A member of a literary dynasty, Waugh is the second daughter of the writer and journalist Auberon Waugh, by his marriage in 1961 to the novelist and translator Lady Teresa Onslow, daughter of the 6th Earl of Onslow. Her elder sister is Margaret Sophia Laura (born 1962), while her brothers are Alexander Evelyn Michael (born 1963, a writer on music) and Nathaniel Thomas Biafra (born 1968). They are grandchildren of the author Evelyn Waugh and great-grandchildren of the publisher and literary critic Arthur Waugh, and the four are reported to have remained close.
Waugh grew up from the age of four at Combe Florey House, in Somerset, of which she has written: "It's an impressive-looking place: big and quite grand and pleasingly symmetrical, set at the top of a long, winding drive, with an Elizabethan gatehouse at the bottom and a small lake with a private island halfway up... With forbidden attics and vast cellars chock-a-block with hidden treasures, there was never any need for a nursery... My memories are of a house, underheated (to put it mildly), but always full of noisy cousins and glamorous, clever people, eating well and talking quickly."
At the age of twenty-one she published her first book, What Is the Matter with Mary Jane? (1988). She pursued an ambition to become a Hollywood screenwriter, which turned into a weekly newspaper column from Los Angeles. Other journalism includes working as a restaurant critic and as an agony aunt for The Independent, and travel writing.
A Small Town in Africa (1994), a book about Waugh's experiences while living for six months at Isiolo in the Eastern Province of Kenya, was well received. In 1995, she spent three months travelling in the United States with Samantha Weinberg.
From about 2005 to 2007, Waugh lived in the country and wrote an anonymous column for The Sunday Times called Country/City Mole in Home. This phase came to an end when she gave up the rural idyll and returned to London to write The Desperate Diary of a Country Housewife (2008).
Waugh has now published several novels, as well as works of non-fiction, and continues to write regularly for national newspapers in the UK, including the Daily Telegraph, The Times, and The Sunday Times.
Waugh married Peter de Sales la Terrière in 1995. Their first child, a daughter, was born on 22 September 1997, a son three years later, and a second daughter in 2006. She now lives in London, with her husband and three children.
- What is the Matter with Mary Jane? A Cautionary Tale (London, 1988)
- A Small Town in Africa (London: Heinemann, 1994)
- The New You Survival Kit: An Essential Guide to Etiquette, Rites and Customs among the Modern Elite (London: HarperCollins, 2002)
- Ten Steps to Happiness (In a Safe and Healthy World) (London: HarperCollins, 2003, ISBN 0-00-711905-4)
- Bed of Roses (2005)
- Bordeaux Housewives (London: Harper, 2006)
- The Desperate Diary of a Country Housewife (London: HarperCollins, 2008, ISBN 978-0-00-726523-7)
- Last Dance with Valentino (London: HarperCollins, 2011 ISBN 0-00-727573-0)
- The Kids Will Be Fine: Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Women (Metropolitan, 2014)
- Daisy Louisa Dominica Waugh at geneall.net, accessed 27 May 2010
- Sophie Black, 'A Family Affair: We see the outside world as the enemy' in The Independent dated 25 March 2002
- Margaret Fitzherbert, The man who was Greenmantle: A biography of Aubrey Herbert (London: John Murray, 1983)
- Conqueror 38 at william1.co.uk, accessed 27 May 2010
- Daisy Waugh, The Road to Somerset in The Daily Mail dated 3 May 2005, online at dailymail.co.uk, accessed 26 May 2010
- Daisy Waugh, Waugh home up for sale in The Sunday Times dated 13 April 2008, online
- Daisy Waugh, Cheap property alternatives in Notting Hill, from The Sunday Times dated 11 January 2009 at timesonline.co.uk, accessed 27 May 2010
- Daisy Waugh at fantasticfiction.co.uk, accessed 25 May 2010
- Tom Parkinson, Matt Phillips, Will Gourlay, Kenya (2006), p. 15 online, accessed 26 May 2010
- Daisy Waugh at thebookshow.skyarts.co.uk, accessed 25 May 2010
- Daisy Waugh, She's a Green Party pin-up - nothing less in The Sunday Times dated 28 March 2010, online at times.cluster.newsint.co.uk, accessed 25 May 2010
- Bordeaux-Housewives-by-Daisy-Waugh at lovereading.com, accessed 26 May 2010
- Daisy Waugh, No blood, just icing sugar in their veins in The Sunday Times dated 28 October 2007, at property.timesonline.co.uk, accessed 26 May 2010
- Writers (W) at standpointmag.co.uk, accessed 25 May 2010
- Peter de Sales la Terrière at geneall.net, accessed 25 May 2010
- Daisy Waugh, Fleeced by the au pair in The Daily Telegraph dated 4 Apr 2005, online at telegraph.co.uk, accessed 26 May 2010
- Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage 2008, p. 1094
- Last Dance with Valentino at books.google.co.uk, accessed 26 May 2010