Latest Blog Posts

We joined the best of the area’s local businesses at town hall summit


H&F Means Business event is one of the best ways to boost your business locally. We had a blast!

The Horton and Garton team turned out in force for yesterday’s excellent H&F Means Business  event at the town hall.

The annual business support event, organised by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, always attracts some of the best local businesses – both large and small – for a day of networking and learning.

The free event has helped hundreds of local traders (including Horton and Garton) take their business to the next level with expert one-on-one advice, networking opportunities, seminars and support from local suppliers.

This event is part of the council’s Industrial Strategy to bring economic growth to everyone in the borough. Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council, wants the borough to be the best place in Europe to work, live and socialise.

“It was another excellent event and a big credit goes to the council for being proactive about supporting local businesses,” said John Horton, founder of Horton and Garton.

“The Bianca Sainty of Pod Fitness health, mind and body session and the social media session from Francene Mullings were both highlights. And it was great to meet with the event organiser Nicki Burgess, Paul Kelly and Ted Wigzell of YBC - Your Business Community please add link in who meet and network with many local businesses regularly in Hammersmith.

“You can see me stretching out with Bianca here. This was before Bianca won a bottle of prosecco from our sales manager Martin for the closest guess in our ‘Guess the house price’ game. I’m thinking about offering her a job!”

 

Give your business a boost at H&F Means Business event


Do you own or run a local business? Or do you need a hand in starting your own venture, attracting new customers or expanding? If so, come to H&F Means Business.

The annual business support event, organised by H&F Council, returns to Hammersmith Town Hall on Wednesday (3 April) from 9am to 5pm.

The free event has helped hundreds of local traders – including Horton and Garton – take their business to the next level with expert one-on-one advice, networking opportunities, seminars and support from local suppliers.

Book an appointment for personal advice from an expert on accounting, law, marketing, sales, business development, funding and much more.

The event sees hundreds of local business owners, managers, start-ups and entrepreneurs together at the sixth Hammersmith & Fulham Means Business.

During the day, you can attend seminars, participate in speed and open networking, get free and professional 1:1 advice and go around the exhibition.

This event is part of the council’s Industrial Strategy to bring economic growth to everyone in the borough. H&F Council wants the borough to be the best place in Europe to work, live and socialise.

Seminars

Free business seminars will be held on a variety of topics, ranging from finance to social media and marketing to business growth.

1:1 Advice Clinic

Covering a wide range of subjects, our 1:1 advisers are on hand to guide and help you through business situations you may not have experience in.

Networking

With two speed-networking sessions and informal networking across the day, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet your next client, supplier, partner or friend. Speed networking allows you to meet a lot of people in a quickfire and fun way – make sure that you have your elevator pitch sorted and that you have plenty of business cards.

Exhibitions

More than 40 exhibitors will be on hand in at the town hall, including:

-Council Departments – Learn how the council can proactively support your business

-Product & Service Providers – Find the latest ways to help your business grow

-Support Groups – Advice, guidance, protection and more.

For more details and to register, click here 

Keeping up to speed #2 – A running blog by John Horton


I blame all the sights for distracting me! ...How I fared in the London Landmarks half marathon 

Sunday (24 March) was a beautiful day for a run. And for the first time, I ran the London Landmarks half marathon
 

I fell just short of my PB and my wish to complete the course in under 1 hour and 50 minutes – I blame the sights for distracting me! Nevertheless, I'll now be signing up again to LLH 2020

If nothing else, I feel very proud to have finished 2040th out of 13,000 runners! It was all for a great cause as I raised money for the Alzheimer's Society charity, which is close to my heart.

The event organisers and all the volunteers, musicians, street acts, dancers and drummers were all superb. Not to mention the cheering on of the charities and the great British London public.

It was a truly fantastic experience and to be brutally honest... I am really aching today!

