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.

Sport
formula oneLive lap-by-lap coverage of championship decider
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
i100
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
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

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Investigo: IT Auditor

    £60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie x 2

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
    Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

    Look what's mushrooming now!

    Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
    Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

    Oeuf quake

    Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin