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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

FEBRUARY 2020

FLIGHTS OF FANCY BOOK A ROMANTIC BREAK AWAY GARDEN OF EDEN GET PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR GARDEN

WINDOWS AND DOORS WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN REPLACING THEM

GOING VEGAN WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE HEALTH BENEFITS

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE THE ‘LAST 16’ GAMES KICK OFF THIS MONTH


CONTENTS COVER STORY

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FOOD

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Flights of fancy Make a good impression on Valentine’s Day; book a romantic break away

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Fall in love with a new home Top tips on how to search for your perfect property Make your own garden of Eden Show your garden some love and get passionate about your patch again Upgrading windows and doors What you need to consider when replacing your windows and doors

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Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market About us Get to know us a little better and see why we are your agent of choice

Benefits of a vegan diet We take a look at the health benefits of a vegan diet Cleaning hacks you can’t live without Our favourite cleaning hacks to make cleaning your home easy and cost effective Valentine’s Day: where it all began Just where did Valentine’s Day originate from?

SPORT

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The Champions League The Champions League returns with the ‘Last 16’ games kicking off this month and running through to the 18th March

WELCOME TO THE FEBRUARY ISSUE!

W

e’re not quite sure how January has flown by so quickly already; just where has the time gone? If you’ve been thinking about moving but not started the process yet, then now is as good

a time as any. Not sure where to start? Then come and have a chat with us. As your local independent estate agent, we have all the tools you need to get you moving – including a FREE personalised website for your property so that you can share it on social media. And this issue of our magazine will also give you plenty of support and advice on property; from falling in love with a new home, creating your own garden of

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PROPERTY NEWS

Searching for your perfect property is much like trying to find your perfect partner

LIFESTYLE

PROPERTY

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Vegan delights Here we feature a tempting recipe that’s sure to whet your appetite

Eden, and where to start when replacing doors and windows. Plus, if romance is in the air, then take a look at our top tips for romantic getaways this year; you will (and your loved one) be spoilt for choice on where to head to. They say that the way to someone’s heart is through food – and what can be more on trend then a vegan recipe to dish up and impress with? We reveal the health benefits of taking on a vegan diet. Plus, we also feature a delicious recipe to introduce you to the variety that a meat and dairy free diet can provide. Until next time. Linda McKeown Editor

You need to go on dates and get to know each other before taking that step to be together. However, for houses, dates become viewings and the true test of getting to know each other comes after the purchase is already complete. Which is why it is good to be picky when it comes to choosing your perfect property. Sometimes your perfect property isn’t ‘the one’ in the long run, because of location, lack of space or even character. Therefore, when it comes to searching for property love, it pays to be specific when it comes to your joint wants and needs; and to compromise (if only love was so easy!) The main things to consider when finding your perfect property are the number of bedrooms, size of the garden, location, off-road parking, ability to extend, the number of reception rooms and closest schools. Sit down with your partner and get these things confirmed before you view.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT Maybe you and your partner will fall in love with a property at first sight but take it slow and don’t get too carried away. Just like life,

TOP TIPS TO FIND A PROPERTY YOU’LL LOVE Sit down and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves Get specific with your requirements Confirm your budget Go on multiple viewings of each property Make compromises with your partner Don’t overstretch your finances


HOW TO FIND

PR PERTY L VE

THAT LASTS

if you build something up too much you just may set yourself up for disappointment. Try to go into any property viewing with an open mind. Your favourite property may disappoint, while the one you didn’t want to view could be perfect.

conveyancing fees and survey fees. To get things moving swiftly, you will need these ready for as soon as your offer is accepted. You don’t want to find your perfect place only to find yourself short and lose it. Be upfront about your finances from the start of the process.

And your perfect home will probably be the most expensive thing you ever buy. That is why it’s important to make sure it’s the right one. Try to go on multiple viewings. Like a first date, on your first viewing, you will only see the good things or bad things about the property. Go on a second viewing and get to know the property better before making a decision.

Look into planning permission early to see whether it’s likely that they’ll allow you carry out any work you wish to undertake, such as an extension, dropping the curb for off-road parking or changing the windows and doors. You don’t want to have big plans for your forever home, only to find out you can’t carry them out.

THE COST OF LOVE Just like at the start of any relationship, it is easy to get into debt, by going on expensive dates, buying new clothes and trying new things. With a property, you may be tempted to spend more than you had planned but be careful not to overstretch yourself. Your perfect property may turn into a nightmare if you don’t have any spare cash to do odd jobs, or even go on a date once a while!

Your perfect home will probably be the most expensive thing you ever buy

Remember the other costs involved too, such as mortgage broker fees,

Look beyond the current state of the property and focus on what you could see the property becoming

A JOINT LOVE AFFAIR Love is a two-way street. Sit down with your partner to agree both of your needs. Your perfect property may not be theirs, but by working together you can agree on the nice-to-haves and the must-haves of a home you can share and enjoy together. Just like some people enjoy reading at home while others feel the need to be outside, there is always a way to compromise for the greater good of your relationship.

LOVE THAT LASTS Be realistic. This may or may not be your forever home. Aesthetics are always a major factor when it comes to both romance and property. However, look beyond the current state of the property and focus on what you could see the property becoming. A perfect relationship needs work, and the same is true for the perfect property.

For every compromise on one’s behalf, the other partner could get something in return. For example, if one of you has green fingers you know they’ll want a nice garden and if the other works from home or enjoys their peace, try to get somewhere with a snug or study. Just like a working relationship, compromise is always the way forward.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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SHOW YOUR

GARDEN SOME LOVE

I As relationships go, it’s been on the backburner for a few months. But now is the time to get passionate about your patch again

t’s hard to imagine anything lovable about your garden this month. It’s cold, damp and that bare, bedraggled, weather-battered mess you see from your window bears no resemblance to the vibrant, verdant, perfumed patch of horticultural perfection you lovingly nurtured last summer.

Those ornamental trees you bought for their eerie sculptural forms during the winter have been shredded by Storm Gerda and Storm Brendan; early-flowering bulbs are timidly poking their petals above the surface fearing winter’s final onslaught, and even the fiercely territorial robins are thinking of moving out because the grass looks greener over the fence. But even if the weather is filthy and you can’t get out and do the jobs you know you need to do – such as pruning shrubs, climbers, and evergreen hedges, and giving your borders a boost with some organic feeds – there is one important thing you can do from the comfort of your armchair: plan. Because if you fancy turning your mudheap into a Garden of Eden this summer, start preparing the ground now. Even the smallest of backyards can be turned into a sensory sensation by the simplest of touches, the most obvious being fragrance and colour. But the easiest are lights.

Soft lighting, comfy seating, trickling water… add some wind chimes and suddenly you’ve created your own outdoor spa! The majority of gardens have shady corners which could benefit from a little subtle lighting, either by candlelight (in a nice tall glass jar obviously, we don’t want the slightest breeze to snuff out any flames of desire), full-size bulbs strung for a rustic overhang between posts or - yes it’s cheesy but remarkably effective twinkling fairy lights. Think about it. If fairy lights can transform even the dingiest of artificial Christmas trees, what could that soft glow achieve on a warm summer evening wrapped around the balustrades on a veranda or swinging lazily from a pergola. Better still, hang them round the low-hanging branches of your favourite tree to create the ultimate chill-out zone… with the aid of a soft-seating zone and an endless stream of G&Ts, naturally.

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PROPERTY NEWS


Talking of streams, nothing says serenity and calm like the sound of trickling water and no, we don’t mean taking the lid off the water butt so the clogged gutter can dribble into it. Proper water features can add texture and height to a garden; and it doesn’t have to be an elaborate fountain. Tilting rain sticks, a small pond with a waterfall, or even a birdbath with a solarpowered pump can add the necessary effect. A cosy seating area is a must, whether it be formal chairs, loungers, benches around a picnic table… or you could create a romantic low-level spot from a sunken area. Think it’s impossible? Have a look at Tony Smith’s Quilted Velvet Garden at the 2009 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and all will become clear. You just need cushions. Lots of cushions.

So, soft lighting, comfy seating, trickling water… add some wind chimes and suddenly you’ve created your own outdoor spa! However, nothing says romance like the gentle waft of a random scent caught on a breeze. Roses and honeysuckle are the obvious candidates for inclusion, but while the former are beautiful they need to be nurtured for the best results. The latter can be prone to aphids – and there’s nothing romantic about watching a colony of insects writhing over your favourite aromatic shrub, prior to stripping it bare of flower and leaf. Instead, try the delightful mock orange. Heralding the beginning of summer, it’s a hardy plant that tolerates some shade, has small white flowers and, as the name suggests, releases a sweet orangey fragrance when you brush against it. Likewise, that perennial favourite lavender, where that heady aroma immediately transports you to the sunny fields of Provence in the south of France. Great for borders and even when the flowers are over, they can be cut and taken indoors to enjoy further.

