Where Annabelle goes….
Top solicitor, charity advocate and a bit of a cake fan, Muddy catches up with the incredibly glam and altruistic, Annabelle Vaughan of Coffin Mew.
The rather glamorous and incredibly warm, Annabelle Vaughan is a partner and solicitor at southern law firm Coffin Mew, and heads up the Wills, Trusts and Probate, Court of Protection teams as well as the Care and Protection Sector.
Annabelle moved to Hampshire when she was 16, before qualifying as a solicitor in 2008. As well as her impressive legal career she’s also a huge charity advocate and sits on the board of Dreams Come True – a bespoke charity dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of children and adults with life-limiting conditions. And, as if she wasn’t busy enough (!), is also a super keen dressmaker.
Having lived in Winchester for a number of years and working in various Coffin Mew offices across Hampshire and the South, she and her husband (along with their dog), moved to the gorgeous location of Whitchurch in North Hampshire. We caught up with her to chat about her favourite places in the area.
I absolutely love visiting Mottisfont and we go there a lot – particularly in the Summer. My husband and I have a National Trust membership and we’ve absolutely committed to making the most of it! On a Sunday we tend to grab breakfast out and make a point of visiting a National Trust property, making a full day of it. We try and stick to ones that are relatively nearby, such as Basildon Park, but there’s so many you don’t feel under too much pressure to cram them all in. It’s great to just have a leisurely look around and then get a coffee afterwards.
I don’t eat meat, dairy or eggs, though I hesitate to use the vegan label, but it’s good when I find a place that caters to plant-based diets that also does great food. Rawberry in Winchester has these amazing smoothie bowls that are also equally beautiful to look at. I actually get my hair cut nearby at Bloomer and Bloomer and they always have cake and tea, plus some bubbles for their clients. I used to joke with them I couldn’t eat any of the delicious stuff they had in, and last time I was getting my hair done they actually nipped to Rawberry and got me a vegan flapjack!
Kudos Coffee, Whitchurch
This place is brilliant and it’s super popular with both locals and cyclists, as Whitchurch is perfect for biking through. It’s also very dog-friendly and they’ve expanded it in recent years to accommodate all the pups and bikes that come through its doors. Also, Kudos do the best vegan carrot cake I’ve ever had – it’s just amazing! In fact, if I’m working at home I’ll take the dog out as an excuse to go and get some. It’s such a lovely friendly spot – we even popped in on Christmas Eve one year.
This village is absolutely full of gems. There are lots of little independent shops (such as Blueberri and the Overton Gallery) and there’s a very, very good curry house called RedFort. It’s really tucked away and doesn’t get really busy, so it’s ideal for a day of browsing around and popping into one of the independent coffee shops.
The Watership Down Inn
We live really close to The Watership Down Inn and we love popping in. It’s incredibly dog-friendly and the inn has such a relaxed atmosphere – they do the most amazing food as well. Also, it’s really close to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery and we tend to go here quite a lot if we have people visiting as it’s such a pretty place to look around and people always find it really interesting
Bridge Street House, Winchester
I absolutely loved visiting No5 Bridge Street as it did perfect little plates and you could go in any time of day just to have a light bite. Because it’s close to the High Street, it’s easy to get around the rest of the city afterwards. I am looking forward to checking it out in its new guise as Bridge Street House.
For a spot of culture, it has to be Everyman in Winchester. We go here quite a lot as they do a lot of National Theatre broadcasts. It means that you can enjoy the show, have a cocktail and not have to worry about dashing across London to get the last train home! We also try and get the tickets for performances for the ballet and opera as well. It’s great as it has none of the hassle of having to traipse across the West End.
Whitchurch Silk Mill
The Silk Mill had a huge refurb over the last couple of years and in the Summer they started holding outdoor theatre performances that my husband and I love going to. We went to see Romeo & Juliet and the production was brilliant, and really topped off by the surroundings.