We love our local London mums! In our Mum in the Hood series we speak with mums around the greater London area to find out what they love about where they live. This week we spoke with Sarah Heywood, a former banker who recently launched a website called The Journey that provides a range of information on fertility and early years parenting issues.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hi, I’m Sarah, former investment banker and mother to two-year-old Matteo. A year and a half ago I left my job to tackle what I saw was a major gap in information we receive as parents and parents-to-be. A gap I experienced throughout my own path to parenthood.
My experience of trying to get pregnant and having my son is not unusual these days. It wasn’t until my 30s that I felt remotely ready to have a child (both financially and from the perspective of my career). However, I discovered that it is not always straightforward to conceive. Particularly, when like me, you have undetected hormonal imbalances, a fast- paced lifestyle and are no longer 21!
There is a huge amount of information out there that is often outdated or lost in unsubstantiated, contradictory claims. So, I left my job and embarked upon a mission to collect pioneering experts and the latest medical research to help people navigate the new challenges from trying to become parents, to pregnancy through to the early years. To put it all together in one place in a practical, approachable and digestible way. The Journey launched in September 2019 providing people who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or with young children, evidence-based information on fertility, conception, health and nutrition.
Which area do you live in and what do you love about it?
I live in Notting Hill and feel super fortunate to be there. I have moved around a bit over the years trying Marylebone and South Kensington but Notting Hill is definitely the one for me. It is cool, casual and eclectic. It feels like anything goes! I live closer to Westbourne Grove and it feels neighbourhood like. Like a mini village. We walk everywhere and it is easy to get the tube into town.
Where do you like to hang out with your child?
Matteo is a very lucky boy and is a member of Cloud12 which is a kids club in Notting Hill. He absolutely loves it, it is a kiddy paradise! Aside from that we are lucky to have access to one of Notting Hill’s lovely communal gardens so every day in the summer you’ll find us there. That being said, we have a choice of free and open mini gardens and playgrounds in Notting Hill so we mix and match. Hyde Park is very close too.
What are your favourite family-friendly eateries?
Our favourite day-to-day place is Planet Organic. They have mini-trolleys which small people can push around. They also have a great open cafe inside. We regularly pick up groceries and stop for a bite to eat there.
The other place we go (pizza for Matteo and the amazing bone broth for me) is Daylesford. Once again because I know that the ingredients are of highest organic quality. Unfortunately years of being in banking and working with big corporations responsible for a lot of our food production made me realise that when it comes to health, hormones and development of small people you have to be very focused on where your food comes from. I know from visiting Daylesford farm that they are focused on the right things when it comes to food production.
Breakfast treats are from Granger & Co. They make their own almond milk which I love and Matteo loves their eggs and soldiers. They are so kind and really welcoming of kids. Plus they do a damn fine babychino which Matteo is a big fan of!
What family activities do you take part in?
We have tried to take Matteo with us as much as possible to museums. I think you’re never too young to appreciate art! Last year we took him to the amazing immersive exhibition by Anthony Gormley at the Royal Academy, and the Bill Viola exhibition, which is visually spectacular. Anything where there is a lot to see so he can enjoy it as much as we can. He also loves the Science Museum. Not sure he’s ready for a regular painting on the wall type exhibition just yet!
What are your favourite places to escape to for solo time?
I really like hiding away upstairs at The Electric and doing some work and having a coffee. It is super cosy and has a great vibe.
I also really love Pilates and spin at Heartcore. I am really big on fitness and need it for my hormones and my sanity! I have tried lots of spin and Pilates studios over time and this one is definitely the best in my opinion.
What is your favourite place for a date-night / night out with friends?
I probably need to do a few more date nights or out with friends to be honest! But, if we want to go out for a treat the ideal will be to go and watch a movie at Electric Cinema and then go and have a drink and dinner at Gold on Portobello. It hasn’t been open that long but the food is super tasty and it has a fun bar.
For a more casual date night we will go to our favourite Italian restaurant just by Notting Hill Gate, it’s called Portobello. Amazing seafood and pizza. The best! (As an aside they are also great with kids so Matteo often comes along too).
Best hidden gem in your hood?
I’m not sure much is hidden these days where I live! I would probably have to say Portobello, the Italian restaurant, by the station. It doesn’t look like the most glamorous location from the outside but inside is lovely and the staff in there are always the same. They are warm and friendly and the food is amazing. I recommend the sardines when they’re in season and the specials menu is regularly updated so pick from there is my tip!
You can follow The Journey via these links: