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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

DECEMBER 2020

COOK THE ULTIMATE XMAS DINNER OUR TOP RECIPES TO IMPRESS THIS YEAR TOP INTERIOR DESIGN THE TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR NEXT YEAR

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU KICK OFF 2021 WITH A NEW MINDSET

MUST SEE XMAS TV OUR GUIDE TO WHAT’S ON THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

XMAS GIFT GUIDE WHAT ARE THE HOTTEST GIFTS THIS XMAS


CONTENTS COVER STORY

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Great Christmas recipes Our guide to some special festive recipes to impress your guests

PROPERTY

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Interior design trends Inspiration for new designs for your living space

Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market

LIFESTYLE

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Christmas gift guide Alternative gift ideas for your nearest and dearest

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The Ultimate New Years Eve Despite the restrictions this year, you can still bring in 2021 with a bang!

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New Year. New You The perfect time to action positive change and start afresh

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A guide to Christmas TV Here are our top picks for Christmas day viewing

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Garden jobs for the winter Now is the time to lay the groundwork for the spring

Darts Championship preview A look ahead to what the Darts tournament has to offer

WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER ISSUE!

T

he property market is thriving with a second surge during lockdown 2.0 and house prices increasing to record levels. This is all good news coming into 2021.

Rounding this all off we have a preview of the Darts World Championships, a guide to the hottest interior design trends for 2021 and jobs for your garden over the winter period.

In this month’s magazine, we are getting all festive with some great features including a fabulous gift guide as well as some mouthwatering recipes for the big day, and of course, your guide to the must-see Christmas TV this year.

Please note, we are doing our best to be accurate, but in these strange times, all dates and availability may change, however, were correct at the time of writing.

However, it’s not all about Christmas. New year’s eve may look a little different this year, so we have a feature about how to throw the ultimate New year’s eve party at home and ideas for this year’s New Year’s resolutions.

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PROPERTY NEWS

W

ith the new year coming up, it might be time to start thinking of new designs for your living space, so here we are with some inspiration to set you on your way.

BIOPHILIC DESIGN

SPORT

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With lockdown, interior design has been a focus this year for lots of people

So get cosy with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, put on a festive movie and relax with us. Till next time. Jonathan Wheatley Editor

(Biophilia (meaning love of nature) focuses on human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes.) It was a trend once, and has become a trend once more. It fell out of fashion briefly in the 90’s, but now it’s back, greener than ever. Perhaps this year’s pandemic has opened our eyes to the simpler things in life, and nature, with lots of us spending much more time in our gardens than previously. A biophilic design combines nature with architecture as a way to improve our health, psyche and overall ecosystem. We think the next decade will see a growth in reclaimed wood, hanging plants, green walls and large green installations. Not only do they bring colour and vibrancy to a home, they also freshen the air, filter out pollutants and release oxygen.


INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS

FOR THE NEW YEAR DISTANT SHORES

Distant shores is a trend which evokes images of the laid-back lifestyle of Hawaii and tropical getaways everywhere. Offering a calm and relaxing living space to make a home a safe and inviting place to recharge, this design offers a contemporary edge to a classic floral design, featuring tropical brights, subtle monotones and soft lemons.

A biophilic design combines nature with architecture as a way to improve our health, psyche and overall ecosystem

OCEAN HUES

Aqua and inky blues offers a calm and contemporary look, capturing relaxing pool sides and beach getaways, aqua and inky blues offer a calm, contemporary look. It’s one which reflects a shift towards tranquil yet modern interiors with a colour known for its association with peace, calm and comfort. Following the pandemic’s lockdowns, the peaceful design of ocean blues, which varies from deep inky tones to soft aquas, will perfectly encapsulate the peace and calm we all need in our homes today.

A KITCHEN’S INVISIBLE HANDLES

In modern times, kitchens, perhaps more than any other room in a home, has taken a noticeable and significant evolutionary journey. Invisible hardware, in many cases, has replaced handles and pulls on drawers and cabinets (especially the oversized ones). Ranging from push latches, a mechanical or magnetic device installed inside the cabinet allowing you to open the cabinet by pushing the door, to integrated handles where you can pull drawers thanks to inwardly bevelled

edges, and more simple solutions such as hidden pulls affixed to the top edge of each door so that just a sliver juts out. The objective is to have a minimal space with a seamless and sleek look.

