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All Posts By Sean Marsh

Congratulations Huddersfield Town!

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Last year saw Leicester City defy all the odds to claim the Premier League title, and this year the shock victory came from the league below. Huddersfield Town managed to beat Reading in the Championship Play Off Final at Wembley Stadium, following a nervy penalty shootout to secure Premier League football next season.

Before the season began, it was more likely that David Wagner’s men would be relegated from the Championship than be promoted. However, after an incredible season it was Huddersfield Town who secured the third and final promotion spot thanks to Christopher Schindler’s winning penalty in the 4-3 shootout.

It looked for all the world that it was going to be Reading’s day, with the Terriers missing key chances through Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown and towering centre back Michael Hefele in the first half. The game finished 0-0 after extra time, and it was Hefele once again who missed, this time from the penalty spot to give Reading the advantage in the shootout.

However, a miss from Liam Moore and the following save by Danny Ward meant that German centre back Christopher Schindler had the responsibility of sending Huddersfield Town to the Premier League, which he converted into the bottom corner.

The Championship Play Off Final is commonly referred to as the most expensive game of football in the world, because of the difference in money between the two divisions. The win is huge for Huddersfield Town, who will now be welcoming the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal to the John Smiths Stadium from August onwards.

Plenty of work is needed in the pre-season for David Wagner’s men, with many of the key performers from the season just gone out of contract when their loan deals expire soon. Premier League football could lure some of the bigger names to Huddersfield Town now however, but who these recruits will be we shall have to wait and see.

There will be a ceremony and parade held in the town centre tonight to celebrate, and we wish the team the very best of luck for next season!

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Reading and Leeds Festival 2017

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The latest wave of acts have now been confirmed for Reading and Leeds Festival 2017, in an announcement that sees global rap icon Eminem announced as the third and final headliner. The rapper joins previously announced headliners Kasabian and Muse, in what is being dubbed as one of the most impressive Reading and Leeds line-ups to date.

Eminem headlined the festival in 2013 with a performance that came in for rave reviews, after much scepticism as to whether a rap artist was fitting to headline what has traditionally been regarded as a rock festival. The concept of a rap artist headlining a festival is much more widely accepted now, following iconic headlines slots in the past from the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West at Glastonbury.

“Eminem returning to Reading and Leeds is beyond exciting,” commented Melvin Benn, the man behind the festival. “His 2013 headline performance was incredible and I can’t wait to have him back. In addition to our third and final headliner (joining Kasabian and Muse) we’ve announced over 70 additional acts to this year’s line-up – it’s looking stronger than ever.”

The 2017 line-up includes a mix of festival veterans and upcoming artists, ranging from Indie Pop sensations Bastille and Two Door Cinema Club to electronic artists Fatboy Slim and Major Lazer. The growing genre of grime features strongly once again at Reading and Leeds this year, with Giggs confirmed for the festival following the success of his album ‘Landlord’, as well as ‘Dench’ artist Lethal Bizzle.

One of the success stories of 2016 will be featuring at Reading and Leeds too this year in the shape of Stockport five-piece Blossoms, who join an Indie-packed line up including upcoming artists such as Sundara Karma, Circa Waves and Rat Boy.

Many more artists will be playing across the weekend, in what promises to be one of the stand-out festivals of 2017!

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Amy Winehouse Art Trail Heads to Camden

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It has been over five years now since the tragic passing of one of the finest English singer songwriters of a generation in Amy Winehouse, and now it has been confirmed that Jewish Museum London will be marking 2017 with a celebration of the artist through an Amy-themed street art trail!

The street art trail is a specially commissioned installation from established street artist and close friend of the Winehouse family Pegasus, and it is expected to attract music fans and street art enthusiasts as well as locals who will likely be interested in viewing the story of the local artist.

Pegasus burst onto the scene with his ‘Fallen Angel’ work which was released shortly after the Love is a Losing Game singer’s death, and there will also be the return of the Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait exhibition, which came in for rave reviews from critics and will run from Wednesday 15th March to Sunday 4th June.

The Director of the Jewish Museum London, Abigail Morris, has commented, “Aside from being an immensely talented, iconic and inspirational singer, Amy was also a Jewish girl from North London. It is fitting that the Jewish Museum in her beloved Camden Town should be the place to tell her story.

“Following its immense success around the world, we are delighted to be bringing our Amy Winehouse exhibition back to London. Our street art trail is an exciting new way to explore Amy’s impact on her local community and we are keen to celebrate her legacy through the work of these outstanding street artists.”

Funding for the street art trail has been raised by Art Happens, which is a crowdfunding platform that is dedicated to the museum and gallery sector, and both this and the upcoming exhibition are set to provide a fitting tribute to the iconic singer this year.

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New ODEON Boosts Visitors to Barons Quay!

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January traditionally sees visitor numbers to shopping centres decrease significantly due to Christmas spending sprees, however the latest footfall figures coming from Cheshire shopping centre Barons Quay in Northwich has shown that the amount of visitors last month has exceeded expectations by a long shot!

