Helen RayComment

TRAVEL MUSE: RACHAEL OTTERWELL

Helen RayComment
TRAVEL MUSE: RACHAEL OTTERWELL

In this series I feature some of my favourite travel, food and interiors writers, photographers and style conscious travellers, as I set out to uncover some of their best discoveries and travel tips both at home and away.


This month I’m in conversation with shop keeper and blogger Rachael Otterwell.

BIO: Travel enthusiast with an obsession with house plants and a constant craving for carbs. Shopkeeper at Object Style by day, runner/blogger/film-watcher/wine-sipper/book-club host by night. Married to a beardy Mancunian with the biggest heart. Mother to two four-legged fur children Polly the Frenchie and Pickle the cat, who both never fail to bring me out of a bad mood.

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE? ObjectStyle.co.uk and Instagram @Object_Style

WHERE IS HOME FOR YOU? Home is originally Birmingham but having lived in Manchester since 2006, I see it as my home. I live in Whalley Range, a diverse multi-cultural suburb in South Manchester. It has gone through quite a transformation over the last 20 years, it was a former red light district and rife with gang crime in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD? Whalley Range is beautifully green. There are incredible villas and mansions that line the wide Victorian roads, so it definitely feels rich with history and heritage even if most have been turned into flats or are in a bad state of repair. There is a wonderful sense of community that is warm and welcoming. In the Spring time, residents open their homes for local artists to exhibit their works for Green Walk Festival.

Object Style

Object Style

Around a 20 - 25 minute walk away is Chorlton, my former home for 6 years and home of my concept store, Object Style. Chorlton is fiercely independent with a fantastic choice of eateries, bars, shops and event spaces.

ANY LOCAL GEMS? In Chorlton - Henry C for incredible cocktails. The Creameries for delicious natural wine, immense pastries and excellent small plates. The Oyster Catcher for the best seafood. A wander in Chorlton Ees nature reserve is definitely worth doing if you’re in the area.

WHERE ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT IN THE UK? Too many to choose but if I had to narrow it down . . .

[Manchester] Sugo Pasta Kitchen - amazing Puglian cuisine and if I’m honest, better pasta than I’ve eaten in Italy !  Evelyns Cafe Bar - beautiful botanical setting. Interesting, health conscious brunches and small plates. Their subterranean bar, The Daisy is really great for cocktails too.  Rudy’s - best Neopolitan pizza.  Trove - best bread in Manchester. Unusual but delicious brunches.

Trove

Trove

[London] Bistrotheque - hidden, stylish warehouse setting in Bethnal Green. Polpo - excellent Venetian small plates. 

[Bristol] Pony and Trap - incredible British bistro food. 

[Cotswolds] The Swan at Southrop, number one for Roast Dinners ! We got married in the local church and had to attend 12 services before we could be accepted into the church. The Swan was our saviour for the 7 hour round trip we had to make from Manchester !

WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO EAT YOUR LAST SUPPER AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER? A stack of pancakes oozing with maple syrup and crispy bacon at Clinton Street Bakery in Lower East Side Manhattan with bottomless Mimosas.

WHICH WAS YOUR BEST EVER UK HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION AND WHAT MADE IT SPECIAL? Chapel House in Penzance is a really wonderful home away from home stay. The views of the Victorian lido and Penzance Bay are so romantic. I loved the giant egg bath and original Ercol Windsor chairs that were in our room. 

Chapel House

Chapel House

WHICH UK HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION IS ON YOUR LUST LIST? The Reading Rooms, Margate.

WHICH WAS YOUR BEST EVER EUROPEAN HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION AND WHAT MADE IT SPECIAL? I have 2! Masseria Moroseta near Ostuni in Puglia was the most idyllic place I’ve ever visited. I adored the minimal design of the architecture and loved the rustic and industrial features in the rooms, such as the rock cut sink basins and exposed copper piping. You are surrounded by acres and acres of olive groves and you really do hear the sound of silence, it’s an incredible feeling. Chef, Giorgia cooks up a storm each morning for breakfast. Almost all of the miniature dishes that arrive are farm to table focusing on traditional southern Italian cuisine with a modern twist.

Masseria Moroseta

Masseria Moroseta

La Maison du Bassin in Cap Ferret. Possibly the most romantic place I have ever stayed. Wonderfully chic and so effortlessly elegant, La Masion du Bassin is a beautiful 100 year old manor house covered in white wisteria that over looks the Arcachon bassin. You are within footsteps of charming oyster cabins that serve the best oysters (and wine) I have ever tasted, so unbelievably fresh from the day’s catch ! Cap Ferret is well known for being the oyster capital of the world ! 

WHICH EUROPEAN HOTEL/ACCOMMODATION IS ON YOUR LUST LIST? Les Roches Rouges, Saint Raphael, Provence, France.

Les Roches Rouges

Les Roches Rouges

Also Branco Mykonos, Mykonos, Greece.

BEST EVER AIR BNB EXPERIENCE? Staying in a 1950’s airstream located on a beautifully peaceful ranch in Cayucos, California. We had the most breath-taking view of the ocean and the mountains. The Air BNB host had fitted out the airstream with all the mod-cons you’d need to make your stay as comfortable as possible. April, our host even brought us freshly baked goods for breakfast and filled the fridge with craft beers and wine. 

A SPECIAL TRAVEL MEMORY? Driving through the Big Sur on our West Coast American road trip and being in awe of the landscape. Hiking through the Joshua Tree. Listening to Desert Island Discs whilst driving through the actual desert and feeling so far away yet so at home still.

WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE? A plethora of podcasts, a travel diary and various pens as I always loose them, the book I’m currently reading at the time, lounge wear and a pair of Alex’s socks. I don’t own any socks except for running socks! Also a photo of our friends and family from our wedding day. Beauty travel essentials for me are a facial oil, I’m currently using this one from Kindred & Wild and my signature red lipstick, Lady Danger by Mac.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING ON YOUR TRAVELS? I read The Girls by Emma Cline whilst on our American road trip last year but had to stop reading whenever we stayed somewhere remote! It all felt too close to home then and I couldn’t sleep through being terrified! 

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO ON YOUR TRAVELS? A selection of podcasts including Desert Island Discs and Jessie Ware’s Table Manners. Music by Massive Attack, War Paint, Sunflower Beam, Erykah Badu and anything that is dancehall, reggae or lovers rock. 

WHAT IS THE BEST SOUVENIR YOU HAVE BROUGHT HOME FROM A TRIP? Handmade pottery from this little town called Harmony, California which has a tiny population of 18. We randomly turned off Highway 1 and found this sweet little hidden place that compromised of a post office, general store and a pottery studio. 

Thank You Rachael!


{The images used in this article have been used to provide inspiration alongside the recommendation for the business or product. I do not claim ownership of the images and will happily remove them if this causes upset with the owner. In order of appearance the original sources are ObjectStyle.co.uk, TroveFoods.co.uk, ChapelHousePZ.co.uk, MasseriaMoroseta.IT, HotelLesRochesRouges.com, ObjectStyle.co.uk, MacCosmetics.co.uk, Waterstones.com }