Lovely London this July

The City is enjoying lighter evenings and finer weather and what better way to enjoy the delights of London this summer than to visit one of the following attractions the City has to offer.

Lovebox

Lovebox festival is held over two-days in East London’s Victoria Park, this year the festival takes place over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of July. This year’s headliners are Chase & Status; arguably the UK’s biggest electronic act. Lovebox festival is now in its 11th year outdoors after beginning in 2002 in London’s night club 93 Feet East, founded by Groove Armada, the festival has grown steadily over the past decade. Lovebox’s line-up this year includes Katy B, David Rodigan, Knytro and A$AP Rocky, Nas, M.I.A and Soul II Soul. The festival takes place daily from 7am until dusk, see www.loveboxfestival.com for more details.

Somerset house Summer Series

One of London’s most spectacular settings for live music is Somerset House, and now in it’s fifth year in partnership with American Express the Summer Series is back from the 10-20th July. Headliners this year include Bastille, Franz Ferninand, The Cat Empire and Daughter. The Summer Series opens daily at 19:30, with general admission costing £28.50 plus a booking fee. For more information see www.somersethouse.org.uk

London Zoo Late

London Zoo late night openings begun in June and continue every Friday in July, with admission from 18:00 and tickets costing £17.50, (or £38 with a drink, queue jump and animal mask) there are events in the Zoo including talks, comedy, theatre, carousel rides and an acoustic stage. There are 175,000 animals in London Zoo and July is an opportunity to visit them during the balmy summer evenings. Alongside the main attraction of the animals there is wine tasting, pop-up bars and street food vendors. London late nights in the Zoo are for age 18+, for more information visit their website at www.zsl.org

BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall

Penned as one of the greatest classical music festivals the first night of the Proms begins on July 18th and opens with Elgar’s biblical oratorio ‘The Kingdom’, lasting two months in total this year will commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war, the focus being on the works of many wartime composers and as well as music and songs that document the conflict. For information on how to purchase tickets please see www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms.aspx

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Held in Hampton Court Palace from 8th July to 13th this summer, it is the largest annual flower show of its kind. Not only can you gaze at the beautiful floral displays but you can also pick up tips of gardening and how to grow your own fruit and vegetables, the effect of climate change on your gardens and appropriate garden products to purchase.

There are roughly fifty gardening displays, including water gardens and innovative garden designs. The marquees are filled with hundreds of the best flowers the UK has to offer and floristry is a large part of the six-day event. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk

An over-night stay with a difference

Looking for a romantic night away in a hotel with a twist? We’ve found the following four hotels across Europe, which will mean your vacation is one with a difference; from a private Fort, to a cave, a hotel made entirely from salt and a suite set 155 metres underground.

 

The abandoned caves of the Basilicata village in the South of Italy have been transformed into a luxury boutique hotel over the past ten-years. The caves are a designated part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The ‘Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita’ hotel is situated in eighteen caves in total, all of which are known to have been inhabited for the past 2,500 years: since the Bronze Age.

The hotel is just part of the buildings that have been carved into the mountainside; the Sassi, which literally translates to ‘rocks’. The hotel is the brainchild of Swedish-Italian entrepreneur Daniel Kihlgren, his vision means the caves interiors have been kept minimalistic with a touch of luxury including candles, fireplaces, deep bath tubs and windows with spectacular views of the Italian hills.

The dining area is set in the 13th-century church, Cripta della Civita, where you can enjoy a locally sourced breakfast; the hotel is the perfect romantic setting, with double rooms from £150 per night.

www.sextantio.it

No Man’s Land Fort in the sea is a hotel that is only accessible via helicopter or speed boat, with neighbours no less than a mile away it is an escape that could be straight from a Bond movie. The private island was built between 1867 and 1880 and will open as a resort to members of the public this autumn. The property is Grade II listed, with 22 bedrooms, a gym, nightclub, rooftop hot poll, a museum and a poolroom. The fort lies in the Solent between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight and was originally built to house roughly 80 soldiers as protection in the event of an attack from the French Navy. The resort is currently on the lookout for a manager before its launch later in the year.

www.amazingvenues.co.uk/careers/most-amazing-job-in-the-world/

 

The ‘Palacio del Sal Hotel’ in Bolivia is completely constructed from salt, with the majority of walls, floors, ceilings and furniture all made from the white substance. The hotel is located in the Port of Colchani, just 25km away from the city of Uyuni and on the edge of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. The hotel is constructed of around 1 million 14-inch salt blocks; guests can relax inside the hotel in the sauna, steam room or saltwater pool and whirlpool rooms, although they are prohibited from licking the walls, as it may cause degradation of the hotel. The hotel sleeps up to 48 guests at any given time, with prices starting from £85 a night.

www.palaciodesal.com.bo/

A visit to Sala Silvermine, Sweden could mean a visit to the world’s deepest hotel room, in such that as a guest you will sleep 155 metres underground in a previous working mine. It is cold, dark and damp but beautiful, maybe best avoided by those who suffer claustrophobia though. Winding galleries and deep cavities surround the Mine’s suite; guests need to wear warm clothing, as it is only 2 degrees Celsius in the mine, although the suite is a comfortable 18 degrees. A member of staff is contactable throughout your stay above ground via an intercom radio and bathroom facilities are situated 50 metres from the mine suite.

www.salasilvergruva.se/en/

Six places to consider when buying-to-let?

In our last blog post we looked at why London yields such property price potential on the buy-to-let market, this time the spotlight is on the following six areas and what the benefits of investment there are in these locations.

