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Angus & The Mearns

Sponsored: Enjoy a night fit for an Earl in a medieval castle

March 29 2018

If you are looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion, look no further than Angus’s most well-known castle. Traditionally known as a venue for large, grand events, Glamis Castle is now opening its doors to smaller evening parties, including birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. From the moment they start up the mile-long drive, guests can enjoy the spectacle and luxury of the Glamis Castle surroundings as they tuck into a tasty meal or get a special guided tour of the building. General manager Tom Baxter said: “We previously had visitors comment that they would like to have a party in the castle and we decided it would be a great way to allow more people to enjoy Glamis and all it has to offer. “We can do pretty much anything our guests want – we can even arrange for a game of hide and seek or a visit from a ghost or two! “Each party will be bespoke and suit the occasion and the people organising it – and it’s sure to suit people with more discerning tastes.” He added: “We’ve already had a few and we’ve enjoyed doing them – it’s more intimate and has been a fantastic way for people to celebrate big occasions.” Parties of up to 40 people can be booked year-round and prices for events are very competitive. “We can offer a night in the splendour of a medieval castle – without the royal price tag!” Known throughout the world, Glamis Castle has been the ancestral seat to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372, served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret. For further information please contact Doreen Stout on 01307 840393 or doreen@glamis-castle.co.uk or visit the Glamis Castle website.

The Lunch

A satisfying lunch at Perthshire’s premier whisky distillery

June 24 2016

I hadn’t been to Glenturret Distillery for a few years – long before the restaurant was done up – but I’d heard good reports so I was interested to visit it for this month’s Lunch feature. The restaurant has been taken over by Wilde Thyme and completely transformed. No longer “canteen style” it is now stylish, cosy and welcoming. And the menu has been improved to match the décor. Caroline, Donnie and I were given a table in a light and airy part of the restaurant. Had it not been raining outside (typical Scottish spring) it would have been a great view. After we had decided the most important point (main course and dessert, rather than starter and main) trying to choose from the delicious options on the menu was quite difficult. But that just means I will need to go back to try something else! Donnie and I went for sandwiches (Donnie had the bacon, Arran brie and red onion relish baguette while I opted for the goat’s cheese, rocket and Dalchonzie chilli jam sandwich, with a portion of chips), while Caroline’s eye was caught by the beer battered fish and chips with pea puree. When I saw Caroline’s fish and chips, I almost regretted my decision. The batter was puffy and crispy, the pea puree a bright green and it all looked so appetising. But then my sandwich arrived and I knew I’d made the right choice. Goat’s cheese with chilli jam was a fantastic combination – creamy and sharp with a bit of heat – and it came with a small side salad. I’d ordered chips as well and these were tasty and hand cut. Donnie’s brie and bacon baguette was given the thumbs up too. Next up was the pudding… Being at that we were in a distillery, I felt it only right that I had the Glenturret 10 year old whisky crème brulee with butter biscuit. Caroline had the sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream ice cream and Donnie chose the rhubarb mess with crush meringue, rhubarb compote and vanilla cream with stem ginger. The crème brulee was perfection – a nice sugary crust on top, with the underneath creamy and smooth. The whisky added a flavour to the dessert, but managed to avoid overwhelming it with the taste of alcohol. The homemade shortbread biscuit on the side was a nice touch too. Donnie’s rhubarb mess was well presented in a glass dish that showed off the vivid pinky-red colour and he said it tasted great. Caroline’s sticky toffee was gooey and a substantial size, with the clotted cream ice cream cutting through some of the density. Whether a whisky lover or not, a trip for lunch to the Glenturret Distillery is highly recommended.


Sponsored: Give your next holiday the regal touch at Glamis House

October 30 2017

Visitors to Angus can live like a real Lord or Lady by staying at a house with real-life royal connections. Glamis House, located within the Glamis Castle estate, has been renovated and is being offered as rental accommodation for corporate functions and weddings. The venue boasts one master apartment, four en-suite bedrooms and one double bedroom, sleeping up to 12 adult guests. There is also a heated therapy swimming pool in the games room and access to a range of sporting pursuits on the estate. Tommy Baxter, general manager of the Glamis Castle estate, said it was a “perfect opportunity” to provide something the business has lacked for years. He said: “Quite often we have high profile visitors or guests of weddings or other functions but we’ve never had the right accommodation to put them up. “We have always lacked somewhere that can fill this gap and Glamis House just gave us this perfect opportunity. “It is a beautiful late-Georgian property that we have renovated to a really high standard. We didn’t want to let it out to a long-term tenant because we felt it was just too special for that.” The house was built between 1800 and 1802 to accommodate Patrick Proctor, the Factor to the 10th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne on the Glamis estate. It was later occupied by Charlotte Grimstead, Lady Glamis, widow of Thomas, Lord Glamis. Two of Charlotte’s sons inherited the Strathmore title – Thomas, who became the 12th Earl in 1846 and Claude, 13th A significant matriarch of the Strathmore family, Charlotte’s portrait hangs in the Dining Room at Glamis Castle. Glamis House effectively became the Dower House until 1881, when it reverted to its original purpose and became the Factor’s House once more. In the late 20th century, Glamis House became the residence of Mary, Dowager Countess of Strathmore & Kinghorne, widow of the 17th Earl, who lived there for several years, during which times HM The Queen, HM The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret were regular visitors. For further information contact Doreen Stout on 01307 840393 or enquiries@glamis-castle.co.uk.


Sponsored: Country music star set for homecoming tour

August 7 2017

Glaswegian country music sensation Lisa McHugh will return to Scotland this autumn for her highly anticipated concert tour. The 28-year-old moved to Ireland in 2010 to pursue her dreams of becoming a country music star. Now living in County Fermanagh, Lisa has climbed to the top of the ladder, recently being described as ‘Right up there with Nashville’s best’ by those in the industry. It was at her home in Scotland where Lisa developed her musical talents, and her parent’s love of country music was a huge influence on her. Growing up to the sound of Irish country music stars such as Daniel O’Donnell, Philomena Begley and Ray Lynam, Lisa set her sights on country music stardom. She said: “I began singing in school bands and then doing some wedding ceremonies, which led to a few local gigs in Glasgow. "These gigs sparked a real desire to make it my full-time career.” Lisa took a leap of faith and made the move across the Irish Sea aged just 22. She came to prominence after entering an Irish TV talent show, it wasn’t long before her band was formed and she began touring the country, the glamorous Glaswegian hasn’t looked back since. With five hit albums under her belt, multiple awards, sell out shows and her own TV show, Lisa’s career continues to blossom. Daniel O’Donnell perhaps best summed up Lisa’s impact when he said: "The young country artist has dazzled the Irish country music scene with her style, charm and charisma." Lisa’s tour will be stopping off at the following venues and will be joined by Daniel O’Donnell tribute, Gary Gamble! 30th August – The Maltings, Berwick Upon Tweed - 01289330999 31st August  - Buccleuch Centre, Langholm – 01387 381 196 1st September – Glasgow Concert Halls, Glasgow – 0141 353 8000 2nd September – Howden Park Centre, Livingston – 01506 777 666 3rd September – Blairgowrie Town Hall, Blairgowrie – 07751 434 296 To keep up to date with all of Lisa's upcoming gigs and concerts visit www.lisamchughmusic.com Facebook @LisaMcHughOfficial Twitter @LisaMcHughx​​

