It’s officially summer and if you haven’t already booked a luxurious get away then allow Tamara, founder of Mr & Mrs Smith to be your guide. From girly breaks to something for all the of the family, she treats us to her travel essentials and more…
How did you come up with the idea?
Mr & Mrs Smith was born of frustration, really. About 14 years ago, while I was dating James, we used to enjoy spending weekends at stylish, characterful hotels around the country, but there was no one telling us where to find them. Unable to find a guidebook for people like us, who were looking for unique places to stay, we thought ‘why not do it ourselves?’ We scraped together the financing, travelled up and down the country in search of the kind of hotels we loved, and took the plunge in 2003, when we published our first guidebook to boutique hotels in the UK and Ireland.
You’re an entrepreneur, a mother of 2 and run Mr & Mrs Smith with your husband, what’s your secret to keeping it all together?
The secret is that I don’t keep it together! Although I love what I do, I never really feel like I can allow myself to be 100 per cent focused on anything. If I’m at work I feel guilty about not being with my kids, and when I’m at home I can feel the pressure of my inbox filling up. There are a couple of things that make it better: having an incredible, understanding and supportive husband is one; having the best nanny on the planet is another; and then there’s running – which is when I remember to breathe…
You are always effortlessly stylish, how would you describe your style and what is your go to outfit?
I would never have thought of myself as effortlessly stylish, but thank you! My wardrobe is fairly simple: tailored pieces in subtle, neutral tones for day-to-day; loose, colourful and patterned when I’m travelling or at home. You can’t really go wrong with a crisp, well-fitting white shirt and a pair of comfortable, wide-leg trousers. I have a few showpiece coats – long and belted with interesting collars – and I like denim brands such as Nudie Jeans and Paige. But being a runner, a lot of my wardrobe is taken up with active wear – I cannot get enough Hey Jo leggings.
TAMARA’S TOP 3 KEY SUMMER DESTINATIONS
It must be so fun finding the new hot spots around the world – Which are your top 3 summer destinations, with the kids, romantic escape and with friend?
Uxua Casa in Brazil offers the perfect balance of luxurious and laid-back – especially if you have kids. It’s right by a beautiful beach, ideal for families, and the town it’s set in, Trancoso, is brimming with bohemian character.
THE ROMANTIC ESCAPE
For a romantic escape, Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains of Australia is surrounded by 7,000 acres of scenery that is simply good for the soul. I defy anyone not to be swept away by it.
And finally, for time away with a friend (and a little closer to home), Crillon le Brave in France is a wonderful weekend retreat for its views, vineyards and river-gorge walks.
Holiday packing essentials?
It depends where I’m going, but if there’s a flight involved, my carry-on always includes an Olivia von Halle eye mask and, for long-haul trips, de Mamiel Altitude Oil. I also make space for a tub of Dr Lipp Lip Balm and Face Matters 24/7 Balm which really helps lift tired eyes; and there’s always a cosy wrap or cardigan in my bag for snuggling into on the plane – I’ve a big fan of The Travelwrap Company for these.
Which piece are you currently lusting after from our new collection and how would you wear it?
I love the new Warrior Chain Alabama Cuff bracelet and I’d wear it to all the parties this summer!
When work gets tough, I think of something my father-in-law says: ‘If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.’