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November/December 2016

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TASTE 12 Recipes: The Taste Of Christmas 18 Hosting a Christmas Party 21 The Great British Turkey 22 A Festive Feast From Around The World 26 The Christmas Pudding Taste Test

CHRISTMAS 28 Gifts For The Woman Who Has Everything 34 The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide 37 Advent Calendars 40 Christmas Shopping Destinations 44 The Essential Guide To Festive Family Fun 50 Dinner Is Served! 56 Win £500 To Spend At Touchwood This Christmas


58 The 12 Looks Of Christmas 62 LIVING reports on AW16: What To Wear Now 64 Party Diva! 68 He Wears It Well 70 The Tools Of The Trade

116 The Snow Factor 120 The Best NYE’s In The World 123 REDISCOVER: Cyprus 124 UK Escapes

72 Say ‘Yes’ To Party Season 74 Are You Allergic To Winter? 76 Sealed With A Christmas Kiss 79 Can You Hear Clear? 80 Why Movember’s So Important For Men 82 Your Horoscope For 2017

HOME 84 I’ll Be Home For Christmas 90 Cosy At Home 96 Home Is Where The Heart Is… 102 How Winter Ready Is Your Home?

PRESTIGE HOMES 103 Find Your Dream Home in Staffordshire

ENTERTAINMENT 128 The Film Club 132 What’s On This Season 135 Interview: Mick Hucknall 136 Christmas On Stage 140 LIVING’s Book Corner

LIVING 142 What 2016 Taught Us… 146 The Lonely Generation 151 A Time For Giving… 152 Newcastle-under-Lyme 154 A Guide To: Photography 158 The Car Reviews 160 Shop Local For Christmas

REGULAR FEATURES 10 LIVING it 161 Subscribe 162 Coming up…

A Festive Feast From Around The World


The Ultimate Gift Guide


The Essential Guide To Festive Family Fun


Win A £500 Gift Card To Spend At Touchwood Solihull


The 12 Looks Of Christmas


Cosy At Home


Events Coming Up in Staffordshire






FESTI V E C OM PE T I T IONS 56 WIN a £500 Gift Card to spend at Touchwood Solihull 19 WIN a Festive Hamper from Aston Marina 45 WIN a Winter Warmer Spa Evening for Two at Moddershall Oaks 132 WIN The Clothes Show Tickets 136 WIN Family Panto Tickets to see Cinderella at the Regent Theatre

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Wedding PARTY OUTFITS p.42

Welcome to the first edition of Staffordshire LIVING for 2016! You might notice a few things are looking a little different around these parts but fear Welcome our we’ve had a not,towhile facelift, our fabulous November/December content is asgift good as 2016 Issue! From ever so let us talk you guides to delicious through what’s new... DESIGN

Natasha Nicholson EDITORIAL

PRINT Rachel Jones

Cheryl Basford DESIGN Natasha Nicholson ARTWORK CO-ORDINATOR Amy Clarke DIGITAL CONTENT Penelope Holdcroft SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT Natalie Toft

57 p.1

festive foods and unbeatable style ideas, E AT TH EV we’veSgot your entire TOK Christmas sorted. And &A that includes a few treats for you along the way with loads of competitions too - from a £500 gift card to spend at Touchwood Solihull to pantomime tickets for the family and a relaxing spa package for two, there’s some great prizes up for grabs.

Nancy Emery Rachel Jones



hat we’re most excited George Home at Asda about is our new feature, LIVING it, the page about YOU. Everyit’s edition be o this is Christmas, and whatthat’s haveallwe done? Well, beenwe’ll quite posing a question to youof and to get the ball a year, hasn’t it! We’ve said goodbye to so many life’s greats, rolling and in fitting with the new year we gone through a political referendum, and celebrated huge sporting wanted to hear, “when was the last time that you tried something new?” Read success. With so many significant events in 2016, we couldn’t all about this on page 10. Next up we want to hear from the mums out there, tell without reflecting a little whaton it our all Facebook means - page us;close what’sthe theyear best thing about being a mum? Get on in touch or read Twitter (@StaffsLiving) may142 findand yourself more about whatusing 2016#LIVINGit taught usand on you pages our pages next time around.


With all the turbulence of the summer behind us, you’ll be

Following the mantra of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ we’ve stayed true to pleased to hear that Staffordshire is one merry place to be at tradition and we’re back with our biannual WEDDING supplement and this this timewe’re of year! Goflower localarrangements for your Christmas shopping and you time around talking to match your wedding month, disappointed – the exciting festivities on offer across wewon’t discussbe whether wedding insurance is a necessity and you can take our honeymoon quiz to find the tailored toteamed you. with the the county, from stunning light displays to dream cheerydestination Santa’s Grottos,



Sarah Evison


Sarah Evison David Mellenchip Mandy Peach Suzanne Carrington



Craig Rushton Cheryl Osborne CONTRIBUTORS

David Taylor PUBLISHER of Key Architectural Design Limited Craig Rushton Scanthe the QR QR code Scan code

buzzing atmosphereOur you know to expect from everyone at this time would of year, will new TASTE pages are covering everything a foodie love, andleave with you bursting with joy. We’ve gothealth a festive fun-filled land to explore (page 160)vegan and our new year’s kick in mind we’ve whipped up some tempting recipes giddy (yes, TWO recipes feature in this), an A-Z of food trends where it’s getting us all slightly herechocolate at LIVING HQ. we debunk the appeal around avocados and we’re covering the etiquette around

There’s a gift for everyone on pages 34 and 35, plus you can even find the perfect gift Tasting Menus. for the woman whoHOME has everything on page 28. Amazing! There are yummy festive is where you’ll find all the very best interior trends and inspiration for food ideas, tips andmaking tricks over on surviving season, andeven Christmas inspiration from your home the décor and we’ve enlisted an expert on the matter around the world, plus if youthe fancy trip,with we’ve got(page you 94). covered UK of making most aofwinter your home a FAQ We’vefrom trekked between Londontofor a special appearance at the V&A museum and The Cotswolds escapes (pages 124-126) snowy pastures (pages 116-119). amongst other places to compile this fab new issue and we do hope you have as

There’s so much to much love fun about this itissue – check out ourit!fashionable take on the 12 reading as we’ve had making days of Christmas Carol (pages 58 and 59) in the style section and we’re also giving Not least of all, between all of our fabulous features we have another amazing you contouring tipscompetition so you canforlook for NYE – it’s hard toabout mention it allholiday but you. your If likebest us you’re already fantasising your next we know you’ll have a blast it. we’ve teamed up with Wigwam Holidays to offer one then let us reading help you there, lucky reader a Glamping experience (page 153).

Don’t forget to send us your thoughts on any feature or topic in the magazine this issue Enjoy thisStar issue, for a chance to be our new Letter winner on our LIVING it page in the next issue. This time you can win £95 worth of skincare products from Elemis.

Love Living x

There are also people changes at Staffordshire Living, we said goodbye to Rachel Jones at the beginning of September and we welcome Nancy Emery as the new Features Writer on this issue. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all! FRO N T COV E R Main Image: House of Fraser

Love Living x Hrrtd 58 E ehqrsR g‘ke-hmcc 8 FRO N T COV Main Image: Loaf Crumble Snuggler Velvet Dusty Rose £1,249 John Lewis

   WhileWhile everyevery carecare hashas been taken during the preparation of this magazine, been taken during the preparation of this magazine, Staffordshire Media cannot accuracy Staffordshire Media cannotbebeheld held responsible responsible forfor thethe accuracy of theof the information herein ororany arising from information herein anyconsequences consequences arising from it. it. The contents of this magazinemay maynot not be reprinted oror reproduced without The contents of this magazine reprinted reproduced without written permission. All priorprior written permission. Allrights rightsreserved. reserved. Competition terms and conditions: The prizes are as stated and no cash 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 alternative given.decision The winner notified by phone, e-mail.can Thebe editor’s is final.will Thebe competition is not open post to or e-mail. The editor’s decision is families. final. The competition is not open to Staffordshire Media and their Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Staffordshire Media or the competition supplier maybe contact Staffordshire Media and their families. Entrants must agedyou 18 and with news and information. If you would prefer not to receive further you over. Staffordshire Media or the competition supplier may contact communication please tick the box onprefer the competition entry form. with news and information. If opt youout would not to receive further communication please tick the opt out box on the competition entry form. Staffordshire Living is published by Staffordshire Media, the trading name of Staffs Media Company Ltd, registered in England.

Staffordshire Living is published byreserved. Staffordshire Media, the 08841939. All rights trading name of Staffs Media Company Ltd, registered in England. Staffordshire Media, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, 08841939. All rights reserved. Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8GB.

Staffordshire B1 Trentham Business Tel:Media, 01782 644456 Fax: 01782 657411 Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8GB. Tel: 01782 644456 Staffordshire Fax: 01782 Media 657411Supports logo 50x50.pdf 05/03/2010 14:49:46


MEDIA Staffordshire Living’s Media Partners C








01.03.1/04 01914936 OL


LIVING it Getting your opinions on life’s thoughtprovoking questions...


We love to hear what you think so if you have something to say about any of the features and topics in this issue, please get in touch! Tell us your thoughts via email to, putting STAR LETTER in the subject, and be in with a chance of winning this amazing Elemis The Hero Collection gift set, worth £95! We’ll even feature the winning letter in our next issue on our LIVINGit page!

Q: When was the last time you turned off your phone and what prompted you to do so? It’s not very often we put down our phones let alone switch them off. In fact, given the chance I think we’d happily scroll the day away! We are a digital generation but we mustn’t forget the power of real communication, of face to face interaction and the importance of networking a room, rather than an app. As we welcome the festive season with open arms let’s embrace the opportunity to get out and about to see new and old friends and let’s leave our phones safely in our pockets or bag. Better still, let’s switch them off for a few hours – you might just surprise yourself!

“In the cinema on Tuesday... ...when I went to see #BridgetJonesBaby.� @HelenYendall via Twitter


win! win! win!

“Monday... take a well-deserved day off after the busy wedding season! #dayoff #weddingplanner :)� @AStyleofLiving via Twitter

“I turned my phone off to... board a plane back from Oslo on Wednesday, beautiful city!�

“When I was lying on the beach on holiday... I could listen to the waves and not be disturbed!� @charlyd4411 via Twitter

“I was really low on battery and I didn't have my charger until I got home! :-)� Sophie Woolly via Facebook

@babypumpkincake via Twitter

“Fri night... ... signal was rubbish on the train and I was running low on battery so I turned off my phone to save a little battery so I could find my friends I was visiting when I arrived.� Camilla Halstead via Facebook

Coming up next time... Next time we’re asking, 'What motivates you the most?' The new-year is approaching and we want to know what gets LIVING readers up in the morning or pushes you to fit one extra workout in during the week. Tell us what or who is your motivation and why for a chance to be featured in the January/February 2017 edition! Connect via:




‘Living It Q&A’, B1 Trentham Business Quarter, Bellringer Road, Trentham Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 8GB



TASTE FESTIVE FEASTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD The Taste of Christmas, Serving Up a Delicious Christmas Party, The Great Birtish Turkey and The LIVING Taste Test: Christmas Puddings





‘Tis the season to indulge.

RECIPES Othello Layer Cake (pictured left) Ingredients Almond layer: • 2 egg whites • 75g ground almonds • 50g caster sugar • 100g icing sugar • 1 tsp almond extract Filling: • 400ml whipping cream • 1 tbsp icing sugar • 75 - 100g good-quality raspberry jam Icing: • 100g icing sugar • 50g good-quality 70% dark chocolate, melted and still warm • 150g store-bought good-quality marzipan, to decorate • a large baking sheet, greased and lined with baking parchment • a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. To make the almond layer, whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the other ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the almond mixture into a circle the same size as the cake bases (20cm diameter) on the baking parchment on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool. 2. Whip the cream until stiff with the icing sugar. Reserve 1 heaped cup of the whipped cream for decoration. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the pastry cream until smooth, then refrigerate. 3. Make sure your prepared layer cake bases are completely even in size. If not, trim to fit. To assemble, place the almond layer on a serving plate and spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top. Add a third of the pastry cream mixture, and spread evenly. Repeat the cream and jam addition again with the first and second sponge cake layers. 4. Turn the third and final sponge cake layer over and add a thin, even layer of jam. Place it, jam side down, onto the pastry cream on the layer below. Ensure the whole cake is even and stable. Use a little of the leftover whipped cream and a spatula to even the filling around the edges so the sides are straight. 5. To make the icing, add the icing sugar to a bowl along with 1 - 2 tablespoons of hot water and mix until smooth. Add the warm, melted chocolate. If it is too thick, add a bit more water. Spread a generous layer on top of the cake to the edge. 6. Work the marzipan with a little icing sugar, and then roll it out to a piece long enough to fit around the sides of the cake and the same height as the cake exactly. Do it in two lots if you find this easier. 7. Cut the edges of the marzipan so they are sharp, then wrap around the cake and secure with a dab of water. Put the reserved whipped cream in a piping bag and pipe dots of cream all around the top edge, hiding where the chocolate ends. Refrigerate before serving. Recipe from Scandikitchen: Fika & Hygge by Bronte Aurell


Cranberry & Brie Bruschetta Ingredients • 1 tsp olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 250g cranberries • 100g light brown muscovado sugar • 4 fresh lemon thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish • 200g pack Waitrose Mini Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia • 230g Waitrose Somerset Mild Ripe Brie, sliced • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar Method 1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the cranberries, sugar and thyme and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until the cranberries soften and release their juices but still hold their shape. 2. Separate the focaccia into 4 rolls then slice each in half horizontally. Place the focaccia halves on a grill pan and toast lightly on both sides. Spoon the cranberries over the cut side of the focaccia and lay the cheese on top, then drizzle with some of the pan juices. Return to the grill for 2–3 minutes until melted. 3. Arrange the bruschetta on a serving platter. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar, garnish with extra thyme and serve swiftly.

 Had a go at making one of these festive recipes yourself at home? Instagram your photos using #LIVINGrecipes @StaffsLiving and we’ll share our favourites!


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Roasted Welsh Lamb Racks With Christmas Pudding Crust of Almonds, Cranberries and Lemon Ingredients • 2 lean racks of Welsh Lamb • 50g ground almonds • 25g dried cranberries, roughly chopped • 1 lime, juice and rind • 30ml brandy • 1tsp mixed spice Method

Badger Ales

Gingerbread Trifle (pictured above) Ingredients For the gingerbread:


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, black pepper, ginger and • 225g plain flour cloves together in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a • 125g light muscovado sugar saucepan with the Badger Blandford Flyer Ale and • 1 tsp baking powder treacle. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones • 1/4 tsp salt and mix until smooth, and fold through the egg. • a few good grinds of black pepper 2. Pour into a lined 30cm x 18cm baking tray and • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until a • 1/4 tsp ground cloves skewer comes out clean, and cool. • 120g salted butter 3. For the caramel sauce add all the ingredients • 120ml Badger Blandford Flyer Ale into a saucepan apart from the cream and ginger • 160g black treacle syrup, melt over a gentle heat and then simmer • 1 large egg, beaten for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the cream For the caramel sauce: and syrup and simmer for a further minute, remove and cool. • 100g golden syrup 4. To assemble the trifle, turn out the gingerbread • 50g salted butter and cut in half. Spread a little of the caramel sauce • 100g light muscovado sugar over half of it, then sandwich together with the • 120ml double cream other half and cut into pieces and use half to line • 2 tbsp syrup from stem ginger jar the base of a 3 litre trifle dish. For the trifle: 5. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons of Badger Blandford Flyer Ale over the gingerbread, top with half of the • 5 ripe bananas, sliced • 6 tbsps Badger Blandford Flyer Ale sliced bananas followed by half of the remaining caramel sauce. Repeat these layers. • 2 knobs of stem ginger, 6. Stir the stem ginger into the custard and spread finely chopped over the top. Whisk the double cream to soft peaks • 500g pot ready-made custard and spoon on top of the trifle. • 300ml double cream 7. To finish sprinkle over the cashews and sugar • 100g honey roasted cashew and refrigerate for an hour before serving. nuts, chopped • 1/2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC 2. Put all of the crust ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. 3. When that’s done, lightly brush the racks with oil and press the ‘crust’ mixture all over the fat area and work it until well covered. 4. Place on a foil lined tray and bake loosely covered with foil for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes. 5. Allow to rest and cool for a few minutes before carving. The crust will be crumbly, so carefully carve and serve, adding any deliciously crumbly bits to each plate. 6. Serve with your favourite festive trimmings; steamed Brussel sprouts, roasted mini potatoes baked in their skins, with rosemary and oil and braised red cabbage with red onions, apples and mulled wine.

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without feeling full to the brim with festive food



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The Best Place to Eat Welcome to the Abbey Inn John and Julie would like you to relax and unwind in the beautiful setting of the 18th century Abbey Inn. We have a large car park, free Wi-Fi and outside seating. EAT: We vary our menus according to the seasons and all our food is cooked from locally sourced fresh ingredients. All dishes are cooked in house by Julie and her team. Christmas parties are being held from November to December. DRINK: The Inn serves a mix of local and guest real ales (mostly from local small breweries of Staffordshire and Cheshire) along with a carefully selected wine list, spirits and liqueurs. STAY: We have a beautiful barn, with two double bedrooms, a large lounge with wide screen TV, a well equipped kitchen and a lovely bathroom. There is also a separate en-suite double room why not dine at the Inn and stay overnight. In the morning let us cook your breakfast in the Inn. Abbey Green Road, Leek Staffordshire, ST13 8SA | Tel: 01538 382865

Butchery & Deli Orders

Free Range & Barn Reared Turkeys, Cockerels, Geese, Ducks and Guinea Fowl. Denstone Hall Beef, Packington Pork, Local Lamb and Game. Award Winning Sausages, Gammon, Ham & Pies.

Have you thought about trying a cockerel this Christmas? The Packington Cockerel is a great alternative to a turkey. Our cockerels are slow reared outside on our traditional English pastures located in Staffordshire. It’s not only the best for their welfare but it helps produce the most succulent, rich flavoured meat. The cockerels are presented in a smart box along with recipe cards including leftover recipe ideas and cooking instructions. The cockerels are available from selected local butchers, online and can be collected from the farm gate.

Order online now!



Three Bird Roast Sausage Rolls £5/12 Marks and Spencer



Party Selection £6 each Waitrose

PL ANNING YOUR PERFECT NIGHT It’s the little touches that people remember and they are what will make your party stand out from the rest. However, there are a few standard things to remember when you’re in planning mode. Pick a date and time that works best for you. Most people will leave their calendars free during December and if it clashes with another party, they will decide how to work it. It isn’t uncommon for people to visit two parties on the same night, especially at Christmas! Just make sure you have an idea of whether they will come for food or just for drinks. That way you can be aware of numbers so you don’t go overboard on the food. Although, an extra mince pie for everyone at Christmas never hurt anyone! Talking of food, what do you serve? At Christmas, food is just as (if not more) important than presents so it’s safe to say that people will expect to be gobbling up something. If you can’t indulge a little in December then when can you? What food you serve will largely depend on the amount of time you are devoting to your party. If you are hosting a festive dinner party with a sit down meal, you’ll be planning a more extensive menu and catering for a smaller guest list, hopefully! Your guests at larger parties, whether it’s family, friends or work colleagues, will be more than happy with nibbles, sharing platters or a simple buffet.


There is definitely no party like a Christmas party and as the 1st of December beckons you can be sure that the invitations will come flooding in. Calendars are cleared and cupboards are readily stocked in preparation for a good old dose of festive fun. B U FFE T

If you are not a regular host on the party scene, it can be a daunting experience to know if you What Brit doesn’t love a good English are getting it right. Of course it has to be special buffet and it’s coming back for Christmas. but hosting a Christmas party doesn’t have to Sausage rolls, quiche Lorraine and cheese be stressful. Sticking to a few simple rules will and pineapple sticks; buffet food goes down help your planning run smoothly and make your well at any time of the year. Luckily for the evening unforgettable for all the right reasons. party host, when Christmas comes around, we can nip along to our local supermarket and pick from an amazing selection of fresh and frozen finger food delights to fill our table and satisfy our guests. Can you have too much buffet food? Probably not, but as a guide you want to have enough for each person to have four or five different dishes on their plate. PA RT Y FAVO U R S If you really want to make your party stand out from the rest, give each of your guests a little party favour to take away with them when they leave. Go for a small festive treat like chocolate or sweets to leave a lasting impression on your guests and secure your place on the Christmas party hot list! They’ll be queueing out of the door next year! (Above) Sea Salt Caramel Marshmallows £3.25/60g

LO C A L T W IST No Christmas party in Staffordshire could be complete without a serving of hot and delicious cheesy oatcakes! Why not put a festive spin on your filling and combine bacon, brie and cranberry sauce. Cut each oatcake into bite size pieces of four and watch as your guests devour them in seconds! The perfect party filling for our favourite cheeky pleasure! Filling idea courtesy of Oatcakes & Milkshakes in Stone.

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N I B B LE S & S H A R E R S

For the perfect welcome cocktail at your party, bring out the fizz with this simply divine fruity Raspberry Spritz. Recipe provided by, makes two cocktails.

• 20 raspberries • 2 tsp caster sugar • 80ml water • 4 mint leaves • 100ml Vermouth Bianco • 150ml Prosecco • 50ml soda water • raspberries and mint to garnish What to do: 1. Put the raspberries, water, sugar and mint in a cocktail shaker and mash with the end of a rolling pin. 2. Put 2-3 ice cubes into two large wine glasses with a few raspberries and pour the raspberry mixture over through a sieve. Add the Vermouth and Prosecco, top with soda and stir.

Download your QR Code reader from the App Store now and use your device to listen to our playlist!

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You’ll need:


he Pogues 3. ork , T Dr i vi n wY tmas Every Day, R Ne g e Chris of oy W Ho ld B le m u o o o d8 e It C .M ish W

Here are our top ten favourite Christmas party tunes. Scan the record to instantly hear our play list via Spotify.



W h at ’s L i v i n g listening to this C h r i s t m a s?


Keep it to a nice level – you want to be able to hear it but not be straining to listen to Uncle Albert tell you all about his latest coach trip.



Your music should be a mix of both festive favourites and party classics. A Christmas party without The Pogues is just not on! However, if there are too many renditions of Mariah Carey’s, All I Want For Christmas, you may find the dance floor clearing quicker than you had hoped. Weave in some old favourites like The Beatles and Bryan Adams and you’ll hit the jackpot.

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Taittinger Nocturne NV, £51.95 FE ST IV E PA RT Y B U B B LE S What better way to toast the season than with a glass of fizz. Go for an easy drinking option for your party so that it can be enjoyed late into the evening. You’re looking Tesco for a soft tasting wine with a touch of sweetness.

For a smaller gathering where you are inviting guests to drop by for a Christmas toast, it’s better to keep it simple and serve up tasty nibbles and sharing platters. Cheese plates, cold meats, pate, a selection of bread, and Christmas favourites like chestnuts are all great lighter bites, which will accompany a drink well. Liven up your plates with pickled walnuts, seasonal fruits and holly to add a special twist. Place bowls of nuts, crisps and other picking snacks around your room to keep hunger levels at bay and minimise your need to walk around with serving dishes.


Packed with decadent delights from Aston Marina’s award-winning farm shop and deli near Stone, this hamper is a real treat for food lovers. In it you’ll find a Bottle of Prosecco Frizzante (750ml), Caffe Tasse chocolate bar, fruit cake in a tin, locally made chutney and jam, Cottage Delight paté, a tin of chocolate chip cookies, a box of assorted chocolates, cheese palmiers, biscuits for cheese, Kilna Jar with fruit preserve, a chocolate bar with Chilli & Lime and English Breakfast tea – all beautifully presented in a wicker basket with festive gift wrap and bow. For more hamper gifts visit

Q: Aston Marina lies just outside which Staffordshire town? To be in with the chance of winning simply navigate your way to the COMPETITIONS tab on to enter your answer, along with your name and address details. Or scan using your QR code reader (download from your App Store) on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competitions page now!

Serrano Ham Joint with Knife and Stand £30/2kg

a delicious hamper worth £69…

T&Cs: Closing date is 9am Friday 9th December. The competition prize will consist of a food and drink hamper worth £69. Prize is non-exchangeable. For a full set of Staffordshire Media competitions Terms and Conditions please see page 9. Clement Faugier www.staffordshireliving. Chestnuts £3.10/240g


Visit us this Christmas Here at Cottage Kitchen we believe in celebrating all that the Staffordshire Moorlands has to offer. • Visit our countryside café for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, open daily from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

• We have a large range of foodie and alcohol Christmas gifts to suit all pockets and tastes.

• Daily changing Christmas specials made using the finest local produce.

• Why not try our bespoke hamper service, just choose from our extensive range of local, artisan foods and drinks and we’ll create a personalised and unique gift.

• Large seating area ideal for groups and Christmas parties, please call 01538 308505 to book.

The Cottage Kitchen, Winkhill, Leek ST13 7PN Tel: 01538 308505 We’re easy to find, on the main A523 road between Leek and Ashbourne.

eat • drink • shop • enjoy

Certificate of Excellence 2016

Ultimate Roast Turkey Ingredients: • 1 fresh turkey, about 4-4.5 kg/9 -10 lb, giblets removed • 1 onion, quartered • 1 lemon • 1 orange • Several sprigs of fresh thyme

• 4 x tbsps Crisp ’n Dry Vegetable Oil • 8 rashers streaky bacon • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 100mls dry sherry • 50mls water

Method: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C, Gas Mark 7. Rinse the turkey with cold water inside and out and dry with a paper towel. Remove the zest from both the lemon and orange and reserve. Cut the lemon and orange into quarters and place in the main cavity, along with the onion and thyme. 2. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time by allowing 40 mins per kilo (20 mins per lb). Combine the reserved zests with the 4 x tbsps Crisp ’n Dry Vegetable Oil, season with salt and black pepper and brush all over the turkey. 3. Lay the bacon over the breast with each rasher slightly over-lapping. 4. Place a rack in the base of your roasting tin and pour in the sherry and water. Place the turkey on the rack and cover loosely with foil forming a ‘tent’ over it, but securing the edges firmly around the edge of the tin. 5. Place the turkey in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 180 degrees C, Gas Mark 4 and cook for the required time. Baste during cooking. Remove the foil 30 mins before end of cooking time and push bacon to the side. (This can be served with the turkey). Baste again and return to the oven for the remaining 30 mins. 6. To test that the turkey is ready, pierce the thigh through its thickest part; the juices should run clear. Keep cooking if the juices are pink and re-check at 15 minute intervals. 7. Rest the turkey, covered loosely with foil, for 30 mins before serving. Crisp N Dry Crisp N Dry


CHRISTMAS BIRD It’s enjoyed the world over but we think nobody does it better than us Brits. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it so let’s celebrate the great Christmas bird in all its glory with these delicious recipes!

Leftovers There is always too much turkey left over from Christmas lunch and if you’re looking to try something different for your Boxing Day buffet, we have just the dish! Say goodbye to the turkey curry and a hundred turkey sandwiches!

T U R K E Y, F E N N E L S E E D C H E E S E PA R C E L S (pictured left) Makes 20 parcels

Created by Lee Westcott for Davidstow®



• 200g minced turkey leg • 100g minced chicken breast • 3g fennel seeds • ½ whole egg • 15g chervil, chopped • 15g tarragon, chopped • Salt and pepper • 50g dried apricot, chopped • 10g panko breadcrumbs • 30g Davidstow 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage cheddar, grated • Egg yolk for glazing • Poppy seeds • 400g block of puff pastry

1. Preheat a fan assisted oven to 170°C 2. Mix all the ingredients together, apart from the puff pastry, until a meatball consistency is achieved. 3. Roll out the puff pastry, approximately 7cm-6cm by 1mm thickness. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. 4. Once all the puff pastry is cut to shape and rested, place a teaspoon full of the turkey mixture into the centre of each puff pastry rectangles. 4. Now take in two opposite corners and pinch them together. 5. Glaze these with egg yolk, sprinkle on some poppy seeds and some more finely grated Davidstow® 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage cheddar before baking. 6. Now bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.




AROUND THE WORLD In amongst the office parties, the TV Christmas specials and receiving presents, Christmas, for many people means an excuse to stuff our faces and treat ourselves to lots of delicious food and drink in the season of indulgence.


ike any holiday or time for celebration, food plays a big part in bringing families together. At Christmas, time and time again we refer back to those classic recipes - dishes which transport us to our own winter wonderland where the flavour is unmistakably Christmassy. From warm gingerbread to the distinctive taste of the classic Christmas tipple, a snowball; it wouldn’t be the holidays without these age old foodie traditions. What we eat and drink which may differ from family to family but they all hold the same sentiments and are all a major part of the festivities. Yes we love to hate them but sprouts must make an appearance at Christmas, no early Christmas morning would be complete without tucking into the selection box and how about chestnuts roasting on an open fire? After all, what would Christmas be without a turkey sandwich on Boxing Day? Looking at how other countries celebrate the holidays may inspire new traditions or you may be surprised to learn that other countries are not too dissimilar in their traditions and we have in fact adopted one or two eating habits from across the world. With an incredible array of cuisines, LIVING looks at how Christmas tastes across the world.


P uer to R ico Puerto Ricans know how to put on a feast and at Christmas, local cuisine goes all out. A whole suckling pig is the showstopper and much like our turkeys, this takes a long time to cook so it’s an all-day affair. This mainstage event of the roasted suckling pig is known as lechón. As for a festive beverage, of course they have their own version of eggnog, too. Made with coconut milk, condensed milk and a good dash of rum and traditionally served in the coconut shell - this will keep the chef happy while they tend to the suckling pig. A lighter cocktail on the menu around Christmas is a tropical take on Champagne - served with passion fruit juice, orange liqueur, lime juice, lemon juice, and strawberry juice.

Finla nd At Christmas time in Finland they favour an array of seasonal dishes. Known as joulupöytä, this spread of food includes a cured ham, pickles, mustard, potatoes and stewed vegetables. Freshly salted salmon plays a part in this buffet. Finland is well known for its salmon also and perhaps its popularity has influenced our own affection for rolling out the smoked salmon vol-auvents come Christmas in the UK?

Spain In Spain, La Noche Buena is Christmas Eve and fitting in to the Spanish tradition of big family gatherings, where food plays a big part, La Noche Buena follows suit. A platter of Iberico ham and a selection cheeses are feasted on as well as the Spanish version of a prawn cocktail with garlic-roasted langoustines, white asparagus roasted in their world-famous olive oil and an abundance of ‘postres’ (pastries). “Turrón” is nougat which is hugely popular in Spain around Christmas time. The impressive slabs are speckled with almonds and soaked in honey and no Christmas would be complete without it. As for a sweet offering for any guests over the holidays; how us Brits bring out the mince pies, Spanish families bake “mantecados”, a sweet and spicy crumbly biscuit which melts in the mouth.


A merica


It a ly

Seeing as the States have Thanksgiving and then Christmas is right around the corner it may come as a surprise to learn that their two holiday dishes aren’t too dissimilar. Their traditions are muchly adopted from ours in the UK and so you wouldn’t really notice too much of a difference as to what’s on your plate sat around a table in Britain or the US. A turkey, yams (sweet potatoes to you and me) and of course, the obligatory cranberry sauce all make their appearance at the dinner table less than a month apart for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’re all able to dream up what a traditional American Christmas dinner looks like as we’ve all seen Home Alone, haven’t we? There’s eggnog and baked pies for dessert; pumpkin and apple top the list of favourites but what actually is eggnog? Like we have Baileys which comes out every year and is practically all we drink well into the New Year, across the pond, eggnog is their festive tipple. It’s simple to make with a mixture of eggs, sugar, cream, a dusting of nutmeg and a good glug of brandy; it’s a rich and boozy beverage which warms your insides.

Sweden, like the UK, offers up a glazed ham as the centrepiece for any festive get-together and they also do a mean buffet. All the usual suspects are there; pickles, mustard, bread for dipping and cheese all in abundance.

Think of Italy and what do you think of? Coffee? Pizza? Pasta? Well in the month of December all those other foods take a back seat as it’s the season of Panettone. As is a recurring theme for a lot of countries during this festive season; a rich, sweet bread jewelled with candied fruits is a showstopper on many Christmas tables.

Fra nce In France, on Christmas Eve is when the real celebrations begin. Serving a feast of oysters, foie gras and Bûche de Noël (Yule log) it’s a night of indulgence.