Motoring news

Sponsored: Beat the car tax hike – buy a new car before the end of March

March 9 2017

One of the biggest overhauls of the UK car tax system is to come into effect in just a few weeks. The rules to be introduced on April 1 mean seven out of 10 new car buyers will pay more as a result of the revised Vehicle Excise Duty tax bands. Under the previous rules, cars which emit less than 100g/km of CO2 were exempt altogether from VED (which most of us erroneously call road tax) and even cars up to 120g/km only paid a pittance per year. Under the new rules only electric and hydrogen cars will be exempt and all other cars will pay a flat rate of £140. Cars bought prior to April 1 will remain on their current band, so a car emitting 99g/km bought before then will be free of road tax for life. Those bought after that date will cost £120 in the first year and £140 a year thereafter. Cars emitting 131g/km will be taxed £200 instead of £130; 151g/km £500 instead of £180; 171g/km £800 instead of £295 and 191g/km £1,200 instead of £490. The highest charge will continue to apply to those emitting over 255g/km, going up from £1,100 to £2,000. However, those buying high-polluting cars may break even, with tax set higher in the first year and subsequently falling every year after that. The biggest sting is reserved for those who buy cars costing more than £40,000, who will pay a £310 a year supplement from years 2-6. So even if you buy an electric Tesla you’ll still have to pay a lot more. To help drivers, a number of Courier Country dealers are introducing great offers to help avoid the extra costs of a new car. Help is at hand to get a new Ford without a nasty tax hike Montrose Ford dealership Guthrie Bros is advising customers old and new to make sure they avoid the new increased rates of car road tax – by getting a new Ford before April 1. The Government are introducing changes to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED, more commonly known as car road tax) which means new car road tax could increase significantly. However, you can avoid this tax increase by changing to a new Ford now! If you upgrade your current model before March 31, you will avoid the applicable new car tax increase, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds in some instances. With these increased rates coming into force next month and the release of the new “17” registration on March 1, there’s never been a better time to upgrade to a new Ford. From the new Ka+ to the Edge, customers can find the perfect car to suit their needs and, most importantly, their budget. From nippy city cars, new ST Line models, a great range of SUV vehicles to rugged pick-ups in the form of the Ranger, Ford offers something for everyone. Guthrie Bros has a range of offers across their Ford models, including finance deposit contributions of up to £4,000 and 0% APR available on selected models – so you can save even more cash when you buy your next car. A family-run business, Guthrie Bros understands how vital the car is for day-to-day living and won’t just sell you a great car – they will make sure it stays in top condition with their aftersales services. For more information, pop into the Guthrie Bros showroom on Northesk Road, Montrose and speak to one of the team who will talk you through what the changes mean to you as well demonstrating your preferred Ford model, or visit the Guthrie Bros website. Free insurance and road tax savings with Suzuki Ignis The all-new Suzuki Ignis made its debut on the motoring market in February and is already creating adventures for everyone who takes a test drive. And, if you buy before the new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) comes into force, you can enjoy the ride with some extra cash in your pocket. The new Ignis has classic sleek and bold Suzuki looks, with a unique, one-of-a-kind design. It’s easy to make it your own with the option to personalise the colour of everything from your interior door handles to the front grille. Mixing size and style to brilliant effect, it’s a style statement like no other. The New Ignis is equipped with some seriously effective protection as standard. And with top-notch fuel efficiency, the Ignis isn’t just inexpensive to buy, it’s also cheap to run. As well as saving £140 in the first year of ownership, if you buy a new Ignis before the end of March, you will also see savings of £700 over the next five years. And there’s also a year’s FREE insurance with 5.9% PCP (subject to terms and conditions). In 2013, the West End Motor Group brought Suzuki back to Broughty Ferry after a 10 year absence and drivers have been reaping the benefits since, with an ever  increasing number of Suzukis on the roads of Tayside and Fife. The franchise has also scooped Aftersales Manager of the Year, because West End Suzuki knows that the job doesn’t end when a car leaves the forecourt. Buying your next car from West End Suzuki is where the journey begins. Visit West End Suzuki in Orchar Park, Monifieth Road, and take a test today or find out more at their website. Get an icon - and save more than £600 on the road tax The Honda Civic is one of the most recognisable vehicles on Courier Country roads. And now West End Honda are offering drivers the chance to grab one – and take advantage of the zero Vehicle Excise Duty which ends on April 1. Brand new for 2017, the 10th generation Civic offers outstanding efficiency combined with turbo-charged engines featuring Earth Dreams Technology, which perfectly balances sports performance with economy. The new Civic really is high on thrills and low on fuel consumption. Every part of the Civic has been carefully crafted to give it a dynamic presence on the road, from its sculpted headlights to the unique rear spoiler. It’s also been designed to optimise airflow – which helps make driving a breeze. Inside, Honda’s engineers have reshaped and remodelled the Civic’s cockpit – making sure all the essential information and controls sit directly in front of the driver. And if you buy one before the end of March, its fuel economy means you qualify for zero road tax – a saving of more than £600 over the next five years. West End Garage was built in 1929 and has been owned by the same family since 1972. They have represented Honda for over 35 years and over the years, built a loyal customer base which has used the West End services time and time again. The garage currently employs 30 staff, of which more than half have been with the company for more than 15 years. Keith Nicol, one of the most experienced Honda technicians in the country, served his apprenticeship at West End Garage in 1972. Buying a new Honda from West End Honda is where the journey begins. Each and every member of the team at West End Honda prides themselves on providing a high standard of customer service, which they understand results in repeat business. Staff are happy to work with customers to ensure they drive off the forecourt in the vehicle they want. Visit West End Honda and take a test drive or find out more at the West End Honda website. Plenty of ways to save on a new Audi, SEAT or Škoda The introduction of the new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in April isn’t the only reason to shop for a new car this month. There are a whole host of special offers throughout the John Clark Motor Group, aimed at giving customers the best cars for their money, including on Audis, SEATs and Škodas. The Audi A4 Avant leads the way when it comes to efficiency, technology and practicality, as well as offering the sleek style drivers expect from Audi. Its lighter frame and slender shape offer greater fuel efficiency than other models, meaning it can be cheaper to run that previous versions. The A4’s sportier brother the A5 Coupe might not have the same space inside, but it is great for a fun and easy drive, all in a beautiful package and offering fuel efficiency from the entry level. Unlike other sports models, the A5 Coupe doesn’t sacrifice comfort and lushness, and its adaptive suspension set-up allows for a smoother ride. The Audi A6 ticks all of the boxes for an executive car: Luxury, good to drive, well-equipped and affordable to run. And the range of options on each model means that the car is almost bespoke to the customer. It offers drivers power under the hood with superb refinement and all of the technology expected from German engineering. The Škoda Fabia is a sporty little number that flies in the face of the stereotype of Škoda as a brand for older drivers. It’s nippy and sharp and turns heads wherever it goes and its engine and driving experience means the quality is more than just skin deep. Its larger counterpart, the Škoda Octavia, offers drivers a top quality vehicle, which is great for the whole family. It has been given a brand new look, now featuring unique split headlights, making it a sight to behold. For many, the SEAT Leon is a great midsize vehicle for day-to-day life. Its recent facelift has put it in pole position for many customers looking for a quality hatchback. And with plenty of engine and model options, it is easy for customers to find the right one for them. SEAT’s first crossover, the Ateca, makes the daily routine run perfectly, with advanced technology that offers the best experience, whether in the city or on country roads and no matter the conditions. There are a whole range of finance options, with savings including deposit contributions and competitive interest rates (subject to terms and conditions). And with the new 2017 registrations on the market, now is the best time to get a new car. Many cars will also be subject to the additional VED costs (£310 for the first five years, on top of the standard £140 rate), so by buying this month, drivers immediately save hundreds of pounds each year. For more information, visit the John Clark Motor Group website or visit their showrooms. Avoid the incoming tax bump - and get part of your car deposit paid Buying a brand new car in March won’t just save you from the new rates of road tax – you can also get a deposit boost, thanks to Mackie Motors. The family-owned and operated business is offering customers fantastic deals on Renault, Dacia and Nissan cars, ordered and registered before Friday, March 31. Customers can get up to £2000 deposit contribution to a new Renault, including the Clio, Captur, all-new Megane, Kadjar, Scenic and Grand Scenic. Or up to £650 towards a new Dacia, or up to £2,500 deposit contribution for a Nissan (available on models including the X-Trail, Qashqai, Juke and Pulsar). And for those looking to dodge the tax changes entirely, why not look at the Renault Zoe or Kangoo Z.E or the Nissan LEAF and ENV200? From family-friendly vehicles to rugged 4x4s to compact cruisers, Mackie Motors has a range of vehicles, with many finance and special offers available. The experienced and knowledgeable team at Mackie Motors can help answer any queries about the incoming new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and help advise customers on the best new car for them. As well as matching customers to the perfect car for their tastes, wants and budgets, Mackie Motors also provides an excellent aftersales service, including vehicle repairs and maintenance. Customers can have their cars picked up for their appointment in the garage, then returned to them after the job is done. There are also courtesy cars for customers who need to get around while their car is being checked over by the team of highly trained mechanics. The Mackie Motors Business Centre can also provide businesses with anything from a single work vehicle to a whole fleet, with numerous finance options and maintenance packages available. For more information or to find your next car, visit the Mackie Motors showrooms in Clerk Street, Brechin, or Montrose Road, Arbroath, or visit the Mackie Motors website. (Terms and conditions apply to offers, which are subject to availability.)

