My life in travel: Heston Blumenthal

'New York has some amazing restaurants'

First holiday memory?



Going to Cornwall when I was a kid. We had to get up at about 3am and load into our old estate; I remember the buzz as it got lighter when morning dawned, and straining my neck to get my first glimpse of the sea.



Best holiday?



At the moment it is skiing. I have three teenagers and it's hard to keep them from getting bored, so skiing is a great family holiday because there's so much to do.



Favourite place in the British Isles?



It has got to be Bray, Berkshire. The Fat Duck, The Hinds Head, the experimental kitchen and The Crown – it's where everything is until the 31 January when we expand into London with a new restaurant.



What have you learnt from your travels?



Thanks to my television work, I have been lucky enough to experience foods which I would never have had exposure to otherwise. I've milked a reindeer in Siberia (the milk tasted delicious), harvested Frankincense in the lost city of Ubar in Oman and tasted sea cucumber ovaries and blowfish sperm in Japan.



Ideal travelling companion?



My iPad: diary, entertainment and communication in one.



Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?



I get bored sitting on beaches and I do like to learn about a place, but really I'm an adrenalin junkie. I have just bought some new skis to go even faster. Wait till you read my next interview, it'll probably be about my skiing accident, although maybe I shouldn't joke!



Holiday reading?



The last book I read was fascinating but I can't remember the name of it. It was about the theory of the missing link between man and apes and also to do with energy source and cooking.



Greatest travel luxury?



A long-haul flight – total and utter uninterrupted relaxation. No phones, no emails; it's time to catch-up on reading and to relax.



Where has seduced you?



New York, for its energy. It has an incredible vibe, brilliant people, a unique and charged energy and, of course, an amazing restaurant scene. For a sensory experience the most intoxication I've experienced was in Delhi; the colours and heat and smells were overwhelming. It was strange at first because not all the smells were pleasant, but everything sort of mixed in with spices and flowers – an incredible place.



Better to travel or arrive?



Always to arrive.



Worst travel experience?



I was visiting friends in San Sebastian in Spain with my wife Zanna and the kids. We had a connecting flight in Madrid but when we arrived were told the flight was full. They told us to catch a flight to Bilbao instead. We ran to catch the flight but it was closed – there was no one around and the plane door was closed but the jet bridge hadn't been removed. Zanna knocked on the pilot's window and he opened the door and let us on. It was totally bizarre.



But then our suitcases were lost, never to be found again, and on the drive to San Sebastian from Bilbao one of the kids was ill with motion sickness, which set off one of the other kids; without our suitcases we had no clean clothes.



We were visiting Andoni, the chef of Mugaritz, whose girlfriend's family washed our clothes and took care of us. We actually had a great weekend in the end.



Worst hotel?



Years ago I went to Paris with two work colleagues. Our hotel had the most surreal set-up. They had two separate check-in desks, one for two-star and one for one-star. The lift had a padlock on it and the rooms were disgusting. There was a black line around the bed and I couldn't figure out what it was at first, but then realised that it was where people had stubbed out their cigarettes.



Best hotel?



The Mandarin Oriental New York is an amazing hotel with spectacular views; sitting in the bar overlooking Central Park is incredible.



Favourite walk/swim/drive?



My favourite run is in Mallorca between Deia and Port de Soller, with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other. My favourite swim would be anywhere in crystal-clear water off a boat and my favourite drive is on the coastal road around the Cape in South Africa.



Best meal abroad?



The last one I remember having loved was sucking prawn heads in Spain after lightly grilling them on the barbecue for a few minutes, accompanied with a nice cold glass of sherry.



Dream trip?



It would be like one of those Carlsberg ads: no one at the airport, security people who don't check you but carry your luggage on to the flight, loads of space with a real bed in a different room on the plane and the most amazing food on the flight with a wine cellar... I could go on.



Favourite city?



London – it's home, it's incredible and it's beautiful. I love the multi-cultural energy and the restaurants are the greatest.



Where next?



Courmayeur in the Italian Alps, with the family for Christmas.



Dinner by Heston Blumenthal opens at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London on 31 January (dinnerbyheston.com)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
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

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?