And where a lot of cultures cook a whole bird or go for a classic meat roast of the holidays, Italy is known for its flavour for the sea, in particular its Feast of Seven Fishes. The Christmas Eve tradition is a meal of seven courses all featuring different types of fish. From seared scallops in garlic butter, smoked trout canapes and arguably the best part of the meal, slow-roasted salmon – all of the dishes are prepared with great care and attention for this precious ritual at Christmas.

Colombia Buñuelos are much the same as a doughnut. The sweet, fried dough rolled in sugar makes for an indulgent treat and is easy to be made up in big batches for any celebratory occasion.

Japa n Ordering your Christmas turkey is customary in Britain as we all want the best bird for carving on Christmas Day but who would have thought people in Japan would also be queuing up for their Christmas dinner centrepiece? While Christmas is not celebrated widely in Japan (as few Japanese are Christians) the holiday has still trickled down into society and a Christmas meal is one of those things which has become the new norm. In Japan, their speciality meal of choice is… KFC. Yes, the southern-fried chicken chain worked its magic with a lucrative marketing opportunity in 1974; the ‘Christmas Chicken’ campaign and even today families put in an order weeks before Christmas to secure their family bucket.

Chile In many cultures, the highlight of any celebration is the cake and Christmas in Chile is no exception. Like we have our Christmas pudding, Chile has Pan de Pascua. Although the word Pascua literally translates to ‘Easter’, Pascua can mean Christmas too or be used in place of any type of festivity. It’s their celebration cake and is much like the bread bakes of a German Stollen or Italian Panettone. It is spiced and flavoured with rum, sweet dried fruits, nuts and honey. Every holiday has to have a drink to toast with and Chile follows the tradition of having a rich, alcoholic cocktail known as Cola de mono. The potent drink is made with evaporated milk, cloves, cinnamon, coffee and any alcoholic mixer you fancy but vodka, brandy and rum are favourites.

Germa ny

Por t uga l

In Germany, the time for the biggest celebration isn’t Christmas Day but the 24th. A huge dinner is served on Christmas Eve. Raclette is a huge melting plate or grill for the special Raclette cheese which melts slowly and is eaten with salami, ham, mushrooms, onions, corn, peppers and potatoes. It’s a social occasion which is enjoyed in large groups.

Pastel de nata is the best-known sweet delicacy in Portugal so naturally pastries feature heavily when a celebration is on the cards. Over Christmas there is a wide array of pastries and sweets on offer and much like our mince pies, these sweet bites are brought out on any social occasion. Finhoses are strands or balls of light, spiced dough, dusted with icing sugar, while formigos is a sweet, sticky blend of nuts, honey and raisins.

Another foodie tradition which has definitely made its way into British traditions when it comes to festive food is the stollen. Originating from Germany, this sweet fruit bread is packed with marzipan, spices and dusted in icing sugar, and is a firm favourite enjoyed in Britain too.

Bolo Rei is the king-cake and it literally translates this way as well. Nuts and crystallised fruit garnish the cake.


Everything you need to indulge this Christmas…

When it comes to Festive dining, only the very best will do and that’s exactly what you’ll find in our award-winning farm shop, deli and butchery… Fresh Staffordshire fruit and veg Staffordshire Free Range Turkeys Locally sourced, high welfare meat from within 20 miles Cheese counter among the country’s top 10 Foodie gifts and luxury hampers from £15 - £200 Wines, beers and liqueurs

The Farm Shop Festive indulgence

The Bistro e The Boat House e The Farm Shop e The Butchery e The Deli

10% OFF

The Farm Shop

Use Code 10OFFSHOP at online checkout or present this advert at till.

Voucher valid until 9th December 2016. Only one per transaction, not to be used alongside any other offer.



The Butchery

* Applies to any meat order placed before 9th December 2016. Deposit of £10 required at time of order. Offer will be honoured automatically with online, telephone and in store purchases and will be available for collection with your order. Only one bottle per customer, not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

CEL E YEA BRATING R AT THE CHRIST CHR MAS IZAA I S T M Join us fo AS PA K W r R follow yo T ALTO AND NE ed by ur Christ Y NIGH mas T even S N HO W * Pa ing e CHR ntert rty Nigh TEL.. I ts inc ainm Enjoy STMAS ludin ent! . LU ad D g

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For more information or to view our delicious menus download our 2016 Christmas Brochure from the website! To make a booking, please call us today on 01335 220 070

The Izaak Walton Hotel, Dovedale, Ilam, nr Ashbourne, DE6 2AY tel. 01335 220 070 email.

Staffordshire Living NOVDEC 2016.indd 1


% $ 21/09/2016 15:06:18


TASTE TEST: Christmas Puddings Christmas came early for the LIVING team’s taste buds this year. We’ve been sampling a selection of Christmas puddings so that you can be sure you serve up the best to your family when the time comes. (pictured left, M&S)

This delicious pudding is a favourite on most table tops at Christmas and is a recipe that brings together sweet spices and chunky fruits like raisins and sultanas, with a load of dark sugar, treacle and of course alcohol – from brandy, rum and sherry to stout and cider. It’s one best served with brandy butter, cream, custard or ice cream and with its strong aroma and fruity filling, you either love it or you hate it. It’s a tough job but we got through it…Here’s the verdict!



Donald Russell


Marks & Spencer




Price: £10/907g

Price: £16/750g


It’s not every day the LIVING girls hand out top marks in a taste test but this Tesco Finest Christmas pudding had our tongues wagging for days. The pudding is 12 months matured and we say that’s why it’s twelves times tastier. If the taste of alcohol turns you off, this one probably isn’t for you but if you are a sucker for everything a Christmas pudding should be, you will be delighted with this one. Best for: the traditionalists

10/10 26

An Anton Mosimann recipe, this pudding was the most expensive in our trial but it didn’t disappoint on first look - it was presented in a stunning red fabric and black tie. It’s promoted as a healthier alternative, which may have altered the taste slightly but overall a good pudding if you are looking for a lighter option after your Christmas dinner. It would make a lovely gift also. Best for: gift-giving


Price: £9.99/907g Aldi’s version came last overall in our score sheet but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a tasty pudding! The taste of alcohol was not as strong as Tesco, making it a good option if you don’t really like that warming sensation at the back of your throat. If you have some folk who are not big fans of the boozy consistency of a Christmas pudding, this would be a good option. Available in stores 13th November. Best for: non-believers


Price: £3/454g Marks and Spencer surprised us with this one. While it is just its Classic recipe (there is a more expensive luxury option too), it was still a very good pudding. The shape held well and the fruit wasn’t overpowering and at that price for M&S, we were all very happy! Best: budget buy




CHRISTMAS DRESSING YOUR TABLE FOR THE BIG DAY What To Buy The Woman Who Has Everything, The Ultimate Gift Guide, Advent Calendars For Everyone, Festive Shopping Spots Across The UK, How To Survive a Family Christmas and Win £500 to Spend at Touchwood Shopping Centre in Solihull



For the woman who has it all...

£3 Cushion

ik 2N

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£ 8 .9

5 Dotcomgiftshop



Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau De Parfum 30ml £50 House of Fraser

A pr 6

ele t£

Br ac

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t Pink Fizz Cocktail Soap £4.99 www. oakroomshop.

Camera Bauble £6 John Lewis


Sugar and spice and all things nice...

s ew i




Lindor Strawberries and Cream 200g £4.59 Lindt

£15 Jo h

She ’s fee ls oh so pre tty. Sh e sm el ls so sw ee t. Not hin g is too f luff y or pin k.

£45 ASOS

£8.50 Topshop

£45 ASOS

Print £55

£2 35


Hous e of F ra

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For the woman who has it all... ry Ve

£5 Accessorize

al Faci d l o n do n &G gne onic Lo a p m Cha h £25 Ic s Poli




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Kitsound Black fau

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Lu H Cl lu G ou ut u se ch in of £2 ne F r 4 5 ss as ^ er

muf fs £75 Jasper Conran at Debenhams

£12 Geo


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99 Z

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She is unapologetically fabulous.

£72 Topshop

She drinks champagne. If it comes in gold, she’s going to buy it.

och £

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M& S £4 Primark £ 8 M&


Ver t ord m l F Tom eme 50 e’s Boh Selfridg £14 8

Fork Set £19.50 M&S


Christmas & New Year 2016 at The Spa Hotel


The Adults-Only Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, in the heart of Lancashire is a magical place to experience the Festive Season – from pre-party pamper breaks to an indulgent ‘put-your-feet-up’ Christmas. Or enjoy a SPArkling New Year’s break.

Tip Toe into Christmas

Christmas Sleepover

ARRIVE BETWEEN DEC 19TH - 23RD Luxury Room, Aqua Thermal Journey, Selected Meals and Top-to-Toe Treatment

ARRIVE DEC 24TH, 25TH OR 26TH Luxury Room, Aqua Thermal Journey*, Selected Meals

From £139 per person per night

From £220 per room per night

3 night Christmas Spa Break

2 night New Year Spa Break


ARRIVE DEC 31ST Luxury Room, Aqua Thermal Journey, Selected Meals & NYE Gala Dinner

Luxury Room, Aqua Thermal Journey, Selected Meals including Christmas Day lunch

From £399 per person

From £349 per person

Penthouse room upgrades available to make it extra special! To book please visit or call us FREE on 0800 085 1717

Terms and conditions apply: Deposit will be taken at the time of booking for the amount of £100 per room, final payment is due 4 weeks prior to arrival. All treatments and dining arrangements are subject to availability, please book all treatments and dining arrangements prior to arrival. As part of your spa break you may dine in The Brasserie, The Orangery or The Restaurant- subject to availability. Any packages which include dinner offer a £25 allocation. Groups of 7 or more may be asked to dine in The Restaurant. All information is correct at time of going to print. All menus are sample menus. Prices are subject to availability and based on full occupancy of the rooms. Single supplements will apply. *To add Aqua Thermal Journey to Christmas Sleepover, small charge applies.

For the woman who has it all...


Make It Happen Book £10.99 Oliver Bonas

Print £80 A Splash of Colour

Aura Manuka Honey Mask £22.99

Kate Spade Candle £42 John Lewis

£16 George Mini Roberts Radio £139.95 John Lewis

Available from

13th Nov

£110 Kate Spade

£110 Whistles


Mulled Wine Chocolate £3.85 Hotel Chocolat

She’s loves to nest. Backgammon Set £14.95 Annabel James

She’ll make a house a home. Life is one big comfort Zone.

Kitchenaid Mini Stand Mixer £449.95 John Lewis



Orange Bitters Cologne 100ml £90 Jo Malone

Liberty Eye Mask £16.95 Amara

UGG Slippers £80 Amara

Colouring Book £10 M&S Scent Your Space £25 Sanctuary Spa at Boots


Weddings at Stapleford Park 2017/18

Q ua rt e r O n e ( j a n - m a r )

£7,797.00* S u m m e r Pa C K a G e S

R u b y Pa c k a g e £ 1 3 8 P P * S a P P h i R e Pa c k a g e £ 1 6 8 P P * D i a m o n D Pa c k a g e £ 1 9 8 P P * W i n t e r W e D D i n G ( O C t- D e C )

£8,797.00* * 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, Stapleford, Nr. Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2EF Telephone: +44 (0) 1572 787000 | Fax: +44 (0) 1572 787001 Email: |

At Wrench Fine Jewellery we have a fine tradition in fulfilling customer’s jewellery requirements. If you cannot find that exquisite piece of jewellery in our large and growing collection, we can offer our free design service and then manufacture your chosen design for you in our workshop. We at Wrench Fine Jewellery are fiercely proud of our reputation and expertise at goldsmithing and diamond setting. Should you require a special unique jewellery gift simply get in touch by person, phone or email and discuss your needs with real jewellery professionals.

Call us for more information on 01782 213231 or visit

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



High Stakes Game £10 M&S

Lexon Fine Speaker £45 House of Fraser

Nutcracker Biscuits £35 Biscuiteers

Kate Spade Luggage Tag £20 Amara

Anne-Claire Petit Teddy £29 Amara Dog Bow Tie £3 Sainsbury’s




Shot Glass Syrup Set £16 Next

£10 M&S

It’s LIVING’s wish list of fancy festive treats for everyone on your gift list this year.

UGG Slippers £90 Amara

Nutribullet £100 House of Fraser

Christmas Day Pickle £3.75 National Trust

h Bat Cr


Men’s Eye Mask £50 Amara




Raheen Handbag £249 Eland Lodge Equestrian


My First Christmas Stocking and Bootees Gift Set £20 Natures Purest Trentham

M&S Collection

GIFT GUIDE Slippers £16 M&Co

£6 Debenhams

£8 Sainsbury’s

£12.50 Hotel Chocolat



Christmas Tree Train £19.95 House of Bath

Drinking Chocolate £8 Debenhams

£90 Burble Baby

£12 Accessorize

Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur £7.50

Cath Kidston Watch £70

Emma Bridge -water Candle £14.95 Daisy Park

Alphabet Perfume 30ml £6.50 Next

Knit Your Own Set £25 M&S



XMAS SCENTS FOR HIM & HER The Fragrance Shop Hugo Boss The Scent For Her 30ml EDP Gift Set RRP £55.50 OUTLET £43.50

Pavers Enjoy special occasions in style. This strappy sandal features a buckle fastening and elegant heel.

Prices correct at time of print. Items subject to availability.

The Fragrance Shop Hugo Boss The Scent 50ml EDT Gift Set For Him RRP £46.50

THIS CHRISTMAS WITH CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS ON THE AGENDA, WHY NOT ADD FREEPORT TALKE TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST? You’ll find a fantastic range of new stores to take a peek at, from designer fashion brands for the whole family in Outdoor and Country, to top names in beauty at Beauty Outlet, all at fabulous discounted prices, then why not stop for a coffee and catch-up at Costa.

GET SET TO PARTY! Klass Navy Sequined Dress RRP £65 OUTLET £45 Klass Red Sequined Dress RRP £65 OUTLET £45 Beauty Outlet W7 London Eyes Gift Set OUTLET £9.95

With free parking and late night opening, it’s the ideal place to get set for Christmas with ease. Discover brands including M&S Outlet, Bonmarché, Trespass, Suit Direct and Gap Outlet brimming with bargains to update your wardrobe in the run up to the festive season. From wrapping up warm for those wintery walks, to strutting your stuff on the Christmas party dance floor, there’s plenty to choose from. With present buying a high priority at this time of year, you’ll find something for everyone from Hunter wellies to scent-sational fragrances and choccies for those who you’re just not sure what to buy.

GREAT GIFT IDEAS M&S Outlet Winter Bag RRP £15 OUTLET £10.50 Talke Scents Yankee Candle Candy Cane Lane RRP £21.99 OUTLET £16.49 Bags ETC. Casa Di Borse Flapover Purse With Shoulder Strap RRP £69 OUTLET £19.99

OUTLET SHOPPING 101213_STAFFSLIVING_210x282_V11.indd 1

30/09/2016 14:35

 made fo r DOGS !

Gisela Graham Wooden House Advent Calendar £29 Amara

Yankee Candle Gift Set £25 Very

Biscuiteers Baking Christmas Circus Advent Biscuit Tin & Calendar £99

Dog Advent Calendar £2.99

Linea Novelty Train Calendar £40 House of Fraser

Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar £4.99

♥ perfect fo COU P r LES

LET THE COUNT DOWN BEGIN... Advent calendars aren’t reserved just for kids – there’s one for everyone, from the chocolate lover to the ultra-glam party girl and even your pet dog!

Advent For Two £12.50 Hotel Chocolat

Advent Calendar £49.50 Rituals

Polar Bear Advent Calendar £48  and... RELA X

Wooden Advent Calendar £26.99

Fabric Advent Calendar Red £39.99

Kiss Advent Calendar £5 Wilkinson Bath Treat Advent Calendar £24.95 House of Bath


Live the Digital!

MODEL RAIL SPECIALISTS Excellent new and used stock of Hornby, Bachmann and many more model railway brands.

Also Scalextric, Airfix, Plastruct & Expo Tools.

01782 818433 / 07973 478294



FRESH Christmas trees

TheHobbyGoblin, 54 Hamil Road, Burslem Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST6 1AU Tues, Wed, Fri: Open 10am-4pm Thur: Open 10am-5.30pm Sat: Open 10am-2pm Sun/Mon: Closed

Here comes

Artificial Christmas trees Tree stands

Christmas decorations Seasonal Plants

Poinsettias, Cyclamen and much more!

Festive Wreaths real and artificial

Enjoy home-cooked festive fare at the Retreat Restaurant Snow Shoes Sledges Snow Shovels De-icer & Scrapers Rock Salt


Quality, Price & Advice

Bonehill Road, Tamworth, B78 3HP Open: 9am – 5pm Mon – Sat, 10am – 4pm Sun

ar den Cent


01827 58858


e nd


Gift vouchers available.


Friendly service and internet prices!

To find out more about Christmas in Wolverhampton, visit:



Magical markets, dazzling lights and gift shopping galore. Here’s where to get the most out of your Christmas shopping this year.

Candy Cane Lane Talke Scents

Freeport Talke


You’ll find everything you need for the festive season at Freeport Talke, just off the A500 and about 10 minutes from the centre of Stoke on Trent. From men’s, women’s and children’s fashion to sportswear, gifts, homeware and accessories, there’s something for everyone, including you. It’s a perfect spot to find presents for your loved ones but if you are struggling, they even have store advisors on hand to help you out. Shops have products at amazingly low prices with over 40 stores offering up to 60% off every day. Discover great quality and value at popular stores, including an M&S Outlet, Gap Outlet, Nike Clearance Store, Beauty Outlet, as well as designer brands at new addition, Outdoor and Country, which stocks Barbour, Hunter, French Connection, Joules and more. Find your stylish Christmas party outfit here too, without breaking the bank at Roman, Klass, Suit Direct and more, and with new stock arriving daily, a trip to Freeport Talke will always be worthwhile. Open seven days a week with late night shopping until 8pm every Thursday night, and free parking all the time you can shop till you drop. Don’t forget to relax and take a break from the bargain hunting with coffee and cake at Costa too. For more information and seasonal opening hours visit

Trentham Leisure


Shop for a wonderful selection of boutique gifts and meet Santa all at the same time when visiting Trentham Leisure this Christmas. With free parking and a traditional village atmosphere, Trentham’s 60 timber lodge shops, cafes and restaurants offer a warm winter welcome with weekly late night openings every Wednesday until 8pm from 30th November to 21st December. Christmas at Trentham begins with the official Christmas Lights Switch-On event on Wednesday 23rd November, where you can enjoy a Christmas parade with a host of superhero and fairy tale characters, and Santa & Mrs Claus switching on the lights! Children can also experience the magic of meeting Santa at his atmospheric grotto in the centre of the Village aside the River Trent. They can make a wish and take away a gift for £6 per child, every Wednesday and at the weekend (tickets purchased in advance) at selected times. Outside the grotto, on selected dates, visitors will also be able to meet real penguins and experience penguin and polar bear ice sculpture demonstrations, as well as pose for pictures with Santa’s reindeer and his sleigh.

Marc Jacobs Gift Set The Fragrance Shop


For more information and timings of specific events visit

Wolverhampton Enjoy Wolverhampton are set to bring an even bigger and brighter Christmas this year with a stunning display of festive lights to appear across the city centre adding an extra sparkle to the streets. The magic begins with the Christmas lights switchon taking place on Wednesday 23rd November in Queen Square from 5pm, and promises to have a very special guest in attendance. Head to Wolverhampton for a festive shop and you’ll find all your favourite brands, including House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer's, Boots, The Entertainer, Waterstones, HMV, River Island, Foot asylum, Thornton’s and many more, and be able to pick up some more unique gifts at the Christmas markets planned in Dudley Street on 23rd November, and again on selected dates throughout December. What’s more, you can discover a vibrant mix of independent shops, jewellers, fashion and gifts at Ruddell’s, TA Henn, Diffusion, Le Monde, Waist Down and Castle Galleries. Visit www. for opening hours and the full range of shops, bars and restaurants you can explore.

Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre Start Christmas off with a magical medieval weekend of live entertainment, great shopping, hands on activities and delicious food and drink at the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre.

On Saturday 26th November, the Fayre will be open late, until 9pm, when Ludlow Castle will come alive for an atmospheric evening of torch-lit medieval revelry and mass carol singing. With food and drink stalls to tickle your taste buds, you can sup everything from mulled wine and spiced farmhouse cider to local beers and medieval fruit ales, and munch on everything from roasted chestnuts and sausages to delicious cheeses, cakes, mince pies and sweets. There is a full programme of entertainment during the weekend, including medieval music and dance group, Tryzna, who come from Poland and Ukraine, Peterkin’s School for Fools about all things jesting, and performances from Swords, Sackbuts and Shakespeare, marking the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death with swashbuckling sword fights from his Wars of the Roses plays. Look out for Fayre regulars, the acclaimed BZ Ents, who return with new performances of children’s shows Dastardly Dick and What Ho Henry, and for the first time this year, there will also be a pantomime with a special performance of Chanticleer and The Fox from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. For more information on ticket prices and bookings visit



Ludlow’s stunning Castle in the beautiful Marches countryside will be transformed into a fun family festival on 26th and 27th November 2016. Visitors are invited to mingle with themed entertainment including jesters and musicians, and browse over 100 stalls selling seasonal wares, food and drink, crafts, historical goods and more – the perfect mix to find those unique gifts for Christmas.

For a traditional English experience this festive season, visit the charming walled city of Chester. With a Christmas market that offers mostly local and regional producers launching on 17th November, you’ll enjoy browsing the stalls offering artisan crafts and speciality foods set in traditional timber huts along Town Hall Square.

Leeds If you fancy venturing further afield for a bit of festive shopping this year then heading up north to Leeds is an unlikely but actually very good choice. It’s easily accessible by car or train and has a really great offering of shops, restaurants and bars to make Christmas shopping a breeze. The beauty of Leeds is the variety of shopping outlets to cater for everyone’s taste. The city centre is small enough to navigate by foot but big enough to house some fantastic retailers including a big House of Fraser, Debenhams and Zara. Plus, the latest shopping and leisure complex to open up, Trinity Leeds, offers a further selection of 120 shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and a cinema. Not only is there an enticing environment, set under a giant glass roof, but the city centre location means you have everything you need all in one place. For those who prefer a quieter more traditional atmosphere, you can visit the arcades of the Victoria Quarter for designer shops like Mulberry and Louis Vuitton. If you get your fill of shopping, there is also the Cultural Quarter, which is home to many museums and galleries and then you can finish your trip with a meal and drinks in one of the many desirable restaurants and bars. For more information on getting to Leeds and events happening over Christmas visit

Chester has more than its Christmas markets on offer this Christmas, it’s the perfect setting to look for all things festive as the atmosphere and beautiful surroundings keep you merrily shopping along. If you plan to make a weekend of it, stay in one of the many boutique hotels which look out onto the River Dee, and you could even take in the magical animal lanterns on a night-time light trail at Chester Zoo. There is also a flurry of eccentric parades taking place, including the Christmas lights switch-on extravaganza and Lantern Parade on 1st December, and an unusual Christmas Tree Festival from the end of November at the stunning Chester Cathedral. For more information and timings of specific events visit

Shopping is fun any time of the year but even more magical at Christmas.



Christmas 2016 in Stoke-on-Trent King’s Christmas Market Sunday 20 November, 10am to 4pm. King’s Hall and Jubilee Hall, Stoke, ST4 1HH 100 stalls. £1 entry (under 14’s free). Free activities.

Stoke-on-Trent Christmas Market Open daily, 30 November to 24 December City Centre (Hanley), ST1 1PS Festive chalets, a large ice rink and funfair to join Hanley’s indoor and outdoor markets to make Christmas shopping in Hanley a special experience. Go online for details about entertainment, Santa’s visits, free prize draws and other market activities


Christmas Floral Extravaganza SATURDAY 3rd TO THURSDAY 8th DECEMBER • 11am – 5pm Tickets: Adults £8.50 (pre-booked online £7.50) Children (5-16) £2.50 Under 5’s FREE Discounts available for groups All groups must be pre-booked and payment made in advance - Group Organiser Free

See the Hall Decorated with Fresh Flowers Children’s Christmas Tree Challenge Candlelight & Carol Evenings Carl Wilde Floral Demonstrations Arley Hall & Gardens, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 6NA Tel: 01565 777 353  /arleyhall  @arleyhall

sotmarkets 01782 232716




‘Tis the season to be jolly but how do you keep smiling over the festive break? As we all prepare for a big day of family reunions, there are ways you can ensure it runs smoothly from start to finish.

St ock up on food a nd booze Running out of supplies at any time of year isn’t easy but at Christmas, with extra mouths to feed, it’s a catastrophe! Make it easier on you and your purse strings and buy a little something for Christmas each time you shop in the lead up to the festive period. Be aware of use-by-dates but cupboard staples like soft drinks, beer, wine, nuts, biscuits, crisps and crackers can all be stocked up on well in advance. You’ll feel much better if you can keep the nibbles flowing and so will your guests.

We’re all fans of those slapstick Christmas films poking fun at the reunion of long lost relatives twice removed, all in the season of goodwill. Think Chevy Chase in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and the disaster that follows. Oh and how can we forget poor Kevin Mccalister, the mischevious 8-year old boy that was left Home Alone by his family over Christmas in John Hughes’ 90s classic. Christmas is never without its dramas for us ordinary people either, the turkey won’t fit in the oven, there aren't enough ‘good’ chairs to go around and did you remember the batteries this year? Despite all of these little tests, we carry on regardless and have fun doing it. We welcome relatives with open arms, it’s Christmas after all. One extra chair, no problem. It’s the part of Christmas we have come to expect and embrace and it makes it what it is every year. Let’s face it, in the end the presents far outweigh the problems, even if we didn’t quite get what we wanted. So, aside from buying the wrong Paw Patrol figure (he did say Rubble, didn’t he?), confusing scarf with pashmina, yet again, and spending more money than we had hoped, yet again. What else can we do to avoid the pitfalls of a family gathering at Christmas? From preparing well in advance, to entertainment in abundance and calling in the cavalry, here’s our guide to avoiding Stressmas and surviving Christmas with the family.


Running out of supplies at any time of year isn’t easy but at Christmas, with extra mouths to feed, it’s a catastrophe! Keep the enter t a inment f low ing No one is expecting you to have magicians and choir singers popping in at regular intervals, but having a few tricks up your own sleeve in the entertainment department won’t hurt. Party games like charades, board games like monopoly, and a photo hour catching up on family favourites can keep the mood up and help with that post dinner lull before the Queen’s speech begins. An afternoon walk works wonders too, it’ll lift spirits and will help to make some room for those turkey sandwiches before the evening movie begins.

CHRISTMAS  Table pla n It sounds very technical but if you are worried about how the conversation will flow during Christmas lunch, you can easily plan who sits where to evenly spread out the good talkers and the funny favourites. It not only looks pretty to add decorative place names to your table but it creates an ice-breaker when your guests arrive too. It’s always a good idea to sit yourself and your partner or designated friend helper closest to the kitchen so you can easily get out to serve, clear or bring in dishes when you need to.

Prepare your dinner in advance Do what you can in advance so that the day is less stressful and you can celebrate everyone being together rather than having a mini ordeal in the kitchen by yourself. Christmas dinner favourites like red cabbage, carrots, parsnips, bread sauce and pigs in blankets can all be prepared 1-2 days (some even a week!) in advance.

Go online to for more Christmas cooking knowhow and time saving tips!

Conversation st a r ters If you find yourself struggling to keep the conversation going, pull out a few sure-fire topics guaranteed to get things going again. How’s the hip? What about all that Brexit business? Do you think you’ll have another one? It’s always lovely to remember relatives that have passed away too – whether that is looking back at old photos or remembering the tales of Christmases gone by. What’s more, everyone needs a good laugh on Christmas so take a few jokes with you to the table whether you are a guest or hosting the day. We can’t all rely on the Christmas crackers now, can we!?

Christmas is a time of love, laughter and celebration. Lest we forget. Put aside any differences, whack a smile on your face and embrace the season of goodwill. Cater to a ll needs Big news this Christmas, your niece has turned vegan and cousin Jimmy no longer tolerates dairy. It happens, and if you find this out on Christmas Day, your stress levels will rocket! Double, no, triple check on special dietary requirements so that you can plan and cater for all surprises and it won’t hurt to have a few fish fingers in the freezer for the toddler who decides it’s no-no veggie day. What’s more, if your family is religious and you want to go to Church, make sure you factor this in on the day so that the service fits around Christmas lunch and any other activities you are planning.

Get help where you need it There is no harm in asking for help especially if you are hosting a large party this Christmas. Ask some of your guests to bring a starter or a dessert on the day so you don’t have too much to think about. If you need help in the kitchen, just ask. More than likely, someone will take charge of clearing up, leaving you with a window to catch up on the latest gossip, and have a drink. You could even nominate a close relative to be in charge of hosting in the living room, while you focus on getting things right in the kitchen. Two heads are better than one and you’ll look back and be grateful of the teamwork. Avoid # s t r e s s m a s

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No one wants to spend Christmas stressing so it’s the perfect excuse to relax and treat yourself ahead of the day. Book a spa treatment, get your hair done or go for a quiet pint. Whichever way you relax, do it. It’s your festive break too. On the day, if you need to, disappear upstairs and have a moment, even if it’s to get out of the heat of the kitchen. Pour yourself a sherry, have a bucks fizz or orange juice and enjoy yourself. It comes but once a year.

 Tell us how you survive Christmas with the family? Do you have a tip on surviving Christmas with the family? Share your experiences with other readers on our social media @StaffsLiving

Or scan below using your QR code reader (download from your App Store) on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competitions page now!



“It’s Chriiiisssssttttmmmmaaasss!” …..well very nearly anyway and Compton Hospice are all set to provide the sparkle to kick off the festive season in style! Join the hospice team and their special guest stars; Father Christmas and his Elves on Sunday 27th November 11-4pm at The Cedars, Wolverhampton for a Festive Family Fun Day. The little ones can visit Elf school before taking their wish lists to the main man himself in our magical grotto, whilst the grown up’s can shop for Christmas gifts and enjoy a range of live entertainment from local musicians.

Despite his busy schedule, Father Christmas will also be joining us for Breakfast/Lunch on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th December. Eat your breakfast (a mini fry up) or lunch (sandwiches and nibbles) with Father Christmas, take your picture with him and give him your wish list in person! He will even let you take a very special present home to open early! Call fundraising on 0845 2255497 for more information or email Christmas Market entry free although some charges apply. Breakfast with Santa bookings only. £7 per child (under 6months old go free) and £3 per adult (Includes child’s gift).

Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre This year’s extremely popular Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre will take place on Saturday 3 December from 10 am until 5 pm. It will be opened as usual by the World’s Tallest Town Crier, Martin Wood. The Fayre is rich in seasonal atmosphere with a variety of stalls and entertainment for everyone. In the run-up to Christmas you will be able to shop and enjoy a variety of entertainment including music, street theatre, donkey rides, birds of prey, reptiles and snakes. Children will also be able to visit Santa in his Grotto at Holy Trinity Church. This fabulous day will come to a close with carols by candlelight in The Square.

Disabled Parking and Park & Ride facilities are available.

Further details for this exiting day can be found at:

Peace &Joy


At christmas


Snuggle up for winter with some of our cute and cuddly gift ideas. Perfect for little ones this Christmas.

Celebrate Christmas with us through worship, prayer & special events.

Telephone 01543 306100 Email Trentham Shopping Village Trentham ST4 8AX

T: 01782 646336 • E:

Open daily

10am - 5.30pm

Like us on Facebook Follow us on twitter @LichfieldCath

Christmas at Amerton Farm Come along to Amerton Farm this Christmas and enjoy our Traditional Christmas Fayre, take a look at our wonderful Christmas Gifts and Decorations and take a magical ride on Amerton Railway’s Santa Special. visit to see all information and events

Stowe by Chartley, Nr. Stafford, Staffordshire ST18 0LA Tel: 01889 270294

Fax: 01889 271242


facebook Amerton Farm

A great day out for everyone!

individual elegance… stockist


uniquely treasured Inspired Christmas Gifts 218 Trentham Shopping Village | Stone Road | Stoke on Trent | Staffordshire | ST4 8AX T: 01782 657 077 | E:

OCT Xmas16 PressAd 210x138mm.pdf





Shopping Vouchers every week in December! for more details

Here for you this Christmas with

great stores & 700 parking spaces at the heart of Burton

Join us for

Feel Fab Look Fab Christmas Fayre on the 2nd & 3rd December & live mall entertainment on the 10th & 17th December.


