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Bespoke Sofa Manufacture & Re-upholstery Specialist Our team of highly sk skilled professional craftsmen, create and desig for a living space that is truly unique. manufacture sofa’s from design, s Coupled with our huge selection of fabrics we have the ability to cre create almost any type of bespoke design. ski we can also strip down your old suite Using traditional skills, o sofa and re-create the original design or with our superior re-upholstery which is highly renowned for its ďŹ nish and meticulous detail. F a truly unique and individual lounge For setting we welcome you to our factory showr showroom to see what we can create for you.

Contact Simon Edwards or Chris Edwards on: 01543 505 539 Unit 19, Martindale, Hawks Green, Cannock, Staffordshire - WS11 7XN



“You can have any colour as long as it’s Black,â€? Henry T Ford Well not in this case; ironically available in a range of exterior colours. A stylish, sharper, more contemporary identity. Powerful & alluring. Ready, poised in anticipation of the ride ahead. The deďŹ nitive luxury sports tourer with its muscular body styling, sumptuous interior embodies power and reďŹ nement. DeďŹ ned by exceptional on-road dynamics, class leading comfort and outstanding breadth of capability; it is now available with even more purposeful, sporting looks in the form of the Range Rover Sport Black Edition. Offering more excitement, more individuality and more luxury; The HSE Black Edition is available with a choice of three 20’’ alloy wheels; bright ďŹ nish, diamond turned ďŹ nish and black ďŹ nish with a HSE Black rear badge. This limited edition is still available in the full range of exterior colours. The interior is better than ever with an extended leather pack, contrast stitching and a choice of Anigre, Straight Grain Walnut or Grand Black Lacquer ďŹ nishers with feature enhancements including dual view touch-screen, timed park heating and the 17-speaker 825 watt Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 surround sound system.

Experience the unique appeal of the Range Rover Sport HSE Black Edition.

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Colliers Land Rover 1-41 Sutton Road, Birmingham B23 6QH

08430 224353 OFFICIAL FUEL CONSUMPTION FIGURES FOR THE 2013 RANGE ROVER SPORT RANGE IN MPG (L/100KM): URBAN 13.0 (21.8) – 28.8 (9.8) EXTRA URBAN 26.3 (10.7) – 34.9 (8.1) COMBINED 19.0 (14.9) – 32.1 (8.8) CO2 EMISSIONS: 348 – 230 G/KM. Images for illustration purposes only. E&OE.


Est: 55 years specialists in both

Traditional & Modern Rugs We have been bringing you a varied range of exquisite hand-knotted Rugs from around the world for more than 50 years! Three floors of quality rugs that have been lovingly crafted in India, China, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Persia and Caucasia, each one personally selected for quality craftsmanship and distinctive allure. We are happy to show you any rug in the comfort of your own home so you can see first-hand how a piece of such beauty can transform your room. If we don’t have the rug you desire in stock we will source it for you through our contacts with major importers and manufacturers. Not only do we sell the most gorgeous rugs and tapestries, we also perform expert repairs, cleaning and restoration for your own well-loved rugs and offer part-exchange arrangements. Visit us anytime and enjoy the variety and splendour of our array of stunning handmade rugs… As rug specialists we buy right and sell right, which enables us to better any price offered by stores or others - guaranteed. Quality rugs – at prices second to none! As seen on BBCs “60minute makeover”, ITVs “Changing Rooms” and “House Gift”

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Heart of the Country Shopping Village Swinfen, Lichfield  


Sale continues, more lines added

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Brittons have been providing business and corporate catering alongside private functions for over 26 years, and have a reputation second to none. We cater for all dietary requirements from Halal, Vegetarian, Gluten Free to Vegans and food is freshly prepared daily and delivered under Refrigeration. We have been awarded 5Hs from the environmental health, and all buffets are prepared by quality chefs and excellently presented. Brittons have won a number of awards over the year, from Healthy eating, investors in people, Gold award from peninsular, Best of Birmingham, Skills pledge, community involvement award, and many more.. We offer a 24 / 7 service and always on hand to ensure any function runs smoothly and to the highest standards. We cater for 3 to 4000 people, can supply furniture and linen and are committed to providing every customer with the very best personal service.. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and are confident we can arrange anything you require.

Brittons Caterers 0121 327 9189



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It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing – quality slumber plays a huge part in looking good. If you need a little help drifting off, our tips will send you to la-la land in a flash... The best things you can do for your skin don’t cost a penny: get lots of sleep and drink loads of water. If your looks have been letting you down lately, it could be time for a reality check. Have you been clubbing till the early hours, skimping on shut-eye or simply finding it hard to wind down and nod off at night?

When you don’t get enough sleep... Sleeping erratically is nearly as detrimental to your looks as being a serial sunbather – your eyes will appear red and sunken and you’ll have dark circles. They may also be puffy and lack sparkle. Meanwhile, your skin will be ashen and dull, and breakouts and blotchiness more likely due to your hormones being out of sync. Sleep starvation is costing British women an annual expense of £580 million in the name of beauty, according to new report by Travelodge. This equates to an additional expense of £48 million each month on expensive moisturisers, make-up and masks to combat the effects of sleep deprivation. Nearly half (48 per cent) of the women surveyed confirmed that lack of sleep was affecting their looks and they were spending more money than ever making up for their lack of beauty sleep. ‘No amount of expensive creams and cover-ups can make up for the high beauty value of a good night’s sleep,’ says beauty guru John Gustafson. ‘Inadequate sleep results in dull skin, dark circles and blood-shot eyes which cutting-edge beauty products can’t deal with.’ Scientists have also discovered that people who slept for less than six hours a night – or more than nine – put on more weight than those who slept for seven or eight hours each night.

When you get enough sleep... Cash in on a good night’s sleep whenever you can as your complexion will benefit 10-fold. Skin renewal and repair activity is at its peak at around 1am when we are in deep sleep – this is when cell division, which is responsible for regenerating our skin, is stimulated by the growth hormone and rises by up to 300 per cent. However, daytime power naps or 40 winks just won’t cut it – if you want to maximise on beauty sleep, it is important to get your sleep at night. Slumber at any other time will not assist skin repair because the body’s clock is programmed with other tasks such as brain function and energy. ‘Sleep is a luxury everyone can afford – nothing beats that clear-skinned, fresh-faced look in the morning, Not only do we look better after a good night’s sleep, we also exude more confidence and a general sense of wellbeing, which is very attractive.’

How to sleep successfully Taking a bath before bed can help induce sleep, because your body temperature has a strong influence on how fast you drop off. A night’s sleep is normally proceeded by a slight drop in body temperature and scientists have established that this drop in temperature – caused by getting out of the bath – tells your body to go to sleep. Take a bath one to two hours before bedtime and keep the bath temperature warm, rather than hot. Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate), alcohol and nicotine, especially in the evening, as all are stimulants which can keep you awake; caffeine stays in your system for six hours. Try camomile tea instead of tea or coffee for its traditional sleep-inducing qualities. Try eating a banana before you go to bed – bananas contain an amino acid called tryptophan which is thought to convert into the calming and sleepinducing chemical in the brain, serotonin. Lavender has been shown to aid rest and relaxation – make a lavender pillow, burn the essential oil in an oil burner.

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What’s hot in nails for 2012 – by Jamie Nunn

s with fashion and make up nail trends change from season to season and as companies create new and inventive products the styles of nails and nail art get more and more creative. Something that is huge at the moment is custom nails. One of my faves are “Nail Glitz” by Nazila Mallick. These custom made temporary nails are embellished with crystals, jewellery and hand painted designs for a look that is always one of a kind because you decide what designs go where.


