Sam is a PR consultant living in Esher with her husband and baby. Using her twitter account @livinginesher Sam tweets about the local area and all things beauty, baby, fitness, fashion and food. She is passionate about promoting everything Esher and the wider area has to offer and why she thinks it is the perfect place to start a family.
Three years ago my husband and I decided to take the plunge and ditch our London lives to buy our first home in Esher. The day we pulled up to our new house we knew we’d made the right decision and that it would be the perfect place to raise a family.
Three years on, I know most of my neighbours, many of whom will be lifelong friends, and it is rare to step out of the house without stopping for a chat, popping over for a cup of tea or heading out for lunch or a drink at our local, The Wheatsheaf.
There is a real sense of community and this has only strengthened since the birth of our son last December.
It is only when have your own family that you realise how much of a ‘nappy valley’ Esher and wider Elmbridge is.
All of a sudden I started to buggy spot along the high street and noticed how many mummies there are doing laps of Esher to either get their little ones to sleep or to get some fresh air. Along our road, more than 6 babies have been born in just over 12 months, most of whom are boys so watch out Esher pubs in 17 years or so time!
Esher high street has everything I need as a new parent; Waitrose for the weekly shop, Boots for baby stuff, cafes to meet fellow mummies, restaurants for NCT dinners and of course, Everyman cinema for our weekly essential trip to ‘Baby Cinema’.
Although I really wish we had a few more shops – a White Company or Oliver Bonas would be the dream!
Since becoming a mummy I have realised that I am actually quite ‘outdoorsy’ and with my new found love of being outside I joined the National Trust so I can visit Claremont Gardens and RHS Wisley to give the little one a change of scenery.
In the early days, a daily walk down to Garsons kept me sane and satisfied my caffeine addiction.
With our little one approaching his first birthday and with walking on the horizon, I am constantly having to find new activities to entertain him. I had no idea how geared up for family life Esher and the wider area is.
From The Playcafe at Sandown which is now a regular haunt, sports clubs, holiday camps, forest schools to baby classes – there is hardly any need to leave the area! Where possible we try to walk to our activities rather than having to hop in the car which is perfect when the little one is having a nap!
Giro does the best coffee hands down (www.girocycles.com)
Cote is definitely the best for families and manageress Lindsey is always so welcoming and accommodating
The Playcafe at Sandown is the best soft play cafe (www.sandownparkgolf.com/clubhouse/play-cafe/)
Garsons is great for NCT groups looking for somewhere big enough for 7+ buggies and has lovely events throughout the year for the kids but the restaurant’s food is disappointing and not aligned with the company’s fresh food ethos (www.garsons.co.uk/)
Giggling Squid has the best menu for lunching Mummies and it is super speedy (www.gigglingsquid.com/restaurant/esher)
I love our local The Wheatsheaf (www.wheatsheafesher.co.uk) but it isn’t terribly baby or child friendly which is backed up by their website ‘We think pubs are really for adults! However well behaved younger children are welcome’
The Swan in Claygate (http://www.theswanesher.co.uk/holding-page/) which opened earlier this year is a great place to take the family for a Sunday roast
Baby sensory in Cobham is a must for new parents (www.babysensory.com) and I have just signed up to the newly launched baby club BusyLizzy Cobham & Weybridge (www.busylizzyweybridge.co.uk) which is a pick & mix members club allowing parents to try a select of their baby classes and mummy fitness sessions.
We also love Rhymetime and Storytime at Esher library, the little ones absolutely love it and it’s free! (www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/libraries/your-library/find-your-nearest-library/esher-library/Events-and-activities-at-Esher-Library)
We have definitely settled in to our new lives in Esher and can’t see ourselves living anywhere else!
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