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Mum in the Hood: Laxmi Hussain, Wembley

Each month we feature a London mum who shares her favourite places in her community. This month we talked to Laxmi Hussain, an artist and illustrator and mum of two who loves living in Wembley. Laxmi tells us what she loves about her North London hood:

Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi, I’m Laxmi (pronounced Lakshmi) I’m an artist and an illustrator. I paint and draw in mainly blue ink and focus on the female form, expressing what is beautiful about the diversity of women’s bodies, that we aren’t all the same and that should be celebrated. I sell my work mostly online and often teach mindful drawing workshops around London as well as in my studio.

 

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Which area do you live in, and what do you love about it?

I live in North London – Wembley – and have done since I was born, we moved to Maida Vale/South Kilburn when I was 11 eventually moving back to the house I grew up in five years ago and so both areas are very much my home and I often go between both. Wembley is becoming such a hub of activity, it’s very unlike the area I grew up in and it’s very exciting – it’s also nice to have the option of going out locally where that just wasn’t a possibility before.

We’re tucked away in a beautiful quiet area of Wembley called Barn Hill which is a corner of the huge Fryent Country Park and is just this beautiful, raw open space with winding trails and wild forests amongst open fields. In the summer the kids and I can easily leave early in the morning for a walk and not return for hours, picking fresh blackberries along the way.

Where do you like to hang out as a family?

We are mostly a home-bound family, with our lovely surroundings we do not really need to go far to enjoy time together, and also have a very large garden with a big beautiful oak which is such a privilege for London. If we venture out into the city you’ll find us in galleries or we love a cycle in Hyde Park with the kids on scooters. We also love hanging around Queens Park or Portobello as these areas are within walking distance from our flat and so we know them well.

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What are your favourite family-friendly eateries?

We are very fond of a little cafe called Sunday over in Islington, a friend of ours runs this and they have the most amazing food. It’s so bad its almost considered cheating if either my husband or I go without each other ha!

We also love a good burger and Honest Burgers do really good veggie options as we’ve been trying to eat less meat as a family – we love the Portobello branch.

What local activities do you and your family take part in?

Our son attends a local football club on the weekend which he really enjoys and family can sit and watch them during their sessions, but before that there wasn’t very much locally as Wembley just seems to be awakening it’s community recently. Wembley’s new BoxPark does have some great free film events for the kids over the school holidays and my art studio is just a few moments walk from it so we are beginning to really explore Wembley more now.

Where’s your favourite place to escape in your area for a little ‘me time’?

I really love Gladstone Park, it’s a beautiful park with an exceptional cafe, serving the most beautiful fresh homemade cakes, breakfasts and coffee. We often spend a Sunday morning here when we can. My time with the kids is precious as I work full time as well as try to run my own art business in my spare time so I quite happily take them with me, or take a trip by myself.

Where’s the best place for date night?

We love the Electric in Portobello for a lovely night out as a couple, we often visit for great food and drinks.

 

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Is there a little hidden gem in your area you’d like to share?

Definitely Fryent Country Park – in the summer, it is rolling natural meadows, woodland, secret ponds and wild flowers. There is even a spot on the other side a couple of miles from us which has horses. The local community host a whole array of activities throughout the year to include apple and berry picking, night animal watches in the autumn and you can always get involved in keeping it the beautiful space it is as well as meeting locals. Once you’re walking through it, you’d never know you were still in London.

Find out more about Laxmi at www.thislakshmi.com 

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