LIVING ROOM RENOVATIONS BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO YOUR LIVING SPACE TODAY KIT-OUT YOUR GARDEN BE SPRING-READY WITH THE BEST GARDEN FURNITURE
ST PATRICK’S DAY RECIPES COOK AN IRISH FEAST TO CELEBRATE ST. PADDY’S DAY
NEW MUSIC FROM STARS CLASSIC BANDS RELEASING BRAND NEW MUSIC
BEAT THE BOREDOM HOBBIES TO TRY AT HOME TO KEEP YOU BUSY
CONTENTS COVER STORY
Living room renovations Breathe new life into your living space today
2 16 20
Kit-out your garden Be spring-ready with the best garden furniture Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice
A feast for St Patrick’s Day Tasty Irish recipes, perfect for celebrating St Paddy’s day
A matter of time The clocks go forward this month, but what does it all mean?
A head-start on your garden There are certain seeds and bulbs you can now start to sow
The Many Saints of Newark What to expect from the film based on The Sopranos series
New music from old stars We look at the classic bands releasing new music
Beat the boredom Put some bounce into spring with a new hobby
Reaching for the pot of gold The race to reach the Premier League is entering the last leg
WELCOME TO THE MARCH ISSUE! The schools go back in a week and, at the end of the month, outdoor sports facilities will reopen and the rule of six will come back into place. This is obviously positive news for everyone, especially with the days getting longer. This month, to coincide with the positive news, we want to help you get your garden up to scratch and to do so we have two great features about your outdoor space. The first includes the ‘best buys’ to kit-out-your-garden in styles, and the second is our Spring gardening guide. At the end of the month the clocks change; lighter evenings are coming and on pages 4&5 we have an in-depth look at the
process. Moving inside, we have a superb feature with some incredible, space-saving living room renovation ideas. In the middle, we celebrate St. Patrick’s day with some traditional Irish recipes, and, on top of all these, we have a preview of The Many Saints of Newark, the best new music releases from old favourites and a look at the EFL Championship teams pushing for promotion this Spring. The clouds are clearing and there is light at the tunnel… Remember, Stay Safe, Stay Positive. Jonathan Wheatley Editor
ack in August, the UK recorded a record-breaking heatwave. Therefore we can be hopeful of rivalling temperatures in 2021. So, in preparation, here are some perfect DIY garden ideas so you can make the most of celebrating the British Summer from your own home.
If you want to capitalise on the warm weather this Summer, then give yourself a good excuse to cook outside, and treat yourself to a new barbecue, or, if you feel like getting hands-on, then check out how you can design a barbecue from scratch. Perhaps you would like to go a step further. In this case, look to build a whole outdoor kitchen so you can really make the garden the place to be. As well as increasing your living space, its openness provides the perfect opportunity for entertaining guests, and allows everyone to gather around whilst dinner is being prepared.
SNUGGLE UP IN THE DARK
A really stylish way to transform your garden is to install a fire pit. Through just a few easy steps, and a handful of materials, you can create a stunning visual display, which is equally as practical. On cool evenings a firepit can provide you with some much needed warmth, and add some colour to your garden. On top of this, they are the perfect crowd-pleaser. With just the addition of a few chairs, fire pits are great for socialising late into the night. They can also offer a great way of cooking food. For example, you can place a grill rack over the top in order to give your dinner the authentic taste of a campfire. And what’s more, the fire pit is the gift that keeps on giving, because it can be used throughout the year. Just grab some blankets, and experience its warmth into the winter months.
SOAK UP THE RAYS
There is nothing more exciting about the Summer months than the prospect of hot weather
TAKE THE PARTY OUTSIDE
If you want to take the good times anywhere you go this summer, then why not create your own home bar? For example, if there is a rustic shed at the end of your garden which is going unused, then why not dust it down and revamp it into an industrial pub shed. Or, if you fancy going for a slightly more minimalist approach, then choose to extend a bar counter onto the outside of the kitchen. By merely switching to appropriate windows, this can transform your kitchen into a restaurant-like bar in seconds, and make it easy to transfer food and drink across, creating a link between your kitchen and patio. And if you fancy designing a bar that can follow you around the garden, then opt for a sturdy bar cart, and fill it with all the drinks of a fully-stocked bar, so that, wherever you are, the party is never far behind.
How many times have you basked in the summer heat, and wished you had a hot tub to be soaking in? Well this year, make this dream a reality! There are so many reasons why getting one would be a fruitful investment. For example, along with a fire pit, a hot tub is not restrictive to the summer season, so you can relax in one whether it’s sunny or snowing. They also add a very bold statement to any household. They’re great for entertaining guests, or if you’d prefer to use it privately, they can act as a personal oasis, whilst simultaneously boasting health benefits, such as de-stressing and muscle relaxation. And finally, soaking in a hot tub is a superb way to feel pampered, without going on holiday. Just lie back, turn on the jets, and enjoy your own private retreat
GO ALL OUT ON A SUMMER HOUSE
If you fancy an even bigger project, then why not splash out on a summer house? As well as providing a statement for your garden, summer houses are great places to detox f rom the stresses of everyday life. For instance, the sanctuary of a summer house offers ample opportunity to unwind with a good book, or even to get creative with arts and crafts. And if you need some peace and quiet f rom the bustle of your own house, then turn this space into your own home office, and say goodbye to being interrupted during all of your important meetings. More than anything though, a summer house gives you more options for entertaining, so that you can really take advantage of the warm weather.
How many times have you basked in the summer heat, and wished you had a hot tub to be soaking in?
