Soprano Natalie Coyle on her perfect Surrey weekend
PUBLISHED: 13:25 16 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:25 16 December 2013
Soprano Natalie Coyle, who grew up in Little Bookham, recently toured the UK with Classic BRIT Award winners BLAKE and made her Wembley debut earlier this year. Looking forward to performing at Guildford Cathedral this Christmas, here she reveals what she likes to get up to on her weekends back at home in Surrey...
I spent most of my childhood and early adult life in Surrey, so it holds a special place in my heart, and it’s always a treat to visit my mum and sister in Little Bookham whenever I get the chance.
Friday evening is generally a relaxing affair at our house. We usually end up watching a movie together and in the winter months, which I love, we stoke up the fire. It’s great to have an escape from the hustle and bustle of London every now and again.
After a rare Saturday morning lie-in, my mum and I head to our favourite shopping destination – Guildford – but not before we stop off at Squires’ West Horsley Garden Centre. My mum used to take me there after school and treat me to a slice of Victoria sponge cake and a cup of tea. I love going around the Christmas department there, which I have done every year since I was nine.
After having a little browse, we head off to Guildford. I love the cobbled streets and historical buildings at Christmas. Guildford High Street could come from a scene out of a Charles Dickens novel with choirs singing Christmas carols and chestnuts roasting. Mum and I enjoy wandering down the winding streets and I always love going back to both House of Fraser and Whistles where I used to work as a sales assistant.
A good Sunday roast
Although I live in London now, I have many friends that still live in Surrey and we often go to the pub when I am down to visit. A particular favourite is the Black Swan in Ockham. They do great pub food and there is always a roaring fire.
A Sunday roast is a must in the Coyle household. My mum’s favourite pub in Surrey is the William Bray in Shere – it’s like she lives there! I love their food and highly recommend their roasts!
Afterwards, we try to walk it off with a stroll around Polesden Lacy or Bookham Common. Surrey has a lot of stunning countryside ready to be explored. When I’m at home in London, I spend a lot of my time in rehearsal rooms or recording studios, so I like to go for a walk for some fresh air and a change of scenery, or if I’m feeling particularly energetic, I’ll go for a run… occasionally!
Throughout the Christmas period, my time is filled with singing at events and so my weekends rapidly become less relaxing. My last performance this year will be in Surrey at Guildford Cathedral on Thursday December 19 in support of the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People. I have been working with the QEF for many years having worked in the college during my summer holidays. It’s great knowing how the charity works and having the chance to support them in my hometown is an honour.
There are so many wonderful things to do in Surrey it is difficult to fit everything into a single weekend but I’d love to move back at some point in the future.
Natalie Coyle will be performing at the Guildford Cathedral Christmas Concert, which takes place on Thursday December 19 in aid of the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People. For ticket information, visit the charity’s website at qef.org.uk