Connect with us

Current

Inside Meghan Markle’s California-chic study as she shares a birthday message on her 40th

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Meghan Markle offered fans a rare glimpse inside the Californian mansion she shares with Prince Harry today during a ‘special message’ shared on her 40th birthday.

The Duchess of Sussex shared a video featuring Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy on the website of her charitable foundation Archewell to introduce her new 40×40 initiative which encourages people to donate 40 minutes of their time to helping someone else or to mentoring someone in need. 

Chatting via Zoom from her dark grey Apple Macbook computer, the glossy clip was filmed in the same room in which she appeared briefly during her husband and Oprah Winfrey‘s recent Apple TV mental health series.

This time viewers were given a more substantial view of the study, which boasted a grand oak desk with a pile of strategically placed copies of Meghan’s children’s book The Bench, along with elegant white file in-trays and decorative glass bottles.

The Duchess was also joined by her beloved beagle Guy, who looked perfectly at home on a luxurious grey striped dog cushion, while a chic £1,240 Hermes throw blanket (perhaps a nod to Harry given it features the letter H) was strewn over one of the two cream cushioned chairs.

Meghan Markle offered fans a rare glimpse inside the Californian mansion she shares with Prince Harry today during a 'special message' shared on her 40th birthday

Meghan Markle offered fans a rare glimpse inside the Californian mansion she shares with Prince Harry today during a ‘special message’ shared on her 40th birthday

1. Decorative glass bottles 

Given one of two-year-old Archie’s first words was ‘hydrate’, it makes sense that the Duchess should have a bottle of water to hand in her study. Perched on the edge of her expansive desk is a tall glass swing top bottle and two his and hers glasses.

During a lighthearted moment in Meghan and Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, the Duchess said their talkative toddler’s new favourite thing to say is ‘hydrate’, a week after his doting dad told James Cordon’s Late Late Show that Archie’s first word had surprisingly been ‘crocodile.’

2. White flowers

Almost taking centre-stage on the desk, between two stylish white in-trays, is an elegant gold vase housing a bunch of large white roses. 

The Duchess is known to be a fan of the blooms, having previously sent a large bouquet of pink roses to her friend Jessica Mulroney, and the colour is an appropriate choice for her neutral colour-scheme. 

White roses are often used at weddings (though Meghan opted for different blooms in the same shade) because they symbolise purity, however they’re also said to represent youthfulness, innocence, young love and loyalty.

Meanwhile the paper organisers resemble white wood ones by Threshold – sold at Target, a large American department store, and priced at an affordable £7.83.

Almost taking centre-stage on the desk, between two stylish white in-trays, is an elegant gold vase housing a bunch of white roses. There is also a glass bottle with two glasses

Almost taking centre-stage on the desk, between two stylish white in-trays, is an elegant gold vase housing a bunch of white roses. There is also a glass bottle with two glasses

Just in front of the flowers a silver picture frame can be seen, which another camera angle reveals is most likely a photo of Archie. 

Three further grainy black and white photos can be seen in a connected frame in front of this, with the central one seeming to show Harry kissing a baby and one on the right potentially showing Meghan holding a young child – perhaps the first snap of Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

The Sussexes have not yet released any photographs of their daughter, who was born exactly two months ago on June 4 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and is eighth in line to the throne.

Archie has also rarely been seen since the couple stepped back as senior royals in March last year, with the most recent picture of him released to mark his second birthday this May showing him with his back to the camera.

Just in front of the flowers a silver picture frame can be seen, which another camera angle reveals is most likely a photo of Archie. Three further grainy black and white photos can be seen in a connected frame in front of this, with the central one seeming to show Harry kissing a baby and one on the right potentially showing Meghan holding a young child - perhaps the first snap of Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor

Just in front of the flowers a silver picture frame can be seen, which another camera angle reveals is most likely a photo of Archie. Three further grainy black and white photos can be seen in a connected frame in front of this, with the central one seeming to show Harry kissing a baby and one on the right potentially showing Meghan holding a young child – perhaps the first snap of Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor

3. Stacks of The Bench

Perhaps strategically placed towards the front of the camera frame was a rather large stack of 11 copies of Meghan’s new children’s book The Bench. 

They appear to be special edition hardbacks, as they look significantly larger than your average book. The Duchess claimed the book showed ‘another side of masculinity’ in a message to thank readers after it became a New York Times bestseller.