A MATTER OF
TIME The clocks go forward this month, but what does it all mean?
hat started with a throwaway remark in 1784 has influenced our lives for more than 100 years. But although one of America’s Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, observed on a visit to France that Parisiennes should be woken an hour earlier by cannons and church bells, the concept of Daylight Saving Time (DST) – or as it is more widely-known British Summer Time – did not gain traction until 1895 when a New Zealand scientist, George Vernon Hudson, proposed to his government that the clocks should go forward by two hours every summer. Although he was unsuccessful, an English builder, William Willett, began lobbying Parliament in 1907 to alter the clocks to create more hours of daylight in the
summer. Although cynics sniped it was to allow Willett more time to play golf and ride out, he argued we were frittering away natural light by rising at the same time in the summer as in the darker days of winter. He advocated putting clocks forward of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by 80 minutes (20 minutes at a time during April) and reversing it in similar stages throughout September. But it wasn’t until the spring of 1916, a year after his death, that Willett’s proposal was adopted - and then only by an hour – as wartime governments around Europe tried to cut fuel consumption and increase productivity. Incidentally, Willett is the greatgreat-grandfather of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who co-wrote the track Clocks for the group’s album, A Rush Of Blood To The Head. A nod to his ancestor, perhaps? Anyway, apart from a spell during, and immediately after, the second World War when they were brought forward two hours to avoid fuel shortages, that’s the way it stayed until 1968 when Britain spent three years in DST.
But fears around road safety prompted a return to the status quo, disappointing those who argued changing the clocks twice a year upset natural sleep rhythms which could ultimately lead to health problems. To say nothing of the shocks suffered by those who had forgotten to change and couldn’t work out what was going on. Our former European colleagues also tackled time in 2018, when the European Union commissioned a study which found 84 per cent of people in countries which had DST wanted it discontinued. It gave member states the option to continue in summer time by adjusting their clocks for the last time this month, while those opting for permanent winter time would turn back their clocks in October. For most of us, though, it all revolves around whether, for one day, we are gaining – or losing – an extra hour under the duvet. So, in this case, it means after 1am on Sunday March 28th, we spring forward from our beds, desperately hoping the other half remembered to adjust the central heating settings. The main advantage, of course, is that evenings gradually become lighter, promoting more activity
after work, which is obviously good for general health and the retail sector, which has long complained that darker, colder afternoons reduce footfall apart from around Christmas.
Nature starts to break out of its winter slumber to bring splashes of colour to the countryside
Roads also become safer. Figures show casualty rates peak at 8am and 10am and worsen at 3pm and 7pm during darker hours and deteriorating road conditions when cyclists – particularly children on their way home from school – are most at risk. There are also environmental benefits, as demand for electricity decreases in correlation with the increased hours of daylight as well as rising temperatures. Plus nature starts to break out of its winter slumber to bring splashes of colour to the countryside. Consequently, people generally feel happier and more energetic.
Employers’ organisations say there are lower sickness rates among their workers while instances of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as winter depression) drop significantly, while carb cravings are also lowered. And once the clocks go forward, the clock starts ticking down to the first of the Bank Holiday weekends, heralded by the four-day Easter blockbuster, followed by two more in May and another at the end of August. So, as you ponder the complexities of resetting the timer on the boiler count yourself fortunate. There are more than 2,000 clocks in the Houses of Parliament. And the time on your Smartphone updates automatically.
NEED SOME INSPIRATION ON HOW TO RENOVATE AND TRANSFORM YOUR LIVING SPACE?
If you’re renovating your living room, and trying to change things up, and/or create more storage space, look no further for your inspiration than here
asking in the peaceable kingdom that is your living space has never been so important. Whether it be a calming décor, an ocean of soft and fluffy comfort for your bare feet to walk through, or a crackling fireplace spitting happily away as you read a good novel, your living space should be a thing of beauty. Here are our ideas for how to get the best out of your living space.
Art is the gateway to the soul, as someone great surely once said. Grace your walls with art. And art is art – it doesn’t need to be by a world-renowned artist, just something you like which suits your tastes.
Perhaps choose colours which match your desired décor of the entire room. Either way, art or photography can go a long way in giving your living space a much needed lift in character and mood.
RUGS. If you’re in the process of renovating your living space, rugs can serve a very good practical purpose as well as a decorative one. If you’ve recently moved some significant furniture to another position, for instance, this can leave unattractive indentations in the carpet, and a rug can discreetly solve this problem. Two birds, one stone. It’s fun to decide upon the right colour and design of your rug, too!
TV AND UNITS.
The size of the unit obviously is determined by your television, because it’s all about the widescreen high def. Right? Well, not always. It’s often about storage and décor. Perhaps you’re someone who doesn’t particularly care for an enormous TV in your living room. Either way, a TV unit is a fantastic way of creating precious space for your Sky box, DVD’s, Blu-rays, video games, books, ornaments, and many other things. Make it work for you.
STORAGE BOX SEATS.
One of the most wonderfully versatile pieces of furniture for the living space can be a foldable storage stool. It can provide a
Throw pillows can also be the perfect seasoning to chairs, and can help blend the chairs into the desired décor of the room
brilliant storage solution for a great many bits and bobs, but also act as a foot rest, or a full on seat. Pick the right colour and style, and you’ve got yourself a very welcome new member of the furniture family.
CHAIRS AND THROW PILLOWS.
Hanging chairs can make the difference between traditional and modern, if done right. Be thoughtful in your creative thinking, and the chairs you have in your living space can complete it in reliable ways. Throw pillows can also be the perfect seasoning to chairs, and can help blend the chairs into the desired décor of the room. Hanging chairs are a more modern option, which, depending on the style of your room, can be one of the most impressive things in it.
The centre piece of many living spaces, believe it not, can be a coffee table. If it’s a large, marble, beautifully crafted coffee table, for example, it certainly has the power to completely transform the living space from a mere room to a beautiful entertaining space. They usually serve
great practical purpose too, acting as a kind of storage solution in themselves, both on top and underneath the table.
The fireplace can be key to creating the focal point in your living room. It can enhance the modern feel to the space, or indeed complement the vintage style to the room. Fireplaces can get expensive, though, so be sure to pick the right one for you, in terms of style as well. Log burners can be ideal for the winter, whereas wall-mounted fireplaces can be more low maintenance. With many factors to consider, the choice is yours to make.