Even the smallest of backyards can be turned into a sensory sensation by the simplest of touches

If you’ve gone for an “English Country Garden” theme, you’ll be familiar with that staple, the sweet pea. Easy to grow, multi-coloured and with a sweet perfume, they are a must for a scented garden. Similarly, gardenia’s mass of attractive foliage and white flowers make it a firm favourite – they can be grown in pots and containers too – and their scent will fill the garden through the summer months. With a range of scents from lemon to pineapple, mint is often written off as just a cooking ingredient, but it can double its worth in the garden where the slightest brush against it releases a fresh, clean aroma. However, if left, it can spread. Visually, if creating a new area, consider a hard, sculptured backdrop of yucca or bamboo to add architectural effect. Not only can they support a string of light, but they give height and structure to contrast with bright traditional colourful bedding plants such as red geraniums, alyssum, lobelia and silver cineraria. And what could be more romantic than planting purple and white ornamental kale in a heart shape? So, what are you waiting for? Start planning now and rekindle your love affair with the garden.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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WHAT TO CONSIDER

WHEN REPLACING YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS New windows and doors can not only keep your house warmer over winter but also save you thousands of pounds in the long run

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f you are looking into new windows and doors this year, the range on offer can confuse; as can the regulations implemented back in 2002. It is no longer as simple as replacing them; you will need to make applications to your local council, choose the type and style and check they meet all regulations.

LOCAL COUNCIL AND SURVEYORS

• L1 Conservation of fuel and Power – Simply put, the glass you use must be at the required U-value. U-value is the rate of transfer of heat. In essence, this regulation ensures when alterations are made that heat gain and loss is limited through the use of thermal control elements.

Since April 2002 you must have approval from the Building Control department of your local council, confirming the replacements have been fitted in accordance with local building regulations. You • N1 Glazing protection against Impact – Essentially, will need to apply for a certificate from your local this means where windows and other glazed council. And this doesn’t just apply surfaces are present, they for windows – if your doors are over must be safe for passing 50% glazing they will need to be Depending on your pedestrians and inhabitants confirmed as well. budget there is a wide when open and resistant to It is against the law to fit windows and doors which do not comply with the building regulations. This can also cause issues when it comes to selling your property. Your buyer’s surveyor will require to see the evidence of any windows or doors replaced after 2002; failure to do so could cause problems when it comes to completing your sale.

range of materials and styles on offer when it comes to your replacement windows and doors

THE REGULATIONS Getting a local tradesman in to complete the work is always a good idea and they should comply with all the building regulations. However, if you are doing the work yourself, here is a breakdown of the main regulations:

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PROPERTY NEWS

impact if a collision occurs. Should a breakage occur it should be ensured the glass breaks in a way that no injuries are caused.

• Structural regulations – Approved Document A covers the structure of the building including the confirmation that the foundations can support the weight of the windows and doors. Also, that in the event of an accident, the building, including the windows and doors, can withstand reasonable force. • Ventilation – Approved Document F deals with the uncontrolled ventilation of the property. This covers the energy efficiency of the property including insulating and sealing against draughts to ensure


it does not have an adverse effect on energy performance. It states there must be adequate ventilation to prevent excessive condensation build-up that could cause rot and decay.

STYLE AND MATERIALS

grade.’ Fixed windows are also cheaper than windows with openings, and for any windows that need to open, go for ‘casement’ windows. Try to avoid madeto-measure windows and doors if you are on a budget as these will increase the cost, as will designs such as curves, circles, bays and bow windows.

Depending on your budget there is a wide range of materials and styles on ADDITIONAL EXTRAS offer when it comes to your replacement windows and doors. If you are looking As well as there being a wide range of to save money, then uPVC is the windows and doors to choose from, there wisest choice as it will save you money is an even longer list of added extras compared to timber you can get which and aluminium can bump up the construction. Avoid price! Options such You must have approval single-glazed windows, as between-shade from the Building as they aren’t efficient enough for the UK, so go for double-glazing instead. Although not as efficient as tripleglazing, they will insulate your house well.

Control department of your local council, confirming the replacements have been fitted in accordance with local building regulations

When purchasing your windows and doors go for ‘buildergrade,’ or ‘contractor-grade,’ materials which will be cheaper than ‘architectural

glass, laminated exteriors, trim supplied and installed and integrated grilles, so double-check if the benefits will outweigh the cost in the long-run.

Old or inefficient windows and doors can have a significant impact on the heating of your home as well as your energy bills.

Signs of rot or warping on your windows are big indicators that they need to be changed. When you are getting them replaced, following the regulations of course, there are further additional upgrades for security and aesthetics. A range of window locks are available with popular choices being keyed lock, hinged wedge locks and sash locks. Aesthetically, aluminium and timber frames offer the most eye-pleasing look, however, they come at a higher cost compared to uPVC. You could also go for added safety with Plexiglass which is an impact resistant type of glass ten times stronger than regular glass.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

7


IS A VEGAN DIET

THE WAY FORWARD? Since 2014, more than half a million people in 178 countries have been inspired by the Veganuary movement; ditching dairy and meat in favour of plant-based foods. But how healthy is it to be a vegan?