Something to look out for is “Allsorts” by Nails On Demand. Another example of custom nails these designs are fun filled and quirky, perfect to compliment summer party outfits. “All Things Nice” has to be my fave design so far, whilst “Allsorts” are still in the early design stages this cute pastel sweetie embellished design by creative director Suzanne Kemp really captures the essence of fun. Minx have to be my most used product, the range of designs is huge and is always being added to. Metallic’s, prints and detailed designs are generally time consuming but with minx you can create a full set of nails in minutes that are easy to apply and remove. The finish you can achieve from using minx is unlike no polish or gel. The silver lightening for example gives the effect of dipping your nails in molten chrome. Minx also creates custom designs and one offs such as the “Neon Pow” design I created for Alexandra Burke. Some of the worlds leading nail techs have also created ranges for minx including Lisa Logan and Marianne Newman. Another big trend coming from the catwalks is textured nails, rather than a glossy finish - matte, velvet, fractured and glass caviar beads are being used to create a textured surface to the nail. Whilst there will always be a place for the perfect glossy manicured nail these new trends really are making a big impression on catwalks across the globe. Hand painted nail art is becoming one of the trendiest accessories. Sophie Robson has really led the way with her amazing hand painted designs being used all over the world. Her Intricate yet funky designs are sought after by numerous celebs and designers. With Lily Allen, Rihanna and Girl group of the moment Stooshe all sporting her designs. From tribal art to patriotic flags her work really is something special. As for nail shapes the trend has really swung in recent years, from square or squoval nails to long almond shaped or pointed talons. Exaggerated statement nails have become a fashion staple and bold bright colours have taken the place of pale French manicures. Nails really are becoming just as important as shoes or handbags and totally complete an outfit. With TV shows such as x-factor and dancing on ice have drafted in specialist nail care teams to tend to the contestants nails and many celebs hiring personal nail stylists to make sure they’re nails always look amazing.

Top Tips For Healthy Nails Don’t use your nails as tools, if you want long glamorous nails then a little tender loving care is in order. Nourish your nails and cuticles just as you would the skin on your face, use a good cuticle oil like CND solar oil daily, massaging into the cuticles and nails. This will keep them nourished and hydrated and improve their condition. When applying colour always apply a base coat to protect the nail and prevent staining and a top coat to give a glossy shine, seal in the colour and prevent chipping. I recommend re-applying this every couple of days to boost your Mani and to help you get the most out of your manicure. Don’t neglect your hands, nice nails can be overshadowed by dry cracked hands, use a good hand cream like Loccitane daily to keep your hands soft and supple. The hands are the first place to show ageing so every effort to turn the clock back should be made. If your looking for something that requires hardly no maintenance and lasts longer than polish id recommend a gel/hybrid manicure such as shellac or Gelish. Find a good salon and make sure that you attend regular appointments, this polish like coating will last anywhere between 7-10 days without chipping as well as improving the condition of your natural nails and giving them a little extra strength.


celebrate our 1st anniversary

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Why People Fail At Weight Loss Why do so many people fail at losing weight? Is it because they are lazy? No. Is it because they are addicted to food? No. Is it because they aren’t exercising? No. Failure at weight loss stems from a few psychological factors:

Why do most want to lose weight? Most would say to look better. Looking better certainly is a benefit of losing weight, but this shouldn’t be the sole reason to lose weight. There is an elephant in the room and it’s often ignored. Being overweight for a long period of time kills thousands of people each year. Many studies have shown without any doubt that losing body fat will improve and lengthen your life. Knowing the dangers of being overweight is a tremendous motivator to not only lose fat, but to keep it off. People don’t commit to permanent lifestyle changes. So many people think of a “diet” as something temporary. When they are on a “diet” they restrict themselves so much that they are miserable. Sooner or later failure is inevitable because of the unreasonable demands of most “diets.” Some of these diets force you to only eat certain foods (e.g., no crabs, special soups etc…) you, have probably tried them before. The key to losing weight long term is to make gradual lifestyle changes you can stick to

forever. Getting in shape and losing weight can be difficult if you’re constantly going from one diet fad to another. With the conflicting information in the media, and all of the different lose weight quick fad diets; it’s understandable why so many people really don’t know the truth about losing fat and keeping it off long term. Most people don’t understand they are constantly either gaining fat, or losing fat. There is no inbetween. Some people justify binging or giving up because they hit a small road-block. This isn’t an all or nothing game. For example, if someone eats an unhealthy lunch, they’ll then go ahead and eat an unhealthy dinner since they’ve already “messed up” the day. Or say, I’ll start eating healthy on Monday since I’ve already eaten poorly this weekend. Every person at times eats too much. The successful people will not let a road bump completely derail their entire lifestyle change. If you are not implementing positive lifestyle changes and losing weight, you are gaining weight. Again, there is no “in-between.” People don’t realise what they consume each day. So many overweight people eat thousands of extra calories and fat without realising it. It’s tough to know if you are gaining weight or losing weight each day unless you are keeping an eye on what you’re consuming.

Relationship Disputes: Cohabitation


I am the common law partner, so does this mean that I am entitled to half of all their assets?

No. There is no such thing as a common law husband and wife in English and Welsh law. It would depend on the circumstances as to what assets you will be able to make a claim over and what assets you will not be able to. The most noticeable is that you will probably not have any entitlement to your partner’s pension which you would have in a marriage.



Our house is in my partner’s sole name. They have said that I would not be entitled to a share should we separate. Is this true?


No. As you have cohabitated prior to your marriage and it was a long cohabitation, this will be taken into account when looking at financial division in a divorce.

At a difficult time you’ll find us approachable and supportive.

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We are a well established firm of Solicitors specialising in handling complex commercial and business disputes.

You need us on your team

With the joint expertise of our commercial disputes and relationship department you can be sure of receiving a unique quality service to protect these interests. We will work hard in your best interests, seek to avoid unnecessary

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TOP WEIGHT LOSS TIPS 1. Stop eating just 3 large meals a day. Beginning today, eat 5-6 small meals daily. You’ll be eating more often but not necessarily more. Eating 5-6 times a day will keep your metabolism revved up, which causes your body to burn more calories. Make sure that your meals are not loaded with simple carbs instead go with whole grain foods. 2. Water is better than sugary soft drinks. You will see immediate results by simply trashing the sugary soft drinks in favour of water. 3. Slower is better when eating. Research shows that the longer you take to chew your food the less food you will consume. In addition by slowing down your eating, your stomach will have enough time to send signals to your brain telling it that it’s full. 4. Get involved in some sort of physical activity. Try walking around the local area for 15-20 minutes. Any exercise is better than nothing so try doing a brisk walk around the block. 5.Make your own meals instead of ordering out. In the long run you’ll save money and control your portion size. I know it’s easy to order fast food everyday but trust me it’s doing more harm than good. 6. Remove sugary foods from your diet. That includes sweets, fizzy pop or anything from a bag or box. Sugar will add weight to your frame even if the label reads fat free. 7. Drink green tea. Research shows that Green tea has antioxidants, which stimulates weight loss. 8. Consume foods that are rich in fibre. Shop for foods that are high in fibre (whole wheat bread, potatoes, nuts, grain) you’ll feel satisfied longer. 9. Ditch the dressing. Dressing, sauces and other condiments should be limited because of the carbs, sugar and fats. 10. Cut the pounds and keep it off permanently. A staggering amount of people who have experienced weight loss gain it back plus more. It is important to not let up on your diet. Watch what you eat and don’t fall back into your old habits or you can quickly gain the weight back that you worked so hard to lose.

