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Erin Boag on her favourite Surrey places

PUBLISHED: 15:29 24 September 2018

Erin Boag (Photo by Gregory Michael King)

Erin Boag (Photo by Gregory Michael King)

Copyright: Gregory Michael King

Erin Boag, the first lady of Strictly, came to the UK 23 years ago. She bought an A to Z, stuck a pin in the map and found Surbiton which she had heard about through the TV series, The Good Life. She still lives there, along with husband Peter O’Dowd and son Ewan

I love everything about Surbiton. It is the perfect mix of town and green spaces and gives my family the opportunity to spend time outdoors. I grew up in New Zealand and spent my childhood in the fresh air, so I encourage that with Ewan.

With Peter working away all week, and my busy dance schedule, weekends are very precious. Friday is often is ‘date night’. After a lovely glass of Chablis at Layla in Esher, we will pop across the road to a wonderful Thai restaurant called Siam Food Gallery or the Giggling Squid, another Thai favourite. If the weather is a bit chilly, the Everyman Cinema with its comfy sofas and bar is a regular haunt.

On Saturday we are outside with Ewan as much as possible. We nip along to Kingston on our scooters, or bike along the riverside with Ewan on the back. A pit stop at the Riverside Café is always fun, or we might catch the ferry to Hampton Court and visit the Magic Garden, where Ewan loves running around and climbing the dragon! We might visit the area just south of the bridge with its lovely mix of cafés, boutiques and second hand shops. We’ll buy a sandwich and eat it back on the riverbank, preferably overlooking the palace.

Saturday afternoon is usually spent in the garden, pottering about and if it’s lovely weather, we’ll have an early evening BBQ with Ewan.

On Sunday morning, we walk five minutes to Victoria Park in Long Ditton, where we mess around with a frisbee and buy a cup of tea at Tart in the Park, or maybe an ice cream. The café and more ‘mature’ The French Tarte have revitalised the park, and it is alway busy.

At lunchtime we’ll get together with friends. The Cricketers in Downside, Cobham, is the perfect spot with good food and a playground nearby where the kids can run around, but still be in our view. Sunday evening is time to plan for the week ahead. Anton and I are planning our 11th tour so there’ll be admin to do and Peter will prepare for his week at work. A simple supper like egg on toast is all we need after a lovely weekend spent as a family, and with friends. 


Surbiton’s Erin Boag on life after Strictly Come Dancing - As she prepares to trip the light fantastic in a new touring show coming to Surrey, Strictly star Erin Boag reveals why the time was right to take a break from the hit TV series – and how settling in our county was one of the best things she ever did

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