Melanie went to Barbados for Christmas 1992
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE HOLIDAY?
For Christmas 1992, when I was going out with Matt (singer Matt Goss from pop band Bros), we went to Barbados with his twin brother Luke, his partner and a few of our friends.
We had a four-bedroom hilltop villa. It was the first time I’d been away for Christmas and New Year and I have to say, I highly recommend it.
I was 23 and wanted some winter sunshine and it was amazing because we had a cook at the house and Mini Moke buggies to get around the island on.
Christmas wasn’t too expensive because we bought all our presents out there. Though we had trinkets and souvenirs from local shops and stalls, the real gift to each other was the trip.
It was a totally pressure-free festive holiday and on Christmas Day we booked into the Sandy Lane Hotel and ate turkey, barbecued fish, roasted yams and vegetables.
We did a little bit of sightseeing but mostly we sunbathed by the villa swimming pool and on the terrace overlooking the sea.
At night, we immersed ourselves in local life and culture, exploring local bars and reggae places and soaking up the Bajan spirit.
My god, we danced.
Melanie visited Bali in 1990
AND YOUR WORST?
I went to Bali in the mid 1990s after the Indonesian island was recommended to me by friends who raved about the country’s spiritual magic.
The Balinese people were really nice and the shopping was good fun.
In Kuta, the first place I stayed, I bought millions of sarongs and loads of jewellery from the hundreds of street markets.
Melanie was not a fan of Balinese cuisine
I also thought Ubud, which I picked for the second half of the holiday, was beautiful.
The area is surrounded by rainforest and magical rice paddies where Hindu temples and shrines are dotted everywhere.
The only thing that let Bali down was the cuisine.
I can make do wherever I go on holiday but if I’m not eating well, I’m miserable and I didn’t enjoy Balinese cuisine.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME ON HOLIDAY?
Obviously, if I’m on a city break I’m all about sightseeing and museums but ultimately, holidays are about lying around reading and getting some sun.
I always train wherever I go. For me exercise is part of my life and I wouldn’t not do it just because I’m on holiday.
I don’t drink so I don’t need alcohol to let my hair down.
I enjoy going out for nice dinners and if I’m up for it, seeing live music and potentially a club.
Melanie takes six books on a week holiday
I take about six books on a week’s holiday.
My last holiday read was All The Light We Cannot See by American writer Anthony Doerr, which is set in the Second World War and is a love story.
I like the format of the book.
It’s got really short chapters and fl its from one person’s experience to another. I was engrossed.
Melanie is a big fan of pottery
I tend to buy bowls and plates. They’re the heaviest and most fragile things in the world to bring back, so the worst possible thing to transport.
Despite this, I have got a thing about buying pottery or glassware from every different country I go to, everywhere including Italy, Turkey, Mallorca and India.
I do like a colourful bowl and things break so I haven’t got a full set of anything from over the years.
They survive the journey and then they don’t survive me.
I’ve booked a holiday so far in advance, something I never normally do, to India.
I’m going for two weeks with my friend Adam and we’re planning safaris, a trip to the Taj Mahal and hopefully, Gangapur, where my mum was born.
We’re doing lots of train journeys and I’m not planning to take much luggage.
I can’t wait to go back after my first visit to India this year. I was put off for years by people who warned me about getting sick and travelling on the crazy roads but I loved it from the get-go so I will always go back.
● It’s 21 years since Melanie first starred in the iconic beer advert for Boddingtons. She has just filmed a new digital version of the famous campaign which is available to see on YouTube.