Celebrate Christmas at the Stone House Hotel. Contact our events team for more details on our superb Festive Events including: Party Nights New Years Eve Lunch with Santa Murder Mystery

Spend over ÂŁ75 for FREE UK DELIVERY

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Christmas Day Lunch and more‌ Special offers also available! 01785 815531


Established Family business for over 20 years Quality service, brands & advice at the best prices!!

Exciting furniture showroom now completed Fabulous new collections of furniture & bedding, car seats & prams will be arriving over the next few weeks giving you more choice than anywhere in Staffordshire. Keep looking on our facebook page where we will keep you informed.

Great deals on Mamas & Papas - try us first!

Icandy, Bugaboo, Babystyle Bebecar, Mamas & Papas Quinny Silvercross & many many more Opening Hours Monday to Saturday: 10-5pm Sunday: 11-4pm. 161-163 Victoria Street, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 6HA

01782 717513

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Dinner is ser ved. We all know the biggest event on the festive calendar is the Christmas day meal. So as we gather our nearest and dearest for the feast of the year, it’s only right that our table matches up!


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Emma Bridgewater Holly 1/2pt Mug £19.95 Daisy Park

3. 50 Sainsbur y’s


Cake Stand £18

Silicone Spoon £5.99 Kitchen Craft


Warm and homely, just like Christmas used to be.

Dinner is ser ved.

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Paper Pla ink

Swan Head Forks £19.50 M&S

Napkins £3.99 Candle & Cake

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Set of 8 £85 LSA at House of Fraser

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Marble Placemats, set of 2 £45 House of Fraser

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Beaded Coasters

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Leaf Dish £5.99 Wyevale Garden Centres

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Cocktail Tools 2 pack £25 M&S Sainsbury’s

Mug £1 Poundland


Box Office 01543 578 762



Twinkling with festivity

The Christmas Light Switch On - Wednesday 23 November - marks

start of festivities at Trentham. There’s simply nowhere better •theCarpets • Rugs than Trentham Shopping Village for Christmas shopping. With •FREE Vinyls • and Laminates parking a traditional village atmosphere, our shops and restaurants offer you a warm welcome every day including late night •shopping Cushion Floors until 8pm on Wednesdays from 30 November. Check out the details of our fun activities online at...

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Chasewater Country Park Christmas Fair and Lantern Parade

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Sunday 11TH December, from 10am – 4pm Come to Chasewater, enjoy our Christmas Fair, and stay to take part in the wonderful Lantern Parade around Chasewater. The lights sparkling off the water and the crisp twilight air bring the magic of Christmas to the biggest of Humbugs!

s, Hands-on flying experience in the heart of Cheshire. Be amazed as you put on the gauntlet & fly birds of prey. This is breath-taking!

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Stalls will be here full of wonderful Christmas food and drinks, and you will be able to buy unique gifts for under the tree, made by local crafters.


Father Christmas will be here in his Grotto, and will be delighted to meet all of the children, helped by his naughty Elf! It is £3.00 per child to include a gift.



£50 Per Person


In the weeks before the Lantern Parade, workshops will be held to make your own Lantern! Mince pies and hot drinks on hand to help your work, and you can then proudly carry your Lantern on 11th December! Lanterns are £5 each to make, and take around 2 hours. Dates for workshops will be announced nearer the time.

£99 Per Person


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With Christmas just around the corner, Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull has everything you need to ensure Santa brings your loved ones gifts to delight. However, if you’re in need of a little festive inspiration, here’s our guide to the must-have presents that will be topping everyone’s list this season...

(gift card)

to spend at Touchwood, Solihull

FOR KIDS 1. Junior Monopoly £12.99 John Lewis 2. Jolly Santa £7.50 Hotel Chocolat

Staffordshire Living has teamed up with Touchwood to give one lucky reader a £500 gift card to spend at the centre.


Q: Which iconic creature is making a return to Touchwood this Christmas?

1. Green Handbag £18 River Island 2. Onto Glitter Heels £68 Office

T FOR HIM 1. Tab Wallet £29.99 Superdry 2. MacBook from £1,049 Apple

ouchwood is also offering a host of fun festive activities this Christmas to help get everyone in the seasonal spirit, including the chance to meet the man himself at his exciting new grotto. Good boys and girls who come along between Saturday 19th November and Saturday 24th December will be able to meet Santa and his team of elves, as well as receive an early Christmas gift.

Touchwood’s iconic polar bear will also be making a return to the centre, along with a captivating magician. Younger guests will even be given the opportunity to write and decorate their letter to Santa with the help of his trusty elves and post straight to the North Pole in a special letter box. Guests can enjoy a relaxing shopping experience in Touchwood this Christmas thanks to extended opening hours during December. From Monday 12th December retailers will remain open until 9pm on weekdays and 8pm on Saturday 17th December. For further information and a full schedule of events visit or telephone 0121 709 6900.


For your chance to win a Touchwood gift card worth £500, simply navigate your way to the COMPETITIONS tab on www. to enter your answer, along with your name and address details. Or scan the barcode using your QR code reader on your mobile phone or tablet to go direct to the competitions page now! T&Cs: Closing date is 9am Friday 9th December 2016. The competition prize will consist of a £500 gift card to spend at any shop within Touchwood, Solihull, excluding Kuoni, Coast to Coast, Greggs, Newsflow, Wannado, The Salon, Tinc, Krispy Kreme and Chimichanga. One winner only. Gift card must be redeemed within 12 months of the issue date. Prize is non-exchangeable and non-refundable. Winners will be contacted within one week of closing by Touchwood representatives to arrange prize giving. For a full set of Staffordshire Media competitions Terms and Conditions please see page 9. The gift card winner agrees and accepts the terms and conditions of use in relation to the gift card All products subject to availability. Prices correct at time of print.




LIVING Reports On Must-have Accessories For AW16, Be a Party Diva On NYE, Men and Fashion, and Tame Your Mane With These Awesome Hair Tools

£90 Dune


three french hens Channel your Parisian chic this Christmas and store your phone and lippy in this cute caption clutch.

a partridge in a pear tree

£45 Miss Selfridge

Keep your party scent light and fresh with this delicious mix of just-ripe pears and white freesia. Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Cologne 100ml £86 For nearest stockist please go to

t wo tur tle doves Accessorize any outfit with these sweet little doves from Vivienne Westwood.

four ca l ling birds

Vivienne Westwood Paloma Earrings £99 available at



Christmas is the season of impulsive calls to long lost friends and relatives. Never miss an opportunity to meet-up with this functional clutch with builtin phone charger.



LOOKS OF CHRISTMAS On the first dance of Christmas…

With party season in full swing and many a date pencilled into your diary for sipping champagne and sashaying on the dancefloor, LIVING has taken inspiration from the Christmas Carol ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ to round up our favourite partywear pieces.

six geese a-laying This gorgeous bird print maxi skirt from M&S will flatter any shape. Keep it simple but elegant on top with a colour matching cut-out body suit.

£18 Dorothy Perkins

f ive gold rings If you can’t wear gold at Christmas then really, whenever can you? Gold Pleated Dress £65 Dorothy Perkins

£59 M&S

seven swans a-swimming Glamourize your keys with this adorable fluffy swan keyring. £70 House of Fraser


STYLE £64 Pure Collection

nine ladies dancing Now is the time to put on your dancing shoes. Don’t forget those gel soles and you’ll be able to party all night long!

£65 Dorothy Perkins

£35 ASOS

£90 Dune

£25 Miss Selfridge

eight ma ids a-milking

Twinkle Toes Gel Cushions £4.50

Match these velvet pinafore culottes with a silk plaid shirt and towering stilettos for the ultimate textured look.

eleven pipers piping Super-skinnies work wonders if you’re heading out for a casual drink after work. Add a t-shirt with pipe-like detailing and throw on a blazer to keep it cool and chic. £42 River Island


5T op


£45 ASOS Petite

£30 ASOS Petite

t welve drummers drumming Bang the festive drum and stride out in this stylish stripped shirt and matching drumshaped bag.

ten lords a-leaping Channel your inner lord of the dance with a tailored pair of shorts and matching blazer. This brilliant shade of silver will have you standing out on the dancefloor among many a floaty dress.


£35 Next


Armani Collezioni • Armani Jeans • Barbour • Belstaff • Boutique Moschino • By Malene Birger • Canada Goose Coach • Diane Von Furstenberg • Eton • Fabiana Filippi • Gant • Hackett • Hugo Boss • J Brand • Karl Donoghue Marc Cain • Marella • Max Mara Studio • Michael Kors • Max & Moi • Paul Smith • Riani • Sam Edelman • Sand Stuart Weitzman • UGG • Weekend Max Mara • 7 For All Mankind • 360 Sweater and more. . .

YOUNG IDEAS LICHFIELD NOW OPEN MONDAY - SATURDAY 9.30am - 5.30pm SUNDAYS 10.30am - 4.30pm 9 Irongate DERBY DE1 3AL 01332 291478

10 St John Street ASHBOURNE DE6 1GH 01335 342095

31 Bore Street LICHFIELD WS13 6LZ 01543 255020

YO U N G IDEAS Lichfield

Award winning luxury fashion retailer Young Ideas has opened a new store in Lichfield. The store offers a thoughtfully selected range of collections from the world’s top luxury fashion brands including Armani, Belstaff, By Malene Birger, Diane von Furstenberg, Hugo Boss, Max Mara, Paul Smith, Stuart Weitzman and many more.


t 31 Bore Street, Lichfield,Young Ideas has taken over from Cure, which has been run by local business woman Anna Riley. After 11 years Anna has decided to move on to new projects and has encouraged Young Ideas to take her place in the town: “I feel that Young Ideas are the perfect people to move the store to the next chapter. I have built up strong relationships with many customers over the years and I feel confident Young Ideas will enhance the offer and take care of the customer experience here.”.

Young Ideas has been a luxury fashion destination for nearly fifty years. The origins of the company date back to 1967 when designers were first developing global aspirations and Young Ideas was at the forefront of this evolution. The Lichfield store on Bore street will be the third in the group.Young Ideas’ 4000 sq ft ‘destination’ flagship store is within the historic Greenman building, a 17th century coaching inn, in the Georgian market town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. It offers a wide range of designer collections for men and women as well as a Designer Sale Room, and with sister store ‘Henmores’ also within the Greenman premises offering clothing from top lifestyle brands including Dubarry, Joules, Barbour, Hunter, Seasalt and more. In 2011 Young Ideas opened their store in the Cathedral Quarter in Derby selling designer womenswear. Young Ideas is a leader in fashion retail. They were winners of the Drapers ‘Premium Fashion Independent of the Year’ award in 2014. In 2013 they received the Drapers ‘Womenswear Independent of the Year’ as well as scooping the coveted overall ‘Independent Retailer of the Year’. The move to Lichfield is an exciting development for the business, as it aims to increase its accessibility to people in the South Staffordshire and Birmingham area. Owner Anne Wright says, ‘We are thrilled to have opened in Lichfield. It is a beautiful city and we are excited to become part of the community as a destination for people who are as passionate for fashion as we are.’

‘Across all of our stores we pride ourselves in offering a welcoming and positive customer experience and have a thoughtfully selected range of collections from the world’s top luxury fashion brands. We specialise in personal shopping and look forward to building long standing and trusting relationships with our customers.’ The Lichfield store has opened with a wide range of designer Womenswear, and the company has plans to introduce Menswear and a Designer Sale Room in the very near future. The new store is open Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm and Sunday 10.30am – 4.30pm.

Young Ideas S T O R E I N F O R M AT I O N : Lichfield - 31 Bore Street Lichfield WS13 6LZ, 01543 255020 Ashbourne - 10 St John Street Ashbourne DE6 1GH, 01335 342095 Derby - 9 Irongate Derby DE1 3AL, 01332 291478 Facebook, Instagram, Twitter as Young Ideas Fashion


WHAT TO WEAR NOW It’s the season of layers and oh boy are we happy about this in the LIVING office. We’re highlighting the five trends to pay attention to for the season ahead. From a new way to wear those trusty ankle boots to a designer-style steal, here’s what to wear right now.


£45 French Connection

£28 ASOS

Lips in Beguiled £8 Topshop

£49 Phase Eight

£115 Dune


wine not Once again we’re gravitating towards those deliciously dark wine tones; burgundy, merlot and oxblood at this time of year. Winter without an appearance of this decadent shade just wouldn’t be winter to us. We’re drinking – and wearing – red wine for the foreseeable future.


nd r Isla


Pictured from left to right: £69 Faith at Debenhams £159 Zara £45 Dorothy Perkins £35 ASOS £85 Miss Selfridge

£795 Topshop

£1245 Stella McCartney available at Harvey Nichols

£165 La Redoute

fa ncy f lora l feet


So the leaves have turned both the ground and the skies into a kaleidoscope of burnt orange, vibrant yellows and rust and yes, we’re certainly lacking in flora at this time of year but that doesn’t mean our footwear can’t play a part in bringing back those familiar florals of the past season. Beautifully embroided boots etched out with silk petals and intricately threaded flowers are easily our favourite trend for A/W. An ankle boot for the new season is a must but this time it looks and feels much different. We’re sticking to those pretty patterns we grew so attached to in summer and reimaging them for winter.

£89 Miss Selfridge £99 M&S £149 Monsoon

all the trimmings


From a subtle faux-fur trim to an all-out fuzzy throw-on, this season’s coat is taking warm and cosy to a whole other level. £85 Whistles

£25 Very


£250 Whistles

£25 Simply Be

£22.99 New Look

we’d j u m p t h r ou g h h o o p s for t hese Ch loe-esque bags ^

A designer handbag will always be on our lust-list whatever the weather but when we’re changing things up so frequently to keep ahead of the trends what’s the harm in raiding the high street for designer-inspired arm candy?

bright ways for dark days The hours of sunlight are at an all-time low between now and the next few months so holding on to a pop of colour is vital. A bright hue in any simple ensemble can put some much-needed colour back into your complexion during those long winter days.

£75 House of Fraser

£17.50 M&S

£159 Hobbs



p a r t y DIVA !

T h e H a i r

It’s that time of year again when we dust off our sparkly shoes, squeeze into our little black dress and head off to the final party of the festive season. It’s New Year's Eve but have you got the hair and makeup to match? Here’s how to get the ultimate all-over party look for your year-end celebrations.

No matter what the length or texture of your hair we have a party perfect ‘do’ just for you! This season it’s all about keeping hair styles natural, simple and pretty, making your party prep that much easier.


A-listers are going crazy for this super simple and elegant style. It’s easy to do and can mask even the worst episode of a bad hair day. Perfect for taking your look from day to night.

Get the look: Sweep all of your hair up into a high ponytail at the top of your head and secure it with a small band. Either work your hair into a bun by hand or use a handy donut shaper to create your knot. Tame any pesky flyaways with a finishing cream for an ultra-sleek look.

Revlon Professional Style Masters Curly Orbital £10.60

John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Agent Touch Up Crème £5.99



Super chic and sophisticated, you can pull this look off with a ponytail, side chignon or simply brush it back and leave it down for a bang-on-trend style.

Get the look: Apply a soft gel to the roots and work through the top section of your hair to create a wet look, comb out into your style of choice. Lee Stafford Wet look Gelee £7.99


If you have naturally curly hair, this is the season to let it loose. Keep curls defined and avoid frizz to create that perfect bounce that will be the envy of all your fellow party go-ers.

Get the look: After washing, apply a curl enhancing and frizz taming product to your hair. Wind small or medium sections of hair around your finger to map out your curls and leave to air dry.

It’s hard not to have heard of the contouring craze, every celebrity from Kim Kardashian to Dame Helen Mirren has nailed it and, let’s face it, wouldn’t attend a red carpet event without doing it.


Fringes are an instant style makeover, perfect for creating that wow factor when you make an entrance at a party.

Get the look: Update your look with a choppy layered fringe rather than a fuller blunt style. Add a pretty clip to pull your hair back from your face for a more relaxed look. Set of 3 Hair Slides £6 Accessorize

It’s a miraculous mix of highlighting, blending and sculpting to structure and soften our features, giving us the appearance of higher cheekbones, a slimmer nose and a well- defined chin, and leaving us with a photo-friendly flawless finish, perfect for the festive party season. Unfortunately, unless you have Charlotte Tilbury on speed dial, it’s a makeup trick we know we should do but just don’t know how to. No7 Advisor Rachel Parish says: “Contouring is one of those really easy make-up techniques that seems difficult to achieve because of all the celebrity hype!” G E T YO U R

D T R E N A L E R T ! Hair jewellery was massive on the AW16 catwalks. Sparkly clips and bands, as well as pretty flowers and print accessories have all got a massive thumbs up. Great news for all our hair – from crop cuts to long tresses - so enjoy!


T h e

M a k e u p

Well we’ve broken it down into 5 simple steps just for Living readers! Here’s the contour workshop you’ve been waiting for: 1. To achieve the look, you will need to use your existing foundation as a base. Your contour colour is a darker shade and your highlighter is a lighter shade. Using a makeup sponge like a beauty blender and a foundation brush will help you to get the look just right. 2. Starting with the darker shade, you need to apply this to the structure of your face to begin definition. “Using a brush, apply the contour powder to the hollows of your cheeks, jaw line, hairline and sides of your nose and chin.”- No7’s Rachel Parish. 3. Blend this colour into your existing foundation base using a slightly damp beauty blender in circular dabbing movements. 4. Next, you need to apply the highlighter and blend in any excess colour using a sponge. “Use the highlighter for the centre of the forehead, cheek and brow bones, your cupid’s bow and the bridge of your nose.”- Rachel Parish. 5. To set your makeup, you can use a loose translucent powder and lightly dust across your face with a powder brush. Technic Divine Contour Palette £3.50 www.

Rimmel Kate Moss Sculpting Palette £6.99

Filmstar Bronze & Glow £49 Hairbands £10 Oliver Bonas


- Charlotte Tilbury Hair Barrette £8 Accessorize


Sleek Cream & Contour Kit £10.99




Would you like to lift and tighten your skin naturally without surgery, needles or downtime?


iz and the team at Weston Cosmetic Clinic in Stoke-on-Trent is proud to offer the acclaimed non-surgical lifting procedure Ultherapy — the first treatment of its kind to lift skin on the neck, chin, décolletage and brow and stimulate your body’s own collagen building process for natural, noticeable results. This remarkable treatment helps to counteract the effects of time, gravity and sun exposure by using focussed ultrasound to stimulate collagen deep within the skin, lifting and tightening it naturally. Ultherapy is ideal for everyone whether you are looking to compliment your dermal filler and toxin treatments or if you are looking for a more natural approach to collagen stimulation.

The Facts...


After 360 days

• Scientifically proven – stimulates new collagen and elastin which can reverse the signs of ageing • Creates a lift that can last over a year • Treatment takes between 60-90 minutes • No downtime


After 180 days

All consultations are free of charge. We are currently offering a 20% discount on all Ultherapy treatments taken before the end of December 2016 – Please quote Staffordshire Living when booking to receive this offer.

Weston Cosmetic Clinic, 340 Weston Road, Weston Coyney, Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire, ST3 6EZ

Tel: 01782 461079

PS by Paul Smith AJ Armani Jeans Marella Bitte Kia Rand Part Two Wolford Tights Penny Black 36 High Street, Eccleshall, Staffordshire ST21 6BZ Tel: 01785 850030



HE WEARS IT WELL If you’re changing up your look for a new season or you’re simply looking for inspiration for what’s to come with men’s AW16 style, LIVING covers all bases on what this season is shaping up to look like. From fashion must-haves to facial hair; this is your style, your way.

£25 M&S

£395 Jigsaw

Debenhams Hammond & Co. Watch £150 Debenhams

Pocket square £6 Burton’s

D o n D r a p e r E a t Yo u r Heart Out

£35 Burton Collar Stiffeners £10 House of Fraser £89 COS £95 Dune


This man is a dapper chap with a slick style to give even Don Draper himself a run for his money. Not a hair out of place nor an unstarched collar in sight; a man who dresses like this means business. A dress sense like this takes some commitment but don’t be fooled in thinking you have to have the flash bank balance to match this persona. The high street is brilliant for scouting out stylish pieces to put together for this sharp look. A muted colour palette with all the staples; black, navy, grey and a dash of camel for good measure all work well when you’re pulling together an outfit. Even casual tailoring works to keep this style as streamlined as possible while still being a realistic outfit choice for every day living.

Scarf £9 H&M

STYLE Belt £20 Next

Jigsaw Merino Wool Sweater £99 Jaeger

Henry London Knightsbridge Black Leather Strap Watch £110 Amara

Off Duty £25 Next

£35 Next

Even on an ‘off’ day (which we all have every now and then) you can still bring a bit of style and substance to your attire and ensure you still look like ‘you’. We call this look off-duty but it is in fact your everyday outfit which is incredibly flexible when it comes to its wearability. It’s comfortable and casual but you still look pulled together when you simply pair smart and lightweight knitwear with a classic trench coat.

£65 Dune



£115 Whistles

g r o om i n g gu ide: FAQ Can men use women’s beauty products? For as long as they’ve been around, women have been helping themselves to men’s razors (because frankly, they’re far superior) but seldom have men reached into female territory when it comes to the bathroom cabinet. You will have no doubt ‘borrowed’ the odd blob of face cream before now or perhaps caught yourself without deodorant and had to reach for the other half’s antiperspirant as a last resort but that’s been as far as it goes, until now. As men are far more aware of their appearances and clued up on what eye cream to use, it’s no surprise that you've been dipping into your partner’s luxurious pots of moisturiser and stealing a squirt of expensive shampoos in the shower. The added cost of two people in a household having a beauty regime aside, is it right for a man to be using women’s products or should you shop for your own beauty stash? In many cases the answer is that a man should be shopping for his own beauty products and shouldn’t share with a woman. Why? In most instances the products are designed with a user in mind and skin texture and thickness is considered. Many female-based beauty products would have little-to-no effect on men’s skin as they tend to have thicker skin with more sebaceous glands which permits a product penetrating the skin as effectively.

If you’re a male with short hair then a fresh, zingy shampoo with peppermint or tea tree oil may suit you excellently. It works on the hair follicles to thoroughly cleanse your scalp, whereas this may be too stripping for a woman who has long hair and needs additional moisture from her shampoo, to keep hair from getting too dry and damaged. Face Cream Men’s skin tends to be thicker and has more collagen (which frustratingly means men won’t show those tell-tale signs of ageing quite as early as women) which means they may need a tougher, heavier cream than those most popular among women. Men’s skin is also oilier too. These differences in skin all come from our biology. Androgens are the hormones that make men, men. They are the cause of a man’s deeper voice and facial and body hair. Androgens also produce more sebum, which makes skin oily and thus better protected and resilient than women’s thinner skin. The busy man’s guide to grooming: When we’re in a rush and need to get ready in a flash, we all have our fail-safe products to reach for to speed things up and know we’ll still look and feel ready for the day ahead. Streamlining your kit with just a few products can help speed up a morning routine and save you money. Not unfamiliar or surprising, a good FACE CREAM

can work wonders on tired-looking skin so once you’ve found a formula that sinks into the skin with no irritation – stick to it. Second to a good moisturiser is EYE CREAM. The skin around our eyes is thin and delicate so is often first to show the signs of fatigue. A lot of men tend to prefer a roll-on formula and this certainly helps with the ease and convenience to simply roll on and be done. Face dealt with, you will want to tend to your hair before leaving the house. Be it a GEL, POMADE or WAX, some sort of hair-styling paste will calm unruly hair filled with bedkinks and afford you another day without having to wash your hair. Job done! Beard maintenance: Like the hair on your head which is partial to conditioner, facial hair needs a little TLC every now and then too. Products for beards aren’t that uncommon nowadays seeing as male grooming has been up on the rise. First and foremost, as you’re growing a beard you must resist the urge to trim anything as you’re letting it grow. Like growing out a bad haircut, it can be a painful process but you must persevere. You can use oils to tame it and keep it looking (and smelling) fresh. You can also ‘train’ your beard to keep its shape and combing your beard down (yes, really) will encourage the hair to grow in that direction to keep strays at bay. B. Men Post Shave Balm £5.99 Superdrug


Shampoos & Conditioners It’s clichéd to assume that all men have a washand-go approach to their hair but that said,

different shampoos do tend to work better for men than they do for women.


The Product: Remington Curl Revolution The Price: £89.99 Yes, we can pretty much all create some sort of wave or curl in our hair nowadays with a trusty flat iron but you can’t beat the look and lasting power from a classic curler. Available at Boots


The Product: The Waving Wand The Price: £99.95 On the curl scale you have poodle on one end and a relaxed, undone wave on the other. The latter territory is right where you will find yourself with this waving wand. The wide barrel creates just the right amount of texture for a hint of kink. Available at

The Product: Cordless Hair Straightener The Price: £69.99 The hair-styling gods have answered our prayers and we present to you a cordless hair straightener. Who hasn’t been caught out by torrential downpour and left sporting a frizzy head of hair for the rest of the day? These on-the-go straighteners are so small and compact you could carry these around with you if you have unruly hair and take your style serious! Available at Argos ^


The Product: Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer The Price: £299.99 What makes one hairdryer better than the rest? And is there more to this innovative hair technology beyond its hefty price tag? Well, actually, yes. Dyson, of vacuum-fame has put its air technology into action to create a superior piece of hair styling which dries hair faster and is incredibly lightweight (so no more fiddling around the back of your head with a brush and a strained wrist using heavy equipment). Less time drying your hair = less damage. Available at John Lewis ^


The Product: BaByliss Diamond Smoothing Brush The Price: £80 A paddle brush which smooths and straightens as you run it though your hair? Genius!

Wishing to recreate that just-left-the-salon feeling with your hair after every wash? Utilising the right tools and some clever brush techniques will help you on your way through the highs and lows of hair-story.

The Product: Philips Lumea SC2007 IPL Hair Removal for Face and Body The Price: £449.99 OK, so it’s not as much a tool which makes our hair look neat but it removes it altogether. Ever dreamt of never having to shave again or wax your ‘tache? Et voila. This is the tool for you to tackle unsightly hair. Available at Boots





YOU HOW TO FIND TRUE LOVE THIS CHRISTMAS Say ‘Yes’ To Party Season, Warming You Up For Winter, Why Movember Is So Important For Men, Hearing Loss Awareness, 2017 Horoscopes, and Are You Allergic To Winter?




...good things are going to happen

A re we letting social a n xiet y r uin our festive fun? How many times have we decided that an early night is a much better option to getting glammed up and heading out for drinks, a works do or a party? It’s cold outside, you’re trying to save money, you’ve definitely got nothing to wear and that episode of Mad Men might not be up on Netflix tomorrow. These are all likely excuses and we are all guilty of throwing them around one too many times in favour of a night on the sofa. The thing is, it’s party season and it’s the time of year when we should all embrace the dance floor, not be shying away from it. We should be saying a big fat ‘yes’ to all the invites we can, cutting loose and throwing some shapes, because if you can’t do it at Christmas, then when can you? So as we move into the joyous jam packed months of November and December, how can we avoid coming down with a bout of social jitters? And, if we do get the heebie jeebies about an event or gathering marked in the calendar, how can we prescribe the right kind of feelings and actions to help us to get through it?


The fea r of fea r Back in the day, if you felt overly awkward at events, it was put down to 'just being a bit on the shy quite side'. Which is true, in the most part, but nowadays, in its most extreme sense, you can be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, which, according to the NHS, “is a persistent and overwhelming fear of social situations.” But when we talk about this form of social phobia, it is much more than shyness, it’s more intense, more crippling and more encompassing. Those activities we take for granted like going to the shops, talking on the phone, or answering the door, can be an extremely difficult and stressful experience. For people with severe social anxiety disorder going to the office Christmas party wouldn’t even come into question. It just wouldn’t happen. A spokesperson for North Staffs Mind comments: “Social anxiety is one of the most common and yet unspoken about mental health issues we come across, and while dealing with a fear of social interaction on a day-to-day basis can be challenging, the situation is intensified at Christmas time. Even individuals who show no signs of anxiety throughout the year can find their resolve tested as they attempt to create the illusive ‘perfect Christmas’ or feel pressure to attend multiple festive gatherings.”

YOU Staying Connected We’re so easily connected at home that staying in has kind of become the new going out. Our obsession with social media, online networking, and the ability to Face Time our favourite people at the touch of a button has made us all a little bit lazier when it comes to accepting invites for actual face to face connection.


or a lot of us, while we’re not considered to have social anxiety disorder, we still feel anxious about experiencing certain social situations, especially during the ‘socially’ busier times of year like Christmas, but why? We have good jobs, a great group of friends, a family who loves us and in the most part we handle being social well. Don’t we deserve a few late nights? What has got us all so worried? Sometimes the fear that we leave ourselves slightly abash, lose control or say the wrong things can far outweigh the need to have fun. For others, the idea of organised fun, the type of fun which often comes with a corporate function, is just too much to deal with and the mere suggestion of a meet-up outside of work sends our minds into overdrive. Are we so intent on avoiding any potential cringe moments that we simply just don’t bother? A poll conducted by Mind revealed that one in four adults in the UK feels anxious about social gatherings during the festive period, using sickness, a lack of childcare, or even pretending to get lost on the way to avoid a staff party as an excuse not to go. Most of us will have had instances where we have made our excuses not to attend a night out – whether it’s through work, or with family and friends – maybe we don’t see the point of going along to an event or you are just not in the mood when the day arrives, but how important is it for us to push ourselves to go and are we fighting a losing battle if we simply give in to our fears and retract back to our comfort zone sofa?

And if you thought it was just the more mature among us who swerve the opportunity of a night out, you’d be wrong. Most millennials nowadays also prefer a night in to going out clubbing. The Guardian recently ran a study which found 66% of the young people it targeted prefer a night in to going out. We are no longer a society which has to mingle when we are single, you can do that by swiping through photos (see our plus one article on pages 76 & 77), and popular TV shows like Great British Bake Off and Come Dine With Me have made it more acceptable for us to spend our evenings at home - be it cooking up a delightful dinner for the neighbours or perfecting our very own ginger bread castle. As a nation, we are more tired and more overworked than ever before and as we get older we have more personal responsibilities to think about. In fact, parents in the West Midlands especially are considered one of the busiest in the country, according to new research by children’s haircare brand, Vosene Kids, which states that working parents carry out 23 tasks on a typical school day, 10 before even leaving the house, everything from waking the kids up to sorting their calendar to highlight a classmate’s birthday. Perhaps we just don’t have the time to go out anymore and our concerns about getting things right in our daily lives leave little room for anything else, let alone enjoying ourselves. What’s more, going out involves a lot more organisation and effort than staying in. Let’s face it, we can Skype in our pyjamas and we can tweet in bed. Food and drink can be expensive and then there are taxi fares to think about… So in the spirit of Christmas, we at Living say let’s fully embrace the party season this year. You never know what’s going to happen, who you are going to meet and where you will end up. Turn that frown upside down and follow our guide on being a party go-er and not a party pooper!

Face the PA RT Y

Check your mood! If you’ve got a dinner date in the evening and by lunchtime you’d rather crawl under the covers than engage in any kind of communication with other people, take action! Go for a walk, have a nap, read your favourite book or run the bath – do something to reinvigorate your senses and motivate your mind. Get back in the social zone. If you have a tendency to let yourself go... after one too many free glasses of fizz, think on. Line your stomach before you go out and take it steady. It may be a free bar but that doesn’t mean you have to drink twice as much! Are you looking to progress in your career? Missing out on drinks with colleagues after work might make you feel less awkward but if the boss turns up last minute handing out promotions, you’ll feel worse at the office the next day. You might just meet your new best friend. It’s good to see people outside the confines of the office just as it is healthy to meet and talk to your best friends regularly. Don’t get complacent with relationships because you can’t face attending a catch up dinner. The more you socialise, the more things you will have to talk about, and the better you will feel.

 D o n’t fo r g e t t o fo l l ow S t a f fo r d s h i r e L i v i n g o n Tw i t t e r, I n s t a g r a m a n d Fa c e b o o k @s t a f f s l i v i n g fo r u p d a t e s . We’ll be sharing photos from our Christmas party so please send us yours. Have a good night!

Don’t let yourself get overcome with worry, try these simple tips to feel better about a night out you have planned. 1. Plan your night and how you’ll get there. If you have an exit strategy

you won’t be wondering how you are going to get home all evening, freeing your mind up to enjoy the flowing conversation.

