Laura Harper-Hinton, Co-Founder of Caravan Restaurants

Laura Harper-Hinton is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Caravan Restaurants.  With four branches specialising in fine coffee and all-day dining already established, their fifth venture in Fitzrovia is due to open this summer.  Originally from New Zealand and a mother with two sons, Harper-Hinton founded the restaurants with her husband Chris Ammermann and friend Miles Kirby in 2010 and together they have also published a cookbook, Caravan: Dining All Day. Below, Harper-Hinton shares some of her top tips for London living.

Which is your favourite London butcher?

Provenance Butchers, who have locations in Notting Hill, West Hampstead and Chelsea. They source meat in a really responsible way, ensuring quality, but also good provenance (as the name suggests!) Their stores are beautifully clean and bright and the butchers are also so friendly and helpful.

Do you have a top fish restaurant?

I’m a big fan of the Wright Brothers as they care about quality and what they are putting on the plate. Their oysters are always fresh, delicious and responsible!

What was the last music you downloaded?

Baxter Dury’s recent album, Prince of Tears. Son of Ian Dury, similar genius style and a brilliant merge of musical genres. The song Miami off the album is a particular favourite.

Which is your favourite design/furniture shop?

A difficult question to answer as I love and frequent so many! Verandah in my local Kensal Rise is great, they have two shops and they are always filled with beautiful eclectic items from all over the world. I also love Opium for its Indian vintage/antique items and Les Couilles du Chiens (see below) on Golbourne, again for amazing vintage finds.

Which website do you look at most often?

Our own! – Caravan Coffee Roasters. As the creative director of Caravan Restaurants and Coffee Roasters (including Caravan Bankside below), I’m always checking new coffee releases, merchandise, photography, styling and blogs. But I also frequent loads of other design websites, always checking for new stock for the design of our restaurants. If I had to name one that I’m often on, I guess Pinterest as we always have so many design inspiration boards going for many different parts of the business.

What was the best present you’ve ever given?

You often remember the most recent things, but it really was the present that has meant the most to me in recent years. For Mother’s Day I got five albums that my partner, Chris and my two little boys, Arlo and Otis, had worked on together. It had photos from when both were babies to now, with pictures of our food, design, coffee inspiration travels and just generally lovely times!

What is the best thing about living in London?

I absolutely love London. It’s been my home now for 18 years – not something I ever thought would happen, coming originally from New Zealand. London has grown so much in the time I’ve been here. I love how multicultural and creative it is. The restaurant scene is now one of the best in the world and you never tire of something interesting to do. (I just wish some of my NZ family were a little closer!)

— Francesca
11th April 2018