Scottish born Danni Menzies joined A Place in the Sun earlier this year from a holiday let business background and a career that also included modelling and TV presenting. Here Danni, 28, reveals her story.
A background of horses and caravans?
I grew up in the Scottish Highlands village of Kenmore, surrounded by beautiful countryside. My family owned a caravan park on an 120 acre estate that we developed into a business with 50 buy-to-let homes, golf course, bar and restaurant. Setting up the riding stables there was my personal idea – I’ve always loved horses and used to compete in show-jumping contests.
Your first home purchase?
At 21 I bought a little two-bed fl at in Edinburgh with help from my parents. It was in an incredible location – Marchmont – but I did a lot of things wrong and it was a steep learning curve! I have only just sold it after letting it out – prices are static there so I haven’t made a huge profit!
Your most exotic travels?
I know this might sound odd, bearing in mind my latest job, but I suffered anxiety about travelling and to help me conquer these fears I decided to try myself in survive in the harshest place I could think of, then surely anywhere else would be easier? I went to Mexico City on a modelling job and had a pretty hairy time. Being tall and blonde didn’t help things – the public transport there is something else – and I was nearly kidnapped, I was burgled and was paid in fake money by my agent. But I was happy to have survived and returned to try life in London.
Wow. Next stop A Place in the Sun?
I’d been doing some TV work, acting and commercials, and I especially love interviewing people so I was doing a lot of that. I’ve always been a ‘people person’ and I feel that a lot of life experiences [see above!] have been useful in helping me relate to different types of people. I was delighted to get the job and have been filming in Spain – Benidorm, Mojacar – as well as St Lucia and Barbados.
Best and worst bits about filming?
It’s a dream job as I get to travel so much but filming for the fi rst time was a big jump out of my comfort zone. It is quite tricky filming in chilly locations – Almeria in April – and trying to make it look as if it’s hot whilst wearing summer clothes! It may be the hottest and driest corner of Spain in peak summer but I was so cold I was trying not to shake.
Barbados was amazing and brought back memories as we have always holidayed there as a family. In fact my dream home would be there, or Jamaica, which we also visited regularly over the years, and I’d love to have a few stables near the beach where I could go riding.