KITCHEN GADGET GUIDE MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR KITCHEN THIS YEAR EARTH DAY 2021 MAKE YOUR HOME GREENER
HALF TERM IDEAS KEEP YOUR CHILDREN BUSY THIS HALF TERM
SPRING CLEAN GET YOUR HOUSE READY FOR SPRING AND SUMMER
SHED DIY CONVERT YOUR SHED THIS SPRING
CONTENTS COVER STORY
Kitchen Gadget Guide Create stunning, restaurant quality dishes with the latest kitchen aids
Get your house Spring ready Now is the perfect opportunity to freshen things up in your house
Holiday activities Help the kids get creative in the garden and with their wet weather gear Earth Day 2021 Tips to make your home more climate clean this Earth Day
April gardening tips Time to roll up your sleeves and put in the groundwork
Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market
World Book Day Reading is perhaps one of best commodities we have
About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice
Shed DIY The humble outbuilding can be put to a number of uses
Springtime salads Check out some of our best Spring salad recipes that are sure to make your body smile
Golf European Tour We look ahead at what’s to play for, and who might be in with a chance of winning
WELCOME TO THE APRIL ISSUE!
e’re into the fourth month of the year. The clocks have changed, the weather is warming up and the world is opening again! This Spring promises a lot and in this month’s magazine so do we! On pages 2 and 3 we go in-depth looking at the best ways to get your home Spring ready, and if that’s not enough, continuing inside the home, we also have a fantastic kitchen gadgets guide ready to create the Spring salad recipes from page 15. On the 22nd April we are celebrating Earth Day, so we have put together a guide to make your home more environmentally friendly. Moving outside, on pages
10 and 11 we have your April gardening guide and well as some ideas of how to turn your shed into a office/bar/sauna.
START FROM THE BEDROOM
What better place to start, than in the room where you spend more time than any other? Let’s start with the bedding. If you’ve opted for rich, dark colours over the winter months, then throw these away in exchange for neutral green or sky blue colours, accompanied with added pops of colour. Or if you want to make the extra effort in the season of Spring, then select some sheets with floral patterns. If you’ve been used to covering your bed with blankets and throws to keep warm, then switch to lightweight sheets and pillowcases. This will help to add some brightness to your room, and more importantly, stop you from feeling overheated as the weather warms up. And if you’ve made these changes, and still want to go further, then replace your pillows altogether! Swapping your pillows not only aids a more comfortable night’s sleep, but can simultaneously make your bedroom look completely different.
This may sound very obvious, but giving your house a good, old-fashioned Spring clean can go a long way to revitalising your home. First, start with cleaning from top to bottom. It can be a laborious job, but will benefit your home in the long run by adding freshness to every space. Next, move on to removing things that you no longer need. For instance, root through your
Finally, we have some fantastic ways to keep busy during the Easter holidays, a feature about World Book Day and a preview of the Men’s European Golf Tour. We’re all excited that the world is starting up again, and are all hopeful for the summer, however, for now, stay safe and take care of yourselves. For now, make yourself a cuppa, pull up a chair in the garden and enjoy! Jonathan Wheatley Editor
Once the tidying is done, turn your attention to adding items which freshen up your home
SPRING INTO ACTION fridges and cupboards, and throw out expired products that didn’t make it onto your plate over the winter period. And when rearranging the foodstuffs, do so in a way as to categorise everything, and make different items much easier to locate. If you have a garage, then organising it can prove a very satisfying project to get your teeth stuck into. Group all of your winter items into boxes, label them, and then place into the garage. This will make things much easier when it comes round to retrieving them again. And while you’re at it, look to declutter your garage. Throw out items you don’t need, and aim to create as much space as you can. Doing this will not only help you feel that your possessions are organised, but will allow you to think of the garage as a space other than just one of storage!
SEARCH FOR SCENTS
Once the tidying is done, turn your attention to adding items which freshen up your home. Spring is associated with the smells of nature, so lean into this tradition with some citrus, rose, lavender, or other floral scented candles or wax melts. These will help to air out the house, and will match the aromas of the outside world. And don’t neglect fauna. As well as bringing in natural, fresh scents into your home, displaying a set of flowers will also help to fill your room with colour, and will complete any kitchen or living room.
FOCUS ON FLOORING
Another great way to completely transform your home, heading into the summer, is to focus on the backbone of any interior. If your carpets have seen better days, then get round to getting them professionally cleaned. As well as making any room look brand new, removing any stains will really brighten up your home. Or, if you feel like a complete makeover, change your flooring completely. Tiling is very resistant for wear and tear, and so is a great option for a room which is likely to be used a lot, such as a kitchen or conservatory. Or, if you love the unmistakable aromas and textures that come with hardwood flooring, then opt for this.
