Lockdown Diaries #5: Tamara Lohan and George Bamford

Tamara Lohan and George Bamford divulge how they are staying positive during lockdown, from escapist reads to rock 'n' roll playlists

17 June 2020

Tamara Lohan, co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith 

Mr & Mrs Smith is currently crowdfunding to offer hotel rooms to NHS and care home workers for just £1 per night. The luxury hotel booking site has partnered with more than 45 hotels across the UK including 11 Cadogan Gardens, Cliveden and Thyme. Read more about the charity initiative here.

I am spending lockdown at home in Ealing with my husband and co-founder, James, our two children, Ally (10) and Tom (13), and our dog, Ziggy.

The small things have become all the more important during lockdown – my morning run, for example. Working from home has meant I can do this every day and it has been my saving grace. I’ve appreciated the change from spring to early summer more than ever before; the birdsong and the lack of noise overhead from the planes. That, and trying to perfect my cup of filter coffee. We’re incredibly lucky that our house backs onto a park, so we have green space on our doorstep. With two young children and a very energetic Spaniel, I’m so grateful for this.

I’ve been reading more than usual and have found myself drawn to extraordinary stories. Three I’ve absolutely loved are: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, which follows a Russian aristocrat under house arrest in a hotel during the revolution. It feels so relevant to both lockdown and to my industry. Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand, and A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of Virginia Hall, WWII’s Most Dangerous Spy by Sonia Purnell.

I confess I’m not the cook in the house – that’s my husband. I still manage to burn toast! James has been keeping us so well fed during lockdown, but I do feel sorry for him as the kids have a new game of acting like mini hotel inspectors and awarding him scores out of 10 for each meal – they’re brutal!

I feel so lucky to work in this wonderful industry, its resilience is truly remarkable. From volcanic ash clouds to acts of terrorism, we’ve weathered many storms, and I know we’ll bounce back this time, too. I’m optimistic that we’ll come back in a more thoughtful way; more considered, conscientious and kind with more focus than before on issues such as equality, sustainability, fairness and community. Travel really can be a great agent of change.

mrandmrssmith.com

George Bamford

Founder of Bamford Watch Department, George Bamford is London's king of customisation.

My day starts at 6-6.15am, which is a bit later than in normal times. I believe that if you rule the morning, you rule the day so it’s important to start early. A smart shirt or funky T-shirt sets me up for a productive day ahead.

When I was told that we were going into lockdown and I realised I couldn’t hang out and chat to some of my great friends, I started a series of Q&As on Instagram called 'GB Asks'. I did it mainly because I wanted to find out what they were getting up to and what they were reading, watching, etc – a real water cooler moment. It started back with Wei Koh and it's been great.

I don’t believe that lockdown means you have to stop. So far we’ve launched three new watches: the Predator GMT, the Commando GMT and the Tropical Coffee Dial TAG Heuer. I believe it's important to keep the momentum going.

 BWD X Badgerworks coffee dial TAG Heuer Carrera, Calibre 5, £5,500, bamfordwatchdepartment.com

It has been so nice to hang out with my children and have this time with them. We going cycling together, and running with my daughter is so much fun. Homeschooling is an interesting dynamic, but thankfully my wife is amazing at it. 

I’m listening to a hell of a lot of rock 'n' roll – anything with a great beat. I start my day off with Juke Box Hero and it gets the whole family dancing. I recently watched The Gentleman, starring Guy Richie, and it was awesome.

I’m enjoying this beautiful weather so the BBQ has come out a few times. I’m trying different menus as I’m getting bored with my usual repertoire of pasta and things like that for the kids. So far we’ve tried Mexican, as well as a Japanese night.

 

Read more: My London with George Bamford