LUXE COVER STARS:
Everyone has their own version of Lauren Laverne. The spiky, confident singer who powered her way through punk with the band Kenickie in the 1990s. The witty, sharp and confident panelist on shows like Have I Got News for You. The culture maven who brought the arts to a new audience with The Culture Show. Not forgetting the voice. Presenter of BBC6 Music every weekday morning and of the edgy Late Night Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. At 39, Lauren Laverne denies being anything like role model for women, but take in the above and it’s there for all to see.
Kate Rose is the creative and business brain behind growing lifestyle company Tutti&Co. Her designs and her home are inspired by the textures, tones and colours of the coast where she lives. Kate is the owner, inspiration and creative brain behind the lust-after lifestyle brand, which has seen spectacular success with its homeware range launched just two years ago – inspired and created by Kate when she couldn’t find nice things to fill the house she was building.
She’s carved herself a record-breaking stand up career, had her own TV and radio series, notched up more panel shows than Countdown’s Rachel Riley could calculate and has founded a smashing magazine and podcast for all the women. It was only a matter of time before Sarah Millican added an author cap to her busy hatstand. Her book, How to Be Champion, is out now and it’s proving to be a hit with fans far and wide!
In each edition, our Luxe life coach, Laura Beckingham guides us through the new season with top tips and feel-good inspiration to help busy people stop, reflect and look forward to a more fulfilled future.
Debrah Dhugga guides us through her travel to-do list, hip hotels and holiday highlights in her bi-monthly column. With in-the-know inspiration from the golden sands of Dubai to the bustling streets of London, she is the go-to Luxe person for all things travel!
Karen Phillips is our green-fingered goddess when it comes to all things gardening. Our ‘veg patch’ columnist has all the in-the-know information and inspiration for each season in the gardening world.
Varsha is a Luxe columnist who really does live it up! Read her bi-monthly column for travel tips, luxurious getaways, fashion inspiration and all the indulgent experiences in the North East and beyond. Follow her guide to living the Luxe life.
Catherine Newton is Head of Womenswear at Fenwick Newcastle. Her bi-monthly column gives us inspo on each season’s style, luxe buys and designer trends, all available at Fenwick Newcastle. Check out her sumptuous Style Swipe column in each edition.
Nina is our lovely Little Luxe columnist and inspiring writer of the future. She’s got her finger on the culture pulse, getting out to see and write about all the great stuff the North East has to offer for the little people in our lives. We hear her travel diaries, her theatre reviews and her product picks in each edition.
Deborah is our Luxe equestrian columnist, guiding us through the show and racing calendar and speaking to some of the top people in the sport in our region and beyond. She talks saddles, syndicates and everything in between.
Working life takes makeup artist Kerry Nicholson from blushing brides to blood-splattered crime victims in the sweep of a bronzing blush. Welcome to the glamorous world of television. Kerry’s, more often than not, involves early starts, freezing weather, remote locations and the fear that a numb hand won’t even be able grasp a make-up brush. She has worked on location in the North East for dramas such as Vera, Beowulf and the children’s series, Wolfblood which saw her transform teen actors into wolves – teeth, eyes and painted veins.
Boro-born Kay Murray swapped Middlesbrough for a life on the golden sands of Miami, but loves to travel home for all things MFC. She’s the on-screen host at beINSPORTS USA and a MFC Foundation Ambassador. Her luxe things in life include her bed, her health, her job, MFC and any kind of bright workout leggings!
Amanda Revell Walton
Writer Amanda Revell Walton upped sticks to return to her coastal hometown and immerse herself in Wearside’s ship-building heritage. Her writing room is a grand one indeed. On the first floor of a sprawling Edwardian home between Roker and Seaburn, she’s buried in a saga that charts the lives of women who worked in the shipyards of Sunderland. In this room she becomes Nancy Revell and reacquaints herself the heroines of her books, namely Gloria, Polly, Agnes and Lily.
Inspired by her gran’s mantra of ‘life is what you make it’, Christina Easton launched an interiors store showcasing the work of local designers – and channeling some of-the-moment Danish ‘hygge’. Peer inside Saltburn’s LillianDaph Store and you’ll see deep-painted walls in moody shades, colour pops of velvet upholstery and the odd bit of slightly bonkers artwork. This curated collection of interior loveliness is the baby of Christina Easton, an art and textiles graduate who is channeling a desire for us all to kick out the commonplace when it comes to decorating our homes.
