Christmas Markets Featuring a selection from home and abroad that ‘yule’ go wild for! Page 12
INSIDE THIS ISSUE How smart is your smart meter?
NEW THIS MONTH – Our first book review!
The Davis Cup: The World Cup of Tennis
Bring the outside, in
It’s a trend that is growing in popularity. More of us are embracing the great outdoors and bringing it inside the home. Create your own nature-inspired interior with our top tips
Floral and botanical patterns
Editor’s letter Welcome to the November issue! The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, which can only mean one thing: Christmas is well and truly on its way! No matter where you look, Christmas is everywhere – on the highstreet, online and no doubt, on your mind! But fear not, inside we give you a sneak preview on how to make the most of the festive season. Whether it be booking a visit to a Christmas market, searching for the best advent calendar to countdown ‘til Santa arrives, or baking up a treat with our Editor’s feature recipe: a traditional Christmas cake. Christmas aside, this issue also features lots of great tips and advice; from creating a woodland retreat in your home (which is so on trend right now) to seeing how smart your smart meter really is! Over 14 million smart meters have been installed in the UK so far, so what’s available and how can they be of benefit? Read on to find out more. Enjoy reading and we’ll see you next time.
Linda McKeown Editor
Inject a woodland feel into your home by adding floral or botanical patterns. Whether that is with a bold wallpaper, patterned throw cushions or with a leafy rug. Adding even the smallest of touches can give your indoor space an outdoorsy feel. When choosing which patterns to incorporate into your design, it’s a good idea to decide on what colour scheme, or feel, you want from the space before deciding on a print. There are many great ideas online or on the high street, such as this woodland themed wallpaper we found online at John Lewis: www.johnlewis.com
Go green One of the easiest ways to add a touch of nature to your home, is to add greenery. If you are unable to keep a house plant alive for any longer than a month, then either buy a cactus, or fake it! Adding faux plants can be the perfect alternative for those lacking in the green fingered department. When adding plants, real of faux, consider the space you have. If you have a small room, then consider hanging plants. However, if you have a larger space and can accommodate a larger plant, only include one; but if you prefer more variety and want to use smaller potted plants, bunch them together to create a more stylish look. You can buy faux plants practically everywhere now. Blooming Artificial, however, offer a host of plants, trees and flowers so take a look and find the perfect fake plant for you: www.bloomingartificial.co.uk
Quick tip Carefully placed vases of fresh flowers can also add to the feel of the outdoors. Try to get those which are in season.
Our top buys
Add artwork Art prints are a cheap way to inject colour and texture into any space. Adding frames with leaf prints or a floral scenery are a brilliant way to add a pop of greenery into your home. You could easily make them yourself by collecting items when out and about either in the woods or on the beach. It’s a great way to get inspiration and enjoy a family day out. Bear in mind that you don’t have to spend a fortune to create the look you want; have a look in your local charity shops for vintage frames or why not have your own shots printed out and framed?
Beach Themed Air Plant Hanging Terrarium
£17.50 Quick tip If you are lucky enough to have a wood burning stove, you’ll need somewhere to store your firewood. Putting them on display is a great way to add a natural feel to your home
Midas Tree Framed Canvas Print Use natural materials
Incorporating natural materials such as wood, rattan and wicker is a perfect way to create a natural décor
Incorporating natural materials such as wood, rattan and wicker is a perfect way to create a natural décor. Where you can, use reclaimed, recycled or upcycled furniture, which will create an organic theme and won’t break the bank. There are many items that you can find outdoors which can be used to create unique pieces of art and accessories; such as stones, pebbles or even pinecones. Driftwood for example, can be used in many interesting ways, such as displayed on a mantelpiece or as storage shelving. So, when you’re out and about and you stumble across something that you love that’s free, take it home and incorporate it into your interior!
Wicker Armchair jysk.co.uk
Novelty Tropical Pattern Pillowcases
Create a splash of colour There are many other ways you can create an outdoorsy feel. Use a splash of colour to do so. Adding natural tones to a room can create the same feeling as a bold print wallpaper and can easily brighten up a room. The use of a feature wall will, given the right colour, offer the same effect you could enjoy from a plant. You can also mirror the colour in throws, cushions or accessories to create a sophisticated scheme.
