Home to Shop

Craving a dramatic change from the stresses of London life, David Page and his partner, David Baker, chose to set up home – and shop – in Hastings Old Town. And they couldn’t be happier that they did.[showhide more_text="READ MORE"...

Award-Winning Mushroom House

Children often have dreams of making a magical space of their own, but it’s not often that they are able to make their dreams come true. Elsie Swanborough has been able to do just that, making the story of the...

Pancetta Pizza with Tuscan kale, Parmesan and chilli oil

Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F/gas mark 9 or as high as it will go. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up too. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the...

Inspiration: Light and Bright Kitchens

In need of some inspiration to revamp the heart of your home? Take a look at a few of our favourite light, bright kitchens. California Styling [caption id="attachment_1582" align="aligncenter" width="2599"] The Doughnut is a 120 layer print by Los Angeles...

The wonderful world of WACI

Toby Payne-Cook, Head of Science at Marlborough House School, discusses the Weald Award for Creativity and Innovation Jobs that exist today may not exist tomorrow and as paths to careers become less linear and the workplace demands increasingly broader skillsets,...

St Benedicts Victorian B&B

Over time, Paul Oxborrow and Stephen Groves have succeeded in buying each floor of a grand nineteenth century St. Leonards house. Staying true to the period of its construction, Paul and Stephen have completely refurbished its four floors and now run several rooms...

Artists’ Model Home

Sue and Dave Donkin’s converted farm building, tucked away down an idyllic Kentish country lane, offers the perfect space for the couple to pursue their artistic interests. You know you’ll be in for an interesting visit when the front garden of...

Creatives’ Rye Home

Backing straight onto the River Rother with uninterrupted views across the salt marshes, the unique collection of buildings that creative director and film-maker John Carver and branding and personal curator Anna Carloss call home are testament to the couple’s creative...

Karen Birchwood’s Gallery and Home

Artist Karen Birchwood has turned her own living space into a gallery – the ideal place for prospective buyers of her paintings to visualise the artworks in a home setting.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Karen’s Victorian cottage is familiar,...

Instagram Interior

Having decided to swap London life for a home in the countryside, Lucinda Mitra took to Instagram to document the refurbishment of her new family home. After rapidly amassing over 30,000 follows, Lucinda’s account, nest_twenty_eight, is now an online destination...

Gorgeous Seaside Home

Since opening her first store in the late 1970s, Helen Robinson has consistently been ahead of the game when it comes to cool locations for her to share her effortless sense of style. Her current project, SHOP in St. Leonards...

Creative Healing

What is art therapy? Children often find it difficult to express their feelings. At this highly formative period of their lives, the behaviours that they develop will have an impact on the whole of their future lives. When a child...

Stylish Seaside Home

Karen Hahnel’s St Leonards apartment is a stunning example of how to successfully employ proportion and scale. She has cleverly combined design classics with online finds to create an enviably stylish seaside home.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] From the...

Spacious Family Home

When a former St John Ambulance station in Rye came up for sale, it took interior architect Marta Nowicka only three hours to decide to take on its renovation. After removing endless partitioning and flattening a 1970s extension, she has...

Lawnmower Parents

Through my work as a life coach, I know a young woman who is a well-qualified City lawyer with a good job and excellent prospects. But she is unhappy. She wants to be a lawyer in the arts, she told...

Meet The Heads

Gareth Doodes MA Hons Headmaster of Dover College Favourite subject when you were at school I absolutely love History. My imagination as a child was vivid, and I had an exceptional teacher who made history something interesting and something relevant. A love...

The Great Escape

Katherine Gomes decided to take a year out before heading off to university. She explains why she made the choices she did and how her year has worked out so far What made you take a year out before starting university?...

Road Trip

Marlborough House School What type of school trips do pupils go on? Typical educational day trips range from The National Gallery, Battle Abbey, Eastbourne Jazz Festival, Olympic Park, Richborough, The Science Museum, Herstmonceux Observatory and every year our Year 8 children visit the Houses of Parliament....

The Home of ‘Posh’ Storage

Fuelled by a shared passion for block printing, Trudi Savin and her friend Sophie Morton created Yateley Papers. Trudi’s own home in Surrey is a showcase for their ever evolving range of beautiful storage solutions and accessories.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ...

Plants That Heal

The Chelsea Physic Garden has been tucked behind a wall in the Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea, SW3 since it was founded in 1673. It’s an ancient botanical garden with a unique microclimate due to its proximity to the Thames...

Bungalow Transformed Into Bright Contemporary Home

Seeing the potential in a project that had been overlooked by other potential buyers, and working to a strict budget, Ali Kittermaster has remodelled a 1950s bungalow in the heart of a Kent village into a bright and surprisingly roomy...

Intriguing Historic Farmhouse

Anyone who has ever read The Secret Garden will understand the magic and intrigue that can be conjured up by a sprawling, ancient building surrounded by an equally fantastical garden. Immersed within three acres of glorious gardens, Peter and Jane’s historic family...

Made to Measure

For those that don’t know, how did you get into gardening? Both sets of my grandparents were very keen gardeners. My paternal grandparents had a large garden and I would spend hours following my grandfather around. He taught me how...

Course Work

For all you readers out there oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous images in our gardening supplement this month before quickly sinking into a sigh over the daunting prospect of how to recreate something like that for yourself, you are...

Vegetables With Meals in Mind

The soil is warming and it’s time to sow some vegetables. This year I’m trying to tailor the crops I grow to what – and how much – we actually eat. I’m sure that I’m not alone in suffering from...

Wreck Of The Week Remarkable Refurb

Originally built to house the poor in the nineteenth century, Cheyneys Almshouse is now home to Fortnum & Mason in-house milliner Adrian Howard and his partner Sven. After stumbling across it in The Guardian’s ‘Wreck of the Week’ feature and...

New England Seaside Styling Comes to Camber

If you've ever wondered how to give your home a beautiful seaside look, this is how it's done. This 1970s bungalow has been transformed into a nautical New England style holiday home, by the inspired owner, Nicola. Camber, famed for its long...

Home of Victorian Curiosities

The fabulously curated Winkenhurst Manor, near Heathfield in Sussex has one marvellously curious room, leading into another. The owners, who work together in the antiques and interior design business, have made an art form out of creating unique displays of collectables...

Early Bird Gardening

In the quiet of late winter I’m easily pleased by the faintest signs of life – it fills my heart to see a bare branch laced with delicate blooms and a few dainty woodlanders spreading softly under shrubs and trees....

A Spacious Kentish Villa

Kent houses can be deceptive. Many of those that appear to be classical Georgian and Regency structures like the ones that line the high streets of towns like Tenterden and Cranbrook are actually, upon closer inspection, much older than those...

Exquisite Design in a Victorian Hastings Home

  Retail brand consultant James, stylist David and their Boston Terrier, Cooper, moved into their Victorian property in the heart of Hastings Old Town just one year ago. In that time they have completely transformed the interior with their bold...

Let it Shine

Don’t we all long for a conservatory, whether it’s one of those gorgeous concoctions displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show that we look longingly into or something more down to earth. And conservatories get plenty of use all year round...

The Contemporary Home with Arts and Crafts Roots

Geoff and Annie Waring had a history of taking on major projects and with their combined artistic talent they have created an incredibly stylish, light and contemporary family home but one that still pays a respectful nod to the original...

Gardening Resolutions

Here we go again – out with the old and in with the new and all the happy resolutions are sitting there looking shiny and achievable. Hopes are high and all is ‘plans and perusing’. I’ve been looking out of...

Farmhouse with African Heartbeat

Through her inventive and unique approach to interior design, Alexis Wylie has sensitively updated her ancient farmhouse to create a quirky, yet organised, family space. The Wylie family's delightful Bodiam farmhouse is a breath of fresh air. The eye catching...

Historic Family Home

This house, down a rough farm track near Staplehurst, is not a show home, neither is it a designer home full of the latest interior trends. It’s not bling and doesn’t have electric gates with an intercom where visitors have...

The Wallpaper Designer’s Home

Wallpaper and fabric designer Louise Body and her husband Jonny's Hastings home is testament to ten years of ‘doing it themselves’ and to Louise’s incredible creative talent. They wouldn’t have it any other way. Their home reveals a passion for...

