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Au revoir St Tropez, hello South Devon! Why buy abroad

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au revoir st tropez hello south devon why buy abroad

Fancy a touch of Florida or Tuscany without flying? Although we all miss the freedom to go abroad easily there are plenty of good reasons why we’re not buying many overseas holiday homes. 

The poor exchange rate of recent years means foreign homes are more expensive now, while there are worries about further coronavirus waves and unpredictable local lockdowns around the world. 

And, for those with an eco-­conscience, there’s the air travel contribution to global warming and air pollution, too. 

No need to fly: A home in Kingswear, Devon, is the perfect base for sailing

No need to fly: A home in Kingswear, Devon, is the perfect base for sailing

No need to fly: A home in Kingswear, Devon, is the perfect base for sailing

But if you dream of a holiday home at a favourite foreign location, you might be able to recreate it to some extent in Blighty. Here are four easy-to-reach no-quarantine alternatives. 

South Devon instead of the South of France 

Sailing, sunshine and sand are the order of the day in both locations but the British West Country wins out for many. 

‘Salcombe, Dartmouth and Brixham are the top-line attractions,’ according to Grace Jepson, of Stacks Property Search (stacks.co.uk), a buying agency, but she says people soon look at less well-known spots like Thurlestone, Kingswear and Hope Cove when they discover their beauty. ‘Villages on the Dart estuary such as Dittisham, Cornworthy and Stoke Gabriel offer waterside living but a quieter pace of life,’ she adds. 

The average price of a home in Dartmouth is £481,000; in Salcombe it’s £615,000. 

The Lake District instead of Tuscany 

The National Park in Cumbria is just a tenth of the size of the Italian region but both have natural beauty, hills and farming traditions. Tuscany has truffles and pasta but L’Enclume in the Lake District village of Cartmel is the best restaurant in Britain, says the Good Food Guide. 

Homes in the area are competitively priced compared to southern England. Zoopla (zoopla.co.uk) says a typical Ambleside home, for example, is just £383,000.

The Cotswolds instead of The Hamptons 

If the Hamptons is the preferred holiday home location for New ­Yorkers, so the Cotswolds is for Londoners. 

Just like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin have their Hamptons boltholes, the Beckhams, Jeremy ­Clarkson, Zara Phillips and Kate Moss have homes in the Cotswolds. 

Draws in the area, for celebs and the rest of us, include the Daylesford farmshop empire near Moreton-in-Marsh and Soho Farmhouse, the Oxfordshire country hangout run by the people behind Soho House private club in London 

‘Any good Cotswolds village within 20 miles or so of a railway station is popular. The villages around Kingham, Charlbury and Kemble are particularly sought after,’ according to Damian Gray, at estate agent Knight Frank (knightfrank.co.uk). 

Zoopla’s data shows property in trendy Kingham costs £581,000 on average; in more affordable Banbury, which has the fastest commuter train link to London, the typical price is only £302,000. 

Sandbanks instead of Florida 

Loud shirts and louder shorts, along with watersports and good seafood, are as plentiful in this part of Dorset as in Miami. 

Rick Stein has a restaurant here with Harry Redknapp a regular customer, while the harbour at nearby Poole is home to yacht clubs and marinas, and borders a World Heritage coastline. 

31124896 8554367 image a 157 1595540329628

31124896 8554367 image a 157 1595540329628

The equivalent of the Florida Keys is the Luscombe Valley Nature Reserve. 

Homes are as blingy as you would find Stateside, too. Round Island, a 15-acre wildlife haven just off the shore of the Arne peninsula, has three newly built houses on sale through agency Savills (savills.com) priced up to £5.95million. Or you can live the Sandbanks lifestyle for an average £1.32million, says Zoopla. 

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French carpenters raise a wooden truss as they rebuild Notre Dame using 800-year-old techniques 

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french carpenters raise a wooden truss as they rebuild notre dame using 800 year old techniques

A team of carpenters are using 800-year-old techniques to painstakingly rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral.

The team raised a three-ton oak truss — by hand — in front of the famous landmark in Paris on September 19.

The wooden structures are a replica of those consumed in the devastating fire in April 2019.

A team of carpenters used an 800-year-old technique to painstakingly rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral by raising a three-ton oak truss in front of the landmark on September 19

A team of carpenters used an 800-year-old technique to painstakingly rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral by raising a three-ton oak truss in front of the landmark on September 19 

Medieval techniques were used by the carpenters to build the triangular frames in the central part of the church according to AP

It comes after a decision to replicate the cathedral in it’s original form. 

General Jean-Louis Georgelin, head of the reconstruction, said it was the ‘right choice’ to build the carpentry identically. 

The spire was also toppled in the blaze, and there were debates on whether the new spire should be futuristic or made of fireproof cement. 

A decision was made in July to respect the original design and material of the cathedral.  

A total of 25 trusses are to be installed in the cathedral nave, with President Emmanuel Macron wanting it reopened in time for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

The wooden structures are a replica of those consumed in the devastating fire in April 2019 and decisions were made to replicate the cathedral in it's original form

The wooden structures are a replica of those consumed in the devastating fire in April 2019 and decisions were made to replicate the cathedral in it’s original form

With rope cables and a rustic pulley system, the carpenters slowly pulled the truss they built in July from the ground where it was laid out.   

Once the truss replica was raised on high, a carpenter shinnied up the wooden beams to tie an oak branch to the top of the triangular structure.

This is a symbol of prosperity and a salute to the workers, a tradition still honoured in numerous European countries. 

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Boris Johnson looks ‘haunted and troubled’ without fiancée Carrie Symonds

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boris johnson looks haunted and troubled without fiancee carrie symonds

Boris Johnson looked ‘haunted and troubled’ without his fiancée Carrie Symonds by his side at the weekend while the ‘tired’ PM’s ‘cockiness’ is now ‘invisible’, a body language expert has claimed.

Yesterday the prime minister, 56, cut a lone figure as he attended a memorial service in Westminster Abbey marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. 

While Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was accompanied by his wife Lady Victoria, Boris’ partner Carrie Symonds – who gave birth to their son Wilfred in April – was absent. 

This morning Piers Morgan branded the PM a ‘broken guy’ on Good Morning Britain, adding: ‘He is lonely, he is ill… It would not surprise me if Boris quit, there is no win for him here, everything is a loss and it’s piling up.’

Boris Johnson (pictured yesterday at a memorial service for the Battle of Britain) looked 'haunted and troubled' without his fiancée Carrie Symonds by his side at the weekend while the 'tired' PM's 'cockiness' is now 'invisible', a body language expert has claimed

Boris Johnson (pictured yesterday at a memorial service for the Battle of Britain) looked ‘haunted and troubled’ without his fiancée Carrie Symonds by his side at the weekend while the ‘tired’ PM’s ‘cockiness’ is now ‘invisible’, a body language expert has claimed

His remarks following a scathing report in The Times on Saturday which claimed Mr Johnson seemed ‘unusually serious — even sombre’ during his public appearances last week.  

Body language guru Judi James told FEMAIL: ‘Once the king of splayed legs and arms, Boris’s cockiness is now invisible. His legs at the Battle of Britain service were less apart than as usual and, with his hands clasped in the fig-leaf position, he looked as though he was protection himself from possible criticism or attack.

‘He performed a truncated self-comfort ritual on arrival, placing one hand in his pocket before removing it in a look of discomfort. 

‘With his crumpled shirt, curled tie collar and wonky tie he looked in complete contrast to the bandbox-fresh Kier Starmer, who walked into the venue next to his wife with an air of energy and determination. 

Yesterday the prime minister, 56, cut a lone figure as he attended a memorial service in Westminster Abbey marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

Yesterday the prime minister, 56, cut a lone figure as he attended a memorial service in Westminster Abbey marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

Body language guru Judi James told FEMAIL that the PM's 'crumpled shirt, curled tie collar and wonky tie' looked in complete contrast to 'the bandbox-fresh Kier Starmer, who walked into the venue next to his wife with an air of energy and determination'

Body language guru Judi James told FEMAIL that the PM's 'crumpled shirt, curled tie collar and wonky tie' looked in complete contrast to 'the bandbox-fresh Kier Starmer (pictured with his wife Lady Victoria), who walked into the venue next to his wife with an air of energy and determination'

Body language guru Judi James told FEMAIL that the PM’s ‘crumpled shirt, curled tie collar and wonky tie’ looked in complete contrast to ‘the bandbox-fresh Kier Starmer (right with his wife Lady Victoria), who walked into the venue next to his wife with an air of energy and determination’

‘Without Carrie by his side though, Boris’s eye expression above the mask looked haunted and his frown looked troubled.’

While Piers made a call for strong leadership with ‘over-congruent’ gesticulation, Judi claimed Boris has become ‘a very different type of charismatic leader’. 

‘Having suffered illness himself, at the same time as balancing a marital split and a new baby, Boris’s signals are suggesting some kind of a epiphany,’ she deduced.

