It doesn’t matter how old you are or how famous you get, there’s nothing like spending a bit of time with your mum to make you feel like a teenager again.
Jessie and Lennie Ware are reminiscing about holidays when Jessie was a child, but they have a slightly different perspective on how things went down.
“Your finest moment was not when you schlepped us up the Acropolis in the blazing heat in the midday sun,” groans Jessie – with Lennie chiming in: “I thought I was doing a good thing, Jess!”
Her daughter adds: “Not in the midday sun, and we blistered from the burn – not your best parenting moment.” Ever the optimist, Lennie finishes the story: “Weren’t you glad to have seen the Acropolis, though?”
Anyone who has listened to the duo’s smash hit podcast Table Manners will be well accustomed to this kind of good-natured bickering. Jessie – who found fame as a Mercury Prize-nominated singer – presents the podcast with her mother, where they sit down for food and a chat with famous guests, ranging from Ed Sheeran to Dolly Parton.
The Wares have countless holiday stories they’re eager to share – from visiting Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica (“I pretended I was Beyonce in the Survivor video,” quips Jessie) to frequent trips to New York They initially went to the Big Apple to see family, but Jessie says: “Then it proceeded to mum flying out to see a show of mine when I started performing there as an artist, and that was always fun. I love it – she treated it like she was just popping to Manchester.”
With their love of New York, it made sense for the two to celebrate the city’s signature snack: bagels. In a new British Airways American Express campaign they enjoy Twist & Share Bagels – baked to have double the fillings, with two portions in one.
Despite the odd bit of bickering, Jessie and Lennie love travelling together – so much so it’s become something of a running joke in the family. For Lennie, the reason is simple: “Because Jessie adores me,” she says cheerfully.
As per, Jessie’s take is slightly different: “Initially I think it was because mum was paying,” she says with a cheeky grin, “but that’s changed and I do pay my way now. We’re just always up for it – I think my husband’s always shocked by how much we’ll prioritise a holiday over anything.”
And when they are on vacation, food takes precedence over everything else. Jessie’s specialty is finding “the most exciting food spots”, she says. “I like to get recommendations – I’m kind of obsessed with it, to the point where it’s very annoying for the people who go on holiday with me.”
Lennie adds: “Jessie could tell you almost every meal we’ve had on almost every holiday – she can remember that holiday in Menorca, what we had on the first night we were there when she was 12.”
Luckily, Jessie’s tastes have evolved since she was a tween.” I realise the majority of those [meals] were spaghetti bolognese when we were younger,” she says with a hint of embarrassment. “That’s always what any child orders when it’s on the menu.”
While Jessie has food covered, Lennie’s expertise lies in other areas. “Where you can get the best cosmos – that is a skill,” she says, “and where you can watch Premier League football.”
Jessie had her third baby in July (with husband Sam Burrows), and while she’s “scared for the people sitting next to us” on the plane, she can’t wait to travel with her children. “I’m excited about them going places and experiencing things like mum showed us when we were younger,” she explains. “In the school holidays we’d always go abroad somewhere. It was always something we’d look forward to, our holidays together, because it was always so varied – we’d always try different places. And then in the summer holidays it was always Skopelos in Greece, so there was always that staple place we always returned to.”
Although taking children around the world is a privilege, it was definitely something Lennie prioritised. “I just love travel,” she admits. “I think it’s the thing I’ve missed most about this whole pandemic, it’s really important to me.” She wanted to take her three children – Jessie and siblings Hannah and Alex – abroad because, “I think they just learn so many different things. It’s an important part of life, learning about the world.”
Luckily the Wares won’t have to wait too long until their next adventure, because they’ve already planned a trip to Tenerife.
Jessie and Lennie Ware have partnered with the British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card to celebrate the Companion Voucher benefit which could entitle you to a second seat for a companion when making a Reward Flight booking. For more information, search BA Amex.