Renaissance Boutique

Coalville’s Renaissance boutique is set to showcase fabulous new facilities where customers can relish choosing outfits for the outstanding occasions in their lives.

We at Living in the Shires magazine are delighted to present owner Dawn Baker with our Award of Excellence as Boutique of the Year.

Renaissance Boutique provides stunning top-to-toe outfits for wedding parties, gorgeous gowns for prom nights, Christenings and confirmations and exquisite attire for events such as Ascot and gala dinners. It also hires out formal Cameron Ross suits for men and boys.

From 11am to 3pm on Sunday April 14th, and on the second Sunday of each month to September, the boutique showing off its new additional upstairs room to the public. Split into three parts, the upper floor features the new Bridal Room for bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, the Mother of the Bride and ‘Groom Room for all those proud mums and the Occasion Room for non-wedding events.

Dawn says: “The Bridal Room is like a princess room with an amazing chandelier, white voile drapes and enormous mirror. It really is the dream dressing room!”

Renaissance stocks creations by designers including Veromia, Kristen Krog, Izabella, Tia and Ella Boo, in sizes from 10 to 32. Bridesmaid and flower girl choices include gowns from True Bride’s Luna and Essential collections, plus Emma Bridal and Mascara.

The open days will also show off accessories including hats, fascinators and handbags to complement every outfit and Rainbow satin shoes, which come in mix & match styles and heels, dyed to match perfectly.

Prices are generally modest and anyone purchasing a Mother of the Bride outfit gets complimentary hat and handbag hire. Purchase four or more bridesmaid dresses and get a 10% discount. If five or more suits are hired, the bridegroom gets his suit hire free.

Contact details:

Renaissance Boutique,

12c Belvoir Road,

Coalville LE67 3PE

Tel 01530 836301

dawn@renaissance-boutique.com

www.renaissance-boutique.com

Alyssa’s Gifts

Nothing says ‘I care’ quite like a personalised gift. At Alyssa’s Gifts you can find a quite amazing range of quality presents that can be personalised for all tastes and occasions, including the upcoming graduations and exam successes.

If you’d like to reward the hard work and discipline of your favourite student, go online to www.alyssasgifts.co.uk today. The company wins the Award of Excellence as this magazine’s 2019 Gift Business of the Year and you’ll find it offers great choice, including silver plated certificate holders to keep that precious paperwork safe for a lifetime. They even come in silk-lined presentation boxes.

Other graduation gifts include photo frames, ceramic mugs, star shaped paperweights, Purple Ronnie notebooks and sweet jars, all of which can have a warm or witty message.

Many people now like to give a gift to mark Prom Night, now a huge part of the modern teen calendar. It’s great to secure a special frame to show off just how grown up your offspring looked in that fabulous gown or suit.

Still on the academic theme, those same students may like to show their own gratitude to the teachers who have helped them to success, giving personalised thank you gifts from Alyssa’s Gifts website such as chocolate bars, boxed pens, teddy bears or trinket boxes.

Alyssa’s Gifts is a small, friendly, family run Leicestershire company and has items to suit everyone, all year round, for occasions from New Year to Christmas and including births and birthdays, anniversaries, love tokens, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, house warming and weddings.

Business owner Maggie Taylor and her husband, Alan, are always available to advise on gift choices, messages and ordering.

“People are very welcome to call us,” says Maggie. “We’re absolutely committed to giving excellent service and we are always happy to help.”

Contact details:

Alyssa’s Gifts

Tel 01509 672693 or 07792 456471

email maggie@alyssasgifts.co.uk

www.alyssasgifts.co.uk

Red Lion Hunningham

It may be cold outside, but diners can always find great food and bonhomie at the Red Lion, Hunningham. This gem of pub/restaurant in the Warwickshire countryside exudes good vibes as visitors tuck into the treats to come from an imaginative European menu with a tasty smattering of French-inspired cuisine.

In summer months, the Red Lion’s spacious, sun kissed garden is a magnet for diners, especially because of its position next to the River Leam. In winter it is just as welcoming indoors in traditional pub premises remade for a relaxed modern public.

