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A Winter Weekend in Montreal, France

TravelRebecca O'Byrne3 Comments

Planning a trip to the South of France may, as a default, come to mind as something firmly on your summer to-do list but what if the perfect Winter weekend away could be spent elegantly in the magical surrounds and the wonderfully French backdrop of Montréal, tucked away at Camellas-Lloret at the beginning of December. 

With a short three nights and four days to spare, my Love and I set off on a romantic weekend together that saw us fly into Carcassonne airport from Dublin. Direct flights with Ryanair are irresistibly inexpensive in the off-season months. What took us there? Well, it was almost two years ago that I found a dreamy hotel on Instagram and ever since I just knew it was a place my soul absolutely needed to experience in this lifetime. I was prepared for Camellas-Lloret being a wonderful little haven but in all honesty, it is even dreamier in real-life than I could ever have anticipated (and my oh my the dreaminess is off the charts on their wonderfully curated Instagram account).

Set in the medieval hilltop village of Montréal in the Languedoc region, Camellas-Lloret, is the epitome of what one would imagine everything to be in the South of France (this was our first ever visit), refined yet rustic, touchable yet otherworldly beautiful. A ‘love-project’ of a beautiful couple Annie (a New Yorker) and Colin (from South Africa) Moore, the 18th-century house boasts the most incredible, authentic original structure. With five uniquely designed bedrooms, a simple but beautiful walled garden, the enticing greenhouse which plays home to the lemons and mandarins that make their way to the tables each morning for breakfast in the form of Annie’s marmalade and a terrace perfectly fit for summer evenings dripping in rosé, the place is so divine that you could spend a month and never leave. 

Annie, an interior designer and someone whom I think I'd like to be the I grow up (she’s great at everything from wonderful chats, marmalade making, baking, photography, cooking and just generally being fabulous) - is from New York and has designed the house to feel like ‘home’. White-washed walls and draping vintage linens, contrasting textures with original chandeliers and old-world sculptures are met with the chicest of the chic modern touches throughout. With furniture slipcovers, the perfect kind of magazine stacks and all the buildings original pine flooring, it is founded on authentically refined French elegance along with the toppings of a truly talented interior designer and is exactly where one finds peace and space to relax, surrounded by the kind of beauty found only in the South of France. 

Colin is fantastic with kindly helping guests plan out their days if you are set on exploring the areas around Montréal. His suggested routes guided us to wonderful cafes, tapas bars, museums, the local castle and a beautiful little village nearby famous for its bookstores. All in all, winter weekends at Camellas-Lloret are all about long lie-ins as the sun beams through the shutters, afternoon strolls exploring the beautiful countryside, followed by a glass of white beside the crackling fire, which is where we spend our evenings reading, all cosied up catching up on our favourite books and enjoying wonderful conversations with Annie and Colin. 

Whether you visit in summer or winter, find yourself there for a night or a month, it is a haven that re-ignites the soul and leaves you wondering how you’ll ever leave. 


Montréal, France just a 10/15 minute drive from Carcassonne Airport or one hour from Toulouse


Starting from €140 per room per night


Incredible local antique/vintage shopping

Get lost in the surroundings of the Cathar castles

Book in for a body and attitude balancing session with Colin who is a world-renowned doctor of Chiropractic and a wellness coach

Head off for afternoon bike rides by the Canal du Midi

(In summer) Spend your days on beautiful Mediterranean beaches

Spend time relaxing at the house with a book and rosé (all day)

Organise a wine tasting and visit near-by vineyards


Renting a car is essential to explore the surrounding towns and villages

Families are very welcome but really the property is much more oriented toward and appreciated by adults


You can contact Annie directly at annie@camellaslloret.com


To book, you can contact Annie directly at annie@camellaslloret.com


Architect & Designer Gulla Jónsdóttir, The Interview

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

In person, Gulla Jónsdóttir is as fabulous as her work is fierce and quite frankly put, a force to be reckoned with. Based in Los Angeles, California she heads up her own firm, Gulla Jónsdóttir Architecture + Design which she set up in 2009. After years of designing hotels from LA to Hong Kong, private residences in California and New York, restaurants in Paris and Mexico, a superclub in Beirut and a skyscraper in Dubai, the infamous designer has a portfolio that puts her on the map as one of the 21st centuries most skilled and sophisticated engineers of design. Growing up in Reykjavik, Iceland she left for LA where she studied architecture as an undergrad in SCI-Arc. Following in the footsteps of those who truly succeed in their trade and ultimately find their own path, upon graduating she sought out the greats and looked to learn from those who inspired her. After years of creating as part of incredible teams at Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Dodd Mitchell Design and Walt Disney Imagineering she now takes pleasure in leading her own team and continuing her work which now inspires and ignites the lives of all who enjoy her creations. I was thrilled to chat with Gulla and discuss where it all began, her inspirations and aspirations, taking in exactly why this visionary has been hailed as the new Zaha Hadid. 

