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LIVING July | August 2017 £3.50

Style special:

The glitziest jewellery to take on holiday


WIN! £250 worth of Jewellery

fashion: dress the

rainbow THE BEACH bucket list Find your summer style at the


Russell Watson: The People’s Tenor

“I don’t really get fearful before I go out on stage.”


tips and tricks




summer Our ‘Days Out’ guide


AVANTI TAKES A GIANT LEAP FORWARD Avanti Jewellers of Ashbourne have relocated to their fantastic, newly renovated store at 2-4 Church Street and are now open 7 days a week!

We specialise in certified diamond jewellery with an extensive range of competitively priced wedding rings in platinum, 18ct and 9ct golds and titanium. We also offer a full bespoke service, jewellery and watch repairs, restorations and much more.

WWW.AVANTIJEWELLERS.CO.UK 2-4 CHURCH STREET, ASHBOURNE, DERBYSHIRE, DE6 1AD EMAIL: INFO@AVANTIJEWELLERS.CO.UK TELEPHONE: 01335 348961 OPENING HOURS: Monday – Saturday: 9.30am – 5.00pm | Sunday & Bank Holidays: 10.30am – 4.00pm


Bespoke architectural joinery since 1860

Doors, Windows, Staircases, Cabinetry Cheswardine, Shropshire TF9 2RB 01630 661775


ar All e ho fre m eh es ol d!


from £349,995

Use Home Exchange to move on up to a bigger home at Sancerre Grange! The Canterbury - 4 bedroom home from £419,995

The Oxford - 5 bedroom home

Sancerre Grange Eccleshall, Staffordshire ST21 6JP A stylish development of 4 and 5 bedroom homes from £327,995 to £429,995

How does it work? Home Exchange allows you to trade in your house as part payment for your new home. We buy your house, giving you the certainty about timescales you don’t get when selling on the open market through an estate agent. Make your move a lot more straight forward all-round: No estate agent fees - No frustrating property chains And you can stay in your old property until your new Bovis Home is ready for you to move in!

Open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm

01785 530025

Photographs depict typical Bovis homes interior and exterior. Home Exchange scheme is subject to independent valuations, survey and contract on your existing property and is subject to criteria, which include the property you are selling is worth no more than 75% of the value of the new Bovis Home you wish to purchase. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Prices and availability correct at time of going to press. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT


Specialists in you. Keeping your body fit and healthy will help you live a more active, prolonged life. And for those times when you feel that something isn’t quite right, we are here to help. Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital has a specialist team of highly experienced consultants dedicated solely to women’s health that offers you discreet advice on a wide range of health issues. Our professional team of Gynaecologists, Urologists and Breast Surgeons will take care of all your healthcare needs, including routine check-ups, preventative care, advanced diagnostics, and effective treatment. Call us today to know more or make an appointment. It’s a good start to feeling great again...

Let’s Talk Women’s Health.


Join us for a free patient event in July. Events are held at our hospital on Wood Road, Tettenhall, commencing at 6:30pm with snacks and refreshments. At approx 7pm you will receive a presentation from our specialist consultants. Call us to reserve your place. Parking is free.

01902 793 269


Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital

The Ultimate Driving Machine


BMW Select (PCP) Representative example: BMW 520d M Sport Saloon Automatic. Term of agreement

47 monthly payments

On the road cash price*

Customer deposit

Deposit contribution

Total deposit

Total amount of credit

Option to purchase fee^

Optional final payment^

Total amount payable

Rate of interest

48 months










3.9% fixed

Representative 3.9 % APR

To find out more or to book a test drive ¹ , please visit or call 03300 171633. KNIGHTS NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE

Radial Park, Bede Road, Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire ST4 4GU 03300 171633 | Knights North Staffordshire is a credit broker and not a lender.

Representative example is for a BMW Select agreement for a BMW 520d M Sport Saloon Automatic, with a contract mileage of 32,000 miles and excess mileage charge of 10.07p per mile. Offer subject to change and stock availability. Vehicle must be registered by 30/09/16. Retail customers only. *On the road cash price is based on manufacturer’s recommended retail price and includes 3 year BMW Retailer Warranty, BMW Emergency Service, 12 months’ road fund licence, vehicle first registration fee, delivery, number plates and VAT. ^Optional final payment and option to purchase fee not payable if you opt to return the vehicle at the end of the agreement (vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable). Finance available subject to credit acceptance to UK residents aged 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be varied, withdrawn or extended at any time. ‘BMW Select’ is a form of hire-purchase agreement provided by BMW Financial Services (GB) Limited, Summit ONE, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. You will have a 14 day statutory right to withdraw from the agreement. Knights North West Ltd, trading as Knights North Staffordshire , commonly introduce customers to a selected panel of lenders including BMW Financial Services. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to such lenders. This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice. ¹Test drive subject to status and availability.

CON T E N T S July | August 2017 Cover stories 12 WIN! £250 worth

of Jewellery from Allen Brown Jewellery 13 The glitziest jewellery


to take on holiday 18 Find your summer style

at the supermarket 24 Dress the rainbow trend: e dress th w

r a i nb


42 Our ‘Days Out’ guide 56 Home: Easy SUMMER

STYLIN’ tips and tricks

Zara Home

94 Taste: Purple foods

Style 12 Bring out the bling: Jewellery for every destination 18 Supermarket Style Sweep 20 Faking it right: How to use your fake tan properly 24 Trend: Dress the rainbow 26 Holiday hair

You 28 Your summer living checklist 30 Oh, hey baby! Baby proof yourself 34 Did you know there’s an app for that? 38 Is it time for a mental makeover? 40 Keep yourself heart happy with these simple lifestyle choices

Days Out 42 What’s on your summer calendar? 47 Win a family stay and play package at Drayton Manor Park and Hotel 50 Heading back out to the ‘shires 53 Blooming beautiful in Newcastle-under-Lyme 54 Let the dogs out

Home 56 Summer stylin’ home trends for the summer 64 Should you move or improve? 68 A whole new world 74 Bring it all back to life, the ultimate antiques makeover 80 Light of life

for the summer

108 The beach bucket list 127 Russell Watson Interview:

The People’s Tenor



River Island

Prestige Homes 81 Find your dream home in Staffordshire

Taste 94 RECIPES: Purple Reign 99 A better brew 100 Enter the organic world 102 Meal Machine: update your packed lunch 106 A craft act

12 Jewellery worth £250 from Allen Brown Jewellery, Lichfield 33 Britax Romer’s new Baby-Safe i-Size in coral peach 47 A family stay and play package at Drayton manor Park and Hotel 130 Tickets to The Bolesworth Prom



108 Life’s a beach 112 REDISCOVER: Greece 116 The ins and outs of buying a holiday home 120 REVIEW: Touring the Tarn 122 All aboard! Travelling with your pet

134 Life begins at retirement 138 Trend report: Are you a Flexitarian? 141 Meet your local franchisees 142 Time to take cyber control 146 A classic adventure


Regular Features

124 The Film Club 127 INTERVIEW: The People’s Tenor 130 Event’s Calendar 132 The Book Club

10 LIVING it 151 LIVING Loves: Back to School 154 Coming Up

logo 50x50.pdf 05/03/2010 14:49:46










Faking it right



Nancy Emery DESIGN & PRINT

Natasha Nicholson Cheryl Basford



July | August 2017

ello and welcome to the latest edition of Staffordshire Living magazine. The last few months have been hard to bear but what has struck us so deeply is the resilience that we have as a society when faced with our worst fears. It makes us proud to be British and our hearts and minds are with everyone who has been affected by the atrocities in Manchester and London. You are not alone and together we will be a stronger nation. So on to what’s happening in this latest issue of Staffordshire Living. It’s the JulyAugust issue and we have sunshine and sangria firmly on our minds. It’s holiday prep galore in the STYLE section with fashion must-haves, a guide to getting your fake tan just right, jewellery for wherever you plan to travel, and the fashion bargains you can pick up while you carry out your big weekly shop – well, every little helps!



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We’re all about making life easier for you this summer so check out our ‘Do You Know There’s An App For That?’ feature in the YOU section where we’ve tried and tested some of the latest app releases promising to be a real helping hand. You

can find parking, organise a get-together with friends, and be a football pundit all from your smartphone. Oh, and if you are one to forget birthdays like me, the ‘thortful’ app is particularly useful. This issue, our DAYS OUT supplement has got some fantastic ideas for the family over the summer, from exploring nearby counties like Shropshire and Derbyshire, to festivals and events a little further afield, and you can win an overnight stay at Drayton Manor Park and Hotel for four. Plus, there is a blooming good reason to visit Newcastle-under-Lyme this summer – read all about it on page 53. Luckily for us LIVING girls, we were able to interview the man they call ‘The Voice,’ Russell Watson, ahead of an exclusive appearance at Bolesworth Castle on 2nd September. He tells us all about his next ventures plus what it’s like to be on stage on page 127. TRAVEL is a big part of this issue as we all get set to journey to new (or not) places for a well-deserved break from the norm. If you’re still not sure where you’ll be going, you simply must read our latest travel review of the stunning Tarn region of France on pages 120-121. We’re also showing off some of the best beaches in the world and rediscovering Greece. Finally, you can win some fantastic prizes this issue, including a Britax baby car seat worth £159, tickets to Bolesworth Castle and £250 worth of jewellery. Good luck!

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

Gabriella Wilde for Mappin & Webb SS17 at Goldsmiths Birmingham Bullring and Goldsmiths Merryhill




Mandy Peach David Mellenchip GROUP OPERATIONS MANAGER

Cheryl Osborne PUBLISHER

Craig Rushton Scan the QR code

While every care has been taken during the preparation of this magazine, Staffordshire Media 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 Staffordshire Media and their families. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Staffordshire Media 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. Staffordshire Living is published by Staffordshire Media, the trading name of Staffs Media Company Ltd, registered in England. 08841939. All rights reserved. Staffordshire Media, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8GB. Tel: 01782 644456 Fax: 01782 657411

Staffordshire Living’s Media Partners


It’s our news & views section. Time to catch up on what’s been happening in Staffordshire and what you had to say‌



Grease is the word

Pupils potty for books

The Chase in Stitch

Lichfield District Council is inviting everyone to book their tickets to watch Grease on a big screen in beautiful Beacon Park on Saturday 12th August 2017. The cult musical Grease will play on a giant inflatable screen and drivers simply tune their radios into the movie soundtrack frequency to hear the film and all the classic songs. There will also be a reserved area in front of the cars for on foot ticket holders. Tickets are available to buy at the Beacon Park’s Ranger Station, over the phone by calling 01543 308867 or online at www.lichfieldhistoricparks. Pictured: Lichfield District Council’s parks team.

Three Stoke-on-Trent pupils have seen their literary-inspired designs brought to life in pottery form at the Emma Bridgewater Factory after winning a competition from the Stoke Reads campaign. Reggie Glazzard from St. Mary’s CE Primary School, aged 5, William Dale from St. Nathaniel’s Academy, aged 9, and Liberty Gill from Haywood Academy, aged 13, all won their respective categories after their designs were chosen by Emma Bridgewater herself. The pottery was presented to the winners at the recent Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival in June. Visit to find out more. Pictured: Reggie and William with Emma Bridgewater and their winning plates.

The popular destination of Cannock Chase is home to a huge variety of wildlife, and local textile artist Jo Hill has been commissioned to create a brand new range of work to celebrate this. The artwork will be on display at the Museum of Cannock Chase and visitors will be able to view the exhibition this summer. The exhibition, entitled ‘The Chase in Stitch’, features a range of contemporary interior textile designs inspired by the wildlife found on the Chase and will be on display from Saturday 24th June until Sunday 13th August.

Q: What is your alltime favourite book?

There’s nothing we love more than to start a brand new book while we soak up the sun abroad but finding one that will satisfy our holiday vibe can be tough. We asked you to recommend your favourite for our ‘Great Reads’ survey via email and over social media channels and here’s what made the best list. “Wuthering Heights, reading it until 2am and up at 6.30am. Read it at least five times but still find it a great read.� Sheila via Facebook

Toffee+Vodka Mojito Ice Cream ÂŁ3.99


FrosĂŠ Popsicle ÂŁ5.99 Amazon Fresh

A boozy refresh: Supermarkets are stocking a refreshingly new take on your standard cocktail or beverage. Great for weddings, barbeques and festivals over the summer!




HEADING DOWN Cold shoulders: AW17 is set to bring back shoulders and they are going to be big. Prepare for an 80s revival including shoulder pads and puffs – will it last though? Debatable.

ÂŁ29.99 Superdry

I do‌ Are you tying the knot this summer?

“I’m still getting over The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. It’s just too good, I read it on holiday last year and still think about it now.� Jenny via email “Fifty Shades of Grey is a great holiday read� Toni via email

Coming up next time...


As summer draws to a close, holidays have been taken and the sunshine fades away, but there are still plenty of exciting times ahead. We want to know what are you looking forward to next? Share your thoughts with us via:  Staffordshire-Living-Magazine  ‘Living It Q&A’, B1 Trentham Business Quarter,  @StaffsLiving Bellringer Road, Trentham Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 8GB

Your wedding can feature in our Real Life Weddings section in the September | October issue of Staffordshire Living out later this year. Email for more information.



STYLE Dress the rainbow

Bring out the bling, Supermarket Style Sweep, Faking it right and Holiday hair

Stencil Jumper £49.95 White Zara Stuff


BRING OUT THE BLING Time to shimmer and shine across the globe this summer.

Win Jewellery worth £250 from Allen Brown Jewellery, in Lichfield Allen Brown Jewellery, located within Heart of the Country Shopping Village, Swinfen, Lichfield, specialises in handmade, fine jewellery using unusually cut and coloured precious and semiprecious gems, and coloured diamonds, as well as custom designs, repairs, refurbishments and remodelling works. Take a look at the stunning range of summer styles now available to view, visit the shop to browse the latest collections or speak with a team of designer jewellery makers. Allen Brown Jewellery also has its own workshop on site so customers can even see how the beautiful jewellery is created. Staffordshire Living has teamed up with Allen Brown Jewellery to offer one lucky reader the chance to win their very own piece of stunning jewellery up to the value of £250. To be in with the chance of winning simply navigate your way to the COMPETITIONS tab on to answer the question below, along with your name and address details. Scan here using your QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competition page now!

Q: In which city is Allen Brown Jewellery located? Visit for more details or call us on 01543 481 948 T&Cs: Closing date is 9am Friday 25th August 2017. Prize is for one piece of jewellery up to the value of £250. Prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and not redeemable for cash or other prizes. For a full set of Staffordshire Media Terms and Conditions please see page 9.




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60 Pand

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of L o

Bvlgari Allegra Multi-Gemstone Bracelet £6,500 Rich Diamonds




£275 Lin ks

Cartier Meli Melo Ring £3,650 Rich Diamonds

Hoops £38 & Topaz Drops £64




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Neck lace £9 Apr


e £70 Folli Folli e

Earrings £18 ASOS

Dubaian Glitz

Earrings £10 ASOS

Be bold and beautiful with colours and stones to emphasise your fun, holiday vibe. Statement pieces using vibrant colours and opulent stones and crystals carry off your pool party look with serious glamour.

Bill Skinner Scenes Of Nature Ring £65, Earrings £65




Ba ngle £6.9

18ct Gold Blue Topaz and Dark Blue Sapphire Ring £835 Allen Brown Jewellery


sn ow .co

r ow n •





shop loca l

Diamond Ring £15,456 77 Diamonds Ring £40



Jenny Packham Earrings £45 Debenhams


Ring £18 Oliver Bonas

Halo Ring Sterling Silver £49

Vogue Ruby Ring £241 77 Diamonds w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k





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p sho a l c o l

Earrings £29 Jigsaw

£ 50



Ava nt i Jew


£19 Oliver Bonas


Silver Blue John Necklace £130 Avanti


Diamond Ring £160 Links of London

£130 Links of London

Jenny Packham Aurora Collection 18ct White Gold Oval Double Halo Ring £4800 Goldsmiths (Shops at Hanley, Tamworth,

9ct White Gold 0.50 Carat Diamond Multi Stone Stud Earrings £1000 Goldsmiths

Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury)

Parisian Sparkle Ne ck


ce £3 live 2O

Necklace £120 Folli Follie


£15 Accessorize

It’s a timeless look which adds more than enough glamour to your classic LBD. Experiment with richer metal tones in rose gold and bronze, with just a touch of sparkle from beautiful white diamonds.

r Bona s

£8 Debenhams


Sterling Silver & 18ct Yellow Gold Vermeil ^ Bracelet £375 Links of London

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Ring £19.50 Oliver Bonas


Jenny Packham Earrings £30 ^ Debenhams

gl e£

Cuff £4 Primark

12 V er y

STYLE Necklace £18 Debenhams

Earrings £10 Accessorize

Necklace £16 River Island

Earrings £7 Next

Choker £8 Accessorize

Ibizan Charm

Earrings £12 Accessorize

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Choker 3 Pack £12 Accessorize


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Choker £15 Accessorize

Choker £12 Accessorize


£12 Rive

Ea r r ings £ 8 Ne xt

Floaty and free, this festival inspired style is all about channelling your inner boho babe. Feathers, tassels and charms all work their magic for your laid back summer, with bright shades of orange and blue lifting your mood and your look.

Accessor ize

Necklace £19 EAST

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Fabulous outfits for mother of the bride, groom and guests in our upstairs showroom. Collections by Cabotine, Renata, Zeila, Personal Choice, Libra, Lizabella, Ella Boo and Michaela Louisa. Sizes 8 – 22 Prices to suit all budgets 16a High Street, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8AW

Tel: 01785 815507 Open Mon-Sat 9.30am – 5.00pm

Clothes for every day, high days and holidays.




JA £ CK 2 E 8 T !

P E E W S 

You can get so much more than the weekly food shop at your local supermarket nowadays, in fact, you can kit yourself out from head to toe in affordable summer fashion and we are loving it! Here’s our pick of the best.



George at ASDA

Lace Shrug £20 F&F


Dress £24 Tu at Sainsbury’s


Sandals £16 F&F




£60 Tu at Sainsbury’s

The summer calendar is usually full to the brim with wedding invitations and we simply can’t be seen in the same outfit twice, thanks Social Media! Fret not because nestled in the fashion aisles of your local supermarket are these fabulous little numbers to keep you bang on trend and unique every time.




George at ASDA

Keep your summer cool and chic with cute touches of denim. We love these denim wedges from F&F at Tesco – team them with ripped jeans and a white floaty off shoulder top and you’ll look uberstylish even on those lazy summer days.

£16 F&F

£22 F&F


Jeans £20 F&F

Oversided Dungaree £35 Sainbury’s ^


IT U S I M 8! W £1


£4 George


Tu at Sainsbury’s

You can look just as much the beach babe without spending plenty of cash by browsing the aisles at your local supermarket! Exotic styles with tropical prints are the trend setters this year, just like this ultra-cool bardot swimsuit from TU at Sainsbury’s or halter neck paradise swimsuit from George. Fruity!

Kaftan £18 F&F

Top £10 and bottom £6 F&F

£10 George


Shoes £8 F&F


T IR ! K 0 S 2 £



Tu at Sainsbury’s

£18 George Top £14 Nutmeg at Morrisons £16 F&F

If you are planning a few festival appearances this year then you need the wardrobe to match, but who wants to splash out on clothes you can only wear once? Get all you need to be a finely tuned festival diva with tribal prints and delicate patterns giving you the perfect style to take to the field.

Rucksack £14 George

S ES R 8! D £1


£18 Nutmeg at Morrisons

Nutmeg at Morrisons

£10 George £14 George

£20 Tu at Sainsbury’s


Garden parties are set to be the big summer trend this year and you have all the floral, floaty and flirty styles you need at the supermarket. We love this pastel pink off shoulder top with white jeans combo, effortlessly finished off with these wooden wedges. L

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FAKING IT right Achieving that perfect sun-kissed glow... Come on girls! The sun is shining and our leg-baring, naked-armed summer wardrobe is on fire so all that’s left to do is give our skin that gorgeous bronze touch, but don’t have a fake tan disaster – we’ve done the hard work so you can apply with confidence! Here’s LIVING’s fake tan tried & tested.

Before you tan ● Wax or shave at least 24 hours before tanning to give the skin a chance to calm down. Avoid using hair removing creams and waxing when you have a tan as both of these will strip the tan from the skin in the areas that they are used. ● Feet - Get your toes done before you get your tan done as the process of pedicure - feet in hot water and being scrubbed etc, will remove the tan from your feet. ● Exfoliate the day before your tan and only use a body moisturiser that is oil free. Do not moisturise your entire body on the day of your tan. Only apply moisturiser to your elbows knees and ankles after you have showered and do not apply deodorant or perfume on the day of you tan. ● Before tanning your face: Exfoliate and do not apply moisturiser - If you can’t go without moisturising your face, use only a non-perfumed moisturiser without oil, without AHA’s and without Vitamin A. ● Start drinking more water - as the DHA ingredient found in tans can dehydrate the skin.

Applying the tan ● Do your face first. I recommend not using a spray or a mousse on the face and the tan on the face should be lighter than the body.


● Don’t forget your ears - use whatever product you have left on your hands or application mitt and blend over the ears. ● If you have blonde or fair brows, remove the tan from your brows with a DRY cotton bud at a 90 degree angle to your brows. ● Brush your teeth before you tan your face, otherwise if you brush afterwards you may strip the tan around your mouth. ● Once the tan has developed on your face, avoid using a moisturiser with AHA’S, VIT A or Retinol and use a very simple gentle face cream such as one for sensitive skin.

After application ● Have a shower instead of a bath as the less time spent in water, the longer your tan will remain intact on the skin. ● Avoid rubbing yourself dry with a towel as you may rub your tan off. Pat your face and body dry. ● Avoid chlorinated swimming pools and hot tubs as they are very bad for stripping a tan. ● Apply talc to the inside elbows, backs of knees and in-between breasts before hitting the beach or poolside to absorb any sweat while in the sun. ● Try and use a satin or silk pillow case for bed linen as harsher cotton will strip your tan off your face as you toss and turn during the night. However, be aware that the tan will slightly stain the satin / silk pillow case!


etting ourselves ready for summer is a tough old challenge; we spend the first 6 months of the year fighting the flab, knowing that when July swings around, we’ll be attempting to squeeze in to those skimpy bikinis and swimsuits we see in the shops. Then when summer hits, and the sun starts to appear, it’s a race against time to look the part, before it disappears again. From our nails to our hair, we give our style a seasonal lift and one of the biggest changes to our beauty regime has to be the application of fake tan – if we’re daring to get our pins out, we want them to look good, and from making our limbs appear smoother, longer and slimmer, fake tan gets the big thumbs up from us at LIVING. But, if we are not overdoing it with the fake tan, we are underdoing it – patches of orange blur into streaky applications as we achingly hide brown stained palms and strangely patterned toes. The result? We look worse than when we started and find ourselves covering up as if it were the peak of winter. Help! Fake Bake celebrity tanner, James Harknett, to the rescue, we asked him to give us his top tips on applying the perfect fake tan, and it’s more complicated than you think. Preparation and maintenance are key to good fake tan…

“Only apply moisturiser to your elbows, knees and ankles after you have showered and do not apply deodorant or perfume on the day of your tan.”




We put brands to the test! 2. What it promises: A natural streak-free alternative to a sun-kissed tan.


bud S T g buy et

3. What it promises: A natural looking tan in just one hour and helps reduce the appearance of cellulite.


“The gel smells great and the toffee colour makes it easy to see where you are applying. It was dry after 15 minutes but you need an hour for it to fully develop. The light shade is perfect for pale skin, (darker tones may need another coat), and it left my skin feeling lovely and soft with a smoother appearance.” 4 / 5 Cheryl, operations

4. What it promises: Contains powerful vitamin complex to visibly improve the appearance skin.


Living rating: 5 / 5

“You know you are using an organic product when you start applying as it had a very strong scent but application was easy and fuss-free and it could be applied to the face and body. The light colour was really natural looking but it seemed to get darker on my skin as the week went on.” 3 / 5 Tash, design

“I used the skinny tan mitt to apply which protected my hands from any staining. The mousse comes out very dark but it softens slightly when applied to the skin. The colour had formed well after an hour but I left it overnight for maximum effect and after 3 days the tan was still going strong.” 4 / 5 Nancy, features

St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion £14.50 It sounds like it shouldn’t work but it does! This lotion is easy to apply and builds up your tan gradually with no fuss and minimal mess. If you have children or don’t have the time to stand around and wait for a tan to dry, this is the perfect one for you.



1. What it promises: Choose your tan level by leaving it on for one hour or longer for a darker tan.


5. What it promises: A super hydrating formula which absorbs deep into the skin for a long-lasting bronze tan.

“The lotion is very dark in colour so using small amounts and completing each section before moving onto another is recommended. One coat was enough for me but you can repeat it daily for a darker tone. It’s very similar to getting a spray tan but without the hassle of leaving the house!” 5 / 5 Chez, design

Dry Oil Self Tanning Mist £9.99 Superdrug The oil is clear in colour so it’s a little difficult to see where you have applied but it went on smoothly and your skin feels nice and moisturised. It was quick drying and the colour was nice and subtle. Great for a gradual tan and it’s definitely buildable. It faded nice and evenly over the next couple of days.

Living rating: 4 / 5 SUMMER SIREN:

keu kma


2. Dr Organic Moroccan Glow Self Tan

Mousse £14.99 Holland & Barrett 3. Manuka Doctor Anti-Cellulite Bronzing Gel £24.99 4. Sunkissed Bronze Professional Spray Tan £8.50 Superdrug 5. Fake Bake Self Tan Lotion £14.99





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O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet Foot Cream £7.99 Boots


Carmex Lime Twist Lip Balm £3.25 Boots

w 49 w


ity £

SJP NYC £48 The Perfume Shop

1. Skinny Tan Express Mousse

Elsewhere you’ll need...

Deliciously fl ral

“Easy to apply and fuss-free but a spray gives you less control than a gel or mousse, although it did dry quicker – probably faster than the three minutes it states on the bottle. The next day I had a really nice bronze shade to my skin but it did go a little patchy as it wore off.” 3 / 5 Amy, marketing

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21 21

Please quote Staffordshire Living when booking your Facial to receive

% 10OFF the usual price of £35 throughout July and August 2017.

Get your skin ready

for Summer! Introducing our new Holistic Facial Massage…

Looking and feeling good starts with great skin, and our NEW fabulous Holistic Facial Massage will certainly help!

is included, to ensure that your Holistic Facial Massage will be perfect for you and your skin type.

This is a 1-hour relaxing and nourishing treatment, which cleanses, soothes and stimulates the face, neck and upper back, and will melt away tension, enhance complexion and leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.

All products used during the Holistic Facial Massage have been carefully selected from the fabulous Kaeso skin care range – they are Vegan-friendly and not tested on animals.

In addition to the treatment, a consultation and skin analysis

We also offer relaxing and healing Indian Head Massage and Reiki too!

To book your treatment call: Sarah Nicholson Dip.NutMed | Dip.IHM | Cert.HolisticFacial | MGHT Tel: 07773 018336 Email: Address: 28 Newport Road, Great Bridgeford, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST18 9PR






t re n d a ler t !

Break out of your monochrome mould and take your fashion to the skies with head to toe colour.

Dorothy Perkins


Escada Dress £495 Young Ideas


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your hair dry and the humidity can make your hair frizzy, so it’s essential that you keep it conditioned. Take a hair treatment mask on holiday and try to squeeze in a couple of treatments whilst you are there and then continue with them when you get home to keep your hair in its pristine condition.”

etting ready for a holiday is no easy feat, there’s the obligatory trip to the shops to pick up all our toiletries, then it’s getting everything straight at home, and a mammoth date with the beautician, before we get to work on packing our suitcase. And, once we’re done with squeezing in countless pairs of flip flops, way too many bikinis and a pair of sunglasses for every activity, we are more than ready to jet off. If we’re lucky, we may even get to fit in a trip to the hairdressers so we look great on the plane, but it’s once we get to our paradise setting that our hair tends to suffer – increased humidity (and sometimes rainfall depending on where we are), lots of sunshine and sea water are demons to the tresses.

Minimise the heat

Jetting off on your jollies but stuck to know what to do with your hair? Here’s how to avoid one long bad hair day after another.

But, thankfully, all is not lost. Follow our holiday hair care prep guidelines and you hair will on its best behaviour for your entire holiday.

HOLIDAY CARE Get the chop




d t u r n i ng

Pack up the products

Nourish and protect Giving your hair some love in the weeks leading up to your holiday will certainly make it much more manageable when you are away. Using a good quality hair treatment mask, twice a week before you go and while you are there will ensure your hair has all the nutrients it needs to cope with being abroad. Anya says: “The sun can make Be

ac h r e a d





split ends,” Anya Dellicompagni, Director of Hairdressing at Francesco Group explains. “The only way to get rid of these and to prevent further damage is to trim the split ends off. Cutting your hair is almost like resetting your hair, giving it a ‘fresh start’ and making it healthier. The humidity from the summer months can also weigh the hair down; so giving your hair a cut will ensure it doesn't feel too heavy.”

Take hair oils with you to help style your hair and keep it looking sleek and shiny while you are away. They are also great to help protect your hair from breakages and to banish any dry or frizzy ends. “There are also many hair oils that now include heat protection properties, which are perfect for long days spent in the sun,” says Anya. L

If all else fails, accessorise That’s right, if your hair is just not playing fair, then you can always resort to some handy accessories to hide away fringes and frizz!

