London is one of the world’s most popular destinations to travel and live in.
This beautiful and swish city appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds- as there is just so much to see, do and discover.
From fashion, food, gardens, museums and high teas- the list is endless. And today the lovely and ever- so- chic Sofia Gouveia, gives us a local’s guide on the best London has to offer for families.
Formerly from Portugal, Sofia is a mum, wife and marketeer, who has been calling London home since 2010 and she shares with us the latest and most stylish things to do around town- plus an insight on her life in this fascinating city.
ML&S: What do you love most about living in London?
Sofia: I think only when you live in London can you really understand what it means to reside here and the impact it will have on your life if you move. The energy, the power, the culture- it’s a city that never stops and where there’s always something new to explore. I love having access to all kinds of events, trends, exhibitions- not only on a personal level but also on a professional one.
ML&S: Can you please give us a short description of your life in London?
Sofia: Having no family at all in the UK makes everything more difficult, so we spend our time working, or with our little girl Suri. Not that we don’t love it but sometimes it does become overwhelming and tiring. We both have a challenging professional life and my husband has his own architecture company, so stress is a part of our life. However we always try to balance it out with a healthy and happy family life- to give the best we can to Suri- and by that I mean the love, time, patience and support she needs.
ML&S: Tell us about your Instagram page and blog?
Sofia: I’m not a big writer and I don’t have much time, as work and family take up most of that, so I found Instagram the perfect fit for me. I love taking pictures and as a Marketeer I like to network and share. I consider Instagram and the blog as a my photo journal- where I share my life and things I love. I’m planning to start writing on my blog very soon but it will always be a compliment of the photos I take, more like a documentation of my experiences and thoughts when pictures are not enough to translate it.
ML&S: With so many stunning parks and gardens around your city, which ones really stand out in your eyes?
Sofia: Suri loves Kensington Gardens Park- especially Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, but I would also recommend Holland Park, Hampstead or Kenwood in North London. Victoria Park in East London is also great and of course Hyde Park is one of our usual destinations.
ML&S: London is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world- what are your fave stores for little ones?
Sofia: As multi-brands Harrods and Selfridges for sure and then Bonpoint in Sloane Street, Marie-Chantal in any of their locations, Caramel Baby & Child, Elias & Grace in Primrose Hill and for shoes I love Papouelli in Marylebone or Elizabeth Street. Although I have to admit that I buy most of Suri’s clothes from Portuguese and Spanish brands because they are exactly my style and the look I like for her.
ML&S: And for mummy?
Sofia: I would say Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Massimo Dutti, Zara and Reiss.
ML&S: Your fave spot to grab a coffee?
Sofia: Any Aubaine or Cocomaya are always great and you will find lots of little independent cafes on most streets of London.
ML&S: Your ideal weekend is spent?
Sofia: I always try to find events or activities to go to as a family but on a regular weekend we just go for breakfast or brunch somewhere nice and then to a place where she can play for a while. We also like to go for a walk in the countryside, Suri takes her bike or scooter and we spend good quality time together.
ML&S: When mummy gets some “me time” we will find you?
Sofia: Just reading a book or a magazine with a cappuccino and a cake. If time is not an issue, a spa is always welcome.
ML&S: Best eatery for a date night?
Sofia: I like Nobu in Mayfair or Hakkazan in Hanway Place. To be honest that’s something that unfortunately we are not allowed to do very often because of Suri but another place that I like is Duck and Waffle- for its amazing views and food.
ML&S: When brunching or lunching with kids?
Sofia: We usually go to The Wholesomely, Berners Tavern or Baker & Spice in Elizabeth Street. If the weather is nice, we love Kenwood House in North London. And in Windsor we love Cote Brasserie in Eton and Downey Court Kitchen Garden in Dorney.
ML&S: For High Tea with children, one should try?
Sofia: The Wolseley in Mayfair, as it’s less formal or if the weather is ok we like to go to Coworth Park in Ascot.
ML&S: What are Suri’s favourite activities around town?
Sofia: During summer- Hyde Park Lido, Hampstead Lido and Kensington Gardens are her top preferences. During winter she still loves to go to the parks and playgrounds but if it’s raining the Science Museum in Kensington is one of her favourite spots. Of course Harrods Toy Kingdom and Disney Store are also on the top of her list.
ML&S: One should never leave London till?
Sofia: Apart from the usual London Eye, Big Ben, Piccadilly, Buckingham Palace, that everyone already has on their list as a “must see”, I would strongly suggest to go for a walk by the river. Start in Southbank and end in Tower Bridge- it’s a beautiful stroll and there’s always something going on there. Camden Canals and Camden Market is also a great experience, not suitable for every taste- but it’s something very different and unique. Then you have specific areas- Mayfair, Notting Hill, Chelsea or Kensington- I find these spots very nice to walk around and discover a little bit more- from a historical and cultural perspective.
ML&S: Any suggestions for a weekend getaway?
Sofia: If it’s just for the weekend, try to explore different cities in the UK. The British countryside is stunning and has so much to offer. Cornwall for example is absolutely beautiful.
You can stay in touch with this amazing mummy on IG @mrssofiagouveia and check out her fab blog www.mrssofiagouveia.com