Gulla, where did your love of design begin?

In Florence Italy when I was 12 years old.  I was mesmerized by the beauty of the city and the arts. Architecture and design are undoubtedly one and the same, merging aesthetics with structure, formational with the ornamental.

Was it a natural evolution for you to move away from straight architecture to what you do now?

I am still very involved in architecture and especially architecture with artistic integrity, this is my first passion and design is my second passion and indeed a very fluid transformation from architecture. There is no limitation to creativity so whether I'm designing a skyscraper, interiors or a piece of furniture, it's only a different scale and mindset to me, but it all relates to the same DNA of site-specific beauty that can complement its surrounding nature.

What was your first job in the industry and what stands out to you as some of the most important lessons from early on in your career?

I was very lucky with my first job and grateful to land a job right out of architecture school at Richard Meier's office working on the Getty Center Museum; then the largest project in California. I learned so much from Richard Meier and I still appreciate his work and how peaceful it is. There is an element of elegant geometry in all of his work and since I majored in mathematics before studying Architecture this very much appealed to me.

Your work takes you around the world, what’s been your most exciting project to date?

There are many and I feel like they are all like my children, just living in different cities. I like working in Mexico and my recent project there, Comal at the Chileno Bay Resort and Residences in Cabo, is very close to my heart. So is the Macau Roosevelt in Macau China, which is the first ground-up hotel I designed under my own company name; a 368 room lifestyle resort which just got an award as the Best Resort Design 2017 from Interior Design magazine.

When working on projects abroad, how important is it to bring about contextual elements to your creations?

It's very important to me! It's the first concept I start working on with each location. I like to walk around the site, scope for natural elements that can influence the design and always prefer to use local materials and handcrafted local furniture whenever possible. 

The new Kimpton La Peer hotel in L.A is your latest gift to the world. Could please explain the creative process involved in such a huge work of art..

This project is particularly dear to me as it is the same location as the studio I started in 2009. We have taken it step by step for the last few years through careful consideration of the neighborhood, and fellow artists and artisans are installing a piece of their energy and soul in the project and in the end I feel like we have succeeded in our tempt of creating a symphony of the arts for the neighborhood in a very comfortable setting that can feel like your home.

How do you balance consistency in your work as a designer while never letting your ideas become repetitive?

I follow my heart and I believe that design comes from within. The exciting challenge derives from creating something new for each project and this is what drives me. Always.

I hear you’re working on a jewellery line too, can you tell us a little about it?

The jewellery line came organically as looking at a 3D model of a facade I previously designed but didn't get built. Rotating it around I thought it could look like an interesting ring. We test printed it in 3D and gold plated it and it feels good so this is the beginning of something more brewing that we will launch later this year.

You have a great sense of style and are always dressed so beautifully, has fashion had an impact on your story thus far?

I believe high fashion is an art form so yes sometimes it does inspire me. I can see a flowy fabric and imagine it in a solid concrete shape and so forth.

Where do you feel the world’s of art and fashion collide? Do you consider them to be one and the same?

The real haute couture in terms of artists such as Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and others in that calibre is in many ways equal to fine art, the only difference is that it is wearable for your body and other art is sometimes a social and or political statement or for its pure beauty and storytelling. What they have in common is beautifying the world with creative energy.

That is such a beautiful way of explaining it. Wow. What does a day in the life of Gulla Jonsdottir look like?

I wake up around 8 am and make an espresso, shower and answer emails at home, although my New Years resolution is always to start with meditation instead of looking at my phone.. ( one day.. ! ). I arrive at my studio around 9:30 am and catch up with my team and clients and walk down the street to get a delicious almond milk cappuccino. Late morning I visit my nearby projects that are under construction in West Hollywood and downtown LA.

Twice a week at lunch, I work out with my trainer at the park and usually eat a healthy lunch like a salad with salmon or chicken at my desk. In the afternoon I have conference calls and continue on designing, sketching new and ongoing projects and thankfully no day is the same when you work in a creative environment. Right now we are working on our first atelier which will be inside one of the hotels I'm designing so this is a new exciting challenge for us and a new business that I will invite other artists to participate in.

Late afternoon I call my mom in Iceland before she goes to sleep, text with a few friends and by 7 pm its time to grab a glass of wine with friends or colleagues and some snacks at the bar and then I go home and pick up my suitcase that I half hazardly packed late last night, and catch my midnight flight to Hong Kong or anywhere the projects take me.

I make sure to set up dinner with friends in that city when I land and happily turn off my phone because I refuse to believe there is wifi on planes and this is my time to do absolutely nothing. I love it.

Is there a fundamental rule you live by, personally and professionally?

To be true to my heart, genuine, loyal and honest. I sleep very well at night because I live an honest & peaceful yet adventurous life filled with very good people around me both in my personal and professional life and for them, I'm very grateful.

How do you navigate between the public's view of you and your own private life?

I'm always the same, I don't have a poker face and I treat everyone the same; with kindness. 

What are up-and-coming architects catching your attention right now?

The architects in China are doing some fantastic things right now. I see a big growth in Asia in pushing the boundaries and exploring new forms and materials in a very interesting way.

What was the last book you read?

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

Who or what is your greatest inspiration?

Nature, always nature.

Is there something you dream of designing?

A museum, a skyscraper and an Olympic stadium. 

..and what building do you wish you had designed?

Anything by Santiago Calatrava 

What are your unfulfilled ambitions? 

Learning more languages fluently. I speak a few but I need to find the time to fulfil this ambition.

If you weren’t a world-renowned designer, where would we find you and what would you be doing with your days?

Interesting thought, wow. I think I would be a Sherlock Holmes or James Bond sort of a woman solving mysteries and travelling and then would retreat to my villa in Tuscany painting paintings and drinking red wine from my vineyard.

Photographed below is Gulla's latest project, Kimpton La Peer Hotel which recently opened in West Hollywood, LA.


Read more about Gulla's career on Haute So Fabulous here. 


Gearoid O'Dea, The Interview

LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment


As one of Ireland’s most impressive emerging artists, Gearoid O'Dea is one incredibly sharp and beautifully raw individuals. His work to date has seen him win awards globally and alongside his egoless approach to his work and the creative world in general it’s no wonder his place in Ireland’s art scene has been firmly and unquestionably established. Here I chat to Gag - as he is more well know - about his journey to date and his take on the contemporary art world in which he finds himself carving out a career that is sure to stand the test of time

Cyber Monday; Here's The Deal(s)

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment

Cyber Monday deals are hotting up our winter cool lives this week. An American tradition that signifies the commercial commencement of Christmas (a truly deep and meaningful moment in time you'll agree), it's now a firm favourite the world over thanks to the ease of online shopping. 

So to make your life even easier and help you along the way to possible financial ruin this weekend, here are our top links and codes to the best of the rest! (Don't worry, your wallets and wardrobes can thank me later!)

Farfetch // 10% off full price items for one day only (Friday) with the code BF10

Topshop // Up to 50% off and free international shipping

Net-a-Porter.com US // Up to 50% off

Cáfune // 30% off selected items

MyTheresa.com // Up to 70% off 

Shopbop // Up to 75% off with the code MORE17

MatchesFashion.com // up to 70% off sales items

Luisaviaroma.com // extra 20% off sale items

Asos // 20% off everything with code WIN20

Nordstrom // Up to 40% off 

BeautyBay // Up to 30% off

LK Bennett // 20% off everything

Monica Vinader // Up to 30% off

Petria Lenehan, The Interview

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment

Petria Lenehan is a woman with perpetual beauty on her mind. Designing clothes that stand the test of time and trends, the designer bases herself in Upstate New York's Hudson Valley, where she lives with her family and heads up her own fashion company. The Irish native is no stranger to her field having studied her trade in Florence, Italy before setting up her own retail store in her hometown of Dublin. Narrowing in on her passions however, she now designs with, as she describes herself, “notions of authenticity, nature, craftsmanship and tradition”. Uncomplicated, effortless and continuous in their delicate authority her collections create a loyal and retuning customer who knows that no matter the seasons runway flings, a lovingly-made staple by Petria Lenehan is always a good idea.

The HSF Holiday Guide; For Book Lovers

Rebecca O'ByrneComment

100 Books For Book Lovers

The Holidays are never complete without the gift of a book and here at Haute So Fabulous we're super into what's hot on our shelves right now. From the latest novels and biographies to travels guides and classics, we've complied 100 of the greatest picks this holiday season..  

Shop the list below or simply click directly to any of the following retailers if you already have your top picks decided upon:

 Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Easons // Waterstones


The HSF Holiday Guide; Beauty Gifts For Your Beauty

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To You Beauty, With Love

From the essentials to the luxurious, there is always something fabulous to give the beauty lovers in our lives at Christmas in terms of trending beauty products. This year we've compiled 100 of the hottest from the slickest brands - from classic red lips to the everyday necessities in skin care, here's what we'll be giving (and fingers crossed, receiving) this holiday season..


