Chats with Charlie Stein #2: Travel


Much like food and wine, travel is very close to Charlie’s heart. It’s something he’s loved for as long as he can remember and inspires so much of his role in our business. In the second ‘Chats with Charlie’ of the series you’ll discover his favourite city, must-visit food and drink destination, earliest travel memory and more. Prepare to expand your bucket list… Click below to watch Charlie or scroll down to read what he said.

Favourite city to visit

There are so many to choose from. It’s very hard to name one favourite or the favourites so I’ll go for a few that I absolutely adore and could see myself living in. That’s what I always feel when I’m in a city, I’d live here if I could. Top of that list is definitely Sydney. I used to go there a lot as a child so have amazing memories. I love surfing, love hot weather (not great with this complexion…) but I think I could live there for a couple of years before I’d have to come back. The lifestyle would be amazing. Similarly, Cape Town. I’m a huge fan of South African wine which is all made around Cape Town. I absolutely love the scenery and the wines and the people there. Closer to home, Edinburgh. I really, really like Edinburgh. I love the architecture, I love the feel there, I love the people, I love Scotland, I love whiskey, I love Buckfast, so that is up there as well. Paris will always have a place in my heart too, just because I love it. It’s such a beautiful city – the food’s amazing, the wine’s amazing and the people are interesting. So those are my top four, but If I was pushed for one, I’d probably say Sydney because of the weather.

Must-visit destination for food and drink

My heart for food is in Italy and they make some unbelievable drinks and wine there. I absolutely adore Sicily and Puglia, but I’d say Puglia. My experience there was sensational in terms of food. We had sea urchin pasta and raw shellfish, raw prawns by the sea. It’s an amazing place that’s still a bit off the beaten track, quite agricultural and not so built up you like around Naples and the Amalfi coast and the wine is incredible too. I would say Puglia and we need to go back, hopefully this year.

Favourite spot for a family break

I’ve recently, well not recently now she’s 15 months, but just been through the whole first year and a bit of having a child, Romy, who’s amazing, and we went to Jamaica last year. Which on the sound of it doesn’t seem like a family destination but we had an amazing time there. We stayed in an all-inclusive, which we didn’t really like, and then we stayed in this amazing hotel called Golden Eye on Oracabessa Bay. I’m a huge James Bond fan, and this was Ian Fleming’s estate – very special indeed and totally family friendly so I’d go back there.

Earliest travel memory

We were very fortunate when we were growing up. Mum and dad would shut the restaurant in winter and then we would go off on school holidays to all go all around the world including Australia and India, which is my earliest travel memory. We went to Goa four times and were in Anjuna Market which is an amazing market. A food market that has just about everything. It was chaotic and the smells were very strong and there’s a particular smell that takes me right back. It was a nice smell, a sort of cooking smell and I remember running around Anjuna Market which must have been horrendous for my parents, having a child now, trying to keep control of us running into all the different stores. This is my earliest memory of travel. I love Goa. I love India. I love the food. I love the people.

Thanks for watching or reading and keep an eye out for more Chats with Charlie soon.


Charlie leads our business with Rick, Jill, Ed and Jack – inspiring everything we do to make our guests smile.

From choosing all the drinks on our lists and hosting dinners in our restaurants to sharing his knowledge with our teams to develop their skills. There’s so much to Charlie’s role.