Like the aforementioned hanging art possibility, lots and lots of books can be the finishing touch to a living space and add a touch of class. After all, reading by the fireplace – is there a more peaceful scene? Book shelves can solve many storage problems. With an entire wall dominated by beautiful, elegant and spacious book shelves, you’ve got yourself a mini library, which is when a library ladder would be in order to really give your living space a delightfully stylish finish.
If you’ve recently moved some significant furniture to another position, for instance, this can leave unattractive indentations in the carpet, and a rug can discreetly solve this problem LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
COOK UP A FEAST TO CELEBRATE ST PATRICK’S DAY St Patrick’s Day is on the 17th March, so what better time to look at some great recipes from the Emerald Isle
Ireland isn’t just about Guinness and Potatoes, we have scoured through the cookbooks to find some of the most comforting and tasty Irish recipes, perfect for celebrating St Paddy’s day at home this year.
FIFTEEN Ingredients 15 digestive biscuits 15 marshmallows 15 glacé cherries, cut in half about 200ml condensed milk 100g desiccated coconut, to coat Method Crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, then put them in a large mixing bowl. Chop each marshmallow into 4 pieces and add to the bowl with the cherries and 175ml condensed milk. Mix until the ingredients are well combined and you have a sticky mixture. If it’s too dry, add a splash more condensed milk.
Images for illustrative purposes only Recipes from www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk
Sprinkle most of the coconut over a large piece of cling film (or foil). Tip the mixture onto the coconut and shape into a long sausage, about 30 x 5cm. Sprinkle more coconut over the top of it and wrap the cling film tightly around, twisting the ends together. Leave in the fridge to chill for 4-6 hrs, then cut into 15 slices and serve. Will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week wrapped in cling film.
IRISH STEW A classic, hearty and warming Irish stew, perfect for a cold Spring evening. Ingredients 3 middle necks of lamb (about 1.8kg/4lb), filleted and boned - you need to end up with about 950g/2lb 2oz pure meat 650g floury potatoes, such as King Edward 650g waxy potato, such as Desirée or Pentland Javelin 1kg carrots 2 onions ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves chopped fresh chives and parsley, to garnish For the stock bones from the lamb 1 large carrot, quartered 1 onion, quartered ½ celery stick, quartered 1 bay leaf 2 large sprigs of thyme a generous sprig of parsley 6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
Images for illustrative purposes only Recipes from www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk
Method Make the stock. Put the lamb bones in a large heavy-based saucepan with the carrot, onion, celery, herbs, peppercorns and 1 tsp salt. Pour in 3 litres/5 ¼ pints water. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Strain the stock through a fine sieve to remove bones and vegetables, then return to the pan. Boil until reduced to about 1.3 litres/2 ¼ pints. (You can make the stock the day before – keep it in a covered container in the fridge, or freeze it for up to 3 months.) Make the stew. Cut the lamb into large chunks. Peel the potatoes (keeping both types separate) and cut into pieces of similar size to the meat. Put the two different types in separate bowls of water to keep them white. Peel the carrots and cut into slightly smaller pieces. Slice the onions into thick rings. Put the lamb in a large, clean saucepan. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, skimming off all the impurities from the surface. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the floury potatoes, carrots and onions. Season generously and simmer for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the waxy potatoes and thyme. Simmer until the lamb is tender (15-20 minutes). Take off the heat, cover (don’t stir) and leave for 15 minutes. (You can make this up to 2 days ahead and keep in the fridge). Garnish and serve.
ON YOUR GARDEN It’s that time of the year, gardeners everywhere are getting prepped for what they hope will be an incredible year in their gardens
t may still be cold outside, but, hopefully, the last of the year’s frosts has come and gone. There are certain seeds and bulbs you can now start to sow, both outside and inside, ready to move outside later on. If you get the timing just right, regardless of whether you have a greenhouse or not, or the size of your garden, you can have a bumper crop of veg and herbs alongside some beautiful flowers in your borders, but you need to put the work in now.
good quality compost and pick a few different varieties of tomatoes. Sow the seeds on the top of the seed trays, before sprinkling on a thin layer of compost. Give them a good water, before covering and leaving in a warm and sunny place. When the weather gets warmer, then transplant them into a large planter or grow bags with bamboo or trellis to hold them up.
Another great group of plants, that when grown yourself at home adds so much to As opposed to shop-bought flowers ready your summer BBQs, are herbs. Basil, to plant, if you have grown oregano, and thyme your flowers from seeds and are three of the most bulbs, as well as the popular and you can There are certain excitement of watching start these great seeds and bulbs you them grow, they will plants off early. Sow can now start to sow, actually be hardier than the basil, oregano and both outside and shop-bought variety. thyme now in seed inside, ready to move planters with good outside later on For a little investment now quality compost and in seeds, if you’re savvy, you a propagator lid in a can then use the seeds warm place. The from the veg that grow for next years shoots should start to show within a week crops and likewise with the herbs. If you and when they do keep them moist until take a cutting towards the end of the they’re large enough to pot-on. When season, you can have your herb plants potted-on, put them in a warm, sunny ready-to-go next year too. spot in your garden or, even better, a greenhouse.
Tomatoes are one of the best go-to veggies for your garden or greenhouse. Get an early start by sowing your seeds early in seed trays indoors. Start with some
Chilli peppers and sweet peppers perfectly compliment the tomatoes and herbs you already have growing and they are just as
If you get the timing just right you can have a bumper crop of veg and herbs alongside some beautiful flowers
simple to grow. Pick a few different varieties such as Burrito Chilli, Sweet Pepper and Cayenne, and sow the seeds similarly to the tomato plants. The roots go deeper in chilli plants, so plant each seed 1cm into the compost and then water, cover and keep in a very warm place. Once the plants are 2-3cm tall pot-on into individual containers somewhere warm and with lots of sunshine. Ideally, keep them in a greenhouse or lean-to with direct l Always use good quality compost when starting sunlight. your seeds to get incredible growth.
l If you don’t have a lot of room for seed trays and Most of your Spring propagators, simply cover pots with cling film. bulbs should already l Always put pots with seeds in a well-lit and warm be in, however, there area to encourage growth. are a few more you can plant now. l When potting on, pull out the plant – root included Summer-flowering – using the leaves as if they break they will grow bulbs like Pineapple back, whereas a broken stem won’t. Lilies and other Lilies l Tomato plants grow like a jungle when bunched alongside your Gladioli together, so make sure you use bamboo or trellis to are prime to go into try to keep the space neat and tidy. the ground next. For Gladioli, soak the bulbs in water a day before planting and then plant the bulbs 2-6 inches deep, 5 inches apart in rows before covering again with soil. These will take between 70-90 days until they flower. For Lilies, plant the bulbs three times as deep as the height of the bulb and set pointy side up.