GLOBAL INFLUENCE

This is a trend which is inspired by earthy color palettes and warm, natural textures, pairing perfectly with wooden, woven and rattan home accessories. Influenced

ARTS AND CRAFTS

It’s an idea many have indulged in this year particularly, in many cases for the first time, being a new-found love and a concept fit for interior design. Embracing the iconic 19th century movement, born out of the industrial revolution, the arts and crafts designs aim to reform how things were made and reverse the damaging effects of machine-dominated production, increasing the value of hand-made, decorative pieces.

CLASSIC TRADITIONALISM

This design incorporates classic art, antiques and pieces with history, bringing a sense of harmony and order to any living space. The soft furnishings, embracing ornate scrolls, courtly stripes and classic damasks, all work toward the idea of symmetry, thus contrasting other bolder, more graphic geometrics. Those with an appetite for history will love the idea of this design.

VINTAGE

Moving forward in time slightly, and we have the vintage design. Antique, repurposed, salvaged and retro pieces all have their place in a vintage scheme. The key is to use strong colours but also a less-is-more approach, resulting in a vibrant, cohesive aesthetic. Contrast is also a defining feature to this design. Luxe elements such as rich fabrics and statement lighting go a long way to creating a modern note.

by wildlife and African plains, its bold, safari feel offers itself as a key trend for the season across both interiors and fashion. Warmer tones are now often being favoured over cooler greys – a key interior trend that can be easily translated into the home.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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PAST, PRESENTS AND FUTURE After a miserable year it’s time to spread a little goodwill and cheer with your nearest and dearest, but will a bottled gold nest-egg be top of your shopping list?

I

magine waking on Christmas morning to discover an inspired Santa has left a bottle of Macallan 18-year-old single malt whisky instead of the usual socks and smellies. Imagine looking at the box, mentally savouring that perfectly-balanced amber nectar which has been matured over several years in both European and American sherry-seasoned oak casks to deliver a sweeter taste and character. Imagine the soft clink of ice cubes, the wonderful sensation as the liquid gold rolls across your palate and caresses your tonsils. Imagine all that … as that’s all you’re going to do. Imagine. Because if you’re shrewd, that box is going straight in the cupboard, unopened, hopefully to be joined annually by a few more to form a collection which could prove to be a nice little earner. Whisky, you see, is a hot little investment, particularly the Macallan, widely regarded

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PROPERTY NEWS

© JOHNLEWIS.COM

© MINIMAUK.COM

as the Rolls Royce of single malts. Hang on to them long enough and they will turbo-charge your pension pot. Still sceptical? Well, a single bottle, bottled in 1983 after a 17-year maturation period in a sherry cask, can change hands for more than £6,000, while earlier this year a man who had been given a bottle by his father every year since his birth sold the lot for


£44,000 and used it as a deposit for his first house. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. In turbulent times, investors have turned to their own ‘safe havens’ to protect their wealth, gold being the obvious favourite. However, Scotland’s own golden export has been outperforming the precious metal, classic cars, coins and even jewellery with experts pointing to a staggering 582per cent growth in the market over the last 10 years. But if your patience threshold is lower than interest rates, then hanging around for Santa’s benevolence to pay dividends just isn’t going to do the business. So, with that in mind … Instead of whisky, perhaps you’re a Bacardi and Coke type, in which case Saint Nick could do you a massive favour and leave the Bacardi Mixing Console, a retro-looking piece from famed designer Hugh Miller and the makers of the world-renowned white rum to create a piece of furniture – think 1970s-style radiogram combining a high-spec audio turntable and cocktail bar for the ultimate in cool mixing. At £1,700, however, it’s going to put a massive dent in the Christmas budget. Or if bubbles are your thing, Fortnum & Mason offer a personalised bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne. The Champagne, from the Grand Cru region of Chouilly, come with a personalised message as well as a label bearing the name of a brand synonymous with luxury, so it’s a snip at £44.50.

