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The Last Word – Karen Wood and Kathy Daniel, The Chair Sanctuary

We’re Karen Wood and Kathy Daniel, we live in East Dulwich from where we run our upholstery and furniture renovation company, The Chair Sanctuary.

How long have you lived in the area?

Both of us have lived in East Dulwich for over 20 years, we’ve had workshops across south London during that time but we’re very pleased that for the last few years both work and home have been in East Dulwich.

What do you most value about the street you live in?

We live in a rather secret road, it’s a cul-de-sac with a really rural feel, full of trees and birds and loads of blackberries in the summer – our home-made jam cannot be beaten!

Do you know your neighbours?

We live in a really creative corner and it’s the friendliest road we’ve ever lived in. We’re really lucky to know our neighbours one of whom knocked on our door to present us with a home grown marrow the day we moved in – and we knew we’d found the right spot for us.

The most famous person you’ve seen or met?

We’re lucky enough to have a number of well-known people as regular clients, including Mark Rylance and Claire van Kampen who have an amazing array of antique furniture which is always a treat to work on.

Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?

Kathy will be playing badminton, Karen gardening then we’ll be either at an exhibition, a garden centre or a tea shop. Preferably all three.

What is your favourite place to eat?

Yama Momo on Lordship Lane is amazing – for both food and cocktails…. Miss Tapas in Peckham is great and (after extensive research) Kathy swears the carrot cake from Gail’s in Dulwich village is the best there is.

Coffee or tea? Where?

The French House is a great place for a coffee and an Earl Grey tea, but if you want a veggie breakfast on the side then Boulangerie Jade is hard to beat.

The best meal I’ve ever had…

We love Eritrean food and ordered a huge takeaway for Kathy’s last birthday party from Adulis restaurant in Brixton and enjoyed the leftovers all weekend. Perhaps the most peculiar was when Karen inadvertently ordered snails in garlic and white wine alongside a cappuccino, she really should improve her German language skills….

What’s your favourite place for a night out?

We love hanging out at our friends’ house locally, playing table tennis in the garden and eating curry – washed down with plenty of gin and tonic.

What is your favourite shop?

There are plenty to choose from but we love Really Maria on Lordship Lane which has a colourful array of dress making fabrics, useful haberdashery and lots of crafty bits and pieces.

The book I’m reading at the moment

We’re furniture and design fanatics so we always have a number of those on the go – Karen is always reading a classic, Kathy is finally getting round to A Suitable Boy and for comedy genius we love David Sedaris.

Our perfect holiday…

We love Africa and it’s hard to choose a favourite moment between sleeping under the stars on a house-boat on Lake Kariba, Zambia, admiring the incredible rock-hewn churches in Ethiopia or camping (a bit too closely!) to lions in the Maasai Mara.

www.thechairsanctuary.co.uk

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