MID-WINTER GETAWAYS: WILL YOU SHUN THE SHIVERS OR HIT THE SLOPES FOR YOUR MID-WINTER BREAK? PAGE 12
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Protect your home this Christmas
Last minute gift ideas for everyone
Cats adaptation set to prowl cinema screens
Editor’s Letter Welcome to the December issue! ‘Tis the season to be jolly! The countdown to the festivities has well and truly started but fear not; we have got lots inside to help you get prepared for Santa’s visit, as well as preparing you and your home for moving! Moving can be stressful at any time of the year but more so over Christmas and New Year celebrations as there are often lots of things to juggle, all at once: making your home festive and bright, preparing to welcome family and friends, and cooking dinner. Add packing up your home to the list and the to-do list can seem daunting. But fear not: inside this issue we give top tips on moving during one of the busiest times in your social calendar, as well as advice on how to keep your property safe and secure. And if you’re looking for a last minute gift idea or planning a new year escape, then we’ve got those covered too! Wishing you all a magical December. Until next time. Linda McKeown Editor
Deck the halls…
with moving boxes and wine Making the move out of an old house and into a new one in December can be a taxing time. But never fear: we are here to spread festive cheer with some excellent tips to help keep the magic alive during this hectic time
The Tree Buy an artificial tree. We all love the smell of a real Christmas tree, but do you want pine needles in all your moving boxes and around your new home? Artificial trees are easy to pack away and store for the next year and are available in a range of sizes too. They are also cost-effective and if you want a real tree when you’re settled, an artificial tree is great for a kid’s bedroom. Really Elf–ul Tip: Don’t buy an artificial tree with snow-effect spines, buy some snow spray and do it yourself!
Christmas Shopping If you are moving over the festive period, try to get your Christmas shopping done early to avoid rushing around at the last minute. This will give you time to settle into your new home, comfortable knowing that you have finished the Christmas shopping. You will also be able to store any presents in a safe place where they won’t get confused with moving boxes. Love a large Christmas dinner? Avoid busy supermarkets and order your food online early for delivery. When you get your food delivered, you can put it straight away without it overtaking your house. You can stock up for the whole month, saving you the trek to the shops over the busy festive period. Really Elf–ul Tip: Before doing an online food shop, search for any offers available, as most supermarkets do discounts on your first online food shop.
at the same time. Sort through old decorations before your move; if you have any sentimental decorations, keep them. Otherwise, why not buy new decorations for your new home? This way you may free up some boxes for moving while not having to search for the old decorations! Really Elf–ul Tip: Why not wrap used moving boxes in Christmas wrapping paper, ready to put under the tree to make your new home feel even more festive?
Practical Matters Get the heating system checked before you move. If your boiler needs servicing, arrange for a professional to do these jobs before you move. The last thing you need over the holidays is for your heating to break. If you have a log burner or oil heating, ensure you order your logs or oil before you move in. Winter is the busiest season for logs and oil, and you don’t want to be miserable without heat over the festive period.
If your boiler needs servicing, arrange for a professional to do these jobs before you move
No Scrooges Allowed! To keep Christmas spirit flowing, get your kids involved from day one. Keep advent calendars and get your children to write letters to Santa explaining they have moved. Find fun ways to keep the children festive; if you are moving to a new area, find out the best place to visit Santa and any other festive events taking place.
Mark your moving boxes to keep them separate from Christmas decorations. If you mark each box according to which room they are going into, this will make unpacking a lot easier. You could also mark boxes in matter of importance, so you know what needs to be unpacked straight away and what can wait until after the festive period.
If you plan on doing some work to your new home, leave it til after Christmas. You don’t want to be serving Christmas dinner in a half-finished dining room with a cold breeze blowing through. Also, because of the weather, any professionals you may get in will break up for the festive season themselves.
If you have children, you will already understand how many presents they receive over Christmas. Adding these new toys and games onto their already huge existing stash can seem impossible when packing to move. So, why not sit with your children, picking out their favourite toys, and any they no longer play with could be donated to charity. This way, you will have more space at your new home, plus you will have helped to make someone else’s Christmas.
When you are unpacking, this is a great time to bring out the festive cheer by putting up the decorations
Really Elf–ul Tip: Shop around for log and oil prices online. Just like broadband and insurance, there are some fantastic deals to be found.
Really Elf–ul Tip: Christmas movies and Christmas songs are a great way to keep everyone’s spirits up during this busy period.
