My Life In Travel: Johnny Vaughan
'I have always been fascinated by Greek history'
Saturday 10 October 2009
First holiday memory?
The Isle of Man – we used to go every summer because my granny lived there and we spent most of our time on the beach. Now I look at my kids on holiday I realise the lure of water starts getting outweighed by the temperature of water as you get older; we used to swim in the Irish Sea quite happily and it was bloody freezing.
I've had a few crackers. My best family holiday was at Labriz, which is the only hotel on Silhouette Island in the Seychelles. There are giant tortoises, the best scuba-diving on earth, the best teppanyaki restaurant I've ever been to and stand-alone restaurants that could out do anything in London, all on this tiny island.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
Fowey in Cornwall. My grandparents had a house there, right on the seafront. We'd be able to jump right off the steps into the sea and swim to a buoy and back. I think the coastline in Cornwall is amazing and dramatic and just the most awesome colour.
What have you learnt from your travels?
Take your kids to a good honeymoon resort or hotel, because it's full of newlyweds eager to prove they'd be great parents by whisking your kids off and playing with them for hours. That just doesn't happen at family resorts because they're full of other people's kids.
Ideal travelling companion?
My mate Giles, who I've known since I was six – we go on breaks and fishing holidays together. He is always staggered at how my plans manage to come together. He's really amusing and interesting but it's just nice to have someone who's louder than me around.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
It depends where I go. I used to just be a beach bum, but I went to Crete last year and really enjoyed the culture. I studied ancient history and have always been fascinated by Greek history in particular.
Greatest travel luxury?
Our Mulberry luggage. I don't know how it lasts but it has. I really like it. I love seeing it come out on the luggage carousel, because I feel like the holiday has really started.
Where has seduced you?
The Maradiva and the west coast of Mauritius. It's got the wow factor – the sea is just the most amazing colour. We'd go off in a little boat in the morning and see amazing fish and dolphins jumping around. It was quite moving and made me a bit teary. I guess it's the mammalian connection.
Better to travel or arrive?
I don't really enjoy travel. Kids and airports are a bad mix. I've just come back from our in-laws' in Corfu and I travelled there and back on my own just with hand luggage, which was fantastic. It beat first-class with the family in terms of ease.
Worst travel experience?
I once sat in a four-row on a red-eye back from the States beside a large Canadian man. He created a phantom friend so he'd get double helpings of food and drink, and he really got away with it. He tried to get me talking about nothing. When I finally got to sleep he woke me up getting food out of the overhead locker and asking the stewardess to heat it up for him.
I wouldn't go back to the Vila Vita in Portugal. The whole place involved long journeys and spending lots of time hanging around in reception and you got the commuter daily grind feeling at the buffet breakfast.
Labriz in the Seychelles. It's an amazing hotel for all-round everything-ness: the food, the beach, the sea, the service, the atmosphere and the rooms.
There's a great walk along the coast on Silhouette Island past French plantation houses, old graveyards, giant tortoises and big fish lurking in the sea, then into the forest. It's mind-blowing.
Best meal abroad?
The buffet at the Hotel Romazzino in Sardinia. You're already fidgeting for food at 11.30am, it is that amazing. The mozzarella and the tomatoes – God!
I'd really love to go to Australia and also Mexico to see whales in Baja California.
Naples – it's so charming and there's so much atmosphere and so little pretence. I once drove there from London and the first thing I saw was a 12-year-old smoking behind the wheel of a truck, going through a red light. My car got stolen almost immediately after I parked it. Saying that, it's a great place to wander at night.
I was thinking about renting a villa somewhere like Mallorca or Ibiza.
Johnny Vaughan presents the Capital Breakfast Show with Lisa Snowdon, weekdays from 6-10am on 95.8 Capital FM.
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