COOK THE ULTIMATE XMAS DINNER OUR TOP RECIPES TO IMPRESS THIS YEAR TOP INTERIOR DESIGN THE TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR NEXT YEAR
NEW YEAR, NEW YOU KICK OFF 2021 WITH A NEW MINDSET
MUST SEE XMAS TV OUR GUIDE TO WHATâ€™S ON THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
XMAS GIFT GUIDE WHAT ARE THE HOTTEST GIFTS THIS XMAS
CONTENTS COVER STORY
Great Christmas recipes Our guide to some special festive recipes to impress your guests
Interior design trends Inspiration for new designs for your living space
Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market
About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice
Christmas gift guide Alternative gift ideas for your nearest and dearest
The Ultimate New Years Eve Despite the restrictions this year, you can still bring in 2021 with a bang!
New Year. New You The perfect time to action positive change and start afresh
A guide to Christmas TV Here are our top picks for Christmas day viewing
Garden jobs for the winter Now is the time to lay the groundwork for the spring
Darts Championship preview A look ahead to what the Darts tournament has to offer
WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER ISSUE!
he property market is thriving with a second surge during lockdown 2.0 and house prices increasing to record levels. This is all good news coming into 2021.
Rounding this all off we have a preview of the Darts World Championships, a guide to the hottest interior design trends for 2021 and jobs for your garden over the winter period.
In this month’s magazine, we are getting all festive with some great features including a fabulous gift guide as well as some mouthwatering recipes for the big day, and of course, your guide to the must-see Christmas TV this year.
Please note, we are doing our best to be accurate, but in these strange times, all dates and availability may change, however, were correct at the time of writing.
However, it’s not all about Christmas. New year’s eve may look a little different this year, so we have a feature about how to throw the ultimate New year’s eve party at home and ideas for this year’s New Year’s resolutions.
ith the new year coming up, it might be time to start thinking of new designs for your living space, so here we are with some inspiration to set you on your way.
With lockdown, interior design has been a focus this year for lots of people
So get cosy with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, put on a festive movie and relax with us. Till next time. Jonathan Wheatley Editor
(Biophilia (meaning love of nature) focuses on human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes.) It was a trend once, and has become a trend once more. It fell out of fashion briefly in the 90’s, but now it’s back, greener than ever. Perhaps this year’s pandemic has opened our eyes to the simpler things in life, and nature, with lots of us spending much more time in our gardens than previously. A biophilic design combines nature with architecture as a way to improve our health, psyche and overall ecosystem. We think the next decade will see a growth in reclaimed wood, hanging plants, green walls and large green installations. Not only do they bring colour and vibrancy to a home, they also freshen the air, filter out pollutants and release oxygen.
INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS
FOR THE NEW YEAR DISTANT SHORES
Distant shores is a trend which evokes images of the laid-back lifestyle of Hawaii and tropical getaways everywhere. Offering a calm and relaxing living space to make a home a safe and inviting place to recharge, this design offers a contemporary edge to a classic floral design, featuring tropical brights, subtle monotones and soft lemons.
A biophilic design combines nature with architecture as a way to improve our health, psyche and overall ecosystem
Aqua and inky blues offers a calm and contemporary look, capturing relaxing pool sides and beach getaways, aqua and inky blues offer a calm, contemporary look. It’s one which reflects a shift towards tranquil yet modern interiors with a colour known for its association with peace, calm and comfort. Following the pandemic’s lockdowns, the peaceful design of ocean blues, which varies from deep inky tones to soft aquas, will perfectly encapsulate the peace and calm we all need in our homes today.
A KITCHEN’S INVISIBLE HANDLES
In modern times, kitchens, perhaps more than any other room in a home, has taken a noticeable and significant evolutionary journey. Invisible hardware, in many cases, has replaced handles and pulls on drawers and cabinets (especially the oversized ones). Ranging from push latches, a mechanical or magnetic device installed inside the cabinet allowing you to open the cabinet by pushing the door, to integrated handles where you can pull drawers thanks to inwardly bevelled
edges, and more simple solutions such as hidden pulls affixed to the top edge of each door so that just a sliver juts out. The objective is to have a minimal space with a seamless and sleek look.
