She’s our go-to for guilt free sweet treats and her suggestions for family food haunts are pretty tasty too – it’s the one and only, Emma Hollingsworth. A qualified health coach, mama to two gorgeous little beings, author of Vegan Treats and founder of the award-winning Mrs Hollingsworth’s, purveyor of sin-free puds, pies and pancakes to name a few.
After cutting out cutting gluten, refined sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, chemicals and additives from her diet and embracing whole foods and fresh, organic produce, Emma felt it was time to get creative in her kitchen and give comfort food faves a healthy twist. Whipping up gluten, dairy, refined sugar, egg and soy free recipes, her indulgent cakes and desserts can be delivered to your door and are stocked at a myriad of cafes and restaurants across London.
Between cashew laden hobnobs and no-bake granola balls, the lovely Emma took a seat with us to divulge a whole host of family-friendly eateries across London she and her tots love to visit…
1. I’d like a table for…
3 1/2 please! Me, my husband and my toddler and baby – there’s no one else I’d rather have a meal with. As long as it’s not dinner time, in which case maybe just a table for two!
2. Early-birds catch the coffee at…
Roundwood Park Cafe, Cable Co in Kensal Rise or Urban Soul in Kensal Green. My friends and I quite often bump into each other at our local haunts although I have to admit we aren’t the earliest of early birds!
3. Best brunch with kids?
We go for brunch locally every Saturday morning, it’s become a bit of a tradition. Our fave spots are Bobs Cafe, Milk Beach and Salusbury Deli in Queens Park, but I’m also a big fan of Sunny Hill Park Cafe, Greenberry Cafe and Granger & Co (but not the queue!)
4. Children’s menu must-visits…
Wagamama has one of the best kids menus in my opinion. Not a chip in sight, but still my daughter absolutely loves it there!
5. Where do you grab a bite with mums en masse?
Any park cafe! They seem to be really upping their food options (at least in my area) so it’s always a good place to go as there’s usually loads of buggy space and the little ones can blow off steam in the playground after too!
6. Hidden gem for treating tiny ones?
After my son was born in March we went to Chiltern Firehouse for a Mother’s Day treat. My daughter absolutely devoured their pancakes and they were so kid friendly I was really pleasantly surprised. I can’t wait to go back!
7. Best piece of advice for dining out with kids?
Enjoy yourselves! Don’t worry about kids running riot, it might not happen, everyone’s seen it before if it does and worst comes to worst you can always leave! Just don’t forget to pay. I did that once and the waitress came out saying ‘guys you haven’t paid’ but I misheard her and thought she was saying ‘guys have a cake’. I was like ‘aw that’s ok but thanks’. So awkward.
8. Date night – takeaway or take me out?
At the moment definitely takeaway. My son is 4 months and still feeding like a newborn so we haven’t managed a date night yet. I know we will so I don’t mind too much, but I’m looking forward to a date night when the time is right.
9. My earliest food memory…
Sticking a pea up my nose in the Lake District. Luckily I have since then worked out where the food is meant to go!
10. Five mums, one table – who’s joining you?
Tough choice! Think I’d want a good laugh so maybe Fearne Cotton, Amy Schumer, Chrissy Teigen and Reese Witherspoon. I’d totally risk being the least funny person at the dinner table to have a meal with them all!
BUY: Vegan Treats by Emma Hollingsworth
Easy to make, deliciously decadent and using natural, easily available ingredients, Emma Hollingsworth’s amazing recipes will transform any plant-based diet. Satisfy every possible sweet tooth craving you could have while avoiding processed snacks and desserts.
With recipes for easy everyday snacking, crowd-pleasing dinner party desserts as well as impressive special occasion cakes loaded with decorations, Vegan Treats covers every possible sweet recipe you could need or want.
Gluten-free, dairy-free and free from refined sugar, as well as plenty of nut-free and raw options, Emma’s recipes are sure to please everyone. From Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Slices and Chocolate Fudge Flapjacks, to classic Banoffee Pie and Carrot Cake, along with recipes for vegan milks, butters, icing and sauces, Emma has your plant-based baking covered with her usual fun and playful style.