ASAP first networking event in Southampton a great success.

By ASAP Newsdesk On 16th February 2018

Some 40 members of the industry came together in Southampton yesterday evening for ASAP’s first networking event on the south coast.

Generously hosted by ASAP’s Quality Accredited Operator Member and Industry Development Sponsor Town or Country at Tapas Barcelona in the city centre, it proved a great opportunity for members to come together in Southampton.

Welcoming members to the event James Foice CEO commented: ‘It’s fantastic to hold our first ASAP regional event of 2018 in Southampton, the first time the industry has met on the south coast.

‘It’s great to see the city confirmed as one of the top 10 fastest growing in the UK and to hear from our operators and agents that the sector is growing so strongly in this part of the country.

‘This event so effectively demonstrates the spirit of partnership amongst our 189 members as we saw members not just from the south but from across the country – including Manchester, Gloucester, Swindon, Thames Valley and London – take the time to attend, to meet their peers, share ideas and best practice at this time of significant growth in our vibrant young industry.’

ASAP offers members a very comprehensive networking event programme with events being held every 6 to 8 weeks right across the UK

http://theasap.org.uk/asap-events/event-schedule-overview/

The next event will take place in London on Wednesday 28 March.

Pictured (© Dave Dodge Photography):

• (main image) Joyce Cawthorpe and James Foice, ASAP, with Nina Batley and Sharon Wood, Town or Country

• (above) Nina Batley, Director, Town or Country welcomes James Foice to Southampton

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Valentine’s Ideas In a Serviced Property

Roses are red, violets ate blue, here are some ideas of love, in a serviced property

near you…

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Source: Pinterest

Town or Country On The Charity Trail!

 


On Tuesday 16th January 2018, Town or Country worked with Tillison Consulting, a Waterlooville-based digital marketing agency to host a curry business event and fantastically raised £150 for the Murray Parish Trust.

The curry business event took place at Uptons of Bassett in Southampton and delicious Sri Lankan food was served and priced at £20 per head with a £5 donation to charity.

Charlotte Glover, Sales and Marketing Director at Town or Country said of the event: ‘We have worked with Tillison Consulting on a number of curry night events helping to raise money for various charities. It was an honour to host our own event and raise money for such a great charity, which is close to our hearts.’

The charity supported was the Murray Parish Trust, set up in 2014 by Sarah Parish and James Murray, in memory of their daughter Ella-Jayne, who passed away in 2009 due to a congenital heart defect. The money the charity raises goes to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton Hospital to help fund life-saving equipment, a full-time counsellor for parents of children admitted to the unit, bed spaces and a specialist helicopter gurney.

Shaun Farrell, the business development manager at Tillison Consulting who attended the event said: ‘It was a fantastic night of chat with great local businesses all getting together to raise money for an excellent cause. The staff at Uptons of Bassett were very attentive and professional – we all loved the unique twist of Sri Lankan curries!’

Tillison Consulting has raised in excess of £5000 for charities through their curry business events and they are looking forward to raising money again for local charities.

Can Serviced Properties Contribute to Wellbeing?

 

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If, like me, you have done a bit of travelling over the years, you will know that hotel life can often be a lonely place, even if you are travelling with a companion. It is all good and well being in that exciting location but sometimes you miss home.

Getting away from it all is a good temporary fix, highly recommended in this digital, fast paced world. But no matter how big or small your problem, sometimes we are just returning to where we left off.

A sanctuary must be sought; a place to think and tackle problems head on, whether it is that business deal you need to smash or a more personal issue closer to home. The hotel room may not always be the case. ‘Travelling Depression’ is a new approach that is not a confirmed diagnosis. In simple terms, it may well be a break from reality but that reality is one that is to be returned too. Being confined to a small room may not always be the answer.

Whilst there are some gorgeous hotels out there, having the space and time, essentially your own, is important. Having discovered serviced accommodation over 10 years ago I have never looked back. And being Mental Health Awareness week, how could a space such as this contribute to wellbeing?

Space

A bed is for laying in. A sofa is for sitting on and a table is for eating. Each of these items are all found in your home and thus a serviced property should reflect this. Having the comfort of sticking your feet up to watch Netflicks or the good old fashioned telly gives you that ‘R’ factor…relaxing. To relax is of uber importance; it calms the chemicals of our brain that were dancing non-stop in the day, it releases good chemicals that calm us down.

