Debbie Von Bismarck, opened her enchanting by-appointment-only Knightsbridge store Debonnaire in 2014. It is an absolute treasure trove of artisanal and bespoke delights.
The store was born out of inspiration accrued during Debbie’s travels and her penchant for discovering wonderful treasures wherever she goes. Tucked away on a quiet residential street, Debonnaire is an absolute confection painted in sunny yellow stripes where artisans from far-flung destinations are celebrated. There are cashmere shawls from Nepal, hand-painted leather keep-sake boxes from India, woven bags from a tribe in Venezuela, to bishops and cardinal socks from Rome.
Beyond this discerning curation, Debbie offers a bespoke concierge service, sourcing the weird and wonderful from around the globe. The most interesting gift she’s had to find? ‘Handmade Rooster footstools -they are exquisitely made at every stage of their production with bronze beaks and feet – you can even have them made to look like your own farmyard flock!’, Debbie says.
The team have recently launched their website, perfectly timed for buying christmas gifts for the person who has everything: ‘A lot of work has gone into trying to recreate some of the showroom magic online.’ As for Debbie’s top tips when buying gifts, ‘ it’s personalisation all the way. It doesn’t matter really what the present is, it shows that you have put thought and energy into it and it’s always something to be remembered.’
From hitting the gym to combat jet lag to feeling most at home at The Beverly Hills Hotel, this is how Debbie Von Bismarck travels well.
What is the first trip you remember taking?
What’s been your most memorable trip and why?
If you could go anywhere tomorrow it would be…
My top bucket list destination is…
What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?
Where do you get your holiday inspiration?
If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?
What is your favourite hotel?
What’s on your travel playlist?
How do you switch off?
What is your number one packing tip?
Who is your favourite travel companion?
What is your most treasured purchase from your travels?
What are your jet lag recovery tips?
Where is home and what are your must-do’s for any tourists visiting?
What item of clothing/accessory is a suitcase stalwart?
First thing that comes to your mind?
Packing: roll or fold?
Inflight book or inflight film?
Music or podcasts?
Time killer on a long-haul flight?
Holiday tipple of choice?
Best shopping gem found abroad?
A crochet shawl from Cartagena, Colombia
Beach or City Break?
Both are perfection. Rio for example.
Ultimate holiday treat?