ØNE Aesthetic Studio, one blogger, one ULTRAcel treatment…

Thursday saw ØNE Aesthetic Studio open in the heart of Alderley Edge.

Here’s what you may have missed from last week’s launch.

When I gleefully accepted the invitation to take a look round little did I know at that point that not only was going to be stepping inside what I have to say is a very lovely and stylish building but into the world of ULTRAcel…

I turned 40 a couple of months ago. I was looking forward to the milestone if truth be told.

Without sounding trite, getting older is a gift not a curse, because as a lovely lady I know remarked to me last week…

what’s the alternative?

However, whilst feeling blessed and fortunate yada yada yada I can’t ignore the cons. I’m 40 with no children (that’s a whole different blog post. Nay, series, of blog posts) and as you get older whilst your mind is enriched (I’m constantly trying to nourish the spiritual side of things), the physical side of things start to rebel.

I’ve never had so called ‘work’ done. My rap sheet of ‘things done to my body’ includes:

  • Pierced ears (3 ‘pairs’, 2 now healed);
  • A pierced naval (now healed although I’ll never say it’ll never happen that one day I’ll have a middle aged meltdown and ram that god forsaken gold bar straight through that healed hole, as god is my witness etc etc
  • 3 tattoos – a mcr bee on my right wrist, three little birds on my left foot and a little heart behind my left ear; and
  • A regular session of ‘Russian lashes’.

I want to hammer home that I don’t see it myself AT all, but I do get ID’d for alcohol a few times a year.

Yes, I totally agree that this is ludicrous, I honestly do. But it happens and each time I’m mortified, not joyous. Perhaps as I (touch wood) slide deeper into my 40s and it happens I’ll start to feel the joy, but all I feel at the moment is like a naughty kid trying to get away with buying a bottle of nice wine to go drink down the park.

Anyway, what may seem like a ‘casual brag’ aside, whilst I’ve never had ‘work’, I was offered the opportunity to try ULTRAcel at the launch evening.

Is it ‘work’? I asked’What on earth are you talking about’, said…well actually no one but to paraphrase Haddaway (in case you were in any doubt as to my age)…

What is work?

I guess for me, anything invasive (i.e. going through, piercing through, cutting through the skin) is ‘work’ (yes i have piercings and tattoos, I know, but these are add-ons so ner).

And again, whilst I will never say never, that’s not my bag right now. ULTRAcel is a non-surgical, non-invasive, non-piercey/cutty/injectiony alternative, but more on that in a second.

Anyway and so ready to attend the launch of ØNE… to do a general blog piece covering the studio, ready to observe, photograph, write, comment, I was asked by top PR boss, Laura, how I’d like to try a complimentary treatment on the evening. The treatment would be on my neck, jowls and lower face.

Agh. I hate my jowls. Now this is good, surely? I hate them so a treatment is good, no? But no, this is me. I search for the negative.’

‘Will I be jowl-shamed?’ (What does this even mean…)’

‘No. No you will not be jowl-shamed’.

Ok. No jowl shaming for me.

Next consideration , what would happen to me, precisely (are we’re getting there…)?

Well ULTRAcel is a revolutionary concept which is ‘non surgical skin tightening and lifting’.

But how? Well, glad you asked.

The first stage is the use of radiofrequency to apply heat to the skin (in my case my lower face and neck). This encourages the growth of collagen (see – encouragement! Aka gentle! Non-aggressive!)…

Ultrasound waves are then applied to the same areas; specifically to the posture muscles which lie beneath the facial tissues. This tightens and gifts lift to the tissues.

So that’s the science but how did it actually feel in practise?

Personally absolutely fine. A ‘bit funny’ is the worst I can level at it.

I have to say this was down to being in the expert hands of Lead Medical practitioner, Victoria Armstrong, who was lovely, reassuring, and calming, and throughout the treatment kept me informed of all the stages, what to expect and an assurance that if at any stage I felt too much heat, I could request a reduction in temperature.

As I lay there, quietly reminding myself that this was a TREATment, a new experience and that writing and indeed life was all about new experiences, I really had nothing to worry about.

In fact, to be honest, my biggest concern was the fact that this was happening at an event – an event I had attended without a scrap of make-up on, with hair that was at best ‘a mess’ after heading straight to Alderley Edge after a busy day at work, a frantic dash to the shops after realising that I’d forgotten a change of clothes, and a run upto Piccadilly Station in the rain after missing my first train.

A lie down in the big white chair was frankly a relief, no matter what was going to happen to me there.

And so the heat application was never too hot – I’d go as far as calling it warming and relaxing.

