My first husband, Clive, and I brought the Bakery in 1978. Restoring and preserving its historic fabric became a labour of love. Originally we used the whole of the Old Bakery as a family home. Clive was a classical musician and both our children were studying instruments. So it was well used for rehearsal and practice. My children, Karen and Stephen, are both professional musicians. Stephen plays the cello and Karen the violin. In 1986, Clive died and soon my children became adults and had homes and, eventually, families of their own. I decided to divide the house into two parts, thus creating 'Chalkley's' apartment. I converted the Stables to a guest house about ten years ago,
For many years, I worked in Fundraising and raised funds for historic buildings including Worcester College Oxford, The King Charles Court at Royal Greenwich and (my final project) St Paul's Cathedral. I then re-trained as a Psychotherapist and have private practice in Winchmore Hill.
My second husband, Bruce, is a scientist working on Environmental issues.
Bruce has three adult children and we now have ten grandchildren between us! The eldest is Zachary aged 18 and the youngest is baby Gabriel who was born in April 2013. My son, Stephen and his French wife Amelie (also a musician) have 3 year old twins Elliot and Ariane whom I often look after, which is a real joy.
Our children and grandchildren frequently gather here for meals. When there is a birthday to celebrate it is usually a case of 'Let's go to Mum's'. Fortunately, Bruce is an excellent and enthusiastic cook. The photo above is of the family gathering for Zachary's 18th birthday. I am the one wearing a flowery jacket and holding Elliot, aged 3 years. In order round the table, Amelie (back to camera) me, Nat, Zach, Karen, Gabriel (not the baby Gabriel but his older cousin!) Martin (a friend from New York) and Stephen holding Ariane (Elliot's twin sister).
Nina Anstee purchased this apartment in 1978
Winchmore Hill is a wonderful place to live. It combines fast access to the centre of London with pleasant surroundings, good independently-run shops and restaurants, and a thriving and friendly community. These last qualities are rare in large capital cities.I frequently join local friends at the Deli-on-the-Green for morning coffee, when we talk over local issues, discuss the latest news or have friendly disagreements about politics. In the warmer weather I love to walk in beautiful Grovelands Park. The Park was once the grounds of 18th century Grovelands House (designed by John Adams) but was bought by the far-sighted local Council 100 years ago as a amenity for the neighbourhood.
At weekends Bruce and I usually go to the theatre, a concert, or to the National Film Theatre. The great thing about Winchmore Hill is that it is easy to pop into the centre - for a bit of Oxford Street shopping, or to visit Borough Food Market, for example - while also enjoying a great neighbourhood.
When I first saw The Old Bakery, the fireplace in Chalkley's dining room brought back childhood memories of my grandfather reading by his newspaper by the fireside in his Tudor period house. I love The Old Bakery's spaciousness, its charm, its excentricities and its warm family atmosphere.
When we bought The Old Bakery we spent a lot of time finding the original features hidden beneath inappropriate 'modernisations'. I have taken pride in conserving the building's historic fabric and bringing The Old Bakery's facilities up to high contemporary standards without compromising its character and atmosphere. About ten years ago, I transformed The Stables ( where the baker's horses lived until the1940s) into a delightful one bedroom cottage (also available as a holiday apartment).