Interview by Holly Rubenstein for Country & Town House
The actor and star of Downton Abbey shares his most memorable and desired destinations.
Hugh Bonneville’s escapades, from Utah to Ibiza…
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
I’ve never been to South America. I want to go to Rio and Macchu Picchu, and I would love to then go right down south on a trip to Antarctica before it completely disappears (partly caused by the engine fuels from the boat I’m on). Maybe I’ll get to visit Peru if we film Paddington 3!
When filming the Downton movie, where was most memorable?
We filmed a couple of times in Lacock in Wiltshire – Lacock High Street pops up in pretty much every costume drama you’ve ever seen. It’s a beautiful place, but I always feel a great sympathy for the people who live there who must be so fed up with horses and carriages turning up all the time.
What destination most reminds you of childhood holidays?
Tamariu, on the Costa Brava in Spain. We’d drive down through France as a family in the 1970s to get there. It still pops into my head whenever I smell olive oil. I was never allowed on the beach until I’d had my olive oil put on by my mother. So basically I was fried for most of my childhood.
Can you recommend us a hidden gem?
A hotel called Mihir Garh, about an hour and half from Jodphur in India. I came across it when I was filming Viceroy’s House and I had a weekend off. It’s a tiny place in the middle of the desert.
Country or town house?
Well, I live in the country, so I’d like you to fix me up with a London town house please. I’m not fussy – Wilton Crescent is fine.
Where do you always eat well?
J Sheekey in London, and The Hut in Colwell Bay on the Isle of Wight. The most extraordinary piece of food theatre I’ve experienced was at Noor in Cordoba, Spain. A pageant of food appears bit by bit, with grace and elegance.
What is your favourite hotel?
Amangiri in Utah. I was so utterly surprised by it. A hotel literally carved out of the rock is so extraordinary to look at. It looks like something out of Star Wars. The rooms are simple but really cool, and the vista and whole surrounding terrain lends to an atmosphere that I found really exciting and different.
Where do you keep going back to?
We keep going back to Ibiza, but my days of foam and whistles are long gone. We go because my wife works on photo shoots for her shirt brand Indigo Island there. We’ve recently discovered Ca Na Xica which is a tranquil, modern boutique hotel – perfect for couples who want to unwind. My wife works and I lie by the pool feeling really helpful.
When you need to unwind, where do you escape to?
I live near to the South Downs and that’s my haven. I love hiking along the downs with my dogs and my friends, taking in the views.