Miranda Raison: My Life In Travel
Saturday 31 December 2005
First holiday memory?
In Mallorca with my family, watching a donkey pulling an ice-cream cart along the beach. We used to go there every year until I was about six or seven and it became too built up.
Sotogrande, in southern Spain, with my best friend Zoë when we were about 16. My aunt had a flat there and we had a ball sunbathing during the day and dancing at night.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
Aldeburgh in Suffolk. My father lives there and I go every summer. It's slightly twee, but a real fish-and-chips-by-the-sea place. I love it.
What have you learnt from your travels?
I haven't done as much proper travelling as I'd like to have done. However, I know how important the weather is for my mood and spirits. I cherish the sun and the sea. My mum lives near Holkham Bay in Norfolk, and with my dad by the coast in Suffolk I spend quite a bit of time by the sea.
Ideal travelling companion?
My friend Hannah. We recently went to Cyprus together and I realised later that, whereas I got grumpy a few times, she didn't once.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I'm really into beaches but I also enjoy a bit of culture. An ideal holiday would have a nice balance of the two, but I'm definitely not into adrenalin sports, nor would I enjoy spending a month solid on a beach.
Greatest travel luxury?
Plenty of water for plane journeys.
I do read on holiday, but it tends to be very lowbrow. I'm into really camp biographies, and I'm a shameless fan of Jilly Cooper.
Where has seduced you?
My boyfriend recently took me to New York for the first time and I fell totally in love with it. We stayed in the Meatpacking District and I felt that I could happily live there.
Better to travel or arrive?
Definitely arrive. I'm a bad traveller because I suffer from travel sickness.
Worst travel experience?
Being incredibly coach-sick in Cape Town. I was doing a commercial out there and decided to go off exploring on my own for a day. On the way back I felt very sick and the driver wouldn't stop for me. I filled up bags!
After my A-levels, I went with five friends on a Club 18-30 holiday to Crete. We didn't know what to expect, and we found cockroaches in our hotel room, it was revolting. We were all crestfallen on the first day, so we steered clear of the organised events and did our own thing.
I went with an old boyfriend to Paris and we did it on the cheap. He booked us into a pension that had recently flooded. Our room was in the basement, our mattress was soaking wet, and the room was damp and cold. I kept waiting for him to say, "Let's check out and find somewhere else", but he didn't. Sadly, it really put me off Paris.
Most of the nice places I stay in are arranged through my work. I stayed in a lovely waterfront apartment in Cape Town, and a beautiful hotel in Barcelona, but I can't remember the name. The trouble with staying in those places is that I always wish I was there with my boyfriend or a friend. I'm fairly low-maintenance when it comes to hotels, they just need to be clean.
My favourite walk is where my father lives in Suffolk. I do the same walk with my dogs along the river every time I visit, finishing off at the Jolly Sailor pub.
Best meal abroad?
A meal in Venice when I was about 13. I had squid-ink risotto and all the adults kept telling me I wouldn't like it, but I loved it. Unfortunately, I have never come across it again, but I can still remember how it tastes.
First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?
Shower the journey off and then have a nice glass of wine.
I'd love to do a big road-trip across America in a convertible. I wouldn't mind if it took a year.
London. Because I wasn't brought up there, I always thought it was so exciting. I love all the different areas, from Kensington to the East End. However, when you're broke, it's the most miserable city.
Kerala, with my boyfriend, in the New Year.
Miranda Raison stars in Woody Allen's film 'Match Point', released on 6 January
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