Our brand had 422,331

views on Rightmove from

March — April 2021

Discover a surprisingly enjoyable

alternative to buy-to-let: a UK

holiday home investment

Keep your cameras at the

ready for the fourth and final

supermoon, 24th June

From Christchurch to

Snowdonia, we’ve got your

2021 staycation covered



Durlston Wall, Belle Vue Road

Swanage BH19 2HP

OIEO £2,000,000


Buoyant market

boosts sales

I think we all know someone who is either

in the process of trying to buy or sell their

property, so it will come as no surprise to hear

that we are busier than I have ever been in my

23 years in property.

As we approach our 5th birthday at the end

of the year, it’s astonishing to think how far we

have come — from working in my third bedroom

with two young children, to building a team

and filling a home office. The rate at which the

brand has expanded, thanks to the support

of our clients and their recommendations,

means I am delighted to report a move to new

commercial premises to house our expanding

team; a team further strengthened by the

addition of Rebecca Brown. Rebecca has a

strong background in the property market

and runs her own marketing agency, joining

us to assist with the ever-growing number of

enquiries we receive.

The property market has remained fully

open throughout the last lockdown, which

has helped to push the average price of

property to an all-time high. Historically,

whilst we have always seen a high number

of people want to relocate to the coast, this

has been countered with people moving away

for work, and to be closer to family. However,

following the latest lockdown, there are less

people than ever looking to leave the area,

and naturally we still have those looking to

move within the local market, due to growing

family needs or downsizing.

At the beginning of lockdown, these local

buyers were initially being met with strong

competition by the influx of second home

buyers. A year on, we are now seeing a second

wave of families choosing to relocate to the

coast, thanks to no longer being committed to





* F I G U R E S F R O M


work in the City. This second wave of buyers,

looking for new space requirements alongside

cheap mortgages and stamp duty holidays

explains why the property market nationally

has reached unprecedented demands. Add to

that, having sandy beaches on our doorstep,

the New Forest, the Purbecks, and being within

a 2-hour commute of London, you can see why

Poole in particular has become a hot spot.

Whilst the number of properties coming

to market has now recovered to normal levels

compared to pre-lockdown, it is still massively

outpaced by this buyer demand. In contrast,

the number of sales agreed is up by 55% on

the same period two years ago, and so the

proportion of available property is at its lowest

ever, recorded by Rightmove.

Wednesday 7th April set a record of

over 9.3 million visits to Rightmove and

March saw time spent on the site surpass two

billion minutes in a month for the first time.

Yet, the biggest challenge local sellers face is the

fear of selling their home and having no where to

go. This is having a direct effect on the number

of properties coming to market locally, and is

effectively causing a log jam. For the first time

ever, when choosing a buyer, we are considering

not only their ability to proceed, but also what

flexibility (time wise) they can offer clients.

My advice to anyone looking to sell locally,

concerned about the lack of visible stock, is to

speak to us first about our Whisper Listings

service. There are a number of different selling

options available which we can discuss. More

than ever before, moving house is about joining

the dots together. A Whisper Listing allows you

to get all of your marketing assets ready; we

can then softly, or silently market your home

to cherry picked buyers that can offer you

flexibility and work to your timescales. Being

able to act quickly when the right home does

come along is vital. Once prepared, then it’s

just a touch of a button to place you on the open

market, if and when required.

As always, when the sales market is

booming the rental market suffers with fewer

properties becoming available. Whilst many

landlords look to take advantage of shortterm

holiday lets, we have many clients looking

to secure a long-term home. If you have a

vacant property, we have a number of qualified

high net-worth clients looking to move, with

budgets up to £7,000 pcm.

So, what is the outlook for the future?

Many predict that some of the froth is likely

to come off this spring/summer surge later

in the year as the challenging economic

conditions come to the fore and the stamp

duty holiday finally ends. Nevertheless, given

our location, whilst I think the market will

calm as demand is met over time, over the

next few months we expect activity to remain

robust for the rest of 2021.