 

Horton and Garton call for estate agents to use Google reviews after widespread ‘gaming’ of Trustpilot


The Times investigation singled out Foxtons and Purple Bricks as manipulating reviews from consumers.

Estate agencies have been accused of gaming Britain’s biggest consumer feedback website by paying it to help gain better review scores.

An impartial analysis by The Times of almost 200,000 reviews on Trustpilot has uncovered that some estate agencies are jumping from a handful of bad responses one month to hundreds of positive reviews the next. The Times published the information in Friday’s paper stating: “The biggest (estate agencies) pay Trustpilot, which generated revenues of almost £40m in 2017, tens of thousands of pounds a year to access its marketing services. The agencies can use the company’s technology to filter the reviews they place on their own website or corporate Facebook pages, allowing customers to read only favourable posts.

"Trustpilot admits that its technology allows subscribing companies the chance to filter out bad reviews. Critics of the company say the findings show how corporate subscribers are able to use its marketing and reputation management tools to manipulate their ratings.”

Their corporate subscribers can send unlimited email invitations with Trustpilot’s logo and embedded technology to make it easy to post reviews; these can be sent before clients have had the full service experience – for example, sellers or landlords who have just listed their properties as opposed to those who have actually sold or let with the company. These invitations to review sometimes include incentives to post a review, such as the chance to win prizes.

The analysis found that in August 2016 Foxtons received just five reviews on Trustpilot, with an average score of 2.2 stars out of five, but the following month they received 467 reviews with almost 90 per cent generating five stars. The online agent Purplebricks, which cut revenue forecasts last month leading to plummeting shares, has over 60,000 Trustpilot reviews with an average score of 9.5 out of ten.

However, Countryside, one of Britain’s largest estate agent groups with brands including Hamptons and John D Wood, has only 123 reviews and a score of one out of ten. Countrywide is not a paying corporate subscriber to Trustpilot but Purplebricks is.

The article also highlights several small businesses which have been critical of Trustpilot’s seeming inability to remove malicious, fake reviews.

Paul Cooney, Horton and Garton’s Chiswick Sales Director, notes: “Unlike some of our competitors, we don’t offer incentives to our clients for positive testimonials.

"We encourage every seller, buyer, landlord and tenant to leave a Google review for us which has resulted in a combined total of just under 200 reviews across our two West London offices and an average rating of 4.9 stars out of 5. The goal is to completely change locals’ perceptions of our industry.”

While John Horton, Founder and Director of the Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush office, adds: “We’re extremely proud of our client feedback and want every person who encounters our team to have a seamless experience from the first email or phone call through to the day they hand over or receive their keys. We love what we do and our enthusiasm, professionalism and intelligent approach shines through in our client testimonials. The public, open platform that Google provides serves as the most honest portal available.”

Read our Chiswick and our Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush testimonials here. Our service will move you. Can we help? Get in touch with our W4 office or W6 and W12 office today.

Keeping up to speed – A running blog by John Horton


It's running time! 

In preparation for my London Landmarks half marathon this Sunday (24 March) I decided to warm up with the Stafford half marathon this past weekend.
 
I raced with my brother - he beat me by five minutes! - and an old friend. I managed a fair time of 1hr 51min 22sec. Our before - and after - pics are below...

My time was two minutes off my PB, however it was not the flattest of runs. Plus I was holding back for this weekend's run.
 
Watch this space for a further details. I am running for a very worthy cause and charity - the Alzheimer's Society.
 

Double sell outs for screenings of ‘Two Sides of a Street’


The screenings raised funds for the Grove Neighbourhood Centre in the heart of Brackenbury Village.

A Royal Ballet star, a man who owns a share in a race horse, and a peer’s daughter now live side by side with old folks who’ve rented their houses all their lives.

This was the basis for the acclaimed BBC TV documentary Two Sides of a Street which was broadcast in 1989 and was screened twice at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre on Tuesday (29 January).

