As the first few episodes of ‘Ladies of London’ grace our screens, we thought it would be the perfect timing to revisit our Editor’s interview with that very glam, Californian mummy, Marissa Hermer…
In some ways you could say that Marissa Hermer is your typical Chelsea glammy mummy: a PR maven by day who works out at KX Gym, shops at Donna Ida and feeds the ducks in Hyde Park with her toddler Max and baby Jake at the weekends.
But this mummy is a California girl through and through. Marissa is married to Matt Hermer (who is founder of Boujis nightclub and Eclipse bars) and graces our screens – along with a gaggle of other watchable types – in Ladies of London – a new reality show which promises to be impossibly addictive.
“It’s a kind of sociological analysis of culture clash,” laughs Marissa, in an attempt to sum up what the show is about. “It sort of fell into my lap. A friend put me forward and I declined for ages as I wasn’t really interested in a future on television or as a celebrity – I was more focused on having babies. But then the conversation continued and I decided to take the plunge.”
Ladies of London also stars Caprice Bourret, Annabelle Neilson and Noelle Reno – if you haven’t heard of them yet you are likely to be pretty familiar with them come this autumn, when it is due to air in the UK. It has already become a hit in the US where it has been compared to The Real Housewives. “Americans tend to be anglophiles and love learning about life in the UK and in London,” says Marissa. “I think there’s a particular fascination currently, now that Prince George has arrived on the scene.”
But, returning to real life, while Marissa may be something of a socialite and is never too far from Boujis or other branches of the ‘family business’ in the evening, she also works her Louboutins off as Director of Special Projects for said business (the Ignite Group) during the day. At the moment two of her projects involve the company’s Bumpkin restaurants.
“I realised, when I had children, that there was a lack of nice places where you could hold kids parties in London,” says Hermer, “so we’ve created a programme called Bumpkin Babes, at our restaurants in Notting Hill and Chelsea, where the food is delicious and organic and the surroundings are civilized for adults who want to catch up over a Bloody Mary – why not!?”
She has also developed a superfood and cold-pressed juice menu for Bumpkin – with fellow ‘Lady of London’ Julie Montagu – and is working on a British cookbook: “I love making Shepherd’s Pie, and Sunday roasts with Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings. Every dish has its own story, which I love; so the book is about classic British cooking and the history behind all those favourites.”
To top it all, she is working on a Californian concept restaurant with husband Matt: “We are about to sign on a site so it’s all very exciting,” she beams.
So, how has motherhood changed this 32-year-old working girl?
“I haven’t changed – or rather my personality hasn’t – but my priorities have. My kids and my husband are the most important things in my life and I’m pretty ruthless with my diary. I schedule in half the day with my boys and the other half for work, exercise, etc. It doesn’t always happen like this, of course, but I try to keep it as a general rule,” says Marissa.
“Thankfully our family business is very child-friendly too, so our kids come along to restaurant tastings with me at Bumpkin – and Jake is often tucked into my BabyBjörn for meetings or sleeping in his pram next to the table. My job, with all its various facets, is 24/7 – as is motherhood – there isn’t really switching off from either. Thanks to coffee and iPhones, I’m able to do both right now! But yes, motherhood has changed me in that I don’t get bogged down with the small stuff so much anymore. As long as all of my boys are happy and healthy – and we have a roof over our heads – the other things don’t really seem to matter so much.”
For the original interview with Marissa Hermer, and lots more, see the Sep/Oct issue of Baby London. Out now.