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,
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.
Farmers Market special with 50 stalls set to line the Parade.
And there will be plenty of spooky fun at the market on Sunday, October 30th – with characters Jack Skellington and Sally Finkelstein, from The Nightmare Before Christmas, towering above shoppers on stilts.
Even the stallholders will be getting into the Halloween spirit, with prizes on offer to the best fancy dressed trader and the best spooky stall at the market, which is being organised by Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID).
Michelle Baker, Sutton Coldfield BID Manager, said “We were absolutely blown away by the fantastic response to our first Farmers Market in September, and the next one is already going to be much bigger – with a third more stalls.
“We asked local residents to come along and support the first event and thousands turned out. We had brilliant feedback on the quality of the stalls, the atmosphere, and the way the market brought the feelgood factor to the town centre.
“As a Business Improvement District, we are exploring lots of ways to boost footfall in the town centre and introducing these quality speciality markets, selling local produce and artisan gifts, is already providing a reason to visit Sutton Coldfield.
“Now the market on October 30 should be even more fun, with all kinds of spooky Halloween fun, including free music and face painting and even more stalls.
“I would urge residents to come along and check out the brilliant stalls and support an event that is breathing life into the town centre.”
The speciality market is just one of the BID’s ideas to raise the profile of the town – following the launch 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.
The market was launched as a three month trial which, if supported by the local community, will become a year-round event, 12 months of the year.
For Christmas, the BID has also announced six weekends of free town centre attractions, including a giant snow globe, Breakfast with Santa events and festive characters including the Grinch.
Sutton Coldfield town centre will be spreading the festive fun this season, with events every weekend over the Christmas period – including a visit from the Grinch.
Instead of a one-day Christmas lights switch on event, organisers at Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) will be spreading the Christmas magic over six consecutive weekends, so that more visitors and families can enjoy the festive activities in Sutton Coldfield town centre.
Starting on November 19 and running up to and including Christmas Eve, the BID is funding six weekends of Christmas fun and entertainment for festive shoppers in the town centre.
The extended Christmas activities are part of the new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield programme of year-round events which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.
Christmas activities will include an amazing life-size snow globe in the town centre over a three-day period, which shoppers can step inside for a free Christmas photograph.
And Christmas characters will be roaming among shoppers, including giant Christmas Penguins, life-size Gingerbread Men, Father Christmas and The Grinch.
The town’s Christmas lights switch on event has historically been funded jointly by Gracechurch Shopping Centre and Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) but the event did not go ahead for the last two years due to the Covid pandemic.
This year Sutton Coldfield BID would be the sole funder and has taken the decision to do things differently and spread the Christmas magic over six weekends instead of focusing one evening of entertainment.
It is hoped this change will benefit local businesses and boost footfall each weekend in the run up to Christmas.
Bid Manager Michelle Baker said: “We’re aiming to make Sutton Coldfield town centre a big attraction, with regular events to bring people in.
“So, we thought for Christmas this year instead of putting all of our efforts into one lights switch on evening, we would do something different and make the fun last throughout the festive season, with something every weekend.
“Residents will love the visitors and attractions we have lined up for Christmas – we just hope the Grinch doesn’t spoil everything!”
A very different style of fast-food restaurant has opened in a former Sutton Coldfield bank building.
The German Doner Kebab opened in the old Cynergy Bank premises at the corner of Holland Street and the Parade in Sutton Coldfield, on July 5
The German Diner Kebab is part of chain which opened its first store in Berlin in 1989
Meats are imported from Germany ‘to maintain quality and consistency’, while the brand uses locally produced vegetables which are prepared daily along with its ‘special doner kebab bread’. It says it offers a ‘delicious gourmet food experience’.
The new Sutton restaurant has an extensive dine -n area with booths and other areas with stalls. There is takeaway and click and collect, and the now ubiquitous delivery section with a side window in Holland Street.
A spokesperson for the chain said: “German Doner Kebab has opened its doors in Sutton Coldfield, bringing a new fast-casual dining experience to the West Midlands town. It is revolutionising the kebab in the UK, bringing a fresh, high-quality taste sensation that has made it the number one spot to enjoy a kebab.
“Freshly prepared in front of customers, the game-changing kebabs are made using premium, lean, succulent meats and fresh local vegetables, served in handmade toasted breads with unique signature sauces. The new restaurant in Sutton Coldfield is the brand’s 106th site in the UK as it continues to bring the GDK experience to more locations throughout the country. It is creating in the region of 40 jobs.”
The rapid expansion of German Doner Kebab will see 79 new restaurants open in the UK in 2022, after 39 opened last year. The chain also has outlets in Bull Street in Birmingham city centre, Coventry, Walsall, West Bromwich, Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, with outlets ‘opening soon’ in Merry Hill and Wolverhampton.
