When I was 21 I embarked on my first solo overseas trip to Europe. I visited friends in London and also in Italy. At the end of my five-week trip, I travelled from Rome by train to Naples and then by car to Positano where I spent five days on my own. It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. I spent endless days walking up and down the hills and along narrow streets admiring the pretty shops and stalls. I walked up and down the many steps to the beach every day and swam in the beautiful crystal clear water. I ate the most beautiful, fresh food and thoroughly enjoyed the amazing hospitality and warmth of the Italian people. This was the first time I had ever spent time on my own and it was so inspiring being in such a beautiful place reflecting on my time away. Italy in the summer is definitely one of the most amazing experiences one can have and this trip opened my eyes to the beauty of the Italian coastline and the Italian way of life.
I first visited Hawaii with a group of girlfriends just after I had had my first son, Harry. I absolutely fell in love with it the moment I arrived. The beaches, the tropical vibe, the beautiful, kind people, the fun. It's just such a fabulous place to visit. I have since visited many, many times over the years with my husband and our children. I always come home from Hawaii feeling rested and happy. It's one of those places that just makes me relax and feel very at ease. It's beauty and vibrancy has inspired many room schemes throughout my career and has also recently inspired my first textile collection.
I was on a trip with girlfriends to Europe and we spent a few days in Aix. It's close-knit village atmosphere is superb. It's so laid-back and so pretty. I loved the beautiful old buildings and especially loved the antique flea market that was held in the town on the weekends. It was my first taste of experiencing a French flea market. I bought so many fabulous treasures I had to post them home as they wouldn't fit in my suitcase. I hope to return to this pretty town and also explore the other towns around it one day.
My grandmother took me to Hong Kong when I was 14. It was the first time I had been overseas. When we arrived I never imagined that a place could be so busy and so crammed with people. We went to the Stanley markets, which in those days, were amazing. I remember my grandmother purchasing the most beautiful white linen tablecloths and napkins that she still has today. She had clothes tailored for both of us and it was such an eye-opener for me to be taken to a place that was so big and I had never seen so many shops in all my life. It was a lot of fun and a trip I will never forget with my wonderful grandmother.
My mother took me on a train to Sydney when I was eight. Living in Brisbane as a young girl, all I ever wanted to do was to go to Sydney. We stayed in a hotel at The Rocks and went across the harbour by boat to Manly and also visited Taronga Park Zoo. This was the first big city I ever visited away from home and I absolutely loved it. Sydney is still, today, one of my most favourite cities in the world. I love that it is situated on the beautiful harbour. It's got a fabulous vibe that I don't think I have felt anywhere else in the world.
One of Anna Spiro's most recently celebrated projects was Halcyon House in northern NSW. She has just launched her first textile collection, Anna Spiro Textiles. See blackandspiro.com.au