3. Be positive and make an effort. It might sound hard but if schmoozing doesn’t come naturally, have a think about what you have to say beforehand so you don’t get stuck in an awkward silence with your co-worker.

2. Look the part, feel the part. Think about your outfit so you don’t feel

4. Have a drink and relax, whether it’s a cup of tea or a

uncomfortable during the evening. Take a jacket or cardigan that you can easily remove if you get too hot and have a general idea of the dress code for the evening in advance; if it’s party dresses and suits, don’t go in jeans and you won’t stand out.

glass of wine. Go with the flow. 5. Don’t go overboard. If you are usually fairly reserved around the office,

grabbing your boss for a twerking session at the Christmas party probably won’t result in an end of year bonus but will certainly get you talked about.



a re you

ALLERGIC t o w i nt er?

There’s plenty to love about winter. Christmas falls in the middle, it’s skiing season, our wardrobe changes and the anticipation of snow, but do you find yourself suffering more than most at this time of year? Winter can affect our mind, body and soul. Darker nights, freezing temperatures and the constant drizzle can leave us feeling low but LIVING’s got the remedies to help bring you up.


MIND When winter comes around, we all find ourselves craving a few more home comforts and feeling a little lazier than usual. In fact, according to The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association, around 21% of us have mild symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the “winter blues” at this time of the year. There’s plenty we can do to combat these feelings though and Nicky Roeber, Online Horticultural Specialist at Wyevale Garden Centres, says gardening is just the ticket to lift our mood. “Getting into gardening is easy, and you don’t even need access to an outdoor space or a greenhouse to enjoy it. Enjoyment and fulfilment can be achieved simply by growing some easy low-maintenance plants indoors, and there are plenty of these to choose from. Fruits and vegetables like lemons, carrots, and lettuces can be grown in containers and will provide a healthy source of food. Even just filling your home with some green house plants can have psychological benefits and may improve your indoor air quality.” Starting your day right can also help beat the winter blues. Simple daily rituals can have a massive effect on your mood and put a smile on your face when you need it most. Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at recommends opening your curtains as soon as you wake up, eating eggs for breakfast and taking the right supplements will all contribute to a brighter day.


Dry skin: Our skin is at a higher risk of drying out in winter because of the cold weather outside and the heating inside, especially our hands. If they get too dry, they can become chapped and can be painful and sore. Wear gloves outside and pack a good moisturiser with you wherever you go. Joint pain: It’s not just the elderly who suffer with joint pain; at this time of the year we can all feel stiff and lethargic. How many times do you step outside and feel the cold right in your bones! Enjoy a few more hot baths than usual, add extra blankets at night and stock up on your thermals. The whole family can also benefit from taking a supplement of cod liver oil too. Dry eyes: Our eyes are often hit hard by the changing season and we don’t always treat it the way we should. “Dry eye is a condition that can affect anyone, and many suffer with the symptoms thinking that it’s just a natural part of winter,” says expert Optometrist, Sarah Farrant. Cold winds, dry central heating, too many glasses of mulled wine and even natural Christmas trees can all set our eyes off. Eye drops and pads can be a real help to keep eyes hydrated and fresh.

Sometimes all you need to lift your spirits are the people you love and the things you love. Read a good book, flick through a magazine, eat your favourite food, listen to your song, hug a friend and have a catch up over coffee. It’s surprising how much the simple things in life help us get through the tough times. Sleep more too. Most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep each night, according to the NHS. If you need to get up earlier, go to bed earlier. Stick to a bedtime routine, avoid drinking lots of caffeine and alcohol and wind down properly before jumping into the sack. Aromatherapy can help you to sleep better as well as enhance your general mood and well-being. Try a few drops of lavender on your pillow before you sleep or spray a citrus based oil in the air and take a sniff when you feel an afternoon slump coming along. Sweet Dreams Pillow Mist £12.95/100ml Tisserand Aromatherapy


“Sunlight or bright daylight stimulates our body’s production of serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’. So the dark and dull days of winter can easily deplete your serotonin levels, making you feel low, sluggish and tired. Do what you can to maximise your natural light exposure. Eggs are a great source of protein, which when broken down in the body will make amino acids and these are then used to make neurotransmitters to help keep our mood balanced, (and) try taking high-quality probiotics to restore your intestinal flora and include fermented foods in your daily diet. Think: kefir, pickles, sauerkraut or miso.”

Winter takes its toll on our bodies too. Dry skin, chapped lips, aching joints, dry eyes and a constant cold – these are the likely complaints we hear on a regular basis.


Hand and Wrist Clinic at Spire Little Aston Hospital Patients in the Midlands now have fast access to a dedicated team of consultants and specialist physiotherapists. The Hand and Wrist Clinic at Spire Little Aston Hospital treats: • Sports Injuries • Dupuytren’s Contracture • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Osteoarthritis • Trigger Finger Evening and weekend appointments are available.

Whether you’re insured or paying for yourself, simply contact us to be seen quickly by the consultant of your choice:

0121 580 7119

or visit

SEALED WITH A CHRISTMAS KISS It’s Plus One season and if you’re looking for love, now’s the time to mingle.

The dating ga me ♥♥♥♥♥

Finding love is not what it used to be. Romantic glances across a room, token gestures and love notes are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, we’re more likely to find a date online than at the library, in the park or down at the local pub. With an estimated 50 million users on the dating app, Tinder, there are more singletons online than ever before, and what was once reserved as a last resort has now become a necessity of the dating game. Gone are the weekly socials, singles nights and speed dating events we attended in the hope of spotting a new love interest. Instead, we squeeze in a quick half-hour on the sofa, swiping through potential partners until we find someone we like the look of. Using websites and apps has certainly become a more convenient way to seek out potential partners, especially if we need a date for the office Christmas party, but is it the best way to find a lasting relationship? Almost half of women subscribed to an online dating app use it to catch their partners out, with 13% of members using them to find a one night stand, according to a YouGov survey by online dating app, Ciao. Just 20% are trying to find someone to settle down

with, and alarmingly, around 18% of 18-24 year olds believe dating apps are just for sex! Are these time-saving digital services actually changing the way we think about and act in relation to dating, and are users even looking for true love in the first place? That is not to say online dating is wrong, quite the contrary, one in four relationships now start online, according to YouGov (June 2013), and services like and e-harmony have perfected a system, which links members to each other based on common likes, hobbies and interests., for example, has been responsible for more than half a million relationships and 228,719 marriages since its launch in 1995. Reassuringly, for those of us who are a stickler for tradition, most of us still believe that we’ll find ‘The One’ through family and friends. So, as our diaries get booked up with festive nights out, parties and Boxing Day buffets, singles might just meet the person they have been waiting for – are you ready for a Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy moment?

Online dating is a more convenient way to seek out potential partners but is it the best way to find a lasting relationship? 76

Roma nce i nspi r i ng quot es ♥♥♥♥♥

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” Dr. Seuss ♥

“Sometimes I look at you and wonder how I got to be so lucky” thelovenotebook.tumblr via Pinterest ♥

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever." The Notebook ♥


“In case you ever foolishly forget: I am never not thinking of you.” Virginia Woolf

Bridget Jones’s Diary is available to own now on DVD © 2001 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved ^

With all this magic in the air, it’s nice to have someone special to share it with and as Christmas is officially Plus One season, there is no better time to find them.


Everything is more magical at Christmas, isn’t it? The world blossoms into a pretty wonderland as decorations line our streets and homes. Cold wintery nights are made more tolerable with beautiful light displays, and everyone gets just a little bit happier, thanks to the knowledge that party season is well and truly on its way.


HOW TO find lasting love this Christmas

Most of us still believe that we’ll find ‘The One’ through family and friends.

Just say yes! Get out and about as much as possible over Christmas, and think of every event as a potential love-finding scenario. Make a little extra effort because if you look your best, you’ll feel your best and that will radiate off you to other singles. Dating coach and author, India King* says: “There are always lots of events going on over the festive season from Christmas markets, outdoor ice skating to carols by candlelight.” If you do meet someone, don’t be afraid to make the first move. Invite them for a drink, make conversation and if you are really feeling lucky, take some mistletoe in your pocket to secure that all important Christmas kiss! Be yourself Don’t be shy about giving away your best qualities. Know what you want people to like about you and show them off. It could be your killer legs, your love of travelling or the book you can’t put down. If you find it hard to mingle at social gatherings, find a friend or relative who you can walk around with to help to ease the situation for you. Be focused in group conversations and listen out for common interests. It’ll save you from getting stuck in awkward small talk with someone you don’t really click with. “If you are invited to any parties or gatherings, go solo or with one friend only. It’s harder for other singletons to approach you when you’re in a big group.” says India.

Date n ig ht prep ♥♥♥♥♥

Go the extra mile and make yourself look and feel fabulous for your date! It is Christmas after all!



Get a haircut. Give yourself an instant makeover and trim back those wispy edges and smarten up your designer stubble.

Pamper yourself. Get your nails done, style your hair and rejuvenate your skin with a deep cleansing facial. Dress up. Reach for your little black dress out of the closet or buy something new. If you don’t normally wear dresses, give it a try. Christmas is the perfect excuse.

Treat yourself to new threads. A smart dinner jacket doesn’t have to be over-the-top expensive but it’ll make you feel top dollar. Find a new seductive scent. A woman wants a man to look good but smell divine! Invest in a new aftershave and you’ll thank us later!

Accessorise. Sparkle with Christmas charm and add glam to your look with a pair of dazzling earrings. You’ll feel like the belle of the ball and your partner will be proud as punch!

Pocket Square £10 River Island

£30 Primark

£49 Very

£6 Next

Steady goes it If you do find yourself on a first date this Christmas, that’s great, but don’t expect fireworks straight away. Manage your own expectations so that you don’t feel deflated when you get home. First dates are a nerve-racking experience for anyone, so don’t let it put you off if it didn’t go as well as you had hoped. If you felt a connection and the attraction is there, then give them another try. It is likely to be a much more relaxed conversation second-time round. Past, present and future The older we get the more personal baggage we carry around with us. Remember that everyone has a past, including you. Don’t be afraid to talk openly about previous relationships, it might deepen the connection between you both if you share similar experiences. Talk about your hopes and fears for the future, no matter what stage of life you are at – it’ll make sure you are both heading in the same direction. Do it yourself! “Maybe consider hosting your own festive singles party”, says India. “A great way to ensure an equal mix of males and females is to ask your guests to bring along another singleton of the opposite sex.” If you are single and ready to mingle this Christmas, smile and enjoy it! Make it a fun experience and take full advantage of the opportunity to meet new people, try new activities and discover more about yourself.

£30 Very


Hugo Boss The Scent EDT 50ml £46.50 The Fragrance Shop

Post Shave Balm £7.50 White Stuff


Rio Sonicleanse Pure Facial Cleansing and Exfoliating Brush £99.99 Argos

*India Kang is a dating and relationship coach and author of two bestselling books ‘Why Men Ask Dumb Dating Questions,’ and ‘How to Date – Single Girls’ Dating Manual.’ India is married and lives in Solihull. •


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The two types of

CAN YOU HEAR CLEAR? Find you’re turning the volume up on the tele more often? Having to ask those around you to repeat themselves? Suddenly aware of a constant buzzing noise in your ear? These are all tell-tale signs that your hearing may be off key. In many cases it’s completely normal and nothing much to worry about as we simply accept that our bodies change as we age but recognising the signs and symptoms of hearing loss can help you should you suspect your hearing isn’t up to scratch.

There are currently 163,500 people living in Staffordshire who are deaf or are living with hearing loss.

There are currently 163,500 people living in Staffordshire who are deaf or are living with hearing loss and the UK’s largest hearing loss charity, Action on Hearing Loss is urging these residents in Staffordshire to tell their GP what support they need to help them communicate. This public plea comes alongside NHS England’s mandatory Accessible Information Standard, which came in to force on 31st July this year, and outlines a set of requirements that all NHS and adult social care providers across England must meet by law to ensure everyone can understand the information being re-laid to them. The charity’s Access All Areas research found that most people with hearing loss were forced to struggle with the phone or go in person to book appointments for lack of other options such as online booking. One in seven had missed an appointment because they hadn’t heard their name called out in the waiting room. Furthermore, more than a quarter had said they didn’t understand their diagnosis after seeing their GP, and two thirds of those needing a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter didn't get one. Dr Roger Wicks, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “This is a huge step forward for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss. From simply booking appointments to fully understanding what has been said in the consulting room, many have struggled to enjoy full, equal access to healthcare.” If you are short of hearing or suspect someone around you may be there are signs to look out for which can help reach a diagnosis.

hearing loss There are two distinctive types of hearing loss which can be identified by certain symptoms and what an individual’s specific complaints are, however some people find a mixture of the two sets of signs affect their hearing.

S E N S OR I N E U R A L hearing loss

C ON DUC T I V E hearing loss

What does this mean? The most common type of hearing loss is known as sensorineural hearing loss. It is a permanent hearing loss that occurs when there is damage to either the tiny hair-like cells of the inner ear or the auditory nerve itself, which prevents or weakens the transfer of nerve signals to the brain impacting on your ability to hear clearly.

What does this mean? A less common type of hearing loss is conductive hearing loss, which occurs when there is an obstruction or damage to the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from being conducted to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss may be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause, but there are treatments to help counteract this hearing loss in many cases.

How is this hearing loss caused? Sensorineural hearing loss is noise-induced hearing loss most commonly coming from repeated exposure to loud noise or sounds. In most cases, this type of hearing loss is environmental but is also something which frequently occurs as we age and our bodies naturally decline and deteriorate. What are the symptoms? • Noises may seem too loud or too quiet • Difficulty following a conversation when two or more people are speaking at the same time • Problems listening in noisy environments • Difficulty hearing women’s or children’s voices (as they are naturally higher in pitch and therefore harder to hear clearly) • Certain speech sounds are difficult to hear during conversations (e.g. the “s” or “th” sound) • Speech of others may seem slurred or mumbled • A consistent ringing or buzzing in the ears • A feeling of being off-balance or dizzy

How is this hearing loss caused? The causes of conductive hearing loss can be differentiated by which part of the ear they affect - either the outer or middle ear. Outer ear: • A build-up of wax in the ear canal • “Swimmer’s ear” is a painful condition resulting from inflammation, irritation, or infection. These symptoms often occur after water gets trapped in your ear, with a subsequent spread of bacteria affecting hearing Middle ear: • Ear infections or extreme and rapid air pressure changes can each affect quality of hearing but are temporary • Infections which affect ear, nose and throat • Otosclerosis - a rare medical condition that causes the middle ear bones to freeze up What are the symptoms? • It is easier to hear out of one ear than the other • Sensation of pain in one or both ears • Sensation of pressure in one or both ears • If your ear is infected it can often give off an unpleasant smell • A feeling that one’s own voice sounds louder or different






IS SO IMPORTANT FOR MEN Movember is all about calling for action where it’s needed in men’s health. MALE-SPECIFIC CANCERS; prostate and testicular and POOR MENTAL HEALTH are all on the initiative for Movember. So beyond sporting a ‘tache for 30 days here’s how Movember works for men.



Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, with more than 1.1 million cases recorded in 2012 alone. Even when successful, treatment can take a toll on the physical and mental health of those affected. The absolute goal is the day where no man dies of prostate cancer.

In most cases (95%) a diagnosis of testicular cancer means established treatments and a good outcome. Unfortunately, there are a small proportion of men and boys who do not face that good outcome, and more needs to be done to support these men through diagnosis and treatment and into a long and healthy life after cancer.

How Movember’s fighting prostate cancer

How Movember’s tackling testicular cancer

Accelerating research to give men the best possible outcome after their diagnosis, and to ensure that men have the information they need to take charge of their health. Movember is investing in initiatives that:

Bringing people together to collaborate on solutions that will fundamentally change the way men with testicular cancer are treated and supported. Movember is funding initiatives that:

1. Deepen the worldwide knowledge of prostate cancer through research. 2. Trial and implement ways to improve the lives of men from diagnosis

1. Deepen the worldwide scientific understanding of testicular cancer

through to treatment, decision-making, active recovery and wellbeing. 3. Raise awareness and ensure that prostate cancer is a public priority. 4. Educate men on when and how to take action.

and its treatments and outcomes.

2. Provide proactive support to men and boys affected by testicular

cancer and their families.

3. Educate men and boys on risk factors and encourage

them to seek treatment.

T H E S I T U AT I O N W I T H M E N ’ S M E N TA L H E A LT H Men, regardless of age group, often don’t recognise when they’re experiencing a mental health issue, and may not be comfortable asking for help. The uncomfortable truth is that some stereotypical forms of masculinity are killing men. One man dies from suicide every minute. This is a catastrophe that cannot be ignored.

What Movember is doing about men’s mental health By 2030 Movember will reduce the rate of male suicide by 25%. A committed approach to looking at the issue of mental health through a male lens ensures that the programmes funded by Movember are tailored towards men. Movember is funding initiatives that: 1. Develop successful, scalable models to improve the mental health and wellbeing of men. 2. Challenge the negative aspects of masculinity and the impact this can have on mental health. 3. Encourage men to stay connected with friends and family.

4. Bring conversations about mental health out of the health system (E.g. into sporting clubs or workplaces).


A W H Y M E N ’ S H E A LT H ? “The state of men’s health is in a crisis. Simply put, men are dying too young. Gender is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health and life expectancy. For men, this is not good news. On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women. Moreover, suicide affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organisation estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute. The impact of prostate and testicular cancer on lives is substantial, with prostate cancer being the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030. Yet this gender-based inequality in health has received little national, regional or global acknowledgement or attention from health policy-makers or healthcare providers. This is exactly why the Movember Foundation focuses on men’s health. This is not just an issue for men. In order to tackle the problem and work towards a world where future generations of men are not faced with the same issues as today, we need to take action at both an individual and community level. This means engaging men and women, businesses, sporting groups, community organisations, governments, health policy makers and healthcare providers in the efforts to reduce the current gender inequality in health outcomes.” - Movember Foundation The need for a raised awareness of men’s mental health is such a topical issue and so prevalent in society today. The fact of the matter is too many men are committing suicide and poor mental health among a certain male demographic is the sole cause. The Samaritans conducted a survey on why a highlighted group of males are most-likely to be at risk of suicide (those in mid-life and from disadvantaged backgrounds), and the findings raised further issues when you look at this demographic.

The main findings are split into 6 key themes: Personality traits – some traits can interact with factors such as deprivation, unemployment, social disconnection and triggering events, such as relationship breakdown or job loss, to increase the risk of suicide. Masculinity – more than women, men respond to stress by taking risks, like misusing alcohol and drugs. Relationship breakdowns – marriage breakdown is more likely to lead men, rather than women, to suicide. Challenges of mid-life – people currently in mid-life are experiencing more mental health problems and unhappiness compared to younger and older people. Emotional illiteracy – men are much less likely than women to have a positive view of counselling or therapy, and when they do use these services, it is at the point of crisis. Socio-economic factors – unemployed people are 2-3 times more likely to die by suicide than those in work and suicide increases during economic recession.


dmittedly this assumption plays to a stereotype but much research has reinforced these socially-expected standards of males and we all like to think that men are strong, in control of their emotions and they hold themselves together, so when a man does feel weak, vulnerable or unable to help themselves any longer it can be hard for them to know what to do with themselves or who, if anyone, to talk to. Depression affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds and the first step is being able to recognise and acknowledge these feelings, and then identify and access the help you need. This can be difficult for someone who has never had to reach out for help before and this is most commonly the attitude you find in men which is why it so often goes overlooked. Many men find it difficult to talk about their feelings so they tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany depression. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated. Men suffering from depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. It’s important for any man to seek help with depression before feelings of despair become feelings of suicide. Talk honestly with a friend, loved one, or doctor about what’s going on in your mind. There is plenty men can do to overcome depression. The important thing is to recognise the symptoms.

Men living in these circumstances are up to 10 times more at risk of suicide than those living in the most advantaged conditions.


Male suicide is a social issue because there are several environmental and social impacts on a male’s mental health which may put them a greater risk of suicide.

Men are far less adept at recognising symptoms of depression than women. A man is more likely to deny these feelings and to try and continue on as normal.

The survey conducted by The Samaritans revealed that:

The three most common signs of depression in men are:

• men compare themselves against a ‘gold standard’ which prizes power, control and invincibility • men in mid-life are now part of the ‘buffer’ generation; not sure whether to be like their older, more traditional, strong, silent, austere fathers or like their younger, more progressive, individualistic sons • with the decline of traditional male industries, these men have lost not only their jobs but also a source of masculine pride and identity • men in mid-life remain overwhelmingly dependent on a female partner for emotional support

• Physical pain. Sometimes depression in men shows up as physical symptoms - such as backache, frequent headaches, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, or digestive disorders - that don’t respond to normal treatment. • Anger. This could range from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or a loss of your sense of humour to a short temper. • Reckless behaviour. A man suffering from depression may exhibit escapist or risky behaviour such as pursuing dangerous sports, driving recklessly, or engaging in unsafe sex. We joke about the man who is going through a mid-life crisis and buys a motorbike but this may actually be a reckless act.





Aquarius (20th January - 18th February) For Aquarians, 2017 will be the year of opportunity. Be it in love or your career, you will flourish in anything you put your heart to. You’re ready to commit to something BIG but careful planning should be done before you make the jump and you will reap the rewards towards the end of the year. The time between these exciting things may drag but don’t forget to live in the moment.

Pisces (19th February - 20th March) The sign of Pisces will have a very bright and positive outlook on life in 2017. This cool and calm demeanour will be the secret to your success both professionally and personally throughout the year and you should use this energy to go after what you really want to achieve while time and fortune are on your side.

Aries (21st March - 19th April) 2017 is your year of fun and adventure. In this new chapter of enthusiasm and a sense of endless possibility, perhaps now is the time to start a new business or take that leap with your career you’ve always fantasised over. While 2017 focuses on your career don’t forget to make some time for loved ones.

Taurus (20th April - 20th May) Your year ahead focuses heavily on peace, acceptance and wellbeing. So whether you’re harbouring your own issues or feel conflicted over someone else’s – now is the time to tackle whatever is keeping you from peace. Take responsibility for your actions and focus on what you love instead of paying attention and giving time to the things that you dislike- accept what you cannot change and work on moving towards new goals.

Gemini (21st May -21st June) 2017 is a year of major changes for the Gemini sign. Be it a change in career, relationship or finances; think long-term before planning anything too drastic. You may feel distracted with a family-related issue which first arose at the end of last year but you have the power to decide how much of your time and energy you will give to the issue.

Cancer (22nd June - 22nd July) 2017 is a year of difficult choices for the Cancerians. Be prepared for change in many aspects of your life and embrace the unknown as much as you can. A sense of spontaneity will carry you well in the New Year. Curb bad spending habits and focus on selfimprovement instead of buying a sense of happiness.

Leo (23rd July - 22nd August) As a Leo, you’re in for a fantastic year for 2017. You will


experience good luck in many aspects of your life and you’re in for some really exciting changes. Don’t keep waiting for the right moment in your job or relationships. Just enjoy the journey and learn as you go along. You never know, you might find something, or someone, you didn’t even know you were looking for.

Virgo (23rd August - 22nd September) 2017 for Virgo will need to be dealt with in a diplomatic way. Some old decisions might create problems if you don’t handle them the right way. This is the right time to let go of relationships that haven’t been working out. Don’t let stress get the better of you; you know your plan and you know why you’ve chosen to do things the way you have. It will all come together in the end.

Libra (23rd September - 23rd October) The 2017 Libra horoscope forecasts a year of discovery. Let your creative side come to the forefront. Express your ideas to others so that they can understand your dreams better and even be integral in making them a reality. You will be a leading example for everyone around you, both professionally and in your personal life with how you deal with situations and take anything in your stride; it’s an admirable trait that won’t go unnoticed.

Scorpio (24th October - 21st November) Scorpios will struggle at some point in the next year, as will they see somebody else struggle. Remember how you were treated when times were tough and try and relay this help onto others when it is their time of need. You will learn a lot about yourself through helping others, too, so do what you can to lend them a hand. Not only will it make you feel good about yourself, it will help you get back in touch with your more selfless, compassionate side. It can be extremely empowering to sacrifice some of your time and energy for the sake of someone else.

Sagittarius (22nd November – 21st December) Your social life will be amazing this year, you already run in large social circles but this year will be amplified when it comes to counting your friends. Career and business projects will be challenging but profitable so do be sure to give time and attention in your office.

Capricorn (22nd December – 19th January) 2017 will bring with it its fair share of surprises which should keep you busy and all are pleasant so don’t fear the unknown. That’s not to say there’s no effort required on your part though, just because Lady Luck is on your side. Luck seems to be smiling on your finances in particular so maybe now is the time to take that big trip.



HOME I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Stay Cosy At Home This Winter, Kitchen Trends For The Season and How Winter Ready Is Your Home?

John Lewis •


Set of 4 £26 Amara



Bauble £6 John Lewis

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John Lewis Raven Lamp £85 Debenhams

£5 N at i o

Circuit Rug in Teal £149

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Well if your home isn’t looking like the contents of a cracker come December then are you even ready for Christmas? This cheery interior is festive & bright!

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IKEA £8 National Trust £449

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Tea Light Holder £24 The Contemporary Home




£4.99 HomeSense

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The very best way to ensure a white Christmas is to create it for yourself. Peppered with glistening gold and fairy lights you can create your very own Winter Wonderland.



Cushion £22 M&Co

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• Print £99 Amara


Farmhouse Stoves your burning ambition


for Smok





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Giant Copper Honeycomb £30 per pack Talking Tables


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Charger Plate £2.50 Wilkinson


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Kartell Chair £347 Amara


The number one rule at Christmas? Add some sparkle. A rich and warm copper tone emphasises that magical and cosy feeling that only Christmas brings to your home.

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New homes ready to move in to for



Reserve now at this sought after development and you could be relaxing in style in time for the big day! Located in the picturesque village of Werrington, Scholars Way is a stunning collection of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes. Available with the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme**, you’ll need just a 5% deposit to enjoy one of these beautiful new homes.

Scholars Way Werrington

Scholars Way Werrington ST9 0EX

Tel: 01782 482 527



* Selected plots only, when reserving before 31st October 2016. Please ask for details. ** Help to Buy: Equity Loan. Move in with just a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage. Those looking to buy with Help to Buy require a 5% deposit as the government will provide up to 20% of the value of the property in an equity loan, allowing buyers to access mortgages of up to the remaining 75%. The equity loan is interest free for the first five years, and can be repaid at any time or when you sell your home. Scheme available on selected properties in England, on homes up to ÂŁ600,000. Lovell cannot advise you on a mortgage. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR ANY DEBT SECURED ON IT. Subject to terms and conditions. Please ask for further details. Information correct at time of going to print.

Scholars Way showhome exterior

Visit us Thursday to Sunday 10am - 5pm, Monday 11am - 5pm to discover the Style, Quality and Value for yourself.

Whatever your style, a beautiful treasure from FrithRugs makes the perfect finishing touch to your home. Our stunning selection of oriental rugs and large rugs is the largest in the UK and includes finest quality hand-crafted designs from all over the world. There are over 30,000 rugs and large rugs on display in our showrooms with styles to suit every taste, setting and budget - from machine woven rugs from Europe’s leading manufacturers to precious hand-knotted masterpieces from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Persia and China. A world of choice for any home.

Ridings Park, Eastern Way, Hawks Green, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 7FJ Stores also at: Bodelwyddan, North Wales LL18 5TY Lythgoes Lane, Warrington WA2 7XE Vanguard Way, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG

A460 Rugeley





A5190 A519 Litchfield

Tel: 01543 468 383



A460 A460 JT7

M6 J11




FrithRugs is a trademark of GH Frith (Bodelwyddan) Ltd. 16/24

Open: Mon-Sat: 10.00-5.00, Sun & Bank Hols: 10.00 - 4.00 Closed: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & Easter Sun


COSY AT HOME Roaring fire crackling away? Check. Impossibly soft blankets scattered across limbs? Check. Pine-smelling candle lit? Check. Now you’re truly ready for winter. Yes the light summer nights were fun while we had them but can you really beat the sweet satisfaction of knowing you’re tucked up safe and warm indoors when the cold winter is blowing? We think not.


reating a sense of calm and tranquility in your home is as much about how you use the space in each room as it is how you dress it. An abundance of pillows and throws will surely make a space look inviting but if you’re unlikely to venture to that corner of the home for anything other than treating it as an overflow of storage then it’s a wasted effort and a passed opportunity to create a private space for some daily R&R. Any space can be transformed into a cosier, more-inviting version of itself with just a few small tweaks. We often refer to small spaces or otherwise ‘wasted’ rooms or corners of a house as ‘cosy’ to imply it’s quaint, yes, but ‘homely’ too. It puts a positive spin on a cramped or poky area and has actually become something people strive to achieve in their own homes – because who doesn’t want their home to feel cosy and welcoming? – when actually, it’s unfair to give ‘cosy’ this negative connotation in the first place. And if you think that cosy = small, then think again. If you have a cosy nook in your home to snuggle down in to, lucky you! But never fear if you’re lacking this sort of space in your own home as cosiness can be created in big, wide-open spaces too.

John Lewis

BRING 'THE COSY' HOME LIVING’s top picks for adding that cosy factor to your home from the high street



Sheepskin Bean Bag £862.50 Amara

Bean bags are not just for children! Relax down into this plush bean bag.

£25 M&S

Black Toast 4 Cup Teapot £59.95 Emma Bridgewater






t's easy to pine for a larger space when you are living in a less-than-generous property, but big rooms present their own challenges. For instance, it can prove difficult to emulate that homely sense in wide-open spaces where no amount of pillows suffice in making a room feel comfortably stuffed. Strategically placing tall potted plants will help cover bare walls that reach up to meet high ceilings. Playing around with furniture and upgrading simple pieces such as a coffee table or side table with an oversized ottoman will fill in those blank spaces between your sofa and replace

those standard accessories you find in most living rooms. When you have a bigger area to work with it makes little sense to push furniture up against a wall when you could be showing off its design in full. Often sofas are used as a visual divider in a large space to section off one area from the other. The view of the back can be balanced with a console table dressed with flowers or picture frames adding layers and interest to an otherwise flat surface. Creating your very own cosy nook with a statement chair is a great use of surplus floor space. Go for one in a rich colour and fabric

If you have a cosy nook in your home to snuggle down in to, lucky you!


(think bright sapphire velvet or ruby chenille) to make quite the impact in any room. The contrast in colour to the rest of the interior décor will create its own visual divide. It becomes an intimate spot within a room with its own seating away from the “main” living space. Space dealt with, it’s also worth looking at the shape of your room. Too many sharp corners can make a room feel cold and uninviting. Position furniture, say a bookshelf or TV unit for instance, across a corner instead of placing them into the wall, it will cover the corner and detract away from a bare wall.

Curtains can be a cause for debate among interior designers and homedwellers alike. There are those who wouldn’t be without them for their warm-factor and ability to dress up a room, and there are those who prefer to keep out peering eyes with sleeker styles such as shutters or blinds for a minimal and unfussy approach to home aesthetics. When you’re focusing on creating a cosier feel to a room we'd be inclined to side with those in favour of curtains. The bulk of the material creates a cosy feel and visually pads out a space, and they do help in eliminating drafts too if your concern is with the warmth of a room.


Set the mood.


Laura Ashley

Don’t overlook the layout. It’s so easy to get caught up in the soft furnishings of a room and those trinkets which add embellishment to overlook the most obvious thing about a room - its shape. If you’re working with a more confined space then take advantage of this and make the most of it. Don’t feel that you can’t dress a smaller room in a dark shade. Yes, there’s the age-old trick of keeping smaller spaces light and bright to prevent it swallowing itself up in the dark under shadows, but darker, moody shades do work wonders in a small nook of a room.