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UK non-profit organisation, Veganuary encourages people to go vegan for the month of January as a way of promoting and educating a vegan lifestyle.

Whopper, and McDonald’s has released its Veggie Dippers; with many more sure to follow suit.

And, with the provision of vegan food in shops and restaurants steadily increasing, it’s never been easier to opt for a vegan diet.

With so much publicity on Veganuary, there has been plenty of debate as to whether a vegan It’s also recommended to include diet is healthier, simply because it beans, pulses and other proteins, is plant based. and to drink While vegan plenty of fluids. Since 2014, more than food omits the And if you do half a million people use of meat and include foods and in 178 countries have dairy products, drinks that are the substitutes high in fat, salt or been inspired by the used in the sugar, try to have Veganuary movement preparation these less often. and cooking can mean that the calorie and fat WHERE CAN I FIND content is higher. For example, OUT MORE? Subway’s meatless marina contains There is a wide range of information 120 calories, and 7g more sugar,

VEGAN VARIETY Last year, food-to-go retailer Greggs had phenomenal success with their Vegan Sausage Roll; in fact, they have recently rewarded all their employees with a £300 bonus in light of its success. This year, they have launched their Vegan Steak Bake. It’s been designed to mirror some of the original Steak Bake’s classic features, including 96 layers of puff pastry and have teamed up with Quorn to wrap it around savoury mycoprotein pieces and diced onions in a rich gravy. The verdict so far? Only time will tell although there has been a thumbs up from many already – including non-vegans. And they aren’t the only ones to launch new vegan products this year. So far, KFC has launched its first-ever Vegan Burger, Burger King has launched its Rebel

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PROPERTY NEWS

IS A VEGAN DIET HEALTHIER?

and base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates to ensure a healthy body. There is a plethora of dairy alternatives available, such as soya drinks and yoghurts – but remember to choose lower fat and lower sugar options.

compared to the meat version.

available on the Internet; from advice, tips and menu plans/

However, Burger King’s Rebel Whopper bucks this trend, having less calories than its meat alternative. Therefore, this shows why it’s still important to ensure you make healthy choices when opting for vegan items.

recipes, so if you are considering going vegan, do your research so you can ensure you give your body – and mind – what it needs to function to its full potential.

VARIETY IS KEY The NHS advises you to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day

Not quite ready to fully embrace all that a vegan diet entails? A great solution is to be a flexitarian; this means that you follow mainly a plant-based diet, with the occasional addition of meat and fish.


If you missed out on trying Veganuary, have no fear; here we feature a tempting recipe that’s sure to whet your appetite (and the rest of the family too)

VEGAN DELIGHTS

VEGAN MAC ‘N’ CHEESE Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes (plus overnight soaking) Serves: 6 Nutrition: 686kcal per serving

IMAGE USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

160g raw cashews

1. The night before, soak the cashew nuts in water and leave overnight.

200g carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes 700g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes 90ml olive oil 40g nutritional yeast 1 lemon, juice only 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp cayenne pepper

2.

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Steam the carrots and potatoes together for 5 mins, until completely softened. Transfer to a food processor. Drain the cashews and add these with 60ml of the oil, then blitz. Tip in rest of the other ingredients, except the macaroni, breadcrumbs and the remaining oil, then blitz again until it’s smooth. Season well. Add a splash of water and a drizzle of olive oil if it looks too stiff, then set aside.

3.

Cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted water for 1 min less than packet instructions, drain then stir through the sauce. Transfer the mix to an ovenproof dish, stir the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil and some seasoning. Scatter over the top of the macaroni and bake for 20-25 mins until piping hot and crisp.

400g macaroni 3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs

4. Serve with a fresh side salad.

This recipe, and more, can be found at https://www. bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-mac-n-cheese

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

9


CLEANING HACKS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT H

ere we’ve compiled a few of our favourite cleaning hacks to make the cleaning process easy and cost effective; some of the tips may surprise you!

Thanks to the likes of Mrs Hinch, giving your house a spring clean in preparation for selling or for house viewings has never been easier

Shaving foam – that’s right, you read correctly! Shaving foam is a great way to remove stains from your carpets. Having lighter coloured carpets means they are much more likely to show dirt and are much harder to clean, but simply rub in the shaving foam and let it sit for around 30 minutes. Once the area is dry, hoover it. A simple and cost-effective cleaning hack to prevent buying costly new carpets! Vinegar – forget just using vinegar on your chips; this cheap household staple has a few surprising uses to help clean your home. It can be used cheaply, safely and effectively to clean surfaces, windows, microwaves and can even be used to clean your toilet bowl, and dishwasher (replacing the need for expensive dishwasher rinse aid). Something else you may not know, is that distilled white wine vinegar when used with your laundry will reduce odour, soften clothes and act as a brightener Giving your house a for white spring clean in clothes preparation for without selling or for house having to use viewings has never harsh been easier chemical products – which has the added benefit of being better for the environment. We could go on but once you realise the value of vinegar, you may never need to buy cleaning products again! Lemons – another common household item, but what can you do with them other than slice and add to a well-earned gin and tonic at the end of a busy day? Why not try placing a bowl of water and lemon rinds in the microwave, turn it on for three minutes, leave for a further five

