Oxfordshire Business Raises £6,000 for Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign

Oxfordshire Business Raises £6,000 for Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign


Cognatum, the not-for-profit developer of retirement homes held a Cheque Presentation Ceremony at their headquarters in Watlington, Oxfordshire last week to contribute £6,000 to the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign. Established to raise funds during the centenary period, running from 4th August – 11th November, the campaign aims to cover the UK in poppies. Eager to do their part, residents got involved by planting poppies across most of Cognatum’s 60 estates and by holding fundraising events such as picnics and tea parties.

The ceremony was attended by VIP guests such as Dick Stillwell, Chairman, Watlington and District Royal British Legion, Lt Andy Higgins RN, serving naval officer, Ken Cook, WW2 veteran and member of Watlington Royal British Legion as well as Cognatum staff, residents and local supporters from the Oxfordshire region.

Charles Clayton, Managing Director of Cognatum comments: “More needs to be done to support the Royal British Legion’s initiatives and due to many of our residents having a very personal connection to WW1, we were keen to work as a community and raise funds for the Centenary Poppy Campaign. We are grateful to everyone who took up the challenge and helped raise such a large amount of money for an important cause.”

The idea to distribute poppy seeds to commemorate the centenary of WW1 originated with Legion members in the Greenhithe and Swanscombe Branch of the Royal British Legion and has now gained nationwide recognition.

Cognatum manages over 60 private residential estates, predominantly located in the south of England, with six of their developments located in Oxfordshire including Dorchester-on-Thames, Stanford in the Vale, Charlbury, Henley-on-Thames, Goring-on-Thames and Woodstock. Most residences are situated close to shops and other amenities in historic market towns and villages, and boast extensive lifestyle and service facilities such as swimming pools, hiking opportunities as well as on-site estate managers for additional security.

Currently on the market for £325,000 at the Penstones Court development in Stanford in the Vale, Faringdon is a lovely 2-bedroom cottage. Featuring a private terrace, single garage and personal alarm system, residents also benefit from landscaped gardens, resident courtyard managers and a guest suite, allowing visitors to stay overnight.

For further information, please visit www.cognatum.co.uk or call 01367 710139. For details on the Centenary Poppy Campaign, visit: www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/ww1-centenary/centenary-poppy-campaign


Sales Enquiries: Please visit www.cognatum.co.uk or call +44 (0)149 1615 961

Media Contact: P1 Communications: Telephone: +44 (0)20 8614 7500 or Email: andre.kappelhoff@p1communications.com




About Cognatum

Cognatum is an independent, not-for-profit company and was formed in 2010 following the merger of the English Courtyard Association and The Beechcroft Trust and is a member of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM).

The board of directors is made up of a chairman, three executive directors and five other non-executive directors including two who are Cognatum property owners. In addition there is a panel of eight owners, the Residents Advisory Panel, who meet twice a year to comment and advise on Cognatum’s activities, policies and processes.


Why Nimes Is Now On Property Searchers’ Radar

Why Nimes Is Now On Property Searchers’ Radar

By Nicola Christinger, Home Hunts Manager – Provence


Vive Le Tourism! Figures unveiled by the World Tourism Organisation by the French government have confirmed France as the world’s most visited country. It is the only country in the world to receive more than 80 million tourists.

According to Nicola Christinger, Manager Provence for Home Hunts Nimes is currently the hottest city to watch in France! Interestingly the material denim originally came from Nimes. It was initially called ‘Serge de Nimes’ and was later shortened to Denim. Nimes also a reputation for being the most important Roman city outside of Rome and the hottest city in France and is also fast becoming a hot property destination for international buyers.

Why Nimes Is Now On Property Searchers’ Radar?

Improved infrastructure

The city has undergone a massive investment in its infrastructure over the past five years and is served by excellent transport links with an airport with daily flights to the UK and the TGV to Paris in 2 hours 45 minutes.

