'There were three broad categories of residents in the village. The types who had lived here for generations, and inhabited the grand, but slightly dilapidated mansions just up the hill. Then there were those that had made their money in the city, following perfectly respectable (to some) careers that usually involved money. And then there were the others. The ones that ensured recession didn’t exist in this cosy corner of Cheshire. The ones that had made it here on the back of a skill set that could cause tutting and censure. The pop stars, the footballers – after all two major rival teams were based within a short Ferrari drive away - and the actors who hankered after a country estate address to add to their Hollywood and city portfolio.'
For a taste of Kitterly Heath, all you need to do is check out the Cheshire home of premiership footballers and stars - Alderley Edge. Kitterly isn’t Alderley Edge, but the village did inspire me to create a perfect British village of my own. A place that David Simcock, goalkeeper for his country, and his gorgeous partner Sam (and of course the Jacuzzi loving mutt, Scruffy), could settle in.
Pip loves the place, it’s full of the names and gossip she survives on in her journalistic life, and provides a welcome escape from the horse talk that sometimes leaves her longing for London and Louboutins.
If you’re a bit of a foodie, Alderley Edge can make your mouth water. There’s a wonderful butchers, a bakery that supplies hot sausage rolls and pies that are amazing (there is no other word and yes, that’s where Pip got her ammunition to upset the estate agent), an old fashioned sweet shop, and then there are the wine bars, restaurants and café’s that line the single street. Where I’ve spotted more than one footballer, and manager, on a sunny afternoon watching the world go by.
And if it’s money on a grander scale that you want to spend, the shoe shops and boutiques confirm that small can be beautiful (if you haven’t got money to burn, even the charity shop hit the headlines when people realised it gets more than its fair share of designer cast offs!).
On the outskirts is the property that David Beckham allegedly had his heart set on, and a stone’s throw away is ‘The Edge’ where the heart-stoppingly hunky Irish farrier Mick finally got to grips with the girl he had his eye on (read the book to find out who it was – it may surprise you). I sought out the spot many years ago after reading a book called ‘The Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ by Alan Garner – but more about that another time.
It’s a beautiful village, with a lovely church and is surrounded by the type of picturesque countryside (and mansions) that make the UK the wonderful place it is - throw in a smattering of Knutsford, Kelsall and Hale and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what Kitterly Heath is like. And, of course, don’t forget those footballers…
Welcome to the world of Stable Mates - I'll be sharing more about the setting and the characters in the next few weeks. Enjoy the ride!