Should we live life in one room? Moving in other elements of your home to fill up space is excellent for M&S those lazy evenings where we want it all in arm’s reach (that glass of wine, a good book, the TV remote…), but make this just a temporary fix. Bringing elements of the home closer together enables you to cut off other parts of the home, but, let’s face it, we like to feel cosy and the idea of living simply is appealing, but we’d be lost without a separate kitchen/living space to house the inevitable overflow of ‘stuff’ we all acquire. •


Christmas News at Sweet Little

In time for the Christmas season Sweet Little is proud to announce the opening of its new store and cafe at Sudbury Courtyard. Open from Saturday 22nd October at Sudbury Courtyard, Sweet Little will showcase new ranges of home ware, gift ware, fine foods and its new cafe! Special events will be held throughout November & December at both stores to celebrate this expansion! Also at Sudbury Courtyard - Sticky Fingers of Ashbourne! For your special invitation and seasonal vouchers, please contact the Sweet Little team via or telephone 01283 712799 Everyone is welcome to browse the exciting collections in store at; Sweet Little, Sudbury Courtyard, Main Road, Sudbury, Derbyshire, DE6 5HS & Sweet Little, 56 & 58 Main Street, Barton Under Needwood, Staffordshire, DE13 8AA




EXPERIENCED, RELIABLE, AFFORDABLE & LOCAL... • Carpets • Rugs • Vinyls • Laminates • Cushion Floors • Vertical, Venetian, Roman and Roller Blinds • Curtains • Pelmets • FREE Measuring & Home Selection

0800 026 4313

33 Weston Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 6AB

Sovereign House, Warren Street, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 1QB

01782 331722

Spot the difference! People love St. Modwen homes because they are different - we call it the St. Modwen difference:

l Taller ceilings l Larger windows l Impressive specification l Striking elevations Come and see the St. Modwen difference at two exciting addresses in Staffordshire. Help to Buy

House to Sell? Ask about our Assisted Move

Bramshall Meadows, Bramshall Road, Uttoxeter, ST14 7PG T: 0844 243 4530†

3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes from £206,995 to £429,995

Trentham Manor, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8FH T: 0844 243 4520†

3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes from £198,995 to £335,995

Showhomes & Marketing Suites Open Thursday to Monday 10am - 5:30pm *Offer available on selected plots only and cannot be used in conjuction with any other offers. All offers are subject to Terms and Conditions. Pictures are indicative computer generated images of St. Modwen homes. External materials, design features, and landscaping may differ to those shown in the image. Help to Buy is a government-led scheme and availability is subject to qualification. For full terms and conditions visit †Calls will be charged at seven pence per minute from a BT landline and may cost considerably more from mobile and other phones. Contact your service provider for more details. Prices and offers correct at time of print.

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English Interiors is part of Ashley Ann – one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of high quality bespoke kitchens and bedrooms for over 30 years. This means that although we’re very much a local business focused on the needs of people in and around Staffordshire, our customers buy in the confidence that we’re part of a much bigger company.

Cheadle Road, Leekbrook, Nr.Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 7DR. T:01538 399191, E:

A beautiful selection of wall and floor tiles for your home…


A family run business for over 35 years, Jack Livesey Tiles are renowned for a huge choice of fine quality ceramic and porcelain tiles, mosaics and natural stone. In our new purpose built showroom, we have over 50 tiled settings designed to inspire you and take the guess work out of making your choice. We work with the finest Italian, Spanish and English Tile manufacturers to bring you the very latest stunning designs for every room in your home, whatever your budget. Unit 26, Martindale, Cannock, Staffs, WS11 7XN Tel: 01543 504731 Open: Monday-Friday 8am -5pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 11am-3pm

Five Star Quality! Now on Sale in Yoxall

4 & 5 bedroom homes from £425,000 to £625,000 St. Peter’s Walk is a small new development of 35 homes in a range of fabulous designs, close to Lichfield, Stafford and Burton on Trent. Lioncourt Homes have won a 5 Star Quality customer satisfaction rating from the House Building Federation for two years running. 3 BEDROOM HOMES COMING SOON

Help to Buy

St. Peter's Walk, King Street, Yoxall, Staffordshire, DE13 8NA Showhome Open 10am to 5.30pm daily Telephone: 0845 873 2883† †Calls will be charged at seven pence per minute from a BT landline and may cost considerably more from mobile and other phones. Contact your service provider for more details. *All offers are subject to Terms & Conditions. Pictures are indicative computer generated images external materials, design features, and landscaping may differ to those shown in the image. Help to Buy is a government-led scheme and availability is subject to qualification. For full terms and conditions visit Prices and offers correct at time of print.


is where the ♥ is… They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s hard not to agree. The kitchen is so much more than a place to cook food, it’s the hub of family activity. Making a few simple changes can reinvent your space and get you well on your way to achieving your kitchen goals. How often do we congregate in the kitchen to talk about our day, make plans for tomorrow and discuss the latest gossip over a good old cup of tea? The kitchen has become the meeting point of the home and in turn we are obsessed with making it as much of a comfort zone, as a culinary haven. It’s no surprise then that nearly 6 out of 10 UK homeowners snub moving up the housing ladder in favour of making home improvements. We love a project; it can breathe new life into our home, lift our spirts and keep us motivated. Have you always dreamed of having the perfect space to cook up your favourite family dish? Maybe you want to spruce up your kitchen in time for Christmas and give it some much needed festive cheer. Changing the look and feel of our home doesn’t have to be expensive, especially in the kitchen. We’re giving you some home style inspiration to turn your kitchen into the room of your dreams!

(above) Finn Pendant Light in Oxblood £100 Pooky

Countr y Cook Nowadays, turning your kitchen into a rustic abode can be as simple and costconscious as a lick of paint and some clever storage ideas. Don’t be afraid to liven up tired and dull cabinets with a distressed look and complete your country-style makeover with a wellorganised pantry – from labelled glass jars to cute veggie baskets and herb pots. French Vine Emulsion Paint £19.84/2.5L B&Q


£14.95 Nkuku

Bakewell Dresser £895 Loaf

Tiles £49.95

Cont empora r y l i fe ^

The kitchen may be the heart of the home but that doesn’t mean it has to resemble a dumping ground! Keep your look slick and modern with unique storage ideas and a pop of colour for tiles and flooring to lift the room. If you have the space, add a family sized table to keep counters clutter free while encouraging family dinners together.

£179 Rume

Living has once again enrolled the expertise of David Taylor, of Key Architectural Design Limited based in Stafford to answer your questions and offer advice on home improvements. Home improvement projects like updating your kitchen is a great quick fix but how do you go about planning bigger changes to your home? David Taylor tells us what you need to consider when undertaking building work on your property. Hello, My name is David Taylor, from Key Architectural Design Limited based in Stafford.


The Winchester Tile Company

Christmas touch Dobbies

Nothing beats a festive kitchen and now is the time to spread a little Christmas cheer. Create the perfect cooking environment with clever DIY craft ideas, hanging decorations, and opt for seasonal accessories and tableware in tones of reds, golds and greens, guaranteed to transform your home ready for the big day. There is no reason why you can’t have an extra tree in the kitchen either! Go for a smaller table top style tree to add a Christmassy focal point to your room. Oven Glove £14.95 Clare Loves


Fut ure proof Your kitchen is no longer safe from the digital age and all its technological glory. Did you know that you can now even control your coffee maker from your smart phone too? We’re not talking about controlling your washing machine via blue tooth, or even a smart breakfast maker, which, incidentally, can boil or poach eggs at the same time as toasting your bread. Amazing. How about a cooker which has no exterior buttons or knobs? That’s right, virtual cookers are here and they work by projecting the control panel onto your kitchen counter top and allow you to set temperatures, times and functions by hand – literally. ^

Grundig’s Virtual User Experience Technology (VUX)


Smarter Coffee Silver £179.95 Red5

As a Chartered Architectural Technologist, I understand that a building project can be a daunting and stressful process. The appointment of a construction professional to assist you with the process is essential to ensure a smooth and headache free project. In this issue we shall be looking at what you must do before construction work commences and which statutory approvals are required. One of the first things to consider is planning permission. Planning Law can be complex and is designed to control inappropriate development. Simply put, planning permission is the approval to be allowed to build on land, or change the use of land or buildings. Most alterations to your property will need planning permission. An application is made to the local council that details the proposed building works. If acceptable to the local council, they will issue a formal document allowing development of the work detailed in the planning application. You can make some changes to your property without planning permission; this is known as 'permitted development.' The local council or your appointed professional will be able to advise you on whether or not planning consent is required and whether the proposed work is covered under this. Secondly, you will also need to seek Building Regulations approval. This is a separate matter from planning permission. The Building Regulations set the standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health of those in or about those buildings. The Building Regulations apply to most building work and extensions and, in some instances, may apply to alteration work and the replacement of certain elements of the building. Building Regulations approval is granted by either The Local Authority Building Control Department, or by Approved Inspectors who are either companies or individuals authorised under the Building Act 1984 to carry out building control work. Should you have any doubt as to whether or not Building Regulations approval is required, then your local council, your appointed professional or an Approved Inspector will be able to advise you accordingly. If you have any questions you’d like to put to David please do get in touch on with the subject line ASK AN EXPERT.


Breakfast Master £59.95


Live the high life in a stunning three storey home

Chatsworth Park

The Wordsworth

Rope Lane, Shavington, Cheshire CW2 5DA Telephone 01270 567277 Chatsworth Park is a superb development of stunning 3, 4 and 5 bedroom family homes all built to a high specification, located in the sought after village of Shavington, near Crewe. Ideally placed for commuters, the development offers easy access to the motorway network and is just a short drive to the mainline railway station at Crewe, which gives links to all major destinations throughout the UK. Why not visit our fabulous Showhomes to get a glimpse of the lifestyle that could be yours at Chatsworth Park. For further information contact our friendly Sales Executive. Sales & Marketing Suite is open Thursday to Monday inclusive, 10am to 5pm. Telephone 01270 567277, or call head office on 01925 885400

A superb 4 bedroom detached property offering accommodation over three floors. This spacious home is ideal for the growing family or for those just looking for that extra bit of space needed for entertaining family and friends. Accommodation includes: • Fitted kitchen/dining room • Lounge with French doors • Practical downstairs cloakroom • En-suite to master bedroom • 3 further spacious bedrooms • Beautiful family bathroom • Second floor shower room

Award Winners

• Buy with as little as 5% Deposit using the Government backed Help to Buy* scheme. Backed by HM Government

Part Exchange

• Part Exchange† and other schemes available.

†Part exchange is available on selected plots only, subject to status. *Help to Buy is available on selected plots only, subject to qualifying criteria. Terms and conditions apply. Ask Sales Executive for full details. Prices correct at time of going to press. Photographs for illustrative purposes only.

Homes designed for life, whatever your style

With a selection of great Staffordshire locations and tailor made deals, your ideal home isn’t far away. Woodbury Walk, Rugeley – Final 3 remaining Devereux Grange, Great Haywood – Showhome now open Mulberry Grove, Little Aston – Bespoke residence now launched Ivy Manor, Abbots Bromley – Final releases now available Swallowhurst, Tamworth – Luxury new homes available Redfern Rise, Haughton – 3 & 4 bedroom homes, coming soon

To discover your dream home call 01543 412288 or visit for further information  /WaltonHomes  Walton_Homes

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Are you ready for Winter?

Rugeley Fireplaces

dr om e

Tel:01889 574 022

Parking at Service Area 10, RUGELEY, WS15 2BY Fireplace Specialists Since 1989 Keeping You Warm For 27 Years


WINTER READY is your home?

You may have already sorted your winter wardrobe but how ready is your home for the cold months? Our winter home check will guarantee your four walls withstand the big chill.

Outdoor safety


Warmth at night

Your roof acts as a shield during the winter months so making sure it can withstand the turbulent weather ahead is paramount. It’s recommended that you check both the exterior and interior structure of your roof at least once a year to identify any weak spots such as leaks, old or worn insulation, debris build-up and loose slats. Pay special attention to vents, skylines and chimney for any leaks where they join the roof. Most roof maintenance can be done simply and cost-effectively saving you from a big refurbishment bill further down the line!

Being prepared is one thing but we cannot foresee everything that is going to happen. If we are hit with sub-zero conditions, make sure you have extra blankets and suitable clothing at night when the temperatures are at their lowest. Be wary of other family members and elderly relatives and ensure they too are prepared.

Clearing gutters It’s important to clear your guttering regularly but if you only clear them once, it has to be ready for winter. As Autumn fades away, you can be rest assured that leaves and twigs will have collected in your guttering causing a nasty build-up. With heavy rain or snow fall, this can lead to exterior water damage and even a leaky roof. Seek a local professional to help if you have particularly high or blocked guttering. Plus, any cracks or breaks can be identified at the same time giving you much needed piece of mind during freezing temperatures.

Pipe lagging Any cost saving energy ideas are helpful especially when we approach winter. Pipe lagging is a special type of insulation which fits to your water pipes to help retain heat, as well as keeping them from freezing or bursting. It’s a simple trick that can be done easily and fairly cheaply at home yourself.


Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your outdoor space, especially if you have a driveway at home. Outdoor maintenance during winter is not only being safety conscious, helping to reduce the risks of trips or falls, but also prolongs the use of your drive. Use a waterproof sealant periodically through the year, limit the use of chemicals on your driveway and make sure drains do not directly run onto your drive. When you head out, be sure to wear suitable footwear for the conditions and give yourself more time to get where you need to go to avoid rushing.

Boiler repair Your winter knight in shining armour could well be the boiler man but can you afford to see him on a regular basis? Make it a one-time thing and see him before the cold snap really sets in. Make sure your boiler is on its best behaviour this season, and if you do need an upgrade, or just a few minor repair jobs, getting them done in advance can save you money and keep you snug when you need it most!

Fire risk Whether you have the luxury of an open fire or the convenience of an electric or gas powered one, fire safety is extremely important. Chimney fires, heaters, smoking equipment, and even faulty electric blankets are the most common courses of fires in the home. Simple steps such as using a fire guard on open fires, keeping electric heaters away from curtains and furniture, and never leaving them plugged in overnight, can help to safeguard your home. If you do use an electric blanket, unplug it before you get into bed, unless it is safe for all-night use, and don’t go to bed with a hot water bottle at the same time as using an electric blanket, even if it is switched off. And finally, regularly check that your smoke alarms are working around the home.

What else can you do? Your local council will have plenty of advice and support for living well during the winter months. Thermometer cards are often issued for free to the vulnerable and elderly around this time but can also be purchased from local shops. They are a great way to stay on top of heating levels in the home and make sure your temperature never falls to a level where you are susceptible to illness. Additional emergency heating, such as heater loans, can also be sort from your local authority and if you are conscious of rising energy costs in winter, get your appliances checked for efficiency too.




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




Lower Loxley

Grade II Listed country house with outstanding views • • • •

3 reception rooms, conservatory 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms First floor 2 bedroom flat Excellent equestrian facilities

• • •

Mature gardens and grounds River frontage Extending to about 32.8 acres

Guide price £1,850,000


2 receptions, breakfast kitchen 5 double bedrooms (4 en suite) 1 bedroom annexe 2 holiday cottages

• • •

Attractive gardens and grounds Splendid views EPC rating F

Guide price £725,000

15 offices selling across the UK Stafford 01785 220044

3 reception rooms Kitchen/breakfast room 4 bedrooms, 2 bath/shower rooms Outbuildings, paddocks

• • •

4 paddocks In all about 4.69 acres EPC rating G

Guide price £865,000


Wonderfully positioned farmhouse with two holiday cottages • • • •

Charming farmhouse with outbuildings and land • • • •

Charming barn conversion, with delightful rear gardens • • • •

Hall with parquet flooring Spacious sitting room Delightful kitchen/dining room 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

• • •

Garaging, beautiful rear garden Village location EPC rating D

Guide price £385,000

Weston Bank


Impressive country house built in 2006 • • • •

Reception hall 3 receptions, breakfast kitchen 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms 1 bedroom adjoining annexe

• • •

Woodland and grounds In all about 7.7 acres EPC rating D

Guide price £1,250,000

Impressive family house with separate annexe • • • •

3 substantial reception rooms Breakfast kitchen, utility room 6 bedrooms over 2 floors 2 bathrooms, 1 shower room

• • •

1 bed single storey annexe Beautiful grounds of 0.81 acres EPC ratings: house F, annexe E

Guide price £850,000

computer generated image

Bury Ring

Garden store and WC Gardens, grounds, paddock In all about 1.4 acres

Guide price £750,000

Development project in good location • • • •

2 receptions, breakfast kitchen 3 double bedrooms Planning permission to enlarge Garden, c. 7.86 acre paddock

• • •

About 5.13 acres of woodland Joint agents John German EPC rating F

Guide price £550,000 Stuart Flint

• • •

Kate Foster

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

Charles Meynell

Splendid and substantial Grade II Listed former rectory • • • •

Victoria Oldham


RAKESDALE, Staffordshire

Rakesdale, Staffordshire An outstanding newly built country house set in beautiful landscape extending to approximately 17 acres of land, woods and pond. Wood Farm provides a wonderful, high quality, family home which was completely re built in 2010 on the site of a former farm house.

More amazing photos:

EPC: D Guide Price ÂŁ1,400,000 Uttoxeter Office: 01889 567444

Ashbourne 01335 340730

Ashby de la Zouch 01530 412824

Barton Un. Needwood 01283 716806

Burton Upon Trent 01283 512244

East Leake 01509 856006

01543 419121

Loughborough 01509 239121

Stafford 01785 236600

Uttoxeter 01889 567444

London 020 7839 0888

HAMMERWICH, Staffordshire

Hammerwich, Staffordshire Presenting a rare purchasing opportunity in the sought-after conservation area of Hammerwich village this Grade II Listed former Mill has uniquely characterful accommodation and spectacular 360° views. Three bedrooms including a separate annexe. With a generous garden, double garage, timber workshop and summerhouse.

Guide Price ÂŁ525,000 Lichfield Office 01543 419121

More amazing photos:

Barlaston old Road, Trentham – Offers In Excess Of £725,000. Everybody’s looking for something… you could travel the world and the seven seas and still not find what you are looking for…. But wait, there’s no need to look any further as we have found the perfect property that sweet dreams are definitely made of, and I’m sure you won’t disagree! Let me mention just a few of the attributes that this amazing DETACHED house has to boast about… FIVE BEDROOMS (two with en-suite), CINEMA ROOM, INDOOR SWIMMING POOL, TWO RECEPTION ROOMS, DETACHED DOUBLE GARAGE… need I go on?? Surely not! So give the girls at Samuel Makepeace a call and book your viewing today… believe me, sweet dreams ARE made of this!

To arrange a viewing call 01782 958944


Micklea Lane, Longsdon – Offers In Excess of £394,950 Location, location, location! It’s all about the location! Sitting on a quiet, peaceful country lane in LONGSDON, this AMAZING DETACHED COTTAGE has so much to boast about that you could even say it’s showing off! Inside there is a ground floor offering a beautiful lounge, modern kitchen/diner and conservatory. If you venture down the stairs you will find a fantastic multifunctional room with patio doors overlooking the garden. On the first floor there are THREE GLORIOUS BEDROOMS, an en-suite and a family bathroom. If you venture outside to the rear you will find a fantastically large manicured garden that also offers far reaching views over glorious green fields. Locations don’t come much better than this! Call us today to arrange your viewing and experience it for yourself!

Sa le Fo r

Granville Avenue


Approximately 1 3 hectare Five bedrooms and three reception rooms over three floors Private location Downstairs w c with sensor lighting Electric gates Detached family home Landscaped gardens Double garage Offering a fantastic secluded plot just off Granville Avenue you will find this unique five bedroom detached family home oo ing class and charm. Individually designed by architect John Prys lak this stunning residence must be viewed to be appreciated. Sat in a superb private spot of approximately 1 3 hectare, over looking Brampton Park, this exclusive home is the perfect location for growing families given its close proximity to high performing schools and useful amenities.

Fo r

Sa l


EPC Grade D

Lower House Farm Four bedroomed character house Breakfast kitchen Traditional oak beams Cellar Double garage and driveway parking for 4 cars

ÂŁ425,000 illage location Character property Two reception rooms

This really is a property that oo es character some parts of which date back to the 17th Century. Built of a stone and brick construction, this home retains a wealth of architectural features including beamed ceilings and mullioned windows to name but a few. Situated within the conservation area of Stanley illage with views over Stanley Pool, the property is set in mature gardens featuring various patio areas, lawns and lower beds. This truly is a family home where memories are just waiting to be made. EPC Grade E

Sa le Fo r


Moss House Farm Detached stone farmhouse Approximately three acress of land Four bedrooms and good si ed family bathroom Canal side location Private secluded location Detached garage

arious outbuildings

Sat neatly on the edge of the Caldon canal this charming property must be viewed to be appreciated. Oo ing character and charm this period stone built farmhouse would suite many keen purchasers. Offering huge amounts of potential and with the added benefit of land and outbuildings means this family home and grounds could be used for a wide range of uses.

Fo r

Sa l


EPC Grade F

Resevoir House


Majestic, early 1930s detached house Two bedrooms and family bathroom with slipper bath and separate shower Sat on its own private land and gardens Secure gravelled driveway offering parking for multiple vehicles Double garage, log store and workshop Tranquil idyllic setting Useable and versatile basement Recently refurbished to a high standard Set back on a private road in the stunning countryside of Staffordshire, you will find double gates opening out onto the most picturesque setting you can imagine. Sat in its own grounds on the doorstep of Stanley Pool is Reservoir House, an exclusive, early 1930s two bedroom detached property with a mass of scope for extension.This majestic property is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to be in awe upon arriving home each day. Featuring panoramic views of the local woodland and countryside, enchanting period features, amenities and sporting activities on your doorstep and the added benefit of owning a recently refurbished home this truly is a piece of heaven. EPC Grade F

Endon Office 01782 626522

independent property expertise olly o age


£35 , 50

ruly deligh ul character co age having the most wonderful views across open elds. he co age has been though ully renovated by the present owner having deligh ul Oak latch doors and deep skirting boards. pvc double gla ed windows and accommodation comprising Entrance hall si ng room with wood burning stove , lounge with wood burning stove , open plan kitchen into dining family room and open conservatory. hree bedrooms and bathroom. arge frontage with single garage and space for car. ecked terraced patio with steps leading down to the garden which leads directly to the iver rent. very pre y co age with wonderful views but in a very convenient location.

Northesk treet tone

£3 5,000

ictorian style in a fashionable location ust a few moments walk from tone town centre. his traditional town house o ers a number of period features with lovely replaces grand architectural mouldings. he spacious accommodation comprises reception hallway, three large reception rooms, conservatory, breakfast kitchen, cellar, guest cloakroom, four bedrooms, family bathroom second stairwell to a exible use a c area. With pleasant rear garden double detached garage. lovely house in a super location Early viewing essential.

ntaglio rive arlaston


Nearly new detached family home on this exclusive development in a parkland se ng on the edge of arlaston village. he property en oys a lovely position, set in larger than average gardens with open aspect to the front with views over farmland towards arlaston all in the distance. his is a fabulous family house with oodles of space including a large open plan kitchen dining family room, si ng room, separate study, six bedrooms, two en suite a family bathroom. Outside the property en oys a good si e lawn garden with patio area, o road parking two car garage. No upward chain.

Residential Sales | Lettings | Management

01785 811800 |

ranville errace tone


For anyone who knows tone, ranville errace needs li le introduction, but for those who don t su ce to say that it is one of the town s most popular and desirable locations where you will nd ne examples of ictorian architecture. Number is a lovely property which o ers comfortable well appointed accommodation ideally suited to modern family life whilst retaining many of its original period features. here are three reception rooms and a large dining kitchen complemented by four bedrooms and a period style bathroom. he walled garden to the rear is lovely with ample space for outdoor entertaining and en oys a remarkable degree of privacy for a house in this locale. n addition, there is a single garage at the rear and potential for o road parking. his is a super house situated in a uiet, leafy suburban avenue within strolling distance of the town centre. What more could you possibly need

akes Edge Nr tone


he epitome of premium living, this highly specked family home boasts one of the best positions on this small exclusive development on the outskirts of tone. he present owners spared li le expense in the speci cation to create a property that successfully blends twenty rst century convenience with more traditional nishing touches including stone agged oors to the hall and kitchen, genuine par uet ooring to the lounge, indulgent bathrooms and a replace that wouldn t look too out of place in a stately home. perfect family design with bright and spacious accommodation with ample space for living entertaining complemented by four double bedrooms, en suite, family bathroom and a landing with stunning views. he gardens continue the theme and are much larger than you will nd in most modern homes, ad oining farmland to the rear and en oying far reaching views.

he venue tone

£ 35,000

traditional 1 20s house in town with a stunning contemporary interior. Number 3 he venue has been extended, refurbished and extensively upgraded to o er spacious and highly functional family accommodation, retaining the charm of a period house combined with twenty rst century features. he house occupies a generous si e plot with south westerly aspect to the rear en oying sun throughout the day. ituated in one of tone s most sought after residential areas, a short stroll from the town centre and within easy reach of a host of amenities, local schools and the railway station. his really is a fabulous house and represents an all too rare opportunity to ac uire a property of this si e and uality in this highly desirable location and to use a familiar clich viewing is essential.

he reen arlaston

O O £600,000

F N E E O EN O O N . uite uni ue opportunity to ac uire a detached house together with a single building plot with outline consent for a detached dwelling. Oak arton is set in large gardens in a private se ng on the edge of arlaston village, walking distance to a host of local amenities close to arlaston owns. he planning consents provide for a comprehensive re development of the existing house and the erection of a substantial detached house double garage on part of the garden. rare nd in this day age particularly in such a sought after location early viewing advised.

owers ane ston

£5 5,000

re you seeking the perfect family home f so this one could well be the one you have always dreamt of, a large luxurious property with gardens to match situated in a village location close, but not too close to town. he wallows o ers oodles of space for a growing family with spacious living bedroom accommodation with three reception rooms, large dining kitchen, six bedrooms and three luxurious bathrooms he property has been extensively upgraded by the current owners with uality xtures ngs, stylish upgraded kitchen, mtico ooring, upvc double gla ed windows is appointed to the highest of standards throughout. oving to the outside, the gardens are of ample proportions with space for kids adults alike and o er plenty of space for outdoor living. ocated ust a mile to the south of tone within easy reach of a host of amenities and strolling distance to the local church and ston arina.

ongton oad arlaston

£4 5,000

mature family home in one of the areas most sought after residential locales. ongmeadow occupies a large established plot on the outskirts of arlaston village, within strolling distance of the local church, village shop, cricket club, pub and arlaston owns. he house o ers exceptionally spacious accommodation with three reception rooms plus a large conservatory, dining kitchen, ve bedrooms, en suite family bathroom. he gardens are exactly what you would expect from a house of this era large and very mature with plenty of room to play out the World up Final and second shes test together with space for adults to en oy a glass of wine in the evening sun. No upward chain.

Oulton oad tone

£ 10,000

ictorian splendour in the heart of tone, Woodville is without uestion one of the nest period houses in town. ast on the market over 20 years ago, the house has been refurbished and extensively upgraded by the current owners o ering spacious, perfectly proportioned accommodation presented to the highest of standards throughout and with a range of outbuildings ideally suited to conversion to a separate annexe o ce. Woodville is set in large gardens in a tree lined road on the outskirts of tone, ust ten minutes walk into the town centre and with a host of amenities uite literally on the doorstep. his really is a fabulous house that o ers everything you could ever need in a family home viewing essential.

ings rive opton


ook beyond the facade of this ama ingly deceptive property as it certainly tells a di erent story to what you would expect. s you enter umble ank it has a distinctive continental feel with vaulted ceilings and a generous split level design which opens out to stunning gardens and views over rolling ta ordshire countryside. he property is superbly presented and o ers the following interesting accommodation eception hall having stairs to the rst oor and lower ground oors, cloakroom, utility room, study bedroom four, large lounge with sliding windows to a balcony, dining room and dining kitchen. ain bedroom with en suite shower room two further bedrooms to the lower ground oor and large family bathroom. arage and wonderful gardens within which to wander. ll in all, a most deligh ul and interesting property which we highly recommended to be viewed.

atshill ross Eccleshall


tepaside o age is a deligh ully charming character co age located in an e ually deligh ul location ust to the outskirts of Eccleshall. he co age has hidden depths as it comes not only with an extensive pre y garden but also with land. ll in all, the plot including garden extends to approximately 2.25 acres. here is a two bay stable, brick built tack room with coal shed to the rear, outside cat run, dog pen and detached garage and all surround by open countryside. he accommodation to tepaside comprises Entrance orch, dining room, lounge with wood burning stove, kitchen, utility, cloakroom, conservatory, three bedrooms, en suite to bedroom two and family bathroom. here are wooden latch doors through the entire property. he extensive garden has a summerhouse, greenhouse, large storage shed. Eccleshall is a vibrant market town o ering a wide variety of individual shops, amenities and eateries. Early viewing is highly recommended of this uintessential country co age.

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

West Wing, Patshull Hall, Burnhill Green, WV6 7HY

Ackleton Manor, Folley Road, Ackleton, WV6 7JL

* Magnificent and impeccably presented 4 bedroom country residence over 4 storeys, exuding historical character and immense charm with unrivalled build quality * EPC F

* A fine 7 bedroom English country residence of considerable character and history in a lovely village position with charming character features * EPC F

* Albrighton Railway Station 3.7 miles * M54 5.8 miles * M6 Toll Road 17 miles

* Albrighton Railway Station 5.7 miles * M54 7.8 miles * M6 Toll Road 19 miles

Guide Price £1,450,000

Guide Price £1,250,000

Highfield Lodge,The Highfields,Wightwick, WV6 8DW

Orchard Way, Great Moor Road, Pattingham,WV6 7AU

Katherines Hall, Preston Upon The Wealdmoors,TF6 6DQ

* Stunning and much improved 1930s 5 bedroom residence of distinction with a prestigious Wightwick address * EPC D

* Exceptional 5 bedroom home of distinction, combining openplan living with an enviably high specification throughout, set within spectacular grounds * EPC C

* The largest and grandest property in this converted Grade 1 listed almshouse of outstanding calibre and historical interest with a magnificent reception room almost 50’ long & 25’ high and 4 double bedrooms - 3 ensuites * Detached double garage

Bromley House, Ormes Lane,WV6 8LL * A superlative 5 bedroom Georgian residence of some impressive proportions of grandiose yet gracious design * Approx 6680 sq ft * EPC E * Wolverhampton Railway Station 3.2 miles * M54 6.5 miles * M6 Toll Road 10 miles

Guide Price £1,500,000

* Codsall Railway Station 3.4 miles * M54 5.8 miles * M6 Toll Road 12 miles

Guide Price £1,100,000

* Codsall Railway Station 4.3 miles * M54 8.6 miles * M6 Toll Road 13 miles

* Wellington Railway Station 3.8 miles * M54 6.5 miles * M6 Toll Road 20 miles

Guide Price £995,000

Guide Price £975,000

Long Knowle, Bridgnorth Road,Wightwick, WV6 8BW

The Coach House,Wrottesley Hall, Codsall,WV8 2HT

Rose Bank, 50 Horsebrook Lane, Brewood, ST19 9EF

* An outstanding period property, presented, decorated and appointed to a very high standard. Set in wonderful gated grounds with the benefit of planning permission for a triple garage with annex above * EPC E

* Beautiful 4 bedroom property forming part of a distinguished Georgian coach house surrounded by farm and pasture land and approached by driving through Wrottesley Golf Course * EPC E

* A stunning, considerably extended 4 bedroom property in a highly sought after village position, greatly enhanced by the impressive open-plan family kitchen * EPC D

* Codsall Railway Station 1.5 miles * M54 5.8 miles * M6 Toll Road 11 miles

* Codsall Railway Station 4.9 miles * M54 4.2 miles * M6 Toll Road 5.3 miles

Guide Price £850,000

Guide Price £625,000

* Codsall Railway Station 4.3 miles * M54 6.9 miles * M6 Toll Road 12 miles

Guide Price £950,000



TRAVEL THE SNOW FACTOR How The World Welcomes In The New Year, The Undiscovered Places To Visit In Cyprus and The Top UK Cities To Escape To



TRAVEL T H E S N O W F A C T O R Do you crave that feeling of white padded snow beneath your feet rather than white sands between your toes? Prefer wrapping up in cosy blankets to copious applications of SPF? And like a rosy flush in your cheeks to a golden glow in your complexion? Embracing the cooler winter weather and holidaying in hope of snowfall is an increasingly popular venture that LIVING can completely get on board with. Looking past the sandy beaches we’re in search of soft snowy peaks for our very own escape to Narnia…



Finland brings quite the eclectic mix of cultural influences from its neighbours, Russia and Western Europe. Its people and its land are intriguing and with so much to see and experience, Finland is a wonderful place to holiday at winter. The temperature can drop as low as -35° so it’s certainly the type of climate those who love winter would embrace and wrapping up warm is more than a novelty when facing cold winter winds. A more regular temperature is somewhere around the -5°/ -15° mark (brrrr, still cold enough to warrant a few extra layers) so you’re always going to feel as though you’re in your own winter wonderland when roaming through Finland. So what makes Finland so special in winter? Well, come Christmas you couldn’t be in a more festive place than within the snowy Finnish landscape. There’s the Aurora Borealis – one of the land’s most remarkable sights is the sky. When the


endless sunshine of summer gives way to dark winter, the Northern Lights appear like magic and light up the sky. The further north you go, the greater the chances of spotting the Aurora Borealis – in Finnish Lapland they can appear on 200 nights a year. In Helsinki and the south, the Aurorae can be seen on roughly 20 nights of a winter, away from city lights. Seeing the Northern Lights requires sufficient darkness and clear skies, which makes late autumn, the winter and early spring (September to March) the most favourable times. The best time of day to see the Northern Lights is around 10pm. Finnish saunas play a huge part in Finland’s heritage and culture. It’s estimated that there are over two million saunas in Finland and with a population of 5.3 million, this equals to an average of one per household! There are close to a hundred ski resorts in Finland and given its snowy winter season it’s no surprise that Finland is one of the most

popular spots in the whole of the world for skiing. For the largest resorts, Lapland for instance, is unspoilt and covered in a thick blanket of snow throughout December to April. Finland has some of the world’s most breathtaking views and landscapes with lakes and islands intermingled with forests and crisp ridges where the land and water both sit as still and tranquil. An interesting concept in Finland is “Everyman’s Rights”; the right to roam freely in natural areas like forests, fells, lakes and rivers, without permission from landowners. The concept has evolved over time and started as an unwritten code created by a sparse population living in a vast, densely forested country. This means you can wander in open fields and even forage for wild berries and mushrooms but you cannot help yourself to farmer’s produce.




