My Neighbourhood | Claygate


Emma Riley shares her favourite places to eat, explore and relax in her area

HOME IS…
Claygate, where I’ve lived since 2000. I live with my husband, Felix, two daughters, two cats and our dog, Penny. We’re in our third house in Claygate and can never imagine living anywhere else. It’s a real village community with lots going on.

WORK IS…
I run The Art Agency with my business partner, Alison. It’s an independent contemporary gallery showing original art, prints and sculpture. We started off as a pop-up gallery hiring temporary spaces, but have been based on Esher High Street since 2011.

FAVOURITE PLACE FOR A SPECIAL MEAL…
The Swan in Esher, since it’s new ownership by Michelin chef Claude Bosi. It’s a great mix of classic pub and comfort food favourites. My favourite dish on my last visit was the Pork Belly – I can highly recommend it.

FAVOURITE PLACE FOR BRUNCH WITH FRIENDS…
Côte in Esher is always great for brunch, with a varied menu and lots of room for friends and family.

FAVOURITE PLACE FOR SOME RETAIL THERAPY…
Clarke’s Interiors is a treasure trove of fantastic things, whether you want a small trinket or a lovely piece of furniture. I was recently treated to a pair of very blingy Champagne glasses by my friend and business partner, which I adore.

FAVOURITE SPOT WHEN I’M FEELING ENERGETIC…
I’m often found playing tennis at Esher Lawn Tennis Club or doing Pilates with Melony, a class I go to at Claygate Village Hall.

FAVOURITE LOCAL DISCOVERY…
The Homewood in Esher, a modernist 1930s architect-designed house that’s only open a few times a year through the National Trust. As well as being a stunning house, it is set in the most beautiful woodland gardens with silver birch, firs, heathers, azaleas and rhododendrons.

FAVOURITE PLACE TO SOAK UP SOME CULTURE…
I do love the Everyman for watching a good film in comfort with some food and wine, and I regularly visit the Rose Theatre in Kingston – we’re so lucky to have such a great theatre on our doorstep.

FAVOURITE SPOT FOR A FAMILY DAY OUT…
We’re lucky enough to have some great places for walks, such as Polesden Lacey and Claremont Landscape Garden, but also Esher Common and the many woods surrounding our area.

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