Wherever she travels, The White Company’s Chrissie Rucker is in search of beauty, simplicity... and tea-light holders. Here she reveals her favourite spots in the world, but admits that what she loves most of all is coming home
I don’t really have one favourite city – every trip is an adventure. We sometimes hire a guide, which helps to fast-track discovering new places. I love London of course, because it’s home and because it has so much beautiful architecture. I’m especially fond of Primrose Hill, where city seems to meet country village. There are great places for coffee there – one of my favourites is Primrose Bakery, with its smell of freshly baked croissants. For the best eggs with avocado, go to Greenberry Café.
This is a drawing my son did when he was younger of us setting off on a trip. With four children with quite an age span and a husband who doesn’t like sitting by the pool for more than an hour, we’re an all-action bunch (although my teenage girls and I always try to fit in a spa day). The children always love a sporty holiday, especially one involving tennis or watersports.
I always like to bring home interesting new scents and great pieces of holiday clothing. And I always manage to find a new style of tea-light candle-holder.
There’s nothing quite like taking the train through the Swiss Alps, particularly the journey from Klosters to St Moritz. The views of the countryside and mountains are truly stunning.
Nick [Wheeler], my husband, is keen to get a break from horses on holiday as they tend to take over our weekends. But one of my favourite trips ever was staying on the late Sir James Goldsmith’s organic estate, Cuixmala, in Mexico. Every morning we rode and watched the food being harvested. It was magical.
We have a home in Klosters, which we love because it’s so unspoilt and quite old-fashioned. On a day when it’s a total white-out, it’s lovely to walk from the village up to a beautiful restaurant called Alpenrösli for lunch. When it’s clear, the views are amazing. No cars are allowed and you pass some of the oldest, most beautiful, chalets. Then, after lunch, you can toboggan down.
My favourite thing about coming home is opening the door and watching the dogs rush over. I’m a real home bird and it’s just the best feeling.
I love trying local foods when we travel. My favourite things to sample are fish and healthy salads or vegetables. Everything from Greek to Japanese… I’m not a big fan of snails though.
As children we didn’t go abroad on holiday. We were lucky enough to grow up in the Kentish countryside and our school holidays were spent very happily just enjoying being at home. I rode competitively, so my days were generally filled with riding and looking after my horse. My daughter (above) loves horses too. I also learnt to cook: my stepfather was a very keen gardener and had an amazing kitchen garden that we used to pick everything from. When it was really hot, we’d put the sprinkler on in the garden and run through it. It was a magical time.
For travelling on the plane I pack our travel-sized skincare in our brilliant clear travel bag (no more plastic bags needed to pass security), a great white pair of plimsolls, and a cashmere shawl. For a hot holiday, an easy jersey dress, a white kaftan for the beach, and a good hat.
Everywhere I go I find something that inspires me. My personal style is simple and pared back, and I look for that wherever I am. I love things to be timeless yet modern, feel wonderful and be great quality. “Less is more” is my mantra. Over the years we have found ideas from so many places around the world. Paris always delivers the perfect pared-down coat, and Belgium inspires with a beautiful neutral palette. Japan is famed for minimalism in its ceramics and kitchen items, Mexico has the prettiest tea-light holders, and we loved the tea ceremonies in Morocco.