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Back to School Most children, and their parents, are either extremely excited or are dreading a new school year depending on expectations. Was last year a good year? Have friendships, schools, teachers, or even physical characteristics changed? While it is difficult to remember your own first days of school, it is easy to remember your first day at your most recent job or to think how you would feel if you had to start a new job tomorrow. The nervousness and anxiety that you go through is very similar to what it’s like for your child. The concept of dealing with new faces, new expectations, different routines, a new classroom and new friends can be overwhelming. How do you help to ease your child’s anxiety?

Relax Remember that your moods directly affect your children’s moods, reactions, and responses to events. This means that it is important for you to stay as calm and positive as you can about the upcoming change. If possible, make sure to set aside time to relax and spend time with your family, especially in the last few days before school starts.

Big changes Back to school time is not the time to move, get a new puppy or undergo any major home renovations! If at all possible, wait for any new changes until after the new school year routine has been established and your children have fallen into a groove. Let them cope with one major change at a time.

Reduce the surprises One of the biggest sources of anxiety is the unknown. Who is the teacher? What do they look like? Where is my classroom? Do I have any friends in my class? The list of potential unknowns goes on and on. Reduce the surprises by taking advantage of back to school events that are offered to you. You may consider taking your child to the school and walking around it a day or two before school is scheduled to begin.

Friends Consider inviting your child’s friends over to your home, which will give the children the opportunity to reconnect and eliminate some of the social anxiety connected with returning to school. Additionally, it will enable them to figure some things out before they get to school. Things like where the classrooms are, who is in the class, and so on. It even allows them to commiserate about their anxieties and, thus, help each other to feel better about beginning school again.

Don’t Dismiss Fears While it is important to remain calm about the beginning of school and not show your own anxieties, it is also more important to not be dismissive about your child’s anxieties. Your child’s fears are real and legitimate. Listen to his worries and don’t minimize, dismiss, or try to talk him out of them. Easing your child’s anxiety is more than listening to him and being there for him. One of the best ways to ease anxiety about beginning school is to let your child know what to expect and help him to feel more in control of the situation.

Starting a new school: tips for parents As the summer holiday starts, its never too early to start preparing your child, and yourself, for the new school year The first steps in education needn’t be too scary.

Be uniform savvy Ensure you have a list of school uniform must-haves directly from the school office to avoid over-spending or under-buying. Many schools sell standard items themselves that can save dragging grumpy children around shops. Be careful to label items, including shoes, coats and bags, with your child’s name to avoid losses in the PE changing rooms.

Swot up on the rules While you might be happy for your child to wear jewellery or a certain hairstyle, the school may not. Rightly or wrongly schools are notoriously picky about the appearance of their students. So avoid unnecessary arguments for you and humiliation for your child by ensuring that you know the school rules and adhere to them.

Get familiar If you haven’t yet try to familiarise yourself and your child with their new school. Many will host a summer fete where students, teachers and parents will be getting involved – pop along and get to know people who will be involved in your child’s future. Or take a regular stroll past the building to get to know the morning route to school and talk to your little one about what they’ll be doing there in the coming months.

Be prepared Even the most outgoing child is bound to feel more than a little worried about that big, scary place they call school. While talking to them and telling them about your own time at school may ease some fears, no parent has all the answers. Let favourite characters such as Charlie and Lola help. I Am Too Absolutely Small For School by Lauren Child is available from most bookshops.

Don’t show fear A new school is just about as terrifying as it comes for parents but your little one doesn’t have to know that. Even if you feel like weeping every time the subject comes up put on a brave face and smile. If you show positivity and happiness your child will follow suit, let them know you’re proud of them and believe they’ll love every minute of their new life at school.

Do your maths It’s not just the kids who’ll be learning to count this autumn term. Do your research in advance to be financially prepared for the school year. Speak to the school to get a feel for how many trips you’ll be expected to pay for and what lunches are most likely to cost you. You might even ask around parents of older children to find out what equipment they consider a must or hidden costs you might not have considered

The Groom goes Vroom! Have you thought about how the Groom will be getting to your wedding? Why not surprise him with a chauffeur driven ASTON MARTIN DB7 Most men can only dream of experiencing James Bond’s car of choice, but you can turn the dream into a reality. This is an experience he will be talking about, long afterthe confetti has blown away. Includes; Pre wedding collection, ‘pose and cruise’, wait during the ceremony for a photo opportunity with both the Bride and Groom


£295 West Midlands, Warwickshire and surrounding areas.

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Back to school essentials Most schools provide a shopping list of essential items your child will need during term time – ring your child’s school if you haven’t yet received one by mid-August. In the meantime we’ve compiled a list of back to school essentials to help you get started.

School uniform Check school uniform requirements with your child’s school You can get some real bargains on school uniforms in the summer holidays thanks to supermarket price wars. Check your school’s uniform policy for exact requirements, but most children will need:              

blazer jumper shirts/blouses and tie trousers/skirts PE kit t-shirt / PE top PE shorts / PE skirt specific sports wear (rugby shirt, netball skirt etc) tracksuit socks/tights shoes and plimsolls/trainers football/rugby/hockey boots school bag and PE bag swimming shorts/trunks/suit name tags.

Stationery and books School stationery can be picked up for just a few pounds on the high street. But don’t automatically head to a specialist stationer, bargains can

be found elsewhere in supermarkets and independent discount shops. For books, shop around online to find the cheapest retailers. Common back to school essentials include:          

pens pencils, coloured pencils, sharpener and eraser felt tip pens and highlighters pencil case ruler, protractor, compass calculator/scientific calculator notepad Tippex/correction fluid English dictionary, language dictionary (French, German etc.) and atlas textbooks (remember to dig out last year’s textbooks and homework diary to take back to school).

Everyday school essentials Prepare lunch boxes the night before schoolPut together packed lunches and school bags the night before and ensure you check travel plans to and from school in plenty of time to avoid stress on the first day back. Don’t forget these often overlooked term-time essentials:      

lunchbox or lunch money bus pass bus money tissues/handkerchief towel shower gel.

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Sergio Garcia using Bushnell Pro 1600 Laser Rangefinder for Golf, £340.



Ditch the England football shirt. The golfing look is leaner, keener and swinging. Football competitions may be a sartorial nightmare – overweight men in ill-fitting sportswear with paint smeared on their faces are never going to be thought of as fashion role models – but golf is an altogether classier affair. The biennial Ryder Cup is being held in Wales this autumn, and the teams will be, as ever, adhering to the strict rules of shirts with collars and no jeans. Football fans take note. F

J!NX. Identity Shadowstep polo, £24.99

Polo Shirt, £25 St George by Duffer striped polo shirt, £25.

Men’s V-neck jumper, £14.

Fashion chino in grey, £25

Maine New England worker Chino, £30.


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MILLARDE FASHIONS of Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield are a family run business that have over 70 years experience in fulfilling the needs of its discerning clientele. MILLARDE stock over 1000 different â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mother of the Bride and Groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; outfits, as well as something for those important guests, from many leading national and international fashion houses including Condici, Ann Balon, Ispirato and many more. MILLARDE also have one of the best selection of hats and fascinators in the Midlands, made to the highest standards in almost any colour you can imagine as well as a lovely selection of matching shoes and handbags to compliment most outfits.

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How to get the best deal on your savings Are you happy with your savings account? If you are you probably think that the magic of compounding is quietly increasing the value of your stash as you sleep. You are probably wrong. Half of the savings accounts in the UK pay less than 0.5% interest. With inflation as measured by the CPI running at 3.1%, that means your money is losing purchasing power by the minute. It also means you need to do something about it. It may be that when you opened you account the interest rate was fine. But interest rates rarely stay good. Why? Because as a nation we are notoriously lazy when it comes to our finances: we very rarely switch bank accounts. So banks know they can lure us in with attractive interest rates and then after about a year get away with dropping the rate – to a shocking 0.1% for a quarter of savers, according to an investigation by Which?

