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Seeds to sow and bulbs to plant It’s time to prepare the ground for summer blooms and crops




Home entertainment system Helpful tips for upgrading your sound system Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market



A romantic night in Treat your partner with this spectacular Valentine’s dinner



Designing your Valentine’s day Celebrate at home with your significant other


Audible Books Reasons to be encouraged by this new style of literature


Valentine gifts for pets Wonderful ideas for your pet on this special day


Positive vibes Things we can do to give ourselves a lift at this difficult time


What is Shrove Tuesday? What is it? Where does it come from? And what happens?



Six Nations Championship As the countdown continues England maintain momentum

WELCOME TO THE FEBRUARY ISSUE! The year hasn’t kicked off the way most wanted it to, but we have made it to February. The property market has had a huge start this year, and estate agents are busier than ever. In this month’s magazine we will be showing you how to treat your significant other with a Valentine’s day at home guide alongside some sumptious recipes for the special evening. It’s not just your partner we’re showing some love to; we also have the best treats for your pets, and for yourself, a guide to keeping mentally healthy and physically fit while spending so much time at home.



And, while you’re at home, why not treat yourself to the perfect home cinema system with our guide to the hottest tech to bring the blockbusters to you! Venture outside as the weather slowly gets warmer and we have a guide of what seeds to sow and blulbs to plant this month. Top this off with a look at the future of books with our guide to Audible and audiobooks; the history of Shrove Tuesday and finally a preview for the Six Nations. Most of all though, take care, be safe and stay positive this month. Jonathan Wheatley Editor

To the one

I love


A huge part of the celebrations of Valentine’s Day is the role that food plays. From decadent titbits to homemade comforts, food should not be underestimated in its importance to the day as a whole. Let’s start with the morning’s offerings. Why not treat your partner to a good, old-fashioned breakfast in bed? But just because it’s breakfast, that doesn’t mean that it should be predictable. Cupid’s Tip: Why not splash out on a waffle-maker and make your partner some homemade goodies? Based on your partner’s preferences, you do know those, right? Choose between sweet and savoury, and for a more comprehensive list of waffle-themed ideas, visit ‘delish.com’ for their recommendations.





It’s the most romantic day of the year. And what better way to celebrate than at home with your significant other



Now onto the really important meal of the day - dinner. Often, Valentine’s Day dinners can come with a great amount of pressure to get the perfect table, at the perfect restaurant, at the perfect time. But this year, make sure you aren’t disappointed, and take matters into your own hands! Construct your own, personalised menu, and treat the pair of you to a meal catered exactly to your liking. ‘Goodhousekeeping.com’ offer easy-tomake recipes for a variety of cuisines, including a decadent cheese-beer fondue for fans of French/Swiss cuisine, or a wild mushroom risotto for those of the Italian persuasion. And if you want to go a step further, why not organise to cook together? As well as creating your perfect meal, this can be a great activity for couples to bond over.


And speaking of activities, let’s look at some other ways to fill your day with that special someone. Start with getting creative and do some crafts. If you’re one of those couples that have managed to print off photos of your memories together but haven’t done anything else with them since then, then get hunting for them and design your own scrapbook of your favourite moments. Alternatively, you can look to make romance-themed practical objects. For instance, if you have unwanted mason jars, then you could use these to create votive candle holders, with the addition of only glitter and card. Or, if you happen to have firewood which is going spare, then why not cut these down, and create your own coasters? These are great ways of doing something rather unusual. However, if you don’t have a single creative bone in your body, then let’s explore some other ways of spending quality time with your other half. Nothing quite says ‘I love you’ like freshly-baked goods, so choose to go all out on the food front this year. If you want to make something which is a visual statement, then bake some Valentine’s cupcakes adorned with decadent pink and red icing, or popping candy and sprinkles if you fancy something more playful. And if you’re looking for something to complete your day with, then why not organise a movie night? Pick your favourite romantic film, get the blankets down, set the mood in your room with candles, and unwind together.

GIFTS Another great pressure of Valentine’s day is finding the perfect gift for your partner. So, to ensure that you don’t fall short on the present front, here are some thoughtful DIY ideas. If your partner is a fan of relaxation, then get some candles, and through online tutorials at ‘helloglow.co’, customise them with your initials and other heart-shaped decorations. This technique can also work with other items, such as mugs or tea towels, and is great for adding personal touches to everyday items. Or if your partner loves nothing more than to unwind after a day of life’s stresses, then make their day with some homemade bath bombs. There are plenty of online recipes to instruct you to make whatever shapes you wish, and it is a great way of adding a level of luxury to your gifting this year, whilst also using ingredients that you might already have in your cupboards.




THE VOLUME Does your telly pack an audio punch to match the picture quality? If not, it might be time to invest in a surround-sound system or a new soundbar


ome entertainment system. Three words to send a geek into overdrive and an uninformed consumer into meltdown. Sure, you’ve lashed out and bought a nice big, shiny 4K ultra high-definition TV that’s got all the bells, whistles and whatnots and can change its ambient lighting by shouting at it. Sure, the picture is fantastic, and the definition is awesome. But the sound is… well, puny.