THE MANY SAINTS
OF NEWARK – WHAT ARE WE
On the cusp of the millennium in 1999, we were introduced to The Sopranos. Spanning six highly critically acclaimed seasons of ground-breaking TV, and leaving our screens in 2007 with almost 12million viewers tuning in for the final season’s finale. A story about New Jersey’s most famous fictional mob family, the upcoming film based on the TV series will act as a prequel to the series’ events, thus being set in the 60s and 70s during, and in the wake of, the Newark riots, which was one of many race riots of the time, killing 26 people. Films like The Godfather and Goodfellas romanticised the antihero in cinema, and The Sopranos was perhaps the first iconic TV show which carried on that tradition, putting the viewer in uneasy positions as we forever awkwardly albeit sympathetically root for the antiheros of the show. Shows like Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad and Mad Men followed in a similar theme,
Just over 20 years later, and it’s back on the screen – the big screen. The Many Saints of Newark is due for release this year, after a COVIDcaused delay
exploring and glamorizing the darker complexities of human nature.
David is a masterful storyteller and we... are thrilled that he has decided to revisit, and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film
David Chase, creator of The Sopranos and co-writer of The Many Saints of Newark, has already divulged that the storyline of the film centres on the 1967 Newark riots and racial tensions between the Italian-American and African-American communities. He said: “I was interested in Newark and life in Newark at that time. I used to go down there every Saturday night for dinner with my grandparents. But the thing that interested me most was Tony’s boyhood. I was interested in exploring that.”
New Line Cinema purchased the rights to produce the film along with HBO Films, and NLC chairman, Toby Emmerich, has said: “David is a masterful storyteller and we, along with our colleagues at HBO, are thrilled that he has decided to revisit, and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film.” In the famous TV show, the Soprano family, racist and hypermasculine as they usually were, were frequently looking back on the plight of the Italian American’s place in society, whilst struggling with their lack of a sense of home in the US. We are surely to expect The Many Saints of Newark, then, to explore just how the family’s tough and bitter men and women came to be the way they were in the modern day. “[The film will be] set in the 60s and 70s during, and in the wake of, the Newark riots, which was one of many race riots of the time, killing 26 people.”
As we enter March, the music keeps on coming, as we welcome new material from some of the biggest acts around the world
KINGS OF LEON
This year is sees Kings of Leon release new music. Back in January, the Tennessee quartet shared two new songs ‘Must Catch the Bandit’ and ‘Feel the Way You Do’, with further snippets released for two further tracks. With the exception of the aptly-titled song ‘Going Nowhere’, in 2020, this is the first new music that the band have dropped since their 2016 album ‘WALLS’. This album, which landed the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200, has much to live up to, so the group will hope for their new album ‘When You See Yourself’, to be equally successful, when it comes out on March 5th.
This is the first new music that the band have dropped since their 2016 album
For the first time in a decade, Evanescence will be releasing new music, following up the self-titled 2011 offering. ‘The Bitter Truth’, will be available from March 26th, with a number of singles
already available to listen to. To mark the announcement of the upcoming record, the band released the song ‘Yeah right’, a hard rock number, offering insights into the band’s lengthy tenure in the music industry. Speaking to Rolling Stone, frontwoman Amy Lee spoke of the difficulty in writing music during lockdown, saying, ‘Even on the days that I don’t want to, I come out here and I go, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s finish the album.’’
The former Beatles drummer will also release a new five-song album in March. The record, entitled ‘Zoom In’, was recorded between the months of April and October 2020, and will include contributions from Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and Finneas. Starr has already dropped one song, ‘Here’s To The Nights’, which was available to listen to from December, and was worked on with songwriter Diane Warren.
Due to unforeseen manufacturing delays, the release of Sting’s forthcoming album ‘Duets’ will be released on March 19th. As the title suggests, the seventeen-track album will feature some big alreadyreleased collaborations, including with the likes of Eric Clapton, Shaggy, Annie Lennox, and Mary J. Blige. It will also feature one new song, entitled ‘September’, which Sting has recorded with the famed Italian singer, Zucchero. Speaking in September 2020, Sting spoke of the ‘amazing people’, who he had recorded music with, leading to the creation of this new star-studded album.
THE GREEN SHOOTS OF PERSONAL GROWTH
Put some bounce into spring with a new hobby
o here we are, spring already: the season of new birth, new growth … and new ideas. It’s an exciting time of the year, even more so if you’ve decided to broaden your horizons and embark on a new hobby. As the weather, hopefully, grows warmer and daylight gets longer there’s more chance to get outside to indulge newfound interests and put to use those rediscovered items which were bought with the prefix: “One day, I’ll…” Technology’s relentless advance brings information and advice to your fingertips, particularly helpful if your new smartphone also has a state-of-the-art camera, which has piqued an interest in photography. There are many online tutorials and workshops to help you develop your skills before advancing to that big digital SLR camera you’ve dreamt of for years. Similarly art, whether it be sketching or painting with watercolours or oils. Springtime, with its rapidly-improving light and emerging plant life, is a rich source of inspiration and the internet is awash with advice on how to get started, selecting your subjects and brushing up your techniques to get the best results.
