When my husband (then boyfriend) and I were looking to buy our first house, Chislehurst was the perfect compromise between him wanting to move closer to his family in his native Kent, and me not wanting to move too far away from London. For a rightmove obsessive like me, buying a house meant some serious research and Chislehurst certainly came up trumps on paper. You never really know a place until you live there, so now that I’ve been here a while, here’s ‘my Chislehurst’.
Chislehurst, to me, feels established and self-assured, but not cocky or try-hard. There’re a lot of cool things about our high-street, it’s definitely not a clone that’s dominated by the same old shops. When we first started looking for houses, we popped into Champion Wines where the lady running the shop was super friendly (not something we were used in our previous postcode). When she found out that we were looking for houses, she was informative and took the time out to give us some tips. A simple thing really, but one that made a real difference to us – well, that, and the tasty bottle of white we bought.
Since we moved here, we got married and our high-street certainly helped. Again, we had brilliant service from Flawless Jewellery where we got our engagement and wedding rings. I loved that we were able to support a great family business and a skilful craftsman to get my perfect ring. If you don’t visit for Rob’s unique designs, I’d say the shop is worth a visit just to see their cute dog!
Bridal Boutique on the high-street had some of the most attentive staff when I was trying on dresses (and they threw in a glass of fizz for my bridesmaids). In the end, I bought my dress elsewhere. On the day before the wedding I realised that none of the alternations had been made to my dress (that’ll teach me!) but the staff in Belmont Dry Cleaners clearly saw the panic in my eyes and not only calmed me down, but did what they could, in the limited time available to help me out.
I like that Chislehurst is buzzy on a Saturday and sleepy on a Sunday. I like that we are just over 10 miles from the centre of London with loads of green spaces. The commons and the woods make you want to breathe-in the healthy air. Sure, I wouldn’t mind an alternative to the queue at Café Nero for a takeaway coffee (suggestions welcome?) but we’ve got a pond at the end of the street! Surely, we could win some sort of Britain’s-most-beautiful-town award?
Kindly written by Louise Osborn.