People come from many miles away to enjoy the a la carte offerings which look as good as they taste, thanks to French chef/owner Richard Merand, his head chef, Adrian Lobo and their skilful team. Everything is freshly cooked from high quality ingredients sourced as locally as possible at this family friendly venue.

On the season menu, classics such as fish & chips and burgers sit alongside roast tuna and guinea fowl. French leanings show in the charcuterie sharing platter, fried Camembert and cassoulet of Toulouse sausage, chorizo, butter beans and confit of duck. Steaks including an 18 oz British Chateaubriand are ‘Jospered’ in a charcoal grill for smoky moreishness. Desserts may prove irresistible for many, among them banana tart tatin, diverse sorbets and ice creams and apple & black cherry crumble with custard.

On Sundays, the Red Lion serves up wonderful roast dinners with a choice of silverside beef, chicken, pork belly or goat’s cheese nut roast.

We at Living in the Shires magazine were delighted to present the Red Lion with an Award of Excellence for Good Food and name it our Restaurant of the Year 2019. Richard said: “This is great. We have a very good staff of dedicated young people.”

Contact details:

Red Lion,

Hunningham near Leamington Spa,

Warwickshire CV33 9DY

Tel 01926 632715

email info@redlionhunningham.co.uk

www.redlionhunningham.co.uk

Kelly’s Crystal Shop

Visiting Kelly’s Crystal Shop is not so much about shopping as taking a spiritual journey to explore the invisible energies of the universe. This attractive, independently owned business in the heart of Atherstone is a treasure trove of natural, shaped or polished crystals, fossils, oracles, fragrant oils, candles, joss sticks, jewellery, mystical reading material and holistic items including food supplements and reputable legal CBD (cannabis oil) products.

Many items in the ever-evolving range make delightful gifts, and with the help of owner Kelly Staten, they have potential to benefit people’s overall well-being. We at Living in the Shires magazine are delighted to present Kelly with our Award of Excellence for Crystal Business of the Year.

Kelly herself is a devotee of the items she has sold, having used them to great effect in her own life since being struck down with a terrifying illness at the age of 19. Shocked by how little support was available outside the NHS she taught herself about alternative therapies, using them for her own and other people’s well-being.

At 21 she launched her business and now she is in the 16th year of trading, having constantly expanded and developed her own expertise and in the process also become a reiki teacher.

“I have a really acute sense of energy with people and many do use me for spiritual guidance,” says Kelly. “This is something I offer free of charge. I may help them to choose a crystal for a particular purpose, or they can book in with me for crystal and oracle readings or reiki. It is totally individual for each person.”

“When I started out in the shop people thought I was mad because it was the start of the recession, but it has been a lovely journey. I’ve been blown away by it!

Contact details:

Kelly’s Crystal Shop,

64 Long Street,

Atherstone CV9 1AU

Tel 01827 711458

email kelly@kellyscrystalshop.co.uk

www.kellyscrystalshop.co.uk

Hannah Silversmith

If you’re celebrating something extra special this year and searching for a keepsake to match the occasion, turn to Hannah Silversmith! This artisan jewellery business specialises in making enchanting one-off pieces bespoke for individual customers, helping them capture the magic of the moment for all time, whether it be a wedding, a birth, or perhaps a milestone anniversary.

Owner Hannah Smith has been creating jewellery to her own designs since 1994, frequently inspired by nature or fantastical folklore. Now Living in the Shires magazine is delighted to present her with our 2019 Award of Excellence for Jewellery Designing Business of the Year and to commend her work to our readers.

Each piece made by this talented silversmithing and jewellery graduate is hand crafted and unique, drawing on both her professional skills and a rich imagination.

When making pieces on commission, Hannah takes great care to absorb not only the material aspects her customers want incorporating but also the personal story they wish to convey and their mood, whether it be love, awe or triumph. The finished pieces may be rings, brooches or other forms of wearable art and may upcycle older jewellery. They all express deep and heartfelt feeling.

“I love creating something precious just for them,” she says, “Something they will always treasure.”

Non-commissioned items made by Hannah Silversmith may be part of a limited edition themed collection, such as insects, geodes or the current coastal one featuring seagulls and their bird’s eye landscape views. All pieces are hallmarked and on sale through the website www.hannahsilvermith.co.uk.

