My favourite place
Cerys Matthews on climbing in the French Alps
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