Always in my house in the South of France, with my family and close friends – nothing compares because it’s the most idyllic setting, with the calmest atmosphere and brilliant views. I try to go there as often as possible between April and September. I love visiting St Tropez – scratch the surface and you’ll see there’s more to it than the opulent glitz and glamour of the wealthy people who frequent it. I love exploring the cobbled streets with the tiny shops and the twice-weekly market. I love people-watching from one of the cafés overlooking the marina. If I want to escape, I visit the nearby village of Ramatuelle, for a fresh-basked brioche and an aperitif, while reading the Tribune.
The best and most exciting city in the world is New York and has everything for the perfect holiday. In the winter it can be bitterly cold but most of the time the sun shines brightly and the skyscraper views are breathtaking. My standard favourites here are of course Bloomingdale’s and Saks, but the new craze is down at Canal Street, where you can find some strikingly good replicas of Prada and Gucci if you look hard enough. Restaurants are plentiful and always good, but my standards are Swifty’s on Lexington, La Goulue on Madison, Cipriani’s on Fifth and, though I sorely miss the extinct Le Cirque, but its successor, Le Cirque 2000 on West 56th Street, keeps the spirit alive. The Ritz in Paris is the epitome of elegance, style and fantastic service – you feel like you’re in another era. In London, the same goes for the Dorchester – I have fond memories of it since I was a young girl. If you’re travelling with young children, make sure they’re amused enough so they don’t bother the other passengers. When mine were young I went to the discount store and bought lots of inexpensive tiny toys, which I wrapped. I then handed one out every hour or so if they were good. I’m sure you can rely also on the modern gizmos available nowadays with video games that will provide hours of uninterrupted, trance-like fun for them. Just make sure to have spare batteries or a charger at hand and headphones, so the bizarre sounds emanating from them don’t disturb your fellow passengers. To see Sol Kerzner’s latest hotel venture – the Atlantis on the Palm in Dubai. I couldn’t make the amazing opening party and I can’t wait to visit, it sounds incredible: I understand they have a room where all the walls are a live aquarium. cream. I’ve always been careful in the sun because I was told when I was 20 that sun on the skin is the most ageing thing you can allow, and that the suntans that you get in your twenties show up as deep wrinkles in your forties and fifties. My first international flight to Dinard in the north of France. I was 14 and it was my school holidays. The plane had to turn back halfway over the Channel due to engine trouble. We lingered in the airport back in London for hours and when we finally arrived it poured with rain the entire time. go by the adage, “Be prepared”, so I will take everything for all kinds of climates, because I’ve been in resorts in the summer when it’s been raining and freezing and in New York in the winter when it’s 75F (24C), so you just never know. We took our grandchild Miel on a whim to a seaside resort we’d never been to. The best hotel we could find ended up being very filthy and even fiveyear-old Miel said, “Phew, what a dump!” when we left. Needless to say we’ve never been back. I’m always very wary about tap water and prefer to order bottled water. I also try and stay away from those dishes that have nuts or nibbles at the cocktail lounge – you never know where previous fingers have been.