Hidden Gems to Visit in Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent
Published on Saturday 15 September 2018
Royal Tunbridge Wells is where I call home. It’s where I grew up and where I returned to with my young family when I moved out of London. I loved the idea of being able to create a space where I could make my jewellery and also showcase my finished collections – inspired by a Victorian workshop. Next time you are in Tunbridge Wells do stop by and say hello – I open the shop Thursday to Saturday each week but if you are in Tunbridge Wells on another day and would like to visit drop me a line here.
My favourite hidden gems in Tunbridge Wells
Following on from my guide to London Islington I thought I’d also put together a guide to my favourite hidden gems in Tunbridge Wells - so here it is!
Darling and Wild
My favourite flower shop and a great place to go for gifts. Lara from Darling and Wild has wonderful taste and there are always new things to discover.
Le Petit Jardin
For lovely gifts and all things gardening then Le Petit Jarden on Chapel Place is the place to go. It’s also my favourite place in Tunbridge Wells for Christmas decorations.
Halls Book Shop
One of my favourite places to spend time in Tunbridge Wells is Hall’s Book Shop. It’s been part of my life since I was a child and it’s where I go to hunt for special books for my Instagram photography.
My favourite local shop is Yi Ju Antiques, which is close to where I have my Tunbridge Wells Jewellery shop and atelier or workshop on the lower Pantiles. It’s run by the most lovely women and has been a part of the Pantiles for a long time. It stocks Chinese Antiques – I love the fact that it’s so specialist and she really is an expert and has such an eye for what she sells.
Studio One Pilates
It’s such an important place to me – my work as a jeweller plays havoc with my neck and shoulders so it’s really important to me to keep my body moving and strong. I do gyrotonics and equipment Pilates, which is the perfect exercise for me. I started Pilates twenty years ago in a studio on Edgware Road followed by Islington where I was taught by a male ex Royal Ballet dancer Peter – he was wonderful and a tough act to follow. Helen and Steph at Studio One Pilates are lovely and really do the most excellent job. I would be lost without them.
The Pantiles Oriental Carpets
This amazing shop has been in the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells for over thirty years! It’s run by Judith Williams – another small woman-run business like mine. She has beautiful carpets from Iran, Turkey, Caucuses, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. I love Kelims and Middle Eastern rugs. I bought one for my brother’s Christmas present last year for his new flat and I have a thread bare one at home. She also skillfully repairs rugs and carpets.
Just opposite my shop is Hattons, a wonderful cafe that also offers event catering. Daniel, a Michelin star winning chef has founded a really friendly place my customers and I love to visit.
My favourite café is hidden inside the Tunbridge Wells Adult Education Centre. The café is run by a charming lady and is open from breakfast and throughout the day. It’s really reasonable but it’s the surroundings that bring me so much joy and remind me of my art foundation and art college days.
Vittle and Swig
I don’t eat out much but for a special meal it has to be Vittle and Swig, which is run by the most lovely couple. It’s on the Camden Road and the food is excellent.
Just outside Tunbridge Wells is the wonderful Becky’s Nook hair salon. She’s a really exceptional hairdresser and really understands how I like my hair now it’s short. I only started to go to the hairdresser four years ago when I had my long hair cut off. Before, to have my long hair cut, I would go to the barber and spend £5 once a year or a close friend would cut it while we enjoyed a glass of red wine. As my hair was so curly it didn’t matter when my hair was long. However, I’ve discovered that now it’s short it really does matter!
If you’d like to find out more about what I get up to in my Tunbridge Wells Jewellery shop you can read the stories behind some of my recent jewellery commissions here.
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