Perth & Kinross

Sponsored: Want to bag a bargain? Shop second hand!

March 29 2017

Unique and a bit special, made to last and definitely at the right price. Isn't that what most of us are hoping for when we hit the shops? Whether it's a new outfit or a piece of furniture for the home, when we're looking for that special something, it really pays to shop around. These days an increasing number of smart shoppers are swapping traditional high street retailers for a trip to the local second hand shop. Whether it's a springtime wardrobe stuffed with new outfits, a replacement washing machine or furniture to suit your freshly painted lounge, second hand shops are a treasure trove for the bargain hunter. Feel a shopping spree coming on? Here's why buying second hand makes shopping sense. There's the thrill of the hunt. Head to your typical high street shop and you can be fairly sure of what you'll find. But who knows what hidden gems are in a second hand shop? You might find a cut price designer outfit or a Sixties' coffee table that suits your style perfectly. There are lots of quirky pieces of furniture too, crying out for a new lease of life with a fresh lick of paint – ideal for your next craft project – and white goods, fully checked and often nearly new. The possibilities are endless … and exciting. You can shop with confidence: Head to second hand shops which carry the Revolve logo – the quality standard given to the pick of the shops – and you can shop with peace of mind. Revolve is the reuse quality standard for shops which have been checked for customer care, health and safety and professionalism. Revolve regularly checks shops – so quality is assured. You'll bag real bargains: New outfit for under a tenner? How about replacing that leaky washing machine with one that's a fraction of the price of a new one? Second hand shops have responded to discerning shoppers' demands for high quality items – that's why you'll often find designer goodies on the rails. You'll have all the benefits of a great new item plus lots more cash in your pocket. The planet will thank you: We live in a consumer driven society but at some point we have to slow down. That means rethinking what we can re-use. By buying something that someone else no longer needs or wants, we can help stop the cycle and make the most of what we already have. You'll be helping others: Many second hand shops support local causes, like hospices or health charities. That means your purchase isn't just a great bargain for you, further down the line it is making a real difference to someone else's life. All kinds of shoppers are finding huge benefits that come from picking up a 'pre-loved' item that they simply couldn't buy elsewhere, that that fits perfectly with their style of home, and they have fun finding it. And by looking out for the Revolve 'quality assured' logo, they have peace of mind too. Why not pay a visit to Perth-based charity PUSH?   It supports people with learning disabilities into employment, independence and self direction, and hosts meetings, programmes and activities for all. In practical terms activities include the re-use workshop and allotment. There are 92 Revolve certified stores across Scotland. Click here to find your nearest and grab those bargains! Find out more about Revolve, the national quality standard for businesses that sell second hand goods, by visiting revolvereuse.com


Sponsored: Eating, drinking, shopping, golfing, relaxing – Fife has lots to offer