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PROPERTY NEWS


minutes before opening the door – unexpected uses. If your bathroom or then wipe! You’ll have a clean and kitchen have signs of mildew or mould, fresh smelling microwave at minimal make a paste from bicarbonate of soda cost. If your wooden furniture needs a by mixing with lukewarm water and polish, combine 2 parts then apply to taps, olive oil with 1 part plugs or grouting. Use lemon juice and you a brush to scrub it in It really is amazing will have your own then rinse; it will look that so many of the natural and fresh as good as new. This products we have smelling furniture mixture, when in our homes can polish. And if the combined with white be used as a cheap grouting in your wine vinegar, can also and effective bathroom or around be used as a very method of cleaning your kitchen tiles are in effective sink and need of attention, drain un-blocker. Just spray undiluted lemon pour hot water into juice on the offending area and leave the offending sink, add a cup of for about ten minutes, then wipe off. bicarbonate of soda and warm white It’s guaranteed to leave your tiles and wine vinegar, let grouting sparkling and smelling fresh it fizz then rinse and clean. with hot water. Bicarbonate of Newspaper – we all aspire to having soda can also be streak free windows: a handy hint used as a when cleaning interior or exterior deoderiser to windows with either vinegar, lemon or remove commercial cleaning products is to unwanted rub off the cleaning agent with smells on newspaper. It’s an excellent and very furniture and economical trick for creating streak mattresses, free windows. simply sprinkle on the offending Coke – it’s another item many people item leave for a regularly have in their homes, but did couple of hours you realise that if you pour a can of then hoover up. coke, or the remains of the bottle which has gone too flat to drink, into Rubber gloves your toilet bowl, leave for about an – if you have hour then flush away, it will leave the pets who toilet looking clean and fresh. regularly shed hair, a good way of removing this from your upholstery is Bicarbonate of Soda – yet another to simply rub the offending area with a household staple which has several rubber glove. Doing this will pick

up the hairs which can then be easily disposed of! Toothpaste – did you know that toothpaste can be used to clean your stainless-steel sink? Simply squeeze some regular toothpaste onto a micro fibre cloth, then buff the sink and rinse which should leave it deodorised and shining. It really is amazing that so many of the products we have in our homes can be used as a cheap and effective method of cleaning – making them just as effective as expensive big name branded items. Using household products also have the added benefit

of being better for the environment, helping to reduce waste and contain fewer harmful chemicals as they only rely on natural ingredients.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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FLIGHTS OF FANCY

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orget the hearts and flowers. Chuck the chocolates in the bin. The road to your loved one’s heart is not in the clichéd, but more likely in an airport terminal. Because nothing says modern romance quite like: “Get your case. We’re off.”

Obviously, Paris must be on the shortlist. Stunning, stylish, charming (just avert your eyes as you travel through Montmartre to the beautiful Basilica of the Sacre Coeur; parts of it are less than romantic), Paris is everything you hope it will be, largely because you know it so well from the movies.

Still ranked as THE place to propose, get married or honeymoon, the best time to visit the French capital is in the spring when even the oldest buildings in this architecturally perfect city look freshly washed. Intimate strolls with your significant other through Don’t ignore the Bois de Boulogne, and along Amsterdam, where the the Seine to the Pont Neuf district maze of slow-flowing are recommended, as is a sunset canals, lined by trees cruise along the city’s majestic waterway – if the budget can and the towering stretch to it – for a different centuries-old buildings, perspective of the city. create an enchanting

It may be Valentine’s Day this month, but early February isn’t generally the ideal time to risk an impromptu break – with a notable exception.

But unless your budget extends to a week on some tropical idyll in the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean, you’re probably looking at a European city break and nobody enjoys tramping around under a brolly, so far better to play the medium to long game and atmosphere drop a couple of e-tickets or copy of a booking confirmation email in your Valentine’s card for a couple of days away when the sun might put in an appearance. With romance your guide, where better to head for than Italy, particularly Verona, home to the ultimate star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet? Less than an hour from Venice on the train and 30 minutes from Lake Garda, Verona is genuinely beautiful. The Piazza delle Erbe is a delight, the astonishing Arena di Verona predates Rome’s Colosseum by 50 years and leads you nicely to the queue for Juliet’s House, that balcony and the statue of our tragic heroine, which, if you rub her right breast, will make you lucky in love (be aware this statue is a copy so it may not work – the original Juliet is in the Museum Castelvecchio after restoration). If that’s not enough, Florence – home of the iconic Duoma, stunning Renaissance art including Michelangelo’s David and Ponte Vecchio – is just a three-hour rail trip away.

