The average sized town between London and Brighton on the A272

current location: a-z guide

Our extensive A-Z guide will prove invaluable to current or future residents. Due to its comprehensive nature we suggest you print it out and read it with a glass of sherry in your hand and your feet up on a well upholstered foot stool or pouffe.


Don't even think about moving to Haywards Heath unless you or your partner earns at least seventy five thousand pounds a year. You will not be invited to any dinner parties or be able to afford the de rigueur 2 holidays a year (summer and winter).


Barbecues are a prime opportunity to subtly tell everyone your annual income (see above). You should never mention a figure, just hint. You could mention your new car for example.


Children can be a vital asset in Haywards Heath or an enormous liability, so raise carefully. Your child should be average in most areas but precociously talented in one. Preferably music or some sort of élitist sport. For a boy, golf or tennis and for a girl something to do with horses.


We cannot over emphasise the importance of the dinner party. From cuisine to interior decor, the dinner party is an essential source of information for the guest and a potential mine field for the host.

For food, we recommend Delia Smith or the River Cafe cook book. But remember to add an obscure spice to mask the recipe's origins. Desserts must NEVER be bought from a shop. After dinner mints are the norm and should never be served form the box (After Eights included). This is a time when the whole family must pull together. Ladies, the fate of your family depends on your creme broulé. Gentlemen, family saloons and golf are the main conversation piece and will always get you out of a tricky situation. Blue jokes can be told but we suggest you leave it to your discretion.

Children should remain silent at the table (not under it) and be confined to the playroom when not dining. The playroom should of course belong to the nearest Boarding School - We wouldn't dare suggest that you would be looking after your children yourself. During the Holidays if your child posses musical skills a short solo, post-dessert, would be the norm. Should your child play a classical piece make it a well known one, you don't want to highlight the ignorance of you guests unless that is the specific purpose of you dinner party.


All children should be educated up to the age of 18 in one of the many Public establishments in the surrounding area. They should then be sent to a Swiss Finishing School for girls of the British armed forces for boys. State schools should be avoided at all costs even for charitable purposes. Your child is allowed one state school educated friend to illustrate the class divide and to show that you are on the right side of it. Whenever possible your child should board and return every fifth weekend for display purposes only.


The family unit is sacred and to the outside world should be seen to be perfect. Part of maintaining a strong family unit is inviting the child of a divorced family to tea at least once a week.

G is for GOLF

Golf, the sport of kings and the ultimate opportunity to climb the social ladder. Your income should be stretched to breaking point to maintain your status in the golf club. If possible you should be on the committee. But remember always vote WITH the club captain. Keep a careful eye on trends in golfing attire but always remember to add that personal touch. You car should be clean at all times. Should you not be able to afford an expensive car, buy a small European hatchback and pass it off as your wife's. Remember it is possible to have a mortgage secured on your set of golf clubs.

H is for HOME

Where do we start? You home speaks volumes about you, your family, your background and your income and is fraught with potential slip ups for those not familiar with the rules of interior decoration. As a minimum, your home should have four bedrooms, two should be quest rooms. The guest rooms should be inoffensively furnished and on standby at all times.

Painted wall coverings are the norm these days though the downstairs lavatory should be papered. Look to nature for ideas on colour coordination. Floor coverings can be of carpet or wood. Should you favour a floral theme on the walls a quality deep pile carpet is the floor covering of choice.

The master bedroom should be off limits to guests but don't cut corners here, you never know when a guest may snoop. The communal bathroom should be white or an earthy pastel shade. Avoid sky blues or pinks. Children's' bath time toys are acceptable but only in moderation. The en-suite bathroom should, again, remain private but the same rules apply as to the master bedroom.

For the kitchen, the country theme is always popular but don't be afraid to experiment here. The catering style is very popular and can indicate your wife's prowess in the kitchen. Should you want to sit somewhere between modern and country classic, the 'Shaker' style is traditional yet contemporary. Appliances should be of a premium brand and do try to avoid coordinating your kettle and toaster in anything other than stainless steel or dark neutral shades, no flower prints here please. A cafetierre should be prominently displayed as should a quality kitchen knife. Spend some money on quality wine for display but do remember to rotate your selections so as to give the impression that you actually drink them. Three types of pasta should be visible at all times but make sure you are able to name them.

