SAM NIGHTINGALE IS A CIDER MAKER AT GIBBET OAK FARM IN TENTERDEN. HERE, HE TELLS US WHY HE LOVES WHERE HE LIVES…
Where do you live?
I live in Tenterden.
How long have you lived there and what made you decide to move there?
I’ve been back in Tenterden for two years now, I live in a gorgeous little 17th century cottage on Golden Square.
I left when I was 18 to travel, then study. I ended up living in London on and off for 15 years, working on sound for film and documentary.
I grew up just outside Tenterden on the family fruit farm, so I have spent most of my life here! The farm has always been a huge part of my life; coupled with my hobby of cider making, which I started with a friend back in 2009. This ensured I never spent long away! That hobby has somewhat grown since then…In 2015 I made the decision to move back and join the family business, diversifying to grow the drinks business as well as getting involved with the running of the farm and farm shop.
What’s your favourite shop locally?
Would it be rude to say our fantastic farm shop, Gibbet Oak? With its showcase of the best home grown, local and seasonal produce not to mention cider!
Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?
I love getting down to the coast, Winchelsea beach at low tide is magical, and the Firehills between Fairlight and Hastings Old Town is a beautiful stomp at any time of the year. You can do a good four to five hour round trip, with a stop off for lunch in The Crown in Hastings.
The best place to get a cup of coffee?
The best place to drink coffee in Tenterden is Nutmeg Delicatessen. I am a huge coffee enthusiast, always chasing down the best coffee wherever I am, and Grant who owns Nutmeg is a kindred spirit. He’s even starting his own coffee roastery, Coldblow Coffee, this summer.
Where do you take people when they come to visit?
Rye is my favourite spot to take visiting friends. You’ve got beach time and walking spots between Dungeness and Winchelsea, followed by the gorgeous old world feel of the cobbled streets, town and great pubs.
What’s the night life like where you live?
Tenterden is a quiet country town, but there’s often good local music to be had in the Woolpack and the White Lion. Coming from a sound background, I live for live music, so I head over to the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, or to The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells in the summer for the Jazz.
Are there any nice views nearby?
We have a fantastic view across to the North Downs from the farm, we’re just on top of the ridge at 200 feet, and the bottom of the farm is just five feet above sea level. On a summer’s evening, one of the nicest views has to be the sunset over the Marsh from the Ferry Pub at Stone in Oxney.
If you’re looking to relax and unwind, where’s your favourite place to go?
I like to get out into the woods, down to the coast, or even just out on the farm. Nature has always been central to my existence. You can sometimes forget that it’s right there around you when you’re in the thick of things, and it’s important to stop, listen, breathe, smile and reconnect!
Why do you love where you live?
I am constantly surprised that Tenterden keeps on tickling my fancy in new ways. The area surrounding Tenterden is a hive of fantastic food, drinks and creativity. As a drinks producer, grower and resident, I’m super proud to be part of the developing scene.