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On Holiday With… Emily Gillis

On Holiday With… Emily Gillis
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Need inspiration for your next vacation? We ask friends and creatives to share their favourite holiday destinations along with insider tips, travel essentials, hotel and restaurant recommendations and photos they’ve taken along the way. Here, interior designer Emily Gillis sends us a postcard from Puglia, Italy. 

What makes Puglia so special to you?

There's an indescribable quality about Puglia. I love the quiet, dry landscape and the space it affords you to just be and think. There’s a stillness there that feels very special. 

Your ultimate long haul flight outfit…

I find being comfortable is key while travelling. Most often I’ll throw on a crisp white singlet, a cosy cashmere knit and loose-fitting linen trousers with a high waist — essential for a growing plane food belly! A cashmere scarf is a great travel accessory that can act as a warm wrap or mini blanket if the temperature dips, and I find sandals are always the best option for inflight footwear, as they’re easy to slip on and off.

Three things you always pack for a holiday…

A classic black bikini.
A jewellery polishing rag from Hagerty — it’s perfect for refining and buffing dull jewellery after long days spent by the water.
A Kindle — I love reading on holiday but books can be weighty to lug around. A Kindle is the perfect pocket-sized companion that helps pass the time in transit between destinations.

“Being comfortable is key while travelling. I’ll throw on a crisp white singlet, a cosy cashmere knit and loose-fitting linen trousers with a high waist.”

What have you been reading on this holiday?

I’ve been reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Dreaming Path by Paul Callaghan and Uncle Paul Gordon on rotation.

Must-stay hotel or property in Puglia…

Without a doubt, Masseria Moroseta. It’s the most heavenly villa set in the olive groves on the outskirts of Ostuni. We had the most perfect time there and I’m already counting down the days until we can go back again!

Must-see places and sites…

Polignano a Mare: A gorgeous coastal town. Hire a paddle boat and explore the caves.
Lecce: A charming town with beautiful old baroque buildings, bustling bars, restaurants and shops.
Ostuni: The most picturesque white village built into a hilltop. Breathtakingly beautiful sights everywhere you turn! Ostuni is home to the oldest olive tree in the world, therefore the olive oil tasting tour of the ancient distillery at Masseria Brancati is an absolute must! 

Favourite spots to eat and drink in Puglia:

Masseria Moroseta. Make sure to book ahead of time as availability is scarce but it’s well worth the wait! While there, be sure to order the degustation dinner, prepared exclusively with local produce and wine pairings that are to-die-for!

Favourite places to shop:

Grottaglie, a gorgeous town known for its ceramics. I could have filled an entire suitcase! 

Any local travel advice you want to share?

Be sure to leave room for spontaneity and to get lost in the plans of the day. Soak up the locals’ recommendations — with their advice you’ll find yourself creating the most amazing travel memories! 
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