The first holiday I can actually remember as a child was a place in Spain called Moraira, which is a small fishing town on the Costa Blanca. We went back to the same place for a few years in a row and I remember it like it was yesterday. My dad would take us to visit the local fish market really early in the morning, which was actually the first time I saw an octopus – it was huge!
My daughter Billie and I have been everywhere and anywhere. We love travelling around Europe together, especially France and Spain. If I’m working, she will come with me, so there’s been plenty of opportunity for her to travel – I think it’s a really positive thing. I once took her with me to Canada when I was filming there, which she loved. We were in Toronto and I took her to see Niagara Falls and we also swam in the Niagara lakes. A place a little more local that I want to take her is Pembrokeshire. I recently went there for filming and it is the most gorgeous place. The weather we had for the week was perfect – that blue sky but crisp air – and I think Billie would love it so much that it could be on the cards for half term, if the weather holds out *fingers crossed*. We are also desperate to go to Japan together, so that will be our next big trip.
I never travel without Piriton allergy tablets (great for hayfever), insect repellent, eczema cream for my daughter and Earl Grey teabags. I can’t survive without my daily cup of tea! Even if I find myself in a remote area and the chances of there being no hot water are 98% I will still bring the teabags – just in case of the 2%.
My most unusual souvenir is a starfish I have from Mauritius. My boyfriend picked it up on the beach for me. I probably shouldn’t have taken it home but I couldn’t resist.
I love the south of France and Spain. They’re both great places to go with your family – especially Spain, because the Spanish are fantastic with children. My favourite place there is Benahavís, an Andalusian mountain village situated between Marbella, Estepona and Ronda. It has pretty, streets, incredible views and so many good restaurants – I love Spanish food. I also rate Mallorca for the laidback vibe, great beaches and food. I normally go to France for a few weeks over the summer with the family, and we rent a villa in Grasse on the Côte d’Azur. I enjoy getting up early and taking a stroll into the local village – they have a market most mornings and so I go and buy fresh croissants and have them ready for everyone at the villa when they wake up. Billie loves to join me at the markets!
My top tip for a successful family holiday is to understand that it is for everyone and not necessarily just for sunbathing. I am a beach bunny and would be happy to lie by pool all day, but I know Billie has
to get out and do something. We have a rule that each person gets to choose what they want to do for one day and everyone else has to be on board, so there is a real variety. Once you appreciate that holidays are no longer just about lazing by the pool, it becomes much easier.
We would love to disappear somewhere hot and exotic for Christmas, but as a working family I fear that may not happen yet, so I will be embracing the chilly December days here – but we will be taking some well-deserved time off together! I’m a summer person, but I love Christmas.
Tea & Cake With Lisa Faulkner is available in good bookshops and online at Amazon with an RRP of £20, lisafaulkner.co.uk