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The perfect hostess

Photographs by Elliott Morgan
Styled by Jessica Skeete-Cross

She’s the Insta sensation bringing fun back to cooking — but that doesn’t mean Laura Jackson is short of a serious opinion or two. She talks to Joanna Taylor about free school meals, how a second pregnancy is changing her and dinner party dos and don’ts

When I enter the Royal Suite at Claridge’s to meet television presenter, entrepreneur and Instagram sensation Laura Jackson, she’s sitting atop a grand piano surrounded by a cloud of creatives, having her photo taken.

Somewhere floating around in the back of my mind is the awareness that Jackson is expecting her second child, though it takes me a moment to register. How could this sprightly, energetic woman possibly be eight months pregnant? But, of course, she is. And minutes later she has whisked off her Gucci ballgown in favour of a chunky knit jumper and is sitting opposite me, bump and all, having her glam make-up removed, ready to chat. ‘Sorry,’ she apologises, as she checks where her lunch is at just gone 3pm, ‘I haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast.’

CECILIE BAHNSEN dress, £1,195. MESSIKA BY KATE MOSS necklace, POA. Rings (left hand), Laura’s own

“It’s a personal, instinctive thing: you either really love having people around and cooking for them or you really don’t”

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SHRIMPS dress, £495. MESSIKA BY KATE MOSS earrings, bracelet and ring, POA

“It’s not so much the, ‘Oh yeah I’m like Heston Blumenthal’, experimenting in the kitchen.
I just love the fact that food brings people together”

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VALENTINO dress, £13,000. MESSIKA BY KATE MOSS earrings, POA. Messika ring, £4,340

"If I got bogged down over who got given the last fish finger I’d spend my life miserable"

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EMILIA WICKSTEAD dress, £1,815. MESSIKA BY KATE MOSS ring, POA. MESSIKA choker, POA; earrings, £7,740; ring (index finger), £4,340