As we move in to the summer months, the

team and I remain on-hand to answer any

questions you have with regards to your move

in these unprecedented times.



Blank canvas

Canvas Gallery was born in Wimbledon Village, SW19

in 2008, currently occupying space in Winchester and

most recently in the heart of Canford Cliffs Village.

Cavemen first created art on their walls and

ceilings; a home is not a home without it. Your

artwork is your story, whether it’s a family

montage of photos or a Picasso.

Canvas represents a range of painters,

sculptors and photographers from the wellestablished

such as Terry O’Neill and Bob Dylan

to exciting emerging artists, Daniel Hooper,

James Green and Elsbeth Shaw to name a few.

A program of events and shows is planned

throughout the year, starting with James

Green showing new paintings in Canford Cliffs,

Thursday 20th May to Saturday 5th June.

James is an abstract expressionist painter

who has exhibited in the UK, France and USA

to date; a number of works for this show were

made in collaboration with Monsieur Jamin.

Jamin is hugely successful and is one of, if not

the most successful living artists in France.

Canvas Gallery, Canford Cliffs, 17 Haven Road,

BH13. Opening hours, 11am to 3pm, Wednesday

to Saturday, by appointment.


Open sea


The past twelve months have

seen more people take to

nature for relief, exercise and

a moment of inspirational

calm than ever before.

Open air swimming has seen such a surge,

particularly with the pools closed and people

still wanting to get their fix.

Walking along the coastline is beautiful,

in any weather yet venturing into the ocean

gives a real sense of freedom and adventure.

Seeing that same coastline from the water

gives a whole new perspective on the view.

It’s a unique experience. Yet, with

no floor or sides to rely on, open water

swimming is more challenging and can

be much more rewarding. The natural

backdrops of open water swims make

them all the more breath taking.

East Dorset Open Air Swimming club

runs regular weekly meets and events

throughout the course of the year. They’re

looking forward to life getting back to

normal again and having a full summer of

swimming in the many beauty spots on the

coastline and lakes in-land around Studland.

With swimming hours, hike and swim days,

membership includes full use of their hot

showers and tea and biscuits after your dip.

‘One way to find these safe places to swim

is to come on our weekly meet ups at Shore

Road and also do the hike and swim where

we discover four local spots on Studland.

We find that our members become great

friends in and out of the water and it offers a

completely new aspect to living in Poole.’

Need inspiration to take the plunge? Lose

yourself in the dreamy pictures of ArtDisco’s

Lucy and Marie who take to the open seas in

North East England, always wearing a warm

beanie to keep their heads nice and toasty.

If you’re ready for an outdoor dip this

summer, you could see many of these

benefits as a result. We all know that exercise

increases the release of the happy hormone,

dopamine – studies have shown that

swimming in waters of 14 degrees Celsius

increased dopamine levels by 250 percent!

And of course, you’ll be breathing in all that

fresh sea air, great for your lungs.

Acclimatising and adapting to the cold

water can help to reduce the risk of heart

attacks. If you’re worried about shocking

yourself, start your dips in August and carry

on; the water is warmest in October and

you’ll be surprised at how used to it you

are by then. A survey by Czech scientists

found that immersing yourself in cold water

for an hour, three times a week increases

your white blood cell count, boosting your

immune system, meaning less colds through

winter, despite regularly dipping yourself in

icy cold water.

If you’re hoping to lose a few pounds,

being immersed in cold water causes your

body temperature to drop, making your body

work harder to warm up, in turn burning fat

and speeding up your metabolism.

The golden rule of open water swimming?

Don’t swim alone. If you do get in to any kind

of trouble you need to know that you have

the support of friends around you. Now

make a good plan and we’ll see you out in

the water!


Too pretty to drink?

We all know someone who’s obsessed with tea and yet

their obsession may just have gone up a notch over the

past few months with the introduction of tea bombs.

