Carlie Tasker : Alli the Lake District is such a huge source of inspiration for you, are there any other destinations you take inspiration from?
Allison Abdelal: I have been fortunate to travel quite extensively and I have come to love the concept of East meets West. Some years ago we visited the Andalucia region of southern Spain. We enjoyed visiting the Alhambra in Córdoba with its amazing Moorish architecture and intricately tiled walkways and the aesthetic there really left a strong impression on me. Having lived for some time in Dubai, I was also interested to see the older eastern traditions and cultures there being cleverly fused with western, modern influences. Quite by coincidence, when we moved to Southern California, we saw similar characteristics in places like nearby, Santa Barbara and around San Diego. You can see these influences coming through in our recent lookbook.
CT: Where are you vacationing next?
AA: We actually have a trip planned around Thanks Giving to visit Niaragua with our two small children. Nicaragua is supposed to have some incredible volcanic landscapes, colonial architecture and unspoiled beaches so we are very excited about this trip.
CT: What are your top three travel essentials?
AA: At the top of the list has to be a top quality, lightweight carry on that I can fit all the family essentais inside. I also love to take with me a cashmere wrap or scarf which is always so versatile. Lastly I make sure to have a good moisturizer to keep my skin hydrated and to help keep me feeling fresh.
CT: Any advice for stress-free and stylish travel?
AA: Since I have two small children, stress-free isn’t always on the list of options! A little advance planning, though can go a long way. Usually I prepare healthy snacks and treats and take with me small games and books to change things up. I also like to have audio books lined up for the children on their iPads so that they can take a break from the screen and zone out to a story. This is then my time to relax, kick back and go with the flow… after all we are on holiday!! Number two on my essentials list was a cashmere scarf or wrap. I have a lovely collection of these which I use for comfort and cosying up with but also to add a little style and luxury to my travel look.
CT: What’s your ideal vacation scenario?
AA: To spend a lovely family holiday visiting some of the little known, enchanting places in Europe. This would be followed by a few days of total relaxation with my husband when we can while away some hours, eating great food and talking, uninterrupted, about anything and nothing in particular!
CT: Can you tell us about your most memorable travel experience?
AA: One of my most memorable travel experiences woukd have to be my trip to Egypt where I met my husband during a cruise on the Nile and visiting some of he most breath taking achitecture in Africa.
CT: What is the most important/valuable thing you’ve learned while traveling?
AA: To share experiences with others, even if we only meet people fleetingly and they become part of the story we tell. I have been lucky to have done quite a lot of independent travel and I learnt a lot about my self a long the way. However, I feel like shared experiences connect us more and sharing and talking about these experiences encourage us to do a mental revisit once in a while to keep our memories current.
CT: Do you have any tips for looking good after a long-haul journey?
AA: I love to wear hats, so if I can, I take a hat with me on long haul travel. I throw it on when my hair is looking a little tired too and off I go again with renewed energy and a different look!
CT: What’s your favourite holiday fragrance?
AA: I love ‘The One’ by Dolce and Gabbana, it’s an all time favorite.
CT: How do you stay connected to your loved ones who live far away?
AA: The best way for me, is through Skype. Then I can see loved ones as well as speak to them. Sometimes it is a little difficult with different time zones coming in to play but the world certainly does feel like it is that little bit smaller with these kind of options now available to us.
CT: What’s in your carry on luggage?
AA: Water, snacks, a good book, my phone and mini iPad for doing a little work while on the go and just the essential beauty products!
CT: What’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in?
AA: Can I sneak in two here, one has to be The Palace, Dubai and I also absolutely love the Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, London. The Dean Street is a really special place where you can disappear for a while in a mix of old world charm and modern luxury. Delicious breakfasts with newspapers and great coffee bring the day to life and then the hotel seems to take on an energy of its own as lunch spills in to afternoon tea (of the quintessentially English variety) and then low lit lights and candles create an atmospheric haze for enjoying a leisurely dinner. All this is wrapped up in a beautiful Georgian building with original timber as the backdrop to an elegant, refined interior.