After the screenings, GNC committee member and local resident Dede Millar paid tribute to Horton and Garton for sponsoring the event.
 
"On behalf of the GNC, we are hugely appreciative of local independent estate agent Horton and Garton for their generous support in promoting and sponsoring the double SELL OUT performances of Two Sides of a Street, a humorous and nostalgic look into the lives of the Brackenbury community filmed 30 years ago," she said.
 
"Everyone loved the film which brought our local community of Brackenbury together, which is at the heart of the GNC and supported by John and all the staff at Horton and Garton."
 
While John Horton added: "These performances would not be possible without Dede’s commitment and dedication. And I’m sure Dede’s old friend and neighbour John Pitman will be here in spirit nodding his approval and enjoying the replay of his BBC documentary."

The screening served as a tribute to John Pitman, who produced and narrated the documentary. John was a long-time resident of Brackenbury Village, who sadly passed away last year.

All funds raised will go towards the GNC, based in Bradmore Park Road.

Two screenings of ‘Two Sides of a Street’ will raise funds for the Grove Neighbourhood Centre


A real-life soap opera is unfolding in Cardross Street in the heart of Brackenbury Village.

A Royal Ballet star, a man who owns a share in a race horse, and a peer’s daughter now live side by side with old folks who’ve rented their houses all their lives.

This was the basis for the acclaimed BBC TV documentary Two Sides of a Street which was broadcast in 1989 which will be screened twice at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre (GNC) on Tuesday 29 January.

Two Sides of a Street (40 minutes duration) is a humorous and nostalgic glimpse into our community, of which the GNC is at the heart.

The screening will also be a tribute to John Pitman, who produced and narrated the documentary. John was a long-time resident of Brackenbury Village, who sadly passed away last year.

All funds raised will go towards the GNC, based in Bradmore Park Road. The event is sponsored by local independent estate agent, Horton and Garton.

Screenings are at 4pm and 7pm. Tickets are £10 and include tea and cake (4pm) or a glass of wine (7pm). And to keep the celebrations rolling, The Andover Arms is offering 20% off bottled beer, house wine and food.

Tickets are available at the GNC now. For more details, call 020 8741 3321 or email: gnc@groveneighbours.org.uk

L’Amorosa in Hammersmith retains coveted Michelin award


Behind a restrained King Street facade is a temple to fine Italian dining that has been recognised by the ultimate food authority for the third year on the trot.

L’Amorosa’s Bib Gourmand award (the ‘bib’ refers to Bibendum, the cuddly Michelin Man) means it is now the only restaurant in Hammersmith & Fulham so honoured, delighting chef Andy Needham, the jovial Yorkshireman who made the borough his home 12 years ago.

Unlike formal Michelin stars, Bibs reward well-cooked meals made with seasonal produce in more laid-back surroundings and, crucially, represent value for money. A three-course lunch is around £25... but you’d easily pay double that for comparable quality in other establishments.

Many dishes at L’Amorosa trace their heritage to the Michelin-starred Zafferano restaurant in SW1, where Andy made his name as head chef for 15 years. But he prefers cooking for Hammersmith than for Belgravia’s ‘gold-plated Bugatti’ brigade.

“Seriously, it’s ‘real’ here,” he said. “I love it here; I like the feel of the place. It’s homely. I got to the point in Belgravia that I needed a change. I live in Stamford Brook, and before that I was in Brackenbury Village; my kids are at the local schools.”

Andy said that it used to be possible to recognise award inspectors as they’d sit alone, and only drink water. Now it’s harder. They often turn up as couples and have a glass of wine!

Value for money is the key measure for qualifying for a Bib Gourmand. Meals must be under £28 for three courses, bringing the restaurant into the affordability bracket of a wider public.

L’Amorosa, midway between Ravenscourt Park and Stamford Brook tubes, was opened in a former coffee shop. “I look forward to the changing seasons,” said Andy. “As a neighbourhood restaurant, that’s important. It means that each time people come back there are [menu] changes.”

Salad days

Now 46, he began his culinary career as an apprentice chef at the Savoy, chopping veg with 110 other chefs, including the young Marcus Wareing.

His cookery education took him to Paris and St Tropez, where he learnt the discipline of French cuisine. But his real love was ‘seasonal, refreshing Italian food’. He learned the cookery and the languages and, at the Michelin-starred Zafferano, employed 25 Italian chefs under him. The regional style of Italian cooking fits well with England’s regions, he argues.

He’s completely at home in H&F. “I’ve lived here 12 years, and I love it. We see a fascinating mix of people. I know people from my children’s schools. You get to know people in a way that you didn’t in Belgravia,” he said.

With just 40 covers, there’s an intimacy to L’Amorosa, which is split over two levels. “It’s small enough for me to come out and meet people,” he said, adding that the Bib Gourmand award was a tribute to the tight team he has around him.

“It’s a team effort, and it’s about the whole package,” he said. “Food should be served with a smile and a conversation.”

All about the ingredients

Ingredients are, as every chef will tell you, key. Homemade pasta such as the canoe-shaped cavatelli go beautifully with a coating of rich tomato, meat and herb sauce in this little centre of excellence in W6, especially after a cured meat starter, drizzled with balsamic. And the panna cotta and honeycomb dessert merits an article on its own.

The Michelin inspectors describe it as “a warm, sunny Italian restaurant; one that we’d all like to have in our high street”, praising the produce quality.

L’Amorosa is located at 278 King Street. Call 020 8563 0300 or visit www.lamorosa.co.uk

We sold more homes in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush than anyone else


It’s official. Our expert independent team sold more homes last year in W6 and W12 than any of our local competitors.

The figures – just released by Rightmove, the UK’s leading platform for home sales – show that 2018 was once again a stellar year for our Hammersmith-based firm.

“It’s clear that our clients still trust our honest advice amidst all the political and economic uncertainties in London,” said John Horton, founder of Horton and Garton.

“There are still tough times ahead – but if you want to buy a home or take the first steps to becoming a landlord, there’s still time to give us a call.”

Rightmove statistics

According to the Rightmove sales figures, Horton and Garton clearly outperformed its local competitors.

In the Hammersmith post code area W6 0 (which includes Brackenbury Village, Hammersmith Grove, Ravenscourt Park and Stamford Brook) our team sold more properties in 2018 than the second, third and fourth place agents combined!

Widen the map, and Horton and Garton again outperformed its competitors across all of Hammersmith – selling 33% more homes than their closest competitor.

Widen it even further, and Rightmove declares Horton and Garton the outright local champions by declaring us ‘the market leading agent for properties sold in W6 and W12 combined’.

See for yourself. Here are the just-released results from Rightmove:

RIGHTMOVE SALES REPORT / HAMMERSMITH POST CODE W6 0

RIGHTMOVE SALES REPORT /  HAMMERSMITH POST CODES W6 0 + W6 7 + W6 9

RIGHTMOVE SALES REPORT / W6 + W12 POST CODES

What’s the difference?

The main difference between Horton and Garton and its local competitors is their unrivalled knowledge of the area and their extensive training.

John insists that his staff live locally. And makes sure all his team are fully accredited with the NFOPP, NAEA and ARLA schemes.

“Ultimately, it’s the people that make an area,” John added. “And I hope residents think of us as the trusted local agent that’s an important part of the fabric of Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush. If we can continue to achieve that, I’m happy.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR one and all!


A New Year's message from John Horton 

HAPPY NEW YEAR one and all!

Welcome to 2019. And here's to another positive, prosperous and a happy New Year to one and all from the Horton and Garton team.

The office has re-opened after the holidays. And I will be updating my blog with a full market review of 2018 and my predictions and expectations for 2019 shortly. Watch this space...