Tulsi in Marittima


Helen writes: I don’t consider myself a vain person, however, I feel an urgent need to get the very windswept picture of Sarah and I off the front page of our blog. I’d also like to add that we took the picture ourselves holding the camera in front of us!

Sarah omitted one of our highlights, which I know is a secret; however, feel it’s one that should be shared.

When visiting Athena and Alistair McAlpine last year at Il Convento di Santa Maria di Constantinopoli (amongst my favourite properties in the whole of Italy) we admired Athena’s beautiful dress which she explained came from an English girl who lived locally. Earlier in the year when we added a beautiful Masseria in the south of Puglia to our portfolio – Masseria Camille – I contacted Athena to see if she knew anyone who may be interested in looking after our clients there. She came up with a name I thought I recognised. However, until I met the lady in person (Deborah) at Masseria Camille a few weeks ago I’d not had my suspicions confirmed.

Deborah was Athena’s recommendation and she has done a fantastic job for us of looking after clients at Masseria Camille this year. When we met a few weeks ago I asked what else she did: she merrily told us that she has a small shop in her front room in Marittima. Bingo; we’d found Athena’s dress source. Sarah and I couldn’t resist a trip back to Marittima to have a look…

Sure enough, it’s a boutique that should be bang slap in one the trendiest streets of London, Paris or New York rather than the dust filled back streets of the tiny village of Marittima in the very south of Italy. It’s filled with beautiful clothes – designed by Deborah – jewels and pieces of Alistair’s collections from Ethiopia and beyond. Sarah and I both agreed before we arrived not to spend any money and not to take up too much of Deborah’s time. Wishful thinking it turned out to be. I spent more than I can admit on here as there are members of my family who wouldn’t be very happy with the final bill. Let’s just say that after our first hour there, Deborah realised that we weren’t in a hurry to move on and took up a more comfortable position on the sofa (oh and fed her kids too while we browsed).

Needless to say I was lucky that Ryanair didn’t weigh my bag as I left Brindisi later in the day, although I was ready to wear the hat, dress and all my other new items which need to remain unidentified as I’ve still not confessed to everything.

I’d urge anyone visiting the south of Puglia to look for Tulsi in Marittima. It’s a real gem and well worth a journey out of your way to have a peek; just remember that it may take more than a thirty minute stop.