Aruna Shields


The divers that jump off into the North Sea at Saint Mary’s Lighthouse, even in winter. They love life and nothing stops them doing anything. They believe there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, so get your wetsuit out and go diving! My mum is one of those people. Some think she’s, crazy but I admire her. One time, she took me along in December. I didn’t last very long, especially when someone thought it would be amusing to unzip my wetsuit. I’m pathetic in the freezing cold. I’m not sure how I survived growing up in Northumberland.

Luxe places >>

For a weekend > Well, if it was for dancing then it would be in Newcastle! Otherwise the Lake District, Lochnagar in Scotland or possibly somewhere along the Northumberland coastline.

A long holiday > I actually really enjoyed Costa Rica. It has so many microclimates, rainforest, beaches, volcanoes and cute wildlife such as sloths. The food is amazing, and they are heavily into conservation with great eco retreats that
are simply paradise.

A treat > Chocolate, in any form, any time, anywhere. Melted, cake, dark, white. I love it all. My favourite was from Dainty Dollops and was infused with geranium oil.

Luxe relax >>

Best food > Organic fruit of any kind. I would love to grow apples or pears and be able to pick them off the tree.

Best wine > I found a chocolate infused wine when visiting the vineyards in California at Paso Robles. Of-course, that then had to become the favourite.

Favourite restaurant > I like the restaurant at Lumley Castle. The service, ambience and the food are great. I’ve also had a birthday party at the Medieval Banquet there, which was brilliant.

Perfect weekend > It would have to include good company, laughter and a splash of nature. Maybe swimming in the summertime in a lake with a picnic, the dog and my friends.

Downtime means > Laying in a restorative position and listening to an inspirational or relaxing talk. Massages would also be heaven. I recently read a study that said working over 50 hours per week actually makes you less productive, so I’m now factoring in plenty of downtime.

Best telly > I actually don’t watch telly, as I don’t have a TV. When I visit my parents I often watch David Attenborough or BBC documentaries. But I recently watched a programme called ‘The Undatables’ and found the characters and their families quite inspirational.

Best book > A book that was given to me as a gift by a stranger in the Nevada desert at Burning Man. It’s a festival where there is no money and people create a gifting economy. The book was dusty, old and full of poems by Hafiz.

Best sounds > Wind chimes. Euphoric or electro music, and occasionally classical.  I also love my dog’s squeaky noises.

Luxe shop >>

Best shopping city > Ibiza. They have beautiful handmade swimwear and you can buy it while relaxing on the beach. I’m not into trudging around the shops as I find that so exhausting.

Favourite shop > Whole Foods in Kensington, London. You can wander around aimlessly and there is so much to see, sample and eat.

Luxe retail treat > Something edible so that I didn’t have to make space for it. Clutter just annoys me.

Best buy > A dress I got at the second hand shop for £10 and altered slightly, then wore to a red carpet event. I’ve got a habit of doing that.

Luxe party >>

A memorable night out > As a teenager going to the boat and feeling very dizzy on the revolving dance floor. At that age my dress sense was rather ridiculous; I think I had a luminous yellow dress which made me look like a liquorice allsort.

Perfect party > I love the parties on the beach in Ibiza, especially the ones at Salinas or Blue Marlin. Good DJs, swimming and sunshine.

Best dress > I have a silk long gown dress which I sometimes wear with fake fur – it turns many heads.

Dinner date > A restaurant on the Quayside at night next to the water.

Your luxe thing in life >>

Christmas at home in Durham with my family and my dog.