Transport yourself to the continent with these stylish artisan buys for the home.

Forget novelty fridge magnets and tacky t-shirts. The beauty of a well-sourced souvenir is that long after you’ve returned from your summer hols and your tan has faded, each time you look at your prized purchase you will be taken back to that market, artisan workshop or city boutique and all those warm, fuzzy holiday feels will flood back, thus keeping the holiday vibe alive just a little longer.

In case you’re not jetting off to sunnier climes this summer, never fear. We’ve used the power of the internet to take us there virtually, sourcing some of those beautiful, locally crafted home accessories and artisan pieces we all lust after on holiday from popular European destinations – from statement ceramics to luxury linens. No plane ticket required, but you might want to clear some space on your kitchen shelves…

France




After a day on the beach in the south of France, the gentle, milky scent of an authentic Provencal soap in the shower is the stuff of holiday dreams. Now you can recreate the olfactory trip down memory lane from the comfort of your own bathroom, thanks to Somerset-based Chateau du Savon, which has been sourcing authentic French soaps for 25 years. With over 100 to choose from (we love the traditional chunky cubes of Savon de Marseille enriched with skin softening olive oil) you are sure to find a scent to recreate those holiday vibes. Explore the collection here.

Italy




The whitewashed towns, dramatic coves, unpretentious ‘real deal Italy’ and mile upon mile of olive groves make Puglia a popular destination with holidaying Brits. A classic signature of the region is ‘splatterware’ ceramics (think a glaze effect in pleasingly random splodges, in deep indigo blues and emerald greens). Brassica Mercantile in Dorset stocks an authentic range of Puglian splatterware, in case you are not venturing to southern Italy any time soon. Great statement pieces, especially when layered on crisp white linens for summer dining. Peruse the selection here.

Turkey




You might not be sunning yourself on the shores of the Med this summer, but a traditional hammam towel, such as this lightweight one in sherbert, from Terzi is a great beach-buy nonetheless. Compact and quick drying, they can double up as picnic blankets, shawls or sunshades too. Terzi has a range of smart stripes, brights and calm neutrals to choose from, all in 100 per cent premium cotton and finished with hand-tied tassels. Take a look at the whole collection here.

Portugal




While a custard tart might not travel so well in the post, homewares from interiors store Lusophile offer the perfect slice of Portgual if you are missing the Algarve this summer. There are beautiful woven baskets and rugs, cork accessories and an edit of Portugese cookbooks if you want to try your hand at your own custard tarts. Online shop it here.

Sicily




Sicilian Majolica ceramics fill the streets of Taormina, and a reoccurring motif is that of the Moro head. The XI century legend goes that a Moorish merchant was walking the streets of Palermo when he looked up and saw a beautiful girl tending to the plants on her balcony and they immediately fell in love. Yet this was no ordinary holiday romance. When the girl found out the merchant had a wife and family back home she chopped off his head, disguised it as a vase and grew basil in it! When people saw how well her basil flourished on her balcony they started creating their own (ceramic) versions of her ‘novelty vase’ in the hope their herbs would bloom too – and so the Moro vase was created. Grizzly fairytales aside, the iconic Sicilian ceramic has had a modern makeover by Anemone Interiors, with chic white Moro heads, embellished with hand painted detailing. A definite conversation starter and perfect for summer blooms. Buy yours here.

Spain




La Galleria Elefante is an Ibizan institution for laidback, boho luxe homewares. From kitsch accessories to beautiful woven basketry, it stocks globally sourced blankets and a great edit of books for any Ibiza loves, from fiction to cookery. If you are missing the White Isle, this could bring a little splash of sunshine direct to your home. Explore more here and recreate scenes like this.

France




To conclude, we can’t help but whisk you back to France again (we just can’t get enough). Nothing is more reminiscent of a chic French getaway than artfully rumpled linen sheets. London-based The Linen Works has the most beautiful collection of linens in crisp whites, Parisienne blues and muted pastels – all offered with an astonishing 50-year warranty, so confident are they that their timeless linens will just get better with age. Much like a good French wine. Explore more here.

By Lydia Mansi
July 2020

READ MORE

10 baskets for summer styling
29 ways to create a beautiful summer table
10 Instagram feeds to follow for quintessential English gardens

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

FIND OUT MORE