Holiday Letting Advice

There is an increasing trend now amongst home owners and especially those people fortunate enough to actually have two homes in popular tourist areas to let out their homes to families to take their summer vacations in. There are even a number of dedicated websites that will offer to manage your property and even do all of the advertising and management of the property for you. If this is something you are considering then obviously the first thing you need to do is to select a good lettings management company to ensure everything is ran smoothly and gives you the least headaches for you or your family. There are obviously advantages and disadvantages to letting out your house to holidaymakers so here are some things you might want to consider.

The first and most obvious one is that you are going to gain a second income from the rental value of your property. Depending on things like the number of bedrooms that you have, the location of the property and whether or not there are some good local amenities or tourist attractions in the area, then this is going to increase the amount of money you are going to be able to command.

Also, if you are in the lucky position where you may not owe any money on the house to the mortgage company, or you may have inherited a property from a relative, the money that you get from the rental is all going to be clear profit. If the property has been bought with a mortgage on something like a buy to let scheme then you will have to consider not only the repayments, but also the fact that it is a holiday letting then it may not be being used during certain months of the year. For example, let’s say you have properties to rent in Newquay, Southwest England then they may only be let out during the warmer summer months. On the other hand, a property in Scotland for example is a location that people will visit in both the summer and winter months as the country can be appealing to walkers and climbers in both of these seasons.

It’s a fantastic way to earn money on your property but there are a couple of things to consider as well. Firstly you are putting your trust in total strangers which can be un-nerving. Secondly, there are tax issues that will need to be addressed and finally, by using a letting agent, they will charge you a small commission.

Enjoy Canada in Style This Winter: a Guide

Canada is one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it boasts some tantalizingly fine experiences. From hotels that resemble European chateaus to restaurants which are plating some of the most cutting edge food in the world, planning a trip north of the border for a luxurious weekend away isn’t as crazy as you might think it might be.

Below, we’ll break down accommodations, dining hotspots, and nightlife that will have you planning your return after your trip has concluded.   

 

STAY IN THE BEST HOTELS

 

Out east, the Chateau Frontenac is a gem you shouldn’t miss, as this Fairmont property defines the skyline of Quebec City with its castle-like appearance. Its front door access to the Old City is only the start of the benefits you’ll enjoy by staying here, as the Chateau offers a private concierge service, a fully-functional business centre, four restaurants, and a top-rated health club.

 

In the west, another Fairmont hotel should end up on your bucket list. In the Canadian Rockies, the Banff Springs Hotel has a presence which simply can’t be ignored. For a brief time after the completion of its first renovation in 1914, it was the tallest building in Canada. Its fitting seeing how it has been known as The Castle in the Rockies by locals for years. Within, you’ll find an award-winning European-inspired spa, amazing fine dining concepts, and even a bowling alley.  

 

YOU WORK HARD – SO PLAY HARD

When you are on your winter holiday in Canada, don’t hold back – you are here for a good time, not a long time. You work hard in your everyday life, so experience the best nightlife Canada has to offer.

Hang with the most beautiful people in Montreal at Wunderbar. Gaze upon the CN Tower and other highlights of the Toronto skyline at Rooftop Lounge at the Thompson. Push your luck at the Edgewater Casino in Vancouver. In every major city in Canada, you’ll find excitement that will help you make the most of your visit.

Want to enjoy the last suggestion above, but not quite up to speed on the rules of the most popular games on the floor? Check out this source, and you’ll find games online that will allow you to get familiar with the mechanics of each – as a bonus, you might actually make some money in the process.

 

DINE IN THE HOTTEST RESTAURANTS

 

Incomes has risen over the past decade thanks to the nation’s resource boom, and Millennials have shown an appetite for dining out at restaurants pushing the culinary envelope. The convergence of these factors means that many cities in Canada have red hot dining scenes, meaning that you’ll have plenty of amazing food to try during your time in the Great White North.

 

In Montreal, Ile Flottante will introduce you to the world of Quebecois cuisine, with a tasting menu which can include dishes made from ingredients like pork belly and sea bass. Torontonians can’t get enough of Scaramouche Restaurant these days, as its take on French food will have you praising its chef long after your visit. Whether you choose to have the filet mignon or the lamb, the breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline will make it one of the best meals you’ve had in a long time.