Keep advent calendars and get your children to write letters to Santa explaining they have moved
‘Tis the season
to be careful
Follow these handy tips to make sure Santa isn’t the only one getting into your home during the festive season Christmas is a time for giving, receiving … and, unfortunately, taking. Recent crime figures show that incidents have spiked alarmingly over the two-week festive period and, astonishingly, most of those robberies and burglaries go unsolved. So, what can we do to stop any light-fingered characters casting a black cloud over what should be the brightest and happiest time of the year? Police and leading security experts believe there are many obvious signs registering with thieves that someone has been splashing the cash before Christmas or where Santa has been particularly generous. These include a large build-up of cardboard left alongside bins in the build-up and an abundance of boxes and gift-wrapping left waiting for kerbside collection afterwards. The advice is to break boxes down as small as possible to squeeze into the recycling bins then take them out as late as possible or, better still, take them to your local recycling centre as soon as you can. Aside from advertising your absence with posts on social media about spending the festivities at great aunt Hilda’s in Hartlepool or changing your home answerphone message to say: ‘’Hi, we’re not home right now, we’re off for a week in Val d’Isere and will be back on…’’, experts advise homeowners to take note of the following: Power points: Don’t power your external decorations by trailing an extension cable through a window. It can be an open invitation to burglars, and police say 30 per cent of burglaries occur through open windows.
Opt for solar or batteryoperated lights. Even better, install outdoor electrical outlets. Out of sight: Don’t put your wrapped presents around the Christmas tree if you are going out or away for a few days. If you do, make sure your curtains and blinds are drawn or give the impression someone is at home by keeping a light on, thanks to a programmed timer. The same goes for cars – keep your shopping out of sight in the boot. And lock it. Key to being safe: Don’t hide your house keys ‘in a safe place’ under the third flowerpot from the left on the patio or under the doormat ‘just in case’. Thieves will often look in obvious ‘safe’ places first to make entry easier. Also make sure any ladders are stowed away, and that sheds and garages are securely locked – you wouldn’t want that Christmas bike to get wheeled away or your new set of chisels helping an unwanted guest gain entry. Or, even worse, wind up at a car-boot sale. Paper trail: At any time of year, it’s good practice never to dispose of unwanted receipts and personal paperwork without shredding it. Obviously keep hold of warranty details – and the receipt for that jumper because you seriously under-estimated extra-large – but keep them safe. Take note: Don’t leave any notes for couriers telling them to leave parcels next door. It’s a sure sign the house is unoccupied, so always make sure you’ve given alternative arrangements to delivery companies.
Let a friend park on your drive to give the impression the house is still occupied
Plan ahead: If you are going away, remember to cancel milk or paper deliveries and let a friend park on your drive to give the impression the house is still occupied. If they are trusted neighbours, you could always let them have a key to clear post away from the front doormat. And don’t forget timers for key lights. Very illuminating: Deterrent is still the best form of protection. Safety first: It’s free Invest in a motionto register your sensor floodlight property on At any time of year, or even some Immobilise, which outdoor lights is a national it’s good practice never to highlight property to dispose of unwanted the exterior database of your home; police receipts and personal because even a can access paperwork without determined burglar and search if shredding it won’t fancy being lit suspected stolen up as he goes about property is recovered. his nocturnal activities. A police spokesman said: “Officers regularly Highlighting with decals search the houses of the fact your possessions are suspected criminals and also check security marked, registered on car boot sales and second-hand Immobilise (www.immobilise.com) dealers and we have a device that and, therefore, traceable gives any can identify stolen property if the potential intruder something else bar code is registered.” to think about. Light work: Make sure your outside decorations aren’t lit up during daylight hours. You could probably get away with it on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but not on the Monday after. Timers again can help, as can a neighbour with a key. Keep a watch on the neighbourhood: Even if you can’t afford the latest surveillance equipment, it costs nothing to keep an eye out for any suspicious-looking strangers on the street. They could be innocent, but they could also be scouting for victims.
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Christmas is fast approaching; and if you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for your loved ones, here we feature some of our favourite finds to help you along your way
The Everything Chocolate Collection This fab little selection of chocolate is perfect for any chocaholic. Featuring 40% Milk Puddles, Billionaire’s Shortbread, Chocolate Brownies, Salted Caramel Puddles, Patisserie Collection and selection of Nano Slabs. Yum! £27.50 www.hotelchocolat.co.uk
Ghd Platinum+ & Air Limited Edition Rose Gold Deluxe Set Surprise someone special with ghd’s most deluxe styling gift set yet. Includes award-winning Platinum+ styler, Air hair dryer and smart vanity case. Ergonomic design ideal for left and right handed users. £298
The Yankee Candle and Pink Rose Bouquet Mix Containing a selection of official Yankee Candle votives, silk roses and chocolate, all presented in a bouquet, this unique gift is ideal for any candle and chocolate lover. Featuring 5 votive candles, silk roses and a choice of chocolate. £31.95 www.celebrategifts.co.uk
Space NK x Selfish Mother Set Working with Molly Gunn, founder of the Selfish Mother blog and the FMLY Store, Space NK have created a kit of musthave beauty treats for skin and hair. £5+VAT from every sale goes to national domestic abuse charity Refuge. £30
Bomb Cosmetics Superheroes Saviour Gift Pack
English Pewter Company Tumbler
Give your very own superhero a treat that they can indulge in! Containing Shower Gel, Soap, Bath Mallow, Bath Blaster, it’s sure to help lift their mood.
