Escape with Anna Pihan

1. Hi Anna, can you tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with!

I’m a film photographer and co-founder of book and leisure brand ‘The Pleasure of Leisure’. I’m often on the move, based between Australia and Europe, seeking endless leisure, creating more leisurely books with Milou Neelen of Hôtel Magique (one to come out very soon), travel guides and photographing transportive scenes that capture my senses.

2. Do you have a summer ritual? 

Early salty swims, an espresso at the local cafe bar and exploring with plenty of film and my cameras.

3. Where is it you escape to habitually for true downtime? How long have you been going there and why?

Ischia is my go-to for downtime and ultimate rejuvenation, you’ll find me on the southern side of the island bathing in the idyllic baias, soaking in healing natural volcanic hot springs and savouring deliciously fresh organic produce the island has to offer. 

4. What does that place mean to you?

Ischia is a special place for me and where my love for film photography began. Enchanted by the island’s effortless summer scenes, its beauty, people and healing volcanic springs that entice people back year after year. My motto for living was also formed there, ‘The Pleasure of Leisure’, which later became the title of my book in collaboration with Hôtel Magique.

5. What’s a new summer escape you embarked on this summer?

I spent a month exploring the vast landscapes of Egypt, a magical country rich in history, genuinely kind people and beauty in chaos.

6. Do you have an anecdote or unforgettable memory to share?

Sailing down the Nile with Nour el Nil, experiencing the raw and local life on the Nile, spotting camels in the sugar cane fields in the sunrise mist, children playfully riding donkeys along the shoreline and learning about the countries’ historic past through ancient sites.

7. What about the best to: do, see, stay, eat and drink at this particular escape? 

See – Pyramids go early to miss the crowds and enter with a guide if you’d more explanation, or on foot to enjoy at your own pace

Stay – Al Moudira Hotel created by Lebanese boss lady, a haven for all art and design lovers

Eat – Poolside lunch and cocktails as the sun goes down at Marriott Hotel with a view of the pyramids

Drink – Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, a classic scene out of Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Do – Explore the Sinai Peninsula, and stay in Dahab a fishing village turned undiscovered gem with wild mountains and azure Red Sea

Shop – Malaika Linens in Zamalek for hand stitched napkins to bring home and antique finds in the city

I’ll be sharing more in my Egypt Travel Guide soon to be available on www.thepleasureofleisure.com

8. Who are your favorite summer escape travel partners and why?

I often travel alone — meeting new friends and old along the way. Traveling solo is part of my creative process especially when I’m creating new photography work.

9. What’s your ultimate escape soundtrack?

I love to be transported to another world with music — The Sound of Leisure playlist curated by Batik Boy Radio on Spotify for our first book (The Pleasure of Leisure) is on repeat and radiooooo.com to skip to another era and country at a click of a finger.

10. What about this summer’s read?

HOLIDAY Magazine

11. And what film do you return to for the ultimate summer cinema experience?

‘The Hand of God’ set on the Amalfi Coast and Naples, and Agatha Christie Poirot – The Mystery on the Blue train (2005) which follows the story between the sparkling coastlines of Calais and Nice with an incredible villa on the hill.

12. What does escape mean to you?

Escape is a creative time to be inspired by new surroundings, freedom to create and photograph the world with fresh perspectives.

13. Where are you hoping to head next?

Dreaming of the faraway coastlines of the Pacific, Balearic Islands and Greece.

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