Yes, move over chocolate bombs, these

round balls of pure tea delight is where

it’s at. And we actually don’t write that

lightly - with over five million views on the

hashtag in a few months, the art of making

a tea bomb is proving as popular as some

Netflix shows.

But what is a tea bomb? In the same

way that chocolate bombs are made from

a thin shell of chocolate, designed to melt

in hot milk and have the treat inside come

to surface, tea bombs are made from any

number of ingredients for the outside shell.

If you take your tea with milk, the tea

bombs for you will be made from fine white

chocolate which melts away to reveal

loose leaf tea, or a folded tea bag within,

perhaps some edible flowers, glitter and

even marshmallows.

Their counterparts are clear in their

nature and spun using hot melted sugar,

cooled into a ball mould and then filled with

tea, dried flowers, and even edible confetti

for an out-of-this world fragrant and

stunning way to drink your next cup of tea.

Some of the more unusual tea bombs

we’ve seen melt away to reveal micro toffee

chunks, choc chips and cookie dough.

Elevenses have never been so good.

With concerns over tea bags containing

plastic in the glue that binds them together,

this is one very pretty way to completely

navigate the issue. And, when they’re made

with Isomalt, the sugar content is low enough

to be suitable for some levels of diabetics -

please check first though!

Easy to make?

There are plenty of recipes online to get

you started but from all of our searching,

we’ve found the general consensus to be

that silicon moulds are an absolute must.

Your sugar thermometer needs to read 300

degrees for the sugar to be at ‘cracking’

stage ready before you shape them and gel

colouring is the best for giving a quick and

easy consistent colour tone to the clear tea

bomb. You’ll need to work quickly to spread

the sugar with the back of a spoon, and make

sure you don’t go over the top edge of the

mould, because when you crack bits off, the

whole lot tends to shatter...

If in doubt - watch TikTok.



your interior

Original BTC Titan

Size 3 Pendant –

The Pantone Colour of the Year

for 2021 has been announced!

A pairing of ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Gray’.

Ultimate Gray reflects on 2020 as a year and

Illuminating is full of hope for the future.

Ultimate Gray also brings a sense of comfort,

and Illuminating a sense of positivity making

these two shades the perfect combination for

sprucing up your interior this year.

Large Bamboo

Storage Canister Set –

AKI lamp –

Nest Chair & Footstool –

Vitamin Ninety

Stool Cutout yellow –

Astoria Armchair In

Mustard Yellow Velvet –

Pure New Wool Blanket –

Classic Housewife

Pillowcase –


Make way for

peaceful snoozing

An honest review.

Sleep aid apps were topping the app charts

long before lockdown, however with stress

and exhaustion levels rising to new heights,

downloads have soared.

It’s a bitter Catch 22 - the more frustrated

about insomnia, the less you’ll be able to fall

asleep. I’d seen the adverts for the Calm app

for months, however it was 1:30am on day one

million of lockdown, amidst a house move, that I

finally gave in to desperation and downloaded it.

Within minutes I was listening to some

inconspicuous person ease me into my

mattress. ‘Well this will never work’, I muttered

to myself and promptly woke up six hours

later. I was amazed and spent more conscious

hours awake looking at all the app had to offer.

Stories, meditations, wave and whale sounds

all exist and are but a few clicks away. Intrigued,

I decided to try the effects out across the

course of a month. I wanted to see if I could

fall asleep quickly and if I felt more rested the

following day.

I was surprised to find that the opposite

of what I thought rang true for me. I found

that the story telling side of the app which

includes readings from well known actors

and actresses such as Stephen Fry, Harry

Styles and Kate Winslet didn’t send me off to

sleep at all - my curious mind willed itself to

stay awake to find out the ending. However

the opposite happened with the meditations.

I’m on the go constantly during the day with

deadlines and life in general, so my friends

who told me to try meditating were scoffed at

with the excuse of ‘no time to stop’. Yet, the

soft soothing tones of the meditations willing

me to relax from my forehead, neck and arms

down to my toes actually made me realise just

how tense not falling asleep was making me.