This is a trend which is inspired by earthy color palettes and warm, natural textures, pairing perfectly with wooden, woven and rattan home accessories. Influenced
ARTS AND CRAFTS
It’s an idea many have indulged in this year particularly, in many cases for the first time, being a new-found love and a concept fit for interior design. Embracing the iconic 19th century movement, born out of the industrial revolution, the arts and crafts designs aim to reform how things were made and reverse the damaging effects of machine-dominated production, increasing the value of hand-made, decorative pieces.
This design incorporates classic art, antiques and pieces with history, bringing a sense of harmony and order to any living space. The soft furnishings, embracing ornate scrolls, courtly stripes and classic damasks, all work toward the idea of symmetry, thus contrasting other bolder, more graphic geometrics. Those with an appetite for history will love the idea of this design.
Moving forward in time slightly, and we have the vintage design. Antique, repurposed, salvaged and retro pieces all have their place in a vintage scheme. The key is to use strong colours but also a less-is-more approach, resulting in a vibrant, cohesive aesthetic. Contrast is also a defining feature to this design. Luxe elements such as rich fabrics and statement lighting go a long way to creating a modern note.
by wildlife and African plains, its bold, safari feel offers itself as a key trend for the season across both interiors and fashion. Warmer tones are now often being favoured over cooler greys – a key interior trend that can be easily translated into the home.
PAST, PRESENTS AND FUTURE After a miserable year it’s time to spread a little goodwill and cheer with your nearest and dearest, but will a bottled gold nest-egg be top of your shopping list?
magine waking on Christmas morning to discover an inspired Santa has left a bottle of Macallan 18-year-old single malt whisky instead of the usual socks and smellies. Imagine looking at the box, mentally savouring that perfectly-balanced amber nectar which has been matured over several years in both European and American sherry-seasoned oak casks to deliver a sweeter taste and character. Imagine the soft clink of ice cubes, the wonderful sensation as the liquid gold rolls across your palate and caresses your tonsils. Imagine all that … as that’s all you’re going to do. Imagine. Because if you’re shrewd, that box is going straight in the cupboard, unopened, hopefully to be joined annually by a few more to form a collection which could prove to be a nice little earner. Whisky, you see, is a hot little investment, particularly the Macallan, widely regarded
as the Rolls Royce of single malts. Hang on to them long enough and they will turbo-charge your pension pot. Still sceptical? Well, a single bottle, bottled in 1983 after a 17-year maturation period in a sherry cask, can change hands for more than £6,000, while earlier this year a man who had been given a bottle by his father every year since his birth sold the lot for
£44,000 and used it as a deposit for his first house. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. In turbulent times, investors have turned to their own ‘safe havens’ to protect their wealth, gold being the obvious favourite. However, Scotland’s own golden export has been outperforming the precious metal, classic cars, coins and even jewellery with experts pointing to a staggering 582per cent growth in the market over the last 10 years. But if your patience threshold is lower than interest rates, then hanging around for Santa’s benevolence to pay dividends just isn’t going to do the business. So, with that in mind … Instead of whisky, perhaps you’re a Bacardi and Coke type, in which case Saint Nick could do you a massive favour and leave the Bacardi Mixing Console, a retro-looking piece from famed designer Hugh Miller and the makers of the world-renowned white rum to create a piece of furniture – think 1970s-style radiogram combining a high-spec audio turntable and cocktail bar for the ultimate in cool mixing. At £1,700, however, it’s going to put a massive dent in the Christmas budget. Or if bubbles are your thing, Fortnum & Mason offer a personalised bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne. The Champagne, from the Grand Cru region of Chouilly, come with a personalised message as well as a label bearing the name of a brand synonymous with luxury, so it’s a snip at £44.50.
Well, a single bottle, bottled in 1983 after a 17-year maturation period in a sherry cask, can change hands for more than £6,000,
Alternatively, another of our national retail treasures, Selfridges, have a limited-edition personalised tin for their tempting bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial Rose NV Champagne for a mere £58.99.
However, what better way to sum up this pandemic-blighted year than a personalised face mask (£14)? As we’ve spent most of this year with the lower halves of our faces covered, why not go one step further and have a mask complete with a portrait of your loved one? At least people will remember what they look like when out and about.
