This month SO magazine chats to Eryn Dawe, General Manager of Hotel Du Vin, Tunbridge Wells about all the places she likes to support locally. Here Eryn, who is originally from Canada, reveals where she likes to stroll, shop and socialise….
Where do you live?
Sunny Tunbridge Wells
How long have you lived there and what made you decide to move there?
I have lived in Tunbridge Wells for almost three years now. What made me decide to move here is a slightly difficult question to answer so I’ll try to keep it simple. I made the move across the pond from Canada in February 2020. My husband and I met in the United States (I was living in Ottawa at the time and he in Texas) however he, originally being from Blackpool, had always wanted to return to the UK. He came back to the UK a year ahead of me and spent that time touring around the south-east looking for an area he thought would be a great place to settle. Knowing I would be continuing my work within the wine industry, we wanted to be close to London and the UK wine producing regions. The day after arriving in Tunbridge Wells for the first time, he called me and said ‘Honey, I found our new home!’. Shortly thereafter I visited for the first time, then again a few months later and was confident he had chosen a wonderful place for us to start. After two years of long distance and a granted Ancestry Visa (my grandmother was originally from Portsmouth) I joined my husband (my then boyfriend) in Tunbridge Wells.
What’s your favourite shop locally?
I love all thing home décor and was so happy to discover Biggie Best. Such a great selection of lovely items, especially around the holidays!
Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?
Dunorlan Park is one of my favourite places for a dog walk. Beautiful and peaceful any time of year.
The best place to get a cup of coffee?
Even Flow on St. John’s Rd, the coffee is delicious and I love being able to purchase from their extensive record collection.
Where do you take people when they come to visit?
Hotel du Vin, of course! Post-pandemic, once family and friends started to visit regularly, I was thrilled to be able to welcome them to the hotel. Having the opportunity to showcase the property and its history, followed by a cocktail in the bar, then dinner in our Bistro always offered a wonderful experience for our visitors.
“I had always wanted to live in a different part of the world, experience a different culture. I feel beyond fortunate to have that opportunity here.”
What’s the night life like where you live?
Quiet, which is exactly what we enjoy. We do like to pop out for a cocktail now and again but quiet nights at home are what we relish.
Where’s your favourite place to eat locally?
Sopranos has been one of my favourites since arriving in Tunbridge Wells. I love all things Spanish so being able to nibble from the extensive tapas menu and enjoy some wonderful Spanish wines is always great time for me.
Are there any nice views nearby?
One of my favourite views is from the top of the hill in Hargate Forest. Our first flat in Tunbridge Wells was on Broadwater Down and during the first lockdown we would walk the forest almost every day. That view became a part of our routine because we just loved to watch the sunsets.
If you’re looking to relax and unwind, where’s your favourite place to go?
Borough Market in London. Food is one my biggest passions and the accessibility to so many incredible ingredients all in one place is a little piece of heaven. It might seem like a strange place to relax but for me, it’s one of my happiest places.
Where’s the best place to meet friends and socialise?
Anywhere in the Pantiles!
What do you do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?
I love to find a local market. It is definitely one of my favourite ways to spend a morning or afternoon.
Why do you love where you live?
I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in some of the most beautiful parts of Canada. However, for as long as I can remember had always wanted to live in a different part of the world, experience a different culture and be immersed in others’ way of life. I feel beyond fortunate to have that opportunity here. A beautiful area full of character, still with so many places and things to discover.