Deck the Halls

Traditions surrounding mid-winter celebrations have been wreathed in evergreen foliage down through the ages. The Romans decorated their villas with evergreens to mark the winter festival of Saturnalia, the Pagans celebrated the winter solstice with holly and ivy and the...

The Quirky Original Townhouse

Anthropology, Arabic, art history… the lady of this house is erudite, well-read and widely travelled and it shows at every turn. Being a landlord can be a stressful business, especially when the building you are renting out is a stunning,...

Industrial Glamour Comes to St Leonards

The regeneration of St Leonards is hitting the news. Stuart and Sarah Taylor's house, a classic redbrick late Victorian villa with decorative plasterwork, is an excellent example of the kind of properties which attract couples with young families to decamp...

Gorgeous Goodnestone Park

Built in 1704 by the current owner's ancestor, Sir Brook Bridges, Goodnestone is a truly lovely Palladian country house enjoying that uniquely Georgian combination of welcome, warmth and elegance. Jane Austen was a regular visitor and wrote of the ‘great...

Francesca Rowan-Plowden’s Beach House

The interior design work of Ms Francesca Rowan-Plowden is in need of serious celebration. In Field View at Winchelsea Beach she has created an idyllic beach holiday home.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Every month, when I walk into yet...

From a Tiny Acorn…

On the first day of college we were instructed that the only book we would need at this stage was The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs. We were pretty horrified to see that it didn’t have any pictures. But...

Californian Styling Comes to East Sussex

Hollywood inspired glamour has arrived in Hastings, courtesy of Alexa and Sebastien and their Chaletfornia home. Following a huge renovation project, the couple have succeeded in creating an interior as stunning as the East Sussex views which inspired them to...

Whether the Weather

Back in July I was trying to count the swifts swooping over Wye – five, six, seven. They moved so fast that it was very difficult. But just a few days later there were none and Dave King, the retired...

Ultra Modern Scandi Styling

After several sunny years downunder Jenna and Andrew didn’t want to leave the light and airy mood they loved in Australian houses behind when they moved back to the UK – so they re-created it in Hersham.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ...

Creative Home in Hastings

With inspiring views looking out to sea and glorious opened-up spaces within, Ginny and MJ have made a commanding terrace house in Hastings as harmonious as the choirs they run.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] There’s something rather charming, and...

Contemporary Coach House Conversion

Mix together an interior decorator and a bespoke kitchen designer and you have the perfect recipe for creating a 21st century home from a Victorian coach house.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] However hard we try to think outside the...

Country Home Filled With Natural Light

In an area famed for its atmospheric, timber houses, Mark and Tara were hard-pushed to find one that provided the light-filled home they were after. After a year of searching and a year of negotiating, they finally moved into this...

Country Cottage with Alpine Inspired Interior

There can be few weatherboarded cottages in the Weald of Kent that offer visitors such a welcome and refreshing surprise. Forget low ceilings and dark corners, or chintzy, rustic styling, and prepare yourselves for a trip to the Alps.[showhide more_text="READ...

Opening Up A Whole, Other World

Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame," once wrote P.G. Wodehouse, "the shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is...

School Farms – Hadlow College

 How long has Hadlow had a school farm? Hadlow began running the Princess Christian Farm site over seven years ago, in partnership with Kent County Council, who own the land. What animals or crops do you have? Our farm animals...

How Boys and Girls Learn at Primary School Age

Neuroscience studies have for years revealed subtle differences in the rate at which certain regions of the brain develop in young boys and girls. These genetic distinctions are often used to explain why it is thought that language and communication...

Cut Above the Rest

Imagine floating serenely down rows of beautiful blooms, pausing every now and then to pick some perfect buds on long sturdy stems – then filling the house with delicately arranged vases of flowers. Just the thought of growing your own...

Meet The Heads – Jill Milner

What was your favourite subject at school and why? My favourite subject at school, by far, was English. I've always loved reading and have been fascinated by the power of words, either in text or on the stage, to transport...

Smugglers’ Haunt Becomes Rural Retreat

In the 18th century, Ingram House was a coaching inn and a favourite haunt of the infamous Hawkhurst Gang. Fortunately for its owners, Anthony and Simon, shoot-outs are a thing of the past. It is now a tranquil rural retreat,...

Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Mint Vinaigrette

  Combine wine, soy sauce, garlic, mint, rosemary and pepper in a non-metallic dish and place lamb in the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Prepare BBQ for grilling. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade. Cook the lamb on...

Broadening Horizons – Ed O’Connor

Does your school give equal weight to non-academic subjects? I am fortunate in that Sackville appreciates the importance of the creative arts in developing confidence and wellbeing. All students experience a wide range of Visual Arts, Drama, Music and Film...

Farmhouse Renovation

A childhood love of horses led Jenny and her husband Dave to look for a home near to where they stabled their horse in the Sussex High Weald. After much searching, they finally found the perfect project – transforming a...

The Cowdrey Cricketing Family’s Offham Home

Few things are as quintessentially English as cricket. The same could almost be said of the Old Rectory at Offham, with its ragstone gateway, sweeping gravel drive and classic Georgian facade. It’s the perfect setting for a period drama –...

Arts & Crafts Surrey Home

When Victoria and David left London for Surrey they had no idea that such a wonderful home was just around the corner, down a pretty leafy lane. An expansive Arts & Crafts house, with more than a touch of Betjeman...

Containing Your Joy

I don’t know if any of you have been down to Hanham Court Gardens near Bath. Julian and Isabel Bannerman, Chelsea Gold Medal winners and whose commissions include incredibly imaginative creations at Highgrove, bought the house, part of a glorious mediaeval...

Goudhurst Country Refurbished Retreat

Despite moving to London and starting a family, the Weald will always be home to Ben Parker. So, when he and his French wife, Perrine spotted a large Georgian farmhouse in need of refurbishment, a deal was struck and the...

Georgian Style Grand Design

Grand, imposing and seemingly a Georgian rectory, this family home in the heart of the High Weald is not what it seems. For, behind the rambling roses and historic facade lies a thoroughly modern house – built only 10 years...

Jobs to do in April

Spring is the time for investment gardening, so the more effort you put in now, the less you’ll have to do later in the season. There ought to be a saying for it - a weed pulled today keeps thousands...

From Blank Canvas to Family Home

Leaving behind an Arts and Crafts house to move nearer their boys’ school, the Smith family were faced with a huge, unfinished shell of a building – but one that was surrounded by wild-flower meadows and incredible rolling hills. This...

Country Lodge Guest House

Setting the scene has been Emma Clarke’s professional role for many years. So, when the opportunity arose to create her own, domestic show-stopper, she was more than qualified – as her magnificent home demonstrates.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Very...

Small and Interesting

We couldn’t quite decide who was to get the sunflower seeds this morning. Us or the birds? The birds won but that was only because it was the Great Garden Birdwatch this weekend and sunflower seeds on the bird-table bring...

Signs of Spring

We have had a weirdly warm and wet winter so far this year and this could also bring the spring in early, which for an impatient gardener like me, is a good thing. Whether this is beneficial for anyone else...

The Stylish Family Home

After spotting the potential of this Victorian house near Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells, Justine Hodgson-Barker, an interior designer, and her husband James set about transforming it into a stylish yet functional family home.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] They...

Belvidere Place – Broadstairs Boutique B&B

When Jilly Sharpe left Peckham, south London, for Broadstairs, she needed a home and a way to make a living. Belvidere Place, a run-down and dilapidated Georgian building that had been neglected for 200 years, was to be her saviour...

Modern Styling in a 1920s Home

It is often said that ‘mother knows best’. In the case of this 1920s home in Dorking, Surrey, it would be hard to dispute this – especially when you discover that the mother in question is an award-winning artist and...

Restored Rustic Wealden Farmhouse

When Sarah and Dean made the decision to move to Kent from Hertfordshire, they agreed that they would only buy a house they both truly loved. When they found this 16th century Wealden farmhouse near Ulcombe, in need of restoration...

Sackville West Gardener’s Cottage in Sissinghurst

A gardener’s cottage built in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, which overlooks Sissinghurst Castle, makes a tranquil retreat for National Trust gardener Claire Abery, whose ‘make-do-and-mend’ approach is perfectly fitting for this former Land Girls’ billet.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS"...

Wonderful Whitstable Chalet

Francine Raymond’s house on Joy Lane in Whitstable is proof that the Arts and Crafts movement didn't come to an end in the early 20th century. An appropriate address for such a joyous home, this ‘chalet house’, built in 1906...

Beautiful Farmhouse and Wedding Venue

Rob, Caroline and family brought the Woolpack Hotel in Tenterden to life and since then, it has also won plaudits for its décor, which is no real surprise – Rob originally trained as an interior designer. So, with such obvious...

Lay Down Your Shears

Last week we were having a leisurely walk in Brockwell Park, an estate set out in the early nineteenth century, complete with mansion, walled gardens and huge greenhouses, and now a park bordered by Brixton and Tulse Hill in South...

Hastings Fisherman’s Cottage Becomes Coastal Retreat

Linda Carter’s Hastings retreat has provided her and her family with a convenient coastal bolt hole, not too far from their main home in Kilndown. Filled with finds that she has tracked down at French brocantes over the years, Linda...

Spacious Family Farmhouse

Peter and Jilly Burnet’s spacious farmhouse has provided the couple with a glorious family home for over twenty years. Spread over three floors, this stunning beamed property has borne witness to many a party, celebration and even church fêtes.[showhide more_text="READ...

Brilliant Bulbs

A garden without spring bulbs is somehow a cheerless place; forget-me-nots and wallflowers definitely need a few bulbs bobbing above them and it really is the easiest way to inject some early colour into containers and borders. Planting bulbs is an...

Welcome Home

After coming to Goudhurst as a hop picker at 19, Suzanne Stobbs knew she’d love to return one day to live in the village. Now Suzanne and her husband Tim have found their perfect family home in an idyllic position...

Remarkable Renovation

When curtain maker Annette Poole decided to move from Battle to Hastings, she researched lots of properties before finding a hillside home to suit her family. After three years of renovation work, she has created a unique interior to reflect...

Whats Cooking at Holmewood House School?

Can you talk us through a typical lunchtime meal? Every day we offer: a healthy, traditional main course meal using fresh seasonal ingredients; homemade soup and rolls; a freshly prepared salad bar with a choice of protein; pasta or baked...

Minimalist Chapel Renovation

When Nick and Sonja walked into Goudhurst’s old disused Methodist Chapel they knew they could make something truly special from the 2,000 square feet of space bounded by solid Victorian brick and soaring Gothic windows. A year and a half...

Mynthurst Mansion – Victorian Splendour

After deciding to sell a home in Camberwell and let another in Canterbury, Dan and Chris made the decision to settle in a graceful apartment in an elegant Victorian house. A little over three years later, and after an extensive...

Strong Front

I’ve been driving up to London on the South Circular Road for about thirty years and, despite being not much fun, it gives you a chance to look at front gardens when you are sitting at endless sets of traffic...

New Build Home with Scandi and 60s Design

When Jenny and Doug Branson decided to make a move to Dorking they initially set their sights on Victorian properties. But for interior designer Jenny, a chance viewing of a new build property proved to be an irresistibly blank canvas.[showhide...

Novelist’s Charming Victorian Home

For twenty-six years Debbie Rix and her husband Tony have been evolving their generously proportioned Victorian home to suit the various stages of family life. Peaceful and calm, the beautiful gardens which surround the house now provide Debbie with the...

Vita Sackville-West’s Grandaughter’s Sissinghurst Home

In light of the release of her new book Have You Been Good? Vanessa Nicolson shows Wealden Times around the house that was once owned by her grandparents, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. Following a few alterations, Vanessa has created...

Monochrome Home – Remarkable Rebuild

After years of rural living, seasoned property renovators Catherine and Rupert decided to move their growing family to a spacious Victorian townhouse in the heart of Sevenoaks. After extensive modernisation, in a very short timeframe, they have succeeded in creating...

Informal Design

Hello to June, the cottage garden month, when everything in the garden is coming up roses, and – if you’re lucky, Delphiniums and Geraniums too. Those classic herbaceous perennials have been gracing our gardens for centuries and have come to...

Born Survivors

On a recent Friday afternoon it was pouring with rain as we drove through the sprawl of Camber, past the shooting ranges at Lydd and then turned off to Dungeness. The rain stopped just as we reached The Pilot, still...

Victorian Townhouse with a Modern Twist

After years of rural living, seasoned property renovators Catherine and Rupert decided to move their growing family to a spacious Victorian townhouse in the heart of Sevenoaks. After extensive modernisation, in a very short timeframe, they have succeeded in creating...

Harry Potter Jeweller’s Magical Home

When jeweller Catherine Hills and her family decided to relocate from the hustle and bustle of Islington to Tunbridge Wells they happened upon a Victorian villa tucked away down a peaceful street. Several years later, and with a wonderful new...

Luxury Coach House B&B

When Nina and Nick found Chilverbridge House, a stunning 17th century, Grade II-listed manor house with a semi-converted granary and coach house in Arlington, they knew it was exactly what they had been looking for. Over the last eight years...

Barn Conversion with Moorish Charm

Blending soaring ceilings with middle-eastern furniture finds, the success of Lorraine Kerr’s barn conversion lies in her ability to inject a little quirkiness into a traditional, beamed interior to create a stunning family home.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Interiors...

Poultry SOS!

Red Mite This grim little pest is a curse for the poor chicken, coming out of the crevices in the house at night and feeding like a minute Dracula on the hens’ blood. Left unchecked it will kill your fowl...

Home From Home

Knowing I was to write a feature on boarding, I recently subjected my elder son to a viewing of Lindsay Anderson’s 1969 film If, a limited but not entirely unfaithful depiction of public school life in the 1960s and based upon...

Why Gardening Is Important For Your Children’s Health

This year my eldest daughter Chloe is going to try a tomato. I dare to hope that she may even like it. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be a shop-bought variety as she would never eat one of those!...

The Forever Family Home

When Jenny Tudor and her husband moved into their spacious double fronted Victorian house they knew they had found a home to settle in. After a few careful moderations this sizeable property is now perfectly suited to accommodate the couple’s...

Vibrant 60s Design Home

  Using her keen eye for vintage and unusual design, Sam, with the help of her husband Richard, has transformed her family’s award-winning sixties-built home into a haven for unique and fascinating finds.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"]   A...

Courtyard Cottage Open-Plan Living

When Christine and her partner Kevin decided to downsize they chose to design and tailor the perfect space to meet their new requirements. Through careful planning and a knack for maximising on space, they have transformed a small courtyard cottage...

Contemporary Gadget-Filled Home

When Katie and Richard yearned for a change from their 1960s family farmhouse, they embarked on an epic project to realise their dream home from scratch. Twenty-one months, and 35 tonnes of Turkish marble, later the couple have created a...

Natural Predators

Thank goodness, we have more insect ‘allies’ than pests. So why not abandon all those half used, half dried up containers of chemicals in the shed and work with our ‘allies’ to strike a healthy balance in the garden? Organic...

Leading Veg

If you’re pacing up and down indoors like a caged, vegetable growing tiger, eager to get out and onto the plot, there’s a chink of good news, because the light is coming back and there are quite a few crops...

The Home of Pickle Pie Gifts

Over a relatively short period of time, Sandra Dowse has grown her idea of creating personalised homewares and accessories into an incredibly successful online business with orders coming from all over the world. John Graham-Hart finds out how she and...

Port Lympne’s Dramatic Restoration

When John Aspinall acquired Port Lympne in the 1970s, he rescued the impressive mansion from decades of neglect. Flanked by endangered species on all sides, this grand building opened as a hotel and wedding venue in 2014, and offers a...

Artists’ Vibrant Hastings Home

When Anna Deacon and John Taylor decided to downsize, Hastings’s art scene lured them to the coast where they have transformed a hillside property using their enviably creative approach to interiors.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Life, it seems, has...

The Christmas House – Tudor Restoration

After five years of painstaking restoration, chef, writer and photographer Alastair Hendy has succeeded in returning his Grade II listed 16th century merchant’s house in Hastings Old Town to its pared-back Tudor glory.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Come with...

Pelham Hall – Opulent Burwash B&B

Inspired by the Charleston principle – to seek out only the most beautiful or interesting pieces to furnish their interior – Matthew Fox and his partner Chris have transformed a dilapidated antiques shop on Burwash High Street into an enviably...

