My Neighbourhood | Karen Sugarman on Cobham

Karen Sugarman, My Neighbourhood, Cobham

Shooting Star Chase’s Director of Fundraising, Karen Sugarman, reveals her favourite places to dine, visit and shop in Cobham and beyond…

Home is…
I was brought up in Twickenham but have lived in Cobham for the last 12 years. I recently moved home and completely renovated the house – I loved designing it. I worked with a brilliant local Cobham building company – Mason Projects. Thankfully, after five months of work, it’s now complete!

Work is…
I’m the Director of Fundraising at Shooting Star Chase – a children’s hospice charity that has hospices in Hampton and Guildford. The charity cares for babies, children and teenagers with life-limiting conditions, and their families, right from diagnosis to end-of-life. I’ve been at Shooting Star Chase for 15 years, and I’ve previously worked for CLIC Sargent, Children with Leukaemia and Cancer Research. I am now celebrating my 30th year in charity work and it’s still such a privilege to do my job.

Favourite place to spend a relaxing Sunday…
I love nothing more than to start a Sunday with a power walk and then join friends in Café One in Weybridge. No matter when you go in there, you meet up with half the Weybridge community! We sit around for ages and one of my friends, Mick Rogers (guitarist with rock band Manfred Mann), always tells some of his terrible jokes, and I never leave without feeling lifted and part of a lovely community.

coffee - Henry and Katherine Cripps - My Neighbourhood

Most memorable meal I’ve had locally…
La Capanna, which used to be on Cobham High Street, was my all-time favourite place to eat. It was a beautiful family Italian
restaurant and I had one particularly memorable evening there with Shooting Star Chase’s Vice President, Tony Hadley. The old-fashioned dessert trolley was always such a delight! Sadly, the restaurant is now closed and, if local gossip is to be believed, we’re getting The Ivy in its place! I love the Sherpa Kitchen in Esher, too. We were the last ones left in the restaurant recently, after a bit of a raucous night. I was telling my terrible jokes and I think it led my friends to drink!

Favourite place for a night out with friends…
Now I’ve had my house renovated, I often have friends over to my place for drinks and dinner, where I attempt to make my favourite tipple – a lychee martini.

Favourite spot for some retail therapy…
I love supporting local shops in Cobham and there’s never a time when I can’t find something I like on Cobham High Street. Mint Velvet and all the beautiful gift shops are my regular go-tos. I recently bought some lovely decorations and our Shooting Star Chase charity shops are great for a bit of retail therapy, too – there are nine locally. They all have a boutique feel and our wonderful Patron, Dame Joan Collins, has been kind enough to donate some of her stunning clothes and accessories to them in the past.

The Medicine garden Cobham, My Neighbourhood

Local building I’d most like to live in…
I love The Medicine Garden in Cobham and would quite happily inhabit one of the buildings there! With my job, it’s important to get some tranquility and I find going there so therapeutic.

Best place for a nightcap…
The Red Bar & Restaurant in Weybridge is great for a little tipple after dark. I always bump into people I know there and it has a great atmosphere.

Favourite local discovery…
I’ve lived on top of Painshill Park for 12 years, and I’ve only just started to discover its true beauty. You can sit, have a coffee and look out over the gorgeous views, and the landscape garden is bigger than it looks. I’m lucky to have such an amazing tourist attraction on my doorstep.

Painshill Landscape Garden, My Neighbourhood, Cobham

Favourite place to soak up some culture…
The Everyman cinema on Esher High Street is one of my favourite places where I can escape. It’s nice to go there in the morning and watch a film while someone brings you a coffee. They show a great selection of movies.

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