In the Press

NHYM in the Press: Camilla Long Column, The Sunday Times Style Magazine


If like me, you were on holiday during the Easter break (and like most NHYMs I know, you would have been in LA/Florida/Maldives/South of France/Ibiza/Phuket or China), you would have missed my mention in the Sunday Times Style Magazine, in Camilla Long’s column. I was rather excited to receive a text while ‘holidaying’ in Continental Europe: ‘Great NHYM reference in Camilla Long’s column!’ Turns out, pretty much her entire column is referencing my blog post on Alpha Men!

(I should really get a bit more credit, don’t you think?) Anyway, have a read…I am rather pleased that famous columnists are now quoting my work ;-).




Social Commentary

‘What Postcode are You?’ London’s Poshest Postcodes…

I used to be what you could call a ‘Chelsea Girl’ about 10 years ago, with my SW3 postcode, Saturday lunches at the Chelsea Farmer’s Market and drinks at Eclipse on Walton Street. Then, I moved up ‘North of the Park’ where I swapped King’s Road for Westbourne Grove, Eclipse for the Westbourne Pub, and Saturday lunches at CFM for Daylesford lunches and went from ‘Chelsea Girl’ to ‘NHYM’. As a Chelsea girl I remember thinking that Notting Hill was a) not as pretty b) a bit grungy/scary c) a little ‘too cool for school,’ but I followed my other half and 10 years later, all the remnants of ‘Chelsea Girl’ are well behind me and with two kids in tow, I have fully embraced the Notting Hill ‘cool.’

I recently wrote a short piece about London’s most expensive postcodes and the bankers who want to live there. It got me thinking about London postcodes and how we identify with them. So what does your postcode say about you?

Zoopla’s Rich List of the most expensive postcodes:

Highest value areas
Area Zed-Index
1 W8 (Kensington) £2,707,386
2 SW7 (Knightsbridge) £2,493,204
3 SW3 (Chelsea) £2,324,889
4 SW10 (West Brompton) £1,857,677
5 W11 (Notting Hill)

Here is my guide to London’s Most Expensive & Poshest Postcodes:

18-Hyde Park

1. SW1X: Knightsbridge

Your neighbours: Sheiks & Oligarchs

Your Style Icon: Queen Rania of Jordan

Knightsbridge is Blingland. It is home to One Knightsbridge, one of the world’s priciest residences where Sultans, Sheiks and Oligarchs love to mingle with their own kind. For them, the postcode and address are clearly more important than cost per sqm. Their motto is ‘the more expensive, the better.’ Of course with Harvey Nics and Harrods at their doorstep, shopping is a vital past time for the SW1X residents. They love labels, flashy cars, yachts and PJs. Competition is rife amongst the SuperRich, and Knightsbridge is the perfect place for them to show off their latest bling.


2. W8: Kensington

Your neighbours: Kate Middleton & Tamara Ecclestone

Your Style Icon: Kate Middleton

With Kensington Palace and Kensington Palace Gardens, W8 has won the trophy for the most expensive postcode in the UK. It is easy to see why the SuperRich drop £75 Million for a house on Billionaires Row, aka Kensington Palace Gardens, with Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens as their backyard. Then just a few streets away, Phillimore Gardens houses will keep you drooling, which is the best place for Halloween Trick or Treating, with a competition for the best, excessively decorated house on the street. Kensington divides the Chelsea set and the Notting Hill set who are constantly competing for ‘best postcode.’ Ideally located with Holland Park to the West, Hyde Park to the East, South Kensington to the South and Notting Hill to the North, no wonder it is considered the Billionaires Postcode.


3. SW3: Chelsea 

Your neighbours: Charles Saatchi, Roman Abramovic, and Hugh Grant

Your Style Icon: Amal Alamuddin (Amal Alamuddin may appear straight out of Chelsea, but she is in fact a Notting Hill Girl). 

Chelsea used to be for Sloaney Poneys and the Posh British set, but times have changed. Even the ‘Made in Chelsea’ cast can’t afford to live in Chelsea anymore. Hugh Grant remains one of the last Chelsea Toffs that can be seen toffing around in Chelsea at Brinkley’s on Hollywood Road, right around the corner from his house (unless he moved since my last sighting). Nowadays, it is rich American Private Equity and Hedge Fund kings who sweep up many of the Chelsea Square mansions. The Chelsea set tend to be immaculately dressed and coiffed with head to toe Chanel or Ralph Lauren, thanks to the Chanel store on Brompton Cross or Ralph Lauren on Fulham Road. They do tend to think that ‘it’s Chelsea or nothing’. Chelsea is beautiful, immaculate and manicured, home to the Boltons, some of the most expensive London real estate. But let’s be real, Chelsea is like that really, really good looking guy, who knows it.


4. SW7: South Kensington

Your Neighbours: Italian and French Aristocrats

Your Style Icon: Marion Cotillard, Clemence Poesy

South Kensington used to be ‘the’ place for all the Italian and French to decamp to from Paris, Rome or Milan, helping to make London France’s 6th biggest city with 400,000 French inhabitants. The French of course love it so much that it has the French consulate and the Lycée Francais within 2 blocks of each other. There is even a French street, Bute Street, with a French bookshop and delis filled with Lycée boys and girls. For the French who want a piece of France in London, South Kensington is the ideal place. Their Mediterranean neighbours, the Italians, equally love South Kensington, paying homage to it with the 2001 film with the same name, South Kensington. The Italian aristocrats can’t get enough of South Kensington, and you may just find yourself on one of their 42 m sailing yachts off the coast of Capri if you’re lucky enough.


5. W11: Notting Hill 

Your Neighbours: Stella McCartney, Richard Curtis, Writers, Musicians and Fashionistas 

Your Style Icon: Stella McCartney and Kate Moss

It used to be that Notting Hill was the edgy, cool, hip Postcode, but with the 1999 Notting Hill movie and the Bankers and Funders entering the neighbourhood, Notting Hill has gentrified and become the home of the NHYMs and those artists that have ‘made it’. Some of the Modelistas, such as Elle McPherson and Claudia Schiffer have left, but the newer and younger ones like Arizona Muse have moved in, and Stella still remains. It is also popular with many musicians like Blur and Coldplay musicians and Adele reportedly bought her first house here in NH. Notting Hillers like to think themselves as cooler and hipper than their Chelsea counterparts, but the reality is that they both drive their Black Range Rovers, carry a Bottega Veneta handbag and shop at Net-a-Porter but with a rock chick look like Kate Moss. W11 though still prides itself of its multi-coloured homes and magnificent Private Gardens like Ladbroke Square that most can only dream of.

So what your thoughts on your Postcode?!





Spotlight On...

Spotlight On: Annabel Karmel, MBE, Mumpreneur extraordinaire


Annabel Karmel may not live in Notting Hill, but her books are probably sitting on every NHYMs kitchen’s counter top next to their Yotam Ottolenghi recipe books. She is one of the original ‘Mumpreneurs’ who literally started her business at her kitchen table and now has had over 40 books published and sold worldwide. Pretty impressive for a ‘mumpreneur.’ I recently email-interviewed Annabel Karmel, MBE, who has just come out with her latest book on being an entrepreneur, entitled ‘Mumpreneur.’ Here she tells me how she became a success and gives advice and tips for budding entrepreneurs:

  1. What’s your story? How did you become such a prolific entrepreneur?

It was the tragedy of losing my first child Natasha, who was born healthy but who died at 13 weeks old from a viral infection that led me to change direction into the field of nutrition – I was actually a talented harpist before.

It wasn’t a diet related illness but I was understandably cautious when it came to ensuring that my second child, Nicholas, was provided with foods that optimised his health. Feeling vulnerable when he became fussy I struggled to find enticing recipes to encourage him and so set about devising my own. I shared my recipes with other mums and, fuelled by the discovery that they were proving popular with others, set about compiling a book – The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner – which was rejected by over fifteen publishing houses.

Each rejection letter could have been enough for me to doubt the viability and worth of my idea but I continued to believe in my pitch. New to the publishing world, I wasn’t afraid to break the rules, so I kept approaching people and broadcasting my vision. Fortunately a friend mine introduced me to a small dynamic book packager, who created book ideas and sold them on to mainstream publishers. They understood what I was trying to achieve and worked with me to shape a mock-up which they took to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where it was sold to US publisher Simon & Schuster who ordered 25,000 copies.

