My Little London: Kate Garraway


    The TV and radio presenter, and mother of two, talks weekends at home with the kids, ‘boogie nights’ and her passion for children’s clothing

    Where do you live in London?

    We live in North London – we first moved there about 12 years ago. We have lots of friends there, and I love the way the different areas are like a string of villages, all with their own vibe and atmosphere.

    Describe a typical weekend for you.

    We tend to stay quite close to home on the weekends. After waking up so early throughout the week I do like a lazy morning! Typically we just like to potter about on Saturdays. And we recently moved house so there’s also lots of DIY to be done. We’ll often have friends to visit, so I’ll cook dinner. Derek also invented something called ‘boogie nights’ for the kids. I think he must secretly be a frustrated DJ or something because he loves mixing songs – he’s got loads of flashing lights and a smoke machine! You can imagine how much the kids love it but the adults always end up having a good dance as well. On Sunday mornings the kids go to church with their dad while I get on with ‘mummy chores’. Then we’ll all get out for a walk. Sunday evenings are games nights; current favourites are Cluedo and Monopoly.

    What about when you want to escape the city?

    We’re really lucky to have family dotted all around the country, so it’s nice to be able to visit them on weekends or during the school holidays. We have friends in Kent, so in the past we have loved going to the coast and renting a beach hut for the day. My parents are in Oxfordshire, my brother in Cornwall, and my in-laws live in Lancashire, so we have lots of places to go outside of London.

    Kate has turned her hand to childrenswear with a new collection for M & Co

    You’re working with M&Co on a children’s range for charity, for the second time – why did you decide to delve into children’s clothes initially?

    I have been doodling designs for years, initially out of frustration of not being able to find what I wanted on the high street. When I first had Billy [now eight], I was surprised at how limited ranges were for boys compared to girls. I couldn’t find what I wanted for him – smart but comfy pieces that would wear well. My daughter Darcy [11] is really sporty – always climbing trees and playing football – but she still wants to look feminine. When the opportunity came up to work with M&Co, and to raise money and awareness for a great charity like I Can [the children’s communication charity, which Kate is an ambassador for], I thought it was perfect.

    What can we expect from this range?

    It has a real 1950s vibe on the boys’ side – bow ties and braces were key, whereas the girls’ has a great French bulldog print. I think kids will love it and parents will want to buy it – it’s full of fun details, with soft yet durable fabrics, and both ranges are designed to be mixed-and-matched. I think my favourite pieces are the girls’ velour bomber jacket and the culottes – perfect for girls who want to look feminine and be free to climb trees!

    How involved do you get in the design process? 

    Very! I have the ideas for designs and prints, and M&Co has the expertise to help me make it happen. It’s a great team to work with. I love seeing it go from my ham-fisted sketch, to design, to sample, and it’s especially exciting to see the reactions from customers.

    Darcy and Billy get ready for World Book Day

    Do Darcy and Billy give you inspiration?

    Definitely. In fact, one of the main reasons the boys’ range now has bow ties is because of Billy – he loves Matt Smith’s Doctor Who and always thought he looked so cool in his blazers and bow ties. Darcy was a huge influence on this range also, as she is obsessed with dogs – her best friend has a French bulldog named Blue, whose face made it into the range. I’m hoping this might stop her from asking for a real one…

    You’re juggling this with a new book, and your roles on Good Morning Britain and Smooth radio, how do you manage to make it all work? 

    Even though the alarm goes off so early in the morning, I still love going to work. An early start means an early finish so I am able to pick the kids up from school, which a lot of working mums don’t get to do, so I count myself very lucky.

    What else do you have coming up? 

    Well, I am turning 50 this year, so am definitely going to have a big party!

    Kate’s Kite & Cosmic collection, in sizes three to 12 years, is available in store and online now,