Pajama label Desmond & Dempsey – which has had a cult following since its UK launch in 2014 – has the essence of travel sewn into the fabric of its beloved pajamas. Launched by Molly goddard and her husband Joel jeffery – both passionate about travel – they based their iconic prints on the many destinations they have visited. Here, Molly opens her “little black book” to reveal her must-see places around the world.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is hands down one of the coolest cities I’ve been to. It’s bursting with creativity and, like their mezcal, is a bit spicy. We designed our AW19 collection after a visit there and it’s been since my response “where you would live if you could”.
Will stay Condesa DF, you will start the day with a coffee in the turquoise library and end it with a mezcal on the roof overlooking Parque España.
My two favorite places for exceptional food in the city are Contramar and Don Verga. Contramar is “an establishment”. It has been operating for 20 years in all its splendor of ocean wall paint and white tablecloth. Using simple, fresh ingredients to create iconic dishes, Contramar’s menu is made for long lunches and many mezcal tours. Order the tostada de atuún, aguachile de campechano, and a bottle of Mezcal Amores. Make sure to book.
Don Vergas, on the other hand, does not need a reservation… It’s crazy, vibrant and noisy. The chefs are shouting “Who wants oysters?” Who wants octopus? from the small kitchen, and the hungry crowd shouts their orders. It is a place where you share food with strangers, where songs are sung, and where you can spend an entire afternoon. It is an unforgettable experience, not to be missed.
After you’ve had your fill, visit the homes of two of Mexico’s best designers: La Casa Azul and Casa Barragan.
The magic of La Casa Azul is no secret. The home of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is in the Coyoacán neighborhood, slightly outside the city. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the line of visitors standing outside. Home to the artist from his birth until his death in 1954, it is filled with his most famous works, personal effects and memories, marking a life full of talent and turmoil.
Luis Barragán was another genius. His house and studio, Casa Barragán, are proof of this. Passionate about the love of the sky and the garden, his architecture strives to blur the boundaries between inside and outside. As well as being the intimate home of the iconic architect, Casa Barragán is now also an emblem of the Modernist movement in Mexico, with the architect remaining a constant inspiration to many around the world.
Remigio is a amazing little boutique in the historic district of Mexico City and it showcases the beauty and intricacy of the country’s native textiles. Its founder of the same name, Remigio, has worked tirelessly to protect traditional weaving practices unique to rural Mexico and to expand knowledge of this almost lost art among the younger generations.
India was the last place we visited before we were locked up. It is the most colorful, rich and charming place I think I have ever been. There is a somewhat chaotic energy but if you can settle into it you will see joy everywhere. We visited Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur to research our SS21 Very Fine collection. Indian cities are teeming with life. As British photographer Tim Walker brilliantly puts it: “India is what it means to be alive”. Our trip focused on visiting factories, consuming cellars and being “carried away” by the markets.
In Bombay go to a store called Stuff Poster. it’s literally full (to the brim) of vintage screen prints from Bollywood films (which were originally used as posters in theaters). They were collected for decades by the store owner’s grandfather.
Udaipur is at home for pahari painting – a miniature painting style – so browse the City palace feel inspired and then find a teacher. Many shops along the lake offer courses. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon.
In Jaipur, the magic operates in the early morning. Watch the sunrise from the sky on a hot air balloon safari with Sky Waltz. You are floating above the city. No words are enough to describe how special it is.
Another experience you will remember forever is a visit to Govind Dev Ji Temple. We went to the first prayer of the day. As the songs were called, the sun rose, moving us both to tears.
Finally, and a real treat, is the safari experience at Sujan Sher Bagh in Rajasthan. A day’s drive from Jaipur, this is a place that should be on everyone’s list. It is India’s most famous tiger reserve and the luxury camp is a taste of true hospitality.
Mallorca has in a way become my “home away from home”. It was Joel and I’s first vacation after moving to London, and the place we always go to relax. The mountains hug you and the water does magical things with your cortisol levels. Everything just seems easier there.
Casa Balandra is the place to stay. It’s a creative residence and guesthouse with beautiful interiors – there really is no such thing.
The best beach is Alconasser, along the west coast of Mallorca. It’s a climb to come down, but quieter than other places and well worth it.
The day trip we always do is to Cala Tuent – a secluded and quiet beach in the rugged northwest of the island. To get there you have to go up and down mighty cliffs, which makes you feel like you are on a real adventure. Finally, you will come to a pebble beach with beautiful clear waters, which is framed by the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range on one side. From the beach you can walk to Restaurant Es Vergeret, which overlooks the cove and offers some of the best seafood on the island. It is absolute happiness.