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Cycas and Accor open new hotel in Bridgwater (GB)

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Accor has opened the largest internationally-branded hotel in the Somerset town of Bridgwater; the 144-room ibis Bridgwater. Operated by Cycas Hospitality as part of a management agreement with Zeal Hotels and Sandgate Investors, the new-build property is the first ibis hotel in the UK to showcase the brand’s new Plaza-design throughout. The new ibis Bridgwater also becomes the first UK ibis hotel to feature a Keepers Kitchen and Bar; an all-day dining restaurant and bar whose locally-sourced menus champion the regional produce and support a wide range of nearby suppliers. Set within Woodlands Court Business Park, just 13 miles from Hinkley Point C, the hotel’s initial guests include key workers helping build the UK’s first new nuclear power station in over 20 years. Thanks to its location by Junction 23 of the M5, ibis Bridgwater is also well placed to cater for British holidaymakers poised to explore Somerset, Devon and Cornwall once domestic travel restrictions ease.

 

Other facilities at the stylish new hotel include two meeting rooms seating up to 40 people, and extensive on-site parking for 81 cars, plus free coach parking. Each of the hotel’s 40 twin, 96 double and eight accessible/interconnected rooms are soundproofed and incorporate the brand’s Sweet Bed concept for unparalleled comfort, plus a Smart TV with Chromecast.

 

Cristina de Oliveira-Frewen, SVP Franchise Operations, Accor Northern Europe, said: “ibis Bridgwater is the first UK hotel to feature the brand’s new Plaza-design concept. It’s an exciting transformation for ibis and we’re enormously proud to see the design come to life in this hotel, bringing urban modernity to the interior design. The addition of our Keepers Bar and Restaurant makes this an exciting, modern and affordable hotel for business and leisure guests. Together with Cycas we have created a fantastic hotel and we look forward to developing our partnership further in the future.”

 

Wayne Androliakos, Cycas Hospitality’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re delighted that Cycas’s first hotel in the South West of England also marks the opening of our first Accor property in the UK. We are excited to welcome the renowned ibis brand to the Cycas family and, with an exceptional team in place, look forward to capitalising on the growing demand for contemporary accommodation for both business and leisure travellers visiting the Bridgwater area.”

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Interiors trends for 2022: It’s all about vibrant designs and natural textures

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Some home trends last the course (think sustainable design and open-plan living), while others are, thankfully, fleeting (goodbye matching furniture and round beds). 

But there are a few we can count on to stay the distance this year.

So here’s what we think will be in vogue for the next 12 months.

Jaunty: A striped armchair. Curves, spheres, lozenges and circular silhouettes reflect our current desire for a greater sense of flexibility in the way we merge work and play

Jaunty: A striped armchair. Curves, spheres, lozenges and circular silhouettes reflect our current desire for a greater sense of flexibility in the way we merge work and play

Soft shapes

Curves, spheres, lozenges and circular silhouettes reflect our current desire for a greater sense of flexibility in the way we merge work and play.

‘You can expect to see more organic shapes coming to the forefront in terms of furniture,’ says the Dining Chair Co’s Amanda Huber. 

‘Curved designs feature softer lines, creating a less strict and more informal setting.’ Check out the gracious shape of Soho Home’s Luciana sofa, £2,495.

Playful pieces

The latest interiors don’t take themselves too seriously — the idea is to elevate simple materials or use them in a creative way.

Think wide, jaunty stripes on an overscaled armchair (take a look at Buchanan Studio’s Studio chair, £2,394, for inspiration), half-length linen café curtains used as cupboard skirts, and trims, tassels, bobbles and fringing on curtains, lampshades and upholstery. 

Relaxed, unfitted kitchens also feed into this look: Buster + Punch’s latest foray into freestanding cabinetry is designed to easily adapt to lifestyle shifts.

Earthy: Bold, natural colours are set to have a resurgence in our homes next year

Earthy: Bold, natural colours are set to have a resurgence in our homes next year 

Colour confidence

More of us are experimenting with colour — whether that’s mixing bold primary tones, colour washing our walls or choosing confident finishes such as all-gloss or soft plaster. 

Warm hues and nature’s tones are set to prevail, from rich terracotta and sand to olive and deeper greens.

This calming, earthy palette suits our renewed connection to nature during the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, when ‘home’ has become a byword for sanctuary. Look out for calming and uplifting bright blues.

Handcrafted appeal

Items that feature the hand of their maker inject individuality, such as the beautifully detailed pieces of Galvin Brothers: the Bobbin Side Table, £375, or the Fluted Cabinet, £4,800, both future design classics, which take inspiration from the shape of ancient columns.

