How long have you lived here?
We have lived in our current house for 15 years. I am a Kent girl at heart, I grew up in Goudhurst and my grandparents lived in Tunbridge Wells. I moved to London for university, studied abroad for a year and then stayed in London for work and we made the move back to Tunbridge Wells 25 years ago. We first lived in a beautiful Victorian house in the ‘village’ area, and then moved to the house we are in now to raise our three children (now 20, 17 and 11) a few years later. During our first few years in Tunbridge Wells, we moved to Dubai in the early 2000s for four years with my husband’s job. I don’t think we truly appreciated what a special place this is until we came back to live here for good in 2006.
What’s your favourite shop locally?
I regularly shop at Fullers the Butcher, Juliets, and the Pig & Porter Brewery. I love a Chapel Down Bacchus, Bella Jane Jewellery and Anna Poulsen in Chapel Place. In addition to supporting our local foodbank, hospice, children’s charities and mental health causes, I really recommend Empathy Action for their online ‘Empathy Store’. They pay families in developing countries to set up businesses to produce items to sell, giving them a sustainable income gifts.
Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?
Most Sundays I ‘stroll’ around the sidelines of TWRFC and Foresters FC to watch my younger two girls play rugby and football. If I get a rare Sunday off, it’s a family wander with Maple the cavapoo puppy on the Common or to Hargate Forest and then down to The Pantiles for hot chocolate. Or we head over to Goudhurst and take a walk around the village fields and lanes with my parents and have a catch up with them.
Where do you take people when they come to visit?
In the summer, we head to Jazz on the Pantiles whenever possible and I love what the Old Auction House is doing with their pop-up events. In the summer, I take visitors to the eclectic Changeling Theatre open air theatre – they are performing Othello and The Importance of Being Earnest all over Kent and Sussex through July and August. They are also performing at Penshurst Place which will be magical. Out of town guests love the buzz around the Old High Street, walking the Hungershall Park/Nevill Park circuit and, if kids are involved, climbing all over the rocks on the Common. I am really excited by the events that will be taking place at The Amelia – and its Fine Grind cafe – are open so those places will feature on our schedule in the future.
Where’s your favourite place to eat locally?
For special occasions, it would be The Lyle every time thanks to its fantastic food, amazing atmosphere and phenomenal service. There are so many great places to go to more regularly in Tunbridge Wells including Sopranos, The Wine Rooms and Sankey’s … but if I had to pick one it would be TN1 Bar & Kitchen. I love the owners’ enthusiasm, it has a laid-back atmosphere, lovely food and often hosts live music.
Are there any nice views nearby?
I love sitting on the terrace of The Beacon… it’s best enjoyed after an invigorating walk to Tunbridge Wells Common and onto Happy Valley.
Where’s the best place to go out and socialise?
Colley Raine’s work nights out often involve the Nourish quiz at The Guinea or cheeky drinks on The Pantiles. Office Tribe, who we rent our offices from, are very good at organising socials locally. If we are going out for drinks with friends then we often go to the Town House, the Wine Rooms, Tunbridge Wells Hotel, The Compasses, The Mount Edgcumbe or Saint John’s Yard.
What do you do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?
I play netball once a week in the Tunbridge Wells Netball League with a bunch of fantastic women. It is a brilliant league and encompasses players of all ages. If we get a rare day off together kid-free then my husband and I will go for a walk or a drive, put the world to rights and have a lazy, long lunch somewhere. Recent visits I can recommend have taken us to The George & Dragon in Speldhurst, The Deer Park Café in Eridge Green, The George in Frant and The Goudhurst Inn.
Why do you love where you live?
I feel incredibly passionate about Tunbridge Wells and I am committed to making a difference to where we live. In fact, Colley Raine & Associates was set up in 2018 as an ethical marketing agency to largely support local businesses and charities. Along with the work we do to raise awareness of some of our incredible businesses, we are also very proud to give back a little to our community, through our pro-bono and discounted work with charities.