Next, consider the features and what you will be viewing most of the time. Many modern soundbars have wireless subwoofers, Bluetooth connectivity, 4K-friendly HDMI outputs for games consoles or 4K Blu-ray player-enabled HDMI outputs. Some even support Dolby Atmos, which takes the longstanding surround-sound concept and gives it more oomph, providing big cinema sound in a smaller space. With that in mind, investigate the Sonos stable. The Beam,

It’s not a surprise Manufacturers are making televisions so thin, so lightweight something has to give, and as TVs are judged on their visual capabilities, it’s generally audio quality that is lacking. So, if you have moved into a nice new home with the acres of space you were craving, perhaps it would be wise to set aside a little of the money earmarked for Stamp Duty and invest in a decent sound

system to create the immersive experience your TV deserves. The obvious starting point is a soundbar, but before you start looking, be sure of your dimensions. They will either sit in front of the TV or just below it if wall mounted, so you don’t want to partner a bar that is so wide it overhangs the set or is so small it is dwarfed by the screen.

It’s not a surprise Manufacturers are making televisions so thin, so lightweight something has to give, and as TVs are judged on their visual capabilities, it’s generally audio quality that is lacking.

rated by many industry insiders as the company’s best soundbar yet, is small and adaptable, and packs an impressive three-dimensional sound with a surprisingly beefy bass, which more than offsets a bit of a background hiss at volume. Its spec sheet includes voice-control assistance from Amazon’s Alexa and supports the Dolby 5.1 format. The Sonos Arc, meanwhile, is fully compatible with Dolby Atmos and is the perfect partner for a 4K of more than 55ins. It uses 11 drivers to create a soundfield which puts you at the heart of the action and is nicely balanced if you just want to listen to music. Similarly, the Yamaha YSP-2700 offers a compact way to get the

full surround-sound experience into your home with the bar and wireless subwoofer providing a gutsy solution for movie buffs who will relish the 7.1ch effect. However, it does not support Dolby Atmos, unlike Sony’s HT-ST5000, which has a high feature count and makes film soundtracks totally immersive – put simply, if you want to watch Saving Private Ryan, fetch a tin-hat first. If you have deep pockets, a biggish room and a sensitive ear, go all-out on the Sennheiser Ambeo – excellent dynamics, sumptuous sound – but beware: to deliver a sound

that rich without a subwoofer means a soundbar that is 14cm tall and needs to be positioned perfectly for the best effect. Of course, you may have just moved into a barn conversion or have a vast open-plan living space you want to fill with sound. In which case, a full-blown surround speaker system is the way to go. There are obvious things to consider - such as trailing cables and whether you want to rearrange the furniture to accommodate it – before weighing up whether you want a 5.1 system (five speakers, two pairs of either floorstanding or standmount, plus one central) or a 7.2 (adding back speakers behind the main seating position, plus an extra subwoofer).

With that in mind, What Hi-Fi? named the Dali Oberon 5 5.1 Speaker Package their product of 2020 and its not hard to see why. “Lean, attractive and unfussy… are words equally apt for both the aesthetics and acoustics”, they said of a system with a full, warm sound “that brings the best out of any soundtrack”. Less bulky, yet almost as powerful, is the Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1 Cinema pack, a versatile bundle with an intense sound, while the sixth generation of Monitor Audio’s Silver series, the 200 AV12, has a clear balanced sound which is immense for both surround and stereo.

If you have deep pockets, a biggish room and a sensitive ear, go all-out on the Sennheiser Ambeo



THE FUTURE IS AUDIBLE The ease with which we consume digital content has changed rapidly in the past decade


nd this phenomenon has even reached something as physical as reading. Those who are loyal to the physicality of a novel might be sceptical about audiobooks, but there are plenty of reasons to be encouraged by this new style of literature.


A study, reported by Time, has shown that audiobooks have no negative bearing on an audience’s understanding of the material. Different participants were given the same material to listen to, or read, and when quizzed afterwards, there were no clear signs that one group had understood any less of the content. In a further study, different groups of participants either listened to, or watched blockbuster films. They found that those who listened to the audio versions had a higher heart rate and body temperature, which suggests a more intense emotional response to the material.

BOOKS STILL SELL Something reassuring for those who prefer physical ‘the real thing’, is that it doesn’t appear that audio content is causing an impact on the sales of physical books. A report claims that there are different audiences for different types of content, so the two don’t overlap too much. The report goes on to state that those who listen to audiobooks tend to be a



lot younger than those who don’t, and claims that, on average, those in their 20s or 30s are the biggest consumers of audio content. Interestingly, it also suggests that audiobooks are bringing in new audiences who would not have previously read books. So this can only be a good thing for the world of literature.


With the boom that audiobooks are experiencing, they, themselves, are being immersed into popular culture. For example, audiobooks now attract A-list celebrities as narrators. For instance, Elizabeth Moss narrated The Handmaid’s Tale, and Michelle Obama provided the voice for her own memoirs. On top of this, a top publisher has stated that there are certain audiobooks which would never have been made if not for added technological capabilities. He points to Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris’s book The Lost Words, which is a collection of poems. As a result of the opportunities which audio content provides, the makers were able to create individual soundscapes for each poem taken from recordings in the wild.


Your pet means the world to you, show you mean the world to them too with a treat this Valentine’s Day


e love our pets. They listen to us and they never argue back, which, as the unconditionally loving companions they are, makes them especially peaceful to have by our sides. In fact, studies show that three in 10 adults claim that their cats and dogs are better listeners than their other halves, and that over a third of people generally prefer their pets to their partner. Furthermore, 29% claim that their cat or dog is better at snuggling than their partner, with 44% of owners even going as far as to say they prefer to cuddle up with them rather than with their significant other. So give back this Valentine’s Day!

DOGS Shock absorbent leash. A gift your dog can really benefit from, ensuring much more comfort for the animal and much less chance of your four-legged-friend having their shoulder pulled out of their socket.


Dog wellies. Not only will these prevent wet and muddy paws, but also act as protection against any sharp and nasty objects they might accidently step on outside.

