Neill Strain Floral Couture

10 Questions with Elisa Vallata, Freelance Creative Director & Stylist


Where is your favourite travel destination and why? 

My home country, Italy. Whatever you look for in a traditional holiday, you’ll find it there - whether it’s relaxing on a beach by crystal-clear waters, strolling through national parks, skiing down slopes, immersing yourself in culture and history, or simply sitting in a piazza, watching life go by while sipping a Campari spritz, followed by the most delicious food (my favourite type of holiday).


What is your most memorable holiday?

Every holiday spent with my husband has been memorable. It’s very difficult for me to choose one in particular because each of them had its own special moments: sitting on the stairs of a piazza in Florence late in the evening and listening to an impromptu classical music concert. Standing in front of the spectacular Marmore Falls in Umbria. Walking under the maritime pines of Villa Ada’s park in Rome.


What is your favourite season?

Late spring is my favourite time of the year, when days become longer, temperatures start rising, the tree outside our living room window is in full bloom and I can look forward to the summer.


Where in London do you go to let your hair down?

Since I relocated to the Southeast coast, I hardly ever go out in London. Folkestone is my playground now along with the other nearby seaside towns. There is a growing community of artists and creatives here, spreading good energy and making the town a very enjoyable place to live. When I want to have some fun or simply relax, I walk down to the old town and visit the art galleries and pop-up stores in the Creative Quarter, or maybe go to the Harbour Arm to enjoy some street food, walk through the Marketplace’s stalls and listen to live music, especially when my favourite local band Rudy Warman & The Heavy Weather is playing.


Describe your perfect day in London?

My perfect day in London would entail some vintage shopping, a contemporary art exhibition, followed by time spent browsing through art and design books in the museum shop, a visit to Fortitude Bakehouse in Bloomsbury for one of their epic whipped cream beignets, and an evening of live jazz to end the day on a high note.


Where in London do you recommend for a first date?

I recommend Southbank. With its film centre, museums, pop-up exhibitions, bars and restaurants, it is a great location to get to know your date and keep the conversation flowing. It also provides a scenic and romantic spot for promenading along the river, especially at night when the lights come on.


What is your favourite flower?

I don’t have a favourite flower, but I have a favourite flower colour, which is white. Big bouquets of white flowers always look elegant and elevate any environment.


If you could send flowers to only one person each week, who would that be and why?

It would be my dear and very cool friend Lale, who is always there for me, even though she lives in Munich. As an architect and interior designer, she’s currently helping me refurbish my flat from afar, which entails many long video calls and messages at impossible hours. For this and many other reasons, she deserves fresh flowers every week.


What is your favourite film of all time? 

Choosing my favourite film is as impossible as choosing my favourite song. There are so many movies that I never get tired to watch: The Shining, Magnolia, The Graduate, Elizabethtown, Groundhog Day…the list is long. I guess it depends on what mood I am in.


Do you have a favourite book or author?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt is by far my favourite book. It is a coming-of-age novel meets thriller meets Greek tragedy that pulled me in completely and transported me into another world. Reading it felt like being in a movie.

Social Media: @elisavallata