In theknow: Hattie Harrison

Royal Victoria Grove was planted in honour of Queen Victoria's visit to Tunbridge Wells

Hattie Harrison founder of That Mum Blog tells us about her favourite places locally
How did you find yourself living in the area?
I live in Southborough and we’ve been here for about three years. Before that we were in Tunbridge Wells, before that Twickenham and before that Clapham Junction. I’m a serial mover – property is my porn and I’m constantly minimising Zoopla on my computer so my husband can’t see what I’m browsing. We want to be country bumpkins but we’ve had to gradually edge out of London so the shock of country living doesn’t immediately kill us (that’s what happens right?). We moved to the Tunbridge Wells area because we have children and I’ve had too many conversations with estate agents to not know that schools are our next priority if we want to completely fulfil our potential to be a middle class cliche.

What’s your favourite shop locally, and where’s best for a coffee or spot of lunch while you’re out?
My favourite shop locally is Jeremy’s home store, an Aladdin’s cave for homeware fans – I have never exited that shop without a lunch box or a flamingo straw. Quite specific items seeing as my kids eat school dinners.
I’m usually joined by a child or two when having coffee or lunch so my favourite spots are places they let loose a bit – The Clockhouse in Tonbridge is brilliant for homemade cake, a place for the kids to play and a reasonably priced but delicious lunch. I also enjoy Bill’s in town – it reminds me of lazy brunches when I was on maternity leave and is also pretty child friendly.

How about nightlife – what’s it like and where do you go for�dinner and drinks?There are so many great places for drinks and dinner in Tunbridge Wells – our personal favourites are Tunbridge Wells Bar and Grill, The Hideout, Kitsu for a bit of sushi (never underestimate the appeal of Bring Your Own) and for the best, homemade and authentic Italian pizzas, our local – The Imperial in Southborough. For a cocktail or two Vittle and Swig are second to none (I have no idea what was in the candy floss cocktail I had there recently but it tasted of heaven) and for a treat we go to The Twenty Six in Southborough, a test kitchen with a changing menu.�

Where’s the best place to go for a stroll, and are there any nice views?
We are so lucky to live right next door to Southborough Common so when we need to blow away the cobwebs a brisk stroll through the forest normally does the job. It’s a great place for the children to explore as there are so many brooks for them to fall in (!) and lots of wigwams made from branches left out by previous explorers to play in. We also enjoy a stroll to the Kentish Hare in Bidborough – en route on the Bidborough ridge there are phenomenal views.

Where do you take people when they come to visit?
Our friends from London come and visit us fairly regularly to sample the Tunbridge Wells nightlife followed by a stroll on the aforementioned common the next day. I know exactly where I should take them to show them the best of the area but if I can be honest with you they are most impressed by the price of a pint compared to London and the fact that you don’t have to queue too long for it or elbow your way onto the dance floor. If I’m brutally honest that’s my favourite thing about the area too. Perhaps that’s the real reason we moved after all!�

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