Jools Oliver has just released her latest Little Bird collection; we chat to the mum-of-four and wife to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver about London family life
Where do you live in London and what do you love most about the area?
We live in Primrose Hill, we all love Primrose Hill park and we spend a huge amount of time just playing there.
And where do you go when you’re treating yourself?
I really relish the moments when I actually make it to the gym, I love yoga, running and of course boot camp. I know it doesn’t sound like a treat, but having that time to stay fit is so important to me.
Where do you go to escape the city?
We are very lucky to have a family house in the countryside in Essex. We go there most weekends.
How did your children’s collection, Little Bird, come about?
When I had Buddy, lots of my friends had said how they found it really hard for find great boy’s clothes so it got me thinking about designing a children’s collection. When Mothercare approached me in 2011, it just felt like perfect timing and I agreed.
Your collection is quite retro – where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by my childhood – memories of growing up in the 70s with my sisters. I love 70s unisex styles with hints of LA retro cool.
Do you design with your kids in mind?
I definitely design with Buddy and Petal in mind as they are still the right age for the collection.
Do you have a favourite piece from the new collection?
I love the jersey flared dungarees which can be worn with one of the classic Little Bird striped long-sleeve tees – such a retro look!
As a child, what did you love wearing?
I used to wear a lot of hand-me-downs from my sisters, which is just what I want people to do with Little Bird.
What is the most important thing to you when you’re creating a new design?
I want children to look like children, not mini-adults, also lovely fabrics and quirky detailing and design. I’ve recently added some limited edition adult T-shirts into the mix.
Who does the cooking at home?
It all depends on who is home and what we want to eat. Of course, we love Jamie’s cooking; Jamie is an amazing father and an equally amazing cook.
Do the children like to get involved in the kitchen?
The children love cooking, too. It’s so important to involve them so they know how things are made, what’s healthy eating and what’s not.
With four children, after-school activities to get to, and your design work to juggle, how do you fit everything in?
It’s a lot of work and I go to bed early and get up early so I can fit everything in, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
And what are your three hot tips for London days out with the children?
Children always relish being outside, so a trip to your local park is definitely a winner. I think Londoners are so lucky to have all these wonderful museums right on their doorstep and there are so many things to see at local theatres. My top tip would be to make sure you plan where you’re going and how you’re getting there, where to eat and definitely wear flat shoes.