We were thrilled to interview Jasmine Harman, presenter of ‘A Place in the Sun’ this week. Jasmine lives south of the river in Carshalton with her husband Jon, and their daughter Joy. ‘A Place in The Sun’ goes out on Channel 4 and More 4 until the end of July.
You’ve spent the best part of the last decade abroad filming Channel 4’s award-winning show ‘A Place in the Sun – Home or Away’, filming an incredible 250+ episodes all over the world. What was this experience like? Tell us a bit about the most and least favourite places you’ve visited.
It’s hard to sum up eleven years of experiences in a paragraph but one of my favourite places has got to be St Vincent in the Caribbean. Beautiful and unspoilt, wonderful local hospitality, amazing food. We filmed there on A Place in the Sun and loved it so much that we went back on holiday!
Possibly my least favourite location was Lake Balaton in Hungary, ironically because I spent the whole week hungry! When I asked what the vegetarian options were I was given a confused and quizzical look and offered dessert!
Having spent so much time abroad, how and where did you meet your husband? Tell us a bit about your family life, and your daughter, Joy.
I met my husband Jon on the first episode of A Place in the Sun – Home or Away. He was the cameraman and over the next few months we became great friends and fell in love. We still work together sometimes, but more often then not we’re both travelling a lot with work. This makes it even more important to spend quality family time together when we can. Joy travels with me when I’m working away, and Jon likes to visit us on location when he can so he can spend time with her whilst I’m working.
Where are your favourite family friendly places to go in London, for fun, food and a bit of culture?
We went to the Rose Theatre in Kingston last weekend for Joy’s first visit to the theatre. We saw Stick Man which is one of her favourite books and she absolutely loved it! We’ll definitely be visiting again!
You’re a qualified fitness instructor. What top tips would you give to women wanting to get back into shape post pregnancy, and which forms of exercise are best, bearing in mind the huge time restraints on new mums!
I’d say don’t put any pressure on yourself. You’ll have your hands full and who cares if you’ve got a wobbly tummy! You just made a new person! I found breast feeding was nature’s way of helping me get back to normal, and also I was very conscious of eating well because I was feeding the baby. After about a year I could fit back into my old clothes and I think it’s better to do it slowly than go mad and not sustain it. Some of my friends did buggy fitness classes during their maternity leave which seemed like a good idea but I was back at work quite quickly so didn’t get the chance!
What are your top five tips for young families thinking of relocating abroad?
1. Do it when the children are young and adaptable. It’s generally a bad idea to uproot a teenager whose social life (and education!) will be disrupted.
2. Ensure you’re committed to the new life. You don’t want to change your mind after a few months and take them away just when they were settling in.
3. Get them excited about it! Tell them what they’ll be able to do there that they can’t do at home. E.g going to the beach after school.
4. Put in the groundwork with language. That means YOU learning it and helping them before you move.
5. Be proactive – on their behalf, organise fun activities with their new school friends and help them mix with other local children.
Share with us your typical beauty regime – and what products would we find in your make-up bag?
As the face of A Place in the Sun I’ve always got to have a sun-kissed glow, but now I’m older and more sensible, I take care of my skin and stay out of the sun as much as possible, so a fake tan is essential. And as a busy working mum I don’t have time to go for a full on tanning session, so Fake Bake’s ready to wear 5 minute mousse is perfect.
I wear Acuvue Oasys from Vision Express in Oxford Street. They have been life changing for me! I’m not a morning person so trying to poke contact lenses into my eyes every morning was torturous and I ended up puffy & looked like I’d been crying! But with Oasys you can sleep in them! For us to a week at a time! My eyes never dry out like they used to send when I open my eyes in the morning, I can see straight away!
Daniel Sandler make-up:
My absolute favourite Daniel Sandler product is Watercolour fluid blusher in Joy, which not only shares a name with my daughter, but also helps Macmillan cancer research. It looks gorgeously natural and stays on all day even in really hot weather!
I’ve always found eyelash extensions don’t last very long on my eyelashes, until I tried Lara Lashes super volume which are so lightweight that they last for ages and you can put as many as three on each individual lash! But best of all, they look like you’ve naturally got beautifully thick, long lashes, rather than looking tacky and over the top!
Tepe interdental brushes:
I’ve been lucky with my teeth but recently I was filming a documentary about teeth and dentists and it made me realise I need to do more if I want to keep my teeth & gums healthy. My Dentist at 119 Dental recommended TePe interdental brushes which seem a lot easier and more effective than flossing. I’ve become slightly obsessed with them!
Environ c-quence eye gel:
I’d never heard of Environ skin care until it was recommended to me by Cherry Woods Clinic and believe me when I say I’ve tried every eye cream there is, & spent a small fortune. The beauty of this product is it is not a cream, it’s super light & lifting where sometimes creams can make under eye bags feel heavier & more prominent. Cherry told me that often when cosmetic surgeons perform surgery on eye bags they find rancid residual cream stuck under the skin which is adding to the problem! I was converted to gel immediately!
You’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years. Share with us your favourite veggie family recipe.
I have been vegetarian for over 30 years and I went vegan when Joy was born as it really hit home to me that a mother’s milk is meant for her baby. And that goes for cows too. I found the idea of a baby being taken away from its mother then killed & eaten, and the mother’s milk being consumed by someone else so upsetting, I’ve never wanted to touch animal products again!
I make normal family meals that most people would be familiar with but I use only plant based products.
E.g Spaghetti Bolognese
- Gently Fry onions garlic mushrooms in good quality olive oil
- Add vegan mince (I prefer texturised wheat protein – Sainsburys own brand is really good)
- Add chopped tomatoes / tomato purÃ©e / passata
- Add seasoning
- Cook pasta Al dente & toss in olive oil
Serve with fresh Basil
Rocket & pomodorini salad with balsamic
Vegan garlic bread (sainsburys basics garlic bread is vegan)
What’s your idea of the perfect family holiday?
My whole family is going to Portugal camping this summer, and I’m gutted because I can’t go.
The children will be running around wild, swimming in the lake, trampolining, body boarding, and exploring, the dogs will be snoozing in the shade or swimming with the kids, and the adults will be taking turns to supervise the children and relax in a hammock! Maybe next year!
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
I love my Recaro BabyZen stroller. When Joy was little I could easily transfer her from the car to the stroller and back without waking her which was a godsend. I’ve used it every day and it adapts with her as she grows. It is so sturdy it can cope with any terrain and means I can go anywhere & she’s still comfy!
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Hard working, happy devoted mummy!