Tripping with: Actress Tara Summers

Tara, welcome to Luxury Travel Beat’s Tripping with segment. What are you up to at the moment?

I’m currently guest starring on two amazing TV shows: Sons of Anarchy and David E Kelley’s new drama Monday Mornings. I also recently wrapped up filming Hitchcock with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren.

You were born and raised in London, before moving to the US to pursue a career in acting. What is your favorite thing to do when you are home?

London for me is all about hanging out with my family and friends.  My father has a beautiful Dunkirk little ship called Bluebird of Chelsea.  I love sailing down the Thames with him and seeing London – in all its glory – from the river.  We took part in the Flotilla during the Queen’s Jubilee – it POURED with rain, but it was probably one of the most amazing days regardless.  Such an honor and something I will never forget.

Tara Summers and family during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Tara Summers.

I also try and see as much theatre as possible when I’m in London. My favourite thing to do is to go to the theatre in the West End and  then have dinner at the Wolsely on Piccadilly or J Sheekeys on St. Martin’s Lane.

For visitors, I’d say have a full English breakfast at The Electric followed by a stroll through Portobello Market towards the Westbourne Grove boutiques. If you have time to go to the country, Bath, which is a quick train ride from London is a must. It’s steeped in history and has the most beautiful architecture. And for those who love Jane Austen, you can take a bus tour and see where she lived and wrote. Last but not least visit the Roman Baths and have a Tea with Scones. An excellent day trip.

A roman bath in the city of Bath, England. Photo courtesy of Bath Tourism/Colin Hawkins

What three “Britishisms” would you tell visitors to the UK to master before they set off for the country?

A fag is a cigarette. The Offside Rule: When the ball is played forward to the attackers, they can not be behind the defenders when they receive the ball. Don’t speak on public transport, or even make eye contact. It’s LEST-ER Square, not LIE-CESTER Square. Milk goes in after the tea.

You currently live in the US, what’s the one thing you’d tell a first-time visitor to put on their hit list when they visit LA?
Most important: Learn how to drive before coming to Los Angeles. You will need a car. Don’t miss the beach.  I live in Venice and there are so many great restaurants and shops here.  I love GTA on Abbot Kinney. The Tasting Kitchen is another delicious fun restaurant – very good cocktails. Have dinner at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, and try Musso and Franks on Hollywood Boulevard for the best martini in town. LA has so much to offer – amazing walks (they call them hikes) in the mountains, sun, sea and surf.  My favourite museum in LA is the Norton Simon in Pasadena. It’s small and has one of the best collections I’ve ever seen.

Tara Summers.

What is your earliest and best travel-related memory?

Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island (in The Bahamas). I have been going there since I was 12. The sand is pink because of the coral. The water is bath temperature. It’s the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. Each night at sunset horses walk along the sand. That sight never fails to take my breath away.

How about worst?

I’ve lost my luggage many times whilst travelling. I have had very embarrassing situations where I’ve had to borrow clothes from friends until my bags arrive. Now I try and use hand luggage wherever I go. One year over Christmas I had to borrow everything from my dad. Including his jeans that were 8 sizes too big. Not a good look.

Describe your travelling style.
I like to travel a lot, so have got my packing down to a minimum. I’m obsessed with decanting large products into travel bottles.
I always take two books, two scarfs, my iPod and my wallet. Those are the essentials. My hair got fried last summer when I started surfing, so now I slather it in Moroccan Oil before I head out. It smells really nice and since your hair gets wet anyway at the beach it just looks like you arrived like that. My mother taught me at a very early age about the importance of sun block. I only use Nava Skincare products. I have been using Nava’s line for ten years. I swear by it.

 You’re on a very long flight to Australia. What film would you like to see listed in the in-flight entertainment guide?

The entire series of The Wire. I’d fly anywhere if I could just watch that uninterrupted.

What’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed at?

Hotel El Garzon, Uruguay

Hotel Garzon in Uruguay owned by the legendary Argentine chef Francis Mallmann.  My family has a house about twenty minutes from the beach and next door to Hotel Garzon, my diet goes right out the window as soon as I land. We go every winter. It’s my favourite place in the world.

Dream Trip?
At Brown University I took West African Dance so I’d love to go to Mali and dance. And take a year off to sail around the world!

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