London is no longer a magnet for real estate investors, now that the credit crunch has put the brakes on easy lending and threatened the fortunes of the financial sector.
According to the latest annual real estate trends survey from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute, which collates opinions from 485 industry professionals, London has fallen out of the top 10 European cities for both investment and development prospects for the first time.
The British capital was ranked 15th out of 27 European cities for investment prospects, while for development prospects it was ranked 13th. Last year, London made second place for investment and fourth place for development.
Moscow and Istanbul are now the new darlings of the sector, ranked first and second respectively for both investment and development prospects. Whereas London is facing a slump similar to America’s, with house prices declining and consumer confidence down, Russia and Turkey offer strong economic growth prospects and buying opportunities across residential, office and retail.
Currently there is a real appetite for emerging markets, with high oil prices boosting Russian spending power in particular. And even as Western markets suffer from an end to the days of cheap credit, some of the survey respondents believed it would help bring distorted real estate markets back to normal. (forbes.com)
Anyway, I visited my friends in Krakow (Poland) and as it turned out they had started new tourism projects because of promisin possibilites created by the fast growing tourism sector. I don`t know the exact idea of it but domains names suggest that it will be reffered to Cracows apartments and some kind of city guides and the best Polish conference venues. So it you are planning to visit Kracow ( which is awesome, by the way ) or Poland I am obliged to recommend sites:d:
London’s hotels are racing to accommodate the millions of tourists that visit the city each year. In 2006, a record 15.2 million people traveled to the U.K
A wide range of chic options from the traditional to the trendy, and rooms for those on a budget as well as those with money to spare.
London’s chicest hotels enhance these experiences by offering a breadth of extras from unique in-room amenities to distinctive decor.
These details, says Alden, define how guests remember the hotel. The most successful London hotels have used accents like Lucite tables, vintage cognacs and pear-wood paneling to create a memorable atmosphere.
The hippest hotels in London according to Herbert Ypma:
Haymarket Hotel – Best Distinctive Decor
Threadneedles -Top Spot For The Executive
Metropolitan – Best Place For A Celebrity Sighting
The Berkeley– Most Family-Friendly
Lanesborough – Best Old-World Luxury
Blakes Hotel – Most Decadent Design
Londonist has a case of the spookies – deathly headstones in deathly places. More specifically, Sutton Cemetery.
According to This is Local London, bereaved relatives frequenting their loved one’s resting place have been confronted by not-so-subtle wooden support stakes and yellow post-its informing them of the instability of the headstones, which must then either be shored up or replaced. A spokesman from Sutton council explains these actions are a response to the rising number of accidents, including deaths, which have recently resulted from these falling felons. In fact, the issue is so paramount the national Health and Safety Executive has urged all local councils to carry out similar surveys.
Such action has provoked the wrath of relatives though, who contend that nothing is wrong with the headstones. To add further insult to, ahem, injury, those without the correct insurance policy must foot the bill. Unhappy times.
The gay scene in London is legendary. In fact it has developed at such a rate that it is now considered the gay capital of Europe. Stroll around any one of London’s gay neighbourhoods – Vauxhall, Soho, Islington, Hoxton- and you are bound to discover some restaurant gems.
There`s a few great restaurants where you can feel comfortable.
Balans Cafe -A real institution, the Soho branch at Balans has become a hotspot for visitors from around the world. The vibe is relaxed and friendly, the food is well priced but it’s the location – bang in the middle of happening Old Compton Street – that really attracts the crowd.
First Out Cafe – A cosy and very popular restaurant in St Giles Street, the First Out Café claims to be the first gay café in the West End. As well as serving delicious vegetarian food, First Out also hosts exhibitions and party nights.
Coffee, Cake and Kink – The coffee is fairtrade and freshly roasted, the cakes are homemade and delicious and the kink comes in the form of exotic books, prints, art and cards. The cheery proprietor at Coffee, Cake and Kink says his vision for his café is to ‘provide people with the sweeter things in life’.
Steph’s -Over the last 17 years the gorgeous Steph’s has received a variety of awards for its food and ambience. Featuring classic British comfort food, diners can expect delicacies like fish and chips served in real newspaper and homemade pie of the day served with mash. The high-kicking line of painted flamingos set the scene in the totally fabulous Steph’s.
Bistrotheque – Slightly off the beaten track in Hackney, the very stylish Bistrotheque is well worth a visit. Inspired by traditional English and French cuisine, the food is superb and immaculately served. When it comes to entertainment Bistrotheque likes to camp it up with acts that include Spanky is a Gang-Star, Lipsinkers and Baby Dee
The Providores and Tapa Room – Run by the superb chef Peter Gordon, The Providores provides Marylebone High Street with its very own foodie heaven. At street level, the Tapa Room offers fantastic casual dining, while upstairs the Providores dining room serves unbelievable food in slightly more formal surroundings.
The Saatchi Gallery – an impressive and unique houses. It`s one of the most influential collections of contemporary art in London.
It displays works from an array of national and international sculptors, painters, photographers, and multimedia artists, many who have never before been seen in London.
The Saatchi Gallery prides itself on supporting new and previously unexhibited artists and in this way acts as a springboard for their careers.