It was the next stage that was ‘a bit funny’. As the probe passed over my skin, I felt a light vibration and occasionally what felt like a little pin prick. And I mean a little pin prick. I guess like pins needles.

See how I smile serenely?

It was all over in about half an hour and I was good to go.

No need to rest or take to a chaise longue in dramatic fashion, take pain meds (although I was advised that if I did have any aches, paracetamol were sufficient – I didn’t) or perform any self ‘after care’.

The next day I felt a reassuring slight ache and tightening or the muscles round my jaw and that was it.

Also note this is was occurring at my desk whilst I was at work – no downtime!

I was told that I might see a small difference immediately but that is the gift that keeps on giving; skin appearing smoother, neck area more defined, things generally a lot more contoured, with the full effect realised after 3 months. However, and here’s the even better news, the results can last upto 2 whole years!

As I write, it’s day 5 since the treatment and I already feel like there’s an improvement, especially round my ‘problem area’ – those dreaded jowls.

(Jowls is a horrific word, isn’t it. It’s almost onomatopoeic – jowls just sounds saggy and swollen.)

My skin certainly feels smoother.

These are no make up pics taken today…

I will provide updates on my lower face, jowls and neck as things progress (you lucky lucky people) but days 4 and 5 and I do feel improvement…

What I can comment on with certainty at the moment is the due care and attention given to me by Jonquille Chantrey, Victoria Armstrong and Dr Michael Barnish, both before and during my experience in the big white chair.

To be continued…

For more information about ØNE Aesthetic Studio and ULTRAcel, please visit their website http://www.oneaestheticstudio.com, read about ULTRAcel here or contact the clinic team on 01625 585990 or 07412 532 637.

You can also find them on Twitter: @oneaesthetics1 and Instagram: @oneaestheticstudio

Photography – Elspeth Moore

Event managed by Laura Graham of Vital Publicity: http://www.vitalpublicity.co.uk

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ØNE Aesthetic Studio throws open its doors to Alderley Edge

It was a glamorous night in Alderley Edge (let’s be honest, when is it not?) when ØNE Aesthetic Studio launched its fabulous wares to the great and good on Thursday evening.

(Photo – blogger’s own)

Combining art and medicine, ØNE is different to most clinics as they’re not all about what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside too, with equal focus on health and spiritual wellbeing.

(Photo – blogger’s own)

Miss Jonquille Chantrey, one of the leading aesthetic doctors in the world, has responded to demand and expanded her existing Expert Aesthetics practice to create ØNE.

Photography – Elspeth Moore

ØNE comprises of six light and modern treatment rooms, private waiting areas and a contemporary multi-purpose studio for yoga and meditation sessions plus seminars for visiting international professionals, keen to learn from her experience.

Taking a look round the studio, it was clear that Miss Chantrey knows her aesthetics just from the interior design and calming interior taking in a mix of cool and natural hues, promoting a sense of relaxation before you’ve even taken off your coat.

The services on offer include aesthetic medicine, nutrition, health, yoga, meditation, spiritual and personal development.

As Miss Chantrey says,

So many of us are becoming disconnected with our true selves, or neglecting our appearance, our mental or physical health.

With my team of unrivalled specialists in their unique fields, we have created a multi purpose space that blends our set of principles into an artistic movement.

Photography – Elspeth Moore

Joining Miss Chantrey on the evening was actress and former Coronation Street star, Catherine Tyldesley, who is also a client of ØNE

Photography – Elspeth Moore

I have been a regular client of Jonquille for my facials and ULTRAcel for some time, and this has changed my life.  I’m so much more confident about my skin. Her knowledge and advice is second to none. The team at ONE are true experts in their field.

Photography – Elspeth Moore

On the evening, Catherine took part in a guided meditation and sound healing, demonstrating the spiritual techniques to assembled guests which included former colleague and Coronation Street actress  Katie McGlynn,

Photography – Elspeth Moore

Leanne Brown, Lorna Bancroft, Nermina Peters Mekic, Ashley Taylor Dawson, Nicole Barber Lane, Jade English and Sophie Austin.

Photography – Elspeth Moore

Whilst the champagne flowed, DJ EMA entertained on the decks, with a beautifully blended mix of electric classical and soulful house music.

Photography – Elspeth Moore

But Laura (I hear you cry. Kind of), Catherine Tyldesley mentioned ULTRAcel. What on earth is that?

Well, thank you for asking. As that takes me neatly onto a tale of a 40 year old immersing herself fearlessly and bravely into the occasion, all for you reader. Why would I recommend somewhere without checking it out personally, and selflessly for you?

