I like it when I read anything which include the following words … luxury, travel, family, friendly … they are more than enough to get me to start dreaming of holidays, planning my packing list, deciding which books will join me on the adventure, and how many suitcases I can persuade my better-half are “…totally essential and full of plasters and nick-nacks for the girls”.
Recently I came across the charming Cass Chapman who is the Director of family travel website Kodomo. She knows her onions from her top travel resorts, and holds the key to many a secret about which holiday locations across the globe are worth you spending your hard earnt pennies on. Being a food and travel writer, she has spent her lifetime gathering research on all the to die for villas, hotels, restaurants, and can share even more genuine tips for really getting to know each location if you are looking for that perfect holiday, then look no further.
PS. if I were you, I would make a special note to give her a call and talk through what she thinks you are after for your next holiday, you are definitely going to be impressed, and left feeling quite excited after hearing what she has to say.
Tell us a little about you, your family, and where you live.
We live right next door to my husband’s restaurant called Shell Bay, which nuzzles on the edge of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. Jamie and I have a daughter, Lola, who is nearly three years old. I am a luxury travel journalist and founded kodomo.com in September, a website dedicated to luxury family travel.
Money is no object for today, which holiday will you book for the family ?
Probably a few weeks at the Maia resort in the Seychelles. I went a few years ago on assignment for the Independent and it blew me away. The Seychelles themselves were more beautiful, more historical and far steeper in culture than I imagined. And the resort itself was a new level of luxury. La Prairie products were, at that time, kept in mini bar fridges at the perfect temperature, the views from each room across the infinity pool, the surrounding ocean and the nearby mountains were picture-perfect and the spa was one of the finest I’ve ever encountered. I remember feeling devastated at having to pack my bag and head home when we left!
Which are your favourite kids shops for birthday presents ?
For little ones, the kids’ department in John Lewis is always great, while Graham & Green in London has some wonderful and often quirky gift ideas for bigger kids.
Which are your favourite places to hang out with the friends for a day without the kids?
Portobello Road in London has long been a favourite. While in Dorset, lunch and cliff edge walk at Durlston Castle always hits the spot. It serves wonderful food and the views across Swanage and to the Isle of Wight, on a clear day of course, are unbeatable.
Which 3 items are most essential in your handbag ?
Wet wipes, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream, and blusher.
Where can you recommend that is kid-friendly for lunch ?
I recently stayed at The Pig in Bath which was amazing with Lola. Gorgeous, healthy children’s options, or they can have anything on the adult menu in a half-size. And in London, there is a gorgeous Malaysian restaurant called Makan under the westway in Notting Hill. It’s not much to look at but the food is the best I’ve had outside of Malaysia itself, and Lola adores the chicken stay and Roti Canai.
Which 3 children’s books are you most fond of ?
Anything by Enid Blighton, Owl Babies and anything by the Gruffalo team.
Where would you like to book for a family UK holiday weekend away ?
We are looking at Wales because I used to spend a lot of time there as a child and have amazing memories of the coast line and the idyllic village of Llanrhystud. I want to go back and explore it with Jamie and Lola. Oh, and I recently interviewed Stephen Terry at The Hardwick which I hear is amazing so really want to try that out too.
Which are your favourite blogs or websites… are there any in your field that you admire or take inspiration from?
I think Babyfriendlyboltholes is great, especially for UK breaks, and I’m writing a bit for Sophie Dahl’s new website ‘At The Kitchen Table’, which I think is wonderful on so many levels.
What success, personal or business would you like to have achieved in the next 5 years ?
Lots of regular bookings, more of the fantastic press that kodomo.com has been receiving and, fingers crossed, another baby!
About Cass :
Kodomo.com was created by freelance food and travel writer Cass Chapman. Having had her daughter Lola in 2011, she decided to create a website providing much-needed, authentic, well-written information for parents on where to eat, stay and play with babies, toddlers and young teens in tow. From Batu Batu to Barcelona, Montreal to Marbella, Kodomo (and its team of fabulous writers) gives you well-researched, personal, and detailed information on hotels, villas, and restaurants across the world, with much-needed detail on when to visit, what to do once you get there, and essential need-to-know information specific to each destination. Cass has written for The Independent, The Telegraph, Vogue. Elle and GQ,amongst others.