Creative Couple Relocate to the Countryside

When creative London couple Roni and John decided to relocate to the country, they initially set their sights on a Kentish Georgian property. But once they’d happened upon a pretty 17th century cottage they knew they had found what they...

Strong Foundations

The garden is putting itself to bed for the winter and it’s up to you how much you want to help it do this; you can tidy up behind it, or leave it to its own devices as it sheds...

Little Treasures

Buds are already forming on the Sarcococcas ready to burst into flower just when it seems that nothing else will. And this small genus is really my Number 1 amongst winter treasures. It should be compulsory for all of us...

Seagulls & Stripes Hastings B&B

Following the birth of their first child, Jon and Sara decided they would like to return to England from Stockholm to begin a new life. Having always talked about starting their own business, the couple decided on Hastings to begin...

Beautiful Butterfly Cottage

Over the years Tina Atkins has turned her love of homemaking into a successful business, Liberty Bee. Taking inspiration from her travels across the UK and Europe, Tina has steadily grown her brand whilst maintaining a busy family lifestyle.[showhide more_text="READ...

Neat & Tidy

I think it was on a recent Gardeners’ Question Time that one of the panellists said that he was constantly being asked: ‘What do you find to do in the winter?’ As he said, he was busier then than in the...

Recycle Your Garden

To everything there is a season (‘turn, turn, turn’ – you’ll be singing that all day now, sorry). A time to live and a time to – let things softly and quietly decompose back into usefulness. This is the season...

Artist Luke Hannam’s Residence Near Rye

When Luke Hannam and his wife Tess decided to relocate from their South London home to a sleepy village near the South Coast, they found the perfect place for their young family to grow and stumbled upon an ideal opportunity...

Triumphant Burton Home Restoration

When Louise Convert and her family bought their seaside home they’d already tackled the renovation of three local properties. The building they had settled on – a Burton, in a lovely secluded position – had been converted into three flats,...

Eat Well

Ruth Kitchener, Head of Food Technology at Sackville School, shares her secrets for encouraging pupils to develop their cookery skills At what age do children start to learn how to cook at Sackville School? Here all students study Food Technology...

Lidham Hill Farmhouse Near Rye

Sally and Rob yearned for a change of scenery, making the decision to move from bustling city to tranquil countryside. After a two year search, they finally found their dream home near Rye and embarked on a considerable renovation which...

Treasure Trove in Tenterden

Having downsized from a large Georgian property where they ran an award-winning bed and breakfast, Pippa and Mike Carter decided to move to a small cottage just down the road in order to buy a place in France. Having devoted...

Fantastic Eco Friendly Farm Building Conversion

Vicky and James have converted a cluster of former farm buildings into a superb, eco-friendly 21st century family home that won them the Ashford Borough Council 2009 Design Award for Building Conservation.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Over the 17th...

Fashion Insider Transforms Georgian Hastings Property

Fashion insider Lionel Copley’s home is testament to his unique eye for design. The Georgian property is the latest in a succession of transformative projects that Lionel has undertaken across Hastings Old Town as well as being a wonderful showcase...

Adult Education – Home & Garden

Alex Mitchell & CJ Jackson's 'Pot to Pot': How to grow your own and eat it too! Workshop dates: 8, 15, 22 or 29 September 2014 Location, time & cost: The Coach House, Long Mill Lane, Crouch TN15 8QB, Kent...

Take it to the Next Level – Ashford School

Dr Marcus J. Allen FSB Higher Education & Careers Adviser, Ashford School How do you ensure that each student is guided towards the most fitting GCSE and A Level choices for their strengths? I am the school's specialist Higher Education &...

A Question of Choice

The Government's drive to raise standards has increased the number of core subjects students have to study, so there are in fact fewer GCSE choices to make. Nevertheless, for parents new to this game, talk of options, blocks, EBaccs and...

Out & About

Go Ape, Bedgebury Forest, nr Goudhurst Go Ape offers action-packed forest days out. Experience a 2-3 hour Tree Top Adventure where you'll fly down zip-wires, leap off a Tarzan Swing and tackle a range of obstacles whilst enjoying some of...

What is an Academy?

It is relatively rare that a policy of one government is so enthusiastically embraced by its successor as has been that of academy schools. Launched by the Blair government in 2000, academy schools are now the apple of Mr Gove's...

A Portrait of War

On a bright desert day in June, 1918, a young Icarus fell from the timeless skies of Egypt and in those few short moments of his fall was transformed from a joyful and charismatic son, brother, friend and comrade into...

Adult Education – Catching Up

The Weald of Kent Computer Club Dates: Monthly, throughout the year Location, time & cost: New Village Hall, Biddenden, 7.30-9.30pm, guest members £3 per evening: free on first visit, full members £10 annually and £2 per evening The club is...

Victorian Grange Transformation

Philippa MacKinnon has employed her enviable organisational skills to sensitively transform her Victorian grange from a dilapidated space, untouched since the 1960s, to a chic and functional family home with ingenious storage solutions.[showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] On the...

Vibrant Georgian Home of Ragged Rose Furnishings

Keen to embark on a new challenge, Dawn Rose has capitalized on her experience as former head of Home Buying for both Selfridges and House of Fraser to launch her own homeware and soft furnishings business, Ragged Rose, which she...

Interior Designer’s Tunbridge Wells Home

Phoebe Oldrey and her husband Miles knew that they wanted to move out of London, but were adamant that, unlike many Londoners, they didn’t want to ‘escape to the country’. They wanted to live in a nice rural town, somewhere...

Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers

What lovelier thing than to grow some gorgeous wedding flowers? If you’re the bride reading this, don’t take the title of this piece literally – I’m hoping there’ll be a loving relative or friend eager to help, or (preferably) grow,...

A Taste of the Exotic

Ilove TimeOut’s description of Brixton Market as a ‘sensory fiesta’ for that is what it is. And in the course of my weekly grandmotherly duties, I’ve found myself exploring the shops in the market selling fruit and vegetables from all...

Flamboyant and Creative Seaside Family Home

Carmel and Mick have transformed their seaside home into a flamboyant and creative space perfect for their family to pursue their musical talents. Bexhill-on-Sea is better known for bungalows than for period houses – even the seafront boasts a long,...

Georgian Farmhouse Transformed into Colourful Family Home

Much is written of the Georgian house – its perfect proportions, its soaring rooms, its windows that allow light to flood into every nook and cranny. However, these eulogies tend to be about grand Georgian town houses or elegant country...

Action Plan

Eddie Erith from GardenEye Why gardening? I was brought up on a farm in Essex and grew to love the great outdoors, the fresh air and the amazing versatility of the landscape. We were in Elm country and those years...

Minimum Effort, Maximum Yield

It’s hard to imagine, but there really are some vegetables that will just grow, without fuss or tantrums, regardless. But low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance – your plot will still need preparing and then weeding and feeding, but the...

Humble Garage to Gorgeous Guesthouse

Converting a building that was never designed for human habitation into an attractive home can be a rewarding challenge. Oasts, barns, coach houses, urban industrial or commercial buildings – all have proved popular with architects and their clients and have...

Costless Cures

Spied in a garden down in Devon last July was a big clump of what was to me an unknown plant or certainly something I hadn’t really noticed particularly. It was in the hedgerows too, along with any manner of...

Medieval Hall House

If one is looking for a historic Wealden building that has provided some of the most attractive and practical homes in our corner of the world it wouldn’t be the oast but a considerably more ancient contender – the medieval...

Stunning Renovation

Grasping the potential of a spacious Georgian or Victorian house, whatever its condition, is not exactly brain surgery. The basics are all there. A little re-modelling here and there to adapt it for 21st century living, an eye for colour...

Perfumed Petals

Imagine the moment when the plant hunter, Ernest (Chinese) Wilson first came across a ravine in Szechuan Province in China which was alive with L. regale in full flower. In his excitement and desire to get closer, he slipped and...

Memories Are Made Of This

"It is so important to keep a history of a school, or any building." These are the words of Karen Brock, who took it upon herself to become the archivist of Dulwich Preparatory School, Cranbrook. Now, seven years later, this...

Gypsy Tart

Heat oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Roll pastry to fit a 6” pie dish and gently prick base – bake blind for approx 20 mins. Place milk and sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk, starting slowly...

Heritage Conversion Success Story

Taking a building that has lain derelict or neglected for decades, perhaps centuries, and breathing new life into old stone and brick can be a hugely rewarding experience. At first, there is the realisation and then conviction that the potential...

