Latest Blog Posts

Another full house to watch BBC documentary ‘Two Sides of a Street’


The screenings helped raise more funds for the Grove Neighbourhood Centre in the heart of Brackenbury Village.

It was another full house at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre on Tuesday night (27 February) for the return screening of BBC’s real life documentary, Two Sides of a Street.

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, which was first broadcast in 1989.

Back by popular demand, the film was another chance for Hammersmith residents to check out John Pitman’s reflections on life in Cardross Street almost 30 years ago. A double bill was screened at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre earlier this month – but local residents who missed the first showing asked for another showing.

 

The hottest ticket in Hammersmith attracted in another 70 viewers to enjoy the performance about ‘Brackenbury Village – this little backwater of Hammersmith’.

Horton and Garton sponsored both events. Founder John Horton said: “It’s been great to see the excitement surrounding this intriguing film about life in Brackenbury Village. We’re very happy that everyone has enjoyed it.”

The screenings were organised by lifelong Brackenbury Village resident and GNC committee member Dede Millar, with help from the whole team at GNC who pulled out all the stops. 

Dede said: “These screenings have been great fun and raised almost £2,000 for the centre. On behalf of GNC, we’d like to thank Horton and Garton for their sponsorship and the wine.”

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 would have been impressed with the turnout."

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.

For more details about the Grove Neighbourhood Centre, visit: www.groveneighbours.org.uk 

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...

Own a home in Shepherds Bush? Time to say thanks to Westfield


If you own a home in Shepherds Bush you better add the Westfield shopping mall to your Christmas card list. Sound crazy? 

It’s not. Because Westfield (now owned by the French company Unibai-Rodamco-Westfield) has ploughed more than £2.3billion into W12. That’s a staggering amount. And the big investment has helped kick-start a wave of development in the Wood Lane area which is now protecting the value of your home from the UK’s other economic stresses. Just call it the ‘John Lewis effect’.

Our area of west London has always been attractive to families and landlords alike. It’s got great parks, schools and Zone 2 transport links. But the combination of new homes, jobs and businesses in this new Wood Lane neighbourhood – in developments such as Imperial College and Television Centre – are proving hugely attractive.

Over the past decade, the mall has helped create more than 12,000 jobs to handle the incredible 80,000 shoppers who arrive each day. Thousands of new homes are also being built. It’s all made the case for Shepherds Bush as a destination. Even the local council agrees: “Westfield has brought jobs, genuinely affordable homes and economic vitality," says H&F’s leader, Stephen Cowan.

“More recently, it's become central to our industrial strategy which seeks to build H&F into a global leader in the bio-tech, digital and arts sectors, and bring the best possible start-up and career opportunities for all our residents.”

More than 260 million people have visited Westfield shopping centre since it opened in 2008, generating £9bn in sales. The original 43-acre Westfield site cost £1.7bn to build and consisted of 265 shops and 50 restaurants.

The shopping mall paid £7m towards improving the local infrastructure, including £3.9m of improvements to Shepherds Bush Overground station and 578 new cycle parking spaces. Its new £600m expansion houses the new £33m John Lewis flagship store.

So, when it comes to keeping H&F safe as houses, we should all be big fans of Westfield. If you’d like to know more about buying or renting in Shepherds Bush, drop by the office and one of the team would be happy to provide you with our expert advice.

Christmas at Westfield

Now that you’ve written your Christmas card to Westfield, hurry down to the shopping mall to take advantage of some of the seasonal fun before it’s too late.

Santa’s grotto is always a major draw for the little ones. This year, Westfield’s snowflake grotto will transport the whole family to snow factory in the North Pole. Children can create their own snowflake and meet Santa in his icy snow chamber.

Every child will receive a gift and have their photo taken with Santa. Visits last up to 25 minutes.

But it’s not all about Santa. Step inside the new ‘Four Realms’ experience to see the magic inspired by Disney’s current cinematic take on The Nutcracker. Designed by pranksters Bompas & Parr it is a clever nod to the Keira Knightley film.

The Land of Snowflakes has a tricky icy mirror maze; you can smell, taste and bounce through the beautiful Land of Flowers; make your way through the Land of Sweets – a candy funhouse full of sweet themed obstacles – before arriving at the fourth realm, a mysterious circus land where a magical Christmas secret is finally revealed.

The experience lasts up to 30 minutes. Runs until December 31. For times, tickets and details for both events, click here

Attention all landlords! Do you need a licence in H&F?


Landlords beware! The licensing rules for your property may have changed – again.

The Government scrapped its ‘three-story’ rule for HMOs on October 1. Meaning that all properties with more than four people forming more than two households will now require a licence.

Example

If you have five students living together on a joint tenancy you will require a licence.

Previously, this applied only to properties of three stories or more. But now all property types are affected. And there’s even a minimum space requirement for bedrooms.