October 28 2016

Fife boasts beautiful towns and villages, which are home to many fantastic hotels, restaurants and eateries, as well as gorgeous beaches for walks on nice days. If you are looking for a place to spend some time enjoying outdoor pursuits, there are lots of coastal walks, plenty of wildlife to see and, of course, some of the world’s best and most well-known golf courses to play. Fife is also known for its artisanal crafts and produce, so people looking for that something special (especially in the run up to Christmas) are sure to find the perfect item. Here are some of the best places to go and things to do during your next trip to Fife. Christmas Gift Cards at the Home of Golf St Andrews Links is the largest public golfing complex in Europe. From the terrifying sight of Hell Bunker on the Old Course to the gentle slopes of the Balgove, the Home of Golf has become the ultimate golfing destination for all ages and abilities. The St Andrews Links Gift Card can be used anywhere across the Links, whether the recipient wants to play, learn, shop or relax. The card can be redeemed against a round of golf on any of their seven courses or for a lesson at the St Andrews Links Golf Academy. They can be used to purchase official merchandise online, in one of the shops in St Andrews or even for a post-round meal in one of the Links’ spectacular clubhouses. It’s the perfect gift for the golfer who has everything. Last minute gift? St Andrews Links offer a virtual version of the card which can be sent electronically, so it’s never too late to send a gift from the Home of Golf. Visit the website for more details. La Passione Italians love to eat and their warm, welcoming hospitality - combined with their love of good quality fresh, seasonal produce - make their restaurants some of the best in the world. Italian food is prepared with care and attention, ensuring that each ingredient is given a chance to shine. And there’s no better time to visit one of Kirkcaldy’s best known Italian restaurants, La Passione. As well as the fantastic a la carte menu, the festive menu starts on December 1 and runs right through to Christmas Eve. Get a three course lunch for just £12.95 per person or a three course dinner for £23.95 per person. The festive menu is a mix of traditional festive dishes (including turkey with all the trimmings) and Italian favourites, such as cannelloni and pizza, offering something for everyone. It’s a great place to have a work Christmas lunch or night out (for tables of six or more people, there is a £6 per head deposit, payable when the booking is made). Visit the website for more details. Drumoig Golf Hotel The Drumoig Golf Hotel near Leuchars offers guests the best of the spectacular Fife countryside just minutes from Dundee. In a quiet, stunning location, the 29-bedroom hotel’s restaurant overlooks the 18-hole, championship style golf course and picturesque ponds – complete with swans. Between December 1 and 23, a three-course festive lunch menu – for just £19.95 per person - will be on offer, featuring dishes including homemade tomato and cranberry soup, wild game pate, salmon and beetroot gravadlax or roasted mushroom with spinach, blue cheese and cashews to start; traditional roast turkey, featherblade steak, baked citrus cod or roast butternut squash risotto for the main course; and Christmas pudding, iced hazelnut and nougat parfait, cheese and biscuits and cranberry and lime bread and butter pudding for pudding. Booking is advisable. And for those keen golfers, Drumoig is offering 15 months’ membership for the price of 12. Get access to the full course – no mats – all year round (weather permitting). Visit the website for more details. Fife Craft Association Fife Craft Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary in December, with a two-day craft fair in Glenrothes. The event, which will be held on December 2 and 3 (10am to 3pm each day) in the Rothes Halls Studio, will be a great place to see the handiwork of the association’s members and also pick up some Christmas presents for loved ones. But before the big anniversary fair, there will be a show at the Student’s Union in St Andrews from 10.30am to 4.30pm on November 26. The Fife Craft Association was established in 1986 with the aims of promoting craftwork, raising the standards of crafts, highlight the craftwork being done in Scotland and to organise fairs and exhibitions. The association welcomes members from all over Scotland. Visit the website for more details. Elmwood Golf Elmwood Golf is a beautiful parkland course on the outskirts of Cupar and has a wide range of facilities to suit everyone from beginners and juniors to the more experienced golfer. Set against the backdrop of the Tarvit and Lomond Hills, the environmentally friendly course is gaining in reputation in Scotland’s golfing heartlands and offers the flexibility to play golf as little or as often as you like. With various season tickets available from as little as £145, Elmwood is the ideal venue to play, practice and enjoy socialising with friends and family. And right now you can get a fantastic deal on an early Christmas present for the golfer in your life. Get a 16 month membership at Elmwood for the price of just 12 months on all of the season ticket categories. The membership would start on December 1, 2016 and runs right through to March 31, 2018! Visit the website for more details. Moffat and Williamson With 65 years’ experience in the coaching industry, Fife-based Moffat and Williamson’s mission remains the same: To provide the highest possible level of service to all customers - whether on school contract, private hires, continental tours or a local service - providing safe, clean, comfortable, affordable travel to all. Moffat and Williamson operates a number of service runs in Fife and Dundee, including the St Andrews town service, Glenrothes to Markinch, Leuchars to Dundee and the 236 and 88 services in Dundee, as well as the daily school runs for Bell Baxter, Madras College and Newport Primary School. The company currently operates a fleet of over 30 coaches - with seating capacity ranging from 40, 49, 53, 57, 70 and 83 – offering lots of options for people looking to hire a coach for small or large groups. Representatives are always on hand to answer queries or quote prices for private hire jobs. Visit the website for more details. Kingsbarns Distillery Kingsbarns Distillery and Visitor Centre, in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife, opened its doors in early December 2014. It is situated between St Andrews and Crail, close to the world-famous Kingsbarns championship golf course and the Cambo Estate. The historic and charming East Newhall Farm steadings have been carefully restored and converted into a small distillery with exhibition, tasting rooms, shop and café. In addition to regular distillery tours, further whisky tasting options are available in the cafe and shop. While the Kingsbarns Single Malt is still maturing, the whisky menu comprises the Wemyss’ family range of Wemyss Malts, as well as a taste of Kingsbarns new make spirit. Kingsbarns Distillery is open all year, with winter hours 11am to 4pm. Please check website for current tour times and availability. Tours can be booked on the website or by phone. Under 18s go free with paying adult and there is ample free parking. Visit the website for more details. Eden Mansion The five star Eden Mansion Hotel is located amongst beautiful grounds only five minutes’ drive from the Royal & Ancient Old Course of St Andrews. A truly magical place for visitors to stay is in one of their elegant suites. Guests can also enjoy fine food and drink in the hotel’s exquisite restaurant or private dining rooms. The highly talented head Chef, Ian Syme, uses the finest of local ingredients as guided by each season. Equally lavish, but for more casual dining, or drinks with friends, try the 1920s Gatsby’s Bar. Recently voted the best afternoon tea in St Andrews, Eden Mansion has a great November deal, as well as special Christmas party lunches and dinners on offer and limited availability for Christmas Day and New Year. Make a reservation now by calling 01334 614400 or email ask@edenmansion.com. Vouchers for all aspects of the hotel are available online and make the prefect Christmas gift. Visit the website for more details. The Rule Looking for a cosy pub to enjoy a Christmas meal? The Rule in St Andrews is just the spot! Enjoy the festive menu, with two courses for £13.99 and three for £15.99. Starters include prawn and crab cocktail, tomato and Jersey cream soup and smoked Applewood soufflé, while on the main course are dishes such as traditional roast turkey and trimmings, an 8oz rump steak and slow roast lamb shank. And if you still have room for pudding, you can pick from a list that includes Christmas pudding, champagne sorbet and baked vanilla cheesecake. And the kiddies get their own menu (£4.99 for two courses and £6.49 for three), with plenty to choose from! Children are welcome in the family friendly bar until 10pm. If you are looking for a great place for a night out, The Rule comes to life as the lights go down. With an extensive drinks menu and the best DJs in town, there’s no better place to kick off your night. Visit the website for more details.