Many properties are located purposely for their views. Many I have encountered often sit on the waters edge of a city, gracefully stand proud on the outskirts and some in marinas. If that is not for you studio apartments in the heart of the city can still offer you the right connectivity to reality whilst giving you the chance to step out of the ‘rat race’ and relax within. Sit on the balcony and watch the world glide by…

Eat Well, Drink Well

Food and drink are the fuel of life. Many serviced properties have kitchens that are fully equipped, for you to knock up that dinner for one or more. Give your opportunity away from home to eat well, drink well, and go to bed early. It’ll be a good discipline for when you have to check out.

Your time

Serviced accommodation is not like hotels; often a wake up call asking you to check-out is a rude awakening. A select amount of properties are often away from dedicated blocks and even those that are often do not require a ‘knock at the door’ to move you on. It is your space, your time, your schedule. In essence, giving you more time to relax.

Stress Free

Stress is a strong word; even just saying it produces a negative impact. At a recent visit to a science museum, I was showing a display to my children that was first created in 1970. It showed a piece of perspex plastic that had a handle. Under the slightest of pressure the clear plastic would turn white with the stress forced upon it. Life does not take too much for us to turn from ‘clear’ to ‘white’. Serviced accommodation is set up to be ‘stress free’:

  • A parking space available
  • Easy access to your property, even out of hours
  • 24 hr call out
  • A fridge that can be filled up on arrival, saves having to find a late night supermarket
  • A Welcome Pack, detailing not just the WiFi code but what can be found in the surrounding area.

Environment

Now, this may contradict all of the above, but exercise is important. Non easier than a walk. Selected serviced properties are often in areas of natural beauty, including the city. In Southampton, UK, for example, many guided walks along the marinas and docks of this historic city are a perfect getaway and chance to discover a new area.

A brisk jog and then back in for a hot shower or bath sets you up for the day and night. Go on, get out there.

Social

Having a social life is important. From a decent coffee shop to that perfect meal in a restaurant, there is always something to do around your serviced property. Town or Country, on the south coast of the UK, even offer an exclusive Discount Card giving many savings to local facilities. From beauty to afternoon tea, there is something for everyone.

To summarise, if it is space you need in your life why restrict yourself? A serviced property, in my mind, gives you the opportunity to be yourself, be with others and essentially, a peace of mind.

 

B Glover

(Ben is a blogger, former international DJ and keen advocate of promoting positive mental health).

Wellbeing; Apps that can help.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are dedicating a bit of time each day to you. We know travelling can take it’s toll and at Town or Country our aim is to make things as comfortable as possible for you. All you have to do is ask.

apps

Your smartphone is often your best friend, here are some apps to improve your wellbeing*.

Silvercloud

(Free to use)

Silvercloud provides a wide range of supportive and interactive programmes, tools and tactics for mental and behavioural health issues. These programmes address wellbeing, life balance, time management, communication skills, goal setting, communication and relationship management, anger management, stress management, relaxation and sleep management, among many others.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

This app offers practical methods to improve your mood and your ability to cope with life’s trickier times. In addition to asking for regular reflection about your wellbeing in the same way an online diary would, the app help you identify patterns and sets activities that correspondingly enhance your mood. The ‘five ways’ (to connect, take notice, be active, keep learning and give) work together holistically. There is no time or commitment requirements, just use the app at your own pace.

Reasons2

(Free to use)

Reasons2 is a free app designed by Young People and Washington Mind to help improve mental health. The app will allow people to: Reasons2-logo

  1. Manage their mental wellness by building their own profile of Reasons2 feel better.
  2. Upload pictures and images that give them the feel good factor and makes them smile.
  3. Find other ways to improve their mental wellness by clicking on links to other websites and information.
  4. Share their Reasons2 with other users and see what makes them smile too.
  5. Keep their favourite Reasons2 so they can see them easier and without having to scroll through old information.

Even though the app has been developed in partnership with Young People in Sunderland, there is no specific upper age range or area where you have to live to use the app so anyone aged 13+ can use the app no matter where they live.

Happy Healthy

Happy Healthy is both a personal trainer and health advisor that fit in your pocket. The app combines self-tracking with expert advice, and promises to make you feel happier in just seven days. The app is brilliantly thought out and recommended for longer term use. It encourages you to rate yourself on happiness and LENS (Lifestyle, Exercise, Nutrition and Sleep), and over the course of a week shows you what may affect your mood, eg: what time of day you tend to feel less energetic. Happy Healthy offers helpful downloadable guides and provides an option to share your progress with a health professional.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

(Free to use)

5 ways to wellbeing

This app offers a practical way to help you feel good and function well in the world.

Reflect on your wellbeing, set activities to help you improve your wellbeing and track your progress –

all from the comfort of your phone; whenever it suits you!

