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Lily Atherton Hanbury draws inspiration from “the historical, the cultural and the crafted”. Growing up in Virginia, Lily’s propensity for beautiful things – and for adventure – was apparent from an early age.
Along with friend Katya Tyumentseva, in 2016 she founded Le Monde Beryl, a beguiling jewel-shaded shoe line inspired by the footwear of Venetian gondoliers. The name, which refers to a family of gemstones considered talismanic to travellers and artists, also pays homage to the pioneering aviatrix Beryl Markham.
From silver spur cowboy boots to Italian furlane, Lily Atherton Hanbury takes us for a walk around Virginia in her proverbial shoes.
If Virginia were a shoe, what would it look like?
A riding boot.
From growing up on a farm to slippers worthy of a Venetian gondolier, tell us about that trajectory…
I think that studying architecture at the University of Pennsylvania probably set me on my path, although I credit my family, and my sister in particular, for a constant awareness of beauty and the desire to expand my horizons.
Where does your inspiration come from?
We are inspired by women like Beryl Markham, who are effortlessly stylish and yet don’t let style inhibit life.
What was life like growing up in Virginia?
It was slow and idyllic. I have a great appreciation for nature and beauty from that time in my life.
What’s a good book to read ahead of visiting?
Hold Still by Sally Mann.
Where is your favourite place to wake up?
In my childhood bed with the weeping cherry tree out the window.
If we had just 24 hours in Virginia where should we head?
Underrated tourist spots include…
Burk’s Garden and Lurray Caverns.
Which are you favourite shops in Virginia?
Elizabeth Locke for jewellery, Stokes in Front Royal and Journeymen Saddlers.
Are there any day trips away from the capital that you would recommend?
Drive along route 211 to the Skyline Drive in Sperryville.
Where should we fo to taste Virginia’s best food?
The top choice in farm-to-table restaurants is…
Sandy Lerner’s tavern, the Hunter’s Head in Upperville.
A good spot for after work drinks is…
Pen Druid Brewing in Sperryville.
Where should we head for a taste of culture?
The new ICA at VCU and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Monticello, Stratford Hall, the Wilderness Battlefield in Chancellor, the Paul Mellon Sporting Library in Middleburg
Your condensed address book would include…
How should we spend the final day of our trip?
With my grandmother, Hope Porter, learning about the importance of land preservation.
What should we take as a souvenir?
A “Virginia is for Lovers” bumper sticker.
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