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Happy Easter from the team at Chartwell Residential

Published: 13/04/2017    Last Updated: 13/04/2017 16:25:33   

Here's a lovely recipe from the Avenue Cookery School:
Hot Cross Buns

These Easter hot cross buns are fantastic crowd-pleasers for your Easter Dinner Party!


100ml milk, plus 2tsp for the cross
25g butter
250g strong bread flour
1 tsp. salt
40g caster sugar
1 sachet yeast
2 eggs, beaten and one for egg wash
30g sultana
25g mixed peel
½ orange, zest
½ braeburn apple, peeled finely cubed
1tsp ground cinnamon
30g plain flour, plus extra for dusting


In a saucepan heat the butter and milk until the butter is melted.  Let the mixture come down to body temperature and add the yeast and stir. Put the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture with one egg, the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon, then bring everything together until you have a sticky dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1hr or until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 5 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on a lined baking tray leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover with a tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr .

Heat oven to 190C .

Beat the other egg,(egg wash!) and brush over the risen buns. Mix the 30g of flour with approximately  2tbsp of milk to make the paste for the cross .Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create a cross. Bake for 15-20mins until golden brown.

Inspired? Check out our recipe book here.
Or learn to cook at our many cookery classes!


Low council tax and protected pubs - what more do you want?

Published: 31/03/2017    Last Updated: 31/03/2017 09:48:08   

Another south London council follows Wandsworth’s lead on historic pub protection

Last August Wandsworth became the first local authority to announce it was using planning laws to safeguard 120 of its most valuable and popular pubs – making it harder for developers to turn them into homes, offices or supermarkets.

It became the first council in England to publish ‘Article 4 Directions’ on such a scale meaning 120 valued local pubs could no longer be used for homes or another type of business without first obtaining planning permission.

The Selkirk in Tooting is included in the list of pubs to be protected
Without this change pubs could be turned into shops and other uses without planning consent under normal permitted development rights.

Now Southwark Council has adopted the same policy – further protecting and safeguarding the future of south London’s historic pubs and bars.

Strategic planning spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Southwark should be applauded for making this move. We hope other London councils will follow suit and join us and Southwark in adopting new rules that help safeguard London’s pub trade.

“In recent years too many local neighbourhood pubs,  including many that were viable and thriving businesses, were quietly converted into shops or supermarkets because councils were powerless to stop them.

“Big retailers were able to take advantage of ‘permitted development rights’ which meant changes could be made without needing planning permission.

“The rapid growth of mini-supermarkets exacerbated the problem, with the major chains competing all over the country to find new outlets and often choosing to convert pubs rather than taking over retail units.

“Our breakthrough, now adopted by Southwark, was to take full advantage of recent changes in planning regulations to make sure 120 of our best loved pubs were covered by these Article 4 rules. New owners will need to ask the town hall for permission before being allowed to use the building for a different purpose.”

The 120 bars and pubs were chosen for their historic or architectural value and/or because they make a positive contribution to their community.

They include The Alma, The Ship and The Cat’s Back in Wandsworth, The Bricklayers Arms, The Arab Boy and The Railway in Putney, The Plough, The Falcon and The Beehive in Battersea, The Selkirk, The Trafalgar Arms and The Wheatsheaf in Tooting plus The Bedford, The Regent and The Prince of Wales in Balham.

A map showing the locations of all 120 pubs is available on the council’s website .

Some pubs that are currently closed have also been given protection, including the White Lion in Putney High Street and The Brewery Tap in Wandsworth High Street. It’s hoped this will give an added incentive to the owners to bring them back into use.

The Article 4 Directions were first published on 12 August 2016 and will come into force in August 2017.

Get in touch with us if this appeals to you

Published: 28/03/2017    Last Updated: 28/03/2017 16:35:01   

Living Here
With an additional 20,000 new homes being built and planned, plus the 10,000 households who already live in and around the regeneration area, we are building a sizeable new community for central London. Existing residents already benefit from the area’s world class views, riverside location and proximity to central London. As the area develops and new communities are being formed, there are marked improvements to transport, new public space and improvements to existing space, as well as new access to the Thames River Path, making this an incredibly attractive and desirable place to be.

The Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership is working together to ensure the new communities that form are fully integrated in the creation of a beautiful neighbourhood. It is easy to see why the area is becoming such a sought-after location to live, work and visit and as regeneration progresses more people will experience the benefits on offer. The dramatically improved public realm will provide easy access to an enlivened riverside, a new Nine Elms Park, neighbourhood squares and green spaces, as well as linking through to existing high quality oases at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Battersea Park.  Speed of access into the rest of central London will be dramatically improved with the Northern Line Extension and planned pedestrian & cycle bridge, accompanied by improvements to Vauxhall, Battersea Park and Queenstown Road stations. Cultural activity, which already provides the vibrancy to Vauxhall and Battersea, is becoming a key feature of the area’s offer, with new attractions at Battersea Power Station, Brand New Covent Garden Market’s Food Exchange and new public art throughout the area.

Enhancements to the key services, such as schools and health centres, are being delivered in the area to serve the whole community.  More is being made of the area’s railway arches, creating new food, leisure and retail space as well as improving access and helping to make the area a well-connected, walkable neighbourhood.

More info here:

Published: 10/03/2017    Last Updated: 10/03/2017 10:26:52   

Pancake Day is here again

Pancake Day is here again

Published: 28/02/2017    Last Updated: 27/02/2017 18:01:32   

Shrove Tuesday is always the day before the first day of Lent, known as Ash Wednesday.
This year that date falls on Tuesday February 28, with Ash Wednesday being on Wednesday, March 1.

Read more:

The date is always 47 days before Easter Sunday, meaning Shrove Tuesday is generally always between February 3 and March 9.
The day when Easter falls changes every year in accordance to the first moon after the vernal equinox.

The name ‘Shrove’ derives from the word ‘shrive’ meaning to free yourself from sin.
Over in the US, Shrove Tuesday is known as ‘Mardi Gras’ meaning fatty Tuesday in French.
The idea is to get rid of any indulgences and fatty foods in the house before the beginning of Lent.
However, pancake recipes are thought to date back to the Pagan times as a way of using up eggs, flour  and milk in one dish.
Some Christians meanwhile believe that four ingredients in pancakes represent the four pillars of the Christian faith. That is flour for sustenance, eggs for creation, milk for purity and salt for wholesomeness.