Woven grass pet bed. Play tunnel. Heart-shaped salt licks.

Orthopaedic gel memory foam dog bed. Dogs need their beauty sleep too, and in fact require 12-14 hours of sleep each day/night, so a great bed would provide real quality of life for a dog. Top three customer-rated dog toys on Amazon: • https://tinyurl.com/y9agvpsy • https://tinyurl.com/y77ljtx5 • https://tinyurl.com/y8ohhyj2

CATS Pet tote bag. Ideal for travelling, these bags will guarantee comfort and convenience for both you and your cat, typically with an open slot for the cat’s head so they can see the world as they travel. Cat wheel (treadmill). A portion of cat breeds are of particularly high energy, so something like this would be a perfect way for your cat to get their hyperactivity out of their system. It’s also a lot of fun for your kitty! Self-cleaning cat box. Both you and your cat will enjoy not having to deal with a dirty cat box each day with this product, as all you need to do is cover the disposable litter tray, toss it, and insert a fresh one.

GUINEA PIGS AND HAMSTERS Play or digging tower, or play bridge. Climbing nature house. Exercise wheel.

Top three customer-rated cat toys on Amazon: • https://tinyurl.com/y9ka67zz • https://tinyurl.com/ya2r4cu3 • https://tinyurl.com/y9sqfne5



TREAT YOUR KING OR QUEEN THIS VALENTINE’S DAY Treat your partner with this spectacular Valentine’s dinner, perfect for a romantic night in!


ake Valentine’s day extra special with our gorgeous menu featuring a delightful starter, an impressive main course and a sumptious dessert.

STARTER – REALLY EASY CHEESE FONDUE Ingredients 125ml white wine 450g gruyère, grated 450g cheddar, grated 50ml kirtsch 1 heaped tsp cornflour small baguette, torn into chunks, to serve Method Heat the wine in a heavy-based saucepan, then add the cheese, a handful at a time, and keep stirring. When all the cheese has melted, add the kirsch, followed by the cornflour, stirring until completely smooth. Serve the pan in the middle of the table on a wooden board with the chunks of baguette for dipping.

Images for illustrative purposes only Recipes from www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk

Images for illustrative purposes only



Recipes from www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk

DESSERT – CHOCOLATE FONDANT Ingredients 50g melted butter, for brushing cocoa powder, for dusting 200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces 200g butter, in small pieces 200g golden caster sugar 4 eggs and 4 yolks 200g plain flour Caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream or orange sorbet, to serve

MAIN COURSE – STEAKS WITH GOULASH & SWEET POTATO FRIES Ingredients 3 tsp rapeseed oil , plus extra for the steaks 250g sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into narrow chips 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves 2 small onions , halved and sliced (190g) 1 green pepper , deseeded and diced 2 garlic cloves , sliced 1 tsp smoked paprika 85g cherry tomatoes , halved 1 tbsp tomato purée 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder 2 x 125g fillet steaks , rubbed with a little rapeseed oil 200g bag baby spinach , wilted in a pan or the microwave Method Heat oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 7 and put a wire rack on top of a baking tray. Toss the sweet potatoes and thyme with 2 tsp oil in a bowl, then scatter them over the rack and set aside until ready to cook. Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan, add the onions, cover the pan and leave to cook for 5 mins. Take off the lid and stir – they should be a little charred now. Stir in the green pepper and garlic, cover the pan and cook for 5 mins more. Put the potatoes in the oven and bake for 15 mins. While the potatoes are cooking, stir the paprika into the onions and peppers, pour in 150ml water and stir in the cherry tomatoes, tomato purée and bouillon. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Pan-fry the steak in a hot, non-stick pan for 2-3 mins each side depending on their thickness. Rest for 5 mins. Spoon the goulash sauce onto plates and top with the beef. Serve the chips and spinach alongside.

Method First get your moulds ready. Using upward strokes, heavily brush melted butter (use 50g in total) all over the inside of the pudding mould. Place the mould in the fridge or freezer. Brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the mould. Tip the mould so the powder completely coats the butter. Tap any excess cocoa back into the jar, then repeat with the next mould. Place a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then slowly melt 200g good-quality dark chocolate and 200g butter, both chopped into small pieces, together. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for about 10 mins. In a separate bowl whisk 4 eggs and 4 egg yolks together with 200g golden caster sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail; use an electric whisk if you want. Sift 200g plain flour into the eggs, then beat together. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter. Tip the fondant batter into a jug, then evenly divide between the moulds. The fondants can now be frozen for up to a month and cooked from frozen. Chill for at least 20 mins or up to the night before. To bake from frozen, simply carry on as stated, adding 5 mins more to the cooking time. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook for 10-12 mins until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds. Remove from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 min before turning out. Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides, easing them out of the moulds. Tip each fondant slightly onto your hand so you know it has come away, then tip back into the mould ready to plate up. Serve with a squeeze of caramel sauce and a scoop of ice cream.




VIBES Mental health experts say there are several things we can do to give ourselves a lift at this difficult time so here is our guide to keep your spirit’s lifted


nd so, here we are again. Lockdowns are fast becoming the norm for our COVID-crippled communities, but unlike before there’s no summer, no Christmas on which to focus. Lockdown 3.0 wan announced in the gloom and cold of winter - a season that can be tough for many under normal circumstances – and the respite of warmer days and lighter evenings seems a long way off. However, there are many things we can do to make sure we reach the promised land of spring in good shape.