Check your rate The first thing to do is check what interest rate you are getting on your savings accounts. Banks and building societies have come under fire for not clearly showing the interest rate on statements. To counteract this Which? has launched its ‘saving rates booster’. You just tell it how much you have saved, who operates the account and what the account is called and it will tell you what your interest rate is. So, for example, if I had £5,000 deposited in the FirstDirect Everyday Savings account then I would be earning 0.1% interest.

Make your savings earn more Once you know your savings rate, you’ll almost certainly want to switch accounts. I’ll eat my hat if anyone has a savings account they opened more than a year ago that is still paying a decent rate – except for fixed rate bonds of course Now for some bad news: there aren’t any savings accounts offering particularly amazing rates of interest at the moment. Instead most accounts are failing to even keep up with inflation. You need to be getting an interest rate that compensates you for both inflation and tax in order for your money to actually grow in terms of purchasing power. For example: you put £100 in

a savings account paying 2% interest and you leave it there for a year with the intention of buying a £100 holiday. By the end of the year you’ll have £102. That might seem nice, but inflation will mean your holiday will cost £103. So you will have lost, not gained, in ‘real’ terms. If you factor in the tax you’ll pay on interest, then a basic-rate taxpayer needs an account paying 3.9% in order to beat inflation, and a higher-rate taxpayer needs an account paying 5.2%. Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard savings account on the market offering an interest rate of 5.2%. That leaves basic rate tax payers with a few options. You can get 4.5% interest with United Trust, AA, ICICI, SAGA and the State Bank of India. But to do so you have to lock up your money for five years with all of them. That’s not something I would recommend. Interest rates will eventually rise, and when they do you will want to be able to move to a higher rate account as soon as they hit the market.

Don’t forget about Isas A better option is to make the most of your individual savings account (Isa). Everyone is allowed to put up to £5,100 a year into an Isa where it can earn interest tax-free. That means all taxpayers – even those on 40 or 50% marginal rates – only need a rate of 3.1% for their growth to outpace inflation. So lock up your money for three years with Northern Rock’s fixed rate Isa issue 148, which pays 3.35%, and you’ll still be making money. That said, the difference between making a real return and not making one is marginal: inflation only has to move to 3.4% and you’ll be losing again – and stuck in a three year deal (you can withdraw your cash but you’ll pay a penalty). That means it may be that the best any of us can do is to get the best possible short-term savings rate we can, and then be on the lookout for something better. Bank offers are already creeping up a little, but as soon as interest rises they will leap. Then you can jump in and get a good deal.

New Hall Hotel & Spa

Detox your mind, body and soul Detox spa day

Detox spa break for two

Enjoy use of the facilities, towel, robe and slippers plus 2 x 25 min treatments: Detox back, neck and shoulder massage

Enjoy one night bed and breakfast in the Hotel, use of the facilities, towel, robe and slippers plus 2 x 25 min treatments each:


Detox back, neck and shoulder massage

Detox full body salt scrub


£69 per person Monday - Thursday £85 per person Friday - Sunday

Detox full body salt scrub £130 per person Sunday - Friday £140 per person Saturday (prices based on two people sharing)

0845 458 0904 New Hall Health Club & Spa, Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham B76 1QX Terms and conditions apply.

The Deli in Boldmere is a business constantly evolving. Now 2 years old The Deli continues to sell a superb range of English and continental cheeses, charcuterie, artisan bread delivered 6 days a week, locally sourced pork pies and free range eggs plus a wide range of jams, chutneys and other gifts. The cafe is a popular meeting place serving freshly made sandwiches, light lunches, home made cakes and scones, coffee and range of teapigs teas.



Have you considered hiring The Deli for a party? It has a great atmosphere and we have several package options available. See website for more information. 60b-60c Boldmere Road,   


ice cream We sell Bennetts ice cream made at Manor Farm in Worcester. We wanted a locally sourced, high quality product and have 10 flavours in stock including a rich chocolate , vanilla, mint choc chip as well as amaretto, maple & walnut, mango and lemon sorbets.


ice cream 1 scoop any flavour in cone

ÂŁ1.00 (RRP ÂŁ1.80) offer expires 10th September 2013

coffee The cafe serves and sells Union Coffee (who operate a Direct Contact Trade model for ethical buying). Our trained baristas produce great coffee macchiato, flat whites, cappucino, lattes - from all types of milk including soya. We also do take out coffees and have a large range of flavoured syrups.


take out coffee

One of the aims of The Deli was to support community life. A place to meet friends, do business and socialise. We currently run a knit night on the 3rd Thursday every month and we are planning to build on further Thursday interest nights. Evenings are free and all abilities welcome.

tapas We now open on Friday and Saturday evenings and serve a range of tapas dishes and alcohol. You are welcome to come for a glass of wine or try our Lebanese Brew beer with a few olives or sample the wider tapas menu. Use the voucher below for our special summer offer.

VOUCHER 2 free drinks

ÂŁ1.00 (RRP ÂŁ2.00)

when buying 6 dishes set menu ÂŁ20 Friday/Sat 6.30pm -9.30pm

offer expires 10th September 2013

offer expires 10th September 2013



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It won’t be long before winter is once .Cape Verde A brand new destination for Thomas Cook this winter, Cape Verde is an again nipping at our heels, and as exquisite archipelago of 10 islands. Situated 500km off the coast of South Africa, its golden sandy beaches and turquoise seas have led Cape Verde to the leaves on the trees turn brown, be dubbed the ‘Caribbean closer to home’. an exotic escape is just the tonic to Magnificent Mexico beat those winter blues. Torey Kings-Hodkin, who heads up Thomas Cook’s network of shops, says: “It’s a great time to go to a number of mid to long-haul destinations, such as Kenya and Egypt, where the pound is currently strong meaning your money goes that bit further. The low cost of living in these destinations offer holidaymakers great value for money as well as the opportunity to book affordable local excursions with reps when they get to resort.”

Colourful Caribbean The tropical Caribbean islands have earned their place in British holidaymakers’ hearts as the number one winter sun destination. Their stretching white sandy beaches, coconut palm-lined coves and crystal clear seas scream ‘paradise’ from the moment you step off the plane.

Egypt Egypt isn’t just about Pyramids and Nile cruises, with year-round heat and hardly any rain, its gift is the sun. Egypt boasts an average temperature of 27C during the winter months and some of the best coral reefs in the world. Five star luxury resorts offer outstanding all inclusive facilities at great prices making Egypt an excellent value, exotic destination just 5.5 hours away.

Canaries – Don’t forget Spain If you want to stay closer to home, the Canary Islands are one of Spain’s greatest treasures, blessed with sunshine all year round. Whichever island you chose the Canaries have everything you could possibility want in a holiday; culture, sun, sea, sand and sangria.

Mexico’s endless white soft-sand beaches and clear Caribbean waters make it a beach lover’s paradise. Scuba diving and snorkelling is particularly good in this tropical favourite, and the Wet’ n Wild water park in Cancun is definitely worth a visit. Night owls looking for party glitz and glamour can soak up the Latino ambience in Mexico’s numerous bars and clubs.

Kenya Safari This awe-inspiring destination offers adventurous holidaymakers a lifechanging experience. The dry summer season runs from June to October and during this period one of the most amazing spectacles on earth takes place - the wildebeest migration, bringing hoards of wildebeest, zebra and other animals to the Masai Mara. If safaris, lions and big cats aren’t your thing, Kenya has fantastic snorkeling and is a classic beach retreat with bustling North Mombassa close by for evening entertainment.


