haute so fabulous

Weekends Away

A Winter Weekend in Montreal, France

TravelRebecca O'Byrne5 Comments
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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. 


LOCATION

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

RATES

Starting from €140 per room per night

WHAT TO DO & SEE

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

TIPS

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

TO BOOK

You can contact Annie directly at annie@camellaslloret.com


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

 

Sketch, London

Travel, InteriorsHaute So Fabulous1 Comment

Conceived in 2002 by restaurateur Mourad Mazouz and infamous French master chef Pierre Gagnnaire, Sketch, London is a slick and desirable destination, or perhaps more accurately an experience, that continues to attract and capture the chic crowd, one hard to get booking after another. Truly 'Instagram' famous since the 2014 opening of ' The Gallery' which is home to a tickiliciously pink creation by Parisian based designer and architect, India Mahdavi. The contemporary pink mix and old-Hollywood style velvet furnishings, in turn plays as a classic backdrop for the most eclectic and 'grammable' experiential exhibit I've had the pleasure of dining amid yet. Showcasing 239 of David Shrigley's original works on the walls, Sketch is a dream any night of the week. It's collision of art and design, humour and panache bring a rather interesting beauty to life. The atmosphere is fun and in fact, it's a rather tempting act to simply stare at the walls, loosing oneself in the mysterious, dark and humorous world of Shrigley's infamous doodles. 

The walls though aren't the sole dwelling place for the exhibition pieces. Tables and their settings are also works of art by Shrigley who said of his ceramic designs, "It is the first artwork that I have made that can go in the dishwasher". Don't forget to check your plate once you're done, trust me. 

And of course, as with any chic collaboration of the creatives, the waiting staff wear the coolest designs by fashion designer Richar Nicoll. 

Although Sketch is admittedly not the new kid on the block these days, it's been on my list for quite some time and upon a recent quickie to London with my best friend I was thrilled to make a fun and fabulous night of it. Admittedly I'm not the girl who goes to places for the love of food but rather the experience, I must stop to say the food is utterly delicious; obviously. I had two starters, the broccoli veloutè to (actually) start and then tuna tartar as my main, both leaving me in the dream of starting all over again to savour every bite. 

Bathroom breaks are off the charts kind of interesting. You've got to see it to believe it. But let's just say it's like landing in space in your very own designer chic shell!

Book your night of fun at sketch.london

And check out DavidShrigley for a taste of why I loved Sketch so much.

Love R x