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We’re not talking about anything drastic, but a little tidy up before you go on holiday is a great boost for your holiday style and your hair. Giving your hair some much needed TLC by your stylist will all help to make managing it every day on holiday a little easier. “The cold, rain and snow from the winter months can dry out your hair, making it lifeless and causing

When we are on holiday, the added humidity and heat can really dry out our hair and make it appear straw like. Minimise the use of styling tools like straighteners, curling tongs and blow dryers as this will just dry it out more. Try leaving your hair to dry naturally with a conditioning product on for a really natural holiday style. Anya says: “Using a salt spray in damp hair and using your hands to scrunch can create a beachy wave look without the use of styling tools.”

£49 Bimba y Lola A natural texture with controlled volume for that laid back surfer chick vibe: Anya says: “Using irons, take big sections of the hair and pinch in different directions to create a flat S shape, then use your fingers to brush through and diffuse the texture to give it that just off the beach look. 26

This season’s hottest hair trend is Get the hair out of your simple for all hair types: Anya says: face while still looking super glamorous: Scrape your hair “After sectioning the hair in two, reverse braid against the scalp to the nape and back into a ponytail at the secure with an elastic band. After, braid mid-section of your head and smooth any fly-away hairs with the remaining hair using four strands and a sleek gel or spray. Take your secure with another elastic band. Repeat these steps on the opposite side then hair higher and work the ends remove the elastics from the nape and into a bun on the top of your pull out some of the braid to add texture.” head for a cool party look.

Clips £8 Accessorize

Bando £6 Accessorize




Keep yourself heart happy with these simple lifestyle choices Your summer living checklist, Oh, hey baby! Did you know there’s an app for that? And Is it time for a mental makeover?

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hello YOUR summer SUMMER LIVING CHECKLIST! Getting in the mood for summer isn’t hard to do but sometimes we are so caught up in the latest fashions or our impending travels that we forget about the small things that make our lives easier during the better months of the year. There’s no denying that the sunshine makes us happy but follow these few simple tips and you will keep smiling! LIVING’s getting YOU ready for summer. Sun safety The hot weather can be a godsend but it’s also pretty hazardous too. When we travel abroad, we tend to take more care in the sun than if we are at home in the UK but we can be affected by it wherever we are. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are nasty but avoidable conditions so long as you take the appropriate precautions and be sensible during hot spells and heat waves. Wear a high factor sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids, find shade regularly and keep out of the hottest midday sun. It’s also a good idea to wear lose fitting clothing and avoid excessive exercise or drinking too much alcohol.

Hay fever

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if not treated quickly: look out for these signs: • Headache • Feeling dizzy and sick • Pale clammy skin • Cramps in the arms, legs or stomach • Intense thirst • Increased pulse rate. The NHS has these five steps to treat heat exhaustion

Find out more at 28

You may have lots of moles or none at all but it’s important to keep checking for any skin irregularities, and not just in summer, at any time of the year, but the sun can bring out more freckles and moles on the skin. It’s important to know where you have moles on your body and how they look and feel – if you notice any changes to the size, shape and colour then you may want to seek professional advice. While it is usually nothing to worry about, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, affecting 1 in 10 people, and in particular, skin cancers like melanoma can be deadly if not found early enough. It’s also important to notice if your moles have become itchy or are bleeding. If you have any concerns at all, visit your GP. There are also specialist clinics which have advanced diagnostic technology to check your entire body for skin cancerous cells, find out more at

Hayfever & Allergy Relief £2.99 Boots

Dry Eye Gel £7.95 ^

1. Move to a cool place Remove any unnecessary clothing 3. Lie down and raise feet slightly 4. Drink plenty of water (sports or rehydration drinks are ok) 5. Cool the skin – use a spray or sponge with cool water and a fan (ice packs around the armpits or neck are good too) 2.

Mole checks

It’s estimated that one in five people will suffer with hay fever at some point in their lives and for those who suffer the most, summer can be a little daunting! It is caused by having an allergic reaction to the pollen released into the air by plants; the common symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes. While there is no cure, there are some over-thecounter products which can help to ease the symptoms, as well as medicine prescribed by doctors for those who suffer severely.


Treating heat exhaustion

YOU Travel smart

Check your documents

Of course, holidays are about relaxing and having fun, but there’s no shame in being prepared, so before you go, there are a few safety tips to consider. Always check the Foreign Office travel advice for the country you are travelling to. You can also sign up to email alerts or follow its twitter feed (@FCOtravel) for updates too. It’s a good idea to be aware of where the nearest British embassy or consulate will be and to always tell family and friends your planned itinerary, leaving your overseas contact information in case of emergencies. While you are there, have more than one means of payment with you, like cash and a debit or credit card, to cover all eventualities. If you are travelling somewhere you haven’t been to before, get yourself a good guide book and research online so you have key information about your destination, and check whether your mobile phone will work correctly over there. Finally, check you have adequate travel insurance for what you will be doing on holiday, and that all of your family is covered.

The summer usually means we’ll be packing our bags and heading off on holiday at some point but are you sure your travel documents are all up-to-date? It may seem like an easy thing to do but for many of us it’s the last thing on our minds when all we can think about is blue sky and beaches. There are plenty of myths surrounding passports and expiry dates, some believe you don’t need one to travel to Europe, this is not true. You will need a valid passport to travel to anywhere in Europe but it doesn’t need to have six months validity left on it contrary to popular belief – those holidaying in Europe only need their passports to be valid for the duration of their stay. However, if you are travelling further afield to the Middle East, Asia or parts of America, you may well need six months validity, so it’s always best to check entry requirements for the country you are visiting on the Foreign Office website. You’ll also be able to check if you need a visa to enter the country too. Most importantly, don’t get caught out at the airport with an out-of-date passport because they won’t let you travel. Visit Bug Balm £7.95


Summer is one fun adventure after another for little children, they can spend hours outdoors, exploring and enjoying the sunshine but be careful to keep them safe during these times. Always apply sun screen, protective clothing and hats, but also educate them on sun safety and the importance of drinking plenty of water and spending time in the shade. There are lots of bugs out and about during the summer, especially bees and wasps, it’s a good idea to have some soothing cream or gel in the cupboard in case they are stung.


Protecting your family

Chuckit! HydroSqueeze Ball £6.99

Pet safety Pets enjoy the nice weather as much as we do but it can also be harmful if we don’t take the proper precautions. If you are travelling in a car with your dog, remember that they can overheat very quickly so it’s a good idea to have a water spray bottle to help cool them down. What’s more, they’ll need to drink much more water in the hotter months to keep them hydrated – look for a dog toy with a water absorbent core to help keep them cool while they play. Create shade for pets that like to lie in the sun like cats so they don’t get too hot when sunbathing.

Spend some time together We get so busy in our day to day lives that we sometimes forget to appreciate what we have closest to us. The long days and warm nights of summer are the perfect opportunity to put your relationship in the spotlight. Steal a few days or nights together, just for the two of you, and watch your love blossom again. If being away from home isn’t going to happen, then try and emulate the same atmosphere at home. Turn off the TV, hide your phones and enjoy some alfresco dining together. Make each day count this summer and rekindle the romance - there is a reason why we call it the ‘summer of love’!

Beat the bloat Being bloated at any time of the year is uncomfortable but in summer it’s unbearable! Nutrition expert, Geeta Sidhu-Robb, says that bloating can be caused by a number of factors including the foods we eat, constipation, swallowing air while we eat and food intolerance. Foods like broccoli, beans, sprouts and fizzy drinks are among the worse culprits as they can produce gas which can cause bloating. To combat this, she says, we should chew fennel seeds or drink peppermint tea after a big meal.

Protect your eyes Sunglasses are a fashion must-have in the summer but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. A survey by online lighting superstore, Scotlight Direct, says that over 1/3 of Brits own replica sunglasses, with no UV protection and that 56% of people have no idea whether their sunglasses have any UV protection. Polarised lenses offer the maximum protection and it is recommended that you change your sunglasses every two years as UV rays damage the lenses.


So remember to be fashionable but safe this summer – you can get stylish glasses, with UV protection, for every budget.

MONEY saving

£15 Next

PAY DAY treat

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SPL ASH out £220 Gucci at Vision Express w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k



OH, HEY When you hear the pitter-patter of little feet, don’t be alarmed! We’ve got your baby proofing covered and we don’t just mean for the home!




aving a baby is a beautiful thing, it’s pretty miraculous actually. To think, a woman actually creates a human being inside her body and then somehow manages to push it out of her body through a hole the size of small coin… amazing. But it’s been happening forever, so as much as it is totally mind-blowing, it’s also pretty standard too. Doctors and midwives see it happen all the time, apparently one every minute, but it doesn’t happen to you every day so you can be forgiven for being anxious, excited and, well, possibly a little unprepared. Listen up dads, you’ve got off easy until now. Mum is growing your perfect little bean and it’s completely exhausting, I promise. So, now is the time to take control, take the bull by the horns and get things done. You are going to come into your own with this and maybe, just possibly, she’ll almost let you make the important decisions. Only because she is too hot, too tired or just too full to decide.

Check the finances

Fret not, because LIVING is here to save you from a worrying cycle of procrastination, of dawdling your way through those important nine-months (pregnant mums excluded of course) and from prolonging the inevitable until it becomes unavoidable. It’s our babyproofing 101 – it’s time to get you and your home ready for the arrival of your baby so grab a pen and paper as you’ve got some work to do!

With the varying levels of maternity leave, it is likely that you will be the main breadwinner for a while and so this puts you in charge of the finances. Babies can cost a lot and it’s hard to say no to some of the cute little outfits and the ‘essential’ accessories but you don’t need additional money worries with a new baby on board. Sit down together and work out a budget in black and white so you are both aware of what money there is to spend every month.

For Dad

Prepare at home

Just seeing your partner go through so much during pregnancy will make you feel a little useless, but remember, you can’t do what she’s doing, so don’t beat yourself up too much. When it comes to parenting, mums have a slight advantage over dads – the connection they have starts in the womb and it’s a much more physical one – the morning sickness, the kicks, the turns – every little movement is a realisation of what is happening inside and the development taking place.

Stock up on cupboard essentials and easy to prepare foods for the first few weeks after baby is born - you’ll be head chef in the household while mum gets to grips with feeding, and it’ll be your job to keep her well fed, while she tends to baby. It’s always a good idea to have her hospital bag packed well in advance but don’t forget your own! You never know how long you will be at the hospital for – good things to pack are snacks, a change of clothes, your phone charger, spare batteries if you have a camera with you and paracetamol. You may want to bring along a few things to keep you and your partner entertained just in case.

For dads, it doesn’t become so realistic until you watch your little one being born or hold your little one in your arms for the first time. And that’s when you start to panic, but there are lots of ways you can prepare in advance to make the transition a smoother one. Some might say you can never prepare for a new baby, and this is true in part. No matter how many nappies, baby wipes, clothes, and baby accessories you have stocked up on at home, you will always need more. And, no matter how many books you have read, parents you have quizzed and online tutorials you have watched, when you are finally told you are able to go home from the hospital alone with your baby, you will still look at the nurse with a combination of shock and horror, while thinking, “are you mad?” But trust me all this is normal. However, there are plenty of other things you can be doing to help prepare your little family and reassure your partner you are ready to go!

Prepare the family Getting the home ready for the baby is a really exciting part of your pregnancy journey – from choosing your nursery furniture to buying those first few baby grows and toys. But, if you have other children, it’s also about preparing them for the new arrival, and reassuring them that there’s more than enough love to go around and having a new brother or sister will be the best thing ever. Perhaps you have a dog or other pet at home too, giving them plenty of time to get used to the idea will help the transition when the day arrives.

Do your research Make sure you do your research before investing in a pram, car seat and nursery furniture. Online reviews can help you understand if they are the right models for you

and your situation, but it’s also worthwhile having a look at them before you buy. You can sometimes get some really good second hand deals too on sites like Gumtree, so it’s worth exploring all the options. Once you have made your purchases, build all the nursery furniture, do any painting, and have a practice well before your due date – you want to be able to put the car seat in and out of the car and the pram up easily and securely.

Manage your expectations Remember that it’s likely you will have to take a bit of back seat at first, mum will be so wrapped up in feeding baby that you might not get the attention you are used to but it won’t last forever. Some dads may also tell you that bonding can take time, only because a newborn tends to eat and sleep their way through the first few weeks meaning dads don’t get much of a look in, but use every chance you get to hold, cuddle and play with them and all will be fine.

Plan a holiday You and your partner are going to go through some big changes when your baby arrives so why not take advantage of having all the day and night to yourself still and book on a babymoon! Whether you spend a week in Portugal or a few days in the Lakes, it all counts to giving you both a chance to get on the same page, talk openly about the future and your hopes for family life and just be in each other’s arms. Enjoy it! >

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On The Move

You’ve got some very hard work to do over the next nine months, you have to grow your baby while carrying on with work and keeping yourself healthy and happy, that’s a whopping big deal, but luckily you do have a good few months where you are still able to get about without a waddle or a need to sit down or pee every five minutes so use them wisely!

It won’t be long until your little bundle of joy is on the move and this is a joyous moment but it’s also quite scary, so you should be prepared for a few heart-stopping moments along the way.

Once you get home from the hospital you might start to wonder how you will ever cope, but you will. Never underestimate the power of maternal instinct, you will be fine and you will know what to do, and there is always support and guidance available from family, friends or professionals in case you do need some help. But what else can you do in the lead up to giving birth to help you to be better prepared?


^ Fred Stove & Hob Guard From £60

Protect those curious hands

For Mums

Your baby will usually begin to crawl at around eight months old, although every baby is different, and it will happen so suddenly, that you think you’ve missed it - one minute they are sitting and the next they are half way across the room! But there are ways you can try to avoid any nasty accidents in the home with these babyproofing must-haves! L

Understand that you will give birth

Don’t put pressure on yourself Most women will have an idea of what type of mum they want to be but don’t let your ideals get out of control. Sure, breastmilk is the best source of food for a baby, but it is not the only food and what matters the most is that you and your baby are happy and healthy and wellnourished. Nobody pulls you aside in school to teach you how to breastfeed and it can be a daunting prospect, don’t let yourself get too pressured, keep calm and you will find a way that works best for you and your baby.

Speak to other mums There is no price you can put on good advice, and mums will have plenty of it. They’ll tell you how amazing it is, how much love you’ll feel and how much fun you’ll have but they’ll also tell you that it’s ok if you feel overwhelmed, down and panicky some days. It’s all natural and every wobble will just make you stronger.

No more sliding! ^

Sometimes the thought of labour is so dramatic that mums just don’t think about it, at all, not until they get that first contraction, and then all hell breaks loose. It’s a really good idea to research the birthing process and what you intend yours to be like – watching one born every minute is helpful but it won’t do the trick. No one can guarantee what the actual birth will be like but if you go in clued up then whatever happens won’t be so much of a surprise. Birthing classes are really useful and also a great way to meet other mums that are expecting in your area.

Fred Anti-Skid Tape From £9.99

win Britax Römer’s new BABY-SAFE i-SIZE in Coral Peach Hooray, summer is here! To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the leaders in car seat safety, Britax Römer, to give one lucky reader the chance to win the new BABY-SAFE i-SIZE infant carrier in gorgeous Coral Peach worth £159! Simply answer the question below and enter your name and address details on the Britax competition page at for your chance to win! Scan the barcode below using a QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go straight to the COMPETITION on the website now.

Q: What colour car seat can you win? Designed with Britax Römer’s renowned crash testing capabilities and research, the latest infant carrier conforms to i-Size regulations and is suitable for newborns up to 15 months, with 83cm of space. Providing safety and comfort, the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE has a newborn insert for extra support that offers energy absorption in case of a crash. Additional safety features include Superior Side Impact Protection (SICT) and a five-point-harness that will keep children safe and tight in the protective shell of the seat. One of the go-to colours for the summer months, the vibrant Coral Peach infant carrier is certain to brighten up any car journey and will leave parents confident that their little ones are travelling both safely and in style. For more information, visit T&Cs: Closing date is 9am Friday 25th August 2017. The competition winner will receive Britax Römer’s new BABY-SAFE i-SIZE car seat in Coral Peach. The winner’s car make, model and year will need to be approved by Britax before the car seat can be dispatched to ensure it is suitable. If the car seat does not comply with the winner’s car, another suitable seat of similar value will be offered. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is available. Winners will be contacted within one week of closing by Britax representatives to arrange the prize. For a full set of Staffordshire Media Terms and Conditions please see page 9.

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Need help with:

Getting baby to sleep through the night A PP A ID: Johnson’s Bedtime

Baby Sleep App

The app provides support around-the-clock for parents who are having trouble putting baby down at night, or having difficulties with their bedtime routine, or suffering from sleepless nights because their little ones keep waking up. How’s it done? The app allows users to track and learn about their baby’s sleep habits and provides a sleep-analysis tool with recommendations on how to help improve their baby’s sleep. Some of the features of the app include a sleep score quiz, a sleep tracker and lullabies and sounds to help send babies off to sleep. PRICE: Free

Did you know

THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT? Most of us own a smart phone and have various applications installed to help us keep track day to day or simply to entertain us, but how useful are they and will they make your life easier? LIVING’s been finding out.

Verdict: The advice is very generic but you can still pick up some tips on dealing with certain issues like sleep routine and night wakings. It’s easy to navigate the app, update settings and the information is clearly displayed. The sounds and lullabies section is really useful and has a full range of playlists you can use for free. Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more at baby-sleep-app.

Dating & friendship The Clikd app uses photography based questions to bring together elements of photo sharing and social networking to help its users find friendship or dating.

Looking after your health A PP A ID: Lifesum

Lifesum aims to help people look after themselves better and improve their health by monitoring diet and fitness daily. How’s it done? Lifesum allows users to log their meals, monitor how much water they are drinking and create tailored food plans or follow recommended plans based on their desired goal, whether that is to lose weight, build muscle or simply just to eat a better breakfast.

Remembering birthdays A PP A ID: thortful

Imagine you had a little card shop in your pocket which would remind you of important birthdays and send out a card for you all at the touch of a button? That’s exactly what the thortful app aims to do. How’s it done? The app enables you to schedule birthdays into a calendar and allows you to upload your own handwritten message into a card. It will also dispatch your card the same day if you order before 2pm. PRICE: Free

Verdict: Easy to use, quick and efficient. This one really is like having a card shop in your pocket. It gives you recommendations based on the date and also allows you to search for a card with a particular design or theme. Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more at

Need help with: A PP A ID: Clikd

Need help with:

Need help with:

How’s it done? Users pick five things they are most interested in such as arts and sports, for example. Clikd then sends them daily recommendations of other users who share those interests. Based on their passions, interests and values, each user builds their very own test by picking three image based questions from Clikd’s database to filter out people that don’t match. If a user likes the look of someone, they take their test, and if both people pass each other’s tests, they can then go on to chat. PRICE: Free to download and use but premium features, such as getting more daily recommendations and taking more tests, are available for a subscription fee of £4.99 a month.

Need help with:

Finding a holiday A PP A ID: HolidayPirates

Booking a holiday can be a stressful process, especially when there are so many deals and websites to consider. HolidayPirates aims to save consumers time and money by doing all the hard work for them. How’s it done? HolidayPirates uses a combination of manual searching and advanced algorithms to scout out and publish the very best travel deals and offers available across the internet daily. From flights and hotels, through to holiday homes, luxury hotels and weekend breaks, this platform provides travel deals to suit any budget. Using the ‘Travel Alert’ function, users can even set up alerts to be sent straight to their WhatsApp when deals match their criteria. PRICE: Free

Verdict: After setting up a profile you are taken through to a dashboard page which gives you a recommended calories intake. There are a lot of apps just like this one but it does provide a few recipe ideas to help you achieve your goal.

Verdict: This is a fairly unique take on the digital dating game and is fairly easy to navigate and use. If you like the look of someone’s profile picture then you answer three questions they have previously set up by choosing out of two photos. It’s a fun way to find out more about a person before you decide if you want to get together.

Verdict: If you’re always looking for a bargain, this app is great. It shows you where the best flight, hotel and holiday deals are at that moment so that you can choose a destination based on price. It’s great for last minute bookings and for those open to try new places and experiences and with flexibility on dates. It’s a fairly easy app to use although the display is slightly cluttered at times.

Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more at

Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more at

Try it: Download on IOS and Android, find out more at




Need help with:

Staying on top of the ball A PP A ID: Yakatak

Yakatak is a football punditry app. Through the updated newsfeed, live scores and fixtures, Yakatak keeps football fans up-to-date on the latest football news, encouraging fans to capture their reactions to live sport and share via social media. How’s it done? Yakatak keeps fans fully up to date with live feeds and push notifications on their chosen team and lets them react to the news instantly through social media. Comments and views can also be layered with scores, match stats, footy slogans and bespoke emojis. PRICE: Free

Verdict: The video intro user guide is great and let’s you see exactly how you will use the app from creating reaction videos and pictures to adding emojis and texts to it. If you are a big football fan, then this will be a fun and exciting app to use on match days!

How to ‘Clean Up’ Your Smartphone in 5 easy steps 1. Switch off the automatic

‘save media’ function on applications like WhatsApp

2. Import photos from your camera roll routinely

3. Delete applications you don’t use

4. Invest in a microSD card to help with storage

5. Check which apps/ programmes are constantly running in the background and delete or stop them

Need help with:

Organising a catch up A PP A ID: Doodle

Doodle aims to get rid of the endless back and forth we all experience when trying to set up a meeting, catch up or for finding a date for a holiday. How’s it done? The admin user suggests possible dates, which are then sent to participants via the app, email or iMessage function, allowing them to instantly vote for the dates which work best for them. Doodle then confirms the best time for everyone. PRICE: Free

Verdict: An excruciatingly organised way to arrange a get together with friends but it certainly saves the hassle of having to keep switching and changing dates and scrolling back and forth on messages to remember who can and can’t make it. Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more

Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more at

Need help with:

Managing your child’s screen time A PP A ID: Habyts

Need help with:

What to wear A PP A ID: The DV Closet

The DV Closet app matches users with a stylist who offers free advice on wardrobe choices. The company was founded by Danae Varangis, a young entrepreneur with a passion for style and a varied background in and around the London fashion scene. How’s it done? Users can take pictures of themselves to share with their friends to rate their look or send it to a stylist for advice. The company employs a team of fashionistas that dispense free guidance as part of the service. PRICE: Free

Verdict: Taking a picture and connecting with a stylist is easy and fuss-free and the advice given was professional and really useful. There is also a shop which links to the DV Closet brand so you can make good use of all the helpful tips! Try it: Download for the iphone from the App Store, find out more at

The developers have worked with child and adult psychiatrist and NY Times bestselling author, Dr Edward Hallowell, to build the app which regulates digital usage by letting kids earn their screen time, among other privileges, through a unique ‘points and privileges’ system. How’s it done? Automatic limits, sensible schedules, safe browsing and website filters are set across all networks to help parents regulate screen time habits across multiple devices. Habyts can even selectively allow access to certain apps and sites during study time, by (for example) blocking Minecraft and YouTube, but allowing Microsoft Word and Wikipedia. PRICE: There is a 14-day free trial and then a

monthly subscription fee is payable, the price depends on the package you opt for. Find out more at Verdict: You can only pair with a child’s apple or android device, it’s easy to set up and the controls are comprehensive. It will also notify you if it loses connection with your child’s device which is great for keeping on top of it. Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more at

Need help with:

Car parking A PP A ID: JustPark

Find, reserve and pay for parking through a dedicated app with access to over 200,000 previously underused spaces aiming to provide cheaper, more convenient parking to drivers across the UK. How’s it done? You search by postcode and enter the date and time you want to be parked for and the app will generate a number of available parking spaces on the in-app map. You are also able to set up a profile to rent out a car parking space which is handy if you live central to a town. PRICE: Free

Verdict: An easy app to navigate and adding all your preferences in wasn’t hard but some of the spaces that were highlighted were a tad on the expensive side but this would vary depending on your destination and time for parking. Each time you select a space or car park it gives you the option to go directly where you need to be using Apple or Google maps. Try it: Download for IOS and Android, find out more at L w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k







By promoting your products and services in The Midlands in Business. Advertise alongside our regular features or news sections or take advantage of high profile positions and sponsorship opportunities, for example, front cover logo, section sponsor or news sponsor.

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RELAX AND FLOAT YOUR WORRIES AWAY... Feeling frazzled? Does your workload have you stressed? Tried meditation or yoga, but couldn’t find your inner calm? Well, local Staffordshire business, Time to Float may have the answers you are looking for… Floatation therapy is fast becoming the No.1 ‘go to’ place for Staffordshire people to relax, with happy customers claiming, ‘it’s like meditation on steroids,’ ‘heaven in a tank’ and, ‘I feel really sorry for those who haven’t tried it yet. I feel so chilled right now.’ With over 800lbs of Epsom salts added to 10 inches of water, that’s heated to body temperature, it will feel like all your stress just melts away… Time to Float director Mark Smethurst commented, “We have seen a huge increase in interest from people who are feeling really stressed, or want to meditate to a deeper level. The results our clients have been getting have been incredible. We’ve also seen clear improvements for people suffering from chronic pain conditions. You should try it!”

 @timetofloatuk  @timetofloatltd  @timetofloatstafford

Time to Float is based on Marston Road in STAFFORD and is open 7 days a week. Booking is advisable 01785 747654 or


IS IT TIME FOR A MENTAL MAKEOVER? We could all do with a little grounding from time to time but 2017 is the year to make improvements for life – here’s how to give yourself a mental makeover that will last forever.


his year, we have seen a stark rise in the awareness and general acceptance of mental health, even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate and Wills, and everyone’s favourite Prince, Harry, have been on the case to try and break down the barriers and stigma that surround it. So much so that mental health has become a topic, talking point and trending hashtag, but not just on Social Media, it’s had more presence on Television, Radio and all throughout media channels, it has become a much wider term, and slowly but surely we are less afraid of saying the words – mental health. It’s a huge stepping stone for society and what’s even more encouraging is that making it a more general ‘everyday’ topic is leading to more and more of us opening up about our own issues, getting the help we need and working through problems, whether it’s suffering with depression, mood swings, anxiety or a much more complex issue.

It’s estimated that 1 in 4 adults suffer with mental health issues. But actually, what society has begun to realise is that mental health affects everybody, every day. Nobody is perfect and sometimes we have control and sometimes we don’t. We face pressure and seek acceptance from so many different angles in life everyday - directly from home life, family and work, but also virtually through the various online channels we choose to explore - so, how can we be sure that we don’t allow this pressure to affect us unduly? 38

Mind games The brain is part of the physical body but in a normally functioning human being it’s our mind that controls our thoughts. Being aware of the mind is hugely important and having a sense of control over our mind can affect everything we do. If we are trying to lose weight, push harder at the gym, or just finish a project at work, how we think and feel will ultimately determine our success. Lack of motivation, worry and feeling overwhelmed can be the biggest labours when it comes to getting things done, in fact, the mind is our biggest barrier to success. Getting a handle on how and when we have certain reactions to the situations we find difficult and working out the tools we need to get through it is part of the battle won. We can use this not just when we have a deadline to meet or a weight to reach but also when we can’t sleep, have anxiety about social situations or plucking up the courage to ask someone out. It works for all.

Wellness coach and therapist, Steve McKeown says: “It’s very important that we make time for ourselves away from work. It allows us to interrupt the day to day patterns of life. Firstly, I see taking time out for ourselves as a validation of self-worth and secondly, a way of resetting and evaluation, without this type of interruption we wouldn’t be able to gain self-insight, which is fundamental to making change. Success in challenging one’s own limiting beliefs requires a high level of focus, and guidance from a professional is always recommended. The main reason I developed Mental Makeover is to enable clients to remove themselves from their regular environments in order to create an interrupt in their daily routines, causing enough disturbance to their usual patterns that they are able to fully address limiting beliefs and rapidly change their ways of thinking.”*1

Mental improvement Stress can be a massive factor in the way our mind works, it’s estimated that stress accounts for 37% of all work related ill health and 45% of all sick days from work,*2 so it’s important that we have a coping mechanism for this. Giving ourselves a personal mental makeover will help us to improve our mind and better ourselves in the long run. Steve, who runs ‘Mental Makeover’, a unique and focused programme designed to enable clients to challenge and address limiting beliefs, and releasing their full potential,

YOU says: “We are products of our environment, unfortunately, and tend to allow the world around us to permeate our thinking such as external stressors like work, family, and finances. We live in a world where chronic stress has become the default, so our levels of stress are already elevated making other less stressful situations seem a whole lot worse. “The key factors of being able to improve your mind, are firstly, taking responsibility, secondly, challenge everything. None of us are taught how to think, so we accept most things we experience without challenge. By understanding who you are and how your mind operates including how the functions of our mind integrate we can start to challenge our selflimiting beliefs making for a better way of life. “Self-limiting beliefs are easy to spot when you are consciously managing your thinking and cognition. I like to call this policing your thoughts and feelings. Most people are unaware of their self-limiting beliefs as they are accessed automatically and act as a defence mechanism allowing us to avoid situations that may cause us emotional harm or threat through judgement. So, if you are feeling held back or restrained then you are most probably having a ‘self-limiting’ belief. “Changing and challenging self-limiting beliefs can be easily achieved if you are determined to change and take responsibility. First you need to find out what it is you want, then you need to look at what is it that might be holding you back. Often when you focus on what you want you find a list of excuses (self-limitations) that follow. These are holding you back. If you really want to change your circumstances then you need to apply honesty with yourself and ask yourself, am I making excuses? Am I justifying how I feel just to avoid failure or fear? If you want to change, you have to challenge. By dedicating time to reframing your limiting thoughts and feelings you can see fast results.