Over 230,000 people visited Barons Quay in January, which is likely to be down to recent developments at the shopping centre which has seen the creation of 900 free car parking spaces along with a brand new ODEON cinema. ODEON is the largest cinema chain in Europe, and the company has confirmed that its initial success since it opened in December has exceeded any previous expectations, with thousands of people visiting the cinema which includes the latest ODEON-exclusive ISENSE screen.

Since the new ODEON has opened it has showed screenings of some of the biggest movies of late, with ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ and the multi-award winning ‘La La Land’ both being shown during the cinema’s short existence in Northwich. The General Manager of the ODEON in Northwich, Andy Elvis, believes that Barons Quay is going to make a huge difference for the locals and people further afield in 2017.

There are discussions for even more high profile retail names to be introduced to Barons Quay in the near future, but the leasing agents’ lips are sealed at the moment due to commercial confidentiality.

“I am completely confident that this new £80 million development is going to transform Northwich” commented Cllr Brian Clarke, the cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure at Cheshire West and Chester Council. “The response from local residents to all the new openings we have had so far has been phenomenal. Northwich has been waiting for a boost like this for some time and we’re delighted to support this scheme which is helping transform Northwich or the better.”

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Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa Chefs Claim Gold

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The team of chefs from the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in Malta managed to win 16 honours at the International Salon Culinaire competition at Hotelympia this year, including four gold medals which showcased the outstanding culinary skills from the six participating chefs and two mentors.

The chefs that took part in the 2017 competition for Corinthia were Jonathan Zammit, Claire Giordmaina, Owen Bonello, Ryan Pisani, Reuben Borg and Victor Vella, with Zammit, Giordmaina, Bonello and Pisani taking home gold medals in the Amuse Bouche, Avocado Starter, Prawn Starter and Complex Salad respectively.

Zammit also managed to take home the Chairman’s Special Award in Skills Theatre, with Giordmaina achieving a special award for being the highest scoring silver medal in the Junior Lamb class, and many other silver, bronze and merits were handed out to the Corinthia chefs at the event.

Stefan Hogan, the executive chef at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa, has commented, “The International Salon Culinaire at the Great Hospitality Show is the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition programme. It incorporated over 80 classes across four days, and it sought out the very best talent in the industry. Our team are proud to have been among them. Our chefs really did us proud.

“They took on the challenge of competing internationally at a very high level, and they proved themselves every step of the way. They are now more motivated than ever, and eager to return to our kitchens to ensure the high standards they have set are exceeded every day within the Corinthia Palace restaurants.”

Hogan acted as mentor at the International Salon Culinaire, giving expert guidance alongside pastry chef Mark McBride as they both guided their talented chefs to victory on several fronts. The team will be hoping for similar success in 2018, as they return to London next March for the next International Salon Culinaire!

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DC Superheroes Exhibition Heading to London

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‘The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes’ exhibition is coming to London next month following a successful run over in Madrid, with the world’s largest collection of artwork inspired by DC’s Justice League created by successful artist Nathan Sawaya set to be included. The contemporary art exhibition will be taking place from March 1st at London’s South Bank, and will include work covering the world’s favourite superheroes and villains, such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman alongside the likes of The Joker and Harley Quinn.

Over 120 original pieces of artwork created exclusively using LEGO bricks will be on show in March, with half a million of these standard bricks being used to create the impressive 5.5 metre life-size Batmobile. Sawaya has explored 80 years into the history of the DC universe to recreate real-scale versions of the Super Heroes and Super Villains, working alongside Warner Bros Consumer Products and DC Entertainment to make this possible.

Nathan Sawaya’s original touring exhibition The Art of the Brick was seen by millions of people in over 75 cities across six continents, and it also went on to win awards and break records in the process. The Art of the Brick was rated as one of the world’s ‘Must See Exhibitions’ by CNN, and as the new DC exhibitions are based around the same concept then this promises to be an unmissable event when it comes to London.

The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes sees Sawaya delving into the history of the characters and exploring the themes throughout the universe, as well as focusing on transformation & reinvention, strength & weakness and good vs evil. If you are a lover of all things DC then this is certainly something for you, so don’t miss the exhibition when Sawaya comes to London!

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Six Nations Beer Crosses the Line

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One of Rugby Union’s most prestigious tournaments the Six Nations is well underway now, and as Scotland gear up to take on Wales on Saturday it appears that the fans will be enjoying the latest Scottish beer created to celebrate the tournament. The new ‘Cross the Line’ beer has been created by one of Scotland’s leading craft brewers Stewart Brewing, and was launched ahead of the opening round of the Six Nations earlier on in the month.

Jo Stewart, the founder of Stewart Brewing, commented before Scotland’s first game of the tournament, “We’d like to wish the Scotland team luck this weekend in their opening home match. We will be cheering them on! We wanted to mark the occasion with a new beer that will add to an already exciting weekend for rugby fans and we think we’ve achieved that with Cross the Line. It’s a classic bitter with a balanced malty sweetness and a light fruity hop character.”

