A Quick Bite With India Hicks

A Quick Bite With India Hicks

What I find inspiring about India Hicks is how down-to-earth she appears and how family seems such a central part of everything she does. The model turned designer (and occasional marathon runner) trots the globe, dines with dames, (and Louboutin, Bono and the British royals) has her silver spoon in a million pies, and yet still makes time to ice 160 cupcakes with her five-year-old daughter or scavenge the beach for shells and snakes with her boys.

She lives in the Bahamas with her partner David Flint Wood and their five children (her two eldest sons are at boarding school in England). There’s a nanny, and a housekeeper, affectionately known as “Top Banana.” Not too shabby. “I have lots of help, and I feel no shame about it,” she said a few years ago in a popular U.S. parenting magazine. “My kids come to me first… If that changed, I’d realize something was wrong.”

I met Hicks years ago at the Canadian Fragrance Awards where she was accepting an award for her work with Crabtree and Evelyn (her fragrance collection has been an international bestseller). She was jetlagged and a total hoot. Of course, with her plumy accent and dry sense of humour, I’m not sure the other women at our table found her quite as funny. But she was a hit, nonetheless. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, and that’s attractive, especially with her pedigree. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s drop dead gorgeous.


Q: What is your earliest food memory?
A: Smoked Kippers. My grandfather would have them for breakfast each morning whilst on holiday in Ireland. I remember being very alarmed by the multitude of bones.


Q: When you have a family meal together who does the cooking?
A: Claire, our Top Banana. She has been with us for many years and she cooks up a storm. When Claire is away David cooks his renown steak and mash. Although my elder son mashes the mash because he wants to make absolutely certain there are no rouge lumps. I make cakes. Quite good ones, but that’s about it apart from nursery suppers for the kids.

Q: Do the kids muck in?
A: Domino, my five-year-old likes to cook, although because it’s normally so hot at home in the Bahamas she carefully wears an apron but is naked beneath it.

Q: What do family meals look like at casa Hicks/Flint Wood?
A: We are lucky to eat in a tropical courtyard most days. David and I and five children sit around a long wooden table. A cross parrot tries to join in the chatter from his cage in the shade. The dogs sit under the children’s chairs waiting for the inevitable crumbs to drop.


Q: Is there a family meal that you grew up eating and prepare for your children now?
A: Growing up on particularly stormy days during the holidays when we could not go outside we would make vats of fudge. Every child taking its turn to stir, being the youngest I would have to stand on a stool. With my own children when we are away on a neighboring island without the distractions of TV and computers we make fudge. Vast vats of it.

Q: Is there something you wish your kids would eat but they won’t touch?
A: Asparagus. Although it does make your pee stink and with a house of 5 children maybe this isn’t such a good idea

Q: Is there something you’d rather ban from the pantry/fridge?
A: Diet Coke. My own addiction. I try to ban it, my children encourage me to stop drinking it and then I fall from the wagon.


Q: As a working mom with a crazy schedule, how do you make family meals a part of your routine?
A: I always have breakfast with my kids. I may have been in my office for an early start but I make sure to be there when they are. And on a Sunday evening or the evening before school starts again we have a quiet tradition of ‘the last supper’

Q: When you land in London what is the first thing you crave?
A: Licorice. I can’t get this on the small island I live on.

Q: When you fly home to the Bahamas, what is the first thing you raid the fridge for?
A: A freshly squeezed green juice. Returning home normally entails several horrible flights, little sleep and bad eating habits.


Q: From Gstaad to Miami to the Bahamas, do you have a favourite restaurant?
A: Casa Tua in Miami. Because it means I am getting closer to home.

Q: Marmite: love or loathe?
A: Love love love.

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1 Comment

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