Comment: A little bit of London in your own home? Yes, please
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Members’ club chic is the focus of this week’s feature, which for many of us suburbanites may feel a little alien.
Not so for Richard Burton, who’s seen all the big name venues over the years, making him well placed to comment on their interiors and how best to recreate them at home.
Reading it reminded me that I’d been to a fair few of these places myself in my previous life as a TV journalist, mainly at launch events for new shows.
Rather than basking in the buzz of noughties swinging London, my main memory is one of mild anxiety about what small talk to make with the assembled other journos or whether my Dictaphone was definitely still working while waiting for some big hitter like Tamsin Outhwaite or Kate Thornton to arrive. Complementary orange juice never tasted so bad.
The Bernards Heath area guide is another nostalgia-fest for me from the same era. After attending socially awkward events in hip and happening London I’d head back to the ’burbs for a bit of commuter belt reality on Sandridge Road.
This was the first house we ever owned, and we spent ages stripping woodchip wallpaper, sanding floors and painting stylish red feature walls. (In our current house we’ve inherited several red feature walls we can’t wait to get rid of...).
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Bernards Heath has changed a bit since the mid-noughties: the post office has gone, Lydon’s hoover shop has closed and a few new houses have popped up.
But the heart of the community – the heath – remains unchanged, and the rows of lovely Victorian homes are as appealing as ever.
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Back then my life was London-focused; my weekday power walk took in the abandoned college buildings on Manor Road which we now know as Newsom Place, and a very different City station.
The bits and bobs of perceived glamour in the big smoke were wasted on me, however. Members’ club chic in the comfort of your own home, as per Richard’s feature? That’s more like it.