Of course we all know of Oktoberfest which is customary to many people’s winter celebrations but Germany has so much more to offer in the cooler months than you first might be aware of. The Bavarian Alps is a treat to see and experience. With castles, medieval towns, sweeping views and the snowy slopes, it’s a hit for any keen skier. The fact that Germany is shadowed by the likes of France and Austria for skiing resorts weighs in its favour in fact, as what is available to you is available in abundance and you rarely face the huge crowds of other slopes skiers so commonly experience. The German tradition of Kaffee & Kuchen is at its best in winter time when cosy cafés host people for hours on end as they hide away from the cold. Kaffe & Kuchen is quite simply enjoying coffee and cake. Simple and delicious!

Christmas markets are a huge deal in Germany. From the end of November up until Christmas, it’s all about sparkling lights, Christmas trees, hand-crafts, hearty food, sweet treats and mulled wine. One way to explore a variety of markets is a Christmas market cruise. On the Rhine, visitors can sample one or even seven markets in Cologne or make a short trip to Heidelberg, home of Germany’s oldest university where the market spreads across five different little squares. Christmas market cruises on the Danube start near Nuremberg, arguably Germany’s most famous Christmas market, but also well-known historic cities like Regensburg and Passau on the Danube, both beautifully preserved, make enchanting picture perfect Christmas market settings.

of Wernigerode, Nordhausen and Quedlinburg in proper vintage style. The narrow-gauge railways are Europe’s longest historical rail network and feature steam locomotives for some good old huffing and puffing up the mountains. The trains provide a yearround service for the local communities and a trip in winter through the snow covered Harz mountains makes for a special travel experience as you pass through the villages full of timber-houses so you feel as though you’re in a sort of story-book whimsical land. A train ride through the snow-topped mountains while sipping hot chocolate in a vintage carriage, well, what could feel more Christmassy than being in your very own version of The Polar Express?

Criss-crossing the Harz, the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen railways connect the cities





Rich in history and culture, the eastern European country of Poland is a land promoting everything we yearn for in winter. Think Snowy topped mountains, comforting food and a whole lot of merry singing, drinking and laughing. The Polish know how to live well in winter, and being surrounded by the Baltic Sea and several mountain ranges, it’s a good job too.


Kopa and Kotelnica Bialczanska are all popular ski resorts in Poland itself, with the Tatranská Lomnica and Štrbské Pleso in nearby Slovakia.

sausage (Kielbasa), delicious soup served in edible bread bowls, Pierogi, a dumpling that is often topped with fried onion, plenty of pastries and desserts, and of course, vodka.

The most visited cities are Krakow, Warsaw and Gdansk, full of stunning architecture and harrowing history that is purely fixating, but Poland has much more on offer too. A relatively undiscovered area if you want to find something a bit different for your annual skiing trip.

In the Cities, there is an abundance of old architecture and stunning churches, cathedrals, museums, markets, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes- young and old, couples and families. Krakow’s main market square and the historic old town are hugely symbolic, along with the capital, Warsaw’s POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Warsaw Uprising Museum. In fact, there is so much to see and do in all of Poland’s most visited places that a city tour is probably the best way to fit it all in.

The Polish are a happy and welcoming nation and it might be one of the few places in the world where you can still see people wearing traditional dress along the streets. Despite it being a very developed country now, the culture and heritage will always be hugely important and it is celebrated at every opportunity.

It is separated from Slovakia by the grand Tatra Mountains, making it the perfect stop over to explore the slopes, and adding a real authentic and natural village experience to your apres-ski. Zakopane, Pilsko, Karpacz-

Eating and drinking in Poland is a big deal and the cuisine has had many influences throughout history. Think plates of warming potato dumplings stuffed with minced lamb (Kartacze) or meat, fried potatoes with Polish

Christmas is huge in Poland and it’s still very much a traditional event, it’s called "Boze Narodzenie," which literally translates to “God’s Birth.” If you travel over during the festive season, it is a magical experience, cities are lit up and decorated trees line the streets, and you should expect to find plenty of snow!




Canada is home to many a wonderful thing; the rocky mountains, Niagara Falls and maple syrup! It is easy to conjure up images and ideas in your head of how Canada looks and feels and so often its reputation precedes itself. The sheer size of Canada is enough to wonder at (you could fit the UK in Canada some 41 times) let alone all the delights you’ll find there upon your arrival. You can find an array of scenes and atmospheres dependent on where you travel to. Settle in popular Vancouver, the mystical Québec with its architecture that looks like palaces or the uber-stylish Montreal. Wherever you find yourself within Canada, you are no-doubt going to be in awe and amazement of the beautiful views in front of you. Canada is very proud of its land and nature and take great measures to protect the environment. Their reputation for its mesmerising beauty is no coincidence.

Seeing Canada in any season is sure to take your breath away but in winter its beauty really does come into its own. The low sun reflecting off of lakes, the mountain tops sprinkled white and the rolling green land in front of you is frozen fresh and crisp underfoot - Canada truly outdoes itself in winter. Ottawa has Winterlude, the festival which celebrates the low temperatures. For three weeks in January and February the festival goes all-out in the cool factor; ice-carving competitions, ice sculptures appearing all over the city, and the Rideau Canal becomes the world’s largest outdoor skating rink. There’s the Nordik Spa also in the capital Ottawa which includes seven baths, eight saunas and hot and cold dips to completely revitalise you after a long hard winter.

suggests this is a seriously cool festival to attend. It’s a musical event on a frozen waterfront and it draws in thousands of people each year. Montreal en Lumiere is one of the world’s largest winter festivals. It’s all about good food and good company. Sample Quebec’s world-famous cheeses and take in all forms of art and culture through magnificent light displays, performances and simply join in the festivities. Nova Scotia hosts their annual Winter Icewine Festival which is as idyllic as it sounds. Food and wine are among the best antidotes to counter the frigid blast of February and this is exactly what you’re in for in the East coast of Canada.

Igloofest takes place in January and February in Montreal and as the name


TRAVEL Holland Drinking Champagne is nothing new for New Year’s Eve. Drinking Champagne with a doughnut, well, that’s even better.

Spain Every country and culture has its traditions and superstitions and Spain is no different. When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, Spaniards try to eat a grape in time with each chime of the clock. Twelve grapes for twelve chimes are said to bring good luck. This is known as “las doce uvas de la suerte” (the 12 lucky grapes). Fable would tell you that a sour grape represents a bad month so be warned when picking your grapes! And naturally, when it comes to the celebrations, Spain pops the cork on a bottle of Cava instead of Champagne.

N Y E i n N YC Watch the ball drop in Times Square For the city that never sleeps you can bet New Yorkers put on a show for NYE. Head into the city for a real buzz as you stand among the crowds made up of over one million people in Times Square to watch the ball drop. This tradition dates back to 1907 when the event was first organised by Adolph Ochs, owner of The New York Times newspaper to promote the newspaper’s new headquarters and this has been the tradition ever since. It is an annual event which attracts a tonne of attention and brings people to the streets while there are those who choose to watch the ball drop on the TV as they sit at home. It is free to attend but be prepared to get there early for a good spot and make sure you’re comfortable as you won’t be able to move around for the duration of the event. Only in 1942 and 1943 was this celebratory tradition not observed and this was due to wartime blackouts.

THE BEST NYE’S IN THE WORLD New Year’s Eve. An overhyped party full of expectation or the best night of the year? Everyone has their own opinion and ideas for how a New Year’s Eve celebration should play out and one person’s party popper can be another’s party pooper. Some simply must have Champagne and get dressed up to the nines while others wouldn’t dream of getting out of their pyjamas as they spend the night in front of the tele accompanied by cheese and crackers. Taking inspiration from across the world LIVING has rounded up some of the best traditions for ringing in the New Year. 120

S y d n e y, Australia The Sydney Harbour fireworks are world-famous and not too dissimilar from New York’s light display in the kind and size of crowds that they draw in. The fantastic display which bursts into the sky at the stroke of midnight lasts 20 minutes and costs $7 million! Before the big bang the night ahead is filled with light displays with illuminated ships on the sea, music and dancing and even a miniature firework display which many families choose to attend if they know their little ones won’t make it until midnight for the grand finale. Watch from the vantage points of either side of the bridge, head to the Sydney Opera House or even drop your anchor in the harbour if you’re on board a vessel and take in the amazing lights as they reflect off of the water.

Puerto R ico People throw buckets of water out of their window and also clean their homes properly. This they believe will clean the odds of the last year as well as get the spirits out of the home.

TRAVEL Scotland No other nation in the world celebrates the New Year with quite as much revelry and passion as Scotland does, and it's hardly surprising that the enormous celebration that engulfs the country is legendary the world over. Hogmanay is how the Scots refer to New Year's Eve - 31st December - the big night that marks the arrival of the New Year. Its origins reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings with wild parties in late December which reach over three days.

Greece In Greece, New Year’s Day is also celebrated as the Feast of Saint Basil who was one of the forefathers of the Greek Orthodox Church. Also known by the name of Protochronia, Greek New Year celebrations are a mix of traditional rites and modern-day festivities. The morning of the New Year comes alive as children go from door to door singing carols (kalanta) and they are rewarded with a coin in return. The other rites and rituals involving New Year celebrations are playing cards. According to the Greek traditional belief, the New Year is a promising time, and it is a custom to participate in rituals that are believed to beckon luck and prosperity in the coming year. As such it is a common tradition to play cards or roll dice as people participate in games of chance on this day. Kalo Podariko is a very common custom in Greece on the moment of the New Year setting in. It is believed that the first person who sets foot inside a home in the New Year determines the kind of luck that the household would experience over the rest of the year. Hence, the first through the door should be good and kind. Now you will have heard about Greeks smashing plates but this is also true for pomegranates. It is thought that pomegranates represent fertility, abundance and regeneration so one is hung above the front door of a household ahead of the 31st and when the clock strikes 12 on the night of New Year’s Eve the fruit is smashed and it is believed that the number of seeds that gets scattered is directly proportional to the amount of good luck the family would be blessed with in the upcoming year.

There are torchlight processions in the streets, pipes and drums calling as people march through their towns and cities. There’s fireball swinging in the North, and then there’s Edinburgh’s annual tradition of taking a dip in the waters of the River Forth on New Year’s Day while everyone in the country is surely nursing a hangover. It’s for charity, and it’s freezing, so people tend to dress up.

Russia While known for its gusto for vodka, Russia turns to champagne for NYE. A fun tradition which can easily be replicated here in the UK is to make a New Year’s wish. Write your wish down on a piece of paper, burn that paper, put it into your Champagne, and knock it back. Cheers!

Korea In Korea, the Lunar New Year’s tradition is to eat Tteokguk, a rice cake soup. Tteokguk has symbolism and multiple meanings, even down to how the rice cakes are cut. The rice cake itself is made using a rice grain called “garaetteok,” which is a long, cylinder shape — this symbolises a healthy, long life. The way the rice cake is cut represents the shape of the old Korean coin currency; it is eaten to help accumulate wealth and financial abundance. Finally, the white colour of the rice cake represents bright, new beginnings.


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Nicosia For a taste of modern day living in Cyprus, the capital, Nicosia, is just the place to explore. From the impressive presidential palace to the Pissouri 15th century walls in its main quarter, you will Nestled between Paphos and Limassol, about be spoilt for choice in this charming city. There 30km west of Limassol centre is the quaint is an abundance of arts and cultural activities hillside town of Pissouri. Split by two distinct on offer, including the many monuments, districts, the village and the bay area, it is monasteries and mosques to truly brush up on your Cypriot history. Shopping, theatres, a favourite among British expats settling in libraries and plenty of accommodation make Cyprus, thanks to its understated resort vibe and a good selection of cafes and bars. You can this city a must-see place on your Cyprus to-do list. A visit to the Cyprus Museum should be expect a much quieter atmosphere and enjoy long days at the beautiful Pissouri beach and on your itinerary as should the A.G Leventis a culture fix at the local art gallery. The more Gallery for the arts. Food lovers look out for Piatsa Gourounaki, voted number one restaurant adventurous traveller will find good diving spots, an abundance of water sports and horse on Trip Advisor for an indulgent menu of Greek favourites and a lot of meat! riding all on offer here.


CYPRUS As Brits, our love for Cyprus is endless. A yearround sun hot spot offering beautiful beaches, mountain treks, historic towns, and delicious food. Take a step back from the bustling resorts of Ayia Napa or Limassol and revisit the rich culture, get lost in the architecture and remember the warming nature of the locals. Fall in love all over again with Cypriot charm.

Karpaz Peninsula Far away from sun-seeking crowds and tucked right at the North Eastern tip of Cyprus lies the famously finger-shaped Karpez Peninsula, a 70km stretch of untouched sandy beaches, luscious greenery and unscathed hilltops. The Peninsula is a far cry from busier Cypriot locations but recent developments have improved access roads and facilities, making it a favourite among those looking for an ‘off the beaten track’ experience. Home to the Karpass Donkey, Cyprus’ national symbol, you can visit them at the Karpaz National Park Wild Donkey Protection area, and if you pay a visit to one of the many sandy beaches, you’re even likely to spot a nestling loggerhead turtle or two. It’s certainly worth a trip for the peaceful atmosphere but there is also a wealth of culture and history in the Peninsula too, such as the Kantara Castle or the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, and the ancient ruins of cities such as Karpasia and Basilica.

Polis Chrysochous


Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite is said to have frequented this small romantic town in the North of Cyprus so it’s no surprise that it has become a popular wedding location among locals and tourists alike. Polis is a short 30-minute car ride from Paphos but a world away from the bustling resort. You’ll find a truly enticing area of unspoiled nature that gives you the chance to experience picturesque mountains, A-grade beaches, and luscious landscapes all in the same place. Take a trip to Akamus nature reserve, a Cyprus national park, and embark on the Adonis nature trail for breath-taking scenery.

Sitting on the Eastern side of Cyprus is the district of Famagusta, famed for its architecture and the perfect stop over to delve deeply into the powerful history of the country. Start with a visit to the ancient walls of the old town, which stand 60ft high and date back to medieval times. Here you can explore the Othello fortress, Djanboulat's Bastion and Museum and the Porta del Mare, built in 1496 as one of the original gates into the city. Close by is the ancient port and archaeological museum of Salamis and the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, the stunning cathedral of St Nicholas, dating back to the 1300s. If you’ve had enough of history, you can stroll along the popular Silver beach, take a dip in the crystal clear waters and grab a drink at one of the many seaside eateries.



UK ESCAPES In need of some inspiration for a UK break? Allow LIVING to take you away on a tour around the Great British holiday spots.

Brighton Who says you can’t head to the seaside at winter? Brighton is perhaps the perfect seaside resort as you will find plenty to see and do along the promenade but if the sea breeze gets too strong you can retreat into the heart of the city where some of the best foodie spots in the country can be found and shopping and sightseeing is in abundance. The best way to see the city is to head up, towards the clouds and take in the views from Brighton i360. M U S T S E E : Brighton i360 Take a flight to the skies and see Sussex as you have never seen it before. Glide up slowly to 450 feet high to enjoy breath-taking 360 degree views of up to 26 miles from the world’s first vertical cable car, conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the creators of the London Eye.

Norfolk East Anglia is always a popular destination for a UK break and the idyllic county of Norfolk takes the top spot for visitors. Norfolk is fantastic whatever the season. Choose from miles of unspoilt coastline, beautiful countryside, forests and heathland, nature reserves, the opportunity for some amazing birdwatching, rambling and cycling to relaxing at a seaside resort. Norfolk tourism includes the bright lights and family fun of Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Sheringham, Hunstanton, and the tranquil Norfolk Broads, known as Britain’s magical waterland. There's Norwich, a fantastic city of heritage, culture and shopping. Close by is the lovely countryside of South Norfolk and The Waveney Valley sit waiting to be uncovered.




Just on the border of Scotland, Cumbria has one of the most magnificent landscapes in the country, if not the world, and is home to the Lake District. As a relatively unoccupied part of the UK, Cumbria has wide-open spaces of vast countryside and scenic walking routes. Pass long days out on Lake Windermere, pay a visit to the picturesque tourist town of Bowness-on-Windermere or head to Kendal for a wide selection of shopping and fine restaurants and get your fill of culture with the two museums, historical buildings and two castles all taking up residence.

Known for its natural hot springs and architecture, Bath is a beautiful destination for a relaxing break away. Bath is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in naturally hot spa water and original Roman Baths, making it the ultimate spa break destination for thousands of years. Many people liken Bath to one giant open-air museum as there is something to marvel at on practically every street thanks to its Georgian architecture and not to mention the history of its famous resident, Jane Austen.

TRAVEL Wa r w ick The county town is famous for its magnificent castle and historic charm and enjoys a variety of events throughout the year, including the popular Literary Festival. The streets of Warwick offer a unique blend of old and new with a bevy of independent businesses, craft shops, antique centres and tea rooms. It’s very much an idylliclooking place with Warwick castle making up a good chunk of its rich heritage and this is a mustsee on any visit to Warwickshire.

Nottingham Home of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire is the perfect place for a fun-filled family holiday in the UK. Once an area of woodland stretching over 30 miles from Nottingham to Worksop, Sherwood Forest was established as a royal hunting preserve in the 10th Century. Revived by the Normans, the 'forest' was enjoyed by kings many centuries ago. Further into Nottingham’s history you can visit several landmarks associated with Robin Hood, from a cave to Robin's world-famous hideaway, the Major Oak.

Shrewsbury Shrewsbury is one of Shropshire’s biggest and best towns with traditional black and white timber-framed buildings lining the narrow streets and the most accurate description of Shrewsbury is to say it is charming. It will charm you with its boutique shops and stalls in the town, with its independent eateries and with its grand architecture which boasts more than 600 listed buildings throughout the town.

Manchester Manchester is the cultural hub of the North and a UK break to this city could be quite the staycation if you tried to fit in all there is to see in a long weekend. Head to the Northern Quarter for a good mix of bars and plenty of live music, pay a visit to Canal Street for a big night out, Spinningfields is for sipping Champagne and shopping, stay in the swanky hotels of Piccadilly if you’re after a slice of the high-life and you must pay a visit to Manchester Town Hall to take in its grand design.




The famous home to its University namesake, Cambridge is known across the world for its academic heritage so it would be futile to resist the allure of the city. You can take a tour of the college and be inspired by the many museums and galleries. Away from the college and something else Cambridge is famed for is its river, The River Cam and more specifically, the traditional Cambridge Punt. Take a relaxing boat ride on the river and take in the views from afloat. Relax in the many beautiful pubs, restaurants and cafes and stroll through quaint passages which lead to market places.

Just a stone's throw from London but a million miles from the capital's hustle and bustle, Surrey is nestled away neatly in the English countryside and ready and waiting to be explored. With plenty to see in quite close proximity the best way to get about is on foot. Bustle through the picture-perfect villages and stately homes. Stop by the market towns and of course, get your fill of food at one of the many country pubs.

What do to in Windsor? Well, head to Windsor Castle of course! Built by William The Conqueror in the 11th century, the castle was extensively remodelled by subsequent monarchs. Away from the castle there is so much to see and do and Windsor is small enough to enjoy as a mini break away while still feeling like you’ve left home and you’re on an adventure as you ramble around the picturesque town. There’s the beautiful gardens such as the Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park and the National Trust's gardens at Cliveden, near Maidenhead. LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort is a hit among young families and draws in the crowds in peak season.

If you’re after a faster pace of life you can head across to the popular university town of Guildford for fine-dining and fun dancing.


TRAVEL Yo r k The walled city of York lies in the Northeast of England dating back to Roman reign with the River Ouse running through it. The impressive York Minster Cathedral, built in the 13th Century is beautifully preserved with medieval stained glass and two bell-towers. Famous for its traditional shopping streets, aptly named ‘The Shambles,’ which is a cobbled maze of restaurants, cafes and boutiques, it is a delightful city to visit for all ages.

London How long has it been since you visited our wonderful capital? London is an exciting place most times of the year but in winter it is even more magical, especially at Christmas. Take in the sights that so many visitors from different countries flock to every year, which, according to research published in The Standard newspaper, was a staggering 4.9 million between July and September 2013. In the day, navigate the underground to visit the British Museum, the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament. Stop off for a picnic lunch at Hyde Park, take a cruise on the River Thames, and pay your respects to the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Head down to Camden for the charismatic market crowds, take a picture at Abbey Road, and shop till you drop on Oxford Street. At night, marvel at a lit-up Big Ben, ride the London Eye, stand still and take in the amazing night scenery at Piccadilly, and see a production at the famous West End. The list is endless.

Cardiff Another port city along the south coast of Wales is Cardiff, Wales’ capital since 1955. The lure of this city is the ability to experience it on foot. Cardiff’s vast array of entertainment, night-life, shopping, restaurants, and cultural spots are all within walking distance of each other. The bustling Cardiff Bay area is a stunning waterfront location with a whole host of attractions to choose from and an atmosphere you’ll love. In fact, you could spend all your time here but then you would miss out on the inspiring historical buildings of the main city but don’t fret – it’s just a short walk away.


Edinburgh Scotland’s capital has just as much charm as our own. The history of Edinburgh hits you as you arrive off the train and are greeted with a backdrop of its magnificent castle, but the beauty of this city carries on throughout. Famed for its diverse cultural appeal, you’ll be lost in a world of Scottish heritage and enthralled by its many attractions, such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the year-end Tattoo, the delightful locals, and the amazing food and drink, which will all keep you coming back time and time again.


Don’t leave without wandering the streets of the Old and New Town, both recognised as UNESCO World Heritage sites, to take in the stunning architecture and experience the many wonderful coffee shops, tea rooms and boutique shops, which line the pavements. Edinburgh castle, Arthur’s Seat, the Royal Botanic Garden and National Museum are all must-see places on your visit here too.

A few hours down the M6 and M5 (from Staffordshire) and you’ll reach Bristol, set beneath the rolling hills of the South West and along the River Avon. Rich in maritime heritage and with huge cultural appeal, artists, historians, and thespians alike will fall in love with this enchanting city. Arguably the best thing to experience here is the fantastic displays of street art. Graffiti, at its finest, lines the walls of the city. Hometown of the elusive and world famous graffiti artist, Banksy, you can take his walking tour to see some of his art through the ages.



ENTERTAINMENT THE FILM CLUB Christmas On The Stage, LIVING’s Book Corner, What’s On In Staffordshire for November and December and An Interview With Mick Hucknall

Allied. Daniel Smith - Paramount Pictures


Office Christmas Party RELEASE DATE: 9th December DIRECTED BY: Josh Gordon & Will Speck CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn, Jason Bateman & T.J. Miller

Paramount Pictures

THE FILM CLUB The top movies this November & December Allied (pictured right) RELEASE DATE: 25th November DIRECTED BY: Robert Zemeckis CAST: Brad Pitt, Lizzy Caplan, Marion Cotillard The story of intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt), who in 1942 North Africa encounters French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Reunited in London, their relationship is threatened by the extreme pressures of the war.

Jan Thijs - Paramount Pictures

Arrival RELEASE DATE: 11th November DIRECTED BY: Denis Villeneuve CAST: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner & Forest Whitaker When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.


When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand...

Why Him? RELEASE DATE: 26th December DIRECTED BY: John Hamburg CAST: James Franco & Bryan Cranston

20th Century Fox

Over the holidays, Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). A rivalry develops, and Ned's panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.

Warner Bros. Pictures - Chuck Zlotnick

The Accountant RELEASE DATE: 4th November DIRECTED BY: Gavin O'Connor CAST: Ben Affleck & Anna Kendrick Christian Wolff (Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

Jaap Buitendijk - Warner Bros.

Daniel Smith - Paramount Pictures

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them RELEASE DATE: 18th November DIRECTED BY: David Yates CAST: Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne & Colin Farrell The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.


from Baroque until Today

1 October 2016 – 8 January 2017 The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent 01782 232323 | | Free Entry


Sensational new choreography, sparkling costumes and a show band performing timeless music. I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT I GOT RHYTHM  MOONDANCE I’VE GOT THE WORLD ON A STRING GUYS AND DOLLS  LE JAZZ HOT STRIKE UP THE BAND Richard Balcombe conductor Lance Ellington star vocalist Six world class Ensemble Dancers Plus the full 25 piece Manchester Concert Orchestra

Friday 24 February at 7.30pm

VICTORIA HALL - STOKE BOX OFFICE 0844 871 7649 SEATS AVAILABLE ONLINE Calls will cost 7ppm plus your network access charge.

(24hrs/bkg fees apply)

0844 847 2319

Charleston dancers © Porzellanikon – Staatliches Museum für Porzellan, Hohenberg a. d. Eger / Selb

European Cultural Lifestyle in Ceramics

01538 750755 Churnet Valley Railway, Near Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands

Food & Drink


4th, 11th, 18th, 26th November

Bavarian Nights at The National Brewery Centre For an evening of live entertainment, delicious food and lots of fun and dancing, check out the Bavarian nights taking place at The National Brewery Centre at Horninglow Street in Burton-Upon-Trent. Hear the delightful sounds of The Karl's Brass band and feast on a themed hot supper. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets are priced from £17.95 per person. Price is £18.95 for the Bavarian Christmas Party on 26th November, which has a hot supper and festive disco in a special marquee. Visit for more information and to book tickets. 1st December – 23rd December

Christmas Lunch at World of Wedgwood Indulge in the most delicious Christmas lunch with your family within The Dining Hall of World of Wedgwood. The three-course meal is priced at £21 per person and includes the classic festive turkey dinner along with salmon and seafood options, warming soup and sticky toffee Christmas pudding. For the full menu, to reserve a table or to make an enquiry, please visit www. or contact 01782 282986/

16th December

Friday Twilight – Ghost Stories for Christmas If you like a spooky touch to your evening, this unusual Christmas party at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery will be right up your street. Presented by theatre group, 'Don't go into the cellar' classic ghost stories will be told over drinks and a buffet. The bar will be open from 5pm and food is served from 6pm. Tickets are £19.95 and include a festive twocourse buffet. Performance is from 8-10pm. Please call 01782 232323 to book tickets.


What’s on across Staffordshire and beyond this season

28th November – 10th December

Eric’s Christmas Party Join Eric at his annual Christmas party for an evening of classic entertainment, from the greatest hits of the 60s to comedy and fun performances from a whole host of talented actors and musicians. Tickets are priced from £18.50 £23.50 with special discounts for groups of four or more. Book yours at

10th December

Entertainment 11th November

Swan Lake 2016 The Russian State Ballet and Opera House present this latest production of the stage classic, Swan Lake. Get lost in this compelling legend of tragic romance with music by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky and featuring a large live orchestra and impressive cast. See it for one night only at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre in November.

The Sensational 60s Experience If you’re feeling the need for a dose of nostalgia over the Christmas period, this fantastic 60s tour is back by popular demand for one night only. Seven legendary names will be making a comeback for this one-off experience you won’t forget. Acts include Herman’s Hermits, Chris Farlowe, New Amen Corner, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Merseybeats and The Ivy League. Doors open at 7.30pm, book tickets from

Tickets are priced at £33.50 for an adult and concessions at £31.50. The performance starts at 7.30pm, please visit www. for more information.

2nd – 6th December

The Clothes Show


Britain’s ultimate fashion festival will return to the NEC Birmingham this December with an all new line up! Staffordshire Living has teamed up with The Clothes Show in association with Alcatel to offer one lucky reader and their ‘plus one’ the chance to attend Britain's biggest fashion and beauty festival on Saturday 3rd December 2016 at the NEC Birmingham.

Q: Where is The Clothes Show being held this year? To be in with the chance of winning simply navigate your way to the COMPETITIONS tab on to enter your answer, along with your name and address details. Or scan the code to the left using your QR code reader (download from your App Store on your mobile phone or tablet) to go direct to the competitions page now! Tickets to the show on 2nd – 6th December are now on sale and available at Don't forget to follow The Clothes Show on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @ClothesShow for the latest updates. T&Cs: Closing date is 9am Friday 18th November 2016. The competition prize will consist of a weekend ticket for The Clothes Show at NEC Birmingham, valid for Saturday 3rd December only. There will be 1 prize only but the ticket is valid for a winner + guest. Travel not included. Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable, and for the date shown only. For a full set of Staffordshire Media competitions Terms and Conditions please see page 9.

Arts & Culture 1st October 2016 – 8th January 2017

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery; European cultural lifestyle in ceramics: from baroque until today. An international touring exhibition of around 200 works from nine European ceramic museums covering the history of ceramic design from the 17th-21st centuries, and concentrating on tea and tablewares. Many of the pieces, particularly those from Slovenia, and the Baltic States have never been seen in the UK before. Charleston dancers, 1920s, designed by Anton Buschelberger for Porzellanfabrik Ens ©Porzellanikon – Staatliches Museum fur Porzellan, Hohenberg a.d. Eger/Selb 3rd & 4th November

Auction of Antiques & Fine Art Adam Partridge Auctioneers hosts this auction with Asian Art, Musical Instruments and Silver & Jewellery at The Cheshire Saleroom, Withyfold Drive, Macclesfield, SK10 2BD. Auction opens from 10am on 3rd & 4th November and viewing day is 2nd November from 10am until 8pm. Visit for more information or call 01625 431 788. 1st – 4th December

Antiques for Everyone

9th-11th December

Bowman Antiques Fair The 3-day Antiques Fair organised by the Bowman family is a Staffordshire institution. The event has been running six times a year since 1978 and still has an amazing selection of antiques, art and collectable items not generally available on the high street. For more information visit

Kids & Family 5th November

Tamworth Castle Bonfire Night Take in the dazzling firework display of Tamworth Castle this bonfire night, being held in its grounds. Activities commence at 6pm with the finale fireworks display taking place at 8pm. Castle doors close at 8.00 pm.

27th November

Family Fun Day at Compton Hospice Join Compton Hospice for the festive season with a spectacular Family Fun Day from 11-4pm on 27th November and breakfast or lunch with Santa on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th December. Call Fundraising on 0845 2255497 or visit www. for more information.

General Admission fees to the castle apply Adults £7.00, OAP £6.00, Child (over 5) £4.50, Child (2-4 years) £2.50 and under 2 years old are free. For more information and to book tickets visit or contact Tamworth Tourist Information Centre on 01827 709581/618/

30th November – 24th December

20th November

Follow @hanleychristmasmarkets on Facebook or call 01782 232716 for more information.

The King’s Christmas Market The King’s Christmas Market will feature 100 artisan traders selling fabulous art, crafts, foods and gifts from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 20 November. There is also free entertainment and parking. The King’s Christmas Market is located at King’s Hall, Stoke, ST4 1HH. Follow @stokeontrentmarkets on Facebook or call 07920 835943 for more information.

Visit Antiques for Everyone at the NEC in Birmingham to discover the largest art and antiques fair outside London. With 200 specialist dealers offering a huge variety of desirable items from ceramics to glass, jewellery and furniture you’ll be sure to find the perfect piece.

Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Christmas Market Hanley will come alive this Christmas with festive wooden chalets selling food, drink, gifts and decorations and a large ice rink and funfair. The market is open daily from 30 November to 24 December.

3rd – 8th December

Arley Hall & Gardens Christmas Celebration Arley Hall in Cheshire is preparing a traditional Christmas celebration for all of its visitors. The hall will be decked out with hundreds of fresh flowers for a floral extravaganza whilst choirs are tuning up for the Candlelight and Carol evenings. For more details of the event call 01565 777353 or go to

3rd December

For more information and to book tickets visit

Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre 26th November - 24th December

Christmas at The Roebuck shopping Centre The Roebuck Shopping Centre is saving its best events until last! Santa’s Grotto opens from 26th November and a Moonlight Market takes place on the 14th December so go along and enjoy winters’ full glory with a whole host of gift ideas and great days out.

The Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre runs from 10 am until 5 pm. The Fayre includes a variety of entertainment including music, street theatre, donkey rides, birds of prey, reptiles and snakes, and Santa’s Grotto. This fabulous day ends with carols by candlelight. Visit for more information.

For more information visit www.



Pl Audiuts Chorist for ch ion Trai er 2.00pildren & parenning ts m - 2. 45pm

Singing Workshop Saturday 21 January, 9.30am - 2.00pm Open to Boys aged 6-11 and Girls aged 9-13

01543 306168 to book your free place Learn how to sing choral music in Lichfield Cathedral Vocal training • Lunch provided • Sing in Eucharist service


An interview with


Simply Red take their classic album ‘Stars’ on the road this November, Mick Hucknall talks to LIVING about reviving the best-selling UK album 25 years on and going on tour again… Q: What are your thoughts on Stars being 25 years old? For an album to have that kind of longevity you obviously did something right in the studio back then? A: After the success of ‘A New Flame’ I set myself the challenge of composing a whole album of original songs. I could never have imagined that Stars would have the impact it did. It’s always about the music. I have this abiding faith in the music and that will shine through when I’m dead and gone. I don’t really care about the contemporary side of it because I’m always trying to make music that will last a long time. Q: How has it felt to be back on the road, not just here in the UK, but also around the world? A: We finished the last leg of the tour at the Olympic Stadium in Munich the other night and the band were all saying how fresh the whole thing felt, especially after over 100 shows in the past year around the world. It’s been great seeing so many smiling faces in the crowd. We’ve also noticed on this tour a lot more younger people coming to the shows. I guess some people are discovering our music for the first time on Spotify and Youtube. Q: Do you adapt your live experience for the different cities, towns or countries you visit?

A: For us, it’s more about putting on the best show we can – come rain or shine, indoors or outdoors but it’s a great change of scenery to be playing all over the world. We’ve played some unusual venues this year around Europe. Racecourses, forests and a few castles, it will make for an nice change to not worry about the weather with this upcoming arena tour. November isn’t ideal for anything outdoors! I’m really lucky to have an amazing band, we’re all on the same wavelength when it comes to putting on the best show possible. We constantly push each other to perform at our best, to go above and beyond for the audience because at the end of the day, if the audience isn’t enjoying the show then we’re not doing our job properly!

Q: You are a settled family man now, will you be bringing them out on the road? A: Touring is effectively me going back to work, so while I’m sure they’ll be coming out to see a few shows, I think it may get a little boring for them at this point! Plus, we have to work around school term for my daughter so that limits the amount she can visit while I’m away. Luckily, we won’t be too far from home this time so I’ll be able to pop back and see her more often than say, if I were back in Australia.

Simply Red play the following dates:

Q: Any rituals before stage time?


A: It used to be one of our tour rituals to play cricket in the downtime before a show and for a while, I had some cricket nets in my back garden. Nowadays I mostly play it on the PS4 at home but I still love going to see the matches at Lords Cricket Ground when I have a chance.

Sat 11th

DUBLIN, 3 Arena

Sun 13th


Tue 15th


Wed 16th


Fri 18th

MANCHESTER, Manchester Arena

Q: This tour is specifically to celebrate 25 years since the release of Stars and that tracklisting will be the second half of the show, what about the first half?

Sat 19th

CARDIFF, Motorpoint Arena

Sun 20th

BIRMINGHAM, Genting Arena

Tue 22nd

NEWCASTLE, Metro Radio Arena

A: Rather than just play the same songs we’ve been playing for the last year, we are going to introduce a few songs that we have’t played for a while, a few fan favourites. There’ll be plenty of big Simply Red hits in the first half but maybe not the most obvious ones!

Wed 23rd

NOTTINGHAM, Motorpoint Arena

Fri 25th

LONDON, The SSE Arena Wembley

Sun 27th


Tickets on sale now. For more details head to


The Regent Theatre. Cinderella


8th December 2016 – 8th January 2017


Following the huge success of Peter Pan last year, pantomime duo, Jonathan Wilkes and Christian Patterson return to The Regent Theatre once again for this year’s production of the classic tale, Cinderella. Expect a laugh out loud performance including everyone’s favourite characters, Prince Charming, the ugly sisters, Buttons, the Fairy Godmother and, of course, Cinderella. Watch as they tell the story of love, rivalry and magic in a show that the whole family will love! Tickets are priced from £12 - £32.50 and are available from the Box Office on 0844 871 7649 or online at www.


Staffordshire Living has teamed up with The Regent Theatre to giveaway a family ticket for four to see Cinderella for free on Friday 9 December at 7pm.

Which famous pantomime can you see at The Regent Theatre this year? To be in with the chance of winning simply navigate your way to the COMPETITIONS tab on www. to enter your answer, along with your name and address details. Or scan the code to the left using your QR code reader (download from your App Store on your mobile phone or tablet) to go direct to the competitions page now! T&Cs: Closing date is 9am Friday 25th November 2016. Tickets are valid for Friday 9th December only. There will be 1 prize only but the ticket is valid for 2 adults and 2 children. Travel not included. Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable, and for the date shown only. For a full set of Staffordshire Media competitions Terms and Conditions please see page 9.


What’s on stage this Christmas…

New Vic Theatre. The Snow Queen 19th November 2016 – 28th January 2017 Newcastle-under-Lyme’s New Vic Theatre is getting set to stage classic children’s tale The Snow Queen this Christmas. Adapted and directed by New Vic Artistic Director, Theresa Heskins, The Snow Queen will take centre-stage at the theatre-in-the-round this festive season. With enchanting characters, original music and filled with breath-taking on-stage magic, this year’s pantomime production will be brought to the stage by the same creative team behind the New Vic’s spectacular Robin Hood & Marian, The Borrowers and The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Tickets for The Snow Queen are priced from £16.50 to £23.50 (concessions available) and are available online at or by telephoning the New Vic Box Office on 01782 717962.

Lichfield Garrick. Sleeping Beauty 1st December – 31st December Sleeping Beauty is the Lichfield Garrick’s 2016 spectacular family pantomime starring Rebecca Kealtey from Cbeebies, the brilliant Sam Rabone as Nurse Nelly, children’s entertainer Ben Thornton and children’s author Ian Billings. With lots of audience participation, lavish sets and stunning special effects (there is even a fire-breathing dragon!), Sleeping Beauty promises to be The Garrick’s funniest and most magical pantomime ever. There is a variety of schools, matinee and evening performances, including for the first time, a signed performance on 7th December at 1.30pm. Ticket prices start from £13.00 for children and £22.00 for adults, and can be booked online at or by calling the Box Office on 01543 412121.


Crewe Lyceum Theatre. Aladdin

10th – 31st December 2016 Starring comedy duo, Cannon & Ball, as PC Tommy and PC Bobby, and Sid Sloane from CBeebies as Wishee Washee, the Crewe Lyceum’s performance of Aladdin this year is set to be a real hit with kids and parents alike. Make tickets to Aladdin one of your three wishes in this magical pantomime adventure full of spectacular comedy, sparkling music, fantastic costumes and stunning special effects perfect for the festive season.


Stafford Gatehouse. Aladdin

8th December 2016 – 8th January 2017 Following on from last year’s successful performance of Jack and the Beanstalk, the Stafford Gatehouse will this year showcase Aladdin the “wok ‘n’ roll” pantomime. It’s time for celebrations in old Shanghai as the Emperor hosts a party to celebrate the engagement of his daughter to the mysterious Abanazer. Meanwhile, our hero Aladdin meets the Princess on the street and falls for her instantly, but knows a penniless boy like him could never marry a princess. When Aladdin goes on an adventure with his best friend Nanas the Monkey, could the discovery of a magic lamp help turn his fortunes around? Get ready to be whisked away on a magic carpet ride of festive fun filled with a storming line up of classic rock ‘n’ roll hits, from Aretha Franklin, The Monkees, James Brown, The Temptations, The Jackson Five, and many, many more! Don't miss out on the hottest ticket in town this festive season! Call the Box Office on 01785 619080 or visit

25th November 2016 – 7th January 2017 When pirates ransack Grandma Hawkins’ inn, her fearless granddaughter, Jim unearths a treasure map and knows she must follow it to uncover its fortune. Gathering a motley crew of sailors and pirates, Jim sets sail on the mighty Hispaniola and they seek out a lost island where riches await.

Buxton Opera House. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs


10th December 2016 to 1st January 2017 This year, the Buxton Opera House’s production of Snow White is set to be one magical and entertaining show. James Holmes, who last year was praised for his performance as Widow Twankey in Aladdin, is back to play the role of Dame Brenda Bakewell, a long-suffering palace cook for the wicked Queen Belladonna. Also performing as the beautiful Snow White will be Lucy Dixon, who is best known for her roles in Hollyoaks and Waterloo Rd. Watch out for all the regular characters including Snow White’s wicked stepmother, her seven special little friends, and of course the dashing prince. 2016 also marks the 25th year that writer and director Philip Dart and his company have produced the pantomime at Buxton Opera House. Tickets are priced from £17.50 to £23 and discounts and group rates are available. To book seats go online at or telephone the Box Office on 01298 72190.

Prince of Wales Centre. Jack and the Beanstalk 22nd - 30th December 2016 The enduring tale of Jack and the Beanstalk will take to the stage this Christmas at the Prince of Wales Centre in Cannock. Follow the story of Jack as he trades Daisy the cow for a handful of beans. The beans aren’t ordinary beans, they are magic beans that grow into a giant beanstalk which Jack climbs. At the top Jack discovers a castle full of treasure including a magical harp and a hen that lays golden eggs but this castle belongs to a giant. What will happen? Will Jack escape the clutches of the giant and make his fortune?

The ship’s charming cook, Long John Silver quickly befriends Jim. As they follow the stars to the island, it seems Long John is not all he seems. Will Jim and her friends track down the buried treasure, or will they lose their lives in the process? Treasure Island is a thrilling, swashbuckling voyage that will transport you to a far away, tropical island. This breathtaking, modern adaptation by Bryony Lavery (A Christmas Carol) retains all the adventure and excitement of Robert Louis Stevenson’s timeless classic, but proves that everyone deserves an adventure. Tickets are priced from £15. Please call the box Office on 0121 236 4455 or visit www. Recommended for Ages 7+.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Aladdin ^

Tickets are priced from £17.50 to £23 and can be purchased from or by calling 01270 368 242.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Treasure Island

10th December 2016 – 22nd January 2017 Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has a host of popular stars on stage for its production of pantomime favourite, Aladdin. X Factor winner, Joe McElderry will star in the title role as Aladdin, while former Emmerdale star, Lisa Riley will play the genie role of Slave Of The Ring. Black Country favourite, Doreen, will join the line up as the laziest Empress that China has ever seen, CBeebies’ Mr Bloom, Ben Faulks, as the Chief of Peking Police, and Ian Adams as Widow Twankey. Take the family along and join this star studded cast on a magic carpet ride. Follow Aladdin, his brother, Wishee Washee, and Widow Twankey on a spectacular adventure. Produced by Qdos Entertainment, you can get tickets for this performance of Aladdin by phone on 01902 42 92 12 or online at

Traditional pantomime is guaranteed with lots of wonderful songs and music and audience participation. Shorelle Hepkin, from CBBC’s Wolfblood, stars as The Fairy and Keith De’Winter is back as Dame Dolly. Tickets are available from the box office on 01543 578762 or online at


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For More Info T: 01782 372867 O

on on 3


Music and Lyrics



Original Story by





TUE 29 NOV – SAT 3 DEC 2016


BOX OFFICE 0844 871 7649 (bkg fee) GROUPS 0844 871 7619 WWW.ATGTICKETS.COM/STOKE (bkg fee)


Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber


e festiv story

Release date: 3rd November 2016, £5.99

The Normal British Christmas? B ES

Release date: October 2016, £6.99


ing stock filler

“Our whole family goes to the butchers to collect the turkey. We all wear fancy dress. Back home each of us slaps it on the bottom twice!” The Normal British Christmas? unwraps the many ways there are to celebrate the festive season. Tee Dobinson interviewed families across Britain about their Christmas traditions and gives us over 500 quotes and stories revealing the funny, endearing and often barmy things British people get up to at this time of year. From tinsel to turkey, the book shows what really happens in British homes during the festive season.


for her


In this festive story we find Julia infuriated by her grumpy neighbour, Cain, who can’t even be pleasant when they bump into each other. So on the suggestion of her best friend, Cammie, Julia concocts a plan. She starts a blog in order to clinch her perfect job, and now she has a subject. Over the next twelve days, she is going to kill Cain with kindness – and Christmas cheer – and document it for all to read about. But as the experiment goes on, Julia realises she underestimated the effect it would have on Cain, and on their relationship, and things take an unexpected turn… This latest release from the International bestselling author of the Cedar Cove and Rose Harbor series, Debbie Macomber, looks set to be a real seasonal page-turner!


B dog FOR rs love

LIVING’S pick of Christmas releases B E ST FO R

techie s

A Nightingale Christmas Carol by Donna Douglas Release date: 17th November 2016, £5.99 The Nightingale Hospital, London, 1944 All that Dora Riley wants is her husband home safe for Christmas…

A Brief History of Time Out now, £29.95

In the Dogs and their Faithful Celebrities Out now, £9.99 twentyeight years since its first In celebration of its 125th year, the UK’s largest dog welfare With her husband Nick away fighting, Dora struggles publication in 1988, Stephen charity, Dogs Trust presents Dogs and their Faithful to keep the home fires burning and is put in charge of Hawking’s classic work, A Celebrities, a fully illustrated book featuring some of the best a ward full of German prisoners of war. Can she find Brief History of Time, has known people from the worlds of music, sport and television. it in her heart to care for her enemies? Fellow nurse become a landmark volume in Aimed at dog lovers around the world, readers will meet some Kitty thinks she might be falling for a German soldier, scientific writing. The latest of the most adorable pooches alongside their adoring owners whilst Dora’s old friend Helen returns from Europe edition features spectacular and hear anecdotes about the joy and diva moments they’ve with a dark secret. Can the women overcome their images specially researched endured with their furry friends. prejudices and the troubles of their past to do their for this most respected duty for their country? The book features more than 50 celebrities and their dogs, of modern science books including actor Ryan Gosling, singer Pink, racing driver Set during the Second World War, A Nightingale that should be considered Lewis Hamilton and many more. All royalties go to Dogs Christmas Carol is the new novel from the Sunday alongside Einstein’s Relativity, Trust charity. Dogs and their Faithful Celebrities is a unique Times top ten bestselling author of Nightingales Feynman’s Easy & Not So Under the Mistletoe, Donna Douglas. If you’re a fan Easy Pieces and Darwin’s On book for dog lovers far and wide, and a great way to celebrate the incredible work of Dogs Trust, while raising pounds for of the TV favourite, Call The Midwife, then you will The Origin of Species. the homeless hounds in its care. love this book.




LIVING LIVING’S ONE-STOP PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE What 2016 Taught Us, Looking After The Elderly At Christmas, Where Can You Give Back This Season, The Festive Happenings In Newcastle-under-Lyme, Car Reviews and Shopping Local This Christmas



WHAT 2016 TAUGHT US... It was a year of highs and lows and of ins and outs. LIVING looks back on the somewhat tempestuous year of 2016. 2016. What a year. If we weren’t talking about the whole Brexit debate, we were mourning some of the most influential writers, actors, comedians, sporting heroes and personalities of our lifetime. Globally, we’ve had to contend with an outbreak of the Zika virus, watch on in disbelief as North Korea launched a missile into space, and once again we were praying for peace, as terrorism struck in attacks on Belgium and Orlando among many others. It has certainly been a year that will leave a lasting impression but it hasn’t all been glum. In fact, weather wise, we had one of the best summers (and a pretty good September) we’ve had for a while, we all united for the Queen’s 90th birthday, and Andy Murray won Wimbledon, and all that’s without even mentioning the fantastic achievements of Team GB at the Rio Olympics. What has 2016 taught us? Let’s find out...

We can do it Despite the premature exit of England from the Euro Cup, our sporting dreams were kept alive by a summer of unbelievable achievements. It all kicked off with Leicester City FC, who won the premiership in May. The Premier League reign had largely been dominated by Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea in recent years, so Leicester now joins fellow underdogs, Blackburn Rovers (1994-95), as the only other teams to have clinched the title since its inception in 1992. HIGH!

Andy Murray beat off Milos Raonic at Wimbledon to claim his second title there, which for us was what we had all been waiting for since his last victory in 2013. Henman Hill erupted with joy as he slammed down match point in an epic three-set duel. He later went on to win his second gold medal at the Olympics competing in the men’s singles tournament. He is the only British tennis player to win in multiple titles at Wimbledon, since Fred Perry in 1936, and ever at the Olympics.


Team GB produced some staggering results at the Rio Olympics in August. 27 golds, 23 silver and 17 bronze medals put us second in the medals table, behind only the USA. Comparatively, we were third in London 2012 and fourth in Beijing 2008. What’s more, our very own Staffordshire born, Adam Peaty, from Uttoxeter won gold in the 100m breast stroke. Another local hero, Cheddleton’s Lee Pearson carried the flag for GB at the Paralympic games, in which we bought home a staggering 147 medals, 64 of which were gold, 39 silver and 44 bronze.

They are all personalities we had fallen in love with but our sadness didn’t stop there. In February, actor of Father Ted fame, Frank Kelly (Father Jack) passed, and in March we were once again hit with a series of celebrity deaths, This Morning’s, Denise Robertson, Coronation Street creator, Tony Warren, comedian, Ronnie Corbett, and everyone’s favourite magician, Paul Daniels. In April, the world was stunned to hear the news that Prince had been found dead at his Minnesota residence, and on home ground we couldn’t believe that Victoria Wood had been taken, at just 62 years old, following a short but brave battle with cancer. In just four months, the world lost a total of 82 celebrities and we were all shocked, but our hearts were to be saddened even further by the loss of more greats as the year unfolded, including three-time world boxing Heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali, who suffered with Parkinson’s Disease for 35 years and passed away in June, aged 74, and comedian, Caroline Aherne, star and writer of The Royal Family and Mrs Merton, who lost her lengthy battle with cancer in July, aged just 52.

The greats aren’t immortal It was the year that we lost a heartbreaking amount of very much adored celebrities. In January alone, we grieved over some of the UK’s best as we said goodbye to musical legend, David Bowie, acting great, Alan Rickman, and Sir Terry Wogan, a voice which had become synonymous with breakfast radio, so much so that turning on the radio in the morning just isn’t the same anymore. LOW

"Life’s not fair, is it? Some of us drink Champagne in the fast lane, and some of us eat our sandwiches by the loose chippings on the A597." - Victoria Wood 1954-2016



Girl power still exists That’s right, this year has been full of girl power inducing moments. The Queen turned 90 on April 21st 2016, but we turned out in our 1000s to commemorate the milestone on her official birthday, Saturday 11th June at the annual Trooping the Colour parade. Queen Elizabeth II wasn’t the only royal to celebrate a milestone birthday this year either. Little Princess Charlotte of Cambridge celebrated her first birthday on 2nd May 2016 too. Men and women from all countries were on fire at the Rio Olympics, but Team GB produced some of the best female performances to date. Gold medal winners included boxer, Nicola Adams, taekwondo ace, Jade Jones, sailing duo, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke, cycling phenomenon Laura Trott, who got three, dressage champion, Charlotte Dujardin, rowers, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, the female cycling team pursuit quartet, consisting of Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald, and the entire women’s hockey team! While, the topic may still be raw in some people’s minds, we simply couldn’t give a rundown of 2016 without mentioning the EU Referendum. In June, the country was faced with the momentous decision of whether to stay in the EU or leave. Following the result to leave, the government as we knew it went into a state of complete chaos but was slowly pulled back into order by Theresa May, one of only two female British Prime Ministers to ever be in power. OUT

The show must go on In entertainment, some say Jennifer Anniston finally got her closure when Hollywood power couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie filed for divorce in late September, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple have six children together and have been in a relationship for over 10 years, married for two. Celebrities far and wide decided to follow in Kim Kardashian’s stilettos with half-hearted attempts to ‘break the internet,’ as nude photos of A-listers including Justin Bieber and Orlando Bloom surfaced. They didn’t quite have the same effect. British revival was at its best with the return of Absolutely Fabulous in a feature length movie. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley were just as hilarious as Eddie and Patsy as they always had been, and didn’t seem to to have aged a day. And possibly one of the saddest moments in TV history, after seven successful series, the most famous cooking show on the planet, Great British Bake Off was sold to Channel 4, leaving the BBC, which had been its home since it first aired in 2010, and forcing hosts Mel and Sue to quit the show, declaring they are not “going with the dough.” Judge Mary Berry also bid a fond farewell to the show with co-judge, Paul Hollywood deciding he would continue working on the 8th season. It showed just how passionate we had become about all things British and the love of a wholesome family show, which epitomised everything we like about good old blighty.

And finally, Bridget Jones was back, it’d been 12 years since we last saw her grace our screens, and the latest film in the franchise, Bridget Jones’ Baby had us fall in love all over again with her comical but independent manner. Girl power at its best!

The weather will always be unpredictable We were warned that 2016 might be the hottest year on record, but that didn’t stop it from snowing for a week in April. That being said, during July and August, the country experienced spells of rocketing temperatures, to as high as 35 degrees Celsius in some areas, giving us the hottest day of the year for 13 years. Furthermore, in September, we had a brief spell of the Indian summer we are so frequently promised, and the hottest September day on record since 1911.

The future is upon us The world was thrown into complete disarray after the arrival of furry beings from another planet – Pokémon Go. The free augmented reality game for your mobile phone sent social media into a frenzy as anecdotes, grumbles and captioned photos of people on the hunt for the creatures popped up on everyone’s newsfeed. Has anyone actually found them all yet? 2016 bought space closer to us than ever before. After finishing a successful 6-month mission into orbit this year, British astronaut, Tim Peake is hoping to land on the moon for his next trip up, NASA confirmed its Juno spacecraft has entered the orbit around Jupitar, and is now collecting data as part of a 20-month long survey of the planet, and Richard Branson unveiled a new Virgin Galactic spacecraft. We all could be next.

 Did we miss anything? Connect with us via Twitter @staffsmedia and tell us your highs and lows of 2016

The British weather has always been unpredictable but 2016 was a year of extremes, and boy do we go to town when the sun comes out!





1- 4 December 2016 | Hall 5, NEC Birmingham

The largest vetted art, antiques and interiors fair in the UK Tickets and information or call 0844 581 0827 J317825_AFES03_Advert_Staffordshire_Living_138x210mm_2016_fv.indd 1

09/09/2016 10:02

Bowman Antiques Fairs

Are re delighted to remind the discerning lady and gentleman that the dates for their Antiques & Art Fairs for 2014 are as follows:

Bowman Antiques Fairs Are delighted remind are delighted toto remind thethe discerning lady and gentleman discerning lady and gentleman that the thedates datesfor for their next their next two Antiques & Art Fairs for antiques & art fairs for 201 5 are as follows: 2016 and 2017 are as follows:

Giant 3 day antiques & art fair

Giant 3 day antiques & art fair Stafford bingley hall ST18 0bd

Stafford bingley hall ST18 0bd

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

31st Jan/1st/2nd February 7th/8th/9th March

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 30th/31st Jan/1st Feb 16 9TH/10TH/11TH DECEMBER 6th/7th/8th March 17 3RD/4TH/5TH FEBRUARY 10TH/11TH/12TH MARCH 17


Admission £5 adults £3 concessions as is usual at events organised by the Bowman family there are hundreds of good quality dealers in the rare the exotic the unusual the beautiful and the hard to find.

10AM - 5PM EACH DAY Admission £5 £5ADULTS adults£4 £3 concessions ADMISSION CONCESSIONS @antiquesfairs.

Bowman Antiques Fairs Tel: 01274 588505 @antiquesfairs.

Forthcoming Macclesfield Sales:

3rd November - Antiques & Asian Art with Musical Instruments, Silver and Jewellery 8th December - Antiques & Fine Art with Toys, Wines & Spirits

FREE VALUATION DAYS EVERY MONDAY IN MACCLESFIELD (9:30am - 7pm), TUESDAY IN ALTRINCHAM (9:30am - 1pm & 2pm - 4pm), & WEDNESDAY IN LIVERPOOL (9:30am - 6pm) The Cheshire Saleroom Withyfold Drive Macclesfield SK10 2BD 01625 431 788

The Liverpool Saleroom 18 Jordan Street Liverpool L1 0BP 0151 709 8070

The Altrincham Office 38 Hale Road Altrincham WA14 2EX 0161 941 4879 Illustrated: a 19th century Chinese porcelain wig stand, sold for £ 8 0 , 0 0 0

Christmas at Home… …we’ll provide the home. Come and join the fun this Christmas at one of Avery Healthcare’s eight luxury care homes in Staffordshire with our special seasonal Respite Care Holiday Offer. There’s a warm welcome from a friendly community and it’s truly all-inclusive with all meals, refreshments, daily activities and entertainment. It could be peace of mind for your family too, and a break for them if they support you, to be looked after around the clock in a safe and secure environment, in hotel style surroundings. Our luxury Care Holidays start from as little as one week, or you can choose to stay for the whole festive season if you wish. They start from December 1st but don’t delay – be sure to book early.

For more information about our homes Search ‘Avery Care Staffordshire’ 3 Cygnet Drive | Swan Valley | Northampton | Northamptonshire | NN4 9BS |

Elderly relative going into care?

Court of Protection deputy order If there is no enduring or lasting power of attorney in place, and the elderly person lacks mental capacity then, it will be necessary to ask the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy for the person.

Concerns in care Without a health and welfare lasting power of attorney you do not have to be included in making decisions about daily care routines such as diet, dressing and bathing, as well as decisions about medical treatment and life-sustaining interventions. You would need permission from the Court of Protection to move your relative to a different care home.

Selling their home More often than not, when a person goes into care their home needs to be sold. You will only be able to manage this on their behalf if you have a nancial affairs power of attorney or a nancial deputy order in place.

Make or review their will The process of moving an elderly person into care can be particularly challenging, especially if they lack mental capacity. If they have already made a lasting power of attorney outlining their wishes, this will help. There are two types of lasting power of attorney: • health and welfare – which allows attorneys to make decisions on care homes and ongoing medical decisions; and nancial affairs – which allows attorneys to make decisions on funding care costs, managing bank accounts, investments and selling property.

Lich eld – 01 26 6 Cannock – 01 66660

This is an appropriate time to make or review an existing will to reflect any changes in circumstances. In particular, if they have to sell their home and use the capital to fund care fees, they may need to review cash legacies and other gifts in their will.

For more information, contact Shelly Wainwright on 01543 267984 or email The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.


l o n e l y

GENERATION When we think about Christmas, we think about family, so it might be surprising to hear that almost 400,000 people aged 65 and over in the UK in 2015 were worried about being lonely during the festive season.


2. Talking about the old days. Research by Michigan State University in 2011 found that people who think positive thoughts are more likely to smile, and as a result are generally in a better mood. So, get them to recall pleasant memories with you over dinner or a coffee – the perfect way to get them smiling! What’s more, spending the time reminiscing with you can really help if they are missing conversations with friends who have passed. You may not have been there but hearing about the swinging 60s or their first kiss is likely to be more entertaining than watching the soaps anyway.

he research carried out by Age UK also found that a staggering 2.5 million older people were not even looking forward to Christmas because it brought up too many memories of close friends and relatives who had passed away. It’s heartbreaking to think that while many of us are out and about over the Christmas break catching up with friends and enjoying ourselves, there are others who are feeling lonely or anxious and are cooped up in their homes because they either can’t afford to go out or they are physically not up to it. For the elderly this is often the case and sadly those feelings of isolation are heightened at times of celebration. Research published at the beginning of 2016, led by Dr Marcus Green and Professor José Iparraguirre, suggested that poor health was the biggest factor associated with chronic loneliness, closely followed by having lost a partner or spouse and living alone. There are approximately 4.3 million (roughly 1 in 5) people aged 50 plus in England who are living alone (International Longevity Centre UK and supported by Age UK), and while many of these people will have close family and friends to rely on, the same study found that approximately 1.86 million people over the age of 50 had unmet care needs, and this figure had risen by a 6.67% since 2009. What’s more, with plummeting temperatures and rising energy costs, the elderly are even more vulnerable and at higher risk of illness because of the cold weather and inappropriate heating in the home.


So how can we be more thoughtful of our elderly relatives and neighbours at this time of year? Here’s 10 ways you can help to shake off those winter blues. 1. Pay regular visits. Make a point of seeing your elderly relatives on a regular basis, but even more so during the festive period, whether it’s to watch Strictly on a Saturday night, for dinner on your way home from work, or just for a quick hug and a cup of tea. Claremont Graduate University found that trust, empathy and morality increase as levels of oxytocin go up - something that can be done by simply hugging more often. So hug it out more, you’ll both feel a greater sense of wellbeing and less lonely as a result.

LIVING 3. Share your techie knowledge. Getting your elderly relatives up to speed on the latest gadgets so they can keep in touch is one thing but it will never replace actual face to face contact in their eyes. Britain Thinks carried out research on behalf of Age UK in 2015, which showed that older non-users had several barriers concerning internet use, including lack of awareness and functionality. They believed the downsides to going online such as cost and safety far outweighed the advantages. What’s worrying though is that the world has changed and not being online can generate obstacles when trying to carry out certain tasks. This difficulty to carry out regular housekeeping duties could lead to more stress in the long run. For example, organising utilities online can mean a drastically cheaper energy bill and less need to suffer the cold during the winter months.

4. Open your doors. If you had the opportunity to share your Christmas Day with a lonely older person, would you? In fact, there is an organisation which does just that. Community Christmas helps provide companionship to older people on Christmas Day. From big Christmas lunch events at a local pub or restaurant to arranging for someone to pop round for a piece of cake, it believes no one should be alone on Christmas Day if they don’t want to be. Find out more about how to get involved at www.

8. Sort out those niggly health problems. According to research printed in The Daily Mail, almost half of the adult population is living with chronic pain, around 28 million adults, and within that adults 75 or over were more likely to experience it. Chronic pain is not often life threatening but it adds to an overall feeling of distress and can affect mental health, says the NHS.

6. Encourage a social calendar. Being more social will get your elderly friend or relative out and about and mingling with like-minded happy people who are looking for companionship too. A study by the University of California in 2008 found a ‘Dynamic Spread of Happiness’ - when people spend time with happy people, they become happier themselves. There is always plenty of chance to go out at Christmas but help them to find those joyful people for long-term relationships by inviting a neighbour round for coffee or asking at the local library if there is a book club they could join. 7. Active life, happy life. According to the NHS, most adults aged 65 and over spend an average of 10 hours or more a day sitting or lying down. This kind of sedentary lifestyle can lead to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease and falls. It’s important for our older generation to get about 2.5 hours of exercise every week – a daily activity like walking, swimming or yoga, even pushing a lawn mower will count. It’ll not only help them to live healthier but they will feel better too. What’s more, joining new groups and classes will help them to meet people in similar situations. If they are concerned at doing it alone, join in with them - a healthier lifestyle has no age limit!

9. Suggest starting a fundraising drive or charity initiative. The University of Exeter Medical School found that volunteering for something you really believe in benefits mental health. What’s more, someone who gives up their time to help others has more overall life satisfaction, as well as improving their well-being. Christmas is the perfect time to get started with volunteering too, check in with your local church, supermarket or council and you should be able to find out what appeals there are to get involved with. If there isn’t something that strikes a chord straight away, perhaps they could start their own fundraising drive for an organisation that is more suited. 10. Give yourself a break. New research has revealed the strain on the average UK household, as one in five couples confess that they have other relatives living with them beyond their own children, for instance parents and in-laws, due to ill health or financial difficulties. Replacement care or respite care can provide rest and relief to unpaid carers. Care homes, like Avery Healthcare, which has eight homes across Staffordshire, will often run a festive programme providing allinclusive style ‘holiday’ care for one or more weeks at this time of year. What’s good about these types of programmes is your elderly relative will be able to spend time with other people in similar situations and make new lasting friendships.