Reaching Out

Much misunderstood, maligned and ignored, ivy does have some supporters, amongst them famous gardeners including William Robinson, EA Bowles, Rosemary Verey, Roy Strong, Christopher Lloyd and Margery Fish whose garden at Lambrook Manor was host to her large collection of...

Victorian Townhouse Doubles As Antique Showroom

An American catching sight of a friend’s particularly fine painting, sculpture or piece of furniture would have no hesitation in paying the appropriate compliment and casually adding ‘Waddyagiveforit?’ We Brits are considerably more reticent when it comes to discussing money....

Renovated Period Cottage

Renovating a period cottage is always a challenge. The lives we lead are very different both from those of the 17th century villagers and farm workers for whom these homes were originally built and from the families who have updated...

Promenade Paradise

There are things in this world that go effortlessly together. Things that seem made for each other. Bagels and cream cheese, Bogey & Bacall, Champagne and caviar, Farrow & Ball – and it’s the same when we walk into one...

Killing Them Softly

I’m not sure I’m the right person to be telling you about garden pests, having come to gardening via a childhood spent communing with them. I kept snails in my doll’s house, ants in matchboxes and earwig families in a...

Coach House Conversion

Arriving at Alli Williams’s home on the Kent-Sussex border, it’s almost impossible to remember that you’ve come to write about a house and not merely draw up a garden chair, pour yourself a glass of something crisp and white and...

An Enduring Legacy

Decimus Burton was quite a gent. Born in 1800, the son of James Haliburton, one of the most significant builders of Georgian London, he studied under John Nash and designed his first major public building – Colosseum in Regent’s Park...

State-of-the-Art Country House Apartment

It’s an impressive approach to David and Louise’s apartment, through large gates and into immaculate country house style grounds. It’s situated on the third floor of a large, elegant block so we take the lift. There are stairs, of course,...

Neat & Tidy

Gridlocked on the M25 recently, we were consoled by the thought that when we eventually reached home, half an hour’s blackberrying would revive the spirits. But no, we were greeted with the ominous sound of the hedgecutters at work and...

Remodelled Victorian Home

As a six-year-old child, I had just one ambition. Not to be a train driver or super-hero, not to slay dragons and rescue damsels in distress, not to ride into the western sunset with the Lone Ranger. My ambition was...

Wow-Factor Wealden New Build

Philippa and Stephen’s new house in East Sussex re-ignites – should it need any re-ignition – the important debate surrounding the question of how and what should we in the Weald be building for the future. Houses are not ephemera....

Kitsch & Chic Family Home

Hannah Gee’s house is set back from the road, much further back than all the others, hanging back, in case anyone notices that it doesn’t look like the rest, that it isn’t a period house. Hannah was curious to know...

Wildlife Friends

I’ll be honest, I do sometimes go round the old fencing around the perimeter of my garden trying to find out how those wily badgers get in. And of course at this time of the year, there is always evidence...

17th Century Farmhouse

Stella Hayes initially fell in love with the property's glorious garden. She has gone on to create a beautiful home filled with her impressive art collection. [showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] “I walked in through the gate, saw the...

Preparation Is Key

In this new climate for business and the economy, the competition for jobs is becoming increasingly fierce. Businesses want employees who can read and write, of course, but they are also looking for the 'soft skills' of common sense, team-working,...

Art Collector’s Inspired Hastings Home

It takes many of us a lifetime to discover that treasure lies closer to home than we think, but when Robert Amstad was trying to find a property to live in a few years ago, he realised that a building...

We Hear It From The Kids

Hector, age 2½ (above left) says... What's your favourite thing to do with mummy and daddy? (When I wake up at 5am everyday...) I like to build things out of Duplo with Daddy. What's your favourite story? 'The Elephant and the Bad...

Boutique Bouquet

Brought up in the tropics, I have never lost my awe of the beautiful chameleon landscape in which I now find myself nor have I lost my admiration for those who work within this landscape to create gardens so at...

Kaffe Fassett’s Colourful Home

Without doubt, a visit to the Hastings home of internationally renowned contemporary craft artist Kaffe Fassett and his partner and studio manager Brandon Mably, would bring joy to even the most downhearted of people. Filled with an explosion of colours...

Rural Retreat

It’s a steamy and umbelliferous (as in lots of floaty cow parsley) morning in the Weald as we arrive at Wendy’s secluded house, which is tucked away from view down a narrow leafy lane. We’re warmly greeted with a, “Mind...

Walnuts Farm: Film Location and Family Home

There must be those among you that occasionally, in a quiet moment, stroll through your homes and think that, yes, after all the planning, plotting and hard work, you’ve at last got it right – on a good day this...

Delightful Modern Country Cottage

Building new houses in traditional Wealden villages has always been a problem and one with which architects are still grappling today. Just how do you design a home that satisfies the varied needs of a modern family while ensuring it...

What’s Hot in the Garden

Thankfully even at the Chelsea Flower Show most gardening trends tend to last more than a year and it often takes a while before a fashion really sets in, which is a relief, otherwise by the time the feature is...

Onto a Good Thing

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) I’m not sure how unusual comfrey can be considered to be but not everybody has it, and actually not everybody wants it as it spreads like mad (but does suppress the weeds) but what a plant. It...

60s Themed Seaside Holiday Home

I’m sure we’ve all thought about buying a house by the sea – perhaps after an idyllic holiday, or a bracing walk, even just a drive along the coast. On the morning we visit James Rourke’s house, as the sullen...

Outside In

Less,” famously said architect Mies van der Rohe, “is more.” Arithmetical nonsense, perhaps, or an architectural truth that becomes self-evident when you see, for the first time, either his sublime 1929 Barcelona Pavilion or The Farnsworth House, a retreat he...

A Family Affair

It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values,” once said poet Lawrence Durrell. “You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and...

Rooms Outside

In my Ladybird book Talkabout Gardens (circa 1972) there are pictures of a back garden. It has a bit of paving across the back of the house, a lawn with a swing and a whirligig in it, a few flowers...

Georgian Home

When talking about the enduring popularity of Georgian architecture one can bang on endlessly about its classical heritage, its proportion and balance and the strict mathematical rules that govern every detail but the truth is that when we see a...

Back to Basics

When you’re starting from scratch with a new garden, it’s quite useful to peer over your fence to see what your neighbours are growing or what sort of trees are growing in the nearest piece of woodland to you but...

Artist Karen Birchwood’s Beautiful Home

There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and mumbling down to breakfast to be greeted by Radio Four at 90 decibels. The dog, in one corner, is chewing thoughtfully through a 240-volt cable while in another your...

Cultural Retreat

At first glance The Cloudesley is an ordinary, if imposing, bed and breakfast establishment, with nothing much to hint that something more exotic lies within. We walk up the path past a whispering curtain of bamboo, over the inauspicious threshold...

Pro-Active

Kelli Hooper BA Hons Physical Education, Head of PE at Cobham Hall What were your favourite sports at school? Netball - I played for a ladies team from 13 and county level at 16+ - both fantastic experiences. I also...

Speaking The Same Language

In the new National Curriculum, languages are an 'entitlement' area for learning, which puts them in the same box as history and geography, as opposed to one of the core subjects. Learning a language is not just about words, it...

Primary Palette Country Cottage

Oeda O’Hara’s cottage appeared on its Wealden village green just in time to see the end of the Boer War, although one has the feeling that this happy event attracted its interest as little as many other world milestones over...

Jessica Zoob’s Joyful Home

There are many times when visiting the houses that we feature in these pages that one is delighted by what one finds. One departs impressed, even inspired. A visit to the home of artist Jessica Zoob, however, is – and...

Town & Country Home

Living the rural dream, yet within walking distance of a vibrant town community are surely mutually exclusive ideas. Paul and his wife Jane certainly thought so, until a 17th century moated property nestling off a busy Wealden High Street, reached...

White Christmas

Steph Virgo’s house is getting dressed early for Christmas and even from the outside, bathed in winter sunshine rather than snow, it looks appropriately festive. The handsome 18th century lodge house with its stucco walls rather resembles a giant Christmas...

Opulent Oast Conversion

Oast conversions are not uncommon in Kent, but few have been as skilfully updated for modern family life as well as Claire Horrell’s. The box edged front garden and sparkling white weatherboard façade hint at a sophisticated approach to country...

