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Hilltop Kitchen

Hilltop Kitchen

July 22, 2022

Hilltop Kitchen

Enjoying stunning views overlooking the Wintershall Estate and Hascombe Hill, Hilltop Kitchen serves up exceptional freshly made food and a menu boasting the best locally sourced produce. A joint venture between founders Alex Winch and Sam Fiddian-Green, it’s become the most talked about foodie destination in the area. We love it and we know you will too. We chatted to co-founder Alex to find out more…

Tell us about Hilltop Kitchen

Sam I are old family friends and our work in hospitality has taken us around the world. When we found ourselves back in the local area due to Covid, we decided to plan some pop-up events and the concept snowballed quite quickly. We opened Hilltop Kitchen in July 2021 and today as well as the pop-up events, we offer a daily changing menu that runs all summer long.

It’s a fantastic setting. How did you find it?

The site is located on Sam’s family’s farm and looks out over nothing but rolling hills. The space itself had been an office so we installed a kitchen and created a covered, heated area that makes the most of the amazing view. It’s a rustic, laidback feel - the tables are handmade and Sam’s mum is a potter so she made all the tableware.

Hilltop Kitchen

What is the philosophy of the dishes you create for Hilltop Kitchen?

Most of what we serve up is sourced from the local area, including meat, such as the Herdwick lamb that comes from the family farm or the wild garlic we pick from the woodlands down the road. Provenance is key and we’re very proud of the heritage of everything we serve. When we first came back to the area, we struggled to find food at a level we enjoy and so nothing makes it onto the menu unless it’s the absolute best.

Hilltop Kitchen

Talk us through some of the things we can expect on your menu and what are some of your most popular dishes?

We bake our Sausage rolls fresh every morning. They are made with the best ingredients money can buy including sausage mix using mince from John Murray butchers in Loxwood and wrapped in French puff pastry. Served warm with homemade brown sauce, they are pretty hard to beat!

Our Focaccia is baked in-house and you’ll find fresh cinnamon buns on the counter every morning. We’re influenced by what’s fresh and at its best, so for instance our Burrata (which comes from La Latteria in North London) may be served one week with shaved fennel, European citrus and olives and then the next with fresh peas and broad beans. We make our own tagliatelle – sometimes as little as 10 minutes before we open, so you know you’re eating it as fresh as can be.

Sam, who creates the menus has worked at a phenomenal level throughout his career and he spent six months in Rome, which definitely gives some of the dishes an Italian backbone, but always featuring the best of British.

You’re also known for serving up a cracking cup of coffee

At Hilltop, we take our coffee very seriously and a lot of research went into finding our favourite beans, which are supplied by Horsham Coffee Roaster. Horsham Roasters are obsessed not only with flavour but also about ethical coffee. They source directly from producers in long term commitments to the same farmer meaning they pay well above the fairtrade price. Back home the beans are roasted using a state-of-the-art low emission roaster and carefully blended to create its Workhorse coffee. To us, the ethics had to match up and be as scrupulously good as the taste.

Who is Hilltop kitchen popular with?

Hilltop Kitchen was set up with locals at its heart and we love the fact that our reputation has spread through word of mouth and we’ve become part of the Godalming community. We’ve become a regular haunt for walkers and cyclists who will stop off on their routes for a coffee or a cold beer.

Tell us about some of your own favourite local foodie hangouts and suppliers?

There are some great farm shops in the area. Sam is a fan of Secretts, close to where he lives, while I’ll tend to go to Kingfisher Farm Shop near my home in Abinger. We love what they’re doing at Greyfriars Vineyard and for beer, the Arctic Fox Pilsner from The Crafty Brewing Co. in Dunsfold is the best you could ever drink on a hot day.

Hilltop Kitchen

What’s next for Hilltop Kitchen?

We love doing our evening pop-up events, which run on a first-come, first-served basis every month. Although we close our daily menu at the end of the summer, as autumn and winter draw in, we’ll be offering banquet-style menus where you come along, eat seasonally and enjoy a hot toddy or a mulled cider. And apart from that, we’re talking about plenty of other plans too. It’s very exciting.