Any outdoor activity at this time of year may seem a bit daunting, but doctors agree it is an ideal way to boost your mood. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins into the bloodstream – producing a feeling of well-being – as well as increasing electrical activity in the emotionprocessing areas of the brain, preventing the risk of anxiety and depression. It also produces a protein crucial to brain health, so even a short period of exercise which exerts the body, such as a



brisk walk or a cycle ride, will be beneficial. Dr Brendon Stubbs, from King’s College, London, says: “Think of it as brain fertiliser – it helps parts of your brain regenerate.”


People often dwell on problems or difficulties, allowing negative thoughts to dog their lives. But while it’s normal to worry, many fears never materialise. The key is to shift focus from worries to practical problemsolving, and Prof Jennifer Wild, from Oxford University, says: “If you’ve been worrying about a problem for 30 minutes or more without coming up with a plan of action, it’s time to stop.” Exercise is a good way to break those trains of thought. While it’s perfectly normal to worry, humans have, over time, become highly tuned to negativity and danger. “It’s over-encoded in our brains,” says Prof Wild. “You can make yourself much calmer if you recognise you are overthinking. Stop and focus on facts.”


Setting a new target, whether it be something as grand as learning a new language or trying a new recipe, can be beneficial. Learning new things is generally how we acquire self-worth and keeps us motivated. Stepping outside your comfort zone helps you to focus and brings a sense of control.


Don’t think twice about doinsomething, even if conditions suggest you’re not going to get the best results, says Olivia Remes, from Cambridge University.

“Novelty is fundamentally rewarding,” says Dr Dean Burnett, a leading neuroscientist. She says: “Our inner voice of criticism stops us “Learning to do new things is frequently how we doing worthwhile things, so acquire self-worth. Goaljump straight into action. Do motivated behaviour is one things and accept they People often dwell on of the most fundamental might initially be done badly problems or difficulties, ways we operate.” – most of the time, the


allowing negative thoughts to dog their lives. But while it’s normal to worry, many fears never materialise

results are not that bad and they’re almost always better than doing nothing.”

Maximise the little social contact that is available. Humans are social creatures, so isolated people are more likely to focus on themselves, going over small problems in their heads until they become issues.

That way, she believes, we can encourage ourselves to be optimistic and accept life’s not all down to things we can’t control.

“We’re not really designed to be on our own. We feel better with social contact,” says Prof Emerita Elizabeth Kuipers, of King’s College, London. “Isolated people are more likely to focus on themselves and that can make things worse.” Talking things through can help reframe problems, and if lockdown means you cannot do that in person, make that phone call or arrange to talk online.

She also recommends writing down three things a day which we are grateful about, forcing ourselves to focus on what’s gone well and why. This stimulates the left-hand side of the brain which is associated with positivity, and she concludes: “Emotions are contagious – steer yourself away from negative, miserable people who are constantly complaining because you could be come one of them.”









To put it simply, Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent - an event, which takes place over a period of forty days, replicating the forty days of hardship when Jesus was stranded in the desert. The religious period is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics.

The meaning of the word ‘Shrove’, comes from the past tense of the verb ‘to shrive’, which means to give absolution after hearing confession. Therefore Shrove Tuesday is the last day to make confession before the period of Lent. The alternative name to Shrove Tuesday, and perhaps the more common title nowadays, is ‘Pancake Day’.

Traditionally, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, which is associated with self-denial and abstinence. Therefore, Shrove Tuesday is treated as the last day to celebrate and indulge before this period. As produce such as eggs, fat, and milk were traditionally foods which could not be eaten during the period of Lent, pancakes became a suitable snack to make out of the leftover foodstuffs so that food did not go to waste.

So, Shrove Tuesday is known as the last day to clean the soul before the self-restriction of Lent begins. Historically, people would go to church in order to be repented for their sins.


The Christian period of Lent will soon be among us. And with Lent, comes Shrove Tuesday. But what is it? Where does it come from? And what happens?


This name supposedly originated from a story from Olney in Buckinghamshire when, in 1445, a woman who was making pancakes heard the church bells and ran out of her house with a frying pan in hand. This started the tradition of a pancake race in the town, which has been an annual event ever since.

The earliest pancake recipe in England dates back to the 15th century, so it could be possible that Christians have been successfully (or unsuccessfully) flipping their pancakes, and competing in pancake races for over six hundred years.



The Six Nations is back with England keen to maintain momentum as the countdown to France 2023 continues

SCHEDULED FIXTURES (ALL TIMES GMT) February 6 Italy v France (2.15pm) England v Scotland (4.45pm)


ith the 2023 Rugby World Cup looming ever larger on the horizon, England and the rest of the home nations will take another significant step on the road to the sport’s showpiece event in France when the Guinness Six Nations Championship is scheduled to resume this month.

However, it will be interesting to see how the England coach responds to the rising threat from across the channel and whether he adapts his “he who kicks most, wins most” philosophy. It makes Le Crunch on the penultimate weekend of the Six Nations on March 13 at Twickenham the pivotal game of the championship.

The draw for the pool stages in early December merely whetted the appetite for rugby union’s major showpiece after a hectic autumn in which England won the sport’s oldest and newest competitions – beating France on points difference in last year’s interrupted Six Nations, and then beating the same opposition in the final of the hastilyconvened Autumn Nations Cup.

Before then, England open the Northern Hemisphere’s major tournament with the home Calcutta Cup showdown against Scotland on February 6 before another Twickenham tie against perennial whipping boys Italy.

And while it may look as if Eddie Jones’ team had ended their international season on a high in the probably one-off cup tournament, the truth paints a different picture, England labouring to beat a side of emerging talent and youth team players thanks to an equalising try in the last minute and a penalty in the sudden-death period.

