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

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