A Little Place I Know

Tastemakers share their secret haunts, from the pharmacy in Florence beloved of Anna Friel
and the Abu Dhabi deli favored by Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt to the creative hub
frequented by Singapore’s fashion insider Daniel Boey

Illustrations: Emily Robertson

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The Western-inspired restaurant in Park City by Kris “Fuzz” Feddersen

Purple Sage, 434 Main Street, purplesageparkcity.com
If my wife and I get time for a quiet dinner together, this is where we go. Although Purple Sage has been here as long as I can remember – and I’ve lived in this city for 14 years – it’s the sort of place you could walk by and not really notice. From the outside, it’s pretty small and quaint: one of many galleries, restaurants and bars in the lovely historic brick buildings on Main Street. Inside, though, it’s quite contemporary and funky, and really narrow – just wide enough for a row of tables down one side and a small passageway alongside. It’s all really cozy: between the tables they have hung beautiful cream pieces of fabric painted with sage leaves, creating intimate booths, and it’s lit with pale purple glass lights. The back’s slightly different, with a bar painted with cowboys and broncos and Rocky Mountains by local artist Wes Wright. Although the décor is fun, it’s the food we go for. We both always order the same thing: after a cocktail, I have the veal meatloaf with poblano chilli peppers and pine nuts, and my wife has the butternut ravioli. Also, the waiters are clearly all ski-nuts who ski by day, and work here at night: they have that grizzled, outdoors look about them, and clearly love their lives. There are a lot of great restaurants in Park City, but this one is warm, relaxed and homely, so just right for us.

American freestyle skier Fuzz Feddersen competed in three Olympics and coached the gold-medal-winning 1998 US Olympic team. Last year the CEO of Flying Ace Productions was inducted into the Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Your address: The St. Regis Deer Valley

The 17th-century pharmacy in Florence by Anna Friel

Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, Via della Scala 16, smnovella.it

This is the most beautiful store I have ever been in. You could easily miss it, because it’s tucked away in a road not far from the train station, and only has a little sign outside. But once you’re inside, you can’t believe how much there is within its walls. Founded by Dominican friars, it first opened its doors to the public in 1612.
I discovered it 12 years ago with friends from Siena who had taken us to Florence for the day. Going in through its grand doors was like entering a scene from Patrick Süskind’s novel, Perfume. You can feel the history – and of course, smell it. The minute you enter, you are met with the most incredible fragrances of flowers and essential oils, as well as beautiful ceramic medicinal jars and stunning frescoes on the ceilings. It’s a place to take your time while kind, very knowledgeable members of staff explain about the ingredients in each bottle, and let you sample them. There are 300 types of soap, powders, lotions and perfumes, all made from natural ingredients, using recipes that are hundreds of years old. It’s a place in which I could spend all day learning. If you don’t know what you like or even what suits you, the staff will introduce you to different substances until you do. I usually end up with a few perfumes that I use on their own and combine occasionally to create an entirely new blend. That’s fun, because you’re creating something totally original. I also almost always buy Melgrano Terracotta Pomegranate home fragrance, which is a mix of rose and sandalwood, and a candle that smells like the interior of a local church. I never visit Florence without going there; it has become a treat I look forward to.

The Master Cleanse, starring Johnny Galecki and Anna Friel, is released this year
Your address: The St. Regis Florence

The craft boutique in Singapore by Daniel Boey

Tyrwhitt General Company, 150a Tyrwhitt Road, thegeneralco.sg

You’d never know from the street that this nondescript pre-war building is Singapore’s hippest creative hub. Look around and all you’ll see are hardware stores and old traditional businesses, and around the corner an ancient Buddhist temple. Even on the front of the building, there is only a sign saying Chye Seng Huat Hardware (which is now closed, the space having been turned into a coffee shop). But go inside, climb a flight of stairs, and you feel like you’ve stumbled upon the Magic Faraway Tree. The space is full of incredible curiosities, all designed and made in Singapore. One of the three owners, Sam, is like a walking encyclopedia on the Singapore crafts scene, and can tell you everything about the pieces he stocks and the people who make them. He also runs great workshops over weekends, teaching skills that range from leathercraft and printmaking to ceramics and floral arrangement. Every time I go in, I’m like a kid in a candy store, because there are always creative people hanging out; you might meet musicians, artists, culinary people, the fashion lot, all coming for inspiration, or to make something. It’s also useful because I am constantly on the lookout for new creatives to collaborate with. And there are fantastic items to buy every time I go there, all displayed as they would be in a hardware store on perforated wooden boards, and ranging from a Star Wars-themed lithograph to badges, wallets, skateboards, scent and books by local artists. What’s nice is that it’s a world that is really creative and far from the commercialization of normal retail outlets. It’s a place that feels like a home.

The Book of Daniel: Adventures of a Fashion Insider, chronicling the adventures of Singapore’s “fashion godfather”, is published by Marshall Cavendish
Your address: The St. Regis Singapore

The gourmet deli in Abu Dhabi by Joanne Froggatt

Wafi Gourmet, Nation Galleria Mall, 1st Street, wafigourmet.com

The very last place you’d expect to find a traditional deli is in a smart mall in the middle of a city of skyscrapers. From the outside, it looks like any other high-end delicatessen. But the minute you walk in, your senses are overloaded with delicious aromas and incredible delicacies arranged in beautiful patterns and colors, and the most impressive hampers I’ve ever seen. It’s owned by Dubai’s H. E. Sheikh Mana Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and is packed with every edible treat you could want, from olives, pickles, oils and salads to pastries, lentils, tagines, fresh breads, fresh fish and kebabs as well as sweet treats such as dried fruits, nougat and ice cream; the list goes on and on. The best thing of all is that you can sample it all before you buy. When I was there recently, we ended up trying cabbage stuffed with mild, creamy labneh cheese, bright pink pickled turnip, eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, walnuts and chilies, and a selection of olive salads, which were all fresh and delicious. I like the fact that you can take the food home, or eat it on a lovely balcony with views of the beach; plus, the waiter can bring you a selection, so you can try new things. You’re encouraged to take your time, so we ended up also trying a selection of traditional sweet pastries, which involved lots of syrup, pistachios and cashews – heaven! – and Moroccan tea served in a beautiful silver pot. In a modern, bustling city like this, it is the perfect place in which to sit for a while, look out to sea and watch the world go by, with a tummy full of treats. The deli is always full of locals, too, smoking shisha and having leisurely lunches, which is probably the best recommendation you could ever want.

Joanne Froggatt has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award for her performances as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey, and won a Golden Globe in 2015
Your address: The St. Regis Abu Dhabi; The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi