A former freelancer journalist for the likes of Vogue Living, COLORS and Wallpaper* Magazine, Rachael subsequently worked at Lonely Planet in publishing, TV and online video before co-founding Hotels We Love, a travel site for creative types. Born in Sydney, she has lived in New Delhi, Canberra, Kuala Lumpur, Bogota, Melbourne, London and now Paris. She is a lover of interesting snacks, dreamy Japanese novels and T-shirt Weather.
photo: Pedro Pegenaute
If you could close your eyes and be somewhere else, where would you want to be?
This very minute? I’d be having a coffee and banana bread at a cute cafe in Byron Bay, Australia, drying off after an early morning swim at the beach.
The restaurant where you feel at home.
Mario’s, an old school Italian place on Brunswick St in Melbourne. It’s not the best Italian restaurant in Melbourne, but somehow Mario’s has a timeless charm. It’s warm and unpretentious – like comfort food.
A hotel room that makes you nostalgic.
The Krafft Hotel, Basel in Switzerland. It’s a classic old school hotel fitted out with vintage modernist furniture. I imagine being curled up in one of the hotel’s cosy white Swiss duvets watching the Rhine change colour through the window as it flows by outside.
A travel you could do over and over again without getting bored.
Zero points for originality but you can never get bored of New York City, exhausted yes, driven mad by, probably, but bored, no. It’s an electric chair that won’t kill you.
A dish that recently surprised you.
A perfectly presented oursin at Kunitoraya, a very cool and elegant Japanese restaurant on a tiny street in Paris.
A holiday place from your childhood.
I have ephemeral memories of being in a boat rowing through water lillies when we stayed on a house boat in Kashmir while my family lived in India.
If a kid asked you to take him/her on a trip, where would that be?
A road trip along Hwy 1 California – short drives with plenty of beaches, national parks and wildlife activity along the way – plus crazy Hearst Castle. Then there’s the fun but healthy kid-friendly food options – Mexican-style diners, fantastic farmers markets and hipster food trucks, not to mention the good weather and friendly people.
If you could choose a dream place to celebrate, what would that be?
I was recently taken to the Venice Art Biennale as a surprise for my birthday and I think it was the best gift ever. There’s something a little bit twee about ‘Venice the Tourist Destination’ but the combination of contemporary art and Venetian palaces is unforgettable, there’s really nothing like it.
A view you will never forget.
Peruvian porters playing football against a mountainous backdrop at our camp site along the Machu Picchu trail. (For the record, we were carrying our own bags – though there were days when we would have loved to have porters doing all the hard work for us!)
Your Meraviglia address that can’t be missing from our collection.
Mayfields, this pop-up restaurant now has permanent digs in London’s East End. The tapas style dishes (menu changes daily) are not always ideal for sharing and the place is jammed but it’s got a great atmosphere and the dishes can really surprise. Definitely one to watch.
A place you wish it was just round the corner.
We love Das Hotel Bar in Berlin, it’s low-fi and no fuss and what with the crowds and the candles everywhere it’s probably a fire trap, but it’s got a crazy atmosphere for a fun night out.