My life in travel: Zandra Rhodes
'My ideal travel companion? Someone who never wants to sit down'
Saturday 04 November 2006
First holiday memory?
Being in Paris with my mother, who was a garment fitter. We'd stay with a woman we called Auntie outside the city. I remember being there at Easter, and it was wonderful. It was the Fifties and we wore bright printed-seersucker skirts, and my mother wore a little hat.
The best holidays are the most inspirational, such as the time I went to the Atlas Mountains, off-season, with the artist Andrew Logan. It was freezing, and there was even dew on the desert in the mornings. We drew a lot, and I recall the villagers singing as they shook olive tree branches to get the olives to fall.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
I like walking in London, particularly from the Fashion and Textile Museum, along the South Bank, to the birch trees beside Tate Modern. I also love hidden-away places such as Dennis Severs' house at 18 Folgate Street, in Spitalfields. There's no electricity and it's heated by coal fires. Each room represents a different period of its history.
What have you learnt from your travels?
Take everything as it comes. You can't hurry people and expect things to be done how they're done at home, because that's not why you travel. And the worse the experience, the better the stories!
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I spend half my time on the beach in Del Mar, California, as that's where my house is. I'm inspired by places where I see and experience things, where things are more of an effort.
Greatest travel luxury?
If I'm in India, say, there's bound to be some waiting around, so I tend to read then, usually books about where I am - by William Dalrymple, for example.
Ideal travelling companion?
Someone who wants to keep going and never wants to sit down.
Where has seduced you?
I haven't spent enough time in Egypt, particularly as my partner comes from there. The whole idea of burying all those treasures is so off-the-wall.
Better to travel or arrive?
The whole excitement, from checking in and going through security, to getting on your way, is all part of the adventure. If I'm with Andrew Logan, we always find something funny about where we are.
Worst travel experience?
Arriving somewhere when you've got nowhere to stay heightens the experience. The main thing is not being alone.
I'd never go back to Lanai in Hawaii. My boyfriend took his entire family. Expensive hotels are only enjoyable if there are just two of you, and it's somewhere romantic.
I was put up in a run-of-the-mill chain hotel when my flight was cancelled at Palm Beach. That was fairly crappy.
The Splendido, in Portofino, is fabulous and romantic. The Beverly Hills Hotel is pretty if you're in one of the bungalows.
Best meal abroad?
There's a restaurant in Ahmedabad where you sit on the ground and eat food served on stitched leaves.
Favourite walk/swim/ ride/drive?
I had a great holiday at Rancho La Puerta, in Tecate, Mexico. The walks into the mountains are unbeatable.
First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?
Check the place out and, if I know people there, call them. If not, I look at a Lonely Planet guide and a historical guide.
I'd love to go to Tibet and Cambodia with Andrew Logan to sketch. It would be a dream trip because it would be as far away from everyday life as possible.
Possibly Egypt, as my partner has been invited to visit Alexandria's new library. Then I'm doing a trip to Pakistan with the High Commissioner, which should be amazing.
This week, Zandra Rhodes was presented with the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, at the Fashion and Textiles Museum that she founded ( www.montblanc.com)
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...
25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...