This deal unlocked doors that had previously remained shut, and I’ve since gone on to write 40 books, selling more than four million copies worldwide. I’ve also turned my hand to pre-prepared meals, weaning equipment and recipe apps. I’ve also grown a vast online following of mums in need of advice and inspiration.

  1. Tell me about your new book ‘Mumpreneur: The Complete Guide to Starting and Running a Successful Business.’ What made you write it and how did you go about writing it? 

As childcare costs continue to rise, building a business with a family in tow has never been more attractive. In fact, research from our book partner Direct Line for Business sound that two thirds of mums would love to run a business from home.

Having children doesn’t mean a full stop at the end of your CV, and I’m regularly quizzed by mums as to how I set up and built my business. There are so many mums out there wanting to reach for their career dreams and become their own boss, so I decided to write a practical book to help them take the next step.

I set about interview some of Britain’s top business leaders and working mothers, including Chrissie Rucker MBE, founder of The White Company, Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers, and Nails Inc founder Thea Green to bring together a book filled with practical advice and inspiring stories to help you get started.

  1. What is the one piece of advice you would give to budding mumpreneurs/entrepreneurs?  

It takes real confidence to return to start-up a business after having children – and self-belief is absolutely vital in order to succeed. Confidence is just as important as competence – if not more so.

The more you believe in yourself and in your chances of succeeding, the more likely you are to do just that. Of course, we all have doubts from time to time – the danger is if those doubts spiral out of control, creating unnecessary anxiety and negative self-limiting beliefs which prevent us from doing something that we really want to do (and, deep down, know that we can do).

AK kitchen

  1. What was your biggest failure in business and how did you cope? What did it teach you? 

 I learnt a great deal from a range of fresh baby food which I developed because I was troubled that babies were consuming food that was older than they were, after all most baby food has a shelf life of one year.

I launched a range of fresh chilled baby food for Sainsbury’s but as there is no chiller in the baby aisle the food was situated in an area of the store that mums were not visiting.

The range was eventually scrapped because although sales were good wastage was high. I remained committed to the view that baby food should taste like real food and while some of the purees on the market weren’t too bad anything with vegetables, chicken, fish or meat tasted awful. I decided to see what would happen if I took my chilled baby food recipes and put them through a retort process to extend their life.

They tasted great but I would not have arrived at this point had the chilled range succeeded, this failure led to my range of baby food pouches being re-sold in Sainsbury’s, as well as Tesco, Waitrose, Lidl and the Co-operative Food.

The opposite of success isn’t failure, it is not trying. If you seldom fail there is a good chance you’re playing it too safe. Failure rarely feels fun at the time but the lessons it teaches may not take long to become apparent, and are likely to lead you on to greater successes in the end.

Persistence and focus, rather than regret, got me to a good place. If you want life to be magnificent, you can’t expect it to be easy.

  1. How do you balance it all: family & work?

The great thing about running your own business whilst raising a family is that you have the freedom to work to your own schedule.  Juggling the dual demands of work with family life is no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination; I remember completing my first recipe book in between the children’s naps, managing a busy toddler group and running a house. It’s difficult keeping all the balls in the air without dropping one occasionally!

But I loved being a self-employed mum. I did, and still do, feel empowered by being able to make my own decisions and follow a truly worthwhile passion.

My top tips would be to find your guilt threshold.  Of course everyone feels guilty about leaving their children to go to work but some mums wouldn’t be good mums unless they had a career as they would be miserable and frustrated so don’t be too hard on yourself.

It takes real confidence to return to the working world after having children – whether that’s as an employee or becoming your own boss.

  1. What is the best parenting advice you have?

Most children adore cooking and tasks like squeezing fresh orange juice or cracking eggs are well within the capabilities of a young child. It’s amazing how being involved in the planning and preparation of a meal can stimulate a child’s appetite. If your child refuses to eat anything other than junk food, don’t worry. They will soon find there’s not much point making a fuss if you don’t react.

