10 MINUTES WITH...LAURA HAMILTON
On a rainy Wednesday evening this week we cosied up with a warm mug of Yoni Moon Milk (you’ve got to try it... @glowbarldn) & got a dose of much needed sunshine with...
THE GOLDEN GODDESS THAT IS LAURA HAMILTON...
Laura Hamilton is best known as one of the face’s of Channel 4’s popular television show ‘A Place in the Sun’. However, it’s safe to say she has many more facets to her personal and professional life than this and is a self confessed ‘Jack of All Trades', a true entrepreneur.
Laura started her television career working behind the scenes as an assistant floor manager, and after four years flipped to the other side of the camera as a children’s presenter. She started renovating houses at just aged 19, with her first project being completely self funded, and she has since built her extensive property knowledge through 16 developments to date. She has appeared on televisions shows as a participant on both 'Dancing On Ice', where she was crowned as the runner up, & 'The Jump', which she took part in just four weeks after giving birth!! This is no doubt testament to her can do attitude, her strong will & her passion for keeping fit and hitting the gym....she's even released her own workout DVD!
Laura is a keen writer and her writing has featured regularly in publications such as the 'Mail On Sunday'. She blogged online for 'Hello' for 7 years and is now their resident 'Homes & Interiors Columnist'. Laura has had a love for travelling since her solo travels aged 22 and is now lucky to have seen many parts of the world, as have her children Rocco and Tahlia, who have been travelling since they were just 4 weeks of age.
It's safe to say that Laura is a woman who rarely relaxes, and in 2017 she went on a mission to rescue her post office, became a registered Post Mistress and opened 'Lord Roberts on The Green,' a restaurant & deli with over 20 staff that has since become a popular hub of her local community.
We catch Laura post 'mudgate' (she literally got stuck in the mud in Italy filming 'A Place In The Sun') as she grabs a much needed glass of Montepulciano D'Abruzzo.
Coincidentally, I’d spotted that Laura had also recently been on a trip to Kefalonia & stayed at Fzeen Retreat so that's where we started our chat....
SO LET'S CHAT...
AK - Firstly, great that you're free from the mud and safe with a large glass of wine. I’m very jealous you’re in Italy, mud & all, although I’ve recently not long got back myself from Kefalonia & Fzeen Retreat. It was my first time to Kefalonia and I was surprised by it in a good way, I absolutely loved the island and hotel...what did you get up to whilst you were there?
LH - I was out there filming and picked the hotel as I was travelling alone and it looked incredible. I’m so glad I did because in my downtime I got to enjoy yoga, PT sessions and paddle boarding. Kefalonia was absolutely beautiful. It was my first time too and I can’t wait to go back.
AK - Where have you been on your travels that surprised you or exceeded expectations?
LH - I think I have grown quite fond of Greece as I have been travelling and filming there throughout the summer of 2020. I never forget how lucky I am, given we are in the middle of a pandemic. I love parts of France and I have a dream of one day owning a French farmhouse amongst vineyards. The Maldives is the one place in the world that blows my mind. The water is unbelievable. I also love Sri Lanka too. I have some special memories of travelling there.
AK - Totally agree on the Maldives, Sri Lanka is on my list & a French farmhouse sounds like a fabulous life goal. The obvious and impossible question, where is your favourite destination?
LH - You are not wrong, that’s too difficult a question to answer. For a city break I loved Budapest. I adore the Maldives. I’ve loved travelling Sri-Lanka, Thailand, India and Cuba... I also had an incredible trip to South Africa when I got to see where my dad was born. Honestly I can’t say... There are still so many places I want to explore and each and every place holds special memories.
AK - I also adore South Africa, my mum goes every year for around 3 months and I’m always very jealous. Budapest I thought was a fab city break... we could end up just chatting travel here if we’re not careful!! Ha! How did you find lockdown and what impact did it have on your day to day?