All this alcohol could produce the mother of all hangovers so what better way to help ease you into a new day than with a SMEG Espresso coffee machine, a fashionable high-tech addition to grace any kitchen. There’s one issue and it’s not the £320 price tag – it’s pink. Experience days have become quite fashionable in recent years. Expected to be popular this year are a Champagne afternoon tea at The Ritz – (£72.50), a Dark Sky Stargazing Experience in Wales (£50) at the Brecon Beacons Observatory – obviously when Covid restrictions allow – and a landscape photography day (£135). However, the last one might prove expensive as you obviously can’t go without a new camera, such as the latest Panasonic Lumix G100 Vlogging Camera, which is designed to make creating content on the go fairly straightforward. It takes normal pictures too. As for the unusual, how about a molecular gastronomy kit to bring out their inner Heston Blumenthal for £44.95, or Aesop’s Gouttes anti-odeur de merde – that’s post-poo drops for the non-Gallic – which is a scent created to refresh a bathroom. At £20, a perfect solution for those fond of sprouts.
THROWING THE ULTIMATE
NEW YEARS EVE PARTY ...FOR YOURSELVES T
his winter is going to be rather different to the ones we have come to expect, as New Year celebrations will have to be restricted in several ways. So if you’re only able to celebrate within your personal bubbles, or even with just your own household, and you don’t want the celebrations to fall flat, here’s some ways that you can still bring in 2021 with a bang.
For large parts of this year, life has been far from normal. From homeschooling, to organising Zoom calls, 2020 has forced us to find new ways to entertain ourselves. So why not carry this theme into the new year, and create your own perfect, personalised party? For starters, consider your drinks options. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a party, and not being too keen on the liquid refreshment options. So this year, choose to spice things up, by creating your own cocktails. BBC Good Food offers an extensive list of easy-to-make cocktail recipes which you can try your hand at. Or if you want to avoid the extra costs, input the ingredients you already have in your cupboards, into ‘makemeacocktail.com’, and find out which drinks you can already make without having to shop any further!
CUSTOMISE YOUR FOOD Something else which you can take control of this year, is the food on offer. The Christmas season is always a great opportunity to stock your fridges and freezers full of sweet and savoury goodies, so why not go to your supermarket of choice, and indulge in a selection of canapes, to really class up your evening?
If you want to go even further, why not get your party food ‘made to order’ by the supermarket so you can design your perfect menu and really be the talk of the town. Or, if you’d rather keep your spending to a limit, then why not check out ‘deliciousmagazine.com’, for their list of Christmas leftover recipes, so you can make the most out of what’s left in your fridge, whilst still creating mouth-watering dishes.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY
DON’T FORGET THE DECOR Something that’s great about going to a fancy do, is being able to marvel at the decoration. So what’s stopping you from creating your own unique party theme from your own home? For example, if you’re someone who prefers to keep their Christmas decorations up until after New Year, why not match your colour schemes and grab some disposable plates and cups which compliment your Christmas ornaments? And of course, this comes with the added benefit of creating less washing up! And if you want to look like a real pro, and you were, as already mentioned, to make your own cocktails, then why not go the whole hog, and serve them in appropriate cocktail glasses? With Christmas coming just days before, cocktail glasses could be a very useful gift when December 31st arrives....
Although it’s been a tough year, one of the great things to have come out of it is the discovery of ways to speak to family and friends virtually. And this could be a real help for New Year’s Eve. Back in the summer, the nation became hooked on quizzing as a way to entertain itself. So why not bring in 2021 with a huge family and friends quiz, all organised by
virtual communication? Pick your favourite rounds, write your own questions, and let the family go head to head to see who is the smartest, once and for all! And the magic of video calling doesn’t just limit you to quizzing. Head over to ‘marieclaire.com’ to discover what other party games they recommend for your virtual call!
MAKE MEMORIES OF YOUR PERSONALISED PARTY! If you do decide to create your very own New Year’s Eve night, and you can’t quite think how to top it off, then look no further than creating memories. Start with designing a 2020 music playlist, and re-listen to all the great tunes which have been released this year. And in order to complete your party, adorn your home with 2021 bunting, and go a step further, by treating yourself to a New Year themed giant photo frame! Get dressed up, grab a drink, and capture all the memories from the night that New Year was celebrated rather differently.
