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Where does interior designer Nicky Keen like to unwind?

Nicky Keen loves transforming houses in to unique homes. She runs Joy Interiors and her work is sooo fabulous, it’s been featured in 25 Beautiful homes, House Beautiful as well as The Sunday Times.

Here she reveals her fave places in and around Leicestershire and just beyond.

Market Bosworth – this beautiful little market town is steeped in history, stunning buildings and set in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside. Definitely worth a visit – there are cafes, pubs highly recommend the Black Horse – lovely food and beautiful decor together with pretty shops including two interior/lifestyle ones – perfect.

Horse and Jockey pub in Congerstone. This is our go-to pub for the rare occasion we have a date night! The interior is beautifully designed, lots of food choice whether you would like a snack or a main meal. You can also buy gorgeous pretties for your home whilst there – mirrors, clocks, accessories – all priced and ready to take with you – I may have made a few purchases in the past after a cheeky wine!

Ferrers Gallery

As we live on the border of Derbyshire, one of our favourite places to visit as a family is the market town, Staunton Harold near Melbourne. It’s really pretty in both the summer and winter months. There are lovely walks to be had around the building themselves, a courtyard cafe, pretty units selling all sorts of quirky and bespoke items – our favourite is the Ferrers Gallery, I always find something here for that special birthday or a card that says exactly what I need it to! ‘The Bothy’ is a delightful little unit with an oak framed outhouse, where you can find handmade wooden gifts, antiques and unusual pieces for your garden. It’s only open Thursday, Fridays and the weekends though so time your visit well.

The Monkey Tree in Ashby

Ashby De La Zouch is our nearest town for all our amenities – but it is also very pretty and lots more to it than meets the eye. Lots of little cafes and eateries for you to visit, I recently went to the Monkey Tree Gin Bar for afternoon tea which was really lovely. There is also the castle, and the grounds – lovely for a wander with your little ones. Lots of independent shops too – my favourites being Goose (for ladies clothes and accessories), Gloss Interiors (for all your pretty homewares) and Norths Deli (they do the most amazing cakes ever – Fact!

Cattows Farm

Another little gem that we often visit as a family is Cattows Farm, near Heather. Amazing in the summer months for picking your own fruit, and in the autumn for choosing your own pumpkins too. The staff are really friendly and really make an effort to ensure everyone has a lovely experience. Their cafe is so popular you normally need to book – especially for Sunday lunch. Again, you can just pop for a cuppa and cake too – and then shop in their farm store for all your weekend treats! There is a small play area and lots of green space for little ones to run in.

A little regular of ours now is the small but lovely ‘Alpaca farm’ in Snarestone. A recent addition to our area but it is already proving to be really popular. Their tea room serves all day – breakfasts and lunch (I can highly recommend their Sunday carvery), and you can then pay a small amount to walk around the farm area to see the animals – and as the name gives away, the Alpacas.

Calke Abbey

Another favourite of ours is Calke Abbey – again just over the border in Derbyshire (Ticknall) but worth the trip. Set in amazing surroundings, you can spend hours here in the summer – so many walks, gardens to explore and  buildings to be amazed by. There are two cafes, ice creams and also hot outside food in the winter. They have a small play area too for the little ones but with all the walks around there is more than enough to entertain them- you will even get to see the Deer if you are lucky.

Joy Interiors.

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