Some Advice For You If You Are Traveling With Contact Lenses

If you use contacts lenses then you will be only too familiar with the challenges that you face when you go traveling. As someone who has been traveling for ling periods of time over the last few years, I have really learned the hard way about making sure that I have planned how I am going to manage my contact lenses when I go away.

And so if you are someone who uses contact lenses, here are the best ways to ensure that they don’t cause you any issues when you go traveling.

Having Enough

There is nothing worse than running out of contact lenses, especially if you are miles away from somewhere that sells them. With this in mind it is crucial that you plan how long you will be going away for, and then calculate how many pairs of lenses you will need. I like to buy my lenses at Vision Direct as I can buy in bulk at prices which are far, far lower than the high street, even on marked brands.

Travel Sized

When it comes to taking your contact lens cleaning solution away with you, don’t bother taking the full sized bottle as it can be cumbersome and take up a lot of space in your bag. A trick which I like to do is to buy small plastic bottles, and fill 3 or 4 of them up before I go.

Daily Disposables

Daily disposables are the bets option if you are traveling for some time, they require no cleaning or rewetting solutions and they can easily be packed away. If you take lenses away with you then you need to find ways in which you can keep them clean, something which is not always easy when you are on the road. Remove these risks by using daily disposables.

When to Take Them Out

I can’t stress how important it is that you take your contacts out when you are flying as the air con will wreak havoc on your eyes. There is no amount of rewetting solution which you can apply to your eyes to avoid them drying out in the plane so don’t even risk it, go without or wear glasses if you are traveling in air conditioned transport for long periods of time.

Declaration

Just bear in mind that whilst you are legally allowed to take as much contact lens cleaning solution as you like, it does fall under the TSA definition of medical liquids and it must be declared.

Prescription

Regardless of whether you think you have packed up enough contact lenses for the duration of your journey, there are always situations that could arise which can leave you with no lenses. With this in mind then it is always worth taking a copy of your prescription so that if you require emergency lenses, you can get your hands on them.

Be careful with your lenses when traveling, if you care for them and store them well, you can avoid any of the problems that come from traveling with lenses.

Christmas Gift Ideas to Add Some Luxury Into Someone’s Life

 

What better gift to give someone this Christmas than the gift of luxury and here at Doorstepluxury, we have got some great ideas for you. Whatever the person that you are buying for enjoys, there is always room to add a luxurious touch with your Christmas gift and here are some of our top picks for presents which you could buy for your friend or loved one this coming Christmas.

French Press

If the recipient of your gift is a fan of coffee then a coffee press is the ultimate gift to buy them. The French press is a coffee maker which really takes coffee to the next level in terms of the flavor and the overall approach to making a cup of Joe. The press requires you to add some coarsely ground coffee, some piping hot water and then you simply plunge the press and serve up a tasty cup of coffee. These presses look great when on display and there are few more luxurious ways to serve up coffee than if you are using one of these.

Vintage Record Player

Many people though that vinyl was dead when DJs and music listeners of the world decided to ditch physical music for the digital variety but LPs have since seen something of a renaissance and they are now very popular. With this in mind, way not buy your recipient a standalone record player with a vintage look. In light of the recent surge in popularity of vinyl, there are many of these classic record players about and they can add style and luxury to any home.

Spa Day 

Days out don’t get more luxurious than being pampered to within an inch of your life at a spa day. There are many top hotels and private spas that offer these kind of days and you can give your loved one a memorable day with this gift. The spa days will feature a wide range of treatments from massages, seaweed wraps, facials, manicures and pedicures so there is lots to choose from in terms of giving your loved one the best gift possible.

Champagne

The ultimate luxury gift is a bottle of fine Champagne and this in particular makes a great gift as many people would not spend such money on their own, on a bottle of Champagne. If you are able to purchase a tasty and relatively expensive bottle of bubbly for your loved one however, you will be able to ensure that they have a luxurious Christmas day as they sip away at a fine bottle Champers.

Candles

Candles are no longer simply something to light the way and scented candles have taken on a whole new meaning in recent years. Many of these candles smell absolutely amazing and they can adda a real touch of luxury to any room. Similar to the Champagne, many won’t want to spend a chunk of money on something like a candle and this is where you can step in and give a wonderful Christmas gift which your loved one will enjoy.

3 Top of the Range Pens

Writing may be a dying art given the emergence of technology but that is not to say that the art of writing is completely dead. There are few things more satisfying in life than writing with a top grade pen which is comfortable and flows perfectly with your style of writing and I for one am still supporting writing the old fashioned way.

A beautiful pen is not just about how you write, it is also about wowing those around you and if you want to do just that then you should invest in a top quality pen. To help you decide which is going to be the pen for you, we have put together a quick list of 3 top of the range pens which you should look into buying if you too are still supporting the old fashioned pen and paper style of writing.

Best Fountain Pen 

For this of you who love nothing more than an inky and smooth fountain pen, the one that we would recommend is the Faber-Castell Ambition. This stunning pen is brought to you by one of the most respected pen manufacturers in the world and it features some unique detail and some exceptional craftsmanship. The pen will set you back around $110 but for this you will get a pen which writes effortlessly thanks to its steel tip and features a barrel made from exotic woods.

Best Pocket Pen

For those who will be writing notes on the go, signing thing with haste and who want to have a pen on them at all times, the best option is the Fisher Space Pen. This pen was designed for NASAs space mission and it can write upside down, underwater and even in zero gravity. Whilst you may not use any of these features, you will no doubt enjoy the smooth and simple writing style which the pen has, as well as its compact nature which means it can fit into any pocket. The pen is pressurized which means that the ballpoint allows ink to flow naturally and consistently. This pen can be picked up for just over $20 and it is incredibly durable.

Best Refillable Ballpoint

The finest refillable ballpoint which you should be buying if you are on the lookout is the Baron Fig Squire, a beautiful pen and one which needs to be in your pen collection. Baron Fig have produced great pens for may years and this model in particular is re-released every quarter with a new and exciting design. Aside from the aesthetics, the pen writes with an incredibly smooth action and you won’t need to replace the ink very often at all. My previous favorite in this class had been the Retro 51 Tornado but the writing style and weight ratio of the Squire is what really sets it apart for me.

What kind of pens do you like to write with and which is your favorite? Let us know you thoughts in the comments section below.

A weekend in Venice

Venice is truly the city of love, a beautiful Italian paradise of waterways, fine art museums, music and of course, the delicious Italian cuisine. Thanks to the low priced and accessible flight options that exist from around Europe, Venice makes for the perfect spot for a weekend break. A weekend may not be enough time to see everything that Venice has on offer, but you can certainly fill it up with plenty of things to do and see. If you are looking at Venice as a weekend getaway, here are some great ideas for how to spend it.

Three in One

In the middle of the magnificent San Marco piazza, the place which Napoleon himself referred to as the ‘drawing room of Europe’, you can see no less than 3 major attractions, perfect for those who are pressed for time. St.Mark’s Basilica is a beautiful representation of the Byzantine era which occupied Venice for many years whilst the Doge’s Palace, also in the square, was once the judicial and political hub of the region. Finally you will find the Torre dell’Orologio a magnificent clock tower which is over 500 years old. This square makes for the perfect place for your first stop.

Gondola Trip

Trip to venice wouldn’t be complete without taking to the water in one of the iconic gondolas. Gondola hire will cost you 80 Euros for 30 minutes between the times of 8am-7pm and between 7pm-8am you will be looking at a price of 100 Euros for 35 minutes. The prices may not be cheap but once you have experienced this trip out onto the waterways, you will realize that it is actually very good value for money.

Getting Artistic

The contemporary art scene in Venice really lives up to the city’s reputation and you can really explore some of the fine art installations throughout the city. You could spend some time in the Peggy Guggenheim collection, the city’s third most popular attraction or even visit the relatively new Punta della Dogana which has works by the likes of Jeff Koons, Rachel Whiteread and Dan Flavin inside.

Listen to Vivaldi

Listening to Vivaldi in Venice is kind of a rite of passage which everyone must do during their time here and you can find it played expertly by the Vence Baroque Orchestra. Make sure that before you leave home, you have checked out the schedule to see who is playing in the stunning Teatro Malibran.

Gelato

Another rite of passage in Vence is eating gelato and you can find some of the very finest here in the city. The best gelato is said to be served in the Boutique del Gelato and if you can battle the lengthy queues, you will be treated to some of the finest ice cream that you have ever tasted.

You weekend in Venice is sure to be pretty frantic so that you can see everything but thankfully mug of the attractions are pretty close together, make sure you have a map with you so you don’t get lost in the mazy streets.