Even though I was in bed, I definitely wasn’t as

relaxed as I thought …

You need to experiment with the app for

yourself. Some voices will work for you and you

learn to give up on the ones that irritate you

pretty quickly. The ‘recently listened to’ will

guide you to your last selection in a speedy

manner. The moment I press the button and

hear familiar voices, I know I’m going to sleep

well, and that in itself says everything about

the confidence in sleep that this app gives

you. I’m thoroughly impressed. I now only use

it when I need to but I know it’s there to assist

and that’s enough.

However, no app is going to do the entire

job for you. There are other choices you can

make to ensure you give yourself the best

chance at a good night’s sleep.

If restless sleeping is keeping you awake,

try investing in a weighted blanket, the theory

behind which is to mimic the feeling of being

swaddled. Ranging from 4kg to 9.5kg, the

weight and cosiness of the spread rests on you,

making you feel quite secure, discouraging any

tossing and turning and reducing it by 50%.

Makers of such blankets suggest purchasing

one that is 10% of your body weight.

Memory foam mattresses have come on

leaps and bounds since they were first released.

If you found the original ones to be too hot or

lacking in support, perhaps now is a good time

to revisit them. Otty are made with cooling

bamboo, charcoal and springs, and are designed

to cushion your pressure points with the aim of

relieving tension and inspiring weightlessness.

Both of these options complement the

sleep aid app revolution and I can honestly say

that combined, they have changed my attitude

to sleep. Have you been part of the sleep app

aid revolution or are you yet to try it?









A stunning four bedroom, four bath/shower

room, detached family home, built by Elwood

Homes in 2016. Boasting traditional architecture

with contemporary living. Large open-plan

kitchen/living room with private sun terrace,

additional formal living room, gym, integral

garage and utility room. Located in a quiet culde-sac

in the heart of Lower Parkstone.











We’re shouting about them now, but all these

properties were sold off-market using our

whisper listing services. Whisper listings are

discreetly marketed to a pool of qualified, waiting

buyers, ensuring a swift and private sale, often

in excess of perceived market value. Talk to

us today about finding your buyer, without

splashing your house all over the portals.





Bring home

the bacon

While we're overcome with joy to be able to dine in

restaurants again, it doesn't mean we can't make

nights in a bit more special.

Put down Deliveroo for a second and take

a gander at some tasty meals you can whip

up, all courtesy of some top restaurants,

delivered complete with idiot-proof

directions. The arrival of a DIY meal kit will

bring some excitement to cooking. Here’s a

few of our favourites.



If sticky burgers don’t suit, seafood stalwart,

Rick Stein, can come to the rescue with a

delectable collection of ‘At Home’ food boxes,

working their way from luxury breakfasts to

lobster, via a bit of hake. Ideal for taking all

the credit when hosting a dinner party!


If it’s something a little different you’re

after, then Dishoom’s Marmalade Mimosa

& Bacon Naan’ roll kit is a winner for a

decadent weekend brunch. This kit contains

everything required to devour two bacon

naan rolls in your own home plus an extra

naan dough ball for experimentation.

It also includes Chai spices and looseleaf

tea to make delicious Dishoom chai

for two, and of course the all-important

Marmalade Mimosa!


Hawksmoor changed up its at-home range

in time for lockdown 2, with the introduction

of The Rib-Eye Box, claiming it has all the

makings of a perfect steak night (which the

celebrated steakhouse group should know

a thing or two about). Not only that, but

they also offer a range of Roast Boxes; easy

Sunday, yes please!


Enjoy London restaurant chain, Bao’s pillowy

Taiwanese buns in the comfort of your own

home with these kits that include either six

classic pork bao, or six vegetarian daikon bao.

Tasty stuff! You can also add sweet red bean

bao for pudding, or plain gua bao if you want

to invent your own — bacon bao anyone?


If insanely dirty burgers are your thing, then

Burger & Beyond is right up your street.

