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A born traveller, designer Racil Chalhoub was born in Beirut but raised in Paris. Citing her stylish mother as a major influence in her career, she moved to London to study design and marketing then headed back to Beirut in 2006 to open a fashion concept store and organic café. A buyer for eight years, Racil was inspired by tailoring – in particular, the classic tuxedo – and launched her eponymous brand RACIL from her Notting Hill studio in 2015. Though she now lives in the London, every summer she heads to Mykonos for plenty of pampering and parties. This is her insider guide to the glamorous Greek island.
Where’s your favourite place to wake up?
Either at my favourite hotel, Belvedere, or in a villa with a view overlooking Delos.
By the pool!
Over a long meal at Spilia, my favourite lunch spot, or dinner at Sea Satin followed by a late night at Guzel.
Spend the day at the beach drinking café frappes, watch the sunset and then head back to the hotel for a massage.
For drinks with friends?
The espresso martinis by the pool at the Belvedere are the best ever and it’s a great way to start the evening. Then go bar hopping in town.
La Maison de Catherine is amazing.
For a date?
Days in Mykonos are often unplanned and unexpected, which is a perfect date plan in itself.
To let your hair down?
The sunset party at Alemagou.
Where’s best to shop?
There are two main streets in town with plenty of little shops, perfect for browsing before dinner. My favourites are the The White Shop which only sells handmade white items, while there’s also fab boutique on Nammos Beach.
To work out?
Water ski in the bay of Kalafati – but dancing is a way better work out.
To get inspired?
Just chill on the beach and watch the sunset.
One thing we have to buy from Mykonos?
A shell necklace. There’s a lady who sells them from her little stand in town – I buy new ones every summer. Evil eye bracelets are great too and make nice presents.
What’s in your SUITCASE for Mykonos?
Denim shorts, lots of bikinis and kaftans, sarongs and crochet tops for the beach, some mini dresses and a couple of long flowing ones too. Plenty of earrings and accessories, my Muzungu Sisters mochila bag, flat sandals and a pashmina as it can get quite windy.
How would you describe Mykonos’s style?
Quite casual – you can dress up if you want but you don’t really have to.
When is the best time to visit?
From mid-June to mid-July and then first week of September. I would avoid August at all costs!
What is Mykonos’s best-kept secret?
Fokos Taverna, the food is delicious and the beach so remote. There is also a little bar called Thalami – if you’re still awake past sunrise, that’s where you want to head.
The best place to snap a sunset?
Caprice Bar in town. Go early enough to grab the seats outside or, even better, perch on the edge of the blue window.
The best beaches for partying / relaxing / views?
The best beaches for partying are Scorpios and Alemagou – they don’t have parties every day though so check when you get on the island. To relax I head to Hippie Fish and will often stay until sunset, or Agios Sostis where I’ll try to get a table at Kiki’s Tavern for a late lunch. For the best water and swim, head to Kalo Livadi and have lunch at Solymar.
What’s on your Mykonos playlist?
I usually compile my summer playlists in Mykonos, but it is a mix of chilled eclectic tunes, happy house music and also some Greek songs.
Why do you like Mykonos?
There is a sense of freedom there that I don’t find anywhere else. I never look at the time but just take day as it comes. I love that you can have a super relaxing day but also party until sunrise if you want to. There is a certain energy on the island which is thought to emanate from from Delos, the island facing opposite.
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