My style icon is Jarvis Cocker. So many male celebrities today don’t have an individual style, but his look is hip and charming and idiosyncratic, which makes him a standout. His sense of colour, proportion, shape and pattern all feel unforced, and the way he mixes old and new clothing feels just right for his projects.
The best gift I’ve given recently was a watercolour I painted for my mum – it hangs in her sitting room – of some trees in the mist in the Cotswolds. I painted it using a photograph taken by a friend who knows how much I love that particular row of Scots pines.
And the best gift I’ve received recently is a day at Parade Mews pottery studio in London, given to me by my sister, where we had the opportunity to hand-build and wheel-throw pots. It’s something I used to love to do; I taught pottery and craft at Kennolyn Camp in Santa Cruz, California, for a few summers and I had forgotten how joyous and meditative it is to work with clay. Pottery day, £76; 7 Parade Mews, Norwood Road, London SE27 (parademewspottery.co.uk).
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. The dialogue is funny and pithy and Thomas Cromwell’s work ethic really resonates with me. I spend 18-hour days managing five different businesses, so I find his juggling act very familiar.
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are the aestheticians at Claridge’s, where I get the occasional Sisley facial, and the spin and yoga instructors at Cadence Performance, my gym in Crystal Palace. Classes, from £12; Cadence Performance Limited, 2A Anerley Hill, London SE19 (020-8676 8825; cadenceperformance.com). Sisley facial, £120 for 60 minutes; Claridge’s Health Club & Spa, Brook Street, London W1 (020-7409 6565; claridges.co.uk).
In my fridge you’ll always find free-range eggs. For somebody who is incredibly busy, eggs are a staple. I can always rustle up an omelette, though I like them poached and hard-boiled for sandwiches as well. I always have Cholula extra-hot pepper sauce on hand to go with my eggs, and a good selection of non-alcoholic beer. Cholula pepper sauce, $6.49; cholula.com.
If I didn’t live in London the city I would live in is Edinburgh. It’s very beautiful geographically with all of the surrounding hills, and the pace of life is relaxed. I love that there is world-class cuisine – Number One at The Balmoral, The Kitchin by Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart are among my favourite restaurants – but that you can also be in the Highlands within an hour. The Scottish National Gallery on The Mound is wonderful, as are Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Botanic Garden, considered among the world’s best. The Kitchin, 78 Commercial Quay, EH6 (0131-555 1755; thekitchin.com). Number One, The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, EH2 (0131-557 6727; roccofortehotels.com). Restaurant Martin Wishart, 54 The Shore, EH6 (0131-553 3557; restaurantmartinwishart.co.uk). Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Arboretum Place, EH3 (0131-248 2909; rbge.org.uk). Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, EH2 (nationalgalleries.org/visit/scottish-national-gallery).
My favourite room in my house is actually a 185sq m milking shed at my home in Yorkshire. It’s a 1950s structure made of brick and steel and is actually one huge space, full of natural light. It has sweeping views of the Bowland Fells, and it’s just really, really cool.
The grooming staple I’m never without is Sisley’s Sisleÿum Anti-Age Global Revitalizer, which is basically a very lightweight moisturiser. I’m quite low-maintenance in the grooming department. £179 for 50ml; sisley-paris.com.
An indulgence I would never forgo is going for long bike rides in the Yorkshire Dales. I love the peace and quiet and just taking myself off for eight hours at a time.
The last music I downloaded was Harry Patch (In Memory Of) by Radiohead – a tribute to the last surviving British soldier to have served in the trenches in the first world war. The lyrics are from Patch’s perspective and even incorporate his own words. I’m a fan of Radiohead’s work generally, and although this song isn’t typical of their music, I love its message.