My trip of a lifetime was when I visited New York for the first time. Even though it was somewhere I’d always dreamed of visiting, I’d never managed to go: family holidays had taken priority over ‘dream trips abroad’.

So when I got the chance to go over to research my new novel, From Notting Hill to New York . . . Actually, it really was the trip I’d longed to take. And like so many people before me, once there I immediately fell in love with the wonderfully energetic place they call the ‘Big Apple’.

Being in New York really is like being on the set of a movie and if, like me, you’re a bit inclined to dream your way through life, then you will love wandering from street to street, spotting iconic landmarks, and trying to remember which movie or TV show you’ve seen them in before.

Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue is a perfect example of that. When you enter through its doors, it’s like stepping right into Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You almost expect to see Audrey Hepburn standing at one of the counters, trying to buy diamonds for her cat!

Notting Hill in London is a bit like that too. If you’ve ever sat and dreamily watched Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant sit on the park bench together, or wanted to buy books from Hugh’s shop just off the Portobello Road, then this is the place for you. You can even see the iconic blue door where Rhys Ifans stood and posed in his undies in front of the world’s press. Just don’t knock on the door if you do go and visit – I don’t think you’ll get such a warm welcome from the current owners!

I love movies – especially romantic ones, so being able to write two novels in which films feature so strongly has been an absolute delight. And being lucky enough to visit two fascinating and inspiring places like Notting Hill and New York, so closely associated with them, has been an absolute joy for me.

To celebrate the publication of my book Tesco are giving you the chance to win a VIP shopping weekend in London! Simply answer the following question in the comments section below:

Where would you go on a trip of a lifetime and why?

Wishing you all the very best of luck with the competition – a chauffeur-driven shopping trip around Notting Hill! Even my characters don’t get to do that!

Good luck!

Ali x

Buy From Notting Hill to New York . . . Actually online and in store now!

Terms & Conditions:

1. This competition is for one winner to receive the prize which consists of: Two nights in a boutique hotel in Notting Hill, breakfast daily and dinner at the hotel’s bistro one evening; a guided walking tour of Notting Hill, including celebrity homes and hangouts; £200 to spend at Tiffany & Co, and a chauffeur driven car at your disposal for 4 hours to carry your shopping bags only.

2. The winner will be selected at random from the entries received, in accordance with these terms and conditions by Tesco whose decision will be final.

3. The winner may see their entry posted on the Little, Brown, Tesco websites and possibly other websites and Twitter accounts associated with the competition.

4. There is no purchase necessary to enter.

5. The competition opens at 12pm Midday BST on Monday 19th November and closes at 11.59 on Monday 10th December 2012. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates will not be eligible for entry into the competition.

6. The competition is open to any UK residents aged 18 or over except employees of Little, Brown Book Group, Tesco or their families, or anyone professionally connected to the competition either themselves or through their families.

7. Only one entry per person allowed. Second or subsequent entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.

8. Little, Brown Book Group is not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.

9. Little, Brown Book Group reserves the right to alter the prizes or cancel the competition without notice. No cash alternatives to prizes will be provided.

10. The winner will be published on the Tesco Books Blog on within 5 working days of the closing date.

11. Little, Brown Book Group will only use email addresses of the entrants, and the winner’s postal addresses, in compliance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with our privacy policy. The emails from the entrants, and from the winner, with their postal addresses (including any other record of the address) will be deleted respectively after the end on the competition and after the prize has been posted.

12. By entering the competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.

13. This competition is being organised by Little, Brown Book Group.