Popular Sutton restaurant closes

Prezzo Italian restaurant in Mere Green one of 46 outlets hit by cost of living crisis

A popular Italian restaurant in Mere Green has permanently closed its doors. It is a blow for the area, which has only recently seen all of the units at the prestigious Mulberry Walk development fully let.

Prezzo in Mere Green is one of 46 closures announced by the Italian chain on Monday, April 24. The Mere Green restaurant’s website says the venue has permanently closed.

The firm said it was part of a ‘strategic review of its business’, where it said it would focus on its ‘better-performing restaurants’ to ‘ensure long-term, sustainable growth’.

The firm said it has informed all its affected employees as part of a consultation process and said it will look to ‘redeploy as many staff internally as possible and will support others in finding new opportunities’.

Prezzo said it has seen keys costs rise in the last year including more than doubling of utility bills which now represent nine per cent of total revenues as well ‘continued inflationary pressures’ on key ingredients,

Eggs-citement for Sutton Easter bunny event

Peter Rabbit comes to town centre

A much-loved character is coming to Sutton Coldfield town centre as part of an Easter egg-travaganza this weekend, with fun activities.

Much-loved character Peter Rabbit™ is coming to the Royal Town for a two-day ‘meet and greet’, organised by Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield BID and hosted by Gracechurch Shopping Centre.

Peter Rabbit will be in Bishop’s Court (outside WH Smith) on Good Friday 7 April and Saturday 8 April, appearing at regular intervals between 11am – 3pm.

Michelle Baker, Sutton Coldfield Town Centre BID manager, said: “We are delighted that the most famous rabbit of them all is coming to Sutton Coldfield this Easter and we hope that the local children enjoy meeting him.

“We are introducing regular character meet and greets for our younger visitors to ensure that Sutton Coldfield becomes a family destination and a fantastic free day out.”

The Gracechurch Shopping Centre will also be hosting a two-day ‘Eco Easter’ event between 11am and 3pm on the same days.

The event will see fun workshops, where young eco-warriors can create artwork from household waste, turning unloved plastic bottles and egg cartons and more into spring masterpieces.

Supported by local charities such as the Severn Trent Trust and the Community Environmental Trust, crafting tables will be set up in the centre with each stall hosting a different eco-easter craft.

There will also be a digital competition, where parents and children are encouraged to make their very own #EcoEaster creation at home and share an image online to win a Gracechurch gift card.

Centre Manager of the scheme Angela Henderson added: “Easter is a time for fun and joy but it can be surrounded by a lot of waste boxes and plastic.

“This year, we want to provide our community with a sustainable and exciting way of creating fun seasonal things from objects that otherwise would have gone to waste.

“We are very excited to welcome out local community to enjoy this free event with us and can’t wait to see all the creations from everyone.”

The Easter events are just one of the BID’s ideas to raise the profile of the town ­– following the launch last year of a vibrant new ‘Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield’ brand – with special events, competitions and improvements designed to make it a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.

Previous star appearances, by much-loved characters including Bluey, the Transformers and the Grinch, have brought thousands of visitors to the town centre, and many more events are being lined up for 2023, including festivities to mark the coronation of King Charles III.


Introducing the new Vavatsinia Honeybee Trail 

With the holiday season gearing up one of the most popular areas of Cyprus is preparing to show visitors some of the areas hidden treasures.

A new bee-themed nature trail at Vavatsinia has opened which takes walkers on a 2.5km journey through the life of bees and their role in wellbeing.  ‘The Humming of the Bees’ trail combines walking in the picturesque and tranquil surroundings of mountainous Vavatsinia village with an educational and healing experience centred around the therapeutic sound of the humming of bees; something that has been proven to have health and wellness benefits. 

Vavatsinia is one of the nine Rural Larnaka Honey Villages that share a rich history of beekeeping and honey production. The route has bee-friendly plants signposted, decorative beehives and bee ‘hotels’ offering refuge for solitary bees, as well as a pavilion, benches and wooden loungers to enjoy a relaxing break. Walkers can discover interesting information on bees, such as facts about ‘apitherapy’ which uses products made by honeybees for medicinal purposes and the way in which bees communicate with flowers. Click here for more info.

Historic Larnaka Municipal Market is re-born with new indoor market

The new Larnaka Municipal Market has opened on its original site with an indoor market throughout the week and an open-air farmer’s market on Saturdays. With the market’s long history as an integral part of Larnaka city’s fabric, the new design honours its heritage by fusing traditional elements with a contemporary structure and is set to be a landmark in the commercial centre. 

