Sophie Dahl (née Holloway, born 15 September 1977) is an English author and former fashion model. Her first novel was published in 2003, The Man with the Dancing Eyes, and followed by Playing With the Grown-ups in 2007. In 2009, she wrote Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights, a cookery book with recipes that were recreated for a six-part BBC 2 series, The Delicious Miss Dahl. In 2011 her cookery book, from Season to Season was published, and her first children's book, Madame Badobedah, was published in October 2019.
Dahl was born in London to the actor Julian Holloway and the writer Tessa Dahl. As a child, Sophie frequently spent time at both her maternal and paternal grandparents' houses in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire and East Preston, West Sussex, respectively. Dahl has noted that her childhood was "an odd one, but with such magic". Writing in The Guardian in 2013, the journalist Kira Cochrane notes that during her childhood, Sophie attended 10 schools and lived in 17 homes in various locations including London, New York, and India.
Dahl started modelling at the age of 18 after a meeting with the Vogue stylist Isabella Blow, who was then an or at British Vogue. The following year, Dahl made her debut on the catwalk at Lainey Keogh's London fashion week show, modelling Autumn/Winter knitwear. She then went on to appear in advertising campaigns for Versace, Alexander McQueen, Boucheron, Pringle, Godiva, Banana Republic, Gap and Boodles amongst others. She appeared on the covers of both British and Italian Vogue, along with the covers of Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Red, Numero, Arena and Tatler.
During her career as a model, Dahl worked with photographers including Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Tim Walker, Steven Klein and Steven Meisel. In 2000, Dahl became the face of Yves Saint-Laurent's Opium. The ad campaign was art-directed by Tom Ford and shot by Steven Meisel. Dahl's nude images in British advertisements caused a near-record number of complaints to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority.
In 2003, Dahl published her first book, an illustrated novella and Times bestseller, The Man with the Dancing Eyes (Bloomsbury Publishing). From 2005 Dahl was a contributing or and regular columnist at Men's Vogue, prior to its closure in 2008. Dahl is the author of four other books: Playing with the Grown-Ups (2007) and two cook books, Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights (2009)and From Season To Season (2011) as well as a children’s book, Madame Badobedah, published by Walker Books in October 2019. She was a contributor to an anthology, Truth or Dare ed by Justine Picardie, which included works by Zoë Heller and William Fiennes. She also provided introductions to the Puffin Classic new ion of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and the Virago Press re-issue of Stella Gibbons' 1938 novel Nightingale Wood – both released in April 2009, and Nancy Mitford's Don't Tell Alfred, reissued by Penguin in March 2010.
In March and April 2010 a six-part cookery series, "The Delicious Miss Dahl", which Dahl wrote and presented, was broadcast on BBC 2. She wrote and presented a social history documentary about the Victorian cook, Isabella Beeton, which was transmitted on BBC 2 on 29 September 2011.
Dahl was a contributing or at British magazine Vogue for a decade, writing about subjects from cultural identity and the journey of refugees to Brexit Britain to the Proustian response to scent, winning a Jasmine Award for her column. Dahl is a contributing or at Conde Nast Traveller, and has written essays for amongst others, The Guardian, the American ion of Vogue, The Observer. and The New York Times Magazine.
It was announced in the Bookseller in 2019 that she had been signed to a four-book deal with Walker Books. The first of these books, a picture book called Madame Badoebdah, illustrated by Lauren O'Hara was published in October 2019.
Dahl is the daughter of the English actor Julian Holloway and the writer Tessa Dahl. Her paternal grandparents were the actor Stanley Holloway and Violet née Lane, a former chorus dancer. Dahl's paternal lineage has been associated with the stage since at least 1850; Charles Bernard (1830–1894), a great-uncle to Stanley Holloway, was a successful Shakespearean actor and theatre manager in London and the English provinces. Bernard's son, Oliver Percy Bernard OBE MC (1881–1939), was an English architect and scenic designer, responsible for the sets for Sir Thomas Beecham's Ring Cycle at Covent Garden. Through Bernard, Dahl is related to his sons, the poet and translator Oliver Bernard, the photographer Bruce Bernard, and the writer Jeffrey Bernard. Dahl's maternal grandparents were the author Roald Dahl and the American actress Patricia Neal.
On 9 January 2010, Dahl married the singer Jamie Cullum. They had their first child, a daughter named Lyra, on 2 March 2011. The couple had a second daughter, Margot, on 4 March 2013. The family live in Buckinghamshire.