‘The man whose signature facial expression was a naughty smile and a twinkling eye and who bathed in his high levels of fame and popularity and traded on being liked is now looking like a haunted man. 

According to Judi, 'without Carrie by his side though, Boris¿s eye expression above the mask looked haunted and his frown looked troubled'

According to Judi, ‘without Carrie by his side though, Boris’s eye expression above the mask looked haunted and his frown looked troubled’

Judi added that while it would be 'inappropriate and unacceptable' for Boris to be sporting 'his usual smug smile or naughty facial expression', what we have in their place is 'a look of loneliness and self-protection'

Judi added that while it would be ‘inappropriate and unacceptable’ for Boris to be sporting ‘his usual smug smile or naughty facial expression’, what we have in their place is ‘a look of loneliness and self-protection’

‘The new look might not suit Piers Morgan but this new body language “honesty” does at least suggest levels of empathy and a realisation of the responsibilities he is now facing.’

Judi added that while it would be ‘inappropriate and unacceptable’ for Boris to be sporting ‘his usual smug smile or naughty facial expression’, what we have in their place is ‘a look of loneliness and self-protection’. 

‘Boris has been gravely ill and the effects could still be ongoing,’ she went on.

‘Without Carrie by his side or a wing-man to chat to, some of the very natural emotions of the crisis appear to be showing. 

‘Of course he looks tired and less cocky. The question is, will he or should he decide to re-adopt the kind of alpha-swagger and sense of fun that is visible in Donald Trump’s demeanor, or should he show signs of accepting the gravity of the situation he is trying to handle?’   

Boris Johnson, pictured in the Commons last week, was accused of 'not enjoying being at the helm in rough seas' by a senior Tory in a report in the The Times on Saturday

Boris Johnson, pictured in the Commons last week, was accused of ‘not enjoying being at the helm in rough seas’ by a senior Tory in a report in the The Times on Saturday

A senior Conservative who regularly meets with the prime minister told The Times that the PM ‘doesn’t seem to be enjoying being at the helm in rough seas’, adding: ‘This is all weighing very heavily on him. I think you can see it even in some of his public appearances — the sort of misery etched on his face.’ 

Meanwhile a source told the publication that Mr Johnson is missing his ex-wife Marina Wheeler, who was his ‘intellectual match’ and ‘instrumental in the organisation of his life from an intellectual standpoint’.

‘I don’t think it is quite the same relationship with Carrie,’ the source claimed. ‘Carrie does genuinely love him and he loves her. But that’s very different from what came before and the pressures of living in Downing Street with a young baby and partner, however accommodating she might be. It’s still bloody difficult.  

As well as being left ‘exhausted’ by his bout with Covid-19 and recently becoming a father again, friends and colleagues have reportedly expressed concern that Mr Johnson is ‘worried about money’.

As well as being left 'exhausted' by his bout with Covid-19 and recently becoming a father again, friends and colleagues have reportedly expressed concern that Mr Johnson is 'worried about money'. Pictured with Carrie in March

As well as being left ‘exhausted’ by his bout with Covid-19 and recently becoming a father again, friends and colleagues have reportedly expressed concern that Mr Johnson is ‘worried about money’. Pictured with Carrie in March

Mr Johnson has been through an expensive divorce, still supports four out of six of his children, and saw his earnings drop from around £350,000 to £150,000 after he was forced to drop his newspaper column and public speaking engagements when he became PM. 

Carrie reportedly began an affair with Johnson while he was foreign secretary in 2018 while he was married to Marina – his second wife. 

She gave birth to their son in London on April 29 with the Prime Minister at her side, days after he himself had been released from medical care following a lengthy battle with coronavirus. 

In a heart-warming Instagram post revealing the boy’s name, Carrie said that the middle name Nicholas was a tribute to two NHS doctors, Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart, who ‘saved Boris’ life last month’ following his battle with coronavirus.

The first name is a tribute to the PM’s paternal grandfather, Osman Wilfred Kemal, and Lawrie a reference to Carrie’s grandfather.

Last week Ms Symonds revealed she will be judging a virtual lip sync battle hosted by the Conservatives LGBT+ wing.

She said she was ‘looking forward’ to judging the event, which is part of party’s conference, which will take place online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jessica Mulroney claims Meghan Markle is the ‘kindest friend’ who ‘checks up on me every day’

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jessica mulroney claims meghan markle is the kindest friend who checks up on me every day

Jessica Mulroney has again hit back at rumours that she and Meghan Markle are no longer close by claiming the wife of Prince Harry is the ‘kindest friend’ who has ‘checked up on me every day’.