Painting, particularly capturing landscapes, might just encourage a feeling of well-being, of being at one with nature. In which case, a logical step forward would be to try Tai Chi, the traditional Chinese martial art with its sequences of slow, controlled movements which reduce stress, improve mood and sleep, and promote weight loss … just the thing to shed those Christmas pounds in anticipation of Easter chocolate. Again, there are many lessons online, but for the best grounding, join one of the many classes at sports centres, gyms or village halls so a qualified instructor can help you get the principles right before you go solo. Could there be anything more invigorating than callisthenics in the back garden in the early-morning sunshine? Well, how about standing thigh-deep in a swift-running stream trying to outwit a fighting-fit trout? Angling has long been one of Britain’s biggest participation sports, and while fly-fishing may be seen as elitist, it is anything but. Fairly accessible, relatively inexpensive and incredibly therapeutic, there are lessons online but for the best experience – and when lockdown restrictions are
It’s an exciting time of the year, even more so if you’ve decided to broaden your horizons and embark on a new hobby eased – enrol for a day-long lesson at venues such as Anglian Water’s recognised fisheries at Grafham, Pitsford, and Rutland waters, or Ravensthorpe Reservoir, and pretty soon you’ll be hooked (sorry). If you become proficient, you can always cook your catch. Barbeque cooking is an art-form in itself and something to explore beyond chargrilling the whatsits out of a forlorn sausage on a balmy summer evening. Again, internet tutorials – plus recipes – abound, while the same applies if you fancy more ambitious and creative continental cooking. A hobby where you can eat your efforts? Can’t be bad!
GOLD The race for the Premier League is entering the finishing straight
he English Premier League is, on the surface, the land of milk and honey, a footballing Utopia where the streets are paved with 24-carat gold bricks and the super-rich chatter idly of multi million-pound contracts and eyewatering sponsorship deals. But, as with most elitist societies, there are fat cats lounging at the top table with the wannabes scrambling around, snapping up the hand-me-downs and dining off scraps. And then there are those huddled outside, noses firmly pressed against the window, waiting for their membership of this lucrative club to be rubber-stamped so they too can bask in the limelight of being one of the chosen few. Unfortunately, for those outsiders, the path from the threshold to the cosiness of the inner sanctum is littered with broken dreams and, more often than not, severely-depleted bank accounts. Norwich City know this more than most. In the 29 seasons of the Premier League, they have had five separate spells in the top flight, none lasting more than three
seasons. And yet, once again, they are perched among the front-runners trying to escape the Sky Bet Championship for the Promised Land of the Premier League.
As the season enters the final quarter, it’s all about momentum and consistency
Their last attempt at gaining a toehold on football’s Everest came with a longanticipated relegation in May last year, but crucially, unlike many of their doomed predecessors, they managed to keep hold of the majority of their highlyrated younger players.
quarter, it’s all about momentum and consistency – and most of their rivals have shown anything but. Watford and Bournemouth squandered points around the middle of the campaign and lost ground, with Swansea, who squeezed into the playoffs last season, emerging as contenders from a rather congested pack. However, it is Brentford, another of last season’s bridesmaids, who continue to take the eye in a leading group otherwise dominated by clubs who have previously reached for the Holy Grail and been found wanting.
And with the arrival of the well-regarded Oliver Skipp on a season-long loan from Tottenham, they have regrouped, shown great resilience and now look a solid bet to bounce straight back, if not as champions then in the other automatic promotion spot.
The Bees, cruelly denied in the playoffs last season, continued to thrive despite subsequently losing key players Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma, and their run to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup hinted at greater things, thanks to the arrival of Ivan Toney from Peterborough and the continued potency of Sergi Canos and Bryan Mbeumo.
Who accompanies them, though, is not so obvious. As the season enters the final
Perhaps there will be no sting in the tale this year.
Green Lane, Clapham £495,000 An excellent opportunity to purchase this three bedroom detached bungalow sitting on approximately 1/3rd of an acre and providing great scope to upgrade and enlarge. The property is ideally located on Green Lane and provides good access to the mainline train station, town centre and local shops. The property provides very spacious accommodation which includes a 25ft dual aspect sitting room, a large separate dining room, a fitted kitchen, a conservatory, three double bedrooms, an ensuite and family bathroom. Externally there is a 90 ft wide front garden and 50ft long driveway providing ample parking leading to the single garage. To the rear the garden is 90 ft wide and extends to 79ft deep which is fully enclosed and laid predominately to lawn. Further benefits include double glazing and gas radiator heating. The property is offered for sale with no upward chain. •
3 Double bedrooms
1/3 of an acre plot
No upward chain
Separate dining room
Scope for improvement
firstname.lastname@example.org CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
Fleming Close, Biddenham £475,000 A superbly presented and much improved four bedroom detached property nicely situated in this quiet close of similar styled homes within the highly regarded village of Biddenham. Ideally located with easy access to major road links, the town centre and main line train station( 35 Minutes to London). The spacious family accommodation is both light and airy and features a bay fronted sitting room with a multi fuel burner, a dining room with double doors to the rear garden, a large breakfast/utility room and a recently refitted kitchen with a comprehensive range of units with integrated oven, hob, microwave and fridge and quartz work tops. Upstairs there are 3 doubles and a single bedroom, a stylish refitted ensuite to the main bedroom and a refitted family bathroom. •
2 Reception rooms
Refitted ensuite and family bathroom
Triple glazed windows
Newly installed gas radiator heating
Call now to book a guided virtual tour
Arkwright Road, Milton Ernest £415,000
A spacious four bedroom detached house situated on this no through road of similar styled homes within the highly regarded north Bedfordshire village of Milton Ernest located approximately five miles from the town and mainline train station centre and within the Sharnbrook Academy catchment area. •
2 Reception rooms
Scope for improvement
Sought after village location
Chinnor Close, Bedford OIEO £250,000
An extended three bedroom end of terrace located in a quiet corner of this small, attractive close approximately two miles east of the town centre providing access to a wide range of facilities and amenities including local shops, supermarkets, schools, excellent road links and Priory Country Park. •
Gas radiator heating
Garage in block
South facing garden
email@example.com CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
Chantry Road, Kempston £350,000
One of a pair of individually styled 3 double bedroom semi detached houses providing very spacious and versatile layout conveniently situated for the wide range of amenities Kempston has to offer. •
3 Double bedroom semi detached chalet style
Large ground floor bathroom
21’9 x 18’10 lounge/diner
68’ x 28’ west facing rear garden
Large main bedroom
Off road parking
No upward chain
Welland Court, Brickhill £150,000
A spacious 2 bedroom first floor apartment with a balcony and views to the front conveniently situated within in the popular Brickhill area close to choice of shops, schools and local amenities. This property is offered for sale with no upward chain. •
Close to local shops
Some upgrading required
No upward chain
Open views to front
Meet our team Mark Brightwell MANAGING DIRECTOR
Director Mark Brightwell has worked in estate agency since 1985 and founded Taylor Brightwell in 1995. Mark has been at the forefront of the company and directed the business through the highs and lows of the property market. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience and has created a strong and independent team to support him in delivering a trusted and professional service in Bedford and the surrounding areas.