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PROPERTY NEWS

Speaking of waterways, don’t ignore Amsterdam, where the maze of slow-flowing canals, lined by trees and the towering centuries-old buildings, create an enchanting atmosphere. And if crossing one of the many illuminated bridges at twilight, just as the water takes on an orange glow, does not leave you a little weak at the knees then, quite frankly, you’ve become a lost cause. And there lie the not-so-secret ingredients for a romantic getaway: charm and character. The old European cities – Vienna, Prague, Bruges for example – have it in bucketloads, while the ‘recently-accessible’ centres, such as Ljublana in Slovenia are catching up. Frequently overlooked in favour of nearby Bled, which is stunning in its own right, picturesque Ljublana has a wonderful vibe and is rapidly becoming one of the continent’s top foodie destinations. Similarly coming up on the outside in the Romance Stakes is Santorini. The picture-perfect Greek island is now the wedding destination of choice and not just because of the climate. A


If you’re looking to make a good impression on Valentine’s Day, broaden your horizons to give your relationship wings dramatic, rugged coastline, cliff-hugging villages and probably the most famous sunset in Europe at the irresistibly photogenic Oia makes the ideal conclusion to anyone’s big day. Or does it? Because for the ultimate romantic break you need to head north. To the Arctic Circle. For a scene straight out of Mills & Boon, picture yourself on a crisp cold night, thousands of stars twinkling like diamonds on a black velvet cloth, a snowy wilderness, a hot tub outside your own log cabin, two glasses of fizz and that most beguiling of natural phenomena, the Aurora Borealis, shimmering across the skyline. But if a trip to Iceland (not that one) or Scandinavia for the Northern Lights ticks the boxes, avoid late April through to September because the hours of darkness diminish considerably.

With romance your guide, where better to head for than Italy, particularly Verona, home to the ultimate star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet?

However, as anyone who has been married for a long time will tell you: the secret to a long, happy and stable relationship is give and take. With that in mind we give you the compromise capital of Europe… Barcelona. Spain’s most popular tourist destination attracts thousands for its blend of culture, out-of-this world food and Antoni Gaudi’s mind-boggling architecture. So, by day it’s Las Ramblas, the world-famous food market La Boqueira, and a trip to Gaudi’s as-yet unfinished masterpiece, the stunning La Sagrada Familia. And by night, Barcelona’s other ’cathedral’, the majestic Camp Nou, home to one of European football’s elite, FC Barcelona. And even if Barca aren’t playing, there’s always the behind-the-scenes tour and museum. Who said romance was dead?

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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IT’S A KNOCKOUT! Four British teams are left in this years’ Champions League when the round of the ‘Last 16’ kicks-off

T

he Champions League LIVERPOOL returns with the ‘Last 16’ Champions League holders games kicking off this Liverpool have run away with month and running through to the the Premier League this season. 18th March. Chelsea, Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp’s men have gone Liverpool and Manchester City from strength to strength and as are all hoping to make it through opposed to previous to the last eight; years, they seem however, Europe’s to have the belief elite squads stand The Champions that they won’t let in their way. League Last 16 it fall through their kicks off on the fingers. However, CHELSEA does the Premier 18th February League title mean and runs through Frank Lampard’s that much to them to the 18th March Chelsea are at they may take their a crossroads. eyes off the prize Still in a fight for when it comes to fourth place in the the Champions Premier League, it would never be League? Their opponents, Atletico easy for Lampard’s young squad Madrid, are keeping pace with Real this season. However, with the Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga, so goals of Tammy Abraham and a the games on the 18th Feb and 11th solid core of Kovacic, Kante and March should be some spectacle. Jorginho in midfield, on their day they can beat anyone. They face MANCHESTER CITY Bayern Munich on the 25th Feb and the 18th March. Bayern aren’t Pep Guardiola’s Citizens have having it all their own way in the released their grip on the Premier Bundesliga this season, despite the League this year, with some frankly ridiculous form of Robert unexpected results. However, key Lewandowski who already has over players Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo 30 goals to his name.

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PROPERTY NEWS

Silva and Fernandinho have hit form coming into the second half of the season. Does this mean Guardiola has now prioritised Champions League success for this season? It’s the last trophy missing from his time with City, but with his old foes Real Madrid waiting on the 26th Feb and the 17th March, it will not be easy. Sergio Aguero is back leading the line and will hope, like Guardiola, to add the one trophy missing from his cabinet.

TOTTENHAM Pochettino’s celebration at the end of last years’ incredible semi-final is a distant memory, replaced with the sombre, sulking figure of Jose Mourinho. The new manager bounce has come and gone and it’s fair to say, compared to last year, their season has been disappointing. Struggling for a top-four finish, Mourinho will know the best chance to keep Champions League football next season will be to go one better than his predecessor and win this years’ competition. Captain Harry Kane is injured and will not return for the rest of the season including their matches against RB Leipzig on the 19th Feb and the 10th March.


THE HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY For many, 14th of February will involve making romantic plans with a loved one. But where does Valentine’s Day originate from?

T

he name Valentine itself comes from a Saint and Christian martyr, although who he was is shrouded in mystery; just like the cards we send today. However, the most popular belief is that he was a priest who was jailed and sentenced to death for breaking the law; not what you would class as very romantic! Emperor Claudius II banned marriage under the belief that all married men were bad soldiers. Valentine, seeing the injustice in this and the distress

it was causing to people, continued to marry young couples in secret but, once discovered, was swiftly arrested and condemned to death. Whilst Valentine was locked up, he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and it is said that on the date of his execution, he sent a love letter to her, signed ‘from your Valentine’, an expression that is still used today. Many, although not all, believe that Valentine’s Day is

celebrated on the anniversary of his death or burial. Some historians, however, claim that it was in fact the Christian church which started the tradition. Seeing how popular the festival was and, to Christianise the pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia, it was decided to place St Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February. Whichever story you believe, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated across the world for centuries and continues to grow in popularity.

DID YOU KNOW? According to History.com, the oldest record of a valentine being sent was a poem written by a French medieval duke to his wife in 1415 while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London at just 21 years old In 1537, King Henry VII officially declared February 14 as the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day Around the world, approximately 50 million roses are received on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has been celebrated across the world for centuries and continues to grow in popularity

Each year approximately a billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged across the world, making it the second largest card sending time of the year after Christmas

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Bell Lane, Widford

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this stunning FOUR BEDROOM DETACHED PERIOD HOME located within this popular village setting. The property features THREE RECPTION ROOMS, Two refitted bathrooms, refitted Kitchen, Garage and driveway. Internally the property benefits from exposed beams and brickwork, wood burning stoves and stable doors leading out to the well kept South/West facing gardens.

Watton Road, Ware

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this superb example of a THREE BEDROOM, SEMIDETACHED VICTORIAN HOME. The property offers much charm and character throughout, including a working fireplace to the living room, and a stunning open-plan kitchen with bi-folding doors to the garden. Situated within WALKING DISTANCE of Ware town centre, with all of its local amenities and mainline station that connects to London Liverpool Street, and is oyster compatible. TRULY NOT TO BE MISSED.

£695,000

£500,000

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Ware 01920 411 090 Buntingford 01763 272 727 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Rockfield Avenue, Ware

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this three bedroom semi detached family home on the well regarded Kingshill development. The property offers extended living space to include a great family room with Bi-folding doors and under floor heating, well kept gardens and off street parking for three cars.

Glenmire Terrace, Stanstead Abbotts

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this FOUR BEDROOM, CHARACTER family home, situated in this delightful cul-de-sac accessed from Stanstead Abbotts High Street, with all of its excellent local amenities and mainline train-station connecting to London Liverpool Street within easy WALKING DISTANCE. Further benefiting from an extended KITCHEN/DINING ROOM with underfloor heating, upstairs bathroom, parking, and rear garden directly leading to PRIVATE MOORING OVER ‘STANSTEAD MILL STREAM’, connecting to the River Lea.

£475,000

£525,000

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Winton Road, Ware

£750,000

Cambridge Road, Thundridge

£750,000

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this beautifully presented and stylish FOUR BEDROOM DETACHED HOME located within this quiet position within walking distance of Ware’s town centre and station. Internally the property offers quality fixtures and fittings to include Miele appliances, heated flooring to the kitchen and shower room, new gas central heating boiler and fitted window shutters. Externally the property benefits from a DETACHED DOUBLE GARAGE and South Westerly facing low maintenance gardens. CHAIN FREE.

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this THREE/FOUR DOUBLE BEDROOM family home, situated in the delightful village location of Thundridge, just a short drive North of Ware. Originally built in 1926, the property has had additional extension work completed at later dates to create ample living space. Further benefiting from three reception rooms, modern kitchen/breakfast room, downstairs cloakroom, family bathroom with additional en-suite, loft room, private driveway and STUNNING 100ft + REAR GARDEN, whilst also boasting CHARACTER FEATURES throughout.

