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A train dedicated to all things tequila? Surely it’s worth a shot.

Welcome aboard the amazing Jose Cuervo Express, which runs from and to the city of Guadalajara in Mexico –  and offers tastings with a tequila expert, unlimited tequila cocktails, a visit to the town of Tequila – and for those with a top price ticket – the chance to sample a super-posh tequila served in a champagne-style flute. 

There are four classes onboard the train – express, premium plus, diamond and elite – and all are treated to an ‘educational tequila tasting guided by a tequila expert’, with those in diamond and elite handed champagne flutes containing ultra-premium Reserva de la Familia tequila. 

The Jose Cuervo Express is a train in Mexico dedicated to all things tequila

The Jose Cuervo Express is a train in Mexico dedicated to all things tequila

There are four classes onboard the train - express, premium plus, diamond and elite - and all are treated to an 'educational tequila tasting guided by a tequila expert'

There are four classes onboard the train – express, premium plus, diamond and elite – and all are treated to an ‘educational tequila tasting guided by a tequila expert’

Cocktails, made with Tradicional and Jose Cuervo Especial, are served across all four classes, as are snacks, although those in the elite wagon can also choose from a line of ‘exclusive’ cocktails only available to them.

Passengers in the premium plus, diamond and elite classes also have access to a premium bar that serves rum, vodka and whisky.

For passengers that opt for the sunrise itinerary, they leave Guadalajara on the train, enjoy the tastings and cocktails onboard and head to Tequila, where on a tour of the town they see the La Rojena Distillery – the oldest distillery in Latin America – and can visit the Juan Beckmann Gallardo Cultural Center.

Inside the new elite wagon on the Jose Cuervo Express. Passengers in this class (and in 'diamond') get to sample the ultra-premium Reserva de la Familia tequila, which is served in a champagne-style flute glass

Inside the new elite wagon on the Jose Cuervo Express. Passengers in this class (and in ‘diamond’) get to sample the ultra-premium Reserva de la Familia tequila, which is served in a champagne-style flute glass 

The 'exclusive' line of cocktails that are available to passengers in the elite wagon

The ‘exclusive’ line of cocktails that are available to passengers in the elite wagon 

There’s also the chance to visit the Insta-worthy blue agave fields to see jimadores (farmers who harvest agave to make tequila) in action and enjoy a ‘colourful cultural fiesta’ before returning to Guadalajara by chartered bus.

Those opting for the sunset itinerary begin with travel from Guadalajara to Tequila by chartered bus before enjoying the same experiences and visits in the town, finishing with the tequila-laced train journey back to Guadalajara at sunset.

Both itineraries offer an 11-hour long experience that begins at 9am and ends at 8pm.

Tickets start from Mex$2,140 (£76) for express class, which includes train travel in one of three coaches that are ‘decorated with wood-panel walls’ and have seats that are ‘divided into groups of four, can be reclined and feature a glass-holder’.

Premium plus passengers enjoy the train journey in carriages with ‘large seats and comfortable private tables’ that ’emulate the old Orient Express’, with tickets costing Mex$2,920 (£104).

The elite experience on the Jose Cuerva Express costs Mex$3,530 (£126). Pictured are the fine tequilas that passengers in the elite wagon get to sample

The elite experience on the Jose Cuerva Express costs Mex$3,530 (£126). Pictured are the fine tequilas that passengers in the elite wagon get to sample 

Inside the premium plus wagon, which has 'large seats and comfortable private tables' and 'emulates the old Orient Express'. Tickets cost Mex$2,920 (£104)

Inside the premium plus wagon, which has ‘large seats and comfortable private tables’ and ’emulates the old Orient Express’. Tickets cost Mex$2,920 (£104)

The express carriages, pictured, have seats that are 'divided into groups of four, can be reclined and feature a glass-holder'. Express tickets cost from Mex$2,140 (£76)

The express carriages, pictured, have seats that are ‘divided into groups of four, can be reclined and feature a glass-holder’. Express tickets cost from Mex$2,140 (£76)

Those opting for the diamond experience, which costs Mex$3,260 (£116), travel on the train in a ‘car decorated with a beautiful embossed roof’.

