered two miscarriages. They said they were touched by the amount of people who wrote to them about it. The much-anticipated event of the year was the royal wedding of Prince Harry to American actor Meghan Markle. The fairytale wedding at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, in May saw a host of famous faces in the congregation, including David and Victoria Beckham, actor George Clooney and tennis player Serena Williams. The new Duchess of Sussex looked radiant in her Givenchy dress as she walked up part of the aisle alone, with her bridesmaids and pageboys – including Prince George and Princess Charlotte – before being accompanied by Prince Charles to meet her fiancé at the altar. The wedding ceremony, which saw 18 million viewers tuning in to watch live on TV, provided some unforgettable moments, including a lengthy sermon by American Bishop Michael Curry and a performance of Stand By Me by the Kingdom Choir gospel group. Afterwards the couple took an open-top carriage ride around Windsor as thousands of onlookers lined the streets and waved flags. The couple were then later seen heading to their reception in a Jaguar driven by Prince Harry. The new Duchess of Sussex had changed into a Stella McCartney gown. Another royal wedding was set for Autumn, with Princess Eugenie marrying Jack Brooksbank in October. The second daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson was also to marry at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, with her older sister Beatrice acting as Maid of Honour and Prince George and Princess Charlotte again serving as pageboy and flower girl.
LIVING | ARTS & CULTURE
In 2018, the Queen was snapped on the front row of London Fashion Week sitting next to Anna Wintour
Fashion forward The Queen made a surprise visit to London Fashion Week in February. She was snapped on the front row sitting next to Anna Wintour, the legendary editor in chief of American Vogue. She later presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II award to designer Richard Quinn. It will be given annually to a talented and emerging British designer. Victoria Beckham celebrated the 10th anniversary of her fashion label. Following an appearance on the front cover of Vogue magazine with her family, she hosted a celebration party in September, during which she jumped on stage to sing and dance along to Spice Girls songs much to the delight of her guests. This year’s beauty advent calendars were unveiled in the Autumn. They included a calendar by Jo Malone, launched exclusively at Harrods, which would set buyers back a cool £300. Others included Elemis, Charlotte Tilbury, Clarins – and Marks & Spencer.
Musicals and more In the world of film Mamma Mia: Here we go again stormed the box office as the muchanticipated sequel proved a major hit. Starring Lily James as a young Meryl Streep, the film was the big summer success, coming 10 years after the original.
TV heroes On TV, Love Island made a phenomenally successful return. The nation couldn’t seem to get enough as viewers tuned in to watch the trials and tribulations of a group of men and women thrown together in a Spanish villa in the hope of finding love. But right from the start it was Dani Dyer, daughter of Eastenders actor Danny Dyer, and Jack Fincham who stole the nation’s hearts as well as each other’s. The pair went on to win the show, scooping £50,000 between them. Celebrity Big Brother caused a storm after former Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallet accused fellow housemate Ryan Thomas of assaulting her during a playfighting incident. Ryan, who played Jason Grimshaw in Coronation Street, was reprimanded by Big Brother but the accusation against him caused hundreds of complaints from viewers who said Ryan had done nothing wrong. The incident was shown on TV and Roxanne later left the Big Brother house and issued an apology to Ryan saying that she had “got it wrong”. Ryan then went on to win the series as supporters rallied behind him. The new Doctor Who series, featuring Jodie Whittaker playing the first ever female doctor, aired in October, making history. Jodie took over from Peter Capaldi as the Timelord.
Ant McPartlin took a break from his TV partnership with Three Lions reached number one in the singles Declan Donnelly after being caught drink driving. It was charts again this year. The hit by the Lightning announced that Holly Willoughby would team up with Dec Seeds and comedians David Baddiel and to present this year’s ITV reality show, I’m a Celebrity Get Frank Skinner, first hit the charts in 1996 as Me Out of Here. an anthem for the Euro ’96 competition. As England crashed out of the World Cup this summer, however, so did the song, immediately dropping from the number one spot to 97 the following week. It was announced that Peter Andre would star in a new theatre tour of the musical Grease in 2019, which will stop off at the Birmingham Hippodrome in August. Meanwhile, one of the most successful and longest running musicals, Les Miserables, announced a new nationwide tour. It will arrive in Birmingham during April and May 2019.
Respect! The queen of soul died in 2018 aged 76
Saying goodbye A number of famous faces sadly died in 2018, including soul legend Aretha Franklin, who passed away in August at the age of 76. Dubbed the Queen of soul, she was renowned for her strong voice, her work as an activist and hit songs, such as Respect and Natural Woman. Professor Stephen Hawking, who had defied the odds to live to the age of 76 despite being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given only a few years to live at the age of 22, died in March. The renowned physicist, who wrote A Brief History of Time, was well-loved and respected and known for his sense of humour in the face of adversity. Other famous faces who died this year included Hollywood actor Bert Reynolds, darts player and Staffordshire resident Eric Bristow, politician Dame Tessa Jowell, TV presenter Dale Winton, comedian Ken Dodd, comedian and Bullseye host Jim Bowen, apartheid activist Winnie Mandela, footballer Ray Wilkins, fashion designer Kate Spade, Barry Elliot, otherwise known as Barry Chuckle from the Chuckle Brothers, former Eastenders star Leslie Grantham, Vicar of Dibley star Emma Chambers, actor Verne Troyer, DJ Avicii, Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan, chef Anthony Bourdain and Sir Roger Bannister who set the World record for the four-minute mile. sL
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Scholarships and Bursaries available Visit our website to find out more about up and coming events
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Friendly Volunteers Fun & Laughter Advice & Support Carers Forming Friendships Information Leaflets Buffet & Refreshments Entertainment
Decade of Design
27th October | Marshall House, Knutsford
A warm welcome awaits carers and their cared for at any of the following MASE Groups Cannock - Drop In St Luke’s Church Hall - WS11 1DE 1st Monday of every month 1:00 pm - 3.00 pm Haughton Haughton Village Hall - ST18 9EZ 2nd Thursday of every month 7.00 pm - 9.00 pm
Donald McIntyre (Scottish 1923-2009) ‘Iona’, Scotland’, oil on board
Rugeley St Joseph’s Church Hall - WS15 2EH 3rd Wednesday of every month 7.00 pm - 9.00 pm
Geoffrey Key (British, b. 1941) ‘Chariot’, oil on board
Harold Riley (b. 1934) ‘Girl’, oil on board
Now Inviting entries for Christmas Boutique auction!
