PENNY McCORMICK gathers INSIDER TIPS and essential addresses as well as some shopping and TRAVEL ADVICE from some of Ireland’s best-known DESIGNERS ….
Every summer we head to Puglia on holiday. My husband, three small children and I stay at Borgo Egnazia. Having gone several years in a row, we have our routine. We love the beach club, the cacti, the breakfasts, the pools, the kids’ entertainment, and the ease and beauty of the place. If we are feeling adventurous we head south to Athena McAlpine’s B&B, Il Convento di Santa Maria di Costantinopoli – a wonderful and unique place filled with Athena, and her late husband, Sir Alistair McAlpine’s art collections. In the same village of Marittima di Diso is a fashion boutique called Tulsi, owned by Irishwoman Deborah Nolan, who collects fabulous finds on her global trips and sells them throughout the summer. I also love Nicola Fasano’s shop in Grottaglia which sells local ceramics. www.net-a-porter.com.
How inspiring are holidays for you?
Creative ideas come to me when I am relaxed and switched off and new experiences help stir the senses.
I know Paris very well, having interned at Chanel’s millinery atelier, Maison Michel. A lot of my suppliers are based there and I like to visit when it’s off season.
A recent one, when my husband and I toured Tuscany – visiting Florence and Siena and ending up in Portofino.
Where did you stay?
At Hotel Lungarno in Florence, owned by the Ferragamo dynasty; the Hotel Etruria a few steps from the Piazza del Campo in Siena, and Hotel Parsifal in Ravello.
Do you plan your trips?
I always do my research to figure out if there are any niche hat shops or ateliers to visit and if there are any opportunities to source a new supplier.
What did you find in Italy?
I picked up some hand-painted Italian silk fabrics which I subsequently incorporated into some hats.
What’s your travel style?
I tend to travel light but my essentials are always La Roche-Posay SPF50, a wide-brimmed hat and a needle and thread. I leave space in my suitcase to bring souvenirs back to Ireland.
Emily-Jean’s atelier is at 1 St Augustine Street, Galway. Her designs are stocked at Emporium Kalu in Naas, www.emily-jean.com.
What sort of traveller are you?
I travel frequently for business and then add on a few extra days at the end of the trip. Essentially, I’m a solo traveller.
Favourite place to holiday?
When time allows I try to go back home to Turkey: it’s always nice to see family and friends.
Where do you stay?
The little-known island of Boscaada, on the north-eastern Aegean Sea, off Canakkale.
Best time to visit?
During the annual wine-tasting festival. The town is festooned with bunting, local jazz musicians play on the street, all creating an atmosphere I love.
Where are you off to next?
South Korea with friends; the people there are very kind and graceful. I like new places with different cultures which are inspirational for my work too.
Umit Kutluk’s atelier is at 27 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
How often do you travel?
At least twice a month: I always take a hat.
What are your travel requirements?
With three girls I need my hands free, so I recently bought a roomy, lightweight Prada men’s rucksack. I’ve also designed a leather case to fit my iPad which doubles up as a clutch in the evening.
Do you have a regular haunt?
We go to Capetown every year. I love picking up interior things when travelling. Last year I brought back a fabulous sculpture from S Art Gallery in Hout Bay.
What are your other insider addresses?
We lived in Hong Kong a number of years ago, beside the beach in Stanley which is famous for its market. Tong’s is my pearl of a find for beautiful linen.
Where were you last year?
We sailed off Elba and I happened upon Profumeria Ines in Portoferraio where I bought Black Dianthus by Il Profumo.
Zoë Jordan’s Knitlab designs are stocked at Brown Thomas.
What unites your holiday choices?
I make a point of going to magical places, which are inspiring and relaxing and where nature reaches out and embraces us in a huge hug.
The beauty of Bora Bora was hallucinogenic, while the French Antilles in the Caribbean is now a favourite destination.
Closer to New York where I live, is Shelter Island, between the Hamptons and Green Port; it’s the perfect summer retreat.
Where do you stay there?
André Balazs’ Sunset Beach Hotel is fun for cocktails and dinner on Fridays. Saturdays are spent lounging in the pool, then enjoying gourmet lunches washed down with ice cold rosé wines.
Home away from home?
South Beach Miami where we stay at The Raleigh Hotel, lazing on the beach or by the Art Deco pool.
Home is Ballyheigue which on beautiful days boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters to rival the Caribbean.
Don O’Neill’s Theia label is available at Folkster, Kilkenny; www.theiacouture.com.
Is travel important to you?
Yes, I love to travel … from my first trips with my parents to Australia, to student days in San Francisco and back-packing around south-east Asia with my best friend. I am constantly taking photographs to capture the moment.
A stand out memory?
My honeymoon in India at The Oberoi Udaivilas hotel; it was perfection and we had stunning views of the lake Palace where a Bond movie was filmed. It was on this trip that I came across the cashmere scarves that started the KDK journey.
Are you a light packer?
No, I always bring lots of options to wear while I’m away plus my camera, space batteries and charger.
Your in-transit wardrobe?
I always take one of our KDK cashmere scarves which comes in handy on the airplane and for air-conditioned spaces. Our silk modal scarves make great sarongs and cover-ups for the beach.
KDK scarves are sold at all Avoca stores.
Favourite place to holiday?
The Hamptons; my favourite villages are Amagansett and East Hampton.
Describe why you like it?
I love the relaxed, pared-back elegance during the day, as well as the high-octane glamour setting for summer parties.
Where do you stay?
With my wonderful friend Catherine, who takes her family there every summer, and
I get to share the magic. House rentals are the norm as hotel choices are limited.
What’s a typical day like?
We plan lots of barbecues, stocking up on supplies at the Farmer’s Market, Citarella Gourmet Market or the Amangansett Seafood Store – its owner, Mike, is Irish, and a visit there is always fun.
Babette’s for brunch in East Hampton; Blue Parrot for Mexican tapas, while Nick and Toni’s or Maidstone are good dining spots.
The Stephen Talk House bar for live music and an eclectic clientele. You never know who will pop up and play there.
Louise Kennedy’s boutique is at Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
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