Cricket hero Phil Tufnell on his perfect Surrey weekend
Former England cricketer turned TV personality and Strictly star, Phil Tufnell lives in the Kingswood area with his wife Dawn. Come the weekend, you'll find him checking out a local pub, Epsom Downs racecourse or possibly waltzing round his kitchen
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2010
Former England cricketer turned TV personality and Strictly star, Phil Tufnell lives in the Kingswood area with his wife Dawn. Come the weekend, you’ll find him checking out a local pub, frequenting Epsom Downs racecourse or possibly waltzing round his kitchen...
What with Strictly, A Question of Sport, The One Show and the commentary work that I do, weekends have been fairly hectic recently. In fact, it’s all I can do to get a moment to myself sometimes.
When I do get the chance to relax, though, it’s always nice to pop off somewhere with my wife Dawn and friends on a Friday evening. We tend to keep fairly local, so somewhere like The Grumpy Mole in Tadworth is great.
We also really like Tony Tobin’s place, The Dining Room in Reigate, for those special occasions. Other times, we might head over to the Kingswood Arms, which is just down the road, and a great little local.
Apparently, in the mid-1960s, the Kingswood Arms was called the Pigeon Pear because pigeons were once brought to Kingswood by train and released with news messages, which helped Reuters to deliver information quicker than their rivals. I just enjoy relaxing with friends and a drink, to be honest!
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As a keen supporter and vice-president of The Children’s Trust, Saturday might be spent visiting Tadworth Court where they provide care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities. It’s great to have somewhere like that so close, and I enjoy popping down for a quick game of cricket with the kids.
People keep asking me whether I’m keeping up the dancing. I suppose because my wife is a fan of Strictly, it was only a matter of time before I ended up on the show. I had always said I wouldn’t, but when I mentioned it to Ramps (fellow cricketer and former Strictly champion Mark Ramprakash), he said why not? So since then, my wife and I have been waltzing round the kitchen, although we don’t really head off to any classes or anything locally.
Avoiding clothes shopsI’m not much of a shopper, really. I mainly get the hand-me-downs and what my wife picks out, but she loves it. Favourites include Fluke in Banstead, which I believe is a clothes store, and Pie in Kingston, which is more of the same.
I also get myself down to Epsom Downs whenever I can – I’m a big fan of the horses and the hospitality is always great there. We live close enough to stagger there and back again, so it’s a great day out whether with family or friends.
On a Sunday, the wife and I have a pair of bikes, so that’s our main source of getting out and about for a bit of exercise – although I’ll admit, it’s quite often just an excuse to check out some of the local pubs. But there is some stunning scenery where we live, so it’s always nice to get out in the fresh air as well.
I enjoy a bit of art, too. Painting is very relaxing and I find you can just switch off. It’s a release. I don’t paint landscapes, though, so you won’t find me down the woods or off up Box Hill with my easel!
When I can find the time in my filming schedule, I still enjoy playing a bit of cricket, so will hopefully be taking part in a few games around the county for the Bunburys charity team when the season comes round again. When driving past Chipstead on a sunny summer afternoon, I still enjoy pulling over to watch the local teams in action.
I always look forward to the warmer months, as we enjoy entertaining at home in the garden, too. So I’ll be keeping one eye on the forecasts.