Tripping with: The Puppini Sisters

Luxury Travel Beat: Ladies, welcome to Luxury Travel Beat’s tripping with segment. Where are you at the moment?

Stephanie: I’m in my apartment in West London, about to start putting together my new home studio set-up. I song-write and record a lot away from the group, and decided it was time to upgrade my technology! It’s very wet and grey outside today, so I’ll be listening to some music from warmer corners of the world to transport me while I work!

Marcella: I’m in my living room listening to Sir Mix-a-Lot for a DJ gig I’m doing this Friday. So I might be in East London, but I feel like I’m on the West Coast!

Kate: On my way to a rehearsal for a fabulous new project I’m doing. It’s a totally different style from The Puppini Sisters, I shall say no more, but it’s a bit of a super group in a certain circle…

LTB: Tell me about your your latest album?

Stephanie: We wanted to make an album that captured our love of the Golden Age of Hollywood and some of its most iconic songs. Titled Hollywood, we take you through our cinematic world, paying homage to some of our favourite icons: Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland; and celebrate some of its most cherished themes such as I Got Rhythm’ and Love Theme from The Godfather.

Marcella: Yeah, it’s a feast of glamour, luscious horn arrangements and hair-raising harmonies. We painstakingly chose a few of our favourite old-school Hollywood tunes, and reinvented in our signature style. It was so much fun to make!

Kate: Ah, the Golden era of Hollywood! Glamour, sophistication, long, bejewelled gowns, fabulous hair, and most importantly, good music! To be a star, one had to be all singing all dancing back in those days. And that’s really how the girls and I feel about The Puppini Sisters. We are all rounded musicians. We write, arrange, deliver all of the material ourselves and play by our rules so we wanted to champion that sort of all rounded ability the 1930’s and 40’s demanded.

LTB: You just performed at London’s Shepherd Bush Empire. Are there any places in the city you particularly love?

Stephanie: For music, The Royal Albert Hall never fails to amaze me. It is such a beautiful venue with such an amazing history and when I watch gigs there, I feel it always brings such a sense of occasion. Its position opposite Kensington Gardens just adds to its beauty and the towering monument to Prince Albert is a stunning sight to behold as the sun sets and it catches the light.

Marcella:  I’m a big fan of East London, and particularly Bethnal Green, but my heart belongs to Soho, where I lived and partied when I was a Fashion student at Central St Martins. I love the fabric shops and the multitude of bars and clubs, and I love it that now that the “cool ” people have moved East Soho has gone back to being the relaxed, easy and fabulous place I used to love.

Kate:  I love the Southbank. And I’ve just discovered Brixton Village too, which is BRILLIANT! So unique. But I live in East London and have done for years now so I feel very at home there and love it’s diverse nature.

LTB: What’s your biggest motivation for travelling for leisure?

Stephanie: I love the sense of adventure and excitement travelling brings. I always feel so much better for taking a break to immerse myself in new surroundings and to have new experiences. I often find certain times come where I feel like I need to get away and see something new. I know as an artist, when I experience times of low-creativinty, that it is time pack up, get away and find new inspiration.

Marcella:  I am from Bologna, Italy, and my home is on top of a hill just outside town. If I don’t visit it every two to three months, I start going crazy because I feel as if I’m missing the change of seasons. I miss the scorching sun in summer, and the mounds of snow we get in winter. So I find myself mostly traveling to Italy in my downtime, and getting my fill of nature, dinners with family and friends, and a slower pace.

Kate: I love to completely immerse myself in a different culture. The art, the music but particularly the food. I really think you get the best indication of a region’s personality from eating and cooking its native dishes. I am very much not a sit on the beach and sunbathe kinda girl. For a start, I get so insanely bored, and secondly, my porcelain skin… Well. The lobster effect, ya know. Not a great look.

LTB:  How would each one of you describe your travelling style?

Kate: We always travel non-light! We like to be prepared. So lots of different wardrobe options! We like to look nice when we travel too so off the plane in shades, heels and lipstick, all the way, no matter how tired we are. No slacks and trainers for The Puppinis, nuh-uh…

Stephanie: For work, I am a very well prepared and packed traveller. I don’t travel light! I like to have everything with me incase I need it. The band are always taking bets to see how much my suitcase will tip the scales at check-in! Away from work, I can be very low maintenance. I like outdoors adventure type holidays and have no problem living from a back pack. It’s nice to take a break away from the full on style of travelling, with hair, make-up, costume and wardrobe; to abandon it for simplicity. It’s like a cleansing ritual!

Marcella: I usually travel light, and I value relaxation above anything else. If I wasn’t going to Italy all the time, I’d probably want to go somewhere I can get pampered, or somewhere I can explore beautiful woods or go on long mountain hikes.

LTB: Which qualities do you value in a travelling companion?

Stephanie: Somebody with a similar sense of adventure and a person who wants to try new things and experience as much as they can in the time we’re away. I love travelling with my twin sister as she makes me laugh so much and even when things go wrong, she can find the humour in it! Having a great sense of fun is the key thing for me in a travelling companion.

Marcella: I have only ever traveled with my family or with boyfriends – and now with my husband. I had one boyfriend who was a little bit temperamental, and I hate that – at any time, but especially when travelling. I like easygoing people, as – believe it or not – I am very low maintenance when I’m traveling for pleasure.

Kate: Patience. Especially when we’re tired. The ability to give each other space when it’s needed but to also know when to have a good sense of humour, which is also needed when travelling a lot with the same people.

LTB: Best holiday?

Stephanie: It had been a year since my sister moved from London to Australia and I flew out to visit her. I had the most brilliant time, seeing her life out there and it was a part of the world I hand’t yet been to, so it was a completely new experience. We started in Melbourne, flew to Perth and then took a trip up the West Coast where I saw some of the most beautiful beaches and nature. After we returned to Perth we flew off to Bali for what was supposed to be a week, but the Ash Cloud stopped flights from taking off, so I was there for 2! It was such a memorable trip that I’ll cherish forever.

Kate: At my grandfather’s house in northern Cyprus. In the mountains overlooking the sea. The smell when you wake up on the first morning is unbeatable. Sweet, fragrant, citrus trees, salty air. And I love Turkish food. So delicious, so healthy. My childhood haven.

Marcella: My honeymoon, which I spent in Boston and Los Angeles, was rather spectacular. But my fondest memories are of my skiing trips with my family in a tiny and beautiful village in the Italian Alps where we knew everybody. I haven’t been in a while, and I miss that place quite a lot.

LTB: Worst holiday?

Kate: The Algarve , Portugal with my schoolhood girlfriends after our A-level exam, so we were 16 or 17. The area we were in had zero personality and despite the company being wonderful – I love my girls – we all wanted to do different things and had NO money. We drank very weak peach schnapps and wondered why the pain wasn’t going away

Stephanie: Ibiza, as a teenager. It was just becoming THE clubbing destination and I was there on a family holiday with my parents! I remember wanting to be so grown up, it makes me laugh looking back. I also got quite ill out there so overall, it wasn’t the greatest trip!

Marcella:  Calabria, the only ugly region you’ll ever find in Southern Italy. Men were sexist to the point of being ridiculous, the food was average at best, the sides of the street were filled with stinking rubbish and there were ugly unfinished constructions everywhere. I still had fun, but I am not going back in a hurry!

LTB: Most memorable person you’ve met on your travels?

Stephanie: A man called Trevor ‘no middle-name’ Booth. I was on holiday in Australia to visit my sister and we had booked a tour to travel up the West Coast. Trevor was our tour guide and he was such a character. He was an encyclopaedia of knowledge and he know the terrain like the back of his hand, he’d travelled it for so many years. He showed us some amazing places off the beaten track and he had some brilliant stories and anecdotes that he regaled us with along the way.

Kate: A lady called Claudia when my Mother very kindly took me to New York via The Caribbean for my 21st birthday. We met Claudia on the island of St. Martin and she worked as a PA to all of the NFL’s wives and families so she was an absolute pro at sorting out amazing recreational trips. We drank a lot of rum cocktails, sailed off to a private island and dined like queens when we were with Claudia. I always wonder what she’s up to now. She was a force to be reckoned with… An amazing lady.

Marcella: A traditional singer who was hired for a party at the house my family was renting in Casablanca for the summer. I was only 15, but I still remember her incredible voice.

LTB: What is the best hotel you’ve stayed at?

Stephanie: The Racha, in Phuket Thailand. It’s located on a secluded island on the beachfront, where the sand is white and the ocean is clear turquoise. It was pure luxury!

Marcella: The Racha. Breathtaking!

Kate: Oh Lord I’ve lost track! The Algonquin in NY was very memorable. We had a residency performing 6 nights plus a matinee a week there for a month a few years back. It’s seeped in history. The oval dining table is where Dorothy Parker and The New York Times set plotted the modem press and it was truly beautiful. Then there was my own exclusive chalet on a private island in Thailand, that was pretty cool…

LTB: Best meal you’ve had abroad?

Kate: Got to be somewhere in Italy. Rome. Deep fried artichokes. The most exquisite and creamy mozzarella you can imagine. On the planet. Ever. The prosciutto….oh don’t get me started! Simple but my God!  The tastiest ingredients on earth.

Marcella: Again, it was in a street market in Hua Hin, in Thailand. Course after course of succulent seafood, prepared in the most exquisite way. That’s excluding the wonderful fare I have every time I’m in Italy, of course!

Stephanie: I was performing in Rome and our promoter took us out for dinner. I ate some of the most exquisite food I’ve ever tasted- meat, fish, pasta, sweets. It was a beautiful feast and everyone at the table was marvelling at the next dish that would come to the table. I have the business card of the restaurant buried somewhere at home, as I knew I didn’t want to forget such an amazing place!

LTB: Dream trip?

Stephanie: I would love to travel South America and take a few months out to do it. I love the music and culture and have already mapped out my route!

Marcella: I would really love to visit the North Pole.

Kate: Foothills of the Himilaya’s followed but a trip around China. To be done very soon, I hope…

LTB: If you could recommend just one place for someone to visit, what would that be?

Kate: We recently visited Trondheim in the North of Norway. I was totally blown away by how beautiful it was. Scenery, the beautiful houses on costal canals, the people, the food. Definitely somewhere to explore further.

Stephanie: San Francisco. The first time I visited i fell in love with it. I think most people do…

Marcella: The Dolomites. I think they’re good for the soul.

The Puppini Sisters latest album Hollywood is now available for purchase. They will also be performing  at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in May and in Paris in June. See their website for more details.

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