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Home with a rich history in a peaceful location

Home with a rich history in a peaceful location


An elegant mansion house with a cottage in an idyllic countryside location has been brought to the market.

Presented by Savills, Carstramon House is an elegant country mansion believed to date from the late 18th century. It was extended in 1929 by Mrs Elizabeth Murray Usher whose family still own the Cally Estate.

Carstramon has undergone a detailed and comprehensive refurbishment within the last 10 years and there is a wonderful blend of traditional and contemporary features throughout.

The accommodation on the ground floor begins with a porch leading to the grand hallway. There is an office and gun cupboard off, beautiful and spacious drawing room which leads into the substantial conservatory, an elegant formal dining room, sitting room with woodburning stove, study, fitted breakfasting kitchen including an AGA, and a utility room.

An office, inner hallway with numerous stores and large billiard room complete the ground floor. The accommodation on the first floor comprises a principal bedroom suite with dressing room and bathroom, bedroom two with en suite bathroom, four additional double bedrooms and three bathrooms.

On the second floor, there is a seventh bedroom, a study/bedroom, bathroom and attic room. All bedrooms in the main house benefit from fitted wardrobes.

In addition to the main house there is a beautiful cottage – the former coach house, comprising porch, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Adjoining the cottage there are numerous outbuildings including double garage, single garage, greenhouse, workshop and play room / games room and two dog kennels. The property also benefits from a generator.

There is potential for future development for residential accommodation subject to the approval of the relevant planning authorities.

The grounds surrounding Carstramon have undergone substantial work and replanting and include a tennis court, outdoor heated swimming pool with pool house which includes ladies and gents changing rooms and kitchen.

The gardens are divided into herbaceous borders with lawns surrounding the swimming pool, a fruit and vegetable garden and within the wider policies there are beautiful specimen trees and rhododendrons providing a mass of colour in the spring/summer.

The pond at the foot of the woodland garden is a haven for wildlife. Within the grounds there are three well sheltered paddocks.

Carstramon occupies one of the finest positions in the southwest of Scotland and is set in a particularly tranquil location within the Fleet valley.

There are magnificent uninterrupted open aspects over the Galloway countryside.

Gatehouse of Fleet is a charming Georgian town, widely admired for its historic buildings.

It owes its development in the 18th century to the entrepreneur James Murray of Broughton whose mansion, Cally Palace, is now an acclaimed hotel. In Murray’s day, Gatehouse became a thriving centre of water-powered industry and in 1795 had four cotton mills, a brass foundry, a brewery, brickworks, tanneries and a substantial population. Today it is better known for the remarkable beauty of its setting.

Gatehouse of Fleet lies within the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area and is surrounded by ancient woods and hills. The mild southwest climate is reflected in the many exotic plants that grow in its gardens.

There is sailing on both the Solway Firth and local lochs, and the nearby Cardoness shoreline has one of the finest beaches in the south of Scotland. For lovers of sport, Gatehouse offers a cricket club, football club, bowling club and tennis club, while the challenging nine hole golf course is in excellent order and much admired.

The town has a primary school that feeds into Kirkcudbright Academy. There are three churches and several cafés, as well as good local shops, a medical surgery, a chemist and a variety of other professional services, with good bus links to Dumfries and Stranraer. Kirkcudbright lies approximately nine miles from Gatehouse and offers additional shopping, transport and professional services, as does Castle Douglas, 14 miles away.

Gatehouse of Fleet is also famous for its varied wildlife, with the Red Kite Trail in close proximity. The nearby Galloway Forest Park extends to approximately 300 square miles and has an outstanding variety of wildlife, including red squirrels, fallow deer and a variety of birds of prey. As the first area in Scotland to be awarded ‘dark sky status’ in 2009 by the International Dark Sky Association, Galloway’s night sky has a rare clarity.

Savills’ Peter Gillespie said the property is: ‘One of the finest country homes in Dumfries and Galloway with a rich history and located in a beautiful and peaceful location surrounded by rolling hills and absolutely perfect for Dark Sky stargazing, red kites and red squirrels.’

For further details, visit HERE.

The agents will consider offers over £1,750,000.



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Exquisite dining from home with a new experience

Exquisite dining from home with a new experience


Two top chefs have teamed up with HOME-X to launch a new season of dining experience at home this spring.