This 11oz tumbler measures 9cm in height and has an elegant pewter base to both add style and to give the tumbler a satisfying weight when being used. Main 100% pewter. Outer 100% glass.
Leather Belt Gift Set Cut from leather with a subtle grained texture, this belt from Ted Baker showcases a sleek metal buckle with branded loop, while its reverse is accented in a contrasting finish. Presented in a stylish box. £55 www.tedbaker.com
Personalised Bedside Watch and Phone Stand
Stylish, contemporary and made by Mijmoj Design, this handcrafted solid walnut or oak personalised bedside watch stand is perfect for that hard-to-buy-for man in your life. Featuring luxury grey or brown leather detail. Can be personalised with front and back engravings. £39.95
ALL PRICES CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRINT
Monopoly Toy Story
With the recent release of Toy Story 4, now you can get in on the action with this special edition Monopoly. Choose to play as Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, Jessie, Alien, or Rex while you journey around the gameboard visiting some of the favourite places featured in the Toy Story films such as Andy’s Room and Al’s Toy Barn. For two to six players. £24
David Walliams Box Set This funky and colourful set of books includes David Walliams’ The Boy in the Dress, Ratburger, Mr Stink, Billionaire Boy and Gangsta Granny. Perfect for any avid bookworm. £34.99 www.very.co.uk
Emoji Game The perfect card game for the kids! Will you be the first player to collect a suite of emojis before your rivals? And who will be crowned emoji king or queen in this fun and frantic family game? £8
15-Piece Toy China Tea Set Inspire imaginative play with this fine china set that’s been designed for little hands. Includes teacups and saucers, milk, sugar jugs and a teapot. £10 www.johnlewis.com
Christmas Tails Santa Belt Dog Socks Red
2019 top ten Christmas toys
Get your pet into the holiday spirit with these Santa belt socks, featuring a Santa belt pattern in a pull-on style with elastic at top. £5 www.petsathome.co.uk
If you’re wondering what the must-have toys are this year, according to toy retailer, Smyths, these are the top ten!
Fur Real Friends Cubby The Curious Bear, £69.99
PAW Patrol Super PAWs Mighty Jet Command Centre, £49.99
LEGO 75957 Harry Potter The Knight Bus, £27.99
Pets Alive Boppi the Booty Shakin’ Llama, £19.99
L.O.L Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper Playset, £99.99
Ryan’s World Giant Mystery Egg Gold, £49.99
Barbie Travel DreamPlane, £59.99
NERF Fortnite AR-E Motorised Blaster, £7.99
Push ‘N Talk Forky 22cm Action Figure Toy Story 4, £24.99
Disney Frozen 2 Arendelle castle, £159.99
Cardboard Cat DJ Scratching Deck This Cat Scratching Pad enables your furry pet to scratch away – in style – without fear of ruining the furniture! Comes as a flat pack cardboard kit: no glue is required. £24.99 www.fun.co.uk
ALL PRICES CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRINT
to hit cinema screens
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s successful West End and Broadway musical, Cats, is recognised as being one of the most successful musicals of all time and has now been adapted for the big screen Since 1981, the musical Cats has been a massive stage hit around the world and now this holiday season, the live action remake is hitting cinemas up and down the UK. Cats is based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’; a book dating back to 1939. It was written by T.S Eliot and contains many different but linked poems telling the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the one night every year when they make the “Jellicle choice” which decides which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. The film, which is based on the stage musical, is directed by Tom Hooper who is most noted for his previous box office hit Les Misérables which he directed in 2012. The production also involves other Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg and choreographer Andy Blankenbuerhler, with screenplay by Lee Hall (Billy Elliott). The stage show has millions of adoring fans across the globe, many of whom have seen the show on multiple occasions, so the film has, in their eyes, a lot to live up to. Since the film’s trailer was released in July of this year, it has received mixed reviews. Many described the animated felines as “horrifying” or “cursed”; however, fans of the poems have praised this as being closer to T.S Eliot’s original concept.