Our gorgeous guide to some special Christmas recipes that will get your guests excited this festive season
375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry Â˝ small garlic clove 1 beaten egg, to glaze 400g high-quality sausagemeat 150g cranberry sauce 1 x pack sage & onion stuffing mix 50g sesame seeds
XMAS TIP: Cook the sausagemeat in the oven alongside your Turkey for fabulous sausagemeat stuffing for the main meal
1tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp chutney (ideally caramelised onion, or a cranberry variety) 4 parsnips 4 carrots 200g sprouts 2 red onions 2 bay leaves A handful of both Rosemary and Thyme (or whatever herbs you used for the main dish) 1tbsp honey
TIS THE SEASONâ€Ś CRANBERRY AND SAGE SAUSAGE ROLLS These flavourful treats are perfect to have on the side throughout the holiday season. Boil the kettle and make the stuffing as per the instructions. Meanwhile, while the stuffing is cooling, finely chop the onion, and in a large bowl add the sausagemeat, chopped garlic and 100g of the cranberry sauce. Once the stuffing has cooled, add it to the mixture, and with your hands, knead and mix together until fully mixed. On a floured side, roll out the puff pastry into a 5mm thick, long rectangle. Preheat the over to 220c Spread the remaining cranberry sauce along the middle of the pastry, in rows, leaving space to seal, then scoop the sausagemeat mixture along the rows. Fold the pastry over and seal before cutting into whatever size sausage rolls you require. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the sesame seeds, before making small slashes across the tops with a sharp knife. Place on a baking tray with baking paper and cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
CHRISTMAS DAY VEGGIE TRAYBAKE Preheat the oven to 210c and mix the oil and chutney together in a roasting tin and season well. Trim and halve the sprouts, cut the onions into wedges, and cut the parsnips and carrots into chunky pieces. Put the veg in a large roasting tin before pouring the olive oil and chutney mix over, then put in the oven for 25 mins. Remove the tin and add the herbs, give it a toss and put back in the oven for 30 mins more, until the veg are soft. Finally, remove the tin and pour the honey over all the veg before returning to the oven for 5 more mins. Once ready, serve immediately.
XMAS TIP: For a meaty option, add chipolatas wrapped in streak bacon to the tin after the first 25 mins.
1kg Maris Piper, Desiree red potatoes or homegrown potatoes A handful of fresh thyme A handful of fresh rosemary 50 ml sunflower oil 2 tsp plain flour Rock salt (not finely ground)
ULTIMATE ROAST POTATOES Forego the oven-ready roasts, and goose-fat, for these super-easy, yet incredible roast potatoes from scratch. Preheat the oven to 210c and put a large roasting tin in the oven. Peel the potatoes and chop into even-sized pieces approximately 5cm. Put the peeled potatoes in a saucepan and pour over cold water until they are just covered. Add plenty of rock salt and then wait for the water to boil. Once boiling, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the sunflower oil to the hot roasting tin and put back in the oven. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then pour back into the pan before, using the colander as a lid, giving them a vigorous shake to bash and fluff up the outsides. Sprinkle with the plain flour and give another shake until they are evenly coated. Carefully pour the potatoes into the hot fat, tear up the thyme and rosemary and sprinkle over the potatoes before turning them so they are all covered. Finally,
XMAS TIP: You can use other herb combinations depending on what meal you are having, for example, sage with beef, or oregano and basil with chicken
sprinkle some more rock salt over the potatoes before putting them in the oven. Roast for 15 mins before removing from the oven and turning them, then after another 15 minutes do this again. Now leave them for approximately 10-20 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Serve straight away once they are ready.
Images for illustrative purposes only
NEW YEAR The New Year will be just that – new. Like no other. So it’s the perfect time to action positive change and start afresh following a restraining and contemplative 2020.
his year has been a true shock to the system. A positively unique year through which we have been forced to re-evaluate the way we consider another person’s wellbeing, respecting each other like never before, collectively as a nation. It has changed the way we see life and the way we make our choices. Much more calculated and considered they are now, which we have made and continue to make both in a pre-meditated sense and a real-world one. Throughout our lockdowns, many of us have had the time to think and reflect like never before, and slow down and attain a new focus on the things that matter most. So, what are you going to change when the New Year comes about?