Pack your bags and take your mind and body on a journey to find your best self. Wellness retreat holidays are becoming a trendy way to find peace of mind. Wellness travel experts, have these globetrotting suggestions for an uplifting experience for the soul.

Back to Nature Detoxing in Sri Lanka: Santani Detox Experience complete detoxification at this brand new eco-friendly wellness sanctuary set in the rolling green mountains of Sri Lanka, where you’ll be guided through a wellness programme designed to build internal strength. Enjoy tailor made diet plans, fitness classes, and herbal remedies to cleanse away the winter toxins and have you feeling radiant for the summer months ahead. Feel internally pampered as your immune system is rejuvenated alongside daily exercise, a personalised nutritious diet plan, natural herbal treatments and medicines. Get close to nature as you practice yoga in the open-plan facilities and take part in guided hikes and mountain biking in the lush Sri Lankan greenery. A seven-night stay at Santani from £3,080pp or £4,135pp for single occupancy. Price includes accommodation, full-board, return flights and transfers. Sri Lanka: Santani

“You have only succeeded if you can honestly say that you have tried to challenge your excuses. True success is a preventative rather than a cure. If you feel great then you probably are. If you enjoy success then you are most probably successful. The ultimate mental makeover is achieved.”

*1Steve McKeown has been a Coach and Therapist for over 14 years and currently runs both The McKeown Clinic and Mental Makeover. Steve can be contacted via

The Mental Makeover Retreat™ in Italy: Ti Sana Detox Retreat & Spa Led by Steve McKeown, this wellness retreat is held in September at the luxurious Ti Sana Detox Retreat & Spa near Milan and Lake Como. Set within a backdrop of rolling green hills and wineries, Ti Sana Detox Retreat & Spa is a 18th century hamlet, boasting 22 luxury suites, a medical spa and tailored wellness programmes, providing the perfect location for those wanting to get away from it all and fully focus on

mind rejuvenation and healing. Retreat participants will have full access to Ti Sana’s luxury spa facilities, delicious organic vegan cuisine and a wide range of holistic therapies and fitness activities. Guests may wish to partake in healthy cookery classes, take morning walks in the lush Italian countryside, go on an excursion to nearby Lake Como, or simply unwind in the stunning, tranquil environment offered at Ti Sana. A six-night break on The Mental Makeover Retreat costs £2,590pp for single occupancy. Price includes accommodation, full board, return flights and transfers. Antigua: Blue Waters

Mind, Body & Soul Shape Up in Antigua: Blue Waters Living Retreat Whisk yourself off to the paradise island of Antigua this summer for a fitness retreat that will transform mind, body and soul, while lapping up the Caribbean sunshine. Shape up with a variety of fun fitness activities to promote both physical and mental well-being, from kayaking, boxing and functional fitness, to yoga, pilates and meditation. Educate yourself through nutritional, detox and weight loss seminars taught by expert lifestyle coaches, and learn relaxation techniques during stress management and sleep wellness workshops. Unwind after an active day with bespoke spa treatments, or simply enjoy your tropical surroundings as you relax on the secluded white sandy beach. A seven-night stay at Blue Waters Living Retreat from £3,815pp or £4,155pp for single occupancy. Price includes accommodation, all-inclusive, return flights and transfers. L

 Find more of these amazing wellness retreat holidays online at

*2 In 2015/16

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with these simple lifestyle choices

Drink more GREEN tea Studies have proven that green tea is good for the heart by lowering LDL – Cholesterol and triglycerides. And that’s not all - they contain a massive amount of antioxidants, which means it helps to rid the body of damaging oxidising agents, and boost the metabolism, so it should be easier to maintain a healthy weight. If you like the odd cuppa, it’s always best to go for a green tea option.

Eat the right foods Food plays a major part in heart health. You need to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and steer clear of eating too many foods that have a lot of saturated fat, like cheese, fried foods and snacks like crisps and salted peanuts. If you are not a fan of eating the green stuff on its own, you can still work up to your five a day goal by simply adding it to your main dishes – like chopped courgette and red pepper in pasta sauces or fruit to your breakfast cereal. We should also be aiming to get about 30g of fibre each day so including wholegrain bread and cereals, oats, and jacket potatoes in your diet is beneficial too.


Stay active Exercise is one of the most important contributors to heart health, but it will also boost your mood and reduce stress levels too. You don’t have to run a marathon next week, but introducing a gradual and consistent exercise programme to get you moving more and staying active will benefit your heart. The NHS advises us to do 150 minutes of moderateintensity aerobic exercise each week – about 30 minutes a day, five days of the week, and it can be anything from a brisk walk to a swim or cycle.

Quit smoking Smoking is a killer and it is one of the main factors responsible for coronary heart disease in the UK. Smoking damages the arteries by creating a build-up of fatty material which narrows the arteries and can cause a heart attack, angina or a stroke. It’s also important to stay away from second hand smoke too as breathing in any smoke can have a detrimental effect on your health.

 Shop smart Be a more mindful shopper when you are at the supermarket and take note of the food labels on the products you are putting in your trolley, especially when it comes to salt, saturated fat and sugar. Salt has a hugely adverse effect on our health and can massively affect blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is often hidden in the foods we wouldn’t even expect it to be in, including breakfast cereals, bread, and packaged ready meals, and it all adds to our recommended daily amount - a food which has more than 1.5g of salt per 100g is considered high, and adults should not have more than one teaspoon (6g) a day. Shop smarter and you will be healthier as a result. It’s also a good idea to cook more for yourself so you are aware of what is going into your meals, this way you are able to control the amount of certain foods you use.

 Moderation is key Drinking alcohol heavily can raise blood pressure which is one of the biggest causes of heart attacks. The NHS says that the safest alcohol intake for men and women is no more than 14 units per week which is equivalent to a bottle and a half of wine or five pints of lager (5% abv).

♥ Manage your stress Managing stress plays a part in having a healthy heart. An American study into the link between psychological stress and cardiovascular disease found that chronic stressors such as job stress, marital unhappiness, and the burden of caregiving can trigger events that cause harm to the heart. The study by Dr Joel E Dimsdale says that having an active approach to stress management can help to increase quality of life and decrease a patient’s suffering.

Eat more of the right fish It’s those healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish like salmon and mackerel which make it the perfect choice to help keep our heart healthy so why then are we told to limit our servings? High levels of mercury, and other environmental pollutants, make eating too much of some types of fish a bit risky – limiting your intake of tuna, swordfish and marlin are ways to avoid this. Salmon is a really good choice for your weekly shopping list, as are sardines and anchovies - they have a good amount of healthy fats and low mercury levels. L



DAYS OUT Let the dogs out

What’s on: Your summer calendar, Win a family stay and play package at Drayton Manor Park and Hotel, Heading back out to the ‘shires and Blooming beautiful

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There are always plenty of things to do over the summer from festivals to concerts, to shows and carnivals and LIVING’s rounded up some of the best across the UK. So pack up those sun hats and collapsible chairs, it’s time to play outdoors.





Be an outlaw for the day at the Robin Hood Festival

It’s the big music festivals to attend this summer

31st July to 6th August 2017

Catch a movie under the stars at the Summer Nights Film Festival 14th July to 16th September 2017 The Summer Nights Film Festival will once again host a series of outdoor film screenings during the summer. Enjoy a showing of some of the classics, including Pretty Woman, Top Gun, Ghost and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as the best of the screen today, including La La Land, Mamma Mia, Fantastic Beasts and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Screenings are taking place at Dunham Massey in Cheshire, Attingham Park in Shropshire and Kedleston Hall, Calke Abbey and Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, among other locations.

Feel blooming wonderful at the Shrewsbury Flower Show 11th to 12th August 2017 Magnificent floral displays aside, the Shrewsbury Flower Show, being held at The Quarry in the town, is a two-day extravaganza with celebrity chef, John Torode, Gardeners World’s Joe Swift and RHS award winning designer, Penny Meadmore, music from The Overtones and daredevil performances from The White Helmets. There is also show jumping and equestrian displays in the arena, fireworks, and of course, the flowers.

23rd August to 29th August 2017 Organised by Cavern City Tours, the annual International Beatleweek Festival is bringing Beatlemania back to the streets of Liverpool once again. With 70 bands from 20 countries set to perform during the week at venues across the city, including the famous The Cavern Club, where it all began for the band back in the 60s, the Philharmonic Hall and the Adelphi hotel.

Discover the world at the Caribbean Carnival 5th August 2017 Experience the traditions of the Caribbean during this one day event in Leicester, celebrating the multicultural diversity of the city. Taking place across the city centre and Victoria Park, it showcases the vibrant and exciting traditions of Caribbean culture, with 80,000 people estimated to attend the parade through the city and 20,000 people in the park.

Festival essentials Wellies £17.99 Deichmann

Find yourself at Lost Village Festival: 24th to 27th August 2017 Somewhere deep in the woods, you’ll find this mysterious festival with Moderat and De La Soul as headliners. Party alongside the forgotten villagers of an ancient forest in abandoned woodlands and immerse yourself in an enlightening festival experience. Go mad for the Wireless Festival: 7th to 9th July 2017 If you can make your way to London, this is one dance party not to be missed. A mix of pop, urban and electronic music acts will descend on Finsbury Park in July, including the likes of Drake, Rhianna, Acivii, Calvin Harris and Chase & Status. Get ready to party hard! Keep it Staffordshire based at V Festival: 19th to 20th August 2017 Returning once again to Weston Park in August is V-Fest. Headliners, Jay Z and Pink, are among other top DJS, bands and solo artists, such as Ellie Goulding, Emelie Sande, The Vamps, Pete Tong and Rudimental, taking to the stage to give us a weekend we won’t forget. Feel the beats at The Beat Herder Festival:


Dive head first into a sea of the arts at the Buxton International Festival this July. The festival is being held at various venues across the town over a period of threeweeks and will showcase a number of influential artists from the world of opera, music and books. Watch a live Opera at the Buxton Opera House, including Macbeth and Mozart’s Lucio Silla, listen to classical and contemporary musical performances, and take part in talks from renowned authors, politicians and economists, all within the captivating and picturesque setting of the Derbyshire town.

Twist and shout at International Beatleweek Festival 2017

Hair Flowers £10 Accessorize

Portable Charger £9.95

Batiste Floral Essences Dry Shampoo £2.99 Rug £35 National Trust Boots ^

7th to 23rd July 2017


Be a culture vulture at the Buxton International Festival

Fans of the famous outlaw will enjoy this medieval themed festival taking place at the Sherwood Forest County Park in Nottinghamshire. The free week-long event will be packed with entertainment and activities for the whole family from costumed characters, including the legendary Robin Hood and his band of merry men, Maid Marion, and the Sheriff of Nottingham, to skirmishes by the Major Oak. Get dressed up, go along and enjoy the show as Robin Hood carries out his quest to rob from the rich and give to the poor.

14th to 16th July 2017. A boutique festival with a dance vibe taking place on a farm in The Ribby Valley in Lancashire. Headliners, Crystal Fighters, lead an army of scratch and beat legends, including a Faithless DJ set. Do it how it should be done - this one is certainly a contender if you are looking for an old-skool festival experience. L w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


Festival Of Fireworks Catton Hall

Saturday 2nd September 2017 Gates Open: 12.00 noon Displays Commence: 8.00pm Early booking ticket discounts or pay on the gate. Ticket Hotline: 01384 402266 The UK s greatest firework spectacular Four amazing displays, all set to music, all in one night! Featuring 1ST GALAXY FIREWORKS (Nottingham) FTF WORLDWIDE (Bedfordshire) FULLY FUSED (Retford) JUBILEE FIREWORKS Kingswinford


2 017




A stunning visual journey across earth, sea and sky through spectacular light and sound projections

19th – 28th August

19.00 – 23.00

The Cathedral is an imposing piece of architecture, with its iconic three spires towering above the city scape. But what if things were outside in, what if the Cathedral became a reflection of the fragility of nature? Through light and sound the internal spaces of the Cathedral will become the earth, the sea and the sky. A spectacular event that will need to be seen to be believed. Peter Walker, Artist in Residence at Lichfield Cathedral, will explore themes of earth, peace, space and light and we hope you will join us along this journey. This is a ticket only event. Advance tickets are £3 per person (£2 under 16). Tickets will be available on the night at £5 per person (£3 under 16). Tickets are available from The Shop at No 9 or by calling 01543 306150.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

INTRIGUE INNOVATE INSPIRE The only UK based Festival celebrating the drama & excitement of glassmaking

25-28 August 2017 Stourbridge Glass Quarter

Inspiring exhibitions, dazzling displays and family friendly activities throughout the historic Glass Quarter







White Water Rafting Canoeing & Canyoning


in Snowdonia National Park


on the River Tryweryn, near Bala, North Wales, LL23 7NU


And much, much more!

Bakewell Show is run by Bakewell Agricultural & Horticultural Society Ltd, a charitable not-for-profit organisation.

call visit

01678 521083



a Family Stay and Play Package at Drayton Manor Park and Hotel

Drayton Manor Park offers fun for all the family


Q: In which county is Drayton Manor Park & Hotel located? To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit or call 0844 472 1950. Reduced prices are available for tickets bought in advance. For regular updates and news about Drayton Manor Park join it on Twitter and Facebook

Families looking for a fun-filled experience in 2017 should look no further than Drayton Manor Park & Hotel in Staffordshire and you could win a stay and play package to visit. The family owned and run theme park is home to Europe’s only Thomas Land™ which has this year seen the arrival of the new ride, James and the Red Balloon. Based on the beloved Thomas & Friends™ character, the ride follows James and his cheeky antics with a red hot air balloon. Families can experience the magic of Sodor like never before as they fly up, up and away in their very own balloon. James joins a host of other rides and attractions based on the popular series. The park is also home to some of the biggest rides around, including the drop tower Apocalypse and the stomachchurning Maelstrom. If all that wasn’t enough, the attraction boasts a 15-acre zoo, home to a wide collection of creatures great and small, including cute baby tamarins’.

Thomas Land™ Staffordshire Living has teamed up with Drayton Manor Park & Hotel to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a family stay and play package. The stay for two adults and two children includes overnight accommodation, breakfast and entry into the park. Scan the barcode below using a QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go straight to the competition on www. Simply answer the question to the right and enter your name and address details on the Drayton Manor competition page of the website for your chance to win!

T&Cs: Closing date is 9am Friday 4th August 2017. The competition prize will consist of an overnight stay at the Drayton Manor Park hotel and a ticket to the park for 2 adults and 2 children. Winners may visit the park on a date of their choosing from before 26th October 2017, subject to availability. Selected dates may apply, please check website for opening times and dates. Each ticket is for four people, with the maximum of two people aged between 12 – 59 years of age within the family ticket. Hotel stays are subject to availability at time of booking, a family room is a double bed and a sofa bed for up to two children, up to the ages of ten years old. Other room types are available at a supplement. Prize includes breakfast. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is available. The winner of the stay and play package must give Drayton Manor Park four weeks’ notice when claiming their prize. Pre-booking for all is essential. Winners will be contacted within one week of closing by Drayton Manor representatives to arrange the prize. For a full set of Staffordshire Media Terms and Conditions please see page 9. L

Drayton Manor Park...

Baby Tamarins home to Europe’s first stand up rollercoaster home to more than 100 animals

...opened in 1949 with just a

handful of children’s rides

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The summertime is the perfect time to get out and visit the beautiful Dovedale Valley. Why not take the opportunity to visit us by taking advantage of one of our fantastic special offers... ‘4 NIGHTS FOR 3’ MID WEEK OFFER... Book 3 Nights Dinner, Bed & Breakfast (for 2 people) and get the 4th Night absolutely FREE! This offer is valid for any Sunday to Thursday mid-week stay until 28th September 2017 (excluding Bank Holiday Sundays & Mondays). FREE SUNDAY LUNCH WITH WEEKEND STAYS... Stay Friday and Saturday Night Dinner, Bed & Breakfast and get Sunday Lunch (for 2 people) for FREE! This offer is valid on stays until 30th September 2017 (excluding Bank Holiday weekends). to qualify, simply quote SLJUL17 when booking. Please note that the above offers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and to qualify your booking must be made directly with the hotel.

01335 220070 Dovedale, Ilam, nr Ashbourne, DE6 2AY

Staffordshire Living JULAUG 2017.indd 1

02/06/2017 09:27:46

HACK GREEN SECRET NUCLEAR BUNKER Discover the secret world of nuclear government. For over 50 years this vast underground complex remained secret, hidden on the outskirts of a sleepy Cheshire town. Declassified in 1993, the 35,000 sq. ft underground bunker would have been the centre of Regional Government had nuclear war broken out. It was built in the 1950s as part of a secret radar network code-named ‘ROTOR’. The bunker today offers a warm welcome to anyone looking for a different day out. Tons of authentic equipment in original settings fire the imagination, with an exciting glimpse into England’s dramatic Cold War past.

Website: Telephone: 01270 629219 Sat nav post code: CW5 8AL

Explore the family home that inspired a literary giant Experience… • Five floors of displays and period room settings • Johnson’s famous Dictionary of the English Language • Introductory Film • Hands-on fun and activities for families • Second-hand bookshop Special Exhibition June 17th – September 24th Following the life and success of Johnson and David Garrick, Lichfield friends who became the greatest celebrities of the 18th century. Featuring collections from the Birthplace, Potteries Museums & Art Gallery, The Garrick Club and Dr Johnson’s House, London.

Free entry | Open Daily 10.30am – 4.30pm Breadmarket Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6LG | 01543 264 972 |


23 - 25 June


25 - 28 August GIN & TRAINS



20 - 22 October


27 & 30 & 31 December



29 & 30 July

8 October

25 October


7 - 9 July


30 Sep - 1 October

15 October




01538 750755

Churnet Valley Railway, Near Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands


1 January 2018


heading back out to



THE ‘SHIRES We’ve fallen in love all over again with two of Staffordshire’s neighbouring counties and here’s why you will too.


W he r t o go e ...

TOP PICKS Shopping in Shrewsbury town

Shropshire Shropshire is made up of five main towns, namely Shrewsbury, Telford, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, and Ludlow, with several market towns in between, including Market Drayton, Whitchurch and Newport. It’s predominantly a rural county, and its industry relies heavily on agriculture but also has mining, steam and iron heritage too, giving visitors plenty of areas to delve into on a trip, from countryside walks to museum hopping. It may be one of the smallest and quietest English counties but Shropshire is packed with activities to fill a summer’s day out. It sits at the border of England and Wales to the west of Staffordshire and is well-known for its historical landmarks, medieval towns and boutique shopping making it an ideal area to visit for families. But it doesn’t stop there, with plenty of outdoor pursuits to experience, picturesque canals, and stunning hotels, it’s got masses of potential for a short break in the countryside too.

With over 600 listed buildings and widely known as the birthplace of Charles Darwin, Shrewsbury is not only a great shopping destination but it’s a great place to start if you want to discover the heritage of the county too. Visitors flock to its cobbled streets and black and white buildings for a traditional shopping vibe, quaint cafes and restaurants, and relaxing parks. You are more likely to encounter locals than flocks of tourists, which all helps to preserve this pretty town. It’s also one of the best spots in the north to enjoy a boat cruise on the River Severn.

River rafting on the Severn If you want to explore the River Severn a bit more vivaciously then an adventure with the crew at the Shropshire Raft Tours might be more your style. Offering a greener way to view the county, you’ll go under the first Ironbridge ever built as well as experience the trade routes of old and enjoy a hearty barbecue on some of the specialist tours. The tours are available for all ages spending approximately 90-minutes on the water but canoes and kayaks are also rentable. Shropshire Raft Tours, Ironbridge, Telford, TF8 7NH. 01952 427150. Priced at £35 for a family of four.

Life as a jailbird No one wants to end up in prison but we can’t help but be a little curious at what’s it like to be behind bars. Well, one company is unlocking the chains and inviting us all to experience the ‘inside’. The Dana in Shrewsbury hasn’t been used as a prison since 2013 but it dates back to the late 18th Century and was a place of execution for many years - watching these take place was a popular past time for locals in the town at the time and remains of inmates were still being uncovered in the early 70s. Now you can visit the prison and experience life in the cells, discover how capital punishment was carried out and see one of the last ever working


execution rooms in the UK. There are also a number of special events from music nights to prison escape parties all held inside the prison. Jailhouse Tours, The Dana Prison, Howard Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 2HP. 01743 343100.

Museum hopping at Ironbridge The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust operates 10 museums in the south of the county which all represent the Victorian heritage of the area. Located around the six square miles of the Ironbridge Gorge, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, that took place from the 18th -19th Century. Visitors can walk the streets of a replica Victorian Town, see the products and machines that built industry and experience craftsmen and costumed demonstrations from the time. Find out more information for all the museums to visit at

A journey through history Shropshire has plenty of stately homes to explore but one that stands out has to be Attingham Park, a Victorian mansion with a fascinating history to discover. The estate was built in 1785 and has been in the hands of the National Trust for 70 years. Aside from the stunning grounds, nearby woodlands and deer park, the mansion is split into masculine and feminine sides of the house with contrasting rooms to explore, as well as a restored picture gallery and a walled garden. Visitors are also encouraged to borrow sports equipment to make good use of the natural play field too. Attingham Park, Atcham, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 4TP. A family ticket starts from £29.50.

Picnic perfect at the follies Located on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, close to Wem, The Follies is an area of woodland which gives off an air of fantasy, from the rocky cliff faces and the hidden wooden bridges, to the blooming pockets of flora, wide open green spaces, and historical monuments. It’s the perfect place to spend the day exploring and enjoy a family picnic. There are often special events and activities taking place across the park such as donkey rides, medieval themed demonstrations and treasure hunts too. Hawkstone Park Weston-under-Redcastle, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 5JY. 01948 841777. Tickets priced from £26 for a family of four.


Bakewell Pudding in Bakewell

Derbyshire Derbyshire is no small county, its borders reach as far as greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, and it sits at the East of Staffordshire. With miles of beautiful peak district, wonderful wildlife and cultural hotspots, Derbyshire has everything lovers of the great outdoors could want from a day out. Major cities at Derby and Chesterfield are surrounded by smaller market towns, including Buxton, Glossop, and Ashbourne, and the contrasting cityscapes with rolling hills mean Derbyshire is ideal for a weekend away or day trip. LIVING’S


W he r t o go e ...

Pride and Prejudice at Chatsworth House

If you crave the jammy, almond taste of a Cherry Bakewell, you’d be best placed in its home town for a good portion of the original dessert, Bakewell Pudding - flaky pastry, jam and an egg and almond filling. You can do more than just up your calories intake for the day though, Bakewell is a beautiful little town set on the banks of the River Wye, which runs through its centre. Great shopping, traditional architecture and the river banks attract lots of visitors every year. Bakewell Visitor Centre, Old Market Hall, Bridge Street, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1DS.

Cycle the Peak District There’s no better way to see the glorious hills and open spaces of the Peak District than on two wheels. Feel the fresh air in your face and push yourself on a day of exploration and discovery. Pick one of the trails and let loose amongst the stunning scenery and views, kids and adults alike will enjoy the routes. If you don’t like the idea of cycling, there are also plenty of walks, horse riding and tours to show you through this beautiful part of the country. Find out more about the trails at

City break in Derby You can’t get a city more in the heart of the UK than Derby. Artistic heritage, ale houses, shopping and a popular theatre make it a great spot for weekenders to discover this somewhat overlooked part of the country. See the largest gallery collection of Victorian painter, Joseph Wright, drink some of the most famous pints in the world and enjoy a unique night out with plenty of independent cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from. Plan your stay at

Historical buildings, a gastronomy haven and independent shops make this market town one of Derbyshire’s best assets, here’s five ways to spend a day out in Ashbourne. 1. DOVEDALE: A relatively flat area for walking located in the Peak District, Dovedale is known for its limestone ravines, stepping stones and the peaceful banks of the River Dove. Dovedale, Thorpe, Ashbourne DE6 2AY. 2. CARSINGTON WATER: An action packed day of exciting water sports, cycling, fishing and walking that the entire family will love. Find out more at 3. MARKE T STREE TS: This twice weekly market takes place every Thursday and Saturday on the cobbled market place in the town, great for antiques, local foodie delicacies and unusual gifts. 4. INDEPENDENT SHOPPING: With boutique and high-end designer fashion outlets, jewellery and quirky gift shops, shopping in Ashbourne is a pleasant and satisfying past time. 5. CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: Discover what life was like for children during history and enjoy the beautiful setting of Sudbury Hall. Sudbury Hall, Ashbourne DE6 5HT, England. 01283 585337.

Still home to the Cavendish family, who have passed it through 16 generations, Chatsworth House is a stunning stately home and parklands on the eastern side of Derbyshire. A working farm, with breathtaking landscapes, and its beauty is thought to have inspired Jane Austin’s portrayal of Mr Darcy’s private estate, Pemberley, when she first wrote the Pride and Prejudice book. But Chatsworth House was also to be the setting for Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation starring Keira Knightley. This is certainly one must-see destination in Derbyshire. Chatsworth House, Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP. 01246 565300. Family tickets start from £22.

Where it’s all happening …

Architectural trip to Buxton Just an hour’s drive from the middle of Staffordshire and you arrive at Buxton, one of Derbyshire’s highlight towns. Georgian and Victorian architecture line the streets which are bustling with locals and tourists alike. A quaint and pleasant town centre, with parks surrounding it including the pavilion gardens with pretty ponds and a popular children’s play area. Possibly one of the most magnificent sites is the Buxton Opera House building with its stone structure and turrets, along with The Crescent and Old Hall Hotel, which dates back to the 16th Century. L

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Clonter Fair


In Collaboration with Congleton Beartown Classic Car Club

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

& Car Boot Sale

In Aid of Cancer Research UK & Clonter Farm Music Trust ______________

Sun 3rd Sept 10am - 4pm

Clonter Opera Theatre, Swettenham Heath, Congleton, Cheshire, CW 12 2LR

Registered Charity No. 1083903

Sung in Italian with Orchestra & English Surtitles 22, 24 (Mat), 25, 27, 29 JULY O P E R A N OV I C E N I G H T 2 0 J U LY W I T H P R E - P E R F O R M A N C E TA L K


BOX OFFICE 01260 224 514 SWETTENHAM HEATH, CONGLETON, CW12 2LR Registered Charity Number 1083903

We have a range of events for you to enjoy throughout the year. Each event incorporates the Village scene, and trams from the appropriate era or city of origin are run throughout the day.



Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July


Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th August


Monday 14th to Friday 18th August

MODEL TRAM AND RAILWAY EVENT: Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th August


Monday 21st to Sunday 27th August

CLASSIC TRANSPORT GATHERING: Sunday 27th & Monday 28th August


Monday 31st July, Tuesday 22nd & Thursday 31st August

Crich Tramway Village, Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5DP Tel: 01773 854 321 Email: SITUATED NEAR MATLOCK AND ONLY 8 MILES FROM M1 JUNCTION 28


Blooming BEAUTIFUL Newcastle-under-Lyme is participating in the Britain-in-Bloom finals this summer, making it a great day out for all the family. LIVING caught up with the team behind the project to find out more. get involved in shaping and influencing the quality of their environment, and to take pride in where they live. It helps people make a real difference to the image of their neighbourhood and to build networks to sustain improvements. Just being nominated to represent the region in the national finals is a massive honour, and participating with the best from around the UK will raise the profile of Newcastle and North Staffordshire on a national stage.”


isitors to the Staffordshire town of Newcastle-underLyme are used to experiencing a bustling market atmosphere, and reminiscing about its heritage and character as they stroll along the cobbled streets, but now the town is adding another string to its bow, of a much more horticultural nature. The town is taking part in the national finals of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom 2017 competition this summer. Britain in Bloom, which has been running annually for more than 50 years, has been at the forefront of the green-fingered movement that continues to sweep across towns and cities in the UK. Local communities are taking a much more active role in improving their local environment, not just aesthetically, but in a sustainable and ecological way too. But it’s nothing new to Newcastle-under-Lyme; the town has been participating since 1991, and has been awarded Gold in the small city category for Heart of England for the past 15-years. Now, after being crowned the overall winner in the category last year, the town is taking it to the next level, up against the likes of Exeter, Colchester, Canterbury, Bury, Derry City, Kirkcaldy, and Oadby & Wigston in Leicestershire, for the national title. Roger Tait, Head of Operations at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, and Chairman of the ‘Britain in Bloom’ Working Group says that the competition has evolved over the years to become much more than floral displays and beddings in the town centre, it’s about shaping a community and developing a positive environmental impact. “The Bloom campaign gives people the opportunity to

“Just being nominated to represent the region in the national finals is a massive honour, and participating with the best from around the UK will raise the profile of Newcastle and North Staffordshire on a national stage.”

residential gardener doing work on their own garden to community groups focused on local projects, parks and cleaning up the streets, makes up around 75% of the campaign, with just 25% being linked to the council run areas and green spaces. He says: “The communities of Newcastle are the life blood of the campaign, and the judging is really an opportunity to celebrate their achievements. A huge and growing number of groups, schools, businesses and individuals support Bloom and deliver fantastic projects. They are a credit to the Borough!”

