Broadcaster Mary, 58, lives between Primrose Hill and the Cotswolds with her wife, Melanie Rickey, and children Mylo, 25, Verity, 23, and Horatio, six. She takes us through a typical day
I get up at about 6.30am because my youngest, ‘Master Horatio’, as we call him, wakes then. But I’ve had 25 years of being woken in the morning, so...
Mel and I get him dressed and by 7.15am we’re all in the kitchen along with the live-in manny and my daughter, Verity. My son Mylo works in Manchester but comes home most weekends.
I don’t tend to eat breakfast, but I have granola and yogurt at about 11am. Then, I always do yoga to wake up my body, plus Pilates stretches.
I spend three days a week at Portas, my creative agency, or in one of my 26 Mary’s Living & Giving Shops, which I set up for Save the Children. The other two days I might be giving a talk or doing radio or TV. And I’ve just written a book, Work Like a Woman, about the workplace.
In my experience, most women take on more than men do in life and yet, when it comes to work, fewer make it to the top. I played the business game for years, but suppressed my natural energy and sensitivity as a woman, which I think it’s important to have. I asked myself, what if I took the values that I respect in women that are seen as feminine and put those into the workplace, why would that not work? So then I wrote a book on it.
When it comes to family life, we always eat dinner together at the table, never in front of the telly, except as a Saturday-night treat when Strictly is on. Mel always cooks, which I’m glad of because I cooked for years and she loves it. I’m quite good at clearing away, as long as I have a glass of decent wine in my hand. By the time I’ve read Horatio his bedtime stories, there’s not a lot of evening left.
My favourite things
Votary Super Seed Facial Oil
I always massage and cleanse my face using this and a hot flannel. (£70, votary. co.uk)
Mimi Holliday bras
I have most of her lingerie; it fits really well. (Silk padded push-up bra, £69, mimiholliday.com)
The Pocket Pema Chödrön
I always have a book by my favourite Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön, by my bed. (£6.99, Amazon)
Hughes & Hughes Pinot Noir, Tasmania 2018
I’m obsessed with good wine. If I don’t have that in my life, then what’s the point?
Aromatherapy Associates Revive Evening Bath & Shower Oil
When I want to relax, I put this in the bath. (£49, spacenk.com)
My lifestyle tips
- Be courageous not brave. Bravery is physical and risky, but courage is from the heart.
- Strive for excellence, not perfection. The first is a goal and the second is a straitjacket.
- Be kind and give something back to those around you. Aim for legacy rather than status.
- Have life ambition rather than business ambition. We need to have a life.
- Use your instincts. How many times have you made mistakes in your life when you’ve gone against your gut?
My inspiration is model, Linda Rodin. She has a great look and carries it really well.
Mary Portas will be speaking about how to supercharge your career on 10 May at Stella Live at Saatchi Gallery. Tickets cost from £53.75, and new and existing Telegraph subscribers get a free £200 goody bag. Book now at telegraph.co.uk/event/stella-live