If there’s something missing from your ideal Spring home, then consider whether you’ve done all you can to take advantage of maximising the amount of natural light in any space. Replace your dark, thick curtains with light ones, or if the room permits, do away with curtains altogether. Without requiring much effort, this will completely transform any room in time for Summer. And also consider changing bulbs. With the greater amounts of light that come with this time of year, switch to darker lights, to create a cosy atmosphere in the evenings, and let natural light do the rest!
As the days get longer, and the weather begins to brighten, now is the perfect opportunity to freshen things up in your house
Sp ring INTO ACTION
Stand out from the crowd and create stunning, restaurant quality dishes with the latest kitchen aids
Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Breville HeatSoft VFM021
t is an inescapable fact that the kitchen is the heart of the home. More than just a collection of units, it is the place where memories are forged and culinary disasters are celebrated as much as the triumphs; the venue for gathering at either end of the day, where the aroma of freshly-ground coffee cuts through the lingering whiff of curry from the night before. It is also a place of work, a hive of experimentation. And key to that creative process are the tools of the trade, either a worktop full of the tried, tested and much loved, or an ever-changing procession of ‘must-haves’ which are casually discarded when the next big thing appears.
Russell Hobbs Sous Vide Slow Cooker
Sage The Smoking Gun
Something which falls in the latter category but could soon become the former is the Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. It doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue but what it does will keep the tongue very happy. America’s home-chefs blew a fuse over this little multi-cooker and its not difficult to see why – it’s an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, saute pan and a warming pot, which is easy to use and clean.
Devotees of programmes such as MasterChef and The Great British Menu will be familiar with the waterbath and the sous vide process, where food is placed inside a sealed pouch and cooked at an accurately-regulated temperature. It helps meat and vegetables retain their flavour, vitamins and keeps prep-time low. Described as ‘a Michelinstarred chef’s worst-kept secret’, the waterbath can now adorn your kitchen in the form of the easily-affordable Russell Hobbs Sous Vide Slow Cooker. And if you really want to go for drama with your fine dining, get Sage The Smoking Gun. Using cold smoke, it lets you infuse a range of food and KitchenAid Food drinks with a natural Processor smoky flavour, while the dual speed helps increase the intensity of the smoke. Best of all, it is sold with, or without, a glass cloche to cover your dish and heighten the effect. If you are in the market for a hand mixer, take a look
De’Longhi Magnifica Illycaffe 6636 Francis
Santoku 180mm Blade Knife at the Breville HeatSoft VFM021 and wave goodbye to that time-consuming wait for the butter to soften. This handy tool warms butter up to 12 times faster than just leaving it in the mixing bowl, although it can also be used without the heating function. It also comes with an attachable clear case, so the attachments don’t go wandering. An even more flexible bit of kit is the KitchenAid Food Processor which can chop, shred, puree and slice food. It comes with an easy to install reversible medium shred/slice and thick slice blades as well as a dough blade should you want to knead bread or pasta dough. And it comes in a rather fetching Empire Red finish. There’s nothing that sets the smoke alarm off quite like burnt toast, so the Magimix Vision Toaster could be the best thing you’ll ever invest in. A see-through panel allows you to see how your breakfast is doing, ensuring ideal results every time. Possibly the best thing since, well, sliced bread. On the subject of breakfast, let’s talk coffee. We’re not all barista maestro-standard but machines such as the De’Longhi Magnifica help paper over the cracks. With seven adjustable coarseness levels within
an integrated grinder, the Magnifica can customise the type of coffee you want… plus it has a dual cup option. For eye-catching looks, the Illycaffe 6636 Francis is a bit of a head-turner while the Sage Oracle Touch Fully Automated Coffee Machine is the business. However, you’ll need something a bit stronger than an espresso when you see the price tag. No kitchen is complete without a decent set of knives or a pro-standard knife (singular). The Santoku 180mm Blade Knife, from Blenheim Forge, isn’t cheap but will last for years. Made with a Japanese Blue Paper Steel Core with folded iron cladding, it comes with a walnut handle and solid copper ferrule for added strength. Finally, they say baking is all about precision, so that means you’ll need a decent set of kitchen scales. Salter’s Heston Blumental Precision Scales have a dual platform – one for measuring up to 10kg in 1g increments and the other for measuring up to 200g in 0.1g increments. There’s an add- and-weigh feature and also an aquatronic feature for measuring liquids, just to help you get ‘weigh’ ahead of your competitive friends.
Sage Oracle Touch Fully Automated Coffee Machine
Magimix Vision Toaster
Salter’s Heston Blumental Precision Scales
Help the kids get creative in the garden and with their wet weather gear
pril, as the saying goes, is the month for showers. And not only does it bring May’s flowers, it can also provide inspiration for some great craft activities for kids and adults alike. It’s the time where it’s always best to have boots and a brolly close at hand. And there’s no better way of making a splash in those quick-to-appear springtime puddles than in customised wellies.
your favourite anymore, tie brightly coloured ribbon about halfway up and gently bend the brolly support wires outwards.