Based on substantial research, use the Five Ways to Connect, Take Notice, Be Active, Keep Learning and Give your way to improved wellbeing.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing can help you with many different aspects of your life. There’s no daily dose or required level of work. Just use the app at your own pace to suit your life – you can even write and set your own personal activities. It’s wellbeing your way.

Diary Mood Tracker – Daylio

(Free to install. Contains adverts and in-app purchases)

Daylio enables you to keep a private diary without having to type a single line. Pick your mood and add activities you have been doing during the day. You can also add notes and keep an old school diary. Daylio is collecting recorded moods and activities in the statistics and calendar. This format will help you to understand your habits better. Keep track of your activities and create patterns to become more productive.

* Apps not endorsed by us, researched from various mental health charities here in the UK and US. If you ever need to talk to someone call The Samaritan’s www.samaritans.org/

FIVE ‘Trinket’ Towns and Places To Visit in Hampshire

Tourism is expected to have it’s best ever year in 2018. We want to make sure you make the most of your stay in your serviced accommodation and beyond.

Lyndhurst

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Situated as the gateway of the New Forest, Lyndhurt sits just 10 miles from Southampton city, 24 minutes by road and a short ride by rail. If quaint coffee shops, gift stores and good local food are your thing Lyndhurt is perfect.

Any time of the day is best to visit but the weekends often come alive with the sound of an Italian 12 cylinder engine bouncing off the walls. With a very well known Ferrari and Maserati dealership attracting many a drool on the window, Lyndhurt is a truly lovely afternoon or morning out.

Lymington

At just under 20 miles along New Forest roads and another short hop by rail, this cute little port is as elegant as it’s decor. A partly steep high street of various shops and pubs caters for those with a bit of money to spend. Then it’s all off to the cobbled quayside for an afternoon of crabbing on the jetty. And with plenty of pubs/restaurants serving up more local produce you just cannot go wrong with a taste of the forest.

This little town is popular in the summer with many boats mooring to enjoy the sun bounce off of the Solent. It is also a main link to Yarmouth, Isle Of Wight via the car ferry.

 Hamble-le-Rice

Not quite as big as the above Hamble-le-Rice still has plenty to offer. From a swift half in the famous Bugle pub to a stroll along the sea wall to the shore side cafe. Plenty of public jettys give you the chance jump on to the River Hamble to kayak or pull into Banana Wharf restaurant, making the most of your exclusive Discount Card!

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And if you fancy a trip on the water one of the oldest ferry services in Hampshire, the Pink Ferry, will take to Warsash to experience The Rising Sun pub. Then it is a nice sea wall walk along the river to Swanwick marina, taking in the wildlife and nature reserves of this gorgeous location.

Hayling Island

There is always plenty on offer on Hayling. Located just 21 minutes from our town houses in Port Solent it is easily accessed via the A27. From kite surfing on the beach to taking a ride on the electric sea front train. An amusement park, although slightly dated, still creates fun for the kids.

Kite surf
Sir Richard Branson, kite surfing at Hayling Island and often donates money to events in the summer.

You won’t be short of fish n chips with Hayling offering a choice of well over 20! It’s pebble contented beach is a mecca for sun worshippers in the summer and perfect for those who love a sea breeze. You may even see one or two familiar faces on a surf board too…

(Note: There is only one way on and off Hayling Island, traffic can hold you up during busy periods,

especially if the barometer tips over 20 degrees!).

Lee-On-The-Solent

As part of the Gosport Peninsula, Lee is a sea front town with history. Once the home to the Royal Navy’s Hovercraft division and with (formally HMS) Daedalus airfield in situ you are not short of spotting some unusual crafts. Now the service has moved out, hangers are still present and home to the National Hovercraft museum.

Various cafes and restaurants line the strip with a decent walk along the beach, ideal for walking the dog. Sunday’s sees jet-skis and kite surfers line up their camper vans at Hill Head for a blast on the Solent. With stunning views of the Isle of Wight and a vast choice of afternoon tea shops in the high street Lee has it all!

Ben Glover

Content Creator

Glove Box Media

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Loving Life Around Here: Heritage Railways

In a series dedicated to life in and around the location of our serviced accommodation, why not step outside and check out some of the amazing attractions of the south coast of England. 

The Watercress Line

Watercress

Affectionately known as the ‘Watercress Line’ due to our connection with transporting watercress from the beds in Alresford all the way in to London, this heritage railway was saved from total

Watercress-Line-Day-Out-with-Thomas-at-Housewife-Confidential-14extinction by a band of enthusiastic volunteers in 1973.  Enough money was raised to re-open the line as a visitor attraction from Alresford to Ropley in 1977 and continued to raise funds to relay the track to join up with the mainline network at Alton by 1985, with it’s own station buildings on Platform 3.  Operating the often steep gradients larger classes of steam locomotive are required.