When it was made illegal to advertise tobacco on television in 1965, the conversation has been well-lit ever since, and in 2005 we finally saw a complete ban on all forms of tobacco advertising. It wasn’t until 2006, though, that the UK began initiating bans on all smoking within enclosed public spaces. With our ample opportunity for static reflection this year, particularly on our health, quitting smoking is as important as it was 15 years ago, if not more so. Cancer is still a very real threat. Shown from studies carried out in 2015, smoking accounts for 51.5% of cancer deaths in men and 44.5% of cancer deaths in women. Tips for kicking the habit: nicotine replacement therapy; identify and then train yourself to avoid the triggers; exercise more.
Obesity is still a big, big issue in our nation, and it’s getting bigger still. As of August last year, the Health Survey for England estimated that 28.7% of adults in England are obese and a further 35.6% are overweight but not obese. Throughout our lockdowns in the UK there is no doubt those rates have increased, with the catalysts of laziness and the new-found desire to order food online. Planning out a diet doesn’t have to be depressing. There are some very tasty and nutritious meals you can make with chicken or fish, with vegetables, rice and various other tasty supplements. A sauce to drizzle over the top can go a long way. Everything in moderation, but be firm with yourself. Join the gym. Attending the gym may take a very different form in the New Year, but that shouldn’t stop you integrating yourself back into society and getting a much-needed sweat on. Home cooking has cooked up a serious flame throughout our lockdowns, a notable and encouraging flambé of newfound enthusiasm and passion for gastronomy, and it’s a 2020 habit which should go on being preserved. Learn some new recipes and try your hand at some different cuisines. Perhaps try making sushi if you haven’t already! Start a food blog. A YouTube channel would be great, but a written blog online with photos can be just as good. Also there are plenty of free blog sites to create an account with, including Blogger, Ghost and WordPress. Reorganize and equip your kitchen so you can homecook more regularly.
The pandemic has clearly changed us as a people, largely for the better, so it’s the perfect time for a spiritual reawakening. Yes, that’s right – a spiritual reawakening. S’nothing wrong with getting spiritual sometimes, and in this digital age of immediacy, in which the ever-growing governance of technology puts everything at our fingertips, encouraging us to, frankly, be lazy and void of thought as we sit down to another reality television show… it’s an idea to recognize as something more than a mere eccentricity. Multiple studies have shown that yoga reduces stress, depression and anxiety. It’s probably why 37% of yoga enthusiasts have children who also enjoy practicing. Reading fiction refreshes the mind, sweeps you away into another world, and wakes up your imagination to realize your dreams. Yes, really. We should all do it daily. You can always be kinder and extend more respect to your fellow man or woman, and the rewards of doing so are infinite. Also, it’s time to start socially integrating again (albeit at a free and peaceful pace). So here are some ideas for clubs you could join in 2021 (government regulations permitting). Sport club. Sewing club. Book club. Fight class. Yoga class.
Film club. Photography club. Art club. Dance club. Gardening club.
2021 PDC WORLD DARTS
The Darts competition starts this month at the famous Alexandra Palace
ome associate the Christmas period with family time. Others think of more religious connotations. And some look forward to the festive period because it signals the beginning of the World Darts Championship. So as we near the festive period, let’s look ahead to what the biggest tournament in Darts has to offer.
WHAT ARE THE DETAILS?
This year’s competition, which sees the world’s best players all take to the oche, kicks off on December 18th. As has been the case since 2008, the tournament will be hosted at the world famous Alexandra Palace, London. Something that will look very different this year though, will be watching this lively event without the usual swathes of fans turning up in fancy dress attire, and singing throughout. Due to the ongoing pandemic, crowds returning to the darts is not yet possible. But this doesn’t mean that spectators cannot view every single minute of the event, live from your sofa. Although the information has not officially been released, we expect Sky Sports to broadcast every game from the competition via its own dedicated channel, as it has done for a number of years. And if you’re not a Sky customer, you can still keep up to date with what’s happening by signing up to a PDC membership.
WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES?
The past year has seen an emergence of a new wave of dartists, which has blown this year’s Championship wide open. Only a short time ago, Glen Durrant lifted the Premier League trophy, in only his first year on the PDC, so his confidence will be high coming into this tournament. Likewise, Nathan Aspinall has enjoyed a surge in his success, finishing as runnerup in the Premier League, as well as reaching the semi-final stage in both of his only World Championship appearances so far. So don’t be surprised if he were to go a couple better this year. Elsewhere, last year’s Champion Peter Wright will be a firm favourite, as he followed up his first tournament win in 2020, with two other PDC Major titles, most recently in November. And if you’re looking for a dark horse, Gerwyn Price has put together a fine run of firm of late. The controversial Welshman reached the semifinal stage of this tournament last year, and has since won the World Grand Prix this year, so he could be one to take the trophy.
The tournament kicks-off on the 18th December and runs through to the 4th of January
YOUR GUIDE TO
CHRISTMAS TV W
Settle down with our top picks for this festive period’s mustwatch TV
hen it comes to Christmas day, once the dinner is finished, attention usually turns to gathering round the telly and discovering what festive specials are on offer. So here are our top picks for Christmas day viewing.
The Doctor Who Christmas special has been an institution of the Christmas day schedule ever since its revival in 2005. And it will be back once again, with Jodie Whittaker to star alongside regulars Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole. And if fans of the show weren’t excited enough already, this festive instalment will feature the Doctor’s most feared enemy, the Daleks. It has not been confirmed when this sci-fi hit will air, during the day, but it is rumoured that viewers will be able to see their favourite timelord in an early evening time slot.
Another show which will be on our TVs at Christmas, is BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef. Again, we are not sure as to when this will be aired over the period, but reports suggest that this episode will be a special all-star cast of previous contestants. Rumours hint that Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood will be in the kitchen, alongside TV personalities Rylan Clark-Neal and Janet Street-Porter, all battling it out to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
CALL THE MIDWIFE
Back in March, filming for Call the Midwife was halted, but thankfully, the Christmas special will go ahead this year! This episode, set in 1965, will include all of our favourite nurses, including those portrayed by Jenny Agutter and Linda Bassett, to name a couple. It has also
been announced that Doctor Who legend Peter Davidson will guest star as a circus ringmaster, who proves to be a big hit in Poplar. The air time has not been confirmed by BBC1, but we expect this widelyanticipated drama to be one of the highlights of the day.
The hit comedy, which has aired two seasons, will provide us with a Christmas special, ahead of its confirmed third series. The show, which has proved popular since its first broadcast, follows a cashstrapped couple, who inherit a country home, only to have to deal with its numerous ghosts. It is unclear when, during the Christmas period, the special will be released, but we can expect all of the usual shenanigans from its core cast, which includes Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe.
The Doctor Who Christmas special has been an institution of the Christmas day schedule ever since its revival in 2005
FOR SPRING T
he days may be short but the ‘to do’ list remains long. December can be a quiet month in the garden as far as routine work is concerned, so now is the time to lay the groundwork for the spring.
now your manicured green sward is largely dormant - unless we have a temperate winter - it is time to get blades sharpened and, particularly if you have a petrol model, thoroughly serviced and the oil changed.
In that respect, the most important thing you should do is to make sure any pruning is completed early in the month, providing the opportunity to make the most of miserable, gloomy dank days to take up residence in the shed to clean, grease and maintain your tree loppers, shears and lawn edgers.
It will also make sure you don’t put your shoulder out trying to start up if another unseasonal mild spell means the grass needs some early attention in the new year. Remember, grass will continue to grow in temperatures above 5degreesC so a light trim three to five millimetres higher than usual will help to avoid turf stress.
