Celebrity Travels: James Martin - Cruise International

Celebrity Travels: James Martin

By Cruise International | 7 Oct 2022

TV chef James Martin is set to host a foodie river cruise through Bordeaux, reigniting his lifelong love affair with France

Q. What is your travel must-have?

A. Food is the top priority for me when I travel. I like to visit food markets in the area, and sample whatever beverage the region has to offer too. I always take a phone and my iPad to keep a record of places where I’ve eaten and stayed for mates when I return.

Q. Where have you travelled lately?

A. I recently came back from the south of France – I fell in love with the country when I was a young kid and it is a special place for me, not just in my career but my holidays too. Having said that, I love a lot of Europe, particularly the north – Sweden or Norway – as the area is spectacular and unique. I hadn’t been to Ireland until recently and didn’t realise how stunning the south coast is, so I’d definitely return there, and I would like to go to Japan. I think that is on every chef’s wish list.

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. Picture: Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

Q. You must get to travel a lot with your work – any standout moments?

A. We’ve definitely had some memorable moments filming around the world. I nearly set fire to a vineyard in Bordeaux – I think the main reason was probably that we had too much to drink before filming. The other one that stands out is when two members of the crew got left behind in Texas and we didn’t realise until we were in California!

Q. What do you enjoy most about cruise holidays? 

A. Before this series I’d only really done cruises by sea, but I prefer rivers because it’s more intimate – serving just over 100 people and not 6,000, you can offer a much more personal touch. This is my second time [on a river cruise] and certainly will not be my last as you have a great group of people and crew on board. I didn’t realise how spectacular the boats were, along with the attention to detail and the standard of service that the crew offer. Coupled with that, there’s the ability to wander around the locations along the rivers in France, from vineyards to markets.

Saint-Emilion, France. Picture: Chris Lawrence Travel/Shutterstock

Q. What are you most looking forward to on your forthcoming cruise? 

A. Bordeaux and SaintÉmilion, which the cruise is visiting, are places where I used to go not just for food, but also for wine. Recently I was given membership of the Jurade de Saint-Émilion [a historic fraternity dedicated to preserving and promoting the region’s wines]. I can’t wait to get back as I first worked there in the kitchens aged 12.

Book a cruise featuring James Martin

James Martin will join an eight-day river cruise on luxury ship Bon Voyage, sailing round-trip from Bordeaux via the Médoc wine route, Cadillac, Saint-Émilion, and including a Q&A, live cooking demonstration and gala dinner. The cruise departs on April 2, 2023, starting at £2,999 per person. Book online at Tripsmiths.

James Martin’s Saturday Morning is broadcast on ITV 1, and cookbook Potato is set to be released in November.

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