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THE MAÎTRE D’ ‘La Jolla is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is the quintessential Southern California beach town at its most sublime. The coastline curves into a cove and allows for the most breathtaking views. I grew up there. My best days started before sunrise, surfing at Windansea – truly one of the most beautiful beaches on earth – with the awe-inspiring serenity of watching the waves come in. Mitch’s Surf Shop is a local institution there. The sunsets are just incredible. The Pannikin is the best coffee shop in town, and where I met the love of my life, my wife. The Café Mochas made with Mexican Ibarra chocolate are incredible. My favourite bookshop Warwick’s is always worth a visit. You can’t be in San Diego and not have Mexican food. Even the taco stands are great, but again, I prefer an old local classic, Jose’s on Prospect.’


THE CHEF ‘I recently discovered the Isle of Wight. I can hop on a train at Waterloo and be there within two hours, feet up and a drink in hand. There are farms growing cherries and strawberries; there is the best clotted cream, fish to die for and a wonderful garlic farm. Lots of great young chefs are making a name for themselves in some excellent pubs. I love to sail out of the Medina river past Cowes, heading west to Newtown where we anchor and picnic on our boat ‘Grace’. Stay at The Royal Hotel ( for impeccable food and service. When I cross the Solent I feel the weight of everyday life shift.’ 82 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | March 2014


THE GALLERY OWNER ‘Through a French friend I discovered Alliance Pornic ( on the coast of France, in an area known as Loire Atlantique. Pornic is a small seaside town between St Nazaire and Bordeaux. With pretty much 100 per cent French clientele, a working knowledge of French is helpful, but not essential. It is not as luxe as, say, Quiberon, but it has an amazing selection of treatments and you can customise your programme so that you don’t pay for the elements you do not need. With 30 treatments over six days, one feels wonderful pretty quickly, yet never hungry. The combination of sea water treatments, exercise and alkaline, detox, delicious food leaves you feeling ready to face the rigours of London life again with everything feeling beautifully loose, where once it was tight.’


THE RUG DESIGNER ‘My favourite hotel has to be Masseria Torre Coccaro in Puglia, Italy (masseriatorrecoccaro. com). The hotel has only a handful of rooms and suites, perfect for large groups and families who want to book the whole place. The food is incredible, all locally sourced, and there are plenty of activities for the kids so that the adults can unwind. The beach club is paradise and you can quite happily while away the week without seeing another person. I’ve always had a love affair with Italy (my latest Tarantella rug collection is inspired by it), and Puglia perfectly encapsulates how extraordinary it really is.’



THE MODEL AGENT Hotel Splendido ( in Portofino is a 16th-century former monastery set high in the mountains and overlooking the crystal clears waters of the harbour. It has, perhaps, some of the most picturesque views of the Italian Riviera. The hotel has a glamorous history and an old-world elegance – Edward Duke of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly were all past guests. We flew there by private jet to celebrate my husband’s birthday a few years ago. Try the local Genoan black olive dumplings and the squid and artichoke salad at La Terraza, the hotel restaurant that specialises in fine Italian cuisine, and finish off by sipping cocktails for two on the pontoon.’

THE FASHION DESIGNER ‘My favourite place is Castelluccio, our family castle in the rural south of Sicily. We rent some houses in the Vendicari oasis (lucreziabonaccorsi@ and there is a famous hotel in that area, the Seven Rooms ( in nearby Noto. It is a unique and magical place, which represents my aesthetic style. When I’m there, I feel in very close contact with nature. I love relaxing, gardening, entertaining, reading and swimming. I usually eat at home, or I go to Lubar, a wonderful local chiringuito in the Vendicari oasis. Cialoma in Marzamemi and Caffè Sicilia in Noto are the places to go for ice cream, while La Locanda del Colonnello in Modica is famous for its chocolate dolceria Bonajuto.’

Paulo de Tarso Country & Townhouse  

Paulo's Travelling tips March issue 2014

Paulo de Tarso Country & Townhouse  

Paulo's Travelling tips March issue 2014