Property Secrets: St Albans author Stephen Davis

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 December 2016 | UPDATED: 19:37 13 December 2016

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

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Welsh-born author Stephen Davis now calls St Albans home. He shares his property secrets…

Stephen at his book signing at Waterstones, St AlbansStephen at his book signing at Waterstones, St Albans

Where are you from originally?

Cardiff in South Wales.

What was your first property like?

A mews apartment in Queensway, London.

The author loves to visit Clarence Park, especially in the autumnThe author loves to visit Clarence Park, especially in the autumn

What did you like and dislike about it?

It was very small, tiny in fact. The bedroom had a one inch gap either side of the bed and I literally had to crawl out of bed in the morning. The kitchen was equally as small but the living room was quite spacious. The parties I had there were great fun and as I was in my twenties used to last most of the weekend. My neighbours never seemed to complain though!

How long did you live there?

A year.

Buongiorno Italia is Stephen's favourite shop in St AlbansBuongiorno Italia is Stephen's favourite shop in St Albans

Why did you decide to move?

Having got more ‘things’ I needed more space.

Which other areas have you lived in?

Maida Vale and Walthamstow.

The Tsar's Banker is out nowThe Tsar's Banker is out now

Where do you live now?

St Albans.

How long have you lived there?

26 years.

Stephen's writing desk at home, where the magic happensStephen's writing desk at home, where the magic happens

How would you describe your home in three words?

Welcoming, comfortable, cosy.

What do you like and dislike about the area?

I love being able to pop on the train and be in London in 45 minutes knowing that when I’ve had enough I’m only 45 minutes from home. I also enjoy walking in the parks, particularly Clarence Park in the autumn, the colours of the trees are wonderful. I also love that in such a small city there are so many great restaurants: Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Greek, French, Moroccan, Turkish and so many specialist food shops.

What’s your favourite local shop and why?

Buongiorno Italia on Lattimore Road. A wonderful family shop packed floor to ceiling with Italian delicacies and it has the best tasting ham. Always a great welcome and I often pop down to buy my lunch. In the summer I sit outside with a cappuccino and Bruttiboni and relax, listen to the Italian being spoken in the shop and imagine I’m in Rome.

Have you changed much about your house since you’ve lived there?

Nothing, it’s perfect for me.

If you carried out any major renovation work, what did you do, how long did it take, and was it worth the effort?

Recently I had a new kitchen and new bathroom. I had them done at different times and both took three weeks to complete. I used local designers and suppliers to get the look I wanted and I’m delighted with the result.

Is there anything you’d still like to change about your property?

No, I’m very happy.

What’s the best thing about your home? And the worst?

As I love cooking and entertaining the kitchen is a favourite part of my home. When there’s not much on television I’ll look through some of the 70 cook books I have bought or acquired to find a recipe I’ve not tried out before…once found I’ll think through some friends to invite over. I’ve had some great dinner parties.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Some years ago I spent an idyllic time on a quiet beach in Mexico overlooking the sea. I won’t say exactly where…in case I win the lottery but it was 25 miles south of Cancun. It wouldn’t be a permanent home, just one I could escape to in the depths of a cold winter.

Do you see yourself moving on in the near future?

No, I love St Albans and can’t see a reason to move. It has everything for me.

The Tsar’s Banker by Stephen Davis is a fictional account of escape from Russia set against the backdrop of WWI. To find out more, visit www.thetsarsbanker.com.


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