Sponsored: It’s Showtime! Get your tickets for Scotland’s hottest productions

April 28 2017

There’s no business like show business. Whether it’s a night out with friends or a date with your loved one, a trip to the theatre or concert hall can make it a night to remember. From amateur productions to West End shows, from crooners to songbirds, Courier Country and the surrounding area has lots going on. Here’s just a few of the best that are coming soon. Enjoy a hooley with Nathan Carter Nathan Carter is one of the biggest names on the Irish music scene and is fast becoming a big name all over the UK with his fine performances that include the hit song 'Wagon Wheel'. Nathan and his six man band perform a great variety of country, Irish, pop and ballads - music for people of all ages. Nathan is an expert accordion player so you can expect a bit of a hand clapping, foot tapping hooley as well and a superbly entertaining show that will make you want to see him again. Nathan will be appearing at the Whitehall Theatre in Dundee later this year, so book your tickets now to avoid disappointment! Click here to book your tickets. Go country with Derek Ryan Derek Ryan has become one of country music's leading entertainers and makes his highly anticipated return to Dundee for a performance of his self-penned hits along with a sprinkling of country classics. Derek’s rise to stardom on the country scene has been at a phenomenal rate, with few other country stars having made such an impact. With two Irish number one albums, sell-out shows at home and abroad and fistfuls of music awards to his name including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Live Performer. But he is perhaps proudest of the award winning recognition for his song writing abilities at the Sunday World and Irish Country Music Awards. Dozens of artists including evergreen multi-million selling star Daniel O’Donnell underlined the industry wide admiration for Derek’s song writing talents by recording versions of God’s Plan. Since then, with a combination of terrific talent, admirable determination and a continuous desire to do better, Derek’s career has kept on reaching progressively greater heights. Click here for more information. Experience one of Ireland’s best loved performers Jimmy Buckley is without a doubt one of Ireland's best loved and most respected performers. Jimmy has enjoyed many years at the top of his profession and received numerous awards including the prestigious ‘Entertainer of the Year’ in the RTE music awards. Jimmy possesses a very rare talent, not only as a phenomenal singer but also as a hilarious mimic of other major stars. Jimmy’s show contains a wide variety of material, country, big ballads and tribute medleys to the greats of country music Hank Williams and Charlie Pride. Along with his magnificent band, Jimmy will entertain you superbly and looks forward to meeting friends old and new at FTH Theatre on Sunday, May 28. Click here to find out more. Get in on the action with Bugsy Malone Custard Pies and Splurge Guns will wreak havoc next week at the Whitehall Theatre from May 4 to 6, when the first production this year of Thomson-Leng Youth Music Theatre takes to the stage with Bugsy Malone. Set in the Prohibition era, Bugsy Malone – a penniless, ex-boxer and all-round nice guy – becomes smitten with singer Blousey Brown. Will Bugsy get the girl and fend off the charms of Tallulah, while helping Fat Sam save his business from the ruthless Dandy Dan? Played by TLYMT children between the ages of seven and 13-years-old, this much loved Alan Parker musical has all the glitz and glam of the 1920s, catchy tunes and is a real crowd pleaser. You may have caught a glimpse of the Youth Society at the Dundee Museum of Transport Open day event at the weekend trying out the cars of the era. Tickets are available from Dundee City Box Office or TEXT to 07580 128901. Click here for more information. Take in one of the many shows at the Caird Hall The Caird Hall has an array of shows on offer this summer, with everything from cooking to music on the menu. The programme includes Gino’s Italian Escape Live (a night of food and fun with celebrity chef, Gino D’Acampo), a special acoustic show by Scottish super group Simple Minds, Bowie Experience and Bye Bye Baby – a journey through the career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. There are also other events including the Dundee Cat Show and the East of Scotland Model Show to enjoy during the day. Tickets for all are now on sale so book soon. Click here to view the summer brochure.  


