My Neighbourhood | Jenna Harfield on Hersham

MyNeighbourhood_JennaHarfield_Surrey

Creative consultant, Jenna Harfield, reveals her favourite places to dine, visit and discover in and around Hersham, Surrey 

Home is…
I live in Hersham, on the edge of Burhill Park, with my three-year-old son. We live in a bright, open-plan space where I also run my event management business and host workshops. I moved to Surrey in 2015 after an eight-year stint living and working in the vibrant food and events industry in Sydney, Australia.

Work is…
In Sydney, I set up my own boutique event and brand management business called Chapel Lane, creating stylish live experiences for private clients and creative brands. I’ve worked with clients on all sorts of projects, from restaurant openings, launches, pop-up dinners, weddings, award ceremonies and food festivals. Now operating in Surrey and London, Chapel Lane has expanded to include interactive workshops with small groups of guests, who I welcome into my home and show them how to take their own home entertaining to the next level. Using my experience working in the event industry, we cover all the little touchpoints; from the menu and styling, right through to the playlist and lighting.  I basically act as a creative consultant for anyone wanting to style, plan and deliver a fantastic occasion and event or even transform a space in their home/business or restaurant. 

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Favourite place to spend a relaxing Sunday…
Sunday is always a relaxing day where I try to enjoy some downtime with my friends and family. We may go for a walk around Hampton Court, or I’ll take my son to Bushy Park to see the deer and the ducks on the pond. I love a good Sunday pub lunch – it’s something I missed when I was in Australia, so we meet friends at The Cricketers in Cobham or The Queen’s Head in Weybridge for a roast.

Most memorable meal I’ve had locally…
I am happiest when I have a house full of friends, and I’m cooking and preparing a meal for them. When I first moved into our current home, I had friends around for a three-course dinner. I made my favourite pea, mint and ricotta crostini to have with drinks, followed by vodka-cured salmon gravlax with horseradish crème, a slow-braised chicken dish with lemon, olives and oregano for main course and gooey chocolate chip cookie pots for dessert. It was summer, so we ate and drank outside until darkness descended, huddled under blankets when it got cool – a perfect evening.

Favourite place for a night out with friends…
I prefer a local, low-key night over anything too fancy. The Bear pub in Esher is always fun for some casual drinks and is just down the road. I also enjoy Wimbeldon Village for its quaint pubs and restaurants. If I’m heading into town, I love Bob Bob Ricard in Soho; the décor and menu are divine and the ‘press for Champagne’ button in the stylish booths never gets old.

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Favourite place for some retail therapy…
I’m always on the lookout for gorgeous styling pieces and serveware, and love shopping for all things food-related. I could spend a day in Fortnum & Mason, the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols or browsing the food market stalls in Kingston. For styling pieces and homeware, I adore Anthropologie, West Elm on Tottenham Court Road and scouring local Surrey charity shops for hidden treasures, like crystal decanters and quirky pieces. I have a whole set of miniature crystal Champagne coupes that I found in a charity shop in Hersham, which I use for after-dinner liqueurs or mini desserts.

Local building I’d most like to live in…
If I could set up home somewhere on the grounds of Garsons Farm in Esher, I’d be happy with that. I would get my groceries in the farm shop and pick my own fruit and vegetables in the summer season. The duck pond and the park across the road is lovely for a walk and the houses surrounding it are picture-perfect. That is what I love so much about Surrey, you can have little pockets of tranquil countryside living and still only be a 25-minute train journey into London.

Favourite local discovery… 
My favourite local discovery isn’t a place or a view, it’s actually a bunch of people. Since moving to the neighbourhood I have loved meeting a community of creatives and foodies that I didn’t expect to find outside of London. The Surrey food scene is emerging and growing into something really exciting with great restaurants, events and suppliers of fantastic produce. My friends Simon from the Surrey Hills Butcher and Jack from Bake with Jack are both doing wonderful things and have come on board and collaborated with me in my workshops.  I hope my workshops and events are also a contribution to this exciting space and this community, even if only in a small way.

Favourite place to sock up some culture…
Going to the cinema is such a treat and a chance to relax for a few hours. I love the Everyman in Esher where you can sit back in a sofa seat and drink wine whilst watching a movie. I also love the theatre, but don’t get to go very often.  I recently went to the Rose Theatre in Kingston, which was great and I hope to go more often. 

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Best spot for a family day out… 
Bocketts Farm in Fetcham is always a good one for the kids. My little boy loves the animals and the trampolines there, especially the pig racing.  Following on the animal theme, we have visited Whipsnade Zoo on a few occasions now and have had a great day, but there is a lot of walking which can be tricky for the little ones. On sunny days we have the best time packing a picnic and going to a local park with friends or simply spending time in the garden outside. The Medicine Garden in Cobham is a great way to pass an afternoon. The kids can play outside, explore the grounds and see the chickens while you can sit and enjoy a coffee in peace. They also have lots of classes and activities scheduled so there is always something to get involved in.

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One Comment

  1. Great article and your article on our beautiful county was spot on!

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