Well, a single bottle, bottled in 1983 after a 17-year maturation period in a sherry cask, can change hands for more than £6,000,

Alternatively, another of our national retail treasures, Selfridges, have a limited-edition personalised tin for their tempting bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial Rose NV Champagne for a mere £58.99.

However, what better way to sum up this pandemic-blighted year than a personalised face mask (£14)? As we’ve spent most of this year with the lower halves of our faces covered, why not go one step further and have a mask complete with a portrait of your loved one? At least people will remember what they look like when out and about.

© PHOTOSPECIALIST.CO.UK

All this alcohol could produce the mother of all hangovers so what better way to help ease you into a new day than with a SMEG Espresso coffee machine, a fashionable high-tech addition to grace any kitchen. There’s one issue and it’s not the £320 price tag – it’s pink. Experience days have become quite fashionable in recent years. Expected to be popular this year are a Champagne afternoon tea at The Ritz – (£72.50), a Dark Sky Stargazing Experience in Wales (£50) at the Brecon Beacons Observatory – obviously when Covid restrictions allow – and a landscape photography day (£135). However, the last one might prove expensive as you obviously can’t go without a new camera, such as the latest Panasonic Lumix G100 Vlogging Camera, which is designed to make creating content on the go fairly straightforward. It takes normal pictures too. As for the unusual, how about a molecular gastronomy kit to bring out their inner Heston Blumenthal for £44.95, or Aesop’s Gouttes anti-odeur de merde – that’s post-poo drops for the non-Gallic – which is a scent created to refresh a bathroom. At £20, a perfect solution for those fond of sprouts.

© SELFRIDGES.COM

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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THROWING THE ULTIMATE

NEW YEARS EVE PARTY ...FOR YOURSELVES T

his winter is going to be rather different to the ones we have come to expect, as New Year celebrations will have to be restricted in several ways. So if you’re only able to celebrate within your personal bubbles, or even with just your own household, and you don’t want the celebrations to fall flat, here’s some ways that you can still bring in 2021 with a bang.

GO HOMEMADE

For large parts of this year, life has been far from normal. From homeschooling, to organising Zoom calls, 2020 has forced us to find new ways to entertain ourselves. So why not carry this theme into the new year, and create your own perfect, personalised party? For starters, consider your drinks options. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a party, and not being too keen on the liquid refreshment options. So this year, choose to spice things up, by creating your own cocktails. BBC Good Food offers an extensive list of easy-to-make cocktail recipes which you can try your hand at. Or if you want to avoid the extra costs, input the ingredients you already have in your cupboards, into ‘makemeacocktail.com’, and find out which drinks you can already make without having to shop any further!

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PROPERTY NEWS


CUSTOMISE YOUR FOOD Something else which you can take control of this year, is the food on offer. The Christmas season is always a great opportunity to stock your fridges and freezers full of sweet and savoury goodies, so why not go to your supermarket of choice, and indulge in a selection of canapes, to really class up your evening?

If you want to go even further, why not get your party food ‘made to order’ by the supermarket so you can design your perfect menu and really be the talk of the town. Or, if you’d rather keep your spending to a limit, then why not check out ‘deliciousmagazine.com’, for their list of Christmas leftover recipes, so you can make the most out of what’s left in your fridge, whilst still creating mouth-watering dishes.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY

DON’T FORGET THE DECOR Something that’s great about going to a fancy do, is being able to marvel at the decoration. So what’s stopping you from creating your own unique party theme from your own home? For example, if you’re someone who prefers to keep their Christmas decorations up until after New Year, why not match your colour schemes and grab some disposable plates and cups which compliment your Christmas ornaments? And of course, this comes with the added benefit of creating less washing up! And if you want to look like a real pro, and you were, as already mentioned, to make your own cocktails, then why not go the whole hog, and serve them in appropriate cocktail glasses? With Christmas coming just days before, cocktail glasses could be a very useful gift when December 31st arrives....

Although it’s been a tough year, one of the great things to have come out of it is the discovery of ways to speak to family and friends virtually. And this could be a real help for New Year’s Eve. Back in the summer, the nation became hooked on quizzing as a way to entertain itself. So why not bring in 2021 with a huge family and friends quiz, all organised by

virtual communication? Pick your favourite rounds, write your own questions, and let the family go head to head to see who is the smartest, once and for all! And the magic of video calling doesn’t just limit you to quizzing. Head over to ‘marieclaire.com’ to discover what other party games they recommend for your virtual call!

MAKE MEMORIES OF YOUR PERSONALISED PARTY! If you do decide to create your very own New Year’s Eve night, and you can’t quite think how to top it off, then look no further than creating memories. Start with designing a 2020 music playlist, and re-listen to all the great tunes which have been released this year. And in order to complete your party, adorn your home with 2021 bunting, and go a step further, by treating yourself to a New Year themed giant photo frame! Get dressed up, grab a drink, and capture all the memories from the night that New Year was celebrated rather differently.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Our gorgeous guide to some special Christmas recipes that will get your guests excited this festive season

375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry ½ small garlic clove 1 beaten egg, to glaze 400g high-quality sausagemeat 150g cranberry sauce 1 x pack sage & onion stuffing mix 50g sesame seeds

XMAS TIP: Cook the sausagemeat in the oven alongside your Turkey for fabulous sausagemeat stuffing for the main meal

1tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp chutney (ideally caramelised onion, or a cranberry variety) 4 parsnips 4 carrots 200g sprouts 2 red onions 2 bay leaves A handful of both Rosemary and Thyme (or whatever herbs you used for the main dish) 1tbsp honey

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PROPERTY NEWS

TIS THE SEASON‌ CRANBERRY AND SAGE SAUSAGE ROLLS These flavourful treats are perfect to have on the side throughout the holiday season. Boil the kettle and make the stuffing as per the instructions. Meanwhile, while the stuffing is cooling, finely chop the onion, and in a large bowl add the sausagemeat, chopped garlic and 100g of the cranberry sauce. Once the stuffing has cooled, add it to the mixture, and with your hands, knead and mix together until fully mixed. On a floured side, roll out the puff pastry into a 5mm thick, long rectangle. Preheat the over to 220c Spread the remaining cranberry sauce along the middle of the pastry, in rows, leaving space to seal, then scoop the sausagemeat mixture along the rows. Fold the pastry over and seal before cutting into whatever size sausage rolls you require. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the sesame seeds, before making small slashes across the tops with a sharp knife. Place on a baking tray with baking paper and cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

CHRISTMAS DAY VEGGIE TRAYBAKE Preheat the oven to 210c and mix the oil and chutney together in a roasting tin and season well. Trim and halve the sprouts, cut the onions into wedges, and cut the parsnips and carrots into chunky pieces. Put the veg in a large roasting tin before pouring the olive oil and chutney mix over, then put in the oven for 25 mins. Remove the tin and add the herbs, give it a toss and put back in the oven for 30 mins more, until the veg are soft. Finally, remove the tin and pour the honey over all the veg before returning to the oven for 5 more mins. Once ready, serve immediately.

XMAS TIP: For a meaty option, add chipolatas wrapped in streak bacon to the tin after the first 25 mins.


TO EAT

1kg Maris Piper, Desiree red potatoes or homegrown potatoes A handful of fresh thyme A handful of fresh rosemary 50 ml sunflower oil 2 tsp plain flour Rock salt (not finely ground)

&

BE

MERRY

ULTIMATE ROAST POTATOES Forego the oven-ready roasts, and goose-fat, for these super-easy, yet incredible roast potatoes from scratch. Preheat the oven to 210c and put a large roasting tin in the oven. Peel the potatoes and chop into even-sized pieces approximately 5cm. Put the peeled potatoes in a saucepan and pour over cold water until they are just covered. Add plenty of rock salt and then wait for the water to boil. Once boiling, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the sunflower oil to the hot roasting tin and put back in the oven. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then pour back into the pan before, using the colander as a lid, giving them a vigorous shake to bash and fluff up the outsides. Sprinkle with the plain flour and give another shake until they are evenly coated. Carefully pour the potatoes into the hot fat, tear up the thyme and rosemary and sprinkle over the potatoes before turning them so they are all covered. Finally,

XMAS TIP: You can use other herb combinations depending on what meal you are having, for example, sage with beef, or oregano and basil with chicken

sprinkle some more rock salt over the potatoes before putting them in the oven. Roast for 15 mins before removing from the oven and turning them, then after another 15 minutes do this again. Now leave them for approximately 10-20 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Serve straight away once they are ready.