Read about my own experience of ØNE Aesthetic Studio on this blog, coming soon…

In the meantime, for more information about ØNE Aesthetic Studio, please visit their website http://www.oneaestheticstudio.com or contact the clinic team on 01625 585990 or 07412 532 637.

You can also find them on Twitter: @oneaesthetics1 and Instagram: @oneaestheticstudio

DJ EMA – Twitter: E_M_A_DJ and Instagram: @e_m_a_dj

Photography – Elspeth Moore

Event managed by Laura Graham of Vital Publicity: http://www.vitalpublicity.co.uk

WA14 – Friday Chippy Tea, the great British institution

I grew up near the sea, on the Fylde Coast.

With Fleetwood a pebble’s skim away, you were (almost) close enough to hear the rustle of the fishing nets.

Needless to say we were not short of chip shops (for some reason I’ve never been able to call them ‘chippys’. Always chip shop. Like a formal Victorian).

This battered sausage is divine. From the chip shop, you say?

The nearest was a 5 min walk away and it would be on a Friday that those magical words would be uttered…

What would you like from the chip shop?

(ah it makes sense now – my mum says chip shop too).

My answer, by the way, would be

Everything. I’d like everything please. Except mushy peas. For me they’re the work of the devil, and I just don’t understand them.

When I moved to Manchester in 2000, I couldn’t understand where all the chip shops were at.

I mean there was quite often a tribute to the chip shop in that the takeaways offering kebabs etc might offer chips or even a jumbo sausage, but the traditional chip shop didn’t appear to exist.

There does appear to have been a shift in this regard over recent times. Even that great leader of our times, Manchester City Centre, has opened up a few chip shops in addition to stalwart Kingfisher…

I mean, no doubt there’s some irony involved, but still…

But it will always be the ‘burbs that don’t let us down. And so imagine my incredible (and I do mean incredible) excitement when a new chip shop opened a stone’s throw from home. I mean we even share the same postcode…

Residents of Hale, Bowdon (and definitely should be, if not actually) beyond will be no stranger to WA14 Fish & Chips

I mean it literally does what it says on the tin. It’s fish and chips, it’s in WA14. And on a Friday that’s where you’ll find a good proportion of its neighbours.

Now a grown up (I really am) it’s my job to stand in line on a Friday, listening to the frying of the fish, those dulcet tones of the chips being plunged into the hot oil, the chatter of the people in line – the communal excitement growing in anticipation of their pending supper, happy in the knowledge that the working week is over, and chippy tea is incoming.

But never have I stood in a chip shop line in such stylish and perfectly branded surroundings.

But fear not, Hale, Bowdon and beyond, fish, chips and, ok, mushy peas (if you have to) haven’t given way to a 16 course tasting menu with wine pairing. It’s all there. The pies are there, the gravy’s there, the jumbo sausages are there…

see there they are.

so it’s still the chip shop. Our lovely chip shop. But then some..

A range of fish choices, not only scampi but made with monkfish, and a pie menu like a gift from the gods.

Last night there was a distinct chill in the air in Hale (it’s ok – I don’t mean the parking rates have gone up again) and whilst Friday night chippy does not discriminate in terms of time of year, it is definitely best indulged in in colder climes.

And so anticipation at a peak as our food was seasoned (I don’t like vinegar – what an oddity I truly am reader)…

…it was time to leave with our boxes of delights.

Ouch

I was heard to exclaim as we headed off down the cobbled passageway that is Bath Street, our cardboard wares reassuringly hot to the touch…

Home in two minutes, front door shut to the world, no work the next day, the aromas of the chip shop filling our senses (and those of the cat – for the final time, just get off…)

…life is about these moments.

All this romanticism, nostalgia, talking of branding is all very well, but what was the actual food like, I hear my one reader cry (hi mum).

Bloody delicious.

You know that food term we all loathe and I would never lower myself to use…well here is some not food porn:

I opted for good old cod and chips. Served with a slice of lemon and pot of creamy tartare sauce , the chips were double cooked and with the effect that they were seemingly coated in a light batter. The cod was reassuringly white, soft in all the right places, mouth-melting, and the batter delicious and non-greasy.

My plus 1 in proceedings went with a chicken and black pudding pie and chips…

Every chip is the perfect chip

And

Mmmm

And basically silence as he emptied the box.

And along with a glass of wine, a beer, a can of pop, some trashy telly and a deep deep sense of relief and satisfaction that another working week has drawn to a close, what more can you want from your Friday night.

