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In the Kitchen
Hemsley + Hemsley
As London continues its freshly ground love affair with healthy eating and wellbeing gurus, it seems that organic cooks and sister duo Hemsley & Hemsley are still leading the way to a healthier, more nutrition-conscious and energised lifestyle in nothing short of the chicest of methods.

Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley’s fresh and stylish approach to whole, nutrient dense food has won them attention from the likes of Vogue, Saturday Kitchen and the Sunday Times. We’re huge fans of the delicious sisters and their delicious homemade dishes, so we caught up with the pair to get their tips on how to stay healthy with a hectic lifestyle and the perfect dinner party.
What are your kitchen essentials?

The humble grater is an indispensable kitchen tool all year round. It’s not only great for salads and adding interest to dishes through texture but also great for garnishes, shaving cheese over soups and zesting fruits. Another favourite of ours is the multitasking blender, allowing you to blend nutrient-dense ingredients together in an instant and providing us with better access to the nutrients in our food. Soups are a staple for us especially coming into winter and a blender makes eating wholesome food simple. In summer we use a blender to make our favourite smoothies, but they’re also great for whipping together dips, dressings and sauces in an instant.

 

Can you describe the best kitchen you’ve ever been in?

Melissa:One of the best I’ve experienced is the kitchen at Port Eliot in Cornwall (the seat of the Eliot family) where we cooked and held demonstrations over the summer. With parts of the house dating back to the 12th century, it's an incredible, majestic space with high ceilings, period features, huge sofas and an open fireplace. http://www.porteliot.co.uk

Jasmine:Outside of cooking I love design and interiors; I studied furniture and product design at university, and the contrast between old and new, so I really enjoyed a visit to the new Electrolux Grand Cuisine and Poggenpohl kitchen collaboration called ‘The Fourth Wall’. Old world charm in the form of butlers pantries, larder and the wine store and futuristic touches such as walls that shift from solid lacquer to complete transparency, and dining tables with drawers to charge your electronic devices. On top of that we were cooked a six course meal by Nuno, the head chef from London’s Chiltern Firehouse, which makes the memory all the sweeter!   

What are your tips for adapting healthy eating to a hectic city lifestyle?
Melissa:There are small things that you can do each day to improve your health and wellbeing. We like to start the day by drinking a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice to stimulate the digestive system. Cutting down on caffeine and taking a moment out of your day to actively focus on your food, as well as eating slowly and consciously are musts.

 

 



Jasmine: Being prepared! Eating well and staying healthy is a conscious process. We love batch cooking, vegetable box deliveries and ordering groceries online. There are particular pantry essentials we like to store in the pantry at all times. (http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/our-top-10-pantry-essentials/) We keep bone broth in the fridge as well as in the freezer and use this as the base for quick soups and stews. We’re also big on leftovers. Nothing beats the feeling of coming home to a bowl of something delicious that you made the day before or knowing that you have something ready to go in the freezer.
 
It’s not always so easy to find varied and healthy breakfast or lunch options. Can you offer any suggestions?
We love Kelp Pot Noodles, a quick and easy lunch on the go. It’s as simple as adding kelp noodles, your favourite steamed vegetables, coleslaw, chicken or quinoa into a (heat proof) glass jar which you can add hot water to and leave for a few minutes before tucking it. We are big fans of nutrient packed smoothies for breakfast or a buckwheat or amaranth porridge which you could take it into work in a thermos, as you would a lovely hot soup or stew. We also love packing up leftovers from supper the night before; our Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Brazil Nut Pesto is great is a great ‘leftovers’ lunch.

