Traveler’s picks

by Alix Verley-Pietrafesa

Nov 2018

When Alix started handmaking clothes, she was a student at University in Scotland. From then on, she never stopped making clothes, inspired by mid-century Parisian Bohemians and by the Bloomsbury Group. Her destiny reflects her origins, partly artistical and partly entrepreneurial, which gave rise to the brand Alix of Bohemia in 2009. The Bohemian stylist currently works in her own Brooklyn atelier and creates limited editions and unique pieces. She travels the world looking for stories, techniques and ancient fabrics. Her journeys are the blank page on which every collection takes shape.

 

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

Under a grape vine arbor in Tuscany, at a long table, with family and friends who are like family, with fresh figs and cheese and lemons and wine and candles and music and laughter.

The restaurant where you feel at home.

Quattro Venti in the mountains of Lucca, Italy. There’s no menu, and it’s outside on picnic tables but somehow feels very elegant and rustic at the same time. It’s been going for generations and if you manage to find the restaurant (it’s almost hidden in a forest), you’re instantly treated like family and served the most delicious pasta of your life.

A hotel room that makes you nostalgic.

The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. When I lived in Hong Kong, I was lucky enough to spend many weekends at this waterside paradise. The flowers alone are from a dream. It feels as though you are escaping to Colonial times. If you do make it to Bangkok, I also recommend going to the restaurant Bo-Lan, it’s one of those places where you keep eating even though you are beyond full, because the food tastes so amazing.

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

India! I went traveling through Rajestan this spring sourcing fabrics and was just so enamored… I suppose all the clichés surrounding India are true- it feels like a film. All the colors, smells and sounds are a more amplified version of real life, and the energy is palpable. I am heading back in October and I cannot wait- there is so much richness to discover.

A dish that recently surprised you.

At home in New York, recently at one of my local places  in the East Village, Tabwa. The food is always so good there, but it was this dish of creamy saffron polenta  with these delicate crunchy mushrooms that was just insanely more-ish It was so divine I have been trying to recreate it (without success!) ever since.

A holiday place from your childhood.

The immaculate beaches of Block Island, Rhode Island where we summered when I was a child. It’s mostly protected so it’s very wild…the waters are indigo, and it’s the opposite of the hamptons chi-chi shuffle. We were too casual to ever even put on shoes.

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

London! My old stomping grounds and my all-time favorite city since I was a kid. So many markets to discover (Burroughs for eating, portobello for antiques and Columbia for Flowers) the museums are incredible, there’s endless scenic walking in lush parks and amidst beautiful architecture, and so many neighborhoods within london to discover… and you can take part in rituals which feel old school, like High Tea, or paddling on the Serpentine. I remember my first time in London as a child I felt like I was stepping back into history, and it still holds that feeling for me.

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

Belmond Villa San Michele, outside Florence. Even if you aren’t celebrating anything, the setting alone is reason enough to crack some bubbles and dance in the orangerie.

A view you will never forget.

Stargazing gazing on the Panta Rhei, the sailboat on which we (my mother and boyfriend, and me and my boyfriend) did a transatlantic crossing this summer. I’ve never seen a more vast, quiet or brilliant night sky.

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

Samode Haveli in Jaipur. The hotel and the city are spectacular or Le Saint Paul in Saint Paul de Vence … One of my favorite places in the world, this hotel is fit for a princess and the medieval village is simply magical.

A place you wish it was just round the corner.

Dukes Hotel in London, for the world’s most perfect (and potent!) Martini.

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