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Travel Stories

Saint Tropez with Frederique

Saint Tropez with Frederique

My name is Frederique and I live between Paris and St.Tropez with my husband and our lovely border terrier Pyla, we love travelling and discovering new venues…

I'm obsessed with fashion and art de vivre. I ended up completing an MBA at Institut Francais de la Mode and now I develop special projects at Thom Browne.

Club 55

Growing up in the South of France, we always loved to come for family weekends in Saint Tropez and later with friends from school where we had our first parties and fantastic holidays right on the beach at the Club 55 cabanas. We celebrated every birthday there and later bought a flat in the centre of village and I got married in Saint Tropez, the most special place in my heart now forever!

Saint TropezSaint Tropez

Depending of what you expect from Saint Tropez, the cabanas at Club 55 are the most hidden gem there, simple yet perfect wood cabanas by the beach; the Sube hotel is also a great place on the Port of Saint Tropez, very lively, local and you’ll wake up as if on a yacht !

The most exclusive and special place to me is Épi Baie de Pampelonne, luxury bungalows right on the Pampelonne beach, bathing around two swimming pools and spectacular gardens, with 2 clay tennis tennis courts, paddle boards, Japanese and Mediterranean venues…paradise !

For retail therapy, of course all of the mega brands are here, but if you’re looking for something else other than LVMH, you should definitely head to Battaglia for rock’n roll outfits , By Marie for a fantastic selection of dresses and bags , and not to miss the little boutique at Club 55, best beachwear ever, run by the owners and if you’re looking for a Cave du Roi outfit, Martine Chambon will take care of you with the most spectacular selection. For the Home definitely head to the one and only Monica Damonte boutique.

My insider tip is to take a drive around Wines road, the area is also very famous for fantastic Côtes de Provence, head to Chateau des Marres and Chateau Volterra. you won’t be disappointed and you can reserve a little tasting !

For Cuisine tips- Breakfast at Sénéquier on the port, lunch at Club 55 or Loulou’s on the beach, dinner on the beach at Indie beach and best pasta in town at Luna Rossa…I am not an expert on party places, sorry guys ;) !


If you love art , Atelier 55 will make you very happy if you’re looking for the Riviera’s feeling of the 60’s. And if you’re going to saint Tropez, you really should do a hike in «  Le sentier du littoral » from the village to les Salins, It is truly breathtaking !

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Palermo, Sicily with Ros

Palermo, Sicily with Ros

Hello my name is Ros and I am a travel and fashion features writer and editor with over a decade’s experience working for world-renowned glossies and national newspapers. 

Last year, we packed our bags for Sicily in that brief lockdown hiatus, when travel
restrictions were lifted and airports became a masterclass in chaos. And it was worth it.

I flew out with my husband on a road trip feature mission for Condé Nast Traveller, with a surprisingly light suitcase (for me) and a fresh kick of gratitude for a change of scene and culture.

Palermo


Our first stop was Palermo, an alluringly dishevelled city whose bygone splendour is cracked, sun-baked and beautiful. I’d possibly spent too long fixating on the Baroque towns of the south east to untangle any preconceived ideas around Palermo, but in just two days, the city’s warren of honey-hued palazzos and light-filled piazzas cast a delicious, Aperol-heavy spell on me.


Like a swallow whose beak sends it south, I’m heading back there this September (a curious decision for someone who hankers after variety). I’m particularly excited to peek inside the fresh interiors of Villa Igiea, Rocco Forte’s latest opening, lording over Palermo’s shoreline like a relic of the capital’s golden age.

Palermo


Best restaurants

Palermo bears the architectural and cultural stamps of the various invaders that claimed and conquered it throughout the centuries. As such, Norman castles rub shoulders with Byzantine mosaics, mosques and splendid Spanish doorways adorned with stone cherubs. This unique fusion of cultures is also prevalent across the city’s menus. In Palermo’s labyrinth of understated and enchanting eateries, you’ll find arancini, aubergine caponata, pasta alla Norma and granita con brioche (sweet frozen granita sandwiched in a warm brioche bun which Sicilians enjoy for leisurely breakfasts with a coffee and a long silver spoon). We lent into this tradition at Prestipino café, and enjoyed elevated riffs on Sicilian classics at Osteria Ballarò, a buttoned-up restaurant housed in old palace stables with a well-curated wine list.

PalermoPalermo

Best shopping

Head to the old town if you want to peer into Palermo’s soul and dive into its tangle of antiques and flea markets, such as Mercato delle Pulci, or Mercato del Capo as well as its food markets which bear the rhythms and kaleidoscopic colour palette of a Moroccan souk. Not far from the Fountain of Shame (Fontana della Vergogna) in Piazza Pretoria, I stumbled upon Libraria Forense, an old bookshop tucked away in Palermo’s ancient backstreets. It’s well worth visiting, for the beautifully curated interiors as well as the mix of modern reads and battered leather hardbacks.


Best hotels

Aside from Villa Igiea, I wasn’t bowled over by any hotels in Palermo - it’s all about renting a tranche of its Palazzos through private owners. I want to feel the city - to wake up to its frescoed ceilings and laze about in its tired splendour when the afternoon heat reaches its crescendo. The place for this is Palazzo Lungarini whose blush pink marble pillars and grand staircase leads to grand-but-gentle apartments one imagines a Sicilian King may gift his favourite mistress. Palermo’s soft evening soundtrack wafts in through the balcony windows and an antique bed holds court in a vast, Belle Époque space.

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Tuscany with Olivia

Tuscany with Olivia

Hi I’m Olivia I’m half English half Italian and live in London. I am a plant based mum of twin girls and 2 Springer Spaniels. I am currently studying acting for film at The Met Film school and have just finished a diploma in acting at the London School of Dramatic Art. I love animals and nature whilst loving the hustle and energy of the city.

Tuscany Travel IdeasTuscany Travel Ideas

 

Tuscany and specifically Il Borro is home to me. My family bought the estate in the early 90s and went through the re-modernisation of it. It is now part of the Relais Chateaux group. I have been going there all the time since the age of 11 years old. I remember I had my first horse there and started playing Polo there for the first time. Its a very special place surrounded by a very scenic and hilly landscape typical of the Tuscan countryside with its gorgeous vineyards that produce the most incredible red and white organic wines. I remember as a child I used to visit the local farmers and play with the baby rabbits and piglets and since then have always had a passion for pigs and there intelligence and vibrant personalities.
 
Of course I would highly recommend Il Borro as a place to stay. You can either rent an apartment/suite in the medieval village or a villa in the surrounding countryside.

Il Boro, Tuscany


 
There is a wonderful concept store run by my sister Vivia in the actual hotel as well as an amazing wine cellar to tour which is exceptional. There is also the outlet mall (www.themall.it) with all the high end brands a mere 40 minutes away which is a must if staying at Il Borro. Everyone always finds the most crazy bargains there. 
 
For the ultimate in relaxation there is an incredible spa in a cove under the ground  it has its own jacuzzi and steam room and relaxation area that is able to be booked for 2 people. Another incredible experience I cannot recommend enough is a sunset ride out into the country with a champagne picnic whilst on a blanket overlooking the rolling Tuscan hills.
 
The hotel also has the most incredible restaurant overlooking the medieval village which is very romantic and I have witnessed quite a few proposals on that terrace! As well as a gorgeous infinity pool in the spa area overlooking the medieval village surrounded by luscious greenery.
 
Don't miss the gallery of wine related art works that is so interesting. Seeing how wine has always accompanied us through the decades and has always been the centre of ones enjoyment in its various forms.


Possibly one of the most interesting things not to miss is an incredible copy of the holy shroud in the small church in the medieval village as well as a live nativity which is so special and hand made by the late village priest. The church is very special to me as my husband and I got married there 10 years ago.

If I was to take one piece of Alemdara with me on my travels it would have to be my three of the beaded base chains that stack, or my custom rope heart ring. 


www.ilborro.it

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