With her fiery hair and relaxed style, fashion buyer and model Heather Martin is one of the most effortlessly glamorous young mothers we’ve met in London, and her daughter Lily one of the cutest toddlers we know.
So when we were thinking about who to invite to share their secrets for our next insider guide to London, we realised north Londoner Heather could offer us a pretty unique perspective.
What with navigating packed tube carriages when you’re pregnant and juggling a career and looking after a young child afterwards, London can be a difficult place to be a mum. But Heather knows the places to go when you really need a break. She also knows how to cut loose and have a really good time (we’ve seen her own the dance floor on more than one occasion).
And with her background in fashion – as well as her current modelling and buying work, she used to be a pattern cutter’s assistant for Vivienne Westwood and an assistant buyer for Harrods – you can also be assured that her taste is impeccable.
My favourite place for brunch: Cafe Vintage on Mountgrove Road, N5. Great homemade cakes, mismatched crockery, loose teas and vintage clothes shopping in a coffee shop. The mocha cake is to die for!
The best place to take children: Movers and Shakers class. They hold these in Harris & Hoole Southgate and Queens Wood cafe in Highgate Woods. It’s a music class for under 3s, where the kids get to sing-a-long, play musical instruments and get covered in bubbles. My daughter gets so excited when I take her there.
My favourite place for a fancy dinner: Julie’s restaurant in Holland Park. Still going strong since the 70s, this place has great character. You may even spot the odd rock star. Try the salmon filo parcels, yum.
My favourite place to go dancing: The Boogaloo in Highgate. I’ve never had a bad night in this little juke-joint. There’s a great vintage market in there on most Saturdays, live bands and a great dj. It’s the fun atmosphere that makes this place.
The best place for expectant mums to experience something out of the ordinary: Julie Tortora‘s pregnancy yoga class in Harringey. My first class was an experience! Julie had us blowing imaginary stars out of our mouths, making noises pretending to be dragons and then we spent the last 5 minutes of the class wrapped in blankets in the dark while she read poetry to us. It sounds a bit out there, but it was exactly what I needed to relax in pregnancy and I feel that the exercises she taught us helped prepare my body for giving birth.