Images for illustrative purposes only

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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NEW YEAR The New Year will be just that – new. Like no other. So it’s the perfect time to action positive change and start afresh following a restraining and contemplative 2020.

NEW YOU

T

his year has been a true shock to the system. A positively unique year through which we have been forced to re-evaluate the way we consider another person’s wellbeing, respecting each other like never before, collectively as a nation. It has changed the way we see life and the way we make our choices. Much more calculated and considered they are now, which we have made and continue to make both in a pre-meditated sense and a real-world one. Throughout our lockdowns, many of us have had the time to think and reflect like never before, and slow down and attain a new focus on the things that matter most. So, what are you going to change when the New Year comes about?

When it was made illegal to advertise tobacco on television in 1965, the conversation has been well-lit ever since, and in 2005 we finally saw a complete ban on all forms of tobacco advertising. It wasn’t until 2006, though, that the UK began initiating bans on all smoking within enclosed public spaces. With our ample opportunity for static reflection this year, particularly on our health, quitting smoking is as important as it was 15 years ago, if not more so. Cancer is still a very real threat. Shown from studies carried out in 2015, smoking accounts for 51.5% of cancer deaths in men and 44.5% of cancer deaths in women. Tips for kicking the habit: nicotine replacement therapy; identify and then train yourself to avoid the triggers; exercise more.

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Obesity is still a big, big issue in our nation, and it’s getting bigger still. As of August last year, the Health Survey for England estimated that 28.7% of adults in England are obese and a further 35.6% are overweight but not obese. Throughout our lockdowns in the UK there is no doubt those rates have increased, with the catalysts of laziness and the new-found desire to order food online. Planning out a diet doesn’t have to be depressing. There are some very tasty and nutritious meals you can make with chicken or fish, with vegetables, rice and various other tasty supplements. A sauce to drizzle over the top can go a long way. Everything in moderation, but be firm with yourself. Join the gym. Attending the gym may take a very different form in the New Year, but that shouldn’t stop you integrating yourself back into society and getting a much-needed sweat on. Home cooking has cooked up a serious flame throughout our lockdowns, a notable and encouraging flambé of newfound enthusiasm and passion for gastronomy, and it’s a 2020 habit which should go on being preserved. Learn some new recipes and try your hand at some different cuisines. Perhaps try making sushi if you haven’t already! Start a food blog. A YouTube channel would be great, but a written blog online with photos can be just as good. Also there are plenty of free blog sites to create an account with, including Blogger, Ghost and WordPress. Reorganize and equip your kitchen so you can homecook more regularly.

The pandemic has clearly changed us as a people, largely for the better, so it’s the perfect time for a spiritual reawakening. Yes, that’s right – a spiritual reawakening. S’nothing wrong with getting spiritual sometimes, and in this digital age of immediacy, in which the ever-growing governance of technology puts everything at our fingertips, encouraging us to, frankly, be lazy and void of thought as we sit down to another reality television show… it’s an idea to recognize as something more than a mere eccentricity. Multiple studies have shown that yoga reduces stress, depression and anxiety. It’s probably why 37% of yoga enthusiasts have children who also enjoy practicing. Reading fiction refreshes the mind, sweeps you away into another world, and wakes up your imagination to realize your dreams. Yes, really. We should all do it daily. You can always be kinder and extend more respect to your fellow man or woman, and the rewards of doing so are infinite. Also, it’s time to start socially integrating again (albeit at a free and peaceful pace). So here are some ideas for clubs you could join in 2021 (government regulations permitting). Sport club. Sewing club. Book club. Fight class. Yoga class.