Introduce handcrafted appeal through lighting, too. Susie Atkinson’s Plato lamp bases, inspired by 1940s conical leather lamps, are coated in high gloss colours. They work well with a hand-painted or trimmed shade; Rosi de Ruig’s are a timeless option, priced from £60.

Swish: Bert & May¿s Ric Rac tile from designer Samantha Todhunter

Swish: Bert & May’s Ric Rac tile from designer Samantha Todhunter

Mindful design

Lessening our impact on the planet remains key. 

‘Sustainability is not a trend, but a key design principle,’ says Kelling Designs’ Emma Deterding. 

‘It’s about changing our mindset to embrace upcycling, reupholstering and repairing.’ 

This also translates into buying fewer but better pieces and researching provenance.

‘Seek out items made from recycled materials, such as outdoor furniture produced from recycled aluminium, upcycled fabrics or fabric leftovers for upholstery, and recycled glass for tableware and tops,’ says interior designer Claudia Ludwig.

Flexible living

With many of us required to work from home at a moment’s notice, our living spaces need to accommodate relaxing, escaping, cooking and working. So quality joinery is high priority.

‘All of my projects focus on it, from library style shelving and desks to concealed storage,’ says interior designer Louise Robinson.

‘Another trend that has become hugely popular is open-plan layouts and indoor/outdoor living, which is set to continue as we try to reclaim our homes from pandemic living,’ says Fionnuala Johnston, senior home designer at John Lewis.

Try textures

The trick is to look for less obvious ways to introduce these familiar elements. Try opting for warm oak internal doors rather than ubiquitous Crittall; lining front door surrounds and frames with richly veined marble or using tactile Zellige tiles in bathrooms and kitchens.

Check out Bert & May’s new Ric Rac collection with designer Samantha Todhunter, whose pattern is inspired by the ric rac ribbon she used to sew onto the Spanish dancing skirts she made as a child.

Global interiors

Armchair travel is on the rise as many are reluctant to take risks.

That translates to confident interiors that are embracing global design motifs, from deeply pictorial wallpaper such as Osborne & Little’s Portovenere, featuring retro Ligurian village scenes, £94 per roll, to patterned flora and fauna soft furnishings.

Charming ceramics

Spanish and Italian handmade pottery is enjoying a resurgence. See the vintage collection at The Edition 94, from £40 per plate and the range of decorative jugs, plates and dishes by traditional maker Cerámica J. Marín, available at Liberty.

Savings of the week! Winter duvets

Dunelm¿s Fogarty Soft Touch microfibre-filled duvet costs from £17.60 to £35, depending on size

Dunelm’s Fogarty Soft Touch microfibre-filled duvet costs from £17.60 to £35, depending on size

Fuel bills are set to soar. Since turning up your thermostat against winter chills will harm the wallet this year, consider a new duvet, an item on which heartwarming savings are now available,

This will also be an investment in better sleep, improving your health and mood in the morning. 

If you share your bed, a 10.5 tog rating duvet should be sufficiently cosy.

Dunelm’s Fogarty Soft Touch microfibre-filled duvet costs from £17.60 to £35, depending on size, a 20 per cent reduction. 

A kingsize costs £33.60, down from £42. For a little more, you can have the microfibre-filled Feels-Like-Down duvet from bedding store Julian Charles, which costs from £55 to £85, a 50 per cent reduction. 

The Woolroom Deluxe costs from £112.50 after a 25 per cent reduction

The Woolroom Deluxe costs from £112.50 after a 25 per cent reduction

The price of the kingsize is £75, down from £150.

Happy to splurge? Then prices for Marks & Spencer’s Luxury Siberian goosedown duvet start at £192, down 40 per cent.

Should you dream of snuggling up under a British wool-filled duvet, the Woolroom Deluxe costs from £112.50 after a 25 per cent reduction. 

The kingsize is £157.50 down from £210.

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One winner claims €19m Lotto jackpot in first ‘will be won’ draw

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After more than 60 draws over seven months the €19.06 million National Lottery jackpot was finally won tonight by one person who matched all six numbers.

The jackpot had remained capped at €19.06 million since October 2nd and had not been won since June last year. It is the biggest National Lottery jackpot win in in the State.

The jackpot numbers drawn were: 2, 9, 16, 30, 37, 40 while the bonus number was 23.

Tonight had been the first “will be won” National Lottery draw which could have seen the prize shared among those who matched five numbers and a bonus number, or, if still no winners, those who matched five numbers, in the absence of an overall winner.

However, this process was not required as one lucky person matched all six numbers.

Almost €5.5 million was shared by 149 players who matched five numbers and the bonus number.

The National Lottery said it would will reveal details on where the winning ticket was sold in the coming days.

A spokesman for the National Lottery advised everyone who played to check their tickets.

“If they are the lucky winner, we encourage them to sign the back of the ticket immediately and contact our prize claims team on 1800 666 222 or email claims@lottery.ie , and we will make arrangements for you to collect your prize.”

