British cookbook author Nigella Lawson grew to 'love solitude' during the pandemic

Nigella Lawson said she has learnt, over the course of the pandemic, to embrace being alone.
Nigella Lawson said she has learnt, over the course of the pandemic, to embrace being alone.PHOTO: WGBH

British cookbook author and television chef Nigella Lawson may be known as a domestic goddess, with her sensual enjoyment of food that makes even boiling pasta look sexy.

However, the 61-year-old said she has learnt, over the course of the pandemic, to embrace being alone.

"I've grown to love solitude, which was just as well since I've been plunged into it," she said in an interview in this week's People magazine.

The British cookbook author, who lives alone, revealed that she now rarely puts on make-up and prefers to wear clothes she referred to as a "baggy black thing".

"I feel that you get to a certain age and your desire for comfort is so much greater than your vanity," said the prolific cookbook writer, whose latest offering, Cook, Eat, Repeat, is out this month.

The pandemic also brought home to her the fragility of life, having experienced personal losses in the past, such as the deaths of her mother, sister and first husband John Diamond, all of cancer.

She said she took the lockdown very seriously: "I'm my children's only parent. I wasn't going to risk anything."

She has two grown children, Cosima, 27, and Bruno, 24, with her first husband and had split from her second husband, businessman Charles Saatchi, in a very public divorce in 2013.

So for the most of last year, she holed up alone at home, writing her book and cooking for one. And in the process, she said she became more comfortable with being herself.

"I don't focus on what people say about me, even when I'm filming. I occasionally think, 'Oh, why didn't I hold my tummy in?' but it doesn't last because I was trying to be something other than I am, which would make me feel even more uncomfortable," she said.

"The shape of your body, that's where the flesh settles, isn't it? You can't do an awful lot about that."