A Passion for Arts and Crafts

Part of the great attraction of a town like Rye is that with its ancient walls, cobbled streets and buildings, it seems almost suspended in time, but while many such towns can fall into the trap of becoming rather twee...

The Room Outside

Louise Bamford Oak Designs What type of outdoor building do you have? I have a three bay oak framed cartlodge garage which has a handmade claytiled roof with a rear catslide and a home office/gym in the third bay. It is...

Carmelized Onion Tartlets with Thyme

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using a 5cm round cutter, cut out 24 circles of pastry. Place in a mini canapé tin in the oven for 15 minutes. Slice onions, either by hand or in a food processor. Place in...

Tiny Parmesan & Olive Shortbreads with Parsley Pesto & Goat’s Cheese

Preheat oven to 180°C Place flour, pinch salt and cayenne, butter, Parmesan and 1tsp black olives in a food processor. Pulse to form a smooth dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a 0.5cm thickness. Stamp out 40...

Summer Cottage

There are many adjectives that are easily associated with an English country cottage. Cottages are warm, charming, quaint, atmospheric. Light, bright, airy or spacious rarely make it into the top 10 – and yet these are exactly the descriptors that...

Life Aquatic

The predecessor in our cottage who lived on the Isle of Oxney for many years before leaving for the depths of Herefordshire, wrote such an interesting letter to us following a query we had about a particularly damp area of...

Hailsham Grange

Hailsham, in East Sussex, has like most English market towns, seen a number of changes to its building stock over the centuries, but the 15th century St. Mary’s Church still rises above all other newcomers and seems to draw the...

Secret Garden

Five years ago, at the beginning of what proved to be a life changing journey through the Kimberleys in Western Australia, we arrived in the old pearling town of Broome just at the right moment. For a few days every...

Domestic Heroes in Training

We are in a new era of make-do and mend so it is no surprise to learn that many of us are re-visiting the knitting and sewing skills we were taught at our mother's knee. There are a host of...

The Art of Debating

Everywhere you look these days, someone is offering an opinion. From social networking sites to radio phone-ins, it's simple to give your view - anyone can do it. But to debate properly is a skill and an art that can...

Here To Help

Claremont School What's on offer for pupils after school? Our working day incorporates both the children's needs and those of parents. Children may be dropped off any time after eight o'clock in the morning and collected, after supervised homework, up to...

Colonial Style Kentish Home

A house of the New World seems to have sprung up in the Old. Along a meandering Kent lane, a white picket fence is not so unusual, but the huge white weatherboarded house with its wide verandah and shiny corrugated zinc...

For Sale

The number of students applying for places at university this September has dropped by around 50,000 according to the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS), a fall which has been partly attributed to the increase in tuition fees - but...

Phil Oakley Illuminations’ Home

The old Admiral Benbow in St Leonards used to be one of the roughest pubs on the south coast, regulars exiting the windows as often as the doors. Even today, no longer a pub, it is still perhaps just a...

Life at the Top

Some of the grandest Victorian houses in Hastings and St. Leonards were built on quite a different scale to what we are now used to, so it takes some stamina to reach designer Charlotte Elfdahl’s flat at the very top...

Last of the Summer Salads

Did you think it was all over in the vegetable garden for the year? That you could harvest your spring sowings, clear the patch and then relax? I have some news. Whether it’s good or bad depends on how you...

Interior Designs

With hundreds of fabrics, wallpapers, and paint colours to choose from, many of us are confused, perplexed, or out of our depth when it comes to decorating a room. The thought of refurbishing an entire house from top to bottom...

The Siren Sound of the Sea

Sea Gem is aptly named and a Modernist treasure. It echoes the style of 1930s English seaside architecture but is no imitation or pastiche. The angular forms and spiral outdoor stairs, reminiscent of an ocean liner, have the elegance of...

An Agricultural Gem

Converted oasts can be rather like those childhood Christmas presents from Great Aunt Hermione – they look the biz from the outside but inside they are too often architectural socks. Oasts are, after all, industrial buildings built for hops not...

Luscious Leaves

At the beginning of April, a headline to an article in one of the national dailies read, ‘Chelsea Flower Show goes dry as traditional blooms take a back seat’ and succulents were certainly prominent in the show gardens this year...

Russian Royalty’s Kent Home

Kent seems a rather unlikely spot for Russian royalty to choose to settle in. Its gently undulating landscape is more likely to be filled with apple orchards than fir or birch forests. But one branch of the Romanov dynasty came...

Ash Cottage

When its current owners, Alice and James, first saw Ash Cottage it wasn’t love at first sight, rather a growing understanding of its potential and what it could one day be to the couple and their growing children. “I used...

Butterfly Borders

Last year was a bumper butterfly year. The unusually warm, dry spring we had benefitted those species that breed early in the season. This is heartening news, as the overall theme in the butterfly world is one of decline, due,...

A Darling House

We actually found this house for my husband Richard’s sister and brother-in-law, Hilary and Jeremy,” recalls Moyna Edmondson as she divides up a wonderfully fragrant Italian orange cake that she has just baked. “But they got cold feet and in...

Renovated Retreat

We have loved Rye for a long time,” says Rosemary as she ushers the WT team into her home in the centre of the historic ‘citadel’. “Every year for about 20 years my husband Richard and I came to stay...

Need for Seed

The early rush is over – peas, carrots, beetroot and broad beans could well be growing away nicely in your plot (if not, just throw some in now and they’ll do their best to catch up). The weather is warming...

Pets with a Purpose

There are 24 billion chickens in the world – that’s a fact, not a line from a Katie Melua song. If you divide that by 7 billion humans, that’s three and a half hens each, which is about the number...

The Old Rectory – Hastings B&B

Two years ago I read a piece in the Best Buys column of a Sunday supplement property section about The Old Rectory and admired it then. So how lovely to be able to satisfy one’s curiosity and discover what happened...

Florals with Morals

I love plants and flowers. When I receive a bouquet of wonderfully scented blooms, my whole being is lifted and I try not to think too much about where they may have come from. It really wouldn’t be polite. Therefore, when...

Textile Artist’s Beautiful Home

The entrance hall to Nancy Nicholson’s home is enticingly adorned with intriguing objects and ‘finds’. There is a sun-bleached sheep’s skull, an apothecary’s jar filled with shells and several sprigs of dried wild flowers and sea grasses. [showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ...

Mosaic Artist’s Home

Second-generation artist-craftsmen are not common in the 21st century, but mosaic artist, Oliver Budd is just such a rarity, and although he fulfils commissions as far away as Oman, his extraordinary creations are designed and made from a quiet village...

Colour Burst

I thought it was cold this week until I heard what the temperature had dropped down to in Eastern Europe, but biting north-easterly winds and low temperatures rarely deter professional gardeners from their winter jobs. And at Hole Park in Rolvenden,...

Restoration Dream

A move to the country from London can sometimes make an interesting career a little more difficult for some professions at least. Job opportunities for Art Historians (of the university academic variety) are not to be found in many villages in...

Laura Oakes’ Vibrant Home

It is said that to be creative one must have an inner life, a kind of storehouse of impressions, ideas and feelings to draw upon and reinterpret. That notion certainly seems appropriate to Laura Oakes an artist and designer who...

Heritage at Home

For some people demolishing any period cottage is heresy, a loss of irreplaceable national heritage, and, certainly, serious questions must always be asked before swinging the wrecker’s ball. But one must remember that many rural cottages – particularly those built...

A Snapshot of Family Life

It’s a slightly odd feeling to be writing about a house that belongs to someone who is normally occupied with photographing other people’s. David Merewether is the Wealden Times’ photographer at large and the sort of man who quietly charms...

Artist’s Impression

In Victorian times, Britain was a manufacturing colossus, the workshop of the world. A new architecture was born, the architecture of the machine. Strength and space were the new priorities but the Victorians were, of course, never above a little...

Kale and Hearty

I love kale - the look of it, the taste of it (not tough and bitter, despite its looks, I promise). For a member of the fussy and temperamental brassica family, it’s also incredibly easy to grow. I’m sure it would...

Photo Perfect

One would never for a moment describe Fuller House in Staplehurst as a mad house but it is certainly a touch on the eccentric side. I speak, I hasten to say, architecturally. [showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Its owner, portrait...

