Succeeding as an international pop star isn’t just a path to fame and fortune: it’s a one-way ticket to exploring the world, and all under the guise of ‘work’. Isn’t it? Pixie Lott shares her travel tales, tips and secrets…
When your job takes you all around the world, it goes without saying that you amass a lot of travel knowledge. Or at least, that’s true for Pixie Lott, the 26-year-old, Bromley-born pop star who first topped the UK charts at the age of 18 and has pretty much been a permanent fixture on the radio and in the press ever since.
Unsurprisingly, Lott’s success since her first number one in 2009 has taken her from her roots in the outskirts of London to all corners of the globe, exploring new countries and cultures, whether it’s been for video shoots, songwriting and recording, or holidays. There’s even been the odd Monte Carlo yacht party with Justin Bieber.
Closer to home, the Strictly runner-up is set to be a coach on The Voice Kids UK later this year, and has recently become engaged to model Oliver Cheshire. The couple travel together regularly, and are often spotted at fashion shows all around the world – most recently in Paris and Milan. Their joint adventures see them journey further afield too, to the likes of Palm Springs, Greece and – most recently – Jamaica. It’s not all luxurious holidays, though, and many of Lott’s travels are strictly work-related, recording and writing in the US.
With a broad, varied spectrum of travel experience, we thought the musician would be well positioned to offer some advice, and asked her to share some of her highlights from around the world so far. What we didn’t manage to find out is how to bag yourself a model fiancé, though. Sorry…
The Interview: Pixie shares all
I’m a sucker for a souvenir. During our recent holiday in Jamaica we went rafting on the Martha Brae river on a handmade raft – it was such a cool experience and so beautiful. Our guide was telling us all about the area and how he made his raft himself, and I ended up buying loads of his handiwork as souvenirs. Afterwards, we checked out a really great little shack called Scotchies, which is famous for authentic jerk chicken.
The best city I’ve ever visited for nightlife has to be New York. It’s the city that never sleeps, and if you want to stay out all night you can. I’ve been travelling there since I was 15 for writing and recording. I’ve also spent a lot of time in Los Angeles. I travel a lot on my own for work, so I like to go back to places that feel homely and familiar. I love the Urth Caffe on Melrose in Los Angeles – it's a really welcoming place that I always return to, and they have amazing organic food, smoothies and tea – but you absolutely have to try the carrot cake.
Some people feel nervous travelling to countries like Brazil. But I’d say not to feel worried or apprehensive, you must 100% go. We went for the first time last year and had an incredible time in Rio de Janeiro and exploring Copacabana. Even doing the little touristy things like going to see Christ the Redeemer feels like such a big moment to have in your life.
I’ll always ask cabin crew for travel tips on flights. They are really great people to speak to for insider knowledge, especially if you’re travelling on your own. When I was flying to Shanghai – somewhere I really recommend visiting – the air hostesses told me to go the fabric markets, where you can take in your favourite dress, pick a fabric, and have it remade bespoke to you. They’ll design anything you want for you, and I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t asked.
One of the best places to discover new music is on the plane. If I’m on a long-haul trip I’ll always look at the albums, and I’ve found loads of cool new stuff that way. I recently discovered a soul artist called Charles Bradley – he was an older guy but it was a new album, and I loved finding him that way, listening to his voice and the guitar he was using.
The over-water villas at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica were the best rooms I’ve ever stayed in. I was there with my new fiancé, Oliver, and it was so beautiful, spacious and private, with our room and hammock right over the water. The butler service, which comes with the rooms, definitely made the holiday. They were so friendly and waited on us hand and foot, bringing little snacks and whatever we needed – bug spray, you name it. There are loads of activities to keep you busy – Oliver tried the Hobie Cat sailing, and there are snorkels in your room. Certified divers can dive for free, or you can make the most of the entertainment crew, who were great fun. We played volleyball on the beach, and had a girls versus boys dance-off at the resort’s pub in the evening.
I think it’s really important to just try and squeeze in trips when you can. I love getting away with my family. We used to go to Portugal every summer, and we try to go skiing once a year, too. We love Verbier in Switzerland, and went to Morzine this winter. I also think the British countryside is really underrated London is the best city in the world, and I love it, but exploring beyond the capital is really important. If I have a bit of time off I’ll try to get to the Cotswolds – it’s so pretty and quaint, and the perfect short getaway. We know we’ll always have a good time when we go.
Sandals Royal Caribbean
With the Caribbean's first over-water villas, Sandals Royal Caribbean Spa Resort is bringing a touch of Maldives-style luxury to the crystal-clear waters of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The private offshore island resort features five villas, designed especially for two, with outdoor Jacuzzis, hammocks and steps into the sea. To raise the game even more, during your stay, a private butler will tend to your every need. For information, see sandals.co.uk