1st December | Marshall House, Knutsford Deadline for entries is the 2nd November 2018
A late 19th century diamond dress ring £350-450
An 18ct gold limied edition Hermès Kelly wristwatch £1200-1800
A Chanel Classic Flap Handbag £1000-1500
Supporting Carers on their Dementia Journey
Stafford Castle Church Hall - ST16 1DP 4th Monday of every month 7.00 pm - 9.00 pm Hednesford The Aquarius Ballroom - WS12 1BT Last Thursday of every month 7.00 pm - 9.00 pm
Monthly Alzheimer’s Support Evenings The Monthly Alzheimer’s Support Evenings [MASE]
have become a well-established support network for people living with dementia in South Staffordshire. The MASE helps reduce the stigma surrounding dementia and brings together people who are coping with the condition, in the hope of removing the social isolation all too often faced by Carers.
Proud Receipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services and The British Citizen Award
Winners of SCC Dignity in Care Award
Registered Charity No: 1137193 The Monthly Alzheimer’s Support Evening Limited (MASE)
For any enquiries please contact Daphne: 01785 211140
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ALL SIZES AVAILABLE DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
Beeston and Knutsford Salerooms OCTOBER 2018 27th- Decades of Design – Knutsford
NOVEMBER 2018 6th- Fine Art, Antique & Collectables – Knutsford 10th – Fine Art, Antique & Collectables – Beeston
20th – General Antique & Interiors Sale - Knutsford
DECEMBER 2018 1st- Christmas Boutique – Knutsford 8th – Fine Antiques & Interiors Sale - Beeston
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Please support your local hospice this Christmas! We’re here for you at Christmas… because you’re here for us. We need YOUR support to help to care for local people and their families, living with a potentially terminal illness.
We’re here for you this Christmas If you, or someone you are caring for, is living with an incurable illness, our confidential advice and support line is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0300 330 9410. Our free weekly drop-in Bereavement Help Points are available across the region to provide information on coping with the practical and emotional aspects of loss, the chance to chat with a support volunteer and perhaps meet others in a similar situation. To find your nearest, please visit www.stgileshospice.com/help-points or call 01543 434536.
Run with Rudolph! Our 3km or 6km Rudolph Run is back! Whether you walk or run, do it alone or with friends, family or four-legged friends, join us at Tamworth Castle on Sunday 2nd December.
Play our Christmas Raffle Imagine starting 2019 in style by winning a Kia Picanto car or £8,000! Buy your raffle tickets now at www.stgileshospice.com/raffle
Light up a Life this Christmas Remember a loved one in a special way this Christmas by dedicating a light on one of our beautiful Christmas trees, writing a message for the Book of Memories and joining us at one of our services. www.stgileshospice.com/lightupalife
Find the perfect present With 30 St Giles shops across the region, selling a wide range of brand new, pre-loved and unique gifts, you can pick up the perfect present or secret Santa gift! www.stgileshospice.com/locator
Come along to our Christmas Fairs Join us at our Whittington hospice on Saturday 17th November or our Walsall hospice on Saturday 1st December for an afternoon of festive family fun – you won’t want to miss it!
Want to find out more?
Visit www.stgileshospice.com/christmas or call 01543 432538 www.begambleaware.org
To make a donation please visit www.stgileshospice.com/donate
It takes a community to make a hospice. Your support matters. Thank you. St Giles Hospice, Fisherwick Road, Whittington, Lichfield, WS14 9LH 01543 432031 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.stgileshospice.com Registered Charity No. 509014
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LIVING | LIFE
FESTIVE FRAILTY Don’t let your Christmas cheer turn into a New Year nightmare - Be aware of festive scams.
hristmas is traditionally a time for giving and spreading joy, but it seems that for many the cost of creating this festive perfection is about as far from joyful as you can get as they struggle with the consequences of debt or the fallout from festive scams. Christmas fever can often fuddle our senses as we get caught up in the excitement, exceeding budgets and falling prey to fraudsters - both human and virtual.
One day’s financial over indulgence can result in months of misery, so even though it might be a bit too close to Christmas to put all these suggestions in place it’s never too late for financial planning, awareness and honesty.
Plan the pounds No-one can fund Christmas completely from their December pay packet, you only have to watch how those direct debits and standing orders eat into your salary within seconds of its appearance to realise that, so some form of saving ahead of time is a must. Regular saving accounts offer up to 5% interest on fixed term limited monthly contributions which is perfect for Christmas, and if you are considering switching your current account provider (make sure that it is an account that suits your needs) there could be a £100 cash back in it to boost your Christmas budget. A post- Christmas savings plan option could be to put your budgeted Christmas spend on a credit card with a 0% fixed term interest rate, but only do this if you can afford to pay it off within the zero-rate period. If you choose to borrow money for Christmas only do so if you can meet the repayments, and use a financial provider registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Do not be tempted to go to loan sharks – while they seem like a quick fix, they are illegal moneylenders and charge high interest rates and may even become violent if you are unable to pay. If you have become involved with this type of money lender you can report them anonymously via GOV.UK. Pay day loans although now more regulated still charge disproportionately excessive interest rates that may make repayments difficult. A safer option if you need to borrow would be to consider a Credit Union which is a self-help cooperative whose members pool their savings to provide each other with credit at a low interest rate. You can find a credit union near you on the website of The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL).
LIVING | LIFE
There are other options for saving ahead for Christmas. Supermarkets such as Asda offer Christmas savings cards and a few extra pounds put on them each time you shop will fund food and gifts closer to the big day. If your order your turkey and Christmas meat from a local butcher, they may allow you to pay in instalments with a payment card. Some savings cards such as points on Tesco’s Club Card are far more lucrative if exchanged for gifts or experiences rather than as a cash reduction at the till and look out for offers on the Boots Advantage Card to build up your points for Christmas gifts. Savings can also be made indirectly by buying cards, decorations, crackers and winter gifts in the January sales, and stagger your Christmas purchases through the year by allocating a small amount each month or snapping up offers when they appear.
Set a budget It is important to be honest with yourself about the amount of money you have for Christmas and ask the right questions. It is not about how much you must spend but what you can afford to spend so work that out and stick to it; your Christmas budget must be a red line that cannot be crossed. Remember Christmas is just one day so don’t ruin the following year paying for it. The idioms: cut your cloth according to your means and necessity is the mother of invention spring to mind and are very pertinent during the festive season. Keep your present list to just your nearest and dearest. If friends are genuine they will respect your decision and maybe grateful for it as receiving a present creates an obligation; especially onerous for someone who maybe struggling financially. If you must buy set a limit (Secret Santa is good for this) or just buy for children of friends. You could be a bit more imaginative by offering your time or skills as a gift. Children also enjoy making presents especially cooked ones such as biscuits or cakes.
debts and the Money Advice Service (www.moneyadviceservice.org. uk/en) has been set up by the Government to offer free and impartial money advice.
Festive scams Christmas is the season of goodwill, but for some it is the perfect opportunity to do the exact opposite with scams, counterfeit goods and internet fraud that cost us money and cause unnecessary distress. Forewarned is forearmed so here are some tips to help you save money and stay safe as you shop till you drop.
1. The Golden Rule - Always remember if you spot a bargain that seems too good to be true it probably is so give it a miss.
2. Stay safe online - Don’t forget the basics of online safety with the excitement of Christmas. Be careful about what personal information you give out online, check your privacy settings, keep your virus protection and firewalls up to date and change your passwords frequently.
Most importantly if you are struggling financially or already in debt don’t ignore the situation or accept it as the norm and spend regardless; self- denial or more expense does not help, and it will just give you one almighty New Year financial hangover
It is important to make a list and stick to it. It provides a focus point to remind you if bargains come up and you will feel great when the last item is ticked off. Look upon the list as a challenge to keep within your budget and hunt down those bargains while always keeping an eye on your online security. Check out the cheaper shop brands for groceries and use supermarket price comparison sites to save money. Visit an outlet village or go to their online store where last year’s lines from your favourite names will be available at reduced prices. Become eBay-savvy checking out the bargains to save money while at the same time selling your own unwanted items on there to generate some Christmas funds. Most importantly if you are struggling financially or already in debt don’t ignore the situation or accept it as the norm and spend regardless; self-denial or more expense does not help, and it will just give you one almighty New Year financial hangover. There is plenty of free support available to help you manage your debts and find out what the options are for paying them off. Citizens Advice (www. citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money) give you all the information you need to make the right choices and get your finances back in shape. The GOV.UK site provides advice on how to pay off your
3. Think before you click on those links - Fake delivery emails hidden in the Christmas rush that take you to a scam site or download malware onto your computer. Emails from your bank that ask you to click on a link to provide personal details or passwords (a bank will never ask you to do this). Fake charity “phishing” emails that provide a link to donate. E-voucher scams with links that when clicked on ask for personal information and countless emails saying that unbelievable bargains are just a click away. If in doubt contact the company directly or go to their official secure site indicated by the padlock icon.
4. Fake and Counterfeit Goods - If the goods are counterfeit there may be no warranty and it could be difficult to track the seller down. Counterfeit goods are more likely to not meet safety standards so could put you or your family at risk. Report your concerns to Trading Standards.
5. Treat unsolicited contact with caution or better still ignore it - Often these calls
require a quick decision which no genuine provider would insist upon. If it is a financial company or individual check the FCA website to see if they are registered with them or if they have been reported to them for misconduct. End the call and do your homework by reading reviews and checking if they have a secure website. Using a credit card for your Christmas shopping if you can afford the repayments can offer you some protection if the purchase is over £100 as the card company is jointly liable for the whole amount so if anything goes wrong you will get your money back. Report any concerns you have with your account to your bank immediately, and Action Fraud on 0300123040 are there to help with any problems you may have. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and it is only natural that we want our loved ones to enjoy the magic and make memories to treasure, but it is only one day a year and there are many more left to share so don’t fill them with financial worry if it can be avoided. It may sound cliché but it’s people not things that matter in the end so focus on that and stick to your budget. sL
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LIVING | DRIVE
ON THE ROAD:
WINTER DRIVING CHECKLIST Winter can be treacherous on the roads, stay safe with our guide to winter driving.
inter weather like snow, heavy rainfall and ice can be a nightmare when it comes to your car and driving, making conditions on the roads dangerous and increasing your chances of breaking down or having an accident. Research by Halfords has found that two thirds of drivers don’t even know when a wiper blade should be changed in order to ensure they maintain good visibility in wet and wintry weather conditions. In fact, the company found that many drivers (16%) would wait for a garage to tell them a wiper blade should be replaced – despite the fact that an issue may not be picked up until a routine service or MOT – a further 15% would wait until they begin to screech and 13% admitted they simply didn’t know when to change them. Ella Colley, Halfords’ wet weather expert says; “Strong wind and torrential rain could cause trouble for those with dodgy wiper blades. Our research shows that there are likely to be many motorists out there struggling to see as their wiper blades fail to cope with the elements. Poor visibility doesn’t just make driving in the rain unpleasant and more tiring but failing to see a hazard quickly slows your reaction time. This can add several car lengths to your stopping distance and make the difference between avoiding a collision and not.”
Furthermore, your car can fail its MOT if a wiper blade is missing, insecure or in a condition that it doesn’t clean the windscreen effectively. In addition, Halfords also found that a whopping 60% of motorists haven’t had their car battery checked in the last six months, despite the recommendation of regular checks. In fact, the survey revealed that UK motorists lack the basic knowledge about batteries from how to jump start their car to actually changing the battery.
The AA recommends these essentials to keep in your car as a winter emergency kit. 1. A blanket, rug or sleeping bag – you never know when you might get stranded either from breaking down or because of a holdup on the road. 2. Shovel – you can’t predict heavy snowfall so having a shovel will make sure you can literally dig yourself out, whether in the morning or after work.
3. Ice scraper and de-icer – it is a legal requirement to keep your front and rear windscreen 60% of motorists haven’t had clear of snow before driving. their car battery checked in Heaters can help speed up this process, but you will need to the last six months, despite the help manually too.
recommendation of regular checks. Colley says: “It isn’t just commuters who will feel sluggish after the festive period, but their cars do too. Using your car’s heater, lights and devices like dash cams places greater demand on your battery, and this, combined with leaving your car standing idle in sub-zero temperatures, could result in a less than positive start. The company is urging drivers to take advantage of its free nationwide winter checks in its stores and Autocentres which include checks on the head and tail light bulbs, battery, wiper blades and oil levels, a windscreen chip check and a free screen wash top up.
4. Torch and batteries – If you become stranded at night a torch will help but make sure you have spare batteries! 5. Snacks – Chocolate or cereal bars can help to keep energy levels up if you are stranded for a long period of time. 6. Extra screenwash – to make sure you can always see clearly while driving. It also recommends having a fully-charged mobile phone and in-car charger, first aid kit, sunglasses and an atlas or sat nav. If there is severe weather forecast, it suggests keeping warm clothing, waterproofs, sturdy footwear and a flask of hot drink with you too.
LIVING | DRIVE
Volvo V90 Cross Country
The CR-V has a fresh and sophisticated exterior design combined with all-wheel drive technology and a suite of safety features - including Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control to enhance control capability - making it ideal for winter weather conditions. Prices start from £25,995.
Volvo has added the power and refinement of the T5 petrol engine to its V90 range and the cross country all-road estate model. Add to that the reliability and world-class safety features that are synonymous with Volvo and you have a perfect winter car. Prices start from £41,350.
THE WINTER DRIVERS
Our pick of the best cars for winter.
Audi A4 Allroad Quattro
Tesla Model S
The A4, Audi’s mid-size sedan, is characterized by its impressively well-balanced sportiness yet comfortable interior. Add the quattro technology to give it off-road capabilities and it becomes a great car to take on winter weather conditions. Prices start from £40,275.
