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Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine £3.50

January/February 2014



Clear your diaries for the hottest ticket in Staffordshire

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Staffordshire Living bring the latest trends and crazes for 2014


Set the love alight this season with our favourite boudoir designs for your home

MISS STAFFORDSHIRE 2014 In association with


The hunt is on to find the next stunning face of Staffordshire

Romantic Bedrooms • Fragrances • Slimmer Tricks • Charity Appeal • Adult Learning • Real Life Weddings Cooking Knives • Sofa’s • Events Calendar • Academies • Shopping Breaks • Divorce • Fine Dining • Health Habits


Now trending in Birmingham Book your stay at Direct TRAINS TO BIRMINGHAM WITH


a Your sma ll bathroom needn’t be e saving problem with our innovative spac e ideas that don’t compromise on tast



12 Ice Queen 15 We’ve Got Valentine’s Day All Wrapped Up 18 Tricks Up Your Magicians Sleeve 22 Make A Weekend Of It

78 Romantic Hotspots In The UK 84 Miss Staffordshire 2014 88 The Eco Fleet 92 Is D-Day On The Horizon? 96 A Giving Nation



24 Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue... 27 The Perfect Match 30 Alternative Ways To Keep Fit 35 Ditch The Habit

98 Make The Magic Happen 103 Snuggle In... 107 Small Bathroom? Small Problem 114 Fix Up. Look Sharp



38 Without A Hitch! 43 Real Life Weddings 47 Before You Tie The Knot 49 Weston Park, Staffordshire 51 Brockencote Hall Hotel 54 Bridal Radiance: Tried & Tested 58 In Full Bloom 60 “White Blindness”

117 Learning And Training 131 Academies: The Success Story? 134 Education Bulletin

WINING & DINING 62 One Pot Wonder! 67 A Slice Of The Action 70 The Language Of Love 74 Time To Snuggle In With A...Hot Chocolate 76 The 2014 Food & Drink Hot List


ENTERTAINMENT 136 Events Calendar 140 Limelight

COMPETITIONS 15 Win A Ladies Roamer Watch

70 Win A Case of Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato! 82 Win A Spa Weekend At Alton Towers

For exclusive online competitions visit

Winter warming casseroles for those chilly nights in



Celeb Feature

January/February 2014


os s Kate M40! s n r tu ut Find o e is h s w ho ating celebr

Beauty products to grab his attention this Valentine’s Day



Let us introduce you to Living Live 2014. Staffordshire’s largest lifestyle show.


Real life Staffordshire Brides share with their weddings and top tips with us.


The latest 2014 trends are here and we’re introducing you to the foodie crazes setting 2014 alight...


Miss Staffordshire 2014...Could you be the county’s next beauty queen?


Ensure the magic happens this Valentine’s Day with our stunning range of passionate & dreamy bedrooms.



Justine Clegg DESIGN


to the January/February edition of Staffordshire Living...


A huge Happy New Year to you gorgeous lot and a massive thanks for supporting your local county magazine throughout 2013 – we know you’ll continue to support us as we enter into our 10th year in 2014! As we are constantly on the lookout to reinvent ourselves and update our content on a yearly basis, you’ll find some massive changes happening throughout the coming year that we can’t wait to share with you. It’s truly an exciting time for us here at Staffordshire Living magazine, and a journey we hope you’ll fully embrace whilst growing with us.


Sarah Evison Amanda Peach Annette Thomas

As you will have clearly noticed, our front cover has had a complete revamp for the New Year. We love to mix things up a bit, and decided to ditch the celebs for something a little more seasonal. Please tell us what you think via our social media sites…we would love to know your thoughts on our new direction and whether you’re enjoying our latest issue. STUDIO MANAGER


One thing is for sure though – we haven’t made any changes to that fact we still play host to an exciting array of amazing competitions! Last edition you all went crazy for our Karen Millen watch free prize draw (which was worth a whopping £250!), so it appears you love a fabulous fashion product. Therefore this edition we have a new desirable accessory free prize draw as we’re giving away a stunning Roamer watch (p15). Whilst you’ll also find a romantic spa break away to Alton Towers (p82) to coincide with the Valentine’s Day celebrations. We’ve got plenty of exciting news for 2014, the first coming in the form of taking on the lead sponsorship of Miss Staffordshire 2014 at Uttoxeter Racecourse. We’re so proud to be a crucial part in finding the next stunning face of our equally beautiful county, and our talent search has officially begun. Could it be you? Or do you know someone to put forward? Turn to page 84 to see how you can get involved with the Miss Staffordshire competition in 2014. There has been many a rumour surrounding this next newsflash, and yes they were all true. On page 16 you’ll also discover a major splash the launch of Staffordshire Living magazine’s brand new ‘Living Live’ event –the first of its kind in both Staffordshire and the Midlands! This lifestyle event will feature some of the very best entertainment, food & drink stalls, beauty products and lifestyle companies from our county and beyond, all gathered together under one roof at the spectacular venue, Uttoxeter Racecourse on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd June 2014. Be sure to get your tickets fast before they sell out like hot cakes. And finally (yes there’s more), in 2014 we are overly thrilled and beaming with pride to announce we’ll be celebrating Staffordshire Living magazine’s 10th birthday this summer. We will be sure to be celebrating with a huge bash - more details to follow soon. Until next time, please keep up to date with the latest news on and connect with us on our Facebook and Twitter (@StaffsLiving) pages. As for now, we wish you a prosperous 2014!


Cheryl Osborne PUBLISHER

Craig Rushton Staffordshire Media, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8GB. Tel: 01782 644456 Fax: 01782 657411

Scan the QR code

You can keep up to date with all our activity and news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@StaffsLiving), or visit our website at

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. From time to time the company may contact you with news and information. If you would prefer not to receive further communication either tick the opt out box on the competition form or state on your email.




Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine £3.50

Staffordshire Living is published bi-monthly by

January/February 2014


Front Cover


Clear your diaries for the hottest ticket in Staffordshire

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Staffordshire Living bring the latest trends and crazes for 2014


Set the love alight this season with our favourite boudoir designs for your home

MISS STAFFORDSHIRE 2014 In association with


The hunt is on to find the next stunning face of Staffordshire

Main Image: © victor zastol`skiy. Romantically Styled

Romantic Bedrooms • Fragrances • Slimmer Tricks • Charity Appeal • Adult Learning • Real Life Weddings Cooking Knives • Sofa’s • Events Calendar • Academies • Shopping Breaks • Divorce • Fine Dining • Health Habits 01.5.1/02 00913924 @L


Bedrooms (page 98) Images from left to right: Chocolate Caliente Recipe (page 74), Real-Life Wedding (page 44), Weston Park (page 49), Valentine’s Scents (page 27).

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Staffordshire Media Supports


The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust For Staffordshire and South Cheshire Reg Charity No. 1075597

Celeb Story

© 2013 David M. Benett

Happy 40th Kate Moss! Our Features Writer Justine Clegg, takes a look back over her 26-year career…

Top model and mother-of-one, Kate Moss is to turn the big 4-0 on January 16th 2014. And how exactly is she celebrating? By going nude for Playboy - as you do! But then again, we’re not all Kate Moss so we’re not ones to criticise. Despite a life in the public eye spent boozing, partying, smoking and the well reported drug abuse – Kate seems to have defied the signs of aging in her new spread within the world renowned lads mag.


Celeb Story

Kate’s milestone birthday has played right into the hands of Playboy as they are also celebrating a certain milestone – their 60th Anniversary. Making her debut on the cover of the magazine, Kate has been photographed by the well-respected Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot who are sure to have met Kate before after photographing some of the world’s most famous faces including Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and Madonna. The shoot, which has been styled by W Magazine’s Alex White, has come full circle for Playboy as they’ve gone back to their routes with Kate modelling the famous bunny ears and shirt cuffs with a silky black bodice. And despite the magazine and the content, is it wrong for us to say the teaser shot is somewhat tasteful and gives us an insight on what to expect? It may be tempting enough for us to even go out and buy a copy considering the muse. Kate, having never posed for the famous brand before, may not have seemed the most obvious of choices for such a celebratory edition but then again it has completely worked. It’s not like we’ve never seen Kate naked before which would be a reason for the appeal – in fact we’ve probably seen her boobs that often she could stand in front of us naked and it would hardly surprise us. But despite her ‘nakedness’, we haven’t particularly pictured Kate as a major sex symbol before. Forgive us if you think otherwise. To us she’s been seen more of a symbol of fashion, where her body is the perfect blank canvas for designers to work their magic.

© 2013 David M. Benett

Boy, how Playboy proved us wrong though. She looks smoking! Even at 40. As the founder of Playboy, Hugh Hefner said “She’s a worldwide celebrity and iconic, and crosses the boundaries from sexual imagery to upscale modelling. It’s natural for us.”

January is a staple in the diary for many of the ‘cool London crew’ – including the likes of Sadie Frost, Jaime Winstone and Stella McCartney – as it’s when Kate’s famous birthday benders take place. She’s notorious for them!

And now, after seeing the imagery we can’t help but agree with the editor, Jimmy Jellinek :“As the biggest supermodel in the world, she’s the perfect partner for us to help launch the next 60 years.”

Having friends past and present including Stella McCartney, Ronnie Wood, Naomi Campbell, Alexa Chung and the late Alexander McQueen, her phone book is beaming with A-list celebs that are all equally as up for a good time as Kate.

JUST HOW WILL THE ULTIMATE PARTY GIRL CELEBRATE HER 40TH? In spite of the Playboy campaign, here at Staffordshire Living, we’re eager to see just how and when the supermodel will celebrate turning the big 4-0.

Attending the Rimmel London 180 Years of Cool party with

With Georgia May Jagger © 2013 David M. Benett


Well known for her partying antics, Kate first made her birthdays a yearly highlight back in the days when she had Johnny Depp at the end of her arm where on her 21st birthday she made a spectacle of her celebrations at the renowned Viper Club in LA – which was co-owned by Depp. From here, people craved for Kate’s birthday gossip.

Celeb Story

Famously, the mother-of-one spent her 33rd birthday in a 24-hour booze fuelled bender, spending a reported nearly £8000 and not going home until 10am the very next day. It came as no surprise considering at the time she was dating drug offender Pete Doherty, who even apparently left the celebrations early due to appearing in court the very next day! Classy. In 2009, Kate pulled out all the stops and went on a four day binge with a medieval themed party held with her North London pad. But above all it was her 30th ‘Beautiful & the Damned’ themed bash that made the biggest headlines, superseding everyone’s expectations as she notoriously ended the night with a huge orgy in one of the 5* Claridges hotel rooms! My, oh my. Talk about rock chick antics – this definitely cemented her status as one of London’s wild child’s and proved that despite maturing she’s wasn’t going to grow up anytime soon.

was something of a messy affair with Kate checking herself into rehab shortly after for ‘exhaustion’. As for the real story as to why the pair decided to call it a day on their relationship is still to this day, nearly 15 years later, unclear. We can only presume, due to Kate’s clear heartbreak that it was Johnny Depp’s decision to end it. This was almost confirmed in an interview with Vogue last year, with Kate placing her heart on her sleeve admitting it took “years and years of crying” to finally get over her former beau and not forgetting her famous quote after they split – “No-one will ever love Johnny as I do”. Their relationship at the time was explosive, sexually charged and drug fuelled– a set of cards unfortunately played by many young celebrity couples. Whisked off into a world of high publicity and a calendar full of social events, the pair were constantly by each other’s side and the relationship moved fast with Kate moving in to Johnny Depp’s house in a matter of a few short months. With Kate only being 20 when they first began dating, we can’t help but wonder what if one of the coolest couples of all time may have survived if they had met up once they’d grown up and matured a little? JEFFERSON HACK | 2001 - 2004 Kate began dating the AnOther and Dazed and Confused publisher Jefferson Hack back in 2001 and for us, has been one of the most favourable of her former beaus. In 2002, Kate gave birth to her first child, Lila-Grace, and although the couple did split they have kept an amicable relationship for their daughter, seen even having family dinner dates and outings – something most divorcees could respectively learn from.

With ex-boyfriend Johnny Depp © Featureflash

KATE’S LOVE LIFE: HEARTBREAK, DRUG SCANDALS, ROCK BANDS AND MARRIAGE Since she began dating renowned actor Johnny Depp at the tender age of 20, Kate’s love life has never been far from the headlines. No more so than her much criticised relationship with Libertine’s frontman, Pete Doherty. Oh how our mother’s tutted so loudly. Here we take a look at the rise and fall of her Kate’s love life… JOHNNY DEPP | 1994 - 1998 They were the Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady of the 1990’s and their couple status helped to truly project their statuses around the globe. Everyone wanted a piece of the hottest couple of the moment which eventually took its toll on the couple. It has been well documented that their breakup in 1998

In an interview before the ceremony, Jefferson seemed genuinely happy for Kate and although notoriously tight lipped about their former relationship, you could tell he thought very highly of the mother of his daughter.

Jefferson is said to be a great character, where in his presence it’s hard to get a word in edgeways, but having dated for 3 years the pair have now got an incredible bond that goes far beyond their daughter and consider themselves as great friends, proving so when he attended Kate’s wedding to Jamie Hince. Jefferson Hack. The father of Kate’s daughter Lila-Grace © 2013 Julien Hekimian

Pete Doherty © Featureflash

PETE DOHERTY | 2005 - 2007 Where do we start with this one? We can only imagine Pete has got an exceptional personality or what’s more likely is he’s got a talent for hypnotism as we haven’t a single clue what Kate ever saw in Pete and can only hope she now thinks the same. Drug scandals galore, these pair were forever splashed across the news, tabloids and internet for their antics and seemingly looked down upon by the public. Kate at this point particularly lost her public appeal in our eyes – despite never really having the prettiest of picture painted of her in the first place, she only added fuel to fury. It was during her time with on-off boyfriend Pete Doherty, that Kate in fact lost many of her high profile contracts with a range of designers and brands. Despite it being public knowledge that Kate was a heavy drug abuser, it wasn’t until pictures emerged from the press of her snorting cocaine dubbed ‘Cocaine Kate’ that it actually gave hard proof and evidence for all to see. She was instantly dropped from huge campaigns with Burberry, Chanel and H&M plus many more, reportedly losing her an estimated £6milion loss of earnings for that year. The pair reportedly got engaged near the end of 2006, but split the following summer to everyone’s delight.


Celeb Story

KATE’S STYLE Ok, she may have all the most credible designers around the globe on speed dial, but there is no denying Kate’s personal style has its only stylish swag. But, do you know what we love most about Kate Moss’ style? And the reason why everyone is always eager to see what she’s wearing? It’s because her outfits are always accessible! Her style never falls far away from her famous rock chick routes, edging towards laid back boho or understated vintage glamour dependant on the trends and season. Black is by far her favourite colour, but rather than hiding behind it like most, Kate pulls off the dramatic shade with edginess and ease. Whether it’s a leather jacket with a pair of ripped denim shorts for her festival go-to get-up or a structured black tuxedo suit for an awards ceremony – Kate always looks effortlessly stylish, without looking like she’s tried too hard.

Kate with her husband Jamie Hince © 2013 David M. Benett

JAMIE HINCE | 2007 - Present Another band, another frontman – but there was something distinctively different about The Kills’ Jamie as he proved us all wrong and showed plenty of potential, finally allowing us to see a light at the long, dark and disruptive end of Kate’s relationship tunnel. 2011 was the year of the Kate’s as few months after the royal wedding, Kate Moss married Jamie in a remote wedding near her home in the Cotswolds after four years together. For the fashion world it was one of the most talked about weddings of the year and made for something of a spectacle in the battle of the dresses as people tried predicting what the Kate’s would choose in cut, detail and designer. Dressed in a vintage style light blue suit, Jamie oozed confidence – but then why wouldn’t he when he was the one man in the entire world to ever tie the knot with the worlds most renowned and famous supermodel. Beaming with pride, the couples happiness was displayed for all to see. The pair are often pictured by each other’s side – whether holidaying in sunnier climates or attending the most talked about festivals of the year – yet are pretty adamant on keeping their private lives to themselves and close family. Unless a well coveted event, Kate has come on leaps and bounds compared to her relationship with Pete and although still very much a party girl at heart, her public image has been well and truly cleaned up. Jamie has seemingly been Kate’s knight in shining armour, finally getting the public’s eye back onto her work rather than lifestyle choices. She’s famous for never speaking in public, but now it’s for all the right reasons.


In her early career, Moss pioneered the ‘waif’ look, later deemed ‘heroin chic’. Her childlike frame was somewhat reflectant of the ultimately skinny models of the 60’s made famous by Twiggy, and her constant partying ways saw her as the leader of a new era of London ‘cool kids’. Spaghetti straps and leather galore, it was a friend’s fash frenzy (including the likes of Sadie Frost & Naomi Campbell) being snapped at the hottest events. We’ve recently had a new lease of life to this friends craze, with the modern day example of the Cara Delevingne-Alexa Chung-Pixie Geldof-Henry Holland-Jaime WinstoneHarry Styles crew! Fast forward to 2007, our prayers were finally answered and oh how we all rejoiced when Kate teamed up with Sir Philip Green to launch Kate Moss for Topshop. In the height of her status as a fashion hero, (following her skinny jeans phenomenon) we all clambered our way through the crowds to get our hands on the season’s must-have items (which to be fair was always most of the collection) and eagerly awaited each drop of the collection each season. Did you know, after ending the collection drop in 2010, Kate Moss will be launching a brand new range for Topshop again in April of this year after such popular demand? We can’t begin to tell you of our excitement. Fronting the St Tropez Campaign

KATE MOSS: THE BIOGRAPHY About to turn 40, Kate Moss has a career that spans over 25 years. In that time she had over 300 magazine front covers, been the face of many a brand, strutted her stuff down an endless supply of designer catwalks, travelled all over the world and picked up an array of fabulously famous friends along the way. Granted, she has had her ups and downs both in career and personal life, but it appears she has come out on top at the end of it all… 1988. Age 14 - Discovered by the founder of Storm Model Management, Sarah Doukas, at JFK airport. 1989. Age 15 - Moss appears on her first British front cover, for the magazine The Face. 1992. Age 18 - Shoots to fame after her topless campaigns for Calvin Klein. Her ‘childlike’ frame causes a stir in the fashion industry. 1994. Age 20 - It is documented that Kate earned her first million aged just 20. 1997. Age 23 - ‘Kate: The Kate Moss Book’ was published. 2002. Age 28 - Gives birth to her first child, Lila Grace with partner Jefferson Hack. 2004. Age 30 - Kate makes skinny jeans the ultimate desirable fashion item. 2005. Age 31 - Kate receives the Fashion Icon award fron the Council of Fashion Designers of America. 2005. Age 31 - Rimmel launch their new mascara, using Moss as the first face of their cosmetics. 2005. Age 31 - Daily Mirror print images of Kate allegedly cutting cocaine. 2006. Age 32 - Kate is questioned by police following the cocaine incident. She was not charged. 2007. Age 33 - Launches the ‘Kate Moss for Topshop’ range, proving an instant success. 2007. Age 34 - Kate’s own perfume is released, called ‘Kate’. 2010. Age 36 - AW10 marks the last season for the ‘Kate Moss for Topshop’ clothing line. 2011. Age 37 - Jamie Hince and Kate Moss marry in a quiet ceremony near her home in the Cotswolds. 2013. Age 39 - Becomes the first brand ambassador for St Tropez. 2013. Age 39 - Receives a Special Recognition Award at the British Fashion Awards. 2014. Age 40 - Debuts in Playboy magazine with a naked shoot to celebrate their 60th anniversary.



Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine


The Trend That’s Taking The Fashion World By Storm


Slimming Tricks, Valentine’s Day Gifts & Shopping Breaks

ICE QUEEN Roksanda Hobbs

£60. River Island £35. River Island

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise the designers are clearly suffering from a bad case of summer blues this season, with an array of designs reflecting a range of separates that are more associated with the Spring/Summer catwalks. Jasper Conran dazzled all with the brightest of bright orange and fuchsias (including tights!), whilst here we’re channelling the muted, luxurious tones as seen on the Temperley runway. Evoking luxury and elegance, we can’t get enough.


£69. Marks and Spencer


Ooh cheeky! Ensure your bottom half is decked accordingly. We’re loving the skirt choices thanks to their unusual and ingenuitive use of shape – it’s all in an effort to place them on a completely different level to the cheap tacky white skirts we’re all too familiar with. As for trousers, tailored is THE only choice.

£65. French Connection


• Don’t be afraid to wear all-white. Honey, you can pull it off! As long as the material is luxurious, you can wear white with an injected form of confidence as it evokes money and wealth. • Metallic tones are dreamy and are certainly not just restricted to the Christmas season. Rather than searching for the glitz and glam, choose subdued and dusky metallics that provide a gentle & alluring touch to your outfit. • It’s winter, so dress accordingly! Keep your summer pastel clothing strictly to summer as your chiffons and jerseys simply won’t keep out the chill, darling. Instead be on the search for structure and thick, lavish materials to keep Jack Frost at bay. • If you’re wearing a complete pastel or white outfit, please make sure you don’t ruin it with a pair of black shoes. Pick muted tones and nudes as a subtler choice.





Any excuse to wear a furry hat! The relaxed tailoring is reflective of the attitudes and atmosphere surrounding a Sunday afternoon – comfort being one of the main priorities for this occasion, especially when fitting in a scrummy Sunday lunch. Despite a rather unexciting colour palette of white and subtle hints of metallic, this is completely made up by the use of various textures creating intrigue for the eye. Could we have put anymore into this outfit? By using an array of textures it can take what could be a boring outfit and transforms it into a Vogue-worthy get-up. And we’re not forgetting that we’ve fallen head over heels for this jumper and jeans combo, especially as you can easily style them up with a pair of metallic heels and clutch too for the evening. That’s more wear for your pounds.

The ladies luncheon can be a calendar staple in many a dairy, especially as it gives us the opportunity to leave the hubby at home, be surrounded by intellectual conversation and indulge in a glass of champers or two. It’s either that or an excuse to skive an afternoon off work. The tricky part, which seems to make an appearance in most aspects in our lives, is deciding what to wear. Granted, we’d say this occasion is pretty difficult. There’s a fine line between formalwear and eveningwear that you need to slot into. Here at Staffordshire Living we think the way forward is via separates, ensuring you don’t look dressed for a night on the tiles whilst also steering away from the overly casual. The coat is uber luxurious, if only the event was outside so we didn’t have to take it off!

Look every inch the trend-setter in this unique, yet somewhat understated outfit that will set you apart from everyone else in the room. An all-white outfit is a major concern for many, and an allleather ensemble rings alarms bells for most – yet, we think we’ve pulled off BOTH in this look with sheer attitude and guts. It makes sense though; don’t they say two negatives make a positive? Wearing predictable lace for a date is a card that’s been played over and over again, so it’s time to stand out girlfriend with a look that’s sophisticated, clean-cut, fashion forward, sexy and bang ontrend. Matching your top to your bottom half is so on point at the moment, but push it that one step further with leather. Accessories are to be kept to a minimum, let the outfit sing.

£149. Hobbs

£35. Dorothy Perkins NG LIVI S LOV E ON H ER LEAT HER LEAT

£80. Miss Selfridge FA B G ILIN


£32. Oasis

£35. Miss Selfridge

£12.99. New Look

£149. Marks and Spencer £35. River Island

£35. Next £275. French Connection

£39.99. Zara

£10. Accessorize

£35. Dorothy Perkins £75. Steve Madden at Dune

For more fashion must have’s visit £45. Next

£39. Miss Selfridge

13 Tel: 01743 469737


all wrapped up

We’ve done all the leg work, so you don’t have too… FOR HIM

FOR HER Love Necklace, £6. Accessorize

Celeste Bra £54, Shorts £43. Simon Perele

‘Mad About The Boy’ Cushion, £49. Barbara Coupe La Perla Just Precious Bottle (50ml), £50. John Lewis

Armani Eau De Nuit 50ml, £48.50. The Perfume Shop

Silver-Plated Toast Rack, £12.99. The Cotsold Trading Company

Vanguard Chrono Watch, £320. Roamer of Switzerland Choconchoc Mr & Mrs Chocolate Box, £9.95. Trentham Garden Centre

Personalised Tea Tin, £9.99. Pack of 6 Love Heart Tealights, £4.95.

WO R T H £320!

All You Need Is Love Canvas, £22. Debenhams

Blarzay Shirt, £85. Ted Baker

Personalised Wine, £19.99.

WIN! WIN! WIN! Give the perfect gift this Valentine with a beautiful Swiss watch from one of the best known traditional watch brands – Roamer of Switzerland. Established in 1888, Roamer of Switzerland has been cherished for generations for combining style and elegance with outstanding functionality and technical perfection in ladies and gentlemen’s watches. To this day, Roamer continues to be the popular choice in Swiss watches with a five year piece of mind guarantee with each timepiece and prices from £189-£699. Available in Ernest Jones, House of Fraser, John Lewis and selected fine jewellers nationwide. Staffordshire Living have teamed up with ROAMER watches to offer one lucky reader this gorgeous ladies Swiss Elegance worth an incredible £320!! The watch features a stainless steel bracelet, quartz movement, anti-reflection sapphire crystal glass and is water resistant up to 50 metres. For your chance of winning, answer the following question… In what year were Roamer of Switzerland founded? To enter for FREE please email your name, telephone number and address to stating ‘ROAMER WATCH COMPETITION’ as the subject. Or navigate your way to the ‘Competitions’ tab on and fill out the form. Terms and Conditions: Closing date Friday 21st February 2014. One winner to receive a Roamer of Switzerland Swiss Elegance watch (worth £320) from ICW Watches. 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. There is no cash alternative. For full terms and conditions visit page 6.


Cover Story


The rumours are true...The Largest Lifestyle Show in Staffordshire is coming. Staffordshire Living magazine are excited to announce a new lifestyle show set to be the largest in Staffordshire, and even the West Midlands – Living Live 2014. The event comes to Uttoxeter Racecourse on 21st & 22nd June 2014 and is one not-to-miss! There really is something for everyone at Living Live 2014 as event organisers Purple Sprout PR alongside the team here at Staffordshire Living, have taken inspiration from the well-known Uttoxeter Food and Drink Festival and created a two day Lifestyle event like no other. Whether you are looking for interior and outdoor living inspiration, want to shop for the most fabulous gifts or tuck in to the region’s finest food; Living Live 2014 is a spectacular show that you must add to your social calendar. The show combines five exhibition zones including Home and Garden, Fashion and Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing, Food and Drink and Motors with cooking demonstrations, competitions, event awards and outdoor entertainment for all the family. With over 100 hand-picked exhibitors in attendance it is the perfect excuse to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends, soaking up the summer sun in a stunning location in Uttoxeter.

HOME & GARDEN As the summer nights get longer we are all looking for ways to spend more time outside entertaining friends and enjoying the fresh air. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could prepare our gardens and exteriors just in time for the warmer months? We also look to add a fresh lick of paint to our exteriors, change our interior décor and put the winter throws back in the cupboard! With every season come new home and garden trends for us to choose from. Living Live 2014 has included some of the regions best-known indoor and outdoor Home and Garden exhibitors to their listing. You can shop until you drop and browse the stands for the latest trends that will inspire you to transform your home for the summer.

FASHION & LIFESTYLE Flip-flops are the accessory choice of the season in June, so as we shrug off the winter jackets and jumpers we can all do with a new summer wardrobe! From designer to vintage, brand name to boutique the Fashion and Lifestyle zone is a must-see for both men and women looking for a personal treat or a gift for a loved one. There’s something for children too with toys, technology and gadgets galore to keep them entertained during the school holidays. The cottage industries are taking the region by storm with unique, original and handmade products that you will only find at Living Live 2014!


Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine


To book your tickets visit Exhibitors call: 0800 193 9039 or visit the Living Live 2014 website for more information!

Cover Story

HEALTH & WELLBEING The Christmas indulgence really does take over our lives and our bodies during the festive season, spending the next few months trying to lose those extra pounds and get fit for the summer. Be inspired to feel fabulous and look just as good, in the Health and Wellbeing zone at Living Live 2014! Beauty comes from within so whether you are looking for healthy food, local health and spa attractions, cosmetics, treatments and therapies you will be pleasantly surprised as all are on offer and more.

For the Adults Enter the beer tent at the Food and Drink zone and grab yourself a refreshing beverage from the regions finest breweries. Visitors can then mingle in the shade with friends and family sharing experiences from the day’s events or take a seat in the outdoor terrace to catch some rays. Local bands and DJ’s will be performing live on the main stage throughout the day for visitors to sit and listen in the outdoor or dance along in the sunshine. Staffordshire Living will also be giving away top of the range prizes and goody-bags for all so don’t forget to come and visit our stand to grab yours!

FOOD & DRINK This is where the inspiration for Living Live 2014 was born out of the Uttoxeter Food and Drink Festival, due to the exemplary local produce in the region. Now bigger than ever before you can expect to see some of the regions favourite foodie exhibitors.

For the Children To keep children of all ages entertained whilst the adults shop until they drop, there will be family fun fair rides complete with games and children friendly stalls.

Over the two days you’ll have the chance to watch live cooking demonstrations from the regions best chefs. Revealing their kitchen secrets and recipe favourites, it’s a must see for all keen home cooks.


With tempting delicacies and products your household should never be without; the food and drink hall is all about indulgence! To quench your thirst local breweries and producers will also be showcasing their latest beverages and provide the perfect gift hampers to take home!

MOTORING A new year, a new car as some might say? Or, maybe you are searching for the perfect family caravan for a staycation? The regions dealers will be showcasing the newest models and the latest motoring technology and accessories for you to browse. For those who are looking for something special, you may also find a classic model amongst the lot. Experts from the motoring industry will be on-hand to give you motoring advice and information and you may even be in with a chance of winning a fantastic once in a lifetime prize!

If you are still hungry after tasting the delights from the food hall, you can sit back and relax at the indoor café and bar. There will also be a number of outdoor eateries and refreshment bars open for you to choose from throughout the day.

BOOKING INFORMATION Living Live 2014 really does have something for everyone and is an event which will attract 1000’s of visitors from the region. The all-day event provides a shopping experience like no-other and the summer festival theme will keep you occupied all day long! It is a truly unforgettable event for residents of Uttoxeter and visitors from surrounding towns and counties. Living Live 2014 is being held at Uttoxeter Racecourse on the 21st & 22nd June 2014. Gates open 10am till 5pm. Tickets are priced at: adults £5, under 12’s go FREE and concessions (over 60’s) £3.50. Tickets include free parking.

LIVING LIVE 2014 ENTERTAINMENT Living Live 2014 is like no other lifestyle show in the region, not only will Uttoxeter Racecourse be filled with exhibition stalls for visitors to browse but there is family entertainment around every corner.

For more information visit:





TRICKS FOR UP YOUR MAGICIANS SLEEVE ys to appear slimmer Fashion Expert, Justine Clegg, discusses the wa via clever choices in your clothing… Oh what a boring world it would be if all women didn’t have any personal issues with their bodies! There would be no perks when someone complimented you on how great you looked and we wouldn’t all be able to bond quite as easily over our issues. This article is all in the aim to try and push those worries to the side, or at the very least mask them, as we look at ways our clothing can trick the eye into thinking we have a slimmer frame. And not forgetting snap right out of bad habits. Now, I’m not standing here saying you’re fat. And you know what, I may use words such as bulging bellies and bingo wings, that may offend you with the honesty. I’m not here to make you feel worse about yourself. Far from it, but what I am here to do is discuss ways to hide your woes. These are everyday problems that you yourselves are coming to us with. GETTING TO KNOW YOU The only way we can start this process is by evaluating your loveable figure and getting to grips with your body shape. Long gone are the days where you can only fit into one of two types of known form – pear and hourglass. We all know, just by looking around that women don’t all just slot into either one or the other.


Look at your body in the mirror and pick out your favourite and least favourite assets. If you’re short, but have a rounded belly then you’re a classic apple shape. Whereas if you’re rather short and are fairly in proportion to your size then you are classed as petite. If you have slender hips and a great pair of legs, yet are out of balance with a big bust that Gok Wan would be enviable of then you’re an invertedtriangle shape. With a range of body shapes, you’re bound to fit into one – tall, slender, petite, straight, diamond, athletic, top heavy…so on and so forth.