Steve Birchall SALES MANAGER
Steve joined the team in 2010 and has worked in Estate Agency for over 35 years for both independent and corporate companies bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience with him. Born and bred in Bedford he is well known and widely respected.
Claire has over 20 years experience here in Bedfordshire. Having worked all aspects of estate agency including new homes and land. She brings a wealth of local knowledge to the team and prides herself on excellent customer service.
firstname.lastname@example.org CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
PROPERTY CONSULTANT Fiona has over 25 years of expertise in the property market. She has built a reputation for excellent customer service, dynamic sales ability and a thorough approach. Her local knowledge is invaluable.
WEEKEND SALES NEGOTIATOR
Caroline has worked for Taylor Brightwell for over 10 years and is great with customers. She is an important member of the team arranging and conducting viewings and dealing with all enquiries.
Emma Domagala ADMINISTRATOR
Emma joined Taylor Brightwell in 2019. She is integral to the day to day running of the office and our social media accounts.
Here’s what our
Mr Thompson SELLER AND BUYER
When Steve Birchall came to do the valuation we were impressed with his manner and his professionalism, so my wife and I decided we’ll forget everybody else, we’ll go with Taylor Brightwell and we’re very pleased that we did in the end. They really treat you as an individual and they really look after you from start to finish and when our property was coming towards the contract exchange date, Steve was on the ball and helped us out tremendously, so we appreciate all the staff have done from Taylor Brightwell.
Mrs Brightman BUYER
Steve was absolutely amazing, we met him from day one, when we viewed the property and all the way through he was totally on the ball, all of the paper work was done straight away and I knew if there was an issue and I rang Steve, he would be on the case and that he would deal with things and even if he couldn’t quite get an answer on one day, he would ring and tell me that so we were just totally kept informed with everything that was going on.
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SELLER AND BUYER We chose Taylor Brightwell because they had the property that we were interested in and they were able to market ours successfully aswell.
Mrs Jones SELLER
I’d definitely recommend Taylor Brightwell, I have already done so to various members of our circle of friends and also family members and if it came to us selling our house we would definitely be going to them as they provided a very good service and we would be looking at them if we were purchasing in this area aswell. I have no hesitation in recommending them.
SELLER AND BUYER
No hesitation in recommending Taylor Brightwell to family or friends who are looking to sell their property within the Bedford area. The Bedford area seems to be their area of expertise so I have no problem in recommending them.
Present your house for sale by de-cluttering... Maximise your home’s potential and create spacious rooms enticing potential buyers – simply by de-cluttering!
De-cluttering allows you to… maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important
f you are looking to sell your house, or have had your home on the market for a while now, then you probably want to get the maximum sale price in the quickest time. There are a few things you can’t control – but the one thing that is in your control, is the look and feel of the interior and exterior. While it’s worth spending time fixing and cleaning your house before potential buyers come and view, it’s also important to de-clutter. This creates spacious rooms and also allows you to decrease and organise your personal items before you move yourself. Of course it’s understandable that you don’t to want spend money, time and energy on a home you are about to leave, however, a lot of people are looking for a house in which they can move straight into. Maintaining your property might
even save you thousands of pounds; it could even reduce added expenses of living in your home whilst waiting for a sale. And it might even help avoid possible reductions in the asking price. The main reason in which people move house tends to be because they lack space in their current home. They want a home that is spacious and in which they can grow into. If a potential viewer comes to your home and sees that there is lack of space, then this will turn them away. De-cluttering allows you to remove any unnecessary items in an untidy or overcrowded place. It will help maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important.
So where should you start? You need to create a great first impression and focus on the rooms themselves. You will notice that the first things you see in each room are personal items. Where possible you want to create the look of a lifestyle that the potential buyer want.
paper work. Get yourself organised! Don’t just throw it all away, but file it and go through it thoroughly. This will also make it easier when you move. You also want to focus on little things like DVDs, books and trinkets. These items may have some small value so sell them
many personal effects can be distracting to buyers. They want to see a house in which they can make their own memories rather than seeing yours. Again, personal items can be stored away. Remember that this is only a temporary way of living and hopefully it won’t be for long! If you find you are keeping more things than you
Where possible you want to create the look of a lifestyle that the potential buyers want This usually has a ‘show home’ feel, rather than a ‘lived in’ feel. Minimising your things is the quickest way to do this: you want to ensure that potential buyers can do simple things, like, open any doors easily, ensuring that there are no obstacles. So, what do we mean by clutter? There are two types: genuine clutter, and items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property. Genuine Clutter: You need to go through the space and sort out each item, categorising them into things you want to keep and things you want to get rid of. You may even find that you have collected a cupboard full of
or donate them to charity. Get rid of any old shoes and coats that are lying about in your porch or hallway. You might want to hide away the coats and shoes you do currently wear. Store them in your wardrobe, while you have viewings. Items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property: You may want to consider putting some items in storage while you sell your home. Sometimes items are too large or even too small for some spaces and can make the room look odd. If you want to keep these particular items, then store them until you move into your new home. De-personalising can also be a great way to de-clutter. Too
are throwing out, then think about whether or not it’s in the right room or do you even need it now? As previously mentioned, you can attempt to sell some of the things you have acquired over the years. Use sites like eBay, Gumtree and social networking sites to try and sell items. You may want to even hold a house sale for the remaining items that you can’t sell. Failing that, why not donate to charity. The end goal is still the same and it’s important to help potential buyers envision your house as theirs. So remember, de-cluttering will make your home more spacious and entice potential buyers!
