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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Emefa Cole

Emefa Cole is one of the UK’s most exciting emerging jewellery designers, with one of her rings entering the permanent jewellery collection of the V&A this year.

Hailing from Ghana, Emefa’s love for jewellery began when she visited a night market in Accra, aged five; here, she bought a pair of studs set with deep-red gemstones, thus sparking her fascination. She spent much of her childhood making beaded necklaces and waist beads – the medium being extremely important in Ghanaian culture. This rich heritage inspires her bold and sculptural designs; she is further inspired by the power of destruction, renewal, and the elemental forces of nature.

Travel is important to Emefa: “I love to learn about people from different parts of our planet, immerse myself in their culture, their customs and rituals, their food, and much more. There is so much beauty in this world and you can only experience it through travel. In my opinion, travel is the best form of education.”

Here we delve into Emefa Cole’s travel psyche…

What is the first trip you remember taking?

It was in Ghana, I remember my father driving along the coast through Ada to the Volta region to visit my grandparents. I will never forget taking in the beautiful scenery of the glistening water lined with tall palm trees, and the smell of the sea. The street food on this route is amazing!

What’s your most memorable trip and why?

A trip with my daughter, Tiah: we travelled to Banff in Canada without the boys for a bonding snowboarding break. Tiah was nine at the time, and I felt we needed that time together as I had recently given birth to my son, Xavier.

What is your favourite ever hotel?

Fairmont Banff Springs.

Where or what is your escape?


If you could go anywhere tomorrow it would be…


What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

Somewhere beautiful and tranquil – far away from a bustling city – preferably with my family. It would be cut off from technology so we can really enjoy our surroundings and be present in the moment, and with no chores! That is priceless.


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A post shared by Emefa (@emefacolejewellery)

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

Cooking programmes. Mark Wiens is my favourite host, and he travels to amazing destinations for food.

My top bucket-list destination is…

There are so many on my list, but I’d say Zanzibar is top.

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

Tom Ford.

How do you switch off?

I don’t switch off easily, but I definitely escape through reading a book whenever possible.


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A post shared by Emefa (@emefacolejewellery)

What’s on your travel playlist?

My taste in music is eclectic: I love James Blake, Erykah Badu, Shatta Wale, Kendrick Lamar, and FKA Twigs, to name a few.

What is your jet-lag recovery tip?

Sleep and some great food.

Who is your favourite travel companion?

My son, Xavier.

What is your suitcase stalwart?

A silk kaftan.


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A post shared by Emefa (@emefacolejewellery)

What is your number one packing tip?

I’m terrible, I pack everything.

What is your most treasured purchase from your travels?

My jewellery bench leather skin. I bought it from a leather workshop in Rethimno, Crete.

Where is home and what are your must-do’s for any tourists visiting?

I live in London, which is an amazing city. We are truly spoilt for choice here, but I’d say a visit to the V&A is a must.

First thing that comes to your mind…

Hand luggage essential…

Hand wipes and tea-tree oil.

Beach or city break?


Packing: roll or fold?


Music or podcast?


In-flight book or in-flight film?


Time filler on a long-haul flight?


Holiday tipple of choice?

Mai Tai/ Mojito.

Ultimate holiday treat?

Being with my loved ones.

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Any Questions or Tips to add?