BAGGY It still astonishes me how many women are obsessed with covering up their bodies in what I can only describe as tents. It’s horrific and about time somebody sorted it out. Granted, I doubt my voice will be heard enough to make a revolution in the fashion industry but I’d like to think I’ve made a valued contribution if you could help to spread the word on my behalf. By drowning yourself in clothes in the effort to appear slimmer, you’re in fact doing the exact opposite. I do completely get it – you’re wanting to hide behind your clothing, but what you are in fact doing is only making yourself look bigger! Your silhouette is instantly made marginally larger and in the best part far from feminine, thanks to losing your womanly curves. No matter how skinny or how voluptuous you may be, by burying yourself in ill-fitting clothes you will instantly lose your femininity. It’s that simple.

I’m not asking you to grab the latest Herve Leger bandage number and showcase all you’ve got, instead choose garments that skim the body rather than hide. If an item of clothing doesn’t have an element of shape and contouring then the best place for it is to leave it right where you found it - on the shop hanger.

This could be from your slender legs right through to your clear English Rose skin. Maybe you’re of a certain age and you’re proud of your neck that hasn’t sagged and wrinkled thanks to your daily moisturising routine paying off, meaning the last thing you should do is cover it up with scarves and polo necks. That would be the ultimate crime!

TIGHT SQUEEZE On the other hand, we don’t want you ‘trying to squeeze’ into those old jeans neither. Clothes that are too small for you are completely unflattering to the form. You’re creating bulges that weren’t even there which surely can’t be a good thing, right? Smooth lines are the only way forward.

Drawing attention to your favourite parts of your body takes the attention off your not-so pleasing areas such as what only you describe as your ‘muffin top’ and ‘bingo wings’. It’s really quite simple and something most women fail to utilise.

My biggest pet hate is blouses and shirts – what is it with women who don’t mind their bosoms busting out of their clothing? I’m a comfortable size 10, yet despite having a small bust I can rarely easily fit into a size 12 blouse (dependant on the brand of course). It’s all thanks to my rather broad back and the rigid structure of the clothing, so even if they do fit well I’m hardly ever at my most relaxed whilst wearing them. So, the solution? I steer well clear – especially the current trend of buttoning them up to the top as it hardly compliments my short neck and regularly adds an extra chin to my face all with the fastening of a button!


It seems, however, the nation haven’t quite learnt their lesson like I have in how a blouse should fit. Maybe it’s because they’re scared of moving up a size, but they’re in fact doing the exact opposite. A larger size that fits well will make you appear smaller than squeezing yourself into one that appeals more to the ear.

SHOW YOUR ASSETS, GIRLFRIEND! Maybe I’ve slightly Americanised myself with this as a title, but hunny I need to grab your attention as this fact is probably one of the most important. You cannot say there is not one part of your body that is ultimately your best asset.

I’ve never been one to throw away the ‘It’ bags of the early noughties. At the time they were something of a phenomenon and everybody fought their way to get their hands on the latest ‘it’ designer offering – from the Marc Jacobs Stam bag, to the more sophisticated Mulberry Bayswater. Remember those days? You’ll be overly pleased to hear though that your money was well and truly invested as these babies give time and time again. Money per wear is incomparable. Especially when you learn that a large bag will make you appear smaller. Yes, really! Sounds like child’s play, but think about it – you’re playing with your proportions.

GETTING UNDER THE ISSUE Right, it’s time to throw away those tatty knickers and bras, and finally set alight your utterly disgusting boy shorts that wrongly became a little bit of a fashion trend a few years ago. It’s time to set the rule book straight. Good, no let me rephrase - great underwear pays off leaps and bounds. And once this fact has fully settled in you’ll feel like a whole new woman. I promise.


Smoothlines Slip, £35. M&S

Wais t Sculpt Body, £37.50. M&S

Bra, £18. Wais t Cinch Knicker, Hol Ups, £6. M&S





Main Stockists of John Charles Condici Ispirato Luis Civit Ian Stuart To name but a few Over 2,000 stunning outfits SIZES 8 to 24 Sale starts December the 20th until end of January

Visit our website: Or email: 9-11 Market Place, Market Bosworth, CV13 0LF Tel: 01455 290234

It’s advised to go for a bra fitting every year as your body is constantly changing, so ensuring you have the right fit is vitally important to keep away from any unnecessary bulging or gaping. The same also applies to your thongs and knickers - refresh your draws as elastic doesn’t last forever and the dreaded ‘granny pants’ that you save for ‘that’ time of the month are frankly uncalled-for. Thankfully for all, shapewear has in fact come on leaps and bounds in recent years – a far cry away from the beige sucky-in pants made famous by Bridget Jones and known to be the ultimate in passion killers. Although it appeared Hugh Grant was something of a comical fan. Now, you’ll find some much more pleasing attire that is both rather sexy and helps to smooth out your figure. It’s time to invest.

Lace Bra, £25. Briefs, £15. Suspenders, £18. Debenhams

HELLO UP THERE Height is key to achieving a longer and leaner silhouette - just think of all those tall ladies that appear to walk tall and gracefully around the room. If you’re not the biggest fan of your legs and they tend to veer on the chunky side, along with having wide chunky feet, you need to steer well clear of dainty princess style shoes. You’re even better off going barefoot than placing your foot in a pair of delicate strappy heeled Jimmy Choo’s or Gina’s – as much as it hurts to hear the reality. Unfortunately, these bad boys will make your feet look hefty. When it comes to footwear, look for a balance. Wide calves suit platforms and this season’s chunky heels – so don’t think that just because you’ve got wide feet and non-excitant ankles it means you have to invest in some unfashionable clunky efforts! No, no, no. Instead make them appear more streamline in a shoe that balances out your proportions. Likewise, if you’re blessed with petite little feet that elegantly grace the floor, you need to be fully aware that platform boots, chunky showstoppers and any sort of heavy embellishment will only look ridiculous on your small feet. Little Mix member Jade is the prime example of this constantly wearing all-round chunky ankle boot affairs that give the appearance of needing a helping hand to even lift them up. It’s the wrong balance and a petite frame should be complemented with a dainty pair of sandals that scream girlyness.


Star by Julien Macdonald Dress, £65. Debenhams


Leather Tote & Clutch in one, £249. Ted Baker

FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: CONFIDENCE Ok, I know not everybody is ever going to be entirely happy with their bodies. That’s just life, but it’s time to begin to embrace your figure and who you are. I’ll never forget some wise advise I encountered at the beginning of my teenage years of which I would like to share… Whilst on holiday in the south of France, a good friend of the family pointed to a group of well-to-do girls and asked which one was the most attractive. Simple. After analysing all the girls – equally as beautiful as the next may I add – there was one who stood out head and shoulders above the rest. And this wasn’t because of her looks, as I mentioned they were all on a level playing field. Ladies, it was all down to a certain ‘air’ about her – and what was that ‘air’? My good friend informed me it was in fact, confidence!

Platforms, £39. Miss Selfridge

Pendant, £30. French Connection


Standing tall and giving off a vibe that she was ever comfortable in her skin, she oozed sex appeal from every inch of her body. At the time, being a youngster, I imagined she fully embraced who she was and the way she looked. The sad reality of it all is she probably did not, yet it didn’t matter as that confidence overruled any of these thoughts. So, what has this got to do with looking slimmer? Your confidence has a direct effect on the whole of the body. Fact. Your posture changes, the way you carry yourself and how you appear in front of others. Posture is easily one of the most important components of how to give an appearance of a slimmer frame as your body is stretched out and carries itself in a ladylike manor.


Coat, £65. Dorothy Perkins



January, the time we hit the road with our girly friends, sisters or mums and raid the rails for the best sale bargains, creating something of a competition as to whom can find the greatest deal! Below, you’ll find a small selection of our favourite places to shop come the January sales, along with a few options of hotels to really make a weekend of it. At least then you’re guaranteed to win this year’s battle of the bargain with your friends and colleagues.

TRAFFORD CENTRE, MANCHESTER The Intu Trafford Centre is easily accessible from Staffordshire via the M6, and in spite of the short and easy car journey, the Trafford Centre in Manchester is particularly appealing to the mass amount of punters thanks to its free car parking! When it comes to shopping, expect to find a strong collection of staple highstreet stores with John Lewis heading up the centre and a humungous Selfridges store is conveniently located in the middle. If, after traipsing around the shops tires you out, the food court is an attraction in itself all themed around a cruise liner complete with two-stories of dining options, a catwalk and amusements. With nearly every cuisine catered for, it’s worth taking a walk around. BUDGET GETAWAY: Stay at Thistle Manchester, The Portland, from just £85 per room per night, based on two people sharing, from now until the end of February 2014. Price includes VAT and breakfast. The hotel is one of the few located directly opposite Piccadilly Gardens – the hub of the city’s transport system and only a short drive away from The Trafford Centre. To book or for further information about the hotel please visit: TREAT YOURSELVES: Perfect for a city break, the Macdonald Townhouse Hotel on Portland Street in the centre of Manchester, is a spectacle of contemporary design and class. If driving, hotel guests can enjoy a 30% discount at the nearby Q Park Piazza car park. Rooms start from £129 for a double room per night. For more information visit

WESTFIELD SHOPPING CENTRE, STRATFORD Many of you may have fond memories of the Westfield Shopping Centre in London due to its site next to the London 2012 Olympic Village. Walking through the centre browsing the rails, or dining upstairs, you’d have found many an Olympic athlete from all across the globe in their team tracksuits. It reminded us of something out of the classic film ‘Cool Running’s’. Complete with its Olympic Village viewing platform, the shopping centre is an attraction in itself but then it doesn’t defer from the spectacular shopping available. High end high street stores aplenty, with the odd luxury designer store (such as Mulberry) dropped in. BUDGET GETAWAY: Slot into the London lifestyle by renting an apartment in Hurlingham. The spacious newly refurbished 1 bed flat sleeps 2-4 (1 bed. 1 sofa bed). A King-size double bed overlooks the gardens and the south facing sitting room has 2 balconies. From £120 per night, book via Owners Direct at GREAT OFFER: Book a shopping break at The Tower Hotel this winter and get a free £50 voucher to spend in Westfield Stratford. The Tower Hotel’s luxury shopping experience package starts from £189 per room per night (including VAT and based on two people sharing a standard double or twin room), plus the complimentary £50 Westfield shopping voucher. For further information please visit or call 0871 376 9036. Offer is subject to availability. Valid for stays before 31 March 2014.



BULLRING, BIRMINGHAM Conveniently located at the heart of Birmingham, Bullring is the most sought after shopping centre in the West Midlands. Britain’s second city has a long history as a leading centre of trade and market innovation, where since as early as the 13th century it has had a strong reputation been known as ‘the city of a thousand trades’. Bullring, beneath St Martin’s Church, has always been the city’s historic market centre and now continues its path into modern day British retail. The iconic bubble building is a strong and recognisable landmark in the city, where inside you’ll find over 160 of the most imaginative and desirable shops to explore – including the two major department stores Debenhams and Selfridges. GREAT OFFER: Great Little Breaks is offering one-night stays at the modern St John’s Hotel for just £50pp per night (based on two sharing). Price includes afternoon tea on arrival, full English breakfast, complimentary bottle of wine and a £10 M&S voucher. To book call 08448 488 488 or visit TREAT YOURSELVES: Hampton Manor found a short distance from the centre of Bullring at Solihull is the ultimate girly treat. This 19th century manor house has a contemporary luscious boutique design where the Peel’s Restaurant is an attraction in itself - 2AA rosette awarded restaurant housed within the courtyard. Rooms start from £150 per night, visit for more information. BULLRING, BIRMINGHAM



Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine

HEALTH & BEAUTY Valentine’s Scents To Seduce Your Partner

Alternative Ways To Keep Fit Through Winter, Time To Kick Those Bad Health Habits and Beauty Grooming Products

ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE, I NEED A HOT DATE AND A BEAUTY REGIME TOO! Become a glamour puss and seduce your other half this Valentine’s Day with a range of beauty products guaranteed to grab his attention in no time.

“We love this customizable lip treatment giving you lips even Angelina Jolie would be jealous of in just a matter of minutes. Even better no needles are required so we can get A-list lips at a fraction of the price!”  Lip Voltage, £15.

“The perfect miniature to keep in your handbag for kissable, soft lips. The subtle red tint will intensively moisturise, smooth and give colour in an instant."  Vaseline Paint The Town, 20g, RRP £3.49. Available at all major retailers nationwide.

“This magical, light reflecting highlighter creates sculpted, gilded cheekbones and glowing, glossy skin perfection.”

“You can multi-use this oil on your body, face and hair. It gives instant hydration and a shimmering finish with a delicate white floral scent.”

Bar of Gold, Skin Gilding Highlighter,£30. Selfridges, and

 Moringa Beautifying Oil, RRP £9. (100ml). The Body Shop.

“This illuminating body shine adds a subtle glow as well as keeping your skin hydrated and soft.“  Mally Illuminating Body Shine, £28.52. Exclusive to QVC

“We love these Valentine’s inspired nail files from Mad Beauty." “The bee venom is the key magic ingredient in this moisturiser, as it works like a natural alternative to Botox for more youthful skin.”  Queen of the Hive Face Contour Mask retails at £52 for 50ml.


MAD Beauty ‘Glitter Heart Files’ £1.95 at

“We love the fact that we can save £££’s on false lashes but still achieve the same effect! Simply apply the fibres and your favourite mascara for instant captivating lashes. No glue… No fuss… Just glamour.”  Magnifibres Mascara, £20. Selfridges, QVC and

“Greater volume and cleaner hair, bursting with gorgeous smelling fragrance, all in one go. Cleansing the oily roots quickly and leaving your hair with fuller body and bigger volume. It is just what you need for turning heads!"


So…? Va Va Volume Dry Shampoo £1.49 (150ml). Savers and

“We don’t need to worry about putting on a few pounds following an indulgent Christmas as this tan will help make our bodies look toned and cellulite free. Plus there’s no dreaded tan stench as it smells of delicious coconut!” The Seven-Day Tanner by Skinny Tan™, RRP £26.99 (150ml) 

Rihanna’s latest collaboration with M•A•C features the return of RiRi Woo. Featuring Nail Lacquer, Superslick Liquid Eye Liner, Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow, Bronzing Powder, double-ended 217 Blending Brush, 239 Eye Shader Brush along with two new lipsticks. This limited edition collection is encased in exclusive white-pearl packaging with RiRi’s rose-gold detailing. Our favourite products are the Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in Pfresh Out (£33) and the Nail lacquer (£12) in a matte cool red colour to spice up your Valentine’s Day!

“These fun heart shaped tweezers come with a 5x 5x magnified mirror for extra precision.“  Shavata Heart Tweezers in Pink or Red, £21.

“The label.m thickening collection gives visible thickness to any hair type and protects hair without leaving a residue.”  Thickening Shampoo, £12.25. Thickening Conditioner, £15.25. Volume Foam, £12.95. Thickening Cream, £12.95. Available at label.M, Toni and Guy and essensuals salons and

“Seduce your other half with super shiny hair.”  Professional Sebastian Shine Shaker £19.50.

For more beauty products visit



T : 0116 249 5790

Secrets Beauty Salon 4-6 High Street • Cheadle • Stoke on Trent • Staffordshire • ST10 1AF

01538 750151

Established over 20 years, Secrets Beauty Salon offers a wide range of beauty treatments performed by highly qualified and experienced beauty therapists. Treatments available: Vita Liberata spray tan, Body massage including aromatherapy, bamboo, indian head and hot stone therapy. Waxing, Lash Enhancement, Facials, Microdermabrasion, Omnilux Rejuvenating Light Treatment. Manicure and pedicure Gelish polish - 14 day long lasting polish. Bridal make-up, IPL treatment for permanent hair removal and thread vein removal. Bridal packages, Teen party packages, Pamper packages all including use of sauna, aromasteam and relaxation suite. Monthly special offers are available and can be found on our website. Also available:semi-permanent make-up, teeth whitening and monthly botox clinic.


Cosmedic Skin Clinic is led by husband and wife team, Dr Martyn King12: and Sharon King RN NIP. 19/11/2013 They are both recognised experts in aesthetic medicine, national and international trainers, regular conference demonstrators and speakers and write for leading publications.

G_Ad_NewcastleUL.indd 1







Cosmedic has expertise in all aspects of facial and body rejuvenation, specialising in anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, non surgical face lifts, thread lifts, the vampire lift (platelet-rich plasma), permanent hair reduction, photo rejuvenation, treatment of pigmentation and thread veins, microsclerotherapy for thread veins on the legs, excessive sweating, dermaroller, scarring and stretch marks, carboxytherapy, hair loss, body sculpting, fat and cellulite reduction, cryolipolysis, cavitation, vacuum rolling, radiofrequency, microdermabrasion and skin peels for tighter, smoother, brighter-looking skin, light treatments for acne and rosacea, cryotherapy for warts and skin tags, treatments for migraine and a whole range of medical grade cosmeceutical products to complement all of our treatments.

0845 388 3808 Cosmedic Skin Clinic, Prospect House, 13 Albert Road, Tamworth, B79 7JN Car parking available at rear of the clinic.






The Perfect Match Who says that opposites attract? When it comes to scents we think you need to be in perfect sync with each other by choosing fragrances that contain the same notes. Here are our favourites… THE GREAT OUTDOORS


NOTES: Woods and Jasmine

NOTES: Spices with leather/suede scent

FOR HER: MODERN MUSE BY ESTEE LAUDER Eau de Parfum Spray priced from RRP £44 (30ml). NOTES: Jasmine Accords, Exotic Mandarin & Honeysuckle, Fresh Lily, Amber Wood, Vanilla Modern Muse is inspired by the intriguing duality of today’s woman. Composed of subtle contrasts and bold contradictions through two contrasting aspects: Sparkling Jasmine Accord and Sleeks Wood Accord - which craft an undeniably sensual finish. FOR HIM: INVICTUS BY PACO RABANNE Eau De Toilette Natural Spray priced from £41.50. Aftershave Lotion, £36. Stockists: 0207 494 6220 NOTES: Grapefruit, Mandarin Orange, Bay Leaf, Jasmine, Guaiac Wood, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Ambergris A sensual and fresh composition with a pronounced depth and base.Using a two- layered scent entity instead of the usual pyramid construction makes the finished product a fresh woody scent with a hint of spice. Invictus gives an addictive yet ultra- masculine identity.

FOR HER: ROGUE BY RIHANNA. Eau de Parfum Spray priced from RRP £23 (30ml). NOTES: Lemon Blossom, Pink Peppercorn, Bergamot, Muguet, Musk, Suede With a chic yet edgy aesthetic, Rihanna designed this bottle reflective of her personality. From top to bottom, it showcases sensual strength with six spikes inverted at the base and rising into a soft rose gold collar, draped in a stingray-inspired motif at the cap. FOR HIM: ROBERTO CAVALLI: JUST CAVALLI MEN Eau de Toilette priced from RRP £30 (30ml). The Fragrance Shop. NOTES: Pimento, Vetiver, Leather Just Cavalli for him is unashamedly masculine, a lesson in style and seduction. Bold and spontaneous, it is the scent of youth and freedom, a call of the wild echoing in the very heart of the city. It opens with a sizzling note of wild pimento; a symbol of virility and seduction. Closely followed by a sensual heart note of vetiver wood The base note of smooth leather adds its rich mix of depth and voluptuousness.



NOTES: Floral tones & Patchouli

NOTES: Grapefruit, Fruits and wood

FOR HER: ESPECIALLY ESCADA ELIXIR Eau De Parfum priced from £34 (30ml). Debenhams. NOTES: Rose, Musk, Vanilla, Ambrette Seeds, Plum, Prune, Patchouli An intense scent which embodies the element of happiness and sophistication. The creative inspiration for the fragrance is the concept of a beautiful night garden at dusk where a rare and exquisite, deep pink-purple rose blooms as the sun sets, emitting a rich scent which is intense and captivating. The unique fusion of ingredients creates a fragrance that is elegantly joyful, while sensual and magical – with an intensity that lasts longer.

FOR HER: LA TENTATION DE NINA BY NINA RICCI Eau de Toilette priced from RRP £40 (50ml). Available nationwide from 27th January 2014. NOTES: Citrus Top Notes, Macaroon and Fruit Heart Notes with Vanilla and Musk Sensual Base Notes A fresh, floral, fruity Eau de Toilette, which is utterly addictive. Firstly, Italian bergamot envelops its citrus facets, before a zest of grapefruit rounds off this initial incitement to desire. Then raspberries, almonds, lemons and Bulgarian rose absolute join together in a surprising macaroon accord. Finally, bourbon vanilla, white musk and sandalwood, round off its sensual headiness. As in a dream, all the senses are stimulated.

FOR HIM: DAVIDOFF: THE GAME INTENSE Eau de Toilette priced from RRP £29.99 (40ml). The Fragrance Shop NOTES: Gin, Orris, Blackwood, Labdanum, Patchouli A sexy and distinctive accord of Gin Fizz followed by a sophisticated heart note of textured orris and a refined base note of strong and virile blackwood. The Game Intense adds to this unique palette a rich and powerful heart note of black patchouli essence and a very virile and leathery base note of labdanum absolute. These two components combine to give the fragrance an increased intensity and a dimension of addictive and masculinity.

FOR HIM: HUGO BOSS RED Eau de Toilette priced from RRP £27 (40ml). Boots. NOTES: Grapefruit, Pink Pepper, Rhubarb, Cedar, Pineapple, Tonka Beans, Amber The HUGO Red fragrance is built around two contrasting accords: the ‘Solid Chill’ accord and the ‘Liquid Heat’ accord, which reflect the different facets of cold and hot metal. The ‘Solid Chill’ accord combines grapefruit with rhubarb to create a bitter fresh accord. The ‘Liquid Heat’ accord is characterised by cedarwood and hot amber that blend together to convey the fluidity of red-hot metal.


Gill Maiden Xclusive 73 The Strand, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 2NS 01782 314162 Gill Maiden Hairdressing 2 Green Lane, Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent, ST11 9LZ 01782 393183 The Partnership Hairdressing 9 Berkeley Court, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 1TT 01782 712122 Pasha Haircutters 62 Pirehill Lane, Walton, Stone, ST15 0JN 01785 817919

Look Amazing Be Amazing We believe that perfect beauty is different for every woman and that achieving it need not be a daily struggle. That’s why we never mass produce but always tailor the look: Considering the individual’s unique features and needs when conceiving their cut and colour. We never concoct styles that just wash out, but cut a shape that stays in the hair, making it quick and simple to recreate every day. Realising perfect beauty - individual and practical - is our goal. Our friendly and Professional Hair Salons offer a full range of hairdressing & Barbering services including Specialised Cutting, Bespoke Colouring, Re-styling, Hair up experts and Tailored Homecare advice Introductory Offer available on production of this advert.

£10.00 OFF Any Colour Service £5.00 OFF Any Cut & Finish

Relax & Unwind at Opulence At Opulence we are offering you a beautiful sanctuary with the finest treatments to help you relax, unwind and simply be! We have everything you need to revitalise your mind, body and soul. • Decleor face & body treatments • CACI non-surgical face-lifts • Crystal Clear Skincare facial treatments • IPL skin treatments & semi-permanent hair reduction • Thread Vein Removal and Pigmentation • Skin Rejuvenation and Acne Treatment • St Tropez spray tan • Jane Iredale Mineral Make-Up • Spa Ritual manicure & pedicure treatments • Minx nails • Shellac nails

Call: 01889 566647 31 Market Place, Uttoxeter, ST14 8HF

*Good Salon Guide Approved Salons awarded 5 stars This promotion may not be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

Staffordshire Living dec-jan2013


for 2014 Contact us for more information



Page 1

Transform your body

& your life!

Kuldip from Stoke on Trent

Janet from Nantwich

with 26 weeks of treatment

with 17 weeks of treatment

Lost 8st

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Janet before treatment

Kuldip before treatment

Weight Reduction & Contour Shaping WITHOUT SURGERY

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Best Weight Loss Programme/product tel: 01625 538 600 Clinics Nationwide. 3 Swan Street,Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 1HF.

ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO KEEP FIT ICE SKATING You may associate ice skating as more of a youngsters pastime, but it fact it also offers a number of health and fitness benefits. The National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain and N.I tell us more. Ice skating is a hugely popular activity that forms the basis of many winter sports including figure skating, ice hockey and speed skating. An accessible and social pastime, whether you hope to improve balance, strengthen leg muscles or gain nimbler footwork, now could be time to get your skates on! If you simply want to try ice skating for a bit of fun, or aim to join a serious ice hockey or figure skating team, this enjoyable winter sport offers a number of key health and fitness benefits ... • Improving joint flexibility - If your leg joints creak every time you rise from your bed in the morning, ice skating could offer a real solution. With its emphasis on quick foot movements and supple knees, your leg joints will receive a great workout and hopefully feel more flexible in no time. • Building leg muscles - Your legs may currently resemble knobbly-kneed, trembling twigs but ice skating exercise could really change all that. Focusing on lower-body movement, ice skating offers fine exercise for the leg muscles, building them up over time. • Boosting the cardiovascular system - Ice skating may not appear to be the most obvious way of boosting your cardiovascular (CV) system, but an intensive session could really work out your heart and lungs, feeding muscles with oxygen more efficiently.


• Keeping mentally fit - Although offering a number of physical benefits, ice skating is equally useful for improving mental fitness. Requiring high concentration, strong memory skills and spatial awareness, your mental attributes should develop the longer your ice skating training goes on. • Better balance - If you normally topple over at the drop of a hat, ice skating could really help you improve your balance through fun and positive exercise.

How Do l ‘Learn to Skate’ With SKATE UK? Skate UK is the approved ‘Learn to Skate’ course developed by the National Ice Skating Association as the fundamental training scheme for anyone wanting to learn to skate. The SkateUK program teaches movement and basic ice skating skills for skaters of all ages in 8 clear stages. Most rinks in the UK will have some kind of registered ‘Learn to Skate’ course but NISA can only advise that you register for a SKATE UK course from one of the Approved Centres. SKATE UK Approved Centres are the rinks in the UK that NISA have deemed to provide ‘Learn to Skate’ courses to an acceptable level, being delivered by NISA qualified coaches, and providing you with high standard award scheme. Not all the rinks in the UK are Approved Centres and if your local rink isn’t then that does not mean that they offer a poor course. However NISA would always recommend you book a course tutored by NISA Qualified Coaches.

To find out more visit


A selection of activewear and products to keep you relatively warm when participating in your winter sport…

Damart Sport Legging (also available in Purple) Sizes XS/S or M/L, £35.

Hooded Body Blazer™, £80.


Teko Womens Medium Ski (4733), RRP £20.

Yes you heard right! You may be thinking how on earth will it be possible to take up such a sport? But with a number of ski centres in Staffordshire, keeping fit through a winter sport such as skiing is a lot easier than you think. What’s better is that skiing is suitable for the whole family so when the kids or grandkids are moaning of boredom during the half term head to your local ski centre. Not only will it keep them occupied for the day but will help to keep them active too.

Adult Ski & Snowboard Helmet, £19.99. Aldi. (Available in December and January whilst stock lasts). Call 0844 406 8800 to check availability at your local store.

Health & Fitness Benefits Indeed skiing and snowboarding can keep you fit. At times you will be using your cardiovascular system and both skiing and snowboarding are great for toning muscles all over the body. Skiing particularly is great for toning thighs and the glute muscles, but many people don’t realise that skiing can be great for your core strength and upper body, particularly triceps. Similar muscles are used in snowboarding, but the quadriceps and abdominal muscles are key. How do I learn to ski or snowboard? Snowsport England have launched a new initiative called GO SKI GO BOARD. At snow centres across the country people can take advantage of 6 weeks of instruction (6 hours per session) at a low cost, all inclusive price

To find out more about skiing and snowboarding visit

W Panorama Jacket, RRP £440.

Sports T-Shirt, £19.99.

Superfeet hotPink, RRP £45. (Available in sizes UK 2.5-10),


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Yes, it’s that time of year again where the list of New Year resolutions makes another appearance. But do you really stick to that diet and do you actually stop biting your nails? This year we are urging you to ditch the bad habits in exchange for a healthier new start not only for you, but your body too.

HABIT: SMOKING There are so many reasons to urge you to quit smoking...for a start the health risks caused by smoking are endless with lung cancer being the main cause for concern. However, there are other illnesses that smoking can do to your body such as foul smelling breath, gum disease, stained teeth, heart disease, bronchitis, wheezing and these are only a few of the concerns! Scary isn’t it? If that isn’t enough to put you off there’s also the financial expense, just think of what you could buy if you weren’t smoking!. Not also that but think of that awful smell you probably leave lingering around. Can you remember when smoking was legal in the pubs and clubs and the horrible stench that lingered on your clothes when you got home? Fortunately we don’t have to put up with that now but if you have family that smoke then the smell will be all too familiar. DITCH IT: The physical benefits of quitting smoking mean you will have better looking skin and hair, no signs of premature ageing, your fitness levels will improve and your purse should be feeling heavier meaning you could have a monthly treat with the money saved by stopping smoking. If you want to quit then why not sign up to No Smoking Day on 12th March by completing the form on If you are not quite there yet then why not try an e-cigarette; the latest gadget to help you give up the smoke. With e-cigarettes you will find none of the 4,000 toxic chemicals you will find in tobacco smoke and instead they contain a nicotine which is inhaled as a vapour.

HABIT: YO-YO DIETING If you are somebody who’s always on a diet, constantly putting on and losing weight, you’re known as a yo-yo dieter. And believe it or not you are probably doing more harm to your body than you realise. Yo-yo dieting means you may be initially successful with weight loss but when it comes to maintaining the weight loss, it proves to be difficult for you meaning the weight creeps back on and the cycle starts again. Yo-yo dieting or constant weight change can have effects on your body such as stretch marks, hormones and metabolism. DITCH IT: Why not try a diet that is easy for you to maintain? A diet is always going to be difficult if you go to extremes such as eating fruit all day or just surviving on a soup diet. There are some brilliant diets out there such as Weight Watchers, Slimming World and Rosemary Conley who all provide an easy to follow programme. If a slimming club is not your thing then a healthy controlled diet that includes all the food groups along with exercise should easily help you to maintain your ideal weight. We don’t mean putting yourself through an intense workout 7 days a week. Just a simple 45 minute, 3 day-a-week plan means you should not only stay at a healthy weight but you should also feel the physical benefits on your body too.


HABIT: ALCOHOL If you class yourself as being a regular drinker then you are prone to health effects caused by alcohol. Some of the health effects regular drinking can have on your body are sleep disturbance, liver cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and fertility issues (women). The government advises that people should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day for men (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer) and 2-3 units for women (equivalent to a 175 ml glass of wine). Alcohol interferes with your normal sleep pattern, so you’ll often wake up feeling –and looking – like you haven’t had much rest. Dehydrating your skin and body, you’ll hardly be happy with what you see in the mroning after a heavy nights drinking. With two large glasses of wine hiding the same number of calories as a hamburger, it’s easy to see why regular drinking can make you gain weight, especially as it reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. Because we can’t store alcohol in the body, our systems want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, and this process takes priority over absorbing nutrients and burning fat. Do you find yourself reaching for a glass of wine after a hard days work? Well, although some people use alcohol as a cure for stress, it’s actually a depressant meaning if you’re regularly drinking more than the daily unit guidelines, you could end up exacerbating stress. DITCH IT: The physical benefits of ditching alcohol mean your skin will become rehydrated and look less ‘dull’, you should hopefully lose some weight & stubborn fat and you will have no hangover meaning no more feeling tired and sluggish. Now we are not telling you to stop drinking altogether as let’s face it sometimes there is nothing better than a glass of wine on a Saturday evening.However there are some ways you can easily cut back by using some simple strategies: - If you drink wine at home opt for small 125ml glasses. - Try and pour your own drinks. If your partner or your host is constantly topping up your half-filled glass, it’s hard to keep track of how much alcohol you are drinking. - Drink spritzers if you like wine, or pints of shandy if you’re a lager drinker. You’ll still get a large drink, but one that contains less alcohol. - Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks. To find out more visit



Stress is not a medical diagnosis, however severe stress can lead to a multitude of depression or anxiety. We often talk about how ‘stressed’ we are, whether that is through work, financial problems or home life - but could this passing comment be damaging to our health? Stress isn’t necessarily caused by depressing events, a lot of happy events are often the biggest cause of stress including moving house, marriage and having a baby. However there are also some difficult circumstances that can put us under stress including unemployment, relationship issues, bereavement or caring for a member of your family. Affecting people in different ways, some can deal with huge amounts of pressure and stress where others can’t. You know yourself and your own body. Too much stress can be the cause of headaches, high blood pressure, restlessness, a loss of interest and lack of concentration to name but a few symptoms. DITCH IT: Ditching stress is probably easier said than done as a lot of factors that cause it are inevitably out of your hands. But learning to manage stress and how to relax is something that you can put your mind to. If your stress is caused by being too busy or being under pressure to fit everything into one day then you just need to make some simple changes. Start by making a list of what you need to do and arrange them in importance, once you have finished a task then take a break and relax. Also make sure you make time for your friends and the people who will make you feel better. Why not take up a hobby or interest? Yes we know you don’t have time but make the time for something that will engage your brain in a different way. You also need to look at your diet as healthy eating should immediately help keep a steady blood sugar level and if you can try to avoid caffeine! Finally have fun! Life is too short to be constantly worried. Take each day as it comes and overcome each hurdle when you are ready. If you want to find out more about stress then visit



Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine


Real Life Staffordshire Weddings

Real Life Weddings (page 43) © Vikki Hughes Photography.

