Lon­don’s most in-the-know cou­ple.

The ho­tel cu­ra­tors on Lon­don, the Mal­dives and more.

Elle (Canada) - - Insider -

BLACK BOOK LON­DON

Hotspot James: “An­dré Balazs’ Chiltern Fire­house is the talk of the town, mainly be­cause of its gifted head chef, Nuno Men­des. You can grab predin­ner drinks at the res­i­dents’ bar next door be­fore 9 p.m., af­ter which it’s open only to ho­tel guests.” Green views Ta­mara: “Lon­don is packed full of for­mal English gar­dens. Check out the won­der­fully man­i­cured squares among the law courts just off Fleet Street.” Mar­ket time James: “There are in­cred­i­ble fire­bread piz­zas at the Well Kneaded Wagon at Battersea Food Mar­ket ev­ery Satur­day.” Vintage finds Ta­mara: “Al­fies An­tique Mar­ket in Maryle­bone is the city’s largest in­door mar­ket and is packed with all sorts of things, from tex­tiles and vintage lamps to art­deco fur­ni­ture.” Week­end get­away James: “Fox­hill Manor in the Cotswolds, two hours from Lon­don, is a pri­vate-house ho­tel with

We’re look­ing for places with real magic,” says James Lo­han of hand-pick­ing some of the most in­ter­est­ing ho­tels in the world for Mr & Mrs Smith (smith­ho­tels.com), the online book­ing ser­vice he founded with his wife, Ta­mara. The Lon­don-based duo has vis­ited more than half of the 1,000 prop­er­ties on their ros­ter, which fea­ture ev­ery­thing from the quirky to the quaint (think bowl­ing al­leys and but­ler ser­vice). Find­ing hid­den gems is all part of the ad­ven­ture, which they of­ten share with their two young chil­dren. “We have a huge map of the world where we put pins for where we’re go­ing,” says Ta­mara. Their most re­cent ad­ven­ture? Spy­ing on Jupiter with a te­le­scope in the Mal­dives.

eight bed­rooms. You have a host rather than a ho­tel man­ager and a chef with whom you can dis­cuss the kind of food you want. It’s a very ro­man­tic spot.”

GLOBAL AD­DRESS BOOK Is­land time

James: “We took our kids to the Mal­dives and stayed in four dif­fer­ent ho­tels. We’re like lux­ury gyp­sies.” Ho­tel perks Ta­mara: “At Soneva Fushi re­sort in the Mal­dives, you have to check your shoes when you ar­rive, so they cov­ered the ped­als on the bikes you use to get around the is­land with soft ma­te­rial.” Off the beaten path Ta­mara: “We once stayed as a fam­ily in the in­cred­i­ble Treehotel in Swe­den. There are six amaz­ing dens in the trees, in­clud­ing a float­ing mir­ror cube and a quirky UFO.” Pack­ing style James: “Ta­mara and I al­ways pack half and half in each suit­case so that if one goes miss­ing, it isn’t a dis­as­ter.” n

TA­MARA’S TRAVEL STYLE

“My style is clas­sic with a twist. I have a favourite cash­mere wrap from The Trav­el­wrap Com­pany that’s great for the plane—it’s all about lay­er­ing. And I have a Mul­berry bag for hand lug­gage that fits ev­ery­thing: my iPad and sticker books and snacks for the kids too.”

Lon­don’s Ham Yard Ho­tel (right) has its own bowl­ing al­ley.

Cash­mere wrap, The Trav­el­wrap Com­pany ($400, thetrav­el­wrap­com­pany.com); denim jeans, Paige ($290, at Hud­son’s Bay, thebay.com); leather tote, Mul­berry ($950, mul­berry.com); La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Com­plex ($180, at Holt Ren­frew, holtren­frew.com)

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