My holidays: Wallace Chapman

Wallace Chapman regrets driving into Marseilles after dark.
Wallace Chapman regrets driving into Marseilles after dark.

What was your greatest holiday?

Ten floors up on a Christmas Day in Ginza Tokyo. My wife Tabitha and I are at Beige, the gorgeous Chanel restaurant by Alain Ducasse. In between appetiser and main, I propose to her.

And the worst?

Marseilles. It's 8pm and we are lost in a maze of cobbled streets made for donkeys, and we have a screaming match. Settled soon after, thank God.

If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?

Looking. Just lots of looking. And cycling. The best way to see a city is to hire a cycle and spend the day on it.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be?

Dunedin. I just love the place. I took Tabitha there for her first time four years back and she wanted to stay. Great coffee, good fashion, a couple of top-notch bars, good art, and beautiful country. Oh, and friendly.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

St Tropez - again. I went there on honeymoon in November and fell in love with this historic portside town. And Chicago. Hopefully one day.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?

Driving into an unfamiliar city after dark. We assumed Marseilles would be a medium-sized town, but it's more the size of Auckland.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without ...

Floss. It is absolutely essential that I have floss.

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?

Be a local. No moneybelts, no touristy gear. Take the clothes you'd wear at home. Become a local.

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling?

A soba noodle bar in Meguro-Ku, a simple pasta in St Tropez, and everything at Beige.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?

A gold Christian Lacroix notebook. I asked the shop owner if I could order another one from New Zealand, when this one is finished. He said no. You come to Paris. The arrogance - I love it!

Favourite airport to land at?

The landing strip on Ovalau island, Fiji. You fly toward the mist, the mountains and a grass field. Magical.

What's the next trip you've got planned?

Tabitha and I just want to go back to St Tropez to be honest. Either that or Dunedin.

Wallace Chapman will host the Sunday Morning programme on National Radio from the end of this month.

- NZ Herald

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