Arabella Dymoke is the managing director of the Good Web Guide, an online guide to the best sites on the internet.
After investing in the company as a minority shareholder in 1999, Arabella bought out her partners in 2008. Since then the website has seen huge success with both their coveted guest edits and annual Website of the Year Awards. The latter, in it’s fifth year, which has been supported by celebrity entrepreneurs and tech experts including Sarah Beeny, Jamie Murray-Wells, Julie Meyer, Alison Cork and Kate Russell is now open for entries across categories including retail, travel, business, positive social and environmental impact, health/beauty/fitness and new this year, startups.
With a penchant for cooking and cashmere, we find out what Arabella’s plan B was, the best advice she’s ever been given and how she keeps her life positive.
One word that describes you?
In your own words, what do you do?
I spend an inordinate amount of time surfing the web. Overseeing The GWG entails a number of different jobs from daily admin through to editorial and of course running our Website of the Year Awards. For three months of the year, my life is absorbed by this. This part of the job is fascinating as potentially game-changing new websites come under our radar.
Who is your greatest influence in your career/life?
It’s difficult to pinpoint one person but my family has had a big impact in what I want to achieve in life.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Helping startups get a foothold online and running our Awards. It’s our opportunity to meet all the people we write about.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Everything is a challenge and no two days are the same. Probably fitting everything into a day…
What is your greatest achievement?
Being a mother and running a happy home that’s very often filled with friends and involves cooking for big numbers.
What was your Plan B?
Way back, plan A was to write cookbooks in an already saturated market. And then The Good Web Guide came along. However, I do hope to write when my life is less busy. I have some ideas which are gestating… not food related though.
What is your most prized possession?
A blue and white Cornishware cafetiere, made by TG Green, that are now no longer made.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
When you’ve got something wrong, don’t dwell on it, move on straight away. I still struggle with this but I’m getting better at it.
Please complete the sentence… I could not live without…
Fresh air and daily exercise.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Antoine Carême (1784-1833), the first internationally renowned celebrity chef, whose elaborate style became known as grande cuisine. He wowed royalty and Parisian high society with his incredible concoctions. His food was more about theatre than taste. I first heard about Antoine when I read Ian Kelly’s Cooking for Kings.
Sustainability and consumption are two words you will hardly find in the same sentence – which brands do you think are good quality and are doing their bit for people and the planet?
Neal’s Yard Remedies has always been at the forefront of doing good. I love their ethos as much as I love their products, in particular their almond soap. It’s not expensive but truly luxurious.
Do you support a charity or cause?
What are your positive fashion staples this season?
I’m a sucker for cashmere and it would be unusual to get through a season without buying something. I’ve seen a gorgeous lightweight loose knit jersey in a magazine and now I’m off to see where it comes from.
What is your personal luxury?
Good coffee. My favourite is an Arabic blend with Spices from the Algerian Coffee Store in Soho.
What is your most treasured luxury item?
A pink glass ring from Lalique.
What steps do you take to make your life more positive?
Smiling even when the going is tough, taking exercise, enjoying meals with family and friends. And most importantly enjoying the now.