Deck the Halls

For some people Christmas comes around all too soon, but for others, it can neither be too soon or too often. Jacquie, or ‘Kitty’ as she is now more commonly known, definitely belongs to the latter category, which is probably...

Sugar and Spice

For some, the idea of a tea party conjures images of a rather staid affair, with matronly ladies sipping Earl Grey while enjoying a slice of Victoria sponge, but Anastasia Hutton-Summers, the founder of Kent Vintage Tea Parties doesn’t exactly...

Life on Mars

"I was on Britain’s Best Dish!” says Alastair Fairley with a grin, as he shows me into his kitchen. “I cooked pear and frangipane tart with homemade vanilla ice cream, and John Burton-Race said my ice cream was the best...

Best Kept Secret

There is, tucked away just behind the smart shops of one of the Weald’s most attractive towns, an extraordinary little secret street – ancient cobbles, weatherboard cottages tumbling with flowers and, at its end, fields rambling away into distance. Live...

Desert Island Discs

Tim Dix Director of Music Wellesley House School What's your first disc and why have you chosen it? As I am only being marooned for a week, I don't have to worry about overexposure to any of the music and so...

Home Comforts

Arriving at Lucinda Hamilton’s oasthouse, it seems that she can best be found by following the aroma of baking that wafts from the open French windows at the rear. A glance across the garden prompts a cartoonish double take as...

Speaking The Same Language

"It's true what they say," muses financial analyst Sam, "children are like sponges – they soak up the language and then just start speaking it." The mother of three saw this extraordinary ability at first hand with her own young...

Tender is the Veg

There is something about the distinctive, slightly earthy smell of tomato plants that transports me back to (an entirely fictional) childhood, where I have a grandfather who grew tomatoes in his greenhouse (he also smoked a pipe for similar reasons)....

Photo Finish

There are few more iconic structures in Kent than the oasthouse and fewer more popular farm buildings for conversion to private homes. Ever since the first oast was converted in 1903 at Millar’s Farm in Meopham by Sir Philip Waterlow,...

Softly, Softly

Joanna Osborne and Orlando Gough’s Brighton home is a classic late Regency gem. Icing sugar white with a wrought-iron and zinc fan-like canopy over its upper ground floor bow window and balcony, its decorative flourishes epitomise the early 19th century...

Air & Space

Widowhood prompted the move here,” says Ro, without much preamble. “I was rattling around in the house I had shared with my husband Geoff and after he died I needed a change. By chance, my daughter Alexis saw this place...

Vintage Calm

Few find what they want in life right under their noses and some of us have to travel a lifetime and many miles to find what we are looking for. But Madeline hasn’t even had to step foot outside the...

Artistic Licence

There is no better air than here for work.” Is how John Maynard Keynes described the atmosphere at Tilton House in East Sussex, the country residence that he shared with his wife Lydia for many years. Just a little further...

Real Life Therapy

Ann Edwards opens the door of her East Grinstead late Victorian villa with something of a flourish. As she asks about my journey here, her face is animated and kindly enquiring and I get the distinct feeling that she is...

Sleeping Beauty

Gabby Eagar’s house could be viewed as the stuff of dreams or nightmares, depending upon one’s enthusiasm for a ‘project’. It’s dreamy, because it is a classically proportioned Georgian grange that looks as if it has sprung to life from...

Restored with Love

When a grand house falls into decay, there is rarely any shortage of worthy bodies and individuals to rush to its rescue, lavishing cash and compliments and ensuring it’s saved from the bulldozers. There are, however, hundreds more properties, more...

Natural History

Claudine and Robin Cecil’s brick and timber cottage is situated on a twisting East Sussex lane. It sits almost in the centre of an unspoilt valley, surrounded by farmland and small copses of oak and beech. Birdsong and the hum...

The Homemade Home

Mandy and Phil Shaw have lived in their East Sussex home for 26 years and in that time, they have transformed it from a fairly anonymous late Victorian semi-detached villa into a space that is the ultimate expression of them...

Continental Chic

If Sevenoaks seems a typical English commuter town, not all its residents are quite so predictable. Candy is really Catharina, but her Dutch parents always called her Candy and it has stuck. Living in the Kent town with her Dutch...

Making History

Lullingstone Castle and its owners the Hart Dyke family have been the subject of several television documentaries and a great deal of press attention in the past decade. Tom Hart Dyke, the son and heir of the present incumbents Guy...

The Old Curiosity Shop

On a rainy winter’s day, a journey across Romney Marshes easily evokes images of Magwitch emerging from the mists to frighten poor Pip in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Patchily inhabited, and with its ancient churches and little new development, it somehow...

A Grand Design For Living

Most people who build their own country houses take one of two approaches: either opting for high design and commissioning an architect to create a ‘statement’ house which usually means that it is contemporary in style and quite unlike those...

Let There Be Light

Having spent twenty years living in a huge, draughty and quite dark Tudor pile, Bill and Ingrid knew that their next home would be full of light, warm and cosy! This ended up being in Gothenburg, Sweden where all the...

A House Reformed

Our friends thought we were mad when we moved here,” says Sally Russell as she and her husband Brad show us around their home. “Not because they didn’t like Tunbridge Wells, but simply because for eleven years we had lived...

A Towering Achievement

Anyone who knows Tenterden will know The Tower House. One of the Georgian lovelies that line the east end of the High Street, the building was so named because the classically fronted square doll’s house of a residence also sports...

East/West Home’s Best

When Phil Russell’s job brought him back to London after 18 years of living and working in Tokyo and Hong Kong, he had only a short time to find his family a new home in England. But the house that...

Return of the Native

Coming back ‘home’ to the Weald has been good. It righted a lot of the wrongs,” Louise Dean tells me after just a few minutes’ acquaintance. She has a disarming, if not slightly unnerving, frankness of manner that perhaps comes...

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

When even the dog won’t go outside willingly, it can be hard to get the children into the garden, away from screens and inactive play. I’ve tried frightening mine on a health level – “Fresh air is good for you....

Designed for Living

There are some period houses that seem, over the centuries, to have drawn the short straw. Time and again, caring, loving, well-meaning owners have extended and modernised, re-decorated and re-furnished with such breathtaking insensitivity that immediately one steps through the...

Making History

Today’s junk is tomorrow’s history, or so they say. Unfortunately we live in an increasingly mobile and throwaway age. For most of us it is a rare treat to find an old newspaper or a scribbled note from the past....

At Home With Style

Glamour” is not a word usually associated with the country cottage, but Andrew Fionda’s home is rather different. Andrew is one half of the fashion duo Pearce Fionda. Having met in the mid-1980s, and established their partnership in the mid-1990s,...

Room With A View

Finding the right house has never been easy. Typically, it means kissing swampfuls of frogs before one finally compromises, moves in and, with a little or a great deal of TLC, ultimately coaxes out the promised prince. On rare occasion,...

Natural Gallery

Generally, the mention of an old mill house conjures up idyllic pastoral images of ancient millstones grinding corn trundled to the doors in brimming cartloads from surrounding golden fields – a sort of Constable-Hovis hybrid seasoned with a little Vaughan...

Grand Dutchy

Having rung the bell at Sarnia’s cottage, seemingly without result, I am beginning to wonder whether I have made a mistake about our appointment. Knowing that she is an interior decorator, I am at least in no doubt that I...

Micro Chic, Eco Style

It’s hard to believe that Claire Potter’s grade II listed cottage in Portslade, on the outskirts of Brighton, is just a slice off the house next door “We think it must have been the kitchen,” she explains, “as there’s a...

Food For Thought

Food has always been important to my family,” laughs Mary Gwynn. So it’s not surprising that, after attending Leith’s School of Food and Wine in the year between school and university, Mary decided not to pursue her university place.[showhide more_text="READ...

Photographer’s Home and Studio

Any illusion you might have that you are visiting a traditional Kent family household is neatly dispelled at the gates. There, dozing in the shade amid wild flowers and ornamental rhubarb is a 1960s Morris Minor. Not that unusual, you...

Ship Shape

Sophie and Jason both confess to having led nomadic lives until they met. A former divorce lawyer and ski instructor, Sophie is now a massage therapist and reflexologist, working in London, Sussex, and Kent, visiting clients in their own homes....

