I’m Mayoni Gooneratne: a surgeon, mum of 3 young children and wife to the lovely Daniel Byrne who is a graphic designer and makes ‘Faunart’. I’ve recently created ‘The Clinic by Dr Mayoni’ on Honor Oak Park with a team of hardworking, enthusiastic therapists, receptionists and clinic manager. My aim is to bring safe yet effective aesthetics and beauty to southeast London.
How long have you lived in the area?
We moved to Forest Hill after we got married 6 ½ years ago now.
What brought you here?
My husband lived in East Dulwich when I met him and it seemed like the natural place to move to after a short stint in East London.
What has changed most during that time?
Forest Hill has certainly become more gentrified and busier since the extension of the Overground. I think it just feels a bit more fun going out locally now. Dartmouth Road is packed full of amazing shops and cafes.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
My latte from Provender on Honor Oak Park every morning.
The most famous person you’ve seen or met?
Jada Pinkett Smith, who was very down to earth and normal. My lovely NCT fellow mum and partner in crime Jane Scotting managed to get VIP tickets to the premier of Magic Mike XXL for a group of us. Ask no questions…!
What’s your favourite place for a night out?
It’s either the Pedlar in Peckham or The Palmerston on Lordship Lane. Both exceptional food and amazing service.
Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?
Usually collapsed on the sofa with my husband and a glass of wine watching telly!
Coffee or tea? Where?
A quiet coffee on my own in the beautiful St Davids in Forest Hill. Plus their coffee tastes amazing. If it’s to meet friends and enjoy the buzz then I’d head to Canvas and Crème on the high street.
Cafe, pub or bar?
What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?
Probably the Pedlar – they do the most amazing cocktails and the menu keeps changing.
Where’s your favourite place to walk?
Dulwich woods with the children and definitely a pair of welly boots on.
When I want to relax…
This is something that has definitely been harder since having children! However, my parents are amazing people who will often take all three of our brood and look after them for a weekend. So to be totally honest, a weekend at home with my husband, reading a book, going for a walk and dinner together and having a proper chat with him is probably the best way for me to relax.
The book I’m reading at the moment…
‘Business for Bohemians’ by Tom Hodgkinson. I’ve just started reading again after having our children so close together – reading has become a real luxury. However, this book was recommended to me by Pip Black, the co-founder of Frame. It’s all about trying to find that tricky balance between running a business and having a home life too. I haven’t got very far but it’s definitely an encouraging read.
My perfect holiday…
A three-week stretch catching up with my family and friends in Galle, Sri Lanka. Taking on a long haul flight with small children is daunting. We have just booked our first family holiday abroad which is very exciting. It’s to the beautiful island of Corfu which is only 4 hours away!
This feature first appeared in the March 2017 issue of SE23 magazine.