Hilltop Kitchen, Combe Farm Buildings, Alldens Lane, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4AP is open Thursday – Sunday from 9am serving coffee and fresh pastries, lunch from 12am, snacks, drinks and good times from 3pm to 6pm⁠

Find out more:

Follow Hilltop Kitchen on To book a table online, go to

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Shere Kitchens

Shere Kitchens

July 22, 2022

Shere Kitchens

Shere Kitchens is a Surrey based, bespoke kitchen maker. Established by Andy Driscoll, Ella Driscoll and Ella Driscoll, the company has built a strong reputation for outstanding craftsmanship skills and superb attention to detail combined with a flair for design. The team has worked on Surrey Hills Grade I and II listed homes in and around its base in picturesque village of Shere, including Albury Manor Estate. We spoke to co-founder Ella Driscoll.

How and when did Shere Kitchens come about?

My husband, Andy, and Mike have been neighbours and best friends since childhood. Andy is trained in classical joinery and was designing and creating bespoke cabinetry from his Wild Wood workshop in Shere. Mike was running a business renovating homes and listed buildings. They began working together on various projects and in 2017 ended up installing a beautiful, handmade kitchen in a home that was being converted from a three to a five bedroom house with an enormous kitchen space. It was a big success and while kitchens are the most complex and detailed part of a home, we have evolved into a bespoke kitchen business ever since.

Shere Kitchens Team

What sort of kitchens are you best known for, and can you describe the sort of projects you work on?

We’re most known for creating truly bespoke kitchens. Each one is individually made to order, considering the architecture of the property and how the family live. The design process is collaborative between us and the client as we don’t have any fixed ‘products’ or ‘ranges’. We specialise in preserving heritage in Period and Listed homes, working around wonky walls and beams, creating furniture with character and integrity. We are fascinated with wood and how beautiful it can make a home.

Understanding the character of a house and household is all-important and makes the most of our craftsman’s skills but that said, we create kitchens in new build properties and can bring character to a space that is lacking it. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and we love creating places where our customers will make their own memories.

Shere Kitchens

Your designs are tailor made from start to finish. Tell us a bit about the process.

Most of our business is word of mouth, which is lovely. We make one at a time and the entire process can last for up to 18 months. The first thing we do is assess the space, which can sometimes be just a sketch drawing from the client. Then, we look at budgets, have a consultation and begin the design phase, which involves CAD plans.

Each kitchen is designed individually as each space is unique and we don’t have ‘one size fits all’ cabinets. Once we’ve provided rendered images, we move onto the style and architecture, deciding on details such as mouldings, materials, colours, finishes and all-important technical considerations such as appliances.

Next, we hand make all the cabinetry at our workshop in Shere. Finally - the critical point - the kitchen gets installed and the very last detail, one final coat of paint happens on site. It’s an in-depth process and there’s lots of trouble-shooting involved along the way.

What trends have you seen emerging in kitchen design in recent years?

Hand painted kitchens aren’t going anywhere, but we are seeing more and more natural or oiled woods as a finish. There is something about the feel and look of wood that makes you feel grounded and connected to nature within your home.

Big islands always tend to be on people’s wish lists and one thing that’s become hugely popular is a walk-in pantry. It’s an absolutely brilliant element that can make a big difference and you can often just steal a small amount of space to make it work.

What are the key things people should consider when planning a kitchen redesign?

The most important thing over the style or how your kitchen will look is making it practical. Ask yourself what you have, what activities you do in the kitchen, maybe even what annoys you about your current kitchen and then think about what will work for you. Flow is all-important and you have to make sure everything is in the right place for how you’ll use it.

Figure out the things like where to put your bins and underfloor heating manifolds and then you can come onto the fun stuff like wine fridges, bars and plenty of spaces for people to sit.

How much is your location in the Surrey Hills an influence on the business?

We all grew up in the Surrey Hills area and have a deep love of the local landscape - from walking our dogs to exploring the chalk grasslands, letting the children run wild in the woods and enjoying the local vineyards. We view sustainability and appreciation for the local environment high among our values and as well as a scheme where we planted trees at Clandon nature reserve, we’re now involved with the Surrey Wildlife Trust and we make a donation, which goes towards plating trees or hedgerows for every kitchen we make.

We source wood and materials locally where possible and re-useable protection blankets are used to transport cabinetry rather than disposable plastic. We donate off-cuts to a local Design Technology college and we were involved in a project with Albury Vineyard where we created a bug hotel from our off-cuts of wood, which helped to educate local children about the nature around them.

Shere Kitchens

Tell us about the Gold Trade Mark Surrey Hills you received as a mark of local provenance and quality

We were hugely honoured to win this award in recognition of the work we did with Clandon Wood Nature Reserve. It was a joint project where we donated Elm trees to help provide a wildlife corridor for the endangered White-Letter Hairstreak butterfly. We wanted to do something to enhance the Surrey Hills and its landscape. We are so lucky to live and work here.

What local companies do you work with and would you recommend?

We’re very fortunate to work with some incredibly talented, local creatives such as Julia Currie who is our photographer and Karen McBain who styles our images. Jenny Branson is a colour specialist based in Dorking and she advises on many of our projects.

For a Friday team treat, we’ll head to the Dabbling Duck in Shere for breakfast baps and coffees and when it comes to celebrations or sending a special gift, we are very partial to the sparkling wine produced at Albury Vineyard, which is a wonderful local, family business. Another business we love is Kingfisher Farm Shop for local goodies for our homes, for gifts and for photoshoot food and flowers.

Find out more:

You can find out more about Shere Kitchens and their services at or follow them on Instagram @sherekitchens.

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Natasha Meechan Spotlight

Natasha Meechan Interior Design

July 22, 2022

Natasha Meechan Spotlight

Originally hailing from Ireland, Natasha Meechan now runs her successful interior design business from Surrey. She has accomplished a varied portfolio, from commercial design in Melbourne to designing luxury interiors of private homes in the Cotswolds, London, Berkshire, Portugal and Los Angeles. We caught up with her to talk all things interiors.

How did you get started in interior design?

My love for art and design started at a young age. I was very creative at school but started out working in finance. I knew where my real passion was though and so I studied part -time for a degree in Interior Design in Dublin. After graduating, I went to Australia for a year and got some experience working for MYER, the well-known department store. Then, I came back to London and have never left England since.

I worked in the retail and hospitality sector at first, but then moved to the Cotswolds and through working with architects, I figured out I loved the residential side of interior design. Architects are such technicians and that’s where I got most of my knowledge and insight from. I don’t just ‘choose fabrics’, I do a lot of design as well as understanding project management and interior architecture.

Tell us a bit about your business now. Who are your clients and what sort of projects do you work on?

I’d call myself a Luxury Interior Designer and I work on a wide range of projects alongside a whole team of builders, architects and suppliers. For instance, it could be a huge, whole house fit-out or it could be a small refurb. Interior Design is a very personal thing and for me, it’s all about creating a connection with your client. When you understand their tastes and style, they’ll always need you.

My style is modern but timeless. I’ve worked on everything from very contemporary to much more classical but what I bring to it all is a very high-end, quality finish.

What have been some of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on?

One of my first was also one of the best. I managed a project in Portugal for a summer. Being trusted to run the entire thing on my own when I was just starting out and offering the full service, which created such value, was very satisfying.

Equally, I worked on Marylebone mews house recently, which was one of my favourites. The space was small, so you have to really think about how to maximise it by getting light in and considering all the details such as furniture and joinery.

What do you think the biggest shift in interiors has been in the last 10 years?

I’d say people value their space more now than ever. As well as looking for bigger houses, offices and garden rooms are also on the wish list. Work and home have become so interlinked that everyone wants the option to have a room they can use as an office.

What are the key tricks to mastering a successful interior?

Bespoke design always brings a personal touch and you have to invest in the quality of the finish. Trying to save or cut corners when it comes to design never pays off. I tell my clients, "Buy cheap, buy twice" and also, "You really do get what you pay for". 

And what would you say are the biggest decorating mistakes people make? 

Over-use of colour is probably the biggest one for me. Painting an entire room bright red may be brave, but trust me, you’ll get bored with it. Bold colour can work in a Gentleman’s Club or restaurant, but in your own home, you need to tread carefully and mainly use colour as an accent.

What companies do you work with or can you tell us about any local places you source your items from?

My go-to is the The Design Centre in London. It has everything you could wish for – all the fabrics, all the trimmings. I’m still getting to know Surrey, but one place I’ve come across and love is Wattle & Daub in Godalming. It has such amazing accessories and finishing touches. As an Interior Designer, that part of the process is a real art form and finding the right items to add that level of detail can make all the difference.

Find out more:

You can find out more about Natasha’s services at 

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Carola Colson Horse Training Spotlight

Carola Colson Horse Training

July 22, 2022

Carola Colson Horse Training Spotlight

This month we speak to Carola Colson, horse trainer, instructor and coach. Carola helps owners feel more connected with their horses through live sessions, coaching and clinics.

Tell us about more about what you do…

In a nutshell, I train horses with a holistic approach. When I’m looking at a horse that comes in for training, I’m picking up clues about everything from their energy to their body language and how they are moving. For instance, you could find something physically wrong with a horse by looking at the wear patterns in the hooves, but horses can be emotionally unfit, not just physically. I’ve developed my methods in a way that’s grounded in skills and training but ultimately, it’s also kind and intuitive.

Were you always destined to work with horses?

I grew up in the Netherlands surrounded by horses. My childhood was pony clubs, traditional riding and then dressage. Although I always loved horses, I went off to study History and Italian In Amsterdam and then in Italy. I started studying for a PHD in Rome, but decided to go back to Amsterdam and ended up working with Dutch film crews as a location scout for film and TV. That journey led me to London and I’ve been in the UK ever since. When I was pregnant, I met two amazing Australian horsemen, who taught me a unique and different way of training horses altogether. Finally, I was able to fulfil my desire to truly understand, connect and communicate with these beautiful creatures!

What is it about horses that you love so much?

They are such intuitive animals with a very special, tuned-in energy field. When I’m around horses, I feel part of the earth – connected to nature and true to who I am myself.

You talk about the living conditions of a horse being key. What are the factors to consider when setting up home with a horse?

What you have to remember is that a horse is not worked by humans for around 23 hours a day, therefore you need to give them a herd environment in which they can feel happy, confident and healthy. Ideally, I like horses to be barefoot and able to roam. They’re used to foraging so they thrive on different types of ground and vegetation. Horses prefer being part of a herd because it offers them stability but at the same time you have to get the mix right and make sure your horses are content and relaxed in each other’s company.

What’s the best tip you could give to anyone wanting to improve their connection with their horse?

Look at your own energy first. Make sure you’re calm and relaxed and that will rub off. When you connect to them with calmness, you’ll see an instant change. If they’re slightly nervous, let them feed off your energy and not the other way around.

Tell us about your favourite off-the-beaten track location for a horse ride in Surrey.

I currently live on Thursley Common, which could not be more ideal for riding. It’s a really special place and offers everything a horse needs. I’m out on the Common most days. I’ve just written a guide to ‘Going Beyond The Arena’ about developing relaxation, softness and fitness out on the trail. There is nothing like the feeling you’ll find when out on a hack with just you and your horse.

Can you share your favourite local place where you would source horse supplies?

I don’t use normal tack, instead I import it from Australia. But I do get most of my other supplies from the wonderful AnA’s Pet ‘N’ Tack on Tilford Road, in Rushmoor. It’s a tiny little place with super-friendly, knowledgeable staff. I have special horse feed, which they order in for me. They couldn’t be more helpful.

And the best place for a cosy pub lunch after a long ride….?

It has to be The Three Horseshoes, just off Thursley Common. It’s a traditional pub that hasn’t given in to the standard ‘gastro grey’ makeover. I love its friendly atmosphere and the food is fantastic quality.

Find out more:

You can find out more about Carola and her services on Facebook @CarolaColsonHorsetrainingCoaching.

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Mitchell Evans Spotlight

Mitchell Evans Architects

July 22, 2022

Mitchell Evans Spotlight

Founded 30 years ago in Surrey, Mitchell Evans is a medium sized architectural practice, specialising in managing a diverse range of architectural projects including design, planning permissions and Listed building  consents, through to working drawing packages for contractor procurement and construction.

Toby Howell joined the company 20 years ago as a graduate and together with business partner Darren Grist, now heads up the company’s three offices in Godalming, Isle of Wight and Wales.

Here Toby talks about the history of the business, what architectural trends are emerging and offers some tips if you’re planning an extension to your home.

How has the Mitchell Evans brand grown over the past three decades?

Our main office is in Godalming, where our founder, David Mitchell, started the company in 1991. I joined 10 years later, after graduating from university and took over the company with my former partner Ian when David retired in 2017/18. Darren joined the company in 2016 as a project architect and is now my business partner. My brother Tim joined the company a few years back. We were brought up on the Isle of Wight and he wanted to return there so we decided to open an office on the island, which has been a great success. The model worked so well there that when a member of our team was making a move to Wales, we decided to open an office there too. We however collectively work as a team across the offices with Island and Wales members coming to our Godalming office on a
weekly basis.

Who are your clients and what sort of projects do you work on?

Ninety per cent of our clients are individuals who want us to help them realise their dreams, whether that’s creating a high-end contemporary home or making a more traditional property better fit their current lifestyle. I think one of the reasons people come to us is that we work on all different styles of architecture. Here in Surrey there’s a lot of historical architecture and some people want to keep that character as much as possible while adapting it to suit their current needs. Others want a more contemporary look, driven by programmes like Grand Designs, and are much bolder with their ideas. However, we are happy to work in any style and our design process will explore a number of options for our clients.