Inject a woodland feel into your home by adding floral or botanical patterns
How smart is your smart meter?
Over 14 million smart meters have been installed in the UK so far, but there are still tens of millions to do before the full rollout has been completed Back in 2009, the British government announced a plan to update Britain's energy metering system and install smart meters throughout the UK by 2020. This has now been extended to 2024 due to issues with installed smart meters; however, there are plans in place to complete the rollout on schedule.
The benefits of smart readers
Smart readers are the simplest way to keep track of your gas and electricity usage. They show you how much energy you are using in real-time, how much energy hourly, weekly and monthly you're using and whether your electric use is high, medium or low.
Smart meters and the installation process are free, as is the in-home display if you request one
With a smart meter in your home, there will be no more estimated bills. Your smart meter sends your usage directly to your supplier so you will only ever pay for the energy you've used. There will be no more uploading figures from a confusing readout from a dark cupboard! Smart meters are free from your supplier; however, you will need to check if they are currently being rolled out in your area. You can wait your turn, which could be months or years. Alternatively, you can contact your supplier to try and jump the queue.
Over 14 million smart meters have been installed in the UK so far
What smart meters are available? All smart meters are the same version of the machine but in different guises, depending on your supplier. They have the catchy name SMETS 1 which stands for Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications. These SMETS 1 communicate with your supplier over the 3G network, so there is no need to hook them up to your broadband. If, however, you change suppliers your smart meter may go ‘dumb,’ which means that it won’t send readings to your new supplier automatically and you will need one to start taking manual readings again. An estimated one million households already have a ‘dumb’ smart meter. With people being encouraged to change suppliers, often this has turned into a major issue and may make it more worthwhile to wait and check availability for the SMETS 2 meter which can communicate between different suppliers. The Data Communications Company (DCC) is the organisation in charge with establishing a futureproof network for smart meters and are looking into upgrading the original SMETS 1 meters as opposed to replacing the 11 million already installed.
Do you have to have a smart meter? More than 60% of people who have had a smart meter installed say they did not receive a clear explanation of the benefits of a smart meter and 30% felt they had been pressured to accept one by their supplier.
There is no law saying that if you get offered a smart meter you must accept it; however, your supplier will offer you one because they are required to by law before 2024. As suppliers have targets set from the government in regards to the rollout, there are some great incentivised deals available on your energy that require having a smart meter fitted at your property; just remember to check if it is a SMETS 2 meter should you wish to switch in the future.
What data will my smart meter collect and is it secure? Your smart meter will not store personal details such as your name, address or financial details and once the SMETS 2 are rolled out they will only use a closed communications system called the DCC that has been custom-built for this purpose. You will also have the final say on how much data your supplier collects from you and when, including whether they share your usage details with other organisations and whether they can use it for sales and marketing purposes. As your smart meter data isn't stored or sent through the internet, any information is extremely secure and the threat from hackers to individual households is considered low and, with cybersecurity at the forefront of the government's minds, it will stay that way with the new meters in the future.
How much will a smart meter cost?
I have bad 3G and mobile signal at home, can I still get a smart meter? Over 99% of households will be able to have smart meters and as such a range of different technologies will be used, not just mobile signals for your smart meter.
Commonly Asked Smart Meter Questions
Smart meters and the installation process are free, as is the in-home display if you request one. The cost for the meter and its maintenance is included in your energy bills.
Kit out your
kitchen With the kitchen one of the hubs of the home, it’s key to ensure that you have the right tools to make it fully functional. Having these to hand will ensure you cook up a storm in no time! Here’s what you should have – and why
Be cutting edge A good knife set is the bible for any budding chef, and there are three knives that you should have to hand: a chef’s knife, paring knife and a serrated knife. If possible, test out the knives before you buy (no, we don’t mean getting them out in the shop and chopping an onion). Any knife should feel comfortable in your grip – especially if you’re dedicated vegetable prepper this Christmas! Shop around and remember that price also plays a big factor in your choice. Opt for a mid to high-range set as they tend to last longer than cheaper sets.