The HSF Holiday Guide; From Me to Him

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From Me to Him, With Love

Finding something wonderful for the men in our lives can be a difficult task at the best times. Whether it's our boyfriends or husbands, sons, brothers or Dads, we all seem to come up against similar problems; they simply don't need or want for much - or at least they don't leave as many hinds as we do (CC your own Santa list wishes from out Gift Guide to Her here). Yet it's that time of year again to come up trumps in terms of what to leave the one you love under the tree this year and in our belief that shopping should be easy and fun, here's our list of what's hot for the men in your life!


Javier Martin, The Interview

LifeRebecca O'Byrne2 Comments

Javier, a multi-disciplinary artist, has been working on his current collection 'Blindness' for a collective 10 years. It is here he tests the limits we place on ourselves in terms of defining beauty and what is has come to mean in a world that tolerates nothing less than perfect. Here we speak to Javier about his discovery of art, the importance of expression and his devotion to eliciting a more curious culture that seeks answers instead of following conventional standards. 

The HSF City Guide to Brunching in Dublin

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The Fumbally

The Fumbally

Based around the simple idea of sharing a meal with someone you love, The Fumbally is Dublin’s off-the-beaten-track masterpiece. Stepping inside visitors are immersed in a busy world of cool chaos where high ceilings and an open space play background to an authentically cool collection of eclectic furniture and friendly faces. The menu at The Fumbally is inspired by simple ingredients with an emphasis on ethical sourcing. Headed up by owners Aisling Rogerson and Luca D’Alfonso, the restaurant is consistent in its offering of fresh takes on a core choice of dishes from salad plates and soups to falafel wraps and eggs on toast. We adore the falafel. Haphazardly cool and ultra hipster, the team make everything on site - even their fermented drinks which after a good night out in Dublin will be sure to boost you back to life. Try the shot of probiotic fermented cabbage and ginger juice if you’re feeling brave. 

- Best for anyway brunch or Saturdays sent hanging with friends over a long and lazy afternoon. Also Wednesday night supper from 7-9pm, served after yoga at The Fumbally Stables next door -      


Bibi's dublin


Situated in the heart of Dublin 8, Bibi’s is a snug neighbourhood café that both delights and captivates those from near and far. Serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch, the café is a project of love created by chef Maisha Lenehan and her brother Geoff. Returning lovers of Bibi’s are always in for a surprise with regular modifications being made to the menu - which means too that there’s always a draw for locals to become returning lovers too. No matter the time you choose, Bibi’s never fails in bringing to life the best of the best with produce from both Ireland and abroad. The space is bright and beautifully snuggled among the red-bricked terrace house of Portobello and frankly put, it’s an absolute must visit. 

- Best for lazy but utterly chic weekend brunch before a long stroll on the canal -


Union8 Dublin

Union 8

Way off the beaten track but completely worth the trek, Union 8 is the ultimate New York style neighbourhood eatery in the heart of Kilmainham, just a short walk from IMMA and Kilmainham Goal. The interiors, as designed by Jean Feeney merge all the good parts of New York, balancing rich accents in the locally salvaged furnishings against harsher exposed brick walls and natural surfaces. The menu lends itself to a modern take on age old Irish specialities such as mussels or cured duck breast to start, followed by roast halibut or beef cheek burger. The salted caramel hot chocolate fondant with honeycomb ice-cream is absolutely not to be missed for afters and if you’re up for a cheeky cocktail the Union8 itself is the perfect topping to a perfect experience.

- Best for low-key but fabulous weekend brunch after having just explored the beautiful grounds of the nearby Kilmainham Gaol and IMMA -


cotto dublin


Less is more is definitely a thing right now and Conor Higgins, owner of this wondrous pizza joint in Stoneybatter, one of Dublin’s most up-and-coming neighbourhoods, sure knows a thing or two about the trending philosophy. Focusing on Neopolitan-style pizzas during the days and evenings mid week, Cotto attracts a cool crowd with nothing but deliciousness in mind. Weekend brunch is a whole other level with dishes such as the gourmet sausage sandwiche and the infamous eggs Shakshouka it’s utterly mouth-watering from the get-go; our recommendations come in the form of the ‘Nduja pizza - ‘nduja, mozzarella, roasted red pepper and red onion if you're there for the pizza and most definitely the eggs shakshouka (as previously mentioned) for brunch; while a side of the sweet potato wedges with spiced seeds and yoghurt on a weekday might just make your sides burst they are simply ground-breaking. 

