Tine Farstad, founder of the popular Mummy in the City blog, gives us the lowdown on family life in south west London…
What led you to set up Mummy in the City?
I used to work as a full-time journalist and I wanted to keep writing on maternity leave. I also used to have a travel blog, and although we all had the intention to keep travelling after having a baby, I realized a lifestyle blog would be a better fit!
What have been the biggest highlights of your blogging journey so far?
I was thrilled to be on The Resident’s list of London’s best lifestyle bloggers in 2016. For the family, however, the highlights have been the opportunity to experience what London has to offer in a unique way.
What is it that makes south west London so special for young families?
I was asked to write five things I loved about raising my family in south west London last year, and my top five are: first-rate nurseries and schools; amazing kids private members’ clubs; a range of local playgrounds; award-winning theatre productions and theatres dedicated to entertaining children; and lots of opportunities for indoor activities, including places for pottery painting and biscuit decorating, as well as fantastic family-friendly restaurants.
How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve lived in south west London for 12 years, starting in Pimlico and we’re now in Fulham.
What are your favourite spots for activities in Fulham and Battersea?
We regularly go to Harbour Club, which is great for families, as there is a fun waterfall pool and 15 tennis courts. The membership club is popular with families because of its crèche, and range of activities on offer for children of different ages. There’s also a gym floor I’m planning on making my way onto this year! For drop-in classes, I like the chic children’s boutique, café and workshop venue Cuckoo Hibou on the New King’s Road. Cuckoo Hibou offers a variety of classes that can be booked on the go, which is ideal for families who don’t want to commit to a full term.
Where are your favourite places to eat?
As a family, we regularly eat out for breakfast and favourite breakfast spots include St Clements in Parsons Green, and the Ivy Chelsea Garden in Chelsea. If we’re out for an early dinner or lunch in Chelsea, my daughter loves going to Goat on Fulham Road, which has a brilliant Sunday kids’ club. A different entertainer keeps the kids entertained every week. For date night, Koji in Parsons Green is a favourite, and I also love the relaxed Sands End pub in Fulham, which has a seasonal menu.
What have been your other top finds so far?
I discovered pottery café Sammy Duder after being invited to a blog event there many years ago, and I’ve continued to collaborate with the lovely Sammy, who has a friendly and welcoming studio on Webb’s Road in Battersea. I love their writing service, which I think makes pottery the kids paint look even more special. The framed clay imprints they offer make memorable wall decorations. In addition, I really like The Parent Practice, which I’ve collaborated with for several years now. Their workshops help me to be the best possible parent to my children. The Parent Practice offers in-person courses and workshops in south west London, as well as online courses for busy parents. After going to one of their sessions, I always return home with new ideas I can put into practice straight away.
Where do you most like to go away on holiday with your family?
We regularly travel to Norway to see family. I love it that we can stay in the capital, but still go skiing. When we go between December and March, I try to ensure my daughter can go to ski school, as well as try tobogganing and ice skating. We also typically travel to the South of France three times a year for the sunny weather, delicious food, charming villages and great beaches. My other favourite holiday destination is the US. I grew up travelling to Florida regularly, so I can’t wait to take both kids to Disney World.
What are you most looking forward to getting up to with your family over the holidays?
I love introducing the children to new activities. If we’re in London during a school holiday, it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to try classes that they don’t do during the school term, but I try to be careful not to sign them up to too much to tire them out. Last year, my daughter tried football with Little Foxes Club. It was a great way to get us outdoors. She’s also enjoyed tennis holiday camps with Teddy Tennis and Henry Lamb Tennis, and art holiday workshops at Kite Studios.
Is there quite a close-knit community of south west London mums?
I’ve met so many inspirational, kind, friendly and hard working London mums over the years, and some of our best friends are those we have met through our children.
Check out the blog at mummyinthecity.com