Model S was the first fully electric Sedan style car and has been designed for safety. It has the longest range of any electric vehicle and the highest possible safety ratings with unparalleled traction control. Prices start from £72,600. sL
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LIVING | FOCUS
CHRISTMAS GIVING LIVING rounds up the Christmas charity appeals you can support this year.
Charity appeals Crisis at Christmas - Crisis is a national charity for homeless people and each year it runs Crisis at Christmas which involves opening centres for the homeless in Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh, London and Newcastle over the holiday period manned by over 10,000 volunteers. You can donate or volunteer via the website at www.crisis.org.uk. Shelter - Shelter offers advice, support and legal services to end homelessness, and their Christmas appeal focuses on the impact on children of homelessness over the festive period. Last year’s appeal highlighted the fact that in December 2017 128,000 children woke up on Christmas morning homeless or in temporary accommodation and that Shelter respond at that time to an emergency call every thirty seconds. Find out more at www.shelter.org.uk. Samaritans - The Samaritans stress that family difficulties, money problems, mental health issues and loneliness do not disappear at Christmas but instead are often exacerbated by the perfect and often unobtainable images that surround us at this time. The Samaritans ask for donations to support their 24/7 365 days a year free helpline on 116123 as well as their drop- in centres. The Samaritans can also be contacted via email email@example.com or by post Freepost RSRB-KKBYCYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA. Find out more online at www.samaritans.org. The Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal - The Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal has been running for over twentyfive years and to date has raised close to £24 million for its chosen charities. Each year it chooses three charities to support which have shown their effectiveness at impacting positively on the lives of the people they support. The annual BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields supports people who are homeless and “vulnerably housed” through The Connection at St Martin’s and across the UK through the Vicar’s Fund (VRF) and The Frontline Network.
Christmas gifts and cards Every Christmas people choose to donate and support charities by buying their cards or gifts from Christmas catalogues or directly from shops. Guide Dogs (www. guidedogs.org.uk) publishes a Dogalogue gift catalogue each year which can also be accessed via the website homepage, as do The Dogs Trust (www.dogstrust.org.uk), the RSPCA
(www.rspca.org.uk/home), The Wildlife Trusts (www. wildlifetrusts.org) and many more. Oxfam also offer their alternative unwrapped Christmas gifts that change lives abroad and at home such as goats, safe water and honey bees.
Charity events Finally, there is the Christmas charity event that has become a national institution - the BBC Children in Need Appeal that takes place in November each year. The show which is due to take place on the 16th November this year is a whole evening of entertainment on BBC1 with celebrities singing, dancing and doing all sorts of crazy things to help raise money to support disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. The 2017 appeal raised a staggering £60.7 million. Schools, shops and businesses across the UK join in with the fundraising fun and details of how you can give your support or order a fundraising pack are available on the BBC Children in Need website.
Support local causes Alice Charity - Shockingly, the latest statistics state that 17% of all children living in Newcastle-under-Lyme and 25% of children living in Stoke-on-Trent are a part of low income families. Alice Charity helps these vulnerable families giving them what they need when they need it. You can donate a ‘Family Fiver’ – just £5 per month - to help, volunteer or get involved in the many projects – find out more at www.alicecharity.com. Dougie Mac - The Dougie Mac charity provides all hospice services free of charge to over 3,000 patients with lifelimiting illnesses each year in the North Staffordshire area. You can get involved in many ways, including donations, volunteering, playing its lottery and running events. Find out more online at www.dmhospice.org.uk. Katharine House Hospice - The Stafford-based care charity has over 200 staff and more than 600 volunteers helping to provide free of charge care and support to families in midStaffordshire. There are many ways the local community can help including events, challenges, sponsorship and donations. Find out more online at www.khhospice.org.uk. Do you support a local charity running a Christmas appeal and would like help in spreading the word? Please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. sL
NO PLACE LIKE HOME”
HOME Inspire your creativity at home
F_BAR_18796 Staffordshire Living advert - Hilderstone Hall and The Spires OCTOBER/NOVEMBER.qxp_Layout 1 26/09/2018 13:57 Page 1
at a Barchester care home
Personalised care is at the heart of everything we do. • Choice of nutritious and delicious menus, prepared by talented chefs • Daily activities, tailored to residents’ interests and hobbies • Beautiful and safe surroundings with a choice of ample living spaces • Well-trained and experienced staff who get to know each and every residents’ care needs and personal preferences
Nursing Care • Residential Care • Dementia Care • Respite Breaks En-suite Bedrooms • Minibus • Hairdressing Salon
Call our friendly team or visit our website for more information. Hilderstone Hall Hall Lane, Hilderstone Stone, ST15 8SQ
The Spires Stafford Road, Lichfield, WS13 8JD
Tel: 01889 861 513
Tel: 01543 330 753
HOME | TRENDS
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It’s the season to sprinkle your world with > a joy (and copious amounts of glitter).
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HOME | TRENDS
£2.99 (Pack of 2) HomeSense
£4 Marks & Spencer
Go for a contemporary vibe and create a neoninspired world with kitsch accessories, bright and bold colours and mesmerising geometric details.
£5 (Set of 4) Habitat
£8 John Lewis
ALL IS BRIGHT £6 River Island
£7 Tiger Stores
£1 Tiger Stores
£4 Marks & Spencer
£3.75 Sainsbury’s From £29.95 Emma Bridgwater £12.99 Very £5 John Lewis
PRANCER & DANCER
Marks & Spencer
Christmas and unicorns collide to make your home a dreamy pastel palace. Find soft, fluffy décor and escape into layers of pale pinks, blues and greens.
£22.95 Emma Bridgewater
£4 Marks & Spencer
£8 John Lewis
CANDY C A NE
Use traditional shades of red and green to create your very merry home. Bring cheer and joy to any room with these synonymous festive colours.
HOME | TRENDS
£4.99 (Set of 4) Very
£10 River Island
£10 (Set of 6 ) Debenhams
£8 John Lewis
Turn your home into a fairytale dream whites, this Christmas. Clash golds with icy pearlescent creams.
£14.50 coxandcox.co.uk £12.99 Very £12 Debenhams
£4.50 Marks & Spencer
£19 JD Williams
£3 Marks & Spencer
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Glass Balustrades are Perfect for Interior and Exterior Use All of our glass products are toughened making them suitable for both outdoor and indoor use, as they wonâ€™t be affected by the elements so will stand the test of time. We have undertaken many exterior projects including the installation of glass balustrades as an alternative to walls or wooden fixtures. Phone: 01782 525567 Website: www.glassandrails.co.uk | Email: email@example.com Address: Glass and Rails Limited, Unit 1, Rafferty Industrial Estate, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 2EB
FOR THE FINEST QUALITY GLASS SPLASHBACKS CRAFTED IN THE UK, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN PROFILE GLASS From stunning splashbacks to bring style to your bathroom or kitchen, to bespoke shower enclosures, office partitioning, and mirrors, we can take any idea and bring it to life. Using only the finest materials, our highly skilled team produce workmanship of the highest standards; providing you with a product which youâ€™ll love.
Phone: 01782 575551 Website: www.profile-glass.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Profile Glass Limited, Unit 1 Rafferty Industrial Estate, Sneyd Hill, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 2EB
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HOME | REPORT
inter means shorter days and falling temperatures, so a warm and cosy house to come home to after work or play is a must, but what jobs need to be done to ensure this and to avoid those seasonal chilly blasts, leaks and damp? Preparing for summer is about outdoor living with a focus on the garden and creating a seamless lifestyle between it and indoors, whereas in winter we are more inward looking with the garden enjoyed through the window and the cold air not welcome. It is a time to stock up on necessities as the elements confine us more to home, and to also carry out safety checks on items that may become dangerous when all those draughts are denied entry. So, with all this in mind, here are 10 things to consider around the home ahead of winter,
How’s your boiler feeling?
Approximately two thirds of total home energy expenditure go on your boiler’s fuel, so it is important that it runs as efficiently as possible. The time to assess your boiler is before temperatures start to fall as a freezing house and cold showers with frost or snow outside is no fun at all. Boilers should be serviced annually by a registered engineer to ensure that they are running safely and efficiently; remember a blocked flue could allow odourless and fatal carbon monoxide to fill your home (always fit carbon monoxide detectors in your home and check them regularly). The older the boiler the less efficient it is so if your maintenance costs are increasing and parts becoming more difficult to obtain it maybe time to consider purchasing a new one especially if yours isn’t a modern condensing boiler. For information on buying a new boiler and finding suppliers go to the Energy Saving Trust.
How hot are your radiators?
When a central heating system slowly comes back to life after its summer break your house can be filled with inexplicable gurgles or groans and some radiators may obstinately refuse to warm up. The answer could be that the system needs bleeding to let out air that has become trapped inside. First establish which of your radiators are not heating up fully and so will need bleeding and then turn off the central heating. With a radiator key or flat-blade screwdriver turn the valve at the top anti-clockwise and allow air to escape from the radiator until liquid comes out when the valve should be closed quickly. While you are doing this invest in some insulation foil and drop it in behind them to reflect the heat they generate back into the room.
How to prepare the
HOME FOR WINTER
Winter is coming and there are a few things around the house you can do to prepare in advance – here’s the LIVING 10-step winter home checklist.
Insulate, insulate and insulate more
It is important to ensure that the heat being generated isn’t being wasted by inadequate insulation so check for draughts around windows and doors or anywhere else that heat could easily escape from. The Energy Saving Trust states that you can save up to fifty pounds a year on your annual heating bill by draught proofing doors, windows, skirting boards, floorboards and loft hatches. You may also wish to consider more expensive insulation options for walls, lofts and floors. For information on energy efficient grants as well as tips for making your home more efficient go to uswitch.com.
Dare to switch
Allocate some time to ensuring you are on the energy tariff best suited to your needs and if you haven’t already done so have a smart meter fitted. With usage naturally higher in the winter don’t unknowingly revert to an expensive variable rate or miss out on better deals because of a reluctance to switch. It’s not just about cost too you might be able to help the planet at the same time as some providers offer competitively priced options that use renewable energy sources. For further information The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) who regulate the companies which run the gas and electricity networks provide independent advice on switching energy suppliers. Don’t forget to check if you are eligible for a winter fuel allowance at GOV.UK.
What you should know and where to find it
Don’t wait until disaster strikes to look for vital telephone numbers and locate the stop taps inside and outside the house for your water. Make sure that you have the contact details and account number to hand for your energy supplier and water company to report power cuts, leaks or loss of supply. A garage roof in danger of coming loose as a thunder storm rages in the early hours is not the best time to check if you have the right home insurance to match your needs and how to claim.
Don’t wait until disaster strikes to look for vital telephone numbers...
A winter “spring” clean
Chimneys need to be swept to ensure that there is no risk of soot catching fire and to ensure that the toxic gases a fire produces are carried up and away rather than coming back into the room. A chimney sweep will issue you with a certificate stating that the work has been done in accordance with the industry’s standard code of practice which is a necessary requirement of your home insurance. The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) is a professional trade association and can provide details of NACS chimney sweeps in your area. Drains and guttering also need to be cleaned and cleared to prevent breakages and blockages following heavy rain. Check the roof for loose or missing tiles which may allow water to penetrate the loft space and sensitively trim back any branches too close to the house or electrical wires, fences and walls. Check the outside security lights and make sure that you have spare bulbs.
Stock up on winter essentials
Last winter vividly brought home to us all the implications of severe weather with power cuts and blocked roads isolating communities and crippling supply chains. It is important to ensure you assess your individual needs if these situations arise and stock up on items you recognise as essential for you. General items could include matches, anti-freeze, de-icer, torches, batteries, candles and power packs, while more specific items could be fodder and feed for animals.
HOME | REPORT
Depending on your phobias you might not want to hear this but just as you enjoy the warmth and cosiness of a centrally heated home so do some of our non- human “friends”. A warm house is a perfect option for rodents that are drawn to sources of heat and potential food and they will find very creative ways to enter your home through cracks in walls or open windows and doors. GOV.UK provide advice on pest control on your property.
Warming interior design tips
After you have switched your bedding for a higher tog there are a few tricks to cosy up your home this winter. Darker and richer colours are warmer making a room appear smaller and cosier when it gets chilly outside. Layer up throws in different textures including cable knits and add some cushions for extra comfort in the long evenings ahead. Scent your home with warming festive spices such as cinnamon and cloves and draw your furniture closer together around the fire for added warmth. If you are creative or crafty make some draught excluders or door curtains and add thermal linings to your other window drapes or blinds.
Winter flowers in your home
Flowers can brighten up the dullest of winter days as well as adding a rich and warming fragrance to your home, but with the heating turned up high it can be difficult to find fresh cut flowers that last. Stephanie Gibson who runs Pretty Wild Floral Designs (@prettywildflorist) recommends eucalyptus and spruce for fragrance, combined with rich red amaryllis for warmth and hypericum berries to add depth, texture or layers. “Gold foliage adds warmth, and thistles or pussy willow add textures or layers that create the same cosy feel that comes from using throws, rugs and cushions in winter colours or fabrics.” she says. “If you only have smaller vases you can’t go wrong with tulips in rich red, dark pinks and burnt orange combined with bear grass to add volume and movement.” It is always important to prepare for winter in a practical way by taking the time to assess the state of your home, the financial implications of the costs of winter and the potential personal impact on you or your family of the consequences of extreme weather. It is also about creating a refuge from the cold and dark which can feed your senses as well as warm your body with rich fragrance, layers and winter blooms. sL
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Switch It Are you looking to move your mortgage from your current lender? We offer a personal underwriting service and credit check, not credit score.
Contact our dedicated mortgage team to discuss our range of remortgage products and how you can move your mortgage even if you are not moving home.
Re-mortgaging Your Home Are you looking to re-mortgage your current property? We sat down with Mortgage Manager, Rob Shropshire from Stafford Railway Building Society to discuss re-mortgaging your home with the Society. How is a re-mortgage different to a new mortgage?
Will I be credit scored?
A remortgage is when someone looks to move their mortgage from their current lender to Stafford Railway Building Society to get a new deal but stay in their existing property or re-mortgage and borrow extra money if they need to. A new mortgage helps a customer move home or buy their first property.
We don’t credit score customers, we do credit checks and look at every customer on an individual basis and look at the results of the credit check as part of a customer’s application.
How long does an application take? It can take a couple of hours to complete the appointment and finalise the paperwork and then it can take 2-3 weeks to get the mortgage offer produced. Once an interview has finished we look after your application every step of the way until your mortgage completes. Our dedicated mortgage team look after you and your application from start to finish taking the stress out of the mortgage process. Will my case be underwritten? We treat every case on an individual basis, and these are looked at by myself or Adrian – Head of Mortgages. So, at Stafford Railway Building Society your case will be reviewed personally and manually underwritten and approved by a person.
Do I have to come into your branch to apply? You can come into the branch, or we can talk to you over the phone - whichever is best for you. We like to fit in with the needs of our customers. Can I re-mortgage to help with improvements in my home, or to pay off debt? You can do both, customers often improve the home they live in instead of moving home, and we are happy to help them do this. We can help with debt consolidation too to help customers reduce their outgoings and make their monthly mortgage payments more affordable. Stafford Railway Building Society is based in 4 Market Square, Stafford, ST16 2JH. www.srbs.co.uk | 01785 223212
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).
Remortgage Ad 282x210mm.indd 1
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We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us.
Sir Winston Churchill
Pinnacle Group Pinnacle Group was formed out of the growing need to create a professional multidiscipline company that specialises in niche market activities within construction and land development. We are hands on owners with an unparalleled knowledge base and are truly passionate about our trades priding ourselves on core values Professionalism & Integrity.
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RESIDENTIAL LETTINGS & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS IN THE HEART OF PENKRIDGE OFFERING A FRIENDLY AND PROFESSIONAL APPROACH TO THE LETTING OF YOUR PROPERTY. NEW SIGN UPS OF FULLY MANAGED PROPERTIES RECEIVE MONTHLY COMMISSION At 8% PLUS VAT QUOTE ‘STAFFORDSHIRE LIVING’
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Find us on Facebook/YarletStoves
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HOME | FEATURE
The Iconic Natuzzi Sofa
The Noguchi Coffee Table Designed in 1944, Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi describes his iconic Vitra Coffee Table as his best piece of work. It is constructed with a unique, curved triangular shape, consisting of a glass table top resting on two identical wooden legs. The coffee table proves just how delicate the line is between practical furniture and artistic flair. Noguchi Vitra Coffee Table £1,490 John Lewis
Italian stylist and entrepreneur Pasquale Natuzzi gained worldwide acclaim for his leather sofas in the 80s, and the company has just launched an update on his iconic range. The Icon Sofa, with its elegant arms, generous proportions and curvy appearance, recalls the traditional Natuzzi shapes and ‘visual comfort’ of the early 1980s and 1990s. The padded seat and back cushions are water-repellent, breathable and as soft as feathers. A wooden frame and base in chromed black metal with non-scratch foot liners complete the look. Icon Sofa From £5,760 www.natuzzi.com
TIMELESS INTERIORS Some style will never go out of fashion. Here is our pick of the most iconic 20th century interior design pieces.
The Flos Floorlamp The Flos Arcos Floor Lamp was designed by Achille Castiglioni in 1962 and crafted by Italian lighting specialists FLOS. The design has remained one of the legendary icons of home design thanks to its unique look and finish. Inspired by an urban streetlight, Arco is free-standing lamp designed to bring overhead light without the need for mounted fixtures. It has a marble base and an adjustable arched stainless-steel stem, with a polished aluminium shade covering a halogen bulb. Flos Arco Floor Lamp £1,603 Nest.co.uk
The Vitra Wall Clock The Vitra Sunburst wall clock was designed by American Industrial designer George Nelson in 1949. Nelson was thought to be one of the 20th century’s most iconic modernist designers. His collection of timepieces is inherent of 1950s design using diverse materials and fun, unusual sculptural shapes. His Vitra Sunburst clock has been re-released by the Vitra Design Museum in a true-to-the-original form.
The Cherner Armchair Another student of the Bauhaus tradition, American furniture legend Norman Cherner is recognised worldwide as one of the 20th century’s most prolific furniture designers. He crafted the Cherner Armchair in 1958 from moulded plywood renowned for comfort, durability and its lightweight construction. The Cherner Armchair from £1,146 www.chernerstore.com
Vitra Sunburst Wall Clock £269 Nest.co.uk
The Henningsen Pendant The PH 3½-3 pendant was launched in 2014 to mark Danish designer Paul Henningsen’s 120th birthday. Sadly, the ‘light artist’ as he was known, died in the 60s, but his pendant designs have become synonymous with the lighting world and remain just as prominent today. It features his renowned three-shade system, which ensures an even distribution of light, creating an ambient setting. Louis Poulson PH 3½-3 pendant £POA www.louispoulsen.com w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k
Composite Advert (Staffordshire Living) November.qxp_Layout 1 08/10/2018 10:02 Page 1
NOW’S THE TIME ACT NOW AND BE IN YOUR NEW 5 STAR HOME FOR THE NEW YEAR!
Help to Buy
Save money & hassle with our Home Mover Scheme* St. Peters Walk
Choose from a wide range of 5 Star Award winning home at two exciting locations in Staﬀordshire.
King Street, Yoxall, DE13 8NA
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3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes from £270,000 to £630,000
Call: 0845 873 2883*
Call: 0845 873 2884*
Our Home Mover Scheme takes care of the sale of your existing home and unlike with some other builders’ schemes, we pay ALL your Estate Agent’s fees!
Showhomes & Marketing Suites open 10am to 5.30pm daily www.lioncourthomes.com *All oﬀers are subject to terms and conditions and available on selected properties only. Help to Buy cannot be used in conjunction with Part Exchange, please ask our Sales Executive for full details. The pictures shown are indicative images of Lioncourt homes. Prices and oﬀers correct at time of print. †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. Prices and oﬀers correct at time of print.