Insert a block of florists’ oasis for water and support then add the flowers so they are peeping over the top. Freshly-cut tulips, with their bold colourful petals, are ideal and will last for a few days but for a longer lasting display, try artificial blooms. And then hang from your door knocker – or insert spike down in the garden - for an eye-catching display that should make any passer-by smile.
Boots are very much a blank canvas and you can really let your imagination run riot, creating colourful and simple yet effective flower patterns, rockets and scenes from outer space for the kids – who also might want a jazzy take on their initials - or graffiti-led slogans for the not so young who might be missing their Glastonbury fix again this year.
So, if they are not getting wet, kids love nothing better than getting their hands dirty… literally. So, put them to good use by designating an area of the garden for them to cultivate with summer-blooming wild flowers or, particularly as the weather is likely to be indifferent, by planting a herb garden inside. Its an easy way to get the younger members of the family hooked on planting, It’s the time where nurturing and tasting what it’s always best to they have grown in their meals, have boots and a and is a little more advanced brolly close at hand and not as smelly as growing cress seeds on blotting paper!
Many people suggest sanding down the area you intend to decorate as this creates a smoother surface and allows the paint to make a stronger bond. As for your decorating agent, acrylic paint is easily available and straightforward to use, particularly if you are going for a funky, bright and intricate design. Waterproof marker pens are also handy for applying finer details, while if a broad sweep of colour is required, rubber spray paint will do the job. And although the paints will dry to a good finish, applying a layer of hairspray will also help your colours stick. Continuing the wet weather theme, how about sprucing up your front door with an extension of the Christmas wreath: a brolly brimming with spring flowers? Younger members of the family can do the backbending stuff by picking the flowers while all you have to do is select an umbrella that’s not
The easiest – and probably the most useful herbs to grow are parsley, basil, coriander, chives and dill, and all you will need are peat-free, multi-purpose compost; small pots (such as yoghurt) or a used plastic tray from a Chinese takeaway … and an array of helping hands. Making sure the containers have been pierced to guard against over-enthusiastic watering, fill with the compost and tamp down gently to remove the air pockets. Water and allow to drain before scattering the seeds sparingly over the surface before covering with a thin layer of compost. Ideally the pots can be covered with a clear plastic bag to recreate a mini greenhouse and speed the growth process, before placing
April is the month for showers, it can also provide inspiration for some great craft activities
on a windowsill. Once germinated, remove the plastic and water at least once a week before potting outside in late May. A further way to enrich a child’s understanding of the garden is to construct a bug mansion out of discarded pallets and log the varieties of creepy crawlies who come to stay. Some insects like cool, damp conditions, while others like the sun, so try to site the home where it will get a bit of both, under a hedge or tree. Give it a firm base and start stacking, filling the gaps with dead wood and loose bark, straw, dry leaves, and corrugated cardboard which, when stuffed into a plastic bottle with its top removed, creates a nice nest for lacewings. And if you plant some nectar-producing flowers around the outside you can bring in winged guests, such as butterflies and bees.
Join in with millions of people around the world and make your home more climate clean this Earth Day
EARTH DAY 2021
HOW TO MAKE
YOUR HOME MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
his year celebrates the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. Originally conceived in 1970 by peace activist John McConnell as a day of education about how to look after our Earth, in 1990, Earth Day went International and has been celebrated ever since in all four corners of the world. It is one of the few holidays that transcends all national borders and religions, yet preserves all geographical integrities and brings people together all over the world. It is quite simply devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology. There are hundreds of ways of making your home more environmentally friendly, big and small. Here, in celebration of Earth Day, are our top tips.
WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN COLD WATER
90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes towards heating water. By skipping the heating and using your washing machine on the cold water setting, you will reduce carbon dioxide emission as well as keeping your clothes in top condition for longer, as hot water can deteriorate your clothes and make colours less vibrant.
DIY INSTEAD OF BUYING NEW
DIY isn’t only a truly great skill to have, but it helps towards creating an environmentally friendly home as opposed to buying new. With just a few tools and a little time, you can crack-on with all sorts of projects. You could tile your kitchen yourself, build home-made planters for the garden or even lay your own flooring.
SWAP YOUR LIGHT BULBS
Invest in the right energy-efficient light bulbs and you won’t only be helping the Earth, but you’ll be saving money too. LED bulbs are the best alternative to regular light bulbs and as well as lasting longer, they are eco-friendly. They are readily available in most shops and you can even get dimmable ones and colour-change ones.
USE YOUR RECYCLING BIN AND GET A COMPOST BIN
We are all well-versed of the importance of recycling by now, so use your recycling bin and you are truly helping towards our world’s future, and if you find yourself with an excess of normal waste, buy a compost bin, which will not only help you get rid of the excess waste but will give you free fertiliser for your garden.