The TGV has become a very popular way of travelling as there is a fast train from Nimes to Paris every hour, taking only 2.5 hours. This opens up a lot of scope for arriving to and from the city with ease. The small airport of Nimes is just 10 minutes’ drive south of the city and has daily flights to the UK and Brussels. Additionally, Montpellier international airport is only 30 minutes’ drive.


More Than A Sleepy Village

One of the main reasons that Nimes has become of interest to foreign buyers is a demand for more than just a sleepy village. Traditionally large towns such as Aix en Provence have provided primary homes and second homes, because of schools, shops, facilities and properties with an income. Nimes also offers both types of homes, with many buyers coming to live either in the centre of the city but also in the surrounding ‘Gardoise’ villages. The town centre has culture, vibrancy, charm and is a gastronomic heaven. I wouldn’t say it is necessarily better than other towns, it is just that it is now more on people’s radar to consider.


International Schooling

Home Hunts is experiencing that international schooling is increasingly becoming a magnet for overseas buyers. Nimes offers fantastic international education at The Lycée Hemingway Nimes and is therefore a perfect area for families.



The weather here is constant, it is one of the warmest cities in France and food is a big part of the Nimois culture. There are six major museums in the city centre, the roman history is apparent in the monuments such as les Arenes and the MaisonCarree temple, walking in the Cevennes National (approx 30 minutes’ drive away)is very popular and the fabulous long sandy beaches such as L’espiguiette by the Grau du Roi (approx 35 minutes’ drive), are pleasantly busy but not squashed like a sardine, even in the height of the summer.

There are many Roman historical buildings throughout the city of Nimes, the most impressive is the Arena of Nîmes (Les Arènes), an immense Roman Amphitheatre that was constructed around 70AD and is still used today for concerts and bullfighting and can seat 16,000 spectators.

For golf lovers there are also two excellent 18-hole courses; one within 5 minutes of the centre and the other 10kms south of the city.


Vernacular Homes

Home Hunts’ property searchers who have bought in the Nimes area have in the main been tempted by individual vernacular houses and bourgeois apartments in the historical town centre. The average price point for houses is between 600,000 to 900,000 euros and for a 3 bedroom apartment around 300,000 euros. Investments in the historical centre (L’Ecusson) are valued at approximately 2,000 euros per m2 for character apartments.


On the market:

Villa 1 in Nimes.Price: EUR 775,000 (approx. £616,882)


This charming four bedroom property in Nimes is situated over 3000m2 of landscaped grounds, a magnificent bastide offering charm and style. The property offers vast living areas, which open out onto a terrace area. Additional features include a small stone ‘mazet’ outbuilding (60m2), which is perfect for guests, a swimming pool and pool house with dominant views over the surrounding countryside.


Villa 2 in Nimes. Price: 793,000 Euros (approx. £618,000)

This pretty 4 bedroom villa in Nimes is located close to Tour Magne, in a great central location. The 2500m2 landscaped garden is full of Mediterranean plants and trees.

A bright living space of 188m2 has a living room bordered by terraces, 4 bedrooms and a well sheltered swimming pool. The property is in a perfect condition.


About Home Hunts:

Home Hunts specialise in finding luxury homes and investment properties throughout France, Monaco, Geneva, London, New York and Miami. Home Hunts is a leading buyers’ agent, whose role is to find the hidden gems that the property market has to offer. The team collaborates with all of the best estate agents, notaries, developers and private sellers to provide the ultimate selection of properties in a desired area. Home Hunts work closely with clients, offering unbiased advice and support throughout the entire buying process and beyond.


Foodie Blockbuster Film Whets Home Buyers’ Appetite at La Durantie

Foodie Blockbuster Film Whets Home Buyers’ Appetite at La Durantie


The recent release of the foodie blockbuster, The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren has uncovered the gastronomic delights of The Tarn region of south west France. Known for its rich cassoulet, foie gras, Lautrec pink garlic and premiere Gaillac wines, cinemagoers are being transported to this rural food heaven where the action revolves around a fictional Michelin-starred French chateau restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). In reality the belle époque Chateau de la Durantie is being renovated into a country club and spa with its own restaurant, bar and wine label – and will form the centrepiece of ‘La Durantie’ development of 57 vernacular holiday homes on the estate.

