My life in travel: Thomasina Miers
‘Food is the best way to discover a place’
Friday 04 January 2013
Cookery writer and restaurateur Thomasina Miers has curated a new street-food tour of Mexico with Intrepid Travel, which goes on sale from 15 January (intrepidtravel.com/food).
First holiday memory?
The north coast of Cornwall. It was the traditional bucket-and-spade holiday with family and my godparents. I remember chips, lots of dressing up and dancing competitions.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
Wales. My father grew up there, so we used to have holidays along the Pembrokeshire coast. Later on, I also had a boyfriend who lived on Anglesey, so I spent quite a few summers there.
A work trip to Mexico last year. I didn’t want to leave my new baby, so I persuaded my parents to come out and help me babysit. It was the first time they had been, so it was magical. Palenque was incredible. I’d been there 20 years before, but it’s completely changed. They’ve uncovered new pyramids since.
What have you learnt from your travels?
You have to suspend your disbelief when you travel. Things can feel a bit alien at first, but you’ve got to wait for places to unwrap themselves. You can’t expect travel to be instant gratification. It’s a discovery process.
Ideal travelling companion?
Someone who isn’t afraid to wait until we find the best restaurants. Someone who wants to uncover a bit more and scratch the surface. And someone who doesn’t want to chat all the time, but is happy to read books too.
Greatest travel luxury?
An iPad. I normally pack six huge tomes and lug them around, so it’s wonderful not having all that extra baggage.
I’ve just finished Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which I took on a work trip. I didn’t have my daughter with me, so I suddenly had all this time to read, which was such a joy.
Where has seduced you?
Cambodia. I had never been to that part of Asia before, so I found the nature of it and the friendliness of the people quite intoxicating. The temples at Angkor Wat were spectacular too.
Better to travel or arrive?
It’s nice to arrive, find your feet and eat your first bit of street food that encapsulates a country. Food is always the best way to discover a country.
Worst travel experience?
Arriving in Santiago, Chile, when I was 23 to work for an advertising agency. I’d come from the Brazil carnival so I was hungover and broke. I checked into this horrible B&B where the owner started shouting at me because he thought I had drugs on me or something. It was my birthday. I was on my own and I remember feeling very alone.
The Siam in Bangkok. The rooms are enormous, with beautiful beds, amazing high ceilings and incredible artefacts and antiques. It’s a treasure trove, run by some really delightful people.
Best meal abroad?
Street food in Oaxaca. Outside the 20 Novembre market, they make pozolé, a pork stew slowly cooked for hours. You get this wonderful clear broth, which they flavour with oregano, bay leaf and chilli and chunks of corn. You top it off with wafer-thin cabbage, radish and coriander, then squeeze fresh lime juice over it.
Lisbon. I spent two months there learning Portuguese as a student and thought it was the most romantic city I’d ever been to.
I’m planning a trip to Japan this year. I think it’s going to be a real adventure.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Thailand tourism video Love En Route criticised for featuring Instagram stalker
Luggage: The journey from canvas rucksacks to carry-on capsules
Eurostar re-opens between London and Paris after person killed by train in Kent
The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women
The 10 Best hiking boots
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...