The stylist, 40, from Toronto, made the claim in an Instagram post, three weeks after she deleted a throwback snap of one of her twin sons at Meghan Markle’s wedding.

It was claimed in August that the Duchess of Sussex was reported to have cut ties with Jessica after black influencer Sasha Exeter accused her of ‘threatening her livelihood’ after ‘taking offence’ at a Black Lives Matter video posted by the online star.  

But in a new post, which was published on her Instagram story at the weekend, Jessica wrote:  ‘I’m going to tell this once and for all. Meghan and I are family.  

Jessica Mulroney has again hit back at rumours that she and Meghan Markle are no longer close by claiming the wife of Prince Harry is the 'kindest friend' who has 'checked up on me everyday'

Jessica Mulroney has again hit back at rumours that she and Meghan Markle are no longer close by claiming the wife of Prince Harry is the ‘kindest friend’ who has ‘checked up on me everyday’

The stylist, 40, from Toronto, made the claim in an Instagram post, just over two weeks after she deleted a throwback snap of one of her twin sons at Meghan Markle's wedding

The stylist, 40, from Toronto, made the claim in an Instagram post, just over two weeks after she deleted a throwback snap of one of her twin sons at Meghan Markle’s wedding

‘She is the kindest friend and has checked up on me everyday. Tabloid culture is atrocious. It creates lies and hurtful storylines. Stop feeding into it. Done.’

Although her Instagram account has been set to private, the post was re-published by people.com

Because she has set her account to private, only Jessica’s approved followers can read her posts. 

The new post comes after Jessica deleted an Instagram photo earlier this month of one of her twin sons, Brian, at Meghan Markle’s wedding. 

Jessica Mulroney shared a snap of one of her twin sons, Brian, at Meghan Markle's, 39, wedding at the beginning of this month, but deleted the snap the following week

Jessica Mulroney shared a snap of one of her twin sons, Brian, at Meghan Markle’s, 39, wedding at the beginning of this month, but deleted the snap the following week

The post was thought to be to be a further attempt from Jessica to show she remains good friends with the former actress – who now lives with Prince Harry, 35, in Santa Barbara. 

Jessica and Meghan, 39, have been close friends for years, with the stylist’s daughter a bridesmaid and Brian and his twin John serving as page boys at the Duchess’s wedding to Prince Harry. 

But the mysterious disappearance of the photo from her Instagram page added fuel to the fire of rumours of a rift between the pair. 

Jessica then took to Instagram once again a week later to reveal that she sometimes deletes Instagram posts because she’s ‘tired’ of looking at the amount of ‘bullying and hatred’ she’s had to put up with for three years. 

The recent post read: ‘People often ask why I delete certain posts. The amount of bullying and hatred I’ve had to put up with for three years…I’m tired of looking at it. Be kind. Be gracious. 

‘We are grown ups…stop acting like teenagers. Real women don’t put down other women.’

Mother-of-three Jessica returned to the social media platform on August 11 following a two-month break after the public rift with Sasha Exeter. 

It was claimed in August that the Duchess of Sussex was reported to have cut ties with Jessica after black influencer Sasha Exeter (above) accused her of 'threatening her livelihood' after 'taking offence' at a Black Lives Matter video posted by the online star

Jessica Mulroney pictured hosting I Do, Redo

It was claimed in August that the Duchess of Sussex was reported to have cut ties with Jessica after black influencer Sasha Exeter (left) accused her of ‘threatening her livelihood’ after ‘taking offence’ at a Black Lives Matter video posted by the online star 

A source told DailyMail.com at the time that Meghan was left ‘mortified’ by the scandal and informed her close friends she felt she could ‘no longer be associated’ with Jessica.

‘Meghan is absolutely mortified that she’s been dragged into this complete mess. She said Jessica is in no way a racist, but the way she handled the situation [with Sasha] was tone-deaf and heartbreaking,’ a close friend of Meghan’s said at the time.

‘Meghan said friends reflect friends and because of what’s at stake she can no longer be associated with Jessica, at least not in public. 

‘She has to do what she has to do in order to preserve her dignity and her own reputation,’ the source added, admitting that they ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if the controversy was the ‘beginning of the end of their friendship’.

But earlier this month Jessica shut down the rumours, branding a commenter’s suggestion on one of her posts that she had been ‘dumped’ by Meghan ‘fake news’.  

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