Luxury Uncovered with Jenny Powell

2013-08-02 07:45
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Winelands hot air balloon adventure

If you have ever wanted a bird's eye view of a particular destination, try a hot air balloon ride. We check out the Winelands Hot Air Balloon adventure during the filming of a rebranding Advert for Dstv's Travel Channel.

Once you’ve experienced the luxury side of travel it is very difficult to globe-trot any other way. If this is your dilemma, then you’ll love the latest Travel Channel series – Luxury Uncovered - feverishly being filmed across the globe to reveal the stories behind the world’s most sought-after destinations.

Luxury Uncovered sees popular UK television presenter Jenny Powell going 'undercover' to reveal the secrets of service specialists at upper-class offerings - from being part of the cabin crew on a private plane to stoking the coals on a luxury train, or delving behind-the-scenes of bespoke butler service at a seven-star hotel.

During one of the episodes filmed in South Africa, Powell explores life as a game ranger at the Oceana Beach and Bush Reserve in the Eastern Cape. Turns out, Powell’s parents are originally from Cape Town, having immigrated by boat to Britain during the Apartheid era.  In the interview it is literally a-laugh-a-minute as she slips in and out of her mock South African ascents, describing her childhood camping memories complete with braais, frikkedals and pre-packed pickle fish - despite having been born and raised in the UK.

How did you get into television?

Jenny Powell: “As a teenager I went to stage school and I wanted to be a dancer. I then entered a TV reality competition and won it. At the age of 16 I became a presenter for the BBC and hosted my first programme No Limits as a new-found presenter. From there it just went from one television production to the next.

Best moment so far in filming Luxury Uncovered?

"The Game drive at Samara was my absolute favourite. I really love being outdoors and this experience, seeing the rhino, has been so amazing. Also I'm just glad to be back in South Africa, not just because I have a South African background but I simply love Cape Town. I must admit, I have not done Durban and this South Coast is extra special but Cape Town is my favourite. I love the drama of the Atlantic Ocean. Also, it has this cosmopolitan city, the mountains and Winelands all within a short distance from each other. You’re just not short of anything as a visitor. I'm planning on coming back with my father who is 86 and my two daughters, Polyanna, 12, and Constance who is four-years-old to do a heritage tour. This is very important to me, to share my heritage with my family.

Where are you headed next?

"Abu Dhabi and Russia. While it might not have been on my list, selfishly speaking, I’m really glad we’re getting to film in places I’ve never been to before. It’s going to be interesting, especially to see the cultural differences. I only really know what I'm going to be uncovering on the day of filming, to add that element of surprise, so you'll have to watch the programme to find out the rest.

Favourite travel destinations

“It’s always Africa for me. I like doing safaris, I’ve been to the Masai Mara in Kenya a couple of times. For family holidays I love the South of France, where I used to have a holiday home. It reminds me a lot of the Winelands too, must be the bit of South Africa in me.

Best person to travel with?

"I'm probably the only person on the planet who loves travelling with their kids, so I'd have to say Polly and Connie. You can spend time with your kids, but there are always distractions; the laptop, checking your phone or you’re busy cooking. When the three of us are sitting together on a plane it's just us and I always pack play bag with surprises. So they always look forward to that. How ridiculous is life now that the only moments without distractions are when you’re flying?

Top recommendations for a weekend in London?

"I love the pomp and pageantry of London – and there are the obvious sites to do but you can’t go wrong in getting yourself a guide. West Minister is awesome and the architecture is amazing. You’ve got to go to Buckingham Palace. Also, Hyde Park which is a bit like Central Park in New York - a lovely oasis in the middle of the city. Get to Soho to experience the nitty-gritty of London. You also cannot forget to get a bit of theatre in. Go prepared, have a schedule, otherwise you’ll just be walking around in circles.

One thing you can't travel without?

"I always travel with a tub of coconut oil - and its antibacterial - which makes it a great thing to travel with.

Best piece of travel advice

"If you have an overnight flight, don't drink alcohol. If you can bare it don't eat too much and get to sleep as early as possible. Really make sure you drink lots of water. Don't get sucked into watching lots of movies on a 9-hour flight, try if you can to get some sleep."

Powell delights with a unique brand of humour as she showcases some of the very best in the hospitality industry across the globe. Catch her in Luxury Uncovered which will be aired on DStv Travel Channel 179 later this year.

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