EL City Barometer

Experienced globetrotters – for business or pleasure – make up a large part of the  esensualliving.com community. Donning its concierge cap, esensualliving.com each month profiles a city through the eyes – or address book – of a local notable, from Louisa Guinness’s Dublin to Ennio Capasa’s Milan. Bon voyage! 

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Ulrika Lundgren’s Amsterdam

Few Amsterdammers - or ‘Mokummers’ in local speak - are better schooled in hospitality and style than longtime resident Ulrika Lundgren, founder of cult fashion label Rika (fans include Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley and Erin Wasson). The former fashion and interiors stylist also produces a beautiful bi-annual magazine celebrating inspirational women in the arts, and owns Maison Rika, an intimate boutique guesthouse that encapsulates the essence of her world, with views on the city’s historic canals.

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Born and raised in Sweden, Ulrika has been based in Amsterdam – known as the ‘Venice of the North’ due to its many canals – for the past 18 years. “I went to art school in the city and just ended up staying,” said the
multitasking creative and mother of two who, despite her manic schedule, radiates a grounded warmth and an infectious twinkle.
A former fashion and interiors stylist, her aim with Maison Rika, which has two rooms over two floors, was to make it homely, decorating the guesthouse with magpie finds sourced on her travels, custom furniture by Paul Lelieveld and artwork by San Ming. The décor is based around Ulrika’s signature black and cream palette.“We try to offer guests a personal service that makes them feel at home,” says the designer whose fitting symbol is the star. Here she shares some addresses that represent “Everything l love about Amsterdam and where I take friends to when they visit the city”.

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Nicolas Ouchenir’s Paris

This month, it’s the turn of celebrated calligrapher Nicolas Ouchenir to take us around his home city – Paris – with the Right Bank his chosen playground. His selection of addresses is as intimate as it gets, spots cultivated over the years and chosen as much for the quality of their design and goods as for the colourful personalities behind them, as a dedicated bon vivant. 

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