How has the pandemic changed the way people view their homes?

In our opinion, and from what we have experienced it’s led to a mass exodus of Londoners who no longer want a two or three-bedroom house in the city but somewhere larger where they can work from home and have lots of outdoor space. However, they don’t want to compromise on style – they often want to  recreate what they had in London out here in the country.

What trends have you seen emerging in domestic architectural design in recent years?

The way people live has completely changed over the past few years, for example very rarely do we see people wanting a formal dining room anymore. Family life is much more sociable than it once was and so people want open plan kitchen family room living. The shift to working from home has also driven a desire for his and hers offices but one of the biggest trends is undoubtedly how people are incorporating outdoor living into their homes. We get a lot of requests for outdoor kitchens, swimming pools and outdoor entertaining space that is connecting, seamlessly, with the interior of the home.

What key things should people consider before embarking on an extension or renovation?

Ask us to check the local planning laws: Each borough will have different planning policies so just because you might have seen something done elsewhere in Surrey, doesn’t automatically mean it will be possible in your part of the county. Also houses in the countryside and greenbelt land can only be extended so much so it depends on the planning history of the property and how much it may have been extended in the past. I have on occasion had to shatter people’s initial dreams with that news. However, there’s a lot you can alter internally in a property to achieve what you’re looking for so don’t be disheartened if your initial ideas aren’t possible.

Live in a property before you make any big structural changes: Many people we work with who have moved to their new home, want their property changed to a new specification before they move in (depends on the condition of the house) but sometimes it’s worth living in a home and experiencing day-to-day life their first before you start knocking down walls. You may find you don’t live in the house the way you thought you might and this will change priorities for any building work.

Don’t rush the design process: Take your time with the design. It’s so easy to get excited about getting the build underway but you need a solid foundation. It’s important to get the design right first to avoid what could be expensive changes further down the line.

What local companies do you work with and would recommend?

Find out more:

You can find out more about Mitchell Evans and their services at or by following them on Instagram @mitchell_evans_architecture.

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Mark Hardy Spotlight

mark hardy

July 22, 2022

Mark Hardy Spotlight

Here at Grantley, we’re particularly proud of the way we showcase our clients’ homes. This month we speak with one of the people behind our marketing photos and videos, award-winning architectural and interiors photographer and videographer, Mark Hardy.

How did you become a photographer?
It wasn’t always my plan. I went to ACM (The Academy of Contemporary Music) in Guildford to study music production initially. I loved music but I found I preferred designing graphics and websites for various music groups there. So, I went to Winchester School of Art to do an art foundation course specialising in graphics. While I was there, one of my tutors saw a photo I had taken for a project and basically told me that I should do photography. I didn’t have (and couldn’t afford) any equipment though, so he gave me some film, photography paper each week and use of the dark room 24 hours a day for the year and I just went for it. I ended up getting a distinction. I later studied for a degree in photography as a mature student at Portsmouth University.

Why did you decide to specialise in interiors and architectural photography?
Quite by accident in all honesty. I was doing portrait and wedding photography when a photographer in Guildford appointed me to do some work for his estate agent clients photographing some houses for sale from 1 bedroom flats to the exclusive St George’s Hill estate in Weybridge, which really threw me in the deep end. I later helped set up an agency specialising in property photography but now work on my own doing both interior and architectural photography and videography.

What’s your USP?
I used to work for a portrait photography company. Studio portraits can become quite monotonous so there was a lot of pressure to ensure that every single shoot was different. It was pretty hardcore, but it did force me to be creative and think outside the box, which is something I am known for now. The style of wedding photography I did was also less portraiture and more lifestyle-focused in order to tell the story of the day. This translates well to selling houses, as you’re building a storyboard of the lifestyle that each home represents. My signature technique is giving the appearance of something moving in what is actually a still photo. I like experimenting with movement in photography and the possibilities with advances in digital of bringing an image to life, for example steam rising out of a coffee cup. It’s always important to keep on challenging myself – I’d much rather innovate than imitate.

Have you always done video too?
No, but because I studied at ACM and part of my course was music production, I had a lot of the sound engineering skills that are helpful when producing and editing video. I also did some work experience with a BBC South cameraman while studying and he taught me a lot.Video wasn’t as big a decade ago but over the past five or so years it’s being used more and more and in the right way rather than just for the sake of it.

