Page 7 - Henderson Connellan Observer Issue 7 - Kettering
P. 7

Our great British pub – is it the hub of our community?
 What is really important when moving home? Your dream home is obviously going to be the number one priority.
However, there are probably other factors that you will consider as necessary or at least highly desirable, perhaps excellent schools, good transport links, a thriving village community, accessible shopping nearby, and a great British Pub?
For many the proximity of a decent pub is a major priority- one that offers a welcoming atmosphere and excellent food and drink. Rumour has it that having a thriving pub on the doorstep can increase your house value by up to 10%!!
In the recent past there’s been a significant change in the Pub Scene.
Five years ago the newspaper headlines made gloomy reading as pubs were closing at the alarming rate of 50 per week, with the total number of pubs in Britain plummeting from 68,000 to 48,000 and obviously there is the human element in every closure. Today, closures have slowed to around
21 a week but the good news is that many are re-opening and thriving having been refurbished by a trailblazing band of entrepreneurial independent owners and niche small groups. They are bucking the trend, reinventing them and now they are very much in tune with today’s leisure aspirations and lifestyle, reflecting the modern-day trend for dining or staying at a quality pub or inn.
Pubs are having to evolve to survive and you
are just as likely to meet your friends on Saturday morning for a skinny latte and a read of the papers than to just drink beer. Having said that, craft brewing and real ales are having a renaissance and there is a renewed interest in them particularly with the younger audience. Some pubs, have decided to start their own micro-breweries and brew their own beer and the Nene Valley Brewery in Oundle is a
good example. If you think about this, it is not a new thing – originally pubs brewed their own beer and thirsty people, often having worked all day on the land, flocked in to sample the wares – mind you the water was undrinkable then!
Food at the Inn – local & seasonal produce
Today’s modern pub is shouting about the local larder’ of produce on their doorstep, using whatever is in season and therefore at it’s best. Many are owned by chef/patrons who have previously plied their trade in top restaurants, or there’s a talented and ambitious chef at the stove, so you can often expect a restaurant quality style of food.
You’ll find chalkboard or daily printed menus championing local, seasonal produce, be it fish
and shellfish from the coast, traceable meats
from nearby farms, locally shot game, or organic vegetables from local allotment holders. One or two have taken their commitment to local producers
a step further by growing their own herbs and vegetables, keeping chickens and rearing livestock, and opening small produce shops in adjoining buildings, a few even hold their own weekly farmers’ markets in the car park. This plough to plate approach has obvious food miles, sustainability and provenance benefits for all.
It’s true, the food offering at many of our pubs and inns is getting better and better, but they remain relaxed and informal, welcoming all and offering food all day, perhaps small plate Tapas-style sharing dishes to nibble on while sipping a glass of Prosecco or a well-earned pint. So, you can graze, eat restaurant quality food, or tuck into rustic and hearty home cooked pub dishes, and who doesn’t love a good scotch egg – perhaps the quintessential bar snack and a measure of a good pub?
Above pic: Gerda serving at The Pheasant, Keyston
Broadband and your new home
Moving home is a busy and stressful experience at the best of times, with a great deal of organisation required to make everything run smoothly. Unfortunately, there’s now something else you need to add to the list: checking broadband speed. Thankfully this one is fairly simple, though internet access can have a surprising impact for home buyers, renters, landlords and sellers so it’s something everyone should consider.
Broadband is becoming increasingly important, to the point it can potentially impact sale and letting prices. A survey carried out by Broadband Genie found that 78% would be put off renting or buying a property if it had slow broadband, and 28% would
be willing to pay more for a home with fast internet. Despite this, only 30% of respondents said they research broadband prior to renting or purchasing their current home.
Other studies have also found that broadband can have a surprising effect on home purchases, rentals and sales. A report by the London School of Economics examined 15 years of data and found that house
prices increased by an average of 3% when broadband speed doubled.
What this all means is that whether you’re selling a home, looking for somewhere to buy or rent or are a landlord considering a rental opportunity, broadband is something you must take into consideration.
Checking potential broadband performance is easy (and free) but there are a few things you should know in order to get the most accurate information.
First off, any ISP can check broadband coverage. This can be done via the web site or by calling up the support or sales line. However an ISP is only going to be interested in telling you about the services they provide. That’s fine if your intention was to stick with the same ISP, but it can be a good idea to get a broader, unbiased overview.
Finally, when you sign up for a new broadband deal your ISP should always provide an accurate speed estimate, usually as a range showing the potential lowest and highest speed. Keep a record of this. Any provider that’s signed up to Ofcom’s voluntary code
of practice must investigate complaints about speed as a technical support issue. If they are unable to fix the problem, you are permitted to switch to a cheaper deal or cancel the contract without charge.
We hope that this 21st century tip is helpful.

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