And then the journey gets a tad tougher. Matchweek three sends them to Cardiff to face Wales, never an easy place to go and likely to be more hostile if the Welsh have not fired in their preceding games against Ireland or Scotland. From there, it’s the back-to-back run-in against France and Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where the sponsors’ black velvet will flow irrespective of who has won.

February 7 Wales v Ireland (3pm) February 13 England v Italy (2.15pm) Scotland v Wales (4.45pm) February 14 Ireland v France (3pm) February 27 Italy v Ireland (2.15pm), Wales v England (4.45pm) February 28 France v Scotland (3pm) March 13 Italy v Wales (2.15pm), England v France (4.45pm) March 14 Scotland v Ireland (3pm) March 20 Scotland v Italy (2.15pm) Ireland v England (4.45pm) France v Wales (8pm)






The dark days of winter may finally be behind us, so it’s time to prepare the ground for summer blooms and crops


s the days grow longer, gardeners will be making their plans for the spring, preparing their seeds for both flower and vegetable plots.

And even if the weather does not play ball and the ground is still cold, much can be done - particularly if you have a greenhouse or conservatory - to kickstart the growing season. If conditions allow and the soil is frost free, gently dig over and prepare the area you have earmarked for planting. This will expose soil pests to cold nighttime temperatures and bird predators, giving new plants a better chance to prosper and, if you have moved into a new house, will help identify whether you have inherited a light or heavy soil. Obviously, a stodgy, clay-based soil will need longer to warm, and this will affect planting plans. But if you discover a light, sandy mixture and live in a mild part of the country you can crack on – after weeding and allowing the soil to settle – by covering the area with clear polythene, cloches or fleece to warm the ground before sowing.



Once a crop rotation has been formalised, then you can sow broad beans, carrots, parsnips, early varieties of beetroot, salad onions, lettuces, radishes, spinach and summer cabbages under the covers. And then it’s back indoors again. Experienced veg growers will be keen to chit their seed potato tubers as soon as they have them. Novices may be baffled by the term, but it simply means encouraging the seed potatoes to grow before they are planted out, generally about six weeks after they have been arranged, blunt end up, in trays or old eggboxes, and allowed to sprout. Peas can also be started off in a heated greenhouse by using upturned and discarded – but clean – drainpipes with holes drilled in the bottom for good drainage, while cucumber seeds can be sown in a propagator, placing them on their sides at a depth of 1cm in a 7.5cm pot of free-draining compost.

If, however, your greenhouse isn’t heated wait a few weeks until March – and the same goes for tomatoes, which should germinate within two weeks in a propagator or on a sunny windowsill as long as the seed compost is kept moist. Even though it is very hardy, kale needs to be started indoors, where they can be sown in modules or 7cm pots with two or three seeds per module before thinning out to leave the healthiest seedling. For those who prefer colour to crops, mid to late February can also be a busy period. Now is the time to start off summer bedding, such as lobelia and Impatiens (Busy Lizzies), in propagators, giving them a head start before are big enough to be planted out or in hanging baskets. Sweet peas are probably one of the easiest – and most fragrant - summer flowering plants to grow, particularly when given a good start in a biodegradable pot on a sunny windowsill. Once established, they can be relocated to the garden when the weather turns milder without having to be

removed from their containers, which could damage fragile roots. Cosmos are similarly easy to grow and look great in borders or in a meadow where the single-flowered varieties, such as Fizzy Pink, attract pollinators. These annuals need light to germinate, so sow on top of seed compost in a tray then prick out when large enough to handle. Salvias, on the other hand, need to be sown on a bed of seed compost and then covered with a fine layer of compost which must be kept moist and placed in a light, warm spot. They can be planted out in the spring where they will add structure and height to borders and containers. However, be warned – low light levels and stuffy conditions can encourage what horticulturists call ‘damping off’, a fungal disease that can sweep through trays of seedlings. It can be easily prevented by adding perlite, an amorphous volcanic glass which will keep soil loose and light; watering pots from below; and opening propagator vents during the day.

Cosmos are easy to grow and look great in borders or in a meadow where the singleflowered varieties, such as Fizzy Pink, attract pollinators.



City Centre 024 7622 2022 Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 Earlsdon 024 7667 7000

Park Road, Coventry

Auction Guide ÂŁ360,000

** BEING SOLD THROUGH MODERN METHOD OF AUCTION *** READ AUCTION DETAILS BELOW *** A substantial three storey 7 bedroom semi-detached property offering a superb investment opportunity in this handy City Centre location within walking distance of Coventry Railway Station, the City Centre itself and access to Coventry University. The property benefits from double glazing and gas central heating and is offered for sale with immediate vacant possession with no further chain. In brief the accommodation comprises porch entrance, reception hall, living room, breakfast kitchen, two bedrooms one with a separate shower room and the other having an en-suite shower room.

Tamworth Road, Keresley End

Guide price ÂŁ400,000

An extended fully renovated bay fronted semi detached property on a large plot on the outskirts of Coventry in a semi rural position. The property is presented in excellent order with a modern finish to the kitchen and bathroom, further benefits from double glazing and gas central heating.


. lettings . new homes . land . surveys

Friars Road, City Centre

Auction Guide £230,000

This property is for sale by the Modern Method of Auction which is not to be confused with Traditional auction. The Modern Method of Auction is a flexible buyer friendly method of purchase. We do not require the purchaser to exchange contracts immediately, but grant 28 days to achieve exchange of contracts from the date the buyer’s solicitor is in receipt of the draft contracts and a further 28 days thereafter to complete. Allowing the additional time to exchange on the property means interested parties can proceed with traditional residential finance.



