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Leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Bryant on his perfect Surrey weekend

PUBLISHED: 12:41 04 November 2011 | UPDATED: 17:36 20 February 2013

Leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Bryant on his perfect Surrey weekend

Leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Bryant on his perfect Surrey weekend

Leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Bryant will be one of the focuses of attention during the BBC Promenade Season, which includes the Last Night of the Proms, later this year. Weekends are always busy for the Claygate resident

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2010


Leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Bryant will be one of the focuses of attention during the BBC Promenade Season, which includes the Last Night of the Proms, later this year. Weekends are always busy for the Claygate resident, but occasionally he gets to relax and enjoy his own Surrey life


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A weekend without work is a bit of a luxury and even if I dont have rehearsals or a concert, I will try to do a few hours violin practice each day just to keep in trim.


If Ive been working on Friday evening, I will get up late on Saturday. I like sleeping and am rather good at it, so I will probably not surface for some time!


Usually, Im up much earlier though. After a breakfast of homemade muesli, banana and lots of Earl Grey tea, my wife Toni and I might head into Kingston and do some shopping.


There are some good clothes shops in Kingston and Thomas Pink shirts in Bentalls is a good place to start theres an endless selection of colours and patterns to choose from. Toni dislikes any shopping so she saves the money I spend!


For lunch, we might drive to Esher and to Bar Estilo or Caf Rouge both are relaxed and serve good food.


A Wisley wander
In the afternoon, we often go to RHS Garden Wisley and wander around avoiding the crowds and looking at the trees and plants then, enthused by this, well go home and do a bit of gardening. I look after the lawn and have a lot of ferns and exotic plants. In the winter, they get wrapped up so, when unwrapped in the spring, it is exciting to see the new baby fronds and leaves all ready to unravel.


One of my favourite relaxations in the garden is pond watching. We have a pond with a large population of newts and frogs and they are used to me and our three British shorthair cats, Effie, Dolly and Malcolm, sitting at the edge observing them.


Saturday evening, if we go out to eat, we often visit LAuberge at the Hare and Hounds in Claygate (getting back home in time to watch Match of the Day, of course). Im not really a pub man but it has a nice atmosphere, the food is excellent and the waiting staff even put up with
my awful attempts at speaking French!


Surbiton swimming
Sunday morning, Toni and I will go for a run or head off to the gym in Surbiton for a swim. I got into running many years ago and now she has taken it up, too. Then I might do some violin practice or some admin on my website.


My ideal weekend would conclude with a long walk in Esher woods with our neighbours, Maxine, Matthew and Rose, and their dogs Harry and Suzie. I would love to have my own dog but my work commitments (and three cats!) make it impossible. Afterwards, we go back to their house and play Monopoly, drink tea and beer, and eat whatever we can cobble together!


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