In a statement on the Archewell website, she said: ‘While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere. In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values.’

However, the book failed to hit the UK Official Top 50 chart after selling just 3,212 copies in its first week – being beaten by footballer Marcus Rashford’s self-help guide. 

Perhaps strategically placed towards the front of the camera frame was a rather large stack of 11 copies of Meghan's new children's book The Bench

Perhaps strategically placed towards the front of the camera frame was a rather large stack of 11 copies of Meghan’s new children’s book The Bench

4: Hermes £1,240 throw blanket

On first glance, the cream cushioned chair beside Meghan looked to feature the letter ‘H’ – a nod to Harry’s initial – as part of its design.

However, on closer inspection it appears the Duchess had intricately placed a decorative Hermes throw blanket, priced at £1,240.

Made in Scotland, the Avalon III jacquard woven wool and cashmere throw is finished with blanket stitch and comes in Coco/Camomille – the shade chosen by Meghan – or Écru/Gris Clair.

The blanket blended perfectly well with her minimalist decor and colour scheme of neutral earth tones, creams and white. 

On first glance, the cream cushioned chair beside Meghan looked to feature the letter 'H' - a nod to Harry's initial - as part of its design. However, on closer inspection it appears the Duchess had intricately placed a decorative Hermes throw blanket, priced at £1,240

On first glance, the cream cushioned chair beside Meghan looked to feature the letter 'H' - a nod to Harry's initial - as part of its design. However, on closer inspection it appears the Duchess had intricately placed a decorative Hermes throw blanket, priced at £1,240

On first glance, the cream cushioned chair beside Meghan looked to feature the letter ‘H’ – a nod to Harry’s initial – as part of its design. However, on closer inspection it appears the Duchess had intricately placed a decorative Hermes throw blanket, priced at £1,240

5. Healing quartz crystal

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already revealed they own a collection of crystals that are scattered around their Montecito mansion; during a conference call they held earlier this year, eagle-eyed fans spotted a celestine crystal in the background. 

Placed beside her stack of copies of the bench is a large white crystal, traditionally considered to be a ‘master healer’ – appropriate for a woman who has just given birth.

It’s said to amplify energy by absorbing, storing, releasing and regulating it, as well as aid concentration and memory.

The Duchess is a long-standing proponent of spiritual practices including meditation and yoga – a hobby also taken up by her husband – and has previously touted crystals for their healing properties.

Placed beside her stack of copies of the bench is a large white crystal, traditionally considered to be a 'master healer' - appropriate for a woman who has just given birth

Placed beside her stack of copies of the bench is a large white crystal, traditionally considered to be a ‘master healer’ – appropriate for a woman who has just given birth

6. English tea and biscuits

They may have left the UK for America, but there’s one British tradition Meghan appears to have embraced wholeheartedly – that of tea and biscuits.

Perched on an elegant silver tray with gold handles is an intricately patterned monochrome teacup and saucer, beside a matching plate with a chocolately treat. 

The crockery set is from English brand Twinings, which is based in Andover, Hampshire, appropriately from its Burleigh Black Regal peacock collection. 

It features an oriental bird motif, hand-decorated at Middleport Pottery with a black and white palette. One teacup and saucer is priced at £30 each, however it’s currently out of stock.

They may have left the UK for America, but there's one British tradition Meghan appears to have embraced wholeheartedly - that of tea and biscuits

The crockery set is from English brand Twinings, which is based in Andover, Hampshire, appropriately from its Burleigh Black Regal peacock collection

They may have left the UK for America, but there’s one British tradition Meghan appears to have embraced wholeheartedly – that of tea and biscuits. The crockery set is from English brand Twinings, which is based in Andover, Hampshire, appropriately from its Burleigh Black Regal peacock collection

7. Stone fireplace 

The Sussexes’ Italian villa style home features several large open stone fireplaces, with this one possibly being the grandest of the lot.

The elaborate opening is concealed by two carved iron doors, suggesting it’s perhaps not in regular use – especially with the warm summer Montecito temperatures – though there are soot marks above it, perhaps from cosy winter evenings.

On top of the mantelpiece, though out of shot in this latest video, is a black and white print of a bear holding the state of California in its paws, printed with the words ‘I love you California’. The phrase refers to the state’s official anthem, published in 1913 and later adopted by California 1951 and confirmed in 1987 as its official song.

