The Venice-based foodie rustles up a veritable feast of the things that rock her world.

Skye McAlpine moved to Venice at the age of six, her playground its warren of streets and bridges over meandering canals. As she grew up, she took to roaming through the Rialto Market, where she would pick up fresh ingredients for dishes to prepare later at home. That early fascination with the alchemy and ritual of cooking informed the basis of what she would later come to be known for: her romantic and deeply appealing cookery writing.

The despatches from her kitchen table began in the form of a blog, From My Dining Table. These missives soon made it into the more tangible pages of two bestselling books: A Table In Venice (2018) and A Table For Friends (2020). She also writes a monthly recipe column for The Sunday Times, as well as contributing to a raft of glossy titles, from Vanity Fair to Condé Nast Traveller.

There is something about everything that Skye touches that reels us in, hungry for more. For, as her glorious Instagram feed attests, she is seduced – and thus so are we – not only by the food itself but by everything that comes with it. Her kitchens both in the UK and Italy – her London one was designed by the great Ben Pentreath – look like places one would want to linger for hours over food, chats and wine. And, if she seems to convey that sense effortlessly, it is because she really does believe that food tastes better with friends.

Given her much lauded style, it is little surprise that she collaborated last year with Anthropologie to design a table top collection; after all, who wouldn’t want to claim a slice of Skye’s la dolce vita style? And now she’s teamed up with the wonderful stationer, Papier, to design a range of recipe journals, too.

In November, Skye launched her own range of homeware, Tavola, which, as we have come to expect from her, is nigh on perfect with delightful table linen, crockery, glassware and more. In fact, you'll find everything needed to serve memorable meals with friends and family. And of course, ideally you'd cook from her recipes too.

Here, she tells us who inspires her most, what her spirit animal would be, and whose dessert trolley she has a long-term obsession with.

Follow Skye on Instagram here and explore her new range of recipe journals for Papier here.

Favourite place in all the world?

Venice. Even though I've lived there since I was six years old, I still think it's like a fairyland.

Dream holiday?

A trip to Broome in northwestern Australia with my family. It's the most beautiful spot with the most magical beach of anywhere I have ever been. I spent a lot of time there as a child, and I would like to take my boys and show them.

Most coveted item right now?

A Marfa Stance coat for the winter.

Proudest professional moment to date?

Whenever someone says that they've cooked something from one of my cookbooks and they really enjoyed it. It's just the best feeling in the world and makes me so happy.

Your dream future project?

I've been working on my own collection of tableware, Skye McAlpine Tavola, which launched last month. It's something I've been dreaming of and thinking about for years so I'm very excited about it.

Who has been your most inspiring mentor, professionally or personally?

Alex Eagle. She's incredibly supportive and her blue-sky way of thinking is endlessly inspiring. She helped me to believe that I could and should chase after my dreams in a creative and professional sense. She is also so passionate about what she does that it's contagious.

Where would you live if you could live anywhere?

California, because the weather there is always beautiful, the sun is always shining and I would love to live by the beach.

What book is on your nightstand/ kindle right now?

Hill House Living by Paula Sutton. It's beautiful and dreamy and perfect for dipping into before bed. I'm also reading The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – it's one of the most evocative and compelling books I've read in years.

Best film you’ve seen recently?

Tea with Mussolini: it's so beautifully shot and such a moving story. I was in floods of tears (and I never cry at movies).

Best binge-watched TV show?

I re-watched the The West Wing during the lockdown earlier this year and loved every moment of it. Somehow even though the show is more than twenty years old, it's still incredibly compelling and feels so relevant.

Top podcast of the moment?

Past Imperfect. Each episode is so inspiring, and the people they interview have such extraordinary and moving stories to share.

Your hero?

My godmother, Olga Polizzi. She always works so hard and is so successful at what she does, but somehow always finds time for her family and the people she loves.

What’s your spirit animal?

A Pomeranian. I love them.

Favourite dish to cook?

I love making the Pistachio Butter Cake with Marzipan Buttercream Icing from my book, A Table for Friends. There is something so wonderfully joyful about cake; and If I could only have one cake for the rest of my days, that would definitely be it.

Favourite café/ restaurant?

Maison François. I'm obsessed with their dessert trolley.

Most useful thing on your desk?

My notebook. I scribble everything down in it and would be lost without it. And a Papier pink and red pen – I just love how they write (and look!).

Which five people, dead or alive, would you find most interesting to be stuck in a lift with?

Nancy Mitford; Margot Fonteyn; Michelle Obama; Oscar Wilde; Miuccia Prada.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) 1889, May 23. Picture by W. and D. Downey.jpg
Public Domain, Link

Favourite building?

The John Soane Museum. It's a treasure trove and I could happily spend days in there rootling around. I long to have a dinner – one long table and lit only by candlelight – one day.

Favourite Instagrammer

Bryony Sheridan: her feed is bursting with colour and joyful tablescapes and snapshots of dreamy interiors. It's like a ray of sunshine and hugely inspiring.

Your screensaver?

A photo of the four of us, my husband, two boys and I, on holiday in Marrakech.

What would be your epitaph?

More is more.

By Nancy Alsop
November 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.