Love where you live: John Bullock
6th December 2018
John Bullock Design is an award-winning architectural practice based in Tunbridge Wells. Here, its eponymous founder tells us why he loves where he lives...
Where do you live?
I live in the glorious countryside to the south of Tunbridge Wells.
How long have you lived there and what made you decide to?
My parents moved to Tunbridge Wells when I was 12 and, with the exception of a few years living in Edinburgh and Holland, I have always lived in this area and spent my formative years living in central Tunbridge Wells. I feel a strong connection with the town, which is why I chose to set up my business, John Bullock Design, on the High Street 15 years ago.
What’s your favourite shop locally?
That’s an almost impossible question to answer as there is so much variety in Tunbridge Wells. So, it’s something of a list of my favourite things: Cheese – Fromage and French; wine – The Secret Cellar; fish – Arcade Fisheries (Paul Saxby at Tunbridge Wells Farmers’ Market); kitchenware – Trevor Mottram. I like food and cooking!
Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?
Walking near water is always a favourite. Bewl Water is a great destination for a good long walk. If you really feel like a serious stroll, the entire circuit is 12.5 miles but you can hop aboard the Bewl Belle for a lift back if you run out of steam. Or we sometimes head to the south coast for a walk along the many beach and cliff paths.
The best place to get a cup of coffee?
Carluccios: I drop in and pick up a Napoli Latte most days and enjoy breakfast there. The staff are super friendly and it’s a good place to have an early morning meeting.
Where do you take people when they come to visit?
We enjoy introducing friends to Tunbridge Wells as there are so many diverse places to visit and things to do. Added to this, of course, are the many other delights slightly further afield including Hastings Old Town and Rye.
What’s the night life like where you live?
In the countryside there’s not much night-life, however we do have a fantastic local pub and enjoy a short walk there star-gazing on a clear night.
Where’s your favourite place to eat locally?
The Ivy is wonderful.
Are there any nice views nearby?
Whenever we arrive back in Kent after time away there is one particular view that always makes me smile. At the end of the Sevenoaks by-pass there is a curved arch bridge and at this point when driving south the view opens up and the Weald presents itself. It’s a thing of natural beauty.
If you’re looking to relax, where’s your favourite place to go?
Tunbridge Wells Personal Training – I know it’s not typically a place to unwind and relax but it’s a place where I find head space. Two early morning sessions a week with Sam keep me focused and stress free.
Where’s the best place to meet friends and socialise?
The Pantiles in the summer while sitting out and enjoying the jazz.
What do you do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?
As little as possible! I love being at home with family, kids, dogs and friends. Also in the garden, long walks in the countryside locally and the occasional trip to the beach.
Why do you love where you live?
For the beautiful architecture, glorious scenery, great restaurants and shops and friendly people – what’s not to love?