My life in travel: Ashley Jensen

'My worst travel experience? Ending up in a police station in Havana'

Actress Ashley Jensen appears in All Stars, a new dance film which is released on DVD and Blu-ray this Monday

First holiday memory?

Girl Guide camp in Devon. It rained and we were in army tents that had a very specific smell when they got damp. We all wore our little guide uniforms and had duties to perform, like collecting sticks for the fire and stirring baked beans. I loved it.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I've just moved to Bath, because it was one of my favourite places. When my husband and I came back from Los Angeles last summer [Jensen lived in the US while filming the television series, Ugly Betty], we bounced into London for a while, but then decided, because we've got a young boy, that we wanted to move.

We chose Bath because I love the architecture, the sense of history and the fact that it's surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Best holiday?

Before I lived in America, my husband and I did a Californian road trip. We took a month, starting off in LA. I love the landscapes of California: one moment you're in the desert, the next you're up in the Napa Valley, or by the water in Big Bear.

Ideal travelling companion?

Louis Theroux would be fun. I love his audacity. He manages to get away with everything. I admire that bold, bare-faced approach and being able to go into any situation. I think you'd find yourself in interesting places.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Culture vulture. My husband is always telling me: "We're on holiday, we don't need to have an itinerary!" But I always want to see as much as I can. Sometimes, I come back from holiday, needing a holiday.

Greatest travel luxury?

A travel kettle, because I get annoyed at having to pay £4 for a cup of tea or a coffee and a £5 service charge on top. Before you know it, you've paid £10 for a tea bag.

Holiday reading?

Guidebooks and cookery books as well, with recipes of the area I'm in.

Where has seduced you?

Italy. We have a house in Umbria that we bought just before we went to America. That meant we couldn't go there as often as we thought, but now we're back, we're going to start using it more. I love the light, the countryside, the language and the fact that children are accepted everywhere. The Italians get passionate about everything too.

Worst travel experience?

Ending up in a police station in Havana. My boyfriend at the time and I went to what we thought was just a funky nightclub. Actually, it was a brothel. We were having a dance, came back and my bag had gone. We ended up going to the police station in the back of a police car, taken away as though we were criminals.

When we got there, the police were sitting around not really speaking English and drinking rum out of plastic cups. My boyfriend and I just sat there thinking: "We'll laugh about this if we ever get out!"

Favourite drive?

Mulholland Drive at night. If you look over, you see the whole of The Valley and Burbank, which is so flat, with all these twinkling lights. It's reminiscent of so many films you've ever seen. We even used to play the soundtrack to Drive as we went. It takes quite a lot to shut me up, but as soon as we put that music on, I'd be quiet.

Best meal abroad?

We went to a place in Umbria called Castelluccio. It used to have a strong community but now lots of the young people have left. The town is almost deserted, but around that area, black truffles are plentiful. We ate spaghetti al tartufo, which were the best truffles I've ever had.

Favourite city?

London. Having lived away, you see it clearer. There's history, it's exciting and vibrant, and I love the fact that the parks are for the people. You get great swathes of greenery in LA, but it's usually a private golf course for 150 people. London feels very alive to me.

Where next?

Italy with my husband and our son for 10 days. Because we've been several times, I don't feel the need to have my itinerary. I can just loll about, read my cookery books and eat lovely Italian food.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee