Jackie has a passion for life, loves cycling, spending time with her family and friends and in the winter months spending as much time as she can in the Alps skiing. This year Jackie was one fifth of the Gosforth Girls, a group of friends who came together and raised over £20,000 for three women’s cancer charities through their Wedding Dress Ball.
Luxe people >>
The amazing people that I am surrounded by every day. The team at work are fantastic from the domestics through to the senior exec team. They are a really supportive group who come together well in what is an incredibly stressful time for those working in the NHS.
The Gosforth Girls deserve a mention here also. I am so proud of our achievement and the way that we came together, supported by our local community, friends and family. The end of our fundraising experience culminated in a 250 mile bike ride from London to Paris. It was a real achievement for all of the Gosforth Girls that left us humbled.
Luxe places >>
For a weekend > Ali organised a fantastic 40th birthday weekend for me, we cycled around the Yorkshire Dales and had a wonderful meal at the Raby Hunt in Summerhouse near Darlington.
For a long holiday > Something that involves some activity, as a family we are not very good at sitting on the beach. For our honeymoon Ali and I went climbing and trekking in the Himalayas, three weeks surrounded by some awesome mountains. Closer to home we love skiing. I have to work very hard these days to keep up with a very competitive family!
For a treat > I love a trip to a spa hotel for some wind down time and the chance to read a book, but not too long!
Luxe relax >>
Best food > I appreciate food, and I’m always hungry! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, some of my favourite times are home-cooked meals with friends and family. It’s as much about the experience and time with them. My two favourite meals of the year are: Christmas dinner, what’s not to like! And the barbecue lamb that our friend JP cooks on our annual camping trip in June.
Best wine > It really depends on the occasion. You can’t beat a lovely glass of rose on a summer’s day but I prefer a good red. A couple of years ago on holiday we stumbled across a beautiful vineyard overlooking Mt Ventoux (yes another bike ride). They produced the most beautiful Rasteau, we bought a lot to bring home.
I’m also fond of a gin and tonic, we seem to have a rather big collection now. There are some really good small distilleries. Many of them were very generous with their sponsorship for the Ball. My favourites at the moment are Isle of Harris and Loch Ness.
Favourite restaurant > Prima Pizzeria in my home town of Ripon. It is a small independent restaurant that has been running for over 30 years. We used to go every Friday after school and I enjoy taking my family there now as it brings back many happy memories. There are lots of great places in Newcastle, I have recently been to Branches in Jesmond which was great.
Perfect weekend > Not at work! Cycling with the girls, watching my boys playing rugby and Ali and I cooking Sunday lunch for family and friends.
Downtime means > Out on my bike. I love the downtime and head space being out on my bike gives me. Plus its great exercise and there are some wonderful local cafes that it would be rude not to stop at for coffee and cake. Kirkley Cycles in Kirkley and the Blacksmiths Coffee Shop near Belsay are current favourites.
Best telly > There have been some great BBC drama’s recently, I love something with some mystery and intrigue. I end up watching most things on catch-up because of work and home life. Bodyguard was really good.
Best book > Again it has to be something with a twist or some mystery. I Am Pilgrim is probably my all time favourite. I did stumble across The Neopolitan series by Elena Ferrante, I was lost in this series for nearly all of our holiday last year, much to my family’s annoyance. The Cormoran Strike books were also really good. Another book, lent to me by a friend, was The Talented Mr Ripley – so good I read it in one sitting!
Best sounds > Silence after a crazy day at work (although you don’t get much of that in our house!!!!) I love the sound of running water; I find it really calming. In terms of music I don’t think you can beat some classic 80s! I also love Wylam brewery for a local gig and a few beers.
Luxe shop >>
Best shopping city > Having three boys and a full work life means I don’t often go on big shopping trips. When I have a spare half hour I love visiting some of the fantastic local shops around Jesmond and Gosforth. If I was to go somewhere further afield it would be to Manchester, where I trained to be a doctor, or London where I have family and relish the opportunity to wander round Camden or Borough markets.
Favourite shop > The Rapha bike shop and café in London is cool. Ali and I sat there and watched Geraint Thomas win the Tour De France this year. Cool atmosphere and lots of lovely cycling gear. Closer to home you can’t beat the Oliver Bonas shop in Jesmond for an emergency present or a spontaneous little purchase.
Luxe retail treat > Taking time out for a pamper, getting my nails done, or a facial or hair cut.
Best buy > My house! We are so lucky to live where we do and have a great set of friends and neighbours.
Luxe party >>
A memorable night out > Would be with friends, at a small local independent bar enjoying some live music.
Perfect party > The Gosforth Girls Wedding Ball – It was a fantastic night that raised so much money for the three charities.
Best dress > My wedding dress – which came out again for the wedding dress ball.
Dinner date > Other than my Husband Ali… it would have to be Ben Fogle or Bear Grylls or Mark Ramprakash or George Clooney or Tom Hiddleston or Prince Harry… Sorry Ali!
Your luxe thing in life >>
My health and that of my family is the thing I value most. A healthy body plus a positive mindset and you can achieve anything.