Essex-born and London-based, these guys

turned a burger truck into one of London’s

most talked about burger joints. Alongside

the top chef-quality burgers, they offer

American-style sides including Dirty Tots or

Fries with bone marrow gravy, plus sauces

such as the signature Burnt Butter Mayo, and

a drinks list of cocktails, craft beers and wine.

Their ‘At Home’ kits are second to none and

provide you with everything you need to get

your burger fix from home.


Ramen feels like it should be simple, but as

soon as you start looking into it you realise that

the signature deep, rich flavour comes from

hours of simmering and countless topping

techniques from the marinated eggs to the

slowly cooked meat. This cheat from Shoryu

allows you to skip past the hard work and enjoy

all the spoils while hardly having to lift a finger.

There are a few DIY ramen kits to choose from,

including vegan and gluten free options. Your

kit will include step-by-step instructions for

how to assemble your bowl, and just like that,

you’ll feel like a ramen master.




Night skies in 2021 see us graced with four

supermoons. Following the first three in

March, April and May, cross your fingers

for cloud free skies the night of the 24th

June, for the last Super Strawberry Moon

and make sure you have your camera ready

as the moon will appear to be enormous on

the horizon.

Looking up to the skies with your family?

Don’t worry we’ve got you covered for when

the questions start…

What causes a supermoon?

A supermoon occurs when the Moon is at

its closest point along its orbit to the Earth

at the same time as a full moon. During a

supermoon, the Moon appears up to 14 per

cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than

the furthest a full moon can be.

OK so it’s closer, but why does it look so big?

The moon’s size during a supermoon is actually

an optical illusion. During moonrise, the Moon

looks bigger than it is because our brain

doesn’t understand that the sky is a dome. It

falsely pro-jects things near the horizon to

appear larger than they actually are. For this

it’s no bad thing.

What is a supermoon?

The distance between the Moon and the Earth

varies, because the Earth is not right at the

centre of the Moon’s orbit and the Moon’s

orbit is not a circle (it’s an ellipse).

Will the supermoons affect our tides?

The tides are caused by the gravitational

forces of the Sun and the Moon on the Earth’s

oceans. When the Moon is closer to the Earth

during a supermoon, the gravitational pull is

slightly stronger, and so the tides are bigger.

It might only be a couple of inches difference

between a normal full moon and supermoon

tide but it may mean that you can spend the

24 hours playing in the waves. Definitely keep

your wetsuit and board ready.


Electric dreams

Electric cars are becoming more mainstream;

the costs are dropping rapidly and there are a wide

variety of benefits for drivers making the switch.

From the environmental impact, to the savings

on fuel, tax and maintenance costs, electric

vehicles can save significant amounts of money

through lower running costs.

Fully electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions,

making them greener, and better for the

environment. Popularity and interest are also

growing with 57% of respondents having stated

they’d like to change to electric for their next car.

Charging an electric car at home or work is cost

efficient, simple and fast. A compact, all-weather

home charging unit can be installed outside

your home and you’ll potentially be eligible for a

government grant to cover installation. Granted,

the public charging infrastructure needs to catch

up, but you’ll be surprised by how many fastcharging

outlets are available around the UK.

The government is very keen to get more

and more drivers into zero emission cars as

quickly as possible. One way to encourage the

change is to make electric cars as tax efficient as

possible. If you choose a fully electric vehicle as

your company car, the Benefit in Kind tax is now

just 1% of the vehicles taxable value during this

current tax year, rising to 2% until 2025.

As an example, the monthly tax burden for a

higher rate taxpayer choosing a Volkswagen Golf

GTD as your company car would be around £336

per month in tax. The fully electric Volkswagen

ID.3 is around £12 per month. Add in the fuel

savings and lower running costs such as cheaper

servicing; the overall savings are substantial.