Sponsored: Courier’s Car of the Year 2018 – choose your new vehicle

February 15 2018

Is 2018 the year you are going to get yourself a new car? Not sure what to go for? With so many cars on the market, trying to find the right one for your needs – and more importantly, your budget – can be a daunting task. That’s where the Courier’s Car of the Year guide comes in handy. Whether you are looking for a zippy runaround for in town, or a family-friendly SUV, or even making the switch to electric, these cars are some of those to have been voted top by the Courier. Click the links to find out more, or visit the dealer’s website.  City Hybrid of the Year – Toyota Yaris Our City Hybrid of the Year is the Toyota Yaris. Hybrid technology features in every Toyota Yaris trim level and a recent package of improvements has made this petrol/electric supermini model smarter, plusher inside, better to drive and quieter. Petrol/electric technology has worked well for the Toyota Yaris and the result is that hybrid variants account for an increasingly large proportion of total Yaris sales. It has also helped that this model has been refreshed in recent times as part of a general Yaris range update that included 1,000 new parts and saw 576,000 man hours of development. Though this wasn’t the market’s very first hybrid supermini, it was the first able to improve upon the running costs of comparable eco-conscious diesel models in this segment, while matching (or beating) them on price. The Yaris Hybrid is powered by a combination of a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a small electric motor which together produce 100hp. That might not sound much, but such is the torque of the motor that it feels as if it’s got the lazy flexibility of a bigger engine, which is exactly what you want around town. You can pull away and drive just over a mile purely in electric mode if you’re light on the throttle and when the petrol engine does kick in, it’s anything but uncouth. With ever stricter emissions-based tax legislation, the 79g/km hybrid future-proofs itself better than any diesel – which could be critical. Even if you didn’t care what fuel economy or emissions figures it was getting, you’d be impressed with its ride quality in town, its smooth powertrain and the way it integrates big-car features into a supermini. Choose the base Active model and you’re getting an awful lot of car for around £16,000. It’s a car that works brilliantly at its key remit: taking the slog out of city driving. Find out more about the Yaris at the Struan website. Convertible of the Year – Mazda MX-5 The Mazda MX-5 has stormed home with our Convertible of the Year award. Lighter, sharper and better engineered than the car it replaces, this fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 does everything right. The MX-5 has rewritten the record books again and again for sports car sales and its recipe of light weight, driver focus and simple front engine and rear drive layout just has an inherent rightness about it that hasn’t dated. This rejection of a “more is better” philosophy is a bit of a running theme throughout the MX-5. The car’s offered with either a 1.5-litre 131hp engine or a 2.0-litre 160hp unit. Mazda’s chassis engineers will steer you to the 1.5-litre powerplant, as they feel it’s the purest specification for the MX-5 and also the lightest, tipping the scales at around the tonne. That makes this the lightest MX-5 since the original, first-generation car of the ‘90s. This fourth-generation design conforms to five key criteria that Mazda claims define the MX-5: rear drive with a front-mid engine layout, 50/50 weight distribution and an eagerness to change direction, plus a low kerb weight and an affordable price. All models get six-speed manual gearboxes. The shape of the MX-5 hasn’t changed radically from generation to generation. This one’s no exception but there’s a bit more aggression about the detailing, the car looking like a shrunken Jaguar F-Type roadster from the rear three-quarter. It’s full of clever touches, such as the seat cushions being supported on netting instead of the usual metal springs, allowing Mazda to reduce weight and seat the driver’s hip point closer to the road. You can probably have more fun with 1.5 litres worth of MX-5 than you can with some supercars. Try it and you’ll see. If you measure your cars in terms of smiles per mile, the MX-5 has to be right near the top of your shortlist. Visit the Struan website to see more about the new Mazda MX-5. Family Hatch of the Year – Seat Leon Seat’s Leon is our Family Hatch of the Year. This facelifted third-generation Leon is a Focus-sized model that now offers smarter styling, improved media connectivity, extra safety provision and some fresh new engine options. The third-generation version – launched in 2012 – built upon the solid foundation established by its predecessors but in the years since its introduction the competition in the Focus-class family hatchback sector has become much tougher. Hence the need for this improved Leon with its slicker looks, stronger safety and improved media connectivity. Under the bonnet, things are much as before, though there has been a change at the foot of the petrol range, where a 1.0-litre TSI three cylinder 115hp unit slots in above the existing 1.2-litre TSI 110hp four cylinder powerplant. Other petrol engine options include a 1.4-litre TSI unit with 125hp and a 1.4 EcoTSI variant with 150hp efficient Cylinder-on-Demand technology. This car is based on the same MQB platform that undergirds VW’s Golf, Audi’s A3 and Skoda’s Octavia and produces enough torsional stiffness to allow this model to combine a supple ride with firm body control. As before, Leon buyers choose from either a five-door hatch, an ‘ST’ estate model or an ‘SC’ three-door coupe. At the front and rear, there are revised bumpers and bodywork with sharper, more assertive lines, plus there’s a smarter chromed front grille. Inside, the ambient lighting LEDs’ intensity can be regulated as the driver wishes from the newly redesigned eight-inch central infotainment screen. This monitor eliminates the need for many of the buttons and dials that were scattered around the fascia on the previous model. The Leon has long been the pick of the Volkswagen Group offerings in this sector. That also makes it one of the key segment benchmarks outside the Wolfsburg family of brands, which, in turn, makes it a very good car indeed. Learn more about the new Leon on the Fife Seat website. Family SUV of the Year – Renault Scenic Renault’s Scenic is our Family SUV of the Year. The fourth generation Scenic range now has more of an upmarket feel, with sleeker, more sophisticated looks and cleverer technology. Its range of more efficient engines now includes a frugal new 1.3-litre TCe unit but all the powerplants stack up well on the balance sheet. Plus, this people carrier remains nicely built, safe and very well equipped. The focus with this latest car has been in offering customers more choice – choice in body shapes, in trim levels and in engine options. How these compact MPV-class cars drive is actually some way down the priority list for most buyers behind value for money, safety, reliability and practicality. The best seller will be the 1.5 110hp dCi variant and this derivative is also being offered with clever ‘Hybrid Assist’ technology. Hybrid Assist functions with a 48-volt battery, enabling the electric motor to support the internal combustion engine. There’s also a very attractive new 1.3-litre TCe turbo petrol unit in 115 and 140hp guises, which is well worth a look if you don’t cover such large mileage. The styling is based on Renault’s R-Space concept car, key features like the steeply-raked windscreen and short bonnet heightening the elegance of its MPV silhouette. Uniquely, big 20-inch wheels are fitted to all versions. At the same time, the three-part screen combines a panoramic view with improved side vision. The boot of this fourth-generation model boasts a volume of 572-litres and around the car there’s total additional stowage capacity of 63 litres. Renault’s fourth-generation Scenic is here to remind us that there is still a place for the traditional five-seat compact mini-MPV in a modern market stuffed with other, more high-profile alternatives. It’s practical, spacious, well built and decently equipped, as every car of this kind must be, but in this case, each criterion has been ticked off with a thoroughness that reminds you just who invented this market sector in the first place. Mackie Motors’ website has more information about the Renault Scenic. Multi-Purpose MPV of the Year – Seat Alhambra Seat’s Alhambra takes top spot in the Multi-Purpose MPV category. Big MPVs aren’t really in keeping with Seat’s racy brand image but the Alhambra has always done very well for it, especially in second-generation guise. Unlike more compact 7-seat MPVs, with this one, adults can actually use all three rows of seats, with those chairs folding neatly into the floor thanks to the Easy-Fold seating system. The Alhambra has evolved in this improved guise, brought thoroughly up to date so it can respond to the challenge posed by Ford’s fourth-generation Galaxy and Volkswagen’s much-improved Sharan in the large MPV segment. This version, like its first-generation predecessor, is a Seat-badged version of the Sharan but is offered with value pricing. That means you get all the latest modern Volkswagen TDI diesel engines, units that are just about ideal for a people carrier of this sort, plus a 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit. Large MPVs may have somewhat fallen out of fashion in recent years, but this one still makes an awful lot of sense for a growing family. Size is not in short supply with the Alhambra but Seat’s largest MPV disguises its bulk well through some typically sleek styling. The bonnet and windscreen form a continuous, sharply angled line from roof to grille for a wedge-shaped profile, while the large headlights and low bumper add a little