Try: 6 Piece Designpro Knife Set with Bristle Block £49 procook.co.uk
Measure it right Mucking up on adding the right amount of ingredients for a recipe spells disaster. Avoid cooking and baking fails by investing in a set of measuring cups and measuring spoons. No need to go for a boring set either; liven up your kitchen drawer with bright and beautiful designs that will keep you wanting to cook and bake!
Try: Set of 4 Agnes Measuring Spoons £18 anthropologie.com
Like any good workspace, your kitchen needs the right tools
Chop to it No kitchen would be complete without a few chopping boards! We are all familiar with the advice that different boards should be used for chopping different food groups. You should have a dedicated board for cutting raw meats, one for vegetable and fruit prep and another at least for preparing raw fish. Having separate boards for different types of prep helps to avoid cross contamination of food groups; which means less chance of catching any nasty bugs. Our top tip is to look for chopping boards that are dishwasher safe and easy to store.
Try: Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Board Set £70 checkfrank.co.uk
Worktop savers These might not quite do what they say on the tin and save space, but they are a god-send for any kitchen. Pop these on your kitchen worktops to help protect surfaces when placing down hot pots and pans. There are plenty of funky designs available and they are great for adding a touch of uniqueness to any kitchen work surface.
Try: Joseph Joseph Glass Chopping Board - Record Player £13.99 currys.co.uk
Slowly does it On the go? Find it hard to fit in cooking hearty meals every day? Then a slow cooker may just be the solution for you. With people leading busier lives, slow cookers have experienced a resurgence in demand and there are plenty of different sizes and brands available. A lot of recipes can easily be thrown together in just minutes before you head to work. Pop it on and you’ll have a delicious tea ready for you when you get back home. Plus, there is no shortage of recipe books which are full of inspirational ideas that will help ensure meal times aren’t boring – or laborious to prepare either!
Try: Lakeland Digital Slow Cooker 6.5L £59.99 lakeland.co.uk
It's all about the storage Tupperware may have had a bad press in years gone by, but the fact remains: they are an essential component for any functional kitchen! They are perfect – not just for storing left over food – but also to store unused ingredients; and batch cooking for those who are short on time in cooking meals every day. Opt for storage that’s easy and quick to use, such as those with clip and lock designs.
Try: Sainsbury's Home Klip Lock Storage Set 8pc £14 sainsburys.com
Having separate boards for different types of prep helps to avoid cross contamination of food groups
The Institute: Book review Having recently celebrated his 72nd birthday, King released his 61st novel last month. Along with ten short story collections and five non-fiction books, he has written more books than years he’s been on this world Stephen King is the living author with the most film adaptations to his name. You may know the obvious ones such as the recent horror blockbusters, IT, (chapters one and two) The Shining and Carrie, but did you know he wrote the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and Secret Window starring Johnny Depp? His most recent book, The Institute, which has ties with The Shining, Firestarter and Dr Sleep, features a boy as the main character. He has telekinetic and telepathic (TK and TP in the book) powers, similar to those of Danny from the Shining. Stephen King is known for his horror and ability to shock, but over the years his ability to write about children makes him stand out. He created the ‘Losers Club' in IT, and in this novel, he has created a group of children just as believable and as likeable. They have been taken from their families and are kept in a secret facility by a sinister organisation. The place is called the Institute. While there they are studied and tested. Luke Ellis is our hero, taken from his home and loaded into a black SUV. He is a genius and after the murder of his parents, he won't go down without a fight. King paints a vivid picture of what life is like in the Institute with a Nurse Ratched-style woman in charge, who is terrified herself by her superiors and is joined by a bunch of sadistic Drs and Nurses who take too much pleasure from their work.
Stephen King is known for his horror and ability to shock
Besides the TK and TP, there are no monsters, except for the monstrosities that humans do to each other. Putting up walls to keep special people away from the world is synonymous with Stephen King's wider political views, especially his negative attitude to Donald Trump. In some parts, the whole story stands for the small-town vs corporations and the government. The Institute itself is a perfect substitution for a government that does dark, secret things to keep the balance of power forever in their hands. As with a lot of Stephen King books, the dialogue is snappy and, while the action doesn’t come fast and furious, when it does it isn’t for show – it adds to the story.
