From property to post mistress, presenter Laura Hamilton may be best known for hosting Channel 4’s popular television show ‘A Place in the Sun’ but did you know the mama of two rescued her local post office, qualified as a post mistress and opened her very own coffee shop and deli – Lord Roberts on The Green? With a passion for property from a young age, Laura has gone from renovation projects to presenting a myriad of daytime TV shows and alongside seeking out homes in sunnier climes, she can be found amongst the page of Hello! Magazine as their homes and interiors columnist.
Since becoming a mum, Laura’s not slowed down but picked up the pace starring on Channel 4’s The Jump and most recently opening Lord Roberts on The Green in Purley, her neighbourhood cafe and deli which is a must-visit with families in her hometown. With an ever growing appetite for more, from travel alongside her tots to further TV projects, we caught up with Laura to chat about everything from the best bites around Surrey to treasured first food memories…
1. I’d like a table for…
4. Thats for myself, Alex, Rocco and Tahlia. We very rarely get to spend time together just the 4 of us and I think it’s so important. Before we know it the children will be grown up and gone! Of course, seeing other family is lovely but I really think time together, just the 4 of us is SO precious.
2. Early-birds catch the coffee at…
Home! I bought Alex my husband a fancy Nespresso coffee machine for Christmas. He has an app on his phone and he can program the machine to make the coffee whilst he is upstairs. He is really in to his gadgets where as I’m not so much. I can’t deny it though the coffee is great and some of the flavours are amazing.
3. Best brunch with kids?
The Dorking Deli is somewhere I discovered a year ago. It’s not huge but I love it there and the brunch is delicious. I’m also big on supporting independent local businesses as it’s good for the community and we have an independent business of our own.
4. Children’s menu must-visits…
Priory Farm in South Nutfield is a must visit with the kids. They have a nature trail, farm shop, adventure playground and a lovely little cafe.
5. Where do you grab a bite with mums en masse?
I enjoy heading with my mum pals and children to David Lloyd in Purley where the kids can play, take part in their own clubs or classes and then us mums can have a coffee, lunch or workout together.
6. Hidden gem for treating tiny ones?
Well I have to say Lord Roberts on The Green – the coffee shop and deli that I set up and own on The Webb Estate in Purley. It really is a hidden gem on a beautiful village green. You feel like you are in the middle of the country yet you are on 13 miles from central London. We have a lovely garden, a patio with heaters, a children’s menu as well as books and colouring for them too. Throughout the year we have various events and Santa even visits at Christmas.
7. Best piece of advice for dining out with kids?
Order the children’s food first so they are fed and don’t get hangry! Book the table at an earlier sitting (unless it’s a special occasion) and take colouring, books and activities to keep them entertained at the table. I guess it depends on the age of the children. I think it’s really important for children to learn good table manners and engage with their elders when dining out. However, I’m also realistic this isn’t always possible and if I want a conversation with my husband we will let the children watch their iPads with earphones in. This has to be after they have eaten and not whilst eating. It’s funny I always said I’d never let my children do this, but things change!
8. Date night – takeaway or take me out?
Oooh that’s a tough one because I love being at home especially when I’m travelling so much with work, but then I love to go out too. It really does depend on my mood and what my work schedule has been like.
9. My earliest food memory…
Making cakes with my gran at her house. My gran (Dad’s mum) was a very practical woman. We did lots of cooking and crafts with her. Paper Mache was another favourite activity we did together!
10. Five mums, one table – who’s joining you?
My Mum, Reece Witherspoon, Davina McCall, Cameron Diaz, Dawn O’Porter