Pride in the community There are plenty of beautiful horticultural displays to enjoy in Newcastle-under-Lyme, such as Queens Garden and Brampton Park, and this is a core part of the campaign, but the ‘Bloom’ committee are also focused on delivering a sustainable environment around the town, and the preservation of wildlife such as bees, fish and birds. One of the highlights of the ‘Bloom’ campaign over the years is a partnership with Blurton-born sculptor Andy Edwards, who is behind the iconic Beatles statues at the Pierhead in Liverpool, and several of the wildlife themed sculptures in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme. The partnership came about three years ago and sees Andy work with young people training for apprenticeships in the town to design and build the sculptures – currently a brown trout at Nelson Place, a piece called “The Return” sculpted into the bridge at Brook Lane, depicting fish swimming in the brook, and the Buzzard at Pool Dam. This year, the campaign focuses on wildlife and biodiversity and in particular the plight of the Honey Bee. A 4-metre high steel bee sculpture on the Knutton Lane Roundabout will feature as a result of the partnership with Andy Edwards, as well as a “bee tree” chainsaw sculpture in Brampton Park made from an old tree stump, and many other community based projects. The campaign relies heavily on the involvement and enthusiasm of local schools, community groups, and residents to take part and share in the challenge - something which has been the driving force behind its success for the last 15 years. In fact, Mr Tait says the community, from the

“The communities of Newcastle are the life blood of the campaign, and the judging is really an opportunity to celebrate their achievements.”

Britain in Bloom The town will be judged on its horticultural achievement during a 3.5 hr judging tour in August, which will cover a large area of the borough looking at the quality of street cleansing, municipal bedding but also a number of community based projects and areas such as allotments, parks and community gardens. There are plenty of ways to get involved with the Bloom campaign going forward, from joining an existing group to starting your own initiative. There is support and funding available from the council, as well as grant schemes to help get your project off the ground, whether that’s to buy plants, litter pickers or gloves. Anyone interested in being a part of the campaign can speak to the community development team at the council. Find out more at www.newcastle-staffs. L, phone 01782 717717 or follow the campaign on twitter @NBC_GreenTeam.

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LET THE DOGS OUT Forget a quick trot around the block, let your dog run free with LIVING’s pick of Staffordshire’s dog walking spots.

 Rudyard Lake Rudyard Reservoir, Off Lake Road, Rudyard, Leek ST13 8XB Just north of Leek and Biddulph, the grand and picturesque Rudyard Lake offers an exciting escape for both you and your four-legged friends. The lake stretches over 2.5 miles of the Staffordshire Moorlands and its flat pathed walking route, outlined by scenic forestry and plenty of drop downs to the lake shore, make it a doggy walking haven, especially if you have a keen swimmer. However, there are both on lead and off lead areas so take note of the signs as you walk the route. A visitor centre provides refreshments and there are also toilets on-site. This beauty spot can get quite crowded on good days, especially on a Saturday and Sunday, but free parking and an easy route round make it a decent shout for a walk any time of the day – early risers will certainly reap the rewards of this setting at its most glorious.

 Dimmingsdale Valley & Furnace Forest Walks Alton, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 4BU Part of England’s Forestry Commission, this beautifully enchanting forest is hidden in the thick Staffordshire countryside, about two miles from Alton. A series of woodland walks, accessible shallow streams, flat plains and long ferns give dogs a variety of terrains to explore on a trip here, and there are plenty of safe areas to let them have a good run too. With an abundance of wildlife to

spot, sandstone formations to sniff and dig at, and lots of water to splash and play in, Dimmingsdale has everything an adventurous dog could wish for. There are stunning views from the hilltops, although it can be a little steep in places so take care, but lower flatter paths are marked out at the ground and still enjoyable, giving dogs plenty of opportunity for discovery. It’s a good spot at any time of year and it has an on-site restaurant serving meals and drinks.

 National Trust - Downs Banks Downs Bank, near Stone, Staffordshire Most of the stunning houses and gardens of the National Trust are off limits to our furry companions, but, luckily, there are some areas of land under its care which are perfect for dogs, one in particular being the Downs Banks walking trail in Stone. An easy route of approximately 1.5 miles that takes around 40 minutes, and follows the path of a delightful stream, but there are also options ‘up bank’, with an additional half mile climb if you are feeling more energetic on the day. Footbridges, streams, and plenty of growth to rummage around in, you can expect to meet plenty of fellow doggy people taking full advantage of this area.

 Fradley Junction Alrewas, Burton-upon-Trent DE13 7DN A favourite canal-side walk among the dog walkers of Staffordshire has to be the stunning setting of Fradley Junction. Towering trees provide natural tunnels across the canal and meandering paths before opening out to breathtaking views across the countryside. Fradley Junction is actually the place where the Trent & Mersey Canal meets the Coventry Canal, but it’s the interesting barges, pretty paths (and 54

ducks), combined with plenty of other pawed pals to meet along the way, that will have any dog panting in delight. Its location and function make it quite a bustling spot but it also means there are some very good rest stops along the way for a drink and bite to eat.

 Birches Valley Rugeley, WS15 2UH A stunning walk through the beautiful landscape of Cannock Chase, located about three miles west of Rugeley. Trails are up and down so both you and your dog will get plenty of exercise and paths are sturdy so it’s a good and safe walk to experience. A fairly open and spacious spot meaning your dog can have a good run while exploring the growth alongside the tracks. Parking is £1.50 for up to an hour or £4 all day. It does tend to be a popular spot for horse riders and cyclists too, so it can be busy, but the parking is open early, and all day, making it another good option for those early or dusk timed walks. L

 Did we miss out your favourite spot? You can add your recommendations and vote for the best Staffordshire dog walk in our online poll. Scan the QR code with the QR reader on your mobile phone or tablet and enter now at



HOME Light of life

Summer stylin’, Should you move or improve? A whole new world and Bring it all back to life

Horse Lamp £4326


Ceramic Pot £18 Cath Kidston

Grab some nautical furnishings Nothing says summer like home décor inspired with a nautical touch - think blue and white stripes, rope threads and maritime artworks to create your seaside retreat. Easily translate the coastal trend throughout the home with quirky shell vases in every room.

Frame £18 Oliver Bonas



£22 Laura Ashley

Cake Tins 3 pack £12 George Home at Asda

LSA Sorbet Tumblers Set of 2 £14

Candle £6.99 H&M

Easy style hacks for the home this summer.

Paint your furniture Take the plunge and give your furniture a more summery look with vintage blues, yellows and pinks to give your home a lighter and brighter vibe.


Velvet Floral Cushion £12 Next Say hello to yellow It’s another hot colour of the season so subtly weave it in to your home this summer – paint shelves, a feature wall, or the frames of pictures in this mood lifting hue. Cath Kidston 6 Piece Towel Set £60 Very


Colour me happy Bright and vibrant colours lift your mood and invigorate your senses, the perfect setting for summer. Add botanical prints and floral patterns for linen and cushions, and update artwork and accessories into bright orange, pink and blue shades.

HOME Wreath £20 Dunelm Go green

Pastel perfect Add a subtle touch of colour with a few pastel accessories or update existing furniture in one of these pretty shades. Haresfield Large Sofa In Designers Guild Brera Lino Camellia Pink £2543

Adding greenery into your home is a must-do this year but be creative with a delicate hanging wreath to add subtle depth in your room.


m eS

Make it all white Open out the home and update your rooms with a lick of paint – in white. Bring even more light into your living area as a base for your summer styling.

r ror £5.99 Ho

Magnetic Meal Planner £12 Cath Kidston


se Jane Packer Succulent in Geo Pot £5 Sainsbury’s

Cushion £12 M&Co

Marks & Spencer

Debenhams Outdoor lighting Map out your garden with trendy lanterns, fairy lights and light poles to make your summer nights bright. Orla Kiely Tea Light Lantern £11.95

Ashley Thomas Tea Pot £22 Debenhams

Eating outdoors Possibly one of the biggest treats of summer is being able to live the alfresco vibe. There’s nothing better than starting your day in the fresh morning sun, except ending that way. Create your perfect outdoor dining area so you can spend as much time outdoors as possible. For a unique twist, why not set a picnic bench up in the garden and install a shelf under your kitchen window to keep serving your meals easy and fuss-free!

Bowls £2.50 Sainsbury’s

More than a fireplace Add style to an unused fireplace with a set of thick white candles, a coastal inspired ornament or bright blooming flowers.

Scent of summer Find the perfect scent for the home this summer with floral accents. Peony & Linden Blossom Room Spray £5 Sainsbury’s

Double Duvet Cover £39.99 H&M

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HOME Ashby Sofa £799 DFS

Biscuit Tin £12

Natural Touch Switch up your accessories for a more natural touch – go for bamboo, rope, wood and cork finishes, try replacing your block-look-chairs with rattan or square topped wooden stools for a funky rustic twist.


sa M i s.c

an ch


£2 ro r 2 5

2.7m Parasol £160 Debenhams

Bamboo Chair £49.99 HomeSense

Rearrange your furniture for optimum light and view If your fireplace is no longer the focal point of the room, rearrange your furniture for a more summer-friendly setting.

Double Duvet £11 George Home at ASDA

Be bronze Don’t just settle for your own tan, get the bronzed look at home with this season’s trendy metallic finish – try a bronze framed mirror for an opulent and exotic touch to your living space.

£12.99 H&M

Take up flower arranging Summer is the perfect chance to experiment with flowers at home, take pickings from your blooming garden and bring your outdoors to life throughout the home.

ndmir ror

Cushion £140 Amara

Wacky wallpaper Fancy having the summer of love? Take inspiration from retro styling and invest in some geometric and patterned wallpaper for a real hippie vibe.

Keep the garden ship-shape Spend time in your garden and keep it neat and tidy – mow the lawn regularly and keep beds in check. Update an old shelfing unit into a rustic storage space for all your outdoor preening essentials.

White Peonies in Jar £15 Sainsbury’s

Switch up your curtains Thick, textured curtains in the living room are for the cold dark nights of winter. Switch up your style with some bright and breezy curtains in linen or cotton fabrics. SEALION Wallpaper, Arctic Blue Cobalt £52

Lupiini Light Curtain £52.90 (140x240cm) 58

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Upholster your chairs in a bright shade Give your chairs some love and switch out your dark greys and black for a fun watercolour print.

Orla Kiely Big Plant Pot £22.95

Invest in some summary potted plants Make transitioning your garden easy-peasy by using potted plants and flowers in your garden making it much easer to switch them up when you need a change.

Watercolour Print Chair £379.99 HomeSense

Declutter and store away If you haven’t got rid of all that clutter, don’t let it dampen your summer vibe. Clear it and store it and you will feel so much better both in your mind and about your home.

Storage Basket 45cm £40

Get in a hot tub A hot tub can be the perfect addition to your summer garden and definitely one of the most enjoyable.

Laura Ashley

Cushion £16 Next

Canadian Spa Toronto 6 Person Hot Tub £5850

Denby Pavilion Cast Iron Casserole Dish £129.99 Very Next

Floor Cushion £55 Next Create an ethic inspired hideaway Bring tribal prints, golds and reds into outdoor accessories and get big plush and bright floor cushions to sit on.

Make your shed a funky summer house Turn your shed into a summer house for the perfect outdoor getaway at any time of the day. Summerhouse with Side Shed £1249.95 Waltons

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SHOULD YOU MOVE OR IMPROVE? You might be considering a big house move this summer but would it make more sense to stay put and make some changes to improve your home?

10 reasons to move 1.

Space issues

Whether you are planning on starting a family or a new business that requires space at home, moving to a bigger home becomes more of a necessity than anything else. You simply outgrow your current home and do not have the funds, equity or land to extend your existing property. 2.

Time for an upgrade

You may love your home but sometimes the style and design just doesn’t fit your lifestyle and personality anymore. As you progress in life, in your career and relationships, what you need and want in a home is going to change. 3.

Playing the area game

There are some lucky buyers who invest in property in an ‘up and coming area’ and profit massively as a result, however, this isn’t always the case and staying put in an area where the potential value on your property could depreciate is not recommended. Perhaps you are just in a better financial position and can afford to buy in a more desirable place? All of these are reason enough for upping sticks and moving on. 64


Waving a fond farewell

When children have fled the nest, it doesn’t make practical or financial sense to keep a bigger house running with just one or two people rattling around inside. Downsizing and finding a smaller more fitting property is a much better option and can free up some capital for enjoying a life with little less responsibility. 5.

Personal circumstances

Whether you are ending a relationship or moving one to the next stage, a change in your personal situation can trigger a house move. But, there could be financial considerations too which means a house move is a more logical option to remodeling or improvements. 6.

Running costs that run away…

With rising energy costs, bills can mount up especially in older properties which aren’t as energy efficient. Add to that increasing living expenses and it can be hard to stay on top of things. Moving properties can help bring running costs down and make day to day life more manageable and affordable. 7.

Moving on up

The reason for a move could be as simple as getting a new job and needing to be closer to the area in which you work or perhaps the commute is too big a journey from your existing property. Moving your home to match a new stage in your career life could be the perfect pairing, although doing it all at the same time could be a challenge!


School dilemma

You might have a school in mind for your child or children and the catchment might not reach as far as you are now. While you still could have a chance to get your child into that school, parents often prefer to move home well within reach to ensure they have the best chance of getting a place. 9.

Being closer to family

Being close to family is hugely important as we get older and start to settle down especially if we have children of our own. Lots of people will decide to move back to their home town to raise a family where they’ll be close to their support network such as parents and other family members. 10.

Getting older

If you are thinking about retirement then selling your home could be one of the steps you intend to make in preparation for that stage of your life. You might be thinking about travelling or buying a property abroad for example and selling the family home is the easiest way to free up some money.


10 reasons to improve 1.

Family circumstances


Location, Location, Location

While location can be an issue in wanting to move home, it can also be a reason to stay put. If you live in the location you’ve always wanted or a particularly profitable location, moving from it doesn’t make sense. It might be worth exploring the idea of improving your home to find a way to make your existing space work for you and your family. 2.

Stamp duty

A nasty little tax is currently in place which can sting home movers buying property over a certain price. You have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax in increasing portions of property price above £125,000 up to 12%. You don’t have to pay this if you decide to invest money in your existing property and remodel or make improvements.


Not ready to sell

Nothing adds more value onto your property than improvements whether they are simple minor touches here and there or bigger extension work, you can add thousands on to the return from your investment. What’s more, clever techniques and doing just enough in the right places can make it a very affordable option. Seeking advice from estate agents and property professionals can help to identify where improvements could or should be made in order to get the maximum impact.

A growing family needs more space, and the key to your happy home could be as simple as turning that office into a nursery or perhaps you need to convert a bedroom into a fitness room. Not all family circumstances need a new home thrown in. Sit down and decide what is right for you at that time. Home improvements might be the best option. 6.

Less stress

There’s no denying that moving home is a stressful experience, and depending on your situation at the time, it might not be the most suitable solution. Sometimes staying where you are and making simple changes can make a world of difference. Of course, if you go for a bigger home project then that can also be stressful so make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew! 7.

Create more functionality

Improvements to the home do not only improve the aesthetics and add value to a home but it can also make it generally function better and that can do wonders for how you feel about a home. Clever storage ideas and giving your decoration a seasonal uplift are perfect ways to add some much needed cheer.


Efficiency is key

If running costs are a problem then you can always make some improvements to your home that will make it much more energy efficient. Fixing problems with the roof, installing the appropriate insulation and finding a better energy supplier can all help to reduce these costs. In addition, updating your windows, air sealing any draft spots and being careful when using appliances will all make a difference to bills. 9.


Make it your dream home

You could be just where you need to be but feeling like your home is missing something? Maybe the outside of your home is right but the interior is lacking your personal touch. This is not reason enough to move so put some time aside to research interior designs ideas and find which style works for you. Then make small changes over time until you have your perfect dream home.

Current market woes

If you are in a position where the current market doesn’t lend itself to selling then it’s probably better to think about remodelling instead. Sometimes adding value to your home and waiting out a dip in the house market whether that’s specific to your area or across the country will work out better than selling up and being out of pocket. If you desperately need to move out and you are concerned about getting the right price for your property, consider a rental proposition. 10.

Moving costs

While stamp duty is a big expense when buying a new home, you also have to think about moving costs too, which can mount up and eat into any profit you intend to make. Not only do you have conveyancing fees but you also have estate agent fees and removal costs on top of that. But, investing £40,000 to £60,000 on an extension or remodel of your home has the potential to add double that onto the value of your home. L w w w. sta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


staffordshire’s best addresses Multi-award winning developer Lioncourt Homes are building a range of delightful new homes in three superb locations in Staffordshire. We’ve also got a range of options to help you move, including Help to Buy, Part Exchange and Assisted Move. Arrange your viewing with us today.

Creswell Manor, Eccleshall Road, Stafford, ST16 1PF

Barley Fields, Bramshall Road, Uttoxeter, ST14 7PG

St. Peters Walk, King Street, Yoxall, DE13 8NA

2, 3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes from £170,000 to £480,000 Tel: 0845 873 2885†

4 & 5 bedroom homes from £390,00 to £475,000 Tel: 0845 873 2884†

3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes from £340,000 to £625,000 Tel: 0845 873 2883†

Showhomes & Marketing Suites open 10am to 5.30pm every day †Calls will be charged at seven pence per minute from a BT landline and may cost considerably more from mobile and other phones. Contact your service provider for more details. *All offers are subject to terms and conditions, please ask our Sales Executive for full details. Photographs show a typical Lioncourt home. Help to Buy is a government-led scheme and availability is subject to qualification. For full terms and conditions visit Prices and offers correct at time of print.





With plenty of financial support, new developments popping up all the time and a range of housing options for individuals to big families, buying a new build home has become more accessible than ever before. We’re unlocking the world of new build homes.

Choosing your plot


he idea of a new build home is exciting, it’s something untouched and pristine and completely unique that no one has had before, but it’s not for everyone. Others prefer the character and charm of older properties over the modern fixtures and subtle conveniences of a brand-new home. But, what used to be a mere snippet of the housing market is now considered a major player and most people looking to move will certainly consider one of the many new build options out there, of which there are many. A significant increase in the number of new build homes being built has been recognised over the past few years, more specifically, in the year June 2015 – June 2016, a 6% increase on the number of newly built homes in the UK was recorded, meaning more than 144,280 homes were started in the same period. House builders have concocted an extensive menu of offerings, deals and incentives to tempt buyers into snapping up a new build home, whether that’s a one bedroom apartment or a five bedroom house, so what exactly is involved with buying a new build home and what are the options available?

Finding a house builder Strict regulations mean most house builders offer much of the same thing when it comes to new homes, although there are some differences in the design and finished quality so it is important to seek referrals and research reviews from previous buyers before jumping in and visiting a site. The quality of a home can sometimes be down to the individuals working on a site so look out for signs that they take pride in quality assurance. The NHBC Quality Awards are held annually and recognise the industry’s best site managers, as well as overall quality in house-building. Look out for one of its ‘Pride in the Job’ flags at the site you are interested in as this will tell you that the site manager has previously won the award. The incentives may even start at that first appointment too, always check the websites of developers in your area before you head down to speak to the marketing team, they will often hand out free gifts and vouchers to those who call and book in an appointment. If you are limited to a specific search area for your new home due to work and family commitments, then it may limit the home builders you can look at, however, you can be confident in those strict and stringent regulations and you can always ask to meet the site manager and take a tour of the site if you have any quality concerns you want to raise.


Once you have decided on the area, you’ll want to know exactly what plots are available to you. It’s important to have an idea of the price you can afford and what your requirements are in terms of bedrooms, parking and outdoor areas. In some of these new build developments, houses can often be crammed together giving house builders more bang for their buck but giving residents much more limited outdoor space than that of older properties. Be mindful of this when you are looking around, for example, you may want parking for two cars but it’s likely there will be room for just one on the drive. Plot prices will vary on a site and this will not only be down to size but position too. Are you going to have a corner plot, will you be near to a through road, is there a children’s play area or nature area close by? All these will make a difference to your decision but could also make a difference to the price so be cautious and ask for several available plots in your price range, along with the plans for the communal areas so that you have an overall view of the situation. All house builders will have a show home, it’s part of their sales techniques but it’s not a true replica of what your home will look like so do view them with caution. Yes, they will give you an indication of size and layout but be sure to understand the differences to the plot you are considering too. Some new build developments can be in the build stages for years – if you are one of the first to buy a plot, you need to be aware of what the situation is around your home and what will be happening around the area after your home is ready. You should also find out exactly who else is buying up the plots around you as you don’t want to be the only privately owned home, surrounded by buy to let properties or council owned properties as this may make a dent in the value of your home.

HOME What is the government’s Help to Buy intiative? The government has created a number of Help to Buy schemes to encourage more people to make a good investment and get on the property ladder. Help to Buy: Shared Ownership gives those who cannot afford to pay the mortgage on 100% of their home a chance to own a share, between 25% and 75%, and then pay rent on the remaining share.

Hearing the incentives Having chosen a plot, you may think the decisions will stop there but they don’t! Next, you will have several options relating to both the financial and the appearance of your home. One good thing about buying a new build is that a lot of the paperwork can be handled by the home builders which can take the pressure off when you are going through the completion process. There are also a number of financial support options for both first time buyers and home movers, which are backed by the government. Help to buy initiatives, which enable a buyer to own just a portion of their home or loan up to 95% of the mortgage, and other schemes make affording a new build more accessible for first time buyers. A lot of home builders will also offer a part exchange service where they will take your existing home off your hands and sell it for you or buy your property off you (with the intention of selling it) in order to speed up the moving process, but this can sometimes mean you get less than the market value for your home so if you don’t have a lot of capital in your home you should be cautious.

Help to Buy: Equity Loan is where the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only a need 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest, and you won’t be charged any loan fees for the first five years of owning your home. Help to Buy: ISA helps people to save money to buy a home through government contributions. Read more on these helpful schemes at

Negotiating the price One of the best advantages of buying a new build property is that you have a much wider negotiating platform than with an existing older property. House builders have a specific price in mind for a plot but that doesn’t mean there is no manoeuvrability. Don’t be afraid to haggle the price and if you find there is not much flexibility then think about what else you can ‘add-on’ to make the purchase more lucrative for you. You can get anything from carpets and curtains to upgrading the kitchen and garden landscaping. Some buyers have even been able to get the house builder to pay the stamp duty on a property. It’s very important to know what is and isn’t included in the price you are paying. Make sure you have a full schedule of fixtures and fittings – remember you won’t open the door to the show room you saw when you first started looking at the development – but be careful you get exactly what you agreed to pay for.

Moving in As with any move, you are faced with a big to-do list but we’ve put together this helpful checklist for when you are ready to move in to your new home: 1 . Make sure you have a final inspection: have a final walk through the home before you complete so you can check all the details from the flooring to the bathroom taps. You’ll also want to know how things work from the boiler to alarm systems, door locks and more. 2 . Out with the old: try and have a good clear out of your possessions and throw away things that you never use as it will just clog up your storage. You don’t want to move a lot of dated furniture into your nice new modern home! 3 . Move the big bulky items first: when it gets to moving day, make sure you have a plan on moving your belongings over. Start with the big bulky items first and put them in position at the house as you move them in. Then you can unpack the smaller items around them.

Check the warranty status: no matter how extensive your final check is, it’s likely you’ll notice something that isn’t quite right – maybe a wobbly tap or a squeaky door. Make sure you have a good warranty in place with your house builder so these things can be fixed quickly. L 4.

To find a new build home near you, check out

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Love a bargain

Shop Local

Hate the wait?

Brand Interiors offers famous high street furniture brands at up to half the retail price. Offering a large selection of furniture for the home including living room, dining room, bedroom, gifts and accessories including pictures, frames, mirrors, rugs and cushions. At Brand Interiors, you will find the most recent and relevant design-led homewares and furniture at greatly reduced prices, to help make your interior design dreams into an affordable reality. With 9 large showrooms situated across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands you are never far from a designer bargain.

Visit their Stoke store today and you will be able to view a huge range of furniture from your favourite high street stores and manufacturers at a fraction of the price, in their vast 21,000 square foot showroom. With new stock arriving on a daily basis no two visits to Brand Interiors are ever the same and you are guaranteed to find a bargain or two. Now also included at their huge Stoke outlet, the new clearance showroom including heavily discounted products from Home Brands, Nathan Furniture, Bentley Designs and many more.

Choose the item you like and take it away with you that very day or let them arrange a hassle-free delivery right to your door. Unlike most furniture stores there are no long waiting periods for your furniture to be delivered.

Brand Interiors; Famous high street furniture at half the high-street price.

Visit Brand Interiors, 12/22 Newstead Industrial Estate, Trentham, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 8XB (Sat Nav - ST4 8HX). TEL: 01782 646911. Opening Hours Mon – Sat 10.00 till 17.30 Sun 10.00 till 16.00

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HOME “Remember the three watch words when collecting... ‘quality’, ‘rarity’ and ‘desirability’...�


Hot Tip!

The ultimate antiques makeover

Will and Judith tell us what to look out for at the Antiques for Everyone fair this summer. If you are looking to find some standout furniture there’s this pair of Art Deco armchairs from Jereon Markies, offers a striking addition to any room layout.

Love the antique look but don’t know where to start when it comes to heirlooms and collectables? Here’s LIVING’s guide to antique inspired home dÊcor.

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ecorating our homes in an antique style has risen in popularity in recent years thanks to its classic styling combined with durable and long-lasting materials. Television programmes like Downton Abbey inspire us to relive an era of simple but intricate designs with warm and inviting colour schemes making our homes comfy and cosy once again. Antiques come in all shapes and sizes across a diverse range of periods in history and decorating your interior in a particular style can be really exciting – it’s a journey to finding the right pieces to complement your room whether you go for Victorian chintz, Georgian grandeur or lavish Edwardian features. An Antique is usually defined by something which is more than 100 years old and could be anything from furniture, fine art and jewellery to silver, objets d’art and sculptures. Rather than the mass production we see today, these items have been made with great craftsmanship and there is significant detail in their design often making them unique and very valuable. But don’t let a hefty price tag put you off, antiques can be picked up for as little as £20.


If it’s a ceramic head-turning piece you’re after then there is the rare and extremely fine Ruskin Pottery high fired vase, coming to Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair with Andrew Muir.

For art l♼ vers... the striking Edvard Munch picture from the dealer Black Ink Prints would add drama to a modern interior, or if your taste in art is more traditional then there’s a picture of ‘The Ballet Dancer’ by the well collected painter, Brian Shields from Keith Ellis Antiques.

Antiques for Everyone Spring Fair takes place 20-23rd July 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham. Find out more at

 Fancy going along? Staffordshire Living readers can buy two tickets for the price of one, saving ÂŁ15, including free parking at the NEC. To take advantage of this offer visit or call 0844 581 0827 and quote SUMSL17.

Mix it up Mixing antique and modern interiors together is one of today’s hottest interior design trends. Using key pieces to bring a room to life enables enthusiasts to dabble in the antiques world without committing time and money to an entire space in the home. Leading interior designer, Gabi da Rocha explains, “My favourite style is mixing new with old; it adds character and depth to a room. When I can I like to incorporate something unexpected in a scheme.”

“I always think there is one simple rule to collecting, you have to love it!” says Will. “Antique Fairs are one of the most exciting and interesting worlds, so dive in and enjoy yourself! The Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair is unique in that it offers a vetted fair with a huge range of items starting from as little as a few pounds through to tens of thousands! It provides the perfect platform for everyone from novice to seasoned collector,” he said.

“I often use an item of antique furniture, a carpet or a standout antique object as a starting point, drawing on its colour scheme, material and design to inspire and inform the overall interior,” adds Philippa Devas, of Devas Designs.

“You need to examine each piece carefully,” adds Judith. “Check there are no obvious cracks or blemishes. Remember the three watch words when collecting which are ‘quality’, ‘rarity’ and ‘desirability’ – they are the three things which really make an object valuable. What I love about the fair is the tremendous variety it offers. You can find everything from fine art to porcelain, jewellery to furniture, silver to sculpture. It makes a fascinating day out just to come and look.”

But where do we find these pieces to integrate into our home? Will Farmer and Judith Miller are regular experts on BBC One’s Antique Roadshow and will be taking part in the Antiques for Everyone Spring Fair this July at the NEC in Birmingham.



nd what about what we have at home? Could we all be sitting on a goldmine? It’s unlikely but Britain has a lot of heritage and plenty of historical objects floating around so if you do think you have a period piece, heirloom or collectable at home, it is best to take it along to an antique expert so they can give you professional advice on whether it has any significant value and worth. L

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How do you get an antique look throughout your home without the challenge of finding original pieces? You fake it! And here’s how.

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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

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PRESTIGE HOMES Find your dream home in Staffordshire

A selection of the most prestigious homes currently for sale in Staffordshire and the surrounding areas.

Sa le Fo r

High Trees, Heath Road, Whitmore


• Six Bedrooms • Four reception rooms • Four bathrooms • Bespoke Poggengohl Living Kitchen • Detached gymnasium • Landscaped gardens and woodland A STUNNING detached Georgian inspired family house designed and CRAFTSMAN BUILT to an exceptional standard that is seldom seen. Set in approximately 2.79 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland within the village of Whitmore on the outskirts of Newcastle under Lyme with far reaching views. Approached via a sweeping driveway with electric gates, High Trees has been built to exacting standards, with flowing accommodation, handmade hardwood sliding sash windows, handmade brickwork from the Lake District laid using Flemish bond chosen to replicate the Georgian theme. EPC Grade C


Sa le Fo r

The Willows, Clay Lake, Endon


• Stunning Property • Six double bedrooms • Guest Suite • Cinema Room • Double garage • Landscaped gardens and woodland. A simply stunning six bedroom detached house on one of the most sought after addresses in Endon. “The Willows” benefits from six double bedrooms and a high level of finish fit for the builder’s daughter herself! Offering a secluded feel with woodland to the rear and many mod cons such as a built-in vacuum system, electric gates and full alarm system, this property is not one to be missed. EPC Grade B

Offices in Endon and Festival Park 01782 626522

COLWICH, Staffordshire

Guide Price: ÂŁ750,000 Stafford Office: 01785 236600

Colwich, Staffordshire A handsome and substantial traditional detached house with separate annex. Tastefully presented throughout, updated yet retaining many of the original features. Having a beautiful south west facing garden and in all extending to approximately 0.81 of an acre. EPC Rating: F.

