My personal style signifier is a white shirt. I have a huge quantity in cotton and silk – I like chic, simple clothes. I find them in all sorts of places, but Brand Bazar is always reliable. 33 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris (+331-4544 4002;

The last thing I bought and loved was a kilo of saffron from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. This spice has such a fantastic smell and it was wonderful to be able to buy it in large quantities. Beyazıt Mh, Kalpakçılar Cd No 22, 34126 Fatih, Istanbul

The saffron Pinto bought in Istanbul
The saffron Pinto bought in Istanbul © Alex Cretey Systermans
An Ekka Yachts schooner
An Ekka Yachts schooner

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a schooner to rent from Ekka Yachts. I do this with a friend every summer. We’ve been to Greece, Croatia and the Amalfi Coast – and this year we’re going to Sicily. Waking up in a little creek with no one else around and diving into the turquoise water is an absolute delight. It’s important to have a good captain, a cheerful crew and an expert chef as well. Leof Andrea Siggrou 166, Kallithea 176 71, Greece (+3021-0984 8992;

Jazz singer Melody Gardot
Jazz singer Melody Gardot © Alamy Stock Photo

The last music I downloaded was something by the American jazz singer Melody Gardot. I never remember the titles of the songs, but I love her voice.

My favourite room in my house is my bedroom. I have breakfast in bed, I work in bed, I even receive close friends in bed. And when my grandchildren come, we all end up in my bed, so it really is the centre of the house. I’ve covered the walls with woven wallpaper by Maya Romanoff in a colour that is almost beige but with just a hint of coral, so it is very peaceful, and there is a wonderful view over the garden to the dome of Les Invalides.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Dar Ahlam, a hotel in a restored 19th-century kasbah on the edge of the Sahara Desert, not far from the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate. My two daughters and I spent five days there for my birthday, and it was quite incredible. One night we camped out in the sand dunes, where the quality of the silence amazed me. Dar Ahlam Dunes Camp, from €1,150 per night for two, Douar Oulad Cheik Ali, Koucheït 00000, Morocco (+212-5248 52239;

Dar Ahlam, Morocco
Dar Ahlam, Morocco © Ahmad Siddique Photography
Pinto’s souvenir bamboo bag
Pinto’s souvenir bamboo bag © Alex Cretey Systermans

And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home are the raffia and bamboo bags from my sailing holidays. I try to buy one every year because they are simple, very useful and rather chic. 

A recent find is Jòia, chef Hélène Darroze’s new restaurant in Paris. The food is simply prepared but so good. I went with a few friends and we ate foie gras, terrine, chicken and potatoes, and green salad, all served on big wooden sharing plates. 39 Rue des Jeuneurs, 75002 Paris (+331‑4020 0606;

Guerlain Shalimar perfume
Guerlain Shalimar perfume

The beauty staple I am never without is Shalimar perfume by Guerlain. Its classic, oriental fragrance is discreet and refined. £105 for 90ml EDP;

Pinto’s Aquazzura ballet shoes
Pinto’s Aquazzura ballet shoes © Alex Cretey Systermans

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a pair of black Deneuve ballet shoes by Aquazzura. They are simple, comfortable and made from extremely soft suede. £440; from Galeries Lafayette, 40 Blvd Haussmann, 75009 Paris (+331‑4282 3456;

My favourite website is probably the Kindle store. I don’t use websites and apps, but I do have a Kindle. It’s so practical when I’m travelling, especially on a boat where space is tight.

Jane Fonda, Linda Pinto’s style icon
Jane Fonda, Linda Pinto’s style icon © Getty Images

My style icon is Jane Fonda because she is beautiful, elegant, a mother and a woman who is proud to be her age. I find that fantastic.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Restaurant Toyo in the sixth arrondissement. I’ve known the owner, Toyomitsu Nakayama, for years because he used to be my friend [the fashion designer] Kenzo’s personal chef. He prepares French food with a Japanese eye and he always surprises. We ate plate after plate of exquisite things, such as veal carpaccio and Japanese paella, and each one was a small work of art. 17 Rue Jules Chaplain, 75006 Paris (+331-4354 2803;

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Becoming by Michelle Obama

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. It was so interesting to learn about her real life.