Nunhead

Nunhead is bustling with young professionals and young families, with a busy high street and the cemetery offering spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral it offers a slightly cheaper alternative to investment than East Dulwich and Peckham. The average property value in Nunhead is £511,142, with flats available around the £250,000 mark. Transport wise Victoria station is only 15 minutes away and St Pancras 25 minutes.

KFH Estates agent recently sold the one bedroom flat on Kirkwood Road, pictured left, for £250,000.

 


Rotherhithe

This residential spot is popular with those in their twenties and recent property developments in Canada Water have

benefited the area. Sellar Property Group, the creators behind London’s famous ‘Shard’ also plan to build 1,030 new homes in the area, alongside new shops, a cinema and play areas. The Daily Mail’s Harmsworth Quay print works will undergo development, introducing a further 1,000 homes if ‘British Land’s’ get the go ahead. The average property price in Rotherhithe is £411,052, however there are cheaper options available. There is an over ground station and Canada Water tube station nearby links to Victoria within 20 minutes.

The one bedroom flat pictured below, is on Rotherhithe New Road, Surrey Quays with a guide price of £304,000.

 

 

Forest Hill

Forest Hill is a very affordable area and with the overground train you can be in the thick of it in Central London within 30 minutes, not only is SE23 convenient it also has an array of very attractive Victorian houses. Investors and first-time buyers may consider looking into Horniman Gardens where homes enjoy fantastic views of London. The average property costs £362,783 making SE23 a desirable investment. The overground from Croydon comes through Forest Hill before heading north to Shoreditch and Highbury.                       The two-bedroom Georgian house for sale below is on the market for £600,000 and includes an attractive 61ft garden.

 

 

Morden

The average asking price of £300,000 is attracting an array of buyers- old and new, first-time and investors. Morden boasts 120 acres of Parkland and the River Wandle runs through it, there are a variety of leisure facilities in the area and it is home to one of the largest mosques in Europe. The Morden underground is on the Northern Line so transport to the city is convenient. This attractive three-bedroom semi-detached is open to offers over £360,000.

Walthamstow

Once a run-down East London borough, Walthamstow now houses a lot of middle-class families, with its links to outdoor spaces such as Epping Forest, it is a big pull for those with children. There is a close community focused around Walthamstow village, where there are a large number of shops and restaurants. The average property price is £282,142 and Walthamstow Central is only around 20 minutes to Oxford Circus.

This first floor one-bedroom flat on Stocksfield Road is a fantastic investment opportunity and is priced at £180,000.

 

 

 

Wapping

Before the 1990’s Wapping was a sought after address, however it was somewhat left behind with no notable development of the restaurants and retail shops, the once charming cobbled streets, inns and wharves appeared depleted. However change is on the horizon with the development of ‘Fortress Wapping’, the former print works of News International, it is part of the 15 acre space that will be redeveloped into London Dock, with a quarter that will see 1,800 new houses, cafes, squares, restaurants and a new school. At the same time Tobacco Dock, a listed warehouse complex, will be turned into what developers hope to be the ‘Covent Garden of the East End’, with an array of hotels and boutique shops. Pictured below is an artist’s impression of the re-developed print works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property Price Potential

A look at what to consider when buying-to-let in London 2014

 Why should I invest in property in London?

With low savings rates and the uncertain stock market the buy-to-let market in London has become an attractive prospect for those looking to invest their money. With rising rents and improvement in mortgage deals, buyers are being tempted once more but where is the best place to buy-to-let and what should investors consider? Below we look at the city’s investment potential for the forthcoming years. Continue reading

Innovative Staircases

Stairs and ladders have been around since prehistoric times arguably they are one of the oldest builds in architectural history, first emerging as a solution to a problem, their function to establish a connection between two spaces on different levels. These day’s staircases are a long way from merely functional, these innovative staircases or alternatives below are interactive, activity based and in some cases architecturally striking, proving that the staircase is no longer just a means to an end.

The Staircase Slide

Arguably the most enjoyable way to travel from upstairs down, these staircase slides are sure to keep not only the children entertained.

Alex Michaelis Slide side-by-side Continue reading

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

Draw inspiration from these famous London Department store fronts this Christmas and transfer that festive feeling into your property this December. With under three weeks until the big day it’s time to deck the halls, but rather than the traditional boughs of holly, why not try some of these alternative ideas that are adding a little touch of magic to London’s streets over Christmas.

Fortnum and Mason

Continue reading

Unusual Christmas Retreats

Want to escape from it all this December but fancy somewhere a little quirky, away from everyday life? Why not take a Christmas holiday in one of the following…

The Gingerbread House 

Based in Sussex, the Meadow Keeper’s Cottage is a delightful country cottage with a difference. The crooked cottage was built by hand using locally sourced wood, described as a ‘higgledy piggledy cottage on wheels” it can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children, its amenities include a dining table, indoor cooker and sink, a wardrobe and a wood burner. Outside there is a fire pit to keep warm during chilly nights and an outdoor dining area. Located between two wildflower meadows it is the perfect place to cosy up this festive season. From £100 a night. Continue reading

Schemes to solve the housing shortage

 

As housing prices in the city continue to soar and the cost of renting increases, many face the predicament of being both unable to buy and rent, so what is the solution?  A number of schemes across the country are proposing new initiatives that will bridge the gap between the increasing population and not enough houses being built to accommodate such numbers, whilst tackling the issue of expense. Continue reading