Judith Ballard has lived in Reigate for over two decades, moving there from nearby Horley.
As Sales Manager of Jigsaw in Reigate, Judith Ballard is necessarily and naturally into fashion: “Great clothes have always been my passion and I loved Jigsaw long before I could afford it, so I really love working there,” she says. “And Reigate has amazing indies along with the high end chains, supported by great independent restaurants and cafes too.”
She’s also a fan of Reigate’ s continual evolution since moving here. “Unlike many of the UK’s little market towns, Reigate has improved its offering. When shops have gone it was usually because they were doubling or tripling up: we had more gift shops than we needed! Now high end chains and independents have moved into those vacancies and Reigate’s becoming a destination. I think the whole high street experience is the future of retail, and your day out isn’t a soulless mall.”
Outside of her full-fashion immersion, you’ll find Judith catching movies at The Everyman Cinema – with its Pullman seat service bringing you food and drink while you watch – and Priory Park, with its brilliant kid’s playgrounds and pretty lake. “It’s busy,” she says, “but there’s enough space to always find a quiet place to relax.”
The Castle Grounds are also a favourite for a bit of tranquilty, followed by either The Vintage Tea rooms – where everything is served on pretty vintage china – or Monty Bojangles for its decadent chocolate truffles and coffee (the only one in the UK).
Of course, chocolate comes at a price more than mere money, requiring a strict keeping in check of those sweet-tasting pounds. Judith’s favourite calorie-burner is 1Sculpt, an indie gym set up by two sisters. She loves it because, like the rest of Reigate, “it’s small enough for personal attention, but big enough to have a bit of a buzz.”
Reigate’s got everything you need in a small package,” she says. “Even when I worked in Oxford Street, my commute into town was 40 minutes; shorter than most people who actually lived in London! And now I work here, I can literally stroll into work and back at night, feeling safe, getting a bit of exercise and you always bump into someone you know: it really is the good life!”