Today the railway runs the full 10 miles between the market towns of Alresford and Alton, preserving an important piece of England’s 1940’s – 70’s railway heritage for this generation and many more to follow.

Group, school and family visits are always welcome with many specials hauled along the line from the infamous Polar Express to the R.A.T – Real Ale Train.

Haven Street, Isle Of Wight

Haven Street

This Award-Winning Isle of Wight Steam Railway will engage, inspire and excite you. The nostalgic sight of powerful majestic steam engines, the charm of quiet rural stations, and the friendliness of traditionally uniformed staff, will leave you with some enduring memories of a special day out. This once island main line ran connected most of the towns and capital Newport but fell to the axe of the Beeching cuts in the 1960’s.
Easily accessible from either ferry terminal from Southampton or Portsmouth, this quaint untouched line is certainly worth the day out. For the extreme ‘enthusiast’ take the Wightlink fast cat service from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head and alight onto a 1930’s stock of former London Underground train. Stopping at Smallbrook Junction, pick up the Haven Street steam line. Known locally as the ‘bone shaker’ this is still operated by a mainline operator South Western Trains.
Island Line.jpg
The Island Line ex-tube train. Pic: David Dixon
As a family and casual visitor, it offers a unique and exciting day out, transporting you back to a bygone era when steam power was the order of the day. Take a Ride behind one of the vintage steam locomotives for a special journey back in time, breathe in the evocative smells of a real steam railway, while your eyes and ears thrill to the puffing and hissing of the steam engine. Settle back in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages and enjoy a unique view of some of the Island’s un-spoilt countryside. Why not hop off at one of the stations for tea and just watch the trains go by!

Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Miniature Railway

ESR

On a much smaller scale, Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway is a popular attraction near to Southampton. It is perfect for a day out with the kids at the weekend or during school holidays. Many steam and diesel trains run from the main station at Eastleigh Parkway to Monks Brook Halt, offering the opportunity to visit the lakes, children’s playground and use the picnic tables for refreshments. The steam train returns back to the main station from Monks Brook Halt, with the entire trip totalling 15-20 minutes.

Various days are dedicated to children’s activities, including Thomas & Friends with familiar faces hauling passengers around the lakes. The ELSR have the largest collection of Miniature locomotives on a commercial railway, with a total of 24 in the collection; 21 being steam powered and most of them are in steam on gala days.

Dock Gate 4 – The Cruise Line

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Situated next to many of our various Southampton serviced apartments this once historical line often displays a treat or two for the railway enthusiast. Southampton Terminus station, now defunct, was once host to many platforms for passengers embarking on a round the world cruise from the docks.

SWH

South Western House, a grade II listed building, which still stands today and is home to our Imperial Apartments, formally was the stop for many passengers who boarded the Titanic. With the lines now dug up but with the terminus building still standing, there is a single line that crosses a main road and into the docks. These days it plays route to many car manufacturers hauling their latest creations for shipping abroad and is often open to specials, hauled by steam or diesel locos.

Ben Glover

Glove Box Media.

 

Fitness Challenges 2018

Boot camps, Tough Mudders, the Great South Run. There are some fine challenges coming your way for 2018 in and around our serviced accommodation.

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ABP Southampton 1/2 Marathon

22/04/18

The Marathon route is an exciting mix of coast, city and parks. This route is predominantly flat, perfect for a debut marathon! This is a 2 lapped route, which means you have twice the fun and you know whats coming up.

Just like the half marathon and 10k in 2017, you’ll get the chance to run over the Itchen Bridge during your race journey.

At the top of the bridge almost 100ft up, you’ll experience a feast for the eyes with the beautiful view of the city, the River Itchen, commercial centre and out to sea towards the Isle of Wight.

There are many delights on this route including running through the huge expanse of the common, along the waters edge in Riverside Park and the premier league Saints stadium, before coming to the bridge itself and reaching a stunning finish in front of the Guildhall in the city centre on your second lap.

This event is an ideal choice for first time Marathon runners and an exciting new course for seasoned pro’s alike. We are expecting approximately 10,000 runners for this event.

A spectator friendly route, with lots of activities, coffee houses and restaurants to explore and make it a weekend away with the whole family.

And this year there is a new route about to be revealed!

