Love where you Live Wealden

SALLY HARRINGTON IS THE OWNER AND MAKER OF THE INFAMOUS BENENDEN SAUCE. HERE, SHE TELLS US WHY SHE LOVES WHERE SHE LIVES…

Where do you live?
Benenden

How long have you lived there and what made you decide to move there?
I have lived in this house for 34 years. I grew up as a child in Cranbrook and Tenterden, and left home in my late teens to live and work in London. When I got married to my husband (who was also local to Benenden), we decided to leave the big smoke and come home to Kent. Our families and friends all lived here and we thought it was the most perfect place to bring up our children.

What’s your favourite shop locally?
P F Ward & Sons. This is probably the best butcher in the world. Step inside and you are transported to a bygone era. With marble slabs laden with local apple juice and free range eggs, meat and game hanging from hooks, and Betty at the till totting up your bill on scraps of paper while her “boys” chop up a side of beef, they sell local and excellent quality meat.
The best roast dinners in the world are made with Ward’s ingredients. This is what local businesses should be all about.
Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?Down the lane to Dingleden and through the orchards to Strawberry Wood. It’s a four mile circular walk, which skirts the church and the village green. But, sometimes we have to make a diversion to the pub!

The best place to get a cup of coffee?
Benenden Community shop.

Where do you take people when they come to visit?
Pashley Manor, Sissinghurst Castle, the Steam Railway at Tenterden, and Rye.

What’s the night life like where you live?
We are in the middle of the countryside with dark expansive skies filled with stars. At night the local wildlife gets busy. At dusk a barn owl often slow swoops across the meadow in front of the house and in the last couple of years we have seen glow-worms down the lane. The lack of night clubs,
(there are none and even if there were I doubt they’d let a granny in), means it’s entertaining friends at home.

Where’s your favourite place to eat locally?
The Swan at Chapel Down vineyard, near Tenterden.

Are there any nice views nearby?
Yes! My favourite view is from my decking overlooking a patchwork of fields across the weald down to the coast. You can just make out the church at Fairlight and the Firehills on the horizon and a little further to the east you can see Rye. If we were taller we could see the sea.

What do you do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?
I love Hastings Old Town, it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. Doing nothing in particular, just a walk along the front past the fishing boats or popping into the Jerwood Gallery. A stroll along George Street where there are loads of fantastic places to eat and great independent shops. Or just people watching from a street café.

If you’re looking to relax and unwind, where’s your favourite place to go?
This may sound like a cliché but I really do love where I live. Right here, at home is my favourite place in the world. I love it. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to go away on holiday when I live in the place I am happiest. How lucky am I?

Why do you love where you live?
Friends, family, big skies, bird song, fab views and peace and quiet.

www.harringtonfoods.co.uk