Film club. Photography club. Art club. Dance club. Gardening club.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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2021 PDC WORLD DARTS

CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

The Darts competition starts this month at the famous Alexandra Palace

S

ome associate the Christmas period with family time. Others think of more religious connotations. And some look forward to the festive period because it signals the beginning of the World Darts Championship. So as we near the festive period, let’s look ahead to what the biggest tournament in Darts has to offer.

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS?

This year’s competition, which sees the world’s best players all take to the oche, kicks off on December 18th. As has been the case since 2008, the tournament will be hosted at the world famous Alexandra Palace, London. Something that will look very different this year though, will be watching this lively event without the usual swathes of fans turning up in fancy dress attire, and singing throughout. Due to the ongoing pandemic, crowds returning to the darts is not yet possible. But this doesn’t mean that spectators cannot view every single minute of the event, live from your sofa. Although the information has not officially been released, we expect Sky Sports to broadcast every game from the competition via its own dedicated channel, as it has done for a number of years. And if you’re not a Sky customer, you can still keep up to date with what’s happening by signing up to a PDC membership.

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WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES?

The past year has seen an emergence of a new wave of dartists, which has blown this year’s Championship wide open. Only a short time ago, Glen Durrant lifted the Premier League trophy, in only his first year on the PDC, so his confidence will be high coming into this tournament. Likewise, Nathan Aspinall has enjoyed a surge in his success, finishing as runnerup in the Premier League, as well as reaching the semi-final stage in both of his only World Championship appearances so far. So don’t be surprised if he were to go a couple better this year. Elsewhere, last year’s Champion Peter Wright will be a firm favourite, as he followed up his first tournament win in 2020, with two other PDC Major titles, most recently in November. And if you’re looking for a dark horse, Gerwyn Price has put together a fine run of firm of late. The controversial Welshman reached the semifinal stage of this tournament last year, and has since won the World Grand Prix this year, so he could be one to take the trophy.

The tournament kicks-off on the 18th December and runs through to the 4th of January


YOUR GUIDE TO

CHRISTMAS TV W

Settle down with our top picks for this festive period’s mustwatch TV

hen it comes to Christmas day, once the dinner is finished, attention usually turns to gathering round the telly and discovering what festive specials are on offer. So here are our top picks for Christmas day viewing.

DOCTOR WHO

The Doctor Who Christmas special has been an institution of the Christmas day schedule ever since its revival in 2005. And it will be back once again, with Jodie Whittaker to star alongside regulars Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole. And if fans of the show weren’t excited enough already, this festive instalment will feature the Doctor’s most feared enemy, the Daleks. It has not been confirmed when this sci-fi hit will air, during the day, but it is rumoured that viewers will be able to see their favourite timelord in an early evening time slot.

CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF

Another show which will be on our TVs at Christmas, is BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef. Again, we are not sure as to when this will be aired over the period, but reports suggest that this episode will be a special all-star cast of previous contestants. Rumours hint that Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood will be in the kitchen, alongside TV personalities Rylan Clark-Neal and Janet Street-Porter, all battling it out to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

CALL THE MIDWIFE

Back in March, filming for Call the Midwife was halted, but thankfully, the Christmas special will go ahead this year! This episode, set in 1965, will include all of our favourite nurses, including those portrayed by Jenny Agutter and Linda Bassett, to name a couple. It has also

been announced that Doctor Who legend Peter Davidson will guest star as a circus ringmaster, who proves to be a big hit in Poplar. The air time has not been confirmed by BBC1, but we expect this widelyanticipated drama to be one of the highlights of the day.

GHOSTS

The hit comedy, which has aired two seasons, will provide us with a Christmas special, ahead of its confirmed third series. The show, which has proved popular since its first broadcast, follows a cashstrapped couple, who inherit a country home, only to have to deal with its numerous ghosts. It is unclear when, during the Christmas period, the special will be released, but we can expect all of the usual shenanigans from its core cast, which includes Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe.

The Doctor Who Christmas special has been an institution of the Christmas day schedule ever since its revival in 2005

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SHARPEN UP

FOR SPRING T

he days may be short but the ‘to do’ list remains long. December can be a quiet month in the garden as far as routine work is concerned, so now is the time to lay the groundwork for the spring.

now your manicured green sward is largely dormant - unless we have a temperate winter - it is time to get blades sharpened and, particularly if you have a petrol model, thoroughly serviced and the oil changed.

