ELLIE GILL IS A MAKEUP ARTIST FROM TUNBRIDGE WELLS WHO SPECIALISES IN NATURAL BEAUTY AND WELLBEING. HERE, SHE TELLS US WHY SHE LOVES WHERE SHE LIVES…
Where do you live?
I currently live in Rusthall, I guess that still counts as Tunbridge Wells, right?
How long have you lived there and what made you decide to move there?
I’ve been in Rusthall about five months, before that I was near The Pantiles. I grew up just outside Tunbridge Wells, moved away for study and work then came back about five years ago. Rusthall is great! There are such lovely independent shops and it’s surrounded by pretty woodland.
What’s your favourite shop locally?
I think we’re lucky with independent shops in Tunbridge Wells. I love Le Petit Jardin in Chapel Place, they sell the most beautiful beeswax candles. Botanica in Rusthall is the best little health shop. The owner Naomi really cares about her customers. Every time I go in there she seems to be having a really in-depth conversation with someone about their health concerns.
Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?
My favourite place is Broadwater Warren, it’s such a tranquil place and often very quiet, if you’re lucky you might even spot the resident wild ponies! Happy Valley is also really magical, especially on a sunny day.
The best place to get a cup of coffee?
Without a doubt Fine Grind on the High Street, they put so much love and attention to detail into what they do. They’re always really friendly too.
Where do you take people when they come to visit?
I usually take them to The Pantiles for a wander. Visitors are always a little taken aback at how pretty it is.
What’s the night life like where you live?I’m a more of daytime than a night-time person in general but if I head out for a drink it’s usually to The Sussex. It’s so cosy and not fancy or pretentious in any way.
Where’s your favourite place to eat locally?
For breakfast or lunch I head to Daily Bread in Rusthall, it’s a great well-kept secret by the locals. The food is amazing quality. They use fresh local ingredients and the bread is the best I’ve ever tasted. For dinner I love Sucheera.
Are there any nice views nearby?
Again Happy Valley has an amazing view, although if you get in the car and head over to the Ashdown Forest you won’t be disappointed by the views there.
If you’re looking to relax and unwind, where’s your favourite place to go?
I actually really like to go to my local organic farm shop, which sounds a bit mad. Cherry Gardens in Groombridge has a lovely walk around so you can see what seasonal produce they’re growing. In the summer you can even pick your own bunch of flowers.
Where’s the best place to meet friends and socialise?
The Pantiles is always a good central place to meet friends, I usually opt to go to The Sussex or the Ragged Trousers.
What do you do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?
If I have a weekend off I like to treat myself to massage or facial, it’s so lovely to be pampered rather than being the one doing the pampering! We’re so lucky to have so many amazing yoga studios in and around Tunbridge Wells, I might extend the relaxation by going along to a yin or restorative class. The teachers at Kingdom in Penshurst are amazing but I also love Yard Yoga, it’s a little further out of Tunbridge Wells in Forest Row but it’s worth the drive. They sell delicious smoothies and raw foods too.
Why do you love where you live?
I love that we have the best of both worlds in Tunbridge Wells, we’re surrounded by beautiful countryside but there’s plenty of activity in the town and London is really easy to get to too.