In addition to producing her own work, Hannah enjoys teaching her craft to other people in evening classes at The Hive in Loughborough, as she has done for the past 15 years.

“It’s very rewarding teaching people the skills to bring their own designs into being,” she says.

Contact details:

Hannah Silversmith,

146 Ashby Road Loughborough,

Leicestershire, LE11 3AF

Tel 07436 006112,

email contact@hannahsilversmith.co.uk

www.hannahsilversmith.co.uk

Hatty Boots

If you haven’t yet found your perfect Christmas cards yet, don’t panic. The online retailer Hatty Boots has a fantastic collection for you to peruse, including enchanting designs never yet seen in the high street stores. Order now and you can still have them written and posted before the Royal Mail delivery deadlines.

Hatty Boots is a specialist in selling quality greeting cards for all occasions, always processing sales orders with utmost efficiency. The company has won this magazine’s Award of Excellence as our Greeting Card Business of the Year.

Owners John and Diane Wakefield have selected nearly 1000 cards covering every occasion from new arrivals to anniversary and all the celebrations in between. Many customers buy several blank cards at a time to be used for different occasions. The range of blank cards is extensive, so the buyer can choose a design and write their own words appropriate for each occasion. The humorous cards range from the likes of Punch and Spike Milligan to Jamie Charteris and Oliver Lake’s comical animals.

Hatty Boots particularly like to support small independent artists and publishers, giving a public platform for their eye-catching, unusual and often truly beautiful images.

Contemporary artists featured in the collection include Amanda Clarke, with richly coloured, detailed pictures inspired by folklore, myth and magical landscapes; Lucy

Pittaway’s with cheerful rural scenes and some very appealing sheep, and Oliver Lake, majoring on comical animals. Also, Nikky Corker, Angie Spurgeon and Kate Andrew all have distinctive designs linked to country living.

John and Diane also take the environment strongly into consideration when choosing

suppliers, ensuring their card is from sustainably managed woodlands certified under the Forest Stewardship Council and have a high recycled content.

“Most of our cards are eco-friendly, having a high amount of recycled paper (or coffee cup) content and the envelopes are 100% recyclable,” says John. “Together with the use of alcohol-free print, vegetable-based inks and corn-starch outer wrappers a very low or even zero carbon footprint is achieved.”

Hatty Boots often visit trade fairs, exhibitions and specialist events to find the very best artists and publishers that are available in the UK.

Contact details:

Hatty Boots

email contact@hattyboots.com

www.hattyboots.com

Brook Meadow

As 2018 draws to a close there’s just time for a rejuvenating Christmas get-away and Brook Meadow is just the place.  This idyllic holiday site has three chic, centrally heated lakeside lodges and well serviced camping & caravanning pitches which offer year-round peace and tranquillity in idyllic Leicestershire countryside. A sumptuous safari-style glamping tent is also available April to October.

Family-run Brook Meadow is a 400 acre working farm where guests can relax among woodland, pasture and a large fishing lake which is a magnet for wildlife. Situated in Sibbertoft, near Market Harborough, the accommodation has earned this magazine’s Award of Excellence as our Retreat of the Year 2019. It has also been shortlisted for the Visit England Go Leicestershire regional finals for most enjoyable stay, self catering.

Christmas guests will find a festive hamper waiting, while local towns and villages have many charming seasonal events on their calendars. Welford Christmas Tree Farm even has some of Santa’s reindeer staying until December 17.

Available for stays of three nights or more, the boutique lodges overlook the lake and are impeccably furnished and equipped, combining comfort, cosiness and an unbeatable sense of freedom.

Contemporary good taste is evident in every corner, from the nature-themed décor to the glowing fires. Each lodge sleeps four people in a double and twin bedroom. Two also have a double sofa bed. All have a spacious bathroom, a kitchen with fridge, microwave and oven, living area with TV, DAB radio, Wi-fi and veranda with outdoor seating.

Lake views may well include owls, bats, kingfishers, the resident swans and some enormous carp, tench and perch. The site is environmentally friendly and constantly evolves to foster wildlife conservation.