Have you photographed any particular houses of note or celebrity houses?
Lots but I can’t really name them! One of the challenges of my job is to really understand the lives of the people who live at the property that I’m photographing (perhaps they are an artist or a songwriter for example) and how their house might lend itself to that particular lifestyle. Depicting that in photos or video is what helps potential buyers picture themselves there too. But at the end of the day, it’s about the house, not the person who lives there. One of the reasons I like working with Grantley so much is that their houses are really quite unique, they usually have lots of history and therefore plenty of stories to tell!

Who do you gain inspiration from or think might be inspirational to our clients and readers?
For kitchen inspiration, I tend to turn to Instagram as there are so many great accounts to draw from. Oliver Pohlmann, Ar Her Kuo, Barry Grossman and Oliver Purvis are other architectural photographers I particularly admire.

Find out more:

You can find out more about Mark and view more of his work at or by following him on Instagram @markhardycreative.

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Leading independent estate agent, Grantley, unveils dynamic new website

July 22, 2022

Leading independent estate agent, Grantley, unveils dynamic new website

The stylish portal is the latest development in this prestige property group’s rebrand as it continues its expansion across Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire.

Grantley estate agents has launched a stylish new website to reflect its position as one of the area’s leading luxury property and lifestyle brands operating in Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire.

The launch, which coincides with the opening of a new office situated in a beautifully renovated listed building in Church Street, Godalming, is the latest development in the company’s rebrand as it continues its expansion plans in the area.

The sophisticated website, designed and built by local Surrey digital marketing agency Air Social, is a step away from the firm’s previous site, which had a corporate feel and instead focuses on the lifestyle aspect of moving home.

"Buying and selling a home is about so much more than a business transaction. We believe that specific and individual marketing is paramount when showcasing our clients' homes and we tailor everything we do to suit our  clients’ needs to promote their homes in the most effective and inspirational way that we can," explains Grantley Director David Williams.

"The Grantley team has an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience in the marketing of country properties, listed buildings and premium town centre family homes, as well as the lifestyle that goes along with that and we wanted to reflect that in this new website."

Instead of a purely generic catalogue of properties listed for sale and to let, the new easy-to-navigate website adopts an editorial-style creative concept offering users a similar experience to what you might get from the pages of a magazine.

The Community Hub page provides a little black book of useful information and interviews with local independent companies that Grantley supports and recommends, offering users a unique insight into the local communities in which they might be looking to live.

The Let Us Move You page shines a light on the Grantley approach to marketing a  property, while the Showreel page features a selection of stunning bespoke videos by local videographer Mark Hardy that Grantley has commissioned and expertly showcase the level of detail put into their property marketing services.


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Clare Watson, Turmeric House

Local Inspiration - Tumeric House

July 22, 2022

Local Inspiration - Clare Watson, Turmeric House

This month we speak to Clare Watson from Turmeric House, a Surrey-based concept and creative studio specialising in the styling and design of beautiful spaces.

What exactly is Turmeric House?

We are an independent creative studio that creates stand-out spaces, shoots and builds that are founded on a culture of collaboration. We offer everything from styling of events and environments, to commercial photo shoots, art direction, private/commercial fit outs and brand storytelling. We work with retail and hospitality outlets, private clients, photographers and magazine editors to create spaces with soul that take users on a journey.
A space that tells a story, but also functions with beautiful design.

Retail and hospitality spaces have had to change a lot over the past couple of years, how have you helped businesses adapt?

I’ve been so impressed by how open businesses have been to change actually, but sometimes, when you’re working in an environment every day, operating in a certain way for so long, it’s difficult to identify ways you can adapt to different circumstances.

Turmeric House is all about how you don’t need four walls to create a space. One of the local marquee companies I work with understandably took a huge hit with events and weddings being cancelled so I suggested to a restaurant client that they convert their carpark into a gorgeous urban pop-up. That meant they could operate when only public outdoor dining was allowed and it gave the marquee company some ongoing business. The cross over between industries has been remarkable.

I’ve also helped businesses to incorporate all the changes and new health & safety guidelines but in line with their own branding, so it doesn’t take away from the essence of their space. We’ve been forced so far out the box that it makes everything even more possible.

And what about in people’s homes?

We’ve all had to reassess how we feel about and use our own spaces. Our homes have had to evolve to make space for working from home, schooling from home, exercising from home etc. and this can really change the dynamic and flow of how we live in, and use our space.

While some of these activities have, and will continue to, return to areas outside our home environments, many will remain. Moving forward, this will change the way we interact with our spaces and how we welcome people into our homes, so it’s about helping people figure out how best to do that.