The market first opened in 1928 and operated in its original form until 1963. It remained unused for some 30 years until it was demolished at the end of the 1990s to create municipal parking. Alongside the open-air farmer’s market that operated at the site, a smaller indoor market was opened in a building across the street. 

The new market houses 20 vendors offering a variety of traditional, local produce from across the region, including stalls selling wine, dairy, cured meats, baked goods and sweets, herbal products, souvenirs and fresh fruit and vegetables. The Saturday open-air farmer’s market (from 6am – 1.30pm) offers fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh flowers and other produce. 

The new structure is a reimagined design reminiscent of the circular dwellings of the Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement. In the future the mezzanine level will host restaurants, cafes and a snack bar, as well as cultural spaces, whilst the upper level will feature a terrace with seating area, roof garden and bars.  The market has a Facebook page that will be updated with news and events. 

Kalavasos-Tenta archaeological site ‘virtually’ reconstructed

The Kalavasos-Tenta archaeological site has been ‘virtually’ reconstructed with a historically accurate video that shows how the Neolithic settlement appeared 9500 years ago. The video takes viewers back in time to the site during the Aceramic Neolithic period (7.000-5.200 BC), when the island’s first permanent residents established a village west of the Vasilikos River plain.  

The remains of the settlement in Kalavasos village – alongside those at Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement – are an excellent example of an early permanent settlement. The village was eventually abandoned in 5.600 BC for reasons unknown.  Watch the video here to find out more about this fascinating and sophisticated settlement. Click here for more info.

Two new ‘Talking’ statues bring history alive

Two new Larnaka Storytelling Statues have been unveiled. ‘Man with Wreath of Leaves’ at the Archaeological Museum of the Larnaka District and ‘Medieval Knight of Larnaka Castle’ are the newest members of the Larnaka Storytelling Statues family ready to narrate their unique histories. 

The Larnaka Storytelling Statues are a series of statues, busts and monuments that bear a plaque with a QR code. Once scanned users receive a call-back in English or Greek from the monument and can listen to the insightful story of each in a character narration. 

‘Man with Wreath of Leaves’ paints a vivid picture of Larnaka city during ancient times, and in particular, the areas surrounding the museum and the site of the Ancient Port of Kition. ‘Medieval Knight of Larnaka Castle’ is a noble French knight’s narration conjuring evocative images of the castle during its different eras; Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman and British. Click here for more info.

For tourist information from the Larnaka Tourism Board, visit www.larnakaregion.com

Grief charity awarded vital funding

Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust headquarters

Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust supports access to specialist services

Lucy Cole’s charity is now able to offer free support

A Sutton Coldfield grief charity has received vital funding to allow more people to access essential services 

Love Life Again, a private clinic that has developed coaching programmes targeted towards helping adults and children overcome grief and trauma, has given over 30 individuals free access to the private services thanks to a £26,000 grant from Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust.  

Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust (SCCT) exists to enhance the quality of life for individuals in Sutton Coldfield, but the trauma attached to grief is something that is felt globally.  

The Trust’s grant went towards funding for individuals receiving benefits or low-income households that would benefit from the 7-15 grief recovery group programmes but didn’t have access to the funds to afford them. 

According to the UK Commission on Bereavement, millions of people across the UK faced bereavement in 2020, with hundreds of thousands more bereaved than in previous years because of Covid-19, making access to grief clinics such as Love Life Again more vital than ever. 

Lucy Cole, fully qualified Grief Recovery Specialist, Trainer in & Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) & Trainer & Hypnosis Practitioner, Timeline Therapist, Personal Evolutionary, Health & Emotional Coach who solely runs Love Life Again, said:   “The grant from Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust came at a perfect time for the service users at my clinic. I had a huge waiting list as well as people who wouldn’t have been able to afford the private clinic without funding.  

“I want to say thank you to the Trust for having such a significant impact on the community and giving people a place to come and talk about their feelings and emotions surrounding grief. They’ve given those individuals a lifeline and changed their lives for the better. 

“There’s not many people in the local area doing what I’m doing, so there’s a really high demand – I’m looking to take on two new employees after Easter to help me keep up.” 

Lucy opened the clinic after experiencing first hand her and her family’s battle with grief, after having to pull herself and her daughter out of some dark places, which is what encouraged her to start up the clinic.  

She is doing lots of work with local schools in the area, where she delivers workshops that students can also get referred to her.  

For further information about Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust and how to apply for grants, please visit: www.suttoncoldfieldcharitabletrust.com/alms-houses.htm

To find out more information on the services that Love Life Again provides, please visit: https://www.lovelifecoaching-events.co.uk/events/ or to read Lucy’s book about building confidence in children 7-11 years old, visit: https://www.faytheandthefearstone.com/