Obviously, the most important tool at your disposal is the lawn mower and
In terms of pruning, overgrown
It may be cold outside but that doesn’t mean the garden comes to a standstill in the depths of winter
apple and pear trees can be cut back while ornamental trees such as acers and birches, as well as vines, need to be trimmed before Christmas to avoid ‘bleeding’. And if you have any deciduous trees and shrubs that need to be planted or moved, they can still go in as long as there is no frost in the ground. For vegetable gardeners now is the time to harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage and sprouts - particularly once they have got the first sharp frost in them – and the remaining root crops you planted. And, really, apart from that it’s all about common-sense maintenance and
Ornamental trees such as acers and birches, as well as vines, need to be trimmed before Christmas to avoid ‘bleeding’
ensuring delicate plants are protected against sub-zero temperatures. Fallen leaves should be cleared from lawns as they will block what light there is, as well as moisture reaching the roots. However, if you have a rotary mower put it on the highest setting and shred the leaves into small pieces, creating a great soil conditioner. Any leftovers can be spread as mulch around plants and flower beds, providing a barrier against the cold as well as well as providing muchneeded nutrients. It is always worthwhile checking gutters as leaves will cause damaging blockages while ponds could also
become clogged if late autumnal falls settle and congeal, particularly if your prized water feature ices over after a series of freezing nights. Obviously, a pond heater will help prevent ice forming, but if it does a hot pan will create a hole large enough to allow oxygen through. A football left on the surface will also delay freezing â€“ as will a fountain or ornamental waterfalls - but remember, if there are fish in the pond do not smash the ice as the shock waves can be harmful. And if you are considering turning off your water feature, remember to insulate it, and that goes for outdoor taps too. Of course, once Christmas is out of the way, January ushers in a new
growing year and, although daylight hours are still at a premium, there is much to look forward too and plans to be made. Nowâ€™s the time to order your seeds for the spring as well as plan your vegetable crop rotations for the coming season. Outside, top up your garden mulch by shredding your Christmas tree and, while you are spreading, disperse worm casts from the lawn and check if the branches of any delicate trees have been damaged during a heavy snowfall or violent storms. Also give your pots a clean ready for spring planting, and the same goes for greenhouses, ensuring good light penetration and paying attention to any insulation to make sure it is still secure. But, above all, keep bird feeders topped up. January can be a particularly brutal month for wildlife and your garden visitors will need all the help they can get, not only with feed but water too.
Also give your pots a clean ready for spring planting, and the same goes for greenhouses, ensuring good light penetration
St Michaels Drive, Trench
This much improved and well-presented spacious two double bedroom link detached bungalow is located in this highly popular established location that has great local amenities and has no upward chain. The bungalow comprises entrance hallway, sitting room, dining room, breakfast kitchen, conservatory, two good sized double bedrooms and a wetroom style shower room. The bungalow benefits from driveway parking, garage, enclosed rear gardens, gas central heating and double glazing. EPC rating to be confirmed.
Broad Oaks, Randley
Spacious three-bedroom link detached bungalow in established residential cul-desac with no upward chain. The bungalow offers well planned accommodation, this comprises entrance hallway, lounge/dining room, conservatory, kitchen, three bedrooms and a shower room. The bungalow benefits from driveway parking, garage, good sized gardens, gas central heating and double glazing. EPC rating D.
CALL FOR A FREE VALUATION
Wiseman Crescent, Telford
This superbly presented modern three-bedroom detached house built by Taylor Wimpey to the Aldenham design, located on the popular Caddies Field development having excellent local amenities and great motorway access. The property comprises entrance hallway, ground floor wc, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom with en-suite shower, two further bedrooms and a family bathroom. The property features driveway parking, integral garage, good sized rear gardens, gas central heating and double glazing. Viewing highly recommended. EPC rating B.
Dutimoors Drive, Lawley
This well presented modern two-bedroom terraced house is located in this popular location that has great local amenities and motorway access. The property comprises entrance hallway, sitting room, fitted kitchen, ground floor wc, two good sized bedrooms and family bathroom. The property benefits from enclosed rear gardens, allocated parking, gas central heating and double glazing. Ideal first-time purchase for more details contact Mannleys. EPC rating B.
Cottage Gardens, Wellington
Plot 5 will be a four-bedroom detached duplex bungalow that will offer superb flexible living. Plot 5 will comprise entrance hallway, open plan lounge/dining/kitchen with Patio doors to covered patio area, utility room, ground floor master bedroom with en-suite shower, further ground floor bedroom, separate wc, 20ft first floor bedroom with French doors to balcony, further large first floor bedroom and a bathroom with bath and separate shower. The property will benefit from single garage and driveway parking. Buyer will have input into the finish with choice of kitchens, bathrooms and flooring. Anticipated completion June 2021, for more details contact Mannleys. EPC to be confirmed.