It appears that Cross the Line may have helped the Scottish team cross the line themselves on the opening weekend, as Scotland managed to muster up a 27-22 victory over the Irish! Although the following week the Scottish lost away at France, it is still early on in the tournament, and you can be sure that the loyal fans will be cheering on their nation whilst supping on Cross the Line in the hope of a victory this weekend over the Welsh.

The beer is Abv 4.1% and available in select bars across Scotland, and you can even take the beer home for yourselves from Stewart’s Dockside Tap in Leith, Edinburgh, perfect for watching the game at home with friends and family. Whether the Scottish can do enough at home again this weekend we shall have to wait and see, but you can rest assured that the whole nation will be fully behind the team!

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FUEL10K Launches in Waitrose

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FUEL 10K is the active lifestyle brand that is aiming to reinvent breakfast time for people here in the UK, and now Waitrose is aiding the business’s breakfast revolution, as this month saw the supermarket launch the brand across its UK stores.  FUEL10K focuses its brand on ensuring that people who are busy in a morning but are big on energy can have a handy breakfast snack that is healthy and doesn’t take time to make, and the market for this is huge now based on the recent drive for people to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle.

So which products are available? The FUEL10K Quark with Fruit provides a smooth yoghurt-style breakfast served in a 150g pouch for just £1.49, and with quark being naturally flavoured, high in protein and low in fat it is the perfect ingredient to accompany the various fruit flavours which includes Raspberry & Blueberry and Mango & Passionfruit. Another product available is Protiflakes, which is a multi-grain flake cereal packed with vitamins and high in protein, iron and fibre to provide a nutritious and healthy start to the day.

Barney Mauleverer, the founder of FUEL10K, has commented, “We’re on a mission to make breakfast more exciting. Our FUEL10K products deliver a hit of fast, easy and healthy protein that is low in fat and keeps you fuller for longer. Like most people, we’re so time-starved that we haven’t got time to sit down to eat breakfast. That’s why we created a delicious breakfast range that does you good, keeps you going and doesn’t waste any of those precious morning minutes.”

So this comes as great news for FUEL10K, and with a well-established supermarket chain like Waitrose backing the brand it seems only a matter of time before other big chains are jumping on board!

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Happy Hormones Help Fat Burning!

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It has become common knowledge over the years the benefits that exercise can have upon a person’s mood, and this is all thanks to the release of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. Now it appears that the benefits of serotonin are more extensive than first thought, as the hormone can have a positive effect on burning fat and losing weight outside of the gym!

UK nutritionists have researched into the topic and discovered that the amount of serotonin a human releases does have a direct effect on boosting fat, and there are many ways aside from exercise that can aid serotonin release which are much simpler than you may think. Omega 3 has been widely regarded as essential brain food for a long time now and it has been heavily encouraged, and consuming this helps our brain cells to pick up neurotransmitters like serotonin more easily.

Even simpler methods such as just hugging somebody or watching something that makes you laugh online can also be beneficial, and this is because hugging releases something just as good as serotonin – Oxytocin. This is another happy hormone which is released upon physical contact from a loved one, whereas serotonin itself can be significantly boosted by laughter which is why watching something funny can be helpful too.

“Daily exercise is the easiest and most effective way to increase serotonin levels,” commented Shona Wilkinson, a nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com. “However, make sure you choose an activity that you really like and enjoy. If you feel like you are forcing yourself it may not have the same beneficial effects and that may be a result of our ancient instincts. Our brain can tell the difference between running because you’re hunting something, and running because it’s hunting you.”

So there you have it, you don’t have to rely on exercise for your serotonin and doing things you enjoy can actually be very good for you!

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Further Growth Expected for The DRG

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The DRG is the largest independent restaurant chain in Scotland, and as the business recently revealed its impressive and record breaking annual results, it seems that further expansion is now in the pipeline. The DRG has confirmed that plans for a new £8 million aparthotel in Glasgow city centre are in place, following the news that its turnover had increased by 12.4% to a mammoth £33.7 million in 2016.

The DRG is a family-owned group that was formerly known as Di Maggio’s Restaurant Group, and it currently owns 18 restaurants across Scotland including the Amarone and Café Andaluz. The Group has invested over £2 million into new restaurants and staff training during the financial year up to April 30th 2016, which clearly paid off judging by the annual results!

The business strategy of reinvesting helps to set the pace when it comes to new restaurant concepts, according to joint Managing Director Mario Gizzi, who also confirmed that the latest additions to the group were already trading very well – The Atlantic in Glasgow and the new Spanish seafood restaurant Cadiz in Edinburgh.

“We are on schedule to open an £8 million premium aparthotel in St Vincent Place, above The Anchor Line, in spring next year,” commented joint Manging Director, Tony Conetta. “It will have 64 rooms and will include six penthouse suites. It’s a very significant venture for us but we have carried out a great deal of market research and are aiming firmly at businesspeople visiting the city, as well as visitors taking in shows at The Hydro or on shopping trips to Glasgow.”

Regardless of how successful The DRG has been over the last year or so, the two MDs have no plans to rest on their laurels judging by the announcement of this further expansion, so more success is likely in the near future!

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