Earlier the Lotto app and website came under severe strain ahead of the first “will be won” jackpot draw.

Some users of the Lotto App were confronted with this message in the minutes shortly before the cut-off to buy tickets.
Some users of the Lotto App were confronted with this message in the minutes shortly before the cut-off to buy tickets.

Some players seeking to play via the Lotto app shortly before the 7.45pm cut-off were told that “due to high traffic volumes we are experiencing technical difficulties”.

The National Lottery website was also displaying a “currently unavailable” message shortly before the draw at 8pm.

Sales of tickets for tonight’s draw were reported to have been significantly higher than a standard draw.

The succession of jackpot rollovers had prompted the operator of the National Lottery, Premier Lotteries Ireland, to seek the addition of the “will be won” draw.

In future lottery jackpots will only rollover five times once the prize cap has been reached.

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Property battle: Would you choose £750k two-bed flat or £1.3m four-bed house in Sandbanks?

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Let the Sandbanks battle begin! Would you choose a £750k two-bed flat or a £1.3m four-bed house on the famous peninsula?

  • Which luxury property for sale in Sandbanks, Dorset, would you choose?
  • One is a two-bed flat with its own private garden and a price tag of £750k
  • The other is a four-bedroom house that is on the market for just shy of £1.3m










Sandbanks is home to some of the most expensive properties in the country and hits all the right notes for buyers looking to move out of the city to a coastal location.

It boasts sandy beaches, far-reaching sea views, and a limited housing supply, something that helps to keep demand – and prices – high.

Many of the older homes in the area have been demolished to make way for modern properties that would not look out of place on the Californian coastline.  

We take a look at two properties for sale in Sandbanks, Dorset, and ask - as part of our Property Battle series - which one would you prefer to buy?

We take a look at two properties for sale in Sandbanks, Dorset, and ask – as part of our Property Battle series – which one would you prefer to buy? 

But you will need deep pockets to purchase a property in this affluent location on the south coast where the average house price has risen £56,571 in the past year to reach £1,628,772, according to Zoopla.

We take a look at two properties for sale in Sandbanks, Dorset, and ask – as part of our Property Battle series – which one would you prefer to buy? 

Two-bed flat, £750k

This two-bedroom apartment has its own private garden and costs £750,000, with the sale being handled by Fine & Country estate agents

This two-bedroom apartment has its own private garden and costs £750,000, with the sale being handled by Fine & Country estate agents

The flat is part of secure gated development with an allocated parking space and is just over 300 metres from Sandbanks' sandy beaches

The flat is part of secure gated development with an allocated parking space and is just over 300 metres from Sandbanks’ sandy beaches

Pets are allowed at the property, along with holiday lets, meaning that it could be used to generate an income

Pets are allowed at the property, along with holiday lets, meaning that it could be used to generate an income

The first property is a two-bedroom apartment that costs £750,000 and is just over 300 metres from Sandbanks’ sandy beaches.

The flat is part of secure gated development with an allocated parking space, and its own private garden.

Pets are allowed at the property, along with holiday lets, meaning that it could be used to generate an income. It is being sold by Fine & Country estate agents.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘This modern apartment is the perfect home for a buyer looking to make the most of living in an enviable location right in the heart of Sandbanks.

‘This property benefits from the best of both worlds and is located a stone’s throw from the area’s award-winning and bustling sandy beaches, yet also benefits from being situated within a secure gated development.’

Four-bed house, £1,295,000

This modern house costs £1,295,000 and is 450 yards to the sandy beaches, with the sale being handled by Fine & Country estate agents

This modern house costs £1,295,000 and is 450 yards to the sandy beaches, with the sale being handled by Fine & Country estate agents

The luxury home boasts under floor heating throughout, and four bedrooms - including this one with a large window

The luxury home boasts under floor heating throughout, and four bedrooms – including this one with a large window

The house has a landscaped garden that provides the perfect space for entertaining friends and family

The house has a landscaped garden that provides the perfect space for entertaining friends and family

The second property is a modern house that costs £1,295,000 that is 450 yards to the sandy beaches.

It is part of a development of six homes called Blue Waters that each extend across three floors.

The house boasts under floor heating throughout, four bedrooms with en-suites, and a secure double garage.

It also has landscaped gardens at the front and at the rear of the property, providing the perfect space for entertaining friends and family. It is being sold via Fine & Country estate agents.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘This spectacular home wouldn’t look out of place on the Californian coastline with its sleek, contemporary exterior and beautifully landscaped gardens.

‘It’s also the perfect place for entertaining family and friends for summer barbeques and dinner parties, with the property’s open plan kitchen and dining area leading through bi-fold doors into the garden.’

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