Jose Cuervo Express adds: ‘It features various rooms for passengers, a bar, a bartender and two waiters that make sure that nothing is missing.’

The elite experience costs Mex$3,530 (£126) and allows passengers to relax in the train’s new elite wagon.

Journeys on the Jose Cuervo Express train, pictured, take place every other Saturday

Journeys on the Jose Cuervo Express train, pictured, take place every other Saturday 

According to Jose Cuervo Express, it took eight months to develop the wagon, which has wood panelling, luxurious interiors, floor-to-ceiling views and 37 comfortable seats – although Covid restrictions may alter this.

It adds: ‘The seats are distributed in two lounge areas reserved for 10 people, two tables for four people and three lounge areas with tables reserved for two people each.’

Journeys on the train take place every other Saturday. 

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Property prices surged 10 per cent annually in November 2021, according to the latest official figures.

This marked a small increase in price inflation compared to October, when prices grew by 9.8 per cent, the Office for National Statistics’ house price index shows.

The average house price was £271,000 in November 2021, which is £25,000 higher than the same time last year.

Climbing: The average UK house price increased by £25,000 in the year to November 2021

Climbing: The average UK house price increased by £25,000 in the year to November 2021

The figures confirm that house prices continued to climb, even after the stamp duty holiday finished at the end of September 2021.

The tax break, which lowered home buyers’ bills by up to £15,000, contributed to rapidly rising prices after it was introduced in July 2020.

This was despite the cost of a home increasing by £10,000 more than the maximum tax break.  

The number of housing transactions taking place also increased in November, growing by nearly a quarter compared October according to HMRC.

However, it was 16.4 per cent lower than the number of transactions in November 2020.

This suggests that the slight dip in October following the end of the stamp duty holiday may have been a temporary blip.

Rise: The rate of house price growth ticked up in November compared to October

Rise: The rate of house price growth ticked up in November compared to October

The average UK house price has increased dramatically since the pandemic started

The average UK house price has increased dramatically since the pandemic started

Phillip Stevens, director of Richmond estate agency Antony Roberts, said: ‘It was business as usual in November as property prices rose again following October’s dip, which came about following the end of the stamp duty holiday. 

‘There is plenty of evidence that buyer demand remains strong, especially for houses, and with relatively little stock available it is a house seller’s market.’

However, experts said that the spectre of rising inflation and increases in the cost of living could serve to dampen the housing market later in 2022.

This depends to some extent on whether there are further increases in the Bank of England’s base rate, which would likely push up the cost of a mortgage.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: ‘There is further speculation that the Bank of England will raise interest rates by 0.5 per cent at its February meeting in order to counter rising inflation, and it remains to be seen what impact this will have on buyer confidence.

‘Squeezed affordability would be an issue, preventing first-time buyers in particular from getting on the ladder.’

Looking at the different countries of the UK, house prices increased 9.8 per cent over the year in England to reach an average of £288,000.

In Wales they grew by 12.1% per cent to £200,000, in Scotland by 11.4 per cent to £183,000 and in Northern Ireland by 10.7 per cent to £159,000.

The South West was the region with the highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 12.9 per cent in the year to November 2021. This was up from 10.8 per cent in October 2021.

The lowest annual house price growth was in London, where average prices increased by 5.1 per cent over the year to November 2021, down from 6.7% in October 2021.

Despite being the region with the lowest annual growth, London’s average house prices remain the most expensive of any region in the UK at an average of £520,000.

Locations: Regionally, the South West saw the highest house price increases at 12.9%

Locations: Regionally, the South West saw the highest house price increases at 12.9% 

The North East continued to have the lowest average house price at £149,000, but prices still increased 8.7 per cent in the year to November.

The fact that the number of homes on the market is much lower than the number of interested buyers is another factor continuing to drive up prices, along with Britons’ desire to change their living arrangements due to the pandemic.

Nick Leeming, chairman at estate agent Jackson-Stops said: ‘Last year proved to be an astonishing year for the property market, with prices and demand defying expectations set by the pandemic in January. 

‘Whilst today we see average house prices up slightly from those recorded in October, the figures still reflect lack of supply in the market and are therefore impacting levels of demand in the year to November 2021.

‘It is evident that this imbalance between stock and demand will continue to underpin housing activity in coming months. 

