Travelling Not so Light with Anouska Hempel
New Zealand-born London socialite and former Bond Girl Anouska Hempel is also renowned for her sumptuous architectural interiors and eye for detail, according to the Telegraph.
Having opened London’s first boutique hotel, Blakes in 1978, she went on to design the Hempel Hotel, as well as a range of interiors from country houses and a Turkish gulet to a Louis Vuitton store and the new Franklin Hotel in Knightsbridge. She is currently designing a private Turkish palace with a 20-acre formal garden on the banks of the Bosphorus.
Hempel tells the Telegraph about where she loves to travel, what she packs, and the most romantic hotel she ever stayed at.
“Florence [is my favourite city for a weekend away],” Hempel says. “[It’s] a place where I can spend days looking, touching, feeling, adoring the architecture – and smelling the delicious Italians. And Calcutta. It used to be the armpit of the world, but is so full of history, spice markets, women in beautiful saris …
“Amanpuri in Thailand, Adrian Zecha’s first beauty [is my favourite place to travel to]. It’s not quite the same now, I hear. But I love the Thai service, their food, banana leaves, and attitude to the poor. Their culture, sadly, has been ruined by Western visitors: ra-rahs and drinking and nudism. I’d love to help the Thais get their spirit and romance back.”
Does Hempel travel light? the Telegraph asks.
“Absolutely not. I take everything I might need: my own cups and saucers, a picnic set, Japanese cushions … all packed into big Globe-Trotters: lovely old-fashioned, elegant navy suitcases, with wheels, so I can cart them about without help.”
And Hempel’s preferred romantic getaway?
“The Summer Palace in Beijing, which is beautiful and romantic and allows me to fantasise about being the Empress.”
Hempel appeared in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as one of the “angels of death”.
Original article by Lisa Grainger, The Telegraph, November 24, 2016.
Photo by Gaia Cambiaggi.