The Sussexes' Italian villa style home features several large open stone fireplaces, with this one possibly being the grandest of the lot

The opening is concealed by two carved iron doors, suggesting it's perhaps not in regular use - especially with the warm summer Montecito temperatures - though there are soot marks above it, perhaps from cosy winter evenings

The Sussexes’ Italian villa style home features several large open stone fireplaces, with this one possibly being the grandest of the lot. The opening is concealed by two carved iron doors, suggesting it’s perhaps not in regular use – especially with the warm summer Montecito temperatures – though there are soot marks above it, perhaps from cosy winter evenings

8. Luxury dog cushion

The couple’s dog makes a sleepy cameo in the royal’s 40th birthday address – but doesn’t look entirely happy about being woken from his slumber. 

The adorable beagle, Guy, is seen snoozing on a sizeable grey-and-white striped pillow behind Meghan, and as his owner’s conversation becomes more animated, the pet is disturbed from its slumber and glares at the camera filming the action. 

Guy, who moved to Kensington Palace with the Duchess of Sussex in 2017, was adopted by Meghan when she lived in Toronto while starring in Suits, and had been just days away from being put down. A Dog’s Dream Rescue, the dog shelter in Toronto that saved Guy, described how he was placed in a ‘kill shelter’ after being found wandering in the woods in Kentucky in 2015.

Guy is not the only family member making an appearance – Prince Harry is also seen juggling in the background. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's adorable beagle, Guy, is seen snoozing on a sizeable grey-and-white striped pillow behind Meghan

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s adorable beagle, Guy, is seen snoozing on a sizeable grey-and-white striped pillow behind Meghan

‘TIME IS AMONG OUR GREATEST AND MOST ESSENTIAL GIFTS’: MEGHAN’S 40TH BIRTHDAY MESSAGE

Meghan has written a statement of intent about her new initiative 40×40 on the website of her charitable foundation Archewell.

She says when reflecting on turning 40, and the many things she is ‘grateful for’, she was struck that ‘time’ is ‘among our greatest and most essential gifts’, especially ‘time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change’.

The duchess, who two months ago gave birth to her second child daughter Lilibet, claimed globally tens of millions of women had left the workforce during the past two years, in a large part due to the pandemic.

But many were still in unpaid roles like carers and she claimed research has shown fewer women than men will return to work as the pandemic recovery begins.

Meghan added: ‘I believe mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength, and for my birthday I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to help kick off a global effort by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women re-entering the workforce.

‘With this time, I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms and I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well.’

Source link

Current

Leinster’s accuracy proves key as they see off Munster in demolition derby

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Leinster 35 Munster 25

A breathtaking and, it has to be said, physically punishing game, which ebbed and flowed from first to last, ended with Leinster getting more than they needed and Munster coming up short of their targets. Well, to a point.

Munster went into the last game requiring at least two match points for a home quarter-final and a bonus point for the additional carrot of a potential home semi-final.

In the end, they came up with zero, which was perhaps preferable in that it earned them an away quarter-final against Ulster rather than against the Bulls. Even so, the winners of that Irish derby in a fortnight will be away in the semi-finals against the Stormers or Edinburgh.

In the other half of the draw Leinster will host Glasgow in the quarter-finals, and the winners of that tie will have home advantage in the semi-finals.

The mix of requirements made for a thrilling game. Leinster were ultimately the more accurate and pacier side, epitomised by the jet-heeled Jordan Larmour, who made everyone else look like they were being towed and his counterattacking and running led to two of Leinster’s four tries. It was a timely reminder of his abilities, and might well earn him a place on the bench in the Champions Cup final against La Rochelle, who themselves welcomed back Will Skelton off the bench against Stade Francais on Saturday.

Munster’s game didn’t lack for ambition at all, and their similar mix featured classy performances by Thomas Ahern, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue and Conor Murray. But they weren’t as accurate or quite as pacey.

This hungry Leinster mix of young and experienced were not in a remotely charitable mood, and shot out of the traps. Harry Byrne’s perfect kick-off was reclaimed by the recalled Ryan Baird and inside 80 seconds Leinster had scored without Munster touching the ball.