LH - Ha yes! I'm not someone who can sit still. I own and run a business; a coffee shop and bistro. Overnight I decided we should turn it back in to a village shop and deliver to the community. It was so important to me to try and help the elderly in the community and also keep our staff in employment! I’m a fighter not a quitter and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty to make something work or succeed. I kept myself busy. I decorated my house from top to bottom and enjoyed spending some time at home for a while. I also home schooled my children which was a challenge!!
AK - I think it’s safe to say all parents now have a new found affection for their kids teachers! Ha! You wear so many hats; wife, mum, tv presenter, entrepreneur, what's the secret to juggling it all?
LH - I don’t sleep! Ha ha. I have a great PA now. Georgie is literally my right hand woman! I have always been organised and I make notes to remind me of what I need to do but having Georgie really helps.
AK - How did your coffee shop & bistro, 'Lord Roberts on The Green'. come to be?
LH - Long story. My local village shop and post office was closing down and I had a bright idea to rescue it and create something for the community. 5 years later, with now 20 staff it’s a buzzing little place. I became the local post mistress (although it’s no longer a post office), obtained an alcohol license and became a landlady. I order the produce for the restaurant daily where ever I am in the world. That’s the beauty of the internet. We have an amazing, loyal team and the business wouldn’t be what it is without them. When I am back home I’m often there, washing up, serving at the door or clearing tables. I think it’s so important when you own a business that you know how every single element works. The team know I am one of them and we all respect each other. I do find it funny sometimes when customers come in and ask for my photo because they recognise me from the TV, especially when they see me jumping up and down on the bin crushing up the rubbish! Someone has to do it!
AK - How would you describe your style?
It all depends where I am and whether I am jumping in the rubbish ha! Since I am lucky enough to spend so much time abroad, my wardrobe is full of colourful dresses. I particularly like a Bardot style dress or a fitted dress below the knee. I hate my legs! I like to mix a small selection of designer accessories in with my dresses from the high street or online.
AK - I noticed on your Instagram you had been trying to cut down your alcohol intake, when you’re out what is your tipple of choice & what's the drive behind cutting back?
LH - I’ve never been a big drinker. I do love a glass of red wine but I think drinking too much makes me less productive and I have too much to fit in to my day!!
AK - Ha quite but definitely needed after mudgate!! Having achieved so much, what else is left on your bucket list?
LH - I’m currently learning to fly a light aircraft. That probably sounds a bit mad but my dad has a PPL (privates pilots license) and it’s something I have always admired and said one day I would do it!
AK - Wow that’s amazing! How has motherhood changed you and your goals & dreams?
LH - Although I am ambitious in my career, the most important thing to me now is making sure I bring up two happy, polite, and kind children. That is more important to me than anything. I think being successful means being happy, and as long as they are happy in whatever they do, I will be behind them 100% of the way.
AK - You always look fabulous and you are in amazing shape, what are your tips on fitness & health?
LH - Ahh thank you. I love going to the gym but I love my food too. I think it’s so important to have a balance. I do try to limit the amount of carbs and sugar I have but sometimes I just let go! I’m also conscious of my children and want them to see that having a healthy, balanced diet and having fun exercising is important.
AK - What 3 words or phrase do you live by?
LH - Be Happy, Be Positive, Be Kind
AK - What have you learnt from 2020?
LH - You don’t know what is around the corner. Although we have to plan for the future, we also have to live for the moment.
AK - Our 10 minutes is up so finally, what's your favourite piece of the Abbot Kinney collection?
LH - So many pieces that I love, but if I had to choose, I think the Ocean Dropstone Earrings are simply stunning.
AK - Thanks so much for sharing your time with me Laura. You are one sunny lady; warm & funny & that makes you lovely to speak to, follow your day to day on Instagram and watch you finding people their little piece of heaven on TV. It's been fascinating learning more about you and what I admire most is your strength & grit to make a success of everything you put your mind to, and your passion to further yourself, push the boundaries and step outside of your comfort zone.
For more on Laura, visit the links below and of course stay tuned to 'A Place in the Sun' on Channel 4. Who will be next month's '10 Minutes With' ?!...keep your eyes on our Instagram & sign up to our newsletter to learn first.