More amazing photos:

Ashbourne 01335 340730 East Leake 01509 856006 Uttoxeter 01889 567444

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

Barton Un. Needwood 01283 716806 Loughborough 01509 239121

Burton Upon Trent 01283 512244 Stafford 01785 236600

OFFLEY MARSH, Staffordshire

Guide Price: ÂŁ599,950 Stafford Office: 01785 236600

Offley Marsh, Staffordshire A highly individual country house situated in the most delightful and idyllic location. Gardens, grounds and field extending to approximately 2.5 acres. Extensive range of detached outbuildings comprising workshop and garages. 5 reception rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 bath/shower rooms. EPC Rating: F.

More amazing photos: Ashbourne 01335 340730 East Leake 01509 856006 Uttoxeter 01889 567444

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

Barton Un. Needwood 01283 716806 Loughborough 01509 239121

Burton Upon Trent 01283 512244 Stafford 01785 236600

Longdon Green

Bromley Wood

A charming country cottage with mature gardens • • • •

Picturesque thatched cottage 2 substantial reception rooms Oak framed orangery Delightful kitchen/dining room

• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms • Mature gardens • Garaging

Guide price £995,000


3 substantial reception rooms Breakfast kitchen, utility room 6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms 1 bed single storey annexe

• Beautiful grounds of 0.81 acres • Garage, parking • EPC ratings: house F, annexe E

Guide price £750,000

16 offices selling across the UK Stafford 01785 220044

An exceptional and spacious family home • 3 reception rooms • Spacious open plan kitchen/ dining room • 4 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

• Gardens, grounds • 4 grass paddocks • EPC rating E

Guide price £875,000


Impressive family house with beautiful grounds • • • •


A splendid and substantial Grade II Listed former rectory • • • •

3 spacious reception rooms Kitchen/breakfast room Pantry, utility 5 double bedrooms

• Gardens, grounds and paddock • In all about 1.4 acres

Guide price £750,000


Lower Loxley, Uttoxeter

Impressive family home, beautiful grounds • • • • •

Dining room, drawing room, morning room Kitchen, utility, guest cloakroom 6/7 bedrooms Self-contained ancillary living EPC rating D Price on application

Kings Bromley


Charming farmhouse and land • • • • •


A charming Grade ll Listed family home

3 reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room 4 bedrooms, 2 bath/shower rooms Courtyard of outbuildings, delightful gardens 4 paddocks, in all about 4.69 acres EPC rating G Guide price £825,000

• • • • •

Hallway, kitchen/breakfast room, utility Guest cloakroom Sitting room, drawing/dining room 4 bedrooms. 2 bathrooms Gardens, outbuildings Guide price £520,000


Charming barn conversion, lovely gardens

3 receptions, spacious kitchen/family room 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms Secondary kitchen/sitting room Equestrian facilities, garden & grounds EPC ratings D & F Guide price £1,000,000

• • • • •

Entrance hall with parquet flooring Sitting room, delightful kitchen/dining room 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Beautiful rear garden, garaging EPC rating D Guide price £385,000 Stuart Flint

Country house, stable block & manège • • • • •


Alasdair Dunne

5 receptions, 5 bedrooms, handmade kitchen Leisure complex with swimming pool 1 bedroom cottage, extensive garden, paddock In all about 4.61 acres EPC rating E Guide price £1,400,000



Charles Meynell

Superb renovated Grade II Listed home • • • • •

Abbots Bromley


Victoria Oldham

Near Lichfield

independent property expertise Lightwood Road Lightwood


Picture in your minds eye the quintessential English family home. This is a delightful property that has been extensively upgraded by its current owners, retaining many original features and is beautifully presented throughout. The house has all the accoutrements of a traditional family home with three large reception rooms, a stylish kitchen with space for cooking, dining & socialising, an elegant gallery landing, four bedrooms, en-suite & family bathroom. Occupying an elevated position on the outskirts of Lightwood in large mature gardens extending to about 2½ acres with open views to the front and woodland area to the rear.

The Old Vicarage Yarlet


An historic former vicarage with hidden talents! This lovely period house offers spacious & highly flexible accommodation with the added benefit of a selfcontained coach house annexe that is just perfect for a variety of uses. The house is in a rural location mid-way between Stone & Stafford standing in a large plot extending in total to approximately 1½ acres of formal gardens and paddock combined with extensive outbuildings, three car garage, duck pond and heated swimming pool. The property has been extensively upgraded and refurbished by the current owners and offers comfortable accommodation ideally suited to a growing and / or extended family.

Poppies Coton Rise Barlaston


Seeing is believing. A beautifully appointed bespoke detached family home in a prime leafy location in the sought-after village of Barlaston. Built & appointed to the highest specification with no expense spared including York handmade bricks, impressive oak staircases & doors, luxury bathrooms, CCTV & more besides. Offering five bedrooms, two bathrooms, two en-suites, living room, superb open plan family room & dining area, gorgeous kitchen with Aga, separate utility, study/playroom & guest cloakroom. Driveway providing ample off road parking, double garage & private rear garden.

Residential Sales | Lettings | Management

01785 811800 |

Highfield House Fulford


Highfield House is an impressive detached family home set in an idyllic 0.75 acre plot on the edge of this ‘best kept’ Staffordshire village enjoying superb far reaching views across open countryside. The property has been extensively modernised by the present owners & offers spacious accommodation comprising: entrance hall, guest cloakroom, living room, dining room, breakfast kitchen, utility & fully fitted hydrotherapy room. The first floor offers four bedrooms with en-suite to the master, balcony off the landing & family bathroom. Extensive off road parking double garage. Set in beautifully maintained gardens.

Farcroft, Nr Stone


Farcroft nestles within a mature plot of circa 3 acres having the Moddershall valley as its backdrop. An impressive detached family home without a neighbour in sight yet only five minutes’ drive from Stone town centre. Approached via two wrought iron gated entrances with impressive gravelled driveway providing extensive off road parking before an integral double garage. The property offers spacious accommodation comprising: reception hallway, living room, dining room, garden room, breakfast kitchen, utility & guest cloakroom. The first floor offers four double bedrooms with en-suite to the master, balcony off the second bedroom & family bathroom. With superb sweeping lawns, large natural pool, trees & shrubs.

Roewen Aston


Do you feel the need to escape the hustle and bustle of town but still enjoy the convenience of having all its amenities just a few moments away? Roewen is in a quiet rural hamlet a little over a mile to the south of Stone set in large gardens backing onto farmland. The accommodation is well appointed with two reception rooms, fab dining kitchen with adjoining open plan family room & separate utility. Combine this with five generous bedrooms, luxury en-suite & family bathroom and you have pretty much everything you need in a family home. Moving to the outside, the house occupies a large plot with well-maintained gardens and lots of space for outdoor entertaining, plenty of parking and a large detached garage with self-contained office / studio.

Harding Grove Stone


Northesk Street Stone


Location, location, location! A beautifully appointed executive detached family home in a prime position fronting Airdale Road within easy walking distance of Stone town centre. This former show home is superbly presented throughout & offers accommodation of generous proportions comprising: reception hall, guest cloakroom, living room, study, stunning dining room with feature picture window wall, kitchen, utility & family room. The first floor boasts five double bedrooms, three with en-suite facilities & family bathroom. Driveway parking for four cars, detached double garage, multi room sound system, cinema surround sound to the living room, double glazing, gas central heating & enclosed rear garden.

Victorian town house with beautifully preserved original features. Have no doubt though that this is a thoroughly modern house with every concession to twentyfirst century living featuring spacious, beautifully appointed accommodation. There are two formal reception rooms, bespoke period style kitchen with adjoining breakfast area, four bedrooms, study and a sumptuous bathroom. Moving to the outside the property enjoys a good size courtyard garden and has provision for off road parking. Fantastic location strolling distance to the town centre & within easy reach of a host of amenities.

Granville Terrace Stone

Little Ingestre Barn


Granville Terrace is one of the town’s most popular and desirable locations where you will find fine examples of Victorian architecture. Number 9 is a lovely property which offers comfortable accommodation ideally suited to modern family life whilst retaining many of its original period features. There are three reception rooms and a large dining kitchen complemented by four bedrooms and a period style bathroom. The walled garden to the rear is lovely - with ample space for outdoor entertaining and enjoys a remarkable degree of privacy for a house in this locale. In addition, there is a single garage at the rear and potential for off road parking. This is a superb house situated in a quiet, leafy suburban avenue within strolling distance of the town centre, railway station and a host of other amenities.

Moss Lane Yarnfield


The Willows is a superbly presented character semi-detached property which has been refitted by the present owners offering comfortable and spacious family accommodation and is a delightful home in a very quiet location with good size garden together with open outlook across to fields. The accommodation comprises; Entrance hall, lounge, dining room, study/ bedroom four, cloakroom, dining kitchen and to the first floor are three double bedrooms with luxurious en-suite and family bathroom.


Vive la difference! If you revel in the quirky, interesting & unusual then here we have just the thing for you. This newly renovated converted barn is on a small development of similar properties off a private drive on the edge of a picturesque rural hamlet mid-way between Stafford & Rugeley. The property is beautifully appointed offering commodious & highly adaptable accommodation with extensive living areas, large open plan kitchen, four spacious double bedrooms, en-suite, family bathroom & downstairs wet room. The property is in a courtyard development with ample parking and has its own private garden to the rear with views over open countryside. Quite unique & all the better for it. Viewing essential.

Aston Nr Stone


Are you seeking the perfect family home? If so this could well be the one you have always dreamt of, a large luxurious property with gardens to match situated in a village location close, but not too close to town. The Swallows offers oodles of space for a growing family with spacious living & bedroom accommodation with three reception rooms, large dining kitchen, six bedrooms and three luxurious bathrooms. The property has been extensively upgraded by the current owners with quality fixtures & fittings, stylish upgraded kitchen, Amtico flooring, upvc double glazed windows & is appointed to the highest of standards throughout. Moving to the outside, the gardens are of ample proportions with space for kids & adults alike and offer plenty of space for outdoor living.

The Market House | Mill Street Stone | Staffordshire | ST15 8BA


Consall Mill, Wetley Rocks Guide Price: ÂŁ500,000

- A true character property, dating back to the 1700s. - Escape the 'hu-bub' of city life! - A fantastic home to entertain your nearest and dearest - Jam packed with interesting period features - Boasts the very best of open plan design - Be the envy of your family and friends with this one of a kind property!

hris Hi, I’m C wner O Branch Move of Ewe nley Ha Leek &

Situated deep within a secluded valley, cut in two by the River Churnet and Cauldon Canal, this four bed converted mill dates back to the 1700s and is seeped in history. It offers the absolute best of open plan living, coupled with the peaceful solitude of it's location. Consall Mill encompasses the majority of the old mill and is spread over four floors. Included within, but not limited to, is a breathtaking, open plan living area on the second floor, a simply staggering master suite with shower room and bath, a cosy cinema room, fantastic family bathroom and a further three double bedrooms.

To book a viewing call 01782 454515 or visit

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

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

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

No, now is NOT a good time to ask me about replacement windows!

doesn’t cold call or turn up on your doorstep unannounced – we prefer to be invited! Interested in new windows, a door, or a conservatory? Simply let us know a day and time that suits you, and whether you would like one of our team to visit you in your own home, or you would prefer to pop into one of our showrooms for an informal chat. | | 01785 811558



TASTE Enter the organic world

RECIPES: Purple Reign, A better brew, Meal Machine: update your packed lunch and A craft act

Crunchy Superfood Salad with Peanut Dressing

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The world is going mad over purple foods and here’s the reason why…

Purple (red) cabbage contains more vitamin C than green cabbage, as well as high levels of vitamin A which is imperative in supporting the body’s immune system.

PURPLE REIGN Purple foods have been causing a stir lately - in fact they have become the 2017 superfood of choice. Not only are they brightening up our salads and burgers, they are giving us a nutritional boost like no other. Containing a massive amount of powerful antioxidants, eating more of these colour rich fruits and veggies, such as aubergine, beetroot, purple carrots, purple sweet potatoes, red cabbage, black rice and Acai berries, is helping to fight cancer and obesity, while reducing liver damage and improving our heart health, and giving us anti-ageing benefits too.

Top 5 Purple foods to try

Registered chef & health practitioner, Geeta Sidhu-Robb*, Founder of Nosh Detox says: “Purple foods’ talents go far beyond their duty of brightening up a dish - they pack a punch in the nutrients and antioxidants department too! The distinct purple colour comes from anthocyanins: an antioxidant which is medically proven to reap a vast amount of health benefits. This means that the deeperdarker purple foods have a higher content of antioxidants and nutrition.”

Purple sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese, as do all types of sweet potato but there tends to be more antioxidants in the deeper purples types. Purple carrots contain high levels of vitamin A and anthocyanins. Beetroots are high in vitamin C, which is essential in helping maintain a good, strong and healthy immune system, fibre, and other essential minerals such as potassium, which is vital in helping maintain healthy nerve and muscle function. Black rice has plenty of iron and vitamin E, and is known to contain anti-ageing elements and improve heart health. *Hear more from Geeta Sidhu-Robb and Nosh Detox at


RECIPES Beetroot


Beetroot Falafal Recipe: Serves 4 Ingredients • 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for brushing • 1 onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 tsp. ground cumin • 250g pack Waitrose Duchy Organic Cooked Beetroot • 400g can Waitrose Duchy Organic Chickpeas, drained and rinsed • 125g fresh white breadcrumbs • 1 essential Waitrose Free Range Egg, beaten • 200g pot Waitrose Tzatziki, and mixed salad, to serve Method 1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cumin and cook for a further minute. 2. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Pat the beetroot dry on kitchen paper and roughly chop. Place in a food processor with the onion mixture, chickpeas, breadcrumbs and egg. Whizz together to make a firm paste. 3. Using damp hands, roll the mixture into 20 even-sized balls and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil and bake for 20–25 minutes until crisp and heated through. Serve warm with tzatziki and mixed salad.

Red cabbage

Easy Acai Breakfast Bowl

Pot-roast spiced beef with red cabbage

Recipe: Dole®

Recipe: Serves 6

Serves 4


Ingredients • 300g Dole® frozen tropical mix fruit • 300ml coconut water • 2 tbsp. freeze-dried acai berry powder • 2 tbsp. golden linseed (flax seeds) • 1 small ripe banana Toppings: Dole® frozen tropical mix, thawed; toasted coconut flakes; chia seeds; linseed; whole almonds, flaked; pumpkin seeds. Method 1. Place the frozen fruit in a blender with the coconut water, acai powder, flax seeds and banana. Blend until smooth. 2. Divide between 4 small bowls and serve topped with your choice of toppings.

• Knob of essential Waitrose Unsalted Dairy Butter • 1 red onion, thinly sliced • 1 small red cabbage, shredded • 75g raisins • 150ml balsamic vinegar • 3 tbsp. light muscovado sugar • 1kg essential Waitrose British Beef Top rump or Topside joint • 2 tsp. Bart Berbere Blend Method 1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. 2. Heat the butter in a flameproof casserole dish and cook the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the red cabbage, raisins, vinegar and sugar. 3. Rub the beef joint all over with the spice blend and sit on top of the red cabbage. Cover with the lid and roast for 2½-3 hours until the beef is very tender. 4. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then slice the beef and serve with the braised cabbage and some mashed potatoes.

 These will keep for 2 days in the fridge, and are just as good eaten cold as leftovers. They make a great packed lunch.

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RECIPES Black rice


Baby Spinach, Date, Feta and Black Rice Salad Recipe: Riso Gallo, by Chef Paul Gayler Serves 4 Ingredients


BerryWorld Blueberry Buzz Smoothie

Chocolate, Beetroot & Raspberry Cupcakes Drizzled with Dark Chocolate

Recipe: BerryWorld Serves 1

Recipe: The Genius Gluten-Free Cookbook by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne Makes 12

• 75g walnuts, lightly toasted, chopped • 200g baby spinach leaves, well washed • 1 medium red onion, peeled, thinly sliced • 120g good quality ready to eat dates • 75g feta cheese • 150g Riso Gallo Venere Rice • 1 small red chili, deseeded, finely chopped


For the mint-cumin dressing: Ingredients

• 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar • 6 tbsp. olive oil • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice • Handful of roughly torn mint leaves • Sea salt, good pinch of ground cumin

• 125g blueberries • Juice of 1 orange and 1 lime • Sugar to taste • 6 tbsp. natural yoghurt



1. Place the venere rice in a small pan, add 350ml water and bring to the boil. 2. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cook for 25-30 minutes until just tender. 3. Drain in a colander and allow it to cool.

1. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding more sugar or honey to taste.

To make the dressing… 4. Place all the ingredients, except the mint leaves, in a bowl, whisk together, add the torn mint leaves, season to taste season to taste. 5. To prepare the salad, place the spinach leaves in a bowl, add the dates, cooked black rice, chili, red onions and walnuts and season lightly with salt and pepper. 6. Add enough dressing and toss gently together 7. Dress in a salad bowl, then grate the feta over the salad liberally then serve.


The perfect summer breakfast. Serve with ice, drink immediately.

• 110g caster sugar • 30g cocoa powder, sifted • 55g rice flour • 25g cornflour • 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder • 3 large eggs • 110g butter or dairy-free baking margarine, softened • 1 heaped tbsp. blackcurrant jam • 100g beetroot, coarsely grated • 75g fresh raspberries For the chocolate drizzle: • 100g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into bits • Freeze-dried raspberry pieces • 3 fresh raspberries per cake, to decorate Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. 2. Place 12 large cupcake cases in a 12-hole muffin tray. 3. Place the sugar, cocoa, rice flour, cornflour, baking powder, eggs and butter into a medium bowl, and beat until smooth. 4. Mix the jam with the beetroot, and stir into the cake batter. Fold in the fresh raspberries. 5. Three-quarter fill the cupcake cases with the cake batter, and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes until the cakes are well risen and feel springy in the centre. Cool on a wire rack. 6. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan half-filled with boiling water. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the melted chocolate back and forth over the top of each cupcake. 7. Before the drizzled chocolate sets, sprinkle with dried raspberry pieces and arrange raspberries in the centre of each cake.

RECIPES Blackberries


Apple & Blackberry Cobbler Recipe: Serves 4 Ingredients • 4 Waitrose Best Of British Apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced • 340g blackberries • 100ml Belvoir Blueberry & Blackcurrant Cordial • 100g self-raising flour • 100g salted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes • 50g light brown muscovado sugar • 40g whole almonds, roughly chopped • Custard or vanilla ice cream, to serve


Balsamic Mustard Grilled Aubergine with Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil Recipe: Tracklements Serves 2



1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Place the apples, blackberries and cordial in a large saucepan. Heat gently and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into a 2-litre ovenproof dish. 2. Rub together the flour and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar and almonds. Add 2 tbsp. cold water and bring together to make a soft dough. 3. Shape the dough into 8 rough balls and place around the edge of the baking dish. Place the dish on a baking sheet then bake for 25–30 minutes until the dough balls are cooked through and the filling is piping hot. Serve warm with custard or ice cream.

• 2 aubergines • Olive oil • Salt & pepper • 8 tsp. Tracklements Punchy Balsamic Mustard • Approx. 16 cherry tomatoes • 1 Mozzarella ball • Handful of basil Method 1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C /400°F/Gas Mark 6. 2. Cut the aubergines in half, and score a crosshatch which doesn’t quite go through to the skin. Brush with oil, season and bake for 20mins. 3. Spread 1-2 tsp. of Punchy Balsamic Mustard per half, add 4 sliced cherry tomatoes (per half) and top with a couple of slices of mozzarella. 4. Bake for a further 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Grind some pepper on top and add some basil leaves. Serve with crusty bread and a big green salad.

Beet-a-Ganouch, Sweet Chili Beetroot, Sumac Yoghurt, Toasted Pine Nuts Recipe: Dan Doherty for Love Beetroot Serves 4 Ingredients • 1 aubergine • 1 packet sweet chili beetroots • Sprig thyme, leaves only • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted • 1 tablespoon tahini • Pinch sumac • 1 tbsp. yoghurt • Lemon, juiced • 1 garlic clove, peeled • Pinch parsley • 10g pine nuts • Sea salt • Black pepper • Pinch coriander leaves Method 1. Reheat your oven to 200°C. 2. On a gas hob, blacken the skins of the aubergine until burnt. It’s best to skewer it so you can hold at a safe distance. 3. When all blackened, place into a roasting tray and put in the oven for 10 minutes to soften. 4. When ready, split open and scoop out the flesh, and roughly chop so it’s broken down. 5. In a food processor, add the beetroot, tahini, toasted cumin, thyme leaves, garlic and lemon juice and blitz until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 6. Take out and into a bowl, add the aubergine and stir through. 7. In a dry frying pan, toast the pine nuts until golden. 8. Serve the beetroot and aubergine mix in a bowl, and add a good spoon of yoghurt on top. 9. Sprinkle over the pine nuts, sumac and coriander leaves to finish.

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Staffordshire Spring Lamb

Afternoon tea in the cafĂŠ Beef from our own farm

Gifts, bags & accessories Picnic food & drink Homemade cakes

Homemade deli Tel: 01889 590050

Barbeque ready meats


Organic Energising Morning Time £2.39 /20 bags Holland & Barrett

Ginseng Oolong £6.50/25 bags

Contains Ginseng root and Amazonian guarana which are both natural energy boosters, great for the morning.

Oolong is known to improve skin and bone health, lower stress and anxiety, improve concentration and boost energy.

English Tea Shop:Berry Boost £8.79/10 bags Amazon A tea infused with super berry goodness.


t + immunitea £3.69/15 bags Ocado This super tea is an immune boosting blend of echinacea, ginseng, green tea and 50% RDA in vitamin C, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system.

Tea breaks are a tradition dating back more than 200 years.

Everyone loves a good cup of tea but do you know how ‘good’ a cuppa can be?

Pure China Sencha Green Tea £3/37.5g M&S

Sparkling White – White Tea £5.25/15 bags

Green tea is a powerful drink with antioxidants & nutrients to improve brain function, promote fat loss & maintain a healthy heart.

Like green tea, white tea has a number of benefits including weight loss, helps with dental problems, skin care and depression.


Catnip Tea £5.49/50g Unlike in cats, Catnip is recommended to calm anxiety and assist sleep in humans. It’s also useful for calming the digestive tract.

is the number of cups recommended to drink each day *UK Tea and Infusions Association

Organic Digestive Super Seeds £2.29 /20 bags Holland & Barrett Great to avoid bloating or indigestion and maintain a healthy digestive cycle after a meal.

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It’s g oo to ea d t g r ee n

We hear the term “Organic” referred to in almost every part of our daily lives but when it comes to food we’re obsessed. Here’s why we should be eating organic produce as much as possible!



Pick your own Summer wouldn’t be summer without a family trip to pick our own strawberries and blackberries at a local farm but the delicious fruit at ‘Pick Your Own’ fruit farms may not always be organically grown. If you are looking to pick and enjoy your own organic produce, you must first check with the fruit farm owners. 100



he Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that “Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.” Being an organic producer is not easy, farmers have to go through a long and lengthy process to be certified organic and there are legislations and regulations which must be adhered to in order to protect the organic producing industry. Most types of food have an organic option – from fruit and vegetables to meat, dairy and eggs. Shoppers can be put off buying organic produce because they associate it with higher prices and find it hard to locate without really understanding the benefits of shopping and eating organic. Organic produce contains fewer pesticides and the chemicals that non-organic agriculture use often remain on the food we eat, which can cause harm to our bodies. Furthermore, organic produce is fresher because it won’t contain any preservatives to make it last longer and it is usually grown and sold locally. Organic foods like meat and milk are richer in nutrients and the animals which produce them are not fed any antibiotics, growth hormones or other chemical enhancements that can be passed on to us through the food. There are also no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) used in the production of the crops or breeding practices. Finally, organic farming is thought to be better for the environment as it reduces pollution, uses less energy and protects the soil and wildlife living in the area.

Where can we find organic produce in Staffordshire? Staffordshire Organic Cheese (Newhouse Farm, Acton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4EE) has been producing cow’s milk and cheese commercially since the mid-80s. Its farm shop stocks a wide selection of dairy products, eggs, vegetables, meat, groceries, wines and beers, all of which are organic or additive free. The shop is open on Fridays and Saturday mornings only, or by special arrangement. Call 01782 680 366 to find out more. The Old Creamery Organics (Marston Montgomery, Rocester, Uttoxeter, ST145B) delivers organic produce directly to you. Deliveries take place on Thursdays and Fridays depending on your postcode. Call 01889 590590 to find out more. The Organic Box Company (Wolseley Bridge Farm, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford, ST17 0XP) is an organic box company supplying fruit and vegetables. Call 07970 761414 or email for more information. Wooton Organic (Ramshorn, Farley, Oakamoor, Staffordshire, ST103BZ) is a mail order company supplying traditional organic meat. Call 0800 652 9469 for more information.

 Attention organic food lovers! Read our review of Amy’s Kitchen ( at now.

Retailers can only label their products organic if they can prove at least 95% of their ingredients are organic and they sell direct to customers in a shop. They have to be certified by an organic control body so look out for the organically certified label on your food products.

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MEAL MACHINE Say goodbye to soggy sandwiches and tasteless snacks and take your packed lunches to the next level


ith plenty of days out, trips and activities planned over the summer, paying out for expensive meals in restaurants will do nothing for your bank balance or your diet. But increasingly hectic lifestyles mean that we are all too busy to prepare anything in advance, especially if we have kids to organise as well as ourselves, so we often resort to unhealthy, more convenient options for our picnic boxes. And if we do manage the time to throw a few sandwiches together, they are often too plain and too boring to satisfy the family, and usually end up in the bin, in favour of fish and chips, again. But this is not a cheap option and forking out for costly lunches on a regular basis is no good. Similarly, our efforts to save a few pennies during the week by taking a packed lunch to work will often go out the window when faced with a cheese sandwich for the third day running, and we once again find ourselves spending money to satisfying our cravings.

The sandwich is probably one of the most popular lunchtime choices, you very rarely see a picnic without a sandwich, and, according to The British Sandwich and Food To Go Association, Britain consumes over 11.5 billion sandwiches each year – that’s enough to go around the world about 44 times if you laid them each end to end. But no one wants to be un-wrapping a soggy and mediocre sandwich so what can we do to make the most of this lunchtime staple? 1. Go for something other than the regular two slices of bread – crusty rolls, wraps and baguettes are less likely to retain the water from your filling. Toasted bread is also less likely to become soggy. 2.

Take the ingredients for your sandwich and add it all together when you are ready to eat, or add dressings and salad just before you eat. 3. If this isn’t going to work for your day out or work lunch, then spreading dressings like mayonnaise in the middle of the sandwich and not directly on the bread will limit soggy ends. 4.

Go for something completely different and experiment with the entire sandwich. Get creative and swap your bread for sweet potato buns – simply cut a large sweet potato into rounds for your ‘bread’ slices and roast in the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Then add your favourite filling.

Go beyond the sandwich There’s more to lunch than the sandwich though, remember! So, here are our lunch box ideas that everyone can enjoy, whatever you are up too!

Crinkle Cut Beetroot Salad Serves 2 Ingredients • 1 small butternut squash, halved • 140g couscous • About 100ml boiling water • 12 slices Haywards Crinkle Cut Beetroot, halved • 50g baby spinach • 1 orange pepper, chopped • 2 tomatoes, cut into chunks • 50g feta, crumbled • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve • Lemon juice, to serve Method 1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ Gas Mark 7. Place the squash cut side up on a baking tray and roast for 30-40 mins until tender. Cool. 2. Put couscous in a medium bowl, pour over 175ml boiling water, stir, cover and leave for 5 mins. Fluff grains with a fork. 3. Divide spinach between two tupperware boxes. Spoon out seeds from the squash and discard. Spoon chunks of the squash flesh onto the spinach, discarding the skin. Add the peppers and tomatoes to the salad then spoon over the couscous. 4. Allow the couscous and squash to cool thoroughly before chilling for up to 48 hours. 5. When you are ready to eat your lunch, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and season, to taste. Then, top with the beetroot and sprinkle over the feta. 6. Tip: add 1 heaped teaspoon of chipotle or harissa paste to the couscous for extra flavour, or use a ready-flavoured pack.

Recipe from

Lemon Tidbit Plates £27 Amara ^

But, all is not lost, LIVING has some easy, quick and delicious ideas to help jazz up your lunch boxes and picnic baskets whether it’s for a day out with family, work or for the kids to take to school.


Making the most of the sandwich

Lunch Boxes £8 Cath Kidston

Straws £2.95 ^


Wine Glass £11 Amara You may be eating in the great outdoors but that doesn’t mean you have to sit and eat out of grubby boxes with plastic forks! Make it a meal to remember with fancy alfresco plates and dishes and we guarantee your food will taste better.