ROAST and Lobster Inc. will be championed by renowned chefs Joe Lazzerini and chef David Miller as the e-commerce platform further expands their impressive range of home-based food and drink brands.

The roast Sunday is a much-loved British family tradition. HOME-X will now bring the new traditional Sunday Roast in a box with all the trimmings to your doorstep.

In collaboration with chef Joe Lazzerini from famed gastropub The Loveable Rogue, ROAST offers a refined version of the classic British staple, a hearty, unfussy, delicious feast that the family can tuck into. With a background in home comfort food and a penchant for cooking simple, wholesome and traditional British cuisines, chef Joe Lazzerini’s food is unique.

ROAST’s Joe Lazzerini

Available for pre-order from today, customers can choose from a traditional Chicken or Beef Roast with prices starting from £55. The beef option (priced at £65) begins with Caramelised Cauliflower & Apple Veloute with curry oil & fresh apple; Speyside Beef – Sirloin with red wine gravy; Cauliflower Cheese with a cheddar cheese & herb crumb; Roast Potatoes with beef fat, garlic & rosemary; Honey Glazed Root Vegetables chantenay carrots & tenderstem broccoli; Vegetable Écrase with celeriac, carrot, chives & carrot crumb and Yorkshire Puddings. ROAST will be topped off with Pear & Vanilla Custard Trifle with almond crumb for dessert.

HOME-X’s most exquisite dining experience to date, Lobster Inc, will offer a truly fine dining experience using only the best, premium quality native Lobster, dressed and ready to enjoy with sides and a bottle of bubbly. Pioneered by chef David Miller, Lobster Inc. is the perfect dining experience for a special occasion.

On one end, chef David Miller is forward-looking and cutting edge and on the other, he is deeply inspired by food of the past giving HOME-X customers the best of both worlds. The chef enjoyed a colourful career working in London’s two Michelin starred ‘Pied a Terre’ and Edinburgh’s Michelin starred restaurant ‘The Kitchen’ before joining HOME-X this year.

Dining with Lobster Inc

Each Lobster Inc. box is priced at £85 will include two whole Lobsters, served with a Vietnamese dressing plus two side dishes including a Warm Parmentier Potato Salad and Asian Style Noodle Salad with Cucumber, Chilli and Coriander. The course will be perfectly paired with a bottle of Montresor Prosecco Millesimato Extra Dry from Veneto, Italy. Lobster Inc will change monthly and will take inspiration from a mixture of flavour profiles each month to bring a new twist to a lobster experience.

HOME-X Brand Director Morgan Pope said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Joe and David to the HOME-X family. Two very different chefs and outlets that will give a true taste of Scotland’s home grown talent to a UK audience. Both chefs bring a wealth of knowledge to our team and will prove invaluable as we continue to grow our food and drink experiences and e-commerce activities.’

ROAST and Lobster Inc. are both available for pre-order exclusively from HOME-X. The delivery dates are variable throughout March and April with the first delivery dates from 23 March 2021. Each dining experience serves two. ROAST Chicken is priced at £55 and ROAST Beef is priced at £65. Lobster Inc. is priced at £85. All prices include UK nationwide delivery.

Visit www.home-x.com for all details



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Limerick interior designer prepares to showcase her family home on hit TV show

Limerick interior designer prepares to showcase her family home on hit TV show


A Limerick homeowner is set to wow audiences with her home in episode three of RTÉ’s Home of the Year.

Saara McLoughlin and her family have turned a standard semi-detached house into a stylised and eclectic home in Annacotty.

Saara is an interior designer by qualification but has been a stay-at-home mother for several years. Due to the fact she hasn’t been working, Saara says she has been “channelling all my creativity into my own home.”

With her creativity running amok in her house, she has been posting her beautiful home on Instagram for several years. It is there that she said RTÉ contacted her to take part on the show.

Saara’s home is full of wonderful colours and designs and is a magnificent sight to any eyes, “I find colour is definitely such a charming element in a home. It can have such an effect on your mood, so I’ve added a lot of colour.” she said to the Leader.

Saara explained that when it came to designing the interior of her house she really had to “think outside the box to give it plenty of personality.”

