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Suitcase Series: Sophie Beresiner in London

London-based Sophie Beresiner is Beauty Director at ELLE UK and one of our favourite beauty pros in the know. What this gal doesn’t know about the latest in beauty probably isn’t worth knowing… Sophie is also a brand founder of luxury ceramic candle brand No.22 (stocked in Liberty).

In 2018 she started a highly personal column in The Times about her journey towards motherhood. Read about it here: #TheMotherProject

We caught up with her to talk about all things travel…


What is the first trip you remember taking?

My grandad was a huge fan of family cruises, which are excellent for grandparents and young kids. I remember drinking Shirley temples and winning a fancy dress competition as a bunch of grapes. Couldn’t tell you what countries we visited though.

Which holidays have been your favourite to date and why?

Well, aside from my South Africa honeymoon, which was amazing, I was lucky enough to visit Mustique, where I rode a horse into the sea where it set off swimming. Hands down one of the most incredibly beautiful things I’ve ever done. The whole vibe of the island – the people, the airport, and the wild tortoise that roam the streets – is warm and friendly and super-fancy. There is a bar called Basil’s that the locals go to. We danced in the middle of a tropical rainstorm with Basil himself. Trip of a lifetime!

Where do you go for the ultimate escape?

There is a holistic wellness retreat called Kamalaya in Koh Samui. That place is incredible! It’s all built around an old monks cave in the jungle and the philosophy of the place radiates out from that spot. It’s not a detox or a boot camp or overly-spiritual, it’s realistic and helpful. There’s also a swing under a banyan tree on the beach where I mentally put myself when I’m trying to sleep or relax.

What does travel mean to you?

Wanderlust. It’s quite usual I’m sure, but exploring new places and making forever memories.

Do you get away often? Is this important to you?

It’s hugely important to me but my husband is a real homebody. Luckily I get to travel for work. We do a holiday a year hopefully, but I travel so much the rest of the year – I just have to hope amazing places come up in my itinerary!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?

Look up and put your phone down. Don’t get me wrong, I hoard memories and photos bring them alive for me. So also, yeah, capture everything! But also, see it properly through your own actual eyes before and after too.

Where would be your ideal holiday destination with friends?

Ooh depends on how many friends. I think The Cotswold’s, where I got married. There is little better than the British countryside, in all seasons. I love hiring a cottage, getting my favourite people together and cooking and drinking and lighting fires! And scrabble. There has to be scrabble.

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More @Preenline Diaries love. Outside my office in my new favourite top that isn’t mine, two skirts layered for print clash (not mine) and my old and beloved @ragandbone jacket that I adore, even though I get street-heckled 100% more than I do without it ———— #preenlinediaries #preenbythorntonbregazzi 📷 @evaksalvi #ootd #whatiwore read more @preenline

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How do you look after your wellbeing when you’re abroad?

I don’t worry about it! I try to focus on being away, and that includes being away from my worries. I read as many books as possible and enjoy every mouthful of food and drink I consume. Nothing counts when you’re on holiday!

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

I recently went away to my first resort holiday, and while the rooms weren’t luxurious, the whole concept of not having to think about anything was a huge luxury! It meant I could really and properly switch off. It helped that it was In St Lucia and the snorkelling was amazing.

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

My friends and my friend Sue who is our amazing travel editor at ELLE. She is so adventurous, I love it.

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?

Elton John. I just love him so much and have done since I was very young and I think we’d be friends. And then my mum and Dad on the other side cos I want to take them wherever Elton and I are going. If Elton is on the plane it’s going to be somewhere good.

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A lot of yesterday spent discussing the larger concept of sustainability which we are continuing to champion at ELLE. I am a bad advocate because I like to shop. A lot. But a sustainability effort means trying to do better, like using bio degradable glitter, swerving the morning coffee cups and sleeves and wearing a 10 year old dress to a wedding 💚 I mentally shopped for MONTHS for @joelygabrielle’s super wedding, but in the end had a word with myself and wore this Erdem dress I got when Outnet first launched. Now it’s my fave thing again #showandtELLE ———— #erdem #weddingguestdress #outnet #walkerdowntheaisle #sustainability #ellemagazine

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How do you usually recover from jet-lag?

Somehow even if I sleep in the day I can still fall asleep at night because I’m RUINED by jetlag. But then I wake up and become discombobulated and moan about it till it goes away by itself. Melatonin gummies from CVS in the states help a little too.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?

I always take a back up battery pack so it wouldn’t happen! But I’d read my kindle with a cup of decaf coffee.

What’s your favourite hotel and why?

The Greenwich Hotel in New York because I went there at Christmas time once and it’s so beautifully festive. The décor is great, and there is a Japanese spa in the basement that makes you forget you’re in the middle of Tribeca. Plus I bumped into Michael McConaughey in the lift and Shia LaBeouf in the restaurant, which also happens to be my favourite place for breakfast in the whole world. Get the Uova Modenese.

Favourite airline?

BA but only because I’m stuck in the air miles game so I rarely fly any others.

What’s on your travel playlist?

My trick for dealing with my fear of flying is to play a song I love super loudly in huge headphones during takeoff. By the time it’s finished I feel like the worst is over. Currently, it’s Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Rousing. Loud.

Where next?

Chicago. I went there with my husband recently and we had such a great time. It’s somewhere I don’t hear of for a holiday destination, but we just loved it. We’re going back for a friends wedding. Great choice of location friend!!

What are your must-have travel picks?

1. The Anya Hindmarch In-Flight Case legit changed my packing life. Two sides for TAKE OFF and TOUCH DOWN, but I just keep it packed and ready to go in my hand luggage at all times. No need for the plastic baggies at security.
2. Clarins 4 Colour Pen. a) It talks to the nostalgic stationery geek in me, b) it covers off four different makeup essentials in one little pen, c) it’s a conversation starter.
3. Frends Taylor Headphones. They cancel out the noise of the plane and they fold up fairly small so I just keep them in my hand luggage always. Plus, they look nice and they’re customizable!
4. Pinch Provisions Emergency Kit. I have a phobia of being ill away from home, so I carry this pouch with me, plus I include some extras…um… rehydration sachets etc, Benadryl etc.

First thing that comes to your mind?

Your hand-luggage essential?

Headphones.

Packing: roll or fold?

Roll.

Time killer on a long-haul flight?

Movies of course.

On-flight tipple of choice?

Aperol spritz

Suitcase brand of choice?

Away.

Bucket list top destination?

Maldives – cheesy but true.

Best shopping gem found abroad?

Celine dress in a vintage store in LA.

Beach or City?

Beach.

Ultimate holiday treat?

Snorkelling – I used to fear the sea until I tried it and now I’m obsessed.

For more Suitcase Series interviews, click here

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