Are there any foods that you think we should try to give up?Look to cut down on sugar, caffeine, grains and gluten. All of our clients have felt better from the moment they start to reduce their intake of these. At the same time, find a way to replace these foods as the experience is much easier and more enjoyable when you have something tasty waiting for you. Our book is full of recipes based on meat, vegetables and refined sugar and grain alternatives. You don’t have to feel like you’re missing out by omitting these foods from your diet.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your recipes?
Our mum is from the Philippines and our dad is an English army officer, so growing up we were often on the move between the UK and Europe. We were used to eating frugally and adventurously. Mum cooked very intuitively based on availability and the season, yet everything was made with love and care. While we were never actively taught to cook, we’ve adopted that approach to cooking. We also love receiving requests from readers and clients who ask us to rework their favourite foods. Our book The Art of Eating Well includes favourite recipes that we’ve reworked to be more nutrient-dense, such as Pablo’s Chicken (our take on fried chicken) and Fish with Celeriac Chips (our take on fish and chips).

 

What are your vices, food or otherwise? How do you resist temptation?
We always get asked this but honestly, with our reworked comfort foods, we never really feel like we’re missing out. Recipes such as our Black Bean Brownies or Avocado and Lime Cheesecake (free from gluten, grain and refined sugar) are delicious and we enjoy those foods as sweet treats. If we’re eating out then we choose somewhere with a real food ethos, but if we can’t pick then we don’t stress. Eating well most of the time means that we’re better equipped to deal with eating out at restaurants, events, and in situations where we may have limited choice.
It’s often easier to stay healthy during the summer months. What tips do you have for the winter?
Being healthy and feeling well shouldn’t be something that’s seasonal. We believe in being conscious about the food that we eat as well as focusing on yoga and meditation every day. One of our go-to kitchen staples, Bone Broth, can be enjoyed year-round but is also great for the cooler months as a base for warming soups and stews.It’s rich in amino acids, gelatine, glucosamine, fats, vitamins and minerals. We keep bone broth in the freezer and fridge so it’s easily accessible and can be used to quickly whip up a soup after work. Another one of our winter favourites is Pep-Up Tumeric Tea with giner, tumeric, lemon and cayenne, an immune boosting and energising combination perfect for cooler days.

 

 

What makes the perfect dinner party?
Melissa:Friends, family, candle light, a great playlist, jugs of a brilliant cocktail (our favourite 2 are in our book: lavender blueberry or spiced apple punch) and a big spread of homemade delicious, nourishing food all piled on a long table for everyone to help themselves.
Jasmine:Easy homemade food that can be appreciated whilst in full social flow. When you’re in good company it’s nice to be able to focus on preparing, wholesome, fuss-free food such as lovely stews and simple one pot bakes, making it all the easier to entertain. Old fashioned favourites with a twist go down well, like our Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash or our Flower Power Pizzas.
Can you share which of the House of Hackney prints is your favourite, and why?
Melissa: There are too many to choose from but that’s the beauty of them! I love the Palmeral print and we wear the apron versions! In terms of apparel, I love the Leonine and Poppium prints.
Jasmine:I love the smell of ferns as they remind me of school holiday trips to Richmond park, and I’ve always had an obsession with Victorian Hot houses. So a sofa in teal Inferno velvet would suit me.

 

 

‘The Art of Eating Well’ cookbook by Hemsley + Hemsley
is available to buy here.
Visit their website for more recipes and inspiration: www.hemsleyandhemsley.com

 

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BESPOKE BLIND ESTIMATE FORM

House of Hackney now offers an exceptional in-house bespoke curtain and blind-making service tailor-made to our customer's requirements.

Our service offers you a wide choice of headings, fabrics and styles to create a truly bespoke window dress. All you need to do is supply your window measurements and follow the easy instructions on screen.

To receive a quotation simply follow the 5 steps below and a member of the team will respond with a quotation within 24 hours:

  • Step 1

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    Select your
    mechanism type

  • Step 3

    Enter your
    mechanism pully

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    Enter your blind size

  • Step 5

    Enter your lining type

For any queries or if you would like to talk through your needs with the team please contact the customer services team on + 44 (0) 207 739 3901 e-mail : bespoke@houseofhackney.com.


STEP 1 Choose your fabric

FOR ALL FABRIC OPTIONS PLEASE SEE HERE

STEP 2 Select your mechanism type

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STEP 3 Enter your mechanism pully

STEP 4 Enter your blind size (cm)

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