Q&A with Jane Knight, Freelance Journalist



Jane Knight, Freelance Journalist | 25 Jun, 2020

A multi-award winning travel writer, Jane Knight worked as editor of The Times Travel section for over a decade. Now a freelance writer and consultant, Jane jets around the world at every opportunity. We caught up with Jane to find out all about her favourite places and where she's got her eye on next.

What is your earliest travel memory?

Getting up in the middle of the night for my dad to drive us to Scotland on our annual trip to see relatives. My first trip 'abroad' was when I was six, and we went on a package holiday to Ibiza.

What has been your most life/perspective-altering trip? Why?

I took a Gap year before university and spent six months going round Australia. It was that trip that really made me fall in love with travel, and the joy of getting under the skin of a destination. After that, I didn't look back, and later went on to live in Venezuela for six years, France for two years and Africa for a year.

What is your favourite hotel and why?

It's got to be Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons. Normally, hotels always get something wrong, but at the Manoir, everything is perfect. It's down to self-confessed micro-idiot Raymond Blanc. I once had the pleasure of snagging for him in one of the Manoir's new rooms. He called me the next day and I apologised if my report was nit picky. He said, 'Jane, I slept in that room a couple of nights ago and found more than 100 things wrong with it.'

Further afield, among the many remarkable hotels I've stayed in, my fondest memories are of Giraffe Manor in Kenya. The giraffes come and bang on your bedroom window and ask for pellets, and they stick their heads in at the breakfast room windows too.

What is your favourite country to visit and why?

Sri Lanka for the fantastic combination of beaches, wildlife, interesting cultural sights, lovely people and great food; the Maldives for the best beaches I've ever been on; France if I could only visit one country for the rest of my life.

What has been your memorable meal while travelling?

Well, there was the guinea pig in Peru, the marinated crickets in Mexico and the crocodile in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were all disgusting! Happily, there have been many, many fantastic meals too.

Where is the first place you'll go once it's safe to travel again?

Probably France - great food, easy to get to on a road trip and some fantastic wine! I'm aching to go to the new Ikos hotel in Andalucia but it's pushed its opening back to September, so that will have to wait.

Where is the top of your bucket list and why?

Where to start? Although I lived in Africa for a year, I've never been to the Victoria Falls, so I'd go there. And I'd love to see Laos and Bhutan before too many other people go.

One travel essential you never travel without?

It makes me sound like an alcoholic, but I always tuck a corkscrew in my suitcase - that way, I can buy some wine in the supermarket and drink it in the hotel room without paying exorbitant minibar prices.

Favourite travel companion?

My 14-year-old son. He's travelled with me since he was born, and has ticked off safaris in Africa, cruises everywhere from the Amazon to Alaska, skiing in Switzerland and beach holidays in the Indian Ocean.

 

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