Cats is based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’; a book dating back to 1939
Due to the success of the stage musical, the film was always going to need a stellar cast and with big names such as; James Corden, Sir Ian McKellan, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Dame Judi Dench, the film adaptation is most definitely in good hands. The most important question for Cats’ fans however is who would take on the role of Grizabella, whose song ‘Memories’ is possibly the most iconic song from the musical. This was originally sung by Elaine Paige and in the film, this role is taken by Hollywood star Jennifer Hudson. The film is due for release on 20th December 2019 and although there is little information regarding the film, it appears that it will make use of cutting-edge motion capture technology and CGI techniques to transform the actors into their cat personalities. This has caused much division amongst die-hard fans, with the first trailer being negatively received. However, Andrew Lloyd Webber is on board with the new direction of his musical: so much so, that he has written a new song to be included in the film.
p u k o o C a feast! Image used for illustration purposes
Put a twist on your Christmas dinner this year by offering your guests this moist Christmas turkey roll created by chef Tom Kerridge. It features a crunchy topping and a bacon stuffing
Roast turkey roll
Preparation time: less than 30 mins Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours Serves: 6-8
For the crumble topping
• • • •
100g/31/2oz pork scratchings 1 00g/31/2oz sourdough bread, broken into pieces and baked until crisp 100g/31/2oz shelled pistachios, roughly chopped 50g/13/4oz dried cranberries, roughly chopped 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves 1 orange, zest only
For the stuffing mix
• • • • • • • • • • •
00g/1lb 12oz sausage meat 8 400g/14oz onion, finely chopped and fried until translucent 100g/31/2oz cooked and peeled chestnuts, finely chopped 160g/51/2oz fresh breadcrumbs 1 bunch fresh sage, chopped 2 tsp salt 3 tsp cracked black pepper 100g/31/2oz dried cranberries 1 tbsp juniper berries, crushed 20 rashers smoked streaky bacon (approximately 250-300g/9-101/2oz)
For the turkey • • •
-2.2kg/4lb 8oz-5lb boneless and skinless turkey breast 2 140g/5oz brown sauce bread sauce, to serve
Method 1. For the crumble topping, crush the pork scratchings and the sourdough pieces in a bowl. Add the pistachios, cranberries and thyme. Mix with your hands and set aside in a covered container. 2. For the stuffing, mix all ingredients together apart from the bacon. 3. Trim any bits of fat or membrane from the turkey. With a sharp knife, open out the turkey breast as if you are butterflying it. Place the turkey between two sheets of cling film and flatten it out a little with a rolling pin. 4. Cut two large pieces of aluminium foil and lay the turkey breast on top. Season with salt and pepper. Spread a generous dollop of the stuffing mix in a 5mm/1/4in layer onto the turkey breast and then use the foil to help you roll it up like a Swiss roll. Completely encase the turkey in the two layers of foil and secure with cook's string at regular intervals along the length of the roll. Place in the fridge until needed. 5. Preheat the oven to 120C/250F/Gas1/2. 6. Add 400ml/14floz boiling water to a deep roasting tin. Place a wire rack in the tin and place the rolled turkey breast on top.
Cover the roasting tin with aluminium foil. 7. Roast in the oven for 11/2-2 hours, then check the core temperature with a meat thermometer. You are looking for a temperature of 70C/160F. If it is not ready, place back into the oven and continue to cook. Once cooked, remove from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and set aside to rest for 40 minutes. When cool, remove the string and foil. 8. For the stuffing, preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line a terrine mould or flameproof bowl with the streaky bacon, leaving some excess hanging over the sides. Pack the mould with the remaining stuffing mix and wrap the bacon over the top. 9. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the middle has reached 70C/160F on a meat thermometer. When cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. 10. After 20 minutes, turn out the stuffing and pat dry. Heat the grill to hot, then grill the stuffing until the bacon is crisp. 11. When rested, remove the turkey from the roasting tin and brush a thick layer of brown sauce over the top. Cover with the Christmas crumble mix, top with a little orange
zest and serve straight away with the stuffing. This recipe, and more, can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/toms_turkey_roll_with_44115
It’s one of the great modern-day dilemmas for holidays at this time of year: shun the shivers for sunnier climes or embrace the cold and hit the slopes. It’s time to choose…
Daylight hours are short, invariably grey, damp, dismal. Christmas always passes in a blur of twinkling lights and belt-straining over-indulgence. Equally, the New Year sails past in a symphony of popping corks and already-broken resolutions. Of course, the antidote to January and days when you can’t feel your toes is to slide those same toes into
a warm, azure sea or thick socks and snug snow boots en-route to a day on the slopes. If the bank balance can take the strain, there’s nothing quite like the boost of a midwinter break for recharging batteries run down by excess and extravagance. But do you blow the Christmas bonus and annual pay-rise or do it on a budget?
Life's a beach SCRIMP: TENERIFE
Brits have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Tenerife, largely because in summer it’s hot, tacky and rammed with tourists. In January, it’s almost the opposite: average temperatures have recently been 20 degrees C, there are four wet days during the month, and it’s easier to get out and see the real Canaries’ culture. Car hire is reasonable, making the Teide National Park and Siam Park waterpark accessible. Plus you can get flights from £54 (Ryanair.com) and plan your own break while TUI’s seven-day holidays start at £330 per person (tui.co.uk). SPLASH: BARBADOS
Just as Britain is shivering in January, one of our outposts, Barbados, is similarly suffering one of its coldest months – at a mere 28 degrees C. If island culture is your thing, slurping a rum cocktail while lounging on a white sandy beach takes some beating.