The Midlands’ premier supplier of outdoor wet leisure facilities has a new showroom open in Boldmere. We specialise in:

$ Spa manufacture - portable, in ground, commercial, swim spas. $ Swimming pools - above ground and in ground. $ Swimming accessories - covers, heaters, chemical dosing etc. $ Swimming pool manufacture - re-lining and renovation service. $ Swimming pool and spa service and maintenance. $ Chemicals, water treatment, testing and advice. $ Log cabins and saunas.

Like the idea of a spa but think it may be too expensive?

The Orbis Spa shown below is only £2495. We also part-exchange and buy used spas ask for more details. ORBIS - 4 PERSON SPA

Call 0121 354 4420 Unit 1, 35 Boldmere Road, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield B73 5UY 0121 354 4420

Autumn Colours

Floral Cushion, £12

The natural world has inspired a lot of designers this season, with prints and patterns in living coral hue.

Woven Baskets (set of 2), £10

Chinoise Wallpaper By Basso & Brooke B&Q Every season brings with it a new colour palette for us to drool over and make us wonder, why didn’t we think of that? Summer’s beautiful mix of turquoise, amparo blue and rich, vibrant tomato puree red had us all clashing colours and the colours for Autumn/ Winter are sure to make us want to do it again.

The Autumn/ Winter palette is a deeper more season-appropriate take on the summers’ vibrant colours, with Living Coral, Purple Orchard and Oyster Grey being the colours of the season. Lagoon is the colour du jour. A darker, richer shade of summer’s turquoise, it’s going to be everywhere. For a chic, neutral palette, mix living coral with oyster grey. For the more adventurous, clash lagoon with coral for a rich, sumptuous look.


Dunelm Mill Aqua Haze Bullet Crackle Glass Vase £7.99

Mariko Table Lamp Blue Glass Bulbous Lamp with Blue Silk Thread Shade

Manor House Damask wallpaper in Spring colourway by Yukari Sweeney Design £95

Meatallic grey continue to shine this season use statement pieces to add interest to a room.

Rosette Grey Bedspread £160 Sphere Lamp £30

The Wag Designed and made in London by Metropolis Furniture Co, based in the design heartland of Columbia Road Flower Market




Tel: 01922 745520 Fax 01922 456620 Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Sun 11am-5pm

A stunning range of Lounge, Bedroom and Office furniture to suit all pockets and tastes. Free standing and fitted, modular systems with a choice of interior and exterior finishes. Fabulous Inspirational room displays now in store.


Make more of your space: Loft Conversions

Now’s the time to make the most of the space you have in your existing home - and converting the loft is the best way to do it. At its most basic, a loft conversion can be a quiet place to set up your model railway, with a flip-down ladder for access and simple windows. But a temporary staircase means it won’t count as extra living space when you come to sell, so generally it’s a mistake to do it on the cheap. Getting a specialist company or an architect on board will give you the best end result, whether you want the space to flow seamlessly on from the rest of the house or you just want to make a statement with a light-filled studio. Planning Your Loft Conversion If the last time you looked in your loft was to bung in a few surplus boxes when you first moved in, it’s time to grab a torch and find out what you’ve got. You must be realistic about the possibilities. Take a tape measure and note the ceiling height - it needs to be no less than 2.3 metres to give enough headroom. The steeper the slope (or pitch) of the roof, the more suitable it will be for conversion. If your roof has a very steep pitch you may be able to squeeze in a mezzanine level. Dormer windows extend out of the original roof and are a way of adding headroom. They can be the size of a single window or they can span a sizeable chunk of the roof and contain two or more windows. It’s also possible to extend to the side from a hipped roof - in other words build out from the sloped side of the roof to make the edge flush with the exterior wall. Pay attention to the exterior of the dormer - make sure it won’t stand out like a sore thumb in your street, either because it’s too big, out of place, or because the tiles and brickwork don’t match.

If you have a lot of belongings to store, you may want to preserve some of the loft for purely storage purposes. Many conversion designs include nifty cupboards in the ‘dead’ space right under the eaves. Extra bedrooms and bathrooms - ideally en suite - are the most popular and logical choices, given their usual placement at the top of the house. However, it is certainly worth including the extras that will add to the room’s wow factor. Luxurious walk-in wardrobes are a desirable lifestyle extra that buyers love, so factor one in if you can. A teenager’s room can include space for additional seating to create a proper den. Get The Look How you want the final conversion to look is generally only constrained by your imagination. A conversion that blends into the existing structure is a good solution for many, utilising modern technologies such as uPVC windows. Clearly, solid-wood versions are going to be more attractive, but they need much more upkeep than plastic. It’s up to you and the level of maintenance you are prepared to accept but it’s possible to create a truly unusual feature in your home - a double-height bedroom with mezzanine or an exterior seating area. These aren’t the most space-efficient options but they certainly bring the wow factor. If you want the interior of the conversion to feel part of the original structure, make sure the details match - skirtings, architrave around the door, ceiling heights and wall colours. Whether the doors themselves match depends on what you have elsewhere, as all the doors in the conversion will need to be fire resistant. Also think about blinds for roof windows - not for privacy but necessary if the window lets in the full glare of the morning sun.

Deciding what to do with the space.

Rules and regulations

Deciding what you want to do with all that space - quite possibly the largest area in your home - is the fun part. Firstly, do you want to retain an area of the loft for storage, and if not, what are you going to do with all that junk that’s already up there? A bedroom with an en-suite bathroom is a popular choice, as is a den for the kids.

To guarantee a safe and efficient end result, your conversion will have to comply with building regulations. They cover areas such as energy efficiency, lighting, insulation and fire safety. You will first need to submit the architect’s plans to the local authority, and then the building and fire regulation plans. The whole approval process should take about three to four months.

If you’re thinking about a loft conversion you clearly have a use in mind for the space. The physical distance from the loft to the ground floor (where the kitchen and living room is likely to be) will influence the practicalities. For instance, an attic dining room would be too far away from the kitchen - even if you install a dumb waiter, buyers would not be impressed. However, this distance would work in your favour if you want a home office, as it will be pretty peaceful. What about a games room? There’s plenty of space for your snooker table or table football and you won’t be able to hear the rowdiness elsewhere in the house.

Planning permission, which governs the appearance of your house and how it affects those around you, should be sought before you get the builders in. You will need it if you live in a listed building or conservation area, if the house has been extended before, if you’re converting the loft above a flat or your house is over two storeys high. You may also be affected by The Party Wall Act 1996 if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property. This ensures your planned changes don’t compromise the strength or soundproofing of the dividing wall.

1 of1

See the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website on planning, building and the environment for information on all types of building controls. Local authority building inspectors will visit the conversion at various times to ensure youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing what you should. Failure to comply will emerge when you come to sell, as you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the relevant certificates from your local authority. Get The Professionals In Employing professionals will minimise the likelihood of costly and dangerous mistakes. If budget is a concern, get the design and structural work done by a pro then do the decorating yourself. An experienced build or loft conversion team is a must. They will take care of all the paperwork for you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; dealing with the council and building regulations, as well as securing skips and scaffolding. Get at least three written quotes to compare, see examples of their work, agree a time schedule and ensure they have adequate insurance. Check out the Federation of Master Builders, who abide by a strict code of conduct. Finally, do inform your neighbours of your plans. You may find that next door are also thinking about converting, which will give you the option of working together to create a balanced end result. What Will It Cost To Extend? For the more dramatic schemes, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to hire an architect and this can be pricey. For a typical glazed rear extension, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking upwards of ÂŁ40,000, but if you go for a glass extension specialist it should be closer to ÂŁ20,000. The latter will do you a side extension for around ÂŁ10,000. If money is tight, then think about the sliding/cantilever doors option. Prices start at about ÂŁ1,000 per glazed panel. Like these ideas, but want something a touch more traditional? The most basic, but not so contemporary, glass conservatory can cost from ÂŁ2,000 from places such as Homebase and B&Q, escalating to around ÂŁ30,000 for larger, more elaborate designs that are professionally fitted. The Profit Potential A loft conversion should always be a lifestyle choice. Whether it adds value to your home depends on many factors, including the style of your property, the area itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s located in and the availability of similar properties nearby.

