SJ Axelby’s ‘Painted Travels’ Book Launch

Out and About

A celebration of SJ Axelby's new book 'Painted Travels'. Join us for a journey through art, travel tales and sparkling conversations...

A few weeks ago in Knightsbridge Hotel’s snug Library we hosted a party to celebrate the launch of SJ Axelby’s Painted Travels: Portraits of Remarkable Places.

We enjoyed an intimate gathering by the fireplace with glasses clinking and hearts beating with inspiration…

What is your favourite haven among those you’ve illustrated?

That’s like asking me to choose my favourite child! I love Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight. It’s beautiful, but my favourite part is The Children’s Museum. My ancestor taught Queen Victoria’s children here and we still have the black edged mourning letters from his time spent here. So a personal connection for me.

We stole a moment amid the holiday cheer to dive into the magic behind ‘Painted Travels.’ Join us for a journey through art, travel tales and sparkling conversations…

In your latest book, you feature illustrations of beautiful destinations and places. How do you choose these inspiring locations and what is the criteria?

It was a total dream to put together a collection of my favourite places to visit, each remarkable in their own way. From the toastiest pub in Dorset where we holiday each year to the most extraordinary shell grotto in Margate. Many are abroad from the iconic El Fenn Hotel to The Whitby Hotel in New York. Each is chosen as I have a connection with the place or I’m just curious to know more. I’ve visited about two thirds of the places in person and the rest I’ve had the joy of visiting in paint.

Which inspiring places do you highly recommend our readers to visit in 2024?

Well I wish I had been able to include Warren Street Hotel in New York. I cannot wait for this to open!

In your previous book Interior Portraits, along with illustrations, you asked creators and designers about their favourite colours, flowers or drinks. With the festive season approaching, what is your favourite tipple?

Ooh always bubbles sometimes with a dash of pomegranate and Campari to add a bit of festive sparkle!

As you explore the painted escapes within these pages, may inspiration follow you. Wishing you festive joy and creative delights this holiday season!

What’s next on your horizon? We’ve heard you’ll be leading a workshop, Interiors in Watercolour Painting, at The Whitby Hotel in New York. Can you share more about your upcoming endeavours?

I am so excited to host a watercolour workshop at The Whitby Hotel and people are flying in from all over the US to be there which is really touching. I’m also hosting a launch for both books which is going to be wonderful. I have some incredible projects planned for next year (sorry most are top secret) with some very personal projects. I feel very lucky to be doing something I truly love and I hope the book brings as much joy to others as it gave to me putting it together.