Sunday with Gok Wan: ‘Covent Garden for coffee and a croissant’

The TV presenter on dog-walking with Dolly, making the most of social media and missing his friends in lockdown

What time are you up? Between 6 and 7am every day. I’m late to bed, too – I don’t sleep well. I have a Teasmade in my bedroom, because I’m 104, and my kitchen is four floors down, but Sunday is the only day I don’t set it. I manually switch it on and make a cup of tea, then wake up Dolly, my dog, then go through social media for 20 minutes. I have a close group of about 70 friends on a group text, and I send a funny message to them every morning.

What’s for breakfast? I normally go out for brunch with friends. I like to do my 10,000 steps, so I’ll do half my dog walk on my own, then meet Dolly’s best friend, Jasper, in the WatchHouse in Covent Garden for coffee and a croissant. We usually walk down to the South Bank, past Tate Modern, over the bridge to St Paul’s and back to Soho, so we work up an appetite.

Sundays growing up? It’s my favourite day of the week because I come from the world of catering, and Sundays were when Mum and Dad closed the restaurant. Sundays always felt special – me, my brother and sister running around the house, all excited because we had a day with Mum and Dad. They’d be exhausted after six days in the restaurant. Dad would sit in his armchair and use sign language to tell us what we were going to do that day, which might be swimming. We’d get all our stuff, then find him fast asleep. But it was a day that always involved food, like dim sum in one of my uncle or auntie’s restaurants.

Most memorable Sunday? I have so many. I have a Sunday party once a month where people bring a dish and the music goes on. After the last one, I had to get the kitchen floor repainted. Sally Lindsay was doing the splits and Brian Conley was singing 50s love tunes.

Last thing you do before bed? I’ll send a message out to my group to say good night so I’ve bookended my day. It’s more communication. Lockdown was tough for me. I have a magnificent group of friends and to not be with them for two years was hell, so it’s glorious being able to see them again.

Gok has partnered with Onken Yogurt to launch its new Onken Natural Set Supper Clubs (

Rachel Corcoran

The GuardianTramp

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