Nicky Hilton on Summers in Europe, the Hamptons & Beyond!

by Sydney Sadick

From teatime in London to noshing on pasta in Positano, Nicky Hilton Rothschild can appreciate a deliciously fabulous European escape. This summer, she’ll have
a new travel companion—her adorable daughter, Lily!

Where did you spend your summers as a child?
The Malibu Colony, a gated community with a bunch of houses in Malibu. I grew up in L.A., so that was the equivalent of the Hamptons. Everyone was friends with everybody, so we’d hop around and hang out.

What would you do there?
My sister [Paris] and I would have bake sales every weekend in the driveway. We’d ride our bikes and go to the beach…we did fun stuff. Tom Hanks was one of our neighbors. That was cool.

What are you nostalgic for from those summers in Malibu?
Biking around with my friends and going to the movie theater. We’d always go to the Häagen-Dazs for ice cream and play at the arcade.

When did you start going to the Hamptons?
When we were teenagers. I love the Hamptons. We go all the time. I actually go year-round—I love it in the off-season, too. Last year, when I had my baby, once I got everything together, I spent the entire summer out in Southampton with her [Lily] and my husband [James Rothschild]. It was so nice being out of the city. We’d give her baths on the porch!

How do you spend your weekends out there now?
We start the weekend at the supermarket, go to the farmstands to load up on delicious food, and we barbecue at home and cook all weekend and sit at the pool and read. We really relax. We don’t leave the house much. This summer, we spent Memorial Day weekend out there with my parents before we start traveling.

Where else do you travel to over the summer?
I’m going to London in June—I’ve been going there almost every summer since I was a little girl. A lot of my husband’s family members haven’t met the baby yet, so we’ll spend time with my in-laws and see them. I love London so much that I decided to have my wedding there. June is such a lovely time to be there—the weather is great, Wimbledon is happening…there’s so much going on.

Where do you stay in London?
Now that I’m married we’ll probably stay with my husband’s family, but I usually stay at Claridge’s—it’s my favorite. It’s old-fashioned and in a great location. I’ve been staying there since I was a little girl.

What are your favorite things to do in London?
As a kid, I’d go to Trafalgar Square and feed the birds. My sister and I would do that for hours. London has some of the most incredible museums, like the Natural History Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. It’s really cool that many of the museums there are free.

Where do you like to eat?
What I love about London is how old-school it is. I love Wiltons. It’s been around since like the 1700s. They have the most delicious food, and they serve you right off the trolley. La Petite Maison is very good, too. I also love the food court at Harrods. They have a little bit of everything, from dim sum to sushi to amazing desserts.

What’s one of your most recent discoveries in London?
The children’s stores. Europe has the most insanely beautiful clothing for children. I’m obsessed with all the European designers. I love Marie-Chantal. She did the dresses for my flower girls at my wedding. She has such beautiful things for children—classic and timeless designs. Some of these designers today with the little kids wearing motorcycle jackets and leather pants is…I don’t know. I like to see a child dressed like a child!

Have you traveled internationally with your daughter yet?
I have not! But I took her to L.A. for Christmas. She’s 10 months now.

How has motherhood changed the way you travel?
I don’t travel that much anymore. I really don’t like to get on a plane unless I have to.

How much of a planner are you when you travel?
I’m pretty meticulous. I bring one of those massive suitcases that’s basically the size of me. The baby gets a big one, too.

What’s your No. 1 pet peeve about flying?
The germs! I bring my own pillow and blanket, and I take Airborne.

What’s your go-to summer look?
A boho dress with ballet flats or gladiator sandals.

Where else are you off to this summer?
We’ve rented a house in Positano for a week. I was there last summer and the summer before that. My husband and I fell in love with it, so we wanted to come back and bring the baby. I adore Italy. Italian food is my weakness. I’m really looking forward to eating a lot of delicious pasta!

What else do you like about it there?
I find it to be very family-oriented. And I love all the beautiful ceramics made by local artisans! I end up buying so many bowls and handmade glasses for my kitchen.

What’s your favorite way to unwind these days?
I’m a homebody, and my husband is an excellent chef. He loves cooking an elaborate meal and having friends come over, and we sit by the fireplace with some nice wine.

Where’s next on your bucket list to visit?
Thailand! I’ve seen so many photos and have admired it from afar. The beaches look so beautiful.

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