We interviewed the lovely antiques expert Kate Bliss, best known for presenting Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is, and other TV appearances on BBC’s Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and Secret Dealers. Kate lives near the beautiful River Wye in Herefordshire and is married with two children, Lily aged 7 and Benjamin, aged 5. They have three chickens. When Kate isn’t working she loves to spend time outdoors with her family, walking and bike riding. She is also a huge fan of cooking.
You used to help out in your father’s antique saleroom as a child, was it always your ambition to follow in his footsteps?
No, not until later on. I always enjoyed it but thought I might end up at music college or even become a barrister!
You live in the beautiful county of Herefordshire. Where are the best family-friendly places to go and why is it a good place to bring up your children?
It’s certainly healthy – plenty of fresh air and outdoor pursuits. The Marches (Welsh border country) has a number of fantastic castles which my children love – particularly Goodrich. For picnics in the summer, Skenfrith Castle or the Weir Gardens by the River Wye are lovely. But I don’t think you can beat a stomp on the Black Mountains and then tea and slabs of cake in Hay on Wye.
What’s your favourite family recipe?
Either my mum’s steak and kidney pie with suet pastry or bread and butter pudding – both quite filling!
You are a patron of both St Michael’s Hospice and the Little Princess Trust. Tell us a bit about these charities and why they’re important to you?
St. Michaels’s hospice delivers the highest standard of palliative care and is full of wonderful people who promote a ‘five-star hotel’ atmosphere. Everyone is special to their last days. I have had friends and relatives who have died there with dignity.
The Little Princess Trust provides real hair wigs for young people undergoing cancer treatments. It is fantastic to hear how thrilled a little girl is with her ‘new hair’ after undergoing treatments for cancer. To bring a smile is very important.
I really enjoy doing regular charity auctions and raising as much money as possible for great causes. It is amazing how often a bidder will go ‘one more’ when they are gently coaxed!
What are your top tips for anyone buying antique jewellery?
Buy as well as you can afford, but go for quality not quantity. Seek advice when looking at diamonds and gemstones to make sure you are buying the best grade you can. Good original condition usually makes the best investment.
What’s on your to-do list this week?
Well, in between valuation work and filming for BBC 1’s Bargain Hunt, ordering new parts for my 1955 series 1 Landrover, planting spring bulbs in the garden, finding children’s costumes for the school Christmas play…
What would be your ideal night out, without the kids?
Dinner with lots of friends and then dancing to a great band – ideally in the summer, outside! Or, a walk on the coast with supper under the stars on the beach.
What’s in the pipeline for you next?
More television in the new year – antiques programmes and also hopefully something new. I also run a very busy valuation business in Herefordshire.
I would love to exercise more in the coming year (I have been known to run a marathon) – but the next series of Strictly Come Dancing would do!
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
Sudacrem – I still use it on any sore patch for me or the kids!
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
That’s hard! Slightly scatty, warm, (competitive), determined, outdoorsy.