Tag Archives: Dubai Kids

Frederick Hervey, the 8th Marquess of Bristol | He is the CEO and Founder of Brickowner, a UK-based property crowdfunding platform, providing investors access to property investment opportunities.

Frederick Bristol, is the CEO and Founder of Brickowner, a property crowdfunding platform offering investors access to exclusive property investment opportunities, whilst helping property developers and assets mangers find new investors, who can invest  as little as £100. With a previous career in investments, I was naturally curious to learn what a fellow-Edinburgh alumni was doing to carve a niche in the property market.

Fred was educated in the UK and attended Edinburgh University having read Business and French. After graduating in 2002, Fred branched out and moved to Estonia where he was involved with a property fund in the Baltics for 7-years.  The entrepreneur returned back to the UK in 2009 where he continued to work in the UK property sector on his own.  The concept of Brickowner was born in 2015, when Fred noticed strong rental yields in Lincolnshire whilst looking to invest in a number of small houses, and Brickowner was born in the subsequent year.

Fred has kindly agreed to an interview to discuss Brickowner that has recently caught the attention of many within the industry as well as from the tech industry.

Can you tell us a little more about Brickowner and the inspiration behind it?

During my time working in property, I saw the difficulties that many developers had in securing, managing and structuring funding. Also, many investors were unable to find the best investment opportunities, and when they did, could not invest due to high minimum investment thresholds. Brickowner was born out of a desire to solve these problems – for developers and investors.

Can you tell us about the previous opportunities that you have launched and their recent performance?

We are presently focussed on equity investments, investors own shares in the project and can receive returns from the added value and onward sale of the properties. The structure of an investment depends upon the specifics of that particular investment; we ensure each one gives our investors the best possible terms. Since we launched in 2017, over £10M has been invested via the platform and 2 investments have redeemed, both meeting their expected returns.

Can you tell us the major difference between investing in Brickowner or a company like British Land which are essentially REITS?

The main difference is that through Brickowner, investors have much more control and transparency over their investments. Each project can be different, and each investor has the freedom to choose their own diversification strategy. For example, in the past year Brickowner investors have had the option to invest in holiday homes, a cemetery, residential developments, mixed-use developments, and more.

How many properties are in each investment?

This can vary depending upon the investment, and can vary from a single property to a portfolio.  To date, we have created opportunities across a number property sectors like residential, hotel, industrial, student housing, and even cemetery investments.

How large were the previous raises and how do you decide on the size of each?

No two properties are the same, and this is reflected in the amount we raise for each investment. To date, the largest single raise we have completed was for £2m.

What’s the minimum investment that is required to invest in these funds?

The minimum single investment is £100, although the average is over £7,000, and we have had individual investments of as much as £200,000.

How long do the projects run for?

So far, this has varied between 1-5 years depending on the investment. We are in the process of creating a secondary market that will allow users to sell their positions earlier if they choose.

Do you have a board of advisors to help you decide which properties to invest in? Can you tell us more about the team behind Brickowner and their experience? Can you tell us a bit more about the structure?

We work with a number of developers and are always being shown new opportunities. However, at Brickowner we put our investors first by being highly selective about the quality of the investments we offer. Being able to draw on our experience in property, we can ensure that every investment that makes it onto the platform weighs up an acceptable level of risk against the projected ROI. We perform our own extensive due diligence on each opportunity and on each developer before agreeing to a deal.

Can you describe the structure also to ensure investor protection?

Each investment has a number of features to provide investor security. Investors buy shares in individual investment SPVs, which means that each investment is ring-fenced from Brickowner Ltd and any of the other investments. Depending on the investment, Brickowner can also hold a first or second legal charge on the properties.

How do you structure your management fees?

Again, this depends on the investment so please check before investing.  These are outlined for each investment within that specific investment Information Memorandum. This can be a one-time fee on investment, a management fee over the period of the investment, or we can charge zero fees to investors and instead receive fees from the developer. We are always looking for the best ways of making a good deal work for everyone.

You recently launched a new fund which we are excited to know more about.  Can you tell us a little more?

Our new investment is a new build residential development in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, managed by SN Residential Ltd. Brickowner is raising a total of £1.76m for the project for a projected return of 35.3% over 2 years. It looks to be an exciting development in a great location – Haddenham is a popular village and its proximity to Cambridge, a growing tech hub, will make it an attractive place to buy.

With the current political turmoil in the UK, and with Brexit looming, how can one take advantage of the UK property markets, and what are your personal thoughts on the situation?

