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Mum in the Hood: Sophie Parker in Ealing

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 Sophie Parker from Ealing. Discover what she loves about her ‘hood!

Please tell us a little about yourself…

I’m Sophie and I’m married to an Aussie called Jeremy, and we live in Ealing with our daughter Alexa who is 2.5 years old. I’m multi-hyphenate. I work four days a week at a global PR agency in London, and run The Inner, a mind health and wellbeing practice at all other times as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Coach. It’s pretty full-on, which is why I feel I’d be doing myself a disservice by calling my practice a side hustle.

I’m passionate about helping people to overcome negative feelings and behaviours because everyone deserves to live their best life. Later this year I will be launching what will be the first in a series of workshops for mums in October at The Parent Hood in Chiswick. It will be aimed at mamas who are feeling anxious about returning to work. It’s an issue that I have had first-hand experience of, so know how much it can consume you but with my training as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Coach I also know that it is something that can be overcome with the right support. I’m super excited about delivering it and helping other mums.

 

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

We live in Ealing, West London which is home to so many wonderful memories and firsts as a family. It’s where we bought our first home, got married and where Alexa took her first steps. I’m sentimental, so the list could go on but on a practical level there is an abundance of open and green spaces in Ealing. You can walk everywhere on foot, which was ideal when Alexa was a baby as on some days I’d just walk and walk so she could sleep and while listening to podcasts to engage my mind. And if you don’t want to walk – Ealing has great transport links even without the Crossrail – you have so many options from the District, Central and Piccadilly lines to the Overground and an abundance of buses!

Where do you like to hang out with your daughter?

Our current favourite hangout is the Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens.  It’s just the most wonderful space for children to explore and play. During the summer we’ve been enjoying splashing about in the water garden and playing with the water pumps and streams.

RELATED: Check out our review of the Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens

 

 

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Most Fridays you can find myself and Alexa in a cafe enjoying brunch. One of the things I enjoyed most when I was on mat leave was brunch. Luckily Alexa shares my passion for food, so we continue to indulge on my day off. Our fave hang outs in West London are Angie’s Little Food Shop on Chiswick High Road, The Dayrooms in on Kensington Park Road and Granger & Co on Westbourne Grove. Further afield it’s the Malibu Kitchen at The Ned. It’s home to possibly the grandest baby changing facility in the world, when you’re a parent it’s a luxury not to change a nappy in a space the size of a broom cupboard.

What are your favourite local family-friendly eateries?

Tiramisu on St Mary’s is great for breakfast and lunch. They offer friendly Italian hospitality, where children are treated with warmth and humility.  They also have books and board games on offer to keep them occupied. It’s also around the corner from one of the spaces I run my practice from. The pizzas at Santa Maria are also arguably one of the best in London, and a family favourite but a bit of a squeeze if you have a buggy. A top tip is to head next door to the Red Lion pub where you can also order Santa Maria pizzas, but with more room to manoeuvre a buggy.

For a good coffee and a break I love The Parent Hood on Chiswick High Road.  It opened earlier this year and Tania and Lottie, the owners have cleverly created a space for grown-ups as well as children, with gorgeous chic interior and a beautiful selection of wooden toys to keep children entertained. It’s even popular with people without children.

 

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What are your favourite local independent shops?

I like All Original on Ealing Green – it has a selection of items by independent designers – you even pick up Ealing themed memorabilia there.  The Oxfam bookshop down the road is also worth a look, for pre-loved books – you always find the odd gem of a book that you’ve had on a reading list forever, but never got round to picking up!  I also love Pitshanger Bakery on Northfields Avenue – they do the most buttery and flaky croissants.

 

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

At the weekend Alexa enjoys swimming classes run by Comfort Aquatics in Osterley.  We go to the class with our NCT friends and their little ones. Alexa has fun with her buddies, and we get to catch-up with our friends so it’s win-win.  We’re also members of Kew Gardens, so try to make the most of our membership when we can. If the weather is wet, we normally like to head to Oxygen Freejumping, the trampoline park in Acton.

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

I couldn’t live without Triyoga in Dickens Yard.  It’s such a beautiful, calm and serene space – you really feel cocooned from the busyness of the outside world as soon as you step in. I also have the best yoga teacher in Zephyr Wildman. Her classes are like therapy for both the mind and body. I wish I could go to yoga more frequently like I did pre-motherhood, but with juggling my practice, with my day job and family life – once a week is all I can manage at the moment, but I’m glad that I’m able to make it count. I think it’s important for everyone to make room to reconnect and just focus on themselves.

 

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Where’s the best place for a night out with friends / date night?

In Ealing, now that the sun is shining and the weather is warm, my husband and I have been enjoying a few drinks on the terrace at No17 Dickens Yard.  They have a DJ on Fridays, and it’s nice to have some time just to chill and catch-up. We’re hoping to squeeze in a couple more nights out there before the summer is out. For drinks and a bite with friends West, I love Little Bird in Chiswick. Further afield it has to be Gloria in Shoreditch – I went a few weeks ago with my sister Helen and felt like I’d been transported to beautiful isles of Capri. I had the time of my life drinking the yummiest cocktails, eating the most delectable plates of food in the most stunning setting – I get the holiday feeling just thinking about it.

What’s the best hidden gem in your area?

For grown-ups The Soma Room which offers massages is one of those blink and you’ll miss it places. It’s tucked away on Spring Bridge Mews and is not visible from the street. Sophie Rose who runs it has created a beautiful sanctuary, which is why it’s one of the spaces I occasionally run my practice from. I fell in love with it as soon as I discovered it. For children, the Gruffalo Trail on Horsenden Hill is pretty special for fans of the book – it features life size wooden carvings of the characters.

To learn more about Sophie’s practice The Inner follow here: Website / Instagram  / Facebook 

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