Ready to go – with itin­er­ary

Scot­tish ac­tress Ash­ley Jensen has starred in TV hits such as travel2013 and and was in the re­cent Bri­tish com­edy

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL 2013 - LAURA HOLT

First hol­i­day mem­ory?

Girl Guide camp in Devon. It rained and we were in army tents that had a very spe­cific smell when they got damp. We all wore our uni­forms and had du­ties to per­form, like col­lect­ing sticks for the fire and stir­ring baked beans. I loved it. Best hol­i­day? Be­fore I lived in Amer­ica, my hus­band and I did a Cal­i­for­nia road trip. We took a month, start­ing off in Los An­ge­les. I love the land­scapes of Cal­i­for­nia: one mo­ment you’re in the desert, the next you’re up in the Napa Val­ley, or by the wa­ter in Big Bear. Ideal trav­el­ling com­pan­ion? Louis Th­er­oux would be fun. I love his au­dac­ity. He man­ages to get away with ev­ery­thing. I ad­mire that bold, bare- faced ap­proach and be­ing able to go into any sit­u­a­tion.

Beach bum, cul­ture vul­ture or adrenalin junkie?

Cul­ture vul­ture. My hus­band is al­ways telling me: “We’re on hol­i­day, we don’t need to have an itin­er­ary!” But I al­ways want to see as much as I can. Some­times, I come back from hol­i­day need­ing a hol­i­day. Great­est travel lux­ury? A travel ket­tle, be­cause I get an­noyed at hav­ing to pay £4 (about R60) for a cup of tea or cof­fee and a £5 ser­vice charge on top. Be­fore you know it, you’ve paid £10 for a tea bag. Hol­i­day read­ing? Guide­books and cook­ery books as well, with recipes of the area I’m in. Where has se­duced you? Italy. We have a house in Um­bria that we bought just be­fore we went to Amer­ica. That meant we couldn’t go there as of­ten as we thought, but now we’re back, we’re go­ing to start us­ing it more. I love the light, the coun­try­side, the lan­guage and the fact that chil­dren are ac­cepted ev­ery­where. The Ital­ians get pas­sion­ate about ev­ery­thing too. Worst travel ex­pe­ri­ence? End­ing up in a po­lice sta­tion in Ha­vana. My boyfriend at the time and I went to what we thought was just a funky night­club. Ac­tu­ally, it was a brothel. We were hav­ing a dance, came back and my bag had gone. We ended up go­ing to the po­lice sta­tion in the back of a po­lice car, taken away as though we were crim­i­nals.

When we got there, the po­lice were sit­ting around not re­ally speak­ing English and drink­ing rum out of plas­tic cups. My boyfriend and I just sat there think­ing: “We’ll laugh about this if we ever get out!” Favourite drive? Mul­hol­land Drive at night. If you look over, you see the whole of The Val­ley and Bur­bank, which is so flat, with all th­ese lights. It’s rem­i­nis­cent of so many films. We even used to play the sound­track to Drive as we went. It takes quite a lot to shut me up, but as soon as we put that mu­sic on, I’d be quiet. Best meal abroad? We went to a place in Um­bria called Castel­luc­cio. It used to have a strong com­mu­nity but now lots of the young peo­ple have left. The town is al­most de­serted, but around that area, black truf­fles are plen­ti­ful. We ate spaghetti al tartufo, which was made with the best truf­fles I’ve ever had. Favourite city? Lon­don. Hav­ing lived away, you see it clearer. There’s his­tory, it’s ex­cit­ing and vi­brant, and I love the fact that the parks are for the peo­ple. You get great swathes of green­ery in LA, but it’s usu­ally a pri­vate golf course for 150 peo­ple. Lon­don feels very alive to me. Where next? Italy with my hus­band and our son for 10 days. Be­cause we’ve been sev­eral times, I don’t feel the need to have my itin­er­ary. I can just loll about, read my cook­ery books and eat lovely Ital­ian food.

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