A Woman Who's Scared Of Nobody

  1. What has been your favourite/most memorable holiday?

Family skiing holidays have always been hugely memorable. We once gave my daughter Lara, scoops of snow in a glass bowl instead of lemon sorbet and waited to see how long it took for her to realise.

  1. What are you currently reading? 

I love a good book and on a recent flight back from Dublin, I took the opportunity to read Late Fragments by Kate Gross. It’s our ‘Book of the Month’ for our Book Club which we run on

  1. What advice would you give to your younger self?

If you seldom fail there is a good chance you’re playing it too safe. Failure rarely feels fun at the time but the lessons it teaches may not take long to become apparent, and are likely to lead you on to greater successes in the end. During fleeting periods of failure remember that you are in good company; Marilyn Monroe’s first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn’t pretty or talented enough to be an actress. She ended up becoming one of the most iconic actresses and sex symbols of all time.

  1. What was the proudest moment of your life? 

Back in 2006, I was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for my outstanding work in the field of child nutrition. I didn’t believe it until I saw my name in the newspaper. I’m passionate about making a difference to people’s lives, and this award made me realise that there was a lot more that I wanted to do.

One of my biggest business successes has also been turning my popular recipes from my books into quality supermarket food ranges. My aim has been to be there at every age, stage and occasion to support mums – and my Mumpreneur book is an exciting new step towards helping mums in their own lives as well as their child’s.

Mumpreneur (published by Vermillion and sponsored by Direct Line for Business) is out now.  Check out Annabel’s Mumpreneur resource hub at, or connect on Twitter and Facebook.




Social Commentary

‘T.L.C.: Tinder-Loving-Care…’


I was having dinner with a friend of mine, let’s call him Karl, at the Arts Club a few weeks ago when we came upon the subject of Tinder. You see, Karl is circling his 40s and is one of those eternally single guys who dated models in his 20s, a TV celebrity in his 30s – which was serious until it wasn’t – and is now pure and simple ‘single.’ We all have one of those friends, don’t we? Edging his 40s and still unable to settle down, roaming the streets of London entertaining his married friends with his Tinderadventures.

Tinder is a slight obsession of mine, since I am 10 years too late for this cyber-phenomenon (remember the days of Speed dating and I even missed those days) and I have often wondered what Tinder-dating is actually like. Would I have been a Tinder-dater if I had been single during Tinder-Time? Would I have been mostly swiping Right or swiping Left? Is it just an instant hook up or relationship worthy material? Who are all these Tinderers? It is actually fascinating, considering Tinder started only just over 3 years ago.

So, Karl gave us a Tinder Tutorial and explained how it all worked for us Middle Aged Tinder Virgins. He showed us the profiles of some girls he had swiped Right for: there was everything between a 5 and a 10. Karl didn’t seem to know the difference between a 5 and a 10, I thought to myself. One woman had for a profile picture, a picture of her enormous double DD cleavage. Classy, I say. He laughs. Perhaps this was why he is still single, I tell him. Sometimes, for the fun of it, he swipes right 10 times in a row just to see what would happen, he explains.

He had also been ‘around the world in Tinder’ he tells me, using it even when he was in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo on business. (Apparently Tinder New York is more about instant sex, whereas Tinder London has more ‘looking for a relationship’ members). This is truly a global app, I think to myself. The ‘Uber’ of dating. He even went places where he had no more swipes to do! He actually came to the end of Tinder, who knew you could actually get to the end of Tinder?

I ask him if Tinder actually works and he tells me that apart from one Tinder-relationship he had for two months, it is soul-destroying. He was having 15 simultaneous conversations with 15 different girls but was not planning on actually meeting any of them. He just wasn’t interested in any of them but wanted to stay ‘connected’ so that he had someone to talk to when he was lonely or bored, without having an actual, IRL, demanding relationship.

Another friend of mine also on Tinder told me about one Tinder relationship she had with a guy she had met once but he then never made an attempt to meet again but would send her photos of where he was traveling and send random texts to see how she was doing. I wondered what kind of need this was fulfilling in these people’s psyches, if it wasn’t even about sex.