Brexit has created a feeling of uncertainty for many, but this hasn’t stopped some potential great deals being available in the UK property market. Post Brexit, when certainty returns, confidence will increase – so the outlook is definitely positive. Brexit aside, fundamentally, there is a housing shortage within the UK. Demand exceeds supply, so naturally this is a great time to invest in UK property.

From Dubai and the rest of the Middle East, how can this enhance our personal investment portfolios, and how would one invest from this part of the world?

Brickowner provides access to investments that are generally inaccessible to most investors. On top of that, Brickowner makes it easy to diversify your property investments (something that was previously very difficult).  Simply go to www.brickowner.com  and sign up and follow the steps to invest. Users should be aware the site only accepts payments in GBP.

How is Brickowner reaching out to investors in the Middle East?

After receiving a number of investments from the Middle East, from investors who found us, we realised that there was growing interest from the UAE and beyond. We have started by working with Harry Tregoning, founder of Tregoning Property (www.tregoning.property), who has been operating in Dubai for five years and has excellent knowledge of the property market there. Working with an experienced team in the UAE will help support the business and allow more investors to access UK property investments, from the comfort of their own home in the Middle East.

And on a lighter note our readers are also expat families from all over the world, and the UK is always of great interest for a variety of reasons including schools and lifestyle, Fred shares some additional personal thoughts and opinions.

A common question that is asked especially from the Middle East is about boarding schools.  What are your personal thoughts in today’s world?

I feel that by boarding you can gain a greater level of independence from an earlier age.  By living with your classmates fulltime you learn a set of social and life skills that are helpful in business and a gain a group of friends for life.

What investment advice will you give your children one day?

Always allow yourself time to think. Do not allow yourself to be pushed into anything.

What’s the one mistake you have learnt from to change how you choose to live?

Don’t do things just because others want you to.  Follow your instincts and gut. Often first impressions prove right.

Favourite hotels properties in the world.

Any hotel in the Greek islands

Hotel Negresco in Nice for its art and history.

Three favourite restaurants to recommend in London currently.



Chutney Mary

Investors should be aware that past performance is not an indication of future performance, the value of investments and the income derived from them may fluctuate and you may not receive back the amount you originally invested.

This notice cannot disclose all the risks associated with the products we make available to you. Risk is about the probability and possible extent of losses of an investment. An investor must accept the possibility of taking losses in the investment process. You should not invest in or deal in any financial product unless you understand its nature and the extent of your exposure to risk. You should also be satisfied that it is suitable for you in the light of your circumstances and financial position. Different investment products have varied levels of exposure to risks and to different combinations of risks.

The truth about overbusyness and parenting.

It hit me when author Rob Parsons discussed the countdown clock in our children’s lives.  When our children are born we have those 18 years  – that ‘s the equivalent of 6,570 days.  When your child is 10 years old, you have 2,920 days left.  In Rob’s words, ‘no amount of money, power, or prestige can increase that number.’  My eldest is 10.  I want to utilise those 2,920 days I have left wisely.

It makes you rethink life’s busyness.  Life always creates that busyness.  It’s no one’s fault but our own.  It’s hard to say no.

This is not to say, don’t work or don’t have a life. I think it is just a half-time call to reassess priorities. I truly thought that when my child was 6 months-old, he needed me most.  Yes, it’s true, he needed me.  I thought that need would dissipate with time as he potty-trained and learnt to feed himself.  However, I was truly mistaken.

Most mothers with children around age 5 and above would agree,  our children need us even more in a different way.  That surprised me. They need us around to discuss their day or random thoughts that fly through their minds, play boardgames, guide them with their homework, to support them when they have a bad day at school, or just be there with them, and the list goes on.  My children note how many nights I have out in a week, and they tell me off.

I have always tried to speak with parents with greater parenting experience; often I find it most interesting to observe or speak with parents with children ten years older than my own.  It’s an eye-opener to see the path they have experienced to get an idea of what is to come. Think about it, when you meet an 18-year old you know much of what they might experience, and everyone has some gift of wisdom to share. I, therefore, try to ask those parents who have wonderful relationships with their adult children what made the biggest impact of that relationship, what worked, what didn’t.  I have amalgamated a wealth of parenting knowledge that they have shared taking some advice that works for my family and me.

However, one thing is most common with all their answers.  They said, enjoy it all now.  Don’t be filled with regrets about not spending enough time with the children.  I feel that already.  Therefore, it’s important that we adapt to the new season our children are in.  I have reached that new season.

