Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg.
When she started it, they called it Chick-Lit. Then it became Smart Women’s Fiction. Femme Fatale Literary Tales. Call them whatever you will, they are devoured by fans the world over and one of the founding mothers of this literary movement is the internationally beloved Jane Green. A best selling author on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Jane is also a lifestyle brand, with readers flocking to her blog to learn about her latest recipe, her latest project (Jane loves a good house renovation) and how life doesn’t fall apart at the seams with six children in the house. This London-raised urbanite always craved country living and landed in Connecticut, from which she shares her wit and wisdom about family, marriage and life in her sinfully entertaining novels. Her latest, Saving Grace, is in stores now, which means Jane is ready to dish on her writing and much, much more.
THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT with Jane Green begins now….
OC: As a frequent traveler for your book tours and leisure, how often do you find yourself traveling during the year?
JG: Much of my traveling is now in the United States, with at least one trip back to England, and with any luck an exotic vacation thrown in.
OC: What is your favorite city to visit on book tours?
JG: I have fallen in love again with Los Angeles. I spent a couple of months there in my early twenties and adored it, then went back to research Jemima J, and couldn’t wait to leave. I was just there in April to publicise Tempting Fate, and craving some quiet so instead of staying at my usual hotel (Shutters by the Beach, which might be my all-time favorite), I stayed at L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills, and spent all my time seeing treasured friends.
OC: What do you do if you have down time in that city?
JG: Last time I was there I met a couple of girlfriends for coffee at Tavern in Brentwood, and people kept coming in who they knew – writers, screenwriters – and we ended up with a small crowd of really interesting, interested people. I spent the next day with a friend wandering up and down Abbot Kinney in Venice, which was also huge fun, and a lovely break from my normal suburban life – I felt surrounded by life in a way I usually don’t in Connecticut. I had just come from Seattle which I also loved, and spent my day off all by myself at the Dale Chihuly Museum which might be the most perfect day I have had in years.
OC: Favorite place for leisure travel?
JG: Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos. It’s the perfect blend of laid back and luxury. We had a villa with a tiny plunge pool, and didn’t talk to a soul all week, apart from nodding hello at yoga. People come for dinner in their pajamas, which is definitely my kind of place. Of course on the ferry back, there was one other couple, and a week of not talking to anyone fell away as we burst into conversation, and they are now amongst our closest friends.
OC: What do you like to do in your down time for leisure?
JG: I have always loved being completely lazy by a swimming pool with a stack of books, but after a bout with malignant melanoma, I’m no longer allowed in the sun, so have had to re-think the whole concept of vacation and leisure time. I think now the city vacation is becoming the destination for me, and Paris has to win, because of how easily you can walk Paris. We were there a couple of years ago and made no plans the entire week, just walked the city, arrondissement to arrondissement, stopping when we were hungry or thirsty, and it was glorious.
OC: What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you on an airplane?
JG: I once stood behind a middle-aged woman with pink hair who was arguing with everyone, and when I got on the plane, my heart sank as I realized we were sitting next to each other. We did not stop talking the entire flight, and she became a hugely important person in my life for many years.
OC: In an airport?
JG: Arriving in Paris where Fifty Cent had been on the flight with us, two seats in front of us. When we reached security, he was so awestruck at the sight of Fifty Cent and his entourage behind us, he just waved us through, open-mouthed, without looking at either us, or our passports.
OC: In a hotel?
JG: At the Charlotte Street hotel in London at three O’clock in the morning water started pouring down the walls, turning the pale pink wallpaper a dark red. It looked like something out of the Amityville Horror. We phoned the front desk refused to believe there was a problem because the room upstairs didn’t answer the knock on the door. My husband insisted they open it. They found the guest had passed out drunk, leaving his bath running. Thank heavens for my husband’s insistence…
OC: What was your last trip?
JG: Nantucket during the Summer, always a favorite.
OC: First thing you do when arriving at a hotel in your room?
JG: Go into the bathroom and examine the bathroom products. I have now been trained to only bring carry-on luggage, so I never bring shampoo and conditioner, and am obsessed with a good brand in a hotel.
OC: Biggest pet peeve about hotels?
JG: That I can’t stay in them every night.
OC: Complete the following sentence, I never leave home without:
JG: ….ear plugs, ear buds, and my own pillow.
OC: Go to snack when on the road?
JG: I don’t snack. I eat three meals a day, with nothing in between, because snacking seems to always turn into one big meal, that starts at around 7am and ends when I go to bed. Once I start, I am never able to stop so it’s much easier for me not to start.
OC: Worst travel experience?
JG: The small luxury boutique inn I booked in New Hampshire for a self-imposed writing retreat was supposed to be charming and on Lake Squam. Following the GPS I found myself past the lake, and instructed to turn right, into what was, essentially, the ‘hood. The ‘carriage house’ in which I stayed turned out to be a dark cave that overlooked a school playground, and the entire experience was one of the most depressing I have had. I lasted a few nights, and on the penultimate day realized I would lose my mind if I had to stay another second. I jumped ship to the Woodstock Inn in Vermont, where the four-poster bed was so high, so lush, so plush, I climbed in and didn’t get out again for 24 hours.
OC: Best travel experience?
JG: We went to Santa Barbara a few months ago, and stayed at El Encanto, which was perfection. It is the only hotel where I can honestly say the room was nicer than our bedroom at home, and neither of us wanted to leave. Orient Express have spent a fortune on it, and it’s that great combination of luxury and laid-back that I love so much, with a terrace and view that is breathtaking.
OC: Check or carry on?
JG: Always carry on. I never quite believe that all my bags are going to appear, plus have no patience for the wait any longer.
OC: Best part of flying?
JG: No-one can get me on the phone, there’s nothing to do, it’s absolute relaxation for me. It also has a tendency to stimulate creativity, something about the ambient noise. Almost all my best book ideas have come to me on a plane.
OC: Worst part of flying?
JG: The airports.
OC: Please put in order, favorite way to travel….Car, Plane or Boat? Why?
JG: Car. It used to be plane, but since I have discovered audiobooks, car journeys have been transformed. Every Summer I now drive to visit my daughter at camp in Maine, and it’s a seven hour drive. I used to hate it, but now I listen to great books, and radio, and I am in my own private little heaven.
OC: Top three favorite restaurants any where in the world.
JG: Breakfast at Black Eyed Susan’s on Nantucket, lunch at Rockin’ Raw in New York (because I adore vegan food, even though I’m not vegan), dinner at Hakkasan in London.
OC: You’re from London. What are three things every visitor to your hometown has to see?
JG: Globe theater, Tate Modern, and a walk to the top of Primrose Hill, followed by cappuccinos at the Polish Cafe.
OC: Travel secret/habit about you that no one knew until now:
JG: I am a horrible hotel snob, and will almost never accept the first room you put me in. Hoteliers out there? Be warned.
Jane Green, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!