Lucy Akhurst

The founder of La Maison Hedonique reveals her sensualist travel style, her fashionable take on Paris and why Japan is on the agenda


New York holds a special place in my heart. My husband and I got married there. We eloped to 50 Central Park South at The Ritz-Carlton, where the staff treated us like royalty, and got married in our hotel room with the front desk manager and the concierge as our witnesses. 

There’s nothing better than travelling light. My husband and I once went to Australia for three weeks to see his family with hand luggage only. It’s amazing how much you can do without. The one item I never travel without, however, is a battery-powered tea light candle. Even on flights, I like to have a candlelit meal with my husband. He’s my favourite person to travel with – he can make an airport boarding queue seem romantic.

I like getting lost in a new destination. I’m not the sort of person who has a checklist of the best restaurants and exhibitions. I do like to find good places to eat, however. I’m a sensualist and believe the best route to the heart of a place is to eat the food.

I visit Paris quite a lot as we have a tiny flat there. Recently, I enjoyed a long overdue weekend of walking, delicious food and laughter with a friend. We visited Le Musée Yves Saint Laurent, saw the Irving Penn exhibition at the Grand Palais and went to Azzedine Alaïa’s Je Suis Couturier exhibition at the late designer’s atelier-art gallery in the 4th arrondissement. 

I’d love to see more of Japan. I went skiing there once and it was the most “foreign” place I’ve ever been. 

I will never forget waking up to a glorious sunrise on a beach in Brittany on an unseasonably warm November morning. I sat gazing at the sea, cup of Fortnum& Mason coffee in hand, utterly content.