The downstairs lavatory, or 'cloakroom', should be immaculate. Hand towels should be coordinated with paper and soap if possible. Use soap bars rather than pumped liquid soap to avoid any similarity with public conveniences. Cleaning liquids and utensils should be out of sight. Use an old ice cream tub to keep them in one place. The window should be slightly ajar and a room deodoriser subtly placed out of sight. Spare paper should not be visible as it is up to you to make sure your guests are adequately catered for. The flush mechanism should be well maintained and discrete in use. A basket of dried flowers can be placed on the cistern but do make sure it is well anchored.

Please make sure that you or you cleaning staff are familiar with the correct orientation of loo paper on dispenser. Paper should never be hung the 'common way round'. For the uninitiated (we trust this isn't you) paper should be presented in the 'sheet forward' style unfurling towards your guest. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to mount the paper with the sheet hanging to the rear, nearest the wall. If you do not understand these instructions, please move to Burgess Hill.

The sitting room, never to be referred to as 'the lounge', should be comfortably appointed. Televisions should be confined to a separate room as their cultural value is low. No guest should ever struggle to find a place for their drink. Magazines should be for display purposes only and if possible should reflect an élitist pastime. A real fire is essential, attractive logs can be laid on the hearth or placed in a wicker basket. Family photographs should be displayed on a medium height table in one corner of the room to provide a talking point should the conversation begin to lull.

The dining room of course indicates your social and entertaining prowess. Avoid hostess trolleys and hot plates. Make sure your guests have adequate space and a confusing array of cutlery. Fancy crockery and glassware should be reserved for the dining room but should not appear so. Serving hatches make your dining room look like a canteen and should be removed.

Of course your ultimate aim should be to move into a converted farm/barn outhouse.


What's that?

J is for JACUZZI

Should your budget allow, a Jacuzzi should be installed. On no account should you have your Family bath converted, this is common. A Jacuzzi should be placed next to your swimming pool as a relaxing compliment. Not all your guests will feel comfortable in a Jacuzzi but to more liberal guests it is seen as an ideal opportunity to get to know the neighbours a little better.


The Kitemark is the official kite-shaped mark on goods approved by the British Standards Institution. Unless German, no product you buy should be without this mark.


Your choice of dog is very much a personal one but we recommend a Labrador. The Labrador is the ideal accessory on the Sunday walk. The Labrador says a lot about you. A small dog says 'I have a small house'. A large dog on the other hand says 'I have a large house and garden, a utility room to house the dog's bed and a large car. Remember, large dog - rural, small dog - lonely. Your dog should have a human name, we suggest Ben for a dog, Lucy for a bitch.


To the outside world these do not exist and should never be divulged to your children let alone those outside the family unit.


Always try and host the new years eve party. The same benefits associated with the dinner party and barbecue can be gleaned but in a more relaxed party atmosphere. The party should be arranged with military precision but always seen to be spontaneous. Games should be arranged to suit the mood but do avoid anything too competitive. A successful party gains more points than winning at a well known intellectual board game. Please try to avoid shagging someone else's wife.


Those new to Haywards Heath may think that other peoples houses are a potential source of interior decoration ideas when in fact they are an example of what not to do. Why? Because your house should always be better than theirs.

P is for POOL

Whenever possible your house should have a swimming pool. This not only opens up an alternative method of entertaining but also hints at your financial status. Swimming pools should be under cover if your budget allows to make it a year-round resource. A changing room for your guests will always impress. You should always describe your pool an extravagant expense but a necessary feature you simply could not manage without.

Q is for QUALITY

When allowing people into your home, quality should ooze from every brick. But remember, you are unlikely to be able to afford the complete lifestyle so spend your money wisely. Anything your guest comes into contact with should be expensive. This means furniture, teacups, carpet and the downstairs lavatory. If possible a few expensive little items should be scattered around the sitting room, the eagle-eyed guest will always notice.


Should you reach the dizzy heights of Haywards Heath residence you should already be well versed in restaurant etiquette. However some new skills are required. Conversation should be in the dinner party style. However upon the telling of a joke one should laugh loudly to illustrate your comfort in the surroundings and the possibility that you may be a regular in the particular restaurant and friends with the restaurateur. Upon arrival of the bill always attempt to be the first to open your wallet as this represents an ideal opportunity to show how many and more importantly the colour of the credit cards you possess. Of late, gold has been overtaken by platinum (not to be confused with silver).


