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    5 Reasons Why Being a North Londoner is Awesome

    5 Reasons Why Being a North Londoner is Awesome

    Everyone loves the idea of a London life. But what exactly draws someone to England’s capital city? There are hundreds of reasons why you should call London home, but here are our top five:

    1. The shopping
    It doesn’t matter whether you like the high streets or are shopping for a gem in the rough, London has it all. From hidden boutiques in West End to major flagship stores on Oxford Street, you could literally shop till you dropped! The city is also home to the Camden Market, offering an eclectic mix of stalls with products at bargain prices if you are more of a bargain shopper.

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    2. The history
    England is a country rich in history and London is no exception. Enjoy the beauty in Westminster Abbey, trawl through the Houses of Parliament and enjoy a sky high view from the London Eye, a city favourite giving you a peak of the whole region from above, including all of its oldest landmarks.

    3. The food
    Just like any big city, the food in London is as varied and fantastical as the people who live there! Enjoy classic British fair or enjoy something exotic, like Indian or Italian, all in the same city. With hundreds of restaurants, cafes and bars, at varying prices and with different styles, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes.

    4. The attractions
    As if there wasn’t enough to keep you busy, London is also home to a wide range of attractions. Buckingham Palace, the Thames, Madame Tussauds, the British History Museum and the Tate Modern are just a handful of attractions to visit and get your touristy fill.

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    5. The homes
    One of the best things about being a Londoner is your home life. London has homes of all kinds, from North West London studios to luxury flats in North London. Big, small, furnished or blank slate, London can cater to almost any prospective homeowner.

    London is a great place to call home, with so much to see and do. In fact, our top 5 barely scratches the surface! So what are you waiting for? Talk to Carltone and get the London lifestyle today.

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    Best Gyms in North London

    Everyone knows that maintaining good fitness is a lot easier if it is fun! The gym shouldn’t be a chore but rather an important and even enjoyable part of your routine. One of the best ways to ensure gym is a welcome activity is by choosing the right club. If you are planning to make the move to North London, or already live there, take a look at our top choices and make working out a part of your lifestyle today:

    The Laboratory
    Hailing its name from its former purpose as a British Rail laboratory, this beautiful transformed studio now offers a spacious place to work out in Muswell Hill. The gym features a number of exercise areas, including an underground swimming pool, an exercise room with lots of strength and cardio equipment, a weights room, beauty and holistic treatment rooms and a poolside day spa and relaxation area with dedicated manicure and pedicure spaces. If you want to look after your body, The Laboratory does it from head to toe!

     

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    Fierce Grace North
    Founded by Michele Pernetta, the first to bring Bikram ‘hot’ yoga to the UK, Fierce Grace is one of six schools across London specialising in a fusion of Bikram, Hatha and Astanga yoga. Located in Queens Crescent, the gym is a great option for those who want to try something a little different with some of the best teachers in the industry.

    Fit4Less Tower Hill
    One of the only budget fitness clubs in London, Fit4Less is just that – great fitness at a great price. Located between Aldgate and Towerhill’s underground stations, the little gem is ideally located with modern equipment, great staff and lots of space to work out. Fit4Less is a great option for those who want a quality, traditionally styled gym without paying the high prices many London gyms ask.

     

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    Yogahome
    As the name suggests, Yogahome is a yoga studio set in a “home away from home” atmosphere. With friendly, approachable staff and lots of space to move, Yogahome offers a wide range of yoga styles run by almost 20 teachers, making it the perfect place for beginners and yoga enthusiasts alike. Located in Stoke Newington, why not peek inside the blue door today?

    SPACe
    Located in the heart of Hoxton, SPACe is another more affordable fitness option, with a generously equipped gym split by cardio and weights. The gym is also home to a sauna, so you can detox and unwind after working up a sweat on the floor.

    Make gym fun – try out one of our top choices in North London today! Or alternatively, check out the new gym at the Finchley Road Studios, opening in Summer 2015!

