StyleNest chat Victoria Emmerson and Annabel Fitzwilliams, owners of The Corner House in Brook Green, the neighbourhood hub for all the family; café and bar, deli, kid’s play centre and fitness studios – all under one stylish roof!
How did you two meet?
Almost at the school gates, but not quite! We live a few hundred yards apart and met through a local neighbour.
What are your backgrounds?
Finance, Fundraising and Head Hunting so it’s been a steep learning curve but hugely rewarding.
Tell us the inspiration behind launching The Corner House?
Both of us had young children and were constantly searching for a place where we could meet up with friends, or do some work, whilst the children played happily, no matter what the weather. Nearest options geographically for us were private members clubs so we decided we wanted to create a family friendly neighbourhood hub that appealed to all and was not exclusive.
What can mums expect to find at The Corner House?
Firstly a much needed flat white! The cafe offers a diverse and healthy menu for all ages, with a deli full of gifts and treats. There is a jam packed time table of kids classes, as well as a range of exercise classes for adults. The children will love the play area, and mum’s will be able to enjoy some time to catch up with work or friends.
What’s on the menu?
We have an all day brunch menu so everything from homemade granola with greek yoghurt and berries to smashed avocado on toast, steak salad, our special chuck burger, but also a fantastic children’s menu – including Lego frozen yoghurt which is a firm favourite.
We love The Bird in Hand in Brook Green. Their pizzas are exceptional for both parents and children.
When you’re not busy working what do you do to unwind?
Grab a good book, swim, indulge in a Netflix series, enjoy a glass of wine with girlfriends, or cook – especially with the children. It’s always messy and you can’t control it so you are forced to relax!
Do you have any top tips for readers who want to start their own business?
We couldn’t have done it without the patience and support of family and friends but most importantly our husbands. Juggling work and 7 children under 6 between us has been tough and family support has been invaluable.
You’re both mums and businesswomen, what has been your ultimate achievement?
That’s easy, albeit a little cheesy…. our children.
Do you have any exciting projects you are working on that you can share with our readers?
Their are lots of exciting events, new classes and camps coming up. I won’t list them all but would highly recommend visiting our website.
Do you have any top tips for first time mums?
Don’t try to do it all yourself – let family or friends help if they offer and sleep when you can.
What are your top parenting hacks?
There’s no worse feeling than loosing sight of your child in a playground or crowded place. When we go to busy places we write our mobile number on their arms just in case we ever got separated and tell them to find a policeman or person of authority and show them the number.
Also, by default, Victoria managed to convince her children that nuts were a massive treat so they are now rewarded with a bag of brazil nuts, not haribo, and couldn’t be happier.
What is the five year plan for The Corner House?
We’d love to grow our programme of classes and events, and perhaps grow ourselves.
What’s your motto?
Be kind. Not just to others but to yourself.