In the latest of our long-running series on the travel habits of the rich and famous, wetalk to champion golfer Rory McIlroy about his favourite restaurants, and what he did in the hotel pool.

Rory McIlroy: Don't dine with him when he's lost

Rory McIlroy: Don't dine with him when he's lost

Rory McIlroy: Don’t dine with him when he’s lost

Earliest travel memory? 

Florida. Mum and Dad took me when I was seven.

I remember the sun, the golf course where we were staying and that there was just so much to do. Going to kid-friendly restaurants at night was novel, too. And all of it in shorts and a T-shirt – you don’t get that too often at home in July.

Favourite restaurant? 

Deanes restaurants in Belfast. There are a few of them now, and all have different styles, from casual to fine dining. They are about being back home with friends and family.

Ideal dining companion? 

George Best. I’m just such a huge football fan. I can think of a lot of legendary golfers, but I’d love to have chatted to somebody regarded as the best of the best in his day.

I think we’d have had great banter.

Least favourite? 

Any golfer in the world after they’ve had a bad round.

What do you never travel without? 

Headphones and music; clean underwear and good company.

Favourite hotel?

The Fitzpatrick in New York, where I feel at home.

I’m always looked after well, but not in a fussy way or with special treatment. And the breakfasts are great; lots of sausages, bacon and breads from back home.

Hands on the trophy: Rory in familiar victorious mode after winning the Open Championship last July

Hands on the trophy: Rory in familiar victorious mode after winning the Open Championship last July

Hands on the trophy: Rory in familiar victorious mode after winning the Open Championship last July

Favourite place? 

It has to be home, really. There’s just nowhere I’m more relaxed. I probably have a very romantic view of home, because I’m not back for more than about six weeks in a year.

Naughtiest thing you’ve done on holiday? 

As a kid I think I probably did a pee once or twice in a hotel pool.

Top travel tip?

 Take good music and headphones wherever you go. You can escape almost anything (or anybody) with great tunes. And wear sunscreen.

What’s one place you’re keen to see but haven’t?

I’ve heard so much great stuff about the Amalfi Coast in Italy, so it’s definitely on my list. I just love the sound of Sorrento and Positano. I’ve heard the food is fantastic and the atmosphere is completely chilled. But it’s maybe not somewhere I’d go on a boys’ trip.

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