International fashion model, author, contributing editor to Harper’s Bazaar and television presenter, there isn’t much Sophie Dahl hasn’t done. (She recently designed a capsule collection for beloved British label Brora to top all that off). Mother of two daughters, she is married to the delightful Jamie Cullum.
Q: What is your first childhood memory of travel?
I have two. I used to visit both grandmothers during the holidays. My paternal grandmother lived by the sea in Sussex, so I used to have bucket and spade holidays with her, 99 Flakes and swimming in the freezing sea. My maternal grandmother, who was American, lived in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, so at her house it was all about peanut butter and jelly and going crabbing.
Q: Where have you had your best holiday to date?
In England, The Hotel Tresanton in Cornwall, off-season. It’s bliss, delicious food, and has wonderful places to walk. Pre-babies, we had some pretty amazing holidays in Mexico at Alix Goldsmith’s hotel, Hacienda De San Antonio.
Q: Where was the first place you went with a little one in tow? How did it go?
We went to Italy, to a friend’s house for a week. It was easier than I anticipated, but the heat was difficult to contend with, and I would never travel with my kids again in the height of summer in that level of heat.
Q: How do you find the experience of travelling with children generally?
I think it’s something you just have to get on with and do. And if it’s horrific, it doesn’t last forever, and you laugh about it afterwards, when you’re home in your own bed.
Q. How does food factor into your vacation choices? What have been your experiences of feeding a baby or toddler abroad?
Italy was fantastic. The Italians were so happy to make purees and make life easy.
Q: Where was your best holiday with your child?
We had a really sweet trip to Paris when I was pregnant with my second. My oldest loved it and ate everything in sight.
Q: And your worst?
A thirteen-hour flight, just me and my daughter, aged nearly two. She wouldn’t sleep until the last hour, just as they were preparing to land. The other passengers went from finding us quite sweet to looking like they wanted to commit GBH.
Q: What is your must-have travel accessory when away with children?
An iPad with an epic amount of Peppa Pig on it.
Q: And top tips for travel with kids?
Bring tons of nappies on flights, teething granules, Calpol, something to suck on for the air pressure, and always bring a spare change of clothes for you – I always have spare clothes for them, but historically none for myself – inevitably you end up covered in effluvia, and after twelve hours, they are immaculate and you’re pretty fetid.