Our Lifestyle Editor, Lydia Mansi shares a few of her favourite things.

From refined Parisian properties to knitwear so fierce it roars, these are the things that Lydia is coveting right now.

Stay: Le Sirenuse

As John Steinbeck once wrote, ‘Positano bites deep’. After a visit to Le Sirenuse in my twenties, I have been plotting a way to get back to the luxury hotel, perched atop the glamorous Amalfi Coast port, ever since. And now, at long last, I am booked in for my fortieth next year and cannot wait to be back, immersed in the glamour of the Vesuvian red walls, lemon tree-lined pool and candlelit terrace with some of the best food and views I’ve ever experienced. For now, their diffusion line of fragrances is tiding me over thanks to their utterly transporting Italian-inspired scents. Book it here.

Watch: The Parisian Agency – Exclusive Properties

If, like me, you were seduced by Selling Sunset last year, The Parisian Agency feels like a distinct upgrade – expect the same kind of jaw-dropping properties, but this time with a chic French twist. The Netflix show follows the Kretz family: two parents and their three handsome sons, who together run their own discreet property agency, dealing in dream properties across Paris and Europe. One can dream, non? Watch it here.

Investment Buy: Hayley Menzies Cardigan

My desire for a Hayley Menzies duster seems not to be abating and I am closer than ever to splurging on her statement knits. I love her tagline: ‘British luxury for refined rebels’. To me her pieces are the epitome of a west London cool girl aesthetic – feminine but with an edge. I will make the ‘Roaring Tiger’ maxi cardi mine before the year is out. Buy it here.

Everyday Essential: Stuttenheim Mosebacke Raincoat

My mornings start on the windswept Devon beach at the end of my road with my dog, come rain or shine. Inevitably, there is more rain than shine, which is why my desert island wardrobe hero has to be my Stutterheim Mosebacke raincoat. It’s the right side of practical, with all the Swedish engineering you need in wet weather gear, but in a pretty soft sage green to stop it feeling too geography field trip. Buy one here.

Beauty Hero: Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial

I have this golden wonder elixir to thank for helping me look half presentable in Zoom calls in the last year – it really is magic in a bottle. Running my own business, with two young boys and insomniac tendencies, the cashmere textured serum-oil hybrid is packed with skin brightening and conditioning vitamins, omegas and an addictive, heady combo of jasmine, frangipani and rose. Slather it on before bed and wake up restored. Buy it here.

Interiors Lust List: Anenome

I have always been drawn to mid-century Italian design, inspired by my Neapolitan husband’s family home and twenty years of travelling to the Amalfi Coast. Lia’s curation at Anenome Interiors in East Sussex is the best of the best when it comes to Italian interiors in the UK, with iconic designer pieces alongside fun decorative accessories and her own designs. We moved home mid-lockdown last year and I’ve already drawn up a (long) list of pieces I am lusting after from her online store… Browse the shop here.

Inspirational Eats: Full Helping

I have been vegan for just over a year and I visit Gena Hamshaw’s website, The Full Helping, on a weekly basis for inspiration. It’s so beautifully written and shot, it feels like browsing a magazine, crossed with a cookbook, filled with constantly updating ideas. The chickpea cobbler is my go-to winter comfort food, while even my fussy, carnivorous young sons gobble up the black bean and sweet potato tacos for a quick, mid-week plant-based dinner. Get recipe inspiration here.

Dream House: Watcombe Lodge, Torquay

As a native Devon girl, this rambling 19th-century coastal villa on the English Riviera, once home to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, ticks every dream house box – from the tumbling gardens down to the sea, to the ornate, original glass orangery and grand, light-filled rooms. Devon doesn’t come much better than this. Get inspired here.

Culture: Van Gogh Alive

I have booked the whole family in to experience the immersive, multi-sensory Van Gogh Live exhibition at Kensington Gardens this summer and cannot wait to forget the world for just a while and be transported into his most iconic paintings through music, animation and interactive exhibits. Book it here.

Scent: Peau Santal, Miller Harris

I’m a fickle beast when it comes to fragrance and rotate between six and eight scents depending on the season and the mood I want to evoke. My current obsession is Miller Harris’ Peau Santal. It’s a properly sexy, neck-nuzzling, tactile scent of warm skin and cashmere with a resinous note of frankincense and lingering warm depth of sandalwood. Buy it here.

By Lydia Mansi
July 2021

Nancy Loves
Team GWG’s Best Summer Beauty Buys
20 Under £20: The Affordable Beauty Buys We Rate

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

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