Two family holidays per year is the required norm, one summer and one winter. In terms of the summer holiday, it is considered a faux pas to holiday in a resort that has been featured on television. You should always be seen to be discovering new places that have not yet been commercialised.  Take ample photographs and select around thirty of the best to be passed around at a dinner party to be arranged upon your return. The simple rule of thumb is thus: 5 of the children playing happily. 5 of you and your wife illustrating the strength of you marriage. 5 of the local sites, 3 of which must not appear in any guide book. 5 at a range of local restaurants, no two should be the same please. 5 of you and the family you befriended whilst you were there (always choose a photogenic family, no one will know they were from the North). 5 of the local peasants. See W for a guide to winter holidays.

T is for TORY

This is a simple rule that needs little explanation. T is for Tory and not Tony. You should, under all circumstances, vote Tory if you wish to be accepted by the social elite.


Mastering the art of understatement is key to overstating your achievements. It's what you don;t say that's important here. If you create the right illusion by following our advice, your guests will always make the mistake of over estimating the details you don't provide.

As an example; you have bought a mid size premium German saloon. It's a lower model so rather than draw attention to the fact understate a minor feature of all models in the range. You would say of your car, 'It's very comfortable on the motorway cruise'. Your guest would think 'I'm not surprised with that massive engine that only comes with the top of the range model you rich sod'. You have understated the many virtues of your car, they have assumed you are a success. This illusion is more easily created if you follow our advice on the choice of vehicle.

V is for VEHICLE

This is the single most important purchase bar you house. The vehicle you choose for you family says a lot about you, but most important of all it should say a lot about your income. The trick here is to make sure your vehicle appears to be at least 25% more expensive than it actually is. When purchasing options go for the exterior ones first, metallic paint, sunroof, alloy wheels and of course, remember to have that telltale badge removed. Try and stretch your budget to leather trim, velour has no place in life. Do not garage your car, no one will see it. Any premium German or Swedish car is suitable but try to avoid the base model for anything but a second car. Four-wheel-drives are popular and ideal for parking on the pavement. People carriers are passé you car should say 'We're going to the races' and not 'We're going to Lakeside'.

The tow bar remains a grey area. To you it says 'I have a boat' to others it may say 'I have a caravan' , disastrous.

Items to be scattered in your car should include a road map of France, premium boiled sweets, an expensive pair of sun glasses, mineral water in a blue glass bottle and a branded golfing umbrella.

A neat trick is to have two sets of car keys. One set should be normal and be used when around people who know you. The second set should be attached to a cork ball suggesting to those who don't know better that you have a boat.  A second car is essential and should be German if your budget allows or French if money is tight. Avoid personal number plates unless the plate has been in the family for several years. Remember, the number plate says how new your car is.


Do not follow the same rules for the winter holiday as you would for the summer holiday. Always go to a well known and expensive resort. Ski, don't entertain the idea of snow boarding. Skiing is harder, so if you're good at it, it illustrates you've been going on winter holidays for some years. You should always have your own ski equipment. This should be placed in the hallway of your house 7 days before your holiday so visitors know you are going. Only take a few pictures, the skiing holiday should appear routine and not a special occasion so why have a pictorial record. If you do take pictures make sure you have one of you youngest child looking comfortable on skis. A child can never be too gifted. Ski racks and snow chains should be fitted to your car the weekend before you leave, just to make sure everything is in order or course.


Never encourage your child to play a percussion instrument, they are uncouth. Piano and violin is the norm, the flute is ideal for girls. Boys should cease music lessons at the age of 11 and be encouraged to play cricket and rugby and taught how to cheat without anyone noticing.


There is no yacht club in Haywards Heath but don't let that prevent you form joining one. It is important to extend your social reach beyond the town's boundaries. Joining the yacht club is an invaluable way of meeting people richer and therefore better than you and will give you a goal to aim for. Don't forget to wear your sailing jacket when out and about during the winter.

Z is for ZOO

Going to the zoo is no longer considered an appropriate day out. Animals should be protected in their natural habitat preferably by your monthly direct debit donation to the World Wide Fund For Nature.

Our thanks to Dave for pointing out that the farm/barn outhouse style dwelling is the greatest aspiration of any dedicated Haywards Heath resident.

Please, do keep your letters coming in.

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