You’ve styled shoots and celebrity homes for features in magazines like Vogue, Ok!, NME and Surrey Life, what’s that like?

I love all shoots, it’s exciting and a privilege to get a sneak peek into the home lives of celebrities & interesting inspiring individuals and because they’re usually in their own homes, they’re really relaxed and welcoming. But it is work at the end of the day so it’s not like we can just sit around chatting (although we do have a natter here and there) Shoots are full on and can spread over a few days with set up and take down, but they are great fun
and I love sourcing props and being able to include amazing finds from local independent businesses that I love.

What things should people be thinking about when it comes to interior styling of their own homes?

There is no right or wrong to how you choose to live in your home, it’s about emotions and  how you’re home makes you feel. People can get in such a funk about interior styling and layout but there’s no need. My advice is to just try things in different places, if you don’t like something somewhere, then move it. And above all, surround yourself with things you love and bring you joy. People can get bogged down with clutter but I live amongst a lot of my props and things I have sourced for events and shoots (such as a fairground horse we had built for a shoot) but the important thing is that it all makes me feel great & surrounds me with great memories and stories.

What top tips would you give people on home styling?

  • Don’t forget your entry hallway. It’s often dismissed as somewhere you simply walk through to get into the main living areas of your home but it is the first place you come to and you can often spend time there greeting guests as they take off their shoes and coats etc. Therefore, it’s important to make it a welcoming space. Candles and room sprays can help create a nice aroma, while a piece of much-loved artwork will give a lovely hint at your style personality, as well as a talking point for guests as they arrive.
  • Layering is key. Creating layers of interest within a home is a good way of incorporating all your favourite things without it looking cluttered. Use shelves and places like the coffee table to display some of your favourite things. For example, on a coffee table you might place a couple of your favourite books on a tray and then an ornament or a vase with your favourite flowers on top of the books.
  • Think about all the senses. The feeling a space creates isn’t just about what you can see. It’s about the smell, touch and sound too. So, play music softly, light a candle or have a diffuser on display and fill your space with gorgeous fabrics and tactile objects that mean something to you and tell a story.

As we enter the festive season how should we be looking to create a fabulous space in which to dine with guests?

Christmas really lends itself to great styling. Layer fruits and nuts or items you’ve foraged from the garden or on walks on the table, dip the rims of your glasses with icing sugar to give them that festive glint, layered candles are a must and when it comes to glassware and
cutlery, don’t panic if you’ve not got enough that matches, mix your finest with your everyday – you’re with friends and family after all.

What local companies do you enjoy working with and/or recommend?

I source a lot for shoots from Wattle and Daub in Godalming and often fall in love with pieces so end up buying them for myself! I also get visual merchandise and styling ideas from libby at &Hobbs, also Thomas Ford & Sons is a lovely family-run kitchen shop in Ripley and I also love Haus in Haslemere. Sprout Surrey is also a great hub for sustainable businesses with green fingers. There are so many incredible creatives I am inspired by.

Find out more:

You can find out more about Clare and Turmeric House’s services at and you can get style inspiration for your own home by following @turmerichouse on instagram.

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Grantley’s expansion continues with new office opening in Godalming

Grantley Godalming Office

July 22, 2022

Grantley’s expansion continues with new office opening in Godalming

Leading independent country house sales, lettings and management company has created a home-from-home for clients in Church Road.

Grantley, one of the leading country house sales, lettings and management companies operating across Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire, has opened a new office in Godalming.

Situated in a listed building full of character on Church Road, the new branch joins Grantley’s existing Surrey offices in Guildford and Haslemere and showcases the company’s unique approach to property sales and lettings, with a personalised home-from-home feel.

The vision for the newly refurbished office was to create a welcoming environment for clients so that they feel right at home the moment they walk through the door. Areas of the office mirror rooms you might have at home, while the shelves are filled with books and pictures of people rather than property.

"Traditional estate agents offices can often feel intimidating," comments David Williams, Director at Grantley. "Our vision was to create something different, a home-from-home feel with furniture and colour schemes similar to what people might have in their own homes to provide a sense of familiarity."

Local interior designer Sadie Pizzey helped bring the vision to life by sourcing products from local and small independent suppliers and used an on-trend colour palette that also reflects Grantley’s new branding. The result is a relaxed, homely setting that perfectly represents Grantley’s personal approach, which is tailored to each client and their property.

