Jayne Torvill’s heaven and hell

When I’m filming Dancing On Ice, I stay at The Grove near Watford. It dates
from the 13th century and, apparently, once hosted lavish parties for
royalty.

It’s a beautiful country hotel set in wonderful grounds. All the public areas
are lovely, there’s a great spa and a superb restaurant where the staff
certainly know how to look after you.

What do you need for a perfect holiday?

A lovely climate, good accommodation, decent restaurants and somewhere I can
relax and have my children with me. I enjoy warm, sunny locations,
preferably on the coast.

My husband, Phil, prefers somewhere with history where he can look around at
places of interest rather than sit on a beach. But the perfect holiday is
all about finding the balance between keeping the children busy and spending
time with them, yet also having a little time to myself to read, swim or
walk.

What do you always take with you?

I always travel with my mobile phone and a sun hat, being a lover of sunshine
holidays, and a comfortable pair of shoes must always be in the suitcase.

What’s your best piece of travel advice?

Here’s some advice for when you’re travelling with young children. Phil and I
had to fly to Australia with our son, so we kept an eye on the time and when
it would have been his bedtime back home, we got him in to his PJs. It
settled him down and he slept for at least four hours.

When he woke, he got dressed in his day clothes. We repeated the process later
on in the flight and on the way back and it worked well. We also carried a
few new inexpensive toys and if he got bored, we presented him with one of
them. It kept him occupied for an hour or so.

Where do you want to go next?

After the Dancing On Ice tour finishes, we’re off to Disneyland in Florida,
but I’m hoping to combine it with a break at the beach, perhaps in the
Caribbean. We’ll spend two weeks there and I’m looking forward to it.

…and disasters?

Which was your worst holiday?

It was in the early 1990s. I’d been working in Australia and on the way back
we stopped off in Hawaii. We visited the Main Island and Maui before
travelling to Honolulu on Oahu.

When we arrived at the hotel, which had been recommended, we discovered to our
horror that it was still being renovated. The lobby was boarded up and there
was horrendous noise from eight in the morning. It was disappointing because
Honolulu was our last stop before heading home.

And your worst experience on holiday?

In 2002, I was on a cruise ship giving talks while we sailed around the
Mediterranean. It was rough crossing the Bay of Biscay and I woke up feeling
sick. Just before I was due on stage, I was chatting to a member of the
audience but had to excuse myself and run out of the room pretty quickly. It
was awful but I was soon back in action.

What’s the biggest packing mistake you’ve made?

For the Mediterranean cruise, I forgot my mobile phone, which goes everywhere
with me. I was travelling with a friend and, luckily, she had hers so I used
that during the trip. I clocked up quite a bill but we kept tabs on what I
was spending.

Which is the worst hotel you’ve stayed in?

When Chris (Dean) and I visited Auckland, the driver who picked us up from the
airport was surprised at where we were staying. His comments worried us, so
when we arrived at the hotel we could see immediately it wasn’t as nice as
it should have been: it could have been cleaner and the rooms were small. In
the end, we moved to a better hotel.

What do you avoid on holiday?

I’m careful about what I eat and drink and avoid ice cubes and local produce.

What do you hate about holidays?

Packing to go home from a holiday is fine because you just cram everything
back in the suitcase. But I don’t enjoy packing to go away because not only
have you got to remember everything but need to be economical with space. I
pack too much and carry more clothes than I need. Years ago, I always had a
packing list but don’t tend to bother now.