How to Spend 3 days in Santorini

If you are looking to take a break in the Greek Islands then look no further than Santorini, the beautiful island in the heart of the Aegean Sea. Whenever you see those images of Greek islands with the whitewashed buildings and the mazy coastal path that leads down to the seafront, it is likely that you are looking at Santorini and in terms of raw beauty, this is the Greek islands at their very best.

Squeezing all that Santorini has to offer into a short 3 day break is not entirely possible but that is not to say that there isn’t plenty to see and do during your short break. Let’s take a look at what you need to doddering your 3 day stay.

Imerovigli

Requiring a cliff walk to see this beautiful village, Imerovigli is the best place to go for views of the island and assuming that you arrive on a Friday, you should make an effort to get up here for sunset. There is no better place to witness sunset than in this typical Santorini village and there are several restaurants with viewing platforms so that you can enjoy it in all of its splendor. Expect to spend around 3 hours up here.

Sleeping and Beach

In the afternoons in Santorini, almost everything shuts down for a few hours which gives you the perfect chance to relax, go for a snooze or hit the beach to bask in the beautiful sunshine.

Pyrgos

Pyrgos village is very different from the other villages on the island and it makes for a great place to explore. Here you will find an outstanding monastery to explore as well as plenty of street markets and you could even go on a winery tour and sample some of the local produce.

Beaches

There are lots of beach to choose from and as you are short on time it is important that you get it just right. Perissa Beach is probably the finest beach on the island and whilst it does not offer the lush white sand that others on the islands do, the cobbled stone and volcanic grey sand still makes for a beautiful beach. Here you will find several tavernas and restaurants where you can enjoy the sunshine and most importantly, the view.

Cruise

There are several boat cruises which you can do to the neighboring islands and I would recommend that you take the cruise to the volcanic islands of Palea and Nea Kameni. Once you hit the islands you will have to do a bit of walking to get to the summit of the volcanoes but it is well worth the effort. The boat trip will take up a whole afternoon so make sure that you have planned it in well.

For your final few hours, you should look towhead back to the part of Santorini that you loved the most and once again enjoy the spectacular views which you can get from the island before heading back home. Three days may not be enough to see it all, but you can most definitely see enough to whet your appetite for next time.

The 5 best restaurants in Sydney, Australia

Last year I spent almost a month in Sydney and one thing that really surprised me was the sheer amount of high quality restaurants on offer. I knew that there would be one or two which would offer some beautiful cuisine but I was surprised at the volume of top quality restaurants and as you can imagine, I sampled as many as I could. It seems that Sydney is trying to battle Perth in order to become the food capital of the country and they are doing a very good job so far. If you are heading to Sydney and want to know some of the best places to eat, here are my top 5 picks.

The Paddington

Ran by British chef Ben Greeno, this is restaurant which is really trying to do things differently when it comes to the Gastropub game. Named like a pub and with the appearance of a British pub, this is actually a very high quality restaurant and the food in here is beautiful. The menu is centered around rotisserie dishes and from lamb chucks, whole birds of all sizes and skewered carrots cooked on the grill, you can really fill yourself with some stunning and interesting food options.

Yellow

I am not always a fan of what is perceived to be fine cooking, you know, the 3 fennel shavings served on a plantain leaf, but I was pleasantly surprised with this approach in the fine dining restaurant, Yellow. The cuisine here is all about vegetables and meat very much takes a back seat as you explore a little bit more of nature’s offerings. The creative way in which the vegetables are served will make you forget about meat altogether.

Bennelong

Set inside the iconic Sydney Opera House, there are few better places to dine on seafood than in Bennelong. This restaurant is a real celebration of Australian culture and cuisine and it perfectly mashes up some of the country’s finest produce, with an international fusion of styles when it comes to cooking them.  Should you go to the restaurant, I would recommend the squid with the charred pickled cucumber, it was an absolute delight.

Mercado

Brand new in 2017, this restaurant has already got tongues wagging in Sydney and it can be tough to get a table. Rustic, rugged and filling would be the words that I would use for this huge restaurant which also makes its own breads and cheese. It is all about simple cooking here and it really is a meat lovers paradise with plenty of grilled meats and charcuterie which is also made in-house.

Momofuku Seiobo

The name of this restaurant is quite a mouthful, and so too is the beautiful caribbean soul food which you will find being the doors. If you are looking for fine dining in a street food style then look no further tax this trendy and relaxed restaurant at the Star 80. Jerk chicken, barbecued ribs and green mango flavored cuttlefish are just some of the delights on offer in this highly popular eatery.

