Frequent Flyer: Lorraine Elliott, 'Not Quite Nigella'

By David Flynn, November 22 2010
Frequent Flyer: Lorraine Elliott, 'Not Quite Nigella'

This week: Lorraine Elliott, sometimes better known as Not Quite Nigella from the "cooking, eating and travel blog" of the same name (there's also a book from Penguin coming in mid-2011).

Which city do you live in?

How many days would you spend travelling each year?
About 80 days.

What city do you most often visit for business?
Melbourne, as my book publisher and main sponsor are both there. And how can any foodie not enjoy visiting Melbourne?

What's your best tip for Melbourne?
Melbourne is just brimming over with fantastic establishments to eat, across every price categories. I also find their service is brilliant, and it's just a very exciting city to eat in. I adore my meals at The Royal Mail (outside of Melbourne), Attica, Cutler & Co and Cumulus. I also think Melbourne has some of the quirkiest restaurant names I've come across.

 What's the one thing you do (or try to do) on every trip ?
Eat as much as I can! Also, if a hotel has a nice bath I always have a bath as I just don't have the time to do that at home.  

 On any business trip, what do you like to do in your spare time ?
A business trip for me is slightly different from most. I write about food and travel so I am always eating, but that's my job as well as my passion. So any spare time is dedicated to more eating or sleeping!

 You’ve got a spare day on your trip: what do you do?
I like to be where food loving locals are so if they have a good food market, I'll head there.

When you’re overseas, what are your favourite stores to shop in?
I love clothes and makeup so I love any store that has quirky unusual things that I can't buy in Sydney. I also like to shop at the luxury brand boutiques as the prices are much better in Europe. And I always check out Zara and H&M as we don't have them here.

What’s your favourite hotel?
I'm a little obsessed with luxury five-star lodges. For one, they make a fantastic story as they are just packed with thoughtful details and wonderful service. A hotel is really a 'home away from home' for me and my surroundings are important... if I don't like it, I can be utterly miserable. I'm not one of those people that find hotels just a place to rest their head.

Tell us about your best overseas dining experience.
There are literally too many to name but one that really sticks in my mind is in New Zealand at Treetops Lodge. We foraged for native NZ produce in a forest and then arriving at a stunning waterfall where chairs and a table were set up. The Maori chef Eru Tutaki  cooked us a beautiful lunch and we ate it under the waterfall. Incredible!

What are some essential carry-on items you’d never leave home without?
Noise-cancelling headphones, water, moisturiser, lip balm and hand cream. They all help me avoid feeling completely desiccated by the flight's end.

How do you typically spend your in-flight time?
On my iPad writing my book or stories for the blog. I'm also a television addict and relish the chance to watch back-to-back episodes of my favourite TV shows. I also try and sneak on a trashy mag.

How do you beat jetlag?
I tend to take my cues from my surroundings so I tend to stay awake when it's bright. And while I wish I could say that I do beat jetlag, I think it's mostly inevitable.

What are the first things you do on a business trip after settling into your hotel?
Take a photograph of the room for my review. Then I turn on my iPad and check on what I've missed while I've been flying. I also check if there's a bathrobe and slippers, as they are two things that I really like having in a hotel room.

What do you like most about travelling, even though it’s for work?
I love the whole discovery aspect to travelling. I never get tired of discovering and I look at travel as an adventure.

What are your biggest travel gripes?
They're usually plane-related. Seats that are too small (and I'm not a big person, so if I find it small I shudder to think how others find them!) and fellow passengers that are inconsiderate.


Australian Business Traveller's ‘Frequent Flyer’ interview profiles businesspeople who regularly travel within Australia and overseas and lets them share their favourite destinations, hotels, activities and tips with the rest of the business traveller community.

If you're interested in being interviewed, please email [email protected].


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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