My Life In Travel: Lisa Butcher

'I love the food in Thailand and always come back from there quite plump'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

I grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia, so our holidays were spent on Bali, in the days before it was spoilt. I went with my mum and brothers and we used to stay in losmens, which are basic village huts. We used to give offerings to the locals; it's a very spiritual place. I also remember watching the smoke coming out of Krakatoa.

Best holiday?

I lived in Mauritius for two years from when I was about 10 and have fond memories of the place, so I took my children to stay at Le Saint Géran Hotel a couple of years ago. It was very plush and we had a great time.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I really love Whatley Manor, which is a restored manor house in the Cotswolds, near Bath. I had to go there to do a shoot once and I was blown away by how beautiful the hotel and setting was. It has such a lovely, serene atmosphere.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I grew up in the Far East, surrounded by lots of different religions, so from that I've learnt that everyone is the same all over the world and that we all want the same things in life. Just because someone is a different colour, it doesn't mean they are any different to you.

Ideal travelling companions?

My children – we come as a package.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I've just finished filming and I'm dead on my feet, so I'll be going to Greece for a beach holiday.

Greatest travel luxury?

Some Melatonin (for jet lag), a high-factor suncream and sunglasses.

Holiday reading?

I like autobiographies; I recently read Rupert Everett's book, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, which was hilarious. My first crush was on him when I was at school; at the time, I didn't realise he was gay.

Where has seduced you?

Mauritius: whenever I want to think peaceful thoughts, I think of it. My favourite thing is sitting on the beach overlooking a temple by the Saint Géran, which just has a sense of awe about it. I'd really like to go back and visit it again.

Better to travel or arrive?

It depends whether I'm flying business class. If I'm sitting at the back near the loos, then it's definitely better to arrive, but if I'm travelling in style then I love it.

Worst travel experience?

I had to go to the Bahamas for a shoot. The flight was cancelled so I sat at Gatwick airport for 10 hours, waiting for the next one, and by the time I got to Miami there were no connections to the Bahamas. The hotel we were put up in was filthy and by the time I got to theBahamas I had to come backagain. As it happened, Ididn’t get paid, either.

Worst holiday?

Ibiza. We arrived there and all the hotels were booked up. We had nowhere to stay and it was a complete disaster. It's not my scene, really – I'm more of a chilled-out person than a clubbing one.

Worst hotel?

A really grim one in Miami. A friend booked me a room there and after I walked in to the room, I walked straight out again. The sheets were filthy and nothing had been cleaned.

Best hotel?

Any of the Amanresorts. I've been to a couple – in Bali and Morocco – and they're to die for. My dream hotel is the Amanresort in Bora Bora, French Polynesia, where the rooms are perched over the sea. I'd love to go there on a romantic trip. I also love taking my kids to the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales, because it has a great golf course.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

When I first moved to London at the age of 16, my favourite escape was getting on my Arab horse and galloping around Richmond Park.

Best meal abroad?

Every meal I have eaten in Thailand. Growing up in the Far East, I've developed a love for that kind of food. I always come back looking quite plump, because all I want to do when I'm there is eat.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Sleep. I suffer from jet lag quite badly.

Dream trip?

I'd love to go on a spiritual trip to Mexico to see the Mayan ruins and the ancient villages. Hopefully, in October I'm going to be walking on the Great Wall of China for the charity Scope. I'm not much of a backpacker, so I'm going to have to grin and bear it.

Favourite city?

I'm not really a city person. London is OK when the weather's good.

Where next?

I'm going on holiday to Greece and then to Thailand to the new One&Only Resort. I've been working my backside off lately and haven't been away for ages, so I can't wait.

Lisa Butcher co-presents 'What Not to Wear', Thursdays at 8pm on BBC1

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