WA14 (and surrounding areas)? Take your place in that gastronomic waiting room on Ashley Road that is…WA14

And remember. Chippy tea is not just for Fridays, it’s for Mon – Saturdays. 1130-2100 (with a little rest from 1430-1630, Mon-Thursday’s).

For menus and full details head to https://fshnchps.co.uk/

Spend a happy hour or two on the new Altrincham Pub Tour

The word ‘tour’ adds a certain sense of panache to an activity doesn’t it.

It evokes a sense of discovery, education, gravity.

I mean it depends on the context of course.

I’m buying tickets for the Little Mix (or insert band you’ve heard of but are old enough to have given birth to – albeit amidst scandal as you were doing your GCSES) Tour

does not suggest this.

But replace

I’m going on a pub crawl

with

I’m going on a walking pub tour

and you’re literally good to go.

So. Imagine my glee when I found a new justification for going out for a drink, when the lovely people at Altrincham Unlimited kindly invited me to join them on the inaugural said tour – part of the new campaign Explore Altrincham.

Hosted by celebrated and hugely engaging Manchester writer and tour guide extraordinaire (honestly he was ‘extraordinaire’) Jonathan Schofield, the event takes you on foot to four of the best drinking establishments in Altrincham, interspersing historical fact with witty and entertaining anecdotes.

Yes I laughed out loud at a story about buttermilk and a potato – and I rarely ‘laugh out loud’. I usually make a kind of expelling of air type gesture at best.

Starting off at the Orange Tree Inn, walkers/drinkers/’pupils’ can buy a drink and settle down to listen to tales from Jonathan of the area, the pub (and the tragic tale from 1880 of its previous incarnation and site) and local life back in the day (a handy phrase I bandy about to cover a multitude of dates and decades).

We were even treated to anecdotes (and sandwiches) from the lovely landlord, Damien, of ethereal happenings in the establishment.

For anyone concerned about the physical aspects of the tour, the four stops are not too far from each other, the first three really aren’t and the first two certainly aren’t.

For the next destination was next door neighbour, the Old Market Tavern.

Indeed, Damien informed us that at one time we wouldn’t even have needed to step outside to get to our next destination, as you could used the adjoining cellar to gain access. However given the haunting story of who currently hangs out down there, I was relieved to hear that the passage is now bricked off.

Here we learned of local tales of political skullduggery and underhand tactics to pull in the voters – astonishing! Thank goodness systems across Britain and indeed the world are now free of such practise.

Almost using the green cross code, a short hop across the road takes you the very floral Old Roebuck. Or Roebuck. I’m never sure but have you seen the delightful beer garden?

It was here that we learned of bizarre pub games and sports back in the day even odder than Beer Pong. What? It’s weird.

And all I’m saying that is that I’ve never seen an entire cow’s head consumed on Man v Food.

Ribs schmibs.

It is at this point that walkers/drinkers/’pupils’ are treated to a trivia test – musical interlude, if you will. In small teams, we were to ‘name that tune/artist/band’ – all with local links.

Top tip – make friends with somebody on the tour who is essentially a walking Shazam (hi Richard).

The final destination (and what an apt phrase given its name and origins – I’m smug right now) is and was the subterranean Belgian bar Mort Subite.

Here, the lovely owner Wyn gave us a potted history of the building (the rumours are true – it was the mortuary) and raison d’etre of the bar.

It was here that our memories and concentration skills were tested, as the quiz and indeed tour reached its climax and us ‘pupils’ had to demonstrate what we’d learnt.

Some of us demonstrated it better than others. Then again some of us had enjoyed their Sauvignon Blanc more than others (what, I don’t even like wine…👀).

And so endeth the story of a lovely group of local residents and Altrincham enthusiasts who one evening this week, embraced history and Beer and left leaving a little more wobbly informed.

It is at this point I emphasise that I remember a lot more detail from the stories than I have shared – I simply don’t wish to spoil the tour for you. Ok?

Genuinely, I urge you to delay no more and head to Altrincham Unlimited – Explore Altrincham for details, dates and booking information for both this event and the general walking tours.

Occurring on the last Thursday and Saturday of each month, they’re already proving popular.

So head along and learn a little more about this market town we all think we know but definitely love.

Juniper Cafe Hale – bringing style to daytime dining

They do say that when one door closes another opens and that bittersweet fact is certainly true in Hale Village at the moment.

Whilst we mourn the disappearance of restaurants and businesses, there appears to be a plethora popping up in their place.