Ten years ago ‘culinary tourism’ was viewed as a form of niche tourism, but today tourists and holiday home owners are increasingly attracted to a region by its local produce, restaurants and culinary delights. Erik Wolf, President and CEO of The World Food Travel Association, says; “within the last decade the definition of culinary tourism has evolved to include those people who travel almost exclusively to search for and enjoy prepared foods and drink.”

In France, food is a religion and in every village and town around La Durantie, there are authentic country restaurants and lively town bistros serving delicious seasonal food all year-round. For more sophisticated dining, the nearest Michelin star restaurant is 15 minutes away with another in nearby world heritage site Albi. However, owners and guests won’t need to leave the chateau’s grounds to find the very best of local fare. La Durantie’s Bistrot and Bar will be located within the chateau and will feature a large outdoor terrace overlooking the pool and gardens.

The menu will use fresh produce grown from La Durantie’s very own vegetable garden and will feature traditional dishes with a modern twist, but always seasonal whether a wild boar casserole or cepe (mushroom) omelette; currently in season as depicted in the film. For dessert you cannot beat a homemade tarte tatin with beautifully caramelised apples – all will be accompanied by Durantie’s pick of the finest local Gaillac and renowned French wines.

The luxury development of La Durantie overlooks undulating vineyards, and has recently launched its own wine label.There are several different cepages that are unique to the ancient wine region of Gaillac and La Durantie has selected a white Mauzac Sauvignon blend and red Cabernet Duras, allowing owners of the local French vernacular homes to make the idyllic notion of drinking their own Gaillac wine whilst sitting on the terrace of their holiday home a reality. Owners will receive an allocation of Durantie wines.

Phase one will consist of single and two storey, one to five bedroom detached homes together with two styles of apartments with either 2 or 3 bedrooms. In-keeping with the local villages, homes will be arranged in small clusters of approximately six homes with private spaces and landscaped internal courtyards and most homes will have an ‘integrated’ private pool.

The kitchens at the luxury properties promise to make cooking a true pleasure; each is spacious and very well appointed with the latest Bosch appliances. The design of the homes, with their strong emphasis on outdoor living, means residents can enjoy al fresco dining in their properties garden terrace, which offers attractive views along their private pool and lush landscaped gardens. Each of the homes also comes fitted with an outdoor barbeque.

House prices in the leaseback scheme offering a hassle-free buy-to-let opportunity with a 20% tax refund by La Durantie Management Company are as follows:

1 bedroom start at €335,400 (approx. £268,300) / 2 bedroom start at €333,250 (approx. £266,600) / 3 bedroom start at €491,920 (approx. £393,600) / 4 bedroom start at €648,440 (approx. £518,800) / 5 bedroom start at €782,600 (approx. £626,100. A limited number of 2 and 3 bedroom apartments are also available starting at €371,090 (approx. £297,000).*All prices are nett (after VAT refund) and a mandatory annual charge includes management charge and country club.


See: www.durantie.com

Editors Notes:

La Durantie

The chateau estate dates back to a large land holding by the Count of Toulouse during the 13th century and the architectural features today are influenced by the owner’s travels to Italy in 1887 and love of the belle époque Palazzos. The chateau has seen several owners throughout its lifetime but significantly, the Schwarzkopf family, famed for perfumes and beauty products, bought the chateau in the 1980’s and held parties whilst farming the 800 acre plot. In the interwar period the vineyard estate was run by nuns and their peaceful influence can still be sensed when entering the chateau gates today.

Sales Enquiries: www.durantie.com or Tel: +33 (0)6 15 54 33 13

Media Enquiries:P1 Communications Tel: 0044 (0)20 8614 7504 or Email: caroline.burnett@p1communications