Skip to main content

Five Minutes With...Anouska Hempel

Acclaimed hotel designer, Anouska Hempel, shares everything from the most recent gift she gave to what she always has in her fridge. 

Anouska Hempel

Anouska Hempel is a British designer known for her hotel and restaurant design, starting with the iconic Blakes Hotel in London in the 1970s. Today her portfolio comprises some of the world’s most incredible private residences, luxury stores, iconic gardens and superyachts. “I suppose I am at heart an intellectual Romantic. I don’t really want to be in the picture that I’m painting,” she says. “I get the most enjoyment from painting that picture for others.”

BILLIONAIRE sat down for five minutes with Anouska Hempel. 

If you could be transported to one hotel in the world right now, which would you choose?
I would go right now to Marrakech to La Mamounia. I would sit in the little private courtyard and hide here from the sun and get lost taking in the views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. In the evenings I would come back to sit by the roaring fire.

What was the last gift you gave?
It was a backgammon set from William & Sons, which went to a great friend, with a box of chocolate truffles from Pierre Hermé. A perfect combination.

What gift would you love to receive?
I would really love to receive a whole lot of extra time and a pair of long legs!

What was the last book you read?
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Pear juice is always in Hempel's fridge

What are your grooming essentials that you couldn’t live without?
Simply soap and water; it is a daily routine and keeps things pure.

If your house was on fire, what one thing would you rescue?
I would take the aquarium with me with all the Koi in it.

Whom would you love to sit next to at a dinner party?
I would enjoy the company of Boris Johnson on one side and Albert Einstein on the other.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?
I think I am a bit of both and it really depends on whom I am with, and where I am.

Early bird or night owl?
I am usually up at 5am and prepare for the day at the office in London at 9am

Where do you mainly live?
I live in London and escape to the country in Wiltshire on the weekends. I walk in the gardens here, which I have designed myself, to keep the world out.

What one thing have you learned now that you would tell your 20-year-old self?
I would tell myself about patience, kindness and about being the last earthling.

What is always in your fridge?
I always have some pear juice in the fridge and some jellies by Bompas & Parr.