Elizabeth Hurley's Travelling Life

29 June 2015
Read Time: 3.4 mins

Actress Elizabeth Hurley, 50, who plays Queen Helena in the TV series The Royals, has also worked as an Estee Lauder model for 21 years. She says the inspiration for her beachwear line was a result of “growing up in England, where I was brought up never to leave the house without a cardigan and umbrella. I used to dream of glamorous, sunny places like St Tropez and St Barths.”

She lives in Herefordshire, where she keeps chickens, piglets and alpacas.

How many holidays do you take a year?

Fewer and fewer; last summer I was filming The Royals in London from June to September, so didn’t go anywhere, but I’d been skiing in St Moritz for New Year and grabbed a week in the Maldives at Easter, so didn’t feel too hard done by.

 Elizabeth Hurley used to dream of 'glamorous sunny places'

I’m lucky to have friends with homes in gorgeous places and I love staying with them for a very private getaway.

Is there one place you’d love to go back to?

It’s hard to beat the South of France: the climate, the views and the food are all magical.

Club 55 in St Tropez is my favourite for glamorous lunches and La Petite Maison in Nice is unbeatable for delicious dinners.

I have stayed at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc many times; the service is impeccable and the cocktails in the bar are second to none. I also love browsing the little boutiques in Juan-les-Pins.

Where next?

India, to source for my 2016 beachwear collection; it’s a country that can really fire the imagination as they use colour and embroidery so beautifully. I’d like to return to Fregate Island in the Seychelles one day, too; it’s like paradise.

Do you travel light?

I travel so often that I have packing down to a fine art. I never put anything into my suitcase if it doesn’t go with something else. I lay outfits on my bed and ruthlessly remove the gorgeous but isolated top that would need its own skirt, bag and shoes.

 St Tropez is a firm favourite (image: AP/Fotolia)

I take a hand steamer, as I don’t pack very neatly and everything’s always creased.

Any specific make of luggage?

I have some mouth-wateringly glamorous Louis Vuitton suitcases, but I only use them if I travel by car or on a non-commercial flight, otherwise they get bashed up.

Your favourite city for a weekend away?

J’adore Paris, the most romantic and beautiful city in the world, and full of poignant memories. I prefer to stay in The Ritz (hurry up and reopen, please) and I feel whisked into a world of bliss the minute I step in there.

I always eat huge amounts of food in Paris; my favourite restaurant is L’Ami Louis. I always eat at least once per trip at Brasserie Lipp, as I had my last dinner with my father there, the night before he died.

 J'adore Paris (image:AP/Fotolia)

If you could have supper anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Definitely Ballymaloe in Cork, Ireland: a gorgeous Georgian manor house that serves divine home-cooked food.

The breakfast includes home-made soda bread and jams, the teas have cakes like my grandmother used to make and the dinners are equal to those in the best Parisian restaurants.

What’s your idea of a perfect day on holiday?

Lying in the shade on a sun lounger reading a book and cuddling my son.

The most romantic hotel you’ve ever been?

Le Palais Rhoul, a converted palace just outside Marrakesh. It’s very private and the rooms are sexy. They’re all different: very decadent and luxurious.

I’ve only stayed there alone when shooting and haven’t had a romantic time there, but maybe one day …

Luxurious things you love?

I loathe showers so I really appreciate a glorious bathtub. And good lighting in bathrooms; it’s amazing how often hotels have atrocious bathroom light – obviously designed by men who don’t apply make-up.

Simple things you love when travelling?

Buying local things: honey and lavender in Provence; tunics in India; silver and kilims in Marrakesh, as well as waters and oils made from Atlas roses, and nuts from the market.

The most glamorous room you have ever stayed in?

Without doubt the Maharani Suite in the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. The palace is home to the Maharajah of Jodhpur and is exquisite in every way.

Do you like adventure holidays?

Every filming location is an adventure of sorts, as you set up a mini-home wherever you are, whether that’s a hotel or a rental house. I’ve done it all over the world and love it.

 The Maldives ... a place to revisit (image:AP/Fotolia)

I never backpacked when I was young, as all I wanted to do was work, but I’d encourage my son to do so.

The most remote place you have visited?

While not remote, filming in Grozny, Chechnya, with Gerard Depardieu a few years ago was challenging. The locals were kind but it seemed as if everyone was armed and I felt nervous.

Ever camped?

Never; it sounds monstrous.

Favourite things you have bought abroad?

Half the contents of my house came from my travels. Favourite shops include, in Mumbai, Lucknow Chikan, The Oak Tree and Good Earth; in the US, Saks Fifth Avenue and Intermix; and in France, a street of antique shops in Nice.

Tips for packing for a summer holiday?

For beachwear, accentuate the positive. The colour has to suit you; pink, aqua and white look beautiful under the sun, but too much black can look hot and uncomfortable. I like light fabrics and a sarong or kaftan to cover up.

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This article was written by Interview by Lisa Grainger from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lisa Grainger

Lisa Grainger freelance editor and journalist who is never happier than in a remote wilderness under big skies.