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
Voices
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond delivers his speech at the Scottish National Party (SNP) Spring Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland April 12, 2014.
voices
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
weird newsMan live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
Sport
Oliver Giroud kisses the Arsenal badge after giving the Gunners the lead
sportArsenal 3 West Ham 1: Two goals from the German striker and one piece of brilliance from Giroud puts the Gunners back above Everton
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
weird news
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
filmAs 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star James Dean perfected his moody act
News
Obesity surgery in rats has been found to change the way the body processes alcohol
news
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
artThe Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
Life & Style
US Airways has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it responded to customer complaints with a graphic sexual image
techUS Airways takes an interesting approach to customer service
Arts & Entertainment
Philip Arditti as Yossarian and Christopher Price as Milo Minderbinder in Northern Stage's 'Catch-22'
theatre
Arts & Entertainment
The Purple Wedding: Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell tie the knot
TV The second episode of the hit series featured a surprise for viewers
Life & Style
Back to nature: women with body issues have found naked yoga sessions therapeutic
lifeDoing poses in the altogether is already big in the US, and now it’s landed here – in mixed classes
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Corporate Sales Manager, Slough

    £30K- £35K pa + Commision £10K + Car and Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly ...

    Sales Manager, High Wycombe

    £30K- £35K pa + Commision £10K + Car and Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly ...

    Travel Consultant - Aberdeen

    £18000 - £27000 per annum: Flight Centre Limited: Join one of the biggest trav...

    Travel Consultant

    £15000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits & Uncapped Commission: Flight Centre Limi...

    Day In a Page

    Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

    Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

    Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
    The pain of IVF

    The pain of IVF

    As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
    Supersize art

    Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

    The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
    James Dean: Back on the big screen

    James Dean: Back on the big screen

    As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
    Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

    How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

    More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
    10 best activity books for children

    10 best activity books for children

    Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
    Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

    Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

    Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
    Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

    Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

    Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
    Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

    Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

    With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
    Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

    NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

    Politicians urged to find radical solution
    Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

    Ukraine crisis

    How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

    The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

    A history of the First World War in 100 moments
    Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

    New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

    Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
    Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

    Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

    Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?