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The Unassuming UK Town Where Footballers Live And Reality Stars Hang Out

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For most UK residents they have only one frame of reference for Chigwell: Birds of a Feather.

But it’s also a place that has become synonymous with wealth given its many high profile residents – and costly properties.

The Essex town is home to footballers, TOWIE stars and even Lord Alan Sugar.

It has an array of restaurants such as Sheesh which celebrities flock to and high-end bars and shops.

What do locals make of the area which is part of Essex’s ‘golden triangle’ which also includes Loughton and Buckhurst Hill? spoke to a woman who grew up in Chigwell and whose family has always lived there.

Claire Rodrigues Lee, 45, is a professional songwriter and also the founder of Neon Army, a fashion accessories brand.

She said: “Chigwell was an amazing place to live as it had the best of everything. 

“A leafy suburb but also has all the amenities you could wish for with some lovely shops in Chigwell parade, great restaurants like Sheesh on your doorstep as well as plenty of open spaces to walk or even ride.

“You’ll often see people riding horses on Manor Road which runs down to Chigwell row/Lambourne end.”

The proud Chigwell woman also says that it’s a place that feels safe and is in close proximity to central London.

She said: “I always felt safe living in Chigwell and it still feels like home when I go back to visit my family.  

“You have some great places nearby too like Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Woodford Green and Epping which also have some great shops, bars and restaurants. 

“Chigwell feels like a great location in relation to central London with only a 20 minute journey on the central line to Oxford Street.”

Fans of Tottenham and West Ham will tell you that Chigwell is best known for being the place where footballers live.

Jermain Defoe and Paolo Di Canio are two more recent footballers to have lived in the area while England World Cup-winning captain, and West Ham legend, Bobby Moore also called Chigwell home at one point.

Properties in Chigwell had an overall average price of £596,950 over the last year according to Rightmove, which is more than double the UK average price of £289,824.

Estate agents John Thoma, who has sold properties in Chigwell for 30 years and now has his own firm John Thoma Bespoke Estate Agency, explained why people love Chigwell.

He said: “I think that people love that it’s so safe. It’s a safe environment to live in.

“It has good schools – some private and some mainstream. A good selection of schools.

“There’s some good shops nearby in Brook Parade including an Italian restaurant, a fish and chip shop, a hardware shop and a health food shop. There’s a few celebrities who live here but we’re not allowed to discuss!”

He explained the area has got a village feel to it.