Five Languages of Love

Gary Chapman’s Five Languages of Love should be a must read – I highly recommend it. Even if time is limited, it is important to understand how our children need to feel loved. Sounds simple right?  This book was initially written for couples but it works with children, family and friends too.  Chapman identifies five main love languages: acts of services, touch, words of affirmation, gifts, and time.

For myself, I feel loved through acts of service – when my husband remembers to make me an espresso for example or helps me with the children’s reading without me asking.  For me talking is useless, it’s actions that matters.  For my husband, words of affirmation and time matter.  Each of us is different. This is similar with our children too.  This is a great way to arm ourselves to be an effective parent even if busyness is all around us.

Just the other day, I took time to discuss with my children individually over lunch about what makes them feel loved.  My eldest tells me it’s cuddles and tickles.  He feels loved when I tickle him until he can’t breath with laughter, and it’s the time he spends with me one on one.  Simple tasks like taking him grocery shopping makes him happy.

My third child loves words of affirmation and gifts so praises and presents makes a difference to his week.  All totally different children.

It’s amazing what children reveal when we ask them the right questions.  Armed with this knowledge, I try to fill up their love tanks so they feel loved.  I realised there was little point loving them how I thought love should look.  Almost none of my children mentioned acts of service.  Obviously, they do appreciate the things I do for them but that wasn’t what filled up their love tanks.  Some of those extra tasks I made myself busy with don’t matter anymore, and I ought to spend time with them in ways that fulfill them, not me.

Preparing for a new season

Therefore, this September, I am trying to rework my days.  I want to make sure that I am not exhausted by the time I pick them up like doing four meetings in a row. I need to ensure that my love tank is full by the time I see them and that may involve giving myself a break for an hour before pick up.  I realise it is also about preparing myself before picking them up at school so I am in the best mental state before seeing them.  I take note of what tasks I do that leave me feeling exhausted.  I now try to cut those out.  I am trying to protect my time to ensure I can handle motherhood in the best way.  I don’t always succeed each day, but I wake up trying again and again to make it work.

3pm – 8pm are the most intense hours everyday after school as most mums understand. I need to rework my patience as I read a ‘yellow’ colour band Biff & Chip book for the fourth time with 4th child and I am trying not to shout out in boredom wishing I was doing anything else but this, and this often exacerbated when I am low on energy and overcommitted. It’s important to not let myself get in that state. When I am feeling frustrated doing mundaning parenting tasks, I also try to remember the number of days left.


Rob Parsons eloquently put it about a life of illusions when it comes to parenting and over committing ourselves.  There are three main illusions.

1. ‘I am doing this for them’ – the number of times I have justified that to myself.  The truth is our children would prefer less things and more of us.  As one child psychologists said, ‘ We are so busy giving our kids what we didn’t have, we don’t have time to give them what we did have.’

2. We tell ourselves that life will not always be so busy.  I do tell myself that this is just a busy season, and that this too shall pass.  I will wait to make time to do more with the children.  It’s not a busy period, it’s life.

3. The door of childhood will be open forever is an illusion. I am guilty when I say ‘later’ when the kids are begging me to swim or to take them out on a bike ride. My son is 10-years old, and many mums tell me that in a few years, he won’t want bedtime stories, to hang out as much, and to just hang out.  I have to savor every moment.  Even if I fall asleep reading them their bedtime story, I want to keep trying whilst they will have me.  I have read Peppa Pig continuously for 8 years already.  I am longing to turn each page, as it is mind numbingly dull but I know there will come a day when my youngest won’t want to share that moment anymore.

We need to remember a useful proverb, ‘If we do this, we can’t do that.’  Therefore, parenting also requires self-care.  Like any athlete, its about getting into the right mind set, health, and protecting the energy levels to ensure that we are able to perform to the best of our abilities.  If that also means cancelling a coffee morning, lunch or a meeting, it’s worth reassessing.

With that said, I am off to book a massage before pick up today.  It was a long weekend with the children.  I am trying to be my best self at pick up time. Yes, I do work too but we all need to find time to recharge.

Milking it | Real strawberry milk is white. Koita launches a new strawberry milk that is bug free.

The Koita family launched yet a new flavor of milk – their Strawberry Milk and it’s NOT PINK BUT WHITE.  Yes, this goes against what we traditionally know to be the colour of ‘strawberry milk.’

Did you know?

The red colouring from most ‘pink’ coloured milk is made from bugs or cochineal insects.  The insects provide a colour pigment which is normally stored in their guts and these bugs can usually be found on a cactus in countries like Kenya.  Manufacturers usually grind up these little insects to provide food colouring or even as lipstick pigment.

