Best-selling author Joanne Harris recalls how a trip to a French town inspired her to write novel ‘Chocolat’ and reveals her favourite spots in Yorkshire
Best-selling novelist Joanne Harris checks in to our travel Q&A
This week best-selling novelist Joanne Harris checks in to our travel Q&A.
She talks about her ‘amazing trip’ to Sao Tome and Principe, her favourite destination, where she’d like to visit next – and more…
MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU’VE VISITED?
The islands of Sao Tome and Principe, a Portuguese colony-turned-nation off the west coast of central Africa. They have the most amazing beaches and wildlife.
EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?
Going to the island of Noirmoutier, on the west coast of France, where my maternal French grandfather had a holiday home. I’d swim, sail and play on the beach – happy days.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR NOVEL CHOCOLAT?
A trip to Nerac, in the south-west of France, where my grandfather had an old war buddy.
MUST-HAVE FRENCH PHRASE?
The French like to be greeted – you can go a long way with just a ‘Bonjour Monsieur’ or ‘Bonjour Madame’.
YOU’RE FROM YORKSHIRE – BEST PLACE TO GO?
The Dales and Moors for walking, and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, which was the first of its kind in the UK.
IDEAL TRAVEL COMPANION?
For a long time, I’d travel abroad with my daughter Anouchka because my husband Kevin doesn’t fly. But now she’s married, we tend to travel differently – often by train.
Joanne says that her favourite destination is Hawaii. Pictured is Kualoa Point, Oahu
I loved Hawaii. I’m a good swimmer so I particularly enjoy visiting anywhere by the sea.
I got to stay in the Constance Prince Maurice in Mauritius when I was judging a literary prize. It’s mostly posh beach huts, so it was like living as the most luxurious type of castaway you could imagine.
HOW DO YOU RELAX ON HOLIDAY?
By not wearing a watch or having too much of an itinerary.
ANY TRAVEL TIPS?
Pack light — I manage well with just a couple of T-shirts, a swimming costume, a hat, sun block and sandals. I rarely have to check in luggage.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT?
Joanne says she would love to travel to Sicily, pictured, by train on her next holiday
I’d love to travel to Sicily by train — I became a fan of the Italian police drama Inspector Montalbano during lockdown.
HAS COVID SCUPPERED YOUR TRAVEL PLANS?
Oh, yes, I was going to go to south-west France, but that’s gone out of the window…
ANY STAYCATION TIPS?
I’d rent a house in Haworth – Wuthering Heights country — and run around on the Moors all day.
I’ve always fancied going to Iceland, which just seems a very special place.
- Joanne’s new book, Orfeia, is published on September 3.