St. Nicholas Street, Coventry

*** OFFERED WITH IMMEDIATE VACANT POSSESSION *** CHECK OUT THE 360 VIRTUAL TOUR *** A very stylish modern first floor canal side apartment in this relatively central location, within a short walk of the City Centre. Recently redecorated and improved this delightful home really needs to be seen and will almost certainly appeal to a first time buyer or alternatively should create a first class investment opportunity. With a secure intercom entrance the property offers a hallway, wonderful open plan living/kitchen with stunning views, two bedrooms and a well fitted bathroom. The apartment has an allocated secure gated parking space to the rear.

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City Centre 024 7622 2022 Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 BRONZE LET ONLY






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nt Right to Rent checks

up tenancy agreement

Payne Associates offer tory and statement of condition landlords a choice of ct deposit and first month’s rent 4 different levels of service. ng of the tenancy agreementyou and issuing all The option choose will memts as per the Prescribed Requirements and) Regulations 2015 on how hands-on depend Council Tax, electricity, move in you wantgas toand be,water theof level ter depositof with TDS you are prepared to risk accept, the time and collection and paymentand to landlord energy you have available hly itemised statement to landlord to manage your property e any arrears investment and tenancy.


Perfect for landlords who want to manage the tenancy themselves but want to ensure all the paperwork (tenancy agreement, inventory and statement of condition) is completed professionally.



GOLD (FULLY MANAGED LETTING SERVICE) Perfect for landlords who have limited time, or are travelling/living overseas, and want to outsource the entire day to day tenancy management and upkeep of their property investment to a professional property management agent.

uct regular property inspections

ge routine servicing and maintenance


ge emergency repairs

SILVER (LETTING & RENT COLLECTION SERVICE) Perfect for landlords who will manage the upkeep of the property themselves but don’t want to take on the hassle of rent collection.

esident landlord tax certificate

e on any repairs required


PLATINUM (FULLY MANAGED LETTING SERVICE WITH RENT PROTECTION) This service will provide all of the above and will also include Rent and Legal Protection to give you additional peace of mind.

ge mandatory safety checks

with tenant issues and queries

with tenancy renewals and rent reviews

with serving and receiving notices

rketing at end of tenancy

ee tenant check-out

Additional services can be tailor-made to suit your needs; simply contact us to discuss your requirements

Council Tax, electricity, gas and water of move out

ge deposit return

al Gas Safety Check Included


you’re looking forfor 12 taxwhat what you’re looking f year statement

. lettings . new homes . land . surveys







Property appraisal and rental valuation Marketing and advertising Source suitable tenants Accompanied viewings and feedback Take up references and credit checks Tenant Right to Rent checks Draw up tenancy agreement Inventory and statement of condition Collect deposit and first month’s rent Signing of the tenancy agreement and issuing all documemts as per the Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 Notify Council Tax, electricity, gas and water of move in Register deposit with TDS Rent collection and payment to landlord Monthly itemised statement to landlord Chase any arrears Non-resident landlord tax certificate Conduct regular property inspections Arrange routine servicing and maintenance Advise on any repairs required Arrange emergency repairs Arrange mandatory safety checks Deal with tenant issues and queries Deal with tenancy renewals and rent reviews Deal with serving and receiving notices Remarketing at end of tenancy Oversee tenant check-out Notify Council Tax, electricity, gas and water of move out Arrange deposit return Annual Gas Safety Check Included End of year tax statement Rent and Legal protection Priority Monthly Payment * Where a service is not included in a package this may be available at an additional cost. Please contact one of the Lettings Team

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Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 City Centre 024

Woodside Avenue North, Green Lane

7622 2022

Offers over ÂŁ400,000

A most attractive traditional semi-detached in this delightful setting fronting conservation woodland. The double glazed and gas centrally heated accommodation briefly comprises reception hall, cloakroom, lounge, sitting room, open-plan kitchen/breakfast room, three bedrooms, modern family bathroom with mixer shower and a useful loft/attic room. To the outside there is a patio garden with direct vehicular access to off-road parking and a double brick garage.

Michaelmas Road, Styvechale


An extremely attractive, recently extended and fully refurbished detached house close to the City Centre. The property benefits from uPVC double glazing and gas central heating and briefly comprises porch entrance, reception hall, cloakroom, living room, family room/study, superb living/dining/kitchen room and a separate utility room. Four good sized bedrooms, en-suite shower room and a luxury family bathroom. There is a block paved front drive, south-facing lawn rear garden and substantial detached rear garage.


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Poitiers Road, Cheylesmore


An immaculate terrace property with two storey rear extension. The accommodation briefly comprises reception hall, through lounge/dining room, extended and refitted kitchen breakfast kitchen, landing, three bedrooms and extended family bathroom with bath and separate shower cubicle. To the outside there is a small front garden and an enclosed private lawn rear garden with patio and rear vehicular access leading to a double concrete sectional garage. The property benefits from gas central heating and double glazing.

Quinton Road, Cheylesmore


A most attractive traditional double bayed semi-detached property. The property offers uPVC double glazed and gas centrally heated accommodation which comprises reception hall, attractive lounge and superb refitted dining/kitchen with utility and ground-floor cloakroom leading off. There are three first floor bedrooms and a modern refurbished bathroom with shower whilst outside the property is well screened to the front with side driveway providing parking and access through to an enclosed garden with paved patio and lawn.

