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spotlight: Annie

Spotlight on river living: Charming Grade II listed family home fronting the River Thames

Since purchasing their riverside family home through riverhomes in 2006 Annie, Andy, son Max and Jimi the dog haven’t looked back.  Find out why once you have lived by the water there is no other way!

Why do you live by the river?

We ended up living by the river almost by accident (thanks riverhomes!), although we used to spend a lot of time walking up and down the towpath and wondering what it must be like to live in such a beautiful place

Have you always lived by the water?

Prior to moving here we had never lived by the river

Is it how you expected it to be?

It’s even better than I would have expected.

What is your favourite thing about living next to the Thames?

The view is always changing. Living in a city, you accept the fact that you will look out on to a road, or someone else’s house.  This is even better than fronting a park, as the scene is always changing

What is it about your view that you like particularly?

We look out over an island in the Thames, and only in winter when the trees have shed their leaves can you see that there are houses over the river behind.

Do you like any season particularly?

Every season has its attractions. In autumn and winter the mists are very atmospheric, but the spring and summer, when there is so much activity on the river, from sail boats to paddle-boarders has to be our favourite

Could you ever imagine living away from the River?

We couldn’t imagine living away from the river now. We have been spoiled. We spend a lot of time sitting outside watching the geese and swans.

Do you dine out along the river?  Any tips?

We eat out at the local riverside pubs, and Annie’s restaurant ,which is just behind the riverside properties. The food is fantastic and Lorraine has such a talent for designing cosy and welcoming places

Favourite section the River?

The riverside walks are beautiful, particularly the path alongside Kew Gardens to Richmond

What do friends say when they visit you for the first time?

The first thing anyone says when they come to the house is ‘what a great location’ or what an amazing view.

Do you prefer High tide or low tide?

It is pretty spectacular when the tide is high and you can’t go out of the front of the house at all. I got stuck once, when I had come to see how refurbishment works where coming along, and the back of the house was boarded up. I had to take off my shoes and socks and wade along the towpath! Fortunately it never comes up the steps at the front. The houses were built to deal with high tides, before the Thames Barrier kept them manageable

At low tide our son explores the foreshore, looking for treasure

Are you interested in the History of the Thames?

Living here does give you a greater appreciation of the history of the river  - there are some relatively recent excavations of the old river wall just in front of the house. It would have been great to see it when it was at its busiest.

Are you more in tune with news / events / about / on the River since living next to it?

We keep an eye out for events such as the river race, and usually have friends round to watch.

What do you like most about the property?

There is a fantastic sense of community here. When we first moved in one of the neighbours threw a party so that we could meet everyone. There is a very active community association which helps preserve the character of the area, and everybody is incredibly friendly

What do you like about the local schools?

Our local school, Strand on the Green Infants and Juniors, contributes to the sense of community and is an outstanding school, both academically and pastorally.

What local secret do you know that would take a new resident a while to discover?

A secret? Well, there is a wonderful little pub in Brentford, by the river, which has a great jazz band on a Thursday. Unfortunately, those of us who go to the Brewery Tap are unable to tell anyone about it!

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