My favourite place

Cerys Matthews on climb­ing in the French Alps

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

My pas­sion for rock climb­ing keeps me mov­ing through the Alps, where I love to hol­i­day with my hus­band and two sons. We never go to the same town twice be­cause I al­ways want to dis­cover some­where com­pletely new and try dif­fer­ent foods.

This pho­to­graph was taken this sum­mer near Grenoble in the Au­vergne-rhône-alpes re­gion in France. I took up out­door climb­ing last year. I was turning 50 and wanted to do some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary, so I de­cided to scale Mount Kil­i­man­jaro. I am now ad­dicted. Be­ing alone on the side of a moun­tain gives you time to con­tem­plate. I of­ten sit there and re­flect – some­times about peo­ple who are no longer with us – and it is such an in­tense, high-adren­a­line ex­pe­ri­ence. I al­ways feel so alive.

As a fam­ily we spend so much time sit­ting down in our daily rou­tines, so I am des­per­ate to get the boys, aged nine and 14, out­doors and away from the in­ter­net. We of­ten walk for hours, pick­ing wild berries and tak­ing in the scenery.

I also love to cook, so I tend to look for hol­i­days that cover both. I found this sum­mer’s hol­i­day in the Tele­graph’s Travel sec­tion. It

was a walk­ing and cook­ing hol­i­day, and we did things like visit a farm to see how cheese is made. I have this pact, if I am go­ing to go some­where, I don’t want to eat any­thing I eat at home. I like re­gional, healthy and whole­some foods – such as veg­etable soups, fresh fruits, sal­ads and herbs – and that is what you get in the Alps.

I am at a point in life where I want to be do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to make the most of my body and health. Climb­ing, walk­ing and eat­ing my way through the Alps with my fam­ily of­fers me ex­actly that.

Where the Wild Cooks Go: Recipes, Mu­sic, Poetry, Cock­tails, by Cerys Matthews (Par­tic­u­lar Books, £25), is out now. Join Matthews at one of her cook­ery talks, from 3-26 Septem­ber; visit pen­guin.co.uk to find out more

Above Matthews rock climb­ing near Grenoble this sum­mer. Be­low Per­form­ing on stage in Lon­don

The Grenoble to Bastille ca­ble car; the Ver­cors Mas­sif ris­ing above the city

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