I keep boxes and wrapping material at the hotel to pack guests' buys - mainly Victorian chamber pots, truncheons, stuffed teddies and tigers, Pembroke tables and old Paisley shawls. I've collected old Louis Vuiton pigskin cases which double as end-of-bed chests, so guests always have extra take-home bags available.
I used to take Vuiton trunks on my own travels but worried about damaging them, so now use a black Samsonite with yellow identification markings.
I take at least two days to pack, never in one go. I don't make lists and am quite disorganised - everything just gets thrown in, though if I have to take a suit it gets wrapped in tissue.
I can't travel light. I haven't quite taken the kitchen sink, but I did once take a portable air conditioner to a house we had rented in France.
I usually take casual Chanel or big T-shirts and leggings for boating in France. I only wear black so it is easier to grab the nearest things. Though I bought a 1930's crocodile handbag decorated with silver in South Africa, I don't like handbags and prefer a rucksack.
Trips are mainly with the family to the Cotswolds, France, and Cape Town.
When we go to France, we have two coffin-like "pods" on top of the car crammed with sports gear. I take a miniature stuffed pony for my horse- mad daughter, and in winter, snowboards for my son plus a video camera to record his jumps.
I always pack a feather and down pillow - I can't bear those rubbery hotel pillows - and my own sheets if I think the hotel won't have cotton ones.
An electric blanket and adaptors are invaluable for cold Cape Town nights and in the French alps at Christmas when it was minus 10 and we slept with the windows open. Hotel rooms must smell nice so I take expensive French scented candles and sprays.A waterjet tooth pick goes everywhere plus medical pills - migraine for me, hayfever and travel sickness for the children - vitamins, minerals, oat cakes, herbal teas - spearmint for digestion and Valerian to help sleep - and loads of books.Reuse content