Sally Phillips on ​Thailand with Renée Zellweger, Leeds Castle, and her life in travel

'My honeymoon was a cliché but it was fantastic'

Renée Zellweger and I got very drunk in Thailand. 

We were there filming Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and headed to a place called The Guitar Bar in Phuket. They were passing around buckets of incredibly strong alcohol, so I remember very little of the evening except that I was sick and lost my flip-flops in the sea. 

I have a deep affection for the Middle East. 

My dad worked for British Airways and was stationed in such places as the UAE and Lebanon while I was growing up. I remember being in Dubai when there wasn't even a crane to be seen, let alone a skyscraper. Living in Beirut was fantastic. We had an apartment overlooking the Corniche and went skiing in the mountains. 

Honeymooning in the Maldives is a cliché but it was fantastic. 

We stayed at the Four Seasons and did everything on offer including deep-sea fishing, which resulted in sushi for lunch. My husband, Andrew, and I also attended lectures on marine conservation and became, for a short time, very concerned about rising sea levels. The hairdresser Nicky Clarke was there at the same time but he didn't offer to plait my hair on the beach.

I angered some Mexican farmers by not buying them a tractor. 

Oxfam approached me to be their “Fairtrade sweetcorn ambassador” so I went to the Yucatán Peninsula. They'd been told I was a big actress from England and asked me to buy them a tractor but I couldn't afford that, which caused a real atmosphere.

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Island escape: Sally honeymooned in the Maldives

Leeds Castle in Kent is special. 

It's the place in the UK that we visit most as a family. I have three sons who all like to dress up as knights, so we go there and stay for a week and enjoy picnics in the grounds. 

I love museums: the stranger, the better. 

One of my absolute favourites is the Norwegian Canning Museum in Stavanger. I went in slightly sniggering but left feeling fascinated. I'm still upset that I went to Reykjavik and missed the Icelandic Phallological Museum.

My husband is allergic to lions, so we've never been on safari. 

We know this because we've been to Longleat Safari Park twice and both times that we entered the lions' enclosure his eyes started watering and he couldn't breathe. I've seen animals in the wild though. I went to Kenya as a child and remember feeding giraffes. Magical. 

I really ought to go to Finland. 

I play the former Finnish prime minister in the American show, Veep, but I've never actually been. I feel I should at least set foot in the country in the name of research. I'm a big fan of Scandinavia. I've only ever been during winter but I still haven't seen the Northern Lights. 

Chile is at the top of my list.

I love epic landscapes, so southern Chile and Patagonia really appeal to me. Andrew has been and his photographs are incredible. My other bucket list trip is travelling by train across Canada. 

Airports are stressful. 

Particularly if you have a child with special needs. My son has Down's syndrome so standing in long queues for passport control with a child who has poor impulse control can be quite tricky. Aside from that, I enjoy travelling, although Andrew and I always get into rows over whether Trunkies are a good or bad thing. 

Cuba was uncomfortable.

I went with Andrew before we got married and he was propositioned by women with perfect bodies every five minutes. I was there looking pale in a swimming costume which, through lack of use, had lost all its elasticity. It was pooled around me like an old ladies' costume. 

Sally Phillips co-wrote Talking To Strangers, a series of comedy monologues for Radio 4, on Thursday at 11pm and at bbc.co.uk/radio

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