Helen RayComment

TRAVEL MUSE: LEAH BENZIE

Helen RayComment
TRAVEL MUSE: LEAH BENZIE

In this series I feature some of my favourite travel, food and interiors writers, photographers and style conscious travellers, as I set out to uncover some of their best discoveries and travel tips both at home and away.

This month I’m in conversation with Digital Account Manager and Photographer Leah Benzie.

BIO:

A Digital Account Manager by day, and a keen Photographer in my spare time. I yearn to travel and my dream is to be able to do something I love, anywhere and everywhere in the world. I’ve recently started pottery courses, and the results so far haven’t been horrific (basically, nothing has blown up in the kiln... yet), so that could be a career choice one day, who knows?! In the meantime, I enjoy lusting over other people’s homes on Instagram, and reading about forensics and serial killers, but that’s a different story.

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?

Instagram @leahbenzie

WHERE IS HOME FOR YOU?

Cheltenham, currently. Although I always feel most at home by the sea.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD?

I love that we are so close to all of the beauty the Cotswolds has to offer. There’s always something to do or see.

ANY LOCAL GEMS?

We’re lucky to be quite close to some lovely National Trust properties, but we also benefit from the Cheltenham Festivals, including Jazz, literature, and science. Cheltenham is beautiful in the Summer, with stunning parks and even lovely beer gardens on the promenade, which are always busy when the weather gets nicer.

WHERE ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT IN THE UK?

There’s so many amazing places to choose from, but I absolutely love Bao in Soho, and for something a little closer to home, Bertha’s Pizza in Bristol is always a winner.

WHERE WOULD YOU CHOSE TO EAT YOUR LAST SUPPER AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER?

I went to Skiathos as a teenager, and I honestly think I had the best meal I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. It was at a little taverna in the countryside, with tables around a beautifully lit pool, and I had a beef dish which was served in a red wine jus with the most incredible potatoes. I still get tingles when I think about how tender the beef was. 

WHICH WAS YOUR BEST EVER UK HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION AND WHAT MADE IT SPECIAL?

Definitely The Talbot Inn, in Mells, Somerset. My favourite room (no 8) is absolutely stunning, and the emperor size bed makes you feel like a queen. The staff are all so lovely, and the food is also incredible. I love the charm and understated beauty of the rooms and the courtyard. I’d stay forever if I could!

WHICK UK HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION IS ON YOUR LUST LIST?

Soho Farmhouse is definitely up there. But also The Reading Rooms, Margate after seeing Helen’s beautiful pictures!

WHICH WAS YOUR BEST EVER EUROPEAN HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION AND WHAT MADE IT SPECIAL?

Can Bordoy in Mallorca. The whole place is absolutely stunning, and super stylish. The tranquility of the spa, and the services were definitely an extra perk of the holiday.

WHICH EUROPEAN HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION IS ON YOUR LUST LIST?

Masseria Moroseta in Italy looks incredible, and i would love to stay there someday. I just need to sell a lot of pottery before then... and actually get good at it! 

BEST EVER AIR BNB EXPERIENCE?

Ivywood Cottage in Harleston, Norfolk. We stayed here in April for my Boyfriend’s 40th birthday, and we had the loveliest time. It’s such a beautiful place, and the owners, Laura and James are just the nicest hosts. We didn’t want to come home. I’d recommend staying here 100%.

A SPECIAL TRAVEL MEMORY?

My favourite holiday memories are with my Grandad. He and my Nan would often take me on little holidays in the UK, and he’d always be up for going on sunrise and sunset walks with me along the beach. One of my fondest memories is of him taking his shoes off to paddle in the sea then forgetting he’d put them back on because his feet were so cold, and wondering where he’d left them! We laughed for ages when I pointed out that they were on his feet.

WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE?

Everything but the kitchen sink as per! Usually whatever book I’m reading at the time, headphones, lip balm, some makeup, my purse, and most probably some snacks.


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING ON YOUR TRAVELS?

Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO ON YOUR TRAVELS?

I’m currently loving the Off Menu podcast with James Acaster and Ed Gamble, but music wise, you can never go wrong with a bit of Lana Del Rey.

WHAT IS THE BEST SOUVENIR YOU HAVE BROUGHT HOME FROM A TRIP?

It probably has to be all the incredible variations of Milka chocolate that you can’t get in the UK. I’m a chocoholic, so I welcome any excuse to try a new bar.


Thank You Leah!