My life in travel: Sandie Shaw

'In Rome, we ate fresh figs off the trees. I've never tasted anything like it'

Singer Sandie Shaw releases her new album Long Live Love: The Very Best Of Sandie Shaw on Monday (Salvo Music)

First holiday memory?

Being on the seaside in Whitstable, Kent. We used to go with aunts, uncles, and grandparents and all stay at a holiday camp.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The Isle of Wight. We fly into Bembridge airport on a little plane and ring them before we land. The people at the airport book us a taxi and a restaurant, we have some lobster or crab somewhere, then jump back in the plane and fly home.

Best holiday?

Cuba. I went with two husbands (an ex and a current) and our joint offspring. For some reason, [the actor] Albert Finney was there with his girlfriend, so we were all in this disorganised group tour together. We spent some great times in Havana listening to music and had a big roast on New Year's Day in a little village.

What have you learnt from travel?

French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Japanese. I'm fluent in two of them and the rest I learnt when I was touring. As I got older, I started revisiting places as a traveller rather than as a tourist and got better.

Ideal travelling companion?

My current husband, Tony, because he's really curious and also my daughter, Amy, because she speaks more languages than I do and she's fearless.

Holiday reading?

I've just finished The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman and Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore. I also took three copies of Build It magazine and an issue of Grand Designs on my last trip, because I'm building a house in Grenada.

Where has seduced you?

I'm a promiscuous traveller. Everywhere I go I find a house I want to buy. Tony threatens to blindfold me when I walk through the streets. I like to experience destinations and live there for a little while. I'm not good at being a tourist.

Better to travel or to arrive?

It depends how you're travelling. I had a fantastic holiday once on the old Orient Express train to Istanbul. It was amazing except they would wake you up at two o'clock in the morning to do passport control in your pyjamas.

Worst travel experience?

I love the adventure: it doesn't matter if it's good or bad. When we landed in Grenada once, there was nobody to be found at the place we were staying. I rang around everybody I knew on the island and eventually a naval commander came and picked us up. We stayed with him and got drunk on all the whisky I'd bought at the airport.

Best hotel?

Il Salviatino in Fiesole. I took Tony there for his 60th birthday so they brought out birthday cakes with breakfast. The waiters are all dressed in suits and they have a terrace overlooking Florence. It's great if you're starting a romance.

Best meal abroad?

A place in Italy when I was 17. I never used to go out to dinner when I was younger because we didn't do that in Essex. Then my record company took me out somewhere under the vines in Rome. We ate fresh figs picked off the trees and incredible pasta. I had never tasted anything like it.

Where next?

Israel. Tony has relations there so I thought I would go as part of a family, rather than as a tourist. I want to get a proper feel for it.

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

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Day In a Page

    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
    Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

    They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

    A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
    David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

    Hanging with the Hoff

    Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
    Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

    Hipsters of Arabia

    Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
    The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

    The cult of Roger Federer

    What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
    Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

    Malaysian munchies

    With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
    10 best festival beauty

    Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

    Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

    A Different League

    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

    Steve Bunce on Boxing

    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf