An outsider maybe forgiven for thinking Sutton Coldfield is part of Birmingham due its 8 miles proximity to the city. But Suttonians are proud of their Royal Borough status and don’t see themselves as part of Brum at all and rightly so. It’s a town made up of several suburbs all with their own identity, making it truly unique.
Each of these distinct suburbs surrounds the heart of Sutton, its magnificent 2400-acre park, providing a wealth of activity for the its neighbours living nearby. Once the old hunting estate of Henry VIII, it’s now home to lakes, restaurants, a boating club, Exmoor ponies and odd roaming cow or two! It’s special here.
Amongst the woodlands it’s hard to believe you are a few miles from the country’s 2nd city. Being the largest urban park in Europe you can see how it’s a big part of local life. It’s my favourite place to go to walk my dog Moll, even when it gets crowded you can quickly bypass the beautiful lakes and find a secluded spot of tranquillity. And the best part is that if you get around your route quickly enough you can grab yourself breakfast at Blackroot Bistro, and reward yourself with a feast. It’s where everyone congregates with friends after a run or walk and most of us choose to sit outside even on the chillier of days to soak up the surroundings, but you needn’t worry about getting cold because there’s a stack of blankets provided to keep you snug. It’s incredible that all this is just a short stroll form the vibrant town centre full of shops, restaurants and bars.
But this isn’t the only gem on offer in the area. Just a few minutes away from the park gates are the many private roads of the jaw dropping houses that make up the Four Oaks Park Estate. Driving around here is an experience and thankfully the speed bumps slow you down enough to take a good glimpse of those fabulous homes. Built in the early part of the last century, mainly for local industrialists of immense wealth, it’s still as aspirational now as it was in its heyday. These houses are simply stunning, designed by renowned architects, each one totally unique and utterly beautiful. I could carry on gushing about the property’s in this area because I absolutely love its grandeur and immense sense of style and I doubt there’s anywhere else quite like it in the rest of the country.
Sutton Coldfield is an old town which is reflected in the number of traditional period homes it has to offer. It’s an entrepreneurial type of place here, and always has been, with many independent business flourishing over the years. Having a thriving social scene is very much a part of a Suttonians lifestyle – we like to party! And the many bars and restaurants it has to offer doesn’t disappoint.
On the out skirts of the town is one of my favourite haunts, The Coppice Garden Centre with its retail heaven of Skandi style gorgeousness, petite spa and of course the fabulous Fig and Olive bar and restaurant. It’s the perfect place for me to pick up products to help style Mr and Mrs Clarke houses and when all the retail therapy is done I can chill out with afternoon tea or a meal with friends. It has it all here, a true destination place with loads happening from regular events to various courses and word is there’s a new deli coming in 2018! What more could a girl ask for!
It’s clear to see why The Times newspaper in 2015 listed Sutton Coldfield in its top 20 family friendly towns to live in England: 2 grammar schools, 20 minutes to Town by rail (that’s Birmingham for the unenlightened) and within easy reach of the country’s motorway network – what’s not to like ! Oh and let’s not forget there’s been a Waitrose here forever!
It’s not a small place Sutton Coldfield, but it really has its own unique identity and a true sense of community, everybody really does know everyone – it’s all that socialising we do!