Simone Arora’s diary
Her eponymous concept store is getting all the buzz – now discover her hot design destinations
“It’s is undeniably one of my favourite holiday and work destinations. It’s a place that inspires me the most. I visit Lake Como each time I go there. It’s beautiful – romantic villas, tree-lined mountains and beautiful waters. I stay at Villa D’este, an opulent hotel overlooking Lake Como; I love its old world, Renaissance-era decor. I love going to Navedano, a hill-top restaurant facing the lake which was built in the 18th-century. Their table settings and floral linen arrangements change with the season. It’s a family-owned restaurant; that explains the personalised touch.”
“I have been going to Milan every year for the past 16 years for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile furniture fair – the shows, the trend forecasts, the historic buildings are like my booster shots for creativity. I love shopping at Via della Spiga or the Via Montenapoleone. We usually stay at the Bulgari hotel, which is surrounded by 1930s buildings. I love walking around the city and enjoy eating at all the little cafes. The whole combination of old and new world architecture makes it a very exciting city.”
“I like to stay either at the Hotel Plaza Athenee or at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. I find myself shopping at the Avenue Montaigne and Rue Saint-Honoré a lot, visiting all the little boutiques. I visited the quaint, lovely village of Epernay not so long ago (in the wine country) – it was absolutely unforgettable. I also make pit stops at restaurants like Pierre Gagnaire (Champs-Elysées) and Le Jules Verne (Eiffel Tower).”
“We visit often and stay at the Four Seasons Moscow, which is mere steps away from the Red Cross. The surreal Winter Palace, the 14th century St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow…are all very breathtaking. I also love The Hermitage Museum, in St Petersburg – you can get lost in its collection of Egyptian antiquities and Italian Renaissance art for hours!
Photograph: Dabboo Ratnani