 

This change means that flats, maisonettes and two storey properties may require a licence. But flats situated in purpose-built blocks consisting of three or more flats will not require a licence.

“We welcome the upgrading of HMO standards but would caution that the introduction of minimum room sizing in particular, risks reducing capacity with potential knock-on effects on rent rises, as business plans are impacted,” said the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

If you are in doubt and would like an informal chat, call or pop into see one of the Horton and Garton team in our King Street branch. We can advise on any of the key issues affecting landlords, including licensing.

Changes

Local landlords have weathered two major changes in as many years.

Last year, Hammersmith & Fulham Council introduced selective licensing for landlords to improve conditions for renters and create a level playing field for landlords.

This affects all landlords in certain areas of the borough. Even if you are letting a property that does not meet the criteria for mandatory or additional licensing. If it’s in the designated selective licensing area you will need a licence.

The council says the scheme is aimed at tackling rogue landlords. So far, more than 3,000 properties in Hammersmith & Fulham have applied for licences.

You can find more guidance from the government here or you can discuss your situation with the Licensing department at Hammersmith & Fulham Council – click here.

Or if you are a landlord wanting more information, just call or pop into see one of the Horton and Garton team in our King Street branch. We can advise on any of the key issues affecting landlords, including licensing.

Horton and Garton’s Chiswick Sales Director Wins Rising Star Award


From a national shortlist of 19 agents, Horton and Garton's Chiswick Sales Director Paul Cooney was awarded Silver in the Rising Star of the Year category at the prestigious Negotiator Awards, hosted in the Grosvenor House Hotel. The category identifies "a potential industry leader who demonstrates enthusiasm, innovation, implementation and leadership... an individual who has been exceptionally successful." Paul says, "It's a huge honour to be shortlisted, never mind take home an award.I'm thrilled to have the affirmation from the property industry's most successful figureheads, the judging panel, that I'm on the right track and serving the best interests of my clients here in Chiswick."

Associate Director James Liggins adds, "We have a winning formula in that there is no formula. We take a tailored approach to each home we bring to market which has ensured our properties are far and away the most viewed in Chiswick on Rightmove, achieving 25% more views than our closest competitor. We're honoured to be in the top three agencies in W4 for sales agreed in 2018 after less than two years of trading; the trajectory is definitely upwards!"

On what sets Horton and Garton apart from the average agency, Paul notes, “As our work is entirely client-led, we let our clients tell our story. We keep our sellers and buyers at the heart of what we do. Their feedback means the world to us. If you've never met an estate agent you've liked, come shake a hand at Horton and Garton. For a fresh approach from career property professionals that put your prerogative over our profit, we’re at your service.” Unlock your Chiswick Market Update for your guide to each area of the W4 market here: https://www.chiswickmarketupdate.co.uk/guide.

“Paul Cooney, who recently sold our family property, went above and beyond our expectations. His empathy, energy, knowledge and communication skills are second to none. A breath of fresh air!” – Veronica, Seller

“It has been an amazing process dealing with Paul and James at Horton and Garton. Communication has been excellent throughout, not a deadline missed. The guys were true to their word and I highly recommend them if you are looking to buy or sell in Chiswick.” – Michael, Buyer

“Paul Cooney has sold a couple of houses for me. He's a big character and personality whose level of Brexit-proof optimism is incredible to behold. Importantly, he's a nice chap, frank and honest. In this regard he is head and shoulders above the procession of crooks and chancers I've had the misfortune to encounter from a range of other Chiswick agents.” – Rob, Seller

We’re your best choice in Brackenbury Village, Ravenscourt Park and Stamford Brook


In the past 12 months we've agreed more sales - 31 in total - in the W6 0 postcode than our nearest three competitors combined.

It's official. This postcode area of Hammersmith - which covers Brackenbury Village, Ravenscourt Park and Stamford Brook - has always been our 'purple patch' during our 10 strong years in King Street.

Our track record as the market leading agent in this leafy part of Hammersmith is unrivalled and envied by our competitors. And when working with the very best properties and clients in Hammersmith we are achieving best price and best terms for our vendors.

But don't take our word for it - read our reviews and see the testimonials.

If you're planning a move next year or you're considering selling or renting, do contact the local property experts, Horton and Garton. We can offer you an experienced opinion, an accurate appraisal and a strategic marketing plan to best achieve the price you want and get you moving.

Over 55? Join us for a big Christmas lunch

If you're over 55 and you're not having lunch with anyone on Christmas Day, please come join us at the H&F Big Christmas Day Lunch.

H&F Council throws the Christmas lunch party at the town hall for residents every year. This year we are expecting up to 350 guests. And it’s always a lot of fun – the dancing and sing-a-long are not to be missed!

On top of a hearty Christmas lunch, guests can enjoy a visit from Father Christmas, a goody bag and live entertainment. Door-to-door transport, qualified carers and a team of volunteers ensure all guests are well looked after.