If you haven’t read any of King’s most recent work, the Institute sees him getting back to solid storytelling, leaving behind his foray into crime and thrillers and moving back towards more classic King, where the story is key. If you are a fan of Stranger Things, IT and contemporary horror, the Institute is a success and is Stephen King back to his very best. The Institute is available as a hardback from most stores and as an eBook online.
A Christmas cake delight! Baking your own Christmas cake is a must-do to help you get in the festive spirit. Involve the kids to make it a family affair! Our editor shares her family recipe so you can create your own special, family, memories
Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •
350g plain flour 1 tsp mixed spice 100g ground almonds 1 eating apple, peeled 4 medium eggs 150ml milk 225g butter 225g dark soft brown sugar 335g sultanas 335g raisins
Top Tip It’s never too early to make your Christmas cake. Once cooked and cooled down, wrap securely in foil and store away in a cool, dry place. Stored correctly, it will last for approx. 6 months
Pre heat oven to 150°C and grease and double-line a 23cm round or 20.5cm square tin
2. Sieve flour, spice and ground almonds together. Then beat the eggs with the milk 3. Cream butter and sugar together. Then stir in the flour mixture and egg mixture, alternately, a little at a time 4. Once mixture is all combined, add all the fruit and grate apple. Mix thoroughly and let the kids get involved by taking turns to stir the mixture while making a Christmas wish! 5. Place the mixture into your prepared tin 6. To protect your cake while cooking, fasten a band of doubled brown paper around the tin and stand it on a newspaper in the oven 7. Bake for approx. 3.5-4 hours. However, check your cake after 3 hours and then every half an hour until cooked
Top Tip If you want to add extra pizazz to your Christmas cake, cover with royal icing and Christmas cake decorations
9 Image used for illustration purposes
Count down the days to Christmas in style. Here we feature our top picks for kids and adults alike (plus something for the pooch too!)
Paperchase 2019 Stationery Advent Calendar
Tea Advent Calendar
This limited time only, online exclusive, contains £50 worth of products to please any stationery enthusiast. You can expect to find notebooks, pens & pencils, a Paperchase voucher plus much more. £35 www.paperchase.com
Perfect for any gamer with a love of Fortnite (you can thank us later!) Featuring some of the greatest skins in the Fortnite game, each calendar comes complete with 24 Fortnite Pint Size Heroes figures. £44.99 www.firestormgames.co.uk
A beautiful advent calendar of fine teas and fruit infusions from Darvilles of Windsor, holders of the Royal Warrant for tea. Includes a single serving of 24 teas to enjoy every day throughout the countdown to the festive season.
Funko Pop Pocket Fortnite Advent Calendar
ONE FOR GAMELOVERS With this Playmobil Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar you can discover new pieces of the set every day that will help you create your own mini Santa’s Workshop, with classic Christmas characters and festive details!. £16.99 www.smythstoys.com
Playmobil Advent Calendar Santa’s Workshop
Charlotte Tilbury Glittering Galaxy of Makeup Magic Beauty Advent Calendar
PERFECT FOR BEAUTY QUEENS!
Buy a gift that will keep on giving after the main event. This special advent calendar includes a themed box with numbered trays with each revealing a bright and colourful enamel pin, that can be worn over and over again! £34 www.merimeri.co.uk
Meri Meri Enamel Pin Advent Calendar
Have your pick of the most-loved Tilbury goodies with the Glittering Galaxy of Makeup Magic set. Featuring an incredible array of Ms. Tilbury’s make up must-haves, including full sizes of Eyes To Mesmerise, Superstar Lips, Matte Revolution lipstick and Colour Chameleon eyeshadow. voucher plus much more. £150 www.charlottetilbury.com/uk
Personalised Bone Advent Calendar
No need to let the dog feel left out! This bone-shaped advent calendar contains tasty biscuits your dog is sure to love! The baked biscuits have ONE natural ingredients and are FOR THE the closest thing to a dog-safe chocolate biscuit! DOG! £19.99 www.giftpup.com
If gin is your tipple of choice, then this is for you. The free-standing wooden display is available with a selection of gin or flavoured gin. Or if you’re feeling creative, you can fill the tree yourself with your favourite spirit miniatures!
