The Flâneurs

Armchair Travel. Part I

Long, long ago, in what feels like another universe, another century, we were all planning our next getaway. We were researching what the weather was like in Muscat in February and uncovering hidden gem hotels in Montevideo. We loved the planning almost as much as we loved the travel itself. And one of the most wonderful things about zipping across the globe was always the return home. We’d kick off our shoes, let our swollen suitcases sigh open and sink into our very favourite chairs. But these days, now that most travel is off the table, we’re sitting in the very same chairs, dreaming of places we’d rather be. We’re indulging in a little bit of armchair travel. We had a chat with some of our dearest friends of Flaneur about where they’d like to be sitting right this minute. So, while we won’t be walking a mile in their shoes, we can’t wait to spend a bit of time sitting in the chair of their dreams.

Remy Renzullo, Decorator

This summer, I visited La Foce, a house in Italy that had belonged to one of my favourite authors, Iris Origo. It’s perched on top of a hill overlooking the Val d’Orcia, which might just be the most beautiful place in the world. I’d love to be back there, sitting on a deckchair, watching the sun disappear behind Monte Amiata.

Clementina Calleri, Founder and Designer of The Palmist

If I could teleport myself right now, it would be to one of the benches at the Dar Dhiafa Hotel in Djerba, Tunisia. The bench is in the middle of our room’s courtyard, surrounded by plants and the beautiful, warm sun. It’s a very special place on a very magical island of an incredible country. Djerba is the island of dreams, l‘île des rêves.

Marie Winckler, Maison Flaneur

Paris or Rome, on any terrace. What I’ve been missing the most is some good people-watching session fuelled by some delicious red wine.

Amber Guiness, Chef and Co-founder of Arniano Painting School

If I were able to time-travel a few months backwards or forwards, I would transport myself to September in the Aeolian Islands just north of Sicily, a month where the summer sun has warmed the sea and the nights have begun to draw in. I dream of sitting in an armchair, or maybe swinging in a hammock, on one of the three sea-facing terraces at the Principe di Salina, my favourite boutique hotel in Malfa, a town on the north side of the island of Salina. I have a negroni sbagliato in my hand, and I look out to sea, as the volcanic island of Stromboli gently erupts, spraying red lava and becoming ever brighter as the sun sets. On my left is the town church, fronted by an enormous mosaiced piazza where children play footballs as the bells chime the hour. As I sip my drink and stare at the bubbling volcano on the horizon, I think about the next morning, getting up early to wander down to the sea and swim in the warm September Mediterranean before heading back up for a greedy lunch of pasta alla trapanese (Sicilian almond, tomato and basil pesto) and grilled seabass with capers and elmon. Roll on, September.

Hayley Daen, Contributor to Maison Flaneur

In all honesty, I’d take just about any chair other than the same eight I’ve been cycling through at home over the last 10 months. But if I had to pick just one perch, I’d probably pick the joggling board at my parents’ old house back in Charleston. For the uninitiated, a joggling board is a piece of furniture unique to the Lowcountry, a sort of bouncing bench slicked in Charleston green paint meant to bring lovers ever closer together. I’d be parked on the bench, jostling with friends for the prime spot, soaking up some sweet southern sun.

Roya Sachs, Curator

I would be sitting on the Wassily armchair (designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925-1926, when he was the head of cabinetmaking at the Bauhaus school in Germany) at Tatemichiya, a small, off-the-beaten-track izakaya in Tokyo. What better way to escape lockdown than sake, vinyls and underground hangouts with friends?

Armchairs Travel

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