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Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 City Centre 024

Seneschal Road, Cheylesmore

7622 2022 ÂŁ229,950

A deceptively spacious mid-terrace property benefiting from uPVC double glazed and gas centrally heated accommodation which comprises entrance lobby, ground-floor cloakroom, inner hallway, modern refitted kitchen, full width rear lounge/ dining room, uPVC double glazed conservatory, landing, three good bedrooms and a modern refurbished fully tiled shower room. A front driveway provides off-road parking and leads to a part integral garage whilst to the rear there is a low maintenance paved rear garden with rear pedestrian access.

Knoll Drive, Styvechale

Offers over ÂŁ450,000

A handsome semi-detached family home on a prominent corner plot and built to an individual design and layout. With immediate vacant possession, no further chain and uPVC double glazing and gas central heating. Comprising reception hall, spacious sitting room, dining room with conservatory/sun lounge off, breakfast kitchen with utility and cloakroom off. Four good bedrooms, modern refurbished shower room, separate WC, gardens to three sides and a rear driveway with parking and brick-built garage.


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The Park Paling, Cheylesmore


An attractive and spacious modern detached family home with views over Whitley Common Recreation. The accommodation benefits from uPVC double glazing and gas central heating and briefly comprises reception hall, lounge/dining room, fitted breakfast kitchen, separate playroom/bedroom 5, utility room and cloakroom. Four first floor double bedrooms and modern family bathroom with shower. A front driveway for 3/4 vehicles and a good sized rear garden with large patio and lawn. No further chain involved.

Woodside Avenue South, Green Lane


A substantial three storey semi-detached family home. The double glazed and gas centrally heated accommodation comprises side reception hall, spacious open-plan living room, sitting room, extended kitchen/breakfast room, three good first floor bedrooms, modern refurbished bathroom, second floor fourth double bedroom with en-suite shower room and outside there is a driveway providing parking, side car-port and rear brick garage with utility and outside WC. The private rear garden comprises decked patio and lawn.

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Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 City Centre 024

Earlsdon Avenue South, Coventry

7622 2022 ÂŁ749,000

A superb and unique freehold investment opportunity, this well presented detached property situated Earlsdon Avenue South is within walking distance of War Memorial Park, close proximity to Coventry City Centre and easily accessible to public transport routes and the railway station. Having uPVC double glazing and gas fired central heating, the property comprises NINE bedrooms, two shared kitchens, three shower rooms two W.C, boiler room and store. Externally the property has a large enclosed rear garden with driveway to the front.

Broadwater, Earlsdon


Situated in this highly sought after and peaceful backwater location, adjacent to Kenilworth Road and within walking distance of the War Memorial Park, Coventry Railway Station and King Henry VIII School, an individual detached dwelling offering a rare and unique opportunity for a discerning buyer looking to implement their own style and design in this prime residential location. Occupying a prominent plot of approx 1/3 acre with the distinct advantage of a beautiful landscaped rear garden backing on to its own private spinney, the property briefly comprises; enclosed porch, entrance hall, spacious lounge, re-fitted ground floor W.C, family dining room, open plan kitchen/ diner flowing through to sun room/ snug, utility room, first floor landing, four generous bedrooms (main bedroom with en-suite shower room) and family bathroom.


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Eastleigh Avenue, Earlsdon


An outstanding, extensively refurbished FIVE bedroom executive detached residence situated within one of Coventry’s most appealing and sought after locations, close to Kenilworth Road and within walking distance of the War Memorial Park. The property offers stylish luxury over three floors and every detail has been considered. In brief the property comprises; on the ground floor; entrance hall, elegant front lounge with log burner, rear sitting room with doors leading to enclosed garden, open plan designer kitchen/dining/family room with Corian work surfaces, high end integrated appliances with views over the rear garden, play room with ground floor WC.

Rochester Road, Earlsdon


***MOTIVATED SELLER***NO UPWARD CHAIN***A truly exceptional and superbly presented modern detached property with a unique feature of an ADDITIONAL secluded woodland garden that lies amongst the trees beyond the beautiful back garden that meanders down to a brook on land purchased separately by the current owners. Situated within this highly sought after backwater location within easy reach of Earlsdon High Street, Hearsall Golf Club and the War Memorial Park. The property benefits from double glazing and central heating and briefly comprises: entrance hallway, fitted cloakroom, superb living room with bi-folding doors, separate dining room, attractively fitted kitchen/breakfast room, utility, four bedrooms, luxury en-suite shower room and family bathroom.

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Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 City Centre 024

Moor Street, Earlsdon

7622 2022

OIRO £365,000

Dating back to 1854, this historic character residence in Moor street is a fine example of a beautifully restored three storey Victorian family residence, seamlessly blending period features with modern day improvements. Set within the leafy suburb of Earlsdon and a stone’s throw from the bustling high street with its many coffee shops, wine bars and restaurants, the spacious and versatile accommodation briefly comprises; entrance hallway, elegant front lounge, breakfast/ kitchen, rear hallway leading to utility area, ground floor W.C and office/ playroom. To the first floor are two bedrooms, family lounge, beautifully re-fitted family bathroom and stair case rising to the second floor.

Huntingdon Road, Earlsdon


Full of character and charm a stylish, turn of the century classic double bayed mid terraced family home, situated in this very popular and convenient side road location, just off Belvedere Road. With the distinct advantage of three double bedrooms and a first floor bathroom, the beautifully presented and deceptively spacious accommodation briefly comprises, entrance hall, elegant front lounge, separate rear sitting room, extended and comprehensively fitted kitchen/breakfast room, three double bedrooms and a superb fitted family bathroom.