Where do you like to eat in Sydney? Think we’ve missed anywhere? Let us know in the comments section below this post.

Which Brand of Watch is the best investment

A watch is about far more than simple timepiece and these accessories are key to being fashionable and stylish. The cost of watches can spiral incredibly and as such, many have become popular for investors who are looking to adorn themselves with the finest watches, and ensure that the watch holds its value throughout its lifetime. If you are looking to invest in a high quality and beautifully crafted timepiece which is sure to hold its value, here are some option for you to think of.

Rolex

Rolex has become notorious for creating stunning watches of extremely high value. Thankfully, because of the strength of the brand and the outstanding craftsmanship that has gone into creating these watches, a Rolex will always hold its value and ensure that should you ever need to move it on, you can do so with ease and without losing any of your investment. Aside from the financial aspects of a Rolex, they will also look classy and impressive when you wear it.

Breitling

Breathing have created watches over the years that have stood the test of time and their aerospace-style designs have made these watches pretty iconic. The watches have been designed through the years with the Navy and the Air Force in mind and these have lead to inspirational timepieces which not only tell the time, but also stand the test of it. If you were to invest in a Breitling then you are going to have a stunning accessory to wear and a watch which will most definitely hold its value.

Omega Seamaster

Omega make a wide range of watches for all budgets and whilst the brand itself may not be known as one which is worth investing in, its Seamaster model most certainly is. The Seamaster professional is not going to make you a millionaire in a short space of time but over the years this is most definitely going to be a smart investment given that the model is no longer in production. There was a limited number of these watches made and as you know, when the demand outweighs the supply, the price rises beyond belief.

Tag Heuer Silverstone

For just around $6,000 you can get your hands on this highly limited watch which is sure to inflate greatly in its valuation in just a  few short years. The watch is an Heuer-badged Monaco edition which in the past have shown themselves to be highly collectable and highly valuable and this latest model is still on the market for you to get your hands on bit you and better be quick as there aren’t too many of them left. The watch itself is chunky and offers a wide face with the classic ‘Tag’ design features. With that being said, this is not a watch which too many will wear as it can appear to be quite standard, something which will not be important once the collectors is to get their hands on it.

5 Things to Think About Before Investing in FX

If you are looking for somewhere to invest your cash and you have been thinking about foreign currency as a viable option then this is a great choice. Currency moves all the time and if you are able to tap into what impacts the market anyhow you can best use that information to beat the system then you could make some sizable profits. Now before you get too excited and want to throw all of your money at the potential downfall of the Japanese Yen, there are some things which you will need to take into consideration.

Transaction Costs

Unlike when you by stocks and shares where you need to pay a commission on the sale and cover the spread on it, with FOREX  you will only need to pay 1 transaction cost. For example, if you want to buy shares in Apple at $20 per share (hypothetically speaking of course) you may be quoted $20.20 for the offer, yet when you sell, you will be quoted $20 which is the bid, this means that you have a $0.20 spread on your share dealings. FOREX doesn’t have this spread feature unless you are trading on the ECN, which is highly unlikely. This means that you will have more money to play with and you will need to factor this in.

No Ownership

When you buy share sin a company, you become an owner of a small slice of the company whereas when you buy currency, you don’t own anything. The currencies that you buy and sell are not owned by you because you are betting on the spot market which doesn’t actually take deliveries of currency. Your transactions will be nothing more than digits of the screen of your broker.

Leverage

Leverage on FOREX markets can cause you great wins and sizable losses and you need to fly understand how this instrument works. You may be offered 1:50 from your broker meaning you could turn your investment over by 50 times its value, this is not uncommon in FOREX. The problem with this however is that if you maximize your leverage and buy the full amount available, it only takes a small drop to completely wipe out your investment.

Carry Trading

You need to do your research when it comes to carry trading which is when you receive a higher interest rate on your long bets than the shorts. The basics of the carry trade is that you are borrowing a low-yielding currency in order to help you to fund buying higher-yielding assets from elsewhere in the FOREX spectrum. This is all well and good unless the interest on the long option appreciates to a higher rate of interest than the short, do your research and make sure you know exactly how carry-trading works.

As long as you put in the work when it comes to researching FOREX you should be just fine but don’t go into this with your eyes closed, or you could lose big.