One of the barriers of changing to an electric

car is range anxiety, but the rate of technological

advancement is staggering. The new

Volkswagen ID.3 will cover 263 miles on a single

charge. Another barrier is that of cost; prices

quoted are higher than that of conventional

engine cars. Leasing does go some way to

make that step into electric affordable. Leasing

rentals have dropped over the last year, with

many electric cars being available from a modest

monthly leasing cost.

Dorset Car Leasing are seeing the changes.

The demand for the Range Rover Sport has

translated into demand for the Tesla Model

3. Andrew Garaway, Director, says “From

supplying countless Range Rovers in 2020, we

supplied one this year. But we’ve lost count of

how many Tesla Model 3’s we’ve supplied” Since

the beginning of 2021, we’ve seen the enquiry

levels for electric increase dramatically. Today

we’re talking to clients about electric and hybrid,

not diesel or petrol”.

The benefits of driving electric cars are clear.

With exciting new technologies now available,

reducing charging times and extending range

significantly, there has never been a better time

to consider that switch to an electric vehicle.

Dorset Car Leasing. Discovery Court Business

Centre, Wallisdown Road, Poole, BH12 5AG



garden design

Now that Spring has finally

sprung with longer days

and promising signs of new

growth, we can refocus our

attention on our gardens.

After our long winter of confinement, spending

time outdoors is so important for boosting

mood and overall wellbeing. As you catch your

breath and step outside, now is the time to think

about how your garden works for you. Maybe

the luxurious entertaining space that you’ve

always dreamt of could be in your grasp.

Perhaps you’d like to improve the flow of

your garden space or create a place of sanctuary

where you can relax and unwind. Just as you

would employ an architect to redesign your

interior spaces, a garden designer will enable

you to unlock your garden’s potential. Whether

it’s a particular style that you’d like or simply

wanting to inject more interest and colour, a

designer will produce a plan that works for you

and your lifestyle. Garden designers provide a

new perspective, and their expert knowledge

of planting will bring your ideas to life. Even

a simple, cost effective, carefully planned

transformation can make all the difference

to your garden and the way you live. Just

think, this time next year you could be looking

forward to memorable summer evenings with

friends in a stylish contemporary garden

or fun family gatherings around a gorgeous

fire pit. Those relaxed afternoons that you

crave, immersed in a tranquil garden or being

transported to a place of childhood memories

and favourite plants and scents. Maybe you’ve

always wanted a place where you can grow your

own vegetables and fruit or a luxurious sunken

garden that you’ve always dreamt of but never

thought possible.

Planting Works are a local, well-established

company who are happy to come and see your

garden and discuss your requirements, so just

give us a call.

Words — Rachel McLeodon, Planting Works


Britain is home to many

stunning places to visit.

We’re starting off our

staycation recommendations

this summer, with these four…

Why travel

afar when

we have a

glorious Isle

to celebrate?

Tintagel Castle coastline


Prepare to be wowed when driving through

Snowdonia - its wild mountains rival the

beauty of its Scottish Highland counterpart.

There are seven approaches to hiking up

Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.

Celebrate your summit in style in their top

notch fully serviced café, boasting one of

the best views across the landscape. If you

don’t fancy hiking, be sure to book a ticket

on the Snowdon Light Railway and enjoy a

leisurely train ride up to the top. Tickets get

booked up very quickly so the second you

know your dates, get booking! If an adrenalin

rush is more your thing, Snowdonia also

plays home to the world’s fastest zip line,

Malverne hills at sunrise

reaching speeds of over 100 mph. It’s also

a mecca for mountain biking, horse riding,

caving and any number of outdoor activities.

When you’re happily worn out and needing

to chill, take a leisurely stroll around the

town of Caenarfon with its historic castle,

then journey over the Menai Bridge onto

Anglesey island. Alternatively, drive to the

west coast of Snowdonia and explore Sir

Clough William-Ellis’ Portmeirion; an entire

Italian style village which formed the set of

the 70’s cult show, The Prisoner. Play human

sized chess, relax with a book from the shop

on the cliff top bench or while away the hours

enjoying delectable food and fine wines at

the water’s edge in their cosy restaurant.