Top Tips! If you are throwing away paperwork, shred anything that is confidential
De-clutter before agents come and take photos of your property. This will help attract more potential viewers online and get that first good impression
Don’t spend too long on certain items and don’t get distracted. Keep yourself motivated and race against the clock!
Make it fun! Play some music or watch TV while you de-clutter
Your step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process
nce a sale has been agreed and is in the hands of your solicitor, it will go through the following stages. Sometimes additional work will be needed – for example, if the property is leasehold or is yet to be registered with the Land Registry. It is also important for buyers to discuss the availability of their deposit with their solicitor early in the transaction, and we strongly recommend that you contact your solicitor regularly so that they can keep you fully up-to-date with the progress and the latest timescales.
Seller’s solicitor’s steps
• Obtain a copy of the Title Deeds (or office copies if the title is registered) • Obtain a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (if applicable) • The seller(s) will return a completed Property Information Form and a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form to the solicitors • Copies of the above documents, plus a draft contract – this is known as an ‘Information Pack’ – will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor • Answer the buyer’s solicitor’s additional enquiries (for example, specific questions about fixtures and fittings) and obtain copies of any planning consent documents • Agree the contract and arrange for the sellers to sign it in readiness of the exchange (below) • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged
Between exchange and completion
• Obtain redemption figures from the mortgage lender and reply to requisitions on title • Approve the transfer and arrange for the seller(s) and buyer(s) to sign • Receive the agent’s fee account and seek the seller’s consent to settle this out of completion funds
This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.
• Receive completion funds and (only when this has been completed) instruct Taylor Brightwell to release the keys to buyers. Redeem mortgage and forward the financial statement. Forward any surplus funds (unless these are being used to fund an onward purchase). Ensure all outstanding bills are paid • Forward transfer documents and deeds to the buyer’s solicitors • Forward evidence of ‘discharge of mortgage’ to the buyer’s solicitors
Buyer’s solicitor’s steps
• Obtain the Information Pack, including a copy of the EPC (if applicable) from the sellers’ solicitor and raise any additional queries • Initiate any specialist searches (for example: a coal search). Submit local, environmental and water searches and a chancel check. This takes about 10 working days in total, and enquiries are then usually raised from the results • Approve the contract when all enquiries are satisfactory and complete. (At this stage, a mortgage transfer deed will need to be signed and witnessed) • Receive a mortgage offer and instructions from the lender and deal with any conditions set out by them. Make sure that life cover and buildings insurance is being arranged • Request the deposit, report back to the buyer, and arrange for the contract to be signed. Place buildings insurance and life cover in force • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged
Between exchange and completion
• Raise ‘requisitions on title’ and prepare the draft transfer deed • Report on title to mortgage lender and obtain funds for completion, including Stamp Duty (if appropriate) • Prepare accounts, obtain signature to mortgage deed and undertake final Land Registry and Land Charges searches
This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.
• Forward to the seller’s solicitors the balance of funds − it is only then that they can authorise the release of the keys. Receive from the seller’s solicitors, the transfer document deeds • Stamp the Transfer Deed, register the buyer’s ownership with the Land Registry and forward the deeds to the lender or client (where appropriate)
Contract - The agreement that sets out the main terms that have been agreed − for example: price, address, names, etc. Two copies are drawn up, and each party signs one in readiness for the exchange of contracts. Deposit - The part of the purchase price (usually 10%) which the buyer pays on exchange of contracts. Exchange of contracts - The swapping of signed contracts by the solicitors (together with the buyer’s deposit). After this, the contract is binding. Energy Performance Certificate - This contains information on energy use, energy performance, carbon dioxide emissions, and fuel bills. Land Registry - The Government department that records who owns what land, and under what conditions. Local Authority Search - A list of questions that are specific to the property and intended, for example, to discover if there have been any planning applications on the property, if the road to the house is maintained by the council, etc. Mortgage Redemption Figure - The amount required to repay the outstanding capital/ interest of a mortgage. Property information form/fixtures, fittings and contents form - Standard forms about the property that the seller answers for their solicitor (for example: what will be left behind, details of guarantees, etc.) Title Deeds - Legal documents that prove ownership of land/ buildings, and the terms on which they are owned. Transfer of Title - The document that passes the ownership from the seller to the buyer. Stamp Duty for buy to let investors and second home owners An additional tax, paid by the buyer purchasing an additional property that is not their main residence. It includes buy to let landlords and those buying second homes and holiday homes. The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current rates of duty shown below. Requisition on title - An enquiry relating to the completion arrangements. Seller’s Pack - This comprises a Property Information Form, a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form, a copy of the title deeds and the draft contract. Stamp Duty - A tax paid by the buyer purchasing their main residence. It is calculated on the percentage rate applicable to each portion of the sale price. • 0% Up to £125,000 • 0% Up to £300,000 if purchased by a First Time Buyer* • 2% On the share from £125,001 up to £250,000 • 5% On the share from £250,001 up to £925,000 • 10% On the share from £925,001 up to £1,500,000 • 12% On the share £1,500,001 and over NB The new 3% rate does not apply to any transactions below £40,000
Moving house? From meter readings to removal companies, there’s so much to remember when moving house. Here’s our checklist of what to do and when
irst of all, congratulations on your new home! The excitement has probably now kicked in but moving home can also be one of the most stressful and emotionally draining things you can do. However, careful organisation and planning can help decrease the stress and anxiety of moving. This comprehensive and essential checklist will help you do just that.