Lucy Pittaway is a local, Yorkshire girl who celebrates her love for the area, keeps her finger on the cultural pulse and is constantly inspired by her home on a farm near Richmond. For Lucy, despite finding her feet in art early on, being an artist is not something she actively set out to do. It’s a passion that comes from within – passed on from her innovative mother and her time spent creatively making in her family home as a child. The artist’s dad is the late Boro hero, Willie Maddren who sadly passed away in the year 2000 following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
Carol Malia is the first to admit that she isn’t keen on being the news. She’s happy to bring it into your home as a presenter of BBC Look North – and last year she celebrates 20 years doing just that. But personal scrutiny she’s less comfortable with. However, the past year has seen her inbox bursting with viewers’ comments about her appearance, most noticeably a dramatic weight-loss.
Locally-designed and lovingly-made, Time Organics, is the baby of local businesswoman and self-confessed candle fanatic, Kelly Griffiths. Kelly, after 20 years spent working in the beauty industry alongside some of the world’s biggest skincare houses, decided to go it alone as a twinkling candle designer back in December 2015. Kelly uses only natural and, where possible, organic ingredients, making her luxury burners, certified vegan, free of nasties such as paraffins and petroleum and mineral waxes.
Lucy is CEO of an international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas). Her luxe things in life include experiencing everything this amazing world has to offer. Feeling the heat when stepping off the plane in Africa, the view from the top of Kilimanjaro, cycling alongside wildebeest and swimming with Whale Sharks are all special experiences.
Sommelier Fiona McLain launched a wine bar with a relaxed ‘try, buy, enjoy’ approach in new premises on Yarm High Street late last year. Fourteen Drops encourages customers to try carefully-chosen wines, buy them off the shelf then enjoy them in the bar’s relaxed space. Fiona hopes that as an authentic wine bar, the concept of Fourteen Drops will appeal to genuine wine enthusiasts.
Northumberland-based Anna Gibson is the co-founder of Micro Scooters. She runs the business with husband Ben and her co-founder Philippa Gogarty. For Anna, life is about seeing the change that scooters can make to everyday life and the positive impact that the company has on family life experiences.
Susannah Mead does love to be beside the seaside – and she’s made surf, sand and pebbles the inspiration for an online store of cool collectables. A milestone birthday can be all about the key to the door. For Susannah, it unlocked a new passion for curating gorgeous things for people and their homes.
Sally Tremlett is one half of the care company Sally&Sarah. A nurse sister all her life, she set up the care service with nurse and friend Sarah McLain when they hit their fifties to provide ‘the kind of nursing we would choose for our own family’.
Hannah Larkin from Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, is the founder of North East teenage cancer charity, Butterfly Giving. The charity helps raise funds for young people fighting cancer across the region.
Joanne Johnson is the Director of the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, which was set up to operate the theatre on behalf of the Preservation Trust. The company’s aim is to restore and protect the Grade I listed theatre. Originally from Sheffield, Joanne has lived in the North East for over 20 years and very much calls it home.
Vicky Gilroy from Whitley Bay trained as a children’s nurse in 1985 and has had a varied career working with children, families and communities within the NHS, higher education and, more recently, charitable sector. She is married with two daughters and enjoys taking each day for what it is.
Debbie Cook is the brains behind The Cookie Jar in Alnwick. The boutique hotel opened late last year and its delights are spilling out for all to share. Blessed by historic surroundings, a cookie’s throw from the town’s famous castle, this decadent spot has answered more than a few mini-break prayers.
Laura Ashurst from Stokesley turned 50 in October. She has lived with breast cancer for the past 16 years. She has far exceeded her original prognosis and is referred to by one oncology professor as ‘an exceptional survivor’. Before the diagnosis she was a lecturer in healthcare Hartlepool College of Further Education. Today she is a volunteer speaker for Breast Cancer Care and an Ambassador for Cancer Research UK for the Richmond (Yorks) constituency.
Dr Sophie Cassidy
Dr Sophie Cassidy is a research associate and clinical exercise physiologist at Newcastle Medical School where she specialises in work with Type 2 Diabetes patients. Most recently, Sophie was part of the team advising the maker of BBC TV’s How to Stay Young series which was partly recorded at the medical school. She showed how changes to diet and exercise can have a huge and lasting effect on patients – and benefit the whole population.
Emma & Angela
The Wellness Tree retreat is a family business, spearheaded by Emma Pratt and her mother Angela. The pair have combined their areas of expertise in all things wellbeing and relaxation to create an unforgettable experience for guests, selecting the best yoga, mindfulness, foodie and hospitality specialists to help deliver their programmes.