Actor Anita Reeves
What was your best holiday?Japan was the most unusual holiday – the culture was so different and the food was great. During the trip we stayed for a week in a traditional Japanese guesthouse (ryokan). We couldn’t wear shoes inside our room and were given a robe and slippers (and separate ones for the bathroom). There wasn’t a dining room, but a 15-course meal was served on the floor of our room, it was great gas! In the morning we’d wake to the sounds of the forest. We’d have an open air hot bath in an outdoor spring and come back to a 12-course breakfast. In the evening we’d read books, chat and drink saki, and be in bed by 9pm.
What was your worst holiday?I had a wojous experience years ago when Julian and I went backpacking in Greece. From Gatwick, the plane made all sorts of funny noises. After two hours in the air they announced there was a technical problem and we were returning to Gatwick. Then not another word, all of the air stewards disappeared. We circled the airport for three hours and people at this stage were getting hysterical. When we finally landed some people got off the plane, even though their baggage would go on to Athens. We stayed on and had a great holiday in Greece.
But a few days before we came back I realised there was no way I could get on a plane. So we got a bus from Athens to London for four days and nights.
It was horrific. We had worn our shorts and flip-flops, so were freezing at night. We missed our connection to the boat and slept at the station, as there were no free hotels. I didn’t fly for 10 years after that until I eventually got hypnosis.
If budget or work were not a restriction, what would be your dream holiday? To take a year and do lots of road trips. I love road trips. I’d like to go back to Australia, where we did a great road trip last year from Sydney to Brisbane.
Who would you bring on holiday with you, if you had your pick?For road trips definitely my husband Julian, as two is enough in the car and you’ve time for chats and reconnecting. For any other holidays, my daughter Gemma and son Danny. We are very lucky as we are really close – some of us like to be tourists and others lazy – and we love to sit around the table laughing.
What’s your favourite place in Ireland?Anywhere away from the city when the weather is good. But if it’s raining it would be straight to the Monart Spa in Enniscorthy. It’s not pretentious yet very luxurious. You are handed a fluffy white dressing gown when you arrive. It’s my idea of heaven.
Your recommended holiday reading?Claire Kilroys All Summer, Christine Dwyer-Hickeys Last train from Liguria, for great stories Ger Gallagher and for really light reading Squirrel seeks Chipmunkby David Sedaris.
Where will you go to next?I won’t be free until January when I think I’ll fly into Santander, Spain, and drive from there for a couple of weeks.
In conversation with GENEVIEVE CARBERY
* Anita Reeves stars in Halcyon Days at the Smock Alley Theatre from October 10th-14th during the Dublin Theatre Festival, dublintheatrefestival.com