Victoria Mary Clarke explains why £ 8 beach hut was better than the Ritz
Artist and designer Victoria Mary Clarke has traveled the world for her work – and for fun, too.
From being on the road with the Pogues to a transcendental mediation retreat, she’s had all kinds of adventures.
In this week’s On The Road With, Victoria opens up about spending time with Johnny Depp and Quentin Tarantino, Deepak Chopra’s Ashram and the Energy Vortexes in Flores Canyon.
What’s your favorite moment on the road?
I traveled all over the world with the Pogues [Clarke is married to frontman Shane MacGowan], and the whole experience was more than thrilling.
The manager had a “no women on the road” policy and Shane told him that if I couldn’t come, he wouldn’t either. All tours merge into one for various reasons and there were plenty of wild moments, often involving unexpected encounters with famous people.
Quentin Tarantino was front row at one of Shane’s concerts in Los Angeles, dancing like crazy – afterwards he wanted to meet Shane but Shane needed a rest, so he asked me to entertain Quentin for a few hours.
We went for a pizza and then went to dance at the Whiskey A Go Go. He was incredibly good company – really talkative, funny and super enthusiastic, just like a big kid. I had just seen Reservoir Dogs and was ridiculously excited.
And your favorite city?
Los Angeles. You can hike the canyons, rollerblade by the ocean and they have the best motels.
My favorite canyon is Laurel Canyon, which is mountainous and is in the Hollywood Hills, and Flores Canyon is meant to be an energy vortex – we went with a shaman and had an out of body experience where
I was floating in the sky.
We also met a group of people there who got caught up in aliens every Friday just for fun.
Grill Musso & Frank on Hollywood Boulevard is my go-to place to eat. It features in Tarantino’s film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and has been running since 1919.
They have good American cuisine, red leather banquettes and an absolutely perfect dry martini (dishes around £ 28).
What is the best memory you have brought home?
I have an oversized fluffy robe that I love. I bought it from Sunset marquess when we were touring the US (rooms from £ 229.40).
I use it everyday. It brings back fond memories to me – I bought it on a Halloween after spending time with Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis at their house.
They were carving pumpkins and their little girl, Lily Rose, had baked cookies for us. It was one of those perfect days that people write songs about.
What was your most memorable travel experience?
In La Jolla, I spent a few days at Deepak Chopra’s ashram, and he taught me transcendent meditation. It gives you the deepest senses of bliss.
After that I learned to channel angels which is different because you feel like you’ve been upgraded to a wiser, more creative version of yourself.
Worst meal you’ve eaten abroad?
Shane passed out with his head on a plate of sashimi at Sushiya at sunset in the 90s and a famous actress, who will remain anonymous, came to tell me that I should take better care of him. I burst into tears, ruining the meal.
The best place you spent the night?
A toss-up between an £ 8 beach hut on Koh Phangan in southeast Thailand, or The Ritz London (rooms from £ 459). The Ritz had the best bed but the beach hut made up for it with the sounds of crickets.
Have you ever nearly been arrested?
Yeah, at the border coming back from Mexico to the United States when Shane took a *** in front of customs.
Where are you going next?
Hope to go to Johnny Depp Island, Little Hall’s Pond Cay. It’s in the Bahamas and it’s peaceful, secluded.
Clarke’s work can be viewed here.
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