Make & Create Wooden Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
£139.99 (or £24.99 without alcohol) www.gettingpersonal.co.uk
Tiny Tipsy Tree Alcohol Advent Calendar
A MUST FOR ANY GIN LOVER!
If you’re a dab hand at all things creative, then this is perfect for you. You can make, create and decorate this wooden tree to show off your festive creativity. It’s sure to be a hit with adults and children alike. £20 www.theworks.co.uk
The capital of the Czech Republic slips into overdrive for Christmas with markets on all the major squares running up to and beyond the big day
‘tis the season for Christmas markets and here’s a selection from home and abroad ‘yule’ go wild for! It may be hard to accept that the most magical time of year is just around the corner; but it is, and
if you need a helping hand to start embracing the Yuletide spirit – or kickstart your gift-buying – book yourself a long weekend from work and head to a traditional Christmas market. Get stress-free in Strasbourg, go crackers for Krakow, and savour the sweet smells of Cologne. It’s Christmas (nearly), you’re allowed…
Strasbourg According to the history books, Strasbourg is where the tradition of Christmas decorations started, so it’s to be expected their Christmas market is one of the oldest in Europe. It is also one of the best. Located in the Grande Ile, a UNESCO world heritage site, the
city’s historic centre is dressed in lights and shrouded by tempting aromas from around 300 traders housed in wooden chalets.
Cologne Many travellers rate Cologne’s market higher than Dresden’s, and with the magnificent cathedral as a backdrop, Weihnachtsmarkt Am Kölner Dom stars the largest Christmas tree in the Rhine, is big on wood carvings, tree decorations and soaps. However, the big draw here is the regional organic food. Try the slow-grilled salmon at the Harbour Market, south Tyrolian ham, potato pancakes or freshly baked Flammkuchen (a flambéed tart). It runs from November 25 to December 23 but if you can’t get to Germany, try the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham from November 7 to December 23.
Krakow Recognised as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and one which takes this atmospheric Polish city to another level. Located on the main Market Square and spilling into the centre of the Old Town, the market traditionally starts in the last week of November and can last until January 6. Foodie treats include the soft and aromatic piernik gingerbread – a combination of honey, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves – and beer. Lots of beer.
Prague The capital of the Czech Republic slips into overdrive for Christmas with markets on all the major squares running up to and beyond the big day. Stand by for your senses to be bombarded by the tastes, sights
Closer to home…
and sounds of Christmas the Eastern European way. Peace Square sets the ball rolling on November 20, followed by Prague Castle (Nov 23), Republic Square (Nov 25), Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square (both Nov 30).
Vienna Winter in Vienna is special anyway but the build-up to the festive season attracts visitors from all over the world to the many markets. Starting from November 9 to December 23, the Old City and streets are decked with lights and the tall candlelit arched gateway to City Hall Square welcomes visitors to Christmas World on Rathausplatz. Expect stollen, steaming mugs of glühwein and lots of dainty, spicy biscuits. Ah, Vienna …
Helsinki Grab some hot glögi – that’s mulled wine and a splash of vodka – and let
the Finnish city that is most likely to be draped in snow warm your soul. The period of pikkujoulu (Little Christmas) in early December is when it all starts and there are several markets. The main one is in the Senate Square (December 6 to 22) where the cluster of food courts will bring a premature end to any diet and the surrounding gift alleys could seriously damage your bank balance.
New York As soon as the Thanksgiving Day parade is parked up, thoughts turn to Christmas and it’s full-on from December 4 when the lights on the Rockefeller Center tree are lit. In terms of markets, The Big Apple stages its first two-day Vegan Christmas Market on November 30, but for atmosphere try the Columbus Circle Holiday Market on the fringes of Central Park (from December 4) or the Grand Central Holiday Fair in the iconic Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station (starts November 18).
Nothing says festive fun quite like Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park’s own Christmas cracker. From November 21 to January 5, the royal park hosts London’s biggest Christmas market and assorted festive treats. This year expect Paddington on Ice, ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Magical Ice Kingdom, the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, the traditional funfair and gastronomic treats to set your taste buds tingling.
Bath Imagine West Country artisans selling their wares and showcasing their talents from around 150 twinkling chalets lining Georgian streets with the scent of mulled wine lingering in the frosty air. Opens November 22 to December 9.
