Cheska Hull: from London to Salcombe
PUBLISHED: 11:00 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 31 May 2017
Made in Chelsea's Cheska Hull tells Chrissy Harris why she's happy to call Salcombe her home
Reality TV star Cheska Hull has swapped the bright lights of London for the Devon seaside – and she couldn’t be happier.The 30-year-old was a key member of E4’s Made in Chelsea series, based on the lives of a set of affluent young people living in the capital.It was a star-studded lifestyle, complete with paparazzi photographers, newspaper headlines, red carpets and plenty of parties.Today, however, Cheska says she is pleased to have left all that behind as she sits in the sunshine outside a cafe in Salcombe.This is her home town now, after she moved here from London last year to help mum Karen Woodley-Griffin run her boutique, Amelia’s Attic in nearby Fore Street.
The ‘boudoir-style emporium’ is celebrating its tenth anniversary and Cheska is only too happy to be behind the counter of this successful shop.
“I love being on my feet and talking and selling,” she says, adding that she and her beloved Pomeranian-Sheltie-cross dog Evie feel right at home in Devon now.
“When I’m here, I’m happy. At peace and calm. London is the exact opposite of that. I was there for ten years when I was in my twenties being crazy and running around doing a reality TV show.”
Cheska laughs when asked to sum up what being a Made in Chelsea star was like.
“Well, it was an experience,” she says. “I had a lot of fun, made a lot of friends but there were obviously ups and downs because it’s reality TV.”
“That’s what they want,” adds mum Karen. “They want drama.”
After leaving the show, Cheska stayed in London and set up her own PR company, looking after celebrities and venues in Chelsea, including nightclubs, bars and restaurants.
But she came to visit her mum, who has lived in Salcombe for 15 years, one bank holiday weekend and never went back. She says: “I wanted to calm down and relax and be happy and this is the best place to be.” Cheska explains that constantly looking out for people taking her photograph in London made her anxious for a long time.
“I’d be out and about and think ‘oh, that person’s taking a photo’, even when they weren’t. I was very nervous but I’m much more relaxed now. In Devon, most people are friendly and smiley.”
What if they ask for the occasional selfie?
“Sometimes people come in and ask for photos. I don’t mind. Mostly. But it’s difficult if we’re choc-a-block in the shop. And also, I can’t help feeling that that’s my old life.”
Karen steps in.
“While you’re on the show, of course you’re going to do photos – that’s what you’ve signed up for but once you’ve left, you want to forge a new life, new career.
“There has to come a point where you say actually, this is my private life. She’s never rude to people and she does a few photos.”
Karen admits she’s a “lioness mother” and fiercely protective of Cheska but that’s probably why they make such a good team.
They are both full of chat about how they love working together, their loyal customers, new stock and a bright future in a thriving town.
Indeed, one of Cheska’s Made in Chelsea castmates, Andy Jordan opened his first ‘city surf brand store’ Jam Industries, in Salcombe earlier this year.
Devon is quite the place to be, then.
“I want to be down here forever now. I love it,” says Cheska. “I’d always say to anyone, go and experience London life but when you want to come home, come home.
“It seems like a risk, packing everything up and moving far away. But doing it has been the best thing I’ve ever done.”