Generating trademark quick ball, with Baird making one big carry and Scott Penny a couple, before Ciarán Frawley used an advantage to crosskick perfectly for Penny to gather and use his footwork to step Joey Carbery and finish in the corner.

Harry Byrne didn’t land the difficult conversion, but added a penalty before offloads by Kendellen and Ahern and a couple of nicely weighted grubbers to the edges by Murray and Carbery earned an attacking lineout. The first scrap followed too. Yep, derby on.

Attacking wide and through phases, Munster used an advantage when Carbery pulled the ball back as Keith Earls worked across from his wing and flung a peach of a left-hander for O’Donoghue to take Cormac Foley’s tackle and finish well in the corner.

Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin on his way to scoring a try despite Keynan Knox and Mike Haley of Munster during the United Rugby Championship match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin on his way to scoring a try despite Keynan Knox and Mike Haley of Munster during the United Rugby Championship match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Next, after Frawley’s spillage, the recalled Andrew Conway chased Murray’s perfectly weighted kick to prevent Larmour gathering, Niall Scannell’s gallop earning another attacking lineout.

Again Munster engineered another free play, and after a strong carry by Kendellen from Murray’s pass behind his back, Mike Haley was sharply on hand to pick up and dive over under the posts.

The force was with Munster, all the more so after Conway cleanly reclaimed another box kick by Murray. But when Kendellen kicked through Larmour beat the flanker’s follow-up tackle and left a trail of four more forwards in his wake before being tackled by Murray. From the recycle, Jamie Osborne stepped and Frawley took a superb line on to his short pass for a clean break and had Foley in support. The 22-year-old showed the quickness from his formative years as a centre with St Gerard’s to complete his first Leinster try on his home debut, and some try too.

The game’s first scrums provided an almost welcome breather. Frawley, after his two sumptuous try assists, had to depart for one of several failed HIAs in the game, and didn’t return.

The lively Earls then countered with Haley, Carbery and Kendellen before Rob Russell’s deliberate knock-on prevented the ball reaching three unmarked players and earning him a yellow card. But Baird spoiled the Munster lineout to protect his side’s 15-12 lead until the interval.

But on the resumption Munster struck. Haley chased his own kick, preventing Osborne from gathering cleanly and Murray was sharply on to the loose ball to skip away from Foley’s tackle and score.

Harry Byrne brought it back to a one-point game after Foley’s high tackle on Josh Murphy, and although Munster were clearly now mindful of the chance for a fourth try when going to the corner, before accepting a tap over penalty to push them four points ahead.

Typical of this match, back came Leinster. First Foley executed a 50:22 and despite just changing their frontrow the maul was gathering speed when it collapsed and Frank Murphy adjudged it a penalty try and sinbinned Niall Scannell.

After Max Deegan’s covering tackle on the ever dangerous Chris Farrell into touch, a lovely launch play and a flatish pass by Foley for Joe McCarthy’s carry over the gainline, was the prelude to Leinster reloading right and another slaloming run by Larmour. An offload by McCarty and fine pass by Deegan created the space for Rory O’Loughlin to use a two-on-two and a mismatch with the covering Kenyan Knox to score.

Suddenly it was 32-22 to Leinster.

A spellbinding spell of offloading featuring Murray, Ahern, O’Donoghue and Kendellen ended with Earls finishing off O’Donoghue’s offload, but Murphy adjudged it forward. Instead, Munster had to opt for another Carbery penalty to complete the first task of getting to within one score before chasing a fourth try.

They became over exuberant and conceded penalties, and although Adam Byrne was brilliantly denied by Carbery and Haley, Harry Byrne’s penalty put them 10 ahead, and more relevantly left Munster without anything from the game and looking at a quarter-final away to Ulster.

They had eight minutes or so to do it. They conjured one punishing phased attack, Carbery’s one-handed pick-up and Murray deliberately knocking on with a penalty advantage and then quickly were two of the highlights, but when Carbery prematurely went wide with a looped pass to Jack Daly he was tackled into touch by Osborne.

And that was effectively that.

SCORING SEQUENCE – 2 mins: Penny try 5-0; 9: Byrne pen 8-0; 12: O’Donoghue try 8-5; 17: Haley try, Carbery con 8-12; 23: Foley try, Byrne con 15-12; (half-time 15-12); 41: Murray try, Carbery con 15-19; 46: Byrne pen 18-19; 49: mins Carbery pen 18-22; 51: penalty try 25-22; 54: O’Loughlin try, Byrne con 32-22; 61: Carbery pen 32-25; 71: Byrne pen 35-25.

