Love Where You Live: Darren Tickner

Rye. Photo © Swoop Media

This month SO chats to Darren Tickner about all the places he loves to support in the area.

Here the founder of Bean Smitten coffee roasters tells us about his favourite spots to stroll, shop and socialise…

Where do you live?

I live near The Moor, in Hawkhurst.


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

I’ve lived in Hawkhurst for a little over a year now. I relocated so that I’m a little closer to the roastery which is now a 10-minute drive away, between Flimwell and Lamberhurst.


What’s your favourite shop locally?

I love the Little Green Pantry in Lamberhurst. Run by Vicki and Roo, it’s crammed with delicious food and drink from local producers.

Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?

Known locally as the Delmonden Loop, it’s a 5k stroll from The Moor, through farmland, orchands, Delmonden and back to The Moor via Horns Road. It’s vary varied and doable in a couple of hours.


The best place to get a cup of coffee?

Why at our roastery of course! Bean Smitten is located at Cedar Gables campsite on the A21. Opposite where the Little Chef used to be – those who have lived in the area for a while will know where I mean! We serve award-winning flat whites, lattes and mochas direct from the door.


Where do you take people when they come to visit?

I like to go to Rye. It’s a favourite place of mine. I love the little cobbled streets and the shops which are full of curios.


Where’s your favourite place to eat locally?

I would have to say The Curlew, in Bodiam. Their small plates and platters for sharing are of an outstanding quality.

Photo © Key & Quill

What are your favourite nearby views?

As I approach Rye, driving along the B2089, there are stunning views to the right, over Winchelsea and out to sea.


What’s the night life like where you live?

I’d say it’s fairly reserved but we do benefit from a Kino cinema in Hawkhurst. The Prince of Kent is a great Indian and pub-wise for me, it’s either The Queen’s Inn or The Great House which are both in Hawkhurst.


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

A run around Bedgebury Forest is a great way to clear my mind.

Where’s the best place to meet friends and socialise?

The Chequers at Lamberhurst has a beautiful beer garden, and lots of indoor space. They do great Sunday roast too.

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

It’s quite nice to sit at a pavement café on The Pantiles and people watch. Even better if it happens to be a farmers’ market day.


Why do you love where you live?

It’s a privilege to live in an area of outstanding natural beauty such as The Weald of Kent. I’m never more than a few minutes away from rolling countryside and never more than an hour away from coast.


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