The Aesthete: Lorenzo Castillo talks more personal taste

The interior designer rounds up his list of likes, from chocolate fondant cake to the art of Los Carpinteros and the Romanesque city of Oviedo

Lorenzo Castillo at home in Madrid
Lorenzo Castillo at home in Madrid | Image: Gianfranco Tripodo

My style icons are Jacques Grange, Stephen Sills and Robert Kime. They are all sophisticated in their interior design work and their personal style.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a watch to my partner Alfonso for our fifth anniversary. It is a vintage gold Santos de Cartier with a lapis blue face. I found it at the auction house Subastas Segre. Segre 18, 28002 Madrid (+34915-159 584; www.subastassegre.es).

Interior designer Stephen Sills
Interior designer Stephen Sills | Image: Jeff Hirsch

And the best one I’ve received recently is a collection of old books with images from the 1920s of Ribadesella – a fishing town in Asturia where I’ve spent my summers since childhood – from Alfonso. Two years ago I bought the house that was once my grandfather’s, and the books trace the evolution of the town and my house.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Hispania restaurant in the Grand Sablon hotel in Brussels. The Asturian-born chef Marcos Morán is an incredible talent: his steak tartare and monkfish fritters with confit piquillo peppers were delicious. Bodenbroekstraat 2-4, 1000 Brussels (+322-518 1100; www.nh-collection.com). 

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The last book I read is Who Knows Tomorrow by Lisa Lovatt-Smith. It’s the true story of a British Vogue editor who, at the age of 35, chose to abandon her glamorous life and dedicate herself to helping vulnerable children in rural Ghana through her OAfrica foundation. She is brave, determined and kind.

In my fridge you’ll always find freshly pressed juices, as well as preparations – lobster, vegetables – for the dinner parties I like to host. You’ll also find amazing dishes by my cook, Evelyn – I have a real problem resisting her chocolate fondant cake and vanilla biscuits.

The vintage Santos de Cartier watch Castillo gave to his partner
The vintage Santos de Cartier watch Castillo gave to his partner | Image: Gianfranco Tripodo

The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are Mr Natty, my hairdresser at Freemans Sporting Club in New York, and Raul at Mustache Barber Shop in Barcelona. For skincare, I rely on María Muñoz at Clinique Française in Madrid – she also makes me laugh, which is a beauty treatment in itself. Clinique Française, Calle de Lagasca 79, 28006 Madrid (+34917-000 694; www.cliniquefrancaise.es). Freemans Sporting Club, 8 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002 (+1212-673 3209; www.freemanssportingclub.com). Mustache Barber Shop, Carrer de Mallorca 279, 08037 Barcelona (+34930-021 942; www.mustachebarcelona.com). 

The artists whose work I would collect if I could are the Spanish photographer Daniel Canogar, whose work often uses video and large-scale installations, and the Cuban collective Los Carpinteros, whose work includes humorous watercolours and sculptures.

Who Knows Tomorrow by Lisa Lovatt-Smith
Who Knows Tomorrow by Lisa Lovatt-Smith | Image: Gianfranco Tripodo

My favourite room in my house depends on the time of day: I love my bathroom because it looks like a cosy drawing room with its pictures and furnishings; my kitchen because it is warm and busy; my dining room for never-ending conversations; and my drawing room for the antiques and objets d’art. 

If I didn’t live in Madrid, the city I would live in is Oviedo in northern Spain. I love its Romanesque origins, the opera culture and the Gothic cathedral, and I’d like to spend more time at the Hotel de la Reconquista, which is set in a baroque monastery. The food here is incredible too: the fabada (traditional bean stew) at Casa Gerardo is excellent, and I love the pollo al ajillo with a glass of cider at El Ovetense. Casa Gerardo, Carretera AS-19, 9km, 33438 Prendes (+34985-887 797; www.restaurantecasagerardo.es). El Ovetense, San Juan 6, 33003 (+34985-220 840; www.hotelovetense.com). Hotel de la Reconquista, Gil de Jaz 16, 33004 (+34985-241 100; www.eurostarshoteldelareconquista.com). 

Sala de Lectura precolombina, vista frontal by Los Carpinteros
Sala de Lectura precolombina, vista frontal by Los Carpinteros | Image: Los Carpinteros, courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York

An object I would never part with is my iPad. Beyond that, being an antiques dealer has taught me to enjoy beautiful objects, but not to have a sentimental attachment to any of them.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be an artist. I have always been very good at drawing but don’t have much time to explore it nowadays. I would love to get lost in the middle of nature where my only way of expression – in the absence of my iPad – would be my markers and my sketchbook. 

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