My Neighbourhood | Brian Greenley on Sunningdale

Brian Greenley, co-founder of From Me to You, on the best of his neighbourhood in and around Sunningdale…

Home is…
I live in Sunningdale with my partner, Neil, and our rescue dog, Colin. We’ve lived here for 15 years, so we must like it because it’s the longest we’ve lived anywhere. It has everything we need – a Waitrose, cafés, restaurants, a railway station and great friends.

Work is…
I am the co-founder – with Alison Hitchcock – of a not-for-profit organisation called From Me to You. It encourages and inspires people to write letters to friends suffering with cancer. In 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer and during my illness, Alison wrote letters to me to cheer me up. After being given the all clear over four years ago, I wanted to set up a project to make a difference to others suffering with cancer. We run letter-writing workshops, speak at events and such has been the response to our campaign that we have now started our Donate A Letter project, which encourages people to write anonymous letters to cancer patients in hospitals, which we then distribute.

Favourite place for a special meal…
Eliane has recently opened on London Road in Sunningdale and it is my new favourite restaurant. It serves organic healthy food that we all know we should be eating. They have a varied menu, so if you are out for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even afternoon tea, they have something that will appeal. Their gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate cake is one of my favourites – who knew that  something this good for you could taste so wonderful?

Favourite place for brunch with friends…
It has to be Fego café on Chobham Road – it’s really popular and I have been going here for years. It’s like Central Perk in Friends, as I always bump into someone I know!

Favourite place for some retail therapy…
Gift shop Bird on Chobham Road in Sunningdale has a fabulous choice of cards, stylish home accessories and unique jewellery. I can always find a birthday present for a friend in there and they gift wrap anything that you buy so beautifully. All my other retail therapy tends to happen in Windsor, which has everything I need.

Favourite spot when I’m feeling energetic…
Windsor Great Park – a long dog walk followed by a reviving coffee at the Savill Garden Kitchen.

Favourite local discovery…
The Heather Farm Riverside Meadows and Wetland, which used to be an old mushroom farm but is now part of the internationally important Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. It encompasses 916 acres of high forest, woodland and meadows, but also includes areas of lowland heath; a great place to get lost in! And I’m always glad that there is somewhere to have a cup of tea. I love the fabulous Water’s Edge café – so much so that I’m planning on having my next birthday party there.

Favourite place to soak up some culture…
The Lightbox arts centre in Woking, which is somewhere I only recently discovered. It hosts great exhibitions, talks and displays. It’s a real escape for a dose of culture in the middle of a busy town.

Favourite spot for a family day out…
A walk along the river at Henley, looking at the boats and bird life and finding a spot for a relaxing picnic, laughing and eating with friends and family – on a sunny day obviously. 

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