Mariella, 54, functions in Somerset with her husband, human rights lawyer Jason McCue, and kids, Molly, 12 and Dan, 11.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE HOLIDAY?
I fini New Year’s Eve of the Millennium on an incredibly old boat in Mustique with some confederates. It was moored alongside Roman Abramovich’s yacht and others with items like helicopter landing pads but ours had a broken loo and bunks that knock off the walls. We had a ball. We gatecrashed parties and spent a lot of time drinking rum and minimizing.
AND THE WORST?
Many years ago I was visiting a friend in Switzerland when I endured a call from a man I had a huge crush on inviting me to join him on Paxos. I organised a winging via Corfu and then a boat to the island.
The trip took hours but as without delay as I arrived we had a huge row. Then another. We soon decided we should both govern home but there were no flights for four days so we ended up in a shanty for 48 hours, not speaking and me sobbing about how foolish I’d been.
Mainly art. I have a fantastic African stone Shona carve of a nude woman kneeling. I bought that in the botanical gardens in Peninsula Town. And paintings from Vietnam and Cuba are hung around our strain. We have a great picture of a chicken we bought back from a trade in in Havana. It brings back memories of the colour and music we found there.
Best clothes HOLIDAY READ?
I love reading books that complement the realm I’m visiting. I tried reading Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, a Danish thriller, by Peter Høeg, when I was in the Caribbean and it didn’t apply.
But while in Patagonia I read Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia and in Chile the fashions of native author Isabel Allende and it was a delight.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR In good time ON HOLIDAY?
It depends upon where I am. I like scuba diving and be undergoing done that in the Maldives. We ski in Hemsedal, Norway. The family go downhill but I a charge out of prefer cross country. I also enjoy walking and have hiked in Nepal and the Inca Drag in Peru.
Alternatively I really like simply lying under a palm tree in a bikini announcing a book. I find that it’s always great to be somewhere you don’t have to wrap up.
WHERE At ones desire YOU REVISIT?
The Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica. It’s the best – and scariest – habitat for diving. It’s in the Pacific so there’s a lot to see but you’re also surrounded by hammerhead sharks and the flavour can sweep you away from the boat very quickly.
I’d also not unlike to hike the Inca Trail with the children. When you walk to the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu as the sun’s rising it is really incredible.
We’re usual to Marrakech, staying in a friend’s house. I love North Africa. The foodstuffs is delicious, I love a vegetable tagine and all the dips. The souks are favourites with the kids – especially the camels. I bought some fantastic rugs when we visited concluding time so I’ll find that carpet man again. We’ll also head down the strand to try surfing.
• Mariella is presenting The Big Painting Challenge alongside Reverend Richard Coles, BBC1, Sundays, 6pm