Imagine colonial splendour against a cloudless sky and you’re halfway there. It’s not as eye-wateringly expensive as you might think with seven-night breaks from £891 (britishairways. com) – you may even catch some cricket where rain, possibly on ten days a month, stops play. SPLURGE: DUBAI
The sky’s the limit here. Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, the staggering 828m Burj Khalifa, some of the world’s most opulent hotels, amazing shopping, both traditional and modern… and skiing. In the desert, or to be precise, at the Mall of the Emirates. With penguins. So, you get the best of both worlds. As well as average temperatures of 24 degrees C, the Dubai Shopping Festival runs throughout January to test your retail resilience. As for hotels, tropicalsky.co.uk offer five nights at the Doubletree by Hilton on Marjan Island for £759. Alternatively, if there’s someone in your life you really need to impress – or grovel to – Tropical Sky can get you five nights in the seven-star rated Burj al Arab for a princely £3,249 per person.
If island culture is your thing, slurping a rum cocktail while lounging on a white sandy beach takes some beating
The slippery slopes SCRIMP: SÖLL, AUSTRIA
Most armchair skiers will be familiar with Kitzbühel but only the enthusiasts will know Söll, which shares some of its famous neighbour’s ski area. The Kitzbüheler Alpen AllStarCard covers 10 Austrian ski areas including Kitzbühel, St Johann in Tirol and the new area of Alpbachtal and Wildschönau – more than 1,000km of piste – for £188 for six days. Right in the centre lies Söll, which has a lively après-ski atmosphere and where seven nights B&B in mid-January will cost from £485 (crystalski. co.uk). The slight disadvantage is the slopes are about 1km from town. SPLASH: ZERMAT, SWITZERLAND
With the magnificent Matterhorn as a backdrop, Zermatt is a wintersport enthusiast’s dream with 350km of trails and slopes. Here you can ski over a mountain pass in Switzerland and down into a trail in another country – the Matterhorn’s southern face is in Italy, and skiing over the Theodul Pass leads into the immense trail system of Breuil-Cervinia in the Val d’Aosta. Transfer time from Geneva is more than two hours but the skiing is well worth it. Igluski.com have some good offers with seven nights in mid-January setting you back £969 for a mid-range hotel.
SPLURGE: ASPEN, USA
The resort to be seen in, whether you intend to tackle the slopes or not. The sport in the iconic Colorado town matches the resort’s celebrity status with four separate areas – known as the Aspen Snowmass – to challenge skiers of all standards. The adventurous head for Aspen Mountain, the beginners tackle Buttermilk, and the hung-over stick to the centre of the Victorian town with its posh boutiques and replenish their calorie intake in the wide-ranging restaurants. There is, of course, an area the locals frequent where prices are a little more reasonable. Hotels are equally far-ranging, with americanskiclassics.com offering January holidays from £2,113 to £3,231, which includes ski rentals and lift passes.
If the bank balance can take the strain, there’s nothing quite like the boost of a midwinter break for recharging batteries
It’s been a spectacular year for English sport; here we look through some of the highs
Motor Racing Lewis Hamilton won his sixth world title in November with a second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix. The title moves him up to second in the all-time list, leaving him just one behind Michael Schumacher. In what he has called, “his toughest season ever”, Hamilton only won two races out of seven before the United States race. The 35-year-old has now set his sights on a seventh world title and more with the suggestion that his skills have yet to peak. This was his third title in a row, and it is hard to see anyone stopping him next year.
Football The Premier League is still the ultimate football championship in the world, shrugging off Ligue 1, the Bundesliga and La Liga. Yes, players still clamber to play for Real Madrid and Barcelona, but with worldclass managers like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League it is, without doubt, the most competitive league around. This was shown by English teams winning not one European competition, but two, this year in Liverpool in the Champions League, and Chelsea in the Europa League.
Lewis Hamilton won his sixth world title in November with a second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix
England may have lost the Ashes, but they were unstoppable in the ICC World Cup. After a sluggish start, losing to Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan they then produced some of the most exciting cricket of the year to beat New Zealand on boundary count after the game was tied at 241 runs. It was England’s first time winning the competition and hopes were high going into the Ashes against Australia, and despite some edge of your seat cricket and tournament stealing performances from Ben Stokes, Australia ended up victorious.
Rugby Union For one match the England Rugby team, led by Owen Farrell, made us
believe this was our year at the Rugby World Cup. After sailing through the group stages and into the knockout rounds, England impressed with a 40-16 win over Australia in the quarterfinal and an even more impressive defeat of New Zealand 19-7 in the semi-final; giving us all flashbacks of Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson, Lawrence Dallaglio et al. Unfortunately, the final was where it all fell apart (or picked apart) by a South Africa team who had steamrollered every team in their path, remaining undefeated throughout the tournament.
Sports Personality of the Year With such a blistering array of talent, here are our picks of some of the standout performers in their sports this year.
