The Edit

Catherine Hanly

Catherine Hanly, co-founder of Hot Dinners, the London restaurant website, gives us an insight into her life online.

Catherine Hanly is co-founder of Hot Dinners, the London restaurant website which she runs with her brother, Gavin.

She has worked in online publishing for the best part of two decades, starting off as Editor of Empire Online covering the red carpet and hobknobbing with Brangelina before moving through to parenting website Raising Kids which she edited through its sale to Disney. She has spent the last five years working as Associate Editor at Mumsnet for her day job.

Hot Dinners was set up in 2009 as an alternative to the directory/listing restaurant sites of the time. It took inspiration from US sites like Chowhound and Infatuation, bringing a new way of looking at the London restaurant scene, covering everything from pop-ups to openings.

Catherine and Gavin were first listed in the Evening Standard's 1000 most influential Londoners list in 2012 and with the exception of 2014 have been on the list every year since.

My Favourite Website... Food52 - I love American website Food52. Their food and home photography is beautiful. In my head I live the kind of life that would be enhanced by owning one of their walnut handled sandwich spreaders.

My Favourite App... Instagram - We've only really been concentrating on our Instagram presence for about a year but have built up a following of more than 29,000. What have I learned? That cake, steak and avocados are HUGE on Instagram.

My Favourite Blog... Cheese n Biscuits - I love reading Cheese and Biscuits by restaurant blogger Chris Pople. I sometimes disagree with Chris's opinion, but his writing is hugely engaging.

My Internet Heroes... Justine Thornton and Carrie Longton - My current 9-5 bosses of Mumsnet. Yes, I am sucking up, but they've been so successful and ground-breaking in what they do that they make it an inspirational place to work.

My Most Recent Buy Online... A copy of Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate for someone's leaving present.

Book I've Just Read... My Kindle is on the blink so I'm back to real books at the moment. I've just finished Anne Enright's The Green Road. It's set in the next county along from where my parents live in Ireland so a lot of it was scarily familiar.

My Favourite Tweeter... This is a hard one; we follow so many funny and interesting people. She's not a foodie, but @Marian Keyes is great on Twitter. She was a relative latecomer to Twitter, but took to it like a duck to water and is very entertaining.

My Favourite Instagrammer... Clerkenwell Boy - I've known Clerkenwell Boy for a few years and I'm still hoping to absorb some of his incredible photography skills simply by being in his presence. It hasn't worked. Yet.

Social Media Allowed Me to Meet... So many incredibly passionate foodies - from restaurateurs to chefs, writers, brewers, mixologists. Their enthusiasm for what they do is infectious. Right now we have a business mentor who we were recommended to by a restaurant friend from Twitter and I think he's really going to help us move the business to the next level.

My Stand Out Online Memory... Apart from Boy George following us on Twitter? Probably watching Twitter and Instagram filling up with people talking about and sharing pictures from our first reader event, Elements, at Selfridges.

Most Worthwhile Newsletter Subscribed To... Barchick - I really like Barchick's newsletter. There's always some amazing sounding bar on there that I want to find out more about - I almost always click on one of their stories.

My Pet Hate About Life Online... That I rarely (if ever) switch off. I do try and build in some digital downtime every day, but that's easier said than done when you have two jobs, both of which are online.

iPhone or Android... iPhone - all the way. I made a fatal error of once buying a Samsung. Never again.

3 August 2016