Two of the biggest act in music are being celebrated at tribute shows at Sutton Town Hall in September.
Go Your Own Wayis on stage on September 10 and is a spellbinding show featuring the music from the legendary multiple Grammy Award Winning Fleetwood Mac.
Their rock n roll legacy is beautifully performed by a highly talented and acclaimed ensemble of musicians who will take audiences on a powerful journey through their incredible song book.
Meanwhile, on Thursday 15 September, BILLY JOEL – The Piano Man is the ultimate celebration concert to one of the most iconic and best-selling artists of all time, Billy Joel.
In this brand-new touring theatre show Robert Schmuck (Billy The Kid) and his amazing 7 piece band perform breath-taking musical arrangements of multi-million selling songs such as ‘My Life’, ‘Uptown Girl’, ‘River Of Dreams’, ‘Tell Her About It ‘, ‘Still Rock n Roll To Me’, ‘An Innocent Man’, ‘Movin Out’, ‘Just The Way You Are’, ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, ‘Piano Man’, ‘The Longest Time’ and many, many more, it’s a non-stop hits show!
The Fleetwood Mac show features hits including “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop”, “Everywhere”, “Rhiannon”, “Gold Dust Woman”, “Little Lies”, “Big Love” and many more.
Paying tribute to their “Rumours” line up of Stevie, Mick, John, Christine & Lindsey, which remains their most commercially successful to date, this show perfectly recreates the live energy and passion of Fleetwood Mac.
Tickets for both shows are now on sale – just click the ticket link box for online ticket sales, or call the box office on: 0121 296 9543, Monday to Friday, 10am – 2pm.
Sutton Coldfield rising sports star Eryk Neumann has secured support from Aldi as part of the supermarket’s new partnership with SportsAid.
Eryk has been chosen alongside 19 other young athletes who are performing at the top of their field as they work towards becoming Olympic or Paralympic athletes.
The partnership will see Aldi provide financial support to Eryk through SportsAid, alongside quarterly training programmes to nurture their abilities beyond sport. This includes top tips on healthy eating, performance nutrition and managing mental wellbeing, as well as social media and media training.
In addition, Eryk will be involved with the promotion of the supermarket’s ‘Get Set to Eat Fresh’ programme which aims to educate children on the importance of a healthy diet.
SportsAid’s extensive alumni stretches across the generations, including Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Katherine Grainger, Denise Lewis OBE – and more recently, Dame Laura Kenny, Tom Daley OBE, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Peaty OBE.
The SportsAid partnership builds on Aldi’s existing work with Team GB and ParalympicsGB, where they support Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
Adam Zavalis, Marketing Director at Aldi UK, said: “Since 2015, we’ve been the Official Supermarket of Team GB, supporting them with helpful initiatives and keeping them fuelled, and are proud to have also recently become the official partner of ParalympicsGB. We’re pleased to be growing our support for British athletes like Eryk by getting the next generation of promising young sportspeople on board and look forward to supporting them on their journey.”
Eryk Neumann said: “My partnership with Aldi means I can pursue my ambitions knowing I got their full support.”
Change in weather makes Enchanted Solstice Walk a real night to remember for St Giles Hospice
A magical last-minute change in the weather turned the St Giles Hospice Enchanted Solstice Walk into a special night to remember for hundreds of fairies, elves and wizards on Saturday (18 June).
After a day of continuous heavy downpours, the charity’s dedicated fundraisers assembled in Lichfield for the popular annual event, bracing themselves for a thorough soaking.
But just as the moment arrived to set off on the walk the rain stopped and the clouds parted to reveal a stunning double rainbow which faded from view as the last participants crossed the finish line.
The walkers were also treated to a striking brilliant sunset which bathed the historic city in a golden glow as they passed through the streets on their 10k stroll.
More than 600 fundraisers flocked to join the event, which returned to the city for the first time since 2019 with a new enchanted theme, a new venue and a new route, after being unable to take place over the past two years due to COVID-19.
Chloe Hope, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “We’ve called this year’s Solstice Walk an ‘enchanted’ event and that’s exactly what it became.
“With all of the fun and entertainment we had planned, we didn’t want the rain to put a dampener on our evening but we couldn’t believe our luck when it suddenly stopped just before the walk started. First we got a rare double rainbow and then the Lichfield sky was lit up an incredible orange colour – it really was something special!”
The Enchanted Solstice Walk began with a welcome party at the event’s new venue, at Lichfield Rugby Club, Cooke Fields, on Tamworth Road.
Entertainments for all the family included face painting, hair styling and stilt walkers, along with live music, food and drink, before everyone joined together for a moment of reflection which saw the sky filled with bubbles to remember loved ones.
Supporters then lined the streets of Lichfield to cheer on wave after wave of walkers, who set off along the new route at 8pm, adorned with lights, glitter, wands and fairy wings.
The fundraisers returned to the rugby club to receive a rousing welcome, a commemorative medal and enjoy the special sunset celebration event, with live music until late.
Organisers have thanked everyone in the community who supported the event, particularly those who gave up their time to volunteer on the night.
Chloe added: “It was wonderful to be able to finally bring back our midsummer fundraising spectacular and offer a warm welcome to so many familiar faces among our solstice supporters – we’ve really missed you over the last couple of years!
“We also want to say a huge thank you to all our participants and volunteers, as well as Lichfield Rugby Club, Doocey Traffic Management, Pure Hair and our two live bands, Kodachrome and The Grateful Dads,who helped to make our Enchanted Solstice Walk such an unforgettable night of magic, mystery and memories.
“We really couldn’t stage this fantastic event each year without the incredible support we receive from you all and it was great to see so many people lining the streets to cheer on the walkers and add to the magical party atmosphere.”
Chloe added that St Giles Hospice needs to raise £850,000 each month to provide the care and support we offer to our patients and their loved ones.
“The Solstice Walk is one of our biggest fundraising events of the year so we are incredibly grateful to everyone who gets involved with volunteering and fundraising,” she said. “Every step walked and every penny raised really does help us to make a difference to local people and their families when they need us the most.”
Amnesty International Quiz returns after two years
Amnesty International quiz back in town after a two-year pandemic absence.
A popular quiz is returning to Sutton Coldfield after a two year absence caused the the Covid pandemic. The royal town’s Amnesty International group is inviting you to pit your wits some of finest quiz brains when its annual quiz returns to Sutton Coldfield Football Club.
The group has held online events for the past two years due to Covid but is looking forward to being back in person for its blockbuster quiz. Sutton Coldfield Amnesty International chair Andrew Hindle, who is also quizmaster, said: “We are so glad go be back with an in-person quiz and we’re hoping local people will come out in their droves to support us. “We aim for the quiz to cover as many subjects as possible from sport, music and television to current affairs, history and geography. It’s a fun event which also raises money for a great cause.” Taking place on Friday 24 June from 7.30pm, entry is £5 per person which is paid on the door.Teams are a maximum of six people and there is also the chance to buy raffle tickets for a range of prizes. Drinks and bar snacks are available at the bar of the Coles Lane football club. All money raised goes to Amnesty International’s essential work supporting human rights across the world. The Sutton Coldfield Amnesty International group meets at 8pm on the second Tuesday of every month (except August) in the Conference Centre, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 69 Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2NU and new members are always welcome.
The Four Oaks in Sutton Coldfield has reopened after a huge facelift
Upmarket features and outdoor dining featured in multi-million pound refit
A second pub in Sutton Coldfield has opened after undergoing a multi-million pound facelift, offering an upmarket feel and an extra bonus for electric car drivers.
Following the reopening of the former Blake Barn, the Four Oaks pub in is now open, with a remodelled and striking interior, beautiful outdoor spaces and an exceptional food offering that celebrates the very best of British produce.
Not only that, the pub also offers much-needed multiple electric car charging points on the car park for the convencience of the local community.
Sitting in a prime location next to Sutton Park and the historic four oak trees giving rise to its name, The Four Oaks pub has been radically transformed, both inside and out, to showcase an outstanding venue that provides the perfect setting for all social occasions all year round. The extensive restoration has also created 54 new jobs locally.
From its beautifully elevated main entrance to its stunning interiors, The Four Oaks pub has been extensively re-designed and every detail carefully re-imagined to create a hand-crafted feel to inspire and welcome its guests.
Internal features include a new walnut bar, blackened steel bar fonts and limestone flooring, offset with elegant velvet upholstery in earthy tones, and real oak. The impressive crittall wine room, raised private dining room and Scandi inspired spaces, with warming fires throughout, beautifully blend tradition with innovation to offer a relaxed and cosy environment.
Guests looking for an al-fresco spot to socialise with family and friends can choose to enjoy the terraced patio at the side of the pub or scandi-style garden at the rear of the pub, featuring fire pits and a fully-stocked outdoor bar.
Liam Smith, general manager at The Four Oaks, said: “We have created a beautiful and inviting space to welcome guests at any time of day – whether they’re joining us for brunch or for Sunday lunch after a family or dog walk in Sutton Park, or for an evening with friends.
“With increased dining capacity for 180 guests inside and 100 outside, the food and drink offering at The Four Oaks showcases the best of British farms and vineyards and the new menu focused on outstanding food, from exceptional Sunday roasts to small plates and stix, perfect for shared grazing. There is an extensive selection of drinks, including special craft ales and lagers, classic and crafted cocktails, plus an array of non-alcoholic drinks.
“We can’t wait to share our impressive new space with our surrounding community and look forward to welcoming our guests – both old and new – to The Four Oaks.”