The campsite has modern toilets, showers, laundry facilities and firepits. Many pitches have electric hook-ups.

Children love playing in the pirate-themed play area and collecting eggs from the roaming hens. Brook Meadow was founded by Jasper and Mary Hart and is run by their daughter, Claire, an architect and interior designer who masterminded the lodge interiors from  botanical wallpapers to the bird in flight-like light fittings.

“I believe being next to water has a great impact on health and wellbeing, strengthening the connection to the natural world and one another,” says Claire.  “The interiors of our lakeside retreats bring the outside in through design, with botanical references wherever you look, to enhance the very real benefits of holidaying next to water.”

Contact details:

Brook Meadow,

Welford Road,

Sibbertoft,

Market Harborough,

Leicestershire LE16 9UJ

Tel 01858 880886

email enquiries@brookmeadow.co.uk

www.brookmeadow.co.uk

Now & Then

Skilled craftsmanship turns reclaimed wood into unique pieces of quality modern furniture at Now & Then, a business which links a passionate regard for green credentials with a bespoke service for customers.

Carpenter Raphael Douglas loves the challenge and inventiveness of recycling old wood into functional modern furniture by combining it with epoxy resin and industrial metals, creating contrast between old and new materials. The business, which he runs with his partner, Samantha Shields, now wins this magazine’s Award of Excellence as our Bespoke Furniture Maker of the Year.

With a workshop and showroom in Leicester, Raphael makes a full range of furniture including dining sets, coffee tables, desks, chests of drawers and cabinets. He loves taking customers’ commissions for items made to their own specifications, perhaps made in oak, ash, walnut, tulip or pine, sometimes even transforming their own previously used wood.

Alongside furniture Raphael makes home accessories such as reclaimed wooden wall art, framed mirrors, hand turned bowls and boxes of all sizes, which make excellent gifts for Christmas or other occasions. He also makes a big selection of purpose-made Christmas decorations, which can be seen on Etsy as well as in the showroom.

Hand making every item, Raphael uses the traditional craft skills of furniture construction such as mortice and tenant joints or dovetail joints. Now & Then also transforms ready made furniture bought from auctions and other second-hand sources, turning it ‘shabby chic’ with special paints and artistry.

Raphael says: “Trees are the lungs of the earth and I really struggle with the way they are cut down in such great numbers these days. Then, when an item is finished, it often ends up in landfill, which is a real waste.

“I try to use as much old wood as I can.”

Contact details:

Now & Then

93 King Richards Road

Leicester LE3 5QG

Tel 0116 319 0900 or 07465 209379

email furniture@nowandthen.uk.com

www.nowandthen.uk.com

Mia Bella Designs

Small, medium and start-up businesses are enjoying the benefits of high quality websites with affordable price tags thanks to the WordPress wizardry of Mia Bella Designs.

This innovative business works with clients to create their bespoke websites which help them get noticed and attract business from the outset. Unusually, it does so with the option of affordable monthly payments secured with a modest deposit, so even sole traders at the beginning of the self-employment journey can set out with a professionally polished ‘window to the world’.

We at Living in the Shires magazine are now delighted to present Mia Bella Designs with our Award of Excellence as Web Design Service of the Year in our 2019 Small Business Awards.

Mia Bella Designs works with both new and established companies to help them start off with slick, eye-catching websites which are easy to navigate. They are made using the well-honed skills and creative abilities of company principal Tracy Barlow, a graphic artist with considerable experience of web design, development and remodelling.

Each site is individually designed and always includes a Content Management System enabling clients to quickly update information themselves. Alternatively, clients can arrange for Mia Bella Designs to carry out regular site maintenance and updating.

Sites can be made compatible with any media device and Mia Bella can also arrange web hosting and domain packages.

Each month people working in one sphere of activity can benefit from big discounts on their initial outlay. This November the promotion will apply to technology and in December to property. Check the website www.miabelladesigns.co.uk monthly to find what follows.

Tracy is thrilled with her award and says: “I love helping people achieve their dreams and the websites help them do that,” she says. “A lot of my business now comes from word of mouth.”

