Heaven & Hell : Ricky Ross 
The Daily Telegraph 18th May 2002


Great holidays . . . 

Which was your best holiday? 

Going to the South of France. I love visiting the area around Nice and Cannes with my wife, Lorraine, and our four children. We usually stay in a villa so that we can do our own thing. I love France and the French way of life. The South is very child-friendly and the weather is always good. There's also lots to do - I get bored sitting by the pool all day so I visit the museums in Nice and Antibes. 

And the best hotel you've stayed in? 

The most enjoyable was the Locanda del Sant'Uffizio near Asti in Italy. Deacon Blue was doing a show in Turin and it was a wonderful place to stumble upon. It's a small hotel that has been converted from a monastery, set in vineyards. The restaurant was wonderful. I really want to go back. 

What do you need for a perfect holiday? 

My family; sunshine - coming from Glasgow, it's important to go somewhere sunny on holiday; and having the chance to read. Holidays are the only time that I get to read books. 

What do you always take with you? 

Music. I usually bring a ghetto-blaster and CDs. 

What's your best piece of advice on travel? 

You can have fun travelling with children if you don't do too much when they're young. When you travel with young children, you think that travelling will never be the same again, but if you wait a couple of years it can make such a difference. 

Where do you want to go next? 

To Positano on the Amalfi Coast. I'd love to see it. 

. . . and disasters 

Which was your worst holiday? 

Spending New Year in Lanzarote. The children had a good time but I didn't find much to celebrate. Lanzarote is just covered with volcanic ash. It might have been fun if it had been 
sunny. When we reached the airport to fly home, the winds were up and all flights were cancelled. I really wanted to get out of there. 

And the worst experience on holiday? 

Halfway through a meal in a restaurant on the Algarve, a Scottish guy came up and said, "I want you to know you've ruined my night. It's my wife's birthday and you've taken my table." It was like a bad dream. The waiter who'd shown us to that table was intimidated by him and told us that we'd taken the other man's table as well. It was horrible. 

What do you avoid on holiday? 

Ever since I went to Menorca, I've tried to avoid places where you can hear mopeds all night. 

Which is the worst hotel you've ever stayed in? 

Probably the least charming was a hotel in Los Angeles. It cost only about 43 pounds  a night. The room was big and reminded me of a 1950s B movie. I've tried to obliterate it from my mind. 

What do you hate about holidays? 

I hate having to book for other people because you feel ultimately responsible. I worry whether my wife will like it. I always feel nervous until we arrive. 

Ricky Ross, founder member of Deacon Blue, has just released a solo album, `This Is The Life'. Clare Thomson