"Being Walpole's CEO is the best job in the world and I pinch myself every day that I'm lucky enough to be cheerleader-in-chief for Britain's very best brands."

Welcome to the 'Five Minutes with...' Summer special, which takes a look at the warm-weather plans of inspiring individuals working in the world of luxury, arts or culture.

This month-long series begins with Helen Brocklebank, the CEO of Walpole -the UK's only sector body for luxury brands, which includes Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Boodles, Harrods, The Savoy and Claridge's amongst its 270+ members. Before joining Walpole in 2017, Helen built her career – as well as her passion for British Luxury – in publishing, working on iconic media brands including Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE.

If you weren’t the CEO of Walpole, you’d be...?

In my fantasy life I'd be a wildly successful novelist in the Jilly Cooper mould, but in reality, being Walpole's CEO is the best job in the world and I pinch myself every day that I'm lucky enough to be cheerleader-in-chief for Britain's very best brands.

What do you see as the most significant trend shaping the luxury landscape this summer?

There are two key trends that will continue to shape luxury through the summer and beyond: the first is 'quiet luxury' - incredible materials combined with exquisite craftsmanship or off-grid high-end experiences - things of exceptional quality that don't scream with logos and to the uninitiated might look unexceptional, but if you know, you know. think 'Succession Chic'. The second is 'forever luxury' - investment pieces that hold their value over time - a Chanel 2.55, a Burberry trench, a Rolex watch. This trend of trading up to iconic pieces is also getting a boost from the growth of the pre-loved luxury and rentals market.

Where is your favourite al fresco drinking/dining spot?

There's so many amazing spaces, I can't pick just one. The newly opened secret garden at Beaverbrook Townhouse is dreamy for a cocktail - on a warm day you can linger over a Hugo, breathing in the scent of the jasmine that climbs all over the walls and listening to the gentle sounds of the fountain. For lunch or supper, I love Toklas over near Temple tube owned by Matthew Slotover, founder of Frieze.

Where will you be holidaying this year and why?

I'm just back from two very relaxing weeks in the depths of the French countryside, not far from Toulouse, swimming in the nearby river, eating an awful lot of delicious local cheese, washed down by excellent wine and reading books.

What's your essential travel must-have and your holiday read?

I have a battered old panama hat which continues to serve me well, but I keep eyeing up a smarter model at Lock & Co Hatters on St. James. I enjoyed Maggie O'Farrell's The Marriage Portrait and The Brothers Karamazov on holiday this year. Both great but the latter was unexpectedly a real page turner.

What are you most looking forward to at Walpole, post-summer?

The Walpole British Luxury Awards on 20th November will come round very quickly - I'm really excited about celebrating the achievements of the best of the best at our annual awards dinner at The Dorchester.

Discover more: thewalpole.co.uk