PLANT HERBS AND VEG
Ah, what to do with all that free fertiliser? How about growing your own herbs and vegetables? Not only will you always have wonderful, better-tasting food, but you will massively cut down on plastic used in shop-bought veg and herbs. Some of the most popular are basil, oregano and peppers and tomatoes.
TURN OLD PALLETS INTO PLANTERS
But where do I plant these herbs and veg? Simple, don’t ditch any wood or pallets you have lying around, get creative instead. With just a few screws and a drill, you can make home-made planters for your garden or windowsills. Just measure four pieces of wood to equal lengths, screw together and line with bubble wrap.
22nd April 202 1 www.earthday.org DITCH THE COFFEE PODS
Coffee pod machines have been around for a while now, however, did you know the plastic capsules aren’t usually recyclable? For better tasting and more environmentally friendly coffee, invest in a good-quality espresso machine that takes freshly ground coffee. You can also sprinkle the used ground coffee onto your compost to keep bugs away.
INSULATE YOUR PIPES
Not the quickest or flashiest jobs, but by insulating the pipes that run from your boiler throughout your house can make a huge difference. Your best bet is to use felt or wool pipe insulation that is pre-cut into sleeves and then use some good-quality pipe wrap insulation tape.
COLLECT YOUR RAINWATER
Finally, what is more natural than rainwater? Exactly. If you could collect and store all the rainwater that falls on your property throughout a year and use it around the home, you would see a huge drop in your water bills. Okay, so a full-blown rainwater collection servicing your house is a huge job, but start small with a water butt and you can at least water your herbs and veg without touching a tap. Earth Day is on Thursday the 22nd of April and you can find out more by visiting www.earthday.org
It is one of the few holidays that transcends all national borders and religions, yet preserves all geographical integrities
WEED IT Time to roll up your sleeves and put in the groundwork
nd so here we are. April, the great transitional month where we’ve not quite shaken off winter’s icy grip, but with brighter evenings and significantly warmer days, its hold is definitely weakening. For gardeners, this is where the hard work starts; this month’s input dictates output for the rest of the year. The four-day Easter holiday weekend gives us time to prepare the ground, assessing and repairing the damage inflicted by a particularly harsh start to the year, taking the time to restake trees, secure climbing shrubs, and clear any lingering storm damage, particularly checking fences for damage to panels, support posts and slats. And then you can get on your hands and knees for some serious weeding, gently turning over ground flattened by heavy rain and snow, and clearing away any remaining dead leaves, twigs and winter debris, as well as dead-heading daffodils,
tulips and late-flowing crocuses, and trimming frost-damaged shoots from evergreens. Once cleared, nourish the soil with compost or well-rotted manure which will add beneficial micro-organisms to the soil, making it richer and encouraging the right kind of insect activity. The wrong kind – slugs, snails and aphids – may be found loitering around the crowns of perennials preparing to wreak havoc so it’s best to deal with them now. Early infestations of aphids can be pinched out by hand but pests such as vine weevil will need chemical or biological intervention to keep under control. Your lawn will need the most attention early in the early growing season. If you’ve not already done so, now’s the time for that initial cut, taking the top off the winter growth before the first decisive crop. Once that’s done, apply a high nitrogen spring lawn fertiliser to encourage good, strong growth and if
moss has become a problem, choose a combined moss killer/fertiliser and lightly rake out the dead a couple of weeks after application.
There are also many warm-season vegetables, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, which can be moved outdoors
If you discover some bumps and hollows, peel back the turf and remove or add soil as necessary before replacing the grass, while any bare patches can be prepared for reseeding: if the ground is still wet and cold, though, the germination will be poor so it might be better to postpone this until early May. And, while we’re at it, don’t forget the lawn edges. Using a spade or a half-moon edging iron, create a gutter of around
three inches to prevent the grass creeping back into your borders. It is also important to prune trees and deciduous shrubs, removing dead and sickly-looking leaves or branches to stimulate new growth and spring flowering. Also add fertiliser while a good organic mulch, laid in a circle around the trunk, will not only provide moisture for good growth but will also conserve moisture and encourage strong, drought-resistant roots, something worth bearing in mind for the likes of rhododendrons, azaleas and camelias where flowering can be severely impaired if allowed to dry out. Otherwise, a good balanced fertiliser (such as blood, fish and bone) can be sprinkled over the root area around ornamental trees, shrubs and hedges before hoeing in, particularly beneficial for young, weak or damaged plants. Once the warmer days are set in and the risk of a late sharp frost has gone, plant out
the flower seedlings you’ve been cultivating since March, and if you haven’t, you can still sow petunias, zinnias, marigolds, purple cornflowers and other seasonals you might fancy in your flowerbeds. Summerflowering bulbs should also be going in, ensuring the likes of anemone tubers have well-drained soil. Containers can also be planned, topped up with fresh compost and planted – an alpine trough can be particularly attractive as many are starting to look their best - while you may be able to start on your hanging baskets in the latter stages of the month if you’re in a temperate part of the country. Otherwise, pot-on plants that are showing signs of becoming pot-bound or generally just look a bit forlorn. There are also many warm-season vegetables, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, which can be moved outdoors while radishes, carrots, peas and lettuce can also be planted, along with your favourite annual herbs.