Contact details:

Mia Bella Designs

Reading, Berkshire

Tel 07585 608626

email tracy@miabelladesigns.co.uk

www.miabelladesigns.co.uk

Millies Forever Floral

Homes are brighter and gardens revitalised thanks to one woman’s passion for plants and the two businesses it has created.

Millies Forever Floral is an exceptional floristry service which provides stunning arrangements for every occasion and wins this magazine’s Award of Excellence as our Florist of the Year for 2018. Alongside it runs Millies Garden Design, able to transform the most unpromising spaces into thriving areas of beauty.

Running the two from her home in Market Harborough is Carol Innes-Robbins, delighted to be working day in day out with the things she loves best. Frequently she is helped by her charming dog Millie, the cockapoo after whom the businesses are named.

The floristry business provides bespoke arrangements for every occasion from weddings to corporate events, always using the freshest possible flowers. With Christmas approaching Carol is taking orders for people to have their houses dressed for the season, with delightful floral designs in spaces such as nooks, crannies and fireplaces, on tables, doors and bannisters, often with a festive fragrance.

Simultaneously, she is able to take on the transformation of people’s gardens from whatever state they are in and create entirely new looks which will provide pleasure year on year and improve with age through her ongoing maintenance, flair and attention. Carol can also provide garden care while people are away from home.

Contact details:

Millies Forever Floral

Market Harborough

Tel 07738 003898

email carol@milliesforeverfloral.com

www.milliesforeverfloral.com

Rothley Fisheries

Rothley Fisheries is going from strength to strength after being taken over by new owners last year. Customers love the friendly, pleasant service as much as the great food in this take away and its sit-down restaurant, Time & Plaice.

Recent comments from delighted customers on TripAdvisor include:

“These are the best chip shop chips I have ever had, the seaside doesn’t even compare!”

And:

“Great service, clean and friendly staff, lovely food, even offered extra chips and tea and bread and butter. A perfect meal.”

All the food served at Rothley Fisheries is really fresh, with fish delivered daily straight from the sea and chips processed on the premises.

Rothley Fisheries now wins this magazine’s Award of Excellence for Freshly Prepared Food of the Year.

Owners Andreas and Christie have made their recipes largely gluten free, making lighter, crispier batter for the fish and other products. Although most customers are not coeliac, everybody prefers the taste and texture!

Customers can have their fish cooked in light batter, standard batter, steamed or cooked in rice flour while those using the restaurant can have a choice of choose lemon sole, salmon, cod, haddock or plaice. Restaurant customers are advised to pre-book.

Starting soon, Andreas plans to support the charity Gem’s Cash for Kids, which aims to improve the lives of nearly 170,000 East Midlands children living in poverty. It will be trying to tackle school holiday hunger, following news that for many of these children a school dinner is their only decent meal of the day.

Andreas and Christie say: “We like to give back into the community whenever possible, so we will be having donation boxes in the take away and the restaurant. We also will be dedicating a day in June to the charity and donating all the money from that day’s chip sales.”

Contact details:

Rothley Fisheries

19-20 Cross Green,

Rothley, Leicester LE7 7PF

Tel 0116 230 2009

Facebook @RothleyFisheries

Russell Francis

Redesigning a room or furnishing a complete new home is an absolute joy for customers of Classic Interiors, Nuneaton. They frequently browse for hours, not just because of the stunning range of furniture, carpets, curtains and accessories on show but also because of the relaxed atmosphere created by friendly staff with expert knowledge of the products and possibilities.

Classic Interiors can deliver anything its customers want, including furniture made bespoke to their own preferences, adjusted for height, depth, width and softness. The company now wins this magazine’s Award of Excellence as our Furniture Specialist of the Year.

Classic Interiors is owned by Graham Lewis. With nearly 30 years’ experience of the home interiors business, Graham and his team take pride in providing customers with a thoroughly pleasant shopping experience.

The 14,000 square feet showroom is packed with furniture collections for the lounge, dining room and bedroom, including sumptuous suites, dining sets and occasional furniture. The selection is arranged in more than 40 room settings, featuring the latest products from quality manufacturers. There are numerous fabric choices for curtains and upholstery to be made to order.

