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“We’ve started eating together every night as a family” - Sophie Ellis-Bextor

“We’ve started eating together every night as a family” - Sophie Ellis-Bextor

When Hotpoint approached me, I was really excited to work on this campaign because their research chimed exactly with what was happening in my own home.

We always used to eat all together at the weekends but what I think was the biggest shift is that, at the beginning of lockdown, we started having supper together every night as a family.

We also started eating earlier, so at about half 5 or 6 o’clock.

I enjoy cooking for my family, but during lockdown it became much more the domain of my husband Richard who is a brilliant cook.

We’ve become much better at using leftovers and planning ahead - putting more thought into preparing food for the week, how we would turn dinners into lunch for the next day and not wasting anything.
Getting the kids more involved – which they love

Getting the kids more involved – which they love

We’d make sure there was variety, cooking from fresh every time and as a result getting the kids more involved – which they love. I think they’ve all turned into slightly more present cooks and are more involved in their mealtimes too.

It’s not uncommon for us now to be eating one meal and planning the next one at the same time. We often chat about what our favourite meals are and what we’d like to try more of. For Richard and I, we want to eat a variety of food, but we also want to eat with our kids so it’s about exploring things that work for everyone.

we adapt meals sometimes, for example making a dish spicier for Richard and I.
we adapt meals sometimes, for example making a dish spicier for Richard and I.

If they like a particular food, we will try and suggest an alternative option or perhaps pairing it with something new. We try to keep it evolving and a little experimental whilst making it a successful meal. It’s a lovely thing when we put something down and everybody goes quiet because they are happily eating. An average mealtime here will be seven of us. Richard and I have five kids aged between 1 and 16. Within that there’s lots of different tastes and quirks but we all eat pretty much the same things. We have quite a lot of meals that form staple parts of our week that we all eat and a few family favourites too like our Mexican chicken wraps. We don’t have time to prepare different choices for everyone, but we adapt meals sometimes, for example making a dish spicier for Richard and I.

Sophie's Mexican chicken wrap recipe
“For us, lockdown became a mixture of domesticity and disco and not much else”
“For us, lockdown became a mixture of domesticity and disco and not much else”

Another big change for us during lockdown was the start of our Kitchen Discos. Like many people, Richard and I found ourselves with no work and the house became all about domestic life. We both felt a bit bereft without our work and music, but also as a family we often use music as a tonic to alleviate stress or give ourselves a bit of joy, so Richard said why don’t we do a gig from home. I thought that’s complete lunacy, why not.

We did the first kitchen discos, filmed and live streamed from our kitchen where we already had disco balls, a smoke machine and disco lights. I thought people would think I’m crazy, but we received a lovely warm response and it made us feel really connected with people.

“Our new habits are here to stay”
We will definitely keep up the new habits of being more mindful with how we eat andcook that we adopted during lockdown. There have been a lot of positives, specifically around mealtimes, that have come out of having that intense time together as a family.

I love that we now eat together every evening, it’s been really nice and a lot healthier both physically and mentally.

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