Duddell Street, Lawley Village
Viewing is highly recommended for this beautifully presented 4-bedroom semidetached family home situated in sought-after Lawley Village with its range of local shops and amenities and it’s proximity and ease of access to the motorway network. The property comprises; entrance hall, downstairs cloakroom, open-plan fitted kitchen/ lounge/diner with French doors onto the back garden. The en-suite master bedroom and guest bedroom are on the first floor and the two further bedrooms and family bathroom can be found on the second floor. To the rear is an enclosed garden with entertainment patio and the remainder laid to lawn with a gate leading to the detached garage. EPC rating B.
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Bowring Hall, Holyhead Road
The Basement is a stunning one bedroom basement apartment, the apartment comprises; open plan sitting/dining/kitchen this opens to a private courtyard garden, bedroom with an en-suite shower room. The apartment features electric heating, double glazing, high speed broadband will be connected to the development including Virgin super-fast broadband and the apartment will have allocated parking spaces. EPC rating to be confirmed.
Kinley Drive, Hadley
This stunning extended 4-bedroom detached family home boasts a gorgeous openplan living kitchen with dining and seating area and is located in the ever-popular Hadley residential area with easy access to local schools, shops and the rail and motorway networks. The property comprises; entrance hall, gorgeous lounge, open-plan living kitchen with bifold doors opening onto the rear garden, utility room and downstairs cloakroom. To the first floor is the master bedroom with en-suite shower room, guest bedroom, two further double bedrooms and the family bathroom. To the rear is a good-sized garden mainly laid to lawn with an entertainment patio and raised flower beds. EPC rating C.
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 TO SAY
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 (AJ) had two weeks work experience in a local estate agent and never returned to mixing cement. In fact he went on to pass his industry exams and has now been involved in the property sector for 20 years. AJ 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, Simon is now a Director with Mannleys on the land and new homes side of the business. Very well-known with an amazing portfolio of contacts, he has a special gift in business with a proven track record. Simon is very well-connected, 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 With over 24 years in estate agency, Chris’ journey began in 1995 as a trainee, soon progressing after only two years to office manager. He enjoys all aspects of the property market and through his time has gained a great insight into the Shropshire property market. This has given Chris excellent knowledge of the property world and has enabled him to offer clients professional advice. The creation of Mannleys began in 2016 and setting up Mannleys with such a great team was an amazing journey and Chris is proud of what they have already achieved. In what spare time he gets, Chris spends time with his family and friends, enjoying plenty of travel. He also loves cooking, especially with his kids, and also enjoys most sport – 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, having 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 whether 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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MEET OUR TEAM
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 deep into his college photography night course and is working towards becoming EPC qualified. Jack tends to be an active individual whose main interests involve the gym, computers and he is one hell of a dancer!
CHERYL WEYMOUTH - PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Cheryl never even thought of being an Estate Agent, but after coming back from London as a Nanny, way back then…. she saw an advert and thought ‘why not’ and has now been in the Industry since 1987! Starting in Wellngton, Cheryl has worked all around Shropshire and now back full circle. Most of her career has been in the Sales department, so it’s a new challenge working in Lettings. Cheryl’s main passion is travelling and she had the privilege of taking 3 months off from work going to Australia and America. When she retires, she may become a bit of a nomad and travel the world; but until then, she loves what she does!
HELEN MITCHELL-GOUGH - PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Helen started with the company in 2017, initially taken on in the Lettings department part time, to help out with maintenance, that soon changed! With the business growing so rapidly so have the hours, but but Helen loves it! Previously, life for Helen was mostly in Retail Management but she left to have a career break whilst nurturing her 2 sons and helping her husband’s new founded business, Q Financial, which now also works in conjunction with Mannleys. Helen loves socialising and eating out in nice restaurants and has 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 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!
Christmas is about family. When you market your property with us we promise to treat you like one of ours. We offer you innovative marketing and your own FREE personalised property website that you can share on social media.
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