Home visits can be arranged to assist with design and there is never any pressure on people to buy at Classic Interiors. When they do buy, however, they can expect an exemplary and stress-free delivery service.

Graham says: “If people are having a complete room make-over our carpet fitters go first, followed by the curtain fitters, then the suite arrives. We unwrap it, put it in place and take the packaging away. We even lift the old carpets and get the room prepared

“We major on service and quality, not just price. Our motto is: “The answer is ‘Yes’. What’s the question?”

Contact details:

Classic Interiors

Weddington Road,

Nuneaton, CV10 0AD

Tel 01246 349220

sales@russellfrancisinteriors.co.uk

www.russellfrancisinteriors.co.uk

www.classicsofnuneaton.co.uk

Penny Price

Penny Price Aromatherapy is a company dedicated to making people look and feel fabulous. Now those great feelings have bounced right back in through its doors! The company which specialises in making health and well being products with essential oils and training aromatherapists was named East Midlands Chamber Enterprising Women Small Business of the Year in March.

Now we at Living in the Shires magazine are now delighted to add our own Award of Excellence to the company for Pure Essential Oil Products of Year.

The company has a team of 22 people based in Hinckley. Company Principal Penny Price said: “We were thrilled to get the Small Business award in March and now we are delighted to receive this award on top. We are feeling very pleased with ourselves!”

Penny Price Aromatherapy products are all based on the finest quality essential oils.

Many are designed to enhance people’s natural beauty, especially the Illuminous all natural range of 16 luxurious products covering everything from cleansing routines to anti-ageing treatments that really work.

Penny’s personal favourite is Picture Perfect. “I love it,” she says. “You put it on and all those fine lines disappear. It gives a really good base for applying make up and makes you picture perfect!”

Others, like those in the Nurture range, help to restore good health throughout the family. Divided into Nurture Mummy, Nurture Daddy and Nurture Baby, they can be rubbed in as a cream, sprayed in a vaporiser or swished in a bath.

Within the Nurture range are products which help soothe and correct skin conditions, aid healthy sleep, calm stress and ease pain. The most popular, Aches Away cream, uses sweet orange, cypress, lavender and black pepper oils to relieve tired limbs and everyday aches and pains.

Check the range at www.penny-price.com

Contact details:

Penny Price Aromatherapy

Unit D3 Radius Court, Maple Drive,

Hinckley LE10 3DB

Tel 01455 458099 or 0844 8844 966

email sales@penny-price.com

www.penny-price.com

Red Lion

Eating out is a pleasure from start to finish at the Red Lion, Hunningham, from stepping inside the recently refurbished premises to picking up the bill and realising what good value it has been.

The Red Lion is an attractive country pub only three miles from Royal Leamington Spa and offering beautifully cooked, high quality fresh food in a delightful setting with friendly service throughout. Now this wonderful food venue wins a Living in the Shires magazine Award of Excellence and comes with our recommendation that you try it out as soon as possible!

French chef Richard Merand uses experience gained from cooking around Europe to devise appealing menus maximising freshness, taste, texture and appeal in everything from a chargrilled special to a seafood treat.

Within the past few months he and his business partner have made the Red Lion a free house so they can offer a wider range of beers and other drinks, either to enjoy on their own in convivial company or to complement a meal.

They have also added some irresistible deals starting this September to ensure that a meal out is never too hard on the pocket, including two for one burger meals on Mondays, kids eating free on Tuesdays and fish, chips and a glass of fizz for £7.90 on Fridays. Sunday lunches are served all day long, providing that traditional meat & veg with none of the washing up afterwards.

The pub has an enormous garden which is highly popular when the sun is shining and is especially popular with families wanting to eat al fresco and enjoy the Warwickshire countryside. When it’s cold or wet, there’s always a cosy atmosphere inside.

“We could use a little more sunshine but even without it we stay pretty busy,” says Richard.

Contact details:

Red Lion

Hunningham near Leamington Spa,

Warwickshire CV33 9DY

Tel 01926 632715

info@redlionhunningham.co.uk

www.redlionhunningham.co.uk