- Best for hangover brunch on a Sunday followed by a movie at Dublin’s indie movie theatre, The Lighthouse, close by -


Bagots Hutton

Bagots Hutton

Perhaps Dublin’s most adaptable destination, Bagots Hutton is a take on the age old classic of a New York style cafe with a unique modern twist. Perfect for just about any social engagement, whether it’s double dating or romantic (and sometimes champagne-y) Sunday Jazz brunches with your love, or perhaps even a relaxing mid-week lunch, this new location is just a stone’s throw from the city centre with views of the River Liffey right on it’s doorstep. Bagots Hutton is an experience in understanding the importance of all things Italian, with it’s sophisticated but fun interiors playing home to a most delectable menu. A dining experience here is built around an extensive offering of wines and includes tapas style dishes that are perfect for sharing in groups or devouring all by yourself. Infamous for it’s Sunday Jazz brunch, a stroll through the city to reach this wonderful little gem is worth every step. 

- Best for Sunday Jazz brunch - it’s like stepping back in time - 


little bird dublin

Little Bird

A favourite spot for yogis, Little Bird is a heavenly escape when looking to spend a little time reflecting amid the hustle and bustle of city life. The friendly staff at Little Bird are infamously good-natured and ready to make your experience warm and memorable. Whether there for yoga or not (the classes are some of our favourites in Dublin) the menu is full of homemade deliciousness that is both super healthy and exceptionally delicious. Think ‘avo on toast’ but with an array of interesting toppings of spices and seasonings. The salads are what you’d expect from a hotspot on Venice Beach in Cali and the tartines are what dreams are made of. While there is no requirement to get your downward dog on, Little Bird hits the spot every time.  

- Best for weekday brunch after getting your zen on at a Little Bird yoga class -


Coppinger Row Dublin

Coppinger Row

Recognised as Beyonce and Jay Z’s favourite place to dine when they’re in town, it’s no wonder this city hotspot is forever on people’s bucket list. The space is vibrant and fun with a buzzing atmosphere that captivates from the start. Known for their top-quality take on Mediterranean plates and outrageously fabulous cocktail list, a trip here is to dive into a fresh and seasonal encounter where stylish eats meet distinctive drinks. Nestled just off South William Street, right in the heart of the city it’s an experience to sit outside at Coppinger Row, all wrapped up in the blankets provided as you watch the world go by.

- Best for a Bloody-Mary influenced brunches. Note that there are no reservations for parties less than six -


Day Lau of Cafuné, The Interview

Style, LifeRebecca O'Byrne1 Comment

Cafuné - pronounced ka.fu.nay is not just a beautiful Brazilian-Portuguese word meaning the act of playing with a lover's hair but one of the luxury market's most recently established accessories brand. Founded in 2015 by childhood friends Day Lau and Queenie Fan, the company is making it's mark on an industry that is slowly but surely finding it's worth in more niche markets and tightly directed and curated design

Frédéric Malle, The Interview

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Sensually creative, Frédéric Malle is the master of his trade. Sitting at the helm of Editions de Perfumes Frédéric Malle, his journey to the top of the fragrance industry is steeped in family history and yet he stands alone as a visionary whose creations finds their way into the lives and perfume wardrobes of men and women the world over. 

The World of Kelly Wearstler

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

American interior designer Kelly Wearstler is the epitome of California glamour. In her quest to bring to the world her unparalleled understanding of interiors and design, she continues to lead the way in revolutionising our understanding of modern American glamour and design as an all encompassing lifestyle. 

Trish McEvoy, The Interview

Beauty, LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment

With an expertise spanning four decades it is undoubtedly for good reason that Trish McEvoy is a name we’re all familiar with. Makeup artist, entrepreneur and one of the beauty industries most prolific innovators, Trish is a woman with endless knowledge to impart and an array of lessons to teach.

Kristen Lee Cole of Tenoversix, The Interview

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Shopping on Melrose Avenue you can’t help but feel that little bit.. exceptional. It’s never not a sunshiny day, you’ve just picked up a coffee from Alfred’s and in need of something fresh and offbeat your next stop is undoubtedly Tenoversix. At ease amid the stunning surroundings of LA’s hottest neighbourhood is this gallery-style store that plays home to the must-know names in fashion, art, homeware, photography and beauty. 

Shop The Hotlist; Travel Edition

Travel, StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment

Summer is en route and that means we're also en route.. to some fabulous destinations in the coming weeks and months that is. Get ready for your every vacay desire with today's HSF Hotlist. From sexy sandals and fabulous dresses to the little most delightful beauty touches and perfect airport outfit, this travel edit will cover your every need!