Cars

Audi S8 Sport

There are few cars which surprise and delight in equal measure, or set the pulse racing, but the AUDI S8 Sport is one of them.

The Audi S8 is the zenith of the Audi range, and has the acceleration of a Ferrari, and the comfort of a Rolls-Royce, making for an impressive combination.  That such power is disguised by Audi’s restrained styling makes it even more unexpected, and therefore impressive, and this performance is matched by a luxurious interior in keeping with the top-end of the Audi range.

We actually drove the S8 ‘Sport,’  but since then, Audi have introduced the S8 Plus, which compared to the Audi R8 V10 sports car’s capabilities is just four-tenths of a second slower to 62mph and only 8.5mph off its top speed!  But that delight is for another day.

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Fishing

Fishing-Breaks-header-image-2016

On my various perambulations in the writing The Otters’ Tale I came across some unexpected reactions. For the most part people were incredibly supportive, helpful and encouraging. After all the otter is regularly polled as one of Britain’s favourite animals. It even has a world-encompassing cheerleader in J K Rowling.  She featured our native otter in the Harry Potter series, plus I think I read somewhere that she said that if she has to come back in another life it would be as an otter.  But not everyone is quite as enthusiastic about these lithe and secretive creatures.

Simon Cooper of Fishing Breaks with Topaz the Otter

Simon Cooper with Topaz

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Business & Finance

Mountstone Partners Ltd

Mountstone Partners create and manage bespoke investment portfolios for wealthy families, charities and trusts.  CEO James Keen publishes a monthly investment update for their clients.  Here is James Keen’s March Newsletter – please contact him if you have any queries about the markets or indeed your portfolio.

The market thinks there is a 90% chance that the Federal reserve will increase interest rates after they conclude today’s meeting (14th March) and if they pull the trigger this will be the third rise since US rates bottomed on December 16th 2008.  With the economy in rude health, we believe that this could finally herald the turning of the interest rate cycle in the US.

Whilst we won’t be back at the giddy heights of 6% bank rates in the US any time soon, a shift up to 2-3% represents a major risk to investors in ‘low risk’ government/corporate bonds.  We believe that investors should be fearful of such a move and that acting now to reduce exposure to interest-rate sensitive bonds is sensible.

We’ve summarised our thoughts in this short piece and as always do let me know if you have any comments or questions.

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Business & Finance

Mountstone Partners Ltd

Mountstone Partners create and manage bespoke investment portfolios for wealthy families, charities and trusts.  CEO James Keen publishes a monthly investment update for their clients.

Here is James Keen’s summary of Philip Hammond’s spring budget, highlighting those parts that are most likely to be relevant to the over 50s – please contact him if you have any queries about the markets or indeed your portfolio.

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Business & Finance

London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

Since I have been able to talk and read I have always had opinions, but I have always been inspired by listening to others and learning anything and everything I can get my hands on. I don’t know why I felt that writings these opinions, often tempered with good arguments and advice from friends, was something I should do, but we all have our thoughts and ideas so here are a few of mine.

I hope you enjoy……….

For about twenty years it seemed as though life was simpler. The European continent largely avoided any major wars, prosperity recovered after a series of economic challenges, the world become more multicultural, and technological innovations flourished. However, even then the signs of future challenges were clear. New ideas about how society should function were gaining popularity and nation states worried that their culture and identity were under threat by malign foreign influences.

If any of this sounds familiar, it shouldn’t. This was 1820-1840.

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Cars

In December, Aston Martin Works announced the DB4 GT Continuation Project, which will make use of the remaining chassis numbers from the original production to create 25 incredible track-only cars. Designed in 1959, only eight DB4 GTs were built to a lightweight specification. This project will combine traditional techniques with modern technology to create an exceptionally capable car, while remaining faithful to the original.

 

EXPERIENCE DB4 GT

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Arts & Culture

 

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Arts & Culture

Wick Antiques Logo

Established in 1981 by Charles Wallrock. Previous suppliers of Harrods for over 22 years.

Not so Boring Brown!

 

Wick Antiques Ebony Amboyna Stained Boxwood and Burr Walnut Occasional Table by John C J Atkins London

Detail: An ebony, amboyna, stained boxwood and burr walnut occasional table,
John C J Atkins, Regent St, London, c1850. £2,450

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Business & Finance

London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

Since I have been able to talk and read I have always had opinions, but I have always been inspired by listening to others and learning anything and everything I can get my hands on. I don’t know why I felt that writings these opinions, often tempered with good arguments and advice from friends, was something I should do, but we all have our thoughts and ideas so here are a few of mine.

I hope you enjoy……….

Given the timing of Prime Minister May’s speech on BREXIT and general anxiousness about what may happen next, I have attempted to summarise and analyse the insights I have gleamed on the process over the last year below.

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Cars

Jaguar F Pace R Sport 2.0d 180PS AWD

We recently had an ‘Embarasse des Riches’, when we were lent two Jaguars to review ‘back to back’, i.e. on two consecutive weeks, and the models in question were their top of the range saloon, the XJ, and the F-Pace SUV, both designed for entirely separate markets,  and both designed to take on any opposition, including that from BMW and Mercedes, who both have similar models aimed at the same markets.

Jaguar XJ R Sport SWB 3.0 V6 300PS at Ockenden Manor Cuckfield

However, we believe that in both cases, Jaguar have the advantage in looks and performance, and in value for money, so will be hard to beat. They also possess that indefinable quality, called Style.

All this is the result of a sustained investment programme by owner TATA, who have performed wonders in bringing Jaguar, and Land Rover, into the 21st century and making both ’marques’ potential world-beaters by focusing on specific cars for specific markets.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy our reviews of both models.

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