character to the nose. Seven seats are standard and there’s plenty of versatility in all models thanks to the Easy-Fold seating system, which allows the rear seats to tumble down beneath the floor with minimum fuss. The Alhambra is festooned with the usual array of storage options and convenience features you expect to find in a modern seven-seater. The sliding side doors can be electrically powered if you like and the bi-xenon headlamps come with a Full Beam Assistant function that dips the beam automatically when it detects oncoming traffic. With up to seven seats that collapse into the floor, sliding side doors for easier access and some intriguing technology options, this improved Alhambra continues where its predecessor left off. Find out more about the Alhambra at the Fife Seat website. Large Family SUV of the Year – Peugeot 5008 Lifting the crown for the Best Large Family SUV award is the new Peugeot 5008. The first-generation 5008 was an MPV. Now, this moniker has been applied to a spacious seven-seat SUV. Despite the switch, Peugeot won’t be offering it with 4WD, which won’t really help with the rough and ready market positioning. By way of compensation, an ‘Advanced Grip Control’ system is being offered for extra traction on slippery surfaces. There’s also Hill Assist Descent Control to ease you down slippery slopes. The car is being offered with two petrol engines: a 130bhp 1.2-litre three cylinder PureTech unit with a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox and a more powerful 163bhp 1.6-litre powerplant, which will be offered only with auto transmission. Most 5008 customers, though, will want a diesel, probably the 130bhp 1.5-litre BlueHDi unit; the older 1.6-litre BlueHDi unit continues on, too, in 100 and 120bhp forms. If you want a bit more pulling power then 150bhp and 180bhp 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel models are also available. The 2.84m wheelbase and long 4.64-metre length should certainly make the car very spacious inside and the class-leading 1,060-litre boot capacity figure seems to bear that out. Three matching, separate, folding seats in the second row are provided, each adjustable in length and inclination. Plus there are two removable, separate, folding seats in the third row. At the wheel, the driver gets the newest version of the innovative Peugeot ‘i-Cockpit’ instrument binnacle design. That means a very compact steering wheel, a large 8” touchscreen dashboard and an eye-catching 12.3” high-resolution digital head-up display. Built in to the design is the option for owners to add innovative mobility solutions which can be integrated into the boot – the ‘e-Kick’, a very smart electrically-assisted folding scooter, and the ‘e-Bike eF01’, a new electrically-assisted portable bicycle. Check out the new Peugeot 5008 on the Struan website. Family Hybrid of the Year – Toyota C-HR Toyota’s talented C-HR is our top family hybrid, with concept car looks married to an eco-friendly power plant. ‘C-HR’ is supposed to stand for ‘Coupe High-Rider’ and, sure enough, it has a very coupe-style look. The C-HR is being offered with two familiar engines from Toyota’s Auris hatch. The most affordable variant gets a 114bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine and is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic – and front or all-wheel drive. Alternatively, buyers can choose a full hybrid powertrain with 120bhp, but that’s 2WD-only. For the C-HR, Toyota has made its hybrid system lighter and more efficient, and engineered it to give sharper performance. Toyota’s first proper entrant in the Crossover segment should cause quite a stir, styled with a combination of a coupe-like upper body and the powerful underpinnings of an SUV. Coupe-like elements include disguised rear door handles, integrated into the rear pillars. At the rear the strongly tapered cabin features a top hinged tailgate that gives access to load space big enough to carry luggage for five people. This styling contrasts with the pronounced flaring of the wheel arches which gives C-HR a wide and powerful stance. The proposition here gives you slightly less space than models like Nissan’s Qashqai and Renault’s Kadjar but more fashionable looks and better on-road dynamics. Hybrid engines are rare in the Crossover segment. In fact, only Kia’s Niro can offer petrol/electric technology in this class and that model looks pretty frumpy compared to this one. It’ll be less efficient, too, for a Hybrid-powered C-HR can return up to 78.5mpg on the combined cycle and up to 82g/km of CO2. Plenty of people attracted by a model like Nissan’s Juke in the Crossover class would rather have a contender that’ll be slightly bigger, more sophisticated and with a better finish. This is that car. See more about the new Toyota C-HR on the Struan website. Luxury Supercar of the Year – Lamborghini Huracan Performante Lamborghini’s impressive Huracan Performante is our Luxury Supercar of the Year. Lamborghini has taken a superb design and developed it with just one thing in mind: for it to be the fastest. When it comes to weight, engine power and chassis, it has been completely re-engineered. The powerful V10 engine has been redesigned with fluid dynamics optimised at both intake and exhaust, with the intake ducts coming directly from Lamborghini Motorsport’s experience. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been developed for the highest performance, as has the exhaust system, which still gives that throaty, vibrantly-thrilling sound. The active aerodynamics – the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva or ALA - continuously manages the car’s reaction to the air, adapting to the driving style and type of route, increasing vertical load to hug the ground when needed or moving to reduce resistance for that desired acceleration and speed. This works in unison with the double wishbone architecture of the Huracán Performante’s suspension for optimum sports performance suitable for day-to-day driving. The interior is made from the highest quality materials to keep the classic, luxurious feel synonymous with a Lamborghini. The seats are made of carbon fibre, with the upholstery from Alcantara leather. All the materials used are extremely light. Why? Because even the interior is designed to fit the concept of this Huracan: to be the fastest. Buyers can choose from a whole range of colours for the exterior and the interior, the stitching, cockpit materials and brake callipers, to make their own individual supercar. Lamborghini reckons the new Huracan Performante has “reworked the concept of super sports cars and taken the notion of performance to levels never seen before”. Anyone who can afford £215,000 for one may well agree. Visit the Grey Paul website to find out more about the Lamborghini Huracan Performante. Car of the Year – Volvo XC40 Our Car of the Year for 2018 is Volvo’s superb new XC40. The XC40 is much more than just a smaller version of the brand’s larger SUVs. Volvo has taken its time in developing a contender for the industry’s fastest growing market segment, that for compact family hatchback-based SUVs. Under the skin lies a freshly developed Compact Modular Architecture platform that Volvo has created with its Chinese owner, Geely. It’s a chassis that will in future be used by a whole range of new compact Volvo models but it’s hard to believe that many of them will be much more significant than this one. Established premium-brand compact SUV contenders like BMW’s X1, Mercedes’ GLA and Audi’s Q2 and Q3 crossovers are all within this XC40’s sights. The XC40’s platform has been based around provision for a whole range of future cutting-edge Volvo powerplants, including three cylinder engines plus a plug-in hybrid and a fully-electric version. For the time being, though, buyers are limited to the Swedish brand’s efficient 2.0-litre Drive-E petrol and diesel units. There are three main levels of trim: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription, with plusher Pro variants of each. Every version of the XC40 is very well equipped. As standard, even entry-level Momentum variants come with LED headlights with optional active high beam, two-zone climate control with a CleanZone air-filtration system, rear parking sensors, a 12.3-inch TFT instrument binnacle display and 18” alloy wheels. As ever with Volvo, a key focus is safety. An autonomous braking system is standard-fit and this system can specifically detect people and animals. There’s also an Oncoming Lane Mitigation set-up that not only stops you from pulling out into the path of an oncoming vehicle but can also steer you away from such an impact. Pilot Assist, Volvo’s innovative semiautonomous drive feature, is an optional extra on every XC40, as is Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation. And Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, which warns you of oncoming vehicles when you’re reversing out of a space. The 148bhp D3 variant most will choose offers combined fuel consumption of up to 70mpg and CO2 emissions from around 105g/km and if you go for the pokier 187bhp D4 AWD variant, you’ll be looking at about 60mpg and 115g/km. The petrol powered 154bhp T3 offers combined fuel economy of up to 45mpg and CO2 emissions from around 135g/km. Maintenance should be relatively affordable for a car of this kind, with three or five-year pre-paid servicing packages available to help you budget ahead. If you pay extra for the useful On Call with App remote connectivity system, this Volvo can be programmed to autonomously realise when a service is due, then automatically book it for you at a dealership of your choice. Volvo clearly felt that to break into the premium-brand compact SUV segment, it had to offer something distinctively different to its German rivals, so that’s exactly what we’ve got. Not everyone will like the looks but there’s no doubt that they will help the brand to target buyers who would never previously have considered a Volvo. See the Volvo XC40 at Strathmore Volvo in Perth.


Sponsored: 10 great quality cars that won’t break the bank

May 18 2018

Duthies of Montrose is known for offering quality vehicles at even better prices. And these 10 cars are no exception. Whether you are looking for a nippy runaround or something with a bit more under the bonnet, these deals on new and used cars are bound to catch your eye. But don’t hang about because they are sure to be snapped up quickly! To find out more about each car, click the vehicle name above the picture. SsangYong Korando The new Korando offers a great alternative to more mainstream SUVs, offering value as well as style and performance. With both front wheel and all wheel drive options in the range, manual and automatic choices and up to two tonnes of towing capacity (only on diesel models) it’s a fantastic family car that’s fit for all road conditions and uses. In auto mode and normal conditions, the Korando remains in two-wheel drive to optimise fuel efficiency. When sensors detect a potential loss of grip, the system progressively engages the four-wheel drive mode. When it comes to the outside, the new Korando gains a fresh look with a purposeful theme. The front end is enhanced by a new grille, projector headlamps with daytime running lights, a new front bumper incorporating stylish foglamps, a new bonnet line and some elegant 18” diamond cut alloy wheels on ELX models. And inside it offers the space and flexibility for anything you may need to transport – from five adults to a range or sporting or outdoors equipment. The rear seat fold flat and can be split 60/40 to accommodate awkward loads, the rear load space is also flat making loading straightforward, and with a hidden underfloor luggage tray for valuables. Citroen C4 Cactus This 1.6 BlueHDI Rip Curl Citroen offers great value for money at just £14,500. The striking red five door diesel hatchback has a manual transmission, cruise control, hill holder technology and an electronic stability programme. It’s also equipped with an immobiliser, Bluetooth phone equipment and MP3 player. To help it look good, it comes with 17” alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, leather steering wheel and panoramic roof. SsangYong Tivoli The exciting new Tivoli offers a truly leading-edge design combining luxury, style and performance at a price as comfortable as its ride. The small SUV can be yours for as little as £13,495, and features cruise control, smart steering and seven airbags as standard. Higher specification models feature luxurious soft leather seats throughout, a dual-zone air conditioning system and an advanced two-mode 4x4 system. Add to this the premium in-car infotainment provided by a 7" LCD multimedia display with touchscreen, displaying both TomTom satnav and rear view camera, and you have a spirited deluxe crossover vehicle at an affordable price. SsangYong Tivoli offers a level of attention to detail and driving experience usually found only in vehicles with a much higher price tag. The Tivoli is available in 2x4 and 4x4, automatic and manual transmissions, as well as petrol or diesel. Kia Carens This 1.7 CRDI 3 ISG model of the Kia Carens would make a great runaround or second car for your household. The 2015 MPV is a diesel with manual transmission and is packed full of tech and features, including automatic air conditioning, hill holder, rain sensor, cruise control, heated and electric front mirrors and rear parking camera aid. The exterior features 17” alloy wheels, rear spoiler, roof rails, tinted glass, electric sunroof and body coloured bumpers. Inside there is front heated seats, six speakers, Bluetooth phone equipment, and ISOFIX anchorage point, CD and MP3 player and leather interior. SsangYong Turismo Designed to appeal as a family, leisure or business vehicle, the new Turismo blends multi-role flexibility with great ride comfort with the appointments and equipment levels of a luxury saloon. Being a big vehicle provides the opportunity to have space for seven passengers – having a 2+2+3 layout means captain’s chairs in the second row and a third row that slides and can be removed. While rear wheel drive features across the range, the top of the range ELX also features selectable 4x4 with low ratio as standard. This makes the Turismo ELX a car you really can rely on, no matter what the British winter throws at you. It is also an especially practical proposition for those who tow a caravan, horsebox or boat trailer, or whose other country and leisure activities necessitate driving across challenging terrain. As with the other Turismo models the ELX has a useful 2.7 tonne towing capability. With a range that tops out at £26,995 for full leather, 4x4 and automatic value continues throughout the Turismo range. Ford Focus Ecoboost This pre-owned one litre SCTI Zetec Navigator is a nippy little car that would be a great first car or for getting around town. The four-year-old metallic black car comes with 16” alloy wheels, electric heated door mirrors, heated washer jets, heated front screen, air conditioning, driver information system, electronic brake force distribution and ISOFIX anchorage point. It’s definitely a car that punches above its weight and offers a lot for a small pricetag of £9,000. Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex This three-year-old red Corsa doesn’t just look good, but its Ecoflex features make it good for your wallet too. A 1.4l petrol, it is equipped with anti-lock brakes, electric heated door mirrors, hill holder, immobiliser, automatic dipping rear view mirror, heated windscreen, cruise control, rain sensor and Bluetooth phone equipment. Looks-wise, it has black 16” alloy wheels, front sports seats, fog lights, tinted glass and leather interior features. Kia Rio Priced just £5,000 this little 1.25 1 Air would make a great first car. The car, in clear white, has tinted glass, body coloured bumpers, immobiliser, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, four speakers, audio steering wheel mounted controls, and much more. It definitely is one to check out in person if you are looking for a quality car with a small price. Citroen DS3 This 1.2 Puretech Performance Line is an ex-demo model and in a year has done less than 4,000 miles. The three-door hatchback has 17” black alloys, leather features inside, fog and LED daytime running lights, rear spoiler, sports front seats, electric door mirrors and sport chassis. But it’s looks are only a fraction of what this Citroen offers. It also has automatic air conditioning, immobiliser, electronic brake force distribution, alarm, cruise control, six speakers, tyre pressure control, Bluetooth interface and hill holder. It’s available now for £14,000. Mercedes-Benz A Class The final bargain deal in our list is the 1.5 A180 CDI Sport Auto. This three-year-old Mercedes-Benz has done less than 18,000 miles and comes with all the features you expect from the manufacturer. It has 16” alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, leather interior including gear knob and front sports seats, as well as a roof spoiler. The car also features electric heated door mirrors, six speakers on the CD/MP3/radio, automatic air conditioning, immobiliser, electric windows, driver knee air bag, heated rear screen, alarm, on-board monitor, hill holder and tyre pressure control.