Eight weeks – Research
Ideally, you want to start packing away any non-essential items as early as possible. This includes any items stored away in the loft, garage and shed. If you are not using it, pack it. Looking into your new area is also important, try to do this around eight weeks before you move. You might need to think about transferring your children to different schools and ordering new uniforms too. At this point, ensure you are also documenting all your important information away: that includes contact details, dates, contracts and information regarding your solicitor.
Six weeks – Removal companies or do it yourself?
Now would be the perfect time to decide on a local removal company. Or if you don’t have too much to move, you may want to do it yourself. You could even look into different van hire companies. At this point you’ve probably started packing away some bits, but if there is anything you decide not to take, then look into selling these items or donating them to charity. This will also give you an idea on the volume of items you have to move.
Four weeks – Notify utility companies
This would be a good time for you to notify utility companies and inform them about your move to switch over. This includes gas and electricity, council tax, internet, phone rental and TV. You should also consider changing any car insurance, tax, memberships, phone contracts and inform your bank about the move. Now’s the time to also arrange a date to have your new house cleaned before you move in, and start ordering any new furnishings for your new property. Start packing away more items, that being, out of season clothes, books, dvd’s and even bulky items, like TV’s that aren’t used often.
The buyers of our homes receive their very own property website to share via
Checklist Eight weeks
Pack non-essential items
Research your new area (transfer schools and order new uniform) Keep all important documents
Decide on a local removal company Clear out any unwanted items Keep packing
Notify utility companies
It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush!
Start preparation for your new house Keep packing
Finalise all details
Organise pet and child care Cancel local services Keep packing
Two weeks – Confirm all details
Confirm your move with your removal company or van hire, estate agents and schools. If possible, try to organise someone to look after your pets and children for the day of your move, as this can also be a stressful time for them too. If your removal company doesn’t disassemble any furniture or sort out the un-plumbing for the washing machine, then now would be the ideal time to organise these. Remember to also cancel any local services you receive: this could be window cleaners, gardeners and newspaper deliveries. You should now also think about re-registering to vote and getting your post re-directed after your moving date. Continue packing away more furnishings, kitchen appliances and crockery that you won’t be using for the next couple of weeks.
24 hours – Final check and walk round
You now have only 24 hours before you move, so double check that everything is packed away and ready for transit. It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush! You may want to create an inventory of your boxes and furniture to help you keep track of what you have and to help you ensure it doesn’t go missing.
Today is the day! You need to be ready for when your removal company comes. Ensure that you let them know if there are any fragile boxes that need extra care when handling. If you’re moving yourself, then pack up your car or van and work out how many trips it may take. Before you leave, also take note of your final meter readings and send these off to your provider. Don’t forget to leave your keys for the new owners!
You have arrived at your new home!
Give your removal company instructions of which boxes go in which rooms and make sure you are happy with everything that has arrived. Ensure you check for any damage before the movers leave. Read your new utility meters and send your readings of to your supplier. Taking photos of them will also ensure you have the correct reading if you need them again in the future. Unpack your essentials such as bed linen and clean towels. Don’t worry about the rest, it isn’t going anywhere! Order a takeaway, have a cup of tea and enjoy your first night with your family. Right, so now you’re all moved in, it’s time to settle down, unpack and enjoy your new place. Remember, planning is essential to ensure your move runs stress free.
social media with its address and personal message!
Check every room and ensure everything is packed Pack a night bag so everything is to hand Collect your new keys
Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can get in touch with the estate agents or removal company
Prepare for the arrival of the removal company and give them directions/your contact details Ensure everything is ready to move Record meter readings
Give removal company instructions of what goes where Check for any damage before they leave
Read your new utility meters and send them off to your supplier Check if the previous owners have left anything behind Unpack essentials
Order a takeaway and sit back and relax!
Exclusively at Taylor Brightwell Giving you peace of mind every time Our innovative approach to marketing, together with our unrivalled customer care, makes us the right choice to market your property and guide you through your move
When you choose to market your property with Taylor Brightwell, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly. Whether selling or buying, relax and know that we have your property in safe hands.
Selling your property A leading independent agent covering Bedford, the name Taylor Brightwell is synonymous with trust, excellence an integrity. With decades of experience, specialising in all aspects of residential property, our friendly, enthusiastic and professional service ensures that our clients continually return to sell and buy through us. We also recognise the importance of marketing, so your property will be advertised on the major online property portals, our website and social media sites, as well as traditional placement in our window display.
Exclusively to us in our area, your property will receive its very own FREE microsite showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and a property brochure. Sharing your personalised website across the social networks widens the audience for your property, to find the right buyer and increasing the chances of a quicker sale. Our qualified database of home buyers will be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. Quite simply we endeavour to sell your home for the best price, in the shortest possible time, providing you an outstanding service, with a personal and friendly approach.
As part of what makes us unique at Taylor Brightwell we offer a free monthly magazine featuring properties and up to date market news. Call us today to receive our monthly magazine by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to hearing from you.
The power of social media Your property will also receive its very own FREE property website showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and property brochures; something that we are proud to say is exclusive to Taylor Brightwell in our area. In addition, our qualified database clients will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. Book your
ATION today FREE VALU
By sharing your personalised websites with family and friends across the social networks you will be widening the audience to find the right buyer or tenant for your property, increasing the chances of a quicker sale.
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When you choose to market your property with Taylor Brightwell, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly
Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers COMMON MARKETING
Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours)
Want to find out more about our range of exclusive services? Then please feel free to pop in or give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Video microsite on our website
Rightmove featured property advertising* Feature in our monthly magazine
UNIQUE with Taylor Brightwell
Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides
ds Share with frien ing Request a view Local schools
ACTIVATE RECEIVE YOUR VERY OWN
Portals and websites
Feature on our Facebook and Twitter
All our applicants receive your property on their own search for a home website
Your hunt for property is over Market your property with us and we’ll hop straight to it with outstanding customer service and your own FREE personalised property website to share with friends and family.