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MODEL MUM: TAMARA BECKWITH ON FAMILY LIFE IN LONDON

With a busy television career and a west London gallery to run, Tamara Beckwith still finds time for her daughters Anouska, 26 and Violet, four

Have you ever worried about bringing up your children in London?

No, but my biggest fear is that Violet is only exposed to a privileged lifestyle. I try very hard to not let everything become the best of the best. I’m a through and through city girl so I expect Violet will be the same. The London buses and tube make her day!

What’s your idea of a great family day out?

Giorgio [Tamara’s husband] and I love to head to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens or Wimbledon Common. Family time is precious so we tend to use the weekends as down time where we can all be together.

Which places did you enjoy visiting in London as a child?

I was very fortunate to grow up in Kew, visiting Kew Gardens most weekends. I distinctly remember it cost 2p per child! The house belonging to Queen Anne was my favourite. Being taken for ribs at the now gone Texas Lone Star was a also a serious treat.

Kew Gardens

Tamara remembers when it cost 2p to enter Kew Gardens

Are there any places in London you visit with both your daughters?

Violet loves the theatre which is something Anouska and I have always shared a great love of. We recently went with some of my Godchildren to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, which we loved. The Army and Navy Museum in Royal Hospital Road is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Anouska was potty about the Tower of London when she was a child and we had many fun times there making friends with the Beefeaters. I’ve also just discovered the London Duck Tour, which I think is great fun for children.

Has London become more child-friendly?

I think it has made huge leaps in becoming more aware of children full stop. Restaurants have now understood that British people like to take their children with them when they go out.

Are there any children’s shops that you couldn’t live without?

Ralph Lauren, Marie Chantal for occasion pieces, GAP for running around kit and Rachel Riley for a traditional vibe. Food wise we go to Byron for naughty hamburgers or Henry Root on Park Walk, Chelsea. Jaks on Walton Street or Ishbilla on Lowndes Square for a great Lebanese are firm family favourites.

Tamara Beckwith with her business partner

Tamara with her business partner

You’ve been a new mother as a teenager and in YOUR thirties; what’s easier?

I can safely say that both ends of the spectrum are wonderful and rewarding. Being young you have tons more energy but being older you are more patient with your children. I have thoroughly enjoyed my luck in having a baby in my late 30’s, but I wouldn’t trade the amazing journey I had with Anouska either. I think the right age is simply when you are ready.

How difficult is it finding the right nursery or school in London?

Being a Londoner I’m aware that it’s all about being ahead of the crowd and being organised. I visited all the recommended nurseries and schools in my area whilst pregnant and put Violet’s name down the week she was born. Central London schools are so inundated that you have to get in early. A great school is key to her happiness and a good start for her future.

Now Anouska is older, do you enjoy finding new places together?

Anouska is currently based in Paris and never ceases to surprise me with her tips for little bistros and brasseries.

How do you juggle your busy career with your family life?

I can’t lie, I have a great support team and life without them simply would not run so smoothly. My business partner Ghislain helps keep the Gallery going, and as a hands-on Mum I am fortunate to have help at home too. My husband keeps me happy so I count myself a very fortunate woman.

The Little Black Gallery, 13A Park Walk SW10 0AJ; thelittleblackgallery.com

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