In that respect, the most important thing you should do is to make sure any pruning is completed early in the month, providing the opportunity to make the most of miserable, gloomy dank days to take up residence in the shed to clean, grease and maintain your tree loppers, shears and lawn edgers.

It will also make sure you don’t put your shoulder out trying to start up if another unseasonal mild spell means the grass needs some early attention in the new year. Remember, grass will continue to grow in temperatures above 5degreesC so a light trim three to five millimetres higher than usual will help to avoid turf stress.

Obviously, the most important tool at your disposal is the lawn mower and

In terms of pruning, overgrown

It may be cold outside but that doesn’t mean the garden comes to a standstill in the depths of winter

apple and pear trees can be cut back while ornamental trees such as acers and birches, as well as vines, need to be trimmed before Christmas to avoid ‘bleeding’. And if you have any deciduous trees and shrubs that need to be planted or moved, they can still go in as long as there is no frost in the ground. For vegetable gardeners now is the time to harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage and sprouts - particularly once they have got the first sharp frost in them – and the remaining root crops you planted. And, really, apart from that it’s all about common-sense maintenance and

Ornamental trees such as acers and birches, as well as vines, need to be trimmed before Christmas to avoid ‘bleeding’

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ensuring delicate plants are protected against sub-zero temperatures. Fallen leaves should be cleared from lawns as they will block what light there is, as well as moisture reaching the roots. However, if you have a rotary mower put it on the highest setting and shred the leaves into small pieces, creating a great soil conditioner. Any leftovers can be spread as mulch around plants and flower beds, providing a barrier against the cold as well as well as providing muchneeded nutrients. It is always worthwhile checking gutters as leaves will cause damaging blockages while ponds could also

become clogged if late autumnal falls settle and congeal, particularly if your prized water feature ices over after a series of freezing nights. Obviously, a pond heater will help prevent ice forming, but if it does a hot pan will create a hole large enough to allow oxygen through. A football left on the surface will also delay freezing – as will a fountain or ornamental waterfalls - but remember, if there are fish in the pond do not smash the ice as the shock waves can be harmful. And if you are considering turning off your water feature, remember to insulate it, and that goes for outdoor taps too. Of course, once Christmas is out of the way, January ushers in a new

growing year and, although daylight hours are still at a premium, there is much to look forward too and plans to be made. Now’s the time to order your seeds for the spring as well as plan your vegetable crop rotations for the coming season. Outside, top up your garden mulch by shredding your Christmas tree and, while you are spreading, disperse worm casts from the lawn and check if the branches of any delicate trees have been damaged during a heavy snowfall or violent storms. Also give your pots a clean ready for spring planting, and the same goes for greenhouses, ensuring good light penetration and paying attention to any insulation to make sure it is still secure. But, above all, keep bird feeders topped up. January can be a particularly brutal month for wildlife and your garden visitors will need all the help they can get, not only with feed but water too.

Also give your pots a clean ready for spring planting, and the same goes for greenhouses, ensuring good light penetration

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Ingram Gardens, Luton

£600,000

Located in the sought after area of Bushmead this designer residence boasts tasteful décor and stylish modern finishes combined with meticulous design that is immediately apparent once you step into this deceptively spacious four bedroom detached family home. The property sits on a good sized plot and has been transformed by its current owners to provide a high quality and lavish home that will not disappoint. The home is intended for flexible family living with large inviting areas that include; entrance hallway with engineered wood flooring, duel aspect lounge featuring mood lighting and built in speaker system, dining room, conservatory, luxury kitchen, utility room, store room, cloakroom, family room, first floor landing, three first floor double bedrooms, en suite to master, second floor landing, second floor fourth bedroom and family bathroom.