Pampering Products, Wedding Bouquets, Wedding News, Those All Important Must Have Questions and Weston Park In Staffordshire


Staffordshire Living’s MUST-ASK questions for wedding suppliers With so much to think about, some vital questions can easily go amiss when it comes to booking the suppliers for your wedding. With our hit list of questions, you can rest assured knowing everything should fall into place on the day without a hitch! VITAL QUESTIONS FOR ALL SUPPLIERS! Is VAT included in the final charge? The quoted price, is that the guaranteed price or an estimate? Can I view images from past weddings? Can I see an itemised bill? Can I have a contract?


What exactly does the package include? Sounds obvious, yet on the other hand not everything you ‘might expect’ will appear in every venues package deals, we’re talking of things like chair covers, menu tastings, and even using a cake stand and knife. Beware: if certain items are not listed then you will incur extra costs. The lesson to learn is never assume! How do we pay? Maybe a conversation most prefer to avoid considering the overall amount of money eventually handed over, but ask for their payment plans. Some may require the money before, others after. A deposit will need to be paid to secure the venue, but then is there an option for monthly instalments to spread the costs? Think about what best works for you and see if they can accommodate. Will there be other weddings on the day? In the case of some venues you will be the only bride and groom there on the day. Whilst others don’t quite offer the same services. It may not be on your priority list, although if you are keen to have exclusive use of the venue, ensure you ask. What time is the bar open until? Yes, different venues have different licenses meaning it could be open until 11pm, or whenever you please! Let’s be honest, most guests see a wedding as a chance to let their hair down and boogie/drink the night away… so will they be able to? We would say 12pm is a reasonable time. Can we bring our own booze? Fancy saving some money? Granted that was a silly question. If your venue allows it, purchase your own selection of wine for the reception as it will save you a jolly good amount of money. Just ask for their corkage fee. Are there any issues with decoration? The main issue here is…candles. If you dream of being surrounded by candelabras and candlelight, just double check with your venue as fire and safety regulations may not permit naked flames.


Are we able to safely store our wedding presents for later collection? Most should have a spare room to store your precious wedding presents from loved ones, and if you’re not staying over be cheeky and see if you can pick them up the day after. Can we bring in outside caterers/decorators/entertainment? Not all will be compliant, but it is always worth asking the question if you’re in the search of an unusual and heavily themed wedding. See if there is some compromise you can agree to. Do you allow for fireworks and lanterns? Do you want your day to end with a bang? You best check you’re allowed first – those venues with well-kept grounds will not allow for an elaborate display of fireworks due to the damage to the lawn. Is there a backup plan if it rains? Wouldn’t the planning be so much easier if you could guarantee the weather? Just a little box to tick whether you’re looking for sunshine, snow or autumnal traits. So, if all doesn’t go quite according to plan, how will the venue ensure you’re not ‘stuck’? Is there an area for our guests to store their coats and personal belongings? Not only do they get in the way; belongings can also ruin your precious photographs and completely spoil a well-planned scheme. A coat is not a chair cover. What is your cancellation policy? God forbid anything happening before your wedding day preventing you from tying the knot – but in realistic terms, it can unfortunately happen. Read the small print and reassure yourselves by asking to see their cancellation policy, there is a lot of money at stake.


Is there a separate space for myself and my bridesmaids to get ready? Do you allow for confetti throwing? Are there any sound restrictions? Will you be cutting up and serving our wedding cake? Is there ample parking for our guests? Do you run any deals with local hotels for guests? Is there a PA system for speeches?


Most importantly… will you be my photographer on the day? Believe it or not , the photographer you are looking to book on your day, may not be the photographer who will appear. Larger companies will have a few photographers working under one name. Can I see your assistants work? Mistakes happen and people fall ill – so as a backup certify you are happy with their assistants work just in case your photographer can’t make it to your wedding. What happens if the weather is bad? Let them talk through their ‘get out clause’ in case of bad weather permitting photographs being taken outside. It is best if they know the venue.

Will you need feeding? Forgot about your suppliers didn’t you? But yes, if your photographer is there all day, then more than likely they will need feeding at some point. Ask your venue for the options available – on occasions venues charge half price for suppliers meals. Will you be there for the whole day? Some photographers stay all day, some stay for the ceremony and reception then charge per hour. Find out and really consider which photos are essential for your album. Have you shot at my wedding venue before? It is not, by all means, essential yet if your photographer has previously worked at your wedding venue then they will know, first hand, which locations make for the perfect photo opportunity. Otherwise, ask if they will come along to the venue with you.


Will I own the copyright? How long will it be before I will get my first draft of photos to choose from? Does the price include a complete wedding album? Will you be bringing an assistant on the day to get the best possible shots?


How do I care for my dress? These aren’t any old dress that you can just store in the cupboard. Ask for care advice in terms of dry cleaning and how to store. Do you offer a dress alterations service? Most brides we know are desperately trying to lose weight before their wedding day, so it’s worth asking if last minute alterations can be made if you lose (or put on!) weight. Do I need to bring all my hair accessories for my trial? Granted this will probably be a yes, but if you haven’t bought your accessories just yet then your hairdresser should definitely be able to advise you on styles that will suit a tiara, veil or clip-in accessories. Can I have my trial run before I pay a deposit? What happens if you pay your deposit and then go along to the trial only to find the hairdressers ideas just aren’t working for you? It’s a waste of money.

Should I turn up with just washed hair or leave it a day or two? Many hairdressers will advise you to wash your hair the day before, but it all depends on your hair type – you know your hair best! When hair is super soft (just-washed) it is much harder to work with and style. Will your hairdresser come to you on your wedding day? This is the best and easiest option! Many a hairdresser will be more than happy to come out to you to sort your hair, but that also depends on if they own their own business and how far away you are based. Are false eyelashes/extensions included in the price? Never assume that false eyelashes or extensions are included within your quoted price – many are not and come around £15 extra. If you’re opting for falsies and you have a brand you prefer, ask if they can just stick these on as it will lower the cost.


Will you gladly accept requests? To be honest, whether a band or a DJ this should be expected as guests will all be keen to hear their favourite tunes…especially when the alcohol is freely flowing and they’re getting in the mood for a boogie! How much time will you need to set up? If the entertainment is provided in the same room as your wedding breakfast, you’ll need to organise a swift exit with your guests to later return to a new setup. What are you requirements for the venue? If they are unfamiliar with your chosen venue, it may be worth asking if they can go to visit to discuss with the event’s organiser the aesthetics – especially in the case of a band having to transfer large equipment. Can we give you a playlist of our favourite tunes to play? To personalise your entertainment, a playlist is the perfect opportunity to tailor the music to both you and your husband-to-be’s tastes – otherwise the cheese will no doubt be set free. How many breaks will you need throughout the night? They might not need any breaks, or they may require 1 per hour! Just ensure you have back-up entertainment planned for when the music stops. How long will your set last? Every wedding is different, some finish early – others are left dancing the night away. You need to be clear with your DJ or band how long exactly you are looking for their set to last and receive a quote accordingly.


Weddings at

Vale Park

The perfect place to see your married name in Black & White

Whether you are considering a civil ceremony, wedding breakfast, evening function, formal or informal, we will ensure your every need is catered for. Our dedicated and experienced event coordinators will assist you from beginning to end, ensuring that your wedding planning is a pleasurable and memorable experience and of course we will be there on the big day to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Email us at for more information or call us to discuss your requirements on

0871 221 1876

jxww|Çzá tà Your stage, your spotlight, your moment awaits...

The Park House Hotel Shifnal

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


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

Packages available from under £500 Call 01270 508783 or email

Wedding Fayre Sunday 23rd February 2014 11am – 4.00pm – Free Entry Wedding Open Day Every Sunday between 12.00pm and 4.00pm For more information call our dedicated team Telephone 01952 460128 - Park House Hotel, Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 9BA –

“Create Special Memories at the Stone House Hotel” - Licensed for Civil Ceremonies and Partnerships - Tranquil Gardens and Patio provide an idyllic backdrop - Prince’s Suite accommodates up to 120 for a wedding breakfast and 150 for an evening reception. - Picturesque Garden Restaurant can seat up to 40 for a wedding breakfast - 50 Ensuite Bedrooms - Preferential accommodation rates for wedding guests and a complimentary room for the Bride and Groom on the night of their wedding. For further information or to arrange a visit please call or email:

Tel: 0843 1787169 Email: W: Stafford Road • Stone • ST15 0BQ

Getting Married in Staffordshire Staffordshire Registration service is able to offer ceremonies at two venues in the heart of Stafford town centre, Stafford Register Office and County Buildings, we offer an excellent standard of service and will ensure your ceremony is a wonderful and memorable event. County Buildings Located in the heart of Stafford, this magnificent grade 2 listed building provides an elegant setting for a unique and distinctive ceremony and reception. The venue is a high quality approved venue and is available on an exclusive basis so you can celebrate in total privacy. There are five elegant rooms of varying size and character to choose from and can accommodate up to 100 guests. County Buildings is licensed for Civil Ceremonies and Civil Partnerships and we also have packages available for Baby Naming ceremonies and Vow Renewal ceremonies. Ceremonies are available on a Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

Stafford Register Office The Boscobel room provides a large contemporary ceremony room that seats 50 people, the room is air conditioned and is furnished in modern fresh colours. Being just a short walk to the centre of Stafford the venue is situated close to many restaurant’s, eateries and hotels which are a perfect setting for formal and informal receptions. The venue can hold Marriages, Civil Partnerships, Vow Renewals and also Naming ceremonies and all are available Monday to Saturday, (excluding bank holidays.) Further Information To request a brochure on County Buildings and also Getting Married in Staffordshire please contact us: call us on 0300 111 8001 gettingmarriedinstaffordshire

Real Life Weddings

CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS TIE THE KNOT Michelle (33) and Martin (34) Wilshaw, first began dating back in 1996 after meeting on the stairs of the Science block at the old Sneyd High School in Newcastle-underLyme! Fast forward 17 years, and the pair decided it was finally time to tie the knot in a beautiful ceremony attended by an array of their school friends at St Giles Church, just down the road from where they first met. DATE: 20th July 2013 CEREMONY: St Giles Church, Newcastle-under-Lyme WEDDING BREAKFAST & RECEPTION: The Upper House, Barlaston BUDGET: £10,000 ACTUAL SPEND: Est. £14,000 NUMBER OF GUESTS: Day 76. Night 150 HONEYMOON: Two weeks in Mexico

The Proposal: “Mart proposed on Valentine’s Day 2011, 15 years after we’d first started dating. We’d decided to stay in that Valentines evening, and Mart had made an effort to make it special. When a song played that was to go on and become our first dance, Mart was a little emotional - which is not like him. He then got down on one knee, producing a beautifully wrapped box.” The Theme: “We both had different ideas of what we wanted on our wedding day - Martin wanted the traditional wedding day and I wanted a country garden wedding, so we decided to incorporate both with a traditional classic day with a rustic twist.” Personal Touches: “The vast majority of our wedding items were handmade by ourselves, such as the hessian cone church pew ends and the chair sashes and table runners. Luckily the flowers I had picked were in season, so we were able to buy them from the local supermarkets and arrange them in jars and vases. My best friend Sarah designed the stationary, and our friends made the favours gingerbread men tied in twine.”

“I still can’t bear the thought of packing my wedding dress away, and I’ll open the bag most weeks for a little peek.” The Dress: “I knew I wanted a vintage lace dress and following another visit to our venue with my mum, we went to Elle Louise to make an appointment and left with my dress! It was the second dress we picked up and the only dress I tried on. They were so lovely at Elle Louise sneaking in time to see to me despite being overly busy.”

The venue: “After visiting lots of venues when we first got engaged and not being able to find something that we were both happy with, I’d almost given up when Mart was told about the Upper House in Barlaston. We visited in February and set a date for six months later!”

“The most personal item was wearing my grandmother’s pearls which I used to play dress up in as a child.” The reception & evening do: “The most important aspect of the day was to ensure that it flowed and was fun filled. We were greeted with jam jars of Pimm’s and Pin Wheels. And luckily the weather was kind to us as we had arranged for country fete games to be played in the beautiful grounds; including a coconut shy that the best man made for us, three-legged races, and an egg & spoon competition.” First dance: “Mart really wanted the first dance to be Peter Cetera – The Glory of Love that was played on the night he proposed. He loves his 80s anthems, but I insisted it was not happening, but secretly arranged for it to played as a surprise.” Special thanks to suppliers who made Michelle and Martin’s day possible – Photographer: Vikki Hughes Photography. DJ: Steve at SCSound and Lighting. Wedding Dress: Kay Mason at Elle Louise. Wedding Cake: Fairytale Occasion’s. Hair: Laura at Socio. Transport: VW Occasion.


Real Life Weddings

CHANGE OF FORTUNE WITH A FRUGAL WEDDING After a very difficult 18 months that left them almost penniless, Amanda (47) and Jon (47) DanellsBewley looked at their wedding as an opportunity to give themselves and their families something to look forward to, becoming a glorious celebration of their strength as a couple. The pair, who met on the Guardian Soulmates website, decided to ditch their original plans and instead worked hard to create a fabulously fun frugal wedding - all in 10 weeks! DATE: 26th October 2013 CEREMONY: Stafford Registry Office WEDDING BREAKFAST & RECEPTION: At home! BUDGET: £1000 ACTUAL SPEND: £836 NUMBER OF GUESTS: Day 45. Night 75. HONEYMOON: Wedding night at the Moat House in Acton Trussel, along with four days of city, culture and country. Budgeting: “Our original wedding plans were put on hold due to difficult family circumstances and we saw our savings slip away. Once we were in a position to get married we had very little time and virtually no money. So, we decided to ditch the country house ceremony we had wanted and plan a Fabulous Frugal Wedding.”

The Theme: “Choosing a 1950 & 60’s theme we wanted to create a traditional registry office wedding, a time when communication was limited to brief phone calls and letters in the post. When travel took longer and wedding guests were generally just made up of close family and friends. We wanted a wedding that reflected our style, included family and close friends, and that was within our budget.”

D.I.Y: “I had looked everywhere for a birdcage veil within the budget and all but given up…I knew I could make one but was struggling to find the material. But then on a trip to Hanley I found what I was looking for. A quick YouTube instruction video and my beautiful veil was made – for a total of £6!” Wedding Breakfast & Reception: “The reception was held at our home. The garden was enclosed with gazebos and party tents lent to us from friends. Tables, chairs, tablecloths and fairy lights arrived during the week before the wedding and I made our bunting and decorations.”

“We had a Facebook campaign planned where each week where we featured some aspect of the wedding and asked for help. It got people involved and they were more than happy to lend stuff like crockery or electric cables.”

The Food: “We decided to do all the food ourselves. We knew we wanted a traditional afternoon tea so put together a menu and shopping list. With careful planning Jon used vouchers and discounts to get the food bill down from over £100 to just £62. For the evening canapés, a family friend, who used to be a chef in the Navy, had volunteered to help. He put together the menu and created an amazing selection of canapés.”

The Dress: “When I saw my Aunts wedding photos from 1958 I knew that was the style I wanted – knee length full skirt with lace bodice and ¾ sleeve. I had budgeted £100 and luckily my daughter Rose found a shop on that would make up dresses to your exact measurements. With a few clicks of the button the dress was ordered – it was beautiful and fitted perfectly.”

Special thanks to all of Amanda and Jon’s family and friends who offered their time, skills and hearts to make their wedding day possible. Also a thanks to the following suppliers: Photographer: Clare from Princess Brides who generously gave a free photo shoot post-wedding. Hair & Make-up: Jackie Shore.

Amanda’s Top Tip: “Clear out and Cash In! We raised about £400 from selling clothes, stuff from the loft etc – which paid for the ceremony and the food!”



We were so inspired by both of Amanda’s and Michelle’s weddings that we thought we could offer you the chance to see how you could take inspiration from their styling and incorporate it into your upcoming wedding. It’s not so much copying, but more stealing excellent ideas! I’m sure our brides will only take it as a compliment.



Amanda clearly had an emphasis on budget, but this didn’t mean she compromised on taste - at all! Her frugal affair was inspired by her auntie’s wedding back in the 1950’s, and this provided a strong theme throughout the whole of the day that had a classic beauty but with a loveable quirky edge.

Dawson Dress, price on request. Tobi Hannah

Michelle opted for a traditionally classic style using lace that is the height of fashion at present. Kate Middleton’s dress is still being copied by brides across the globe, and although Michelle’s dress is far from a carbon copy, the delicate lace detailing and bodice pays slight homage and oozes elegance and luxury.

Cecila Bridesmaid Dress, £90. BHS

Daphne Dress, price on request. Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett

Girls Circle Lace Dress, £20. M&Co

Courts, £17.50. Marks and Spencer

Garland of Pearls Headband, £26. Alan Hannah CZ Pearl drop earring, £18. Debenhams

Necklace, £315. Deevaa Shoes, £99. Steve Madden at Dune.

Vera Wang Traditional Range, price on request. Interflora

Fascinator, £24.99. Quiz

Kiss Chase Nail Colour, £9. Ciate

Vera Wang Romantic Range, price on request. Interflora


THE LION & SWAN Pear Tree Farm Caterers pride themselves on the variety of dishes they can provide, from the modern and stylish to the traditional and rustic. • We have a long established team of experienced staff • Themed events are our speciality • All our ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible • We have a wide range of dishes to suit all tastes and budgets • Anything from 5 course gourmet meals to a complete finger buffet

From your initial enquiry to the provisional booking, through to the actual celebration, we, at the Lion and Swan hotel are here to help and assist you. Your personal wedding coordinator will be with you from the outset right through to the day its self, ensuring everything is just how you want it, treating you with the utmost individuality and endeavouring to meet all your personal requirements. The Lion and Swan is the ideal venue for your wedding breakfast and evening reception. On selected dates throughout the year you can enjoy your special day for just £4000. With our wide choice of menus for your wedding breakfast and evening buffet we can cater for any taste or offer you bespoke menus to suit your needs.

Pear Tree Farm, Bickford, Penkridge, Stafford, ST18 5QJ

Tel/Fax: 01785 712534

For more information or to book an initial meeting with us please don’t hesitate to call Matt or Jess on 01260 273115

Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa

Speciality Catering for all occasions, Buffets, Weddings, Parties, Children’s Parties, Dinner Parties, Business Functions

complimentary wedding gifts, just for you… UP TO £1,500 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY WEDDING GIFTS

Available Now Friday and Saturday Packages for 2014 from £6,300 for up to 60 guests. We host only one wedding per day making Rookery Hall truly ‘Exclusively Yours’. The ‘Exclusively You’ wedding package includes; arrival drink, threecourse wedding breakfast, half a bottle of wine per person, a glass of sparkling wine for the toast, evening buffet, as well as use of the stunning gardens and grounds for your photographs.

0845 072 7533 Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa, Worleston, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6DQ

Alison Evans Bridalwear 37 New Street, Church Gresley Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE11 9PS Tel: (01283) 214553 Follow us on Facebook Sincerity Lilian West Alfred Angelo White One Mark Lesley

BEFORE YOU TIE THE KNOT Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa Win The Four Red Stars Award Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa, a stunning Georgian country house hotel in Nantwich, Cheshire, has won the coveted Four Red Stars Award, at the glittering AA Hospitality Awards 2013 ceremony in London, making it the perfect location and venue to host your wedding day. Selected AA Inspectors’ Choice hotels stand out as the very best in the British Isles and are identified by Red Stars and just 18 top hotels in the UK, including Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa, are celebrating new AA Red Stars. The criteria for AA Red Stars is consistent excellence in all areas of a hotel’s operation, and these newly awarded properties join an elite group of top performers within the hotel industry.

Be up-to-date with the latest wedding news in Staffordshire before you walk down the aisle… REFURBISHED FUNCTION ROOM AT THE LION AND SWAN HOTEL

The main function room at The Lion and Swan Hotel has just been freshened up with a new lick of paint and lighting, making the atmosphere much more cosy and adaptable for your needs. Just in time for their brand new wedding brochure, the hotel have plenty of menus for you to peruse - along with buffet packages, three different drink packages and an all-inclusive package for just £4000. The venue has now applied to renew their civil license, which comes at much more of a convenience to potential clients as you’ll be able

to enjoy your whole wedding day using the hotels facilities – from the ceremony through to your wedding breakfast and evening reception .

Wedding packages are available from £5,100 for 60 guests. Please contact the team for a brochure and to make an appointment or call for full details about their Open Days held monthly.

FIRST COMPANY IN STAFFORDSHIRE TO JOIN UK ALLIANCE OF WEDDING PLANNERS The recently launched Emma Jane Wedding & Event Management, based in Stone, is the only company in Staffordshire to be an associate member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, the leading industry body for the UK wedding planner market. The company operates throughout Staffordshire, Cheshire and the West Midlands and offers a variety of services to brides-to-be including full wedding planning and on the day management. Prospective clients are offered the opportunity to discuss their plans at a complimentary consultation.

NEW VENUE & DATE ADDED TO THE NATIONAL WEDDING SHOW! Taking place at Manchester Central on March 15th - 16th, The National Wedding Show is the essential day out for every bride-to-be in the North West this season! Featuring 1000’s of dresses within three distinct bridal-wear areas, the show will host that dream dress to match any budget, from top high street designers to couture dresses. Be it bridesmaids and groomswear to florists, venues, photographers, cake designers, jewellers, wedding planners and honeymoon destinations, you’ll find over 250 leading wedding suppliers ready to help you plan your special day.

ALISON EVANS BRIDALWEAR CELEBRATES 25 YEARS After completing a design and pattern cutting course at college, Alison started out her sewing career over 26 years ago making competition dance wear. Her cousin then asked Alison to make her wedding dress and that was it – she was instantly hooked on bridalwear! Alison Evans Bridalwear started out making made to measure wedding dresses as at the time there wasn’t much choice in wedding dresses - if you didn’t want frilly white satin then having a dress designed for you was the only option. This has dramatically changed over the years, there’s now such a vast array of choice that Alison stopped making dresses and now sells leading UK, US and continental designers. However her design background means that customising a dress or adding details such as capes or jackets is a popular choice. As part of their silver anniversary celebrations, Alison has displayed a collection of photos spanning the shops history. You can see the wedding fashions change along with the hairstyles - from the full on romanticism of the late eighties with its big hair, skirts and sleeves through to the strapless princess line dresses of recent years, and up to today’s sleeker gowns with a love affair with lace. The National Wedding Show

If that isn’t enough, there will be interactive sessions in the Wedding Theatre where you can gain personal advice with leading wedding experts and don’t miss the stunning showcase of dresses, accessories and flowers on the UK’s largest wedding Catwalk show. With its award-winning facilities this revamped city centre location also offers the luxury of free parking for show visitors!

To find out more and to book your tickets, visit or call 0844 8740 486.


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

weddings, civil partnerships, parties and corporate events.

“To be, rather than to seem”

The venue is suited to most occasions and groups of between 60 and 650 can be accommodated. Toby and Bonnie Williams warmly invite prospective guests and event organisers for a preview visit and will work with you to create a truly memorable and unique occasion. Visit or call (01283) 791625

“A touch

of magic”


at Moddershall Oaks...make your dream a reality If you are searching for a stylish venue with outstanding service & great food; Moddershall Oaks has it all. Located in 72 acres of picturesque woodland & grounds in the heart of Staffordshire, Moddershall Oaks is a magnificent setting for your big day. Catering for civil weddings, civil partnerships & wedding receptions for up to 175 people.


Saturday 25th January 2014 11am-4pm

If you are interested in holding your wedding at Moddershall Oaks and would like to have a nosey at our venue, we invite you, your family & friends to visit us on our Wedding Open Day. Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat, Moddershall, Near Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8TG (SAT NAV POSTCODE: ST15 8WF) 01782 399000

Big thanks to Amy & David Eyre & their photographer Rachael Foster for the images


Despite staying in a 17th century stately home complete with 5* service and array of invaluable antiques, I felt honoured to be staying there with a strong feeling of being invited into somebody’s home – which in essence you could say I had. The staff and chefs live on site, therefore have the utmost respect for the property, clearly beaming with pride to be a part of its steep history. Each element of the itinerary was set in various rooms throughout the house – making the most of the different scenes and heirlooms on show. The Orangery was ultimately my favourite; the whole house is packed full of wow factor, but this room in particular is non-comparable with windows aplenty taking in the stunning 1000 acre views. For the evening, our dinner was set in the magnificent Dining Room – with each guest sat around one grand table. Despite having reserved feelings about this at first, I actually relished the evening sat amongst an array of interesting couples. It was an excellent touch that gelled our group together for the weekend. THE ORANGERY



Our residence for our evening’s stay was the Church Room, overlooking the bell tower (no surprises there). Now, where Weston Park stands out amongst other country house hotels is that each room is decked with family heirlooms and antiques. Also personalised to each room, you’ll find a charming little teddy from local manufacturer Merrythought. Ours was named Charles, of which he’d informed us via a note that he’d prefer not to be taken out of his room as he gets scared!

It appeared there was playful competition between the group as to who could find the most unusual mushrooms to impress our local expert for the day, (fun-guy) John Hughes. The way he reeled off some of the most unusual Latin mushroom names – such as Hydnum repandum - was somewhat impressive, especially with 4500 different varieties.


Saturday 9th November 4.00pm Afternoon Tea in the Library 5.00pm Tour of the House 7.30pm Pre-dinner drinks in the Library 8.00pm Dinner in the Dining Room 1.00am Last orders at the bar Sunday 10th November 8.00-9.30am Breakfast in the Music Room 10.00am Fungi Foraging with John Hughes in the Park 11.15am Chef’s Masterclass in the Classrooms 12.30pm Lunch in the Victorian Orangery


Cookery classes are high up in the trend stakes at present and Weston Park have clearly cottoned onto the opportunity in getting the local community involved by providing many affordable class held with Head Chef Guy Day.


Focussing on mushrooms (obviously), Guy exposed his talents to the class by demonstrating how to achieve the perfect wild mushroom risotto and a mushroom gnocchi dish in a stunning Madeira sauce. Delicious! This particular aspect of the Dine & Stay event appealed to my tastes – and so too for the rest of the group, found making an array of excitable noises whilst sampling the finished dishes. Lesson learned: It should only take around 18 minutes to make the perfect risotto.


Never been one to partake in a spot of foraging, I surprisingly donned my wellies and went open-minded in an effort to expand my fungi knowledge. My partner, Dan, excelled in the task and proved to have something of a keen eye and a hidden talent for the world of mushroom foraging!

WESTON PARK Features Writer, Justine Clegg was invited into the stunning & prestigious home for their Autumn Dine & Stay event. Armed with her long term partner, Dan, for a romantic weekend away, the pleasure was clearly all theirs… THE FOOD

Head Chef Guy Day is well-known in the area for serving opulent dishes to the highest of standards, having won an endless supply of awards. The food served throughout the weekend had a strong emphasis on seasonality, ensuring each dish used the freshest of produce, sourced as locally as possible without compromising on quality. Our 6-course evening meal was a delectable treat of game dishes with other courses such as Lemon Sole with mussels in a light curry sauce to break up the rich flavours. Visiting in the autumn provided a whole host of my favourite game meats including the king – venison loin served with a mini haunch pie, wild mushrooms, morel sauce with a hint of chocolate and fondant potato. The mini pie provided many a cheery conversation over the table. Yet, it appeared the deconstructed apple tarte tatin with salted caramel ice-cream was the favourite amongst my fellow guests, especially with salted caramel being very ‘in vogue’.


From £320 per couple, surround yourself in luxury this coming Valentine’s Day at Weston Park’s Valentine’s Dine & Stay event on Friday 14th February. The package includes afternoon tea on arrival, champagne reception in the Marble Halls, a 4-course dinner with coffee and petit fours served in the Dining Room with a harpist playing in the background, overnight accommodation and full English breakfast the following morning. To book or to find out more information on Weston Park’s Dine & Stay events call 01952 852100.


Mercure Albrighton Hall Hotel & Spa Mercure Albrighton Hall Hotel & Spa

In the Beautiful Shropshire Countryside In the Beautiful Shropshire Countryside

WEDDING PACKAGES FROM £3600 WEDDING PACKAGES FROM £3999 WEDDING PACKAGES FROM £3600 Your wedding day is the most exciting day of your life and we want you to enjoy every second of it. Your wedding day is the most exciting day of your life No stress, no hassle, going exactly to plan, and we with wanteverything you to enjoy every second of it. to ensure your day is truly one to remember. No stress, no hassle, with everything going exactly to plan, to ensure your day is truly one to remember.

A dash of flair; a touch of imagination and attention to detail - essential ingredients A dash of flair; a touch of imagination and for that perfect day. attention to detail - essential ingredients for that perfect day.

Call our Wedding co-ordinator now on 01939 291 000 for more information or email: Call our Wedding co-ordinator on 01939 291 000 for more information or email:

Marry for £2,014 in 2014 or £2,015 in 2015!* Set in its own landscaped gardens and adjoined to Etruria Hall, a grade II listed building that retains its original character, BEST WESTERN PLUS Stoke-on-Trent Moat House can be truly transformed into the wedding venue of your dreams. • Red carpet on arrival for you and your guests • Wedding breakfast for up to 40 guests • Full drinks package and champagne on arrival

• Evening buffet for up to 80 guests • Personalised menu cards and seating plan • Complimentary room for the bride and groom on the wedding night

*This package is subject to availability and will only apply to new weddings booked. The price will change if the minimum numbers above are not met. Additional extras included: for full details speak to our Wedding Co-ordinator.

BOOK NOW! To find out more on this fantastic package or to speak to our Wedding Co-ordinator call 01782 609933 quoting ‘2014’ BEST WESTERN PLUS Stoke-on-Trent Moat House Etruria Hall, Festival Way, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 5BQ

Review Once checked in, our concierge Jack led us to our bedroom ‘Wellingtonia’. Stepping inside I felt a pang of excitement as my eyes flickered firstly over to the huge bed, then the grand décor and not to mention the perfect rural views. Prior to our arrival I had filled out a short form about our interests and to my surprise the hotel had took the time to type up a few ’places of interest’- a lovely sincere gesture. The bathroom came complete with Molton Brown toiletries…my favourite. I felt spoilt already!




COLONIAL BAR AND LOUNGE Indulging in a spot of Afternoon Tea, we sat in the elegant Library complete with beautiful oak bookcases and French style velvet chairs. As I took a look around I noticed the array of people enjoying their own afternoon tea experience from families with young children to middle aged ladies enjoying ladies lunch. Peering through to the bar area I could see a beautiful terrace …perfect to sit and gaze at the views during the summer months. Our Afternoon Tea arrived complete with macaroons, chocolate mousse and the moistest of chocolate cakes…I really should have asked for the recipe! Spending a good few hours eating cakes and sipping tea, we were occasionally met with the most polite members of staff merely wanting to ensure we were relishing our afternoon.

BROCKENCOTE HALL HOTEL Tucked away in some of England’s finest countryside is the stunning Brockencote Hall Hotel. Set in 70 acres of parkland, complete with lake, this manor house hotel was the perfect opportunity for Living’s Jemma McNicholas to take her husband on a romantic, luxurious weekend away. YOUR DESTINATION AWAITS Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives we arrived at our destination following a steady hour’s drive. Prior to our visit I read Brockencote Hall had not only recently won the Best Hotel Award in the Visit Worcestershire Awards for Excellence 2013 along with three AA Rosettes in the 2014 AA Restaurant Guide, but Head Chef Adam Brown had also just won the annual Battle of Eden title after going head-to-head with six other top chefs. Talk about a hat trick! So we were looking forward to a weekend of fine dining, heritage and ultimate luxury.

