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News & Advice

My Life In Travel: Sean Pertwee

First holiday memory?

With my father [Jon Pertwee] in Ibiza, 1968; he had a house there. I remember Elmyr de Hory – an art forger who also had a house there – calling me darling. I even went to the hippie school – I could tell you a lot about trees but not much about maths.

Best holiday?

Vietnam; I went about six years ago with my wife Jacqui just after we got married. It blew me away – the people were extraordinary and I loved the food and culture.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Cornwall. St Agnes is my favourite place. I spent a lot of time there when filming Blue Juice, which was about surfers. The walk along the top of the cliffs is beautiful.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Mortality. I didn't do very well when I was at school, so my dad gave me the opportunity to travel in Africa. I drove from London to Nairobi. It was incredible. There was an acceptance of what life deals you there. I came back a very different person.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife and my son, Fred. Now Fred is getting bigger we can be more adventurous.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

A bit of all three.

Greatest travel luxury?

My iPod.

Holiday reading?

You Can't Win by Jack Black. It's a moral autobiography about a hobo at the turn of the last century. I don't want to finish it.

Where has seduced you?

The island of Lamu, off Kenya. At the end of my trip across Africa, I met a white hunter in Nairobi called Dave Allen who got me a job at a bar called The Ponies. I used to sleep on the roof. Lamu's one of the oldest Arabic ports and Swahili settlements and some of the guys used to have kohl under their eyes. I loved the beauty of the place.

Worst travel experience?

Getting amoebic dysentery in the Sahara when I was a thousand miles from anywhere. I was stuck there and I collapsed with dehydration. It wasn't pleasant.

Worst holiday?

Going to Andorra on a coach for a skiing trip. I had to sit for hours with my knees around my ears.

Worst hotel?

I was on tour with the RSC and we stayed at a hotel in the Pigalle in Paris. It was literally a knocking shop – I'll leave the rest to your imagination. It wasn't even funny!

Best hotel?

The Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand, takes a lot of beating. It's in a beautiful setting and the food is gorgeous.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

When I drop my son off at school I love walking around the outskirts of Hampstead Heath. In Cape Town, there's a drive from Cape Point to Camps Bay where the road is hewn out of the cliffs. It's just stunning, particularly if you do it as the sun is going down.

Best meal abroad?

Cal Pep in Barcelona. You ask what they think you should have and they'll just cook something for you. The clams with sherry and Serrano ham are fantastic.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Trousers off and shorts on. Then a very long drink.

Dream trip?

I'd really like to go down the Amazon in some capacity. I've spent time in the Congo so I love the jungle.

Favourite city?

London. It drives me absolutely insane and I complain about it, but I love it.

Where next?

I'm going to the south of France with my wife and son for a party at our friend's house.

Sean Pertwee stars in 'Honest', Wednesdays at 9pm on ITV1