Best... influence?

I’ve been influenced by lots of different people in different ways. I am always totally in awe
of people who are calm and kind, though, and they make me try to be more so.

BEST... friend?

Definitely my husband, Graham Swift – although my brother Diccon is a really good friend and, as they get older, my sons have also started to be really amazing friends.

BEST... quality

Probably my ability to survive on not much sleep – frequently only five hours.

BEST... bargain?

Actually, real bargains aren’t often cheap, they are just good value. I always bang on about my vacuum cleaner, which is a Vorwerk. It wasn’t particularly cheap, but I’ve had it 25 years and it’s still going.

BEST... colour?

Green, though in velvet it’s purple.

BEST... investment?

Probably (restored stately home) Rise Hall. When we bought it, we assumed it would be the worst investment we’d ever make but just fun and a life experience. In fact, it’s actually turning out to be a really exciting business.

BEST... organisation tip?

Lists – a book of lists and more lists.

BEST... weekend?

Doing nothing, although we went skiing earlier this year, which was totally fab. If you can fit sun, exercise, family, friends and laughter into a holiday, that ticks my boxes.

BEST... TV show?

I think Vikings – it’s really addictive.

BEST... day off?

When you get tea in bed and don’t have to get up early – then a walk and a long lunch.

BEST... pick-me-up?

Tequila, every time.

BEST... breakfast?

I’m English… so it has to be eggs, sausages, bacon, fried bread, beans, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, brown sauce and black pudding… not so good for bikini readiness but great in all other ways!

BEST... drink?

My biggest vice is wine from Burgundy - though S. Pellegrino sparkling water is great in the morning.

BEST... motivation?

A lovely sunny day – and my children’s school fees!

BIGGEST... regret?

Not being one of those people who have no regrets, as the list is too long!

EARLIEST... memory?

Milking our goats, picnicking in the garden with both my parents. Simple memories are often most precious.

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