MEREDITH LEE, Owner, European Antiques & Furnishings
The most amazing place you have been?
Staying in Positano on the Amalfi Coast in an ancient stone monastery that cantilevered down the cliff - the views were glorious. My memories are of bright aquamarine lagoons, whitewashed villages covered in scarlet bougainvillea and wisteria and all washed in a golden sunset glow. The fact that we were there when Italy won the World Cup was an added bonus and the street parties were just amazing! Everyone was out on the streets, young and old, until morning.
Your last trip?
To France, Belgium and the UK for my antiques business. It's always so exhilarating to source new stock as each year passes, though you have to look that much harder.
Your next trip?
Likely tropical, which I have never done before. In the meantime a trip is planned to Melbourne for shopping with some girlfriends!
Your spiritual home?
France, I can't get enough of it. When I lived in London I travelled there most weekends. For the food, history, architecture, fashion, language, scenery and antiques!
Favourite French spots?
Clignancourt Markets in Paris are too expensive to buy from for the business, but great inspiration. Le Mans antique fair and other smaller Paris flea markets.
I have a lovely, soft leather large handbag I bought in Italy that can be made into a backpack when needed, so it is very versatile, and a sturdy trolley bag on wheels.
As the seasons are different I can pack my travelling clothes in my container so I have room to pack extra goodies on my return.
What do you pack?
As you can spend hours in huge warehouses with concrete floors, comfortable shoes are a must. A simple wardrobe interchangeable for day and night. I have dress-down clothes for antique markets so I blend in a bit more otherwise people assume I am American and hike up prices!
What's always in your carry-on?
Bose noise-cancelling headphones, my iPhone, neck rest, a great book, eye mask, silk scarf, trusty Mason Pearson hairbrush, lip balm and a toothbrush.
Beauty travel essentials?
Lots of bottled water, a good lip balm and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, which is the best pick-me-up for your skin after long hours in a plane.
Travel fashion essentials?
A big scarf, a pair of black trousers and white ones which can be dressed up or down. One big flashy gold necklace and a bangle to dress up wardrobe staples such as the black and white shirts I work in during the day. Ballet flats - I live in them.
Book or Kindle?
Definitely a book. I love the smell and feel of a new book! There is just something about physically turning those pages . . .
Reading material: Currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which is terrific. The main character Theo works in an antique store - need I say more?
Best flying tip?
Simple: water and lots of it.
Any travelling habits?
Ensuring I have the quietest room possible (I pre-book this) as you really need a good sleep when you are making decisions all day; finding out the restaurants the locals eat at.
Most memorable meal?
A 12-course degustation in a little hilltop village in Italy where we were staying. It was just the perfect end to a perfect day; stunning food and location. This was before we found out we were booked into a hotel room next to a church where the bells were rung every hour on the hour. It was horrendous! Suffice to say we did not stay the following night.
MEREDITH'S TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm $70
Mason Pearson hairbrush, about $150, from nordstorm.com
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt