Globetrotter: Debra Lehman-Smith of architect firm LSM

Debra Lehman-Smith, a partner at architects and interior designers LSM, enjoys a bit of luxury.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Where do you travel?

Our office is based in Washington, DC but we're fortunate enough to have an international client base. In a typical month, I spend about 40% of my time abroad. I go to London and Italy a lot; we're also just finishing a project in Seoul, and we're working on the Doha convention centre in Qatar, so I also travel further east a fair bit.

What do you do when you get there?

We've been working with some of our clients for more than 20 years and they've become great friends. So I'll catch up with them over dinner or we'll visit a museum. We put a lot of effort into preparing a trip - we always make time to explore. Walking around Doha, for example, is a great way to understand the city and culture, and it really helps us with the designs.

Favourite city?

I love London right now. It's dynamic, easy to travel to and from, and it's become like a second home. We're currently doing the work for 62 Buckingham Gate in Victoria, so I'll be coming back quite a bit this year. In terms of architecture, I love Rome - and Florence is beautiful too.

Favourite restaurant?

I love the Cambi in Florence, a local restaurant with a wonderful atmosphere. It serves the best pomodoro soup in the area and does great gelato.

Florence has some of the best restaurants, says Debra Lehman-Smith

Favourite hotel?

The Aman hotels are my favourites. They're incredibly luxurious and usually located on the doorstep of world heritage sites. I've visited the Aman Sara in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and I'm planning a trip to the Beijing Aman. It has direct access to the Summer Palace and is known for its tranquillity.

How do you pass the time on a long flight?

I typically travel business class, so I can get some sleep. I'm learning Italian, so I'll spend the flight doing Italian modules on my iPad.

Most essential travel item?

I always carry a Hermes scarf, because you never know what the weather will be like when you step off the plane.

How do you cope with jet lag?

The more you travel, the less you suffer. I find it usually hits me on the second day at around 4pm and I'll have a strong cup of tea.

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