Dish it up right

Salad Tongs £2 Wilkinson

Picnic C £ 5 8 A m ha i r a ra

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Picnic Blanket £19.50 Marks and Spencer

Bacon and Sweetcorn Muffins Makes 10

Ham & Pineapple Pizza Makes 2 Ingredients • 500g bag Waitrose Ciabatta Bread Mix • 345g jar Waitrose Tomato & Sun-dried Tomato sauce • ½ essential Waitrose Large Supersweet Pineapple, peeled and thinly sliced • 130g pack Waitrose finely sliced British Wiltshire Cured Oak Smoked Ham, torn • 120g Waitrose Grated Cheddar & Mozzarella • 1 tbsp essential Waitrose Olive Oil • 50g bag Waitrose Wild Rocket Salad, to serve • 2 tsp essential Waitrose Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Ingredients • 6 rashers Waitrose Thin Cut, Hickory Smoked Streaky Bacon • 100g canned or frozen sweetcorn, defrosted • 2 salad onions, chopped • 1 large Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Egg • 4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk • 70g Stork With Butter, melted • 150g self-raising flour • 1 tsp English mustard powder • 100g essential Waitrose English Mature Cheddar, coarsely grated Method 1.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper cases. Place the bacon on a baking tray and roast for 7–10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Roughly chop. 2. Meanwhile, place the sweetcorn in a food processor with the salad onions and whizz until finely chopped, then add the egg, milk and melted Stork, and blitz again. 3. Add the flour and mustard powder to the processor with the bacon and cheese, and pulse to form a thick batter. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake for 15–20 minutes until well risen and golden, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 4. Save time by using a 55g pack Waitrose British Cooked Bacon. Recipe from

W ednesday:

Crunchy Superfood Salad with Peanut Dressing Serves 4 Ingredients For the salad • ¼ Red cabbage, finely shredded • 1 Little Gem lettuce, leaves torn • 8 radish, quartered • 2 celery sticks, cut into chunks • 3 spring onion, roughly chopped • 1 bag Super Food Mixed leaves For the dressing • ½ clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped • 25g honey • 60g smooth peanut butter • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes • Juice of 1 lime • 1tsp fish sauce • 2tsp tamarind paste Method 1. Put all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. 2. Put all of the dressing ingredients in a processor and whizz until smooth. 3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.






Chicken & Chorizo Picnic Pies Makes 6 Ingredients • 60g Cooks’ Ingredients Diced Chorizo • 500g essential Waitrose British Chicken Thigh • Fillets, diced • 1 onion, chopped • 1 clove garlic, chopped • 2 tsp cornflour • 150ml chicken stock • 1/2 lemon, juice only • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped • 500g pack shortcrust pastry • 3 tbsp milk

1. Set aside a little of the bread mix for dusting, then place the rest in a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in 270ml lukewarm water. 2. Knead vigorously for 5 minutes until smooth, then return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 30 minutes. 3. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Cut the dough into 2 even pieces, roll out thinly, on a lightly floured surface, to 30cm rounds then place in pizza tins or on 2 large baking sheets. 4. Spread with the tomato sauce and top with the pineapple, ham and cheese, then leave to rise for 10-20 minutes. 5. Drizzle with half the oil and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden. Dress the rocket with the remaining oil and vinegar and pile on top of the warm pizzas.

Recipe from



1. Cook the chorizo, chicken, onion and garlic in a pan for 8–10 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through with no pink meat. 2. Stir in the cornflour, cook for a few seconds, add the stock and lemon juice, and bring to a simmer. Take off the heat and stir in the parsley. 3. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry thinly and cut out 12 x 12cm rounds. Place half the discs on a large baking sheet. Spoon some filling on top of each disc, leaving a narrow border around the edge. Brush the borders with milk, then place the remaining discs on top. 4. Using a fork, press around the edges of each pie to seal, then make a little hole in the centre of each. Brush with milk and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and piping hot. Serve warm or cold.

Recipe from

Mini meals for the kids The NHS says that all kids’ lunchboxes should contain the following foods... • Starchy carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta • Fresh fruit and vegetables • A source of protein such as beans and pulses, eggs, fish, meat or cheese • A side dish such as a yoghurt (low-fat and lower-sugar option), sugar-free jelly, tea cake or biscuit • A drink of water or no-added sugar alternative

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Asttn Marina | 01785 819702





GENERAL MARKET Tuesday, Friday and Saturday

9am – 4pm Market Charter Since 1153

Fruit & Vegetables, Plants, Fresh Fish, Leather Goods, CD’s, Ladies & Gents Clothing, Jewellery, Pet Food, Confectionery and much more….

Contact Lichfield City Council: 01543 309853 / 07970 861570 Website: Email: Twitter: @lichfield_cc

PUB • DINING • MICROBREWERY serving 50+ craft beers



8 Birmingham Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1QD 0121 796 6838



1 Bird Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6PW 01543 224 740




#16377 B&K Staffordshire Life Advert May 2017 138x210mm v3.indd 1

31/05/2017 08:57:30


It’s the age of craft beers and everyone from your dad to your nan is enjoying this popular tipple, but what’s all the hype about the hops? We’re taking a closer look at the brewing world.


or many of us, the connotations of a ‘beer’ drinker are simple – drunken old men, a little too thick around the waist with reddened noses, wiping froth from their beards as they prop up the bar of their local pub. But, we don’t live in the 1800s anymore and beer has taken on a much more modern guise over the last ten years, making it appeal to women, the cool, the alternative, and pretty much any generation going. Beer has taken on many forms in its lifetime. In fact, beer probably has the longest history going when it comes to alcoholic beverages; dating back some would say to the dark ages, and beyond. Its relatively simple make-up means the ability to produce it goes far and wide, you need just four basic ingredients, mainly barley, water, hops and yeast – all naturally grown – and then, in the simplest of terms, it goes through a process of extracting, heating, fermenting and aging, but the techniques and unique practices of each individual brewer make them all different and this is part of the reason why its popularity has soared. The result is those hand pulled pints and funky labelled bottles that are as popular in bars and pubs as a standard G&T. So, let’s talk craft beers, the funky face of beer - those bottles with obscure names, fascinating flavours and unique designs that are lining the fridges of the hippest bars and restaurants in cities and towns across the UK. Breweries are popping up everywhere, specialist bars are located in most areas and the supermarket aisles are fully stocked with bottles of your favourite brew. Names such as “Lust,” (Northern Monk Brew Co., Leeds), “Club Tropicana” (Mad Hatter, Liverpool), and “Cotopaxi DIPA” (Track Brewing Company, Manchester) are giving the beer drinking world an edgier and stylish vibe and we are 100% hooked. This is a global phenomenon, beers are imported from Japan, America, Mexico, Germany and Belgium, but the UK has its own list of quality craft beers each with their own cult following to boot, and our own wonderful county of Staffordshire is no different. We caught up with the expert brewer of Lichfield’s latest brewing establishment, The Brewhouse & Kitchen, which has its own microbrewery producing a range of beers, as well as stocking an impressive list of craft beers, and offering a beer-based food menu.


Brewhouse & Kitchen, Lichfield


Tom Guy It must be an exciting job, what made you decide to go into the world of brewing? I think the tipping point was a chance encounter with a Master Brewer (in a pub of all places). I was working in the food industry and felt disenfranchised by the lack of personal connection between employees and the consumer; so the Master Brewer told me that brewing would be the best career move for me. He was kind enough to offer me some of his contacts and put my foot in the door. Now I’m using my technical knowledge in engineering and science along with my passion for brewing at home. What goes into making a brew? On a basic level, only four key ingredients constitute beer; malted cereal (mainly barley), hops, yeast and water. There are variations between countries and even within regions, some being able to add other flavoursome ingredients like herbs, spices, fruits, chocolate – basically anything edible can go into a brew! Looking deeper into the question, high quality ingredients form only a part of the bigger picture. The brewer makes a fingerprint on the beer they make based on their technical skill and flair for the job; that’s why the same recipe will always taste different when brewed by others, quite like cooking. There you will certainly see the passion of the brewer and, on an esoteric level, the ‘art’ within the science of brewing. Modern beer can now be scrutinised in the same vein as a fine wine or a musical or artistic masterpiece – to some it’s just a style of beer, to others a revelation! Do you have a signature technique? For me as a brewer I’m fortunate to have a lot of hoppy beer in my range. I favour a couple of techniques that maximise the flavour and aroma of those styles; hop-bursting and low-temperature steeping. The former is so-called because there is minimal hops used at the start of boiling (to impart a subtle bitterness), the majority (90-99%) is steeped at the end of boiling, allowing most of the flavour-active compounds to be retained. Coupled with the latter technique where, instead

of steeping hops in near-boiling liquid (like a strong builder’s tea, which is strong and tannic) a lower temperature between 75-85 degrees retains those aromas for longer (like Japanese green tea) so that they can make it into the final product. Adding hops during and after fermentation (ironically called dryhopping) creates even more layers of aroma and flavour. Are the core beers significant to Lichfield and Staffordshire at all? All our beer pays homage to our roots in Lichfield and the wider Staffordshire area. We always honour the pub we take over with our best bitter (Gatehouse), as well as paying attention to prominent local figures (Spellman Sam for the late Samuel Johnson) and key moments in history (Handy Man denotes the clever use of the triple-knotted noose by the hangman of Staffordshire, now the symbol of the county). L The Brewhouse & Kitchen is located on Bird Street in Lichfield and 6 Birmingham Road in Sutton. A two-hour Beer Masterclass is available to book at Lichfield on Wednesday evenings and on Saturdays for an afternoon and evening session, priced at £20 per person.



TRAVEL Life’s a beach REDISCOVER: Greece, The ins and outs of buying a holiday home, Touring the Tarn and All aboard!

It is advised to always check with the Foreign Office or local tourism board before travelling to any country. You can find out more about travelling safely around the world at w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k



LIFE’S A BEACH How far are you willing to travel to find the beach of your dreams? Paradise awaits you at one of these stunning destinations. If it’s beach life you are after, you are heading in the right direction.

Hawaii CAPITAL: Honolulu CURRENCY: US Dollar (USD) TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT - 11 hours

Best time to go: April to November is warmer and drier while December to March is a bit cooler. Average temperatures are between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius all-year round.

Getting there: The main airport is Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Flights from the UK usually go via America and can take up to 17 hours in total including stop over time.


ix main islands make up Hawaii, a landscape of breathtaking natural beauty in the Pacific Ocean, and one of the most desirable beach locations in the world. White sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and an abundance of wildlife make it a real travel hot spot. The coastline of the Hawaiian islands is a glorious paradise, each different in appeal but all with a wonderful style and way of life that keeps visitors flocking year after year. Choosing an island will leave you with an enviable decision to make - do you opt for the adventure of Kauai, the romance of Lanai or the party vibe of Ohau? One thing’s for sure, whichever island you decide on, the beaches will not disappoint. Hawaii Island (or big island as it is colloquially known)


t he V i sit a o l A h ! state

is the biggest of the six islands – big enough to somehow contain eleven different climatic zones, so expect to find snowcapped mountains as well as beaches if you travel here. However, its biggest draw has to be the largely untouched environment, from waterfalls and rainforests, to volcanoes and botanical gardens. In particular, the secluded Waipio Valley Beach on the northern side of Hawaii Island is a natural master -piece, surrounded by green covered cliffs and lush rainforest, but also home to ancient sacred temples, making it have significant spiritual relevance for the Hawaiian people. North of Hawaii Island is a cluster of islands within easy reach of one another, Maui, Lanai and Molokai being the main ones, but Maui is by far the biggest and most popular. In fact, it was Maui, which was voted the number one island to visit in the Trip Advisor 2016 Traveller’s Choice Awards. Well known for its culture, food and history, and of course, the beaches, Maui is where you will get to sample the best in Hawaiian cuisine and be won over by the charm of its towns and valleys. If it’s whale watching you want to do, here is the place to do it, as migrating Humpback Whales pass through the Lao Valley. There are more than 80 beaches to choose from on Maui but Honokalani Beach in Wai'anapanapa State Park is a definite must-see. Lush greenery decorating

If you can’t find the beach you were looking for in Hawaii, we don’t think you ever will. Find out more about travel to Hawaii by visiting

cliff faces, black lava rock and secluded coves with black sand beaches and glistening waters, make it a real sight for the eyes. About 30 minutes flight time north of Molokai is Ohau, Hawaii’s ‘main’ island, and home to capital Honolulu. It’s here where you’ll find the famous Waikiki Beach, which has a definite beach party vibe, but heading further north to the Haleiwa area is certainly something to explore as well. The beautiful Sunset Beach is a bit of a surfer’s paradise thanks to its radical waves but it also makes it a little hazardous for little ones paddling at the shore, choppy waters can be unpredictable even at shallow depths, so be cautious. However, a stunning and relaxing vibe make it a great place to spend the day. Finally, stretching further out into the Pacific is Kauai Island, a nature-lovers paradise where rivers, coves, waterfalls, native fishponds and canyons paralyse your senses. Kauai is a historical part of Hawaii, especially along the Napali Coast, where you can discover much about the development of the land, and the traditional way of life for the local communities. Honopu Beach has to be seen to be believed, it is split in two by protruding rock faces surrounded by jaw-dropping cliff faces, a natural wonder for sure.


Australia CAPITAL: Canberra CURRENCY: Australian Dollar (AUD) TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT +8-10 hours

Best time to go: Summer is December to February but can experience extremely high temperatures. While it may be cooler during autumn, winter and spring, March to November, temperatures still range from 12-30 degrees Celsius depending on where you are in the country.

Getting there: Flights to Australia from the UK will usually go via a midpoint such as Dubai, Bangkok or Hong Kong, but there are direct options that you can consider too. For longer journeys, it is popular to include a stop over to break up the travel as total flight time can be in excess of 24 hours.

When it comes to beaches, Australia has so many to choose from. Most of its towns and cities were made along the coast so pretty much everywhere has a beach and its position in the South Pacific means they are all as glorious as the next. So, where do you start in a land so vast and disparate? One of the most popular tourist destinations on the East Coast of Australia, and by far one of the most magnificent is the Whitsunday Islands, located off the coast of Queensland, accessible by helicopter or plane, but definitely the most fun is to visit by boat from the lively Airlie Beach.


he proposition of travelling Australia is not something that is taken lightly, it’s a huge mass of land consisting of eight separate states and territories and an abundance of different cultures, lifestyles and experiences. It’s been the first port of call on many young backpackers’ lists for decades, thanks to its exciting cities and wondrous beaches, famed for unique trips and trails to uncover the real beauty it has within. But more recently its popularity has reached a wider audience; as a choice destination for mature travellers, families and even those in search of a new life as expats. The sheer distance from the UK has often put people off but the pleasure you will experience when you arrive makes it one place you need to have on your bucket list.

Aussie facts: The Australian 30,000km coastline is where the Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans meet. There are around 10,500 beaches in Australia! Bondi Beach in Australia’s party capital, Sydney, is possibly the most renowned but Manly Beach is a stunning alternative, and in Western Australia, Turquoise Bay in Exmouth, Little Beach in Albany and the beach at Cape Le Grand National Park on the southern tip are among the best. If you travel as far as the Northern Territory – Mindil Beach in Darwin should also make it onto your list.

You can swim with turtles, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and walk along sand dunes that stretch out into the pacific at Whitehaven Beach. See giant manta rays, among other colourful sea life, swim freely alongside you, and experience water so clear you can see even the smallest detail on the sea bed – it’s simply breathtaking and you will feel like the luckiest person alive. Close by is World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, which you can explore by 4x4 and camp out under the stars. Huge cliff-like sand dunes, stunning beaches and freshwater pools are just a few of the sights on the island. Elsewhere in Queensland, Noosa Beach and Surfer’s Paradise are also a must-see. The Great Barrier Reef...

...can be seen from outer space home to more than 1,500 fish species about 500,000 years old

Do you have a good few weeks to lose yourself in this fantastic country? If you do, we guarantee you’ll find the beach you have been waiting for. Find out more about travel to Australia by visiting the size of 70 million football fields

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Bermuda CAPITAL: Hamilton CURRENCY: Bermudian dollar (BMD) TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT -3 hours

Best time to go: Bermuda enjoys mild sub-tropical temperatures year round, ranging from 17 to 28 degrees Celsius, but many people prefer to travel during its summer season, March to October.

Getting there: There are direct flights to Bermuda from London, which will take approximately 7.5 hours.

One of the most unique draws to this island are the pink sand beaches, which form because of a combination of crushed coral, calcium carbonate and the shells of tiny single-celled animals called Foraminifera. In particular, Horseshoe Bay on the south coast is a popular choice among travellers, its stunning setting mesmerises visitors, where lush green hills provide a backdrop to the interesting shore and bright blue water.


ermuda is a British Territory Island in the North Atlantic Ocean that has been attracting visitors for years thanks to its canny blend of British and American culture and its stunning pink-sand beaches. While many believe Bermuda to be part of the Caribbean, the island actually rests hundreds of miles north of the Bahamas in a stretch of the Atlantic, a mere 650 miles east of North Carolina.

Another must-see destination on a trip to Bermuda has to be Elbow Beach resting on the East coast and every bit the paradise we want from a long haul beach holiday. There’s soft sand underneath your feet, blue sea to paddle in and plenty of space to relax and unwind for hours in the warm sunshine.

The Bermuda Triangle refers to an area of the Atlantic Ocean between Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico where several Don’t forget y military planes ou r Bermud a and ships have shor ts! mysteriously disappeared. Supernatural? Or the work of geophysical phenomena? Bermuda speaks to all types of holiday makers – whether you want adventure, thrill or to explore the island and all its natural beauty, but this scenic destination is also a big hit with couples and honeymooners too. From pink sands and dazzling blue waters to brightly painted buildings, Bermuda is alive with colour and the beaches are among the finest in the world. L

Bermuda’s unique location in the Atlantic provides an extraordinarily pleasant climate that rarely sees extremes of either hot or cold. The island itself is just 21 square miles in size but it has around 75 miles of dramatic coastline just waiting to be explored. It is actually made up of 181 islands, islets and rocks, although to the visitor’s eye it just looks like one continuous land mass. Most of these are uninhabited but eight of the larger ones are linked by bridges and a causeway.

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REDISCOVER: GREECE Do you often wonder about those forgotten cities and hidden islands of Greece? Think beyond Rhodes, Athens and Crete - one of our all-time favourite holiday spots goes deeper than you ever imagined.

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The stunning landscape of this island town is breathtaking from the moment you set eyes on it and the views as you approach have been likened to a perfect oil painting. Delicate and colourful buildings decorate the cliff face as boats sit moored at the shore - the idyllic setting is a winner with couples thanks to its charm and beauty. It has a shipping and fishing vibe but is also wellknown for its wine making, and it is recommended that you pay a visit to one of the many wine presses they have made using rock parts from the island, as well as a walk through the forests of Kourkouniotis. Everything about this island is set up for romantics to truly indulge – from the horseshoe-shaped port, to the “Dove of Peace” war memorial sculpture and the picturesque walk up a 500-step stony staircase. In the town of Gialós, there is plenty of architecture to marvel at including the town hall, cathedral and the Naval Museum of Symi.

Andros is a northern island of the Cyclades group but it has a very different landscape to the usual settings of Greece’s most popular archipelago. There are sandy beaches to enjoy but it’s the mountains, rocky shores, rich greenery and streams that attract so many to this part, especially popular for hiking trails. Fortified settlements, lone churches and museums complement the rocky perimeter along with a fascinating display of vegetation from the sycamore, oak and mulberry trees, to weeping willows, and herbs too. Take in the stunning villages of Messariá and Faneroméni and the monasteries of Zoodóchos Piyí in Batsí and of Panayia Tomarhiani in Korthi. Visit the capital of the island, Hóra, for museums, shops and cafés and the 13th century castle and bridge on an islet connected to the main part of Andros.

Patmos White house settlements sit atop vast cliffs at Greek’s spiritual home, Patmos. It’s known as “Holy Island” thanks to its connection with religious history, recognised the world over in Christianity as the place of refuge for Saint John, one of Christ’s most trusted disciples, and where he wrote the Book of Revelation in the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse. The Holy Monastery was built in his name and sits at the heart of this sacred island and is the focal point for an array of Easter celebrations every year. The Aegean Sea surrounds Patmos, which is a favourite among nature lovers and sun seekers alike, with stunning cliff faces and volcanic soil. The beaches at Kámpos and the secluded, Psili Ammos, tend to attract the most visitors.

Delos A few miles from the Greek hotspot Mykonos is the UNESCO world heritage site, Delos, a relic to ancient Greece, to the gods and to Greek civilisation. Legend has it that Delos was the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, rendering the land sacred to the immortals and meaning no mere mortal could be born or die on its lands. A unique and inspiring island which has ground-breaking archaeological monuments and artistic displays, it has been likened to a museum island but the locals see it as a total presentation of Greek history.



Another one of Greece’s most amorous islands is Hydra, shaped like an amphitheatre, cascading down the cliffs of the Argosaronic Gulf. Couples love it because its peaceful and traditional atmosphere is the essence of romantic, and there are no cars, just donkeys to transport you where you need to go, preserving its serene and authentic village appeal. It has become somewhat of a playground for the rich too, and every summer, a plethora of sailing boats and yachts will moor here to take advantage of its secluded beaches and picturesque scenery.

Sun, sea, action and adventure – it’s everything we love about Greece with the excitement of watersports thrown in. The coastline is a mass of white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters and the sea is filled with sails, surf boards and boats as adrenaline junkies grab their next thrill. For the less daring, you can still take to the water on a canoe, pedalo or Jet-ski and enjoy the lively atmosphere, and for those who enjoy diving, Lefkada has some fascinating sights below the surface of the water too.

Nisyros A 28km coastline nestled between the popular Greek islands of Kos and Tilos, Nisyros is largely untouched by tourism but is a stunning part of the Dodecanese islands – and an active volcanic site. A pretty bundle of white and coloured houses made from volcanic rock decorate the pebbled narrow streets of the main village, Mandraki. It’s the perfect place to stroll hand in hand to take it all in before enjoying a quiet nightcap at one of the local taverns. There are also plenty of cultural sites to visit too from monasteries, to the volcano (and the volcano museum) and the castle of the knights. L w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


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The ins and outs of


Many of us dream about owning a holiday home whether it’s at home or abroad but how do you make that leap up on the property ladder? 116



onsidering owning a second home is a wonderful position to be in and whether you intend it for personal use or as an investment, the benefits are clear on both sides. There are a number of things to consider, though, before making this property jump, not just in terms of location and style of property, but also in financial and legal terms.

have to look after and enjoy the property against the investment to understand if it is a worthwhile thing to do. If you won’t be able to use it regularly due to other work and life commitments, it might be worth considering a joint ownership scheme, time share or looking into it as a mixed use property.

Why are you buying a holiday home? First things first, you need to be clear with your objectives for the holiday home. Do you intend to keep it as a home to enjoy for yourself and your close friends and relatives or is this a business venture? Just for me: If you intend the home solely for personal use then be clear on what you are buying it for – is it to relax and unwind at the weekend or is it for big extended holidays? Perhaps you are you retiring and selling your existing property to live by the coast permanently but whichever best describes your circumstances it’s important to be clear from the outset as these will ultimately determine where and what you will buy. Then there is also the maintenance and management to take into account and, depending on what stage of life you are at, you have to weigh up the amount of time you

Holiday lets: If you would like to buy a holiday home for financial gain then it becomes a little more complicated. You need to consider how much of the year you are likely to receive income from lettings – do you need the property to be in an area where people will want to travel all year round to ensure you reach a good return on investment? And if you can reach a good yield from seasonal lettings, will you be able to maintain it yourself off season or do you need to instruct a management company. Furthermore, you need to ensure it has good local amenities, tourist attractions and transport links to make it appeal to tourists from both the UK and abroad.

Mixed use: If you intend on using your property during the year for personal holidays and breaks but would like to have some income from it too to help with costs, then deciding to go for a mixed use property is best. This will mean you have to consider the implications of both personal and business use to make sure you are happy with the property but also that it will appeal to the tourist market too. You might like a totally isolated chateau in rural France but are you going to get enough trade to make it a worthwhile property investment? Everyone’s circumstances are different and finding the happy medium is important. Make a list of what you won’t compromise on and what you need for it to be a goodbuy-to-let opportunity and then take time making the decision. >

Consider the rental prices of similar properties in the area – will your investment make you money or will you find yourself paying out regularly. And you must also consider the resale value, will you be able to sell in and make money in the next 10 to 20 years? A full analysis of the local market is imperative if you are going to make a hefty investment, especially if you still have other property responsibilities and commitments.

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Where will you buy your holiday home? Location is probably the single most important factor after affordability. It really comes down to your personal preference and personality. Are you going to buy in the UK or abroad? If you prefer the assurance of sun, sea and sand all-year-round then buying an apartment in the Canary Islands might be the best option, but will the uncertainty of Brexit influence your decision? For some, the fun and unpredictable nature of British caravan holidays are just too good to miss out on. Think about how you will utilise the property if it’s mainly for personal use. If you’re looking for somewhere to escape to over a weekend then a location in the UK that you can access within a couple of hours might be better but if you intend to make longer extended trips for a month or more at a time, you might look a little further. In any case, you need to assess its accessibility – identify how much it costs to get there both in terms of regular flight costs and transfer costs or petrol and train fares. Is it easy enough to get about while you are there or will you need some form of transport – maybe a car or a bike and are these obtainable locally? Is the environment what you need? Are you looking for lots of nightlife, cafes and restaurants or do you want to be kayaking on rivers? If you are looking for a quiet retreat, buying in the middle of Puerto Banus will just disappoint you! What’s more, if you are buying abroad, will there be a language barrier and do you need to learn the local lingo? There is no denying that Brits are lovers of the European holiday home, last year Rightmove reported that there were a whopping 4.5 million searches for property in Alicante (Daily Mail, 2016), its most popular destination for property searches abroad. Other popular places are France, Portugal, Italy and the USA. The exact terms of Brexit are unknown but for those who already own a home in the EU or for those looking to buy abroad, there are some further considerations. It could become

the law that a visa for travel to countries like France and Spain is needed, which would make visiting your holiday home a little more complicated than just jumping on a plane. Many travel and property experts have said this is unlikely but we won’t know for sure until the final terms are agreed. Secondly, there could be more difficulties getting a mortgage abroad and bigger taxes to pay both in Britain and in the country in which the property is located. Countries like France are notoriously tough on non EU citizens in tax terms, although it is thought that agreements are in place which would mean that current tax implications should remain, meaning no change for those who have properties abroad. Finally, the exchange rate has already been affected by the decision to leave the EU and the concern is that once the Brexit terms are finalised this will have a further effect. If you have outstanding mortgages or loans on

property in the EU, this may make a difference to repayments. It is best to seek professional advice relating to this before making a decision. In all cases, the HMRC recommends finding a lawyer to work with who is qualified to work both in the UK and overseas.

How to find your holiday home Once you have decided on the style, type and location for your holiday home, it’s time to start looking. Property websites like: Zoopla ( Prime Location ( Rightmove ( ...can all offer you properties at home or abroad but if you are looking for something a little more specialist then check out the following sites: By a lake or sea: Modern: Period:

It’s important not to rush your decision, there are many financial and legal considerations to think about including the 3% stamp duty on a second home over £40,000 (including holiday homes and buy-to-let properties) and this percentage rises depending on the cost of your home. What’s more, don’t forget about the legal side of things in terms of declaring rental income and making sure you submit your self-assessment tax return on time. It’s always best to have a conversation with the HMRC or visit to discuss your situation and make sure you are doing the right ‘paperwork’ to avoid any nasty tax bills. Remember to find the right home for you and your personal circumstances and don’t forget to enjoy it! L w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


REVIEW Inside, it’s much more typical of a renaissance church of this grandeur, a 3500-strong pipe organ sits above a striking alter along with original paintings from the 15th Century. The decoration gives a perfect timeline of its history as you explore the subtle influences from its 400-year-long construction – from the gothic undertones to renaissance graffiti. Lautrec

View from bedroom at Domaine de Perches


THE TARN An adventure en français

Domaine de Perches

For those who crave a bit of peace and quiet on their travels, the Tarn region of France should definitely feature highly on your list of destinations. From the quaint city life of Albi to the rustic vineyards of Gaillac, the Tarn gives you a sophisticated adventure through history, gastronomy and the typical French ‘joie de vivre’ in a setting of tranquil luxury.


very time I have visited France, I leave with the exact same feeling. I want to go back. And visiting this time was no different, except I didn't want to leave. Take everything you love about rural France - the food, the wine, the picturesque views and the laid back way of life and add in an alluring mix of character and charm and you arrive at the Tarn. A quick two-hour flight from Manchester brings you to the closest international airport to the region, Toulouse-Blagnac in south-west France. Albi was our first stop, which sits north-east of Toulouse, about an hour's drive from the airport, and it’s probably one of the most unlikely cities you’ll ever encounter.

Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, Albi


View from the windmill at Lautrec

Exploring Albi Pretty red stone buildings and meandering paths give it a village-like atmosphere but with a bustling shopping district and an interesting cultural appeal, it certainly earns its city status. Local life is relaxed and contagious, the people are pleasant and the town steeped in historical relevance. I stayed at the Mercure Albi which sits nestled on the river bank in the city’s old town (there are two distinct districts in the city, the old town and modern Albi) with a wonderful view across the water, ideal to bring you round in the morning over a coffee and croissant. You are perfectly situated to marvel at the town’s three idyllic stone bridges, which connect the two sides of the River Tarn running peacefully through the middle of the city. The bridges date back as early as 1040 and at one point had houses built on top but now they provide a postcard-perfect backdrop and it isn't hard to understand why this place has had a UNESCO World Heritage listing since 2010. If nothing else you want to rest here and catch sight of the gigantic catfish (some up to 3m long) pouncing on the pigeons drinking from the shore. But the real draw sits at the heart of the city – a towering red brick cathedral, not your conventional structure but a stark reminder of the turbulent religious times in which it has its origin. The exterior is not dissimilar to a fortress complete with gargoyles protruding from the top to keep demons at bay. It took over 400 years to complete the Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, dating back to around 13th Century, which is still a working place of worship to Albigensians with daily services taking place, as well as a focal point of the tourist trail in the city.

If you have the pleasure of waking up to Albi on a Saturday morning, you simply must pay a visit to the Marches Couvert, an indoor food market that has been established since 1901, selling a vast array of fresh local produce from bread and pastries to fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, as well as traditional French and local delicacies. The Toulouse Lautrec museum is also worth a visit, a collection of the finest works of this controversial artist who was born in Albi in 1864. Boutique hotels, traditional cafés and Michelinstandard restaurants are where the modern Albi comes to life. La table du Sommelier (20 Rue Porta, was awarded the Bib Gourmand in the 2017 Michelin guide and is the perfect example of Albi’s laid back but sumptuous gastronomy vibe, while l’Epicurien (42 Place Jean Jaurès, www. helps lift the city onto a much more contemporary path with influences from Belgium and Sweden bring a Bavarian/ Nordic cross to the cuisine. Certainly a good spot if you love seafood.

“Gastronomy is undeniably (and unavoidably) a major part of this region and if it’s something you particularly enjoy discovering then there is also chance to learn to cook traditional French cuisine (and eat it after) with the amiable Chef Franck Augé at his cookery school, Les Secret Gourmands (72 Avenue General de Gaulle, 81220 Realmont), not far from the city of Albi.” But while Albi is stunning and certainly enough for a weekend break, The Tarn has even more hidden gems to explore. The countryside has pockets of Tuscan inspired architecture and is a land famed for its local organic produce from cheese to wine, honey and pork.

REVIEW The Black Mountain About an hour south-east, the Montagne Noire (the Black Mountain) is a sparsely populated landscape where locals build trade between themselves by exchanging their produce. It’s a simplistic way of living where each morning nearby farms can be seen dropping off bread in exchange for cheese or wine. I visited Le Rodier Rouairoux (81260 ANGLES), an idyllic dairy farm where Marie and Sebastian Dubouchard will talk you through the wonderful art of making delicious unpasteurised cheeses like camembert and tomme. You can meet their herd of cows and sample the produce for free, although a nominal donation of four Euros towards the running of the farm is encouraged. There’s also a lovely restaurant La Voie Gourmande (67 avenue de la Méditerranée 81240 Saint-Amans-Soult for when you want to indulge in some traditional and authentic fair from the region. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France is an association recognising the beautiful settlements that shape the French countryside, there are around 155 of these in France and four of those are in the Tarn, the Bastide villages of Lautrec and Castelnau de Montmiral arguably the most stunning of the area. Lautrec is a small medieval village in the heart of the region, well-known for its pink garlic, timbered houses, windmill, and for holding the family heritage of Toulouse Lautreac. If you can climb the steep steps to reach the windmill, the view is breathtaking. The view from the Mercure Albi


Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, Albi

Gaillac Similarly in the north-west Gaillac area is the village of Castlenau de Montmiral, a tranquil setting with stone pathways leading up to a picturesque square and a charming little church dating back to the 15th Century. Close to the village is Château de Mayragues (81140 Castelnau de Montmiral, a great place to go for the obligatory wine tasting trip. It’s special because it’s actually more of a boutique vineyard, at just 13 hectares, it produces only around 30,000 bottles a year. It’s one of the oldest vineyards in France and the first to become bio-dynamic in the region. We also visited the Chateau de Salettes (www. for Sunday lunch, which is a famous hotel and restaurant dating back to the 13th Century, beautifully restored into a stunning setting for weekenders and families. It’s set in 32-hectares of thousand-year-old vineyards producing a selection of wines, and has recently launched a spa. Polish Head Chef, Ludovic Dziewulski joined in 2016 and serves up an adventurous and promising repertoire of dishes using locally sourced ingredients where possible and the house Sommelier paired the food excellently with eloquent reasoning behind his choices.


he Gaillac region is also home to the highlight of the trip – the magnificent Domaine de Perches (2083 Route de Laborie - 81600 GAILLAC, www.domainedeperches. com). This white stone chateau is run by Howard and Allan, of British and French descent respectively, and was originally a white wine producing farm but since they took it over, it has been transformed into a guest house that offers so much more than luxury - its exquisite design and charming nature gives you a tranquil get-a-way deep inside rural France. Sit poolside and marvel at views of stunning meadows, fields and woods, take a walk through the vineyards or retreat to your room and make use of the extensive library of books. You are invited to enjoy dinner with the owners as part of your stay, where excellent food and good conversation come naturally to them. It’s a wonderfully ethereal way to end a trip. Thanks for a wonderful stay. L 9 million tourists visit the Tarn annually. Our tour of the region was just three days but there is plenty to do to fill a week or more. Cycle tours, treks, and car tours are all popular ways to see the sights, each offering their own unique twist on this wonderful part of the world.

Domaine de Perches

Fact box Flights from Manchester to Toulouse from a Thursday to Sunday cost in the region of £170 per person. Cheaper options are available. A standard room at Mercure Albi Bastides hotel starts from £71 approx (€81) per night excluding breakfast based on two sharing (; +33)5/63476666). A room at Domaine de Perches starts from £115 approx (€150) per night including breakfast, based on two sharing ( ; +33 (0)5 63 56 58 24). A room at Chateau de Salettes starts from £112 approx (€145) per night based on two people sharing (; +33 (0) 5 63 33 60 60) Wine tasting is available at Chateau de Mayragues upon request and starts from €9 (£7.50 approx.) per person. Cheese tasting and a tour of the family-owned cheese producing farm Ferme du Rodier is available from €4 per person midi-pyrenees/tarn/angles/ferme/ferme-du-rodier/439197Images A cookery class with Chef Franck Augé at Les Secret Gourmands costs from €50 per person For further information regarding holidays to the Tarn, visit Tourism Occitania w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k


TRAVEL RULE 5: Travel essentials

ALL ABOARD! Taking the whole family on holiday is easier than you think. Here’s LIVING’s guide to pet travel. Waving goodbye to your beloved four-legged friend as you head off on holiday is not easy, especially if they are going to spend the next few weeks in kennels or unfamiliar surroundings. But, you don’t have to leave them behind! Follow this simple guide to bringing your dog (or cat) with you on your travels and make it one family holiday you’ll never forget. RULE 1: The Highway Code All pets need to be restrained in cars by law. Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you or themselves”. Invest in a good car harness or a crate to keep your pet safe while you travel to your destination.

Make sure you have all the necessary travel essentials to keep your pet comfortable both on the way to your destination in the car and while you are there. A travel dog bed and blanket are easily found in pet shops and take a bowl to fill with water on your journey so they do not get dehydrated. RULE 6: Plan your route Bandana £4.99 Pet Pooch Boutique RULE 3: Pet first aid Make sure you carry a pet first aid kit and swat up on how to take care of your pet in case they fall ill or have an injury. Locate your nearest veterinary surgery in case of emergencies and have adequate pet insurance. Visit for more information on pet first aid. RULE 4: Identify me Ensure you have a collar with your name and number on it while you are away from home to be sure you can be contacted in the event they go missing.

Plan your route and take plenty of breaks so that you can give your pet some time out of the restraints used in your car. Check out www. for tips and suggestions of good places to stop on your journey.

Doggy holiday If you are travelling abroad and can’t take your dog with you and the thought of leaving them in kennels makes you sad, then why not let them experience their own holiday! Barking Mad is a dog holiday specialist with branches in Stafford (Little Haywood, Stafford, ST18 0NX, 01785 472511) and Telford (37 Fieldhouse Drive, Muxton, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 8JQ, 01952 677704) and can connect you with a number of host families in your local area to look after your pet while you are away. Visit for more information.

Canine Traveller Kit £22

Soft Sided Pet Carrier £14.99 amazonbasics ^

Dog Drying Coat £38 Ruff And Tumble

Pets can suffer from sunburn too so you should always apply a sunscreen. It’s best to keep your pet indoors or in shade during the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 3pm) and apply sunscreen to sensitive areas such as noses, ears & forehead. Check your cream is suitable for pets, your vets will have a suitable recommendation. You should also apply sunscreen when travelling in a car so your pet does not get sunburnt through the glass window. 122

Travel Dog Bowl £5.99

Pet First Aid Kit £14.99

Dog Harness £21.99 ^

RULE 2: Sun protection

Seat Cover £11.95

Squeaky Toy £18 Mutts & Hounds




ENTERTAINMENT The Book Club The Film Club, The People’s Tenor and Event’s Calendar


the film CLUB It’s blockbuster season – here’s what’s coming to the big screen this July & August.


Atomic Blonde



14th July

Sofia Coppola

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell


David Leitch

Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman


The Beguiled, adapted by Sofia Coppola from Thomas Cullinan’s novel of the same name, unfolds in a girls’ school in the state of Virginia in 1864. As the Civil War rages, The Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies has been sheltered from the outside world – until the day a wounded Union soldier is discovered nearby and taken in.


28th July CAST


The Beguiled








21st July

Christopher Nolan


Mus tsee

One Direction’s Harry Styles makes his film debut...


Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles

Jon Watts


7th July





• L IV

Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton






Warner Bros. Pictures ^

A young Peter Parker begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor, Tony Stark. Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man – but when the vulture emerges as a new villain, everything Peter holds most important will be threatened.







Spider-man: Homecoming ^


Sony Pictures

“Dunkirk” opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

The Dark Tower



18th August

Nikolaj Arcel


Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, Tom Taylor This sci-fi fantasy western is based on the series of novels by Stephen King. Young Jake Chambers is transported to Mid-World where he encounters Roland Deschain, a lone gunslinger on a quest to reach the mysterious Dark Tower. Their nemesis on the journey is an evil sorcerer known only as the Man in Black.



28th July

Malcolm D. Lee


Sony Pictures ^

Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

War For the Planet of the Apes



14th July

Matt Reeves


Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn

Fox Pictures

In War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet. w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k














INTERVIEW Q: You’re often described as making classical music hip and mainstream, is this something you set out to do?

THE PEOPLE’S TENOR Just an ordinary boy from Salford in Greater Manchester until he won a local radio talent competition when he was 24 and since then it hasn’t stopped for the UK’s best-selling classical artist. Russell Watson, now 50, has sold millions of records worldwide and performed for some of the world’s greatest figures, including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince, and the late Pope John Paul II. He’s said to have a voice like Pavarotti and a stage presence like Sinatra and with ten studio albums under his belt, his success has been phenomenal. This summer he’s heading back to home soil with an exclusive guest appearance at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire on Saturday 2nd September for The Bolesworth Prom, and with a much smaller scaled back tour planned at the end of the year, LIVING caught up with ‘The Voice’ for a quick chat.

Q: You’re back on home soil for the concert at Bolsworth Castle, how does it feel playing to a home crowd again?

A: It’s always nice to play at a home crowd. We just came back from the states where one of the performances was for 300,000 plus people on the west lawn of (Washington DC’s) Capitol Hill for Memorial Day over there and that was also televised to 14 million people. It’s always a monumental occasion and a great honour for a Brit to go over and do those types of things but there is nothing like the feeling when you are flying back in to home ground and the tyres of the plane touch the tarmac and you know your back home safely. This (Bolesworth Castle) will be the first concert since then so I am really looking forward to it. We’ve had some wonderful concerts this year in the UK and I think this is going to be one of the stand outs.

Q: How do you keep your repertoire fresh and engaging?

A: The fans always demand a mixture of old and new so as much as I would like to change up the repertoire listing and completely refresh it there are always the standards that they want to hear – the ‘Volare’, the ‘Funiculi – Funicula’, the ‘Nessun Dorma’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’. If there’s a new record out, I always like to add something from that and maybe subtract something from the last record but keeping the old favourites. It’s not an easy process keeping the act fresh.

A: My idea when I initially came on the scene with regards to classical repertoire and the genre was to genuinely introduce classical music to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it. I was fortunate enough to grow up listening to classical music and pop music in tandem because my Grandma, who was a working-class lady like my father and my mother after her, was a classical music fan, so a love for classical music grew within me as well. The change in how classical music is presented and sold is vastly different than back then. Classical music and cross-over repertoire is now part of the mainstream charts and is much more accessible and people don’t feel intimidated by it anymore. Q: Your latest album, ‘True Stories’, is out, how would you describe it?

Q: Do you ever get ‘the fear’ before

A: It’s a combination of several different genres, classical repertoire and pop ballads. There’s also a little bit of jazz and swing on there as well.

going out on stage?

Q: What’s next for Russell Watson?

A: I don’t really get fearful before I go out on stage. It doesn’t matter how I feel on the day of a show, once the lights hit my face, I’m there and alive and that’s a wonderful feeling. The only time I’ll ever feel nervous, but it’s more a case of scepticism as oppose to fear, is if there is a problem with my voice.

A: I love touring so I’ll keep touring and

Q: Your success has been phenomenal,

Visit or call 01630 674342 to book tickets. L

how do you keep yourself grounded?

finding different ways of going about things to keep the fans engaged and interested. I’m already thinking about what my next studio album might be and just enjoying life and enjoying touring.

A: The success has been phenomenal but it comes at a cost and the cost is that it takes a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of focus to attain it. When you are working hard to achieve something and sustain a certain level in any business or career then that itself keeps you grounded because you know how much hard work it takes. Q: Are you a fan of TV talent shows like X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, should there be more in the classical genre?

A: It’s (talent shows) part of our heritage and cultural makeup, there’s no question about that. Talent shows have been on TV for years, I remember when I was a kid it was shows like Opportunity Knocks. I think it’s good but there is too many of them now. There’s this constant barrage for the search for the next new star but once we’ve found the next new star, which inevitably we do at the conclusion of the series, there are very few mediums on television where you can go and perform and be seen.

 Check out Russell Watson’s finest stage moments online at

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The only remaining operational steam powered potters’ mill in the world will be working as it would in Victorian times on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August and Saturday 9 th and Sunday 10th September. Opened in 1857 and driven by a 1820s beam engine it provides a uniq ue experience for adults and children.

See a Working Victorian Potters’ Mill at the Etruria Industrial Museum

Located at the attractive junction of the Trent & Mersey and C aldon canals with a blacksmith’s forge, canal warehouse and locks, visitor centre, tea room, gift shop and toilets.

During the September weekend there will be a Vintage Stationary Engine Rally on Saturday and a Classic Vehicle Rally on Sunday. Adults £ 4.00 ( free on Heritage Open Days in September) or £ 6.00 for a guided tour. C hildren under 16 free. Car Park and entrance Kilndown Close, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4RB Tel. 07900 267711 E-

Funded by the ce of the olice and rime ommissioner for Staffordshire and supported by partners.

Free activities for 11-17 year-olds Available 24 Ju ly – 1 September 2 017 Find out more at:

staffordshires a e @StaffsSpace





ow Sh

Shropshire Horticultural Society Charity Number: 501564

Flowers, Fireworks & Entertainment London Community Gospel Choir – Friday The Overtones – Saturday




The Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team – The White Helmets Spectacular Fireworks  Dedicated Children’s Area Shrewsbury Male Voice Choir and Of One Accord  Massed Bands Arena Entertainment  Floral Displays  Premier Showjumping






FRids EE

1 er ow Fl

Friday 11th & Saturday 12th August 2017


Tickets: Adult Advance £25 Over 60’s Advance £23 Children aged 15 and under Free Admission* Membership: Adult from £45 Children £5 *when accompanied by an adult

Call us on: 01743 234050 or visit



calendar Where to go and who to see in Staffordshire and the surrounds

Music & Theatre 22nd July

Rotation Garden Party Staffordshire’s music lovers can enjoy the sounds of New York this summer when the American DJ, producer and broadcaster Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy headlines this year’s Rotation Garden Party, at Bishton Hall, near Stafford, in July. In its third year, the annual event sees collaboration between Staffordbased DJs and producers Dean Meredith and Ben Shenton – and Gin Jamboree founder Andrew Wilson. There will also be food stalls and a dedicated G&T bar. The Rotation Garden Party, Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge. Running from 2pm to 12am. Tickets cost £15 per person with children under 16 free, but must be accompanied by an adult. For more information or to book tickets visit

27th July

UFO at Birmingham Town Hall For the first time in more than 20 years, one of the most iconic British rock bands in music history, UFO, has recorded a studio album, entitled A Conspiracy Of Stars. The band will begin a UK tour this summer, including Birmingham Town Hall in July. Birmingham Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ. Tickets priced £26.95. Box Office 0121 780 3333/


20th August

20th to 23rd July

Music at Brough Park

Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair

During the Leek half marathon, music will be played at Brough Park in the town with refreshments being served during the intervals. Brough Park, Ball Haye Road, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 6HQ. Organised by Leek Town Council. iew Interv ell uss with R n Watso 27 p a ge 1

1st to 2nd September

The Bolesworth Prom

A two-day music event catering for very different music tastes is taking place at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire. Classic Ibiza, on 1st September, sees Urban Soul Orchestra and DJ Goldierocks bring some of the biggest dance tracks from the last 20 years to life, and The Great British Prom, on 2nd September, with Russell Watson, The National Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Inglis, Annette Wardell and Only Men Aloud. The performance culminates in a fantastic firework display choreographed to the music. The Bolesworth Prom, Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire. Tickets £35 (or £38 on the night). Visit: or Call 01630 674342.

 Staffordshire Living has two pairs of tickets up for grabs to either event at The Bolesworth Prom this September. Visit the competitions area on to enter! Closing date: Friday 11th August.

Arts & Culture


Now in its 32nd year, the Antiques for Everyone Summer fair is back at the NEC in Birmingham for a 4-day event showcasing fabulous antiques and statement pieces. As the largest antiques fair outside London, there is expected to be over 200 exhibitors with prices starting from as little as £10 up to £100,000. BBC’s Antiques Roadshow experts, Judith Miller and Will Farmer, will also be giving talks during the event. Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair, Hall 5, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK, B40 1NT. Admission £15.00 on the door, £12 in advance, including free car parking. Book your advance tickets from the Box Office Tel: 0844 581 0827 or visit www. Read more: You’ll love our antiques feature on page 74 with comment from Judith Miller & Will Farmer.

24th June to 13th August

‘The Chase in Stitch’ Exhibition See the beautiful setting of Cannock Chase bought to life in stitch. The wildlife inspired artwork will be on display at the Museum of Cannock Chase until 13th August, created by Stone-based textile artist, Jo Hill. The Museum of Cannock Chase, Valley Rd, Hednesford, Cannock WS12 1TD. Free admission. Opening hours 11am to 5pm. Visit www.johilltextiles. or for more information.

Familyfriendly 1st, 2nd and 3rd August

Bakewell Show A shopping ‘village’, free parking, expanded farrier competition and an inaugural beer competition are new additions at the 187th Bakewell Show, as well as family activities, animals, marquees, stalls and more. The Show takes place at Bakewell Showground on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd August with a dedicated equestrian day on Tuesday 1st August. Bakewell Show, The Showground, Agricultural Way, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1AH. 01629 812736/

WHAT’S ON 2nd September

Festival of Fireworks The 19th edition of the Festival of Fireworks will take place at Catton Hall on Saturday 2nd September. The Festival features four fireworks displays, all set to music, and designed by professional pyro-technicians. New for 2017 - the festival features extended catering facilities and a mini-steam fayre, with traditional traction engines on show. Gates open at 12 noon. Fireworks commence at 8.00pm. Catton Hall, Catton Park, Catton, Walton upon Trent DE12 8LN.

Food & Drink 31st May – 20th September

On-board Afternoon tea at Churnet Valley Railway

7th to 15th July

Lichfield Festival Lichfield will once again play host to one of the UK’s most eclectic multi-arts festivals offering a vibrant mix of music, film, theatre, comedy, dance, family events, visual arts, walks and talks across nine days. This year’s highlights include The Hallé Orchestra, comedian Rich Hall, author Tony Robinson, actress Juliet Stevenson and percussionist Evelyn Glennie, theatre-company, The Malachites and Ballet Cymru. There’s a celebration of Broadway legend Richard Rodgers, uplifting gospel music from world-famous Black Voices and lots of events marking the anniversaries of Jane Austen and Lichfield’s own David Garrick. Free events for everyone include a Hare and Tortoise city art trail of decorated models, Festival Friday and Big City Sing. To book tickets and for full festival details visit or call the Festival Box Office on 01543 412121.

Experience a traditional Afternoon Cream Tea served on-board the dedicated dining train at Churnet Valley Railway. Enjoy the beauty of the Churnet Valley whilst being hauled by one of the heritage locomotives. Churnet Valley Railway, Kingsley and Froghall Station, Froghall, Staffordshire, ST10 2HA. Visit or call 01538 758491 for more information.

5th August 2017

Betley Show 2017 The Betley show is a traditional family, fun day out. The show, which is being held at Betley Court Farm in Cheshire, is celebrating 160 years and will include horse and dog shows, horticulture, vintage car exhibits, craft stalls and displays, kids’ activities, clay pigeon shooting, competitions and much more. Entry is £8 for adults, £5 for children (U14), £20 family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) Under 3’s are free. The Betley Show, Betley Court Farm, Main Rd, Betley, Nr Crewe, Cheshire CW3 9BH.

25th to 28th August

International Festival of Glass The award winning International Festival of Glass returns in August. Steeped in heritage, the festival has fast become the most successful glass-related gathering in the UK. Expect a range of exhibitions, dramatic displays and fun hands-on activities for all ages. The event runs from 10am – 5pm. Stourbridge Glass Quarter., Dudley Council Plus, 259 Castle Street, Dudley, DY1 1LQ. Robert Morton

15th to 16th July

Jazz and Real Ale Festival at The National Brewery Centre

B ee fest r i va l

The National Brewery Centre Enjoy a weekend of great jazz music while sipping a fantastic range of beers at the Jazz and Real Ale Festival in Burton-upon-Trent. Nine different jazz bands are expected to play the event over two days with a wide selection of ales and ciders, sourced from small independent brewers, and food stalls. National Brewery Centre, Horninglow Street, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1NG. Visit or call 0239 2481999 for more information.

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They All Fall Down

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell July 2017, £12.99, Hardback THEN: She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. NOW: It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty - and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away. Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

by Donna Douglas July 2017, £6.99, Paperback West Yorkshire, 1926. After completing her training in Steeple Street, Agnes is looking forward to making her mark as the village’s first district nurse, confident she can make a difference in the locals’ lives. But when she arrives, she’s treated with suspicion, labelled just another servant of the wealthy mine owners. The locals would much rather place their trust in the resident healer – Nella Black. And when the General Strike throws Bowden Main into turmoil, the miners and their families face hunger and hardship, and Agnes finds her loyalties tested. Now it’s time to prove whose side she is really on and to fight for her place in the village . . .

She knows there’s a killer on the loose. But no-one believes her. Will she be next? Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking. Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying. The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying. Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again?

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher June 2017, £12.99, Hardback

What if you did a really bad thing... But that wasn’t the end of the story? Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve to ever feel good again. But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head. But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing. What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone - even a 100% bad person - deserve a chance to be good?


District Nurse on Call

by Tammy Cohen July 2017, £7.99, Paperback

BOOK CORNER Summer holiday reads you won’t want to put down.

I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen August 2017, £18.99, Hardback


I have a secret. And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . . In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death. Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link The Little Book of Staffordshire between the two bodies is clear. Was by Kate Gomez the wrong person sent to prison? Is the Out now, £9.99, Hardback real killer out there right now, picking Discover more about Staffordshire’s famous and off new targets? One woman knows the occasionally infamous men and women, its towns and killer is coming for her next. She’s the countryside, history, natural history, literary, artistic and only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles sporting achievements, customs ancient and modern, catch him. But she has a secret that she transport, battles and ghostly appearances. In this has to keep . . . entertaining new book, local author Kate Gomez has brought together a plethora of fascinating facts about the county which will make you say ‘I never knew that!’ o

t u  our e a .co. n g ad nli in Re w o eliv e r vi h i re rds






LIVING A classic adventure

Life begins at retirement, Trend report: Are you a Flexitarian? Meet your local franchisees, Time to take cyber control and LIVING Loves: Back to School

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



life begins at

RETIREMENT When we can finally hang up our pen, put away our work boots and discard our uncomfortable suit jackets. When we have no schedule, no diary notes and no buzzing alarm to wake up to or awkward meeting to attend, life will start all over again. Retirement is no longer dictated by when we can draw our pension; we don't reach a certain age and finally throw in the towel on our careers. Retirement is not a number anymore, it's another way of life - and in many ways a much simpler and care free stage and the earlier we can do it, the better. So just what’s waiting for you after retirement?

R Real estate For many the prospect of funding retirement through property investment is still a highly attractive proposition. It’s thought that one in three are choosing this route rather than paying regularly into a pension (The Guardian, 2013). If you are in the enviable position of having paid off your mortgage, or a large proportion of your mortgage, then you do have the option of selling and releasing funds. With the rental market so profitable at the moment, you could also consider renting out your property to have a steady income as you travel or move to another area. What’s more, releasing some equity in a home could give you the option to buy a second home or buy a smaller buy-to-let property.

E Exit plans Moving or retiring abroad after retirement is also one of the most popular ways to live out life. The expat lifestyle is appealing to retirees so they can enjoy the laid back lifestyle with good weather and exciting trips. You do need to consider a few things before you go though. Most people can still claim pensions and tax relief but it’s best to discuss it with the HMRC before you take the plunge. Find out more at Ron and Karin Smith built a house in Austria and then moved out there when they retired. “One of the reasons (behind the move) was my husband’s serious illness, which acted as a sort of wakeup call. It was now or never! The biggest decision was leaving our (by now grown up) children and grandchild behind. We weighed up the quality of a pensioner’s life in the UK and Austria, and although we were aware that life in Austria would definitely be more expensive, the overall quality would be hard to achieve back in the UK. This was six years ago now. The move was the best thing we ever did. Our life in Austria is simply fabulous, having made a lot of new friends, both Austrian and English. We were actually surprised how many English people live in the area. Every now and then we visit the regular weekly English club in the next village, we make the most of the skiing areas. A trip to Italy for lunch or just a cappuccino? No problem, it takes just an hour in the car through pleasant scenery with little traffic. Slovenia for a shopping trip perhaps, or just a concert? Again, you’ll be there in an hour. All in all, life is good!”


Anne and Cliff from Oxfordshire

Try something new If the idea of stepping into someone else’s shoes for a while sounds appealing then you might be the perfect candidate for a homesitting project. Homesitters Ltd is a national home and pet sitting company and they have found that active retirees in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are keen to take on the flexible role as it gives them the chance to travel throughout the UK, to stay in fantastic homes in rural and urban locations and care for a wide variety of pets, which could include dogs, cats and rabbits to the more unusual such as potbellied pigs, llamas and snakes. While the primary rewards are non-financial, homesitters receive a modest remuneration to supplement a pension, and food and travel expenses. Anne and Cliff from Oxfordshire began home and pet sitting after taking early retirement because they found they had a big void in their lives after they stopped working. The couple are keen animal lovers but don’t have room for a dog of their own so for them the highlight of home and pet sitting is spending time with animals. Keeping fit and getting exercise taking the dogs for walks is also a big attraction. Cliff comments, “Home and pet sitting is a fantastic hobby, we receive a remuneration and expenses which is useful but the main benefit is having the chance to visit different places, spend time with dogs and cats and the exercise we get taking the dogs for walks. We also get to stay in some very special places. We recently did an assignment in a huge old rectory in the Cotswold countryside with stunning views. Sitting on the sofa with a dog either side of me resting their heads in my lap was just idyllic.” Homesitters is currently on a summer recruitment drive to recruit enthusiastic and reliable people to join its expanding team of home and pet sitters across the UK. Find out more at



I Independence forever Being independent is one of the most important things for retirees so it is important that you take action early enough to ensure you have a comfortable situation when the time comes. Relying solely on a state pension is not going to give you the quality of life you’re accustomed too and might make you become isolated. If your employer is looking to make redundancies they may well offer the prospect of early retirement but the Money Advice Service says that while taking early retirement is a very attractive lifestyle it does have some downsides to consider too. For example, you are likely to have a smaller pension than if you worked to normal retirement age. What’s more, you are only eligible to start taking a workplace pension when you are 55 and a state pension in your mid-60s. In any case, you need to work out how much money you will have to live off during your retirement, so calculate your financial commitments and what you intend to spend and see if it really is a viable option on the money you will have. Sometimes it is a better approach to go for a phased retirement process where you gradually give up work to help you transition both mentally and financially. Find out more at

R Rekindle the magic There are plenty of opportunities out there to keep you busy during retirement from activity centres to local community groups. A study in 2016 found that one of the best ways to live longer in retirement is to join a social group or club (The Telegraph, 2016). Book clubs, church groups, dancing and fitness groups are all popular ways to keep a social aspect to your life. Find groups near you through Age UK ( One of the most popular ways to keep your sparkle is to join a holiday club where you spend time alone or as a couple with other people in the same situation and visit places in the UK and abroad. Visit for more information.