Lincoln If you’re looking for atmosphere as well as gifts, Lincoln could be for you. With the Gothic splendour of the cathedral as a backdrop, around 250 Victorian-themed traders will be out to tempt and delight you. Opens December 5 to December 8.
The World Cup of Tennis
The Davis Cup
Tennis’ Davis Cup is the ultimate team tennis event. Run by the ITF, it is the World Cup of Tennis As of this years’ tournament, the format has changed, so it is now an 18-team event at the end of the season taking place in Madrid over one week. They divide the 18 teams into six groups of three teams with the winners and the two best second-placed teams qualifying for the quarter-finals. Once in the quarter-finals, the series will feature two singles matches and one doubles match. Of the 18 teams in the finals, let’s take a closer look at the favourites, the wildcards and the outsiders.
Great Britain has won the World Cup ten times and is the third most successful team in the tournament
Spain has won the Davis Cup five times, with the most recent win being back in 2011. Ranked 7th in the ITF rankings they are captained by Sergi Bruguera, one of only two players with a winning record against both Federer and Sampras. They were knocked out in the semi-finals last year by France, but they have a strong team including former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal.
France won the Davis Cup as recently as 2017. They are currently captained by Sebastien Rene Grosjean, a former world No. 4 who retired in 2010. They have a talented team including Pierre-Hugues Herbert who alongside Davis Cup teammate Nicolas Mahut, have claimed six Masters 1000 titles and completed the Career Grand Slam. They also have Benoit Paire who was voted Comeback Player of the Years in 2015.
Wildcards Great Britain
Great Britain has won the World Cup ten times and is the third most successful team in the tournament. They are captained by Leon Smith who has led them to the title in 2015 and the semi-finals in 2016. In Jamie Murray, brother of the former World No. 1 Andy Murray, they have a seven-time Grand Slam doubles winner and Davis Cup champion. They also have Cameron Norrie who last year beat World No. 23 on his debut.
Argentina is currently ranked No. 3 in the ITF rankings. They have reached the final five times, most recently in 2016 when they beat Croatia to win the Davis Cup for the first time. Their highest-ranked player is Diego Sebastian Schwartzman who has won three ATP singles titled and was ranked world No. 11 in June last year. Their other shining light is Guido Pella who won his first ATP tournament in March at the Brazil Open.
Belgium has never won the Davis Cup, despite featuring in the first-ever tournament in 1904. They have reached the final twice in the past five years, losing to Great Britain in 2015 and to France in 2017. David Goffin is their top player who is the highest-ranked Belgium and the first to reach the ATP top 10. He has won four ATP titles. Steve Darcis is the most senior member of the team and has beaten both Rafael Nadal and Tomáš Berdych on grass.
The Davis Cup kicks off in Madrid on the 18th November and runs through to the 24th November
Time to make your move? From meter readings to removal companies, here’s our checklist of what to do when you move Although it’s an exciting step, moving home can also be one of the most stressful things you can do. However, careful organisation and planning can help the process go smoother – so read on!
Ideally, you want to start packing away any non-essential items as early as possible. This includes any items stored away in the loft, garage and shed. If you are not using it, pack it! Looking into your new area is also important; you might need to think about transferring your children to different schools and ordering new uniforms too. At this point, ensure you are also documenting all your important information away, including contact details, dates, contracts and information regarding your solicitor.
Now would be the perfect time to decide on a local removal company. Or if you don’t have too much to move, you may want to do it yourself. At this point if there is anything you decide not to take, then look into selling these items or donating them to charity.
Time to notify utility companies and inform them about your move to switch over. This includes gas and electricity, council tax, internet, phone rental and TV. You should also consider changing any car insurance, tax, memberships, phone contracts and inform your bank about the move.
Confirm your move with your removal company or van hire, estate agents and schools. If your removal company doesn’t disassemble any furniture or sort out the unplumbing for the washing machine, then organise these now. Remember to also cancel any local services you receive such as window cleaners, gardeners and newspaper deliveries. Also think about re-registering to vote and get your post re-directed after you move.