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The Rules Of Renovating Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re revamping your own home or redeveloping a house or flat to sell on, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely the work you do will be subject to planning permission and building regulations. And what are the issues with party walls?

If you plan to knock down your propertys walls, there are three important aspects to know about before you get the sledge hammer out â&#x20AC;&#x201C; planning permission, building regulations and party walls.

What Are Building Regulations? <                 governments planning portal.

You are breaking the law if you do any work that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t comply, or without first getting the relevant permission. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) warns projects can be even stopped and developers forced to tear down renovations or extensions at their own expense if modifications havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t received permissions.


    '    drains, new bathrooms and fitting central heating where no major structural alternations are needed.

What Is Planning Permission?

     '          checks to ensure that the building regs are complied with. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important you get a Completion Certificate at the end of works. If this is not provided it could prove a problem when you come to sell the property.

People often confuse planning permission and building regulations. They are both statutory requirements if you plan to alter a property but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the similarity ends. Planning permission is all about the form and use of a building and how that use affects its environment - be that visually, in development terms or in social terms. If you are considering altering the external appearance of a property, or planning major internal alterations, you should start by contacting your local councils planning department to find out if you need permission for the work. Planning Permission Types          

      of dwelling to be built, but before work can start full details of the build must be approved.         

       design. Conditions may be attached such as requirements to build with a particular type of brick.      

         or converted is listed. Detailed planning permission will also be required as      

  "        here.      


      renovated or converted is in a conservation area. Detailed planning permission     #    $   "       #       '   ' if there is a tree preservation order. Read more about tree preservation orders here. If you employ an architect, he or she will generally apply for planning     "     *+$"+ '

 discuss your needs with the planning office at your local council. They can advise you on the forms required and the fees involved. If there are problems, you can submit an outline application first before submitting detailed drawings. Government guidelines say that the council should decide the application within eight weeks. If you are unsure whether permission is required, do not start work until you have consulted the planning department.

    '        plans, obtain approvals and oversee the project on your behalf.

What Is A Party Wall Agreement? If your development plans will affect a party wall (that is a shared wall separating two properties) you will need a party wall agreement. The agreement essentially says that you agree that if your works cause any damage to the party wall of your neighbours property, you will pay for any work needed to put it right. Even work close to a party wall counts, as well as work within a certain distance of neighbouring detached properties. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;As a rule of thumb you will generally need to start party wall procedures at least two months before you start work,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Hugo Tugman founder of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Your neighbour cannot prevent you from doing your work as long as your proposals do not threaten the integrity of the property and you have gone about the party wall procedures correctly. You may however have to engage a party wall surveyor or lawyer to administer the party wall agreement. There would be a fee for this and you would have to pay this.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; After the agreement is served, your neighbour has up to 14 days to give written consent for the work to take place or to serve a counter notice requiring additional work to be carried out or object to the work being done. You need to resolve any dispute before starting work. RICS offers a party wall helpline. Call 0870 333 1600 and you will be put in touch with a local RICS member willing to provide a free 30 minute initial consultation.

Exclusively Hand Made Oak and Pine Furniture made by Expert Craftsmen MADE TO MEASURE Any piece in any size

All our furniture is custom manufactured by us to your exact requirements and size. We supply a wide range of fitted & free standing home, lounge, office, dining furniture, kitchens and fitted bedrooms. Solid Oak tables our speciality. Made to Measure, any piece in any size, oak cut & planned to size.


0121 378 1642 Ground Floor, Stirchley House, Reddicap Ind.Estate, Sutton Coldfield B75 7BU

Opening times Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm




CALL 0121 378 4445


Expan din g Busin ess - New fitted kitchen showroom ing Even by s y surve ment t n i appo

Establis hed 25 years

              This family run business was first established in 1985 by Steve and Ellen Whatley. Since then they have steadily increased their home improvement business to the point where they needed new premises in the area and additional full time fitting teams, gas safe engineers and fully qualified electricians.

Beautiful kitchens

Fitted bedrooms

Heading the fitting teams is Steveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brother Lee and his son Tom. Lee is a time served apprentice joiner and carpenter with over 20 years experience. He is fully conversant with all aspects of building and the associated trades and the regulations therein. His son Tom is serving an apprenticeship with Lee after leaving school last year. Heading the electrics is Steve and Ellenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son Paul who recently left the Navy after 9 years serving a full apprenticeship gaining electrical/ electronics degrees. After leaving the service Paul has gained Part P, 17th Edition and Test and Inspect qualification and can complete works to current regs. Ellen is the showroom manager co-ordinating orders, accounts and administration. Steve Whatley has over 30 years experience in the industry having started out managing projects in the UAE. These ranged from the design and installation of large scale commercial projects such as hotels and apartment blocks to highly individual installations such as Sheiks palaces. He has a wealth of design knowledge and experience. Having purchased a 148 year lease at Avery Road the family are planning to enjoy a long and fulfilling stay in the area and hope to service the people of Sutton Coldfield and the surrounding area with high quality British kitchens.

Luxury studies

0121 354 4221 39 Aver y Road, Sutton Coldfield B 7 3 6QB

OPEN Mon-Sat 9-5 (closed Wed & Sun)

Streets Ahead


Seared scallops with guacamole, coriander and chilli Recipe provided Old School House INGREDIENTS 1 avocado Juice of 1 lemon Juice of 1 lime Salt and freshly ground pepper 50g coriander leaves, chopped 1 clove of garlic, chopped 1 chilli, deseeded and diced 1 tbsp olive oil 25g butter 12 fresh scallops 2 tbsp coconut milk Coriander sprigs, to garnish Avocado Salad 1 avocado, diced 1 chilli, deseeded and diced 30g coriander leaves chopped

METHOD Peel and stone the avocado and dice finely. Place in a small bowl, add the lemon and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Process the coriander, garlic, chilli and chives in a food processor, then mix in with the avocado. Heat the olive oil and butter in a small frying pan. Season the scallops then sear for 1 minute on each side. Mix the ingredients for the salad in a bowl. Serve the scallops with spoonfuls of guacamole and avocado salad.

Celeriac soup

Now the nights are drawing in we all crave for a comforting dish to settle down to in the evening.    


                 most delicious soup it is also wonderful roasted or made into a gratin. INGREDIENTS 3 potatoes peeled and chopped 600ml fresh chicken stock 1 large celeriac peeled and chopped 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 white onion sliced finely 4 celery sticks peeled and sliced finely Small bunch flat leaf parsley finely chopped Cayenne pepper ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

METHOD Place the potatoes, celeriac and stock into a saucepan bring to the boil and then allow to simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 20 mins).

Place into serving dishes and garnish with a celery leaf and cayenne pepper and extra nutmeg.

Fry the onion and celery in the olive oil and when soft transfer them into the pan of stock and vegetables, cook for a further 10 mins.

