'I enjoy eating at very plain trattorias in Italy. The ingredients are so fresh'

What is your first holiday memory?

What is your first holiday memory?

Going to the Cap d'Antibes with my parents. I grew up in Turin and we always used to go there for our summer holidays. I can still remember the smell of the pine trees - the fragrance still takes me back to my childhood.

Where have you had your best holiday?

My best holidays are those when I'm not working. They would be with my husband and children, either in Italy or the Bahamas.

Where is your favourite place in the British Isles?

My husband has a place between Henley and Oxford, which I love. It has the most beautiful garden and I always feel very relaxed there. It's close enough to London so you can get back easily, but at the same time it's a real country retreat.

What have you learnt from your travels?

To make sure that you're not missing what you have at home. I try to stick to my daily routine, so I usually do a bit of Pilates and read. My suitcase is always very heavy, but it means that I have the things I need with me.

Are you a beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I like to have spiritual calm; I'm definitely not into adrenalin sports. For our honeymoon, we spent two months in India, and 10 days in Bali. In India we soaked up the culture.

What is your greatest travel luxury?

I like to take my cashmere shawl, cashmere leggings and cashmere socks for plane journeys, because I am always cold.

Where has seduced you?

India, in particular Jaipur and Varanasi. Jaipur seduced me with its beauty, colour and sense of fun. Varanasi was quite different. It is the only place that I have been where you can see life and death next to one another in a completely normal way. Life and death exist in very separate places in the West.

Is it better to travel or arrive?

It's definitely better to arrive. I hate to travel alone, especially these days.

Where is the worst hotel you've stayed in?

It's a hotel on Sunset Boulevard, but I can't remember the name. I was 18 or 19 and travelling around California with a friend. It was incredibly dingy and small and we could never find it when we were heading home.

And the best?

The Amangani Aman Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is in an amazing setting with fabulous walks.

Where is your favourite place to walk or swim?

I love walking anywhere, be it in the country, the mountains or on the beach; it just has to be somewhere where there are no people around. I find walking very therapeutic. I love swimming in the Bahamas, and in Giglio in Tuscany, which is part of my childhood.

Where have you had your best meal abroad?

I love eating in very plain trattorias in Italy. The ingredients are incredibly fresh and they still smell of the earth.

What is the first thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

If I am travelling for pleasure I just relax. If I'm in India I'll have an Indian head massage. If I'm on holiday, then I usually go for a swim. I also try to have a massage, which helps with jet lag, especially if I know I have a meeting coming up.

To where would be your dream trip?

I'd really like to spend a year going around the world with my family. It's completely impractical, but it's still a dream of mine.

Where is your favourite city?

I love cities with fantastic architecture like Venice and Paris. Paris is so urban and Venice's history is so extraordinary.

Where are you going next?

To New York for work.

Allegra Hicks is a fashion and interior designer. She has a shop at 28 Cadogan Place, London SW1 (020-7235 8989; www.allegrahicks.com)

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