Lauren Laverne: My life in travel

'The Lake District is like an amazing theme park'

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The Independent Travel

I came home a different person from my first trip to the US.

It was my first plane journey anywhere, when I was 18. Our band [Kenickie] flew to the States to tour. We played the Troubadour in LA, bought wigs in three colours and went out dancing with Courtney Love. Then we flew to San Francisco where we stayed at the legendary Phoenix hotel.

We ended up in New York where I saw Quentin Crisp silhouetted against the subway steam, was danced through the kitchen of a restaurant in Little Italy by a waiter with a rose between his teeth and ended up at Lucky Cheng's, where a drag queen called Anita Cocktail taught me to twirl. We got back to the hotel at dawn. I was in possession of the first bagel I would ever eat and wearing a foam Statue of Liberty hat. I haven't been back for so long, but New York is still my favourite city.

My first holiday memory is staying in my Auntie Jean's caravan in Alnwick.

There was quicksand beneath the dunes and we were told not to stand on it in case we got sucked down. I remember the castle at night (it looked like broken teeth), fireworks, an old lady with a gold tooth winking at me, and learning to ride a bike. It was wonderful.

My last holiday was not a success.

I just came back from Spain where I spent five days in bed with the flu, hallucinating. When I got up the hailstones started.

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Water colour: Laverne visited the Lakes as a child (Ben Barden)

British beaches are the best.

I'm from a seaside town, so I love all that old Victorian architecture and old-school seaside culture. We had a great holiday on The Isle of Wight a while back; I love the way the Victorian seaside infrastructure has been updated there. One of the chefs from The Savoy was there doing a pop-up fish and chip shop.

If you're in Sunderland, visit Minchella's at Seaburn.

It's the best fish and chips in the country. You can sit and eat them on the beach which inspired Lewis Carroll to write 'The Walrus and the Carpenter'.

I remember the first time I ate plantain.

It was years ago at an amazing restaurant on the water in Miami, where I was at the Winter Music Conference. Apparently it was Gloria Estefan's favourite place to eat, so you knew it was good. The strangest thing I've ever eaten when travelling is something that was cooked on the lava from a volcano.

I thought I'd hate Fuerteventura, but it was brilliant.

It was a holiday with the family. My dad was ill at home so we were all miserable and it was a bit of a package deal, winter sun, not very me. I thought it would be a bit depressing but it turned out to be excellent, uncomplicated and very mellow. It was a chance to watch the kids playing on the beach in not-too-hot sunshine, which was precisely what I needed.

The Lake District is like an amazing theme park of incredible scenery and nature.

I love it. We spent holidays there when I was a kid, so I know it really well. It's one of those places that surprises you by being even more gorgeous than all of the wonderful art it has inspired.

My husband is my favourite person to travel with.

We always joke that one of the great strengths of our relationship is that we like travelling together, but I think it really is. If you can enjoy the journey you're already winning, right?

Writer and broadcaster Lauren Laverne is co-founder of The Pool, a new multimedia platform for women (the-pool.com)

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