Ensuring Mandale Homes maintains its reputation for highly desirable luxury housing is Helen's top priority. Living in Neasham Village, with husband Gareth is a welcomed contrast to busy day-to-day working life.
Helen Woods

Graduating in 2001 with a law degree, Helen, 33, has always worked in the housing industry and has emerged as a leading light in her field. We catch up to find out her luxe things in life…

Luxe places >>

For a weekend > London as there’s so much to do and you never get bored; or The Lake District which is the opposite end of the spectrum, for some chill out time.

A long holiday > I went to Bali a couple of years ago and it’s such a beautiful place, I would love to go back soon.

Luxe relax >>

Best food > Pan Asian is definitely my favourite food although I do really enjoy trying new places to eat. Good food is a big love of mine.

Best wine > Red! My favourite ever is a 2010 Chateuneuf-du-pape, La Crau, Vieux Telegraphe.

Favourite restaurant > Locally my favourite is Chadwicks Inn, Maltby – the food there is always outstanding. A little further afield is the Gilpin Hotel which is just outside Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District.

Perfect weekend > When my husband is home (he does quite lengthly trips offshore), we would go out for dinner on the Friday evening, followed by the football on the Saturday and a catch-up with friends. Sunday would be a beach walk with Ruby our Yorkie, followed by a lovely roast with all the trimmings!

Downtime means > A good box set with an equally good glass of red and all of my candles.

Best telly > A few months ago my sister Harrie got me into Game of Thrones and it got addictive – I watched all six series in about three weeks! Other than that, I love Peaky Blinders and Luther, which was brilliant.

Best theatre > I do love going to see a good comedian, Micky Flanagan is probably my favourite. And I am going to see Derren Brown in a couple of months, which I am really excited for.

Best book > I often listen to podcasts when I am driving around our developments; I have just finished listening to Serial, which was really good.

Best sounds > My favourite band ever is Coldplay, I have seen them about five times now, but I love all live music and have been to Glastonbury a few times. I do also love Tina Turner and Whitney Houston, but I am only allowed to play them in the house when my husband is away!

Luxe shop >>

Best shopping city > Either Manchester or London, for different reasons really. In Manchester everything is quite close together, but there’s loads of variety in London.

Favourite shop > Definitely Selfridges, it stocks all of my favourite designers and the bars/restaurants in there are great.

Luxe retail treat > Well, that’s easy – shoes and handbags. I could actually spend days in The Shoe Galleries in Selfridges, London.

Best buy > My thing of the moment, although this does sound a bit sad, is a teapot! I love a good cup of tea and I have this thing about teapots that drip and spill when you pour them. My sister-in-law did her research and bought me a gorgeous Whittard teapot for my birthday last month and it pours the perfect cup, I love it.

Luxe party >>

A memorable night out > Aren’t the best nights always the ones you can’t remember?

Perfect party > Our wedding – the only time you get to have a party with everyone that you care about in one place.

Best dress > My current favourite item is a pair of Saint Laurent trainers – they are so comfy.

Dinner date > Friday nights with hubby.


Seaham Hall

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