Raheem Sterling, football: The standout English player in the Premier League over the past year. Once misunderstood, it’s not only his football prowess that stands him out from the rest but his work for local communities and his stance on racism in the game.
Ben Stokes, cricket: Cricket all-rounder Stokes won the ‘Professional Cricketers’ Association player of the year award’ after helping England to their historic World Cup win, followed by his incredible unbeaten 135 in the Ashes.
Dina Asher- -Smith, athletics: Sprinter Asher-Smith won 200m gold and 100m silver at the IAAF world championships and helped the 4x1000m team to a silver place finish. Asher-Smith and fellow athlete Johnson-Thompson are the stars needed to pique interest in athletics in the build-up to the Olympics next year.
T ‘ theis
Ornaments are a great and easy way to make your house festive with no Blu-tac or Sellotape. You could go classical with wooden nutcrackers or more modern with light-up LED Santa’s and reindeers. There are plenty of options for external ornaments as well such as wicker reindeers with LED lighting and snowmen. A favourite will always be an automotive train on a track around the bottom of the Christmas tree!
A Christmas tree is always the centrepiece of any living room during the festive season. Whether you are planning on a real tree or a fake tree, pick out a colour scheme early on so you can colour match your baubles and tinsel. One of our favourites is a classical colour scheme incorporating simple reds, silvers and whites. Alternatively, you could go more natural with real wood decorations for your tree such as pinecones you’ve picked up over autumn.
to get creative with your decorations! With Christmas fast approaching, you’ll be thinking about decorating your home. Here are some easy ways to get your property festive – and fast
cheer this year. Why not create your own with pinecones and snow spray or tinsel, or go even bolder and make use of last years’ Christmas baubles?
Don’t pull a Clark Griswold this year with your Christmas lights! Subtle colours such as warm white or ice blue are very ontrend this year. You can create a lovely icicle effect with blue lights hanging from staircases or around your windows. Multicolour lights are still popular, especially if you have children. These look best when hanging from a Christmas tree.
Leftover wrapping paper from last Christmas? Why not make use of it by wrapping up empty boxes and placing them under your tree early to create a lovely festive mood in your home – with the added insurance that your partner or little ones won’t ruin their surprise when they try to sneak a peek?
holiday season and are available in festive scents such as Winter Spice, Berry and Pine Cone, Gingerbread and Mulled Wine.
Models & Scenes
Another lovely way to set the scene this Christmas are musical and light-up Christmas scenes such as Musical Villages scenes, Christmas Carousels and singing father Christmases. These wonderful ornaments are perfect for completing your home this Christmas and look fab when above a feature fireplace or in the window.
Christmas is a time of joy and a time for family; so, remember not to stress out when untangling the Christmas lights or when the tinsel breaks!
& Christmas Wreaths Candles other scents Christmas wreaths are a classic way to add some classy festive spirit to your property before you even step inside. With fake or real options available, wreaths are an inexpensive way to add some Christmas
Nothing says Christmas like the smell of the Christmas tree and freshly baked cookies and cakes. Candles and wax melts are a great way to keep your home smelling festive throughout the
Meadow Dale Drive, Admaston, TF5 0DL
This superbly presented and much improved four bedroom detached house is located in this highly sought after residential location and it offers excellent modern family living. The ground floor comprises entrance hallway, 24ft refitted open plan kitchen/dining/family room, 19ft sitting room, conservatory/dining room and a ground floor wc. The first floor features master bedroom with en-suite shower, three further good sized bedrooms and a family bathroom. The property benefits from a good sized plot with driveway parking, detached double garage and front and rear gardens.
Dalefield Drive, Admaston, TF5 0DP
This superbly presented four bedroom detached house is located in this highly sought after residential location and it offers excellent modern family living. The ground floor comprises entrance hallway, 24ft refitted open plan kitchen/dining/family room, 19ft sitting room, conservatory/dining room and a ground floor wc. The first floor features master bedroom with en-suite shower, three further good sized bedrooms and a family bathroom. The property benefits from a good sized plot with driveway parking, detached double garage and front and rear gardens.
CALL FOR A FREE VALUATION
Tern Lane, Longdon upon Tern, TF6 6LN
Stunning opportunity to purchase this 5 bedroom detached farmhouse with approximately 2.5acres of land and extensive outbuildings. Malt house farm is located in the highly sought after village location of Longdon-Upon-Tern that is convenient for Shrewsbury, Telford and Newport. The house offers fantastic flexible family accommodation and the ground floor of the main farmhouse comprises breakfast kitchen, three separate reception rooms, utility room, boot room and a ground floor wc. The first floor has five bedrooms and two bathrooms. Malt House has a range of outbuildings/store rooms that extend to over 7900sqft.
