Next time you’re reclining on Primrose Hill with a jug of Pimms (or, like me, throwing envious looks at those people from the sandpit), you might just spot Jemima Jones taking an afternoon stroll with her young daughter and husband, financier and environmentalist Ben Goldsmith...
Her sister, artist and filmmaker Quentin, may be with them too. Sigh. And don’t worry too much if, like me, you stare. Jemima has an effortless style and easy beauty that’s hard not to ogle — and as a person, she’s impossible not to admire. Jemima Jones, after all, is one of the most fashionable names in food. Tart London, which she owns with Lucy Carr-Ellison, started off specialising in onsite cooking for film and fashion shoots. If you’ve never been to one, simply imagine hanging out in a huge room with the fussiest eaters you know. Not only do they all have different dietary demands, but they want to eat at different times too. And there may be the odd diva among them. Jemima and Lucy get it – and are in constant high demand because of it. They’ve served up raw health bars, fresh Vietnamese rolls and Asian chicken burgers to teams for Vogue (all of them… British, American, Paris), as well as designers like Versace, YSL, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Valentino, and Gucci… plus a long list of A-listers (Kate Moss) who can’t get enough of their fresh, seasonal food either. A quick scroll through their Instagram account and you can see why. Alongside their catering business, they also write a column for London’s Evening Standard ES magazine, they’re working on a cookbook and regularly open pop-ups for everyone to enjoy the menu they came up with that week for a client. Phew. With a gig that already demands 5am alarm bells, how has it all been going since Eliza came along in July last year? “She has slotted into my life so easily, but no one prepares you for the love you feel for your children,” says Jemima. We asked all about her life running Tart London sound-tracked with the pitter patter of teeny feet.
Can you tell us about your childhood...
It was one that revolved around excellent food and style, weekly enforcement of exhibitions and long rainy walks on Hampstead Heath with a Staffy and a Great Dane. We grew up, myself and older brother Oliver and sister Quentin, in a classic straight up London Georgian house that our parents, both architects, slowly renovated. There was a perfect mix of old and modern.
And now you’re living back in the neighbourhood where you grew up...
I lived in New York for a while but I’ve gravitated back to the neighbourhood where we grew up, nesting in Primrose Hill. My sister Quentin lives nearby with her son, who’s a similar age to Eliza. These days I find myself heading off for long walks with multiple dogs, baby and husband… and then enjoying time at home.
So your lifestyle has changed a lot...
Yes! Although I do need to find time to go to more exhibitions. I now look back and see how amazing it was that mum and dad dragged us to so many when we were younger.
What did your own mother teach you about life and motherhood?
Love and patience.
What is the most challenging part of motherhood?
I would say missing out on being spontaneous. You know, being able to go out at the last minute to see a friend for drinks. That just doesn’t happen anymore. These days, it’s about making plans — that way I can pretty much have the same old social life. Although cutting back on some of the old terrible hangovers isn’t all that bad!
How would you describe your parenting style?
I just have a ten-month-old girl, so it’s hard to say what my parenting style is… right now its nurturing and feeling quite at ease.
What’s your approach to health and wellbeing?
A balanced diet and exercise — having dogs and a baby makes sure that I’m are on my feet and walking throughout the week.
What are your top time management tips?
Be organised, which is something my husband is very good at. He is amazing at logistics — calendar, emails, appointments, travel, correspondence. Due to him, I am pretty much on the way to an ordered system. Before Eliza was born, he was the one getting everything we needed delivered, even down to the breast pads!
What do you love most about what you do?
Getting to create dream dishes and eating them! We launched Tart out of a love of food and working with people, and I still enjoy that so much.
Did your career change after you became a mother?
The business is still the same as I have a brilliant, highly-driven business partner. But for the time being my role has taken a bit of a back seat. I’ve had to learn to slow things down. We are presently in a very nice stage of writing our first book, so it feels like a perfect combination of life and work.
What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
I love being my own boss and getting to come and go without having to answer to someone… but with that comes the guilt of the coming and goings, because it never really ends. There’s always something you should be doing. For now, I try and manage the juggle of motherhood with work by trying to only focus on one and then the other. They are both so rewarding and fulfilling, I try hard to give each area my undivided attention.
How do you wind down?
A bath, glass of wine, then lying down.
What are your daily beauty essentials?
A good day moisturiser, face wash and night oil… I swear by all Sisley products. Especially their amazing Black Rose Oil. I don’t have a drawn out beauty regime. I am very quick to get out of the door, so having a baby has definitely changed things up. I will be finally in the car and remember something like nappy cream!
How would you describe the first three months of motherhood?
A bit of a daze — but I’ve heard this is quite normal. It was pretty amazing that the three months started at the beginning of the summer last year, so felt like I was breaking for the holidays. Even all the night feeds and early mornings didn’t feel so bad… we were in France and then Spain.
What’s your approach to interiors?
Minimal, modern integrated with antique and comfort. There seems to be a bit of a striped and navy theme going on.
Jemima in a flash:
Coffee or tea? Tea
Typical breakfast: Toast and juice.
Exercise of choice: Yoga and riding.
Book you’re currently reading: Take Six Girls by Laura Thompson
Heels or flats? Flats
Pram of choice: Bugaboo Bee 3
Baby bag: An old leather rucksack by Ally Capellino.
Dream travel destination: Nepal
Websites you regularly visit: CN Traveller, Tart, Amazon, Net-a-Porter, Ocado
Last thing you bought for yourself that you love: A cashmere hat.