Following the recent awards it comes as no surprise my husband and I were eager to taste Head Chef Adam Brown’s food. With various menus of scrumptious dishes to choose from - including the market menu (which changes daily), a seasonal a la carte menu and their extravagant 7 course tasting menu - there was something to tantalise all taste buds. Ordering our drinks and food, we were led to the Chaddesley Restaurant with the perfect table for two set up in the corner. If it’s a more private affair you’re looking for there’s a selection of private dining rooms to choose from perfect for special occasions, whilst the wine connoisseurs amongst us will be spoilt for choice with a floor to ceiling wine wall on the edge of the restaurant. After an amuse bouche of cod and leek our starters arrived. I had chosen the Home Cured Salmon with potato and horseradish mousse, radish and apple, whilst my husband had the Dressed Cornish Crab, salmon and purple potato. Both attractively presented we delightfully ate every mouthful. Onto mains, I had chosen the Loin of Venison, beetroot, heritage carrots and bone marrow from the seasonal menu whilst my husband opted for the Pork Fillet and slow cooked pig cheek, red cabbage and potato terrine from the market menu. Sat in awe of every forkful, we had of course had to sample each other’s dish – it was far too tempting to resist. With a near full restaurant each diner seemed to be just as satisfied as the next. Following a chocolate mousse pre dessert, my husband’s favourite part of any meal, the dessert arrived. He’d chosen the Warm Ginger Cake, honey cream and apple textures whilst I took up the offer of a cheeseboard, as I’d seen the trolley pass by causing me to be extremely intrigued. It was interesting to find out about each of the cheeses, and with a helping hand from my waiter I finally opted for 4 ‘strong’ cheeses - much to my husband’s displeasure! I could certainly see why this was an award winning restaurant as everything from taste, texture and presentation to the service was, in my eyes, flawless.



Brockencote Hall is part of the Eden Hotel Collection; a privately owned portfolio of carefully chosen hotels. For more information visit Rooms at Brockencote Hall start from £115 (single occupancy) and £135 double occupancy inclusive of full English breakfast and VAT. Dinner, Bed and Breakfast packages start from £130 per person, per night.

Staffordshire Living Reader Offer: Brockencote Hall has an exclusive Winter Warmer offer for readers of Staffordshire Living. Throughout January and February, enjoy a one-night stay in a superior double room, including breakfast and a champagne cream tea, for just £135 per night. To take advantage of this special rate, call 01562 777876 and quote ‘Staffordshire Living Reader offer’ (valid January and February 2014, Sunday to Thursdays only. Based on two people sharing. Subject to availability. Excludes New Year and February 13-15). Brockencote Hall Country House & Restaurant, Chaddesley Court, Worcestershire, DY10 4PY.


Weddings at Uttoxeter Racecourse

UTTOXETER RACECOURSE IS IDEALLY SITUATED OVERLOOKING THE PICTURESQUE STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTRYSIDE, WHICH PROVIDES AN EXQUISITE BACKDROP FOR YOUR WEDDING... From large parties of up to 450 guests to more intimate celebrations we are able to offer the perfect suite to meet your requirements. Uttoxeter Racecourse is fully licensed for civil weddings and partnership ceremonies, so we can accommodate you from ceremony, to wedding breakfast through to reception. 01889 562561 |

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Tried & Tested HAIR OF THE DOG: Hair Masks


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I’M AS HARD AS NAILS: Nail Treatments

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The team at Staffordshire Living are now visions of natural beauty with the ultimate in glossy hair and glowing skin thanks to testing out these beauty products that all claim to give you a beautiful radiance. We’ve hand-picked our favourites meaning you save both vital pennies and time before your wedding day, and are just left with healthy and happy skin, hair and nails.

1. LABEL.M Intensive Mask (120ml), RRP £13.25 label.m has created a restorative treatment for that special occasion when hair has to look seriously sexy, healthy and stylishious! Containing the key ingredient, Amazonian Cupuacu Butter, the mask boosts the recovery of the hair’s natural moisture and elasticity. Bran, Cottonseeds and Shea Butter combine to hi-drench and restore hair alongside label.m’s exclusive Enviroshield Complex that shields against heat styling and harmful UV rays. RATING H H H H H

2. LEE STAFFORD BREaKiNG HAiR LEaVE iN TREaTMENT (75ml), RRP £7.99 Lee Stafford’s new addition to the latest problem solving BREaKiNG HAiR collection works wonders for those with damaged hair caused by styling and colouring. Best of all, you leave it in your hair so it can carry on working, whilst you get on with the wedding planning! Use on damp towel-dried hair and massage into the ends of your hair to reduce physical damage, leaving hair full of strength whilst smoothing the cuticle. RATING H H H

3. KERASTRAIGHT Protein Mask (100ml), RRP £25 Like a protein packed shake for the hair, the KeraStraight Protein Mask contains particles of low weight proteins that form a net around the hair shaft and rebuilds the hair’s inner structure and strength. Smart Performance technology allows the ingredients to continue to work within the hair restructuring the fibres for up to 48 hours after application. Great for chemically treated and weak hair, the result is a beautiful, healthy head of hair. RATING H H H

4. NICKY CLARKE Intensive Moisture Mask (200ml), £22 Nicky Clarke Intensive Moisture Mask is the definitive restoration treatment for all hair types. Fortified with carefully selected proteins, this luxurious mask promotes smoothness, long lasting condition and deep nourishment; restoring hair to feel natural, shiny and manageable. Salon Professional quality, this mask is used in all the Nicky Clarke salons as a nourishing hair reviving treatment to accompany a cut and finish or colour appointment.. RATING H H H H

1. SUPERDRUG Nail Treatments, £3.99 Problem nails could be a thing of the past this winter with the launch of three new intense nail treatments designed to solve three of our most common nail issues in just one week. Problem cuticles? Then the new Cuticle Serum will give the nail bed a boost. Damaged nails? The new Hydrating Serum will add moisture back for healthier nails. Weak nails? Strength Serum will leave nails strong and more robust. Use all three ahead of your wedding day to leave your nails picture perfect. RATING H H H H

2. MAVALA Mava-flex Serum (10ml), £16.60 Natural nailcare Mavala have a huge array of nail treatments. Their Mava-flex serum is a wellbalanced concentrate serum which restores and maintains flexibility of very dry, very hard nails. It penetrates, moisturises and strengthens nails resulting in healthy, flexible, shiny and soft nails that do not break. Ensuring perfect nails for the big day! The use of urea and saccharides targets the optimum moisture balance. RATING H H H H

3. CIATE Nail Tonic: Nail Hydrator (13.5ml), £11 We’ve gone crazy for the brand new Ciaté Nail Treatment Collection; the ultimate treat for nails! The new collection has a solution for every nail dilemma whether its weak, bendy nails; dry cuticles or polish that chips. Our top pick is their Nail Hydrator; a perfect solution for brittle, dehydrated or splitting nails. Formulated with Muscat Rose Tree Oil for maximum hydration, feed your dry nails with essential Iron, Zinco, Vitamin E ad Seaweed Extract for a smooth, healthy and radiant finish. RATING H H H H

4. SCHOLL Nail Beauty Set, £39.99 Let us introduce you to the new Scholl Nail Beauty Set, now available at Boots. From shaping to polishing, it is the most complete manicure product to achieve professional results in your very own home. The set comes complete with a dryer to set the results for longer, along with an electric manicure pen and a wide range of attachments. 13 in total. You’ll find tools in here that you never even knew you needed – but now can’t live without! RATING H H H

WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE: Skin Illuminators & Rejunivators

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3 4 RUB-A-DUB-DUB: Body Exfoliants & Scrubs





1. SIMPLE Kind To Skin+ Illuminating Radiance Cream (50ml), RRP £8.99 Light reflecting natural minerals capture the light to instantly illuminate skin with the Kind To Skin+ Illuminating Radiance Cream, giving the brideto-be a perfect glow as it brightens up a pasty complexion. Sweet Almond and Sunflower Seed oils help protect skin by locking in moisture. Skin is also soothed with Bisabolol and conditioned with Ginger Root extract, which together help to keep it looking naturally healthy. The added multivitamin goodness of Pro-Vitamin B3, Vitamin E and Vitamin A Palmitate helps to improve skin condition by restoring, softening and strengthening. RATING H H H

2. ELEMIS Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm (50ml), RRP £32 Back in May 2013, Elemis introduced a new generation of “hybrid moisturiser” whose instant skin-flattering qualities are as compelling as its ability to hydrate the skin. More than a look-good cream, this is a feel good cream. The texture is moreish and designed to be smoothed over the face with a swift touch, then left to do its good work. As you enjoy your revived complexion, the balm’s more subtle skin-enhancing ingredients come into play, which is where our formulation gets really clever. RATING H H H H H

3. MURAD Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Dewy Finish (30ml), RRP £29 This unique combination gives these 2-in-1 problem solvers the power to let you simultaneously treat and mask your skin concerns. Hybrid Skin Perfecting Primers feature Pore Factor-5 which minimizes the appearance of pores as it balances oil production along with Adaptive Shade Technology to create a perfect skin tone match. This universal shade oilfree primer, balances oil production, disguises flaws, evens skin texture and minimises the appearance of pores while creating the perfect radiant glow. RATING H H H

4. CLARINS Beauty Flash Balm (50ml), RRP £29 Launched over 30 years ago in 1980 and known in-house as ‘cinderella in a tube’, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is a cult favourite that consistently ranks in Clarins top ten best-selling products; one is sold every twenty minutes worldwide. The core ingredient of line smoothing rice starch delivers unsurpassable pick me up qualities. Whether it be a big night out or the morning after, this instant fix will revive any complexion and miraculously transform skin from tired and jaded to smooth and positively glowing with one application. RATING H H H H

1. CLINIQUE Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream (250ml), £20 Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream is the perfect primer for the ultimate new luxury in sensorial delight. Housed in a generous jar, this pampering partner completes the mission for baby-soft, smooth-as-a-peach skin. Prepare for all-over exhilaration as Clinique takes exfoliation to another level, targeting rough and dry body skin in a cool, refreshing new way. Skin is immediately revitalized as flakes and dullness are sloughed away. The oilfree formula rinses easily so skin feels instantly softer, smoother, invigorated and primed for moisturisation. Go ahead and indulge your senses. RATING H H H H H

2. PALMERS COCOA BUTTER Cocoa Body Scrub (200g), RRP £4.99 The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Body Scrub is bursting with a blend of pure cocoa butter, vitamin E, shea butter and natural crushed cocoa beans. This unique combination refines and polishes to reveal brighter and smoother looking skin. The ultra-rich and creamy texture provided by pure cocoa and shea butters melt upon application, whilst the natural crushed cocoa beans gently polish your skin for a softer feel. The ultimate beauty essential to prepare and polish your skin before applying fake tan, for an even looking radiant glow. RATING H H H H

3. GREEN PEOPLE Age Defy+ Exfoliating Body Cream (150ml), RRP £19.95 Age Defy+ Exfoliating Body Cream is an invigorating certified organic blend of Apricot, Cranberry, Bamboo and Pineapple Extracts together with Bentonite Clay. This gentle yet highly effective combination eliminates impurities, roughness and dead skin cells all over the body. Oxygenation is improved, vital for effective cell function, and skin is left revitalised, marvellously soft, silky, and perfectly prepared. 100% certified product made with 89.8% organic ingredients, the cream is enriched with 29 beauty-enhancing actives to revitalise and soften for a youthful you. RATING H H H

4. THE BODY SHOP Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub (350ml), £15 This salt scrub is inspired by African tribal spa rituals, moisturising as it exfoliates and leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. The Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub contains their Community Fair Trade beeswax supplied by Guide D’Espoir in Cameroon. It comes from the remote Adamaoua region, where farmers harvest it from hives handcrafted from bamboo. This traditional method of beekeeping helps to promote strong, healthy bees and deters logging. Massage this product onto wet skin in the bath or shower and rinse off thoroughly. RATING H H H


Wh Weston Hall

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale... Celebration Package December - February 2014 & 2015 ÂŁ65.00 Per Guest to include

The possibilities are endless... At Weston Hall, we are lucky enough to be able to offer you a selection of elegant rooms varying in size, character and charm. We also like to give our clients as much flexibility as possible, so we provide a number of rooms to choose from for each part of your day. Whether it's drinks on The Terrace followed by a wedding breakfast in The Westminster, or a civil ceremony in The Conservatory and evening reception in The Shrewsbury, the choice is yours.

* Venue Hire * 3 Course Wedding Package (with a chicken main course) * Prosecco Drinks Package 1 glass of Prosecco on arrival 1 glass of house wine with meal 1 glass of Prosecco to toast * Evening Food – roast pork baps

Weston Hall, Weston Bank, Weston, Stafford ST18 0BA T: 01889 271082 E:

A beautiful and exclusive selection of Bridal gowns and accessories from Maggie Sottero Allure Bridals Cosmobella Ebony Rose Flo & Percy Our excellent alterations service ensures the perfect fit for your chosen gown. 110 Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, WV8 1PE

01902 844844



is coming to Manchester! 21-23 FEBRUARY Olympia London 28 FEB - 2 MARCH NEC Birmingham 15-16 MARCH Manchester Central


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Inspiration, help and advice from over 250 wedding specialists. The UK’s largest wedding Catwalk Show. Thousands of wedding dresses by all the leading designers. POP-UP BEAUTY SALON VINTAGE AREA EXPERTS THEATRE WEDDING DRESSES DESIGNER BOUTIQUES FLOWERS CAKES CARS BRIDESMAID DRESSES VENUES & HONEYMOONS STATIONERY JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES GROOMSWEAR AND LOTS, LOTS MORE!

BOOK TODAY NATIONALWEDDINGSHOW.CO.UK SAVE OVER 15% WHEN YOU QUOTE ‘LIVING’* *Saving relates to door price of £18.50. Book by phone call 0844 8740 486. Calls cost 10p from a BT landline other networks may vary. Code valid until midnight 2 days before the show opens. A £2 transaction fee applies.

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IN FULL BLOOM Choosing your wedding bouquet and flowers is easily all down to personal preference, with many a bride choosing their favourite flowers to feature on their special day. That’s just what common sense tells us… The season plays a huge part in the choosing - especially when it comes down to budgeting and cost. The time of year in which your wedding falls can have a damaging effect on the price of your chosen flower, if it’s out of season then you’re either looking at a much higher price tag or…god forbid it not even being available! Meaning, you need to be a little wiser and open to your chosen designs. Browsing the wedding brochures and internet for styles is possibly the best way to find a whole host of inspiration. The social media sites Pinterest and Tumblr are particularly helpful when it comes to planning your wedding, especially as you can make your own collections/folders of ideas/inspirations that you’ve found – at least then you have an easily accessible link online that you can send over & show your florist (or any other supplier for that matter) to help them design your bouquets and other flower arrangements to best suit your tastes.

So as we look forward to a New Year we’ve asked the experts at Interflora, who are currently showcasing the Vera Wang Wedding Collection, on the trends to look out for in 2014… The Vera Wang Wedding Collection by Interflora has over 400 accredited florists in the UK and Ireland, perfectly positioned to provide insight into the key wedding flower trends emerging this season. 2014 is tipped to be the year of dark and mysterious colours, with Gatsbyinspired glamour still a strong influence. The Vera Wang Wedding Collection by Interflora is tailor-made to deliver these on-trend looks.

1. A rich and vibrant colour palette is enhanced by scented flowers and striking foliage. Interflora Vera Wang florist, Angela Sales comments: “Brides really embrace autumnal influences – there are so many colours in the trees and strong evocative scents that I think they take inspiration from it. We have been getting a lot of requests for reds, violets, golds and browns.” Interflora Vera Wang Traditional Wedding Range

3. Daring jewel colours such as amethyst purple and ruby red are also making an appearance in wedding flowers, enhancing vintage lace dresses and statement accessories. Imagine deep crimson roses, framed by glossy green foliage and decorated with glittering diamantes or pearls. It’s a marriage of romantic and gothic elements perfect for a fabulous Winter wedding. Interflora Vera Wang Purple Calla Lily Bridal Bouquet

2. Gatsby-inspired vintage themes remain popular in both fashion and floristry this year, with art deco style evoking the glamour of the roaring 20s. Stunning cascade bouquets of white or cream Roses, Lisianthus and white double Freesias, complemented by sparkling diamantes and pearls will be a popular choice for brides wishing to recreate the best of this romantic era. Interflora Vera Wang Cream Rose and Fressia Bouquet.

4. Winter will see bold blues, in shades of cobalt, navy and royal blue, perfect for a romantic winter wedding. This cool and stylish colour palette will feature in a range of bouquet styles and shapes, from chic hand tied bouquets to the graceful waterfall. Accredited Interflora Vera Wang florist, Nigel Brown, comments: “We’re finding brides opting for the unique and bold, daring bouquets and dark colours such as deep reds and blues.” Interflora Vera Wang Blue Hydrangea Bouquet

Full details of The Vera Wang Wedding Collection by Interflora can be found on the Interflora website, along with details of the Interflora florists accredited to provide this nationwide service. Prices for the designs start at £64.99 for a bridal bouquet.


the pickle jar Loved up couples can now say “I do” in the iconic Lakeside Pavilion which was built 2 years ago as a centre piece to the 6.5 million Queens park re-development. Set in 35 acres of historic parkland, it provides a unique venue for that special day, providing many opportunities for those very special photographs. The Pickle Jar company offer a wide range of wedding packages, providing first class menus, with first class service. This unique venue can be exclusively yours for the day, with a modern wooden beam and glass structure and cathedral ceiling giving a spacious feeling whilst providing panoramic views of the lake from the large veranda area. The Lakeside Pavilion and Queens Park are worth a visit to experience your wedding venue for the future when the manager Karen, would be pleased to meet you.

For further information Contact 01270 583162 or 07553 370 833

Queens Park Drive Queens Park, Crewe Cheshire, CW2 7SE

Weddings at Stapleford Park 2014

W i n t e r W e d d i n g Pa c k a g e

Q u a rt e r o n e 2 0 1 4 Pa c k a g e



* Late availability weddings from £7,997.00. Based on 80 guests. F o r F u rt h e r i n F o r m at i o n :

call 01572 787 016 or email

Stapleford Park Country House Hotel & Sporting Estate, Stapleford, Nr. Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2EF Telephone: +44 (0) 1572 787000 | Fax: +44 (0) 1572 787001 | Email: |

“WHITE BLINDNESS” Staffordshire Living tackles your wedding financials…

Every bride dreams of having an open chequebook for her wedding day…yet in reality this daydream is becoming something of both a reality and nightmare with an increasing number of brides-to-be spending as though money is simply no object. Unfortunately, as weddings continue to rise in expensive, debt-ridden brides are becoming increasingly common as rash decisions without a care for cost step in. These particular decisions are branded as white blindness by industry professionals. This swiftly brings us to our first and most vital point when it comes to planning your finances for your wedding - the budget. It’s not particularly the nicest of topics to discuss, and it may not be something yourself and your partner will agree on at first, but it’s vitally important to set a realistic figure that doesn’t leave you broke or paying a massive bill off for many years to come. Remember, your wedding day is a celebration and will be one of the most memorable days in your life…but it is exactly that – a day. We know you hear it constantly (probably from parents and loved ones) yet they all have a point and one that should not be skimmed over. Packing so much into a day is both tiring and expensive so just be wise with your choices made, that’s all they’re hinting at. You can have equally as good a day without those white doves or selection of canapés before the wedding breakfast! Just keep your wits about you, as these are clever examples of falling victim to items that appear to be a driving force behind a successful day enjoyed by all guests. They’re not, merely just classic examples of ‘added extras’ that can cost the earth and bump up your bill. When setting your budget (no matter how large or small), it is wise to plan ahead (beyond your wedding) as to what your aims and goals are as a married couple. Pencil in your financial plan for the next 5 years, or 10 if you’re feeling ambitious, and see how your wedding budget slots in with this. Will you want a new car next year? Maybe you’ve both planned to move home soon? Or like many start a family? Therefore, it’s time to scrutinise what is most important to you and set your budget accordingly. Setting a budget doesn’t mean plucking numbers out of thin air, nor does it mean once a budget is set the hard work stops there. It’s time to create a detailed budget and set a maximum figure to each element of your wedding –such as £1500 for your dress, £300 on the wedding cake. You’ll find it much easier to stick within the lines and not fall victim to a spot of ‘white blindness’. If a gorgeous dress is calling for your attention but has a hefty price tag that is way beyond your target, steer clear and leave it on the hanger. Trying it on is only leading you into dangerous territory. Of course, we’re not standing here with a cane whipping you into shape. We completely understand there will be items that your hadn’t planned for along with others costing a higher price than anticipated without compromising on quality – our advice is to have a contingency fund. Have a pot of cash that remains in the background and not part of your budget, but is accessible if needs must. We all want to treat ourselves on our wedding day after all. Take our Real Life Bride Amanda for example (p44), despite having a very excessively tight budget and planning a frugal affair, she allowed more lenience in the luxury of having her hair and make-up done professionally. It was clearly something not worth compromising.

EXPERT TOP TIPS Kathryn Wright, the Director of Online Strategy at leading money saving website, shares her tops tips on saving money after recently getting married herself… 1. Get into the mindset that you will NOT pay full price for anything. If you see something you want, note the brand, the name, the barcode - then get online and search until you find it online somewhere cheaper, get a free delivery code or a code for 10%, 20% off...or more! Users of discount code sites save on average £1200 a year. 2. Get yourself a cash-back credit card. Amex currently run a 5% cash-back for the first 3 months and 1% for each month thereafter. This means if you are spending £1000 a month, that’s cash-back of £240 in the year! 3. Change your shopping habits and buy groceries online. We all get tempted by the ‘3 for 2’ offers at the end of an aisle. I found it really encouraged me to look at what I was spending too. Average saving in a year £240.




Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine

WINING & DINING Piping Hot Casserole Recipes Hot Chocolate, 2014 Food Trends and Staffordshire’s Choice of Fine Dining Restaurants

One Pot Credit:

W onder!



Casseroles and stews are the go-to dish for many come the winter months thanks to their comforting values and most of all no-fuss method! Chuck it all in one pot, leave it and enjoy later – meaning less mess, less dishes and less hassle. Perfect for working families, we’ve dedicated our recipe pages to the humble and pleasing casserole with some inspiring and different recipes to try…



Serves 4 450g lean Welsh Beef braising steak, cut into chunky cubes 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tbsp flour 150ml beer 150ml beef stock 100g whole chestnuts, cooked, peeled & ready to use 50g stilton cheese, crumbled 1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan or casserole pot. Add the beef cubes and brown on all sides. 2. Add the onion and garlic, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. 3. Pour in the beer and allow to bubble for 1-2 minutes. Add in the flour and stir well. 4. Gradually, add the stock, chestnuts and seasoning, – then bring to the boil. 5. Place the lid on the pot and place in oven. Cook for 1½-2 hours until the meat is tender. Scatter with Stilton cheese and serve.

HEALTHY CHICKEN CASSEROLE Serves 3 1 tsp olive oil 6 essential Waitrose British Chicken Thigh Fillets 2–3 cloves garlic, finely sliced 400g pack Waitrose Trimmed Leeks, thinly sliced 400g can Epicure Organic Haricot Beans, drained and rinsed 3 –4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 fresh bay leaf 150ml dry white wine or chicken stock 1. Heat the oil in a non-stick sauté pan and cook the chicken thighs over a high heat until browned on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm. 2. Add the garlic and leeks to the pan and cook over a low heat for 3–4 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the beans, thyme, bay leaf and wine or stock and simmer for a further 4 minutes. 3. Arrange the chicken thighs on top of the beans, cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 15–20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.


SAUSAGE AND GARLIC BEAN POT Serves 6 12 fat Toulouse sausages 1 tbsp olive oil 4 small red onions, finely chopped 300ml chicken or vegetable stock 300ml Guinness 1 x 350g tub chilled Napoletana pasta sauce 2 x 410g tins haricot beans in water, drained 6 tbsp Bonne Maman Blackcurrent Conserve 125g ready-to-cook garlic bread slices Chopped fresh Parsley, to serve 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan oven 170°C), Gas Mark 5. Pinch the centre of each sausage and twist the skin to form 2 smaller sausages. Cut in half to separate them. 2. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and fry the sausages for 3–4 minutes until well browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 3. Add the onions to the pan with no extra oil and fry for 7–10 minutes until soft and golden. 4. Return the sausages to the dish and stir in the stock, Guinness, pasta sauce, beans and conserve. Bring to the boil and bubble for 2 minutes, then simmer, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 40 – 60 minutes, or until the liquid is thickened and well reduced. 5. Pop the garlic bread into the oven alongside the casserole dish for the first 15 minutes of cooking time until the bread is crisp and golden. Whizz in a food processor or blender to make rough garlicky crumbs. 6. Serve the bean pot straight from the oven sprinkled with the garlicky crumbs and some chopped parsley.

Serves 4 1 medium butternut squash, cut into 2.5 cm chunks (leave the skin on for added texture) 12 shallots, peeled and left whole 6 sage leaves, roughly chopped 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 heaped tbsp flour 175ml white wine 1 tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed 400ml vegetable stock 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste For the dumplings: 200g self-raising flour 100g vegetable suet 2 tsp dried mixed herbs Salt and freshly ground black pepper 5-8 tbsp cold water 1. Place the butternut squash and shallots in a roasting tin along with the olive oil, sage leaves and a good grind of pepper and salt to taste. Roast in a hot oven (220°C/Gas 7) for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are tinged with colour at the edges. 2. Whilst the squash and shallots are cooking make the dumplings by combining all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add enough cold water to bring it together to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into 8 small balls and set aside. 3. When the squash and shallots are cooked, remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 180°C/Gas 4. 4. Add the flour to the roasting tin, stirring to coat the vegetables and soak up all the roasting juices. Add the garlic and white wine to the roasting tin, scraping the bottom to release all the sticky caramelized bits. 5. Transfer to an oven proof casserole and add the beans, sundried tomato paste and enough vegetable stock to cover the vegetables. 6. Give everything a good stir, Bring to the boil and cover. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. 7. Remove the casserole form the oven and carefully add the dumplings so they float on the surface. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the dumplings are crispy on the outside and fluffy and cooked through on the inside.

Recipe from: Bonne Maman – The Seasonal Cookbook (Simon & Schuster). Recipe development by Moyra Fraser.




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

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

Party Bookings:

Lunch Menu

Our restaurants are ideal for any occasion:

3 Course Meal - £11.99

Weddings, Christenings, Hen Nights etc.

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

2 Course Meal – £9.99 Main Course - £7.99 Starter or Dessert Only - £4.59

Join us every Tuesday for Pasta & Pizza at only £6.99

Visit our website

to view our menu’s online

Pasta Di Piazza

Pasta Di Piazza

Open 7 days Monday to Saturday 12.00-15.00 Lunch 17.00-22.00 Evenings Sunday 12.00-21.00

Open 7 days Monday to Saturday 12.00-15.00 Lunch 18.00-23.00 Evenings Sunday 12.00-22.00

Newcastle 125 High Street Newcastle-u-Lyme Staffordshire ST5 1PS Tel: (01782) 617610

Stone 12 High Street Stone Staffordshire ST15 8AW Tel: (01785) 813214

PAPRIKA PORK AND PEPPERS Serves 4 1 tbsp flour 850g pack essential Waitrose Diced Pork Shoulder 3 tbsp vegetable oil 500g pack Waitrose Casserole Vegetables (find in the chiller) 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tsp bart smoked paprika 300ml chicken stock ½ x 230g jar Fragata Pimiento Piquillo Peppers, drained and sliced 170ml pot essential Waitrose Soured Cream 1. Place the flour in a plastic bag, season and toss the pork in the flour to coat. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a heavy based pan and fry the pork over a high heat in 2 or 3 batches until browned. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. 2. Add the remaining oil to the pan, with the casserole vegetables and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft and golden. 3. Add the paprika and cook for 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan, add the stock, season and bring to the boil. Cover tightly and simmer for 1½ hours until the pork is almost tender. 4. Add the peppers and simmer for a further 30 minutes, uncovered. Check the seasoning and stir through the soured cream to give a marbled effect. Scatter with chopped parsley and a little extra paprika and serve with rice.

1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the pork and brown on all sides, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 3–4 minutes until softened. 2. Place the sweet potatoes in the pan, then scatter over the cumin, paprika, oregano and seasoning. Stir for 1–2 minutes. 3. Pour in the wine then add the tomatoes to the pan with 100ml cold water. Bring to the boil then cover the pan and simmer gently for 1¼ hours until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened. 4. Stir in the soured cream and scatter with the chopped parsley. Serve with steamed rice and a large green salad or steamed cabbage.




PORK AND SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE Serves 4 2 tbsp olive oil 500g essential Waitrose British Pork Diced Leg 1 large onion, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 large essential Waitrose sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano 150ml dry white wine 400g can chopped tomatoes 170ml pot essential Waitrose Soured Cream 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Serves 12 4 tbsp sunflower oil 500g shallots or button onions, peeled 1 large onion, sliced 4 carrots, cut into 2.5cm pieces 1 tbsp sugar 65g plain flour 1.5kg grass-fed chuck steak or grass-fed braising steak, cut into 6-7cm chunks 75g butter 1 litre Irish stout 300ml beef stock The leaves from 3 large sprigs thyme 4 fresh bay leaves 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 250g chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean and left whole 250g field mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced Salt and freshly ground black pepper Herby dumplings or mashed potatoes, to serve For the herby dumplings: 200g self-raising flour A large pinch baking powder ½ tsp salt 100g shredded beef suet 3 sprigs thyme Approx. 200ml cold water Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, flameproof casserole. Add the shallots or small onions and fry until they are nicely browned all over. Set aside on a plate. Add the onions, carrots and sugar and fry until nicely browned. Set aside with the shallots. 2. Put the flour into a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss together well. Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in the casserole and fry the beef in batches until nicely browned on all sides. Set each batch aside with the vegetables as it browns. 3. Add 25g of the butter to the casserole and stir in the remaining seasoned flour from the bowl. Gradually stir in the stout, rubbing the base of the pan to release all the caramelised juices. Stir in the stock, followed by the beef and vegetables, thyme leaves, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, part-cover and leave to simmer very slowly on the top of the stove for 1½ hours. 4. Melt the remaining butter in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry briskly for 2 minutes. Stir them into the casserole, part-cover, and simmer for another 1 hour until the beef is tender. 5. To make the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and a little pepper into a bowl and stir in the suet and thyme leaves along with enough cold water to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. 6. Using a spoon, divide the dough roughly into 12 pieces and drop onto the top of the simmering stew 25 minutes before the end of cooking. Recover and leave to cook until fluffed up and cooked through. A fine skewer, pushed into centre of a dumpling, should come out clean.


For more seasonal recipes visit


Stone Country Butchers From Field to Fork

Stone Country Butchers 1 Adies Alley, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8YQ

Tel: 01785 749347

Find us on Facebook

Join us for a belated Christmas party during January for a discount price of just £18.95 (per person) for 3 courses. At The Church Bar and Restaurant this January, we will be organising special Christmas party nights for anybody who missed out on a Christmas party during December. Simply call us on 01782 269440 and reserve a table for you and your colleagues / friends. Please call us soon and book early to avoid disappointment. Thank you for choosing The Church. Church Bar and Restaurant 61-63 Old Town Road • Hanley Stoke-on-Trent • Staffordshire • ST1 2JS

A SLICE OF THE ACTION A brief guide to buying a knife from the team at Robert Welch…

Having the right knife for the job makes food preparation easier and most of all safer. Kitchen knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes that are specially designed for specific tasks, therefore before buying it’s worth considering how you will be using the knives. Which brand you buy will also depend on personal preference as well as cost. ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A KNIFE… Material The material that a knife is made from significantly affects its durability and strength and also the price. Cheaper knives are generally made from low carbon stainless steel. Higher carbon stainless steel gives a stronger, more durable cutting edge which is easier to keep sharp. Balance Always try to hold a knife out of its packaging. If it’s right for you it should feel finely balanced and comfortable in your hand. This is very important as you will probably need to use the knife for long periods of time and will need to minimise friction. The quality and price of a knife will be affected by the way in which it is made: Forged/Fully forged Forged denotes blade and bolster as separate components and later welded together. Fully forged denotes a single piece of steel throughout to give greater strength. Fully forged knives are the best quality. Stamped Stamped knives are machine cut from a continuous strip of stainless steel. This process makes the knife more economical to produce and buy. They are not as strong or durable as fully forged knives. Hardening and tempering These are the processes knives are put through to produce a hard, durable blade. Taper ground Taper ground blades are the best quality. Taper ground means that the whole blade is ground, from the back of the blade to the cutting edge and from the handle end to the tip. This produces a blade with a fine sharp and very strong cutting edge.