An Elegant Touch

Grand period buildings can not only be a joy to their owners but also, on far too many occasions, a tyranny, dictating not only physical spaces but décor and ultimately even the lifestyle of the families they should be serving...

Rustic Charm

As an Australian, Michael Ristic had been making trips to the UK for a few years. “I absolutely loved it here,” Michael explains. “So, in 1972, I decided to move to London for good.” For the next thirty years or...

Living The Thai Life

A quintessential 19th century English country estate majestically surveys the gently rolling scenery that surrounds it. The vast red brick house has recently been restored and converted into large apartments, with new buildings constructed in similar style to the west of...

On Location

One might expect a house belonging to both a film and television set designer and a professional gardener to be well-presented, and Derek and Tony’s Regency town house in Hastings does not disappoint. [showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] No...

Staycation House

Tim and Sue Ball’s house seems to hug the hill that it is not so much built upon, but into. While only one storey rises above the highest point of ground, Tim, an architect, cut away the earth on one...

Contemporary Twist

Behind the red brick façade of an early 20th century building, is a contemporary piece of architecture that is home to Anna Deacon and John Taylor, artists and designers with a prolific creative output and an extensive collection of art,...

Vintage Values

Hospitable though home-owners are when the Wealden Times team visits, not many could match the welcome afforded by Flora, the wire fox terrier puppy who greets me in Stella Wilson’s garden.   [showhide more_text="READ MORE" less_text="READ LESS" hidden="yes"] Flora races...

Food for Thought

It is hard to believe some of the surveys about children, their eating habits and their knowledge of food. One wonders whether they liven up quiet news days or are simply to infuriate those adults who grew up before main...

A Miller’s Tale

Approached from its leafy drive, Hedera House looks like a perfect Regency villa: a confection of pale plasterwork and neo-classical mouldings. With its white louvred shutters the house almost looks as if it belongs in a warmer location and this...

A Love of the Land

Moving out of the Georgian farmhouse that has been your family home since 1968 might seem a daunting prospect for most people, but Steven and Emily Hall saw it as just another stage in their lives together. The couple had...

A Rich Tapestry

Helen Grant welcomes us into her seaside home with hot coffee and irresistible, honeyed baklava. While she kindly makes sure that she has made everything just as the WT team like it, I nose around her kitchen. It’s made up...

A Passion For Pattern

Tucked away, at the end of a leafy driveway, is a typically Kentish house. Its fish-scale hanging tiles are that particularly rich orange-red that produces a sentimental glow in the heart of almost every Kent resident (though perhaps it is...

Decorative Living

It’s odd, perhaps, but the expression ‘living over the shop’ somehow now seems to conjure 1950s images of a middle-aged, Fair Isle-sweatered tobacconist and his aproned wife settling back, Horlicks in hand, while on the black and white television Percy...

Through A Georgian Looking Glass

To step into the house we are visiting today is like time-travelling and I am fortunate to have a most amiable guide in the form of Bob, an engaging Australian who left his native land for England for good when...

Home From Home

After a lifetime of running a successful catering business, most of us would relish the thought of putting our feet up and taking it easy, which is exactly how Fanny Brogden felt after retiring from Fanny’s Kitchen in 1998. [showhide more_text="READ...

Barn Free

Access to the barn isn’t by any means impossible but if you’re lucky enough to be invited to dinner, take the Humvee. A quarter mile of mogul field gravel leads to a Sussex pasture where sheep lounge across the way...

A Gardener’s World

Sometimes, no matter how hard you are looking, the right house for you just doesn’t seem to be available. Sophie Hall, chairman of Oak Park Landscapes, had been house-hunting for some time when a friend mentioned a converted barn that...

Talking Heads

Nick Dorey - Bethany School I loved my time at school. Life for me both at primary and secondary school was always busy, fun and fulfilling. There were many reasons for this, but the key ones were excellent teachers who...

By George They’ve Got It!

It may not be advisable to move house with a newborn baby, but many of us do. But how many of us exchange a comfortable life in London for a run-down hotel with 24 bedrooms – and all the hard...

Roses are Blooming in Picardy

Over the centuries there have been times when the Entente Cordiale has been anything but cordial and the French have been not a little dismissive of things English, truly taking only Shakespeare and rugby to their hearts. But suddenly and...

Art House

The best moments in this house often feature a cup of tea, a good book and a cat,’’ says Christine Wilding, about Mill House, the beautiful and charming family home she has created. Her sentiments come as little surprise because...

The Linen Shed B&B

Many of the houses we feature are English thoroughbreds, their lineage proudly evident and easily discernible – Medieval, Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian. They may have moved with time and fashion – an addition here, an alteration there – but the...

A Courting Couple

The courtyard gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show this year were, as usual, incredibly popular with the public. Once the Show was in full swing it was hard to get near them to admire the sheer ingenuity, imagination and love...

A Pocket Full of Rye

At the summit of cobbled Mermaid Street, Rye’s most famous thoroughfare, stands Lamb House. A quintessential Georgian town house, it is quietly elegant, almost modest, but when one climbs the stone steps and prepares to knock, the enormous size of...

Portrait of a Lady

Do people find houses or do they find us? By any yardstick, the story of how artist Victoria Threlfall came about hers is fortuitous. Married and living in Brixton with four young children, the urge to give her girls the...

Calm and Collected

The first clue that I have arrived at the right house is the gleaming paint on the front door with its incredibly highly polished brass handle and spotless front step. Dee Martyn is a stylist and interiors expert, so I...

Doddington Place Gardens

To escape from the dreariness of the A20 up into the lanes of the North Downs was a treat in itself but to arrive at Doddington Place Gardens, with its really quite fabulous collection of mature trees lining the, drive...

Former Editor Of Elle Magazine’s Colourful Home

Despite its quaint seaside charms, Hastings Old Town on a grey blustery day, is, well, just that, grey. But as I step over the threshold of Maggie Alderson’s handsome Georgian house, it’s rather like when Dorothy in The Wizard of...

The Glass is Greener

I hadn’t realised that I had much in common with a darting ruby-throated hummingbird until last autumn, when, meandering along the late-flowering borders at Wisley with a friend, we simultaneously spotted a particularly scrumptious velvety burgundy salvia. Being delicious to...

A Butterfly Unfurled

When Sally Harrington opens the huge front door of her Kentish weatherboard home I assume that the 1950s bungalow that once stood here was demolished to make way for the new house. “No,” she says, “it’s still in here somewhere,...

Degrees Of Light

Although it’s formidable from the outside, Martyn, a specialist in Russian art, and his partner Käthe have created a calm, family home within. Käthe is an artist and the daughter of renowned artists, Eric Doitch and Mary Fitzpayne.  [showhide more_text="READ...

Taking A View

Making the decision to downsize can be daunting to consider, but Margaret and her husband David seem to have embraced the process. “I saw it as a great opportunity to choose from the best of what we have collected over...

We’ll Gather Lilacs

At first glance, Edenbridge House looks like something from the pages of a P.G. Wodehouse comedy or Agatha Christie mystery – the kind of rambling, well-appointed country house where well-to-do types gathered for “house-parties”. It’s part Edwardian and 1930s mock-Tudor,...

Welcome Aboard

On a cold, rainy day, Eileen and Tony’s houseboat offers a ray of sunshine and a stark contrast to the greyness of the landscape of Kings North power station and a restless wintry sea. The boat was bought fourteen years...

Business As Usual

Arriving at John and Sandy Schofield’s house in the heart of the Weald, the welcome is a picturesque one. A flock of pure white doves take off from their dovecote and flutter above our heads before settling on the red...

All’s Fair

Ahandsome front door stands squarely in the centre of a gorgeously pretty house on the Kent/Sussex borders. It’s a classic Georgian farmhouse, broad and solid, though it contains a few surprises and the low set windows offer a clue to...

A Rural Retreat

Some of us suit city living; others prefer the country. Julia is lucky to enjoy both lifestyles – which was fortunate when, in the early 80s, her husband relocated his business interests to the UK. Having lived happily in the...

Full of Eastern Promise

In the heart of the Weald stands a medieval house, the home of Jemima, her husband and two daughters. The house, built in 1292, is 700 years old and is known to be one of the oldest houses in East...

Up The Garden Path

Among the well-kept front gardens of a Wealden high street, the garden of one pretty Georgian villa stands out. This one features a few slightly more unusual plants and the space has been carefully utilised. Perhaps this should not be...