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Mary Berry reveals why she no longer uses her dining room

The 82-year-old opened up about her home life at Cheltenham Literature Festival

Chloe Best

Mary Berry has decided to adopt a less formal approach to family mealtimes since moving home. The former Great British Bake Off judge confessed that she no longer uses her dining room and instead prefers to eat in the kitchen, as she realised it was only used at Christmas.

"Most of us, I think, live in the kitchen," she said during an appearance at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. "I do. The homework of my children was done there, my husband would refit a picture in there, and so it's worth thinking about making it a special room which really works for you."

Mary Berry said she no longer uses her dining room

Mary continued: "We've given up our dining room, finally. I don't think my husband really agrees with me but I said we use it at Christmas time and occasionally for having people round. But it's much easier in the kitchen, isn't it? I'm quite good at dressing the kitchen up so it looks rather special. I turn the dimmer down and light candles, and then my husband turns it up again."

STORY: You can buy Mary Berry's cake in your local supermarket

The 82-year-old has released a new book, called Mary Berry's Household Tips and Tricks, and shared some of the advice she received from her own mother - admitting she doesn't like to rely on supermarket use by dates. "I was brought up in the war and things were quite difficult. The garden was an enormous help then. There were no freezers but those sort of tips I got from my mother about using things up," Mary said. "And also to use my nose. I don't do sell-by dates but I have to confess if there is a pot of cream I just lift the lid and smell it. If it's alright, I have it. You do have to be careful if it is meat and keep within the dates."

Mary recently moved house with her husband Paul Hunnings

Mary also gave an insight into her traditional marriage to husband Paul Hunnings, to whom she has been married for over 50 years. "I have come out today and left him home-made soup and some nice smoked salmon, otherwise he'll say don't go away next time," she said. "When you get married, you imagine you are going to change your man, but I have totally failed. I love him dearly, but he could be doing his own lunch today."

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