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STOW chats with Lydia Forte, bar and restaurant development manager at Rocco Forte Hotels & avid traveller

To where would you most like to stowaway?

Anywhere new – Santiago, Patagonia, Atacama and Easter Island! They’ve been on my list for a long time. But I also love going back to Rome, to the Hotel de Russie whenever I can. My grandparents live there and it really is the most magical city. Nothing beats an aperitivo in the beautiful garden of the hotel.

Who would you take with you?

If my husband can’t come, I would take my sister and brother who I work with in the family business at Rocco Forte Hotels. We love staying in other people’s luxury hotels and being inspired (and secretly annoyed by the good things) and annoyed (but secretly happy) about the bad things.

One essential piece of kit you cannot travel without, and why?

Not sure it’s kit – but I can’t travel without good food – so restaurant research and food tips of my destination. My friend is starting an amazing app called Live 2 Leave which will curate all your friends’ travel and food tips. It will be invaluable for me, for work and for pleasure.

What is your favourite Stow piece, and why?

The First Class Tech Case – I travel at least once a week to all our Rocco Forte Hotel properties – and it’s so handy having everything I need for a trip in one place. My passport, my charger, my iPhones, my keys and my credit card. Just wake up, pick it up and go to catch those early, Monday, morning flights.

What would you keep in your Stow secret envelope?

My engagement ring.

Luxury or practicality – which one are you?

Luxury! But never to the point that anything becomes impractical 🙂

Best piece of travel attire to stay stylish when on the move?

In winter – a beautiful and comfortable wrap coat to keep you warm on planes, that hides a disheveled outfit underneath and looks glamorous! I just got a beautiful herringbone tweed one from JM Studio – two gorgeous girls who have started a fantastic brand in St. Petersburg. I met them whilst at the Astoria hotel for work. In summer – a ¾ length, waisted, jean skirt with big pockets and espadrille wedges.

How do you stay stylish when travelling?

Hair in a plait to keep it shiny & clean and give it a bit of curl; red lipstick always helps; sunglasses; and a good, big, light handbag to stuff everything in – with some pom poms on it from Debbonaire to keep it looking fun.

Best piece of fashion advice you’ve received?

From my mother – Aliai Forte – who designs beautiful clothes which we sell in our Verdura Resort in Sicily: only wear what suits you, buy items with beautiful craftmanship as they will never go out of style, and if you can manage it, wear heels!

Who is your travel hero/heroine and why?

My father – Rocco Forte – who I work for and who founded and runs the company. He is 72, travels at least as much as me (once a week) for work, always with a jam-packed, non-stop schedule, yet always seems to have more energy than me or my sister. It’s a bit embarrassing for us.

Which luxury item can you not travel without?

A chunky, statement piece of jewellery that can glam up any outfit so you’re ready for a surprise event or dinner out in a restaurant. Otherwise, I’m pretty lucky to find all the luxury I need in the Rocco Forte Hotels that I travel to!

Keep up to date with Lydia on her adventures by following her on Instagram (@lydiaforte) or her Twitter (@lydiaforte). Find out more about Rocco Forte Hotels here.

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