‘This is reflected by what we are seeing across our branches where the complex and ongoing changes to the nation’s working patterns and lifestyle aspirations have only heightened the importance Britons place on owning a home.’

Best mortgages

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Pharma giant Glaxosmith-kline got a shot in the arm after the US government ordered more of its Covid treatment.

The shares jumped 1.3 per cent, or 20.2p, to 1631.6p after it announced that it will deliver another 600,000 doses of sotrovimab to the US in the first quarter of 2022.

The antibody treatment is designed to prevent and reduce the severity of Covid-19 symptoms in patients, particularly those from high-risk groups.

US deal: Glaxosmithkline's sotrovimab antibody treatment is designed to prevent and reduce the severity of Covid-19 symptoms in patients, particularly those from high-risk groups

US deal: Glaxosmithkline’s sotrovimab antibody treatment is designed to prevent and reduce the severity of Covid-19 symptoms in patients, particularly those from high-risk groups

The treatment, which mimics the body’s immune system, was developed with US biotech firm Vir, and has now attracted global orders totalling 1.7m doses.

The US government also has an option to order more in the second quarter of this year, while another 2m doses are expected to be made in the first half of 2022.

It follows a £734million order from the US in November for an undisclosed number of doses.

Stock Watch –  Senior

Engineering group Senior rose after agreeing deals with Boeing and Honda.

It will supply Boeing with machinery to build aircraft and flight control systems for the manufacturer’s 737, 767 and 777 planes.

And it will provide Honda with exhaust connectors for the Japanese car maker’s petrol engines. 

The connectors are being made at factories in India and China, and deliveries have started. 

The double dose of deal news lifted its stock 3.5 per cent, or 4.8p, to 141.9p.

Animal medicine firm Dechra was among the FTSE 100’s top risers after clinching a deal for a canine cancer drug. The shares bounded 3.4 per cent, or 146p, higher to 4446p after it secured the worldwide rights to a treatment for canine lymphoma.

The tablet slows the progression of the illness and went on sale in the US last year.

Under the agreement with California firm Anivive, Dechra will acquire the right to market verdinexor around the world as well as take over supply contracts to manufacture the drug.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.6 per cent, or 46.12 points, at 7491.37 while the FTSE 250 dipped 0.1 per cent, or 26.37 points, to 23,028.18.

Markets attempted to rally following Monday’s volatile session, when the Nasdaq on Wall Street dropped into correction territory before a strong comeback to close in the green.

The recovery in US tech stocks boosted Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which counts Tesla and computer chip maker Nvidia among the biggest names in its portfolio. The shares jumped 5 per cent, or 57p, to 1196p.

Other funds with large tech holdings also benefited, with Allianz Technology Trust adding 3.1 per cent, or 9.5p, to 314.5p while Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust climbed 3.7 per cent, or 9.5p, to 266p.

Oil firms were on the rise as Brent crude prices climbed above $83 a barrel. Shell rose 1.7 per cent, or 28.8p, to 1759.6p while BP gained 1.8 per cent, or 6.55p, to 369.6p.

Gaming giant Flutter, owner of Paddy Power and Betfair, flew 2.6 per cent, or 285p, higher to 11,425p after completing its £402million purchase of bingo website Tombola, first announced in November.

Electronics maker Electrocomponents surged 1.3 per cent, or 15p, higher to 1190p as it predicted its full-year profits will be slightly ahead of estimates after a better than expected third quarter.

Revenues in the three months to the end of December rose 21 per cent year-on-year, although it warned that in the final quarter it faced ‘external pressures’ from Covid-19 and supply chain disruption.

Mid-cap software firm Kainos inched up 1.1 per cent, or 18p, to 1646p after snapping up US group Blackline for an undisclosed sum.

Blackline designs software to help companies track spending and procurement. The firm will be integrated into Kainos’s Workday business software.

Meanwhile, property giant Great Portland Estates dropped 1.9 per cent, or 14p, to 737p after analysts at Berenberg downgraded their rating on the stock to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ as they reassessed the state of London’s office market.

Consumer goods giant Unilever also fell, sinking 0.6 per cent, or 24.5p, to 3942p after a downgrade to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ from Bank of America, which cut its target price to 4500p from 5000p.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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