This week we caught up with our fabulous Ambassador Amanda Holden to talk all things holiday. Well, the sun’s shining (for now!), how can you not chat about beach breaks, poolside games and urm… Celebrity Pictionary?!
Read on to find out how our showbiz starlet likes to spend her downtime.
Let’s drive straight in… holiday or staycation?
Well, this is the thing. I live for holidays, mainly because I feel I can relax more when I’m completely away from this country and my home, and my two children and my husband are all in one place with no distractions, nothing.
Having said that, every weekend when we go to our house in the Cotswolds, I hate Sundays with a passion. We were on the M4 on Sunday at half 10 with the children fast asleep in the car because neither of us wanted to leave. So even though that is a home and it’s in the UK, the Cotswolds for me feels like a holiday as well.
Do you prefer a relaxing break or one more action-packed?
No I’m not an action-packed person. When I’m allowed to, I love sitting by a pool and reading. My children are quite active, as is my husband. When we used to go away as a couple, he’d say “Can you come on the lazy river ride? Can you come on the roundabout? Can you come in for a swim?” And I said “Listen, let’s have some children and you can do all that with them, and Mummy can read a book”.
What’s been your most memorable holiday?
We’re very fortunate because we get to travel an awful lot. A huge holiday for us was our honeymoon in Mauritius, 10 years ago now, which we’ll never forget for a lot of reasons.
But last year we had the most incredible summer as a family. I’d been working away a lot and so when that was done, we went everywhere. We went to Croatia, Île de Ré, Puglia, Cornwall… we went everywhere as a family and just constantly seemed to be eating, playing, building sandcastles, and I really appreciated it as I’d hardly been at home before then.
Have you ever had any holiday disasters?
My worst nightmare is the luggage carousel. I’m that person that stands where the mouth is, waiting for my luggage to come out. On one occasion when my husband told me I was neurotic and I shouldn’t be so stressed out, I physically watched someone pick up my suitcase and I ran like James Bond over to her and said “I’m really sorry, I think you’re mistaken… that’s mine!”.
Where’s your favourite place abroad?
Where’s your favourite place in the UK?
I’m going to say Cornwall.
What are the benefits of staying at home instead of going away?
It’s cheaper, you’ve got everything in one place, there’s no packing and unpacking, there’s no thinking “Oh God, I’ve run out of knickers”, no jet lag. Everything’s on hand, your children’s toys are there. There’s a million reasons why it’s great but on the other hand you’re also thinking “I can’t sit in the garden all afternoon because I’ve got four cupboards to tidy out, and I need to re-label school uniform for September and have we bought this, have we done that?”.
Any travel destinations on your bucket list?
Yes! I’m hoping not to die before seeing Japan and Australia, and I’ve always wanted to go to Bali.
Do you prefer mini breaks or longer holidays?
There’s a lot to be said for mini breaks. When I was doing Stepping Out and we had the Sunday and Monday off, my husband and I did a lot of mini breaks. We went to the South of France, I took my daughter to Venice, we went to Disneyland Paris, and actually because you pack so much in to such a short space of time, you feel like you’ve done more… and you only need hand luggage, so there’s no waiting around! Although my new motto for this summer is that we’re only taking hand luggage on all our holidays… I’m rolling up all my clothes to save on space!
How do you keep your children entertained on long flights or car journeys?
We play a lot of car games… the obligatory ‘I spy’ and also ‘how many red cars can you spot’. They often use my tablet so they can watch movies too. We also have lots of playlists and songs on. The Greatest Showman has overtaken Frozen in our house!
Round the pool my little one will have dollies. We also always bring Uno with us and I give them pencils, crayons, pens and actually we all play Pictionary. Chris and I are hopeless at drawing but we play Celebrity Pictionary where you have to guess the famous people… Peppa Pig for the children, Trevor McDonald for Chris and I!
After your immediate family, who’s your favourite person to go on holiday with?
All my girlfriends really, we do a lot of detox holidays together. So I would say Tamzin Outhwaite, Angela Griffin, Nicola Stevenson and Shara Walsh. Every time we’re there we say “This is wrong, we need to go on a holiday where we’ve got a cocktail in our hand and heavily buttered toast”… but it never happens!
Thanks for chatting Amanda… anyone feel like lounging by a pool right now and soaking up some rays?
Don’t forget to explore Amanda’s beautiful range of homeware and jewellery, Bundleberry. It’s where the super stylish go for ultimate inspiration!
If you’re planning on making the most of home this summer, head over to our Staycation feature where you can find a host of fabulous products and a multitude of tips to make this your best summer yet.
Jetting off? We’ve got that sorted too! Our Holiday Shop has every kind of trip away covered, from poolside lounging to city sightseeing.