Holly Acres Park Homes, Long Lane, TF6 6HD £159,995
Internal inspection is essential for this superb spacious two double bedroom park home that still feels new inside. The home is located on this highly popular site for over 55’s only in this semi-rural location that has good access to Telford, Newport and Shrewsbury. The property comprises a stunning 19ft open plan kitchen/dining room with vaulted ceilings and fitted appliances, 19ft sitting room with vaulted ceilings, superb master bedroom suite with walk in wardrobe and en-suite shower, guest bedroom with fitted wardrobes and a separate bathroom. The Park home occupies a fantastic plot with driveway parking, gardens that back on to a former canal.
Horton Lane, TF6 6DT
This spacious bedroom detached family home is located in a semi-rural location that is within a few minutes walk to the popular The Queens public house. The Acorns offers well planned family living accommodation, the ground floor comprises entrance hallway, 23ft living room with feature inglenook style fireplace, separate sitting room, open plan kitchen/dining room with snug and separate dining room off, utility room and ground floor wc. The first floor features master bedroom with en-suite shower and walk in dressing room, four further bedrooms and a family bathroom with bath and separate shower cubicle. The property occupies a good sized plot and has extensive driveway frontage, good sized double garage and landscaped gardens with views over open fields.
Birchfield Way, Lawley Village, TF3 5HU
Internal inspection is highly recommended for this spacious four bedroom detached family home that is located in the highly popular location of Lawley. The ground floor comprises entrance hallway, 20ft open plan kitchen/dining/family room, sitting room, dining room, utility and ground floor wc. The first floor features a master bedroom with en-suite shower, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom. The property benefits from driveway parking, garage, landscaped gardens, gas central heating and double glazing.
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Strawberry Moor, Lawley, TF3 5JG
This much improved three bedroom detached house is located on this highly popular development. The property occupies a good sized plot and offers spacious family accommodation, the ground floor comprises entrance hallway, sitting room, open plan kitchen/dining room, utility room and a ground floor wc. The first floor features master bedroom with fitted wardrobes and en suite shower, guest bedroom with fitted wardrobes, a good sized third bedroom and a family bathroom. The property benefits from driveway parking, garage, landscaped gardens, gas central heating, double glazing and has no upward chain.
Crofters View, Little Wenlock, TF6 5AU
Internal inspection is essential for this five bed detached house located in this lovely village location. The property offers fantastic flexible family accommodation, the ground floor comprises reception hallway, great sized sitting room with feature fireplace with log burning stove, dining room, study, breakfast kitchen with central island and bi-fold doors to the large conservatory, ground floor wc and utility room. To the first floor the property has galleried landing, master bedroom with en-suite shower, four bedrooms and a refitted family bathroom. Crofters View features stunning landscaped gardens, driveway parking, double garage, oil fired central heating and double glazing.
ANTHONY LOWE - BUYER I was satisfied in every way with the service I received, itâ€™s a lovely bright airy office with a good frontage onto Market Street so just from the window it was a pleasure to look to see what properties were coming onto the market day-by-day. I would frequently walk in and engage with different members of staff, all of which were equally friendly. I would recommend Mannleys to family and friends as they offer a full service.
MR & MRS REYNOLDS - SELLER They were all very professional and pleasant and a pleasure to deal with.
LI ZHOU - LANDLORD I found them very helpful, they helped me from day 1 after I had bought my properties and again when they gave me advice on how to make my properties stand out and again very good rental return.
LIAM KING - LANDLORD Their main USP is theyâ€™re very young, very dynamic, very hard working, they work 24/7 their marketing is superb, their logo and their colours make them stand out from all the others.
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WHAT OUR CLIENTS HAVE TO01952 SAY245064
RICHARD BAILEY - LANDLORD They say they’ll do everything and they do it, they follow it up well the staff have enough initiative to chase a problem up and then come back to you.
DAVE MORRIS - LANDLORD They’re big enough to deal with any day-today problems, but small enough to care.
BILL STONE - LANDLORD I think they differ from the rest because they’re more professional but they’re down to earth as well they’re straightforward guys that I can get along with.
STUART ELLIS - SELLER I’d use Mannleys again without question due to them being trustworthy, reliable and the affordability of it.
AARON MANLEY - DIRECTOR Since leaving school and heading for a career on the building site Aaron or (AJ) had a two weeks work experience in a local estate agent and never returned to mixing cement. He in fact went on to pass his industry exams and he has now been involved in the property sector for 20 years. He gained a wealth of knowledge working his way up from tea boy to running his own office, and in 2008 set up his own lettings and management business in the local area. After 8 successful years the opportunity to expand and grow came along and the business re-formed into Mannleys Estate Agents where he is one of the Directors. AJ loves all aspects of sport and enjoys a round of golf, watching football and has the occasional tip for the geegee’s.