The latest arrival on the scene is Juniper. Now the fact the Juniper plant is an evergreen (yes I’ve performed a Google), bodes well for longevity.

I arrived like this (not really I walked).

Already successful in Bramhall, the stylish cafe has thrown open its doors in Hale and having already given its attractive fascia inquisitive side-eye over recent days, I was eager to step through.

Credit – Juniper Hale

The first thing that struck me was how tasteful and chic the furnishings and general look of Juniper are and is.

I had to double check that the establishment really did close at 7pm without an evening service as (and I don’t mean this in any way negative) there does tend to be a distinct difference in ambience between daytime eateries and those which venture into the evening. And Juniper has a feel of the latter.

If you’re heading to Juniper for breakfast, brunch, lunch, an afternoon snack or perhaps early bird dinner with the children, it has the feel of a destination place.

And indeed there’s no missing that that destination is Hale, given the beautiful local artwork on display by Hale artist, Neil Roland, especially commissioned for Juniper…

But does the food look as good as the decor?

Well yes!

But does it taste as good as it looks?

Also yes.

The menu covers a range of light food favourites, although don’t let ‘light’ fool you into thinking that you’re going to leave hungry.

Watching the dishes come out of the kitchen, I went full on meerkat sneaking a peak at those ordered by my fellow diners; smashed avocado, American pancakes, Belgian waffles, toasted bagels, Cheshire spring lamb kleftiko, Cajun chicken and a very exciting looking signature burger were just some of the plates promenaded by my table.

Eyes wide, mouth open, dignity just about intact, I allowed the procession to delight my senses but also to instil the terrible emotional state that is…

FOOD ENVY.

Dear god, what if I’ve chosen wrong.

I mean I had no option but to choose my choice.

Aside from the fact that it’s one of my favourite dishes, the name play was a pun after my own beating heart:

Behold the salad that is, the Hale Caesar:

You say Caesar, I say Geezer.

I was so smug when my dish was set down.

I mean of course I wasn’t.

Well yes I was.

Every single classic ingredient of the caesar was present (yes I’ve adopted such an affinity to it that I don’t even need to say the ‘salad’ bit now) and striking.

It came with parmesan. However, it was a parmesan basket. And parmesan crisps!

The chicken and bacon strips were plentiful, the leaves generous and crunchy, the croutons garlicky and the dressing classic.

My plus 1 (honestly he’s down with being made to be reduced to that insipid description) had to wait a little longer for his but…

*he’s a very patient man (he has to be – see me);

*it was only a very short wait; and

*he got to sample some pancakes whilst he waited.

His fajita chicken wrap was worth the wait.

Crunchy where it should be, soft in all the right places, the flavours worked wonderfully (I tried them just to make sure – my gender confusing name is on the line here) …

And never underestimate the power of a great chip.

They were great chips (again I tried them to allow me to keep on living my truth).

Great chips

I agree, great chips

Nigel Slater and your wonderful way of adding emotion, romance and nostalgia to your food descriptions? Eat your heart out.

And so thanks and praise go to the Head Chef, Saleh Ahmed and Manager, Imad Ammar, who, along with their charming and friendly team, are bringing an additional touch of style to Hale and its dining credentials.

For menus, bookings and indeed all the ‘deets’ please visit the Juniper website.

Now let’s end on another nod to the wonderfully named dish

Hale Caesar!

– second only to Hale Geezer in an exclusive list of locally influenced puns…

Hale Barns Carnival 2018

I love summer.

With it brings a whole host of happiness in the form of holidays, festivals, galas and carnivals.

And so it’s that time again when the wonderful Hale Barns carnival rides into town.

Or does it ever leave in the first place?

Is it always there, waiting, anticipating and then finally manifesting itself magically onto St Ambrose Playing fields on a chosen weekend each July?

Fellow residents, brace and prepare yourself for this Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July for the second coming!

Attractions include 2 spectacular concerts, over 280 performers, bars aplenty, an outdoor cinema, gift and craft stalls, a fair and lots more fun, food and fireworks!

But wait. There’s one f missing from that alliterative statement – football!

At the time of writing, England are a mere 90 minutes away (maybe plus 30minutes, maybe plus penalties) from reaching the World Cup Final. And you won’t miss a thing. The Final (England or no England) will be broadcast via a big screen at the event, thanks to sponsors Benchmark Security and Robinson’s Brewery.

So there are no excuses not to head along this weekend. To find out more details (and there are lots!), head to www.halebarnscarnival.co.uk for a full list of activities, times and tickets.

For now, behold the Hale Geezer gallery, with a few snapshots from my own day last year at the inaugural event…