Vox pop Q&A with Holt Dugan

Round & About

Carpenter & dad Holt Dugan, 45, tells us his best bits of Bucks after swapping America for Amersham

Q. Hi Holt. Where do you live?
“I live in Amersham with my wife Emily and our kids Ada (4), Sam(2), and our English Springer Spaniel Sonny. We live in Amersham and moved here from SW London in 2021. However, I grew up on a row-crop farm in the American mid-west and moved to England from Nashville at the end of 2018 after meeting Emily when she was visiting for work – we’ve been busy!”

Q. What are your favourite shops or local businesses?
“I can often be found at Timberstore in Beaconsfield where the team always look after me, and John Cox & Son Motors are top-notch mechanics and just generally good people. I work as a carpenter, specialising in bespoke garden rooms and outdoor kitchens, treehouses, pergolas and playground equipment, as well as fitted indoor furniture such as wardrobes, cabinets, bookshelves etc.”

Q. What are your favourite local pubs or restaurants?
“Lunches at Darmon Deli and at Spiga in Amersham are always great. In both instances, the proprietors are as terrific as the food. With two small children my wife and I are more likely to enjoy an evening takeaway from Tom Yum Thai in Amersham or from Kai at Shangri-La Chinese in Chesham. However, if we are going out, we do like to treat ourselves with the daal makhani at Hawkyns or a night at The Griffin in Old Amersham. I worked as a chef many years ago in Austin Texas so my ultimate treat is probably a tasting menu somewhere very fancy, which often surprises people! The Artichoke in Old Amersham for my birthday last year was exceptional.”

Q. What are your favourite walks?
“Sonny comes to work with me most days and my business partner Jon has a spaniel too so they have a great time! Our favourite place to walk is in the woods at Hervines Park near to where we live, particularly when the bluebells are out.”

Q. What highlights are you looking forward to later this year?
“Workwise we’re about to start building a three-tier treehouse with a zip line and climbing wall which I am excited about. With the weather finally turning nicer we are getting more outdoor kitchen projects being booked in. We just finished a really fun one in Chalfont St Giles and have another really unique one booked for Beaconsfield in a couple of weeks. We also have a massive timber-framed barn restoration and conversion on a farm outside of Chesham we’re really looking forward to. We’ve got a really enjoyable next few months coming up. Outside of work my family has a couple of holidays coming up. In July, my parents are coming over for my daughter’s nursery graduation after which we are all heading to Menorca for two weeks. Then in October my wife and kids and I are joining other friends for a week in Turkey.”

Q. What do you most love about where you live?
“I just love Amersham. The people are lovely. My neighbours are kind and amicable. The town itself has everything I need from hardware and timber to speciality groceries to Michelin star restaurants. Not to mention the absolutely breathtaking rolling hills and centuries old architecture. I can be lost in the woods, on a playground with the kids, picking up dinner, getting a cup of coffee or catching the tube to London, all within a 15-minute walk from my house. Y’all know how to design a town over here!”

Q. Finally, if you could make one wish for the world, what would it be?
“I would wish for everyone to live with a little more love and a little less fear. To work hard, laugh loudly, eat well, and be kind. Also, hire us for your next building project!”

Call Holt on 07379 209449.