Annie Ridout is author of the eagerly anticipated The Freelance Mum: a career guide for better work-life balance – a guide due to launch in 2019 exploring how best to set up as a freelance mum – from deciding on your freelance career path, to launching a website, social media, getting your name out there and perfecting your brand. As well as Annie’s top tips there are loads from other freelance mums, including Arianna Huffington, Helen Thorn of the Scummy Mummies, Carrie-Anne Roberts (Mere Soeur), Robyn Wilder, Zoe de Pass, Cherry Healey and Anna Jones.
Alongside penning her first book, Annie is editor of parenting platform The Early Hour, a journalist (the Guardian, Red, Stylist) and co-founder of Clementine App (helping women to feel calm and confident). She has two kids: a four-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.
2. Best brunch with kids?
Monkey Nuts in Crouch End is utter chaos but they’re great with kids. It’s basically a kids’ restaurant. And, let’s be honest, it needs to be child-focused if you want to leave without hanging your head in shame. I also love Pavilion Bakery in Victoria Park – amazing chai and pastries, and the kids can look at the ducks/fountain so that the adults can chat.
3. Children’s menu must-visits…
I love the kids’ food at Buhler and Co in Walthamstow – simple, and stuff they’ll actually eat, but healthy: dippy egg and soldiers, crudités, avocado-based meals.
5. Where do you grab a bite with mums en masse?
At my house: healthy lunch, weekend BBQ. If I’m going out, I love a cheap dinner: pizza, Turkish, Indian. Expensive meals, en masse, are not the one, as you can’t focus on the food properly.
6. Hidden gem for treating tiny ones?
Anywhere with ice-cream, really. The ice-cream van outside the park; it’s underrated. Though we all love a day trip to Whitstable to eat at Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co. (And then ice-creams in cones, from the Italian kiosk down the beach).
7. Best piece of advice for dining out with kids?
Don’t do it. Just kidding – loads of distractions, screens are fine if nothing else works, don’t expect to actually enjoy your food, take grandparents.
8. Date night – takeaway or take me out?
Take me out, definitely. I work from home, look after the kids at home and hang out there at the weekend – I love getting out.
9. My earliest food memory…
A big pan of pasta in the centre of the table – bowls of ham, grated cheese, tomato sauce; help yourself situation. Loved that. Also remember crying when I’d been sick and my mum gave me a plain baked potato – I was desperate for butter and cheese but she wouldn’t let me. I loved eating as a child. Lots of biscuits, too. Well – one a day; that’s what I was allowed.
10. Five mums, one table – who’s joining you?
I don’t want to upset anyone by leaving them out but my sister, Lauren, would definitely be there. Then a mixture of new and old friends.
The Freelance Mum: A Career Guide for Better Work-Life Balance by Annie Ridout, published by 4th Estate, January 2019, is available for pre-order now.