HOME | TRENDS
The shaded craze that took hold of our tresses is now making its mark in home décor and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Furniture Choice Ltd www.anniesloan.com
e may be on the way to the bright and bold colours of Christmas but there is another muted yet classic trend bubbling away in the background. Ombre styling has taken hold of interiors and it's fighting back at the cosy ambiance of the season. Fluffy, light and pastel tones merge into one another to bring a touch of elegance and femininity to the festive season. Fight through the baubles, ribbon and bountiful supply of candles and find a little pocket of serenity in Ombre décor.
and peaceful and great for adding a light touch to any room.
Work this trend into soft furnishings and smaller accessories to make a subtle and cute tone to the style of your room.
It’s exciting and joyful without being garish and over the top, yet it’s calming
Why you’ll love it It’s dreamy and feminine amidst a sea of red, green, gold and a whole load of glitter. But, you can easily weave in a few festive pieces if you feel the need.
How to get it
If you want to make more of a splash with this trend, cover a feature wall with an Ombre wallpaper to bring a focal point to your room.
Be careful to match shades and tones to keep a flow throughout your room. Your base should be neutral and light to keep a balance. Work small accessories
Upcycle master Take your love of this trend up a notch and experiment with upcycling some furniture to really put your own unique spin on it.
STYLE vs STEAL
Find your Ombre style at any price
HOME | TRENDS
£35 Wild & Wolf £110 John Lewis £85 Etsy Musthave cushion
£35 John Lewis
Fill with lights for a festive touch
£129 Dusky Rose
A perfect shade of blue
£195 Oliver Bonas
£20 (Set of 2) www.redcandy.co.uk £99 JD Williams Home A vintage look works well with ombre
£3.50 M&S w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k
Discover retirement living to the full in Lichfield Retirement doesn’t have to mean putting your feet up. But it should mean giving up all those jobs you don’t want to do. When you move to one of our apartments, there’s someone there to take care of all the exterior maintenance like gardening and cleaning windows. So you can spend more time Artist Impression living your retirement to the full.
Scott Place Cross Keys, Lichfield, WS13 6EX One & two bedroom apartments for sale from £195,000#.
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NOW SELLING Off-Site Marketing Suite now open The George Hotel, Bird Street, Lichfield, WS13 6PR Come along for a coffee and to find out more about what Scott Place will be like when we open our doors next year. Open Tuesday to Thursday. Home appointments available Friday & Saturday. LP-StaffordshireLiving
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SPEND THE FESTIVE SEASON IN STYLE: Move in to a fabulous new St. Modwen home for Christmas!
Let’s get moving We have a range of incentives to help get you moving to your new St. Modwen home:
l Help to Buy l Assisted Move l Part Exchange*
Help to Buy
Whether you’re looking for your first home or moving up the property ladder, St. Modwen homes have a choice of exceptional homes in a range of exciting locations throughout the area. Visit now and you could be in your new home for Christmas!
Castle Street, Stafford, ST16 2EB Call: 0330 058 6280
Bramshall Road, Uttoxeter, ST14 5BD Call: 0330 058 6270
Harold Hines Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8WJ Call: 0330 058 6930
Boothen Old Road, Stoke-On-Trent, ST4 4ED Call: 0330 058 6290
For our latest availability and prices please visit stmodwenhomes.co.uk
Showhomes & Marketing Suite Open daily 10am to 5:30pm
www.stmodwenhomes.co.uk *Offers available on selected plots and developments only and are subject to Terms and Conditions. The pictures shown are indicative images of St. Modwen homes. Help to Buy is a government-led scheme and availability is subject to qualification. Full terms and conditions can be found at www.helptobuy.org.uk. High-tech specification is available on selected properties only, please ask for details. Prices and offers correct at time of print.
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CHRISTMAS WREATHS Celebrate the festive season by hanging beautiful Christmas wreaths around the home, but who’s got time to make them these days? So, unless you’re going for a handmade Christmas a la Kirsty Allsopp, here is our pick of the best artificial ones available this year.
1. £24.99 Very 2. £35 Marks & Spencer 3. £30 John Lewis 4. £22 National Trust 5. £12.95 HomeSense 6. £10 Paperchase 7. £20 Sainsbury’s 8. £42 Amara 9. £50 Laura Ashley
NEW BATHROOM FOR CHRISTMAS? LIMITED AVAILABILITY, RESERVE AN INSTALLATION SLOT NOW!
Europa Way, WS14 9TZ 01543 440000
DoveямБelds, ST14 8HR 01889 565151
VISIT US ONLINE AT
HANDMADE & TAILORED INTERIORS CURTAINS BLINDS SHUTTERS AWNINGS
W W W. B U T T E R L E Y B A R N . C O .U K 01785 859222
1 4 - 1 6 S TA F F O R D S T R E E T, E C C L E S H A L L , S TA F F O R D S H I R E S T 2 1 6 B H
Y OU R
Newspaper House, Brook Street, Leek, ST13 5JE Tel: 01538 399150 • www.bedsinleek.co.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org Open: Monday – Saturday 9am – 5:30pm
M IL Y O W L FA ED SPECI AL
OVER 70 BEDS AND MATTRESSES ON DISPLAY PLUS A HUGE
FURNISHINGS Curtains • Blinds • Soft Furnishings Fabrics • Wallpapers • Shutters
Bespoke Soft Furnishings turn a House into a Home. For professionally, handmade soft furnishings in Staffordshire & surrounding areas look no further than Bromley Interiors. 07739 428013 email@example.com www.bromleyinteriors.co.uk bromleyinteriors bromley_interiors bromleyinterior
Call for a FREE Consultation Today
VICTORIA CARPETS AND CURTAINS EXPERIENCED, RELIABLE, AFFORDABLE & LOCAL...
Mortgage & Insurance Consultants WITH ACCESS TO THE WHOLE OF THE MORTGAGE MARKET PLACE WE CAN SOURCE THE BEST POSSIBLE DEAL THAT IS SPECIFIC TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES
• Carpets • Rugs • Vinyls • Laminates • Cushion Floors
WE OFFER PRODUCTS FOR: First Time Buyers • Home Movers • Remortgages • Buy To Let • Life & Critical Illness Cover
. . . AND A WHOLE LOT MORE
• Vertical, Venetian, Roman and Roller Blinds • Curtains • Pelmets • FREE Measuring & Home Selection
0800 026 4313
33 Weston Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 6AB
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on yourmortgage. You can pay for our services only. In these circumstances, a typical fee is £599payable on application. You can also pay a reduced fee and we will retain the procuration fee from the lender. A typical broker fee is £492 for Buy To Let mortgages and £392 for residential mortgages. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances. Potteries Mortgage Desk is an Appointed Representative of First Complete Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Potteries Mortgage Desk, 68 King Street, Newcastle, ST5 1JB T. 01782 615095 M. 07798 584572 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitchens – Bathrooms – Bedrooms
Free 3D Design Service - Free No Obligation Quotes 01889 578881
www.studio-interiors.com Unit 13 Lea Hall Enterprise Park, Wheelhouse Road, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 1LH
KITCHEN CARE STAFFORD LTD Quality bespoke kitchens and bedrooms at affordable prices
We are a long-established family business offering bespoke quality furniture. We offer a complete service from design through to completion including building work, electrics, gas, tiling and flooring.