Time to double check that everything is packed away and ready for transit! Pack a night bag each to help everyone settle in, so you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush! You may want to create an inventory of your boxes and furniture to help you keep track of what you have.
Removal companies or do it yourself?
Notify utility companies
Final check and walk round
Y T I HAR
Today is the day! You need to be ready for when your removal company comes. Ensure you let them know if there are any fragile boxes that need extra care when handling. If you're moving yourself, then pack up your car or van and work out how many trips it may take. Before you leave, also take note of your final meter readings and send these off to your provider. Don’t forget to leave your keys for the new owners!
Although it’s an exciting step, moving home can also be one of the most stressful things you can do
A charming split level three bedroom maisonette located behind private entrance gates with an allocated parking space and single garage. This very spacious property has its own private balcony which over looks the well appointed communal gardens and is just a short walk from Brentwoods vibrant High Street and Mainline Station. Shenfield is also within walking distance.
Situated on this sought after development is this attractive two bedroom detached house. The property has been finished to a high specification and offers impressive features throughout including a spacious living room with high ceilings and a walk in bay window overlooking the garden, a separate dining room and a modern kitchen that has built in appliances. Each of the two bedrooms have the added benefit of extensive fitted furniture. The property benefits from its own driveway for two vehicles leading to a garage. The low maintenance garden is immaculately kept.
01277 203322 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
A simply stunning Grade II listed period home which dates to the 16th century and has a large addition from the Victorian era. The property is immaculately kept and in recent years has been tastefully updated, providing spacious family living which blends original period features with modern fixtures and fittings.The house is situated on a large plot, in a private turning that is within the centre of Brentwood, an incredibly convenient location for Brentwood’s mainline railway station, High Street and well regarded schools.
Kelvedon Hatch £670,000
An immaculate four bedroom detached family house which was constructed in 2016 by Cala Homes. The property is bright and spacious with modern finishes throughout. The kitchen breakfast room is fitted with quality German units and has integrated appliances, there are two separate reception rooms which each having access onto the garden which has been fitted with low maintenance artificial lawn. There are four good sized bedrooms, one of which has an en-suite in addition to the first floor family bathroom and second floor shower room.
The Chase, Brentwood £1,295,000
A well-appointed detached family home, discreetly located at the end of a private driveway just a short walk from Brentwoods High Street and Mainline Station. Designed with care and attention to today’s modern family needs the property has a large kitchen and breakfast room. A spacious lounge, Study and a separate family room with direct access to the beautifully appointed rear garden. The entire plot is secured with a five bar gate to the front. There is also a large double garage and parking for several vehicles.
A beautifully presented three bedroom Victorian house situated in an extremely popular location which is within walking distance of Brentwood’s mainline railway station, High Street and King Georges Playing Fields. The property has a contemporary fitted kitchen which has been extended and provides enough room for a dining table, a modern re fitted bathroom and a spacious living room which has a walk in bay window complete with shutters. There is a private rear garden which has been finished with a neat and low maintenance artificial lawn.
01277 203322 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
Old Shenfield ÂŁ1,950,000
This large five bedroom detached family house is located in one of the most sought after roads in Old Shenfield. Extended over the years to provide a spacious one bedroom annex, which has its own private entrance, a lounge, kitchen/dinner and a shower room. The main house has four double with an en-suite and dressing area to the master bedroom. The rear garden measures approx 200 ft and has been beautifully landscaped.
Priests Lane ÂŁ1,450,000
Ideally located within walking distance of Shenfield and Brentwood is this large detached five bedroom home. The property has been owned by the current family for nearly twenty years in which time they have appointed and maintained the house to the highest standards, and established the immaculate gardens. A later addition of a bespoke orangery and large open plan kitchen create the perfect space for any family to live in. There is a potential to increase the accommodation further (STPP) as the loft space is enormous. The property is set well back from the road with off street parking for 5-6 vehicles.
Meet The Team Nicholas Court
Owner & Managing Director With over 20 years' experience in residential estate agency, Nicholas founded Court & Co Property Solutions in 2007. From our boutique office in the heart of Shenfield we have worked tirelessly to maintain our position at the forefront of the property market in Essex, leading the way with our unique branding, innovative marketing and high levels of customer service. Nicholas’s passion is not just for property but also for people. “Myself and my team commit to delivering exceptional service, relentless enthusiasm and ultimately results, all underpinned by our integrity and professionalism. For us reputation is everything.”