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Ware 01920 411 090 Buntingford 01763 272 727 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Spencer Street, Hertford

£425,000

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this immaculately presented, end-terrace, three bedroom Victorian home. Situated within WALKING DISTANCE to Hertford East station, connecting to London Liverpool Street, the town centre with all of its local amenities, as well as The Meads. Further benefiting from two reception rooms, one with real log burning fireplace, high-spec kitchen/breakfast room, two well presented bath/shower rooms, and a delightful rear garden with private side access - all whilst retaining some gorgeous character features throughout.

Homefield Road, Ware

£399,995

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this TWO DOUBLE BEDROOM, SEMI-DETACHED home, which has been refurbished to a high standard and offers a very large and inviting open-plan living accommodation. Situated within WALKING DISTANCE to Ware station and town centre, the property further benefits from a multi-fuel burning stove, high-spec kitchen, upstairs bathroom, driveway with garage. MUST BE VIEWED INTERNALLY to be fully appreciated.

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Heathgate, Hertford Heath

£379,995

Cappell Lane, Stanstead Abbotts

£425,000

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this CHAIN FREE three bedroom Neo Georgian style home located within this modern village cul de sac. The property features replacement windows, gas central heating and GARAGE EN BLOC.

JONATHAN HUNT are very pleased to offer this THREE BEDROOM DETACHED property situated in the popular village of Stanstead Abbotts, with all of its local amenities and mainline train station connecting to London Liverpool street, being within WALKING DISTANCE. Being sold CHAIN FREE, the property further benefits from spacious living accommodation, upstairs bathroom, full double glazing, and PRIVATE GARAGE with driveway access. Must be viewed internally to be fully appreciated.

jonathan-hunt.co.uk


Ware 01920 411 090 Buntingford 01763 272 727 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Paddock Close, Hunsdon

£465,000

High Street, Hunsdon

£490,000

*HUGE POTENTIAL* JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this TWO DOUBLE BEDROOM semidetached BUNGALOW ideally situated within this small tree lined cul de sac in the sought after village of Hunsdon. The property features mature front and rear gardens with a large paved driveway and DOUBLE LENGTH GARAGE - CHAIN FREE.

JONATHAN HUNT are pleased to offer this immaculate THREE DOUBLE BEDROOM family home located within this pretty award winning East Herts village. The property has been extended and completely refurbished by the current owner and offers THREE BATHROOMS, gas central heating, wood burning stove, West facing gardens and off street parking for several cars.

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MEET THE TEAM Daniel Carter MANAGING DIRECTOR Daniel has been an estate agent in the Ware and Hertford area for over 25 years and became Managing Director of Jonathan Hunt in 2006. He is driven by the core aim to provide a bespoke approach to each and every one of his clients. Having been born and brought up in the area, he has an extensive knowledge of the local property market and maintains a loyal and substantial client base. Daniel lives with his wife and two children in Hunsdon. He is a keen supporter of Ware Cricket and Rugby Clubs and is proud to be sponsors of both.

Simon Hill

MANAGING DIRECTOR

In 2007 Simon Hill opened the residential lettings business within the Jonathan Hunt brand. Since its inception, the business has grown to be one of Ware’s most prolific and recommended lettings agencies. Simon’s aim has always been to provide unsurpassed service to both landlords and tenants. Simon lives with his wife and two children in Ware.

Jake Shropshire BUNTINGFORD DIRECTOR

Jake and his family have lived and worked in East Hertfordshire for over four generations. With 20 years experience in the local property market and financial services, he offers our clients a clear and concise service while buying and selling property in the local area.

jonathan-hunt.co.uk


Ware 01920 411 090 Buntingford 01763 272 727 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Matthew Syme SENIOR NEGOTIATOR

Matthew is the new fresh face of Jonathan Hunt. Having joined us from another local agency, he is keen to assist in the future development of our growing business. He is an excellent Negotiator and is determined to give his clients the very best service.

Carol Wootton OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Carol is the calming voice at the end of the phone whose attention to detail ensures that your transaction runs smoothly from instruction to completion.

Kate Carter

MARKETING AND SALES NEGOTIATOR

Kate is passionate about providing each of our properties with the best possible exposure and promotion.

Ingrid Bagg LETTINGS MANAGER A key member of the team whose 17 years experience and professionalism is at the very heart of Jonathan Hunt Lettings success. Ingrid is committed to providing the very best service to our landlords and tenants.

Lorraine Knowles SALES NEGOTIATOR

Having raised her family in Buntingford, Lorraine has a love of the town and a very useful insight into the local schools and community.

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Jonathan Hunt - February 2020  

Jonathan Hunt - February 2020