LEINSTER: Jordan Larmour; Rob Russell, Jamie Osborne, Ciarán Frawley, Rory O’Loughlin; Harry Byrne, Cormac Foley; Ed Byrne (capt), Seán Cronin, Thomas Clarkson; Joe McCarthy, Josh Murphy; Ryan Baird, Scott Penny, Max Deegan.

Replacements: Adam Byrne for Frawley (27 mins), John McKee for Cronin, Peter Dooley for Byrne, Cian Healy for Clarkson (all 49), Devin Toner for J Murphy (55), Ben Murphy for Foley (58), Alex Soroka for McCarthy (66), David Hawkshaw for H Byrne (76).

Sinbinned: Russell (37-47 mins).

MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Thomas Ahern; Fineen Wycherley, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue (capt).

Replacements: Jason Jenkins for Kleyn (49 mins), Keynan Knox for Ryan (54), Jeremy Loughman for J Wycherley, Rory Scannell for Goggin (both 55), Diarmuid Barron for Kendellen (58-61), for Scannell (61), Jack Daly for Ahern, Ben Healy for Carbery (both 64), N Scannell for Kendellen (65), Ahern for Daly, Patrick Patterson for Murray (both 76).

Sinbinned: N Scannell (51-61 mins).

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU).

URC quarter-finals (Fri, Jun 3rd & Sat, Jun 4th)
1 Leinster v Glasgow Warriors
2 DHL Stormers v Edinburgh
3 Ulster v Munster
4 Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks
 
Semi-finals (Fri, June 10th and Sat Jun 11th)
Leinster or Glasgow v Bulls or Sharks
Stormers or Edinburgh v Ulster or Munster.
 
Shield winners 2021/22:
Irish Shield:
Leinster
South African Shield: DHL Stormers
Welsh Shield: Ospreys
Scottish & Italian Shield: Edinburgh
 

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Aparto debuts in Spain

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Aparto has unveiled its first student residence in Spain to open in September 2022. Aparto Barcelona Pallars, owned by Commerz Real, is located in the 22@, the city’s innovation district, and accommodates 743 beds covering 26,000m². The cutting-edge facilities at aparto Barcelona Pallars include an external circa 45-metre length infinity pool, a 900 square metre rooftop terrace, 2,500m² of gardens including the Butterfly Garden (named because of the type of plants that attract butterflies), the Smell Garden (due to the mixture of aromatic plants), 1,400m² of amenity space including a gym with a weight, cardio, and yoga studios, two cinema rooms, leisure areas, and a bar offering both food and drink services.

 

In addition, a central feature of aparto’s offering is its first-class experience with a focus on the arts including an initiative in which street artists will design some of the paintings on the building, and a mental health programme available to all students all year around, strengthened by aparto employees receiving mental health training to identify anyone who may need help. 

 

aparto Barcelona Pallars has been designed by the Catalonian architecture studio Battle i Roig, a pioneer in landscape architecture, interweaving structures with natural spaces like gardens. Upon construction completion, the building will receive the LEED Gold and WELL Platinum Certifications for sustainability. 

 

aparto offers students a unique safe study experience and flexible model offering medium and long-term stays, from a few months to a full year, with all-inclusive rates including cleaning, Wi-Fi connection, linen services, and some additional features related to sports and wellness sessions, cocktail and cooking classes, and a series of entertainment evenings including movie nights, sports matches and tournaments. Aparto’s focus is to create places where students feel at home living within a strong community.

  

Tom Rix, director of operations at aparto, UK, commented: “With Aparto Barcelona Pallars, Hines is introducing first-class student housing in Spain. Pallars mirrors what today’s students want in terms of facilities, amenities, community engagement, and wellbeing programmes. We have already successfully demonstrated that this innovative model is in high demand in Italy, Ireland, and the UK and we anticipate the same success here in Spain and can’t wait to welcome students to Barcelona.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Crossrail house price boom: Reading, Maidenhead and Slough set to become property hotspots

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Crossrail may be billions of pounds over budget and three-and-a-half years late but it’s finally ready to roll.

This extraordinary feat of engineering is due to be put into service on Tuesday, when it will adopt its correct title of the Elizabeth Line. 