Hollow ground Not as strong or durable as taper ground blades, only the bottom part of the blade is ground to form a cutting edge. Tang The name given to the part of the blade which attaches the blade to the handle. Full tang Full tang knives have a tang which runs the full length of the handle and follows its shape. This helps to provide strength and balance and is a feature for the serious cook to look for. Half tang Half tang is the name given to a tang which extends part way along the handle, from about halfway to as much as three quarters of the way. Half tang knives are suitable for general work but are not as strong as full tang knives.

THE CARE OF KNIVES Most manufacturers claim that their knives are dishwasher safe. However if knives are washed by hand and dried they will stay sharper for longer as this minimises damage to the blade edge. To protect the blades, store in a knife block or magnetic wall rack and always use on a smooth surface such as a wood or acrylic chopping board. Using blunt, old knives makes chopping harder and increases the risk of injuries, so it is worth investing in a good knife sharpener or steel that should be used on a regular basis to keep your blades in good condition.

THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF KNIVES… Boning - A boning knife has a sharp point and narrow blade. It is used in for removing the bones of meat, poultry and fish. Bread - A bread knife has a serrated or scalloped edge to slice and easily cut through bread and cakes without squashing the centre. Carving - A carving knife has a long curved blade for cutting fine, delicate slices in a single stroke and a pointed tip to help free meat from the bone. A carving fork is designed to hold meat in place when carving and usually has a guard to protect fingers. Cook’s - A cook’s knife is an all-purpose knife with a curved blade for chopping and dicing. Generally available in a range of sizes. Kitchen/Vegetable/Paring - A small knife for peeling, trimming and slicing fruit and vegetables. Santoku - All-purpose knife with an Asian-style wide blade for slicing, dicing and chopping delicate foods.





Lifestyle Furnishers

Fabric sofas and chairs made to measure sofas cost and chairs atFabric no extra measure to at no Overmade 100tofabrics extra cost. choose from.

Over 100 fabrics to

Delivered before choose from. Christmas

urnishers Victoria Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2HS 01782 744300 Lifestyle Furnishers Victoria Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2HS Tel: 01782 744300


Knives For All Occasions! Beautiful boxed French table knife sets from Opinel available in Olive Wood or Birch for a touch of elegance. Multi award winning British designed knives from Robert Welch. Finest quality German manufactured chefs knives from W端sthof. Available from Cooks

Tel. 01782 646880

Tel. 01785 223966

The Potters’ Club is a private members’ club offering exclusivity, as well as a sense of home for everyone who joins. The Club has all the benefits of belonging to a private club: attentive staff familiar with members’ needs, tastes and preferences; a sense of belonging; a chance to meet fellow professionals and a quality dining experience. The Potters’ Club makes a perfect “third space” for those seeking something between work and home. Federation House, Station Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2SA UK Opposite Stoke On Trent Railway Station

Phone : 01782 848869 Fax : 01782 411617

Email: Web:

W HEATSHEAF IN N • Spacious Country Pub with 5 Open Fires • AA 4 Star Rating • Locally Sourced Produce • Locally Brewed Ales always available • Now taking bookings for Valentine’s Day • 10 Ensuite rooms available • Private Parties, Conferences and Weddings all catered for • Mother’s Day is our famous Sunday Carvery, food served from 12 noon book now to avoid disappointment • Special weekday Lunch Menu, 12noon – 6pm a choice of six meals for £6 each. The Wheatsheaf Inn, Barhill Rd, Onneley, Nr Crewe, Cheshire CW3 9QF Tel: 01782 751581 Email:

Pascal at the Old Vicarage The Old Vicarage serves fine English cuisine with a twist of France in a relaxed and comfortable setting where you can enjoy a pre dinner drink in our lounge and finish the evening with a coffee and brandy in front of the fire. Express Lunch available Monday to Friday from £12.00 Sunset Menu available Monday to Friday from £13.95 (Orders must be placed before 7pm)

Table d’hote Menu Lunch from £17.95 Evening Monday to Thursday from £21.95 Friday to Saturday from £26.95

2 Main Street, Branston, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 3EX Tel: 01283 533222


of Love

Set the love alight this Valentine’s Day with the only way to anyone’s heart…via their stomach! We all laugh and joke that it is the only way to a man’s heart, but we think us ladies have been cunning in trying to steer the attention away from ourselves…as is it just us, or is this method also a vital passage to our hearts? We’re clearly just more ladylike about the whole situation! When wined and dined in the most extravagant of restaurants it’s something of a glamorous affair that sends our hearts fluttering. There is no denying it. And even more so when a cunning gentlemen decides to don the pinny himself and get his hands dirty creating a scrumptious meal with careful consideration to our tastes and likes – in our eyes that’s sex appeal by the bucket load. Whether it is delicious or not, the effort is the key. So, if you’re looking for love this Valentine’s or even more importantly wanting to secure a new relationship and take it to the next level – then it’s time to whip out the old charmer and impress with a delicious array of food. ‘Why does food evoke feelings of romance though’ we hear you ask? It’s mostly down to aphrodisiacs – which we’re sure you’ll have all heard of. These play with our senses and ultimately stimulate and evoke sexual desire. Ooh la la. Found in more foods than just the well-reported chocolate, aphrodisiacs work by a rush in blood flow to the sexual organs and are found to produce more of the chemicals associated with sexual desire in our bodies. Sounds fun right? And also proves our point that the way to the heart via the stomach is not just a male trait! Do your research and find out the foods that will make your man’s need for you increase dramatically.

DRINK: Valentine’s Sweetheart-ini Prep time: 5 minutes Makes: 4-6 glasses 1 bottle of Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato (chilled) 1 bottle of lemonade (chilled) 1 punnet of frozen strawberries (slightly thawed) 1 lime Fresh selection of berries and toothpicks (for garnish) • In a large punch bowl, combine the bottle of Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato, lemonade and frozen strawberries whilst also squeezing in the juice of the lime. • Gently stir and pour the mixture into cocktail or jam jar glasses. • Pierce 3-4 berries on each toothpick and place over rim of glasses for garnish.

WIN A CASE OF BAREFOOT BUBBLY PINK MOSCATO! Barefoot Wine & Bubbly got started in California in the 1960s. Its founders believed that wine should be more fun and less serious; and created a wine that could be enjoyed by everyone from first-time wine drinkers to hard-core aficionados. Barefoot Wine & Bubbly is the most awarded and No 1 wine brand in the US and was introduced to the UK in 2007. Staying true to its grassroots beginnings Barefoot Wine & Bubbly gives back to local non-profit groups through charitable wine donations. More information can be found at Staffordshire Living have therefore teamed up with Barefoot Wine & Bubbly to give away a case of 6 Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato to 3 winners just in time for Valentine’s Day. That makes for plenty of Valentine’s Sweetheart-ini’s! For your chance to win answer the following question: Where is Barefoot Wine & Bubbly from? To enter visit our website, head to the Competitions page and fill in the form. T&C’s: Closing date is Friday 7th February. 3 winners are to receive one case of 6 Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. No cash alternative. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Employees of Staffordshire Media and their families are not restricted to enter. For full terms and conditions see page 6.


EAT: PASTA VONGOLLE Italy is the ultimate cuisine to wow your loved one with its heavy focus on simple non-fussy dishes that has full focus on the ingredients used. Meaning, it’s less time spent in the kitchen and more time with your love interest as you’re not faffing over small fiddly components or getting your head around complex cooking methods. Not forgetting, Italy oozes romance so it makes it a perfect match… Serves: 2 (of course!) Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes 400g fresh clams, discarding any opened ones 6 whole shallots, finely chopped 40g butter 1 clove of garlic peeled and chopped 1 glass of white wine 200g cooked spaghetti or linguine 50g double cream 25g flat leaf parsley

1. Firstly, you will need to thoroughly wash the clams. 2. Chop the shallots into a fine dice and cook in the butter until soft, when soft add the chopped garlic and half of the white wine and reduce slightly. (This can be done up to 2/3 days in advance, cooled and kept in a sealed jar). 3. Place a large pan on the gas and allow this to get hot, adding the clams and the remaining white wine. 4. When they all start to open add the cooked spaghetti/linguine to the same pan. Then add the double cream and the cooked shallot mixture. 5. After 2/3 minutes when it is all warmed through, check the seasoning and adjust if necessary and add some of the chopped parsley. 6. Serve in hot bowls. Then finish with the rest of the chopped parsley.


If your cooking skills aren’t exactly up to scratch or you hardly fancy slaving over a stove all day yet still want to ultimately treat your loved one – then whisking your partner off for an evening of fine dining will surely appeal. Lap up the luxury in our top picks within the Staffordshire area… NETHERSTOWE HOUSE, Lichfield Netherstowe Lane. WS13 6AY. 01543 254270 Netherstowe House is a small, family owned and run Fine Dining restaurant that strives to be the best with a friendly, personal touch. The family and team are very proud to have been voted ‘Restaurant of the Year’ at the Taste of Staffordshire Good Food Awards, receiving an AA Rosette award for Culinary Excellence and being recommended by the Michelin Guide. The emphasis is on creating flavoursome, classic dishes with a modern twist, freshly produced on site using the finest seasonal ingredients. This Valentine’s Day you can share priceless romantic memories by treating that someone special to a truly romantic candle lit gourmet dinner created by Netherstowe House’s Head Chef. PASCAL AT THE OLD VICARAGE, Burton upon Trent 2 Main Street, Branston. 01283 533222 One of Staffordshire’s finest restaurants, Pascal at the Old Vicarage serves fine English cuisine with a twist of France. And with menus to suit every occasion from a grand gourmet celebration to a quick weekday treat, this culinary gem is more accessible than ever. Their Gourmet Evenings, feasts of fine food accompanied by carefully preselected wines, are the toast of the town, with diners enjoying up to five courses of delicious cooking and the region’s very best ingredients. The staff always seem delighted to welcome you to these truly indulgent experiences, and are understandably proud of the level of service and quality of food that these evenings provide.

THE POTTERS CLUB, Stoke-on-Trent Federation House, Station Road. ST4 2SA. 01782 848869. The Potters’ Club is open to all business people who need the use of good quality exclusive facilities. Although now 60 years in existence, The Potters’ Club has moved with the times and offers a range of classical seasonal British dishes with a contemporary twist – all in keeping with modern tastes and using ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Alongside the clubs special seasonal menus that change on a weekly basis, members can also take advantage of private dining options and function menus. Club Membership at The Potters’ Club is available, where members will benefit from private functions, free car parking and free wi-fi. For more information please call 01782 848869 or email SWINFEN HALL, Lichfield Located on the A38, Swinfen. WS14 9RE. 01543 481494. There can be few more romantic venues than the Four Seasons Restaurant at Swinfen Hall Hotel. Crisp white table linen, crystal glass, bespoke Wedgwood china and soft candle-light offer a fabulous backdrop for fine food and wine in beautiful surroundings. On Friday 14th and Saturday 15th February, Swinfen Hall Hotel offers a superb six-course gourmet dinner followed by coffee and petit fours. This Valentine menu is priced at £58 and includes a glass of champagne on arrival. The menu is also available with a flight of topquality wines to accompany each course priced at £85.




Wine & Dine



• Home-made stone-baked pizzas • Locally sourced and freshly cooked food • Light bites • Dine alfresco on the terrace • 2-4-1 Cocktails - Mon to Fri: 5.00pm - 7.00pm

LIVE MUSIC • Friday & Saturday 10pm till late

CROW’S NEST • Function room with own bar • Balcony views across the water • Perfect for weddings, conferences & celebrations


Barton Marina, Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire DE13 8DZ For reservations or further information: 01283 711500 13_0296

Call us for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day offers.

Christmas Day Dine with us…

£34.95 Per Person

Must be booked in advance

5 Courses… 12 noon till 6pm

Poppadoms • Canapes • Starter Main Course & Dessert

Complimentary rose for every lady on Valentine’s Day! Book now to avoid disappointment


Quality Restaurant Food at

20% OFF

Authentic Cuisine Infused With Exotic Spices From Around Asia

St. Vincent Square, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8NA T: 01785 816161

Time To Snuggle In With A…

Hot Chocolate Move over hot toddies, forget your cup of tea and leave the Baileys for Christmas, our favourite winter drink has to be a warming mug of hot chocolate, everytime.

STAFFORDSHIRE COFFEE SHOP WINS AWARD FOR BEST HOT CHOCOLATE IN THE UK! The Apple Tree Coffee Shop and Delicatessen, at the heart of the waterside promenade at Barton Marina in Barton under Needwood, have been awarded two major awards by the national Beverage Standards Association. The independently run coffee shop has previously been expertly judged and won the Four Cup Award two years running, but this year they were awarded the highest accreditation of them all, the Five Cup Award for outstanding drinks and service. On top of this, The Apple Tree also won the UK’s Best Hot Chocolate 2013. The coffee shop has received other accolades and also been listed in the Guardian’s Top Ten Best Coffee Shops in the UK. Husband and wife proprietors; Gareth and Esther Howes, started their business in 2007. At just 27 years old, they both gave up professional jobs to follow their dream and start a coffee shop. “We are delighted to be recognised with the best in the industry. We are perfectionists, and want every customer to have the perfect experience,” Said Gareth.


Manager Nicola Clappison said, “Our Hot Chocolate is exceptional, we have a great range, and this year we introduced our deconstructed hot chocolate experience with our Kokoa Collection of Madagascan and Ivory Coast chocolate, served with crystalised sugar and a choice of French syrups.”

Serves 2 Put all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture comes to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Divide between 2 cups and pop a cinnamon stick in each one.

30g 100% dark chocolate, very finely chopped 500ml whole milk 2 tablespoons caster sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

This recipe has been taken from ‘Real Mexican Food’ by Felipe Fuentes Cruz and Ben Fordham of Benito’s Hat Mexican Kitchen, photography Peter Cassidy, published by Ryland Peters & Small £16.99.


HUG A MUG – QUITE LITERALLY! We’ve been on the hunt for our favourite mug to enjoy a delicious warming drink of hot chocolate, and boy have we found it! As soon as we saw it, this joy exceeded all expectations and we instantly fell head over heels in love. How clever? Not only is it large enough to house a decent and pleasing amount of our favourite hot drink, but it has also combined that with our other love of hugging our hot chocolate to warm up and snuggle in on the sofa. Delicious hot drink, teamed with an ingenious hand warmer – that’s multitasking for you! Made from double wall ceramic, you can ‘hug the mug’ holding the two hand prints without getting burnt. Available in white or black, you’ll have a warm drink and warm hands to match every time. Hug a Mug, RRP £10.



Do you dream of making a hot frothy milky hot chocolate at home, just as they do in the cafés? Well, you can now with this KRUPS Milk Frother (£99.99).

make it that little bit extra naughty and even

If indulging in a hot chocolate wasn’t quite

enough, we’ve come up with an amazing idea to more indulgently delicious! It’s genius - just simply add a splash of Thornton’s Chocolate

Liqueur for good measure. The rich chocolate liqueur







cocoa, cream and vodka making it the perfect

accompaniment to add to any hot chocolate for a great night(ly) treat.


Long gone are the days where hot chocolate comes purely in the format of powder. Check out our current favourite offerings hitting the shelves…



Clipper’s Fairtrade Seriously Velvety Hot Chocolate (350g), £2.89.

Galaxy Instant Hot Chocolate, RRP £2.59.

South Devon Chilli Farm Chilli Drinking Chocolate (200g), £7.50.

Choc Shot Liquid Chocolate (320g), RRP £3.59.

YES! YES! YES! AT E HOT CHOCOL AL RE H IT W E M AD FUDGE! Drinking Fudge Selection (6 x 35g sachets), RRP £8.


Cover Story

The 2014 Food & Drink Hot List

2013 was the year of the P’s – pulled pork, pop-ups and popcorn. Now it’s time to introduce yourself to the foodie trends setting 2014 alight…

Living’s Justine Clegg gets snap happy with her food

1. FUSION FLAVOURS Turkish and Indian? Japanese and Italian? Together? Yes, yes! 2014 is going to see a huge movement in the food industry looking to bring cultures together to create a tropical infusion of food that explodes! Not literally. 2. YEAR ON FROM HORSE MEAT Back in January 2012, the horse meat scandal broke out affecting suppliers and consumers across the country. A year on, we’re finally moving away from packaged goods and sourcing fresh produceputting the money back into our local economy. Great news. 3. FOOD PORN! No we haven’t gone completely mad. Not contempt with a bit of text, social media users are now all about telling their stories through the use of images. And with it came the rise of a new phenomenon…people posting snaps of their lunches and meals out, along with the likes of attractive cake displays and delis. It’s been hailed as food porn, and will continue to have mouths drooling across the country for 2014. 4. DINING EXPERIENCE Eating out is still the sociable pastime. Yet for 2014 we will all want more! Not content with just a meal out with our loved one, people are searching for dining out as an ‘experience’ – such as the popular Faulty Towers meal or the classic murder mystery evenings.


5. MARSHMALLOWS Forget popcorn, the fash-pack are all about the new stylish snack in town - marshmallows. And as with popcorn, these fluffy lovelies have been upped in the flavour offerings with the likes of strawberries and champagne, lavender and fruity mango milling around.

9. ALMONDS The tastes of the humble almond have been extended further with pastes, spreads and butters appearing on the market. Its appeal? The endless uses. Almond butter’s smooth and sweet texture makes it perfect to mix in with cakes, improve smoothies, sweeten up sauces or just plain on toast.

6. VIETNAM AND BEYOND Our tastes have since broadened from the likes of Italian, Chinese and Indian…as tasty as they may be, our longing to learn more means as a nation we’ve collectively been searching the world for new cuisines to sample. Vietnamese being the latest craze. Ceviche anyone?

10. HOTDOGS It’s time for the burger to step aside – there’s a new kid on the block. The gourmet hotdog. Once assaociated with the street corners of New York, the hotdog has since been given a luxury makeover and will now be found popping up on the menu of a burger bar/gourmet pub near you!

7. D.I.Y YOGHURT Not contempt with our humble ice-cream maker, many are now popping to their local electrical store for the latest craze in kitchen equiptment – a yoghurt maker. Breakfasts will never be the same again.

11. THE FINE LINE BETWEEN SWEET & SAVOURY Continuing into 2014, our palettes are being confused by the blurred line resting between sweet and savoury. Many achieved massive success with salted caramel last year, and now the flavour combinations are ever-more experimental. Does anyone care for mango and chilli?

8. STREET FOOD With food festivals booming like never before, the everyday punter has become accustomed to the casual and fleeting option of street food. On-thego and more pleasing to the pocket, street food has moved on from greasy takeaway burgers and instead has a heavy focus on multicultural tastes Mexican in particular.



Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine

PEOPLE & PLACES Romantic Hotspots

Roman Baths ©

Eco Friendly Motors, Divorce, Miss Staffordshire 2014 and Charity Appeal

Roman Baths ©

Romantic Hotspots IN THE UK

You don’t have to jet set abroad to find some of the most romantic destinations in the world as we have a damn fine selection right here on home soil!

Yorkshire Moors © Daniel Bhim-Rao

Escaping the hustle and bustle of our lives and having time spent relaxing with our loved one are moments we all ultimately cherish and don’t take for granted – especially as Valentine’s is fast approaching. What many of us maybe fail to realise is how many opportunities there are in the UK to ignite a certain flame and create a real sense of traditional British romance. Let us discover more and inspire you…

INSPIRED BY ROMANTIC NOVELS & FILMS Haworth Moors, Yorkshire Whether familiar with the story Wuthering Heights or not, the only novel by Emily Bronte and the main characters of Heathcliff and Cathy are renowned worldwide and synonymous with romance. Depicted as the Romeo and Juliet on the Yorkshire Moors, you too have the opportunity ahead of you to roam the scenic, wild and somewhat windy landscape. The world of Wuthering Heights is brought to life in the village of Haworth. The picturesque village was once home to the literary greats the Bronte Sisters, and their home is now the Brontë Parsonage museum.

As the inspiration for some of the most romantic literary heroes, such as of Mr Rochester and Heathcliff, it makes Haworth the ideal destination for a romantic break. With the dramatic, breathtaking scenery and traditional cobbled streets, whether it is a weekend away or an anniversary celebration Haworth and Brontë Country is the ideal choice.

Whitby Abbey © Stephen Meese

But you can’t go to Brontë country without taking a romantic walk across the dramatic moorland which was the inspiration for the novels. Haworth Moor is the place frequently visited by the sisters, Top Withens is thought to be the inspiration for the Earnshaws house in Wuthering Heights. Continue on to Brontë waterfalls and see the chair shaped rock where Emily is said to have sat and gathered inspiration. Thermae Bath Spa ©


Carnforth Station, Lancashire If you’re a sucker for an old romantic black and white film then the British classic Brief Encounter will be up there on the list of your favourites for certain. Fast forward to 2014 and you too can have your very own weepie modern day Brief Encounter at Carnforth Station in Lancashire, where the original film was filmed.

The Roman Baths are obviously a no-brainer as a vital destination upon visiting this fine city, but just walking around the streets will equip you with enough refined elegance as a Jane Austen novel. A spa session at the Thermae Bath Spa is always popular with couples. Wallow in the only natural thermal waters in the country and enjoy the view from the impressive roof-top pool.

During the two World Wars thousands of servicemen passed through Carnforth Station en route to duty overseas. In 1945 David Lean filmed his romantic classic “Brief Encounter” starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard as it was deemed remote and safe from attack by the Ministry of War Transport. Filming had to take place at night between 10pm and 6am so as not to interfere with daytime train operations.

The Cross Bath at Thermae Bath Spa is an intimate open-air thermal bath in a stand-alone building from the main complex, and can be reserved for two people to bathe in the warm spa waters all alone!

Top attractions include a photo opportunity standing under the clock featured in the film, a Brief Encounter exhibition and the incredible Brief Encounter Refreshment Room that celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013, following 3 years work to renovate the derelict building of Carnforth Station back in 2003. You can enjoy a light snack with your partner within the Brief Encounter Refreshment Room, which has been faithfully restored to resemble the set used in the film were Laura and Alec first met. Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire Thanks to the success of programmes such as True Blood along with the ever popular box office trilogy, Twilight, everyone has gone bonkers for a spot of blood sucking vampires! Despite the fictional characters, vampires are sexually charged beings that use their powers of seduction to get their wicked way with their victims. Whitby Abbey located in Whitby, Yorkshire, is a rambling 13th century church that has some of the most spectacular views across the town and sea. The gothic building is particularly poignant for this feature as it served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s masterpiece, Dracula – a tale full of lust and the art of seduction. The original (and in our eyes still the very best) vampire novel, this makes Whitby Abbey our favourite destination for a spot of gothic romance. Bath, Somerset The incredibly gorgeous city of Bath was particularly popular during the 18th century for courting young professionals who set the trends for the era and today we can still see as to why! The Georgian city is the perfect romantic hotspot complete with its rich honey-coloured stone buildings and steeped in incredible history – including being the residence of choice for Jane Austen from 1801 to 1806 where she also set two fo her novels – Northanger and Persuasion.

QUIRKY DESTINATIONS Everyman Cinema, Hampstead Ok, granted a cinema date is a little cliché and overplayed. Bear with us though on this one, as the Everyman cinema is the ultimate cinematic experience steeped in old romance and a far cry from your usual cinema trip! Not only has it kept its charm and retained many of its original features, but the cinema also houses what can only be described as ‘Love Seats’ within each screen – essentially a selection of two-seater sofas complete with foot stools. How unique? The service is well beyond what we’re now used to as you can even have food and drinks delivered directly to your seat prior to the film. The building was first opened as the Hampstead Drill Hall and Assembly Rooms in the 1880s, where later it was transformed into a theatre which opened in 1920. Everyman Hampstead, as we know it now opened as a cinema complex on 26th December 1933. Located in one of the most charming areas of London, Hampstead residents have a cinema that has embraced its history whilst offering a cinematic experience set in a high quality and stylish environment. The period features from when the cinema first opened have been retained in the screening rooms and lend a decadent air to a night at the cinema. Stretch out on sofas for two (complete with footstool) and sip from glasses of wine served from your own personal wine cooler, whilst nibbling daintily from individual bowls of cashews. Lover, Wiltshire Written down, is there more of a romantic place to reside than in the picturesque village of Lover? No, we didn’t think so. Many years ago, this little town near Salisbury was quite the popular destination for the helpless romantics amongst us, as many would travel far and wide to actually send their Valentine’s cards from Lover’s post office in order to get the distinctive Lover postmark on the envelope. Unfortunately, as is the case for most village post offices, it has now closed and therefore no longer achievable.

Jane Austen Festival

Whitby Abbey © Pete Kemp

As for visiting this little known secret now, there is still plenty to do – if anything there will surely be ample photo opportunities with road signs? They could make for something an arty piece! Found on the edge of the New Forest, Lover provides ample romantic walks. The only problem is…and something probably best kept secret until after you’ve finished visiting with your other half, is that despite the spelling Lover isn’t actually pronounced like a romantically-linked partner – the phonetic spelling would be Lowver, and pronounced as you would Dover. Disappointing, we know. But then what’s life and love without a little spot of imagination?


Brighton © Nicholas Mosienko

MYTHS & LEGENDS Gretna Green, Scotland Come on, don’t get the wrong idea. We’re not placing this in our search for romantic hotspots in the aim to get you hitched up on a whim. Yet, thanks to around 5000 weddings a year still taking place in the marriage hotspot, then it surely must have plenty of romantic links and settings that make it so appealing? You would like to think so anyway. Renowned as the Las Vegas of the UK, love is clearly running rife in the air at Gretna Green. The scenery is spectacular – but then again it’s Scotland so it is bound to be! But don’t say we haven’t warned you when we say there is, like Las Vegas, there’s also a tacky side to the resort with many a coachload of tourists visiting the site. It’s a far cry from the cheesy Elvis Chapel found in the Vegas counterpart, instead in Gretna Green it all revolves around a converted Old Blacksmith’s shop. So why did couples elope to Gretna Green? Back in the middle of the 18th century, new English marriage laws were introduced where couples had to be at least 21 before they could marry without their parent’s consent. Scottish laws were of course different – you could marry on the spot as long as you were over the ages of 16 and had two witnesses. In a happy coincidence in geography, Gretna Green falls on the Scottish boarder and therefore quickly became the place of the exchange of vows as it was speedy and convenient for the eloping couples. Especially when an angry father would be fast approaching! This has since seen Gretna Green put on the map as a worldwide attraction and surprisingly the Blacksmiths is still run by the same family as back in 1856!

Brighton © Darren Baker

Brighton, East Sussex Oh you raunchy lot! Home to the original dirty weekend, thanks to the hedonistic George IV, Brighton still holds plenty of charisma and is well known for a bit of naughty fun. Now, romance doesn’t just mean a romantic stroll, hand-in-hand and staring into each other’s eyes - romance also plays to the hand of physical attraction. It was back in the 50s, thanks to a surprisingly cheeky selection of tourism advertisements, that the seaside town of Brighton was elevated to the status of the place to go for a naughty weekend away. And the hotels and resorts soon cottoned onto this fact as now in the 21st century many offer packages that include all the essentials for a saucy seaside getaway and even condoms on room service! Yes, really. Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria Have you ever ventured up to the north of England to see the spectacle that is the 73-mile stone wall that makes its journey from the east to west coast? If your answer is no, then it could be time to take your loved one for a romantic walk in the wide-open greenery that is Cumbria to witness this amazing fete punctuated by turret and the ever-popular ancient Rome frontier.

Hadrian’s Wall © Alan Crawford

Colwick Hall Byron suite

For the bookworms amongst us or those looking to pop the question, take a visit to The Popping Stone at Irthing Gorge near Gilsland. It is in fact here that the Ivanhoe and The Lady of the Lake author, Sir Walter Scott is said to have proposed to Charlotte Charpentier in 1797.

Colwick Hall Hotel is a former ancestral home of romantic poet Lord Byron and his family. Guests can choose to stay in the Byron Suite, where the poet himself once slept.

Colwick Hall Hotel, Nottingham Romantic poet, Lord Byron, is one of England’s greatest literary heroes. His first poem was written at the age of 10 and was about Nottingham.

This glorious hall is located just two miles from Nottingham city centre, and set within picturesque grounds alongside Colwick Lake, and close to idyllic riverside walks along the River Trent. Guests can book to stay, and while here enjoy fine dining and their famous afternoon tea.



WIN A ROMANTIC SPA BREAK FOR TWO AT THE ALTON TOWERS RESORT We’ve teamed up with the Alton Towers Spa to offer a romantic Spa break for two this Valentines. Nestled inside the Alton Towers Hotel, the Spa is the perfect place to unwind. Offering a wide variety of treatments from bespoke, luxury massages to the latest facial techniques courtesy of Elemis, the Alton Towers Spa has something for everyone. As well as bespoke treatments, you can enjoy the nautical themed Relaxation rooms which offer a pool, Crystal Steam Room, Meditation Room and beautiful Roman Sauna. The winner and their partner will win a romantic break of relaxation and tranquillity at the Alton Towers Spa including a Rasul treatment for two – perfect for couples to cleanse, smooth and detoxify the body and access to the Spa’s aqua Relaxation Rooms. Plus the winner will receive an overnight stay at the Alton Towers Hotel, evening meal and breakfast.

For more information visit



BY WEB… Log onto the Staffordshire Living website and navigate your way to our competitions page. BY EMAIL… Email your details to stating ‘ALTON TOWERS SPA COMPETITION’ as the subject. BY MAIL… Complete the competition form below and send your details to ALTON TOWERS SPA COMPETITION, Staffordshire Media, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. ST4 8GB. Name.......................................................................................................................................... Address...................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... Daytime Tel No.......................................................................................................................... E-mail......................................................................................................................................... Age Range: 18-25





From time to time the company here may contact you with news and information. If you’d prefer not to receive further communication please tick box Terms and conditions: Closing date: 21st February 2014. The prize is subject to availability and is valid until 26th June 2014 excluding special events and May half term. Break includes an overnight stay in one room for 2 in the Alton Towers Hotel, with dinner and breakfast. The Spa package includes a six hour session in the Aqua Relaxation Rooms and a Rasul treatment for two. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. For full terms and conditions see page 6.



Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford

Staffordshire Landscapes: Lisa Henderson 11th January - 9th March

The Contemporary Portrait: Self & Others 11th January - 9th March

Valentine’s Cards and Gifts in the Craft Shop

Shire Hall Gallery, Market Square , Stafford, ST16 2LD

Tel: 01785 278345 Open: Mon-Sat 9.30-5.00, Tues 10.00-5.00, Sun 1.00-4.00

New Year, New Start,

New You!

Take back your fitness and take part in the Diabetes UK Big Bike Ride 10:00am on 18th May 2014 at Cannock Chase Cyclists will receive a map of their chosen route As well as medal and goody bag on completion

To register for either of these fantastic events please call 01922 614500 or email

If that all sounds like too much effort... Why not get together, keep warm this winter and get Snowed In! We are asking supporters to have a fantastic night in with friends to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK. Whether in your dancing shoes or your onesie it’s sure to be great!

© Diabetes UK 2012 A charity registered in England and Wales (no. 215199)

Cover Story


Miss Staffordshire 2014 HAS BEGUN…

Staffordshire Living magazine are proud to announce we have taken over the lead sponsorship of next years coveted Miss Staffordshire competition held at Uttoxeter Racecourse! The final, taking place on Sunday 25th May 2014 will see the talent whittled down to just 20 finalists in a battle to win the prestigious Miss Staffordshire 2014 crown.

Therefore, we are on the hunt for the next gorgeous lady to be crowned Miss Staffordshire 2014. Could it be you? If you’ll be between the ages of 17-24 years old by the end of 2014 and are looking for an opportunity to showcase your beauty, talent and a chance to represent your own county, then we want to hear from you! 2014 marks the 5th anniversary of Uttoxeter Racecourse holding the exciting Miss Staffordshire beauty pageant, and Staffordshire Living magazine are thrilled to be part of the process in helping to find the next face of Staffordshire. Miss Staffordshire 2013, Jessica Landells, will be there on the evening of 25th May to step down from her position and hand over her crown to the new Miss Staffordshire 2014. It’s set to be a great night of beauty, style and girly giggles!

