Home Tones: Bubblegum pink

August 29th, 2015

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bubblegum pink floor and stairscredit

Pink doesn’t have to be all girly or sickly. Some men can look very smart and sophisticated when they wear pink. The same goes for home interiors.

Team bubblegum pink with bright white, charcoal grey or ‘nearly black’ and the results can be stunning. Or how about contrasting it with tangerine or turquoise for a really tropical, South East Asian feel?

So banish those thoughts that pink may conjure up of Frenchie from Grease, Pepto-Bismol or pink-dyed poodles topiaried to within an inch of their lives!

Bubblegum pink desk chaircredit

Bubblegum pink bathroom shelf surface & backsplashcredit

Bubblegum pink kitchen counter tops, sink and kick boardcredit

Turquoise upholstered sofa with bubblegum pink trim and cushionscredit

Bubble gum pink radiator, toilet brush holder and hand towel on a cloakroomcredit

Bedroom decorated in shades of grey with bubble gum pink rugcredit

Young person's bedroom with bubble gum pink feature wallcredit

Why cities like York offer a great investment opportunity

August 28th, 2015

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City of York plaque on a gate in the citycredit

Our post about investing in property outside of London generated a huge amount of interest. It seems that many of our readers were interested in the idea of avoiding the extraordinarily high property prices of the capital and wanted to look into investing in other places. This prompted us to do a bit more research and expand on the subject.

Here we’re going to look at investing in other city locations using York as an example. We’re in regular contact with several letting agencies in York, so know already that the city is a good place to invest. In addition, the latest statistics indicate that rental rates in the city have recently risen by over 20%. It’s a great example of somewhere outside of the capital where property investments have really paid off.

Several cities in the UK have the potential to take off in the same way as York. Below we take a closer look at why York has become such a good place for people to invest in property.

York Universitycredit

York is a university city

Demand for student accommodation is definitely growing in the UK. Up until this year, the number of students each university could take was capped. This limited the number of people who could study in the UK, but despite this cap demand for student accommodation outstripped availability everywhere. Now that the cap on student numbers no longer exists, demand for accommodation in university cities can only increase even more.

Red York CitySightseeing bus in front of York Castlecredit

York is a tourist city

The city of York is a big tourist destination that is becoming more & more popular. This year visitor numbers are up by 10% and that’s the 5th year tourist numbers have gone up.

Increasingly, visitors to the UK are rejecting hotel & bed and breakfast accommodation. Many are opting instead to rent houses or flats and tourists are now renting individual rooms in people’s homes.

This has created another pool of potential renters for both home-owners and landlords in the city. Tourists visit the city of York all year round and they pay well for accommodation, so it easy to make a profit leasing out holiday properties in the city and the surrounding area.

Street scene in York city centrecredit

York has a growing population

Property prices and rent have risen so much in the South East that many people can no longer afford to live there. People are increasingly moving further north and York is proving to be one of the most popular destinations for people looking for a new place to live.

York Train Stationcredit

York has fantastic amenities

York has great links with the rest of the UK. London is just a two-hour train journey away and Manchester is just an hour and a quarter away.

The fact that it is a student city and a tourist destination means that there is no shortage of things for people to do and see in the area. This makes it very attractive as a place to live for young people who cannot afford to set up home in the South East.

Several other cities in the UK tick the same boxes as York. Edinburgh, Oxford and Coventry are just three of them and all of them offer great value for money when it comes to investment property.

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Cakes & Bakes: No bake double choc nut tart

August 27th, 2015

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Slice of home-made double choc nut tart via @hisforhome

I’ve had quite a lot on this week, so didn’t have a great deal of time to dedicate to a long-drawn-out Cakes & Bakes recipe.

Double choc nut tart ingredients

This no bake double choc nut tart is short on time, but big on taste and impact.

Dark chocolate digestives and butter

It would be perfect to make for a dinner party where there are a few courses to juggle in preparation.

Dark chocolate digestive tart base

The chocolate ganache is really simple to make and is rich and unctuous – a chocoholics dream!

Melting dark chocolate with double cream to make a ganache

The base can be made with chocolate digestive biscuits or, if you’re in the US and can’t get hold of them, Chocolate Creme Oreos are a good substitute.

Chocolate ganache

I topped it with toasted chopped mixed nuts and finished with a few pecan halves but you can use walnuts, hazelnuts or whatever takes your fancy!

Chocolate ganache poured on to digestive base

Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or clotted cream and a sprig of mint to garnish – just perfection!

Home-made double choc nut tart via @hisforhome

No bake double choc nut tart
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 250g/9oz dark chocolate digestive biscuits
  2. 100g/3½oz butter, cubed &softened
  3. 300g/10½oz dark chocolate, broken up into pieces
  4. 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  5. 1tbs mixed nuts, toasted
  6. 8 pecans
Instructions
  1. Add the digestive biscuits to a food processor and grind until fine crumbs
  2. Add the softened butter to the biscuit crumbs and pulse until combined
  3. Pour the mixture into a tart dish (I used a cm diameter round one) and press evenly into the base and up the sides using the back of a spoon
  4. Put the base into the fridge for 20 minutes to harden
  5. Put the broken up dark chocolate and double cream into a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl into a saucepan filled with water to a level where it doesn't quite touch the bowl
  6. Heat the saucepan until just boiled then turn down low
  7. Stir the chocolate & cream mixture to combine well and remove any lumps
  8. Remove the base from the fridge, pour over the chocolate sauce and shake slightly to level it out
  9. Return to the fridge for 20 minutes before sprinkling with the chopped nuts and placing the pecans evenly around the edge
  10. Serve as is or garnish with a few strawberries, blueberries and/or mint leaves
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/