Saara’s home is largely a DIY project according to her. She says that she and her family have mostly done the work themselves with a helping hand from her “jack of all trades” father-in-law.

She explained that anyone can have a lovely home if they’re willing to work hard and put the time in like they did.

For Saara, she thinks the most important thing is that a home is a reflection of yourself, especially in times of Covid-19, “now more than ever the home is something that needs to make us happy. If your home puts a smile on your face then things are going well”.

If you’re looking to revamp your home, Saara has some affordable tips for you! The most important thing to spice up your home is paint, Saara explains, “paint is such a fantastic way to lift an interior and there’s so many things you can do with it. Plus it doesn’t cost a lot.”

Saara also remarked that it’s important to follow your instinct when it comes to interior design, “don’t focus on trends and go with what you actually like. If you go with trends then it will go out of date and you won’t be happy with it. Follow your heart and do your own thing.”

You can feast your eyes on Saara’s home in episode three of RTÉ’s Home of the Year on RTÉ One television on March 2 at 8.30pm.





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UNICEF calls for children in Syria camps to be allowed home

UNICEF calls for children in Syria camps to be allowed home


The UN children’s agency called Sunday for all minors held in displacement camps or jails in northeast Syria to be allowed home.

UNICEF made its plea a day after three children died in a fire at the overcrowded camp of al-Hol, for people displaced in the fight against ISIS terrorist group.

After years of leading the US-backed fight against ISIS, Syria’s Kurds hold thousands of alleged extremist fighters in jails and tens of thousands of their family members in camps in northeast Syria.

They hail from Syria, neighboring Iraq and dozens of other foreign countries. Many are children.

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“In the northeast of Syria, there are more than 22,000 foreign children from at least 60 nationalities who languish in camps and prisons, in addition to many thousands of Syrian children,” UNICEF regional director Ted Chaiban said in a statement, without giving a number of children held in jails.

He urged authorities in the northeast of Syria and UN member states to “do everything possible to bring children currently in the northeast of Syria back home.”

They should do this “through integrating Syrian children in their local communities and the repatriation of foreign children,” he added.

The Kurdish authorities have started sending thousands of displaced Syrians home from the camps.

But repeated calls for Western countries to repatriate their nationals have largely fallen on deaf ears, with just a handful of children and even fewer women being brought home.

Three children and a woman died on Saturday after a stove exploded in the al-Hol camp, starting a fire, a Kurdish official said.

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said at least 26 were injured.

Al-Hol is home to more than 62,000 people, displaced family members and relatives of alleged ISIS fighters, more than half of them children, it says.

A spate of killings, including decapitations, has rocked the camp since the start of the year, and humanitarian actors have repeatedly deplored living conditions there.

On February 1, the Save the Children charity also urged Iraq and Western countries to repatriate children from northeast Syria faster.

ISIS overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

Kurdish-led forces backed air strikes by a US-led coalition expelled ISIS from their last patch of territory in Syria in March 2019, in a battle that displaced tens of thousands.

Read more:

Fire kills 3 children in Syrian camp housing ISIS families

US strikes on Iran-backed militia in Syria hit several areas on Iraqi border: Report

Biden administration extends program allowing Syrians to seek temporary refuge in US

Four Albanian children repatriated from Syria’s notorious al-Hol camp



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‘They Will Break You’: Inside Navalny’s Notorious New Prison Home

‘They Will Break You’: Inside Navalny’s Notorious New Prison Home


Russian officials said Sunday that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is in a prison colony in Vladimir region, three hours outside Moscow, where he will spend the next two and a half years. 

Four former inmates of penal colony IK-2 — which Russian state media have identified as the institution where the opposition leader will do his time — told The Moscow Times that it is one of Russia’s toughest prisons.

“This is, by any measure, an extremely strict prison. They try to control your every step, your every thought,” said Konstantin Kotov, who spent two years in IK-2 after being arrested during Moscow’s summer 2019 election protests and convicted under a controversial law criminalizing “repeated” participation in unauthorized rallies.

Kotov explained that Russia has four types of penal colonies, each with a different regime depending on the severity of inmates’ crimes.

Navalny’s prison has a so-called “ordinary regime,” with prisoners housed in large barracks with up to 150 beds in each. However, according to Kotov, conditions in IK-2 are more in line with those seen in “strict regime” penal colonies.