Call us today for a FREE no obligation appointment on 01785 282921 Or visit us at our showroom: Kitchen Care Stafford Ltd Unit 5, Ladford Covert Industrial Park, near Seighford, Stafford ST18 9QL Email: email@example.com www.kitchencarestafford.co.uk Opening hours (Closed - Bank Holidays) Mon - Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm Saturday: 10.00am - 2.00pm Sunday: CLOSED
Dome s Comm tic & ercial Work
• Dry Lining • Artex Covering • Skimming & Coving • Full renovation projects undertaken
Professional, Comprehensive Chimney Sweeping in The Midlands and Cheshire.
A Chimney Sweep Provides
Commercial shop fitting and tape & jointing • Free Estimates • Fully Insured • No Job too Small
Call Lawrence on
07817 464043 or 01782 613721
firstname.lastname@example.org 46 Eleanor Crescent, Westlands, ST5 3SA
• Friendly, Professional Staff • Chimney Maintenance & Chimney Restoration • Stoves, Open Fires and Ranges Maintained • Bird Guards and Chimney Cowls Available • Reliable and Consistent Service • FREE Quotations On Request • HETAS Approved and Guild of Masters Chimney Sweep • WHICH Trusted Trader
How often should I sweep my chimney? Smokeless Coal: At least once a year Wood: Once a quarter Bitumous Coal: Twice a year Oil / Gas: Once a year
01785 609454 | 07748 628535
A Chimney Sweep, 14 Sycamore Road, Stone, ST15 8NJ www.achimneysweep.co.uk | email@example.com
Bespoke Sofa Manufacture & Re-Upholstery Specialist Our team of highly skilled professional craftsmen, create and manufacture sofas from design, for a living space that is truly unique. Coupled with our huge selection of fabrics we have the ability to create almost any type of bespoke design. Using traditional skills, we can also strip down your old suite or sofa and re-create the original design with our superior re-upholstery which is highly renowned for its finish and meticulous detail.
For a truly unique and individual lounge setting we welcome you to our factory showroom to see what we can create for you. Contact Simon Edwards or Chris Edwards on 01543 505539
Unit 19, Martindale, Hawks Green Business Park, Cannock WS11 7XN
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ralvernupholstery.co.uk
Quality flooring at affordable prices Abingdon, Adam’s, Associated Weavers, Axminster, Brintons, Brockways, Cormar, Crucial Trading, Penthouse, Riviera, Ulsters, Karndean & Project Floors • FREE ESTIMATES • FREE ADVICE • FREE QUOTATIONS • FURNITURE MOVED • OUR OWN REGULAR FITTERS
Please see our website for further details www.tatlowcarpets.co.uk Tel: 01543 264766 Email: email@example.com MILANO by Colour: Tartufo
Unit 4, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, WS14 9TZ Open to the public Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm Sat 10am – 4pm
Shropshireâ€™s experts in
OAK FRAMED BUIDINGS
will ensure that your project is built beautifully Our bespoke service means that you always get what you want whether that be garden room, orangery, garaging, extension, home office or studio, complete house or simply oak roof trusses.
Tel: 01952 590002 Mobile: 07913 717777 Web: severnoaktimberframes.co.uk
COMING UP Here is a sneak peek at what’s to come in the January | February edition of Staffordshire Living
H I T T I NG S H E LV E S: 21st December
Curve fashion – where to shop and how to dress your best
30 brain boosting tips for January
2019 travel calendar – where to go for culture, food and adventure
Plus, we’ll be talking Valentine’s Day, New Year detox and taking a closer look at the historical town of Lichfield. And it will be our first education supplement of 2019. Don’t miss it!
ONLINE You can keep up with news, events and exclusive competitions at
KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE. *
IN THE MINI CLUBMAN. Two days to make the ordinary extraordinary with a MINI Clubman test drive. Five seats mean thereâ€™s room to bring friends and family along for the ride. Thanks to the notable split rear doors and spacious 360-litre boot, you can pack more in. Plus, Sat Nav and Real Time Traffic Information mean youâ€™ll be fashionably on-time. To book a 48-hour test drive call 01782 572100 or visit www.knightsnorthstaffsmini.co.uk Knights North Staffordshire Radial Park, Bede Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4GU www.knightsnorthstaffsmini.co.uk | 01782 572100
Official fuel economy figures for the MINI Clubman Range: Urban 33.6-60.1mpg (8.4-4.7 l/100km). Extra Urban 50.4-72.4mpg (5.6-3.9 l/100km). Combined 42.8-65.7mpg (6.6-4.3 l/100km). CO2 emissions 151-112g/km. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. *Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.
THE ALL NEW BMW X5.
The Ultimate Driving Machine
KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE. REGISTER YOUR IN THE MINI CLUBMAN.
Forget what you know about sports utility vehicles, the new BMW X5 has been
Two days to make the ordinary extraordinary with a MINI Clubman test drive. Five seats mean there’s room to bring redesigned and for rebuilt uprearand new levels luxury, friends and family along the ride.from Thanksthe to thewheels notable split doorshas and spacious 360-litreof boot, you canconnectivity pack more in. Plus, Sat Nav and Real Time Traffic Information mean you’ll be fashionably on-time. and performance. Whatever adventures lie ahead, know you can. To book a 48-hour test drive call 01782 572100 or visit www.knightsnorthstaffsmini.co.uk
To register your interest or find out more, contact a member of Knights North Staffordshire Radial Park, Bede Road, on 01782 572100 or visit www.knightsnorthstaffsbmw.co.uk. Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4GU www.knightsnorthstaffsmini.co.uk | 01782 572100
Knights North Staffordshire BMW Radial Park, Bede Road, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire ST4 4GU. Tel: 01782 572100 Official fuel economy figures for the MINI Clubman Range: Urban 33.6-60.1mpg (8.4-4.7 l/100km). Extra Urban 50.4-72.4mpg (5.6-3.9 l/100km). www.knightsnorthstaffsbmw.co.uk Combined 42.8-65.7mpg (6.6-4.3 l/100km). CO emissions 151-112g/km. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for 2
comparisons between vehicles and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. *Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.