How are you all? Hanging in there?? My youngest has just gone back to school so a relative amount of routine has kicked in at home. He is 17 and thankfully I am required only to feed and give the odd words of encouragement.
I don't know about you but I am finding this whole situation very humbling. The village I live in is being beyond respectful to all the safety requirements in place. We have a village hall which has been transformed into a shop which is well stocked and run by the loveliest people. They have had such a positive reaction that when the lockdown is lifted, they are planning a weekly farmers market selling local produce. I have also discovered we have an artisan bakery in the village - what a find!!!!!
I am continuing to work every day at RF HQ which is so pretty at this time of year. Feilds full of yellow blossom, wysteria in bloom and whilst I'm missing friends and family, having zero plans. That said, we can always sneak online and do a little dreaming of where in the world we'd like to visit, one of my guilty pleasures. That got me thinking so I called my lovely friend Julia Perowne and asked her to share her little black book of favorites. Julia, a passionate traveler and founder and CEO of Perowne International – a travel consultancy representing some of the finest hotels and travel brands in the world from Finca Cortesin to Scott Dunn to Le Bristol Paris to Six Senses, to Hotel Esencia in Mexico and Sibuet Hotels in France. My bucket list is getting very long!!!
Q & A with Julia Perowne
1. Right now we are all armchair travelers which is the perfect time for virtual travel. Your top websites to visit that will transport your mind somewhere far far away.
- Conde Nast Traveller – gorgeous imagery, relevant content and useful newsletters
- Suitcase - for more alternative, off the beaten track destinations
- Discover and Escape – beautiful content and ideas
- Mr and Mrs Smith – I think their selection of hotels is second to none and they always have beautiful imagery
- Singita – they write the most beautiful blogs and recently have started using live webcams to show what’s happening in water holes in the Serengeti and in Zimbabwe. They recently broadcast live game drives. I often have them on in the background as I was working – it was lovely to hear the sounds of the bush.
2. Top Instagram accounts for I travel inspiration:
- The Bucket List Family – esp their YouTube content
- Out There
- The Newt in Somerset – gorgeous daily tips and inspiration from nature and gardens
3. Top 5 tips for travel long haul
- An ex-boyfriend of mine gave me some great advice as I started traveling more. He told me to pick an airline that was part of a good alliance. Prior to that, I had always shopped around to get the best deal rather than being loyal. Now I try and only fly BA or an airline that is part of One World and it’s really paid off. I’m now a Gold Cardholder and am on my way to get Gold for life. I know it sounds pathetic but last year I did over 70 flights and being able to use lounges, check-in through priority channels, and get regular upgrades makes a massive difference. BA do treat their loyal customers well and I get really emotional after a long business trip when I’m on the last leg, get to the airport and see the BA tail fin in the distance
- Don’t eat in the airport/airline lounge before you fly. You always eat too much on board and so I try and ration intake at the airport.
- I know it goes against everything we are supposed to do but I always have a few drinks when I’m flying. It simply gives me great joy to get on a plane with a 10-hour flight ahead of and relax. For me to have space to think, to sit and clear my inbox with a glass or two or red, to have a bank of new magazines which I’ve stolen from the lounge, is a great joy!
- Change my watch as soon as I get on board. Think of the time ahead and don’t look back. I get so frustrated traveling with people who sit there constantly talking about the time back in England. It’s deeply unhelpful!
- Always change into leggings and a tee shirt as soon as I get on board so that I can change into fresher clothes before I disembark the other end.
- Oh and wherever possible, as soon as I arrive somewhere, I have a swim. It wakes you up and ensures you don’t fall asleep too early and then mess up your sleep pattern even more!
4. 5 things you never leave home without.
- Of course, number one is my Rae Feather bag for beach holidays!
- A Brics suitcase – I think I have nearly every size. They have fantastic lightweight bags for trips to Africa as you are often so restricted on luggage allowance flying around on small planes.
- Laptop charger – for any journey even the train to Norfolk this is the most essential kit!
- Heels – a think a record was 17 pairs for a week-long trip. I can never choose when I’m packing and often take far too many but my shoes are like my armor when I’m in business meetings and I want to be prepared for any situation!
- Hair curlers – Essential pick me up. I have a mane of hair and it gets out of control in a warm climate!!
- Swimming costume – I’m an opportunist when it comes to swimming! I’m always on the lookout for the chance to have a quick dip!
5. Best spa treatment
A deep tissue massage. My favorite was at the spa at Finca Cortesin in Spain. They have simply brilliant treatments. They also have Tata Harper my favorite for facials. I had my first TH treatment at Le Bristol Paris and have never looked back. I’m delighted they will be launching at Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana when we open it in the summer.