Jennifer Saunders gives Stephanie Holmes the lowdown on champagne,
Joanna Lumley and trips of a lifetime.

Your new documentary Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely Champers takes you and Ab Fab co-star Joanna Lumley to the Champagne region of France. What surprised you most during your trip?

I think I was most surprised by how little I knew about the process of producing a bottle of champagne and how much there was to learn.

What tips do you have for anyone planning a visit to the region?
Plan well. Do a bit of research and get to know a bit about the champagne houses you will visit. Taste a lot before you buy and make sure you have a driver.


Where's your favourite place in the world to drink champagne?
My favourite glass every year is the first glass on Christmas morning — when all the prep and the tidying is done and we settle down to open presents we open a really cold bottle and have a glass in front of a roaring fire with all the family.

What's the best thing about travelling with Joanna?
Joanna is the best companion and we really don't spend enough time together any more so this was a great excuse. Basically, we just laugh all the time.

What kind of travel companion are you?
Well I hope I'm good. Doing a documentary is very different to just travelling together as you keep being asked to stop gossiping and chatting and actually do some work.

What's your favourite kind of holiday?
I don't have a favourite really, although as I've grown older I find just lying around in the sun very boring, so I'm glad. I now have grandchildren to take on holiday to keep me busy. I've become very good at blowing up armbands and giant inflatable pool toys. I don't really like flying, especially long-haul flights, so Ade and I tend to go to Europe by car. We love a road trip.

What has been your most memorable travel experience?
About a year ago we went with a group of friends on a sailing boat to Raja Ampat Islands of West Papua. I have never been anywhere so remote, unspoilt and beautiful; it was totally extraordinary. I don't scuba dive but spent hours just floating over the coral reefs with a mask and snorkel watching the fabulous colour and diversity of this still fairly unspoilt part of the world. A once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Where is your ultimate dream destination you're yet to visit, and what would you do when you got there?
There are parts of South America I'd love to go to. I have been to Peru and Buenos Aires but I'd like to see more of Argentina and maybe go down through Chile. I've always wanted to do a riding holiday so maybe that's the place to do it in gaucho fashion.