Where legends come to life. This part of the

north Cornish coast is steeped with history

and legend. Explore Tintagel, restored by

English Heritage, you can walk across the new

bridge to see the remains of King Arthur’s

castle, pose with the striking bronze statue on

the promontory, get a sense of Merlin’s magic

in the cave and understand the inspiration for

many of Lord Tennyson’s poems. A few miles

south down the coast is Port Isaac, home of the

infamous Fisherman’s Friends and Doc Martin.

Walk through the characterful fishermen’s

cottages to explore the tiny town, ensuring

that you peruse the stunning array of painted

porcelain and photographs inside the artist’s

store and café just past Doc Martin’s house.

Travel north up the coast to Camelford, hire

a bike and ride leisurely over the tarmacked

railway line into the bustling fishing town

of Padstow. Made famous by Rick Stein, his

original restaurants there showcase a multitude

of his culinary creations, or opt for one of the

many independents putting their own twist on

the day’s fresh catch. Hike the rugged cliffs that

lead into Boscastle and then enjoy an afternoon

tea with Cornish clotted cream at the cafe

by the harbour. End your staycation with the

ultimate luxurious treat - book into one of The

Scarlet’s rooms and enjoy a hot tub on a cliff top

with Champagne before a sumptuous feast for

dinner. Heaven, in front of the waves …


Keen to stay closer to home? There are

plenty of places still to discover locally.

Christchurch is a burgeoning hub on both

the food and live music scene. A fifteen

minute drive from Bournemouth, you’ll

feel as though you’re in another world, it’s

well worth planning a weekend stay-over.

Enjoy a stroll through the beautifully

tended Exbury Gardens and wander around

Highcliffe Castle, formerly owned by none

other than Harry Selfridge. Explore the old

priory and wander through the gardens to

the water’s edge. Try your hand at a spot of

sailing or simply laze on the grassland and

watch the yachts sail by, then indulge in the

culinary delights at the award-winning Jetty.

After being cancelled last year, the highly

anticipated Christchurch Food Festival is

making a victorious come-back this summer

- time your trip for August Bank Holiday and

sample over 100 independent food and drink

brands in one day. Book early before the best

places get taken up!


Her Majesty, The Queen prefers her water

to hail from this natural spa made famous

in the 1920’s and the town still retains much

of its charm today. The high street has been

revamped in recent years and includes a

mix of independents, chains and eateries

to peruse. And of course, all restaurants

serve neighbouring local Herefordshire

beef. Edward Elgar’s birthplace and

first home has been transformed into a

beautiful tribute to the composer and

is a great way to immerse yourself in his

music and life story. There are also several

National Trust properties to discover in

the local area. Fancy stretching your legs

or trying a spot of paragliding? Take in

marvellous views of Herefordshire and

Worcestershire as they flank either side

of the famous Malvern hills. Challenge

yourself to walk all or part of their eight

mile stretch, then relax in a traditional pub,

sampling pure Herefordshire cider to toast

your mini break away in the evening.


Easy-peasy Nutella cookies

Whether you're trying to keep screen-time

down or simply entertain little ones at the

weekend, these easy cookies really are

fool-proof for the aspiring mini-chef!


5oz / 15g all-purpose flour

8oz / 240g Nutella

1 large egg


❶ Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a

large tray with baking paper (if you don’t have

any of this, grease it with butter or margarine).

❷ Add the Nutella, flour, and egg to a large bowl

and mix until well combined in a thick dough.

Baking with kids can be a great escape,

creating a few precious moments of family

harmony (and, we don’t lie to you, a lot of


Rather than complex recipes with 47

exotic ingredients, we’ve found a surefire

winner that requires only three - yes,

three ingredients (one of which is Nutella,

everyone’s favourite store-cupboard staple).

It’s also simple, easy to follow, and superrewarding

for little ones. The results don’t

taste too shabby, either.

Roll your sleeves up, accept things are

going to get messy, and prepare to indulge in

some delicious home baking!

❸ Use your hands to roll two tablespoons of

dough at a time into balls, placing each one on

the baking sheet and flattening slightly with

you fingertips of the bottom of a glass.

❹ Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are

firm around the edges but still slightly soft in

the middle.

❺ Leave to sit on the sheet for 5 minutes, then

cool on a rack.


These little baking beauties are great on their

own, or jazzed up with chocolate chips, peanut

butter, nuts, or sprinkles!




Property investment for most

people means buy-to-let or,

less frequently, owning and letting

commercial premises or land.

However, many are discovering a surprising

and often highly enjoyable alternative: a

UK holiday home investment. Property

investment for most people means buy-tolet

or, less frequently, owning and letting

commercial premises or land. However,

many are discovering a surprising and often

highly enjoyable alternative: a UK holiday

home investment.

As buy-to-let has become more restrictive,

investors cannot, for example, deduct interest

on a mortgage from rental income declared to

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), so holiday

home appeal has grown. HMRC classifies

a ‘furnished holiday let’ as a business, with

consequently lower taxes. Owners must

meet certain criteria, chiefly that the home

is available to let for 201 days a year and

is actually let for at least 105 days, with no

single letting exceeding 31 days. And, of

course, the property must be fully furnished.

These rules are highly specific, but sticking to

them is worthwhile in order to be classed as

a business. This would mean paying business

rates instead of the usually higher Council

Tax, while holiday homeowners can offset

many operating costs against tax. And if the

qualifying conditions are met for a furnished

holiday let, there are also Inheritance Tax

allowances you can utilise.

There’s an extra bonus, too: you, as the

owner, can use your holiday home for up to

155 days per year without compromising the

tax advantages. Lenders will, however, need

to be reassured about a holiday homeowner’s

ability to cover mortgage payments during

‘quiet seasons’ for letting, or when you occupy

the property yourself. For that reason, you

cannot use a standard buy-to-let mortgage,

and instead need one designed for a holiday

home. Most require at least a 25% deposit,

and the best interest rates are available to

those who can put down a 40% deposit.

There are plenty of other considerations

you should take into account before taking

on a holiday let, of course. These range

from the type of holiday home you buy (is

it aimed at couples or whole families and

groups of friends?) and whether you want

to cater to an increasingly mobile, flexible

workforce (for example, by ensuring you have

Wi-Fi internet installed), to where you buy.

Other factors to think about are the

additional 3% stamp duty charged on the

purchase price of holiday homes, and the

ongoing cost and arrangement of people

to clean and maintain a property between

tenants. This latter point sounds complex,

but most areas popular with holiday home

investors have a network of letting agents

and local residents working in the field,

doing everything from changing bed linen to

tending gardens and it’s likely you can offset

their charges against tax. In the longer term,

income from a holiday home or possible

ongoing capital appreciation can of course be

used to save for retirement or complement a

pension, although residential property such

as holiday homes cannot be put into selfinvested

personal pensions.

As usual, expert, regulated guidance

offers peace of mind and can help place this

option in the context of a tailored overall

plan. Less usual is the fact that this is one

investment that isn’t just good for your

long-term finances, but for your short-term

wellbeing too.

Words — Robert Marler




family home





A stunning, interior designed four bedroom

family home in the heart of Lower Parkstone.

Bright and spacious open-plan kitchen,

living, dining room, luxury en-suite to master,

family bathroom, integral garage, separate

office, south-facing garden, underfloor

heating throughout.








An imposing and spacious double fronted

home, which offers beautifully proportioned

accommodation. There is a master suite and

three further bedrooms along with an annexe.

Located behind electric gates with two

entrances, in the prestigious Talbot Woods

area, this home is presented in excellent

decorative order.


"Thank you to all at Philippa Sole – what a great team. So glad we had

you all on board to sell our home – a delight to deal with"

Mark and Penny Hockey | 01202 747 999

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