Lewis has a solid sales background, having worked in the motor industry for many years. Joining Court & Co in early 2018, he has quickly established himself as an invaluable member of the team, quickly grasping the entire buying and selling process, and whenever he sees the opportunity to go the extra mile, he will take it.
Adam Dolan Assitant Manager
Adam has been working in estate agency for over 15 years and has a wealth of local knowledge and experience. Extremely customer service focused and an overwhelming desire to see the highest levels of service delivered to all Court & Co customers, Adam believes this is what sets Court & Co apart from the competition – and the reason Court & Co have been so successful in the area for so long.
Sales & Administration Heidi is an integral member of the Court & Co team. Dealing with all aspects of administration, Heidi prides herself on running a highly efficient department paying meticulous attention to detail whilst ensuring work is completed quickly and on time. With a wealth of local knowledge and great customer service skills, Heidi enjoys working on the sales side at weekends, providing an extra support to the team.
Testimonials We had a very good relationship throughout the process. We were looking for quite a while and they persisted with us in terms of finding a property that suited our requirements. Mr Patel - Buyer
Court & Co marketed our property really well, just small things in terms of the amount of photos and style of photography they used. It really made more of an impact in terms of getting people through the door. Mrs Hewitt - Buyer & Seller
I would definitely recommend Court & Co, all the staff are charming, they’re personable and trustworthy. They would do viewings when we weren’t there, which was a great bonus and report back straightaway. Mrs Pollden - Seller
For the last 13 years we’ve used Court & Co to buy and sell over 8 properties, we’ve always found them reliable, friendly, and professional and they’ve always got the job done for us. We will continue using them for many years to come. Mrs Beale - Buyer & Seller
Exclusively At Court & Co
Giving you peace of mind every time Our innovative approach to marketing, together with our unrivalled customer care, makes us the right choice to market your property and guide you through your move
When you choose to market your property with Court & Co, you can be confident that weâ€™ll ensure that everything goes smoothly. Whether selling or buying, relax and know that we have your property in safe hands.
reports, and a property brochure. Sharing your personalised website across the social networks widens the audience for your property, to find the right buyer and increasing the chances of a quicker sale.
Selling your property
Our qualified database of home buyers will be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback.
A leading independent agent covering Shenfield, the name Court & Co is synonymous with trust, excellence and integrity. With decades of experience, specialising in all aspects of residential property, our friendly, enthusiastic and professional service ensures that our clients continually return to sell and buy through us. We also recognise the importance of marketing, so your property will be advertised on the major online property portals, our website and social media sites, as well as traditional placement in our window display. Exclusively to us in our area, your property will receive its very own FREE microsite showcasing a property video, OFSTED
Quite simply we endeavour to sell your home for the best price, in the shortest possible time, providing you an outstanding service, with a personal and friendly approach.
As part of what makes us unique at Court & Co we offer a free monthly magazine featuring properties and up to date market news. Call us today to receive our monthly magazine by emailing email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
The power of social media Your property will also receive its very own FREE property website showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and property brochures; something that we are proud to say is exclusive to Court & Co in our area. In addition, our qualified database of tenants will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. All our tenants are fully referenced and vetted, making sure the highest of standards are met to find the right tenant for you. By sharing your personalised websites with family and friends across the social networks you will be widening the audience to find the right buyer or tenant for your property, increasing the chances of a quicker sale or rental.
When you choose to market your property with Court & Co, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly
Video microsite on our website
Feature in our monthly magazine
Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides
Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours)
Want to find out more about our range of exclusive services?
UNIQUE with Court & Co
Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers
Rightmove featured property advertising*
RECEIVE YOUR VERY OWN
SELL Portals and websites
Feature on our Facebook and Twitter
Then please feel free to pop in or give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
All our applicants receive your property on their own search for a home website
SHARE your property
for success! Our innovative marketing opens the door to a whole new audience to give your property the maximum exposure it deserves across social media.
T. 01277 203322 W. courtco.co.uk E. firstname.lastname@example.org