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    Best Bars in North London for Young Professionals

    After a long week (or even day!) at the office, sometimes the best way to unwind is a cold brew and the company of friends. If you live or work in London or somewhere nearby, finding the perfect bar isn’t easy!

    Spoilt for choice, sometimes it can be difficult to find a place to call your “local”. But we’re here to make it easy for you. Check out the best bars in north London for the young professional below:

    The London Cocktail Club Islington

    The sixth in a line of cocktail bars in the London area, LLC Islington is a speakeasy bar that makes getting after work drinks a little more mysterious! Notable for its “Apothecary Off Licence & Tasting Room”, the bar proudly offers not only drinks to buy, but masterclasses to make it yourself.

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    The Old Queen’s Head

    Want something a little different for your after work plans? Leave the fancy cocktails and dimly lit jazz bars and head to a real party pub at The Old Queen’s Head in Angel’s North London. DJ sets, live music, regular events and lively atmosphere make for a night you won’t forget.

    Simmons Camden

    Take a step back in time and enjoy the warm lighting and charismatic feel of Simmons Camden off Camden High Street. With walls littered with retro items and featuring the largest Skull mirror ball in the world, Simmons Camden is both a beautiful place to be in and a fun place to drink, with lots of creative cocktails, as well as wine and basic spirits.

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    Ruby’s

    An intimate retreat, Ruby’s can be found perched beneath the cinema sign on Stoke Newington Road in Dalston, in place of a former Chinese takeaway, now furnished with wooden chairs, warm gold and red wallpaper and soft lamp lighting. With a cocktail menu to compliment the 1940s styling and a selection of ales, lagers and fine wines, Ruby’s offers a quiet retreat perfect for after work drinks or a date.

    Nag’s Head

    Found in Islington, Nag’s Head has a laid-back atmosphere that draws clientele from all around, including office workers. Featuring timber floorboards and panelling, the bar offers a simple cocktail menu along with wine and food – ranging from wood fired pizza to burger, steaks and sandwiches.

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    Make the most of north London and enjoy our top picks for after work tipple! Don’t want finding a new home to be so difficult? Consider making the move to north London with Carltone…

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    Where to Eat in Swiss Cottage | Carltone

    The Camden district of Swiss Cottage is a popular place to call home for London residents, with much urban growth over the past few years, great public transport and city access and lots to see and do. Like any good town, one of the most important things to consider is where to eat – and Swiss Cottage delivers. Here are our top places to eat in Swiss Cottage, sure to make you drool!

    Bradley’s

    A fusion of French and English cuisine, Bradley’s has been serving amazing meals since 1991, with ingredients sourced from around the UK. The restaurant has a strong focus on fish and game when in season, pairing meals with a wide range of wines. Located on Winchester Road, the restaurant is open Sunday to Friday for lunch and Monday to Saturday for dinner, sporting rave reviews and a boutique atmosphere making it a favourite among locals.

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    Artigiano

    This hidden gem is a popular choice for affluent locals and even celebrities. Offering modern Italian cuisine in a contemporary minimalist setting, with a glass roof at the rear and front folding doors to create an alfresco space, Artigiano will appeal to any foodie. Located in Belsize Village and open for dinner weekdays and lunch and dinner on the weekends, why not make this your next special occasion venue?

    Gaucho Hampstead

    Just a few minutes north of Swiss Cottage, Gaucho Hampstead is Argentinian barbecue at its best. With an authentic Asado barbecue on the outdoor terrace and an intimate dining experience with a lively atmosphere, Gaucho Hampstead is all about having fun and enjoying food. Choose to sit indoors or head out under the stars. Open every day of the week for lunch and dinner, Gaucho Hampstead is a good choice any day!

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    Locanda 311

    Another Italian wonder, Locanda 311 gives a relaced, homely feel with heart-warming meals and an inviting atmosphere. Located in West Hampstead, the rustic Italian restaurant has a wide collection of freshly prepared meals to tantalise your tastebuds. Open weekdays for dinner and weekends for lunch and dinner, enjoy a little taste of Italia on your doorstep.