I began to wonder what the point of Tinder was until my husband came home and told me about the actual magic of Tinder: his recently divorced friend came raving to him one night about the merits of Tinder. He had just gotten divorced and was needing some ‘loving’ from someone, anyone, to lift him out of the deep self-esteem-hole he had gotten PD (post-divorce). Enter Tinder-Loving-Care, when two swipes make a right, and rebound sex/attention is on tap. For a divorced, middle-aged father of 2, with a social life solely based on happily married couples from ‘couple dinners’ with his wife’s friends, Tinder was a godsend. Instant TLC at the swipe of a screen, nothing like it for morale and self-esteem boosting.





Review: Tamara Ecclestone’s SHOW Blow Dry Bar

Ever wondered what you would do if you were a Billionaire? Well, if your name is Tamara Ecclestone, heiress to the Billion-dollar Formula One dynasty, you open up your very own Blow Dry Bar. I was invited to try out the SHOW Dry Bar this past Monday and for once actually went. I don’t usually do beauty reviews but I was tempted by a) its proximity to my home b) feeling sorry for my hair c) but really because I am very curious about this whole ‘Blowdry Bar’ experience and of course, Tamara Ecclestone’s weird and wonderful life.


All photos courtesy of Halpern PR unless otherwise noted. NHYM 2015. 

Apparently, Blowdry bars are already very popular in the US, and there are a few scattered around London already (Soho, Chelsea and pop-ups at Harvey Nics/Harrods/Selfridge’s), but Notting Hill was still a Blowdry-Bar-virgin- until now. Strategically, it is located across the street from Granger’s, a very popular ‘Ladies-Who-Lunch’ spot with regular David Beckham sightings. So, while you are blowdrying your hair, you can spot celebs, and people-watch, or conversely, you can eat while craving a blow dry. Can you really have a BlowDry craving? My NHYM mentor Francesca, (see: once told me that the most important way to look glamorous is to do your hair. If your hair looks nice, everything else will look nice, even those run in your tights.


So, off I went to SHOW Blow dry Bar on a ‘Bloggers’ day, for my first SHOW blow dry. I am not one to look after my hair particularly well: occasional dying of white hair when I’ve had enough of my friends pointing them out and laughing, or an occasional blow dry for a special event, but that’s about it. My hair looks more like Anne Hathaway’s in the Devil Wears Prada, before the fabulous makeover, rather than after…


Photo courtesy of the internet. NHYM 2015. 

Entering Show Dry, I see that I am really an amateur in the ‘Hair’ department. When my blow-dry lady asks what hair products I use, I try not to admit that L’Oreal from Boots does the trick. I first go downstairs for a fancy shampoo in a ‘massage’ chair (well, it’s really a vibrating chair more than anything), where the steps are black and the railings rose gold, with photos of red lips and diamonds on the wall. It’s definitely the ‘Totally Tamara’ look.


After, I go upstairs to get my BlowDry, where I am offered a list of goodies and magazines on a sleek black iPad Mini: I choose an Apple, & Banana smoothie and salted caramel popcorn (there was Champagne on offer, but didn’t want to wobble to the school run after). This was the ultimate luxury Monday afternoon: getting my hair washed & blow dried while munching on caramel popcorn and reading a magazine. It felt very, very indulgent for a mum of two. Oh and the salted caramel popcorn is so so good, you’ve got to try it.


At the end, I even got a goodie bag with actually something I would use: Volumising Mist and a hair oil made with Argan Oil, which I am a big fan of. I hope this store does well, I am always a fan of success stories (unfortunately for Kevin Pieterson’s Bella & Beau has already closed down… My blow dry is very good, I instantly go from ‘mother-doing-the-school-run look’ to ‘glamorous-where-are-you-going-tonight’ look.


Photo courtesy of the internet. NHYM 2015.

Ah. It does feel lovely, me and my bouncy hair, and it reminds me of Kate Middleton’s bouncy, perfect hair that she gets done daily. (see photo of Kate Middleton post-birth) She obviously got the memo from Francesca about perfect hair making you look instantly polished, presentable and dressed up. It’s been a lovely, indulgent afternoon, and I may just be back next week. Even if just for the Salted Caramel.