Monique Lhuillier Does Venice
Lhuillier in Venice (All photos: Monique Lhuillier)
World renown designer Monique Lhuillier has dressed famous fashionistas from Emma Stone to Anna Kendrick to Kristen Bell. But if you think that’s glamorous, you should see how she travels! When Lhuillier took off on an Italian getaway with her for family for a little work and lots of fun, Yahoo Travel got a sneak peak.
Who: Monique Lhuilier; with my husband, Tom; my 9-year-old son, Jack; and my 5-year-old daughter, Sophia
Where: Venice, Italy
Canals at night (Photo: The Gritti Palace/Facebook)
Why: We started in Florence for a work trip — I was visiting the shoe factory and sourcing fabrics for upcoming upcoming collection, as well as working on a handbag collection. So we decided to take the kids to Venice, as it’s one of my favorite places to visit in the world. I’ve been around six times. My first visit was with my parents when I was about 10 years old.
What I loved: What is there not to love about Venice? From the Grand Canal to the art and architecture, it’s an enchanting and fascinating city. I also love the incredible food and I was thrilled to be able to experience it with my husband and children. It wasn’t my family’s first time there, but Sophia was so young when we went before she didn’t remember her first visit. Going to the glass factory in Murano was the kids’ favorite. They loved watching the artists in the factory blow glass, heat it, and make them into beautiful objects. They loved it! The gondola ride was my favorite, but the kids thought it was too slow — they preferred riding in the vaporettos… speed!
What I learned: Venice is one of those places that teaches you to be in the moment – it makes me stop and take in the simple things such as walking through the streets with my family. It’s incredible what Venice can do to a person. I was grateful that I was able to relish in those peaceful moments.
Travel inspiration: Traveling is always a source of inspiration for me, especially when visiting a city like Venice. Every time we visit Venice I find new sources of inspiration – from the art and architecture to the twinkling lights from the cafes and nightlight reflecting off of the canals. Who knows — it may inspire a future collection!
The Gritti Palace
Where I stayed: The Gritti Palace
Highlights: Venice is spectacular if I were to list certain things as highlights it would be the gondola ride through the canals and ending up at the Rialto bridge, the architecture, al fresco dining, St. Mark’s Square, visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (one of my favorite museums), and visiting the Murano to see how glass is made. And of course, the amazing food.
Most memorable meal: Antiche Carampane and Da'Ivo. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menus!
Most unusual meal: Cattlefish in Venetian style black sauce with soft white polenta and shaved truffle, Antiche Carampane.
Favorite bar: Harry’s Bar. I love popping in for a nice Bellini and a quick lunch. I love traditions and this is a classic.
Jack, mask shopping
Top shopping: Walking the streets and purchasing Venetian masks and for designer collections you can easily find right next to the Piazza San Marco.
Secret splurge: Room service at The Gritti Palace!
Lhuillier and husband Tom
Best dollar I spent: Food and a gondola ride!
Quiet afternoon: Venice is such a charming city. It’s amazing just to get lost in it, strolling through the streets walking into churches, museums, looking through shops, wandering was simply a joy.
Jack and Sophia
How I Changed After: It was the perfect way to bond as a family and see Venice through their eyes. It was pleasant to not have an itinerary and feel that time has stopped. Coming back I felt recharged and happy!
Next trip: It’s a tradition to spend Christmas with my family in the Philippines where I spent my childhood. This year, I will be also flying to Japan to celebrate the New Year!
Parting thoughts: To this day it still blows my mind that the city is completely built on water and the whole experience of getting around by boat has this allure that is both elegant and romantic.