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...

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.

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...

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

Real Life Therapy

Ann Edwards opens the door of her East Grinstead late Victorian villa with something of a flourish.

Sleeping Beauty

Gabby Eagar’s house could be viewed as the stuff of dreams or nightmares, depending upon one’s enthusiasm for a ‘project’.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Back Home

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...

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...

At Home With Style

Glamour” is not a word usually associated with the country cottage, but Andrew Fionda’s home is rather different.

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.

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

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

Photographer’s Home and Studio

Photographer Mel Smith and his wife Lizzie have created the perfect work life balance in the idyllic Kent countryside

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...

Living The Thai Life

A quintessential 19th century English country estate majestically surveys the gently rolling scenery that surrounds it.

Rustic Charm

As an Australian, Michael Ristic had been making trips to the UK for a few years.

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

Staycation House

Tim and Sue Ball’s house seems to hug the hill that it is not so much built upon, but into.

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.

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