And Finally, With Sophie Conran


Interior designer, cook and author, Sophie Conran shares her favourite eclectic mix of holiday havens

The Place That Keeps Drawing Me Back

The Amalfi coast, I’ve visited Positano many times and I love staying at Le Sirenuse, my parents used to go there, too and it’s absolutely amazing. The fantastic food, the beautiful culture, the glorious turquoise water and the fact that it’s imbued with history keep drawing me back. You imagine you’re swimming with the Sirens and it’s very earthy in many ways; it seems to burst with joy and abundance; the gardens spilling out with pumpkins and flowers everywhere and there’s some sort of adventure around every corner. I’m also fascinated by the way the village is built into a rock, which is testament to human ingenuity and resilience. Everywhere you turn there’s beauty and pockets of fantastic sophistication. There are also stunning ceramics, so I’m always interested in those.

Perfect Soundtrack When I’m On The Move

I love audio books and I’ve listened to all of Poirot and I also like Malcom Gladwell. I’m currently listening to the iliad. I also enjoyed Agatha Christie’s autobiography, it’s fascinating, as she travelled all over the bucolic England. Her husband was an archaeologist so she travelled with him and spent a great deal of time in Iran, Iraq and Syria. Her descriptions of the people, places, and adventures are very heart warming.

Luxury Villa Or Swanky Boutique Hotel

It’s a mixture of both – a wonderful place called Trasierra, located in a tiny walled village in the hills above Seville with flower filled courtyards, yoga, incredible food and a plethora of places to go and explore. I’ve been a few times with my family – it’s best to go with a big group. It’s very simple, but also so relaxing and charming. Plumbago, a favourite flower of mine, cascades everywhere and there’s a real feeling that you’re in the middle of nowhere as you walk through olive groves and woodland. With food that comes straight from the earth and local delicacies, It’s great for parties, with real soul. It’s not super swanky, but just perfect.

When I Travel, I’m Never Without

A thick pair of socks, a cardigan and a big pashmina. I find aeroplanes get very cold. Suddenly you’re going somewhere hot or you’ve been somewhere balmy and you end up freezing, so I always remember to put those in my bag.

The Best Souvenirs I’ve Brought Home

That’s very difficult, because I’m always buying things when I’m away. I’ve been on lots of road trips and I never fail to fill the car with food and items from antique markets. Ceramics is a favourite, especially bowls from Marrakech, going to the markets there is amazing, you can find some real treasures. I think when you’re shopping abroad you have a different perspective – you don’t have that brand perspective or whatever it is, so you’re more open in your choices.


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