Neville Road, Luton

OIEO £335,000

Esquire are please to present this immaculate four bedroom end of terraced with space to extend (sstp) in the ever popular area of Icknield. The property briefly comprises; entrance hall, open lounge/diner, kitchen, to first floor landing, three fantastic sized bedrooms ,family bathroom, to the second floor a great sized master bedroom with en-suite shower room, front and large rear garden. The property’s location gives excellent access to local shops and well regarded schools as well as the 11/11a M1 junctions walking distance to the Leagrave Thameslink mainline train station that provides fast links in to London, call now to book a viewing.

info@esquireluton.co.uk | info@esquireleagrave.co.uk


Luton 01582 720011 Leagrave 01582 818818 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Brompton Close, Luton

Guide Price £300,000

Guide price £300,000 - £310,000. Esquire are pleased to present this immaculate three bedroom detached property in a quiet and quaint cul-de-sac, perfect for family living. The property briefly comprises; entrance hall, cloakroom, spacious lounge, kitchen/diner, three great sized bedrooms, shower room, front and rear garden, driveway with garage. Brompton Close is walking distance to Leagrave mainline train station and offers brilliant catchment of local schools. Call now to book a viewing to really appreciate this family home.

Leyhill Drive, Luton

£315,000

Boasting excellent access to the M1 and Thameslink mainline train station this three bedroom semi detached family home offers spacious accommodation combined with tasteful decor and has been set at a realistic price, we highly advise an internal inspection as to fully appreciate the size and decor of this residence. The property briefly comprises; entrance hall, lounge, open plan kitchen/ breakfast room, dining room, first floor landing, three good size bedrooms, bathroom, double length garage, front, side and rear gardens. The property’s location also gives easy access to local shops and well regarded schools. CALL NOW TO VIEW. NB THE PROPERTY IS ON A CORNER PLOT AND LENDS ITSELF TO EXTENDING STPP.

esquireluton.co.uk


Connaught Road, Luton

Guide Price £215,000

Located on the ever popular Connaught Road in Luton this two double bedroom terrace home offers spacious rooms sizes throughout combined with tasteful decor and has been set at a realistic price, we highly advise an internal inspection. The property briefly comprises; entrance hall, lounge, open plan kitchen/diner, first floor landing, two double bedrooms, bathroom, front and rear gardens. The property’s location boasts excellent access to local shops and highly regarded schools as well as the M1 and Thameslink mainline train station that provides fast links in to London.

John Street, Luton

£225,000

Esquire are pleased to present this immaculate two bedroom apartment located in the Luton town centre, ideal for investors or first time buyer. The property briefly comprises a large entrance hall with cloakroom/storage cupboard, fitted kitchen with integrated appliances, lounge/diner, two good size bedrooms, bathroom, gas central heating, and your own loft space. Call now to book a view.

info@esquireluton.co.uk | info@esquireleagrave.co.uk


Luton 01582 720011 Leagrave 01582 818818 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Poplars Close, Luton

£275,000

This two double bedroom semi detached bungalow is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac in Stopsley and is offered for sale chain free. The property briefly comprises; entrance hall, lounge/diner, kitchen, two double bedrooms, bathroom, garage, large front and rear gardens. The property’s location boats excellent access to local shops and schools as well as the M1, Thameslink mainline train station and the London Luton Airport. CALL NOW TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST.

Pastures Way, Luton

Guide Price £315,000

Introducing this large 4/5 bedroom town house ideally situated on the Luton & Dunstable borders. Ideal for a family or investor looking to convert into flats or a HMO, the property briefly comprises of an entrance porch, large hallway, a converted garage room being used as a gym/games room which could potentially be a 5th bedroom, downstairs shower room and the 4th bedroom all located on the ground floor, kitchen and living room to the first floor and three bedrooms and a bathroom to the second floor as well as an enclosed rear garden and 2 parking spaces to the front. The property is ideally located across the road from a lovely park, a swimming pool and gym all within walking distance, as well as a doctors surgery, the L & D hospital and junction 11 & 11a of the M1.

esquireluton.co.uk


new home FINDING YOUR

THIS WINTER

Relax, and spend time with your family this winter while we here at the Esquire take care of your move with outstanding customer service and your own FREE personal property website. Take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and contact us today.

esquireluton.co.uk | Luton 01582 720011 | Leagrave 01582 818818

Profile for thepropertycollection

Esquire - December 2020  

Esquire - December 2020