Each month we feature a local mum who tells us what’s great about her corner of London. This time we’ve got two: sisters India Hares and Hannah Hodges, both mothers to two young children, founded lifestyle brand Honey Rocks London to bring hip parents unique, colourful interiors pieces. Both live in South West London; we asked Hannah and India what they love about Clapham and Balham.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
We’re sisters Hannah and India, cofounders of Honey Rocks London, an emerging lifestyle brand for parents and kids who rock! We both have retail brand experience (India in buying and Hannah in PR & Comms), and we came together and launched the brand earlier this year. As well as our colour popping homeware and accessories collection, our neon embroidered ROCK Ts range raises much-needed funds for poor and vulnerable school-aged children through our partner charity FARA. And check out our brand new Peace & Love sweater collection featuring none other than the wonder woman that is Mother Pukka. Pre-order is now live!
Which area do you live in, and what do you love about it?
We’re so lucky to live near each other in SW London, Hannah in Clapham and India in Balham. When we were younger it was all about the bars and the nightlife, so the appeal is different now—it’s the open spaces, weekend markets and all the family-friendly cafés and restaurants that we love. There’s so many young families here that there’s loads going on and a lovely, friendly village vibe.
Where’s your favourite neighbourhood place to hang out as a family?
We’re spoilt for choice for outdoor space and spend lots of time on Clapham Common or in the parks including Battersea and Brockwell. The children’s current favourite is the new woodland play area in Battersea Park, next to the Pear Tree Cafe—the owners were previously of Petersham Nurseries. The food is delicious and perfect after a morning spent toddler wrangling! When they’re a bit older Battersea Park also has Go Ape for them to try, but think we’ll be happier just to watch that one!
Nearby Battersea Power Station is undergoing a huge redevelopment and offers lots of free weekend activities for families—performances, story time, mini festivals—and they all happen right by the iconic building and overlooking the Thames. It’s very London!
We also love Hildreth Street in Balham for all its brunch spots and fab food market. Brickwood is our absolute favourite for weekend feasts.
Where’s your favourite place to escape in your area for a little ‘me’ time?
We love a good workout and try to make it part of our routine even though that’s sometimes tricky with such young children! Our current favourite is the newly opened Dog House Fitness in Balham. It’s a super cool new spin and box studio that rivals the central London brands, plus there’s a vegan cafe so it’s the perfect place to get some energy out and recharge.
What local activities do you and your family take part in?
There’s so much on offer it’s sometimes hard to decide but favourites at the moment include
Flip Out, a brilliant indoor trampolining park in nearby Earlsfield. All the crazy bouncing gets a tonne of energy out plus it’s a brilliant workout for adults too.
Mud Club on Clapham Common was set up after the founders visited a French Forest School and brought all the ideas back with them. The children love it and it’s free of charge on some mornings so well worth checking out. It’s hard to believe it’s in zone 2—we feel like we have the best of both worlds there.
Omnibus in Clapham Old Town is a brilliant arts and cultural space based in the lovely old library building. There’s lots of children’s theatre and drop-in art and photography exhibitions that little ones can enjoy.
There’s a new winter festival this year that just opened on Clapham Common called Winterville, with a Christmas food market, cinema and ice rink, which we will definitely be trying.
Is there a little hidden gem in your area you’d like to share?
One for the grown-ups! Canova Hall is a beautiful new bar in Brixton—it’s just opened next to The Department Store on Ferndale Road. It’s hard to keep up with all the cool stuff that’s going on in Brixton, but this is a definite must visit. It’s a beautiful space and the perfect spot for a date night if you can just manage to book one in with your partner! Or just go with the girls…