Serve with feta and mint scones recipe available at BlogSpot.

Blend the soup and then return to the pan, add a good pinch of cayenne and a grating of nutmeg.

423 Birmingham Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield 0121 373 5854 avinoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is an authentic Italian restaurant in Wylde Green where the whole family is involved: Meet Gavino and Karen the owners, children Gian-Franco, Bonny, Christian plus Antonio.


Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re here to make sure your dining experience has a true Italian feeling, if you speak a bit of Italian donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be shy and have a little chat with us!! Oh yes donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to say Ciao, grazie and â&#x20AC;&#x153;il conto per favoreâ&#x20AC;? So come and join us! Whether you want a romantic night out for you and your partner, a business lunch with your colleagues, a celebration or a family treat, whatever the occasion it is our aim to make your meal with us unforgettable. We are ready to offer you the finest quality food and the freshest fish available, pleasant surroundings and excellent value for money.

Open Tues- Sat lunch 12:00 - 14:00 Dinner 18:00 - 22:30 Sunday : 16:00 - 21:00

September 1st - 12th

Restaurant Review Viva

espana The restaurant at 5 Manor Road, Sutton Coldfield has had some fine dining incumbents in recent times. There was ‘82’, then ‘Five’ - but the latest owners Don Diego are serving up some fantastic reviews for their food and hospitality. on Diego is a ray of Spanish sunshine, and a welcome addition to the fine dining available in Sutton Coldfield town centre.


was very excited to learn that my latest review would be the new tapas bar, Don Diego in Sutton Coldfield. I have holidayed endless times in Andalusia and Spain and so my family and I are well accustomed to the informal style of tapas dining. Traditionally tapas are served as an accompaniment to those partaking in a sociable drink. Usually they are served in small portions and frequently - how many you devour depends on your appetite or on your length of stay at the bar. In Spain one should not and does not drink without eating and due to their size, tapas have to be perfect bar food.. The ngredients should be of the highest quality and, whenever possible, regionally sourced. They should be prepared freshly and their presentation should be simple yet immaculate! The service of a tapas bar is a huge undertaking and has very high standards to live up to; so my expectations of Don Diego were exceptionally high. For my review I would be looking for supreme quality, good presentation and service second to none. The Experience We arrived at 7.30pm on a Friday evening. The restaurant already had a number of diners, some seated at tables others on high stools at the bar and all adding to the overall ambience. We were greeted warmly by the Spanish waiting staff, who were all well presented dressed smartly in black. Co-owner Emma who runs the bar and restaurant with her Spanish husband introduced herself and kindly showed us to a

table for two. Upon meeting her it was obvious to me that she had a contagious passion for the Spanish custom of tapas. Her knowledge of the dishes was outstanding and I wasn’t surprised to learn they already have two other restaurants one in Bridge north the other in Shrewsbury. The tapas We were swiftly served some lovely crusty bread accompanied with homemade alioli [ garlic mayonnaise ], roasted corn kernels and juicy green olives full of flavour. The menu The menu is very helpfully laid out into sections. It is recommended to choose 2 – 3 tapas per person depending how hungry or adventurous you are. These are appetizers and cold tapas, hot fish and meat, hot vegetables and a wonderful selection of specially selected Iberian cured meats. We opted for : Jamon Iberico de bellata Chorizo Iberico and Lomo Iberico To accompany this I had a small glass of chilled dry sherry and John opted for a cold Spanish beer. We ate the meats with our fingers in true tapas style, the warmth of the hands melts the fats inside the meat which intensify the flavour of the cured pork, each one was typically distinctive in taste. A real foodies treat and we loved them.

Penny’s Sticky toffee puddings Inspired by the Malthouse’ sticky toffee pudding, here’s my recipe with the added indulgence of brandy liqueur toffee sauce. INGREDIENTS Sponge 150g (5oz) dates- stoned and chopped finely 75g (3oz) unsalted softened butter 100g (4oz) soft dark brown sugar 3 free range eggs 175g (6oz) self raising flour 15ml (1tbsp) vanilla extract Sauce 100g (4oz) unsalted butter 175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar 125ml double cream


30ml (2tbsp) Australian liqueur wine

Pre heat the oven 180oc, 350of gas mark 4.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins.

(if not available use brandy)

Grease 6 ramekins and place a circle of greaseproof paper in the base of each.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 mins- check by inserting a skew into the centre if it comes out clean remove the sponges from the oven.

NB. Australian liqueur wine is a special blend of wines fortified withgrape brandy

Place chopped dates in a saucepan with 200ml of boiling water and simmer gently for 10 mins.

To make the sauce:

Put all the remaining sponge ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until combined.

Melt the butter, sugar and cream, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 8 mins then stir in the liqueur.

Add the dates and water and mix again until well mixed.

Turn out the puddings and serve with the sauce poured over. Serves 6

Have a restful time alone, or meet with friends and family in the convivial surroundings of Simply Delicious. Finest quality food to eat in or take away. Selection of award winning cheeses and stockists of ‘free from’ products including wheat, gluten & eggs

18 High Street, Aldridge, West Midlands, WS9 8LZ Telephone 01922 456999 Open Monday - Friday 8.15am - 4.30pm Saturday 8am - 4pm

INGREDIENTS Serves 6 8 oz of fresh strawberries, halved Shortcrust pastry (enough) 2 oz sugar


2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger

Roll out your pastry into a thin sheet. Cut the pastry in half and place your strawberries onto one of the pastry sheets. Top with the second sheet and close firmly.

Whipped cream

Eggwash the pastry and sprinkle all over liberally with the sugar, cinamon and ginger.


Bake at 150 c for 15-20 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Cut into lozenges and allow to cool. Serve with whipped cream that you have beaten with brandy.

Ristorante Sorrento

the true flavour of Italy in the heart of Lichfield

After six years , Ristorante Sorrento has built an enviable reputation for excellent dishes and desserts, cooked by true Italians in the traditional manner, and served with quality wines

from an extensive wine list. The restaurant is also available for private functions. SPECIAL SET MENU Lunchtimes Thursday - Saturday L £7.50 1 course £9.50 2 course Evenings Tuesday - Thursday £14.95 2 course Sundays 12am - 4pm £14.95 2 course

CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR Bookings now being taken

A La Carte available every day OPEN: Lunch (Thurs to Sat) 12pm - 2pm (last order), Evening (Tues to Sat) 6pm - 10.30pm (last order), Sunday 12pm - 4pm

28 Bird Street, Lichfield WS13 6PR

01543 300789

Rich chocolate and marshmallow brownies INGREDIENTS 125g plain chocolate 150g butter 285g caster sugar 3 eggs 1tsp vanilla 150g mini marshmallows 100g chocolate chips 125g plain flour icing sugar to dust

METHOD Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/180C. Grease a baking tray or even a large rectangular casserole dish with a little butter or spray oil. Melt chocolate and butter together in a pan over a low heat. Remove from heat, add sugar and beat till it dissolved. Add eggs one at the time, then vanilla, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Stir in flour and pour into tin. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. To check whether the brownies are cooked, stick a skewer or small knife into the middle. It should come out with just a few crumbs left on it. Cool then remove from tin. Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar. Alternatively, you can serve with chocolate or caramel sauce and have the marshmallows on the side.












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fantastic food youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll love Discover one of the areas leading restaurants where the atmosphere is only surpassed by the excellent food on offer. Using only the freshest ingredients sourced locally our dishes are prepared to the highest standards ensuring we are always busy with discerning customers looking for a fantastic dining experience. We have an ample car park with attendant and feel free to bring your own drinks. A visit to the Lodge is never a one off thing and we look ( '  =    (   $  customers.