Did you know?

The strawberry milk is from Italy,  made with organic milk and free from chemical pesticides.  There are also no hormones injected into the cows and  the milk is more importantly free from crushed bugs.

Everyone who knows me well knows I love genuine organic products.  It’s been the buzz word, and there are many products on the market using the term ‘organic’ with no true certification.  Koita Organic Milk is EU Certified organic milk made with real organic Italian strawberries.  The products have an 8-month shelf life and sold in Tetra-pak (paper, not plastic).

The Verdict?

Whilst, one of the ingredients in Koita’s strawberry milk contains sugar, I still give it to my children as a treat.  It is made with organic milk and organic strawberries and a better choice compared with other types of poorly made strawberry milk. I believe it is important to educated children on what is a balanced and healthy diet.  I don’t like to ban my children from sugary treats but it is important to also  educate them that strawberry milk is treat at the end of a long week.  My younger three kids absolutely love the strawberry milk and my daughter is fascinated that her lovely tasting strawberry milk is white.  My eldest remains firmly in the chocolate milk camp.

The milkman

The Koita milkman delivers it straight to your front door so you don’t have to drag it through the supermarkets.  Otherwise, Carrefour, Mumzworld, Waitrose, Spinneys, Ripe Organic, Greenheart Organic are just some of the many locations where strawberry milk is available.

Online Store

Flip Out | How to host a kid friendly party with ease | Balancing expense, time and logistical planning and ensuring that your children will have amazing childhood memories.

We stopped doing birthday parties at our house about 5 years ago – it was too stressful and I often couldn’t be there for my birthday child as I was always running around taking care of everything else.  It also became more and more challenging to host older children at home, especially our boys.  We are always in search for new venues that also appeal to both girls and boys.

Birthday party logistics are always challenging because large numbers can be costly.  The question is whether to invite 10 – 20 close friends or the whole class. Then, there is the organisation of party bags and food, and working out logistics can be stressful especially when you have multiple children to also care for. Much of the hassle is taken out by the Flip Out team who will look after the children for the next 2 hours and organise the party food leaving mums and dads with party invitations, cake and goody bags to deal with.

My husband and I are happy to farm out the experience to a venue like Flip Out who have the energy (more importantly) and experience when it comes to children’s parties and keeping the kids entertained.  We hosted 30 children for our 4 children to say goodbye to their old school friends.  It felt like a very large playdate of all their favourite friends!

The kids arrived along with their friends and had a 15 minute welcome and safety briefing with the team.  The children wear similar colour vests so their instructors are able to identify them as part of the party.  The children are usually divided into 2 – 3 groups, and depending on the ages, they will do archery, bubble soccer or trampolining. The typical format would include 1 hour of structured play + 1 hour of free jump or archery, and Flip Out Grip Socks will be provided for each child, and you will have one dedicated party host.

The instructors and Flip Out team are hot on safety so they do watch over the children.  The instructors also got involved with the children demonstrating wall running, and taught some of the older children how to do backflips during the sessions.

We often worried with 4 different age groups how Flip Out would manage them but they actually split them into two groups and did age appropriate activities with them.  Also, the younger children were not exposed to the large boys who might have accidentally toppled them over on trampolines.  It is always reassuring for parents to see that the venue takes these issues seriously to ensure everyone has a good time.


The party food at the venue is outsourced to a premium pizza delivery company, and it was popular with both parents and children alike.  My Italian husband and kids approved of the taste and quality of the pizzas.  The party package includes 2 slices of pizza per child (pepperoni or margarita), 1 organic juice per child, and unlimited water. It is optional to add potato wedges and chicken nuggets for an extra fee.  The kids were starving after all their activities and everything gobbled up.  Adult coffee, teas and beverages are extra  but they can serve you in the party room or you can set up a table upstairs in their coffee area.

New changes to note

#They have also launched a new activity that the children loved called bubble soccer.  They children wear an plastic inflatable ball and run around bouncing against each other.

#Parents are no longer allowed into the jumping area unless they have socks and a wrist band

Top tips

#Order pizzas for mums and dads because they are delicious and most parents are famished.  Larger pizzas cost AED70 each.

#Book in advance because Flip Out is very much in demand especially on the weekends.

#Try to book a week day birthday party as it is more economical in terms of costs and the venue is not as busy so it is more manageable.

Pricing – it works out to AED185 per child for the party.

Check out also their winter flip camp (minimum age 5 years) from December 17th – January 4th.

Special offers in December – book a party this December, and the birthday child will go for free.

For more information head to www.flipout.ae