Love Where You Live

Andrew Collins of Brittens Music on Grove Hill Road tells us where he likes to stroll, shop and socialise in Tunbridge Wells…

Whereabouts do you live in the borough of Tunbridge Wells?

I have lived and worked in the Tunbridge Wells area for around 28 years. I am lucky enough to have a flat in The Pantiles but am presently living in Wadhurst.

How long have you lived there and what made you decide to move to the area?

We moved to the Tunbridge Wells area in 2000 from North Kent. Having already bought what is now Brittens Music in 1996, we were finding the long commute each day very stressful so relocating to the area made perfect sense.

Are there any nice views or walks near to your home?

We presently look over Wadhurst but for other wonderful views we tend to venture either to Burwash or the area between Langton Green and Penshurst, where we can see beautiful Penshurst Place.

Where’s your favourite place to go shopping?

I always like to support independent retailers wherever possible. The Old High Street and The Pantiles offer a great selection of independent and specialist shops as well as market stalls at the weekend.

Where do you like to grab a tea, coffee or a slice of cake?

My favourite haunt for coffee, tea and or lunch is Arté Bianca on the corner of Chapel Place and the High Street. There is quite a community built up by those that use it and I have made many friends and business contacts from my visits there.

Do you have a preferred restaurant you like to dine in regularly?

When dining out is for taking on fuel then Côte or Wagamama offer consistent quality and speed of service. Not very independent but quick. When I have the luxury of time it would be spent at The Warren in the High Street or Sankey’s fish restaurant.

Which places do you take people when they come to visit?

I always bring visitors down to the Old High Street and on to The Pantiles. The trick is to look up as the architecture is fascinating.  Calverley Gardens is another favourite haunt on a sunny day.

Where’s the best spot to go for a Sunday stroll in the area?

I would recommend any of the wonderful parks for a stroll but especially Dunorlan Park. There is a sense of space there that gives you a feeling of being out in the countryside whilst still having the convenience of a town.

If you’re looking to relax and unwind, where’s your favourite place to go?

I tend to do most of my relaxing at home but during the day I often go to Arté Bianca to unwind with the interesting clientele I know there.

What do you like to do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?

As a retailer days off are few but I do enjoy an amble around the local shops where I will often meet people I know for impromptu chats. Walks with my cockapoo Connie are a favourite, along with leisurely lunches in the many local cafés.

Why do you love where you live?

I have always loved the friendly welcoming vibe in Tunbridge Wells, and we have made many friends since we moved here long ago. Even before I had a business here it was always a favourite place to visit.

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