5. Share the festive fun. Go late night Christmas shopping together, stop off for a mulled wine, see a festive performance at the theatre or enjoy carol singers in the town centre one evening. A study by San Francisco State University in 2009 demonstrated that having actual experiences resulted in greater well-being than material possessions. The elderly need to feel a sense of vitality and it’s important for them to be social and to feel alive. Buying them a good TV or a microwave for the kitchen to improve home comforts may actually be counter - productive for what they really need.


G1, Bellringer Road Trentham Business Quarter Trentham Lakes South Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire ST4 8GB

t: 01782 646 320 e:

It’s reassuring to know that help is at hand, even if you can’t be. Your loved one cherishes independence. You need to know they’re safe. Welbeing’s Telecare service provides affordable 24-hr support you can trust. It’s precious peace of mind for everyone.

For more details call

0330 111 8466

Dedicate a light on our tree and support your Dougie Mac.





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App Development

LIVING Christian Aid: Light the Way

Salvation Army: Christmas Present Appeal Many Salvation Army centres across the country will be running a give a gift campaign until mid-December. Shoppers are encouraged to add an extra gift to their list this year in support of their local Christmas Present Appeal. Donating a new and unwrapped toy or gift will go towards bringing hope and comfort to a variety of people in need – from children and families to older people, the homeless and the vulnerable. The salvation Army will then wrap all donated presents and distribute them to the people in need in their local community bringing smiles and joy to all involved. To find out where you can donate a gift in your local community, contact your local Salvation Army centre

In aid of those people fleeing violence across the globe at Christmas, Christian aid has launched its Light the Way appeal. In the world, more than 65million people are trying to escape from conflict or crisis to find safety and refuge, something we take for granted ourselves, more so at this time of year when our homes are filled with love and laughter. Collections are encouraged at local church services and other events in your festive calendar. To find out what you can do to help visit www. where you can order collection envelopes, download resources and find more fundraising ideas.

Samaritan’s Purse: Shoebox Appeal The Samaritan’s Operation Christmas Child appeal aims to help children in need all over the world. People are invited to drop off a small shoebox with gifts inside, between 1st and 18th November 2016, at a local collection point to help change a child’s life. The gifts can be as big or as little as you can afford – from toys and dolls to toothbrushes and combs. To get involved with the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal visit

a time for

GIVING Christmas is the time to give back to those less fortunate and luckily there are many local and national appeals we can get involved with.

Remembering those in need this Christmas...

Katharine House: Christmas Care Appeal Stafford’s Katharine House is appealing for donations of £16.95 to help care for one patient for one hour at Christmas. The hospice based in Weston Road in Stafford help to bring peace and comfort to every patient and if they are unable to go home for Christmas, they endeavour to bring Christmas to them at the hospice. The local community can donate any amount they please to the hospice by visiting

RSPCA The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has been running since 1824 and helps save the lives of animals and prevent cruelty to animals across the UK. If you would like to donate to the organisation to help fund vital work to rescue animals or to find out more about their Christmas 2016 appeals visit donate/online.

Guildhall Shopping Centre: St John’s Ambulance

Douglas Macmillan: Light up a Life Campaign

This year, the Guildhall Shopping Centre in Stafford is raising money for St John's Ambulance with its Santa’s Grotto running from 19th November to 23rd December. Visitors to the centre are encouraged to make a charitable donation to the cause in return for some time with the big man himself. For more information on the Grotto visit The St John’s Ambulance aims to give everyone simple life saving skills through training programmes and community events nationwide.

Local hospice, Douglas Macmillan is running its annual Light up a Life Christmas appeal until 31st December. Members of the community are invited to remember a friend or relative who is no longer here by dedicating a light in their memory on the hospice Christmas tree. The special person you choose to remember does not have to have been a patient at the hospice. To dedicate your light simply go online to www.dmhospice., and make a nominal donation.




festive delights in

NEWCASTLEUNDER-LYME Christmas is going to be a cracker for one Staffordshire town! If it’s one thing Staffordshire has in abundance, it’s history. We’re a county rich in fascinating heritage; from the pottery background of Stoke on Trent to the canals, castles and stately homes of the roaring countryside. Lucky for us, our people are immensely proud of this fact, and, while we may yearn for the latest technology in our pockets, our hearts can’t help but crave a little nostalgia, especially at Christmas. In a world that now turns at the touch of a button, we must clutch on to the stories of yesteryear, swap our clicking fingers for walking shoes and support the traditional towns this beautiful region has to offer.

“Christmas is a key event in the retail calendar, and Newcastle-under-Lyme BID will be encouraging visitors to the town to ‘shop local’ during the festive season. We’ve got a variety of activities planned, and with extended opening hours and free parking after 3pm every day (after midday on Saturdays) from 26th November, there’s no excuse not to come and buy your Christmas gifts and treats, enjoy some traditional family entertainment and support your local town too.” Matt Taylor, Newcastleunder-Lyme BID Manager.

Bright and beautiful

Newcastle-under-Lyme BID One place which stays firmly sided with its Victorian roots is the North Staffordshire town of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It has been a Business Improvement District (BID) since 2015, which is essentially a partnership between a town and its businesses to improve the local community, boost trade and increase footfall to the area. Businesses pay into a pot of money to fund services and events to help the town to prosper. There have been over 200 BIDs proposed and approved in the UK since 2004, Newcastle-under-Lyme being one of them. The team behind the BID project, headed up by Town Centre Manager, Matt Taylor, focuses on highlighting it as a vibrant, university market-town with a unique retail, leisure and cultural experience, and it is certainly bringing that message across this Christmas. We caught up with Matt and his team to find out what they had in store for shoppers and how Newcastle-under-Lyme is making Christmas extra special for us this year.

Choosing Newcastle-under-Lyme for your Christmas shopping this year will give you a delightful mix of old and new traditions. There is carol singing and choirs planned around the Guildhall, an outdoor Artisan Market and plenty of entertainment to keep the kids happy. Shoppers will have the chance to meet local hero and Britain’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, who will be ‘heading home’ for the official light switch-on ceremony on Saturday 26th November at 5pm. What’s more, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a muscle man, you’ll have a chance to prove it on the day too. Eddie is the only man to deadlift 500kg under ‘strongman’ rules – could you take up the challenge? An Artisan Market will run on the same day, offering products and goods that are not currently available on the high street, with priority stall places being given to local traders. The team behind the market chooses only the finest selection of award-winning food and drinks, with a real focus on diversity, so you’re guaranteed to pick up some quality gifts and treats for Christmas as you browse. The one-day event, run by The Market Co, also promises live entertainment from local musicians and talented artists and crafts people exhibiting too. Have your photo taken with a Star Wars character, enjoy the fairground rides and peruse the market stalls, there is something festive and fun for the whole family to enjoy.


LIVING Festive fun Elsewhere, the BID has launched a Christmas window dressing contest with member businesses to help attract shoppers to the town.

Easy shopping experience Newcastle-under-Lyme is pulling out all the stops this Christmas to make shopping in the town an easy and trouble free experience. Late night opening hours until 8pm are running on Friday 25th November, Wednesday 14th December, Wednesday 21st December and Friday 23rd December. Furthermore, there is free parking between 26th November and 24th December, Monday to Fridays after 3pm, Saturdays after 12pm (all day on Kings Street), and Sundays all day. This is great news if you’re heading down for a spot of Christmas shopping! Popular retailers like Next, New Look, Argos and Dorothy Perkins, are complemented by more unique and boutique stores, and a regular outdoor market, making Newcastle-under-Lyme a one-stop-shop town when it comes to festive purchases.

The local community can also get involved with the fun by taking part in the town’s first ever Tree Festival. Local groups, clubs and businesses are invited to decorate a tree to reflect their organisation which will then be displayed from Saturday 26th November until Tuesday 29th November in St Giles’ Church, before being moved to vacant shop units around the town to ensure a festive feel all around.

Newcastle-under-Lyme has BID status until 2020 HERE’S THREE REASONS

why you shou ld pay a v isit Christmas Lantern Parade If that wasn’t enough to fill your festive boots, the community is also invited to take part in free lantern making workshops in the lead up to a special lantern parade on Saturday 10th December. Now in its fourth consecutive year, it is hosted by Newcastle Lantern Supporters’ Club - a voluntary community group - along with Newcastle-under-Lyme BID and creative group B Arts.

THE HERITAGE: As a traditional market village, you’ll find the town centre has a market on most days of the week with around 80 stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables, to clothes, antiques and furniture. The town has kept truthful to its roots thanks to cobbled streets and Victorian style buildings but offers a vibrant shopping atmosphere with popular high street stores and boutique retailers all in the same place.

THE VIBE: With streets full of bars, clubs and pubs, it’s certainly got a bunch of late night entertainment to choose from, while the more upmarket places on the outskirts of town, such as The Swan with Two necks, means Newcastle-under-Lyme has a place for everyone to enjoy. The New Vic Theatre is actually Europe’s first theatre in-the-round and has plenty of music and arts performances to keep you going too.

THE SCENERY: With green spaces in abundance and an impressive gold accolade 14 years running in the Heart of England in Bloom's small city category, Newcastle under-Lyme is more than just a place to go shopping. Brampton Park and Museum is great for kids with an indoor and outdoor play area, and take a walk through the park and you’ll encounter life-size figures of notable citizens from the past. Find Apedale Community Park in nearby Knutton and you’ll be set free on 454 acres of nature trails, ponds, and walking routes.



SAY 'CHEESE' It’s LIVING’s one-stop festive photography guide. Christmas is usually the one day of the year when everyone is together, and after a busy hard-working year we’re ready to relax and unwind, to be happy and full of joy. Thanks to satisfied bellies and one too many Sherries, everyone is on good form and getting involved with the festivities. So it makes sense then that we religiously capture every moment with photos – memories that we can look back on in years to come and revel in the recollection and tales of “that was the year when…”. In fact, Christmas is probably the only time of the year that you can guarantee everyone will be happy to have a photo or two taken, it’s a collective understanding that we’ll want to remember these moments. All you need is a few festive photos for the family album, simple, right? It’s time to brush up on those photography skills!

Equipment is ever y t h ing Nowadays, everyone has the potential to take pictures. Smart phones are all equipped with a decent camera function so there are always plenty of photos to choose from after an event. The only problem with this is you have less control over the output! This isn’t always a bad thing as some of the best photos are taken naturally but if you are hoping for a few keepsake photos of the family then investing in a good camera could be the best option. Whether you are a seasoned photographer or just starting out, what camera you use will ultimately define the photos you end up with. Most importantly, you want a camera which is easy to use and can adapt depending on the lighting, setting and atmosphere of where you are. How far you go in the control of these elements will determine the price you pay. From point and shoot compacts to the advanced DSLRs, the world of camera technology and the different types of cameras available can leave the common snapper slightly perturbed. That being said, there are a number of decent digital cameras in a very moderate price range of £100-£200, which will provide you with the right equipment to capture your family at Christmas just perfectly.



picks! A camera for every personality.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 Camera £99.99 Argos FO R T




TomTom Bandit Action Cam from £239.99 at Currys or RILL SEEKER

Nikon COOLPIX B500, from £219.99




Podo Stick & Shoot Selfie Camera, £59.95

This wireless, re-stickable camera from Podo can turn any surface into a portable photo booth. Just stick, shoot, & share and control it all via Bluetooth with your smartphone! How t o get t he per fect shot Trying to get everyone to stop what they’re doing, group together, keep their eyes open and stare at the camera all at the same time? Disastrous! It’s a nightmare, we all know that, and how many versions of this staged festive shoot have we seen with a screaming baby on one side and a sleeping Grandad on the other. What’s more, these types of photos are now a pretty outdated way to capture your moments so maybe it’s time to try something different!


Selfie style You may not think it but actually the only way to ensure you get those album keepers is to relax and let the shots happen naturally. The best pictures happen when your family are relaxing and enjoying themselves, whether that’s preparing dinner, wrapping presents, chatting or having a drink. Snapping in the background without interrupting the flow of activity will guarantee natural smiles and genuine reactions. You’ll document those cheeky grins and surprised glances so all you have to do is be in the right place at the right time, and always camera ready. If you have to go and get you’re your equipment then the moment will probably have passed by the time you get back.

As chief photographer you don’t have to be behind the camera all day either. These days, 'selfies' are just as much a keepsake as more traditional angles. Most people tend to use their mobile phones to take a selfie but you can also use a digital camera too for an even better quality photo. Despite the name, Selfie, which implies you are taking a photo of yourself, actually work well for all types of photos, whether that’s the one by yourself after stuffing the turkey, with your sister and that first glass of fizz or everyone around a fully loaded Christmas dinner table. If you’re getting a few pics of yourself before everyone arrives, make sure you have good lighting and always take the photo from a good angle. Holding the camera above you, and turning your head slightly will usually give you a better profile.

So now you have the basics figured out. What else can you do to be sure you capture those timeless moments this Christmas?

Selfie Stick £8 Primark

Here’s what the professionals at Nikon had to say: 1. Shoot multiple photos with a group, so you’ve got a better chance of catching everyone looking in the right direction and not blinking!

Selfies are a great way to get a nice shot of yourself with each guest too, they are generally a closer more intimate shot and help to eliminate any awkward poses in front of the fire with your arm around each other. Taking a few fun front facing group shots gets everyone involved and always generates some natural smiles, and a few giggles too. Probably the most famous group selfie of all was the one that Ellen DeGeneres took at the 2014 Oscars. Featuring some of the biggest names in Hollywood from Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and taken by Bradley Cooper. It was an unplanned, spur of the moment and natural shot which sent social media into a frenzy in the days following. Ellen joked after that she wished Bradley’s (Cooper) arm was longer so she could fit more celebrities in! Don’t be caught out this Christmas and create your own legendary photo too with the help of a trusty selfie stick!



2. When you’re photographing kids, don’t just stand there – get down to their level for the best images. And, once in a while, hand the camera over to them and let them show you what they see. 3. Whatever camera you choose, make sure you know it intimately so you can quickly set it up for the pictures you want to take.

Ronnie Camera Bag £19 Accessorize

Pandora Structured Camera Bag £29 Monsoon

Ronnie Camera Bag £19 Accessorize




°Prices & offers apply to retail sales of qualifying models ordered & registered 01/10-31/12/2016 or until such time as offers/prices may be withdrawn by Citroën at its complete discretion & include VAT, delivery to dealer & number plates, Government Registration Fee & 12 months’ graduated vehicle excise duty. Optional paint available at extra cost. An advance rental of approx 20-30% of the cash price of the vehicle will be required followed by 46 monthly rentals at the rates shown & a significant optional final rental. Excess mileage charges may apply if the agreed annual mileage is exceeded. Payment of the optional final rental extends the rental term (this does not transfer title of the vehicle) & requires an annual rental equivalent to one months’ rental. You will not own the vehicle. Model Shown: New Citroën Grand C4 Picasso PureTech 130 S&S 6-speed manual Flair with Lazuli Blue metallic paint from £335 per month. Finance subject to status. Finance provided by and written quotations available on request from PSA Finance UK Limited (company registration number 01024322) t/a Citroën Financial Services, Quadrant House, Princess Way, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1QA, UK. Citroën Financial Services is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Over 18s only. A guarantee may be required. W R DAVIES (STAFFORD) LTD IS ACTING AS A CREDIT BROKER AND NOT A LENDER. TO FINANCE YOUR VEHICLE WE MAY INTRODUCE YOU TO A LIMITED NUMBER OF LENDERS. Offers & specification correct at time of going to press from participating Dealers. Terms & conditions apply. Please ask us for details. Subject to stock availability. *Optional at extra cost on New Grand C4 Picasso Feel, available as standard on New C4 Picasso Flair. **Available on New C4 Picasso.

Official Government fuel consumption figures (Range): Urban cycle, Extra urban, Combined (litres per 100km/mpg) & CO2 emissions (g/km); Highest: New Citroën Grand C4 Picasso PureTech 130 S&S 6-speed manual Feel 6.1/46.3, 4.3/65.7, 5/56.5, 116. Lowest: New Citroën Grand C4 Picasso BlueHDi 100 S&S manual Touch Edition 4.5/62.8, 3.5/80.7, 3.8/74.3, 99. MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road driving conditions.



0% APR Representative*

£149 per month^

£1,000 towards your deposit* Multimedia system with Bluetooth® DAB Radio

INTEREST FROM PAVEMENTS, NOT PAYMENTS. WR Davies 123 Lichfield Road, Stafford ST17 4LF Tel: 01785 236 700 www. Model shown is Yaris Design 5 door 1.33 VVT-i Manual at £16,045 including Bi-tone paint at £795. Prices correct at time of going to print. *0% APR Representative only available on new retail orders of Yaris (excluding Active grade) between 3rd October and 14th December 2016 and registered and financed through Toyota Financial Services by 31st March 2017 on a 3.5 year AccessToyota (PCP) plan with 0%-35% deposit. ^Payment shown is based on a 42 month AccessToyota contract with £4,166 customer deposit, £1,000 Finance Deposit Allowance and Guaranteed Future Value/Optional Final Payment. Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC; registered office Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5UZ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Excess miles over contracted charged at 8p per mile. Toyota Centres are independent of Toyota Financial Services. Terms and conditions apply. Affordable finance through AccessToyota. 5 year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty subject to terms and conditions.

Yaris Design 5 door 1.33 VVT-i Manual. Official Fuel Consumption Figures in mpg (l/100km): Urban 43.5 (6.5), Extra Urban 65.7 (4.3), Combined 55.4 (5.1). CO2 Emissions 119g/ km. All mpg and CO2 figures quoted are sourced from official EU regulated laboratory test results. These are provided to allow comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect your actual driving experience.

CARS The Review: Citroen C4 Picasso


REVIEWS The Citroen C4 Picasso is a practical five-seater MPV that has stylish looks and a comfortable ride. You buy a car like this for its versatility – something the Picasso has plenty of. It can fit five six-foot adults and they’ll all have loads of room, with comfortable seats and lots of light from the large windows. There are also lots of cubby spaces including underfloor storage in the rear footwells, drawers below the front seats, big door bins and numerous cupholders. Boot space is generous to say the least. With all the seats in place, you get up to 630 litres and with the rear ones folded down that rises to 1,851 litres – more than a small van.

The Review: Volvo V90 The main focus of the V90 is comfort, something the cabin expresses perfectly; it’s simply designed, well built and great to look at. Nearly five meters in length the V90 will happily fit four tall adults and the interior is blessed with soft leather and natural wood throughout. Noise inside is also kept at a minimum at motorway speeds.

doesn’t lead the class in this respect. However, with a capacity ranging from 560 to 1,526 litres with the rear seats down it’s still very practical.

Two diesel engines are available from launch – the 188hp D4 and the 232hp D5. The latter comes with four-wheel drive as standard, while the D4 sends power to the front wheels – both get an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The plus-400hp T8 petrol-electric hybrid is coming, boasting huge performance, cheap Volvo estates are historically more sought after running costs and an ability to move under than their less practical saloon counterparts electric power alone. and the V90 is set to continue the trend, The V90 inherits the XC90’s relaxed ride – although its boot space has been compromised exactly what you need on a long motorway slightly to provide those stylish looks. journey. The plush ride can be further A large 9.0-inch touchscreen controls nearly improved with the optional £950 rear airall the car’s systems – from the stereo to the suspension and we reckon it might be even climate control – making it simple to navigate. better fitted with the smaller 17-inch wheels, However it does come without a scroll knob which weren’t available at the launch. that would make it easier to use on the move. At first, the V90 will be offered with two Safety credentials are also impressive, with an twin-turbocharged diesel engines. Top-ofadvanced automatic emergency braking system the-range models get clever tech to improve detecting not only people and cars, but animals throttle response, plus four-wheel drive for as well – coming as standard and a semiextra grip in the wet. V90 buyers can only autonomous driving assistant that follows the choose between basic Momentum and top-spec markings on the road. Inscription trim, however the Volvo is better equipped than rivals. All in all it is a safe and People used to buy Volvo estates for their enormous boots so it may surprise that the V90 stylish alternative to established competition.


The C4 Picasso has five trim levels – VTR, VTR+, Selection, Exclusive and Exclusive+. All come with air-conditioning, a panoramic windscreen, rear seats that recline and three 12V power sockets. For most, though, it’ll be worth upgrading to Exclusive trim, which gets you sat-nav as standard, plus all-round parking sensors that make fitting the big Picasso into tight spaces that little bit easier. Out on the road, there’s little to complain about, so long as you don’t expect your MPV to handle with the agility of a sports car. All models ride well and comfort is aided further by soft seats and a cabin that’s very quiet at motorway speeds. The light steering might not inspire confidence in fast corners, but does make the Picasso easy to drive in town, and you get a great overview of the road ahead thanks to the high driving position and small quarter glass windows in the A-pillars. The Picasso can be had with a choice of two petrol engines and three diesels. The latter are better suited to this MPV – the superior pulling power of the diesels will help when the car is fully loaded and they also offer the cheapest running costs in the range. Fitted with the mid-range BlueHDi diesel, the Picasso has acceptable performance but, more importantly, can return fuel economy of 74mpg and costs just £20 per year to tax. If all MPVs are supposed to be boring then Citroen clearly didn’t read the script – the Picasso’s space age looks still grab attention three years on from its 2013 launch. But behind the smart appearance is a car that’s immensely practical, very comfortable and cheap to run – in fact, it’s a great family car!

CARS areas that not only let lots of light in, but also help with all round visibility. The Yaris’ boot measures 286 litres in capacity with the seats up. Fold down the Yaris’ standard splitting rear seats and it opens up 768 litres, but a high load lip dents practicality slightly.

The Review: Toyota Yaris The Toyota Yaris is a reliable and good allrounder in the supermini category. A car made for city living, driving around town is effortless with light controls and a tight turning circle, however open it up on the motorway and it can be a bumpy and noisy ride. Inside you’ll find the interior is practical and durable, although they have faced some criticism for the quality of the materials, and is very spacious. It also has plenty of boot space making it a good option for small families. What’s more, while most buyers will go for the modern petrol engines or the frugal diesel, the petrol-electric hybrid version of the Yaris is definitely worth a look with its impressive fuel economy and free road tax.

It comes with a standard five-year warranty which ensures peace of mind and all Yaris models come with air-conditioning, nine airbags and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. The functionality of the Yaris is on par with its rivals thanks to a Bluetooth phone connection, a reversing camera and DAB (digital) radio. Despite being a relatively small car, the Yaris has been praised for its impressive passenger space, with the latest model offering even more head and leg room. The driver’s seat also gets lots of adjustment capabilities to make a perfect driving position easy to achieve. Things are good on the rear bench, too – there is no transmission tunnel intruding into the legroom meaning three adults can fit easily for short trips. Many superminis can make you feel claustrophobic in the back, but the Yaris isn’t one of them thanks to large glass

The Yaris offers an engine for most buyers’ needs but the engine that makes the most sense would be the flagship hybrid. With diesellike fuel economy of more than 80mpg, total exemption from road tax and the London Congestion Charge it has plenty going for it. If you drive carefully you can run it entirely on electric power for short trips. Safety wise, the Yaris is jammed full of electronics to help avoid crashes in the first place – including stability control and electronic brake force distribution on all models. As a well-priced £400 option you can spec Toyota’s Safety Sense – it adds lanekeep assist, adaptive headlights and automatic emergency braking making it a pretty safe little car. There is also a £590 dealer-fit allround parking sensors available. Overall, the Toyota Yaris is a practical and spacious supermini that is easy to live with and, in Hybrid form, makes for a cheap city runabout.

The Review: Skoda Octavia The Skoda Octavia shares its parts with the Volkswagen Golf but it has more equipment, more interior space and a cheaper price. No wonder it positively flies off Skoda forecourts. A great car for cruising along the motorway thanks to low noise levels. In fact, the Octavia does such a good impression of a comfy cruiser the £1,250 optional dual-clutch gearbox makes for the perfect upgrade. Its seven gears (to the manual’s six) mean the engine is barely stressed on fast roads and the changes are quick – it’s ideal if you’ll be doing a lot of town driving. With accurate steering, a reasonable ride and suspension that cancels out major body roll, it’s a safe and reliable car, and with a spacious interior, it makes it clear why the Octavia is such a big hit with families. Skoda updated the Octavia in 2016, giving it a high-tech new petrol engine, which gets from 0-62mph in under 10 seconds, but can also return more than 60mpg, and extra equipment. What hasn’t changed is the Octavia’s interior, but then it already had all the ingredients needed to make it a great family car. Slide into the driver’s seat of the Octavia and you’re greeted by a well-built interior, material quality is up to German standards and the dashboard is extremely easy to use. You’ll find controls for the stereo and the ventilation system are clearly laid out and a doddle to understand. Optional across the range is Skoda’s £150 SmartLink system, which can mirror the display of your smartphone via MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto interfaces and allows you to use

apps for services such as music streaming and navigation. Rear seat legroom is more comparable to that of a large family saloon car, and all is well in the front, too – mid-range models get adjustable lumbar support for the front seats, and all models have a driver’s seat that can be raised or lowered and a steering wheel that can be finetuned for reach and height. Standard equipment includes a touchscreen infotainment system, alloy wheels, a DAB digital radio and air conditioning, with sat-nav at an £800 optional extra on basic models. Boot space is also extremely impressive for this type of car, at 590 litres. In fact, you’ll have to buy a model from the class above to even get close. It’s not just the size that impresses, the huge boot opening means it’s easy to load large

items and for an extra £20 you can have an adjustable boot floor that makes the load bay even more practical. Safety wise, the Octavia waltzes through Euro NCAP’s suite of tests with a five-star showing, despite being downgraded slightly following the discontinuation of its original pedestrianfriendly pop-up bonnet. The standard list of electronic safety aids includes electronic stability control (ESC), brake force distribution and emergency brake assist. The Octavia will receive a comprehensive overhaul for 2017 including updated styling and a revised interior. Skoda prices have been creeping up recently, but then this really only reflects the undeniable talents of its classleading models, and it still retains its reputation for offering great value for money.

For more reviews and information please visit


LIVING Tamworth

RINGING THE BELLS! LIVING’s going local this Christmas and here’s what Staffordshire towns have on offer to keep our feet firmly on their cobbled streets.

Stafford Stafford's ‘Big Christmas Switch On Show’ is taking place on Saturday 19th November with lots of entertainment and a firework display in Market Square. The new £100m Riverside shopping centre has also welcomed some great new fashion retailers to the area, including H&M, Marks and Spencer, and River Island so there is plenty of choice for those who are heading over to find the perfect party outfit or with a present list to complete. For more information on Christmas in Stafford visit

Hanley The Christmas market is back from 30th November to 24th December for 25 days of wooden chalets, mulled wine, street food, and funky crafts and gifts. You can also test your skating skills on the town centre ice rink and kids can enjoy a fun fair. There’s also chance to spot Santa ‘up Hanley’ throughout December too! He’ll be dividing his time between the Christmas Market and the indoor market – watch out for him walking around, riding his sleigh and sitting in his grotto. For more information on events happening in Hanley for Christmas visit


The Santa’s Winter Wonderland at the SnowDome is a Christmas show with Santa, real reindeers to pet and lots of snow! In the town centre, shopping relief comes with the free Christmas lights extravaganza on Sunday 20th November from 1pm. There’s live music, fairground rides, a festive market, treasure hunt, craft activities, and a nativity under the Town Hall. Plus, there is also a Christmas market on George Street for all your novelty favourites.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Newcastle-under-Lyme’s festive calendar mixes old favourites with a few contemporary delights thrown in, from fun competitions to enchanting parades and star-studded events.

For more information you can visit

The town has a whole day of fun planned on Saturday 26th November. An Artisan Market will line the streets with specially selected food, drink, gifts, crafts and local artists too. Visitors can sing-along to classic carols with choirs around the Guildhall, while kids can have their photo taken with futuristic Star Wars characters and make the most of an exciting fairground. What’s more, local celebrity and Britain’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall will be back in town to switch-on the lights at 5pm. To find out more about all the Christmas events taking place visit

Lichfield Lichfield is a city bursting at the seams with heritage from one of the oldest cathedrals in the UK to arts and cultural hot spots that visitors flock to each year. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the events and activities taking place in Lichfield this Christmas, from Christmas Fayres and flower arranging workshops to a Christmas market and musical performances across the city. The Christmas lights switch-on event is taking place on Sunday 27th November with carol singing and free family entertainment, but there are festive activities running throughout November and December. Visit www. for more information.

Burton upon Trent For something a bit different this year, you can pay a visit to the National Forest Adventure Farm in Tatenhill, Burton upon Trent for its Winter Wonderland. Kids can get their fill of festive fun by feeding reindeers, bouncing off a giant Christmas pudding inflatable and taking lessons on becoming Santa’s little helper at the local elf school! Burton upon Trent itself has plenty to do in the town centre for Christmas. The lights will be switched on at 5pm on Sunday 20th November, a Christmas craft market is taking place on Saturday 3rd December, and you can expect a day of carol singing in the Market Hall on Saturday 10th December. For more information visit

Santa Baby! You can meet the big man in red at the following venues this year: Keele Hall: Find Santa’s Grotto at Keele Hall from 20th November (fees apply). Trentham Village: Purchase tickets to see Santa on Wednesdays and at the weekend from 30th November – 18th December, and then every day until 23 December (specific times apply). Tamworth SnowDome: See Santa at his magical Winter Wonderland from 18th November – 31st December (ticketed events). Guildhall Shopping Centre: Visit Santa’s Grotto for a small donation to charity at The Guildhall Shopping Centre in aid of St John’s Ambulance, from 19th November- 23rd December. Hanley: Santa will be dividing his time between the Christmas Market and the indoor market throughout December. Spotted him elsewhere? Tell us and our readers more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @staffsliving!


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COMING UP Here is a sneak peek at what’s to come in the January/February edition of Staffordshire Living

H I T T I NG S H E LV E S: 23rd December

10 ways to get fitness back on track

Super foods packed full of goodness

Home interiors trend forecast 2017

Plus…our bi-annual Wedding supplement filled with inspiration for your own Big Day and much more in our new year edition…


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


THE ALL-NEW VOLVO S90 A new era in design and innovation

Call 01782 950570 to pre-book a Test Drive in the all-new S90 at HOLDCROFT

Welcome to the world of semi-autonomous driving, courtesy of the S90’s adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist. The progressive system of camera and radar technologies regulates speed and direction with a combination of automatic acceleration, braking and steering. This makes staying-in-lane and negotiating stopstart traffic effortless. Even at speeds of up to 80 mph. Sensus Connect and Apple CarPlayTM can effortlessly integrate your iPhone or iPad with the new centre display allowing you to seamlessly connect with the digital world you live in giving you voice and fingertip control whether you are dictating messages, listening to texts, calling home or relaxing to music. With Volvo’s City Safety technology, your car can work out whether there’s a collision risk if you’re approaching slower moving or stationary vehicles from behind. All this and so much more are standard feature highlights in the luxurious new S90 and yours from £32,555 at Holdcroft Volvo.


Holdcroft Volvo Leek Road, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 6AT 01782 950570 |

Official fuel consumption for the Volvo S90 in MPG (l/100km) ranges from: Urban 49.6 (5.7) – 53.3 (5.3), Extra Urban 65.7 (4.3) – 72.4 (3.9), Combined 58.9 (4.8) – 64.2 (4.4). CO2 Emissions range from 127 – 116g/km. MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results.

The BMW 7 Series

The Ultimate Driving Machine


The BMW 7 Series incorporates exquisitely crafted design, enhanced levels of comfort and an extensive range of pioneering technology, which have all led to it being hailed as the most innovative car in its class. Knights North Staffordshire Bede Road, Radial Park Stoke on Trent ST4 4GU 01782 572100 Official fuel economy figures for the BMW 7 Series Saloon range: Urban 24.8-51.4mpg (11.4-5.l/100km). Extra Urban 45.6-67.3mpg (6.2-4.2l/100km). Combined 34.9-60.1mpg (8.1-4.7l/100km). CO 2 emissions 189-124g/km. Figures may vary depending on driving style and conditions.

Staffordshire Living November/December 2016  
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