Paloma Faith is a Londoner through and through, finds Holly Rubenstein…
What destination most reminds you of childhood holidays?
Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. I’m very nostalgic about it. I used to go there every summer because my aunt married a man from there. I have friends who I grew up with playing on the beach, and we text each other every year to see who is going.
You’ve spent your career touring the world. Which performance location was the most memorable?
For me, Glasgow audiences are the most memorable. They really know how to have a good time in Scotland, and they give a lot back which is very tangible for me as the performer. I feel very European, and when I’m in Glasgow I feel that I’m in a very European place.
If you had to recommend one destination for someone to visit, which would it be?
Tokyo, Japan. It was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever done. It’s brilliant if you’re a bit of a culture vulture, like me. I like modern culture, and they’re always on the edge of it through their fashion and music – they really invest in subculture.
What is your favourite city?
London – I’m a Londoner through and through. But to visit, it’s Lisbon. The food is incredible, lots of seafood, good wine and they certainly know what to do with cod and potatoes. The fact that you can go to the beach one day and have a full city experience the next – culturally it’s got a lot to offer.
When you need to unwind, where do you escape to?
I have a real fondness for Italy and, in the summer months, it’s my go to. I speak the language, I love the food and I’m never disappointed anywhere (apart from, maybe, Rimini). Florence, Venice, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Sardinia, Puglia – they’re all amazing.
How about the best hotel you’ve stayed in?
The Bowery in New York embodies the spirit of the city. I always meet people in the bar downstairs and have interesting conversations. Plus, it has nice beds and nice sheets, which are the key to everything. The other one is a really cute little hotel called Bourg Tibourg in Paris. There’s no room to swing a cat in the rooms, but I find it evocative and it makes me feel creative. It’s a good writers’ hotel.
Where did you learn something new about yourself?
The destination that was most life-changing was when I spent three weeks travelling in Ghana. It’s a place where poverty and wealth are polarised. I found it both harrowing and optimistic.
Tell us about your hidden gem?
Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. It very much appeals to me and my taste. The longing that I have for old Hollywood in all of its crazy eccentricity is encapsulated in that hotel.
What is your idea of travel hell?
An 18 to 30s holiday to Magaluf. I went on one to Ibiza which was pretty bad. I was about 18, and went to the travel agent with my friends and said I have £150 and I want to go away for a week and be by the sea. We were staying above a 24-hour off-licence in the middle of San Antonio, which is my absolute worst nightmare. Honestly, I’ve never been back since and so many people tell me they love Ibiza because of the posh, yuppie bit, but I still refuse to go.
Where do you always eat well?
If you haven’t eaten a tomato fresh off the plant from Italy then you haven’t lived. You can taste the sun and their soil in everything, and that’s why they have the luxury of not having to overcomplicate their cooking.
Country or town house?
Town house. I was born in London and that’s everything I know. I love everything about it. I like the cultural melting pot. I like contact with human beings and need stimulation all the time – I’m not very good at silence or peace. I like the din and the sirens and the grit.
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