The Aesthete: Linda Pinto talks personal taste

The creative director of Alberto Pinto Design has created interiors for the Elysée Palace, London’s Lanesborough Hotel and many of the world’s largest yachts

Linda Pinto at home in Paris
Linda Pinto at home in Paris | Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

My personal style signifier is a white shirt. I have a huge quantity in cotton and silk – I like chic, simple clothes. I find them in all sorts of places, but Brand Bazar is always reliable. 33 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris (+331-4544 4002;

Guerlain Shalimar perfume
Guerlain Shalimar perfume

The last thing I bought and loved was a kilo of saffron from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. This spice has such a fantastic smell and it was wonderful to be able to buy it in large quantities. Beyazıt Mh, Kalpakçılar Cd No 22, 34126 Fatih, Istanbul.


And the thing I’m eyeing next is a schooner to rent from Ekka Yachts. I do this with a friend every summer. We’ve been to Greece, Croatia and the Amalfi Coast – and this year we’re going to Sicily. Waking up in a little creek with no one else around and diving into the turquoise water is an absolute delight. It’s important to have a good captain, a cheerful crew and an expert chef as well. Leof Andrea Siggrou 166, Kallithea 176 71, Greece (+3021-0984 8992; 

An Ekka Yachts schooner
An Ekka Yachts schooner

The last music I downloaded was something by the American jazz singer Melody Gardot. I never remember the titles of the songs, but I love her voice.

Jazz singer Melody Gardot
Jazz singer Melody Gardot | Image: Alamy Stock Photo

My favourite room in my house is my bedroom. I have breakfast in bed, I work in bed, I even receive close friends in bed. And when my grandchildren come, we all end up in my bed, so it really is the centre of the house. I’ve covered the walls with woven wallpaper by Maya Romanoff in a colour that is almost beige but with just a hint of coral, so it is very peaceful, and there is a wonderful view over the garden to the dome of Les Invalides. 

The saffron Pinto bought in Istanbul
The saffron Pinto bought in Istanbul | Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Dar Ahlam, a hotel in a restored 19th-century kasbah on the edge of the Sahara Desert, not far from the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate. My two daughters and I spent five days there for my birthday, and it was quite incredible. One night we camped out in the sand dunes, where the quality of the silence amazed me. Dar Ahlam Dunes Camp, from €1,150 per night for two, Douar Oulad Cheik Ali, Koucheït 00000, Morocco (+212-5248 52239;

Pinto’s Aquazzura ballet shoes
Pinto’s Aquazzura ballet shoes | Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home are the raffia and bamboo bags from my sailing holidays. I try to buy one every year because they are simple, very useful and rather chic. 

Dar Ahlam, Morocco
Dar Ahlam, Morocco | Image: Ahmad Siddique Photography

A recent find is Jòia, chef Hélène Darroze’s new restaurant in Paris. The food is simply prepared but so good. I went with a few friends and we ate foie gras, terrine, chicken and potatoes, and green salad, all served on big wooden sharing plates. 39 Rue des Jeuneurs, 75002 Paris (+331‑4020 0606;

Pinto’s souvenir bamboo bag
Pinto’s souvenir bamboo bag | Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

The beauty staple I am never without is Shalimar perfume by Guerlain. Its classic, oriental fragrance is discreet and refined. £105 for 90ml EDP;


The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a pair of black Deneuve ballet shoes by Aquazzura. They are simple, comfortable and made from extremely soft suede. £440; from Galeries Lafayette, 40 Blvd Haussmann, 75009 Paris (+331‑4282 3456;

My favourite website is probably the Kindle store. I don’t use websites and apps, but I do have a Kindle. It’s so practical when I’m travelling, especially on a boat where space is tight.

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