In my fridge you will always find a bowl of stewed fruit and a pot of soya yoghurt because that’s what I have for breakfast every day. There will also be a bottle of white wine, such as Pouilly-Fumé Ladoucette, and some champagne for when good friends come to visit; Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut makes a delicious aperitif. Pouilly-Fumé Ladoucette 2017, £36.99; 0345-605 6767; Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut, £60; 0333-014 8168;

The best gift I’ve given recently was a stone and diamond lucky charm bracelet that I bought from M Selçuk Ipek in Istanbul. My brother Alberto gave my assistant Nicolas a similar one years ago that had worn out, so I was delighted to be able to give him a new one as a token of affection. Bakırköe, Cevahir Bedesteni Sk No 75, Beyazıt Mahallesi, 34126 Fatih, Istanbul (+90212-511 2177;

And the best one I’ve received was Transmissions, a book my daughters made for my last birthday. They gathered together lots of my old family recipes and asked all my friends to write a letter about one of them. There are photographs of the people, too, so each page is full of memories. It is a jewel.

Linda Pinto at home in Paris
Linda Pinto at home in Paris © Alex Cretey Systermans

An indulgence I would never forgo is pasta. It doesn’t matter what sauce it is with – if it is well-cooked, I will eat it.

An object I would never part with is a necklace with delicate gold and diamond pendants that a dear friend gave to me 40 years ago. It was designed by the Italian jeweller Alberto Repossi. 6 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris (+331-4296 4234;

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is the Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti. I would love to have one of his very long, thin figures in my home. It’s hard to explain how his work makes me feel, but every time I encounter it, I just think, “Oh my God, I love it!”

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I would choose the eighth arrondissement in my home city of Paris. Shopping is easy because all the best fashion houses – Ralph Lauren, Saint Laurent, Chanel – can be found on Avenue Montaigne. The area is also home to two of my favourite Japanese restaurants: Hanawa, which is very classic; and Orient Extrême, which has a more contemporary take on traditional sushi and sashimi. And if I feel like a bowl of pasta, there’s César on Avenue de Wagram. I’ve been going there for so many years that it feels like home. César, 12 Ave de Wagram, 75008 (+331-4227 6982; Chanel, 51 Ave Montaigne, 75008 (+331-4450 7300; Hanawa, 26 Rue Bayard, 75008 (+331-5662 7070; Orient Extrême, 21 Rue Bayard, 75008 (+331-4720 9158; Ralph Lauren, 52 Ave Montaigne, 75008 (+331-4477 2800; Saint Laurent, 53 Ave Montaigne, 75008 (+331-5383 8453;

The person I rely on for my personal wellbeing is my acupuncturist, Nadia Volf. I see her every week even if there’s nothing wrong with me, because according to Chinese medicine it is better to heal before you get sick, and I must say, I am in really good health. 9 Rue Quentin-Bauchart, 75008 Paris (+331-4720 2901;

Maxxi museum in Rome – the building was designed by Zaha Hadid
Maxxi museum in Rome – the building was designed by Zaha Hadid © Alamy

If I didn’t live in Paris, the city I would live in is Rome. I like the fact that it manages to be both cosmopolitan and completely Italian. There are so many wonderful museums in the city, but I know I will always find interesting exhibitions at Scuderie del Quirinale and Maxxi, the museum of contemporary art housed in a beautiful building designed by the late Zaha Hadid. The Villa Adriana at Tivoli is also a fantastic place where you can really sense ancient Rome. I have two must-visit restaurants: Trattoria Al Moro, a typically Roman trattoria near the Tivoli fountain serving delicious fresh pasta; and Nino on Via Borgognona, where the seasonal Tuscan food is always excellent. Maxxi, Via Guido Reni 4A, 00196 (+3906-320 1954; Nino, Via Borgognona 11, 00187 (+3906-678 6752; Scuderie del Quirinale, Via XXIV Maggio 16, 00187 (+3906-8110 0256; Trattoria Al Moro, Vicolo delle Bollette 13, 00187 (+3906-678 3495; Villa Adriana, Largo Marguerite Yourcenar 1, 00010 Tivoli (+3907-7453 0203;

If I weren’t doing what I do now, I would be a cook. Not a chef with a restaurant, but perhaps a cook in a private home. Sharing food you have made with family and friends is the best thing there is.

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