"Traditional estate agents offices can often feel intimidating," comments David Williams, Director at Grantley. "Our vision was to create something different, a home-from-home feel with furniture and colour schemes similar to what people might have in their own homes to provide a sense of familiarity."

Local interior designer Sadie Pizzey helped bring the vision to life by sourcing products from local and small independent suppliers and used an on-trend colour palette that also reflects Grantley’s new branding. The result is a relaxed, homely setting that perfectly represents Grantley’s personal approach, which is tailored to each client and their property.

The Grantley team bring an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience in the marketing of premium properties, including country estates, equestrian properties and listed buildings, as well as contemporary town centre family homes, to Godalming.

The new office will be led by Edward Brett-Field, who lives in Witley and has worked as an estate agent in Godalming, Guildford and the surrounding villages for the past 12 years.

Come and meet Edward and the team over a glass of mulled wine and see the new office for yourself on November 27th when Grantley will be joining in the festivities for the Godalming Christmas Festival and light switch on.

Or, drop in anytime between 9am and 5:30pm Monday to Saturday. We look forward to meeting you.

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Photographers Eddie Judd & Vicki Knights

Local inspiration - Photographers

July 22, 2022

Local Inspiration - Photographers Eddie Judd & Vicki Knights

This month we shine the light on Surrey photographers Eddie Judd and Vicki Knights, who run the award-winning podcast Shoot Edit Chat Repeat.

How did the two of you meet?

EJ: We’re both photographers with over 20 years’ experience between us, and we both live in Surrey. We met chatting on Twitter, where there used to be a big photographer community, and then became great friends - bonding over f-stops, running our businesses and bringing up toddlers!

How did you get into photography?

EJ: Ever since I was about 10 years old, I wanted to be a photographer, but people kept trying to put me off, so I basically did it to prove them wrong! I trained to degree level and then started as a picture researcher on magazines, before becoming a picture editor on a magazine – all the while doing my own photography on the side. When I had children, I needed a job that would fit in around the family so I built my photography businesses around that, initially photographing families and doing lots of weddings but I moved away from larger weddings because I wasn’t able to really engage with people. Now my business has a firm focus on personal brand photography.

VK: I set up my family photography business in 2008 after having my first son, prior to that,
I’d had a career in working in the advertising/marketing/sales industry. Before long, I began tutoring family photographers as well as other parents on how to take better photos of their children. I’ve taught hundreds of people over the years and now run retreats, workshops and online courses.

What are your USPs?

EJ: Personal branding photography is at the core of my businesses. I love getting to know a person and their business and helping to find a setting and style that will suit their brand. It’s not just about shooting a headshot, it’s about capturing the whole ethos and personality of a person and their brand.

VK: I am also a family and personal branding photographer but mentoring is a key part of my businesses. I have trained in NLP and success coaching, and run regular business Visibility Retreats for big-hearted entrepreneurs, who want to develop their own personal brand and build confidence in their business. Why did you start the Shoot Edit Chat Repeat podcast?

EJ: Vicki loves listening to podcasts and I remember recording my own pretend radio shows when I was at school (they were terrible!) – back when you’d record on a double tape deck (those were the days!). Although podcasts had been around for some time, we felt there was a real gap in the market for a business podcast for photographers. The idea worked and we managed to land sponsors right from the beginning.

VK: The idea was to speak to really interesting people, not just photographers, but people that both photographers and others could learn from. Creatives tend to have a habit of underselling themselves and it’s a tough market out there so we wanted to help them with tips on how to grow their businesses. The podcast has now had over 200k downloads and is listened to in over 70 countries!

What are your top personal branding tips for independent businesses?

Find a photographer that you feel a connection with – you need to feel comfortable and relaxed when doing a personal branding shoot.

Don’t worry about what you look like or where to position yourself or your hands, that’s the photographer’s job.

You want to feel as confident as possible so invest in getting your hair and make-up done before the shoot and a stylist if you can afford to – we work with some great local businesses.

- Location is really important and often the most difficult thing to get right. You can suggest places that are important to you and your business but your photographer should have experience with different locations too and should get to know your businesses and what would work. For example we use the home of a lovely interior designer in Weybridge if you want a homely environment but would rather not have photos taken in your own home. Or alternatively we also regularly use a hotel in Guildford for colourful and eye-catching portraits.

Be honest with your photographer. The more they know about you and what you like/don’t like, the better they will be able to capture you in the best way. And remember, people buy people!

Find out more:

Find out more about Eddie’s photography services at and Vicki’s at