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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Camilla Elphick

London-based shoe designer Camilla Elphick had big dreams of starting her own footwear business after graduating from London College of Fashion and Parsons School of Design in New York. But it was her father’s rules of always having ‘polished shoes and nails’ that established her love for creating beautiful heirlooms.

Starting from a small desk in Shoreditch in 2014, Camilla has evolved into an online-only brand with the royal seal of approval – Kate Middleton is a fan. Creating seasonal collections from snow boots to summer sandals, her aim is to design shoes that make women feel fabulous but that are also accessible without compromising on quality.

Here, we catch up with Camilla about all things travel, from her favourite destinations to her biggest lessons.

What is the first trip you remember taking?

I remember a trip to Lapland to meet Father Christmas when I was a small child. My mother and I went and we had a fabulous time sledging, taking husky rides and visiting the elves at Father Christmas’ post office. I vividly remember Father Christmas emerging with his reindeer from the snowy woods – it was magical.

What’s been your most memorable trip and why?

We had a wonderful family holiday in Nevis –  the beaches were beautiful and we befriended a famous character from the island who gave me a giant conch shell that I still keep in a shoebox full of holiday treasures. I also more recently went to a wedding in New Hampshire with my parents and friends and we then went on to Nantucket. We stayed in a beautiful Airbnb, and cycled around the island: everything was very chic from gorgeous boutiques and fabulous fish restaurants with stunning views out to sea.

Where or what is your escape?

I love the Greek islands – Santorini is a favourite. The first time I went with my now husband we rented an Airbnb ‘small cave with jacuzzi and sunset view’ which turned out to be right in the tourist hotspot but we didn’t mind! I also loved Paros, Antiparos and Eagles Palace in Halkidiki. I love the people, the boat trips, and especially the food — I am a bit fussy where food is concerned and love all the Greek dips and fish dishes.



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A post shared by Eagles Palace (@eaglespalace)

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

To be prepared so you don’t stress. Chargers – bring one in your hand luggage and one in your suitcase, as well as a power extender and multi adapters in case you end up in another country. No liquids in hand luggage unless they are small enough and you come to the airport with them already in a plastic bag. Wheely hand luggage. I also recommend taking mainly flat shoes – my Maya slides are perfect poolside as well as at night. Also, make sure you put your shoes in a dust bag so that they don’t get squashed or ruin your clothes.



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A post shared by CAMILLA ELPHICK (@camillaelphick)

If I could go anywhere tomorrow I’d go to:

Dumbo House in Brooklyn to see the fabulous views of Manhattan and catch up with old friends.

How would you spend an ideal afternoon in your home city?

My ideal afternoon in London would be a solo trip visiting an exhibition at the Royal Academy or the V&A before having my hair done to get ready for an evening out.

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

A fabulous beach holiday with yoga classes every morning, delicious breakfasts and good wifi.

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

From friends’ recommendations and on Instagram.

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

I’d love to sit with Emma Grede – she’s built a huge business empire, I’d have so many questions to ask (she is also a customer).

How do you recover from jet lag?

I don’t think about it or wonder ‘what time it is back home’ – once I’ve arrived somewhere I’m in their time zone.

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

One thing I can’t stand is sitting by the gate watching the plane and the clock, so anything to distract me — I’ll find a coffee shop or a bar and have a glass of wine and write notes or sketch for work in a notepad; some of my best ideas come from airports or on planes. Otherwise, I’ll strike up a conversation with someone in the same position as me.

Favourite hotel?

Any Soho House hotel – they feel like home.



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A post shared by Soho House UK (@sohohouseuk)

Favourite airline?

British Airways — it feels familiar.

What’s on your travel playlist?

I haven’t got one. I can entertain myself with ideas and can fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

What are your must-have travel picks?

111 Skin face masks, Jurlique mini facial mist and a Katie & Jo cashmere tracksuit set that I put on, along with flight socks, before taking off. Add Camilla Elphick Alicia flats on top of the flight socks then simply remove the socks when you land and you’re holiday ready.

Where next?

Venice. We’re planning a trip in May. I’ve never been and I can’t wait.




Hand-luggage essential?

Lip balm.

Packing: roll or fold?

Both – it depends on what it is. I like to think I’m a good packer; my dad used to get me to help him pack for trips and he would put tissue paper in between each layer and shoes in dust bags. I am meticulous. I now also bring a travel steamer.

Inflight book or inflight film?


Music or podcasts? 

Neither. I’m only getting into podcasts now.

Time killer on a long-haul flight?


Holiday tipple of choice?

Gin and tonic.

Bucket list top destination?


Best shopping gem found abroad? 

I fell in love with a giant Sicilian ceramic pine cone in Taormina last summer. It was over €500 in the shops and took me a day to track down a supplier and producer but I got it for €60. It was a nightmare to bring home but it has pride of place in our new living room and I love it.

Beach or City? 


Ultimate holiday treat? 

A relaxing massage.

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