Design Anthology Q&A with Alexandra Champalimaud

February 2015

Portuguese-born, North America-based Alexandra Champalimaud has made her mark in the world of hospitality, having redesigned some of its most iconic institutions — New York’s Waldorf Astoria and Carlyle hotels and London’s Dorchester, to name a few. Champalimaud shares with Design Anthology eight of her favourites.

Design Anthology: What are you reading at the moment?

I just finished reading two books, the first The Hare with Amber Eye by Edmund de Waal and the second Angkor Wat (Unearthing Ancient Worlds) by Alison Behnke.

What are you listening to?

I have a great appreciation for classical piano concertos, those performed by Lang Lang and Vladimir Ashkenazy in particular. I also really like fun, uplifting music I can dance to like Happy by Pharrell Williams, because it’s music that truly changes your spirit and mood.

Your favourite restaurant?

I love visiting Community Table in Litchfield, Connecticut whenever we’re on our way home from the city. Being rooted in a profound respect for nature and its seasons, Community Table offers delicious seasonal dishes that delight your senses. Also, when I’m in the Hamptons during the warmer months, I enjoy dining at the Topping Rose House. Tom Colicchio carefully prepares every dish with produce from their own farm as well as other local farms, ranches and day boat fishermen.

All-time favourite design item?

Michelangelo’s David

Colour of the moment?

Orange, always

Favourite fashion house?

The Row and Valentino are two of my favourite fashion brands — classic, simple and timeless fashion.

Best museum or gallery?

A few of my favourite galleries and museums include the Neue Galerie in New York, the Tate in London and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

Favourite film?

I love rewatching timeless classics whenever I have time, such as Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia.