My Neighbourhood | Sue Andrews on Beaconsfield

My Neighbourhood Sue Andrews BP Collins

Home is…
I have lived in Beaconsfield for five years. I made the decision to move here after spending too many winters barricaded in by snow in an idyllic, but completely impractical, cottage in the woods near Penn.

Work is…
I am a partner in BP Collins’ family law practice. I can honestly say I always wanted to do this work, despite no one in my family being in the profession. It’s a privilege, but a huge responsibility, to have such a direct impact on people’s lives. But I am delighted when a former client gets in touch to say how their lives have changed for the better, since it means that there is life after what can be a difficult and traumatic time. My clients are also a huge inspiration to me – for example, I had a client who got divorced in his nineties and has since travelled as far as Australia to see family. He is a prime example of the saying that it’s never too late to turn your life around.

Favourite place to spend a relaxing Sunday…
I am hugely passionate about my work, so can often be found in the office on a Sunday. However, if I’m not working, I enjoy yoga, indulge my passion for fashion at a London, or go to the ballet or cinema – either at the Everyman in Gerrards Cross or to the gorgeous Art Deco Rex cinema in Berkhamsted where, as well as the blockbusters, you can see foreign or old films. My favourite movies are usually character-driven with – not surprisingly – strong female characters… I wonder why!

The Rex Cinema Berkhamsted My Neighbourhood Sue Andrews

Most memorable meal…
I would have to say The Artichoke in Old Amersham or the Thai restaurant at the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield. We celebrated a friend’s special birthday at The Artichoke recently – the food was delicious and the service impeccable.

Favourite place for a night out with friends…
I’m told that the new No.5 on London End in Beaconsfield is good – but it is almost impossible to get in, particularly on impulse. However, although I love eating out, I also enjoy cooking at home and there is nothing better than sitting round a table eating, drinking and chatting with your friends.

Favourite spot for some retail therapy…
Amersham’s Old Town has a fantastic and really varied collection of independent shops. For clothes, it has to be Chattertons, which sell my favourite fashion label. For shoes, I go to Cecilia Quinn, Odette for lingerie and sportswear, and the opticians One Vision, which stocks an amazing array of glasses. When in Old Amersham, it is also a treat to go to The Grocer for amazing coffee and pistachio and olive oil cake; it sounds unusual but the combination really works!

Building you’d most like to live in…
It has to be Hedsor House. Its large, majestic staircase and gardens are breathtaking. BP Collins hosted its 50th anniversary party there this summer, and for one night we assumed ownership of the house. It just felt as though it would be a great place to live.

My Neighbourhood Sue Andrews Hedsor House

Best place for a nightcap…
Sometimes I go for a drink in The Treehouse in Beaconsfield. It is renowned for its choice of gins, however, what may not be known is that it has its own distillery and produces its very own gin – the Lady Adler Chiltern. It has the most gorgeous distinct flavour.

Favourite local discovery…
The Red House Spa just off Whielden Street in Old Amersham is my favourite place to practise yoga. It’s a beautiful space and a great way to spend the weekend. Sally, Matt and Patricia are all inspiring teachers.

My Neighbourhood Sue Andrews Red House Spa Old Amersham

Favourite place to soak up some culture…
I try to see as many fashion exhibitions as I can, and the V&A and Barbican are great for those. I also enjoy fashion photography exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery and National Portrait Gallery in London, and dance shows – modern, ballet and ballroom, either locally at the Wycombe Swan, or in London at Sadler’s Wells or the Royal Albert Hall. I have already mentioned I spend some of my weekends working, however, it does mean that I can save time off for long-haul foreign travel. I love going to Australia to visit friends and to the Far East after becoming interested in the region when I was a child. I always come back feeling energised for the work that lies ahead.

Best spot for a family day out…
I enjoy The Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park. It’s great to visit every few months to see the different flowers and shrubs that bloom each season.

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