E Empowerment It used to be that when retirement beckoned an air of sadness settled in. But what will I do every day? Work is my life, it gets me up in the morning and pays my bills. Without it I might fade away, I’ll be the one staring out of the window hoping for someone to call or pop over for a cup of tea. I’ll fester in an arm chair watching day time TV and shopping channels and wishing the rest of my life away. You won’t. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Embrace this new stage in your life. Feel confident in what you have achieved and what you can still do in years to come.

tion c a e k Ta “Being independent is one of the most important things for retirees so it is important that you take action early enough to ensure you have a comfortable situation when the time comes.” w w w. s ta ffo rdsh i re l i vi n g.c o .u k

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Mr and Mrs Martin and their Cockerpoo, Millie

M Move and improve yourself It’s always a good idea to keep moving, especially when we get older when living a sedentary life can be hard to avoid. Take up a sport like golf or swimming or join a walking club to keep you active and sociable. Keep the brain on the go by taking up a hobby such as photography or writing a novel. Visit to find out more about walking clubs in your area.

T Take a gap year Travel is one of the most likely ways to spend your time after retirement so it’s no surprise that a third of retirees are taking three holidays per year and half of these are spending £2000 per getaway (Norton Finance). In fact, it’s now quite customary to take ‘grey gap’ year and spending extended amounts of time abroad in some of the most beautiful places in the world is the lifestyle of choice for many retired individuals. There are plenty of couples and singles jumping on planes to fulfil their bucket list of destinations. Places like Hawaii, California, Australia and Alaska are all popular spots to explore, as well as closer to home in France, Italy and Ireland. Renting vintage cars, cycling from place to place, even on motorbikes in some cases, are making retirement travellers some of the most adventurous around.




Earn and enjoy Retirement doesn’t have to mean giving up work, in fact, it can mean the opposite. For many retirees they enjoy their job and see it as more of a hobby than anything else. Being able to have more flexibility in your hours but still contribute can be a great compromise. For others, it’s the perfect excuse to start a small business or get a small part time job in the local community. There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities to explore. Find out more at

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“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” - C.S Lewis

Nest in the community Selling your home and moving to a retirement living development has become a popular way to downsize on property and enjoy life with other people in similar circumstances. This was true for Stafford couple, Mr and Mrs Martin and their Cockerpoo, Millie. They moved to the Humphrey Court retirement development at The Oval in Stafford in 2016, which has 45 one and two bedroom apartments. The development is designed exclusively for the over 60s and is conveniently situated within easy reach of a host of essential amenities and excellent transport links. “Regaining our independence was a really important factor in our relocation, as getting out and about was becoming a bit difficult where we lived before. Now, I can just take a leisurely stroll into town whenever I need anything,” said Mrs Martin. “There’s such a fantastic sense of community here, we never feel lonely! There are always great events to get involved with, and there’s always the option to simply enjoy some peace and quiet if you so wish. I love the movie nights and coffee mornings, and it’s so refreshing to be around likeminded people who are looking to make the most of their retirement.” “If we couldn’t have brought Millie with us, we wouldn’t have moved – it’s as simple as that! Having her here with us made the place feel like home straight away. Our neighbours adore having Millie here too, and she is very happy as she always gets plenty of fuss.” Many retirement living developments have communal spaces for socialising and landscaped gardens to enjoy making them a great option to meet new friends. To find out more information about Humphrey Court in Stafford please call 0800 201 4741 or visit

The Premium Care Provider in Staffordshire Avery Healthcare is a leading and award winning national care provider that has a range of luxury care homes throughout the county for residential and dementia care. A standards based approach ensures modern, purpose built buildings finished to high specifications, restaurant quality dining and service, the very best in care from professionally trained staff, and a sector leading Well-being and Activities Programme that supports independence and a fulfilling life.

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A selection of beautifully finished one bedroom apartments available for the over 55’s. Newly decorated and carpeted with modern kitchens and bathrooms. Enjoy the freedom of independent living with the option of joining in with the many social activities in the communal lounge. Alpha Rocklands, Second Avenue, Porthill

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T R E N D R E P O R T:

ARE YOU A FLEXITARIAN? With just 28% of Brits claiming to need meat in the majority of their weekly dishes and 61% of the nation now eating meat-free dishes week in, week out*, we’re exploring the latest diet trend – would you class yourself as a flexitarian?


wenty years ago, if you classed yourself as a vegan, you were probably also living in a commune, meditating daily and chanting with dreadlocked hair and stripy trousers, or you were allergic to meat and dairy. It simply wasn’t a lifestyle that many of us chose to follow because we didn’t understand it and weren’t aware of the reasons behind the benefits of such a diet choice. But the world has changed dramatically since then and now living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle has become trendy, responsible and a much healthier approach to our diet. Matt Lee, Director at shopper media Capture says: “This trend of wellbeing has been championed by leading celebrities or public figures such as Ella Woodward (www. in an age where information - whether it be education on what is good for our bodies or inspiration on new ways of doing things - is at our finger tips. “More prominent celebrity figures such as Beyonce or Paul McCartney have helped to raise the profile of initiatives such as Meat Free Monday or Veganuary making meat free more central in the public consciousness, but also encouraging easily manageable trials or ways to transition to meat free living.”


But it’s also a lifestyle that has become socially acceptable to give up for a day if we feel like it and if we fancy a bacon sandwich on a Saturday morning, it’s ok to eat one. We’re just a flexitarian. Nutritionist, Ella Gale who has devoted an entire blog (www. to her life as a flexitarian explains. “I have considered myself a ‘flexitarian’ for almost 3 years now – my preference is for vegetarian foods but when cooked for by others, eating out or just when I generally have an appetite for it I will allow myself to eat meat. This, for some people, may seem outrageous…” Isn’t this a blog about veganism?! She’s talking about eating MEAT!?” but that is exactly the issue… my belief is that there is a need for a happy inbetween; a diet that reduces the negative impact that the meat and dairy industry has on the world but is not so restrictive that it deters omnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians from giving it a try."

So how exactly do we define ourselves as a flexitarian?

A Brief Guide to Flexitarianism

According to Friends of the Earth ( and, the word Flexitarian is a merging of two words: Flexible and vegetarian.

“Most flexitarian diets are mainly plant-based, with the occasional inclusion of meat and dairy and usually with ethical considerations for how these were produced,” they said. “Flexitarian can be thought of as a direction rather than a category. The focus is on reducing our intake of meat and dairy, recognising and respecting that we all have very different views, experiences and resources. Current research shows that high levels of meat consumption harm the environment, our health and the welfare of animals and the flexitarian diet is a perfect way to help with all of this. It is a very inclusive diet. It doesn’t say you can’t eat certain foods but instead enables people to experience exciting new foods and dishes in addition to those they already enjoy.” Bristol claims to be the first ‘Flexitarian City’, where, they say, “citizens thrive on sustainable and healthy diets.” But what about the rest of us? The latest findings (2016) from consumer analyst, Mintel, suggest that this is a trend which is well and truly here to stay. It says that 35% of people in Britain are now calling themselves flexitarian or ‘semi-vegetarian’ and this number is only set to rise with 40% of people agreeing they eat less meat than they used to. Interestingly almost half of Brits (48%) see meat-free products as environmentally friendly and 52% see them as healthy. Furthermore, it’s a much cheaper option to cut down on meat. Friends of the Earth say that vegetarian meals are, on average, 60 per cent cheaper than meat-based equivalents.


Going Vegan But, transitioning from meat eater to vegan is certainly going to be a challenge both mentally and physically for those used to eating it every day, enter the flexitarian, but going for a more flexible approach to a meat and dairy free diet seems like a great way to contribute to improving the environment while being healthier in the process. Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “Like any other lifestyle change, going vegan takes time getting used to but if you focus on the benefits rather than the things you can’t do, it is actually a piece of (vegan) cake! “The image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history, while shedding some tired old stereotypes. People now closely associate it with health, fitness and wellbeing. It’s no longer an extreme lifestyle, it’s easy and accessible - you can walk into any supermarket and be greeted by a huge range of dairy-free milks and many more other vegan-friendly products. “The Vegan Society works to make veganism accessible to everyone. Vast majority of people in the world have access to an abundance of vegan food – it’s just the case of making the choice.


...on being a flexitarian 1. Like Ella Gale, most people follow a meat and dairy free diet at home and then relax it a little when they go out for a meal in a restaurant or with friends. This can make awkward questions about what’s in the food at the dinner table, well, less awkward! 2. Make the transition simpler by cutting down to just one meal a day that has animal products in it at first and gradually decrease the proportion over time or go meat free for just one day a week. 3. Many people following a flexitarian diet will also be conscious about where the food they eat comes from – choose local, organic and seasonal produce where possible. 4.

Include a portion of fruit and vegetables with every meal and swap snacks for a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.


Research the foods you can and can’t eat on a vegan diet and create recipes and shopping lists based around this.


Be sure to get enough protein in your diet by choosing non meat sources such as beans, lentils, tofu, peas, seeds and nuts.

7. Go for bright and colourful foods to improve your nutrition and make meals more appetising – add purple, green, yellow and red foods into every meal. 8. Browse the meat-free aisles of the supermarkets to find healthy and delicious alternatives to your favourite meat dishes. 9.

Sign up to a weekly recipe box delivery to get healthy and nutritious ingredients along with recipe ideas and inspiration. Check out

“It’s a great time to be vegan. Last year’s figures showed vegan food sales went up by 1,500%, while research commissioned by The Vegan Society unveiled that there are 542,000 vegans in Great Britain, a three and a half times increase in the last decade. “More people are now aware of the animal exploitation involved in the production of meat, dairy and eggs and do not wish to support these cruel industries. Most vegans do not want to contribute to the pain and suffering of animals, some are concerned with the huge impact that animal agriculture has on the environment, and others choose to follow the lifestyle to improve their health.” Matt Lee adds: “Meat free brands are no longer targeting their message to only the niche vegetarian market, but instead are talking to the masses about ways in which to improve wellbeing through living and eating better. Take Quorn for example, they state that 75% of their consumers are not vegetarians; meat eater, Mo Farah, is the brand ambassador for their most recent campaign ATL, his message is simply about having a nutritional and balanced diet rather than positioning Quorn as a vegetarian’s meat substitute solution.”

Where do you stand? We asked you on social media to share your lifestyle choice with us and here are the results.







Vegetarian Omnivore

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31/05/2017 17:36


FRANCHISEES According to the British Franchise Association (bfa) franchising now contributes around £15.1 billion to the UK economy and that’s risen a staggering 46% over the past 10 years. Want a piece of the action? Meet the people who already are reaping the rewards.

Asghar Tayub, United Carpets and Beds, Derby

Tracy and Simon Vardy, Costa Coffee (Sim Trava)

Sarah McLean, McDonald’s

“I’ve been a franchisee for just over 14 years, opening the doors to the United Carpets branch in Derby in March 2003 – I was only 26 at the time!

Founded by husband and wife Simon and Tracy Vardy in 2004, Sim Trava is a franchise business that operates over 20 branches of Costa Coffee across the North.

“I have been a McDonald’s franchisee for 15 years, having originally begun my career at McDonald’s 35 years ago. Since then, the business has supported me and helped my franchise to expand to 14 restaurants across Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Warwickshire.

“Previous to that I worked in an office at an American bank for a number of years, which was not the career route for me. I realised I wanted to get out of office work and get out there to meet new and different people each and every day. “Through lots of research, homework and investigation I established United Carpets and Beds was a great opportunity for me to go about working for myself, while also having the support and expert knowledge a franchise offers. “My advice for those considering opening a franchise, or torn between going it alone or with the support of a franchise is research, research, research! Ask questions, you may consider them silly – but ask them, visit a number of branches to see how things look, feel and are run, and face-to-face chats – they cannot be beaten. “All in all, I have no regrets. I love what I do and being a franchisee has allowed me to work for myself, as I wished, and to have a very comfortable lifestyle.”

“Simon and I had been investigating the possibility of starting our own business for a while, we both knew we wanted to do it, but we didn’t really know what kind of business we wanted to start. This was the same time that Whitbread made Costa Coffee franchise opportunities open to partners and I think we both knew straight away that was the direction we wanted to go. “What we’ve loved the most about setting up our own business has to be seeing all the plans we had for Sim Trava become a reality. In the early days there were sacrifices though, but we were prepared to put the work in. However, it was all worth it and the rewards now far outweigh the initial dislikes of setting up on our own.

“I’m a firm believer in one of the tenets of the business, as expressed by one of the McDonald’s Founders, Fred Turner, and that is if you look after the business, the business will look after you. Supporting the reinvestment into my restaurants is my dedication to strive for the highest operational standards. My aim in running multiple restaurants is to remain “hands on” and to continue to be the gatekeeper of standards. I strive at all times to be one of the best and am my own greatest critic.

“One of the benefits of being a franchisee that I didn’t anticipate before becoming one is the capacity I have to use the business to support my personal values, such as fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, helping to improve “Do your research, both on the business the local environment surrounding my restaurants opportunity but also the financial side of starting and supporting grassroots football. For example, up on your own. We did a lot of investigating on the funding side in particular to make sure we got in November last year I and 27 of my colleagues the right backing and this has been essential in the embarked on a 500km trek across Madagascar on bikes raising a staggering £180,000.” growth of the business.”


Franchise What is it? A franchise is a business where the owners sell the rights to their business – including the logo, name and model – to third party retail outlets owned by independent third party operators called franchisees. McDonald’s, Costa, Subway, Intercontinental Hotels and Dominos are all examples of franchisees in the UK but you can find franchise opportunities in most types of businesses.

Be a franchisee Anybody has the potential to become a franchisee but it can be quite competitive especially with well-known brands. Once you have decided on the franchise that is right for you, you’ll have to impress the owners so that they will work with you. Furthermore, you will have to finance the setting up of your outlet or business. If you want to explore the idea of becoming a franchisee then visit to find out more.

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TIME TO TAKE CYBER CONTROL Something we enjoy every day could be doing us more harm than good. We need to have a talk about cyber safety.


s much as we love the internet and, in some ways, couldn’t live without it, it’s also becoming a very dangerous place to be. The more we interact online, the more we open ourselves up to potentially harmful situations and there’s only one person who can keep you safe, and that’s you. Cyber stalking has steadily been increasing since the millennium and there is little that authorities can do to protect us because it’s becoming harder to identify who the perpetrators are. We spend on average three hours a day surfing the net via our smart phones, tablets and desktop computers and much of our online time is spent on social media sites. Fake profiles, lax privacy settings and our general openness on channels like Facebook and Twitter are giving stalkers a greater chance of achieving their goal, whether that’s to intimidate, scare, or worse, to cause harm to women online.

Who could be your stalker? While the majority of online stalking cases are usually acquaintances or friends of friends, they can be complete strangers who have found your profile online. But Woman’s Aid is warning of stalking cases being part of controlling relationships with those at home too. “Online platforms are increasingly used to perpetrate domestic abuse. Online domestic abuse can include behaviours such as monitoring of social media profiles or emails, abuse over social media such as Facebook or Twitter, sharing intimate photos or videos without your consent, using GPS locators or spyware.” Women’s Aid carried out research on online domestic abuse and found that for 85% of


respondents, the abuse they received online from a partner or ex-partner was part of a pattern of abuse they also experienced offline and nearly a third of respondents (29%) experienced the use of spyware or GPS locators on their phone or computers by a partner or ex-partner. It’s important to understand when this abuse is taking place and seek professional help as soon as possible. Find out more at

When does it cross the line? Only a small proportion of online stalking cases are reported to police giving us unrealistic statistics about the level of a problem there is in society. You may be experiencing some inappropriate behaviour online without even realising it, so when is it cause for concern? 1. Do you feel harassed by a ‘friend’ online? Do

they often post negative comments, or send you personal messages which cause offense? If this is happening you are experiencing some form of online abuse and you should take steps to protect your online security. Block, ‘unfriend’ or unfollow these types of people and make sure they are not able to access your account. 2. Has one of your distant Facebook friends turned up to the place you are at after you have posted where you are online? This could be a sign that they are watching your profile to see where you are heading and how they can ‘bump’ into you. 3. Have you received a friend request from an

unknown person or a person who has a peculiar name or profile photo? You shouldn’t accept requests from people you don’t know especially if they have a suspect profile. It is usually a person behind the screen pretending to be someone else.


How to stalker proof yourself online: Edit your friend list: Make sure you only have people who you know and trust on your friend’s list. Don’t add people on social media that you don’t know and unfriend anybody you are unsure of. They won’t know you have unfriended them so don’t feel like you are being harsh. If you find someone is overbearing, abusive or harassing to you then block them. You don’t have to feel intimidated online. You should also report someone who you feel has crossed the line to help stamp out the problem.


Check your privacy settings: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have ways of protecting your profile online. You can create a group of friends that you only wish to see certain parts of your profile as well as limiting posts to certain groups and people. Your profile can also be made private so only your friends can search and access it. If you are unsure if you have up-todate privacy settings go to privacy. On Twitter, you can select a box called "Protect My Updates" on your account page so only your "followers" will be able to read your feed. Similarly, on Instagram you can make your account and feed private and all followers have to request access letting you vet those people you want to be able to see it.


Don’t shout out when you’re about: If you do have a public profile or you are concerned about anyone in your friend list, do not check in to a location while you are out and about. If you must do it, only do it when you leave so a potential stalker will find it difficult to follow your whereabouts. You also want to make sure they are not aware of when you are away from home, especially if you have a public profile, as this will let people know your home is empty.


Date fright: While using online dating sites has become an integral part of finding love in today’s society, it can also be a prime way for people to find victims. Be mindful of how they are behaving and if you get a sense they are being too much too quickly then break away. Perhaps they are asking too many personal questions too soon to find out as much information about you as possible or they are contacting you multiple times a day, either way, it is not appropriate behaviour for someone you have just met. Ask yourself would you accept this behaviour from them in person or by phone? 4.

5. Who are you? Be careful how you are represented online and make sure your email address for websites like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace do not disclose your real name as this could give someone the opportunity to delve deeper into your identity. 6. Never alone: No matter how sure you are about a person online, never meet a seller or ‘friend’ on your own, always take someone with you and be clear of your whereabout with another close friend or relative.

Identity theft: Unfortunately identity theft is still a very concerning problem in the UK and a thief has the opportunity to find out masses of detail about a person from their social media presence and online interaction. Even shouting about your birthday plans lets people gleam personal information about your date of birth. Always protect your identity through privacy settings.


Keep it personal: Don’t give your personal details out to strangers. Things like your address, full name, phone number and email address can give them the information they need. What’s more, never send explicit pictures or videos of yourself to strangers. You will never get these back and once they are out there it is near impossible to get rid of them.


9. Email fraud: Don't open emails or attachments from people or organisations you don't know or have never dealt with before. Likewise, never give out your personal information, bank account details or passwords over an email. 10. Tell someone: Most importantly, don’t suffer in silence, talk to a close friend or relative if you are concerned about anything you see online.

Children and the internet Whether you are a parent, carer or teacher, talking to kids about cyber safety can be difficult but it’s a talk we should all be having regularly. The NSPCC surveyed 1,696 11- to 18-year-olds and nearly 80% reported they did not feel safe online. It has these 3 tips to help start the conversation: 1.

Explore sites and apps together and talk about any concerns.

2. Ask your child if they know how to stay safe online. 3.

Talk about personal information and what to share online. Furthermore, recent research carried out by shows the significance of what we as parents do online and how it can affect the safety of our children. The hard facts • Parents now share nearly 300 photos of their kids online every year, meaning there could be 1,500 photos of a child online by their fifth birthday • 45% of parents allow these Facebook ‘friends’ to view their posts, a further 20% allow Friends of Friends and 8% have posts open to everyone • When asked 10 true or false questions about Facebook’s privacy settings, 24% of parents get every single one wrong There are a number of tools to help parents talk openly and reassuringly about using the internet and staying safe online. Get more advice about how to talk to your child to help them stay safe at,uk. L

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Do something extraordinary become a foster carer Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Visit us at: or call us on: 01782 234555 #FosterForYourLA

THINKING ABOUT THE NEXT STEP TO SENIOR SCHOOL OR SIXTH FORM? Chase Grammar are holding a number of open events to give you the opportunity to meet the Principal, view the school and chat to students. FOR STUDENTS LOOKING FOR YEAR 7 ENTRY


Thursday 21st September - 6pm - 8pm Tuesday 26th September - 10am - 3pm

Wednesday 20th September - 6pm - 8pm Friday 29th September - 10am - 3pm

View the school in action. Please call to book an appointment.

View the school in action. Please call to book an appointment.

WHOLE SCHOOL OPEN DAY SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER 01543 501800 • An independent, co-educational school for children aged 2-19 years






adventure Roll back your sleeves and prepare to get all greased up as the trend for classic car restoration skyrockets!




lassic cars are big business, everyone knows someone who loves them and it’s these enthusiasts who have something hiding in their garage – whether that’s a “fixer-upper” or a full on old-banger in need of some serious love and attention. But classic cars don’t come cheap, in fact some of the better preserved models can reach staggering prices of £100,000 or more so real enthusiasts turn to restoration as a way to satisfy their motor hunger. It’s the ultimate hobby, a proper labour of love, restoring a classic car in any state is no easy activity to undertake and those who set about on a project of this nature are faced with a set of challenges and exciting revelations all at the same time.

Finding your car So if you think you have what it takes to restore a classic car, where will you find one? First things first it is best to join a community of enthusiasts to ask questions about costs and any difficulties they have faced in a specific car you are keen on restoring to make sure it is a viable option for your situation.

Not everyone will succeed, half-finished projects or part-restored cars fill up online auction and sales sites but sticking to it can not only be rewarding, satisfying and enjoyable, it’s also likely to turn into profit too, if you can ever bring yourself to part with your finished ride.

What to consider before you start It’s certainly a challenge to embark on a restoration project - you’ll need a good sized garage or workshop, tools, time, passion and a whole lot of determination. A restoration project on average takes about 1,000 hours to complete and can cost anywhere between £15,000 and £40,000. You have to consider all the materials and tools you will need to fulfil your dream. Take the time to research and estimate the costs that will be involved in your project as each one will be individual and unique depending on your own skills. You may have to factor in outsourcing costs if you won’t be able to complete a lot of the mechanical or electrical elements yourself.

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ou’ll need time, money and space to complete a project, there are a number of tools that might not already feature in your tool box which you’ll need to use on the car. You may already have things like screwdrivers, drills, floor jacks, sockets and a wrench but some of the more specialist items like an engine crane, stand, blow torch or welder may not feature in your garage. These can be costly but can also be hired if you don’t plan on making your restoration projects a regular occurrence. Finally, you don’t want a restoration project to take over your life, after all it is a hobby, and you don’t want it to creep into time with family and friends, so make sure you set out specific times during the week when you can put the hours in.

Online forums like www. are a great way to connect with likeminded individuals easily. You can find classic cars for sale on marketplace websites like ebay and Gumtree as well as in the classified sections of newspapers both in print and online. There are also specialist websites such as where you can find a range of cars in varying levels of restoration. The important thing to remember is not to rush into anything and where possible you should visit the car and see it in person as you cannot always see things on photos or gauge the level of work needed from the description. Experts believe that it is best to start with a smaller project – buying a complete framed car with limited rust and no major bumps, it may cost more at the beginning to purchase the car but you will save later on when it comes to what you have to pay out for. >

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RB W Sports & C

family business

lassics 0154 8 701

RBW Sports & C lassics nit 1 Birchbrook ndustrial state Shenstone Staffordshire WS14 0 Tel 0154 8 701 07 4 4 784 |  @ rbwsportsandclassics on Thurs


Opening Times 6pm Fri am . 0pm Sun 11am


RBW Sports & C lassics revved its way into fruition when P eter Swain, a sports and classic car enthusiast, became fed up of not being able to get a good, q uality service locally or a considered timely approach to work on his much-loved classics. With the enthusiasm needed, P eter started the family business ' RBW' ( RBW being the initials of his three children) . The initial plan was to sell classic cars from his family home in Sutton oldfield, however, word of mouth meant the demand for RBW sourced vehicles out grew his home ( and his wife' s patience) . pening his new premises in Shenstone on the nd anuary 017, with 75 lassic ars and 50 people attending the open day, BW Sports lassics imited was born. n arch 017, a second premises was acquired to house a brand-new spray, bake booth and paint mixing facility. Now employing eight people, RBW has a healthy ' restoration' department, vibrant service and repair division and of course sells C lassic C ars sourced from every corner of the UK . “ W e have a passio n f o r all thing s C lassic C ar, suppo rted by ski lled exp erienced members of the RBW team we offer a quality, timely and cost effective delivery. What started as a sales business has now become a much wider offering, clients have beco m e o ur f riends� said P eter. We only stock up to six vehicles for sale at any one time, catering for various budgets and we also source cars for our clients. So, if you are thinking of making a long-term investment or after a new toy, come and take a look and have a chat. We offer good advice if we do say so ourselves and the kettle is always on at BW f we don’t have what you are looking for, we will source cars to your specification. Having owned many sports and classic cars himself, P eter will simply choose stock he would personally own with a focus on reliability, excitement and cost effective motoring, coupled with a business that will collect, service and maintain your vehicle leaving you free to enjoy the open road. All our cars are serviced prior to sale but you are most welcome to bring independent ex perts to inspect. BW offer a unique buy back service we will guarantee to buy back your lassic car in three years’ time applying interest. Sub ect to service history and condition a unique offer that underpins your investment it’s a lot nicer than an ISA' . P lease enq uire for more information.

C urrent vehicles being prepared for sale: MG C


19 6 8

ne owner, low mileage, litre straight six, Webasto sunroof, overdrive. One of only a few iconic MG C ’s in this spec with very low mileage and ownership. C urrently being prepared for sale as a concourse car. elivery ugust 017.

British Racing G reen, stunning car and soundtrack. Viewing and driving is a must with this car. The RBW owner personally had this car commissioned in 19 9 6 and has repurchased and added further improvements.

rice 6,000. Three-year buy back applies.

rice 18, . Three-year buy back applies.

Triumph Stag

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B G T V8


ow mileage, low ownership, litre auto. All panels replaced, engine rebuilt with performance and cooling upgrades, new interior, wire wheels, new hood – prepared for sale in October. We have rebuilt this car to a high standard. rice guide 1 ,000 to


C obra Hawk 2 8 9

s new with 00 miles’ post completion. vailable ugust September 017 running a tuned T 8, a beautiful gentleman’s express, the ultimate soundtrack. rice 45,000. Three-year buy back applies.












Tips for doing it right 

Before you begin your project, have a comprehensive car manual to hand that you can refer to as you carry out your restoration.

Keep a check of anything you dismantle with notes and photos so you can put them back together correctly.

The body and paint work of your car is going to be one of the major jobs and knocking out bumps and touching up paint is not as easy as it sounds. You have the option of outsourcing this to a professional but if you would rather do it yourself then it might be worth taking a course so you have the skills and techniques to buff and bend that car right back into pristine condition! Under the bonnet – it’s likely you’ll have to repair or replace a lot of the moving parts of the car as seized components are a real trouble spot in classic cars especially if they have been left in a garage for a long period of time.

Battery life – you will probably have to replace the battery in the car unless it has been charged and used regularly. Make sure you factor this into your costs projection.

As with anything old and electrical, it needs to be regularly maintained if you’re not electrically minded then it might be worth speaking with professionals to help with modernising it.

Car parts can be salvaged from your model but you can also visit salvage centres which will have a number of car parts you can pick and choose from according to your car’s specification. There are also plenty of online forums and market website where other car enthusiasts will be posting parts they have to sell and where you can call out for specific parts too.

Don’t be afraid to enjoy the challenge! You should see it as a fun hobby that you set dedicated time aside for and take pride in what you are doing.

It’s the ultimate hobby, a proper labour of love, restoring a classic car in any state is no easy activity to undertake…

Enjoying the ride Once you have completed your project and you are ready to show it off, don’t forget you might need road tax and insurance to drive it and keep it. While driving your beast might be enjoyment enough there are also plenty of classic car shows (check out and and even classic car boot sales where you must have a classic car to take part!

Are you up to the challenge? Ask yourself these five questions before you start. 1. Can you afford it? A classic car restoration project could end up costing you thousands of pounds so make sure you are prepared for what’s ahead and set out a clear budget. 2. Do you have enough time? You don’t want your project to run on month after month so give yourself an idea of timescale before you begin. Try and complete it within six months and you will feel much more rewarded at the end. 3. Do you plan on restoring the car to its original makeup or are you going to put some personal touches into it? It is widely respected in the classic car world to add some personality to your car but if you are thinking about selling to collectors or antique dealers then the best prices will come from a car that has been restored as it was originally intended. 4.

Is there enough space at home? It’s more convenient to have a project in your garage or work shed at home so that you can easily dip in and out of the work but you’ll need a lot of space because there will be bits of equipment and tools to keep as well as the car and all its parts. You can also rent spaces to carry out your project. Check out Gumtree for garages and spaces to rent in your local area


Will you have enough skills to do it? Most people will be able to carry out the work following instructions, guides and tutorials but you need to be fairly precise and methodical in mind too. L If you answered yes to most of these then get going - let the drive of your life commence!

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Boutique Sale: Saturday 1st July

Sale of Antiques & Interiors: Saturday 8th July

Fine Antiques & Interiors: Tuesday 4th July

Sale of Antiques & Interiors: Saturday 12th August

FREE valuations every Friday 9am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm in Knutsford & Mondays 9am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm in Beeston No appointment necessary! If you are unable to attend, please contact us for a FREE home visit. No obligation to sell.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Saturday 1st July, Boutique Sale, Knutsford Tuesday 4th July, Fine Antiques & Interiors, Knutsford Saturday 8th July, Antiques & Interiors, Beeston Saturday 12th August, Antiques & Interiors, Beeston Knutsford WA16 6DH | T: 01565 653 284 | E: Beeston CW6 9NZ | T: 01829 262 150 | E:


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The benefits of state boarding

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Staffordshire Living - July/August 2017 - Issue 78  
Staffordshire Living - July/August 2017 - Issue 78