WORLD BOOK DAY
– WHY IT WILL
Reading is perhaps one of best, if not the very best, commodities and widely accessible resources we have as a people, and therefore so is World Book Day
ental health and the recognition of its facets and depth has never been as prevalent as now, so when you consider how strong the scientific research is in favour of how reading can help mental wellbeing – by reducing your heart rate and thus stress levels, easing muscle tension, and wholly altering your state of mind – World Book Day this year is surely a campaign more important than ever before. World Book Day annually takes place on 23rd April. This is because the Spanish
writer Vicente Clavel Andrés wanted to call for a day which would recognize the life and career of one of his greatest heroes, fellow Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who still is widely regarded as the greatest ever writer of the Spanish language. Cervantes death date was 23rd April, which also marks many other great writers’ birth and death dates, including William Shakespeare who passed away on exactly the same day as Cervantes, 23rd April 1616.
World Book Day this year is surely a campaign more important than ever before
The first World Book Day was celebrated in 1995 and has been going strong ever since. It’s a day to celebrate all things books, especially your favourites! One of my personal favourite novels is The Shining by Stephen King. King has always been associated with horror, and I suppose that’s justified. But many people overlook (pun intended) the fact that much of King’s stories contain some real character depth and interpersonal relationships, which can often be extremely intense and moving. The Shining, for instance,
for me, isn’t necessarily primarily a horror. It could be considered a psychological thriller or drama about what happens when an alcoholic becomes victim to cabin fever. The paranormal presence in the hotel is an effective way to convey this cabin fever process Jack Torrance undertakes, but I suspect many readers agree that a good argument can be made that the paranormal activity can merely be considered a metaphor for Jack’s psychological transformation into illness. Indeed he knows he’s becoming unhealthy at the behest of cabin fever, as there is a point near the end of the novel where he tries to cry out from underneath his new, murderous exterior to tell his would-be murdered son to leave before it’s too late. Why I talk about this book in particularly is because cabin fever is something many of us have had to endure over the past many months, and, more troubling still, domestic abuse, so it’s an interesting insight into cabin fever and the effects it can have on relationships, especially if alcoholism is involved. The Shining is an example of a great novel, and certainly one to celebrate, as the book often gets inaccurately judged by its better-known cover, that of the film by Stanley Kubrick, which told a rather different story. Jonathan Wheatley, British Author
If a home-working space is the objective, you will need to insulate, drywall and think about heating
o paraphrase rock giants Motorhead, a shed used to be a place of spades. Or lawnmowers. Or half-empty tins of paint and discarded outdoor toys. A handy little store, generally made of glorified fencing panels, that gets a coat of creosote when you remember but generally sits, unloved, at the end of the garden waiting to be battered by the next named storm. Times and lifestyles, however, change, and now the humble structure has become the fashionable ‘must-have’, graduating from the often-outlandish man caves and she-sheds to offices, studios, outside bars and even saunas and cinema rooms. If the prospect of turning your forlorn shed into a rustic home extension appeals, there are some things to bear in mind, not least checking with the local authority to see if you need permission for change of use. Then see how structurally sound it is or whether you might be
better off biting the bullet and getting a new summerhouse or log cabin, depending on size of budget, garden… and ambition.
Having checked the damp-proofing, if the roof is watertight, walls are in good condition and doors and windows fit properly, clear the shed out and look for signs of mould, damp, wood rot or pest infestation around the floor. Once satisfied, the big decision now is whether it’s a DIY project or needs to be turned over to an expert, as you would be advised to do for a sauna. If you’re going it alone, the first job will be to get the outside treated or painted to make it weatherproof, then think about sealing any cracks you may have discovered with caulk or weatherstripping to help prevent draughts, bugs and any other undesirables. Depending how you plan to use the shed, you might want to pop in a skylight window, particularly if you’ve got the professionals in and
The humble outbuilding can be put to a number of uses
you’re designing an office. If a home-working space is the objective, you will need to insulate, drywall and think about heating for those slightly less-than idyllic days. Heating means power and while it may be tempting to connect to the supply from your home, don’t rule out solar panels, which provide a simpler, cheaper and energy efficient solution. If it’s a bar you’re after, you’ll need plumbing too. For flooring, think durable coverings such as cork, tile and carpet - a wood floor might be attractive but may not be practical. After that, it’s all about preferences: LED or halogen lights for an office, a string of novelty lights for your personal pub; shelves and versatile cabinets for work, a good service area and racks to attach the optics for the bar. And finally, make sure you’ve got some good locks.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR ON THE
EUROPEAN TOUR IN APRIL As this year’s European Tour begins to crank up, we look ahead at what’s to play for, and who might be in with a chance of winning
WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR?
