We caught up with Stefa Hart, leading interior designer at Hambleton Decorating and co-owner of Hambleton Hall in Rutland.
Stefa established Hambleton Decorating in 1989, following requests from guests of Hambleton Hall who had admired her work there. She and Tim Hart (her husband) have co-owned Hambleton Hall since 1979 and Stefa has masterminded the look of the hotel and restaurant there ever since Nina Campbell’s initial decoration.
Hambleton Decorating’s design portfolio includes private stately homes, luxury hotels and exclusive private members clubs.
My car of choice
I love driving the Porsche Macan that my husband drives. It is very comfortable with excellent seats, good space and good visibility. The tyres are all year round and give one great flexibility to go off road. He had extra thick windows put in to deaden the road surface noise. It is a pleasure listening to music or Audible books.
My favourite holiday destination
My favourite holiday destination is Mallorca. We lived in Mallorca when we were children, it is a very beautiful island. Away from the holiday crowd, our house is surrounded by mountains with the west open to the sea. Ancient olive groves are all around us. It is such a pleasure taking a small boat round the beautiful north west coast and jumping off the boat to swim.
My gadget I can’t live without
Possibly my Miele washing machine. I do most of the laundry at home and I cannot thank my Miele machine more for its contribution to my efforts. It is efficient, rarely goes wrong, and seems to have a long life. It is now 12 years old. Its partner, the dryer, is a close second.
My go to fashion brand
I love Akris clothes. They are beautifully made, use wonderful fabrics, and suit me. They are an investment. I have collected them over the years, coats, jackets, dresses, trousers that have lasted and given me great pleasure for many years. For less expensive clothes I love Louisa Cerano, simple easy to wear clothes.
My airline of choice
British Airways are my favourite airline. Booking, registration, on the ground and up in the air, they, overall, are a more comfortable airline to travel with. Travelling has been made so much more difficult with endless queues, paperwork and rules.
My favourite watch brand
I love my Cartier watch. It is simple, stylish, made in rose gold and it keeps excellent time! I change straps on a regular basis. I have a delicious lipstick red strap at the moment. The service is courteous and good.
My favourite restaurant
Barrafina is my favourite restaurant. The ingredients are super fresh and I love seeing my food being prepared. Waiting for my small tortilla to be cooked to perfection, watching the baby kidneys sizzle in the Jospe oven. With my husband, family or a friend or on my own, it is a great place.
My guilty pleasure
A glass of champagne, wine or sherry when I am cooking supper. It marks the end of a busy working day and the start of a relaxing evening catching up with my husband, family and friends.
My favourite way to give back
Both Tim and I appreciate those who help us run our businesses and I hope that we show our gratefulness on a daily basis. We give all who work for us Christmas parties in the New Year. Christmas is hard work! Those who head departments get extra presents which I very much enjoy finding and giving. In the wider world, I support the Arts, be it museums or opera companies. We open our gardens for charity twice a year. Individual support to those in need gives me a great deal of pleasure. But, one can never do enough.