Us locals love Lonsdale Road don’t we? The cobbles, the warehousey vibe, the chairs and tables that spill out onto the street; the cafes, restaurants & bars nestled in among pilates studios, osteopaths, vets and the workshops of various creative brands. Our latest arrival fits right into this eclectic crowd.

On entering The Hearth you very quickly understand what it is they are trying to create and how they would like you to feel. A space to work, meet, brainstorm or relax in, in a place that feels like a serene yet also buzzy (and incredibly tidy) home from home. A place where you won’t be putting on a laundry load but you can kick off your shoes and curl up on the sofa!

It’s also a place just for women.

At the heart of The Hearth is the ambition to create a welcoming space that nourishes women in all aspects of their lives so they can live, work and feel better every day. As a result their light filled mews house is home to a diverse community of local women who enjoy full co-working facilities, a naturopathic women’s wellness practice, relaxing evening lounge and a vibrant programme of events.

The owners and co-founders are Samira and Oi Leng. Friends since childhood, they are local mothers and this is a project fuelled by passion and personal ambition. Queen’s Park Mums have loved getting to know them and would like you all to meet them too…

Let’s start at the beginning – how did you meet?

Samira: We met when we were 13 at senior school in Singapore. Oi Leng was the new girl at school and had just moved back from Hong Kong. I’d recently moved back from Germany, I figured we’d have a lot in common and we’ve been best friends ever since.

Where did the idea to open The Hearth come from?

Oi Leng: In 2016, Sam and I were going through a really hard time in our lives. Sam was coming out of breast cancer and had just gone through a separation. I was feeling really lost and low after having my third child, and not knowing who I was supposed to be after becoming a mother. We knew we weren’t the only ones to feel this way. It’s hard being a woman at this stage in your life. You’re supporting a lot of people, everyone wants a piece of you emotionally and you’re the last on your own list. Our friendship really saw us through this period and that’s what has inspired The Hearth. We wanted to create a space that would support women, and help them put themselves first.

Why did you choose to open it in Queen’s Park?

Samira: We’ve lived in the area for over 10 years and have loved being a part of this special community. We know so many amazing people here, it just felt right.

Why just women?

Oi Leng: We wanted to hold that space for women, where they could be relaxed, feel cared for, where they could just focus on themselves, the things they needed to get done and also have space for personal growth. Sometimes there are also conversations that women want to have, that can only happen in the company of other women…. But our programming is also very diverse and many of the events are open to all.

Tell us a bit about your professional backgrounds.

Samira: I read law but couldn’t see myself practicing. I started out as a crime reporter in Singapore then got into advertising as a strategic planner…finally my own struggle with infertility called me into a new career as a naturopath and herbalist.

Oi Leng: I worked in management consulting at the start of my career, and then ended up in the film industry for the last ten years. Met my other half at a film festival, and that’s how I ended up in London.

What is your favourite thing about The Hearth?

Oi Leng: That it actually does look really nice and feel really nice. Our homes look nothing like this! All credit to our interior designer Veta Sitaropolous who created a beautiful, calm and relaxed space. She also nixed some of our… less aesthetic ideas…  I wanted a Japanese toilet with seat warming and bottom washing…

How do you choose your events?

Oi Leng:  We look holistically at women and what they need – so we’ve got a real mix of work, wellness and community events. I spend a lot of time talking and listening to women about their highs and lows, what they’re excited about, what they need etc, and then we find a way to programme it in. I also look at different groups in the community, and invite them into our space. And a bit of fun too… It’s nice to be able to come to something local and easy in the evening, have a glass of wine, do something creative or engaging, and then be home in your PJs by 930pm!

What more do you have in store for The Hearth?

Samira: In the spring, we are launching our Wellness practice which will offer members and non-members a diverse range of curated practitioners who all specialise in women’s health whether that’s emotional, physical or spiritual.

What is the most unexpected thing you’ve discovered since opening The Hearth?

Oi Leng: Olive trees are not as hardy as you’d expect….

Samira: We’re still here!

Quick Fire Round!

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Oi Leng: Reach for my phone and text Sam about something work related.

Samira: Make sure my phone is off and go back to sleep.

What is your ideal way to spend the day in Queen’s Park?

Oi Leng: Sunday junior park run, love it!

Samira: Going for a walk in Paddington Cemetery.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Oi Leng: You’re asking a Singaporean!

Samira: I stay away from strange things to eat.

Describe yourself as a teenager in 3 words.

Oi Leng: Partner in Crime

Samira: Experimental, rebellious, studious

How many books have you read so far this year?

Oi Leng: One. I finally read my book club book!

Samira: I’ve read five & a half books.

If you had a spirit animal, what would it be?

Oi Leng: Tiger

Samira: Elephant

Describe yourself now in 3 words.

Oi Leng: Hungry, hungry, hungry

Samira: Tired, tired, tired

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Oi Leng: “It’ll pass” – Fleabag Season 2

Samira: It all makes sense in the end.

The Hearth

Lonsdale Road

London

NW6 6RD

Contact The Hearth to learn more about how they offer women a range of flexible memberships that vary in price, depending on how much co-working you need. There are a range of packages so you can pick one that’s just right for you!