Table Talk with Mimi’s Bowl Founder Miriam Cooper

Mimi's Bowl Miriam Cooper

Miriam is the founder of Mimi’s Bowl. She cooks modern baby and toddler recipes from her home in West London. Mum to one little girl, now 3 years old and a divine newborn boy, she shares her honest view of cooking at home, whilst sharing tips, recipes and ideas. She is on a mission is to end, what she calls; “babyfood panic”. Miriam shares daily what they eat at home via her Instagram feed. She is well worth a follow for parent-friendly recipes and ideas.

“I wanted to reach out to other parents, who felt as I did. Firstly, to put an end to babyfood panic, and talk about it, but secondly to really re-think babyfood and family food, for a busy modern parent. There are so few relatable parent voices out there and even less tried and tested parent friendly recipes. Only a parent who has been there understands the determined rejection given by a baby, toddler, or child, when they repulse at the sight of food, you have lovingly made for them. I would personally challenge any professional chef not to quake at the very thought of a baby, or toddler, diner sitting at one of their tables.

Fancy cooking up plans for child-friendly meals out with your tots? Miriam’s selection of scrumptious foodie finds across London is a treat…

1. I’d like a table for…
…the evening, with my husband William. With one boisterous 3 ½ year old and a baby on the way, it would be lovely to have time together. For special occasions and birthdays, we would always choose the River Café. The food is delicious and the focus is on fresh produce, which inspires me. On a warm night, sitting outside and eating dinner beside the Thames would be magical.

2. Early-birds catch the coffee at…
Gail’s Bakery Portobello as I can run errands at the same time. I am often in and around the Portobello road, dragging lots of shopping and trying to juggle everything.

3. Best brunch with kids?
My daughter and I love popping into Egg Break, just behind Notting Hill Gate tube station. For her it’s their fluffy pancake stake and for me it’s any of their Middle Eastern inspired egg dishes with a strong coffee.

4. Children’s menu must-visits…
I am not sure if this counts but our local Daylesford is great for children. They don’t have a children’s menu specifically but my daughter often has their boiled eggs and soldiers for breakfast, or for lunch grilled chicken and whatever vegetables are on the menu. The food is beautifully sourced and seasonal, with a good selection of specials. They have lovely colouring packs for children too and good sturdy wooden high chairs. You can also pick up something for dinner on the way out.

To make wonderful memories, Claridge’s serve an exquisite children’s afternoon tea: an incredibly special day out for any little one visiting London.

5. Where do you grab a bite with mums en masse?
We live in West London, so we would head to Maggie and Rose, for breakfast and so the kids can play. Recently we have also been popping into The Corner House in Brook Green.

6. Hidden gem for treating tiny ones?
My daughter loves Pizza, so any pizza restaurant is her dream destination: Pizza East Portobello is a favourite.

We also love packing up a picnic and taking it to the park together, or one of our local garden squares. I keep a couple of picnic blankets tucked away by our front door. It could be as simple as a baguette from our local bakery, left over roast chicken and some fruit: food always tastes better outdoors. No doubt she will drag along all her teddies to join us too.

7. Best piece of advice for dining out with kids?
In my experience eating out as a family, gives your children confidence to try new foods and is a great way of spending time together. Always pack some sticker and colouring books to keep little one’s busy.

8. Date night – takeaway or take me out?
Take me out! Since having children our lives have changed so much; going out for dinner is a rare luxury. I write a food blog called Mimi’s Bowl so I love to be inspired and try new dishes. Top of my list would be Clarke’s Restaurant it’s local and the food is delicious. Sally (Clarke) writes the menu on the day: her love, care and attention shines through.

9. My earliest food memory…
My mother making mozzarella sandwiches for me to take into nursery school, with crudités and pitted olives. I have no idea what the other kids thought! She is a wonderful cook and never specifically fed us “children’s food” we would all eat together and enjoy the same family meals. I take a lot of inspiration from her as a Mum who cooked for four children, from scratch every day. She continues to be a brilliant cook, unphased by throwing a dinner together for 20 people at the last minute. She also grows all her own produce, vegetables and fruits, from her beautiful garden in Kent.

10. Five mums, one table – who’s joining you?

My oldest childhood friends from school Katherine, Gaby @gabrielahersham and Samantha. I’ve loved sharing this next chapter of motherhood with them all. Samantha lives in Singapore now, so it would be very special to see her. And my two best friends from university Isabela and Kirty, I am yet to meet Kirty’s little one, but I hope our two bumps will be friends. They’ll be born a few months apart so they don’t have much choice!

More from Mimi’s Bowl…
Join Miriam’s adventures on Mimi’s Bowl on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

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