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Myrtle Grove, Earlsdon


deally located a short walk from the vibrant Earlsdon High Street, a charming and deceptively spacious three bedroom property offering excellent potential to personalise a spacious family home. Benefitting from gas central heating and double glazing, the property briefly comprises; entrance hallway with original Minton tiled flooring, front lounge, rear dining room with feature fireplace and fitted kitchen. To the first floor are three good sized bedroom and family bathroom. Externally there is a paved foregarden together with a low maintenance paved rear garden with brick built store.

Broomfield Road, Earlsdon


**Converted ground floor Wet Room and Bedroom** A charming and deceptively spacious turn of the century four bedroom mid terraced home, well maintained throughout with many character features. Ideally located close to Earlsdon High Street and Hearsall Common, the well proportioned accommodation has the benefit of gas central heating, uPVC double glazing and briefly comprises; dining room, spacious lounge, well fitted kitchen, with the additional benefit of an extended ground floor W.C, wet room, and outstanding ground floor bedroom/ office. To the first floor are three generous bedrooms and an additional WC. Outside there is a paved foregarden and a neatly laid out rear garden with borders. Internal inspection strongly recommended.

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Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 City Centre 024

Elizabeth Way, Walsgrave On Sowe

7622 2022 £299,950

A stunning, three storey, modern semi-detached residence in a peaceful cul-de-sac, perfect for a young family, with parkland just at the end of the road. Deserving a full inspection, this very stylish home is presented in first class order throughout, has been extended to feature an outstanding and spacious kitchen/diner enjoying double opening doors to the landscaped rear garden perfect for socialising. With some beautiful Karndean flooring, gas heating and double glazing the property consists of an Entrance Hall, family room being open plan to the Kitchen/diner, utility room and cloaks, FIRST FLOOR LOUNGE, four bedrooms on two floors, one en-suite and a family bathroom.

Larkin Grove, Walsgrave On Sowe


A modern detached family home situated in this pleasant, tucked away, cul-de-sac location on the eastern edge of the City being well screened from the Ansty Road. Recently improved and tastefully redecorated the property has both gas heating and double glazing, is ready to move in to and enjoys delightful first floor front views towards St. Mary’s Church. Consisting of an entrance hall with guest cloakroom, well proportioned lounge with double doors to the kitchen/diner, FOUR BEDROOMS, en-suite shower room and a family bathroom. There are easy to maintain gardens, the rear being well fenced with a paved seating/entertaining area.


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Brookshaw Way, Walsgrave


A well presented modern family sized detached property lying within this peaceful and much sought after cul-de-sac on the far eastern outskirts of the City. The property which certainly deserves an internal inspection boasts a large Creteprint cobbled effect front driveway providing off road parking for several vehicles leading to the substantial 18ft garage. The rear garden features a broad paved seating/entertaining area, has well kept lawn, surrounding flower beds and well fenced boundaries. Briefly the property which has been competitively priced for an early sale includes an enclosed porch, entrance hall, lounge, kitchen/diner, three decent sized bedrooms (two with built in wardrobes) and a well equipped shower room.

Dorchester Way, Walsgrave


A newly renovated, extended semi-detached family home, presented in excellent order with fresh decoration and new flooring. Featuring a wonderful woodland outlook to the front, the property is well served with local schools, countryside and shops, road and bus links for the City all nearby. With both double glazing and gas central heating the design comprises of entrance hall, spacious lounge/diner, extended 20ft breakfast kitchen, versatile sitting room/ play room, cloakroom, three generous bedrooms and a modern bathroom. A block paved driveway provides excellent parking areas leading to the large garage. The rear garden is fully enclosed.

what you’re looking for | payne-cov.com

Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555 Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 City Centre 024

Oxendon Way, Ernsford Grange

7622 2022 ÂŁ199,950

A conveniently located semi-detached family home offering great potential for anyone looking to personalise a well-proportioned home with the benefit of both gas heating and double glazing. In general the accommodation includes: an enclosed side porch leading to the reception hall, excellent sized front lounge and rear dining room being open plan to the kitchen. There are three good sized bedrooms, one with a shower cubicle and a bathroom.

Parrotts Grove, Hawkesbury

Offers over ÂŁ370,000

An outstanding fully refurbished detached dorma bungalow which benefits from quality double glazing, gas heating, an intruder alarm together with a fully integrated cleaning system. The accommodation comprises: a generous reception hall, guests cloakroom, front lounge, playroom/home office, breakfast kitchen with integrated appliance being open plan to the family room, utility room. The first floor boasts four well proportioned bedrooms, an ensuite shower room and family bathroom. There are front and rear gardens with off road parking.


. lettings . new homes . land . surveys

St Austell Road, Wyken


A semi-detached property presented in excellent order with a modern finish. The property briefly comprises of entrance hallway, lounge, open plan dining kitchen, side passageway serving a walk-in store room, further store cupboard and ground floor WC. To the first floor there are three generous bedrooms and a family bathroom. Outside there there are gardens to the front and rear, the long rear garden with terrace, decking patio and lawned area.

Waterside, St Nicholas Street


A very stylish modern first floor canal side apartment in this relatively central location. With a secure intercom entrance the property offers a hallway, wonderful open plan living/kitchen with stunning views, two bedrooms and a well fitted bathroom. The apartment has an allocated secure gated parking space to the rear.

what you’re looking for | payne-cov.com

OPENING ALL THE RIGHT DOORS! Unlock your dream home this year. With our professional and personal approach, alongside our innovative marketing including your own FREE property website to share with friends and family, we will ensure all the right doors are open to you this year.


City Centre 024 7622 2022 Daventry Road 024 7650 3070 Earlsdon 024 7667 7000 Walsgrave Road 024 7645 5555

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Payne Associates - February 2021