THE FORMAT Every year the Miss Staffordshire competition runs to the same format. There are three rounds where the 20 finalists showcase their talents in fashion, beauty and style. Round 1 see’s the girls dress for ‘A Day at the Races’ followed by ‘Clubwear’ in Round 2. From here the panel of judges, including the Director of Uttoxeter Racecourse David McDonald and Staffordshire Living magazine, will whittle the girls down to just 8 finalists who’ve stood out for their flair, creativity and personal style. The final (and in our eyes most exciting!) round sees the 8 girls battle it out in the finale – ‘Eveningwear’ - wowing the crowd in dazzling outfits and questioned by the judges to help decide who will be crowned Miss Staffordshire 2014.

ROUND 1 – A Day at the Races ROUND 2 – Clubwear ROUND 3 - Eveningwear


Cover Story

WHERE TO NEXT Miss Staffordshire 2014 will go on to represent our fabulous county in the national Miss England competition, with an incredible chance of entering the Miss World finals. Meaning, the role of Miss Staffordshire is not to be taken lightly. This year’s winner, Jessica Landells (aged 17), actually came 4th in the Miss England finals held in Torquay and has since made quite a name for herself obtaining a modelling contract with the Princess Diana wedding dress designers Emmanuel and opening the new Swarovski store in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Jessica commented on her win, “It was a fantastic experience to be involved with all of the beautiful girls in the Miss Staffordshire event and I was truly shocked but honoured to be chosen to represent my county. I understand it will take hard work and commitment but am prepared to take on the challenge and to help where I never thought possible. But most of all I would like to make my family and friends proud and to be a positive role model.” Liz O’Sullivan, Events Executive at Uttoxeter Racecourse commented on the new sponsorship, “We’re really pleased to have Staffordshire Living magazine on board as our main sponsor for the search of Miss Staffordshire 2014. Last year we had a great response and a fabulous bunch of girls to showcase Staffordshire, and our winner Jessica Landells even went on to finish in the Top 5 of the Miss England final. So, after our amazing success we are hungry for more! Staffordshire Living magazine is a great platform for us to reach out to new talent and we believe they have it in them to help us find not only the next Miss Staffordshire, but Miss England.”

MEET MISS STAFFORDSHIRE 2013 Name: Jessica Landells Competition Age: 17 From: Uttoxeter Height: 6ft 1in Dress Size: 8 Job: Sixth Form student at Thomas Alleyne’s High School, Uttoxeter Achievements: I have been signed with Boss Model Management since the age of 15, where I have been involved in various assignments ranging from catwalk to editorial shoots - including a Wedding Magazine cover and spread. I also recently had the opportunity to work in television which was really interesting. Although I really enjoy modelling, my main focus is my studies, having obtained 11 GCSE exam passes consisting of 10 A’s, 1 A*, and 1 B. I now attend Sixth Form where I am taking 4 A levels in English Language, Photography, Business Studies and Geography. I work most weekends with my mum in her new photography business as a make-up artist and stylist. We style and makeover groups of girls between the ages of 6 and 16 and make them feel really special for birthday celebrations, I love working with the younger little girls who absolutely love the experience and make the long day’s worth while.

Jessica Landells - Winner of Miss Staffordshire 2013 Talents: From the age of 6 to 16 I attended a dance academy where I studied Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, singing and drama. I gave up my dance studies to follow my ambition of modelling and commitments to studies, but I will always have a passion for it and have stayed in touch with all of my fellow students. My creative skills have been realised now that I am working with makeup and I have taken a real interest in the application of show and studio make-up. I love creating new looks and seeing the transformations on camera. Ambitions: My ambition is to live life to the full and take every possible opportunity to experience all it has to offer. I am willing to work hard at whatever I do to be the best I can be and to stay true to myself and morals. I have been so lucky to be surrounded with loving, supportive family and friends. I would also like to raise awareness for a local charity 3peaksforlisa which is close to my heart and all of the people in my home town. To find out more information on Jessica Landells along with the other Miss England contestants, you can visit the website and navigate your way to the 2013 finalist’s page.

The race is now on to find Miss Staffordshire 2014, and after 2013’s array of stunning beauties we’re extremely hopeful for the 2014 line-up and especially looking forward to sifting through the entries to spot our potential Miss England contestant! If you’ve got what it takes to be Miss Staffordshire 2014, simply fill in the application form found on the Uttoxeter Racecourse website ( or log onto the Miss England website and fill out the form there, entering ‘Staffordshire’ as the heat you would like to enter.



Solutions representative example based on 5,000 miles per annum† for an Audi A4 Saloon 2.0TDI 150PS Black Edition

The Audi A4 Saloon 2.0TDI Black Edition now available with a £1900 deposit contribution. As if the Audi A4 Black Edition didn’t come with enough included as standard, it now comes with a £1900 deposit contribution from Stafford Audi to make it even more affordable.

Duration 48 monthly payments of Customer deposit Dealer Deposit Contribution Cash price Amount of credit Optional final payment Total amount payable Acceptance fee* Option to purchase fee** Rate of interest Representative APR

49 months £249.00 £3,000.00 £1,900.00 £25,343.19 £20,443.19 £12,563.75 £29,475.75 £125.00 £60.00 5.95% fixed 6.2%

Stafford Audi Hurricane Close, Stafford ST16 1GZ 01785 250444 Official fuel consumption figures for the Audi A4 Saloon 2.0 TDI 150PS Black Edition manual in mpg (l/100km): Urban 52.3 (5.4), Extra Urban 70.6 (4.0), Combined 62.8 (4.5). CO2 emissions: 119g/km. Standard EU Test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Retail sales only: *Payable within first payment. **Payable with optional final payment. Centre deposit contribution is

only available when purchased with Solutions from Audi Finance. †7.20p per mile excess mileage charges apply. Further charges may be payable if vehicle is returned. Indemnities may be required. Subject to status. Available to over 18s from participating Audi Centres only (subject to availability) for vehicles ordered before 31 March 2014 and delivered by 30 June 2014. ^The price shown is the Recommended on-the-road price. The quoted ROTR prices and finance examples shown reflect the current rate of 20% VAT. Offers may be varied or withdrawn at any time. For more information please speak to your Audi Centre. Audi Finance, Freepost Audi Finance.

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The Ultimate Driving Machine



LEAD THE CHARGE. THE BMW i3 NOW AVAILABLE AT KNIGHTS. The revolutionary BMW i3, designed from the ground up, combines all the benefits of an electric car with the ultimate driving pleasure of BMW. The only way to truly appreciate the BMW i3 is to get behind the wheel. Why not see for yourself and organise a test drive* at Knights today?

and every journey. As for everyone else, the path ahead

As one of only a few official BMW i agents in the UK, come and explore the BMW i3 at Knights. Chat to our specialist about how well electric mobility would fit into your lifestyle.

just got steeper. To organise a test drive* and find out more about the great savings and favourable finance packages, please contact Knights today.


Knights North Staffordshire Bede Road, Radial Park, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire ST4 4GU. Tel: 01782 572100

Knights BMW

Follow us online


Official fuel economy figures for the new BMW X5 range: Urban 20.0–43.5mpg (14.1–6.5l/100km). Extra Urban 34.0–54.3mpg (8.3–5.2l/100km). Combined 26.9–50.4mpg (10.5–5.6l/100km). CO2 emissions 244–149g/km. Official fuel economy figures for the BMW i3: mpg N/A, CO2 emissions 0 g/km, power output (electric motor) 125/170 KW/hp, total average energy consumption per 62 miles/100 km (combined cycle) 12.9kWh, customer orientated range 80–100 miles, total range (combined cycle) 118 miles. Official fuel economy figures for the BMW i3 with Range Extender: mpg 470.8, CO2 emissions 13 g/km, power output (electric motor) 125/170 KW/hp, total average energy consumption per 62 miles/100 km (weighted combined cycle) 11.5kWh, customer orientated range 150–186 miles, total range (weighted combined cycle) 211 miles. Data subject to confirmation. The battery’s charge derives from mains electricity. Figures may vary depending on driving style and conditions. *Test drive is subject to applicant status and availability.

Pictured: BMW i3


roudly p , t e e l f eco f o n o i t a r ry. ne o e g g e t w a e c n ing’s d eco v i e t L a e c i r i d h e s d d for each n i s r o t Meet Staf o ite m r u o v a f r ou awarding


BEST SUPERMINI BMW i3 PRICE: from £25,680 The BMW i3 is the world’s first premium-segment car designed from the ground up to be powered by an electric drive system. The low, central location of the battery pack enhances the car’s agility thanks to perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. The electric motor generates an output of 170hp, with peak torque of 250Nm on demand instantly. This allows the BMW i3 to sprint from zero to 37mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and zero to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds, while the lithium-ion battery gives a range of 80 –100 miles in everyday driving. The BMW i3 comes as standard in the UK with AC Fast Charging which sees a 7.4kW charge power up the BMW i3 from zero to 80 per cent within three hours. This can be performed by the optional BMW i Wallbox. The exclusive Wallbox has been created to give customers a comprehensive and premium sustainable mobility experience.


BEST SMALL FAMILY CAR NISSAN LEAF PRICE: from £15,990 Nissan’s 100% electric LEAF triumphed in the 2013 Next Green Car Awards, scooping the prize in the small family car category. The winners of the Next Green Car Awards 2013 were selected based on the Next Green Car’s unique Green Car Rating (GCR) system which ranks the greenest new cars entering the market. The GCR assesses a vehicle’s environmental impact over its whole lifecycle, including vehicle use, fuel production and vehicle manufacture, and provides motorists with another means to compare vehicles. The Nissan LEAF was chosen as the winner of the small family car category, beating strong competition from rival manufacturers based on its low environmental GCR as well as its value for money, level of innovation, performance and design characteristics. The award comes just months after the Nissan LEAF picked up an accolade at the 2013 Fleet World Honours Awards, which judged the LEAF to be the best environmentally-focused car available for fleets to buy.

BEST SALOON INFINITI HYBRID Q50 PRICE: from £27,950 Infiniti has announced the pricing and grade line-up for its new performance saloon, the Q50. Pushing the boundaries with advanced technology and classleading standards, the new car brings a refreshing new level of premium motoring, and premium style, to Europe. The performance Hybrid Q50 is fitted with a 3.5-litre V6 engine capable of delivering 0-62mph acceleration in under 5.5 seconds. Sports suspension, regenerative braking and sports brakes are all standard. To warn pedestrians when the car is moving at slow speeds whilst in full electric mode, an external noise system is fitted.

Nissan Leaf

The ideal temperature inside is carefully maintained by a dual-zone adaptive climate control system which features auto recirculation for when the outside air may not be quite so clean. Technology is naturally high on the agenda with standard fitment of cruise control, speed limiter, stop start, hill start assist, rear view camera, rain sensing wipers and keyless entry. Safety systems include vehicle dynamic control, including active trace and traction control, tyre pressure warning and brake assist.

BEST SUV FORD ECOSPORT RELEASE DATE: Spring 2014 Ford’s all-new EcoSport adds to the company’s growing SUV line-up, delivering a compact and agile vehicle that offers space, a modern design and smart technology through Ford SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system. Built on Ford’s global B-segment platform, the compact EcoSport will deliver the agility and fuel efficiency of a small family car with the flexibility, spaciousness, high driving position, and go anywhere appeal of an SUV.

Infiniti Hybrid Q50

EcoSport will offer a range of efficient powertrains, including the 125 PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – International Engine of the Year – a 110 PS 1.5-litre petrol engine, and a 90 PS 1.5-litre diesel engine expected to deliver class-leading fuel efficiency. It will also be equipped with Ford SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system and SYNC Emergency Assistance, as well as being one of the first Ford vehicles in Europe to offer Ford SYNC AppLink, which enables customers to voice-control smartphone apps from the driver’s seat.

BEST LOOKING! AUDI A3 E-TRON RELEASE DATE: To be confirmed Plug-in hybrid provides a realistic glimpse into the future of Audi, as the new A3 e-tron made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Integrating a conventional petrol engine and an electric motor, the advanced plug-in hybrid offers impressive performance, exceptional efficiency and complete freedom from ‘range anxiety’.

Ford Ecosport

The electrification of the drivetrain, above all using plug-in technology, will play a decisive role in the model strategy of the Vorsprung durch Technik brand. This latest development is designed to give some insight into how the technology will take shape in the Audi models of the future. Equally importantly, according to the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid cars, the A3 Sportback-based e-tron is capable of covering up to 188mpg with CO2 emissions of just 35g/km. The Audi A3 e-tron can run exclusively on electric power for up to 31 miles at speeds of up to 80mph, or can be powered by petrol combustion alone. Alternatively, the hybrid mode brings both units into play, and the driver can choose to run these simultaneously – a function known as ‘boosting’.

Audi A3 E-tron


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FROM £299 PER MONTH. THE 100% ELECTRIC NEW NISSAN LEAF Now there’s even more excitement surrounding the new British built Nissan LEAF. With a driving range of up to 124* miles and over 100 new enhancements in total. There has never been a better time to experience the excitement of driving the 100% electric new Nissan LEAF. Zero emission whilst driving


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On The Road Price Nissan PCP Contribution Customer Deposit Amount of Credit 36 Monthly Payments of (includes £70 per month battery rental) Final Payment (GMFV) Total Amount Payable Rate of Interest Representative APR

£15,990.00 £1,600.00 £3,000.00 £11,390.00 £229.00 £7,548.00 £17,872.00 3.55% 6.9%

Offers valid until 31 March 2014 at participating dealers only. *Based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) cycle. The range of the Nissan LEAF will improve or decrease depending upon four main factors: speed, driving style, topography and use of air conditioning. **Based on British Gas Clear & Simple Economy 7 unit rates for a customer paying by direct debit as at 14 June 2013, assuming 7 hours of charging at the night rate and one hour on daytime rate at 16A and a 95% charging efficiency. A daily standing charge of 15.979p also applies. Information correct at time of going to print. Finance is available subject to status on eligible new vehicles in the UK. Guarantees and Indemnities may be required. Model shots shown are for illustration purposes only. Models subject to availability. Leaf shown has optional metallic paint at £525 inc. VAT. All figures are inclusive of VAT. At the end of the agreement you can either part exchange the vehicle for a new Nissan, pay the final payment and keep the vehicle or hand the vehicle back. Subject to mileage restrictions and condition of vehicle. Contract mileage 7500 miles per annum. Offer available at participating dealers only and is not available in conjunction with any scheme or other offers. A guarantee and indemnity may be required. Finance provided by RCI Financial Services Limited, PO Box 149, Watford WD17 1FJ. To find out more please Contact your local dealer or visit Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd reserves the right to withdraw or modify these offers at any time. You must be at least 18 and a UK resident (excluding Isle of Man and Channel Islands) to apply. Rental stated is for Nissan Lease. Comparable payments are available on our personal contract purchase product, ask your dealer for details. Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, The Rivers Office Park, Denham Way, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 9YS. Prices correct at time of going to press.


Our support will help you make a fresh start

Our support will help you make a fresh start

Divorce and Family Law Divorce and dissolution Financial arrangements Childcare arrangements Prenuptial agreements Cohabitation agreements £50 initial consultation For more information please call:

01782 846 441 Divorce and Family Law

Divorce and dissolution Financial arrangements

IS D-DAY ON THE HORIZON? January is unfortunately one of the most common times for marriages to begin the signs of breaking down. Dubbed “Divorce Month” by many, it’s easy to see as to why considering the time of year – the credit card bills start rolling in after Christmas, many have ‘held it together for the kids’ over the magical festive period, a number see the start of a New Year as the ideal opportunity whilst others set their resolutions to have a new beginning, alone! 92

Whatever the reason, someone’s very own D-Day will be unhappily fast approaching and the lawyers, solicitors and even estate agents across the region will have the busiest time of the year in store for them – which on the flip side is the quietest time for most other trades. It is well reported that web searches for ‘divorce’ rise dramatically on online search engines beginning on Boxing Day, the day straight after Christmas! Therefore, by the time the festive break is finally over and the estate agents and lawyers think about making their way back into the office, there work phones are constantly ringing.

The subject of divorce as a whole is something many feel rather uncomfortable with – whether through shame, disagreements with the laws or it leaving something of a bitter taste. Yet, it needn’t be skimmed over or taken lightly for that matter. Rash decisions can cost you your lives!

Many of the individuals and couples who come to us are able to work through the process amicably using mediation, but there are situations where longstanding disputes can extend the divorce process, making it much more distressing for all involved. If disputes are likely to arise, it’s good to try and tackle these as early as possible.

The difficult question on many a lip of those thinking about the possibility, is whether to stick it out for the children. You know what, we’ll hold our hands up and admit we really don’t know the answer. And no matter how much advice you receive, the answer ultimately lies with you and your husband/wife. Speaking from experience it appears that in a twist of guidance, divorce tends to have much more of an emotional effect on older children than those under 10. The family unit they are familiar with is instantly broken apart, and in a small number of cases these children can begin to blame themselves for fleeing the nest and not being around to help. On the other hand, the under 10’s may grow up lacking strong family values.

Getting a divorce can feel like a daunting experience, but fearing the process that lies ahead should not be a reason to decide against a divorce. The more you have thought things through and sought the right advice, the less difficult it should be.

Here we are surmising, and everyone must understand each individual is unique and will act/learn differently. Either way, a divorce should not be seen as a selfish action. Staffordshire Living had the chance to speak to Christina Blacklaws, the Director of Policy at The Co-operative Legal Services. Here Christina offers her expertise and advice for those couples who are potentially thinking about divorce and whether it is your only option, she comments... It’s important to remember that all relationships are unique. You may know a couple who’ve divorced because of infidelity or financial issues, but you shouldn’t presume that the same experiences will also lead to the end of your relationship.

First considerations Relationship counselling from organisations like Relate is often the first place to start when considering separation. These sessions provide a forum to talk things over with your partner, making sure all views are heard in a moderated environment.

Be clear on the facts and what your options are If it does reach a point where divorce or separation is the only option, it’s again important to remember that no two relationships are the same. Research recently carried out by The Co-operative Legal Services revealed that 23% of British men and 15% of women who are divorced or have considered it admit to having been swayed by friends. We encounter many people who expect the same divorce process as their friends, but quickly find that their situation is very different. Be clear about your options as soon as you can by seeking legal advice from a trusted source.

Prepare for difficult conversations When a couple have children, then often the making of the decision to separate becomes even more agonising for a couple. While every child is different there are some practical things that parents need to consider when deciding to separate. I would encourage people to agree with their partner beforehand what they are going to say to the children and try to communicate this as a couple so as to avoid giving mixed messages. Working out where children should live and how often they should see both parents are also issues that need to be factored in when deciding to divorce and are discussions that should not be avoided.

Ask for clarification At The Co-operative Legal Services, we believe in making sure our clients understand what’s happening every step of the way. Don’t be afraid to ask your solicitor to explain the actions they’re taking and what the language they are using actually means. It’s their duty to make sure that you understand the process from beginning to end.

Don’t rush the decisions you make In the vast majority of cases we see at The Co-operative Legal Services, divorce is the very last resort. It is not a life decision that anybody should rush into. Preparing yourself for the potential issues and emotional consequences will enable you to plan ahead and minimise the detrimental effect that that they may have on you and your loved ones. The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) was established in 2006 and, in 2012, became the first major consumer brand to be granted Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status. This means it is now authorised to offer a range of legal services to the public that were previously only available through private solicitors. The change means that consumers now have greater choice and access to legal advice than they ever had before. In September 2012, it launched a new family law arm of its business, offering a comprehensive range of family law services which includes divorce, child protection, mediation and financial issues. In addition, The Co-operative Legal Services provides the following services to consumers: - will writing, employment law, probate and personal injury.

Do your homework There are many reasons why couples might put off divorce, including financial obligations and the effect upon any children. The first thing you need to ask yourself is have you researched, planned, and prepared yourself for what needs to be agreed?

For further information about things to consider when breaking up, visit legalservices/family-and-relationships/breaking-up/


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Antiques & Fine Art Sale Antiques & Fine Art Sale Sporting & Militaria Sale Antiques & Fine Art Sale

Branches in Macclesfield, Liverpool, and new valuation office open in Altrincham A 19th century Chinese porcelain wig stand, sold for £80,000

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Supporting adopters and changing Childrens’ lives

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is accepting enquiries from people who want to adopt. Contact our specialist adoption social workers on

0845 519 0539

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Adoption Focus is the registered adoption agency of Family Society, a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England & Wales Company No: 6869556 Registered Charity No: 1129095 OFSTED Reg No: SC394569

A GIVING Nation Make 2014 the year in which you raise money for charity No matter how much others may want to tarnish our reputation, it’s a little known fact that the amazing Great British public are a particularly generous nation. Our generosity plumbs an astonishing estimated 11 billion into charities across the globe from a generous 29 million Brits each year. Let’s give ourselves a welldeserved pat on the back. As we bring in the New Year and begin to plan out our New Year’s Resolutions, what we ask is how are you continuing to support our charities for 2014? The New Year is a time for reflection and is the point where your desire to give is at its most poignant meaning it’s time to start planning. Granted, you may be completely shocked by the amazing figures we mentioned previously but because the amount of generosity in the country is significantly high and this form of kindness helps to raise such a staggering amount of money each year, does NOT mean they don’t need any more help. Limitations on the resources a charity can offer are still apparent. And it’s particularly notable over the coming years as the government cuts back on its expenditure. Staffordshire Living magazine aren’t here to pester you in the street or indeed force you into parting with your cash; our appeal around fundraising for your local charity is - do it for YOU! A bit backwards we know, but bear with us. Do what makes YOU feel good about yourself and the delightful appreciation will follow in leaps and bounds. The crucial knowledge of knowing what YOU do – whether a few pounds here and there or one large lump sum after a fundraising event– YOU are making a difference. As they say, hard work always pays off. That lesson and satisfaction is completely noncomparable, and to be honest we can’t put into words how it feels to give your time and efforts for a charitable cause as it goes far beyond any superlatives we type on paper. Now we’ve captured your attention, it all begins now! Make 2014 your year. Many of you will already have a cause close to your heart, for others it’s not so easy. Take a look at the charities your company/organisation are involved with, those which are a staple in your community along with the less well-known who are in need of some publicity and a new voice. Think about your interests and family, it’s ultimately a vitally hard decision to make. When it comes to giving a helping hand you could set to truly challenge yourself and aim to raise a decent wedge of cash in something that combats your fears, tests yourself physically or makes you appear foolish. This style of fundraising works upon an event, whereas other forms see you making a charitable donation each month or even just simply volunteering your time to promote the cause. All these forms are equally as vital as the next.


“In these financially difficult times charities and particularly LOCAL ones suffer from a drop in income. The North Staffs Heart Committee has been supporting the improvement and advancement of cardiac patients care in North Staffordshire for over 34 years and hopes to continue with continued financial support from the public in 2014.” - Tony Berry MBE, Chairman for The North Staffs Heart Committee

“To keep the doors open at Peter Pan, donations and volunteers are more important than ever since £100,000 worth of lottery funding ended in 2013. We rely on donations for 90% of our total annual costs as well as support from local businesses and the community with our fundraising efforts.” - Sophia Baker, Head of Fundraising for the Peter Pan Nursery for Children with Special Needs

“Douglas Macmillan Hospice could not survive without the generosity of the people of North Staffordshire. Every penny really does count, and we wouldn’t be celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year without their unwavering support.” - Liz Clarke, Head of Fundraising for Douglas Macmillan Hospice

“To help keep motivated for your New Year’s Resolution why not sign up to do our ‘My Personal Challenge’ and get sponsorship to help keep you on track and at the same time raise money to help local children.” - Melanie Williams, Director of Fundraising and PR at The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice

“Volunteer support and fundraising is vital in order to raise people’s awareness of the numbers of children waiting to be adopted. The awareness of our services could be the spark which helps to place a child with a perspective adopter so all support from the local community is welcomed and could change a child’s life forever.” - Anna Sharkey, CEO for Adoption Focus



Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine

PROPERTY & INTERIORS Space Saving Small Bathrooms Romantic Bedrooms, Cuddle Up Sofas and Prepare Your House To Sell With Our Top Tips

Cover Story

Make The Magic Happen!

Let us introduce you to a new wave of romantically styled bedrooms to spice up your love life… far from conventional, these styles capture the spirit whilst have an underlining theme of ultimate romance and love!



Paris isn’t the ‘Capital of Love’ for no reason, therefore channel the chic Parisian lifestyle with this effortlessly chic interior styling. The monochrome scheme will never fall out of fashion for as long as we live, taking style inspiration from Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel. Hints of red provide the cheeky lust whilst the girly details relax the strong palette and features. Keep furniture and accessories to a minimum, it’s an effortless style.



Betty Jackson Black Runner, £80. Debenhams

Wilde Striped Lamp, £30. Wilkinson

Handmade Brighton Burlesque Duck Feather Cushions, £75 each. Decorative Medicine Bottles,£20. House of Fraser


Elysee Mirrored Dressing Table, £229.

Cover Story


Above: Postcards Home by Sophie Conran, £48 per roll,

Oh how we love the 40s era for its elegance and grace with traditional romantic values. Take yourselves back to an era where the men opened doors and ‘courting’ was exceptionally fashionable. It’s all very prim and proper but by no means boring with its strong girly attributes and fine attention to detail. Bedding and furniture should be left white, whilst the decoration and accessories are where you can have fun with vintage china, frills and romantic florals.


‘Love’ Canvas, £5. Wilkinson


Heart Ribbon Boxes, £25. Next

Shabby Chic Lamps, £50. House of Fraser

Embossed Pink Vase, £10. Wilkinson

Rose Embossed Heart, £11.99. Homebase

FREE & FRIVALOUS: GYPSY LOVE Far from a conventional romantically styled bedroom, this gypsy inspired room evokes the notion of a frivolous lifestyle, which in turn has the connotations of being playful and a bit naughty! Hence why we chose this theme, for us we’re calling it the ‘fun boudior’ as the rich colour palette and textures remind us of key boudoir features, whilst the overthe-top use of accessories evoke mystical and mysterious intrigue – creating with it a romantic interest. Obviously flowers don’t go amiss either!


Above: Elysee mirrored dressing table £229, Chelmsford double bed from £399, Hand painted sideboard £299, Galleried table lamp £59, Madras cushion 325, Valentine cushion £17, Hammered effect frames £25, Hammered effect vase £29, Floral fantasy double duvet set £20, Crinkle throw £35. All


Pied a Terre Mercury Votive, £25. House of Fraser

Jasmine Gold, £20. House of Fraser

Leopard Print Cushion, £19.99. HomeSense


Hanging Heart, £4. Wilkinson

Galleried Pendant, £49.





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

Basket Sofa, £1242 plus VAT.

Aspen Floral Chair, from £995. Content by Conran

SNUGGLE IN… If you’re staying in for a romantic movie night this Valentine’s Day, make sure you have your bums firmly parked upon what we’re branding as the ‘love seat’. Also known as a snuggler or daybed, these sofas have just enough room for two people, meaning you’re cosily tucked up next to your loved one.

Soderhamn sofa. £700. Ikea

Avalon Loveseat in Aubergine, £645.

Demi Lune Sofa, from £1895.

Isabelle Snuggler in Zarao Linen, £1,014. Parker Knoll


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Vigo Combination Unit, £499.95.

Small BATHROOM? ELITE. Mirrored shower enclosure, for 700mm door and side panel £1245 inc VAT.


A small space needn’t become an issue when you are looking to redecorate your bathroom, it just means you’ve got to use your noggin’ a little more that’s all! Instead of spending your time dreaming of a larger bathroom, get your head down and just make the most of the space you have! You’ll hear many a professional banging on about light, light, light to help open up your room. And yes, we completely agree – it’s just how do you achieve it when you only have small windows? The simplest of options, which depends if you have put aside a substantial budget for your new project, is install bigger windows! No brainer really, and if the bathroom in question is housed within your loft or in an area with a sloping roof, the best and most effective option will be to invest in a skylight. Skylights still ensure privacy, whilst being an attractive and appealing feature for a bathroom too. Practical and aesthetically pleasing, the skylight becomes the perfect and most sought after window format – and it’s easy to see as to why. If, however, your budget isn’t quite stretching that far, or restrictions are not tending to see this option as viable, it’s time to rework exactly what you’ve got! Dressed windows are a no-need nonsense, so it’s time to replace those dowdy curtains, worn-out blinds or old-fashioned valances and instead focus your attention on the window itself perhaps opting for a frosted glass or as an even cheaper option a window film – which may we add now come in a range of fun and quirky designs. The window film has finally been brought up-to-date in the 21st century. This way you will still keep your much needed privacy, without compromising on space. Bravo!

Marina 8 Light Circle Mirror, £79. Pagazzi


The open plan living will instantly ‘open’ the space (funnily enough), giving the instant appearance of a much larger environment thanks to the lack of units and furniture. The way you can define the areas is through the use of different tiles, such as a colour or pattern. David Osbourne of Roman’s,, (stockists include sister companies Norton and Stafford Bathrooms comments “Another flexible alternative is to install an ultramodern wetroom. Wetrooms offer a stylish minimalist appearance which is ideal for small bathrooms. You can simply tank out the room then install a wetroom panel into whatever available space your bathroom has. This simply acts as a water deflector, preventing the rest of the bathroom from becoming drenched. Wetroom panels are available in a range of sizing options making them the perfect solution for any sized bathroom.” But then, there are many of us that cannot live without our bathtub, and removing it from our home isn’t a viable option. If that person is you, then please read on for our advice on choosing the right bath and how to work it into the space you have.

Palomba Modular Furniture Collection, from £157 for a square box. Laufen

Moving on from natural light, one way of bringing more light into a room is through the use of clever, and somewhat simple, lighting cheats to trick the eye – and having one focal light in the room simply won’t hack it. Staffordshire Living are all about spot lights. Why? Because (A) they help to expose the ceiling giving the illusion of height and (B) you aren’t just getting one light source, you have a handful that can be strategically placed to uplift dark corners and recesses. One vital tip is to not forget the lessons you’ve learned in the past on how to enhance the light in your interiors. They all apply just as much as the next. Remember…using mirrors to make a space appear bigger and using light reflective surfaces for exactly the same job. Their powers are undeniable. And wipe any thoughts of reflective surfaces becoming ‘too much’ for such a small space – in fact it can be quite the opposite, creating a luxurious retreat.


Start with the placement. Nooks and corners provide ample opportunities. This allows you to corner off your bathtub without wasting any space in your room. David Osbourne agrees, “When choosing a space saving enclosure, we advise that rather than focussing on the space you don’t have, it’s important to think about the space you do have and how can it be used in the most effective way so that the biggest showering space that is possible, is presented.

A large contemporary mirror will be something of a focal point for your bathroom, and trust us this is needed. When you walk in the room, you want attentions to focus on one point in the room as this helps to wipe away any initial thoughts on the room being small. A great trick to input into any tight space in your home. You aren’t just limited for this to be a mirror though, the possibilities include a standalone bath, an attractive sink or an eye-catching contemporary shower head that screams ‘stand under me!’. Oh, how we love a decent showerhead (waterfalls being our favourite). Which brings us onto our next idea to run past you…have you considered taking away the bath tub and creating a luxurious wetroom? As seen in the likes of all the hottest properties in LA across the Atlantic. In our opinion installing a large shower is a much better option that fitting an undersized bath!

Duofix frame and flush plate start at £339. Geberit

Key considerations are the size of the room itself and the location of other bathroom furniture, fixtures, doors and windows. It is important to understand the space saving benefits of the enclosures and how exactly they can work in different bathroom layouts. “There is a range of different options available to suit different situations. There are quadrants which are designed to take up minimal wall space whilst bowing out into the centre of the room, to still offer a generous showering area. Many of these are available in options that feature tiny footprints, only taking up 800 x 800mm of wall space. Alternatively, if you have more available space on the walls, but little space in the centre of the bathroom, then purchasing a shower with an inward opening door can often be a necessity to avoid projection out into the bathroom and on to other bathroom furniture, for this situation a bi-fold door can be the perfect solution. Bifold doors were traditionally viewed as a much more practical door rather than being designled. However with the shrinking UK bathroom this has now changed – they have transformed and are now being designed for the higher end of the market.” Showers housed over the bath are an obvious space-saver that requires minimum effort and saves on both floor space and money, but ensure you don’t cut it off from the room with an opaque shower screen. Choose glass or an attractive shower curtain that can be drawn back as it will help to open up your bathroom, rather restrict views which ultimately makes it appear smaller than it is! David Osbourne expands, “Where the space is truly too restrictive for both a separate bath and shower enclosure, you can now choose a stylish bath screen, which is power shower approved and install your shower over the bath. There are high quality bath screens available, so you no longer need to compromise on either style or performance, just because you are showering over the bath.” Which swiftly brings us onto another subject… clutter. Get rid, simple. All toiletries and cleaning products should be tucked away in cupboards and drawers, no excuses. Clutter instantly shrinks the appearance of a room. There is no doubt about it. The only leeway we shall give you is a range of ‘display’ toiletries of the luxury sort that are there for guests and decoration. Louisa of offers her solution “All bathrooms, large or small, can easily begin to feel a little cluttered and cramped with the various toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning products that we all tend to accumulate over time.

W+W (the fusion of a washbasin and WC), from £3,112. Roca Limited.

Without sufficient storage space available in the bathroom, these products will inevitably be left out on surfaces, or crammed into whatever nooks and crannies are left unoccupied. Fitted furniture is often the best place to start when you are seeking to streamline and organise your bathroom. A fitted basin vanity unit will afford you a generous amount of surface area around your basin, whilst ensuring that your daily essentials are all easily accessible.”

Pictured below: Typical Vessini room including white gloss furniture and brassware. Prices start from £139 plus VAT. Abacus Direct,

On a final note, David adds “When it comes to designing your bathroom layout, you can always speak to your specialist independent retailer. They will often offer a full design service and help you to plan out your bathroom to really make the most of your available space.” Most of all they will be able to give you vital insight into being creative with your space and introduce you to a range of space-saving innovative storage options.

For more inspirational interiors visit


FIRETILE Premier suppliers of fireplace, wall and floor tiles

Visit our Stoke-on-Trent showroom to see our wide range of wall, floor & fireplace tiles, plus a selection of beautiful home accessories Open Mon to Fri 8.30am-4.30pm Saturday by appointment only Or shop online:

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Profile Glass Limited are a wellestablished business that offers over 25 years of experience in the Glass industry. Founded in 2005 Profile Glass has grown into a successful local business which believes in fulfilling the needs and requirements of our customers.

We specialise in all aspects of glass work and can manufacture products to your own specification. Glass Splashbacks, Balustrade, Bathrooms, Mirrors, Office Partition are only a few of the products that we excel at producing. Buy direct from the leading manufacturer of glass splashbacks in Stoke on Trent, one of the only companies that manufacturers splashbacks in house from start to finish

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With a family firm that has been in business 30 years, you can be assured of quality and truly creative designs that will make you the envy of all your friends, with your desires at the forefront of our designs ensuring a truly unique solution. Discover Newport Kitchens exceptional collection of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom designs that will make everyday life easier and more enjoyable.

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YOUR ACTION PLAN In disrepair or not, take into account these handy tips to create incredible buyer-appeal! It is time to detach yourself from your ‘home’ and instead view it as a ‘property’. 1. Creating a stairway to heaven.

FIX UP. LOOK SHARP Once Christmas is out of the way and we are smacked in the face with the prospect of a New Year, we are all constantly reminded that it is now the time to make those precious and uplifting life choices – whether it be a resolution or something more solid. So, needless to say it comes as no surprise there is a dramatic increase in potential new homeowners along with those looking to up and sell. If that is in fact yourself, and you’re on the lookout for a new home – whether it be for something slightly larger thanks to a growing family, or maybe the opposite thanks to them finally fleeing the nest…whatever the reason, your first port of call is not to start browsing around in the hope to find your dream property…it is in fact to firstly take a look at your own home and evaluate its overall ‘state’. A recent survey ran by Halifax Home Insurance found more than one in 10 homes in Britain are at risk of falling into disrepair with a quarter of homeowners ignoring serious maintenance issues! And do you know who they found to be at the top of the list of cities or towns within the West Midlands for these offences? Yes, Stoke-on-Trent - with many a home in need of major improvements. Shocking really! The Halifax Insurance Home Maintenance Monitor found that despite more than a quarter of homeowners professing to be home maintenance enthusiasts, almost a third say they only have the skills to carry out basic cosmetic improvements – such as painting or grouting – lacking the confidence to undertake even straightforward maintenance which could prevent problems such as damp in the longer term. TV DIY expert, Ben Hillman, commented on the research, “By making a number of small maintenance checks throughout the year homeowners can save both time and money, and ensure their home is well maintained. For example, it can cost £40 to have gutters cleaned, whereas replacing damaged gutters can cost over £550, and even more in terms of hassle.”

The hallway is very often the first ‘room’ you see when you open a front door, giving visitors or even potential buyers a glimpse into a home and setting the tone for the rest of the house. “The staircase is not only the ‘backbone’ of your home, connecting upper and lower floors, it is also the defining structural element of your hallway. The reality is, the hallway should be a real focus if you want to add character and value to your property, as a stylish hallway can make a bold statement, helping to give your home the ‘wow’ factor.” - Josh Burbidge, Commercial Director for stair parts specialist Richard Burbidge

2. Refresh. Revive. Detox. Family pictures, ornaments and memorabilia is what makes your home exactly that – yours. When placing your home up for sale you need to present it as a blank canvas so potential buyers can see past cosmetics and imagine their lives housed within your property. With over-personalisation it is hard to do this. It may be a case of organising your wears and sorting out storage options, or more severely you could have a good clear-out (which will be perfect timing before the ‘big move’ anyhow). If, however, you have far too much ‘stuff’ that you can’t see the wood for the trees, you could look at other solutions – such as hiring a storage unit.

3.Rug-a-Dub-Dub. For now your carpet may seem perfectly ok, and has done for some time. But what if you could turn your carpet back to how it was in the beginning? Remember those days? You will be utterly amazed at how dirty your carpets can get despite regularly getting the hoover out and keeping its upkeep. You can now hire carpet cleaners such as a Rug Doctor from most DIY stores, costings around £22.99 for 24 hours. It will instantly lift your room and create wow factor.

4. Let there be light. “Light bright airy interiors are crucial in creating a positive first impression when house buyers enter a new house for the first time. Light interiors create a feeling of space and well-being. For living areas, take down heavy winter curtains, give them a clean and store them away. They might come in handy for the next house! Replace with inexpensive roller blinds or vertical blinds in a sheer fabric. These will provide basic privacy and shading but will allow plenty of natural daylight into the room.” - Nichola McFall, Brand Manager, The Fabric Box.

5.Pop on your marigolds. The report reveals homeowners are more likely to have carried out aesthetic DIY work such as painting or decorating and assembling furniture than to have tackled bigger home maintenance issues such as cleaning gutters and repairing fittings or cracks. Ben continues, “Cosmetic quick-fixes are often the popular choice but a lack of awareness may lead homeowners to avoid problems that could have a more serious impact. With older properties comes a greater need to maintain, and the research found that three quarters of properties are over 20 years old – suggesting that home maintenance should be much higher on the homeowner’s agenda.”


Especially important if you have any pets, you should get down on your hands and knees and give the whole of your home a good old scrub. Every inch should be pristine – even those neglected areas that you tend to put off, so that includes the skirting boards! You have no idea who will be stepping through your door and the odd cobweb can ring alarm bells for some as it may start their mind whirling into overdrive being concerned on what else could have been neglected and ‘unloved’.





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Do you want to develop your interest in a particular hobby? Or maybe you want to get out and meet new people. Newcastle-under-Lyme College has a wide range of recreational evening classes starting in 2014 including: A Creative Experience

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(includes Textiles, Ceramics, Jewellery, Printmaking and Floristry)


Life Drawing

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Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

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FREE Prize Draw Enrol on a part-time course and you will be entered into a free prize draw to win a haircut/blow dry and manicure in our Transform Salon and Spa.

For more information visit call 01782 254254 or email

LEARNING AND TRAINING: IT’S NOT JUST FOR THE YOUNG By Patricia White, National Careers Service adviser, The New Year is just beginning and the winds of change in 2014 could bring new career opportunities. Now might be the time to start thinking about what skills you could update to help you advance your career or to find work. Learning doesn’t stop when we reach adulthood. In a constantly changing world with new technologies and fast moving progression, businesses value people who keep their skills up to date and add to their skill set.

Part/Full Time College Courses suit people who need a more traditional way of learning with the structure and support of a classroom and social contact with other students. There are many opportunities for gaining a qualification at different levels. Some are vocation based; others concentrate on a particular subject. Levels range from basic qualifications to university degrees and diplomas. You can find out more about courses and learning at your local college.

Making a conscious decision to take part in training courses that develop specific skills or studying a subject of interest has a number of benefits, which include: • Opening up new opportunities not available to us before; • Increasing confidence by discovering things we are good at; • Being able to do things for yourself rather than relying on someone else.

Home Study and Open Learning can be an option if you need some flexibility. Let’s face it, for most young people gaining an education is their job but you may have a full or part time job, a relationship and a home and family to look after so adding a course to your busy schedule could be a juggling act. Self-study will allow you to choose the hours that make the most sense for you and plan this into your lifestyle. Open Learn provides the option to try out learning materials and modules for free so you can check out if home study is right for you.

It is impossible to know everything at the outset of your career so engaging in continuing professional development shows you have the latest knowledge available and that you are equipped for change. There are a variety of ways you can access training and learning opportunities: Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn while you learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification. They are available in a range of sectors, with over 100,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 200,000 locations. Many adults already work for their employer when they start an Apprenticeship so why not have a chat with your manager to see how you can update your training through a formal Apprenticeship. If you are unemployed an Apprenticeship could provide you with an opportunity to gain new skills and get paid.

As a careers adviser it is common to hear people say they would love to learn new things or develop skills for their career if they could afford it. Unless you have won the lottery costs will always be a concern but there may be financial support available. The government has just plugged a funding gap for older learners who would not have previously been eligible to receive funding. So you might be able to apply for the new 24+ Advanced Learning Loan. There may also be other funding options available depending on your circumstances. The brain needs to be exercised so take the plunge and see where learning can take you.

CASE STUDY The right guidance and training set Stewart on the right track… Stewart Hunwick, 25, from Hednesford was unsure which path to take during his final year at Sixth Form. He felt lost and under pressure by the choices his friends and peers were making but he knew he did not want to continue on with higher education. Stewart got in touch with the National Careers Service and a careers adviser talked him through the options that were available to him and they discussed together the kind of work Stewart might enjoy. The careers adviser suggested that Stewart look at Apprenticeship options and helped him to pinpoint his skills. Stewart had never considered working in IT before but with the help of his adviser, who identified IT might work well with his skills and staged mock interviews with him, Stewart fought off fierce competition and secured an Apprenticeship at the global company Hewlett Packard (HP). Stewart graduated from the Apprenticeship in 2008, and since then has moved up the career ladder to secure a strong position at HP. Stewart said, “The National Careers Service helped me to secure the job I wanted and set me on my career path in the IT industry. The service provided advice, hints, and interview tips, as well as a friendly and supportive person to talk to. The confidence boost it gave me will last forever and without it, I’m not sure I would have had the motivation or courage to apply for the Apprenticeship which has led me to a career I love.”


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I never envisaged teaching tutorials against a backdrop of the fjords of Norway, or in the ski resort of Verbier. Residential tutors donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily get the student out of bed any earlier, but a tutor can be the missing link for learners preparing for examinations and their presence can make that crucial difference. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing how quickly students apply themselves for two hours study if asked by a tutor, instead of a parent.

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Sir Stanley Matthews Academy is clearly a school that is riding high and will continue to provide a wonderful education for its students. We believe that every student has the right to feel safe, be happy and achieve all they can. I guarantee you that our academy will continue to build on this already rapid transformation and become nationally recognised for its excellence.

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Co-educational Boarding and Day School for 8-13 years Outstanding academic record in preparing pupils for all public and senior schools. 90 acre grounds ● Exceptional facilities ● New science complex ● Indoor swimming pool ● Sports Hall ● Rifle range

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Vernon Lodge Preparatory School & Kindergarten

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Sir Thomas Boughey High School is an 11-16 school situated in Halmer End, close to the village of Audley in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Creating content, independent, confident individuals is at the heart of life at Sir Thomas Boughey.

If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to retrain for a new career, boost your job prospects or increase your knowledge of a hobby, Newcastle-underLyme College has a wide range of flexible, part-time courses on offer. Courses run throughout the week at a range of times to fit in with your work and family commitments and are available in a wide range of subjects.

Set in the historic Cathedral Close, Lichfield Cathedral School provides independent education for girls and boys aged 3 to 18. Class sizes are kept small and specialist teaching is provided from an early age. The school offers a broad curriculum, combined with traditional values, a Christian ethos and first class teaching. Primarily a day school, boarding is available for 20 boy choristers.

More information can be found on the school website Alternatively, please contact the school on 01782 729400 or email

THE ROYAL SCHOOL Located in a leafy suburb of Wolverhampton, The Royal is conveniently located on the Penn Road (A449) serving the greater Wolverhampton and Staffordshire area. It is a small, cohesive community with a friendly atmosphere. Our strong academic tradition is based upon individual attention and encouragement. While a wide range of extra-curricular activities develops character and leadership. At the Royal, education is about developing the whole individual.

VERNON LODGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL Rather than tell you how Vernon Lodge Preparatory School would be the right choice of school for your child, it would be better for us to show you. During a tour of the school you will see how the school runs, but in the meantime, log onto our website to view our academic success. School Office: 01902 850568

STAFFORD PREPARATORY SCHOOL Stafford Preparatory School has been open since September, 2007, and currently educates 120 children between the ages of 5 and 11. Plans are now full steam ahead for the proposed opening of a Reception Class in September, 2014. Our aim is to give our pupils an exciting and challenging primary education which will give them an enthusiasm for learning and prepare them for life at senior school in the best possible way.



Established in 2003, Leek Dyslexia and Literacy Support offers a fully qualified, professional, personable, confidential service, serving Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire. Working with students from 5 yrs onwards in to adulthood, we offer dyslexia assessment and tuition. We also offer testing for Access Arrangements, a FREE initial advice service and bespoke training on dyslexia awareness. A new literacy booster session is also available for young learners, small groups are also considered. Experienced in working with students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, visual processing and auditory processing difficulties and global development delay, also non-school attenders, non-mainstream students. We have also received recent training on working memory difficulties and ADHD We deliver a structured, cumulative, synthetic phonics programme with multi-sensory techniques. 1-2-1 lessons are individually tailored. Younger students learn through play, older students linking in with school/college requirements. Appointments can be made through simple self-referral

01538 398544

Leek Dyslexia and Literacy Support

The only dyslexia service in the Moorlands Dyslexia Assessment- 6 yrs to adulthood Private Tuition- 5 yrs to adulthood Adult Dyslexia Workplace Assessments NEW - Junior Literacy Booster sessions Access Arrangements Testing FREE Initial Advice Teacher Training Courses Dyslexia Awareness Courses Bespoke consultancy work undertaken Appointments NOW available



There are just a handful of places left at Ormiston Horizon Academy. Perfect if you are reconsidering your school choice for September 2014. Ormiston Horizon Academy became the 3rd most improved school in the country in 2012 and has just moved into a multi-million pound new building. Bright, bold and spacious, the building will ensure students have access to the most up to date teaching and learning facilities available for miles around. We have great facilities and, with you, a bright future. Come and see us in action â&#x20AC;&#x201C; call us to arrange a tour.

Horizon join our future ad st3.indd 1

For more information call 01782 88 33 33 Turnhurst Road, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 6JZ Principal: Rod Hughes BEng (Hons), NPQH

05/12/2013 08:57

Made to Measure Preparing Your Child for the Future with a Tailor Made Curriculum High Expectations Small Classes Family Atmosphere Open Day Saturday 8th February 2014

Chase Grammar School Independent Co-Educational School from Nursery to A-Level Scholarships, Bursaries and Transport Available Contact Karen Anderson, School Secretary to make an appointment to visit the school, tel 01543 501800, Convent Close, Cannock, WS11 0UR Formerly Chase Academy

Made to measure

adjective 1. specially made to fit a particular person or thing. How pleased would you be if you could provide made to measure education for your child? Or on the other hand, how much would you appreciate it if your child was able to measure up to the standards of any higher educational institutions or workplaces? With so many restrictions on what we can and can’t do in schools it is refreshing that as an independent school we can still adapt the curriculum to provide the best fit for your child. We regularly throw in an extra GCSE where there is a particular skill. Like Meghan who has recently joined the school in year 8 after a year in France. She will take her GCSE this year after a few lessons to polish her writing skills. Or Charlotte who has decided that she would like to take Music GCSE in a year just for fun. We have been known to add an extra A Level where someone wants to study more than the usual four. Similarly we occasionally reduce the number of GCSE for example when a child is struggling with Dyslexia. We can offer unusual combinations and we tailor your child’s curriculum to get what we know are the best results for them. In short we have the experience to know what the right decision is when it comes to subjects. In a school where the children are known by all and are treated as individuals they cannot hide at the back of a class nor evade the issue if they are not working hard. However the focus is not just on education. Our children become well rounded young adults who expect to do their best at all times. They have ambitions to do the best that they can. Some have very specific aims like Felicia who wants to be a vet. She was almost written off as a failure at her previous school and was told she would never pass maths GCSE. Now she is studying five A levels including Maths and only last week received her

first offer of a university place to become a vet. She, like many others will take their experience here at Chase Grammar and will measure up well to the needs of the wider world as they take their next steps in life. So how do we raise expectations and make sure that children achieve their full potential? It may seem odd but we make the work easy. We start with the very basic skills and we work at these until they are secure. We create secure foundations for all the future knowledge that will sit upon these foundations. This builds confidence and develops the right skills for the future. Higher up the school we encourage students to try. Universities may say that they only require three A levels for entry to the courses but if you aim at four or even five, you are more likely to get what you need and if you get more, then it will only impress employers more. In a way it is like the old adage “If you want something doing, ask a busy person”. We like our students to be kept busy. Those who achieve more are those who aim high and try to accomplish more.



At Sir Thomas Boughey High School, we understand the importance of choosing the right school for your child. A visit to our school will show that we are far more than just a school; we are a community. Being a Co-operative Learning Trust emphasises the importance that we place on creating a community of learning. In our recent Ofsted inspection, Inspectors commented that ’there is a strong community ethos that supports good behaviour and safety of its pupils’.

Reception class opening September 2014 OUTSTANDING EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AGED 4-11

01785 251337

Our team of dedicated staff enable pupils to reach their potential in both academic and extra-curricular achievements. Pupils benefit from their involvement in a wide range of opportunities, including those of a sporting, musical, dramatic or academic nature. Again, Inspectors recognised the positive impact this has on pupils as they believed, as we do, that our pupils ‘grow in confidence as a result of [their] opportunities’ (Ofsted, May 2013). Creating independent, confident individuals is at the heart of life at Sir Thomas Boughey.

If you wish to obtain more information, please visit the school website ( Alternatively, please contact the school on 01782 729400, or email

SAINT BEDE’S Bishton Hall

SAINT BEDE’S Bishton Hall

The Catholic Preparatory School for Boys and Girls aged 3-13

The Catholic Preparatory School for Boys and Girls aged 3-13

Saint Bede’s School is a Catholic Day and Boarding school for 120 pupils, located just outside Stafford and set in over 35 acres of unspoiled gardens and woodland. For its entire history the school has been run by the Northcote family, it is now one of the only family run schools in the country. This ensures the school retains a rich tradition of excellence and individuality, whilst remaining true to its founding principles, taking care of children and treating them like members of our own family it is perhaps no surprise that our pastoral care was described as “outstanding” in our recent inspection. Our commitment to providing an education that values the individual is crucial to the success of our pupils, many of whom leave here with scholarships or awards of some kind. Our successes are not limited to the academic, recently two of our pupils have been selected to represent the West-Midlands at rugby and we enjoy a good reputation for sports and extracurricular activities.

A day and boarding school, in the heart of Staffordshire with an international reputation.

Saint Bede’s Preparatory School, Bishton Hall, Wolselely Bridge, Stafford. ST17 0XN

Readers who know the school will understand why we have welcomed over 40 new children to the school this year. To those readers who do not know us yet, we extend a warm invitation to come and see for yourselves why Saint Bede’s is fast becoming THE prep school in Staffordshire.

Saint Bede’s Preparatory School, Bishton Hall, Wolselely Bridge, Stafford. ST17 0XN ~ 01889 881277 ~ 01889 881277 -


Ensuring your children have the appropiate skill set for the future

FOREMARKE HALL REPTON PREPARATORY SCHOOL Milton, Derbyshire DE65 6EJ An Independent, Co - Educational Day and Boarding School for Children aged 3 to 13. To get a greater feel for our friendly environment all are welcome to the Foremarke Hall School Open Morning for all ages on Saturday 1st February 9.00am -11.30am. For more information contact Ruth Merriman 01283 707100 Email

LEEK DYSLEXIA AND LITERACY SUPPORT Dyslexia assessment, Private tuition for 5 yrs to adulthood. FREE initial advice, Access Arrangements testing, teacher training courses, bespoke dyslexia awareness training and consultancy. Experienced in working with students with a wide range of specific learning difficulties. NEW Junior Literacy Booster sessions available- small groups considered. Appointments now available. 01538 398544.

ABBERLEY HALL Abberley Hall is one of the few uniquely full-boarding co-educational preparatory schools left in the country. It is our aim to provide the academic, sporting and social grounding which is the foundation for success, and each year children of wide-ranging abilities make the successful transition to prestigious independent schools. Contact: John Walker on 01299 896275 or



This year we welcomed students, including our first-ever sixth formers, to our amazing new building. In addition to study rooms equipped with the latest technology, we have a large theatre, drama studio, indoor and outdoor fitness areas, AstroTurf pitch and even a ‘Big Brother’ diary room. Our 3D and 4D classrooms allow students to become completely immersed in their lessons.

Chase Grammar School is a modern independent co educational day and boarding school from nursery to A level.

The school has a family atmosphere with small classes. Our main admission criteria is that a child will be able to thrive and become a valued and valuable member of the community.



Ensuring your children have the appropiate skill set for the future

THE CITY OF STOKE ON TRENT SIXTH FORM COLLEGE The City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College, in the centre of the City and the North Staffordshire conurbation, is an ideal place to study. It has a reputation for high levels of academic achievement and individual support and unlike a school we specialise in the needs and aspirations of Sixth Form students. We are able to offer students a wide range of courses, excellent facilities and access to university standard facilities. Telephone: 01782 848736 Address: Leek Road Stoke on Trent STAFFORDSHIRE ST4 2RU

MERCURY SPORTS PRODUCTS Mercury Sports Products suppliers of quality sports equipment to schools and sports venues across Staffordshire and UK. Many of our products are produced in our Staffordshire workshops. For quality sports products and a fast reliable service. Please call 01782 411827 A member of our sales team will be waiting to assist you Or visit our website THE CO-OPERATIVE ACADEMY The Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent opened in 2012, to more than 650 students. Our objective is to guarantee success for every individual and we strive to find the key that unlocks each student’s interests and skills, enabling them to be successful during their time here and beyond. For more information visit

WOLVERHAMPTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL At WGS we believe that where you spend your school days shapes your life, develops your thinking and offers opportunities to explore new areas of interest that go on to become life-long passions. For admissions and information on upcoming open events please contact our Admissions Registrar, Jane Morris on 01902 421326 or visit

THE EXCEL ACADEMY, STOKE-ON-TRENT Over 60% 5A*-C including English & Maths in 2013, making us the top nondenominational school in the north of Stoke-on-Trent. Ofsted inspection in October 2013, ‘Good school’. Our fantastic new building opens in January 2014, please call to arrange a tour. Milton Road, Sneyd Green, STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST1 6LG 01782 882700 ‘Excellence in Every Respect’

ABBOTS BROMLEY SCHOOL Learning, Living, Leading At Abbots Bromley School, everyone is an individual and girls and boys are nurtured and encouraged to learn the skills they need for life whilst been given limitless opportunities to develop and succeed. We offer a high degree of pastoral care, high academic standards and an interesting and exciting range of activities for pupils to take advantage of whether it is dance, music, sport or equestrian. Please contact our admissions office on 01283 840232 for further information.


Good with Outstanding Features

Supplying Quality sports equipment to schools, sports clubs and individuals. Many of our products are manufactured at our Staffordshire factory. Visit our online store or visit our retail shop.

Mercury Sports Products Ltd Unit 2 Monarch Works • Elswick Road • Fenton • Stoke-on-Trent • ST4 2SH

Tel: 01782 411827

Fax: 01782 417318

e-mail :

StDoms;Staffs Living Ad(Xmas13).indd 1

25/11/2013 12:33

Welcome to

St Peter’s Academy Providing a world class learning environment for all and a resource at the heart of Stoke-on-Trent.

Based in our brand new, state-of-the-art buildings, St Peter’s Academy is a mixed 11-16 academy which puts Christian values, faith and high standards at the centre of all we do. We serve the whole community of Stoke-on-Trent and welcome students of all faiths and none.

To achieve such ambitious goals, the Academy has high aspirations for all. We believe that our innovative teaching and learning, underpinned by a strong Christian ethos and a focus on self-discipline and commitment, will deliver success.

St Peter’s Academy opened in September 2011 to deliver transformational education. This means it not only delivers outstanding academic achievement, but also ensures that its students leave the Academy with the skills, confidence and abilities to take advantage of all of life’s opportunities.

We are an inclusive Academy, which acknowledges that all students are individuals. Our highly experienced staff challenge, support and motivate each student to achieve their full potential. The unique organisation of the Academy puts students and their families at the centre of our provision. All students are part of four smaller learning communities called Chapters which in turn are divided into pastoral groups. Through these arrangements each student is individually known and nurtured.

Welcoming boys and girls from 3 to 11 years...

We have a great deal to offer our community and look forward to working with others to ensure that we genuinely do make a difference to the life chances of the young people of Stoke-on-Trent. Above all, we have high calibre staff that care deeply about the progress and welfare of all our students. You are welcome to come and see for yourself what St Peter’s Academy has to offer your child. Please contact us on 01782 882500 or email to arrange a visit. St Peter’s Academy, Fenton Manor, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 2RR

Saturday 18th January 2014, 9.30am – 12.00 noon Fun multi-sport activities throughout the morning. FREE first term places for boys and girls who will make a positive contribution to school life and enrol in Abbots Bromley Preparatory school before September 2014*

Ever y Day is an Open Day a t AB

01283 840 232,, Abbots Bromley School, High Street, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire WS15 3BW *Terms and conditions apply, subject to availability, for a full list of terms and conditions please contact our admissions office on 01283 840 232.


With a proven track record of academic success and strong pastoral care, The Excel Academy is the academy of choice.

Over 60% of our students achieved 5A*-C including English & Maths in 2013, making us the top non-selective school in the north of Stoke-on-Trent. Our guiding principle is for every student to excel in everything they do. Every student is encouraged to achieve their best in the pursuit of excellence. Our strong ethos of pride and mutual respect, together with high quality teaching and learning, provide our students with the opportunity to exceed their expectations. The Excel Academy’s students leave as aspiring, motivated and confident young adults. Our outstanding £11 million new building opened in January 2014 and creates a safe, vibrant environment with cutting-edge facilities which together with our innovative personalised curriculum provide the basis for success. Aims:• Ensure outstanding care and support enabling students to flourish and feel safe and happy in our community • Provide high quality teaching, learning and curriculum provision for students to succeed now and in the future • Develop opportunities for students to become confident, independent and creative students who surpass their own expectations • Offer a superior learning environment and range of modern facilities which enhance students’ learning experience

We are pleased to announce that following our Ofsted inspection in October 2013, we are rated as a ‘GOOD’ school.

To celebrate the opening of our new build we are holding an

OPEN DAY on Saturday 25th January 10am-1pm.

‘Excellence in Every Respect’ The Excel Academy, Milton Road, Sneyd Green, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 6LG t: 01782 882700, f: 01782 882799 e: Executive Principal: Mr. J. Patino M.Ed., NPQH Chair of Governing Body: Councillor D. Gratton

ACADEMIES: THE SUCCESS STORY? Since the beginning of 2002, the sponsored academies programme has been a huge success in transforming the fortunes of the weakest, most challenging schools.

There are currently 912 sponsored academies (alongside 2,532 converter academies). In May 2010, there were 203 academies, all of them sponsored. Sponsors are appointed to take these struggling schools out of local authority control and turn them around. The vast majority of schools which have become sponsored academies are now thriving thanks to the greater freedom afforded to them and the strong, new leadership of these sponsors. Overall: • GCSE results in sponsored secondary academies are improving far faster than in other secondary schools; their rate of improvement has exceeded that of other secondaries year on year for a decade • The National Audit Office says academies have achieved rapid improvements in pupil attendance, reduced the number of NEETs, and shown a clear increase in performance compared to the schools they replaced However, in the small number of cases where an academy is not performing well, ministers are clear that they will hold the trust to account. In cases of sustained poor academic performance at an academy, ministers may issue a pre-warning notice to the relevant trust, demanding urgent action to bring about substantial improvements, or they will receive a warning notice. If improvement does not follow after that, further action - which could ultimately lead to a change of sponsor - can be taken.

In cases where there are concerns about the performance of a number of a trust’s schools, the trust has been stopped from taking on new projects. Since the start of the 2011 to 2012 academic year, pre-warning letters have been written to 25 academy trusts about 34 academies. In 2 cases, these letters have been followed up with warning notices. The list of notices is available to download. No academy had been issued with a prewarning letter or a warning notice before 2011. Academies have largely responded extremely well to the challenge - on average at the 8 academies issued with a pre-warning notice in 2011 to 2012, the proportion of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs including English and maths at C or better improved by an average of 16 percentage points in 2012. The 2013 results will be reported in January after we have gone to print but are expected to show another increase.

Some academies, generally those set up to replace underperforming schools, will have a sponsor. Sponsors come from a wide range of backgrounds including successful schools, businesses, universities, charities and faith bodies. Sponsors are held accountable for the improving the performance of their schools. They do this by challenging traditional thinking on how schools are run and what they should be like for students. They seek to make a complete break with cultures of low aspiration and achievement. The sponsor’s vision and leadership are vital to each project. Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding direct from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) as they would receive from the local authority as a maintained school, plus additions to cover the services that are no longer provided for them by the local authority. However, academies have greater freedom over how they use their budgets to best benefit their students.

BE IN THE KNOW… Academies are publicly-funded independent schools that provide a first-class education by benefitting from greater freedoms to innovate and raise standards. These include the freedom from local authority control, the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff, freedoms around the delivery of the curriculum and the ability to change the lengths of terms and school days.


At Newcastle-under-Lyme School’s annual Prize Giving Headmaster Nick Rugg stressed that, “achievement is not always easy to measure but one aspect we can measure very easily is examination success. The results achieved in 2013 were again excellent and testimony to the combined efforts of teachers and pupils”.


                                               An HMC School for Girls and Boys aged 3 to 18   


Mr Rugg emphasised that examination success is only one ingredient of a top quality education. “Our curriculum goes way beyond the classroom, way beyond a set of qualifications. It embraces the arts, music, sport, leadership development and social responsibility.”


Consequently the School is constantly adapting its curriculum to ensure that pupils are fully prepared for the modern world, “a world of technological change which is so fast that the jobs some of our students will go on to may well not even exist yet,” said Mr Rugg.


£3.5 million ‐ Stinton Science and Library Project Opening September 2014

 Open Days 

This summer work commenced on the prestigious £3.6m Stinton Science and Library Project. The project will create state of the art Science Labs and significantly enhanced Library facilities.

Every Day is an Open Day!       


The School has long had a very strong reputation in Science. Several former students have gone on to distinguished careers in Science, including David Mackay, Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

         •  61% A*, A Grades, GCSE, Summer 2013                                         

•  “Outstanding” outcomes at the EYFS 


         •  Transport from Stafford, Stone, Eccleshall, Nantwich,                 Congleton, Market Drayton, Uttoxeter, Leek 


                                 01782 631197 ST5 1DB  




Stafford Grammar School and Stafford Preparatory School offer an exceptional education with an outstanding level of pastoral care providing the encouragement and support necessary to enable every individual to fulfil his or her potential. It is our belief that everyone can be successful. Our ethos of traditional values aims to teach our pupils the value of hard work and discipline whilst providing a happy environment for all. The Grammar School has built a formidable academic reputation and is now an established centre of excellence at all levels including admission to top universities.

The best decision you will ever make! Scholarships and bursaries available

01785 249752

Academic excellence is not our sole aim: our students excel in sport, music, drama and all other extra-curricular activities. We have a flourishing concert band, choirs, instrumental groups and orchestra. The Preparatory School aims to give our pupils an exciting and challenging primary education which will give them an enthusiasm for learning and prepare them for life at senior school in the best possible way.

