My Life In Travel: Dave Berry, TV and radio presenter

'I still don't think there's anywhere like London'

First holiday memory?

Crammed in the back of a Ford Sierra with my little sister and my Nan – who was usually chain smoking – desperately trying to get somewhere like Cornwall. It was made even worse by my dad listening to the cricket. We would do all those things that families do and probably still do. But I don't think any child should be made to go to the "Gnome Village".

Best holiday?

I took my girlfriend Heidi [Range, singer in the Sugababes] to New York, when we'd been together for about a month. It was winter – so the sky was beautifully crisp. We got a room in this amazing hotel called 60 Thompson in SoHo and did what couples in those early stages of dating do.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Edinburgh. I first went there for the MTV Music Awards. The glitterati of the music industry descended and it just lent itself to a wonderful working week away.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Never treat yourself to flying first class. It might seem like a good idea to spoil yourself, but it's a big mistake. Let the lovely stewardess close the curtain, while you sit uncomfortably upright, eating food from a tin-foil container and focus on what's ahead. Don't think about what's going on behind the curtain, because if you find out, you're going to hate yourself every holiday.

Ideal travelling companion?

It can't be Heidi – she brings too much luggage. So it's probably my best friend, Kenny. He travels light and aims straight for the pub as soon as he gets to the airport. It's like its own time zone, where you can drink as much as you like – even at 8am.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Culture vulture. I enjoy reading guide books and taking advice from friends about the best places to visit. Finding out where to have a Cosmopolitan at the perfect time of day when the sun is just setting.

Greatest travel luxury?

The iPad. We went to St Lucia recently and stayed at an incredible hotel called Anse Chastanet. It was completely cut off, so I uploaded books and apps. It was a great way of spending two weeks – looking out over the Pitons, having a drink and reading.

Holiday reading?

At the moment I'm trying to read the classics. So recently I've read George Orwell's 1984, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, Bram Stoker's Dracula and then I polished it off with Keith Richards' autobiography.

Where has seduced you?

India – we stayed at the Leela Kempinski in Goa. It was a wonderful hotel but – without going all "Bono" – it was the people who made the experience for me. Seeing the poverty and how people just crack on.

Better to travel or arrive?

In India, when we arrived, they marked our heads with red dye and put amazing flower garlands around our necks, gave us this gorgeous ice-cold mango lassi, swept our bags away and pointed to the beach.

Worst travel experience?

I had a short-lived modelling career and was doing a job for Burton menswear in Cornwall. We flew down from London during a storm and lightning struck the plane. My normal safety gauge is, if the stewardesses are still handing out peanuts, it's fine. When they start crossing themselves and clutching pictures of their children, you're in trouble.

Worst hotel?

A place in Tenby, Wales that I stayed at while I was working for Nickelodeon. When we first arrived, the receptionist decided to take off his prosthetic leg and put it on the counter in front of us. It went downhill from there. There was a certain camaraderie and fun to be had between the crew at the expense of this really awful hotel. If I'd been on my own, I would have just locked myself in with the cockroaches and rocked myself to sleep.

Best hotel?

Jade Mountain in St Lucia, part of Anse Chastanet. We rolled out of a four-poster bed in the morning, ordered fresh fruit, walked about five foot straight into the huge mosaic pool which took up half the room, swam out to the edge, and looked out to the Pitons. You didn't even have to leave the room.

Favourite walk?

From Tower Bridge down towards where I'm from in south London. I walk a lot; I find it therapeutic. It's the same in any city – as long as you have the business card of your hotel and a bit of money in case you need to get a taxi, my advice is to lose yourself on a walk.

Best meal abroad?

A little place on the beach in Goa. We had a vegetable curry with roti bread on the side, accompanied by a really cold beer. I think it was genuinely the nicest thing I've ever eaten – and it probably cost about 80p.

Dream trip?

Not very imaginative, but I'd love to drive along Route 66. I'm so far removed from being a petrol head, but I would have to do it in the right car: a cherry-red 1962 Ford Mustang convertible.

Favourite city?

I've been fortunate enough to go to some amazing places, but I don't think there's anywhere like London. When it's hot, it's vibrant; when it's cold, I love the river and the places you can duck in out of the rain. I have an amazing view of the city from my house. I will literally stop on the way to the fridge, then come out of this trance and realise I've been stood staring out the window for 15 minutes.

Where next?

Barcelona. I haven't been in a while, but last time I saw a painting there, of a battle scene, with all these horses running through it, which was about 50-foot long. I need to see it again.

Dave Berry hosts the Weekend Show on London's 95.8 Capital FM, Saturdays and Sundays from 8am-noon ( capitalfm.com).

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific