Traveller’s Picks

by Emily Thompson

Jan 2019

Emily was raised in the Northeast Kingdom, U.S. state of Vermont and travelled from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, to UCLA, where she earned her MFA in sculpture. Her work as an artist evokes nature in “magnificent style” and it is deeply inspired by William Gilpin, the 18th century theorist of the picturesque. She is based in NYC, where she founded the Emily Thompson Flowers, an agency that designs events, gardens, terraces and graces a selected number of private residences and businesses. We can enjoy her wonders at Le Mercerie, in Soho and at THE GUILD, in Howard Street.

Cover by Sophia Moreno-Bunge, flowers Ingalls Photography



If you could close your eyes and be somewhere else, where would you want to be?

I am currently dreaming of traveling to the Hebrides Islands. All that expanse around me and the drama of the landscapes.

The restaurant where you feel at home.

Le Mercerie, where my flower shop is located in NYC.  It’s not only a home to my shop, but also to me and to my family and my team.  We survive on their coffee, tea and pastries. You’ll often see my son and the children of the amazing chef, Marie Rose, playing on the fancy furniture.

A hotel room that makes you nostalgic.

The hotel San Maurizio 1619 Relais Antica Badia in Ragusa, Sicily had a room with such exaggerated proportions– vaulted ceilings, painted with cherubic scenes, old elaborate draperies, and tassels, sculptural depictions of tassels were everywhere.  I stayed there on my honeymoon.

A travel you could do over and over again without getting bored.

As it turns out, I never tire of travels in Sicily.  

A dish that recently surprised you.  

A chestnut veloute soup at Le Mercerie, the lovely cafe in Soho where my flower shop lives.  It was perfectly fresh and delicate.

A holiday place from your childhood.

We swam, and still swim in a very cold lake in Vermont where I grew up, Lake Willoughby.  My sister now owns a beautiful house, The Notch House, at the south end of the lake. The lake was made by a glacier that split a mountain in two and made the lake in between.

If a kid asked you to take him/her on a trip, where would that be?

We took my four-year-old to the Alps last summer and it was ideal for travelling with a child. We hiked up to five hours a day and he could handle the worst of it.  For a city kid, he got a chance to live in the landscape and to imagine all the forest creatures’ activity, and even bathe in an alpine waterfall and lake.

If you could choose a dream place to celebrate what would that be?

I was married in Siena, and it was perfect.  Perhaps next is Machu Picchu.

A view you will never forget.

Travels in Andalucia– The El Chorro gorge provided one of the most spectacular and terrifying views I’ve ever experienced.  It’s an old stone bridge with no handrails suspended over a gorge. It was illegal to visit at the time, as the concrete walkways and bridge were constructed in 1901 and could only be reached through an endless, dark, and very active railway tunnel.  Thrilling.

Your Meraviglia address that can’t be missing from our collection.

I choose Remota, in Southern Chile, as traveling such a distance promises many adventures and powerful experiences of the many landscapes.

A place you wish it was just round the corner.

I once arrived at Ajaccio in Corsica before sunrise on the slow boat from Marseilles.  A market was assembling at the harbor, and before I knew it, I had accumulated a number of Brebis cheeses and the beignet stall gave me the first batch, free.  I ate them watching the sunrise over Napoleon’s childhood home. I could stand to revisit this.




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