SIMON O’TOOLE - DIRECTOR Simon is a very entrepreneurial character who has been in business in the Telford area for a number of years. Previously having his own builders merchants “Wrekin Building Supplies” supplying builders across the county and beyond with materials for years, Simon is now a Director with Mannleys on the land and new homes side of the business and is very well-known and has an amazing portfolio of contacts. He has a special gift in business with a proven track record. Simon is very well-connected, he has a soft spot for hot food, and enjoys all sports including, football, boxing, horseracing and is involved in a horse racing syndicate.
CHRIS MANN - DIRECTOR I have over 24 years in estate agency, the journey began in 1995 as a trainee soon progressing after only two years to office manager. I enjoy all aspects of the property market and through my time I have gained a great insight into the Shropshire property market, this giving me excellent knowledge of the property world enabling me to offer our clients professional advice. The creation of Mannleys began in 2016 and setting up Mannleys with such a great team has been an amazing journey and I am so proud of what our company has already achieved. In what spare time I do get!! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, enjoying plenty of travel, I love cooking especially with my kids and enjoy most sport’s particularly football and cricket.
DANIELLE RICHARDS - SALES NEGOTIATOR Danielle started working as an apprentice sales negotiator in 2014 at an agents in Telford before joining Mannleys in 2017. She has a keen interest in property after growing up watching her father and uncles build and renovate different properties. Danielle has just completed her first renovation project of her own and is hoping to find her next very soon! In her spare time she enjoys socialising with friends, watching reality TV, shopping and Hinching! She has expanded her knowledge within lettings since working at Mannleys and is currently working towards completing the NAEA technical award.
LYDIA MOORE - SALES NEGOTIATOR Lydia joined Mannleys Sales and Lettings in 2018, she has previously worked for two other agents where she started off as a trainee lettings negotiator. In the last six years Lydia had gained experience in residential sales and lettings. Lydia enjoys the fast pace work environment at Mannleys and seeing the whole process throughout weather that be moving a tenant in or a sale completing. At the moment Lydia is currently working towards the NAEA Technical Award in residential Sales and Lettings which she is due to take later this year. In her spare time she enjoys horse riding and is a keen cook!
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01952TEAM 245064 MEET OUR
JACK O’TOOLE - MARKETING Jack has been working with Mannleys since it opened in 2016. Always smart and looking the part Jack was a shy and nervous young man, three years on he has worked his way up to be a young confident and charismatic individual who has completed his apprenticeship within Mannleys. He has now taken on an important role within the business as marketing manager which involves property photography and drawing floorplans. He is already deeply into his college photography night course and is working towards becoming EPC qualified. Jack tends to be an active individual who’s main interests involve the gym, computers and he is one hell of a dancer!
CHERYL WEYMOUTH - PROPERTY MANAGEMENT I never even thought of being an Estate Agent, but after coming back from London as a Nanny, way back then…. I saw an advert and thought ‘why not’ ..and have now been in the Industry since 1987 ! starting in Wellngton, I have worked all around Shropshire and now back full circle. Most of my career has been in the Sales department, so a new challenge working in Lettings, something different every day. My main passion is travelling, love seeing the world, had the privilege of taking 3 months off from work and going to Australia and America, and when I retire, may become a bit of a nomad and travel the world, but until then, I love what I do, and work with a great team.
HELEN MITCHELL-GOUGH - PROPERTY MANAGEMENT I started with the company in 2017 initially taken on in the Lettings department Part time, to help out with Maintenace, that soon changed ! with the business growing so rapidly so have the hours, but I love it. My previous life was mostly in Retail Management but I left to have a career break whilst nurturing my 2 sons and helping my husbands new founded business, Q Financial, which now also works in conjunction with Mannleys. I love socialising and eating out in nice restaurants and I have a passion for collecting different Gins.
SARAH CHARD - PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Sarah came to Mannleys in 2019 with many years of PA, HR and operational management experience. She is very involved in Wellington and project managed the building of Wellington Orbit before coming to us. She works in our lettings department 2 days a week and works the rest of the week for other local small businesses. Out of work Sarah loves to travel, and spend time with her dog, her 2 grown up children and husband (in that order!)
ROSIE CURRAN - APPRENTICE Joining Mannleys in July 2019 as an Apprentice, Rosie has been introduced to the team as a Sales and Lettings Administrator Apprentice. She has ambition to become a fully qualified member of the team to fulfil her career aspirations in estate agency. Rosie wants to complete additional training within estate agency so she can gain more skills in the area. She enjoys different aspects of sales and lettings and hopes to achieve a successful career with Mannleys. She is a determined, has a strong desire to succeed and is delightful to have round the workplace. During her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, travelling, going shopping and walking her dog Harvey!
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Why did you buy the house? The location near school How long have you lived there? 5 years What is the best feature? The open plan living space A deceptively spacious and extended detached house located in the corner of this popular cul-de-sac enjoying a large corner plot garden with lovely far reaching views to the rear. The property further benefits from double glazing, a single garage and off road parking together with electric heating
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