How I Travel: Interior Designer Katharine Pooley
Interior designer Katharine Pooley is known for her classically elegant bespoke designs; think precious marbles, luxurious upholstery and charming 1920's Gatsby-esque details. She's designed countless luxury residences across London and the English countryside, exquisite villas in the Middle East, and her latest project—a hotel in Shaoxing, China—is her biggest to date.
Outside of travelling for work, Katharine is an intrepid traveller and passionate adventure seeker who has summited some of the world’s highest mountains, driven a team of dogs on a sled to the North Pole and crossed the Sahara on horseback.
With a growing number of projects in Hong Kong, we caught up with Katharine on one of her recent visits to find out how she travels.
Sumba Island in Indonesia.
Churchill, Canada, in the Artic to visit the Polar Bears.
What do you love the most about travelling?
I adore travelling—I feel free when I manage to get away. I love to see the other cultures and how different countries live, and I love the impact it has in my designs.
Most memorable travel experience?
Climbing the highest mountain in the Antarctic—the purest form of isolation and nature at its rawest.
And the worst?
I went to Sipadan Island in Borneo—it takes three hours by a flat bottom speed boat and the waves were really rough in a storm. I couldn't breathe from fear.
Three things you always travel with?
Three things I travel with are pawpaw cream to stay hydrated, my phone splitter so I can listen to music and recharge at the same time and a cashmere cardigan/jumper by Sonya Madden to keep me warm on cold planes. It also acts as a blanket.
What do you normally read on the plane?
Newspapers; I like to dip into the WSJ, the Telegraph, Der Spiegel and Le Monde for a spread of international viewpoints, and of course, my emails.
Favourite travel companion?
Favourite travel companion is my father. We are both intrepid explorers and always see eye to eye on the agenda.
Aisle or window seat?
Always a window seat. I need to see where I'm going.
Favourite travel app?
Google Translate, Google Maps and Uber.
Your best travel tip?
Always pack an extra foldable bag. I always find treasures on my journeys that I want to bring home.
Any tips on overcoming jet lag?
Jet lag affects some people but not all—I, on the other hand, always get it. I book my flights around time zones, as it's always best to go to sleep at the normal time in the country that you arrive in. I love to spray my pillow with Bamford lavender spray to help soothe any tiredness.
What are the latest travel trends?
Always behave like a guest in someone else's country and cut a dash at the airport—you never know, you could get upgraded if you are looking smart.
See also: Top 2019 Travel Trends According To Jean-Michel Gathy