The Queen made a surprise visit to Paddington station this week and officially opened the line.

On the line: The Thames flows through Maidenhead, which will now enjoy a direct link to Central London thanks to its new Crossrail station

On the line: The Thames flows through Maidenhead, which will now enjoy a direct link to Central London thanks to its new Crossrail station

Linking Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east with Heathrow and Reading to the west of the capital, it will bind together existing commuter railways, accelerating cross-city travel and relieving overcrowding on the London Underground — particularly the often hellish Central Line.

Commuters’ journey times will be slashed; Reading to London Liverpool Street, for example, will take under an hour.

When fully operational it will increase London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent, making it the largest single expansion of the city’s transport network in more than 70 years.

There are still a few glitches to be ironed out. Initially passengers travelling from Reading in the west to Abbey Wood and beyond will have to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street mainline stations. 

Also Bond Street is three months behind schedule. Trains will not call there until later in the year. Yet these delays pale into insignificance when you consider how the Elizabeth Line will transform rail travel in the capital.

Cross town: The Elizabeth line will run east to west across London, starting in Berkshire and ending in Essex

Cross town: The Elizabeth line will run east to west across London, starting in Berkshire and ending in Essex

The new station at Paddington, for example, is the size of three Wembley football pitches, with natural light as far as the platform entry from a nearly 400ft-long glass canopy.

More than £1 billion has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks. Spacious tunnels will lead to airy 600 ft platforms, with glass screens at the edge of the tracks, making it impossible to fall under a train. 

Step-free access from street to train will make the service accessible to wheelchairs. 

The nine-car, air-conditioned trains will have colourful bench seats and open interiors with full-width walk-through connections between cars. It will be a world away from today’s cramped, cluttered carriages.

Few engineering projects change the way we live but The Elizabeth Line promises to do just that. People are already flocking to the new stations.

Research from Savills last year found that, over the past five years, homes within 0.6 mile of about half of the stations on the line have increased in price by 25 per cent or more.

It follows that when the sleek and airy new trains come into service, delivering people to their workplaces in double quick time, we can expect a migration to the west of London.

Here are the hotspots:

Reading revival

Outlay: More than £1bn has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks

Outlay: More than £1bn has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks

Not so long ago Reading was best known for its brewery and its biscuit factory — not any more. 

International companies, including Amazon UK, Virgin Media and KPMG have moved there and with reasonably priced homes, compared to London, the town is already popular with commuters.

‘I recently dealt with a young woman who sold her 750 sq ft flat in London for £600,000 and bought a 1,750 ft duplex in Reading for £650,000,’ says James Hathaway, of Winkworth estate agents.

The town has lots of green space, riverside walks, the Grade II-listed Thames Lido and great shopping, notably in Broad Street and the Oracle centre. The average price of a home sold in Reading was £384,000 last year.

Compare that to the £512,000 average price in, say, East London and you will see why an exodus from the capital is forecast when the Elizabeth Line makes commuting a doddle.

Maidenhead marches on

This Berkshire town is keen to attract the City bankers who had previously been put off living there by having to trek across the capital’s underground system to get to work.

‘The Elizabeth Line changes all that and buyer enquiries have already started booming,’ says Dawn Carritt at Jackson-Stops estate agents.

‘The prospect of living near the river in Maidenhead or in nearby villages such as Sonning and Bray is appealing.’

Maidenhead (with Theresa May as its MP) is on the cusp of a revival. Its 1960s shopping centre is to be transformed into The Nicholson Quarter, a swish mixed-use centre.

The area by the river is being developed and trendy cocktail bars and restaurants such as Coppa Club are thriving — a sure sign of a town on the up.

Slough expansion

Ricky Gervais did Slough no favours when he set The Office there. Yet the town has a lot going for it. It is well located for travel, nestling between the M4 and the M40 and within easy reach of the M25 and Heathrow airport.

First-time buyer portal Share to Buy claims that Slough has been one of the UK’s top ten property hotspots over the past decade with a 73 per cent increase in house prices. 

The Berkeley Group is redeveloping the former Horlicks factory and site to create 1,300 homes.

A small flat sells for £150,000 and a three-bed terrace house for £350,000. The centre is being improved and with the coming of the Elizabeth Line, things can only get better.

On the market… the hotspots 

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!