“Inmates who have spent time in different prisons across Russia told me this was the toughest one they have been in. It definitely felt like a high-security prison for hard criminals,” he said.

The decision to transfer Navalny to IK-2 was met with concern by human rights workers who monitor the rights of prisoners in jails across Russia.  

Pyotr Kuryanov, a lawyer at the Defence of Prisoners’ Rights Foundation NGO said he was shocked when he first heard the news that Navalny was to be transferred to the Vladimir prison.

“It’s completely lawless there. They will break you. Bad things have been going on there for a long time, some of it exposed by Vladimir Pereverzin 10 years ago,” he said, referring to a former manager at the Yukos oil company who, like his boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was prosecuted on corruption charges and spent seven years behind bars. 

Pereverzin’s last two years in jail, from 2010 to 2012 were spent in IK-2, which he described in a memoir.

In a phone conversation from Berlin, where he now lives, he said Navalny was in for a “tough time.”

“The conditions were certainly grim there. The prison is next to a swamp, it is cold and wet with bad food. It was a violent place back then.”

“Like torture”

Most of the prisoners in IK-2 are there on drug and theft charges, said lawyer Kuryanov. However, he added that the colony occasionally hosts high-profile political prisoners, including Pereverzin, Kotov and the nationalist activist Dmitry Demushkin who spent two years in IK-2 for inciting hatred.

In an exchange of text messages with The Moscow Times, Demushkim described his time in IK-2  as being “like torture.”

He said he spent his first eight months in the prison in its notorious second sector, known among prisoners as SUKA (Russian for bitch), where conditions were particularly harsh.

“I was forbidden to talk to other inmates, they were forbidden to look at me, my hands were always behind my back when I was out of my cell. It was forbidden to attend the local prison church, to do any sporting activities.” 

Both Pereverzin and Kotov said they did not experience severe physical violence from guards, which they believed was due to their public profile, a factor that should keep Navalny from being physically assaulted.

“The guards will not want a national scandal,” said Pereverzin.

All three former prisoners, however, said they had seen and heard of other inmates being beaten by guards and other prisoners. 

Russian prisons have been plagued by torture scandals for years. Just last week, the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published video footage claiming to show the brutal torture of Russian inmates — one of whom died shortly after the footage was filmed — in Yarosvlav, a region bordering Vladimir.

Alexei, a 57-year-old former inmate who asked that his last name be withheld, spent two years in IK-2 for burglary until his release last summer. He told The Moscow Times that he was repeatedly beaten by both guards and prisoners during his time in jail.

”There is a whole system in place that permits daily violence and humiliation,” Alexei recalled, adding that he hoped the newfound focus on the prison would bring some of the alleged abuses to light.

“Maybe something good will come out of this,” he said.

The administration of IK-2 did not respond to The Moscow Times’ requests for comment.

Psychological isolation

On his arrival, Navalny will spend two weeks in quarantine, which is located in the notorious second sector. After that, much will depend on the type of barracks he is sent to. 

Kotov believes the authorities chose to put Navalny in IK-2 because it is effective at “psychologically isolating” political prisoners.

He pointed to the fact that the colony does not allow emails, and said prison guards would take “weeks and sometimes months” to read through and process each letter he received or sent by post. During his time there, Kotov said he would never get more than an hour a day to reply to the many letters of support he said he received.

In jail, Navalny is also likely to find himself isolated from the other prisoners.

“They forbid other inmates to talk to you. They want to make you feel alone,” said Kotov.

“All of this is meant to wear you down psychologically,” he added.

Pereverzin echoed Kotov, saying that during his time there a decade ago, other prisoners were instructed to “avoid him like the plague.”

Nationalist Demushkin said guards also went to great lengths to restrict his flow of information while he was in IK-2.

“We were not allowed to talk about politics or religion,” he said, adding that convicts were only permitted to watch Russia’s state-controlled Channel 1 television station.

Looking back at his time in jail, Kotov now thinks he might have been a “test case” for how to isolate a prominent political prisoner like Navalny.

“But I am sure Alexei is strong enough to handle whatever comes his way” he said.



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Arsenal hand Leicester 2nd straight home defeat | Sports | English edition

Arsenal hand Leicester 2nd straight home defeat | Sports | English edition




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