Parents may visit Stafford Grammar School or Stafford Preparatory School by prior appointment on any school day.

1/2 Page Ad - 210mmx138mm [PRINT READY].pdf




Open Mornings Friday 7th & Saturday 8th February 2014


Sports scholarships available for both boys and girls

For more information, please contact: Allison Kwiatkowski E: T: 01902 372534

Registered Charity No. 528420

formerly Academics are a leading education recruitment consultancy, specialising in daily supply, short-term, long-term and permanent placements for qualified teaching staff, support staff, and middle and senior leadership professionals. Our dedication to providing ‘Continuity in the Classroom’ has promoted the development of strong partnerships with schools and colleges throughout the UK.

Birchfield School

Parents and prospective pupils are invited to come along to Birchfield School’s Open Days on Friday, 7 & Saturday, 8 February 2014 from 10.00am to 12.30pm. Birchfield School renowned for its nurturing and family atmosphere, offers a rich and varied education for the pupils. Mr Myott, the Headmaster, is keen to emphasise that “whilst Birchfield offers a sound academic education the School endeavours to develop the individual strengths of the pupils. This is achieved by offering a diverse curriculum which encompasses not only the core subjects but extra-curricular activities that range from golf to fashion club and fencing to lamda.” Parents and prospective pupils will be able to see the School in action on Friday morning, whilst on Saturday there will be plenty of activities on display in the classrooms with hands-on experiments in the Science Laboratory. With tours given by the pupils you will be guaranteed to have a true representation of the School! Do feel free to join us on either of these days or if you would prefer to have a private tour please give us a ring on 01902 372534 or email

Our office in Staffordshire provides schools across the area with quality teachers, teaching assistants and cover supervisors. Now in its 3rd year, our Staffordshire office has built excellent relationships with schools in the area and we pride ourselves on the quality of the staff we provide. If you are a teacher looking for the flexibility of supply, or a long term position, or a local school looking for a quality agency to look after your staffing requirements, then please contact us.

01782 444058 or

EDUCATION BULLETIN Bringing the latest national education news, direct. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION ANNOUNCES NEW ENGLISH AND MATHS GCSE’S The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced in February his intentions to reform GCSEs to ensure they are rigorous and robust and give students access to high quality qualifications which match expectations in the highest performing jurisdictions. And in November, he published the outcome of a consultation on subject content for new GCSEs in English literature, English language and mathematics, which will be taught in schools from September 2015. Gove commented, “I have prioritised English and mathematics because they are both fundamental to facilitating learning in other subjects, and yet PISA evidence demonstrates that 15-year-olds in 9 other countries are, on average, at least half a year ahead of students in England in both reading and mathematics. Reform of these key subjects is, therefore, a matter of pressing urgency.” The new mathematics GCSE will demand deeper and broader mathematical understanding, providing all students with greater coverage of key areas such as ratio, proportion and rates of change and require them to apply their knowledge and reasoning to give clear mathematical arguments. It will focus on ensuring that every student masters the fundamental mathematics that is required for further education and future careers. It will provide a greater challenge for the most able students by thoroughly testing their understanding of the mathematical knowledge needed for higher level study and careers in mathematics, the sciences and computing. He continues, “The new mathematics GCSE will be more demanding and we anticipate that schools will want to increase the time spent teaching mathematics. On average secondary schools in England spend only 116 hours per year teaching mathematics, which international studies show is far less time than that spent on this vital subject by our competitors. Just one extra lesson each week would put England closer to countries like Australia or Singapore who teach 143 and 138 hours a year of mathematics respectively.” The English language GCSE will provide all students with a robust foundation of reading and good written English, and with the language and literary skills which are required for further study and work. It will ensure that students can read fluently and write effectively, and will have 20% of the marks awarded for accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar. The new GCSE will also ensure that all students are examined on some ‘unseen’ texts, encouraging students to read widely and rewarding those that can demonstrate the breadth of their understanding.

EDUCATION INNOVATION RETURNS FOR ITS SECOND YEAR Education Innovation is an annual, national event designed to help education professionals integrate innovation and technology into learning and will return to Manchester Central on February 27th & 27th 2014. Now in its second year after a successful launch in March 2013, Education Innovation provides exhibitors with an opportunity to deliver consultative advice, ideas, and guidance, to the key decision makers responsible for the UK’s schools, colleges, universities and adult learning organisations. The event combines an exhibition of expert solution providers with a fully integrated conference that includes free CPD seminars, workshops and co-located content. The theme of the 2014 event is “Achievement through innovation” and will focus on three main streams: raising achievement in teaching and learning, raising achievement through leadership and raising achievement through a more effective infrastructure. The event includes contributions from the Department for Education, OFSTED, BIS, Naace, NFER, Teaching Schools New Technology Advisory Board, Jisc, BCS and many more.


New figures show that changes to toughen up the skills tests taken by prospective teachers have raised the quality of those entering the teaching profession. New more demanding rules introduced in September 2012 have ensured only high-quality candidates with good levels of literacy and numeracy go on to train to be teachers. Ultimately to raise standards in schools. As a result, the Department for Education will not be bringing in new tests. Since 1st September 2012 applicants: • must sit and pass both skills tests (literacy and numeracy) before starting a teacher training course previously they did not have to sit and pass the tests before starting teacher training • must clear a higher pass mark on both tests - this has raised the standard for entry into teaching • are limited to 2 resits per test - previously they could take the tests an unlimited number of times - this change has ended the excessive resit culture of previous years; candidates who fail to pass after 2 resits cannot reapply to teacher training for 2 years




Staffordshireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lifestyle Magazine


The Hottest Shows in Staffordshire Local Events In January And February, Latest Music Releases, Must See Films To Land At The Cinemas and Romantic Novels

Stewart Clarke & Rebecca Trehearn star in Ghost The Musical Photo Credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

W hat’s On...

Boy, do we have some exciting events to pop into your diaries for the beginning of the year…





Embark on a journey with this Pirate Weekend packed full of adventure for all the family. Plenty of swashbuckling activities await with nautical themed entertainment, entrance to the fantastic Waterpark and a visit to the pirate–themed aquarium, Sharkbait Reef by SEA LIFE. After an action packed day enjoy an evening full of fabulous entertainment from their very own Pirate Bill and Fin the Shark! Pirate weekends start from just £27.50 per person. For more information and to book visit

Penkridge Market will be holding a Fine Food & Craft Market on Saturday 18th January. Fabulous food and drink plus local crafts will all be available in the indoor market, making it a great place to shop, whatever the weather.

31st JANUARY – 1st FEBRUARY CARIBBEAN WEEKEND Enjoy the blissful sounds and tastes of the Caribbean, without even having to step on a plane at one of the Caribbean Beach Party Weekends at Alton Towers! Be welcomed by the Tropical Islanders steel band before you make a splash in the Caribbean themed Waterpark. Plus, explore the tropical fish with a visit to the amazing Sharkbait Reef by SEA LIFE. After a day fun filled day, relax with a cocktail whilst enjoying an evening full of family entertainment, from limbo dancing to hula hoop competitions! Caribbean weekends start from £27.50 per person. For more information and to book visit


Alton Towers Pirate Weekend

15th FEBRUARY TRENTHAM MONKEY FOREST RE-OPENS After closing over the winter, the Monkey Forest will reopen its doors on Saturday 15th February for 2014 season. Adults: £7.50. Children: £5.50. Concessions available. For more information visit



It might be a little wet outside, but we’re British - so let’s embrace it this half term at Tittesworth Water! Grab your wellies and solve their half term puzzles. And then why not treat yourself to a Hot Chocolate in the Waterview afterwards to warm up? Free entry

15th – 23rd FEBRUARY FARMYARD HALF TERM OPENING AT CHATSWORTH HOUSE The farmyard and adventure playground at Chatsworth House will be open for the school holidays to give your young ones a fun place to spend their half term. 10.30am - 4.30pm (last admission 3.30pm) £6 per person

There will be a wide range of local produce on display from local cheeses, breads and olives, to homemade cakes, pies and preserves. There will also be local farms, selling their meat, poultry, eggs, game, and pies, fresh from the farm. 9.00am - 3.30pm. Admission to the market and parking is free of charge.

20th JANUARY COOKERY DEMONSTRATION The session at Pascal at the Old Vicarage restaurant will start with tea and coffee on arrival followed by the demonstration of a three course meal, which will then be served in the restaurant with a glass of wine. Guests will receive a recipe sheet to enable you to recreate the dishes at home. From 10.30am at Pascal at the Old Vicarage in Branston, Burton upon Trent. £32.50 per person. To book your place call 01283 533222.

LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT 3rd JANUARY SHRIEK IN LEEK GHOST WALK A ghost walk in Leek, that takes in the supernatural sole of this moorland town, that is full of character and spooky stories. 7.30pm until 9pm every Friday throughout 2014 from the Nicholson War Memorial, Derby Street. Adults £4 Child £2.

and how best to observe them with your eyes, binoculars and beginner’s telescopes. Following the 50 minute talk there will be a 30 minute question and answer session to address your particular queries about binoculars, telescopes and observing and then, if clear, the class will do some observing. 7.30pm to 9.00pm Adult (16+) £20.00, Concession £18.00. Call 01477 571 766 to book tickets.

19th JANUARY THE STAFFORDSHIRE WEDDING SHOW Everything you could need for your dream wedding all under one roof, The Staffordshire Wedding Show has established itself as the county’s premier wedding show. It’s your opportunity to meet wedding specialists with the very best reputations from around the region. 11.00am – 4.00pm For more information please visit

19th JANUARY KEELE WEDDINGS OPEN DAY The team at Keele Conferencing & Events are pleased to invite you along to their Wedding Open Day in the historic grounds of Keele Hall. Wedding experts will be on hand to offer new ideas and top tips to create the perfect wedding day with specialist exhibitors including floral displays, wedding cakes, wedding stationery, wedding cars, photography, venue dressing and bridal wear. 11.00am – 4.00pm

22nd JANUARY A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO OBSERVING THE HEAVENS WORKSHOP The talk by Emeritus professor Ian Morison will show you how to find your way around the sky using smart phones, tablet computers and laptops along with planispheres, magazines and websites. You will be shown how to find out where and when planets and other celestial objects are visible

8th – 10th FEBRUARY THE DANCE GETAWAY The Dance Getaway at Alton Towers gives guests the chance to warm up this winter by boogying along to a jam packed weekend of dance, fitness and fun! Whether you’re new to dance and fitness or have been doing it for years, this weekend is the essential event for those who enjoy a good boogie. Taking place in the Alton Towers Hotel guests can enjoy two full days of dance and fitness, two scrumptious buffet breakfasts and a huge themed party and delicious buffet on Saturday night. The two-day dance package starts from £129 per person. For more information and to book visit

ARTS & CULTURE 22nd JANUARY SEAN HUGHES IN THE AWARD-WINNING PENGUINS Legendary comic Sean Hughes was the youngest ever winner of the coveted Perrier Award and he’s coming to the New Vic Theatre this January. His many TV and radio credits include writing and starring in the cult hit Sean’s Show and a long stint as team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He’s back on tour with his new show, Penguins, which won the Herald Angels Award for Best Comedy Show at The Edinburgh Fringe Tickets from £16. For more information and to book online visit

8th FEBRUARY GA GA A tribute to rock n roll legends Queen will be playing at the Tamworth Assembly Rooms in February. From playing at the International Queen Convention to appearing in a recent BBC documentary, GA GA continue to prove why they are so highly rated by critics and audiences alike. There are no wigs, no make-up and definitely no false moustaches but instead a host of massive Queen songs played like they were meant to be. £13 (£12 concessions).

11th – 12th JANUARY ANTIQUE FORUM Uttoxter Racecourse will play host to the Antique Forum’s Antique & Collectors Fair where you’ll find 100+ stalls both inside and outside! 10.00am – 5.00pm For more information call the Antique Forum on 01782 393660.

Belonging to Jo Bennett Fine Art, the drawings originate from the estate of Alan Lowndes (1921-1978), known for his scenes of northern life. These and antiques valued at more than £1million, make this an occasion not to miss! Tickets from

25th JANUARY HOLLY HOLY DAY Near the end of January, Nantwich will hold a spectacular ‘Sealed Knot’ reenactment celebrating the 1644 Civil War Battle of Nantwich..

9th FEBRUARY CHINESE NEW YEAR OF THE HORSE Celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Horse with traditional music, dance and crafts at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. See Dragon and Lion dancing, listen to Cantonese Opera and have a go at origami and Chinese painting. 10.30am – 4pm

12th JANUARY MYTHS AND MYSTERIES WALK A fully escorted walk around the Gardens and Parkland of Shugborough Estate, giving an insight into the myths surrounding some of the Monuments and a chance to visit the Arboretum. 10.30am Cost £12.95pp, including a buffet and cake with tea and/or coffee. Walks must be pre-booked, call 01889 881 388 for more information.

17th – 19th JANUARY TATTON PARK ANTIQUES & FINE ART FAIR Drawings by Alan Lowndes go on display and for sale for the first time at The Tatton Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair in Knutsford this January.

13th – 16th FEBRUARY CHESTER ANTIQUES SHOW For a quarter of a Century this Show has been bringing top quality Antiques & Fine Art to Chester, every February and October. Free Parking & excellent catering, making it a good day out! 48 Stands fill three floors of the County Grandstand, Chester Racecourse. CH1 2LY. Free tickets from

For more local events in Staffordshire visit


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

North Staffs Heart Committee

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

have raisedHEART over THE LEADINGWeLOCAL CHARITY THE LEADING HEART LOCAL £5 MILLION We have raised over CHARITY Founded 1979 • • Reg. Charity 508743

We have raised over £5 MILLION £5 MILLION

Caring for Cardiac Holders of Patients the

LOCALLY QUEEN’S AWARD FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE Supports Research, Caring for CardiacDiagnosis, Patients Treatment and Welfare CaringLOCALLY for Cardiac Patients Donations & Bequests welcomed & acknowledged LOCALLY Supporting Research, Diagnosis, Supports Research, Diagnosis, Treatment and Welfare Treatment and Welfare HELP US TO Research, FIGHT HEART DISEASE Supports Diagnosis, andMBE, Welfare Donations & Treatment Bequests & acknowledged Chairman: A. J. G. (Tony)welcomed Berry Sneyd Cottage, 5 Herm Close, Seabridge, Newcastle, Staffs., ST5 3LL Donations & Bequests welcomed & acknowledged HELP USTel/Fax TO FIGHT HEART DISEASE (01782) 622463

HELP US FIGHT HEART DISEASE Chairman: A. J.TO G. (Tony) Berry MBE, Sneyd Cottage,SL, The North Staffs Heart CommitteeNewcastle, is an independent charity ST5 serving 5Chairman: Herm Close, Seabridge, Staffs., 3LL A. J. G. (Tony) Berry MBE, Sneyd Cottage, Treasurer: F. W. (Peter) Carder MBE, c/o Sneyd Cottage (as above) the interests of cardiac patients residing or receiving treatment

Tel/Fax (01782) 622463 5 Herm Close, Seabridge, Newcastle, Staffs., ST5 3LL in North Staffordshire.

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

13 - 16 Februar y

Chester Racecourse CH1 2LY

45 stands on 3 floors of the County Grandstand Free Free Parking

Excellent Cafes Bars & Fine Dining

Free Entry for Two

with this St St affordshire affordshire Living Magazine Open Thursday - Sunday 10.30 - 5.30


Treasurer: W. (Peter) Carder MBE, Sneyd Cottage above) The NorthF.Staffs Heart Committee is anc/o independent charity(as serving the interests of cardiac patients residing or receiving treatment The North Staffs Heart in Committee is an independent charity serving North Staffordshire. the interests cardiac patients residing or receiving treatment IT IS NOTofASSOCIATED WITH ANY OTHER NATIONAL in CHARITY North Staffordshire. OR LOCAL OF SIMILAR NAME IT IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OTHER NATIONAL OR LOCAL CHARITY OF SIMILAR NAME t: 01825 744074

The Dornier Interpretation Zone Visit a world beating conservation project. Just 3 minutes from Junction 3 on the M54. T: 01902 376 200 E: Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8UP


Sponsored by:

YORKSHIRE THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE Saturday 19 July 2014 Take on 3 Peaks in just 12 hours FIGHT FOR EVERY HEARTBEAT


Raymond Gubbay presents



Plus music from


YOU’RE THE TOP BEGIN THE BEGUINE HUSHABYE MOUNTAIN ANYTHING GOES RHYTHM OF LIFE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM Lance Ellington lead vocalist Richard Balcombe conductor With world class Ensemble Dancers featuring Faye Huddleston and the Raymond Gubbay Big Band Orchestra

Wednesday 29 January 7.30pm Victoria Hall STOKE Box Office 0844 871 7649 Book online SEATS AVAILABLE ONLINE

(24hrs/bkg fees apply)

0844 847 2319

Limelight: Film Living’s Must See Film

© 2013 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.



RELEASE DATE: 17th January 2014 DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese CAST: Leonardo Dicaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, Margot Robbie The Wolf of Wall street tells the true story of New York Stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80’s. Excess success and affluence in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title – ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. Money. Power. Women. Drugs. Temptations were for the taking and the threat of authority was irrelevant. For Jordan and his wolf pack, modesty was quickly deemed overrated and more was never enough.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS RELEASE DATE: 24th January 2014 DIRECTOR: Joel and Ethan Coen CAST: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake Inside Llewyn Davis follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, some of them his own making.Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, scaring up what work he can find, Llewyn’s misadventures take him from the basket houses of the Village to an empty Chicago club, on an odyssey to audition for music mogul Bud Grossman, and back again. Brimming with music performed by Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan (as Llewyn’s married Village friends), as well as Marcus Mumford and Punch Brothers.

ROBOCOP RELEASE DATE: 7th February 2014 DIRECTOR: Jose Padilha CAST: Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman In Robocop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the centre of robot technolody. Their drones are winning American Wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front, Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stern the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilises their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.

NON STOP RELEASE DATE: 28th February 2014 DIRECTOR: Jaume Collet-Serra CAST: Liam Neeson, Julieanne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Anson Mount Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is a burned out veteran of the Air Marshals service. He views the assignment not as a life-saving duty, but as a desk job in the sky. However, today’s flight will be no routine trip. Shortly into the transatlantic journey from New York to London, he receives a series of mysterious test messages ordering him to have the government transfer $150 million into a secret account, or a passenger will die every 20 minutes.


Limelight: Music

Oscar Isaac (Llewyn Davis) and Justin Timberlake (Jim Berkey) in Inside Llewyn Davis ©Alison Rosa. 2012 Long Strange Trip LLC

‘Wanderlust’ will be Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s fifth studio album. Co-written, produced and arranged by acclaimed singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt, Wanderlust was recorded in a London studio in just two weeks. First single ‘Young Blood’ is a life affirming testament to true love, beautifully accompanied by Ed Harcourt’s plaintive piano and soaring string arrangement.

Sophie-Ellis Bextor says of the album, “The album is about roaming and your sense of where you come from, and how you take home with you but you also have this desire to get out there and see the world. I found making this album really empowering. I felt like after ten years of making records, this is like the biggest present to myself. I’m really proud of it and I feel really excited.”


Confirming their status as the band that redefined the sound of modern music, Depeche Mode are, without doubt, one of the best and biggest bands to come out of the UK. Depeche Mode are Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher. Tickets priced at £45.00 plus booking & transaction fees. Tickets available from the Ticket Factory: or 0844 338 8000



Staffordshire’s Lifestyle Magazine

Cooper Antiques Fairs Present

The Tatton Park

Antiques & Fine Art Fair Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN

17th - 19th January 2014 Friday -Sunday 11am - 5pm | Admission £5.00 Enquiries: 01278 784912 Complimentary tickets available via

Picture for illustration purposes only



You can enter this and many more fantastic competitions at the essential source to meet the varied and extensive interests and needs of our readers across the region. With up-to-date and local live information and advice on topics set within our dedicated sections – including Wining and Dining, Property & Interiors, Fashion, Health & Beauty, People & Places and Entertainment – our online digital platform gives you access to what you want 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days of the year whether at work, home or on the move.

Limelight: Theatre



This romantic comedy stars and has been co-written by Denise Van Outen. The musical theatre favourite is acclaimed for her Broadway and West End roles, including Tell Me on a Sunday, Chicago, Legally Blonde and also her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing. The show follows Stephanie Canworth (Van Outen) who appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, has a successful career, a supportive husband and she’s a media darling. Life is great. But it takes just one Facebook poke from a blast-from-the- past, and all the old memories start flooding back - candy floss, kisses, first loves and broken hearts - and with the old memories come the old temptations. ‘Some Girl I Used To Know’ is a touching and hilarious brand new one woman play featuring a mix tape of songs from the 80s and 90s including Culture Club, Donna Summer and Soft Cell. Prepare to laugh and cry as ‘Some Girl I Used To Know’ takes you on a journey back to a time when hair was big, Stephanie and her friends partied hard and hopes were high. So book your tickets today for this intimate, funny and warm story about life. For tickets call the box office on 01902 42 92 12 or visit

Pictured: Denise Van Outen as Stephanie Canworth in Some Girl I Used To Know

GHOST THE MUSICAL WEDNESDAY 8TH JANUARY – SATURDAY 18TH JANUARY 2014 REGENT THEATRE Based on the phenomenal Oscar winning movie that captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation back in the 90’s, Ghost is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next, trying to communicate with girlfriend Molly through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer. Featuring the unforgettable Unchained Melody, Ghost is a rollercoaster ride of romance and comedy with dazzling state-of-the-art staging. Tickets are available in person from the Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting the website

ANTON DU BEKE – BALLROOM TO BROADWAY WEDNESDAY 29th JANUARY 2014 AT 7.30pm VICTORIA HALL A trip of treats celebrating the golden sound of musicals through a star-spangled programme of dance and song. Anton’s skills in front of an audience extend far beyond his exceptional ballroom talents and the show will see him present and perform a collection of show-stopping numbers that epitomise the glitz and glamour of ballroom magic. Featuring such classic hits as ‘Anything Goes’, ‘Rhythm of Life’, ‘Impossible Dream’, ‘Hushabye Mountain’ and ‘Begin The Beguine’, Anton will be joined on stage by special guest West End star Summer Strallen (Top Hat, Love Never Dies and The Sound of Music), superb singer Lance Ellington, world-class ensemble dancers including Faye Huddleston (Burn The Floor) and the Raymond Gubbay Big Band Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe. For tickets call the Victoria Hall Box Office on 0844 871 7649 or visit

THE ELECTRO SWING BALL FEELS THE LOVE FRIDAY 14TH FEBRUARY OAKENGATES THEATRE, TELFORD For a completely unique Valentine’s Day The Electro Swing Ball will provide all the love you need! Expect a sensational evening of live bands, swinging DJ’s, beautiful burlesque performers, cheeky boylesque, circus performances and all sorts of vintage tinged treats to entertain and delight. The headline band will be the incredible seven piece The Electric Swing Circus who have played to huge audiences throughout the UK and Europe. Oakengates Theatre will be transformed into a vintage playground with period decor and awe inspiring visuals taking you back to a bygone era. Dress code: It’s not compulsory however everyone is encouraged to dress up in vintage attire. Think 20s – 50s glamour, top hats and swing dresses. For tickets call the box office on 01952 382 382 or visit the website


Limelight: Books

HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU BY MHAIRI MCFARLANE OUT NOW Price: £6.99 (paperback) £2.99 (ebook) Anna Alessi – history expert, possessor of a lot of hair and an occasionally filthy mouth – seeks nice man for intelligent conversation and Mills & Boon moments. Despite the oddballs that turn up on her dates, Anna couldn’t be happier. With a job she loves, life has turned out better than she dared dream. However, her years spent as the ‘Italian Galleon’ of an East London comprehensive are ones she’d rather forget. So when James Fraser – the architect of Anna’s final humiliation at school – walks back into her life, her world is turned upside down. But James seems a changed man. So why does Anna feel like she’s a fool to trust him?

Living’s Must Read Book THE MEMORY BOOK BY ROWAN COLEMAN Release Date: 1st February 2014 £10 (Hardback) The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address... What would happen if your memory of these began to fade? Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again? When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers...?

FIRST LOVE BY JAMES PATTERSON Release Date: 30th January 2014 Price: £14.99 When Axi Moore decides to take a road trip across the US, the only person she wants to go with her is her best friend Robinson – who she also happens to be secretly in love with. All he has to do is say yes. Axi has had a tough life: her little sister died young, her mother walked out and her father turned to the bottle for comfort. Her parents escaped their grief in their own way; this trip will be hers. But life doesn’t always work out as you plan it, and there are some things you just can’t run away from. BEFORE JAMAICA LANE BY SAMANTHA YOUNG Release Date: 16th January 2014 Price: £8.99 (paperback) Moving to Edinburgh has given Olivia a new start and, after she develops a crush, she decides it’s time to push past her fears and go after what she wants. Nate Sawyer is gorgeous but terrified of commitment, but to his close friends, he’s as loyal as they come. So when Olivia turns to him with her relationship woes, he offers to instruct her in the art of flirting.

Their friendship soon turns into more but Nate can’t commit and leaves Olivia brokenhearted. Will Nate realise he’s made the biggest mistake of his life? Or has he lost Olivia forever? THE ONE PLUS ONE BY JOJO MOYES Release Date: 27th February 2014 Price: £14.99 (hardback) Suppose your life sucks. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your stepson is being bullied and your daughter has a once in a lifetime opportunity . . . that you can’t afford to pay for. So imagine you found and kept some money that didn’t belong to you, knowing it would pay for your daughter’s happiness. But how do you cope with the shame? Especially when the man you’ve lied to decides to help you out in your hour of need . . . Jess is in hell - Ed has saved her family - but is their happiness worth a lifetime’s soul-searching? BLOSSOM STREET BRIDES BY DEBBIE MACOMBER Release Date: 13th March 2014 Price: £5.99 Does a perfect wedding make a happily-ever-after? As three women meet in their local knitting store, they find strength in friendship to help them through their problems. Lydia is happy in her marriage, but worrying about her adoptive daughter and the future of her business. Bethanne is still in love with her husband, but their long distance relationship is becoming difficult, and her ex-husband is determined to win her back. Lauren has always yearned for marriage and a family, but her long-term boyfriend won’t commit. Could a whirlwind romance with an unlikely stranger lead to the happily-ever-after she’s always dreamed of? As the women’s lives intersect in unexpected ways, they realise that the best surprises in life and love still lie ahead.


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LexUs sToke

01782 599200

tAke A test drive At: LexUs sToke Gordon Banks drive Trentham Lakes north stoke on Trent sT4 4Fd

*For Business Users only. Initial rental and VAT applies. Available on new sales of CT 200h Advance with an initial rental of £1,404 + VAT, RX 450h SE with an initial rental of £3,294 + VAT, GS 300h SE with an initial rental of £2,394 + VAT when ordered, registered and financed between 1 October 2013 and 7 January 2014 through Lexus Financial Services on Lexus Connect Contract Hire. At participating Lexus Centres. Advertised rental is based on a 3 year non-maintained contract at 10,000 miles per annum. CT offer excludes metallic paint. Excess mileage charges apply. Models shown are: CT Advance priced at £23,985 excluding metallic paint, IS 300h SE priced at £30,105, RX 450h SE priced at £45,105 and GS 300h SE priced at £32,105 including optional metallic paint at £610. †Available on new sales of IS 300h SE with an initial rental of £1,794 + VAT when ordered, registered and financed between 16 November 2013 and 31 March 2014 through Lexus Financial Services on Lexus Connect Contract Hire. At participating Lexus Centres. Advertised rental is based on a 4 year non-maintained contract at 10,000 miles per annum. Price correct at time of going to print and includes VAT, delivery, number plates, full tank of fuel, one year’s road fund licence and £55 registration fee. Complimentary specification on CT 200h Advance includes: Tahara Trim (£750), MoveOn Integrated Navi (£750), Parking Sensors (£560), Reversing Camera with Backup monitor (£250) and Cruise Control (£250). Terms and conditions apply and may be subject to change. Lexus Centres are independent of Lexus and Lexus Financial Services. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s only. Lexus Financial Services, Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5UZ. Subject to availability. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Cars shown may not be UK specification models. Specifications, equipment and availability may change without prior notice.

CT Series fuel consumption and CO2 figures: urban 68.9 – 76.3 mpg (4.1 – 3.7 l/100km), extra-urban 70.6 – 76.3 mpg (4.0 – 3.7 l/100km), combined 68.9 – 74.3 mpg (4.1 – 3.8 l/100km). CO2 emissions combined 94 – 87 g/km. IS Series fuel consumption and CO2 figures: Urban 22.8 - 64.2 (12.4 - 4.4 l/100km), Extra Urban 38.7 - 62.8 (7.3 – 4.5 l/100km), Combined 30.7 – 65.7 (9.2 – 4.3 l/100km). CO2 emissions 213 – 99 g/km. RX 450h fuel consumption and CO2 figures: urban 43.5 mpg (6.5 l/100km), extra-urban 47.1 mpg (6.0 l/100km), combined 44.8 mpg (6.3 l/100km). CO2 emissions combined 145 g/km. GS Series fuel consumption and CO2 figures: urban 40.9 – 58.9 mpg (6.9 – 4.8 l/100km), extra-urban 49.6 – 62.8 mpg (5.7 – 4.5/100km), combined 45.6 – 60.1 mpg (6.2 – 4.7l/100km). CO2 emissions 145 – 109g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results. These are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. Driving behaviour and other non-technical factors play a role in determining a car’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. A guide on fuel economy and CO2 emissions for all passenger vehicles is available at any point of sale free of charge.

2797_282x210_Q4 2013_Range_CH_Stoke.indd 1

29/11/2013 15:33

What’s On Box Office: 01827 709618

8 February

7.30pm. Tickets: £13 (£12)

Humpty Dumpty 24 February

7.30pm. Tickets: £18.50

& The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes

7.30pm. Tickets: £18.50

Nursery rhyme fun for all the family

24 March

6 February

2.30pm. Tickets: £16 (£15)

11am, 2pm. Tickets: £10 (£8)

15 February

Gerald Dickens performs, playing every character himself!

GA GA A tribute to rock ‘n’ roll legends Queen

TONY STOCKWELL It’s not creepy or kooky, mysterious or spooky. It’s medium Tony


with Jeremy Wade ”The greatest angling explorer”- Independent on Sunday

7.30pm. Tickets: £16

4 April

In the Company of Giants

A stunning two-hour show from the hit band of the 60s and 70s

11am & 2pm Tickets: £12 (£10)

13 April

Doug Allan

CBeebies favourite double act

“Glittering costumes, expressive dancers” - Dance Europe



26 April

1 April

11 April

7.30pm. Tickets: £15 (£12)


17 April

2.30pm. Tickets: £13 (£11)

6 April

28 March

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Nostalgia just doesn’t come any better

"Superb, they swing like crazy!” – Sheila Tracy, BBC

Roy Chubby Brown returns with his bluest show yet! 18+ only

One of the most succesful groups world-wide

All Our Yesterdays

Hits from the Blitz

“Wildlife cameramen don’t come much more special than Doug” - Sir David Attenborough

7.30pm. Tickets: £17.50

An Evening of Mozart Masterpieces

14 March

‘You guys are dynamite!’ - Frankie Valli

7.30pm. Tickets: £14

Join in this musical journey with one of our greatest 60s icons

7.30pm. Tickets: £12.50 (£11)

Gerry and the Pacemakers

7.30pm. Tickets: £21

An Evening with

4.00pm. Tickets: £12, £10, £40 family

27 February

7.30pm. Tickets: £16 (£15)

14 February

7.30pm. Tickets: £20 (£19)

5 February

7.30pm. Tickets: £19.50

Book Online:


Celebrate St George’s Day in the Castle Grounds

All details were correct at time of print but are subject to change. Please check our website for up-to-date information:

Book online:

Box Office: 01827 709618 Corporation Street, Tamworth, Staffs. B79 7DN

Season sponsor:

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Staffordshire living issue 57 jan feb 2014  

Bi-monthly lifestyle magazine based in Staffordshire with features on fashion, health & beauty, people & places, property & interiors, enter...

Staffordshire living issue 57 jan feb 2014  

Bi-monthly lifestyle magazine based in Staffordshire with features on fashion, health & beauty, people & places, property & interiors, enter...