Sophie Conran, designer and cookbook author, talks to us about favourites sites, apps for star-gazing and Stephen Fry.

This week’s guest editor is Sophie Conran, the well-known designer and cookbook author. This year, Sophie has launched a range of ten mugs to celebrate her ten-year collaboration with Portmeirion. She has also created a Christmas e-catalogue featuring grey Dachshund Christmas stockings and ceramic candleholders shaped like houses and churches.


Here, Sophie talks to us about roses, astronomy, favourite sites and Stephen Fry.

My favourite website... TED - Inspirational talks from a huge pool of current talent in every sphere that you could possibly be interested in. There are talks on adventure, alternative energy, anthropology, astronomy, art and animation; and that is just mentioning a tiny percentage of the 'As'. There really is something for everybody. I recently watched the fantastic Dan Barber and his amazing revolutionary ideas about food production.

My favourite app... Starwalk - It is amazing. You can point your phone anywhere and it will show you what is out in space. Learn about the stars, planets, constellations and signs of the zodiac. Just touch the screen and it gives you information about the universe around us.

My blog of choice... my blog - Because we are just building it. It gives me the opportunity to spend lots of time in the kitchen developing recipes and doing photo shoots which I just love.

My internet heroes... the guys that started Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger - I mean ‘wow’. It is a wealth of information and knowledge at your fingertips no matter what you type in. I use it all the time.

My most recent buy online... roses from David Austin Roses - They are absolutely the best roses available. They grow really well, are disease resistant and smell amazing. I have a new garden and they are doing brilliantly.

Book just read... I have never downloaded a book, but the last book I read was the fantastic Hotel Bemelmans by Ludwig Bemelmans (who also wrote ‘Madeline’). It is a collection of hilarious short stories set in New York about the goings-on in an exceptionally grand hotel in the 1930s.

Favourite tweeter... has to be @stephenfry - For his wit and knowledge.

Favourite instagrammers... @cabanamagazine for interiors, @debbytenquist for gardens, @cannellevanille for food and lifestyle, @marthaward for fashion, @hamishbowles for a dash of glamour and @milohale who is my next door neighbour’s son and who does the most incredible cityscape photography.

Social media allowed me to meet... one of my very best friends, Tony Howard @squaddietony - Via a shared love of Instagram, gardening and a mutual friend.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to... Intelligence Squared - The world’s premier forum for debate and intellectual discussion and their how to: Academy for the most fantastic events. I recently did one on negotiating with them and could not recommend it enough. Both are fascinating, engaging and a great use of time.

Stand out online memory... Launching my site back in 2013. It has been an absolute joy with plenty of tears and late nights but an incredible journey that I have learnt (and continue to learn) a huge amount from. I am so grateful for my wonderful hard-working team and gorgeous customers.

Pet hate about life online... For me it is emails. There is so much drivel. The way that online life opens us up to fraud is scary too; it makes you think there are a lot of creeps out there.

iPhone or Android? iPhone all the way, although I am not thrilled with the latest updates.

7 December 2016