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A Little Local Luxury

The word luxury barely enters our vocabulary these days (not that it did before we had children) but sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself and pretend ‘one is mingling with the upper echelons’.

In Surrey there are some wonderful places to visit and we are so lucky to have them on our doorstep. So when it comes to family days out, Michael and I are thinking out of the box and finding local trips that coincide with the little ones’ nap times.

A few weeks ago we visited Ham House and took the Hammerton’s Ferry across the water to Marble Hill House as well. The ferry is very handy, although I had to deal with the hilarity of Michael carrying the double buggy down the stairs and onto the ferry without falling in. It was worth it though, as we had a lovely lunch in the café once we arrived safely on the other side. Two stunning stately homes steeped in history and with Royal connections. If walls really do have ears, you can only imagine the stories they must have heard over the years. As beautiful as Ham House is, my two year old son was more fascinated by the occasional mound of horse manure he had to avoid during our walk and felt he had to warn everyone who went past!

Another stately home we love to visit is Warren House. A secret gem hidden away just off Kingston Hill and the place we discovered after a sneaky property spotting drive down Warren Road. They do a fantastic afternoon tea and when the sun’s shining the gardens are lovely. It even had nationwide coverage recently, as ITV’s This Morning recognised it as one of the best venues to go for a Mother’s Day celebration. The real magic of the place though, is you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s so peaceful and calm; you forget you’re halfway between the A3 and Kingston Town Centre.

So there you have it, a little bit of luxury right on your doorstep!

Angellica Bell is a TV presenter living in Kingston