    Want to enjoy all these restaurants and many more? Why not make the move to Swiss Cottage with Carltone today. Call us to discuss your next move.

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    5 World Famous Attractions 30 minutes from Finchley Road

    Looking to live on Finchley Road? A major thoroughfare through north London, the road is now home to many looking for the London lifestyle without the disadvantages of living in the city centre.

    But what exactly brings people here? Finchley Road’s proximity not only to schools and shops but also attractions has made it a popular place to call home. Here are just five famous attractions only a short drive away:

     

    1. ZSL London Zoo

    Everyone likes seeing the animals! Less than 10 minutes by car or the tube, the zoo is famous world round for its animals big and small from all over the globe. See seahorses and penguins, monkeys and gorillas, butterflies and tigers all in the same day. Take the family or just go with friends and enjoy some time outside.

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    1. Hampstead Heath

    With over 7 million visitors every year, it’s easy to see why Hampstead Heath is so popular. The park offers a multitude of things to do, from sports and swimming to picnics and leisurely walks. And at just 10 minutes by car or under 15 by the tube, enjoying everything the park has to offer is easy.

    1. Madame Tussauds

    One of the most well-known attractions London has to offer, Madame Tussauds provides a great day of fun and laughs. Only a short drive from Finchley Road, the attraction lets you get up close and personal to celebrities and authoritative figures, then get on some rides and attractions before buying souvenirs to take back home.

    1. The Sherlock Homes Museum

    Sherlock Holmes has been loved for hundreds of years and recent incarnations in film and television have made him a celebrity once more. The museum, aptly located at 221b Baker Street, can be found on the edge of Regent Park. Although a little further from Finchley Road than some of the previous attractions, it is well worth the hike!

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    1. Daunt Books

    An original Edwardian bookshop, Daunt Books is famous for its long oak galleries filled with books and graceful skylights, perfect for some light reading. A leading travel and literary bookshop, it has provided some of the best to London for over 25 years. The original Daunt Books can be found in Marylebone High Street, close to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Alternatively, another Daunt Books can also be found closer to Finchley Road in Belsize Park.

    Ready to move? Talk to Carltone and get the London lifestyle today!

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    The Best Coffee Shops in North London

    Coffee (noun): a beverage that keeps you approachable in the morning. There are literally hundreds of coffee shops in London and most people will have their regular favourite, but if you’re in the mood for something different we’ve put together a list of what we believe to be the best coffee shops (#bigcalls) in North London based on their coffee, atmosphere and food offering!

     

    1. Tina We Salute You

    The things that come to mind when you enter the café: quirky, cute, weird and who is Tina? Starting from humble beginnings as just a cupcake stall, Tina We Salute You literally salutes Tina who is apparently the sultry exotic goddess, who would have guessed! Great coffee, great food and great service, this café is defiantly a must visit next time you are on King Henry’s Walk.

    Food: Think tasty Bacon, Bubble and Cheddar Butty, fluffly American Style Pancakes or a toasted Beigel with avocado, chilli and lime.

    Drink: All your standard favourites however one that stood out was the Gibraltar, which is suitable for anyone needing a drink that is taller than a macchiato but shorter than a latte.

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    1. Maison D’Etre

    Don’t you feel just a little bit fancy even trying to pronounce the name? Once you move on from acting all posh when pronouncing the name you will notice the scones; the many, many, many scones. Now you are saying scones all posh right? The mismatched crockery, Polaroids of the waiting and the mini milk bottles just add to the appeal of the café. Located next to some of North London’s most luxurious flats, this café is a must.

    Food: Your standard fare of lightly toasted sourdough sandwiches, a small selection of cakes and tarts and some light breakfast options.

    Drinks: A good quality cup of Joe with coffee beans sourced from the Nude Espresso micro-roaster off Brick Lane.

     

    1. Ginger and White

    Interesting name, interesting concept, fantastic coffee. Operating off the principle “we don’t do Grande” the coffee here is far from milky. You will receive rich and full bodied coffee that will have you coming back time and time. The family friendly environment and drool worthy food will change your outlook on life.

    Food: All day breakfast and not to mention their enticing cake menu. Reading the descriptions is enough to make you salivate.

    Drinks: Their beans are hand roasted in small batches from a local UK supplier and milk is supplied by the cows at Northiam dairy.

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    1. Fingers Crossed

    This quaint laid back café is the embodiment of what a brunch café should be like. Think fluffy doughnuts, all day brunch, great food, strong coffee and friendly staff. The ultimate little local café found on Amhurst Road.

    Food: Suitable sweet and savoury brunch options including ricotta hotcakes, breakfast trifle and scrambled eggs on truffled mushrooms.

    Drinks: From freshly squeezed orange juice to hibiscus berry tea, there’s something new to try and all the standard favourites.

     

    1. Kipferl

    Kipferl, a type of European croissant.  This Austrian coffee house and kitchen is fast becoming North London’s best kept secret. With the simple philosophy that: quality, authenticity, consistency and attention to detail is important, you will soon understand why we love London’s ‘Geteimtip’ (little secret).

    Food: All the Austrian classics from Frankfurters to Wiener schnitzel.

    Drinks: Enjoy the authentic Viennese coffee specialities with a homemade Austrian cake.

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    1. Blend

    A favourite with the locals. This café isn’t somewhere you should consider going, it is where you will be going (are you free tomorrow?). First off did we mention espresso martinis? We will stop for a moment and let that sink in… coffee and alcohol, nature’s liquid gold. I am going to end on that note and have you not wanting but needing more. Trust us, it’s worth it.

    Food: Cakes are made on-site from organic flours, eggs and chicken are free-range and their beef, bacon and sausages are from grass-fed cows. Tick!

    Drinks: All of your favourites as well as an extensive wine and cocktail menu.

     

    For more information about living in North London, contact the friendly Carltone team on 020 7935 7125.

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    What Is A Buy-to-Let Investment?

    Buy-to-let is exactly as it sounds – you purchase a property in order to then rent it out to tenants. While the investment tends to be high in the initial stages, this is a long-term investment which can work out to be extremely financially-rewarding! Understanding exactly what is buy-to-let and the basics of this is essential to a successful arrangement.

     

    What is buy-to-let?

    Purchasing a property to rent out can be a great way of generating income and investing for the future. However, it is important to understand what this entails and what you are responsible for. Rather than simply owning the home, you act as landlord and are effectively running a small business. You can earn profit either through what your tenants pay, minus maintenance and running costs, or through the capital growth of the property when you eventually sell it.

    Those interested in this arrangement are people who prefer more tangible investments and are patient with their finances. If you understand that property prices will change and are willing to risk your finances, as well as take on the financial and time costs of owning and maintaining a property, it could be a great option for you.

     

    What is buy-to-let mortgage?

    If you can’t afford to buy a property outright, a buy-to-let mortgage could be the answer. They are typically similar to a normal mortgage except with higher rates and more risk to the lender, as they are often relying on tenants to cover the mortgage. Buy-to-let mortgages also often require a larger deposit, typically around 25 per cent, rather than a normal minimum mortgage deposit of 5 per cent.

    The amount of money you can borrow on a buy-to-let basis is dependent on a number of factors, such as your income and how much rent the property is likely to generate. A lender can help guide you and tell you what could be possible for you to borrow.

     

    Could now be the worst time to buy-to-let?

    With changes in the Government giving savers free rein to invest or spend pensions as they wish, experts are concerned the buy-to-let market will become flooded, increasing interest rates and competition, with investors possibly seeing their cash flow in the negative as early as 2017. It is important to consider whether this is the right move for you before committing to a property.

    For more advice or help regarding buy-to-let arrangements, talk to a representative at Carltone, one of the best high quality residential and commercial property developers in Central and North London.

    Contact us today on 020 7935 7125, or leave an enquiry with our simple form.

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