Birmingham Road

Shenstone Wood End


WS14 0LQ

01543 483 334 StreetsAhead105 OPEN 7 days: Evenings: 5.30pm till 12.00 midnight Lunch: Sat and Sun only 12 - 2pm


Astrologer Russell Grant forecasts your signs

EARIES MARCH 21 - APRIL 19 E Don’t lend or borrow money at the start of November, or a friendship could easily fall by the wayside. The urge to expand your horizons prompts you to sign up for a class or make travel reservations. Your adventurous spirit attracts admiring glances. Warning against pushing a youngster too hard, too fast comes early November. It will be easier to pursue a childhood dream in the days surrounding. Payment for a job you performed some time ago becomes available, helping you launch your own business. Acquiring a specialised skill makes you a hot commodity on the job market. A business or romantic partner’s good fortune on the 22nd allows you on a glamorous trip.

KLIBRA SEPTEMBER 23 - OCTOBER 23 K An unusual partnership gives you the courage to develop your artistic and intellectual gifts. Don’t impose your dreams on a young child near the 7th; let this kid march to the beat of his own drummer. A stalled romance roars back to life. Money from an inheritance, refund, or dividend is awarded to you on the 10th, so you will be able to put a down payment on a car or house. Working behind the scenes proves profitable. The middle of the month was made for a romantic rendezvous, but don’t spend your money on people or pleasures you can’t afford. Recommend a female friend for a job around the 22nd.



You won’t be able to talk sense to someone who has got hold of the wrong end of the stick in early November. A steamy love affair heats up in the days surrounding early November. Obey your impulses regarding love. The 7th isn’t favoured for home improvement projects. Move forward with career plans on or around the 9th. You finally reach a personal goal on the 10th, enabling you to move on to bigger and better things. You’ll have to be the aggressor in a relationship. You can win a prize in a contest of skill during the middle of the month. A plum work assignment will be handed to you on the 22nd as thanks for being such a diligent employee. You’ll be given a wonderful chance to study abroad on or around the 23rd.

Your heart and head will be vying for supremacy as October welcomes November; wait a few days before making an important decision. Early November is excellent for salary negotiations and job interviews. An unusual work assignment gives you a chance to show off your creative talents. Your boss will have unreasonable expectations of you on the 7th, causing enormous stress. Home proves a blessedly tranquil haven from public life. A romantic relationship or business partnership comes to fruition. Don’t fall for a relative’s sob story near the 20th. The 23rd is perfect for solitary pleasures like reading, writing, and nature walks.

GGEMINI MAY 22 - JUNE 20 G Don’t push your luck by showing off your superior knowledge and know how in the first few days of November, it could backfire badly. Devote more attention to your personal life. Let a loved one spoil and pamper you in the days surrounding early November. Resist the urge to lash out at a forgetful teacher. Breaking a bad habit on the 10th strengthens an intimate bond. Launching a home improvement project is favoured. Channel any frustrations into a creative project on at the middle of November and you could meet someone very special at a business meeting or professional organisation on the 23rd. The 24th is good for signing a contract or forming a business alliance.

MSAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 22 - DECEMBER 21 M Resist the urge to swap gossip at the start of November because it could lead to a very awkward situation. Your wit, charm, and intelligence put you in the spotlight. The happy news about a pregnancy arrives early November. Don’t let an expert force you into a decision you’re not ready to make on the 7th because very soon after you will be able to move forward with glamorous travel plans. A work assignment comes to a successful conclusion, allowing you to get a raise or increase your rates. The 11th prompts you to elbow the competition out of the way in order to get a top job. Your willingness to perform a difficult task in the middle of the month wins the approval of friends and workmates.



Be realistic before making expensive plans for the festive season at the start of November. Your willingness to try new things in the workforce garners favourable attention. Don’t spend money on a fancy gadget that has just hit the marketplace in the days surrounding the 7th. The 9th prompts you to sneak off to a romantic hideaway. A group project comes to a successful conclusion on the 10th, causing your best friend or lover to throw you a festive party. You’ll have to take a crash course on the 11th to remain competitive in the workplace. Go on a short trip to see old friends or distant relatives mid-month. Resist the urge to put a lover on a pedestal in the days surrounding the 20th.

Don’t feel pressured at the start of November to join an expensive group outing towards the end of the year. An unexpected moneymaking opportunity near the 3rd requires you to work behind the scenes. Be realistic about a friend, relative, or lover’s needs. Move forward with a charitable effort around the 9th. A youngster or lover’s success is cause for celebration; throw a party in their honour. You’ll have to work hard on the 11th to acquire expert knowledge, but your efforts will pay off. Warning against spending money on status symbols is advisable. Your boss gives you an added measure of independence around the 22nd, thereby freeing your creative spirit.

ILEO JULY 23 - AUGUST 22 I Don’t discuss the details of your personal life with family members at the start of the month. Early month is an ideal time for going on a first date or arranging a candlelit dinner for two. A lover helps expand your horizons in thrilling ways. An idyllic love affair moves forward in the days to follow. You will be rewarded a high profile job or impressive promotion on or around the 10th. Expenses will mount on the 11th, so be prepared. Go on an adventurous outing with friends around the middle of November. Intense jealousy is misguided on the 20th; don’t accuse anyone of betrayal on this day. You will get an opportunity to teach an art class near the 22nd. Sparks fly between you and a teacher or student around the 23rd.

JVIRGO AUGUST 23 - SEPTEMBER 22 J Beware of getting into a pointless argument with a colleague as the curtain rises on November. Launch a home decorating project. A lending institution will give you unusually good terms on a mortgage. It will be impossible to control your pent up anger regarding work on the 7th. The atmosphere at the office becomes much more pleasant in the days surrounding the 9th. You’ll be awarded with a diploma, certificate, or legal settlement. Step up your exercise routine near the 11th. Be aggressive about pursuing a teaching or writing position in mid-November. If you’re not happy with the results of a medical consultation around the 20th, get a second opinion.

OAQUARIUS JANUARY 20 - FEBRUARY 19 O Unfortunately your visionary ideas won’t get a good reception from the people who count at the start of the month. A stimulating group project is launched and if you take an off the cuff trip to visit friends or relatives you will have a whale of a time and renew a relationship that makes everyone happy. Don’t underestimate the competition at work in the next few days. A real estate deal comes to a successful conclusion giving you more time to engage in spiritually uplifting activities. Be willing to admit your ignorance at a social gathering on the 20th. A friend will introduce you to a respected expert on or around the 22nd. Splurge on some electronics around the 23rd; you won’t find a better price.

PPISCES FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20 P Don’t let any self doubts or feelings of inadequacy stop you planning to boost your future prospects by applying for promotion or adding to your technical qualifications in November. A work assignment puts you in the spotlight helping you impress the powers that be. A raise or better paid job could be offered to you. A hidden enemy at work makes life difficult around the 7th. You’ll be able to spend more time on solitary pleasures on or around the 9th. An obligation or responsibility finishes around the 10th, that means you can travel in some pretty exalted social circles. A best friend, lover, or business partner recommends a book or movie at the middle of the month; follow their advice and you won’t be disappointed.

Burning question about Love, Money, Career or Life..? Why not call Russell Grants Live Psychic service on 0906 635 1586* or Free Phone 0808 206 4511 to pay by Credit Card * 0906 calls cost £1.50 per minute from a BT Landline/Other networks may vary. Calls from mobiles will be significantly more. 18+ callers only. All calls are recorded for your protection and safety. This Entertainment service is regulated by PhonePayPlus and is provided by RGA Ltd, PO Box 322, WA15 8YL


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