The 2021 European Tour began in January, when it was announced that at least fortytwo events would be played in twenty-four different countries, including eighteen which were either postponed or cancelled in 2020.
The first tournament of the season, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, was won by Englishman Tyrell Hatton. Since then, fellow countryman Paul Casey and American Dustin Johnson have walked away with the other two titles.
WHAT ARE THE EVENTS?
The month of April includes four of the forty-two European tour events. On the 15th, Golf’s biggest names travel to Spain, to take part in the Tenerife Open. From there, they make the short journey for the Gran Canaria open, beginning on the 22nd, highlighting this year’s focus on reducing travelling where possible. And finally, the 29th April marks the beginning of the Portugal Masters.
But of course, the main event of the month is right at the beginning. On April 8th, all eyes will turn to Augusta, Georgia, for the 2021 Masters. The first of the four ‘majors’ of the year, this tournament is steeped in tradition, with every winner since 1949 receiving an iconic green jacket. Last year, the imperious Dustin Johnson won by five-shots, whilst simultaneously breaking the course record, in a tournament which was pushed back several months due to the pandemic. But fortunately, this year’s competition will go ahead as planned, and is set to be as equally enthralling as any other instalment.
The first tournament of the season, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, was won by Englishman Tyrell Hatton
WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES?
As already mentioned, Johnson won the tournament by a landslide last year, and still sits at the head of the world rankings, and so cannot be written off. Otherwise, world numbers two Jon Rahm and world number three Justin Thomas have nine European Tour victories between them, and so will both feel confident come April 8th. And for a slight outsider, consider Bryson DeChambeau’s chances. The big-hitting American, currently ranked inside the world’s top ten, hasn’t enjoyed much success at Augusta thus far in his career. However, his analytical approach in gaining significant muscle in 2020 has made him the longest driver of the ball on the PGA Tour, which may stand him in good stead when battling the famously difficult course in Georgia.
SPRING INTO LIFE
Put a spring in your step with these wonderful, healthy salads perfect for Springtime
ne of the best things about Spring is the chance to create wonderful, healthy salads with some of the finest and freshest veg available at this time of the year. So, without delay, check out some of our best Spring salad recipes that are sure to make your body smile. Salad leaves – mixed Vine tomatoes Red onion Feta cheese Olive oil Lemon Salt and pepper Fresh oregano
GREEK SALAD Wash and rinse the salad leaves and chop the vine tomatoes in half (depending on their size) and slice the red onion so you have wonderful whole onion circles. Toss the tomatoes, salad leaves and onion together in a bowl ensuring it’s all mixed. Then mix the olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil mix to the salad bowl, toss again before finally adding the crumbled feta on top. To finish garnish with the fresh oregano and another pinch of pepper.
Orange juice Lemon juice Honey Salt and pepper Olive oil Mixed carrots Radishes Celery Small beet Fresh mint leaves Small oranges
Mixed salad leaves Dried apricots White wine vinegar Shallot Dijon mustard Olive oil Feta Cucumber Dill
SHAVED CARROT AND RADISH SALAD Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper to your taste, before adding olive oil. Peel and then shave the carrots lengthways and finely slice the radishes before peeling the oranges and slicing them into half-moons. Then thinly slice the celery and small beet. Mix together in a large bowl before adding the olive oil mix. Serve with the freshly chopped mint leaves on top.
SPRING SALAD WITH APRICOT VINAIGRETTE Place the apricots in a bowl while bringing the white wine vinegar to a simmer. Once simmering, pour over the apricots and leave for ten minutes. Finely slice the shallot, then add to a bowl with some Dijon mustard before then adding the apricots to the mustard mixture. Add a little white wine vinegar to taste and then mix in the olive oil. In a large bowl, toss together the salad leaves, cucumber and apricot mixture. To serve, crumble the feta cheese over the top before adding the fresh dill.
Images for illustrative purposes only
A one bedroom first floor apartment offering gas to radiator central heating, fitted kitchen/diner with oven & hob, UPVC double glazing and allocated parking space. The accommodation comprises: Communal entrance hall, sitting room, kitchen/diner, bedroom, bathroom and parking space. NO ONWARD CHAIN. Energy rating C.
A DETACHED four bedroom family home positioned in a QUIET CUL DE SAC on the popular Calvert Green development. The property benefits from a good sized FAMILY KITCHEN/DINER with INTEGRATED APPLIANCES, a dual aspect sitting room with engineered Oak flooring and FRENCH DOORS leading out onto the patio and rear garden and master bedroom with BUILT IN WARDROBES and en-suite shower room. Accommodation over two levels comprises: Entrance hall with under stair space saving storage, ground floor cloakroom, DUAL ASPECT SITTING ROOM with French doors onto the patio and rear garden and kitchen/diner. On the first floor, landing, master bedroom with built in wardrobes and an ensuite shower room, three further bedrooms and family bathroom. EPC rating C.
Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
A fabulous extended detached bungalow with attic conversion, situated in this sought after village location and offering: oil to radiator central heating, fitted kitchen/diner with integrated appliances, a spacious sitting room with part vaulted ceiling, two bathrooms, a first floor study, a garage and an attractive landscaped south west facing rear garden. The accommodation comprises: Open entrance porch, entrance hall, sitting room, kitchen/diner, breakfast room, utility room, master bedroom with en-suite shower room, two further double bedrooms one with a “Jack & Jill” en-suite bathroom.
We are pleased to offer For Sale this three bedroom detached home situated in a quiet cul-de-sac location in the popular West Brackley. The property benefits from gas to radiator central heating, double glazing throughout and briefly comprises entrance hallway, downstairs cloakroom, kitchen with free-standing double gas cooker with four ring gas hob, space and plumbing for washing machine and dishwasher, lounge/dining room with patio doors leading to the rear garden. Master bedroom with storage cupboard and en-suite shower room, further double bedroom and single bedroom, fully tiled family bathroom. Enclosed private rear garden laid to lawn and patio with shed and side gate access, detached single garage with light and power and driveway parking for two cars.
Backing on to open fields, this three double bedroom detached property is situated in this desirable Oxfordshire village which benefits from the popular ‘The Muddy Duck’ pub, together with being only a 5 mile drive from the M40. The property benefits from a larger than average rear garden and off road parking for three cars. The accommodation comprises entrance hall, downstairs cloakroom, study, lounge with working log burner, kitchen with integrated appliances, dining area and separate utility room. The first floor has a master bedroom with beautiful views and en-suite bathroom, two further double bedrooms and shower room.
A two bedroom ground floor apartment situated within easy walking distance of Buckingham’s town centre and university. The property briefly comprises entrance hall, lounge/dining room, kitchen which includes fridge, washing machine and oven, double bedroom, single bedroom/ study, bathroom with shower over bath, secure entry phone system and allocated parking space. EPC RATING D. COUNCIL TAX BAND C. NO PETS. AVAILABLE NOW.
Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
A luxury TWO DOUBLE BEDROOM first floor apartment, conveniently situated in the TOWN CENTRE but also only a SHORT WALKING DISTANCE TO THE UNIVERSITY. **THE PROPERTY CAN BE FURNISHED/UNFURNISHED TO SUIT** The property comprises communal entrance with video phone entry system, spacious entrance/study area, open plan living/kitchen/dining area, kitchen includes dishwasher & washing machine. Master bedroom with en-suite shower room, a further double bedroom and further bathroom with shower attachment over bath. The property further benefits from an allocated parking space. STRICTLY NO PETS. EPC RATING B. COUNCIL TAX BAND C. AVAILABLE END APRIL.
A charming one bedroom terraced cottage, with a second room suitable for a study/dressing room. OFFERED PART FURNISHED and located in the TOWN CENTRE OF BUCKINGHAM and within a SHORT WALKING DISTANCE OF THE UNIVERSITY. The property would suit EITHER A SINGLE PROFESSIONAL OR STUDENT briefly comprises kitchen/breakfast room with washing machine & fridge/freezer, lounge, double bedroom with fitted wardrobes, study/ bedroom, bathroom with shower over bath. Small courtyard garden. The property benefits from double glazing and gas to radiator central heating. On street parking is available close to the property. **TENANT TO SUPPLY THEIR OWN MATTRESS**STRICTLY NO PETS. AVAILABLE NOW.
MEET THE TEAM... Brian has been an estate agent since 1983. He runs the successful Buckingham Branch whilst also overseeing our superb lettings team. Brian maintains the most important people in his business are his staff as this transfers into excellent customer service. His hobbies include watching Formula one and is an avid Chelsea fan.
Director Nick has over 30 years experience in the property industry working for Corporate Firms and has been Co Director of Russell & Butler since 2002. Every home is different, every home is important, moving home can be one of the most stressful times, Nick is committed to making this task as easy and as stress free as possible, hopefully even enjoyable... Nick enjoys spending time with family and friends, enjoying a glass of wine and learning modern foreign languages.
MNAEA, Branch Manager Cheryl has worked for Nick and Brian at Russell and Butler since day 1. Joining them 15 years ago, as a weekend Sales Negotiator, and with hard work and dedication, Cheryl has progressed through the ranks, qualifying as a member of the National Association of Estate Agents 8 years ago, and is now the Branch Manager. Cheryl’s previous career, pre-children was in Hotel Management where she quickly identified how important good customer care, communication and service is. Communication is key when buying and selling properties, alongside identifying and understanding people’s needs and motivations. Cheryl believes that Brian, Michelle and herself are the strongest sales team in Buckingham, working closely together to provide the overall experience that Russell and Butler provide. Out of work, Cheryl enjoys spending time with family and friends, going for long walks and is partial to the odd glass of Prosecco!
Michelle (AKA Mush) joined Russell & Butler in March 2014 as a Sales Negotiator, with a passion for delivering a high level of customer service and keen to change the perception of ‘Estate Agents’ she shortly went on to become Senior Sales Negotiator and a qualified member of the National Association of Estate Agents. Michelle believes success in estate agency is down to client satisfaction and reputation, trusting the agent you are buying or selling through is paramount. Michelle values residential properties within the area, conducts sales viewings and has an excellent understanding of buyers and sellers requirements, living locally her knowledge of the area is invaluable. Michelle enjoys good food and quality time with family and friends.
MNAEA, Senior Sales Negotiator
Alice joined the team in 2019 as an administrator, quickly establishing herself as part of the team and making the role her own. She enjoys the busy atmosphere of the sales office and keeping everything organised and up to date. In her free time Alice likes to spend time with her family and friends & interior design.
Sales Progressor At Russell & Butler we only believe a sale is a sale once an exchange of contracts has been achieved. Tracey’s role is to communicate and chase all parties involved in the transaction, ie. Solicitors, Estate Agents, Vendors & Purchasers with the sole aim of reaching an Exchange of Contracts as quickly as possible, Tracey has been an Estate Agents and more recently worked in a Local Solicitor’s Office and therefore has gained a knowledge and understanding of the sales process which is second to none.
Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
Sales Negotiator Before becoming an Estate Agent, Lyn used to work as a Customer Services Manager and delivered customer services training, working with independent Estate Agents and the NAEA. At that time, Lyn realised what she wanted to do and has never been happier since making the change! Lyn is somewhat obssessed with buying and selling property having bought and sold 13 times! Constantly inspired and enthused by the opportunity and adventure that a new property presents, she brings enthusiasm and energy to work. Lyn loves working on projects to improve her home and likes a good book and a glass of wine to relax with.
Rachel joined us in March 2015 as our Property Manager, having been in the industry for 9 years, progressing to Senior Property Manager in 2019 and in February 2020, took on the role as Lettings Manager, heading up our Lettings Department. Rachel’s main role now involves carrying out rental valuations and driving the business forward, together with overseeing the management of our rental portfolio.
Debbie joined the team in July 2013 and is the back bone of all of our general administration duties, which include managing the progression of all of our tenancy applications and preparing all paperwork for the tenants to move in on time, together with managing all tenancy renewals.
Senior Lettings Negotiator Matthew has been with us since February 2016 and has proved a valuable addition to the lettings team as it has grown to the level where we were in need of a dedicated member of staff to fulfill this role. Matthew manages our applicant database and conducts all of our rental viewings, negotiating lets between the landlord and the tenant and providing feedback to our landlords after each appointment so that they are always updated on the progress of marketing their property.
Property Manager Shirley joined the lettings team in August 2020 as an additional Property Manager and, with 9 years experience in the Lettings industry, has a wealth of knowledge to bring to the lettings team. Shirley’s role is assisting in managing all maintenance related issues and compliance checks, together with ensuring that all of our Fully Managed properties are kept in good condition in order to protect our Landlords investments and achieve maximum rental income.
Annette’s early career was in Marketing and Magazine Publishing, returning to the UK from spending fourteen years in Australia, she changed direction and went into Property Sales and Management. Working as Lettings Manager for a local agent for some years, in 2011 she decided to start her own business providing Inventories, Check Outs and Sales Consultancy. Annette has now progressed into Property Management and is delighted to become a Property Manager, alongside Shirley, as a valued member of the Lettings Team.
Here’s what our our customers have to say...
Certainly our experience with Russell & Butler as both a buyer and a seller was excellent. We were kept informed and supported through some difficult times. Our selling chain fell through and we felt very supported throughout.
David Buyer & Seller
I think Russell & Butler differ from other estate agents in the area because their level of service and response, especially their response time. They keep you informed at every stage even after the sale is made using they’re sales progressing service is fantastic.
Nigel Seller & Landlord russellandbutler.com
“ With regards to recommending Russell & Butler, they are the only ones I would recommend.
In an estate agent we look for professionalism and good people which Russell & Butler have a lot of.
What we look for in a letting agent is trust worthy, professionalism and good advice and we find all that with Russell & Butler. We would recommend Russell & Butler without any hesitation and have done that with a few of our collegues in the rental business.
Vartan and Sarah - Landlord
STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY
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We are on hand to keep you up to date with professional advice on how to make the most of the Stamp Duty Holiday! So, take advantage and contact us today for your FREE market appraisal.
russellandbutler.com Buckingham 01280 815999
Bicester Banbury 01869 251754 01295 710367
Brackley 01280 706832