Whether in London or Bali, Tara PalmerTomkinson needs her friends and family
adore long weekends away. I’m 35 and single and won’t get married until I’m sure. I want a lasting marriage like my parents, you see. And I’m having the most wonderful, blessed life just now. I have no one to answer to, so I’m taking full advantage of my freedom while I can. I just jump on a plane and fly off. London traffic is so bad you could be having lunch in New York by the time you get over Chelsea Bridge.
I spent a weekend in Dubai recently and it’s the most weird and wonderful place in the world with its skyscrapers and sand. It’s like being on a film set. Totally surreal. Weekends are very much about who you go with and I have some great friends — really grounded people.
Nothing beats a long weekend break, Thursday to Tuesday, at the Karma Resort in Bali. I go there all the time. Everyone has their own villa — mine is huge — and a swimming pool set in a beautiful walled garden, full of palm trees and flowers. It’s totally private. Sharing a pool with lots of people can be quite difficult for me. There is always someone around ready to snap me with my tummy hanging out. My villa is fully-staffed. I even get my own butler. Honestly, it’s paradise on earth.
Every time I go there they move in a grand piano just for me, usually by the pool. The resort is also a spa, so after a lovely lunch and lots of pina coladas on the beach I can lie flat and have a two-hour massage. There are excursions to the volcanoes and historic sites, but I never budge far. I just like to relax by my pool with my friends, such as Cleo Roccos or Duncan James from the group Blue, who are due to come out soon, and run around barefoot, sometimes without clothes, in that wonderful heat.
No one is allowed to wear a watch. That’s the TPT rule. I hate being limited by time. I’m tempted to improve my rule further and add “no high heels”, but I can’t quite bring myself to.
A weekend skiing with my parents at Klosters is another favourite. I’m building my own chalet right next to theirs at the moment. I’m mad about interior design and have got to the thrilling point of choosing curtains. The entire family go out en masse. There are 44 of us, including loads of cousins my age, so we have a ball. Everyone has their own chalet so the PTs pretty much take over the place. My father even has a bench on a mountain named after him as a mark of respect and my grandfather was killed there in a skiing accident, so the place is very much a part of our history.
I also love London weekends, and having people to stay at my house, and others dropping in. I love barbecues in the summer and staying up till three in the morning talking a load of rubbish. It’s a Zen-like, barefoot and tracksuit kind of house. I have wonderful decking and massive roof terraces looking over the garden and the whole of London. I am a real outdoor girl so I need air, space and plants.
The designer Philip Treacy is one of my best friends and we’ll often take his dogs for a walk in Richmond Park at weekends. And I like going to Claridge’s for lunch. Or to the Kensington restaurant Maggie Jones for a big roast. You always end up chatting to quite cool people. They’re all a bit mad in there, which is why I like it.
Going to my family home in Dummer, Hampshire, is always wonderful. It’s another massive PT clan set up. Various family members have houses on the estate, including, of course, my sister Santa and my brother James. We truly are the merriest of dysfunctional families and have the most fantastic time, with kids and dogs everywhere. There are loads of horses, too. We buy them from the knacker’s yard for the price of their meat and give them a good home in our fields. We like looking after people and animals who have suffered. My family laughs because I’m always bringing home people who are at a loose end. One Easter weekend it was the turn of Martine McCutcheon — who ended up tap-dancing on our dining-room table in a panda suit — and the Rastafarian K-Gee, formerly of the hip-hop group Outlaw Posse. I rang my mother and said: “I’m coming down with a few strays, is that OK?” She was delighted and just got out another leg of lamb. We all had a great time.
That’s what’s so winning about my parents. You’ll have an earl happily “troughing” at one end of the table and a Rastafarian at the other.
But my immediate plans are another weekend in Bali. I’m taking my agent and my PA as a birthday present and will be flying them both out first-class. We’ll swim in the warm sea and drown in lychee martinis. Wonderful.
Outdoor girl: Tara Palmer-Tomkinson