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Rough Runner

14+15/04/18

Rough Runner is an obstacle event like no other. It was created to give everyone the chance to take on an obstacle challenge, and not just the super fit and mega tough! So instead of ice baths, electric shocks and barbed wire, you’ll find epic, game show-inspired obstacles along a 5km, 10km or 15km course. We cater to all levels of fitness, so you can run whatever distance suits you best!

Featuring sweeper arms inspired by Total Wipeout, hanging ladders from Ninja Warrior, and Gladiators’ legendary Travelator, the event will remind you of all those TV game shows that you always wanted to try out for yourself!

Finally, it’s a great day out for teams of runners, along with family and friends too. As well as being much more fun to take on the obstacles as a group, there is loads to do for kids and spectators. So come along, take on the challenge and make a day of it!

Abseil, The Spinnaker Tower

Experience the view from Emirates Spinnaker Tower – the stunning 170-metre icon of the South Coast and Britain’s best viewing tower.

Discover the secrets of this mosAbseiler-3-300x200t fascinating sea and landscape, with the interactive i-view interpretation screens and audio guides.

Venture across the amazing glass Sky Walk and watch the boats bobbing about in the waves below your feet, or get hands-on and navigate a course around the harbour with the rib boat simulator. Then, head up to the Sky Deck – with its open roof – to feel the bracing sea breeze.

After all that, relax with coffee, cake and the stunning views at Café in the Clouds, located 105 metres above the harbour – which has been newly refurbished for spring 2016. Alternately, head back down to terra firma and tuck into lunch at the Waterfront Café.

You’ll be joining the Town or Country role call if you take part as we have already been down it!

Park Run, Southampton

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Be part of the Saturday morning elite with Park Run, a UK wide network of short running courses designed to ease you into a marathon. Every Saturday at 0900 Southampton Common is awash of active wearing fitness gurus who just want a quick blast for the weekend.

Entry is FREE!

Gung-Ho! in Southampton

Gung ho.pngGet ready to be Gung-Ho! and run the biggest 5k in the World! Gung-Ho! is open to all, sign up to enjoy the most epic inflatable obstacles on the planet. Soapy madness, slippery silliness and just good fittness fun.

The event takes place on Southampton Common, Saturday 21st July 2018.

Ben Glover

Content Creator

Thanks to Visit Hampshire.

Buzz words 2018

Buzzword

That was 2017 then. The quickest year ever. You’ve probably arrived at this time of the month and thinking you actually didn’t get to do what you set out 12 months ago. Ditto. Still there is always 2018. Here are some of the big words that will make a return in the next 12.

Environment

Yep, you’ve tried very hard to recycle your rubbish into the correct bins and thank goodness, the Ozone can breath a sigh of relief. Maybe not.

Our oceans have level critical when it comes to plastic found, the ozone layer is about to become the equivalent of a pneumothorax. There will be plenty of ways to do your bit:

1) Go hybrid

2) Go bicycling

3) Up cycling (not on two wheels)

4) Go electric

At Town or Country we are always doing our bit for the environment; recycling where we can, encouraging the use of linen/towels more than once and sourcing the best tea or coffee that we know is sustainable. We encourage the use of car clubs in and around our city based properties. There has been an interest in Yo Bike, the cycle hire that you can unlock from your smartphone.

Well being

You are important. As you get older your health and mental state should be high priority. With the added pressures of every day life it’s is important to keep the balance of business and pleasure.

Go for that walk after work, schedule in some you time daily and eat well. It’s our ethos that our serviced properties are a sanctuary to relax and be that home from home. Pretty much all you have to do is stay.

Join a gym. You’ll hear and see that a lot over the next few weeks. You do not have to though, for the price of a yearly gym membership you could buy your self a bike or even a kayak, much more fun than watching sweaty people in their active wear grunting in front of the mirror.

Budget

Never have we had to look after our hard earned Dollar. With economic changes in the pipe line it is important we save for a rainy day. Think ahead: what are the cheaper alternatives? Where will I get value for money? How can my savings be better invested? Remember, with us at Town or Country you pay per property and not per person. We have the property to suit your needs for work or pleasure.

Brexit

Yep! The ‘B’ word. Right up there again for 2018. As we storm our way to divorcing Europe things may not be as bad as they are made out to be. Either way, as a local and family run company we shall still be here giving you that best staying experience ever, from wherever you are in the world.

We often attend business networking events and with our dedicated Business 2 Business manager we are always on the pulse of business climate and change.

Justin Timberlake

Oh, JT is making a come back in 2018. FYI

 

Ben Glover

Content Blogger

Glovebox Media.

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